‘World news’ is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing January 2018. It consists of headlines and weblinks, with occasional news summary and brief analysis by A Socialist In Canada [in square brackets]. Months preceding November 2018 are contained under ‘News pages archives’ which you can find in the listing of website categories. Beginning April 2018, headlines in red denote articles published on the website main page (also listed in their respective subject categories). To find past subjects on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, October 2018
Polish president revives demands for war reparations from Germany, by Agence France presse, Oct 28, 2018
* Poland’s governing party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski demands WWII reparations from Germany, RT, June 29, 2018
* Reparations for Poland is Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s latest diversion, commentary in Deutsche Welle, March 18, 2017
[Imperialist countries do not like demands for reparations for their past, historic crimes. A case in point is what happened to the people of Haiti in 2004. In 2003, the government of then-Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide launched a legal action in the World Court to recover the odious ‘Independence Debt’ imposed by France following Haiti’s independence in 1804. The debt was paid from the 1820s until the mid-1940s, amounting to some $21 billion in current dollars. France, the European Union, the U.S. and Canada joined in supporting a paramilitary coup that overthrew Aristide on Feb 29, 2004. Then, along with Chile and Brazil, they invaded and occupied Haiti to consolidate the coup. The occupation remains in place some 15 years later, under the aegis of the UN Security Council.]
On boycotts, academic freedom and the struggle for justice in Israel-Palestine, by Bruce Robbins, The Nation, Nov 1, 2018 The big story in the United States is the growing support for the Palestinian cause, and for a just and viable Israel that gives equal rights to all its citizens
Rhetoric by President Duterte inspires wave of strikes, worker activism in Philippines, by Cliff Venzon, Nikkei Asian Review, Oct 23, 2018
Saudi-led coalition masses troops near Yemen’s Hodeidah as pressure mounts to end war, France 24, Nov 1, 2018 [Stung by outrage over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and pressured by ongoing outrage over the humanitraian disaster in Yemen, the United States, Britain and their Western allies are now feigning concern over the war in Yemen that is being pursued by Saudi Arabia with the support of the very, aforementioned Western countries. The ‘peace’ which the imperialist countries now seek in Yemen is not peace at all; it is surrender of the Houthi-led Yemeni forces being targetted by the grim, Saudi-U.S./Britain led military campaign.]
UN General Assembly overwhelmingly votes against Cuba blockade, only Israel and the U.S. vote in favour, Telesur, Nov 1, 2018
Over 120 civilians killed by U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria in past month, while ISIS makes comeback with cutting edge weapons in or near U.S.-controlled areas, reports Russian military, RT, Oct 31, 2018 … Major General Igor Konashenkov explained that life in the U.S.-controlled areas of Syria is in shambles and the situation in Raqqa is a striking example of this. The city was “wiped out” by the airstrikes and thousands of bodies are still under the rubble of the destroyed buildings, he explained…
Following white supremacist terror, Trump doubles down from birthright to the border, interview with Professor Gerald Horne (University of Houston), by host Aaron Maté , The Real News Network, Oct 30, 2018
As mid-term congressional elections take place, Russiagate is missing in action, and that’s a good thing, essay by Aaron Maté, The Nation, Oct 29, 2018
Trump regime is sending 5,200 troops to U.S.-Mexico border as part of stoking fears over refugee caravan ‘invasion’, by Robert Burns, Colleen Long and Jill Colvin, Associated Press, Oct 29, 2018
* Donald Trump says he wants to revoke birthright citizenship in the U.S. with an ‘executive order’, news agency reports, on ABC.net.au, Oct 30, 2018 [Donald Trump falsely claims that the U.S. is “the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.” A 2010 study showed that 30 countries recognize birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of citizenship to children born in the United States. Trump is thus claiming the power to change the U.S. constitution by executive order!] * Trump claims he can end 14th Amendment guarantee of birthright citizenship, by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Oct 30, 2018
The inconvenient truth about the U.S.-bound migrant caravan, by Belen Fernandez, Al Jazeera, Oct 27, 2018 The migrant caravan over which Trump is so obsessed is a direct result of U.S. foreign policy
Darkness falls in America: After a week of horror, Trump refuses to admit any responsibility, by Heather Digby Parton, Slate Magazine, Oct 29, 2018 Trump is upset about the violence committed in his name — because it undercuts his moment of anti-immigrant hate directed against the migrant caravan from Honduras
* Solo right-wing extremist and Trump supporter arrested in Florida for spree of mail bombs, report by Michael Biesecker and Stephen Braun, Associated Press, Oct 27, 2018
* Suspect arrested in spree of mail bombs lived in a van plastered with Trump-supporting images and rhetoric, report by Jake Johnston, Common Dreams, Oct 26, 2018
* Eleven dead, six others shot at Pittsburgh synagogue, CBS News Pittsburgh, Oct 27, 2018 … Police sources tell KDKA’s Andy Sheehan the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “All Jews must die.” The shooting happened during weekly Shabbat services at the conservative Jewish synagogue. The building was full of people for a Saturday service… [Eleven people were killed by the extreme-right gunman and six were injured, including four police officers. The gunman, a Robert Bowers, was shot by police but arrested alive.] * Canada’s opposition Conservative Party and its leader Andrew Scheer step up criticism of media and reporters, by Daniel LeBlanc, Globe and Mail, Oct 26, 2018
Related: Joint statement on peace in Syria by the leaders of the Republic of Turkey, the French Republic and the Russian Federation and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, following their meeting in Istanbul on October 27, 2018. Statement published on the website of the President of Russia.
[The four countries agreed on a roadmap to peace and reconstruction in Syria, focused on these broad areas:
- The road to peace in Syria is through political agreement, not war
- No to any territorial division of Syria
- Encouraging a new constitution for Syria that would recognize autonomous rights for national and cultural minorities
- Continue the ceasefire agreement in Idlib province reached between Syria, Russia and Turkey in September 2018
- Boost humanitarian aid
- Facilitate the return of those among the millions of Syrian refuges wanting to return home
- Internationally observed elections
[It remains to be seen how NATO members France and Germany will act on what they agreed in Istanbul. These two countries have always spoken in favour of ‘peace’ in eastern Ukraine, for example, but their ‘peace’ is the peace of the graveyard, in which the right-wing government and armed forces in Ukraine crush the pro-autonomy movement in Donbass (eastern Ukraine).]
‘Far more dangerous than Trump’: Extremist, far-right Bolsonaro wins Brazil’s presidency, by staff, Common Dreams, Oct 28, 2018 ‘This is a dark day for Brazil; Brazilian democracy is now in complete crisis.’ and Right-wing Bolsonaro wins Brazilian elections with landslide despite mass protests, RT, Oct 29, 2018
* Is Brazil’s Bolsonaro a Pinochet or a populist?, commentary by George Galloway, published in RT‘s ‘Op-Ed’ feature, Oct 30, 2018 ‘A long dance to defeat has taken place in Brazil, accepting the legitimacy of fascist-era courts, bent policemen and an oligarchy parliament, all of them the enemies of the workers and their party.’
* Who is Jair Bolsonaro and why is he more dangerous than Trump?, by Alex Hochuli, published on ‘Think’ (NBC News), Oct 28, 2018 (NBC editor’s note Oct. 28, 2018, 9 p.m. ET: This piece has been updated to reflect the results of the Brazilian election on Oct. 28.) (Alex Hochuli is a writer, researcher and consultant based in São Paulo, Brazil. He is the host of the global politics podcast, ‘Aufhebunga Bunga’ and is writing a book on the contradictions of ‘anti-politics’.)
* Brazilian democracy ‘in crisis’ following election of fascistic Bolsonaro, press release by Center for Economic Policy Research (Washington DC), Oct 28, 2018
* Jair Bolsonaro is elected president of Brazil. Read his extremist, far-right positions in his own words, by Andrew Fishman, The Intercept, Oct 28, 2018
First issue published of Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, announcement by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Oct 29, 2018 Today at the United Nations in New York, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) launch the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor 2018, the first report of a newly established watchdog for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Wikipedia). The 256-page report tracks the progress of the historic nuclear ban treaty, adopted by the UN General Assembly on July 7, 2017, including monitoring progress on compliance. View the report in pdf format here, or find it at the story weblink.
