Category Archives: News and Analysis

Amerikans Support Escalation in Afghanistan



Nearly two-thirds of Amerikans back President Barack Obama’s recent decision to strengthen occupation forces of Afghanistan, according to a new public opinion poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News. These most recent figures are part of Amerikans’ long standing support for the onset, and in this case escalation, of imperialist wars of aggression.

Amerikans support imperialist aggression because they benefit from imperialist exploitation. Rather than a conscious decision or an instance of ‘false consciousness,’ Amerikans’ continual outward aggression is part of a historically formed class consciousness. According to this latest poll, support for a heightened occupation cuts across both Republican and Democratic voters.

Amerikans are a petty class of exploiters inseparable from U.S. imperialism itself. While they regularly support wars against Third World peoples, it is all too convenient for them to turn around and blame the leaders chosen to execute such wars when things don’t go well or when they’re called out as a nation of aggressors. With this latest poll showing clearer than ever Amerikans are in the imperialist camp, they should expect nothing less than resistance and reciprocity from those they favor violence against.‭=‬6957836,8599,179449,00.html?iid=fb_share

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Professor Joel Kovel Sacked for Opposing Zionism

Professor Joel Kovel Sacked for Opposing Zionism


Joel Kovel, former Alger Hiss Chair of Social Studies at Bard College, was fired this past February because of his public stance against Zionism. In a recent statement, Kovel describes the conflict with the Bard administration, one which began in 2002 after he came out against the Israeli state.

Kovel’s most recent book, Overcoming Zionism was published in 2007. At the behest of Amerikan Zionists the book was briefly censored by the University of Michigan Press. The next year Bard College, which has been called one of the most ‘progressive’ colleges in the country, refused to renew Kovel’s teaching contract.

The sacking of Professor Kovel comes as part of a long line of attacks on radicals in academia. Most notably, Kovel’s dismissal comes at a time when Ward Churchill is preparing to sue the University of Colorado for a similar politically motivated termination.

Cases like Joel Kovel and Ward Churchill blow completely open the myth of free speech in Amerika. While the First Amendment nominally exists, channels of expression such as professorships are reserved for one type of speech: the kind serves the interest of imperialism. Though a few individual radicals have made their way into positions of greater access to the means effective speech, keeping these positions depends on not making waves: not effectively challenging Amerika’s role in the world.

Ward Churchill and Joel Kovel crossed that line. Churchill described 9/11, Amerika’s only ‘tragedy’ in recent memory, in its correct terms: a long overdue event whose ‘victims’ were technocrats, or “little Eichmanns,” in a fascistic global empire. Whether he was a professor, a voice in the media or an elected politician, such remarks demanded his purging from the effective channels of speech.

Kovel is not the first to face punishment for taking a stand against the Israeli state. In early 2007, Professor Norman Finklestein was denied tenure at DePaul University, another ‘progressive’ institution. A long time critic of Israel, in 2000 and 2005 he wrote two books which examined Israel’s use of the Holocaust as justification for its crimes and occupation today.

Being oppressors upon the world, Amerikans and Israelis are natural allies. Amerika and Israel have a common strategic interest, a fact which is not lost on the population of either country. As settler nations founded on stolen land and the graves of indigenous populations, cultural affinity comes easy. Thus attacks against Israel are treated as attacks against Amerika. It should come as no surprise that polemicizing against Israel results in being demonized and reprimanded by Amerikans.

The Bill of Rights is just a piece of paper. Freedom of speech exists in a limited way and has never been granted to the extent of effectively challenging existing power. Joel Kovel, like Ward Churchill, is one of many radical professors who have recently found this out.


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Obama Signs Stimulus Bill, Escalates War in Afghanistan

Obama Signs Stimulus Bill, Escalates War in Afghanistan


As part of a country-wide tour, Barack Obama arrived in Denver to sign the 787 billion dollar “economic stimulus package.” The bill was signed at a private media event held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Obama sycophant Governor Bill Ritter laughably described the event as “historic.”

The event was used to pimp Blake Jones, President of the Denver based Namaste Solar Energy Inc. The Obama-backed package includes provisions for renewable energy and “green jobs,” topics at the forefront of the media spectacle. For his part Jones didn’t skip a beat when it came to hopping on the “green” social-fascist bandwagon:

“And we’re at a crossroads. We cannot afford to be left behind. We must seize this opportunity to make sure that United States takes a leadership position in this movement.”

And, “…with every green job we create, our nation takes one step closer toward achieving energy independence, strengthening national security, bolstering the economy, protecting the environment and improving public health, all [at] the same time.”

Though Obama’s speech was mostly rosy rhetoric designed to make Amerikans feel good about themselves, he made sure to qualify this happiness by saying, “…we know we can’t power America’s future on energy that’s controlled by foreign dictators.” What Obama is really saying is that Amerika can’t rely on oil and other resources that are subject to the increasingly revolutionary Third World masses.

Obama’s real economic stimulus package was announced the next day: an escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Before any bridges get built, 17,000 troops will be joining the already 33,000 stationed in the war torn country. The domestic solar panel industry notwithstanding, the real engine of the U.S. economy is the exploitation of the Third World.

Both of Obama’s efforts, the so called “economic stimulus package” and his blatant escalation in Afghanistan, will do little to help Amerika in the long run. Be it 50,000 or 100,000 troops, the people of Afghanistan will continue to resist. This latest escalation will only lead to increased tension in Pakistan and throughout the Middle East. Furthermore, any aggressive action by U.S. imperialism is met by politicization and resistance the world over. Two days after Obama announced the escalation, the President of Kyrgyzstan signed a bill giving the U.S. 180 days to vacate the Manas airbase. Currently transporting 15,000 troops and 500 tons of cargo a month to and from Afghanistan, Manas is the U.S.’s only airbase in Central Asia. For all its mighty desperation, U.S. imperialism will be increasingly burned by fires provoked through its own actions.


