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Middle East

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.

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS formed at historic conference

In commemoration of the International Workers’ Day, the Palestinian trade union movement holds its first BDS conference and announces the formation of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS).

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Statement of principles and call for international trade union support for BDS

Occupied Palestine, May 4, 2011 – BDS Movement – In commemoration of the first of May – a day of workers struggle and international solidarity – the first Palestinian trade union conference for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) was held in Ramallah on 30 April 2011, organised by almost the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement, including federations, professional unions, and trade union blocks representing the entire spectrum of Palestinian political parties.

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


More at The Real News

Solidarity with the Palestinians: A view from South Africa on the need to unfriend Israeli universities

South Africans march against Israeli apartheid (image from bdsmovement.net).

By Patrick Bond

A presentation to the Association of American Geographers Annual Meetings, Seattle, Washington, April 12, 2011. Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Patrick Bond’s permission.

This panel is not only devoted to considering arguments about implementing the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, but also about broader problems of progressive political positioning and backlash in the academy.

Australia: Strong support for Marrickville council's stand against Israel's apartheid

April 19, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following letters and statements have been sent to the Marrickville City Council, in Sydney, Australia, in support of its decision to boycott Israel. The council has been under enormous pressure from Australia's capitalist media and the pro-Israel lobby to reverse the policy. For background information, please see "Australia: Murdoch press demonises Greens over support for Palestinian rights". For more on the BDS campaign and the struggle of the Palestinian people, please click HERE.

Marrickville council – continue to stand on the right side of history!

By the Palestinian BDS National Committee

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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Australia: Murdoch press demonises Greens over support for Palestinian rights

Racist vandalism of Greens’ election campaign billboards, Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle.

By Samah Sabawi

April 10, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- While Palestinian, Israeli and international non-violent protesters who march against Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories are literally showered in sewage, beaten, arbitrarily arrested and sometimes killed by Israeli forces, the battle against non-violent resistance has taken its own ugly form in Australia.

Supporters of the non-violent global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement — especially members of the Greens — have been subjected to abuse in a deliberate national campaign of misinformation and slurs orchestrated against them. It has questioned their values and integrity and falsely accused them of anti-Semitism.

The war on BDS is part of a concerted effort to sabotage Palestinian and Israeli non-violent resistance against Israel’s 43-year-old illegal occupation and its 63 years of discrimination against non-Jewish Israeli citizens.

Left debates Libya: Juan Cole/Gilbert Achcar controversy; The anti-anti-Qaddafi left

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

Two articles by Louis Proyect, moderator of the MarxMail list. They first appeared at Proyect's website, The Unrepentant Marxist, and are posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.

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By Louis Proyect

April 3, 2011 -- Perhaps the reason people on the left are so upset with Juan Cole and Gilbert Achcar’s “humanitarian intervention” arguments is that they are widely considered “one of us”. In Achcar’s case, the pain is even more acute for the Marxist wing of the left since his credentials are so well established.

Egypt’s revolutionaries fight the army, and win: eyewitness report and photo essay

[The following eyewitness report from Cairo's Tahrir Square was provided by 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, video and photos by Austin G. Mackell, Cairo

April 9, 2011 -- Moon Under Water -- The ongoing revolution in Egypt has taken a dramatic turn, with protesters successfully resisting an assault by the army on Tahrir Square.

Tunisia: Communist Workers' Party warns, `Great dangers threaten the revolution; power is not in the hands of the people'

Mass protests in Tunisia, January 2011.

By the Communist Workers' Party of Tunisia/Parti communiste des ouvriers de Tunisie (PCOT)

 حزب العمّال الشّيوعي التونسي

Translated by John Catalinotto for Tlaxcala

Two and a half months have passed since the glorious revolution of January 14. During this period, the people have made significant progress through their struggle and sacrifice.

South Africa: Victory for BDS campaign as university cuts Israel ties

University of Johannesburg terminates relationship with Israeli institution

By the Coalition for a free Palestine

March 24, 2011 -- The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) led Coalition for a free Palestine (CFP) welcomes the March 23 decision by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to terminate its relationship with the Israeli institution, Ben Gurion University.

The termination translates into the first South African institutional boycott of an Israeli institution and is a watershed moment in the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel campaign. This resonates with us in South Africa, as we are aware of the importance of international solidarity and realise the role that it played in dismantling South African apartheid. 

The two wars in Libya

Libyan rebels.

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

By Art Young

April 4, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Two wars are being waged simultaneously in Libya. One has grown out of a revolutionary struggle for democracy; the other is an attempt by imperialism to strengthen its domination of the country. Both wars appear to share the goal of “regime change” but they stand at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

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

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.

Communist Workers' Party of Tunisia opposes Libya intervention, calls for completion of revolution

The Communist Workers' Party of Tunisia on Libya: "The Tunisian revolution has spread to many Arab countries. Egypt's dictator fell, while authoritarian regimes in Yemen and Bahrain are fiercely repressing popular uprisings, in Bahrain, with the help of Saudi Arabia. Our neighbour, the Libyan people, rose up against their tormentors, but events took a bad turn with the intervention of the United States and its allies, under the pretext of protecting civilians. The US administration has hardly mentioned the killing of civilians in Yemen and Bahrain, as it has also never done regarding Gaza, Lebanon or Iraq and Afghanistan, countries it occupies. And didn’t Sarkozy support the Tunisian dictator until the last moment?

Egypt: 'A new political left is emerging'

By Alastair Beach

March 26, 2011 -- Al Masry Al Youm -- Gehan Shaaban has come a long way since her youthful days as a radical Trotskyist student. In the early 1990s she joined forces with a small group of far-left political activists in Egypt and founded an organisation called the Revolutionary Socialists. They were inspired by radical Palestinian-British politician Tony Cliff, who was born in 1917 to a Jewish family living in the Holy Land and became a fervent anti-Zionist after emigrating to the UK.

In those days, said Shaaban, things were very bad for the left. “There was no movement at all”, she said. “In the 1990s it was a time when you could not say the word “socialism” because it was the era of the new liberalism and the end of the USSR.”

But now things are beginning to change. With the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak a new political left is emerging in Egypt.

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.  

Left debates Libya: Juan Cole's open letter to the left on intervention; Phyllis Bennis and Vijay Prasad respond

March 29, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Juan Cole defends the use of military force to prevent a massacre in Benghazi and to aid the Libyan rebel movement.Vijay Prashad warns the United States has involved itself in a decades-long internal Libyan struggle while it ignores violent crackdowns by US-backed governments in Bahrain, Yemen and other countries in the region.

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