Extracting Castro from the Demonization

The mainstream US news media often lacks historical perspective, a problem most acute when the subject, like Fidel Castro, has faced Official Washington’s geopolitical demonization, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Trump’s Reliance on the Military

Given how militaristic the State Department has become, it might make sense for President-elect Trump to turn to generals for his national security team, but there are risks in that, too, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

The Remarkable Story of Fidel Castro

Since Fidel Castro’s death, the mainstream US news media has been on a flashback to the Cold War presenting one-sided denunciations of the “communist dictator,” but there is another side to the story, explains Marjorie Cohn.

Aleppo’s Fate sealed but it Won’t End the Syrian War

The seemingly inevitable rebel collapse in a historic city that was once the heart of Syria’s economy will greatly bolster Assad’s position and his allies in any negotiations to end the war, stresses Ed Blanche.

The Hopes, Fears and Lost Role of Lebanon’s Christians

Absorbed by their own fears, divisions and interests, the Christians have probably missed a golden opportunity to try reconcile Lebanon’s Shias and Sunnis and be the driving force behind establishing a civil state, argues Dalal Saoud.

Publish, Punish, and Pardon

Pratap Chatterjee makes clear today, at least lift the all-enveloping veil of secrecy around the national security state and let the American public know just what has been done in Americans’ name in these years and what exactly is about to be handed over to his edgy successor.

Moving Beyond Black-and-White Trumpisms

When we consume fiction, we put down our shield of defences and accusations, and we allow ourselves to be immersed, to see and hear and listen, writes Jemma Wayne Kattan.

Official Washington’s ‘Info-Wars’

Organs of Official Washington, such as the State Department and The Washington Post, are becoming unhinged over their weakening grip on the narratives that the people are supposed to believe, as William Blum explains.

How Clean Energy Can Create Jobs

If President-elect Trump truly intends to “make America great again,” a promising route is to encourage major investment in clean-energy jobs that can both rebuild manufacturing centers and help the environment, writes Sam Parry.

Relying on Unreliable Syrian Sources

When the mainstream U.S. media reports on Syria, it relies heavily on pro-rebel activists, including members of the White Helmets who have supplied false or dubious claims at key junctures of the war, reports Gareth Porter for Alternet.

We Do Not Need More Feel-good, Zero-impact Policies

Statements, parameters, and international recognitions on paper are always welcomed, but they have had zero impact in the past century of this conflict. Any moves in this direction should ponder this reality and change it, argues Rami G. Khouri.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: To Where?

The following presentation is one Alon Ben-Meir has just made in front of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs as part of a hearing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The two other speakers who joined him are French Special Envoy Pierre Vimont and Fernando Gentilini, EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process.

Standing Rock and Palestine: The Struggle for Justice is One

I have been proud of the many Palestinian Americans who have joined the protests in North Dakota and thrilled to see Palestinians in the occupied lands demonstrate their solidarity with Standing Rock. It is natural that they do so in recognition of their shared narrative, stresses James Zogby.

Trump’s Election May Have Killed Prospects for Amending JASTA

Trump already has changed his position — sometimes by 180 degrees — on a range of issues. But JASTA is unlikely to be one of them. For one, Trump is a New Yorker and lived through the horror of 9/11. He is much less concerned about diplomatic norms and probably has no substantive grasp of the international legal issue of sovereign immunity, explains Mark Habeeb.

The Real Link between Israel’s Forest Fires and Muezzin Bill

Many of the forests were planted decades ago by Israel to conceal the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, after 80 per cent of the Palestinian population – some 750,000 – were expelled outside Israel’s new borders in 1948. Today they live in refugee camps, including in the West Bank and Gaza, writes Jonathan Cook.

The West’s Shift Toward Repression

The West’s “liberal democracies” are undergoing a shift toward repression with new initiatives to spy on citizens and punish whistleblowers who expose government abuses, observes ex-British intelligence officer Annie Machon.

Islam is American

When they stoke fear of Muslims, Trump and his aides disparage a deeply-rooted religious community that has nurtured, cherished and built this country, says John Nichols.

The West’s Media Delusions

The US mainstream news media often holds itself out as the world’s gold standard, home for careful reporting and diverse opinions compared to Russia’s monolithic propaganda, but the reality is quite different, says James W Carden.

7-year-old tweets Aleppo tragedy to the world
Bana al-Abed had been posting on Twitter about life in besieged eastern Aleppo before she and her family were forced to flee their home.
Moroccan TV programme on battered women provokes outcry
Over two-thirds of women in Morocco say that they have been abused, according to annual report of National Observatory of Violence Against Women.
Egypt toughens penalties for female genital mutilation
Health ministry officials will monitor and oversee clinics and private hospitals to enforce anti-FGM law.
Gazans hope new Coke plant will revitalise economy
First Coca-Cola plant seen as rare positive moment for ailing economy in Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Alwaleed calls for urgent end to driving ban on Saudi women
Outspoken Saudi billionaire tweets: Stop the debate: Time for women to drive.
Riyadh Motor Show back after three-year absence
Return of motor show has given some hope to car retailers experiencing drop in sales following widespread austerity in Saudi Arabia.
Palestinian start-ups defy unique challenges
Online start-ups avoid many of frustrations for other companies run from Israel-occupied Palestinian territory.
Iraqis near Mosul savour market life once again
New signs of old life are visible in areas close to front line around Mosul and formerly under control of IS extremists.
After hell under ISIS, displaced Iraqis face winter cold
With fighting raging inside Mosul, early winter and sub-zero temperatures bring added challenge.
Al Ain hosts 3rd National Traditional Handicrafts Festival
Festival includes multiple sections, pavilions highlighting authentic culture, heritage of Emirati city of Al Ain.
Swimmers cross shrinking Dead Sea
Charity event sees swimmers travel across the Dead Sea to raise awareness; experts believe degrading sea could dry out by 2050.
Iraqi Christians recall life in the 'caliphate'
Some Iraqi Christians were unable to flee when jihadists swept into their town demanding they either leave, pay tax or die.