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Hamas Official Calls for International Justice Against U.S. and Israel

Hamas Official Calls for International Justice Against U.S. and Israel

Speaking in Malaysia, a senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, called for the United States and Israel to be brought to trial for widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip. The charges stem from Israel’s 22-day assault on Gaza, which killed over 1,300 Palestinians.

Efforts are underway to gather evidence against the two criminal states, Zuhri said. During the conflict Israel used white phosphorus, which caused a number of structure fires including one to a food warehouse. In another example of Israel’s flagrant disregard for even bourgeois norms of war, a school received sustained shelling, killing 42 people including women and children. Such occurrences and more were all too common.

While Zuhri’s proclamations are certainly righteous, they propagate a common misjudgment. Attempting to challenge the U.S. and Israel through their own institutions and by their rules is a dead end. The United Nations and International Criminal Court exist solely to perpetuate and reinforce the current order. Neither are conduits for justice for those directly under the boot of imperialist aggression. While Zuhri specifically encouraged private civil suits against Israeli forces and their backers, it is guaranteed such actions will lead to little long term success.

Hamas and all other representatives of people resisting imperialist oppression and exploitation must join together in creating a new international order. Only through the building of alternative institutions of the oppressed and the displacement of those championed by imperialism can the people of Palestine, and those of the world, come to fully realize justice and equality.

In the wake of Israel’s most recent attacks, support for Hamas, both in Occupied Palestine and internationally, has improved. Zuhri’s remarks came at a press conference after receiving a donation of over $250,000.


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MSH: President Barack Obama Continues to Outsource Terror

President Barack Obama continues to outsource torture


President Barack Obama has issued an executive order that extends the CIA’s ability to carry out renditions. (1) Obama has chosen to continue the Bush administrations controversial “torture by proxy” policies that have come under fire even by the bourgeoisie. To those paying attention, it is no surprise that Obama’s message of change is empty rhetoric. In ordering Guantánamo Bay Prison closed, but extending renditions, Obama’s change is exposed as merely cosmetic — the current administration has no problem with torture when it is able to keep a lid on the media exposure. Newsflash: Obama is just another face, for the same old murderous system. (2)

“Rendition” is where the CIA targets those it dislikes, then, with no due process, the CIA kidnaps them, takes them away to black sites, often in other nations, where the suspect is interrogated and tortured. One of the most famous cases is that of Maher Arar. Arar’s Kafkaesque nightmare began at a JFK International stopover on September 26, 2002. (3) Arar, a Kanadian citizen, was kidnapped by FBI agents from the airport and denied the ability to speak with a lawyer. Over the next ten months he is confined to solitary confinement in a roughly one meter by two meter Syrian “grave.” He is forced to endure beatings and torture outsourced to Syria by the U$:

“This moment is still vivid in my mind because it was the first I was ever beaten in my life. Then he asked me to open my left hand. He hit me again. And that one missed and hit my wrist. The pain from that hit lasted approximately six months. And then he would ask me questions. And I would have to answer very quickly. And then he would repeat the beating this time anywhere on my, on my body. Sometimes he would take me to a room where I could, where I was alone, I could hear other prisoners being tortured, severely tortured. I remember that I used to hear their screams. I just couldn’t believe it, that human beings would do this to other human beings.

And then they would take me back to the interrogation room. Again another set of questions, and the beating starts again and again. On the third day the beating was the worst. They beat me a lot with the cable.” (4)

This is the supposed “change” that Obama represents. This is the great hope that so-called “new communist movement” activists whipped themselves into a frenzy to support in the last election cycle. New face, same old imperialism.





4. ibid.

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Remember Oscar Grant: The Struggle Is Not Over

justice-for-oscar-grantThis New Years Day 2009 in Oakland, California another tragic incident of police terror against a young Black man occurred.  Oscar Grant III, 22 years old, father of a 4 year old daughter, was shot execution-style by a transit cop.  Videos of the incident clearly show he was shot in the back while face-down on a subway platform, unarmed and posing no threat.

The incident was filmed by bystanders, and police attempted to confiscate most of the videos.  But a few made it to Youtube and were viewed around the world.  Outrage at this incident spread, with protests and rebellions happening in response to this atrocity in the Bay Area and elsewhere.

John Burris, a civil rights lawyer for the Grant family, called this murder one of the worst cases of police terrorism he ever witnessed.  Recently Johannes Nehserle, the pig shown on the video shooting Grant, was charged with murder after he quit the BART police force and fled the state to avoid questioning.  Along with calling for criminal charges against the cop, Burris is helping file a 25 million lawsuit for Grant’s family.

Although this case may be one of a few where justice is brought against a killer cop, it will be too little too late.  Terrorism and injustice are nothing new for Black people in Amerikkka.  It enslaved and killed millions of African people in one of the most brutal slavery systems known to man.  It subsequently lynched thousands of Blacks in its long history of colonial and neo-colonial oppression.  Other non-white peoples have been victims of Amerikkka in its long history of exploitation, land theft, and genocide.

With oppression comes resistance.  The Black Liberation struggle and the leaders it produced have long been an inspiration to oppressed peoples in every corner of the globe.  We take this time on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to remember that spirit of resistance.

This year’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day coincides with the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first “Black” president of the United States.  While objectively historic, it should be seen as it is, a reinvention of U.S. imperialism as a multicultural empire with a Black figurehead.  As seen by the murder of Oscar Grant, the Obama presidency will not end the police killings of non-white youth.  It will not end the huge incarceration rates of non-white peoples inside the United States.  It will not free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the hundreds of other political prisoners who are continually denied freedom and justice.  It will not end the U.S. instigated bloodbaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. support for Israel’s aggression against Palestine, or U.S. harassment against independent nations like Venezuela and Bolivia.  And it will not end the parasitic capitalism that steals resources and labor from the Third World to fuel Amerika’s opulent consumerism.

