Perceptions of the crisis in Ukraine have been driven by the media. The Western press has taken a guardedly positive line toward the protestors in Maidan Square, constructing the flirtations of the Ukrainian opposition with NATO and the EU as simple struggles for freedom and the rule of law, mostly ignoring the neo-fascist presence in the movement. (More…)

Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations are the biggest journalistic event in the past decade, and certainly the most important US leak since the Pentagon Papers. They have exposed practices that have been judged to be government privacy boards to be illegal, and by courts as an affront to the Constitution. And they have demonstrated that large amounts of state surveillance in the post 9/11 era have nothing to do with terrorism. (More…)

Followers of events in Syria were treated with a taste of the absurd this week. Vladimir Putin wrote a bizarre op-ed for the New York Times in which he argued against U.S. intervention. Predictably, it inspired an untold number of commentaries, ranging from sarcasm and ridicule, to blunt outrage from American leaders.  I’d only recommend Max Fisher’s piece in the Washington Post, since it takes Putin’s opinions more seriously than others. (More…)

We’re just about at war. ABC’s Alexander Marquart tweeted that the Obama Administration is pressuring U.N. inspectors, who are investigating reports of a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime, to leave Syria as soon as possible. We should take that as evidence that the U.N.’s fact-finding mission is over. (More…)

In a piece published closely after the military ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board argued: “Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took over power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.” (More…)

Apologists are always the same. Whether they’re rationalizing war crimes, or promoting reactionary ideologies, they always feign distance from what’s being defended. Why do they insist on appearing impartial? It never works for me. Rats always smell like rats. There’s no disguising them. I’m not the only journalist who feels this way. (More…)

A month after Boston’s Patriot Day bombings, the world’s eyes were drawn to Woolwich, a previously unheard of district in south London. Two Muslim converts of Nigerian descent had run over British Army Private Lee Rigby, following which they used knives and a cleaver to hack him to death. (More…)

Souciant is no stranger to dissent. Since it was first launched, the site has been subject to repeat hacking attempts by neo-Nazis, and furious posts from the entire spectrum of political opinion. But none of that could have prepared me for Reddit’s scrubbing of links to my meditation on the so-called celebration of Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s passing.  (More…)

Almost everywhere I look, I see condemnations of the celebration of Margaret Thatcher’s death.  I haven’t seen many celebrations, but then, at the moment, I am sadly even more miles from George Square than usual. But I will say for certain, I have not seen any jubilation on my Facebook or Twitter feeds. If only things were that simple. (More…)

Enter the name “Anne Frank” in Google News. The results will surprise you. Over 5,000 entries are listed; 5662, to be precise,  if you look at the stories under ‘Anne Frank’ of Pakistan still critical, in CanIndia, the Canadian-Indian community paper. For a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl, who died in Bergen-Belsen in 1945, that’s a lot of  press. How do we explain it? These aren’t just archival listings. This is hard news. (More…)

The reaction was intense. Within an hour, a post I’d written, about Latinos in Italy, was being torn apart. Why was I interested in Peruvian restaurants? What was wrong with local Mexican cuisine? Why move from San Francisco, and think about anything other than Milan? And yet, the article was immensely popular. It went to number one on Reddit Italy, and generated thousands of readers. I even received some very nice private emails thanking me for raising the subject. (More…)

On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence and was immediately recognized by the United States. On May 14, 2012, Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, whined in the Wall Street Journal over the low opinion the State of Israel is held in by much of the world. (More…)