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US imperialism

Afghans mark Independence Day with anti-occupation protests

Afghan villagers gather at a house which was destroyed during US air raids in the Tagab Valley village of Inzeri, in Kapisa province, Afghanistan.

By Derrick O'Keefe -- August 19, 2010 marks 91 years since Afghanistan gained its freedom from the British empire, following three bloody wars of independence. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has issued a video statement to mark the occasion. It's worth watching or reading the text in full, if only to appreciate the new empire's irony-laden platitudes.

This August 19th, on behalf of President Obama and the American people, I want to congratulate the people of Afghanistan on 91 years of independence.

Pakistan flood catastrophe: West gives `billions for killing, little for life'

[Readers can donate to help flood victims via the Australian trade unions' aid agency APHEDA at]

By John Passant

August 15, 2010 -- The floods in Pakistan have threatened the lives and safety of more than 20 million people. Millions have lost everything. Now hunger and disease haunt the country. Dysentery and cholera are gaining a  foothold as people without homes starve and kids without Western help die.

The US gives the Pakistan government US$1 billion a year to fight "militants". It has increased its flood aid contribution from $10 million to $25 million. That’s right. Its aid figures is millions, not billions.

That’s because for US imperialism cowering the world before its might is much more important than providing aid to people affected by the floods.

Declaración Conjunta de Solidaridad Detener la amenaza contra Venezuela ahora!

03 de agosto 2010

Nosotros, las organizaciones abajo firmantes, vemos con gran preocupación la posibilidad de una agresión militar contra el pueblo de Venezuela por el Gobierno colombiano, que podría ser apoyada por los EE.UU. desde sus siete bases militares instaladas recientemente en Colombia.

El 22 de julio de 2010 la República Bolivariana de Venezuela fue acusada en una Sessión Extraordinaria de la Organización de Estados Americanos en Washington por el Gobierno colombiano, de promover, apoyar y mantener relaciónes con las organizaciones armadas de Colombia, como por ejemplo las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) y el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Las acusaciones se basaron sólo en imágenes que nunca han sido comprobadas o sometidas a verificación.

Estas maniobras actuales por el Gobierno colombiano de derecha son un claro intento respaldado por los EE.UU. para justificar un ataque preventivo contra Venezuela y su pueblo. Ha habido una series de denuncias falsas contra el gobierno de Hugo Chávez en los últimos recientes años como parte de la campaña respaldada por EE.UU. para desmantelar el proceso revolucionario que tiene lugar en Venezuela.

Asian socialists: `Stop the threats against Venezuela now!'

Joint statement initiated by Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Working People’s Association (PRP), Indonesia, and Socialist Alliance, Australia. See below for latest signatures.

[If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email]

August 1, 2010 -- We, the undersigned organisations, view with serious concern the possibility of military aggression towards the people of Venezuela by the Colombian government, which could be supported by the United State of America using its seven military bases recently installed in Colombia.

This matter has arisen from the recent events when the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was accused on July 22, 2010, at the extraordinary session of the Organization of American States in Washington by the Colombian government of promoting, supporting and maintaining a relationship with armed organisations from Colombia, such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN). The accusations were only based on images which have never been substantiated or subjected to verification.

Venezuela: The labour movement and socialist struggle today

Pedro Eusse, national secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela.

Pedro Eusse interviewed by Susan Spronk and Jeffery R. Webber

July 22, 2010 -- The Bullet -- In mid-June, 2010, we met with Pedro Eusse, national secretary of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and part of the provisional executive committee of the labour confederation, Unión Nacional de Trabajadores (National Union of Workers, UNT). Revolutionary figures from times past stared down at us from the paintings hung on the walls in the office of the PCV in central Caracas. Refusing to be interrupted by the constantly ringing phone, Pedro spoke passionately for two hours about the centrality of organised workers in the revolutionary struggle and the need to unite the labour movement. He expressed his hopes for rebuilding the UNT at its third congress planned for fall 2010.

