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Colorado Eritreans Raise $$ for Cancer Detection …

June 5, 2023

Dawit Haile, center, from the Eritrean Embassy in Washington DC at a Colorado Eritrean Community event at Denver’s  Jewish Community Center in Denver. Slide above – first graduation class from medical school in Asmara, 2009.


I’ve seen many of these before among immigrant communities but really nothing of the size, scope and spirit of what happened at this meeting of a community, the Eritrean Community, that is both small numbers wise and overwhelmingly working class and poor. First the contributions that had already come in (for the purchase of Ct Scans and other cancer detecting machines) were announced by a group of community elders. They were sizeable. Many were in the $1000-to-$5000 range. This was followed by people in the audience coming forward with both donations and pledges of $1000, $2000 and more dollars from the floor. The pledges included people with cancer, or whose family members both in the U.S. and Eritrea are afflicted with the condition. Several people, many of them women, pledged $1,000 in honor of each child they had. One woman who had recently moved to Colorado expressed “shame” that she could only contribute $500 at this time but committed to raising another $500 over the next six months. Many more testimonials, contributions of this nature.

It was both the size of the contributions – from people whom do not appear to be billionaires or millionaires – and the spirit of love of country, of solidarity – that was heartwarming, moving. I asked an Eritrean friend not known for exaggerating, how much money he thought had been raised at the event. My sense was that I had never seen anything like this from a small community with such modest means. He didn’t know for sure but guessed somewhere around $150,000.



Eritea – A country that shouldn’t be Washington’s enemy, but is

It has some of the highest social indicators in Africa for literacy, elementary and high school education, healthcare facilities and the general well-being of its population but from the mainstream media reports you’d never know it. Instead we are flooded with news stories – from the exaggerated to the outright bogus – of “support for terrorism”, “authoritarian” government which is not defined as a “government” but a “regime”. It’s leadership continually slandered, its socio-economic achievements denied (unless United Nations’ statistics are viewed – then another quite contrary story emerges). All in all a negative portrait crafted – that like so many others (Iraq, Libya, Syria) – is little more than a prelude for a “color revolution” and regime change.

In fact, among the world’s smaller countries, perhaps with the exception of North Korea and Cuba, few countries get a worse rap from both the State Department and the mainstream media than Eritrea, that strategically located country on the western edge of the Red Sea the southern flack of which sits just across from the Bab El Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s most strategic “choke points”, through which a goodly portion of the world’s oil travels through on oil tankers either coming from or heading towards the Suez Canal. It’s strategic position turns out to be both a blessing and a curse – a blessing as it places Eritrea square in the center of trade with the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Yemen) and Asia, a curse as a result of its location it has long been a political football tossed around by the world’s more powerful nations, making autonomy, self-determination a challenge, never more than it is today.

It is a country that has been at war for the better part of a century in which the Italians, the British, the United States have all had a hand in keeping the pot boiling. Then there was the long effort to achieve independence from Ethiopia, the wars with Ethiopia that followed. It is a land that has known much human suffering and regional strife. Yet like other small countries I can think of – this harsh history has produced one of the most resilient, self-sufficient – and I might add – toughest people anywhere, a people with a great love of country and an astounding sense of solidarity. The Eritreans bring to mind their neighbors across the Bab El Mandeb straits – the Yemenis. Likewise, the Finns, far to Eritrea’s north, have a similar toughness shaped by history, and love of country.

Read more…

An Indian View of the Ukraine War: NATO’s big gamble in Ukraine has failed by Zorawar Daulet Sing

June 3, 2023

More voices like this one are popping up like mushrooms – from the left and the right – in the USA … while the center – mainstream Dems from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, Republicans from Lindsay Graham to Tom Cotton – continue to support the war “to the last Ukrainian”

(“MoneyControl,” where this article appeared, is an Indian website. I have no interest in what it says about the stock market, but the articles in its news section are well worth reading. For those of us who reside in the USA a refreshing – in that it is a more honest, sober – appraisal of the fighting in Ukraine. It is not going well for Washington, NATO, not well at all. On the other hand “flipping the script” – the NY Times suggests Russia is on its last leg in Ukraine, a bit “over the top”.RJP)

NATO’s big gamble in Ukraine has failed


Nothing has gone right for the US and NATO since the initial phase of the war. Attempts to isolate Russia have failed. European economies have been stung badly by the war while others saved themselves and Russia by purchasing discounted Russian crude. Even the war theatre in Ukraine isn’t looking the way NATO envisioned it

The Russian military seems to be ahead of NATO on at least the following capabilities – air defence, electronic warfare, artillery/counter artillery, and hypersonic missiles.
Fifteen months into the biggest land war in Eurasia since the Second World War, the tables have turned. US and NATO began with a confidence that a proxy war was the only way to roll back Russian influence in Europe. It was aimed to cut Russia down to size and snuff out the incipient multipolar order.

