Originally published in VientoSur
English translation by Héctor A. Rivera for No Border News and PuntoRojo magazine
Several countries in Latin America are currently experiencing very powerful class . . .
The Austerity Allstars explain their political program.
May it catch on widely!
Factcheck.org, 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 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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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:
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 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.