The following website page archive contains world news headlines for the months of July and August 2018. To find headlines and stories on this and other news pages on this website (current pages as well as archived pages), use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. For months preceding July and August 2018, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, August 2018 (find headlines for July 2018 further below)
Terrorist bombing in restaurant kills Alexander Zakharchenko, head of Donetsk People’s Republic, Sputnik International, Aug 31, 2018 The Donetsk People’s Republic Operational Command announced today that exits and entrances to Donetsk have been closed following a blast that left the republic’s head Alexander Zakharchenko dead and three more injured…
* Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calls murder of Donbass leader Alexander Zakharchenko a ‘blatant provocation’, RT, Sept 1, 2018
* Lavrov: Killing of rebel leader in Ukraine aimed against 2015 ‘Minsk 2’ treaty, Deutsche Welle, Sept 1, 2018
U.S. cuts its annual $300 million funding to UN Palestinian refugee agency, Deutsche Welle, Aug 31, 2018
The Trump administration’s spoiler foreign policy, by Patrick Lawrence, special to Consortium News, Aug 31, 2018 U.S. strategy abroad is assuming a curious shape. Whether the president or his minders are running affairs, the is U.S. being reduced to playing a spoiler role in the Middle East and Northeast Asia.
In fit of anti-Trump pique, American liberals shamelessly embrace ‘deep-state’ criminals, by Michael McCaffrey, published in RT”s ‘Op-Ed’ feature, Aug 31, 2018
Hundreds of thousands march in Argentina on Aug 30 to denounce social spending cuts, defend public education, Telesur, Aug 31, 2018
Revised NAFTA shows every sign of being another Trump scam, monthly column by Pete Dollack, published on his website Systemic Disorder, Aug 29, 2018
Thousands demonstrate in Berlin on August 30 against extreme-right rampage in city of Chemnitz earlier in the week, report in Deutsche Welle, Aug 30, 2018 What was expected to be a small gathering of one hundred or so individuals speaking out against hate and xenophobia turned into a demonstration of thousands in the Berlin neighborhood of Neukölln on Thursday night.
* Top bands organize concert against racism in Chemnitz for Sept 3, Deutsche Welle, Aug 30, 2018
* Eyewitness to the extreme-right, racist rampage in Chemnitz, eastern Germany on Aug 27, 28, 2018, interview on CBC Radio One’s ‘As It Happens’, broadcast on Aug 28, 2018 (seven minute interview with Grisha Stanyek, head of media relations of the Berlin-based Jewish Forum For Democracy And Against Anti-Semitism, interview begins at 28’/25″ mark)
* Arrest warrant that sparked mob attacks in Chemnitz, Germany was leaked by police, Agence France presse (AFP), Aug 29, 2018
* Why Germany’s far-right is finding its home in Saxony, commentary by Matthias Kolb, published in Globe and Mail op-ed page, Aug 28, 2018 (Matthias Kolb is an editor for iSüddeutsche Zeitung in Munich.)
* Clashes in eastern German city of Chemnitz as extreme-right escalates attacks against immigrants, Deutsche Welle, Aug 27, 2018 (and report in The Guardian, Aug 28, 2018) Rival protests have once again broken out in Chemnitz, a day after a deadly stabbing provoked an anti-immigrant demo. Chancellor Merkel condemned rioters who she said were “hunting down” foreigners.
* German police fight far-right infiltration claims, Deutsche Welle, Aug 23, 2018
* Germany returns human remains from Namibia genocide, Deutsche Welle, Aug 29, 2018 The German government has handed over the remains of indigenous men and women killed during Germany’s colonial era in Africa. Namibian activists have called on Berlin to apologize and provide reparations for massacring thousands.
* Austria’s far-right hipsters, Deutsche Welle, Aug 28, 2018
Argentina lifts interest rates to world high 60 per cent, seeks IMF aid to save peso, by Carolina Millan, Patrick Gillespie and Ignacio Olivera Doll, Bloomberg News, Aug 30, 2018
* Turkish lira left to tank as markets downplay contagion fears, Deutsche Welle, Aug 30, 2018
* Argentina hikes interest rate to 60 per cent as peso crashes, Telesur, Aug 30, 2018
* South America’s ‘made in the USA’ growing crisis–How Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela are destabilized, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website Predicting the Global Economic Crisis, June 10, 2018 (Jack Rasmus is a Keynesian economist who teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California.)
‘Vital’ U.S. moles in the Kremlin go missing!, commentary by Stephen Cohen, The Nation, Aug 29, 2018 According to New York Times intel leakers, “informants close to” Vladimir Putin have “gone silent”. What can it all mean? Referencing: Kremlin sources go quiet, leaving CIA in the dark about Putin’s plans for U.S. November midterm elections, by Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, Aug. 24, 2018
Related: Comment by Fred Weir, reporter for the Christian Science Monitor in Moscow, on his Facebook page:
This is amazing, astounding, really. All these stories, including this one [New York Times article cited above], splashed over front pages, are purporting to tell us something about the most sensitive and hidden of secret agents, and what they are getting up to on any given day? For the CIA to have even one reliable source “close to Putin” would be a massive coup, the crown jewel of sources, whose existence — you might think — would be a closely-kept secret, never mentioned in public. Whenever intelligence officials are hauled before Senate hearings and such, they will dodge even the simplest questions by saying they fear compromising “sources and methods.” And probably that’s right; there are trade-craft reasons why they keep even the tiniest and seemingly superficial aspects of some things secret for 30 years, then vigorously redact whatever they finally release.
Yet for the past two years we’ve been inundated with these stories, about almost real-time intercepts of secret Russian communications, supposed revelations of the inner workings of the GRU, even what kinds of orders Putin issues inside his Kremlin office. People take seriously the Christopher Steele dossier, that supposedly reveals kompromat held in the deep vaults of the FSB, among other extraordinary things, knowledge of which would be limited to a tiny circle of Russian top officials. Are the journalists writing this stuff not aware that this kind of information — if it were genuine — has had to have been painstakingly gathered by some highly-placed Russians, who are committing treason, and have Russian counter-intelligence breathing down their necks every day? Even the slightest [accurate, or even inaccurate] hint about them, their activities, what order they may have overheard, even the claim here that they are going to ground, could be tantamount to betraying them. Ditto for some really cool form of techno-surveillance that enables the CIA or NSA to find out all this stuff. We definitely don’t want the Russians to hear the slightest breath about such capabilities, ever, do we? But the NYT and WaPo treat us to this stuff routinely, as if Russian counter-intelligence isn’t in the room with us and reading it all too. I’m sure these papers are getting it from real sources inside the “intelligence community” but I also doubt there is a word of truth in any of it. We are living amid a shitstorm of disinformation, would be my conclusion.
Will Turkey’s ‘strategic partnership’ with Russia cover Syrian province of Idlib?, by Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor, Aug 29, 2018 [This latest analysis in Al-Monitor departs somewhat from the publication’s unproven assertions during these past weeks that the Syrian government is preparing an all-out military assault on the Syrian province of Idlib, currently a haven for foreign-backed, right-wing militias seeking the violent overthrow of the Syrian government. Now we read, “… eyes are now focused on the Sept. 7 summit in Tehran between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Turkey will be the weak link in Tehran, since both Russia and Iran are keen to see Idlib cleared of all jihadi elements and the region returned to [Syrian government control]. Retired Turkish Brig. Gen. Naim Baburoglu believes Turkey will have little choice but to submit to pressure from Russia and Iran…”
Iraqis split over U.S. military decision to stay in Iraq, by Omar al-Jaffal, Al-Monitor, Aug 30, 2018 … The Pentagon estimates 5,200 US troops are deployed in Iraq to provide training and consultations to Iraqi security forces. However, media outlets talk about the presence of more than 7,000 US troops.
Why did John McCain continue to support war?, by Matt Tabibbi, Rolling Stone, Aug 28, 2018
I was surprised to hear the great Stevie Wonder — the creator of the searing anti-war, anti-Vietnam song “Front Line” — paid tribute to John McCain in the middle of a concert this past weekend.
On one hand it made sense, as Wonder has always been about love and forgiveness, and he’s rarely had a bad word for anyone. But he is also a political voice, who sings passionately about America’s inability to reckon with its violent nature.
That 1983 song, “Front Line,” describes a phenomenon we don’t talk about much: Our unthinking worship of all things military, and our unparalleled ability to quickly forget military atrocities, so as to embrace the inevitable next invasion…
McCain was not, generally speaking, a man of strong beliefs. One of the most honest things he ever said was that he didn’t run for president to enact reforms or out of some “grand sense of patriotism,” but simply because “it had become my ambition to be president.” If anything, he often seemed bored by domestic issues, and was even famous after a fashion for “reaching across the aisle” on matters like campaign finance. But he did have one unshakeable conviction: Wherever America had a foreign policy problem, the solution was always to bomb the fuck out of someone…
* Washington Post uses photo of John McCain alongside Ukrainian neo-Nazi Oleh Tyahnybok to praise McCain’s ‘human rights’ work, by Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), Aug 29, 2018
* Beware the hero worship of John McCain, by Scott Ritter, Truthdig, Aug 29, 2018
* John McCain: Not ‘war hero’ but war criminal, by Max Blumenthal, special to Consortium News, Aug 27, 2018 If the paeans to McCain by diverse political climbers seems detached from reality, it’s because they reflect the elite view of U.S. military interventions as a chess game, with the millions killed by unprovoked aggression mere statistics.
* John McCain wasn’t a hero, by Branko Marcetic , Jacobin, Aug 27, 2018 John McCain’s greatest achievement was convincing the world through charming banter and occasional opposition to his party’s agenda that he was anything other than a reactionary, bloodthirsty war hawk.
* Investigating John McCain’s tragedy at sea, Truthdig, Aug 26, 2018 (originally published by Truthdig in 2008)
In Kabul, echoes of the fall of Saigon, by Ahmed Rashid, NYR Daily (New York Review of Books), Aug 28, 2018
How the Department of Homeland Security created a deceptive tale of Russia hacking U.S. voter sites, by Gareth Porter, special to Consortium News, Aug 28, 2018
In national televised address, Putin details amendments to soften impact of impending pension system changes, RT, Aug 29, 2018
Related: Putin softens controversial pension reform, by Anna Smolchenko, Agence France presse (AFP), Aug 29, 2018
Turkey strives to unite rebel factions in Syria against Assad, by Khaled al-Khateb, Al-Monitor, Aug 27, 2018 [Reports in Al-Monitor are filled with speculation-presented-as-fact that a military attack by Syria is imminent against the right-wing militias granted haven in Syria’s Idlib province. Turkey, meanwhile, is scrambling to deepen an institutional footprint in the areas of northern Syria which it occupies illegally–the province of Afrin and the area between Afrin and the Euphrates River. See, for example: Turkey connecting Syria’s al-Bab to its power supply, by Khaled al-Khateb, Al-Monitor, Aug 31, 2018.)
* Erdogan set to meet Putin, Rouhani in Iran to weigh options on Syria, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Aug 27, 2018
* ‘Free Syria Army’ takes a hit with the slump of the Turkish lira, report by Khaled al-Khateb, in Al-Monitor, Aug 28, 2018
Venezuelan immigration crisis?, by Ollantay Itzamná, Resumen, Aug 24, 2018
Related: Ecuador calls for summit on Venezuelan migration amid tightening regional restrictions, by Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis, Aug 23, 2018
An open letter to ‘socialists’ who might be fronting for the Democratic Party, commentary by Quetzal Cáceres, Black Agenda Report, Aug 22, 2018
Masked neo-fascists strike fear into Ukraine’s Roma, The Guardian, Aug 27, 2018 [It is very ironic to see an article published in The Guardian daily newspaper about the ascendance of the extreme right in Ukraine. That’s because for the past four years and a half, the newspaper has played games with the story of the rise of the extreme-right in Ukraine and the right-wing coup it staged in 2014. The newspaper has waged a sustained effort to turn that story into a fictionalized story of Russian attacks and intervention against Ukraine while simultaneously absolving the U.S., European Union and Canada for financing and arming the right-wing Ukrainian government and its extreme-right paramilitary legions.]
Related: A question of attitude, by Professor Paul Robinson (University of Ottawa), published on his website Irrussianality, Aug 24, 2018
Zionism – the stumbling block to peace, by Leslie Bravery, The Daily Blog (New Zealand), Aug 25, 2018 Some Zionists assert that there is no such thing as Palestine, going so far as to deny its culture and history.
* Israel’s racist lynch mobs are hunting Arabs. And they’re fueled by government incitement, commentary by Noam Shuster Eliassi, Haaretz, Aug 27, 2018
* Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism, by Joseph Massad, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 24, 2018 …The ongoing fight in Britain is fundamentally not over those few marginal racists who still believe in some Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. It’s whether labeling Israel as a colonial-settler state is anti-Semitic; whether anti-colonial resistance to Israeli settler-colonialism and racist laws constitutes anti-Semitism; whether questioning the legal and institutional religious, racial and colonial privileges accorded to Israeli Jews over the indigenous Palestinians constitutes anti-Semitism. …This is a most perplexing debate for any political observer, as it is Israel that claims to be a “Jewish state”, representing the Jews of the world, even though a majority of the world’s Jews are not Israeli citizens…
* Boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS): How a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate, lengthy essay by Nathan Thrall, in The Guardian, Aug 14, 2018
Greece was never bailed out – it remains locked in an EU debtor’s prison, commentary by Yanis Varoufakis, published in The Guardian, Aug 26, 2018 Over the past week, the world’s media have been proclaiming the successful completion of the Greek financial rescue programme mounted in 2010 by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund… A more careful reading of the facts points to a different reality. In the very week that a devastated Greece entered another 42 years of harsh austerity and deeper debt bondage (2018-2060), how can the end of austerity and Greece’s regained financial independence be presented as fact? Instead, last week should be cited in our universities’ media schools and economics departments as an example of how consent can be built internationally around a preposterous lie…
Obituary for ousted Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull: Out of the frying pan, into the fire, by Ben Eltham, The New Matilda, Aug 27, 2018 So, Prime Minister Morrison. Congratulations, I guess, are in order. I can’t think of too much more to say than that, because on any deeper level the events of last week were a devastating indictment of Australian democracy and, more particularly, of our political class…
Related: The rise of the far-right in Australia demands an urgent progressive response, by Ben Eltham, published in The New Matilda, Aug 20, 2018 [A surprising omission from this article is how Australia’s foreign policy supporting right-wing regimes abroad—in Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, for example—encourages extreme-right politics at home.]
Cuba debates new constitution, by Helen Yaffe, published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (UK), Aug 10, 2018
NATO and the myth of the liberal international order, by Tony Wood, NYR Daily (New York Review of Books), Aug 21, 2018 …The foreign policy course on which the Trump administration is embarked—including the revocation of the Iran nuclear deal; exacerbation of the conflict in Israel–Palestine; continued antagonism with Russia; destabilizing trade wars—is likely to multiply sources of discord with Europe. For all that, NATO’s European members are clearly not going to try to overhaul the alliance in the near future, let alone consider scrapping it. On the contrary, they appear to have embraced their subordination ever more closely…
Is Israel’s hidden hand behind the attacks on Jeremy Corbyn?, by Jonathan Cook, published in Middle East Eye, Aug 24, 2018 Israeli group submits freedom of information request as evidence grows of meddling by Netanyahu government in UK politics
* The anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn leaves out Palestinians, interview with Ghada Karmi, broadcast on The Real News Network, Aug 22, 2018 (18 minute interview) Palestinian scholar Ghada Karmi explains that in defending himself from false and outlandish accusations of anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn – the head of the British Labour Party – is reneging on his responsibility towards Palestinians
The Druze have to face that in Israel, some are far more equal than others, by Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye, Aug 22, 2018 The Israeli Jewish public’s assumption that the Druze enjoy equal status in Israel was always fanciful illusion
Renowned news show ‘Empire Files’ on Telesur goes off air due to crippling U.S. sanctions, by Mohamed Elmaazi, The Canary, Aug 23, 2018
Related: That Facebook will turn to censoring the left isn’t a worry, it’s a reality, by Alan MacLeod, published by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), Aug 22, 2018
Spain exhumes its painful past, by Omar G. Encarnación, published in NYR Daily (New York Review of Books), Aug 24, 2018
Related: Spanish government approves exhumation of fascist dictator Francisco Franco, El Pais, Aug 23, 2018 …The deputy prime minister went on to explain that the Franco family will have two weeks to take charge of the remains of the former dictator, and should they fail to do so, the Spanish government will choose a “dignified and respectful” place for him to be reinterred…
Less than 24 hours after U.S. Senate rejects effort to curb slaughter in Yemen, 26 more children killed by U.S.-backed Saudi bombing, by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Aug 25, 2018 … Condemning the bombing near the Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah that occurred on August 23 but was not widely reported until the following day, the United Nation’s humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, and head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, said the attack—in which four women, in addition to the children, were killed—took place as the victims tried to flee the area…
Prison labor is modern slavery. I’ve been sent to solitary for speaking out, by Kevin Rashid Johnson, published in ‘Comment Is Free’ feature in The Guardian, Aug 23, 2018 I may be locked up in solitary confinement, but I stand with the men and women rejecting modern slavery in America (Kevin Rashid Johnson is co-founder of the New African Black Panther Party during the 1990s. He is serving a life sentence for a murder conviction; he says he was wrongly convicted. His website is here.)
Crashed, more the how than the why, book review by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in UK), published on his website, Aug 24, 2018 Reviewing: Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, by Adam Tooze, publisher Allen Lane (Penguin), Aug 2018, 720 pp
… In my own book on this period, The Great Recession, which is a chronological account, month by month, of the crisis from 2005 to 2010, I describe how the big banks in particular completely escaped the consequences of this scam, thanks to the U.S. government. Indeed, the whole ugly story of the activities of Goldman Sachs and other investment banks before, during and after the credit crunch and the Great Recession beggars belief. Tooze’s lengthy book covers the significant financial crises of the previous ten years in much more detail than Lewis or me – and is global in scope. Its length does not mean it is boring at all, as he presents us with vignettes of the major players and their decisions…
Ankara startles banks as indebted companies hope for lifeline, by Mustafa Sonmez, Al-Monitor, Aug 24, 2018 Ankara’s apparent intention to dictate “tolerance” by banks toward heavily indebted companies has raised concerns in the banking sector and potential rescue plans lack real financing options
* How Turkey’s lira crisis was written in Istanbul’s skyline, by Pesha Magid and Umar Farooq, The Guardian, Aug 23, 2018 The crash of the Turkish lira last week after two years of steady decline spooked global markets – but anyone looking at Istanbul’s skyline would have been far from surprised. Everywhere you look in the city, evidence of a debt-fuelled construction boom abounds… According to government statistics, at the end of 2016, nearly 90 per cent of the credit in Turkish real estate companies came from loans in foreign currencies… The Turkish economy’s dependence on the construction sector for growth particularly dangerous. In the third quarter of 2017, construction made up 18.7 per cent of the economy…
* Turkey: total meltdown, by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in Britain), published on his website, July 11, 2018
The beautiful and the damned: Washington’s hypocrisy exposed as children die from sanctions and missiles, commentary by Finian Cunningham, in RT’s ‘Op-Ed’ feature, Aug 24, 2018
Russian Foreign Ministry says time has come for Russia to finally ditch US dollar for trade transactions, RT, Aug 24, 2018 [Related to this is the beginning earlier this year of China opening its oil futures purchases in the Chinese currency (‘renminbi’), the yuan.]