What was your political formation?

¡Viva la Revolución!: The 1910 Mexican Revolution (part 1)

Emiliano Zapata.

[This article first appeared in Against the Current, the publication of Solidarity, a revolutionary socialist, feminist magazine in the United States. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission. Dan La Botz is the Socialist Party (USA)'s Ohio candidate for the US Senate. He also is the editor of Mexican Labor News and Analysis. The second part appears HERE.]

By Dan La Botz

2010 marks 100 years since the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. The revolution, which began in 1910 and ended in 1940, transformed Mexico. During the course of those 30 years, tens of thousands of men and women fought in battles in many regions of the country to end the Porfirian Díaz dictatorship and to determine the course and goals of the revolution that had overthrown it. In a nation of 15 million, a shocking 1 million were killed while 2 million migrated to the United States to escape the violence (many of them subsequently returning), a movement which established the paths of future migrations.(1)

Colombia & United States threaten attack -- Stop the lies and aggression against Venezuela!

A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

July 24, 2010 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network -- On July 22, Venezuela broke off all diplomatic relations with Colombia and placed its national borders on high alert. This follows accusations made by the Colombian government that Venezuela is harbouring “terrorists” from the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and hosting several “terrorist training camps” near the border region that divides the two countries.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on July 22, called for by Colombia, Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented television and video images allegedly taken from computers confiscated during the Colombian military’s illegal invasion of Ecuadorian territory in March 2008, as well as some computer-generated maps and photographs of alleged members of the FARC, which he said were taken inside Venezuela. Hoyos called for “international intervention” in Venezuela, and gave a “30-day ultimatum”.

Behind the New York Times' hatchet job on Oliver Stone's "South of the Border"

Trailer for South of the Border.

By Oliver Stone, Mark Weisbrot and Tariq Ali

[The following letter was sent to The New York Times.]

June 27, 2010 -- South of the Border -- The New York Times' Larry Rohter attacks our film, South of the Border, for “mistakes, misstatements and missing details”.  But a close examination of the details reveals that the mistakes, misstatements and missing details are his own, and that the film is factually accurate.

Bhopal: Corporate genocide, appeasement of imperialism, environmental hypocrisy

By Kavita Krishnan

July 2010 -- Liberation -- More than 25 years after the infamous Bhopal gas disaster, the verdict of a trial court in Bhopal is nothing but a cruel mockery of justice. With charges already diluted by the Supreme Court of India, the June 7 trial court verdict could only be a formal burial of justice. Not only does the verdict insult the victims of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters by letting off, either scot-free or with a ridiculously light sentence, the mighty CEOs who were the chief perpetrators, it amounts to an assurance to multinational corporations that they will enjoy total impunity in India even when their negligence and violations of regulations leads to the loss of thousands of Indian lives and injury to several thousand more.

On December 2-3, 1984, 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) leaked out of the Union Carbide Corporation’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, exposing more that 5,000,000 people to the toxic fumes. As many as 25,000 people have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands suffered irreversible damage to their health. The poison in the soil and water continues to affect future generations.

The politics of denialism: The strange case of Rwanda -- review of Herman and Peterson's ‘The Politics of Genocide’

Skulls of victims of one of the massacres during the 1994 Rwandan genocide are displayed at the Genocide Memorial Site church of Ntarama in Nyamata, Rwanda. Photo: AFP.

Review by Gerald Caplan

The Politics of Genocide,
By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson,
Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010,
112 pages plus endnotes and index, ISBN: 978-1-58367-212-9.

June 17, 2010 -- Pambazuka News -- This is a review of Edward S. Herman and David Peterson’s The Politics of Genocide, Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010.

Tariq Ali: Afghanistan -- `Obama’s war'

By Tariq Ali

[The following talk was given on April 19, 2010, to mark the 30th anniversary of the London Review of Books. It first appeared at Guernica /a magazine of art and politics. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Guernica's permission.]

