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Northwestern Shoshone Nation Marks Anniversary of Bear River Massacre

Northwestern Shoshone Nation Marks Anniversary of Bear River Massacre

(raimd.wordpress.com)

A few weeks ago this year many Native people gathered at the burial grounds of Bear River in Idaho, near the city of Preston, to remember and honor their ancestors who were murdered by Amerikan soldiers.  147 years ago, on January 29 1863 the Amerikan military massacred hundreds of indigenous peoples in Bear River, Idaho.  A great many of them were women and children.  This massacre was one of the bloodiest massacres of indigenous peoples in Amerikan history, yet it is little remembered as it happened during the Civil War, and Amerika is not too concerned with examining its sordid history.

Other massacres of indigenous peoples were Wounded Knee in South Dakota, where some 146 Lakotah were shot dead in 1890, and Sand Creek here in Colorado which 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho were murdered in 1864.

The number of dead at Bear River is disputed.  The commanding Army officer stated 220 to 270 dead, the tribe estimates 400 were killed, white settlers who moved into their land estimated up to 500 dead, a figure cited by the National Park Service.  There was never an official count of the victims, as their bones were often left scattered in the surrounding hills.

On this fateful day the Northern Shoshone were encamped along the Bia Ogoi, or Bear River for the Warm Dance, a yearly ritual in winter to drive away the cold.

A collection of sources, including Army reports, historical tracts, and oral histories from the tribe, describe what happened.  Col Patrick Conner and 200 soldiers from the 3rd California Infantry attack at daybreak the encampment.  There was rising tensions between the Natives and white settlers, with attacks and deaths on both sides leading up to the day of the massacre.  The Shoshone were blamed for thefts of horses and cattle, and the deaths of three settlers, although other tribes were likely at fault.

What followed was a day of savagery on the part of the Amerikans, with soldiers smashing infants’ skulls, raping dying women, and ending the lives of the wounded with bullets, clubs and axes.  The federal government designated the Bear River Massacre site as a National Historic Landmark in 1990, having admitted many of the victims were women and children.

The effect of the massacre has had long-lasting effects on the Northwestern Shoshone.  The killings virtually wiped out the tribe, which today numbers around 500.  Many of the survivors in the years after the massacre were taken up by the Morman church, and others dispersed into other Shoshone reservations in the area.  The small number of Northwestern Shoshone prevented them from obtaining a reservation of their own.

The policy of Amerikan expansion was one of extermination and genocide of the indigenous peoples.  What smallpox and other diseases did not complete, the US military attempted to finish.  Many nations were wiped out of existence altogether, and those remaining were subject to brutal national oppression.  Yet many indigenous nations survived and continue to fight for their existence.

The fact that it is up to the ancestors of the surviving tribes to continue the memory of these atrocities shows how Amerika is a nation of Holocaust deniers.  Its professed values of freedom and democracy are nothing but shallow doctrines to mask a nation founded by murder and genocide.  History lessons are not enough to correct these injustices.  The ultimate correction for this history of oppression is the return of land and resources to those it was taken from, in the United Snakes and the rest of the world.

Source:

Bonner, Jessie L. Tribe marks massacre with burial ground gathering.”  Associated Press, linked at

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100207/ap_on_re_us/us_bear_river_massacre_3

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RAIM Global Digest Volume 2, Issue 2

RAIM Global Digest Vol 2; Issue 2

Contents:

-In India, forests grow with Naxalite peoples war [cover]

-RAIM-Seattle on the WTO 10 -year anniversary [cover]

-Net-exploitation by the numbers (hypothetically)

-IDF arrests peaceful resistance organizers in West Bank

-Amerika “disappears” migrants into secret detention facilities

-Movie review: Avatar [by Monkey Smashes Heaven]

-Earthquake strikes Haiti; imperialism is a disaster

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Earthquake Strikes Haiti; Imperialism is a Disaster

Earthquake Strikes Haiti; Imperialism is a Disaster

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

Also available as a ready-to-print PDF

On Tuesday, January 12th, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the country of Haiti, its epicenter a mere fifteen miles from the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince. By that Thursday, 80,000 people were already buried in mass-graves and 200,000 people were estimated to have perished. In the wake of the tremor, international aid has rushed to the small Caribbean country. The news of the massive earthquake and its human toll has overshadowed a larger crisis in Haiti: crushing poverty, widespread malnutrition and imperialist super-exploitation.

A history of imperialism

Haiti became the second independent republic in the Western Hemisphere after Black slaves rose up against their owners and then the French between 1791 and 1804. Quickly after defeating France, however, they were straddled with debt. Their former colonial masters demanded 130 million francs (later lowered to 90 million) in indemnity for the Haitian war of liberation. The newly consolidated Haitian government had no such funds and resorted to borrowing the first 30 million from the Bank of France at exorbitant interest rates. It would not be until after World War II that Haiti fully repaid debt accrued from its war of independence.

During the Haitian Revolution, US President Thomas Jefferson initial offered military aid to the French, but backed out at the last minute. After Haiti attained independence, Jefferson signed a legislative bill barring trade between the two countries. The United States, a country with its own substantial Black-slave population, refused to recognize the new, Black republic for six decades in an attempt to stifle it.

Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, has also suffered the most imperialist meddling. Between 1849 and 1919 US troops were sent to the country 24 times to “protect American (sic) lives and property.” Throughout the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, the US supported ‘Papa’ and ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier as strong-men puppets in country. This ended after much conflict in 1990 when a reformer, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was elected to the presidency.

In 1991, Aristide was overthrown by a U.S.-backed military coup. As part of a compromise deal to return to power three years later, Aristide made a slew of concessions, including wholesale, IMF-sponsored structural adjustments and the occupation of the country by U.N. ‘peacekeepers.’ Aristide began appealing to the international community regarding the plight of Haiti and Third World. Aristide was again ousted in 2004, Haiti’s bicentennial.

Throughout this process, imperialism has tightened its squeeze on the Haitian masses. Prior to the 1970’s and 80’s, Haiti was a moderately self-sufficient, agrarian society. Then, the IMF forced the Haitian state to cut tariffs on US imports of rice and other food commodities. Because US farms are heavily subsidized, a flood of cheap agricultural imports drove the Haitian masses off the land and into the slums. Another major blow to Haitians came when international agencies persuaded the Haitian government that a pig acclimated to the island needed to be killed off and replaced. The native pig, which served as a hedge against starvation, needed little water or food, whilst the breed imported from Iowa needed clean water, shelter and feed daily, something the majority of Haitians couldn’t provide even for themselves. Thus, Haitians were deprived of their two traditional, staple foods and left at the whim of international food prices. Western-demanded privatizations have also swept Haiti in recent years, closing of country’s only flour mill and cement factory and furthering the Haitian masses’ dependence on an unfair, uncaring market. Despite so-called ‘aid,’ foreign debt has crippled the Haitian economy. In 2003, for example, Haiti paid $57 million dollars to service foreign loans while receiving $39 million from aid programs.

An ongoing disaster in Haiti

During the Summer of 2008, it was reported that Haitians in the slums of Port-au-Prince began widely eating sun-baked mud pies. Food riots occurred the same year. An estimated three-quarters of the country lives on less than $2 a day. Over half the country subsists on less than a dollar a day.

Cite Soleil, the shanty town adjacent to Port-au-Prince, is home to 2-300,000 residents and is one of the largest slums in the Western Hemisphere. The residents, often the children of former farmers, are said to sleep in shifts for lack of space. Basic education is a privilege; illiteracy is on the rise. There is no welfare or economic safety-net in Haiti. Life expectancy in the country is around 52. Very little modern infrastructure exists.

The Haitian masses are trapped in their miserable condition. Their border with the Dominican Republic is closed and the surrounding waters are patrolled by the US Coast Guard. Haitians caught on the water or ‘illegally’ inside the US are forced back into the squalid conditions of their home country. Even after the quake, US military airplanes have broadcast a message over Haiti, telling residents to not flee the country. This stands in stark contrast to Cubans, who are deemed ‘political refugees’ and given free residency status once inside the US.

Most Haitians were unaware the possibility of a quake even existed. In 2008 however, Patrick Charles of Havana’s Geological Institute reported, “conditions are ripe for major seismic activity in Port-au-Prince. The inhabitants of the Haitian capital need to prepare themselves for an event which will inevitably occur….” “Thank God that science has provided instruments that help predict these type of events and show how we have arrived at these conclusions,” he added.

Unfortunately, social conditions prevailed over science’s ability to predict and mitigate the human devastation caused by natural occurrences. The earthquake struck Haiti’s capital city just before 5 pm, rocking the imperialist-ravaged country at the peak of daily activity.

The response from the West

Predictably, the response from the West, especially Amerikans, has been disgusting.

Pat Robertson, a right-wing, Amerikan religious leader, said on his television show, the 700 Club, that the earthquake, along with Haiti’s poverty, was a punishment from god. According to Robertson, Haiti’s 18th-century rebels  “signed a pact with the devil” in order to get free from the French. Racist to the extreme, Robertson has a daily television audience of 1 million viewers.

Within the more mainstream of Amerikan society, the response has been similar but toned-down. ‘Why were so many Haitians killed? Can’t they build proper buildings? Now we have to help them, again? They really owe us now!’ Most Amerikans expressed a viewpoint which blames the victim; views them as ‘backwards’; offers ‘aid’ as part of the responsibility carried by ‘advanced’ countries; and expects ‘gratitude,’ i.e. unchallenged political and economic control of their country, in return.  Amerikan broadcasters played into the view that Haitians are incapable of being anything besides poor and miserable. Associated Press, in one early story, quoted a man who was “wielding a broken wooden plank with nails to protect his bottle of rum.” Western media has sensationalized so-called looting while extolling the roll of the US military in the quake’s aftermath. Youth in “lawless” Haiti are said to be at risk of “sex trade, slavery and murder.” Reports tell of difficultly getting food to hungry Haitians due to civil disorder, as if such is somehow exceptional in a deeply impoverished, densely-populated city after a major earthquake. All of this paints a picture of Haitians as violent imbeciles whose misery is their own fault. This racist narrative ignores the two-centuries-long unnatural disaster that has crippled Haiti’s self-reliance, including Haiti’s institutions’ ability to respond.

US take-over and imperialist penetration

By January 24th, 20,000 US troops arrived to ‘save’ Haiti. As part of the first act of the relief effort, the US military seized the airport in Port-au-Prince, one of the few in the country. Thereafter, the US has controlled all air-traffic in and out of the capital.

Thus far the US has assumed a de facto governing role in Haiti, with the Dept. of Defense, the State Dept., and USAID taking the lead. Of the 20,000 US troops in Haiti, over half are stationed off the coast, a virtual blockade meant to prevent Haitians from taking to the waters in an expected wave of migration.

Some commentators have called it an occupation. Some have condemned the security-style tactics, such as shooting live rounds into the air and pointing M16s at crowds. Others have noted the impediment to relief efforts the massive troop presence is causing. Journalists and Haiti-advocate, Kim Ives, explained:

“Watching the scene in front of the General Hospital yesterday said it all. Here were people who were going in and out of the hospital bringing food to their loved ones in there or needing to go to the hospital, and there were a bunch of Marine[s]—of US 82nd Airborne soldiers in front yelling in English at this crowd. They didn’t know what they were doing. They were creating more chaos rather than diminishing it. It was a comedy, if it weren’t so tragic.”

One thing that can’t be missed is the near-hegemonic role the US has played in the so-called relief and recovery effort. Despite the good intentions of some individuals, intervention in Haiti is part of a larger strategy for imperialism.

One influential group, the right-wing Heritage Foundation, noted early-on how the crisis could be used to further Amerikan interests. “In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the US response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti offers opportunities to reshape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region,” it stated in a draft report.

Thus far imperialism has rushed in and already pulled off a number of PR stunts.

First, Obama granted temporary amnesty to Haitians scheduled for deportation from the US, after it was demanded by advocacy groups. Likewise, it was reported early on, perhaps erroneously, that the US-controlled IMF demanded wage freezes and rises in electricity prices as part of an emergency 100 million dollar loan package. Later, the IMF came out with a statement, declaring that the $100 million loan would be interest and condition-free. Managing director of the fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, went even further by saying, “the most important thing is that the IMF is now working with all donors to try to delete all the Haitian debt, including our new loan. If we succeed–and I’m sure we will succeed–even this loan will turn out to be finally a grant, because all the debt will have been deleted.”

The IMF’s statement should be seen for what it is: imperialist doublespeak. While imperialism, especially Amerikan imperialism, is promising to help Haiti, the real intention is to help itself.

Under the imperialist system, ‘aid’ is almost exclusively used as a political weapon. Aid packages and loans often come with strings, such as the freezing of wages and rises in prices for public services, among other things. When Washington’s edicts are not followed, aid money to poor countries is withheld and instead given to opposition groups, as was the case in Haiti after Aristide was reelected in 2000. Additionally, ‘aid’ rarely makes it to those it is professed to serve. 84% of US aid money to the Third World returns to the US economy in the form of contracts, wages, consulting fees and payments for goods. Of the remaining 16%, an unknown amount is pocketed by the recipient country’s goonish puppet-elite.

Recently, the United Snakes has been touting investment in Haiti. Twice in 2009, Bill Clinton, acting on behalf of the UN, made high-profile visits to Haiti. In one trip, Clinton gave 150 investors a tour of potential investment sites in the country. Prior to this, Clinton visited with UN General Secretary, Ban-Ki Mon, who said during a press conference the country must do more to attract investment. However, this investment is of a narrow type, as illustrated by a post-earthquake opinion piece in the Ottawa Citizen:

“[Regarding ‘rebuilding’ and ‘development’ plans,] [t]he Haitian government has singled out tourism, “export processing zones” (EPZs) and agriculture as sectors that hold promise and should be supported. But donors seem to be placing the bulk of their faith in EPZs, or expanding the textile industry.”

Facing a ‘financial crisis,’ US imperialism likely sees the Haitian earthquake as an opportunity to ratchet up and expand exploitation in the country. Food sustainability and commercial agriculture for Haitians is not profitable for imperialism and will not be promoted as part of imperialist ‘development’ schemes.

Impetus will be given to legal ‘reforms,’ new building construction and infrastructure development. However, such will not be geared to the benefit of the people of Haiti, but rather those who control the Haitian economy: imperialists and a small comprador class. Infrastructure and ‘development’ will expand imperialism’s exploitation of the country and perhaps convert the country’s north shore into a resort destination for the exclusive use of Western vacationers. For the bulk of Haiti’s population though, conditions will not change. Though a few new sweatshop jobs may come to the country, most Haitians will continue to rely on small-scale agriculture, the informal sector and remittances from abroad for daily survival.

Recent resistance in Haiti

Since the mid-90’s, resistance to continual imperialist meddling and economic strangulation amongst Haitians has coalesced under former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the Fanmi Lavalas [Avalanche Family] party.

While president of Haiti, Aristide used Fanmi Lavalas and other independent institutions to provide services to and render support from the poor, especially where the Haitian state’s hands were tied by US-sponsored trade agreements. Chief among Aristide’s plans for Haiti was a more democratic productive and distributive method within the grassroots and informal sector, those areas which imperialism and the Haitian state had the least control over.

Though Aristide was supported by the masses of Haiti, he never prepared them to struggle against inevitable imperialist suppression. His politics and program were heavily tinged with liberalism: an inability to make and follow through with clear distinctions. In a very real sense, he wanted to have it both ways. He wanted to be both a legitimate statesman within the imperialist system as well as someone leading progressive social change within Haiti. This, in addition to his pacifist tendencies, left himself and his supporters vulnerable to attacks.

Aristide’s liberalism was perhaps best expressed as he looked for allies in Haiti’s struggle against imposed poverty. Rather than building alliances on the basis of clear common interest, i.e. with those countries also struggling under IMF-imposed debt and unfair trade deals, Aristide spent a considerable amount of time appealing to rich countries. Rather than championing and joining in solidarity with those being attacked and threatened by the imperialism globally, he formed a government-in-exile inside the US after his first ouster. In Eyes of the Heart, a short book published in 2000, he made a moral case against modern globalization; attempting to expose the plight of Haitians to Western audiences in a non-threatening way.

The logical result of Aristide’s misguided politics came in 2004, an election year. The US-funded opposition made allegations of fraud and labeled Aristide a dictator. They staged acts of civil unrest and launched a rebellion which threatened to violently overtake the capital, prompting the US to “restore democracy,” i.e. kidnap Aristide and fly him to Africa as part of a coup d’etat. Since Aristide’s ouster, Fanmi Lavalas has been banned from running in elections, branded “violent, pro-Aristide gangs” and subject to repression. The small gains Haitians made during Aristide’s short stints as president have been reversed. For all his internationally-directed  appeals, they went unheard and ignored in the West. When he was overthrown a second time by the US, there was no outcry from the Western “masses.”

What is revealed here is that the struggle for Third World liberation is a political-military one. In this regard, Aristide’s strategy failed the Haitian masses, leaving them to languish under the jackboot of imperialism.

