War Against Syria

When It Comes to U.S. Foreign Policy, the Truth Hurts

by Ronald Thomas West

A bill before Congress could be used to target “any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.“ All they have to do is claim it is being “manipulated” by the Russians. But, Moscow doesn’t have to lie to counter a lawless U.S. foreign policy. “The Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war.”

Congressional Hawks Rush to Intensify War in Syria

by Rick Sterling

Warmongers in the U.S. Congress -- Democrats and Republicans – are in a mad dash towards war with Russia in Syria. A “No Fly Zone” resolution passed the House with little debate, cloaked in “humanitarian” language that blames the besieged Syrian government for the totality of the deaths in the U.S.-backed proxy war. The bipartisan regime changers are desperate to complete their mission before the regime change that will occur in Washington, on January 20.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 26, 2016

Prison Strike Against Slave Labor Continues

Despite a near-total lack of corporate media coverage, the national prison strike that began September 9 continues at facilities in 11 states, said Pastor Kenneth Glascow, chief outside spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement, centered at the state prison in Holman. “Some are on hunger strike, some are doing the work stoppage” to protest involuntary servitude at slave wages, said Glascow. “In the near future, we will start boycotting some of those companies that use prison labor.” U.S. unemployment is “not just about ‘outsourcing’” jobs to foreign countries, he said. “It’s also ‘in-sourcing,’ using prison labor.”

Clinton Election Heightens Danger of World War

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, she will likely name Samantha Power, the current U.S. ambassador to the UN and an architect of the so-called “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine, as her secretary of state or national security advisor, said Duboisian scholar and veteran social activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro. “It is clear that the Clinton foreign policy would be guided by the Pentagon and her own predisposition to settle accounts in the Middle East and with the Assad government and with Russia, militarily,” said Monteiro. “We on the Left -- and, especially, the Black Left – have to begin to raise the question of war and peace as the central question in this election.”

Uhuru Conference: “Africans Need Our Own Theory”

The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (INPDUM) held its national conference in Ferguson, Missouri, this month. “We’ve been borrowing theory from everybody else,” said Movement president Kalambayi Andenet. “What is our interest? We need our own theory, and that’s African internationalism.” INPDUM is part of the African People’s Socialist Party, chaired by Omali Yeshitela. “We are a revolutionary organization,” he said. “If anybody is going to govern Black people, it’s got to be Black people, themselves.”

Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia

Hundreds of protestors have been killed in recent months in the Amhara and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, victims of the central government’s policy of “ethnic cleansing” of the nation’s two largest population groups, said Tsigereda Mulutega, vice president of the Ethiopian People’s Congress for Struggle (SHENGO). The Ethiopia regime is dominated by people from the Tigrayan ethnic group, which comprises only 6 percent of the population. Ethiopia is the biggest U.S. foreign aid recipient, next to Israel, said Mulutega. Therefore, “it is in the interest of U.S. taxpayers to say ‘no’ to crimes against humanity in Ethiopia.”

 
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Was it Mutiny? U.S. Rulers Split Over Syria

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The American bombing of Syrian soldiers was no “mistake” – it was a mutiny by the War Party in the U.S. military and government, who want victory for the jihadists. “The war hawks have never forgiven Obama or ceased denouncing his failure to ‘finish off’ Assad” in 2013. They hope that a President Hillary Clinton “will launch the final, crushing strike” against Assad – “if the jihadists can just hang on until Inauguration Day.”

Black Agenda Report for Week of September 7, 2016

20th Anniversary of Clinton’s War Against the Poor

It’s been 20 years since President Bill Clinton and the U.S. Congress destroyed “welfare as we knew it” by replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the “workfare” regime called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The result, said Maureen Taylor, chairperson of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, is growing poverty in the United States. Taylor says TANF should be changed to DANF, standing for “Disappearing Aid for Needy Families.” Residents of Michigan are only eligible for cash assistance for five years in their lifetimes. It’s a shame, said Taylor, how the political class is “turning, not against poverty, but trying to turn the nation against poor folks.”

Judge Finds Way to Avoid Ordering Hep C Cure for Mumia

A federal judge agreed that it is unconstitutional for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to deny curative medical treatment to Mumia Abu Jamal and thousands of other prisoners suffering from Hepatitis C. However, the court then ruled that Abu Jamal’s suit was technically flawed. Noelle Hanrahan, a director of Prison Radio who works closely with Mumia, was outraged that the state has condemned thousands of prisoners to early and unnecessary deaths. “You can’t construct a situation that is more grossly inhumane,” she said.

Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, was more upbeat about the ruling. “It’s a good beginning that a federal judge recognizes that what the Commonwealth is doing, and has been doing for years, is not only unjust but unconstitutional, a violation of fundamental fairness and the human right to life,” he said.

