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The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”

More and more conservatives and liberals, from the halls of Congress to people in communities across the country, are agreeing that the so-called “war on drugs” needs serious rethinking.

First, we should define our terms. The “war on drugs” that was started by Richard Nixon in 1971 and persists to this day, refers to illegal “street drugs” – cocaine, heroin, marijuana and variations thereof. It is not used to mean a war on legal pharmaceuticals, whose excessive and often inappropriate prescribing takes over 100,000 lives a year in our country. Ironically, prescription opioids alone took 35,000 lives last year – …

Independent Journalists Reveal America’s Sinister War in Syria

Syria is not experiencing a “civil war.” It is being targeted by both proxy and direct military force organized by the United States and its allies for the explicit purpose of dividing and destroying yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Worse than that, the United States is employing tactics to transform Syria’s heterogeneous multi-ethnic and religious communities into segregated ghettos, and using this as a means of dividing and conquering the nation and even the region.

The US is also widely employing the abhorrent tactics of socioeconomic, psychological, and armed terrorism to …

Twenty-Seven Hours: Donald Trump in Israel

It was time to do the Zionist boogie within a mere period of 27 hours, and anyone wishing to see two muggers of history enjoying each other’s company found themselves peering at Donald Trump of the United States, and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, nearly arm in arm on the recent tilt in US policy.  “We understand each other,” effused the Israeli leader, “and so much of the things that we wish to accomplish for both our countries.”

Not that Washington had been that savage in reneging on its general policy on Israel during the Obama years. Israel was still deemed firm bosom …

Canada’s Complicity in Entrenching Colonialism in Africa

The recent seizure of phosphate from a Moroccan state company in South Africa and Panama is a blow to corporate Canada and a victory for national independence struggles. It should also embarrass the Canadian media.

This month courts in Port Elizabeth and Panama City okayed requests by the POLISARIO Front asking South Africa and Panama to seize two cargo ships with 100,000 tonnes of phosphate from Western Sahara, a sparsely populated territory in north-western Africa occupied by Morocco. Ruled by Spain until 1975, Moroccan troops moved in when the Spanish departed and a bloody 15-year war drove tens of thousands …

Lost on the Path to Buddhist Economics

Book review of Buddhist Economics by Clair Brown and Zen Economics by Rob Urie

The opposition to the pillaging by the founders of what came to be called capitalism took many forms: from utopian colonies and secret societies of craftsmen to dissenting religious congregations, among other insurgent formations. Many of these rebellious eruptions have modern day equivalents. Intentional communities never disappeared though they cycle from popular ventures to backwoods near oblivion and workers hesitantly emerged from clandestine meetings to openly organize for their rights, though today corporate hostility to unions sees them returning to caution and secrecy.

And ecumenical dissent continues today to rail against capitalists’ disdain for ethical practices interpreted as obstacles to their …

Why Were the Saudi Streets So Quiet?

With the world’s media focused on President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, it’s curious that the streets of Riyadh were so empty. Unlike most of Trump’s public appearances, there was not a protester in sight.

While Mexicans pour out on the streets to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, bashing Trump piñatas and burning U.S. flags, there was nary a Saudi protester chanting “Trump: Go home.” In this very religious country, no one seemed interested in demonstrating opposition to Trump’s derogatory comments about Islam nor his attempts to impose a Muslim ban back home.

Saudi women could have used the occasion to …

Back to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia

You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.

— President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to President Donald Trump, New York Times, May 21, 2017

The business of making money on property, badly, has shifted to the business of making money, greatly, for the US industrial arms complex.  This is the technique of President Donald Trump, who has been making various gestures, sword and wallet in hand, to various selected allies in the Middle East.

Besieged domestically, Trump did what other predecessors have done: find solace in the turmoil of Middle Eastern politics.  On Saturday, he sealed a $110 billion

The Rhetoric of Regime Change


From the end of WWII until the present, the United States has been borrowing, inventing, or inverting terms to label other nations and their political systems. Eventually, the repertoire of politically motivated rhetorical gadgetries swelled to become a convenient ideological arsenal for US expansions into the sovereign domains of all nations. Noam Chomsky once noted, “Talking about American imperialism is rather like talking about triangular triangles.” Debating the rhetorical validity of Chomsky’s observation and if it effectively describes talking …

Getting Julian Assange

The Untold Story

Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish state’s collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and “rendition”.

Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure.

This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played …

President Emmanuel Macron: Reversing Five Decades of Working-Class Power

Whatever has been written about President Emmanuel Macron by the yellow or the respectable press has been mere trivia or total falsehood.

Media lies have a purpose that goes beyond Macron’s election. Throughout Europe and North America, bankers and manufacturers, NATO, militarists and EU oligarchs, media moguls and verbal assassins, academics and journalists, all characterized the election victory of Macron as a ‘defeat of fascism’ and the ‘triumph of the French people’.

Macron and ‘What People’?

