The Real Darfur Story: A Political Conflict, But Not A Genocide

 

instant karm5aA Review of a new book by Mahmood Mamdani

The Save Darfur Coalition has convinced a large portion of the American public that “genocide” is underway in Darfur, the western Sudan. As propagandists, the coalition has done a highly effective job. Among the few public intellectuals in the U.S. to debunk the genocide story is Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, of Columbia University, who concludes, “There's no attempt to eliminate a people here. This has been a conflict over land.”
 

 

The US Mainstream Media: Selective Omission and Planned Misinformation

boob tubeby Solomon Comissiong
There is method to the maddening homogeneity and shallowness of the U.S. corporate media. “Keeping the public as dumbed down as possible keeps their corporate clients happy and their political partners in power.” Media corporations advertise that they sell “news,” but what they're really marketing is a daily defense of imperial rule. That's why, for example, “they won’t tell you how so-called 'free trade' policies create sweatshops, plunder, mass migration, and civil unrest.”

Obama Charges Backward On Health Care

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama, like the little kids that used to appear on Art Linkletter’s TV show, says “the darndest things.” He has discovered that the “root cause” of America’s health care cost problem isn’t the insurance companies, or the drug barons, or the hospital corporations. Medicare is the villain. “Disastrously, he has created a situation in which health care ‘reform’ is predicated on stripping Medicare down to the bone.”

Freedom Rider: Obama Insults Muslims

 

gazaby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Barack Obama seems to think that Muslims are stupid, stupid enough to accept invasions and occupations without complaint if an American president shows up and quotes from the Koran.” It is amazing how Americans and their presidents keep a straight face while urging non-white foreigners to tolerate the intolerable. ““Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed,” Obama preaches – while his drones and soldiers kill women and children around the globe.

 

Cynthia McKinney in Harlem : Confronting Neo Liberalism in the Age of Obama

 
If no video is visible above, click here.  It's too late to be disappointed with the Obama administration. As our parents and grandparents might say, it hurts too much to laugh and we're too grown to cry. The answer then, is to take stock of what we have, to assess our opportunities and to organize. We have the brains and the resources, says McKinney.

Anthony Monteiro in Harlem, May 31, 2009, When Obama Won, Did We?

If no video is visible above, click here.  Was the election of the nation's First Black President a victory for our people in the long struggle against racism and empire? Or does it simply mark a change in establishment tactics that will make it even more difficult to press the case for economic justice, and an end to militarism and racism?

Eshu’s blues: Media circus throws another temper tantrum over Sotomayor nomination

by michael hureaux perez

Opponents of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination claim to be fighting against the rise of an “activist court” – “which is what the ruling class of this country calls any court which occasionally intervenes on behalf of historically repressed peoples.” Such politicians are much more comfortable with jurists such as Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who famously proclaimed that Blacks have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. The modern-day Taneys don’t have much tolerance for uppity Puerto Ricans, either.

Fattening Black Frogs For Corporate Snakes

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

A “small herd” of rightist Black politicians is seeking statewide office, further mangling Black politics in the process. In practice, this trend allows white voters “to decide which kinds of Black politicians rise to state and national prominence.” Among the latest entries is Congressman Artur Davis, running for governor of Alabama. Rep. Davis is consistently ranked among the worst members of the Congressional Black Caucus – which is the source of his white, corporate appeal.

 

GM Could Have Become a “Green” Industrial Machine

rest in peaceA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

President Obama has passed up his chance to become a transformational president, by failing to convert the excess capacity of General Motors – 60 percent-owned by the U.S. public – to “green” manufacturing. Instead, the public has paid $50 billion, and counting, for 14 industrial junkyards where car factories used to be. Obama’s refusal to rise to the historic occasion shows that he “worships at the alter of private capital – the same corporate developmental model that has been de-industrializing the United States for the last four decades.”

Shell Oil Settles with 1995 Niger Delta Victims’ Families, But War Escalates

flaringA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

Nearly a fifth of US oil imports come from West Africa and that proportion is only expected to grow. Western oil companies, chiefly Shell, BP and Chevron have pumped trillions of dollars worth of black gold from eastern Nigeria, but it remains the poorest and most polluted places on earth. Although oil company scofflaws have settled out of court with representatives of the families of a handful of the murdered the pitiless rape of eastern Nigeria continues.