Can the hawks in Washington sabotage the inter-Korean peace process?, interview with Tim Shorrock, correspondent at The Nation, with host Aaron Mate, The Real News Network, Oct 26, 2018
Who will save us from America? Trump’s INF withdrawal is a neocon dream but a global nightmare, by John Wight, columnist, RT, Oct 26, 2018
* U.S. to blow another nuclear arms control treaty to feed its war economy, by Finian Cunningham, columnist, RT, Oct 22, 2018 [The Trump regime in Washington has announced a unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) reached between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in 1987. Western media is chiming in with welcoming words, echoing Trump et al’s claims that it is Russia‘s actions in response to the U.S. and NATO’s history of aggression and nuclear threats which is to blame for the U.S. withdrawal from the INF].
* What’s is the INF and why does it matter? Trump wants to kill pivotal 1987 nuclear treaty that calmed the Cold War, RT, Oct 20, 2018
* Intermediate-Range Nuclear Treaty (INF), in Wikipedia.
The Khashoggi affair and the future of Saudi Arabia, by Daniel Lazare, contributor, Consortium News, Oct 25, 2018
If Donald Trump seems at a loss about how to respond to the Jamal Khashoggi murder, it may not be because he’s worried about his Saudi business investments or any of the other things that Democrats like to bring up to avoid talking about more serious topics. Rather, it’s likely because Trump may be facing one of the biggest U.S. foreign-policy crises since the overthrow of the shah in Iran in 1979.
At that time, the U.S. counted on support from Arab Gulf states no less frightened by the Iranian revolution. That included Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, oil emirates Kuwait and Qatar, plus the Saudis themselves. But if the Saudi power structure were ever to crumble in the wake of the Khashoggi scandal, there would likely be chaos because there is no alternative to replace it…
* Governments in U.S., Europe and Canada squirm and dodge as their arms peddling to Saudi Arabia is condemned, by Frank Jordans and Aritz Parra, Associated Press, Oct 24, 2018
* The sale must go on: Canadian PM Trudeau sticks to US$12 billion arms deal with Saudis despite Khashoggi killing, RT, Oct 24, 2018
* First cut won’t be the deepest. Deeper wounds are yet to come over the killing of Jamil Khashoggi, commentary by George Galloway, in ‘Op-Ed’ feature in RT, Oct 23, 2018
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s upcoming talks with Syria’s chief opposition negotiator Naser al-Hariri, excerpt from the weekly media briefing by Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Oct 25, 2018, transcript published on the Ministry’s website
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Naser al-Hariri, head of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee, is scheduled to take place in Moscow on October 26. We hope that a detailed discussion of the developments in and around Syria will take place, with an emphasis on finding the earliest possible solution to the crisis in the county by political means, via an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.
The priority topics for discussion include efforts to create the Constitutional Committee, the final eradication of terrorists in the Syrian Arab Republic, cooperation in restoring the destroyed socioeconomic infrastructure, the creation of conditions for internally displaced people to return to their homes and massive repatriation of Syrian refugees from abroad…
* ‘High Negotiations Committee’ from paramilitary-controlled Syria insists on Assad’s resignation, TASS, Oct 26, 2018
* Syrian High Negotiations Committee under fire for allegedly making ‘concessions’ to Russia and Iran, report by Khaled al-Khateb, in Al-Monitor, Oct 22, 2018
Australia bought into a ‘dud’ with its purchases of F-35 fighter aircraft, the largest military program in history, report by Rhian Deutrom, in News.com.au, Oct 25, 2018
… The Australian government has committed to spending $17 billion on 72 jets due to be built in the U.S. and delivered by 2035. Ten of the jets have been built so far and are they sitting at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
… The fighter jets cost a staggering $140 million each and have been plagued by computer system failures, software delays and breakdowns. University of NSW defence technology expert Jai Galliott said the jets were fast becoming outdated due to the delays. “By the time we have fully operational fleets of these aircraft, their skills will be significantly less than what might have been the case back when we signed the deal,” Dr Galliott said…
UN Human Rights Committee rules that France’s niqab ban violates human rights by leaving Muslim women ‘confined at home’, by Tom Barnes, The Independent, Oct 24, 2018
Related: Quebec to bar all civil servants from wearing Muslim chador, niqab and burka, Global News, Oct 24, 2018 [The Quebec Liberal Party government defeated in Quebec’s October 1 election tabled Bill 62 in October 2017 aiming to ban giving or receiving public services while wearing a niqab. It was swiftly met with legal challenges and has since been suspended by the courts.]
Caravan of migrants in Mexico pause to honor dead man, tend to health concerns of marchers, by Mark Stevenson, Associated Press, Oct 23, 2018 (with map and chart)
… The caravan, estimated to include more than 7,000 people, has advanced about 45 miles (75 kilometers) since crossing the border from Guatemala and still faces more than 1,000 miles to the closest U.S. border crossing at McAllen, Texas — and more than twice that to reach the distant Tijuana-San Diego crossing. Many in the caravan have low odds of qualifying for asylum even if they do make it, as the United States does not consider things like fleeing from poverty or gang violence as a qualifying factor.
A smaller caravan earlier this year headed for the California crossing, dissipating as it advanced, and only about 200 of the 1,200 in that group reached the border.
Nearly 1,700 from the current caravan have already dropped out and applied for asylum in Mexico, according to Mexican authorities, and another 500 have decided to voluntarily return home to Honduras…
Related: Over 7,000-strong, migrant caravan pushes on; still far from U.S. border, by Mark Stevenson, Associated Press, Oct 22, 2018
The strategies of the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war: Aerial bombardment and food war, report by Martha Mund, World Peace Foundation, Oct 9, 2018 (23-page report)
* The front lines of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, by Declan Walsh, photos and video by Tyler Hicks, New York Times, Oct 20, 2018
* Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen on August 9 was supplied by the U.S., investigative report on CNN, Aug 17, 2018
Julian Assange should be thanked – not smeared – for Wikileaks’ service to journalism, by Mark Curtis, Middle East Eye, Oct 21, 2018
Related: WikiLeaks founder sues Ecuador government for violating his ‘fundamental freedoms’, report on The Independent, Oct 19, 2018 … The move comes several months after Ecuador cut off communications for Mr Assange, and just days after it emerged it has set new house rules for the WikiLeaks founder, including a ban on making political statements…
The UN’s ten-year plan to tackle world’s drug problem has been ‘spectacular failure’ as production and consumption soar, report says, by Samuel Osborne, The Independent, Oct 22, 2018 Drug-related deaths increase by 145 per cent and cultivation of opium poppies increases by 130 per cent, figures show … The report, by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) – Taking stock: A decade of drug policy – evaluated the UN Office of Drug and Crime’s 10-year plan, which it said “continues to generate a catastrophic impact on health, human rights, security and development, while not even remotely reducing the global supply of illegal drugs”…
Social media war in Brazil pushes far-right candidate Bolsonaro toward presidency, by Michael Fox, Truthout.org, Oct 21, 2018
Nicola Sturgeon pulls out of three-day, BBC-hosted media event featuring Steve Bannon, by Adam Forrest, The Independent, Oct 22, 2018 [The Independent reporter uses the nonsensical, whitewashing term “nationalist” to describe the far-right views of Steve Bannon and others like him. In a statement issued in response to the invitation to Bannon, the European Broadcasting Union, co-sponsor of the conference along with the BBC, explained, “He has been invited to speak at News Xchange this year because his views are relevant to today’s society at large and therefore to the media industry.” Well put!]
Battle-scarred city of Marawi, Philippines still suffering wounds of war, by Bong S Sarmiento, in Mindanao, Philippines, published in Asia Times, Oct 21, 2018 Marawi is the only predominantly Muslim city in the Philippines, located on the island of Mindanao. One year after it was liberated from ISIS-inspired extremists, residents see little benefit from promised multi-billion-dollar rehabilitation packages.
* One year after siege of Marawi, thousands of displaced residents still live in tents, by Froilan Gallardo and Richel V. Umel, in Marawi, Philippines, published in Benar News, Oct 16, 2018
* Watch two-minute video of streets of Marawi one year after beginning of siege and battle, broadcast on YouTube by Rappler, May 22, 2018
North and South Korea continue to move toward peace and integration, despite U.S., news update by Zoom In Korea, Oct 18, 2018
Related: Washington’s ire shifts from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, by Tim Shorrock, The Nation, Oct 19, 2018 Trump infuriated and insulted South Koreans last week when he said “they do nothing without our approval”.