Afghanistan now is at a critical stage. And now I’m very glad to say that the London Review of Books, whose thirtieth anniversary we are commemorating, has over the years published myself and others on this subject, taking essentially a critical stance to this war because, as many of you will recall, it became fashionable all over the world, not just in the United States, to think of Iraq and Afghanistan as two very different wars. Which of course, on one level, they are. But I mean different moral values were placed on these wars by good-thinking people. The Iraq war was a bad war, which should never have happened; that is the view of large numbers of people in the United States today, and always was the view of an overwhelming majority of Europeans.

Split amongst Cuban contras, cracks in the blockade

By Tim Anderson

June 11, 2010 -- A major split over the US blockade of Cuba has emerged between domestic "dissidents" in Cuba and their former partners in Miami. The US corporate media is paying attention to what appears to be a new anti-Cuban strategy.

A letter signed by 74 of the "dissidents" on the island calls for an end to Washington's ban on US citizens travelling to Cuba. On the other hand, most of the Cuban-American members of Congress are fiercely defending the nearly 50-year-old economic blockade, in all its forms. The "new contras" are now up against the old.

The split represents a genuine difference in counter-revolutionary tactics, but is also linked to squabbles over money. For many years "dissidents" in Cuba have privately complained that most of the millions of dollars pledged by Washington -- for a "transition" to capitalist "democracy" in Cuba -- is snapped up by Miami.

There have been scandals over the misuse of the millions of US government dollars funnelled into propaganda channels aimed at Cuba. Miami-based Radio Marti and Television Marti were recently criticised by US Foreign Relations Committee chair John Kerry as corrupt, ineffective and of little interest to young Cubans.

What next? The Freedom Flotilla and the struggle to break the siege of Gaza

By Rafeef Ziadah

June 5, 2010 -- The Bullet -- While people around the world are still in shock at the killing by Israeli commandos of innocent human rights activists on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, those who have been following Israeli state actions for some time are not surprised. This is an ongoing pattern of Israeli state terrorism and collective punishment. While we mourn the dead on the boats, we must not forget that the flotilla itself is in response to an even greater brutality – the slow starvation of more than 1.5 million people trapped in an open air prison called the Gaza Strip.

Capitalism is the cause of climate illness! Global movement begins the cure!

[For full coverage of the World People's Conference  on Climate Change, including the full text of the documents, click HERE.]

By Ron Ridenour, Cochabamba

May 15, 2010 -- Presenting the People’s Agreement — “Mother Earth does not belong to us, we belong to it” — worldwide was the first act of the Global People’s Movement for Mother Earth. This was carried out in May by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and representative activists from five continents.

Representing 35,000 people from 147 countries, they presented the conclusions of 17 workshops — held April 19-21 at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (WPCCC) — to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to the Non-Alignment Movement (now 130 Third World countries) plus China (the world’s second greatest polluter), and then to leaders of the European Union.

Justice in Wonderland: The untold story of the Cuban Five

By Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba’s National Assemby

I. Remember Elian?

“It takes all the running you can do,
to keep in the same place” -- Through the Looking Glass

May 29, 2010 -- The case of Elian González, a six-year-old boy abducted by his unknown-to-him great-uncles and against the will of his father, in clear defiance of US law and decency, was widely reported by the media around the world. Miami, the place of the kidnapping, became a kind of secessionist city in North America when the mayor, the chief of police, the politicians, every newspaper and local radio and TV broadcasters, together with religious and business institutions, joined notorious terrorist and violent groups in opposing court and government orders to free the boy.

It was necessary for a special forces team sent from Washington DC to launch a surreptitious and swift operation to occupy several houses, disarm the heavily armed individuals hidden there and in the neighbourhood to save the child and restore law.

Everybody followed that story. Day in and day out.

But practically nobody knew that, at the very same time, in exactly the same city, Miami, five other young Cubans were arbitrary deprived from their freedom and subjected to a gross miscarriage of justice.

