Bulletin N° 760
Subject : CENTRAL BANKS AND THE OPPORTUNISTIC QUEST FOR MAXIMUM PROFITS, AT ALL COST.
Bastille Day 2017
The Marquis de Sade is locked in the Charenton mental hospital and decides to put on a play. His overseers agree as long as he follows certain conditions.
He writes and directs the other mental patients in a play based on the life of the Jean-Paul Marat. As the play progresses, the inmates become more and more possessed
by the violence of the play and become extremely difficult to control. Finally, all chaos breaks loose.
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The 19th-century US Robber Baron Daniel Drew (1797-1879), speaking of the War of Secession (1861-1865) in which the United States lost 2% of its total population, is said to have made the comment: “It’s good to fish in troubled waters.” Capitalist speculators have always popped up at unexpected times in unexpected places. The smell of profit attracts them like flies to honey, and once the obsession takes hold of them, all other considerations are crowed out of their heads.
The American democratic socialist leader Eugene Debs (1855-1926) evolved to understand this class phenomenon, as he demonstrated after his arrest during the Pullman Strike in 1894 : “I am a Populist, and I favor wiping out both old parties so they will never come into power again. I have been a Democrat all my life and I am ashamed to admit it.” During his six-month imprisonment at Woodstock, Illinois, Debs studied Marx’s Capital, a copy of which was given to him by Victor Berger (1860-1929) of Milwaukee, and his political comprehension of society evolved from trade union consciousness to revolutionary consciousness :
The issue is Socialism versus Capitalism. I am for Socialism because I am for humanity. We have been cursed with the reign of gold long enough. Money constitutes no proper basis of civilization. The time has come to regenerate society – we are on the eve of a
universal change.(Labor’s Untold Story, p.131)
The same process of understanding the destructive aspect of capitalist class interests was produced among hundreds of thousands of workers in the early 1980s. William Greider (b. 1936) writes in “Slaughter of the Innocents,” chapter 13 of his book, Secrets of the Temple :
Angry factory workers who lost their jobs [in 1982)] might blame remote executives at the company’s ‘home office.’ Or they could blame heartless bankers or greed ‘absentee owners.’ If they were especially sophisticated, they might even blame the governors of the Federal Reserve. In every case, however, their anger would miss the point. The decision makers, at every level, would reply, correctly, that they were merely agents of the larger logic that favored the political economy. Given the premise of maximum net gain, the choices were required of them. To entertain alternatives, one would have to challenge the underlying principles themselves, to question the dependent relationship between work and capital, to reject the natural supremacy of profit over intangible human cares. Neither farmers nor labor unions were disposed to challenge those deeply held beliefs or able to imagine alternatives that were less insensitive to human suffering.
As a practical matter, it was too late for concessions. Once launched, the process of economic shrinkage rolled forward on its own momentum and overwhelmed both management and labor. Every month, for nearly two years, the unemployment rate would increase as hundreds of thousands more were out of jobs. Eventually, national unemployment would reach a post-Depression record of 10.8 percent.(p.452)
. . .
This moral logic demonstrated the triumph of money over life. In the hierarchy of shared cultural values and political goals, the abstraction of money values was given greater rank than tangible needs of flesh and spirit, just as Veblen has said. The dense web of conflicting social interests would , in effect, be reconciled by an exercise in bookkeeping – justice would be redressed by balancing the ledger of money values. One side would lose and the other would gain, but equity would be served by restoring stable money.
This required implicitly a moral choice of abstraction over tangible reality, a preference that was revealed when one compared the nature of the losses suffered by victims on either side of the equation.
. . .
Barbaric as it might seem, people did actually lose their lives so that money could be made sound again. The human casualties from a major economic contraction were compared in number to the mortalities of a colonial war. These deadly effects were documented by Dr. M. Harvey Brenner of Johns Hopkins University, who made a study of the impact on life and health associated with the deep recession of 1974-1975. That recession, Brenner concluded, produced a 2.3 percent increase in the nation’s normal mortality rate. It led to a 2.8 percent increase in the cardiovascular death rate, a 1.4 percent increase in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver, a 1 percent increase in the rate of suicides. In addition, he found a 6 percent increase in admissions to state mental hospitals and in total arrests.
