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Richard Falk on the Vietnam War, Revolution in Iran, and Genocide in Gaza

Faramarz Farbod: You have taught at Princeton University for four decades; you were the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in Israel (2008-2014); and you are the author of numerous books about global issues and international law. In preparation for this conversation, I have been reading your autobiography, Public Intellectual: The Life of a Citizen Pilgrim (2019). Tell us about yourself and how you became politically engaged in your own words.

Richard Falk: I grew up in New York City in a kind of typical middle-class, post-religious, Jewish family that had a lot of domestic stress …

Victory for the Disposables: The Sentencing of the Hindujas

In his seminal work on modern slavery, Kevin Bales does away with certain, antiquated concepts.  In its insidious, older form, one focused on the concept of natal alienation, slaves were chattels and assets, outrightly owned.  Each slave system was distinct and protean, if marked by certain universal features.

The universal feature of ownership, at least when it comes to its modern iteration, has little role to play in the modern slave system.  The modern slave can be found in abundance.  Disposability is its vital feature, abundance of vulnerable persons its source.  Care for human welfare is of secondary concern.  Bales, in …

What is Independent Political Action?

I recently found an unpublished essay written in 1979 by a comrade from Western Pennsylvania who argued passionately for the urgent necessity of independent political action. In The Time is Now: A Position Paper on Independent Political Action, Bob Bonner challenged the left to begin the process of building independent political organizations and to convince the people to support them.

Bob is not a starry-eyed academic or a know-it-all armchair socialist, but a keen observer of local politics, its limitations, and its possibilities.

He was then a worker, a founding leader of the Clairton Coalition, a leader in a local independent political …

Real Scandal is Undermining Discussion of Tax Subsidies for Israel

Is it a coincidence that a controversy about Niki Ashton’s expenses for a one-and-a-half-year-old trip to Quebec emerged after she challenged Canada’s biggest contribution to Palestinian dispossession?

On June 13 the NDP’s revenue critic hosted a press conference at the parliamentary press gallery calling “on the Liberal government to investigate Canadian charities that allegedly funneled taxpayer money in support of Israeli military operations and illegal settlements in Palestine.” After sponsoring a parliamentary petition on the subject, Ashton posted a letter she’d sent previously to Revenue Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau demanding the government …

A Month Traveling in China

My Chinese-speaking wife and I recently traveled to nine different cities and towns in China over the course of a month, our fourth trip since 2005. We were also to go in 2020, but the covid lockdown canceled it. That year we could have booked a train ticket to Xinjiang and traveled around that province no questions asked, though Western media claimed we’d be in the midst of the bogus Uyghur “genocide.” One example of the endless disinformation about China.

Of our most significant impressions of China, the first is the contrast between the stories the corporate media tell us …

Quibbling About Killing: Netanyahu’s Spat with Washington

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is unhappy.  Not so much with the Palestinians, whom he sees as terroristic, dispensable and a threat to Israeli security.  Not with the Persians, who, he swears, will never acquire a nuclear weapon capacity on his watch.  His recent lack of happiness has been directed against the fatty hand that feeds him and his country’s war making capabilities.

On June 18, the Israeli PM released a video decrying Washington’s recent conduct towards his government in terms of military aid.  It was “inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and …

Black Alliance for Peace Condemns US Black (Mis)Leaders for their Support of US Military Intervention and Occupation of Haiti

The Haiti/Americas Team of the Black Alliance for Peace rebukes the US Black “misleadership” class for its support of the latest US invasion and occupation of Haiti. We condemn the participation of this class in discussions with the US security state and its promotion of imperialist foreign policy objectives aimed at undermining Haitian sovereignty and dignity.

On March 29, 2024, US Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer led a meeting on Haiti policy with a selected group of “leaders of U.S.-based Black civil rights groups.” The White House’s Readout lists the participants as Reverend Al Sharpton of …

A Philippines-China Clash in the South China Sea

More Fake News from CNN?

