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The Biggest Obstacle to Free and Fair Elections in Venezuela is the US

Prospects for the Presidential Contest under Conditions of Blackmail

For all the hullabaloo about “free and fair elections” in Venezuela by the US government, its sycophantic corporate press deliberately ignores the elephant in the room – namely, the so-called sanctions designed to make life so miserable that the people will acquiesce to Washington’s plan for regime change.

As Foreign Policy puts it, “Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro values his political survival above his country’s economic well-being.” Translated from Washington-speak, the US government is blackmailing the Venezuelan electorate with, in the words of Foreign Policy, “the looming threat,” of continuing unilateral coercive measures unless they vote against the incumbent …

Ongoing Expulsion

On May 15, we will commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Nakba amid another catastrophe. Since 1948, Palestinians have suffered a profound and enduring trauma, as families were forcibly uprooted from their ancestral lands by Zionist militias, villages were destroyed, and communities were torn apart to create the settler colonial state of Israel. The Nakba represents not only a historical event but an ongoing reality, as it laid the foundation for the continued colonization and occupation of Palestinian land and violent dispossession of the Palestinian people. This series captures how the genocide and mass displacement of Palestinians in Gaza …

New Caledonians Demand Complete Independence from France

The latest violent anti-French protests by New Caledonians seeking independence from France show clearly that it is time France respected the right of self-determination of the Kanak people of New Caledonia.

Hell in a Very Small Place

Unbecoming American

Hell: the creditor of last resort

Note: While I was writing this I thought about many things I experienced and read. Then as I was posting this the title of a book I read many years ago came to mind. Bernard Fall’s Hell in a Very Small Place. Fall was and remained a sympathizer with the imperial powers that exploited Indochina, both French and American. His account of the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu was a combination of despair and appeal for a more sensible counter-insurgency strategy that would …

Modest Proposal to Prevent Hurt Feelings over Demos against Genocide by Israel

According to a Parliamentary Commission Jewish students are feeling “unsafe” on Canadian campuses.

Last week a House of Commons justice committee hearing instigated by Liberal MP Anthony Housefather heard from a half dozen students about how difficult life has become as their peers criticize Israel’s holocaust in Gaza. As the Grind’s Dave Gray-Donald pointed out, the media ignored that three of the students who testified previously held positions in Israel lobby organizations. But focusing only on those paid to promote a foreign state ignores the depth of the problem.

The problem begins when two and three-year olds …

South China Sea Drama Unfolds

A Political Play?

A Filipino civilian convoy called “Atin Ito” claims to have breached China’s blockade around the Huangyan Dao, also known as Scarborough Shoal, in the South China Sea. The convoy reportedly aimed to resupply Filipino fishermen but stopped 50 nautical miles from the shoal. The Philippine Coast Guard and Navy monitored the mission. What are the real goals behind it? Are the fishermen being exploited, and are there other forces at play? Join us as we uncover the real story behind this high-stakes maritime drama.

Promising the Impossible: Blinken’s Out of Tune Performance in Kyiv

Things are looking dire for the Ukrainian war effort.  Promises of victory are becoming even hollower than they were last summer, when US President Joe Biden could state with breathtaking obliviousness that Russia had “already lost the war”.   The worst offender in this regard remains the United States, which has been the most vocal proponent of fanciful victory over Russia, a message which reads increasingly as one of fighting to the last Ukrainian.

Such a victory is nigh fantasy, almost impossible to envisage.  For one thing, domestic considerations about continued support for Kyiv have played a stalling part.  In the …

Permafrost Showdown

“Deep below the glistening surface of a frozen Arctic lake, something is bubbling—something that could cause global warming to accelerate beyond all previous projections… Now the freezer door is opening, releasing the carbon into Arctic lake bottoms. Microbes digest it, convert it to methane, and the lakes essentially burp out methane.’ Scientists estimate that permafrost holds up to 950 billion tons of carbon. As it thaws, 50 billion tons of methane could enter the atmosphere from Siberian lakes alone. That’s ten times more methane than the atmosphere holds right now,” (Katey Walter Anthony, biogeochemist, National Geographic Explorer Since 2011)

Rapid warming …

Is the U.S. blackmailing India over assassination allegations to be more hostile toward China and Russia?

