Social action begins with concerns, which may include anger or outrage at injustice. But effective strategy must also take account of the power, positions, and possibilities of the various social forces and social classes involved. A number of such factors must be considered when mobilizing around the interests of ordinary people during the emerging world ecnomic crisis.
First, we need to note that the share of national profits enjoyed by the financial sector in the U.S. rose from 6 percent in 1980 to 40 percent in 2008. In short, the economic power and weight of this sector has expanded astronomically in the past few decades. Almost half of all profits last year went to those who produced no goods or services useful to human beings, other than the manipulation of money and credit.
On February 2, 2009, then foreign minister Tzipi Livni, one of the architects of the 2008-2009 Gaza Massacre and Israel’s recent election winner, addressed a gathering that draws together both Israeli and international participants from the highest levels of government, business, and academia to discuss Israel’s pressing national, regional and global strategic issues -- known as the Annual Herzliya Conference.
As her theme centered on how the world around Israel is changing, on how its threats are evolving, and thus how the state was presented with fresh ‘opportunities’, she said something that keeps replaying in my mind:
“Being used to feeling secluded in the Middle East, with the whole Arab world against us, we look around and suddenly notice other countries alongside Israel - Arab, Islamic countries, who no longer view Israel as the enemy, countries who understand that Iran is the main enemy, seeing Iran as no less a threat than we do. Radical Islam is a threat of which these nations understand the meaning better than others do, because they are familiar with the same radical elements at home. And these nations are on the same side as us.”
Broadly speaking, the massacre in Gaza has further bisected the Arab governments along two major ideological lines: One that directs surrendering government to abide by Zionist orders --referred to as “moderates” in Western lexicon; and a second that follows a more pragmatic approach by insisting on appropriate reaction and practical solutions to addressing Israeli Apartheid policies in Palestine.
Since he took office, President Obama has instituted many changes that break with the policies of the Bush administration. The new president has ordered that no government agency will be allowed to torture, that the U.S. prison at Guantánamo will be shuttered, and that the CIA's secret black sites will be closed down. But Obama is non-committal when asked whether he will seek investigation and prosecution of Bush officials who broke the law. "My view is also that nobody's above the law and, if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted just like any ordinary citizen," Obama said. "But," he added, "generally speaking, I'm more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards." Obama fears that holding Team Bush to account will risk alienating Republicans whom he still seeks to win over.
When US envoy to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke met with Afghanistan’s ‘democratically’ installed President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on February 14, he may have just learned of the historic significance of the following day. February 15 commemorates the end of the bloody Russian campaign against Afghanistan (August 1978-February 1989).
But it is unlikely that Holbrooke will absorb the magnitude of that historic lesson. Both he and the new US President Barack Obama are convinced that the missing component for winning the war in Afghanistan is a greater commitment, as in doubling the troops, increasing military spending, and, by way of winning hearts and minds, investing more in developing the country. That combination, the US administration believes, will eventually sway Afghans from supporting the Taliban, tribal militias, Pashtun nationalists and other groups. The latter is waging a guerilla struggle in various parts of the country, mostly in the south, to oust Karzai’s government and foreign occupation forces. While Kabul was considered an “oasis of calm” – by Jonathan Steele’s account – during the Soviet rule, it’s nowhere close to that depiction under the rule of the US and its NATO allies, who had plenty of time, eight long years, to assert their control, but failed.
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie) was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
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