World news page on A Socialist In Canada, January 2018
Ankara-Moscow dealings still tangled as Idlib smoke clears, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan 31, 2018
… Kivanc believes that at a certain point, Russia, Syria and Iran will inevitably combine forces to root out all the jihadis in Idlib and that Turkey will find itself facing a new wave of refugees. What will Turkey do then with its Free Syrian Army allies, and what will happen to some 10,000 al-Qaeda-linked Uighur Turk fighters?
The doomsday machine: Confessions of nuclear planner Daniel Ellsberg, book review by Thomas Powers, published in New York Review of Books, Jan 18, 2018 Reviewing: The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, by Daniel Ellsberg, Bloomsbury, 420 pp (Interview on CBC Radio One, 45 minutes, with Daniel Ellsberg on Feb 1, 2018, here.)
Trump’s state of the union speech: Long on theater, short on policy, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website, Jan 31, 2018
Now the U.S. is playing spoiler role in Korea, Syria and elsewhere. But why?, by Patrick Lawrence, published in Salon.com, Jan 28, 2018 (Patrick Lawrence is Salon’s foreign affairs columnist.) Washington can’t adjust to losing its role as global sheriff, and the entire world must bear the consequences
Trump signs executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay gulag open, embracing the original sin of the ‘swamp’ he said he would drain, by Noa Yachot, senior editor, American Civil Liberties Union, Jan 31, 2018
* State of the Union address: Donald Trump uses tragedy and despair to sell his message, by Philip Williams, chief foreign correspondent, ABC.net.au, Jan 30, 2018
* The Pentagon is planning for war with China and Russia — can it handle both?, by Aaron Mehta, Defense News, Jan 30, 2018 [‘Oh, did we neglect to mention Iran in our headline?’] * From Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech on January 30, 2018: “As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and so powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression by any other nation or anyone else. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet, sadly.”
The Russians are coming! Send money quickly!, commentary by Tomasz Pierscionek, published in the ‘Op Edge’ feature of RT.com, Jan 31, 2018 (Tomasz Pierscionek is editor of the London Progressive Journal)
The U.S. list of Russian oligarchs is a disgrace, by Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg News, Jan 30, 2018 [In which Bloomberg‘s Leonid Bershidsky laments that the U.S. list of wealthy Russians threatened with more sanctions should be more accurate and effective. “The Treasury list, copied uncritically from a Forbes Russia list, shows the Trump administration isn’t serious about sanctions.”]
‘It’s like the Americans just copied the phonebook’: Russian officials respond to the U.S. government’s new ‘Kremnlin list’, published on Meduza, Jan 30, 2018
Final statement of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi, Russia Jan 29, 30, 2018, published on the website of the Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan 30, 2018
* Sergei Lavrov’s comments to media following the close of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, Russia, published on the website of the Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan 30, 2018
* Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a plenary meeting of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, Sochi, January 30, 2018, published on the website of the Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan 30, 2018
Battle for strategic Syrian peak continues, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan 29, 2018
… Turkish-led forces capturing territory by day only to lose it to the Kurds by night is becoming something of a pattern [in Afrin, northern Syria], testing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bullish pledges to drive the YPG out of the more than half of Turkey’s 900-kilometer (560-mile) border with Syria that remains under Syrian Kurdish control.
Turkey’s image is already in tatters because of Erdogan’s brutal crackdown on dissidents, including scores of Kurdish leaders. It is fast losing the propaganda war over Afrin. Much of the global media coverage is highlighting the growing number of civilian casualties, including women and children, killed in wave upon wave of Turkish airstrikes. Social media is awash with images of charred babies who allegedly perished in Turkish attacks.
The monitoring group Airwars reports, “From the start of operations on January 20th to January 28th, at least 41 to 55 civilian deaths have been assessed by Airwars as likely caused by Turkish-backed forces, along with an estimated 10 to 15 civilian fatalities tied to Kurdish counterfire.” Turkish bombs have also reportedly damaged an ancient temple built by the Arameans in the first millennium B.C. that is part of Afrin’s rich archaeological heritage…
Related: Stop Turkey’s war against Afrin region of Syria, statement signed by several hundred politicians and other activists in Australia, January-February 2018
Hundreds killed in Afrin, including civilians, says Russia, by Rudaw news agency (Kurdish Iraq), Jan 30, 2018
… The death toll in Turkey’s military operation in Afrin stands at several hundred, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which denied “betraying” the Kurds in northern Syria, hinting that the blame lies with the United States. Hundreds have been killed and civilians are among the dead, Maria Zakharova, foreign ministry spokesperson, said in a press conference on Wednesday.
… Zakharova said Russia is seriously concerned about the situation in northern Syria and urged all parties to show restraint. Responding to accusations that Russia had betrayed Kurds by not preventing Turkey’s operation, she implied the United States should carry responsibility.
“We would like to note that it was not us who consistently created the conditions in northern Syria that Turkey considered a threat to its national security. We are not responsible for impeding the restoration of legitimate Syrian government’s control in that region,” she stated.
… “It was not us who has been building up forces in these areas to perform functions that belong solely to the Syrian state, and thus inciting separatism,” Zakharova stated. She stressed Russia’s commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected…
Russia’s role in Afrin, Syria, commentary by Maxim A. Suchkov, Al-Monitor, Jan 29, 2018
Russia was first to propose the concept of including Kurdish autonomy in a new Syrian constitution, which, back in the day, perturbed Turkey and excited the Kurds. Russia believes the issue of Kurdish autonomy should also be negotiated. Therefore, the popular line of criticism about “Russia betraying the Kurds” doesn’t seem to bother Moscow on its merits…
Russia’s relations with the PYD [Syrian Kurdish party affiliated to the Syrian Democratic Forces] are likely to be sour, at least in the short term…. As for not having the PYD in attendance at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi [January 29, 30, 2018], Moscow doesn’t see that as its own failure; it expects the PYD’s absence to create a long-term problem for the PYD itself.
