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Category Archives: North America

A Sexual Assault Memoir Women Deserve

In June 2016, “Emily Doe” read her 12-page victim impact statement to the court before the sentencing of Brock Turner, the Stanford undergrad who’d been convicted of sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious. It was a brilliant piece of writing—frank, angry, straight from the heart—and it seemed to sum up everything about the trauma of sexual assault and the many ways that society, especially the legal process, makes that trauma worse.

Turner’s lenient sentence of six months in county jail and Judge Aaron Persky’s explanation (“I take him at his word that, subjectively, that’s his version of events”) set the public on fire. Within days of being published on BuzzFeed, Doe’s statement had been viewed more than 15 million times.

https://www.thenation.com/article/stanford-brock-turner/

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Posted by on October 17, 2019 in North America

 

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Trump and Erdogan have much in common – and the Kurds will be the tragic victims of their idiocy

What perfidy. Is there any more solemn a word that can be developed in the English language for such treachery? The west’s Kurdish allies are being betrayed all over again. Like Kissinger, like Trump. And here come the Turks again, once more playing their border games, pretending they are fighting against “terrorism” when they were perfectly prepared to assist al-Nusra in Afrin while oil from Isis flowed into the country. And Trump now suddenly realises that the Turks are not good allies when he was perfectly happy to let them invade northern Syria four days ago.

If anything could be more illustrative of the madhouse in Washington it has been the divisive, insane “policy” which the Americans still claim to uphold in northern Syria. A hundred thousand displaced, dozens of civilians dead. In Damascus, the Assad regime must be appreciating this farce, although the chances of taking back territory from Turkey probably looks a good deal more dangerous. But the prospect of Syria’s invaders fighting each other will evoke only bitter reflection in a state where the government had almost won its war.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-erdogan-syria-turkey-kurds-isis-bombing-a9153116.html

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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Impeaching Trump is not a left-wing project — progressive Democrats shouldn’t be fooled

The campaign against Trump and for his impeachment tells a lot about our current ideological predicament. Trump is portrayed as an individual pursuing his own private interests, not as the representative of a state and its apparatuses. Edward Snowden immediately got this point, commenting that “a whistleblower’s complaint, which triggered US President Donald Trump‘s impeachment inquiry, is strategically ‘quite wise’ in its focus on the president versus an institution.… Congress could be more than happy to throw an individual abusing their office under the bus, in a way that they are not willing to do when they themselves are implicated by the same allegations.… This whistleblower is doing something [that’s] a little bit unusual. They’re alleging that an individual is breaking the law who, of course, is the president, [who] is historically unpopular at this moment.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-impeachment-hearing-why-clinton-james-comey-edward-snowden-a9131911.html

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2019 in North America

 

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Trump Lawyer Jay Sekulow: “We’ve Got to Get on Top of This Thing”

At about 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, I arrived at Liveshots DC, a small television studio on Capitol Hill used by a number of different news programs. I had come to record an appearance on “Democracy Now!” with Amy Goodman to talk about the Trump-Ukraine scandal.

After sitting down in one of two small adjoining rooms that served as the “green room” for guests, I looked up and noticed that there was one person waiting to appear on television in the next room. It was Jay Sekulow, who served as one of Donald Trump’s lawyers during the Trump-Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, and continues to serve as one of Trump’s personal lawyers. I also noticed that there were two men standing just outside the green room, who appeared to be security guards there to protect Sekulow. (They were wearing lapel pins and dressed in dark suits, but I don’t know whether they were private security or government employees.)

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/29/trump-lawyer-jay-sekulow-weve-got-to-get-on-top-of-this-thing/

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2019 in North America

 

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Donald Trump’s Call With Ukrainian Leader, One Day After Robert Mueller’s Congressional Testimony, Shows the President Is a Brazen Criminal

Career criminal Donald Trump just barely avoided prosecution earlier this year when special counsel Robert Mueller pulled his punches and refused to indict the president for either obstruction of justice or campaign finance violations in connection with the Trump-Russia investigation. Mueller’s decision not to indict Trump came despite overwhelming evidence in Mueller’s own final report that the president of the United States was guilty of a crime.

Most people who survive that kind of legal threat would lie low, at least for a while, and try to get back to some level of normalcy. But Trump is a habitual criminal, and his reaction to escaping Mueller’s investigation was to go on yet another crime spree.