On paper it was an ingenious, if diabolical, strategy. Ukrainian blood and NATO weapons would be more than a match for Russia. At the very least, western policymakers surmised, Russia would be bogged down in another protracted ‘Afghanistan’ or ‘Vietnam’ for years, while America would swoop across the world as a rejuvenated superpower.

The opposite has occurred. On every front in this proxy war – it is more apt to classify the conflict as a limited great power war – US goals have fallen short

On paper it was an ingenious, if diabolical, strategy. Ukrainian blood and NATO weapons would be more than a match for Russia. At the very least, western policymakers surmised, Russia would be bogged down in another protracted ‘Afghanistan’ or ‘Vietnam’ for years, while America would swoop across the world as a rejuvenated superpower.

The opposite has occurred. On every front in this proxy war – it is more apt to classify the conflict as a limited great power war – US goals have fallen short

Read more…

Washington’s Tantrum: Syria Returns to the Arab League … Kazerooni and Prince go freelance – May 27, 2023 – Transcript – Part Two

May 31, 2023

G-7 … up the creek, losing a paddle?


What we’re seeing in the Xian and Jeddah meetings is a laboratory towards the construction of a new multipolar world. The Hiroshima meeting is representative of the thinking and strategies of the old, weakening “unipolar” global organization. The term “unipolar world” is a euphemism for a world dominated by U.S. hegemony. We have another description for it back in the day and that is U.S. Imperialism. It’s weakening, losing its hold over global geo-political processes; through sanctions, military intervention – either direct or through proxies – it’s trying to find different mechanisms to cling to its receding power.

Rob Prince

In a nutshell, we can say that the G-7 summit was nothing more than jingoism with the other six following “the master” and the United States dictating the narrative.

Ibrahim Kazerooni


Summary: the Jeddah Arab League Meeting and the First China-Central Asian Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Xian both concentrated on economic and social integration, the construction of infrastructure, the possibility of exchanges “beyond the dollar.” The Jeddah meeting saw Syria return to the Arab League – both a near-death blow to U.S. plans for regime change in Syria and a turning point in Arab History as a region separated and partitioned by the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1917 begin to find common grounds for cooperation. In contrast, the G-7 meeting in Hiroshima was mostly an attempt to strengthen an anti-Chinese alliance and produced little of substance of a positive nature (increased trade, economic development). 

Transcript continued from Part One

Hiroshima G-7

Rob Prince: How is it that the United States has greeted the possibility of peace in Syria? Congress has extended sanctions against Syria, tightened the already existing sanctions against any country that tries to participate in Syrian reconstruction. So the United States has not given up on overthrowing the Syrian government even as the prospect of doing so dims with each passing day.

Moving on to the G-7 meeting. It had such a different feeling from the Xian and Jeddah summits. Xian and Jeddah were positive, constructive meetings about trade, infrastructural develop, reducing regional tensions but then there is the G-7 meeting, it has an entirely different chemistry.

What we’re seeing in the Xian and Jeddah meetings is a laboratory towards the construction of a few multipolar world. The Hiroshima meeting is representative of the thinking and strategies of the old, weakening “unipolar” global organization. The term “unipolar world” is a euphemism for a world dominated by U.S. hegemony. We have another description for it back in the day and that is U.S. Imperialism. It’s weakening, losing its hold over global geo-political processes; through sanctions, military intervention – either direct or through proxies – it’s trying to find different mechanisms to cling to its receding power.

First of all it takes place, in of all places, Hiroshima. That cannot be accidental and there is obvious some kind of message in the chosen site. (continue 17:09). The countries involved are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union is involved and in this particular Hiroshima session, Volodymyr Zelensky was also in attendance. So basically what we are talking about is the “old core” of the global economy – The United States, Canada, Western Europe and Japan. Currently the global influence of the G-7 is declining – as is their percentage of global manufacturing production. They are being challenged economically and politically – in what is becoming something close to a stampede to join, by the combined economic weight of the BRICS’ countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) with more than 19 other countries knocking on the BRICS’ door to join. In the past, many of the countries of the Global South were lining up to participate in the G-7 meetings. Today so many of them want to join the BRICS.