… Recently, Kurdish authorities in Afrin issued a letter urging the Syrian government “to undertake its sovereign obligations to protect its borders [from the Turkish offensive].” Though the letter doesn’t mention whether Kurdish officials see passing Afrin to Damascus control as an option, it might be a sign that a reality check is pushing the Kurds to consider options they previously resisted…
[The following comment was posted by Roger Annis to the above Al-Monitor article: The accusations that Russia failed to defend the Kurds of Afrin and should have opposed the Turkish intervention which commenced on January 20 are facile and inaccurate. Russia made a reasoned proposal to forestall a Turkish intervention. This was rejected by the Syrian Kurds. They have entered into a willing alliance with the United States and seem ready to gamble on that, notwithstanding the long history of U.S. betrayals. The U.S. defense secretary stated that Turkey has ‘legitimate’ concerns in northern Syria which its intervention is addressing. So to summarize the madcap theory of a Russian ‘betrayal’ of the Kurds, Russia is to enter into a military conflict with a NATO member (Turkey) in order to defend forces allied with the U.S.? That is folly, it is armchair quarterbacking from afar. Russia has bent over backwards to achieve rights for the Kurds through the only process whereby this can happen–a political process of dialogue and agreement among Syrians. This is precisely a goal of the national dialogue congress taking place in Sochi. Although Turkey is attending that congress, it seems evident that its intervention into Afrin is designed to weaken if not sabotage the congress proceedings.]
Book review: Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder, by Paul Robinson (University of Ottawa), published on his website Irrussianality, Jan 28, 2018
In her latest book, Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder, Amy Knight wishes to convince us “how scary and unpredictable Russia has become”. (p. 3) To this end, her book recounts multiples instances in which, she alleges, the “Putin regime” has orchestrated the murder both of ordinary Russian citizens and of prominent political opponents. Knight is a respectable author whose 1993 biography of Beria I found quite informative. In Orders to Kill, however, she has abandoned academic neutrality in favour of political activism. The result is far from satisfactory…
German automakers conducted tests of poisonous auto fumes on monkeys, humans, Associated Press, Jan 29, 2018
Israel and NATO-member Poland agree to talks amidst tensions over Poland’s proposed law prohibiting blame to Poles for WW2-era Holocaust, The Daily Caller, Monday, Jan 29, 2018
… Israel has “no tolerance for the distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust,” Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, according to the Associated Press…
* NATO-member Polish legislature votes to criminalize Ukrainian Bandera-nationalist ideology, RT.com, Jan 27, 2018
* Poland’s Holocaust blame bill, by the Editorial Board, New York Times, Jan 29, 2018
Paving way for Syrian peace: Syria National Dialogue Congress opens in Sochi, Russia, RT.com, Jan 29, 2018 (with video news report at weblink)
Who is using chlorine as a chemical weapon in Syria?, by Charles Shoebridge, published in the ‘Op Edge’ feature of RT.com, Jan 27, 2018
The alleged use of chlorine as a weapon in Syria is back in the news in the U.S. and UK, with fresh incidents reported and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson taking the opportunity within the last few days to condemn Syrian President Bashar Assad over the issue. Unusually, he also later appeared to concede there may be some doubt – but asserted anyway that “whoever conducted the attacks, Russia bears responsibility”. So how does the alleged evidence that the Syrian government is carrying out chlorine attacks stack up? …
‘Unprecedented level of violence’ in the heart of Kabul as Taliban sends ‘clear message’ to Trump, interview with Lotfullah Najafizada, news director of TOLOnews, on Democracy Now!, Monday, Jan 29, 2018 (Video broadcast as well as transcript at the original Democracy Now! weblink. TOLOnews is a 24-hour news channel in Kabul, Afghanistan.)
In Afghanistan, Islamic State militants have carried out an early-morning attack on a military academy in the western outskirts of the capital of Kabul, killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16. This marks the latest in a wave of deadly attacks this month. Monday was already declared a national day of mourning in Afghanistan, after a Taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city on January 27, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235. One week earlier, Taliban militants killed 22 people at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel. Last week, another six people were killed in an assault claimed by the Islamic State on the office of aid group Save the Children in the eastern city of Jalalabad. This comes as the United States has stepped up its assistance to Afghan security forces and its airstrikes against the Taliban and other militant groups…
[See below for news reports on the January 27, 2018 bomb attack in Kabul that killed more than 100.]
Erdogan’s plans for Afrin might not sit well with Syria, by Fehim Tastekin, Al-Monitor, Jan 26, 2018
[Following the rejection by Kurdish leaders of Syria and Russia’s proposal to avert a Turkish military intervention into the Afrin region of northwest Syria, the people of that region are facing the fury of Turkey’s army and dictatorial governing regime as well as calculated betrayals by Turkey’s NATO ally, the United States. Turkey’s military intervention into Afrin began on January 20. It aims at establishing a full-fledged occupation, to be administered by ‘rebel’ paramilitary forces that have sought the overthrow of Syria’s government since 2011.
[Al-Monitor writer Metin Gurcan explains events with this claim in a January 25 article: “It appears Turkey had Moscow’s go-ahead for the offensive, given that Russia controls all Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates River. Russia no doubt sees that the operation will drive a deeper wedge between the NATO allies Turkey and the United States in light of the latter’s support for the YPG. Moreover, Russia probably calculates that, faced with the threat of being overrun by Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies, the YPG will now be more open to Moscow’s earlier suggestion of handing Afrin back to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” The writer appears to believe it would be a mere trifle for Russia to knowingly enter into military conflict with NATO-member Turkey. His words echo the claims by Western leftists that Russia has “betrayed” the Kurds of Afrin by withdrawing its military forces from the region. Yet Russia has consistently argued that the Kurds and other national minorities in Syria should have significant representation in the country’s constitution and governing order. The Syrian government has entertained much discussion on the matter.]
