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Trump Risks War with Russia and Iran in Syria

Increasing U.S. military strikes against Assad-allied forces in Syria threaten to undermine the fight against ISIS and spark direct conflict with Russia and Iran, says Ben Norton of Alternet‘s Grayzone Project.

Capitalist Economic Violence Against Road Scholars: Now You’re Hired, Now You’re Not

Economic violence against adjuncts

Just recently I went through a destabilizing, confusing, painful, shocking and infuriating experience of being stripped of my rehire rights as an adjunct college instructor. For those who do not know the term “road scholar” or “freeway flyer” is another way of saying that I cobble together a livelihood traveling from college to college. Adjuncts are like intellectual day laborers: the last hired and the first fired, with few, if any, protections or recognition.

I have taught at this school for 13 years. I have worked hard to get my guarantee of 3 classes each semester, have some …

Israel vs. the United Nations

The Nikki Haley Doctrine

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, seems to be championing a single cause: Israel.

When Haley speaks about Israel, her language is not merely emotive nor tailored to fit the need of a specific occasion.  Rather, her words are resolute, consistent and are matched by a clear plan of action.

Along with Haley, the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is moving fast to cultivate the unique opportunity of dismissing the United Nations, thus, any attempt at criticizing the Israeli Occupation.

Unlike previous UN ambassadors who strongly backed Israel, Haley refrains from any coded language or any attempt, however …

Liberation or Protectionism

The Western world has slowly been forced to realize that the old cornerstones of society are no longer a given. Liberal market economy, representative democracy and the shift of influence away from citizens up to a global and unreachable level makes for a drop in confidence.

The new political currents have led the rulers of the West to react with alarm. Finally, there has begun to be an understanding that the left-right-scale no longer applies. It has been replaced by a people-elite scale or a close-large scale. But instead the debate is dominated by the fear of populism. News reporters and …

Another Step toward Devastating War

An idiot American pilot shot down a Syrian fighter that was attacking ISIS, thus confirming that Washington is not fighting ISIS, as Washington claims, but is protecting ISIS, its agent sent to Syria by Obama and Hillary to overthrow the Syrian government. General Michael Flynn revealed on a TV interview that Obama and Hillary had, over his objection as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made the “willful decision” to send ISIS to Syria.

Washington’s pretense that Washington is fighting ISIS, rather than supporting it, is the excuse for Washington’s illegal presence in the Syrian conflict. Russia and Iran are in …

Barclays in Hot Water: The Qatar Connection

Qatar has been making waves for some weeks now, and in the deluge, it has also strung along a few companions. One is the UK bank Barclays, which prided itself for having avoided a government bailout in the financial crisis of 2008.  In the ensuing chest thumping, executives could claim to have spared the British taxpayer the need to fork out for private deals gone wrong.

In a statement by the bank, it was revealed that the UK Serious Fraud Office had filed charges “in the context of Barclays’ capital raisings in June and November 2008.” The statement from the …

Trump Torpedoes Europe’s Far Right

As far as Europe’s far right is concerned, Trump is a loser.

He is the nemesis of an intensifying European far right movement that has suddenly turned sour. Like the Black Plague of mid-14th century Europe, whatever happens, stay away from him! Poll numbers as well as voting for far right candidates throughout Europe drop with a hair-trigger when candidates associate with Trump.

Conversely, Trump may be the best that ever happened to establishment policies, like neoliberalism. Unwittingly, he’s pulling neoliberalism out of a very deep hole; i.e., a failure to perform for the public at large both economically and socially. As …

Films to Chew on

Why does gratuitous violence also attract the "compatible Left"?

For years there have been two films from Hollywood that have drawn innumerable fans, especially among the “cultivated” (compatible) Left. These are Aliens with Sigourney Weaver and The Silence of the Lambs with Anthony Hopkins and Jody Foster. I have had to endure excerpts but have never been able to overcome the revulsion in order to actually sit through either film in its entirety. This was, of course, long before I recognised that I cannot watch “war films” anymore either, although I grew up on a steady fare of John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and all the other usual suspects who …

Grenfell Tower Fire: Corporate Manslaughter in London

A massive fire engulfed Grenfell Tower in the early hours of June 14th. Grenfell Tower is a 24-storey building of public housing flats in the North Kensington area of London. Over 600 people were believed to be inside the building and there are fears that the death toll, currently at 58, will rise to over a 100. This incident generated a wave of public anger over ignored safety warnings, an inadequate response from authorities, and most of all about the (housing) policies that safeguard …

Jerusalem, Nicosia and WW3

Cypriot press reported last week on a large joint Israeli-Cypriot military drill.

The following Israeli video publicises an elite Israeli commando brigade engaged in aggressive military routines around Cyprus’ Troodos Mountain range.

How did this came about? How did the Cypriots, who are known to support the Palestinian cause, become a province of the Israeli empire?

An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal is the answer.

In the beginning of April we learned about a proposed 2,000 kilometer subsea pipeline connecting gas fields located offshore in Gaza …

Another Unsolvable Issue for Americans

Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States

The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) under the brand UNICORE operates approximately 52 factories (prisons) across the United States. Prisoners manufacture or assemble a number of products for the US military, homeland security, and federal agencies according to the UNICORE/FPI website.  They produce furniture, clothing and circuit boards in addition to providing computer aided design services and call center support for private companies.

