Radical media, politics and culture.


Anonymous Comrade writes:

"The Parable of the Hatchet:

or, the Nonsense of Nation-Building in Afghanistan"

John Chuckman

Nation-building is a term created by people living off Pentagon contracts. It is one of those queasy political expressions with no hard meaning yet its use raises few eyebrows. The term sounds as though it means something, and it is treated as though it were something you might study. At least this is true in the United States where people are hypnotized by hype and substance-lacking words, where inflating nothing into something is an everyday art.

"Clausewitz on the Pampas:
An Argentine Snapshot as Latin America Moves Leftward"

Loren Goldner

(The following is based on a visit to Argentina
(February 2006) It makes no pretense to be comprehensive or anything beyond impressions. Most of it is based on conversations with militants and intellectuals. The main discovery of the trip was the current of the radical piqueteros,
who for nearly ten years have been grappling with the problem of strategy and tactics in the epoch of de-industrialization, precarious employment, temp jobs and mass unemployment, a period in which the old workplace-centered strategies no longer seem viable. The main aim of the article is to bring the rich Argentine experience of strategy and tactics to an international audience, to hopefully stimulate further discussion of its strengths and weaknesses.)

A left-ideological haze hangs over Argentina, and presumably much of Latin America. Figures as diverse as Castro, Guevara, Chavez, Sub-Comandante Marcos, and Evo Morales are viewed across the spectrum in a warm and fuzzy way, expressing an omnipresent populism, even by people who are critical of them politically. Argentine nationalism, and beyond that a palpable Latin American “continentalism”, are delicate subjects, laced with the hurt of centuries of imperialism, as is/was the 1982 Malvinas war. Even an older woman, self-professed anarchist and ex-lover of the (now deceased) interesting anarcho-Marxist theorist Abraham Guillen bristled when I suggested that Che Guevara had been a Stalinist. And Guillen’s life had been threatened by Castro and Guevara and he was forced to flee Cuba (ca. 1960) after falling out with them over their commitment to a rural foco guerrilla strategy (Guillen argued for an orientation to the urban working class).

Norwegian Bourse Director Wants Oil Bourse — Priced in Euros

Laila Bakken and Petter Halvorsen

Bourse Director Sven Arild Andersen is fed up with Norwegian oil having to be traded in London and wants to have a commodities and energy bourse in Norway.

The Bourse Director believes that Norway already has the prerequisites for building up a Norwegian or Scandinavian energy bourse.

Tension Prevails in Filipinas

Prensa Latina

A great tension still prevails in this
capital Saturday after the implementation of national emergency state
24 hours ago despite the military commanders considered everything is
under control in Filipinas.

President Gloria Macapal Arroyo adopted the measure Friday after the
anti-governmental forces allegedly make an attempt of a coup d´etat.

The action would take place in occasion of the 20 anniversary of the
popular uprising against Dictator Ferdinand Marcos on February 25,

According to the army the political opposition had foreseen using the
date to demand, through demonstrations, the resignation of Macapal
accused of fraud during the presidential elections in 2004.

Because of that threat Macapal declared the national emergency state,
suspended all of that anniversary's celebration, ordered the arrest
of top rank military and legislators allegedly implicated in the
closure of several daily news.

China Shuts Down Three 'Leftist' Web Sites

Associated Press

China's communist government has shut down three Web sites that called themselves leftist and aired grievances from jobless workers and the poor, according to a news report Wednesday and two of the sites.

The Beijing city government ordered operators of the sites — titled "Communist," "Chinese Workers" and "Workers, Peasants and Soldiers BBS" — to close by Wednesday or face unspecified punishment, the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao said.

The closure came amid a government crackdown aimed at tightening control over news media, Web sites and other information sources.

US Currency Threat to China

Andrew Balls and Edward Alden, Financial Times

Washington renews presure on Beijing to let renminbi rise as trade deficit
fears grow. Republican senator in call for legislation.

Washington is again seeking to increase pressure on Beijing to allow its
currency to rise against the dollar, with threats growing in Congress to
consider legislation aimed at slowing the burgeoning US trade deficit with

US pressure over the Chinese currency has been muted since last July when
China revalued the renminbi by 2 per cent and broke its decade-long exchange
rate peg to the dollar.

Paul Avrich, Anarchist Historian, RIP

by Ronald Creagh

Paul Avrich, the foremost historian of American anarchism, is dead. While we hope to give more complete details about his life and work later, I would like to take this opportunity to salute the person who first introduced me to American anarchism.

When I decided to write a doctoral dissertation on this topic, my professor suggested that there was probably an American expert in the field, and that I should first get in touch with that person. Through Marie-Christine of the CIRA in Lausanne, Switzerland, I obtained Paul's address and wrote him.

Paul organized everything for my research, including my residence in New York and my meeting with the New York anarchists, and in particular, Sam and Esther Dolgoff. It was very enlightening to me to discover that while I thought the subject of Jewish anarchism could be easily treated in a few pages, this one issue had inspired him to write over a thousand pages of handwritten notes. He suggested that for my research I consult Columbia University, which indeed turned out to have a quite splendid collection, while I let him know about the treasures in the New York Public Library.

We met again several times, and I know that Paul's friendliness will remain in the minds of all who have known him, just as his scholarship will be remembered by all who have read his remarkable books. He offers his readers very extraordinary information. Perhaps his most thought-provoking testimony is contained in his work Anarchist Voices, which is based on his careful, time-consuming interviews with hundreds of people.

It is to be hoped that his vast collection of documents will be preserved. But in any case it is certain that in a country which has experienced the Red Scare, McCarthyism and a long tradition of witchhunting, Paul will stand out as a scholar who has quietly but quite remarkably rehabilitated that modest but generous minority of workers who have resolutely fought for freedom and justice.

"The Anti-Empire Report:

Some Things You Need To Know Before the World Ends"

William Blum, Killing Hope

How I Spent My 15 Minutes of Fame

In case you don't know, on January 19 the latest audiotape from Osama bin Laden was released and in it he declared: "If you [Americans] are sincere in your desire for peace and security, we have answered you. And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book Rogue State, which states in its
introduction ... "

He then goes on to quote the opening of a paragraph I wrote (which appears actually in the "Foreword" of the British edition only, that was later translated to Arabic), which in full reads:

UN Peacekeepers Fire on Protesters in Haiti;
2 Killed, 4 Wounded

Montreal Gazette

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — UN peacekeepers opened fire Monday on Haitians protesting election results, killing at least one and wounding four, witnesses said as flaming roadblocks paralyzed the capital.

Hundreds of screaming demonstrators elsewhere stormed into an upscale hotel housing an electoral office in the hills above Port-au-Prince and helicopters landed on the roof to evacuate guests.

Venezuela's Chavez Considers Arming One Million People
Associated Press

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that he was considering the
purchase of enough rifles to arm one million Venezuelans ready to repel a
possible U.S. invasion.

During a speech warning his supporters that Washington was considering an
invasion of Venezuela, Chavez said that 100,000 Russian-built Kalashnikov
assault rifles would not be enough to defend the country.
"We still need a higher number of rifles. The 100,000 Russian rifles are
not enough, Venezuela needs to have one million well-equipped and
well-armed men and women," he said.
"I've started making contacts with some countries" that would be able to
supply the rifles, Chavez told the crowd of supporters to a rousing

Tensions between Washington and Caracas have been tense in recent months
in part due to U.S. criticism of Venezuela's purchases of military
equipment, including 100,000 Russian-made assault rifles.


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