The Façade of “Humanitarian Intentions” in Libya: A Review of Paolo Sensini’s Book

A book review by Edward Curtin

“The US/NATO forces armed and supported all sorts of Islamist terrorists, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, led by a close Afghan associate of Osama bin Laden,” reports Paolo Sensini’s new book, with a forward by Cynthia McKinney. Sensini explores Washington’s motives for regime change. “Gaddafi was on the point of concluding agreements that might have contributed decisively to the economic independence of the entire continent of Africa.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 12, 2016

Networks Need to “Do Their Jobs” and Hold 4-Way Debates

RootsAction.Org is circulating a petition urging the television networks and cable news operations to “do their job, to hold a presidential debate with all the candidates that should appropriately be in it,” said veteran antiwar activist David Swanson. The Democrat- and Republican-controlled debate commission “was created to keep other candidates out and to keep any serious questions out,” while the petition demands that the debates be “open to any candidate who is already on ballots in enough states to win and who is either at 5 percent in the polls or has a majority saying they should be in the debates,” said Swanson. “Just adding Jill Stein would create an entirely different conversation, that just won’t be there with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” he said.

Baraka: Clinton is “Lying” About Her Support for TPP

Speaking at a Green Party rally in Chicago, vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka urged voters to dismiss Hillary Clinton’s claim that she no longer supports the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade deal. “If you understand her history, her ideological orientation, you know that she is lying. She is a neoliberal capitalist and she supports TPP,” said Baraka. “This campaign is about building a movement, it’s about building an alternative to the status quo. It is recognizing that we are in a protracted struggle for fundamental change,” he said.

Priority in Pittsburgh: Community Control of the Police

“We have a police union that is at the forefront of maintaining a violent and white supremacist type of police presence,” said Khalid Raheem, of the New Afrikan Independence Party, which recently held its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “In order for any serious change to come about,” he said, “we really have to have community control of the police, and that means we have to dismantle the current system and replace it with something that’s controlled and run by the people, themselves.” The New African Independence Party is part of the Black Is Back Coalition.

Blacks Suspect Police Involvement in Ferguson Activist’s Death

Darren Seals, who gained national attention as part of community resistance to massive police repression in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of Michael Brown, in 2014, was found shot to death and incinerated in his car last week. “The word on the streets is that somebody paid $10,000 for it to happen, it was police-motivated,” said Edwin Chanell, who collaborated on various projects with Seals. “He was an activist from the streets, trying to bring the community together.” Chanell’s New Generation Black Council works with gang members in Greater St. Louis.

Black Teacher Shunned the Flag Before Colin Kaepernick was Born

Back in 1985, Hardy Williams was fired from his coaching position at a Los Angeles high school for turning his back on the national anthem. Williams won a $25,000 settlement in a suit against his principal and the school district. Now turning 70, he said he’s been shunning the American flag and anthem since 1973. “I don’t honor it. In my opinion, America doesn’t honor us,” said Williams, who was “elated” to hear of Colin Kaepernick’s game-time actions. “I think, hopefully, that I’ll be able to meet him.”

Black Colombians Prepare for Peace Deal Signing

On September 26, FARC guerillas and the Colombian government will sign an historic accord to end a more than half-century of civil war, to be followed by a popular referendum on the agreement, October 2. Charo Mina-Rojas, a national coordinator of the Black Communities Process in Colombia, said Afro-Colombians worry that demobilized guerillas will be relocated close to Black and indigenous people’s territories, and that right-wing paramilitaries show signs of stepping up their activities. “We are concerned about how the implementation of these agreements is going to happen, and how we are a part of the process,” she said.

Mumia: Give Generously to Prison Radio

The nation’s best known political prisoner is asking his supporters to help Prison Radio “keep the wolf from the door.” Prison Radio distributes regular commentaries by Mumia Abu Jamal and reports from other activists in America’s Gulag. “Prison Radio has brought you the voices behind the walls -- the fastest growing public housing development in America,” said Abu Jamal.

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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Young Blacks are Learning the Nature of the Duopoly Beast

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

While Hillary Clinton runs rightward at breakneck speed, attempting to suck every stray Republican into her nasty Big Tent, Black Democrats worry that young African Americans have rejected both major parties. Black Millennials, correctly, tend to see no difference in the two wings of the Duopoly, and resist being turned into fodder for Hillary’s campaign. Movement politics is breaking the bonds to the Democrats.

The Obama Legacy Part X: How Obama's Past Played a Role in the Insurgency of the Present

by Danny Haiphong

“Although austerity, war, and state repression are nothing new to US imperialism, the last eight years saw these modes of exploitation perfected under a Black Democrat.” President Obama saved the banks from the “pitchforks” of an enraged public, failed to protect Black lives at home, and waged war in seven countries. “Hillary Clinton's own war record mostly stems from her service as Obama's Secretary of State from 2009-2013.”

Trump Might Call for Four-Way Debates – But Only If He Thinks He Can’t Win

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Donald Trump might do the right thing and call for opening up the presidential debates to third parties – but mainly for the wrong reasons. Although it appears that Trump would “have a relative net advantage over Clinton if there were a vigorous, four-way presidential contest,” he will only make such a demand if he is certain of a one-on-one humiliation.


