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New Lows for Obama’s Failed Middle East Policy

New Lows for Obama’s Failed Middle East Policy By Shamus Cooke
Shamus Cooke

Obama seemed so traumatized by his Middle East blunders he decided to take a break, giving Ukraine a try instead. The distraction was just what the president needed. And the U.S. media followed obediently, while barely glancing at the flames in the rear-view mirror — until another explosion piqued their interest. The predictable break down of peace talks […]

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The Fight for $15 Finally Comes to Portland

Shamus Cooke

Like the Occupy movement before it, the “fight for $15” came to Portland as a transplant. Portland activists watched events in Seattle with a skeptical eye, but Seattle’s “fantasy” of $15 was transformed into an emerging reality, now replete with the support of the Mayor and City Council who are working on a plan to implement […]

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Obama’s Far Right Foreign Policy

Shamus Cooke

“Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” — ancient proverb The conflicts in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria have one thing in common: the U.S. government is in favor of the groups who aspire to topple — or who have toppled — the government in power. Thus, U.S. politicians are […]

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The Murky Politics of the $15 Minimum Wage

Shamus Cooke

Seattle now resembles a mini-Venezuela. It’s not a perfect comparison, but like the average Venezuelan the people of Seattle are experiencing an explosion of political consciousness. Recently I took the three-hour drive from Portland, and although Seattle is only a couple of hundred miles away, it’s politically thousands of miles ahead of “progressive” Portland.  The “fight for […]

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SEIU 503 Rank and File Defeats Mega-Local Merger

Shamus Cooke

This article also appeared on Labor Notes. Union democracy triumphed in Oregon February 1 when rank-and-file members of Service Employees Local 503 organized to reject a top-down merger with SEIU Local 49. The merger would have created a two-state, 65,000-member mega-local in the Pacific Northwest. Union leaders—the upper echelon of elected leaders taking their marching […]

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Top Three Media Lies About the Syrian Peace Talks

Shamus Cooke

The media spin machine is again kicking into high gear, perfectly timed to accompany the “Geneva II” Syria peace talks. The lies are necessary to give the Obama administration an upper hand in the peace negotiations, which are not being used to pursue peace, but instead, to accomplish the Obama administration’s longstanding goal of Syrian regime […]

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The Left after the Failure of Obamacare

Shamus Cooke

It’s satisfying to watch rats flee a sinking ship. This is because onlookers knew the ship was doomed long ago, and swimming rats signify that the drawn-out tragedy is nearing an end. A collective sense of relief is a natural response. The rats who propped up the broken boat of Obamacare are a collection of liberal […]

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Last Chance for Peace in Syria: Will Obama Sabotage the Geneva II Syria Peace Talks?

Shamus Cooke

The war in Syria grinds on, an endless wreckage of shattered limbs and lives. The blood flows across borders, fueling the religious sectarian killing across the Middle East that is the life-blood of the Syrian conflict. Hopes rose in Syria after Obama’s last minute decision not to “punish Assad” with a missile attack. Then came the U.S.-Iran […]

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Are Obama’s Middle East Peace Talks Sincere?

Shamus Cooke

Should we trust Obama to be honest in his peace talks with Iran and Syria? His lightning shift from warmonger to peacemaker surprised everyone, including his closest regional allies — Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — not to mention the entire U.S. congress, many of whom seem intent on sabotaging the Iran peace talks by […]

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Unternehmensgewinne Steigen auf Rekordhöhe – Die Superreichen Erfinden eine Neue Spielart des Amerikanischen Kapitalismus

Shamus Cooke

A German translation of The Super Rich Reinvent U.S. Capitalism. Während die amerikanischen Unternehmensgewinne auf Rekordhöhe ansteigen, werden Lebensmittelhilfen für die Bedürftigsten in aller Stille gekürzt. Die Politiker, die weitere endlose Kürzungen der Sozialhilfe verlangen – Demokraten ebenso wie Republikaner –, beschwören die Krise in den USA – und übersehen dabei geflissentlich den sich ständig […]

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The Super Rich Reinvent U.S. Capitalism

Shamus Cooke

As U.S. corporate profits soar to record highs, food stamps for the neediest were quietly cut. The politicians who are demanding endless cuts to social programs — Democrats and Republicans alike — insist that the U.S. is broke, all the while conveniently ignoring the mountains of tax-free wealth piling up in the pockets of the super […]

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I super-ricchi reinventano il capitalismo USA

Shamus Cooke

An Italian translation of The Super Rich Reinvent U.S. Capitalism.  Mentre i profitti delle imprese statunitense hanno un’impennata record, i buoni alimentari per i più bisognosi sono tagliati in sordina. I politici che pretendono tagli infiniti ai programmi sociali – senza distinzione tra Democratici e Repubblicani – insistono che gli Stati Uniti sono alla bancarotta, […]

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Is Obama Fundamentally Shifting His Middle East Strategy?

