2018-05-13: News Headlines

Steven Hurst (2018-05-13). Why Does The American Right Hate Iran So Much? iranian.com Now Donald Trump has finally backed out of the Iranian nuclear deal, the rest of the world is trying to understand the thinking that went into his decision. High up the list of factors is a longstanding American unease about Iran in general. But while most Americans don't like the Islamic Republic of Iran, some dislike it […]

amnesty.org (2018-05-13). Colombian Human Rights Defenders Need Protection. amnesty.org

Staff (2018-05-12). Merkel Decries Iran Deal Pullout as She Accepts Italian Peace Prize. truthdig.com ASSISI, Italy—German Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull his country out of the Iran nuclear accord was making the situation in the Middle East "even more difficult" and warned Europeans to be skeptical of "easy" solutions promised by populists. | Speaking while in Italy to receive a peace prize, Merkel cited the recent escalation of Israeli-Iranian hostility that quickly followed Trump's announcement about the Iran accord as a reason for concern. | She said Germany was closely following the developments between Iran and Israel, saying that was "yet another reason for further effort to resolve the conflict." | The German leader made her remarks at St. Francis' Basilica, in Assisi, the saint's hometown, where Franciscan friars awarded her the St. Francis Lamp for peace. Merkel was honored for the welcome Germany gave to Syrian war refugees,…

The Conversation (2018-05-12). May 1968: The Posters That Inspired a Movement. alternet.org The movement produced an important visual language for protest that still resonates half a century later. | The uprisings that took hold of France in May 1968 provided a blueprint for the kind of widespread social unrest capable of unifying students and factory workers. Beginning with protests over university reform, action escalated quickly to widespread strikes and occupations. The country's leaders feared an actual revolution could be about to take place. The movement also produced an important visual language for protest that still resonates half a century later. While often aesthetically crude in design, posters were pasted up in the streets calling for solidarity in the fight against capitalism. Emanating from the printing room of Paris' École des Beaux Arts, a group calling itself Atelier Populaire ("Popular Workshop") subsequently produced the posters. They called them "weapons in the service of the struggle". This. . .

Mina Jafari (2018-05-12). I Lived In Iran Under US Sanctions—Killing The Deal Is A Big Mistake. iranian.com I wasn't supposed to be American. But the 1979 Iranian revolution changed that. Instead, I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. Six years ago, after graduating from the University of Maryland with a double major in Persian Studies and Government & Politics, I decided to move to Iran. Most of my friends […]

Staff (2018-05-12). Trump Welcomes N. Korea Plan to Blow Up Nuclear-Site Tunnels. truthdig.com SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Saturday that it will dismantle its nuclear test site in less than two weeks, in a dramatic event that would set up leader Kim Jong Un's summit with President Donald Trump next month. Trump welcomed the "gracious gesture." | In a statement carried by state media, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said all of the tunnels at the country's northeastern testing ground will be destroyed by explosion, and observation and research facilities and ground-based guard units will also be removed. | Kim had already revealed plans to shut the test site by the end of May during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. Analysts say that while the closure of the site is important, it doesn't represent a material step toward full denuclearization. | "A ceremony for dismantling the nuclear test ground is…

Julia Conley (2018-05-12). Thousands Of Iranians Take To Streets, Enraged By 'Insane' US Foreign Policy. iranian.com Cities across Iran saw thousands of demonstrators pouring into the streets to express fury over President Donald Trump's violation and abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama administration, Iranian officials, and several other world powers. twitter.com/ajplus/status/99492554506545… Protesters in Tehran and other cities carried posters which read, "Mr. Trump, you are talking nonsense," as they echoed Iranian […]

Scott Ritter (2018-05-12). Iran Nuclear Deal and U.S. Pullout Reflect Epic Bipartisan Failures. truthdig.com Editor's note: Scott Ritter was a United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. | President Trump made it official Tuesday, announcing that he would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Program of Action, or JCPOA. "The agreement," he said in his speech, "was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal's sunset provisions are totally unacceptable. If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East." | The sunset provisions of the JCPOA are among the least understood aspects of that agreement. Prior to signing the JCPOA, Iran operated more than 20,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium to use in its indigenous nuclear…

Sophia Tesfaye, Salon (2018-05-12). Jeff Sessions Revealed This Week That He Would Begin Inflicting Terror Across America — But Nobody Paid Attention. alternet.org There is a reason why Jeff Sessions continues to endure the indignities heaped upon him by President Trump and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. , chair of the House Intelligence Committee. | Ever since his days as an Alabama prosecutor during the War on Drugs era, Trump's attorney general has been dead set on cracking down on poor people in a return to tough-on-crime law enforcement. There probably has been no better week for the fulfillment of that agenda than this one. This article was originally published at SalonOn Monday, Sessions made official the Trump administration policy of ripping children from their families, if they crossed the U. S. -Mexico border. On Tuesday, he traveled to Tennessee to taunt the 97 workers who were arrested during a recent immigration raid at a local meat processing plant. "I'm not shedding tears about them," Sessions said of the. . .

Staff (2018-05-12). Hawaii Volcano Has Scientists Looking to Mainland's West Coast. truthdig.com The coast is home to an 800-mile chain of 13 volcanoes, and although experts say no eruption seems imminent, the situation could change fast.

Whitney Webb (2018-05-12). GOP Hostility Toward Iran Secured After Adelson Gives $30 Million To Top Super PAC. mintpressnews.com Adelson's perspectives on U.S. foreign policy, particularly towards Iran, are alarming, given that his influence on U.S. politics is set to grow in the wake of his latest mega-donation to the Republican party.

Staff (2018-05-12). Trump Team May Be Focusing on Odd, Obscure Iran Plan. truthdig.com National security adviser John Bolton reportedly has authorized distribution of a white paper produced by Jim Hanson, a self-proclaimed expert "practitioner of the art of war."

