Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday News in early November 2014

The neo-con extremists forget that the situation in the Middle East is very complicated. The West has done evil drone attacks and utilized extrajudicial assassinations overseas (even against American citizens without due process of law). If Assad is replaced, an even more reactionary leadership could rule Syria. The Kurdish forces have been courageous. The Kurdish people have the right to self-determination. There are a lot of Sunnis in Anbar Province. The Shias and the Sunni deserve their rights as well. The reactionaries want more American troop involvement in the Middle East as well. The West has used thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq before and sectarian violence has still continued. At the end of the day, Iraq and Syria need councils, dialogues, and revolutionary solutions to handle their problems. ISIS evolved from al-Qaeda and they were born out of the Western military intervention in Iraq starting in 2003. Ironically, the jihadis in Afghanistan (from the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s) were funded by the CIA too. ISIS claims to be forming an empire, but their actions have destabilized Middle Eastern affairs, harmed people, and even killed people. If nothing changes massively, Iraq could be partitioned based on ethnicity and religious grounds (as Iraq has Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, religious minorities, etc.). This situation revolves around hypocrisy too. The mainstream media talks about ISIS, but the West supports Saudi Arabia (which has a brutal record on human rights and it has laws that beheads people. Its leadership has expressed sympathy with Wahhabi ideology). The situation that we see in the Middle East has been caused by Western imperialism in the Middle East for a long time (even before the Ottoman Empire was carved up after WWI. After WWI, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, etc. allowed Britain and France to carve up the Middle East randomly without regard to the diversities of the creeds and the ethnic backgrounds of the region. That action including others inevitably caused tensions and conflicts). Some, who want more American troops over there, refuse to offer a coherent political solution (which can be talked about by the nations in the region). Long term, only a political solution can solve this problem.

There are many truths about the Caribbean and tourism. Modern day tourism in the Caribbean came about in the 1800’s as described by the Englishman Thomas Cook. There are jobs and other forms of infrastructure formed as a product of tourism. Yet, there are risks. Some downsides of Caribbean tourism is how there is the risk of overbuilding in areas, some people in the Caribbean are economically exploited, some of the environment has been harmed, and foreign domination over the Caribbean (which some even classify as neo-colonialism). Some tourists are sincere and cordial. Other aren’t and just want to exploit people. Some visitors have unfairly stereotype the peoples of the Caribbean, which is highly evil and wrong. Some workers in the tourism industry deal with disrespectful people and even racists. This has been exposed by Jamaica Kincaid’s book entitled, “A Small Place.” Her book has relevance to this very day during the 21st century. She wrote about what has been occurring in the Caribbean island of Antigua. The workers in the Caribbean who deal with tourism have families, some of them downplay the issue of race, and many do stand up for their human dignity too. The workers are told to be cordial with visitors and to act in a professional fashion. Tourism is serious business in the nations of Barbados, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and other places of the Caribbean region. Therefore, the Caribbean people ought to be treated with dignity and with respect. Policies involving tourism must be fair and progressive for the Caribbean peoples. There should be economic development based on the improvement of the masses of the people not just for the select few. Any form of evil, unfair discrimination is repugnant and it ought to be condemned and opposed. Visitors should come into the Caribbean should always treat Caribbean people with dignity and respect. Also, they should take the time to talk to them, to understand their lives, and to express compassion including empathy Humanity deserve dignity, justice, and freedom unequivocally.

His story is common among some blacks who are middle and upper class. Some of them (not all) use their class as a means to demean the poor. Some of them view the poor in the same fashion as how white racist reactionaries view the black poor in general. Lawrence Otis Graham admitted that he was wrong for having that previous false view that wealth somehow shields black people from racism & discrimination. The truth is that black people must have racial solidarity and class consciousness. Kwame Ture, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Ella Baker, Jo Ann Robinson, CLR James (he was a revolutionary intellectual), Paul Robeson, and others were born in the middle class. Yet, they have expressed a great deal of love and concern for the masses of black people including poor black people. They fully realized that the ordinary worker, the poor, and the underprivileged don’t need perverted ridicule or hatred. They need justice. They have all worked to fight for the freedom of all black people. That is why the Black men and Black women who are of the middle and upper classes should always be in solidarity with the poor. A black person with wealth doesn't end racism. We need to unify more irrespective of our class. That is why we can defeat oppression by struggle regardless of how much wealth that we have. This story proves that we should never be na├»ve about this society and unity is extremely important for us as a people.

