On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the first foreign leader to speak with US President Joe Biden. The readouts of the call released by both sides, together with a flurry of commentary in the bourgeois press prior to and after Biden’s inauguration, underscore that Ottawa and Washington plan to expand their global military-strategic partnership so as to more aggressively challenge their great-power rivals, above all Russia and China.
The White House noted that the call focused on “the strategic importance of the U.S.-Canada relationship and reinvigorating our bilateral cooperation.” Trudeau’s office stressed America and Canada’s “shared values and interests on the global stage,” and announced a plan for the two leaders to meet again in a month’s time to expand “the deep and enduring friendship between Canada and the United States.”
These statements are not merely standard diplomatic niceties. On the contrary, the Canadian ruling elite wants to take advantage of the change in administration in Washington to repackage its collaboration with the United States in a more “progressive” wrapping.
Behind this, North America’s twin imperialist powers are preparing a dramatic intensification of their economic and military collaboration, an expansion of trade war measures, and an acceleration of preparations for military conflict with their great power rivals.
The main form these policies will take is a concerted push, particularly on the part of the Canadian ruling elite, for a “North America First” agenda. The fact that numerous senior advisers and policy experts have utilized this formulation in interviews and comments in recent weeks confirms how, in its fundamentals, the collaboration between the Biden administration and Trudeau government will rest on the same reactionary nationalist and protectionist basis as Trump’s “America First” program.
The “North America First” slogan is aimed above all at Russia and China, who are seen as direct competitors and strategic threats by Ottawa and Washington. Military strategists and defence experts have long been discussing the need to modernize the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), a bilateral Cold War-era mechanism uniting Canadian and US military forces. A key element in NORAD modernization is Canada’s integration into Washington’s ballistic missile defence shield and the deployment of new nuclear-capable missiles, steps whose logic is to place both countries on a course toward waging a “winnable” nuclear war with Beijing or Moscow.
Isn't it interesting that Roger can write about this but Naomi Klein can't? Isn't that interesting? She never calls out Canada. She's a fake ass and a sell-out and she doesn't realize how many bridges she burned when she started trashing Glenn Greenwald. The whore thought she could use her name to save The Intercept. She's garbage. She's a fake ass.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:
Monday, January 25, 2021. With or without attention from the US press, the Iraq War drags on still.
The disappointment that is Joe Biden, get used to it. SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND INSTITUTE reports of the new president:
Big pharma is smiling big right now. The big three insulin producers are Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk A/S, and Sanofi S.A., in which they dominate more than 90% of the world insulin market by value. After swearing-in, U.S. President Joe Biden’s HHS froze the Trump administration’s December 2020 drug policy that mandates community health centers to pass on all their insulin and epinephrine discount savings to patients.
The rule was finalized in late December 2020. The drug rule was put in place to benefit patients who have a hard time paying for expensive insulin and allergy medication. Former President Trump campaigned on lowering the price of important pharmaceutical drugs like insulin, which is used to treat diabetes, and epinephrine. Diabetes afflicts over a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries and drives billions in Medicare spending every year. More than 20 million Americans have diabetes, in which the body fails to properly use sugar from food due to insufficient insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas.
Jackson Hinkle covers it in the video below.
And it is price gouging. Big Pharma is profiting and Joe Biden's going to help him steal from people even more. Steal?
It is theft. They're not paying off some big investment (subsidized by the government) into coming up with insulin. As Senator Bernie Sanders noted in July of 2019:
The patent was sold for one dollar. Years ago. And yet Big Pharma wants to rip you off and risk your health and Joe Biden's on board with them. How very pathetic and telling about how the next four years will go.
When we covered this topic at THIRD, we ran the following photo.
Walmart knew what it was doing and so did the customers who saw the sign in the drug store window -- Walmart was saying to those who can't afford insulin (a huge number of people), 'We'll sell you pet insulin.'
Joe Biden's addiction to for-profit will be the death of many Americans.
And outside of the US? Over at THE NATION, they pretend to car about Iraq for a few seconds while pointing fingers. Please note, they do this by publishing an article already published elsewhere. They have how many writers on the payroll and not one can write about Iraq. Telling, isn't it? Danny SJursen's long article (already published elsewhere) includes this:
It’s increasingly clear that Washington’s legacy wars in the Greater Middle East—Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular—are generally no longer on the public’s radar. Enter an elected old man who’s charged with handling old business that, at least to most civilians, is old news. Odds are that Biden’s ancient tricks will amount to safe bets in a region that past US policies essentially destroyed. Joe is likely to take a middle path in the region between large-scale military intervention of the Bush or Obama kind and more prudent full-scale withdrawal.
As a result, such wars will probably drag on just below the threshold of American public awareness, while avoiding Pentagon or partisan charges that his version of cutting-and-running endangered US security. The prospect of “victory” won’t even factor into the equation (after all, Biden’s squad members aren’t stupid), but political survival certainly will. Here’s what such a Biden-era future might then look like in a few such sub-theaters.