U.S. to begin cutting aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala for declining to stop migrant caravan, Reuters, Oct 22, 2018 [The U.S. provided more than $175 million in foreign aid to Honduras in the 2017 fiscal year, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Guatemala received $249 million and El Salvador got $115 million. Much of the money went to counter-narcotics and security. —Bloomberg News.]
* Migrant caravan swells as it enters Mexico en route toward U.S., despite Donald Trump’s threat to close border, from report by Reuters and AP, on ABC.net.au, Oct 21, 2018
* Caravan of migrants from Honduras resumes march north from Mexico-Guatemala border, by Dakin Andone, Patrick Oppmann and Natalie Gallón, CNN, Oct 21, 2018 Caravan members are headed for shelters in the Mexican city of Tapachula, about 37 km north of the Mexico-Guatemala border, Mexican police officers have told CNN.
* More migrant caravans preparing to leave from Honduras, El Salvador, report in Telesur, Oct 21, 2018
* Caravan of 4,000 U.S.-bound Honduran migrants halted on Mexico-Guatemala border, U.S. and Mexico mount pressure to turn them back, by Daina Beth Solomon and Delphine Schrank, Associated Press, Oct 19, 2018 [Mainstream news reports, including this one, make no mention of the military coup in Honduras in 2009, supported by the U.S. (under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and Canada. The coup sent the country into a whirlwind of violence and further economic decline, similar to the 2004 coup in Haiti, that one orchestrated by the U.S. and Canada. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. This is the second such caravan of Honduran migrants in six months. According to Associated Press, the present caravan numbers 4,000 people, about one third of whom wish to settle in Mexico while the remainder are seeking asylum protection in the U.S.]
* The violence Central American migrants are fleeing was stoked by the U.S., by Cole Kazdin, VICE News, June 27, 2018 We’re still dealing with the aftermath of atrocities committed by US allies in Central America during the Cold War.
* How U.S. policy in Honduras set the stage for mass migration, by Joseph Nevins, Associate Professor of Geography, Vassar College, published in The Conversation, Oct 31, 2016
Inside Nikki Haley’s shocking speech to secretive far-right group, interview with Max Blumenthal, on The Real News Network, with host Aaron Maté, Oct 19, 2018 (21-minute interview)
Related: Nikki Haley speaks at the far-right Council for National Policy, by Max Blumenthal, published in Harper’s Magazine, Oct 17, 2018
More than half a million march in London demanding a ‘people’s vote’ on the final text of any Brexit deal, report on RT, with video, Oct 20, 2018 [The march was the project of ruling class and middle class economic and political forces who favour the imperialist European Union project over an exit from it. On June 23, 2016, 52 per cent of people in Great Britain voted in a referendum for ‘Brexit‘–to exit the European Union. For the losing (‘Remain’) side, this was the ‘wrong’ vote and they want a new referendum.]
Brazil’s military poised to amass power after three decade wait, by Bruce Douglas, Rachel Gamarski and Gabriel Shinohara, Bloomberg News, Oct 15, 2018 [Brazilians will vote in a second-round presidential election on October 28. Results from the first-round presidential and congressional elections on October 7 are here on Wikipedia. In an opinion poll published on Oct 10 by Datafolha, Jair Bolsonaro is leading with 49 per cent, Fernando Haddad has 36 per cent, eight per cent intend to spoil their ballot and six per cent are undecided. Voting in Brazil is compulsory; the first-round participation rate was 80 per cent.]
Related: Judge Sergio Moro and the sprawling ‘Operation Carwash’ corruption investigation looms large over Brazil’s presidential vote, by Bruce Douglas, Mario Sergio Lima and Simone Preissler Iglesias, Bloomberg News, Oct 18, 2018
Vladimir Putin discusses Syria, Russian economy and world tensions at annual meeting of Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, video broadcast with English voiceover and English transcript of Vladimir Putin’s remarks, published on the website of the President of Russia, Oct 18, 2018 (150 minutes total, includes q&a with conference participants)
… I have said that our nuclear weapons doctrine does not provide for a pre-emptive strike. I would like to ask all of you and those who will later analyse and in one way or another interpret my every word here, to keep in mind that there is no provision for a pre-emptive strike in our nuclear weapons doctrine. Our concept is based on a reciprocal counter-strike. There is no need to explain what this is to those who understand, as for those who do not, I would like to say it again: this means that we are prepared and will use nuclear weapons only when we know for certain that some potential aggressor is attacking Russia, our territory.
… Only when we know for certain – and this takes a few seconds to understand – that Russia is being attacked we will deliver a counter strike. This would be a reciprocal counter strike. Why do I say ‘counter’? Because we will counter missiles flying towards us by sending a missile in the direction of an aggressor. Of course, this amounts to a global catastrophe but I would like to repeat that we cannot be the initiators of such a catastrophe because we have no provision for a pre-emptive strike. Yes, it looks like we are sitting on our hands and waiting until someone uses nuclear weapons against us. Well, yes, this is what it is. But then any aggressor should know that retaliation is inevitable and they will be annihilated…
The West and Saudi Arabia – a match made in murder, by John Wight, UK writer and RT contributor, published on his page on Medium.com, Oct 19, 2018
* The Khashoggi killing: America’s part in a Saudi horror, by Hugh Eakin, New York Review of Books ‘Daily’ bulletin, Oct 18, 2018
* As Saudi Arabia regime confirms Khashoggi’s murder, will we stop its murderous war in Yemen?, interview with Dr. Martha Mundy (London School of Economics), The Real News Network, with host Aaron Maté, Oct 19, 2018 (14-minute interview)
* Jamal Khashoggi and U.S. hypocrisy, by Margaret Kimberley, senior columnist (weekly) and editor, Black Agenda Report, Oct 17, 2018
* Saudi Arabia gets free pass on destroying Yemen, by Thomas Walkom, columnist, Toronto Star, Oct. 17, 2018 … While Western nations are happy to denounce [Syrian president] Assad, most are reluctant to take the Saudis to task. Indeed, the Americans, under both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, have quietly aided the Saudi-led bombing campaign by providing mid-air refuelling, logistical support and intelligence. British soldiers help provide command and control for the bombing effort. More to the point, the West supplies the Saudis with arms. It’s a lucrative trade for the U.S., Britain and even Canada, which currently has a $15 billion contract for armoured vehicles carriers in play…
* Is Saudi brutality worse than U.S. torture, rendition and drone assassination?, commentary by Peter Collins, broadcast on the Peter C. Collins Show (weekday, 30-minute radio podcast from San Francisco), Oct 17, 2018 (20-minute podcast commentary)
* President Trump’s overeager acceptance of Saudi Arabia’s excuse in the Khashoggi affair, by Robin Wright, The New Yorker, Oct 16, 2018
* In the wake of Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is pushed to the brink, by Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, Oct 16, 2018
* The Washington Post, as it shames others, continues to pay and publish undisclosed Saudi lobbyists and other regime propagandists, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Oct 15, 2018
* Seventy years of the New York Times describing Saudi royals as reformers, by Abdullah Al-Arian, published in Jadaliyya, Nov 27, 2017
Leaders of Russia and NATO members Turkey, France and Germany to meet in Ankara Oct 27 to discuss road to peace in Syria, report in RT, Oct 19, 2018
Is war looming between Russia and the U.S.?, commentary by Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military affairs columnist in Gazeta.ru, translated and published in RT, Oct 18, 2018
Native American sovereignty is under attack. Here’s how Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test hurt our struggle, by Nick Estes, The Intercept, Oct 19, 2018
Review by Jackson Lears of Seymour Hersh’s ‘Reporter: A Memoir’, published in London Review of Books, print issue of Sept 27, 2018 Reviewing: Reporter: A Memoir, by Seymour M. Hersh, published by Allen Lane (Penguin), June 2018, 355 pp, ISBN 978 0 241 35952 5 Subscriber only book review: read it here in pdf format (eight pages): Review by Jackson Lears of Seymour Hersh’s Reporter.
