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5 Most Popular Recent Articles

The Omo People
Written by TubunMuzu   

World War II and the Battle of Britain: Operation Sea Lion, Looking Back Testimony of a Distinguished Veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frederick Clairmonte   
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 00:00

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Editor's Note

This article is phrased as  "a letter written to a colleague from the Sorbonne.  F." 

Battle of BritainThe film on  Lord Dowling, the Supremo  of Fighter  Command during what prosaically has been  labeled the Battle of Britain,  stimulated you to  make some perceptive comments. You asked for some clarifications and  amplifications and I shall take  some time off to do so. To achieve this I consulted my Archives.  I also happened to be a member of the Royal Air Force which I joined in the year of the Battle of Stalingrad.  It was an essential part of my experience and the greatest of educations.

It was more than the transition from an adolescent to an adult. It was far more than a world of flying.  A span of time that included not merely flying and doing what I was trained to do but also  a world  of books and study and thinking and reflecting and in talking to others and learning from them. If you wish to call that a University you may be free to do.  In that world diplomas and degrees  were of utter irrelevance. They would come later.

Let me say at once that there is considerable misunderstanding and swirling myths  of what is meant by the Battle of Britain which began after the collapse of France in June 1940. The mass bombings of South England began  in August. They were called off in November and we shall see why.  There was in the first place no such thing as the Battle of France. France was defeated and capitulated in June 1940. The nostrum of The Battle  of Britain was  concocted  by Winston Churchill. who used it  as a promotional battering ram to give colour and charisma to his leadership.  In sum, he used  it effectively as a public relations stunt.

British labour movement must resist onslaught with united action PDF Print E-mail
Written by Socialist Appeal   
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 00:00

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There has been a massive campaign in the British press and media to “soften up” public opinion for the cuts that loom. Above all, they are trying to split the workers in the private and public sector. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 10, a trade union march and rally has been called in London and here we provide the leaflet that Socialist Appeal supporters will be distributing on the rally. Download the leaflet (pdf)

Photo by  pilotito.Photo by pilotito.“We are entering a new age of austerity”, stated David Cameron, representing the Nasty Party. “Within months we will be the most unpopular government since the war”, explained George Osborne. “This is an era of hard choices”, explained Gordon Brown. Even Nick Clegg has warned his supporters of “tough decisions” in cutting government debt.

This is the language of the 1930s and the Depression. It is a message from the Establishment: everyone has to take a big drop in living standards to put British capitalism back on its feet. It represents a dire warning to the Labour movement and ordinary working people.

The massive attacks on workers in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and elsewhere are a sign of what is to come here, whoever wins the election.

There has been a massive campaign in the press and media to “soften up” public opinion for the cuts that loom. Above all, they are trying to split the workers in the private and public sector. Public sector workers are pictured by the capitalist media as “pampered” in their “cushy” jobs with privileged pensions.

You're waging war against "This" country! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kourosh Ziabari   
Friday, 02 April 2010 00:00

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Tittle-tattles regarding the possibility of a military strike against Iran are being renewed these days. President Obama, to whom I still wonder why the Nobel Peace Prize has gone, is confessing that former President Bush was right in his belief that Iran poses a serious threat to the international community; Russia is cowardly retreating from its position, joining the rest of world's tyrannical powers who favor the imposition of new sanctions against Iran; fueled up by Israel and AIPAC, American corporate media are laying the groundwork to prepare the public opinions forcefully, convincing them that Iran is the most dangerous country in the Middle East and should be disarmed as soon as possible, otherwise, it may attack Israel to wipe it off the map.

All of what's happening right now resonates with the developments which we've been a witness to two years before the invasion of Iraq. New York Times is exactly replaying the unpleasant scenario it had devised to convince us that the late dictator Saddam Hussein has had Weapons of Mass Destruction. History is being repeated once again and Iran is now subject to a backbreaking, multilateral psychological warfare in addition to the previously-running economic embargo. The very fact that Iran is still standing on its own feet demonstrates the powerful will and strong capability of this nation; however, what's really happening behind the scenes? What will happen if U.S. or its Middle East subordinate, Israel, attack Iran?

