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Articles by: Bill Van Auken

Trump threatens new sanctions amid farcical indictment of Iran

Trump threatens new sanctions amid farcical indictment of Iran

US President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to ratchet up once again the punishing US “maximum pressure” sanctions against Iran. In an ignorant and lying tweet, the US president stated: “Iran has long been secretly ‘enriching’, in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration … Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!”[Read More…]

US steps up threats as Iran exceeds uranium enrichment cap

US steps up threats as Iran exceeds uranium enrichment cap

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Monday confirmed that Iran has breached the limit imposed by the 2015 nuclear agreement on the level at which it is allowed to enrich uranium. Iran had announced its breach of the limit on Sunday, a deliberate step aimed at pressuring the remaining signatories to the nuclear accord—particularly Germany, France and the UK—to take[Read More…]

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Bombing of detention center in Libya kills at least 44 refugees

Bombing of detention center in Libya kills at least 44 refugees

Scores of African refugees were killed or wounded when the detention center in which they were being held in a western suburb of the Libyan capital of Tripoli took a direct hit in a bombing early Wednesday. Libyan officials reported that 44 of the refugees had been killed outright and another 130 wounded, but the death toll was expected to[Read More…]

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War threats mount as Iran exceeds limit on enriched uranium stockpile

War threats mount as Iran exceeds limit on enriched uranium stockpile

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran’s announcement Monday that it has breached the limit imposed by the 2015 nuclear agreement on the amount of enriched uranium the country is allowed to stockpile. The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Tehran and six major world powers—the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany—limited[Read More…]

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Fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Sea of Oman on June 13, 2019 [Credit: ISNA]

Trump doubles down on US lies about Iran

US President Donald Trump escalated the war threats against Iran Friday, insisting that Tehran was responsible for the damage done to two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman the previous day and vowing US retaliation for any Iranian action to shut the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Trump based his ignorant and belligerent remarks on a grainy, black-and-white video released[Read More…]

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Fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Sea of Oman on June 13, 2019 [Credit: ISNA]

US stages provocation in the Persian Gulf

The Trump administration’s thuggish secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, made a presentation to the media Thursday afternoon in which he asserted that Iran was responsible for suspected attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. These charges carry with them the threat of a war that would transform much of the Eurasian[Read More…]

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Washington pushes to brink of war against Iran

Washington pushes to brink of war against Iran

The abrupt trip staged by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Brussels to push Washington’s hard line against Iran, combined with the deployment of still more US military assets to the Persian Gulf, point to Washington’s calculated escalation of a war crisis in the region. Late Monday, the New York Times posted an article under the headline “White House Reviews Military[Read More…]

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Guaidó launches abortive military coup in Venezuela | Bill Van Auken 

Guaidó launches abortive military coup in Venezuela | Bill Van Auken 

A coup attempt launched Tuesday morning in Venezuela, distinguished by the brazen criminality of the US government in supporting and orchestrating it, appeared to have failed miserably by nightfall. The attempt was launched with the posting of a video by the US-backed right-wing puppet Juan Guaidó, backed by a few dozen men in military uniform outside the La Carlota air[Read More…]

Guaidó returns to Venezuela for next stage of US regime-change operation

Guaidó returns to Venezuela for next stage of US regime-change operation

Self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó returned to Venezuela after an 11-day absence Monday, escorted into the country by a phalanx of Western diplomats, including the ambassadors of the US, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil and several other countries. In advance of his return, Washington issued threats of retaliation against any attempt by Venezuelan authorities to apprehend Guaidó, who violated an order[Read More…]

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Washington issues ultimatum to Venezuela over “humanitarian aid” ploy

Washington issues ultimatum to Venezuela over “humanitarian aid” ploy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an ultimatum to the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday, demanding that it throw open its borders to a US-orchestrated scheme to deliver “humanitarian aid.” Washington’s aim is either to provoke a fissure within the country’s armed forces or set the stage for a US-led military intervention. “The Venezuelan people desperately[Read More…]

