Hunter Gray | 1 Sep 13:07 2011

Just thinking a little

My impressions of Rick Perry could hardly be more negative.  His mannerisms, whether "natural" or put on, strike me as a synthesis of John Wayne and Ronald Reagan.  When he speaks, his content and message remind me much of George Wallace.  And when he waves a revolver in the air, it turns me -- a life long gun person -- totally off.
 
If, Cosmos forbid, he's going to get anywhere on the national stage, he's going to need the support of vastly more than simply the admittedly too-large hard-right/fundamentalist coven in the Republican party.  He'll need lots of independents and plenty of disaffected Democrats.  It's hard to see most genuine independents being led around by a demagogic Pied Piper and it seems very doubtful that the now rapidly increasing group of disaffected Demos will see him as any positive beacon.
 
Let's hope I'm right on this.
 
Our almost month long heat wave has ended.  Brush and timber fires are still much on the scene.  Idaho has just initiated a broad and uninhibited wolf hunt  -- thanks to a Congressional mandate (and the Obama administration's earlier efforts to remove wolves from Federal protection).  There've been a couple of human deaths via Grizzly attacks -- fortunately the bears involved remain at large -- and mountain lions are becoming more conspicuous in some areas.  A group of three showed up the other day in the yard of a rural family south of here.
 
We like all of these animal entities and their behaviorisms and we aren't worried.
 
Solidarity,
 
Hunter Bear
 
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
 
Our Hunterbear website is now almost 12 years old.
Check it out and its vast number of links. The initial
cover page itself has about 30 representative ones.
www.hunterbear.org
 
See - Extensive Personal Background Narrative (updated into 2011):
http://hunterbear.org/narrative.htm
 
See this on the new (2011), expanded and updated edition of my book,
Jackson Mississippi -- the classic and fully detailed account of
the historic and bloody Jackson Movement of almost 50 years ago: 
http://hunterbear.org/jackson.htm
 
And see Shooting Lupus, now expanded July 2011 -- my account of
killing a very deadly disease in an eight year war.  Systemic Lupus has
a predatory preference for Native Americans, Blacks, Chicanos, some
Asian groups, and women in general.  It's a civil rights issue.
http://hunterbear.org/shooting_lupus.htm
 
 


__._,_.___

"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

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Revised: Cuban 5 Film Festival NYC

 
FREE THE CUBAN 5 MONTH/FILM FESTIVAL!
 
In 2006, President Ricardo Alarcon of the Cuban parliament, called for the period of time between September 12th through October 6th, to be a time to call attention to the case of the Cuban 5; 5 U.S. held political prisoners incarcerated for 13 years for fighting against terrorism in the United States and Cuba. In New York City, we extend the time frame by 6 days to make it a full month, Sept. 12th-Oct. 12th.
 
This year, The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5 is organizing a film festival and a series of forums to educate, organize and mobilize for the freedom of these innocent men!
 
Please Support our efforts! Contact us if you want to host a film showing or a forum! Email us at: freethecuban5 <at> gmail.com  or call 718-601-4751
 
 
Sat. Sept. 10, 2011 <at> 6:30 to 9:30 pm
Free the Cuban 5: 13 Years of Unjust Incarceration! Happy 67th Birthday, Leonard Peltier! Viva Puerto Rico Libre: 12th Anniversary of the Release of the Puerto Rican PPs/POWs!
 
Judson Memorial Church Assembly Hall
239 Thompson St., NY, NY (Wheelchair Accessible)
Nearest subway IND West 4th Street A-B-C-D-E-F-M trains
 
Ricardo Jiménez, former Puerto Rican POW
Performance by Coatlicue Theatre Company
Others to be Announced
 
LIGHT REFRESHMENTS $5-10 DONATION
nyclpdoc <at> gmail.com • nycjericho <at> gmail.com • 718-325-4407
Co-Sponsored by: NYC Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Ctte., NYC Jericho Movement, ProLibertad Freedom Campaign, Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5
 
 
 
Friday Sept. 16th, 2011 at 7pm-10pm
Casa de Las Americas 182 E. 111th St.
(Btwn. Lexington and Third Ave.)
Take the 6 train to E. 110th St.
Suggested donation: $5 (No one will be turned away)
 
Fidel: The untold story:
Whether dismissed as a relic or revered as a savior, all agree that Fidel Castro, nearing 44 years as the leader of Cuba, is one of the most influential and controversial figures of our time. Rarely are Americans given a chance to see inside the world of this socialist leader. The new documentary film FIDEL by Estela Bravo offers a unique opportunity to view the man through exclusive interviews with Castro himself, historians, public figures and close friends, with rare footage from the Cuban State archives.

Alice Walker, Harry Belafonte, and Sydney Pollack discuss Fidel as a person, while former and current US government figures including Arthur Schlesinger, Ramsey Clark, Wayne Smith, Congressman Charles Rangel and a former CIA agent offer political and historical perspectives on Castro and the long-standing US embargo against Cuba. Family members and close friends, including Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, offer a window into the rarely seen personal life of Fidel.

Bravo's camera captures Fidel Castro swimming with bodyguards, visiting his childhood home and school, joking with Nelson Mandela, Ted Turner and Muhammad Ali, meeting Elian Gonzalez, and celebrating his birthday with members of the Buena Vista Social Club. Juxtaposing the personal anecdotal with history of the Cuban revolution and the fight to survive the post-Soviet period, FIDEL tells a previously untold story and presents a new view of this compelling figure.
 
 
 
Friday Sept. 23rd, 2011 at 7pm
Pathfinder Books 306 W. 37th St. (Btwn. 8th-9th Ave.)
Take the A,C,E, S, N, R, Q, 1, 2, 3, or 7 trains to 42nd St. Times Square
 
La Maestra:
The Cuban Literacy Campaign of 1961 dramatically changed the nation’s literacy levels within one year by organizing over 100,000 volunteers – over half of who were women – to teach classes in the rural areas of the country. In 2005, this documentary crew began collecting testimonies of women literacy teachers, exploring how this experience influenced their lives & sense of self, as well as the future of their nation.
 
Sponsored by the Militant Labor Forum!
 
 
 
 
Friday Sept. 30th, 2011 at 7pm-10pm
Casa de Las Americas 182 E. 111th St. (Btwn. Lexington and Third Ave.)
Take the 6 train to E. 110th St.
Suggested donation: $5 (No one will be turned away)
 
¡Salud!:
A timely examination of human values and the health issues that affect us all, ¡Salud!looks at the curious case of Cuba, a cash-strapped country with what the BBC calls ‘one of the world’s best health systems.’ From the shores of Africa to the Americas, !Salud!hits the road with some of the 28,000 Cuban health professionals serving in 68 countries, and explores the hearts and minds of international medical students in Cuba -- now numbering 30,000, including nearly 100 from the USA. Their stories plus testimony from experts around the world bring home the competing agendas that mark the battle for global health—and the complex realities confronting the movement to make healthcare everyone’s birth right.
 
A feature documentary, ¡Salud! is directed by Academy Award nominee Connie Field and co-produced by Gail Reed. The film spans three continents to look at the philosophy and health professionals placing Cuba on the map in the worldwide movement to make health care a global birthright. Today, Cubans are among the world’s healthiest people, despite the island’s poverty. Cuba’s volunteer corps now posts 28,000 health professionals in 68 countries; and Cuban medical schools will graduate an unprecedented 100,000 new doctors from developing countries over the next decade.
 
