With its latest attack on Gaza—on the families it drove from their homes in what is now Israeli territory—Israel is surpassing itself in viciousness. As of today, Israel has killed 212 Gazans, including at least 61 children and 36 women. It is “obliterate[ing] multiple generations of families” in the middle of the night—at least 21 members of the al-Qawlaq family, from 6 months to 90 years old. It is pulverizing residential towers and media offices, and bombing “civic infrastructure, businesses and the main roads leading to the city’s al-Shifa hospital.” Destroying the roads is an instructive example of Israel’s gratuitous, and clever, cruelty: It of course prevents ambulances and medics from moving where they’re needed; it also blocks the families who are fleeing to the hospitals for safety from the sudden explosion of their homes. But, We didn’t bomb the hospital!
On August 8th, Donald Trump took four executive actions on coronavirus relief. One was a memorandum deferring, to the end of the year, payment of the employee portion of the payroll tax for employees making less than $4000 biweekly. (Employer payments had already been deferred in the CARES act.)
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” — Aristotle
It has been an extraordinary week. On the heels of a pandemic and months-long lockdown, a nationwide uprising erupted in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd. In some 75 cities across at least 16 states, and around the world, militant, multiracial gatherings of thousands of rightfully-enraged people overwhelmed police forces, prevented arrests, forced the evacuation of, and burned, a police precinct, and damaged and burned dozens of buildings. Mainstream news reporters from around the world were arrested and fired upon with rubber bullets on live television. Police SUVs drove into crowds of people. It has been the most extensive, and the most threatening, explosion of popular rage against the machine since the uprisings of 1967-8.
Here we go again. Now that Bernie Sanders has completed his predictable circuit of loss and capitulation, leftists—those who stand for socialist and anti-imperialist, or even serious social-democratic and antiwar, politics—again confront the quadrennial quandary: Must one vote for the thoroughly neo-liberal and imperialist Democratic presidential nominee?
There are two things I feel compelled to say about Mike Bloomberg and his candidacy.
Thing One: Thank you, Mike!
In a few weeks, Mike Bloomberg—along with the Democratic Party and its allied media—has demonstrated the reality of class rule more clearly than reams of Marxist analysis could.
I wrote six articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) about the Bernie Sanders campaign during the 2016 primary. As everyone keeps saying, Bernie is a paragon of consistency, so my understanding of him stands unchanged. The political situation in 2020 is, however, significantly different, and has opened up new possibilities for the Sanders campaign. On the eve of the first primary vote in Iowa, let’s consider what those possibilities are and where this campaign is taking its constituents and the Democratic Party.
The Democrats have now revealed the hand they’re going to play for impeachment. I have been vehemently arguing against playing this game and pointing out how futile it is, but, seeing the two cards actually laid out on the table, even I am gobsmacked at what a loser of a hand they’ve got.
Updated: Nov. 28, 2019
I’ve had the displeasure to watch some hours of the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry. It’s an excruciating spectacle, alternately boring, confusing, and infuriating.
It was a helluva week on the Iran front. It started with attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13th and ended with Donald Trump ordering, and then calling off, a military attack on Iran on June 20-21. How we got from beginning to end of that chapter in ongoing US-Iran saga is worth close consideration.
In my article, Avoiding Assange, a month ago, right after the first US indictment was issued, I addressed two diversionary arguments that I knew would be used by those who want to hide their complicity with American imperialism under leftish cover—that is, those who don’t want to be seen as endorsing the United States government’s prosecution of Assange for, and intimidation of every journalist in the world from, reporting the embarrassing truth about American war crimes, but who also don’t really want to stand in the way of Assange’s extradition to the United States.
The United States government is seeking to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange for one reason: to punish him for publishing true and embarrassing information about US crimes and intimidate every journalist in the world from doing so again.