US coup bid pushes Venezuela closer to invasion or civil war

US coup bid pushes Venezuela closer to invasion or civil war

The US-orchestrated regime change operation continued to escalate tensions in Venezuela Friday, pushing the country closer to civil war or an outright US invasion. Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó, a leader of the right-wing Voluntad Popular party and president of the country’s National Assembly, who proclaimed himself the country’s “interim president” Wednesday with immediate backing from Washington, spoke[Read More…]

Venezuela’s Maduro sworn in for second term amid rising social unrest and threats of intervention

Venezuela’s Maduro sworn in for second term amid rising social unrest and threats of intervention

President Nicolas Maduro took the oath of office Thursday morning for a second six-year term under conditions of mounting social unrest within Venezuela and a concerted drive by the US, the European Union and the right-wing governments of Latin America to force him from power. Maduro was sworn in before the Venezuelan Supreme Court and not, as is customary, before[Read More…]

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Bombings kill 62 in Somalia amid escalating US scramble for Africa

Bombings kill 62 in Somalia amid escalating US scramble for Africa

The US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) claimed on Monday to have killed 62 members of the al-Shabab Islamist militia in a series of six airstrikes over the weekend in a coastal region south of Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu. The bombings were only the latest in a steadily escalating US air war in Somalia. They follow a pair of air strikes[Read More…]

The burning down of Brazil’s national museum: A capitalist crime against the heritage of humanity

The burning down of Brazil’s national museum: A capitalist crime against the heritage of humanity

  Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro was gutted Sunday night by a massive fire that consumed not only the historic 19tth century palace that housed the institution, but a vast and irreplaceable collection of what was by far the largest natural history and anthropology museum in Latin America. The majority of the 20 million items it contained were[Read More…]

UAE and US guilty of war crimes in Yemen torture centers, Amnesty charges

UAE and US guilty of war crimes in Yemen torture centers, Amnesty charges

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and mercenary forces operating under its command have carried out widespread forced disappearances, torture and murder of Yemenis suspected of opposing the more than three-year-old intervention by the oil-rich Gulf state in alliance with Saudi Arabia and Washington. This is the conclusion drawn by the human rights group Amnesty International after interviewing at least 75[Read More…]

Migrants from across sub-Saharan African - Mali, the Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger and more - are part of the mass migration toward Europe, some fleeing violence, others just hoping to make a living. (Jerome Delay/Associated Press)

Thousands of refugees forced onto death march into Sahara desert

  More than 13,000 refugees and migrants, including pregnant women and children, have been force-marched into the Sahara desert by Algerian security forces over the past 14 months, where many of them have died from hunger and exposure. The shocking revelation by the Associated Press was substantiated by videos showing hundreds of migrants stumbling through a sand storm and others[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Deadly siege of Yemeni port of Hodeidah begins with Washington’s aid and approval

Deadly siege of Yemeni port of Hodeidah begins with Washington’s aid and approval

Forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a long-anticipated siege of Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah Wednesday, in what is certain to be the bloodiest battle since the Saudis began bombing the impoverished Arab country in March 2015. The charity group, CARE International, reported 30 airstrikes in the space of a half an[Read More…]

Mass Murder In Gaza

Mass Murder In Gaza

The two events—occurring on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence—were juxtaposed by the media, broadcast simultaneously on split screens by television networks. What could not be concealed was the fact that the opening of the American embassy was entirely in line with and, indeed, a statement of political support for the massacre taking place at the security fence[Read More…]

Israeli Army Kills Four More Gaza Protesters

Israeli Army Kills Four More Gaza Protesters

For the fourth Friday in a row, the Israeli military responded to unarmed Palestinian demonstrators on Gaza’s eastern border with live ammunition, killing four and wounding hundreds. The wanton repression brings the number killed since the beginning at the end of last month of the “Great March of Return” protests to at least 39. Among those killed Friday was a[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Palestine
US Military-Intelligence Apparatus Presses for Further Strikes on Syria

