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The Gaza Medical Aid Scandal: Suffer, Little Children

What do our clueless politicians care?

The indifference shown by Messrs Obama and Cameron to the slaughter and unimaginable destruction that Israel – the self-styled “only democracy in the Middle East” with “the most moral army in ther world” – inflicted on Gaza a month ago is beyond sickening.

In the UK a petition was raised, addressed to

Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister
The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Foreign Secretary
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister
The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition
The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence

requesting them to send the ‘Argus’, a fully-fitted hospital ship of the …

Will Myanmar’s Reforms Sideline Suu Kyi’s Political Influence?

Myanmar’s military rulers have wised up since 1990. After Aung San Suu Kyi was elected in a landslide victory the military rulers quickly discovered that Democracy threatened control over their self-interests. They promptly placed Suu Kyi under house arrest and returned to their business as usual. Prior to Suu Kyi’s release in 2010 Burma’s dictatorship announced its new Constitution.

The recent “reforms” rolled out in 2012 by a former general, President Thein Sien, was touted as amazing progress by governments, institutions and people across the globe itching to get their hands on a piece of Myanmar’s vast resources and access to …

US Global Power in the 21st Century

Military or Economic Imperialism?

Despite vast amounts of imperial data to the contrary, the great majority of writers on imperialism continue to describe and analyze US imperialism strictly in economic terms, as an expansion of “capital accumulation”, “accumulation on a world scale”.

In fact the major and minor US imperial wars have more to do with “capital dis-accumulation”, in the sense that trillion dollar flows have gone out from the US, hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from resource sites have been undermined, markets for exports have been severely weakened and exploitable …

Extracting Ourselves from the Extractivist Mindset

Naomi Klein has written a brave book that not only confronts the calamity of climate destabilization but also examines the deep roots of the crisis in the perverse logic of capitalism and the dehumanizing values of the “extractivist” high-energy/high-technology world.

Klein’s courage comes not in her reporting on the science and politics—there we get the exhaustive research and intellectual rigor that are her trademark—but in her simple plea that we not only think about all this and commit to act, but feel it as well. Taking climate change seriously is not only about data and analysis but about anguish, and Klein …

Bring On Operation Whack-a-Mole

Another Summer has come and gone – it’s time for the annual Fall festival of fantasy, when Americans gear up for another season of national chest-beating.  The more innocuous among us will satisfy the primal urge with football, perhaps binge viewing of a favorite television series, and/or the usual back to school clacque-tivities into which their spawn are channeled.

But as the leaves turn and the sap runs (for office), the power brokers (i.e. “one-percenters” and political operatives) are meanwhile teeing up and shaping the game in anticipation of the usual “October surprise” – buying up teams and players, crafting scripts, …

“I Could Not Stop Sobbing”: The Effect of Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley

There are more born-again people in Ulster to the square mile than anywhere else in the world. This little province has had the peculiar preservation of divine providence.
— Ian Paisley, quoted in London Review of Books, January 22, 1987

History’s agents are its skilful transformers. They are the creatures of notable drag, those who can don a suit at a moment’s notice to charge into the scene of battle befitting them. Just as quickly, they can abandon it for another, the war maker running into the arms of the peace maker, and vice-a-versa.

So many would have seen the former leader of …

Whipping Boys in America

Why are so many young unarmed black men killed by the police? Obviously there is no easy answer to that question, but most evidence suggests it is race-related.

In addition, a whole divisive national culture of apartheid and inequality furnishes a fertile setting for angst and anger. In this setting, our media displays dual props of haves and have-nots, many of the latter, minorities. In a society of changing demographics, intent on winning white votes at any cost, conservative politicians set have-nots up as “whipping boys” for disgruntled whites with eroding wealth.

But stereotypes focus on young blacks. In a long history …

America’s Radical, Underground Climate Change Countermovement

The year is 2050; rising seas have inundated Miami, America’s most recent ghost city, since Detroit. A deadly heat wave scorches Chicago, killing thousands of elderly, and a mega-drought has farmers in the Southwest on their knees, praying for relief, as a dreadful dust bowl blankets the fields. America goes hungry.

A flickering television screen in an abandoned home in Miami, its mangled window shutters flapping in the breeze, shows a real live news story of desperadoes breaking down the gates to the DuPont estate and the Mellon estate, both overlooking Nantucket Sound. The properties are owned by the children/grandchildren of …

The Insidious Quabal

Unstoppable climate change, massive refugeeism, genocide, starvation, domestic militarization, violence, human trafficking, poisoning of the Earth, constant war, terrorism, maltreatment of women, American exceptionalism, wealth and income disparity. Sounds like a laundry list of human disasters, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. And that’s the short list.

These massive global trends seemingly have nothing in common, except that each one adds another layer of human decomposition to the accumulation of the centuries. The Earth as we know it is dying. Why is this happening now? Is it just coincidence? Or perhaps only a different perspective triggered by the speed of communication, …

Are You Depressed? Big Pharma Hopes So

Are you depressed? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? Are you eating or sleeping too much? Big Pharma hopes so! The push to convince people who are dealing with job, family, relationship and money problems that they actually have “depression” has resulted in almost one in four American women in their 40s and 50s taking antidepressants. Ka-ching.

