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Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty

Eyewitness Report

Mainstream media would have most of us believe that the current struggle at Standing Rock, North Dakota is all about clean water – that its only focus is stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from running through Indigenous reservation land. And, yes, it is about these things. But while such a narrative may create “hot headlines,” it fails to capture the full truth and essence of what‘s really going on there.

On September 9 through September 12, our Workers World Party delegation gathered with 8,000 others to support the national call to mobilize for support.

Resistance, unity and mass consciousness

Shortly after …

Falsehood in War Time

Falsehood is a recognized and extremely useful weapon in warfare, and every country uses it quite deliberately to deceive its own people, to attract neutrals, and to mislead the enemy.

Who do you suppose wrote that? Noam Chomsky? Perhaps Gore Vidal in one of his grandiloquent moments? Or William Blum, as a preamble to his chronicling US military and CIA interventions in Killing Hope? No, it was none of our contemporary antiwar critics. It was Arthur Ponsonby, British Lord and pacifistic MP, in his 1928 tome, Falsehood in War-Time.

The war-time which inspired Ponsonby’s In-war-truth-is-the-first-casualty observation was the First World War; the …

Ethiopians are crying out for Freedom and Justice

Now is the Time for change

Usually September 11th, or 1st of Meskerem on the Ethiopian calendar, is a day of celebration. It is the Ethiopian new-year. However, this year there was a distinct shortage of happy gatherings or collective jubilation to mark the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, either inside the country or amongst the diaspora.

The country is in crisis and the majority of Ethiopians believe there is little to celebrate; instead many people spent the day in quiet reflection, dressed in black. Prayers were said at church services in Ethiopia and abroad for those who have been killed protesting (a constitutional …

Anti-Palestine Media Bias Remains Untouchable Even to Canada’s Media Critics

Media coverage of world affairs mostly focuses on Ottawa/Washington’s perspective. While the dominant media is blatant in its subservience to Canadian/Western power, even independent media is often afraid to challenge the foreign policy status quo.

A recent Canadaland podcast simultaneously highlighted anti-Palestinian media bias and the fear liberal journalists’ face in discussing one of the foremost social justice issues of our time. The media watchdog’s discussion of the Green Party’s recent resolutions supporting Palestinian rights started strong with Canadaland publisher Jesse Brown laying out three “facts”:

In an editorial titled “[Elizabeth] May must renounce anti-Israel resolutions” …

White Helmets Deceive “Right Livelihood” and CodePink

Manipulation of public perception has risen to a new level with the emergence of powerful social media. Facebook, Twitter and Google are multibillion dollar corporate giants hugely influencing public understanding.  Social media campaigns include paid ‘boosting’ of Facebook posts, paid promotion of Tweets, and biased results from search engines. Marketing and advertising companies use social media to promote their clients.  U.S. foreign policy managers hire these companies to influence public perception to support U.S. foreign policy goals. For example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made sure that Twitter was primed for street protests in Iran following the 2009 election. She …

How Black Athletes Could Create a Watershed in Activist History

There’s the potential at this juncture for bold black athletes to blend many identity issues and address concerns about Mother Earth simultaneously.

— Organizer for the 2016 Facing Race national conference, which will take place November 10-12 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Let’s think about fighting the good fight really well ringing the public bell from an entirely new angle.

In the 60s, when I was writing for Nat Fleischer, the Ring Magazine publisher and eventual inductee into the Boxing Hall of Fame, the old man told me about how Heavyweight Champion of the world Jack Johnson managed to secure a shot at the …

Repair-Not-Replace: Good for Your Pocket and Good for the Planet

Recently the back bumper on my car sustained a few cracks as a result of a minor accident.  I took the car to the dealer’s garage. I was told that the bumper needed to be replaced at an extortionate cost. Not only that but also the car had to be taken to another city for that to be done.  I said I would think about it.

Returning home, I contacted a relative who owns a small garage locally. He said the bumper did not need to be replaced, it could be welded easily, costing about a fifth of the price quoted …

The Sanders Challenge

The current point in the US presidential race offers a short-lived window of opportunity for some real positive change that rarely comes around. For it not to be wasted requires direct and forceful action by a majority of stakeholders – specifically, the large swath of American electorate that was moved and inspired by the recent Sanders campaign.

The main premise is simple: just how in china stores “if you break it, you own it”, or if you stir up a hornets’ nest, you are forced to deal with it.  So here sen. Sanders has the supreme moral obligation to steer towards sensible …

Syria: Attack on Aid Convoy Kills Twenty, Destroys Aid …

... and Obliterates US War Crimes?

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

— Candidate Barack Obama, December, 2007

As the US heaps blame and accusations on Russia and Syria for the alleged air strike on the aid convoy on Monday September 19th, as ever there are more questions than answers – and whatever US spokespersons state, absolutely no certainties.

The only undeniable fact is that another tragedy killed at least twenty Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and the organisation’s local Director Omar Barakat, father …

The Washington Post and Edward Snowden

The tensions between those engaged in the dangerous and compromising pursuit of whistleblowing, and those who use the fruit of such efforts has been all too coarsely revealed in the Washington Post stance on Edward Snowden.

Oliver Stone’s Snowden has done a good deal of stirring on its release, suggesting that the pardon powers of the Presidential office should be activated.  A recent petition calling for a pardon of the former National Security Agency contractor has already received signatures from Steve Wozniak, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jack Dorsey.

The ACLU, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch similarly believe that Snowden should …

The Economic Resurrection of China

Part 2: What Does the Rise of China Mean for the Rest of the World?


