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By Tony Iltis
February 27, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, the US has been involved, at first, through arming and supporting groups opposing the dictatorship of Bashar Assad, and supporting allies in the region doing likewise; and since 2014, through its direct involvement in leading an international coalition in an air war against ISIS.
Small numbers of US Special Forces and CIA operatives are also in Syria, supporting different, mutually antagonistic groups in the multi-sided conflict.
The US role in Syria often appears confused and contradictory. This seems set to increase under the new US administration.
By William I. Robinson
January 8, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– Barack Obama declared to CNN this past December 26 that he could have beaten Donald Trump had he the chance to run against the president elect for a third term, but he may have done more than anyone else to assure Trump’s victory.
While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society and the political system, a fascist outcome is far from inevitable and will depend on the fight back that has already begun. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of a 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized, and watered by the government of outgoing president Barack Obama and the bankrupt liberal elite that Obama’s presidency represents.
By Malik Miah
December 16, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — So much is said about why Donald Trump won the presidency, and the anger of the white working class. White supremacists are overjoyed by his victory. White Americans who believed that they had suffered so-called “reverse discrimination” from Blacks, Latinos and undocumented immigrants proclaimed the defeat of “identity politics.” Many feel confident to strike out verbally and at times physically against Muslims and others.
Much less is written or discussed about the failures of liberalism and the Obama presidency for Blacks and other minorities who voted for Hillary Clinton as a lesser evil.
By Rupen Savoulian
August 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Antipodean Atheist with permission — US President Barack Obama, the first African American to occupy the White House, has used his part-African background to leverage influence in the continent of his ancestors.
President Raúl Castro Ruz thanked the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for their solidarity.
By Raúl Castro Ruz, president of Cuba
[Council of State transcript of Castro's speech to the Summit of the Americas in Panama.]
April 14, 2015 -- Granma, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It was high time I spoke here on behalf of Cuba. I was told at first that I could make an eight-minute speech; although I made a great effort, along with my foreign minister, to reduce it to eight minutes, and as I’m owed six summits from which we were excluded, six times eight, 48 (laughter and applause), I asked President Juan Carlos Varela [of Panama] a few moments before entering this magnificent hall, to allow me a few minutes more, especially after we have been hearing so many interesting speeches, and I am not only referring to that of President Obama, but also that of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, President Dilma Rousseff and others.
“This is how much I care about your sanctions, Mr Obama.” Placard at anti-imperialist rally in Caracas held in the wake of Obama's March 9 declaration.
April 2015 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, posted at Links International Journal of Socialisr Renewal with permission
[The following letter was written by Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and was originally published on March 17.]
By Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela
We are the people of Simon Bolívar, our people believe in peace and respect for all nations.
Freedom and independence
More than two centuries ago, our fathers founded a Republic on the basis that all persons are free and equal under the law.
Our nation made the greatest sacrifices to guarantee South American people their right to choose their rulers and to enforce their own laws today. The historical legacy of our father, Simón Bolívar, is always remembered. Bolívar was a man who gave his life so we would inherit a nation of justice and equality.
We believe in peace, national sovereignty and international law
April 9, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following letter, signed by 30 academics, municipal councillors, trade union officials, journalists, solidarity organisation convenors and political party leaders from around Australia, was initiated by the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign in Melbourne. It will be handed over the US consulates in Melbourne and Sydney on April 10. If you would like to add your name please email Denis Rogatyuk at email@example.com.
* * *
President Barack Obama
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr President,
We, the undersigned individuals and organisations, reject your March 9, 2015, declaration deeming Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.
We also oppose the sanctions your administration has placed on a number of Venezuelan state officials and call for the immediate repeal of your Executive Order on Venezuela.
The reality is that Venezuela today is not at war with any nation, nor does it have military bases outside its borders. In fact, Venezuela is helping to mediate an end to the war in Colombia and has constantly championed peace in the region.
