US domestic

The US elections and the Middle East crisis: a prospect for change? (Audio)

November 2008
The election of Barack Obama is a historic victory over racism, but it is not the victory of the left, argues Phyllis Bennis. The US foreign policy will become more cooperative with emphasis on soft power, but the military option will still be on the table.

>Listen to the lecture (mp3 - 58min) (Thanks to Stan van Houcke for recording the lecture)

Response to poverty and empire: denial

November 2008

In the 1970s, Martin Agronsky, a weekend talk show host in Washington, finally invited the venerable I.F. (Izzy) Stone to join the establishment “pundits.” From the early 1950s through the early 1970s, Izzy had raised the basic issues to a readership -- no more than 100,000 -- of Stone’s Weekly.

Izzy treated inequality of income as both an axiom of capitalist economic relations and as a phenomenon sustained by the annual U.S. budget -- that is, built into the “democratic” political system. He also questioned the veracity of the official U.S.

US presidential poll outcome

November 2008

The election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States marks a welcome turning-point in American history and real progress in a society where a Black could have been sold literally as a slave just 140 years ago, and where s/he couldn’t even vote just 40 years ago.

It restores one’s faith in the possibility of genuine change for the better, or greater inclusiveness and growing respect for diversity and pluralism in a relatively conservative society.

Great expectations

Tariq Ali
November 2008
The weight of the past, present and future will add drag to Obama's ascent to the White House

Barack Obama's victory marks a decisive generational and sociological shift in American politics. Its impact is difficult to predict at this stage, but the expectations of the majority of young people who propelled Obama to victory remain high.

“W:” Bush ultra lite

Saul Landau and Farrah Hassen
October 2008

At a time when we need Marx’s analytical abilities, Oliver Stone offers Freud. In his one-dimensional biopic, “W,” we do not gain insight into how a less than brilliant president circumvented carefully constructed procedures to safeguard the military industrial complex.

Bonfires for the global vanities

October 2008
A new US administration will provide an opportunity for change, but it will take a powerful, mobilized antiwar movement to hold a new administration accountable to promises made, argues Phyllis Bennis.

Obama and the spectre of race

September 2008

It's a paradox. Barack Obama's candidacy is hailed as “historic” for the very sound reason that he is the first African-American to become the presidential nominee of a major party. In a country whose history is permeated by race, that's clearly a significant event, at the least a huge symbolic breakthrough.

Reactions to Obama's speech (video)

Phyllis Bennis, Tom Morris and Pepe Escobar
August 2008

Truth in comedy

July 2008

Have mainstream politicians grown so out of synch with the needs of the people that only comedians address the issues? Traditionally, the court jester dared shine a satiric light on imperial problems. In our society, standup comics and “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”, under the guise of clowning, get away with exposing corporate rip offs and self-serving government agencies. The mainstream media accept these thug operations as national axioms.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert don’t joke about tens of millions of people moaning, not whining, from pain of economic hardship.

La verdad como comedia

July 2008

¿Están tan fuera de contacto los principales políticos con las necesidades de la gente que solo los comediantes tratan los temas? Tradicionalmente el bufón de la corte se atrevía a llamar satíricamente la atención acerca de los problemas imperiales. En nuestra sociedad, los comediantes, "The Daily Show" y "The Colbert Report", bajo el disfraz de la payasada, se salen con la suya denunciando las estafas de las corporaciones y las agencias gubernamentales egoístas.

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