[Marxism] Left Hook Updated
M. Junaid Alam
mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Sun Apr 10 15:42:04 MDT 2005
Latest Release: Sunday, April 10, 2005
No Intelligence Failure in Iraq: Political Failure in America
M. Junaid Alam
Before America bombed and burst apart the bodies of tens of thousands of
breathing Iraqis, it quietly interred the corpse of its own moral
integrity. By nurturing the most brazen lies to press its case for war,
America buried its moral commitment to the principles of truth and
reason, enabling the incineration of innocents abroad. The deadly result
of abandoning these principles will neither be forgotten by history nor
forgiven by a future which embittered histories produce - unless we move
to change the present.
The government has recently attempted to reverse this abandonment of
principles, like a sorcerer trying to infuse the dead with a renewed
spirit of life. Specifically, a presidential commission released a
report documenting and decrying the "failures" of intelligence to
produce an honest picture of Iraq's weapons capabilities, and the Rand
Corporation issued a blunt assessment to the Pentagon criticizing it for
weak post-war "planning." The content and context of these reports,
however, only illustrate to the rational observer that on the
policymaking level there has been no magical resurrection or redemption
of our moral senses: the moral corpse is still ensconced in its imperial
First, consider the report produced by the presidential intelligence
- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Politics/Alam041005.html>
Talk Given to Brooklyn Parents for Peace
We find ourselves in a remarkable situation today. A majority of people
in the United States now believe the invasion of Iraq was not worth the
consequences, including (as of today) the death of more than 1,530
soldiers in Iraq.
The official justifications for the war have been exposed as complete
fallacies. No one found any weapons of mass destruction or evidence of
ties between the Iraqi government at the attacks of September 11. The
occupation has not paid for itself, as Paul Wolfowitz suggested it
would. And U.S. soldiers have not been greeted as liberators by the
Meanwhile, more Iraqis today are imprisoned than at any point during the
occupation - many of them still in the notorious Abu-Ghraib prison,
where some of the worst instances of prison torture have been exposed,
but which is by no means unique.
- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Ground/Arnove041005.html>
Younger Workers and Social Security: Privatization of the Program
Undermines Their Future
By Seth Sandronsky
These are tough times for many younger workers in the U.S. Real wages,
what they can actually buy with their pay, are falling. The costs of
gas, health care and shelter are climbing. Student loans to attend
college are fueling debt for younger workers. Meanwhile, workers age 20
to 24 got about 4% of the new jobs created in the year ended March 2005
versus 42% for workers over age 55. Squeezed from many directions, some
younger workers fear that Social Security will not be around for their
retirements. The Bush administration is playing on that fear. It is fed
by some reporting in mass media.
A Washington Post article said younger workers "have the most to gain"
from President Bush's plan to create private accounts to fund Social
Security (3-15-05). A Christian Science Monitor article said a change to
private accounts from the current system of payroll taxes would "sweeten
the system for younger workers" (3-3-05).
Both articles are incorrect on private accounts for younger workers.
How? The private accounts invested in the stock market would pay,
barely, for the administrative costs of such investments. Thus there is
no net gain for younger workers. For more information, see the Accurate
- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Politics/Sandronsky041005.html>
Calling Their Bluff: The Delay Scandal is Not a Partisan Issue
House Majority Leader Tom Delay of Texas is currently taking heat for
his association with Jack Abramoff, a well-known DC lobbyist who is
accused of bilking millions out of his Native American clients.
Currently Abramoff is under investigation by the Justice Department as
well as the Senate Indian Affairs Committee for the work his lobbying
gang did for seven different Indian tribes between 2000 and 2004.
Trouble is Rep. Delay isn't the only Washington politician who has a
sordid history with Mr. Abramoff. According to federal disclosure
reports, Montana Senator Conrad Burns has received over $150,000 from
the tribes during the period Abramoff's cartel was representing their
Not surprisingly, Burns' opposition in the Big Sky country is blushing
with excitement. The Democrats are accusing the long-time Senator of
violating ethics rules when he used his influence to help get the
Saginaw Chippewas, an Indian tribe from Michigan, a fat $3 million grant
for a school construction project in 2003.
- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Politics/Frank041005.html>
I had a great conversation a few months ago with an older activist about
the importance of constructing and articulating vision for social
movements. She said to me, "Well, what's the greatest problem facing
your generation, and what are you going to do about it?"
A reasonable enough question to ask a young activist concerned with
improving the world. I went through the list of problems; the
destruction of the environment, AIDS, economic inequality, media reform,
education, nuclear proliferation, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. How
am I supposed to pick the one that is the most pressing? And who am I to
know the solution? She noticed my hesitation and simply said, "You're
not alone. Just start somewhere." It took me a while to understand what
she meant, but I think she was telling me that vision is a process. You
don't need to be a saint to offer a strategy for social change, nor do
you need to create a perfect blueprint for the future. Just start
- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Theory/Weissman041005.html>
Mirza A. Beg
A decent person, I am; regrets, perhaps a few.
I love my family, and help my neighbors too.
I support my country, even in wars without sense.
I desist from protest, from me, only silence.
Depravity in Abu Ghraib, torture in offshore gulag,
Facilitated by my taxes, I pretend, it was a gag.
I raise no banner, for the plight of the innocence,
In the name of the religion and humanity or conscience.
- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Culture/Beg041005.html>
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