The United States and its Western allies have stepped up a media campaign to accuse India of running an assassination policy targeting expatriate dissidents.

The government of Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has furiously denied the allegations, saying there is no such policy.

Nevertheless, the American Biden administration as well as Canada, Britain and Australia continue to demand accountability over claims that  New Delhi is engaging in “transnational repression” of spying, harassing and killing Indian opponents living in Western states.

The accusations have severely stained political relations. The most fractious example is Canada. After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly …

Gaza Genocide 2.0

The most widely reported figure currently used for Palestinian casualties in Gaza since October 7, 2023, is more than 35,000 killed and 78,000 wounded. These are only the civilian casualties, reported by the Ministry of Health. More than two-thirds are women and children. Combatant casualties are not included. The Ministry of Health maintains a list of the casualties, by name, gender and age classification (e.g. “infant”). This usually means that a medical professional has tended to the individual, usually at a hospital. The list is conservative in the extreme: it reports only the casualties that it can identify and confirm.

The …

My Heart Makes My Head Swim

Malak Mattar (Palestine), Hind’s Hall, 2024.

The title of this newsletter, ‘My heart makes my head swim’, comes from Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952). In a chapter called ‘The Fact of Blackness’, Fanon writes about the despair that racism produces, the immense anxiety about living in a world that has decided that certain people are simply not human or not sufficiently human. The lives of these people, children of a lesser god, are assigned less worth than the lives of the powerful and the propertied. …

A Brutal Punishment: The Sentencing of David McBride

Sometimes, it’s best not to leave the issue of justice to the judges.  They do what they must: consult the statutes, test the rivers of power, and hope that their ruling will not be subject to appeal.  David McBride, the man who revealed that Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan had dimmed and muddied before exhaustion, committed atrocities and faced a compromised chain of command, was condemned on May 14 to a prison term of five years and eight months.

Without McBride’s feats, there would have been no Afghan Files published by the ABC.  The Brereton Inquiry, established to investigate …

Gaza is our moment of truth

A protest by students at George Washington University. Probal Rashid SIPA USA)
Powerful student movements in the 1960s and 1970s shook the world’s conscience to end America’s slaughter in Vietnam and Cambodia. The moral force of Black people rising together in their pain and rage against legislated racism changed the social fabric of America, ending formal segregation and ushering a new era in the struggle against institutional racialism.

Power did what power does, deploying brute force, murder, intimidation, silencing, marginalizing, surveillance and all manner of corrupt policing.

We see the outcome …

The Arsenal of Genocide: the U.S. Weapons That Are Destroying Gaza

Protesters block the entrance to the BAE factory in Kent, UK. (Photo credit: Reuters)
On May 8, 2024, as Israel escalated its brutal assault on Rafah, President Biden announced that he had “paused” a delivery of 1,700 500-pound and 1,800 2,000-pound bombs, and threatened to withhold more shipments if Israel went ahead with its full-scale invasion of Rafah.

The move elicited an outcry from Israeli officials (National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir tweeted “Hamas loves Biden”), as well as …

A Nanny State Idiocracy: A Tale of Too Many Laws and Too Little Freedom

We are caught in a vicious cycle of too many laws, too many cops, and too little freedom.

It’s hard to say whether we’re dealing with a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves), a kakistocracy (a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens), or a Nanny State Idiocracy.

