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    The Malik Rahim Campaign in New Orleans -- An Analysis

    112_montage
     
    by Robert Caldwell
    Competent and responsible organizers do not just take credit for their
    victories, they critically analyze their defeats and shortcomings in
    order to extract useful lessons.   We want to take this
    opportunity to thank those BAR readers who donated or worked the phones
    for his campaign, and we here republish a critical
    analysis of the performance of Malik Rahim's campaign written by its
    campaign manager. 
    The editors

    Will Obama Privatize Public Assets To Pay For “Economic Recovery”?

    texasBy BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

    Obama's old school economic team are on record as favoring privatizations of public resources in principle. Unless Obama is willing to significantly cut the military budget or tax the rich, neither of which seems very likely, the only way to pay for even a reasonably large jobs and recovery program is to kill other jobs through a wave of Chicago-style privatizations. And privatizations are always bad for democracy.

    Freedom Rider: Obama is Not King

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberleyobama-mlk

    It is the height of historical distortion to compare President-Elect Barack Obama in any way, shape or form to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King "is probably the only person in American history who gave up a close relationship with a president," Lyndon Johnson, "because his convictions demanded it." Those convictions were anchored in King's opposition to "racism, materialism and militarism." Obama, conversely, makes common cause with financial speculators and militarists. Under the current system, "It is simply impossible to be both a fighter for justice and president of the United States."

    Eshu’s blues: President Barancklin Husseinalo Roosobamavelt

    ESHUgreenjobsby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    "President-Elect Obama has promised us a massive public works program that will put two and a half million people to work in various forms of ‘green' industry" - a promise that may or may not turn out to be worth something. "Green" is a shapeless category that can include "use of healthy agricultural acreage for the production of fuels for the automobile." Obama's leftish supporters anticipate a second coming of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, but "even the Obamaists have to see that there's something slightly hinky about the names that are turning up in the presidential cabinet."

    Somalia Ought To Be Obama's Litmus Test

    by Sadia Ali AdenSomaliWar

    The test of Barack Obama's policies in Africa
    and worldwide begins with his handling of the war against Somalia, his
    inheritance from George Bush. The "world's worst humanitarian disaster" (about
    which Obama has not uttered a single word), is the product of America's "proxy
    war in the Horn of Africa" in partnership with Washington's client, Ethiopia. In
    this unholy alliance, "Ethiopian troops are killing civilians by slitting their
    throats and gang-raping women," according to Amnesty International. Next month,
    Obama must take responsibility for "over one million internally displaced
    persons and nearly 3.5 million on the verge of starvation" in Somalia.

    Power to the People in Time of Crisis

    PowerToPeopleThe raw numbers of
    dollars spent on economic recovery are not as important as transforming
    relations of power in the U.S. "Only a great shift in power relationships,
    seizing it from the financial oligarchy to empower the great majority, can hope
    to bring even a semblance of stability and relief to the people as a whole."

     
    Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
    {mp3}20081210gf_empower{/mp3}

    Black Colleges Face Whiteout

    BlackCollegesWhite Georgia
    politicians want to force two historically Black universities to merge with white schools, to reduce "duplicative" costs and end a "legacy of segregation.
    "When a Georgia Republican goes on a crusade against the vestiges of Jim Crow,
    it's time to watch out!"

     
    Click here to listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary
    {mp3}20081210gf_hbcu{/mp3}

    U.S. Business Says No Mas to Cuba Embargo

    CubaEmbargoU.S. business groups have joined the vast
    majority of the world's nations in requesting that President-Elect Obama
    quickly end the 47-year-long American trade embargo against Cuba. The economic
    blockade isolates the U.S., not Cuba. "In a sense, the United States is
    embargoing itself."

