President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prepared a list of targets for arrest even before the coup (sic) was launched.
— European Commission official on Turkey (Financial Times, 7/19/2016)
The coup in Turkey was made to order. A group of military officers and police officials were set-up to seize power by senior intelligence operatives in the Erdoğan regime. They were allowed to drop a few bombs, seize bridges and buildings before they were encircled, rounded-up and arrested using a list of targets for arrest prepared even before the so-called coup. In the midst of this fake coup, the ‘vacationing’ Erdoğan flies …
The Republican convention recently concluded with Donald J Trump accepting his party’s nomination for president. Featuring marginal politicians, unemployed athletes and a roster of forgotten celebrities, including 1980s Tiger Beat mainstays Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato Jr, the event truly had it all. Lucifer himself made an appearance (Ted Cruz), although he was denounced for not endorsing Mr Trump and summarily booed off stage. Truly exciting times for the party.
Many Republicans feel usurped, disillusioned and betrayed. Introspection after 2012 losses, featuring words like inclusion, diversity and tolerance as a path forward, have been replaced by chants of building walls, deportations and divisiveness. With renewed attention …
Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy
(Part 3 of a 7 part series on Scandinavian “Socialism”)
Olof Palme had just won his fourth term as Prime Minister when we spoke in Stockholm in the fall of 1985. Like Denmark’s Anker Joergensen, this stalwart social democrat opposed the “cold, egoistic new liberalism”. Unregulated capitalism threatens the Swedish model of social welfare, he said at his September 15 election victory.
Palme was more than a typical social democrat of his times, more a “revolutionary reformist”, as he was often called. He was a stronger critic of US and Israel imperialism than any other Western government leader. His denunciation of US’s war against Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos—especially its bombings of Hanoi, which he …
Whatever happens next, it’s not likely to be pretty
Turkey has been in a growing crisis for years, and the end seems nowhere in sight.
In the wake of the failed military coup, Turkish officials and civilians are pointing the finger at the U.S. for instigating it. “America is behind the coup,” said Turkey’s Labor Minister Suleyman Solyu. Solyu is a close ally of Turkey’s President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, who also blames the U.S. for harboring the Islamic cleric he says was behind the coup.
Officially, the U.S. says that speculation that the U.S. supported …
With Friends Like His, Trump Doesn’t Need Enemies
The nation’s highest ranking Republican and current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, is “one of the leading Trump-sceptics.” Trump’s former Republican rival Gov. Kasich of Ohio declined to immediately endorse him, and his main rival Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has yet to endorse him.
Former Trump opponents Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky are now tepid Trump supporters, but not before commenting (respectively) that Trump is a “cancer on conservatism,” “painfully naïve,” and “a …
The constitutional order of the US, such as it exists, faces a profound crisis of legitimacy, rooted in the multi polarity of US society. The US is divided among (1) a deeply entrenched police – judicial – presidential state against civil society organized in community based Afro-American, Hispanic and disinherited workers; (2) a corrupt Federal police, Justice, State Department and Presidential Office against a constitutional legal system upheld by the vast majority of citizens; and (3) a rigged Presidential electoral system against the consent and approval of the majority of the electorate.
The Jamaican police are very brutal in their policingof the African working-class in Jamaica. However, oppressive conditions tend to give birth to resistance.
Jamaica’s working-class reggae artistes have used their music to share the people’s experience with police violence. The singer Barrington Levy accurately captures the behaviour of the cops in the song Murderer. Levy reveals a common experience in working-class communities:
Dem come inna my area want to kill off the youth
Nuh dress up inna jacket and dem dress up inna tie
Come a courthouse want to tell pure lies
Dem a murderer, aah.
The singer is blasting the widespread …
To the professor’s question concerning what a teacher should do to bring control to a classroom, a would-be teacher proffered: tell the students that if anyone disturbs the class, then the entire class will have a detention.
“That’s collective punishment,” I responded, to which I added with a tongue-in-cheek, hyperbolic flourish, “and it’s a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.”
Nonetheless, why should innocent people be made to pay for the mistakes of others?
Imagine if someone on your four-member bowling team was pulled over and charged with DUI. Imagine then that your entire team was thrown out of the bowling league. How …
Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Are “bystanders” to violent events neutral or complicit?
In the past couple of weeks I’ve read a number of articles about police violence and citizens reaction to that violence. Most of these articles rightly point to the structural roots of police violence. However, I have found little written about how the people who are not directly involved in confrontations, “bystanders”, make sense of what is going on. How do people react to either police shooting citizens, citizens shooting the police or to the protests against police violence? Do people who seemed not directly involved in the violence constitute a neutral force …
Political developments in Britain appear more than a little confusing at the moment.
The parliamentary Labour party is in open revolt against a leader recently elected with the biggest mandate in the party’s history. Most Labour MPs call Jeremy Corbyn “unelectable”, even though they have worked tirelessly to undermine him from the moment he became leader, never giving him a chance to prove whether he could win over the wider British public.