Anthem of Banksters & War Profiteers

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

Why does San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick choose to sit when the Star Spangled Banner is played before football games? Evidently he is one of many who know the real intention and import behind those bombs bursting in air...

Congressional Black Caucus: Deep in the Israel Lobby’s Pocket

by Jeffrey Blankfort

The Congressional Black Caucus is a bought-and-paid-for political ally of the planet’s last remaining apartheid state, Israel. “That the CBC has consistently, as a bloc, voted to send billions of US taxpayers dollars to provide weapons for a foreign government that oppresses another people of color, the Palestinians, is nothing less than shameful.” Cynthia McKinney was the last CBC member to take a principled stand on Palestine.

Black Activists Owe No Apology for Solidarity with Palestinians

by Darializa Avila Chevalier and Khury Petersen-Smith

The Movement for Black Lives has voiced its unequivocal opposition to Israel’s genocidal policies in Palestine, prompting harsh attacks from Zionists. “That Zionist organizations are willing to reject the current battle for Black lives raging in the United States when its activists find common ground and solidarity with Palestinians,” say the authors, “simply reaffirms what we already knew: Zionism is racism.”

ESPN’S Journal of Black Respectability Politics

by Jon Jeter

Michael Eric Dyson is up to his corporate tricks, this time in ESPN’s black-oriented web site The Undefeated. Dyson personifies the surrender of the Black middle class, in total synch with The Undefeated’s typical narratives “in which history is inert, racism exists only inasmuch as it vexes Obama, and no injustice is so grave that it cannot be resolved by black folks pulling up their pants.”

Corporal Punishment Use Found in Schools in 21 States, with Blacks Punished Twice as Often

by Sarah D. Sparks & Alex Harwin

A long list of states -- centered in but not confined to the South -- continue to engage in the largely unregulated practice of physically punishing students. “Black students are disproportionately likely to experience physical discipline, which some consider a “piece of the school-to-prison pipeline.” Class plays a role. “Wealthier students are less likely than low-income students to attend a school that actually uses the practice.

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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Why Black Self-Determination Matters

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Malcolm X correctly anticipated that narrowly conceived “civil rights” could ultimately be curtailed. He therefore urged Black people to demand their human right to self-determination. We are now living in the age of Black rights “give-backs” – or no Black right to life, at all. The Black Is Back Coalition’s newly formulated political agenda “insists that the principle of self-determination must be central to all arenas of Black struggle.”

The Imperial Consensus, Part 1: Hillary and Trump, Republicans and the Congressional Black Caucus Agree on Israeli Apartheid

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Whether it’s gentrification, privatization, environmental destruction, threatening the planet with nukes or maintaining global empire, differences between the parties of the one percent are often less important than the bipartisan disasters upon which our masters agree. In the first of several installments, we look at the issues elite Republicans and Democrats agree on. This week it’s Israel, the world’s premiere apartheid state.


Don’t Let the Russians Ruin the U.S. Elections System! (Don’t Make Me Laugh)

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Hillary Clinton isn’t simply trying to beat the hapless and disintegrating Donald Trump: she wants a mandate to rule the world as she (and her bankers) see fit. To achieve this, she must run against the dreaded Russian “threat,” which requires entangling the Russians with Trump and spreading the nonsense that Moscow is attempting to rig the elections. As if U.S. elections haven’t always been hopelessly racist and corrupt.


The Blood-Spangled Banner: An Anthem for Slavery, Genocide and Empire

by Jon Schwarz and Sam Husseini

The U.S. was born in slavery and genocide, so it is no wonder that its anthem puts to music its claim to stolen land on behalf of the “free” – as opposed to the slave and the vanquished native. But the U.S. was also conceived as a White Man’s Empire, primed for endless expansion. Thus, the same anthem celebrates the defeat of the “turban’d head” of Muslims in North Africa. Two articles address the racist, imperial obsessions of Francis Scott Key.

The Obama Legacy Part IX: The Highest Expression of Counter Insurgency

by Danny Haiphong

After smashing the Black Liberation Movement, the U.S. ruling class” proceeded “to bury Black politics in the graveyard of the Democratic Party.” They met with great success in nurturing a Black misleadership class to counter the Black radical tradition. The Black caucus in Congress collaborated in mass incarceration and imperial war, offering not to slightest resistance to Wall Street’s Black servant in the White House, Barack Obama. 


by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

For a long time now, the politics of fear is all that Dems and Repubs have to offer us. But as Jill Stein observes, voting for what you fear a little less has a track record. It delivers still more of what we fear, not less.

What Does Black Lives Matter Want?

by Robin D.G. Kelley

“A Vision for Black Lives” is a plan for ending structural racism, saving the planet, and transforming the entire nation—not just black lives,” writes the author, a noted Black public intellectual. The wide-ranging document, prepared by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) with input from 60 organization, “emphasizes community control, self-determination, and ‘collective ownership’ of certain economic institutions,” as well as police violence.

Provoking Nuclear War by Media

by John Pilger

Washington’s so-called “humanitarian” military intervention policy dates to its demonization of Yugoslavian socialist leader Slobodan Milosevic, who has since been judged innocent of war crimes. The corporate media is a tool of the War Party. “It is they who dispense the propaganda and videos that becomes news in the US and Europe, guarantee a one-sided ‘coverage’ of Syria,” and create a climate for war with Russia and China.


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