Which Side Are You On? The Western Left's Obsession with Empire

by Danny Haiphong

The left has always been small in the U.S., but now much of it cannot be called “left” at all. Jacobin throws its weight behind the jihadists waging holy war in Syria on behalf of US imperialism and its junior partners” – a reflection of “the infantile state of the anti-war left in the US.” Imperialism has a twisted, phony left face. “Rather than defend Syria's self-determination, many in the West have bought into the imperialist narrative.”

South Africa: Zuma – and Capitalism – Have Got to Go

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

An epic battle is being joined in South Africa. Genuine socialists are arrayed against President Jacob Zuma and his neoliberals and Black capitalists in the ruling ANC, while white capital and its allies “want to make ‘corruption’ the issue – not social transformation.” The question isn’t whether or not Zuma has to go, but what kind of society to build after he’s gone.

MIT Professor Says Top U.S. Officials Fabricated Intelligence to Justify Attacking Syria

by Ann Garrison

A top scientist in weaponry and the physics of explosions at the nation’s foremost institution of technology says the chemical event that the U.S. used as a pretext to attack Syria could not have happened the way the White House says it did. MIT Professor Emeritus Theodore Postol says the bogus U.S. reports indicate “a willingness to use intelligence claims that are false to make political points and political arguments.”

For the Planet and Humanity to Survive / can't make this up

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

This week our poet in residence offers a brief meditations upon where and what sorts of bombing ought to be allowed, if any, and upon the lapse of White House mouthpiece Sean Spicer's descent from manufacturing fake news into promulgating fake history....

Caribbean Reparations Movement Must Put Capitalism on Trial

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The English-speaking Caribbean is seeking reparations for slavery from the colonial powers. But why stop there? “If we are going to throw the book at capitalism for chattel slavery, we are morally and politically obligated to do the same for the wage slavery of capitalism under which the Caribbean working-class is currently being exploited.” Reparations should be used to build people power in the region, ultimately to overthrow capitalism.

Justice Deferred: The 15 Year Anniversary of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission Verdict

by Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

With the backing of the U.S., Ethiopia has “continued to militarily occupy large swathes of Eritrean territory and sustain a policy of unremitting aggression and hostility toward Eritrea.” Washington promotes turmoil, imposing unjust sanctions on Eritrea -- sometimes called the “Cuba of Africa” – to punish the country for “its principled adherence to the border ruling and for Eritrea’s opposition to misguided US policies in the Horn of Africa.”

A report from the Brazilian protest movement you won't read about in the New York Times.

by our friends at This Is Hell

While 500,000 Brazilians march in protest of post-coup legislation which will impoverish the elderly and families by raising the retirement age to 74, well beyond the country's life expectancy, the NY Times and establishment coverage in the US ignores and distorts events, concealing from US citizens the hand of policies dictated from Washington.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 17, 2017

Black leftists, including former Black Panthers, can serve the people either as Democrats or independent of the corporate parties. “I did both,” said New York State Assemblyman Charles Barron, speaking at an electoral politics school organized by the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Barron won local and statewide office as a Democrat, but ran for governor on the Freedom Party ticket. He is most proud of thwarting gentrification in his district, citing a Daily News article that showed “East New York, Brooklyn, is the only Black community in the city that has experienced a 13.2 percent increase in the Black population” because of affordable housing generated by Barron’s office.

Referendums Could Bypass Black Misleadership Class

Strategic use of voter initiatives and referendums can help bypass the “illegitimate” Black political class that serves rich white masters, said Kamm Howard, of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA). Howard spoke at the electoral school held by the Black is Back Coalition, of which he is a board member. “You’re taking a vote directly to the people, allowing us to craft our own laws,” he said. Howard argued that skillful use of voter initiatives and referendums is a good way to push for reparations, Black community control of police, and other issues on the Black is Back Coalition’s 19-point National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination.

U.S. Political Prisoners Face De Facto Life Sentences Without Parole

Anne Lamb, a Jericho Movement co-chair in New York City, is gearing up for the Millions for Prisoner Human Rights March, August 19, in Washington; demonstrations in support of Mumia Abu Jamal, in Philadelphia, on April 24; and the decades-long effort to free former Black Liberation Army member Jalil Muntaqim, formerly known as Anthony Bottoms, who has spent the last 46 years behind bars in New York. “They want to impose life without parole on all our political prisoners,” said Lamb. “Jalil is a prime example of how afraid they are of the ideas of our political prisoners. He’s been behind the walls for a long time, but he has not changed his mind about what he thinks could be a better world.”