Psychiatry is often accused of not being “real medicine” because the diseases it diagnoses cannot be proved on blood tests and brain scans. That’s why this month’s announcement of the “first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults” …

Ruling-Class Supremacy and the Free World

Soon after children start noticing differences between others and themselves, they’re old enough to believe they’re superior or entitled in some ways. These feelings come naturally, and are reinforced by adults as children learn social behaviors by comparing attributes and values so they can fit in with, or be seen apart from, certain others in society. This is all instinctual to some degree and a normal part of life. To make the case for instinct and superiority, think about what anyone would consider when choosing a partner for a serious or long-term relationship. If a potential partner does not meet …

Parliament and Congress Have No Power to Legalize War

Congress has fled town to avoid voting for or against a new war. Many of the big donors to Congressional campaigns would want Yes votes. Many voters would want No votes, if not immediately, then as soon as the panic induced by the beheading videos wears off, which could be within the next month. Better to just avoid displeasing anyone — other than people who notice you running away.

The standard for legal-ish cosmopolitan respectability in the U.S. now has become getting five kings and dictators to say their on your side as you start bombing a new country.

But the British …

Danish F16s to fight ISIS

Danish government more loyal with the U.S. than with its own citizens

What’s your image of Denmark? Apart from the Little Mermaid, Carlsberg beer and H.C. Andersen perhaps something with decency, welfare, development aid, equality and peace?

Unfortunately, that image is outdated. During the last good 15 years Denmark has participated in wars on/in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, it was an occupying country in Iraq for four years and a main bomber nation of Libya.

The government’s decision earlier today to send 7 F16s to fight with the U.S. increases the risk of terror actions against Denmark.

It must have been known for quite some time since, about a month ago, the Danish government …

Krugman, Putin and the New York Times

Paul Krugman is an outstanding scholar-journalist, arguably the most enlightening among the New York Times’s regulars. He has grown in his years with the Times, possibly to the dismay of the top brass of the paper. When he was taken on as a regular in 2000 Krugman was a free trade enthusiast, and in his very first regular column (January 2, 2000) he admonished the protesters at the World Trade Organization gathering in Seattle (12/99) for portraying globalization as “an ideology of and for a rootless cosmopolitan elite that is out of touch with ordinary people.” He claimed then that …

They Are Coming For You

ASIO, Surveillance and Australia’s New Security Laws

What we’ve seen [tonight] is, I think, a scary, disproportionate and unnecessary expansion of coercive surveillance powers that will not make anybody any safer but that affect freedoms that have been quite hard fought for and won over a period of decades.

— Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens, Sydney Morning Herald, September 26, 2014

So much for Parliament and its representative functions.  So much for politicians who have a rather nasty habit of forfeiting duties and, in the name of duties, smoothing the path to a surveillance and policing imperium. Where is the mettle, the determination in Canberra?  Distinctly absent, given the …

Is There a Plan to Force Palestinians into Sinai?

Abbas denies mounting claims that Egypt has offered territory for a Palestinian state. Should we believe him?

What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But belatedly, there are indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza.

Desperately overcrowded, short on basic resources like fresh water, blockaded for eight years by Israel, with its infrastructure intermittently destroyed by Israeli bombing campaigns, Gaza looks like a giant pressure cooker waiting to explode.

It is difficult to imagine that sooner or later Israel will not face a massive upheaval on its doorstep. So how does Israel propose to avert a scenario in …

Housing, Fair Wages, Water, Food, Schools — Ya’ Gotta Bomb them First!

Looking at the hardware and software of the killers, Murder Inc., really sets out what we are up against

You don’t need to be a Georgetown graduate of the diplomatic killing corps or a rocket scientist or some overpaid pig of entertainment journalism or pundit or war hero or black president or a member of the publishing class to understand what bombing Syria and Iraq and any other country means to the military and civilian murder machine. Below, just the facts, ma’am. Clearly laid out as the direct military profiteers engaged in killing people abroad or in their neck of the …

Selling the Syrian Airstrikes

The Lies of the War Establishment

The U.S. war establishment is using the ISIS propaganda scare to police the world and continuously subject resistant nations to their global NATO imperial plans through massive aerial bombardment violence that is already murdering people not taking part in hostilities.

It’s not just the ISIS group that is an instrument to launch further wars for empire, either. There are new groups and endless enemies that the Washington war cabal is now naming, including the Khorasan group.

The U.S. war criminals dropped as many bombs on Syria in one night on September 23 than the entire span of recent bombings/170 plus death dealing …

Nakhwa without Borders

Gaza and the End of "Arab Gallantry"

On its own the Arabic word al-Nakhwa, means “gallantry.” Combined with the word “al-Arabiya” – “Arab gallantry” – the term becomes loaded with meanings, cultural and even political implications and subtext. But what is one to make of “Arab gallantry” during and after Israel’s most brutal war on Gaza between 8 July and 26 August which killed 2,163 Palestinians and wounded over 11,000 more?

Is this the end of Arab Nakhwa? Did it even ever exist?

As a Palestinian Gaza refugee from a simple peasantry background, I was raised to believe that al-Nakhwa was an essential component of one’s Arab identity. Together …

Building on the Climate Change March

The Climate Change March on September 21, 2014 could be a game-changer. Why? Because not only did it draw nearly 400,000 people to the largest climate change demonstration in history, but because it inspired similar marches and demonstrations around the globe to coordinate with it. 2646 events in 156 countries.

Reverend William Barber and his Moral Monday Movement inspired a similar geographically broad demonstration in late August 2014, with a Moral Week taking place in 12 states. The Climate Change marches were much larger in number, but both movements demonstrated the possibilities of coordinated demonstrations in …