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The White Helmet Controversy

White Helmets Phenom

Unknown to most people, the White Helmets brand was conceived and directed by a marketing company named “The Syria Campaign” based in New York. They have managed to fool millions of people. Walt Disney might have made a great movie about this: unarmed volunteers fearlessly rescuing survivors in the midst of war without regard to religion or politics. Like most other “true life” Disney movies, it is 10% reality, 90% fiction.

Due to its success, Western countries are dedicating ever larger amounts of funding. The White Helmets were the 17 October Time magazine cover story. Nikolas Kristof …

Nauru, Refugees and the Torture Complex

Two items of interest have tickled the airwaves and triggered some commentary over the last few days. The first was an ABC Four Corners program covering the fate of refugees in the detention facility on Nauru, known euphemistically as a “processing centre” costing $35.3 million a year to the Australian tax payer.

The Four Corners program was, in turn, informed by a significant Amnesty International report, aptly titled Island of Despair, which was released on Monday night. That report examined the rather ghoulish extent the Australian government, with its Nauru satraps, has been going about the business of “processing” boat …

TiSA Agreement Leaks Show Corporations Pushing Privatization of Public Services

For one thing, the leaks show prohibitions on requiring foreign companies to employ local workers, says Deborah James, director of International Programs at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.

The Perils and Promise of Political Labels

Smart hitters and dumb hitters

When I was growing up in Jamaica, Queens, New York, I played hardball in the sandlots with a pitcher who was small in size but more than made up for it with his determination to become a top-notch pitcher and lead-off hitter.  It was only when I was about 18 years old (we played together for ten years) that Jesse told me about the techniques he used as a hitter and pitcher. Up until I was 18 we often played against each other so he had to keep his trade secrets to himself. As a lead-off …

The Revolution Has Come!

This week we bring you a special sedition on the anniversary of one of the most bad-ass and sophisticated revolutionary organizations in the United Snakes… The Black Panther Party.

We kick things off by setting the stage in AmeriKKKa during a time of weekly riots in urban centers in response to police killings of black youth. After the break we look at the brutal repression unleashed on the Panthers by J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI program COINTELPRO. We close things up with a special interview with former panthers JoNina Abron-Ervin and Lorenzo Komboa-Ervin about …

Washington’s Global Economic Wars

During most of the past two decades Washington has aggressively launched military and economic wars against at least nine countries, either directly or through its military aid to regional allies and proxies. US air and ground troops have bombed or invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

More recently Washington has escalated its global economic war against major economic rivals as well as against weaker countries. The US no longer confines its aggressive impulses to peripheral economic countries in the Middle East, Latin America …

Antisemitism Report tries to Whitewash Zionism

The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee has just issued its report ‘Antisemitism in the UK’ in response to concerns about “an increase in prejudice and violence against Jewish communities” and “an increase in far-right extremist activity”. It was also prompted by allegations of antisemitism in political parties and university campuses.
The following observations are based on the report’s Conclusions and Recommendations, which is as far as most people will read.

Israel is an ally of the UK Government and is generally regarded as a liberal democracy.

Hardly. It is no friend of the British people. Nor is …

Prop. 51 Versus a State-Owned Bank

How California Can Save $10 Billion on a $9 Billion Loan

School districts are notoriously short of funding – so short that some California districts have succumbed to Capital Appreciation Bonds that will cost taxpayers as much is 10 to 15 times principal by the time they are paid off. By comparison, California’s Prop. 51, the school bond proposal currently on the ballot, looks like a good deal. It would allow the state to borrow an additional $9 billion for educational purposes by selling general obligation bonds to investors at an assumed interest rate of 5%, with the bonds issued over a five-year period and repaid over 30 years. …

Canadian Cheerleaders of Dictator Kagame

It was a tough week for Romeo Dallaire, Louise Arbour, Gerald Caplan and other liberal Canadian cheerleaders of Africa’s most bloodstained dictator.
Last Tuesday’s Globe and Mail described two secret reports documenting Paul Kagame’s “direct involvement in the 1994 missile attack that killed former president Juvénal Habyarimana, leading to the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people died.” In other words, the paper is accusing the Rwandan leader widely celebrated for ending the genocidal killings of having unleashed them.
Another front-page story the following day quoted Marie-Rose Habyarimana, who was studying here when her father was assassinated and …

Congress’s Take on the Heroin Epidemic

A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares currently.

The Taliban outlawed opium in Afghanistan in 2000 and within a year it was all but gone, demonstrating that Afghan opium can be eradicated quickly for any administration that chooses to do so. Afghanistan is, by far, the number one source globally of both opium and heroin.

In 2014, 7,554 tons of raw opium were produced worldwide, including 6,400 tons …

Guardian front page channels Orwell’s 1984

Reading the “liberal” press has become a truly Orwellian experience. What was true yesterday is a lie today. What was black today will be white tomorrow. Two reports on today’s front page of the Guardian could easily be savage satire straight from the pages of the novel 1984.

Report one: The Guardian provides supportive coverage of the beginning of a full-throttle assault by Iraqi forces, backed the US and UK, on Mosul to win it back from the jihadists of ISIS – an assault that will inevitably lead to massive casualties and humanitarian suffering among the civilian population.