It also reveals the saliency of class in today’s world. The illusionary ‘morality’ of the First World is not reliable in any effective sense. Any ‘progressive movement’ within Amerika is overstated, largely for propaganda purposes. Generally, First Worlders are exploiter enemies of the Third World masses.

Anti-Imperialist Alternative

One thing should be clear: the disaster that’s befallen Haiti is not natural. It is the result of an economic system, a class system which actively benefits a minority of humanity at the expense of the majority.

There are two ideas at the core of this. First, Haitians are far from alone in their plight. They are one small part of the exploited masses of the world. Second, it will take more than reforms or even revolution in a single country to relieve its people of the capitalist-imperialist threat eternally. It will take a global revolution- an uprising of the exploited Third World masses against imperialism, its agents and supporters- to end this system forever.

The idea that a cataclysmic, global revolution will be unleashed upon the world is millenarian. Because of this, the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement (RAIM) supports various forces actively opposing imperialism throughout the Third World. We support a united front against imperialism, i.e. unity between forces resisting imperialism in individual countries.

Revolutionaries push for widespread social transformation. While it is important to accept and support reforms when they are on the table, revolutionaries must also defend reforms from attacks and organize to transform society on a more widespread basis. Society must be revolutionized on all levels, including the adoption of a foreign policy based on revolutionary internationalism and not narrow state interests. Revolutionaries the world over must make clear distinctions and have a clear strategy; not cloud up the picture with liberalism, uninhibited moralism and unwarranted reverence for the First World.  Above all, revolutionaries are anti-imperialists and see their own struggle as global in scope.

Which way from here

The lack of a revolutionary or popular democratic movement in Haiti places it in great disadvantage vis-a-vis imperialist penetration and restructuring in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. As it looks, the living conditions in Haiti will be hellish for some time.

However, from this ongoing disaster, Haitians and the global masses have the opportunity to learn from and reject the errors of Haiti’s most recent struggles. As revolutionaries, we also have an obligation to study and learn from what is happening in the world, presenting our findings with utmost clarity to the Third World masses and those who might be their allies. In the First World, we have an obligation to agitate for and meaningfully support the united front, using our own bourgeois privilege when expedient.  In the Third World, revolutionaries must incorporate these lessons into their struggle, so as to not repeat the same mistakes.

While doctors and food may help in this time of emergency, they are hardly long-term solutions to the problems inherent in capitalist-imperialism. The best form of relief for Haiti would be a global, anti-imperialist movement. Unlike the US-dominated ‘recovery’ effort, a successful, class-conscious movement on the part of exploited Haitians and the Third World masses is the only thing capable of truly saving Haiti.

Sources:

(1)http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/us2010rja6.php
(2)http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/29/food.internationalaidanddevelopment
(3) http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=4010185&blogId=526390389
(4)http://www.cbn.com/700club/showinfo/about/about700club.aspx
(5) http://www.cbn.com/700club/showinfo/about/about700club.aspx
(6)http://www.9news.com/rss/article.aspx?storyid=130993
(7)http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122777051
(8)http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122669505
(9)http://www.haiti-info.com/spip.php?article2713
(10)http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122803650
(11)http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=57661
(12)http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/01/20/us-militarys-security-not-helping-haitians/
(13)http://www.democracynow.org/2010/1/20/journalist_kim_ives_on_how_decades
(14)http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2010/01/sex-haiti-earthquake-relief-mark-driscoll-/1
(15)http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2010/01/imf-clarifies-terms-haitis-loan
(16)http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2010/01/economic-shock-haiti-disaster
(17)http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/517494/
(18)http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/really+help+Haiti/2484340/story.html
(19)http://www.haiti.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=115:092609-royal-caribbean-boosts-haitis-tourism-comeback-efforts&catid=1:latest-news
(20)http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N10536583.htm
(21)http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/americas/03/02/aristide.claim/
(22)http://www.uruknet.info/index.php?p=m62226&hd=&size=1&l=e

Aristide, Jean-Bertrand. Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization. 2000. Common Courage Press. Monroe, ME.

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RAIM-S on the WTO 10 Year Anniversary

RAIM-Seattle on the recent WTO 10 year anniversary

originally published, December 21st, 2009 by RAIM-Seattle

(www.raims.wordpress.com)

The imperialist media hype around the recent slayings of police (the enforcers of empire) in the Seattle and Lakewood, and the predictable show of support for the kkkops by the general cracker population, overlaps the ten year anniversary of the “Battle of Seattle”. RAIM-Seattle doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories per se, but the coincidental timing of all this shit is not lost on us in the least. If these recent events did not take place, the imperialist media would have been more than likely (just for a “story”) to do a piece noting the 1999 WTO rebellion. The resulting reports would have reminded these kop loving crackers how pig repression extended itself into the white communities from its usual mandate in occupying oppressed nation communities. This would have exposed the imperialist hypocrisy around “free speech” with former mayor Paul Schell’s “Free Speech Zones” and the resulting swine assault upon any expression outside of those zones. In turn, this would have demoralized the white oppressor nation’s faith in the Amerikkkan system, and we at RAIM-Seattle think this is a good thing. Instead, because of recent events and its coverage by the media, you have a more united white oppressor nation against “those people”. That is, those people of the internal oppressed nations. People hungry for justice should consider their moves carefully and with a sense of overall strategy. It is plainly and tragically obvious that individuals just shooting pigs within the u$ (as deserving of the death penalty as they might be as enforcers of the system) outside of a legally solid (presumably) self-defense context, doesn’t lead to liberation. In fact, it leads to more repression, more kkkops, more prisons, and more of Amerikkka in general. Likewise, praising or defending kkkop assassinations promotes that type of strategy-less focoism instead of promoting solidarity with active and organized resistance to imperialism in the Third World.

With that out of the way, RAIM-S is going to do what the Amerikan imperialist media conveniently wasn’t going to do: Revisit the 1999 WTO rebellion!

Brief history of the WTO up to 1999

The WTO was originally founded in 1947 as the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT. GATT, in turn, had its origins in the 1944 Bretton Woods conference as the proposed but never implemented “International Trade Organization” (ITO). The GATT, along with other Bretton Woods creations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, essentially made the rules of global capitalism (on international trade, “development” loan packages, property rights, some interest rates, currency exchange rates, etc.) for the post-WW2 period. Alongside the Marshall Plan, the resulting agreements helped forge a “new imperialism” of a parasitically united First World, headed by the united $tates, to jointly exploit the Third World. This was the true origin of a “New World Order” of imperialism, as opposed to the kind of inter-imperialist wars for colonial spheres of dominance that characterized the first half of the 20th century. The Soviet bloc (referred by some as the historical “Second World”) and the so-called “Cold War” was both the top exception and the chief impediment to the blooming of this united imperialist corpse flower.

These international institutions of free trade were only so in name, as the united $nakes and the rest of the First World would always insist upon special exceptions (like agricultural subsidies for cracker-settler Amerikkkan farmers) to prop up their privileged status as “developed” nations. Resistance to imperialism by the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America from the early 1950’s to the late 60’s was a key factor in smashing the old Bretton Woods system (the u$ dollar fixed to a gold standard as the global reserve currency). The imperialists had their revenge by replacing the original Bretton Woods with a floating exchange rate system. The consequences of this lead to further disruption of some of the only means of Third World nations to generate national capital; their own natural resources and agriculture. (1)

This predatory battering of the Third World by these First World expanded with the fall of the rival Soviet bloc in 1991. This event was infamously marked by George Bu$h Sr.’s announcement to the u$ congreSS of this New World Order finally coming into fruition; right on the eve of the “multilateral” imperialist attack on Iraq in 1990. (2) With the all potential challenges to this New World Order (really the New Amerikkkan Order) neutralized, from the Soviet Union to Saddam Hussein, the First World kicked up its exploitation yet another notch during the Uruguay Round of GATT in 1994. (3) These deck-stacking measures moved beyond “business as usual” for the imperialists with regard to tariffs and price controls, and into uncharted economic territory involving agricultural products, intellectual property, services, etc. This renewed global economic framework culminated in the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Naturally, the agenda of the world’s exploited majority and all those who resist imperialism was shutting down the gathering of imperialists at the WTO. All this came to a head at the Seattle conference on November 30, 1999.

The “Battle of Seattle” (of 1999, not 1856!) (4)

RAIM-S won’t bother recounting all the various events around the WTO shutdown. Both the righteous direct actions of the anarchist John Browns and the pig mobs running wild from mayor Paul $chell’s “State of Emergency” in response has been covered countless times in the independent media (5), and mostly mischaracterized and scandalized in the corporate media. A Hollywood feature film was even made. A recounting of the minutia of details around the protest is not our purpose here. Ours is an account of the where the margins of class struggle are in this movement for justice against the globalized machinations of imperialism.

The direct actions were successful in shutting down the first day of the conference, preventing delegates from entering the convention center and cutting off pig supply lines. The pig counterattack was a brutal and massive military operation that utilized tear gas, rubber bullets, beatings, mass arrests, and an invasion and occupation of the nominally progressive Capitol Hill neighborhood. The world attention of the WTO protests and the police repression helped to bring certain contradictions inside the following days of the WTO Seattle conference to a head, thus derailing the entire conference. The story for most ends here, with the narrative of the germinating “brand new left” (local and/or globetrotting) to oppose various imperialist dominated gatherings as the future of “left wing” resistance. Now RAIM-Seattle has to stink it up a little bit, for the sake of the truth, with the following remark from some Black Nation youth to some radical white youth as they pushing back against the pig assaults:

“Hey, where were you when we were getting beat down by the police?”

This brings up a larger issue to RAIM-S of the class outlook of the various groups involved in the protest. Is there some kind of white Amerikkkan exceptionalism within the outlook of many on the so-called “left”? Is this how many activists in the First World feel exempted from confronting the relative privilege of white “workers” and their parasitic i$$ues, even as they claim to support the issues of the internal oppressed nations and the Third World as a whole? Did fantasies of u$ “revolutionary working class” lead to a white dominated politics? Did this, in turn, keep away too many oppressed nation peoples from representing their nations at the WTO protests? That’s not to say that oppressed nations and the Third World weren’t represented, but let’s take a hard look at the following account from Betita Martinez to examine where RAIM sees this problem (6). Martinez quotes Jinee Kim of the Third Eye Movement:

“I was at the jail where a lot of protesters were being held and a big crowd of people was chanting ‘This Is What Democracy Looks Like!’ At first it sounded kind of nice. But then I thought: is this really what democracy looks like? Nobody here looks like me.”

This is not to say that individuals of white background, even as an organizational majority, cannot contribute to a net gain for global justice. That would put an incorrect subjectivist primary focus on who a person is versus what a person does on the one hand. Indeed, Martinez documents the solid discipline, knowledge, and organizational skills of many settler-descended activists, as well as its positive reception from the relative minority of oppressed nation activists. However, “democracy” is something more than gathering to protest and for voter registration drives. The struggle for democracy is overwhelmingly a torturous, long term armed struggle for national liberation in the Third World. The white so-called “left” needs to be aware of its First Worldist subjectivism with regard to concepts like democracy. RAIM-Seattle thinks that the best democracy that can exist is that of “one person, one vote” on a global scale. Because of imperialism, the mechanism for this global democracy, in the full utilitarian sense, does not exist as of yet. Since those of us in RAIM like to think of themselves as being consistent global democrats (small “d”; fuck the Demokkkratic parasite Party), we uphold the interest of the global majority in the Third World against the global minority in the First World. This makes it possible for us to act in a way that respects the “general will” of the global majority the best way possible, lacking the practical ability to count 6 billion votes under imperialism. Betita Martinez then shows RAIM the economic origins of this “left-wing” self-deception on “democracy”:

Unfortunately the heritage of distrust was intensified by some of the AFL-CIO leadership of labor on the November 30 march. They chose to take a different route through downtown rather than marching with others to the Convention Center and helping to block the WTO. Also, on the march to downtown they reportedly had a conflict with the Third World People’s Assembly contingent when they rudely told the people of color to move aside so they could be in the lead.

This is the crux of the issue for RAIM. In the midst of all this righteous militancy, where were the John Browns (traitors to the white oppressor nation) in the march to shut down Jimmy Hoffa Jr.’s parasite goons? Who was there to defend the nominal Third World leadership against imperialism? Perhaps it is because of a continuing fantasy among the “left” about some “natural” role for the Amerikkkan worker as some kind of leading “revolutionary” force for progressive change. RAIM holds that the only societal change that Amerikkkan labor can bring is fascism. Observe (7):

“The Seattle summit will be a historic confrontation between civil society and corporate rule”, says Mike Dolan. He works for the American consumer watchdog group Public Citizen founded by Ralph Nader. Public Citizen is connected to the IFG and initiated the campaign against the MAI treaty. Dolan now acts as the great coordinator and spokesman of the counter movement in Seattle. Not everyone seems to be happy with him, but little can be done about his presence. He sits in the middle of the web, like a spider. On the one hand Dolan supports the American PGA caravan with several thousand dollars, on the other he speaks up for the extreme Right Pat Buchanan, now a candidate for the American presidency, representing the Reform Party. “Whatever else you say about Pat Buchanan, he will be the only candidate in the 2000 presidential sweepstakes who will passionately and unconditionally defend the legitimate expectations of working families in the global economy,” Dolan writes. Indeed, Buchanan supports American workers. As long as they are conservative and obedient and not unemployed, black, gay, female, lesbian or Jewish. He’s also not particularly fond of left-wing workers. Buchanan on Argentina: “With military and police and free lance operators, between 6.000 and 150.000 leftists disappeared. Brutal: yes; also successful. Today peace reigns in Argentina; security has been restored.”

And this:

Former Republican big shot Buchanan is known for his sharp attacks on international trade treaties like GATT, NAFTA, MAI and now the WTO. “Traditional antagonists as politically far apart as Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan are finding some common ground on trade issues,”says IFG member Mark Ritchie. He is also director of the American Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which supports small farmers. Reform Party spokesman in New Hampshire John Talbott agrees with Ritchie. “If you close your eyes, it is difficult to hear much of a difference between Ralph Nader on the left and Pat Buchanan on the right when they talk about the devastating effect of free international trade on the American worker and a desire to clean big money and special interests out of Washington.”According to Buchanan this big capital is mainly in the hands of “the Jews”. He presents himself as “the only leader in this country who is not afraid of fighting against the Jewish lobby”. Buchanan calls Hitler “an individual of great courage” and doubts whether the holocaust really was that big an event. But “Jewish capital” isn’t the most important reason why Buchanan wants to be a candidate for the presidency. No, in the first place he wants to end “illegal immigration”, that is, according to Buchanan, “helping fuel the cultural breakdown of our nation”. The populist Buchanan is probably the foremost representative of the extreme right in the US. His constituency consists of Christian fundamentalists, militia members and neo-Nazis. These millions of people might explain Dolan’s flirt with Buchanan. Together with his enthusiastic commentary Dolan sent around a newspaper article in which Buchanan openly says: “American workers and people first.”But Buchanan is not alone with that opinion. Also the big right-wing trade union AFL-CIO wants to make “the rights and interests of US workers a priority”. The union also mobilises their rank and file for the demonstrations in Seattle.

Make no mistake: The fascist agenda of the Amerikkkan organized labor is not the “false consciousness” of Amerikkkan workers ideologically swindled by Patrick Buchanan the AFL-CIA (yes, that’s how we spell it) and other u$ labor leaders. The protectionism, racism, and militarism of the Amerikkkan labor aristocracy are, in reality, their true class consciousness. The imperialist structure of the world set up by the Bretton Woods conference, with all its various phases, have made 90% of Amerikkkans among the world’s richest 15%! (8,9) Why in the hell would they want to change the very exploitative basis for that privilege? (10) Unless, of course, these crackkkers are complaining about Third World and oppressed peoples driving down their parasitically inflated wages, taking “their jobs”, or driving up the cost of “their” gasoline for their pick-up trucks and SUVs. This is the “Amerikkka first” fascist agenda, not a progressive global justice one. It is an agenda that the left-wing of parasitism keeps giving space to with their fantasies of a white-worker led revolution. The common “left” narrative of strategy goes something like this: Win the “90% against the 10%” in within country by country, rather than on a overarching global scale. Treating every country, both in the First World and Third World, as if they all have progressive national majorities will only lead to disaster. One can see where this white populist fantasy leads: to the teaCrackkkers and the goddamn minuteKlan. To RAIM, this is NOT what democracy looks like… This is what DUMBokkkracy looks like.

J. Sakai quotes ideological founder of fascism Benito Mussolini (11):

[Mussolini understood] his need to put forward the most “left” face possible on his way to State power. Mussolini even spoke favorably about the spontaneous workers councils movement that was taking over factories and calling for anti-capitalist revolution:

No social transformation which is necessary is repugnant to me. Hence I accept the famous workers’ supervision of the factories and equally their cooperative social management; I only ask that there should be a clear conscience and technical capacity, and that production be increased. If this is guaranteed by the trade unions, instead of by the employers, I have no hesitation in saying that the former have the right to take the latter’s place.”