Oddly enough the G-7 Summit took place in Hiroshima. No mention – none – of which country dropped two nuclear weapons on Japan, the first on Hiroshima, the second on Nagasaki. The very fact that the meeting takes place in the first city onto which a nuclear bomb was dropped I find a bit disturbing. Is the United States “sending China a message; we did this to Hiroshima and you had better take care or we’ll do it to China”? There is no contrition involved, none. The United States has never apologized for dropping two nuclear bombs, one on Hiroshima, the other on Nagasaki.

Call it a remix of the early 2000s “you’re either with us or against us.”

That’s one part of it.

The Hiroshima G-7 meeting produced a forty page document. Reminds me of an organization I used to work for that was always “issuing grandiose statements” that had little bearing on the course of events and that few took seriously. G-7 statement, a kind of imperial dictate. I read the whole thing. In contrast to the Arab League and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summits, it comes close to being a declaration of war against China. – well China and Russia to be frank, but China is by far the main target. While there are seven nations involved , it is essentially a document, which reflects U.S. foreign policy with other members thinking just tagged along for good measure.

It places China at the center of all key topics of interest, be it economic or security concerns, poses serious threats to global stability and peace. Most of the meeting – reading the documents – was centered around increasing tensions with China Main focus – if carefully read – an anti-Chinese, anti-Russian diatribe. The meeting gave the impression of an increasingly limited international coalition preparing for war. The G7’s key strategic objective is the defeat of Russia, followed by the subjugation of China. For the G7/G9, these – real – powers are the main “global threats” to “freedom and democracy.” The corollary is that the Global South must toe the line – or else.

The G-7 conference is a different kind of meeting than Jeddah and Xian. The contrast is really remarkable. It threatens, it provides little socio-economic visions of cooperation, it is trying to stop, to interfere with economic and social global growth that it does not control, that is out of its hands, it smacks of giving orders, dictates, threats to the rest of the world. Read more…

Washington’s Tantrum: Syria Returns to the Arab League … Kazerooni and Prince go freelance – May 27, 2023 – Transcript – Part One

May 30, 2023

Iranian-Chinese-Saudi foreign ministers in Peking sealing the reconciliation deal… Turning point in Middle East history

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman receives Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad

Video (edited): Washington’s Tantrum: The Arab League Turns To Syria


Our generation has not only witnessed the worst forms of terroristic war in Syria, siege, hunger, sanctions, killing, asylum, displacement, fires, and earthquakes but will also witness a new world order.

Kevork Almassian (Syrian journalist)

A few years ago who would have thought that Saudi Arabia would lead the revolt against the United States and against U.S. hegemony in the region. 

I had a meeting this afternoon in my office with somebody who had come back from Saudi Arabia recently. He is a big contractor , construction engineer. I asked him whether he detected any fundamental change within the Saudi system since the rapproachment between Iran and Saudi Arabia began. He said the changes are “huge”. The old tension is no longer there; the idea that the enemy is Iran, which the United States was trying to create, is fading/ We constantly here people speaking in the tone of reconciliation – “we are neighbors; we are brothers; we have to work with each other.” Already the Saudis are investing heavily into Iranian oil, gas, tourism industries. So it is going to be  reconciliation. The essence of the Jeddah meeting was reconciliation and getting over all the conflict that existed in the past … and moving forward. 

Ibrahim Kazerooni


Introduction …

Rob Prince: To understand the essence of this title – Syria returns to the Arab League – and its consequences, we need to begin by reviewing a few relevant themes that help tie it all together.These developments are reflected in the themes of three summits which recently took place almost simultaneously: the G-7 Hiroshima meeting, the First China-Central Asian Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Xian, China and the Jeddah Summit of the Arab League in Saudi Arabia. The Hiroshima G-7 meeting got mainstream media coverage here in the United States although  analysis of the other two hardly resonated.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization brings together China, Russia and most of the Central Asian countries. At the Jeddah Summit, Syria returned to the Arab League, or as we put it the Arab League returned to Syria!

Two of the summits – those at Jeddah and Shanghai – have already moved out and rejected – the unipolar world system while the Hiroshima – G-7 summit is a defense and still mired in the muck of that old global framework. Both meetings indicate that the world is moving away from a global system based on one solidarity focal point of global power toward a new vision and with new institutions. On the other hand the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima – this summit was little more of a dying world power – the USA – still trying to hold on to its fast shrinking global hegemony. There is no place for it in the contemporary world of global politics … the emperor has no clothes.

Another point … after China brought together Iran and Saudi Arabia to begin to reconcile some of of their differences, a whole series of peace initiatives, previously frustrated, opened up, among them:

  • negotiations to resolve the war in Yemen; progress is being made there
  • progress on resolving the Syria war; as a part of that progress, Syria was invited back into the Arab League from where it had been expelled twelve years ago.

