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SAA Intends to Cut off ISIS Escape Routes Bounding As-Sukhnah with Al-Kadir

The Syrian Arab army (SAA) backed by the allies began a large-scale offensive and the assault of the city of As-Sukhnah, a gateway to the province of Deir ez-Zor located in the eastern part of Homs province.

According to Inside Syria Media Center’s military correspondents the SAA and the allied formations captured on Thursday night the last hills to the west of the ISIS stronghold, the city of As-Sukhnah, and established complete fire control over the city.

After that, the army units advanced towards the outskirts of As-Sukhnah and began an assault of the city both from the …

How CIA and Allies Trapped Obama in the Syrian Arms Debacle

And why it ultimately benefitted terrorists like Al Qaeda

Last week a Trump administration official decided to inform the news media that the CIA program to arm and train anti-Assad Syrian forces had been terminated. It was welcome news amid a deepening U.S. military commitment reflecting the intention to remain in the country for years to come. As my recent article in TAC documented, the net result of the program since late 2011 has been to provide arms to al Qaeda terrorists and their jihadist and other extremist allies, which had rapidly come to dominate the military effort against the Assad regime.

The Trump administration’s decision to acknowledge explicitly its decision …

Palestine Museum of Natural History

In most museums, the name identifies the thrust. The recently opened Palestine Museum of Natural History, located within the Bethlehem university campus in Palestine, is more than its collections and its name; it is testimony to the spirit, vision, and courage of the Palestinian people, to their need for ontological security, a sense of order and continuity in their experiences, and hopes for their future. Their museum clarifies decades of struggle – it demonstrates who cherishes the land, who deserves the land, who owns the land.

The Zionists entered the Levant with the spurious and historically contradictory notion they were heirs …

Israel’s Slander Network

As a researcher and writer largely focused on Canadian foreign policy I was surprised to be profiled by a right wing US magazine and downright amazed when the story was tweeted out by renowned French imperialism apologist Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Recently the website Algemeiner published “It’s Time to Talk About Yves Engler” who they call “a darling of the far-left”. Publisher of an “Annual List of the US and Canada’s Worst (40) Campuses for Jewish Students”, the story decried my “diseased antisemitic brain” and stated “there must be no beating around the bush, no equivocation and no softening of …

Plastic Chokes the Seas

Plastic is not recycled.

One of the great myths of modern-day society is that people recycle in earnest… saving the environment. Au contraire! Check out the ocean. It’s filled with plastic. Fish and seabirds eat it by gobs and gobs. Furthermore, according to a World Economic Forum presentation, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, February 2016, by 2050 there will likely be more plastic than fish in the seas, unless socio-economic policies change drastically. But, where’s the leadership?

Only recently National Geographic magazine posted news about a new discovery of massive quantities of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, July …

Gaza, this “poor desperate place”: Waiting for the end?

How it looks to an anxious family on the inside

Every Palestinian I met on my visits to the Holy Land urged me to tell their story when I got home. Some have written to me with very moving accounts of misery and excruciating hardship under Israel’s brutal occupation, reinforcing the appalling truths I’d seen for myself.

Two years ago a young woman, a war-weary mom of three in a Gaza refugee camp, wrote to tell me that schools in Gaza were working in 2 or 3 shifts a day “especially in areas where displaced people of the last war still shelter in UNRWA schools — they don’t have any other …

Mum Did It: The Canavan Argument, Citizenship and the Australian Constitution

A real Italian never blames his mum.

— Australian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, SBS, Jul 27, 2017

It has raged, and continues to do so, like a pestilence emptying the benches of the Australian parliament. Who will be the next to be carried off into political oblivion for violating section 44 of the Australian constitution, a dull but supremely destructive provision that disqualifies dual-citizenship holders from holding office?

The Greens were the first to be ravaged by the constitutionally driven illness, with Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters making their own discoveries that they had citizenships they were ignorant off.  Both duly …

Half-truths and Falsehoods in PBS Series Inside Putin’s Russia

The US government-supported Public Broadcasting System (PBS) recently ran a five part series dubbed Inside Putin’s RussiaWith a different theme each night, it purports to give a realistic look at Russia today. The image conveyed is of a Russia that is undemocratic with widespread state repression, violence and propaganda. Following are significant distortions and falsehoods in the five part documentary.

Episode 1: “How Putin Redefined what it means to be Russian”

In this episode, the documentary:

(a) Claims that Russian identity is based on “projection of power”.

In reality, “projection of power” characterizes the US much more than Russia. For the …

The Trump Revolution Devouring Its Own Children

Die Revolution ist wie Saturn, sie frißt ihre eignen Kinder. (Revolution is like Saturn, it devours its own children.)

— Georg Büchner (1813–1837), German dramatist, revolutionary

This well known pronouncement occurs in the German dramatist’s play Dantons Tod (Danton’s Death), and refers to the rapid destruction of a succession of leaders of the French Revolution:  Jean-Paul Marat, assassinated in his bathtub in 1793; Georges Danton, guillotined in April 1794;  Maximilien Robespierre, executed in July 1794. It is sometimes applied to the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, and the destruction of Grigory Zinoviev (executed 1936), Lev Kamenev (executed 1936), Nikolai Bukharin (executed 1938), …

The Lynching of Ted Smith

If you take a minute and study the turn-of-the-century image of the large, white crowd gathered around the smoldering remains of a young, black teenager named Ted Smith, a few things jump out at you.

First, most of the crowd is adult male, but there are also some young boys. Burning a black man at the stake was a big event in east Texas, so, of course, grown men would take their sons to witness it. It was still a bucket list spectacle in much of the South.