Again, does today’s third position fascism sound more radical than that? Not hardly.

Never forget class struggle!

RAIM-S gives a clenched-fist salute to those John Browns of the global justice movement in their continued harassment of the imperialist states at the various international policy conferences around the world, including at the recent Copenhagen conference. Never forget that First World “labor” is not the friend of the world’s exploited and oppressed. Your real friends are the freedom fighters of the Third World proletariat who are landing the hardest blows against imperialism (12,13).

Fuck the AFL-CIA! Up with the Third World!

Turn the World upside down!
Notes:

1. Steven M. Suranovich, International Finance Theory and Policy, chapter 100, http://internationalecon.com/Finance/Fch100/F100-1.php

2. http://www.al-bab.com/Arab/docs/pal/pal10.htm

3. The Uruguay Round, http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/fact5_e.htm

4. http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=5208

5. John Tarleton, Love and Rage in Seattle: The Day the WTO Stood Still, http://johntarleton.net/wto.html

6. Elizabeth ‘Betita’ Martinez, Where Was the Color in Seattle?: Looking for reasons why the Great Battle was so white, http://colours.mahost.org/articles/martinez.html

7. Merijn Schoenmaker and Eric Krebbers, Seattle ’99, marriage party of the Left and the Right, http://www.savanne.ch/right-left-materials/seattle-marriage.html#13

8. US Census Bureau, 2006; income statistics for the year 2005

9. http://globalrichlist.com/how.html

10. J. Sakai, Aryan Politics & Fighting the W.T.O, http://colours.mahost.org/articles/sakai2.html

11. J. Sakai, excerpt from Confronting Fascism: Discussion Documents for a Militant Movement, http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/books/fascism/shock.html

12. http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/venezuela-bolivia-iran-africans-denounce-us-and-other-first-world-countries-at-copenhagen/

13. https://raimd.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/in-indian-forests-grow-with-naxalite-peoples-war/

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Amerika “Disappears” Migrants into Secret Detention Facilities

Amerika “disappears” migrants into secret detention facilities

https://raimd.wordpress.com

Recently, journalist Jacqueline Stevens uncovered a list of 186 previously-secret Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sub-field offices. The list reveals the locations into which an unknown number of migrant workers and other non-citizens have been “disappeared.”

According to Stevens, the hidden-plain-sight facilities, five of which are near Denver, Co, are often located in suburban office parks or commercial warehouses. The buildings carry no signs or flags to indicate a government operation. The facilities themselves were designs for processing and transporting detainees; they have no beds or showers. Nonetheless, Stevens states as many as 100 detainees are held at some facilities on any given day. Rather than being deported or sentenced for a crime, they are shuffled between facilities for periods of months, making it virtually impossible for individual detainees to be located by family or legal counsel. They are not told where they are going nor when they will be released.

Such treatment is unusual even by US prison standards. However, it should be of no surprise those with the least power in US society, “illegals,” should be targeted with the most extreme and unusual forms of state oppression. The story for migrants in the US is ironic and sad. Often victims of imperialist-sponsored state-terror and economic strangulation in Latin America, those few who have escaped past Amerika’s militarized borders find themselves criminalized and threatened by both vigilante groups (such as the Minutemen) and  extra normal, police-state measures. Many migrants are returning to land that was originally theirs, as the US/Mexican border was established by gun-point after the 1848 invasion and occupation of Mexico.

‘Working’-class Whites are often the biggest proponents of the modern police state. This is because they see it as attacking others within US society, oppressed nations, and not themselves. They have an economic incentive also: rural prisons and border policing provide well-paid pig-jobs that require little, if any, college education. All of this feeds into the fascistic, anti-migrant, anti-Third World sentiment expressed by many Whites.

Thus far, the Amerikan public has shown little outrage over ICE raids, secret, quasi-legal detentions or similar acts of state oppression directed towards migrants. Ultimately though, it matters little what Amerikans think of the system they’ve set up to oppress other people. Real justice will come when Amerika and Amerikans are judged by the masses of the Third World and their allies.

Source:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100104/stevens

Full list of ICE sub-field offices:

Click to access ICEFieldSubfield0909.PDF

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New Pamphlet: Environment and Revolution

Released by People’s War Press, Environment and Revolution, is a collection of articles by the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement and our allies at Monkey Smashes Heaven.

Click here for 8 page PDF

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IDF Arrests Peaceful Resistance Organizers in West Bank

IDF Arrests Peaceful Resistance Organizers in West Bank

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

In a string of midnight raids, IDF forces have arrested several leaders of ‘civil society’ resistance in the West Bank. On December 9th in Nablus, Israeli forces snatched Wael Fahiq and Ziad Asalaos, both associated with secularism, non-violent community organizing and international outreach against Zionism.

Earlier in the year, Israel aided the Palestinian comprador party, Fatah, in wiping out Hamas and similar armed, Islamic resistance movements in the West Bank. This came after Hamas was elected as the majority party of the interim Palestinian government. Since 1947, the Israeli settler-state has seized most of the land and stripped Palestinians of basic civil rights. Today, Israel continues settlement on Palestinian land. Despite the odds against them, Palestinians still resist.

Revolutionaries support the struggles of Palestinians against imperialism and settler-occupation. This is not a liberal abstraction. Revolutionaries support those waging struggles and unity between various resisting forces. RAIM stands with Palestinians: we don’t see ourselves of having the luxury of a moral high ground. We support those on the ground, striking blows against the common enemy and building for greater resistance.

Israel, in its provocation and repression all Palestinian resistance, is creating a situation which will further unite Palestinians and hasten its own demise. RAIM and all those who support revolution must also work toward this end.

Source:

http://palsolidarity.org/2009/12/9628

Letter by ‘secular humanist’ group, Tanweer, from Nablus: http://www.tanwer.org

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In Indian, Forests Grow with Naxalite People’s War

In India, Forests Grow with Naxalite People’s War

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

A new report has stunned and embarrassed imperialism and Indian compradors: forests are growing in tribal areas controlled by Naxalites, India’s Maoist-inspired revolutionaries. Some of the districts in which the Naxalites are based, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, have seen remarkable greening, leading to a marginal net gain of forests throughout India. Though it has received little media attention, the news came shortly before world leaders met in Copenhagen, purportedly to discuss curbing global climate change.

Naxalites claim they are fighting for the economic and social rights of India’s poorest. Their social base is the country’s peasants, forest-dwelling peoples and, to a lesser extend, the urban poor and sections of the intelligentsia. The Naxalite movement began as a peasant insurrection in 1967 against the ruling ‘Communist’ Party of India in West Bengal. It was led by leftist opposition within the Party, influenced by Maoism, then at its revolutionary height during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Today, Naxalites operate in over one-third of Indian and are organized into a number of groups. They claim to be carrying out a people’s war: leading guerrilla offensives against government forces, building independent bases of power and providing greatly-needed social reforms in areas under their control. Naxal base areas are said to be rich in iron, coal, bauxite, gold, uranium, magnesium and diamonds. Mining Companies are reluctant to enter these areas and it has been reported the investors have been scared away in areas where the Naxal presence has increased.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has called Naxalism the country’s greatest internal security threat. In September of 2009, the Indian state launched Operation Green Hunt, a two-year military offensive against the Naxalite movement involving over 100,000 troops. Since 2005, the Indian state has funded anti-Naxal militias. The Indian media has also launched a public relations offensive against the revolutionaries. The Naxals are often called criminals and murderers. Rather than fighting for social welfare, the Indian state claims the Naxals seek political power.

For their part, the Naxals openly state they desire political power, saying they cannot reasonably implement necessary social changes without it. They say they have been pushed to this position from decades of exploitation and state violence and claim their own violence is defensive, aimed at compradors, government forces and other enemies of the people. It is estimated that 42 percent of Indians currently live under the international poverty line of $1.25/day (PPP).

Imperialism has nothing to offer but its own wretched self-preservation. The comprador Indian state has been adamant. India’s poor will suffer deepened and widened exploitation, continued division and sale of communal lands, the building of more ‘Special Economic Zones’ and the militarism necessary to enforce these measures. At the same time, in Copenhagen, imperialists haggle over who’s going to profit from the devastating climate change they acknowledge they’re creating.

Imperialism breeds resistance. The Indian Naxalites are fighting for a system which operates around the needs of people, not capital accumulation. It should be of no surprise that areas under their influence have seen growth in forest coverings. Revolutionary struggle and social change, as the Naxalites are attempting carrying out in swaths of India, are the only real solutions to global climate change.

Sources:
http://indianvanguard.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/maoist-areas-see-green-cover-rise/01-12-2009-001-020/

Click to access KishenjiInterview-091113.pdf


http://india-forums.com/news/article.asp?id=214457
http://www.thehindu.com/2009/10/12/stories/2009101257690100.htm

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RAIM Global Digest Issue 1 Vol. 2

Contents:

RAIM Crashes Racist Tea Party

Blackwater Runs Hi-Tech Dirty War in Pakistan

Program of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement

RAIM-Seattle: Reportback from Anti-Olympics Organizing

25th Anniversary of Union Carbine Murders in Bhopal, India (MSH)

Water an Imperialism (MSH)

Black, Latinos, Other Oppressed Nations are Born Stupid, Say Imperialists (MSH)

Review: Arun Gupta asks, ‘What Anti-War Movement?’

RAIM, Others Wreck Zionist-Led War Mongering Against Iran

Full PDF Here

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Blackwater Runs Hi-Tech Dirty War in Pakistan

Blackwater runs hi-tech dirty war in Pakistan

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

A recent investigation has uncovered a convergence of drone attacks, assassinations, ‘snatch and grab’ operations and intelligence gathering, launched from inside Pakistan and coordinated in part by the two private companies, Xe Services and Total Intelligence Solutions, formerly associated with the private security contractor, Blackwater.

In a recent article for the Nation magazine, journalist Jeremy Scahill exposed a web of covert dirty-war tactics involving Blackwater, the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) and the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). According to multiple well-placed sources, the military contractor, Xe, as well as a spin-off company, Total Intelligence Solutions (TSI), are providing intelligence for, planning and even carrying out drone bombings, kidnappings and assassinations. “The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the US has not declared war,” Scahill says.

As Scahill’s investigation reveals, Blackwater secretly operates in Pakistan mainly through “rolling, no-bid contracts” with the JSOC. Unlike the CIA, which must gain congressional approval for covert operations, the JSOC, and hence Blackwater, does not. According to one of Scahill’s sources, the program through which Blackwater is involved is “so ‘compartmentalized’ that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.”

According to the unnamed sources, Blackwater’s existences runs parallel to and is given cover by a CIA operation in the country. According to the report, many of the recent drone attacks with high civilian death tolls, thought to be carried out by the CIA, were coordinated by Xe and TSI. Of the known drone attacks in Pakistan between January of 2006 and April of 2009, 687 civilians have been killed. More worrisome, the Blackwater outfit in Karachi is said to help plan JSOC covert operations in neighboring Uzbekistan.  Additionally, Blackwater is working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract basis, putting it “on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations, including house raids and border interdictions.”

For months in Pakistan, rumors have swirled that Blackwater was carrying out operations in the country. Blackwater, Washington and the Pakistani state have all denied this is the case.

In 2001, the Pakistani military-state was an early supporter of Amerika’s crusade against ‘terrorism.’ This alienated the vast Pakistani masses, for whom radical Islam’s message of singling out the ‘Great Satan’ has since resonated. In 2006, a deal was struck between Washington and Islamabad which allowed the JSOC to operate in country under the conditions that if discovered the Pakistani state would deny giving permission and condemn the US for violating its sovereignty. The CIA and Blackwater is working behind-the-scenes to support the Pakistani state, which many analysts say could collapse, leaving a vast array of armaments, including nuclear weapons, into unknown hands.

The current government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari and traditionally-oppositional Pakistani People’s Party(PPP), came to power during the 2008 general elections. Unfortunately, the change of political actors has done little to alter the social conditions on the ground. Military supremacy in the country and US covert operations go on and the still-impoverished Pakistani masses rightly continue to view the state with great skepticism and disdain.  Though the current PPP-led, civilian government may not have knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement, it doesn’t matter. The PPP, Pakistan’s ruling ‘center-left’ party,  has become a foil for imperialism in the region while providing no social reforms, save neo-liberal ones, for the vast masses. Abandoning anti-imperialism and national salvation altogether, the secular ‘social democrats’ represented by the PPP are becoming understandably hated by the masses of Pakistan.

While Blackwater and the CIA are using Central Asia and elsewhere as their playground and the PPP and Western liberals offer cover to imperialism, the masses of the world are lining up against comprador regimes and the imperialist First World. Real revolutionaries are anti-imperialists. The struggle for a new world will not be carried through by becoming part of the system, as the effete PPP has proven, but by leading the movement against imperialism and its agents.

Sources:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091207/scahill
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/11/24/blackwaters_secret_war_in_pakistan_jeremy

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Program of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement

We want to smash this world and build a new one. Today, the median global income stands around $2.50 a day. Over 1 billion people face chronic hunger and a child dies every five seconds of starvation. This same situation is killing the planet at an unprecedented rate. Meanwhile, a global minority lives in comfort, unconcerned with their effect on the world. We aim to change this.

We understand that there is a causal relationship between wealth on one hand and poverty on the other. On a global level, the First World is rich because it exploits the impoverished majority, the Third World. This global divide, called imperialism, is the principal feature of the world today.

We side with the Third World masses and support their struggles for liberation. Exploiters are not going to hand over freedom to those they exploit. Only through struggle can the oppressed free themselves. We support the right of resistance- and revolution- for oppressed peoples against their oppressors. We support unity of the Third World masses against imperialism.

We reject First Worldism: politics which panders to or assumes that First Worlders are a social base for revolution. The “masses” of the First World are a global minority: a petty-exploiter class which regularly supports the imperialist system from which it benefits. Global revolution demands a just and egalitarian distribution of the world’s resources and wealth. Thus, over the course of global revolution, First Worlders will receive less, not more.

We are John Browns, staunch First World allies of the Third World. We are few and far between and behind enemy lines; there is little direct effect we can have. We consider our circumstances and focus on areas where we can effectively contribute to the revolutionary struggle.

We openly represent revolutionary anti-imperialism and work to build public opinion for Third World liberation struggles. We interject revolutionary, anti-imperialist politics into political arenas such as speaking events and protests; contribute to publishing and distributing revolutionary literature such as the RAIM Global Digest; and conduct group education through study collectives, practical tasks and informal discussion. We seek out and educate those who can be won over to consistent anti-imperialist politics.

We encourage direct participation and involvement, promote personal development and push people to become more valuable to the larger, global revolutionary movement. In part, RAIM is a ‘university of revolution.’ Through direct involvement with RAIM, we encourage people to become more proficient both politically and technically. A large part of RAIM’s purpose is to make individuals more of an asset to the Third World majority.

We encourage Third World-oriented, revolutionary political work. Though RAIM fills a roll by providing a public presence for and entry-level work into revolutionary politics, it is not the end-all-be-all of revolutionary political work. We encourage and support revolutionary, Third World-oriented politics being applied as part of different types of projects and efforts.

-Adopted by RAIM-Denver and RAIM-Seattle, November 23rd, 2009

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RAIM-Seattle

Watch out Cascadia!

The first West Coast RAIM chapter, RAIM-Seattle, has arrived. We are excited to make this announcement and look forward to working with RAIM-Seattle in a joint effort against imperialism and the First World.

So what the fuck are you waiting for? Check them out now.

Lyndon Johnson’s second Presidential term was both tumultuous and a defining period in Amerikan history. No where was this better evidenced than during his 1966 State of the Union address.

Occurring on January 12th, the difficulties faced by the US, those stressed in the speech, were the related problems of tackling domestic social and economic disparities through social democratic measures embodied in the Great Society programs and similar reforms; defining a reasonable, winnable strategy amidst escalation in Vietnam; and addressing through foreign policy and public rhetoric Amerika’s role in the world.

Reactions to the speech were largely supportive domestically and hostile from those Johnson singled out internationally. In retrospect, while Johnson’s themes and ideas may not have bore fruit immediately, all of the pressing issues of the day would eventually be resolved in a reasonable. yet not entirely permanent way.

Vietnam, the Great Society and Amerika’s Global Role

Of the issues touched upon during the 1966 State of the Union, the war in Vietnam took preeminence. Johnson, before mentioning anything else, references the conflict, calling it “brutal and bitter.” Together with the broader strokes of the US’s global policy, foreign concerns vastly overshadowed other topics and themes of the speech.

Johnson’s address occurred in the context of prepping public opinion for escalating US aggression in Vietnam. Already, there were 190,000 troops in Vietnam and the US was engaged in negotiations with its adversary in what was called a “peace offensive,” yet it was clear that the south Vietnamese government was teetering on collapse. Part of the problem faced by Johnson and his administration, was the inability to articulate a clear winnable strategy to stop Communist succession in a united Vietnam. Nevertheless, Johnson premised increased US involved on a historic legacy put forward by Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy, stating, “[the ] conflict is not an isolated incident, but another great event in the policy that we have followed with strong consistency since World Ward II.” Promising to “stay until [Communist] aggression is stopped,” eight days later, on January 20th, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announced a US troop increase to over 450,000 troops.