Donald Trump was likeliest correct when he told a CNN reporter: “Your organization’s terrible. … You are fake news.”

The bias is so blatantly obvious in the 20 June 2024 CNN headline: “‘Only pirates do this’: Philippines accuses China of using bladed weapons in major South China Sea escalation.” To adduce that it is a bias is simple. Consider that this current news story could have been titled: “Only imperialist lackeys do this: China accuses Philippines of hiding behind the US in its attempt …

“We” Watched Them Murder Many Thousands of Captive Children in Their Concentration Camp! Woe Unto Us

It’s now June of 2024. Nearly 40,000 human beings, mostly women and children are dead, maybe 90,000 injured, many with limbs amputated, and another 10,000 lie buried beneath the ruble of the approximately 80% of the destroyed homes and other buildings of what were the cities of Gaza,

Let’s go back eight months to the beginning of this extraordinary and heartless slaughter happening openly for all the world to see via videos and photographs.

On Oct. 7, 2023 Palestinian Freedom Fighters Broke Out of Israel’s Murderous Illegal Concentration Camp

The fifteen hundred young men who bursted the gates of Gaza on October 7, …

At the Edge of Apocalypse

Biblical flooding, scorching heat, collapsing grid system, animals crumbling, waters rising, crops wilting, economy on the brink, and millions displaced.

Welcome to the future of climate change… Pakistan.

If one could classify a global warming beta test as a success towards an ultimate goal of apocalypse, unfortunately, it has turned Pakistan into a country populated by millions of displaced people in the early chapters of a horror story with no ending in sight because it is likely to get worse. Pakistan has been thrashed back and forth from one year (2022) of biblical flooding to years of record-setting heat. Normality has fled, …

Quixotic Regulation: Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Capitulates

It was given top billing, a near absurd show intended to rope in content on a global social media platform, thereby denying all outside Australia access to it.  Because an Australian official had deemed a video too disturbing and offensive for Australians of ordinary sensibility (the standard remains opaquely absurd), the world’s citizenry were also to be barred from viewing it.  It did not matter that those in the US, for instance, could readily digest the same, unabridged content, or that news networks in that country could readily broadcast the material in its entirety.

On April 16, Australia’s eSafety commissioner, Julie …

The Dark Side of Left-Brain Operations

Schizophrenia, Modern Art and Western History Part I


Left and right brain divisions and dependencies

Why is the brain so clearly and deeply divided? Why are the two cerebral hemispheres asymmetrical? Is the division of labor in the brain complete or do the sides overlap in functions? A lot of what we once thought went on in one hemisphere alone is now known to go on in both. For instance, both sides of the brain can handle words and images, both are involved in thinking and both can process language. Further, there is duplication across both spheres. While the hemispheres need …

“This Is A Sharp Time”: Israel’s “Day Of Joy”

In his very last article, ‘We are Spartacus’, published just a month before his death in December, John Pilger included a quote that exactly captured the truth of our time:

‘“This is a sharp time, now, a precise time …” wrote Arthur Miller in The Crucible, “We live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world.”’

No-one saw more clearly than Pilger that the West’s use of ultra-violence to impose its brutal, zero-sum version of ‘international order’ …

Is the Reign of the Dollar Coming to an End?

The Twenty-Fifth Newsletter (2024)

Jiang Tiefeng (China), Stone Forest, 1979.
In early June, a rumour began to circulate – which was widely reported in the Indian press as true – that the government of Saudi Arabia had allowed its petrodollar agreement with the United States to lapse. This agreement, made in 1974, is quite straight-forward and fulfills various needs of the US government: the US purchases oil from Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia uses that money to buy …

Why Does the Government Borrow When It Can Print?