Now they are staging a leadership challenge and trying to rig the election by denying tens of thousands of Labour members who recently joined the party the chance to vote. If …
Procedures, racial attitudes must change
On Sunday July 17, his birthday, a black man, former highly-regarded U.S. Marine Gavin Long, shot and killed three Baton Rouge police officers and injured three others.
The murders, following the killing of five officers in Dallas, also by a black man, increased racial tensions and hatred in the United States beyond the crisis level of the 1960s, when black people were attacked and beaten across the South during their fight for civil rights.
Gavin Long’s attack on Baton Rouge police was calculated and brutal. Nevertheless, an analysis of Long’s actions, and the response of the Baton Rouge police, reveal the failure …
The 6th Fundamental Principle of Olympism (non-discrimination of any kind, including nationality and political opinion) seems to be forgotten long ago. In ancient Greece the competition of best athletes was able to halt a war and serve as a bridge of understanding between two recent foes. But in the twentieth century the Olympics have become a political weapon. Back in 1980 the US and its allies boycotted the games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet troops that entered Afghanistan at the request of that country’s legitimate government (in contrast, the 1936 Olympics in Nazi …
Armenians can only marvel at Zionist chutzpah
Part I considered the remarkable similarities between Armenians and Jews. They both were socialist, then capitalist, adapting as the need arose. Both suffered genocides and achieved independence as fallouts from the upheavals of the 20th century.
Which brings us to their remarkable ‘achievement’: to (almost) single-handedly occupy their neighbour’s territory, against all odds–and hold on to it–against international opinion, Armenia for close to 25 yrs, Israel close to 70 years. Armenia taking …
From Nice to the Middle East
I visited Iraq in 1999. At the time, there were no so-called ‘jihadis’ espousing the principles of ‘jihadism’, whatever the interpretation may be. On the outskirts of Baghdad was a military training camp, not for al-Qaeda, but for Mojahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian militant exile group that worked, with foreign funding and arms, to overthrow the Iranian Republic.
At the time, the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein used the exiled organization to settle scores with his rivals in Tehran, just as they, too, espoused anti-Iraqi government militias to achieve the exact same purpose.
Iraq was hardly peaceful then. …
Russian Novels Combating Global Capitalist Nightmare
Imagine Moscow being taken over by some international corporate cartel. By a monster which has its own factories and office buildings, security services, private prisons, re-education (‘training’) centers, and its obedient mass media outlets. Imagine that it also has detailed databases on almost everyone who really matters in the capital.
Imagine that human lives suddenly don’t matter. People are only expected to produce and consume; they become fully disposable.
Imagine that the once greatly educated Russia with its legendary artists and philosophers is gradually getting reduced to an unimaginably primitive level. Suddenly, there is US pop trash flying about everywhere, and the …
Richard Oxman is an educator living in Santa Cruz, California. After talking both on the phone and by email with him the past few months, he has already become a dear friend to me. As someone interested in revolutionary politics, peace, and in providing a livable world for our children, I grew more and more interested as he began to share his plan for social change in his home state, which he calls Transforming our State of California (TOSCA). The following are excerpts from our ongoing (never-ending!) conversations.
William Hawes: Hey Richard, can you start by telling us a little bit …
The Gülen Factor
Engaged in his dirty spate of housecleaning under the auspices of protecting the constitution and the Turkish state, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to insist on one vital scalp in his enterprise.
Thus far, the cleric Fethullah Gülen has eluded Ankara from his abode in Pennsylvania. From his base, something of a global network has been constructed, one discernable through foundations and an assortment of endeavours pursued under the guise of a faith movement. These do not attest to the spirit of a pacifist warrior, averse to revolution. They suggest influence, and the markings of power.
In part, the rapacious ugliness of ISIS is a reflection of the policies which formed it. We flinch at recognizing in ISIS atrocities the embodiment of the cruelty in NATO’s policies, the callousness of Madeleine Albright evaluating the lives of Iraqi children, the swagger and glee of Hilary Clinton at Gaddafi‘s murder, the effects on millions of insisting on regime change in someone else’s country and the Euro-American refusal to accept Syria’s democratically elected president. Assad has been demonized by the corporate/state press and alleged to be responsible for war crimes, as was done to Saddam Hussein, Milosevic, and Gaddafi. …
Scandinavia on the Skids: The Failure of Social Democracy
(Part 2 of a 7 part series on Scandinavia’s “Socialism”)
This series sprang from discussions I’ve had with several people regarding the Danish/Scandinavian model of social democracy, or socialism as Bernie Sanders contends. Some well intentioned persons view the Nordic Model as a solution to greedy capitalism, while others view its role as a seditious savior of exploitative capitalism. Many Cubans I knew when living there (1988-96) and visiting since see the Nordic Model as a way out for their failing revolution, gone the way of a bureaucratic state. Some Spaniards backing Podemos hope to emulate Scandinavia, whose social democracy is also failing, unbeknownst to many foreign admirers.
I have been …