Johnson, as the leader of the self-proclaimed free world, spoke appropriately and engaged in no small amount of narrative building. He described the Vietnam People’s Army and the National Liberation Front as attackers and conquerors. Beyond the rhetoric, Johnson was able to articulate the strategic importance of Vietnam, stating that yielding in Vietnam would set the wrong example and embolden Communist forces elsewhere, that if the U.S. did not remain in Vietnam it would mean “abandoning Asia to the domination of Communists.” Had the US not escalated then, he reasoned, Vietnam surely and quickly would be reunited under Communist rule.

During the State of the Union, Johnson also promoted a social democratic domestic policy. Embodied in the ‘Great Society’ programs and other proposed reforms, Johnson conjured up an image of a prosperous Amerika where everyone benefitted.

While there was certainly an amount of mythmaking involved, Johnson’s promotion of social democracy was intended to both showcase Amerika as a capitalist success story and stem an increasing radicalization domestically. Johnson highlighted recent progress already made including rises in wages, employment and corporate after-tax earnings. Additionally, Johnson promoted legislation regarding the “war on poverty,” civil rights, ‘urban renewal,’ the environment, government reform and extending welfare. Though he declared because of the war in Vietnam, “we may not be able to do all we should” and that “time may require further sacrifice,” he stated that Amerikans shouldn’t sacrifice the “hope and opportunities of their poor.” Johnson insisted that the Great Society programs should be carried through during the war, and made doing so a central theme in his speech.

The last theme of Johnson’s third State of the Union address was a familiar one: the Cold War and Amerika’s international role.

Johnson portrayed the US as eternal defenders of freedom and independence against “Communist aggression.” He outlines US foreign engagement as based on what he describes as five continuing lines of policy: military supremacy, maintaining the rhetoric of peace, strengthening ties with non-Soviet-aligned state actors, the selective use of food aid, and a controlled end of colonialism.

At times, Johnson co-opted leftist language to describe US foreign policy aims. He said the US is committed to “national independence” and described the Soviet Union as an eroding “Stalinist empire.” Johnson sought to cast the US as containing a open, fair social system and contrast it to the oppressive, closed, expansionary one embodied by the USSR in defining Amerika’s role in the world. Johnson described the the US in as playing a progressive role globally, fighting for the “self determination” and “freedom” in south Vietnam and elsewhere.
Johnson’s lofty language and the empahsis he place on Amerika’s progressive role seemed in almost direct correlation with the amount of violence, destruction and subjugation the US was dishing out. Whilst Johnson’s claimed he was fighting for independence, he made clear what places needed US-imposed “independence” the most: Berlin, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam. In reality, “independence” and “freedom” carried little weight and were applied selectively within US foreign policy. For example, the year prior, the US invaded the Dominican Republic in order the prevent the overthrow of the ruling, CIA-installed military junta by leftists; and in another event, allowed a military coup to overthrow the popular Indonesian Sukarno-led government while supplying a list of 5000 soon-to-be-executed Indonesian communists to the coup-mongers.

Regarding Vietnam, Johnson drew upon Cold War themes and engaged in a fair amount of narrative building surrounding the history of the conflict:

“Not too long ago Vietnam was a peaceful, if troubled, land. In the north, was an independent communist regime. In the south a people struggled to build a nation, with the friendly help of the United States.

“There were some in the south who wished to force Communism on there own people. But their progress was slight. Their hope was dim. Then, little more than six years ago, north Vietnam decided on conquest.”

Here Johnson omits that in 1955, the south Vietnamese government, led by Deim, canceled national elections and began the ‘Denounce the Communists” campaign in which Ho Chi Mihn’s supporters in the south were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and executed. The next year, Diem, who was receiving direct US aid to maintain power, instituted the death penalty for communists.

Through rhetoric, Johnson kept peace on the US’s side. Johnson claimed that the US was at the forefront of efforts to control, reduce and eliminate arms proliferation and the spread of nuclear weapons. This claims is made shortly after Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder, a broad bombing campaign which dropped over 850,000 tons of bombs onto Vietnam between May of 1965 and December of 1967. Such is the ability of the US President to craft reality from rhetoric.

Johnson also focused on aid to the Third World, claiming that the US would “conduct a worldwide attack on the problem of hunger and disease and ignorance.” Johnson promoted the idea of earmarking 1 billion to this global cause, 4.8 billion short of what he was expecting to spend on Vietnam that year.

The idea that aid is in and of itself peaceful is not entirely true. Afterall, the same type of nominal aid delivered by the Soviets and Chinese would have been looked at skeptically and in conjuction with military support would be seen as evidence of Communism trying to extend its influence. This is no different in the US’s case.

Aid itself was seen by some in policy-making circles as economically beneficial to the US in that it provided an immediate market for US exports and helped  orient national economies along the lines most favorable to US Capital. . More importantly, Johnson hoped it would place the US in an altruistic light and saw foreign aid as part “peace offensive.” During the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon would be more frank, stating, “the main purpose of US aid is not to help other nations but to help ourselves.” The effects of US aid come into display in 1974, when Bangledesh, a country which had become dependent of Western grain shipments, suffered upwards of 100,000 deaths in a man-made famine, caused when the US intentionally delayed, then canceled, food aid in order to secured concessions over trade deals. Though Johnson highlighted food aid as part of a humanitarian commitment, the idea of gaining cooperation on the part of foreign governments was never far behind.

Reactions

Global reactions to Johnson’s 1966 address ranged from supportive to hostile and accusatory.

On the supportive side, the vast majority of US society rallied around the themes presented Johnson’s addressed. This included the media, Time Magazine for example, and Republican congressmen, who found little in the way of fundamental objections. On the accusatory side, the Peking Review, the Chinese state-ran national publication, acted as a global focal point of opposition to the United States and ran no less than two articles in response to the state of the Union address. Ho Chi Mihn too challenged Johnson’s narrative surrounding the Vietnam conflict in a letter years later.

Republicans in the United States congress registered no large complaints with the speech from the president, who Time Magazine described as “aloof from partisan politics.”

In a televised “little State of the Union,” the Senate Republican Leader, Everitt Dirksen, commented that the US “should continue to seek peace and wage war– intensified war if that is necessary– in Vietnam.” Dirksen largely parroted Johnson, stating the US would stay ” until aggression has stopped,” and characterized Amerika’s role in Vietnam as guaranteeing “freedom and independence for the Vietnamese.” Dirksen questioned the effectiveness of foreign aid and called for an auditing of such programs to see whether there would be “dividends in the form of good will and real devotion to peace and freedom.” Gerald Ford shared the camera, expressing his “loyal dissent” and more vigorously attacking Johnson on domestic issues. He challenged government waste and inefficiency, the size of the federal budget and the top-down approach of many of Johnson’s reforms. “We must liberate the war on poverty from waste, controversy and the bad odor of political bossism,” he was quoted as saying.

In its reporting, Time Magazine described the speech as somber and straightforward, one in which Johnson stated “his belief that the US has the strength to fight the war and simultaneously improved its society at home.” Yielding much of there own reporting to Johnson’s remarks on the escalating conflict on Southeast Asia, Time states, “He managed to discuss a white-hot situation without so much as a hint of belligerence. Yet there was an unmistakable undertone of strength and determination.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Peking Review, the weekly magazine published in the People’s Republic of China. Globally at the time, communist-led national liberation movements sought to overthrow colonial and neo-colonial rule, radical youth and civil rights movement disrupted the status quo within Western societies and the Soviet system came under criticism within the International Communist Movement. The Peking Review, though not fully representative of the diversity of each of these trends, did support them at one time or another, was the single most influential publication covering them and was the furthest removed from, or most hostile to, the themes of Johnson’s message. Whereas Johnson’s State of the Union role could be described as building public opinion in support of US interests, the Peking Review was one of the main institutions, at the time at least, propagating worldwide opposition to US imperialism and war.

The Peking Review ran two notable articles in response to Johnson’s speech. The first, entitled ‘Johnson’s Challenge, Comments on US President’s State of the Union,’ and another a week later, ‘Johnson Administration’s Self Exposure.’

The first article, a commentary, summarized Johnson’s message as two-fold: ” for expanding the aggressive war in Vietnam [and] intensifying the attacks on the Amerikan people.”

The Peking Review described the US war in Vietnam as one of “military adventure” for control of Asia. “The United States wanted to ‘stay’ in Vietnam because it would not abandon Asia,” it noted. “From the State of the Union message,” the Peking Review stated, “one can only draw the conclusion that Johnson is determined to switch the US war machine into high gear and speed it along the road of a wider war of aggression.” The article remarked of Johnson’s “peace offensive,” stating “‘peace’ tactics are always used to cover up and help war tactics.”

The Peking Review described the Amerikan people as under attack and burdened by the war. Despite steady rises medium income since the ’50’s and a reduction of poverty which lasted decades, Chinese commentators described Johnson’s message as one of pulling the wool over the Amerikan public’s eyes in preparation for more “fascist” measures.

‘Johnson’s Challenge’ also noted Johnson’s message of expanding trade with Eastern Europe’s Soviet-bloc countries, and used it is as evidence of political “revisionism” and a conciliatory attitude towards the US on the part Khruschev.

Peking Review’s second article,  ‘Johnson Administration’s Self-Exposure,’ written after the announcement that US troop build-up would increase to 480,000, made the claim that Johnson is pursuing and aggressive war. It stated, “facts have again irrefutably proved that the louder the U.S. aggressors sing the tune of “peace,” the more feverish are their efforts to fan the flames of their aggressive war in Vietnam.” Commenting the the Johnson’s ‘peace offensive,  the article said that as”‘peace’ tricks failed,” the US would redouble its military focus in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Mihn, the leader of the Vietnamese Communists, also responded to parts of Johnson’s speech, particularly Johnson’s narrative of the coflict, though a year later and in a letter to the US president. “Vietnam is thousands of miles away from the United States. The Vietnamese people have never done any harm to the United States. But contrary to pledges made by its representative at the 1954 Geneva conference, the US has ceaselessly intervened in Vietnam, it has unleased and intesified and war of aggression in North Vietnam with a view to prolonging the partition of Vietnam and turning south Vietnam into a neocolony and a military base of the Unites States. For over two years now, the US government has, with its air and naval forces, carried war to the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam, an independent sovereign country.” Ho described the destruction caused by the war and noted the bombings of towns, villages, factories and schools and said the vietnamese people had united for the just cause of “genuine independence, freedom and true peace.”

Concluding remarks

Though many contemporary critics were soon to find fault with Johnson and rally against him, his presidency was hardly be said to be a failure, especially over the longer run. Of the three major themes of Johnson’s speech that year, the intentions of each were fullfiled in a reasonable, though not always glaring massive. Though the US not be able to stop the Communists from taking over the country, the massive devastation wrought by the US as well as the unfulfilled peace terms effectively prevented the progressive social programs and changes that might have otherwise been instituted, the ‘Great Society’ programs, though many sat aside the next year, were in combination with Civil Rights reforms and general prosperity to close inequalities and mute mass discontent. The US was able to help induce the collapse of the Soviet Union and establish itself as the dominant super power, though a new opposition movement would arrises in the form of Muslim Fundementalism. Johnsons more out there and limited reforms, those related to the environement.

every trend described, did at one time or another

‘Dirksen Asks Peace Efforts Backed by War,” Toledo Blade Jan 18th, 1966
‘The Presidency: the Union and War.” Time Magazine. Jan, 22th 1966. http://www.time.com
‘The Presidency: back in the ring.” Time Magazine. Jan 28th, 1966. http://www.time.com
Renmin Ribao, ‘Johnson’s Challenge, Comments of US President’s State of the Union Message.’ Peking Review. Jan 21st 1966. http://www.massline.info
Renmin Robao, ‘Johnson Administration’s Self-Expousure.’ Peking Review, Jan 28th, 1966 http://www.massline.info
Ho Chi Mihn, Letter to Lyndon Lohnson, Feb 15th, 1967, http://www.massline.info

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RAIM Global Digest 6

RAIM Digest 6 cover

Issue 6 is now out!

Contents:
-Amerikans Poison Chinese With E-Waste: RAIM-Denver
-Afghan Locals Give US Occupiers Proper Goodbye: RAIM-Denver
-Real Vs. Fake Universal Healthcare for Women: Monkey Smashes Heaven
-US Journalists Lee and Ling Ignore Role of US Policy in Impoverishing North Koreans: Stephen Gowans
-Yum! Brands PR Department Launches World Hunger Relief Campaign, Doesn’t Really Care: RAIM-Denver
-Your Playstation Has Real Blood On It: RAIM-Denver
-Harvest Season Means Forced Labor for Uzbek Children: RAIM-Denver
-Guatemala in Food Crisis, Revolution is the Solution: Monkey Smashes Heaven
-Sacred, Indigenous Sites Made Into Fill-Dirt for New Sam’s Club, Revolution Needed: RAIM-Denver
-Kolumbus Day Reportback: RAIM-Denver
-Denver Protests Ongoing Imperialist Wars: RAIM-Denver
-A Speech by a RAIM Comrade on the Eight Anniversary of the Invasion of Afghanistan: RAIM-Denver

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RAIM, others wreck Zionist-led war mongering against Iran

rocksonzionism

RAIM, others wreck Zionist-led war mongering against Iran

On October 28th, Uzi Landua, a hard-line Zionist and long-time high-ranking official in the Israeli state, spoke at the Auraria campus in Denver. Landau was invited by the Zionist group, the Amerikan-Israeli Student Affairs Committee, to discuss the supposed threat posed by Iran. RAIM had other ideas.

Word about the event reached Denver’s activist community less than two days prior. The day before the event, officials from the student government and University of Kolorado asked activist Glenn Spagnuolo to call off a protest, stating it would force the speaking engagement to be canceled because it would create a security bill too large for the school to bear (an additional $3,500 supposedly). Spagnuolo, is a student and organizer from the DNC protest-coalition Recreate ’68.  He was in Israel at the time when Rachel Corrie was ran over by a made-in-Amerika tractor, driven by an IDF soldier and while Uzi Laudau was ‘Security’ Minister of the settler state. Glenn insisted that even if Landau had lunch on campus, which was also scheduled, there would be a some sort of a protest. Eventually, the Israeli embassy (read: Israeli state) footed the security bill.

The day of the event, a snowstorm blew into Denver, causing the campus to be closed 30 minutes prior to the start of the event. Because of the strict security the would-be audience of 25 or so was forced to wait outside, huddling against the door. A small protest of around 10 or so gathered, including some RAIMers. A RAIMer took the opportunity to hand out an special informational flier to everyone waiting to get in, sparking a debate between a hardcore Zionist and those in the crowd.

After the doors were opened, and after the crowd and protesters passed a metal detector wand and bag check, they were greeted to large amounts of pizza and soda. RAIMers helped themselves and made sure that everyone who didn’t get already get a copy of our informational flier, got one. It wasn’t hard. In the end, the audience numbered around 40-45, including the protesters. The Zionists student organizers, Uzi and his entourage were around 15. There were also around 15 pigs and 10 campus and student staff.

Uzi was flanked by a bodyguard who looked like an angry Lurch from the Adams family, with a bad military haircut, a black trench coat and obviously armed. As Uzi walked on stage, most in the audience clapped in applause. RAIMers and other protesters instead greeted him with loud boos.  Boos and hisses persisted and steadily grew more frequent as his Cold War-esque, militarist screed continued. RAIMers occasionally interrupted Uzi’s speech with shouts of “war criminal,” “liar” and “what about Palestinians?” and clapped in applause when Uzi claimed Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon capabilities.

For his part, Uzi was a crude spokesman for the Israeli state, explicitly linking Israel and Amerika’s security and calling for the “free world” to confront the Iran. Whereas many in the audience already found Israel questionable, the information prepared ahead of time by RAIM and protesters’ on the spot agit-prop helped bring out a wider, more visible hostility towards his message. Uzi, feeling the pressure from the unsympathetic crowd, kept his speech short and fulfilled his obligation to field questions.

A RAIMer took the first questions, referencing the fact-sheet and asking Uzi to account for disparities in casualties between Israelis and Palestinians; and if he agreed with the idea that the state of Israel is the fulfillment of a promise by ‘God’ and not in need of further justification. Every question asked of Uzi thereafter was critical of Zionism and the Israeli state. There was no more discussion of Iran. Uzi was forced to fruitlessly defend Israel for the remainder of the event. As he left the stage, he was parted with more and louder boos.

Rather than finding a receptive audience for his militarist cheerleading against Iran, Uzi Landau was met with effective opposition from Denver activists and Palestine supporters, including RAIM. The event, which cost thousands of dollars for both the University of Kolorado and the Israeli state, became polarized with the majority of the audience finding themselves on the side of vocal opposition towards Zionism. Incidentally, RAIM was the only organized group with a presence at the event; we talked with Palestine supporters and handed out a few RAIM Digests. Uzi Landau’s Zionist war-mongering was wrecked.

