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Shifting Priorities: The Rise and Fall of Arab Revolutionary Discourse

Strange how intellectual discussion concerning the so-called “Arab Spring” has almost entirely shifted in recent years – from one concerning freedom, justice, democracy and rights in general, into a political wrangle between various antagonist camps.

The people who revolted across various Arab countries are now marginalized in this discussion and are only used as fodders – killers and victims – in a war seemingly without end.

But how did it all go so wrong?

There was once a time when things were so simple, so easy to understand and explain: People, who were long oppressed, revolted against their oppressors (Arab regimes) and benefactors …

Colour Blind or Just Blind

Jose Saramago wrote a novel translated as The Stone Raft, published in 1986. It appeared in English in 1994. The story is quite remarkable if simple. One day it appears that the entire Iberian peninsula—for the “geographically challenged”, that is the land mass comprising Spain, Portugal and the British dependency of Gibraltar– ruptures and begins to separate from the rest of the European peninsula. Quite independently several inhabitants of this land mass had premonitions of this bizarre event. When the governments involved discover this two parallel processes are first unleashed. Official plans emerge to pour enough cement into the gaping …

The Classic Political Theories of Socialism, Capitalism, and Anarchism are Unrealizable

Three brilliant political theories on how to optimally organize and maintain society’s economic and power structures were described by Karl Marx, Adam Smith, and anarchists such as Michael Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin, which are, respectively:

Communism (or socialism) [see… The Communist Manifesto]
Capitalism (not the present beast by the same name) [see… The Wealth of Nations]
Anarchism [see… you’re on your own!]

None of these models can result in a stable large-scale society because spontaneous creation and growth of dominance hierarchies will always occur, and the resulting dominance hierarchies continuously consume or …

Mephistopheles, Child of Christian Civilization

Part 2: Nosferatu is Risen

Our next iconic avatar would naturally arrive on the scene near the end of 19th century as Dracula.  However, the 1922 cult classic silent film Nosferatu made in breach of the Dracula copyright actually serves our heuristic purposes better. Although the stories are essentially the same, with the underlying incest theme discussed by anthropologist Robin Fox in The Tribal Imagination, the evil cleric finally looks like a sinister archpriest. The symbolic development or growth in its imago change has gone from dandy, to grandiose filthy blood sucking (energy draining) old man, to filthy old energy draining high cleric. Interesting to …

The Centerpiece of US Foreign Policy Struggle

The Conference of 52 Presidents of the Major American (sic) Jewish Organizations and the US-Iran Nuclear Agreement

Prologue

In the village of Duma, an 18 month old Palestinian baby died following the fire-bombing of his family’s home by Israeli settlers. The father of the child died of burns a week later and the surviving mother and young sibling are barely alive – covered with burns from racist Jewish arson. The United Nations Special Committee to investigate Israel’s practices toward Palestinians in Israeli occupied territory have revealed that the ‘root cause’ of the escalating violence is the ‘continuous policy of Jewish settlement expansion (financed and …

Robert Conquest: The Uses of History

E.H. Carr suggested in his lectures that formed What is History? that one can only really understand history through understanding the historian.  To understand the historian, one then casts an eye towards circumstances, the background of gestation, product and ultimate shaping behind that process.

Robert Conquest, accomplished poet and historian who died on August 3, was the great example of the historian as process.  He gathered his material with what amounted to an almost penitent objective (many historians do, feeling that the truth is beavering its way to the pen of revelation).  Such histories do become political weapons, furnishings for furious …

First Anniversary of the Borderfree Community Center

Last week, the Afghan Peace Volunteers celebrated the first anniversary of the Borderfree Nonviolence Community Center. Check out the address from Dr. Hakim on August 7th, 2015, and a video from the APVs.

A year ago, at the inauguration of Borderfree Nonviolence Community Centre, the first of its kind in Afghanistan, I had said that love can open every border.

I believe in that love, but as wars rage on in Afghanistan and many places of the world today, it seems that instead of borders being broken, our hearts are being broken.

Many of us feel broken.

War breaks us.

But we can rely …

Repression in Jordan to Protect Israel

The Trial and Sentencing of Amer Jubran

On July 29, 2015, the trial of Palestinian activist Amer Jubran in Jordan reached its predictable conclusion: 10 years with hard labor for phony “terrorism” offenses, based at least in part on laws manufactured after his arrest.

Last year I wrote an article about the circumstances of Amer’s arrest and detention. At that time he was being held without charges, after being seized from his home in the middle of the night and held incommunicado at an undisclosed location for over 2 months.

In August of 2014, he was finally given a list of charges against him. These included the charge …

First it was Polar Bears: Now it’s the Hemisphere

A lone polar bear on a small sheet of ice has become an iconic image of global warming. Unfortunately, the image of the distraught polar bear sends a beguiling image that renders the dangers of global warming a disservice.

A better image, or icon, would be a massive 100-foot thick naturally coagulated renegade iceberg broadsiding an oil rig.  More on this truly catastrophic event later.

National Geographic, President Obama, and the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study (International Polar Year Project) have brought worldwide attention to the most fearsome challenge to the planet’s ecosystem in human history. It’s all about the Great Northern …

How to Prevent Worldwide Climate Catastrophe

What is the relationship between organizing to slow, stop and reverse the climate crisis, a very big job with a very close deadline, and organizing to bring together a unified movement against our oppressive system that links people concerned about climate, racial justice, women’s and LGBT rights, labor rights, peace, social and economic justice, equality and more?

