Iran

Iran war fever: real or charade?

Trump retreats from military action against Iran after a US surveillance drone is shot down in the Strait of Hormuz. Was the man who destroyed Raqqa and Mosul suddenly concerned with a possible 150 human casualties, as he claimed in his tweet explaining the balk? Or do Washington and Tehran have too much invested in pursuing their common wars against ISIS and other Sunni militants in Syria and Iraq to want the encumbrance of war with each other? (Photo of Global Hawk drone via Wikipedia)

The Andes

Forgotten voices in Venezuela crisis

Trump, the great enthusiast for dictators, suddenly develops a touching concern with democracy in Venezuela, grasping at the opportunity for long-sought regime change. Predictably overlooked in the world media's Manichean view of the crisis are voices of Venezuela's dissident left that takes a neither/nor position opposed to both the regime and the right-wing leadership of the opposition. Also unheard are voices of indigenous dissent and resistance. In an episode that received little coverage, December saw protests in the remote Orinoco Basin after a leader of the Pemón indigenous people was killed in a confrontation with elite Military Counterintelligence troops. The military operation was ostensibly aimed at clearing the region of illegal mining—while the Pemón themselves had been protesting the mining. The indigenous leaders view the militarization of the region as intended to make way for corporate exploitation under the Orinoco Mineral Arc plan. (Photo: EcoPolitica Venezuela)

Syria

Bolton goes to bat for Rojava Kurds?

Talk about strange bedfellows! This week witnessed the surreal spectacle of US National Security Adviser John Bolton, the most bellicose neoconservative in the Trump administration, visiting Turkey to try to forestall an Ankara attack radical-left, anarchist-leaning Kurdish fighters that the Pentagon has been backing to fight ISIS in Syria. “We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States,” Bolton told reporters. Refering to the Kurdish YPG militia, a Turkish presidential spokesman responded: “That a terror organization cannot be allied with the US is self-evident.” Bolton left Turkey without meeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who then publicly dissed the National Security Adviser’s stance as a “serious mistake.” YPG spokesman Nuri Mahmud, in turn, shot back: “Turkey, which has been a jihadist safe-haven and passage route to Syria since the beginning of the conflict, has plans to invade the region end destroy the democracy created by blood of sons and daughters of this people.” (Photo: ANF)

North Africa

Libya slave trade becomes political football

Propagandists of the isolationist right and anti-war "left" alike are exploiting the chilling emergence of a slave trade in abducted Black African migrants in Libya's remote desert south as evidence that the NATO intervention of 2011 only led to nightmares. The popular uprising that ousted Qaddafi is invisible to them—as is the dictator's own culpability in the social collapse that followed his rule. 

Greater Middle East

Syria: Russia and Assad dropping Rojava Kurds?

Insistence on regional autonomy and a federal solution for Syria is straining the de facto alliance between the Rojava Kurds and Damascus, despite their mutual enmity for Turkey.

Greater Middle East

Hawks fear anarchist haven in Syria

The ultra-hawkish Henry Jackson Society warns that the US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria are allied with anarchists and elements of the Turkish and European armed left.

North America

Fall of Flynn: hope or peril?

Mike Flynn's resignation as National Security Advisor could be the beginning of the collapse of the administration—or the start of a Trump-Putin breach, which holds dangers of its own.

North America

Yes, Donald Trump is a fascist

The appointment of Stephen Bannon, head of "alt-right" Breitbart News, as Trump's senior counselor removes any doubt about the new order that awaits the United States.

Greater Middle East

Bernie Sanders must drop Tulsi Gabbard!

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a key supporter of Bernie Sanders, is also a supporter of the genocidal dictatorship of Bashar Assad. Bernie's partisans urgently need to call him on this.

Greater Middle East

Syria: whose side is Israel on?

The Israeli security establishment and its neocon allies are divided between those who would destabilize Assad and those who would prop him with up as the Devil they know.

Greater Middle East

Pseudo-left ‘monsterphilia’ hits bottom

Actively embracing monstrous regimes such as that of Bashar Assad, the contemporary "left" has thrown in its lot with fascism rather than revolution—and is in fact no longer a "left."