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.

#BlackLivesMatter Introduces a New Visa Debit Card, and Revives the Toxic Old Myths of Black Capitalism

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The old myths that African Americans are poor because we don't spend wisely invest or save enough have been demolished many times. Black unemployment and poverty are core features of US capitalism and can’t be cured by black banking or shopping with black businesses. So why has #BlackLivesMatter teamed up with shady black bankers to introduce a #BlackLivesMatter debit card in a campaign that boosts the fake economics of black capitalism?

Trump, Moved by Blond-Haired Victims, Surrenders to War Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It’s a doomsday combination: Donald Trump, the raging racist who, nevertheless, claimed to oppose regime change and eternal tensions with Russia, has thrown in big time with the War Party – in hopes that the Deep State will spare him. Trump “will pursue the imperial military offensive that Obama initiated, six years ago, with the mad energy of a racist psychopath.” The immediate winner: al-Qaida, protected by the U.S. Navy and Air Force.

Freedom Rider: Trump Joins Democrats in the War Party

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Trump who upset the War Party with his stated opposition to regime change and willingness to lessen tensions with Russia has combusted in orange fireballs of war. In the wake of the attack on Syria, Bernie Sanders “proves himself to be a phony progressive, supporting the empire while claiming there is some difference between himself and his once and future rival, Clinton.” And, the pink pussy hat crowd? “They aren’t resisting anything at all.”

Anti-Russia Madness Attempts to Suppress the Bi-Partisan Triple Evils of Capitalism, Racism, and War

by Danny Haiphong

Washington’s “anti-Russia madness” has distracted attention from every other issue, including what Dr. Martin Luther King called “the triple evils” of war, capitalism, and white supremacy. As Trump surrenders to the “Deep State,” working class and poor folks sink deeper into economic misery. The anti-war movement has decayed to an infantile state, the Black liberation movement has yet to revive itself, and the Democrats are worse than useless.

The Community Had a Duty to Shut Down the Montgomery County Hearing on the Bethesda African Burial Ground

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

Black community members attempting to preserve an ancestral burial ground charge they were “deceived, misled and ambushed” by officials in suburban Montgomery County, Maryland. The Bethesda African Cemetery was already buried under a parking lot. Now the county has assigned an all-white team to determine if there are bodies in the cemetery – after booting two renowned Black experts off the case. Activists call the county’s conduct “criminal.”

God Squares Off with the Devil in Syria and Rwanda

by Ann Garrison

The propagandists of imperial war come in many packages, trailing the slime of mass death behind them. The Canadian ex-general Romeo Dallaire proudly bears the “white man’s burden” to punish Rwandans who were on the wrong (not the U.S.) side in their country’s civil war. He cites God as his proof. NPR's Scott Simon deploys a familiar radio voice to condemn Washington’s targets to Hell. Neither cares that they have helped kill six million Congolese.

Deportation of African and Other Black Immigrants Is Quietly Increasing And No One Is Taking Note

by David Love

“Fully one-third of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are African” – the fastest growing immigrant group -- and deportations of Black immigrants are expected to soar under Trump. The White House has placed bans on three countries -- Somalia, Libya and Sudan -- that account for huge numbers of Black refugees. The 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants have little to fear. “These policies are designed to reduce to the number of Black and brown people.”

Remembering South African Struggle Hero Chris Hani: Lessons for Today

by Arianna Lissoni

South African communist leader Chris Hani was assassinated by white racists 27 years ago, removing him from the scene during the nation’s transition to Black rule. Hani fought careerism and corruption in the revolutionary movement. Today, the “tradition of internal debate” that Hani promoted “has become eroded, and criticism keeps being silenced as sowing disunity.”

Capitalism, Racism and the History of South Africa

by Sehlare Makgetlaneng

The African National Congress has failed to nationalize industries, redistribute the land, or tackle other goals of the Freedom Charter. Instead, it deliberately created a Black capitalist class, through the government’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy. But Black capitalism will not free South Africa from imperialism. “It will help to cement ties between the South African bourgeoisie and the imperialist bourgeoisie.”

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