This is the third column I have written on this subject. My first one, last November, was in the form of an Open Letter to Naomi Klein in connection with how she addressed this issue in her wonderful book, “This Changes Everything.” The …

Insidious Path to Oligarchy

Evidence has mounted that the presidential election of 2000 was probably stolen by George W. Bush in the days leading up to and following voting on November 7, 2000. Now fifteen years later, there are three, whose fingerprints were all over the effort, now standing in positions of power – one has already been instrumental in changing the way elections are held, a process now more chaotic and less democratic. The other two are running for president as Republicans.

Chief Justice John Roberts was in the thick of the contested election in Florida in 2000. He was a known and …

Mephistopheles, Child of Christian Civilization

Part I: Dis-association Gets a Name

The modern trope and symbol for the sinister archpriest likely requires some analysis to give it meaning in three dimensions, and to put this being into some kind of social context related to the present spirit of the times. At first, this may seem like an impossible task, given the media’s proliferation in everyday life. When therefore, is the individual not inundated with a glut of images in print, social media, television, satellite, cable stations, etc., that can even be accessed on one’s personal cell phone, tablet or other electronic devices? The human mind has the capacity to recognize and …

Britain had an Empire?

An online video of Indian MP Shashi Tharoor arguing that Britain should pay India reparations for its colonial legacy has gone viral. It prompted much enthusiasm in the Indian press and parliament, as well as responses in the British press arguing both for and against Tharoor’s proposal. Interestingly, it also prompted a short article in the Guardian newspaper, ‘How much did you really learn about the British empire in school?

The article did not really answer the title’s question, even though the answer is ‘bugger all’.

It is quite extraordinary that British school children learn essentially nothing about an empire …

A Plea to Pope Francis: Name United States Foreign Policy Genocide

In recent weeks, I have been part of a haphazard and ad hoc process to compose an open letter to Pope Francis in advance of his September, 2015 visit to the United States. The promotion of this letter has been taken up by Friends of Franz Jagerstatter, a community of peacemakers inspired by the Austrian Catholic farmer who was martyred for his refusal to fight in the German Army during World War II.

Pope Francis’ recent comments regarding war, the environment and economic justice inspire our letter, which cites segments of his new encyclical, Laudato Si. “War always does …

Western Imperialism and the ISIS Alibi

It’s fairly obvious to keen observers that Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not the moderate reformist he once pretended to be, back when Turkey harbored fantasies of joining a surging European Union. In the end, the EU’s temporizing about Turkey’s entry turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Ankara. And now, with the EU in dire straits as Germany savages debtor colonies on the union’s periphery, Erdogan has turned East and finally shed his Western-facing Kemalist disguise, revealing himself for an Islamist with dreams of a recrudescent Ottoman Empire. Neo-Ottomanism is essentially a pivot back to the East, …

Ireland and the Privatization of Water

Anti-Water Charge Campaigners’ Victory

Anti-water charge campaigners had a major moral victory over government plans to make the people pay for the financial crisis when Eurostat determined that Irish Water had failed the Market Corporation Test.  One reason given was that “sales must cover at least 50pc of production costs. This is further amplified by the high number of households not paying their bills,” Eurostat said.  It is estimated that “57 percent of the people are refusing to pay the water charges” and that of the 43 percent who did pay, many were intimidated by landlords or solicitors collecting for the …

Revolutionary Greece

A small town of Distomo is just 150 kilometers from Athens, positioned in the heart of Greece, literally squeezed between two great world heritage sites: Delphi, the cradle of the European democracy, and a stunning Byzantine monastery of Hossios Luckas.

But Distomo is much more than some picturesque village surrounded by mountains and history. Here, On June 10, 1944, according to Greek government records, but also according to Western mass media sources like the BBC, “for over two hours, Waffen-SS troops of the 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Lautenbach went door to door and massacred …

Cecil: Another Example of the Ongoing Exploitation of Africa

As an American born and partially raised in Africa, and as a person who strongly believes in the inalienable rights of non-human animals to live their lives without being molested by humans, I am left with a sense of outrage following the tragic and senseless killing of Cecil, the lion. Although my desire to write this article stems in part from a visceral need to express these sentiments, I also believe that this incident has raised at least two important issues in desperate need of discussion by those of us who care deeply about the African continent and by those …

Do War Crimes in Yemen Matter to an American President?

The American-backed genocidal war on Yemen is in its fifth month, making it one of the hotter issues in the 2016 Presidential campaign, right? Wrong.

If ANY announced candidate has said anything about Yemen, it’s hard to find. None of our would-be leaders of the free world are calling for a halt to the war of aggression that violates international law, none are demanding a stop to the war crimes and crimes against humanity that flow from the terror-bombing carried out …

Don’t Worry Warring Nations: The Bankers Have Our Backs

The erasure of national sovereignty leads, not to Shangri-La as some would have us believe, but to a supranational consolidated ‘sovereignty’ presided over by banking interests, which is no sovereignty at all. On the contrary, it’s the Town Hall of the Panopticon. Greece is not some idiot uncle who simply needs a loan to get back in the fold. That’s a tragic misread. Greece is the canary in our mine-shaft, loss-leader on the road to global debt servitude. As goes Greece so too will go the world in due course. Others wait in the wings: Puerto Rico, Italy, Portugal, the …