www.counterpunch.org
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
Last year, Daniel Denvir insightfully described Hilary Clinton’s political strategy as “peak neoliberalism, where a distorted version of identity politics is used to defend an oligarchy and a national security state, celebrating diversity in the management of exploitation and warfare” (emphasis added). This “peak” neoliberal identity politics (NIP) is a great weapon on the hands of the privileged capitalist Few and their mass-murderous global empire. It was central to the Barack Obama phenomenon and presidency. And it is very much alive and kicking atop the corporate Democratic Party and its various media allies more than half a year after Mrs. Clinton’s humiliating defeat. More
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
They acted fast. Hot on the news of the terrorist attack in Manchester, elements of Britain's political right set about attempting to capitalise on the situation. The goal? Further their nationalist, anti-Muslim, xenophobic agenda over the blood and misery of innocent people. The Daily Mail “journalist” Katie Hopkins stands out. Having engaged in all manner of xenophobic and downright callous declarations in the past, Hopkins has called for a “final solution” for British Islam. It's not known if she really intended to imitate a certain Austrian statesman known for also holding a dim view of foreigners (Hopkins is not renowned for her intellect) but all the same, the rhetoric is unsettling. More
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
In Riyadh, Trump couldn’t mention where most of the the 9/11 hijackers came from or whose Sunni cult-faith was the inspiration for Isis – nor which country chopped off heads with Isis-like relish. (Answer: Saudi Arabia). And when he arrived in Israel on Monday, Trump was faced with a new censorship protocol: don’t mention who was occupying whose property in the West Bank or which country was outrageously and continuously stealing land – legally owned by Arabs – for Jews and Jews only. (Answer: Israel). More
The UK’s Epochal Election
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
In parliamentary democracies, it is a platitude, largely self-regarding, that all general elections matter somehow and in some way. Some, however, clearly matter more than others. In the UK, since World War 2, we can think of the Labour victory in 1945 which led to the foundation of its welfare state. The victory of Thatcher in 1979 led to the installation of neoliberalism in the UK. Every election victor since then, Blair’s Labour included, has upheld the essentials of Thatcherite dogma. More
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
Trump has just inked a deal for $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia. The first installment of a longer term $350 billion deal. No sane person can believe that this will lead to anything but an escalation of violence in a region that is already in flames. In Yemen as a result of relentless Saudi bombing 17 million people are faced with famine and there is an incipient cholera epidemic. Lybia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, are all in economic tatters resulting in untold deaths from violence and poverty and the creation of millions of refugees. In the U.S. the heart of "Russiagate" beats to the sound of the drums of war between the two pre-eminent nuclear powers. While all of this goes on the only thing heating up faster than this new cold war is the planet itself. More
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
The party system in the US is based on a false dichotomy between Neo-classical and Keynesian economics.  Republicans push for unrestricted corporate control of policy and the Democrats push for the same thing implemented in a softer, gentler fashion.  Both parties have been compromised by corporate money into accepting the same ultimate goals; so anyone More
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
Albert Camus, the renowned French philosopher, author and journalist, frequently recounted the story of the concierge in the Gestapo headquarters who went about her everyday business in the midst of torture explaining, “I never pay attention to what my tenants do.”  For more than half a century, this has been the implicit disposition of Australian More
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
I am not sure if you realize what you have done, Herr de Maiziere, but your recent talk of a German leading/dominant culture (leitkultur) in the tabloid Bild has proven very divisive. Many observers around the world are disgusted at your ignorance. Are you capable of understanding why? Let us give credit where it is due: Germany did More
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
Since 2004, members of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) have won ten out of the sixteen city council and mayoral races they have contested in their majority minority city of 110,000. Last November, progressives gained an unprecedented “super-majority” of five on Richmond’s seven-member council—despite more than a decade of heavy spending against them by Chevron More
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
Although Iran’s citizens are hampered by a flawed political system in which elections continue to be neither fair nor free, they insist on pursuing a peaceful path towards greater political and social freedom. The turnout in the 2017 election was a powerful statement in itself, being 75% as compared to the 56% that turned out for More
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
When I was at the March for Science in Sacramento a month ago, a friend asked to get me on video and talk about what is the crux of water issues in California, what is the overriding, central issue behind the different water battles. That’s one that includes the Delta Tunnels, the failure of the state More
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
Sentenced once again in her 19 years ongoing case, Turkish writer and activist Pinar Selek does not give up. She is being prosecuted for defending minority rights. Pinar Selek, a well-known Turkish sociologist and peace and human rights activist, bears witness to the truth and safeguards the dignity of human beings. Celebrated abroad, Pinar is More