That's it. One mention of Iraq in a sentence. A shared sentence with Afghanistan. "Generally no longer on the public's radar"? Well, golly, Danny, doesn't really appear that they're on your radar either.
The article's disgraceful. It has nothing about what's going on in Iraq currently. It has no new information. It does offer Danny's 'hot take' on Iraq that he could have written last year . . . or the year before . . . or the year before.
Thinks for keeping us uninformed, Danny, and thank you also to THE NATION for proving yet again to be a garbage dump of time and money.
While Danny's so 'circumspect,' Dirk Adriaensens can and does cover Iraq (GLOBAL RESEARCH via COUNTERINFORMATION):
Is it the oil-resource curse that has brought the Iraqi people to this deplorable condition? Or, have the US-installed political system and after them the Iranian influence over Iraqi politics, been the main reasons behind mischiefs such as the case of “an estimated $239.7 billion has left the country illegally since 2003”, currently being inquired by the Iraqi parliament. Most of this money was indeed oil money, meaning that both oil and revenue have been conveniently syphoned away from Iraq, leaving its people in harrowing dearth.” 
A Transparency International report, published March 16, 2005, states that: “The reconstruction of post-war Iraq is in danger of becoming ‘the biggest corruption scandal in history.”
The analysis underneath tries to give an overview – although incomplete – of the rampant corruption imported by the US invaders and optimized by its installed Quisling government. It is only one aspect of the total destruction of the Iraqi state. This is the story of a country that was targeted to become a failed state, by design of the imperialist and neoliberal US/UK elites, or should we call them “the organized-crime world syndicate”. The sectarian political and neoliberal economic system they installed is totally broken, beyond repair. The Iraqis call the period after the withdrawal of US combat troops “the second face of the occupation”, leaving in place all the neoliberal sectarian laws the occupiers enacted.
The criminal activities of the occupiers are well documented, many times reported and analysed, but the US still refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its gross violations of International Humanitarian Law. It’s very important that the true story of Iraq is repeatedly told, until it becomes part of humanity’s collective memory, because Iraq serves as a template for the nefarious consequences of what “humanitarian” imperial interventions really mean, as is the case for other “humanitarian” war zones, from Afghanistan to Libya. “Bringing democracy” is always the official narrative, the harsh reality however is destruction, plunder, submission, exploitation and oppression. The truths about corruption have to be documented, explained and repeated over and over again. Hence this article.
This is well formulated in the message that novelist, painter and poet John Berger (+ 02.01.2017) wrote on 18 June 2003 in support of the World Tribunal on Iraq initiative, the greatest achievement of the global peace movement ever:
“The records have to be kept and, by definition, the perpetrators, far from keeping records, try to destroy them. They are killers of the innocent and of memory. The records are required to inspire still further the mounting opposition to the new global tyranny. The new tyrants, incomparably over-armed, can win every war – both military and economic. Yet they are losing the war (this is how they call it) of communication. They are not winning the support of world public opinion. More and more people are saying NO. Finally this will be the tyranny’s undoing. But after how many more tragedies, invasions and collateral disasters? After how much more of the new poverty the tyranny engenders? Hence the urgency of keeping records, of remembering, of assembling the evidence, so that the accusations become unforgettable, and proverbial on every continent. More and more people are going to say NO, for this is the precondition today for saying YES to all we are determined to save and everything we love.”
[. . .]
From the first days after the invasion, the US and its coalition partners created a wasteful, opaque and corrupt system in Iraq. Massive theft, fraud, bribery and crimes of all kinds have failed reconstruction, infecting the government and wider society. There are hundreds of fraudulent, incomplete, failed or useless projects that have cost Iraq tens of billions of dollars. Judging from the final results, the projects have delivered surprisingly little lasting benefit to the Iraqis. These corrupt acts are a clear violation of the occupier’s responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention against Corruption (2003) and Security Council resolutions.
On corruption, Joel Wing Tweets:
The vast corruption is one of the things that has fueled the 15-month and counting protests in Iraq. THE NEW ARAB Tweets:
The protesters are also forming political alliances. IRAQ SOLIDARITY NEWS notes:
Kaamil Ahmed (MIDDLE EAST EYE) covers the same story. They're alsod emanding the release of those who are missing.
MEHR NEWS reports this morning, "The Saberin news channel reported in a breaking news item that a logistics convoy of the American occupiers had been targeted on the Basra-Nasiriyah highway on Monday." They note there were six strikes on US military convoys on Friday.
In other news of Joe Biden and Iraq, Yasmine Mosimann (RUDAW) reports:
The United States on Friday suspended a program that granted Iraqis
refuge in the US in exchange for aiding American troops in Iraq,
according to a statement from the state department.
“Effective January 22, 2021, the United States is suspending the Direct Access Program for the U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis for 90 days,” reads the statement from Daniel B. Smith, the acting secretary of state.
He justified the temporary halt to the program, which incentivized Iraqis to work with the US military, by saying they have identified individuals stealing documents from the state department’s Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System “to take advantage” of the program.
A new day dawning? Feels a great deal like past horrible days.