The war in Syria, mainstream media tell us, is a simple story, with a brutal dictator on one side and freedom-loving rebels on the other. Into this mix, the Islamic State has inserted itself, while the benevolent United States must intervene to rescue the Syrian people. U.S. involvement in Syria, motivated by altruism, the story goes, arose in direct response to events in 2011.
This view is as fanciful as it is notable for its myopic self-regard.
In Washington’s Long War on Syria, Stephen Gowans dismantles the official story, myth by myth, and provides the context without which it would be impossible to understand events.
Interview with Gregory Elich, on KPFK’s ‘This is Happening’ program. The current crisis in the context of US-North Korean relations over the last two decades.
The months ahead may reveal the direction that U.S.-North Korean relations will take under the Trump administration. After eight years of ‘strategic patience’ and the Rebalance to Asia, those relations now stand at their lowest point in decades. Many foreign policy elites are expressing frustration over Washington’s failure to impose its will on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). There are increasing calls for a change in policy, but what kind of change do they have in mind? We may be at the point of a major transition.
Russia, we are told, breached the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), swiped emails and other documents, and released them to the public, to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.
How substantial is the evidence backing these assertions?
Interview with Gregory Elich, Hyun Lee, and Juyeon Rhee
Few countries are as fiercely demonized as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – more commonly known as North Korea. The media presents the country as a dangerous and mysterious pariah that lashes out uncontrollably at its neighbors. But as we should come to expect from the corporate media, this is a total distortion. What’s the real history of U.S.-North Korean relations? As Donald Trump prepares to become the next president of the United States, what does this mean for the prospects of normalization between the U.S. and the DPRK? What’s the situation inside of North Korea? And how does this relate to the geopolitics of the region?
By this time next year, the Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul will be in the final stage of closing down, as U.S forces shift farther south and consolidate around Pyeongtaek. South Korea intends to convert the site into a series of six parks, but there are unresolved concerns regarding alarming levels of toxic contamination.
In the decade after an oil leak became known in 2001, cleanup efforts by the Seoul Metropolitan Government removed nearly 2,000 tons of oil-contaminated underground water from areas outside of Yongsan. U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) claimed that it rectified the problem at its source in 2006, yet the level of petroleum hydrocarbon pollution in nearby groundwater continued to grow, multiplying by a factor of nearly thirteen times over the last four years. The measured level of contamination outside Yongsan now stands at well over eight thousand times the Korean government safety standard. It can only be presumed that the situation inside the base is substantially worse.
The recent announcement that South Korea had agreed to deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on its territory marks an important advance in the Obama Administration’s militarized Asia pivot. The THAAD battery threatens to destabilize the military balance of power and draw South Korea into an anti-China alliance with the United States and Japan.Read More »
An Interview with Hyun Lee and Juyeon Rhee
On July 26, the South Korean government blocked two Korean-American activists from entering the country. Both activists planned to meet with their South Korean counterparts and to participate in a series of events, many of which are in response to the controversial decision to station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile battery in South Korea.
As tens of thousands of US and South Korean military conduct massive war games which deliberately simulate an invasion of North Korea, Gregory Elich speaks with Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear to discuss what Washington hopes to accomplish with its provocative drills.
Relations with North Korea are once again in crisis mode. North Korea, we are told, inexplicably launched dual provocations with its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, threatening the security of the United States. It is a simple story, with North Korean irrationality and belligerence on one side, and Washington’s customary desire for peace and stability on the other.
Omitted from the standard narrative is anything that would make sense of recent events.