[Marxism] Left Hook Latest Release (mega-update)

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Fri Jun 4 10:54:31 MDT 2004


  Last Release: Saturday, June 06, 2004

Last Call for Donations and A Note

| The Editors |

Hello all Left Hook readers,

This is our last call for donations as the Summer Fund Drive will be 
concluding with the publication of this update. Anyone who hasn't 
contributed to the fund drive but would like to do so can go to our 
donations page. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of 
our readers, contributors, and supporters who made a contribution. Your 
help is much appreciated and will translate into concrete improvements 
and enhancements to the Left Hook project.

Note: This latest release of Left Hook was delayed by a week due to the 
technical editor being dragged to Florida for the stereotypical "family 
vacation." Therefore, this edition has been expanded to twice the size 
of a normal update. Thank you for your patience.

A Fool's Fate: Ahmed Chalabi

| Michael Dempsey |

Even before the first Daisy Cutter fell from its B-52, The Iraqi 
National Congress, headed by the unfailingly disastrous Ahmed Chalabi, 
was readying itself for the assumption of power. The plan was for 
Chalabi to be airdropped from an American F-15, piloted by 
co-conspirators Christopher Hitchens and Kanan Makiyaya, into downtown 
Baghdad, where the three were then to pull down the statue of Saddam 
together, thus saving the Americans the trouble of having to pay the 
Iraqi’s to do it.

As is sometimes said here in Boston: not quite.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Politics/Dempsey060404.html

Free Speech vs. Orange Jackets

| Derek Medley |

Accoutered in conspicuous orange jackets, Massachusetts state police 
officers were deliberating their intentions while filming and pointing 
at the three of us as we sat quietly among the audience at this year’s 
Suffolk University commencement ceremony, which we were attending in 
order to protest the “Honorable” Governor/bigot Mitt Romney who would be 
speaking in a moment.

After having been allowed in carrying Socialist Worker placards reading 
“Separate is not equal” and “gay marriage is a civil right,” the same 
orange-clad cops had forced us to remove them from the grounds of 
Boston’s Fleet Center Pavilion. This they did without offering any 
explanation whatever. As we sat in defiant silence while the national 
anthem was sung, an older man behind us urged us to stand. Receiving no 
response he proceeded to inform us that we were “ignorant, rude…and 
stupid.” I turned and asked, “Are we ignorant and rude?” This prompted a 
similarly aged woman to offer a most sophisticated argument - “shut up!”

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Ground/Medley060404.html

"Illegal Militias" and "Saddam Loyalists" are your friends

| Derek Seidman |

If we were to assume that Bush really means what he says, we'd have to 
come to the conclusion that he either pays absolutely no attention to 
events in Iraq, or that he's living on a separate planet from the rest 
of us. After all, being told that the problem is "Saddam's elite guards" 
and "foreign fighters and terrorists" is at odds with virtually every 
headline concerning the Iraqi resistance for the past several weeks, 
which almost unanimously deal with the indigenous Shiite (read: 
anti-Baathist) rebellion of followers of Moqtada al-Sadr. Beyond that, 
much of the investigative reporting shows the fierce Sunni resistance 
that exists in places like Fallujah to be primarily native and from the 
grassroots, having little to do with nostalgia for Saddam and much to do 
with anger at the occupation.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Politics/Seidman060404.html

Torture is Merely the Symptom

| M. Junaid Alam |

Our politicians and pundits have all viewed the latest batch of 
photographs and videos depicting US soldiers cruelly humiliating, 
beating, and torturing their Iraqi prisoners. Their purported - perhaps 
even genuine - outrage and revulsion has been duly noted and conveyed 
time and again to the whole world; domestically the same professed 
horror has been repeated endlessly in the press, mostly at the expense 
of thoughts from the victims themselves. Yet even as our elite line up 
to express their outrage at soldiers grinning next to leashed and 
chained detainees, their own criticism is leashed and chained to an 
extremely narrow ideological spectrum, one in which deeper questions 
about the torture scandal are safely locked away in the dark corners of 
that Abu-Ghraib-like entity known as "mainstream" debate.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Politics/Alam060404.html

