Does the First Amendment Restrain Big Tech?

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he included in it a list of the colonists’ grievances with the British government. Notably absent were any complaints that the British government infringed upon the freedom of speech. In those days, public speech was as acerbic as it is today. If words were aimed at Parliament, … Continue reading “Does the First Amendment Restrain Big Tech?”

Round Up the Usual Suspects; Don’t Forget Putin

Interviewed by Mrs. Clinton Monday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi eagerly rose to the bait when Clinton spoke of “her concerns that the outgoing commander-in-chief was compromised by the Kremlin”. Setting the stage, Clinton expressed the hope that “we’ll find out who he [Trump] is beholden to, “who pulls his strings”. Clinton added ominously: “I would love … Continue reading “Round Up the Usual Suspects; Don’t Forget Putin”

Israel Is Losing the Fight To Obscure Its Apartheid Character

For more than a decade, a handful of former Israeli politicians and US diplomats identified with what might be termed the “peace process industry” have intermittently warned that, without a two-state solution, Israel is in danger of becoming an “apartheid state”. The most notable among them include Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, two former Israeli … Continue reading “Israel Is Losing the Fight To Obscure Its Apartheid Character”

The Inconvenience of Democracy: Pre-emptive Coups

The attempt to reverse a democratic election in a classic quiet coup in America has now turned ugly and noisy. On the very same day as Joe Biden condemned the coup, he nominated Victoria Nuland as under secretary of state for political affairs: the same Victoria Nuland who clumsily revealed in a captured call that … Continue reading “The Inconvenience of Democracy: Pre-emptive Coups”

As Joe Biden Takes Over, Washington Is in Desperate Need of a Little Foreign Policy Humility

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s newly appointed National Security Adviser, began issuing orders to Russia two days before his installation. Sullivan urged Moscow to release Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader arrested on his return to Russia on Sunday. Insisted Sullivan: “The Kremlin’s attacks on Mr. Navalny are not just a violation of human rights, but … Continue reading “As Joe Biden Takes Over, Washington Is in Desperate Need of a Little Foreign Policy Humility”

Medical Apartheid in Palestine

Medical apartheid is moving at full speed in Palestine. Israel has refused an informal request from the World Health Organization (WHO) to immediately make COVID-19 vaccines available to Palestinian medical workers to avert a health disaster, citing shortages of jabs for their own citizens. The specified reason does not hold water. The Israeli government has … Continue reading “Medical Apartheid in Palestine”

By ‘Force and Fraud’: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?

In an interview with the British newspaper, The Times, in 2015, former US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, vehemently denied that exporting democracy to Iraq was the main motive behind the US invasion of that Arab country 12 years earlier. Rumsfeld further alleged that “the idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to … Continue reading “By ‘Force and Fraud’: Is This the End of the US Democracy Doctrine?”

ISIS-Africa Alarmism: Brought to You Context-Free by Defense Analysts

Long before he played various roles in the Obama administration, Robert Berschinski was described as among the “rarest of creatures.” For starters, he was an R.O.T.C. cadet at an Ivy League school – Yale – on September 11, 2001, at a time when graduates of elite universities have been conspicuously absent from the military’s ranks. … Continue reading “ISIS-Africa Alarmism: Brought to You Context-Free by Defense Analysts”

How CENTCOM Chief McKenzie Manufactured an Iran Crisis to Increase His Power

Reprinted from The Grayzone with the author’s permission. During the final two months of the Trump administration, a series of provocative U.S. military moves in the Middle East stirred fears that a war against Iran was being hatched. The atmosphere of crisis was not the result of any threat posed by Tehran, but rather the … Continue reading “How CENTCOM Chief McKenzie Manufactured an Iran Crisis to Increase His Power”

Trump Administration Commits Another War Crime in Yemen

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent his final days in office committing political terrorism, planting foreign policy landmines to hinder incoming President Joe Biden. One of his cruelest actions was to charge the Yemeni Houthis with being a terrorist organization. He cited missile attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia. That is a war crime, … Continue reading “Trump Administration Commits Another War Crime in Yemen”

Digital Surveillance and Online Disinformation in Palestine

Digital Surveillance and Online Disinformation in Palestine In January 2021, the TikTok account of Quds News Network (QNN) – a popular Palestinian outlet – was removed without any notice, in a move widely deemed as censorship. Hamzah al Shobaki, the platform’s TikTok account manager, said the account was deleted after it shared 1,200 posts related to Arab … Continue reading “Digital Surveillance and Online Disinformation in Palestine”

Will the Senate Confirm Coup Plotter Nuland?