 
 
Friday Oct. 7th, 2011 at 7pm-10pm
Casa de Las Americas 182 E. 111th St. (Btwn. Lexington and Third Ave.)
Take the 6 train to E. 110th St.
Suggested donation: $5 (No one will be turned away)
 
638 Ways to Kill Castro:
638 Ways To Kill Castro is a political documentary exploring the history of the relationship between the U.S. government and Cuba, told via the countless attempts to kill Fidel Castro. From exploding cigars to femme fatales; a radio station rigged with noxious gas to a poison syringe posing as an innocuous ballpoint pen, those who tried to kill Castro reveal every conceivable method of assassination.

On the trail of Castro's would-be killers, the filmmakers meet a series of extraordinary characters, including two men accused of being terrorists, but living free in America. Orlando Bosch, who many consider to be the greatest terrorist in the northern hemisphere, is found living peacefully in his Miami home, with his adoring family. Antonio Veciana, the Cuban American who got the closest to killing Castro on three occasions, now runs a marine store in Miami. Both men were supported and funded by the United States, and the CIA even sought the help of the Mafia, hoping they would be able to succeed where Bosch and Veciana had failed.

A exciting detective thriller, 638 Ways To Kill Castro is a Silver River production for Britain's Channel 4!
 
 
 
 


__._,_.___

"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Steve Cooke | 3 Sep 10:10 2011
Picon

www.cpgb.org.uk

Weekly Worker 879 - Thursday September 01 2011

 

The latest edition of the Weekly worker is now available online at http://www.cpgb.org.uk/edition.php?issue_id=879

 

In this week's issue:

 

AFTERMATH OF AUGUST

Eddie Ford looks at the response to the UK riots, both from the establishment and the left

 

LETTERS

Sparks' fight; Cut-price; Sex exclusion; Jarra lad; Where was he? ; Spoilt brats; No better; Lemons; Silly; Splitters!; Correction

 

FACING A HOT AUTUMN

Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi remains in office, writes Toby Abse, but his Bonapartist regime has come to an end

 

ISRAEL ROCKED BY PROTESTS

Moshe Machover looks at Israel's July 14 movement

 

AIMING AT WRONG TARGET

Maciej Zurowski investigates reactionary musical counterculture and looks at the anti-fascist response

 

DEBATE, CONTROVERSY AND COMRADESHIP

Danny Hammill reports on this year's CPGB summer school

 

FALL OF DESPERATE REGIME

Anti-imperialism does not equal pro-Gaddafi, argues James Turley

 

BEST IN YEARS

Mark Fischer reports on this year's 'Summer Offensive'

 

A PDF of the paper can be downloaded via http://www.cpgb.org.uk/pdf/ww879.pdf

 



__._,_.___

"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Hunter Gray | 3 Sep 20:25 2011

Living and working in the BIG North Dakota oil boom

Life in the big northwestern North Dakota oil boom:
 
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
 
Our Hunterbear website is now almost 12 years old.
Check it out and its vast number of links. The initial
cover page itself has about 30 representative ones.
www.hunterbear.org
 
See - Extensive Personal Background Narrative (updated into 2011):
http://hunterbear.org/narrative.htm
 
See this on the new (2011), expanded and updated edition of my book,
Jackson Mississippi -- the classic and fully detailed account of
the historic and bloody Jackson Movement of almost 50 years ago: 
http://hunterbear.org/jackson.htm
 
And see Shooting Lupus, now expanded July 2011 -- my account of
killing a very deadly disease in an eight year war.  Systemic Lupus has
a predatory preference for Native Americans, Blacks, Chicanos, some
Asian groups, and women in general.  It's a civil rights issue.
http://hunterbear.org/shooting_lupus.htm
 
 


__._,_.___

"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Arthur Maglin | 4 Sep 07:49 2011
Picon
Picon

Imperialist Victory Is No Gain For Libyan People

Friday, September 2, 2011

Imperialist Victory Is No Gain For Libyan People


BY JEFF MACKLER
For the Political Committee of Socialist Action
 This article appears in the September 2011 edition of Socialist Actionnewspaper.

