Latest articles


The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime

On occasion of the CIA’s 70th anniversary, Lars Schall talked with US researcher Douglas Valentine about the Central Intelligence Agency. According to Valentine, the CIA is “the organized crime branch of the U.S. government”, doing the dirty work for the rich and powerful. Douglas Valentine is the author of the non-fictional, historical books The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, The Strength of the Wolf, The Strength of the Pack, and The CIA as Organized Crime.
*****
Lars Schall: 70 years ago, on September 18, 1947, the National Security Act created the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA. Douglas, you refer to …

The War on Social Media is Being Stepped Up

A really social media, one where we can freely express ourselves and where we alone control the content, is the problem. It must be stopped at all costs.

First, it was “fake news”: the suggestion that social media is uniquely damaging to democracy, rather than the corporately owned media that feeds us constant lies, including the egregious deception that WMD existed in Iraq, and selects self-serving political priorities, such as that Russia’s Vladimir Putin is the biggest threat to the planet’s safety (Donald Trump and climate breakdown are far bigger threats right now).

The latest concern is “trolling”. The UK’s Electoral …

Update on the Duvet Project and the Street Kids School

Projects the Afghan Peace Volunteers have sustained for the past four years.

Bearing quilted bedcovers Afghans walk through the cemetery to their mountainside homes

They have descended from homes built on the mountainside. Women sit together in the cemetery not to mourn but to wait for the duvet distribution to begin. When I approach them, each woman extends a hand in greeting. Some have the needed small stamped pieces of paper to receive two duvets but most don’t. One of the women tells me about the pain in her chest, her legs. She talks about the war. I listen to …

The Growing Affinity Between Netanyahu’s Israel and the West’s Far-right is Hardly Surprising

The eldest son of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has found himself an unlikely poster boy for David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, and neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer.

Last week, these cheerleaders for Jew hatred described 27-year-old Yair Netanyahu as “awesome” and “a total bro” for posting a grossly anti-Semitic image on social media.

It depicts an Illuminati-like figure and a reptilian creature controlling the world through money and dark arts. Alongside them are a cabal of conspirators, their faces altered to show Mr Netanyahu’s main opponents. They include George Soros, a Holocaust survivor who has invested billions in pro-democracy …

The Limits and Deficiencies of Dialectical and Historical Materialism

(An Abstract of the Principles of Anarcho-Historical-Relativism)

With all its emphasis on materiality, physicality and corporeality as the prime origin of all conceptualities, dialectical-historical-materialism is, first and foremost, a concept, that is, a philosophy. No matter how much it claims otherwise and continuously stresses the importance and objectivity of materiality as a priori and prima causa for all ideas, perceptions and consciousness, dialectical-historical-materialism always resorts to language, philosophy and concepts in order to elucidate its principles, its conclusions, and, in addition, in order to validate its fundamental premise. Namely, to quote Marx, that “the mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life …

In Bangkok: “No Speak Your Language, Speak Thai or Die”

It is hard to calculate the cost of the stubborn refusal of the Thai population to learn foreign languages. Some daring estimates, however, calculate that the losses could be in tens of billions of dollars, annually. And the situation is not getting any better.

Bangkok wants to be the center of Southeast Asia, and by many standards it has already achieved this goal.
Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand, Hive of Western Opinion Makers (Photo: Andre Vltchek)
Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the second busiest in the region. Almost all of the …

Not My Wonder Woman: The Zionist Agenda in US Mainstream Feminism

Most women will agree that female representation in the media is incredibly important for a plethora of reasons, not only in media but as well as politics, and other platforms lacking opportunity for female participants. Providing women of all ages a strong and positive role model could break a toxic habit and pattern of accepting and expecting degrading societal roles and standards that have been appointed to us. A struggle that many women face, especially women of color, members of minority faiths, or members of the LGBTQ community, is the women presented in the media for the sake of progressiveness …

Why Would 58% Favor U.S. Bombing of North Korea?

A new Gallup poll indicates that 58% of U.S. residents polled say they favor U.S. military action against North Korea if the U.S. “cannot accomplish its goals by more peaceful means first.” Like most polls it is tendentiously worded.

What are “its goals”? U.S. goals? What national, discussed and decided, “goals” do we have (as a nation) as regards the Korean peninsula?

I’m actually a U.S. citizen and a specialist in East Asian history. Frankly, I know a lot about Korea. But I was never consulted about those “goals.”

In the past the goals have included “defeating” North Korea; remember how Dick Cheney …

No, Antifa: This is not the 1930s and we don’t need to punch a Nazi

The “Battle of Cable Street” is a key event in the “creation myth” of the anti-fascist movement. It goes like this:

On Sunday, October 4, 1936, about 5,000 members of the British Union of Fascists (BUF), led by Sir Oswald Mosley, planned to march in full Blackshirt regalia through several Jewish neighborhoods in London’s East End. Six thousand police were assigned to protect them from about 100,000 anti-fascist protesters. The anti-fascists fought the police and erected barricades to block the marchers. When the fascists saw there was no possibility of moving beyond the barricades, they abandoned the march and dispersed. ((Daniel …

Principles of Persecution: India’s Systematized Human Rights Violations

Arbitrary detentions, torture, mass graves and mass rapes. No, you are not reading about a rogue third world authoritarian dictatorship. Instead these are words that describe matters recurrent in the “world’s largest democracy”, India. The country, over time, has developed a mechanism to extend and tighten its hold on disturbed regions, specifically those states that carry visible secessionist sentiments. This apparatus of oppression is pillared through draconian legislation, which is painted and repainted from time to time.

