12 August 2006


Seymour Hersh again...it's hard for me to imagine Bush listening to anyone...

Read all about it here -- I am inclined to agree with "Lenin" that the "peace deal" does not mean peace, if only for the fact that peace would be bad for the political fortunes of those who started the bombing campaign...

11 August 2006


Mexico looks unlikely to become as boring as the US... I am totally hooked on alternative Mexico reportage, and I read Spanish, too... please send me suggestions...

10 August 2006


Read here...

Sujatha Fernandes explains why, in an excellent Znet article on Mexico. "The aim of the Other Campaign is not to tell people to abstain from voting, but rather to point to the limitations of an election where political parties share a consensus on most major issues, and participation is reduced to going to the ballots once every six years. It is to carry the campaign beyond the period of elections to everyday organizing." Community organizing needs to be the center of real politics, otherwise politics becomes the endless reshuffling of elite coalitions.

My own experience is that, in a bourgeoisified American political context, democratic community organizing can be best done through a vehicle like Food Not Bombs, which can cut through the class divisions in a community with the ritual of a public meal. Of course, Food Not Bombs is just a concept; the point is to create a system to arrange public provision of everything. Clothes Not Bombs, Rent Not Bombs, Jobs Not Bombs.

09 August 2006


From this article:
Nairobi - An oil spill caused by Israeli raids on a Lebanese power plant could rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster that despoiled the Alaskan coast if not urgently addressed, the United Nations has said.

The Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said Tuesday the spill that poses severe ecological and human threats is already comparable to a 1999 oil tanker accident off the coast of France and had the potential to get far worse.

"In the worst-case scenario and if all the oil contained in the bombed power plant at Jiyyeh leaked into the Mediterranean Sea, the Lebanese oil spill could well rival the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989," it said in a statement.

"We are dealing with a very serious incident and any practical steps are still constrained by the continuation of hostilities," UNEP chief Achim Steiner said in a blunt appeal for immediate cooperation to stem any damage.

"While I fully understand the complexity and political implications, many are appalled ... there has been no on-the-ground assessment to support the Lebanese government, no moves possible towards a clean-up and indeed few practical measures to contain the further spread of the slick," he said.
No cleanup until the war is over, and since there's no end in sight to the war, no cleanup.

Thanks to Lo for noticing...

Here he is complaining about criteria for inclusion into corporate debates:
But If somebody came to the debate and was running as another candidate in this race, I would stand up for their right, if they were legally on the ballot, to be in this debate, whether they had 5% or not, whether they had raised $500,000, because democracy is about the ability to go out there, talk to people, get them to sign your petitions.
Do Tasini and Goodman know of Howie Hawkins, or is there a blackout on?

Is Howie on the ballot yet?

07 August 2006


Amidst all of the news about Lebanon, we can see the various media resources of the Left exuding optimism over the US/ Israeli failure to exert their will upon the world. For instance, Gilbert Achcar, writing for ZNet, writes of the "sinking ship of US imperial designs," and in the same publication, Immanuel Wallerstein tells us that
Israel is now engaged in the exact same catastrophic blunder, from its own point of view, as George Bush's invasion of Iraq. Bush thought that a show of military strength would establish U.S. presence unquestionably in Iraq and intimidate the rest of the world. Bush has discovered that Iraqi resistance was far more formidable militarily than anticipated, that American political allies in Iraq were far less reliable than he assumed they would be, and that the U.S. public's support of the war was far more fragile than he expected. The United States is heading towards a humiliating withdrawal from Iraq.
Stan Goff's blog parades an article from Asia Times celebrating the near-end of the Atlantic Alliance. I've already told you about the article in the Socialist Worker. (I'll find more of this stuff later.)

Let me respectfully suggest to all of these optimistic parties that it is WAAY too early to see anything good coming out of this, and that US/ Israeli decadence may precipitate a collapse of imperial regimes, but that nothing is ready to take the place of the sole-superpower set-up. In short, the emperor may have no clothes, but his dethronement is still a very long way off.

Given the political climate of the present, it would be more meaningful for the Left to echo Juan Cole's sentiment:

The idea that the whole Eastern Mediterranean had to be polluted, that the Christian Lebanese economy had to be destroyed for the next decade or two, that 900,000 persons had to be rendered homeless, that a whole country had to be pounded into rubble because some Lebanese Shiites voted for Hizbullah in the last election, putting 12 in parliament, is obscene. Bush's glib ignorance is destroying our world. Our children will suffer for it, and perhaps our grandchildren after them.

Optimism allows us to believe that some countervailing force is already in place that can stop this. Sorry, it's just not there.

I've been tempted at some point to rename this blog "Ecosocialism or Barbarism." Sometimes I am of the opinion that the latter is the more likely future.