When Benjamin Netanyahu humiliated U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden two weeks ago with his settlements announcement it was just one more calculated effort to both expose Barack Obama as a weak president and to increase Netanyahu's own geo-political power. Unfortunately for the Middle East, Obama, and the world in general, the brinkmanship seemed to work. The immediate U.S. response to this deliberate humiliation was half-hearted, weak and confused. The balance of power within the U.S.-Israeli alliance appeared to shift overnight. Obama is the classic ditherer -- faced with someone bold and daring, he simply can't find the moral outrage or courage to stand up for his principles.
Amid rumors that the Obama administration might try to cut an emissions deal with Canada in order to justify approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, leaders from 25 U.S. environmental groups -- backed by millions of members and at least 75,000 individuals willing to engage incivil disobedience -- warned the president on Tuesday that such a deal would be considered nothing less than a bitter betrayal.
In a world in which what's happening is analyzed and dissected, chewed up and spat out, before it even happens, there is, in fact, a surprising amount of surprise.
Consider recent days. With the U.S. poised to strike Syria for its government's alleged and apparent use of chemical weapons, suddenly we learn that the British House of Commons has denied the British government authorization to join the U.S. in the strike, a virtually unheard of event. No one, at least on this side of the pond, seems to have told the Obama administration that a possibility was actually a probability.
As President Barack Obama's attack on Syria appears to have been delayed for the moment, it is remarkable that Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting, on Sept. 11, with one of his predecessors, Henry Kissinger, reportedly to discuss strategy on forthcoming negotiations on Syria with Russian officials. The Kerry-Kissinger meeting, and the public outcry against the proposed attack on Syria to which both men are publicly committed, should be viewed through the lens of another Sept. 11 ... 1973.
Free the Cuban Five! Lies, conspiracy and hypocrisy fuel 'What Lies Across the Water' to deliver the truth
What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five
On September 12, 1998, the FBI mounted coordinated raids in locations across the state of Florida, arresting ten people. The FBI alleged that they were members of a Cuban spy network, sent by Castro to undermine the security of the United States of America.
They were also accused in the deaths of four Cuban exiles from Miami, who had been shot down by the Cuban Air Force in 1996.
On the morning of June 20, 2013, a group of people walked onto the Canadian energy corporation Enbridge's North Westover pumping station and occupied the facility. They called this blockade "Swamp Line 9". The facility is part of what is called Line 9, a pipeline that moves oil west towards Sarnia and the refining facilities there. However, the industry has been engaged in an effort to slowly gain regulatory approval to reverse the pipeline, allowing it to carry tar sands oil east for refining or to the Atlantic coast for export.
It was September 19, 2002, and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was scheduled to address the Senate Armed Services Committee about why it was necessary to invade a country that never attacked us: Iraq.
I was so concerned about the pending war that I flew to Washington DC from my home in San Francisco. It was the first congressional hearing I had ever witnessed. My heart was pounding as my colleague Diane Wilson and I pulled out banners that read "UN inspectors, not US war", and proceeded to ask Rumsfeld our own questions: how many innocent Iraqis would die, how many US soldiers, how many of our tax dollars would be poured into this war of choice, and how much money would Halliburton make from the war. We were hauled out of the room by the Capitol police.
Ajamu Nangwaya participated in the recent Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2013, speaking about the potential for worker self-management in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, following the historic election Chokwe Lumumba as mayor. This article, Part 2 of 2, is based on Ajamu Nangwaya's presentation to the conference, and is part of our ongoing focus on labour and workers' issues this week on rabble.ca. (Read Part I here.)
President Obama's effort to win legislative backing for military strikes against Syria passed its first hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-to-7 in favor of bombing Syria. We're joined by Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, a leading opponent of the resolution in the House. Grayson has set up a website, Don'tAttackSyria.com, which is gathering signatures for a petition calling on Congress to deny permission to attack Syria. "I am very disturbed by this general idea that every time we see something bad in the world, we should bomb it," Grayson says. "The president has criticized that mindset, and now he has adopted it. It's simply not our responsibility to act alone and punish this."