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USA Politics

  • Bernie’s Very Welcome Assault on Our Cliché of Greatness

    Can you imagine electing a president so arrogant he actually claims the right to think for himself and challenge U.S. foreign policy, past and present? A president who honeymooned under the Soviet moon? As the media is pointing out, the cliché we deeply cherish — we’re good, they’re bad — is under assault in 2020.

  • Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ Iran strategy in historical perspective

    Iranians have good reasons to tolerate their regime more than one the US and its allies would install, again. If it is argued that 1953 is ancient history, or that the US and its allies have changed, the recent failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Venezuela should teach us all that regime change is a reckless strategy that is almost certainly doomed to fail.

  • Trump’s ‘Red Meat’ State of the Union Speech

    On Tuesday, Donald Trump delivered a State of the Union speech that revealed his 2020 election strategy, designed to roil and mobilize his political base, and to declare to the Democrats that his political war with them will now escalate further. If anyone thinks the recent impeachment and Senate trial was the high point of the growing conflict between the two political parties, they haven’t seen anything yet.

  • Bernie Sanders and the Case for a Canadian Left-Populism

    The “utopian” demands that we democratize our economy and do what we must to avert ecological collapse—by euthanizing our fossil fuel industries, investing in a green energy transition, and rehauling our foreign policy—are the only kind that could potentiate the mass movement necessary to gain ground in the electoral arena. Likewise, it is only such a mass movement, charged with an enthusiasm that “sensible” demands will never succeed in generating, that could pave the way for a formidable left politics beyond the bounds of electoralism as such.

  • The US, Iran and the Danger of War

    With practically any major power it would care to engage, the US must count the cost of their retaliation and those of their increasingly powerful allies. The danger of war lies in the very real possibility that, in the prosecution of their internal civil war, the US executive will be unable or unwilling to count it. It also lies in the pervasive tendency in of the media, the political leadership and the intelligentsia to subordinate themselves to the needs of the war machine.

  • Paul Krugman in Imperial Fantasy Land

    In the aftermath of Soleimani’s assassination, Krugman rushed to assure his readers that Trump’s bullying violence represented a fundamental break with American history. While America once had “a special leadership position, one that sometimes involved playing a role in reshaping other countries’ political systems,” he argued, Trump “has never shown any sign of understanding why America used to be special.”

  • Trump’s Iran ‘Punching Bag’: US Provocations to Continue

    Trump’s assassination of Iran’s general and senior diplomat, Qassim Suleimani, was a clear provocation by the United States, designed to produce an escalated military response by Iran. That did not happen. Iran did not take the bait. It responded minimally and appears to have done so in a way to avoid US deaths or even major US asset destruction. If Iran had escalated militarily, which it was capable of doing, it would have fallen into Trump’s trap.

  • Trump’s ‘Déjà Vu’ Wartime Playbook

    History repeats itself, as they say. But in the age of American empire, not just twice, or even three times, but with disturbing regularity. The past half century shows two things about how America goes to war: First, it creates a provocation based on a lie. Second, it then makes its target adversary an ‘offer they can only refuse’, as the final justification for US military action once the adversary rejects the unacceptable offer.

  • War With Iran

    The assassination by the United States of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, near Baghdad’s airport will ignite widespread retaliatory attacks against U.S. targets from Shiites, who form the majority in Iraq. It will activate Iranian-backed militias and insurgents in Lebanon and Syria and throughout the Middle East. The consequences are ominous.

  • The Battle for Equality

    “The battle for equality is still pending.” Indeed, Radical claims to equality during the Civil War era helped destroy the chattel bondage of Sumner’s reference and mobilized legions of Americans toward economic reform. But the enduring lesson of those movements is that the political equality which Sumner pursued has proven wholly inadequate in combating material inequality, much less challenging the capitalist system. The battle for socialism—and a system “beyond equality”—is still pending.

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