Even Martin Luther King Jr. saw the realities of the political, economic, and military imperialism the United States was inflicting not only to oppressed nations inside the country but all around the world:

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, ‘This is not just’” (“Beyond Vietnam”).

The investments they continue to use to take profits from poor nations were received from previous thefts the U.S. committed throughout its history.  This cycle must stop.

At the same time Oscar Grant was killed, over 1000 Palestinians lost their lives in Gaza by the settler occupation of Israel, funded by the United States.  True freedom and justice will not come by accepting a bigger part of U.S. imperialism but by rejecting and abolishing it outright.  Oppressed nations everywhere must gain their freedom and determine their own destinies.  These freedom struggles are in solidarity with all oppressed peoples in the world, in bringing about a truly just world where an end to oppression with no concessions is more than just a dream.

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Filed under Agitation Statements, Barack Obama, Black Nation, News and Analysis, Police Brutality

Something to Think About While Going Through Your Christmas Crap…

Thought we’d take some time to review an interesting Colorado blog.

Not My Tribe is a lefty Colorado Springs-based political blog. RAIM ran into some of their writers during the DNC organizing meetings, as they were strong supporters of Recreate 68. Their politics is something we do not totally agree on, as they espouse much labor aristocracy ideologies, as do most of the First World Left. Nevertheless they do provide a good news source, and do come down more on the side of the Third World.

One recent article is by Marie Walden, titled The Advent Conspiracy. (Advent has something to do with the birth of Christ or the four Sundays before Christmas, or a coming arrival in general. Yeah, had to look it up.) It deals with a Christian based charitable group that provides wells in the Third World.


The Advent conspiracy

By Marie Walden
NOT MY TRIBE – 12/13/2008 2:05PM MDT

Consumerism allows people to create the illusion of giving without having to sacrifice anything personal. Buying loads of useless or unneeded crap, wrapping it up in mountains of toxic paper and ribbon, presenting it, often by mail, to recipients we rarely see seems a requirement for anyone who isn’t Scrooge.

Let’s try something new. Give presence this holiday season. Give time and attention, spend creative energy, become less fractured and manic, more unified and peaceful. Refuse to spend your useless gift quota ($450,000,000,000 spent each year in the U.S. divided by the American gift-buying population — that’s your required outlay). Donate part of the money saved to Living Water International,( an organization working to provide water wells to undeveloped countries.

A lack of clean water is the leading cause of death in under-resourced countries. 1.8 million people die annually from water-born illnesses, nearly 4,000 children every DAY. It’s estimated that $10 billion would solve the world’s fresh-water crisis. $10 billion. Our national priorities are beyond fucked up.



The $450 billion figure is from the Living Water International site, which in turn cites a press release from the National Retail Federation.

A cursory look at the Website of Living Water International shows it as a Christian charitable organization. We don’t quite advocate money going to this organization without further investigation, but this description does raise warning flags with us, as there is a history of first world charitable groups, especially Christian ones, aiding imperialist interests instead of those it says it is serving.

A look at these numbers show, contrary to what the author says, the Amerikan nation’s priorities are not “fucked up,” but logically follows the reasons for Amerika’s existence. The billions Amerikans will spend on consumer crap in the annual economic stimulus ritual called Christmas is stolen from poor people in the oppressed and exploited countries of the Third World. Amerikans don’t give a damn that less than 2.2 percent of what it spends on Christmas can given clean water to billions of people, they want their stuff.

We call on the Third World to take back what is theirs from these thieving Amerikans. Despite the worldwide economic crisis, Amerikans are still better off while others starve. Those few inside Amerika who stand with humanity should know who they need to side with. It’s time to turn this world upside down.


Filed under Imperialism, News and Analysis, Political Economy

Debriefing on the Obama Presidential Victory –

Debriefing on the Obama Presidential Victory

RAIM Called It

On Tuesday, November 4th 2008, Barack Obama won the presidential race in a landslide victory
over John McCain. Last August, before the Democratic National Convention, in
a short analysis article entitled Obama, “Black” Messiah for White Amerika, RAIM
predicted his victory in non-absolute terms (1). Nevertheless, such a prediction was
months ahead of the both the Amerika ‘left” and the mainstream media.

In the article, we foresaw the social forces behind Obama coming from two main
directions. One was the so-called grassroots element. This consisted of people who
“love Amerika,… are always trying to save it, to reform it, to make it realize its
so-called historic potential,” and for whom “an Obama presidency represents evidence
that …Amerika is still becoming a better, more perfect democracy.”

This prediction came to pass. All across Amerika, people gathered to watch the
election results as they came in. Many gatherings were fervently pro-Obama and
similarly pro-Amerikan. People lit fireworks and honked car horns in celebration.
At one such event attended by a RAIMer, everyone from Democrats to self-described
Anarchists and eclectic “revolutionaries” cheered throughout the evening as it
became clearer the Obama would indeed be the next president. Red, white and blue
color-motifs present throughout; “progressive” pro-amerikanism was clearly on
display. The fact that all of these “revolutionary” elements lined up in support for Obama
indicates a lack of fundamental distinction between them. On a visceral level, it
was quite disgusting. No doubt this scene played out around the country.

As for the second social pillar of support for Obama, we said, “Within much of the
imperialist camp, a popular Obama presidency is seen as more conducive to their own
long term interests. Obama is seen as a figure who can recover what power Amerika
has lost over the last 8 years.” This too came to pass. In the last few weeks of the
campaign, high profile figures such as Colin Powell and Warren Buffet publically
endorsed Obama.

