Category United States Politics

Iraq, Wikileaks and military force – here we go again

Julian Assange has just had his second anniversary of being holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. A good time to remember why Wikileaks and Assange became so hated by those in authority. I don’t know if Assange is more egotistical and misogynistic than your average bloke – his personal attributes or failings have nothing […]

Democracy and the right to dissent

Neither Walter Nash, Peter Fraser or Michael Joseph Savage were communists. Nor in the context of the first Labour government particularly radical. Yet it turns out they were subject to covert surveillance by both the Police and the intelligence service at the time. At one level this is hardly surprising. In an earlier post I […]

Glenn Greenwald – One Journalist holding those in power to account

I have highlighted the work of Glenn Greenwald before. A former New York attorney he now writes for a number of online and traditional news organisations, most prominently The Guardian newspaper in Britain. He has been at the forefront of the Edward Snowden/NSA revelations, one of the few to interview Snowden in person and responsible […]

Interview with Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is one of the most thoughtful, persuasive and informed critics of American Exceptionalism, the entrenched mythology that allows successive US governments to act in such a callous and brutal manner, not just abroad but at home too. Belief in the American Dream, belief that the US is better than every other nation on […]

Obama dishonours Martin Luther King

Barack Obama is a fine orator. Remember his speeches on “change” before the 2008 election, the ones that gave not only Americans but people worldwide the hope that there would be change to the status quo that bought us the GFC and the Iraq war? Turns out his promises are as empty and cynical as those […]

Is Christchurch an example of Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism?

In the United States political writer Naomi Klein is loved or loathed in equal measure. Conservatives regard her as a socialist/communist antipathetic to the American dream and purveyor of conspiracy theories. Personally I don’t find her central thesis of disaster capitalism in her book The Shock Doctrine particularly controversial. The main premise that political and […]

Obama vs Romney. Is there a difference?

With the US Presidential election only a few weeks away, Mitt Romney has just put his foot in his gaff prone mouth again, firmly cementing the belief that this private equity corporate raider acts only in the interest of the 1%. But is Obama any different? It would be fair to say many 2008 supporters have […]

Assassination by drone

In a previous post on the ethics of Realpolitik I questioned the morality of acceptable “collateral damage” ie civilian deaths. Given the New Zealand Prime Minister’s long unflinching support for unilateral US action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and indeed that of many previous governments for US intervention, I am curious as to the formula both […]

Maybe there is hope

Bernie Sanders is not a name you will hear in the mainstream media. Like his fellow Senator, Ron Paul, the independent Senator for Vermont is not part of the cosy duopoly of American politics. He is an outspoken critic of the status quo in the US political and economic structure and in particular the extreme […]

Only in America

We criticise our politicians a lot in New Zealand, with good reason. Whatever their own stated noble reasons for entering politics, like their compatriots overseas they end up as apologists for the status quo. American politicians however, like most things American, take things to the extreme. A hillarious example (to an outsider who doesn’t have […]