In the first seven months of Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, net interest (payments minus income) on the federal debt reached $514 billion, exceeding spending on both national defense ($498 billion) and Medicare ($465 billion). The interest tab also exceeded all the money spent on veterans, education, and transportation combined. Spending on interest is now the second largest line item in the federal budget after Social Security and the fastest growing part of the budget, on track to reach $870 billion by the end of 2024.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal budget deficit was $857 billion in the …

Mission Creep: How the Police State Acclimates Us to Being Modern-Day Slaves

Like the proverbial boiling frogs, the government has been gradually acclimating us to the specter of a police state for years now: Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weapons. Less-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.

This is how you prepare a populace to accept a police state willingly, even gratefully.

You don’t scare them by making dramatic changes. Rather, you acclimate them slowly to their prison walls. Persuade the citizenry that …

Scandal at Trump-backer Epoch Times: Biden and U.S. Establishment Getting Desperate Over Election?

Digging up dirt using a money-laundering scandal makes perfect sense. Muzzling a pro-Trump media outlet is a bonus too.

With the U.S. presidential election only four months away, the incumbent Joe Biden White House and the Democrat Party are getting desperate. They can’t seem to close the gap in poll numbers showing Republican rival Donald Trump having a strong chance of regaining the presidency.

Such is the political crisis in the United States from voter indifference to both candidates that anything could happen. With Trump threatening a “bloodbath” if he loses in November, the prospect of national chaos either way is looming.

An increasingly frail Biden is calling on Hollywood A-listers to boost his flagging campaign. A recent …

Call for Alarm

Treachery, treason, tyranny, and traitors in a fading United States Democracy

The unique post-World War II economic and military power of the United States prevented military and foreign policy errors from becoming overpowering disasters. Military adventures in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq upended America’s political system and wounded its psyche. Other than the 2001 attacks on American soil, physical destruction was foreign, appearing as images on television screens. Oil price rises, inflation, increasing debt to finance military costs, and social upheavals temporarily perturbed the US socioeconomic system. A powerful America overcame the impediments and continually extended its power until the Asian …

The Demise of Roe v. Wade

Anti-Abortion Movement Played Long Game While Liberals Were Outmaneuvered

The overturning of Roe v. Wade was the result of decades of relentless effort and strategic maneuvering by a determined religious and right wing coalition, and, the underestimation of the power of this movement by the liberal establishment. Recency …

Cutting Ties with Citibank

How to cut ties with genocide.

Years of Living Deniably

Unbecoming American

The summer of discontent is upon us. Whether we will find ourselves witness to direct exchange of fire or targets of another global counter-insurgency sweep is anyone’s guess. This time in 2020 the most massive abrogation of human and civil rights (temporary privileges granted to selective populations at different levels) in recorded history was accelerating on the highway to Hell, paved by the psychopathic oligarchy and the pharmaments industry. In the first half of 2024, distorted, partial, and self-serving disclosures and omissions have animated what remains of critical faculty in the …

Active Duty, Veterans, G.I. Rights Group Launch Campaign for Military Personnel

To Tell Congress “Stop Funding Genocide in Gaza!

As more members of the military and State Department resign over U.S. funding of the genocide in Gaza, a new campaign was launched this week to allow military personnel to directly contact their congressional representatives.

Initiated by active-duty military members, veterans and G.I. rights groups, “Appeal for Redress v2,” is modeled after the 2006 Appeal for Redress conducted during the highly unpopular occupation of Iraq, to allow G.I.s to tell their representatives they are opposed to U.S. policy.

Active duty service members are opposing U.S. funding …

In Solidarity with Gaza and the World’s Forgotten Millions

The moral burden lies with us all to express solidarity with the people of Palestine. And let’s not forget the other ‘silent’ conflicts and famines that are mounting across the world, which also demands a massive international response in the face of political apathy and indifference.