Whatever the label, this overbearing despotism is what happens when government representatives (those elected and appointed to work for us) adopt the authoritarian notion that the government knows best and …

Aryan Idols and the Search for Indo-Europeans

The Prehistory and History of Fascist Mythology Part I


Purpose of this article

Almost 2 years ago I wrote an article called Aryan Right-Wing Mythology for the New Age based on the work of Robert Ellwood (The Politics of Myth). In it Ellwood showed the conservative nature of popular mythologists Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell. My purpose was to show how the naïve New Age movement took these mythologists to be liberal in spite of their conservative and even proto-fascist leanings. All three mythologists were writing from the early to the middle part of the 20th century. In this …

The Kindness of Strangers?

I was channel surfing the other evening and watched the Supreme Court’s new case concerning homeless encampments, etc. What got me was how the government’s lawyer kept explaining how the homeless situation was being handled. HIs retort was that Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been unsuccessful in giving the necessary helping hand to this burgeoning crisis throughout our nation, especially in most cities. Is it me or isn’t it the responsibility of Uncle Sam to use our tax dollars to help address the needs of our homeless? The justices all acknowledged that many of our nation’s homeless are mentally ill …

Dodging the Issue: The Biden Administration Report on Israel’s Use of US Weapons

It truly is pushing the envelope of lunacy to assume that this latest revelation was revelatory.  US weapons, the wonks in Washington find, are being used by the Israeli Defense Forces to kill their opponents, many of them Palestinians, and most of them civilians.  These are detailed in a report ordered by the White House pursuant to National Security Memorandum 20, also known as “National Security Memorandum on Safeguards and Accountability With Respect to Transferred Defense Articles and Defense Services”.

NSM-20 requires the Secretary of State to obtain credible and reliable assurances within 45 days from any country engaged …

Victory Days: Military without Militarism?

I could not have been a pacifist, if by that one means waiver of the use of physical force in disputes. The reason is simple. In my childhood I had to actually hit someone who threatened me or positioned himself as if he would in order to end at least two years of harassment, including destruction and theft of my personal property while travelling to and from school. The actual punch that like a miracle sent some invisible wave throughout the scholastic environment was a panic reaction, a thrust to the …

Time to End the Proposed WHO Treaty Now

And if you want to cuddle a cow, please do so

A letter signed by every single Republican Senator demands that President Biden withdraw US support from the proposed Pandemic Treaty and IHR Amendments. The Senators call upon Biden to:

Withdraw support for the current IHR amendments and pandemic treaty negotiations.
Shift focus to comprehensive WHO reforms that address its persistent failures without expanding its authority.
Should Biden ignore this advice, the Senators demand that President Biden submit any pandemic-related agreement to the Senate for its advice and consent.

Violate, Violations, and Violence

V against victory

No end to the twists and turns in the genocide of the Palestinian people. Violate the ground they possess, commit violations against the body they possess, and provoke them into violence. The coordination of using the “V” words to prevent victory applies to the suppression of those who fight for the sanctity of life, against oppression, and for the peace and comfort of everyone.

Images and reports of the campus protests against those assisting and abetting in the genocide of the Palestinian people did not show violence by the campus campers — no bloody faces, no prostrate corpses, no …

Unfurling Love from the Window

A banner and a name remind student protesters for whom they are fighting

On April 30, when Columbia University student protesters took over Hamilton Hall, they renamed it “Hind’s Hall,” dropping a large banner out the windows above the building’s entrance. This was a hall famously occupied by students in the 1968 protests against the Vietnam War and against Jim Crow racism in the United States. The students are risking suspension and expulsion, and a very real blacklist has already been generated against them, with Congress joining in to define criticism of genocide as a form of antisemitism that state universities and state-linked employers will not be allowed to …

Western Media Ignites War on China in Sports

Western accusations of doping by Chinese swimmers threaten to exacerbate China-US tensions, undermine the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and seriously harm the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The controversy was ignited by investigation reports at the New York Times and  German TV broadcaster ARD.  These media outlets suggest there has been a cover-up of a mass doping incident among Chinese top swimmers with connivance of  the Chinese Anti Doping Agency (CHINADA) and complicity from the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).  This story served as red meat to the hyper aggressive leader of the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA), Travis Tygart.  …