Staff (2018-05-12). Macron Defiant After Paris Stabbing Is Claimed by Islamic State. truthdig.com After a knife-wielding man kills one person and injures four, the French president says his nation will not yield to "enemies of freedom."

Jason Rhode, Salon (2018-05-12). Here's the Real Reason Tech Billionaires are Prepping for Doomsday. alternet.org A misanthropic view of humanity guides the tech aristocracy — and it's trickled into their vision of the future. | If you pay attention to what Silicon Valley's best and brightest are up to, you know about tech survivalism. The digital elite are preparing for the Apocalypse, and have been for a while. As Evan Osnos wrote in his New Yorker feature, "Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich,"Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort. The Guardian noted that the end-of-days obsession could be traced back to a. . .

Rick Sterling (2018-05-12). New Film Gives An Iranian Perspective On The Battle Against ISIS In Syria. iranian.com The movie comes from Iranian screenwriter and film director Ebrahim Hatamikia. Two award winning Iranian actors, Hadi Hejazifar and Babak Hamidian, play father and son pilots trying to rescue civilians besieged and attacked by ISIS forces in eastern Syria. [dropcap]T[/dropcap]he "West" is competing against the "East" on the Syrian battle-field, in conflicting news and analysis, […]

Tehran Times (2018-05-12). Iran's Oldest Document On Cinema Unveiled. iranian.com Iran's oldest film document ever found was unveiled during a special ceremony at the Film Museum of Iran on Wednesday evening. The document is a decree issued by Qajar king Mozaffar ad-Din Shah (1853-1907) on February 11, 1900, in which he assigned the renowned royal photographer Mirza Ahmad Khan Sani os-Saltaneh the task of buying […]

Sean Deveney, Salon (2018-05-12). How Trump Made 'Fake News' in the 1980s. alternet.org Using the press to achieve his PR goals is a skill Trump mastered in New York decades ago | Donald Trump needed a tax break. In 1981 he was in the process of building his second major New York City project, the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. As part of putting up the new skyscraper, he had applied to the city for an abatement of $20 million, which was intended to be a gift from the taxpayers given to developers for their willingness to build middle- or lower-class housing in areas defined as "underuti ≠lized. " But anyone who had ever strolled New York's streets over the past five or six decades knew Fifth Avenue was hardly an underuti ≠lized area. It was as well-trafficked and upscale a slab of real estate as you could find anywhere in the country, let alone New. . .

Martin Cizmar, Raw Story (2018-05-12). Fox News' Judge Jeanine Claims Trump is Fulfilling 'Biblical Prophecy' By Moving Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem. alternet.org Pirro's bonkers rant on the subject included many extreme statements — such as making broad declarations about Shiites and Sunnis. | Judge Jeanine Pirro is on location in Jerusalem tonight, where the United States will open a new embassy tomorrow. The move from Tel Aviv to the city Israel claims as its capital is seen as a provocation to Palestinians. Tel Aviv has long been the internationally agreed upon capital of the Jewish state, with Jerusalem being considered neutral territory between Jewish Israelis and the Palestinian people who also claim it. Other presidents have announced that they planned to move the embassy but didn't—Trump shocked many by following through. Pirro's bonkers rant on the subject included many extreme statements, such as making broad declaration about Shiites and Sunnis. The move, she said, "Sent a huge signal to Iran, and Shiite Muslims, that we stood with. . .

Sam Haselby, Aeon (2018-05-12). These Should Be the End Times for American Patriotism. alternet.org It is time to start treating American patriotism — the most deadly form of identity politics — as a question, not an answer. | Patriotism is the organising passion of modern political life in the United States yet its vitality defies obvious explanation. The country has no national education system. There's neither compulsory military nor civil service. No government agency distributes the ubiquitous US flags, nor enforces observance of the rituals to country performed at schools and sporting and political events throughout the country. Despite lacking the classic machinery for inculcating patriotism and spreading it among the people, American patriotism is a norm in the true sense: at least within the US itself, it exists in a place without question. One of the conceits of American patriotism — that it is a salubrious version of the pernicious nationalism that other countries have —. . .

Gregory Shupak (2018-05-12). Media Debate Best Way To Dominate Iran. iranian.com The debate in the New York Times and Washington Post over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran deal, revolves around which tactics America should use to dominate Iran. At one end of the spectrum of acceptable opinion is the view that President Trump was correct to […]

Staff (2018-05-12). A Surprising Bullying Battleground: Senior Centers. truthdig.com SAN FRANCISCO — The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Fistfights broke out at karaoke. Dances became breeding grounds for gossip and cruelty. | It became clear this place had a bullying problem on its hands. What many found surprising was that the perpetrators and victims alike were all senior citizens. | Nursing homes, senior centers and housing complexes for the elderly have introduced programs, training and policies aimed at curbing spates of bullying, an issue once thought the exclusive domain of the young. | "There's the clique system just like everywhere else," said Betsy Gran, who until recently was assistant director at San Francisco's 30th Street Senior Center. "It's like 'Mean Girls,' but everyone is 80." | After the cafeteria exiles and karaoke brouhahas, the 30th Street Center teamed up with a local nonprofit, the Institute on Aging, to develop an…

Staff (2018-05-12). Sasha Abramsky on the Decline of Empathy and the Future of Democracy (Audio and Transcript). truthdig.com Robert Scheer speaks with the journalist and professor about his latest book, on how fear has contributed to demagoguery.

