Author: Steve Shalom

A Growing National Strike Against Neoliberalism in Chile

Chile has exploded in social protests for the past several days, initially ignited by an increase in the metro fare. The initial protests developed into a national strike, even though conservative President Sebastián Piñera rescinded the four percent increase . . .

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Solidarity with Iraq Popular Protests: Statement from Alliance of MENA Socialists

The demands for social justice and economic redistribution against the neoliberal destructive policies cannot be dissociated from the opposition to the sectarian political system. The overwhelming majority of protesters continue to denounce the Islamization and sectarianization of social and political life.

In Defense of Socialist Internationalism: Answering the Propaganda of the Authoritarian “Left”

We have been slimed. An article by Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal on the recent Socialism 2019 Conference — which appears on their rancid website, The GrayZone, and is apparently being widely circulated — is a scurrilous attack not only . . .

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No to U.S. War with Iran! End the Sanctions Now! Solidarity with Iranian Workers!

Democratic Socialists of America emphatically and unreservedly opposes a U.S. war on Iran. It would be another “war of choice,” just like the Iraq War of 2003, and would likely be just as colossal a humanitarian disaster.
National security adviser John . . .

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Selective Skepticism

Skepticism is always warranted in the face of government claims, but some folks seem unable to apply the same level of skepticism to claims by Syria's dictator as they do to those of the U.S. government. This will not help us in waging a sustained effective campaign against U.S. military action against Syria; to rest our case on acceptance of Assad's claims weakens our argument. We need to explain why a U.S.-led war on Syria is not the solution, whether or not Assad is responsible for the horrific chemical weapons attack in the Ghouta suburbs of Damascus.

Anti-Authoritarianism and the Syrian Revolution

A new website by the TAHRIR International Collective Network is trying to connect anti-authoritarian struggles in Europe and Middle East.

One response to austerity

The Austerity Allstars explain their political program.

May it catch on widely! on the GOP and Abortion, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, often plays a useful role in exposing lies by political candidates. Sometimes, however, its factchecking is rather tendentious. Its coverage of the abortion stance of the 2012 Republican Party platform is a case in point.

The al-Awlaki Killing: Rights and Safety Blown to Smithereens

     The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen on Friday by a U.S. drone has elicited cheers from most mainstream politicians and pundits. Civil libertarians, however, have noted the terrible precedent this sets: here an American citizen has been targeted for assassination and executed solely on the say-so of the president, with no need to indict him, or present open evidence of his guilt. If the U.S. government had wanted to tap al-Awlaki’s phone, judicial review would have been required.

On Strike

On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner told the Economic Club of Washington, DC, “Job creators in America are essentially on strike.”

     He was quite right. Although most people have heard of a strike by workers, capital too can go on strike, and often has done so to achieve its political and economic goals.

     Economists Sam Bowles and Herb Gintis explained in their book Democracy and Capitalism how the capital strike works:

Nasrallah on Libya

     The left discussion on Libya has been informed by very few of the Middle East’s anti-imperialist voices. In an article posted on ZNet, I present extended excerpts from a March 19 speech by Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hizbullah, on the Libyan uprising, the Arab revolts, and the role of the West.

Libya: Another View

     The Libyan intervention has challenged many on the Left. Of course there are those who cheer U.S. foreign policy everywhere and those who think Qaddafi is a left hero. But for those who reject both these points of view, the Libyan situation has still been very difficult to sort out. Mike Albert and I wrote a question and answer offering our views.

Tyrants Tremble

     Since the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, tyrants everywhere have been trembling, as have their backers in Washington, Paris, and Tel Aviv.

     Now Haaretz reports that the Israel Defense Forces (sic) are updating their plans for dealing with massive, nonviolent protests in the Occupied Territories.

Audacity and Insolence

       According to the Israeli government, two Iranian warships plan to sail through the Suez canal en route to Syria. Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, declared that “this is a provocation that proves that Iranian audacity and insolence are increasing.” The international community, warned Lieberman, “must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations.”

Invidious Comparisons

       The New York Times ran a truly despicable story on its front page today. The article, by Scott Shane, argues that Pfc. Bradley Manning is not being treated so badly. But what moves this piece from the category of apologetics to contemptible is its opening paragraphs that try to contrast the plush circumstances of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with the grim conditions under which Manning is being held:

The Gaza Flotilla

       Alan Dershowitz has suggested that to be effective Israeli propaganda should support 80 percent of what Israel does, and be critical of the other 20 percent. So I expected that Dershowitz would only approve 80% of the Israeli killings on the Gaza flotilla, while expressing some mild criticism regarding the IDF’s other victims. Silly me.

Phil Ochs – The Struggle Continues

Phil Ochs was, until his untimely death in 1976, one of the great American folksingers and songwriters, whose powerful lyrics — political and poetic — helped to inspire a generation. His sister Sonny Ochs has worked to keep Phil’s memory and his message alive by organizing concerts bringing together current-day folk singers, offering a mix of their own material and Phil’s.

Obama's War/Obama's Atrocities

     Since George Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001 — the unjust, illegal, and unnecessary attack on Afghanistan — there have been constant US and NATO strikes on Afghan civilians, along with constant denials that such strikes have taken place.

Two Invented Lives

[This article was published in New Politics No. 23, Summer 1997]

Review of HELLMAN AND HAMMETT, by Joan Mellen (HarperCollins, New York, 1996. 572pp. $30.00 HB, $13.00 PB)

9-11 Revelation

         Conspiracy theorists often take evidence of government cover-ups as proof that a conspiracy occurred. Sometimes a conspiracy may indeed have occurred, but often the cover-up was designed to hide not some grand conspiracy, but malfeasance, incompetence, or wrong-doing.

Obama Fudges History

In his speech justifying his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama reminded us why the US was fighting there in the first place. After 9-11, he recalled, the United Nations Security Council "endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks." And then, "only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden," did the United States send its troops into Afghanistan. This account is doubly wrong.