US Military-Intelligence Apparatus Presses for Further Strikes on Syria

A US military intelligence report leaked to the corporate media makes the claim that the April 14 missile strikes carried out by Washington in conjunction with both the UK and France have failed to destroy the Syrian government’s alleged chemical weapons capabilities. It makes the implicit case for more extensive and deadly raids that could trigger a military confrontation with[Read More…]

Russian Diplomats Expelled Over Allegations Of Poisoning Of Ex-Spy In UK

Russian Diplomats Expelled Over Allegations Of Poisoning Of Ex-Spy In UK

The coordinated mass expulsion of Russian diplomats announced Tuesday by Washington, 14 European Union countries, Ukraine and Canada over allegations of Moscow’s responsibility for the March 4 poisoning of former Russian spy and British double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southern English city of Salisbury marks a major escalation of the political and military threats against Russia,[Read More…]

Washington Imposes Sanctions Against Russia

Washington Imposes Sanctions Against Russia

The Trump administration Thursday announced a new set of punitive sanctions against Russia, targeting 19 individuals and five organizations, including the country’s two main intelligence agencies, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor to the KGB, and the GRU, the intelligence arm of Russia’s military. Coming together with a virtually unprecedented joint statement by the heads of the US,[Read More…]

Lebanese Crisis Bound Up With War Drive Against Iran

Lebanese Crisis Bound Up With War Drive Against Iran

The resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announced Saturday in Riyadh over Saudi state media, marks a further escalation of the US, Saudi and Israeli preparations for military confrontation with Iran. After becoming prime minister for a second time in 2016—he previously held the office from 2009 to 2011—Hariri, the leader of the Lebanese Sunni Future Movement party, headed[Read More…]

Iraqi Sources Place Real Death Toll In US-Led Siege Of Mosul At 40,000

Iraqi Sources Place Real Death Toll In US-Led Siege Of Mosul At 40,000

According to intelligence reports from Iraq, the US-led massacre in Mosul has claimed a staggeringly higher toll of Iraqi civilian lives then had previously been reported. More than 40,000 men, women and children were killed in the grinding nine-month-long siege of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, according to a report published Thursday by the veteran Middle East correspondent for the British[Read More…]

US-Backed Siege Batters Old City Of Mosul

US-Backed Siege Batters Old City Of Mosul

  Backed by US airstrikes, artillery and special forces “advisors,” Iraqi troops began storming Mosul’s crowded Old City, where the United Nations estimates that some 150,000 civilians are trapped under the siege. Iraqi commanders have issued triumphalist statements hailing the offensive as the beginning of the end for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which took control of[Read More…]

In Visit To Israel, Trump Escalates Attacks On Iran

In Visit To Israel, Trump Escalates Attacks On Iran

Donald Trump made clear from the moment of his arrival in Israel Monday that the purpose of his trip, promoted by the White House and the media as part of a quest for “Middle East peace,” is the consolidation of reactionary regional alliance in support of a US military buildup against Iran. The US president flew to Tel Aviv directly[Read More…]

President Donald Trump xxx during a speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit, at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center, Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump’s Speech In Riyadh Signals US Escalation Against Iran

Riddled with hypocrisy, clichés and absurdities, President Donald Trump’s speech Sunday before an assembly of monarchs and despots in Saudi Arabia spelled out an agenda of escalating US militarism throughout the Middle East and a buildup in particular toward war with Iran. Hailed by a fawning American media as “presidential”–supposedly eclipsing for the moment the crises and factional struggles engulfing[Read More…]

Venezuelan opposition activists clash with the police during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro on April 6, 2017 in Caracas.
Violence erupted for a third straight day at protests against the government, escalating tension over moves to keep the leftist leader in power. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO

Death Toll Rises To 37 Amid Continuing Clashes In Venezuela

The death toll rose to at least 37 Thursday in the nationwide protests and street clashes that have gripped Venezuela over the past month. The identity of the latest victims reflects the violent and provocative character of the campaign being waged by Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, as well as the increasingly repressive crackdown being carried out by the government of President[Read More…]

US Threatens More Strikes After Cruise Missiles Hit Syria

US Threatens More Strikes After Cruise Missiles Hit Syria

The day after US warships rained some 60 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian government airbase, US officials made it clear that this unilateral and criminal attack against an oppressed former colonial country is merely the first shot in what is to be an escalating and widening campaign of American military aggression. The governor of Syria’s central Homs province reported Friday[Read More…]

As Yemen War Enters Third Year, Pentagon Moves To Escalate Slaughter

As Yemen War Enters Third Year, Pentagon Moves To Escalate Slaughter

The Pentagon has formally asked the Trump White House to lift limited restrictions imposed by the Obama administration on US military aid to the Saudi Arabian monarchy’s near genocidal war against the impoverished people of Yemen. The Washington Post reported Monday that Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a recently-retired US Marine general, had submitted a memo earlier this month[Read More…]

Trump Administration Secretly Resumes CIA Drone Assassination Program

Trump Administration Secretly Resumes CIA Drone Assassination Program

The Trump White House has secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to resume drone assassination strikes that in the latter years of the Obama administration had been largely reserved for the US military, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The Journal cited unnamed US officials revealing that the authorization was granted shortly after Trump visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia[Read More…]

WikiLeaks Reveals Vast CIA Spying, Cyberwar Operation

WikiLeaks Reveals Vast CIA Spying, Cyberwar Operation

The bitter internecine struggle within the US state apparatus and ruling political establishment, featuring unsubstantiated Democratic claims of Russian hacking in support of Trump, on the one hand, and Trump’s own charge that his campaign was bugged by Obama, on the other, was overshadowed Tuesday by a massive release of CIA documents by WikiLeaks. The 8,761 documents contained in what[Read More…]

Amid Mexico Talks, Trump Calls Deportations A “Military Operation”

Amid Mexico Talks, Trump Calls Deportations A “Military Operation”

Two days after rolling out a draconian immigration policy that threatens the deportation of millions of undocumented workers and their families, President Donald Trump described the unfolding crackdown as “a military operation.” Speaking to a White House gathering Thursday of top corporate bosses, including the CEOs of Dow Chemical, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar Inc., Trump hailed the escalation[Read More…]

Trump, Netanyahu Dismiss “Two-State Solution,” Threaten Iran

Trump, Netanyahu Dismiss “Two-State Solution,” Threaten Iran

  In a White House press conference Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump backed away from a decades-old pretense by Washington of a commitment to the pursuit of a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, echoing remarks by Netanyahu, Trump advanced a “much bigger deal, a much more important deal” that “would take in[Read More…]

Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Resigns

Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn Resigns

Donald Trump’s national security advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned late Monday following an escalating controversy in Washington over reports that he discussed anti-Russian sanctions with Moscow’s ambassador to the US in the month before President Donald Trump took office. Speculation within the media was rife Monday that Flynn could either be fired or forced to resign following the[Read More…]

Russia, Iran And Turkey Issue Joint Declaration On Syrian Settlement

Russia, Iran And Turkey Issue Joint Declaration On Syrian Settlement

After meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, top officials of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish governments issued a joint eight-point statement of principles calling for the extension of a ceasefire throughout Syria and a negotiated settlement between the Syrian government and its opponents. Much of the statement, dubbed by Russian officials as the “Moscow Declaration,” was boilerplate. It declared the three[Read More…]