Report two: The Guardian provides supportive coverage

Will “they” really try to kill President Duterte?

Rodrigo Duterte, the outspoken President of the Philippines, has by now most likely joined the concealed, prestigious and permanent hit list of the Empire.

The hit list is very long; it has already been long for several decades. One could easily lose count and get confused: how many personalities have been marked and secretly condemned to death? How many of them actually died?

It reads like a catalogue of illustrious world leaders: from Patrice Lumumba (Zaire), Mohammad Mosaddegh (Iran), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Sukarno (Indonesia), Juvénal Habyarimana (Rwanda), Salvador Allende (Chile) to Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Al-Basheer (Sudan) and Fidel Castro (Cuba), to name …

Demonising Wind Energy in Australia

The South Australian Blackout

From the time when energy became a state ambition and the central, almost paranoid platform of security, its messiness became apparent. Energy reserves needed to be controlled; corrupt regimes with access to such resources needed to be placated, or, if not, overthrown and replaced by compliant puppet governments.  The world of energy is one governed by invasion, acquisitive brutality and resistance.

Even within countries less susceptible to regime change via energy exploitation, the tendency to politicise the issues surrounding access and acquisition remain.  Cleaner, more sustainable options are deemed unpatriotic, draining traditional industries and jobs.  The sense that the climate change …

Aboriginal Rights, the Rule of Law, and Justice

Each Forsaken

The first principle of the rule of law in a constitutional democracy is constitutional supremacy: when in conflict with federal or provincial legislation constitutional legislation is paramount and the other legislation is void.

Most determinatively section 109 of the Constitution Act, 1867, enacts that provincial Crown land remains subject to the Indian interest in such land as remains unceded by the Indians to the Crown, by nation-to-nation treaty.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is constitutional legislation. It enacts that the Indian Nations live under our “Protection” and may not be “molested or disturbed” in the possession of any land whatsoever that has …

Donald Trump’s Unique Human Decency on Iraq

“What did he say?” not merely “When did he say it?”

What was the purpose of this whole thing (the war on Iraq)? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed. And what about the people coming back with no arms and legs? Not to mention the other side. All those Iraqi kids who’ve been blown to pieces. And it turns out that all of the reasons for the war were blatantly wrong. All this for nothing.  (Emphasis, JW)

— Donald Trump on Iraq War, August, 2004, reiterated verbatim, August, 2016.

Obviously I have thought about that a lot in the months since (her October 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq

No-Fly Zone Madness

Catastrophe and Conflict in Aleppo

Tuesday’s House of Commons debate in Britain was filled with the hollow anguish of impotence, fresh with statements about Russian war criminality tossed about like freshly made blinis. Ever easy to point to, Russian support for a regime which Western powers wish to remove, at the expense of further catastrophe, has accelerated the ruthless disposition of the conflict. Peace talks have died in utero; the agents’ actions lack conviction and they pursue, instead, the moral outrage that only impotence engenders.

Hence the scenes of pent up indignation in the Commons, with members running up flags of desperation against a force …

Syria, the UK and Funding the “Moderate armed opposition”

A document produced last December by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, headed: “UK Non-Humanitarian Aid in Response to The Syria Conflict”, makes interesting reading. The British government, it states, has spent “over £100 million” since 2012, “working closely with a range of actors” to “find a political solution to the conflict and prepare to rebuild the country in the post Assad era.” (Emphasis added.)

“Our efforts … include providing more than £67 million of support to the Syrian opposition.”

One of the “actors” to benefit from hefty chunks of British taxpayers moneys is the Syrian National Coalition whose website …

Stop! Decency demands we smoke out the real perpetrators of war crimes against Aleppo and Gaza

As Western outrage erupts over the relentless destruction of Aleppo and its people, why is there no similar clamour for a halt to the more prolonged pulverising of Gaza and the continuing slaughter of civilians there?

The UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said the other day: “Russia’s actions in recent weeks have exposed just how hollow Russia’s commitment to the political process is. Today we have seen that commitment for what it really is; a sham….

“I echo the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury who described the destruction of Aleppo as the absolute contempt for the human …

Dr. Walter Rodney: Revolutionary Intellectual, Socialist, Pan-Africanist and Historian

In evaluating Walter Rodney one characteristic stands out. He was a scholar who recognised no distinction between academic concerns and service to society, between science and social commitment. He was concerned about people as well as archives, about the workplace as well as the classroom. He found time to be both a historian and a sensitive social reformer.

— International Scientific Committee, UNESCO General History of Africa

Dr. Walter Rodney was a revolutionary intellectual, socialist, Pan-Africanist and organizer who made a significant contribution to the …

In Africa, Repeating Our Past Mistakes

The desert town of Agadez in Niger is currently best known as a stop on the people-smuggling route between West Africa and Europe, but it is about to take its place in the geopolitical stage as the American military has announced it will build a drone base on its outskirts. Reportedly costing U.S. taxpayers as much of $100 million, the base is just the latest American play for military supremacy in Africa — Niger is the only country in that volatile region of the continent prepared to risk allowing Washington a base for its MQ-9 Reapers, the …