 

Women in Darfur: We Saw No Evidence of Genocide

 

222By Afshin Rattansi
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Cindy Crawford, Bono, Michael Caine, Claudia Schiffer, Bob Geldof, Hugh Grant, Mia Farrow, Mick Jagger and so many others have expressed their solidarity with the people of the oil-rich region of Darfur. A few weeks ago, Democrats John Lewis of Georgia, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Lynn Woolsey of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts were all arrested as they demonstrated against the Sudanese government. When Colin Powell used the word genocide in 2004, it kicked off $1 billion-a-year international aid program, much higher than that afforded Somalia or Congo.  But why?

 

“God Sent the Shooter”: White Christian Terrorism and the Assassination of George Tiller

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson
The profiles of “ those who invoke Christian fundamentalism as justification for their barbaric incursions against women and their allies” match those of other denizens of the peculiar U.S. Right-wing “movement”: “disaffected white middle aged males, aligned with a crackpot anti-government militia and/or fundamentalist ethos steeped in the bloody retribution of the Old Testament.” The U.S. Has been subjected to “virulent strain of fundamentalism was nourished by three theocratic Republican administrations that dismembered the Constitution and effectively sanctioned criminal campaigns against abortion providers.”

 

Black Radio Speaks With Forked Tongue

 

baisdenby Paul Porter
Black radio owners and those who depend on them for publicity and profits are waging a propaganda offensive against a bill to compensate artists for airplay. Radio One founder Cathy Hughes “and her staff have done a great job of concealing the facts” of the legislation, HR 848, sponsored by Detroit Congressman John Conyers. Hughes has been joined by syndicated hosts Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, and Rev. Al Sharpton, who is also a radio personality. Radio One is crying economic hardship, but the firm recently awarded CEO (and Hughes' son) Alfred Liggins “a 10 million dollar bonus.”

 

Cuba, the US and the OAS

john maxwell

by John Maxwell

Even though both Castro brothers repeatedly stated that Cuba has no desire to rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS), Latin America demanded that the ban against Cuba be dropped. “For them the OAS has been a yanki weapon against all of them, from Arbenz to Allende to Aristide to Fidel, Chavez and Morales. It does not end.” The U.S. tried to find a graceful way to accept its diplomatic defeat, and avoid further isolation in the hemisphere it once overlorded like a caudillo.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor -- She's No Clarence Thomas, But No Thurgood Marshall Either

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What is and what should be the story around the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the high court?  Is the main story a celebration of how humble origins and hard work won out?  Should we spend all our time and energy refuting the racism of Republican talking heads, and none examining her record, and how she arrived at the door of the Supreme Court?  Is this a good time to explore what a just and democratic society must demand from its courts --- more nonwhite faces in high places?  More rights for corporations?  Or more justice for people?  And if this isn't a good time, is that time ever coming?

Cynthia McKinney Announces Formation of DIGNITY

cynthaby the editors
 
Which way forward for the Black Left? The path leads in the same direction it always has: agitation, organization, and confrontation with Power. Cynthia McKinney chose a Harlem church to announce formation of DIGNITY, to bring the Black body politic back from its current comatose state. "Dignity is attempting to show real change is possible" - if people fight for it. "We want to organize networks so that we can relay information quickly to a large number of people."

R.I.P. Industrial USA. The Banksters Win, Even When They Fail

 

GM
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

General Motors is just the latest in a long line of casualties in the lopsided war between finance capital and manufacturing capital. "The handwriting was on the wall for General Motors and the entire industrial sector of the U.S. economy back in the mid-Eighties, when GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors, surpassed the car-making part of the company in profits." The "crux of the current crisis of capitalism" is finance capital's refusal to invest in productive enterprise "except under conditions of extremely low wage labor.

 

Obama’s “Af-Pak” War: Destabilizing a Nuclear Nation

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama has succeeded in putting his mark on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in ways that will come back to haunt the U.S. Two million people have been displaced by the Pakistiani army's scorched earth campaign against the Taliban - actions demanded by the Obama administration. "The Pakistani people are universally aware that their army was browbeaten, bullied and coerced, superpower-style, to launch a scorched earth attack on Taliban-influenced regions." The administration is destabilizing Pakistan, and deepening its people's hatred for the U.S.

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