Moon over Korea, book review by E. Tammy Kim, published in New York Review of Books, print edition of Aug 16, 2018 Reviewing: Moon Jae-in eui Unmyeong [The Destiny of Moon Jae-in] by Moon Jae-in, Bookpal (Seoul), 488 pp (in Korean language) Read the review here in PDF format: Moon over Korea.
Related: RIP to the liberal order: American mourning after the U.S.-North Korea June summit, by Suzy Kim (Rutgers University), published by Korea Policy Institute, Aug 19, 2018
… What the majority of liberals fail to acknowledge is just how similar Trump’s message of unilateralism and America First (what one White House official recently characterized as the “We’re America, Bitch” doctrine) is to the idea of American exceptionalism that has defined American identity since the end of World War II. The “indifference to democracy and human rights and cultivation of dictators” is not a “new world” Trump is creating, as Schake claims; it has undergirded the United States’ superpower status since 1945.
… Reactions to the summit in the United States are a kind of mourning at the disintegration of the Pax Americana and the pride of American exceptionalism with it. But this feeling of loss at the end of the liberal order should be put into proper perspective. The last 70 years hold a very different significance for Korea, which was divided into two separate states in 1948 precisely to uphold that liberal order. The Republic of Korea as the bulwark against the Communist North was founded exactly 70 years ago on August 15, 1948, followed by the DPRK the following month. It’s long overdue for Korea to be able to chart its own future. It’s time to bid farewell to the liberal order. [End article.]
The U.S. is building a drone base in Niger that will cost more than $280 million by 2024, by Nick Turse, The Intercept, Aug 21, 2018
Cohen bombshell sparks fresh calls for Trump impeachment, but what happened to Russia collusion?, RT, Aug 22, 2018
* Proof that Manafort & Cohen are criminals adds no weight to Mueller’s Russia collusion probe, commentary by Danielle Ryan, RT, Aug 22, 2018
* Fear Trump will pardon Manafort? See what pardon king Clinton and these other decision makers did, RT, Aug 22, 2018
*Four things we learned from the trial of Paul Manafort, by Adrian Morrow, U.S. correspondent, The Globe and Mail, Aug 17, 2018 [This report in the virulently anti-Russia Globe and Mail explains: “…U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, is on trial for tax evasion in connection with more than US$60-million he made from oligarchs and politicians connected to [sic] Russian President Vladimir Putin. …The case against Mr. Manafort does not directly relate to the 2016 election…”
Russiagate conceals Israeli meddling and threatened war with Iran, by Max Parry, Dissident Voice, Aug 22, 2018
Related: 1953 Iran coup – a crime authored in London and Washington, by John Wight, published in the ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, Aug 16, 2018 This week marks 65 years since the Western-orchestrated coup in Iran. August 19, 1953 is the day that Iranians were taught a hard lesson in the rules of the game when it comes to empire and hegemony. For on this day, the country’s democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, was overthrown at the hands of Washington and London. It was, by any measure, an act of international banditry that continues to cry out for just redress…
What’s left in Nicaragua after Ortega, by Roger D. Harris, Dissident Voice, Aug 18, 2018
* A response to Mary Ellsberg’s minformation on Nicaragua: It was a coup, not a ‘massacre’, by Charles Redvers, published on The Grayzone Project, Aug 15, 2018 … Mary Ellberg’s article is an incomplete depiction of what is happening on the ground, ignoring many salient facts that have come to light and which have been outdated by recent events. The following is a brief response to Ellsberg’s main points from someone who lives in Nicaragua and has observed the situation directly and intimately… (Charles Redvers is a Canadian who has lived in Nicaragua at different times over the last three decades, currently in León.)
* Nicaragua’s failed coup, by Charles Redvers, published on Open Democracy [anti-Russia publication], Aug 9, 2018
* How Nicaragua has defeated a right-wing U.S.-backed coup attempt: Report from Managua, reports by Max Blumenthal and Nils McCune from Nicaragua, broadcast on Moderate Rebels, with host Ben Norton, July 26, 2018 (Read an excerpt here in which Nils McCune discusses the role of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) in formenting a violent overthrow of the Nicaragua government.)
Savchenko, Sentsov & Udaltsov: Blatant hypocrisy makes Russians deeply cynical about the West, commentary by Bryan MacDonald, published in RT‘s ‘Op-Ed’ feature, Aug 22, 2018 (Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist based in Russia.)
* Western hypocrisy over convictions in Russia of Oleg Sentsov and Alexander Kol’chenko, by Victor Shapinov, Aug. 28, 2015 [Western media is raising a hue and cry over the 2015 criminal conviction in Russia of Ukrainian national Oleg Sentsov. He was convicted of planning terrorist attacks in Crimea following the March 2014 referendum to secede from Ukraine.] * Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service rejects reports jailed Ukrainian filmmaker being fed forcibly, TASS Russian news service, Aug 21, 2018
* Kremlin comments on filmmaker Sentsov case, TASS, Aug 15, 2018
Venezuela’s new economic program: Will it stop hyperinflation?, interview by Greg Wilpert with Mark Weisbrot, broadcast on The Real News Network, Aug 20, 2018 (15 minute interview) President Maduro is introducing a series of deep economic reforms, to put an end to hyperinflation and to re-start the economy. But this can only happen if faith is restored in the currency and if US financial sanctions come to an end, says Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Washington DC-based Center for Economic Policy Research
* Venezuela’s new currency, economic reforms go into effect, Telesur, Aug 20, 2018 …Economists Tony Boza and Elio Córdova told Telesur that the measure of anchoring the Sovereign Bolivar and salaries to the Petro seeks to avoid the depreciation of the monetary currency and protect the purchasing power of Venezuelans. In an exclusive interview with Telesur, the two economists explained that the governmental objective is to stop the imbalance, a product of the economic war, induced from abroad…
* Confusion reigns as Maduro mega-devaluation roils Venezuela, by Jose Orozco and Fabiola Zerpa, Bloomberg News, Aug 18, 2018 The government has raised the minimum wage more than 3,000 per cent
* Venezuela to sell off assets of public bus network and civil aviation institute as fears of privatisation grow, by Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis, Aug 15, 2018
Investors, ignore the crisis in Turkey at your peril, column by David Rosenberg, in Globe and Mail ‘Report On Business’, Aug 21, 2018 (subscriber only)
While attention from the financial media only began to pick up late last week, the problems in Turkey have been piling up for many months. This is an economy saddled with just more than US$460-billion in external debt (mostly denominated in U.S. dollars and mostly in the corporate sector), equivalent to roughly 56 per cent of the country’s GDP. The current account deficit has ballooned to 6 per cent of GDP. Complicating matters further, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s insistence on low-interest-rate policy means the country’s central bank is abandoning any semblance of monetary orthodoxy – ensuring that inflation will spiral higher still.
What makes Turkey particularly vulnerable is that, 1), US$122-billion of this debt comes due within a year and 2), it has very little cushion in the form of foreign-currency reserves. This is a problematic mix that is very similar to what we saw in Thailand in 1997. The fact we don’t have a fixed-exchange regime in place now (as we did back then in most emerging-market countries) misses the point, because the 44-per-cent plunge in the Turkish lira isn’t that far off the decline (58 per cent) in the Thai baht that followed its devaluation just more than two decades ago. Currently, the question in the market is whether or not there are knock-on effects from this that might morph into some sort of wider contagion…
The limits of Elizabeth Warren, by Sam Husseini, special to Consortium News, Aug 22, 2018 Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, August 22, Senator Elizabeth Warren launched into a blistering attack on unfettered corporate power in America but waffled when asked about military spending and Israel’s recent brutal reaction to Palestinian resistance… We’ve been here before with would-be champions of the people who run up against the “system.” I could not help but think of Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential run when he was remarkably vague on foreign policy…
* Accountable, inclusive or responsible capitalism?, by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in UK), published on his website, Aug 21, 2018
* Concerning Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Palestine, open letter to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and to the National Electoral Committee and New York City chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, July 24, 2018
The chimera of British anti-Semitism (and how not to fight it if it were real), feature commentary by Norman G. Finkelstein, Mondoweiss, Aug 19, 2018 (commentary to be continued) The current hysteria engulfing the British Labour Party resolves itself into a pair of interrelated, if discrete, premises: Anti-Semitism in British society at large and the Labour Party in particular have reached crisis proportions. If neither of these premises can be sustained, then the hysteria is a fabrication. In fact, no evidence has been adduced to substantiate either of them; on the contrary, all the evidence points in the opposite direction. The rational conclusion is that the brouhaha is a calculated hoax—dare it be said, plot?—to oust Jeremy Corbyn and the principled leftist politics he represents from British public life…
* Accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ against the UK Labour Party: Corbyn’s Labour is being made to fail, by Johnathan Cook, published on his website blog, Aug 16, 2018
* Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn files complaint with regulator against right-wing media over media’s ‘anti-Semitism’ hysteria, RT, Aug 16, 2018
In advocating for a Palestinian state, Haaretz forgets about the Palestinians, by Meron Rapoport, published in +972 Magazine, Aug 20, 2018 According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, all Israel has to do to maintain the relevance of the two-state solution is evacuate 9,800 Jewish families from the West Bank. How do the Palestinians factor into this vision? They do not. (Meron Rapoport is an editor at Local Call, where a version of this article first appeared in Hebrew. Read it here.)
Related: In detaining Peter Beinart, Israel is effectively declaring that it no longer represents millions of Jews overseas, by Jonathan Cook, published in The National (UAE), Aug 19, 2018
What happens now Greece’s financial bailout is over?, by Ben Chu, economics editor, The Independent, Aug 20, 2018
Trial and investigation testimonies by 43 protesters wounded by snipers on Maidan Square in Kyiv in February 2014, video presentation of testimonies, prepared by Ivan Katchanovski and broadcast on YouTube, Aug 17, 2018 (53-minute video, English-language subtitles. (Ivan Katchanovski is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Ottawa..))
This video consists of excerpts from testimonies by 43 wounded Maidan protesters at the Maidan massacre trial and investigation. The testimonials speak of the snipers who shot from Maidan protest-controlled buildings and areas in central Kyiv on February 20, 2014. The video is an appendix of papers prepared for presentation at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Boston (Aug 30 to Sept 2, 2018) and the ‘Regimes and Societies in Conflict: Eastern Europe and Russia since 1956‘ conference hosted by the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University and the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, to take place at Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden) on Sept 13, 14, 2018. Publication of the papers presented at these two conferences is forthcoming.
Book review: Russia’s response to sanctions, review by Professor Paul Robinson (University of Ottawa), published on his website Irrussianality, Aug 16, 2018 Reviewing: Russia’s Response to Sanctions: How Western Economic Statecraft Is Reshaping Political Economy In Russia, by Richard Connolly (University of Birmingham), published by Cambridge University Press, June 2018, ISBN 9781108227346, online information here
Remembering dependency theory: A Marxist-humanist review, by Edward Tapia, published in New Politics magazine, Summer 2017 This article aims to show that dependency theory underlines vividly the problem of examining the logic of capital independent of Marx’s concept of value…
[Samir Amin passed away in Paris on August 13, 2018 at the age of 86 (Wikipedia). He was a self-declared Marxist and leading proponent of the ‘dependency theory’ school of thought devoted to analysing the workings of the world imperialist system. Tributes to him are being written and published by academic Marxist colleagues and publications.
[The above essay by Edward Tapia provides a Marxist critique of dependency theory, arguing that its proponents are “fixated upon the fetishized world of appearances, that is, exchange value, without penetrating into social relations of production.” Edward Tapia is a writer on imperialism and dependency theory. His writings appear in New Politics and on the website of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization.
[Samir Amin worked for United Nations agencies during the 1960s and 1970s. At the beginning of the 1980s, he founded the Third World Forum, a forum for exchange of ideas between left-wing academics. He directed it until his passing. In recent years, Amin supported the French military intervention into Mali in January 2013 and the military-fascist coup in Egypt in July 2013, in both cases citing his opposition to ‘political Islam’. He believed in the possibility that imperialist Europe could embark upon a ‘multipolar’ break from its alliance with the United States and join with Asian countries such as Russia and China in a new and progressive global human development. He wrote in a 2017 essay, “Europe’s status on the international political scene is condemned to insignificance by its support for Washington’s project for world domination. If it were to follow the path outlined above [break from U.S. foreign policy], it could then exploit its economic power for the reconstruction of an authentic multipolar world…” Amin’s 2016 book on the ‘Arab Spring’ received a sharply critical review by UK writer Kevin Crane.]
After Senate vote on Aug 15 to reject legalization of abortion services, Argentines sign up to abandon Catholic Church, Common Dreams, Aug 18, 2018 … The Catholic Church lobbied aggressively against the legalized abortion bill. Every year, about 500,000 illegal and unsafe abortions take place in Argentina…
U.S. ends $230 million Syria stabilization funding, says its ‘allies’ will provide it, Associated Press, Aug 18, 2018 [Readers of Western, corporate news reports on Syria must navigate prejudices and nonsensical statements mixed in with news. For example, this Associated Press report, written by an AP ‘diplomatic writer’ no less, begins, “The Trump administration is ending funding for Syria stabilization projects as it moves to extricate the U.S. from the conflict…” Later in the article, it repeats the same theme: “Still, the move [the Trump regime axing $230 million for so-called stabilization funding in post-ISIS areas of Syria] was seen as a sign the administration is heeding Trump’s demand to end U.S. involvement in Syria and reduce its commitment there.” But the U.S. is increasing its military presence in or against Syria, as is its Israel ally. In doing so, it is cooperating with its NATO ally Turkey notwithstanding mainstream news claims that the U.S. and Turkey are into a spiral of declining relations. These declining relations presage an emerging new, Turkey-Russia alliance, the mainstream claims and would have us believe.]
Nazi collaborator greeting ‘Glory to Ukraine’ becomes official Ukraine army salute, by Mordechai Sones, Israel National News, Aug 16, 2018
In Kyiv, the square of broken hopes, documentary film by Israeli investigative journalist Anna Stephan, posted to YouTube, July 2018 (50 minute video)
Related: Ukraine’s ‘Maidan’ protets four years on: A quest for truth, report published by EU Reporter, March 25, 2018
ISIS given ‘breathing space’ in parts of Syria under U.S.-backed forces’ control, RT, Aug 18, 2018 Islamic State managed to regain access to Syrian oil fields and make profits from selling oil, a new UN report reveals. While the UN did not point fingers, the IS reemergence seems to occur in areas held by the US-backed forces. “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS], having been defeated militarily in Iraq and most of the Syrian Arab Republic during 2017, rallied in early 2018. This was the result of a loss of momentum by forces fighting it in the east of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the recent report from the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Monitoring Team reads. The document is dated July 27, but was only released to the public this week…
Trump just triggered a new financial crisis. Here’s why, commentary by Dan Glazebrook, in the ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, Aug 17, 2018
Corporate media in the U.S. and its ‘freedom of the press’ day on August 16, commentary by Sam Husseini, published on his website Posthaven, Aug 16, 2018 (This essay is originally titled ‘Trump-media logrolling’. Sam Husseini is a Washington DC-based independent journalist. He writes for The Nation and also appears in Consortium News, CounterPunch and elsewhere. On July 16, 2018, he was forcibly removed by Finland police from the press conference in Helsinki held by Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin following their summit meeting that day.)
Mission accomplished: Why solidarity boats to Gaza succeed despite failing to break the siege, by Ramzay Baroud, published in Middle East Monitor, Aug 13, 2018 Also published in CounterPunch, Telesur and Kia Ora Gaza (New Zealand). (Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a U.S.-Arab journalist and author. He is the editor of Palestine Chronicle since 1999, former managing editor of the London-based Middle East Eye 2014-15, former editor-in-chief of The Brunei Times and former deputy managing editor of Al Jazeera online. He is the author of four books and a contributor to many others; his latest volume is The Last Earth, a Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018).) He publishes the website Politics For The People where all his writings can be found.
Turkey kills PKK leader in Sinjar, northern Iraq, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Aug 16, 2018 A Turkish airstrike has killed Zaki Shingal, a senior leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, to the dismay of the Iraqi Yazidis rescued from ISIS by the PKK in 2014.
How regional politics is restraining Kurdish militancy in Iran, by Fazel Hawramy, Al-Monitor, Aug 6, 2018
Despite the feud, Canada remains complicit in Saudi Arabia’s abuses, by Davide Mastracci, blogs associate editor, HuffPost Canada, Aug 15, 2018 Canada shouldn’t be seen as a country daring to take the first step against Saudi Arabia, but rather as a bully’s friend who said the wrong thing.
Bridges across Europe are in a dangerous state, warn experts, The Guardian, Aug 16, 2018 [Key tunnels and bridge crossings all over Europe are reaching the end of their life. A vast span of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, northern Italy caved in during a heavy rainstorm on August 14, sending about 35 cars and several trucks plunging 45 metres (150ft) onto railway tracks below. The number of known deaths is 42; as many as 20 others are feared dead.]
* Italian motorway operators’ shares plummet after deadly bridge collapse, RT, Aug 16, 2018
* Atlantia motorway operator: Not just active in Italy, Deutsche Welle, Aug 16, 2018 Linked to the bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy’s Atlantia toll road operator has come under enormous pressure, seeing its shares tanking in Milan. With activities in many countries, the firm has a lot to lose…
* Italy’s populists dismissed Genoa bridge fears as ‘fairytale’ in 2013, Deutsche Welle, Aug 15, 2018 The anti-establishment, now governing, Five Star Movement faced scrutiny Wednesday because in 2013 its Genoa activists had opposed a planned road bypass…
‘Too big to fail’: Russia-gate one year after Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity showed that emails damaging to Democratic Party 2016 election were a leak, not a hack, by Patrick Lawrence, special to Consortium News, published Aug 14, 2018 One year has passed since highly credentialed intelligence professionals produced the first hard evidence that allegations of mail theft and other crimes attributed to Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential election rested on purposeful falsification and subterfuge.
Turkey wants its share of Syria’s reconstruction, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Aug 15, 2018 Turkey is bargaining with Russia for the reconstruction of Aleppo and to promote field projects in order to get a share in the reconstruction efforts of the war-torn country. Although Turkey publicly appears to sustain its anti-Bashar al-Assad stance on Syria, it is actually getting ready for a new Syria that will allow Assad to stay on as the country’s president. While a termination of the de facto Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria seems to be the first precondition for a possible normalization between Ankara and Damascus, there is another unspoken condition as well: the allotment of a share in Syria’s reconstruction…
New border crossing to create direct Iraq-Turkey link, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Aug 14, 2018
All hands on deck: the Caspian sails towards Eurasia integration, Asia Times, Aug 14, 2018
Related: Caspian deal an antidote to Washington’s bullyboy tactics, commentary by Finian Cunningham, published in RT‘s Op-Ed feature, Aug 14, 2018
New Zealand bans most foreigners from buying homes, Associated Press, Aug 15, 2018 (and report in The Independent (UK), Aug 15, 2018) [Only one quarter of adults in New Zealand own their own home, compared with half in 1991. In in the last five years, homeless figures have increased, with some New Zealanders forced to live in cars, garages and under bridges. A report by the Economist in 2017 found New Zealand had the most unaffordable house prices in the world, with prices in Auckland climbing 75 per cent in the last four years, although the market has cooled in recent months.]