Related: Is U.S. bailing on Syrian Kurds?. ‘Week In Review’ by Al-Monitor, Jan 28, 2018
What lurks behind Turkey’s unending emergency rule?, by Sibel Hurtas, Al-Monitor, Jan 28, 2018
… According to the opposition, the AKP [Turkey’s governing party] is planning to stick to the state of emergency up until November 2019, when Turkey is scheduled to go to the polls to elect its first executive president — who will officially assume the sweeping powers approved in a controversial referendum in April 2017. Some believe the government could opt for early elections this year…
Puerto Rico is a man-made disaster, by Charles R. Venator-Santiago, Huffington Post, Jan 29, 2018
Months after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico [Sept 6 and Sept 20, 2017, resp.], what should have been an example of how one of the most powerful nations in the world could rebuild a territory is instead an example of a man-made catastrophe now moving to the mainland. Today, only 60 per cent of Puerto Rico’s population has access to reliable electric power. Access to potable water is compromised. Food and jobs are scarce, and houses are uninhabitable. More than 40 per cent of schools do not have electricity. Thousands of police officers are not showing up to work, and violent crime is rampant…
[The writer misses an opportunity (obligation?) to explain in his article that the failure of reconstruction in Puerto Rico mirrors the total failure of all the Western world’s big powers to ‘build back better’ following Haiti’s devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010. The earthquake killed an estiamated 40,000 to 70,000 people. Nine months later, UN Security Council occupation soldiers from Nepal (!) brought cholera to the island because they were not pre-screened for the disease. More than 10,000 Haitians have died as a result of the criminal negligence of the UN.]
Robert Parry’s legacy and the future of Consortium News, by Nat Parry, Consortium News, Jan 28, 2018 Robert Parry, editor and publisher of Consortiumnews.com, died peacefully Saturday evening. In this tribute, his son Nat Parry describes Robert’s unwavering commitment to independent journalism.
Tall tales by Australia’s anti-Russia leftists about Turkey’s invasion of Syria [Green Left Weekly newspaper in Australia has a lengthy article dated January 26 which headlines, ‘Afrin invasion: Turkey attacks northern Syria’s democratic revolution — with Russian and US approval’. And the proof of the claim by the writer that Russia “approves” the Turkish intervention into Syria? Why, because the writer says so in his headline! Such is the state of anti-Russia journalism these days, even from the ‘left’. To read what Russia truly says, see the entry below dated January 25; it consists of two statements by the Russian foreign ministry on the Turkish intervention into Syria.]
The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: Where talk on ‘inequality’ is cheap but a burger platter costs $59, by Neil Clark, published in the ‘Op Edge’ feature of RT.com, Jan 26, 2018
What were the Iran protests really about?, op-ed commentary by Peter Loewen, Janice Goss Stein, Farhaan Ladhani, published in The Globe and Mail, Jan 27, 2018
… Using a unique online platform that allows individuals to anonymously share their opinion, we surveyed 1,054 Iranian adults between Jan. 5 and 9.
… We found that support for the protests is thin. Only 27 per cent of respondents agreed that they supported them; 45 per cent disagreed. Three in 10 neither agreed nor disagreed. The protesters and their supporters are still very much in the minority.
What drives support among the minority who do back the protests? Our results suggest three factors matter: a lack of confidence in the government, a belief that corruption is rampant and, in a result that surprised us, a belief that life was better before the revolution. Our survey data do not support the argument that those among the Iranian public who are sympathetic to the protesters are motivated in an important way by anger about inequality…
Kabul bomb: 95 dead and 163 wounded in huge explosion in Afghanistan capital, by Harriet Agerholm, The Independent, Jan 27, 2018
* More bombs, deaths in Trump’s first year in office, by Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig, Jan 27, 2018 The greatest impact of Donald Trump’s first year as president has been kept out of sight from most Americans. The wars the U.S. waged during Barack Obama’s tenure have sharply escalated under Trump. The result has been a predictable and massive spike in civilian deaths…
* How the Pentagon enlisted Trump to continue its perpetual ‘war on terror’, by Gareth Porter, Truthout.org, Jan 25, 2018 The speech by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on January 17 laying out a series of conditions that would make it possible to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria confirmed what had already been revealed by the Pentagon itself: The Trump administration is planning to keep US troops in Syria indefinitely…
* Training quick and staffing unfinished, U.S. army units brace for surging Taliban in Afghanistan, New York Times, Jan 26, 2018 They are being heralded as a key part of President Trump’s new strategy to resolve the nearly 17-year war in Afghanistan. But their training has been cut short by months, and units are still short-staffed, as some of the estimated 1,000 additional military advisers prepare to arrive in Afghanistan in time for the spring fighting season, officials said…
* ‘The path to a win in Afghanistan’: What’s different in 2018?, press release by the NATO military alliance, Jan 15, 2018
Four factors affecting Turkey’s new operation in northern Syria, by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor , Jan 25, 2018
Turkey, Russia wage proxy war against Washington in Syria, by Cengiz Çandar, Al-Monitor, Jan 24, 2018 [So says the headline writer at Al-Monitor.]
[This article is a speculative summary of Turkish policy considerations underlying its invasion of northern Syria’s Afrin region–‘Operation Olive Branch’ as Turkey calls it–beginning on January 20, 2018. Among the author’s mix of speculations is this claim: “… no one was left with any doubt that Operation Olive Branch had the Russian green light.” No evidence or explanation of this unfounded claim is offered.
[How about an alternative explanation: Russia withdrew from Afrin in order not to risk a direct clash with the Turkish army in a de facto defense of the U.S. allied, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The SDF had rejected the Syrian government’s proposal for a cooperative assertion of Syrian government control over Afrin.What about the ‘coincidence’ that the Turkish intervention comes just days before the Syrian National Dialogue Congress which will take place in Sochi, Russia on January 29, 30? Turkey’s intervention appears very much as an efforft to sabotage those otherwise hopeful deliberations.
Two responses by the Russian foreign ministry and foreign minister on the Turkish military intervention into Afrin, northern Syria
1. From the weekly news briefing on January 25, 2018 of Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova:
… As we have already announced, Sochi will host the Syrian National Dialogue Congress next week, on January 29-30. Apart from Russia, Turkey and Iran are actively involved in preparations for the Congress. Invitations are being sent out to 1,600 Syrian participants. UN representatives and a number of regional and international partners have been invited to attend as observers.
Our efforts are designed to bring about peace and stability in Syria without delay, put its economy back on track and enable refugees to return to their homes. We hope that all those sincerely interested in seeing an end to the armed conflict will encourage the Syrians to voice constructive positions during this unique intra-Syrian event.
