Radical media, politics and culture.


Anonymous Comrade writes:

"From Beirut"

Bilal El-Amine

Hi everyone. First of all, I am fine as are family and friends. We’re scattered in different places, some still in the south, some in Tyre, the rest in Beirut and its surroundings. Those who live in the southern suburbs where Hizbullah is based managed to leave before the latest strikes and are safe with relatives.

As most of you know, Hizbullah carried out a bold operation a few days ago and managed to capture two Israeli soldiers. The resistance has been saying for quite some time now that it intends to free the remaining Lebanese prisoners in Israel, most prominently Samir Qantar. Dubbed the “dean of the prisoners,” Qantar is the longest serving Arab prisoner in Israel. He was to be released along with other Lebanese prisoners in a swap between Hizbullah and Israel. The Israeli government voted not to release him and two others and stupidly kept the prisoner file open.

The Hizbullah operation was an attempt to put an end to the matter. There were several previous unsuccessful attempts that were costly to the resistance. This operation according to Nasrallah, the general-secretary of Hizbullah, was months in planning and its timing, which has been endlessly criticized, may have been logistical more than anything else.

In light of Israel’s ferocious response, it is worth noting that the capture of the two Israeli soldiers was a pure military operation and did not as much scratch an Israeli civilian. Israel’s counter is exactly the opposite—collective punishment of the civilian population by destroying the country’s infrastructure and committing ugly massacres against families and fleeing refugees as they did yesterday in the south. Who’s the terrorist in this case, even by the self-serving definitions peddled in Washington.

beyrut is me writes:

"A Protracted Colonial War"

Tariq Ali, Guardian

With US support, Israel is hoping to isolate and topple Syria by holding sway over Lebanon.

In his last interview — after the 1967 six-day war — the historian Isaac Deutscher, whose next-of-kin had died in the Nazi camps and whose surviving relations lived in Israel, said: "To justify or condone Israel's wars against the Arabs is to render Israel a very bad service indeed and harm its own long-term interest." Comparing Israel to Prussia, he issued a sombre warning: "The Germans have summed up their own experience in the bitter phrase 'Man kann sich totseigen!' 'You can triumph yourself to death'."

In Israel's actions today we can detect many of the elements of hubris: an imperial arrogance, a distortion of reality, an awareness of its military superiority, the self-righteousness with which it wrecks the social infrastructure of weaker states, and a belief in its racial superiority. The loss of many civilian lives in Gaza and Lebanon matters less than the capture or death of a single Israeli soldier. In this, Israeli actions are validated by the US.

Neocons Rise From Mideast Ashes
Robert Dreyfuss

Israel's reckless, high-stakes decision to launch simultaneous wars against both Hamas and Hezbollah last week is a critical, perhaps world-shattering event. It cannot be seen merely in its local context, that is, as an act by the unilateralist regime in Jerusalem to crush the armed wings of two Islamic fundamentalist organizations in Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon. Nor can it be seen merely in its regional context, that is, as an effort to raise the stakes in the struggle against Syria, Iran and rejectionist factions in occupied Iraq. Rather, Israel's actions must be seen, first and foremost, in the context of global politics.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

Two Wars
David Hirsh

Since before it even existed, Israel has been engaged in two wars with its neighbours. One is a just war, waged by Palestinian Arabs for freedom - which became a demand for Palestinian national independence; the other is a genocidal war that aims to end Jewish life in the Middle East.

The job of the left is to insist on the reality of this distinction and to stand against those who recognise the reality of only one or other of these two separate wars.

Nevertheless, when Israeli tanks are stalking through the crowded streets of Gaza, when Katyusha rockets are slamming into Haifa, when Israeli F16s are blowing up buildings in the suburbs of Beirut and when Israeli soldiers are being held in underground dungeons waiting for their own beheading to be broadcast on al-Jazeera, the distinction seems entirely notional.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

When Terror Is Just Fine

John Chuckman

Following the assassination of Reinhard Heidrich by Czech partisans in 1942, Hitler’s government executed all the men in the village of Lidici, sent its women and children to concentration camps, and razed the village to the ground. A few weeks later, the barbarism was repeated on the village of Lezaky.

Lidici was far from being the worst atrocity of the war, but it rightly came to symbolize heartless oppression by occupiers, what we sometimes today call state terror.

I cannot think of another historical example which better parallels Israel’s savage behavior in Lebanon. Two of its soldiers are kidnapped, and Israel quickly destroys much of the infrastructure of Lebanon, cuts the country off from the world, and kills, at this writing, two hundred civilians.

Already forgotten in the press is Israel’s behavior leading up to events in Lebanon. Israel had blown up an entire family on a Gaza beach and carried out a number of other killings and assassinations. It killed about twenty innocent people in a week or so. The pitiful efforts of people in Gaza to respond to the outrages were met by more killing and a partial invasion. Most of the cabinet of Palestine was kidnapped, and the elected Prime Minister was openly threatened with assassination.