Check out our informational flier on Israel here: Israel flyer

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Yum! Brands PR Department Launches World Hunger Relief Campaign, Doesn’t Really Care

Yum! Brands PR Department Launches World Hunger Relief Campaign, Doesn’t Really Care

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

Last September, U.S.-based Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company and parent of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W fast food chains, launched its annual World Hunger Relief campaign. Touted as part of a commitment to ending global hunger, this new campaign provides a sense of charity and progressiveness the Yum!’s true purpose, making money by selling over-valued, though inexpensive junk food to people in the First World

The money raised will go to the UN’s World Food Programme. Founded in 1963, the WFP has thus far failed in providing a solution to hunger or ending its root causes. Today, though hunger is growing and with it malnourishment and starvation, the WFP itself claims to be under funded. Yum! cites this as a reason why its World Hunger Relief campaign is “even more crucial this year.”

At face value, Yum!’s concern for world hunger is a farce. In 2007 and 2008, Yum! says its raised $36 million for the self described cash-strapped WFP. Yum! continues by patting itself on the back for pledging to raise at least $80 million over the next five years, or $2 million less each year.

Rather than ending the causes of hunger, Yum! Brands and the UN World Food Programme mitigate it through pittances. Both admit it in round about ways. “Every U.S. dollar raised will provide four meals for hungry children,” Yum! states. In reality, meal rations will not end hunger because hunger today has structural causes.

Instead of tractors being sent to the poor farmers in Africa, they are sent to Israel to tear down Palestinian homes or to other countries to build “Special Economic Zones,” sweatshop compounds, on former farm lands. Whilst 1 billion people live in chronic hunger and a child dies of starvation every five seconds, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are never short on food for First World consumers. A global relationship is at play here, imperialism, which is the root cause of hunger today.

Companies such as Yum! make money by selling over-valued, yet inexpensive convenience food to exploiters. They couldn’t run their business without the massive profits brought into the First World from the Third, resulting in widespread poverty. Likewise, the U.N. and the World Food Programme are institutions set up and lorded over by imperialists to preserve current class structure, not dissolve it.

The WFP nearly goes so far to admit this. According to WFP, chronic hunger leads to social and political instability, that is, instability to the social and political structures which maintain a state of poverty and looming hunger for most of the world’s people. Thus, the WFP’s implicit position is to mitigate instability through food rations, while providing no long term solution to the causes of poverty and hunger. Yum! Brand’s slogan for their own campaign is moving millions “from hunger to hope.”

For the Third World masses, those who regularly find themselves victim of preventable hunger, such “hope” is illusionary and short lived. While Yum! claims it has helped save the lives of 4 million people “in remote corners of the world,” the real effect has been keeping 4 million people dependent on constant food aid. In fact, despite the publicized ‘concern’ of image-conscious corporations such as Yum! Brands, hunger created by imperialism is increasing. Instead of finding a real solution to world hunger, such food aid programs hold back real solutions while keeping oppressed peoples passive and dependent.

Liberation from global poverty will not come via charity from those who create and benefit from it. Solutions capable of ending hunger will only arise as a direct affront to such self-congratulatory tactics of ‘benevolent’ corporations and their obese, petty-exploiter customers. An end to global poverty and hunger means economies and development directed by the vast majority to meet their own needs, not controlled and leeched upon by the imperialist First World.

Sources:
http://www.chainleader.com/article/CA6698439.html
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=14831&Cr=Africa&Cr1=food

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John Brown Led Raid on Harpers Ferry, 150 Years Ago Today

October 16 is the 150th anniversary of the raid of Harpers Ferry in 1859.  Led by abolitionist, nation traitor, and revolutionary John Brown, this failed raid was intended to arm Black slaves in a rebellion against white Amerika and for freedom for the Black Nation.  Democracy Now shows a reading of John Brown’s last words at his trial, as well as a reading by Frederick Douglas on John Brown:

Maoist-Thirdworldist agitation artist Shubelmorgan (named after an alias taken by John Brown) presents a video introduction to John Brown:

Anti-imperialists from oppressor nations should take on the example of John Brown.  As the video states, though, John Browns will be a minuscule minority of members of oppressor nations, so oppressed peoples and their allies should have no illusions.

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Denver Protests Ongoing Imperialist Wars

Denver Protests Ongoing Imperialist Wars

(raimd.wordpress.com)

October 7 was the 8th anniversary of the start of the current war in Afghanistan by the United States.  A number of national groups in the remaining U.S. anti-war movement called for actions.  Locally the Denver Anti-War Network (DAWN) called for a march many months ago, and it kicked off this day.  Many activists gathered for two separate events in Denver on October 7th, a march against the Afghanistan war, and a “Justice and Peace Jamboree” right after the march.

About 50 people mobilized for a rally and march that started at the Denver Federal Courthouse downtown.   A rally was held there for an hour.  A street theater was held about the situation in Afghanistan.  The crowd consisted of nominal anti-imperialists, anarchists, national liberation supporters, and anti-police brutality activists, along with RAIM members and supporters.   As it was a broad-based march against the war in Afghanistan, there were many who advocated First Worldist, pro-Amerika politics.  RAIM provided many anti-imperialist, anti-Amerika, anti-troop, and pro-Third World signs and slogans to promote our politics.  After the rally the march then set down 16th Street mall.  It was small in comparison to previous anti-war rallies, but was spirited and opted for more charged slogans.  “Number One Terrorist, U.S. Imperialists” were chanted by a large majority of the protesters for much of the march. The protest itself stayed on message, the notable interject of the so-called health care debate in the march was a sign brought by a RAIM comrade: “The Real Health Care Crisis- Amerikan Imperialism.”

Protesters addressed multiple issues in their slogans. “From Iraq to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime” and “No Justice, No Peace, Control the Police” was chanted by the crowd.  The march ended at a military recruitment office along the way.  Visual images of the victims of the war were going to be displayed, for  some truth in advertising in military recruitment, but was prevented by the pigs who were already there blocking the recruitment entrance.

For the small size of the march, the police presence was large. The federal police at the courthouse put cameras in front of and photographed protesters, and generally intimidated those expressing free speech rights.  Before stepping off, a speaker noted one local cop who was involved in a brutality case against a citizen.  He called the pig, who is black, a “twisted uncle tom” through a megaphone. Along the march anti-police brutality activist Shareef Aleem noted the large amount of pigs who followed the peaceful march. The police repression locally was also brought up, as well as the recent piggery against activists in Pittsburgh who were protesting at the G-20 meetings.  Everywhere along the march route Denver pigs were there to meet us.

The after-event, the Justice and Peace Jamboree, was held at a local restaurant and music venue, the Mercury Cafe, and was attended by over 70 people.  It was quite diverse, featuring a moving play about the Israeli settler state entitled Seven Jewish Children; interesting poetry by local poet Lenny C, hip hop by local group the Golden Soldiers; and speeches by local activists for a number of causes and organizations.  Denver RAIM member, Hector, gave a short, powerful speech which highlighted the fact the it’s not Bush or Obama that’s the problem, it’s Amerika.  Several RAIM supporters picked up the latest issue of the RAIM Global Digest and we got a chance to meet and get our message out to new people.

The numbers at this march and rally were expectedly small, as it was one of the first anti-war actions under the Obama adminstration.  On the other-hand, Obamamania has pulled some of the most reformist, pro-Amerika elements out of the anti-war movement, leaving the more radical sectors.  This was evident in Denver, as more moderate activists were absent at this march, leaving space for anti-imperialist slogans and direction.

Nationally the remnants of the anti-war movement called for protests around this anniversary date as Obama escalates war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Earlier in a march in Washington DC the corporate media reported almost 100 arrests at the marches there.  It remains to be seen where the anti-war movement will go in the U.S. under Obama.

In the end, marches and protests of 40 people or 40,000, even with anti-imperialist slogans, will not end the war. Revolutionary Anti-Imperialists know occupied peoples can only be truly liberated through their own accord. However, as allies of the oppressed Third World masses in the First World, one thing we can do is build public opinion in favor of their struggle. For those who truly desire change, there is little reason to reach out to the middle ground, water-down our message and pander to a progressive Amerikan majority that doesn’t exist. For revolutionary anti-imperialists, our message to Denver’s anti-war movement is clear: true change will only come through an end to imperialism, through a revolution of the world’s oppressed people against First World imperialism and Amerika; those who really support real change must support the Third World struggle and the defeat of Amerika.

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Filed under Actions and Events, Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Imperialism, News and Analysis

Afghan Locals Give U.S. Occupiers Proper Goodbye

afghan militia

Afghan Locals Give U.S. Occupiers Proper Goodbye

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On Saturday, October 3rd hundreds of insurgents stormed two remote military bases near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan. A proper goodbye– the attack killed eight occupiers from Fort Carson and injured many more as they were preparing to relocate from rural outposts to larger bases in more populated areas as part of a revised strategy by NATO war-planners.

This attack comes as the U.S. NATO Commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, urges President Barack Obama to add 40,000 more Amerikan occupation troops on top of the 68,000 already there or en route. In a speech in London on October 1st, McChrystal acknowledged that the NATO occupiers are unpopular and advocated a “counter-insurgency” as opposed to “counter-terrorist” strategy, saying the latter was too narrow and would mean allowing Afghanistan to become “Chaos-istan.”

In reality, the U.S. and NATO are fighting a losing war: one of occupation waged by imperialists. Recent emphasis has been placed on training Afghan military and police forces to carry out the duties of the occupiers. However, the militarily imposed Afghan puppet government is also highly unpopular, as demonstrated by evidence of widespread fraud in the country’s recent elections. Saturday’s attacks were directed both at foreign occupation forces and those of the comprador state. U.S. military officials described the insurgents as members of “tribal militias,” a code word for fighters who receive support from the common Afghan rural masses.

Those occupiers killed in Saturday’s attack did not die heroically or with honor. Rather, they were killed as part of resistance by the Afghan people to foreign occupiers and a puppet regime. Rather than dying for abstract ideas such as “freedom,” the eight troops from Colorado Springs died for just the opposite reason: depriving Afghans of their freedom by enforcing imperialist rule.

Amerikan troops serve the interest of imperialism; therefore, they are rightly hated everywhere people are oppressed and exploited by imperialism. Unlike in Colorado Springs and the U.S., in Afghanistan there will be no mourning for these eight fallen Amerikans. For the Afghan masses, they are simply eight more dead occupiers.

Sources:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html
http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_13485884
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/world/asia/02general.html

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Harvest Season Means Forced Labor for Uzbek Children

uzbek children

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

Every September, hundreds of thousands of Uzbek children begin two months of forced labor in the country’s cotton fields. Receiving almost nothing in wages and acting in accordance with state mandate, schools are closed and children become virtual slaves as the harvest season rolls in.

In the fields, children as young as seven are forced to meet extreme quotas with little opportunities for rest. Conditions are described as squalid and food inadequate. They earn a few pennies per kilo of cotton and wage deductions are made for transportation and food costs. At the end of the harvest season they are left exhausted and often in poor health. Teachers are conscripted into becoming overseers and also work in the fields in order to meet production quotas. Children make up only about half of the harvest season labor force and farmers, forced to grow the export crop,  have it little better. As one Uzbek farmer describes it, “being a cotton farmer here is like hanging between life and death. The government controls our lives very tightly. If we don’t obey, we’ll end up in trouble. All we want is freedom. And the state is punishing us for wanting freedom.”

Uzbekistan’s state-administered cotton industry has also taken its toll on the environment. With the heavy irrigation demands for the cash crop, the Aral Sea, once a climate modifying feature in the region, is at 15% of its former volume. As a result, salinity has multiplied, killing 24 species of native fish and wiping out Uzbekistan’s commercial fishing industry. The cotton fields themselves have been overirrigated and suffer from high levels of soil salinity and erosion. Cotton monoculture has left Uzbekistan’s formerly prosperous lands increasingly infertile, sometimes to the point of abandonment. The heavy use of pesticides has compounded the environmental problem, leading to increased rates of birth defects and genetic mutations.

Uzbekistan is the world’s second largest exporter of cotton, shipping 800,000 metric tons overseas. The comprador Uzbek state maintains a monopoly on the export of cotton. With a barely paid, seasonally captive workforce, much of the income from the cotton is not used in future development projects or as part of social welfare programs but instead props up a small parasitic elite which make up the Third World regime. The cotton which is not exported is sent to Uzbekistan’s small domestic textile industry, made up of joint ventures between the Uzbek state and foreign investors.

According to Steve Trent, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, “We have witnessed the forced use of children in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields and seen the conditions they work in. At the same time we have seen how a small, corrupt, ruling elite denies these facts and continues to be the main beneficiary of the cash the child labor earns Uzbekistan.” While forced child labor is undoubtedly a regular feature in the country’s cotton industry, Trent and the Environmental Justice Foundation are missing the larger picture.

Most of Uzbeck’s cotton is exported. The Uzbek state actually sells the cotton at 85% of the global market price and 43% of it is sent to Asian textile mills. There young adults, often women, endure conditions which are scarcely better than that of the common Uzbek. Produced under similar conditions of comprador capitalism, the final product is then exported to imperialist countries where it enters consumer markets. While various Third World puppet regimes may reap some of the benefits of vast pools of virtually captive people, most of it is passed along.

After cotton is harvested and spun into textiles under brutal conditions of comprador capitalism, the finished goods finally enter First World consumer markets. There, First World business realizes massive profits from simply selling the products of Third World labor to First World consumers. Also, First World workers benefit: their high wages enable them to purchase vast quantities of goods, something that would not be possible without the super exploitation of Third World workers. In the grand scheme of things, the Uzbek state is a minor player. It is the imperialist First World which is the main culprit: through its exploitative workings of global scale, it demands cheap commodities produced under conditions of virtual slavery.

Those who benefit from Uzbek forced child labor, the Uzbek comprador elite and the First World, are a global minority. In contrast, the Uzbek masses are part of a larger majority, the vast Third World masses. According the the Environmental Justice Foundation, 250 million children around the world are compelled to work, presumably in commodity exchange industries. Adding to this are the world’s exploited adults, those languishing in vast urban slums and subsistence communities under constant threat of being kicked off the land. Together, the vast Third World masses pose a serious threat to the system: they carry great potential and a historical responsibility.

Today, the most long term solution to the problem of forced child labor is an end to the system which demands it, capitalist-imperialism. Organized along their combined interest, those currently at the bottom of the global order are key to destroying it and building anew. By organizing those who have nothing to lose, Uzbek children and farmers, Chinese factory workers and the vast Third World masses, around a radical program of class war and liberation, and by supporting each others’ struggles against the imperialist system, peoples everywhere can find freedom.

The struggle to build a new world can only take place alongside advances of the oppressed over the course of class warfare. Only through a revolutionary movement of the Third World masses will children everywhere have a future of peace, freedom, prosperity and equality.

Sources:

Click to access white_gold_the_true_cost_of_cotton.pdf


http://www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/07/01/uzbekistan/
http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=5409

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Amerikan E-Waste Poisons Chinese

e-waste-orange-stuff

Amerikan E-Waste Poisons Chinese

(raimd.wordpress.com)

E-waste increasingly flows from the U.S. to the Third World. E-waste is made up of computers, cell phones, and other electronics that have been thrown away. For example, Amerikans throw out 133,000 computers a day and 100 million cell phones a year. Electronics contain harmful, toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chlorides. These materials are known to cause cancer, brain damage, kidney disease, etc. This toxic e-waste is the fastest growing part of the municipal waste stream in the U.S.

How does e-waste get from point a to point b? There are dozens of corporations that are contracted to dispose of e-waste. One such company is Executive Recycling out of Englewood, Colorado. Executive Recycling promotes itself as an eco-friendly corporation, sponsoring Earth Day events and a “Go Green” campaign in Colorado, for example. They are a corporation that is contracted to dispose of e-waste in an environmentally safe manner. The Executive Recycling web page even warns of the dangers to Amerikans that e-waste poses: “Here in Colorado, residential customers are not governed by law to recycle electronics; however by putting these items in the trash we are causing a larger issue, as these items leach mercury, lead, and other hazardous elements into our drinking water.”

So, how does Executive Recycling keep Amerikans safe from toxic e-waste? Rather than expose Amerikans to their own hazardous trash, Executive Recycling dumps it on Chinese. A recent story by the news journal 60 Minutes documents how toxic materials are shipped by Executive Recycling, and other First World recycling companies, from Amerika to destinations in China.

One destination is Guiyu, China. It is a city with a growing population, where peasants have come after being driven off the land. The ex-peasants breakdown and burn old computers and other electronics. They earn a few dollars a day dealing with highly toxic materials without protective equipment. They report that their lungs burn and they have trouble breathing. Their skin is damaged with scars and burns. The local water has become undrinkable. Drinking water has to be trucked in. Guiyu has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. Seven out of ten children have too much lead in their blood. Miscarriages are six times more likely there.