Tragically, Libya’s short-lived February 2011 Arab Spring was rapidly transformed into a six-month imperialist-led onslaught that wrought death and destruction on the Libyan people.
The “no fly zone” Resolution 1973, approved 10-0 by the UN Security Council on March 17, was immediately followed by more than 20,000, and still ongoing, sorties by U.S./NATO warplanes against the forces of the Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar Gadhafi. These were complemented by drone strikes and artillery bombardments from NATO’s armada, centered on a French aircraft carrier anchored off Libya’s coast.
The UN “no-fly zone” resolution, never more than a license for the wholesale destruction of Libya’s military apparatus and much of Tripoli’s infrastructure—including its water and fuel supplies, electricity, schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods—was a Euro-American declaration of war. “Humanitarian wars” conducted by the world's superpowers will never benefit the oppressed masses in Libya or anywhere else.
In the assault on Tripoli in the last days of the war, Gadhafi’s estimated 65,000 troops were pulverized by an intensive air and sea bombing campaign that NATO commanders estimate to have “degraded”—that is, killed, wounded, or scattered—some 50 percent of his forces. The remainder is thought to have retreated to Libyan cities and towns that continue to support the Gadhafi regime. These are today being bombed with impunity.
Estimates of the number of Gadhafi soldiers killed outright on just one day by this late-August intensive bombardment exceeded 1300. Well before the last week of August, when Gadhafi’s forces were compelled to flee Tripoli, the defection of top commanders of the Libyan army to the imperialist-backed TNC signaled at least the partial disintegration of the army.
The TNC today "governs" most of Libya, but it is definitely not to be excluded that yet another long-lasting imperialist-abetted war and occupation is in the making. The Tripoli Brigade and associated TNC forces, aided by the ongoing and still massive NATO bombing campaigns, are currently engaged in street-to-street mop-up battles in Gadhafi strongholds in Tripoli as well as in regions of the country still loyal to the deposed dictator.
Historians have documented some 700-plus U.S. interventions and wars, covert and overt, over the past century or so—all to advance the interests and power of the ruling elite, who require the constant expansion of their “spheres of influence,” today in the name of the “War on Terror,” to sustain their competitive advantage over their rivals. The interests of the oppressed peoples of the world have never been a factor in imperialist calculations.
Both the Bush and Obama administrations were more than happy to deal with the Gadhafi dictatorship as long as the formerly left-sounding populist dictator, more recently turned U.S. ally, was willing to open the country’s economy to foreign capital. And Gadhafi readily acceded to IMF-dictated austerity programs, to giving a lion’s share of and reducing the costs of Libya’s oil to Western corporations, privatization of key industries, border guard assistance in thwarting the immigration of Black Africans into Italy and France, and joining in the “War on Terror” and the associated rejection of the Palestine liberation struggle. Gaddafi’s harsh repression of dissent was never of any consequence to the Western corporations and governments who have now conquered the nation.
TNC officials have promised that they will honor all contracts that the Gadhafi regime made with Western capitalists. But the Libyan catastrophe will undoubtedly result in a new race by European and North American corporate rivals to turn a larger profit out of the nation’s oil wealth. The British Independent commented on Aug. 24, “After five months of fighting in the world's 12th-largest oil producer, industry figures are acutely aware that billions could be made in the coming years from rebuilding Libya. Immediate focus will fall on the country's oil fields that are currently producing a 10th of the 1.6 million barrels a day that were exported pre-revolution.”
As with the devastation in Iraq and Afghanistan, the conquerors can be expected to seek payment for their services and rebuild what they have destroyed via the impounded hundreds of billions of dollars of Libyan funds that have been frozen by imperialism’s more-than-cooperative banking and financial institutions. As the Aug. 28 New York Times so delicately noted, “With so much uncertainty over the governance of Libya, none of the money will be given to the rebels, but instead will go directly to pay for services [provided by imperialism] and fuel costs.”
The U.S./NATO war began when the Gadhafi dictatorship ordered its troops to open fire on a group of protesting human rights activists. As with the anti-government mobilizations in Tunisia and Egypt, this was followed by massive protests that were violently repressed by Gadhafi’s police and military, which did not shrink from using its still intact ground and air power to quell the deep resentment that permeated Libyan society. Gadhafi’s decision to make amends with Sylvio Berlusconi’s Italy and Nicolas Sarkozy’s France, in the context of world capitalism’s economic crisis, could only be at the expense of the Libyan masses.
In the early days of these mass protests, there were unmistakable but only modest indications of the independent character of at least a portion of the anti-Gadhafi leadership, as when anti-government protesters unfurled massive banners from rooftops, declaring, "No Foreign Intervention: The Libyan People Can Manage It Alone." Even then, it was not always clear whether opposition to foreign intervention referred to troops on the ground only, since major elements of the opposition had announced early on, and even demanded, support by U.S./NATO forces and a “no-fly zone.”
When a team of British secret operatives was captured by early anti-Gadhafi forces, they were summarily deported, an indication that at least a portion of the early fighters rejected any association with imperialist troops and other would-be liberators.
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) referred to the mass character of the early mobilizations against Gadhafi when it issued its “Statement on U.S. Non-Intervention in Libya and Other Countries,” declaring: “UNAC calls for an immediate halt to U.S. intervention in regions and countries where mass mobilizations are challenging oppressive regimes. “
The statement continued, “We have seen the horrific consequences of U.S./UN-imposed economic sanctions against Iraq, as well as the consequences of U.S./UN operation of ‘no-fly zones’ over northern and southern Iraq, prior to the U.S. Shock and Awe attacks and invasion.
“We therefore oppose any form of U.S. military or economic intervention in Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia and other countries where movements are rising in opposition to dictatorships and military rule.” UNAC continues to oppose all U.S. intervention in Libya, North Africa, and the Middle East more generally.
Unfortunately, the mass and independent character of the anti-Gadhafi mobilizations proved to be ephemeral. They had been politically limited and poorly organized, and therefore incapable of overcoming what rapidly devolved into a self-appointed government-like formation consisting of assorted factions from the Gadhafi regime, including leading political figures and top military commanders. These were supplemented by a swath of returning capitalists with connections to imperialist forces and representatives of assorted anti-Gadhafi tribal and fundamentalist groups. Virtually all these “leaders” demanded and expected U.S./NATO intervention to remove Gadhafi.
The conquest of Libya and the division of the spoils was moved to the top of the warmakers’ agenda. Libya, with some 3-4 percent of the earth’s known high quality, “sweet crude” oil reserves—and an important European supplier—was slated for permanent imperialist oversight, if not occupation. The European and American interveners brooked no voices to warn against or denounce the savage history of foreign intervention in the Arab world. They much preferred and selected the present mix of pro-capitalist Libyan oppositionists, who proudly sported and mass-produced the flag of King Indris al-Senussi, deposed by Gadhafi in 1969, and whose reign consisted in a permanent accommodation to world imperialism.
As we write, plans are in the works to establish an imperialist “stabilization” force to disarm the masses of Libyans who still retain the automatic rifles and other weapons captured from Gadhafi forces or liberally distributed by British, French, U.S., and other NATO forces parked at Misrata and other coastal ports. But disarming the population might prove more difficult than the imperialists originally thought. An Aug. 31 New York Timesarticle entitled “Tripoli divided as rebels jockey over leadership” makes it clear that plans to stabilize Tripoli, not to mention several other cities, are uncertain.
The Times article states: “There are growing hints of rivalry among the various brigades over who deserves credit for liberating the city and the influence it might bring. And attempts to name a military leader to unify the bands of fighters have instead exposed divisions within the rebel leadership, along regional lines but also between secularists and Islamists.
“They were all signs, one influential member of the council said, that point to a continuing ‘power vacuum’ in the civilian leadership of the Libyan capital. But the jockeying for power also illustrates the challenge a new provisional government will face in trying to unify Libya’s fractious political landscape.” The imperialist overlords are far from certain that their initial TNC choices are reliable in this task. As in Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya has long been divided along fractious tribal and religious lines as well as warring bourgeois factions.
A 70-page plan obtained and published by the London Times embarrassed the imperial invaders when it described their preparations for the long-term pacification of Libya. The Times wrote: “The plans are highly reliant on the defection of parts of the Gaddafi security apparatus to the rebels after his overthrow. This is likely to prove not only risky, but controversial, with many rebel fighters determined to sweep away all vestiges of the regime.
“The document includes proposals for a 10,000-15,000 strong ‘Tripoli task force,’ resourced and supported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to take over the Libyan capital, secure key sites and arrest high-level Gaddafi supporters….” (See the reference below to the UAE’s Blackwater mercenary death squads.)
“The blueprint contains plans for about 5000 police officers now serving in units not ideologically committed to the Gaddafi regime to be transferred immediately to the interim government's forces to prevent a security vacuum. The documents claim that the rebel groups in Tripoli and surrounding areas have 8660 supporters, including 3255 in the Gaddafi army.”
As expected, the TNC and imperialist spokespersons everywhere promise “democratic” elections within eight months—the same kind of elections that brought to power the various corrupt puppet regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Any notion of excluding Gadhafi supporters entirely, as the Bush administration “mistakenly” did in its Iraq “de-Baathification” program (removal of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party supporters from all key posts in the government and army), is said to be absent in the projected Libya scenario.
It is more than ironic that today’s more “enlightened” occupiers seek to first physically destroy Gadhafi’s resisting bureaucrats, generals, and soldiers and then reconstitute a new government with at least a portion of the old. Compliant Gadhafi supporters are expected to share power in a coalition government to supposedly avoid the kind of schisms that continue to plague Iraq and Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, today’s “nation builders” have no intention of including representatives of the mass of Libya’s working class, other than as window dressing.
But imperialism’s prevaricating diplomats nevertheless seek to paste a democratic facade on these delicate matters. Said French foreign minister Alain Juppé, “It’s up to the Libyans and the Libyans alone to build a new Libya, which will be a democratic Libya.”(!) Mention of Libya four times in a single sentence certainly sends a message. Had Juppé said instead, “It’s up to the imperialists and the imperialists alone to build a neo-colonial Libya, which will be an autocratic Libya.” he would have been closer to the truth.
What rapidly emerged six months ago, in February 2011, was a patched together TNC, replete with a core of defecting Gadhafi military and diplomatic officials and an array of Western capitalist-connected, Libyan lawyers and “human rights” advocates largely operating to advance the interests of the major NATO-affiliated invaders. From the earliest announcement of this government-in-waiting, now recognized by some 57 nations and counting, not a single TNC voice has been heard to indicate anything other than full support to and collaboration with the imperialist-orchestrated invasion, not to mention pledged support for peaceful negotiations between potentially competing forces as to who will get what in the post-Gadhafi Libya.
Some of the TNC’s components are already registering disagreements, as with the recent demonstration of 500 Misrata residents who mobilized and formally petitioned to protest the inclusion of top Gadhafi officals in the new “government.” The TNC’s top leaders, however, have been thoroughly briefed by imperialism’s presently silent advisers to the effect that the new “government” must begin with the “inclusion” of a broad range of forces to avoid future degeneration as was the case with Iraq.
The TNC’s central leaders include:
 • Mahmoud Jibril, present head of the new “government” and, until his early-on defection, head of Libya’s National Economic Development Board. Jabril has spent most of his time in Europe, rounding up support for his imperialist-created regime. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh and served as an asset manager to the wife of the Emir of Qatar.
• Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chair of the TNC and Minister of Justice under Gadhafi until he resigned to protest the attacks on students and other protesters.
 • Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis, the TNC’s top military commander, Libya’s interior minister, a French intelligence asset and a personal friend of Gadhafi before defecting. Younis was likely killed by the TNC’s Muslim Brotherhood faction, also included in the new “government.”
• Ali-al-Essawi, former Gadhafi cabinet official and ambassador, thought to be involved in Gen. Younis’ murder.
• Khalifa Hifter, senior commander of TNC troops, who had been living in exile in the U.S. Hifter appointed himself the TNC’s military commander, replacing his rival, Younis.
• Abdel Hafidh Ghogi, a Benghazi-based human rights attorney.
• Fathi Terbil, youth representative on the TNC and a human rights attorney, whose arrest by Gadhafi security forces is said to have sparked the rebellion.
Most of these “leaders” are hardened Gadhafi bureaucrats, military strongmen who defected from the Gadhafi government, or Libyans in exile who have collaborated with U.S. officials. A few youthful “human rights” activists may have been added to the mix to lend it a liberal cast.
Of the TNC’s 31 members only 13 were formally announced, supposedly due to security reasons. With the TNC’s relocation to Tripoli in late August, the number has been expanded to 40 and is expected to rise to 80. This self-appointed body of essentially Libya’s elite has no connection with any mass political organization of Libya’s working masses; to the extent that these groups exist at all, they are largely in embryonic form.
Whatever self-organization was evidenced in the earliest days of the mass protest was essentially spontaneous and created to organize the distribution of food and the coordination of vital services as Gadhafi’s forces bombarded Benghazi. We have yet to see any indication that these organizational forms gave rise to or were based on independent political forces aiming at developing a program to advance the interests of the masses. Nor is there evidence that they took on the task of consolidating an alternative to the leading bourgeois and pro-imperialist forces, which fully understood the need to rush to the “leadership” of the mass movement.
Given the political void among the anti-Gadhafi forces, the TNC was quickly recognized as the nation’s “legal” government by France and Italy—with the United States, briefly considering the feasibility of a greater military and political role, following suit soon afterwards. The Europeans’ and Americans’ public pretensions of  “protecting civilians” from Gadhafi’s forces rapidly gave way to their real objectives—“regime change” pure and simple. The order of the day was Gadhafi’s removal. Inter-imperialist negotiations as to the role and weight of Libya’s future overseers were temporarily set aside.
The U.S./NATO intervention and massive bombing were qualitatively intensified while TNC forces were prepared to take Tripoli. Some 30 percent of all sorties were scheduled for the last five days. The “rebels” were further aided by massive supplies provided by the imperialist-backed military governments in Egypt and Tunisia. The Qatari government served as the overt organizer and trainer of the Tripoli Brigade, which led the assault, undoubtedly with the assistance of the Qatar-based Blackwater mercenary death-squad forces, financed by the U.S. and based in Qatar.
The Aug. 19 Washington Post reported: “‘For months, we have been gathering information in Tripoli and shipping weapons, money and men to the capital,’ said Abu Oweis, the founder and deputy commander of the Qatari-trained Tripoli brigade. ‘We are completely ready to take over,’ he added. ‘All people there will be very happy.’”
“The brigade’s temporary headquarters, a school building near the city of Zintan on the vast plateau of the Nafusa Mountains, was stocked with ammunition during a visit on Thursday. Commanders worked on laptops and used satellite phones as recruits assembled their weapons.
“Oweis said his troops would arrest ‘over a hundred’ high-profile Gaddafi loyalists designated as criminals and potential troublemakers by the rebels’ Transitional National Council, which for now is based in the city of Benghazi in eastern Libya.
“The rebel leaders succeeded in quickly gaining diplomatic recognition from countries around the world, including the United States. International support, in which Qatar and the United Arab Emirates play a key role, has given the rebels access to frozen assets that once belonged to Gaddafi, as well as weapons deliveries from abroad.
“Cargo planes from the United Arab Emirates could be seen in Benghazi’s airport Monday, and rebels have turned a slab of highway in the western mountains into a provisional airstrip where they regularly receive cash and automatic weapons from representatives of the Transitional National Council.”
The Washington Post report neglected to mention that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with virtually no armies of their own, rely on U.S.-financed Blackwater mercenary death-squad armies to defend their regimes against “domestic unrest.” Mercenaries of the Blackwater type constitute nearly half of the U.S. fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest U.S. deployment of privatized military forces in history. Whatever pretensions the Obama administration offers to indicate the withdrawal of some troops from Iraq and Afghanistan are more than compensated for by the massive mercenary forces it maintains in these countries.
The May 15 New York Times, in a front-page article entitled “Secret Desert Force Set up By Blackwater Founder,” asserted, “The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year” (emphasis added).
An Aug. 25 Washington Post article by Spencer Ackerman entitled “Tiny Qatar Flexes Big Muscles in Libya” similarly noted: “If the Persian Gulf nation has any defense profile at all, it’s mostly for hosting the giant al-Udeid air base, a major transit point for U.S. troops and material heading to Iraq and Afghanistan. But despite having very few men under arms, Qatar not only helped keep Moammar Gadhafi’s planes grounded, it helped turn the ragtag Libyan rebels into a real fighting force—and even, according to one well-placed source, played a key role in getting them into Tripoli.”
The Aug. 23 New York Times told the same story: The “rebels” received “steady supplies of weapons, fuel, medicine and food from British, French and Qatari troops” as well as “an escalated bombing campaign by American jets and Predator drones.” The Times added, “Hundreds of rebels took part in secret military training in Qatar.” None of these corporate media reports dared to explicitly state that Blackwater forces—that is, U.S.-financed mercenary death squads, as are routinely deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq—were engaged in combat missions in Libya. A growing body of evidence reveals that they were.
The imperialist-led conquest of Libya was reported in the kept media in the tradition of all imperialist wars. Gadhafi’s forces were demonized even though he was George Bush’s praised leader little more than a year ago. But much of the media hyperbole aimed at justifying the U.S. war proved to say more about the TNC than it did about Gadhafi. 
The Aug. 14 New York Times article entitled “Waves of Disinformation and Confusion Swamp the Truth in Libya” is revealing not so much in its ridiculing of Gadhafi’s statements—that he would fight to the last soldier—but rather because a few skeptical reporters provided a rare glimpse into TNC politics. “The rebels have offered their own far-fetched claims, like mass rapes by loyalist troops issued tablets of Viagra. Although the rebels have not offered credible proof, their claim is nonetheless the basis of an investigation by the International Criminal Court.”
Furthermore, says The Times: “And there is the mantra, with racist overtones, that the Qadaffi government is using African mercenaries, which rebels repeat as fact over and over. There have been no confirmed cases of that; supposedly there are many African prisoners of war held in Bengazi, but conveniently journalists are not allowed to see them. There are, however, African guest workers, poorly paid migrant labor, many of whom, unarmed, have been labeled mercenaries.”  The Times has referred to this anti-Black African racism promoted by TNC spokespersons on several occasions, as if to caution the “rebel” leaders that it counters the democratic image they have been encouraged to promote.
What lessons can be drawn from the impending imperialist victory in Libya? First and foremost, as the mass mobilizations in Egypt and Tunisia and now Libya have more than amply demonstrated, there are no shortcuts—not to mention imperialist interventions—in defeating dictators. The construction of mass revolutionary socialist parties, deeply rooted in the organizations and struggles of the masses for equality and freedom, is the first prerequisite to victory. There will be no sustained victories against capitalist regimes, liberal or dictatorial, unless these are complemented by coordinated struggles on a regional, if not international, basis.
Second, imperialist interventions in all of their manifestations must be vehemently opposed. The right of self-determination of all oppressed nations, even those led by heinous dictators, must be supported as against imperialist interventions. Imperialism’s defeat in any confrontation with oppressed nations weakens its capacity for future interventions and opens the door wider for others to follow suit. While revolutionary socialists have every right and obligation to criticize and oppose dictatorships everywhere, these criticisms are subordinate to the defeat of imperialist intervention and war. Revolutionaries are not neutral in such confrontations. We are always for the defeat of the imperialist intervener and would-be colonizer.
A critical element in the program of the United National Antiwar Coalition is opposition to any and all U.S. intervention. UNAC is united in organizing massive mobilizations to demand “Bring All U.S./NATO Troops, Mercenaries and War Contractors Home Now!” Its constituent organizations have a variety of views , which are sometimes conflicting, on the regimes of many countries, from Iran to Libya, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. These differences are properly addressed by the various constituent organizations’ publications and activities. But the basis of unity in action, of the united-front-type formations that are critical to the organization of the masses to stay the hand of the imperialist warmakers, is defense of the right of self-determination of all oppressed nations—even those headed by hated dictators.
We live in deeply troubled and contradictory times—in which the worldwide capitalist offensive remains largely unchallenged on a scale necessary to change the present relationship of forces. But history repeatedly demonstrates that the working-class majority will once again rise to challenge its oppressors and once again boldly pose the question of which power shall rule—theirs, in the interest of the tiny parasitic few or ours, in the interest of all humanity.
Today, the imperialist-led war in Libya continues, with massive NATO bombing supporting the TNC troops’ efforts to conquer pro-Gadhafi cities. But we are compelled to recognize the tragic truth that a severe defeat has been inflicted on the Libyan people. To our sisters and brothers in Libya, we can merely assert that the crisis-ridden imperialist beast can only provide new opportunities to build fighting mass movements and the essential mass revolutionary socialist parties capable of uniting all the oppressed in a common struggle against imperialism and all its agents. The Libyan masses will rise again!
In contrast to the massive mobilizations during the Arab Spring in North Africa that forced the ouster of hated dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, the Libyan people are saddled with an even greater evil—direct neo-colonial intervention into their country’s affairs.
This is not to say that the victories won by the Egyptian and Tunisian masses are secure. Imperialism’s satraps continue to rule in these nations in the form of the still-powerful military regimes. The work of revolutionaries in Egypt and Tunisia is far from completed. Indeed, it has just begun. Whatever space has been opened by the massive mobilizations can and will be quickly closed if the still-existing capitalist state power remains in place. The coming revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, and in all other nations, can only be secured with the abolition of the capitalist system, whose inherent logic is oppression, war, and destruction.
Today the imperialist boot is on the ground in Libya and deeply implanted. The Libyan masses have not been liberated. Thousands have been killed. Imperialism’s sights are now focused on doing the same in Syria and eventually in Iran. The liberation struggle in these countries also rests in the development of mass revolutionary socialist parties there, not with imperialism’s “humanitarian” interventions and not with any reliance on the present entrenched and brutal local capitalist exploiters.
Here in the United States, we must restate our revolutionary obligation to the world’s people to oppose our own imperialist government and all its wars, and to warn once again that American imperialism is incapable of serving anyone’s interests other than the elite ruling-class few. The Obama administration is a glaring example of this fundamental truth. It has exceeded the Bush administration in virtually every measure with regard to the attacks on workers at home and abroad. Any illusion that it is capable of doing otherwise will prove fatal to the coming mass struggles that will challenge the capitalist system as never before.
• Bring the Troops Home Now: Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan!
• Stop the U.S./NATO War on Libya! Imperialist Troops, Warships, Aircraft, Mercenaries Out Now!
• Self-determination for All Oppressed Peoples!
• Build the Revolutionary Socialist Party of the Working Class in Libya and Everywhere Else!
 