Facebook restores Telesur page with vague explanation of controversial block, RT, Aug 15, 2018
* Facebook vanishes Venezuela-based news network Telesur again, RT, Aug 14, 2018
* Venezuela Analysis official statement on Facebook’s removal then reinstatement of its page on August 9, published in Venezuela Analysis, Aug 9, 2018
Cuban ‘acoustic attack’ report on US diplomats flawed, say neurologists, by Ian Sample, science editor, The Guardian, Aug 14, 2018 Tests stating staff suffered brain damage were ‘misinterpreted’ and ruled out other explanations such as mass psychogenic illness
Google tracks your movements, like it or not, exclusive report by Associated Press, Aug 13, 2018
Boycott/divestment/sanctions movement shakes Israel’s apartheid regime over Palestinians, commentary by Amjad Iraqi, in London Review of Books, print issue of July 19, 2018 … There is a simple reason for the Israeli government’s vast investment in undermining the right to boycott: BDS is working. But it’s vital that the right is protected. The three tenets of the BDS movement – to end an occupation, to achieve equal rights and to repatriate refugees – shouldn’t be controversial. To believe that they threaten the existence of the ‘Jewish state’ is to admit that the state is inherently antithetical to those values. Palestinians can’t be denounced on the one hand when they resort to violence, and on the other when they pursue the only non-violent means still available to them. (Amjad Iraqi is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, writer for +972 Magazine and resident of London.)
U.S. militarism marches on, by Marty Hart-Landsberg, published on his blog Reports from the Economic Front, July 31, 2018
The federal budget for fiscal year 2018 (which ends on September 30, 2018), included more money for the military than even President Trump requested. Trump had asked for a military budget of $603 billion, a sizeable $25 billion increase over fiscal year 2017 levels; Congress approved $629 billion. Trump had also asked for $65 billion to finance current war fighting, a bump of $5 billion; Congress approved $71 billion. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, which set the target budget for the Department of Defense at this high level, was approved by the Senate in a September 2017 vote of 89-9.
In the words of the New York Times on Sept 18, 2017: “In a rare act of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, the Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill . . . that sets forth a muscular vision of America as a global power, with a Pentagon budget that far exceeds what President Trump has asked for.” …
Related: Here’s a list of new military weapons and equipment in the 2019 defense bill, by Laura Widener, American Military News, Aug 13, 2018
Taliban forces overrun Afghan city of Ghanzi, boosting position in truce talks, report by Al Jazeera, Aug 14, 2018
British media is drowning in a sea of its own mendacity, by George Galloway, published in the Op-Ed section of RT, Aug 13, 2018
Court jails Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader for life, Reuters, Aug 12, 2018 Mohamed Badie, the head of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and other leaders of the banned group were sentenced to life in prison on Sunday, judicial sources said, on charges of incitement to murder and violence during protests five years ago…
* The Aug 2013 Rabaa massacre in Cairo, Egypt: Human Rights Watch calls for international probe, Deutsche Welle, Aug 13, 2018
* ‘Egyptian society being crushed’ five years after military coup, feature report by Zena Tahhanby, Al Jazeera, July 2, 2018 Since the 2013 coup military coup, Egypt faces abuses to a degree unseen in the Mubarak years, analysts say.
* Egypt court upholds life sentence of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, The Jurist, Nov 16, 2017
* Egypt court upholds ex-president Morsi’s life sentence, Al Jazeera, Sept 16, 2017
[Extensive news and analysis of the July 3, 2013 military-fascist coup in Egypt and its aftermath is archived here in A Socialist In Canada. The coup was welcomed by leftists in the West as a victory for the ‘Tamarod’ street protests aimed at a violent overthrow of the elected President Mohammed Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party government. The overthrow would presage a ‘workers revolution’ to follow, said the leftists. See examples here and here (Socialist Alliance of Australia) and here (Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, supported by International Socialist Organization in the U.S.). Months later, much of the Western left similarly supported the street protests in Kyiv’s Maidan Square that led to the overthrow of Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych. In both cases, the protests were manipulated by the wealthy elites and their paramilitary or police forces. A similar ‘revolution’ to overthrow Syria’s president and government has been thwarted, thanks in part to the government’s international supporters in Russia and Iran]
Turkey: total meltdown, by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in Britain), published on his website, July 11, 2018
* Turkish economic shadow looms over Europe and beyond, Deutsche Welle, Aug 13, 2018 …According to the Bank for International Settlements, Spanish banks are owed $83.3bn (€73bn) by Turkish borrowers and French banks are owed $38.4bn. Italian lenders are owed $17bn in a mix of local and overseas currencies. With the lira still falling towards an uncertain fate, the possibility of Turkish borrowers turning their back on these loans is regarded as a distinct possibility by several ratings agencies… While Turkey may not quite be like Italy in terms of critical importance to the EU economy, it appears less than prudent to downplay the impact a possible financial catastrophe in the Mediterranean country could have on the eurozone and beyond. [End article.] * Turkey’s central bank attempts to curb currency crisis, Deutsche Welle, Aug 13, 2018
* Erdogan warns of ‘economic war’ as Turkish lira carnage spooks global markets, Deutsche Welle, Aug 11, 2018
* Turkey shaken by financial fears and tariffs imposed by Trump regime, report by Suzan Fraser, Associated Press, Aug 10, 2018
* Turkey financial crisis erupts, stoking concerns of contagion, Bloomberg News, Aug 10, 2018
* As Turkish lira freefalls, cooperation with Erdogan by European financial institutions is revealed, ANF News, Aug 11, 2018
U.S. bomb pieces found at Yemen bus strike site as Pentagon says ‘we may never know’ who supplied it, RT, Aug 13, 2018
* Video of schoolchildren just moments before being massacred by U.S.-backed Saudi bombing, by Jake Johnston, Common Dreams, Aug 13, 2018
* Saudi Arabia adds school bus and dozens of children to its list of victims killed by its U.S.-backed war against Yemen, by Ahmed Abdulkareem, Yemeni journalist reporting from Sanaa, the capital city of Yemen, Mint Press News, Aug 9, 2018 A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a school bus in Yemen on August 9, killing dozens of people, mostly children. The bombing of the school bus, a Saleh bedouin camp and a family farm were among the dozens of massive Saudi attacks targeting Yemeni civilians this past week.
‘Resist apartheid:’ Tens of thousands rally against Israel’s nationality bill, Telesur, Aug 11, 2018 … On Saturday, August 11, at least 30,000 demonstrators marched from Rabin square to the Plaza of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art under the banner “Abolish nation-state law. Yes to Equality.” Protesters waved Israeli and Palestinian flags, wore kufiyas, and held signs condemning the law as enshrining apartheid…
Related: Nation-state law protest led by Israeli Arabs, Haaretz, Aug 11, 2018 Protesters waving Palestinian and Israeli flags chanted ‘Nation-state is apartheid’ Tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting the nation-state law gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday night in the wake of last week’s mass march, which drew tens of thousands of Israelis to protest in solidarity with the country’s Druze community…
Anti-racism march in Charlottesville, Virginia marks anniversary of historic 2017 march and criticizes police for intimidation tactics, report by Lois Beckett, The Guardian, Aug 12, 2018 (with photos) Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 11 as a rally to mark the anniversary of last year’s fatal white nationalist gathering turned largely into an anti-police protest…
Related: Thousands protest handful of extreme rightists gathering in Washington DC on August 12 under protection of DC police, report by Michael Kunzelman and Sarah Rankin, Associated Press, Aug 12, 2018 … Earlier this month, Facebook stunned and angered counterprotest organizers when it disabled their Washington event’s page, saying it and others had been created by “bad actors” misusing the social media platform. The company said at the time that the page may be linked to an account created by Russia’s Internet Research Agency — a troll farm that has sown discord in the U.S. — but counterprotesters said it was an authentic event they worked hard to organize…
[Western media is uniformly airbrushing the image of racist, extreme-rightists in the U.S. by using the nonsensical term “white nationalists” to describe them.]
Related: ‘Serious consequences’ to Trump’s re-imposing sanctions on Iran and gutting the 2015 nuclear deal, interview with Trita Paris, on The Real News Network, Aug 10, 2018 (ten-minute video) (Trita Parsi is a founder and former president of the National Iranian American Council. His most recent book is Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy [Aug 2017].)
$2 billion warplane purchase by Labour gov’t in New Zealand stirs little protest, by Bryce Edwards, columnist, New Zealand Herald, July 16, 2018 (Bryce Edwards is a lecturer in Politics at Victoria University of Wellington.) [Similar commentary on the absence of anti-militarism protest can be made of Australia and Canada, whose governments are making massive increases in military spending. In Britain, the ‘renewal’ of the country’s Trident nuclear-armed submarine missiles is supported by the Labour Party, though not by party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Campaigning for nuclear disarmament and in favour of the historic, July 2017 United Nations General Assembly resolution to ban all nuclear weapons is at a low ebb.]
‘Israel’s war is a war against every part of Palestinian identity’: Israel destroys popular Gaza cultural center in 12 air strikes, by Ahmad Kabariti, Mondoweiss, Aug 10, 2018 … On the evening of August 9 at 18:00 Gaza time, 12 successive explosions were heard as Israeli warplanes flew over Gaza City, hitting the popular Said al-Mishal Foundation for Culture and Science, one of the very few cultural outlets left for Gaza’s youth in the besieged enclave. The five-story building held three theatres, offices for cultural associations, a library, and hosted an office for Gaza’s Egyptian community…
* Israel is ‘killing Palestinian children at record rates,’ group says, by Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss, Aug 7, 2018 The first half of 2018 has been deadly for Palestinian children, with at least 35 children killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, according to Defense for Children International — Palestine (DCIP). In a report published on Monday, DCIP said that between January and July, the number of slain Palestinian children was three times higher than during the same time period in 2017…
* Israel kills medic during Gaza protests, by Maureen Clare Murphy, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 10, 2018
Surge in returns to Syria of internally displaced, by Agence France presse, July 21, 2018 An estimated 750,000 internally displaced Syrians returned to their homes through the first half of 2018, nearly equal the amount for all of last year, the United Nations said Friday. The returns have largely occurred in areas that government forces have clawed back from opposition groups including Aleppo, Homs and rural Damascus, the U.N. refugee agency said in a statement. The rate of returns this year has outpaced that of 2017, when an estimated 760,000 people went back to homes they had been forced to flee…
Related: For displaced Syrians, an offer to return home presents agonizing choices, by Alexandra Zavis, LA Times, Aug 5, 2018
Why the attempt to assassinate Maduro?, by Farooque Chowdhury, MR Online, Aug 8, 2018
Police in Berekley, California post mugshots of detained anti-fasciust protesters even though prosecutors have laid no charges, FOX News, Aug 9, 2018 … Berkeley cops said that 20 people were arrested demonstrating against a rally on Sunday, August 5 organized by so-called ‘alt-right’ groups. The mugshots of those arrested, their names and what they were arrested for allegedly doing was posted to the BPD’s Twitter account — a practice that is not unusual. The mugshots were posted before the protesters were formally charged. The department told The Guardian on Monday that the protesters’ cases were not brought before prosecutors…
As many as 50 dead, mostly children, in Saudi aerial bombing of school bus in Yemen, RT, Aug 9, 2018 (and report by Reuters, Aug 9, 2018) [The attack took place on August 9 in the area of the Dahyan market in Saada province, controlled by the Houthi- movement led governing coalition in Yemen. The province lies along the border with Saudi Arabia. The bus was ferrying local civilians, including many children.]
* State Dept deflects questions on U.S.-backed Saudi strike that killed dozens of children, RT, Aug 10, 2018 State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert deflected questions about a US-backed Saudi airstrike that killed dozens of children in Yemen on August 9, instead choosing to highlight “Houthi attacks” against Saudi Arabia…
* The Pentagon says it doesn’t know if the bombs in Saudi jet fighter attack on a school bus in Yemen on Aug 9 were U.S. made or not, VOX.com, Aug 10, 2018
* Yemen suffers as the truth is distorted and obscured by Western media, by Dan Glazebrook, published in Middle East Eye, Aug 10,2018 From burying coverage of atrocities to downplaying the level of killing, Western media puts a gloss on the Western-backed war in Yemen Even by the depraved standards of the Western-backed, Saudi-led aggression against Yemen, the bombing of a school bus on 9 August was a new low. The bus had stopped at a market while taking the children back to school from a picnic when it was targeted, according to Save the Children. Yemeni health officials have informed the world that the strike killed 47 people with 77 more injured. Those numbers are likely to rise...
* Liberal image of Canada’s government gets snared by its approval of $11.5bn Saudi arms deal, op-ed commentary by Finian Cunningham, RT, Aug 9, 2018 A dramatic diplomatic spat with Saudi Arabia has forced Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to enter the public fray in a bid to calm tempers. But what’s bothering Canada is the possible loss of a major Saudi arms contract worth billions…
* Corporate media blackout of bombing by Saudi Arabia killing dozens in Yemen port city of Hodeidah on August 2, including at city’s main hospital, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, Aug 2, 2018
* World Health Organization warns of new Yemen cholera epidemic, asks for ceasefire to vaccinate, Reuters, Aug 3, 2018
* U.S. allies have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians from the air. After 22 died at a wedding, one village asks, ‘Why us?’, by Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, July 26, 2018
Turkey squeezed as Syrian gov’t plans to reassert its sovereign control of Idlib province, report by Amberin Zaman, in Al-Monitor, Aug 9, 2018
Related: Turkey’s position in Syria may now become untenable, commentary by David Romano, published in Rudaw news service (Iraqi Kurdistan), Aug 1, 2018
Why does Rashida Tlaib, congressional Democratic Party candidate for Michigan, support U.S. military aid to Israel?, by Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 9, 2018 Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib will become the first Muslim woman to enter Congress if, as widely expected, she wins election in November. The euphoria over Tlaib recalls the ecstasy when Barack Obama was elected president.
Related: * Israel Defense Forces sets new annual record for killing children in Palestine, by Whitney Webb, Mint Press News, Aug 9, 2018 The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed at least 35 Palestinian children, around 30 in Gaza and five in the occupied West Bank, making 2018 a record-breaking year for child fatalities in Palestine with nearly four months still to go…
Jonathan Cook: UK Labour Party’s crisis is over Israel, not anti-semitism, by Jonathan Cook, published on his website blog, Aug 8, 2018. Read it here on A Socialist In Canada, Aug 8, 2018, with extensive, related readings appended, updated on Aug 9 and 10.
Israel is arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine, by Asa Winstanley, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 8, 2018
* Belarusian Nobel laureate Alexievich cancels speaking event in Odessa, Ukraine following threats by right-wing extremists, report by Radio Free Europe, Aug 9, 2018 The Green Theater in Odessa, site of the scheduled talk, wrote on Facebook that Alexievich’s name had been added to a list of “enemies of Ukraine” by the Ukrainian nationalist website Myrotvorets (Peacekeeper) four hours before Alexievich’s scheduled meeting with readers on August 8.
* Sniper rifles from Canada expected to soon be in the hands of the Ukrainian military, by David Pugliese, The National Post, Aug 7, 2018
* Global neo-Nazism is increasing. Why is the U.S. State Department anti-Semitism envoy position still vacant?, by Hannah Rosenthal, Forward, Aug 6, 2018 As a former Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (SEAS) for the State Department, I remain concerned that for the past 18 months, this post has been vacant. The absence of a Special Envoy makes the media’s role of spotlighting outbreaks of hatred and anti-Semitism even more vital. This is why I was deeply alarmed to see the New York Times downplay and whitewash a neo-Nazi gang in a recent article [July 21] about Ukraine… [The writer is a former U.S. State Department envoy. She displays far more insight into the danger of the extreme-right in Ukraine than left-wing writers in the UK such as John Rees (Counterfire), book author Liz Feteke, and book reviewer Martin Hall (Counterfire). In their writings on the extreme-right in Europe, no mention is made of an extreme-right in Ukraine, even though Ukraine is the European country with the most influential and powerful of extreme-right movements.] * U.S. Congress welcomes the neo-Nazi speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament as neo-Nazi violence rages in Ukraine, by Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone Project, July 2, 2018 While racist violence rages through Ukraine, punctuated by a wave of attacks on Roma encampments by the state-funded C14 neo-Nazi militia, the U.S. Congress played host to an actual Ukrainian fascist. He was Andriy Parubiy…
Russiagate without Russians: The trial of Paul Manafort is painting Trump’s former top campaign aides as crooks and liars, report by Greg Walters and Jack Brewster, in VICE.com, Aug 8, 2018 (and report by the same writers in Vice.com, Aug 7, 2018) [Mainstream media in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West has painted the conduct of former Trump advisor Paul Manafort as proof of ‘Russia-Trump’ collusion. But Manafort’s trial currently underway in Washington DC merely reveals de rigeur white collar crime that is so typical of life in the NATO-member capitalist countries that it struggles to be news.]
China announces date to match $16 billion U.S. tariffs, Bloomberg News, Aug 8, 2018
China has confirmed that it will impose 25 per cent tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imports from the U.S. beginning Aug. 23, matching an earlier move from Washington in another ratchet higher for the trade war between the two nations. The U.S. decision to levy 25 per cent tariffs on the same value of Chinese goods is “very unreasonable,” and China will have to retaliate to protect its rightful interests and the multilateral trading system, China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
The tit-for-tat protectionist measures are poised to surge even higher, with the U.S. reviewing 10 per cent duties on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports that it may even raise to 25 per cent after a comment period ends on Sept. 6. Should the U.S. proceed with those tariffs, China’s ready to slap duties on an additional $60 billion of American goods…
Moscow to work on retaliatory measures in response to new U.S. sanctions, RT, Aug 9, 2018
British collusion with sectarian violence part four: The Afghan crucible, by Dan Glazebrook, RT, Aug 9, 2018
June 24 national elections in Turkey boost authoritarian rule, further threaten Kurdish national rights, by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, August 7, 2018
Leaked document reveals that Vladimir Putin lobbied Trump on arms control at their July 16 meeting in Helsinki, by Bryan Bender, Politico, Aug 7, 2018 [The anti-Russia Politico refrains from peppering this factual report with its usual Russia-related conspiracy pirouettes.]
In interview with Flashpoints Radio, John Pilger slams Western media on silence over the fate of Julian Assange, interview with John Pilger, broadcast on ‘Flashpoints Radio’, with hosts Dennis Bernstein and Randy Cardico, Aug 3, 2018 Interview transcript published on Consortium News, Aug 7, 2018. John Pilger talks about Julian Assange’s deteriorating health and the physical dangers he faces during this period of virtual isolation. Pilger also excoriates the Western media for their silence and pro-government stand on the marginalizing and potential prosecution of Assange. The interview is part of a continuing national radio series titled Assange: Countdown to Freedom.
Related: U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee calls Julian Assange to testify, RT, Aug 8, 2018 https://www.rt.com/usa/435433-us-senate-intelligence-committee-calls/
New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait is the last person to listen to when it comes to Russia, by Branko Marcetic, In These Times, Aug 1, 2018 Chait says Russiagate skeptics are foolish. Here’s why he’s completely wrong.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance wows San Francisco’s Mission district. Her speech not so much, by Charlotte Silver and Julian Mark, Mission Local, Aug 1, 2018
Following Ocasio-Cortez’s 20-minute speech, Alisha Foster, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, said she would have liked for the candidate to have been more “explicitly socialist.”
“It felt like a watered-down message. She was jumping around and discussing tactics for getting elected, but she avoided the big issue, which is capitalism.”
