Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro took a historic trip to China this September. There, the two nations signed 31 comprehensive agreements and formally “upgraded” their relations to an “all-weather strategic partnership”, one of Beijing’s highest designations. China and Venezuela jointly blasted the “hegemonism” of the Western powers. Beijing formally condemned the illegal sanctions that Washington has imposed on Caracas. Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized this his government will “firmly support” Venezuela’s “just cause against external interference”. The global political and economic order is changing rapidly.
The phrase “Never Forget” is often associated with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But what does this phrase mean for U.S. students who are too young to remember? What are they being asked to never forget? As education researchers in curriculum and instruction, we have studied since 2002 how the events of 9/11 and the global war on terror are integrated into secondary level U.S. classrooms and curricula. What we have found is a relatively consistent narrative that focuses on 9/11 as an unprecedented and shocking attack, the heroism of the firefighters and other first responders and a global community that stood behind the U.S. in its pursuit of terrorists.
On Aug. 19, 1953, 70 years ago this week, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh—who had seized Iran’s vast oil fields from the British and put them under Iranian control—was removed from power in a coup organized and financed by the British and US governments. He was replaced by the dictatorial Shah, who immediately signed over 40% of Iran’s oil fields to US companies. The coup ushered in a long nightmare of repression, buttressed by Iran’s brutal secret police, SAVAK, trained and equipped by the CIA. The Shah not only crushed the democratic aspirations of Iranians, but enriched US oil companies and purchased billions of dollars of weapons from US weapons manufacturers.
More than 3,000 soldiers from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit were deployed by the US in the Red Sea on Sunday, August 6. They arrived on board two warships, USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall, and entered the Red Sea through the Suez canal, the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain said in a statement on Monday. “These units add significant operational flexibility and capability as we work to deter destabilizing activities and deescalate regional tensions caused by Iran’s harassment and seizures of merchant vessels,” Fifth Fleet spokesperson Commander Tim Hawkins told AFP.
The last time the United States placed armament and military personnel, ready to fight, on ocean-going commercial vessels was during the world wars of the 20th Century. In World War II, the U.S. Navy organized an Armed Guard that served on merchant ships — an unpopular duty, given how the freighters to which the sailors were assigned represented targets for the enemy at least as much as any offensive capability to inflict significant damage in return. Hundreds of these merchant ships were sunk despite their Navy contingent aboard, and some 2,000 members of the Armed Guard died.
Life-saving humanitarian coordination software used by the UN’s emergency response network was blocked in Syria after February’s devastating earthquake because of US sanctions, Middle East Eye (MEE) reported on 28 July. The online system is also inaccessible in Iran, which has suffered from devastating earthquakes in the past, and where the rapid coordinated deployment of search and rescue teams may prove crucial to save people trapped under rubble after an earthquake in the future. The 6 February earthquake killed tens of thousands of people across hundreds of kilometers of southern Turkiye and northern Syria, but thousands of people were also saved from collapsed buildings by search and rescue teams.
On Wednesday, July 26, scores of Iraqis protested in front of the country’s central bank in the capital Baghdad following a massive fall in the value of the Iraqi dinar that is attributed to the recent US ban on 14 private banks. The market rate of the Iraqi dinar in exchange for one US dollar has climbed up to 1,570 from 1,470 in the last two days. The US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve imposed the bans this month, accusing the banks of money laundering and transferring funds to Iran. The banks insist that they “have nothing to do with political tensions and are independent financial institutions” willing to face an audit to dispel any notion of wrongdoing or criminal activity.
The New Delhi Declaration was adopted on Tuesday, July 4, after a virtual meeting of the leaders of the nine-member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The declaration underlined the need for stronger and more effective international regimes and vowed to work for a more “just, democratic and multipolar world order.” The 23rd meeting of the Council of Head of States was hosted by India virtually. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the meeting along with leaders from Central Asian countries.
Five victims of chemical attacks launched by the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war are suing two Dutch companies for providing chemical materials that allowed Baghdad to manufacture mustard gas. The two companies — Otjiaha and Forafina Beleggingen — provided Iraq with chemicals between 1982 and 1984 during the Iraqi invasion of Iran. According to the lawsuit filed at The Hague, the Dutch companies were aware at the time that their products were being used to produce chemical weapons used against civilians. However, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant says the corporations dispute the accusations and maintain that the chemicals were meant for use as agricultural pesticides.
Several experts have emphasized that this visit aims to highlight similarities between the Islamic Republic and the three Latin American countries, particularly in their political stance towards the West. It’s important here to explain the political similarities between them from a historical perspective with a focus on the connection between Western ideology and colonialism. To understand the critique of the colonial project from an external perspective to the Western discourse, it is essential to grasp this ontological relationship between the West and colonialism..
Last week, Beijing hosted the first-ever tripartite security dialogue between Iran, Pakistan, and China. The gathering took place against the backdrop of recent border skirmishes between Iran and Afghanistan, and the Taliban government’s reluctance to crack down on militant groups operating within its borders. While Pakistani officials insist that the dialogue is intended to address local security issues and not act as an “an Afghan affairs watchdog” to fill the void left by the 2021 US troop withdrawal, geopolitical analysts say the talks will shape a new regional security and trade paradigm involving China, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Sir Halford John Mackinder, one of Britain’s most prominent theorists in the field of geopolitics, discusses the significance of land connectivity between nations in his 1904 essay called The Geographical Pivot of History. Besides introducing his notable Heartland Theory, Mackinder argued that advancements in transportation technology, such as the development of railways, have altered the balance of power in international politics by enabling a powerful state or group of states to expand its influence along transport routes. The establishment of blocs, like the EU or BRICS, for instance, aims to enhance communication between member states. This objective has positive implications for the economy and helps reduce the risk of tensions among them.
West Asia is a region that is currently experiencing a great deal of geopolitical activity. Recent diplomatic efforts, initiated by Russia and overseen by China, secured a long-elusive Iranian and Saudi Arabian rapprochement, while Syria’s return to the Arab League has been welcomed with great fanfare. The diplomatic flurry signals a shift away from the Imperial “Divide and Rule” tactics that have been used for decades to create national, tribal, and sectarian rifts throughout this strategic region. The proxy war in Syria, backed by the Empire and its terror outfits – including the occupation of resource-rich territories and mass theft of Syrian oil – continues to rage on despite Damascus having gained the upper hand.
The Syrian and Iranian presidents met in Damascus and announced their resolve to work for greater regional stability. They stressed that the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the region was necessary for this purpose. They emphasized that their mutual cooperation in the economic field is intended to be a strategic move to counter the impact of illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the US and some of its allies. The countries signed a long-term comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement during the state visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Damascus on Wednesday, May 3.
The New York Times (5/1/23), reporting on Iran’s execution of British spy Alireza Akbari, reported: The spy had provided valuable information — and would continue to do so for years — intelligence that would prove critical in eliminating any doubt in Western capitals that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. This is not correct; as FAIR has often pointed out (FAIR.org, 10/17/17, 9/9/15, 9/24/13; 1/31/13; Extra!, 3–4/08), the position of US intelligence is that it has no proof Iran has decided to build a nuclear weapon. As the US State Department reiterated in April 2022: The United States continues to assess that Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons–development activities it judge necessary to produce a nuclear device. This is a serious error that deserves prompt correction.