• I guess even a State Dept-funded neocon front group like Freedom House occasionally feels compelled to acknowledge the obvious when it comes to these issues. Of course, it should also be noted that Freedom House continues to give the U.S. its highest possible ranking year after year in its “freedom in the world” report.

  • There are a couple glaring ironies in this whole case that I think are worth pointing out. For one thing, the way the state came down on these left-wing activists for allegedly threatening to commit violence against police stands in stark contrast to a number of other examples of right-wingers openly threatening violence against government agents. Secondly, let’s not forget how the US government embraced militant “Euromaidan” demonstrators in Kyiv, people who were actually using incendiary devices against police, killing a number of them in the process. Then of course there is the irony of the fact that the NATO 3 were protesting is probably the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet today.

    Anyway, these sentences are clearly disproportionate and excessive, making the NATO 3 among the latest to join the growing ranks of US political prisoners — not that they will be recognized as such by the mainstream human rights organizations.

    Thanks for your reporting on this case, Kevin.

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post Ukraine: It’s all about the shale by Nat Parry.

    2014-04-25 08:19:26View | Delete

    Very true. I may be guilty of a slight degree of hyperbole in the headline choice. The headline chosen for this article at Consortiumnews, “Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas”, was much better than the one that I came up with.

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post Ukraine: It’s all about the shale by Nat Parry.

    2014-04-25 03:56:10View | Delete

    Well, I didn’t really mean to imply that Yanukovych was overthrown because he was “Exxon-Mobil’s guy,” or anyone else’s guy — actually Chevron is more of the focus in this piece despite the ExxonMobil logo FDL chose. What happened in Ukraine was that Yanukovych — after having made all these oil and gas deals in [...]

  • Nat Parry wrote a new diary post: Ukraine: It’s all about the shale

    2014-04-24 07:48:52View | Delete

    ThumbnailThe crisis gripping Ukraine has plunged transatlantic relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and threatens to send Ukraine into an armed conflict with potentially dire consequences for the country and the wider region. Shale Gas & Big Energy: Another trigger of Ukrainian unrest? Moscow’s alleged meddling in eastern Ukraine and its earlier annexation [...]

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post Over Easy: False Choices and the New Cold War by yellowsnapdragon.

    2014-04-16 05:43:01View | Delete

    Wouldn’t it be nice if it was only $5 million that the U.S. has spent “democratizing” Ukraine. In fact, it was $5 billion. (At least that we know of: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37599.htm)

  • ThumbnailLast summer, following a sarin nerve gas attack that left hundreds dead in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21, it seemed that U.S. intervention in Syria was a foregone conclusion. Having witnessed the scenario play out time and again in recent years as the United States has prepared for military action against various countries, [...]

  • Thumbnail  Thursday’s Senate vote to release part of a 6,300-page report on the CIA’s now-defunct rendition and torture program is something of a mixed blessing. Does the CIA answer to anyone? On one hand, it is significant that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has voted overwhelmingly (11-3) to release the findings of the five-year study, [...]

  • Thanks for this, DSWright.

    Obama’s lame attempts to address Russian charges of hypocrisy were just dripping with disingenuousness, in more ways than one. Not only did he claim that the US sought to work within the international system (after Bush made it clear that we didn’t really need a Security Council resolution, but that we would try to get one anyway), but Obama offered a few more whoppers that are worth pointing out.

    “We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory,” Obama said.

    While perhaps technically true, in fact the US directly ruled Iraq as an occupying power for more than a year, from April 2003 until Bush “transferred sovereignty” in June 2004. During this time, there was no respect for Iraq’s territorial integrity or sovereignty.

    “We did not grab its resources for our own gain,” Obama said.

    Complete and utter bullshit. Before the US invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. Ten years later, it was privatized and dominated by foreign companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and Halliburton.

    “Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future,” Obama said.

    He forgot to mention we also left it in a state of complete devastation, littered with depleted uranium and cluster bombs, with one million fewer Iraqis than were alive when we first went in. By “decisions about its own future,” I wonder if he means whether to decide to address the long-term health effects of DU or to try to rein in the sectarian violence continuing to rip the country apart. Or perhaps deal with the 2.8 million internally displaced people.

