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A Colossal Madhouse

This is what the G-20 meeting that started yesterday in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, has been turned into.

Many readers, saturated with acronyms, may wonder: What is the G-20? This is one of the many miscreations concocted by the most powerful empire and its allies, who also created the G-7: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada.  Later on they decided to admit Russia in a club that was then called the G-8.… | more…

The Empire and the Right to Life of Human Beings

That’s terrific! So I exclaimed when I read down to the last line about the revelations of the famous journalist Seymour Hersh, printed in Democracy Now! and collected as one of the 25 most censored news items in the United States.

The material is entitled “The War Crimes of Stanley McChrystal, U.S. General” and it was included in Project Censored, put together by a university in California, including the essential paragraphs from those revelations.… | more…

The Empire from Inside (Part Two)

In yesterday´s Reflection there appears a key paragraph taken from Woodward´s book: “One important secret that has never been reported in the media, or anywhere else, was the existence of a covert army of 3,000 men in Afghanistan, whose objective was to kill or capture Taliban and sometimes venture into the tribal areas to pacify them and get support.” That army, created and handled by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), trained and organized as a “special force” has been made up on tribal, social, anti-religious and anti-patriotic bases; its mission is the follow-up and physical elimination of Taliban fighters and other Afghans, described as extreme Moslems.A Saudi recruited and funded by the CIA to fight against the Soviets when their troops were occupying Afghanistan has nothing in common with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden.When Vice President Biden traveled to Kabul at the start of 2009,David Mckiernan, chief of American troops in Afghanistan told him in answer to a question about Al Qaeda that he hadn´t seen one single Arab in two years there. Despite the relatively brief and ephemeral importance that the principal international press gave to “Obama´s Wars”, without a doubt these did not shirk from recording this revealing piece of news.… | more…

The Nuclear Winter and Peace

MORE than 20,000 nuclear weapons are in the hands of eight countries: the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, India and Pakistan, some with profound economic, political and religious differences. The new START treaty, signed in Prague this April by the largest nuclear powers, is nothing more than an illusion in relation to the problem that is threatening humanity.… | more…

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left: Essays and Polemics

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left: Essays and Polemics

The essays in this book, many of which are either out-of-print or difficult to obtain, were written between 1955 and 1963 during one of the most fertile periods of E. P. Thompson's intellectual and political life, when he wrote his two great works, The Making of the English Working Class and William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary. They reveal Thompson's insistence on the vitality of a humanistic and democratic socialism along with the value of utopian thinking in radical politics. Throughout, Thompson struggles to open a space independent of official Communist Parties and reformist Social Democratic Parties, opposing them with a vision of socialism built from the bottom up. Editor Cal Winslow, who studied with Thompson, provides context for the essays in a detailed introduction and reminds us why this eloquent and inspiring voice remains so relevant to us today. … | more…

Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow

Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow

The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined and have been for at least two centuries. In Race to Revolution, historian Gerald Horne examines a critical relationship between the two countries by tracing out the typically overlooked interconnections among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the United States, both in terms of each nation's internal political and economic development and in the interactions between the small Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North. Horne draws a direct link between the black experiences in two very different countries and follows that connection through changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval. … | more…

U.S. Terrorism in Vietnam

Bernd Greiner, War Without Fronts: The USA in Vietnam, translated by Anne Wyburd and Victoria Fenn (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 518 pages, $35.00, hardcover.

In late 1970, prompted by the debate over the exposure of U.S. atrocities in the village of Mỹ Lai, an anonymous GI wrote a letter to Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland, claiming to have witnessed hundreds of acts of terrorism by U.S. soldiers during Operation Speedy Express. The campaign, intended to reclaim portions of the Mekong Delta, purportedly killed over ten thousand enemy but seized only seven hundred weapons.… | more…

Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement

Magnus Hirschfeld: The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the first great pioneers of the gay liberation movement. This biography, first published to acclaim in Germany, follows Hirschfeld from his birth in the Prussian province of Pomerania to the heights of his career during the Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism. Ralf Dose illuminates Hirschfeld’s ground-breaking role in the gay liberation movement and explains some of his major theoretical concepts, which continue to influence our understanding of human sexuality and social justice today.… | more…

The Lesson of Haiti

TWO days ago, at almost six o’clock in the evening Cuban time and when, given its geographical location, night had already fallen in Haiti, television stations began to broadcast the news that a violent earthquake – measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale – had severely struck Port-au-Prince. The seismic phenomenon originated from a tectonic fault located in the sea just 15 kilometers from the Haitian capital, a city where 80% of the population inhabit fragile homes built of adobe and mud.… | more…

Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement

Silvertown: The Lost Story of a Strike that Shook London and Helped Launch the Modern Labor Movement

In 1889, Samuel Winkworth Silver's rubber and electrical factory was the site of a massive worker revolt that upended the London industrial district which bore his name: Silvertown. Once referred to as the “Abyss” by Jack London, Silvertown was notorious for oppressive working conditions and the relentless grind of production suffered by its largely unorganized, unskilled workers. These workers, fed-up with their lot and long ignored by traditional craft unions, aligned themselves with the socialist-led “New Unionism” movement. Their ensuing strike paralyzed Silvertown for three months. Historian and novelist John Tully tells the story of the Silvertown strike in vivid prose. He rescues the uprising—overshadowed by other strikes during this period—from relative obscurity and argues for its significance to both the labor and socialist movements. … | more…

Is There Any Margin for Hypocrisy and Deceit?

The United States, in its struggle against the Revolution, had in the Venezuelan government its best ally: the choice specimen Mr. Romulo Betancourt Bello. We did not know it then. He had been elected President on December 7, 1958; he had not taken office yet when the Cuban Revolution triumphed on January 1st, 1959. Weeks later I had the privilege of being invited by the provisional government of Wolfgang Larrazabal to visit Bolivar’s homeland, which had been so supportive of Cuba.… | more…

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