Is Canada’s ‘Left’ Marching To The Beat of America’s Imperial Drum?

For the Real News Network, I speak to Canadian author and activist Yves Engler about his new book, “Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada.”

As Yves explains, the leadership of the NDP and other establishment figures of Canada’s ‘left’ have a lengthy history of vigorous support for Western imperialism.

A case in point is the NDP leadership’s attitude toward Israel and Russia: the NDP’s foreign affairs critic Hélène Laverdiere has called on the Canadian government to impose harsher sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea, but at the NDP’s most recent convention, Ms. Laverdiere was opposed to holding a debate on a resolution calling for modest sanctions on Israel, which has annexed the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem in flagrant violation of international law.

The first part of my two-part discussion with Yves can be seen here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/is-canadas-left-marching-to-the-beat-of-americas-imperial-drum-1-2?fbclid=IwAR0AbNdjzt_ZBB-rjBxEU1V6_n6RTBsfukLKHjfCWuQjgfGN9mImQx8Yxp4

 

Arms Races Increase Atomic Arsenals, Raising the Risk of Nuclear Winter

For the Real News, I speak to Professor Alan Robock, a climate scientist who specializes in the climactic effects of nuclear weapons.

As Professor Robock explains, nuclear blasts produce massive fires, and the smoke from those fires blocks sunlight and can thereby precipitate a “nuclear winter” that would have catastrophic effects on agriculture and cause mass starvation.

Professor Robock’s view is that even a limited nuclear war has a high potential to precipitate a nuclear winter, yet his interactions with the Pentagon lead him to believe that Pentagon planners are utterly ignorant of the potential for a nuclear conflict to precipitate mass starvation.

As he states, “I have no evidence that anybody in the Pentagon knows anything about nuclear winter. I’ve never seen them state that this is a concern of theirs. I went to a meeting last year and talked to some military people, and they said, ‘Look, we understand the effects of blast from nuclear weapons, we understand the effects of radio activity, but we don’t understand the effect of fires, and so in our current planning, we just ignore them.’”

My discussion with Professor Robock can be seen and heard here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/arms-races-increase-atomic-arsenals-raising-the-risk-of-nuclear-winter

‘Poison Papers’: US and Canadian Regulators Colluded with Manufacturers of Highly Toxic Substances

In late 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy and Dr. Jonathan Latham published a trove of documents known as “the poison papers.”

The poison papers are a compilation of over 20,000 documents obtained from federal agencies and chemical manufacturers via open records requests and public interest litigation. They reveal that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Canada’s Health Protection branch colluded with industry to conceal the risks of products containing dioxins.Dioxins are arguably the most toxic substances ever discovered.

For the Real News, I speak to Dr. Latham about the appalling complicity of U.S. and Canadian regulators in the dioxin cover-up.

My interview of Dr. Latham can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=21687#.Wus_8C7EMsw.twitter

Under Trump, How Will the U.S. Military Prepare for Displacement Caused By Climate Change?

Recently, America’s climate change denier President removed climate change from the list of national security threats.

For the Real News, I speak about this development with Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

According to Col. Wilkerson, Trump’s move has not diminished the Pentagon’s deep and growing concern about climate change. On the contrary, national security simulations run by U.S. authorities foresee the possibility of up to 500 million climate refugees clamouring for access to regions where they can obtain food and water.

My interview of Col. Wilkerson can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=21536

Mad Man vs. Rocket Man: North Korea Crisis Hits Fever Pitch

For The Real News, I speak to Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, about the latest salvo in the war of words between Trump and North Korea’s dictator. According to Col. Wilkerson, Trump’s speech at the United Nations was “horrible, atrocious, unbelievable” and the “most embarrassing speech.” Even more troubling is Col. Wilkerson’s view that Trump is perfectly capable of ignoring advice from his military advisers to exercise restraint. My interview of Col. Wilkerson can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20065.

Does Canada have a Foreign Policy that is Independent of U.S. Foreign Policy?

On April 4, just before Trump’s attack on the Syrian government, I interviewed Yves Engler for the Real News. The question which Yves and I discussed was whether Canada truly has an independent foreign policy. As Yves explains in this interview, there are few if any material differences between Canadian and U.S. foreign policy on the key foreign policy issues confronting the Canadian government. Sure enough, within days of this interview, the Trudeau government expressed unqualified support for Trump’s attack on the Syrian government. Trudeau declared his support for Trump’s attack despite the facts that Trump has demonstrated utter contempt for human rights, and Trudeau had just acknowledged that it was not yet known who had committed the gas attack in Syria. It therefore appears that Trudeau will continue Canada’s inglorious tradition of reflexive and unqualified support for U.S. foreign policy. With a man like Trump in the White House, this should be deeply worrying to all Canadians.

My interview of Yves can be seen here:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:18815:Does-Canada-Have-a-Foreign-Policy-Independent-of-the-US%3F

27 Former Attorneys of Wall Street Law Firm Sullivan & Cromwell Call on Trump’s Nominee for SEC Chair to Denounce Trump’s Travel Ban

I have joined 26 other former attorneys of Sullivan & Cromwell in signing an open letter to Jay Clayton, a Sullivan & Cromwell partner who has been named by Donald Trump to head the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In our letter, we call upon Mr. Clayton to speak out against Donald Trump’s travel ban. The full text of our letter is set forth below.

A NY Times article discussing our open letter can be found here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/business/dealbook/sec-nominee-travel-ban-trump-jay-clayton.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share.