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"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Arthur Maglin | 4 Sep 09:19 2011
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The Irish Revolution blog

This is the explanatory section to a new blog, The Irish Revolution, which is chock full of useful and informative historical material:

 

Welcome to this blog.  Its function is to provide analysis of Irish history and contemporary Irish society from a socialist-republican standpoint, inspired by James Connolly and the tools of analysis developed and sharpened by Marx and Engels.  Social-revolutionary republicans from Wolfe Tone to Fintan Lalor to Michael Davitt to Padraic Pearse (and the other Easter signatories) to Liam Mellows to Saor Eire and Republican Congress to Seamus Costello are also important influences.

As well as material by myself, and hopefully other contributors as the blog progresses, it will run material from socialist-republican organisations such as éirígí; at the same time, the blog will do whatever it can to encourage co-operation between socialist-republican groups – such as éirígí and the Irish Republican Socialist Party and others spread out in various currents opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, partition and the failed states both sides of Britain’s border in Ireland.

The blog is based in New Zealand so it will also have the aim of promoting solidarity across Australasia with the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.  This includes informing people here about the continuing British occupation in the north and the attacks on workers by the administrations on both sides of the border.  Hopefully we will also be able to get enough interest here in Australasia to organise some solidarity actions around issues such as state repression, political prisoners and so on and educational/solidarity gatherings, including public meetings, film showings and talks, on aspects of the history of Irish oppression and the long struggle for political and economic liberation.

At present, I don’t belong to any political party in New Zealand (or anywhere else), nor do I have any plans of joining any left groups here, although I am part of a new left blog project in New Zealand called Redline (rdln.wordpress.com) and most of us involved in the blog were in an organisation called the Workers Party (no relation at all to the Stickies!).  I am also an ex-member of Sinn Fein in Dublin from 1986-1994.

After returning to New Zealand, I went to university and did postgrad work, including an MA thesis on Irish republicanism in the 1900-1930 period.  A lot of books about that period have been published since, and the Bureau of Military History archive of witness statements is now publicly available, so the chapters of my thesis are a bit dated.  Nevertheless there is still a lot of meaty stuff there and so over the next month or two I will be concentrating on putting up parts of the thesis, as well as running some current commentary and contributed articles.  Related to the thesis is that in Dublin in the late 1980s I did a lot of work gathering together the writings of Constance Markievicz, and I will try to start getting these up on the blog as well.

I look forward to feedback and contributions from people interested in and/or already supportive of the struggle for Irish freedom and of Irish socialist-republicanism in particul



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"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Arthur Maglin | 4 Sep 19:36 2011
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Israel rocked by protests

An analysis in Britain's Weekly Worker by Moshe Machover, who has written for New Left Review and other publications on Israeli politics:
 

The Arab revolutionary awakening has rattled Israel's leaders. To lose one major ally may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two in quick succession looks like a disaster.

Not long before the Arab spring, Israel had seriously damaged its relations with an important regional ally, Turkey. Having regional ambitions of their own, Turkey's rulers were not amused by Israel's bullying on the high seas and its truculent refusal to apologise for murdering nine Turks on board the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Then, by the end of January 2011, the entire Arab world was in turmoil, and Israel was evidently about to lose its key Arab collaborator, Hosni Mubarak. This was ominous for Israel's entire strategy as regional hegemon, local enforcer on behalf of its global imperialist senior partner. On the underside of this gloomy cloud, Israel's prime minister Binyamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu detected a silver lining. At least in the short term, the decline in US control of the Arab world can be turned to Israel's advantage as a selling point for the unique value of Israel to the west. While a revolutionary tempest rages all around it, Israel remains tranquil, a reliable "island of stability, economically and diplomatically" in a sea of instability. This sales slogan was repeated as a mantra by Bibi and his hasbarah (propaganda) machine.[1]

He spoke too soon. On July 14, eight Israeli students set up tents on Rothschild Boulevard, in a prosperous part of Tel Aviv. They were protesting against exorbitant rents and the unavailability of affordable mortgages. The protests spread like wildfire. Tent cities sprang up in a much less prosperous part of Tel Aviv, and in dozens of other towns. Demonstrations held every Saturday escalated, including a joint Hebrew-Arab demonstration in Jaffa on August 13,[2] and by mid-August hundreds of thousands of Israelis marched in the streets - the largest protest movement and most massive demonstrations in Israel's entire history.