     
    Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
    {mp3}20081210gf_cuba{/mp3}

    Cholera Outbreak Outcome of West’s War on Zimbabwe

    ZimbabweCholeraby Stephen Gowans

    Zimbabwe is facing multiple crises because of
    savage western assaults on its economy and the viability of its state
    machinery. The goal is regime change. U.S.-British sanctions against Zimbabwe
    are a form of warfare, like the sanctions that led to a million deaths in
    pre-invasion Iraq. The cholera outbreak is useful to Washington and London,
    making "Zimbabwe's crisis international, because disease can cross borders." If
    the destabilization of Zimbabwe is successful, other African nations "will back
    away from their own land reform and economic indigenization demands" - a
    victory for imperial supremacy.

    Human Rights Day Celebration in Gaza

    PalestiniansGazaby Abukar Arman

    December 10 marks the 60th
    anniversary of the Universal
    Declaration of Human Rights, yet the document
    holds no sway in Palestine, where "an entire population is being brutally
    punished." Israel, the occupying power, refuses to recognize the Declaration's
    authority. Gaza's, "million and a half human beings are being imprisoned with
    almost no access to the outside world." The president of the UN General
    Assembly has "called on the international community to consider stricter
    measures against Israel ....measures similar to those taken against South Africa
    in the 1980s that include ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions.'"

    Poverty: Policies and Possibilities

    by Shannon PrincePovertyStory           

    Regulation of industry can be a very good thing, but requiring licenses to braid hair is oppressive and stupid. "Since time immemorial black women have braided hair in open air and in kitchens and on front porches without licensing, to no societal ill effect," writes the author. Any anti-poverty offensive should recognize that "poor people can use themselves as weapons against poverty." Far more injurious to society than unlicensed hair-braiders, are welfare regulations that harm "disproportionately families of color, forcing men to sneak to see their children and treating would-be wives like slaves sold to a different plantation."

    Obama’s ‘Center-Right’ Presidency: The Die is Cast

    ObamaKoolAidby BAR executive editor
    Glen Ford

    In case there are any lingering doubts, it's
    official: Barack Obama has earned a well-deserved rating of "center-right"
    politician, courtesy of the New York Times. The president-elect worked
    hard to pull himself rightward, after starting off with a reputation as a
    liberalish "peace" candidate. Nobody calls Obama that anymore, not since he
    endorsed the bankers' bailout, put the economy's future in the hands of the
    same people that set the stage for financial meltdown, and let Bush's War
    Secretary keep the keys to the imperial armory. So let's give it to Obama. He
    won't ever have an identity crisis, again.

    Susan Rice is Bad News for Africa

    Riceby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Barack Obama's nominee for United Nations Ambassador is a very aggressive woman - militarily speaking. Susan Rice is "more bellicose" than George Bush when it comes to threatening Sudan over the plight of the people of Darfur, "while simultaneously backing a savage U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian calamity in Somalia." One is forced to conclude that "Susan Rice's brand of ‘humanitarian intervention' is a farce, a pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing human suffering."

    Freedom Rider: Mumbai and American Terror

    mumbaiby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    "Terror is usually the result of unacknowledged grievance. Muslims are mad at the United States, Great Britain and the Indian government." This should be obvious, but "as always, Americans never see a connection between themselves, the acts of terror committed by their own government and anger directed at them around the globe." The victims in Mumbai are mourned in the United States, "as they should be. The victims of the United States government in Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

    Corporate Economists Tell Lies for a Living

    wall_street_da_signby Glen Ford
     
    Corporate-oriented
    members of the economics profession are "shills and boosters" for the
    (one-time) Titans of finance capital "The economists most cited in corporate
    media are shills and boosters for capitalism in general, and Wall Street in
    particular.
     
    Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
    {mp3}20081203gf_recession{/mp3}

    Troubled White Troops on Ghetto Streets

    troopsby Glen Ford

    Washington wants "to assign 20,000 federal
    troops to cope with terrorist attacks, domestic disasters and civil unrest." A
    mixture of plain old racism plus rampaging PTSD and a counter-insurgency
    mentality makes U.S. soldiers a threat to life and limb on ghetto streets.

    Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary

    {mp3}20081203gf_comitatus{/mp3}

    Obama Revitalizes Disaster Capitalism: The Shock Doctrine Receives a Make-Over

    shockby Carolyn Baker

    The president-elect's "adherence to neoliberal, globalist
    policies couched in the rhetoric of ‘change' but offering no substantial
    departure from the ultimate strategies of imperialism, corporate capitalist
    supremacy, and almost total ignorance (or ignore-ance) of the energy and
    environmental suicide perpetuated by endless growth." Yes, it's that bad. Obama
    economics advisor Larry Summers "has embraced "the three ‘ations'...
    privatization, stabilization, and liberalization." Obama trusts the advice of
    someone who has been "preaching the [shock capitalism] doctrine."

    The Great Land Giveaway: Neo-Colonialism by Invitation

    costa_rica

    by James Petras

    Newly emerging nations have joined with the
    usual neocolonial suspects in a massive bid to buy up poorer countries'
    available land. How do they pull it off? "The process of agro-imperial empire
    building operates largely through political and financial mechanisms, preceded,
    in some cases, by military coups, imperial interventions and destabilization
    campaigns." One factor might end the land grab. "The biggest constraint on the
    advance of agro-imperialism is the economic collapse of world capitalism."

    The Human Zoo: Making Jamaica Fit For Foreign Corporations

    john_mawell06by John Maxwell

    Jamaica is going to "borrow money to destroy the
    integrity of Jamaica's loveliest town, dilapidated though it may be now, in the
    interest of a foreign corporation." After despoiling much of the island's
    natural beauty through industrial and tourist-generated pollution, the
    government now proposes to spend US$122 million to develop Falmouth harbor to
    accommodate super cruise ships. Says the author: "We are prostituting ourselves
    for a foreign entity with no obligation or loyalty to Jamaica."

    The White, White House Press Corps

    reporter

    by Sam Fulwood III

    Black White House reporters are dwindling, even
    as the nation's first Black president prepares to move in. "We are going
    to integrate the Oval Office long before we integrate the media that covers the
    president," said a veteran African American journalist. Jesse Jackson's
    two bids for the White House a generation ago resulted in a respectable Black
    press contingent on the campaign trail. Might Barack Obama insist on a larger
    Black press presence at the White House? Said one Black media analyst: "He's
    not going to be that kind of president."

    Liar, Liar!! Barack Obama's Secretary of War

    montage113
     by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
     
    Some Obama supporters are wringing their hands over the selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  Hillary was, after all, a consistent supporter of the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more.  But Barack Obama's selection of Reaganite and Bush family operative Robert Gates to continue as Secretary of War speaks volumes about the new administration's willingness to continue pulling the same wool over the public eyes as Democratic and Republican administrations past have done.  Is this the "change" tens of millions voted for?

    The Neo-Yeltsin Administration? The Obama Letdown

    dr-michael_hudson
    by Michael Hudson
     
    Although president-elect Barack Obama ran on a promise of "change", explains economist Michael Hudson, one has to look awfully hard and more than a little wishfully at his economic recovery team to see much of it.  The bailout, which the new administration owns as much as the old one, is calculated to bail out wealthy investors and leave untouched the housing and debt crises of tens of millions of American families.  The bailout may also prevent the new administration's proposed investments in jobs and infrastructure.

    A Little Matter of Genocide

    an audio speech by Ward Churchillward_churchill

    Until recently, scholars have taught generations of American youth that there were at most a million natives in what is now the continental US when Europeans first reached these shores.  But demographic studies now indicate between 12 and 18 times that number lived here before Columbus, making the proportional native American population arguably the greatest and most thorough genocide in recorded history.  

    Among much else, Dr. Churchill reminds us that during the conquest of this continent United States, bounties on Indian scalps, preferably with ears attached, were paid in what are now every one of the 48 states of the continental U.S.

    Click the link below to hear this 29 minute presentation by Dr. Ward Churchill.