In fact, Trump has been acting like a bank robber who beat one rap because of a technicality, and so decides to rob every bank in sight.

In the Trump-Russia inquiry, Mueller was able to prove that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win. But he never could prove, at least to his own satisfaction, that Trump or the people around him had colluded with Moscow in its election interference. Mueller did show that Trump campaign officials met with Russians in an effort to gather dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in trying to make the whole Russian case go away.

But Mueller decided that he couldn’t prove that, by asking for opposition research from foreigners, the Trump campaign had violated the campaign finance law that bans accepting things of value from foreigners.

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/26/donald-trumps-call-with-ukrainian-leader-one-day-after-robert-muellers-congressional-testimony-shows-the-president-is-a-brazen-criminal/

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2019 in North America

 

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The US’s new evil empire

The US seems to have decided that it can’t take on China and Russia at the same time, so its principal geopolitical rival in the coming decades will be China. Trump’s Republican administration and the Democrats agree on this, though they are campaigning vigorously against each other ahead of next year’s presidential election. China has replaced the ‘evil empire’ of the Soviet Union and ‘Islamic terrorism’ as the US’s main adversary. But China, unlike the Soviet Union, has a dynamic economy, with which the US has an enormous trade deficit. And China’s strength is far more impressive than that of a few tens of thousands of Islamic fundamentalist fighters wandering the deserts of ancient Mesopotamia or the mountains of Afghanistan.

https://mondediplo.com/2019/10/01editorial

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2019 in Asia, North America

 

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What’s in a Trump Straw?

 

Watch as Naomi Klein explains why the overpriced scraps of pre-landfill known as Trump Straws can actually tell us a whole lot about why our planet’s on fire.

So many environmental responses have just been minor tweaks to an economy based on endless consumption — take your electric car to the drive-through for an Impossible Burger and a Coke with a paper straw. Of course it’s better than the alternative. But it’s nowhere close to the depth of change required if we hope to actually pull our planet back from the brink. Restricting plastic straws is great. But we also need a ban on those significantly larger cylindrical sucking things. And electric cars are nice, if you can afford them. But what we really need is free, zero emissions public transit with energy-efficient non-market housing and health care steps away. We need new ways of thinking, beyond Trumpian temper tantrums or the dangerous incrementalism of the supposedly serious centrists.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2019 in North America

 

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Trump Was Foolish to Invite the Taliban to Camp David but the War in Afghanistan Must End

The hashtag #TalibanTrump began trending over the weekend, after Donald Trump made a bizarre and very public admission on Twitter:

The president of the United States had planned to host the Taliban on U.S. soil, three days before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Can you even begin to imagine the reaction from the right if Barack Obama had made a similar announcement?

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/09/trump-taliban-camp-david-afghanistan/

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2019 in Asia, North America

 

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The Moral Logic of Humanitarian Intervention

For eight years, Samantha Power served President Obama as an aide and then as U.N. Ambassador but also as an in-house conscience on matters of foreign policy. When she entered the White House, at the age of thirty-eight, she had already established a reputation as a kind of Joan of Arc for humanitarian intervention. Ben Rhodes, an Obama foreign-policy adviser and speechwriter, imagined that she bore a permanent tagline that seemed to announce her position at every meeting: Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “ ‘A Problem from Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide.” When innocent lives were threatened abroad, Power frequently pushed for forceful action. Obama said that he welcomed her advocacy, but he sometimes bristled when she voiced it. More than once, Obama told Power, “You get on my nerves.” In 2013, during a meeting in the Situation Room to discuss Syria, Obama, put off by her arguments, snapped, “We’ve all read your book, Samantha.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/16/the-moral-logic-of-humanitarian-intervention

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2019 in North America, Reportages

 

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How John Bolton Got the Better of President Trump

The first time I met John Bolton, on a frigid morning last February, I asked him the obvious question: How could he work for a President with whom he disagreed about almost everything? He was ready with an answer. “The President knows where I stand on all the issues, because he watched me on Fox News,” he told me. “When you enter government, you know that you aren’t going to win everything.”

For seventeen months, Bolton carried on, working, often at cross purposes, for a President whose views on most subjects were diametrically opposed to his own. It’s easy to wonder how he lasted as long as he did. It may be more important to wonder why he bothered at all.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/how-john-bolton-got-the-better-of-president-trump

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2019 in North America

 

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