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The West Marches East

Part 1: The U.S.-NATO Strategy to Isolate Russia

In early March of 2014, following Russia’s invasion of Crimea in Ukraine, the New York Times editorial board declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “stepped far outside the bounds of civilized behavior,” suggesting that Russia should be isolated politically and economically in the face of “continued aggression.”

John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, lashed out at Russia’s “incredible act of aggression,” stating that: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pre-text.” Indeed, invading foreign nations on “trumped up pre-texts” is something only the …

US Militarism and Easter Day Disinformation on Iraq

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected round the world.

—President Barack Obama, State of the Union address, January 24, 2012

As Easter was celebrated in the US and UK with, for believers, the message of hope, Fallujah, the region and much of the country is again under siege, not this time by US mass murderers, but by the US proxy government’s militias armed with US delivered weapons.

In 2003, a month into the invasion, Easter Day fell on the same day as this year, April 20, as Iraqis of all denominations …

Reassessing the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship”

Presentation at the National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship” on March 7, 2014 at the National Press Club.

Alison Weir is the author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the United States Was Used to Create Israel, on the history of US-Israel relations (see review). The New York Times reported of her presentation: “When the speech ended, Ms. Weir was met with thunderous applause, and across the room there was a widespread sense of satisfaction that someone was saying what needed to be said.” Former US Senator Tom Campbell stated: “Ms. Weir presents …

On the Death and Life’s Work of the Unconquerable Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

They can incarcerate my body but never my mind.
— Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

For a man who spent nearly four decades of his seventy-six years under the restrictive eye of the US correctional system, few have ever touched as many lives as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The world-class boxer turned wrongfully accused prisoner, turned advocate for the rights of the unjustly incarcerated, has succumbed to cancer, but his memory and work will endure as long as there are people outside and inside the prisons of the world fighting for justice.

It is difficult to think of more than a handful of prisoners in history …

Cutting the Gordian Lock at Pacifica

For the last month we’ve been occupying the Pacifica National Office, barricaded in, 24/7, taking turns standing watch, resisting the rogue board. We’re KPFA listeners and programmers, United for Community Radio members, with help from our allies at other Pacifica stations. Here’s how this came about:

On the night of March 13th the Executive Director of the Pacifica Radio Network was suddenly fired by the Pacifica National Board. No reason was given for the dismissal; the item had not even been on the agenda. The motion was simply introduced in a closed session and quickly passed by the SaveKPFA faction and …

Autonomy and Will-to-Growth

The grotesque absurdity of relentless economic “development”: after two centuries, the planet reels under the onslaught of previously inconceivable catastrophes—most disastrously, global warming and deadly, perennial nuclear wastes.  Yet, restlessly insatiable, the profit-addicted Juggernaut remains in perpetual-motion—devouring entire ecosystems as it plunders resources and carves out new markets.  Indeed, such unremitting economic activity, as John Stuart Mill warned 150 years ago, could end up destroying the entire world.

Karl Marx emphasized the inevitable volatility of business (boom-slump) cycles: the over-extension of business credit invariably leads to overproduction, periodic recessions, and rising unemployment —wherein millions of people predictably lose their “jobs.”  Yet …

Could Mind-reading Technology Become Harmful?

The increasing detail at which human brains can be scanned is bringing the possibility of mind-reading appliances closer and closer. Such appliances, when complete, will be non-invasive and capable of responding to our thoughts as easily as they respond to keys on a keyboard. Indeed, as emphasized in the Lifeboat Foundation’s 2013 publication, The Human Race to the Future, there may soon be appliances that are operated by thought alone, and such technology may even replace our keyboards.

It is not premature to be concerned about possible negative outcomes from this, however positive the improvement in people’s lifestyles would be. …

The New Farmer’s Almanac

The Greenhorns, which publishes The New Farmer’s Almanac for the Year 2013, was founded in 2007 to support thousands of young farmer’s who are leaving US cities to start small scale organic farms.

An economically precarious occupation, farming is subject to numerous forces over which the farmer has no control. Among others, these include land speculation, unfavorable weather, and constant downward pressure on crop prices. The New Farmer’s Almanac is modeled on the annual Old Farmer’s Almanac, which dates back to revolutionary times. The main difference is the new almanac’s focus on the myriad of networks and resources which have …

Behind the Egyptian Junta’s Iron Curtain

After a recent CODEPINK delegation to Egypt ended up in deportations and assault, we have become acutely aware of some of the horrors Egyptians are facing in the aftermath of the July 3 coup that toppled Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Over 2,500 civilians have been killed in protests and clashes. Over 16,000 are in prison for their political beliefs and allegations of torture are widespread. Millions of people who voted for Morsi in elections that foreign monitors declared free and fair are now living in terror, as are secular opponents of the military regime, and …

Johnny Racist and a White Jew with a Fat Arse

A black musician friend told me a funny story the other day. Among his sins he regularly attends black comedy nights here in London. On these nights the comedians are black and the audience predominantly so. But the other night a big white young woman settled in the front row. It didn’t take long before one of the female stand up artists picked on her.