In all, Brenner calculate, 45,900 people had died prematurely due to the swollen unemployment of 1974-1975 – casualties in a liquidation that was less severe than the one unfolding in 1982.(pp.457-458)
The modus operandi of bank officials was to turn away from the material hardships they had a hand in creating, and to focus their attentions on technical matters, all the time assuming the ‘ends justified the means.’
‘What you try to do,’ said E. Gerald Corrigan, president of the Minneapolis Fed, ‘is satisfy yourself the, difficult as it may be, the alternative would be far worse. Permitting the instabilities to go on would be the worst thing you could do.’ That was the common rationale, repeated by Paul Volcker and the others throughout the liquidation. If inflation was finally brought under control, they promised, then everyone would be better off, including those people who were now suffering .
. . .
Whatever their personal anguish, the Federal Reserve governors were also essentially insulated. They did not personally confront the worst of it; the uglier aspects did not intrude on their official deliberations. Policy discussions inside the FOMC, as political scientist John T. Woolley noted, were rigorously focused on ‘puzzle-solving’ questions – the complex technical issues of money hydraulics. ‘Questions having to do with income distribution, or the inequalities, the appropriate direction of future industrial development and so forth are put aside,’ Woolley observed.
I don’t think we are very much driven by the question of equity, other than in the broad sense,’ Governor Partee acknowledged . ‘We would not back off from an interest rate [increase] because we thought there were major inequalities involved.
Among themselves, the policy makers talked like financial engineers, working out the abstract problems of money demand and velocity and reserve control. The narrow focus allowed them to distance themselves from the messy reality outside the boardroom. It was considered bad taste to dwell on stories of personal tragedy. (pp.460-462)
Greider insists that this culture of indifference to the misery of others was a masculine character trait, which was not shared by female bank officials, such as Nancy Teeters, who served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1978 to 1984, and voted consistently against Chairman Volker and his majority who implicated a monetarist policy of ever high interest rates despite the dire consequences in the real economy. Citing the work of Harvard psychologist Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice, Greider endorsed the feminist view that women in general are more concerned with the material and spiritual consequences policy has on society than are their male counterparts, whose preoccupation in this field is usually derived from narrow mathematical models.
The origin of gender differences was woven deeply in everyone’s childhood experience – boys taught to separate from their mothers in order to attain a mature masculine identity, girls learning form their mothers’ model and assuming responsibility for maintaining unbroken personal attachments in the family. As a result, males tend to have difficulty with relationships and females with a sense of self.
The moral implications were sketched more clearly in Gilligan’s example of clinical studies that asked grade-school boys and girls to solve hypothetical dilemmas. If an impoverished man stole medicine to heal his sick wife, should he be punished as a thief? The boys would weigh good and evil arrive at a straightforward verdict by ‘logical deduction.’ The girls attempted to devise ameliorative solutions in which all the parties settled the issue by talking it out among themselves and compromising. In a similar vein, Volcker and the majority would not consider themselves ‘wrong’ in any sense so long as they adhered conscientiously to the economic rules of their system. In the real world, as Nancy Teeters kept pointing out, things were getting dangerously frayed, but the others found refuge from her evidence by sticking to their numbers (while they resented her constant appeals to human sympathy).
In the male-dominated orthodoxy, particularly in economics, the feminine was dismissed as an emotional evasion of hard facts. Yet it was the masculine approach itself that was a form of evasion – a way to block out the complex social realities by focusing solely on a system of mathematical abstractions. As Gilligan and others have suggested, the social ideal should be not to embrace one perspective or the other by to reconcile the two, to seek balance in the way people think about such things, but also in the way public institutions define social justice.
