Every time Donald Trump blurts or tweets a shocker – "maybe it’s the calm before the storm," for instance – questions flood the media.
Is he serious? What did he mean? Yes, of course, but beyond these, larger questions hover half-asked, cutting into the soul of who we are. This is painful, but not necessarily a bad thing. For me, one question that keeps emerging is: What is the relationship between Trump and the military-political system he stepped into?
That is to say, is he furthering its covert agenda (creating the conditions for more war) or, contrarily, exposing it for what it is?
Back in February, for instance, Trump the pugnacious 14-year-old told a Reuters reporter: "I am the first one that would like to see . . . nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country even if it’s a friendly country, we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power. It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack."
Mordechai Vanunu was imprisoned in Israel for eighteen years because he blew the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. He felt he had "an obligation to tell the people of Israel what was going on behind their backs" at a supposed nuclear research facility which was actually producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. His punishment for breaking the silence about Israel’s capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons included eleven years of solitary confinement.
Reading about President Donald Trump’s new strategy on Iran, Vanunu’s long isolation and sacrificial commitment to truth-telling came to mind.
Donald Trump promised to "deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon." But it is Israel, which possesses an estimated 80 nuclear warheads, with fissile material for up to 200, which poses the major nuclear threat in the region. And Israel is allied to the nation with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal: the United States.
John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff and a retired Marine Corps general, held a press conference on Thursday to deny he’s quitting or that he’s about to be fired. In passing, he referred to two common myths in America that go almost completely unexamined. (By “myth” I mean a defining belief, held in common, and usually without question.)
The first myth: That the United States has “the greatest military on the planet.” The second myth: That the U.S. military’s value is its “deterrent factor.”
The US certainly has a powerful military, one that costs roughly a trillion dollars a year, when all national security expenses are tallied. But is it “the greatest”? More importantly, why should a democracy and a people allegedly dedicated to peace and freedom be so proud of possessing “the greatest military on the planet”?
One of the staple talking points of Spanish unionists is that the poor people of Catalonia live trapped in a information bubble that does not allow them to hear or see anything that is not nationalist propaganda, a propaganda, they say, designed to promote a hatred of Spain.
Sounds terrible doesn’t it? But are things really as centralists constantly suggest they are?
As anyone who has lived in Catalonia knows, Spanish (Castilian)-language media, including 5 state-run TV channels and another 5 state-run radio stations are widely available and widely watched there.
With each passing day, the mainstream media keeps printing and repeating ever more bizarre theories about Russian attempts to control not only our voting, not only our political system, but even our relationships with each other. They are trying to “sow seeds of dissent and confusion” in American society, we read almost daily in the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. How are they doing this? By taking out ads on Facebook to advertise pages like “Adorable Puppies.” Seriously. What’s happened to political debate in the United States and what’s happening to journalism? Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report is joined by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry of ConsortiumNews.com to try and make sense of the mass hysteria gripping the country.
Last Sunday in Barcelona, the forces opposed to allowing any change in Catalonia’s political status within Spain staged a rally in Barcelona. Given the clear minority position of such hard-core unionists (defined here as people who neither want a vote on, nor a negotiation about, the matter of greater Catalan self-determination) within in the Catalan Autonomous Community, it was necessary to bus people in from all over Spain to bring the rally’s numbers – 350,000 according to the Catalan police – up to anything remotely approaching those achieved in recent weeks and months by the pro-independence forces.
Among the many unionists to arrive in Barcelona from the other parts of the state on Sunday was the Nobel-Prize winning Peruvian-Spanish novelist, Mario Vargas Llosa, who stood before the crowd and issued yet another iteration of the critique of Basque and Catalan nationalism that he has been monotonously issuing over the past 25 years.