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Iraq war

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    Coming to America: Mercenary Justice

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    There is as yet no legal barrier to wholesale deployment of mercenary soldiers to U.S. cities. Such forces occupied New Orleans in 2005, two years before Blackwater troops massacred Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. Could Times Square be next?

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    Freedom Rider: Detroit and Iraq

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Race to the Bottom under global, militarized capitalism creates communities of shared misery. Increasingly, it is almost as dangerous to be inside U.S. borders as on the outside. “Iraq was invaded with soldiers, guns and bombs. Detroit was invaded by the corporate ‘suits’ who made a fast buck for themselves.” Both are plundered by the same bandits.

    ISIS Iraq Offensive: Can the Empire Reassert Control of the Jihadists?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “How can the U.S. bomb ISIS jihadists in Iraq and not bomb them in Syria?” The contradictions of the West’s reliance on Muslim fundamentalist jihadis to do their dirty work have become acute with the ISIS blitzkrieg in Iraq. Despite its vast weaponry, the U.S. cannot control events on the ground if their jihadist gunmen pursue their own objectives, which are ultimately antithetical to imperialism.

    Freedom Rider: America’s War Crime in Iraq

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    For the people of the Middle East, the American war never ended; it continued under the brutal, U.S.-backed jihadists who ravaged Syria, and have struck at Iraq with a vengeance. In the United States, George Bush gets the blame for the Iraq War while the First Black President reignites the region with his proxy wars and apocalyptic threats. “Imperialism is still on the move and now has a more shrewd personification in the person of Barack Obama.”

    The United States: Land of Blissful Ignorance and Blatant Hypocrisy

    by Solomon Comissiong

    American popular geopolitical ignorance sometimes seems infinite. Most of the world is fully aware that the U.S. government financed the Ukrainian coup “that helped bring to power a wave of neo-Nazis.” Yet, most Americans think that Russia is playing the Hitler role, and Washington is the good guys.

    Condoleezza Rice is Not Qualified to Speak on Civil Rights 

    by Mel Reeves

    Faculty and student groups a the University of Minnesota insulted history and Black America, last month, inviting Condoleezza Rice to speak on the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Rice and her immediate family rejected that Movement. “She is not a beacon of the Civil Rights Movement but, rather, an embarrassment.”

    Obama’s Ludicrous Afghanistan Declarations

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama thinks he can make war appear to be peace with a wave of “his semantic magic wand.” U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including elite killer teams, are to be redefined as mere “advisors” to Afghan forces so that America’s “combat” role can be declared ended – to be followed by ten more years of mass killing and occupation.

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    The United States of War: An Addiction to Imperialism

    by Solomon Comissiong

    The U.S. is Number One is weapons of war and domestic civilian gun deaths – and very little else. Historically, peace has not been a priority for the United States, which has waged war every decade since 1776. “The people must demand an end to war, not because it costs trillions of dollars, but because it cost millions of lives.”

    Are America and NATO replacing the UN?

    by Motsoko Pheko

    The United States and its allies behave as if their will is international law, in Syria and everywhere on the globe. “To trust such America and NATO investigators to be impartial in their search for chemical weapons and to identify who used them is like naively believing that jackals can look after sheep without reporting that some of them are ‘missing’ or ‘dead.’”

    Freedom Rider: Obama’s Accomplices to War Crimes

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Inside the U.S. information bubble, the conspiracy of lies about Syria is nearly seamless. “Obama has no reason to fear that his tall tales will be presented as anything other than fact” because corporate media and the two corporate parties speak the same Orwellian language. Assad is the immediate target, but the common enemy is the rule of law, domestic and international.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/04/13

    UNAC: Stop Obama’s Syria War

    “There’s no basis for it, whatsoever: it’s against international law, it’s against UN conventions, it’s illegal, immoral and has to be stopped,” said Marilyn Levin, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, which has organized demonstrations against President Obama’s planned attack on Syria. “What they’re trying to do is regime change, to get a government that is compliant with the United States.”