‘Sensitivity to the needs of others and the assumption of responsibility for taking care lead women to attend to voices other than their own and to include in their judgment to their points of view.’ This supposed weakness was actually their moral strength – a mediating capacity that could reach beyond the hard-edged adjudications of the masculine. The feminine vision blurred the clear, sharp outlines of justice, and that enriched and deepened the idea of what justice required.
Quite apart for Nancy Teeters and her losing arguments inside the Fed, the feminine-masculine difference framed the moral question that could be asked of the entire process of government-managed liquidation. If they thought about it at all, people could sense easily enough that there was something wrong about a system that, in effect, selected certain victims to serve as the scapegoats for everyone else’s benefit. The moral problem even more obvious when the sacrificial victims were largely chosen from among the weak and powerless.(pp.466-469)
While Ms. Teeters’ resistance to monetarist dogma within the Fed had no effect, Chairman Volcker effectively campaigned in Congress for his draconian policy, in terms which served to mystify the issues :
Volcker gave the senators in private the same argument he had made so often in public: the Federal Reserve was powerless to bring down interest rates by pumping up the money supply. If the Fed increased M-1, the financial markets would react by bedding up interest rates on their own, canceling out the intended results. That’s what had occurred in January, he suggested. What Volcker left out of his explanation was the reason why the markets had reacted this way – because the Federal Reserve’s monetarist operating system told them to do so.
‘Volcker just said, ‘Look, I can’t affect interest rates’,’ one participant related. ‘The Fed absolved itself of any responsibility for the recession . It was a great smoke screen.’
Liberal Democrats felt stymied by Volcker’s argument. They could not see through it at first, not until they were coached by several independent authorities, including Edward Yardeni of E. F. Hutton and Lester Thurow of MIT. The economists explained the game of circular reality played between market perceptions and Volcker’s M-1. When M-1 rose above its target, financial markets scrambled for funds and bid up interest rates, anticipating that the Fed would react by tightening. The Fed saw market rates rising in response to M-1, and in order to keep its promises to financial markets, the Fed did indeed tighten – thus ratifying their expectations. The logic formed an absurd game of mirrors but one which the Federal Reserve had the power to break – anytime it wished.
The economists assured the senators that if the Fed pumped enough new money into the banking system, then short-term interest rates would fall – no matter what the markets thought or Paul Volcker claimed. Neither investor psychology nor monetarist theory was capable of repealing the law of supply and demand. A market surplus of anything , including money, would drive down the price, including interest rates.(p.473)
The Federal Reserve’s raison d’être was from the start and still is to reduce inflation for the benefit of their bosses, the capitalist owners of investments. For this, a considerable human sacrifice is necessary, an increase in misery, disproportionately among the poor working class. There has been no doubt, up till now, that the ends justified the means. But early in the Reagan administration, doubts began to surface, and the new term, ‘Stagflation’ was coined – inflation and recession had appeared to be wedded as uncommon partners, and they were here to stay! The pain that was being inflicted on hundreds of thousands of scapegoats was simply not doing its magic.
Behind its public façade, the Federal Reserve’s self-confidence was shaken. The recovery did not materialize in the spring [of 1982], as Fed economists had predicted. Instead of bottoming out, the economy seemed to be sinking lower and the damage was spreading rapidly.
At the end of March, the Fed’s staff economists had again assured the policy makers that a moderate recovery would be under way soon, but a number of members on the Federal Open Market Committee were no longer buying that forecast. They predicted the opposite – ‘continuing deterioration in both agriculture and nonagricultural industries and regions.’
. . .
At the Federal Reserve, the uncertainties were uncomfortably close to home. The assumptions that had led the Federal Open Market Committee to tighten the money supply again in early February were clearly askew. The surge of M-1 growth in December and January did not presage a pickup in economic activity as some of the governors had theorized. The opposite was now occurring – industrial production was falling steadily toward a new low. The quantity of money the Fed had supplied to the banking system ought to have been ample to permit economic recovery. Clearly, it wasn’t. Judging from the extraordinary level of interest rates, the Fed was still holding very tight. What was wrong with money?