Second, there is a lone figure who doesn’t belong standing along the periphery.

It cowers …

Threat to free speech

There is a Senate bill, along with a companion bill in the House, working its way through Congress with strong bipartisan support, that poses a significant danger to free speech. One would think this bill would be a big deal but, surprisingly, the bill has not received much coverage in the mainstream media.

Fortunately the American Civil Liberties Union is alert to efforts undermining free speech. Thus, in a July 20th article on the ACLU website about S. 720/H.R. 1697, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, Bryan Hauss, Staff Attorney, wrote:

The bill would amend existing law to prohibit people in the United States

Divided by Design

A Review of Mugambi Jouet's Exceptional America

Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other is the type of book where you have to laugh in order not to cry when reading. Mugambi Jouet systematically explains how Americans are born and raised into an anti-intellectual culture where harsh incarceration practices, Christian fundamentalism, gun violence, and a plutocratic economic structure controls the lives of average citizens.

Jouet, a lawyer, reveals in the introduction of the book the strict, Old-Testament style of the US judicial system, where his client is faced with a sentence far longer than it should be. When Jouet appeals to reason …

A Proposed Meaning for Human Life

Using our Unique Powers of Conscious Creativity to Find Joyous Harmony in Diversity

Having now completed my allotted span of “three-score years and ten,” I’ve undertaken to create at least for my own satisfaction an answer to the query once posed by the main character in a popular 1966 British movie. Played by the actor Michael Caine, he asks himself plaintively, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” In old age, I ask myself the same question, though it is rooted in a far broader perspective than is Alfie’s questioning about his tawdry love life.

Before it’s too late, I want to try to establish for myself–perhaps in living proof of Freud’s theory regarding “sublimation” of …

Refugee Conundrums

Resettlement, the UN and the US-Australia Deal

Having poured scorn and not an indecent amount of bile upon the refugee deal between the Obama administration and Canberra last year, US President Donald Trump was never going to make things easy for the resettlement of various groups held on Nauru and Manus Island.

Repeated emphasis has been made on the issue of how the anti-terrorism regime outlined in the USA Patriot Act disqualifies potential entrants, given the sheer scope of how “support” is defined.  This is particularly applicable to the Tamils, numbering some 100, who might have been sympathetic to the cause of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil …

Gaza-Sinai State a Possibility for Palestinians?

The long-discussed plan could see most of Gaza’s population end up in Sinai, alongside millions of Palestinian refugees

Gaza has been the focus of intense talks behind closed doors in recent weeks as disquiet has risen among Arab states at the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the coastal enclave.

Palestinians there are enduring a scorching summer with barely a few hours of power a day, after Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) has refused to finance essential services. Abbas is trying to weaken his Hamas rivals who rule Gaza and assert his own authority.

In the background, an ominous deadline is rapidly approaching. Gaza is expected to be “uninhabitable” within a few years, according to United Nations forecasts. Its economy has been …

You In Humanity

The fundamental flaw in human society is a lack of moral character. While certainly there are many people who have good moral character, they are too few to dominate the aggregate behavior of homo sapiens. Selfishness dominates. It issues many lies to distract and manipulate human consciousness to its advantage. Lies are the sound and literature of theft from the public good. Selfishness justifies itself with the excuses of “belief” and “moral principles,” which are attempted disguises for its denial of truth. People believe what they want to believe; facts don’t matter. Religions in particular, and often government systems, are …

Weather Disrupters, Beetle Killers, Tide Changers: Dowsing for the Last Species on Earth

One decent piece on climate change parsed and diced into Capitalism's Anti-Thinking -- Uninhabitable Minds

Human Evolution of the Mind Is Like a Hind Teat on a Texas Bull…

Here we are witnessing The Great Collective Amnesia of the Western World…. The great Forgetting, from the political crass class (total), intellectual wanderers (not all, but mostly all) and the general public (most, and these huge blocks against intelligence follow from generation to next generation with a fluidity equal to the amount of information – mostly junk – exponentially increasing on the world wide web and the number eye gazes at the weekly sales worldwide a la eBay, Amazon.dot.steal and any other number of …

Does Capitalism Exist?

My starting point here may seem rather remote from the question posed in the title of this essay, but certain background subjects must be given attention before addressing that question.

Thorstein Veblen [1857–1929] closed his “Some Neglected Points in the Theory of Socialism” with this paragraph (p. 74):

Certainly, the fact that constitutional government—the nationalization of political functions—seems to have been a move in the right direction is not to be taken as proof of the advisability of forthwith nationalizing the industrial functions. 

The Guardian’s Propaganda on Venezuela

All you need to know

With the Constituent Assembly elections due to take place on July 30th, the Guardian published a piece titled “Venezuela elections: all you need to know”. But instead of breaking through the fog of falsehood and misinformation that is typical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Venezuela, the Guardian comes up with another propaganda piece laden with lies, distortions and omissions. In this article we go through the Guardian’s piece, clarifying the falsehoods, adding the conveniently omitted information and questioning the whole narrative that is presented.
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Fear and Trepidation in Tel Aviv

Is Israel Losing the Syria War?

Israel, which has played a precarious role in the Syrian war since 2011, is furious to learn that the future of the conflict is not to its liking.

The six-year-old Syria war is moving to a new stage, perhaps its final. The Syrian regime is consolidating its control over most of the populated centers, while ISIS is losing ground fast – and everywhere.

Areas evacuated by the rapidly disintegrated militant group are up for grabs. There are many hotly contested regions sought over by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus and its allies, on the one hand, and the various anti-Assad …