Author: newpolitics

A Massacre, Not a Coup: A Response to Misinformation on Nicaragua

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For the past 3 months, progressive websites and journals have run articles that paint a picture of the crisis in Nicaragua that is dangerously misleading.  Many of these articles have been circulated among people on the left who were in solidarity with Nicaragua and the FSLN during the 1970s and 1980s but haven’t kept up with what has happened over the last 30 years—particularly since 2007, when Daniel Ortega returned to the Presidency and has been there since. I’d like to take a moment to correct some misconceptions about the current crisis in Nicaragua.

The Third Camp in Theory and Practice: An Interview with Joanne Landy and Thomas Harrison

Joanne Landy (1941-2017) and Thomas Harrison (1948-) became socialists as teenagers and have remained involved in the democratic left ever since. They were active in the student protest movement at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s, where they met and became close friends and collaborators. During the 1970s, they became increasingly interested in the issue of labor rights in Central and Eastern Europe, and they worked to link democratic and social justice struggles in the Eastern Bloc with social movements in the United States, the West, and the Third World. Until Joanne Landy’s death in October 2017, they were co-directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD), which was founded in 1982. Initially, the organization was called the Campaign for Peace and Democracy/East and West, but with the end of the Cold War the title was shortened.

Recent Events Leave Brave Gaza Flotilla in More Danger

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Right now four small boats are on their way to Palermo, Italy, to dare a crossing to besieged Gaza. Because of the rockets from Gaza on July 13 (whatever the true story behind their launch) the Gaza Flotilla 2018 is in even more peril from a cruel IDF puffed up on its own righteousness.  In 2010 the Israelis killed ten on the Mavi Marmara and have often been brutal in captures since.

Lessons and not Myths about the Portuguese non-model

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 Jacobin published on June 9 an essay by Catarina Príncipe under the title “The Portuguese Myth.” We’ve deeply appreciated her thoughts on the political changes in the country since 2015, considering it was written by a spokesperson for a minority current inside the Left Bloc, a status Príncipe failed to mention. This should have been stated, for transparency’s sake, since Príncipe offered an alternative political resolution and a competing list for the leadership of the Party in 2016, which were defeated.1

The Baqee Protest: A Way to Shock the Prince and His Billionaire Admirers

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Saudi prince Salman dazzled Wall Street and the glitterati in his three-week U.S. tour this past March. The captains of finance (Stephen Schwartzman, Peter Thiel), tech (Gates, Bezos), politics (Trump, Clinton), and Hollywood (Disney’s Bob Iger, director James Cameron, Morgan Freeman) all met with him. “60 Minutes” did a fawning piece, as did NPR and the Atlantic. The New York Times printed two rapturous articles by Thomas Friedman. Finally, they had a marketable Saudi royal. Mohammad bin Salman was not the usual doddering nonagenarian, but a vigorous take-charge guy, who … get this… is going to let women drive!

The roots of Venezuela’s crisis and the lessons for the left

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Collapsing wages, food shortages, and rampant inflation have led to growing hunger and desperation in Venezuela. Recent videos illustrate just how desperate the situation has become, as hungry people chase down livestock in the fields to butcher it for its meat, or skin dogs and cats on the streets of Caracas. Violent food-related protests have erupted in various cities around the country, and the looting of grocery stores is becoming more and more widespread. Meanwhile, thousands of Venezuelans are flooding across the borders into neighboring countries.

“60 Minutes” Airs Dreadful Segment on Prince Salman

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Hopefully this piece will be a bit of help to those demonstrating against Prince Salman’s #TrillionaireTour of the U.S.  (Aramco, the kingdom/Saudi family-owned oil company is valued at $2 trillion.)  Another piece I wrote about Saudi Arabia and the colleges that take Saudi elite money is at The Nation.

The problem with leftist myths about Syria

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Why are voices on the left still justifying the Syrian regime's indiscriminate bombardment of Eastern Ghouta?

As the death toll in the Damascus' suburb of Eastern Ghouta reached nearly 700 in two weeks and continues to rise, many so-called progressive voices continue to justify the carnage.