By Jen Roesch
June 24, 2014 -- Socialist Worker (US) -- Nearly six years into Barack Obama's neoliberal presidency, there are growing signs of discontent within the Democrats' traditional voting base. While both of Obama's electoral wins can be attributed to the turnout of young, female, Black, Latino/a and working-class voters, these are precisely the groups that have most suffered from the economic crisis and his administration's commitment to austerity. This is part of the reason why, for the first time since 2000, there is a space opening up in mainstream politics to the left of the Democratic Party.
In Seattle, socialist Kshama Sawant's campaign for the city council was able to gain support from constituencies, including some unions, that would normally support the Democratic Party. In Lorain County, Ohio, union activists angered by their local DemocraticParty mayor and city council broke ranks and ran their own independent slate of two dozen labour candidates--nearly all of whom won. This represents a flexing of labour muscle in the face of Democratic Party betrayal, rather than a firm break, but it points to the potential working-class audience for an independent political alternative.
Chicago Teachers Union members during their strike against Democratic Party mayor Rahm Emanuel's assault on public schools.
By Marilena Marchetti
January 14, 2014 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- The Chicago Teachers Union wants to shake up the city and state political establishment. In a sweeping majority vote, representatives of the union's 23,000 members passed a resolution to launch an independent political organisation (IPO). The goal of the initiative is to unite progressive groups, non-profit organisations and trade unions around political campaigns that have the potential to sustain social movements and activism, rather than empowering Democratic Party candidates who have turned their back on teachers and public education.
The resolution concludes:
RESOLVED that the Chicago Teachers Union, along with key allies in the progressive labour movement and among progressive community organisations will launch an independent political organisation (IPO) that is capable of leading strong electoral and legislative campaigns to benefit working families, our active and retired members, and our communities, and be it further
Protesters greet Obama, June 28, 2013.
By Patrick Bond, Durban
July 1, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – US President Barack Barack Obama’s weekend trip to South Africa may have the desired effect of slowing the geopolitical realignment of Pretoria to the Brazil-India-Russia-China-South Africa (BRICS) axis. That shift to BRICS has not, however, meant deviation from the hosts’ political philosophy, best understood as “talk left, walk right” since it mixes anti-imperialist rhetoric with pro-corporate policies.
Overshadowed by Nelson Mandela’s critically ill health, Obama’s implicit denial of a US imperial agenda could not disguise Washington’s economic paranoia. As expressed on June 25 by White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, “What we hear from our businesses is that they want to get in the game in Africa. There are other countries getting in the game in Africa – China, Brazil, Turkey. And if the US is not leading in Africa, we're going to fall behind in a very important region of the world.”
"Now that [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] has demonstrated its technical and scientific achievements, we remind her of her duties to the countries which have been her great friends, and it would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet." -- Fidel Castro
By Fidel Castro
April 4, 2013 -- Granma International -- A few days ago I mentioned the great challenges humanity is currently facing. Intelligent life emerged on our planet approximately 200,000 years ago, although new discoveries demonstrate something else.
This is not to confuse intelligent life with the existence of life which, from its elemental forms in our solar system, emerged millions of years ago.
The United State’s robot wars in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries is the logical outcome of a shadowy war that has no definition and with no end in sight.
By Rupen Savoulian
January 7, 2013 -- Antipodean Athiest, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The US National Defense Authorisation Act, updated by the administration of US President Barack Obama for 2013, has been signed into law. It provides for the indefinite detention of any person suspected of "terrorism" offences, prohibits the transfer of the remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees from that facility and allows the US military to detain any person, even US citizens without any recourse to civilian courts and legal access.
Obama, the "anti-war" candidate of 2008, has not only continued the Bush-Cheney-era "war on terror", he is ensuring that its continuation, its corrosive effect on civil liberties and the undermining of the already fragile democratic rights will go on spreading its toxic effect.
Striking Chicago teachers rally, October 2012.
By Dan La Botz
December 31, 2012 -- New Politics -- The most important social conflict in the United States in 2012—the Chicago Teachers Union strike—suggests that the rising trajectory of social struggle in the United States that began at the beginning of 2011 may be continuing. While the United States has a much lower level of class struggle and social struggle than virtually any other industrial nation—few US workers are unionised (only 11.8%) and unionised workers engage in few strikes and those involve a very small numbers of workers—still, the economic crisis and the demand for austerity by both major political parties, Republican and Democrat, have led to increased economic and political activity and resistance by trade unions, particularly in the public sector.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3078.]
