Stephen Gowans

Stephen Gowans

You are browsing the search results for "Stephen Gowans"

THE KILLER’S HENCHMAN, Capitalism and the Covid-19 Disaster

Summer 2021, the novel coronavirus is scything through populations worldwide. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announces the Covid-19 pandemic will end “when the world chooses to end it.… We have all the tools we need. They include proven public health and social measures; rapid and accurate diagnostics; effective therapeutics including oxygen; and of course, powerful vaccines.”

The pandemic didn’t end.

Much of the world ignored the proven health and social measures Tedros mentioned. On the other hand, China, Vietnam, New Zealand and a few other countries had used those measures successfully to drive infections to zero. The rest of the world preferred to let the virus to run riot, or impose half measures, and only when hospitals were under an unbearable strain.

The promised vaccine exit ramp turned out to be more mirage than oasis. Countries that rolled out vaccines quickly to large parts of their populations, soon turned to boosters, but with little success.

Poor- and middle-income countries meanwhile experienced a global vaccine apartheid. They were left waiting for crumbs to fall from the rich countries’ table, as new, possibly more virulent variants, threatened to emerge.

Stephen Gowans investigates why, when all the tools to avert a catastrophe were available, the world failed to prevent the Covid-19 disaster. He examines the business opportunities and pressures that helped shape the world’s failed response. His conclusion:  the novel coronavirus, a killer, had a helper in bringing about the calamity: capitalism, the killer’s henchman.

Exposing the role profit-making played in creating the disaster, Gowans shows how capitalism, its incentives, and its power to dominate the political process, impeded the protection of public health and prevented humanity from using the tools available to solve one of its most pressing problems.

Stephen Gowans is an independent political analyst and writer whose principal interest is how public and foreign policy is formulated, particularly in the United States. His writings, which appear on his What’s Left blog, have been reproduced widely in online and print media in many languages and have been cited in academic journals and other scholarly works. He is the author of three acclaimed books Washington’s Long War on Syria (2017), Patriots, Traitors and Empires, The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom (2018), and Israel, A Beachhead in the Middle East (2019) all published by Baraka Books. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.







COVID-19 UPDATE: Free Shipping in North America for all Baraka & QC Fiction Books

7 April 2020 – All books published by Baraka Books and our imprint QC Fiction are being shipped freely anywhere in North America when purchased on and QC Free shipping will last as long as the pandemic lasts. The main reasons are:

  • Most bookstores in North America have closed and Amazon has “deprioritized” books so that Mr. Bezos can make more money on people’s necessities.
  • Four books are due out on April 1. It was too late to hold off the pub date as the books were already in bookstores. The authors of these will simply not get the advantage of visibility among new releases. Please see the four books below.
  • We have a great backlist of books of all genres available.

The four new titles are:

A Stab at Life, A Mystery Novel by Richard King.
In this first “stab” at mystery novels, by coincidence, the heroine of A Stab at Life is … a nurse, and the action takes place in the Gursky Memorial Hospital in Montreal. Couldn’t be more appropriate. As Margaret Cannon wrote in the Globe and Mail : “…he has talent, wit and Montreal.” For bookseller and author Andreas Kessaris, A Stab at Life is a top-notch Montreal crime tale. When it comes to masterful storytelling, Richard is King.”

Things Worth Burying, A Novel by Matt Mayr
Described by one reviewer as “a working-class story of life at the struggling-to-get-by level, of a man who loves his child, his work and his hometown,” Matt Mayr has created characters that have been compared by a reviewer to “Steinbeck’s salt-of-the-earth migrant farmworkers … real, rough and shaped by tough times.” Hailing from Mantouwadge in Northern Ontario, he knows what he’s writing about.