* The vital possibility of Abdul El-Sayed, by Maximillian Alvarez, The Baffler, August 3, 2018 Michigan’s gubernatorial race on August 7 tests the future of the progressive wave [Michigan governor Democratic Party primary result: Gretchen Whitmer 51%, Abdul El-Sayed 30%, Shri Thanedar 17%] * Is the Michigan gubernatorial race the Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders of 2018?, by Andrea González-Ramírez, Refinery 29, Aug 6, 2018
* Missouri votes to repeal Republican ‘right to work’ attack against unions, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, Aug 8, 2018 … According to the Associated Press, 67 percent voted to repeal the right to work measure, which the GOP-controlled state legislature passed and then-Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law last year. If implemented, the measure would have barred private-sector unions from collecting dues from all workers to pay for the costs of representation…
The blowup with Canada is the latest Saudi overreach. Will they ever pay a price?, by Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept, Aug 7, 2018
Related: Spat with Saudis hits home for armoured vehicle plant in southwestern Ontario, by Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, Aug 7, 2018
The apartheid state of Israel: Decoding the ‘Basic Law’ and the meaning of a ‘Jewish Nation’, by N D Jayaprakash, published in The Leaflet (Lawyers Collective in New Delhi), Aug 6, 2018 The latest ‘Basic Law’ that was enacted by the Israeli Knesset on July 19, 2018 has adverse effects on Palestinians within Israel and in the occupied territories of Palestine and contravenes even the assertions made in the Declaration of Independence by the Provisional Government of Israel on May 14, 1948. The existence of at least 65 other laws that seek to discriminate Arab Palestinians vis-à-vis their Jewish counterparts provide proof of the existence of an Apartheid system in Israel, which is well captured in the ESCWA Report (United Nations) of 2017.
Trump says anyone trading with Iran will not trade with U.S. as sanctions come into force, RT, Aug 7, 2018
* Trump’s Iran sanctions spook Europe as Daimler halts investments, by Tami Maximiliane Holderried , Margaret Talev and Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg News, Aug 7, 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump’s desire to isolate the Iranian economy seems to be working. Within hours of Washington unveiling its first round of sanctions, German carmaker Daimler AG froze a plan to make Mercedes Benz trucks in Iran. That’s even after the European Union tried to salvage the Iran nuclear deal by pledging to protect firms from Trump’s assault…
* How the EU plans to get around U.S. sanctions on Iran, Deutsche Welle, Aug 7, 2018
* Defy Trump on Iran sanctions, EU foreign policy chief urges firms, The Irish Times, Aug 7, 2018
* Trump warns EU over decision to protect Iran trade, Press TV, Aug 7, 2018
* Founder of National Iranian American Council calls for public outcry against U.S. cancellation of 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and new U.S. sanctions, interview with Trita Parsi, broadcast on ‘Counterspin’, the weekly radio podcast of Fairness and Accountablity in Reporting (FAIR), Aug 6, 2018 (Trita Parsi is a founder and former president of the National Iranian American Council. His most recent book is Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy [Aug 2017].)
* Russian Foreign Ministry reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal, TASS news service, Aug 7, 2018
Syria’s Kurds cautiously sound progress in talks with Damascus, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Aug 6, 2018 … Salih Muslim, who in 2011 emerged as the co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), has played a key role in promoting the autonomy movement in Europe and served for three terms as the PYD co-chair, the maximum allowed by the party’s bylaws, provided Al-Monitor with his assessment of the dialogue with Damascus. Muslim said none of the parties came to the talks with preconditions, and both gave priority to building confidence between the two sides…
Turkey’s economy struggles with new political reality, by Mustafa Sonmez, Al-Monitor, Aug 6, 2018
China’s petro-yuan oil contracts surge as U.S. sanctions hit Iran, RT, Aug 7, 2018
Related: The petro-yuan could usher in a new era for global energy, by Alex Katsomitros, World Finance.com, July 17, 2018 China’s decision to push forward with the Petro-yuan appears to be a challenge to the global energy market hegemony of the United States. But it remains to be seen if it can make a significant impact.
The dawn of a new Armageddon, lengthy essay by Cynthia Lazaroff, published on the website of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Aug 6, 2018
… The world has entered an unimaginably deadly new arms race, with no rules of the road and no scheduled arms control talks for these new weapons systems. In three years, New START, the US-Russia agreement that limits nuclear arsenals, is set to lapse, removing the last agreed restraint on arsenal sizes.
President Trump has said that he wants the US nuclear arsenal to return to the “top of the pack.” His administration’s new Nuclear Posture Review calls for expanding the use of nuclear weapons—specifically new, “low-yield” nuclear weapons. The United States is now planning to use little nukes in response to an array of non-nuclear attacks—say, cyberattacks on our infrastructure. This frightening policy is disguised with the seemingly innocuous label “tailored deterrence,” as if the Defense Department had just ordered a new suit of nuclear clothes…
Amnesty Int’l demands independent probe of civilians massacred in 2017 during U.S. ‘annihilation tactics’ in Raqqa, Syria, by Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams, Aug 6, 2018
Senate Democrats, with few exceptions, are a gang of warmongers, by Dave Lindorff, CounterPunch, August 7, 2018
Democrats in the U.S. Senate showed themselves to be just another war party this week, with 40 of their number out of 47 voting to pass a record $717-billion military budget for FY 2019…
For those who may have hoped that perhaps the growing number of self-described “democratic socialist” candidates running for seats in Congress might call out this war-mongering by the Democratic Party establishment, there was just silence.
Senator Sanders, to be sure, said he would vote against the bill, but he didn’t say he was doing that because he thought it was an outrageous amount of money to spend on war and preparations for war. In fact, he prefaced his opposition by saying, “I support a strong U.S. military”…
Anastasia Ocasio-Cortez… is one of the few such avowed socialist Democrats to actually say she wants the U.S. to have a “peace budget,” which one has to assume would mean one with a much smaller military. Yet when asked how she would pay for the programs she advocates, instead of saying, “by drastically cutting military spending,” even she instead talked about fairer tax policies, as though just ending corporate welfare and taxing the rich more would do the trick…
Conduct of New Zealand’s consulate in Israel ‘disgraceful’ says Mike Treen, detained and imprisoned in Israel, interview with Unite Union National Director Mike Treen on Radio New Zealand‘s ‘Morning Report’, Monday, August 6, 2018 (four minute interview)
Related: 2018 Freedom Flotilla: A predictable end to an unpredictable journey?, by Chris Graham, New Matilda (Australia), July 29, 2018 New Matilda editor Chris Graham reports from the Al Awda, a lead ship steaming through the Mediterranean Sea about 24 hours from an attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade on the Palestinian people of Gaza.
Saudi Arabia freezes new trade, investment after Canada demands activists be freed, The Canadian Press, Aug 5, 2018 It isn’t immediately clear what new business could be affected between the two countries. Bilateral trade reached $3.9 billion Cdn in 2016, with tanks and fighting vehicles among the top Canadian exports to the kingdom, according to government statistics.
* Saudi Arabia ‘youth’ group defending Saudi gov’t apologizes for social media posting appearing to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack, report on CBC News, Aug 6, 2018
* Saudi Arabia state airline cancels flights to Canada amid growing dispute, by Joshua Berlinger, CNN, Aug 7, 2018
The UK Labour Party and ‘anti-Semitism’ crisis, by Kenneth Surin, CounterPunch, Aug 7, 2018
Related: Jewish support and solidarity for Corbyn’s position on Israel is growing globally, by Fréa Lockley, The Canary, August 6, 2018
Social imperialism in the 21st century: Owen Jones, Paul Mason and the problem with the UK left, lengthy essay by Louis Allday, published in MR Online [Monthly Review], Aug 6, 2018
Owen Jones and Paul Mason are widely considered to be the UK’s pre-eminent left-wing commentators; both appear frequently on television and radio, write regularly for mainstream publications like The Guardian and The New Statesman, have had books published (and subsequently translated into multiple languages) and attract enormous followings on social media… However, what becomes clear upon a sober analysis of their positions on a wide range of issues is that they are in fact distinctly un-radical, frequently opportunist in nature, and particularly in Mason’s case, openly reactionary and imperialist.
This article will focus on some of the most egregious of these views and examine what it means that they are able to express them without significantly damaging their career as professional ‘leftists. In addition, since Jones and Mason are merely the two most prominent examples of what is a more widespread phenomenon, the broader implications of their esteemed standing on ‘the left’ are also considered…
Writer Vijay Prashad covers all bases in writing on ‘Russian meddling’ in 2016 U.S. election, article by Vijay Prashad, titled Trump and the Russian hand, published in CounterPunch, Aug 6, 2018 … The investigation [by former and longtime head of the FBI Robert Mueller] suggests that the Russians created a troll farm to influence voters on social media. But, again, much [how much?] of the public record is circumstantial and inconclusive…
Three reasons why ‘fire and fury’ won’t work with Iran, by Scott Ritter, published in Truthdig, Aug 3, 2018
Venezuela’s President Maduro blames ‘ultra-right’ and Colombia for the drone bombing attack directed against him during Aug 4 outdoor speech, RT, Aug 5, 2018
* Moscow condemns attack on Maduro, RT, Aug 5, 2018
* World extends solidarity to Venezuela’s Maduro after Aug 4 attack against him, Telesur, Aug 5, 2018
* Canada’s state-run broadcaster CBC dismisses the assassination attempt against Venezuela president in the latest of its ongoing agitation for his overthrow, report on CBC News, Aug 5, 2018 … Venezuela’s government routinely accuses opposition activists of plotting to attack and overthrow Maduro, a deeply unpopular leader who was recently elected to a new term in office in a vote decried by dozens of nations.
* Venezuela’s marching campesinos meet Maduro on August 2, denounce corruption and revolutionary ‘reversals’, by Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis, Aug 2, 2018
Corporate media blackout of bombing by Saudi Arabia killing dozens in Yemen port city of Hodeidah, including at city’s main hospital, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, Aug 2, 2018 [And while they’re at it, state-run media and corporate media in the West is also blacking out news of peace talks between the Syrian gov’t and Syrian Kurdish forces and news of the Syria peace talks which took place in Sochi, Russia on July 30, 31. Those talks brought together the Syrian government, political opposition forces and the governments of Russia, Iran and Turkey. For news of that, see: Sochi peace talks focus on preserving Syria’s sovereignty, KUNA news service (Kuwait), July 31, 2018]
* World Health Organization warns of new Yemen cholera epidemic, asks for ceasefire to vaccinate, Reuters, Aug 3, 2018
* U.S. allies have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians from the air. After 22 died at a wedding, one village asks, ‘Why us?’, by Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, July 26, 2018
New Zealand activist Mike Treen tells of alleged beating and tasering by Israeli military, print report in New Zealand Herald and four-minute interview on Newstalk Radio, Aug 2, 2018 [Comment by Mike Treen on his Facebook page: “The radio interviewer uses aggressive Israeli embassy sound bites about “violating” the Israeli blockade of Gaza. He argues that the Israeli blockade is ‘legal’, which it is not. Simply lazy journalism actually.”]
* Tasered, beaten and handcuffed by Israel, but Mike Treen says ‘I would do it all again’, by Rahul Bhattarai, Asia Pacific Report, Aug 2, 2018
* Norway demands Israel explain seizure of boat bound for Gaza, Middle East Monitor, July 31, 2018 Norway has asked Israel to explain the legal grounds for detaining a Norwegian-flagged fishing boat seized while activists tried to sail with aid to the Gaza Strip, Norway’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said its diplomats in Israel had been providing consular assistance to five Norwegians who were among the 22 passengers and crew detained onboard the vessel Kaarstein [Al Adwa] on July 29. Two Israelis on board were quickly released…
* Public talk by Mike Treen, Sunday, Aug 5, 2018. 7 pm at Freemans Bay Community Centre, Hepburn St, Auckland NZ, organized by Kia Ora Gaza. More details here.
Russia to deploy military police on Golan Heights in support of longstanding UN policing mission that ceased functioning six years ago, Reuters, Aug 2, 2018
Empire in decline, really? The American war machine continues to grow, by Vijay Prashad, Alternet, Aug 1, 2018 (also appearing in Common Dreams, Aug 2, 2018) Everything this administration does is geared toward intimidation and war Last week, on July 26, the United States House of Representatives passed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which will then go on to the U.S. Senate and finally to the U.S. president. It is worthwhile to note that 139 Democrats, including the entire Democratic Party leadership, voted for this bill. This Act provides the U.S. government with $717 billion for a year’s military spending. This is $100 billion more than was spent last year…
Truthout.org’s Marjorie Cohn sides with U.S. ‘intelligence agencies’ in dispute with Russia, says Trump is going soft on North Korea.
[In a July 31 article in Truthout.org, legal and constitutional affairs writer Marjorie Cohn sounds a lot like Russia-bashing Democrats in criticizing the foreign policy of the Donald Trump regime. Focusing on Trump’s threats against Iran, she writes, “Trump is likely threatening Iran to distract from the widespread outrage at his adoption of Putin’s denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. In siding with Putin, Trump rejected the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence agencies [emphasis added] that Russia tampered with the election” Using the same anti-Russia argument, she goes on to absolve the U.S. government of aggression against Iran, writing, “Other people who know Mr. Trump said his decision to respond [to Iran] in such fiery terms was driven almost entirely by his search for a distraction from questions about Russia.”
[In another sentence, Cohn excuses decades-long, bipartisan U.S. hostility against the Palestinian and Iranian peoples by writing that Trump’s pro-Israel policy is a case of “capitulation to Israeli pressure”. Cohn suggests we can rest easy over Trump’s outrageous threats against Iran, however, thanks to member of the House of Representatives. “The House of Representatives just passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, which includes an amendment stating that ‘nothing in this Act may be construed to authorize the use of forces against Iran’.”]
Gaza blockade: Unite Union leader Mike Treen returns to New Zealand with ‘a few stories to tell’ after his kidnapping and detention by the Israeli navy, report in News Hub NZ, Aug 2, 2018 (with three-minute news video of Aug 2 reception for Mike Treen at Auckland airport)
Israel PM Netanyahu threatens Iran with ‘all Israel’s arms’ if Tehran blocks key waterway off Yemen, RT, Aug 2, 2018
UK Labour cruising towards split over Israel-Palestine, commentary by George Galloway, published in the ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, Aug 1, 2018
Britain’s Labour Party prepares to split; the Israel-Palestine issue breaks up the party after 100 years, to the relief of Prime Minister Theresa May. At least, that’s the proximate cause of the rapidly approaching schism in the opposition Labour Party.
Attempts to effectively outlaw existential criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel have foundered on the rocks of the obduracy of the veteran Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. His commitment to the Palestinian cause has been a leitmotif of his 40 years in left-wing politics. Support for the Palestinians and opposition to Israel has grown massively in recent decades in Britain and throughout the Western world…
Scoundrel time: From the Rosenbergs to Russiagate, by Jeff Sparrow, published in Overland (Melbourne, Australia), Aug 1, 2018
The pair died despite a prolonged campaign for clemency by progressives who correctly identified the prosecution as less a punishment for the theft of ‘atom secrets’ (a charge of which Ethel, at least, was almost certainly innocent) and more as a warning to terrify dissidents at home. The Rosenberg killings duly played a key role in consolidating domestic repression during the fifties, their deaths signaling to radicals the fearful consequences of opposition to the state.
Now look at this [see adjoining image]…
Will Russia and Iran dash Turkey’s hopes of becoming energy (natural gas) corridor?, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Aug 1, 2018
Russiagate covers up Black vote theft, by Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist, Black Agenda Report, Aug 1, 2018
* The bizarre Facebook path to corporate fascism, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, Aug 2, 2018 Facebook has assumed additional political police powers, disrupting a planned counter-demonstration against white supremacists set for August 12 in Washington on the grounds that it was initiated and inspired by “Russians” as part of a Kremlin campaign to “sow dissention” in the U.S. The Facebook intervention is a qualitative escalation of the McCarthyite offensive launched by the Democrat Party and elements of the national security state, and backed by most of the corporate media…
* As it screams ‘Russia’, the U.S. ruling class continues its process of elimination, by Danny Haiphong, contributor, Black Agenda Report, Aug 1, 2018
Fake U.S. World War 2 history underlies permanent bipartisan hostility toward Russia, by Bruce Dixon, managing editor, Black Agenda Report, Aug 2, 2018
The deep history of the never-ending cold war against Russia by the U.S. and Britain, by Finian Cunningham, published by Strategic Culture Foundation (populist, pro-Russia website), May 4, 2017
After decades of delaying, the United Nations finally released archives from the Second World War-era war crimes commission investigating the Nazi Holocaust. The source of those archives on Nazi war crimes were Western governments, including those in exile at the time of the war, such as the Belgian, Polish and Czechoslovakian. The time period covered is 1943-1949. Washington and London had long sought to halt the release. Why?
Notably, the landmark publication of the files last month was given scant Western media coverage. Surprisingly, perhaps, because the story that can be gleaned from the documents tells of a hidden history of the Second World War, namely the systematic collusion between the American and British governments and the Nazi Third Reich.
As a report in Deutsche Welle remarked on the released archives, “The files make clear that [Western] Allied forces knew more about the Nazi concentration camp system before the end of the war than has generally been thought”…
* ‘Why have you come to Murmansk?’: 1918 letter addressed to invading British soldiers by the Russian Soviet government in early 1918, text published on the website of the Bristol (UK) Radical History Group, October 2011
* The U.S.-British invasion of northern Russia (Murmansk) in 1918-19, Wikipedia
Are asylum seekers crossing into Canada illegally? A look at facts behind the controversy, feature article by Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail, Aug 1, 2018
… Since the beginning of 2017, more than 31,000 people have crossed into Canada [from the U.S. by land outside of official border crossings]. Their arrival corresponds with the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose approach to refugees differs markedly from Canada’s. Under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, refugee claimants who first arrive in the United States and then seek entry to Canada will likely be denied. A growing chorus of Canadians are calling for the suspension of the agreement, which they say would diminish the need to cross at unofficial border points.
… Globally, the refugee population rose to 25.4 million at the end of last year, the highest level since at least the Second World War, according to the UN refugee agency. About half of this population comprise of children. The number of people who became refugees last year grew by about 2.9 million people, the biggest annual increase on record.
Canada received about 50,000 refugee claimants last year. Though that is about double 2016 levels, by way of context, “this is literally one day in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, during the peak of the Rohingya crisis,” said the UNHCR’s Canada representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze… Legal experts say Canada’s immigration laws are clear: “They’re not illegal border crossers,” said James Hathaway, founding director of the University of Michigan’s program in refugee and asylum law, who is Canadian, and a leading global authority on refugee law.
Palestine solidarity advocate and New Zealand Unite Union leader Mike Treen released and deported by Israel, message posted on the Facebook page of Mike Treen, Aug 1, 2018
Full text: Hi all – I have just arrived at Hong Kong Airport after deportation. They stole almost everything I had except my wallet – less most of the money. Now I have no phone, computer etc. I am using another deportee’s laptop. He was a journalist and treated a bit better. I arrive home on Cathay Pacific at 11.50am tomorrow, August 2. Roughed up a bit, tasered a few times, had my foot stomped on, but we gave them a bit of a message as well. See you soon. A few stories to tell. [A rally hosted by Unite Union and Kia Ora Gaza will take place at Auckland airport arrivals to welcome home Mike Treen. Thursday, Aug 2, 2018, 12 noon NZ time. The ‘Freedom Flotilla’ humanitarian aid ship Al Adwa of which he was a part was intercepted and seized by the Israeli navy on July 29, 2018 while en route to Gaza.
