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Middle East

  • Afghanistan may forever be the graveyard of empires

    Joe Biden had to face a difficult choice: keep US and NATO troops in-country for an unknowable number of years, risking more American and Afghan lives to maintain a shaky, corrupt government in a nation riven for centuries by tribal rivalries. Or cut loose and send our people home. Blood would further spill no matter which he chose but by leaving, American blood will no longer soak Afghan soil.

  • Canada’s shameful legacy of torture in Afghanistan

    This essay was first published on several Canadian websites in April 2011, during an election campaign that Stephen Harper hoped would give him a parliamentary majority. I wrote this essay out of anger—anger, first, that Canada had been drawn into an illegal war of military occupation in Afghanistan. And a deeper anger that the war’s justification, and the manner in which it was being fought, both rested on practices of torture.

  • Forced evictions near and far: Canada’s complicity in the dispossession of Palestinian homes

    We cannot hope to realize the human right to housing in Canada if we continue to actively support Israel as it violates that same human right. It is beyond time for the Canadian government to show clear and meaningful support for our Palestinian counterparts in East Jerusalem. In doing so, we can finally move beyond paying lip service to reconciliation and human rights and pave the way for humane politics both at home and abroad.

  • Our disastrous war in Afghanistan

    Compared to the 2,981 lives lost on 9/11, in the response about two-and-a-half times as many American and coalition soldiers and contractors died (7,528). About twenty-four times as many Afghan and Pakistani civilians (71,254), and about twenty-six times as many (pro-coalition) Afghan and Pakistani security forces (76,814) were killed. In total, about 240,000 lives were lost. And the war failed.

  • Canada’s failure in Afghanistan

    Canada’s biggest military deployment since the Second World War, more than 40,000 Canadian troops fought in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. Canada also spent $20 billion on military operations in the country. And while the stated rationale of the war was to neutralize al-Qaeda members and topple the Taliban regime, the latter has now regained control of the country and the influence of jihadist groups will likely intensify.

  • What really happened at a public meeting in Winnipeg labeled ‘anti-Semitic’?

    Proponents of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance insists that its working definition of antisemitism is aspirational, meant only to rally opposition to hatred of Jews, and is not legally binding. But the fallout from an event hosted in Winnipeg several years ago is emblematic of how the definition represents a direct threat to freedom of expression about Israel and Palestine.

  • No ‘real change’: Trudeau’s militaristic approach to the Middle East

    The Liberals continue to espouse a “feminist foreign policy,” but in practice they preside over a patriarchal, militaristic, and violent approach to the Middle East—all while leaning on the assumption that they will not be scrutinized as forcefully as an unabashed right wing government. If these policies continue, it signals that the world assuredly does not “need more Canada,” but less of it.

  • After the ceasefire: What’s next for Palestine

    The present moment should be read dialectically: on the one hand, imperialist states like the US, Canada, and the EU regard Israel as a valuable asset and will continue providing it with decisive support. On the other, popular and anti-imperialist forces are ratcheting up the struggle, as massive crowds turned out for Palestine across much of the Western world last month.

  • Amnesia and fragmentation in the narrative of Israel’s occupation of Palestine

    Apartheid lives long after headlines have declared one or another victory, and discomfited politicians praise this or that ceasefire. But the fragmented nature of mainstream media coverage serves Israel’s narrative well, distracting from the unbroken continuity of the Nakba and Israeli apartheid, and making it difficult for the Canadian public to grasp the magnitude of Israel’s battering of human dignity.

  • Free speech on Palestine: Time to push back

    There is a need for bold and wide-ranging approaches to Palestine solidarity at this time. However, we must also confront a major barrier that stands in the way of such forward movement. In the last few years, Israel’s enablers have made progress in attacking the legitimacy of support for the Palestinian struggle by falsely equating it with anti-Semitism. These accusations have seriously obstructed the work of left movements and activists.

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