Very soon, the demands raised by the protestors became more general. By far the most popular slogan, chanted and displayed on banners and posters, was "The people demand social justice". Other popular slogans were: "The answer to privatisation: revolution", and (my favourite): "The market is free, we are slaves". Demands are raised for "A welfare state", for reducing indirect taxes (VAT) and increasing direct taxes (such as income tax) on the rich.

Mutual solidarity ties have been established with current struggles: that of the social workers who have just ended their strike - many of them frustrated with their compromising union leadership; and the physicians, whose five-month strike ended on August 26 and who had also set up a large tent in Rothschild Boulevard (inhabited mainly by young interns). The substantial salary increases conceded by the government are largely due to the social protest.

The protest is supported by 90% of Israelis. It is led mainly by students and white-collar workers who are described by the media, somewhat misleadingly, as 'middle class'. In fact, the demands raised by them indicate that they feel they are being proletarianised, and display solidarity with the poor. The prevailing spirit is that of egalitarianism, self-activity and grassroots direct democracy.

A 'Vision document', prepared and circulated by leaders of the movement, lists six "principles", the first of which is "minimising social inequalities (economic, gender-based and national) and creating social cohesion".[3] The mention of "national" inequality is especially noteworthy: it refers to the discrimination against the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, approximately 20% of its population. Initially, this is as far as the protestors were prepared to go on the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel's military occupation and colonisation of Palestinian territories were deliberately not mentioned, because this issue was felt to be too divisive.

The Israeli protests are overtly inspired by the Arab awakening, especially by the movement in Egypt. Many posters say simply: "Mubarak, Assad, Netanyahu", and one of the frequent chants is "Tahrir Square is here in this town" (the Hebrew is more punchy, and it rhymes: Kikkar Tahrir - kan ba'ir). There is much admiration for the courage of the Arab masses. A typical appreciative remark made by an Israeli journalist: "At long last we have learnt something from the Arabs!"[4] During a screening in the Rothschild tent city of a video on the Cairo protests, the crowd cheered and joined the chanting with "The people demand social justice".

However, in content these protests are more akin to those in Greece and Spain: the main demands are socio-economic. The political elite is excoriated because it serves the super-rich and is indifferent to the suffering of the poor and the anxieties of those being impoverished.

The background to this is the fundamental change in Israel's socio-economic and political structure since the late 1970s. A proper discussion of this would require a long essay, but here is a brief outline.

 
Before the change, Israel had what can be described as a heavily subsidised, bureaucratic, state-capitalist welfare economy. This was analysed and described in detail in an article I co-authored in 1970 with two comrades.[5] At that time, only half of the Israeli economy was in private hands. The rest was equally divided between two public sectors: that of the Histadrut (corporatist trade union federation), and the state - both dominated by the Zionist labour bureaucracy. The internal capital accumulation (the reinvested surplus value) was virtually zero, but there was a large, unilateral inflow of capital: part collected, mainly in the US, by Zionist fundraising 'charities'; part as German reparations;[6] and a growing part as US government loans and grants - payment for Israel's role as regional watchdog. This inflow, essentially a western subsidy, was mostly channelled through the ruling Labour bureaucracy, which allocated part for investment in both the private and public sectors, and part for maintaining a relatively high standard of living and public welfare, resulting in a distribution of income that was less unequal than in most capitalist countries. Thus Israeli society, including the working class, was directly subsidised thanks to the regional role of the Zionist state.
 

The difference between then and now is dramatic. Almost everything in sight has been privatised (including the kibbutzim, former paragons of collective property and production, albeit ethnically exclusive). Welfare expenditure has been drastically slashed. On the other hand, internally generated capital accumulation is robust (even during the present global recession), but wealth is extremely concentrated: about 40% of the economy is owned by 10 tycoon families.[7] In Israel's extremely harsh neoliberal economy, income distribution is highly unequal. The Gini coefficient, a standard statistical measure of inequality, assigns to Israel's income distribution a score of 39% - higher than that of Egypt (34.4%). For comparison, the figures for Sweden, UK and US are 25%, 36% and 40.8%, respectively. On another measure, the ratio between the average income of the top 10% and that of the bottom 10%, Israel scores 13.4; in other words, persons in the highest 10% income bracket have on average an income 13.4 times greater than the average income of the 10% bottom bracket. The corresponding figure for Egypt is only 8 (Sweden, UK and US score 6.2, 13.8 and 15.9, respectively).[8]

Israel still receives a hefty subsidy from its imperialist senior partner. But by far the largest part of it - US military aid of about $3 billion to $4 billion per annum - bypasses the civilian economy and underwrites Israel's military expenditure and the expenses of colonisation. The civilian economy, of course, benefits indirectly, because a substantial part of it is geared to military-related and colonisation-related activity. However, Israeli workers no longer feel that their standard of living is subsidised thanks to Israel's regional role and its colonising ventures. On the contrary, many feel that government spending on colonisation and pampering the settlers is at the expense of social spending inside Israel.

Nevertheless, the protestors at first hesitated to bring up the connection between their socio-economic demands and larger political matters, such as occupation and colonisation. However, these issues, which were avoided because they might be divisive, were eventually forced on them by events. When the protests escalated, it became clear that the government would need some military or 'security' conflagration in order to divert attention from socio-economic conflicts and try to exploit the patriotism of the majority of protestors in order to put an end to the movement. One such event is expected after September 20, when the Palestinian Authority is planning to seek UN recognition and membership for the aborted, stunted embryo of the Palestinian 'state'. It is known that Palestinian grassroots organisations are planning massive anti-occupation protests following that date. Although these are intended to be non-violent, Israel will no doubt respond with its customary brutality, and raise the temperature perhaps to explosion point. This would serve as the required diversion. But September 20 is too far away. Something more immediate was needed, and indeed predicted. For example, radical video-blogger Lia Tarachansky posted on August 5 a video, towards the end of which she stated that "many predict Netanyahu will try to squash the movement by starting a military operation". She further pointed out that indeed "Early on Thursday [August 4] Israel escalated its air attacks on Gaza".[9]

Such escalations are a standard Israeli ploy for provoking an armed confrontation. These air attacks, so long as they are not massive, are rarely reported by the media, as they are considered, and claimed by Israel's hasbarah, to be routine targeting of "terrorist bases".

Such escalations are a standard Israeli ploy for provoking an armed confrontation. These air attacks, so long as they are not massive, are rarely reported by the media, as they are considered, and claimed by Israel's hasbarah, to be routine targeting of "terrorist bases".

Sure enough, two weeks later, on August 18, eight Israelis, civilians and soldiers, were killed by persons unknown who crossed the Egyptian-Israeli border in Sinai, near Eilat. The perpetrators were alleged by Israel to have come all the way (about 250km) from Gaza, although no real proof was produced. And no-one in the media thought to connect this incident with the Israeli escalation of August 4.

Israel responded to this incident by more massive and deadly bombing of Gaza, and, as usual, Palestinian militants responded with missiles shot into Israeli towns. Though unguided, these missiles caused some damage, killed one Israeli civilian and injured several others. So here we have it: escalating military clashes, as per requirement.

Did it work for Bibi? Not really. The protesters decided not to cancel the next demonstration, scheduled for August 20. But as a mark of respect for the victims of the August 18 incident, a majority decision was for holding a silent, torchlit march. In addition to the usual social and economic demands, the silent protestors carried anti-war slogans, such as "No to the war of peaceful [ministerial] armchairs" (a reference to Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, whose official name was the oxymoron, 'War for the peace of Galilee'), and "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies". In that march, red flags outnumbered blue-and-white national ones.