Israel Supreme Court rules in favour of U.S. university student Lara Alqasem’s attempt to study in Israel, Al Jazeera, Oct 18, 2018
* Is Lara Alqasem undermining Palestinian boycott campaign?, by Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, Oct 10, 2018
* Lara Alqasem’s release is a major win for liberal Zionists and a blow to the boycott/divestment/sanctions campaign (BDS), by Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss, Oct 19, 2018
Yesterday, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Lara Alqasem, an American student accused of advocating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, can enter the country in order to pursue a master’s program in Human Rights and Transitional Justice at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Alqasem, 22, had initially been barred due to her former BDS activity at the University of Florida (registered on the blacklist Canary Mission site which Ben Gurion airport security routinely consults), yet appealed the ban, and in that process was detained at the airport for 16 days.
On the one hand, this story is easy to celebrate as a win against draconian Israeli laws which constitute thought-police. On the other hand, it is also a dangerous win for liberal-Zionists who also campaigned for her release, because in the legitimizing of her cause, they also delegitimized BDS…
At political rally in Montana, Trump rally praises congressman and millionaire Greg Gianforte who assaulted Guardian reporter in May 2017 during election campaign, Reuters, Oct 18, 2018 [The U.S. congressman pleaded guilty to the assault in November 2017 and was finded and sentenced to community service. He lied to police in his initial explanation to them of what happened.]
Women’s March on the Pentagon on Oct 20 and 21, 2018: Finding the cure for imperialism, press release by Women’s March on the Pentagon, Oct 13, 2018
Related: Why I’ll be at the Women’s March on the Pentagon this weekend, by Bruce A. Dixon, managing editor, Black Agenda Report, Oct 18, 2018
Is the buffer plan in Idlib, Syria being implemented?, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Oct 18, 2018
Related: Ankara, Moscow say Idlib deal still on course despite missed deadline, by Turkish Minute, Oct 17, 2018
Where’s Sergei Skripal?, published on The Blogmire (Rob Slane, Salisbury UK), Oct 18, 2018
Ben Rhodes and the crisis of liberal foreign policy in the U.S., by David Klion, The Nation, Oct 17, 2018
Norway and Iceland host ‘Trident Juncture’, largest NATO military exercise since 2015, report by Reuters, Oct 17, 2018 … In total, 50,000 NATO personnel and partner countries [including Finland and Sweden] will be taking part in the exercise between October 25 and November 23, testing their ability to operate together. Thirty nations will be participating together with 150 aircraft, 65 ships and up to 10,000 vehicles…
* Battle for the Arctic: NATO’s Trident Juncture aims to demonstrate its dominance to Russia, commentary by Mikhail Khodarenok, military commentator for Gazeta.ru, translated and published by RT, Oct 18, 2018
* U.S. Marines launch exercise in northern Norway ahead of Trident Juncture, report in Barents Observer (Norway), Oct 15, 2018
* Norway to invite more U.S. Marines, for longer and stationed closer to Russia, Reuters, June 12, 2018 … Some 330 U.S. Marines were scheduled to leave Norway at the end of this year after an initial contingent arrived in January 2017 to train for fighting in winter conditions. They are the first foreign troops to be stationed in Norway, a member of NATO, since World War Two…
* U.S. doubles the number of marines stationed in Norway, report published in The Local, Aug 15, 2018 … The Norwegian Defence Ministry said today that the U.S. had recently informed it of plans to increase the number of U.S. marines stationed in Norway from 300 “up to 700”… The marines are the first foreign troops stationed in Norway since World War Two. The original 300 were expected to leave Norway by the end of 2018 but the (larger) posting will now last for up to five years…
Facebook is not your friend, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, Oct 18, 2018 … Facebook has signed onto the New Cold War, under the ruse of protecting U.S. elections from Russian interference. “We’re excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council , which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems.” In the real world, the Atlantic Council is the global public relations and think tank resource for NATO, the U.S.-led military alliance, funded by the whole constellation of war industries. Facebook has outsourced its censorship project to the Deep State…
Ukraine reports additional 500 measles cases in last week of September 2018, by Robert Herriman, published on Outbreak News Today, Oct 2, 2018 Through the first nine months of the year, 31,954 people–12,874 adults and 19,080 children–have contracted measles in Ukraine. [By comparison, 25 cases of measles and one case of congenital rubella syndrome have been reported in Canada during the first nine months of 2018.]
* Ukraine measles update: 32,489 cases year-to-date, by Outbreak News Today, Oct 13, 2018
* Europe is in the midst of its largest measles outbreak in years, ‘Ukraine is a big part of the problem’, by Alanna Shaikh, published on UN Dispatch, Aug 24, 2018 41,000 cases of measles have been recorded in Europe in 2018 as of June. More than half of the measles cases in this outbreak are in Ukraine. Those are the highest numbers we’ve seen in years… Measles outbreaks in Ukraine are evenly distributed throughout the country, reflecting the low vaccination rates in the nation as a whole…
Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish independence, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Oct 13, 2018 … My major concern is that the SNP’s foreign policy and defence teams at Westminster appear to have been entirely captured by the UK establishment and indeed the security services. They have been willing and instant amplifiers of the Tories’ Russophobia…
New BBC documentary ‘Dangerous Dynasty’ ignores the West’s role in destabilizing Syria, by Neil Clark, RT, Oct 16, 2018 … You could say the title was a bit of a giveaway. If you were expecting to see a balanced, intellectual analysis of Baathist rule in Syria, providing historical perspective, and putting the ‘House of Assad’ in some kind of regional context, you’d have been very disappointed. We weren’t even two minutes in before a voice-over declared: “Many have wondered how this former eye doctor [Bashar Assad] and his British-born wife ended up running a regime of committing war crimes, of gassing their own people… Understand their saga [the Assads] and you will understand how their country now lies in ruins.” …
Syriza’s repressive turn, by Stathis Kouvelakis and Costas Lapavitsas, published in Jacobin, Oct 6, 2018 (Stathis Kouvelakis was formerly a member of the central committee of Syriza and teaches political theory at King’s College London. Costas Lapavitsas is a Professor of Economics at SOAS and former member of the Greek Parliament.) Alexis Tsipras’s government promised to end austerity. Now it’s defending the banks against people evicted from their homes — and persecuting those who protest.
Diplomatic deadlock: Can U.S.-North Korea talks survive maximum pressure?, by Gregory Elich, published on his website, Oct 16, 2018, also appearing in CounterPunch, Oct 16, 2018 (Gregory Elich is a member of the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute. He is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea and a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific.)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s meeting with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un on September 18-20 culminated in the signing of the Pyongyang Declaration, which marked a significant advance towards peace and heralded a welcome warming in relations. Since that time, however, contradictions within the Trump administration’s North Korea policy threaten to forestall further progress and test the patience of its South Korean ally…
Related: North and South Korea agree to break ground on building and modernizing an inter-Korea railroad system, Associated Press, Oct 15, 2018 … The agreements come amid unease in Washington over the speed of inter-Korean engagement. Many outsiders believe that U.S.-led efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear-tipped missiles are lagging significantly behind the Koreas’ efforts to move past decades of bitter rivalry. … despite the fanfare for the proposed railway and road projects, the Koreas cannot move much further along without the lifting of [U.S.-instigated] international sanctions against North Korea, which isn’t likely to come before it takes firmer steps toward relinquishing its nuclear weapons and missiles…
Ecuador sets out strict rules governing Julian Assange’s access to the outside world from its UK embassy, RT, Oct 15, 2018 (includes video of recent, 53 minute address by Julian Assange to the world, on RT’s ‘Ruptly’)
Original report: Ecuador restores Julian Assange’s communications after seven-month blackout, RT, Oct 15, 2018
As Khashoggi case highlights Saudi crimes, UN report warns famine is driven by the U.S.-backed war in Yemen could kill 13 million, by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, Oct 13, 2018
* The strange disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, by As’ad AbuKhalil, Consortium News, Oct 15, 2018 Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi media commentator who disappeared in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, is not the critic of the Saudi regime that the Western media says he is
* The Saudi atrocities in Yemen are a worse story than the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, by Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, Oct 13, 2018
Hundreds of thousands march in Berlin against the far right, by Common Dreams staff, Oct 13, 2018 (includes text of the call for the march—’For an open and free society: Solidarity, not exclusion!’)