Shamus Cooke

The Saudis and Israelis are fuming. Obama’s talks with Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani point to a possible new direction in U.S.-Middle East policy. Iran is the regional archrival of the Saudis and Israelis, who for decades have shared the mantle as the main U.S. allies in the Middle East. The Arab Spring has — along with […]

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The Coming Grand Bargain: “We’re All Neoliberals Now”

Shamus Cooke

After the U.S. government shutdown you’d expect Republicans and Democrats to remain at each others’ throats, so different was their vision for the country, or so it appeared. In reality, however, only a bit of the political theater was reserved for “Tea Party” Republicans to invest in their political future by denouncing Obamacare, which they […]

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Fast Food Workers Win a Union…through Zoolidarity

Shamus Cooke

This article originally appeared in Labor Notes.  Union members have watched in awe as fast food workers struck over the last year, calling for “$15 and a union.” Despite the slogan, however, the prevailing wisdom has been that union recognition isn’t really the goal; that’s too hard against giant employers insulated by a layer of franchises, […]

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Is Capitalism to Blame for the Syrian War Drive?

Shamus Cooke

Obama’s push for war in Syria seemed so deeply irrational, so crazed, that many people naturally asked, “Why is this happening?” And “who” wants it to happen? Few Americans actually believed that Nobel Peace Prizing winning Obama suddenly wanted to bomb Syria because “Assad gassed his own people” (especially when zero evidence was given to […]

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Labor Leaders, Obamacare, and the Fate of the Unions

Shamus Cooke

A funny thing happened a couple of months ago: labor leaders finally awoke from their coma and realized that Obamacare was not only bad for unions, but for working families in general. Once the biggest salespeople of the bill’s passage, union leaders are suddenly full of rage and “shock” at the realities of Obamacare. The […]

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Obama’s War Grows as Support Shrinks

Shamus Cooke

Some careful listening has exposed the lie that a U.S. attack (war) against Syria would be, as Obama put it, “a shot across the bow,” i.e. a “tiny war.” But even before the first missile is launched the birth of Obama’s baby war began to grow, and when it’s eventually unleashed it will resemble any other fully […]

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How the U.S. Left is Failing Over Syria

Shamus Cooke

It’s now painfully clear that Obama’s war on Syria is a replay of Bush’s march to war in Iraq, both built on lies. Zero evidence has been put forth that proves the Syrian government used chemical weapons. On the contrary, evidence has been recorded that suggests the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels are responsible for the attack. […]

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The Lie of “Limited” War Against Syria

Shamus Cooke

The rats are jumping ship. Obama’s strongest allies can’t stomach the stench of lies that are the foundation of the war effort against Syria. Even England, whose entire foreign policy is reduced to asking “how high?” when the U.S. says “jump,” opted to stay grounded for Obama’s war drive.  The Arab League, too, having long been […]

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Die Lüge von einem ‚begrenzten’ Krieg gegen Syrien

Shamus Cooke

A German translation of The Lie of the “Limited” War Against Syria. Die Ratten verlassen das Schiff. Obamas engste Alliierte halten den Gestank der Lügen nicht mehr aus, die die Grundlage für den Krieg gegen Syrien bilden. Sogar England, dessen gesamte Aussenpolitik sich auf die Frage „wie hoch?“ beschränkt, wenn die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika […]

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War With Syria and Its Repercussions

War With Syria and Its Repercussions
Shamus Cooke

A U.S. invasion of Syria could be the first war based on a zero evidence currently exists to suggest this). An extra U.S. warship has already been deployed in response. Instead of responsibly waiting for the UN chemical weapons team — which is already in Syria — to investigate the incident, the Obama administration has already stated […]

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The AFL-CIO’s New Strategy: Inspiration or Hype?