    Community Organizer VS Corrupt Politician: The December 6 New Orleans Congressional Election

    112_montage

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

    The
    December 6 New Orleans congressional election isn't just a local
    choice between a privatizing "minority" Republican, a notoriously corrupt
    Democrat and a caring, competent community organizer running on the
    Green Party ticket. In these times when anyone, anywhere can
    contribute to the efforts of real progressives with the click of a
    mouse, or volunteer to reach undecided voters, the days leading to
    this election are a test of whether there exists even the shadow of a
    national movement mature enough to hold any black Democrats the least
    bit accountable to the needs of his constituents

    As is often the case, the Republican and the Democrat represent more of the same. But this time there's another choice.

    Fronting for Paramilitaries: Holder, Chaquita and Colombia

    AUC_paramilitariesMurilloHolderby Mario A. Murillo

    Chiquita Brands was among the U.S. corporations that
    funded Colombia's rightwing death squads, organized under the umbrella of the
    United Self-Defense Groups. Known by its acronym, the AUC has butchered
    thousands of leftists, peasants and shantytown residents in service of
    Colombia's cocaine-connected aristocracy and foreign businesses. Eric Holder,
    the soon-to-be U.S. Attorney General, defended Chiquita's relationship with the
    death squads, as a corporate attorney. "Holder's appointment should sound alarm
    bells, especially when it comes to bringing corporate criminals to justice."

    Freedom Rider: Eric Holder and Marc Rich

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyFRHolder

    If you're a billionaire crook in the United States, flight from prosecution is easy. But what does a rich fugitive do if he wants to come back home? He hires an expensive law firm, and begins to lobby for a pardon. That's the route Marc Rich took when indicted for tax evasion, which brought him to the attention of Eric Holder, then Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. Rich also spread his money around Israel, seeking endorsements of his pardon. Rich "will probably die as a fugitive," but he's still fabulously wealthy, and Eric Holder's reputation was tarnished.

    African Americans, Peace and the Plight of Palestinians

    by Cynthia McKinneyMcKinneyPIX

    The former congresswoman and Green Party
    presidential candidate charges that "Israel's lockdown of Gaza is keeping food,
    fuel, and medicine from civilians." But that's just the most recent atrocity in
    a human rights catastrophe that began 60 years ago, in Palestine, the same year
    that birthed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration is
    prime evidence that a civilized world is possible, but "Palestine is the place
    that the Universal Declaration forgot."

    Obama Sells Out America's Youth and Defenders of Civil Liberties with Eric Holder

    by Richard SearcySearcy

    Corporate media focus on Eric Holder's role in the
    effort to pardon billionaire fugitive Marc Rich: basically, a wealthy man's
    game. But the author reminds us that, as a U.S. Justice Department official for
    Washington, DC, Holder was "an extreme drug warrior who believes that harsher
    and longer sentences should be enacted for minor crimes such as marijuana use
    and prostitution." Barack Obama's choice for U.S. Attorney General is "bad news
    for America's youth."

    The End of American Thanksgivings: A Cause for Universal Rejoicing

    by BAR executive editor
    Glen Ford
    PequotsMassacredGlen

    "Thanksgiving is not just a twisted fable, and
    the mythology it nurtures is itself inherently evil." The holiday is rooted in
    the massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indians, and has been used to justify
    America's history of genocide, slavery and scores of wars against weaker
    peoples. "The Mayflower's cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their
    own depravity and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem
    themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans."

    What Happy Thanksgiving?

    headdressby Netfa Freeman

    Black Americans should be among the last to celebrate
    Thanksgiving, a mythology that seeks to absolve white settlers of their
    intentional eradication of Native Americans. "African descendants in the US
    aren't primarily responsible for the theft of land or the genocide of
    indigenous people.  But to insinuate that what happened and is still
    happening to indigenous Americans is a relic of the past makes one an
    accomplice." Thanksgiving encourages notions of American exceptionalism. "At
    the height of the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, Americans had the
    audacity to claim a higher moral ground than the apartheid government."

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