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Foreign Policy for Sale: Greece’s Dangerous Alliance with Israel

For a brief historical moment, Alexis Tsipras and his political party, Syriza, ignited hope that Greece could resurrect a long-dormant Leftist tide in Europe.

A new Greece was being born out of the pangs of pain of economic austerity, imposed by the European Union and its overpowering economic institutions – a troika so ruthless, it cared little while the Greek economy collapsed and millions of people experienced the bitterness of poverty, unemployment and despair.

The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) came to power in January 2015 as a direct outcome of popular discontent with the EU. It was a time where …

Outing the US Empire: Trump’s Military Parade

You only had to see him goggle eyed and enthusiastic beside France’s President Emmanuel Macron last Bastille Day.  The tricolours were fluttering, the jets booming above in the manner usual for a lapsed empire, and the President of the United States was thrilled to bits, delighted at the spectacle.  “It was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen.  We’re going to have to try and top it.”

Donald Trump wetting himself over a military parade in another country was one thing. That he is now attempting to bring that experience back to the United States has local policy figures …

The Fear Driving US Nuclear Strategy

The United States Department of Defense released its latest ‘Nuclear Posture Review 2018‘ (NPR) on 2 February, updating the last one issued in 2010 during the previous administration.

The Executive Summary of the NPR is also available, if you prefer.

Several authors have already thoughtfully exposed a phenomenal variety of obvious lies, invented threats, strategic misconceptions and flaws – such as the fallacious thinking behind ‘deterrence’ and significantly increased risk of nuclear war given the delusional ‘thinking’ in the document – as well as the political fear-mongering in the NPR. For example, eminent scholar Professor Paul Rogers has pointed …

Behind Recent Demos in Iran

Very simply, the demonstrations erupted after price increases. It is hard to live with unremitting foreign hostility, as the socialist bloc learned, with only tiny Cuba surviving the Cold War. Venezuela dared to buck the neoliberal order and has suffered terribly. The current unrest can be laid at imperialism’s feet.

An outbreak of bird flu in Iran was a kind of finishing touch, as egg prices jumped 30%. Turkey rushed truckloads of eggs to the rescue, but Nature had done its work. Another spark was an increase in the price …

Little Barbies: Sex Trafficking of Young Girls is America’s Dirty Little Secret

Children are being “targeted and sold for sex in America every day.
— John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

They’re called the Little Barbies.

Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old.

This is America’s dirty little secret.

Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big business in America, the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and …

Silvia Glas: “In Ecuador there is no justice for Jorge Glas”

Jorge Glas
With a positive balance after 10 years as president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa helped Alianza País emerge victorious in the second round of the presidential elections in early 2017. But a complete turnaround was soon on the cards: newly elected president Lenín Moreno started to attack the legacy of the Citizens Revolution that had gotten him elected. An important part of Alianza País, faithful to the social policies of “Buen Vivir” (“Good Living”), disapproved of this. Then, vice-president Jorge Glas, who could be counted

As Congress Feeds the Merchants of Death, the People Must Divest

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion.
Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for both …

Genocide Washington Style: Venezuela Next?

Why does nobody dare to pronounce the term “Genocide” in connection with the Washington-committed atrocities around the globe? If there is one nation that is guilty of mass-murder it is the United States of America and her Zionist handlers. But nobody seems to pay attention. Or, rather, nobody dares to say so. It has become the new normal. Enshrined in people’s brains. The exceptional nation can do whatever she wants, whenever she wants and wherever she wants — sowing wars and conflicts, killing millions and millions of people, blaming Russia and China, and, of course, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba, North …

Consensus and Complicity

Nonpartisanship is an elite deceit

There’s nothing less democratic than bipartisanship. The term itself is a ruse that falsely indicates universal consensus where there is really only a minority consensus among elites — and their sniffling lemmings in the bourgeois press. The bipartisan consensus is a tireless ogre that roams the demotic plain, kneecapping democratic debate wherever it presents itself. It crushes fledgling dialogue, suppresses the flash of dialectical insight. And that is precisely what the bipartisan consensus is meant to do, because the one percent knows full well that, like Chairman Mao once limned, “A single spark can start a prairie fire.” Best keep …

Accompanying Honduras

As the bus was taking our accompaniment delegation to Honduras to the airport for our return home, it stopped by the offices of Radio Progreso. Piling on to the bus came some twenty staff members of the station to bid us goodbye. Each of them greeted us with an embrace, a kiss, or a clasp of hands expressing heartfelt gratitude for our having come to be with them at this dangerous and chaotic time in their country. It was a striking gesture of affection that deeply touched us, the visiting delegates.

The Commodification of Art

Part II

Art is the last line of defense against authoritarian control, and artists are contemporary shamans delivering message. The eternal protectors of this little light of mine. Within the artist resides connection to source that rejects what is diseased within the soul of humanity. The artist courageously holds the lamp of truth in the darkness when all other luminaries have absconded into the void.

