Category Archives: Analysis

Sophistication of fascist coup attempt coming to light

America is just starting to discover that it came within a hair’s breadth of witnessing its Constitution upended and a fascist dictatorship declared by Donald Trump as a result of the January 6 insurrection targeting the U.S. Capitol. Indeed, it is all but certain that Trump was borrowing a page from Adolf Hitler’s playbook in ordering Brown Shirts to set fire to the Reichstag in Berlin in 1933 and blaming the arson attack on “Communists” as a reason to suspend the democratic guarantees contained in the Weimar Constitution. According to those few witnesses to Trump’s expletive-laden rants in the Oval Office, the would-be dictator continues to blame the non-existent “antifa” for the attack on the Capitol. Bogus “antifa” attackers in 2021 are as much a propaganda device for Trump as fake “Communists” were for Hitler in 1933. Continue reading

Must our billionaires remain politically immortal?

The heirs of the just-passed Sheldon Adelson, the biggest campaign donor of our time, could be poisoning our democracy for generations to come.

We haven’t seen the last of billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Or, to put the matter a bit more exactly, we haven’t seen the last of Sheldon Adelson’s fortune. Continue reading

Trump impeached again, but he’s not the only threat to democracy

A week ago, on Jan. 6, Donald J. Trump secured his place in history by becoming the only president of the United States to ever incite the violent overthrow of the government. His legacy in now further cemented by his becoming the first president to ever be impeached twice. The House of Representative has voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump, formally branding him “a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution.” Ten Republicans broke with their party and joined the Democrats in condemning the White House occupant. Continue reading

A tale of two mobs

How the GOP abandoned democracy and became an accomplice to insurrection, and what must be done now.

In 1923, Hitler and the Nazis stormed a beer hall in Munich, Germany, from whence they planned to overthrow German democracy. The putsch failed ignominiously, and Hitler was briefly jailed. Continue reading

Our post-Trump democratic prospects: What the Ming Dynasty can tell us

‘Good government’ has always rested on equitable distributions of wealth and power.

How best to understand the assault on the Capitol this week? Might some historical perspective help us better comprehend how endangered our democracy has become? Could that perspective point us to a more promising post-Trump path? Continue reading

Pentagon’s sinister role in Trump’s coup bid

The extraordinary breach of security at the US congressional building wasn’t just a “failure of planning” which allowed thousands of Trump supporters to trash the seat of government and to interrupt the electoral certification of Joe Biden as the next president. It was a coup attempt. Continue reading

The return of the “Know Nothing Party”

Founded in 1844, the American “Know Nothing Party,” officially known as the Native American Party—not to be confused with the indigenous native Americans—rallied around the causes of anti-immigration, xenophobia, and anti-Catholicism. Its name derived from the party’s secretive membership list and political operations. When non-members of the party queried a member about specific details of the organization, they were to reply, “I know nothing.” Continue reading

Accountability for the attempted coup

Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress, in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s legacy: Four chaotic years in the White House and a tumultuous departure

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the ugly face of fascism in action was seen in Washington D.C., when an unruly pro-Trump mob, incited and inflamed by an angry speech by outgoing President Donald Trump, stormed and rampaged through the U.S. Capitol, in an obvious attempted coup. This marked the lowest point in Mr. Trump’s chaotic presidency, a presidency ending with an attempt to stoke the fires of insurrection in the vain hope of remaining in power. Continue reading

Terrorism: A menace from the right-wing and allied fundamentalists

On early Christmas morning a vehicle bomb exploded in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The target was the AT&T metropolitan area network hub “Batman” building, a 33-story structure—the tallest building in Tennessee—which resembles the fictional cape crusader’s cowl. The bomber turned out to be a 63-year-old white man. Anthony Quinn Warren, who blew himself up in the terrorist attack, apparently subscribed to the babble from the pro-Donald Trump “Qanon” group of far-right conspiracy advocates who believe that Fifth Generation (5G) wireless communications networks are linked to both the COVID pandemic and electronic surveillance. Continue reading

Why senators must reject Avril Haines for intelligence

Even before President-Elect Joe Biden sets foot in the White House, the Senate Intelligence Committee may start hearings on his nomination of Avril Haines as director of national intelligence. Continue reading

Why progressives must not give Joe Biden a political honeymoon

Silence or merely faint dissent would enable the third Democratic president in four decades to again sacrifice progressive possibilities on the altar of corporate power.

