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Archives from March 2014
Cracks in the House of Saud
PATRICK COCKBURN
President Obama flew to Saudi Arabia to patch up relations with King Abdullah at the end of last week in his first visit in five years. The alliance had been strained by Saudi anger over US negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme and Obama’s refusal to go ...
Obama’s Sleepwalk Toward War
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Does Obama realize that he is leading the US and its puppet states to war with Russia and China, or is Obama being manipulated into this disaster by his neoconservative speech writers and government officials?  World War 1 (and World War 2) was the result of the ambition...
The Brave Souls of Palmyra
FRANKLIN LAMB
Palmyra, Homs Governorate, Syria This observer, seemingly ever miscalculates life’s realities. For example, he deluded himself recently into believing that Hezbollah guys were about the wildest, luckiest and fastest drivers from the archeological sites i...
Wall Street Journal ♥ Pakistani Army
CHARLES PIERSON
The Wall Street Journal has a great big woody for the Pakistani Army.  Witness the Journal’s fawning love note on March 11.  The page one story by Yaroslav Trofimov proclaims:  “In Its Own War on Terror, Pakistan Piles Up Heavy Losses.” The ...
Contracting and Expanding the NSA’s Powers
BINOY KAMPMARK
Can we be generous enough to say that Edward Snowden scored a considerable coup last week with the change in Washington’s attitudes to the National Security Agency? Even by his own admission, the whistleblower is pleased that the bulk collection of records may well be s...
How the US Undermined the Copenhagen Climate Summit
OLIVER TICKELL
Today the IPCC revealed its latest information on how human emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting planet Earth, and will continue to do so way into the future. The diagnosis, and the prognosis, both make terrifying reading. We can expect declining crop yields...
Enduring Security
RALPH NADER
“What do you know about Winsted’s firemen?” my mother asked me one day when I was eleven years old. “They jump into fire trucks and go put out fires fast,” I replied. “Well, you should also know,” she added, “that they’re volunteers and they risk their l...
Banking Union Time Bomb
ELLEN BROWN
“As things stand, the banks are the permanent government of the country, whichever party is in power.” – Lord Skidelsky, House of Lords, UK Parliament, 31 March 2011) On March 20, 2014, European Union officials ...
Hitting Mr. Modi Where It Hurts
PRAFUL BIDWAI
Over the past month, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal did something no other leader has so far done to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Prime Ministerial nominee Narendra Modi. He embarked on an “inspection tour” of Gujarat, talked to hundreds of ordinary people a...
How Many Americans Are Alive Today Thanks to Ralph Nader?
CLANCY SIGAL
You’re driving at night in a General Motors compact car, a Cobalt or Cruze or Ion, and without warning the brakes, gas pedal and airbag suddenly give out.  You hurtle into a tree and kill yourself.   The police and forensic experts are in the dark about what happen...
Muslims and Same Sex Marriage
FAISAL KUTTY
Can Muslims accept same-sex marriages? This has been a thorny question since the first jurisdictions began legalizing same-sex marriage. It took on a new urgency in the wake of the...
Occupy isn’t dead
BURKELY HERMANN
Infamously, corporate mogul Arthur Jensen told Howard Beale in the movie Network that the “world is a business.” That was thirty-eight years ago. On September 17th 2011, a new movement was born to counter this ideology enshrined in neoliberal globalization, wit...
Good Wife vs. Bad Congress
WALTER BRASCH
For almost a year, the people of the critically-acclaimed and popular CBS drama, “The Good Wife,” kept a secret, one so powerful that viewers were shocked by the abruptness of what happened on screen, March 23. Will Gardner (portrayed by Josh Charles), one of t...
The Forgotten Political Prisoners in Germany
SOHEIL ASEFI
Berlin. I still remember Tehran Zoo when I was about five years old. There I saw for the first time insanity brought on by long-term isolation, sensory deprivation, and solitary confinement. Little did I know that it would not be the last, or that I would ...
Ukraine’s Crisis
GILBERT MERCIER
The referendum in Crimea on March 16, 2014 will probably attach the peninsula to the Russian federation. While it is unlikely that NATO will intervene and seek a direct military confrontation with Russia, the United States and the European Union are already cooking some b...
Viewing the Ukraine Crisis From Russia’s Perspective
FLOYD RUDMIN
Tromsø, Norway. Events in Ukraine are moving fast and faster.  Dangers of economic paralysis in Ukraine and of wider war with Russia are very real.  This essay will argue that we all need to notice our historical biases in perceiving and mispercei...
The Obama Paradox
ANDREW LEVINE
Barack Obama ran for office promising change; he delivered continuity.  But then, continuity brought change – for the worse. In 2008, “change” meant whatever voters wanted it to mean.  Like the candidate, the word was a Rorschach inkblot. Many, proba...
MSNBC Hosts Ignore Unionization Effort
MICHAEL ARRIA
A couple months ago, MSNBC host Ed Schultz ignited something resembling an online controversy by ducking some important questions about unionization efforts at Peacock Productions. Peacock Productions is the nonfiction production wing of NBC News and The Writer’s Guild ...
Capitalism and Income Inequality
ROB URIE
A lot has been written in recent years in the liberal / progressive press about ‘income inequality,’ the unequal distribution of income and wealth in Western capitalist democracies. President Barack Obama and the prior half-century of ‘liberal’ Democrat Presidents...
The Harder You Work, the Richer They Get
PETE DOLACK
It is not your imagination — you are working harder and earning less. Despite significant productivity gains during the past four decades, wages have remained flat. This is a global phenomenon, not one specific to any country. It is not a matter of the viciousnes...
Ukraine’s IMF Deal
JACK RASMUS
On March 27, 2014, the IMF released the broad outlines of its terms and conditions for loans and other measures for the Ukrainian economy. What those terms and conditions mean is less a rescue of the Ukrainian economy than the onset of a Greece-like economic depression fo...
Serious Problems with the FBI’s Story about Killing of a Witness in Florida
DAVE LINDORFF
In the voluminous report issued by Florida State’s Attorney Jeff Ashton’s Office on the killing in Orlando last May 22 of a witness/suspect under interrogation by the FBI — an investigation that concluded that the shooting was “justified” — there is no...
The Floods of Forgetfulness
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
From February 4 through February 10 of 1996 an embedded low-pressure system sat over the Pacific Northwest, drawing warm waves of rain from the eastern Pacific. Coastal Oregon was drenched with more than 23 inches of rain. Portland was lashed with 12 inches and the Cascad...
Colonization, Slavery and Plunder
DARWIN BOND-GRAHAM
Primogeniture is in the index, but not primitive accumulation. There’s no entry for expropriation, nor enclosure. The index contains no mention of race and racism, but it does direct us to multiple lengthy discussions of Rastignac’s dilemma. There’s also...
Tunisia: Change Without Change
SERGE HALIMI
The Arab revolts in Egypt, Syria and Libya have not turned out happily, which leaves Tunisia as the last source of potential optimism in the region. None of the social aspirations that sparked its December 2010 uprising have been fulfilled. But after a long political cri...