How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace

This year, I was invited to be a speaker for a panel at Left Forum.  The panel was appropriately titled, “How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace.”  David Hungerford of the Coalition for Social Justice hosted it.  Other panelists included Sara Flounders of International Action Center and Kazem Azin of Solidarity with Iran-SI, Iran Forum.  Any one of these activists and thinkers alone would be worth listening to.  It was truly remarkable having all of them in one room presenting on such a pertinent (and as David explains in his presentation an under-recognized) topic as sovereignty, imperialism, and world peace.

There’s no better introduction than just watching them speak for yourself.  Check out Hungerford, Flounders, Azin and I’s presentation below:

US Imperialism and the Crisis in Syria

The following is a transcript of a presentation I gave at Left Forum for the panel titled, “How Universal U.S. Sovereignty Threatens World Peace.”  You can view a recording of that panel here.

I’ve been asked to speak about US imperialism and the crisis in Syria. It is perhaps misleading to speak of “a Syrian crisis” as if it is a catastrophe occurring independently of the developments in the wider Middle East region. This is how the corporate media prefers to present complex phenomena – especially if the West’s bloodied hands are at the root.

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Why the Refugee Acceptance Movement Must Become an Anti-Imperialist Movement

This article originally appeared on Truthout.

Corporate media have been filled with news about the growing crisis of Syrian refugees. Politicians and journalists alike ask what the United States ought to do about it. An increasing number of governors have declared their intent to reject refugees. In a brazen attempt to stand strong against defenseless people fleeing terror, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie harshly bragged that he would not even admit “orphans under five.” This is nothing but political posturing for a dysfunctional party that must appeal to racist fears to stay relevant, as governors do not have the constitutional power to refuse to accept refugees.

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Hypocrisy: US Condemns Russia for Civilian Deaths, Then Bombs a Hospital

On October 2, US Ambassador Samantha Power criticized Russia’s bombing of ISIS in Syria and called for the immediate cessation of “attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians.”  Following the condemnation was a joint statement by US allies that the Russian bombing of civilian targets “constitute[s] a further escalation and will only fuel more extremism and radicalization.”  Similar condemnations of equal or greater destruction of civilian targets is curiously absent from the United States’ own usage of aerial bombardment.  American officials expressed no such concern for the civilians killed in their aerial campaigns in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere. Continue reading