The development of such legislation in India seems to exhibit a specific pattern, which is marked by evasive moves in the face of public …

The CIA Wins: Harvard, Chelsea Manning and Visiting Fellowships

It all began with an announcement, made public on the website of the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University. Chelsea Manning would be joining a curious array of Visiting Fellows, including Mr Disaster, Robby Mook, and Sean Bumbling Spicer. (Manning, Spicer and Mook has a curious ring to it, the name, perhaps, of an error-prone debt recovery agency.)

Mook will have something to tell members of the Kennedy School, being credited with directing one of the worst electoral campaigns in US electoral history. His fanatical insistence on statistical determinations had its own role to play in sinking Hillary Clinton, …

Ethiopia’s Economic Growth Hides Fear and Oppression in the One-Party State

Scan the mainstream media for news about Ethiopia and discover headline after headline describing the country’s economic successes: double-digit economic growth, foreign investment and aspirations to become a middle-income country by 2030. Ethiopia, we are told, is a functioning democracy, an African tiger economy and an important ally of Western governments.

According to such eminent sources as the BBC, CNN, the World Bank and the US State Department, Ethiopia is an African success story; a beacon of stability and growing prosperity in a region of dysfunctional states. Dig a little deeper, speak to Ethiopians inside the country or within the diaspora …

The Criminal Injustice System: Beyond Platitudes and Bleeding Hearts

Aotearoa (New Zealand) has a lot of serious problems. Neoliberal reforms have been imposed against the will of the people here and it is only our pride and our racially informed sense of kinship with imperial power that keeps us from recognising that we are a neocolony – a privileged neocolony perhaps, but a neocolony nonetheless.
Recent decades have been an affront to our sovereignty and our progressive and socialist history. We were the first country with a 40 hour working week, the first to allow women to vote, the second to have a comprehensive public health system, and …

Steve Bannon’s Crystal Ball: A Split in the GOP

Rarely does the virus speak so formidably to the condition he is a product of.  The soiling, devastating strategist Steve Bannon, despite exiting the Trump administration, remains within it (symbolically at least), moving about with effect and influence. But it is a legacy of mixed curses that bodes ill for the Republican Party.

The one call he repeats with truncheon carrying persistence is one of division. This is not a man who believes, let alone tolerates, unified fronts.  Disunity is his bread, butter and caviar.  Where a front of consensus appears, his shock methods seek to disrupt it. And nothing, for …

Trump Administration Signals Plans to Abandon Iran Deal

With a looming deadline on whether to continue the suspension of sanctions on Iran, the Trump administration is frantically working to demonstrate Tehran’s non-compliance under the so-called Iran Deal and thereby fulfill an ill-conceived campaign promise.

The problem is that, according to the watchdog International Atomic Energy Commission, Iran has been in full compliance with the agreement, and only non-compliance could legitimately provide President Trump the excuse he needs to withdraw.

On September 15, Trump must decide whether to renew the suspension of sanctions put …

Preferred Conclusions: The BBC, Syria And Venezuela

As the late media activist Danny Schechter wrote, when it comes to the corporate broadcast media: ‘The more you watch, the less you know.’

Schechter’s observation only fails in one key respect: ‘mainstream’ output does tell us a lot about which foreign governments are being lined up for regime change.

In 2013, it was remarkable to see the BBC reporting claims from Syria on a daily basis in a way that almost always blamed the Syrian government, and President Assad personally, for horrendous war crimes. But as the New York Times

The Myth of Canada’s “Benevolent” Foreign Policy

A house built on an imaginary foundation may be a “dream home” but it can never be lived in. The same holds true in politics.

One need not mythologize Canadian foreign policy history to oppose the Trudeau government’s egregious position on nuclear arms. In fact, ‘benevolent Canada’ dogma weakens the critical consciousness needed to reject the policies of our foreign policy establishment.

In “Canada abandons proud history as ‘nuclear nag’ when most needed” prominent leftist author Linda McQuaig writes:

There have been impressive moments in our history when Canada, under previous Liberal governments, asserted itself as a feisty middle power by supporting,

On the Road to Extinction

Maybe it's not all about us?

It is crystal clear—unlike the smoky skies where I live–to most of us who are willing to consider the facts: this summer’s ‘natural’ disasters have been seeded anthropogenically.  Wildfires in the northwestern United States and Canada, in Greenland, and in Europe are often referred to in the media as ‘unprecedented’ in size and fury. Hurricanes and monsoons, with their attendant floods and destruction, are routinely described as having a multitude of ‘record-breaking’ attributes. No one reading this is likely to need convincing that humans –our sheer numbers as well as our habits—have contributed significantly to rising planetary temperatures and thus, …

U.S. doesn’t intend to “give” Deir Ezzor to Syrian Army

Last week the Syrian Army (SAA) backed by allied forces broke years-long ISIS siege of Deir Ezzor. Residents of the city were sincerely greeting liberators of the city. According to many experts, the SAA’s success is an important step towards total elimination of ISIS.

This, of course, can be considered as a defeat of the West and its ‘partners’, who had worked with the Syrian armed opposition and radical groups including ISIS hoping to oust Assad.

The real prospect of the SAA would retake control over the oil-rich territories has made the U.S.-led Coalition launch a new military operation in Deir Ezzor. …

New York Magazine Fails to Rescue Charter Schools

As the failures of charter schools across the country multiply, and as more people become aware of these failures, the rich and their media have intensified their relentless disinformation campaign about charter schools. They are deeply dismayed that exposure of charter school problems and criticism of charter schools is becoming more mainstream and common place. Fewer people seem to be buying the charter school hype.

On September 6, 2017 New York Magazine chimed into the news fray with a short article on charter schools with the confused title: “Charter Schools Are Losing the Narrative But Winning the Data.” New York Magazine