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The Absolutely Essential Distinction: Wars of Aggression are Not Equivalent to Wars of Self-defense


War is an abomination. War is anathema. However, not all forms of war are the same. To understand war, and to assign culpability with clear conscience for the war and its outcomes, it is absolutely critical to differentiate between waging wars of aggression and wars of self-defense. One form of warfare, self-defense, is brought about by the imposition of the other form, war of aggression. Hence, any artificial equivalency is unacceptable between the two forms of war or between/among the warring parties.

Yet, to pay attention …

The Holocaust Industry in Canada

Is a school lesson plan widely used across Canada aimed at fighting racism like its promoters say or is it also a clever cover for defending Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East?

A recent 12-page Canadian Jewish News insert about Elizabeth and Tony Comper raises the issue. According to the supplement, in 2005 the Bank of Montreal head and his wife Elizabeth started Fighting Anti-Semitism Together (FAST), a coalition of non-Jewish business leaders and prominent individuals. FAST sponsored a lesson plan for Grades 6 to 8 called “Choose Your Voice: Antisemitism in Canada”. Over 2.4 million students in 19,000 schools have …

Stand with Standing Rock, Free Leonard Peltier

I write to urge you to consider executive clemency for Leonard Peltier. You have appreciated, more than any President in recent memory, the tumultuous history of Native American tribes, and the tragic events derived from that history. Mr. Peltier has been in prison for 41 years, for a tragic event that took place during troubled times. He is in ill health; requires urgent, specialized medical treatment; and just lost his youngest son. Continued incarceration serves no purpose.

— Dave Archambault, Tribal Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, in December 23

Taiwan: Ignorance, Danger of War and a High School Nazi Parade

At the end of December 2016, both Taiwan and the world were shaken to the core, when images appeared in the local press and online, depicting students parading in Nazi uniforms proudly raising their hands in salute, an act banned in most countries of the world.  Mail Online reported:

A school in Taiwan has been condemned after students waved Nazi flags and shouted ‘Sieg Heil’ as teachers stood by saluting them. The images were taken at Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School in Western Taiwan where a history teacher can be seen dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Some students were photographed inside a makeshift cardboard …

Emancipation Rebellion Heirs: Don’t Grin and Bear Jamaica’s Oppression!

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

— Frederick Douglass, abolitionist, feminist and political figure

On 27 December 1831, the enslaved Africans in western Jamaica confirmed that slavery is a very violent system of domination and the possibility …

Why Ecuador is Choosing to Sabotage its Top Universities

On December 13 Ecuador’s National Assembly passed a law compromising the independence of its public universities. The mandate, in this small country, where everything is personal, is aimed specifically at the two institutions of higher learning that offer only post-graduate degrees: Andina University and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, aka FLACSO.

The new law relieves those universities of critical financial decisions, ceding that power to the National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Instead of university faculty and administrators choosing how best to allocate funds for research …

The Information War on Syria and Beyond

The U.S. establishment is not happy. They are not content with largely dominating media narratives on Syria and other critical foreign policy issues; they want total dominance.

Thus we now have the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act signed into law on December 24 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017. The bill will mandate the U.S.Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence and other federal agencies to “create a Global Engagement Center to fight against propaganda from foreign governments”.

The bill directs the future Center to be formed …

Socio-Political Analysis of the Racism Charge against Outing of Racism

When one is critical of the human-rights violations of the state of Israel, there follows a vehement charge of “antisemitism”. When one supports institutional measures to counter systemic racism, there follows a charge of “reverse racism”. And when a white person is critical of a black person’s apparent support for systemic racism, there again follows a charge of “racism”.

In all these examples, a charge of racism is levied in response to words used to criticize actual physical racism occurring on a spectrum from outright violations of personal safety to exclusion from status and resources.

The reason that such fallacious responses have …

Proof: “Moderate Rebels” in Syria are Really Jihadists

Ecuador

Ecuador is a song about oppression by a few over the many.  It is based on actual events that involved the destruction of part of the Ecuadorian rain forest as a result of oil drilling over the course of decades.  We hope you enjoy our video and thank you for watching.

— One Earth

Phantom Democracy in the Age of the Internet

After the Electoral College vote, the Trump presidency is now official. As denial and blame games continue, it becomes clear this was not a foreign government coup d’état. The truth is that democracy in America has been rotten to the core for decades. It is meddled with by corporate lobbyists, Big Pharma, Big Oil and Wall Street –those who are addicted to money and power.