The third time would not be a charm. Continue reading

No, Joe, don’t roll out the red carpet for torture enablers

We need political leaders and intelligence community officials who acknowledge that torture is illegal under international law, inhumane, and ineffective.

It was painful enough to live through the U.S. invasion of Iraq that caused untold devastation and human misery for no justifiable reason. Continue reading

America’s destructive denialisms

The refusal of tens of millions of Americans to recognize the election results is part of a much larger denialism—of COVID-19, of climate change, and U.S. decline.

The presidential election wasn’t close. Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, which translates to a margin of 4.5 percent. His Electoral College victory was larger than either of George W. Bush’s. Continue reading

The great divider: COVID-19 reflects global racism, not equality

The notion that the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘the great equalizer’ should be dead and buried by now. If anything, the lethal disease is another terrible reminder of the deep divisions and inequalities in our societies. That said, the treatment of the disease should not be a repeat of the same shameful scenario. Continue reading

Pompeo’s ugly Christian Dominionist dogma infects global relations

The most tarnished legacy of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be his introduction to U.S. foreign policy the racist dogma of the Christian Reconstructionist/Dominionist Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which, along with its sister Presbyterian denominations – the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARPC) and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) – are rife with warnings of a “yellow peril” endangering Western Christian “civilization.” Continue reading

Big Brother in disguise: The rise of a new, technological world order

It had the potential for disaster. Continue reading

When the people rose: How the Intifada changed the political discourse around Palestine

December 8 came and went as if it was an ordinary day. For Palestinian political groups, it was another anniversary to be commemorated, however hastily. It was on this day, thirty-three years ago, that the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising) broke out, and there was nothing ordinary about this historic event. Continue reading

Will Biden’s America stop creating terrorists?

Joe Biden will take command of the White House at a time when the American public is more concerned about battling coronavirus than fighting overseas wars. But America’s wars rage on regardless, and the militarized counterterrorism policy Biden has supported in the past—based on airstrikes, special operations and the use of proxy forces—is precisely what keeps these conflicts raging. Continue reading

Trustbusters target Facebook, but anti-monopoly effort shores up capitalism

Coming on the heels of a Justice Department lawsuit against Google filed in October, social networking giant Facebook is now in the crosshairs of the trustbusters at the Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of more than 48 state and territorial governments. Anti-monopoly momentum is picking up as regulators, long regarded as asleep at the wheel, are escalating legal action against companies that have virtually eliminated competition in the digital economy. Continue reading

From TMAP to Warp Speed: How Big Pharma algorithms fast-track unapproved drugs and vaccines

Five of the pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines through the USA’s Operation Warp Speed have paid out a total of nearly $6 billion to settle lawsuits charging them with fraud related to “off-label” marketing of atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants that were mandated through the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), which evolved into President George W. Bush’s federal “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.” AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceutical, and Pfizer, which are currently funded with over $7 billion from Operation Warp Speed, financed the nationwide rollout of fraudulent TMAP algorithms in order to bilk Medicaid programs and other public revenues to pay for drugs like Risperdal, Seroquel, Geodon, Paxil, and Wellbutrin, causing serious side-effects, including death. Continue reading

Right-wing generals calling for a military coup: A long history

History books record that there were a mere handful of cases in which generals plotted the overthrow of a far-right regime to institute moderate or leftist government. In the vast majority of cases, however, generals’ putsches are fascist affairs having dire consequences for the rule of law and human rights. Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and Donald Trump national security adviser, circulated an on-line petition calling for Trump to suspend the U.S. Constitution, declare martial law, and have the Pentagon oversee a “re-vote” of the presidential election, one that would assuredly have Trump “win” over the current President-elect, former Vice President Joe Biden. Continue reading

With rent freezes about to expire, Mnuchin lobbies for more Wall Street bailouts

As millions of Americans stand on the brink of economic annihilation, the money keeps flowing to Wall Street thanks to carefully contrived mechanisms to maintain a dying financial system afloat.