The Amerikan high-tech lifestyle produces poisons that are forced upon the impoverished peoples of the Third World. Not only do Third World peoples slave away in factories producing consumer goods for Amerikans for pennies an hour, Third World peoples also have to recycle Amerikans’ toxic trash. Capitalist-imperialism poisons Third World peoples in order to maintain the Amerikan way of life. This is yet another example of how the First World lives on the backs of the Third World, exporting the cost of its lifestyle to the majority of the world’s people.

Amerikans have help in poisoning the Chinese population. The Chinese state turns a blind eye. In the 1970’s, Chinese self-determination and independent socialist development was replaced with brutal comprador capitalism. Today, the Chinese state sells the labor and health of its people to imperialism in order to make a buck. The First World and its Third World lackeys will continue to ruin the lives of Third World peoples until imperialism is defeated, until Third World peoples seize control of their own destinies.

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n

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Amerika’s Fierce Appetite

Feeding Amerika's Fierce Appetite
Amerika’s Fierce Appetite

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

The U.S.-based organization Feeding America claims that 1 in 8 Amerikans “suffer from hunger.” The First Worldist advocacy group warns, “You may know someone who is hungry and not even realize it.” By contrast, in the Third World, hunger is easy to spot: malnourished, boney bodies, and swollen bellies. In Amerika, it is understandably difficult to pick out the hungry amidst the crush of fleshy figures.

Hunger, like every other social indicator, is defined differently by First Worldists. An Amerikan “suffers” from hunger, according to the USDA, if they feel “hungry but did not eat” or “cut [the] size of meal or skipped meal.” In other words, one eighth of all Amerikans may have experienced a grumbly tummy in the last month or so — perhaps that sensation is gas produced by the many meals not skipped, or the Big Mac without fries. Such is the “science” of the First Worldist.

Amerika is “hungry” indeed. So hungry in fact that 66% of Amerikans are overwieght or obese. More than half the population has a medical condition due to “hunger.” However, it isn”t malnutrition, it’s increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, conditions often associated with overeating. The vast majority of Amerikans prefer potato chips and television to any sort of physical activity. So is it any surprise that there is a conspicuous lack of Amerikan children with distended bellies and exposed ribcages? Hunger, according to First Worldists, is a psychological state: “I didn’t eat as much as I wanted today!” “I had to skip lunch once last week!” “I just ate but I’m still hungry!” Such is the song and dance for advocates of First Worlders. By contrast, hunger in the Third World is a matter of life and death.

The World Health Organization recommends a minimum intake of 2600 calories a day. Those in the Third World consume, on average, 2100 calories; First World peoples approximately 3700. Thus, by a more objective standard of measure, hunger is virtually non-existent in the First World. And, by contrast, most Third World people experience hunger as a way of life.

The distribution of hunger in the world is yet more confirmation that the principal contradiction is between the First and the Third World. Capitalism-imperialism is a world system that generates vast inequalities between countries. Under the current world system a few wealthy countries live comfortable lives at the expense of the vast majority in the poor countries. To end hunger for the vast majority of humanity in the Third World means turning the tables, including the dinner table, on the fat, lazy First World.

Smash the obese empire that feeds on the world’s hungry!

Sources.

http://www.feedingamerica.org/

http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/foodsecurity/labels.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/obesity-health-risks

http://wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/WorldMeal.html

http://www.newint.org/issue225/facts.htm

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Obama: more troops, more imperialism, more of the same

barack-obama-greets-troop-001

Obama: more troops, more imperialism, more of the same

(raimd.wordpress.com)

The election of Barack Obama as president was promised as bringing a different direction to U.S. foreign policy.  But as recent news shows, Obama will continue U.S. imperialist policies, for one by increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  In the beginning of his term this year he kept on Bush family crony Robert M. Gates as Secretary of “Defense.”  Gates announced recently the Amerikan military will increase the number of overall troops in service for these new imperialist wars.  Contributing to this increase are the Amerikan people, looking for jobs in the faltering economy, taking on military positions.

On Monday July 20 “Defense” Secretary Gates announced a “temporary” increase of the size of the army up to 22,000 troops.  This increase is to meet the “persistent pace” of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Gates (1).

The increase is to occur over three years. In the end, the size of the army will increase to 569,000 active duty soldiers.  Previously, in 2007, Gates had given a goal of an expansion to 547,000 soldiers. This previous target was reached in May.

There are currently 130,000 Amerikan troops in Iraq, not including mercenaries and contractors. Also, by the end of 2009, there will be 68,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Obama’s promised removal of troops from Iraq has been carried out at a snail’s pace, at best. This removal is really a shift, or “phased redeployment,” of more troops from Iraq into Afghanistan. Obama is not pulling back Amerikan Empire, so much as shifting its focus.  In fact, only combat forces will be withdrawn from Iraq by August 2010, and other troops will be scheduled to remain at least until December 2011 (2).  Most withdrawals are not even scheduled until March 2010. In fact there have been no troop withdrawals since Obama came into office. In addition, Gates expressed concern that future U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have enough boots on the ground.  Military advisors and senators are advocating more troops be sent to Afghanistan than originally planned (3).

Some have pointed to some of Obama’s policies, like the defunding of the F-22 fighter program, as a sign of Obama’s dovish credentials. However, the defunding of this single program happened in the larger context of increasing the size of the military, including increasing funding for other fighter jets (4).

Obama, Another Side of the Coin

Despite what Amerikan pseudo-leftists say, to the world’s majority it does not matter who would have become U.S. president.  The United Snakes continues its tradition of militaristic policies.  All Obama changed was perception.  Amerikan public opinion tired of the war in Iraq not for any principled anti-imperialist reasons but because the war was becoming too costly; in Amerikan money, Amerikan lives, and to Amerika’s global image.  This last one was a key, for under Bush world opinion of the U.S. was lower than at any point in history. The jingoistic superpatriotism represented by McCain-Palin carried less appeal as the U.S. was being wound down in the resistance in Iraq.  Obama came along to shift world opinion of Amerika to a more positive view.  Amerikans also felt better in their relationship to the world under Obama, even though there has been no change to the foreign policies that enrich all Amerikans.  With a more positive world opinion, Amerikans are more willing now to embrace Amerikan imperialism, even joining its military to defend it.

Reasons For the Increase of Volunteer Troops

The New York Times also notes that the Pentagon, without the aid of conscription, will increase the size of its army by traditional means of recruiting and retention.  Since the advent of the all-volunteer armed forces over 30 years ago the military has relied on recruiting to fill its ranks.  Most have to be actively recruited.

The Iraq War made military service during a sustained military conflict unpopular.  The military could no longer count on those enlisting for easy college money or signing bonuses, obtained without leaving their bases and incurring risk (5).  Even the National Guard, with less commitment, suffered unmet recruiting goals (6). Recruiters talked about having “rolled doughnuts,” slang for going an entire month without recruiting anyone.

Also, antiwar activists, dealing with an all-volunteer army, took on the strategy of counter-recruitment to symbolically hurt the war effort. It met with mixed success in deterring some young people from the military (7), with many students removing their names from military recruiting lists that schools are required to give (8).  Military recruiters became more aggressive in their efforts.  But the recent recession has helped enlistment and re-enlistment.

In mentioning Gates’ proposed increase of troops this year, the New York Times also mentions that recruitment has been aided by those looking for a job in the recession, and troops reenlisting beyond their scheduled terms due to the job market.  Another source says military recruitment was up 9 percent from 2008, and potential soldiers are including not only those out of high school but those with bachelors and master degrees, looking for a steady paycheck without fears of layoffs (9).

Overall, the opposition to the Iraq War in the U.S. increased not because of any principled opposition to its military committing atrocities for profit, but because it was seen as too costly and unwinnable for Amerikans.  Even with the global recession Amerikans are still better off than the great majority of the world.  They still willingly join its military to further imperialist aggression in order to objectively keep their privileged position in the world.

The U.S. is the principal global empire. It must assert itself militarily around the globe.  To do this, it needs warm bodies for its never ending military adventures. Since 1900 the U.S. has continuously engaged in military confrontations of some kind or other nearly every year since. This will continue to be the case for the next hundred years, or until U.S. imperialism is defeated.

Domestic opposition will not stop aggression against the Third World. The liberal anti-war movement came to a halt with the end of the Bush administration. Most in the anti-war movement swallowed Obama’s lies. Progressives in the U.S. are deluding themselves if they still think the Obama administration will initiate major changes in U.S. foreign policy.

The masses of the Third World are also deluded, if they buy into Obama’s reinvention of Amerika. After all, recent polls show that Obama has improved the image of the U.S. in the Third World. The reality is that Obama and Bush are just two sides of the same imperialist coin. Given the promise of a paycheck Amerikans in their self-interest will help in the effort to expand the war machine. Amerikans have a material interest in maintaining imperialism. They are the ones who benefit, after all.  The masses of the world should not rely on opposition inside Amerika to stop imperialist wars.  If imperialism is to be smashed, then it will be the Third World masses who wield the hammer.  If First-Worlders support humanity they will side with the Third World masses in this endeavor.

Sources:

(1). Bumiller, Elizabeth.  “Gates Says U.S. Army’s Size Will Grow by 22,000.”  New York Times.  July 20, 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/world/21military.html

(2). “With Pledges to Troops and Iraqis, Obama Details Pullout.”  New York Times.  February 27, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html

(3)  Bumiller, Elizabeth.  “With Boots in Iraq, Minds Drift to Afghanistan.”  New York Times.  July 31, 2009.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/01/world/middleeast/01memo.html

(4).  Drew, Christopher.  “Obama Wins Crucial Senate Vote on F-22.”  New York Times.  July 21, 2009.    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/business/22defense.html

(5). Davey, Monica.  “Recruiters Try New Tactics to Sell Wartime Army.”  New York Times.  June 14. 2004.  p. 1, 8.

(6). Moniz, Dave.  “For Guard Recruiter, a Tough Sell.”  USA Today.  www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-07-recruits-cover_x.htm.  Accessed 3/8/2005.

(7). Some examples of earlier counter-recruitment strategies are here:  Weill-Greenberg, Elizabeth.  “Calling All Soldiers:  Military Recruiters Face Resistance From Young Anti-War Activists.”  New York Amsterdam News.  February 24, 2005.  Accessed from www.commondreams.org 3/8/2005; and Hampson, Rick.  “‘Counter-recruiters’ Shadowing the Military.” USA Today.  www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-07-counter-recruiters_x.htm.  Accessed 3/8/2005.

(8). “Students Want Off Recruiting Lists.”  Toward Freedom.  November 16, 2005.  http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/667/78/ Accessed 11/21/2005.

(9). “Slumping Economy Helping With Military Recruitment.” http://www.wjactv.com/news/20277281/detail.html

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1,013 Afghan Civilians Killed in First Half of 2009

afghan-child-casualty

1,013 Afghan Civilians Killed in First Half of 2009

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A U.N. mission has reported that 1,013 civilians have been killed in combat in Afghanistan during the first half of the year, up 24% from the same period in 2008. Civilian deaths have not been restricted to Afghanistan. On January 23rd, less than three days after his inauguration, President Barack Obama ordered a drone attack into Pakistan which locals say killed three civilians.

Much of the world has been bamboozled by the Obama presidency. However, the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan are finding out that Obama is just another imperialist butcher. They likely won’t be the last as the Obama administration continues to redirect the “War on Terror.” The people of the Third World will not take such aggression lying down. This past July was the bloodiest month for occupation forces in Afghanistan since the start of the October 2001 invasion.

Sources:
http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/related/303214
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5575883.ece

afghan-child-with-ak47

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Sacred, Indigenous Site Made Into Fill-Dirt for New Sam’s Club, Revolution Needed

Sams Club

https://raimd.wordpress.com

In Oxford, Alabama something awful is happening. A hill, on top of which lies a Native American rock mound, is being destroyed in order to procure fill-dirt for a new Sam’s Club a few miles away.

The rocks were arranged on the 200 foot (60 meter) rise over a millennium ago. The site was fundamental in Indigenous rituals and gatherings in the area. According to Oxford head racist, mayor Leon Smith, the site is the “ugliest old hill in the world.” “Just a pile of old rocks,” he added about the mound. City officials plan to in the future remove the top of the hill, including the rock mound, to create an elevated, eight acre (3.25 hec) commercial development site that will overlook the Choccolocco Valley and city of Oxford. Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart Stores Inc, which is carving into the hill right now, is a growing chain of wholesale megastores. Like Walmart, Sam’s Club markets itself as increasing the purchasing power of First World consumers through low prices.

Oxford, Alabama is one locality in an entirely stolen continent. Since 1492, all ‘development’ in Amerika has occurred hand in glove with the protracted genocide of Indigenous peoples. This genocide continues today. Those few Native Americans left which still have ties to the land are finding their historic claims increasing threatened by the federal and state governments and private interests. In the realm of ideas, Native identity and culture continue to be wiped out by Amerika. In Denver and elsewhere, the Sons of Italy and other racists conduct Kolumbus Day parades: celebrations of their 500 year conquest and occupation of the North American continent. Now in Oxford, Alabama, a clearly sacred site of an all but exterminated people is being destroyed with the intentions of creating more shopping opportunities at discount prices for Amerikans.

More significant is the connection between Amerika’s founding genocide and the system which fuels today’s consumerism: imperialism. It was in fact Amerika’s genocidal occupation of North America which provided a social, cultural and material launching pad for U.S. aggression abroad. It is no coincidence that during the 1890’s, after the ‘closing of the frontier,’ Amerika initiated a war with Spain and acquired through military occupations the colonies of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. Today this system is still in place and the U.S. virtually occupies the world. And it is precisely this history of aggression towards the Third World– and the resulting militarily imposed exploitation upon Third World peoples– which compels Sam’s Club and Walmart to bring ultra-low prices to ever more First World consumers, even at the cost of a clearly significant site for Native Americans.

While the outgoing scarification of the hill will likely continue, because of the extreme cultural chauvinism at a time when Amerika is attempting to re-invent itself as multi-cultural and pluralistic, the removal of the actual rock mound may be halted through effective campaigning at the reformist level. However, the real solution to this problem is nothing short of revolution. That is because the destruction of the site has a deeper cause than simple racism or cultural chauvinism. Consumer culture, rapid environment degradation, continued annihilation of Indigenous heritage, wars of aggression and systemic Third World poverty are all connected through capitalist-imperialism. Those who want to truly end Amerika’s continued genocide against Indigenous peoples and culture, as well as those who oppose consumerism, poverty and ecocide, should single out First World imperialism as the principal enemy in their related struggles. Those who truly want to create a new, better world must unite with and promote the struggle of the world’s exploited and oppressed majority against the capitalist-imperialist system.

Sources:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2009507533_apusindianmounddispute.html?syndication=rss
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/21/AR2009072100460.html

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RAIM Global Digest Issue 4

Get it here at the RAIM-Denver Archives.

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Review of ‘The Old Future’s Gone: Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crisis,’ a talk by Robert Jensen

jensen

Review of ‘The Old Future’s Gone: Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crisis,’ a talk by Robert Jensen

https://raimd.wordpress.com

Last month, author and activist Robert Jensen spoke in Denver at an event sponsored by Argusfest entitled “The Old Future’s Gone: Progressive Strategy Amid Cascading Crisis.”  It was based on a writing that has circulated among left-liberal websites.  A professor of journalism at the University of Texas in Austin, he also has written many books and articles on topics such as imperialism, capitalism, white privilege and patriarchy.  He doesn’t quite go to our line, but he at least asks the right questions and approaches the right topics. Because of this, a few members of RAIM went to check out the event.

At best his talk could be summed up as eclectic with a sub-reformist emphasis.

Jensen also carries a sense of honest despair, admitting he sees little in the way of widespread, fundamental change. Rather than seeking out revolutionary means to revolutionary ends, he instead prefers to deal in ways in which he feels he’s made a more immediate, though irrelevant and fleeting, impact.

In talking about strategies for change, Jensen sees the Amerikan left engaged in three types: electoral politics, movement politics and local projects. He sees no use in electoral politics. Movement politics have their limits also, especially in their emphasis on protest marches. Bringing up the February 15, 2003 worldwide marches against the invasion of Iraq, the largest coordinated protest in history, which the New York Times said made world opinion a second superpower, he noted that they did nothing to stop that war. He sees more hope in local projects, things like community gardens and such. According to Jensen, the potential for dialogue and debate among others is increased in local projects, though he didn’t specify to what concrete end. The example he raised as his own efforts with local projects was a worker-owned cafe in Austin, though he admitted this effort failed to get off the ground.

While we understand the frustrations in observing the seemingly immovable state of Amerika and the world, the lack of radicalism in Amerikan mass politics, and the inability for radicals to act effectively in a minoritarian context, there were limits to Jensen’s insights beyond this.

When prodded by a RAIM comrade, Jensen admitted that the First World benefits from the exploitation of the Third World. When asked how this phenomenon of entire populations benefiting from others related to and could perhaps be overcome by local projects, he didn’t have an answer.  When asked about a solution in putting local projects to tackling this global issue of exploitation, he said the question was too big and too complicated to solve.