Members of a small, sectarian Trotskyist group chanted slogans against war and the arms industry. This was resented by the vast majority, including many leftwing radicals, not because of the content of the chants (which was only opposed by a few rightists) but because that group ignored the majority decision to keep the march silent.[10]

In the mass meeting at the end of the march - held while the sectarians were standing apart from the crowd of demonstrators, and shouting their slogans - one of the speakers was an Arab from the Galilee. He told the crowd about a demonstration of solidarity with the movement that had taken place in the Arab town of Arabeh that same day, and was received with applause. He went on to speak about the problems in the Arab sector, saying these should be part of the protest - applause again. That was too much for 10-15 rightwingers who tried to burst forward and silence him. Quietly but firmly, members of the crowd stopped them; and then the crowd numbering 5,000 or more started chanting in response: "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies".

It is doubtful whether military provocations will put a stop to the protests. However, it is quite likely that the movement will split into at least two camps. One will continue to avoid 'political' issues. The more radical camp will make the connection explicitly. One thing is certain: Israel is no longer socially tranquil. Class struggle is on the agenda.

Notes

  1. 'PM calls Israel an "island of stability" in the region' Jerusalem Post January 31 2011. "During his meeting with Merkel, and in a subsequent press conference, Netanyahu stressed the fact that Israel is the only stable country in the Middle East and therefore the west must bolster ties with it. 'We are an island of stability in the region,' Netanyahu told Merkel" (Haaretz February 1 2011). "Israel is lucky its prime minister is Netanyahu, who is experienced and has made Israel an island of stability and security - economically and diplomatically" (Indy News Israel February 9 2011).
  2. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT7RkhwOqQs.
  3. Haaretz August 9 2011.
  4. This remark was reviled by Tony Greenstein as "racist", on the grounds that "Arabs have always had a great deal to teach Israel's Jews" ('Support the Israeli protest movement without illusions' Weekly Worker August 11). The journalist, of course, did not deny this; she only expressed satisfaction that Israelis are finally prepared to learn. Sadly, comrade Tony is unable to see the difference.
  5. H Hanegbi, M Machover, A Orr, 'The class nature of Israeli society' New Left Review No65, January-February 1971. Other versions of this article were published elsewhere. See for example http://matzpen.org/index.asp?u=other&p=chap2-05.
  6. See http://tinyurl.com/etznn.
  7. 'Israel's connected conglomerates' Financial Times August 17.
  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality.
  9. Watch this video at http://tinyurl.com/3qt24nc.
  10. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=rifO6k-XGqM. The man with the megaphone shouts: "Why should I care about Arabs?" See also http://tinyurl.com/3ro6sfs.


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"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Hunter Gray | 5 Sep 16:14 2011

Letter from Finland [Jyri]

We welcome Jyri's positive comments about this country and its people.  Good words are needed in these times.  Early this morning, in writing to a relative of mine, I commented -- as I often do --  that "I still think most of humanity is pretty good most of the time."  But sometimes it does takes a little effort to muster that.  (H)
 
Hunter,
Following the US political scene from afar, and with the help of your recent comments, I can only say that you really have the pick of the crop in some quarters. Scary seems to be the default mode. And yet yours is a great country with great potential and lots of decent people. I always say that the Yank-bashers that I come across.
 
The Euro mess with the Greeks continues. The Finnish gov't is calling for securities for their share of the support, which for the rest of the European elites is synonomous with rocking the boat. They're scared other EU countries will follow suit, thus upsetting the delicate balance of helping the banks. I'm no economist,but it's not a bad idea per se, though the rhetoric gets out of hand. Populist leader Timo Soini (True Finn Party, who've renamed themselves The Finns in English translation - a case of outright sacrilege if there was one) jokingly suggested the island of Crete as collateral, and half the idiots here believed him, most of them in his party. Complex fellow, in some ways better than his followers.
 
On the personal front, this is the time of year when we get our tax decisions, known here as the "finalization of taxation".Ours came early this year, and I have to say that either God is on my side, or then I'm in league with the devil without my knowing it. The Helsinki Region Tax Office decided to give me a sizeable refund on my prepaid taxes for 2010. I'm a bit cautious about it. One year, they sent me three finalization statements  for the previous year, correcting their sums each time. I didn't expect this much, but now that I recalculated everything according to the official decision I discovered that the refund is actually about 50 euros too small. The question now is whether I really need to make an official complaint about it and risk winding up with someone, possibly a young person new on the job and eager to prove their mettle, going through my stuff with a fine comb? Methinks not....
 
Warm autumn here, plenty of rain. Good mushroom crop in the woods. The mallard shooting season is starting soon. I'll be joining a couple of friends for that, for the first time in many years. It's been ages since I've had the chance to spit shot out of my mouth while eating mallard stew. The last times were with my late father-in-law, who may be in a different place but definitely hunting. That much I know.
Best wishes,
Jyri
 
 
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'
 
Our Lair of Hunterbear website is now almost 12 years old.  It
contains a great deal of primary, first-hand material on Native
Americans, Civil Rights Movement, union labor, and organizing
techniques -- and much more.  Check it out and its vast number
of component pieces.  The front page itself -- the initial cover
 page -- has about 36 representative links.
www.hunterbear.org
 
In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage,
on the game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples,
and on the high windy ridges -- and  they dance from within the very
 essence of our own inner being. They do this especially when the
bright night moon shines down on the clean white snow that covers
 the valley and its surroundings.  Then it is as bright as day -- but in
an always soft and mysterious and remembering way.  [Hunter Bear]


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"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Hunter Gray | 5 Sep 20:25 2011

NOTES ON OUR LAIR OF HUNTERBEAR WEBSITE (9/2011)

Notes by Hunter Bear:  September 5, 2011

As I've been prone to say, "I was born from the Four Directions and things have always been interesting."

When we launched our Lair of Hunterbear website on February 14, 2000, our primary aim at that point was to publicize the blatantly surreal harassment by so-termed "lawmen" and racists and others that greeted us just as soon as we arrived here in Idaho in the summer of 1997 -- and to correct a flood of poisonous canards, many of these stemming from open and covert enemies from my past social justice campaigns. (My conversion to computer technology and the concept of a website took a little time -- but I soon embraced all of that about as fast as Geronimo seized his 1876 Winchester lever action.]  A few months after we launched the website, I published this:

"In the waning days of 2000 / Eastern Idaho

 I became a radical activist when I was still  very young -- quickly growing into a radical activist/organizer/writer --  and, very early on indeed, I learned the accuracy of the old Native saying, "When you fish for trout, expect to be bitten by mosquitoes."  Forthwith, I also learned the great merit in the old-time Wobbly (Industrial Workers of the World) adage, "Better to be called Red than be called Yellow" -- and I've always held very firmly to that and I always will. I could write a very large book about the things I've been called over these many decades -- variants of Red-baiting plus all sorts of other epithets -- sometimes openly by "class enemies" ["goons, ginks, and company finks" etc] but often in surreptitious and clandestine fashion by whispering cowards who scurry about in the shadows -- usually trying to find dupes to carry their skull & crossbones potions.  As virtually all of you are aware -- or will be -- this Website carries an enormous amount of data regarding myself, my family background (including genealogy), my radical vision and activities and work and writings, and a hell of a lot more. It also very much involves the hopes and social justice aspirations and  the courage of many others.   This all puts us in very clear perspective.  I learned long ago that accuracy corrects calumny but it usually doesn't bring personal justice.  The social justice trail can have more challenges than the Grand Canyon but I have no absolutely no regrets.  I've always heeded the Wobbly adage, "Keep Fighting!" -- and I always will.  Fortunately, I am, as an adversary once commented,  "a pretty big thug."