Reflections on Resistance

| Macdonald Stainsby |

I had a dream last night that involved an event I went to in November of 
1999. The Communist Party of Canada had their annual dinner in honor of 
the Russian Revolution, "Great October" off the tongues of these folks. 
In my awakening life, there would be two things that I'd recount if 
asked about this evening. One of them was a moment of what was overall a 
pretty ordinary speech, a moment which recalled pride where there has 
been none for so long. In reference to the defeat of the USSR in the 
Cold War, people usually cringe, cower, shrink or simply shrug their 
shoulders when speaking of socialism and of an end to capitalism. But 
instead of adopting any such change in posture, this speaker simply 
listed the acts of imperialism since the defeat of the Soviet state. 
This speech was made before the turn of the Millennium and just a couple 
of weeks before the definitive arrive of so-called "anti-globalization" 
at the Battle of Seattle.

The list of imperialism's misdeeds since then and after 9-11 have only 
grown so much longer, starker and more ominous that his final comments 
still resonate: "The time has come for us to stop apologizing".

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/History/Stainsby060404.html

Confronting The Anybody But Bush Offensive: Don't Back Down

| Josh Frank |

On May 3rd the Village Voice stooped to a new low and published an 
article by Harry G. Levine, titled, “Ralph Nader, Suicide Bomber.” The 
title itself, in its racist conjecture (Nader is an Arab-American), 
exemplifies the fear beating in hearts of many Americans regarding the 
upcoming election. The majority of these liberals are willing to 
sideline any progressive tendencies in order to solidify George W. 
Bush’s defeat in November. Some even go as far as attacking Ralph 
Nader’s character, as they believe he is the largest hurdle to a Kerry 
triumph.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Politics/Frank060404.html

In America, Can I Get A Whiteness?

| Seth Sandronsky |

My family began to arrive in the U.S. from Eastern Europe and Russia 
just over a century ago. Then as now, the capitalist system was changing 
people’s lives. That change disrupted my ancestors’ daily rituals and 
rhythms. They were part of a wave of U.S. immigrants with distinct 
ethnic identities who did not initially see themselves as members of a 
white race.

Eventually, my family whitened, as did other immigrant groups. One was 
the Irish who had lost their land to British invaders. For a time, Irish 
immigrants were seen and treated as a separate race after arriving in 
the U.S. Noel Ignatiev details that change In How the Irish Became White.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Culture/Sandronsky060404.html

Crouched in the Open Room

| Mustafa Shabib |

waiting crouched in the open room
watching it dash between the rushing doom
in the raging fire of a velvet blue lagoon
slicing through the ash white foam
shadows dancing on the mud, alone.
it knew this stretch like none before, even if i dared to call it home
though we stood within it all, our hands wet from start to end
our presence here was transient, it never swayed from its friend
it mapped the path in its minds eye
looped like crystal strings around all bends

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Culture/Shabib060404.html

Coming Soon: The Return of the Draft, a Bipartisan Production

| Jacob Levich |

Barring a sudden reversal in the direction of US foreign policy, a 
strong bipartisan push to reinstate the draft can be expected soon after 
the November elections. Whether or not Bush wins is irrelevant. The 
logic of empire requires more boots on the ground, and conscription 
looks like the only way to get them.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Politics/CPreprint060404.html

Accessing history: The importance of Howard Zinn

| Dale McCartney |

On Thursday the 25th of March, the first of the 4-day annual meeting of 
the Organization of American Historians, Howard Zinn was honoured with 
an evening spot as a plenary speaker. He spoke on “The Uses of History,” 
clearly a topic that he is uniquely positioned to discuss. There is an 
irony in a professional association of historians inviting a speaker who 
has spent a significant portion of his career hectoring other 
professional historians for their failure to engage with politics in any 
meaningful manner. Regardless of the irony, the topic is a perfect 
choice for such a speaker. Not only has Zinn established himself as a 
legend because of his activism among historians, he is the author of the 
bible of radical American history – A People's History of the United 
States . A People's History has occasioned considerable comment ever 
since its publication in 1980, and with his appearance in Boston this 
weekend, a new collection of critiques has appeared.

- (Read full) http://lefthook.org/Culture/SOMreprint060404.html





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