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Political Islam and Democracy Crisis in North Africa  

When the news circulated that Morocco’s leading political group, the Development and Justice Party (PJD), has been trounced in the latest elections, held in September, official media mouthpieces in Egypt celebrated the news as if the PJD’s defeat was, in itself, a blow to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement. Regionally, political commentators who dedicated much of their time to discredit various Islamic political parties – often on behalf of one Arab government or another – found in the news another supposed proof that political Islam is a failure in both theory and practice.

“Regionally, the news of the (PJD) failure …

Racist Western Monopoly Media Ignore Colin Powell’s Horrendous War Crimes

Genocides against the Vietnamese, Afghans, Iraqis and Palestinians

File photo taken on 5 February 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell holds up a vial that he said was the size that could be used to hold anthrax as he addresses the UN Security Council in New York. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary / AFP)The pro-Apartheid Israel former African-American military commander, mass murderer and genocidal liar, Colin Powell, has just died. Mendacious, racist and pro-war Western Monopoly media and politicians have been fulsome in their praise for the first Black US Secretary of …

The Julian Assange Case

Chris Hedges talks to documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist John Pilger about the upcoming appeals hearing in London for the Julian Assange case.

On Sept. 26, Yahoo! News published “Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA’s secret war plans against WikiLeaks.” The article detailed discussions within the CIA to kidnap or assassinate Julian Assange. The revelations came a month before a hearing in Britain’s High Court that will see the U.S. government appeal a decision that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cannot be sent to the United States to face espionage charges. These revelations also coincided with the arrest …

Planet of the Living Dead (Halloween 2021)

The only thing we have to fear…
(the dude who signed Executive Order 9066)

Halloween is an odd holiday. The ostensible concept — as it has evolved to become — is to shock, startle, frighten, petrify, horrify, and/or terrify… all while consuming enough high fructose corn syrup to keep the American Dental Association content for another century or two. Every year, as October 31 nears, loyal consumers squander a small fortune to adorn their soon-to-be-foreclosed-upon abodes with Made-in-China images …

Manufacturing Ignorance: Keeping The Public Away From Power

In their classic book on the news media, Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky presented a ‘propaganda model’ of how the major broadcasters and newspapers operate. Whereas the ‘mainstream’ media declare that their aim is to educate, inform and entertain the public, their actual societal purpose ‘on matters that are of significance for established power’ is to avert any ‘danger’ that the public can ‘assert meaningful control over the political process’. 

As media analyst Lance Bennett wrote:

‘The public is exposed to powerful

Amazon and Google: Partners in Israeli Apartheid

The best-selling Irish novelist Sally Rooney is openly shunning Israel after recent reports from human rights groups warned that Israel practices apartheid, systematically oppressing Palestinians under its rule.

But while Israel risks becoming a pariah among some cultural producers, it is being aggressively embraced by globe-spanning corporations like Amazon and Google – among the wealthiest companies in history.

The two tech giants are not just lining up to do business with Israel. They are actively working to build and improve the technological infrastructure Israel needs to surveil Palestinians and confine them to the ghettos Israel’s army has created for them.

Through their …

Enabling the “Cancel Culture” of Israeli Nationalists

The Israel lobby regularly torments people and seeks to undermine their ability to make a living. While increasing numbers of Canadians are wise to their slander campaigns, some progressives still end up aligning with the bullies who have misused the term anti-Semitism to intimidate and silence.

The list of good people who have been put through the “cancel culture” ringer by the Israel lobby is long. Hundreds, probably thousands, of Canadians have lost jobs and contracts or simply been tormented by the Israel lobby for supporting Palestinians.

There’s a website entirely devoted to …

Ten Things for US to Understand about Latin America

The United States — the land and people — will be a lot better off when the idea of US supremacy is dropped. Toward that end, and toward the goal of a better world, here are ten things for US to understand about Latin America. This piece has a special focus on Nicaragua, a country whose sovereignty needs respect, especially during this election season, from US critics both Right and Left.

1. Threat of a good example. That is the main reason countries get on the “bad lists” of the US, not …

If All Refugees Lived in One Place, It Would Be the 17th Most Populous Country in the World

Jaime de Guzman (Philippines), Metamorphosis II, 1970.