The premonitions of the artist are what defines an epoch until the pendulum swings and signal degradation renders the vision inert, at which point a new message is necessary. A new plan must be envisioned with sufficient emotional …

Rebel Without a Clue: Autonomy and Authority in the American Public School

The American high school dropout is an unconscious revolutionary. Instead of casting aspersions upon the dropout, we should attempt to decode this behavior that is condemned by parents, school authorities, educational experts, religious leaders, politicians, and peers. To understand the distress of the American high school student requires us to examine the politics of quitting school. Leaving school is a political act. Its political causes cannot be investigated in a context of isolating and blaming the individual.

The high school dropout is a revolutionary without having recovered the sense of dignity of failure, in a system of authoritarian control. Blaming the …

Academics Who Serve as Israel’s Useful Idiots

How is that highly schooled people, those who have risen to positions of authority and influence within the west’s higher education systems, so often behave as if the bit of their brain governing rational thought has turned to mush whenever the issue of Israel is raised?

Let’s take the case of Richard Carver, a senior lecturer in human rights and governance at Oxford Brookes University. He has just published a letter in the London Review of Books in which he seeks to discredit support for BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – as evidence of what he (like …

New Defense Strategy: War With Great Nations and Arms Race

This week, following the recent announcement of a new National Defense Strategy that focuses on conflicts with great powers and a new arms race, the Pentagon announced an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The United States’ military is spread across the world, including several dangerous conflict areas that could develop into an all-out war, possibly in conflict with China or Russia. This comes at a time when US empire is fading, something the Pentagon also recognizes and the US is falling behind China economically. This is not unexpected considering that one year ago President Trump sought an

Fourteen-year-old Ghada was the Latest Victim of Israel’s Dehumanising Machine

How did a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who has never set foot in the open-air prison of Gaza find herself being dumped there by Israeli officials – alone, at night and without her parents being informed?

The terrifying ordeal – a child realising she had not been taken home but discarded in a place where she knew no one – is hard to contemplate for any parent.

And yet for Israel’s gargantuan bureaucratic structure that has ruled over Palestinians for five decades, this was just another routine error. One mishap among many that day.

A single, abstract noun – “occupation” – obscures a multitude …

Rumblings in the Tory Palace: Theresa May and the Brexit Troika

As the Sunday news vine began getting heavy, that sole topic of all-consuming, toxic interest – Brexit – threatened to claim the casualty of the British Prime Minister herself, Theresa May.  Interest centred on a possible troika that had busied itself on harrying May.

In any context, this troika would have seemed a compilation for pure comic effect: buffoonish Boris Johnson as replacement for PM, Michael Gove as his deputy, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, that “ornament on the backbenchers” as Chancellor.  They would be the “dream team”, though the description of a hallucinatory nightmare is probably more appropriate.

In the course of …

Korea: What the Generals Aren’t Telling You

The retired Generals on the talk-show circuit look grim.  They say if the US attacks North Korea, it will retaliate and bomb Seoul, South Korea’s capitol.  Hundreds of thousands could die.  The Generals look even grimmer.  There will be a ground invasion.  Result? A possible 20,000 casualties per day.

No one mentions the X factor.

James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, John Kelly, Nickki Haley – not a peep from them either.

In his State of the Union address the President lingers on the gruesome death of Otto Warmbier, promises “Resolve.” Trump also won’t touch it.

Twenty-four.  South Korea has 24 operating nuclear power …

World is Burning while Western Left is Quarrelling

It really is a shame, and it is tiring, but it is actually nothing new: there is now total disarray amongst those countless ‘progressive’ and ‘semi-left’ Western intellectuals, publications, movements and political parties.

Cowardice, bloated egos, lack of discipline and intellectual pettiness are often to blame, but that is not all.

It is now absolutely clear that the Western left lost patently and shamelessly. It has almost no power, it has no courage to fight or to take risks, and it counts on no real political following in Europe, North America, Australia or New Zealand. ‘The masses’, those proverbial ‘oppressed masses’, have …

Bungling Crown Privilege: Australia’s Cabinet Security Breach

Journalists would have seen it as a scoop, and insisted that no laws had been broken. Politicians might have considered it a calamity.  Whatever one terms Australia (parliamentary democracy; constitutional monarchy) secrecy remains the state’s watchword.  When it comes to bureaucratic provisions that supposedly safeguard the state against the prying eyes of the public, all justified in their name, Australia does rather well.

This is particularly so on the subject of Cabinet files, insulated from public view by that curious legal creature known as public interest immunity.  In its older variant, the term “Crown privilege” was used. Over history, the …

When is there Going to be Accountability for US Wars and Aggression?

US makes new claims of WMD in Syria

It’s WMD all over again.

Anonymous “US officials” are once again accusing a targeted “regime” of using “chemical weapons” and threatening that the U.S. military may have to “hold it accountable”. Once again, western media is broadcasting these accusations and threats without skepticism or investigation.

The Washington Post story is titled “Trump administration: Syria probably continuing to make, use chemical weapons”.  Jane’s Defence Weekly quotes a U.S. offical saying “They clearly think they can get away with this ….”

