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UK Green Party: Too Green for Government?

At the Green Party of England and Wales’ recent spring conference in Liverpool an item titled “Constitutional Reform” appeared about half way down the policy agenda. It had been proposed by a small group of Green Party members hailing mostly from the East Midlands. Its position on the agenda had been determined by a “prioritisation ballot” — a good device used by the Party whereby any Party member can vote for the order in which they think agenda items should be discussed. You might think that something that appears halfway down an agenda would definitely be heard, especially if the …

Violating International Law

The Canadian Recipe against ISIS

How is it possible to expand something that is, by definition, immeasurable? Such length of string arguments are bound to dog Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s opinion that the air campaign against ISIS needs expansion, lengthening, and deepening. “ISIL has made it clear that it targets, by name, Canada and Canadians.”

Earlier in the week, Harper told the House whilst announcing a one-year extension of its military mission against the Islamic State about his intention to avoid that stumbling block called sovereignty and the UN charter that acknowledges it with solemn clarity. Canada would “not seek …

Sanctions and the Fate of the Nuclear Talks

With the agreed deadline for reaching a “political framework” for a final comprehensive nuclear agreement only a few days away, the fate of the negotiations now hang on closing the gap between the P5+1 and Iran on removing sanctions.

The issues associated with Iran’s nuclear programme have now been pretty much resolved, except for limits on research and development. But on sanctions relief, all the evidence indicates that the two sides have not advanced beyond where they were last November, when they were very far apart.

Part of the problem is the West’s myopic perspective on the issues. The Obama administration clings …

Very Real Children, Not Synthetic, Are Being Denied their Rights

No doubt you’ve heard about the boycott of Dolce and Gabbana proposed by Elton John as a result of Domenic Dolce saying that In Vitro Fertilization (IFV) children, such as John’s, are “synthetic.”

The row created a great deal of discussion on social media and talk shows with parents who had utilized reproductive technologies defending IVF children with a knee jerk reaction from the left defending LGBTIQ rights without considering the rights of the children.

Domenic Dolce said that children are born to a mother and father, or should be. In fact, every human being is the progeny of a man …

Collaboration: Czech Style

The US military convoy will soon be passing through the Czech territory, from the Baltics and Poland, to its permanent base in Bavaria, Germany.

That is bad enough. The Czechs should not have allowed the convoy to pass. Provoking Russia and moving closer and closer to the fascist Empire is a shameless and cowardly act.

But they would not be Czechs, if they would not go that extra mile; if they would not take their collaboration with the present masters to an absolutely bizarre, ridiculous, and Kafkaesque extreme:

Several Czech groups are now using social media to organize in advance what is called

Do Away with Elections?

Do away with elections? To even think such a thought is treasonous. An election, or should I say a presidential election, is one of the few occasions, or should I say the only occasion, on which we take a genuine interest in government.  We are spectators at a sporting event, a mix of a bullfight, prizefight and a barroom brawl. We get into heated arguments about which team is “better” about who deserves to win, about which gladiator will be the best for the country. There is an uppercut, a right cross, a roundhouse and he or she (not too …

The Vicious Circle of U.S. Military Involvement in Africa

It seems that a day rarely passes without news of a new atrocity committed by an increasingly notorious terrorist group. And, without fail, this news is accompanied by an increase in U.S. military interventions around the world.

While for many Americans, supporting intervention may come from a laudable sentiment – the desire to ‘do something’ in the face of widespread suffering – the situation on the ground is always more complicated than it appears, with various powerful interests intersecting. Now, under the guise of counterterrorism efforts – the U.S. military’s alibi of choice since 9/11 – the Pentagon is spreading its …

Why Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych Spurned EU’s Offer on 20 Nov. 2013

The $160 Billion Cost

“Burying the lede” is a way that ‘news’ professionals hide or “bury” things while ‘reporting’ on them; and the biggest example of this in modern times occurred when Germany’s Spiegel magazine headlined its cover story on 24 November 2014, “Summit of Failure: How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine.” On the magazine’s front cover, it was instead bannered as “Kalte Krieger — Geschichte einer Machtprobe: Wie Merkel und Putin Europa an den Rand des Abgrunds brachten” which translates as: “Cold Warrior — History of a Showdown: How Merkel and Putin brought Europe to the Edge of the Abyss.” This …

Waiting for Television

World War Three Is Slow to Leave the Green Room

“Where’s the media,” she said.
“There’s no media in Iron City.”
“Then they went through all that for nothing?”

— Don DeLillo, White Noise

You’d think something as momentous as World War Three would snag some early coverage. They do it for the Olympics. So far, awareness of the war’s start has been an asynchronous affair. Most Americans remain oblivious. The same cannot be said for their Russian counterparts.