    POP Rallies Against “Re-Run” of Iraq Attack

    The People’s Organization for Progress rallied against Obama’s war plans, in Newark, New Jersey. “Our opposition is in line with the Black community, which I am certain would oppose another war,” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “But, it’s also important to note that a majority of the people in the country oppose it. This whole situation seems to be a re-run of the prelude to the war in Iraq.”

    March on Washington Commemoration an “Obscenity”

    The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington “was a government-corporate affair, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and everybody that could give Al Sharpton and the people that were organizing that march a check,” said veteran South Carolina activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “It was a farce, it was an obscenity. The people were props. There was no demand on the administration,” said Gray. “Sharpton is the administration’s yard dog.”

    Denied Mic, Dream Defender Says Youth are “Ready” to Challenge System

    Philip Agnew, a leader of the Dream Defenders occupying Florida’s State Capital, circulated the speech he would have given to the March on Washington crowd if he and other young people had not been cut from the speakers list: “I’d tell you that millions of young people and queer people and poor people and people of color are asking, What do we do with all this anger, this fear, this disappointment? For 50 years we’ve wandered and wondered: Where are the youth? … Peace over profit, revolution over revenue, and all peace and power to the people! Just watch – we’re ready.”

    Fast Food Workers Press for Living Wage

    Fast food workers held job actions at 1,000 locations in 60 cities last week, demanding a $15 an hour living wage and union representation. “We think that the real people mooching off the system are the corporations,” said Kyle Kordsmeier, an organizer with the Interfaith Workers Network, in Memphis. “If we paid people a living wage, it would save us healthcare costs, welfare, food stamps. Ultimately, what we’re fight for is for them to pick up that tab. They’re the ones who are stealing our money.”

    White Power, Black Pain in New Orleans

    According to a report by Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley on the state of New Orleans, the city “is whiter than it was when Katrina hit, there’s more renters; there are jobs, but they’ve moved out to the suburbs,” and Teach for America instructors “have taken the jobs of primarily African American teachers whose union was broken and replaced by charter schools.” New Orleans’ city hall, city council and school board are all controlled by whites, although Blacks comprise a “technical” majority of the population, said Quigley, whose report is titled “Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Eight Years Later.”

    Will Banks be Bailed-Out, or Depositors Bailed-in?

    British and American banking officials are drawing up plans to treat large depositors in U.S. banks as “investors” whose funds might be seized – “bailed-in” – in a financial crisis. Dodd-Frank legislation prohibits bailouts of banks with taxpayer money. However, Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood says: “It stretches credulity to think that this government would ever let big investors, big depositors, big bondholders take major hits in a banking crisis. I am utterly convinced they would find some way around this law and save the skins of the well-heeled.”

    Tiny Eritrea Maintains Self-Reliance

    Zimbabwe and Eritrea, a small country of 6 million people on the Red Sea, are the only nations in Africa that have avoided entanglement with the U.S. Africa Military Command, AFRICOM. Eritrea also refuses so-called foreign “aid” in favor of national self-reliance. “It was critical to build a self-reliant state” after 30 years of war for independence, said Simon Tesfamariam, an Eritrean-American activist and writer, speaking on Your World News. “If you look within your own resources, you’ll find a way to make it. But, all this is impossible without the unity of the Eritrean people.”

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    The U.S. War Against the World

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The DNA of finance capitalism has foreordained its death – and soon. To forestall that inevitability, the U.S. war machine is prepared to turn out the lights on much of the world – and here at home. “The gasping and grasping empire seeks to thwart the material and social progress of the entire planet: it becomes the enemy of all.”

    Syria and the Sham of “Humanitarian Intervention”

    by Ajamu Baraka

    The doctrine of “humanitarian” military intervention “has developed into the most effective ideological weapon the liberal human rights community provided Western imperialism since the fall of the Soviet State.” In truth, it is simply an updated form of the “white man’s burden” – and a license to wage war against all who stand in the way of U.S. domination of the globe.