‘The economy was spiraling downward,’ Governor Nancy Teeters said, ‘and the theories were falling apart on us.’
The theory that was falling apart was Milton Friedman’s - and, by adoption, Paul Volcker’s. The new problem with M-1 was more profound than the confusion of money definitions that the policy makers had encountered and tried to compensate for at previous junctures. Money was now slowing down in circulation – losing velocity, in technical terms – as the money supply turned over in different transactions in the private economy at a declining pace. The slowing velocity disrupted all the standard monetary equations. It meant that a given quantity of M-1 could not possibly produce” the level of economic activity expected from it. Indeed, it meant that money supply was effectively much tighter that the Fed had intended.
. . .
Velocity was the Achilles’ heel in Friedman’s theory – the uncontrollable variable that could throw his confident prescriptions about money totally off track. Nor was this insight especially new. For years, the critics of monetarism (including those at the Fed) had pointed out that Friedman was assigning a constancy to money relationships that did not, in fact, exist. The alluring simplicity of Friedman’s doctrine – control M-1 and forget the about everything else – was also its central fallacy. Except now M-1’s reliability was more than a theory for debate among economists. The Federal Reserve was relying on the same fallacy to regulate the entire economy.(pp.478-480)
The damage inflicted on us by the logical fallacy contained in Friedman’s ideology of monetarism, which was crafted for the benefit of the owners of capital by punishing society, is felt today. It was and still is, as Greider reminds us, a brutal class war in the field of finance.
The 24 items below should serve to remind CEIMSA readers that the game is fixed, the cards are stacked against them; the system must have designated scapegoats to survive and prosper. Today, as the social varnish which has obscured the workings of this political economy is removed, we see more clearly just how corrupt the organization of capitalism truly is, and the paralysis it has subjected us to lo these many years by routinely hiding its victims behind a thin veneer of glib rhetoric. The root cause of inequality under capitalism has yet to be addressed, and the amoral financial institutions – ever ready to draw profits - are yet to be held accountable by society and the real economy.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky:
How the U.S. Became an Oligarchy That Makes War on the Middle Class
In the first of a two-part conversation, the two intellectuals discuss the shift in the U.S. and U.K. in the late 1970s toward neoliberalism,
an ideology that Chomsky says claims to increase freedom while actually increasing tyranny.
How G20 Governments are Financing Climate Disaster
The G20 nations provide four times more public financing to fossil fuels than to clean energy, according to a new report from Oil Change International's Alex Doukas.
G20 – Is the West Governed by Psychopaths?
By Peter Koenig
“Welcome to Hell!” is the slogan with which G20 protesters greet the self-appointed leaders of the world to their summit on 7 and 8 July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany, under Madame Merkel’s auspices to discuss the calamities of our globe and how to resolve them. Never mind that the distress of Mother Earth has been mostly caused by those who represent the West, and now pretend to fix it.
How utterly arrogant – and hypocritical!
In the wake of the summit, police were beating on aggressively against the demonstrators, most of them peaceful, unarmed; but some of them violent and hooded, as old tradition dictates, so they will not be recognized as police themselves or patsies of the police. Many people were hurt, several to the point of hospitalization. And the meeting just began.
America's Death Throes
by Finian Cunningham
China and Russia have already ditched the US dollar in their vast energy trade. Now China is leveraging Saudi Arabia to also abandon the greenback for oil sales. No wonder, it seems, that US policies are increasingly lashing out.
US global power depends on its presumed economic prowess and military force. With its economy in long-term decline, precipitated by the teetering dollar, the US rulers are relying increasingly on militarism to project power. That tendency is pushing the world to war.
The challenge is to somehow steer the American military monster into a safe berth without eliciting a world war.