Harassment and Repressions in Russia

Trade Union Solidarity Action Committee of Saint
Petersburg and Leningrad Region

Dear Friends and Comrades!

We have to resort to you with an appeal for help and international solidarity!

Russia is on the verge of the G 8 summit which is to be hosted in
Saint Petersburg.

At the same time our country is experiencing another series of
political violence and reprisals.

Contrary to the official G-8 summit an alternative event has been
planned to be held in Saint Petersburg by the Russian Social Forum.

The activists belonging to different political and grass root
organizations and groups scattered all over Russia are coming to Saint
Petersburg to participate in the alternative "summit". Among them are
the activists of the all Russian Society of Hostels and Dormitories
Dwellers Rights, activists of the anti "monetization laws" movement,
trade union activists of the Siberian Confederation of Labor and from
other regions, different human right groups activists and many other

These persons are being harassed and persecuted by the local police
and security services agents on their way to Saint Petersburg.

Bush Concealed More Spying Info

Alan Elsner, Capital Hill Blue

The Bush administration was running several intelligence programs, including one major activity, that it kept secret from Congress until whistle-blowers told the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, the committee's chairman said on Sunday.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News Sunday he had written a four-page to President George W. Bush in May warning him that the failure to disclose the intelligence activities to Congress may be a violation of the law.

In doing so, he confirmed a story that first ran in Sunday editions of the New York Times.

"I take it very, very seriously otherwise I would not have written the letter to the president," Hoekstra said.

Frank Zeidler, Last U.S. Socialist Mayor, Dies

Colin Fly, Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Frank Zeidler, a former Milwaukee mayor who was the last Socialist to run a major American city, has died. He was 93.

Zeidler died late Friday of congestive heart failure and diverticulitis, hospital spokesman Gregg Hartzog said. He led Milwaukee from 1948 through 1960.

Born in Milwaukee on Sept. 20, 1912, Zeidler was part of the Socialist Party's city stronghold, which was fueled by German immigrants who flocked there. The party had thousands of members, a congressional seat and control of the mayor's office for nearly a half-century, ending with Zeidler.

"Historians described him in the tradition of Milwaukee's sewer socialists," said Zeidler's youngest daughter, Jeanne, who followed her father into politics and is mayor of Williamsburg, Va.

"They were community leaders, mayors of Milwaukee who thought everyone should have access to plumbing in their homes," she said. "But he also had a bigger vision than that. He really was an activist of world peace, of tolerance, of people working together."

His three terms as mayor were marked by large-scale construction of public housing, creation of the first educational television station in Wisconsin and city beautification programs. He also made strong statements on behalf of civil rights as Milwaukee became the 11th-largest city in the United States by the end of his term, Jeanne Zeidler said.

Zeidler said the word "socialism" was discredited when Stalin and Hitler used it in their rhetoric. Still, he remained an ardent Socialist until his death, serving as chairman of the national Socialist party, even as numbers dwindled.

He never moved from the house he owned before being elected mayor, an office he retired from.

Zeidler wrote a 1,022-page manuscript in 1962 called "A Liberal in City Government" that was a memoir and a reflection on municipal government. It was finally published last year.

"I thought I would discharge the contents of my mind," he said of his work.

Zeidler ran for president unsuccessfully in 1976, receiving about 6,000 votes.

No Tolls on The Internet

Lawrence Lessig and Robert W. McChesney

Congress is about to cast a historic vote on the future of the Internet.
It will decide whether the Internet remains a free and open technology
fostering innovation, economic growth and democratic communication, or
instead becomes the property of cable and phone companies that can put
toll booths at every on-ramp and exit on the information superhighway.

At the center of the debate is the most important public policy you've
probably never heard of: "network neutrality." Net neutrality means
simply that all like Internet content must be treated alike and move at
the same speed over the network. The owners of the Internet's wires
cannot discriminate. This is the simple but brilliant "end-to-end"
design of the Internet that has made it such a powerful force for
economic and social good: All of the intelligence and control is held by
producers and users, not the networks that connect them.

Turkey to Prosecute Publishers of Noam Chomsky Book

Cihan News Agency

The Chief Public Prosecution Office has decided to prosecute two publishers for publishing a book renowned American intellectual, Noam Chomsky, accusing them of degrading the Turkish identity and the Turkish Republic.

The office prepared an indictment against the two publishing house that released the book written by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman titled Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.

The indictment claimed that certain extracts from the book degrades the Turkish identity and the Turkish Republic, and fuels hatred and discrimination among the people.

Publishers Omer Faruk Kurhan and Lutfi Taylan Tosun could face up to 6 years in prison if found guilty.


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