A movement back in the streets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Tierney   
Saturday, 27 March 2010 03:20

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The March 21 demonstration for immigrant rights in Washington, D.C., drew more than 200,000 people (Vanissa Chan)IN THE largest demonstration for immigrant rights since 2006, some 200,000 people came to Washington, D.C., on March 21 to highlight the growing demand for reform among more than 11 million undocumented immigrants and their supporters.

The marchers expressed their frustration with the Obama administration's inaction on changing what the president has repeatedly called a broken immigration system.

Organized by the Reform Immigration for America coalition, which represents some 200 different organizations, the throngs of protesters packed the National Mall and rallied for several hours before marching toward the Capitol building.

Thousands of immigrants and others came with their families, many traveling from as far as California to join the mostly Latino crowd of young and old protesters--in addition to the many African, Asian and West Indian immigrant families and organizations present. Buses came from as far as Iowa, and 283 buses were organized in Maryland alone.

War With the Ghosts PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Monbiot   
Friday, 26 March 2010 14:16

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Nuclear Symbol

Sharing our nuclear deterrence with France is out of the question. Last week the government slapped down a French offer to reduce the costs of our submarine patrols, by taking turns to prowl the same seas rather than duplicating the effort and occasionally crashing into each other. This proposal, it said, would cause “outrage”, on the grounds that it’s an unacceptable erosion of sovereignty. Using a system leased from the United States, on the other hand, presents no such difficulty. When the government says our sovereignty is threatened, it means that another nation might disrupt the orders it receives from Washington.

So we must maintain the pretence that this is ours alone, and sustain our extravagant doctrine of “continuous at-sea deterrence”. Deterrence against what? Nazis? Aliens? Killer jellyfish? Our Trident missiles, due to be replaced and deployed at a cost of several tens of billions, have no visible strategic purpose. They are the reification of a fantasy: a fantasy that the United Kingdom is still a defining world power and that our enemies present an existential threat. As usual, the government is preparing for the last war, building a fantastical Maginot Line against the enemies of a previous century, the ghost armies that haunt the official imagination.

Misreading Khamenei's Approach to the United States and Iran's Geopolitics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett   
Monday, 22 March 2010 00:00

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Most of the Western media failed to report on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's annual, live Nowruz (Persian New Year) address yesterday in his hometown of Mashhad.  Instead they took conventional snippets from his earlier pre-recorded message for state television.  In doing so, the Western media have again missed important content and context regarding Khamenei's approach to dealing with the United States and Iran's geopolitics.

The critical point in Khamenei's live address this year was his reiteration of last year's ground-breaking offer: "We [the Islamic Republic] have no history with the new [U.S.] administration and president.  We reserve our judgment.  If you change, our conduct will change as well."

But, this year, Khamenei questioned Obama's determination to change the core substance of America's approach to the Islamic Republic and emphasized that Iran would not be swept up in Obama's emotional but, from Khamenei's perspective, substantively empty rhetoric of "change."  Khamenei said:

I don't know who the decision makers in the U.S. are -- the President, Congress, others behind the scenes -- but what I do know is that Iran has acted on the basis of logic . . . we do not act emotionally with regard to the issues important to us.  We make decisions on the basis of calculations, rather than emotions.

To be well understood, Khamenei's live Nowruz address this year needs to be read in conjunction with his live Nowruz speech in Mashhad last year.  Last year's address came on the heels of President Obama's attention-getting 2009 Nowruz video message, which had been released just a couple of days before.  In that video message, Obama had directed his remarks to "the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran" (actually referring to the country by its official name) and proclaimed that: "my administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran, and the international community."  Even more importantly, Obama noted that "this process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect."

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