Who is Victoria Nuland? Most Americans have never heard of her because the U.S. corporate media’s foreign policy coverage is a wasteland. Most Americans have no idea that President-elect Biden’s pick for Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs is stuck in the quicksand of 1950s U.S.-Russia Cold War politics and dreams of continued NATO … Continue reading “Will the Senate Confirm Coup Plotter Nuland?”

A Defense of the Peaceful Transfer of War-Making Power

Prussian general and military theorist Carl von Clausevitz famously said that “war is a continuation of politics by other means.” I think we can reverse this: politics is war by other means. The ultimate aim of politics (in the narrow sense of the word; there’s a more elevated philosophical sense) is what Frederic Bastiat called … Continue reading “A Defense of the Peaceful Transfer of War-Making Power”

Covid-19 Under Apartheid: How Israel Manipulates Suffering of Palestinians

Israel’s decision to exclude Palestinians from its COVID-19 vaccination campaign may have surprised many. Even by Israel’s poor humanitarian standards, denying Palestinians access to life-saving medication seems extremely callous. Amnesty International, among many organizations, condemned the Israeli government’s decision to bar Palestinians from receiving the vaccine. The rights group described the Israeli action as evidence … Continue reading “Covid-19 Under Apartheid: How Israel Manipulates Suffering of Palestinians”

Biden Needs To Embrace New Thinking on North Korea

An especially frustrating aspect of the defense and foreign policy team that Joe Biden is assembling is the pervasive view among its members that U.S. foreign policy was in splendid shape before Donald Trump became president. Given that comforting delusion, it’s not surprising that their “solution” is merely to restore the status quo ante – … Continue reading “Biden Needs To Embrace New Thinking on North Korea”

In Other News: Another Franco-American Forever War Failing in Africa – Mali Edition

This past August, a U.S. military-trained African army officer staged a coup in an impoverished country – Mali – wracked by violence that’s long been folded under the opportunist umbrella of a global war on terror. Washington subsequently feigned surprise, pretended chagrin, suspended some aid – and quietly continued to back the new regime and … Continue reading “In Other News: Another Franco-American Forever War Failing in Africa – Mali Edition”

We’re All Prisoners of War Now

Originally posted at TomDispatch. America has essentially been at war, nonstop, since the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Those “forever wars,” as they’re now commonly called, have been both truly distant from and eerily close to us, far away and yet a deeply embedded part of American life. And here, to my mind, is the … Continue reading “We’re All Prisoners of War Now”

Can William Burns Change the CIA?

From Consortium News: In nominating former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns to be CIA director, President-elect Joe Biden has chosen a highly experienced diplomat to lead a hydra-headed agency. But, if past is precedent, the highest hydras who head calcified fiefdoms at CIA can be expected to resist any real control from the top. … Continue reading “Can William Burns Change the CIA?”

Endless Interventionist Clichés: Washington’s Bipartisan War Party is Never at a Loss on Why War Is Necessary

Starting last Spring the coronavirus pandemic kept me at home, encouraging me to watch webinars. Many webinars. Washington, D.C.’s gaggle of think tanks have filled online space with seemingly endless discussions of what to do about the world. With an emphasis on do. Members of the infamous Blob, the Washington foreign policy establishment, bridle at … Continue reading “Endless Interventionist Clichés: Washington’s Bipartisan War Party is Never at a Loss on Why War Is Necessary”

The Trump Administration’s Parting Outrage Against Cuba

On January 11, in his final days before leaving office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added one parting blow to the series of bludgeons his administration has inflicted on Cuba for four years: putting the island on the list of “state sponsors of terror” that includes only Iran, North Korea and Syria. The designation drew … Continue reading “The Trump Administration’s Parting Outrage Against Cuba”

The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home

Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the … Continue reading “The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home”