Jensen’s inability to answer straight questions were illuminating to the level of confusion within the Amerikan left, even amongst its intellectuals.  Jensen is one of the better intellectuals on the left, as he critiques metaphysical liberal ideas in favor of more radical analyses.  Jensen’s desire for revolutionary change is in some ways genuine, though Jensen himself is unable to come up with an effective model for widespread fundamental change.  Instead he promotes feel-good sub-reformism in the form of local projects, something he himself admits won’t work all the time. As once stated by Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), “Confusion is the greatest enemy of revolution.”

Much of this confusion can be seen in the trappings of left’s First Worldism.  Many on the left nominally go against imperialism while simultaneously campaigning to make Amerikans even better off. Jensen falls in this camp: he wants a better world but doesn’t want to alienate Amerikans. The truth is, Amerikans benefit from the global capitalist economic system as it is and have little material interest in working to create a new one.  This in part explains why revolutionary change seems so untenable within Amerika, even to those who genuinely desire it.

Unlike Jensen, we at RAIM apply global class analysis fully.  Doing simple math, Amerika is only 5 percent of the world population but the consumer of over 25 percent of the world’s resources.  The poorest half of the world lives on less than $2 a day, and the bottom 1.3 billion live on less than $1 a day.  Although Jensen admits this, RAIM-Denver plainly says the obvious truth and takes it to its logical end: Amerikans are part of the problem; they are a force which must be overcome during the course of progressive change. Unlike Jensen who is fruitlessly engaged in various forms of pandering to a population of petty exploiters and polluters, RAIM champions the cause of the world’s exploited and oppressed majority as the most direct route to creating a new world.

At one point, Jensen said that he struggles to identify as part of humanity and not Amerikan, white or male. In reality, to stand with humanity is to stand against Amerika and the First World.

The First World is destroying the planet and exploiting its people. On a structural level, this mean that the principal antagonism is between imperialism and the people of exploited nations. Exploitation-driven consumption and related environmental destruction affect the Third World the most, while benefits, even indirectly, trickle up to the First World.  The solution for this problem isn’t for those in the First World to engage in local projects. Rather, real change will come when Third World peoples wrestle stolen wealth out of the hands of First World imperialists. While this includes worker-owned industry on the part of currently exploited people, history has proven that this itself requires a fight and involves actual confrontations. Amerikans are not simply going to stop being exploiters: unlike the fluffy revolution of values Jensen dreams up, revolutions actually require revolution.

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Conflict Heats Up in Oil-Rich Niger Delta

MEND Rebels (Photo credit : PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

MEND Rebels (Photo credit : PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Conflict Heats Up in Oil-Rich Niger Delta

https://raimd.wordpress.com

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has recently released statements refusing offers of amnesty by the Nigerian state and, as of June 6th, given local and foreign oil workers 72 hours notice of an “imminent attack.” “The warning also applies to greedy individuals from oil communities tempted to carry out repair contracts on pipelines already destroyed,” MEND added.

These statements follow a major military campaign aimed at crushing MEND. As part of the campaign, which displaced thousands of indigenous civilians, the Nigerian military has been accused of indiscriminate aerial bombings and shelling villages. A spokesman from the Nigerian military called MEND’s warning an “empty boast by a toothless gang” and urged oil workers to disregard the threat.

In 2006, MEND began attacking oil installations, sabotaging infrastructure and kidnapping oil-industry workers for ransom. Since then, analysts have noted that the rebel group has grown more sophisticated. In June of 2008, MEND attacked Shell’s main oil platform, which, at 75 miles from shore, was thought to be safe from militant assaults. As a result, the platform, which normally produces 200,000 barrels per day, was temporarily closed, reducing Nigeria’s total oil production by 10% overnight. Since January of 2006, unrest in the Niger Delta has reduced Nigeria’s daily output from 2.6 million barrels to 1.76 million. Niger is the fifth largest importer of crude oil into the U.S.; oil accounts for 95% of Nigeria’s export income.

In January of 2009, MEND called off a four month ceasefire and resumed attacks against imperialist operations and infrastructure. MEND says that oil operations have caused massive pollution, killed local wildlife and left indigenous communities without a means of subsistence. Niger Delta communities use very little oil themselves. Almost no oil revenue makes it to the communities most affected by oil production. Instead it is exported as profits by companies such as Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, transferred to the First World via price fixing and unequal exchange or consumed by local puppet-elites. Speaking of their own movement, MEND says, “The very reason for militancy is because of injustice. Fiscal federalism is among the things that will silence our guns.”

Under the current schema, imperialism dominates the Nigeria economy. This has predictably led to a social and environmental catastrophe. Traditional modes of existence have been destroyed through activities inherent in the maintenance of the modern global economy. In this case, foreign companies get the oil at the lowest cost possible and with no regard for existing communities or the environment and export it to consumption-based economies of the West. The people of the Niger Delta, instead of finding any benefit from this process, have lost their previous ability to feed themselves from their natural surroundings and have little opportunities to find subsistence level wages on their own land or in their own country. Regardless of natural wealth, imperialism is a death warrant for indigenous Third World peoples.

MEND’s struggle is a just one. Faced with displacement, oppression and exploitation by imperialism, Third World peoples have little alternative but fighting back at those who direct and facilitate such oppression. For groups like MEND, this means a struggle not only against the imperialist oil-industry but also against the Nigerian state. As witnessed by the military’s most recent offensive against MEND, the Nigerian state is itself an agent of imperialism whose main role is protecting, militarily if need be, the interests of multi-national oil companies.

The struggle of the Niger Delta masses against imperialism and its local puppets is one that must be supported by all revolutionary peoples. This is because the struggle in the Niger Delta is part of a larger struggle shared by the vast majority of humanity. A serious blow to imperialism in Nigeria weakens imperialism as a whole, allowing for revolutionary advances on the part of oppressed peoples elsewhere. Conversely, while MEND might be able to land some blows against Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian state, the struggle against imperialism can only come to a victorious resolution through a unified effort on the part of oppressed peoples from countries around the world. Only by way of a global anti-imperialist struggle can imperialist exploitation, and the devastating social and environmental impacts that accompany it, no longer remain a threat to oppressed peoples. Only through the unified struggle of oppressed peoples against capitalist-imperialism and its various local lackeys can a new world, one based on the needs of people, be built.

Sources:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jIpUqBhxcOji3lQkTFIW07yahD8Q
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/21/nigeria
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7861257.stm
http://www.234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/National/5422826-146/story.csp
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7463288.stm

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I-70 Expansion Plans Indicative of Wider Imperialist Parasitism

Highway-I-70

I-70 Expansion Plans Indicative of Wider Imperialist Parasitism

https://raimd.wordpress.com

Discussions about expanding Interstate 70 in Colorado have been happening for nearly a decade now. Proponents have cited everything from the living standards of Coloradans, quantified by their ability to quickly traverse the state’s main East-West highway, to the economic incentive of drawing into the state more tourist and commercial transport dollars. Proponents also say the state’s growing population will hasten the need for highway expansion projects.

More recently, plans to expand I-70 east of I-25 in Denver have moved forward with the publishing of a draft study on the environmental and social impacts of various options. Amongst other things, the study considered not expanding anything, expanding other main East-West Denver thoroughfares, building a multi-level highway, building an underground highway, expanding I-70 at the sides and rerouting the part of the highway. The later two options are most favored by the study. The portion of I-70 proposed for expansion is elevated over neighborhoods heavily populated by nationally oppressed peoples. The portion of the highway is also filled with potholes and bad patch-up jobs and predicted to be a point of major traffic congestion over the next ten years.

Thus far, the most vocal critics of the highway expansion plans has been the local environmental group, High Country Earth First! (HCEF!). HCEF! cites ecological concerns and a general critique of Amerika’s consumer economy, as well as advocacy for the neighborhoods which would be affected most, amongst its primary criticisms of the highway expansion plan.  According to HCEF!, any proposed highway expansion would contribute to problems such as urban sprawl, global warming, endangerment to local wildlife habitats and would negatively affect the surrounding nationally oppressed communities. According to HCEF!, the planned I-70 expansion “is part of the greater picture, one where poor people and communities of color are systemically oppressed by the state for the continued privilege of white people and the wealthy. Infrastructure expansion doesn’t meet the needs of underserved communities and only furthers their destruction. The I-70 expansion is no different; a low income community of color would be disrupted and displaced to serve the needs of a capitalist white supremacy.”

The Real Bigger Picture

While the proposed I-70 expansion occurs within the often obscured context of capitalist-imperialism, the cognitive reasons for the project, as noted by proponents and critics, are pretty clear cut: to bring more money into the state. Underlying these seemingly disconnected notions is the interconnected economics of it all.

Building a highway does not itself create value: portions of it will not be sold as a commodity in the form of a toll or user-fee. Rather, a highway expansion has one clear purpose, to better facilitate commerce, trade and private spending in the state. Whereas this added economic activity may inject billions of additional dollars into the state, this does not necessarily mean that such value was itself created within the state.

Under capitalism, value is created by labor engaged in the creation and distribution of commodities. Under capitalism, workers are only paid a portion of the value that was created and the capitalist keeps the rest. The situation today however is vastly more complicated.

Production and distribution is organized on a global scale and vast disparities exist between workers themselves. Nevertheless, value is still created by labor. The difference today is that whereas most of the world’s value is created in the Third World, it becomes realized and concentrated within the First. Thus, from the perspective of a single locality within the exploiter First World, anything that increases local commerce and economic activity in the area increases the realization of surplus value and the accumulation of capital.

Simply put, expanding I-70 will mean that more value created elsewhere will be channeled into the Colorado economy. The exploitative global relationship that is capitalist-imperialism makes the question of redundant and ecologically unsound infrastructure such as ever-increasing urban highways systems a realistic, even necessary one. Even truck drivers and highway construction workers, whose compensation places them in the richest 10% of the world, find themselves in positions of intersecting interest with the expansive system of imperialist parasitism.

Summing It Up

HCEF! gets it partially right when they say, “Infrastructure expansion doesn’t meet the needs of underserved communities and only furthers their destruction. The I-70 expansion is no different; a low income community of color would be disrupted and displaced to serve the needs of a capitalist white supremacy.”

HCEF! is right to frame the issue more as one of relative privilege than direct exploitation. Indeed, infrastructure expansion is meant to serve the general exploiter economy: one in which nationally oppressed peoples receive less opportunities and encounter more obstacles. For the most exploitative and oppressive sectors of Coloradan society, the damage done to the relatively least empowered, nationally oppressed communities is seen as a necessary consequence of increasing economic activity and thus the realization of value via this highway expansion project. Nevertheless, projects such as the proposed expansion of I-70, despite the damage it may cause to specific communities, should be seen for what it is: the expansion of imperialist parasitism within the Denver/Colorado area.

Demands for People Centered Infrastructure

Obviously not all infrastructure is bad. RAIM-Denver is hardly opposed to highways and roads on their own merits. In fact, a better regular distribution of food and medical supplies, which requires better road systems, and basic infrastructure such as water sanitation facilities and simply utilities are some of the basic demands of the world’s impoverished majority. While it is true that the natural capacity of the Earth could not allow the current mode and standard of living of Amerikans to be replicated the world over, this is more than anything else a reflection as to the depth of imperialist parasitism and the necessity of developing different productive and distributive arrangements in a new world.

As with imperialist parasitism itself, RAIM-Denver opposes any expansion of the I-70 highway system. Rather than continually expanding the material base for the realization of stolen wealth at this or that locality within the First World, RAIM-Denver demands that all resources for such projects instead be directed toward building life-saving and basic infrastructure, such that is centered around the creation of a more socially egalitarian and eco-centric organization of economic activity.

The proposed expansion of I-70 is merely symptomatic of a wider phenomenon of global exploitation and parasitism. In the end, only through destruction of this global imperialist paradigm will the idea of ever-expanding and destructive infrastructure projects, such as the proposed I-70 expansion, forever become of a remnant of a more primitive past. Only through the destruction of the modern capitalist-imperialist system can a fundamentally new world emerge.

Sources:

http://www.unconventionaldenver.org/?p=380

http://www.i-70east.com/reports.html

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U.S. Troop Injured by Philippine Rebel Group

01_kmara_targetting

U.S. Troop Injured by Philippine Rebel Group

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On April 28th, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) announced that its military wing, the New People’s Army(NPA), injured a U.S. soldier embedded with the Philippine Army. According to the CPP, the Philippine Army attempted to encircle and attack a unit of the NPA, at which point the U.S. troop was injured, three Philippine state soldiers were killed and one NPA fighter was martyred. The New People’s Army, founded in 1969, has led South East Asia’s longest running insurgency. In 2002, both the CPP and the NPA were added onto the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The Philippines was one of the first overseas colonies of the United States. Today, U.S. imperialism rules through proxy governments. Though the U.S. has not operated military bases in the Philippines since 1991, U.S. troops are stationed in the country to augment the police powers of the comprador Philippine state. In 2008, the U.S. provided the Philippine state with 30 million dollars in military aid and admits to providing training, intelligence and consulting in its crusade against a number of insurgencies. While the U.S. claims its troops in the Philippines are limited to “humanitarian” roles, the CPP and independent NGOs have in the past stated that the United States is directly involved in military operations in the country.

More often than not, we are used to hearing about the U.S. military operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. This most recent incident sheds light on the fact that the U.S. military is used against peoples’ resistance even when it’s not widely publicized. The United States is not just involved in overthrowing recalcitrant governments; it also quietly supports its unpopular puppet-governments against the threat of homegrown insurgencies.

In an English-language statement, the Communist Party of the Philippines said it trusts that “the vast majority of the Amerikan people oppose U.S. participation in foreign civil wars,” and urged  the “Amerikan people not to allow their government to continue with military interventionism, waste millions of taxpayers’ money and risk the lives of US soldiers in the Philippine civil war.”

In reality, the vast majority of Amerikans hardly oppose U.S. aggression and bullying. This is because they have historically benefited from imperialism and continue to until this day. While the U.S. military may be currently bogged down in other regions of the world, relying on a non-existence shared interest with “the vast majority” Amerikans or any meaningful support on their part is not a viable long term strategy in struggle of the Filipino masses against imperialism and lackey capitalism.

Sources:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/05/09/18593985.php

Click to access RL32223.pdf


http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/news/view/20080201-116212/US-military-aid-to-RP-up-tied-to-rights–advocacy-group
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-02-13-philippines-terror_x.htm

Click to access CPWReport.pdf

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Obama Administration Boycotts U.N. Conference on Racism, Imperialists Walk Out During Ahmadinejad Speech

Obama Administration Boycotts U.N. Conference on Racism, Imperialists Walk Out During Ahmadinejad Speech

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On April 20th, the so-called United Nations opened its first World Conference Against Racism in eight years. The United States announced ahead of time that it would boycott the conference; similar announcements were made by Israel, Germany, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. Were it not for the terrible oppression that people around the world face due to imperialism, the fact that a global conference on racism is being boycotted by the Obama administration would merely seem ironic. Malcolm X, a Black nationalist and internationalist, was an early proponent of elevating racism as an international human rights issue.

While “race” is a false paradigm originally imposed by Western oppressor nations to justify their transnational rampage, greater awareness and intolerance for ‘racial’ oppression often makes racism a useful rhetorical device when employed by the oppressed. The only head of state to attend, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, used the occasion to deliver a scathing critique of Western imperialism. Making the speech extraordinary however, delegates from the European Union collectively walked out during his speech. The Obama Administration claims it wouldn’t attend because the event would single-out Israel. (1). Ahmadinejad’s actual speech and the response it garnered highlight the real reasons behind the West’s collective rebuff.

Ahmadinejad used the occasion to question the legitimacy of the U.N. Security Council and its commitment to humanity. “Look at the Security Council which is the legacy of World War I and II. Based on what logic have they been given the right to veto?,” Ahmadinejad asked. “When there is legal discrimination and the law-making centre is a source of bullying and force instead of justice and fairness, how can one expect to achieve justice and peace?”

Ahmadinejad also juxtaposed imperialism’s shallow condemnation of “racial discrimination” with its flagrant oppression of the vast majority of humanity. All of this led up to this statement and prompted the Western delegates to walk out:

“After the Second World War, by exploiting the holocaust and under the pretext of protecting the Jews they made a nation homeless with military expeditions and invasion. They transferred various groups of people from America, Europe and other countries to this land. They established a completely racist government in the occupied Palestinian territories. [delegates walk out] And in fact, under the pretext of making up for damages resulting from racism in Europe, they established the most aggressive, racist country in another territory, i.e. Palestine.”

Ahmadinejad didn’t say anything new or remarkable; he was speaking for the Palestinian masses whose voices are systematically excluded from typical international dialogue, including representation in the U.N. The boycott and walk-out by the West simply demonstrates that imperialism has nothing but contempt, accompanied by arrogance, for the oppressed Palestinian masses.