On 5 October, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a historic, non-legally binding resolution that ‘recognises the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a human right that is important for the enjoyment of human rights’. Such a right should force governments who sit at the table at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow later this month to think about the grievous harm caused by the polluted system that shapes …

At a New York City Anti-Mandate Rally

(Mickey Z)
Last month, I stopped by an anti-mandate rally at Columbus Circle/Central Park for a little while. While I was there, a band played mellow music. Much of the crowd was singing along and dancing as I wandered around taking photos and feeling happy to see so many people in attendance — speaking out against repressive and anti-science measures. 
(Mickey Z)
On the fringes of the event, I noticed a man. He appeared to be South …

Melbourne: The Longest in Lockdown

As a city, Melbourne previously prided itself with the air of a prim and proper heiress, one without peer in Australia: a gastronomic wonder, a sporting goddess, and a place of orderly public transport.  The Economist Intelligence Unit glowed with praise, designating the city the world’s “most liveable” for seven years running.  There were few law and order issues; nothing to speak of in terms of war, famine, crisis and the sorts of things that disturb the money minded business traveller.  Even after Vienna got on its high horse and knocked Melbourne off its pedestal, Melbournians were undisturbed.  The …

The Cultural Genocide in Palestine: On Sally Rooney’s Decision to Boycott Israel

The pro-Israel crowd on social media was quick to pounce on award-winning Irish novelist, Sally Rooney, as soon as she declared that she had “chosen not to sell … translation rights of her best-selling novel, ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ to an Israeli-based publishing house”.

Expectedly, the accusations centered on the standard smearing used by Israel and its supporters against anyone who dares criticize Israel and exhibits solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people.

Rooney’s laudable action was not in the least ‘racist’ or ‘antisemitic’. On the contrary, it was taken as a show of support for the Palestine Boycott Divestment and Sanctions …

Our Future vs. Neoliberalism

(Photo:  Tom Pennington)
In country after country around the world, people are rising up to challenge entrenched, failing neoliberal political and economic systems, with mixed but sometimes promising results.

Progressive leaders in the U.S. Congress are refusing to back down on the Democrats’ promises to American voters to reduce poverty, expand rights to healthcare, education and clean energy, and repair a shredded social safety net. After decades of tax cuts for the rich, they are also committed to raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations to pay for this popular …

Generational, Historical, Familial, Capitalism Trauma

Whew, the realities of so many people as part of the walking wounded in high and low places. The landscape in USA, now Canada, UK and parts of Europe, where the Capitalists buff their gold-plated toilets and polish their collection of cars, there are hundreds of millions of people, rudderless, broken, flayed, laid prostrate from the emptiness of the consumerism, the bright lights and the smoke and mirrors. Everywhere in these lands there are masses of people faking it, living in la-la land. So much mental illness. So many variations on a theme of poor spiritual and intellectual hygiene.

The scriptwriters …

Colin Powell: Establishment Warrior

History is strewn with the broken branches of twisted irony.  An individual who found himself entangled in it was the late Colin Powell, who, as a military man, gave a doctrine his name only to forgo it as a diplomat.

The Powell Doctrine was one of certitude and caution: do not engage in conflict except in conditions whereby you could bring overwhelming and decisive force to bear.  Political goals had to be clear; hostilities would be brief.  There would be no more quagmires, no more Vietnam Wars for the US imperium.  The model for this was his first engagement with Saddam …

The Empire of Lies Breaks Down: Ugly Truths the Deep State Wants to Keep Hidden

… the world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.

—Albert Einstein

America is breaking down.

This breakdown—triggered by polarizing circus politics, media-fed mass hysteria, racism, classism, fascism, fear-mongering, political correctness, cultural sanitation, virtue signaling, a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness in the face of growing …

War Talk from the Mad Monk: Tony Abbott goes to Taiwan

No one can stop him.  He can barely stop himself.  The former Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, seems to be everywhere, fighting the poor cause.  At the very least, he is everywhere with the press cameras, the niggling concerns, the irritations that make it into the twenty-four-hour news cycle before sinking with toxic charm.  He is the perfect ingredient in a stew of conflict, the agitator, the irritant.

The range of issues that have seen his intervention have taken him to conservative, often reactionary fora, the world over.  He has given a gloss of legitimacy to the Great Replacement theory, worried …

Empty Gestures or Substantive Change? On the Nobel Prize in Literature and Its Discontents

The fact that Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature is welcome news, especially as the Swedish Academy is historically known for lacking in diversity, as if intellectual creativity is largely confined to Western intellectual circles.

It is premature to suggest that the Academy has finally decided to break away from its ethnocentric past and genuinely embrace the incredible literature constantly originating from the Global South. One can be excused for appearing too cynical – after all, since its inception in 1901, over 80% of those who have received the award hail from …

The Banners of the King of Hell Advance

Vexilla regis prodeunt Inferni

— Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy: The Inferno

Try to look ahead and see if you can see what’s been coming for decades.  Try to climb higher and see the beautiful things that Heaven bears, where we came forth, and once more see the stars and raise a banner of resistance to the King of Hell and all his henchmen. For they are here, and working hard as usual, and indifference will only strengthen their resolve.  Don’t be deceived by these digital demons.  They want to make you think they …

Colin Powell’s Own Staff Had Warned Him Against His War Lies

In the wake of WMD-liar Curveball’s videotaped confession, Colin Powell was demanding to know why nobody warned him about Curveball’s unreliability. The trouble is, they did.