Free of ‘Incurable’ Cancer, Living in Overtime by Susan Paton
Of author Susan Paton, Claudia Rainville writes, “Hers is the journey of a heroine. A heroine who overcomes her fears, doubts and suffering, but who ends up winning. A book of hope for those who think they’re doomed.”From QC Fiction

From QC Fiction:

The Art of The Fall, a play by Véronique Côté, Danielle Le Saux-Farmer et al.
In the current crisis, this play about love, art and the 2008 financial crisis couldn’t have been more timely. As Jacob Wren remarked, it is “Satire so sharp it cuts you then puts a price tag on the scars.”

In addition to these new titles, we’d like to draw your attention to some other great recent titles and authors.

From Baraka: Exile Blues by Gary Freeman; Fog by Rana Bose; The Daughters’ Story by Murielle Cyr; Yasmeen Haddad Loves Joanasi Maqaittik by Carolyn Marie Souaid

From QC Fiction: Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont (trans. Peter McCambridge) (Canada only); Prague by Maude Veilleux (trans. Aleshia Jensen and Aimée Wall); In the End Tthey Told Them All to Get Lost by Laurence Leduc-Primeau (trans. Natalia Hero); The Little Fox of Mayerville by Éric Mathieu (trans. Peter McCambridge), Brothers by David Clerson (trans. Katia Gubisic) and much more.

By David Vermette: A Distinct Alien Race, The Untold Story of Franco-Americans.
By Stephen Gowans: Israel, A Beachhead in the Middle East; Patriots, Traitors and Empires, The Story of Korea’s Fight for Freedom; Washington’s Long War on Syria.
By Gail Cuthbert Brandt: Through the Mill, Girls and Women in the Quebec Cotton Textile Industry 1889-1951
By Ishmael Reed: Why No Confederate Statues in Mexico and The Complete Muhammad Ali
By Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow: Charging Ahead, Hydro-Québec and the Future of Electricity
By Barry Sheehy: Montreal, City of Secrets, Confederate Operations in Montreal During the American Civil War
By Fred Jerome: The Einstein File, The FBI’s Secret War on the World’s Most Famous Scientist
By Robert Foxcurran, Michel Bouchard & Sébatien Malette: Songs Upon the Rivers, The Buried History of French-speaking Canadiens & Métis
By Claude Lacaille: Rebel Priest in the Time of Tyrants, Haiti, Ecuador and Chile (trans. Casey Roberts)

And on Public Health: Scandinavian Common Sense, Policies to Tackle Social Inequalities in Health  by Marie-France Raynault and Dominique Côté

Very best wishes during confinement.

For further information, communicate with Baraka Books at

Israel, A Beachhead in the Middle East

One US military leader has called Israel “the intelligence equivalent of five CIAs.” An Israeli cabinet minister likens his country to “the equivalent of a dozen US aircraft carriers,” while the Jerusalem Post defines Israel as the executive of a “superior Western military force that” protects “America’s interests in the region.” Arab leaders have called Israel “a club the United States uses against the Arabs,” and “a poisoned dagger implanted in the heart of the Arab nation.”

Israel’s first leaders proclaimed their new state in 1948 under a portrait of Theodore Herzl, who had defined the future Jewish state as “a settler colony for European Jews in the Middle East under the military umbrella of one of the Great Powers.” The first Great Power to sponsor Herzl’s dream was Great Britain in 1917 when foreign secretary Sir Arthur Balfour promised British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

In 1967 Israel launched a successful war against the highly popular Arab nationalist movement of Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, the most popular Arab leader since the Prophet Mohammed. Nasser rallied the world’s oppressed to the project of throwing off the chains of colonialism and subordination to the West. He inspired leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Muammar Gaddafi.

Viewing Israel as a potentially valuable asset in suppressing liberation movements, Washington poured billions into Israel’s economy and military. Since 1967, Israel has undertaken innumerable operations on Washington’s behalf, against states that reject US supremacy and economic domination. The self-appointed Jewish state has become what Zionists from Herzl to an editor of Haaretz, the liberal Israeli newspaper, have defined as a watch-dog capable of sufficiently punishing neighboring countries discourteous towards the West.