Unfortunately, other scenarios exist too. A delay in restoring the unity of Syrian society is fraught with new dangerous challenges, including the current developments in Afrin, where units of the Turkish Armed Forces jointly with the Syrian opposition are conducting a military operation. As you know, the Turkish side is presenting this as a response to security threats to Turkey in northern Syria at a time when the Syrian government does not control this territory…
… We are certain that it is unacceptable to turn Syria into a stage for confrontation between external forces pursuing their own interests. The people of Syria themselves must determine the future of their country. We hope that the upcoming Sochi forum will become an important step along this road.
2. Comment by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at press briefing on Jan 22, 2018
Question: The Turkish military operation against US-supported Kurds in northern Syria has been continuing for the last few days. What does Moscow think about this operation? Are you surprised at Washington’s extremely restrained response to these latest developments, and will they influence the place and role of the Kurds in the Syrian peace settlement?
Sergey Lavrov: First, you have no doubt read the statements from Moscow following the start of Turkey’s operation in Afrin. Statements have been made by the Foreign Ministry and the Defence Ministry. We called for restraint and for respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic…
U.S. adds 21 individuals, nine companies to anti-Russian sanctions list over Ukraine crisis, RT.com, Jan 26, 2018
UK defence secretary drops latest fear bomb, casually warns Russia is planning mass murder, news analysis by Simon Rite, RT.com, Jan 26, 2018
UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is really settling into his job, and started the weekend early by scaring the hell out of the British public by claiming Russia could cause “thousands and thousands and thousands” of deaths… “What they [Russia] are looking at doing is they are going to be thinking ‘How can we just cause so much pain to Britain?’” Williamson said. “Damage its economy, rip its infrastructure apart, actually cause thousands and thousands and thousands of deaths, but actually have an element of creating total chaos within the country.” …
Related: Britain’s top Army general begs for more cash so he can fight… guess who, news analysis by Simon Rite, RT.com, Jan 22, 2018
Globe and Mail targets Canada’s new ambassador to China for favouring Canada-China economic ties
[In a front-page news/commentary article on January 26, 2018, two top Globe and Mail writers score longtime Liberal Party mainstay John McCallum for saying (in the reporters’ words) that “Canada now has more in common with China’s authoritarian regime than with the United States under President Donald Trump.” McCallum was appointed ambassador to China in January 2017. The reporters write further: “China’s one-party state has come under significant criticism for its brutal human-rights record as well as its aggression in the South China Sea. According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, China has, over the last decade, ‘effectively seized over 80 per cent of the South China Sea, an area about the size of Western Europe’ and built 12 ‘militarily significant facilities’ in the region, including three major fighter bases.’ “]
[Beginning several years ago, the Globe and Mail has joined China to its already virulent new cold war drive against Russia.
[Canada’s social-democratic party has positioned itself on the right extreme of Canada’s new cold war politics. During the 2015 federal election, then-NDP leader Thomas Mulcair taunted the incumbent Conservative Party, saying its anti-Russia sanctions were not harsh enough. Chiming in to the Globe and Mail‘s latest anti-China screed, NDP MP Nathan Cullen is cited as follows in the Globe report: “NDP MP Nathan Cullen described Mr. McCallum’s comments as facile, saying the average Canadian might be taken aback to hear a government representative saying this country is more in line with ‘Communist China than our American cousins’.”]
Trump and the Fed: U.S. shadow bankers about to deepen control of U.S. economy, by Jack Rasmus, Jan 24, 2018
… The Davos crowd may think they are sitting on their mountain in Switzerland, but they are really partying on the Titanic, as they steam on oblivious to what’s coming, unable to foresee the approaching economic icebergs below the surface. And as their mainstream economists, asleep on the bridge, almost in unison declare ‘steam on’, all is well and getting better.
[Wikipedia: The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics (particularly the panic of 1907) led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises ]
Turkey continues its game of rhetoric with U.S. over U.S. maneuvering with Kurds in Syria, report by Reuters, Jan 25, 2018
Turkey urged the United States on Thursday to halt its support for Kurdish YPG fighters or risk confronting Turkish forces on the ground in Syria, some of Ankara’s strongest comments yet about a potential clash with its NATO ally…
The U.S. has around 2,000 troops in Syria, officially as part of an international, U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State…
[Reuters neglects to explain tha the U.S. troop presence is completely illegal and is opposed by the Syrian government.]
Syrian Kurds seek Damascus’ protection as Turkey’s Erdogan vows to return Afrin to ‘owners’, RT.com, Jan 26, 2018
‘Charity’ institution of many of Britain’s economic elite is shut following annual gala permitting groping of 130 young women hired to serve food, drinks, The Independent, Jan 24, 2018
UN Security Council refrains from condemning Turkey, AFP, Jan 22, 2018
On January 22, the UN Security Council discussed Turkey’s intensifying offensive against Kurdish militias and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria but did not condemn or demand an end to the sensitive Turkish operation…
[Western media is propagating the idea of a Turkey-U.S. conflict over Syria. But Turkey is attacking the Kurds in Afrin province of Syria and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis says Turkey has “legitimate security concerns”. NATO countries spout ‘concern’ about their fellow NATO member Turkey’s operation, but this only means they may use such ‘concern’ as a cover to intervene themselves. NATO’s doctrine of ‘an attack against one member is an attack against all’ is an extremely dangerous side of the Turkish intervention in Afrin. Purported Turkish-U.S. conflicts can disappear in seconds when NATO interests are at stake.