First of all, Macron received …

Beyond Liberal Pieties

The Radical Challenge for Journalism

Many liberals and leftists criticized the New York Times last month for giving right-wing ideologue Bret Stephens a piece of the most valuable real estate in U.S. journalism, a regular spot on its op-ed page.

I rarely find any of Stephens’ arguments compelling (his first column in favor of climate-change skepticism was embarrassing in its misunderstanding and/or distortion of the practice of science), and his politics are coherent only if you ignore all the evidence that complicates the triumphalist view of capitalism and U.S. history. But in his May 20 column “Roger Ailes: The Man Who

Say a Prayer for the Homeless: Trump’s People Will Not

It is a bright sunny day in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. The sky is clear blue and the air is cool. It’s definitely a windows-down driving day as I get in my ’99 Camaro and set off to work from Arlington, Virginia to 16th and K Street in downtown Washington. It is just about six miles to get from home, near the Pentagon and Fort Myer, to the office.

It’s a pretty standard commute today, stop and go traffic. But it’s not too bad because there’s movement, as long as there is no accident ahead. My path takes me past …

The Illegal Entity of Rojava and Imperial “Divide and Rule” Tactics

Part 2 of 2 part series: "A Liberated Area in the Middle East"?: Western Imperialism in Rojava

Rojava supporters may point out that YPG fighters worked with Syria and Russia which allowed the final victory in the liberation of Aleppo last year and note with pride the statement of Hediye Yusuf, the co-chair of Rojava’s Constituent Assembly, who said that they seek autonomy, but do not want Syria to be destroyed. However, there is no doubt that the “good” Kurds are still hostile to the Syrian government: the YPG has killed SAA soldiers in past years (2012-2016 off and on) in “revenge” for purported attacks, even surrounding “enemy” soldiers at certain

“A Liberated Area in the Middle East”?: Western Imperialism in Rojava

Part 1 of a 2 part series

Over 17.1 million live in a socially democratic, secular state, the Syrian Arab Republic, ravaged by overt and covert imperialist machinations supported by Turkey, the Gulf autocracies, and the Western capitalist states. Their government is led by the National Progressive Front (NPF), with its most foremost party the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party which is joined by numerous radical and socially progressive parties. The NPF’s majority in the Syrian’s People’s Council, the Syrian parliament, was reaffirmed in the April 2016 elections by the Syrian people, elections which were predictably boycotted by the Western-backed opposition and predictably declared “unfree” by Western …

The Real Reason Britons will Vote for Scrooge

Trust Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian to ask the most pertinent question of the coming British general election and then fail to offer the one answer staring him in the face.

After examining the manifesto commitments of the Conservative and Labour parties, he asks: “British voters look like they’re rejecting Santa and embracing Scrooge. Why?”

Why indeed? At least, for once, Freedland doesn’t blame it all on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. His answer is that the Tories are seen by the British public as fiscally responsible while Labour has long been viewed as irredeemably irresponsible.

A near fixed point of British politics

Corrupt Canadian Banking Practices

A recent photo in French daily Liberation hints at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s role in facilitating tax avoidance, which is partly an outgrowth of Canadian banking prowess in the Caribbean and Ottawa’s role in shaping the region’s unsavoury financial sector.

Just before the second round of the French presidential election documents were leaked purporting to show that Emmanuel Macron set up a company in a Caribbean tax haven. The president-elect’s firm is alleged to have had dealings with CIBC FirstCaribbean, a subsidiary of Canada’s fifth biggest bank.

While Macron denies setting up an offshore firm and contests the veracity …

Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles

It had been, from the start, a cruel wait and see game.  Lacking logic and consistency, the Swedish effort to extradite Julian Assange from the United Kingdom, not for formal charges but the pretext of questioning him over sexual assault and rape, collapsed on Friday.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, in a press conference in Stockholm, were doing their best not to have Assange have the last, grizzly laugh.  Abandoning the investigation had been a logistical matter, as they had been unable to serve the Australian with allegations during an interview at the Ecuadorean …

“I will not forgive or forget” — Assange speaks

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange speaks following Swedish prosecutors dropping their case on him. He’s now said he will work with US Justice Department about their case on him.

“Battle is over but the war has just begun” — Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London on May 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that “the battle is over but the war has just begun” after Swedish prosecutors closed a seven-year investigation against him.

“While today was an important victory, an important vindication, the road is far from over,” Assange said standing on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Friday.

He made the remarks after Marianne Ny, the chief prosecutor in Sweden, announced …

Trump’s Saudi Trip Should Not Be to Clinch Arms Deal But to End Yemen War

President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia is designed to highlight his “art of deal” by clinching a massive $100 billion arms deal. But instead of using his presidency to be a salesman for the arms industry, Trump should be a statesmen for the suffering Yemenis. He should use his visit to press for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict in Yemen.

This is not the first time American politicians have been pushing Saudi arms sales. U.S. weapons dealers have been selling weapons to the kingdom for decades. Sales reached a new climax under President Obama, as Saudi Arabia became …