Ibrahim how it is that the Shanghai and Jeddah Summits reflect the new, emerging multipolar world, its institutions and values?

The Arab World “returns to Syria

Ibrahim Kazerooni: First of all “good evening” to all our listeners. I glad that Rob was able to organize alternative media possibilities outside the KGNU framework that has lunged more and more to the right; they no longer consider our analysis worthy enough for their listeners.

Because of technical problems, I missed some of your introduction, Rob, but what I did hear clear states what is going on these days …

Three major summits took place within a tight timeframe: one was “the dying man’s last breath”; it was an effort to keep the unipolar world order alive and kicking, to keep it from drowning. Parallel to that, the other two are literally part of the global movement to establish an alternative mode of international relations. It is multipolar rather than unipolar. 

Rob will deal with the G-7 Summit but I’ll talk about the Shanghi Cooperation Organization and the Jeddah Summit. Read more…

Washington’s Tantrum: Syria Returns to the Arab League … Kazerooni and Prince go freelance.

May 26, 2023


hmmm . Seems Washington is losing its touch in the Middle East

Greetings friends:

For thirteen years, starting in 2010 just prior to the outbreak of the Arab Spring, Ibrahim Kazerooni and I began to be political commentators on KGNU-Hemispheres – Middle East Dialogues produced by Jim Nelson. It’s been a fine run. As we depart the station we have come to realize that – to our surprise – we have a dedicated listenership. And to all of you, we express our appreciation, our gratitude.

It’s time to move on but we’re not going off into the sunset quite yet.

Ibrahim and I are too much in the habit firstly of talking to each other regularly about Middle East events and developments and we have decided to continue our programs “free lance”. Our next program which we hope you can catch will air on Saturday, May 27, 2023 @ 5:15 Mountain States Time.

Our intention is to do a program every few weeks – with the focus remaining on Middle East geopolitics, the U.S. role in the region. We hope you will join us.

As we are starting from scratch, we are asking friends who see this – if they might – to spread the word as we try to build an independent listenership.


Three “Summits” were held recently in different parts of the world: the G-7 Summit in Tokyo, a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in China and the Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) Summit of the Arab League. Taken all together, the three represent a coherent picture of the trends in the global economy. In the upcoming video, we will compare and contrast the three, especially how they view global shifts from unilateralism to multilateralism and then focus on the watershed Jeddah meeting where – depending on how you see it either Syria was invited back into the Arab League, or, as we see it, the Arab League returned to Syria.

To watch live on YouTube, click here

The video will be posted on this blog within 24 hours after the program is completed for those of you who miss the live broadcast

the Biden-Bin Salman “fist pump” … Seems to mean less and less as time goes on

Sash Breger Bush: IPE with SBB 3 Adventures in Multipolarity: The African Peace Mission and the US Dollar

May 24, 2023

Europe-US contribution to African infrastructural development – not much … Basically a system to suck the wealth out of the continent. This is what Chinese investment is changing.


(IBE with SBB = International Political Economy with Sasha Breger Bush

“For one shining moment” Sasha Breger Bush and I shared an “academic platform,” I guess we can call it, at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. She has since gone on to become a tenured prof at the University of Colorado – Denver. She explains her writing projects here:

This post is the first of what I hope will be many Unpopular Opinions I’m working on for this new article series. While the weekly Global News Roundups are designed to keep readers up-to-date about what’s going on in the world in a ‘just the facts’ kind of style, this new series is for opinion pieces making unorthodox arguments not commonly found in mainstream publications. As always, your feedback is much appreciated. Reply in the comment section to share suggestions and questions, or email me privately to chat. I’ll respond as quickly and fully as I can. Thanks for reading and sharing!

So two series – the Global News Roundups – which she somehow produces weekly and now the beginning of a new series – Unpopular Opinions, the first of the series is posted just below.  I urge you to subscribe to both through her substack platform. You might learn something.

For those of you who already follow international news – you’ll find the weekly news discussion chock full of new data, insights. As someone, whose entire academic and post academic life seems to gravitate around “unpopular opinions” – which to me just seem both rational and humane – I look forward to the rest of the series. For those of you who really don’t follow international developments either because they appear too far away, too complicated or because the challenges of life around seem too daunting – I strongly recommend that you begin – and this is a fine entry point – complex analyses, processes broken down into explainable language. And by the way – international developments DO effect all of our lives – even if it doesn’t appear that way.

