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War on Syria

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Accomplices to War Crimes

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Inside the U.S. information bubble, the conspiracy of lies about Syria is nearly seamless. “Obama has no reason to fear that his tall tales will be presented as anything other than fact” because corporate media and the two corporate parties speak the same Orwellian language. Assad is the immediate target, but the common enemy is the rule of law, domestic and international.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/04/13

UNAC: Stop Obama’s Syria War

“There’s no basis for it, whatsoever: it’s against international law, it’s against UN conventions, it’s illegal, immoral and has to be stopped,” said Marilyn Levin, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, which has organized demonstrations against President Obama’s planned attack on Syria. “What they’re trying to do is regime change, to get a government that is compliant with the United States.”

POP Rallies Against “Re-Run” of Iraq Attack

The People’s Organization for Progress rallied against Obama’s war plans, in Newark, New Jersey. “Our opposition is in line with the Black community, which I am certain would oppose another war,” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “But, it’s also important to note that a majority of the people in the country oppose it. This whole situation seems to be a re-run of the prelude to the war in Iraq.”

March on Washington Commemoration an “Obscenity”

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington “was a government-corporate affair, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and everybody that could give Al Sharpton and the people that were organizing that march a check,” said veteran South Carolina activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “It was a farce, it was an obscenity. The people were props. There was no demand on the administration,” said Gray. “Sharpton is the administration’s yard dog.”

Denied Mic, Dream Defender Says Youth are “Ready” to Challenge System

Philip Agnew, a leader of the Dream Defenders occupying Florida’s State Capital, circulated the speech he would have given to the March on Washington crowd if he and other young people had not been cut from the speakers list: “I’d tell you that millions of young people and queer people and poor people and people of color are asking, What do we do with all this anger, this fear, this disappointment? For 50 years we’ve wandered and wondered: Where are the youth? … Peace over profit, revolution over revenue, and all peace and power to the people! Just watch – we’re ready.”

Fast Food Workers Press for Living Wage

Fast food workers held job actions at 1,000 locations in 60 cities last week, demanding a $15 an hour living wage and union representation. “We think that the real people mooching off the system are the corporations,” said Kyle Kordsmeier, an organizer with the Interfaith Workers Network, in Memphis. “If we paid people a living wage, it would save us healthcare costs, welfare, food stamps. Ultimately, what we’re fight for is for them to pick up that tab. They’re the ones who are stealing our money.”

White Power, Black Pain in New Orleans

According to a report by Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley on the state of New Orleans, the city “is whiter than it was when Katrina hit, there’s more renters; there are jobs, but they’ve moved out to the suburbs,” and Teach for America instructors “have taken the jobs of primarily African American teachers whose union was broken and replaced by charter schools.” New Orleans’ city hall, city council and school board are all controlled by whites, although Blacks comprise a “technical” majority of the population, said Quigley, whose report is titled “Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Eight Years Later.”

Will Banks be Bailed-Out, or Depositors Bailed-in?

British and American banking officials are drawing up plans to treat large depositors in U.S. banks as “investors” whose funds might be seized – “bailed-in” – in a financial crisis. Dodd-Frank legislation prohibits bailouts of banks with taxpayer money. However, Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood says: “It stretches credulity to think that this government would ever let big investors, big depositors, big bondholders take major hits in a banking crisis. I am utterly convinced they would find some way around this law and save the skins of the well-heeled.”

Tiny Eritrea Maintains Self-Reliance

Zimbabwe and Eritrea, a small country of 6 million people on the Red Sea, are the only nations in Africa that have avoided entanglement with the U.S. Africa Military Command, AFRICOM. Eritrea also refuses so-called foreign “aid” in favor of national self-reliance. “It was critical to build a self-reliant state” after 30 years of war for independence, said Simon Tesfamariam, an Eritrean-American activist and writer, speaking on Your World News. “If you look within your own resources, you’ll find a way to make it. But, all this is impossible without the unity of the Eritrean people.”

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The Dreamer With a Kill List

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The most powerful – and violent – man in the world was made the star of the commemoration of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King. “The grave-markers of the martyrs of the Black Freedom Movement – in their thousands – have been reduced to cobblestones on the road to the Obama presidency.”

Massacre in Egypt Hastens Demise of U.S.-Jihadist Alliance

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The secularists and leftists that backed the military’s coup in Egypt “cannot escape culpability for Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi’s current and future crimes.” But the clock is also ticking on the decades-long U.S. strategy to deploy Muslim jihadists as foot soldiers for imperial objectives in the region. The unholy alliance will shatter – and usher in the Mother of All Blowbacks.