“What are you doing here, on a black comedy night?”

“I am black,” the big white woman answered.

“Surely you are not, you are very white.”

“But I am Jewish,” the woman replied

“So you …

The Sword of Injustice

A Western Shoshone Tragedy Vs Nevada Millionaire Rancher Cliven Bundy

Wow, I am always puzzled at how lucky some people are as apposed to others. Presently, a lot of media fanfare and armed militia have come to the aid of rancher “Cliven Bundy.” It seems that they have helped him win the day. Or, so it would seem at least for now.

Currently, his brothers in arms have successfully stopped the confiscation of his cattle by U.S. Federal Agents and the Bureau of land Management (BLM) authorities. Heck, he even got his cattle returned to him after they had him dead to rights grazing cattle for 20 years on …

Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Climate Change

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the ocean may be invisible to the naked eye, but it is extraordinarily visible in its effect, as will be chronicled herein, and it shows up in the weirdest places.

Burning oil, gas, and coal spews tons upon tons upon tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and similar to blowing up a balloon too much, the earth’s atmosphere can only hold so much before bad things start popping.

Are you sitting?

Imagine Baffin Bay in the Arctic Sea in the middle of winter, but ice is not able to thicken and form, like …

Elections 2014: Indian Democracy Fighting for its Life

The most common question being asked about the ongoing Indian elections is: Will Narendra Modi win? This in itself is strange, because India has a parliamentary, not presidential, system, and the usual question asked is: Which party will win? If the focus has shifted to an individual, it is worth asking why.

Modi has been a member from childhood of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has a large number of affiliated organisations, popularly referred to as the Sangh Parivar (‘Sangh family’), which includes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Its ideology is Hindu nationalism or “Hindutva”. According to …

Postcard from the End of America: Bensalem

When I told my friend, Anwar, of my plan to traverse Bensalem by foot, he laughed, “You can’t even walk there. There are no sidewalks!” Though this is not quite true, I did find myself mostly schlepping on edges of roads or people’s lawns. To not get splattered by SUVs, sometimes I had to hop puddles or even step in mud. Covering twenty miles over two days, the only other pedestrians I encountered was a Mexican immigrant, a few derelict types, perhaps homeless, and a well-tattooed teen couple with bad skin and wearing black T-shirts. Since I didn’t …

Voter Intimidation and Collective Punishment

Western Democracy at Work in Ukraine

Ukraine is in the throes of an imminent human rights crisis, as the red flags of oppression are visible to all objective observers that care to acknowledge the obvious. The near-death beating of Oleg Tsarev and the intimidation of Mikhail Dobkin, both Eastern Ukrainian presidential candidates, are proof, if any more were even needed, that the upcoming “elections” in Ukraine will be neither honest nor representative of the population at large. On top of that, the Kiev junta’s military operations against the pro-reform activists in the east accentuate the violent oppression that has become characteristic of EuroMaidan and its …

Military Occupation, Apartheid, and Torture

UN Report on Palestine

The outgoing Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard A. Falk, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution 5/1 his last report on the dire conditions under which the Palestinian people have to live. Falk’s final presentation addresses Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the wall in the eyes of the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, and considers Israel’s policies and practices in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in light of the prohibition on segregation and apartheid. It also addresses concern in relation …

Benghazi Mystery Explained!?!

Report from London links CIA Covert Op with Turkey, Syria

Answer offered by Seymour Hersh Gets Little Public Attention

“Benghazi” is one of those knee-jerk labels that right-wing folks slap on a story they don’t actually understand but have determined the “right” answer to anyway. It’s a hot button, not an argument, like the “IRS scandal,” which the right is finally beginning to admit it got wrong because it ignored the law as written. “Fast and Furious” is another of some two dozen, mostly less-well-known right-wing thought substitutes that aren’t supported by persuasive evidence (meanwhile, the scripted herd of Obama-haters pretty much remains silent about …

Profit from Crisis

Why capitalists do not want recovery, and what that means for America

Can it be true that capitalists prefer crisis over growth? On the face of it, the idea sounds silly. According to Economics 101, everyone loves growth, especially capitalists. Profit and growth go hand in hand. When capitalists profit, real investment rises and the economy thrives, and when the economy booms the profits of capitalists soar. Growth is the very lifeline of capitalists.

The Obscenity of War in a World of Need and Suffering

A study by professor Linda J. Blimes of Harvard University concludes that the cost to the US of the Iraq and Afghan wars, taken together, will be between $4 and $6 trillion. This includes long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs. The cost so far is $2 trillion.

In order to get our head round the colossal figure of $6 trillion, this is equivalent to $75,000 for every household in the US. Deaths of Iraqis and Afghans taken together are estimated from 600,000 to a …

Raghead: Waltz With Bashar (Part IX)