[For its part, Germany is expressing ‘concern’ about the Turkish operation in Afrin and says it will halt arms sales to Turkey so long as the conflict continues. This is NATO member Germany’s way of reminding Turkey of Turkey’s dependence on its fellow NATO members. ]
U.S. chemical weapons blame-game: Well-timed PR stunt or trick to justify military presence in Syria?, editorial comment in RT.com, Jan 24 2018
Conflicting reports emerge as Turkey’s ‘Olive Branch’ military intervention rakes Kurdish Afrin region in northwest Syria, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan 22, 2018
… With the exception of the pro-Kurdish bloc, Turkey’s main political groups are backing the Turkish intervention amid a tidal wave of nationalist euphoria that is gripping the public…
Before the deluge: How Washington sealed Puerto Rico’s fate, by Petra Bartosiewicz, Harper’s Magazine, print issue of February 2018, Vol 336, #2013 (In pdf format here, 11 pages: Puerto Rico, Harpers Magazine, January 2018)
In the summer of 2016, when Congress installed a financial control board to address Puerto Rico’s crippling debt, I traveled to San Juan, the capital. The island owed some $120 billion, and Wall Street was demanding action…
Post-Hurricane Maria [Sept 20, 2017], Puerto Rico looked familiar [as a case of ‘disaster capitalism’]. Yet here, of course, the disaster long predated the storm. What primed the island for the kinds of austerity measures already in motion were decades of repression so encompassing as to be an assault on society of hurricane proportions…
Our American poorhouse: Puerto Rico, Harper’s Magazine, June 1943 (In pdf format here, eight pages: Puerto Rico, Harpers Magazine,, June 1943) Puerto Rico is he poorhouse of the United States. Nowhere else under the American flag is there such a concentration of squalor, disease, and chronic starvation as exists on this island…
Russia Insider goes Goebbels: Debunking Charles Bausman’s warped vision of Russian reality, by Dmitry Babich, published on The Duran, Jan 18, 2018 (Dmitry Babich is a Russian political commentator. He is a regular on RT.com‘s ‘CrossTalk’ current affairs program which is hosted by Peter Lavelle.) Russia Insider’s editor-in-chief rails against the supposed Jewish origin of the world’s ills but totally fails to understand Russia’s history or its people
Congress’s ratification of Trump’s spying power is a direct threat to our privacy, by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout.org, Jan 22, 2018
When it voted 65 to 34 on January 18 to pass the National Security Agency’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Reauthorization Act of 2017, Congress gave Donald Trump vast authority to spy on Americans. Senate Republicans and Democrats have handed the Trump administration a dangerous tool to intercept our internet communications and target immigrants, people of color and government critics…
Senate votes to give Trump vast domestic spying powers that ‘no president should have, by Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Jan 18, 2018
[Germany’s announcement that it will ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia places other NATO arms peddlers in the hotseat, notably the U.S., UK and Canada. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland are dodging questions about the German announcement. The government is facing a pesky lawsuit seeking a judicial ban on its approval of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. On January 8, 2018, a federal court judge rejected the government’s legal bid to kill the lawsuit.
[Western media have been providing key cover for Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen–which has killed more than 5,000 and caused a cholera epidemic. They refer to the war variously as a ‘proxy war’ or ‘war for regional influence’ between Saudi Arabia and Iran. But it is not Iran that is bombing the people and country of Yemen—it is the theocratic regime in Saudi Arabia, backed by the NATO powers.]
German arms manufacturers have Germany in the top five of the world’s arms peddling countries, report in Deutsche Welle, Dec 29, 2017
Glenn Greenwald hits out against Russiagate obsession of Western journalists, by Simon van Zuylen-Wood, New York Magazine, Jan 21, 2018 Where others see Russia collusion, Greenwald sees ‘McCarthyism’.
… “I used to be really good friends with Rachel Maddow,” Greenwald says. “I’ve seen her devolution from this really interesting, really smart, independent thinker into this utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack.”
Turkish troops cross Syrian border near Afrin, news analysis by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan 21, 2018
* Mattis says Turkey notified Pentagon before attacking U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria, RT.com, Jan 21, 2018
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Turkey gave advance notice that it was planning to launch an attack on U.S.-allied Kurdish militias in Syria, but he did not specify if Washington tried to dissuade Ankara… “Turkey is a NATO ally. It’s the only NATO country with an active insurgency inside its borders. And Turkey has legitimate security concerns,” said Mattis, who noted that gains against Islamic State did not soothe Turkey’s concerns over a breakaway Kurdish state on territory…
* Turkish assault on Kurdish enclave threatens to open deadly new phase in bloody seven-year civil war, by Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, Jan 22, 2018 [In this latest column, Patrick Cockburn falls for the ruse of a ‘fallout’ between NATO members U.S. and Turkey over policy towards the Kurdish people in Syria. But has the U.S. ever offered a peep of protest against Turkey’s internal war against its Kurdish population, including the jailings of the top leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), the third-largst party in the Turkish legislature? What about U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis saying Turkey has ‘legitimate security concerns’ which underlie its military intervention into Afrin province in Syria beginning on January 19? Some ‘fallout’.]
Hollywood’s ‘The Post’ versus the real story of the Pentagon Papers, lengthy article by James DiEugenio, Consortium News, Jan 22, 2018
… Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have given us a combination Washington/Hollywood fairy tale. A ‘feel good’ film that works only for those who are unaware of the underlying facts, which they and their screenwriters have truncated and altered to produce their desired effect. The best thing I can say about this film is that it could provoke the viewer to get the real story by reading [Daniel] Ellsberg’s book Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.
The foundation of lies of the gang-up conference in Vancouver against North Korea, column by Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom, Jan 22, 2018
… When [Canadian foreign minister Chrystia] Freeland first announced her plans in late November , she said China’s attendance would be crucial. “We absolutely intend to invite China and we very much hope China will be able to attend,” she told reporters then.
