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Falling Arab dictatorships and Israeli government panic

The walls are crumbling. The walls behind which dictators indulge in decadent opulence while "their" people are mired in wretched circumstance. The walls behind which "leaders" secretly sell -- for personal gain -- the rights of the people they claim to represent.

Across North Africa and the Middle East, across the Arab world, for decades dictatorship and deepening corruption, firmly supported by imperial powers, seemed beyond challenge. Today, once "stable" regimes are now facing a popular reckoning.

From the vantage point of Palestine, there are three new dynamics.

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Wikileaks exposes the lies of U.S. diplomacy

Wikileaks is again publishing a trove of documents, in this case classified U.S. State Department diplomatic cables. The whistle-blower website will gradually be releasing more than 250,000 of these documents in the coming months so that they can be analyzed and gain the attention they deserve. The cables are internal, written communications among U.S. embassies around the world and also to the U.S. State Department. Wikileaks described the leak as "the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain [giving] an unprecedented insight into U.S. government foreign activities."

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Obama brings support for repressive regime on visit to Indonesia

If a volcano kills civilians in Indonesia, it's news. When the government does the killing, sadly, it's just business as usual, especially if an American president tacitly endorses the killing, as President Barack Obama just did with his visit to Indonesia.

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Death of a Princess revisited

Antony Thomas. Photo: Kempton/flickr

Last week, very wisely, the New York premiere of the film The Interview was cancelled. This week, Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film, then changed its mind and announced it will release it on Christmas Day.

Am I the only one to find an air of déjà vu in the North Korean-The Interview affair? Has everyone forgotten, or are they too young to remember, that in 1980, the British film Death of a Princess, by Antony Thomas and Gladys Ganley, provoked similar responses on the part of Saudi Arabia?

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U.S. and Cuba: Is it the start of a new relationship?

Photo: Martin Abegglen/flickr

The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighbouring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may finally be collapsing. On Wednesday morning, we learned that Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor convicted in Cuba for spying, had been released after five years in prison. Another person, an unnamed Cuban imprisoned in Cuba for 20 years for spying for the U.S., was also released. This has made global headlines. Less well explained in the U.S. media are the three Cubans released from U.S. prisons. They are the three remaining jailed members of the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five were arrested in the late 1990s on espionage charges. But they were not spying on the United States government.

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The ongoing War on Terror: What's it really about?

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t/flickr
The War on Terror is never-ending. But is it really about a war on ISIL or their barbaric methods or a recapture of what is left of the Middle East after two disastrous wars?

Related rabble.ca story:

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From 2001 to today: The never-ending War on Terror

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t/flickr

On October 6, 2014, a U.S. judge decided to make information public about the horrific force-feeding of Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a Guantanamo detainee.

The news didn't make the headlines on CNN or Fox news. The treatment was not denounced over and over by every big or small Muslim organization, as they have done when it comes to the treatment of minorities and journalists by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In some media outlets, the news was portrayed as a victory for transparency and government accountability.

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Global warming and global warring: The world's twin, interlinked crises

Photo: Eden, Janine and Jim/flickr

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Hours after 400,000 people joined in the largest climate march in history, the United States began bombing Syria, starting yet another war. The Pentagon claims that the targets were military installations of the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq, as well a newly revealed terrorist outfit, the Khorasan Group. President Barack Obama is again leading the way to war, while simultaneously failing to address our rapidly worsening climate. The world is beset with twin crises, inextricably linked: global warming and global warring. Solutions to both exist, but won't be achieved by bombing.

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Children fleeing violence face cruel immigration system in U.S.

Photo: Living-Learning Programs/flickr

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas put a prominent, public face on the immigration crisis this week when he was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. After a number of hours and a national outcry, he was released. He first revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant three years ago in a New York Times Magazine article, and has since made changing U.S. immigration policy his primary work. Vargas was in Texas to support the thousands of undocumented immigrant children currently detained there by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Bowe Bergdahl projects war in Afghanistan through a different lens

Photo Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted from: divds, zori

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