Thailand: Why Obama is silent on the Bangkok massacres

By Shamus Cooke

May 16, 2010 -- When the White House is quiet as protesters are butchered in the streets of Bangkok, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicity. One can only imagine what the US government's response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the US media and US President Barack Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand's bloodbath.

The history of US-Thailand relations explains why. During the Vietnam War, the US used Thailand as one of the main “anti-communist” bulwarks in an area that included China, Vietnam and other countries that were challenging capitalism.

Thailand was thus transformed into a US client state and given money, guns and US government intelligence to battle Thailand’s “communists”. This relationship has equalled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protesters who the Thai government named “communists” or the modern equivalent, “terrorists”.

The US-Thailand relationship began to sour when the recently deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra formed a closer relationship with China that included economic and military deals. The November 7, 2008, Asian Times summarises the consequences:

Memories of a participant: Kent & Jackson State, 1970 -- A firestorm they could not contain

By Mike Ely

May 4, 2010 -- Kasama Project -- May 4, 1970. Forty years have passed. It is history now in the eyes of the world. But for me, and many others, it is raw and alive. It always will be.

I won’t tell the well-known details – if you don’t know them, look them up. But I will tell you what it felt like, and looked like to a teenage boy who wanted desperately to see the liberation of the Vietnamese and Black people in America.

May Day for Bobby Seale — New Haven, 1970

On May 1 1970, I was in New Haven, Connecticut. Bobby Seale, the chairman of the Black Panther Party was facing a murder trial in New Haven. They had first bound and gagged him in the  courtroom of the Chicago 8, then shipped him to Connecticut to lock him up for life. We were determined to free him.

Students came from all over the US east coast to turn the city upside down. On my campus, we had worked day and night to explain the attack on the Black Panther Party – and to mobilise busloads to go New Haven.

Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party.

Honduras: Disappearing truth and justice; Washington covers up repression

US covering up reality in Honduras

April 13, 2010 -- Real News report -- While State Department attempts to sell the world that the inauguration of a new president in Honduras has brought an end to the country's crisis, the continuing assassinations of anti-coup activists and their children stands as sharp evidence to the contrary. Video includes interviews with Father Ismael "Melo" Moreno, director of Honduras' Radio Progreso, and Adrienne Pine, anthropologist from American University and Honduras expert. Produced by Jesse Freeston.

By Annie Bird

Malaysia: Najib's flirtation with imperialist US and his support for plot against Iran

By the Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM)

April 19, 2010 -- The bilateral meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and US President Barack Obama served nothing but the submission of the Malaysian government to the imperialist US as its new foot soldiers of “war on terror” in South-East Asia.

Prime Minister Najib recently attended the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, which achieved very little in promoting disarmament, but created conditions for stepping up sanctions against Iran, a country in the oil-rich region that has refused to subordinate itself to US Imperialism. It has become clear that Obama's foreign policy is far from breaking with the aggressive expansionist approach under the Bush administration, but is more in line with the imperialist goal of achieving military domination of the world.

Obama's double talk at nuclear summit: US preserves and extends its nuclear domination

By the International Socialist Organization, United States

April 14, 2010 -- Socialist Worker -- The US has repackaged its strategy -- but the terrible threat of nuclear war remains. The administration of US President Barack Obama is out to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal and pressure world leaders into imposing sanctions against countries -- like Iran -- that allegedly harbour ambitions to develop nukes of their own.

That's the agenda behind the April 12-13 Washington summit on nuclear security, which followed the announcement of a supposedly less belligerent US nuclear strategy and the signing in Prague of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.

The START treaty was billed as a first step towards fulfilling Obama's call a year ago to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In fact, START would leave the US and Russia with the means to blow up the world many times over.

If Washington is willing to make a deal with Moscow to cut the number of nukes today, it's because politicians in both countries -- especially Russia -- want to minimise the prohibitive cost of building such weapons. So the total number of warheads will be limited under the treaty to 1550 apiece.

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