Real History Lessons

Followers of Glenn Beck have described themselves as "students of history" and "historians." Everyone who opposes Beck's racist, reactionary agenda needs to know and bring out the real history of the U.S. and the world in order to, and as part of, politically opposing this agenda.

What is the American Way of War?

via Revolution

The Obscene Acts of Unjust War 

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In early January, a video went viral on the Internet showing four U.S. Marines in Afghanistan urinating on the bodies of three killed Taliban. The video, which the Pentagon confirmed was authentic and was likely taken between March and September 2011 by another Marine on the scene, immediately drew worldwide condemnation.

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Why “The Lesser of Two Evils” is a Suicidal Strategy

by Dennis Loo 

Whenever the election cycle starts up, some people tell us that they feel that they have no choice but ”to hold their noses” and vote for the “lesser evil,” by which they usually mean the Democratic candidate (although there’s a right-wing version of this in which they choose the Republican when they’d really rather have the libertarian). 

One respondent to a recent Energy Insiders Poll in National Journal about the [Keystone XL] pipeline explained that these groups will reluctantly come back to the President: “Environmentalists will not be happy, but they have nowhere else to go, since they scorn Republicans.”   

                                                                        — Jessica Goad and Stephen Lacey

For the last few presidential race cycles we’ve heard people from the left and from the Democratic Party tell us that “this is the most important election in your lifetime.”

It’s funny how for several times in a row it’s been the “most important election in your lifetime.”

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On Elections and the Sources of Real Political Power

by Dennis Loo

Contrary to most people’s understanding, real political power does not principally exist either by the vehicle of voting or through the publicly displayed actions of the existing political institutions such as Congress and the White House. 

Real political power actually rests upon two bases: coercion and legitimacy. The nature and features of the official political institutions are fundamentally irrelevant to this. As the sociologist Max Weber put it, political power is a monopoly over the legitimate means of violence. The hard core of political power, in other words, as I put it in Globalization and the Demolition of Society, is coercion, not the consent of the governed.

Why is violence so critical to political power?

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Life and Death Lessons from Egypt

by Dennis Loo

The latest developments in Egypt provide life and death lessons on the nature of politics and movements that seek to end oppression. Egypt’s February 2011 popular uprising, along with Tunisia’s immediately preceding uprising, were triggers for the Occupy movement. Developments in the Arab world are both important in their own right and provide a window into the forces in play that operate everywhere. Egypt can be viewed, then, as a dress rehearsal for developments worldwide.

The Egyptian military, which took over control after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, was initially seen by many Egyptians as heroic for refusing to fire upon the people who flooded into Egyptian streets demanding that Mubarak go.

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10th Anniversary of 9/11: Ten Years of a Juggernaut of Empire… And the Need for a Whole New World

Below is a slightly edited talk given on September 11, 2011 by Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books in New York City, on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
 
Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer, was traveling home from vacation in Tunisia in September of 2002 and had a brief layover at JFK airport in NYC. He was immediately detained and held in solitary confinement for two weeks by U.S. intelligence forces and denied any meaningful communication with a lawyer. Although the U.S. authorities had no evidence against him, he was whisked onto a plane and taken, rendered—not to Canada which had raised concerns about him—but to Syria.
 
In Syria he was placed in an underground grave—a 3-ft. x 6-ft. rat-infested underground cell with no light. He was let out only to be tortured repeatedly, brutally interrogated, and worst of all kept in his solitary underground coffin without recourse or communication with the outside world. After 10 months, 10 long months, he was released and returned home. No charges filed. None. Arar is irrevocably scarred psychologically from this. His wife and young child put through their own hell. This never goes away. Eventually the Canadian government paid restitution for their conveying mistaken information. The U.S. has refused to accept any responsibility—declaring secrecy—including and continuing under the Barack Obama administration.
 