The AFL-CIO's New Strategy: Inspiration or Hype?
Shamus Cooke

After years of embarrassing denial, the AFL-CIO recently took its first baby step in addressing the crisis that has engulfed organized labor: it recognized there was a problem. In the run up to its national convention in early September in Los Angles, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recently admitted that “what we’ve been doing isn’t working,” and […]

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A Big Victory For Oregon’s Biggest Union

A Big Victory For Oregon's Biggest Union By Shamus Cooke
Shamus Cooke

After years of painful backsliding, the state workers of Oregon’s largest union, SEIU 503, recently stood firm and scored a big win in their contract negotiations against the state’s anti-union Democratic governor, John Kitzhaber. After again demanding many anti-union concessions, Oregon’s Democratic governor backed down when the union proved organized and ready to wage a […]

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Egypt’s Revolution After the Smoke Clears

Shamus Cooke

In times of crisis people strive for easy answers to complex situations. In Egypt this has resulted in absurdly digestible sound bites, where one side is labeled “good”(the Muslim Brotherhood), the other “bad” (the army), and the revolution as a whole is condemned as an atrocity. But the situation in Egypt is especially contradictory, and untying the […]

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La rivoluzione in Egitto oltre la cortina di fumo

Shamus Cooke

An Italian translation of Egypt’s Revolution After the Smoke Clears. In tempi di crisi le persone si sforzano di avere facili risposte a situazioni complesse. In Egitto ciò  ha portato a insulsaggini assurdamente digeribili, in cui un lato viene etichettato “buono” (Fratelli musulmani) e l’altro “cattivo” (l’esercito), e la rivoluzione nel suo complesso condannata come […]

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O momento Bush de Obama – A mentira da guerra “limitada” à Síria

Shamus Cooke

A Portuguese translation of The Lie of a Limited War Against Syria. Os ratos abandonam o navio dos ratos. Nem os mais fortes aliados de Obama aguentam o fedor das mentiras que são a ‘base’ do esforço de guerra contra a Síria. Até a Inglaterra, cuja única política exterior é perguntar, “de que altura?” quando […]

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A Path Forward for Egypt’s Revolution

A Path Forward for Egypt's Revolution Shamus Cooke August 4, 2013
Shamus Cooke

The battle for the future of Egypt is underway, and it’s chaos. There has been violence on both sides of the divide, with the military inflicting the heaviest doses on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. The violence combined with any lack of long-term solution could bode poorly for Egypt’s future, but the situation is in extreme flux, […]

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Why No Revolution Exists in Syria

Why No Revolution Exists in Syria
Shamus Cooke

The era of Arab Spring euphoria is long ended, having devolved into doubt, confusion or wholesale rejection. Libya and Syria put an abrupt end to the Arab Spring celebrations, with the current situation in Egypt adding to the frustration. Part of the problem in deciding whether a particular side in these conflicts deserves support or […]

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What’s Next for the Egyptian Revolution

Shamus Cooke

Egyptians are making history at a frantic pace. After the largest protests in Egypt’s history initiated the downfall of the first Muslim Brotherhood government, a military-led massacre of Muslim Brotherhood faithful quickly altered the political dynamic. Everything is in flux. The people of Egypt have now deposed of two governments amid one of world history’s strongest revolutionary […]

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Che cosa avverrà prossimamente nella Rivoluzione egiziana?

Shamus Cooke

An Italian translation of What’s Next for the Egyptian Revolution. Gli Egiziani stanno facendo la storia a un ritmo frenetico. Dopo che le più imponenti dimostrazioni di protesta nella storia dell’Egitto, hanno dato il via alla caduta del primo governo dei Fratelli Musulmani, un massacro condotto dai militari di fedeli dei Fratelli Musulmani, ha alterato […]

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How Egypt Killed Political Islam

How Egypt Killed Political Islam Shamus Cooke July 5, 2013
Shamus Cooke

The rebirth of the Egyptian revolution ushered in the death of the first Muslim Brotherhood government. But some near-sighted analysts limit the events of Egypt to a military coup. Yes, the military is desperately trying to stay relevant — given the enormous initiative of the Egyptian masses — but the generals realize their own limitations in this context better than […]

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Come l’Egitto ha ucciso l’Islam politico

Shamus Cooke

An Italian translation of How Egypt Killed Political Islam. La rinascita della rivoluzione egiziana ha eliminato il primo governo dei Fratelli musulmani. Ma alcuni analisti miopi limitano gli eventi in Egitto al colpo di Stato dei militari. Sì, l’esercito cerca disperatamente di rimanere un’entità rilevante, data l’enorme iniziativa delle masse egiziane, ma i generali comprendono […]

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How Edward Snowden and Syria Will Change Obama’s Foreign Policy

Shamus Cooke

When the National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandal broke, so did the illusion that President Obama was significantly different than his predecessor, Bush Jr. Obama’s meticulously crafted image was specifically created as an alternative to Bush: Obama campaigned as a peace candidate who loved civil liberties and wanted to work with the UN instead of unilaterally […]

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Syria Is Becoming Obama’s Iraq

Syria Is Becoming Obama's Iraq By Shamus Cooke
Shamus Cooke

In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal. […]

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