Category Archives: Commentary

Is violence the answer or not?

U.S. leaders should make up their minds

As I write this on the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the news is filled with its violent repercussions across the Middle East and the world. The latest atrocity is a multiple suicide bombing at 2 mosques in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, that have killed at least 137 people. Two days ago 24 people, mostly foreign tourists, were killed in Tunis. Continue reading

Netanyahu’s doublespeak

Such sheer desperation! They talk about dictators hanging on to their seats for dear life, but Benjamin Netanyahu takes the biscuit. He couldn’t bear the thought of his power dissipating so at the nth-minute he resorted to poking President Obama in the eye by announcing R.I.P. to a Palestinian state and pledging to expand Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem. In other words, all these years taken up with negotiating peace were an utter waste of time, bringing nothing but false hope. He’s a conman. Continue reading

America’s morality police

In Saudi Arabia, the Mutaween are 3,500 public officials and thousands of volunteers who work for the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They are responsible for enforcing strict religious laws. Among the many laws are those that require all women to wear niqabs and black gowns when in public. Continue reading

Apache helicopter & Hellfire missile blues

Investigative reporter Chris Woods wrote that since August of last year there have been more than 2,900 missile strikes by manned and unmanned aircraft . . . mostly perpetrated by our country. Continue reading

Regime change: US’s failing weapon of international deception

For years, Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried,” has served as Americans’ last word in any political discussion which requires validation of the US government, no matter how corrupt or flawed in its behavior, as the best in the planet, comparatively or by default. Never mind the meaning that Mr. Churchill had intended back in 1947, or how the international political panorama has changed during the past seven decades. Continue reading

Israelis stuck in a fortress mentality

The polls in the run-up to Israel’s recent elections got it dramatically wrong, as did every exit poll that placed Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party neck-and-neck with the left-leaning Zionist Union headed by Isaac Herzog. In the event, much to everyone’s surprise—not least that of Herzog who only discovered his fate when he was woken up in the early morning—Likud was ahead by six seats. Such a great disparity between polling results and the outcome that thrust Netanyahu into a fourth prime ministerial term seems to indicate that whereas a majority of Israelis genuinely seek change, their fears and insecurities inevitably win the day. Continue reading

The wolf is guarding the hen house: The government’s war on cyberterrorism

Nothing you write, say, text, tweet or share via phone or computer is private anymore. As constitutional law professor Garrett Epps points out, “Big Brother is watching. . . . Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never know. Since 9/11, our national life has changed forever. Surveillance is the new normal.” Continue reading

Russia under attack

While Washington works assiduously to undermine the Minsk agreement that German chancellor Merkel and French president Hollande achieved in order to halt the military conflict in Ukraine, Washington has sent Victoria Nuland to Armenia to organize a “color revolution” or coup there, has sent Richard Miles as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to do the same there, and has sent Pamela Spratlen as ambassador to Uzbekistan to purchase that government’s allegiance away from Russia. The result would be to break up the Collective Security Treaty Organization and present Russia and China with destabilization where they can least afford it. Continue reading

TSA clears known felon for Pre-Check

Ha ha ha ha! Don’t you just love it when someone—or in this case something—gets hoisted on its own petard? Not that it matters, of course; rarely does. People and organizations whose stupidity, hypocrisy, and incompetence are laid bare for all to see rarely change their ways. On the contrary, they double down. Continue reading

Lies and crimes of empire: From the Middle East to Europe

Washington and its NATO allies lied about Iraq; they lied about Libya; they are lying about Ukraine; and they are lying about Syria. Continue reading

The Jewish Left is not the solution; it is the heart of the problem

I have never met Jeff Halper. What I know about him is that he is an American Jew who settled on Palestinian land but opposes Israeli house demolition. Halper appears to be a participant in the Zionist project while at the same time opposing the measures that have been implemented to sustain that plunderous project. Continue reading

Marijuana: Legalize—don’t advertise

The War on Drugs has proven to be a monstrous mistake resulting in the waste of a trillion dollars and the shameful criminal conviction and incarceration of thousands of Americans. While the end to drug prohibition may not be entirely possible, the more limited movement to decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana is gaining momentum. Those who support ending drug prohibition, but continue to believe drug use is harmful, have the responsibility to find ways to avoid the advertising and promotion of legalized marijuana. Continue reading

Equal treatment under the law

Once again, I feel obligated to quote the president of the United States, “We are a nation of laws and we live by the rule of law.” Continue reading

Crosscurrents

By the time I leave Kentucky’s federal prison center, where I’m an inmate with a 3-month sentence, the world’s 12th-largest city may be without water. Estimates put the water reserve of Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people, at sixty days. Sporadic outages have already begun, the wealthy are pooling money to receive water in tankers, and government officials are heard discussing weekly five-day shutoffs of the water supply, and the possibility of warning residents to flee. Continue reading

Learning about TSA Pre-Check the hard way

Another passenger learns about the scam of Pre-Check the hard way. Continue reading

