• International

    The Betrayal of the Kurds

    American foreign policy in the Middle East has been muddled and incoherent for some time but the recent developments in Kurdistan have revealed just how hallow my nation’s proclamations in the region can be. Martin Chulov reports the following from Kirkuk: Kurdish forces have abandoned lands they had controlled since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, allowing Iraqi troops to move into disputed areas that had been central to hopes for an independent Kurdistan with expanded borders. In a stunning collapse, peshmerga units loyal to the de facto Kurdish president, Massoud Barzani, pulled out of the towns of Bashiqa, Khanaqin and Sinjar less than a day after surrendering the…

  • International

    Superhero Protest of Soviet Monuments in Bulgaria

    Understandably, the Russian government is not happy with this protest. The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday. Making the god-like figures into superhero icons seems the logical end to me.

  • International,  The Left

    Confronting the Memory of Che

    Not everyone in Che Guevara’s hometown of Rosario, Argentina have a soft spot for the communist revolutionary. Under the motto “a murderer doesn’t deserve state tributes”, Mr López’s foundation has produced videos to educate Argentines, and rosarinos in particular. One shows a clip of Guevara promising to “continue the firing squads for as long as necessary” in a speech to the UN General Assembly in 1964. In another, a narrator reads out the accusatory suicide note of Reinaldo Arenas, a gay novelist who died in 1990 after suffering decades of persecution by Cuba’s government. Mr López is looking for a sympathetic councillor to present the petition on the anniversary of Guevara’s…

  • International

    McCain, Trump and Glavin on Syria

    It is hard to believe that John McCain was his party’s standard bearer just 8 years ago. From his recent piece in the Washington Post: The words “never again” ring hollow as the city of Aleppo, Syria, has fallen to regime forces of Bashar al-Assad. A brutal siege that has ground on for years was finally brought to a bloody end by a surge of Russian airpower, Iranian shock troops and assorted regional militia fighters. As we eulogize the dead of Aleppo, we must acknowledge the United States’ complicity in this tragedy. President Obama speaks of the need to “bear witness” to injustice. He did little else for Aleppo. To what have…

  • International,  Stateside

    Dealing with the “Alt-Right”

    A few weeks back, Richard Spencer and his alt-right think-tank (National Policy Institute) hosted their “coming out” event in Washington DC in the wake of Trump’s victory. In a now widely circulated video, audience members gave Roman salutes as Spencer exclaimed “Hail Trump!” to boisterous applause. Those on the left and the right have said much of the event, but a few other points come to mind. 1. The alt-right went from being a small cliché of activists in 2014, to a troll army in 2015 to being Trump’s loudest advocates in 2016. In a short period of time, they have gone from bit players in the political debate to ones…

  • International,  Stateside

    Russian Greens Slam US Green Party Candidate

    Jill Stein may have the endorsement of the Green Party here in America, but her apologies for Putin puts her at odds with Greens in Russia. Russian activist Yevgenia Chirikova penned the following as an open letter to Stein on her Facebook page. During the last few years, Russian authorities have continued the destruction of the rich and unique Russian environment. The Kremlin is heavily contributing to global climate change and the destruction of global biodiversity by over-using Russian natural resources and promoting unsafe nuclear energy. Corruption and anti-democratic behavior of the current Russian government has also led to negative impacts on Russia’s unique forests and natural heritage. Russian eco-activists…

  • antisemitism,  International

    Spanish left: a poster of racism and antisemitism

    This is a guest post by Mirabella The Madrid branch of Izquerda Unida, or United Left, party landed itself in a right doddle when it tweeted on Thursday a cartoon image which uses both racist depiction of Obama hugging anti-Semitic caricature of a Jew. The cartoon depicted a thick-lipped Obama standing behind a wall amid explosions while hugging a Jew with payot (side curls), a Star of David emblazoned onto his kippah and a suit in the light-blue colour on the Israeli flag. The tweet read “Invading and destroying countries to loot them,” along with the hashtag #ObamaGoHome. Obama slips a wad of cash in or out of the Jew’s…

  • International

    The Panama Papers

    You’ve read and heard about the Panama Papers. Now get the t-shirt. Por si no vieron mi nueva remera. pic.twitter.com/XZ9CQ1DgIM — Alejo Schapire (@aschapire) April 7, 2016 “If you haven’t seen my new shirt.” “Poor people” in this instance means everyone who pays their fair share of taxes and isn’t wealthy enough to hire the legal and financial talent required to hide one’s income in another country. Yes, I realize that most of those parking their wealth offshore are behaving entirely within the law. But someone has to make up for these missing billions in revenue. Or not. Unlike the unvetted Snowden and Manning leaks– which damaged US national security…

  • International

    I just found this out

    Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day, and the less popular Get Your Leg Amputated & Replaced With A Hunk Of Wood Like A Pirate Day. — Disalmanac (@Disalmanac) September 19, 2013 This first part, at least, is true, although I suppose there’s nothing to stop hardcore enthusiasts from observing the second occasion.

  • International

    The art of elective dictatorship

    By Nanomanoman While the main channels broadcast programmes about penguins and mental health all hell was breaking loose in the city centres, social media once again making up for the shortcomings of the major broadcasters as the streets erupted in protest. But this wasn’t Libya or Egypt. This was Turkey – NATO member and European Union aspirant. Here’s another one – which country has the most imprisoned journalists? China? North Korea? Iran? Burma? Turkey – NATO member and European Union aspirant. At last count, over 100. As the Committee To Protect Journalists puts it: The authorities are waging one of the world’s biggest anti-press campaigns in recent history. Dozens of writers and editors are in prison, nearly all on…