In the article below, SBB notes how the world is changing – from what today is described as “a unipolar world” (a euphemism, if one is frank for U.S. hegemony, or as we used to call it “back in the day” – U.S. Imperialism) to a “multipolar world” (one that has no particular political center – nor one particular ideological focus). The multipolar world is coming into being, the unipolar world is weakening and most recently to a degree that has stunned even the most careful of international observers … AND – as Breger-Bush notes at the end “This is how the world works now. The US should get used to it


Adventures in Multipolarity: The African Peace Mission and the US Dollar

Unpopular Opinion No. 1

MAY 23, 2023

When the President of South Africa announced last Tuesday the commencement of a peace mission to Europe to try to end the war in Ukraine, the discussion that erupted in the press and on social media naturally centered on the war and the possibilities of success such a mission might have. But one of my first thoughts was of the fate of the US dollar. This is because the push for peace in Ukraine and against the dollar are both symptoms of a broader shift in the international balance of power, away from a unipolar system dominated by the US and towards a multipolar system in which more evenly matched states compete for power and resources on the global stage.

For years, the Western presses have been debating whether de-dollarization is possible and, if so, when we can expect the dollar to be replaced by something else and what that something else might be. Maybe the yuan, say some, or maybe gold, say others, or maybe crypto, or IMF special drawing rights, or…. The tendency to frame the discussion as a head-to-head competition between the dollar and something else, suggesting some sort of foreign exchange cage match, is foreclosing discussion of what is, in reality, the most likely outcome for King Dollar.

The news about the African peace mission is helpful for thinking about the international trade and monetary landscape emerging in real time over the past few years. The delegation is comprised of representatives from six nations—South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Senegal, Zambia, and the Republic of Congo—and is slated to meet soon with Ukrainian President Zelensky in Kyiv and Russian President Putin in Moscow. South African President Ramaphosa noted he had briefed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the issue, and that he had also received “cautious” support for the initiative from the US and UK. Read more…

Immiserated, humiliated, yet resilient: how Syrians survive America’s economic siege HEKMAT ABOUKHATER·MAY 16, 2023

May 24, 2023

Immiserated, humiliated, yet resilient: how Syrians survive America’s economic siege

Haitian Flag Day – Aurora, Colorado: What’s Happening In Haiti Is Absolutely Beyond Belief!

May 21, 2023

Agape Haitian Seventh Day Adventist Church in Aurora, Colorado on Haitian Flag Day. May 20, 2023

A church service filled with its participants two greatest loves – its Christian religion and the long suffering, yet resilient spiritual and geographical home: Haiti. Songs sung in French and Creole.

I was in attendance to honor Haitian Flag Day.

Haiti – victim of four U.S. military interventions – three of them since 1992 – and suffocating IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programs that have privatized everything but the air people breath and only added to the crushing poverty of the place.

This from “”: Dore talks to investigative reporter Dan Cohen

There is talk in the halls of Congress of yet again for a U.S. military intervention in Haiti  which would only make matters worse.

“There’s virtually no coverage of it in the U.S. media, but the situation in Haiti is more than a little bananas. Angered over the kidnapping, murders and general violence perpetrated by armed gangs, citizens have been teaming up with police to track down and kill groups of gang members. But now the gangs are hitting back, and the unchecked violence is raging unchecked.”

Escaping Debt Slavery: Ethiopia, Africa, and the IMF in Black Agenda Report – Rob Prince Interviewed

May 17, 2023

Read more…

Rob Prince on Pacifica Radio’s Capitalism, Race and Democracy (on Ethiopia’s Application for an IMF loan) – 2 – The Full Interview With Me

May 16, 2023

Rob Prince on Pacifica Radio’s Capitalism, Race and Democracy (on Ethiopia’s Application for an IMF loan)

May 16, 2023

Building the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

(Note: On May 15, 2023, I appeared on Pacifica Radio’s program – “Pacifica Radio’s Capitalism, Race and Democracy” hosted by Ann Garrison. The segment of the program begins at 24:46 of the audio below. That segment was about the Biden Administration’s effort to continue its hybrid warfare against the Ethiopian government through, in this case, economic pressure. Ethiopia has applied to the International Monetary Fund (in essence a U.S. run institution) for a large loan ($2 billion)  to help it through the difficulties it is facing on all sides. Either way, if Addis Ababa gets the loan or not, Washington’s pressure on the Abiy Ahmed government is there. If the loan comes through it will be with the usual structural adjustment conditions; if not, the country will suffer from a financial shortfall. )

(The segment that I am interviewed begins at 24 minutes and 45 seconds into the program)
*Voices of Writers Guild of America West members on the picket line with KPFKs Shankar Singam.

*The 11,000 members of the writers guild of America West now on strike are demanding that there be regulation and control of Artificial Intelligence in their work. They say that the issue is not just about writers but about hundreds of millions of workers. Rachel Meinerding and Greg Hopps of Concept Art Association spoke to Pacifica’s Steve Zeltzer.