* Quarter of a milllion people rally in the streets of Berlin on Oct 13 to condemn racism and extreme-right, report in Deutsche Welle, Oct 13, 2018
* Merkel’s sister, incumbent conservative party battered in Bavaria election, Green Party gains big, Deutsche Welle, Oct 14, 2018
Mission impossible, book review by Roderick MacFarquhar, in New York Review of Books, print issue of Sept 27, 2018 Reviewing: The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947, by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan. published by Norton, 2018, 476 pp.
Trump is just one player in a much, much larger tax story, by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Oct 14, 2018 That big ‘New York Times’ expose should most of all remind us that upper-class tax evasion has been the norm for a generation
Decoding the violent language of Australian socialists in reporting on Syria
Comment by A Socialist In Canada: The Green Left Weekly newspaper in Australia has recently published the latest of its periodic reports of the situation in Syria. Conditions are looking bad, we read, because of the recent conflict disengagement agreement reached in the province of Idlib in Syria’s northwest. The agreement was brokered by Russia and Turkey. Idlib is the last, large area controlled by the right-wing, paramilitary forces seeking the violent overthrow of the Syrian government. These periodic reports in Green Left Weekly favour the violent overthrow of Syria’s sovereign government.
Prior to the agreement in Idlib, corporate as well as certain alternative media in the West were predicting an imminent bloodbath in the province, to be caused by a military offensive by the Syrian armed forces backed by Russia. Green Left Weekly itself reported on September 13: “… the invasion of Idlib by the Assad regime is likely to lead to many civilian casualties and a new wave of refugees fleeing the province.” But the predicted bloodbath did not come to pass. On the contrary, an important conflict disengagement agreement was reached in mid-September. Occasional news reports in the West have nothing positive to say about that agreement and nothing informative to say about the situation overall in the country. The foregoing is a brief review of this latest Green Left Weekly article:
* First sentence of article: “Russian president Vladimir Putin, the main backer of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan…” Syria’s elected leader is declared a “dictator” by the writer, while the leader of NATO-member Turkey–who has jailed thousands of political opponents in the past two years and has waged a brutal internal war against the Kurdish-populated areas in the east of Turkey–is named with the honorific “president”.]
* “There are many different rebel groups in Idlib, some of which are armed and funded by Turkey…” The right-wing paramilitaries serving as proxies since 2011 for the regime-change war waged by the U.S. and its NATO allies, including Turkey, get the vaguely sympathetic descriptor ‘rebels‘. This is the same term employed by Western corporate media in its whitewashing of the West’s cruel and illegal regime-change war.
* Referring to January 2018: “Russia, which controls the airspace over Afrin, allowed Turkish planes to bomb the area and Turkish troops to invade it.” And: “Already in 2016, Turkey had sent troops into the Jarablus/Azaz/al-Bab area, adjacent to Afrin, accompanied by allied rebel groups. Russia accepted this invasion…” Armchair generals throughout Western media accuse the Russian military of cooperation with Turkey’s illegal invasions and occupations of Syrian territory in the north of the country. The unspoken implication is that Russia should put up military resistance to Turkey in order to defend Kurdish military forces. Never mind that the Kurdish forces are allied with the U.S., and that Russia and Syria must contend with the fact that Turkey is a NATO country closely allied with the United States government and military. One of NATO’s fundamental doctrines is that ‘an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all’. This highly dangerous situation for Russia and Syria is of no apparent consequence for the Western armchair generals.
* Final sentence of article: “Meanwhile, guerrilla resistance continues against the Turkish army and its allied armed groups in Afrin.” This is a common refrain by the Green Left Weekly writer and it is a complete falsehood There is no Kurdish-led ‘guerilla war’ taking place against Turkish armed forces in Syria’s Afrin province. No such reporting can be found in Kurdish or Turkish media. Furthermore, the writer’s apparent encouragement of such a reckless course is a dangerous utterance. Syria’s Kurdish population is engaged in dialogue with the Syrian government towards a political agreement granting autonomous rights to the Kurds. Although this fact is almost never reported in the West, it is a crucially important political process that can bring peace and greater democracy for Syria’s Kurdish population. It will aid desperately needed peace and reconstruction throughout Syria. As the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey wrote in a statement last month: “We support the rebuilding of Syria under a new constitution which will be truly unifying, democratic and autonomous.”
Anti-Russia and anti-Syria leftists in the West advocate continued war and destruction for Syria. Genuine leftists advocate peace and reconstruction. We say that Western governments should end all sanctions against Syria and they should provide billions of dollars to repair the damages they have caused.
Cuba debates a new constitution, by Helen Yaffe, published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, Oct 10, 2018
Related: Cuba strides ahead with renewable energy ambitions, by Ben Geraghty, published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, Aug 16, 2018
Facebook accused of full-frontal suppression of dissent’ after independent media swept up in mass purge, by Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams, Oct 12, 2018 The massive shutdown affected many progressive sites devoted to covering war, police brutality, and other issues neglected by the corporate media
What Brazil’s Workers’ Party needs to do if it hopes to defeat rightist Jair Bolsonaro in second-round presidential vote on Oct 28, interview with Rosana Pinheiro-Machado, by Andrew Fishman of The Intercept, Oct 11, 2018 (Rosana Pinheiro-Machado is a contributor to the Portugese language, Brazil edition of The Intercept and a professor of anthropology at the Federal University of Santa Maria in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.)
* The stunning rise of Brazil’s far right and what it shows about Western democracies, interview with Bruna de Lara and Victor Pougy, two of the journalists with Intercept Brasil, broadcast on The Intercept, Oct 10, 2018 (38-minute interview, with host Glenn Greenwald)
* Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s would-be dictator, by Vincent Bevins, New York Review of Books ‘Daily Newsletter, Oct 12, 2018
* Left unites in support of Workers Party Fernando Haddad in second-round presidential vote, Telesur, Oct 10, 2018
* Can Brazil’s poorest region, the northeast, halt Jair Bolsonaro’s dangerous politics and presidential aspiration?, by Courtney J. Campbell (University of Birmingham), published in The Conversation, Oct 8, 2018
* Brazil’s presidential and legislative election on Oct 7, 2018, full results on Wikipedia
Steve Ellner speaking tour in U.S. and Canada October-December 2018 on the hardships imposed against the Venezuelan people by U.S.-Canadian sanctions, itinerary published by Chicago ALBA Solidarity, Sept 27, 2018
* Where is socialism in Maduro’s economic recovery plan?, by Gerardo Rojas, published in Venezuela Analysis, Oct 3, 2018
* Steve Ellner speaking in Troy (Albany region), New York on Oct 5, 2018, 65-minute presentation followed by Q&A, broadcast on YouTube
Washington state court ruling bans capital punishment, by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Oct 11, 2018 and report on Slate.com, Oct 11, 2018 … There are currently eight inmates on death row in Washington state. The court converted their sentences to life imprisonment and forbade the state from conducting any further executions [making it the 20th state in the U.S. to do so]. Because its ruling is based entirely in the state constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court cannot overturn it. And the court left no room for future reconsideration of its unanimous decision. Capital punishment is over in Washington State. [End Slate article.]
We should be asking for answers about the Skripals and Bellingcat – and not just from Russia, by Mary Dejevsky, The Independent, Oct 10, 2018 The ‘Bellingcat’ website project has grown rather a lot beyond its shoestring origins. It has money – where from? It has been hiring staff. It has transatlantic connections. It has never, so far as I am aware, reached any conclusion that is inconvenient to the UK or US authorities.
* ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ is probably not ‘Colonel Chepiga of the GRU’. But he is also not ‘Ruslan Boshirov’, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Sept 27, 2018 (Craig Murray was a longtime career diplomat in Britain. He served as Britain’s ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.)
* The incredible case of Alexander Petrov’s and Ruslan Boshirov’s visas, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Sept 24, 2018
* Lynch mob mentality, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Sept 14, 2018 I was caught in a twitterstorm of hatred yesterday, much of it led by mainstream media journalists like David Aaronovitch and Dan Hodges, for daring to suggest that the basic elements of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov’s story [of their tourism visit to England in March 2018] do in fact stack up. What became very plain quite quickly was that none of these people had any grasp of the detail of the suspects’ full 20 minute interview on RT, but had just seen the short clips or quotes as presented by British corporate and state media…
* The strange alibis of Russian citizens Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, by Craig Murray, published on his website, Sept 13, 2018
The shaky case that Russia manipulated social media to tip the 2016 election, by Gareth Porter, Consortium News, Oct 10, 2018
In their long recapitulation of the case that Russia subverted the 2016U.S. presidential election election, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times painted a picture of highly effective Russian government exploitation of social media for that purpose. Shane and Mazzetti asserted that “anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia could have made the difference” in the election.