American democracy is hollowed out, veiled with a loud media echo chamber, bringing feigned solidity to its emptiness. Out of this vacuum emerges a madness for power. U.S. politics is a contest of those who are …

Palestine 2017

Time to Bid Farewell to Washington and Embrace the Globe

There is no doubt that the UN Security Council condemnation of Israel on Friday, December 23, was an important and noteworthy event.

True, the United Nations’ main chambers (the Security Council and the General Assembly) and its various institutions, ranging from the International Court of Justice to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, have repeatedly condemned the Israeli occupation, illegal Jewish settlements and mistreatment of Palestinians.

In fact, unlike the December 23 resolution 2334, the past UN condemnations were far stronger – for some resolutions did not just demand an immediate halt of illegal Jewish settlement construction, …

The Coup against Trump and His Military-Wall Street Defense

A coup has been underway to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from taking office and fulfilling his campaign promise to improve US-Russia relations. This ‘palace coup’ is not a secret conspiracy, but an open, loud attack on the election. The coup involves important US elites, who openly intervene on many levels from the street to the current President, from sectors of the intelligence community, billionaire financiers out to the more marginal ‘leftist’ shills of the Democratic Party.

The build-up for the coup is gaining momentum, threatening to eliminate …

Debtors Prison Not a Tale of Charles Dickens

Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) as Punishment Long After Time is Served

Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination — employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service — are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and largely less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.
– Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

One Strike and You Are Out?

The old biblical adage, “Whoever is without …

On the Passing of George Michael

George Michael (Photo Credit: Guardian)
There are a good many sadnesses in the world. I write about a lot of them, fixated as I am on injustice wherever I find it. I don’t know where the sudden passing of George Michael falls on that tragic continuum, but it is certainly worthy of a singular pause, a dedicated, “Oh shit, not again” moment.

Not everybody finds balance in life. Not everyone wakes up every day, like Bowie seemed to, finding those reasons – or just one – to resume the …

Suburban Sprawl: An Enemy of the Left

Part 4: The Great Toronto Toll Debate

Suburban sprawl is an enemy of the Left and progressives should support efforts to discourage it, including tolls.

In opposing tolls on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway, a number of leftists cite political strategy. They argue the tolls will elicit a rightist populist backlash and alienate potential supporters.

On Facebook John Bell complained, “to all the ‘progressives’ who support road tolls, and then wonder why a Ford or a Trump gets elected give your head a shake.” Slightly more restrained, Nora Loreto wrote, “if progressives want to have a hope in hell in reaching the average Mississauga commuter” they …

Drama in the UN Security Council

Israel’s Illegal Settlements

The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades.

— Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN

Christians following the Gregorian calendar are getting busy to celebrate Christmas, but the business of diplomacy continued in the United Nations. In the Security Council, anticipation about a particular resolution was greater than usual.

On Friday, interest was piqued by what the Obama administration’s representative, Samantha Power, would do about a particular resolution that had riled Israeli politicians, US president-elect Donald Trump, and various members of the US Congress.

Resolution 2334, as worded, …

Bolivia: The Right to Communications and Information

Over the past decade, Bolivia has managed some extraordinary achievements, for instance becoming the first country in the world to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals in terms of access to water. In spite of it, these news that could bring hope to people around the world are subjected to censorship from the dominant Latin American and western media. More than that, the media proceeds to relentlessly misinform and demonize all the leaders from the Global South that dare disobey the empire. The Journal of Our America has interviewed Claudia Espinoza, former vice-minister of Communication Policy from the Plurinational State …

Russia (no); Israel (yes)?

Whether one agrees with the Iran deal or not, President Obama concluded the agreement with the backing of most of the Washington establishment, even former Secretary of State Clinton, who would later run for president supporting the deal. There were plenty of critics, especially those like Senator Schumer, whose primary interest is supporting Israel before the security interests of his own country. In the next Congress, he will be the incoming Senate Minority Leader.

The Prime Minister of Israel was an outspoken critic of the Iran deal. To what extent did he display his opposition? The Christian Science Monitor

America’s Weimar Moment

This month commemorates seventy-five years since the attack on Pearl Harbor by the forces of Imperial Japan – an attack in which 2,403 Americans were killed and directly led to the United States’ entry into World War II. By December 11th, the United States was officially at war with Japan, as well as Germany and Italy. The war lasted four years, and by the end over four hundred thousand Americans were killed – approximately sixty million people worldwide.

It is perhaps not an exaggeration at all to say that we are perceptibly succumbing – in word if not in deed – …