The myth of capitalism and privatization

Growing up in The Bronx, the myth of capitalism and privatization was drummed into me. Publicly managed and controlled business operations were wasteful and, often, corrupt. It was the profit motive that made the private businesses efficient and profitable. If you want the job done right, you privatize. Continue reading

CIA document: U.S. split the Iraqi Kurds by backing right-wing faction

The Central Intelligence Agency was no less two-faced in 1975 than it is 40 years later in being on more than one side in Middle East strife brought about largely as a result of CIA subterfuge. Today, the U.S. military is coordinating its attacks on Islamic State forces in Iraq with Iranian ground forces in the country, who are defending the Shi’a Iraqis and Kurds, while, at the same time, the U.S. is providing logistical and intelligence assistance to a Saudi-led coalition, which includes Islamic State and Al Qaeda forces, fighting against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who seized control of the country from a U.S. puppet regime whose president fled to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Arabs in a ‘decisive’ mood

Arab League summits used to be dismissed as little more than talking shops, mere forums for Arab leaders to stay in touch. Final communiqués were usually devoid of actionable steps to resolve issues. However, those criticisms are old news as the mood and outcome of the 26th summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh strongly indicates. Continue reading

Keep licking the icing and you’ll never eat the cake

Americans love to be diverted. Continue reading

Postcard from the end of America: Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Invited to give a reading at Dickinson College, I came to Carlisle, a town of 19,000 people 30 miles from Harrisburg. Arriving by train, I passed Amish country and saw plows being pulled by horses. On extremely long clotheslines, single-colored clothes fluttered in the wintry wind. Rising high and lithographed against the pale sky, they resembled subdued prayer flags. A white bearded man under a straw hat waved. Lancaster, Elizabethtown, Middletown. Had I sat on the opposite side, I would have been browbeaten by the looming nuclear reactors of Three Miles Island. Continue reading

The long Ides of March of Aldo Moro

“Beware the Ides of March”—or even the day after. On the morning of 16 March 1978 in Rome’s central via Fani, the Red Brigades (BR) kidnapped Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, head of the Christian Democratic Party (DC), killing five agents of his entourage. The fifty-five days of his detention in a secret “people’s prison” and eventual assassination by his captors on 9 May 1978 marked the climax of over thirty years of internal and external opposition to post-fascist Italy’s chartering its own political and economic course by “parallel convergences.” It is worth revisiting this long and twisted story as an early template for the bad faith with which the US Empire deals with the world today. It is not a story for conspiracy-phobes. Continue reading

The Kent State massacre 45 years later: Where is justice?

This article is dedicated to those who were killed and injured at Kent State and Jackson State in May 1970. Continue reading

Lithuanians under police state attack and the world under Washington’s attack

According to news reports and to this appeal by Kristoferis Voishka the pro-American government installed in Lithuania is persecuting Lithuanians who dissent from the anti-Russian propaganda that is driving Washington’s NATO puppets to war with Russia. Continue reading

36 years of Three Mile Island’s lethal lies . . . and still counting

The lies that killed people at Three Mile Island 36 years ago on March 28, 1979 are still being told at Chernobyl, Fukushima, Diablo Canyon, Davis-Besse . . . and at TMI itself. Continue reading

An American neo-Orientalist in Tehran

Sadly, Orientalism has not yet run its course. On the contrary, it has assumed different forms and has gained momentum in recent years. Continue reading

A conversation with CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou

John Kiriakou is widely known as the former CIA case officer who, in an interview with ABC News in late 2007, confirmed that the CIA had tortured prisoner Abu Zubaydah, an alleged member of al Qaeda, on the waterboard. Continue reading

How the US government and US military became Murder, Inc.

Andrew Cockburn has written a must-read book. The title is Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins. The title could just as well be: How the US Government and US Military Became Murder, Inc. Continue reading

The only truly compliant, submissive citizen in a police state is a dead one

Americans as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, Tasered and held at gunpoint for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike—i.e., not being compliant enough. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Uncle Tom celebrities

Does the entertainment industry have an Uncle Tom clause for black performers? That certainly seems to be the case, with endless jaw dropping comments uttered by famous black people recently. One may call himself “new black,” another doesn’t mind being called “nigger,” and another says the end of racism depends upon black people showing love to white people. Continue reading

Andreas Lubitz: The Adam Lanza of air travel

Who knows what lurks beneath a smile, an answer to an inquiry about one’s day, or the voice of a pilot who might announce, “We’re at cruising altitude. You can unbuckle your seatbelt and move around the cabin”? Continue reading

New age of water wars portends ‘bleak future’

Behind the escalating violence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, as well as the epidemic of civil unrest across the wider region, is a growing shortage of water. Continue reading

California water wars: Another form of asset stripping?

Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights. Continue reading

Something in the USA has to work right: A non-profit hospital in Virginia actually does

It is easy to severely criticize the state of many things in the United States of America: the US president and Congress bowing to the demands of the national security community to exempt their $1 trillion (US) spending from sequestration mandates. The demise of Detroit, Michigan, and another round of water shut-offs scheduled for April that will affect nearly 100,000 residents (the Detroit bankruptcy case judge’s ruled that residents have no inherent right to clean water). The geopolitical brinkmanship with Russia and China that, if pushed too far, could lead to World War III. The odious double standards applied to “leakers” of classified military and intelligence information js repulsive: former US Army general and CIA director David Petraeus gets no jail time for passing off military secrets to his lover Paula Broadwell, yet former CIA analyst John Kiriakou gets two years in federal prison. Continue reading

Netanyahu’s ‘us or them’ is nothing but trouble

For a long time now, American political consultants have benefited from a lucrative sideline, selling their alleged expertise to politicians in Israel. (It was Democratic strategist James Carville who, after working on a campaign for former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, joked that the key to victory in Israel was who won “that all-important Jewish vote.”) Continue reading

Netanyahu the mythbuster: ‘Special relationship’ no more

Imagine if an American presidential candidate made a plea to his supporters on election day with the following statement: “The Republican administration is in danger. Black voters are going en masse to the polls. Liberal NGOs are bringing them on buses.” Continue reading

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

Vote, or else!

Mark Twain said, “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” 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

Hillary or Bush III?

There are thousands of US citizens who could do a better job as president than either one of these two, but they can never have a chance because of not being related to previous presidents, or other types of politicians or public figures giving them recognition, connections and inside information. Continue reading