‘Islamic State’ as a Western phenomenon? Reimagining the IS debate

No matter how one attempts to wrangle with the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) rise in Iraq and Syria, desperately seeking any political or other context that would validate the movement as an explainable historical circumstance, things refuse to add up. Continue reading

U.S. opens up to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Syria, and Iran

The appointment of Robert Malley as White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region is not considered a sufficient indicator that there will be any radical change in U.S. strategy, despite the campaign launched against the U.S. by the Zionists due to its openness to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria and Iran. Continue reading

Too true to tell

On March 6, I wrote an article in which I referred to the sinking of the USS Liberty. This attack on an American ship, was conducted by the Israeli military in 1967 during the Six Day War. Continue reading

How DNA is turning us into a nation of suspects

Every dystopian sci-fi film we’ve ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science, technology and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful. Continue reading

The fault, dear Brutus . . .

Today commemorates the 12th anniversary of the most heinous act committed in recent history by my country’s government. Continue reading

Possibility of escape

It was a little over two weeks ago that Marlo entered Atwood Hall, here in Lexington federal prison. Nearly all the women here are nonviolent offenders. When I first saw Marlo, her eyes seemed glued to the tiled floors as she shuffled along hallways. I guessed her age to be 25 or so. A few days later, she came to a choir rehearsal. She was still shy, but she looked up and offered a quiet smile when she joined the soprano section. The next time our choir gathered, Marlo raised her hand before we ended our rehearsal. “I got something to say,” she said, as she stood. “When I first came here, I can tell all of you now, I was terrified. Just plain terrified. I have 70 months, and I felt so scared.” The intake process for this, her introduction to the prison system, had badly frightened her, but before sundown that same day, a second intake process had occurred, with several inmates finding her, reassuring her, and getting her beyond that first panic. Continue reading

Harper’s Robin Hood fantasy

Fans of both musicals and Stephen Harper will find pleasure in Ed Mirvish’s “The Heart Of Robin Hood,” where the doughty defender of the poor goes after the nasty imperialist interlopers of the legitimate king. Continue reading

If Obamacare critics win high court case, effects will be wildly disparate

Kentucky residents would be unaffected, Tennesseans devastated

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, nowhere will the effect be more stark than along the 400-mile border between two states my family has called home, Tennessee and Kentucky. Continue reading

Secret history of my geography teacher, also cofounder of Hamas

This is not my geography teacher, or, more accurately it is not at all how I remember him. A series of APA images published by the British Daily Mail and other newspapers showed Hamad al-Hasanat lying dead in a mosque, surrounded by a group of Hamas fighters. On top of his lifeless body, as worshipers came to offer a final prayer before burial, rested an assault rifle. Continue reading

The realpolitik of revolution

What will it take to end this ghastly cycle of violence and bring lasting peace, not just end this current war but create a peaceful society in which humanity lives cooperatively and harmoniously? The socialist answer is we must overthrow capitalism, a system that inevitably generates conflict and inequality. And overthrowing it will require a revolution. Continue reading

Railways to hell: reviewing America’s ‘Orient Express’

Since “American Sniper” has become one of the “top grossing films of all time”, garnering a few Academy Award nominations and at least one, if trivial, award, there have been even more reviews written about this insidious and insipid strip of celluloid. Unsurprisingly all of them contain the same swill. I had to return to my own review just to see if I had perhaps omitted anything essential or if anyone might have thought in an at least similar direction. Continue reading

The pointless banning of the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’

Last night I could not sleep properly. I was scared of fire, screaming and pain. In the morning when I came out of my half-sleep, I realized the effect of watching ‘India’s Daughter’ by Leslee Udwin. It is disturbing. I don’t know how long the narrative of the documentary will haunt me. This was needed. Continue reading

Netanyahu speaks, money talks

Everything you need to know about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress Tuesday was the presence in the visitor’s gallery of one man—Sheldon Adelson. Continue reading

Defending American lives

“Whether it’s through the use of our military, through the use of our law enforcement capacity, if you harm Americans, it is the sworn duty of every person in the executive branch to find you and hold you accountable. It doesn’t matter where you are, we’ll find you, we’ll hunt you down, and we’ll hold you accountable.” Continue reading

Private police: Mercenaries for the American police state

It’s one thing to know and exercise your rights when a police officer pulls you over, but what rights do you have when a private cop—entrusted with all of the powers of a government cop but not held to the same legal standards—pulls you over and subjects you to a stop-and-frisk or, worse, causes you to “disappear” into a Gitmo-esque detention center not unlike the one employed by Chicago police at Homan Square? Continue reading

War Pigs need the draft: more bodies, plus women, necessary

Oh, it’s out there. It is the US government’s Selective Service/Draft program that currently requires all males 18 years of age to willingly sign up for the opportunity to have the US government force them, under penalty of law, to work for the government in a killing and maiming capacity (military employment), or in a supporting role for those who are on the front lines doing the US government’s dirty work in faraway lands and, who knows, perhaps here in the USA. Continue reading

Brother, can you spare a Bitcoin?

During the 1930s a popular song asked, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” Well, that was their depression; we now have our own to focus on. Continue reading