Death By Demigod
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
When I look at the state of affairs of American politics and the planet I realize like many people we are in desperate times. We can sit back and analyze The Orange Barbarian’s every move as President and The Democrats making a mockery of the word “resistance”, or we can look at how this is More
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The United States has a big hammer: the military, plus the intelligence community’s covert intervention forces. So we are dropping bombs from drones in seven countries. Donald Trump goes to Saudi Arabia peddling arms and urging military cooperation. When North Korea acts up, he dispatches More
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
“You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.” — President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to President Donald Trump, New York Times, May 21, 2017 The business of making money on property, badly, has shifted to the business of making money, greatly, for the US industrial arms complex.  This is the technique of More
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 24th, 2017, 03:18 AM
When we hear the word terrorism, among the first images we likely visualize are the Twin Towers and a bearded Osama bin Laden.  3,000 Americans died on September 11, 2001.  Osama is dead, but the war on terror continues.  Close to 5,000 American soldiers have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with hundreds of thousands More
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
The lack of a coherent anti-terrorism strategy in Washington and by extension the West, as emergency services deal with the devastating aftermath of yet another terrorist atrocity in Europe – this time a suicide bomb attack at a concert in Manchester, England - has been thrown into sharp relief during President Trump’s tour of the Middle East.    Specifically, on what planet can Iran be credibly accused of funding and supporting terrorism while Saudi Arabia is considered a viable partner in the fight against terrorism? This is precisely the narrative we are being invited to embrace by President Trump in what counts as a retreat from reality into the realms of fantasy, undertaken in service not to security but commerce.   Indeed those still struggling to understand why countries such as the US, UK, and France consistently seek to legitimise a Saudi regime that is underpinned by the medieval religious doctrine of Wahhabism, which is near indistinguishable from the medieval religious extremism and fanaticism of Daesh and Nusra in Syria - those people need look no further than the economic relations each of those countries enjoy with Riyadh.   The announcement that Washington has just sealed a mammoth deal with its Saudi ally on arms sales – worth $110 billion immediately and $350 billion over 10 years – is all the incentive the US political and media establishment requires to look the other way when it comes to the public beheadings, crucifixions, eye gouging, and other cruel and barbaric punishments meted out in the Kingdom on a regular basis.    The sheer unreality of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, as he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Trump during the latter’s state visit to the country recently, lamenting the chaos and carnage in Syria, which he described as having been “one of the most advanced countries” prior to a conflict that has wrought so much death and destruction, the sheer unreality of this is off the scale – and especially so considering the role the Saudis have played in providing material, financial, and ideological and religious support to groups engaged in the very carnage in Syria as has just been unleashed in Manchester.    There are times when the truth is not enough, when only the unvarnished truth will do, and in the wake of the Manchester attack – in which at time of writing 22 people have been killed and 60 injured - we cannot avoid the conclusion that neither principle nor rationality is driving Western foreign policy in the Middle East, or as it pertains to terrorism.    Instead it is being driven by unalloyed hypocrisy, to the extent that when such carnage occurs in Syria, as it has unremittingly over the past 6 years, the perpetrators are still described in some quarters as rebels and freedom fighters, yet when it takes place in Manchester or Paris or Brussels, etc., they are depicted as terrorists. Neither is it credible to continue to demonize governments that are in the front line against this terrorist menace – i.e. Iran, Russia, Syria – while courting and genuflecting at the feet of governments that are exacerbating it – i.e. Saudi Arabia, previously mentioned, along with Qatar, Kuwait, and Turkey. Here, too, mention must be made of the brutal and ongoing injustice meted out to the Palestinians by an Israeli government that shares with the Saudis a doctrine of religious exceptionalism and supremacy, one that is inimical to peace or the security of its own people.   Ultimately a choice has to be made between security and stability or economic and geopolitical advantage, with the flag of democracy and human rights losing its lustre in recent years precisely because the wrong choice has been made – in other words a Faustian pact with opportunism.    As the smoke clears, both literally and figuratively, from yet another terrorist atrocity, we are forced to consider how we arrived at this point. And when we do we cannot but understand the role of Western extremism in giving birth to and nourishing Salafi-jihadi extremism. Moreover, in the midst of the understandable and eminently justifiable grief we feel at events in Manchester, it behooves us not to forget the salient fact that Muslims have and continue to be the biggest victims of this terrorist menace, unleashed in the name of religious purity andsectarianism, and that it is Muslims who are also doing most to confront and fight it, whether in Syria, Iraq, Libya, or Afghanistan. It should not escape our rendering of the issue either that what each of those countries have in common is that they have all been victims of the Western extremism mentioned earlier.   It bears repeating: you cannot continue to invade, occupy, and subvert Muslim and Arab countries and not expect consequences. And when those consequences amount to the slaughter and maiming of your own citizens, the same tired and shallow platitudes we are ritually regaled with by politicians and leaders intent on bolstering their anti-terrorism and security credentials achieve little except induce nausea.   Enough is enough. More