*The US is holding up Ethiopia’s request for a $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund for postwar reconstruction and development. Host Ann Garrison spoke to Robert J. Prince, Retired Senior Lecturer at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies. He is also a political commentator at Pacifica affiliate KGNU-Boulder.

*On April 18, the U.S. government announced indictments against the “Uhuru 3”, African Peoples Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela, African Peoples Solidarity Committee Chair Penny Hess and Uhuru Solidarity Movement Chair Jesse Nevel on federal charges that they are pawns of the Russian government and are spreading Russian propaganda.

On May 10, the Uhuru 3 spoke to the press for the first time since their April 18 indictments. Visit to learn more and get involved.

In a bipartisan measure, U.S. Congress hopes to throw monkey wrench into Syria’s re-entry into the Arab League

May 14, 2023

Damascus, June, 1981. (R. Prince photo)


“The United States lost. We overthrew Iraq, we overthrew Libya, we overthrew Afghanistan, we’re doing a genocide in Yemen, Ukraine, but in Syria we didn’t succeed”

The Jimmy Dore Show


Many years ago – 66 – to be exact, my St. Lawrence University English teacher, one Mr. Hashem, wrote a kind of a fairy tale which was a cruel but accurate metaphor about the university at that time. His story entailed a rat guarding a cesspool. The rat, not knowing how to clean up the cesspool mess it had created was reduced to running round it squeaking, “what to do, what to do?”  It didn’t have the slightest idea how to proceed. It turned out that the University president at the time had a long nose, not quite like a rat, but similar enough so that most folk on campus got the message that the college was in trouble. Mr. Hashem was fired for that little venture into satire that struck too close to home.
The analogy came back to me after all these as an apt metaphor to U.S. Middle East policy. Washington’s position, its strength as both a global and Middle Eastern regional hegemon, is fading faster than most of us can keep up with it. No development reflects the Biden Administration’s own experience with “shock and awe” more than the recent Arab League embrace to Syria, welcoming Damascus back into the Arab fold. Once again in the aftermath of Chinese encouraged Iranian-Saudi reconciliation, Washington has been completely blindsided by events it had no control over and it appears, no knowledge of until it was too late.

The situation in the Middle East – as with the rest of the world – is changing so fast that it is almost impossible to keep up with all the recent developments, among the most significant, Syria’s re-admission into the ranks of the Arab League after being left out in the cold for 12 years. The same countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (along with Turkey) –  that expelled Syria at U.S. insistence – back in 2011 and participated on the ground through jihadist terrorist proxies to overthrow the Damascus government are today, welcoming the Assad government back into the Arab fold. Indeed as Pepe Escobar notes, “Syria’s return to the Arab League has been welcomed with great fanfare?.

There is “a new Middle East” in the making but it is far different from the one that former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice fantasized in 2006. Much of the reversal of mainstream Arab government hostility towards Syria has its roots in the tectonic changes the world is experiencing elsewhere, in the growing Chinese-Russian alliance and the Chinese underappreciated (in Washington) diplomatic breakthrough to arrange Saudi-Iranian rapproachment.  One consequence of the improved ties between Riyadh and Tehran has been a major effort to resolve other regional conflicts with the war in Yemen and Syria topping the list.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken explained the core sanctions principle in October 2021: “Our position is oppose the reconstruction of Syria.”

For all practical purposes, the Syrian War – a classic Washington orchestrated proxy war using jihadist mercenaries and regional allies – is over. The United States backed civil war in Syria, disguised as the Arab Spring but the U.S. effort at overthrowing the Assad government by proxy Read more…

Republican Congress members are lobbying hard for the US military to invade Mexico, using blatantly racist rhetoric, threatening President AMLO

May 12, 2023

Mexico City on a visit 42 years ago.


“Without the people of America …Mexico would be eating cat food out of a can in a tent behind an outback.” These racists fucks really believe Mexico depends on America? Nah bitch, it’s the other way around

Memo Torres

Republican Congress members are lobbying hard for the US military to invade Mexico, using blatantly racist rhetoric, threatening President AMLO. In reality, the US economy is based on the super-exploitation of Mexican labor — not only precarious internal migrant labor, but also in Mexico itself. The US runs a trade deficit with Mexico. Here are some of the goods that the US relies on low-paid Mexican workers to make for it: -computers -cars -trucks -tractors -medical instruments -machine parts -refrigerators -air conditioners -beer -gold -silver

US Senator John Kennedy called for US military presence in Mexico and stated that without the US “Mexico would be eating cat food out of a can and living in a tent behind an Outback” Mexico Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard responds: “Maybe the question should have been, why is it that just outside the senate you can get fentanyl in the United States? Just outside his office, where he is, or maybe even from his office. You can get fentanyl online. The argument of sending a force to Mexico is fallacious when in the US you have fentanyl circulating everywhere… The senator is persona non grata in Mexico. But he is also a liar to the citizens of the United States.”