Stephen Gowans challenges the specious argument that Israel controls US foreign policy, tracing the development of the self-declared Jewish state, from its conception in the ideas of Theodore Herzl, to its birth as a European colony, through its efforts to suppress regional liberation movements, to its emergence as an extension of the Pentagon, integrated into the US empire as a pro-imperialist Sparta of the Middle East.

Stephen Gowans is an independent political analyst whose principal interest is in who influences formulation of foreign policy in the United States. His writings, which appear on his What’s Left blog, have been reproduced widely in online and print media in many languages and have been cited in academic journals and other scholarly works. He is the author of two acclaimed books Washington’s Long War on Syria (2017) and Patriots Traitors and Empires, The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom (2018), both published by Baraka Books.

In the media

“Stephen Gowans’ book is a concise and pertinent de-mythologizing of Zionist propaganda, from early Zionists and founders, to the fascist global right leadership at present … a tantalizing historical read, and a huge and valuable resource text, both.” John Steppling, Counterpunch

Patriots, Traitors and Empires

“In the night of our ignorance, North Korea confirms all stereotypes.”—Bruce Cumings

Patriots, Traitors and Empires is an account of modern Korean history, written from the point of view of those who fought to free Korea from the domination of foreign empires. It traces the history of Korea’s struggle for freedom from opposition to Japanese colonialism starting in 1905 to North Korea’s current efforts to deter the threat of invasion by the United States or anybody else by having nuclear weapons.

Koreans have been fighting a civil war since 1932, when Kim Il Sung, founder of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, along with other Korean patriots, launched a guerrilla war against Japanese colonial domination. Other Koreans, traitors to the cause of Korea’s freedom, including a future South Korean president, joined the side of Japan’s Empire, becoming officers in the Japanese army or enlisting in the hated colonial police force.

From early in the 20th century when Japan incorporated Korea into its burgeoning empire, Koreans have struggled against foreign domination, first by Japan then by the United States. Some protests were peaceful; others involved riots, insurrection and sustained guerrilla war. After the US engineered political partition of their country in 1945, the Koreans fought a conventional war, from 1950-1953. Three million gave their lives.

Examining the history of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Gowans shows that it can be accurately qualified a “US puppet state” or even “a stationary US aircraft carrier.” Only when faced with virtually insurmountable military threat did the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) resort to nuclear weapons to ensure its defense.

Patriots, Traitors and Empires, The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom is a much-needed antidote to the jingoist clamor spewing from all quarters whenever Korea is discussed.

Stephen Gowans is an independent political analyst whose principal interest is in who influences formulation of foreign policy in the United States. His writings, which appear on his What’s Left blog, have been reproduced widely in online and print media in many languages and have been cited in academic journals and other scholarly works. He is the author of the acclaimed Washington’s Long War on Syria (Baraka Books, 2017).

Stephen Gowans discusses Korea based on his work and forthcoming book with Phil Taylor on The Taylor Report.


“Stephen Gowans is not a writer to mince words or to defer to mainstream distortions. He makes no concessions to the standard self-serving Western narrative, and this is one of the reasons his work is so consistently refreshing. Gowans is also noted for his careful research and masterly knack for deploying information in support of logical analysis. Patriots, Traitors and Empires is no different in those respects. His book is an impassioned call for justice, imbued with a deeply felt sympathy for the Korean people and their struggle for freedom.”
— Gregory Elich in Zoom on Korea. Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and a Korea Policy Institute associate.

“It is always refreshing to read Stephen Gowans. … he does his homework and his writing is well-documented and far from the well-intentioned fluff that litter too many websites. He is careful to situate his subject within its context and he has a good eye for discerning what is important and what is of lesser consequence. These virtues are exemplified by his latest book… Stephen Gowans has written a marvellous and incisive study of modern Korea.”
— Tim Beal, author of Crisis in Korea (Pluto Press, 2011)

See Gowans’ first book Washington’s Long War on Syria


Washington’s Long War on Syria

“Stephen Gowans’ Washington’s Long War on Syria is probably the most important book
on the war in Syria that members of the general public should be reading right now.