Barack Obama has made a big show about dialogue and open debate. The U.N. Conference Against Racism was just that, a U.N. sanctioned conference with no authoritative power. In reality, Obama is committed to liberal ideas such as ‘dialogue’ only when it furthers the interests of U.S. imperialism. The recent World Conference Against Racism provided an unusual global platform to speak out against U.S. imperialism, thus the Obama administration went out of its way to wreck it.

Rather than continuing the legacy of Malcolm X, Barack Obama spits on it. Malcolm X sought unity with the world’s people in order to fight oppression globally. Barack Obama on the other hand actively works to strengthen to imperialist system which oppresses the world’s people. Obama and the West’s flagrant anti-Palestine, anti-oppressed, ultra-reactionary posturing should both forever shatter the idea of ‘race’ and racism as central features of global oppression and put the revolutionary attention of the global masses where it should be, fighting the U.S.-led capitalist-imperialist system.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/18/U.S.racism.conference/index.html

http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/61690

http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml

Ahmadinejad speech: full text http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8010747.stm

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MSH: Fujimori Gulty, Gets 25 years

(Via Monkey Smashes Heaven)

(monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com)

Ex-dictator of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, today, received a sentence of 25 years in prison. Fujimori was found to have authorized the actions of the infamous La Colina death squad that claimed the lives of 25 people in 1991 and 1992. In addition, Fujimori was found guilty of authorizing the abduction of a journalist and a businessman. (1) In reality, Fujimori is responsible for far more deaths than the 25 he is accused of. Over 60,000 people are officially estimated to have been killed or “disappeared” in the Peruvian state’s genocidal war against the countryside of Peru in the 1980s and 1990s. Fujimori, working closely with U$ intelligence, military, and narcotics agencies, enforced a bloody terrorist state on the Peruvian people.

The Alan Garcia regime, in laying the blame on Fujimori, no doubt, seeks to exonerate itself from any wrong doing. In fact, the people’s war was launched when the Garcia regime was in power. And, the Garcia regime has plenty of blood on its hands. It was during Garcia’s presidency that the newspaper El Diario’s offices were bombed. According to a declassified U$ document, Garcia was behind the attack. El Diario was sympathetic to the people’s war. In addition, Garcia maintained a secret police that carried out extra-judicial executions. (2)

The Garcia regime trying Fujimori no more cares about the Peruvian people than Fujimori. Not only is Garcia using the trial of Fujimori to distract eyes from Garcia’s own role. But, also, the bourgeois forces in Peru are getting their revenge on Fujimori for his “selfcoup” in March 1992, when Fujimori, with the aid of the military, disbanded Peru’s congress led by Garcia’s APRA, hence, Fujimori became out-and-out dictator.

“What difference is there? Why are Alan Garcia and Fernando Belaunde innocent and Alberto Fujimori guilty? Why the double standard?” asked Fujimori. (3)

They aren’t. The Peruvian people deserve true justice, not the farce of political infighting of the bourgeoisie. Fujimori, Garcia, and, mass murder and public enemy number 1, Uncle Sam should all meet their fate at the hands of the masses of the world.

Notes.

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7986951.stm

2. http://thekomisarscoop.com/2007/12/05/peru-us-govt-document-links-garcia-to-1980s-death-squads/

3. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N03337545.htm

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In Danger of Being Snuffed Out by Imperialism, Sumatran Tigers, Lacking Class Consciousness, Strike Out Against Super-Exploited Neighbors

sumatran_tiger

In Danger of Being Snuffed Out by Imperialism, Sumatran Tigers, Lacking Class Consciousness, Strike Out Against Super-Exploited Neighbors

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

Like many of the world’s animals, the Sumatran tiger is facing extinction due to imperialism’s ravenous exploitation of the vast Third World. With less than four hundred remaining in the wild, the Sumatran tiger, like uncountable other species and sub-species, is recognized as being “critically endangered” while simultaneously being wiped through activities inherent to the current system. Unlike other animals however, the Sumatran tiger is not dying-off gracefully.

Like many other rainforest animals, a dwindling habitat and food supply caused by deforestation has the Sumatran tiger facing its end. Hungry, some of the tigers have begun attacking people, many of them employed by what have been called illegal logging operations. Attacks against humans first occurred in 1997. Between January 24th and March 3rd of this year, nine people have been killed by the rare tigers. Since the 1985, fifty percent of the islands remaining forests have been destroyed.

The primary culprits are Asian Pulp and Paper (APP) and other companies under the Indonesian holding company Sinar Mas Group (SMG). As recently as 2008 the companies were investigated for illegal practices. According to local NGOs, the companies’ operations are “legally questionable and environmentally unsound.” Since the 80’s APP alone has cleared an estimated 2.5 million acres of virgin forest on the island. Despite the clear habitat and environmental destruction their practices cause, APP plans on expanding its operation on both Sumatra and to the neighboring island of Papua New Guinea.

Asian Pulp and Paper has also been accused of various human rights abuses. Indigenous peoples’ claim that the logging companies have seized their land, intimidated them and denied them access to traditionally public areas. According to Amnesty International, in December of 2008 APP destroyed a village, leaving four hundred people without homes. Greenpeace claims security guards working for another SMG company assaulted peaceful protestors. Neither for human rights abuses nor environment destruction has APP or its partner companies faced legal action.

This unfortunate situation occurs within the context of imperialism: whereby the lives, labor and natural resources of the Third World are exploited for the benefit of the First World. The pattern in Sumatra is all to familiar: the land is sold off to investors and the newly uprooted indigenous populations employed at massively exploitative wages in occupations geared towards the exportation of their natural wealth. The stories change only in the details. Here, Sinar Mas Group does the exploiting and passes on the discount to First World consumer outlets such as Target and ultimately First World consumers themselves. It is as unfortunate as predictable that the Sumatran Tiger, and countless other unreported species, are caught in the middle of this vicious system.

It is in the interest of the Sumatran Tiger and bio-diversity as a whole that the capitalist imperialist system be overthrown. A system that seeks ever expanded markets, transactions and profits is simply not compatible with the natural world. Justifying its increasing ecological destruction, a representative for a SMG company recently said, “We are still a growing company. We (Indonesia) are still competing with Malaysia to become the world’s top producer of palm oil.”

Unfortunately, Sumatran tigers, as evidenced by this string of attacks on their Sumatran neighbors, are incapable of forming class consciousness against a common oppressor. Unlike an amorphized ‘Animal Kingdom’ or metaphysical concepts of a ‘Gaia,’ the only force capable of freeing the island of Sumatra from the exploitation of First World imperialism is the exploited Sumatran masses and their allies in the Third World. Only by uniting the masses against imperialist exploitation and building a new order based on rationally meeting basic needs can the people of the Third World, the Sumatran tiger and species like it live in a world, not of increasing exploitation and endangerment, but social and ecological harmony.

Sources:

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0303-tigers.html

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0318-hance_sumatrantiger.html

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/416350/1/.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-BusinessofGreen/idUSTRE52J2QW20090320

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Obama to Iranian Leadership: Let’s Make a Deal

obama-matrix

Obama Tries to Cut a Deal with Iranian Leadership

by “Midwest RAIMster”

(http://antiimperialism.wordpress.com)

Marking the Iranian new year’s celebration, Nowruz, U.S. president Barack Obama released a video statement to the Middle East nation. While on the surface Obama offered his “best wishes” and the “promise of a new beginning,” such a statement can hardly be taken at face value.

The statement was aimed at three audiences specifically: the Iranian leadership, the Iranian people, and the Amerikan and Western masses. Lauding Iranian culture and making vague comparisons between Amerikans and Iranians, Obama both played into Iranian nationalism and invoked a false sense of fraternity between the Iranian and Amerikan people. Obama stressed that it was a “new day” and raised the false hope of a “greater peace.”

In truth, fraternity between the oppressed Iranians and oppressor Amerikans is a myth and Barack Obama is not in the position to offer changes to the basic relationship. Whereas Obama is a good orator whose words have an aire of credibility that George Bush lacked, the capitalist-imperialist system still demands the increasing exploitation of Third World peoples. Obama should be seen for the role he plays in this overall system.

Implied in Obama’s statement was a clear offer to the Iranian leadership: get with the program and there is a place for you in the imperialism system. Amerika’s desire to exploit Iran hasn’t changed. Now it appears as though the door is open for the current Iranian leadership to become the local managers for the Amerikan empire. While Obama emphasized dialogue and ‘mutual respect,’ if these tactics fail to bring about the desired result, Amerika will surely resort to covert destabilization efforts and direct military actions. In previous statements, Obama said he would not rule out the latter option in dealing with the Iranian leadership.

The statement was also directed to the Iranian masses. By invoking the Iranian holiday, Obama hoped to especially connect to this group. The aim of this was to cast domestic speculation on the Iranian leadership’s current anti-U.S. policies. This is especially hypocritical in that Obama’s efforts are aimed at bringing the Iranian masses under the exploitation the Western imperialism. Amerika’s current stance towards the Iranian leadership is based solely on whether they will be an accomplice to this exploitation.

Amerikans also took in the statement by the millions, many with enthusiasm. For them, Obama represents an imperialist figurehead which they can be proud of. While not giving up the drive to bring every corner of the globe under its domination, Amerika is now better able to claim it is doing so in the name of peace. Such a proposition is no less a tactic of imperialism, albeit a more popular one. As RAIM has previously stated, Obama represents the velvet glove of imperialism. False rhetoric of “mutual respect” and “peace” are likely to be continuing tactics of Obama and Amerika’s never ending war against the Third World masses.

Sources:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/20/news/IRAN-transcript.php
https://raimd.wordpress.com/2008/06/12/obama-shocks-arabs-touts-imperialist-creditials/
https://raimd.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/obama-%E2%80%9Cblack%E2%80%9D-messiah-for-white-amerika/

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ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Sudanese President, U.S. Tightens the Screws on Africa

omaralbeshir2

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

On March 4th, 2009, the International Kangaroo Court (ICC) charged Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, with five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes. The charges, which stem from the conflict in Darfur, are the first of their kind to be leveled against a seated head of state. Since armed conflict broke out in 2001, upwards of 200,000-300,000 people have died in the Darfur region.

The decision to charge al-Bashir has been protested by many of the world’s governments. Representatives from China, a country which is heavily invested in Sudan, said the charges will set back the peace process and instead promoted a combination of negotiations and joint UN-African Union peacekeeping missions. The president of Senegal urged for the charges to be dropped. A Libyan official was quoted as saying, “the decision [of the ICC] did not take into account the views of the African Union, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference or the Nonaligned Movement.” A number of Middle East countries, including Syria and Iran, have came out against the charges. Leaders of Venezuela, Hezzbollah and Hamas have also made statements supportive of President al-Bashir.

The decision to charge al-Bashir is especially hypocritical as it was pushed through by the United States with Europe’s backing. The United States is one of the few countries which officially labels the situation in Darfur a genocide, a term rejected by both the UN and the ICC. Over the past ten years, the United States has been increasingly meddling in the country’s affairs. In 2007, after Sudan agree to allow in UN peacekeepers, U.S. officials expressed skepticism and promised to “tighten the screws.”

Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is resource rich. It exports oil, cotton, sesame, sugar and gum arabic. It also has deposits of gold, bauxite, copper, zinc, cobalt, uranium, iron, silver, nickel, tin and natural gas. Though undeveloped by Western capitalist standards, Sudan, like many African countries, contains enormous potential profit.

The trumped up charges against al-Bashir coincide with imperialism’s increasing interest in the African continent. Countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Somalia have seen heightened levels of imperialist meddling and intimidation tactics over the last decade. In September of 2007, the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was established to ensure Amerikan military supremacy over the region. With its influence in much South America waning and its adventures in the Middle East and Central Asia clearly failing, Amerika is now predictably setting its predatory sights on Africa.

The International Kangaroo Court that issued al-Bashir’s arrest warrant is just that: a kangaroo court meant to legitimize Amerika’s global dominance. It is a tool, much like a weapon, wielded against the Third World. The charges against al-Bashir primarily serve to increase Amerika’s exploitative role in Africa, not to further a humanitarian agenda. That the charges and circumstances behind them are so outrageous demonstrates the increasingly desperate and belligerent stance of the United States. The world is right to be unified in opposition to this power play by U.S. imperialism.

Human rights violations and crimes against humanity should be addressed by the international community. The situation in Darfur certainly implicates the Sudanese government in such crimes. However, these crimes occur in the context of larger historical and structural crimes carried out by Western imperialism. Moreover, the crimes in Darfur occur not absent more obvious crimes, most notably those carried out by the the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. Any serious concern for humanity, any real international criminal court, would start at the top. Any serious attempt to prosecute crimes against humanity would not begin with President Omar al-Bashir, but the leaders of the United States and Western imperialism.

Sources:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/04/omar-bashir-sudan-president-arrest
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-03/07/content_10963642.htm
http://www.sofmag.com/wp/2009/03/05/china-opposes-icc-warrant-for-sudans-president/
http://www.blackcommentator.com/224/224_genocide_olympics_wright_guest_pf.html
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Africa/New_Scramble_Africa.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Africa_Command
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/su.html

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Ten Years After “Bolivarian Revolution,” Term Limits Ended for Chavez

(raimd.wordpress.com)

On February 2nd, Hugo Chavez celebrated 10 years as president of Venezuela. Less than two weeks later, Venezuelans voted 54 percent to 46 percent, allowing him to run for the leading post indefinitely. “This is is historic day,” Chavez told a crowd in Caracas.

Chavez, a self-styled socialist, first came into the spotlight in 1992 after he launched a botched coup. He was elected in December of 1998 with a populist program: one which over the past ten years has become in some regards bolder. In April of 2002, a U.S. condoned coup was launched against Chavez. Due largely to his widespread support, both in the military and amongst the masses, it was unsuccessful. Since then, he has become one the most vocal and widely broadcasted critics of U.S. foreign policy.

During the past ten years, Chavez’s leadership has coincided with marked improvements in Venezuelan society, particularly in the areas of food security, literacy and community control. These improvements have come largely at the expense of imperialism: both the First World and its lackeys inside Venezuela. This latter group makes up Chavez’s greatest domestic opposition.

Outside of Venezuela, Chavez has formed close ties with other South American leaders towards the end of decreasing U.S. domination in the region. At one point he called Columbia, the region’s largest recipient of U.S. military aid, the “Israel of Latin America.” Around the world, Chavez has made high-profile arms deals with Russia and signed social and economic development contracts with Iran. Responding to the latest attack on Gaza, Venezuela along with Bolivia broke official diplomatic ties with Israel and expelled their ambassadors.

Speaking after his most recent victory, Chavez stated that Venezuelans voted “for socialism [and] for revolution.” A continuation of the “Socialism in the 21st Century” theme that Chavez has increasingly stressed, how exactly such rhetoric will translate into the future remains unclear.

“Revolution” and “socialism” connotate change. Revolution has been called the overthrow of one class by another. Both imply the remaking of society into one with inequality and division, without classes or a state. Thus, when Chavez says “revolution” and “socialism” to describe his leadership and Venezuelan society, our appraisal of these claims should be based on the standard of ‘what direction society is moving.’ Our analysis is also global. The struggle inside Venezuela should be considered in the context of the overall global struggle against imperialism and for a new world.

There are criticisms of Chavez to be made. Internationally, following his referendum victory, Chavez hinted at a rapprochement with the United States. Barack Obama, during his campaign, included Chavez in this list of controversial leaders whom he would “sit down with.” Additionally, while forming an alliance with Russia may to some degree counter U.S. power globally, such is hardly a revolutionary strategy for the world’s oppressed masses. More disturbing, Chavez has stated that “guerrilla war is history;” a slap to the face for those directly resisting imperialism, and beating it, through guerrilla warfare.

Chavez has also been criticized for his top down approach. Such criticism is premature, especially from those outside of Venezuelan society. Authoritarianism on the part of the Chavez administration has obviously been not all bad. Notably, it has occurred in conjunction with the mass mobilization of Venezuela’s poorest and has helped Venezuelan society make leaped and bounds. As many Venezuelans think, Venezuela needs ten more years of Chavez for “Socialism in the 21st Century” to be become a reality. Moreover, such ‘leftist’ criticisms coming from Westerns, regardless of their intention, mirror and buttress those coming from the U.S. State Department. Insofar as authoritarianism has limitations and its existence will leave a mark on Venezuelan society, it is something the the Venezuelan masses will eventually have to deal with.

In all, Chavez is a nebulous figure. It is clear that his administration is a major pole in global anti-imperialism, though his opposition is at times wavering. Inside Venezuela he has presided over clear social transformation while the methods and manners by which this has been accomplished have their own flaws and are simultaneously laying the foundations for the creation of new divisions. In the end however, the fate of Venezuela- and the world- lies not with leaders but with the masses themselves. Theirs is a struggle that is far from over. Now that Chavez has been given the opportunity to lead the country indefinitely, the question remains what his relation to this continuing struggle will be.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=aIJoRYicD_k4&refer=news
http://www.newsweek.com/id/185441
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/02/02/venezuela.chavez/
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/01/200911536357502.html
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/960284.html
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-02/16/content_4187103.htm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/26/AR2006072601166.html

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