The Trump Tragedy: The President Who Started No Wars Abroad Destroyed His Legacy at Home

For nearly four years the Trump ship of state sailed into storms, crashed into reefs, collided with other vessels, and scraped across sand bars. Again and again it almost went under the waves, barely righting itself and staying afloat by desperate baling by its motley crew. And through it all President Donald Trump racked up … Continue reading “The Trump Tragedy: The President Who Started No Wars Abroad Destroyed His Legacy at Home”

The Trump Tragedy: The President Who Started No Wars Abroad Destroyed His Legacy at Home

For nearly four years the Trump ship of state sailed into storms, crashed into reefs, collided with other vessels, and scraped across sand bars. Again and again it almost went under the waves, barely righting itself and staying afloat by desperate baling by its motley crew. And through it all President Donald Trump racked up … Continue reading “The Trump Tragedy: The President Who Started No Wars Abroad Destroyed His Legacy at Home”

US Hypocrisy on Cuba Continues

I’ve always been puzzled by the State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. It supposedly designates countries aiding terrorist organizations. But it includes countries that don’t support terrorism and excludes countries that do. Currently the list consists of North Korea, Syria, and Iran. Missing from the list are US allies that actually do sponsor … Continue reading “US Hypocrisy on Cuba Continues”

The [Neocon] Empire Strikes Back: Victoria Nuland, and the Kagans Who Love Her

Recently on Twitter, a someone graciously dubbed me a “prophet” after rereading my April article arguing that “American Exceptionalism Scars Both Victim and Victimizer” – and which pivoted around actual philosophical prophet, Ms. Simone Weil. This social media follower, “TheAyatollaOfRocknRolla,” is clearly a man of cinematic allusion – to 1981’s Mad Max 2: The Road … Continue reading “The [Neocon] Empire Strikes Back: Victoria Nuland, and the Kagans Who Love Her”

The US and UK Are Making Assange’s Death More Likely

There was a hope in some quarters after Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled on Monday against an application to extradite Julian Assange to the US, where he faced being locked away for the rest of his life, that she might finally be changing tack. Washington has wanted Assange permanently silenced and made an example of – … Continue reading “The US and UK Are Making Assange’s Death More Likely”

2021: Palestine’s Chance of Fighting Back

2020 will go down in history as the year that terminated the American-sponsored “peace process”. While 2021 will not reverse the monumental change in the US attitude and objectives in Palestine, Israel and the Middle East, the new year presents Palestinians with the opportunity to think outside the American box. The previous year began with … Continue reading “2021: Palestine’s Chance of Fighting Back”

Both Tortuous and Torturous

Magistrate Vanessa Bararitser walked into Westminster Magistrates Court No.1 at 10.12am this morning with the sunniest smile and most carefree disposition I have ever seen her adopt. Her shoulders appeared visibly lifted. She positively beamed at Clair Dobbin, counsel for the US government, as she invited her to put the case for the prosecution as … Continue reading “Both Tortuous and Torturous”

Vaccine Leadership or Medical Apartheid?

The media is abuzz these days with headlines such as “How Israel Became a World Leader in Vaccinating Against Covid-19.” While the U.S. has so far vaccinated only 1.3% of its population against COVID-19, Israel has already given the vaccine to over 14% of its citizens. In explaining this, the media cites Israel’s socialized medicine, … Continue reading “Vaccine Leadership or Medical Apartheid?”

Washington’s Endless Policy Bankruptcy in Syria

It took a particularly perverse and misguided mindset to watch the tragic collapse of Syria and insist that Washington intervene. One of the most important benefits of living in a nation that is stable politically (well, sort of these days!) and prosperous economically is to escape precisely that sort of devastating collapse. The U.S. government’s … Continue reading “Washington’s Endless Policy Bankruptcy in Syria”

New York Times Still Stoking Alarm At ‘Russian Hacking’

Forget what Vice President Pence has suggested he might do this week regarding counting the votes for president and forget President Trump’s ominous military buildup near Iran, the Sunday New York Times two-column, above-the-fold lede tells us what we should really be worried about: “Scope of Russian Hacking Far Exceeds Initial Fears.” The on-line title … Continue reading “New York Times Still Stoking Alarm At ‘Russian Hacking’”

Assange Wins. The Cost: The Crushing of Press Freedom, and the Labeling of Dissent as Mental Illness

The unexpected decision by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a US demand to extradite Julian Assange, foiling efforts to send him to a US super-max jail for the rest of his life, is a welcome legal victory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should disturb us deeply. Those who campaigned so vigorously to keep … Continue reading “Assange Wins. The Cost: The Crushing of Press Freedom, and the Labeling of Dissent as Mental Illness”

Who To Believe About Venezuela’s Election?