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously. He denounced Hezbollah and lined up the US squarely on the side of the Sunni against the Shia in the sectarian proxy war that is tearing apart the Middle East. More
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
The political noose is tightening around Trump’s neck, and he’s got only one way out: war. The U.S. involvement in the Syrian war is accelerating as Trump’s talons dig deeper into the conflict. If he successfully clutches his prey he stands a chance of clinging to the presidency. The Democrats, now circling a wounded Trump, will happily feast instead on a rotting Syria: the only thing that can keep the Democrats from destroying Trump is if Trump destroys Syria. More
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
I must say that I have been a huge admirer of Laura Poitras' work, running from My Country, My Country (2006), through a number of shorts, to the much-acclaimed Citizen Four (2014). My admiration for these superb and probing documentaries was only enhanced by a knowledge of the fortitude she demonstrated in the face of years of harassment by the US government, a story worthy of a brave documentary in and of itself. I guess this is why my sense of disappointment with Risk feels so enormous. It is everything that Poitras' work has not—fortunately—been all about up until this time: self-involved, reachingly melodramatic and filled with unfounded innuendo. More
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Jeremy Corbyn recently laid out his vision for British foreign policy at Chatham House. The speech drew on the idea of an ‘ethical foreign policy’ to allow Corbyn room to oppose wars without ruling out the use of force in all cases. This was important to dispel the misconception that Corbyn is a ‘pacifist’. The More
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Let’s say you own a big US corporation but need help managing your domestic accounts. So you hire a bright, young man named Bruno who just graduated from Harvard Business School with a Masters in corporate finance.  And the first day on the job, you discover that Bruno has secretly employed a private detective who has obtained subpoena power to dig through all of your business accounts, More
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
1) Trump builds on the theory of terrorism as a battle between Good and Evil. That’s the single most useless theory to explain conflicts and violence. He obviously has no intellectuals around to help him. 2) Trump blames Iran for all terrorism and the wars in both the wars in Syria and Yemen. He wants the world to isolate Iran. More
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Ana Belén Montes gave classified information to Cuba for 17 years before her arrest in 2001 for espionage. Pleading guilty, she avoided conviction for treason, which carries the death sentence. She is called “the most dangerous spy you’ve never heard of.”[i] She deserves to be known now. Her story shows the personal cost of some More
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
As the United States prepared to sign a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, royal forces laid siege to al-Awamiya, a restive town of approximately 30,000 in the Qatif district of the country’s Eastern Province. Bulldozers, backed by armored tanks and helicopter gunships, systemically leveled homes and put entire families on the street in More
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
The day Greek workers and employees went on general strike, protesting against a new barrage of so-called “reforms” imposed by the “creditors” in the context of a program that is destroying Greeks and their country, a statement on Greece was issued by the Presidents of the Social Democratic, Green and the “Radical Leftist” Groups in the European More
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
  I have been an equine advocate for over 20 years. About a decade ago I switched my focus to America’s wild horses after meeting an old mustang at a packing plant that had served man all of his life, even carrying young girls at a summer camp, only to be discarded like trash. He More
Macron, Old World President
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Emmanuel Macron is a remarkable individual: no-one could scale so rapidly the pyramid of power if he was not endowed with exceptional qualities. And even if chance has played its part – the failure of François Fillon, the faster than expected decay of the Parti Socialiste – the capacity to sweep up the opportunities is More
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Secretary of Education Betsy Devos received the most opposition to her nomination than any other Trump appointee that reached the Senate Vote. She’s incited boos and protests at many of her public appearances as Secretary of Education. Since Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote to confirm her nomination, Devos has beyond justified the opposition to her tenure More
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 23rd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Available evidence is beyond reasonable doubt as prosecutors might say that I’m a human and I’m a cartoon. If being both at the same time, in the same frame, were a crime, I’ll be convicted in seconds by a white jury or black jury, a jury of men or women. And if being both is More
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
A ghost of the past was the real winner of the French presidential election.  Emmanuel Macron won only because a majority felt they had to vote against the ghost of “fascism” allegedly embodied by his opponent, Marine Le Pen.  Whether out of panic or out of the need to feel respectable, the French voted two More
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
