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US imperialism

Western economic attacks against Arab democracy

By Patrick Bond

June 1, 2011-- Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Palestine office, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In their latest documents and meetings, the G8, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reacted to the democratic movements in the Arab world: The recipe calls – as it did before the popular ousting of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents – for privatisation, austerity measures and “market liberation”. Patrick Bond, economic advisor to the new South African government from 1994-2002, analyses the ramifications of the economic campaign on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Palestine.

Washington’s seeding of the Arab democratic revolution

Comparing 1911 and 2011: What's relevant for socialists today?

The German gunboat, Panther, tried to halt French claims to Morocco in 1911.

By Dimitris Fasfalis

June 4, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- History, of course, never repeats itself. Yet there are lessons to be learned from past experiences, especially when similar patterns affect similar historical actors in different epochs and settings. This seems to be the case for revolutionary socialists when we compare 2011 and 1911. Despite their differences, these are times when imperialist war threatens while a revolutionary-democratic upsurge sweeps vast areas that were thought of as stable, if not stagnant. Hence the question: what’s relevant for us on the left today in our socialist predecessors’ experience in 1911?

Threat of imperialist war

First, the early 20th century socialists developed an understanding of the contradictory dynamics of capitalist globalisation and imperialist rivalries.

Hondurans organise historic welcome for Zelaya; 'Democracy Now!' interview with Manuel Zelaya


More at The Real News
May 28, 2011 -- Real News Network report on Manuel Zelaya's return to Honduras.
Zelaya: "Without democracy there are no human rights ... No blood was shed in vain because we are in an ongoing struggle."
Hugo Chavez: "Mel Zelaya has returned to his homeland, a great victory of the Honduran people, down with the dictatorship, long live the people's power ... "

Egypt's 'orderly transition'? International aid and the rush to structural adjustment

[Source Unknown]

By Adam Hanieh

May 29, 2011 -- Jadaliyya, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Although press coverage of events in Egypt may have dropped off the front pages, discussion of the post-Mubarak period continues to dominate the financial news. Over the past few weeks, the economic direction of the interim Egyptian government has been the object of intense debate in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). US President Obama’s 19 May speech on the Middle East and North Africa devoted much space to the question of Egypt’s economic future – indeed, the sole concrete policy advanced in his talk concerned US economic relationships with Egypt.

The killing of bin Laden and the ugly tribalism of US politics

Three o’clock in the morning on May 1, Washington DC erupts in celebration of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

By Rupen Savoulian

May 20, 2011 -- Early in May 2011, Osama bin Laden, a Saudi billionaire criminal and religious fanatic, was murdered by US Navy SEAL troops in Pakistan. Bin Laden was a reactionary political figure, who promoted obscurantist, fundamentalist prejudices in the service of criminal wars and terrorism. He was a long-term ally and asset of the United States, whose repugnant views and activities were cultivated throughout the 1980s during Washington’s Cold War campaign against the secular, socialist government of Afghanistan.

End the United States' sanctions against Venezuela

The government of Hugo Chavez has used Venezuela's oil wealth to radically improve the wellbeing of the people.

A statement by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

May 28, 2011-- AVSN -- On May 24, the United States' State Department unilaterally imposed sanctions against Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), accusing it of undermining the US sanctions against Iran by sending two cargo ships delivering US$50 million worth of reformate -- a blending component used to improve the quality of gasoline. The sanctions, which will last for two years, prevent PDVSA from entering into contracts with the US government, and bar it from import-export finance programs and obtaining licences for US oil processing technology.

Middle East: Can democracy activists undo US and IMF/World Bank damage?

By Patrick Bond, Palestine

May 23, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Here in Palestine, disgust expressed by civil society reformers about US President Barack Obama’s May 19 policy speech on the Middle East and North Africa confirms that political reconciliation between Washington and fast-rising Arab democrats is impossible.

Amidst many examples, consider the longstanding US tradition of blind, self-destructive support for Israel, which Obama has just amplified. Recognisng a so-called “Jewish state” as a matter of US policy, he introduced a new twist that denies foundational democratic rights for 1.4 million Palestinians living within Israel. For a Harvard-trained constitutional lawyer to sink so low on behalf of Zionist discrimination is shocking.

For although Obama mentioned the “1967 lines” as the basis for two states and thereby appeared to annoy arch-Zionist leader Benjamin Netanyahu, this minimalist United Nations position was amended with a huge caveat: “with land swaps.”

Progress in Bolivia: A reply to Jeff Webber

Bolivia's president Evo Morales addresses a press conference during theWorld People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, April 2010.

[See also "Debate on Bolivia: Government, social movements and revolution". For more article on Bolivia, click HERE.]

By John Riddell

May 5, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Six years after Bolivians elected their first Indigenous-led government, their ongoing struggle for national and social liberation remains a subject of debate and disagreement among socialists around the world.

Osama bin Laden is dead – but US imperialism’s worldwide war lives on

The following article is the editorial for the upcoming edition of ML Update. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

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By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 7, 2011 -- The US has proclaimed its success in its decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in the killing of bin Laden by US military operatives in a house in Abbotabad in Pakistan. As the televised triumphalism and images of hyper-nationalist celebrations in the US fade, however, Washington's heroic narrative is being subjected to uncomfortable questions.       

Ironically, Osama bin Laden’s death has come, not in the wake of 9/11 when he was at the peak of his strength, but at a time when bin Laden and his al Qaeda were effectively sidelined in an Arab world that is witnessing a democratic awakening and upsurge. This fact too robs the US narrative of some of its sheen.

Pakistan: Will Osama bin Laden's assassination end religious fundamentalist attacks?