I also firmly believe that most of Humanity is pretty good  most of the time.

Fraternally/In Solidarity -  Hunter Gray  "

And, in time, our original goals -- fighting harassment and smear stuff -- have largely been accomplished.  We are still right here on the 'way up, far western edge of Pocatello, Idaho.  But I always have a loaded firearm or two at ready, though discreetly out of sight.

As the Hunterbear website developed, I began to heed the advice of many students and others over many years indeed.  I commenced to write my many decades of various stories (and accompanying lessons) from my often turbulent experiences -- most of which stem from direct, grassroots activist community organizing.  And the website grew far, far beyond its original purposes to the point that it now contains several hundred pages.  Its topical range involves Native rights, the Civil Rights Movement, union labor, civil liberties, organizing techniques. There is also much on the American West -- and some other things.  Almost all material is first hand primary in nature -- from my own experiences and direct observations -- and much is contemporary.  And there are often the informed comments by readers.

Native Americans, social justice activists, academics of all sorts, labor organizers, researchers and writers -- all of these and much and many more, nationally and internationally, visit our Site with frequency.  We also receive questions which we answer. 

The website's Directory/Index, which drops like a vertical shaft, is the trail to all of our stuff. (Occasionally, in the Directory/Index, there is some duplication of titles, but just keep going -- down.)  Most of the material is found high up on Google and other major search engines.  If you can't find what you're looking for, type in the subject and just add Hunterbear -- and odds are you'll get it right away. (Sometimes we ourselves use Google as a quick index.)

Because the Directory has grown long and large, we have recently listed, for convenience, three dozen of our representative links on the very front cover page of the website:  www.hunterbear.org  Those front page links often carry a number of pertinent referral links.

The website and our entire system is protected by full scale Norton and Malwarebytes. There are also a couple of systemic things from our computer's manufacturer.

In the Mountains of Eastern Idaho

Nialetch / Onen / In Solidarity,

Hunter Bear

HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq /St. Francis
Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

Our Lair of Hunterbear website is now almost 12 years old.  It
contains a great deal of primary, first-hand material on Native
Americans, Civil Rights Movement, union labor, and organizing
techniques -- and much more.  Check it out and its vast number
of component pieces.  The front page itself -- the initial cover
 page -- has about 36 representative links.
www.hunterbear.org
 
In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage,
on the game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples,
and on the high windy ridges -- and  they dance from within the very
 essence of our own inner being. They do this especially when the
bright night moon shines down on the clean white snow that covers
 the valley and its surroundings.  Then it is as bright as day -- but in
an always soft and mysterious and remembering way.  [Hunter Bear]


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"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31

Arthur Maglin | 6 Sep 06:51 2011
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RIO joins The Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International

 

This is an interview about  RIO joining The Trostskyist Fraction as sympathasizing sections in Germany and the Czech Republic.
 
 
 
RIO joins The Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International (FT-CI) as sympathizing sections

Wednesday 31 August 2011

After more than one and a half years of discussions with the FT-CI, RIO is joining as sympathizing sections in Germany and the Czech Republic La Verdad Obrera (newspaper of the PTS, Argentinian section of the FT-CI), interviewed Wladek Flakin and Stefan Schneider about this advancement in the relationship to the FT.

LVO: How did RIO emerge?

Wladek: RIO (the Revolutionary Internationalist Organization) was founded in January 2010 by the independent youth organization REVOLUTION, with presence in Germany and the Czech Republic, which for three years had tried to build an independent Trotskyist youth organization, primarily working with high school students, with a partial work at universities and a pioneering work in the workers’ movement. However, our theoretical-political accumulation and our experiences were insufficient to build up an organization at a national and international level, given our limited program, our low level of theoretical elaboration on major international issues and our unclear practice of internationalism. Realizing this was not easy, it was necessary to go through several experiences, some of them very negative, in order to recognize the need to build up a serious cadre organization with a scientific program and a professional structure.

Stefan: As a first step in this direction, we decided to discuss intensively with some of the Trotskyist tendencies in order to define our program. While discussions with other tendencies led to important programmatic differences, our discussions with the Trotskyist Fraction – Fourth International (FT-CI) revealed broader agreements that gave us a basis for more profound discussions.

LVO: How did the relationship with the FT-CI and the process of discussions begin?

Wladek: The relationship with the FT consisted fundamentally in collaboration with the comrades of the FT in Germany, organized around the magazine "Internationaler Klassenkampf" (IK). As we increasingly understood the possibility that a new epoch was opening, with the end of the bourgeois restoration as expressed in the international economic crisis we have been witnessing for the last four years, we recognized the necessity (not abstractly, but very concretely) of the reconstruction of a revolutionary workers’ international. Based on that, we began discussions with the comrades of IK about the bourgeois restoration and the reconstruction of the Fourth International, among other things.

Stefan: In addition, as we advanced in programmatic agreements, we also tried to intervene jointly in students’ and workers’ struggles (the few that have occurred in Germany, such as the student strike of 2009 in Berlin, where we organized solidarity from students for a struggle of university workers and carried out the only worker-student assembly at a national level) and draw the lessons from the struggles that took place at an international level such as the protests of the "French Autumn", the Arab spring and the "indignant" movement in the Spanish State. In this way, we could also advance in our criticism of the principal reformist and centrist tendencies at an international level, who are also our main competitors in Germany and the Czech Republic.

Wladek: The biggest step in this direction was a summer school with comrades from RIO and the FT from Germany, the Czech Republic, France, the Spanish State and the United Kingdom, with intense discussions on the situation internationally and in the countries where we work. Thus, we could advance in the political and economic characterization of Europe in the context of the international crisis as a basis for the concrete perspectives for building up our groups.

LVO: What does it mean for you to advance as a sympathizing section of the FT-CI?

Stefan: Firstly, we can say that we have much work ahead of us, for example in the characterization of the regimes both in one of the most important imperialist countries in the world and in a former deformed workers’ state, or the recovery of the Trotskyist tradition in these countries. If we advance in that, we believe it will also mean a qualitative step for the FT as a whole. In addition, there is the need to translate the strategic-programmatic arrangements we have with the FT into a concrete orientation, both for Germany and the Czech Republic. That should be expressed in the conquest of a stronghold at the university in order to form a student movement with cadres capable of intervening in the political struggle between the different tendencies and with an orientation towards the working class, to begin to recover the tradition of worker-student unity.

Wladek: We see today, in different countries – both central and semi-colonial ones – and with many inconsistencies, the awakening of a new fighting youth, which – considering the subjective backwardness caused by the bourgeois restoration – in one way or another is increasingly challenging the governments. Perhaps the most profound expression of this so far is the case of Chile, where large sections of the youth want to fight together with the workers’ movement to overthrow the privatizing post-Pinochet regime. We understand that young people throughout history have again and again acted as a precursor to more intense class struggles and could even play a role in the emergence of more radical workers’ movements. Hence we see the need to build up our organization in the student movement in order to forge a revolutionary pole from which to intervene in the workers’ movement, since we do not yet have an insertion in the working class.

Stefan: We are talking about the first steps in a series of preparatory tasks for a future explosion of the class struggle. We think that with the greater experience of the FT in the political struggle both in the students’ movement and in the workers’ movement, we can advance in that direction in Germany and the Czech Republic, and in this way, contribute to the reconstruction of the Fourth International as the world party of socialist revolution.

http://www.ft-ci.org:80/article.php3?id_article=4541



__._,_.___

"[C]apital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."
--Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Chapter 31


Gmane