The US decline is of historic proportions – on par with the demise of other past empires – and it stems from the looming collapse of the petrodollar system, which has given the US unprecedented privileges over the past decades since the Second World War
U.S. Rabbis Just Got a Close-up Look at Occupation
in the West Bank - and It’s Not a Pretty Sight
Rabbi Stanley Kessler first visited Hebron in 1967, just after the Six-Day War. He returned for a second visit in 1973. This week, at age 94, he came back for his third trip and hardly recognized the city.
“I have difficulty seeing what I’m seeing,” he says, pausing for a moment of reflection after a stroll, on a sweltering day, through what used to be the bustling center of this West Bank city. “On my previous trips, the streets were swarming with people. And now, I didn’t even see one single person.”
“Where has everyone gone?” wonders Kessler, who served for 40 years as rabbi of a large Conservative congregation in Hartford, Connecticut, and had studied under Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of America’s most revered rabbis.
Kessler has been around, as they say. During World War II, he served as an aerial gunner and radio operator in the U.S. Air Force, flying 18 missions over Europe. In 1963, he was one of 18 rabbis who marched for black civil rights with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama. In the late 1960s, he was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement.
But something about this most recent trip to Hebron – a city where the entire story of the Israeli occupation plays out in a nutshell – has shaken him deeply.
Who is Served by Militarized Aid to Palestine?
As we all
know, the US arms everybody. They arms the Saudis and
the Qataris. They armed Iraq and Iran. So funding two sides of a conflict is
not new policy for the United States. They do this because it's hugely profitable.
Putting arms proliferation into the context of aid may confuse some people,
making it appear that the US is helping promote democracy and peace, but what
it's really promoting is profit for the military-industrial complex. Military
aid is not, as some think, cash that goes to allies so they can defend
themselves. It's taxpayer money that's given almost directly in many cases to
the US military contractors. What the foreign governments get is weapons and
training that they use to promote US military interests in their own regions.
Trump Tells Russia to Stop 'Destabilizing' Ukraine,
But What's Really Going On?
Western powers fuel the Ukrainian conflict -- and wider tensions with Russia -- by treating Ukraine as a strategic prize, says Nicolai Petro, Silvia-Chandley professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island
And Trump Stage-manage A Win-win Meeting
by Pepe Escobar
With a ceasefire in southwestern Syria in the works, meeting proves diplomacy beats demonization
Trump, Putin and Russiagate Collide at G20
Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate discuss the long-awaited first meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
by the Saker
First, we have the manner in which the Americans have been preparing the G20 summit. As we all know, in diplomacy actions count as much, or even more, than words. Here are just a few of the actions recently taken by the Americans in preparation for the G20 summit and Trump’s first meeting with Putin (in no particular order):
"What to the Slave is 4th of July?"
James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass's
The Untold History of Independence Day
Historian Peter Linebaugh: The rights and freedoms that we celebrate on the Fourth of July are the product of vast human struggle that remains unfinished
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners: men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton. At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr. noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall and straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of the declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
The Counter-Revolution of 1776
and the Construction of Whiteness
On Reality Asserts Itself Mr. Horne says that the defense of massive profits from the slave trade and fear of slave rebellions was an important impetus for the American Revolution
Why Do North Koreans Hate Us? — The Korean War
by Mehdi Hasan
Let’s be clear: There is no doubt that the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea both fear and loathe the United States. Paranoia, resentment, and a crude anti-Americanism have been nurtured inside the Hermit Kingdom for decades. Children are taught to hate Americans in school while adults mark a “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” every year (it’s in June, in case you were wondering). North Korean officials make wild threats against the United States while the regime, led by the brutal and sadistic Kim Jong-un, pumps out fake news in the form of self-serving propaganda, on an industrial scale. In the DPRK, anti-American hatred is a commodity never in short supply.“The hate, though,” as longtime North Korea watcher Blaine Harden observed in the Washington Post, “is not all manufactured.” Some of it, he wrote, “is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.”