So after inventing “fake news”, America’s crazed President on Sunday gave the world’s Muslims a fake speech. Donald Trump said he was not in Saudi Arabia to “lecture” – but then told the world’s Islamic preachers what to say, condemned “Islamist terrorism” as if violence was a solely Muslim phenomenon and then announced like an Old Testament prophet that he was in “a battle between good and evil”. There were no words of compassion, none of mercy, absolutely not a word of apology for his racist, anti-Muslim speeches of last year. More
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sent a memo [2] to all federal attorneys (those he hasn't fired) setting in motion a radical reversal of the trend toward bi-partisan reform that has been building for at least a decade in the criminal justice system and the drug war. The memo states: "Any inconsistent previous policy of the Department of Justice related to these matters is rescinded, effective today." This flies in the face of a movement that has led 30 states to reform their criminal justice systems in the area of mass incarceration. More
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
From Brexit to the victory of Donald Trump, the world order established in the post-cold war is now being shaken up. The UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union channeled the populace’s disdain toward the system driven by neo-liberalism. In the US, a similar anti-establishment sentiment has grown, where many of those abandoned by More
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany personify evil.  Responsible for the most horrific genocide of human beings in modern times, Hitler and the Nazis serve as the yardstick by which to measure evil (authoritarianism) and good (democracy) in societies.  Most American citizens are so conditioned to the United States being portrayed as a democracy – and More
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
The President speaks: “Jobs, jobs, jobs, we’re gonna give you so many new jobs you will be sick of it.” Bob Right, Faux-Freedom Caucus member, thinks:  “Great! And he’ll make sure that the government doesn’t start job programs like the WPA and CCC that we had in the 1930s. And thank god he won’t be More
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Since he was elected leader on a wave of popular grassroots party support, one of the most frequently-aired criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, has concerned his long-term support for a united Ireland, his open affiliation with senior Sinn Fein politicians during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and his unapologetic More
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
It had been, from the start, a cruel wait and see game.  Lacking logic and consistency, the Swedish effort to extradite Julian Assange from the United Kingdom, not for formal charges but the pretext of questioning him over sexual assault and rape, collapsed on Friday. The Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny and Chief Prosecutor More
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Many liberals and leftists criticized the New York Times last month for giving right-wing ideologue Bret Stephens a piece of the most valuable real estate in U.S. journalism, a regular spot on its op-ed page. I rarely find any of Stephens’ arguments compelling (his first column in favor of climate-change skepticism was embarrassing in its misunderstanding and/or distortion of More
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
President Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, mere hours after US bombers attacked pro-Assad militiamen whom the US military say were threatening a base in southern Syria where US and British Special Forces are training rebel fighters. It would be naïve to imagine that the timing of the US attack, the first intentionally made More
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
There is something infuriating about the name “gig economy,” especially when I hear privileged parents chatting about their fascination with the subject.  This fascination is usually coming from parents who have partners with steady incomes and can afford to partake in “gig” work if they so choose.  They are also not reading the most critical More
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written an open letter to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Director of Risk Management Jack de Bruijn. In the letter, which cites numerous sources to support her arguments, Mason says evidence now suggests taxpayers’ money has been used to shield Monsanto and other pesticides companies from liability and obstruct consumers’ More
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
The eastern African country of Somalia is currently suffering from a drought that has lasted for more than two years. A drought in an underdeveloped agrarian country that also lacks basic sanitation systems means further complications stemming from a lack of food production, subsequent malnourishment, and outbreaks of bacterial diseases such as cholera. In fact, More
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
On May 11, Susan Perry, 38, and her friend Andrew Kearse were arrested by Schenectady Police Department in upstate New York after trying to pull the couple over for a traffic violation. Its unclear why Kearse and Perry ran out of their car, but Kearse, a Bronx native, was recently released on parole after serving More
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
I’m a Trump voter and live in Muskegon, Michigan with my wife and family. I’m white and voted Obama in 2012.  I lost my assembly line job when the factory moved to Monterey, Mexico and now keep it together shelving part time at my local Krogers, my wife works as a security guard at Best Buy. More
In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard
May 22nd, 2017, 03:18 AM
What a breath of fresh air it is to have an elected representative in our Congress who is willing to go against the grain of official Washington in matters of war and peace. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii dared to question the sanctioned narrative justifying President Trump’s recent missile attack against the Syrian Airforce. Even More
Independence Leader Oscar Lopez Rivera is Freed as Puerto Rico Faces ‘Colonial’ Debt
May 19th, 2017, 03:18 AM