    Go to hell, Obama, with your sanctimonious, disingenuous drivel.

  • ThumbnailNearly half way through Black History Month 2014, the only story remotely related to black history that seems to have broken into the national consciousness is one from California in which a high school came under criticism for offering the stereotypical African-American cuisine of fried chicken and watermelon on its lunch menu. On the origins of [...]

  • Thumbnail Dissent IS Patriotic After nearly a decade of legal wrangling, there is finally some justice for more than 1,800 peaceful protesters arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. The $18 million agreement announced Wednesday is the largest protest-related civil rights settlement in American history, and sends an important message to police [...]

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post The ‘War on Christmas’ and Other Ridiculous Holiday Traditions by Nat Parry.

    2013-12-04 01:49:49View | Delete

    Thanks for the kind remarks. I am curious what quibbles you have with the history that I provide. If you think I got something wrong, please let me know.

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post The ‘War on Christmas’ and Other Ridiculous Holiday Traditions by Nat Parry.

    2013-12-04 01:47:10View | Delete

    As I tried to make clear in the piece, it’s actually not “a Christian holiday,” as you claim. At best, it is a multicultural mongrel of a holiday, combining the pagan traditions of the Druids, the Nordic people and the ancient Romans, and only more recently has the Christian Church attempted to claim the holiday [...]

  • ThumbnailIt’s that time of year again. Time to dig out those decorations, deck the halls and trim the tree. Time to brave the stores in search of that perfect gift. And of course, time to turn on Fox News Channel and crank up the outrage over the “secularist” assault on the “sacred” Christian holiday celebrating the [...]

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post Time for Multi-Party Democracy in the USA? by Nat Parry.

    2013-11-20 03:07:50View | Delete

    Part of the strategy for opening up multi-party democracy in the United States would obviously have to include election reform, which would also bring the U.S. closer to meeting its international commitments on holding democratic elections. The way it is currently set up flies in the face of international standards for elections, with two quasi-official [...]

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post Time for Multi-Party Democracy in the USA? by Nat Parry.

    2013-11-20 02:54:43View | Delete

    I agree with you that actual interest in third parties continues to be low, which I would attribute to three main factors: 1) The structural and political disadvantages that they face, including the complete media blackout of alternative voices. 2) The widespread and self-perpetuating attitude in the United States that third parties stand no chance [...]

  • Nat Parry wrote a new diary post: Time for Multi-Party Democracy in the USA?

    2013-11-19 14:52:47View | Delete

    ThumbnailThe local and state elections earlier this month generated a flurry of commentary suggesting that the results show that Americans are turning their backs on the Tea Party and the GOP agenda as a whole, opting instead for progressive alternatives offered by new stars of the Democratic Party. The big story of election 2013,  wrote The Nation ’s John [...]

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post Kennedy the Conservative by cal222.

    2013-11-14 05:35:11View | Delete

    It’s true that Kennedy positioned himself as a rather rabid anti-communist, but the full story is more complicated than that. For one thing, you need to remember the context of the time, when the country was gripped by anti-communist hysteria that is scarcely conceivable today. Secondly, there was something of a transformation that took place [...]

  • Nat Parry commented on the diary post 50 Years Later, JFK Cover Stories Abound by Nat Parry.

    2013-11-13 06:55:58View | Delete

    Sorry you feel that way, but I never meant to imply that I am an expert. I just know a bit about the historical context in which he was assassinated, and to me it is obvious who did it and why.

    You are probably right though, we should just “give it a rest.”

  • Nat Parry wrote a new diary post: 50 Years Later, JFK Cover Stories Abound

    2013-11-13 06:34:19View | Delete

    Let’s just say it off the bat. Elements of the U.S. defense and intelligence community conspired to assassinate President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. A straightforward examination of the facts surrounding the slaying, the cover-up (including the botched autopsy, the murder of patsy Lee Harvey Oswald, the fictitious Warren Commission report, etc.), as [...]

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