Socialism Art Nature

It’s also worth noting the way that the US theft of Native American lands exponentially metastasizes in the years immediately following the Civil War. The triumph of free wage-labor and modern capitalist industry in the North over agrarian semi-fuedal relations of production in the South both made possible and necessitated the insatiable expansion of the US political-economic state as it sought “accumulation” and “development” at breakneck speed.

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Sami Ramadani: We coexisted peacefully for centuries, and need neither brutal dictators nor western intervention.

 … Every tribe in Iraq has Sunnis and Shia in its ranks. Every town and city has a mix of communities. My experience of Iraq, and that of all friends and relatives, is that of an amazing mix of coexisting communities, despite successive divide-and-rule regimes.

The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq’s modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation, which faced massive popular opposition and resistance. The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organisations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect rather than politics …

 … Until the 1970s nearly all Iraq’s political organisations were secular, attracting people from all religions and none. The dividing lines were sharply political, mostly based on social class and political orientation.


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The Other 98%:
Instead of wasting $4 trillion fighting the Iraq War, we could have ended world hunger for three decades.

Instead of wasting $4 trillion fighting the Iraq War, we could have ended world hunger for three decades.

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Chelsea Manning speaks out!

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However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.


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The “decent Left” was wrong: a blood soaked occupation did not lead to a promising post-Taliban future.

Against the sunny predictions of the cruise missile left, Afghanistan is in ruins. Western bombings in Herat, Farah, and Kunduz have led to mass civilian death, while nighttime house raids murder more intimately in Ghazi Khan and Khatabeh.

The casualty figures should shame the war’s supporters. The Asia Foundation reports that 500,000 Afghans say they were subject to violence from the International Security Assistance Force in 2011 alone. Bob Dreyfuss and Nick Turse of the Nation calculate that even by conservative counts, the deaths of 6481 civilians were directly attributable to ISAF and the Afghan government with which it is allied. Thousands more have been killed by insurgents, fighting a war of the West’s making.


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Some 800 activists gathered to protest Obama’s signing of a new agreement that grants U.S. forces comprehensive access to Filipino military bases.

VICE News reports that many Filipinos view this 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) as Obama’s “attempt to rekindle U.S. imperialistic control in Asia.” And they might not be far off. Until 1992, U.S. forces had maintained an almost uninterrupted military presence in the country for nearly 100 years.

"US intervention and aggression in the Philippines has been going on for more than a century now," protester Axel Pinpin told VICE. “It has already cost hundreds of thousands of Filipino lives. The resistance and struggle for national sovereignty has never been more just and it will continue to intensify.”

Philippines Congressman Neri Colmenares added in the Inquirer: “This [agreement] will practically bring back US military bases in the Philippines without a treaty, without rent and without limits as the American may use all Philippine military facilities — an arrangement worse than the Bases Treaty rejected by the Philippine Senate in September 1991.”


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Happening now: student action at Rutgers to oppose the choice of war criminal Condoleeza Rice for commencement speaker!\

Breaking: 50 Rutgers students are occupying President Barchi’s offices right now, dozens outside blocking entrances to prevent arrests. Students are demanding that Barchi rescind the invitation for Condoleeza Rice to speak at commencement and cancel her honorary degree due to her war crimes. Spread the word to Rutgers faculty, students and staff to come on down to Old Queens off College Ave. and show solidarity!


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Of course, this comes just days after the US government agrees to send Egypt’s new junta regime a fresh shipment of attack helicopters to be followed by further military aid.

“The United States will deliver to Egypt 10 Apache helicopters that were held up last year after President Mohamed Morsi was deposed, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Egyptian defense minister on Tuesday. Mr. Hagel said the helicopters would be used in Egypt’s efforts against terrorism in the Sinai, the Defense Department said in a statement. In a separate call, Secretary of State John Kerry told Egypt’s foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is living up to the terms of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a move that allows the release of some aid to Cairo, a State Department spokeswoman said.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/world/middleeast/egypt-us-to-deliver-helicopters.html?_r=0)

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this is surely a crime against humanity that the u.s. government is engaged in.

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On the ground in a country where unmanned missile attacks are a terrifyingly regular occurrence.

Last year, London-based forensic psychologist Peter Schaapveld presented research he’d conducted on the psychological impact of drone strikes in Yemen to a British parliamentary sub-committee. He reported that 92 percent of the population sample he examined was found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – with children being the demographic most significantly affected. Women, he found, claimed to be miscarrying from their fear of drones. “This is a population that by any figure is hugely suffering,” Schaapveld said. The fear of drones, he added, “is traumatizing an entire generation.”

