• The Right

    Turning Point turnoff

    To the extent that the far Left and Corbyn need to be challenged on American and British campuses– and they do need to be– these are not the people to do it. What a crew. Asked by a member of the audience about nationalism in Western politics, [Candace] Owens brought up Adolf Hitler. “I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism’,” Owens said. “I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want. … Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.” “He was a national socialist,” she continued.…

  • North Korea,  Trump

    Trump and North Korea: then and now

    As President Trump prepares to deliver his 2019 State of the Union address to Congress tonight, I want to recall a moving moment from his 2018 speech. Now Ji Seong-ho is among those who have noticed a sharp change of tone by Trump when it comes to the North Korean regime. Since Ji’s starring role in last year’s State of the Union, Trump has said almost nothing about the plight of the North Korean people, more than 100,000 of whom are estimated to be held in hard-labor prison camps. Instead, the president has abruptly shifted from a “fire and fury” condemnation of the North to an unprecedented strategy of engagement…

  • Afghanistan

    Trump prepares to betray Afghan women and girls

    In the Trump administration’s haste to get US troops out of Afghanistan, is it going to leave millions of Afghans– especially women and girls– vulnerable to the tender mercies of the Taliban? It’s not looking promising. Former US ambassador Ryan Crocker writes: After the U.S. invasion in October 2001 ousted the Taliban for harboring the al-Qaeda planners of the 9/11 terrorist attack, the human toll from the Taliban rule is why the United States’ initial assistance efforts focused on people rather than things. I remember taking our first congressional visitor, Joe Biden (D-Del.), who was then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to visit a girls school that we…

  • Latin America

    US recognizes opposition leader as interim Venezuelan president

    President Trump made the right decision here. Francisco Toro writes in The Washington Post: Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets on Wednesday to confront Nicolás Maduro and the Western Hemisphere’s most wantonly destructive regime. A resurgent opposition — under the leadership of Juan Guaidó, the until-recently unknown 35-year-old leader of Congress and now the self-declared president of Venezuela — has mobilized its supporters to try to dislodge what’s now a no-doubts-about-it dictatorship. On Wednesday afternoon Guaidó claimed to be the legitimate leader of Venezuela, directly challenging Maduro’s authority. President Trump promptly recognized Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president. “In its role as the only legitimate branch of government duly elected…

  • Israel,  Trade Unions

    Martin Luther King on labor and Israel

    Re-upping this post from 15 years ago: On the day marking what would have been his 75th birthday. Speaking to the 1961 convention of the AFL-CIO: Negroes are almost entirely a working people. There are pitifully few Negro millionaires, and few Negro employers. Our needs are identical with labor’s needs — decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. That is why Negroes support labor’s demands and fight laws which curb labor. That is why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets…

  • Israel

    RIP Amos Oz

    The great Israeli author and leftwing political activist Amos Oz has died at the age of 79. Rather than attempt a grand overview of his life and works (his 1966 book Elsewhere Perhaps, set in a border kibbutz, may be the great Zionist novel), I will quote from some of my posts about him at Harry’s Place. During the 2014 Gaza war, Oz– who fought in the 1967 and 1973 wars– was interviewed by Deutsche Welle. He restated his commitment to “a two-state-solution and coexistence between Israel and the West Bank: Two capitals in Jerusalem, a mutually agreed territorial modification, removal of most of the Jewish settlements from the West…

  • Latin America,  The Left

    RIP Teodoro Petkoff

    I just found out that Teodoro Petkoff, a former Communist guerilla in Venezuela turned democratic socialist and a brave opponent of the regimes of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, died in October at the age of 86. Petkoff, editor of the opposition newspaper Tal Cual, was kind enough to answer some questions from me back in 2005. The same year he published a book contrasting the kind of democratic Left he believed in with what he considered the reactionary, caudillo-style Left embodied by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. In 2015 Petkoff was unable to travel to Madrid to receive an award from the Spanish newspaper El Pais; he had been…

  • Syria,  Trump

    Trump declares victory against the Islamic State in Syria, orders withdrawal of US forces

    More evidence that President T doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.   The Trump administration is planning to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, a defense official said Wednesday, as President Trump declared victory over the Islamic State. The president, in a message on Twitter, said the United States had “defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” His statement came shortly after news organizations reported that the White House had decided on Tuesday to abruptly remove the entire U.S. force of more than 2,000 troops from Syria. In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the United States had…

  • Human Rights,  Hungary

    Hungary’s “slave law” sparks protests

    When the leader of a government proudly proclaims an “illiberal state”: when his government passes a law restricting press freedom and undermines independent media; when that government tolerates antisemitism in its own ranks; when it forces the closure of a respected independent university and turns it founder into a figure of demonic omnipotent evil; and when tightens its control of the judiciary; is it any surprise that it also attacks workers’ rights? Hungary is seeing its largest protests in years, triggered by an employee-hostile law. But for the protesters, it’s about a lot more. Meanwhile, the government, led by strongman PM Viktor Orban, smells a conspiracy. For days, thousands of…

  • Galloway

    Checking in on Galloway

    Ever since he stopped compulsively running for political office (and sometimes actually winning), we haven’t paid much attention to the horror show that is George Galloway. But one of his latest tweets is noteworthy for its downright Trumpian undercurrents. Please note: unless I have evidence to the contrary I will henceforth regard every journalist in this country as an agent of the British state. A spy. A liar, deceiver and subverter of democracy in Britain. #Zinoviev #ForgersGazette #Codswallop #JukeBox #IntegrityInitiative — George Galloway (@georgegalloway) December 10, 2018 And his attack on “liberal media viciousness” reminds me of a bumper sticker I sometimes see, distributed by the rightwing Media Research Center.…