CP Editor (2018-05-12). Colin Kaepernick: "Lawful Lynching" Of Black People Must End. counterpunch.org

Conor Lynch, Salon (2018-05-12). White Supremacists, Online Misogynists and the Rise of the Far Right: How to Fight a Rising Tide of White, Male Resentment. alternet.org Angry young white men, the "incel rebellion" and an age of worldwide reaction. | If there is one thing that seems to unite the most extreme political reactionaries throughout the world, it is their gender. Whether it's alt-right white supremacists marching in Charlottesville with their tiki torches, misogynist "incels" and men's rights activists who believe feminism is the root of all their problems, or Islamic extremists who aim to restore the caliphate, one thing is constant: they are overwhelmingly male. It is hardly surprising that men are more susceptible to the allure of reactionary politics, considering that it's much easier for men to romanticize the past than it is for women (or any previously oppressed or mistreated group, such as LGBTQ people). Patriarchy has long been the norm in Western and non-Western societies and cultures, and thus women are less inclined to feel. . .

Staff (2018-05-12). 42 Die in Week's Israeli Strikes in Syria, Monitor Says. truthdig.com BEIRUT—A wave of Israeli strikes on suspected military positions in Syria this week killed 42 people, including at least 19 Iranians, a Syria war monitor reported Saturday. | The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll from attacks early Thursday has risen from 23 to 27, including at least 11 Iranians and six Syrian soldiers, including three officers. | In total, 42 people, including 19 Iranians, were killed over two days of strikes — from Tuesday to Thursday — according to the Observatory. | Israel's defense minister called on Syria's President Bashar Assad on Friday to clear his country of Iranian forces based there — warning that their presence will only bring more trouble to the already war-ravaged country. | Avigdor Lieberman's comments were followed by threats from an Iranian cleric that Tel Aviv or Haifa would be in danger…

Emily Wells (2018-05-12). Poor People's Campaign Aims to Bring MLK's Dream to Fruition. truthdig.com A movement to bring poverty to the center of the political agenda kicks off Monday, and Truthdig is launching a reader-funded drive to help the website cover the story.

The Conversation (2018-05-12). A Psychologist Explains the Thinking Error at the Root of Science Denial. alternet.org This widespread rejection of scientific findings presents a perplexing puzzle to those of us who value an evidence-based approach to knowledge and policy. | Currently, there are three important issues on which there is scientific consensus but controversy among laypeople: climate change, biological evolution and childhood vaccination. On all three issues, prominent members of the Trump administration, including the president, have lined up against the conclusions of research. This widespread rejection of scientific findings presents a perplexing puzzle to those of us who value an evidence-based approach to knowledge and policy. Yet many science deniers do cite empirical evidence. The problem is that they do so in invalid, misleading ways. Psychological research illuminates these ways. No shades of grayAs a psychotherapist, I see a striking parallel between a type of thinking involved in many mental health disturbances and the reasoning behind science. . .

Gregory Shupak (2018-05-12). Media Debate Best Way to Dominate Iran. fair.org The New York Times' Bret Stephens ( 5/8/18) is glad Trump canceled the Iran deal because that allows the US to threaten Iran with "economic ruin and possible war." | The debate in the New York Times and Washington Post over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran deal, revolves around which tactics America should use to dominate Iran. | At one end of the spectrum of acceptable opinion is the view that President Trump was correct to withdraw from the deal because it supposedly failed to handcuff Iran to a sufficient degree. At the other is the far more common perspective, which is that Trump should have remained in the deal because it is an effective tool for controlling Iran. | In the New York Times, Bret Stephens (…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-12). Cambodia: Release Ex-Radio Free Asia Journalists. hrw.org Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, former journalists of the Radio Free Asia (RFA), sit inside a police vehicle as they arrive for a bail hearing at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on April 19, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters / Samrang Pring | (New York) — Cambodian authorities should drop fabricated espionage charges against former Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin and immediately and unconditionally release them, Human Rights Watch said today. Their arrests six months ago on November 14, 2017, were part of Prime Minister Hun Sen's ongoing crackdown on the media, civil society groups, and the political opposition that have caused many former RFA and other journalists, activists, and opposition members to flee the country. | "Ahead of July's national elections, Prime Minister Hun Sen has…

RT (2018-05-12). Meet NASA's robot helicopter of Mars (VIDEO). rt.com A robot helicopter will fly the skies of Mars as part of the 2020 mission, NASA has announced, hoping to replicate the success of the Wright brothers on the red planet.
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Alice Speri (2018-05-12). Mass ICE Raids Leave a Trail of Misery and Broken Communities. theintercept.com A month after dozens of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surrounded a meatpacking plant in Morristown, Tennessee, and detained 97 men and women who worked there, the tight-knit rural community is still reeling, but the initial shock has seeped into a quiet pain, as families adjust to lives without work and their loved ones. | As those shipped to immigration detention facilities across the country started appearing before judges for bond hearings this month, some families were reunited, though still facing deportation proceedings, while others braced for long separations. As of Thursday, 20 of those arrested on April 5 were released — but many more remained in detention. "Tragedy continues to unfold," said Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. "Some families are getting really terrible news." | The Trump administration has promised more worksite immigration enforcement.