(Thank you Ben Norton – Twitter)

West Virginia dodged a bullet – Senate Bill 619 – which, if enacted, would have allowed teaches to teach “(non) intelligent design”

May 12, 2023


It’s clear the problem isn’t going to vanish. A disturbing number of politicians these days seem to have decided that their route to success is through attacking public education. As this year’s crop of legislation shows, science education is not immune. Moreover, there are signs that these political attacks are growing less subtle and more extreme. West Virginia’s Senate Bill 619 was the first bill for a long while to mention “intelligent design” by name.


(From the National Center for Science Education – which I have been a member of for twenty years or so. I don’t teach Human Evolution anymore, and haven’t for 15 years but remain concerned with efforts to purge Darwinian theory of Evolution from public education in the name of religious nonsense from certain well known quarters)

West Virgina just dodged a bullet, and the name of the bullet was Senate Bill 619. If enacted, the bill would have allowed teachers in the state’s public schools to teach “intelligent design as a theory of how the universe and/or humanity came to exist”. Such utter gobbledygook.

You’d think that after the legal defeat of “intelligent design” in the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court Case Kitzmiller vs. Dover in neighboring Pennsylvania, West Virginia legislators would be wary of passing a bill that would compromise science education and violate the U.S. Constitution.

But with no meaningful discussion, let alone hearing from experts on science and on science education the bill was swiftly passed by the Senate Education Committee and then by the Senate before it landed with the House Education Committee.

NSCE was monitoring the situation from the day the bill was introduced. But that was not all. They also:

  • Repeatedly encouraged supporters in West Virginia to take action
  • Alerted local and national media to the story as it developed
  • Formulated talking points and media strategy and circulated them to allies
  • Rallied like-minded organizations to alert their members and to express their opposition to the bill
  • Discussed legal strategies with state and national civil liberties organizations  in the event that the bill passed

The bill did not pass/ Although it was on the House Education Committee’s agenda for a few uneasy days, the committee didn’t get around to it before the legislative session ended.

As the recent tussle in West Virginia confirmed, NCSE is the only organization with the expertise and the experience needed to coordinate effective opposition to bills that, like that state’s Senate Bill 619, threaten the integrity of science education.

Senate Bill 619 was only one o among a flurry of bills that NCSE was monitoring in the early months of 203 (see U.S. map above). Few of those bills ever stand a chance of passage. But you never know which will be the exception. So we vigilantly monitor every single one of them.

It’s clear the problem isn’t going to vanish. A disturbing number of politicians these days seem to have decided that their route to success is through attacking public education. As this year’s crop of legislation shows, science education is not immune. Moreover, there are signs that these political attacks are growing less subtle and more extreme. West Virginia’s Senate Bill 619 was the first bill for a long while to mention “intelligent design” by name.

And worse may be on the way. When Senate Bill 619 was in the House Education Committee, a supportive legislator told a local television station, “If this bill does not go through my heart is broken, but I do plan to amend the bill to include biblical creation.”

NSCE’s work is essential to defeating legislation that attacks science education. And your support is essential to NCSE’s work. Please give today

Signed, Gleen Branch

Diego Rivera Paints Darwin, father (along with Alfred Wallace) of the theory of natural selection, the basis of modern biology and evolutionary theory. Easily the most important scientific discovery of the 19th century, under attack today from certain bigoted, well funded quarters. What would Darwin say about human extinction?

Connections with Joel Edelstein: Grand Illusion: The Rise and Fall of American Ambition in the Middle East by Steven Simon – Aired on KGNU – May 5, 2023. Unofficial Transcript

May 11, 2023



I think there are a lot of voices now, or at least there are some, to challenge the notion that whatever you thought of the effort of empire … stop it! We cannot aspire any longer to “empire” if it ever made sense – and I’m not saying it ever did  – and we’ve got to transition to living in a polycentric world in which the United States is one of a number of important powers. That’s a real challenge; it’s a challenge for the whole country. It’s a challenge because there are a lot of Americans who believe that we are the ones to run the world.

Joel Edelstein

The only way out of the crisis is that notion of Pax Americana that Americans should dominate and dictate to the rest of the world – that phase is over and we have to prepare ourselves for a world in which there are multiple players in global politics, whether regional or global politics. We need to work together if we really want peace. This notion that Simon refers to “to make the Middle East a better place for its people while advancing U.S. strategic interests – this notion has to be abandoned.