Russia And Turkey Condemn The Assassination Of Russian Ambassador In Ankara

Russia And Turkey Condemn The Assassination Of Russian Ambassador In Ankara

An off-duty Turkish policeman shot and killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, Monday in front of a horrified audience at a photo exhibition in Ankara. The gunman was identified as a 22-year-old member of the Ankara riot police, Mevlüt Mert Altintaş. Dressed in a black suit and carrying his police ID, he entered the art gallery where Karlov[Read More…]

While Decrying “Massacre” In Aleppo, US Steps Up Bloodshed In Mosul

While Decrying “Massacre” In Aleppo, US Steps Up Bloodshed In Mosul

Even as columns of green buses were ferrying the last of the Western-backed Islamist “rebels” out of eastern Aleppo Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry took the podium at a State Department press conference to describe the situation in the northern Syrian city as “unconscionable” and to denounce the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out “nothing short[Read More…]

US-Russian War Tensions Mount Over Eastern Europe And Syria

US-Russian War Tensions Mount Over Eastern Europe And Syria

NATO defense ministers convened a two-day meeting in Brussels Wednesday to thrash out final plans for the deployment of some 4,000 combat troops organized in four battle groups within striking distance of Russia’s border. These front-line forces are to be backed by a 40,000-strong rapid reaction force capable of going into battle within days. The plan represents the largest military[Read More…]

Civilian Toll Mounts As Mosul Offensive Enters Second Week

Civilian Toll Mounts As Mosul Offensive Enters Second Week

With the US-led offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS), there are increasing reports of death and suffering on the part of Iraqi civilians caught up in the fighting and facing retribution from both ISIS and troops and militias loyal to Baghdad. Abdul-Ghani Asadi, the commander of the Iraqi army’s anti-terrorism contingent, reported Monday that Iraqi artillery has[Read More…]

Obama Administration Split On “Plan B” For Syria Intervention

Obama Administration Split On “Plan B” For Syria Intervention

The Obama administration’s National Security Council has discussed proposals for a “Plan B” in Syria, involving a major escalation of the five-year-old US intervention aimed at toppling the government of President Bashar al-Assad. “Plan B”—meant to signal Washington’s response to its failure to secure its goal of “regime change” by means of a negotiated agreement with Russia, the main ally[Read More…]

Turkish Bombing In Syria Threatens Wider War

Turkish Bombing In Syria Threatens Wider War

  The threat of the US military intervention in Iraq and Syria erupting into a far wider war has increased sharply in the wake of a series of Turkish air strikes against Syrian Kurdish militia forces that are aligned with Washington. The Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reported that Turkish war planes carried out 26 strikes against[Read More…]

US Has Spent Nearly $5 Trillion On Wars Since 9/11

US Has Spent Nearly $5 Trillion On Wars Since 9/11

In another indication of the terrible price paid by working people in the United States and all over the globe for the crimes of US imperialism, a new reportfrom Brown University estimates that Washington has squandered nearly $5 trillion since September 11, 2001 on the wars launched under the pretext of fighting terrorism. The report coincides with the 15th anniversary[Read More…]

Growing Disquiet In Washington Over Russian-Iranian Actions In Syria

Growing Disquiet In Washington Over Russian-Iranian Actions In Syria

Russian bombers used an air base in the northwest of Iran for a second day Wednesday to attack targets inside Syria described by Moscow as arms depots and command centers used to support jihadist militias fighting Syrian government forces for control of the city of Aleppo. The air strikes, carried out by Tupolev-22M3 long-range bombers and SU-34 tactical bombers, mark[Read More…]

A Week Before Rio Games, Protesters Extinguish Olympic Flame

A Week Before Rio Games, Protesters Extinguish Olympic Flame

  Protesting workers and youth in Angra dos Reis, a coastal town about 100 miles south of Rio de Janeiro, blocked an Olympic procession Wednesday night, seizing and extinguishing the Olympic torch before being driven back by police firing teargas and rubber bullets. The protest, coming barely a week before the August 5 opening of Rio Olympics, is emblematic of[Read More…]