RT (2018-05-12). Buy your future overlord: Creepy robot dog SpotMini up for sale soon. rt.com The dog-like robot that can open doors and haunt humanity's dreams is now coming to a home near you.
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Human Rights Watch (2018-05-12). Britain Should use Erdogan Visit to Speak out on Human Rights. hrw.org Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, January 28, 2017. | © 2017 Reuters | Despite the sharp deterioration in human rights under his leadership, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoƒüan, is being accorded a state visit to Britain next week, including a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and with the Queen. Undoubtedly, May would prefer the discussion focus on investment, trade, and Syria, but the scale of repression underway in Turkey makes it impossible to ignore. She should use the moment to urge an end to the Turkish government's brutal crackdown on opponents and critics. | The visit comes ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 in which Erdogan seeks to renew his mandate with greatly enhanced powers. The elections…

RT (2018-05-12). Fire-breathing Disney dragon bursts into flames during parade (VIDEOS). rt.com A fire-breathing dragon went up in flames during a parade at Disney World, Florida on Friday. Onlookers remained calm during the incident, apparently under the mistaken belief that it was part of the show. |
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RT (2018-05-12). PHOTOS of strange winged creature prompt 'angel' sighting debate online (POLL). rt.com A small community in northern Michigan believes it has been touched by an angel after a motion-sensor camera captured a mysterious object apparently looming over a parked vehicle. People online, however, remain unconvinced.
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Matthew Cole (2018-05-12). Navy SEALs Face Sexual Assault Charges and Drug Investigation. theintercept.com The commanding officer and the senior enlisted adviser of a Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL team deployed in East Africa have been relieved of their duties because of allegations of sexual assault and harassment. In addition, 11 members of other East Coast SEAL units tested positive for drugs and face disciplinary action, according to a Navy official and two members of the special operations community. | "A commanding officer and command master chief assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit have been relieved of their duties overseas due to alleged misconduct," said Commander Tamara Lawrence, a spokesperson for Naval Special Warfare, the Navy SEAL command. "Naval Special Warfare and NCIS have initiated investigations as appropriate." | According to two current Navy SEAL consultants familiar with the case, the investigation into the commander and his senior enlisted adviser concerns allegations of sexual assault…

RT (2018-05-12). Reps or Dems, all US govts are 'oppressive,' says Chelsea Manning. rt.com All US governments are oppressive, regardless of whether they're run by Republicans or Democrats, activist Chelsea Manning said during a rally for J20 defendants in Washington DC.
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RT (2018-05-12). Navy SEAL team leaders suspended over alleged sexual misconduct. rt.com Two Navy SEAL leaders, deployed in Africa, have been sent back to the US after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against the officers. |
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Jon Schwarz (2018-05-12). Oliver North Worked With Cocaine Traffickers to Arm Terrorists. Now He'll Be President of the NRA. theintercept.com The NRA constantly tells us that we need guns to protect ourselves against drug gangs — which makes their choice of Oliver North both hilarious and sordid.

RT (2018-05-12). 'They're trying to kill him': Pamela Anderson wants Kanye's help to free Assange. rt.com Actress-turned-activist Pamela Anderson has become one of the most vocal allies for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and now she wants Kanye West's help in setting him free.
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David Yearsley (2018-05-11). Imperial Pomp. counterpunch.org No work of music has a greater lock on a single ritual than Edward Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March no. 1 does on American graduations. Cock an ear in the direction of high school and university campuses across this country in May or June and its impossible not to hear the strains of this late-colonial hymn to More

L. Michael Hager (2018-05-11). Is Massachusetts Turning Red? counterpunch.org Massachusetts has a proud record of investing in its communities and people. It created the first pubic park, the first public schools and the first public transportation system. It was the first state to legalize marriage for all and the first to offer universal health care insurance. By traditional voting standards as well, Massachusetts is clearly a blue-state. In More

Nicole Braun (2018-05-11). Adjuncts of the World, Unite! counterpunch.org School teachers across the U.S. are striking for many reasons, from atrocious working conditions to low pay. Polls show that most Americans support these teachers' strikes. What many people may not know is that similar protests are taking place at colleges and universities across the country. Graduate students, adjuncts, and lecturers are quietly engaging in direct actions More

Clark T. Scott (2018-05-11). Applauding Plowshares Into Swords. counterpunch.org About a week ago I attended a graduation convocation ceremony at the Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Ames Iowa. Within this event there were about 15 department and interdepartmental programs representing various majors from "Agricultural Systems Technology" to "Agronomy" to Environmental Science" to "Genetics" to "Animal Ecology" and beyond. The More

Jim Naureckas (2018-05-11). Who's Reacting to Iran Deal Pull-Out? Why, It's Women in Chadors, Walking Past Anti-US Mural. fair.org Adam Johnson (FAIR.org, 10/21/17) called the "Woman in Chador Walks by Anti-US Mural" image "one of the most overused and toxic stock photos." Documenting its ubiquity in online US coverage of Iran, Johnson argued that the cliche photo of "one or two Iranian women clad in black chadors, faces usually barely visible, walking past a mural of the Statute of Liberty with a skull face" was intended "to lazily tie together US-bashing and perceived subjugation of women, reinforcing the image of Iran as a country defined by misogyny and seething hate for the West." | Iran is big in the news now, as the Trump administration pulls out of the multinational agreement about Iran's nuclear energy program and generally tries to ramp up hostility toward Tehran (FAIR.org, 5/9/18). And so we're once again seeing a raft of news reports illustrated with…

Juan Cole (2018-05-11). Why There Isn't Likely To Be A Conventional War Between Israel And Iran. iranian.com It is understandable that observers are alarmed about an Iran-Israel conflict in the aftermath of the violation by Trump of the 2015 Iranian nuclear enrichment treaty. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu worked hard to undermine the treaty in the US, using cut-outs such as allegedly corrupt casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who bought the Republican Party […]

Patrick Cockburn (2018-05-11). If Europe Wants to Remain on the World Stage, It Must Resist Trump on Iran. counterpunch.org "Iraq is at the muzzle of the gun," says Ali Allawi, Iraqi historian and former minister, speaking of the increased turmoil expected to follow the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. It is not only Iraq which is in danger: an escalating confrontation between the US and Iran will affect the whole region, but More

Joseph Natoli (2018-05-11). That's the Problem: Nothing Proves Anything. counterpunch.org We are out of the Iran nuclear deal because nothing anyone said to President Trump proved anything to him. We saw this on day one when no amount of visual and statistical proof could convince him that he did not have the largest crowd in inauguration history but about one third of what he claimed. More