By Farooq Tariq, Lahore

May 7, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the first four days after Osama Bin Laden’s assassination by US forces, the mass reaction in Pakistan is very mixed. In Punjab there is a general sympathy towards bin Laden, however not many are expressing it openly. In Sindh, the responses differ in different cities. For example, in Karachi there is more active commiseration for bin Laden and condemnation of the US attack.

Surprisingly, not much happened in Khaiber Pakhtoonkhawa, where bin Laden was killed. Similarly, Baluchistan responded meekly against the killings. However the reaction against the attack on the compound in Abbotabad is growing and it will spread to other areas. Many religious fundamentalists fled Afghanistan and took refuge in Baluchistan and Khaiber Pakhtoonkhawa. They ruled those provinces from 2002 to 2008.

Bahrain: Adam Hanieh on the US, the Gulf states and Libya


More at The Real News

Japan's nuclear history in perspective: atoms for war and peace

By Peter Kuznick

April 13, 2011 -- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists -- It is tragic that Japan, the most fiercely anti-nuclear country on the planet, with its Peace Constitution, three non-nuclear principles, and commitment to nuclear disarmament, is being hit with the most dangerous and prolonged nuclear crisis in the past quarter-century -- one whose damage might still exceed that of Chernobyl 25 years ago. But Japan's anti-nuclearism has always rested upon a Faustian bargain, marked by dependence on the United States, which has been the most unabashedly pro-nuclear country on the planet for the past 66 years. It is in the strange relationship between these two oddly matched allies that the roots and meaning of the Fukushima crisis lay buried.

Tariq Ali's 2011 Robb Lectures: Empire and its futures -- Islam, US hegemony and China

Lecture 1: Islam and its discontents, March 17, 2011. Lectures 2 & 3, below.

A series of three lectures by Tariq Ali.

Renowned Marxist and anti-war campaigner Tariq Ali presented these three lectures as part of the University of Auckland's annual Sir Douglas Robb Lectures, delivered March 17-23, 2011. The videos have been made available to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal courtesy of the University of Auckland library.

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Reading 'The Shock Doctrine' in Cairo

[The following article was provided by Cairo-based Australian journalist Austin Mackell and first appeared at his website, Moon Under Water. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.]

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Story and photos by Austin G. Mackell, Cairo

April 12, 2011 -- Moon Under Water -- The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein, is the duck's fucking nuts. The most fitting endorsement I have heard of it comes from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “The only book of the last few years in American publishing that I would describe as a mandatory must-read. Literally the only one.”

Left debates Libya: `This is Washington's war' -- Richard Seymour, 'Angry Arab' & Vijay Prashad on the rebel leadership

French president Nicholas Sarkozy greets rebel leader Mahmoud Jibril. Leaked US cables describe Jibril as being keen on a close relationship with the US and eager “to create a strategic partnership between private companies and the government”.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

Springtime for NATO in Libya

By Richard Seymour

April 4, 2011 -- Lenin's Tomb -- We now know what Washington's model is for the Middle East, in its most attractive guise. In answer to Egypt's Tahrir Square uprising, they have smoking craters filled with the charred remains of rebels, and conscript soldiers, and civilians and other blameless people who must have seen the joy in Egypt and Tunisia and wished it for themselves.

Debate: NATO in Libya: A tactical, necessary evil

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

By Iggy Kim and Marce Cameron

April 3, 2011 -- The NATO intervention in Libya is a necessary evil. Evil, yes, but necessary just the same. At least for the present.

The brutal reality of the early weeks of March was the choice between the crushing of the centre of liberated Libya in Benghazi or the securing of much-needed time (and protection) for the regrouping of the revolutionary forces – however this needed to be obtained, given the urgent imperatives of the actual struggle. The ends do command the means. That is the unavoidable reality confronted by all masses in political motion, engaged in open, class warfare, and no less one that has gone over into armed struggle.

Democratic revolution based on popular power

Tariq Ali: The Obama syndrome

Audio of Tariq Ali's full address (63 minutes):

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March 29, 2011 -- ABC Radio's Big Ideas -- In 2008, Obama could do no wrong. To the educated middle class, he was an intelligent and reflective writer who had penned his own insightful memoir. To the conservative elite, he was a Harvard graduate and expert in constitutional law. To the young people who came out in droves to vote for him, he liked the same TV shows, listened to the same music and "got" social networking.

Immanuel Wallerstein: The great Libyan distraction

By Immanuel Wallerstein

April 1, 2011 -- ZSpace -- The entire Libyan conflict of the last month -- the civil war in Libya, the US-led military action against Gaddafi -- is neither about humanitarian intervention nor about the immediate supply of world oil. It is in fact one big distraction -- a deliberate distraction -- from the principal political struggle in the Arab world. There is one thing on which Gaddafi and Western leaders of all political views are in total accord. They all want to slow down, channel, co-opt, limit the second Arab revolt and prevent it from changing the basic political realities of the Arab world and its role in the geopolitics of the world-system.

To appreciate this, one has to follow what has been happening in chronological sequence. Although political rumblings in the various Arab states and the attempts by various outside forces to support one or another element within various states have been a constant for a long time, the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, 2010 launched a very different process.

Left debates Libya: `The Arab revolution must stay in Arab hands' -- a reply to Gilbert Achcar

French navy technicians load a Mica missile, destined for Libya, under the wing of a Rafale jet fighter on the deck of Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

By Kevin Ovenden

March 28, 2011 -- Socialist Unity -- The Arab revolution has widened the left’s horizons. In the region itself there is now a historic possibility of a new radical politics: successful resistance to the hegemonic Western powers and to Israel fused with the movement of the young and propertyless masses against the corrupt and complicit elites. 

The fall of Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Mubarak shattered decades of Western policy, rocking them onto the back foot. They are now moving onto the front foot, as the regional despots raid their political and military arsenals to cling on.  

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