The continuing struggle for Afghanistan is not about “tribalism,” or the past—it is an up-to-date product of world capitalism. It is about state power and wealth. This is true whether we consider the remaining influence of Ghani’s Islamic State, which did raise the educational level, and sometimes status, of women; or the continuing threat of Daesh, with its “Caliphate’s” appeal to disturbed and nihilistic urban youth; or the prospect of rule by the Taliban’s Emirate with new diplomatic recognition from China, Russia, and Iran.
In-person report from Idlib province, Syria.
Yemen’s civil society organizations, representing the revolutionary hopes of 2011, have presented humane terms for a peace agreement. The state powers and non-state actors dependent upon them have their own ideas.
The Syrian Revolution has been the physical and intellectual battlefield that defines our time. As early as 2012 it was clear that what happened in Syria would determine the next stage of world history.
News & Letters editorial taking up how in Syria, attacks are intensifying upon the three million Syrians, mostly civilians, trapped in Idlib province and how so many in the Left have failed them.
Syria’s Idlib province faces imminent slaughter by Russia, Iran, and Assad regime forces, which have already made it into the model of the 21st century concentration camp. We call upon all of humanity to oppose this and to demand protection for these millions whose only “crime” was to fight for freedom against a fascist regime.
Yemenis face another winter of war, hunger, disease, and the brunt of Saudi and Iranian imperial rivalry. Over half the population urgently needs humanitarian assistance.
At least 358 civilians were killed and over 400 wounded in a truck bombing by al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, Somalia, Oct. 14, 2017.
The maneuvering of imperial powers to carve up Syria amid the regime’s ongoing bloodbath reveals the logic that results when the masses are not allowed their self-activity. .
The people’s revolutionary struggles form the ground for approaching developments including Trump’s attack on a Syrian military base. The human-to-human communication found in places like Kafranbel has been a form of theory in itself. The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in the Syrian conflict has been the lie that there is “no good alternative” to Assad, echoing the bourgeoisie’s “no alternative” to capitalism. The state of Europe today illustrates the central importance of revolutionary solidarity.
The U.S. raid that destroyed Yakla in Yemen, killing 25 civilians, drew world focus on slaughter of Yemenis since the 2011 uprising in Change Square in Sana’a toppled the Saleh dictatorship.
As the big powers push toward their desired “settlement” in Syria, the world is witnessing the most vicious war crimes and there are calls to end the dehumanization that allows this genocide to become accepted as “inevitable.”
The author is reminded of Arab poet Al-Ma’arri as the inspiring Syrian revolutionaries in Maarat al-Numaan keep up their struggle for freedom against the Assad regime, despite the world ignoring them .
Domestic terrorist Omar Mateen’s killing and injuring of Queer people in Orlando exposes racist and anti-Muslim sentiments but also, in reaction to his act, solidarity with the Queer community worldwide. The challenge is whether humanity will create a truly human society where Queer people are considered human.
Contents: Introduction; I. Discontent, revolt and reaction in the U.S.; II. The worldwide war against women; III. Chinese labor in revolt; IV. Counter-revolution and revolution in the Middle East and North Africa; V. Toward organizational new beginnings. The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we print the Marxist-Humanist Draft Perspectives in the pages of the paper of News and Letters Committees. It is an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2016-2017
Economic problems are worsening crazily because of this war, but that is no longer the only major problem in Yemen. There are at least four major problems/risks being horribly worsened as the war continues. They are: famine, epidemics, the expansion of extremist groups, and sectarianism.
From the signing of a nuclear weapons agreement by the U.S. and Iran, to the ongoing war in Syria including the roles of Turkey and of the Left, this wide-ranging article delves into the Middle East situation with an emphasis on the forces fighting for genuine freedom and a multi-ethnic society.
Worldwide, the refugee crisis is unprecedented and is fueled by war, terrorism and climate change. The worldwide response is paltry with country after country turning away or deporting frantic and desperate people in search of a safe haven.
In a day-long orgy of murder on April 2, four al-Shabaab terrorists invaded the campus of Garissa University College and killed 143 students.
The formal end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 was just in time for post-war wars to begin in Afghanistan itself, as well as in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen.
In today’s economic crisis, Europe is haunted by the specters that were supposed to be overcome by the European economic union and the single currency Eurozone: the 20th century tendency to degenerate into vile nationalism, genocidal racism and the barbarism of total war.
The confrontation between differing classes and worldviews has been most intense in Syria, making it the test of world politics—and of philosophy and revolution. The Syrian Revolution has pushed thought about revolution to a new level.
Yemen’s Western-backed President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, announced the long-awaited formation of a new, “technocratic” government Nov. 7. The country has been in upheaval since the 2012 overthrow of dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. The immediate background to the new agreement is the changed situation resulting from the occupation of large areas of the country by Houthi rebels, including the capital, Sana’a….
