A behind-the-scenes battle is brewing in Washington over bending a United States’ human rights law "to give the administration some flexibility" in supporting the Egyptian military which is now placing President Mohamad Morsi on trial on capital charges after overthrowing him July 3, 2013. The changes are likely to be debated behind closed doors in the Senate committees on foreign relations and appropriations. "It's all about not breaking US defense contracts and incurring the penalties," says one observer.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
The Edward Snowden revelations should focus attention on the secret dominance of the Anglosphere, known as the "Five Eyes", of the global surveillance elite - the privileged sharing of secrets between the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These remnants of the British Empire still view the outside world with elitist suspicion. The "outsiders" include Germany's Angela Merkel, Brazil's Dilma Roussef, France, Mexico, Spain and Ireland's Mary Robinson, who was forced out as the UN's human rights commissioner early in the Iraq war, and, of course, Russia, China, southern Europe, and all leaders from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
It may never be announced until it is too late to stop, but the United States and Cuba are moving steadily towards rapprochement by the approximate time that President Barack Obama and the Castro brothers leave power. Whether the goal is achieved depends partly on debates within the Obama administration and whether the Cuban lobby continues its decline.
Governor Jerry Brown is finding California to be an effective Archimedean leverage point in shaping a progressive alternative to a federal system stalemated by the New Civil War. The latest example is a West Coast pact to combat climate change by the governments of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, a region populated by 53 million people with a GDP of $2.8 trillion.
No one should miss "The Square", a courageous, stunning documentary that follows real human beings "live" as they go through the 2011 uprising in Cairo's Tahrir Square, without knowing their own fates much less the fate of their revolution. Then, remarkably, once the dictator, Hosni Mubarak, has been overthrown, the same masses rise against his successor, the elected Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamad Morsi. As the film ends, still in real time, the audience will feel as close as possible in the confines of a movie theater to their lives being turned upside down.
Since the posting of "Becoming Two Americas", many readers have argued that we actually are becoming three or more Americas, while others cling to the dream of becoming One America again. The purpose of the original posting was not to propose breaking up the country, but to focus progressives on strategic questions of how to live and work through the political polarization paralyzing the country for the foreseeable future.
In a unique film premiere for victims of drone strikes, Pakistani leader Imran Khan will host a screening of Robert Greenwald's new documentary "Unmanned: America's Drone Wars" in Islamabad this Friday. Khan is the most popular political leader in Pakistan, and the elected leader of the region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where drone strikes are clustered. His former wife, the London-based, Jemima Khan, is co-executive producer.