“What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come,” they write elsewhere in the 10,000-word article published three weeks ago, on September 20. But an investigation of the data they cite to show that the Russian campaigns on Facebook and Twitter were highly effective reveals a gross betrayal of journalistic responsibility…
Related: Gareth Porter discusses New York Times claims on Russiagate, interview with Gareth Porter, by radio host Peter Collins, broadcast on the Peter Collins Show, Oct 15, 2018 (35-minute interview, and published on Consortium News, Oct 17, 2018)
Media outlets in Ukraine supporting the right-wing government are themselves threatened by the government’s proposed, Ukrainian-only language law, editorial by Kyiv Post (online, English-language publication), Oct 12, 2018
* A grim picture from inside a collapsing country, by Dmitry Kovalevich, published on New Cold War.org, July 10, 2018
* Commemorating the Nazi massacre in Odessa, Ukraine in October 1941, report in Deutsche Welle, Oct 11, 2018 German and Romanian officials are attending a memorial service for the 30,000 people, mostly Ukrainian Jews, murdered on October 22-23, 1941 in Odessa, Ukraine by the German and Romanian Nazi armies and their local Ukrainian collaborators. The massacre has been a long overlooked page of WWII history.
Choices made: From Zionist settler colonialism to decolonization, lengthy essay by Jeff Halper, published in CounterPunch, Oct 12, 2018 (Jeff Halper is the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and a member of the One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC). His latest book is War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification (London: Pluto, 2015).)
* Political and organizational perspectives of the campaign for one democratic state of Israel/Palestine, by Yoav Haifawi, Mondoweiss, Aug 6, 2018
* The political program of the Campaign for One Democratic State in Historic Palestine, by the editors, published in Mondoweiss, Aug 15, 2018
In a blow to labor, Teamsters union ratifies UPS contract despite members ‘no’ vote, by Candice Bernd, Truthout.org, Oct 12, 2018 [Teamster union officials in U.S. have used the union’s ’50 per cent vote participation’ rule to rule that a proposed national collective agreement at UPS rejected by 44 per cent of voting members will be imposed nonetheless. This rule is used by varius unions in the U.S. and Canada, taking advantage of member apathy when realizing their leaders won’t lead fights and may therefore lead to lengthy, ill-prepared and debilitating strikes.]
Related: James Hoffa’s anti-democratic UPS catastrophe, by Joe Allen, published in Jacobin, Oct 12, 2018 Teamsters leader James Hoffa has ratified a UPS contract despite a member vote that rejected it. This sabotage is not only a catastrophe for UPS Teamsters — it is a gift to anti-union forces.
‘The Left Case Against the EU’, book by Costas Lapavitsas, published by Polity Press, Oct 2018, 160 pp, ISBN: 978-1-509-53108-0
Book description by ‘Wiley’ distribution: Many on the Left see the European Union as a fundamentally benign project with the potential to underpin ever greater cooperation and progress. If it has drifted rightward, the answer is to fight for reform from within.
In this iconoclastic polemic, economist Costas Lapavitsas demolishes this view. He contends that the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel that institutionally embeds austerity, privatization, and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable core and dependent peripheries. These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform. The solution is therefore a direct challenge to the EU project that stresses popular and national sovereignty as preconditions for true internationalist socialism.
Lapavitsas’s powerful manifesto for a left opposition to the EU upends the wishful thinking that often characterizes the debate and will be a challenging read for all on the Left interested in the future of Europe.
* Leftwing Brexiters want out from the ‘transnational juggernaut’, by Larry Elliott, The Guardian, Sept 30, 2018
* Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party vs. the single European market, by Costas Lapavitsas, published in Jacobin, May 30, 2018
* The left case for Brexit, by Richard Tuck, published in Dissent Magazine, June 6, 2016
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s assault on human rights and judicial independence, interview with Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga, by Joe Emersberger, published in CounterPunch, Oct 12, 2018 (Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga, is an Ecuadorian legal scholar who teaches human rights and constitutional law at the Central European University in Hungary.)
U.S. won’t give ‘one single dollar’ for Syria reconstruction until Iranian forces are out, says U.S. Secretary of State, RT, Oct 10, 2018
Related: U.S. says will stay in Syria ‘so long as Iranians are there’, RT, Sept 24, 2018
Turkish media shows video of alleged Saudi assassins arriving in Istanbul to kill journalist Jamil Khashoggi, by Ayse Wieting, Suzan Fraser and Jon Gambrell, Associated Press, Oct 10, 2018 [Saudi Arabia’s suppression of dissenting voices at home is stepping up while its murderous war in Yemen continues using arms happily provided by NATO-member countries and with the direct support of the U.S. and UK military. The disappearance and apparent assassination in the Saudi Arabia embassy in Istanbul on October 2 of media commentator Jamil Khashoggi is causing embarrassment to the close relationship between NATO countries and the Saudi regime. Khashoggi was a contributor, not ‘journalist’ or ’employee’, at the Washington Post.]
* The plot surrounding missing and presumed murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two interviews, with Lawrence Wright and Robert Baer, broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current’, Oct 12, 2018 (19 minutes total)
* Media companies, executives drop out of Saudi investment conference over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Reuters, Oct 12, 2018
* As demands for U.S. probe into alleged murder of Jamil Khashoggi grow, Trump says halting Saudi arms sales ‘a very tough pill to swallow’, by Julia Conley, Common Dreams, Oct 11, 2018
* Could the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi ‘murder team’ finally put a crack in U.S. support of ‘criminal regime’?, by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Oct 8, 2018 [The same question applies to all the large NATO-member countries, who provide all manner of arms and political cover for the backward, murderous regime in Saudi Arabia.] * Is the U.S. complicit in disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamil Khasoggi, interview with Ali Al-Ahmed, founder and director of The Institute for Gulf Affairs, by Aaron Maté, host, The Real News Network, Oct 11, 2018 (14-minute report and interview)
* Missing journalist Jamil Khashoggi shows Saudi Arabia’s dark side, analysis by Jon Gambrell, Gulf States news director for AP, in Associated Press, Oct 9, 2018 The disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi on October 2 has potentially taken the practice of Saudi regime kidnappings of its highly placed citizens to a new, macabre level by grabbing a writer who could both navigate Saudi Arabia’s byzantine royal court and explain it to the West.
* Saudi Arabia journalist Jamal Khashoggi on life under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: ‘Nobody dares to speak’, report on Al Jazeera, Oct 10, 2018 In his last interview with Al Jazeera’s ‘UpFront’ program, in March 2018, the Saudi journalist spoke on the need for debate in Saudi Arabia.
* Voices are being silenced as Saudi reform agenda goes awry, op-ed commentary by Rashid Husain Syed, Toronto Star, Oct. 10, 2018
* Missing Saudi journalist Jamil Khashoggi was ‘a breath of fresh air’, op-ed commentary by Shenaz Kermalli, Toronto Star, Oct. 10, 2018
… Before he decided to start using The Washington Post last year as a platform to effect change (after being constantly suspended from writing in various Saudi media) his criticism of the leadership could probably best be described as “subtle and polite reservations of the kingdom’s policies.”
“Khashoggi was a smooth, articulate and polite defender of the realm,” says Madawi al-Rasheed, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics in a column for UK publication Middle East Eye. From the column: … In the Arab world, death squads under the command of presidents and their thuggish sons have in the past successfully targeted dissidents abroad. Israel mastered the art and took it to new levels as it assassinated many Palestinian leaders in Paris, London, Beirut, Tunis and Dubai…
* Xenophobia, tribalism and imagined enemies: Mohammed bin Salman’s brand of Saudi nationalism, by Madawi Al-Rasheed, Middle East Eye, Sept 5, 2018 Being ‘Saudi’ rather than ‘Arab’ or ‘Muslim’ is now key to Saudi crown prince’s plans to consolidate his power
* Portrait of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his political tour to United States, Time Magazine, April 5, 2018
A nightmarish climate report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by Caroline Cormann, The New Yorker, Oct 7, 2018 [See extensive news and analysis of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered on Oct 8, 2018 on the ‘Ecology newsroll‘ page of A Socialist In Canada website.]
