One of the staple talking points of Spanish unionists is that the poor people of Catalonia live trapped in a information bubble that does not allow them to hear or see anything that is not nationalist propaganda, a propaganda, they say, designed to promote a hatred of Spain.
Sounds terrible doesn’t it? But are things really as centralists constantly suggest they are?
As anyone who has lived in Catalonia knows, Spanish (Castilian)-language media, including 5 state-run TV channels and another 5 state-run radio stations are widely available and widely watched there.
With each passing day, the mainstream media keeps printing and repeating ever more bizarre theories about Russian attempts to control not only our voting, not only our political system, but even our relationships with each other. They are trying to “sow seeds of dissent and confusion” in American society, we read almost daily in the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. How are they doing this? By taking out ads on Facebook to advertise pages like “Adorable Puppies.” Seriously. What’s happened to political debate in the United States and what’s happening to journalism? Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report is joined by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry of ConsortiumNews.com to try and make sense of the mass hysteria gripping the country.
Last Sunday in Barcelona, the forces opposed to allowing any change in Catalonia’s political status within Spain staged a rally in Barcelona. Given the clear minority position of such hard-core unionists (defined here as people who neither want a vote on, nor a negotiation about, the matter of greater Catalan self-determination) within in the Catalan Autonomous Community, it was necessary to bus people in from all over Spain to bring the rally’s numbers – 350,000 according to the Catalan police – up to anything remotely approaching those achieved in recent weeks and months by the pro-independence forces.
Among the many unionists to arrive in Barcelona from the other parts of the state on Sunday was the Nobel-Prize winning Peruvian-Spanish novelist, Mario Vargas Llosa, who stood before the crowd and issued yet another iteration of the critique of Basque and Catalan nationalism that he has been monotonously issuing over the past 25 years.
The media is having a field day with a supposedly leaked report that President Trump called for a ten-fold increase in US nuclear weapons in July. That is the occasion of Secretary of State Tillerson calling the president a “moron,” according to the media. It’s all supposed to point to how ridiculous President Trump is for wanting more nuclear weapons. But who’s idea was the current one trillion dollar nuclear weapons “modernization” plan? It was then-president Obama’s idea. And who appropriated the money to get started? Congress. More on the bipartisan support for military corporate welfare in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The CIA has been forced to declassify some 270 memos from its secret torture facilities in Afghanistan. The story these memos tell is horrific and jolting. The people tortured were not terrorists. They were suspects. Some may say this is all ancient history, but consider the current president’s view on torture. He said he’s torture in a heartbeat. Are we still “torturing some folks”? Tune in to today’s Liberty Report:
On October 7, 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. The war is now 16 years old — and that’s not even counting the decade of U.S. intervention in the country during the Cold War.
Donald Trump once advocated the “speedy withdrawal” of U.S. troops from that country. As president, however, he’s gone in the opposite direction, demanding the U.S. must now “fight to win.”
As Phyllis Bennis, director of the IPS New Internationalism project, explains in this short video, Trump’s plans to extend the war he once supported ending are even more worrisome for their lack of transparency. He’s not said how many new troops he’ll send or how long they’ll be deployed. Worse still, civilian casualties in multiple U.S. wars have been on the rise since he took office — by 67 percent in just six months.
It’s clear by now that the solution to terrorism won’t come from using military power, Bennis explains. That can only be achieved by diplomacy. “It’s harder, it takes longer, it’s not as sexy, it’s not sexy on CNN, it’s not any of those things,” she concludes. “But it’s the only thing that will work.”