Even before the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali, the purpose of the U.S. "war on terror" as stated in words was to fight "Islamic terrorism" and "jihadism." But facts show each time the U.S. and its allies have launched a war in the Middle East it has been followed by a great strengthening and not weakening of "jihadism." Taking events in order:
By Stephen Bell
All progressive people have rightly condemned last Friday's atrocities in Paris, the recent downing of the Russian passenger jet in Egypt and the Beirut bombings of 12 November. ISIS has claimed responsibility for all these attacks.
The following article by Sabby Dhalu attacks the Islamophobic campaign being whipped up following the Paris terrorist attacks. It was originally published in the Morning Star
The terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut were chilling, and the first response of the anti-racist movement is solidarity and sympathy with all those affected.However, the anti-racist movement is now sadly accustomed to the other responses that come fast in the wake of every terrorist attack.
PlusNovember 28 - Scotland and Wales marchesDecember 12 – Paris demonstration
Jeremy Corbyn once again put Cameron on the back foot at PMQs last week, pressing him yet again on his plans on tax credits since the defeat in the Lords. Corbyn’s remark – ‘this is not a constitutional crisis, but a crisis for hardworking families’ – is a memorable put down for a Prime Minister who has attempted repeatedly to shift the debate away from the impact of the cut in tax credits to the alleged scandal of its rejection by the Lords.
But despite these successes, the right have not let up on their anti-Corbyn offensive.
British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Teresa Villiers used a recent report to lay a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Sinn Féin. The purpose of the report was to act as a smokescreen providing cover for a Unionist walk-out from the Assembly. But the report itself was actually written by MI5, one of the many arms of the British state that were parties to the military conflict. In one case alone MI5 is itself under official investigation for its involvement in up to 40 murders.
In the article below Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams places the latest report and the most recent allegations in the context of Britain’s long and bloody interference in Ireland. It is republished from Léargas.
The following article by Gavin Rae, on the elections to Poland's parliament, was originally published by transform!
The recent parliamentary elections in Poland were historic, although unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since 1989 a political party in Poland has won an overall majority in parliament, with the conservative nationalist Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) winning over 37 per cent of the vote. Also for the first time in history, the left will have no representatives in parliament, meaning that Poland is presently the only country inside the European Union where there are no left MPs.
The following article by Sabby Dhalu, on the refugee crisis and forthcoming day of action, was originally published by the Morning Star. Having created the crisis, Western governments, with their ample resources, are failing to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance. Racism frames Europe’s response, with Britain's government one of the most vile. The 12 September protest should be supported by the widest progressive mobilisation.
Attacking refugees, immigrants and Muslims dominated the government’s agenda this summer, with the global refugee crisis hitting the headlines.
Jim Crow alive and well in the US
Tens of thousands took to the streets nationwide across the US in response to the exposure of the depth of the structural racism embedded in US society through the impunity with which the US state kills black people.
The movement on the streets, triggered by the grand jury decision in St Louis not to prosecute the police killer of Michael Brown, took on a new dynamic following a similar decision in the New York case of Eric Garner. In New York the guilty were let off despite video evidence that this unarmed black man was choked to death by a police officer.
The following article by Jude Woodward, assessing the US 'Pacific pivot' strategy following Obama's recent visit to Asia, originally appeared on her New Cold War blog.
Obama’s November week-long, whistle stop tour of Asia – attending the Beijing APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) summit, the ASEAN meeting in Myanmar and the G20 in Australia – was intended to re-launch America’s crucial Asia-Pacific (aka China) strategy, in the doldrums since Obama’s aborted 2013 trip cancelled in the context of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis. Instead the trip merely underlined how much ground the USA has to make up in order to trump China’s growing influence in the region.
US and Saudi Arabia collude to use oil price fall against Russia
The dramatic fall in world oil prices – down to around $70 a barrel from $95 earlier this year – is already having a profound economic effect, particularly on countries that are reliant on oil and gas exports. Venezuela’s budget deficit is accelerating, Iran is under increased pressure, but the most dramatic impact so far has been in Russia.
Russia is the world's second largest oil exporter with oil and gas accounting for 70 per cent of all exports and half of government revenues. The combined impact of the oil price fall and Western sanctions in response to developments in Ukraine have led to a huge tumble in the value of the rouble, which has fallen by 36 per cent so far, falling 6 per cent in one day on Monday 1st December.
Ferguson - the 'American dream' is revealed as a nightmare
America's post-crisis weak recovery has not led to any improvement in living standards particularly in its most impoverished and disenfranchised African American communities. On the contrary inequality has risen and in the most powerful country in the world its inner cities are riven with poverty and its communities criminalised. Facing growing disaffection the police have attempted to maintain control through increased use of violence and repression. After the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Fergusson, Missouri the response of the black community and progressives was that enough is enough. The grand jury decision not to charge the St Louis police officer who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, will unleash another round of protest and struggle as the state is thrown back on violence alone and oppressed communities refuse to accept it and the deep-rooted racism that lies at its core.
By Tom O’Donnell
In stagnant waters all sorts of virulent organisms can grow. As Britain’s economy continues to stagnate racism is spreading and becoming more poisonous.
Cameron now says that the British economy is likely to deteriorate once more, prolonging the crisis, but none of the mainstream political parties offers any policy which would resolve it. The economic stagnation will continue and so too will the unrelenting racist propaganda campaign.
Thousand of students are expected to join the demonstration on Wednesday 19 November.
The Free Education protest is organised by a coalition, including: the Student Assembly Against Austerity, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Young Greens.
The demo's Facebook event is here and it can be followed on twitter via the hashtags #Nov19 and #FreeEducation.
By Jane West
The storm that has swirled around Ed Miliband's head over recent days has been entirely the result of hostile media manufactures and the machinations of backbench uber-Blairites. But they have exploited the mistakes and terrible weaknesses of Labour's campaign for the general election.
By Bob Clarke
The political impact of the economic crisis in Europe has entered a new phase. When the economy was contracting virtually all parties implementing austerity policies were thrown out of office or at least experienced a large drop in their support. In the more recent period of economic stagnation, the same economic policies have the effect of shifting the burden of the crisis onto workers and the poor while capital benefits, boosting the incomes of the very rich and allied layers.
The question of devolution for Scotland has not been resolved by the outcome of the referendum. All three leading Westminster parties made a pledge just days before the vote, vowing fundamental reform of Scotland’s governance and a strict timetable for its implementation.
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