If anything, where we got it wrong was by coming out too softly that Obama would
win. In virtually every other aspect we were correct.

RAIM-Denver’s Election Campaign

When asking ourselves what we should do regarding this election, one glaring fact
stood out: RAIM-Denver is a small group incapable of meaningfully intervening in the
election in any way. Regardless if we would have publically supported John McCain or
Barack Obama for strategic reasons or whether we would have urged people to not vote, it
simply would not have made a difference. Social forces are preeminent, not the
direction RAIM takes. Thus we came up with a reasonably successful “RAIM for
President” campaign.

Instead of taking the election seriously in the regard that we might affect the
outcome, we used it as an extra-normal opportunity to agitate for and promote
anti-imperialism and anti-amerikanism. Intentionally conducted in a more satirical,
slapstick manner, not only was carrying out this campaign unusually fun, but it gave
us an opportunity to widely agitate for anti-imperialism in a creative and unique
manner and allowed us to further develop our skills in practical areas such as media

We ran on an overtly anti-amerikan platform. This platform was in the main presented
in the flier Dismantle, Disillusion, Destroy: RAIM ’08 and included four main
issues: further ruining the decadent Amerikan exploiter-economy, expanding health care to the
Third World, support for Third World resistance movements, and deporting the white oppressors
from occupied North America (2). We also raised the slogan, “Voting for the better of two
imperialists will only make Amerika a better exploiter.”

During our mock campaign for the presidency, we distributed hundreds of RAIM ’08
fliers at high schools and colleges, cafes and coffee shops, on street posts and at
special events. We also distributed our two previous articles on Obama, a spiffy
poster by Shubel Morgan and general RAIM-Denver materials. Needless to say, we’ve
gotten a lot of traction from this most recent election-oriented agitation effort.

So What Now

So here we are a few days after an Obama presidential victory. Having basically
predicting and described the forced behind Obama’s win, we fell compelled to analyze
how this will most affect us.

Most immediately is that the bottom has fallen out on the anti-war movement. The
anti-war movement has basically been in decline soon thereafter the invasion of Iraq
in 2003. For virtually all of its history, the anti-war movement was dominated by
liberals and pro-amerikanism. Nevertheless, RAIM almost always shows up to these
things, getting out info, looking for the one person who is looking for our type of

Now however, the liberal element has left the anti-war movement for the Obama
movement, leaving the former in shambles. Since RAIM fuctions in a largers scope
than protests, we will survive. Large protest coalitions like ANSWER or World Can’t
Wait likely won’t.

Prior to the Democratic National Convention, RAIM-Denver had internally discussed
this immediate decline of the anti-war movement. The DNC protests, which were small,
were an early affirmation of this prediction. Overall, the war will be ended due to the
resistance of the Iraqi people, making the war too costly in lives and treasure for Amerika.
The overall growing opposition to the war is based on this, not any newfound
anti-imperialist sentiment among the majority that benefits from imperialism.
Obama will present a kinder face of imperialism for Amerikans and the world.

Corresponding to this crash in the anti-war movement is the coalescing of a
pro-system, pro-amerikan “left”. With less and less apparent differences between
self-described “revolutionary” and “radical” trends, and with the success of the
Obama campaign, it makes sense the former will simply continue to be integrated into
a more eclectic, pro-amerika “leftism.” Needless to say, during the next 4 years
there will be more letter writing and fewer protests.

An Obama presidency will accelerate integration of the Black nation possibly to the
point where they’ve become socially and ideologically sealed to Amerika. Many
supposedly “nationalist” organizations such as the Nation of Islam publically backed
Obama for the expressed purpose of “getting a Black man elected to president.” Other oppressed
nations within Amerika will be swept up in this false hope that their concerns will finally be
listened to with Obama. This sentiment is that the Obama presidency will likely have a
continuing negative effect of
all national liberation struggles within the U.S.

Summing it up

In a nutshell, the majority of what would have five years ago been considered
“radical” and “revolutionary” is now wrapped up in Obama. While this could
definitely be seen as a negative development, it is also a natural one.
Nevertheless, RAIM-Denver has not only proven itself to be innovative and flexible,
but it is left with a situation where less people and groups are trafficking
themselves as “radical” and “revolutionary” to promote their fundamentally
pro-Amerikan sentimentalities. At the same time, many who still call themselves
by such labels have thoroughly exposed their pro-amerika, non-revolutionary
character. This greater distinction between RAIM and the rest of the “left” has
given RAIM a very decisive advantage. We will continue to push forward, using
creativity and dedication to further expand revolutionary anti-imperialism as a
powerful emerging force.

In the coming months we will be looking closer into the Obama phenomenon. This new time gives many
opportunities to further our line of unconditional opposition to imperialism and for the liberation
of the Third World.


(1) Obama, Black Messiah for White Amerika.

(2) RAIM for President.


Filed under Barack Obama, News and Analysis, Organizing

Your Playstation Has Real Blood On It

Your Playstation Has Real Blood On It


There has been recent interest in the news lately on a report by the liberal activist group Toward Freedom around what has been dubbed the “Playstation War.” It describes how the demand for a key metal used in the Sony Playstation 2 video game console was a driving force in the ongoing wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Stories about the demand for this metal, called coltan, and the wars behind it in sub-Saharan Africa, are nothing new (1). What is new about this report is that it links one specific consumer product to this conflict.

The Playstation video game console, like others on the market, is solely used for leisure and entertainment. Priced for hundreds of dollars and purchased by consumers in Amerika and other First World nations, the Playstation is a byproduct of the leisure time and disposable income available to Amerikans. Along with the console itself there are thousands of video games that are made for it, along with fan magazines and websites. According to the Entertainment Software Association video game sales reached $9.5 billion in 2007, and tens of thousands of people are employed in this industry to meet consumer demands (2). The indirect economics in terms of research and development, sales, advertising, and marketing are also vast. Video games are just one byproduct of imperialist parasitism, and in the case of the Playstation it is a direct contributor to war and suffering.

