US imperialism

Sudan: Northern regime tightens grip as protests flare

Heavily armed police patrolled Khartoum's main streets on January 30, as demonstrations broke out throughout the city demanding the government resign.

[See also "Sudan: Why the people of the south voted for independence".]

By Kerryn Williams

February 10, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- “The situation in Egypt is different than the situation of Sudan”, government spokesperson Rabie A. Atti insisted to reporters following January 30 anti-government protests. “We don’t have one small group that controls everything. Wealth is distributed equally. We’ve given power to the states.”

Egypt: The danger to the revolution comes from Washington

Protesters stand in front of grafitti calling on the US government to stay out of Egypt's affairs, February 2, 2011. Photo by Matthew Cassel

By Ali Abunimah

February 6, 2011 -- The Electronic Intifada -- The greatest danger to the Egyptian revolution and the prospects for a free and independent Egypt emanates not from the baltagiyya -- the mercenaries and thugs the regime sent to beat, stone, stab, shoot and kill protesters in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities in early February -- but from Washington.

Fidel Castro: Mubarak's fate is sealed

By Fidel Castro

February 1, 2011 -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s fate is sealed, not even the support of the United States will be able to save his government.

The people of Egypt are an intelligent people with a glorious history who left their mark on civilisation. “From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries of history are looking down upon us”, Napoleon Bonaparte once said in a moment of exaltation when the revolution brought him to this extraordinary crossroads of civilisations.

After World War II, Egypt was under the brilliant governance of Abdel Nasser, who together with Jawaharlal Nehru, heir of Mahatma Gandhi; Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah; and Guniea's Ahmed Sekou Toure — African leaders who together with Sukarno, then president of the recently liberated Indonesia — created the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries and advanced the struggle for independence in the former colonies.

Eyewitness Egypt: two interviews with Hossam el-Hamalawy

A protester carrying a banner addressed to Mubarak: “The people want you to fall”. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy/3arabawy.

Below are two recent interviews with Hossam el-Hamalawy, an Egyptian journalist and socialist activist who produces at the 3arabawy website. The first appeared at Al Jazeera and the second at the Washington Post.

January 27, 2011 -- Al Jazeera via Socialist Worker (US) -- Mark LeVine, professor of history at UC Irvine, managed to catch up with Hossam el-Hamalawy via Skype to get a first-hand account of events unfolding in Egypt.

Why did it take a revolution in Tunisia to get Egyptians onto the streets in unprecedented numbers?

In Egypt, we say that Tunisia was more or less a catalyst, not an instigator, because the objective conditions for an uprising existed in Egypt, and revolt has been in the air over the past few years.

Western powers line up against Arab democracy

Above: young woman protester in Egypt. "The protests have been led by educated young people frustrated by poverty and lack of political freedom."

By Tony Iltis

January 30, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Having started with a fearless uprising for democracy and economic justice that is sweeping the Arab world, 2011 is shaping up to be a decisive year for the Middle East. By January 14, the first dictator had already been overthrown: Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak looks set to follow.

Protests inspired by the Tunisian revolution have occurred in several Arab countries, repeatedly in Yemen and Jordan. On January 28, the Middle East’s most populous country, Egypt, was rocked by riots after police tried brutally, but unsuccessfully, to end four days of protest against the 30-year-old dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

Cuba: Australian Workers Union tips its hat to Washington

More than a million Cuban workers mobilise each year on May Day, organised by the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba trade union federation.

[See also "Cuban trade unionist: `Workers are key participants in the Cuban revolution'".]

By Tim Anderson

January 26, 2011 -- This January the Australian Workers Union (AWU) wrote an insulting letter to the new Cuban ambassador to Australia, Pedro Monzón. The union’s response shows the tight ideological hold that the US has over the weaker, more compliant sections of the trade union movement in Australia.