In early December I traveled to Venezuela to be an election observer at their national assembly election. I was part of a group of eight persons from Canada and US organized by CodePink. There were about two hundred international observers in total, including the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts. I have previously been an … Continue reading “Who To Believe About Venezuela’s Election?”

World War I Redux: Setting Up Tripwires to War

The bipartisan War Party will be firmly in control in Washington, D.C. when Joe Biden becomes president. He supported most conflicts waged by the U.S. since he entered the Senate in 1973. Those tapped to lead his foreign policy are architects of such disasters as inflaming a Libyan civil war now in its ninth year … Continue reading “World War I Redux: Setting Up Tripwires to War”

Prosecution of Assange Is an Attack on Our Own Humanity

On January 4, 2021 the London Court will release the hearing verdict of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s US extradition case. The indictment against Assange is politically motivated. Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is presiding over hearings, has even acknowledged the political nature of this case when she decided not to rule until at least after the … Continue reading “Prosecution of Assange Is an Attack on Our Own Humanity”

Iraq Yearly Roundup: 1,942 Killed During 2020

At least 1,942 people were killed, and 3,324 were wounded in the various conflicts taking places across Iraq during 2020. Another 1,752 bodies were recovered from various mass graves during the year as well. Thankfully, these figures are greatly reduced from last year’s tallies. Unfortunately, the decline may be due mostly to coronavirus lockdowns and … Continue reading “Iraq Yearly Roundup: 1,942 Killed During 2020”

Iraq Monthly Roundup: 172 Killed in December

During December, at least 172 people were killed, and 200 were wounded. Last month, at least 151 people were killed across Iraq, and 249 more were wounded. Islamic State-related violence left 20 civilians, 14 security members, and 101 militants dead. Another 24 civilians and 54 security personnel were wounded. Anti-government protests in the Kurdistan region … Continue reading “Iraq Monthly Roundup: 172 Killed in December”

The ICC’s Indefensible Decision on Alleged UK War Crimes in Iraq

Support for the rule of international law, and for the institutions which uphold it, is one of the principles of this blog. I have therefore always been extremely keen to defend and support the International Criminal Court, despite widespread criticism that it is simply a tool for use against leaders in the developing world and … Continue reading “The ICC’s Indefensible Decision on Alleged UK War Crimes in Iraq”

The US Money Tree: The Untold Story of American Aid to Israel

On December 21, the United States Congress passed the COVID-19 Relief Package, as part of a larger $2.3 trillion bill meant to cover spending for the rest of the fiscal year. As usual, US representatives allocated a massive sum of money for Israel. While unemployment, thus poverty, in the US is skyrocketing as a result … Continue reading “The US Money Tree: The Untold Story of American Aid to Israel”

Biden Needs To Repudiate Obama’s Policy Legacy: The Case of Libya

If Joe Biden wants to produce a constructive record in foreign policy, he needs to repudiate much of the Obama-Biden administration’s foreign policy legacy. In particular, he must demonstrate that the United States is out of the forcible regime-change business. Washington’s so-called humanitarian military interventions and regime-change wars have done little except create havoc. From … Continue reading “Biden Needs To Repudiate Obama’s Policy Legacy: The Case of Libya”

When Washington Sends a Message by Threatening War, Other Countries Hear ‘Build Nukes!’

President Donald Trump, having launched brutal economic war against Iran while ordering the assassination of one of its top officials, appears shocked that Tehran keeps firing back, most recently at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He remains full of threats, even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo withdrew some embassy personnel and considered closing the … Continue reading “When Washington Sends a Message by Threatening War, Other Countries Hear ‘Build Nukes!’”