Imperialism is a system based upon exploitation and war. The production cycle of the Playstation illustrates the rabid bloodshed and exploitation imperialism brings, and the parasitism that it feeds in the core imperialist nations.

The African World War and the Playstation

The conflict known as Africa’s World War has involved eight nations and over 25 militias. It has killed and displaced millions of people over a ten year period, and its effects still linger today. According to Toward Freedom, this war also became known as the Playstation War. They state:

“The name came about because of a black metallic ore called coltan. Extensive evidence shows that during the war hundreds of millions of dollars worth of coltan was stolen from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The UN and several NGOs claim some of the most active thieves were the Rwandan military, several militias supported by the Rwandan government, and also a number of western-based mining companies, metal brokers, and metal processors that had allegedly partnered with these Rwandan factions…. And while allegations of plundering coltan from a nation in desperate need of revenue seem bad enough, the UN also discovered that Rwandan troops and rebels were using prisoners-of-war and children to mine for the “black gold.”

“Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms,” said British politician Oona King, who was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2005.”(3).

Coltan is used to make the metal tantalum, which in turn is used to make capacitors for tiny electronic devices. Up to eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves lie in the DRC (4). Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of this metal has been stolen from the DRC during this war in order to satisfy the growing demand for electronic items like cell phones, laptops, I-Pods, and video games.

The report links the demand for the Playstation in 2000 to a spike in the price of coltan. At the same time the Rwandan military and its allied militias forcefully took over land in DRC that had coltan mines. A United Nations investigation alleged Western mining companies:

“…directly and indirectly fueled the war, paralyzing the DRC government, and [used] the conflict to keep the coltan flowing cheaply out of the Congo. Some companies were also accused by the UN of aligning with elements of the warring parties.”

Toward Freedom further states:

“David Barouski, a researcher and journalist from Wisconsin, says it is certain that the coltan from this conflict is also in SONY video game consoles across the world. ‘Sony’s PlayStation 2 launch (spring of 2000) was a big part of the huge increase in demand for coltan that began in early 1999,’ said Barouski, who has witnessed the chaos of eastern DRC firsthand.”

Sony of course engages in plausible deniability, saying it cannot really know where everything it manufactures comes from. Really, gee whiz.

Congo’s Long History of Meddling Imperialists

The DRC has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world, despite being so rich in mineral resources. The cause of this contradiction is its long history of being a victim of imperialist intervention. It has long been a site of theft, plunder, and murder by U.$. and Western imperialism. It was once known as the Belgian Congo, named after its former colonial strangler. It achieved independence from Belgium in 1961. Its first leader after independence was Patrice Lumumba, who described 80 years of colonial oppression as a “humiliating slavery which was imposed upon us by force” (5). Lumumba, a national leader too independent for U.$. imperial interests, became a victim of an assassination orchestrated by the CIA and Belgian intelligence shortly after he took power. He was replaced by a subservient kleptocracy led by Gen. Joseph Mobutu, head of the national army. Mobutu and his cronies went on to steal billions from the nation he renamed Zaire, while starving millions of its citizens. Mobutu also allowed the CIA free use of the country as a proxy to destabilize the rest of the region for U.$. interests against the USSR during the Cold War.

After the Cold War ended Mobutu was of no use to the imperialists, and was finally overthrown in 1997. His replacement also became a pawn of the imperialists. The nation, renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo, was led by president Kabila, who made deals with Western and Amerikan mining companies for access to its valuable mines. He had the backing of neighboring armies who wanted in on its resources. The five-year war that officially ended in 2003 was known as the African World War, the deadliest war since World War II. So far over 5 million people have died as a result. This is just one symptom of the long legacy of imperialism in this region.

Who Plays, Who Works? Electronic Sweatshops

Like almost all consumer products, the Playstation and other electronics are manufactured in Third World sweatshops that take advantage of cheap labor and few regulations.

News reports state that Sony is contracting with Foxcomm, a Taiwanese contractor with factories based in China, to build their new Playstation 3 (6). Other reports about Foxcomm factories that assembled the iPods give an indication of the conditions that these toys are made in. One factory in China has 200,000 workers, and advertises for workers over age 16 (7):

“Inside Longhua, workers labor a 15-hour day building iPods, for which they usually earn about $50 per month. When they’re not on the assembly lines, they live in secluded dormitories that each house 100 people and prohibit visitors from the outside world. The workers are allowed ‘a few possessions; and a ‘bucket to wash their clothes.’”

From one worker:

” ‘We have to work too hard and I am always tired. It’s like being in the army,’ Zang Lan, one of the workers at Longhua, told the Mail. ‘They make us stand still for hours. If we move we are punished by being made to stand still for longer. The boys are made to do pushups.’ ”

The report states the iPod Nano is assembled in a five-story factory that is secured by armed police officers. The super-slim digital music player is said to include over 400 parts which arrive from component manufacturers all over the world (8).

Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai that manufactures iPod shuffles is completely surrounded by barbed wire. The workers take home $99 a month, with half of that income going to food and shelter. The factory advertises for women workers, because it considers them more honest. China, now under capitalist imperialist exploitation, is touted for its “low wages, long hours and industrial secrecy, [making] the country attractive to business, especially as increased competition and consumer expectations force companies to deliver products at lower prices (9).”

The End Game

“Amerikan imperialism takes the products created by the exploited labor of the Third World and passes it off to Amerika’s aristocratic ‘workers.’ From here, Amerikan ‘workers’ are overpaid to basically tinker around with the products before they are sold. In turn, Amerikan ‘workers’ use their inflated wages to buy these products, thus making possible the final realization of profit for the overall system. In this manner, Amerika uses global exploitation to keep its domestic mall economy afloat and enable its existence as an entire nation of parasites.”

