Israeli historian Ilan Pappé accuses Netanyahu of ‘calculated and cynical provocation’ in Gaza attacks

15 May was al-Nakba Day, an annual commemoration of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the late 1940s. On that symbolic day, The Canary spoke to historian Ilan Pappé in an exclusive interview. Professor Pappé is himself an Israeli Jew whose parents settled in Israel after fleeing persecution in Nazi-occupied Europe. However, he’s a staunch critic of both the events that led to Israel’s founding in 1948 and Israeli policy towards Palestinians since then.

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Failed Venezuelan coup leader now wants dialogue. But here’s what corporate media won’t tell you.

Juan Guaidó, the leader of the US-backed coup attempt in Venezuela, is now proposing dialogue with the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. This, of course, should be welcomed, especially given the huge amount of harm that the coup attempt has led to.

But there’s an important reality that the corporate-owned press will surely leave out of their reportage on this development: Which is that the Venezuelan government has been willing to negotiate all along. This omission serves to obscure the fact that it is the opposition that has been the obstinate party. Its sudden about-face on the matter, meanwhile, amounts to nothing short of a tacit admission that the coup attempt has failed. And this is something that Washington and its minions in the corporate-owned media are desperate to avoid admitting to at all costs.

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Why I reject retrocession for DC

Last year, I had an unexpected immersion into DC politics that exponentially increased my knowledge of the issues facing the District. When I contacted the DC Statehood Green Party (whose nominees I have always voted for) to inquire about their candidate for Ward 2’s DC Council race, they said they didn’t have one and asked if I would like to throw my hat into the ring. And so it was that I entered the Ward 2 race, which had been made significantly more interesting (not to mention competitive) with the fall from grace of longtime Council member Jack Evans.

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Strife in Colombia has been brewing for decades. Here’s why we hear so little about it.

For the last week, waves of civil unrest have rocked Colombia. Intense press attention has gone alongside condemnation of the government’s response from international and regional organizations. The government now appears to be facing an existential crisis. But we need to be clear that this crisis didn’t come out of nowhere.

Colombia has suffered under one of the worst set of governments in all Latin America. This raises two obvious questions. Firstly, ‘why have we heard comparatively little from the corporate-owned media about the South American country until now?’ And ‘why does Washington seemingly give Colombia a free pass when it has such flagrant human rights problems?’

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We should never forget Bobby Sands, nor the brutality of the Thatcher government in Ireland

Note: This article first appeared at The Canary on May 5, 2020. It was republished today, May 5, 2021, to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Volunteer Bobby Sands while on hunger strike in Long Kesh.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands inside the H-blocks of Long Kesh internment camp. On 5 May 1981, Sands laid down his life for his and his comrades’ right for recognition as political prisoners. On this day, we should remember the sacrifice he made for the cause of Irish freedom. But his struggle does not just provide an example that all anti-imperialists should follow. It also serves as an important reminder of the ruthless brutality of the British government in Ireland under the leadership of then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher. And that is equally something that we should never forget.

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Brazil’s ‘Lula’ is ready and willing to defeat his country’s fascist government

As The Canary has extensively reported, the presidency of current Brazilian premier Jair Bolsonaro has been a complete horror show. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Luiz Inácio da Silva, known colloquially as ‘Lula’, is one of Brazil’s most widely popular ex-presidents. And he’s indicated that he’s willing to run against Bolsonaro in the next election.

However, in the past powerful forces successfully conspired against Lula to keep him off the ballot. They’ll surely try to do so again, so he will have a hill to climb. But if he prevails, his victory would open an exciting new chapter in Latin America’s largest country.

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US troops set to leave Afghanistan. That’s one down, another 150 or so countries to go.

US president Joe Biden recently announced his administration will pull troops out of Afghanistan. This brutal war has cost tens of thousands of lives and plunged the country into a protracted conflict. Additionally, it failed to break the Taliban’s power or bring ‘democracy’ to this Middle Eastern country. Rather, the Taliban is stronger than ever and the government in Kabul is a US puppet with problems of its own. If ever there was a case of futile and pointless war, this is it. And it serves as a prime example of western intervention making a bad situation worse.

Furthermore, though Biden’s decision to withdraw should be welcomed, we must be vigilant about whether a proxy force will remain. At the same time we also need to remember that, even if every last US troop goes home, this would still be a small drop in the ocean. The US global military presence isn’t confined to Afghanistan or the Middle East.

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The first southern US state abolishing the death penalty should give pause to British politicians and lawmakers

The mid-Atlantic US state of Virginia has moved to abolish the death penalty. This will make it the 23rd US state to consign executions to the history books. Perhaps of even greater historical importance, it’ll also become the first state in the US South – a historically conservative region – to end capital punishment.

This should serve as a wake-up call to the UK, which shows ominous signs of growing support for returning to capital punishment. Alongside the human rights problems, historical analysis shows that capital punishment has a chequered past of leading to corruption of the judicial system. And there have also been numerous miscarriages of justice.

Anti-death penalty campaigners must take this opportunity to double down their resistance against calls for its reintroduction in the UK.

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Biden may have thrown the left a few bones, but he’s keeping some of Trump’s worst policies in place

Recently elected US president Joe Biden is claiming that his administration will herald a new era following the disastrous and reactionary Trump presidency. And he’s also claiming to listen to the progressive wing in his party’s base that supported the candidacy of Democratic primary runner-up Bernie Sanders. But though he has followed through on some of these promises, he’s also left several of Trump’s worst policies completely untouched.

We shouldn’t be surprised, though. Because, as The Canary has argued on many occasions, the Democratic Party to which he belongs has long been little more than a slightly watered-down version of the Republicans. And that leaves open the question about whether the US needs a third political force to challenge the bipartisan status quo.

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Socialist candidate leads in Ecuador elections, but run-off vote could mean a return to austerity

Ecuador’s election finished without a decisive winner and is therefore set to go to a run-off between the candidates with the top two vote tallies. But who those two candidates will be is not yet clear. In a surprise upset, the center-right candidate failed to win a comfortable second-place showing and is neck-and-neck with an insurgent indigenous candidate who ran on an ‘eco-socialist’ platform.

The result is therefore a decisive and unequivocal rejection of neoliberal austerity imposed by former president Lenin Moreno. But some serious questions surround the credibility of the self-described ‘eco-socialist’ candidate. Progressive journalists have pointed out that his candidacy might be a trojan horse to implement sinister reactionary policies through the backdoor.

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