Clinton and Trump Fear TV Debate with Stein and Johnson

“Our view is that if you have the potential for 270 Electoral College votes -- if you are on enough ballots to achieve that -- then you should be in the debate,” said Kevin Zeese, the veteran activist recently named as senior advisor to the Green Party’s Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka presidential ticket. Zeese notes that polls show half the American public wants the televised debates open to Stein and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate. However, the debates are a joint venture of the Democratic and Republican parties, who call the shots. “It’s a disgrace to democracy,” said Zeese, “that they can choose who they will debate.”

Obama Neutralized Blacks for Most of His Term

Barack Obama’s presidency has been “the highest expression” of the U.S. government’s long campaign to “neutralize the Black liberation movement,” said BAR regular contributor Danny Haiphong, who this week posted the ninth in his ten-part series on the Obama legacy. “It really wasn’t until 2014, when Obama was in his last years, that any semblance of a movement against issues like police brutality and racism began to come back to the fore,” said Haiphong. Black liberationist politics has been suppressed for two generations, said Haiphong, “with the help of a Black misleadership class that has diluted, sanitized and almost destroyed, up until recently, the Black Radical Tradition.”

U.S. Anti-War Movement Under Attack

A recent article by Terry Burke in the leftish magazine In These Times attacked a broad range of anti-war activists and groups for opposing the U.S. war against Syria. Burke claims U.S. activists aren’t listening to “the Syrian people.” In response, Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, said the U.S. insists on regime change in Syria, and “anyone who has any confusion as to where that leads has only to look at Libya and at Iraq and see the howling wasteland that has been created” by U.S. intervention.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

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Yes, Obama and Clinton Created ISIS – Too Bad Trump Can’t Explain How It Happened

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Clinton supporters rejected out of hand Donald Trump’s charge that she and Barack Obama “created” the Islamic State -- and even Trump seemed to retreat from his statement. But, a solid case can be made that Obama and Clinton were, indeed, the "most valuable players" in spawining ISIS. Moreover, it is an historical fact that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia created the international jihadist network from which al Qaida and ISIS sprang, almost four decades ago.

Obama’s Legacy: al-Qaida’s Protector-in-Chief

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama is caught in a trap of his own making in Syria. Actually, the trap was laid long ago, when the U.S. and Saudi Arabia partnered to create something the world had never seen: an international jihadist network. Now that network is facing defeat at the hands of Russia and the Syrian government, and must be saved by U.S. “boots on the ground.”

 
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Turkey and Europe: Human Trafficking on a Scale Not Seen Since the Atlantic Slave Trade

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The agreement between Europe and Turkey to keep millions of refugees from entering Europe is a deal between devils. Europe, which has fattened itself on other people’s lands and blood for half a millennium, is allowed to wall out the “invaders.” Meanwhile, Turkey “springs its vast protections racket trap – agreeing to insulate Europe from further incursions from the formerly colonized peoples.” A human trafficking and protection scheme from Hell.

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 22, 2016

When Paul Robeson Denounced a President to His Face

Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, has turned out another book. Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary, explores the career and politics of the actor, singer, athlete, linguist, author, public intellectual and human rights activist who was, at one time, probably the most famous American in the world, yet died in state-enforced obscurity in Philadelphia. Dr Horne recounts how, at the White House, Robeson 'got in Harry Truman's face and wagged his finger and castigated and denounced the U.S. president for his lethargy in prosecuting lynchers' of Black soldiers 'at the same time that the Truman administration was vigorously prosecuting Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg.'

White and Black Joblessness: Two Separate Worlds

The lowest Black state unemployment rate (Virginia) is equal to the highest white state unemployment rate (West Virginia), at 6.7 percent, according to an analysis of employment statistics by Dr. Valerie Wilson, of the Economic Policy Institute. "When you put that in the broadest context, that 6.7 percent is the worst that whites are doing in the country, you more fully understand just how unacceptable rates of Black unemployment are," said Dr. Wilson.

Turkey Tries to Wag U.S. Dog Into Wider War

Turkish President Recep Erdogan is threatening to invade Syria, in league with Saudi Arabian military forces. "Erdogan is trying to use a tail-wagging-the-dog situation where he can force the United States and NATO into a confrontation" with Russia, said political analyst Eric Draitser, speaking on Russia Today’s "Cross Talk" program. Erdogan wants to 'double-down' in order to save his failed Syria regime change strategy, said Draitser, publisher of StopImperialism.org.

