North Africa and the Middle East: Support the revolts and prepare for revolution

A statement from the General Secretary of Revolutionary Initiative (Canada)
February 14, 2011.

When the young Tunisian produce merchat Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze after having his livelihood taken from him by Tunisian authorities, he sparked a rebellion amongst a stratum of youth, students, the urban unemployed, and petty-bourgeois, first in Tunisia and then all across the Arab world. But Bouazizi was himself merely a rallying point, the final trickle of indignation sufficient to allow the fears of Tunisians to be overcome by their yearning for liberation. The Tunisian revolt, followed by the flight of Ben Ali on January 14, 2011, emboldened the Arab masses to emulate Tunisia’s example, igniting all of North Africa and the Middle East in rebellion.

The domestic and international situations that have conditioned these revolts are the depressed economic conditions in most of the Arab world, subordinated as it is to the geopolitical interests and economic dictates of imperialist globalization, which includes the defense of Zionist aggression and expansionism. The protests and rebellions throughout the Middle East – from Tunisia, to Algeria, to Egypt, to Jordan, to Yemen, to Gaza, and beyond – have been triggered by decades of pro-imperialist, feudal, dictatorial, pro-Israel, and bankrupt antipeople policies. As the Arab revolts unfolded, the news outlet al-Jazeera began to release the leaked “Palestine Papers”, thousands of diplomatic documents from the past decade of the Israel-Palestine conflict. A brief glance at only a few of the thousands of documents reveal unequivocally how treachourous and pro-Israeli is the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and the entire Palestinian Authority. These documents have offered the Arab masses and the whole world yet another opportunity to observe how U.S. imperialism, Israel, and comprador ruling classes like Mahmoud Abbas and Co., conspire against the interests of the masses in the geopolitical and economic interests of imperialism. Continue reading “North Africa and the Middle East: Support the revolts and prepare for revolution”

Why Do These Stupid Books Sell?

[From the blog M-L-M Mayhem!]

I am always fascinated and frustrated by the North American mainstream public’s willingness to buy and accept as authoritative “historical” books of dubious scholarship that popularize ruling class ideology.  The reason these books are not treated with the suspicion they deserve, obviously, is because they are designed to reinforce what people are already taught to believe.  These books masquerade as academic, as well-researched and expert, and yet they rarely fit the standards of academic feasibility and honesty.  And yet they still become part of popular discourse, defended by laypersons who repeat, ad nauseaum, these books’ claims and pour scorn on the qualified critics who raise questions.

Alan Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel, for example, not only argued the ahistorical and racist-colonial position that Palestine was an empty desert, a terra nullius, before the European Zionists arrived to “make it bloom again” (and that the Palestinians are really all lying Arabs who snuck into the Zionist paradise from neighbouring states), but he plagiarized his argument from Joan Peters’ From Time Immemorial––a book already apprehended as a work of historical hucksterism decades earlier.  Despite the attempt of proper historians, The Case for Israel is still a best-seller and Harvard University Press is more than happy to re-issue further editions.

Continue reading “Why Do These Stupid Books Sell?”