On no subject is the bipartisan consensus more unshakable than on the Russian threat.
In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by “routinely elevating the problematic to the dire… focused on problems, or monsters, that essentially didn’t exist.” And with regard to the American foreign policy establishment’s current twin obsessions, Russia and China, Mueller, ever the iconoclast, counsels complacency. Continue reading
With nothing to hold governments or the UN accountable, protection remains elusive when juxtaposed against the reassurance of neoliberal profit.
For the second consecutive year, Latin America has been established to be the most dangerous region for environmental activists. According to a recent annual report by Global Witness titled “Last Life on Defence”, 227 environmental activists and indigenous leaders were killed in 2020, with three out of every four killings occurring in Latin America. Continue reading
Australia has joined the U.S. and UK games to contain China, leaving India unclear in the Quad and isolated in Asia. Tied to the waning imperial power of the U.S., India is gradually losing strategic autonomy.
The recent Quad leaders meeting in the White House on September 24 appears to have shifted focus away from its original framing as a security dialogue between four countries, the United States, India, Japan and Australia. Instead, the United States seems to be moving much closer to Australia as a strategic partner and providing it with nuclear submarines. Continue reading
You think you’ve got rights? Think again. Continue reading
When Bobby Kennedy went after organized crime in the early 1960s, one of the things he learned was that the Mafia had a series of rituals new members went through to declare their loyalty and promise they’d never turn away from their new benefactors. Once in, they’d be showered with money and protection, but they could never leave and even faced serious problems if they betrayed the syndicate. Continue reading
At least two members of the dominant Trump faction on the Supreme Court are worthy of being investigated for their possible roles in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Justice Samuel Alito was considered the “go-to” member of the court by one-time Donald Trump election challenge attorney Sidney Powell. Powell, whose veracity on a number of issues has been shown to be severely lacking, may have acted out of character by revealing the game plan behind Trump’s encouragement of his supporters halting the congressional certification of the Electoral College count on January 6. Continue reading
On September 25, 2021, Afghanistan’s Economy Minister Qari Din Mohammad Hanif said that his government does not want “help and cooperation from the world like the previous government. The old system was supported by the international community for 20 years but still failed.” It is fair to say that Hanif has no experience in running a complex economy, since he has spent most of his career doing political and diplomatic work for the Taliban (both in Afghanistan and in Qatar). However, during the first Taliban government from 1996 to 2001, Hanif was the planning minister and in that position, dealt with economic affairs. Continue reading
Thanks to the work of the congressional committee investigating Jan. 6 and journalists connected with the Washington Post and other outlets, we now know that an actual coup was underway before and on Jan. 6 when the Capitol came under siege from right-wing mobs. The conspiracy went far deeper than just the thugs and gangs that laid siege to Washington, D.C., that day, however. Continue reading
Bannon and the Guo scammers and a host of know-nothing, bigoted Republican politicians and pundits are fueling public acceptance of Biden’s warmongering towards China.
Steve Bannon, a political guru for Donald Trump’s Republican political base, is hooked up with a Chinese billionaire whom China wants the U.S. to extradite over corruption charges. It may seem a strange pairing for Bannon given his rabid anti-China views. A few years back, Bannon was predicting the U.S. would be soon at war with China. Continue reading
Zakaria Zubeidi is one of six Palestinian prisoners who, on September 6, tunneled their way out of Gilboa, a notorious, high-security Israeli prison. Zubeidi was recaptured a few days later. The large bruises on Zubeidi’s face told a harrowing story, that of a daring escape and of a violent arrest. However, the story does not begin, nor end, there. Continue reading
The fallout over the AUKUS deal, as we are now seeing, has been a severe rift in relations between two historic allies, the U.S. and France. And the collateral damage may also include NATO.