Exactly why Freeland and Tillerson changed their minds is unclear. But in the end, China was not invited as a full participant… Exactly what the summit [held in Vancouver on January 16] was intended to accomplish remains a mystery…
Donald Trump blasted as ‘five-time draft dodger’ by U.S. senator who lost her legs in Iraq War, by Amy Wang, The Independent, Jan 22, 2018 Veteran and Illinois Democrat Tammy Duckworth accuses President of placing U.S. national security at risk by goading North Korea
It’s time to call economic sanctions what they are: war crimes, by Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, Jan 19, 2018
… Economic sanctions are like a medieval siege but with a modern PR apparatus attached to justify what is being done. A difference is that such sieges used to be directed at starving out a single town or city while now they are aimed at squeezing whole countries into submission’
World’s richest one per cent bagged 82 per cent of global wealth in 2017, while poorest half got nothing, says Oxfam report, RT.com, Jan 22, 2018
The inequality crisis is worsening, according to a new study by global charity Oxfam, which found that the world’s richest 42 people own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50 percent worldwide. The annual report showed that 2017 saw the biggest increase in the number of billionaires in history, with new ones created at a rate of one every two days. Their wealth has increased by 13 percent a year on average in the decade from 2006 to 2015…
* Growing gulf between rich and poor leaves 42 people with same wealth as world’s 3.7 billion worst-off, reveals new report by Oxfam, by Josie Cox, business editor, The Independent, Jan 22, 2018 Billionaire wealth rose by an average of 13 per cent each year between 2006 and 2015 – six times faster than wages of average workers
* The 2017 edition of the Global Wealth Report, produced annually by global banking giant Credit Suisse, says that “In the past 12 months, total global wealth grew by 6.4 percent. It is the fastest pace of wealth creation since 2012 and one of the best results since the financial crisis.” But the growth is not being shared: the super-rich — one percent of the global population — now own 50 per cent of the world’s wealth. In the bank’s words, “global wealth inequality has certainly been high and rising” since the great recession of 2008-09.
Conflicting reports surround Turkey’s claims that its ground forces have entered northwest Syria, report in RT.com, Jan 20, 2018
[Turkish artillery began heavy artillery as well as aerial bombardment of the Kurdish-populated Syrian province of Afrin on January 19. See this report in Reuters on January 21. Rudaw news agency (Kurdish region of Iraq) reports on January 21 that at least 18 civilians have been killed, citing the UK-based Syrian Observatory on Human Rights. Rudaw also reports that Turkish ground forces have been pushed back, citing Kurdish military spokespeople.
[Turkey says it is sending ground troops into Afrin in what it calls ‘Operation Olive Branch’. It also says it plans to link that occupied territory with the Syrian territory which Turkey already already occupies in the Kurdish and Arab-populated region of north-central Syria (blue area in adjoining map). That territory was seized by Turkey during its ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’ launched in August 2016.
[Russia has withdrawn its ground and air forces forces from Afrin, to avoid a direct clash with the belligerent and unpredictable NATO-member Turkey. Syrian Kurdish forces say this amounts to a Russian “approval” of the Turkish intervention. But the Kurdish forces are in a partnership with the U.S. military, so their harsh words should be read in that light. Their words would have Russia jeopardize the victories made in Syria during the past two years against right-wing jihadi forces in order to protect U.S.-allied Kurdish forces against the U.S.-allied Turkey. As foolhardy as that idea sounds, it gets worse–what if, in the event of a Russian-Turkish clash, Turkey and the U.S. invoke the NATO charter’s ‘collective defense’ clause by which an attack on one member is deemed to be an attack on all? Turkey’s purported ‘conflict’ with the U.S. and other NATO countries would vanish in a flash.
[The Syrian government has condemned the Turkish bombardments and intervention, as has the government of Iran. During the 18 months in which Turkey has occupied Syrian soil in north-central Syria, there have been no moves by the Syrian military to expel the occupiers. Syria already has its hands full fighting U.S.-backed jihadi and other ‘rebel’ forces elsewhere in the country, which Turkish military planners would know well. The U.S. is methodically working away to weaken the Syrian government. Its aim is to weaken Syria’s territorial integrity if not outright partition the country.]
A liberal pillar of the Establishment: The Guardian has a ‘new look’ but old-style orthodoxy, by Media Lens (UK), Jan 18, 2018
Apple and The Guardian: Partners in a death spiral, by Jonathan Cook, published in his website blog, Jan 20, 2018
Tory favors, pensions hole and ‘blacklisting’ workers: The slow and ignoble fall of Britain’s Carillion construction and service conglomerate, RT.com, Jan 15, 2018
Carillion plc is going into liquidation after being overwhelmed by huge financial difficulties, throwing the futures of 43,000 employees into turmoil. Huge government contracts for nearly 900 schools, 50,000 Ministry of Defence homes, and hospitals across the UK are held by the crisis-hit firm saddled with a £1.5 billion ($2.07 billion) debt, sparking a rush to discover which projects could be in jeopardy…
Peace should be integral to the upcoming women’s marches across the United States, by Cindy Sheehan and Rick Sterling, published in CounterPunch, Jan 19, 2018 There is one thing missing from publicity and philosophy of the upcoming Women’s March in Washington DC and cities across the U.S.: the urgent need for peace not war!
Donald Trump’s first year in office and the illusion of choice in the U.S. two-party duopoly, by Neil Clark, published in the ‘Op-Edge’ feature of RT.com, Jan 19, 2018 The striking thing about Trump’s first twelve months compared to the Obama administration is not how different his foreign policies have been, but how similar…
Ankara might be awaiting Russian ok for Afrin operation, by Metin Gurcan, Al-Monitor, Jan 18, 2018
[It’s a mystery why Al-Monitor would believe that Russia will accept a military intervention by NATO-member Turkey against the Kurdish population in the Afrin province of northwest Syria. Russia has long advocated a federal constitution for Syria which would recognize certain autonomous political and social rights for Syria’s Kurdish population. Moreover, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to reporters at the United Nations in New York on January 19 about the double game which the United States is playing in its professed support to the Kurds. He said, “It’s a fact that U.S. forces are seriously involved in creating alternative government bodies on vast part of the Syrian territory. This, of course, absolutely contradicts their own obligations, which they committed to on numerous occasions, including at the UN Security Council, on maintaining the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Syria.”]
[Russia and Syrian military aircraft control the skies over western Syria. Turkey cannot wage a sustained military intervention into Syria without military aircraft to provide air support for ground troops. This will limit its boastful and pre-announced intervention into Afrin province, much of which will take the form of punishing artillery attacks from Turkish soil.]
Knot over Afrin region in northwest Syria: How the battle for a small Kurdish enclave could be the death knell for U.S.-Turkey ties, lengthy news analysis by RT.com, Jan 18, 2018 This week, the countdown began for Afrin, a Kurdish-held enclave in the north of Syria which is feverously preparing for a major Turkish offensive…
What’s going on in Ecuador?, an interview with Wladimir Iza, by Joe Emersberger, published in CounterPunch, Jan 19, 2018 (Wladimir Iza is a longtime political activist in Ecuador and supporter of Rafael Correa.)
