[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 
coffin.

First, consider the report produced by the presidential intelligence 
commission...

- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Politics/Alam041005.html>

Talk Given to Brooklyn Parents for Peace

Anthony Arnove

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 
Iraqi people.

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 
Benefit Calculator 
<http://www.lefthook.org/www.cepr.net/pages/sscalculator.htm>.

- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Politics/Sandronsky041005.html>

Calling Their Bluff: The Delay Scandal is Not a Partisan Issue

Joshua Frank

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 
gaming interests.

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>

On Non-Violence

Evan Weissman

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 
somewhere.

- (Read full) <http://www.lefthook.org/Theory/Weissman041005.html>

Silence

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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