I respect both points of view on this film. Some people want more films about us being heroes, Kings, Queens, explorers, discoverers, etc. not just about us suffering abuse. Other love films like Selma, which describes an important part of the civil rights movement, which we should know about. Selma's trailer is inspirational. Also, some people want to negate the radical side of Dr. King (which some in Hollywood do). Before Dr. King passed away, he was more radical than he was during the 1950's. He was against the war in Vietnam and he wanted poverty ended via more revolutionary ideas. He advocated boycotts, work stoppages, occupying cities, and civil disobedience. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. outright questioned capitalism. The events in Selma during 1965 were about the courage of grassroots people who rejected the denial of voting rights. It was about black people coming together to fight for human rights in general. The people of Selma stood up against the racist Sheriff Jim Clark, who arrested peaceful protesters. The protesters opposed unjust laws that dealt with voting restrictions and the violation of the right to assemble. President Lyndon Johnson at first did not want Selma protests in the streets, because he wanted the courts to handle this situation, he thought racists mobs will hurt black people, and he said that federal voting rights legislation would be impossible to pass by the Congress. Dr. King and others kept on going. Bloody Sunday was when innocent, peaceful protesters were brutally assaulted by the police on the Edmund Pettis Bridge on 1965. John Lewis, Hosea Williams, and others were assaulted in a bloody fashion. This coverage of Bloody Sunday was shown worldwide. The heroes of Selma fought against George Wallace (then Alabama's governor), who wanted Jim Crow oppression back then. SCLC, SNCC, and other groups worked together to fight for equality and voting rights. SNCC and the SCLC had differences. Also, they wanted poverty to be addressed too. Many people died in the Selma campaign like Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, and Viola Liuzzo. By March 15, 1965, LBJ had no choice but to announce voting rights legislation publicly. On March 25, 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave an inspiring speech in the state capitol of Montgomery, Alabama in favor of voting rights, economic justice, and equality for humanity. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 existed because of the combined efforts of people from all across the nation. Another point is to be made. There is nothing wrong with self-defense (as advanced by heroic people like Malcolm X, etc.), but there is nothing weak or cowardly about nonviolent resistance (against oppression) either. People who faced vicious dogs, water hoses, and crooked officers were not cowards. People lost their jobs in sacrificing for the movement. Many people in this generation would never sacrifice their money let alone their jobs for the cause of freedom and justice. If you want to be free for real, then you have to sacrifice. Also, we should have great character (I will always believe in integrity and ethics), but that doesn't deal with a dogmatic authoritarianism which restrict individual freedoms. Morality has nothing to with materialism and selfish individualism either. Great character deals with opposing evil structures, building families, building communities, and seeking economic justice. We should learn from past, but we should still be conscious of our situation now. There should be balance. More films should show black men and black women caring for each other, loving each other, and defending each other as human beings. We all know that Black Love is a Revolutionary Act. We need more movies about the Haitian Revolution, Taraqa, Ella Baker, the story of Tula (a Brother who led a revolt in the Caribbean island of Curacao), the Candaces of Nubia, and other black heroes as well.

We witness over 25 years after the ending of the Berlin Wall. This period lasted from 1989 to 1992. As research shows, this reunification among West and East Germany was a counterrevolution. It replaced the Stalinist West German government (which did violated human rights and made many errors indeed) to be replaced with the capitalist reunification government of Germany. This situation started when the Nazis were rightfully defeated by 1945. The Soviets military were heavily involved in defeating the Nazis from their courageous actions in the Battle of Stalingrad to carving of Germany up by the end of WWII. The Soviet peoples used great sacrifice to end brutal Nazi rule. The Nazi regime killed millions of Jewish people including the Sinti, the Roma, black people, multiracial people, Slavic peoples, Protestants, Catholics, Communists, Socialists, Freemasons, social democrats, the mentally ill, Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals, lesbians, the handicapped, those with learning disabilities, and other people. The DDR was heavily Stalinist in its cosmology. The weakness of Stalinism was that it created a deformed workers state in East Germany. In other words, it suppressed independent, revolutionary workers' powerbases. Many Nazis fled into West Germany. West Germany allowed CIA only controlled unions. By the early 1950s, many of the Nazis — the people who financed and brought Hitler to power —were back in office, such as the steel barons Krupp and Thyssen, or former Nazi SS officer Hanns-Martin Schleyer (who later got his when the guerrillas that called themselves the “Red Army Faction” executed him in 1977). He was then chairman of the association of German industrialists (Bundesverband Deutsche Industrie) and head of Daimler-Benz. Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who had direct responsibility for organizing mass murder of Jews, was working as an electrician at their Argentina outlet. The German ruling class worked with the bourgeoisie in Auschwitz. The East Germany also had the Stasi, which violated the democratic freedoms of the people of East Germany. 25 years ago, the German Democratic Republic or the GDR (i.e. East Germany) ended. The Berlin Wall was constructed during 1961. It was a cruel expression of violating human freedom and liberty in general. People still escaped from East to West Germany. President John F. Kennedy on June 26, 1963 gave a speech, which expressed solidarity to West Germany. President Ronald Reagan said to Gorbachev to tear down this wall. Tom Brokaw was the only American anchor at the scene. He was there in November 9, 1989 as people celebrated and the wall began to tear down. The day was historic. People recently showed some 8,000 glowing balloons to mark the route of the wall. The balloons rose into the sky at 7 in the evening to the sounds of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” We see that since 1989, we see massive changes in Germany. We have seen the Treuhandanstalt deposed of 14,000 nationalized enterprises. Today, the number of manufacturing jobs in the East is a mere quarter of the total in 1989. The birthrate of the East has rapidly declined. Even 25 years after German unification, living conditions in the east and west of Germany differ widely. In 2013, the average gross income of a worker in the eastern states was 25 percent lower than in the west. Household assets in the east, at 67,000 euros on average, are only half as high as in the west, at 153,000 euros. So, the evil of the Stasi has been replaced by the corruption done by the banks and corporations today. We see the returned of militarism in Germany where Germany supports the reactionary coup in the Ukraine and the war mongering in the Middle East as well. So, Germany doesn’t need a Stalinist bureaucracy (which has persecuted the Trotskyist movement in East Germany for decades. Rivalries in the Stalinist movement, economic problems, and other events caused the collapse of the DDR. What was going on in the Eastern bloc decades ago was not democratic socialism or true economic justice. It was totalitarianism point blank period) or cartel-capitalism. Germany deserves independent freedom and a real progressive economic future.

 By Timothy

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