Israel's Descent into Barbarism
On Reality Asserts Itself, Mr. Finkelstein describes the "necessity" of Israel proving its destructive capabilities.
U.S. Confirms North Korea Fired Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
by CHOE SANG-HUN
The North claimed a milestone in its efforts to build nuclear weapons capable of hitting the American mainland, prompting a warning from the United States.
Katrina vanden Heuvel: Now is Time for Trump & Putin to Negotiate, Not Escalate Tensions
While National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster said last week there’s no specific agenda for the meeting, the topics of conversation could include the war in Syria, North Korea, U.S. economic sanctions against Russia and nuclear weapons. Democrats are also pushing for Trump to confront Putin directly about the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. On Thursday, five Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, sent a letter to Trump calling on him to, quote, "make absolutely clear that Russian interference in our democracy will in no way be tolerated," unquote. But during a news conference Thursday from Poland, Trump cast doubt on whether he believes Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
Congress Must Reclaim War-Making Authority
by Marjorie Cohn
The House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly passed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill last week that would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. If this effort to revoke the AUMF proves successful, the repeal would effectively limit Donald Trump's ability to use military force against North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.
A Small City's Big Lessons About Progressive Organizing
"Over the last 10 to 15 years, we've seen the emergence of a broad-based, working-class oriented, multiracial progressive movement in Richmond that has challenged Chevron's long-time dominance over municipal affairs," says author and labor activist Steve Earl.
Naomi Klein: The Worst Is Yet to Come with Trump, So We Must Be Ready for Shock Politics
NAOMI KLEIN: Now, of course many of the scandals are the result of the president’s ignorance and blunders, not some nefarious strategy. But there’s also no doubt that some savvy people around Trump are using the daily shocks as cover to advance wildly pro-corporate policies that bear little resemblance to what Trump pledged on the campaign trail.
DONALD TRUMP: Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
MSNBC ANCHOR: The White House released its budget for 2018, and among the $4 trillion in cuts it proposes are billions upon billions of dollars slashed from both Medicaid and Social Security.
NAOMI KLEIN: And the worst part, this is likely just the warm-up. We need to focus on what this administration will do when it has a major external shock to exploit. Maybe it will be an economic crash like 2008, maybe a natural disaster like Sandy, or maybe it will be a horrific terrorist event like Manchester or Paris in 2015. Any one such crisis could redraw the political map overnight. And it could give Trump and his crew free rein to ram through their most extreme ideas.
But here is one thing I’ve learned over two decades of reporting from dozens of crises around the world: These tactics can be resisted. And, for your convenience, I’ve tried to boil it down to a five-step plan.
Secret Memo Reveals How Trump Plans
to Deport Millions of Immigrants
ProPublica's Marcelo Rochabrun discusses an internal ICE memo that instructs officials to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants, including those without criminal records.
Iraq: Will Tony Blair Finally Stand Trial for His Part in
the “Supreme International Crime”?
by Felicity Arbuthnot
The Syrian Test of Trump-Putin Accord
by Ray McGovern
The U.S. mainstream media remains obsessed over Russia’s alleged “meddling” in last fall’s election, but the real test of bilateral cooperation may come on the cease-fire in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
One week before the #NoWar2017: War and the Environment conference, World Beyond War will work with the Backbone Campaign and other allies to organize a flotilla for the environment and peace, bringing Kayaktivism to Washington, D.C. Pentagon war making is a leading cause of world-wide environmental degradation.
The GOP's Health Care Legislation Is Cruel and Punitive, Doctors Say
by Dahr Jamal
Insurance is not the same as health care, which is intensely personal, relationship-based and immensely complex, point out physicians and other health professionals. To have non-clinicians in Congress denigrate a service they know nothing about is at the core of this tragic and ill-informed policy debate, says Dr. Bruce Amundson of Physicians for Social Responsibility.