-Parasitism: The Economics of Imperialism (RAIMD) (10)

Amerika’s economy is a service economy. The wealth of this country comes from the exploitation of resources and labor from outside of its borders, all so Amerikans can live overly comfortable lives. The Playstation is no exception. Millions have died and billions suffer for your entertainment. The world’s majority won’t stand for it for too much longer.

Amerikan imperialism will lose in the end. So join with the world’s oppressed majority and become a revolutionary anti-imperialist. It’ll be more fun than your Playstation anyway!





3). Lasker, John. “Inside Africa’s Playstation War.” Toward Freedom, July 08, 2008. All info on the DRC and Playstations, except noted, is from the Toward Freedom article.

4). _the_congo




8). Ibid.

9). Ibid.



Filed under Africa, Imperialism, News and Analysis, Political Economy, Youth

Obama Shocks Arab World, Touts Imperialist Credentials

Obama Shocks Arab World, Touts Imperialist Credentials

Released by RAIM-Denver, 6/12/08

Hours after he secured the Democratic Party nomination, U.S. presidential contender Barack Obama spoke before the Amerikan Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  “We will never compromise when it comes to Israel’s security… Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and must remain undivided,” he said, receiving standing ovations before the influential lobbying group’s annual meeting.

Israel captured and occupied 85% of the city of Jerusalem during the 1948 war. After successive years of forced relocations of Palestinian residents, Israel seized the remainder of the city, East Jerusalem, in the 1967 war. Israel continues to this day to push Palestinians into an ever-shrinking, un-occupied territory. Palestinians recently recognized the sixtieth anniversary of the 1948 event, which they call al-Nakba, or the Catastrophe.

Although Obama has thus far received much attention because of his proclaimed message of change, recent comments have left many puzzled and angry. Mahmoud Abbas, the pro-Western leader of the Palestinian Fatah Party, rejected Obama’s pro-Israel pandering stating, “We will not accept an independent Palestinian state without [East] Jerusalem as its capital.” “That should be clear,” he continued. (1)

Obama described the bond between Israel and the U.S. as “unbreakable today, unbreakable tomorrow, unbreakable forever… Those who threaten Israel threaten us.” Saying he would bring an “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” he promised to ensure Israel’s “qualitative military advantage” over its neighbors.

Israel has long been the largest recipient of U.S. direct foreign aid. Obama, if elected, said he will increase the amount to 3 billion dollars per year over the next decade. He highlighted the hegemonic imperialist aspect of such aid by summarizing it as “investments to Israel’s security that will not be tied to any other nation.” (2)

In the First World, the ‘green’ movement is rather large. The Democratic Party has announced that this year’s Democratic National Convention will be the first green convention of its kind. Speaking to the Zionist crowd, Obama tied his environmentalism directly to Israel and Amerika’s security and proposed joint green ventures: “We must free ourselves from the tyranny of oil. The price of a barrel of oil is one of the most dangerous weapons in the world. Petrodollars pay for weapons that kill Amerikan troops and Israeli citizens… It’s time for the United States to take real steps to end our addiction to oil. And we can join with Israel, building on last year’s U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, to deepen our partnership in developing alternative sources of energy by increasing scientific collaboration and joint research and development.” ‘Progressive’ indeed.

Obama vowed to continue George Bush’s policy towards Hamas: “We must isolate Hamas… There is no room for terrorists at the negotiating table.” In early 2006, Hamas, an anti-Western Palestinian liberation movement, won a large majority in Palestinian parliamentary elections. The Bush Administration refused to recognize the new government, retained communications only with the comprador Fatah Party and placed sanctions on Hamas-controlled areas of Palestine. Reacting to Obama’s speech, a Hamas spokesperson remarked, “These recent statements slash any hope of any change to U.S. foreign policy.” (3) (4)

Obama singled out Iran as the greatest threat in the region. “There is no greater threat to Israel or to the peace and stability of the region than Iran… the danger from Iran is grave, it is real and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.” He promised to use “aggressive, principled diplomacy… backed by real leverage.” Elaborating he said, “I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel.” One can only assume that there are numerous regional threats which Obama feels should be dealt with in the same manner. (5)

Adding weight to Obama’s threats towards Iran were hints that U.S. military involvement in the Muslim world would not be ending anytime soon. Earlier in the evening during his acceptance speech for the Democratic Party nomination, Obama said that leaving our troops in Iraq was not an option, “especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored.” (6) At the Zionist AIPAC assembly later in the evening, Obama proposed a “phased redeployment” of the troops “from Iraq.” (7) In the past, Obama has stated that more troops are needed in Afghanistan and that incursions into Pakistan are possible. ( 8 )

Despite his hawkish language, the anti-war movement has largely rallied around Obama. Much of his campaign thus far has been focused on “change” and a “new way of doing things.” Obama has stated he is against the war in Iraq and thinks of it as a failure. Likewise, throughout his campaign he has promised to enhance the role of dialogue in foreign policy while also making token statements about issues dear to ‘progressive’ Amerikans: the environment, healthcare, education and the Amerikan economy. For these reasons, Obama has picked up the support of many anti-war progressives and even so-called radicals.

But what kind of change is Barack Obama really about? Does Barack Obama really want to create a new world based on equality and mutuality of interest, or would his presidency merely herald in years of marginally different tactics towards the same end? What is the actual change Obama wants to bring?

From Obama’s AIPAC speech: “Contrary to the claims of some, I have no interest in sitting down with our adversaries just for the sake of talking. But as president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing — if, and only if, it can advance the interests of the United States.”

