Latest articles


Could the Latest Outburst of Ankara’s Temper lead to Escalation in Syria?  

So far Turkey, militarily the second mightiest NATO country, has been able to get away with virtually anything it has chosen to brew in the Middle East.

The reason why is simple: to confront Turkey’s bullying and expansionism militarily would be like confronting the United States or Israel; thousands of innocent people would die as a result, or perhaps even millions.

Moscow is well aware of the situation. Its diplomacy is superb. And its desire to keep Syria as one entity has gained admiration and support in many parts of the world. But not in the West, not in Israel and not …

The Moral Devastation of the Continued Occupation

Part One of a Two-Part Series

I have long maintained that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank defies the moral principle behind the creation of the state. Contrary to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s assertion, the occupation erodes rather than buttresses Israel’s national security and cannot be justified on either security or moral grounds. Trump’s “deal of the century” is tantamount to perpetuating the occupation, which will be to Israel’s detriment. Unless Israel embraces a new moral path and ends the occupation, no one can prevent it from unravelling from within only to become a pariah state that has lost its soul, wantonly abandoning the cherished dreams of …

The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden

It seemed to be a case of grand misrepresentation.  Holden cars, those great Australian acquisitions, along with home, lawnmower and nuclear family, gave the impression of indigenous pride, the home brand.  It was also resoundingly masculine.  But behind that image was a mighty American thrust, with General Motors holding the reins on investment as benevolent parent happy to rebadge the car brand when needed.  Poor returns would invariably mean rough corporate decisions untouched by sentiment.

Between 2002 and 2005, things looked rosy.  Sales of 170,000 a year saw the peak of the company’s returns.  But Holden remained a distinctly parochial brand, …

Profiting from Loss: How Business in Illegal Israeli Settlements Continues Unchecked

UN efforts to protect Palestinian land from economic exploitation are failing, and exposing the hypocrisy of western states 

After lengthy delays, the United Nations finally published a database last week of businesses that have been profiting from Israel’s illegal annexation and settlement activity in the West Bank.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, announced that 112 major companies had been identified as operating in Israeli settlements in ways that violate human rights.

Aside from major Israeli banks, transport services, cafes, supermarkets, and energy, building and telecoms firms, prominent international businesses include Airbnb, booking.com, Motorola, Trip Advisor, JCB, Expedia and General Mills.

Human Rights Watch, a global watchdog, noted in response to the list’s publication that the settlements violate …

Federal Charter Schools Program, a Lifeline for Owners of Capital, Under Threat

Neoliberals established the Federal Charter Schools Program in 1994, three years after the nation’s first charter school law was passed in Minnesota. Since then, billions of public dollars have been handed over to privately-owned-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools through the federal program. The money is usually used for charter school start-up costs.

Putting aside the persistently high failure rate among charter schools and the rampant corruption and waste in the segregated charter school sector, charter school advocates are now worried that President Trump’s latest budget (FY21), which is rarely approved as is by Congress, may disadvantage charter schools by potentially …

Canada out of the Lima Group, Core Group and OAS

“Qui se ressemble, s’assemble.” The English saying is “birds of a feather flock together.” Translated from Spanish: “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.” The folk wisdom that who we hang out with tells a lot about us is reflected in numerous proverbs.

Whatever the language, who Ottawa chooses to hang out with tells us a lot about who Canada is in the Americas. The coalitions/institutions Ottawa is part of in the Americas speak of siding with the rich and powerful, of being part of the US Empire, of imperialism.

Recently Haiti joined the Lima Group …

IRGC Aerospace Forces Commander’s Debriefing about Iran’s Strike against Al-Assad US Airbase

Transcript of Press conference by the Commander of the Aerospace Forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Ali Hajizadeh, on January 10, devoted to the Iranian strikes against al-Assad US Airbase.

The assassination of the martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani was one of the greatest strategic mistakes in the history of the United States. These strikes were only the beginning of considerable transformations and developments in the region and around the world.