Amidst talks with North Korea, it’s time for U.S. to abandon nuclear weapons, too, interview with Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate, broadcast on Democracy Now!, Oct 9, 2018 Part one (ten-minutes); part two (25 minutes).
American student Lara Alqasem detained in Israel for alleged support of movement for boycott/divestment of Israel, NBC News, Oct 9, 2018
NATO-member Turkey is world’s leading jailer of journalists, letter by Gulnoza Said to the editor of Independent Online (South Africa), published on Oct 3, 2018 (Gulnoza Said is Europe and Central Asia research associate for the New York-based Committee toProtect Journalists.)
* Turkey crackdown chronicle for week of September 27, 2018, by Özgür Ögret, Turkey Representative, Committee to Protect Journalists, Oct 4, 2018
* Freedom of expression and the press in Turkey: Report #156, by Platform for Independent Journalism (Turkey), Sept 15, 2018
Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova investigating corruption in European Union countries assaulted and murdered on October 7, report in Deutsche Welle, Oct 7, 2018 and statement by Committee to Protect Journalists, Oct 7, 2018 … Victoria Marinova is the third journalist to have been murdered in the EU in a year. Last October, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her car, and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February.
Big news! The Guardian, Canada’s state-run CBC News and the rest of Western media claim that the ‘alleged’ perpetrator of an ‘alleged’ chemical poisoning in Salisbury England in March 2018 is ‘allegedly’ the same man who ‘allegedly’ received a ‘hero of Russia’ award in 2014 from Russia’s president. Here is how the virulently anti-Russia Guardian leads a top-of-news report on Oct 9, 2018: Vladimir Putin personally bestowed a “hero of Russia” award on Alexander Mishkin, one of two military intelligence officers who allegedly poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, it has been claimed… [end citation, emphasis added]. The rest of the corporate and state-run media in Western countries reports similarly. All of them cite as their sources the anti-Russia, UK-based website project Bellingcat.
Brazil’s extreme-right presidential Jair Bolsonaro narrowly misses first round win in Oct 7 national election, RT, Sunday, Oct 7, 2018 [General elections were held in Brazil on October 7, 2018 to elect the president, vice president and national congress. Full results can be read here on Wikipedia. The proto-fascist Jair Bolsonaro topped the presidential vote but fell short of 50 per cent-plus-one needed to win. Bolsonaro won 46.7 percent of the vote with over 49 million votes; Workers Party candidate Fernando Haddad, the former Mayor of São Paulo, came second with 28.4 per cent and over 30 million votes. Voter turnout was 80 per cent. A second-round vote for the country’s president will take place on October 28. ]
Related: Profile of Fernando Haddad, the presidential candidate of the Workers Party, Telesur, Sept 14, 2018 [The outgoing, disgraced president of Brazil is Michel Temer. He was the vice-presidential candidate in the presidential election victories of the Workers Party in 2011 and 2014. He went on to participate in the constitutional coup against the elected President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.
Iran’s win in World Court over sanctions exposes U.S. as rogue state, interview with Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, broadcast on The Real News Network, with host Aaron Maté, Oct 6, 2018 Following the decision of the International Court of Justice on October 3, 2018 in Iran’s favor against U.S. sanctions, the Trump administration pulled out of a 1955 treaty and announced a review of its relationship to the Court. Trita Parsi, author and founder of the National Iranian American Council, says that when it comes to Iran, the U.S. is acting like a rogue state.
The failed regime-change war has bled Syria of some $400 billion; the human cost of imperialism is even higher, interview with Ali Kadri by host Ben Norton, broadcast on The Real News Network, Oct 6, 2018 (11-minute interview) The international proxy war on Syria destroyed more than $388 billion in physical capital, according to a report of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia issued in early 2018. But political economist Ali Kadri says this conservative figure underestimates the damage imperialism does to humans, and how such destruction is inherent in capitalism. (Dr Ali Kadri is a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore. Before that, he was a visiting fellow at the Department of International Development, London School of Economics and the principal author of several UN reports addressing the right to development in Western Asia.)
Longtime friend of Guardian ‘reporter’ deported from Nicaragua speaks out on their work ‘inhabiting the role of a foreign agent of imperialism’, by Max Blumenthal, published on The Canary (Britain), Oct 4, 2018 In an exclusive interview with The Canary, Wyatt Reed says he and Guardian freelancer Carl David Goette-Luciak were assisting anti-Sandinista opposition groups in Nicaragua, and that there was “a straightforward conflict of interest involved in what we were doing”. On 1 October, Nicaraguan authorities deported Goette-Luciak, an anthropologist-turned-reporter who had published a series of factually flawed reports in the Guardian and Washington Post that reinforced the narrative of the country’s opposition forces…
Latvia’s pro-NATO, right-wing governing coalition loses half its vote in Oct 6 national election, Russia-friendly ‘Harmony’ party tops the vote with 20 per cent, reports in Associated Press and in Reuters, Oct 7, 2018 [Detailed vote results are here in Wikipedia. Seven parties won the minimum five per cent of the vote needed to enter the Saeima (Latvian Parliament). ]
… NATO-member Latvia, population two million, has long been plagued by corruption and moneylaundering. The country’s central bank governor is awaiting trial on charges of accepting a bribe and one of the biggest banks, ABLV, went into liquidation this year after U.S. authorities accused it of laundering vast amounts of money for people from the former Soviet Union.
… The social-democratic Harmony party is led by Nils Usakovs, who has been mayor of the capital city Riga since 2009…
Related: Democracy and its discontents in NATO-member Latvia, by Jeffrey Sommers, published in CounterPunch, Oct 23, 2018 [The people of Latvia voted in a national election on October 6. Participation was 54 per cent. Support for a right-wing, anti-immigrant party rose, though as much as in such neighbouring countries as Poland or Hungary.]
Right-wing governments in Eastern Europe honor Nazi-collaborating fascists as anti-communist ‘heroes‘, interview with Dovid Katz, broadcast on The Real News Network, with host Ben Norton, in two parts (video and transcripts): Part one, Sept 28, 2018 (12 minutes), Part two, Sept 28, 2018 (10 minutes) (Dovid Katz is the world’s leading expert on Jewish history in Lithuania and the other Baltic states. A Jewish New Yorker, he has lived in Vilnius for the past 19 years. He has taught at Oxford and Yale universities and is a professor in the philosophy and communications program at Gediminas Technical University in Vilnius. He is the founder and editor of Defending History, a website and web journal dedicated to fighting Holocaust revisionism in Eastern Europe.)
* Ukraine’s state-sponsored ‘Azov Battalion’ expands use of Nazi-inspired symbols, report published on Defending History, Oct 4, 2018
* The glorification of World War Two-era Nazism in Ukraine: The question that CNN’s Fareed Zakaria left out of interview with Ukrainian president Poroshenko, by Dovid Katz, published on his website project Defending History, Oct 1, 2018
Tens of thousands march through Edinburgh to back Scottish independence, Reuters, Oct 6, 2018
Related: One million people march in Barcelona on September 11 for independence from Spain, report in Deutsche Welle, Sept 11, 2018
NATO countries go on ‘Russia hacking’ accusations binge
[Deutsche Welle publishes on October 5 a summary of the accusations binge that has been unleashed against Russia by the governments and spy agencies of the U.S., Britain, Holland and other NATO-member governments as well as NATO-allied Australia. The Deutsche Welle headline calls it ‘spy mania’. Here are other, selected news reports, dated Oct 3 or 4, 2018: By the U.S. gov’t (reported in Associated Press), by Germany (reported in RT), by Canada (in Globe and Mail), by Holland (in France 24 and in Deutsche Welle), by France (in Agence France presse), by Australia (in ABC.au), and on and on.
[The Russian embassy in Ottawa has responded to the accusations binge with a statement saying, in part: “The recent round of anti-Russian witch hunt[s] by the United States and United Kingdom and their willing allies, including Canada, over alleged cyber attacks is nothing more than cheap spy fiction and fake news. The major goals of this brazen propaganda are to brainwash and scare domestic and international audiences with a non-existent Russian threat as well as to distract attention from NATO countries’ expanding their offensive cyber -ar capabilities.” (Statement quoted in above-mentioned Globe and Mail report.) ]
Related: Interview with Annie Machon, a former UK intelligence officer, on latest barrage of accusations against Russia, five-minute interview broadast on RT, Oct 4, 2018
A revolution at risk in northern Syria, by Edward Hunt, published in Jacobin, Oct 4, 2018 (Edward Hunt is an adjunct professor in history at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.)