Only weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden courageously ended the war in Afghanistan—in the face of bitter opposition from the media and Congress—came the announcement of the formation of AUKUS, a new trilateral security alliance between the U.S., the UK and Australia. Continue reading
President Biden addressed the UN General on September 21 with a warning that the climate crisis is fast approaching a “point of no return,” and a promise that the United States would rally the world to action. “We will lead not just with the example of our power but, God willing, with the power of our example,” he said. Continue reading
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gambled his Liberal Party government’s political future by calling a snap election and, defying many polls, came out ahead of his main rival, the increasingly Trump-like Conservative Party. Following the September 20 national election, Trudeau will continue to govern with a 157-seat minority government in Parliament, having failed to achieve the 170-seats required to form a majority government. The Conservatives failed in their attempt to oust Trudeau and the Liberals, winning only 119 seats. As was the case before the snap election, Trudeau’s Liberals will be required to seek the support of either the third-place finisher, the Bloc Quebecois, and/or the fourth-place New Democratic Party (NDP). Continue reading
On September 15, 2021, the heads of government of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced the formation of AUKUS, “a new enhanced trilateral security partnership” between these three countries. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined U.S. President Joe Biden to “preserve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” as Johnson put it. Continue reading
Trump didn’t just tie his successor’s hands. He handcuffed them to the throttle of a runaway train.
The far right would like to impeach Joe Biden, kick him out of the White House, perhaps even throw him in jail. “Lock him up” has been a predictable chant at Trump rallies going back to before the 2020 election. Even Republicans in Congress have joined this chorus. Continue reading
Washington considers that Iran is and always will be hostile to the U.S. and there is no indication whatever of desire to initiate discussions
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, Najat Rochdi, is concerned about the crisis in the country and reports that “Extreme poverty rose threefold during the past two years. More and more Lebanese households are unable to afford basic services like food, health, electricity, water, internet, and child education.” One development, mentioned in the media on September 16, was that Iran had provided desperately-needed fuel oil to that stricken country. Continue reading
As a longtime Hawaii resident, I have always wondered how the former president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, was so ineffective when it came to foreign policy matters. His efforts to right the wrong of the unauthorized armed invasion and imprisonment of the last sovereign monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen Liliʻuokalani, in 1893 fell woefully short. Corporate and military forces influenced Congress to undermine Cleveland and, ultimately, successfully orchestrate the overthrow of the sovereign nation of Hawaii. Continue reading
With alarming frequency, Trumpists, including Qanon cultists and white nationalists, are running for political office across the United States at the local level, a strategy known as entryism. Entryists have no desire to improve government or public education. They seek office only to subvert good governance and civic responsibility. Continue reading
The Trump administration and, specifically, Donald Trump’s trade negotiator, the virulent anti-China Peter Navarro, relied initially on advice for the COVID-19 virus on Dr. Steven Hatfill, the individual named by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft as a “person of interest” in the post-September 11, 2001 anthrax attacks on political figures and the media. Continue reading
Memories of the last 20 years are rarely focused on increased state violence and repression in the post-9/11 world. The damage has largely been forgotten.
The constant demand that we “Never forget!” the events of September 11, 2001, is rather laughable. Forgetting is difficult after enduring 20 years of war propaganda. News stories about that day are plentiful albeit useless, that is to say they add nothing to our understanding of why the U.S. was attacked and depend upon sentiment, jingoism, and tried and true claims of exceptionalism to maintain fear, hatred, and support for war. Continue reading
Chile’s September 11, in 1973, brought a brutal end to Salvador Allende’s socialist rule. In its wake, violence permeated Chilean society, through the U.S.-backed military coup which was to provide gruesome inspiration for the later regional systematic surveillance and elimination of socialists and communists known as Operation Condor, in which several Latin American countries were involved. Continue reading
On May 26, 2021, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to produce “analysis of the origins of COVID-19” within 90 days. This move followed weeks of speculation surrounding the claim that the virus had escaped from a Chinese laboratory, usually identified as the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Having rightly rejected this claim for more than a year as a Trumpian conspiracy theory, centrist and liberal commentators in the West have breathed new life into the “lab leak” hypothesis, taking cues from allegations and claims made by U.S. state leaders and corporate media. Meanwhile, Facebook and other social media giants reversed their censorship of lab-leak disinformation almost overnight, impelled by a tawdry mix of insinuations from unnamed U.S. intelligence sources and vague allegations of impropriety relating to the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the pandemic earlier this year. Continue reading