Wim Laven (2018-05-11). Dangerous Fallout when Trump Blows Up Deals. counterpunch.org Trump's detonation of the Iran Deal is a monumental disaster. On the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran Deal), dozens of retired generals and admirals, in an open letter, said: "There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon … Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is More

David Krieger (2018-05-11). Violating the Iran Deal: Playing With Nuclear Fire. counterpunch.org President Trump has demonstrated yet again why he lacks the understanding, intelligence and temperament to be president of the United States. By violating the Iran nuclear deal, he is undermining the security of the U.S., our allies and the world. There are many good reasons that the U.S. should have remained in the agreement, but More

Tarek Dika (2018-05-11). The Coming American Assault On Iran. iranian.com The new American strategy on Iran is to dismantle the nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Mike Pompeo, Trump's most recent Secretary of State, recently visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, and in both countries he focused almost exclusively on Iran. As yesterday's early morning bombing of Iranian targets in […]

Jeremy Sherman, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Here's Why Self-Indulgent Libertarian Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds. alternet.org A window into a tempting tendency in human nature. | I once had a conversation with a libertarian friend who insisted that freedom was the answer to everything, ironic since he was getting married the following week. "Freedom to have sex with others while married? " I asked. "Of course not," he said. "Freedom for your children to do whatever they want? ""No, that's different," he said. "Freedom for everyone to have a nuclear bomb? ""No, that wouldn't be good. ""Freedom for people to steal? ""No, that has to be controlled. ""You don't really think that freedom is the answer to everything," I said. "The real question is what to constrain and what to let go free. The question in social engineering is the question in all engineering. It's a question of tolerances: What to constrain with tight tolerances and what to let run free with loose tolerances. That question is. . .

Mel Gurtov (2018-05-11). Breaking the Iran Deal: The Delusion of Victory. counterpunch.org Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has undoubtedly been sipping champagne these days in celebration of his successful effort to lobby Donald Trump over the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu's crude interventions to change US policy had been rebuffed by President Obama, but in Trump Netanyahu found a similarly singleminded partner who cannot see the long-term security problems More

Julia Conley (2018-05-11). Trump's Message to Immigrants: If You're Poor, Now or Ever, You Don't Belong Here. mintpressnews.com Immigrants applying for green cards would be considered a "public charge" and would likely be passed over if they've used—or are deemed likely to use—government resources including Medicaid and SNAP benefits

Consortiumnews.com (2018-05-11). The Coming War Against Iran. consortiumnews.com We've been through this before: the trumped-up threat from Iraq based on false evidence in 2003 is the harrowingly similar model to what is emerging for Iran in 2018, argues John Kiriakou. By John Kiriakou I spent nearly 15 years… Read more →

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Here's Why Trump Doesn't Fight Back Against Stormy Daniels' Lawyer. alternet.org Trump prides himself on going after his critics — but he leaves Michael Avenatti alone. | Michael Avenatti has become a near-ubiquitous presence on cable news in recent weeks and months, so much so that speculation has inevitably arisen suggesting he may get his own network show. This week he even broke a major story in his own right, revealing that President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen used a shell company since the election to take payments from major companies, including one backed by a Russian oligarch. But while Avenatti attracts substantial attention and has created serious problems for the president, Trump largely ignores the media-savvy attorney. Since Trump prides himself on "counterpunching" and going after his critics, it is suspicious that he remains silent on the man representing Stephanie Clifford, who is better known as Stormy Daniels. Clifford is suing Trump and Cohen. . .

Dan Corjescu (2018-05-11). Marx, Science, and Values. counterpunch.org That Marx was a great, ground breaking revolutionary thinker is no longer at issue. The more interesting question is why some of his predictions did not come to pass. Many have tried to answer that question from Gramsci to Adorno to Habermas to Wallerstein. The questions are almost always the same: Why hasn't capitalism collapsed? More

Brett Wilkins (2018-05-11). The Dark Side of Israeli Independence. counterpunch.org On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. Each May 15, Palestinians solemnly commemorate Nakba Day. Nakba means catastrophe, and that's precisely what Israel's independence has been for the more than 700,000 Arabs and their five million refugee descendants forced from their homes and into exile, often by horrific violence, to make way for the More

Jill Richardson (2018-05-11). With Help, Things Can Get Better. counterpunch.org About a month ago, my life changed practically overnight. I've had migraines nearly every day since 1995. There are all kinds of other quirks about my body too. I needed at least 10 hours of sleep, and I couldn't get up before noon. I was hungry all of the time. I had (and still have) More

Stavros Mavroudeas (2018-05-11). The Financialisation Hypothesis and Marxism: a Positive Contribution or a Trojan Horse? counterpunch.org Introduction The Financialisation Hypothesis (FH) is a popular argument in contemporary Heterodox Economics, Marxist Political Economy but also in Mainstream Economics. Its basic thesis is that modern capitalism has undergone a radical transformation during the last three decades. The financial system, through a series of innovative mechanisms, has conquered capitalism's commanding heights, became independent from More

Gary Leupp (2018-05-11). Europe: Sorry, Iran, Trump Says We Can't Do Business with You. counterpunch.org Dear Iran: We regret to inform you we will have to cancel that $ 12 billion deal with you to provide civilian airliners for your people by Airbus. Airbus has been informed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that its existing license to do business in Iran "will be revoked." The U.S. ambassador to Germany More

Howard Lisnoff (2018-05-11). Chaos or Community? counterpunch.org Racism remains a major force in the US. Those who employ the dog whistle of race on the right have known how effectively race can work as they vie for power. Nixon knew it with his southern strategy and Reagan knew it when he launched his first successful bid for the presidency in 1980. His More