Can you imagine having an opportunity to address the United Nations Security Council about a matter of great global importance, with all the world’s media watching, and using it to… well, to make shit up – to lie with a straight face, and with a CIA director propped up behind you, I mean to spew one world-class, for-the-record-books stream of bull, to utter nary a breath without a couple of whoppers …

Discontent by Design: The Lost World of the West

A cursory glance at the ‘State of the World’ reveals what a mess things are: from the environmental emergency and war to injustice and poverty, a tightly woven man-made mess of interconnected issues, unprecedented in scale.

The greatest crisis of all, however, is humanity, and the culture that we, specifically ‘The West’, have built and are wedded to. The Culture of Pleasure sits tightly within and feeds the pervasive Ideology of Consumerism, a socio-economic model that has  poisoned the environment and led to the commodification of everything, and everyone.

While there are counter trends with people living simpler, more responsible lives, broadly …

Unholy Trinity: Medicine, Science, and Corporate Power

This one goes out to all of you who still “trust the science.” 
Edward Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He was a public relations pioneer, one of America’s most innovative social engineers, and the author of a 1928 book brazenly entitled Propaganda. In 1929, Bernays was hired by the American Tobacco Company to persuade women to take up cigarette smoking. His slogan, “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet,” exploited women’s fear of gaining weight (a concern purposefully manufactured through previous advertising and/or public relations …

Persistent Desperation of Charter School Promoters

Promoters of privately-operated charter schools have continually sought to justify the existence and expansion of charter schools since their inception 30 years ago in Minnesota. In and of itself this is curious because if charter schools are supposedly so successful and so much better than public schools, as charter school promoters endlessly like to boast, then what need is there to constantly try to justify and defend the value and superiority of charter schools over public schools? Usually when something is excellent and has a great track record, it speaks for …

The Age of Chatham House and the British Roots of NATO

With the expulsion of half of Russian’s diplomatic delegation to NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dimitry Peskov stated that “NATO is not an instrument of cooperation, not an instrument for interaction; it is a bloc that overall is anti-Russian in nature… These actions, of course, do not allow us to pretend there is a possibility of normalizing relations and resuming dialogue with NATO. Instead, these prospects are undermined almost completely.”

Unfortunately, with these and other belligerent actions which are propelling the world ever closer to WWIII, too many onlookers continue to see NATO as a purely American imperial institution without any …

China and Japan Show Signs of a Closer Relationship

When Japan selected its new prime minister Fumio Kishida on 4 October 2021, there were concerns that his known conservative views did not augur well for Japan’s relationship with China. Thus far, however, those fears appear to have been overly pessimistic. Four days ago on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Japan formal diplomatic ties, the Japanese Prime Minister telephoned his Chinese counterpart.

By all accounts, the conversation was very friendly. For his part Xi noted that Japan and China were close neighbours and he cited an ancient Chinese saying that good neighbourliness is a treasure of a country. He made the …

Cheap Grace and Climate Change: Australia and COP26

It was not for everybody, but the shock advertising tactics of the Australian comedian Dan Ilic made an appropriate point.  Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a famed coal hugger, has vacillated about whether to even go to the climate conference in Glasgow.  Having himself turned the country’s prime ministerial office into an extended advertising agency, Ilic was speaking his language.

The language was promoted through sponsored imagery in Times Square, New York, with advertising space purchased by a crowdfunding campaign of considerable success.  Billboards featured the prime minister as a “Coal-o-phile Dundee”, mercilessly mocked Australia’s climate policies and responses to the …

Free Alex Saab Delegation at the African Bar Association

An international Free Alex Saab delegation attended the October 3-7 annual meeting of the African Bar Association in Niamey, Niger. Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab has been under arrest in Cabo Verde since June 2020 by orders of the US and is fighting extradition to Miami. His “crime” is organizing humanitarian missions to procure food and medicine for Venezuela in violation of the illegal US blockade.

The Free Alex Saab delegation was composed of Canadian John Philpot, a lawyer specializing in international law, who represented the American Association of Jurists and …

Reporter’s Alert: Part VI

Reporters at major newspapers and magazines are hard to reach by telephone. Today it is increasingly hard to converse with them about timely scoops, leads, gaps in coverage, and corrections to published articles.

We started an online webpage: Reporter’s Alert. From time to time, we use Reporter’s Alert to present suggestions for important reporting on topics that are either not covered or not covered thoroughly. Reporting that just nibbles on the periphery won’t attract much public attention or be noticed by decision-makers. Here is the sixth installment of suggestions:

1. More states …

News on China | No. 71

This week’s News on China in 2 minutes.

Funeral Rites for COVID Zero

It was such a noble public health dream, even if rather hazy to begin with.  Run down SARS-CoV-2.  Suppress it.  Crush it.  Or just “flatten the curve”, which could have meant versions of all the above.  This created a climate of numerical sensitivity: a few case infections here, a few cases there, would warrant immediate, sharp lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, the closure of all non-vital service outlets.

Then came mutations and variants.  Delta became the word mentioned like a terrorist saboteur, placing bombs under the edifice of the health system.  The pro-market factions within governments receptive to using lockdown formulas could claim …