Russian embassy in UK raises concerns about cremation of body of Dawn Sturgess, alleged victim of ‘Novichok’ chemical poisoning, TASS, Aug 1, 2018
Background: The plot thins: How gel became a liquid and the whole Novichok affair began to smell to high heaven, commentary by George Galloway, published on the ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, July 23, 2018 … Four out of five of those affected by ‘Novichok’ – Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Detective Sergeant Bailey, and Charlie Rowley – have survived the contact, with only poor Dawn Sturgess, a homeless alcoholic, succumbing to its “deadly” effects. A polythene bag would have been a rather more effective method of assassination…
Federal judge in Seattle blocks release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns, Associated Press, Aug 1, 2018, 2018
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, July 2018
Turkey becomes more dependent on Russia due to tense situation in Idlib province of Syria, by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor, July 31, 2018
* Is a storm brewing for Turkey in Idlib?, by Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor, July 31, 2018
* Ankara’s eyes on Idlib as Astana group gathers in Sochi, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, July 31, 2018 ‘The shape of any deal over the future in northern Syuia between Russia and Turkey remains unclear as Turkey continues parallel talks with the United States to defang Syrian Kurdish forces’
Far-right extremists in NATO leader Germany have been keeping ‘lists of enemies’, report in Deutsche Welle, July 31, 2018 Tens of thousands of people were on the radar of right-wing extremist groups in Germany, a parliamentary question revealed. The lists were found during raids, arrests and investigations into prominent far-right attacks…
Genocide in Namibia: Germany remains at odds with its colonial legacy in Africa, Deutsche Welle, July 30, 2018 Namibia’s Herero people have filed a lawsuit in the US against Germany over a genocide in the early 20th century. The case, which got underway on Tuesday, shows how Germany is still struggling with its colonial past…
World trade and imperialism, by Michael Roberts (UK economist), published on his website, July 30, 2018
Unite Union NZ National Director Mike Treen repeatedly tasered by Israeli Occupation Forces, others injured and hospitalised when Israeli navy boarded and kidnapped ‘Al Adwa’ humanitarian aid ship bound for Gaza, report by Unite Union New Zealand, July 31, 2018, 0615 NZ time
We have now received a direct report from Mike in Israel’s Givon Prison. He was tasered repeatedly by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) while in the wheelhouse of the Al Awda on July 29 and then tightly handcuffed. He received injuries to his face and head and was bleeding but is now recovering.
… Local civil rights lawyers met with all those detained a few hours ago. All their belongings, including their passports have been seized and not returned, despite promises they would if they co-operated.
Despite KiaOra Gaza contacting the New Zealand Honorary Consul in Tel Aviv requesting assistance, we are unaware of any contact, visit or action from the New Zealand Government or its representatives to assist.
(Update at 1600 July 31: The Honorary Consul has now been to see Mike. Winston Peters has responded to the letters sent to him but the Government has taken no specific action apart from alerting the Cairo embassy to Mike’s situation. The next flotilla boat, the ‘Freedom’ continues to approach Gaza.)
* New Zealand foreign minister dodges demands that he condemn attack on humanitarian aid ship to Gaza and demand release of NZ union leader kidnapped by Israeli navy, text of letter by NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters, July 30, 2018 (including the written reply to Winston Peters by ‘Kia Ora Gaza’, a partner in the international Freedom Flotilla Coalition)
* Freedom Flotilla boat carrying medical supplies for Gaza hijacked by Israeli forces, press release by Freedom Flotilla Coalition, July 29, 2018
U.S. must return to nuclear deal before future talks with Tehran says Iranian presidential aide, RT, July 31, 2018
* Iran says impossible to engage with current US govt. due to its extreme hostility, Press TV, July 30, 2018
* Confusion emanating from Washington: Trump, Pompeo words at odds over Iran preconditions, Press TV, July 30, 2018
Federal court judge in LA rules Trump administration must stop giving psychotropic drugs to migrant children without permission, by Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill, July 31, 2018
Humanitarian aid ship ‘Al Awda’ en route to Gaza violently intercepted and seized by Israeli navy, by Joe Lauria, Consortium News, July 30, 2018
* New Zealand trade union leader Mike Treen detained by Israeli military, by Chris Bramwell, Radio New Zealand, July 30, 2018
* UN report says Israel a ‘racist state’ and ‘apartheid regime’, The Irish Times, March 15, 2017 The report is ‘first of its type’ to conclude ‘apartheid system persecutes Palestinian people’
Syrian Kurdish leaders agree to peace and constitutional talks with Syria government, by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, July 30, 2018 Betrayed by the United States and the U.S. alliance with fellow NATO member Turkey, Syrian Kurds are turning to the Syrian and Russian governments for a political settlement of the war in that country. This opens the door to a lasting peace and acceleration of national reconstruction.
Solution for Syrian Kurds’ future won’t be found in talks with Damascus, says political force tied to Turkey and Western friendly ‘Kurdistan Regional Government’ in Iraq. Report in Rudaw news service, July 29, 2018 [The Kurdish National Council (ENKS) is a Syrian Kurdish political front funded by Turkey and the U.S.-allied President Masoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq.]
Related: Ilham Ehmed, co-chair of Syrian Democratic Forces, reports to her supporters that the historic meeting with Syrian government officials on July 26 was positive, report by ANF News, July 31, 2018
Israel has no right of self defense against Gaza, by Norman Finkelstein and James Stern-Weiner, published on Jacobin Magazine, July 27, 2018 (also appearing on the website blog of Norman Finkelstein, July 28, 2018)
… But the fact is, Israel cannot claim a right to use any force in Gaza — whether moderate or excessive, proportionate or disproportionate; whether protesters are unarmed or armed, don’t or do pose an imminent threat to life. If it appears otherwise, that’s because the current debate ignores critical caveats in international law and abstracts from the specific situation in Gaza.
… The only morally sane question presented by the situation in Gaza is, Does Israel have the right in the name of “self-defense” to poison one million children? It is a sad commentary that this simple question has not just been sidestepped, but is not even visible in the current debate.
The Jewish establishment’s ‘War against Corbyn’ risks bringing real anti-semitism to Britain, by Robert A. H. Cohen, published on his web page ‘Writing From the Edge’ on Patheos, July 28, 2018
Resilient Russia, by Paul Robinson, published on his website Irrusianality, July 25, 2018 (Paul Robinson is Professor Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.)
What happens when Assad wins the war in Syria?, by Patrick Lawrence, published in Salon.com and on his own website, July 16, 2018
… It would be hard to overstate the significance of this outcome. Apart from bringing the most tragic conflict of the post–Cold War decades to an end, the larger consequences of a peace achieved in this way — political, diplomatic, strategic — are many.
…To take the impending outcome as a victory merely for Bashar al–Assad’s political survival — as press reports and Washington officials encourage us to do — is too narrow a view and misses the essential point: This will be an advance for national sovereignty, non-intervention, international law, and secular government…
[The author makes the unfounded claim in his article that Donald Trump favours an end to the U.S. regime-change drive in Syria. “It will not be easy for Trump to pursue it [an ‘opportunity’ to rebuild Syria], even though he favors withdrawal from the Syria conflict.”
The utility of the RussiaGate conspiracy, by Alan MacLeod, published in Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, July 27, 2018 The new McCarthyism allows corporate media to tighten its grip, Democrats to ignore their own failings … Bernie Sanders has consistently and explicitly endorsed the RussiaGate theory, claiming it is “clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018.” Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent…
Related: Trump blasts back after New York Times publisher decries ‘enemy of the people’ attacks, by Martin Pengely, The Guardian, July 30, 2018 (and realted report in The Hill (Washington DC), July 30, 2018) [The thieves are falling out among each other as NYT, WaPo and The Guardian criticize Trump for his dangerous, anti-media rhetoric. But Trump’s anti-media conspiracy talk serves as mirror image of the corporate media’s Russia conspiracies.]
Mainstream, liberal media sanctifies the NATO imperialist military alliance in its criticisms of Trump, commentary by Gregory Shupak, published in Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), July 26, 2018
Travel ban and sanctions by U.S. obstruct humanitarian efforts in North Korea, by John Letman, Truthout.org, July 30, 2018
Within moments of returning from his summit with Kim Jong Un, President Trump struck a triumphant tone, buoyantly tweeting, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea … North Korea has great potential for the future!”
But just nine days later he extended an existing executive order “Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to North Korea” declaring, “North Korea continue[s] to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States” …
Plea for support from Mike Treen, New Zealand solidarity activist on board the Gaza (Palestine) aid flotilla ship hijacked today by the Israel navy, report by Pacific Media Center, July 30, 2018 (New Zealand time)
* Israeli navy intercepts Norwegian-flagged Gaza-bound ship, Press TV, July 29, 2018
* ‘Resistance continues’: Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi home after eight months in Israeli jail , RT, July 29, 2018 (with video news report)
North Korea transfers the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korea War, by Reuters, July 27, 2018 [Millions of Korean and Chinese people died a near-genocidal war by the Western powers against the Korean people from 1950-53. The war aimed to prevent a united, socialist Korea from coming into existence and to destroy the country in consequence. More than 7,700 U.S. troops remain unaccounted from the war, of which some 5,300 died in what is now North Korea.]
How the media has woven a narrative of North Korean nuclear deception, by Gareth Porter, published on 38 North, July 26, 2018 Since the June 12 Singapore Summit between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the U.S. media has woven a misleading narrative that both past and post-summit North Korean actions indicate an intent to deceive the US about its willingness to denuclearize…
Former British ambassador Peter Ford on ‘White Helmets’ in Syria, the Golan Heights, the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus and more, published by Just World Educational, July 27, 2018 Peter Ford was Britain’s ambassador to Syria from 2003-2006. He speaks about the Western countries’ regime-change project in Syria in a 30-minute audio interview with Just World Educational (Charlottesville, Virginia). Listen to the interview here.
An alliance of Kurdish and Arab militants in Syria says it has come to an agreement with the Syrian government to develop negotiations to end violence in Syria. The announcement was made after the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), sent a delegation to Damascus for talks with Syrian officials earlier this week. The SDF, itself, is a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants.
The SDC said in a statement on July 28 that it had agreed with the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to form committees that would “chart a roadmap to a democratic, decentralized Syria” …
[The Syrian Democratic Council is a Kurdish-led alliance of political parties and blocs founded on Dec. 8-9, 2015. It is the political wing of the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is still fighting the remaining groups affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria, on the border with Deir ez-Zor. ]
* Alliances shift as Syrian Kurdish alliance holds talks with Assad regime, by Agence France presse, July 27, 2018
* Rojava Kurds consider pact with Syrian president Assad, news analysis by Hannah Lynch, Rudaw news service, July 28, 2018
* Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Council holds talks in Damascus, by Rudaw news agency, July 27, 2018 A delegation of Syrian Kurds has arrived in Damascus to begin negotiations with the government of Bashar al-Assad. Although the stated aim of the talks is to discuss electricity infrastructure, military collaboration could also be on the table. Riad Darar, co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), told Reuters on Friday the delegation in is headed by Ilham Ahmed, executive head of the SDC…
* Syrian Kurdish-backed council holds talks in Damascus, by Tom Perry, Reuters, July 27, 2018
Why Syria’s Kurds are inclined to negotiate with Damascus, by Mohammad Bassiki, Al-Monitor, July 26, 2018 [The political left as well as corporate media in the West have long censored any reporting of the talks taking place haltingly between Syrian Kurds and the Syrian government. The talks are aimed at a political settlement of the longstanding political conflict between the two sides. The Syrian government and people are considering amending the country’s constitution to expressly provide national and social right to the Kurds and other national minorities. The reason for the media censorship in the West is the fact that Russia has been encouraging and sponsoring a political settlement, including urging ammendments to the constitution. As ‘we’ all know, anything that involves Russia must be bad and must therefore go unspoken and unreported.]
Historians say massacres by Australian settlers killed thousands of Indigenous people, report by Reuters, July 27, 2018 … Historians from the University of Newcastle in Australia say they have drawn on settler diaries, contemporary newspaper reports, evidence from Indigenous groups and state and federal archives to attempt to catalog the [settler conquest] violence for the first time. “To date we have identified about 250 massacre sites in colonial Australia and we estimate there will be about 500 when the project is finished,” lead researcher Lyndall Ryan told Reuters…
Austerity and rampant urban expansion fueled Greece’s deadly fires, by Yanis Varoufakis, published in Project Syndicate and other mainstream news outlets, July 26, 2018 (and see extensive news reports dated July 24 on the ‘Ecology newsroll’ page of A Socialist In Canada) The deadly fires in Greece on the Attica peninsula July 23, 24 reflect the vulnerability caused by decades of irresponsible, unregulated development. Still, over the course of the last ten years, Greece has lost many more people to the austerity tragedy caused by the EU establishment than to any flood or wildfire.
… The EU played no role in helping us fight the flames, a task not in its remit, and it cannot be held responsible for the fires or for 70 years of Greek society’s abuse of the natural environment. But it is unquestionable that over the past decade, the Troika of Greece’s official creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – has actively deprived the Greek state of the resources and capabilities it needs in such situations…
* Greek firefighters join public outcry at ‘woeful’ response to lethal wildfires, by Helena Smith, The Guardian, July 28, 2018 [As of July 28, 2018, the death toll from the fires is 88 people.] * The Greek fires: A catastrophe fueled by austerity, by Kevin Ovenden, published in Counterfire, July 26, 2018
* If you love Greece, help us get rid of Alexis Tsipras and his zombie party, commentary by Zoe Konstantopoulou, The Guardian, July 9, 2018 (Zoe Konstantopoulou is the former president of the Hellenic parliament.)
Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on developments in Syria, published on the ministry’s website, July 23, 2018 … It is well known that it was the White Helmets who were implicated in the most odious provocations during the Syrian conflict. They acted exclusively in areas controlled by Islamic radicals and concocted outright fakes, which were then used as a pretext to level accusations at the Syrian authorities…
Trump lashes out at Erdogan, threatens sanctions over pastor Andrew Brunson imprisoned in Turkey for nearly two years, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, July 26, 2018 [Al-Monitor can’t let go of its long-argued, multi-dimensional belief in the imminent breakup of relations between NATO members Turkey and the U.S. Never mind how the two are illegally occupying Syrian territory and have long conspired together to overthrow the Syrian government.]
U.S. secret wars in Africa rage on, despite talk of downsizing, by Nick Turse, The Intercept, July 26, 2018 … According to figures provided to The Intercept by U.S. Special Operations Command, 16.5 per cent of commandos overseas are deployed in Africa. This is about the same percentage of special operators sent to the continent in 2017 and represents a major increase over deployments during the first decade of the post-9/11 war on terror. In 2006, for example, just one per cent of all U.S. commandos deployed overseas were in Africa – fewer than in the Middle East, the Pacific, Europe, or Latin America. By 2010, the number had risen only slightly, to three per cent…
War propaganda and the July 16, 2018 summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, statement by the United National Antiwar Coalition (United States), issued on July 24, 2018 (with additional, related readings)
Forget about Russia under Putin, the West has made its own terrible decisions, by Scott Taylor, published in his weekly column in the Chronicle Herald (daily in Halifax, Canada), July 23, 2018 (also published in Esprit de Corps, the military magazine published by Scott Taylor)
Marta Harnecker’s ‘Venezuela after the elections: What is to be done?’ and Marx, Luxemburg, and Lenin on the role of cooperatives, by Stansfield Smith, published in Venezuela Analysis, July 24, 2018 Stansfield Smith critiques Marta Harnecker’s recent article about the post-electoral situation in Venezuela
Hundreds of migrant children still separated from their families as Trump regime fails to meet court-ordered reunification deadline of July 26, Associated Press, July 26, 2018 The Trump administration said Thursday that more than 1,800 children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border have been reunited with parents and sponsors but hundreds remain apart, signaling a potentially long wait for anguished families. The federal government was under a Thursday deadline to reunify more than 2,500 children separated from their parents under a new immigration policy designed to deter immigrants from coming here illegally…
* Despite today’s court-ordered deadline, more than 900 migrant children remain separated from parents, interview with Ofelia Calderón and Carlos García., on Democracy Now!, July 26, 2018
* Iraqi-American pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha on the trauma of child separation and the travel ban, interview with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, on Democracy Now!, July 26, 2018
* Why abolishing ICE doesn’t go far enough: Oscar Chacón on the roots of Trump’s immigration crackdown, interview with Oscar Chacón, on Democracy Now!, July 26, 2018
The deep state is real and Donald Trump is its latest tool, weekly commentary by John Whitehead, published by the Rutherford Institute, July 23, 2018 (John W. Whitehead is the founder and president of the Rutherford Institute, a civil rights research and advocacy institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.)
The Corbyn project, by Robin Blackburn, New Left Review, print issue of May-June 2018
… Defence policy is likely to stay a redoubt of the Blairite diehards.
… If the Labour Left now has a real chance of heading a government, it remains a slim one. Though—barring accidents—Corbyn’s position as leader seems secure for now, his hold over the party shouldn’t be taken for granted. Strengthened by the enormous influx of 350,000 new members, the Labour Left has advanced through the labyrinthine committee structures. But the organization of the party at national and regional level remains fundamentally undemocratic…
The New York Times quietly warns that prosecution of Julian Assange would be a dire threat to freedom of the press, by Ray McGovern, Consortium News, July 26, 2018
* Judges hear warning against prosecution of WikiLeaks, by Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News, July 24, 2018
* Germany offers asylum to eight White Helmets, some MPs ask why not to Assange?, news report on RT (five minute video), July 26, 2018
Blacks need to stop calling the enemy ‘we’ and ‘us’, by Margaret Kimberley, published in her weekly column ‘Freedom Rider’ in Black Agenda Report, July 25, 2018
Related: High crimes and misdemeanors: Not by Trump but Obama and Democrats, by Ajamu Baraka, editor and columnist, Black Agenda Report, July 25, 2018 (Ajamu Baraka was the vice-presidential candidate for the U.S. Green Party in the 2016 presidential election.)
Islamic State kills 215 in southwest Syria attacks: local official, Reuters, July 24, 2018 Islamic State militants have killed more than 200 people in a coordinated assault on a government-held area of southwestern Syria on Wednesday, local officials and a war monitor said, in the group’s deadliest attack in the country for years…
Pakistan’s cricket legend Imran Khan declares election victory, Reuters, July 26, 2018
* Muzzling the media: How Pakistan’s army helped Khan win, by Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Asia Times, July 31, 2018
* Imran Khan’s Pakistan, by Shahid Javed Burki, Project Syndicate, Jul 29, 2018
* ‘Army-backed’ Imran Khan set to be Pakistan prime minister, Asia Times, July 26, 2018
Meeting with Trump in Washington, European Union agrees to buy more U.S. soybean product, import more liquified natural gas in effort to avert trade war, RT, July 25, 2018 (and report by Reuters, July 25, 2018)
Related: Trump and Juncker revive Obama-era trade goals, commentary by Gina Chon, Reuters, July 25, 2018
No water or electricity: why southern Iraqis are at a breaking point, France 24, July 24, 2018 Major protests have erupted in several Iraqi cities over the past two weeks due to water and power cuts. The movement started in the southern region of Basra, and then spread to Kerbala and Baghdad. Our Observers in Basra explain that the protesters blame corruption and poor management by the authorities for these cuts, which are particularly painful since Iraq is currently experiencing temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius.
The plot thins: How gel became a liquid and the whole Novichok affair began to smell to high heaven, commentary by George Galloway, published on the ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, July 23, 2018 … Four out of five of those affected by ‘Novichok’ – Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Detective Sergeant Bailey, and Charlie Rowley – have survived the contact, with only poor Dawn Sturgess, a homeless alcoholic, succumbing to its “deadly” effects. A polythene bag would have been a rather more effective method of assassination…
Mike Treen reports as Gaza flotilla sails from Sicily, by Mike Treen, The Daily Blog (New Zealand) July 23, 2018
Background: Mike Treen leaves NZ for Gaza Flotilla, by Mike Treen, The Daily Blog (New Zealand), July 18, 2018
Maternal health care crisis in Haiti, by Dr. John Carroll, published in his column ‘Dispatches From Haiti’, Journal Star (Peoria, Illinois), July 22, 2018 (Dr. John Carroll is a U.S. physician who has lived and operated a medical clinic in Haiti since before the 2010 earthquake. His ‘Dispatches From Haiti’ appear in the Journal Star in Peoria, Illinois.)