Vancouver summit on North Korea failed to provide alternative to Russian and Chinese proposals, says Russian foreign ministry, RT.com, Jan 17, 2018
Russia condemns Canada’s North Korea summit as ‘propaganda’, by Bruce Campion Smith, Ottawa bureau reporter, Toronto Star, Jan 18, 2018 [This Toronto Star report bends over backwards to provide a positive spin on the ‘nothing’ conference issuing more threats against North Korea which took place in Vancouver on January 16. Alternative media in Canada went further, with the National Observer and HuffPost Canada (the latter using a Canadian Press story) presenting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Donald Trump’s foreign policy emissary) and his Canadian sidekick Chrystia Freeland as heroic figures battling demon rulers of North Korea. The entire story of five decades of Western hostility, embargos and nuclear threats against the people of North Korea goes entirely untold in all of these media outlets.]
Winston Churchill: Hero, racist, and imperialist, by John Wight, published in the ‘Op Edge’ feature of RT.com, Jan 17, 2018
Tillerson says U.S troops will stay in Syria; U.S. huddles with allies over upcoming national dialogue conference in Sochi, Russia, by Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor, Jan 18, 2018
Syrian Foreign Ministry: U.S. military presence in Syria is an act of aggression against Syria’s sovereignty, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Jan 18, 2018
Will Erdogan defy Russia and U.S. and attack Kurds in Afrin?, by Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor, Jan 17, 2018
* War rages in Turkish media in anticipation of military operation into Syria, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan 17, 2018
* Damascus warns it may shoot down Turkish planes attacking Kurds within Syrian borders, RT.com, Jan 18, 2018 [Previous incursions by Turkey into Syria to attack Kurdish forces have gone unopposed by the Syrian military.]
Surprise: Gang-up conference in Vancouver against North Korea ends with threats of more sanctions and demands for unilateral disarmament of the country
[The January 16 reunion conference in Vancouver of the genocidal warmakers against Korea in 1950-53 (what the Toronto Star calls a “coalition of countries” was a publicity stunt that ended on a tired refrain. The column reporting on the gathering by the Globe and Mail‘s Gary Mason is headlined, Why the Vancouver summit on North Korea was futile. Ironically, while the conference aimed to deepen the division of north and south Korea dating from 1953, the two Koreas have agreed to field a joint team at the Winter Olympics to begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9. Athletes from the two Koreas will march together during the opening ceremony under a “unification flag” depicting their peninsula and will field a single women’s ice hockey team.
[Canadian media played along with the stage show in Vancouver, including by stirring Cold War-era nuclear fears in its reporting of false-missile alarms sounded in Hawaii and Japan on January 13 and 16, respectively. But skepticism over the conference was also sounded. The National Observer alternative media outlet fell for the stage show, providing gushing treatment of the words of U.S. Secretary of State’s Rex Tillerson as he reiterated the Trump regime’s threats against the Korean people. The Observer fashions itself as part of the ‘resistance’ to the Trump regime, but it echoes Trump’s warmaking threats against Russia, China and the Korean people.]
Erdogan says Turkey will ‘strangle’ U.S.-backed force in northern Syria ‘before it’s even born’, Reuters, Jan 15, 2018 [Russia is also concerned, for different reasons, about the U.S.-backed Kurdish border force in northern Syria, saying U.S. scheming threatens the sovereignty and territrial integrity of Syria.]
Trump’s racist comments on ‘s***hole’ countries: Eagerness for scandal betrays a cruel indifference to discrimination, by Shree Paradkar, opinion columnist, Toronto Star, Jan 13, 2018, Donald Trump’s latest round of vulgarism represents the contemptuous attitudes and biases that inform U.S. and Canadian immigration policy-making
* Love of Trump endures despite it all, by Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report, Jan 10, 2018
* What Canada and America owe Haiti, by Andray Domise, Maclean’s Magazine (Canada monthly), Nov 24, 2017 The United States and Canada have a brutal, ruinous record in Haiti. This should inform the treatment of asylum seekers today.
George Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too, by Jonathan Cook, published on his website blog, Jan 12, 2018
More details emerge of gang-up against North Korea to take place at Vancouver conference on Jan 16 hosted by Canada, U.S., report by Lee Berthiaume, Canadian Press, Jan 11, 2018
Canada and its Korean War allies [!] will sit down in Vancouver next week to mull ways to tighten the screws on North Korea – including whether to intercept North Korean shipping.
U.S. State Department officials confirmed that China and Russia were not invited to Tuesday’s meeting… Instead, only those countries that deployed troops as part of the United Nations during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 have been invited to participate in the discussions…
China says not all the main parties of the conflict in Korea will be in Vancouver and so it won’t attend, RT.com, Jan 10, 2018
[A gang-up against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) will take place in Vancouver, Canada on January 16, 2018 in the form of a conference hosted by Canada’s foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state. North Korea is not invited, nor is Russia. China and Russia are the only two countries to share a land border with the DPRK. The two countries hosting the Vancouver conference were among those which waged a genocidal war against the Korean people from 1950 to 1953. Invitations to the conference are specifically directed at other countries that took part in waging that war. Reuters news agency reports, “Canada and the United States are co-hosting the meeting in Vancouver on Jan. 16 to demonstrate international solidarity against North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.”]
Related news: U.S. to sell Japan $133 million in missiles to counter North Korea threat [sic], by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, Jan 9, 2018
Murder of lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska on Jan 1, 2018 shakes Ukrainians’ faith in justice system, Deutsche Welle, Jan 5, 2018 Related: Ukraine claims it has caught killer of campaigning lawyer, Irish Times, Jan 9, 2018
The Guardian, White Helmets, and silenced comment, by Tim Hayward (University of Edinburgh), published on his website, Jan 12, 2018
Trump isn’t another Hitler. He’s another Obama, by Caitlin Johnstone, published on Medium.com, Jan 5, 2018
Britain’s finance capitalists discuss prospects for Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, article in Financial Times, Dec 7, 2017. Read the article in pdf format: Jeremy Corbyn as Britain’s PM
Ideologue in Canada’s Globe and Mail daily presents four scenarios for war with North Korea, says ‘best possible’ outcome is to ‘eliminate’ the political leadership of the country before the bombs and missiles fly, by David Welch, special to the Globe and Mail, Jan 6, 2018 (David Welch is Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Chair of Global Security at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (University of Waterloo, Ontario) and CIGI Senior Fellow.)