Many prophetic scenes depicted in a series of Mayan codices written in the early days of the Spanish colony, and translated and compiled in El Libro de los Libros del Chilam Balam, describe a world foreign to its original authors. But, one which was barreling down on them and their civilization even as the Mayan high priests recorded their visions for each stop on their cyclical calendar system. Continue reading

Why Jeh Johnson would be a better defense secretary than Michèle Flournoy

President-elect Biden’s choice for secretary of defense has turned out to be one of the most controversial and difficult of his cabinet appointments. The early front-runner, Michèle Flournoy, was originally seen as a shoo-in and was touted as a great breakthrough for women, but her hawkish views have provoked serious concerns. Biden now appears to be also considering two Black Americans promoted by the Congressional Black Caucus: Jeh Johnson and retired General Lloyd Austin. Continue reading

Problematic mercenary firm reconstitutes: the re-arrival of Executive Outcomes is not good news

The reconstitution of Executive Outcomes (E.O.), the South Africa-based mercenary firm that was involved in civil wars in Sierra Leone, Angola, and Rwanda in the 1990s, is troubling news for not only Africa, but other nations that have seen their fair share of mercenary force destabilization. Amid an outcry over its activities in Africa and other nations, E.O. ceased operations in 1998. The cessation of the firm’s activities came after South Africa passed legislation, the “Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act,” which required mercenary firms like E.O. to have South African government authorization prior to signing contracts with foreign entities. Continue reading

Warp speed ahead: COVID-19 vaccines pave the way for a new frontier in surveillance

Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic with its veiled threat of forced vaccinations, contact tracing, and genetically encoded vaccines is propelling humanity at warp speed into a whole new frontier—a surveillance matrix—the likes of which we’ve only previously encountered in science fiction. Continue reading

The rich are cheering Wall Street’s latest records; Americans of modest means are draining 401(k)s

The nation’s woefully inadequate response to the pandemic is jeopardizing millions of retirement futures.

The all-time record highs that Wall Street has registered this week have given some Americans—the nation’s already rich—considerable cause for celebration. Continue reading

CIA partners with Google, Amazon and IBM in latest big tech procurement drive

The military industrial complex is returning to its roots as the CIA turns to big tech to maintain control and rebuild the war economy.

The vaunted “17 intelligence agencies” that comprise the U.S. intel community will be sharing a network of private-sector cloud computing service providers which includes Microsoft, Google, Oracle, IBM, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of a 15-year contract said to be worth tens of billions of dollars. Continue reading

Will the world community condemn the murder of Iran’s nuclear scientist?

Israel used all four years of Trump’s presidency to entrench its systems of occupation and apartheid. Now that Joe Biden has won the U.S. election, the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, likely by Israel with the go-ahead from the US administration, is a desperate attempt to use Trump’s last days in office to sabotage Biden’s chances of successful diplomacy with Iran. Biden, Congress and the world community can’t let that happen. Continue reading

Expansion and mass eviction: Israel ‘takes advantage’ of Trump’s remaining days in office

In a few words, a close associate of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, summed up the logic behind the ongoing frenzy to expand illegal Jewish settlements in Israel. Continue reading

Trump was no fluke: George W. Bush blazed the trail

His lies and incompetence created epic disasters that may yet sink America.

My friend and former colleague Bruce Bartlett has done a service by reminding us that after four years of the non-stop catastrophe that was the Trump administration, we should not lull ourselves with the illusion that the 45th president was some aberration that fell out of the sky. Continue reading

‘Total reset’ is wishful thinking: The daunting task of reordering US foreign policy

A new term has imposed itself on the conversation regarding the impending presidency of US President-elect Joe Biden: “The Total Reset”. Many headlines have already promised that the Biden presidency is ready to ‘reset’ US foreign policy across the globe, as if the matter is dependent solely on an American desire and decision. Continue reading