Author Archives: Garry Leech

The Ghosts Within: A Journalist’s Struggle with PTSD

I was sitting by myself in a bar in Cali, Colombia when I suddenly burst into tears. Seemingly out of nowhere and for no apparent reason, the tears just flooded down my cheeks and I could not stop them. I didn’t know why I was bawling but I was conscious of being in a public place and needed to get out of there. I took a taxi back to my hotel where the crying continued. The next day I flew home to Canada on a journey filled with more inexplicable tears. During a layover in Panama City I sat in an airport restaurant crying for more than an hour. On the long flight to Toronto I cried some more. What was happening to me? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I was having an emotional breakdown. Continue reading

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Islamic Extremism is a Product of Western Imperialism

As we struggle to come to terms with the latest terrorist attacks in Brussels, it is important that we understand the causes of such extremism. After all, Islamic extremism was virtually unknown fifty years ago and suicide bombings were inconceivable. And yet today it seems that we are confronted with both on a daily basis. So what happened to bring Islamic fundamentalism to the forefront of global politics? While there are many factors involved, undoubtedly one of the primary causes is Western imperialism. Western intervention in the Middle East over the past century to secure access to the region’s oil reserves established a perfect environment in which Islamic fundamentalists could exploit growing anti-Western sentiment throughout the Islamic world, with some establishing violent extremist groups. The most recent consequence of this process is the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, which emerged out of the chaos caused by the US invasion of Iraq. Continue reading


Obama’s Cuba Visit Illustrates US Arrogance

In his speech to the Cuban people in Havana, President Barack Obama declared, “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. … I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past.” But Obama made clear that his desire to end the decades-long US economic blockade of the island is not a response to the sheer inhumanity of the policy, it is simply an acknowledgement that it has failed to bring down Cuba’s socialist system and return the country to capitalism. Obama then proceeded to spend much of his speech telling Cubans that they should live under a US-style democracy and a capitalist economy. In other words, he has no intention of leaving behind “the ideological battles of the past.” He is simply shifting strategy. Continue reading


Why America’s Next President Will Not Be a Socialist

With the latest polls showing US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders leading rival Hillary Clinton only weeks before the first two primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire, many Americans are contemplating the real possibility of having a socialist president in the White House. But even if Sanders wins the election, the United States will not have a socialist president. Why not? Because Sanders is not a socialist. Continue reading


The Hypocrisy of Obama’s Gun Control Crusade

President Barack Obama took to the stage last week to announce the latest initiative in his crusade to make it more difficult for Americans to purchase firearms. He even shed some tears for American children killed in mass shootings. But there is a blatant hypocrisy in Obama’s position on domestic gun control given that he has bombed more countries during his time in office than any president since World War Two. Where are his tears for the innocent Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani, Libyan, Syrian, Somali and Yemeni children who have been killed by his use of drones and other weapons? Continue reading