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The Rising Tide of Militarism in the 21st Century

From Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump

US militarism expanded exponentially through the first two decades of the Twenty-First Century, and was embraced by both Democratic and Republican Presidents. The mass media’s hysteria towards President Trump’s increase in military spending deliberately ignores the vast expansion of militarism, in all its facets, under President Obama and his two predecessors, Presidents ‘Bill’ Clinton and George Bush, Jr.

We will proceed in this essay to compare and discuss the unbroken rise of militarism over the past seventeen years. We will then demonstrate that militarism is an essential …

“Afghanistan: As Only Love Could Hurt”


It is now winter in Kabul, end of February 2017. At night the temperature gets near zero. The mountains surrounding the city are covered by snow.

It feels much chillier than it really is.

Soon it will be 16 years since the US/UK invasion of the country, and 16 years since the Bonn Conference, during which Hamid Karzai was “selected” to head the Afghan Interim Administration.

Almost everyone I spoke to in Afghanistan agrees that things are rapidly moving from bad to rock bottom.

Afghans, at home and abroad, are deeply pessimistic. With hefty allowances and privileges, at least some foreigners based in Kabul …

Palestinian Women: One for All, All for One

Honouring All Palestinian Women by Honouring Three: Hanin Zoabi, Ahed Tamimi, Samah Sabawi

Palestinian women have always stood side by side with their fathers, brothers, husbands, comrades to resist the Zionist occupation, to fight for freedom and legitimate rights. They are the first to go to the streets to protest the brutality of the Israeli military occupation, the first to organize sit-ins and marches demanding the release of their children, brothers and fathers from Israeli prisons. They are the protectors, the supporters, but most of all they are the comrades in the fight for a free Palestine.

— Reham Al Helsi

The Pietas of Palestine bear the pain full weight of the vicious Israeli occupation …

Political Spectacle and the Palace Coup

In Tony Gilroy’s underrated reboot of the Jason Bourne series, Bourne Legacy, Jeremy Renner plays Aaron Cross, Jason Bourne’s alter ego. Cross saves Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) at her home, where government goons are trying to kill her. Cross and Shearing flee, but not before offing a handful of bloodless CIA killers and setting fire to Shearing’s mansion. The scene is a media dumpster fire ready to explode, and CIA section chief Eric Byer, played by Edward Norton, asks one of his direct reports, “Dita, how am I going to drop a net over this?” After a moment’s thought, …

Who had the Impudence to Change our Values Regarding Free Speech?

Desperation tactics to shut down discussion of the Israeli regime's mega-crimes reach new heights of absurdity

A fake anti-semitism campaign masterminded by the usual Zio suspects, their Israel lobby colleagues and their stooges in the corridors of power, continues to sweep across UK universities… and our political parties, especially shambolic and rudderless Labour.

The University of Central Lancashire cancelled an event due to be held last month entitled “Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine and the Importance of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions” organised by the University’s Friends of Palestine Society. The University said it would contravene the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s new definition of what constitutes anti-semitism and would therefore be unlawful. The event went ahead, off campus, at …

Fukushima on My Mind

For the past several years I’ve averted my eyes from Fukushima.  (Who doesn’t want to make it disappear?)  Then, as the sixth anniversary loomed, I wonder, what could one possibly say?  Hadn’t it all been said?

I ponder – and then make a shocking discovery: In my mind’s eye I’d temporarily misplaced Fukushima.

In fact, I’d moved it!

At some unremembered moment, I’d relocated the nuclear reactors, shifting them from Japan’s east coast to Japan’s west coast.  I’d actually imagined the radioactive elements that are still pouring from the crippled plants as washing towards North and South Korea and thence down toward the …

Governing Smaller Americas

As a long-in-the-tooth, organizational psychologist, I have noticed that my field generally knows little about the organization of government or the art of governing, concentrating as it does on the other part of the corpocracy, corporate America. In this short essay I define governing, list its various forms throughout the ages and in America, and then close by proposing a model for governing in America that is definitely different from the way she has always been governed.

What Does Governing a Nation Mean?

Governing a nation means whatever “relevant” people define it to be and however it is practiced. Relevant people, I …

Only the Israeli Dead Matter

Israel's Failure at Investigating Its Bloody Wars

At a glance, Israel appears a true democracy. Take a closer look, and that facade of democracy will soon dissipate, turning into something else entirely.

Tuesday, February 28 was one of those moments. The chain of events was as follows:

An official Israeli State Comptroller issued another report on the Israeli government’s handling of the July 2014 war on Gaza; it chastised Israeli Prime Minister, Banjamin Netanyahu, and then-Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon –  among others – for the lack of preparedness and for their mishandling of the subsequent 50-day conflict; Netanyahu reacted angrily; Ya’alon took to Facebook to defend …

The First Hundred Days

The “grace period” of the new administration’s proverbial first 100 days in office is far from over, but there is no relenting in the controversy, acrimony and political turmoil. Events are unfolding fast, and some observations might be in order.

Let’s cut to the chase and repeat an important axiom – not necessarily original here, but often overlooked: Trump is not the problem, but merely the symptom of a (deeper) problem.  Sure (and apart from the obvious reality-show antics) – there are plenty of easy targets: the ridiculous wall proposal, dismantling Obamacare safety net provisions, ineffective passport profiling, sundry “alternative facts”…  …

Trump Attacks America the Beautiful

Trump is the first president to take on America the Beautiful. He’s at war with America. This is not new news. Yet, it is worthy of further discussion.