    Black Agenda Radio on PRN, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/13/13

    Assata, JZ and Beyonce: The Connection

    Domestic law enforcement is at odds” with President Obama because of his “new approach to Latin America and the war on drugs,” said Dhoruba bin Wahad, former Black Panther and co-founder of the Black Liberation Army. According to bin Wahad, who spent 19 years in prison on political charges, Obama is seeking to “calm the shift in power to the Left in Latin America” in his second term. “JZ going to Cuba, getting a visa, was not coincidental,” he said. The recent JZ-Beyonce “trip was about opening up Cuba” to U.S. tourism, “to disrupt and undo the Cuban revolution.” Exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur’s elevation to number one domestic terrorist on the FBI list “represents the disgruntlement of U.S. law enforcement” with this process.

    The Betrayal of the Black Misleadership Class

    The Black political class that emerged from the tumult of the Sixties became eager partners with corporate neoliberalism, said Jay Arena, author of Driven from New Orleans: How Non-Profits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization. The first generation of the post-Sixties Black political class “emerges just at the time when the national state begins their neoliberal austerity and privatization agenda – and they embraced that,” said Arena, a veteran activist and professor of sociology at the College of Staten Island, New York. Many Black politicians and non-profit organizations collaborated in the dismantling of public housing in New Orleans and cities across the nation.

    Superpower Woes in Syria
    “The United States, and any other imperialist nation on earth, has no right” to interfere with the internal affairs of Syria, said Jeff Mackler, national secretary of Socialist Action. Washington’s ambitions in Syria have been frustrated because “they don’t have any forces on the ground that they can trust to defend their interests.” The U.S. faced a similar situation in Iraq, and has no reliable allies on the ground in Afghanistan, either, said Mackler.

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    Freedom Rider: Hidden War Crimes in Iraq

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The United States leaves an indelible impression on the peoples that come in contact with it: in the case of Iraqis, a legacy of death by bombs, bullets, incineration, starvation, disease and genetic damage. The U.S. didn’t event war crimes, but its global reach and high tech style of killing makes America unique in the annals of inhumanity.

    The U.S. Scorched Earth Policy, Ten Years After Iraq Invasion

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    In desperation to halt the slide into “non-empire” status, the U.S. makes every government on Earth a potential target for “humanitarian” military intervention. The imposition of chaos is Washington’s default foreign policy as an alternative to “the Chinese handwriting on the wall.”

    Mali Invasion Shows That “Adieu” Does Not Always Mean

     

    by Mark P. Fancher

    Whether rightists or “socialists,” all French governments believe in their inalienable right to dominate Africa. French troops are on the move in Mali and the Central African Republic, and not long ago overthrew the regime in Ivory Coast. If the colonial era has passed, somebody ought to tell Paris – and French-speaking Africans – the news.

    Obama and the GOP Circus Show

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Having shown his hand over the last three years as an eager – although often spurned – partner in Republican austerity politics, and a war-maker who could make George Bush blush, President Obama will seek reelection with bankers’ money while pretending to remain “infuriated” with Wall Street. The banksters are in on the scam, since “nothing can match Obama’s crowning glory: the permanent bailout of finance capital.” The Republican candidate, whoever it is, will certainly spout an unambiguously pro-business line. But, “a GOP gaggle that savages itself for the privilege of singing the praises of the rich can only bring down the wrath of the people on the bankers’ heads.” Wall Street knows Obama is their true “shining knight.”

    Freedom Rider: Is America Fascist?

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The classic government models of “fascism” are approaching 80 and 90 years old (Germany and Italy, respectively), regimes from a different world. Today, fascism looks like…us. And American fascism’s leaders need not be Aryan, or even pale. “The Obama administration insisted on keeping the language which permitted American citizens to be detained by the military without trial.” So, let’s update the historical record: Obama is the First Black Fascist President of the United States.

    Is Obama Even Worse Than Bush?

    by David Swanson

    George Bush threatened and blustered, while President Obama’s m.o. is to “operate through deceptive propaganda.” But substantively, Obama pursues – and expands on – Bush’s policies, and adds new twists of his own. “Obama should be prosecuted for his crimes,” but “the reason I can't get 20 people into the streets to demand Obama's impeachment is that nobody in Congress is even pretending to give a damn.”

