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Why Canada Must Release Meng Wan Zhou

Few things are as dangerous as a poorly thought-out kidnapping. Kidnappings are serious business, often with unintended consequences. History is replete with dim-witted criminals who engaged in them on a whim, only to discover adverse outcomes far beyond their imagining. One dramatic example happened 90 years ago this week:

On October 24th, a mother with young children is kidnapped. She is the cherished wife of an important man whom the kidnapper’s group is in competition with. The plan of the kidnapper is that by kidnapping her, this will create unbearable …

What Does Israel Have against Palestinian Singer, Mohammed Assaf?

Why does Israel hate Palestinian singer, Mohammed Assaf?

On October 16, Avi Dichter, Israeli Member of Parliament from the right-wing Likud Party, announced that Assaf’s special permit to enter the occupied Palestinian West Bank would be revoked.

Assaf, originally from Gaza, now lives with his family in the United Arab Emirates. He achieved stardom in 2013, when he won the ‘Arab Idol’ singing contest. His winning song, “Raise your Keffiyeh”, represented a rare moment of unity among all Palestinian communities everywhere. As the audience, the judges and millions …

Terrorism and French Values

Sowing and Reaping?

There have been some horrendous, despicable killings by Muslim extremists in France. Such killings must be condemned.

French president Emmanuel Macron played the victim card, saying that France “will not give into terrorism.” Yet when 21st century France engages in overseas militarism, otherwise known as state terrorism, in places with large Muslim populations – places that never attacked France — such as Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Somalia, Libya, North Mali, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen then what is to be expected? Is it okay for France to engage in militarism abroad and expect no blowback on French soil? Must not …

Begging Outrage: British Journalists for Assange

Even that title strikes an odd note.  It should not.  The Fourth Estate, historically reputed as the chamber of journalists and publishers keeping an eye on elected officials, received a blast of oxygen with the arrival of WikiLeaks.  This was daring, rich stuff: scientific journalism in the trenches, news gathering par excellence.  But what Julian Assange and WikiLeaks did was something unpardonable to many who pursue the journalist’s craft: sidestepping the newspaper censors, permitting unadulterated access to original sources.

People could finally scrutinise raw documents – cables, memoranda, briefing notes, diplomatic traffic – without the secondary and tertiary forms of self-censorship …

Social Media’s Erasure of Palestinians is a Grim Warning for our Future

Facebook, Google and Twitter are not neutral platforms. They control the digital public square to aid the powerful – and can cancel any of us overnight

There is a growing unease that the decisions taken by social media corporations can have a harmful impact on our lives. These platforms, despite enjoying an effective monopoly over the virtual public square, have long avoided serious scrutiny or accountability.

In a new Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, former Silicon Valley executives warn of a dystopian future. Google, Facebook and Twitter have gathered vast quantities of data on us to better predict and manipulate our desires. Their products are gradually rewiring our brains to addict us to our screens and make us more pliable to advertisers. The result, as we are …

Calling this “our Democracy” is like Slaves referring to “our Plantation”

While Americans are re-programmed every four years for the most important desperately crucial national emergency election since the last one, which will assure that Wall Street, the Pentagon, Israel and billionaires maintain power and control over everything that matters, most eligible voters will choose neither of the ruling power’s candidates and in a sense exercise democratic values by refusing to act as majority puppets.

Meanwhile the people of Bolivia and Chile recently went to the polls and in dramatic contrast to America actually voted on substantial issues that could radically change their country’s futures. Bolivia chose returning to the socialist government …

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Anarchy Is Being Loosed Upon the Nation

Every day I ask myself the same question: How can this be happening in America? How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination.

— Philip Roth, The Plot Against America, 2004, Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Things are falling apart.

How much longer we can sustain the fiction that we live in a constitutional republic, I cannot say, but anarchy is being loosed upon the nation.

