1. Create Chaos: Trump’s executive order implementing ‘extreme vetting’ for people traveling to the U.S. was not vetted by any U.S. government agency — not the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, nor the National Security Council (NSC). The agencies responsible for carrying out Trump’s travel ban — Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services — were briefed on the order only as Trump was signing the final text.
So the public, U.S. government agencies, the media, and travelers from abroad were all shocked when the order was announced because it was effective immediately. Protests at airports erupted immediately as travelers with lawful permanent residence status (called green card holders) were and remain unlawfully detained by federal authorities. Continue reading →
By Otto Bauer, Theodor Dan, and Jean Zyromski, with a Foreword by Friedrich Adler and a statement by Henry Noel Brailsford (1935). Translation1 and introduction by Ben Lewis.
To my knowledge, what follows is the first English-language translation of an anti-war manifesto written by three leading members of the Labour and Socialist International (1923–1940). The translation should be of interest to a contemporary audience for three main reasons. First, it provides a glimpse of the political self-understanding of this significant trend within the workers’ movement, which sought to distance itself from the experience of Bolshevism and to win away workers to its banner. Second, the manifesto offers valuable insights into the geopolitical dynamics of the tumultuous 1930s, with the threat of another generalised global conflict looming ever larger on the horizon. The manifesto’s discussions of such varied phenomena as the history of the Second International, Stalinism, National Socialism and the League of Nations are extremely illuminative (and reveal some of the Socialist and Labour International’s illusions in the latter). Third, nonetheless, the manifesto contains potential insights for the contemporary left in its continued attempts to formulate an anti-war strategy that fights to work most effectively for peace through the overthrow of the capitalist mode of production and its inherent tendency towards war. Continue reading →
Wikileaks’ publication of stolen internal Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails prove what everyone already knew — that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton and tilted the primary and caucus process against Bernie Sanders. Sanders supporters are right to be outraged but few are asking the bigger and more important questions here:
Who is behind the leaks?
Why did they wait until the eve of the Democratic National Convention to leak this vitally important information?
To some extent, the following myths are all interlinked.
The typical anti-war activist believes that the current crisis is mainly political and financial and so military means are not addressing the primary cause of the rise of Islamic State (ISIS). The idea that we’re going to make it worse through military intervention isn’t just because its failing to address the key causes but because it reinforces what went wrong: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki alienated Sunnis and bombs will alienate Sunnis. And somewhat linked but not entirely, they think because ISIS is a response to local conditions, ISIS is not concerned with attacking the West.
This post is addressed to these people — their premises are false and so their conclusions and prescriptions are also flawed. References for the academic studies cited are at the bottom and footnotes are elaborations. Apologies for the length of myths 1 and 2, myth 5 should make up for it. Continue reading →
In the three years since Edward Snowden landed in Moscow, his relationship with his hosts has been a source of much speculation and controversy. The American IT contractor, who worked for the CIA and NSA until he fled Hawaii with more than a million purloined secret files, has not left Russia since he arrived at Sheremetyevo airport on 23 June 2013, on a flight from Hong Kong.
Snowden landed in Moscow with the permission of the Russian government, whose representatives he met during his sojourn in Hong Kong that lasted more than three weeks. He became so friendly with them that he actually celebrated his 30th birthday at the Russian consulate!
Three years after Edward Snowden, the American IT contractor turned global celebrity, made his media debut in Hong Kong, the truth of what really happened in this sensational affair remains elusive. The outline is clear. Snowden left his job in Hawaii with the National Security Agency (NSA) in May 2013 and appeared at Hong Kong’s Mira Hotel on June 1, having made off with more than 1 million classified intelligence documents belonging to the American government. A few days later, Snowden appeared on camera to announce that he was lifting the top secret mask off NSA, America’s biggest and most secretive intelligence service. Continue reading →