by Naomi Klein - The Nation
All is not well in Obama fanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from re regulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.
Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possibility that their man is not, in fact, going to save the world if we all just hope really hard. This is a good thing. If the super fan culture that brought Obama to power is going to transform itself into an independent political movement, one fierce enough to produce programs capable of meeting the current crises, we are all going to have to stop hoping and start demanding.
The first stage, however, is to understand fully the awkward in-between space in which many US progressive movements find themselves. To do that, we need a new language, one specific to the Obama moment. Here is a start.
by Ramzy Baroud
When one speaks of or advocates non-violence, does he promote such an idea because he believes that historically it has been a more effective means of liberation, or is it purely because he thinks that it is a more self-respecting means of struggle?
In recent history, many advocates of non-violence have been celebrated as modern day icons. From Ghandi to King, songs are written in their honor, their life stories fill the pages of our children’s history volumes as noble examples of which everyone must aspire to emulate. Holidays are instituted in their honor and around the world; streets and boulevards carry their namesake. Why is it that the “establishment” goes to such great lengths to lift up these individuals? Where are the holidays commemorating the life and sacrifices of Malcolm X, where are the stories of Crazy Horse or Geronimo?
by Chris Floyd
It is of course a harrowing business to be captured and held at gunpoint, and Phillips is to be lauded for his selfless courage in offering himself as a hostage in place of his crew. But despite the manifest difficulty and criminality of the situation, it is unlikely that his life was in imminent danger. Since the upsurge of piracy off the Somali coast began, there have been almost no fatalities in the raids, and so far every hostage taken by the pirates has been released unharmed.
What's more, as McClatchy reports, the pirates who had taken Phillips were apparently out of ammunition and adrift in shark-infested waters by the time U.S. Navy ships caught up with them. They offered to give Phillips back to the Americans in exchange for their own freedom -- but were shot dead instead.
by Democracy Now!
President Obama vowed an international crackdown to halt piracy off the coast of Somalia Monday soon after the freeing of US cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage by Somali pirates since last Wednesday. While the pirates story has dominated the corporate media, there has been little to no discussion of the root causes driving piracy. We speak with consultant and analyst Mohamed Abshir Waldo. In January, he wrote a paper titled “The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the World Ignores the Other?”
The former U.S. secretary of state is coming to Calgary. The University of Calgary said Wednesday its School of Public Policy will be formally launched at a gala event on May 13, with the keynote address being given by Condoleezza Rice, former U.S secretary of state.
"The School of Public Policy is honoured that Condoleezza Rice has agreed to present the keynote speech at our inaugural event," said Jack Mintz, director and chair of the new School of Public Policy and Palmer Chair in Public Policy. "There is no better way to emphasize the purpose of the school than to have someone with her level of practical and theoretical policy expertise present our vision to the community."
Rice is expected to talk about the issues facing North America from a global perspective and how public policy organizations can help shape the future solutions for North America in the global landscape.
The U of C said more than 400 tickets have already been sold for the event.
As we pay our tax bills, it seems an appropriate time to urge everyone to Rethink Afghanistan, a war that currently costs over $2 billion a month but hasn't made us any safer.
by Chris Hedges
It was unthinkable, when I was based as a correspondent in Jerusalem two decades ago, that an Israeli politician who openly advocated ethnically cleansing the Palestinians from Israeli-controlled territory, as well as forcing Arabs in Israel to take loyalty oaths or be forcibly relocated to the West Bank, could sit on the Cabinet.
by Scott Horton
Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo.
Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast.
We’ve teamed up with the crusaders at Save the Bay to create The Bay vs. The Bag campaign. Check out our two-minute movie that will make you say: “How’d they do that?!” Then take action to say no to the plastic bag industry.
by George Galloway
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