San Francisco, October 31 – In the final days of the US presidential election campaign, Republican candidate John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin have repeatedly charged that Democrat candidate Barack Obama is a “socialist”. While this assertion is ridiculous, it does bring the issue of socialism into the mainstream of US political discourse.
International News & Analysis
The war in Afghanistan is not a “good war” gone bad. It’s been an unjust, imperialist war of conquest and empire from its inception. About five hours after hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, US President George Bush’s defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld turned to an aide and told him to begin drawing up plans for war.
Violent attacks by Jewish residents in the Israeli city of Acre last month have left 14 Palestinian families, a total of 72 people, homeless. All 72 are Israeli citizens who had their homes destroyed.
Since the September 15 failure of Wall Street-based Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the US, the world’s capitalist governments have been scrambling to keep the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s from turning into a total collapse of the global financial system.
Every year since 1992 the overwhelming majority of UN member countries have voted for Cuba’s resolution demanding an end to the US economic blockade against the Caribbean socialist state. On October 29, the UN General Assembly voted for the 17th consecutive year in favour of Cuba’s motion.
Brussels – In 2007-2008, the standard of living of more than half of the world population dropped dramatically when the price of food soared. There were massive demonstrations in at least 15 countries in the first half of 2008.
While capitalist governments around the world have responded to the freezing up of the capitalist financial system by turning trillions of dollars of public funds over to bankrupt bankers, the revolutionary government of Venezuelan socialist President Hugo Chavez has continued to take steps to redistribute wealth to Venezuela’s working people.
In the Indian state of Gujarat, 50 kilometres southeast of the city of Bhavnagar, lie the ship-breaking yards of Alang. What was once a pristine beach is being used as a deadly graveyard for the world’s supertankers, container ships, car ferries and naval vessels. Even aircraft carriers are dismantled at Alang.
On October 25, Major-General Tariq Khan, commander of Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), announced that his officers had captured Loi Sam, a key Taliban stronghold in the Bajaur region, part of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Australian News & Analysis
The global arms industry is a very lucrative way for businesses to profit from death, destruction and oppression. It is estimated that each year 2% of world gross domestic product (GDP), or more than US$1 trillion, is spent on the military. Part of this goes to the procurement of military hardware and services from the arms industry.
A 400-strong rally was held in Brisbane on November 1 as part of the campaign to free Lex Wotton, an Indigenous community leader from Palm Island, who was found guilty on October 24 of “rioting with destruction” by an all-white jury in Brisbane’s District Court.
On the afternoon of Friday, October 17, Victoria University vice-chancellor Elizabeth Harman sent an email to all staff describing her “unhappy” decision to proceed with 270 “voluntary and targeted” redundancies.
The rate of growth in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – 3% between 2006 and 2007 – has exceeded the “worst-case scenario” predictions of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the September 26 Los Angeles Times reported.
Views, Discussion & Debate
If you listen to capitalist economists, media commentators or major party politicians, two things you will always find treated with reverence are private property and free markets. These, we are told, are essential not only to economic progress but even to “democracy” and “freedom”. US presidents have used these holy concepts as justification for threatening, or launching, wars.
Battle in Seattle
Written and directed by Stuart Townsend.
Starring Woody Harrelson, Martin Henderson, Michelle Rodriguez and Andre Benjamin.
Australian release date unknown
As the sun sets on an American empire sliding into recession, it is time to pay tribute to the enduring efforts of George Bush whose end of term rapidly approaches. Is he the greatest simpleton out of America to ever lurch across the world stage, or insane war criminal that has made America number one rogue state in his axis of evil jingoism?
In Their Own Words
There’s a difference?
“Is this the US Congress or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?” – US Democratic member of Congress Dennis Kucinich, speaking on the US$700 billion bailout of Wall Street.