On July 9, 2021, the government of Rwanda said that it had deployed 1,000 troops to Mozambique to battle al-Shabaab fighters, who had seized the northern province of Cabo Delgado. A month later, on August 8, Rwandan troops captured the port city of Mocímboa da Praia, where just off the coast sits a massive natural gas concession held by the French energy company TotalEnergies SE and the U.S. energy company ExxonMobil. These new developments in the region led to the African Development Bank’s President M. Akinwumi Adesina announcing on August 27 that TotalEnergies SE will restart the Cabo Delgado liquefied natural gas project by the end of 2022. Continue reading
Looking back on it now, the 1990s were an age of innocence for America. The Cold War was over and our leaders promised us a “peace dividend.” There was no TSA to make us take off our shoes at airports (how many bombs have they found in those billions of shoes?). The government could not tap a U.S. phone or read private emails without a warrant from a judge. And the national debt was only $5 trillion—compared with over $28 trillion today. Continue reading
In 1987, British historian Paul Kennedy (1945- ) wrote a geopolitical book about how great powers rise and fall, in which he studied how economic and military factors can accompany or cause previously dominant nations to lose their great power status. His main conclusion is that sooner or later a great hegemonic power will become overextended and its economy will struggle to keep its big military machine going. Indeed, an empire can increase its resources by launching wars abroad, at least for a while. However, sooner or later, a situation of permanent war and the military occupation of foreign lands result in more costs than benefits. Continue reading
The former president’s attempted coup is not stopping. He still refuses to concede and continues to rile up supporters with his bogus claim that the 2020 election was stolen. Tens of millions of Americans believe him. Continue reading
In May last year, the giant mining company Rio Tinto made headline news after blasting the Aboriginal sacred site Jukaan Gorge in Pilbara, in its expansion of its iron ore mine. The Australian government’s official consent to the destruction was given to Rio Tinto in 2013 and despite historical evidence being uncovered a year later, including artefacts and links to ancestral heritage, no renegotiation was made, because the Aboriginal Heritage Act does not allow for reconsideration. Continue reading
This year’s Labor Day found millions of Americans—those who labor in offices—almost bubbling about the prospects for an epic transformation of their workspaces. Within Corporate America, working remotely may soon become a permanent standard operating practice. Continue reading
With the U.S. imposing technology sanctions on China, the world’s electronics industry is facing turbulent times. After the sanctions, Huawei has slipped from its number one slot as a mobile phone supplier—which the company held during the second quarter of 2020—to number seven currently. Commenting on this slide, Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping has said that the company’s battle is for survival right now. According to Reuters, Guo in a note circulated internally maintained that Huawei “will not give up and plans to eventually return to the industry’s ‘throne.’” On that count, Huawei is not only surviving but doing quite well. It is still the world leader in the telecom equipment market with a hefty 31 percent revenue share, which is twice that of its nearest competitors Nokia and Ericsson, and profits of nearly $50 billion in the first six months of 2021. But will Huawei be able to retain its market position without China catching up with the latest developments in chip manufacturing and design technologies? Continue reading
Texas has now become a real-life version of the dystopian Republic of Gilead, the christofascist dictatorship depicted in Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and in the eponymous Netflix series. On the heels of Texas restricting suffrage to Hispanics, African-Americans, disabled, and others by instituting a voting law that unfairly targets minorities and permits violent neo-Nazi thugs to harass voters, it has now instituted a Gestapo-like informant system that rewards private citizens for suing women and others believed to be involved in having and enabling abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Many women are not even aware they are pregnant at four to six weeks. Continue reading
What happens economically when wealth tilts to the top? Most of us see immoral ugliness wherever wealth concentrates. Much more lurks that we need to see. Continue reading
On February 18, 2010, Anadarko Moçambique—a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum (bought by Occidental Petroleum in 2019)—discovered a massive natural gas field in the Rovuma Basin off the coast of northern Mozambique. Over the next few years, some of the world’s largest energy corporations flocked to the Cabo Delgado province, where the basin is located. These included corporations like France’s TotalEnergies SE (which bought Anadarko’s project), the United States’ ExxonMobil, and Italy’s ENI, which collaborated with the China National Petroleum Corporation for “oil and gas exploration and production.” Continue reading