By the Saker
Okay, so I am not being honest with this title. But hey, since Harvard does list my blog as a ‘fake news’ source, I might as well indulge, at least once, into some absolutely shameless click baiting and “fake newsing” 🙂
Seriously, my friend Steve Lendman wrote an interesting post on his blog about Harvard University’s “guide to fake news”. Check it out, he does a great job explaining it all. Also, it’s not like Harvard University focused on my blog. In fact, their full list is much longer (see here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/).
But yeah, they do list the Saker blog 🙂
Make sure to also read their “guide to fake news” right here: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/fake – it is amazing.
What a fall from grace, really. Harvard University, arguably THE symbol of US academia, has now joined such “prestigious” (not) actors like CNN or the BBC in the ideological scramble to discredit free information sources. For somebody like me who studied in US colleges and who got two degrees in the USA, it is really sad.
There used to be a time when US colleges were *really* a beacon of intellectual freedom. For example, while at the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC, in the late eighties, I remember that we had the former ambassador of Grenada as an academic and while the Reagan administration was not happy about this, there is absolutely nothing they could do to remove her. In fact, a lot of our faculty was very much opposed to the Reagan administration, and yet no attempts were made to pressure anybody in any way. Had there been any such attempts they would have resulted in an energetic protest on our part, probably supported by all other colleges in DC (George Washington U, Maryland U, Georgetown U, Howard U). Call me naive, but I do believe that it would have never crossed the mind of anybody in the White House or Congress to mess with academic freedom or, even less so, to try to use colleges as a tool in a color revolution against the President.
Coca, a mild stimulant, has been used for millennia by people in the Andes in tea and food, though it is most often chewed raw to give energy and treat ailments ranging from altitude sickness to menstruation pain. The plant is also the source material for cocaine and the target of anti-narcotics efforts across South America driven in part by the United States. From 1997 to 2004, a US-funded program seeking to eradicate coca in Bolivia by force plunged the Chapare into traumatic conflict.
“They would turn up suddenly, at any time of day or night, and start interrogating us — they would hit you or kick you for no reason,” the farmer says, recalling the paramilitary anti-narcotics police forces once backed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration. “We used to sleep out in the open, in the coca field, so they couldn’t find us.”
Even though his crop has been fully legal since 2004, when the Bolivian government took the unprecedented step of legalizing production for domestic consumption, these dark memories still prompt the farmer to insist his name does not appear in print.
Wherever you go in the Chapare — one of Bolivia’s two coca-growing regions — you hear similar stories of life in the 1990s and early 2000s: narco-slayings, police violence and rapes, and coca-grower protests ending in violence and death.
You also hear gratitude that Bolivia has replaced a strategy of eradication with one of regulated production to meet historic national demand for coca.