AMERICAN LIVES ARE NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHER LIVES
 
Syed Fahad Hashmi is a 30-year-old Muslim American citizen. He came to the United States from Pakistan with his family when he was three and grew up in Flushing, Queens. He became a U.S. citizen and graduated from Robert F. Wagner High School in 1998 and Brooklyn College in 2003. He then went to England where he earned an M.A. in 2005.

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The Juggernaut of Empire and the Need for a Whole New World ...

This article originally appeared on the site Revolution

On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people died when jets flew into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

The immensity and horror of the attacks shocked people. Never had such a thing happened on U.S. soil. Some reacted with rage, with blind patriotic fury. Mobs formed to call for revenge; people who “looked foreign” were not only spat upon and often beaten, but in some cases actually killed for the offense of “looking different.” A network TV host deviated from the message and literally got told by the president’s spokesman in a press conference to “watch what you say.” He lost his show. Massive government roundups of over 1,000 immigrants occurred.

Other people—a minority, but not insignificant—were reminded of the scenes of horror on the nightly news that happen to “other people” who are “far away.” They mourned the 9-11 victims... but began to ask questions. Why did this happen? They sought out others—friends, sometimes strangers—to talk, to make sense of it all.

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What We Should Remember from 9/11

Woman who confronted RumsfeldBy Debra Sweet

Just what is it we're being told to "never forget" as we remember the events of 10 years ago?  Looking back at what the Bush regime did at the time:

CBS News reported that, on the afternoon of 9/11/01, Donald Rumsfeld ordered the military to draw up plans to attack Iraq.  "Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

How about this, directed at any nation or person who would question means taken by the United States in response by George Bush, September 20, 2001: "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."  

Rumsfeld, with Known and Unknown;  Condoleezza Rice with No Higher Honor; and Dick Cheney, In My Time are hustling books, making the most of the anniversary as an opportunity for re-writing history.  We should not miss the opportunity to protest and challenge them, as World Can't Wait, Code Pink and Witness Against Torture will be doing this month in NYC. 

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Dennis Loo's New Book: Globalization and the Demolition of Society

“Brilliant...A game changer.” -- Sharon Araji, Past President, Pacific Sociological Association.

“If enough people read this book we can change history.” -- Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait

Order now!

Find out more about the book...

Debra Sweet:
Dennis Loo’s new book: “Globalization and the Demolition of Society”

Dennis Loo:
Wil. E. Coyote, the American People, and What Is Up Now

Linda Rigas:
A Touchstone Work: Dennis Loo’s Globalization and the Demolition of Society

True Stories of U.S. "Humanitarian" Intervention

From Revolution newspaper:Haiti

The U.S. and other imperialist powers are portraying their missile and bombing assault on Libya as a "humanitarian" operation to protect the Libyan people who are being attacked by Gaddafi's forces. A quick look at three examples from recent times—and many more could have been chosen—reveals the actual nature and effect of such U.S. "humanitarian" interventions: the expansion of U.S. domination, and increased suffering and oppression for the people in the countries subjected to this military "intervention."

Haiti: "Operation Uphold Democracy" 1994—1995

In September 1994, the U.S. invaded Haiti. The invasion, officially called "Operation Uphold Democracy," restored the presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had been overthrown in a military coup in 1991. Aristide was returned to power, but the U.S. and U.S.-allied military forces remained to enforce so-called "peace-keeping" and "nation-building." The Haitian people paid a steep price for this U.S.-imposed "democracy" and "peace."

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Behind the Arab Revolt Is a Word We Dare Not Speak

By John Pilger

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I interviewed Ray McGovern, one of an elite group of CIA officers who prepared then-president George W. Bush's daily intelligence brief. At that time, McGovern was at the apex of the "national security" monolith that is American power and had retired with presidential plaudits. On the eve of the invasion, he and 45 other senior officers of the CIA and other intelligence agencies wrote to Bush that the "drumbeat for war" was based not on intelligence, but lies.

"It was 95 percent charade," McGovern told me.

"How did they get away with it?" I asked.

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.