UNICORE/FPI makes its pitch for employing call center support personnel to firms thinking about off-shoring their call center functions. The logic is that, hey!, they may be prisoners, but it’s keeping the jobs in the USA that matters. …

“Would you like a drink of water?”

Please Ask a Yemeni Child

This week, in New York City, representatives from more than100 countries will begin collaborating on an international treaty, first proposed in 2016, to ban nuclear weapons forever. It makes sense for every country in the world to seek a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons. It would make even more sense to immediately deactivate all nuclear weapons. But, by boycotting and disparaging the process now underway, the U.S. and other nuclear armed nations have sent a chilling signal. They have no intention of giving up the power to explode, burn and annihilate planetary life. “The United States is spending $1 …

Beyond “No” and the Limits of “Yes”

A review of Naomi Klein’s No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need

Naomi Klein understands that President Donald J. Trump is a problem, but he is not the problem.

In her new book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trumps Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, Klein reminds us to pay attention not only to the style in which Trump governs (a multi-ring circus so routinely corrupt and corrosive that anti-democratic practices seem normal) but in whose interests he governs (the wealthy, those he believes to be the rightful winners in the capitalist cage match), while recognizing the historical forces that make …

Trustworthy, loyal, obedient, clean and reverent…

The Hotel Tacloban by Douglas Valentine

“I’ll never forget that day—it was the day of his mother’s funeral. I’d heard the news of Kennedy’s death on the TV and I’d gone into the living room, where the adults were consoling one another, to let everyone know. I was fourteen at the time and the first person I told was my grandfather, who didn’t hear a word I said, and who, when I repeated myself, pulled away from me and said, ‘I don’t care.’ Next I told my father the awful news, ‘Dad’ I said excitedly, ‘The President’s been shot and they got the guy who did

It’s All in the Timing

Although I voted for the Labour Party in the recent general election, I’m not disappointed they didn’t win the thing. The explanation for this apparent contradiction is easy to see.

Britain is a mess – the inevitable consequence of almost forty years of capitalist “austerity”. And as a direct consequence of thirty years of craven, mostly illegal warmongering in the Middle East and North Africa, we have helped the US create the worst global refugee crisis since WW2, and fashion a monster in the shape of Islamic terrorism that now stalks the streets of Britain. Add to all this the fact …

Qatar Today, Saudi Arabia Tomorrow?

As the world watches the rapid transformation of Qatar from wealthy trusted ally in the West’s War on Terror and host to US CENTCOM, the most important US overseas military installation, to having President Trump declare Qatar “… historically being a funder of terrorism at a very high level”, the bigger question is whether Saudi Arabia is next.

All the elements are there. Qatar, for all its pretensions, is small potatoes. Saudi Arabia has for decades provided the ideological foundation and generous funding for terrorism. When President Trump accused Qatar of supporting “extremist ideology” and funding for terrorism he …

Election Backlash is About More than Gloating

Guardian columnist John Harris, like a lot of liberal journalists at the moment, is moving rapidly out of a brief interlude of atonement for so badly misjudging the outcome of the UK’s recent election to a sense of resentment. Those of us who held firm against the media doomsayers over the past two years – rejecting their predictions of a Labour rout under its leader Jeremy Corbyn – are being accused of triumphalism.

In Harris’ words:

Haters, doubters and sceptics have been rounded on. Journalists with any history of disbelief or hostility should apparently resign or be sacked. Labour

Puppet of History: Panama’s Manuel Noriega

Bush appeared on television to praise the invading troops and to say his cowardly vision – all that a wimp with an inferiority complex could be capable of.

— Manuel Noriega on George H. W. Bush

The late General Manuel Antonio Noriega has done more to demonstrate the bipolar nature of US foreign policy in the Americas than any single, historically anointed individual. In its tendency to veer between outraged morality and cynical cold steel Realpolitik, US foreign policy found in Noriega a thermometer of sorts, though the temperature readings were often confused.

When it suited Washington, Noriega was the CIA’s man in …

Two-Fisted Democracy Power Revisited

Slightly over a year ago I went on record claiming that America was an “endangering and endangered ruination” with ruinous domestic conditions and destructive and deadly international interventions all stemming from her “corpocracy,” the “Devil’s Marriage” between big corporations and government.

America remains on course for oblivion and taking the rest of the world with her sometime later this century unless her corpocracy is ended …

Oddly, Labor Unions Seem to Be the Only Answer

Question:  What do the most “successful” countries in the world—i.e., the “happiest,” fairest, most enlightened, most optimistic, and most generous—have in common?  Answer:  The majority of them have quasi-socialist governments/economies, and highly unionized labor forces.

Actually, there’s a third commonality as well.  Unlike the U.S., they are unburdened by a bloated and debilitating military budget—an advantage that permits them to treat medical care as a “right” rather than a “privilege,” and to offer free college tuition to those who wish to attend, working off the premise that an educated electorate is an “investment,” not a “luxury.”

In the 2016 Democratic Primary, when …