Ibrahim Kazerooni

I was thinking about aging – how can I help it, I’m 78 with health problems that come with it. Recently a friend referred to me as “one of the elders”. I never thought myself that, but I realize I am. Am I going to age “gracefully”or “gracelessly.”  In terms of what you just said Joel, those are the choices open to the United States. The United States has had – let’s just say – a fine run. It’s not about to collapse but its glory days are past and it’s in decline. Frankly, people have been talking about this since the 1970s. There is nothing new about this discussion. Many people understand exactly what you said, Joel. The United States still has an important role to play in the world. Can we adjust to the new multipolar realities. So far the country reminds me of a petulant teenager ‘ “I’m not going to change! I’m not going to change!” Regardless, the world IS changing, and HAS changed. We can either respond to those changes gracefully or … not

Rob Prince


Joel Edelstein opening the program: “Steven Simon is a policy insider having spent nearly 40 years in top positions making U.S. Middle East policy. When I received the announcement of his new book on what he has observed, I wanted to give listeners to Connections to hear what he has to say.” (Simon’s schedule did not permit a live interview on Connections so Edelstein settled for a taped interview.) “I invited the producers of KGNU monthly Middle East dialogues, Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince and they will join me in the second half of the program.

For Simon’s own remarks on “The Grand Illusion” and the entire program:

Remarks of Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince are transcribed below:

Joel Edelstein: Steven, thank you so much for your time. The book is The Grand Illusion: The Rise and Fall of American Ambition in the Middle East. It’s well worth the read. Thank you so much.

Steven Simon: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Joel Edelstein: That was a recorded interview with Steven Simon. It was recorded because Steven Simon because Steven Simon’s new book had him on “kind of” a book tour at least on the phone or on Zoom and his availability was quite limited. I wanted to bring him to our KGNU listening audience and so I recorded it because that was the only option … What I decided was we would follow the tradition of KGNU that we want to hear from you, the listeners and so we interviewed Simon for a half hour so you can have another half hour to call in to 303-442-4242

It isn’t just a matter of calling in to speak to me, Joel Edelstein, what do I know … so what I got is KGNU’s Middle East analysts Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. They join us now to talk about Steven Simon’s book.

Welcome Ibrahim, Welcome Rob

Start out by reminding our listeners who may not have heard you on Tuesday evenings … What is your relation to the Middle East?

Rob Prince: I am a retired Senior Lecturer of International Studies at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, lonk history of involvement in the Middle East going back to the days when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I’ve written about it extensively. My main interest was a focus on North Africa –  which is what I taught about, specifically Algeria and Tunisia.

Having said that, the region is something I have had a lifetime concern about – U.S. policy in the Middle East, where it’s been, where it’s headed.

Joel Edelstein: Ibrahim.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Yes, good morning to everyone.

To a degree I am similar to Rob as far as my political background is concerned. I am from the Middle East, from Iraq and I have traveled frequently in the Middle East. Recently I have visited Iran and Iraq in an effort to understand. I have many contacts in the region, read widely in order to analyze the political circumstances in the region, particularly since the 2003 invasion of Iraq which has become an issue of paramount importance to me. Those who have followed my lectures and writings, they understand to what I am referring.

Joel Edelstein: Very good.

I just want to throw it open to both of you; you have both read Steven Simon’s book and presumably heard a part of the interview we just broadcast.;

What do you think about this guy who was really “in the room”. He wasn’t speaking authoritatively for the United States government. His book, even though he’s an insider, has slashing criticism of U.S. policy.

How does his voice come across to you?

Rob Prince: Ibrahim, do you mind if I start off?

Ibrahim Kazerooni: No, go ahead.

Ibrahim Kazerooni: Firstly, Simon’s book is a very interesting read., unquestionably. It reminded me some of works of British journalist, Robert Fisk whose work gives a broad sense of what is transpiring throughout the region of the Middle East. There are some problems with the very breath of Simon’s work. There is so much that he covers that it becomes difficult to cover the material in more than a sketchy manner.

In terms of the positive points the book offers, there are a number of them I want to mention.

The main positive point is what you just spoke about Joel: Simon underlines what was Washington’s flawed vision for the region, that is the myth of the Soviet threat to the Middle East, that the Soviets were about to invade and take over Middle East oil or that they might do something like that when in fact already the Soviet Union was already the largest, or second largest producer of oil in the world even during that period (the period of the Cold War). From a geopolitical viewpoint there was no possibility of such a scenario. That would have been suicide for the Soviet Union. to invade the Middle East. Read more…