Trump’s anti-establishmentarian credentials flaunted during the campaign to woo voters fed up with America’s decline, except for filthy rich, has lost its shine. He’s an establishment creature, not anti-establishment, in the neoliberal sense of supply-side economics, force-feeding the upper class so they’ll drop crumbs down below to the vast Middle/Poor Class, a new socio-economic class in America, the newest, largest class, supplanting the vast middle class of the 1950s-60s-70s.

Now that Trump has hoodwinked …

The United States and the Russian Devil: 1917-2017

The Anti-Empire Report #149

Conservatives have had a very hard time getting over President Trump’s much-repeated response to Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a killer”. Replied Trump: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?”

One could almost feel a bit sorry for O’Reilly as he struggled to regain his composure in the face of such blasphemy. Had any American establishment media star ever heard such a thought coming from the mouth of an American president? From someone on the radical left, yes, but from the president?

Senator John McCain …

Why is the Trudeau Government Escalating its Belligerence Towards Russia?

Yesterday it was confirmed that 200 Canadian troops would remain in the Ukraine for at least two more years. This “training” mission in the Ukraine is on top of two hundred troops in Poland, a naval frigate in the Mediterranean and Black Sea and a half dozen CF-18 fighter jets on their way to locations near Russia’s border. Alongside Britain, Germany and the US, Canada will soon lead a NATO battle group supposed to defend Eastern Europe from Moscow. About 450 Canadian troops are headed to Latvia …

The Founding Fathers: “Neoliberals” Avant le Mot

“Who is to blame for the election of Donald Trump?” It’s a question that has been asked more than a few times since November. We’re all familiar with the answers that have been given: James Comey, the electoral college, the DNC’s leaked—not hacked—emails, the characteristically shameful performance of the mainstream media in its focus on personalities rather than substance, the stupefying incompetence of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the elitist insularity and corruption of the Democratic Party, etc. Longer-term causes (which are intertwined) include the decline of organized labor, which has always served as a bulwark against fascism or semi-fascism; deindustrialization, …

Intergenerational Socialist Solidarity: Face-to-Face vs. Facebook


What does it mean to be a political agitator in the 21st century? Until about a year ago, political agitation for me was inseparable from face-to-face interaction in one-on-one group settings or in making or listening to a public speech. This was the foundation for building and sustaining political solidarity. But is there a place for agitation on Facebook? After all, in political Facebook groups there is discussion about what is going on in the political economy but how much do these discussions contribute, if anything, to building socialism. Is it “just talk” which doesn’t lead anywhere, or does Facebook …

The Dubious Story of the Murder of Kim Jong Nam

In the West, even among people who consider themselves not susceptible to government-corporate media propaganda, any wild story about North Korea can be taken as credible. We should ask ourselves why that is the case, given what we know about the history of government and media fabrications, often related to gaining our acquiescence to a new war.

The corporate media reports North Korean agents murdered Kim Jong Nam with a banned chemical weapon VX.   They fail to add that the US government is one of the few countries with a stockpile of this banned weapon. They rarely note the Malaysian …

Israel: Where Vision and Reality Violently Diverge

Dustin Pfundheller, 30, an American dentist living in Singapore, was set to become the youngest person to visit every country in the world while in a full-time job. His globetrotting has taken him to 192 of the 193 recognised states, bringing his medical skills to the world’s remotest places. But in January he was barred for the second time from Israel, the only country left on his list, having previously been refused entry last year.

Despite an invitation to a dental conference in Tel Aviv, and Israelis who vouched for him, border officials banned Mr Pfundheller for 10 years. No reason …

Electoral Interference as Reality: A Brief History

We should not forget the encouragement: hack those emails, extolled Donald J. Trump during the presidential campaign in 2016.  It was the first public evocation of its sort, an invitation to a foreign power, in this case Russia, to indulge in cyber activity that has now been described by various US members of congress as “an act of war”.

The excitement has turned, less on the issue of what the material revealed – suitably damaging, impairing and even disabling of, for instance, the Clinton campaign – but the fact of hacking itself.  US sovereignty, goes the cry, was breached.

The sense of …

Historical Materialism Versus Historical Conceptualism

With all its emphasis on materiality, physicality and corporeality, as the prime origin of all conceptualities, historical materialism is, first and foremost, a concept, that is, a philosophy. No matter how much it claims otherwise and continuously stresses the importance and objectivity of materiality as:

A priori and prima causa for all ideas, perceptions and consciousness, historical materialism always resorts to language, philosophy and concepts in order to elucidate its principles, its conclusions, and in addition, in order to validate its fundamental premises etc. In actuality, historical materialism is a theory of history that relies principally on a material conception of

Rehabilitating Bush: The Deadly Illusion Of Corporate Dissent

The title of the editorial said it all:

The Guardian view on George W Bush: a welcome return.

In a tongue-in-cheek, almost jovial, piece the Guardian unsubtly rehabilitated a man responsible for crimes that are among the most egregious in all history.

Bush was responsible for the destruction of an entire country, the killing of one million Iraqis, the wounding and displacement of countless millions more. The car bombs, the suicide bombs, the mass executions, the dead-of-night disappearances, the blow torch and electric drill tortures, the bombs in London and Madrid, the rise of Islamic State, and much, much more …

Turkey and Syria: Blood, Tears, and Walls

A Turkish poet, Mustafa Goren, is standing in the middle of a street in the border town of Karkamış. He raises his index finger towards the sky prophetically, then shouts at me, with his powerful voice:

I’m against the invasion into Syria! Is this another game of the West? These are our children, our boys that are dying there. These are innocent children of Syria that are being blown to pieces. Why do Syrian people have to run to Europe; tell me why? Why do they have to humiliate themselves, to suffer? Syria used to be rich. Those people are even