Tariq Ali on `The Palestine Papers': Total capitulation

Mahmoud Abbas with US President George W. Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Red Sea Summit in Aqaba, Jordan, on June 4, 2003.

The rise and fall of Tunisia's Ceauşescu

Socialist Unity, January 17, 2011 -- Picture sent by Twitter from Al Jazeera journalist Ayman Mohyeldin. Protesters hold up signs outside a trade union office saying “Protests must continue”, rejecting the fake “national unity” government.

[For more on Tunisia in revolt, click HERE.]

By Richard Seymour

[This article first appeared on Seymour's blog, Lenin's Tomb. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.]

(Updated Jan. 16) Tunisia's intifada topples tyrant: 'Yezzi fock!'

[For more on Tunisia in revolt, click HERE.]

On January 14, the BBC reported that the mass uprising in Tunisia had toppled that country's Western-backed tyrant after weeks of protests and government repression, which has cost the lives of dozens of Tunisians. According to the BBC:

Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has stepped down after 23 years in power, amid widespread protests on the streets of the capital Tunis. In a televised address, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi said he would be taking over from the president. A state of emergency was declared earlier, as weeks of protests over economic issues snowballed into rallies against Mr Ben Ali's rule. Unconfirmed reports say Mr Ben Ali and his family have left Tunisia. The reports suggest that the deposed president is looking for a place of asylum, with French media saying that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has turned down a request for his plane to land in France.

The articles below explain some of the background to the uprising.

Ivory Coast: Behind the post-election political crisis and threat of military intervention

Ivorians protest against food price increases in 2008.

By Peluola Adewale

Jannuary 5, 2011 -- Democratic Socialist Movement (Nigeria) -- That the November 28, 2010, run-off election in the Ivory Coast has produced two presidents – Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo – is not a surprise, though working people had expected the election to usher a return of peace. The country has been divided into two since the 2002 coup attempt and subsequent rebellion, with each half effectively having its own de facto government. The north is controlled by rebels, Forces Nouvelles (New Forces), while the south is under Gbagbo with the support of the armed forces and youth militia. Therefore, on this account and with the ethnocentric sentiment that has characterised Ivorian politics in the last two decades, it is natural that the results of the election from either half would be bitterly disputed by the party declared the loser of the contest.

US imperialist aggression in the early 21st century

Washington has reactivated the US Navy’s 4th Fleet to ensure US power projection over the Caribbean, Central and South America.

[This talk was presented at the regional “socialism conference” was held in Manila from November 27 to 28, 2010. The conference was organised by the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses) and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia.]

By Rasti Delizo

Martin Hart-Landsberg: What’s happening on the Korean Peninsula?

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

December 31, 2010 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- What’s happening on the Korean peninsula? If you read the press or listen to the talking heads, your best guess would be that an insane North Korean regime is willing to risk war to manage its own internal political tensions. This conclusion would be hard to avoid because the media rarely provide any historical context or alternative explanations for North Korean actions.

For example, much has been said about the March 2010 (alleged) North Korean torpedo attack on the Cheonan (a South Korean naval vessel) near Baengnyeong Island, and the November 2010 North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island (which houses a South Korean military base).

The conventional wisdom is that both attacks were motivated by North Korean elite efforts to smooth the leadership transition underway in their country. The take away: North Korea is an out-of-control country, definitely not to be trusted or engaged in negotiations.

But is that an adequate explanation for these events? Before examining the facts surrounding them, let’s introduce a bit of history. Take a look at the map below, which includes both Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands.

Wikileaks: Sweden, Assange and the USA

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was released on bail in Britain on December 16, 2010. It is almost a certainty that the editor of Wikileaks will be turned over to the United States if he is extradited to Sweden.