Definition of Disaster: Hillary Clinton, Commander-in-Chief

A Hillary Clinton presidency 'would be a real disaster,' said Dr. Stephen Zunes, professor of International Studies at San Francisco University. "In many ways, her thinking parallels the neoconservatives," he said. President Obama "is going to come off as downright enlightened and moderate compared to what we're going to see under a Clinton administration."

Beyoncé Video is Capitalist-Minded

In her "Formation" video, Beyoncé "talks about being a 'Black Bill Gates in the making,' clearly a reference to the hegemony and importance of a capitalist value framework," said Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. She tells oppressed people to "seek revenge through accumulating 'paper,' meaning money. These messages are quite conservative, quite accommodationist," said Baraka, speaking on Jared Ball's "I Mix What I Like" program on The Real News Network.

Kathleen Cleaver: Origins of a Panther

Former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver, honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, in Detroit, recounted how she was drawn to the Black movement in 1963 when, as a high school student, she saw a photo of three Black girls in the back of a paddy wagon, singing on their way to jail for protesting racial injustice in Georgia. "I wanted to be like them, I wanted to be in that organization," she said. Three years later, Cleaver joined the Black Power-era SNCC, and met her future husband, Eldridge Cleaver, a top leader in the Black Panther Party.

Mumia Plugs Angela Davis Book

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, gave a boost to former political prisoner Angela Davis’ new book, Freedom is a Constant Struggle. “At times history lesson, political education, world studies and gender theories, Angela Y. Davis gives us all a lot to ponder,” said Abu Jamal, in a Prison Radio commentary.

The Movement Needs Dragons

Khalil Bennet, one of several thousand prison inmates sentenced to life for offenses committed when they were juveniles, said many of his comrades “have been detained since the late 1970s, “raised and trained by the best revolutionaries in the worst conditions that America produced.” Many are now eligible for release in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that such sentences are cruel and unusual punishment. The former “juvenile lifers” could become the cadre for an emerging movement. “When the prison gates open,” said Bennet, “the real dragons fly out.”

 
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The West’s War Against Syria: Out of Control

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

What began as a U.S. scheme for regime-change in Syria now threatens to ignite global war. Turkey is poised to come to blows with Russia, as the U.S. revs up its “Plan B” to dismember Syria under the guise of attacking the Islamic State. “The Turks could block the Bosphorus Straits, closing off access to and from the Black Sea, bottling up Russian naval forces and provoking a world war.”

 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 4, 2016

Building a Black “Movement” from the Current “Momentum”

Dr. Cornel West, the nation’s best known Black public intellectual and a keynote speaker at this weekend’s conference on the Black Radical Tradition, at Philadelphia’s Temple University, said Black America is not yet experiencing a mass social movement. “I would say it’s significant motion and momentum that can become a movement if we can sustain it. We’ve got a significant number of brothers and sisters who have broken the back of fear,” said West, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. The path to a full-blown movement starts “with the criminal justice system, and we connect it to mass unemployment, mass underemployment, then connect it to a critique of capitalism and a critique of empire.”

Chicago’s Mayor Failing the “Pacify the Blacks” Test

Rahm Emanuel “is not doing his job,” said activist, scholar and author Paul Street. “One of the main jobs for a mayor of Chicago, frankly, is to keep the Black community in line and non-rebellious, so that downtown finance and real estate interests can continue their endless gentrification and expansion, free of disturbance.” Calls have intensified for Emanuel’s resignation or recall from office for covering up police crimes against Blacks.

Obama to Press for TPP in State of the Union Address

President Obama will “make a very big push” for congressional passage of his Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade treaty in his January 12 State of the Union Address, said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. However, Zeese believes TPP can be defeated. “We’re going to have our people out in force on-line, in the Twittersphere and social media, getting out the facts, because we expect a lot of dishonesty from the president,” said Zeese, who notes that the top Democratic and Republican candidates to succeed Obama oppose TPP.

The Semantics of Terror

On January 25, the U.S. and its allies will meet with the government of Syria and its Russian ally to discuss which of the West’s jihadist proxy armies might be considered legitimate players in any future peace process. Washington considers all of the armed groups except ISIS and al-Qaida to be “moderate rebels.” Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC), said: “They asked Saudi Arabia to head up the countries that will be vetting these terrorist groups. Now, who is most directly responsible for the arming and funding – from ISIS on through – of terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq and throughout the entire region?” The whole exercise, said Flounders, “is an outrageous fraud.”

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Freedom Rider: Putin Bombs Islamic State, Obama Bombs a Hospital

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Better late than never, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has exposed the West’s support for jihadists in Syria and moved to crush Washington’s Islamist proxies, militarily. In front of the UN, the Big Lie was exposed: “The western nations were never interested in defeating ISIS, the child they spawned through their interventions.” The U.S. promptly vented its imperial wrath on helpless hospital patients in Afghanistan.

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