Robert Fantina (2018-05-11). Iran, the U.S. and EIKO. counterpunch.org Now that U.S. President Donald Trump has violated the internationally-recognized JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), to the dismay of most of the world, and even most of the U.S.'s military experts, Iran can once again expect sanctions. This, of course, puts the U.S.'s European allies in an awkward position, since those that are signatories More

Binoy Kampmark (2018-05-11). The Spectre of Torture: the Gina Haspel Hearings. counterpunch.org "I'm not going to sit here with the benefit of hindsight and judge the very good people who made hard decisions who were running the agency in very extraordinary circumstances." Gina Haspel, May 9, 2018. It was always going to be the most complicated of hurdles. Having moved Mike Pompeo on to the role of More

Louis Proyect (2018-05-11). Capitalism: a Horror Movie. counterpunch.org As part of its special series celebrating the 200thbirthday of Karl Marx between May 18-22, the Anthology Film Archives will be screening "Capitalism", a 320-minute, six-part documentary that is both supremely intelligent and briskly entertaining, on May 20th at 3: 45. Directed by Ilan Ziv, the founder of Icarus Films, it is like no other film More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). 'Willful Ignorance': CNN Panel Stunned by White House Refusal to Denounce Staffer's Cruel McCain Joke. alternet.org A staffer has been widely reported to have made an inappropriate joke about McCain dying. | A CNN panel seemed baffled Friday after Sarah Sanders held the White House press briefing and failed to denounce an aide's uncouth joke about Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) brain cancer. On Thursday, multiple outlets reported that communications staffer Kelly Sadler said of McCain "he's dying anyway" in a discussion about his opposition to the nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director. Haspel has been a controversial pick because of her past involvement in the CIA's torture program and destruction of evidence, and McCain faced torture while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "Willful ignorance, I would say, is what we've just witnessed," said anchor Brianna Keilar after Sanders refused to condemn the comment. "For the life of me, I can't understand," politics analyst Gloria Borger said. "The. . .

James Munson (2018-05-11). Making the World Safe for Precarity. counterpunch.org Annually, since 1978, the World Bank has published a self-graded report card, with targets for growth, hokum about reducing poverty, and Xswhere to dig in the coming year. A draft of their rather bizarre 2019 WBR is now available, titled the 'Changing Nature of Work'. In the course of time our fear has risen from More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Conservative Writers Have Found a Weird New Argument to Claim that They're Oppressed. alternet.org What on earth is the "Intellectual Dark Web? " | Despite the fact that Republican politicians are in charge of Congress and the White House while a conservative-leaning majority reigns in the Supreme Court, conservatives are nevertheless convinced that "the Left" is using political correctness to quash their ideas. This pattern of thought is nowhere more evident than in the writings of National Review writer David French, who Friday published a story defending a recent article — written by the New York Times' Bari Weiss — about the "Intellectual Dark Web. "The web is a "network" of iconoclastic thinkers who include people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Ayan Hirsi Ali. Despite these individuals' relative success, the idea of the Intellectual Dark Web is that they are somehow kept down by oppressive political correctness and excluded from legacy media outlets. French argues,. . .

Mark Gruenberg (2018-05-11). Sanders: Make card-check the law, outlaw "right to work" peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Bernie Sanders, Mark Pocan and their congressional allies want to make joining unions and funding them a lot easier. Which is why the Independent senator from Vermont and the Democratic U.S. representative from Wisconsin, a Painter, introduced — or in Sanders' case, reintroduced — the Workplace Democracy Act. The bill, dropped in the hopper on […]…

ANIS SHIVANI (2018-05-11). The Aesthetic Meaning of Trump's Wall. counterpunch.org "Your door is shut against my tightened face / And I am sharp as steel with discontent." — Claude McKay, "The White House" "I pity the poor immigrant / When his gladness comes to pass." — Bob Dylan, "Pity the Poor Immigrant" In the context of NAFTA, we must think of the Wall on the southern More

John Davis (2018-05-11). Modernity's Long Twilight. counterpunch.org While Marx expected the industrial proletariat to spearhead the socialist revolution, it is now left to those who resist the burning of the last of the planet's fossil fuel — which continues to engorge the hyper-capitalism of the early twenty-first century — to usher us into the gloaming: the dappled shadowland of Modernity's long twilight More

CounterSpin (2018-05-11). Tim Karr on Net Neutrality Fight, Mark Trahant on Indian Country Today. fair.org The FCC has posted notice that net neutrality rules—the ones that keep service providers from favoring websites that give them money, and slowing down or "throttling" your access to websites that don't pony up—will disappear on June 11. Since abandoning the fight for an open internet is not an option, what do we do now?

Ben Lilliston (2018-05-11). A Farm Bill Lost in Never-Never Land. counterpunch.org As financial stress rises, suicide hotlines are spreading across farm country. Four straight years of low income, rising debt, and now fights with major trading partners are taking their toll on farmers and rural communities. Worse, Congress seems to be pretending these hardships don't exist. The Farm Bill, passed every five years, is the nation's More

Ron Jacobs (2018-05-11). An Ideology of Self-Righteousness. counterpunch.org Rolf Petri begins his introduction to his new book A Short History of Western Ideology by quoting Samuel Huntington from his too-often-quoted essay titled "The Clash of Civilizations." The essence of that essay was simple: the future of history will be the struggle between different earthly civilizations. More to the point, the likely conflict would More

Sazzad Haider (2018-05-11). Xi Jinping: The Emergence of Chinese Ultra-Nationalism? counterpunch.org Chinese leader Xi Jinping started his second term as President last month and delivered his speech with a nationalistic appeal stating China's desire to take up its "due place in the world." Xi seems to be taking the long way to achieve Chinese superiority all over the world. Xi began his new tenure in an More

MBGP (2018-05-11). Author of Trump's Iran Regime Change Blueprint is Actually a Right-Wing Troll. mintpressnews.com The white paper was produced by Jim Hanson, a self-proclaimed expert "practitioner of the art of war" who is virtually unknown in Washington. Hanson has a prolific presence on Twitter, where he operates under the handle, "Uncle Jimbo."