Violent coup attempt fails in Nicaragua, interview with Stephen Sefton, author of the blog Tortilla con Sal, broadcast on ‘Clearing The Fog’ podcast, with hosts Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, July 17, 2018 (Interview begins at 14′ mark, 33 minutes long, ‘Clearing The Fog’ is a weekly podcast on the website of Popular Resistance published by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers.)
* Defending the record of the Nicaragua government under Daniel Ortega, by Chuck Kaufman, published by the Alliance for Social Justice, July 25, 2018 (original title: ‘The case against Daniel Ortega’) … I think it is an indictment of us on the Left in the U.S. that so many of us are willing to accept the groundless charges against Ortega and his government because we have a deep-seated bias against government period…
* Interview with Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega, broadcast on FOX News, July 23, 2018 (14 minute interview)
Trump threatens Iran with what ‘few throughout history have suffered before’, Press TV, July 23, 2018
… Addressing a group of Iranian diplomats in Tehran on July 22, President Hassan Rouhani said, “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
“You declare war and then you speak of wanting to support the Iranian people,” he told the U.S. president, adding “You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests” …
Related: Iran opens missile production line, rejects Trump’s threat, Press TV, July 23, 2018
Israel evacuates some 420 ‘White Helmets’ personnel and their families from Syria to Jordan, RT, July 22, 2018 Israel has evacuated a reported 422 people from Syria to Jordan, including members of the controversial Western-backed ‘White Helmets’ agency. They will be resettled later in the UK, Canada, and Germany, according to statements from Tel Aviv and Amman. Emmanuel Nahshon, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, had confirmed on Twitter that “Israel has completed a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organization (“the White Helmets”) and [their] families.” He chose not to disclose further details, adding only that the evacuees have been brought “to a neighboring country” … Jordanian authorities have revisited the numbers, saying that only 422 people have actually made it into Jordan…
[The refugee sponsorship by some Western governments of ‘White Helmets’ activists (not the U.S., it has a travel ban against some countries of Muslim faith including Syria) is a result of the Syrian government’s successes in retaking the country’s territory from right-wing militias supported by the West and the Gulf States (Saudi Arabia). The Russian embassy in Israel stated on July 23: “Yesterday, 442 White Helmets militants and their family members were evacuated from South-West Syria. At least there is one positive consequence. A chance that White Helmets will use chlorine in order to stage a chemical provocation in South-West Syria has decreased.” The evacuations will make it more difficult for Western governments and the agencies they finance to stage further accusations against the Syrian government of chemical weapons usage and other human rights violations. The activists and their sponsors also escape the ramifications under Syrian and international law of making false accusations. Many Syrians have died from Western bombings conducted under the pretense of retaliation for ‘chemical weapons attacks’ allegedly conducted by the Syrian government.]
* Damascus condemns evacuation of ‘White Helmet’ agency members by Israel, incited by the West, as ‘criminal operation’, Reuters, July 22, 2018
* UK resettlement offer to ‘White Helmets’ operatives comes under criticism, RT, July 23, 2018 The UK is to offer asylum to members of western-backed White Helmets group. It operated in areas of Syria controlled by right-wing (‘jihadist’) paramilitaries. The move has prompted dire warnings about who exactly Britain might be admitting. Some 98 White Helmets members were rescued [sic] by the Israel Defense Forces on the night of July 21 as part of an evacuation mission that saw a total of 422 people collected from Syria and transferred across Northern Israel and into Jordan at three points, the Guardian reports…
* UK agrees to take in some White Helmets evacuated from Syria by Israel, by Patrick Wintour and news agencies, in The Guardian (anti-Russia and pro-regime change in Syria), July 22, 2018 The UK is willing to offer asylum to some of the 500 members or relatives of the Syrian volunteer civil defence forces known as the White Helmets who have been rescued from Syria and evacuated to Jordan, the Guardian has learned…
* Whitewashing the White Helmets: Peter Ford, former UK Ambassador to Syria, responds to UK government statement, published in 21st Century Wire, July 23, 2018
* Netanyahu: Trump and Trudeau asked Israel to evacuate White Helmets from Syria, RT, July 22, 2018
* Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria, Canadian Press, July 22, 2018
* Western governments seek evacuation of ‘White Helmets’ from Syria, resettle them in Canada, by Whitney Webb, Mint Press News, July 17, 2018 The Western-funded ‘White Helmets’ civil response agency has been shown to effectively be the same organization as terror group al-Nusra Front and has been caught on film aiding al-Nusra terrorists executing Syrian civilians. It is hard to imagine any Westerner who would want the White Helmets as neighbors.
Background: The ‘White Helmets’ controversy, by Rick Sterling, originally published on Consortium News, Oct 23, 2016
Dutch journalists discover large pieces of wreckage at MH17 crash site, TASS news agency, July 23, 20188
… A July 16 article by Stefan Beck at the Novini news outlet in Holland on the crash of Malaysian airlines Flight 17 four years ago contains a number of photos and a video showing pieces of wreckage of the plane, apparently including the aircraft’s tail-plane, pieces of aircraft covering, pieces of a wing and an oxygen generator.
“They are so big that they even can be seen using Google Earth,” said Eric van de Beek, a journalist also at Novini. “Very much to our surprise, no Dutch paper or program has reported this news. I knew that what we are doing is Samizdat, but that the big media in The Netherlands leave this major discovery unreported is beyond me,” he added…
The death of a once great city: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence, by Kevin Baker, published in Harper’s Magazine (monthly), issue of July 2018 [This is a lengthy essay on the withering of working and living conditions of working class people in New York city during the era of globalized capitalism, 1980 to the present.]
It can happen here: Fascism in 1930s Germany and the lives of ordinary citizens, book review by Cass R. Sunstein, New York Review of Books, issue of June 28, 2018 [With apologies for inflicting on interested readers the opening sentences of the book review consisting of gratuitous slights against the leaders of present-day Russia and China.]
* They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, by Milton Mayer, with a new afterword by Richard J. Evans, University of Chicago Press, 2018, 378 pp.
* Broken Lives: How Ordinary Germans Experienced the Twentieth Century, by Konrad H. Jarausch, Princeton University Press, 2018, 446 pp
Thousands march across Australia to protest refugee detention, SBS News, July 22, 2018
Related: Letter from Manus Island: The ongoing abuses of Australia’s refugee policy, by Michael Green, Harpers Magazine (monthly), July 2018 print issue
Ecuador to withdraw asylum for Julian Assange at London embassy and hand him over to the UK, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, July 21 2018 (related reports in RT, July 21, 2018 and in Telesur, July 20, 2018)
Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno traveled to London on Friday for the ostensible purpose of speaking at the 2018 Global Disabilities Summit (Moreno has been using a wheelchair since being shot in a 1998 robbery attempt). The concealed, actual purpose of the President’s trip is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange, in place since 2012, eject him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then hand over the WikiLeaks founder to British authorities.
Moreno’s itinerary also notably includes a trip to Madrid, where he will meet with Spanish officials still seething over Assange’s denunciation of human rights abuses perpetrated by Spain’s central government against protesters marching for Catalonia independence. Almost three months ago, Ecuador blocked Assange from accessing the internet, and Assange has not been able to communicate with the outside world ever since. The primary factor in Ecuador’s decision to silence him was Spanish anger over Assange’s tweets about Catalonia…
* Inside WikiLeaks, the publisher that changed the world, by Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, Mint Press News, July 20, 2018
* The war on Julian Assange is a war on press freedom, by Chris Hedges, weekly column in Truthdig, July 15, 2018
* ‘A Cancer in the Amazon’: ChevronTexaco’s environmental disaster in the Ecuadorean Amazon, documentary film broadcast on Telesur, July 20, 2018 (13 minute video)
Debate on political crisis and violent deaths in Nicaragua: Camilo Mejía vs. Julio Martinez Ellsberg, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 18, 2018 (Camilio E. Mejia is a Nicaraguan-born antiwar activist who served nine years in the U.S. army, including in Iraq. In 2004, he was sentenced to one year in U.S. military prison for desertion from service in Iraq. He is the author of the book Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejía, 2007, 320 pages.)
From an earlier, ‘world news’ posting in A Socialist In Canada, June 2018:
* Nicaraguan/U.S. antiwar activist condemns Amnesty International political interference targeting Nicaragua government, open letter by Camilo E. Mejia, published in Telesur, June 13, 2018
* The U.S. and Nicaragua: A case study in historical amnesia and blindness, by Dan Kovalik, CounterPunch, June 15, 2018 (Dan Kovlaik is a professor and human rights lawyer at the University of Pittsburgh.)
* Deciphering the Nicaraguan student uprising, by Lori Hanson and Miguel Gomez, NACLA, June 15, 2018 [The authors of this article have hailed the violent, ‘autonomist’ protest movement in Nicaragua as socially and politically progressive, so the scepticism they voice in this latest article is especially noteworthy.] * Right-wing socialists of U.S. ISO welcome the protest movement in Nicaragua aiming to overthrow the country’s elected president, article by Oscar René Vargas, reprinted in Socialist Worker.org on June 21, 2018
U.S. and other Western governments push back with laws against boycott/divestment/sanctions campaigns against Israel, commentary by Amjad Iraqi, London Review of Books, July 19, 2018 In late June 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee approved the latest version of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which is now one step closer to becoming law… The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which enjoys the support of more than half the members of both chambers of Congress, is part of a wave of U.S. legislation aiming to counter the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). Twenty-five state legislatures have enacted some form of anti-BDS law, with more bills being considered in all 50 states and at the federal level…
Turkey ends state of emergency, but introduces restrictive new rules, by Ayla Jean Yackley, Al-Monitor, July 19, 2018
Related: Is Turkey’s state of emergency really over?, by Sibel Hurtas, Al-Monitor, July 19, 2018 … Turkey’s democratic standards have crumbled so badly that the discussion now is about differences and similarities between various states of emergency. How will the upcoming period differ from the one of emergency rule that just passed? The Council of Ministers and then the parliament once had the power to shape states of emergency, but the new bill also empowers governors and senior public officials in what looms as a “limitless state of emergency” in camouflage.
Haitian ‘mobs’ and ‘mayhem’, or a popular uprising?, by Jane Regan, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), July 19, 2018 (Jane Regan is associate professor at the College of Communication at Boston University. She has lived and worked in Haiti for some 14 years over the past three decades.)
Related: Haiti’s popular uprising calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s removal, by Kim Ives, co editor, Haiti Liberté (print weekly), July 11, 2018
Ceasefire in Syria’s western province of Quneitra has Syria gov’t restoring control over Golan Heights border with Israel, report by Reuters, July 19, 2018 President Bashar al-Assad is set to recover control of the Syrian frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in a major victory over rebels who have agreed to surrender terms, sources on both sides said on Thursday…
Staged theatre by Donald Trump regime tricks writers on the left
[The otherwise perceptive writer Gary Leupp in CounterPunch takes Donald Trump’s foreign policy theatrics at good coin, particularly the idea that Trump wants better relations with Russia. Leupp writes on July 20: “Trump is taking heat for his tweet 9:27 Tuesday morning [July 17]: ‘Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!’ He is mocked on cable for sensationalizing, with his talk of war. But he’s right…”
[In the conclusion to Leupp’s article, we read “We are heading towards a multi-lateral world, in which several powerful players, including the EU, Japan, China, and Russia, interact under new rules necessitated by the U.S. president’s madness. His bizarre behavior and remarks make him less relevant as a partner, while his weakness and the U.S. government’s general disarray allow others to take new initiatives.” But how does that square with the following sentence: ” ‘Liberal’ anchors who despise Trump in general offer praise and express relief when he blows something up in Afghanistan or Syria; it comforts them to know he too has the traditional patriotic courage to kill big-time to ‘advance U.S. interests’.” Naive assumptions aside, it’s obvious that the U.S. ruling class remains united in its new cold war policy drive to dominate the world and keep its allies as well as competitors at heel. The rest is theatrics designed to confuse and bamboozle the world. Judging by the writings even of left-wing writers, the Trumpian foreign policy and theatrics are working nicely. They keep the world on edge and off balance while big capital in all countries steamrolls ahead, pillaging and flattening the Earth’s biosphere and the people who live in it.]
Time magazine’s creepy Putin-Trump cover is what media subversion really looks like, by Simon Rite, RT, July 20, 2018
After half million deaths, the Syrian conflict ending where it began, by Steven Sahiounie, Mint Press News, July 16, 2018 The American model of change at the ballot box is touted as the gold standard in democracy; however, the U.S. foreign policy for Syria under Obama called for armed rebellion and wholesale destruction of the infrastructure, not to mention the thousands killed, maimed and displaced.
Related: The OPCW interim report on alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018: No nerve agents found, report by Media Lens, July 17, 2018 On July 6, 2018, the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), issued an interim report on the FFM’s investigation regarding the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma. The following passage jumps out of the report: ‘No organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties’…
Russiagate is a ruling class diversion, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, July 19, 2018
* Russiagate and Black misleadership, by Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist, Black Agenda Report, July 18, 2018
* As Trump readies concentration camps, where is the Green Party?, by Bruce Dixon, managing editor, Black Agenda Report, July 19, 2018
Israel adopts law defining itself as a Jewish state and downgrading status of Arab language, NBC News, July 19, 2018 (also: Israel passes controversial Jewish nation-state bill after stormy debate, Haaretz, July 19, 2018)
* Jewish Nation-state law makes discrimination in Israel constitutional, by Mordechai Kremnitze, Haaretz, July 19, 2018 The nation-state law is another step in the direction of annexing the territories, but in reverse: The territories have annexed the state
* Palestinians outraged at Jewish nation-state law, by Daoud Kuttab, Al-Monitor, July 20, 2018
* Palestinians respond to ‘Nation-state of Jewish people’ law, by Yumna Patel, Monodweiss, July 20, 2018
Interview with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, interview by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, July 16, 2018 (70-minute broadcast) (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Congress on June 26, 2018. She is 28 years old. Ada Colau is the left-wing mayor of Barcelona, elected in 2015. She is 44 years old.)
1918: When the U.S. invaded Russia, by Jeff Klein, Consortium News, July 18, 2018 Amidst the backdrop of increased U.S.-Russian tensions and even talk of war, long forgotten is the time the U.S. actually invaded
U.S. prosecutors charge 29 year old Russian student with conspiracy, NPR, July 16, 2018 Just hours after President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and held a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart that stunned many political observers in the U.S., federal prosecutors on Monday unsealed a criminal complaint against Maria Butina, alleging that the Russian graduate student living in the D.C. area conspired to act as an agent of Russia without registering, as required, under U.S. law…
Related: The curious path of Maria Butina, by Angela Charlton, Associated Press, July 18, 2018
Detente bad, cold war good, by Craig Murray, published on his website, July 17, 2018 (Craig Murray was UK ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2001-2004.)
* Denial and guilt: U.S. liberals collectively lose their minds over #Treasonsummit, by George Galloway, published in the ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, July 17, 2018 (George Galloway was a long-serving Labour Party MP in Britain. He hosts a weekday program on Talk Radio.)
* Two American scholars say the real threat to the U.S. is Russophobia, interview by VICE News with Stephen Cohen and John Mearsheimer, July 17, 2018 (five minute interview)
* On attitudes to Russia, it’s U.S. politicians versus the people. [Gallup Poll published its most recent monthly surveying for June 2018 of U.S. citizens perceptions of ‘Most Important Problems’. ‘Situation with Russia’ scored less than 0.5 per cent.] * U.S. leftists echo Trump-Putin conspiracy language of pro-war liberals, report in Socialist Worker.org, July 17, 2018
… After a press conference with Vladimir Putin at the end of his Europe trip where Trump managed to look like a dupe of one of the most transparently evil people on the planet
… Trump’s press conference in Helsinki will refuel the speculation machine about what Putin has on him. We at Socialist Worker have no trouble believing this — though our money has always been on criminal business dealings, rather than an election-fixing plot.
… From the moment Trump touched down in Brussels last week for the summit of the NATO military alliance, he couldn’t have been clearer about his hostility toward traditional U.S. allies in Europe, particularly Germany — and his admiration for Russia and its authoritarian leader.
Real News Network host Aaron Maté casts sceptical eye on the indictments by Robert Mueller against 12 Russians, interview by Aaron Maté with investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, broadcast on The Real News Network, July 18, 2018
‘Fourth anniversary of the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 is time and reason to doubt the allegations’: Interview with Dutch researcher and writer Max van der Werff, translated from the Dutch original by John Helmer and published on his website Dances With Bears, July 17, 2018 (View the original interview in Dutch here in Novini.nl, July 11, 2018.)
Ukraine’s anti-Roma pogroms ignored as Russia is blamed for global far right resurgence, by Max Parry, published on his web page at Medium.com, July 15, 2018
My grandfather: Lithuanian hero and Jew-killer. A U.S. author’s journey to discover dark family past, RT, July 18, 2018
Related: My grandfather wasn’t a Nazi-fighting war hero — he was a brutal collaborator, by Sylvia Foti, Salon.com, July 14, 2018 A deathbed promise led to me discovering his complicity in the Holocaust — and what it means beyond my family
‘Don’t hold U.S.-Russia ties hostage to internal politics’: Five takeaways from Putin’s interview on Fox News, RT, July 17, 2018
* Vladimir Putin’s interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, report on FOX News and 33-minute video interview, July 17, 2018
* U.S. media is losing its mind over Trump-Putin press conference, by Joe Lauria, Consortium News, July 16, 2018 (Joe Lauria is the editor of Consortium News.)
* Debate on Putin-Trump summit meeting, between Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, and Glenn Greenwald, founding editor of The Intercept, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 16, 2018
* Criticisms of Trump over press conference with Putin are ‘like mob violence’, interview with Professor Stephen Cohen, on FOX News, July 16, 2018 (five-minute interview)
* Climb down from the summit of hostile propaganda, by Norman Solomon, Truthdig, July 16, 2018
* Meet the Nation reporter dragged from Trump-Putin press conference for trying to ask about nuclear treaty, interview with Sam Husseini, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 17, 2018 ‘There are signs all over town here about how Finland is in favour of press freedom… So I felt it rather ironic that Finnish officials were dragging a journalist (me) out of a news conference and manhandling me. When I shouted that to them, they threw me to the gournd, handcuffed me and threw me into the back of a police van and took me to a detenition center where I was held until midnight [late on July 16]…’ [The interview with Sam Husseini includes the Democracy Now! hosts introduction giving credence to the ‘Russia collusion’ conspiracy theories that dominate mainstream media in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West. This is standard fare on Democracy Now!] * The Real News Network looks at relations between Russia and the United States and concludes that the two countries are equal threats to the world, interview with Paul Jay, senior editor at The Real News Network, with host Aaron Maté, July 16, 2018 ‘Whether the Kremlin meddled in the U.S. election or not, the hyper-focus on Russiagate overlooks bigger threats: Russian elites to the Russian people, and U.S. elites to the American people.’ [Paul Jay voices the trope that the Trump regime in Washington has a friendly stance towards Russia because it wishes to weaken if not attack China and Iran. And sounding very left-wing, he caves to the Russia conspiracy theories abounding in the West: “Maybe the Russians did these things to an American election. Maybe they wanted a Trump victory, maybe they wanted to weaken a Clinton presidency, as people are accusing. Maybe it’s all true. But the truth is that this is normal stuff in the competition between these big countries…” Two years following the outset of Russia conspiracy theorizing, Jay says, “I tend to think there might be some truth to it” and “I don’t really know”.]