Por Chris Williams, traducción para www.sinpermiso.info por Lucas Antón
Si el estudio al que te aplicas tiende a debilitar tus afectos y destruir tu gusto por esos placeres sencillos en los que no es posible que se mezcle ninguna aleación, entonces ese estudio es ciertamente ilícito y no le conviene a la mente humana.
Frankenstorm Sandy from space.
By Chris Williams
If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.
If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquility of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved; Caesar would have spared his country; America would have been discovered more gradually; and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed.
—Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley.
October 29, 2012 -- Climate and Capitalism -- There is little doubt that freakish and unnaturally assembled storms are a taste of what the future holds under an economic system that has “interfered with the tranquility of domestic affections,” galvanised the forces of nature into a fury of clashing dislocations as we pump ever-more heat-trapping gases into our atmosphere and industrial filth into our lungs.
By Barry Sheppard
October 14, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- There is a statue in revolutionary Havana of Don Quixote, the literary creation of 17th century Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, who fought for his principles, even if he was crazy. I know I’m a bit crazy.
With less than a month to go before the US presidential elections, the farce we have been living through for more than a year becomes even more grotesque. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on advertisements for US President Barack Obama or Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney. Money has never been so awash in an election before.
The racial divide is stark. Romney has the white racist vote sewed up. He is likely to win a majority of white voters, especially white men. African Americans will vote overwhelmingly, well over 90%, for Obama. Polls predict he will get two-thirds of the Latino vote.
Both candidates incessantly talk about creating jobs, and defending the middle class. Neither wants to mention the working class. And yet, by middle class they mean workers with relatively better wages and working conditions – who are losing both.
Graphic from the Economist.
By Patrick Bond
[Address to the Muslim Youth Movement 40th Anniversary Conference, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, September 30, 2012. Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.]
At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends. – Former US president Jimmy Carter, 25 June 2012, New York Times
... or maybe the time after that.
By Barry Sheppard
September 8, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly -- The election rallies of the mis-named “conventions” of the twin parties of Wall Street are over. The Republican Party -- dominated by the "Tea Party" movement -- has gone sharply to the right. But is supporting the Democratic Party and US President Barack Obama the way to fight the rightward shift in US capitalist politics? Many who consider themselves leftists or even socialists reply “yes”. Let us look at the record.
On foreign policy, there is no difference except some rhetoric. Both parties supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Both seek to crush Iran and return that country to its subservient status Washington enjoyed when Iran was under the Shah.
Both seek to return Cuba to a United States-controlled semi-colony. Both want to roll back the anti-imperialist gains in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, and push against the growing steps toward more independence in the rest of Latin America.
By Shamus Cooke
June 23, 2012 -- Workers Action -- The coup against Paraguay’s democratically elected president is not only a blow to democracy, but an attack against the working and poor population who supported and elected President Fernando Lugo, whom they see as a bulwark against the wealthy elite who’ve dominated the country for decades.
[Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was ousted in what he has described as a parliamentary coup. On June 23, the Paraguayan Senate voted 39-to-4 to impeach Lugo, saying he had failed in his duty to maintain social order following a recent land dispute that resulted in the deaths of six police officers and 11 peasant farmers. A former priest, Lugo was once called the "Bishop of the Poor" and was known for defending peasant rights. Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay have all condemned Lugo’s ouster.]
Former enslaved African Americans vote in New Orleans, 1867, during the "Radical Reconstruction" period.
By Malik Miah
May 25, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The “Reconstruction amendments” — the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the United States constitution — are being targeted in many of the far-right “Tea Party” and Republican campaigns against the rights of immigrants and women, marriage equality and gay rights, and voting rights for African Americans and other minority ethnic groups.
The racist tinge of many of these attacks, whether openly stated or implied, is obvious – but this does not mean that racism is more prevalent now than in the past. Rather, the smear campaign against President Barack Obama’s mixed background and dark skin is calculated to appeal to the most extreme backward elements of the Republican Party.