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In the past, insurgent movements have been systematically demonised, whether it was the FLN, the Mau-Mau, the Vietcong, the Khmer Rouge, the PLO, the Tamil Tigers, the FARC, etc. etc. Their ideologies were nationalist and social, often inspired by Stalin and/or Mao. These were Cold War insurgencies against European and American imperial dominion, and they had the logistical and/or verbal support of Russia and/or China. Though they were legitimately fighting to get rid of foreign rule and oppression, they were cast as proxy combatants instigated and encouraged by the empire’s Cold War opponents. They were enemies threatening the existence of Western societies, so that their extermination justified the use of high explosives, napalm, agent-orange, drugs, murder and mayhem. Insurgents were savage terrorists who killed civilians with knives and hand grenades, so their villages and towns could justifiably be reduced to rubble by aerial bombing. (more…)


I still remember that smug look on his face, followed by the matter-of-fact remarks that had western journalists laugh out loud.

“I’m now going to show you a picture of the luckiest man in Iraq,” General Norman Schwarzkopf, known as ‘Stormin’ Norman, said at a press conference sometime in 1991, as he showed a video of US bombs blasting an Iraqi bridge, seconds after the Iraqi driver managed to cross it.

But then, a far more unjust invasion and war followed in 2003, following a decade-long siege that cost Iraq a million of its children and its entire economy. (more…)

syrian refugees

It sometimes happens in the middle of a dark night, when I don’t expect it, when I think that I am sound asleep but am not, or when perhaps I really am but not completely. I don’t know. All that I have witnessed and overheard, all that I thought I forgot but couldn’t, all that I tried so desperately to forget comes back, first in spasms, then in full force.

I often think that the West went mad. Totally, irreversibly! It turned into a monster itself, and it keeps manufacturing new, smaller but equally toxic brutes all over the world. It rolls, smashing all that stands on its way. And I am not sure whether it still could be stopped. (more…)


The American working class is the most powerful in the world, is the most productive in the world and we operate the largest and most profitable economy in the world.

American workers are also represented by national unions that have the most resources, the biggest staffs and the largest bank accounts, greater than any other trade unions in the world.

Yet, without question, American labor is politically the weakest in the world among the large economies, largely because we remain so violently divided. (more…)


Last year, I stopped travelling to Indonesia. I simply did… I just could not bear being there, anymore. It was making me unwell. I felt psychologically and physically sick.

Indonesia has matured into perhaps the most corrupt country on Earth, and possibly into the most indoctrinated and compassionless place anywhere under the sun. Here, even the victims were not aware of their own conditions anymore. The victims felt shame, while the mass murderers were proudly bragging about all those horrendous killings and rapes they had committed. Genocidal cadres are all over the government. (more…)


I first met Mahmoud Abbas in Tunis at the beginning of 1983. I knew that he was responsible for the Israel desk in the PLO leadership. Said Hamami and Issam Sartawi, the PLO delegates with whom I had been in permanent contact since 1974, told me that he was in charge. But he was not present at my first meeting with Yasser Arafat in Beirut during the siege.

I came to Tunis with General Matti Peled and Yaakov Arnon, in an official delegation of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, which we had founded in 1975. Before meeting with Arafat himself, we were asked to meet with Abu Mazen (as Abbas is called) and discuss our ideas, so as to present the leader with an agreed, detailed proposal. That was also the procedure in all the many meetings that followed. (more…)


San Francisco’s housing crunch is being exacerbated by the allocation of thousands of resident housing units into short-term rental (STR) space for tourists. STRs are defined by law as less than 30-day rentals, ostensibly to distinguish them from long-term residential housing.

Yet, the city found that about 15% of vacant residential units are off the long-term rental market, now being used by Airbnb, a vacation rental listing website valued at $25 billion with 1.5 million national listings and growing. (more…)


Being numerically insignificant, a ruling class can only maintain its dominion if it has the support of a larger group, obtained by combining mercenary and ideological means. This intermediary group transmits orders and supervises their execution, a thankless task that is compensated by above median incomes and the impression of moving up socially. The Middle Class learns to mimic the Upper Class on a modest scale, and dreams of fame and fortune. The Working Class, those who actually do things, is also fed the dream and aspires to a higher social standing. As an alternative to brute force and heredity, a social pyramid tries to be an aspiration. (more…)


In the early 1950s, I published a story by my friend, Miko Almaz. At the time, the new State of Israel was in dire straits, its leaders did not know how to pay for next month’s food.

Someone remembered that in a remote part of Africa there was a small community of Jews, who owned all the diamond mines and were immensely rich. The government chose their most effective money-raiser and sent him there. (more…)

clr james

During the exhilarating and dangerous late 1960s and early 1970s, no world historical figure of older generations had a more militant defense of Black Power than CLR James. But it was always a vision within a context, and after all these years have passed (along with James himself, who died in 1989), the context remains crucial.

He told a British audience in 1970, wondering about Stokely Carmichael, the voice of Black Power, “WHAT HE DO, HE WELL DO!” thus adopting the Caribbean patois. He rarely failed to mention that Stokely had been, in his younger years, also a Trinidadian, and that he remained always a son of the Afro-Caribbean people. (more…)