US presidential election 2016

Trumpland (and Aerial Bombardment)

Submitted by admin on Wed, 11/23/2016 - 18:44

 

Fritz Lang - Metropolis (1927)
Fritz Lang - Metropolis (1927)

 

Dear Friends,

In 1927, Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou made the silent classic Metropolis. The film is set in 2026, where wealthy industrialists - such as Joh Fredersen - reign over workers who live beneath the ground (picture above is a still from the film). It ends with an anarchic workers' uprising.

In the current issue of Frontline, there are many reports on Trumpland. Perhaps the most important is an essay by Aijaz Ahmad that anchors the issue. My own report, coming after, merely catalogues the 598 day election and its aftermath. You can find it here. Th

Der Kommissar's in town....

Submitted by admin on Thu, 11/10/2016 - 11:28

 

Angry Whites Overturn America
Photo Twitter

 

Dear Friends,

The newspaper above is from South Korea. It is the largest circulation daily. The headline is dramatic - Angry Whites Overturn America.

Wall Street Journal poll taken just before the election suggested that two-thirds of Americans are embarrassed about the election. The result has certainly created a great deal of despair on one side and a sense of revanchism on the other. The social fabric is fragile.

A few hours after the election was decided, I wrote a short assessment for Alternet, which evoked Gramsci's idea of the Time of the Monsters. The take-away, I

My (final) note on the US election

Submitted by Vijay Prashad on Tue, 11/08/2016 - 03:17

 

Vote Communist

 

<olden days> In simpler times, when two communists (one being Jarvis Tyner) in the United States ran for the presidency, when the class lines were firmly drawn and when the politics of liberalism and revanchism stood quite clearly - and unitedly - in the camp of the enemy.

Now things are messier. The US elections trigger 'projectile vomiting', as Barbara Ehrenreich writes in her wonderful Guardian essay: https://www.theguardian.com/…/us-election-projectile-vomiti….

This is the 598th day of this election campaign. I have covered it as diligently as possible for Frontline - as Vijayasa

Farmers on the March & Palestine

Submitted by admin on Thu, 11/03/2016 - 01:17

 

Kisan Sabha

 

Dear Friends,

As you read this, across India, hundreds of thousand of kisans (farmers) are on the march - walking from the ends of the country to converge on 24 November in Delhi. They have many grievances, but one purpose: to get their voices heard towards a shift in policy. At our LeftWord Books blog, I have a short post that tries to lay out the farmers' agenda. You can read it here. In time, we at LeftWord Books, hope to publish a Kisan Reader - with essays on the struggles of Indian farmers from the 1940s to the present. Keep an eye out for it. The picture above is from the start

Syria, Libya and the US Presidential Election

Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 00:52

 

Trump-Clinton
Photo Lesley Clark

 

Dear Friends,

The US presidential season is almost over - it is like the end of a mini-series, a television show that has run out of steam. November 8 is the final episode. What comes next is anyone's guess? Wikileaks' surprises from John Podesta's emails about Hillary Clinton come at a furious pace, but so too do erratic things from Donald Trump. It is a mess. My most recent Frontline report is out this week, and it is on the death knell of this campaign. The report ends, like all such bluster, with a whimper, saying that Hillary Clinton 'is a reliable candidate. There i

American Elections, Colombian Peace

Submitted by admin on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 01:22

At a FARC camp.

 

Dear Friends,

Good news out of Cartagena, Colombia, where the FARC and the State signed a peace deal ending a 52 year civil war. But matters are still on the edge. This Sunday, on 2 October, the people of Colombia will go to the polls to vote on a referendum towards peace. A lot rests on this vote. It will be a dangerous situation if the vote goes against peace, although the mood suggests that peace is inevitable.

My report in Alternet is on the peace deal, between the signature and the referendum. The last paragraph is here:

  • October 2nd is Gandhi’s birthday. It is a fitting day for the

Libya and America

Submitted by admin on Wed, 08/03/2016 - 15:50

 

'STOP PRETENDING EVERYTHING IS OKAY' at DNC2016
Photo Twitter

 

Dear Friends,

This week, the United States government began to bomb targets in the Libyan city of Sirte. Commentary on this bombardment has not taken in hand the brittleness of Libyan politics and its overwhelming complexity. My report this week for Alternet tries to provide some of the background to the grave difficulties inside Libya, most of it provoked by the 2011 NATO war on the country. Furthermore, it looks to me that these strikes will create more instability not only in Libya but also in Tunisia. The final paragraph of my report reads,

  • Will the airstrikes actually