In June 2014, Putin adviser Sergei Glazyev got the jump on behalf of the Russian people (and for those who wished to listen in, thanks to youtube) by acknowledging the reality of a conflict

Utopias of Paradox: Humanity’s Technological Futures

For those of us who came of age sometime in the late 80s to early 90s the date October 21, 2015 has special significance in terms of both nostalgia and excitement. For those who don’t grasp the reference immediately this is the day that Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) travel to in the film Back to the Future 2. The purpose of the trip was to prevent Marty’s future son (also played by Fox) from taking part in an armed robbery that sends the McFly family on a downward spiral (Doc Brown having already taken …

Our Puzzling Nonchalance

Given the weather anomalies of the past few years (and the phenomena caused by them, such as wildfires), the methane “time bomb” in the Arctic (also this video), and the fact that the Arctic is our “canary in the coal mine,” one might think that our “leaders” in Washington would be preoccupied with the matter of global warming (or, as some prefer, “climate change”).  Especially given that the high degree of interdependence that exists in our society is a “recipe for disaster”:  It means that our society is extremely fragile, and in consequence could easily …

Netanyahu’s Victory is a Victory for Palestinian Solidarity Movement

The cover of respectability that obscured the brutal and immoral reality of the Israeli colonial project may have been permanently ripped away by Benjamin Netanyahu’s angry declaration that if re-elected, there would never be a Palestinian state and his racist rant on election day against his own citizens who happen to be Palestinians.

Many people in the U.S. and Western Europe were shocked by Netanyahu’s comments. However, for those of us who are aware of the platform of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, the only thing that was surprising was his candor. The rejection of a viable Palestinian state has always been Likud’s …

Resisting Israeli Politics

Six months prior to the upcoming UK general election, the Board of Deputies of British Jews published its “2015 General Election Jewish Manifesto.”  This forty-page document urges both existing and prospective members of the UK Parliament to support various “policy asks” and to “champion these causes.”  The Manifesto was styled after a very similar one created for the 2014 EU elections.  Indeed their goals appear the same: to ensure a pro-Israeli agenda in the House of Commons and beyond.

The 2015 Manifesto does include some discussion of faith-based issues, such as underscoring the need of the Jewish community …

Netanyahu the Mythbuster: “Special Relationship” No More

Imagine if an American presidential candidate made a plea to his supporters on election day with the following statement: “The Republican administration is in danger. Black voters are going en masse to the polls. Liberal NGOs are bringing them on buses.”

Even in a country where Chris Matthews is a media celebrity and Pamela Geller is an intellectual, the statement would be scandalous, a political death wish even. In Israel, however, the opposite is true.

In a message delivered in a video on Facebook, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a sinister call appealing to …

Videos of Israeli Raids on Sleeping Children

I suspect the word “occupation” – even the more precise “belligerent occupation” – fails to convey to most people the reality of daily horrors inflicted on the Palestinians. Of course, we know that occupations in general are bad and that it would be better if this particular one ended. But what does an occupation feel like if you’re a child, if you’re four or eight years old?

Here are two videos, released by B’Tselem, to remind us of what an occupation is like as lived experience rather than as an abstract concept. They document masked, armed soldiers breaking into the homes of Palestinians …

Marxist Praxis, Catholic Solidarity, and Human Dignity

Pope Francis I has denied being a communist, noting that he simply urges activism against the “structural causes” of poverty. This activism follows from Christian doctrine. Francis has said that any pronouncements regarding economic policy and welfare stem from Church doctrine rather than “leftist ideology.” Nevertheless, it appears that Marxist principles have emerged within Catholic social teaching, specifically with respect to notions of praxis (which are endogenous to both Marxist and Catholic social thought) and social analysis. This comes as no surprise as philosophers such as Peter Singer note, “Marx’s impact can only be compared with that of religious figures …

California Water Wars

Another Form of Asset Strippiing?

In California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the …

The Roots of Netanyahu’s Electoral Victory

Colonial Expansion and Fascist Ideology

“It is always a meritorious deed to get hold of a Palestinian’s possessions.”

— The code of Jewish Law revised and updated by Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election makes him the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history. His 20% margin of victory (30 Knesset seats to 24 for his nearest opponent) underlines the mass base of his consolidation of power.

Most critical commentators cite Netanyahu’s racist pronouncements; his rejection of any two state solution and his overt appeal for a mass Jewish voter turnout to counteract the …

Authentic Journalism that Challenges Empire and Its Centers of Power

Review of Andre Vltchek’s Exposing Lies of the Empire

Some years back, I was approached to come up with a story that I’d really like to cover. There were many, but right away I was drawn to a story whose angle was completely marginalized in any media I had checked. I was interested to go to Zimbabwe and get a genuine impression from Zimbabweans of how they view the direction of their country under the government of Robert Mugabe. How they viewed the redistribution of land within the country.

In the case of theft, when the stolen property is recovered, the usually accepted, and rightful, custom is that the …

Against Imperialism’s “Development”

Coopting Development’s History and Power

The North-centric and Western version of development history begins in 19th century Europe, the mythic seedbed of global development itself. Sandra Halperin describes some of the historians in her book, Re-Envisioning Global Development: A Horizontal Perspective, who tout Europe’s “dynamic developments” as the impetus for “world-historical ‘revolutions’ in science and technology, agricultural and commercial practices, intellectual life, and social and political institutions.” Yet, there is a glaring problem with this approach: Long before Europe was a blip on the global economic map, the world already had a robust, global, and cultural system of trade. This Asian-rooted …