… The best possible endgame would see someone high up in the North Korean leadership decide that their own long-term interest, and that of their family and compatriots, would be best served by taking matters into their own hands, eliminating Mr. Kim and his enablers, and signalling a willingness to co-operate with the international community…
Pouring it on in Canada:
* Kim Jong-un is a gangster: Here’s how to sort him out, by Robert Huish, professor of ‘international development studies’, Dalhousie U, Halifax, Nova Scotia, published on The Conversation, Jan 7, 2018
* Kim Jong Un is in the nuclear drivers’ seat, op-ed commentary by Simon Palamar, Toronto Star, Jan 8, 2018 [This CIGI ideologue claims the United States has been seeking a “denuclearization” policy on the Korean peninsula but has been frustrated by an intolerant government in North Korea. Donald Trump’s genocidal threats to reduce North Korea to nuclear ashes? ‘Don’t know of that.’ Decades-long economic sanctions by the U.S. against North Korea? ‘I’ll have to check into that.’ U.S. refusal to sign the 1953 armistice agreement ending the 1950-53 Korean War? ‘Never heard of it.’
First broadcast of 2018 of Lee Camp’s ‘Redacted Tonight’ weekly comedy program on RT.com, Jan 4, 2018. Watch Lee Camp speak of the grotesque feigning of concern by U.S. politicians for the discontent of some of people in Iran, for two minutes beginning at the 15’45” mark.
Four years of Ukraine and the myths of Maidan, interview with Stephen Cohen, broadcast on The John Batchelor Show, late December 2017. Print summary and audio of the interview are posted on The Nation, Jan 3, 2018.
[The interview with Stephen Cohen provides a valuable overview of the events in Ukraine since late 2013. One item curiously missing from the print summary is any description of the civil war which the new, right-wing government in Kyiv launched in eastern Ukraine (Donbass region) in April 2014. A related curiousity is Stephen Cohen’s brief reference to that civil war as a “war which broke out against the Kyiv government”. Cohen also terms the March 2014 referendum vote in Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation an “annexation” by Russia.]
Seeing the unseen in Ukraine: Why is America sending arms?, by Patrick Lawrence, published in Salon.com, Dec 31, 2017 (with comment by Roger Annis)
These are the real causes of the Iran protests, by Trita Parsi, published in The Nation, Jan 4, 2018
Statement on Iran Demonstrations by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Dec 31, 2017
Trump’s vow to support Iran opposition carries ‘no credibility’ as demonstrations enter sixth day, interview on Democracy Now! with Trita Parsi and Reza Sayah, Jan 3, 2018 (Trita Parsi is a founder and the president of the National Iranian American Council and is the author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Legacy of Diplomacy; Reza Sayah is a freelance journalist based in Tehran, Iran.)
Glenn Greenwald on Iran protests: Trump tweets ‘Time for change’ while backing dictators worldwide, interview with Glen Greenwald, editor of The Intercept, on Democracy Now! Jan 2, 2018 Glenn Greenwald on Iran protests: Trump tweets ‘Time for change’ while backing dictators worldwide, interview with Glen Greenwald, editor of The Intercept, on Democracy Now! Jan 2, 2018 [One hour interview discussing U.S. foreign policy. The first 25 minutes of the interview discusses Iran. The interview then turns to ‘Russiagate’. Glenn Greenwald states that it is “obviously possible” that the Russian government was behind the 2016 hacking of the emails of members of the Democratic National Committee; he then goes on to state there is “no evidence” of collusion between the Trump election campaign and the Russian government. He says responsiblity for the deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations is shared by the governments of the two countries.]
Massive protests erupt in Iran against sanctions and unending poverty, by Vijay Prashad, AlterNet (pro-Democratic Party, anti-Russia outlet), Jan 3, 2018 Trump and Netanyahu are trying to take credit, but this movement is all about the people
My year inside Trump’s insane White House, by Michael Wolff, Hollywood Reporter, Jan 4, 2017
So Trump didn’t want to be president but colluded with the Russians to do it?, by Monica Showalter, The American Thinker, Jan 4, 2018 In his stemwinder piece on the early chaotic days of the Trump administration, Michael Wolff would have us believe that Donald Trump really didn’t want to be president…
The scary reality behind Trump’s long Tuesday of weird tweets, by Matthew Yglesias, VOX.com, Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018
… The tweet was just one of many inflammatory statements by Trump over a long day of bizarre tweeting that included everything from fanning the flames of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to attempting to take credit for airplanes being safe, calling for the prosecution of a top aide to Hillary Clinton, attacking the new publisher of the New York Times, and plugging Lou Dobbs’s show on the Fox Business Network. Along the way, he also reiterated a New Year’s Day dig at Pakistan.
It’s a puzzling array of topics that at first glance appears to defy any explanation as a communications strategy or a set of policy priorities. But the source turns out to be clear: It’s all Fox News…
The 12 victories of Venezuelan President Maduro in 2017, by Ignacio Ramonet, published on TeleSur, Jan 3, 2018
Statement from the Iranian Canadian Congress regarding protests in Iran, issued on Jan 2, 2018
… In the days since the protests began, some politicians and political groups in Canada and abroad who have for years advocated for sanctions and aggression against Iran have tried to exploit these protests to justify their anti-Iranian policies…These efforts constitute nothing but an attempt to cynically exploit people’s legitimate demands to advance these groups’ own political agenda..
My life as a New York Times reporter in the shadow of the war on terror, by James Risen, The Intercept, Jan 3, 2017 (lengthy essay)
… My case [in court in January 2015] was part of a broader crackdown on reporters and whistleblowers that had begun during the presidency of George W. Bush and continued far more aggressively under the Obama administration…