[This article provides a welcome analysis of the struggle for Kurdish social and national rights in Syria. It is free from the rose-colored glasses that cloud the writings on the subject by libertarians and libertarian-socialists in the West who support a violent overthrow of the Syrian government and, in so doing, turn a blind eye to the violent, regime-change agenda of the Western imperialist ocuntries. That said, the article makes no analysis of the situation of Kurdish people in Turkey and how this might affect Kurds in Syria. Kurds in Turkey comprise more than 50 per cent of the entire estimated Kurdish population of 28 million. As well, the article takes no account of ongoing talks between the Syrian government and Syrian Kurds with a view to instituting forms of political autonomy for Kurds and other national minorities.]
Vice-President Pence’s aggressive speech just took China-U.S. relations to a whole new level of bad, by Echo Huang and Tripti Lahiri, published in Quartz, Oct 5, 2018
Ankara court rules that Kurdish leader and 2018 presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas will remain behind bars, Turkish Minute, Oct 4, 2018 [For up to date figures on the political repression in Turkey since the attempted military coup in July 2016, see the website Turkey Purge.]
Book fair in Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey returns after four-year hiatus, by Mahmut Bozarslan, Al-Monitor, Oct 3, 2018
Kurdish rebels in Iran join anti-Iran lobbying fray in Washington, by Jack Detsch, Al-Monitor, Oct 2, 2018
Background: Four opposition Kurdish parties in Iran explain their support for Western sanctions and military threats against Iranian government, interviews by Rudaw news agency (Iraqi Kurdistan), May 5, 2018
Two ways to view Amazon’s $15 wage: a cynical move or as a surprising way to cut costs, by Michael J. Hicks, published in Market Watch, Oct 4, 2018 (Michael J. Hicks is a professor of economics at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.)
Time running out for many survivors of earthquake/tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by Asia Times, Oct 3, 2018 The death toll has exceeded 1,400 and there are fears of more due to lack of water, food, shelter and medical care.
Related: Indonesian quake survivors scavenging for survival as president says aid will ramp up, by Kanupriya Kapoor and Fathin Ungku, Reuters, Oct 3, 2018
With new missile defense for Syria, Russia shifts its relationship with Israel, by Fred Weir, correspondent in Moscow, and Joshua Mitnick, correspondent in Tel Aviv, Christian Science Monitor, Sept 27, 2018
Russia has just taken a huge gamble in Syria. It will greatly strengthen Moscow’s hand in determining the endgame in the seven-year-old civil war if it works. But it might lead to wider conflict if other powers accustomed to intruding into Syrian airspace with relative ease, particularly Israel, decide to challenge the move…
“Putin is not only president, he is also commander in chief of the armed forces,” says Alexander Sherin, deputy chair of the Russian State Duma’s defense committee. “The military are obliged to explain these things to the Russian people, so possibly they just sound tougher. Maybe the president was a bit more diplomatic. But everyone agrees this is a step we had to take a long time ago. We cannot allow Syrian airspace to be turned into a public thoroughfare.” …
* Russia pins responsibility for downed plane on Israel, will add missiles in Syria, by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor, Oct 2, 2018 … Hasan Kilic, a ballistic missile and air defense expert, told Al-Monitor: “The fact is, there are very few countries in the Middle East and even in the world with such intense, multilevel air defense systems as Syria. Although Syria has a feeble air force with few planes, it has a very potent air defense missile system infrastructure based on the [most modern], Russian-origin systems.” …
* Three years in Syria, Russia sums up achievements and challenges, commentary by Marianna Belenkaya, Al-Monitor, Oct 1, 2018 (Marianna Belenkaya is a correspondent for the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant.)
* Russian military releases video of unloading of S-300 missile defense launchers, interceptors and radars in Syria, RT, Oct 3, 2018
Defeat for EU and NATO expansion in the failed referendum in Macedonia, by Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, published by Left-East, Oct 1, 2018 The 30 September 2018 referndum in Macedonia was a disaster for the EU and NATO in the Balkans. The vast majority of the electorate of Macedonia boycotted the referendum which asked: ‘Are you in favour of membership in NATO and the European Union by accepting the deal between the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?’ … (Vladimir Unkovski-Korica is a member of Marks21 in Serbia. He is a historian and researcher lecturing in Central and East European Studies at the University of Glasgow.)
Trump officials headline pro-regime change conference on Iran in Washington DC, report by Aaron Maté and Ben Norton, on The Real News Network, Oct 2, 2018 (13-minute video report)
Desperation turns to anger by survivors of earthquake/tsunami that struck Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Sept 29, Associated Press, Oct 2, 2018
The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami that decimated parts of the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi on September 29 jumped to more than 1,200 on October 2 as disaster officials began reaching coastal areas cut off by blocked roads and downed communications lines. Officials say hundreds of other people were severely injured, and that scores of bodies could still be buried under quicksand-like mud caused by Friday’s magnitude 7.5 earthquake.
More than 25 countries have offered assistance after Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo appealed for international help. Little of that, however, has arrived in the quake zone, and increasingly desperate residents grabbed food and fuel from damaged stores and begged for help…
* Indonesia tsunami toll tops 800 but expected to jump further, by Niniek Karmini, Associated Press, Sept 29, 2018 PALU, Indonesia–Rescue officials feared the full scale of Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami could climb far past the more than 800 already confirmed dead, as several large coastal towns remained cut off Sunday by damaged roads and downed communication lines…
* Idyllic bay where Sulawesi island capital city of Palu sits likely made Indonesia tsunami more dangerous, by Margie Mason, Associated Press, Sept 28, 2018 .. In addition to Palu, the smaller cities of Donggala (near the head of Palu Bay) and Mamuju were hit hard, but they have yet to be reached. Roads are impassable, cut off by debris and landslides, and communications are nearly impossible…
* Earthquake and tsunami devastate Indonesian island of Sulawesi, by Hannah Beech, Muktita Suhartono and Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, Sept 29, 2018
* Drone footage showing tsunami damage to city of Palu, Indonesia here; maps of the earthquake and tsunami zone here; photos here.
Postscript: Nature cursed Indonesia, but it took neglect to make a disaster, by Hannah Beech and Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, Oct 16, 2018 As the city of Palu on Indonesia Sulawesi Island mourns thousands of dead from an earthquake and tsunami that struck on September 29, 2018, it is haunted by questions of whether the government could have stemmed the devastation.
Another gratuitous attack against the Russian government by the eclectic ‘CounterPunch’, Oct 2, 2018.
[The eclectic online U.S. publication CounterPunch has published today another commentary making scurrilous attacks against the Russian government. The commentary repeats a tired and worn refrain–that the Russian government is courting alliances with the parties of the far-right in Europe. But it is devoid of facts to prove its claim. At the same time, the commentary is totally silent over the country in Europe where the far right is the most entrenched in power: Ukraine. Such silence over Ukraine is near-to universal in the anti-Russia, ‘left-wing’ and not-so-alternative media in the West. This amounts to a de facto acquiescence to the deadly threat of NATO’s new cold war against Russia and China. The longer this acquiescence continues, the deeper the political rot that results.
[CounterPunch did not join the Western media hysteria predicting a ‘slaughter’ and ‘humanitarian disaster’ in the Syrian province of Idlib in September 2018 at the hands of the Syrian and Russian armed forces. But like Western media, it is silent about the remarkable ceasefire disengagement in Idlib that Russia pressed upon Turkey and that was formally agreed on September 17. Armchair generals in Western not-so-alternative media are very busy this year criticizing Russia for failing to go to war against NATO-member Turkey in the name of stopping Turkish attacks against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in Syria. Peace-loving people in the world should be thankful that the only power the armchair generals exercise is in their imaginations.]
Related: In a new escalation, U.S. rep to NATO says her country reserves the right to attack Russia in the name of ‘preventing development of banned weapons’, report in Reuters, Oct 2, 2018
South and North Korea begin removing landmines along border, Deutsche Welle, Oct 1, 2018 See also: The two Koreas begin removal of land mines along their shared border, Associated Press, Sept 30, 2018