Maximilian C. Forte, author of Slouching Towards Sirte.

When President Barack Obama demanded formally in the summer of 2011 that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step down, it was not the first time Washington had sought regime change in Damascus. The United States had waged a long war against Syria from the very moment the country’s fiercely independent Arab nationalist movement came to power in 1963. Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad were committed to that movement.

Washington sought to purge Arab nationalist influence from the Syrian state and the Arab world more broadly. It was a threat to Washington’s agenda of establishing global primacy and promoting business-friendly investment climates for US banks, investors and corporations throughout the world. Arab nationalists aspired to unify the world’s 400 million Arabs into a single super-state capable of challenging United States hegemony in West Asia and North Africa. They aimed to become a major player on the world stage free from the domination of the former colonial powers and the US.

Washington had waged long wars on the leaders of the Arab nationalist movement. These included Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria’s Assads. To do so, the US often allied with particularly violent forms of political Islam to undermine its Arab nationalist foes. By 2011, only one pan-Arabist state remained in the region—Syria.

In Washington’s Long War on Syria Stephen Gowans examines the decades-long struggle for control of Syria. This struggle involved secular Arab nationalism, political Islam, and United States imperialism, the self-proclaimed Den of Arabism, and last secular pan-Arabist state in the region.

Reviews and praise

Stephen Gowans’ Washington’s Long War on Syria is probably the most important book on the war in Syria that members of the general public should be reading right now….if you do not want repetition of more of the same, of the self-serving mantra that commands us to intervene in Syrian affairs, and to remake Syria nominally for the Syrians (but really for the sake of our corporations and political elites), then this is the book you will want to read.” Maximilian C. Forte, author of Slouching Towards Sirte, NATO’S War on Liby and Africa, Zero Anthropology

The war over Syria has been, in truth, a fight for control over the global economic and political order—a last, failing stand for a declining American empire to forestall the current shift toward a new global balance of power. Unlike so many hastily-written books on Syria that miss this point, Stephan Gowans’ work will prove to be an essential primer on the Syrian conflict for years to come. A must read.Sharmine Narwani, Journalist and Analyst of Mideast geopolitics.

Stephen Gowans paints a very clear portrait of the Syrian Arab Republic, and documents the extensive efforts from the Pentagon to bring it down. With the mainstream media spewing regime change propaganda 24-hours a day, Gowan’s book is a must-read. It tells the true story of the Syrian people and their struggles for independence and development, a story that desperately needs to be heard. This book would make even the most ardent interventionist question Washington’s policies. Gowan’s tells truths that are so deeply hidden in western countries, but yet are so vital in understanding world events.” Caleb Maupin, Journalist & Political Analyst

Gowans’ book is a timely and indispensable resource for those seeking to understand recent events in Syria.” Eva Bartlett, Independent Canadian Journalist

“Washington’s Long War on Syria” is a well-researched and highly readable account of why the United States has launched a major crusade to overthrow the Baathist government in Damascus.  Needless to say, the story it tells is completely at odds with the US-sponsored fairy tale about a brutal dictator crushing a democratic protesters, leaving noble Americans no choice but to ride to the rescue.” Dan Lazare, Journalist and Author

“[O]ne has to question why [western politicians] are so intent on removing Assad… Stephen Gowans does a good and thorough job providing answers. Washington’s Long War on Syria not only provides a counter-narrative to the popular western version of the Syrian protests, but more importantly, a history and discussion of western intervention rarely heard in western media.” Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch

Stephen Gowans runs the popular and widely read What’s Left webzine. Often interviewed on The Taylor Report (CIUT 89.5, Toronto), Stephen Gowans lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Patriots, Traitors and Empires, The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom will be published by Baraka Books on May 1, 2018.