Russiagate or Deep State? What Some Progressives Get Wrong on Russia

The bizarre denialism of some on the left and right about Russiagate doesn't bode well for the future of American politics

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When it comes to the Russiagate scandal, progressives usually take one of two positions.

They either dismiss the scandal as a lot of hooey, a “nothingburger,” just a way for warmongers and the “Deep State” to revive a cold war between Washington and Moscow. Or they treat the scandal as just a means to an end, a way to cast doubt on the 2016 presidential election, implicate the administration in a variety of crimes, and ultimately impeach the president.

A Litmus Test for Detecting Syria Trolls

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The situation in Syria is incredibly complex, so it’s not surprising that there are conflicting interpretations of different pieces of information. But, sometimes, a claim is so clearly without merit, so obviously ludicrous, that those who promote it mark themselves, at best, as individuals wholly uninterested in examining evidence when a dubious claim conforms to their preconceived notions, or, at worst, as scoundrels.

The War is Far from Being Over in Syria

Syrian Corner talks with Gilbert Achcar about recent developments in the Syrian conflict

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Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London, as well as a well-known author focusing on the Middle East and the Arab World. He met with Syrian Corner during Syria Awareness Week 2018. Achcar posits that the Syrian conflict is far from over and that for Bashar al-Assad to establish a new political framework, an accord between the US and Russia is necessary. Achcar says the role of Iran in a future Syria is one of the key issues at stake, and discusses the Turkish war against the PYD, the regional role of Saudi Arabia, the international peace conferences for Syria, the recent demonstrations in Iran, and the new US foreign policy for the Middle East in the interview below.

Fossil Fuels and Toxic Landscapes – Issue Launch and Panel

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The House Resolution on Yemen is a Stinker

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Congress was given a chance to stand up for basic humanity and the Constitution, but instead chose to lay an egg, a rotten one at that. It rejected a chance to use the War Powers Act to halt U.S. collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s ruthless war and siege tactics in Yemen. Instead it passed a resolution that could have been written by the Saudi kingdom’s lawyers and publicists.

Wholly Dedicated to Socialism From Below

THE DEATH of Joanne Landy earlier this month is a profound loss to the socialist and internationalist movements.

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Joanne Landy, 1941-2017

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Polish Video Tribute to Joanne Landy

This video in honor of Joanne Landy was made at the request of Piotr Niemczyk, an activist in the 1980’s in the Polish independent peace group “Freedom and Peace.” It was shown at an event in New York City on June 1, 2017, honoring Joanne Landy.

 

No to Assad’s Brutality, No to Isis, No to U.S. and Russian Bombing and Military Forces in Syria, For a Revival of the Arab Spring

ImageWe are horrified by the relentless, cruel attacks of the Assad regime, aided by Moscow and Tehran, on the Syrian people. For sheer brutality the butchers in Damascus have few equals in the world today. But we also wholeheartedly condemn U.S. bombing and military forces in Syria, which will kill innocent people and contribute nothing towards a just solution to the Syrian conflict, while at the same time serving to deepen the reactionary U.S. military presence in the Middle East and reinforce Assad’s rhetorical claim that he is defending the Syrian people against Western imperialism, hollow though that claim may be.

I See America Marching Again

[Spanish/French]

I see America marching again,
As we have marched so often.

Russia and the Left

[Note: This article is forthcoming in the Winter 2017 issue of New Politics.]

What explains the enthusiasm in certain quarters of the left for Vladimir Putin and Russia? Why do some cheer on Russian bombing in Syria, dismissing out of hand the evidence from Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch1 that they are criminally targeting hospitals? Why do some try to justify Russia’s takeover of Crimea or its blatant intervention in Ukraine?

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…

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Trump is President. To avoid repeating the causes of Trump winning requires knowing what the causes were.

Statement on My Satirical Christmas Tweet

On Christmas Eve, I sent a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, 'white genocide.' For those who haven't bothered to do their research, “white genocide” is an idea invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies (and most recently, against a tweet by State Farm Insurance). It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I'm glad to have mocked it.

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