We are witnessing the unraveling of the American dream one injustice at a …

Google meets the Sherman Act

“Ambition is the subtlest Beast of the Intellectual and Moral Field,” wrote John Adams to his son, John Quincy Adams, in January, 1794. “It is wonderfully adroit in concealing itself from its owner.”  Father Adams was thinking of Thomas Jefferson in penning these words, that sly devil of a man who sought to gain power while falsely claiming to eschew ambition and vanity.  It worked: Jefferson duly became the third president of the United States, succeeding Adams himself in 1801.

Such a biting description might well describe the digital giants of Silicon Valley, and one in particular.  Google, a company so …

Resurgence of Socialism in Bolivia

In Bolivia, the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) – a major leftist political force – has returned to power following a thumping victory in the 2020 elections. The MAS presidential candidate Luis Arce obtained 55.09% of the votes, decisively ahead of the neoliberal candidate Carlos Mesa and the right-wing extremist Luis Fernando Camacho who garnered 28.83% and 14% of the votes, respectively. The triumph of MAS in Bolivia is highly significant since it follows hard on the heels of the 2019 US-backed coup which violently overthrew the MAS president Evo Morales and attempted to re-institute neoliberalism through blood and …

Ending Regime Change in Bolivia and the World

Bolivian woman votes in October 18 election
Less than a year after the United States and the U.S.-backed Organization of American States (OAS) supported a violent military coup to overthrow the government of Bolivia, the Bolivian people have reelected the Movement for Socialism (MAS) and restored it to power.

In the long history of U.S.-backed “regime changes” in countries around the world, rarely have a people and a country so firmly and democratically repudiated U.S. efforts to dictate how they will be governed. Post-coup interim president Jeanine Añez …

“Dictatorship” and “Democracy” as Loaded Language: Anti-Communist Cold-War Propaganda

ORIENTATION

In my last article I showed how the word “totalitarian” was used as a loaded vice word to attack the Soviet Union after World War II and to red-bait communists around the world. The use of the word totalitarian began in the 1930s, but even before then in the 1920’s, the word “dictator” began to surface in order to explain another political response to the crisis in capitalism. We will study the use of this term from the 1920s to the end of World War II, although, of course, the word …

The Last Days of the Trumpian Reich

So, according to the corporate media, this is it for Russian-backed Hitler. Game over. The walls are closing in. It’s the last days of the Trumpian Reich. Get those vuvuzelas ready!

Yes, apparently, the American people, who were all a bunch of Putin-worshipping, white-supremacist neo-Nazis when they elected Trump in 2016, have come to their senses and are going to deliver a landslide victory to “Slappy” Joe Biden and bring down the curtain on this “Age of Darkness,” or save …

The World is Changing: China Launches Campaign for Superpower Status 

The outdated notion that China ‘just wants to do business’ should be completely erased from our understanding of the rising global power’s political outlook.

Simply put, Beijing has long realized that, in order for it to sustain its economic growth unhindered, it has to develop the necessary tools to protect itself, its allies and their combined interests.

The need for a strong China is not a novel idea developed by the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping. It goes back many decades, spanning various nationalist movements and, ultimately, the Communist Party. What …

Liquid Capitalism: Everyone Drinks it, Swims in it, Drowns in it

The most radical socialists; Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters (Black, White, Latino or Asian); liberal and conservative zealots; diversity and equity gurus; pacifists; denizens of corporates and non-profits; rappers, rockers and country western musicians; Bernie Sanders; racists and White guilt pushers; Baptists, Catholics, and Muslims; children; bland K-16 teachers; members of the military; indeed, every social, cultural, political and economic demographic of the United States of America drinks, swims and drowns in an ocean of Liquid Capitalism. It is nearly as old as humanity itself.