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My friend who works at MIT in Cambridge just posted this:

I just sat in a room full of Poli Sci type academics and I don’t know how many of them even thought twice about how shocking the US plunder of Iraqi history has been. I attended a lunch seminar presentation from a Stanford professor on her findings drawn from a repository of Iraqi Ba’ath Party archives that were literally captured and taken wholesale by US forces during the 2003 invasion and brought to the United States and never returned. Which is what happened to precious historical thousand year old artifacts, and documents on Iraqi Jewish history and heritage as well.

Against the condemnation of Iraqi, American and Canadian archivists, that this history belongs to the Iraqi people, I learned that this vast repository on the Baath regime is stored in only three places: the US government, the Hoover Institute at Stanford University…and fucking Kenan Makiya’s house here in Cambridge. The information in those files is actually really important. They shed light on the vast documentation conducted by the Ba’ath regime to gauge the loyalties of Shias and Kurds from the 80’s, during the Iran-Iraq war, during the 1991-1992 uprising, and into the 90’s. So why can’t they be returned to the Iraqi people? The professor repeated Makiya’s claim that Iraq was too “volatile” to give those archives back, and even thought to let us in on the fact that when you visit Makiya’s home, all the digitized files are on top of his fireplace.

Apparently it’s not “volatile” or “risky” to preside over and broadcast the public hanging of the head of the Ba’ath regime. It’s just “risky” to hand over the archives of that regime to the Iraqi people. She kept referring to Saddam era Iraq with statements like “During authoritarian Iraq” or “In authoritarian Iraq”, as though what we have today after a decade of brutal occupation is a “free Iraq”. She suggested her data analysis showed the sanctions weakened the Baathist regime, and Sunni civil servants, as though the humanitarian disaster of the sanctions didn’t strangle the entire population, and kill 500,000 children, as though to suggest that sanctions were defensible and correct US policy. There were also chuckles in some corners when she described some of Saddam’s jokes about his brutal punishment of draft dodgers, the kind of comfortable victory chuckle that reassures the occupier that their war was justified.

The Iraq Memory Foundation is a total fraud, another act of imperial robbery of the Iraqi people. Those archives belong in Iraq. But the Foundation itself, it seems to me, serves two purposes in the imperial nation: That of stealing the history of the Iraqi people, and thereby their sovereignty, and also, by calling it the “Iraq Memory” Foundation, it erases the entire history of Iraqi politics and history to reduce it to the Saddam era. It justifies the invasion and occupation of Iraq, because if the Iraqi people didn’t already have a proud history and memory of resistance and revolutionary struggle, of the fight against sectarianism and anti-Semitism, of uprisings, of once the largest Communist Party in the Middle East, it must be that the United States government was justified to bomb their country to the Stone Ages and bring them down on their knees for freedom and democracy.

It was just a reminder of how repulsive these poli sci/international relations circles can be, how academic institutions are so tied to imperialism, and why we can’t ignore or dismiss any struggles in academia whether around labor, free speech, divestment, or ideology.


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In Boston this week, two firemen died in the attempt to keep other people safe. That’s heroism. Meanwhile, all over the US, people are still defending the belief that killing tens of thousands of innocent people in America’s unjust wars is acceptable because it makes us safer. That’s cowardice. It’s the moral equivalent of murdering your entire family and throwing them outside in case hungry wolves arrive. You’ve taken numerous lives in the hope that you might save yourself. But it’s worse than that. Those dead bodies outside your door are going to attract more wolves than ever. Likewise, I can’t really think of a better way to radicalize someone and goad them into terrorism by murdering their family. So to recap: on one hand we have the example of firemen who were willing to risk their lives rather than let someone else be hurt. On the other hand, we have war apologists who are willing to murder thousands of people on the chance that they might be made safer. Except it doesn’t even do that, it puts us all in greater danger. Polar opposites.
John Stephen Dwyer

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Israel once again displaying its irresponsibly aggressive military posture towards neighboring countries. Conducting airstrikes against the Syrian military as ‘retaliation’ for Israel soldiers being killed by a roadside bomb of unknown origin in the Golan Heights, an area which Israel has been illegally [per the UN] claiming as its own ever since it was stolen from Syrian control in 1967.

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