Reading Lenin in Modern Rome By Gaither Stewart with Patrice Greanville

14 March, 2009

A little bit of Leninism for breakfast gives you the strength of a hundred camels in the courtyard. (My adaptation of a Paul Bowles’ Arab adage)

And then this, straight out of the horse’s mouth:

‘It is more pleasant and useful to go through the experience of the revolution than to write about it.’ (Vladimir Lenin)

lenin.jpg(Rome) Leftists like to cite Lenin. To quote Marx is to delve into the theory of Socialism/Communism. But Lenin is another cup of tea. You get into Lenin and you’re already in revolution. When you read Lenin’s The State and Revolution, which contains the core of Leninist thought, you are no longer in the world of socio-economic theory. This powerful text offers insights into Leninist policies and elaborated Lenin’s interpretation of Marxism, above all the class conflict, but also the crushing of the bourgeois state and the establishment and role of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

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Zionism is the problem By Ben Ehrenreich

The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace.

15 March, 2009

It’s hard to imagine now, but in 1944, six years after Kristallnacht, Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, felt comfortable equating the Zionist ideal of Jewish statehood with “the concept of a racial state — the Hitlerian concept.” For most of the last century, a principled opposition to Zionism was a mainstream stance within American Judaism.

Even after the foundation of Israel, anti-Zionism was not a particularly heretical position. Assimilated Reform Jews like Rosenwald believed that Judaism should remain a matter of religious rather than political allegiance; the ultra-Orthodox saw Jewish statehood as an impious attempt to “push the hand of God”; and Marxist Jews — my grandparents among them — tended to see Zionism, and all nationalisms, as a distraction from the more essential struggle between classes.

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Venezuela: Make no mistake about it, there's an all-out war going on out there! Roy S. Carson

17 March, 2009

VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes:  Make no mistake about it, there’s an all-out war going on out there!  While President Hugo Chavez Frias seems fixated on external threats imposed by the United States of America — more specifically from the multi-nationals and delinquent banks that have the Obama presidency in their stranglehold — there’s a festering nether world at work in Venezuela that is probably more insidious than the collective efforts of the CIA and its shady covert operations could ever be.

Part of the problem must undoubtedly be laid at the door of President Chavez … as a military career strategist he will certainly be aware of the intricate patterns of subversion that constantly conspire to inflict substantial damage to each and every move he makes towards his personal dream of an egalitarian Venezuela that must necessarily rid itself of the gross injustices of past presidencies and inculcate a sense of citizenry moral indignation at the plethora of administrational abuses that will inexorably bring the nation to its knees.

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Media Lens: Selective Vision: Iran, Israel And Nuclear Arms

17 March, 2009

MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Gullible’s (Endless) Travels

Have journalists learnt nothing from recent history? It truly is a wonder when a reporter can assert in public, on the BBC News no less, that “Tony Blair passionately believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and posed a grave threat.” (BBC1, Six O’Clock News, February 24, 2009). When BBC reporter Reeta Chakrabarti was challenged on this remarkable display of naïveté, she compounded her grievous error by responding:

“I said Mr Blair passionately believed Iraq had wmd because he has consistently said so. When challenged he has stuck to his guns.” (Email posted on the Media Lens Message Board, March 2, 2009)

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The Ongoing Occupation of Iraqi Artists by Dahr Jamail

15 March, 2009

For centuries, artists, writers, and intellectuals have been meeting in Baghdad’s teahouses over tulip-shaped glasses of sweet lemon tea, cigarettes, and shisha pipes.

A car bomb detonated near one of the oldest teahouses a year-and-a-half ago, causing massive destruction around the area. When it reopened recently, Mohammed Al-Mumain, a 59-year-old biology teacher resumed his visits there. The portly, jovial teacher brought tea for my colleague and I before settling to talk, “The mind needs art and education. I come here because the lamp needs electricity. The lamp of my mind, like that in all of us, needs to discuss and review life continually. That feeds me. When I come here I feel like a teenager again. All that I need, the old culture along with the new, I find here.”

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