On Iran, Obama continued his diatribe about ‘dialogue,’ “We will present a clear choice. If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives… If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.” As earlier referenced, Obama pledged to keep the threat of military intervention on the negotiating table.

What becomes clear is that Obama remains faithful to the paradigm of bullying nations into subordination, and that he maintains the right to use military force against those who resist. The change that Obama will bring is merely a difference in how to pursue such an imperialist imperative.

Particularly, Obama declares that he will find the “appropriate leaders” to talk to. While the tactic of splitting movements and nations through selective diplomacy and incentives is not new, it has not been widely or as effectively used by the Bush Administration.

Going further into the issue, Obama says he was against holding Palestinian elections in 2006, “with Hamas on the ballot.” Obama stated, “I will strongly urge Arab governments… to fulfill their responsibility to pressure extremists and provide real support for President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.” He also said he would urge Israel to improve conditions in the Fatah-controlled West Bank as a way of further isolating Hamas.

While clearly stating he is not opposed to the most aggressive of actions, Obama presents himself as making Amerika stronger through such one-sided, bullish ‘dialogue.’ In terms of foreign policy, Obama is simply promising to be a better imperialist.

Speaking again before AIPAC he himself summed it up, “My presidency will strengthen our hand… [I will bring] change that restores America’s power and influence.” Such a message, combined with his token ‘progressive’ promises about further improving conditions for the parasitic Amerikan “working” and “middle” classes, has made Obama a candidate who garners support from both hawkish Zionists as well as Amerikan so-called anti-war ‘leftists.’ (9)

It is our sincerest hopes that those who truly seek radical humanist change will recognize and reject Obama and what he represents. Instead of embracing promises of a more effective, ‘peaceful’ imperialism, with presumably a more equitable distribution of the profits within Amerikan borders, we urge real progressives and radicals to make a complete break with imperialist politics. We urge people seeking true change to instead embrace the struggles of those actively resisting U.S. imperialism and working to build a new world. Only through the destruction of imperialism and similarly oppressive and exploitative structures can a world of true equality, mutuality and peace exist.













Filed under Barack Obama, Iraq, News and Analysis

White trash throw hissy-fit over Absolut Vodka Advertisement, re-unified Mexico


A hellofabunch of Amerikkkans are having spasmic fits over an Absolut Vodka ad that features the previous borders of Mexico before the U.$. invasion, land grab, and occupation of 1848. Under pressure, Swedish-based Absolut pulled the ad. (see: “Absolut apologizes for Mexican vodka ad,” ).

The crack analysts as Monkey Smashes Heaven look at the wider implications of the vodka ad controversy and what it means for Amerikkka:

White trash throw hissy-fit over Absolut Vodka Advertisement, re-unified Mexico
Controversy has erupted in White Trashland over a recent advertisement for Absolut Vodka. The ad features a map of Mexico prior to the losses in territory suffered between 1836 to 1848. In little over a decade, White settler imperialists stole and occupied roughly half of Mexico. Texas, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado continue to be occupied to this day.
Predictably, racist pundits like Michelle Malkin are using the ad to whip up anti-Mexican sentiment. (1) The Drudge Report made sure to link to the L.A. Times’ blog where the story originally appeared. The L.A. Times’ blog post is sardonically entitled, “Mexico reconquers California? Absolut drinks to that!” (2) Yet more evidence of the Mexican reconquista plot planned by Lin Biao, executed by MECha. If only. (3)
Read the rest here.

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Filed under News and Analysis, Occupied Mexico/Aztlan, White Amerika

Rip Down Imperialist Walls!

In the last few days, the Palestinians in Gaza tore down the prison wall of the Israeli occupiers. Essentially turning occupied Gaza into a concentration camp, this was meant to starve Palestinians for the crime of resisting colonization of their own land. But oppressed people don’t sit down and take it, they resist! This wall was blown up! And the people were able to get necessary supplies in Egypt that Israel has been keeping out, so they can live another day. Oppressed people will not be imprisoned in their own land! All imperialist walls will come down!

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National Liberation and Anti-Imperialism

By Nick Brown

The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement- Denver is a movement for global equality. We stand for the end of the imperialist system: the system whereby a handful of powerful nations exploit the peoples of the world. We see the termination of imperialism as a necessary first step to a world of lasting peace and real equality.

Anti-imperialism is foremost a fight for national liberation. Most broadly construed, national liberation is the struggle to not be exploited by outside oppressors, but to exist as a self-determining, free nation.

National liberation struggles happen throughout the world on a variety of levels. Venezuela is an example where a progressive section of the ruling class is now leading a campaign for national salvation; providing much needed reforms for the masses while challenging U.S. supremacy on a regional level. There are the numerous armed groups in Mexico, numbering in the mid-teens (not just the Zapatistas), who are fighting a comprador government. Hezbollah, the patriotic Islamic party in Lebanon, has challenged Western influence in the country, provided social welfare for the people and aligned with various Lebanese parties [including Christian ones] in their struggle against Amerikan/Zionist aggression. And we cannot forget the heroic Iraqi resistance.

These forces, taken together, form a worldwide movement against Western imperialism. These diverse individual movements, insofar as they are challenging imperialism, should be supported by freedom and peace loving peoples everywhere.

If Third World anti-imperialist struggles are capable of cutting vital lifelines [of wealth and resources] to imperialism, national liberation struggles internal to the U.S. are capable of delivering blows from within. In the grand scheme of things, within the worldwide movement towards anti-imperialism, these national liberation movements represent a mighty ally, behind enemy lines, within what is geographically called the United States. Because of this, and because these struggles are so close to home, national liberation for internally oppressed nations hold a special significance for us.

While national liberation is not currently the dominant trend amongst oppressed nations within Amerika, national struggles themselves are part of the dialect of everyday life. These struggles manifest in a variety of ways but carry common themes.

