Imperialism & war

Donald Trump devoted a large section of the end of his State of the Union address on Tuesday night to North Korea.

Anyone who was paying attention during George W Bush’s State of the Union addresses in 2002 and 2003 would have found Trump’s statements frighteningly familiar: Trump used exactly the same justifications for war with North Korea as Bush had for war with Iraq when standing at the same podium.

The Prime Minister’s January 29 announcement that Australia is destined to become a bigger arms dealer has provoked widespread dissent from aid organisations and anti-war networks.

The Defence Export Strategy aims to lift Australia to become one of the top 10 defence industry exporting countries within a decade. Save the Children, World Vision, the Australian Council for International Development and the Greens have all condemned the move to export death and profit from bloodshed.

As concerned Australians, we condemn Turkey’s invasion of the mainly Kurdish canton of Afrin in northern Syria, and demand that the Australian Government do all in its power to protest and stop Turkey’s brazen criminal aggression.

Nobody better reflects the military and political elites’ cavalier attitude to nuclear weapons than Sir William Penney, the architect of Britain’s hydrogen bomb program.

Asked how destructive the new weapons were in meetings in 1961 between US Democrat President John F. Kennedy and British Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Penney casually answered by saying: “It would take twelve to destroy Australia, Britain five or six, say seven or eight, and I’ll have another gin and tonic, if you would be so kind”.

Three years after Kurdish-led forces liberated the northern Syrian city of Kobane from ISIS — after a months-long siege that captured the world’s imagination — the democratic, multi-ethnic and feminist revolution in Syria’s north is facing a new assault.

Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) has approved a proposal to hold presidential elections before April 30. 

The move came a day after the European Union announced sanctions targeting seven Venezuelan senior state officials on January 22.

After receiving approval from Russia, the Turkish state has launched an air strike with 69 jets, bombing the Afrin centre and Cindirêsê, Reco, Shera, Shêrawa and Mabeta districts in northern Syria, ANF News reported on January 20.

Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin, ANF News reported.

What’s the fate of Cuba in the age of Trump? It is not an easy question to unravel, but Canadian author and journalist Arnold August provides some answers in his latest book, Cuba-US Relations: Obama and Beyond.

Anti-Trump campaigners claimed victory on January 13 after the US president cancelled a planned visit to London in the face of planned mass protests.

Venezuela has hit back at the United States after it issued fresh threats to impose new sanctions against Venezuelan officials while attempting to derail the dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition.

Figures released on December 28 by the Australian National Audit Office revealed the Australian Defence Force has spent $10.3 billion on weapons and military equipment from the United States in the past four years. The report estimated about half the money was spent supporting Australian Defence Force activity in Syria and Iraq in that four-year period.