— Share The World’s Resources (STWR) 

Since Israel’s military response in Gaza to the 7 October attack by Hamas, hundreds of civil society organisations have supported the call for a ceasefire. Global humanitarian and human rights groups also demand that all UN member states immediately halt arms transfers to Israel and Palestinian armed …

Genocide in Gaza, AGI, Age of Hebrew Bible

Gulshan Khan, photojournalist in Johannesburg, reports: “What we are seeing in Palestine today is a hundred thousand times worse than what we experienced in South Africa.”

Facebook . com (Aljazeera English): 63 Journalists Have Been Killed in Palestine–56 of them in Gaza, since October 7, 2023–short video–June 13, 2024
“Israel, the establishment of Israel is based on the erasure of historical Palestine, on the depopulation of Palestinian towns and villages, and the imposing of a new geography in a new urban system, a new transport system, a new meaning, a new set of names, new …

We Were Called “Terrorists” and Forcibly Ejected by Police from Congressional Baseball Game

Palestinian American Moataz with 120+ family members killed in Gaza and other activists surrounded by police before getting ejected with flags at Congressional Baseball game in Washington DC/ Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

During last week’s Congressional Baseball Game, dozens of us in the crowd conveyed  urgent messages to stop funding Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and to address the escalating climate crisis. We were met by hundreds of police from different jurisdictions who encircled us during the game, and at times followed us around. Activists with Climate Defiance announced their intention to disrupt the …

Letter to the Editor

President Biden talks about American “red lines,” that protect Palestinians from an ongoing extermination. But these red lines are just another blatant lie; there is no pause in the US support for genocide.

It turns out that people have their own red lines. For me, Israel’s recent threats to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is my limit. Not only did Israel threaten at least two prosecutors, but its secret intelligence agency also menaced their families. So much for Israel’s respect for international justice.

Israel’s starving tens of thousands of children in Gaza and its incessant bombing of their refugee …

Fractious Arenas: Netanyahu Dissolves the War Cabinet

You could almost sense the smacking of lips, accompanied by the rubbing of hands.  The departure of Benny Gantz from the Israeli war cabinet, which had served as a checking forum against the conventional security cabinet, presented a perfect opportunity for those who felt his presence stifling.  In these febrile times, Gantz, the leader of the opposition National Unity party, passes as a moderate centrist and had been one of its three voting members, alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

The resignation was prompted by Netanyahu’s tardy attitude towards formulating a plan to end the war in …

The United States Is the Main Obstacle to Peace in Palestine

U.S. Marines and IDF soldiers in joint maneuver Intrepid Maven, Feb. 28, 2023. Photo: US Marines
On June 13, Hamas responded to persistent needling by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken over the U.S. proposal for a pause in the Israeli massacre in Gaza. The group said it has “dealt positively… with the latest proposal and all proposals to reach a cease-fire agreement.” Hamas added, by contrast, that, “while Blinken continues to talk about ‘Israel’s approval of the latest proposal, we have not heard …

How Donald Trump Worked to Destroy America’s Labor Unions

Although Donald Trump has been eager to garner support from American labor unions for his re- election campaign, there are lots of reasons he’s not going to get it.  Chief among them is his record in sabotaging the nation’s labor movement.

During his decades as a wealthy businessman, Trump clashed with unions repeatedly.  And, upon becoming President, he appointed people much like himself―from corporate backgrounds and hostile toward workers―to head key government agencies and departments.  Naturally, an avalanche of anti-union policies followed.

Under Trump, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)―the …

A Turning Point in the Oppression of the Palestinians

The World Reaches Out in Support of the Gazans

Surprising revelation at a picnic. Talking with a person I met; rambling on about his interest in history, he suddenly exclaimed, “Look at what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians, and getting away with it for years.” At neighborhood social events I have attended, if anybody talked about foreign policy, it was usually about helping the suffering Israelis defend themselves from terror attacks; nobody contradicted the erroneous  statements. Hearing an average Joe American speak honestly about the genocide indicated a shift in American thinking. The next day at a Bridge …