Liquid Capitalism is impressive and horrifying. It floods and absorbs every political movement and message. It …

Impunity and Carefree Violence: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan

In 2016, Australian Major General Jeff Sengelman approached the then chief of the Australian army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell with a nagging worry. The concern lay in allegations that Australian special forces had committed various war crimes in Afghanistan.  Sengelman was then special forces commander; Campbell was chief of the army.  Sociologist Samantha Crompvoets was duly commissioned to write a report on “Special Operations Command Culture interactions”.  It was leaked in 2018, and claimed that Australia’s special forces had engaged in the “unsanctioned and illegal application of violence on operations” aided by a timorous leadership and perception …

“Democracy” vs. Covid:  A No-Go

Brussels (EU and European NATO Headquarters) – On 21 October 2020, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports that Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations:

German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense confirmed, the German government has promised NATO support for its “Allied Hand” emergency plan. According to this plan, medical personnel, pioneers and experts from the force would be made available for foreign missions to counter nuclear, biological or chemical hazards as required. The contingency plan

What We are up Against: Fascism in the United States

Are you or do you know an emerging activist who needs support? Popular Resistance and the Kevin Zeese family are launching the Kevin Zeese Emerging Activists Fund with an online celebration on his birthday, this Wednesday, October 28, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm Eastern.  Learn more and buy tickets here.  We will begin accepting applications after October 28.

Last week, I wrote about what is needed in this moment and urged people to look more deeply, beyond the Biden-Trump spectacle, to understand where we are as a …

The World Moves On, Yet Australia Clings to a Dangerous Past

There are many definitions of stupid, but acting against one’s interests, on either a personal or national level, must rank as among the more significant. It is certainly among the most of contemporary relevance. It is no better personified than in the current extraordinary anti-China campaign being waged by politicians of all the major parties and their adherents in the media. One hesitates to call them “analysts” because the contemporary examples of Australian journalism are anything but analytical. This applies with particular force in contemporary commentary, both political and journalistic, on China.

A brief view of history provides some perspective. China …

Capitalism is Double-billing Us

We pay from our wallets only for our future to be stolen from us

Here is a word that risks deterring you from reading on much further, even though it may hold the key to understanding why we are in such a terrible political, economic and social mess. That word is “externalities”.

It sounds like a piece of economic jargon. It is a piece of economic jargon. But it is also the foundation stone on which the west’s current economic and ideological system has been built. Focusing on how externalities work and how they have come to dominate every sphere of our lives is to understand how we are destroying our planet – and offer …

70 Years after China and the DPRK Defeated the United States in Korea

There is a piece of news on an important anniversary missing from western state and corporate news. This year, 2020, is the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) army entering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to help in, what the Chinese call, the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.

It is described by the People’s Daily thus:

The war, which happened 70 years ago, was forced upon the Chinese people by invading imperialism. After the U.S. repeatedly ignored the warning

Killing Unknown

It’s hard to talk about the myriad issues piled in our society in a cohesive way, and when we try, we often get the same response:  “What is your solution?”  People get frustrated and demand an instant solution to the structural problem they are very much a part of. The very insistence on a single, cure-for-all-answer betrays their unwillingness to see the structural and systematic nature of the problem. Meanwhile they allow themselves “solutions” which are concocted by those who have created the problems. Those “solutions” are bound to be strictly incremental and reformist, otherwise the self-serving nature of the overall …

Adding More Dust onto a Threadbare Empire

Barbara Lee: I’m very terrified with regard to what we see taking place. And the signs are there. When you talk about shutting down the media, putting out their alternative facts, banning dissent and opposition, criticizing people who are exercising their First Amendment rights; trying to get people to believe, really, the distortions that they’re putting out there. That, to me, is very scary. It’s very dangerous. And you see also the corporate and military consolidation of the public sector. You see efforts to privatize schools. When you just look at the nominees, you see very few people with

Death, Money, and the Dueling Frauds: Trump and Biden

When the New York Times and CNN recently referred to the staged town hall spectacles of Biden and Trump as dueling events, they inadvertently revealed the truth that U.S. presidential elections are America’s favorite movie and that the corporate media is in the entertainment business.

