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The following article is A Word to Win News Service.

Palestine now: the situation and mood in the West Bank 

14 July 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following are edited notes of a conversation with three feminist academics who have just returned from a visit to occupied Palestine.

We arrived two days after the bodies of the three kidnapped settler youth were found. The Israeli authorities had been blockading Palestinian communities and arresting people before that, with the excuse that they were looking for the three, but after that it got worse. What we saw was collective punishment on a mass scale, resulting in the arrest of at least 700 people, many of whom had been in prison before. The security forces had lists of people they were looking for. These raids were a way of creating an atmosphere of terror.

Our first night was in East Jerusalem. Israeli settlers, in this case often recent immigrants from the U.S., as well Russia and Eastern Europe, are moving into Palestinian neighbourhoods and forcing the inhabitant out. Local Palestinians identified many of the settlers in the Old City as yeshiva (Jewish religious school) students. There are also whole families with young children. The women are in a "permanent state of pregnancy", with multiple young children in many families. 

The following article comes from Alakhbar English.

Israel’s "knock on the roof" policy: A three-minute race with death

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Whether this is a warning about FBI harassment, A history of the 1980s or just my ego-tistical take on this time period and the anti-imperialist campaigns—I can’t really say. So here it is. 

“Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means.” - Herbert Marcuse[1]

For most of the 1980 decade peace groups were involved in Central American solidarity work. Most of that work focused on defending the revolution in Nicaragua and the armed struggles in El Salvador and Guatemala. Activists were able to get large crowds together from around the country to oppose President Ronald Reagan’s repressive policies in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Tagged in: Marxism police state

We don't need to agree with every point in a nuanced analysis to unite with its rejection of cardboard simplicities. There are many contradictions at play in Ukraine, not one. There are many enemies intriguing, not just one. This is real life.

The following article is from Lenin's Tomb.

Ukraine: against infantile realpolitik

The enemy of your enemy might still be your enemy. Because, complexity. Because, nuance. Because, concrete analysis of concrete situations. How much do I really need to underline this?

I raise the point because the tendency to try to distil the situation in Ukraine into one or at most two relatively simple contradictions is apparent in abundance. Lindsey German's article for Stop the War is a classic instance of this. It attempts a 'clarification' of the political stakes, largely by way of clearing away complicating clutter and allowing people to see the interests of US imperialism and its allies at work. But in so doing, German's article resorts to utter nonsense and embarrassingly crude reductions.

 

 

"We have to acknowledge the very unpleasant fact: Ukraine is under a threat of imposing the worst type of dictatorship of the Third World countries: an alliance between the supporters of neoliberal economic policy and the fascist political practice. With the help of such system of rule – the new government pushes unpopular reforms that would lead to further impoverishment of the people. And coercive support to such kind of reforms is provided by far-right paramilitary units that should suppress any social protest.

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Recently “deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Melia addressed the meeting stressing the strategic significance of Ukraine. In his own report to the meeting, Melia announced that the US had “invested” over $5 billion in Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, with $815 million of this total going directly to pro-US NGOs. Melia also reported that, since 2009, the Obama administration had donated $184 million to various programs aimed at implementing political change in Ukraine”...

...So such an unexpected rush to whitewash the image of neo-Nazi groups is quite explainable...

...And as we could see it last Sunday after the Munich conference - the Ukrainian opposition with a full support of the US officials demands all the power (not just sharing it) so that to accept IMF loans with all the conditions included. And those who do not agree – will be ‘persuaded’ by the paramilitary neo-Nazi forces.

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Tagged in: fascism ukraine

This essay originally appeared under the title of "Anti-Imperialist “Support” and Responsibility" at Open Media Boston here.

by Doug Enaa Greene (Independent)

“You're playing into the hands of imperialism! We need to support Iran against the USA!”

Anyone who has been around certain sections of the radical left has encountered this attitude at one time or another. For some on the left, it is not enough to oppose US imperialism or its wars, but we need to do more and 'support' every government targeted by the United States. And that 'support' winds up being uncritical support to any government opposed  to the United States, no matter how repressive or reactionary it may be.

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The new pro-military feeling in this country has been raised to the point where the military is sacred and above any criticism. Doing so can cost a person their job. And for some people it has. Like the flag and other sacred patriotic symbols, desecration will draw the wrath of both the military and those who support them.

For example, the New York Daily News ran a story called “Company praised for firing woman who took disrespectful photo next to soldier's grave.” The story tells of a woman who took pictures with her friends as the flipped the bird at a soldiers cemetery. According to the article;

A Massachusetts company is being applauded for firing a woman who made a vulgar gesture next to a soldier’s burial site, sparking nationwide outrage.

LIFE, a Cape Cod-based nonprofit that helps adults with disabilities, announced on Wednesday that 30-year-old Lindsey Stone was taken off unpaid leave and terminated.