The vengeance of the blood of the martyr Soleimani and our other dear martyrs lies in the triggering of a phase which had to be implemented (sooner or later). As the Supreme Leader Sayed Khamenei said, May God preserve him, ‘The revenge for the blood of the martyrs will drive the US forces out of the region.’ Our missile strikes against …

Mistrial Is Another Blow to US Coup In Venezuela

Our Work Continues

Last week we, along with Adrienne Pine and David Paul, were unsuccessfully prosecuted by the Trump administration for our protection of the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC from April 10 to May 16, 2019.  The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision and so we remain innocent of the charge of interfering with the protective functions of the US Department of State. The judge declared a mistrial. It was a partial victory and we greatly appreciate the jurors who were able to see through the cloud of …

Afghan Troops say Taliban are Brothers and War is “not really our fight”

The world is waiting anxiously to see whether the U.S. and Afghan governments and the Taliban will agree to a one-week truce that could set the stage for a “permanent and comprehensive” ceasefire and the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign occupation forces from Afghanistan. Could the talks be for real this time, or will they turn out to be just another political smokescreen for President Trump’s addiction to mass murder and celebrity whack-a-mole?

If the ceasefire really happens, nobody will be happier than the Afghans fighting and dying on the front lines of a war that one …

Tulsi Gabbard: A Political Postmortem

The all-or-nothing New Hampshire gamble of Tulsi Gabbard has come up snake eyes.

As I write, with 98 percent of the vote tallied, she is in seventh place, with a meager 3.3 percent of the vote, behind Tom Steyer. It is hard to imagine any path forward for her. And, frankly, one must acknowledge that this was a debacle of her own making.

Yes, she suffered the slings and arrows of the neoliberal political/media establishment on the few occasions it deigned to take note of her. But it seems to me that her vexing waffling on key issues is what did her …

What “That’s Not Realistic” Really Means: Bernie Sanders, Social Democracy, and Capitalist Apologetics

When discussing politics, or listening to pundits in the mainstream media in the run up to the 2020 presidential election, you’ve probably heard a common refrain: certain policies are “not realistic.” It’s similar to the close-minded remark that certain politicians, such as Bernie Sanders, have issues regarding their “electability”. What are these elites and people who continually parrot these media narratives actually saying?

The most obvious translation of “that’s not realistic” is this: we the people are powerless to change things. Of course, most of those who use the “unrealistic” …

The Heights of Lowliness

Trumpism as Philosophy

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

There has been and continues to be a never ending stream of analysis into the causes and effects of the presidential election of 2016. Even as the primaries of 2020 begin there remains a continual glance over the proverbial shoulder of the American media at the political rise of one Donald J. Trump. As the democrats try to plot a winning strategy in the midst of …

Homewreckers and Nationwreckers United

The bestselling Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream is more than a must read, it is a have to immediately read! Glantz covers the beginnings and the rash aftermath of the 2008 Subprime Housing bubble. Even though I have followed the story pretty carefully, Glantz pinpoints things I did not know until reading this important book. Just one example is how the Vulture Capitalists, …

Shut Down Canada Until it Solves its War, Oil, and Genocide Problem

Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.

This is a demonstration of nothing less than a superior alternative to war, …

Brother/Sister Can You Spare a Warm Shelter?

What we see behind the faces of a homeless family

On the Streets

Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from VietnamThe tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to homelessness is what the average person sees on Newport’s streets – mostly men, some women, seeking a public or private building’s overhang to get out of the rain.

Many on the streets are disheveled, struggling with mental health issues and addiction. Others are not so easily identified as homeless people.

Creating a permanent warming shelter is one stop-gap measure the Newport (OR) Working Group on Homelessness has …

Painting A True Christ

A review of Terrence Malik’s film A Hidden Life

There’s an early scene in Terrence Malik’s masterful new film – what I would call a moving painting – where the central character Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian peasant farmer from an isolated small mountainous village who refuses to take an oath to Hitler and fight in the German army, is talking to an older man who is restoring paintings in the local Catholic church.  Franz, a devout Roman Catholic, is deeply disturbed by the rise of Hitler and the thought of participating in his immoral killing machine.  The older man tells Franz – who has already been admonished that he …

Canadian NGO Coalition aligns with Imperialism

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) exists primarily to lobby for increased aid. As a result, the NGO umbrella group broadly aligns with Canadian imperialism.