Unbecoming American: Risky Business

Risk and fraudulent mutuality

Thirty years ago, having just successfully completed a international congress on environmental consciousness and mass media which I had organized on behalf of the Deutsche Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, a legacy of an early German pharmaceutical magnate, the inventor of the mouthwash Odol; I was asked to prepare the framework for a subsequent congress on risk and health for the same institution. Although the actual event was then assigned to a new employee and my contract not extended, I had already engaged in considerable research on the topic of risk …

A Clubbable Admission: Palestine’s Case for UN Membership

I find it rather difficult to make it clear to my children why we are not eligible, for from one point of view it isn’t quite clear to me.

X, “The Jew and the Club,” The Atlantic, October 1924.

It must surely make certain ethnic and religious groups reflect, notably those languishing in minority status for decades, if not centuries.  There was a time when the rental advertisements in London had such caustic couplings as “Irish and Blacks need not apply.”  Oxbridge bursaries and scholarships, in all their variety, reveal a tapestry of personal prejudice and lively bigotry.  In terms of …

The Plot to Kill JFK

A review of The JFK Assassination Chokeholds That Inescapably Prove There Was A Conspiracy

During my many years of teaching at different universities, nearly all my colleagues insisted that Lee Harvey Oswald alone assassinated President Kennedy, even while the general public questioned such a conclusion.  This disparity between gown and town always amused and informed me that something in the “higher education” world was low indeed.  Despite the fact that we agreed on many political matters, my academic colleagues laughed at all my writing and courses that presented overwhelming evidence that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, led by the Central Intelligence Agency.  They …

A Modest Proposal: The UN General Assembly and Palestinian Recognition

Despite being described in some circles as such, the latest vote in the United Nations General Assembly on Palestine’s status is hardly extraordinary.  For one, it does not vest the Palestinian territories with statehood but burnishes its credentials to join the club.  It pushes those scrappy, desperate entities so despoiled and abused into deeper involvement with the processes at the UN itself.  Palestinian non-observer status, granted in 2012, has left it mute in international affairs.

The May 10 resolution is seen, according to a summary from the UN, as an improvement, an “upgrade” to “the rights of the State of …

Surprising Rising Seas “Must Reads”

Sea levels are surging along the US coastline, exceeding 30-year expectations. Scientists are confused, concerned, searching for answers.

In that regard, an excellent new series by The Washington Post d/d April 29th, 2024, “Must Reads” is an eye-opening view into the impact of global warming in real time with real people and real images. For example, it’s a quick fix for anybody who doubts human-caused climate change influence on sea level rise. It’s real; it’s happening now; it should be required reading for America’s Congressional climate deniers.

And required reading for 50 million Americans who do not believe in climate change/global warming, …

Are We Having an Election in November?

With an important US presidential election — we are told — only months away, but one posing two repugnant, disheartening choices, it may be a good time to explore where we are and how we got here.
What we can agree is that most of us, when asked, believe that things are going badly: an October, 2023 AP-NORC poll finds that 78% of those polled responded that “the country is going in the wrong direction;” a January Morning Consult poll concludes that less than a third of those responding “say the country is headed in the right direction; a recent …

Will a Gaza Ceasefire be as Successful as the Two-state Solution?

Who proposed a two-state solution? Not the Palestinians. Not Israel. It was conceived in the young United Nations, and proclaimed there in November, 1947. But it was never successfully implemented, despite on-and-off negotiations continuing for the better part of a century. The Zionist leadership briefly promoted it prior to the 1947 UN vote, but only to gain legitimacy for its intentions to implement Plan Dalet for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and its independent proclamation of the state of Israel six months after the UN vote. The closest the Palestinians came to accepting the solution was a “Roadmap“, …