STONE'S FACEBOOK PHOTO SPARKS OUTRAGE

Nearly 4,000 people “liked” the announcement on Facebook.

“This was the right thing to do,” one commenter wrote.

Things have changed since the end of the Vietnam War and now military people are the status quo’s heroes. To say anything against them is a crime. And many people support this view especially businesses that get the most out of the military. Most of us on the revolutionary left don’t focus anger on the soldiers themselves. We know it is politicians and our corporate masters who benefit from these wars. Many of the soldiers are young people who may not fully understand what they are really doing. They really believe all the phony explanations: “Freedom isn’t free,” “They protect the freedoms we take for granted,” “They defend us from terrorists and our enemies.” Some may eventually realize, as many in Vietnam learned, that imperialist wars are not fought for any of those reasons and the whole military thing is a lie,

Today’s critics, who may take a more vulgar and personal approach to militarism may not use sophisticated arguments. But they are all finding out that the freedoms being fought for do not include their right to criticize the military in any way.

A Kansas woman, Meagan May, has also been fired from her job for criticizing the military. Unlike the girl in the story above she has stuck to her guns and stood up to people who have attack her and some have harassed her for defending her words. This was all over a Facebook comment she wrote on her page. It was done away from work and it still cost her job. She may have had plenty of mean comments about her, but she had her supporters as well.

Below is a story from my blog that I printed last week that shows how hard it is to practice free speech in the US and how the freedoms the military are fighting for don’t include real dissent;

A campaign is emerging at the City University of New York to keep the war criminal General David Petraeus off of its campus and out of its classrooms. It is important that when imperialist figureheads like Petraeus are given access to the academy or any other public space that revolutionary and progressive students stand up to make clear that they are not welcome. The fact that students at CUNY have made their voices heard in rejecting Petraeus on their campus sends a positive internationalist message to students everywhere and to people around the world feeling the brunt of US imperialist oppression and violence that people here stand with them. Kicking Petraeus out of CUNY would also send a message to the rulers that their bloody terror crusades will not be carried out without resistance even here in the belly of the beast. Much love to the students at CUNY and to the CUNY 6 who were brutalized by the police for protesting a tyrannical war criminal!

The following photos are from yesterday's (September 23, 2013) picket outside of the building where Petraeus is lecturing on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Every day David!

All photos were taken by JB.

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My “Libya and Syria: When Anti-Imperialism Goes Wrong” sparked acrimonious debate on the question of imperialist intervention in the Arab Spring. Mazda Majidi’s response in the Party for Socialism and Liberation’s newspaper, Liberation News, contained a number of false claims about events on the ground in Libya during 2011. What follows is Tripoli Brigade member’s response to those falsehoods set forth in bold below.

“Immediately after the rebels took control in Benghazi, numerous dark-skinned Libyans and migrant sub-Saharan African workers were lynched in city streets in a wide-scale campaign of terror.”

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Posted by on in Imperialism & War

I was looking for an antidote to the waves of Fourth of July jingoism this morning, and found an oldie but goodie. A key takeaway of this speech is that the things we think are unsurmountable now, are shown by the evidence of history to be transient, if we're willing to act and turn the wheels of history ourselves. And for something written in 1956, gotta appreciate that second paragraph. Crossposted from my personal blog, The Cahokian. — ISH

 

US Imperialism Is A Paper Tiger

Excerpts from a speech by Mao Zedong, 1956

The United States is flaunting the anti-communist banner everywhere in order to perpetrate aggression against other countries.

The United States owes debts everywhere. It owes debts not only to the countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa, but also to the countries of Europe and Oceania. The whole world, Britain included dislikes the United States. The masses of the people dislike it. Japan dislikes the United States because it oppresses her. None of the countries in the East is free from U.S. aggression. The United States has invaded our Taiwan Province. Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan all suffer from U.S. aggression, although some of them are allies of the United States. The people are dissatisfied and in some countries so are the authorities.

All oppressed nations want independence.

Everything is subject to change. The big decadent forces will give way to the small new-born forces. The small forces will change into big forces because the majority of the people demand this change. The U.S. imperialist forces will change from big to small because the American people, too, are dissatisfied with their government.

In my own lifetime I myself have witnessed such changes. Some of us present were born in the Ching Dynasty and others after the 1911 Revolution...

Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn't. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger.

History as a whole, the history of class society for thousands of years, has proved this point: the strong must give way to the weak. This holds true for the Americas as well.

Only when imperialism is eliminated can peace prevail. The day will come when the paper tigers will be wiped out. But they won't become extinct of their own accord, they need to be battered by the wind and the rain.

When we say U.S. imperialism is a paper tiger, we are speaking in terms of strategy. Regarding it as a whole, we must despise it. But regarding each part, we must take it seriously. It has claws and fangs. We have to destroy it piecemeal. For instance, if it has ten fangs, knock off one the first time, and there will be nine left, knock off another, and there will be eight left. When all the fangs are gone, it will still have claws. If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end.

