- Category: News & Analysis
- Created on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 18:10
- Written by Mike Ely
Bush was touring Iraq, proclaiming his final aggressive escalation (”the surge”) as the greatest success in the history of the U.S. military.
Suddenly, at a press conference, an Iraqi television journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia, stood up about 12 feet from Mr. Bush and shouted in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” He threw a shoe at Mr. Bush, who ducked. Zaidi then threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!
Over a year of polemics, many revolutionaries have worked to excavate and repudiate the direction of the Revolutionary Communist Party. There is much to deepen, of course, especially in the sphere of theory and historical summation, as revolutionaries move forward to reconceive and regroup within new communist coherencies -- but after this first year, the RCP appears increasingly in the rear view mirror.
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People We Will Miss (and Some We Won't):
Anuradha Gandhi: Maoist leader in India On April 12, 2008 Anuradha (alias Narmada, Varsha, Janaki, Rama) passed away after an attack of falciperum malaria. With this the Indian working class lost one of its ablest and topmost woman leaders who with sheer hard work, deep ideological and political study, and revolutionary dedication rose from the ranks to become a member of the Central Committee of the C.P.I (Maoist).
The oppressed women of India lost one of the greatest champions of their cause, one who, for more than three and a half decades, relentlessly organized them, led them into struggles against oppression and exploitation; the Nagpur dalit masses and workers of the unorganized sector lost a leader who stayed among them, awakening and organizing them; and the adivasi masses of Bastar, especially those of South Bastar, worst affected by the genocidal Salwa Judum, lost their beloved didi, who worked among them for years sharing their weal and woe; and the students and intellectuals lost a revolutionary role model, who gave up the comforts of a middle class life in order to integrate with the oppressed masses.
When the culture began to change in the late 1960s — when the old one-liner comics on the Ed Sullivan Show were looking pretty tired and irrelevant to a younger generation experimenting with drugs and protesting the war in Vietnam — George Carlin was the most important stand-up comedian in America. By the time he died Sunday night (of heart failure at age 71), the transformation he helped bring about in stand-up had become so ingrained that it's hard to think of Carlin as one of America's most radical and courageous popular artists. But he was.
There are many things to note about Eartha Kitt's long career and rich life — and we will leave all but one of them to others. For the moment, let’s just tell the story of Eartha’s bold disruption of the Johnson White House during the Vietnam War — and her confrontation with LBJ’s wife Lady Bird.
It was January 18, 1968. and Earth Kitt had been summoned to the White House which someone else might have thought was a great honor. But Earth Kitt shared the mounting fury within the United States over the war in Vietnam and widespread poverty. And she decided to confront the President openly.
It is gratifying to see the attention given to Harold Pinter, prominent British playwright who struggled for a better world and has just left us on the brink of an economic and political disaster that smacks of the 1930s.... Many obituaries mention Pinter’s leftist politics and cite his short 1988 play Mountain Language as evidence of his “controversial” politics. This play was inspired by his trip to Turkey, and his opposition to the repression of authors, journalists, and others, including the Kurdish people, who were denied basic rights such as speaking in their own language. Although the play does not allude to any geographic location or mention the Kurdish language, it shows prison guards banning the prisoners’ use of their native language.
Odetta's powerful voice and artistry stirred great love and respect for Black people — winning The Movement allies and fighters from many corners of society.
Studs Terkel stopped talking yesterday. It took death to silence his storytelling. it is hard to capture Studs’ wit and creativity– but luckily he is able to speak for himself in interviews like the one below. Studs’ great accomplishment was the way ordinary people spoke for themselves through his many works of oral history, like The Good War and Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, and Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression. In the process many hidden things are revealed, and many mythic official lies are punctured.
Jesse Helms, North Carolina senator and national king-maker, is dead. Finally.
He was a raw reactionary in every way possible. Calling Jesse Helms a conservative (as the mainstream media does) is like calling Jeffrey Dahmer a troubled young man. And he was a true powerhouse of American politics — influencing policy and personnel at key levels of the government. Helms rose to power after a career as a racist radio commentator. He arrived as a result of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” — where the Republican party positioned itself to absorb the George Wallace democrats. In other words, he was part of the unrepentant Southern white racists who shifted parties after the civil rights year