Indictment of 12 Russians: Under the shiny wrapping, a political act, by Scott Ritter, Truthdig, July 16, 2018 (Scott Ritter was a chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-98 and is a critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East.)
Related: The king of chaos, by Scott Ritter, Truthdig, July 7, 2018 … Whether through his simultaneous critique of NATO and embrace of Russia, or the policy of withdrawal and disruption that governs America’s multilateral relationships at the UN and World Trade Organisation, Trump seems to relish his role as the ‘King of Chaos’, challenging the established world order by simply tearing it apart. This “my way or the highway” approach plays exceptionally well to Trump’s domestic political base…
In pictures, Canadian dailies’ juvenile reporting of Putin-Trump summit meeting in Finland:
The 1933 Reichstag Fire in Germany and the July, 2016 military coup in Turkey: Similarities, and call for investigation in Turkey, by Zakir Gul, Modern Diplomacy, July 15, 2018 (Zakir Gul, Ph.D. is an associate professor in criminal justice at State University of New York (SUNY) in Plattsburgh, upper New York state.)
* Turks enter uncharted waters as Erdogan forges ahead with new powers, by Sibel Hurtas, Al-Monitor, July 13, 2018 The swearing-in of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 9 marked the end of Turkey’s parliamentary system and ushered the country into a new form of governance that accumulates power in the hands of the president…
* ‘Erdoganism’ makes Western debut at NATO summit, by Cengiz Candar, Al-Monitor, July 11, 2018
Summit meeting of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018 [The Summit meeting of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018 has seen an unprecedented outpouring of anti-Russia hate and distortion by mainstream media in the West. Among other consequences, this outpouring serves to obscure the war and militarism agenda of the Trump-led regime in the United States. The liberal, anti-Trump media in the West shares that war agenda. That is why it is so alarming to see much of the political left in the West succumb to the anti-Russia propaganda drive or bite its tongue and keep its silence. In the ‘related’ news item below, Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom notes the complete absence of domestic opposition to Canada’s recent decisions to dispatch military missions to Mali and Iraq. Below is a weblink to the transcript of the press conference by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump following their summit meeting.]
* Undermining Trump-Putin summit means promoting war, by Dave Lindorff, published in CounterPunch, July 16, 2018 [This article by writer Dave Lindorff examines the sham of 12 Russian ‘intelligence officers’ being criminally indicted by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller on July 13, 2018. They are accused of criminal interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The evidence is bare, and conveniently for U.S. authorities, there will never be an actual trial on the matter. No, the charges will float as established fact in the Western media newsphere for time immemorial. Inexplicably, writer Dave Lindorff informs his readers that Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki on July 16 with Vladimir Putin is intended by Trump to “ease tensions” with Russia. But Trump’s wishes are being thwarted by the U.S. “deep state”, hence the origin of Mueller’s indictments. And so it is that the theatrics of the war president Donald Trump succeed in fooling even the most perceptive of analysts such as Lindorff. Yes, there is discordance among the U.S. ruling class. But this ruling class is united in an agenda of war, militarism and continued pillage of the Earth’s limited resources. The new cold war against Russia and China are an integral part of that agenda. Only those distracted by theatrics can fail to see all that.] * If Mueller investigation sends official request to question suspects, Russia will facilitate that, Putin tells press conference in Helsinki, RT, July 16, 2018
* Three charts explain how Russians see Trump and U.S., by Erik Nisbet and Olga Kamenchuk (Ohio State University), The Conversation, July 13, 2018 ‘Seventy one per cent of Russians have an unfavourable opinion of Donald Trump. Seventy seven per cent say he is self-centered.’
* More Potemkin indictments from Helsinki’s would-be saboteurs, by Jed Babbin, published on The American Spectator, July 16, 2018 [The author and the publication are proponents of U.S. imperial policy.] … Whether or not the Democrats had been tipped off by Mueller or Rosenstein, they reacted with near-record speed demanding that the president cancel the Putin meeting… The president has, unaccountably and illogically, treated Putin with kid gloves since he began his 2016 campaign. That isn’t to say that he’s treated Russia that way. Thanks to Trump, we now have severe economic sanctions on Russia in place.
* Justin Trudeau is supporting Donald Trump’s military agenda, by Thomas Walkom, national affairs columnist, Toronto Star, July 16, 2018 (Read here in pdf format: Justin Trudeau is supporting Donald Trump.)
Transcript of press conference by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump following their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland on July 16, 2018, published on the website of the President of Russia, July 16, 2018
Mass protests meet Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki over human rights, free speech, climate action, interview from Helsinki on Democracy Now! with Heidi Hautala, an anti-Russia member from Finland of the European Parliament, July 16, 2018 [Listen as Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman gives credence in her story introduction to the witchhunt investigation by Robert Mueller of alleged ‘Russian interference’ in the 2016 U.S. election. And contrary to the story headline, Heidi Hautula provides no meaningful information about the actual protests that greeted the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki on July 16. With the encouragement of the program host, Hautala instead condemned Russian society and made equivalence between the foreign and domestic policies of the U.S. and Russia.]
Trump’s direct road to nuclear ruin, by Andrew Cockburn, published in Harper’s Magazine (monthly), issue of July 2018 (sub-headline: How to start a nuclear war) ‘Critics of the current nuclear arrangements of the United States, while quick to advocate for arms reduction or call for a reduction in executive power, generally accept the fundamental premise of deterrence.’
William Browder: Hero of Canada’s state-run broadcaster the CBC, letter to the CBC, July 16, 2018
Hello CBC Early Edition,
I listened this morning to your host’s interview with the commentator on the Trump-Putin summit meeting in Finland. I noticed your program host’s continued propagation of the story of the formerly Russia-based financier/oligarch William Browder. He is the former U.S. citizen who renounced his citizenship in order to take advantage of the UK’s more lax corporate tax regime. If anyone on your program is interested, you can read the story of Browder as told by Lucy Komisar of the U.S.-based 100 Reporters project. Her article is contained in this article by myself on the subject of Browder and his international crusade to discredit the Russian government. You can also read here a report on Vladimir Putin’s comments on William Browder during the Russian president’s press conference with Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16, 2018.
Komisar’s article was published in October 2017. She and the rest of the crew at 100 Reporters are genuine journalists, something which is otherwise is very short supply at the CBC and elsewhere in Western journalism when it comes to all things Russia.
‘Carnival of Resistance’ as hundreds of thousands march in Britain against Trump, news report in Common Dreams, July 13, 2018 [Hundreds of thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators took to the streets of some 60 cities in Britain on Friday, July 13. In London, there was a massive turnout of a reported 250,000 people. Protests took place the following day in Scotland, the largest being in Edinburgh with thousands of participants.]
* News report here in Associated Press; aerial view of London protest here on BBC; video of London protest, including excerpts of speeches, here on RT Ruptly.)
* Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to anti-Trump rally in London on July 13, 2018, video of nine minute speech
Trump brings reality-show style to NATO, and leaves satisfied, Reuters, July 12, 2018 … “We’ve had a very amazing two-day period in Brussels,” Trump told reporters. “Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before… And now we’re very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO, much stronger than it was two days ago.”
* Declaration by NATO Summit Meeting in Brussels, statement issued by the heads of state and government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels July 11-12, 2018
* Trump calls his own interview ‘fake news,’ slams changes from European immigration, ABC News, July 13, 2018
[Donald Trump’s theatrical performance at the NATO summit meeting in Brussels was impressive, but his critics in Western governments and media have also staged impressive performances in their anti-Russia conspiratorial zeal. At the summit, Trump not only affirmed his support for NATO but compelled NATO member countries to snap to attention and significantly boost their military spending. This is all to serve NATO’s rising threats against Russia. Yet to take but one example from Western media, Mark MacKinnon in the Canadian daily Globe and Mail has written with a straight face following the summit:
“Concern remains high that Mr. Trump will make concessions in Helsinki to Mr. Putin [at the Trump-Putin meeting to take place on July 16], whom many in the alliance view as a legitimate military threat in the wake of Russia’s 2014 seizure and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
“Some alliance members are concerned that Mr. Trump will borrow a page from his recent summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – where Mr. Trump, without consulting his generals or the South Korean government, suspended U.S. military drills on the Korean Peninsula – and promise to halt NATO exercises in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Another worry is that Mr. Trump might waver on sanctions on Russia, or formally or informally agree to recognize Russia’s claim to Crimea…”]
How Israel helped to revive Europe’s ugly ethnic nationalisms, by Jonathan Cook, published in Middle East Eye, July 12, 2018 Israel preserved a tribal idea of citizenship that followers of Trump and Europe’s far-right now seek to emulate [It is disappointing to read that like other writers on the subject of the far right in Europe, Jonathan Cook seems unaware or uncaring of the fact that by far the most advanced front of far-right surge in Europe is in Ukraine. One can also mention the small Baltic countries on the front lines of NATO’s new cold war against Russia. This with the full acquiescence and backing of the EU and NATO, no less. Cook’s article focuses on Hungary and mentions Poland only once. Yet Poland is a key NATO member. Whence such oversight, if not a case of bending to the prevailing anti-Russia narratives?]
Ceasefire agreements alongside military push by Syrian government ends regime-change war in southern Syria province of Daraa, Xinhua, July 12, 2018 [Western media is so obsessed with its longstanding dreams of the violent overthrow of the Syrian government that it cannot provide the slightest accurate information of the situation in southern Syria. Reports of the return of the southern Syria province of Daraa to government control are accompanied by grossly exagerated reporting of the humanitarian situation and bemoaning the defeat of the paramilitary forces that have controlled the region for several years. The dire reporting recalls similar reporting when Western-backed rebels agreed to withdraw from Aleppo city and province in December 2016.]
What’s behind the U.S. trade wars?, by David M. Kotz, published in Jacobin, June 28, 2018 (David M. Kotz is professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism.) … The conflict with China is a very dangerous one. It is not the same as the Cold War, which pitted two different systems — capitalism and state socialism — against each other. It is a battle between U.S.-led capitalism and a rising power [China] whose system is difficult to classify, with an economy that is largely capitalist but a state that retains many of the practices of state socialism…
When ‘resistance’ becomes capitulation: A response to the July 11, 2018 open letter in The Nation, by Robert Scheer, Truthdig, July 12, 2018 (Robert Scheer is the publisher of Truthdig. On July 11, The Nation magazine published an open letter signed by 23 scholars, diplomats, politicians, writers and activists calling for “secure elections and true national security in the United States: Common ground: For secure elections and true national security, open letter dated July 11, 2018 and published in The Nation.)
While The Nation deserves credit for this important effort, and I am a huge fan of Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, I find this statement to be an inadequate response to the jingoistic blather of the Democratic Party and of course the Republican leadership…
At chaotic NATO summit meeting in Brussels on July 11, 12, Trump denounces Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline and demands NATO members spend more on war preparations, report in Associated Press, July 11, 2018 [Despite the surface appearance of chaos at the NATO summit meeting in Brussels, conservative warmongers and liberal warmongers in the NATO countries are two peas in the same pod. Donald Trump is waging a continued militarization drive and yet Russia conspiracy theorizing by liberal media and politicians in the West is alive and well. That’s because anti-Russia conspiracy theories play a vital role in distracting attention from gathering stormclouds of war, global warming and rising social inequities.]
Related: Trump’s criticism of NATO ignores the real questions, by Jonathan Marshall, Consortium News, July 12, 2018
Trump theatrics in Brussels rattles NATO allies with U.S. demand to boost military spending to four per cent of GDP, report in Reuters, July 11, 2018 [The Trumpian off-the-cuff suggestion that NATO country military spending rise to four per cent of GDP annually is doubly comedic. Firstly, NATO countries have already been scrambling to jump to attention and salute Trump’s demand for two per cent of GDP military spending. Secondly, the anti-Russia conspiratorialists must now explain how it is that a supposedly ‘Russia friendly’ Trump is voicing new threats and upping the military ante against Russia yet again, this time with his ‘four per cent’ demand. The ever-comedic, anti-Russia Guardian daily in the UK managed to spin a Russia conspiracy story out of the latest Trump theatre when it wrote on July 11, “The chaotic first day [of the NATO summit meeting in Brussels on July 11] dismayed NATO officials and will please Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has long pursued a strategy of creating division in NATO. Trump is due to meet Putin in Helsinki next week.” The laughable conspiracy mongerers in Western media attribute every moment of tension between NATO allies to an evil ‘Dr. Putin’ in Moscow.]
Three predictions about Mali’s July 29 presidential election, by Bruce Whitehouse, published on his blog Bridges From Bamako, July 11, 2018
What’s happening in Nicaragua?, statement in support of Nicaragua, by the Task Force on the Americas, July 1, 2018 (The Task Force on the Americas is a 32-year-old anti-imperialist human rights organization.)
The Donald Trump/NATO summit gong show in Brussels July 11-12, 2018:
* Intentional chaos: Trump and the global NATO alliance, by Joseph Gerson, Truthout.org, July 10, 2018 [In this insightful analysis of the NATO military alliance, the writer nonetheless works an anti-Russia spin into his analysis, blaming Russia for provocations that contribute to the new cold war military escalations by the NATO countries. Truthout.org continues to voice anti-Russia hysteria, accusing Russia of nefarious interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other instances of U.S. domestic politics.]
* Arriving at NATO summit meeting in Brussels, Trump scolds allies for not spending enough on war preparations, report by Associated Press, July 11, 2018
* Donald Trump says Germany is ‘captive to Russia’, blasts NATO defence spending, by Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin, The Associated Press, July 11, 2018
* Canadian PM talks tough in Latvia, backing anti-Russia NATO and extending Canada’s military adventure in Latvia to 2023, report by The Canadian Press, July 10, 2018
* Canada to intervene in Iraq with 250 soldiers, under the guise of ‘training’, report by CBC News, July 11, 2018
Russia hysteria reaches fever pitch in U.S. media as Trump-Putin summit looms, RT, July 11, 2018
Related: Liberals’ Trump-Russia fever dreams have reached parody status, by Matthew Walther, published in The Week, July 10, 2018 [Critiquing this lengthy essay: At Trump-Putin meeting, will Trump be meeting with his counterpart or his handler?, feature essay by Jonathan Chait, in New York Magazine, July 8, 2018 … I give voice to the above lunatic fancy, which I was able to concoct with almost minimal effort in a matter of about 30 seconds with the use of Twitter, Google, and Wikipedia, in the hope of reminding readers how easy it is to put together a plausible-sounding hypothesis if you are already convinced of certain premises. In this case, that premise is the fact that despite the lack of any real evidence, there exists or existed a high-level conspiracy between Trump and various members of his 2016 campaign and various agents of the Russian government, up to and potentially including Vladimir Putin himself, to elect Trump president of the United States two years ago…
Media and foreign policy hardliners in the U.S. play up North Korean nuclear ‘deception’ claim, by Gareth Porter, Truthout.org, July 10, 2018
OPCW findings regarding Douma nerve gas attack: Grim reading for Western ideologues, by John Wight, published in the ‘Op-Ed’ feature on RT, July 11, 2018
Trump targets $200 billion more Chinese goods for tariffs, by Doug Palmer and Adam Behsudi, Politico, July 10, 2018
Related: China’s foreign minister responds to U.S. announcement of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, Xinhua news service, July 11, 2018
Erdogan assumes office, vast new powers, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, July 9, 2018
… Erdogan is hungry for global legitimacy. In his inaugural speech, he vowed, “In the new era, Turkey will further advance in all areas, including democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms and economy.” Indeed, commentators on Turkey’s state television channel TRT were at pains to explain that the new model, which allows the president to issue executive decrees and to appoint and sack senior judges, Cabinet ministers and other senior officials without the parliament’s assent, would make the country more stable and democratic… With tens of thousands of bureaucrats, policemen, army officers and others purged since the failed July 2016 coup, one may well ask if there are enough remaining to block the system as the commentator claimed.
Critics say with the media shackled, the opposition — including the Kurds — squashed, and academia and civil society unremittingly intimidated, there are no checks and balances and Turkey is now formally under one-man rule…
* Erdogan’s great purge continues two years after the coup, six-minute report on Ahval TV, July 9, 2018
* Three newspapers and a television station closed down under Turkey’s State of Emergency, published by Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), July 8, 2018 … Some 190 media outlets have been closed down through emergency decrees since the declaration of the State of Emergency in July 2016. A full list can be viewed here on Turkey Purge.]
UN report details human rights abuses in regions of northern Syria controlled by Turkish military and its proxies, Turkish Minute, July 9, 2018 [As Western media bemoans the liberation by Syrian armed forces of Syria’s southern region of Daraa from right-wing paramilitaries, it simultanously self-censors reporting of the grim ethnic cleansing by Turkey’s armed forces of the Kurdish populations in northern Syria.]
McCarthyism and ‘open season’ on Russia: Reactions to MSNBC attack on Glenn Greenwald, RT, July 10, 2018
Related: Glenn Greenwald: ‘I came to Russia to combat the U.S. toxic view of the country’, RT, July 6, 2018
Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy and kill Roe vs Wade?, by Ian Millhiser, editor, Think Progress, July 9, 2018
* Brett Kavanaugh’s record, published in Axios, July 10, 2018
* Inside the right-wing history of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, interview with Ian Millhiser, editor of Think Progress, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 10, 2018 (with related stories in the July 10 broadcast)
Bookies slash odds on a general election in Britain as government descends into Brexit chaos, by Stefan Schmid, The Canary, July 9, 2018
‘Make peace great again’: Ahead of NATO summit, anti-Trump protest draws thousands in Brussels, by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams, July 08, 2018 ‘We are against this logic where militarization takes preference against the struggle against poverty, climate protection, migrant reception.’
Jewish group wants Trudeau to condemn glorification of Nazis during Latvia visit, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, July 9, 2018 [Pro-imperialist, anti-Russia Jewish groups in Canada such as B’nai Brith are caught in their own contradictions as they voice concern with the rise of extreme right forces in NATO-member countries such as Latvia as well as Ukraine. Governmentsand extreme-right groups there are trying to rewrite World War Two-era history hat favours Nazi sympathizers, with parades and demonstrations.]
* Trudeau government commits to more troops, extended stay in provocative NATO mission in Latvia, report in CBC News, July 10, 2018
* Rights groups demand Israel stop arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine, by John Brown, Haaretz, July 9, 2018 Human rights activists in Israel petition the High Court Of Justice to cease Israeli arms exports to Ukraine since some of these weapons reach neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine’s security forces
No plausible explanation for latest Russian ‘poisonings’, by Scott Taylor, published in his weekly ‘On Target’ column in the Halifax, Canada daily Chronicle Herald, July 8, 2018 (also appearing in Esprit de Corps magazine, published by Scott Taylor), July 9, 2018
* If the novichok was planted by Russia, where’s the evidence?, by Simon Jenkins, columnist, The Guardian, July 8, 2018 [Even some of the columnists at Britain’s notoriously anti-Russia Guardian daily are having trouble swallowing the newest, unproven ‘chemical poisoning’ accusations by the British government levied against Russia. Britain says two people were stricken by chemical poisoning in Amesbury, England on June 30. One of those, Dawn Sturgess, died in hospital on July 8. Mainstream media says the two alleged victims were sickened by a chemical poison called ‘Novichok’. The proof? Why, the crisis-stricken British government as well as Britain’s spy and police agencies say so! What else need be said or investigated?] * Dawn Sturgess, by Craig Murray, published on his website July 9, 2018 (Craig Murray is a British former diplomat turned political activist, human rights campaigner, blogger and whistleblower. He was UK ambassador to Uzbekistan) 2002-04. Wikipedia.)