By Al Burke

December 28, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Nordic News Network -- Sweden has requested the extradition of Wikileaks editor Julian Assange from the United Kingdom, and legal proceedings are expected to commence at the start of the new year. Due to the extraordinary behaviour of the prosecutor in charge of the case, questions have been raised about the prospects of Assange receiving impartial justice in Sweden.[1]

`Development', capitalism, NGOs and people's movements in Bangladesh: an interview with Anu Muhammad

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Power and Ports organised a "Long March" in October 2010 to oppose the plunder of Bangladesh's natural resources. More photos at http://www.shahidulnews.com/2010/10/long-march/.

December 28, 2010 -- Anu Muhammad is an eminent Marxist and a renowned academician from Bangladesh. He is currently serving as professor in the Department of Economics in Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka. He is also general secretary of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Power and Ports and has been involved in various people's movements in Bangladesh. He, along with the committee, played an instrumental role in the success of the Phulbari Movement against Open Pit Mining in Phulbari, Bangladesh. He writes extensively on globalisation, social transformation, gender issues, NGOs and energy issues, and has authored more than 20 books.

United States: 120th anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee: The bloody birth of empire

December 29, 2010 -- Rustbelt Radical -- Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890 is full of meaning. Not just for the Miniconjou and Hunkpapa Lakota who were victims and perished in their hundreds, but for the course of imperial America. Its violence an echo of the violence that was the settlement of this country.

Washington's war of terror against Cuba

By Jane Franklin

September 25, 2010 -- janefranklin.info -- On September 19, 1960, Fidel Castro and Malcolm X had an historic meeting in Harlem’s Hotel Theresa. Fifty years later people packed a meeting hall in the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building across 125th Street to commemorate that meeting. Among them were Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Cuban ambassador to the United Nations Pedro Núñez Mosquera.

What a different kind of commemoration we could have had if such important leaders as Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fred Hampton and countless others had not been assassinated. When Malcolm X met with Fidel Castro they talked about Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, a leader whose importance for Africa and all of us was globally recognised. Only five days earlier, Lumumba had been overthrown by Colonel Joseph Mobutu with the support of the CIA. Four months later Lumumba was executed. And in less than five years assassination took away the life of Malcolm X himself.

Diego Garcia: Wikileaks confirm Greenpeace-backed `marine protection zone' was a ruse; Police ban socialist protests

US warplanes take off from Diego Garcia.

[Read the Mauritian socialists' open letter to Greenpeace -- `Don't help cover up colonialism's crimes on Diego Garcia' HERE, warning the organisation that it is being manipulated by the US and British governments. This has now been confirmed by Wikileaks.]

By Clency Lebrasse

December 17, 2010 -- Rabble.ca -- Six months ago, I wrote a piece for rabble.ca describing the appalling treatment of the people of the Chagos Islands [which includes Diego Garcia] in the Indian Ocean by the British government.

Fidel Castro on Wikileaks: The empire stands accused

By Fidel Castro Ruz

December 14, 2010 -- Julian Assange, a man known only to a very few in the world some months ago, is demonstrating that the most powerful empire to have existed in history can be challenged.

The daring challenge did not come from a rival superpower; from a state with more than 100 nuclear weapons; from a country with millions of inhabitants; from a group of nations with vast natural resources which the United States could not do without; or from a revolutionary doctrine capable of shaking to its foundations the empire based on plunder and exploitation of the world.

Wikileaks: Don't forget Bradley Manning -- US detains accused whistleblower in inhumane conditions

Graphic from CourageToResist.org.

December 15, 2010 -- Salon -- Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old US Army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the US Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard), who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subject to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

Wanderings of a Zen Marxist: 30th anniversary of John Lennon's murder -- `The US vs John Lennon'

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was murdered in New York. To mark the 30th anniversary of Lennon's murder Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal makes available the fascinating documentary The US vs John Lennon (above). Below, we reproduce a review by Green Left Weekly's Phil Shannon about the political and cultural significance of John Lennon and his evolution.

The wanderings of a Zen Marxist

Come Together: John Lennon in his Time
By Jon Weiner
Faber and Faber, 1995, 379 pages (pb)

Reviewed by Phil Shannon

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