While it is ludicrous to imagine these tottering actors crossing swords in tights, their skirmishes in suits and ties are good for a few laughs, if you have the stomach to watch them. Only people who still believe in professional wrestling would think these clowns …

Guardian-Friendly Omissions

A review of This Land: The Story of a Movement by Owen Jones

In his latest book, This Land: The Story of a Movement, the Guardian’s Owen Jones charts the rise and fall of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jones depicts Corbyn as a ‘scruffy,’ (p. 8), ‘unkempt’ (p. 50), thoroughly shambolic backbench MP, ‘the most unlikely’ (p. 50) of contenders for the Labour leadership. In May 2015, Corbyn reluctantly dipped his toe in the water of the leadership contest, saying: ‘You better make fucking sure I don’t get elected’ (p. 54), only to be swept away on …

Early Voting, Long Lines, and Voter Suppression

November 3rd, Election Day in America, is rapidly approaching. However, early in-person voting has started in several states across the country and there are some concerning issues already coming to light this election year.

Videos by voters have been circulating on social media sites such as Twitter, showing extremely long lines and long waiting periods. The state of Georgia in particular had several videos circulating around with people claiming it took 11 hours to cast their vote. While big voter turnout numbers alone are not necessarily a bad sign, …

Covid-19: A Series of Unlikely Events

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress…
I never saw no miracle of science,
That didn’t go from a blessing to a curse

— Sting, “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” (Recorded in 1992, Released in 1993)

I do this real moron thing, and it’s called thinking. 
And apparently I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions.

— George Carlin,  On American Foreign Policy Bombing Brown People, YouTube  2:20

Everybody’s on the take
Tell me, are you on the take too?

— The Strokes, “Eternal Summer”, The New Abnormal, 2020

Everyone is sick of talking …

The Assistance, Not the Resistance

How the Democratic Party Enables Trump and Fascism

As Amy Coney Barrett is expected to be confirmed today as the next Justice to the Supreme Court, one might expect to see more news coverage of the multiple ways Congressional Democrats have tried to block her confirmation. Given the massive groundswell of anguish and fury over her nomination to replace the legendary Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the corporate media and top Democrats, themselves, have seemed strangely silent, as if early on, they had already surrendered to the inevitable. Why this silence and why a lack of options, when progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have called for using “every tool at our …

Toronto Schools push Students to join Israeli Military

Canadian law makes it illegal to recruit soldiers for a foreign state. But, the line between enticing impressionable young people to oppress Palestinians and formal recruitment is unclear.

Today an open letter signed by Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, filmmaker Ken Loach, author Yann Martel, former MP Jim Manly, poet El Jones and more than 150 others was delivered to Justice Minister David Lametti calling on the federal government to apply charges under the Foreign Enlistment Act against those recruiting Canadians for the IDF. The formal legal complaint names …

Yemen: Prisoner Swap and What May be Behind It

Transcript of an Interview with Press TV

Background

The fourth batch of Yemeni detainees has arrived in Sana’a as part of the largest prisoner swap between the country’s warring sides. The residents in the capital received 112 prisoners after their plane landed in the Sana’a international airport. 1,081 men will be released in two days.

A two-day prisoner swap between Yemen’s warring sides is underway. The move is part of a deal reached last month in Switzerland. Here is a report:

Yemen’s warring sides are exchanging detainees in the largest prisoner swap between the Ansarullah movement and the Saudi-backed former regime. One-thousand eighty-one men …

European Hypocrisy: Empty Words for Palestine, Deadly Weapons for Israel

In theory, Europe and the United States stand on completely opposite sides when it comes to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. While the US government has fully embraced the tragic status quo created by 53 years of Israeli military occupation, the EU continues to advocate a negotiated settlement that is predicated on respect for international law.

In practice, however, despite the seeming rift between Washington and Brussels, the outcome is, essentially, the same. The US and Europe are Israel’s largest trade partners, weapon suppliers and political advocates.

One of the …