    U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq is Fiction

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford


    Embedded corporate media rose to new heights of non-journalism as, on command, they conjured up an end to (America's) Iraq War based on nothing more than a change of nomenclature. Combat soldiers woke up one morning as "advise and assist" troops whose "bases" were magically transformed into "fortified compounds." Still, the U.S. empire has no intention of leaving Iraq - especially when there are so many available euphemisms for staying.


     

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    Liberation's Lies

    iraq war crimesby Felicity Arbuthnot
    The current imperial offensive not only physically destroys human beings on an industrial scale, it debases the souls of the aggressors. The voices of U.S. helicopter pilots as they fire cannons into innocent Iraqis on a neighborhood street corner, testify to an anti-human, “video game morality” among “America’s finest.”

    Barack Obama and Langston Hughes on “Grumblers” and “Merry Christmas”

    When US presidents offer us their holiday greeting messages, do we know what are they really saying?  How hard can it be to figure that out?  Langston Hughes died in 1967, but he knew what every US president, including Barack Obama is really saying, underneath and behind the mask.  

     

    Obama Continues to Privatize America's Imperial Wars

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    The Pentagon has methodically insulated its wars from most of U.S. civil society. “For the United States, war has devolved to a matter of contracts, a multi-trillion dollar cash cow for corporations, a self-perpetuating financial bubble that feeds the planet’s most dangerous and nonproductive, useless classes.” The mercenary is the ideal corporate warrior.

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    The Grant Park Dream Has Died

     

    by Paul A. Moore
    What a difference four months make. On November 4, 2008, tears "tears flowed like a mighty river" from half a million pairs of eyes in Chicago's Grant Park, where Barack Obama made his victory speech. Today, "Obama has no intention of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and ending that war," "there will be no genuine single payer national health care system under this president," and Obama invites "voucher and charter school boosters to the White House." The dream has turned into a hoax.

     

    Obama's First 100 Days -- The Black Agenda Report Card

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Why a Report Card At All?
    The hundred day report card is an enduring tradition in American journalism for a very good reason. It's journalism's job to help citizens make sense of the world, to seek the truth and tell it without fear or favor no matter where it leads. Three months and a week into a new administration, everybody knows where the mens and ladies rooms are, most of the key hires are in place, and the bus has definitely cleared the station. There's plenty of evidence by now to assess where it's going, and whether it's anyplace we really ought to be headed.

    Freedom Rider: Endless War

    warby BAR Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Why are more Republicans happy with Obama's policies on government secrecy, wiretapping, non-withdrawal from Iraq, unqualified support for Israel and a host of other policies than most of the Democratic party's own base?  What do they know that many of us don't, or perhaps do not wish to know?

     

    Obama To Leave 50,000 Troops In Iraq Indefinitely

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    rrrA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

    From a supposed "antiwar" candidate, to a fan of the murderous "surge," from a "no permanent bases" candidate to a "50,000 troops for the foreseeable future" president, Barack Obama, starting from the center, has progressed steadily rightward.

    Holding Barack Obama Accountable

    montage069by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
    The presidential campaign of Barack Obama has become a media parade on its way to a coronation.  Journalists and leading Democrats have done shockingly little to pin Obama down, to hold him specifically responsible for anything beyond his slogans of "yes we can" and "change we can believe in".  Prominent Black Democrats, many ministers and the traditional Black leadership class are doing less than anybody to hold Obama accountable, peddling instead a supposed racial obligation among African Americans to support this second coming of Joshua and his campaign as "the movement" itself.  What would holding Barack Obama accountable on war and peace, on social security, health care and other issues look like, and is it possible to hold a political "rock star" accountable at all?

    Heroes and Hypocrites: Black Caucus Shattered on Iraq

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce A. Dixon

    More than two-thirds of the Congressional Black Caucus signed on as members of the Out of Iraq Caucus, but when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic corporate cohorts turned up the fire, all but four melted into the mass of hypocrisy that joined the U.S. war machine while pretending to resist it. The heroes are mostly heroines: Reps. Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Diane Watson, and the only man in the bunch, John Lewis. The collapse of the CBC is not a morality play, but the story of a power play. The lesson: the CBC will not stand up to Power, and is a politically spent force as presently constituted. The same must be said of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, only four of whose non-Black members stuck by their guns.

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