The Military Coup in Egypt: Requiem for a Revolution That Never Was

by Ajamu Baraka

In the two-and-a-half years between the ouster of Mubarak by the Egyptian military and the ouster of President Morsi by that same military, no revolutionary process occurred. Yet, “the emotional response to seeing hundreds of thousands of people on the streets seems to have created a case of temporary insanity,” an imagined revolution in which the “military and the people are one.”

From Egypt to Syria: Is The Gulf Cooperation Council the Tail That Wags the U.S. Dog?

by Ajamu Baraka

It is possible that the coup in Egypt was not a U.S.-initiated affair but, rather, a sign of declining U.S. influence in the region. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who hated deposed Egyptian President Morsi, may have promised Egypt’s generals they would replace U.S. military aid, if necessary. “Perhaps we can no longer just refer to those states as merely client states of the U.S.“

Obama and Romney: Brothers of the Same Imperial Lodge

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Monday’s performance by the top presidential contenders turned out to be a grand consensus on foreign policy. “There is not one ray of daylight between the two.” Since Obama and Romney have no substantive disagreements, the choice is simple: vote for – or against – the one you think is most competent at waging imperial war. Peace and the rule of law are not options, on either ticket. Welcome to the Imperial Hegemony Dome.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of February 20, 2012

 

U.S. Foments Violence in Syria

Washington appears to be attempting a re-run of last year’s regime change in Libya. “That’s what the drumbeats have been, all along,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The West puts the “opposition” together and arms it, “and then the United States claims we have to intervene to stop the very violence that we perpetrated. That is the absolute playbook for Libya.” At this point, the Syrian regime has to use violence to survive. “It doesn’t seem to me that there is a great deal of choice, here, for Syria,” said Ratner.

Single Payer Activists Ask High Court to Throw Out Individual Mandate

Fifty medical doctors have filed a brief, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down provisions of President Obama’s health care legislation that force Amerians to by private health insurance. “There’s a dire need right now to get rid of, not only the individual mandate, but to get rid of the private health insurance corporations,” said Russell Mokhiber, of Single Payer Action. Obama’s bill “wasn’t an accomplishment for the American people, it was an accomplishment for the insurance industry. They drafted this law. It kept them in the game.”

Newark Daily Protests Link Local, National Struggles

Daily demonstrations begun in June by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), in Newark, New Jersey, “provide a real opportunity for everyday people who feel that their voices have been heard, that they’ve been drowned out by the Super Pacs,” said Jerome Harris, immediate past president of the New Jersey Black Issues Convention. POP vows to continue demonstration for jobs, education, peace and justice for at least 381 days, the duration of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Chicago Torture Commission Lacks Funds

Standish Willis, the Chicago attorney who drew up legislation that authorized a commission to gain the release of Black men imprisoned on evidence and confessions obtained by police torture, said state funds for the project have been cut in half. That’s barely enough to pay an executive director and an assistant, said Willis. “Without funding, the Commission will die,” and at least 20 torture victims will languish in prison.

Push to Ban Death Penalty in Maryland

Political prisoner Marshall Eddie Coleman, a former Black Panther incarcerated for the last 42 years, is leading a campaign to end capital punishment in the state. Maryland may be “Up South,” said Atty. James Reston, secretary of the Baltimore-Washington chapter of the Jericho Project, but “it has a Deep South mentality.” Seventy-seven percent of the state’s inmates are Black, and four Black men and a white woman sit on Death Row.

Economist Skeptical of Obama Housing Scheme

This has a lot more to do with getting a good photo-op” for the president, than providing substantial help to homeowners, said Dr. Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst. “We are now in the third or fourth effort. None of the others succeeded. It would be strange for us to believe, now, with an election coming up,” that a $26 billion settlement will solve a $700 billion problem.

Black Power Redefined

Joanne Griffith, a British-born journalist, is on a speaking tour for her new book, Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America. “We are looking at activism from different perspectives – from the legal perspective, from the media perspective, and from the emotional impact that the Obama presidency has had on African Americans,” she said.

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Obama’s Proliferating Wars: Empire on Full Throttle Offensive

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama is leading a general imperial offensive around the globe, and “were it not for the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. and its allies would by now have declared the city of Homs or some other parts of Syria as areas to be ‘protected’ by U.S.-led air forces.” History will record Obama as “a man of war – many wars.

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