When Justin Trudeau recently set off for an African Union Summit to build support for the government’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council the CCIC reiterated its call for increased aid. In an interview with Radio Canada International, CCIC CEO Nicolas Moyer suggested that if “Canada is back”, as Trudeau has previously stated, it needed to increase aid spending.

In November 2019 CCIC co-organized a Summit on Canada’s Global Leadership. The …

Amazon Onslaught

This month Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro proposed a new bill promoting mining, expanded agriculture, and energy production on indigenous lands in the Amazon. Accordingly, private developers as well as private hedge funds will occupy and develop land that’s been home to indigenous people for thousands of years.

Meantime during Bolsonaro’s first full year in office, deforestation increased by 85%. More on this eye-popping number follows.

Of recent, there have been several deeply disturbing developments in the Amazon. Less than two months ago the world’s leading Amazonian scientists, Thomas Lovejoy (George Mason University) and Carlos Nobre (University of Sao Paulo) issued a harsh …

Anarchists For Bernie

A Sanders presidency is a long shot — and it might also be our only shot.

Since only recently discovering the social media platform, Reddit, I have been posting various things to various sub-Reddits, depending on the subject matter of whatever I’m posting. Knowing it was possibly going to be considered unwelcome on the very popular Anarchism sub-Reddit, I posted a song I just wrote, called “Bernie 2020.” It got some positive response from some folks, as it did on other platforms. (I haven’t sung it to a live audience yet.) But …

Haiti Ten Years after the Earthquake

January 12 marked 10 years since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 300,000 people, and left an estimated 1.3 million more homeless. Much of the greater Port-au-Prince region lay in ruins, including the presidential palace, 17 of 19 ministries, and many schools and hospitals. Entire neighborhoods leveled. Power out. Roads blocked with rubble, some still not removed.

Generous people worldwide, including half of all registered voters in the United States, donated $3 billion to NGOs, as part of the total of $16.3 billion spent or promised for earthquake relief, but most of this money never reached Haitians on …

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Demolishes Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange

Burned at the Stake

On the face of it, the task seems almost hopeless. As Tolstoy wrote:

‘The power of the government is maintained by public opinion, and with this power the government, by means of its organs – its officials, law courts, schools, churches, even the press – can always maintain the public opinion which they need.’ (Leo Tolstoy, Writings on Non-Violence and Civil Disobedience, New Society Publishers, 1987, p.111)

Last December, we witnessed the awesome capacity of state-corporate power to manipulate public opinion and undermine a democratic election with a ruthless propaganda campaign smearing Jeremy Corbyn, a passionate anti-racist. The campaign …

The Philippines are Choosing New Allies:  Asia is Watching  

Now what? President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is outraged. He wants an end to the U.S. military presence in his country. He wants to curb all cooperation with the U.S. armed forces. He hits hard, talks big. And his people seem to be behind him, no matter what – his popularity rating is high and rising, now around 87%, which is something unimaginable anywhere else in Southeast Asia, or in the world.

Under a colorful headline on February 7, 2020, ‘End that son of a b*tch’: Duterte confirms US-Philippines military collaboration agreement is toast’, RT reported:

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is

Reconciliation Is Dead: RCMP Invade Unist’ot’en Territory

Canada invades. Invades on behalf of industry. Invades during ceremony. Canada tears us from our land. Tears us from our families, from our homes. Takes our drums away. Takes our women away. Jails us for protecting the land, for being in ceremony, for honouring our ancestors.

On February 10, RCMP invaded unceded Unist’ot’en territory, arresting and forcibly removing Freda Huson (Chief Howilhkat), Brenda Michell (Chief Geltiy), Dr. Karla Tait, and four Indigenous land defenders from our yintah. They were arrested in the middle of a ceremony to honour the ancestors. Police tore down the red dresses that were hung to …

Can the “World’s Second Superpower” Rise From the Ashes of Twenty Years of War?