Franklin Lamb (2018-05-11). Palestinian Refugees Suffer Setback in Lebanon's Parliamentary Election. counterpunch.org Shatila Camp, Beirut Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have no right to vote and that has never been a significant issue with them. As refugees they are not citizens of Lebanon and have never sought naturalization. Rather, their focus continues to be on acquiring at least some elementary civil rights pending full return to their own More

Darius Shahtahmasebi (2018-05-11). America Just Sent a Destructive Message to North Korea By Nuking the Iran Deal. mintpressnews.com Trump may believe he is sending a strong message to North Korea that he will not hesitate to reimpose sanctions and walk away from a deal if he has to, but the reality is that he has actually sent a very destructive message to both North Korea and Iran that the U.S. can't be trusted.

Stephen Martin (2018-05-11). Neoliberal Defenestration and the Overton Window. counterpunch.org 'It is difficult to get Artificial Intelligence to understand something, when the Research and Development funding it depends upon its not understanding it'— Paraphrase of Upton Sinclair. defenestration (diÀêÀåf…õn…™Ààstre…™ É…ôn) n the act of throwing a person or thing out of a window [C17: from New Latin dƒìfenestrƒÅti≈ç, from Latin de- + fenestra window The freedictionary.com 'If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil, it consists of treating another human being More

Robert Koehler (2018-05-11). Let the Prayer Continue. counterpunch.org ". . . may all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws but benefits balanced and shared More

Lena Moffitt (2018-05-11). Raising the Flag on the Corruption of Ryan Zinke. counterpunch.org The media's been swirling around the many scandals involving Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, and rightfully so. But there's another scandalous member of Trump's cabinet who's bending ethical standards and attacking our environment: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Like Pruitt, Ryan Zinke is misusing taxpayer dollars, promoting industries he's supposed to regulate, and remaining completely More

Bob Lord (2018-05-11). Congress Made It Harder to Give Teachers Raises. counterpunch.org In just a few months, we've seen teachers in five states walk out of the classroom to protest their abysmal pay. Stingy state budgets are mostly to blame for low teacher pay and poor school conditions, but there's a federal tax connection, too. Unfortunately, last year's Republican tax plan could make keeping good teachers in More

MPND (2018-05-11). Interview: Western-Trained Brazilian Troops Deepen Nightmare for Homeless Women of Rio. mintpressnews.com Thirty days into the army intervention in Rio and it has become clear that the situation has only worsened. Military operations are concentrated in the favelas, amplifying the use of repression against the poor, black population. So many beautiful lives are lost.

Richard Moser (2018-05-11). The People Made the First New Deal. Can the People Make Another? counterpunch.org The kind of electoral victories we need will take far more than standard electioneering and Facebook debates. Let's look at what it took to create the New Deal so we can see just how challenging the task ahead is. During the Great Depression massive organizing efforts and protest movements were necessary just to reform the two-party system. New Deal history strongly suggests that the current dementer v. demexit debate is largely a waste of time until we organize movements powerful enough to upset the existing order. More

Rick Sterling (2018-05-11). New Film Gives an Iranian Perspective on the Battle Against ISIS in Syria. mintpressnews.com The movie comes from Iranian screenwriter and film director Ebrahim Hatamikia. Two award winning Iranian actors, Hadi Hejazifar and Babak Hamidian, play father and son pilots trying to rescue civilians besieged and attacked by ISIS forces in eastern Syria.

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (2018-05-11). Narrative On Iran Defective At Its Core. iranian.com President Trump's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes as the culmination of years of flawed conversations about Iran's involvement in the Middle East. Yesterday, he stated that the deal was "defective at its core." In reality, the actual core defect lies in the political narrative on Iran in the United States, […]

Brian Terrell (2018-05-11). Two Interrogations, Gina Haspel and Adolf Eichmann. counterpunch.org On May 9, Gina Haspel, Donald Trump's choice for head of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified at her Senate confirmation hearing in Washington, DC. Some senators questioned her about her tenure, in 2002, as CIA station chief in Thailand. There, the agency ran one of the "black sites" where suspected al-Qaida extremists were interrogated using More

Barry Barnett (2018-05-11). An Urgent Appeal to Try Preventing War. counterpunch.org Of all the "mistakes" that Donald Trump has made since being selected president (not elected — see articles, books and films by Greg Palast, Harvey Wasserman and myself on how the Republican Party, Robert Mercer and others stole the 2016 election for Trump — not any Russians), the withdrawal of the United States from the More

DeWitt Kennard (2018-05-11). DACA and the Dreamers From El Salvador. counterpunch.org The total number of the world's displaced people is at an all-time high. Fear of persecution caused by war, race, religion, or political affiliation is a force that drives these people from their homelands. El Salvador, a country that lost about 25 percent of its population to migration during its civil war, is one of More

Andrew Moss (2018-05-11). Fear and Opportunity in Immigration Politics. counterpunch.org With each passing week, the battle of words over immigration intensifies, as Trump administration officials continue honing their favorite rhetorical weapon: fear. This past week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that people crossing the border illegally will be charged for criminal offenses instead of facing civil deportation proceedings, and that they will be separated from More

