Trumpism

Submitted by admin on Thu, 03/02/2017 - 01:35

 

 

Dear Friends,

Trump gave his first speech to the joint houses of the Congress. It was a strange display. He defended his various executive orders with the statement that the United States should not become a 'sanctuary for extremists'. The only thing that came to my mind is this: it is already a sanctuary for extremists, with Steve Bannon and Trump himself leading the way.

In the current issue of Frontline, my Diary from Trumpland continues. This diary entry starts with an admission by a senior diplomat (still in office) who said that he'd prefer to watch re

In the Ruins of the Present: Neoliberalism has failed..

Description

'In the Ruins of the Present: Neoliberalism has failed, cruel populism has us by the throat.'

Vijay Prashad Lecture, Friday March 3rd at 3:30pm (free and open to the public)

CIE (The Center for International Education), University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

UWM Library, 4 th Floor Conference Center, 2311 East Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee, WI

Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism

Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/22/2017 - 22:33

 

Khatyn Memorial, Belarus
Khaytyn Memorial, Belarus by John Oldale (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Dear Friends,

Mocking Donald Trump comes easily. He provides sufficient fodder each and every day. Trump is vulnerable to such mockery. He dislikes being mocked more than anything else. A voracious consumer of the media, Trump studies how he is covered with great care. His advisor - Steve Bannon - calls the media the 'official opposition'. It is what they have trained their gunsights against.

These are dangerous men. The 'humanitarian interventionists' and the 'neoconservatives' gathered around Hillary Clinton, eager to use American

Trump, Tima Kurdi

Submitted by admin on Fri, 02/17/2017 - 01:24

Abduct Me

 

Dear Friends,

News from Trumpland is out of date before it is written. Reporters struggle to keep up with events, which slip off and are impossible to digest. One minute it is Betsy DeVos and some idiocy at the Department of Education, but before you can focus on that - it is off to the races with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and his phone calls with the Russian ambassador.

And then there are the Trump press conferences. Thursday's brava performance by Trump will take a great deal to surpass. His attack on CNN's Jim Acosta was something to behold. Trump's tirade ends wi

#Muslim Ban, #KefayaWar

Submitted by admin on Thu, 02/09/2017 - 04:33

 

Nael Zaino and Leen Arafat
Photo Anais Surkin

 

Dear Friends,

Madness deepens in the world around us; an age of anger - as Pankaj Mishra puts it - has enveloped us. There is just cause for this anger - deep inequalities that seem hopelessly permanent. But there is also great sadness occasioned by permanent wars. It would be too parochial to see this as merely about Trump or even about Brexit. This dialectic of anger and sadness whips around the entire planet.

But there are also brave people - over half a million who went out on the streets in Romania and millions of people who took to the airpo

Syria, Trumpland

Submitted by admin on Thu, 02/02/2017 - 00:54

 Deir Ezzor

 

Dear Friends,

In this week's report at Alternet, I try to make some sense of the rapid developments in the war in Syria. There is the creation of a new al-Qaeda front, where there are indications that the armed extremists who wish to prolong the war have gathered. There is also more bad news from the city of Deir Ezzor (pictured above): under siege for two years by ISIS, the water has been cut off almost entirely and food drops from the Syrian government and the UN's World Food Program have been sporadic. The situation is dire here. But given the nature of news and propaganda, there is b

Trumpland and Syria

Submitted by admin on Thu, 01/26/2017 - 22:21

New York State's rust belt by Daniel Barter and Daniel Marbaix

 

Dear Friends,

Remarkable events during the first few days of Donald Trump's administration, with his use of presidential power stretched to its constitutional limit. Incredible range of executive orders, many of them based on promises he made on the campaign trail. If nothing else, Trump has kept his promises. Or perhaps it is better to say that he has kept his promises in a theatrical way with little sign that any of these policies will provide the kind of relief that his voters sought.

For instance, on the question of the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. At Alternet, I

#Iranaphobia and Trumpland

Submitted by admin on Thu, 01/19/2017 - 05:12

 Shirin Neshat 2013, Rahim (Our House Is on Fire)

 

Dear Friends,

Listening to the confirmation hearings of the team assembled by Donald Trump has been eye-opening. There is a Secretary of Education who believes that guns should be in classrooms in case the school is attacked by grizzly bears. There is a head of the Environmental Protection Agency who 'hasn't looked at the scientific research on the dangers of lead exposure to children'. And then there are the nominees who just want to bomb Iran. The leaders in that pack are Trump's national security team (Mattis, Flynn), but not far behind is his pick as US Ambassador the UN, my fellow P

Bangladesh, Syria, Om Puri

Submitted by admin on Fri, 01/13/2017 - 03:49

Coal Power Plant Will Destroy The Sundarbans

 

Dear Friends,


Yesterday there was a strange press conference with US President Elect Trump labeling some news organisations as 'fake news'. It is interesting to see political leaders pick and choose which news organisations they would like to tolerate and which they would not. There is a great similarity in mood here between Trump, India's Narendra Modi and Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Add in place a host of other leaders who have made it their mission to silence journalism either through direct state intimidation or through allowance of their goon squads to pulverise free speech. Eithe

Algiers Diary, Wars of Destruction and Communist Histories

Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/04/2017 - 23:43

Algiers Diary

 

Dear Friends,

Above, a picture from the Casbah of Algiers, with children running playfully down some steps, chasing each other. They are a long way away from the French colonial period and from the 'Black Decade' of the 1990s, and yet around them linger not only the signs of those periods but also their structural residues.

In Frontline this week I have a diary on my wanderings through Algiers and my wonderings about Algerian history. The key moment that focused my thoughts was a chance encounter with a young boy named Akram. I asked him a benign question, which could not remain at the l