Today the heroic struggle of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, along with allies of the Free Syrian Army, to defend Kobane from the IS deserves all support. This means first the support of the people, the workers, women, and all who struggle for a better life.
As Marxist-Humanists we call for the support of the ongoing Syrian Revolution. We call for the right of self-determination of the Kurdish people, and we call for military and political support to the heroic defenders of Kobane. This struggle isn’t just local, or sectarian, but rather it cuts deeply into the universal history of humanity’s striving for freedom.
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
RESPONSES TO MARXIST-HUMANIST PERSPECTIVES
The Marxist-Humanist Perspectives (N&L, May-June 2014) give a critical assessment of the polarization between the oppressive forces of capital’s social relations and humanity’s efforts to realize human dignity. It shows humans are not just passive victims of capital. First [=>]
“My decision to go on hunger strike points to the need for new forces to defend the idea of universal human rights. Although the number of inmates refusing to take food at Guantanamo has recently declined substantially, solidarity remains a vitally important factor.”
“If there was no revolution in Syria, I almost feel like there would be no reason for me to exist. You don’t get tired of it. Revolution is what brought us together, as Syrians, for the first time.”
So overwhelming has been the past year’s flow of revelations about the U.S. government’s spying on virtually everyone that even President Obama’s hand-picked review panel had to acknowledge it. Though noting the potential for abuse of the state’s mountains of covertly gathered data, nowhere does the report by Obama insiders grapple with the question of just what sort of totalitarian instrument the militarized top secret government has become.
London, England—Some found it strange that a man voluntarily stopped eating for over 20 days. I found it hard. After all, I like to eat as much as anyone else. Yet my decision to go on hunger strike in support of Guantanamo Bay prisoners had a deeper, political meaning.
I was in good company. The usually [=>]
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. It committed this crime in full view of the world—images of hundreds of murdered children, still in pajamas, laid out in temporary morgues, shocked viewers across the world.
Since April 2011 the world has looked on as over 115,000 Syrians have been killed, and over 7.2 million have been made refugees. When Assad’s regime resorted to illegal chemical weapons, it seemed to many that this would change. It seemed that the images of so many murdered innocents might compel some action.
The mass protests in Turkey, the presidential election in Iran and, above all, the continuing struggle for the Syrian revolution express the depth of today’s social crisis. These crises are interpenetrated and inseparable. The stakes are high.
Tunisia, Syria and Egypt show the determination of the masses to continue their revolutions in the face of vicious counter-revolution.
The opening of Barack Obama’s second term made it clear that, despite all talk of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is to be no end to the state of permanent war either abroad or at home.
President Obama promises to end the war in Afghanistan after 13 years. But the Afghan people have [=>]
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
The long-simmering situation has exploded. French troops have begun attacking fundamentalist militias in northern Mali. It remains to be seen how effective French and African forces will be against the militias. Certainly many people want to be rid of the al-Qaeda-linked groups that have attacked women, destroyed historic Sufi Muslim [=>]
by Gerry Emmett
“However partial the industrial revolt may be, it conceals within itself a universal soul: political revolt may be never so universal but it hides a narrow-minded spirit under the most colossal form.”
–Karl Marx, “On the King of Prussia and Social Reform”
The world’s rulers would like to declare an end to the earth-shaking, world-historic events of the Arab Spring, that completely unforeseen social revolt that [=>]
The deep contradictions Mali has been experiencing are about to become even more intense. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has agreed to send several thousand troops to join Malian troops in an operation to take back the northern part of Mali. The area has been primarily under fundamentalist, al-Qaeda-linked, Islamic rebel control [=>]
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Demands for freedom and dignity drove the Arab Spring. In Tunisia, in Tahrir Square in Egypt, in Daraa, Syria, and elsewhere these weren’t abstract, but concrete efforts to create new human relations under conditions of dictatorship, capitalist crisis, endemic corruption, spiraling food prices and environmental degradation. While bourgeois commentators have rushed [=>]
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
Counter-revolution’s rise shows need for a total philosophy
This special issue carries our Draft Perspectives Thesis, part of our preparation for the national gathering of News and Letters Committees. We publish it because our age is in such total crisis, facing a [=>]
From the March-April 2012 issue of News & Letters:
World in View
Bosnian genocide 20 years after
by Gerry Emmett
April 2012 marks 20 years since the start of the genocide in the former Yugoslavia, 1992-1995. This was a deliberate, state-sponsored attempt by Serbian President [=>]
OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013
February 26, 2012
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
Where we must begin is with the world in upheaval, from Occupy Wall Street to Arab Spring, still going after more than a year.
Nothing better shows the old order’s bloody desperation to prevent a [=>]
Following his triumphant announcement on May 1 that Osama bin Laden had been killed in al Qaeda’s secret headquarters in the garrison town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, President Obama as Commander-in-Chief had enough political cover from the warmongering right wing that he probably could have declared “Mission Accomplished” and ordered an abrupt departure from Afghanistan. His [=>]