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Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy

Tunisia is the Middle East’s greatest success story, according to the findings of the V-Dem Annual Democracy Report 2019. One of the world’s most regarded annual reports on democracy and good governance, the V-Dem Report is produced by the V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. While Tunisians can be … Continue reading "Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy"

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Gantz Fears Something More Than Coronavirus or Netanyahu: Palestinians

Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, abandoned the central plank of his platform at the weekend – that he would never sit in a coalition with Benjamin Netanyahu, who has led Israel continuously for the past 11 years. A former military general, Gantz justified his dramatic change of course under cover of … Continue reading "Gantz Fears Something More Than Coronavirus or Netanyahu: Palestinians"

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Coronavirus Lays Low the Military

Don’t look now but, for all intents and purposes the US war machine has ceased to exist. It’s not the case for defensive purposes. If the United States were to come under attack, the Pentagon would throw everything it has at the problem from ground troops to advanced fighter jets. If "fighting sick" was the … Continue reading "Coronavirus Lays Low the Military"

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We Need a Coronavirus Truce

During World War I, soldiers all along the Western front held a series of informal truces in December 1914 to commemorate Christmas. It was early in the war, and opposition had not yet hardened into implacable enmity. The military command, caught by surprise, could not impose complete battlefield discipline. An estimated 100,000 British and German … Continue reading "We Need a Coronavirus Truce"

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Take Rights Seriously, Even During a Pandemic

"If the provisions of the Constitution be not upheld when they pinch as well as when they comfort, they may as well be abandoned." ~ Justice George Sutherland (1862-1942) In his 2008 book "Taking Rights Seriously," the late professor Ronald Dworkin explored the origins and governmental treatment of human liberty. He argued that Thomas Jefferson … Continue reading "Take Rights Seriously, Even During a Pandemic"

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America, We Have To End the Wars Now

Can anyone think what our society might have spent six and a half trillion dollars on instead of 20 years of war in the Middle East for nothing? How about the trillion dollars per year we keep spending on the military on top of that? Invading, dominating and remaking the Arab world to serve the … Continue reading "America, We Have To End the Wars Now"

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Netanyahu Uses Coronavirus To Lure Rival Gantz Into ‘Emergency’ Government

Benny Gantz, the former Israeli general turned party leader, agreed late last week to join his rival Benjamin Netanyahu in an “emergency government” to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. Two weeks ago he had won a wafer-thin majority vote in the parliament that gave him first shot at trying to put together a coalition government. … Continue reading "Netanyahu Uses Coronavirus To Lure Rival Gantz Into ‘Emergency’ Government"

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The Quiet and Lethal Wars Against Iran

Some wars are fought with bombs and bullets. These are the wars in Syria and Iraq, in Afghanistan and Yemen. Then there are quieter wars executed by drone. These cowardly wars also kill people, but not our people. These quieter wars accomplish what the more cacophonous wars accomplish without the public outcry and condemnation. Medical … Continue reading "The Quiet and Lethal Wars Against Iran"

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Orwellian ‘Enemies’: The Enduring Utility of ‘Axes of Evil’

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms…" ~ George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language" (1946) Lieutenant General Robert P. White. Remember his name. I knew nothing of this man … Continue reading "Orwellian ‘Enemies’: The Enduring Utility of ‘Axes of Evil’"

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William Barr Greenlit Bush’s Invasion of Panama, Is Venezuela Next?

The US Justice Department unsealed an indictment on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other government officials last week, accusing them of "narco-terrorism." The move is reminiscent of the 1988 indictment of former CIA asset and Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. The Noriega indictment resulted in a US invasion of Panama that left hundreds – possibly thousands … Continue reading "William Barr Greenlit Bush’s Invasion of Panama, Is Venezuela Next?"

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Vigil for Peace in Yemen, a New Norm

For the past three years, several dozen New Yorkers have gathered each Saturday at Union Square, at 11:00 a.m. to vigil for peace in Yemen. Now, however, due to the coronavirus, the vigil for peace is radically altered. Last week, in recognition of the city’s coming shelter in place program, participants were asked to hold … Continue reading "Vigil for Peace in Yemen, a New Norm"

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Bad Moon Rising: Iraq on the Eve of Tet Offensive 2.0

Victor Charlie debuted in 1954 as the Saigon-Cholon Peace Committee. Mid-1950s Vietnamese revolutionaries, inside US-occupied zones, morphed into: "the Front" – joining patriotic, Buddhist and peace societies en masse. By 1962, 250,000 activists enlivened myriad societies whilst gathering info for a secret leadership. A campaign targeting Vietnamese who collaborated with Americans, launched in 1957, ratcheted-up … Continue reading "Bad Moon Rising: Iraq on the Eve of Tet Offensive 2.0"

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The Unaccountable Nation

Exceptionalism, triumphalism, chauvinism. These characteristics define most empires, including, like it or not, these United States. The sequence matters. A people and national government that fancies itself exceptional – an example for the rest of the world – is apt to assert itself militarily, economically, and culturally around the globe. If that self-righteous state happens … Continue reading "The Unaccountable Nation"

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Technology of Death: The Not-So-Shocking Report on Israeli Weapons Exports

The Middle East region, battered by wars and adjoining humanitarian crises that have left millions of people stateless, hungry and diseased, is in urgent need for peace, security and reconstruction. Thanks to the US, Russian, French, Israeli and other weapons manufacturers, however, it is now the dumping ground for military hardware, an ominous sign for … Continue reading "Technology of Death: The Not-So-Shocking Report on Israeli Weapons Exports"

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Like Freedom? Then You Won’t Like the FREEDOM Act

Last Monday, a bipartisan group of Senators and a coalition including libertarian and progressive activists thwarted a scheme to ram through the Senate legislation renewing three provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act (previously known as the USA PATRIOT Act). The bill had already been rushed through the House of Representatives, and most expected it to … Continue reading "Like Freedom? Then You Won’t Like the FREEDOM Act"

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