In Part 1, I interviewed Jeff Brown, author of 44 Days Backpacking in China and the recently published China Rising, to get a perspective from an American ex-pat who has lived in, deeply studied China, and learned Mandarin.

I am glad that Jeff Brown raised the 15th century voyages of Zheng He in Part 2. Zheng He was a Muslim Chinese admiral who navigated much of the world in colossal wooden treasure ships conducting trade and spreading news of a China that was then …

Kabul River and Standing Rock Sioux

Government officials and business people today routinely negotiate: “We’d like to extract the oil.” Or gas, or such and such a mineral.  Water? “Oh don’t worry, we’ll see to that too….”

But they’re not angels, and their bottom line is profit, so Nature and human beings have a problem having enough to drink, and to survive, not just along Kabul River, but also along the Missouri and Mississippi of the Standing Rock Sioux.

They craft the ‘legal’ rules of the industry, and embellish their plans with ‘democracy, or development, or rights’.

They enjoy impunity, unless, together, we speak up, and ‘vandalize’ the ‘norms’, …

The Golden Age of Bullshit

Obscuring the end game

A new band out of Los Angeles called PartyBaby recently released their excellent pop-punk debut album, the title of which perfectly captures the time we’re living through: The Golden Age of Bullshit. On the cover three or four teens scamper through a splashing surf. There’s lots of laughter and frivolity. It’s just an innocent day at the beach. But behind them, a mushroom cloud erupts out of the deep water. The teens are oblivious. Isn’t that a perfect picture of America today? The electorate gearing up to place a neoconservative war criminal in the White House by virtue of …

Any Third Party Vote is a Vote for Hillary Clinton

Buddy boy, don’t you get it? This isn’t the year to cast a “protest” vote. If you don’t vote for Trump, you’re really voting for Hillary.

Huh?

Listen, kid, you just don’t know how all this works, do you? I know you pretty much think neither Clinton2 nor the Trumpster should be controlling the White House joy stick. Am I right or am I right?

I guess so.

You don’t want to vote for someone who helped bomb the shit out of the Middle East or somebody who you don’t know if they’ll blow up the whole world either. The Big H has the …

Progressives Are Targets of Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables” Speech

By now Hillary Clinton’s comment that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” and hence “irredeemable” is known throughout the land.  They, said she, belong in a “basket of deplorables.”  She thus consigns to her “basket” many millions of Americans, in fact, more each day as Trump does ever better in the polls.

Make no mistake about it, this bit of invective was no accident. Hillary is carefully scripted, and especially so in these months of her campaign. Cameras were rolling and she knew it. Moreover, she has said the same thing repeatedly on camera in front …

Agriculture: Trade Wars and Food Wars

Obama and the Multi-Nationals

The concentration and centralization of the agro-business multi-nationals advances with gigantic strides:  Potash Corp and Agrium have combined into a $30 billion monopoly over the world fertilizer market.  Dow Chemical and DuPont combine in a $130 billion dollar deal in the seed and agricultural chemicals sector.  ChemChina prepares to take over Syngenta in a $44 billion acquisition.  Bayer is preparing to buy out Monsanto for $56 billion and further concentrate control over worldwide seed and chemical markets.  A quarter of a trillion dollars worth of mergers and acquisitions is poised to concentrate control of global agriculture prices, profits and markets …

Syria Solidarity Movement Statement on the US Attack against the Syrian Army at Deir ez-Zour

The Syria Solidarity Movement unequivocally condemns and denounces the vicious US bombing attack on the Syrian army defending Deir ez-Zour, and we wish to make the following observations.

The attack killed at least 62 Syrian soldiers and wounded more than 100.  This is larger than the number of casualties inflicted in any US bombing on any terrorist target in Syria since the US announced its “war on ISIS”.
The bombing inflicted no known casualties on ISIS, which the US says was its intended target.
The US has produced no evidence that it notified its Russian counterparts, as required by agreement. …

Never Mention the J-word

... It's not applicable to Palestine

Seems our politicians, on both sides of the Atlantic, are under instructions to drop the J-word from their vocabulary. I mean J-for-Justice, conspicuously missing from any discussion about Middle East peace and, more specifically, an end to the hell in the Holy Land.

Only the other day at Westminster a parliamentary question was put to the Secretary of State for International Development asking what assessment had been made of the effectiveness and value for money of the UK’s aid assistance to the Palestinian Territories.

It was answered by Rory Stewart who repeated the tired mantra: “The UK remains committed in its support …

Assange, Manning and Snowden: Standing up for the Conscience of Truthtellers

Last week, Oliver Stone’s biopic “Snowden” hit the theaters. The film illuminates the life of Edward Snowden between 2004 and 2013, aiming to humanize one of the most wanted men in the world. Just before its release, a public campaign was launched urging President Obama to pardon this renowned NSA whistleblower.

The massive US government persecution of truthtellers over the past years has exiled conscience from civil society, locking it behind bars and driving it into asylum. Yet, despite these attacks, it refuses to die.

From prison where she is serving 35 years, Chelsea Manning is standing up for her …

“Burkini” and French Imperialist Mind

In Europe, oppression is never really called by its true ugly name. It is constantly concealed by lofty slogans such as culture, even tolerance. Repression, discrimination and harassment are administered in order for the ‘entire society to be free’.

Or so at least the official narrative goes.

In France, a recent and ugly row over so-called burkinis, a swimsuit used by many Muslim women all over the world, has demonstrated how little tolerance there really is in today’s Europe for other cultures and for different ways of life.

Recently, France’s highest administrative court has ruled that “burkini bans” being enforced on the country’s …