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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 …

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

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 out in Sweden. “It’s a laughing …

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 …

The Tragedy of Forced Displacement

It constitutes the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War affecting huge numbers of people and demanding all that is best in us. Yet instead of compassion, understanding and unity, all too often intolerance, ignorance and suspicion characterise the response to the needs of refugees and migrants.

There are now unprecedented numbers of displaced people in our world, with children making up a disproportionate percentage of the total. Figures from UNHCR are detailed and shocking and demand our attention: At 65.3 million, “the global population of forcibly displaced people today is larger than the entire population of the UK.” …

The Balfour Declaration: A Century of Jewish Power

This year, Palestinians and their supporters mark the 100th anniversary of The Balfour Declaration, a written statement from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, to Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, in favour of the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

For Palestinians, The Balfour Declaration was the beginning of their plight: a century of ethnic cleansing at the hands of European newcomers who claim Palestine as their historic home. Yet, for some reason, supporters of the Palestinians are desperate to suppress discussion of …

Orwell, Freud, and the Syrian Ruse

Reality by other means

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

— Karl Rove speaking to a small group of reporters at a cocktail party in 2004…… printed in the Washington Post

The adjective ‘Orwellian’ is so overused mostly because it is so incredibly apt on a daily basis. George Orwell’s basic concept reflects a simple tenet of propaganda: the thing you are hiding is often hid behind its exact opposite. Orwell expressed this concept in 1984 with the government slogans, “War is Peace,” “Ignorance is Strength,” and “Freedom is Slavery.” The Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud …

Love vs Pornography, Revolution vs Passivity

You say that you want facts – facts and more facts – before you can commit. Before you finally decide to become part of something: a political party, a movement or another human being. You already have plenty of them: an avalanche, a tsunami of facts. “In fact”, your life is overflowing with facts. Most of them are brought directly to your living room or bedroom, or to your office; they shine from the liquid crystals of your computer monitors, and from increasingly flat and sleek television screens.

There is really no need to travel, is there? There is no need …

The Book That Uncovered ‘Wealthfare’

Over 20 years ago, long before the experts caught on, the writers Mark Zepezauer and Arthur Naiman zeroed in on the upward redistribution of income in the United States. They called it “wealthfare,” and used the term to open their 1996 book Take the Rich Off Welfare. Here’s the first sentence: “Wealthfare—the money we hand out to corporations and wealthy individuals—costs us at least $448 billion a year.”

It’s no exaggeration to say that the book predicted America’s fortune (or, more accurately, misfortune). Government actions to make the rich richer have become standard fare. There’s more allegiance to corporate …

International Campaign is Criminalizing Criticism of Israel as “Anti-semitism”

Delegates at the 2009 Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism convention in London. The organization issued a declaration calling on governments to use an Israel-centric definition of antisemitism and to outlaw and prosecute such “antisemitism.”

For two decades, some Israeli officials and Israel partisans have worked to embed a new, Israel-focused definition of antisemitism in institutions around the world, from international bodies and national governments to small college campuses in heartland America. This effort is now snowballing rapidly. As a result, advocacy for Palestinian rights is well on …