Miko Peled (2018-05-11). Israel Wants Its Own War in Syria. mintpressnews.com Hard as it may be to believe, at the moment of writing these words I am at the airport about to embark on a trip which will culminate in Mashhad, Iran. At the same time, Israeli army spokesperson is tweeting that twenty rockets launched by Iranian Quds brigades stationed in Syria were intercepted by the Israeli "Iron Dome." The rockets, so the IDF claims, were aimed at IDF posts in the Golan Heights and sirens were sounded to alert the people living on the Golan Heights to go into bomb shelters. It seems that once again Israel got what it wanted: Its own war in Syria. | The shock that spread around the world as the president of the United States stood and declared that he was going to unitarily pull the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action…

Jonah Raskin (2018-05-11). Captain Charles Moore: Oceanic Muckraker. counterpunch.org "Recycling is a myth. We are making more junk than we can reuse. Today, we only recycle 3% of the total production of our garbage." — Captain Charles Moore The reporters who built their reputations in the Golden Age of Muckraking raked muck on dry land, not at sea. Ida B. Wells, Ida Tarbell and More

Michael Doliner (2018-05-11). Consulting With My Advisers. counterpunch.org The other day I was sitting around with my closest advisers, when, just for the heck of it, we started batting about the idea of going to war with Iran. "Iran? Isn't that kind of close to Saudi Arabia?"Tom asked. Dick googled it up. Sure enough there was Saudi Arabia, just a little bit of More

Ramzy Baroud (2018-05-11). Eclipsing Factionalism: The Missing Story from the Gaza Protests. counterpunch.org The Gaza border protests must be understood in the context of the Israeli Occupation, the siege and the long-delayed 'Right of Return' for Palestinian refugees. However, they should also be appreciated in a parallel context: Palestine's own factionalism and infighting. Factionalism in Palestinian society is a deep-rooted ailment that has, for decades, thwarted any unified More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Watch MSNBC's Joy Reid Explain the Bizarre Connection Between Trump and Eric Schneiderman's Abuse Accusations. alternet.org It strains credulity — but somehow Trump is involved in the New York Attorney general's abuse scandal. | MSNBC's Joy Reid, filling in for Rachel Maddow Friday evening, explained the extremely convoluted twist to the Eric Schneiderman abuse allegations story that somehow — almost unbelievably — has ties to both President Donald Trump and his frequently newsworthy fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen. A new letter sent by lawyer Peter Gleason to the judge in Cohen case revealed the bizarre connection Friday. "Gleason says that between 2012 and 2013, he was contacted separately by two women who claim to have been 'victimized' by the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman," she said. "Gleason tells the New York Times today that these two women are not among the four women whose accounts were reported in the New Yorker on Monday. "She continues: "Gleason says he did. . .

Graham Peebles (2018-05-11). The Shame of Injustice. counterpunch.org Poverty is the greatest cause of death and illness globally; it strangles the lives of billions of people, denying the expression of innate potential, condemning men, women and children to live stunted uncreative lives of interminable suffering and drudgery. Whilst the numbers living in extreme poverty (the World Bank calculates this to be living on More

Elliott Gabriel (2018-05-11). Haley, Pence Convey US Message on Venezuela: Only Election Worth Holding is One that Results in Regime Change. mintpressnews.com "On May 20, without fail, presidential elections will take place in Venezuela and the people will defend their right to decide with votes, without interventions of any kind. The whole world will witness a new popular expression which will reaffirm the democratic character of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."

Katherine Krueger (2018-05-11). WaPo Positions Support for Torturer as Vote for Feminism. fair.org As the war over Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency has waged on this week, we've been gifted an incredible batch of corporate media apologias for the CIA's decades-long legacy of torture, extrajudicial killings and civil liberties violations. Perhaps most remarkably, these outlets have spent hundreds of words arguing that Haspel should be confirmed as the next director of the CIA—despite having overseen a black site prison where detainees were brutally tortured, and directing the destruction of evidence of this illegal and inhumane practice—because it's the feminist thing to do. | This was the perfect line for the Trump administration's Haspel push—a notion informed both by the Republicans' elementary understanding of identity politics and their obsession with calling out perceived liberal hypocrisy: After all, how could any self-respecting Democrat vote against a woman to usher the United States' international spying…

Joan McCarter, Daily Kos (2018-05-11). Republicans Are Scrambling to Find Votes for Their Farm Bill—It's Probably Doomed. alternet.org The votes just aren't there. | The Republican House leadership is intent on forging ahead with a farm bill that isn't guaranteed at this time to pass the House, and almost certainly cannot pass the Senate. Vulnerable Republicans don't like it because it will open them up to a charge that they're trying to make more people go hungry. Nihilistic Republicans—and the interest groups that amplify them—don't like it because it either helps farmers who aren't their constituents to much, or doesn't help their own farmers enough. But Speaker Paul Ryan and team are plowing ahead with a vote planned for next week: As of Thursday afternoon, Conaway had not secured support from a number of Republican lawmakers after several days of meetings. But he told reporters that he is convinced that they will come around. The date of the floor debate. . .

Kerry Eleveld, Daily Kos (2018-05-11). House Republicans Want to Straight-Up 'Break' the Actual System of Law Itself. alternet.org They're trying to dismantle the legal system. | House Republicans are attacking the Department of Justice and by extension the special counsel's Russia probe on so many fronts it's impossible to keep track. Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows's new tact is to push for a federal audit of Robert Mueller under the guise of oversight in order to get an unredacted copy of the "scope memo," which lays out the boundaries of his Russia investigation. The Washington Post writes: Meadows, speaking Thursday during a taping of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" that is to air Sunday, said he believed the audit is required under federal law and could not be completed without an unredacted copy of the memo written in August 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. [. . . ]Meadows and fellow Freedom Caucus member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has pushed for weeks to. . .

Last Process: 100 Citations 2018-05-13 08:01:06 GMT (02:01 MDT)

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