[Open Letter of March 16, 2017]

Dear Jay,

We the undersigned are former attorneys of Sullivan & Cromwell. As your colleagues in the legal profession and your former colleagues at the firm, we congratulate you on your recent nomination by President Donald J. Trump to the position of Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Not all of us have worked directly with you. But by observation and reputation each one of us regards you as a person of professionalism and integrity and as a leader of the firm, our profession and our community.

We write to ask you, as a leader of the firm, our profession and our community, to speak out against President Trump’s Executive Order 13769 of January 27, 2017 and subsequent Executive Order 13780 of March 6, 2017—both entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”—and the actions of the current administration relating to the Executive Orders.

We are certain that you are familiar with the recent actions and statements of the President, and the administration you have been asked to serve, regarding individuals of the Islamic faith and regarding the entry into the United States of refugees and immigrants.

We have observed these actions and statements with growing alarm.

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13769, which, among other things, suspended for 90 days the entry into the United States of citizens of the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya; suspended all United States refugee admissions for 120 days; and suspended indefinitely the entry of all Syrian nationals as refugees.

We are aware, as you must be, of the disturbing reports and allegations regarding the implementation of Executive Order 13769 by officials of this administration. Those reports and allegations include: that such officials have detained individuals to whom the United States has already granted legal permanent residency; that they have pressured holders of lawfully issued U.S. visas to waive their rights under those visas and leave this
country under threat of deportation; that they have barred detainees from speaking with legal counsel; and that they have acted in contempt of federal court orders to desist.

We hope you understand that we oppose any such actions and the harm they threaten to inflict on countless individuals and their families, and the moral standing and security of the United States.

On March 6, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13780, to take effect March 16, 2017, superseding Executive Order 13769 and modifying its terms in response to judicial scrutiny and public criticism. Among other things, the March 6 Executive Order exempts U.S. legal permanent residents and individuals holding valid visas on the effective date of the Executive Order (Sections 3(a), 3(b)), and no longer suspends entry to the United States by Iraqi nationals (Sections 1(g), 2(c)).

Executive Order 13780 again suspends for 90 days the entry to the United States of any citizen of Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia or Libya who is not covered by an exemption or a discretionary waiver by U.S. officials, and states that these individuals “present heightened risks to the security of the United States” (Sections 1(e), 2(c)). The revised Executive Order also reinstates the President’s suspension of refugee admissions for
120 days (Section 6(a)).

We cannot predict either the further modifications that may be made to the
Executive Order, or the course of the ongoing litigation relating thereto. We have noted, however, the administration’s statements that the revised Executive Order does not reflect any change in the intentions or the policy of this administration. We believe that despite any such modifications, the revised Executive Order will continue to cause needless confusion,
suffering and fear.

Among those directly affected by the Executive Orders are members of the
legal profession seeking to join U.S.-based firms such as Sullivan & Cromwell. Thanks to the uncertainty created by the Executive Orders, for example, law graduates who have earned and accepted offers of employment at U.S. firms now fear they will be unable to practice in the
United States, merely because they are citizens of countries identified in the Executive Orders. Signatories to this letter already know of students who have been so affected.

We believe the issues surrounding the Executive Orders to be of such importance that all of President Trump’s nominees to serve this administration should be asked, during the confirmation process, to state for the record whether they support or oppose the Executive Order, either in its original or revised form; whether they agree with the actions that have been taken to implement the Executive Orders; and whether they accept or reject this administration’s ongoing efforts to ban refugees and Muslims—including many of our colleagues in the legal profession and, in all likelihood, some of your past, present and future colleagues at the firm—from entering the United States. We intend to call on our congressional representatives to demand as much.

When the time comes to record your own position, we ask that you honor the values of our profession, our community and our country by unequivocally opposing the Executive Orders and the unlawful, cruel and shameful actions of this administration.

We have no doubt that as Chairman of the SEC you will fulfill your
responsibilities with integrity and in keeping with those values. We trust that, in carrying out those responsibilities, you will continue to oppose unlawful actions and abuse of power by this administration, as we are asking you to do now.

By refusing to remain silent on this matter, you will join us and the many others in our community who have stood, and will continue to stand, in defense of those targeted at the order of the President you are about to serve—in the courts, in the streets, in airport terminals in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere. We believe that our present circumstances demand no less.

Very truly yours,

Mohammad Fadel
S&C 2001-2005

Chiansan Ma
S&C 2011-2016

Amma Anaman
S&C 2012-2015

M. Shams Billah
S&C 2011-2015

Peter Chang
S&C 2010-2014

Randall Clark
S&C 2010-2012

Julie Bellware Crampton
S&C 2012-2016

Ahmed el-Gaili
S&C 2003-2009

Moshe Fessel
S&C 2001-2008

Connie Lam
S&C 2013-2016

Dimitri Lascaris
S&C 1990-1995

Marine Le Quillec
S&C 2013-2015

Sung-Jin Lee
S&C 2010-2015

Nicholas Melling
S&C 2012-2013

Kamil Robakiewicz
S&C 2012-2014

Damien G. Scott
S&C 2009-2013

Maureen Sheehan
S&C 1998-2004

Kai Sheffield
S&C 2012-2017

Jorge Solís
S&C 2010-2015

Danielle Stampley
S&C 2010-2012

Heather Stevenson
S&C 2011-2014

Nisha Vora
S&C 2012-2014

Benjamin J. Wolfert
S&C 2012-2014

Vic Xu
S&C 2015-2016

Kashif Zaman
S&C 2001-2005

Elise Zealand
S&C 2000-2003

Daniel Zharkovsky
S&C 2011-2014