Strategically, we must utterly despise U.S. imperialism. Tactically, we must take it seriously. In struggling against it, we must take each battle, each encounter, seriously. At present, the United States is powerful, but when looked at in a broader perspective, as a whole and from a long-term viewpoint, it has no popular support, its policies are disliked by the people, because it oppresses and exploits them. For this reason, the tiger is doomed. Therefore, it is nothing to be afraid of and can be despised. But today the United States still has strength, turning out more than 100 million tons of steel a year and hitting out everywhere. That is why we must continue to wage struggles against it, fight it with all our might and wrest one position after another from it. And that takes time.

It seems that the countries of the Americas, Asia and Africa will have to go on quarrelling with the United States till the very end, till the paper tiger is destroyed by the wind and the rain.

To oppose U.S. imperialism, people of European origin in the Latin-American countries should unite with the indigenous Indians. Perhaps the white immigrants from Europe can be divided into two groups, one composed of rulers and the other of ruled. This should make it easier for the group of oppressed white people to get close to the local people, for their position is the same....

What use is imperialism? The Chinese people will have none of it, nor will the people in the rest of the world. There is no reason for the existence of imperialism.  

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Also, gotta love The Onion. "US Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths."

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Posted by on in Imperialism & War

Posted by on in Imperialism & War

It was only a matter of time before the US put its weight behind the opposition in Syria (most likely the Free Syrian Army). Yahoo News reported that;

“The United States will increase aid to Syrians and the Syrian opposition in an effort to speed a political transition in Syria, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Washington Post has reported that the White House was considering a shift in policy toward the nearly two-year-long conflict in Syria and may send the rebels body armor and armed vehicles, and possibly provide military training. According to the report, U.S. officials still oppose providing arms.”

For anyone who still believes there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans on these foreign policy issues, just look at what Yahoo News attributes to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry;

"That may require us to change President al-Assad's current calculation," he (Kerry;) said. "He needs to know he cannot shoot his way out of this, so we need to convince him of that and I think the opposition needs more help in order to be able to do that. And we are working together to have a united position."

Posted by on in Imperialism & War

PSL Publications announces release of new book:

Socialists and war: two opposing trends
(http://www.pslweb.org/publication/socialists-and-war/)

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, why did the United States target the governments in Libya and Syria for destruction? Why did some “socialists” support these so-called revolutions that were backed by the Pentagon and NATO? Can the Pentagon ever play a progressive role? Brian Becker and Mazda Majidi make a unique contribution to the debate. This timely piece answers important questions from a truly socialist perspective. 

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Posted by on in Imperialism & War

Its 3 am and I want to take my life. Another lonely day. Another lonely night. I am a ghost in this society. Seen and feared but never understood. You cant understand me until you understand yourself and the violent contradictions you represent and I once lived.
During the war, life lost its meaning and humans became just another livestock to be used at our disposal. Life is one violent cycle after another all in the creation of 'economy.'
I have destroyed life and in so doing destroyed myself. I am a dead man walking.

I have dreamed about slitting my wrists, putting a rifle in my mouth, and hanging myself. I have stacked bodies on my Humvee and watched as the strapped down lumps of flesh bounce across the hood at 35mph on a desolate desert highway between Ar Ramadi and Fallujah (known to the US and accompanied coalition as Route Gremlin)

I have smoked cigarettes over the dead and silently acknowledged the greatest fear I have, that with a single command, humans become caged animals fit for destruction.I remember the arrogance of a uniform. I remember searching vehicles, homes, businesses, neighborhoods, and offices, ordering people to be searched by dozens of young males armed to the teeth. I remember the crackling of the radio, waiting for permission to 'engage.' I remember the long hours spent watching people, I remember thinking that I was better then them. That I was somehow more human. I remember having a rifle attached to my body 24/7 for 2yrs between 2006-2008. I used my rifle more as a show of force then a tool of death but the message was consistent, Ive got the gun and youve got my orders

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This first appeared at The Verge.

US military announces new medal for cyberwarfare and drone operation

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced a new medal for troops who fight from behind a screen. According to unnamed officials, the "Distinguished Warfare Medal" will honor members of the military who have performed an accomplishment "so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations." Unlike other medals of its level, though, it doesn't require an "act of valor" that would put one's life in danger during combat. That means it can be given to drone pilots or members of military cyberwarfare operations.

The following article is from A World to Win News Service

Syria: Some serious problems to be solved

 21 January 2013. A World to Win News Service. The following is a condensed version of a discussion in which the Syrian revolutionary Hassan Khaled Chatila gave his views on the current situation there. It is especially important because of the light it sheds on the relationship between classes and class contradictions on the one hand, and ideological factors on the other.

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