UK protest against iraq war February 15, 2003. (Credit: Stop the War Coalition)
February 15 marks the day, 17 years ago, when global demonstrations against the pending Iraq invasion were so massive that the New York Times called world public opinion “the second superpower.” But the U.S. ignored it and invaded Iraq anyway. So what has become of the momentous hopes of that day?

The U.S. military has not won a war since 1945, unless you count recovering the tiny colonial outposts of Grenada, Panama and Kuwait, but there …

Breaking with Washington: Arabs and Muslims Must Take a Stance for Palestine

A negotiated solution to the ‘Palestinian-Israeli conflict’, at least the way envisaged by successive US administrations, has failed. Now, Palestinians and their allies would have to explore a whole new path of liberation that does not go through Washington.

It is easy to place all the blame on the current US administration, setting apart dodgy characters such as the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as the man who has single-handedly diminished any real chances for a just peace in Palestine and Israel.

The truth, however, greatly differs from conveniently molded assumptions. The US-championed ‘peace process’ has been in a hiatus since the …

First Nations Pipeline Protest: 14 Land Protectors Arrested as Canadian Police Raid Indigenous Camp

In Canada, armed forces raided native Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia Monday, with at least 14 arrests being reported. Land defenders faced off with Royal Canadian Mounted Police as the police breached two checkpoints set up to keep pipeline workers out of protected territory. Indigenous leaders are reportedly being blocked from their territory. TransCanada Corporation has been seeking entry into indigenous territory, where they are planning to build the massive $4.7 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline. Land protectors from First Nations clans set up two encampments where they had been physically blocking entry to TransCanada workers.

We speak with In Canada, armed …

Antisemitism threats will keep destroying Labour

If there is one issue that denotes the terminal decline of Labour as a force for change – desperately needed social, economic and environmental change – it is not Brexit. It is the constant furore over an “antisemitism crisis” supposedly plaguing the party for the past five years.

The imminent departure of Jeremy Corbyn as leader will not end the damage that has been done to Labour by such claims. Soon Brexit will become a messy fait accompli. But the shadow of Labour’s so-called “antisemitism problem” will loom over it darkly for the foreseeable future, making sure that Corbyn’s successor dare …

Democrats Team Up With Trump to Maintain Disastrous Healthcare System

Both Republicans and Democrats have blocked all attempts to build a rational, universal health care policy for the U.S. This is because capitalism prioritizes profit over the health and well-being of the working class. Creating a truly just health care system will require moving beyond capitalism.

On Tuesday, February 4, Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union (SOTU) address. As expected, it was filled with contradictions, falsehoods, and distortions. Among other things, Trump spoke for close to ten minutes about health care in the U.S., claiming that he “will always protect Medicare.” However, neither Trump and the Republicans, nor the Democrats can be trusted when it comes to health care.

Just last week, for example, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump suggested he would think about cutting Medicare and Social …

Clerical Duplicity and a President Chosen by God

It’s a thriving nation; Taiwan gets a lot of visitors for whom English is often a first or second language.  As an aid to its travelers, translations are added to many public signs.  Several years ago, I came across this helpful notice: “APPROACH INTIMATELY FOR CLEANLINESS AND DISCRETION.”  It was in a Taipei subway station, posted above a row of restroom urinals.  The English instructions were pretty clear in context, but could also, I mused, be suitably displayed behind the bar of a singles bistro.  Translation happens.

I sometimes flash back to that notice when I hear testimonial to the will …

Italy tries to kick out the Right-Wing Extremist Steve Bannon from the “Gladiator Cloister”

Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist and Breitbart editor, was finally kicked out of an Italian monastery, which even Newsweek wittily described as a “far-right boot camp”.

This author, along with a few others, has been warning for some time that the former Trump’s top advisor had crossed all lines, and began directly interfering in the internal affairs of the European Union, by promoting and amalgamizing dangerous extreme right-wing alliances of all natures; political, philosophical and religious. The monastery was supposed to offer “classes”, which Bannon described as “the kind of underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian West”.

Tactics?  “A modern gladiator school”, …