For Mexicanos, Indigenous Peoples and Blacks, theirs is the struggle not to be criminalized and disproportionately held captive in White-Amerika’s prison system. It is the struggle to not have their cultures mocked, repressed, co-opted and whitewashed. It is the struggle to not have the lowest life expectancies within the United States. It is a struggle to practice one’s national culture with pride; to be treated as equal members of society; to exist free from the oppression leveled on them by Amerika.

Typically, national struggles take one of two routes: one, the route of liberation as a nation, and the other, integration into the imperialistic, Amerikan oppressor society.

The latter, integration into the Amerikan oppressor society, is the main trend today. This is the path favored by poverty pimps, white chauvinists and the state. The integration route was made widely available through the widening and deepening of exploitation abroad while given impetus by the explosive successes of national liberation struggles during the 1960s and 70s. The reformist integrationist route, while also a national struggle, is antithetical to revolutionary national liberation. Ending oppression through integration means being absorbed into Amerika’s “multi-cultural” oppressor society. It is the democratization of imperialist privilege and the diversification of the labor aristocracy. Integrationism is not revolutionary and is not in the least bit anti-imperialist.

For oppressed nations inside Amerika, the struggle for national liberation is mainly tied to the struggle for a territory on which a free nation can exist. Without such a land, oppressed nations are doomed to live within White-Amerika–forced to suffer oppression while at the same time being lured by trickle-down imperialist privilege. While the goal of national liberation struggles is the creation of sovereign national territories, the planting of seeds for such political power is a necessary first step.

While full-blown national power will not develop quickly or easily, national liberation movements themselves are of utmost importance today. The strengthening of national liberation movements, the expansion of networks and the creation of independent spaces from which these networks and broader movements can operate is a task for which the outcome will weigh heavily on the future.

As success for peoples of the Third World build up, national liberation struggles inside the U.S. can become a destabilizing force within the heart of imperialism. This will make the prospects of revolution greater. At the same time, national liberation struggles will be a focal point of revolutionary gravity within the First World. In the long term, successes made today in creating the basis for independent national power [for oppressed nations within the U.S.] will translate into much wider successes for all people oppressed by U.S. imperialism further down the road.

It is with these considerations in mind that we champion national liberation struggles within United States. We do so not to advance ourselves or to look edgy. We do so from our general anti-imperialist perspective. For us, any single movement for national liberation here is part of the broader international revolutionary struggle to end oppression once and for all.


Filed under Agitation Statements, Black Nation, Environment, First Nations, Imperialism, News and Analysis, Occupied Mexico/Aztlan, Organizing, Palestine, White Amerika, Youth

When Race Burns Class: Interview with J. Sakai


“Settlers” Revisited

An Interview With J. Sakai

EC: In the early eighties you wrote Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat, a book which had a major impact on many North American anti-imperialists. How did this book come about, and what was so new about its way of looking at things?

JS: Settlers completely came about by accident, not design. And what was so “new” about it was that it wasn’t “inspiring” propaganda, but took up the experience of colonial workers to question how class really worked. It wasn’t about race, but about class. Although people still have a hard time getting used to that–it isn’t race or sex that’s the taboo subject in this culture, but class. Like many radicals who struggle as organizers, i had wondered why our very logical “class unity” theories always seemed to get smashed up around the exit ramp of race? At the time i’d quit my fairly isolated job on the night shift as a mechanic on the railroad, and was running a cut-off lathe in an auto parts plant. The young white guys in our department were pretty good. In fact, rebellious counter-culture dope smoking Nam vets. After months of hanging & talking, one night one of them came up to me and said that all the guys were driving down to the Kentucky Derby together, to spend the weekend getting drunk and partying. They were inviting me, an Asian, as a way of my joining the crew. Only, he said, “You got to stop talking to those Blacks. You got to choose. White or Black.” Every lunch hour i dropped in on a scene on the loading dock, where a dozen brothers munched sandwiches and had an on-going discussion. About everything from the latest sex scandal to whether it was good or not for Third World nations to be getting A-bombs (some said it was good ending the white monopoly on nuclear weapons, while others said not at the price of endangering our asses!). Plus the guy from the League of Black Revolutionary Workers in our plant area had recruited me to help out, since he was facing heavy going from the older, more established Black political tendencies ( various nationalists, the CPUSA–who had great veterans, good shop floor militants –etc). And, why would i go along with some apartheid agenda anyway? Needless to say, the white young guys cut me dead after that (though they later came out for me as shop steward, which shows you how much b.s. they thought the union was). That kind of stuff, familiar to us all, kept piling up in my mind and got me started trying to figure out how this had come about in the u.s. working class. So for years after this i read labor history and asked older trade union radicals questions whenever i could. Finally, an anarchist veteran of the autoworkers’ historic 1937 Flint Sit-Down strike told me that the strike had been Jim Crow, that one of the unpublicized demands had been to keep Black workers down as only janitors….or out of the plants altogether. This blew my mind. That’s when it hit me that the wonderful working class history that the movement had taught us was a lie. So i decided to write an article (famous writer’s delusion) on how this white supremacy started in the u.s. working class. i didn’t know–maybe it was in the 1920s?, i thought. So Settlers was researched backwards. i knew what the conclusion was in the mid-1970s, that white supremacy ruled the white working class except in the self delusions of the Left. “No politician can ever be too racist to be popular in white amerikkka”, is an amazingly true saying. Settlers was researched going back in time, trying to find that event, that turning point when working class unity by whites had dissolved into racial supremacy. 1930s, 1920s, pre-World War I, Black Reconstruction, Civil War, 1700s, 1600s, i kept going back and back, treading water, trying to touch non-white supremacist ground. Only, there wasn’t any! Continue reading

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