The terrible death of Dawn Sturgess [in hospital on July 8] casts a new shadow over the Salisbury Affair. Dawn appears to have been a popular and well grounded woman with close friend and family ties, whose life had taken a downward turn before being cruelly ended.
The illogical, inconsistent and shifting government narrative over events in Salisbury and Amesbury had appeared so ludicrous as to be tragi-comic. Any sense of amusement is now abruptly dispelled. But less us take a serious and sober look at the government case…
One state, one vote, by Gideon Levy, published in Haaretz, July 8, 2018 (read the commentary here in pdf: One state, one vote)
* Iroquois First Nation lacrosse team defies calls not to play in Israel, report on Electronic Intifada, July 9, 2018 (title on Electronic Intifada : ‘ Iroquois Nationals criticized for ignoring Israel boycott call’) and: Palestinians urge Iroquois lacrosse team to withdraw from Israel tournament, Electronic Intifada, July 4, 2018
* Socialist International of 140 political parties globally adopts Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions policy against Israel, also calls for military embargo, by Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), July 5, 2018
A brief history of the Turkish left, interview with Foti Benlisoy, published in two parts in Left-East magazine, May 2018 Part one: from the Origins to the 1980 Coup, May 3, 2018
Part two: From the 1980 coup to the present, May 7, 2018 (Foti Benlisoy is a member of the socialist group Başlangıç in Turkey, a historian and a co-founder of the Greek-Turkish publishing house Istos.)
U.S. opposition to breastfeeding motion stuns world health officials, by Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, in The Irish Times, July 7, 2018 Russia saves measure at World Health Assembly to promote breastfeeding after U.S. move to defend interests of formula makers
Lula or nothing? The dilemmas of the Brazilian left, by Felipe Antunes de Oliveira, MR Online, July 9, 2018 (Dr. Felipe Antunes de Oliveira is a lecturer in International Relations at Sussex University.)
Related: Brazil court orders release of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (‘Lula’), Telesur, July 8, 2018 [Later on July 8, the president of the Federal Regional Court of the South of Brazil rescinded the earlier judicial order that da Silva be released from prison detention.]
Trump’s delusional Iran oil gambit is decades too late, by Dan Glazebrook, published in ‘Op-Ed’ feature of RT, July 9, 2018
Ceasefire agreement reached with leaders of armed groups in southern Syria province of Daraa, RT, July 7, 2018
Related: Thousands head home in south Syria after ceasefire deal, monitor says, news agency reports, in The Times of Israel, July 7, 2018 Calm reported in Daraa region Saturday as sides finalize truce; regime troops celebrate recapture of Nassib border crossing with Jordan
… According to the July 6 deal, rebels are expected to hand over their heavy weapons, while those who reject the agreement will be bused with their families to the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, state media has said.
Following talks in Pyongyang, U.S. side hails results while North Korea condemns ‘regretable’ U.S. demand for unilateral denuclearization, report in Reuters, July 6, 2018
* Pyongyang slams Washington’s ‘rapacious demands’ in talks, Press TV, July 6, 2018
* North Korea sanctions not lifted until ‘verified denuclearization’, says Secretary of State Pompeo in Japan after talks in Pyongyang, RT, July 8, 2018
* 100,000 workers rally in Seoul, calling on President Moon Jae-in to honor pledge to respect workers rights, report in Zoom In Korea, July 3, 2018
Court in NATO-member Turkey sentences six journalists of former Zaman daily to eight-to-ten years on ‘terrorism’ charges, Turkish Minute, July 6, 2018
… According to the ruling, Mümtaz’er Türköne and Mustafa Ünal received sentences of 10 years, six months; İbrahim Karayeğen was given nine years; and Ahmet Turan Alkan, Şahin Alpay and Ali Bulaç were handed down sentences of eight years, nine months each. The court decided to release Alkan and Karayeğen pending appeal. The incarceration of Türköne and Ünal will continue.
… The Zaman daily, which was Turkey’s best-selling newspaper, was closed down along with dozens of other media outlets due to their links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016…
* Five acquitted in Zaman trial, two journalists released from jail, report by Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), July 6, 2018 Court convicts sixjournalists of “FETÖ membership” while acquitting all 11 defendants of the “coup” charge in the indictment
The long-running case into 11 former columnists and editors of the Zaman daily newspaper, closed down in 2016 through a statutory decree, came to an end on July 6. The trial court convicted six of the journalists standing trial of “membership in a terrorist organization” while acquitting five of the defendants…
* Zaman columnist Ahmet Turan Alkan returns home after 709 days in prison, Turkish Minute, July 7, 2018
* Int’l organizations decry verdicts for Zaman journalists, calling them ‘perversion of justice’, Turkish Minute, July 7, 2018
Trade war and depression, by Michael Roberts (Marxist economist in the UK), July 6, 2018 Today is a threshold date for the global economy. Trump’s U.S. administration starts imposing trade tariffs on $34bn of imports from China while Beijing is set to target an equal amount in retaliation. Add that to the pile of tariffs and counter-tariffs growing across the Atlantic and North America, the value of trade covered by the economic wars that Trump has launched will race through the $100bn mark by today. And that’s just the beginning. This escalating trade war could easily surge through the trillion-dollar mark, taking 1.5% of global GDP…
‘Manbij remains secure’, says U.S.-Turkey ‘coalition’ after blast injures protesters in Manbij, northern Syria, report in Rudaw news agency, July 5, 2018
Trump eyes even higher tariffs as China trade war escalates, Bloomberg News, July 5, 2018 and, Trade war begins: China retaliates with 25% tariffs on $34 billion worth of U.S. imports, RT, July 6, 2018
Thousands march in Quito, Ecuador condemning judicial pursuit of former president Rafael Correa, Telesur, July 5, 2018
* In a repeat of Brazil model, judge orders detention of Rafael Correa, by Pavan Kukarni, The Dawn News , July 4, 2018
* Ecuador ex-president Rafael Correa dismisses arrest warrant as government plot, AFP, July 4, 2018
* Latin American, international leaders back Rafael Correa as Ecuador court tries to frame him Lula-style, Telesur, July 4, 2018
* ‘They want me dead’: Interview with Rafael Correa, RT, July 4, 2018
Erdogan regime wins June 24 Turkey election. Fascism looms and left-wing forces face historic challenge, by Baris Karaagac, July 6, 2018 (Baris Karaagac teaches international political economy and economic development at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. He is the editor of the 2013 book Accumulations, Crises, Struggles: Capital and Labour in Contemporary Capitalism.)
Novichok’ strikes again (but doesn’t kill) and all the old questions re-emerge, news analysis on RT, July 5, 2018
* The latest ‘chemical weapon’ mystery, in Amesbury, England, by Craig Murray, published on his website, July 5, 2018
* Wheel out the Skripal story again, by Craig Murray, published on his website, July 4, 2018
* ‘Curiouser and curiouser’: Salisbury, the Skripals and the epic failure of the British ‘chemical poisoning’ fairy tale, commentary by George Galloway, in RT‘s ‘Op-Ed’ feature, July 3, 2018 (View also July 5, 2018 article dutifully published in the anti-Russia Guardian daily wherein UK foreign minister Sajid Javid accuses Russia of using Britain as a ‘dumping ground’ for poisonous chemicals.)
* Joining some dots on the Skripal case, part six : Tying up the loose ends, by Rob Slane (journalist in Salisbury, England), June 23, 2018 Over the last five pieces (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5), I have slowly but surely advanced a theory of what happened in the Skripal case. I must confess to having done so with a fair amount of unease. I don’t want to believe that my Government has been stating a case that is false. I don’t want to believe that the public have been lied to. I don’t want to have to think that there has been a lot of effort made to present an explanation that hides the truth. And yet, given the fact that the Government story contains self-evident fallacies, and cannot be made to add up, I don’t think that there’s much alternative than to be hugely sceptical about their claims…
Corporate media’s about-face on Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, by Daniel Lazare, Consortium News, July 5, 2018 The Ukrainian state is so weak and riddled with so many ultra-rightists in key positions – Andriy Parubiy, founder of the neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine, is speaker of the parliament while ultra-rightist Arsen Avakov is minister of the interior – that the path before them is clear and unobstructed. [Corporate media in the United States has spent the past four-plus years dismissing the role of neo-Nazis in Ukraine’s 2014 coup. Suddenly, some of it is going through a conversion, as Daniel Lazare reports. Corporate media in Canada, meanwhile, is unmoved from its anti-Russia hysteria, including at the state-run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). George Galloway reports similarly from Britain where unproven and irrational reports of ‘chemical poisonings’ by ‘Russian agencies’ have ruled the airwaves. See the July 5, 2018 article dutifully published in the anti-Russia Guardian daily and citing UK foreign minister Sajid Javid accusing Russia of using Britain as a ‘dumping ground’ for poisonous chemicals.]
* As another Roma is murdered in Ukraine, Kyiv’s control over far-right paramilitary groups is called into question, by Vladislav Davidzon, Tablet Magazine, July 5, 2018
* Ukrainian nationalists ransack Roma encampment, by Associated Press, June 8, 2018
* Denial of the obvious: The far right in the 2014 Maidan protests in Ukraine and the danger today, academic research paper by Volodymyr Ishchenko, published in Left-East, May 11, 2018
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the challenge before the U.S. left, by Margaret Kimberly, weekly column in Black Agenda Report, July 4, 2018
* Data suggest that gentrifying neighborhoods powered Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, by Zaid Jilani and Ryan Grim, The Intercept, July 1, 2018
* Mexican president Lopez Obrador isn’t Mexico’s Trump nor is he Trump’s natural enemy, by Jonah Shepp, New York Magazine, July 5, 2018
Asylum seekers win in court as federal judge rules against indefinite and arbitrary detention, interview with Eunice Lee, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 5, 2018 (Eunice Lee is co-legal director at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies)
Russia calls on world to aid Syria in its reconstruction, TASS news agency, July 4, 2018
Trump warns NATO allies to spend more on defense, or else, New York Times, July 2, 2018 On the eve of NATO’s annual summit meeting to begin in Brussels on July 11, President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies — including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada — taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with what he said was their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance…
* Trudeau to rebut Trump’s charge of defence-spending lag with July 9 visit to Canadian troops in Latvia en route to NATO summit, by Steven Chase, Globe and Mail, July 3, 2018
* 2017 was the third consecutive year of increased NATO-members military spending, Bloomberg News, March 15, 2018
In August 2017, Trump pressed aides on Venezuela invasion, Associated Press, July 5, 2018
Colombia: Gustavo Petro’s campaign coordinator murdered, Telesur, July 5, 2018 Ana Maria Cortes, a social leader and the coordinator of Gustavo Petro’s presidential campaign in the city of Caceres, Antioquia was murdered Wednesday.. She is among many social leaders murdered after being threatened by paramilitary groups in Colombia.
As global one per cent seize economy’s gains, ‘unprecedented wage stagnation’ for everyone else, by Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams, July 5, 2018
Egyptian president Al-Sisi is key to Trmp’s plan to kill a Palestinian state, by Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye, July 5, 2018
Former detainees at secret U.S. prisons call for inquiry into UK role in U.S.-led torture and jailing, The Guardian, July 5, 2018
China presses Europe for anti-U.S. alliance on trade, by Robin Emmott and Noah Barkin, Reuters, July 3, 2018
Catastrophic drought threatens Iraq as major dams in surrounding countries cut off water to its great rivers, by Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, July 2, 2018 … Dams built upriver in Turkey, Syria and Iran since the 1970s have reduced the flow of water that reaches Iraq by as much as half and the situation is about to get worse…
Breaking: Syrian gov’t, Kurdish PYD make important agreement in Al-Hasakah, eastern Syria, by Leith Aboufadel, Al-Masdar News, July 2, 2018
* Meeting in Geneva on June 18 of Syria Constitution Committee, TASS, June 18, 2018 Meeting included representatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran along with 150 Syrian members of the Syrian Constitution Committee
* Syrian opposition’s list for constitutional committee referred to guarantor nations, TASS, June 18, 2018 The Syrian National Dialogue Congress that was held in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on January 30, 2018 yielded an agreement to form a constitutional committee that would be tasked to draft, along with UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, the country’s new constitution. As many as 150 candidates have been nominated as committee members, of whom 100 are delegates from the government and pro-government opposition (domestic and moderate) and 50 are delegates from the external opposition…
[News of ceasefire agreements and discussions towards a long-term political settlement in Syria cannot be found in Western corporate media nor much of Western alternative media. They want regime-change war for Syria, not peace. So their news reporting is tailored to censor any reporting of movement towards peace.]
Behind the secret U.S. war in Africa, by Wesley Morgan, Politico, July 2, 2018
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at 50: Awaiting good faith, by Robert Dodge, Common Dreams, July 2, 2018 (Robert Dodge is the Co-Chair of the Security Committee of National Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is the President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles.)
[In this brief article, the author misrepresents the history of nuclear weapons proliferation. North Korea’s highly defensive program gets mixed in with the offensive programs of India, Pakistan and Israel, which long pre-dated North Korea’s program. The author falsely claims that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons acquisition until the 2015 diplomatic agreement reached with the U.S. and Europe. He makes no mention of the U.S. role in provoking a new nuclear arms race, first with the Soviet Union then with Russia. And there is no mention of the role of nuclear energy companies and governments in the West in enabling nuclear weapons proliferation over the decades. Finally, how is nuclear weapons abolition to be achieved when the main obstacle presently–the new cold war drive by Western imperialism–is ignored?]
Neo-Nazism on the rise in Ukraine, by Scott Taylor, weekly ‘On Target’ column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, July 1, 2018
After the ‘Amazon Tax’ betrayal in Seattle, by Kshama Sawant, Counterpunch, July 2, 2018 Seven Seattle City Council members voted on June 12 to repeal the Amazon tax, capitulating to big business pressure to overturn the ordinance just passed unanimously less than a month earlier. (Kshama Sawant is a Seattle city councillor and a member of the Socialist Alternative party.)
* Amazon crushes a small tax that would have helped the homeless, by Maya Kosoff, Vanity Fair, June 12, 2018 … The issue was a $275-per-employee tax on large employers in the city, passed in May 2018 to help alleviate the city’s spiraling homelessness crisis. The tax would have targeted businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenue, beginning in January, with the goal of raising some $50 million annually to help keep people off the streets…
* U.S. cities and states give big tech $9.3bn in subsidies in five years, by Dominic Rushe, The Guardian, July 2, 2018 Giant technology companies in the United States, which include some of the world’s most profitable firms, have been pledged at least $9.3 billion in state and local subsidies over the last five years – much of it coming from the coffers of cities and states with failing infrastructure, struggling schools and broken budgets. The analysis by watchdog group Good Jobs First shows that the size of individual handouts appears to be growing. The latest – and largest – award of $4.8bn went to Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the iPhone, PlayStation and other electronic goods, for its enormous new plant in Wisconsin…
* Amazon’s fusion with the state shows neoliberalism’s drift to neo-fascism, interview with Yasha Levine and John Bellamy Foster, Mint Press News, June 29, 2018 (Yasha Levine is the author of the 2018 book Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet. John Bellamy Foster is the editor of Monthly Review editor. They speak about the rise of the Amazon.com empire and the merger of Big Data, finance capitalism, and the U.S. state apparatus.)
Parents separated from their children by Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy ask: ‘Will I ever see my child again?’, by Tamsin McMahon, U.S. correspondent, Globe and Mail, July 1, 2018
… The Trump administration sparked an international outcry against its “zero tolerance” policy of criminally charging thousands of Central American asylum seekers flocking to the border. For the six weeks that the family separation policy was in effect, parents were held in jails and prisons across the Southwest to await criminal court proceedings. Some still remain there. At the same time, more than 2,300 of their children have been sent to shelters and foster homes as far away as New York State and Michigan.
U.S. President Donald Trump ended the practice in a June 20 executive order, promising to keep migrant families together, while still finding a way to charge and detain parents. But the family separation policy unleashed a reign of chaos and confusion at the border. As the government removed thousands of boys and girls from their mothers and fathers, and scattered them across the country, many parents are asking: Will I ever see my child again? …
* New Mexico president Lopez Abrador vows to fight corruption, promises to ‘respect’ NAFTA following landslide win, Telesur, July 2, 2018
* Lopez Abrador’s election coalition ‘Together We Will Make History’ could gain majority of Senate and Congress, Telesur, July 2, 2018 Mexicans also elected over 3,400 state representatives and local officials, 128 senators, 500 overall deputies and 8 State governors.
* Andrés Manuel López Obrador wins Mexican presidential election in landslide victory, interview with Christy Thornton, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 2, 2018 (Christy Thornton is assistant professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University and is currently writing a book about Mexican economic history. She was an election observer for the Scholar and Citizen Network for Democracy.)
* Who is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left-wing rebel tipped to take power?, by Dave Graham, The Independent, June 30, 2018
* How does Mexico’s revamped electoral system work?, Telesur, June 30, 2018
* Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Mexico’s watershed presidential election on July 1, by Richard Roman and Edur Velasco Arregui, The Bullet, June 29, 2018
Mexico awash in violence, corruption and inequality: New President Lopez Obrador to the rescue?, by Michael Roberts, published on his blog The Next Recession, July 2, 2018
U.S. Congress welcomes the neo-Nazi speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament as neo-Nazi violence rages in Ukraine, by Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone Project, July 2, 2018
While racist violence rages through Ukraine, punctuated by a wave of attacks on Roma encampments by the state-funded C14 neo-Nazi militia, the U.S. Congress played host to an actual Ukrainian fascist. He was Andriy Parubiy. Besides being the proud founder of two Nazi-like parties — the Social-National Party and the Patriot of Ukraine — he was the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council from February to July 2014 and was elected speaker of the the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) in Aporil 2016.
During a meeting hosted by the American Foreign Policy Society inside the Senate, I seized the chance to ask Parubiy’s hosts why they were welcoming a figure who was so central to the extremism overtaking Ukrainian society. I also put the question to Michael Carpenter, a former Pentagon official who helped deepen the US relationship with post-coup Ukraine during the Obama administration. The responses I received reflected a semi-official policy of denying the very existence of Ukraine’s far-right plague in order to turn the heat up on Moscow…
[Andriy Paruiby (Wikipedia) was welcomed in Ottawa by the Liberal Party government of Justin Trudeau in February 2016. Max Blumenthal’s findings that members of the U.S. Congress follow a “semi-official policy of denying the very existence of Ukraine’s far-right plague” applies equally to Parliamentarians of all parties in Ottawa and also to the political left in Canada.]
Pentagon test-drops upgraded nuclear bomb from B-2 stealth bomber over Nevada, RT, July 1, 2018 The U.S. Air Force has tested the B61-12 nuclear bomb by dropping a dud from a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber over Nevada as part of an ambitious project to extend the service life of the bomb, introduced in 1968, by another 20 years.
…After former President Barack Obama authorized a nuclear modernization program, Trump revised it into an ambitious 30-year project that would cost at least $1.2 trillion to complete. Some $800 billion will be spent on maintaining nuclear forces, while about $400 billion will be spent on modernizing them, under the pretext of an existential need to deter “revisionist powers” such as China and Russia…
Related: Nuclear gravity bomb completes first quality tests on B-2 bomber, Military.com, July 2, 2018
How the West and its allies sabotaged Venezuela, by Val Reynoso, Venezuela Analysis, June 28, 2018
Syrians celebrate as Syrian army purges more towns of terrorists in southwest region of Daraa, Press TV, July 1, 2018