Jerusalel Online says “A US official says Syrian President Assad’s forces may be developing new types of chemical weapons, which which …

Saber-Rattling, Nuclear Threat or an Even More Devastating War?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos has come and gone, and nothing has really changed. The wonderful people of the world struck again – blowing hot air to the four corners of the world. When in reality the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, wars and conflicts are on the rise – and humanity, at least in the western world, is ever more exposed to propaganda lies and mind manipulations, of which then WEF is just one tiny, miserable example.

For instance, was anybody still listening to the bombastic nonsense coming out of Trump’s and Macron’s throat? It is …

British Trains, Cambridge and Nostalgia

CambridgeThis is a different Cambridge. The gowns are gone, banished to a museum of what Britain was.  The traffic and pollution have moved in, angry, irritable, uncompromising.  Hopping off the train from Kings Cross, London doesn’t prepare you for the scene, one facing energetic fumes as disarmed citizens before a gas attack.

Another thing is also striking.  The builders, constructors and developers have moved in, adding pudgy monsters of glass and cement, trendy forums for shopping and glitzy arenas for communing.  Coffee shops have become colonists, and we are being told that eating in Cambridge has improved.

There is a …

Champions Of Democracy: From Fake News To Imposed Insanity

Open a corporate media website on any given day and you will find someone, somewhere blaming social media for something. No claim is too absurd.

Last week, journalist Sean Williams, who writes for the New Yorker, New Republic and Wired, tweeted us in a state of high anxiety:

I just want you to know you’re ruining the national dialogue and pushing more people towards right wing populism. Really.

Quite a claim for a project that began in Southampton’s Giddy Bridge public house over a pint and a packet of cheese and onion. We replied:

Two guys

Which Path to National Improved Medicare for All?

State-level reforms for universal health care are laudable; they are not single payer

Two states with a long history of state-based healthcare reform efforts, California and New York, are hard at work organizing for state bills labeled as single payer healthcare plans. Other states are moving in that direction too. This raises questions by single payer advocates: Can states create single payer healthcare systems? Does state-level work help or hinder our goal of National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA)?

The movement for NIMA gained momentum throughout 2017, largely due to rising …

Liberal Totalitarianism and the Trump Diversion

The ongoing political circus in the capital of the world’s most powerful empire opens almost daily  with a new act each day showcasing an even more bizarre and more revealing display of the internal rot of a culture and a political system in decline.

The day before Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, the Russia-gate drama took an unexpected and dangerous turn with the vote by the House Intelligence Committee to release a now classified memo that alleges that senior members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) may have misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) …

A Tale of Two Tale Spins: Managing America Through Its PTSD Collapse

The teeth-rattling cognitive dissonance that awaits half the nation (and it’s still fair to ask which half) is going to send some folks into therapy for years. This essay, as you will see, is predisposed to one narrative. The human mind cannot entertain both.

In fact, the reset for many will arrive in begrudging half-measures. They will grumble that the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy finally prevailed on poor Hillary. Psychologically, that will be about the best they can do. Patience, not partisan recriminations, will be the most suitable response.

I have an 80-something year old mother who will not walk on grass …

Israel’s Shin Bet to Face First-Ever Torture Probe

For the first time in its history, an interrogator from Israel’s secret police agency, the Shin Bet, is to face a criminal investigation over allegations of torture.

It will be the first probe of the Shin Bet since Israel’s supreme court issued a landmark ruling nearly two decades ago prohibiting, except in extraordinary circumstances, the use of what it termed “special methods” of interrogation.

Before the ruling, physical abuse of Palestinians had been routine and resulted in several deaths in custody.

According to human rights groups, however, the supreme court ban has had a limited impact. The Shin Bet, formally known as the …

Vulnerability and Prowess: Mike Pompeo Meets the BBC

In this age of reality television (or televised unreality), the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was not going to miss out.  Unlike other chief spies who operate in habitual darkness and moving shadows, Mike Pompeo was very keen to get his voice and opinion across on the British Broadcasting Service.

Pompeo specialises in seeing enemies everywhere, and to be fair, he is remunerated to do so.  But he has taken his brief all too enthusiastically, seeing challenges to US hegemony at every corner, contenders for supreme power behind many an action.  This, in one respect, is a re-enforcing phenomenon: …

A Confession (of sorts) and a Radical’s Lament

Radical: Derived from the Latin radix, which literally means the root or base. In political terms it means penetrating beyond conventional explanations and getting at the root cause of a problem.

In her book Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag puzzled over people who still express surprise about all the suffering in the world at human hands. She wrote, “No one after a certain age has the right to this kind of innocence, of superficiality, to this degree of ignorance, or amnesia.” I would amend Sontag’s indictment to include people who’ve been afforded the luxury of time, resources and access to …

The State of Our Union: A House Divided, Enslaved and Mired in the Mistakes of the Past

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

— Abraham Lincoln, June 16, 1858, at Springfield, Illinois.

History has a funny way of circling back on itself.

The facts, figures, faces and technology may change from era to era, but the dangers remain the same.

This year is no different, whatever the politicians …