The Debacle in the Desert
Reflecting on the Legacy of the US Invasion of Iraq
On the night of March 19, 2003, a massive bombing campaigned commenced in the sky over a darkened Baghdad. The so-called "shock and awe" experiment had begun. What looked like a laser light show, or a sequence from a Hollywood film to those glued to their screen watching CNN, cost the Iraqis an estimated six thousand civilians dead. The goal of that campaign: to overawe the Iraqi people and kill the ever-cagey dictator Saddam Hussein. In a prelude to what much of the next decade would bring, both efforts failed. Instead, the curtain opened on what would be the greatest foreign policy debacle of the post-war era. Coalition forces stormed across the windswept Iraqi border on March 20, 2003. CENTCOM Commander Tommy Franks-fresh off of his Afghanistan campaign, which terrorism expert Peter Bergen refers to as "one of the greatest military blunders in recent US history"-called the shots. Deciding not to occupy major cities or to engage units not directly in the path of the Coalition juggernaut, Franks pushed relentlessly toward Baghdad. On April 9, Baghdad fell and the Hussein regime was deposed.t enemies, despite having every right to resist to the ongoing occupation by whatever means necessary. Yet, he still became a victim of Israeli terror.
The Straight Outta Compton Casting Call and the False Outrage over Colorism
The Sandi Alesse Agency recently released a casting call for the movie, Straight Outta Compton, an N.W.A. biopic, set for release next year; which is nothing short of sexist, racist, and brimming with calculated colorism. Although casting calls are meant to be specific, due to its keen focus on race and complexion, which includes detailed descriptions about the various constructed categories of women that they want to cast; the casting call reads like an antiquated caste system or eugenics scale. The casting call read: SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES - PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY: A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair - no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30.
From 'God's Wrath' to 'Protective Edge'
Israel's Four-Decade-Long Assault on Palestine
In Beirut on July 8, 1972, thirty-six year old Ghassan Kanafani entered into his Volkswagen for the last time. The prolific writer and editor of Al Hadaf ("The Goal") was headed to the newspaper's office. His seventeen year old niece Lamis Najm was with him. Not long before, he had penned these words to her: "Dearest: You are rising now, while we start to fall. Our role is almost complete. The role of this generation was the shortest for any generation in history. We live in crucial times for the history of humanity and people are divided between participants and spectators… The battle is harsh and human capacity cannot tolerate this much. I, young one, chose not to be a spectator. It means that I chose to live the crucial moments of our history, no matter how short…." It was around 11 a.m. that Saturday when the explosion occurred, judging from the watch later found on what remained of Lamis' hand. Kanafani was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the heart of the left-wing secular opposition to Israel. He was a noncombatant, and although pictures of Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara adorned his office, he never personally picked up a gun against his Zionist enemies, despite having every right to resist to the ongoing occupation by whatever means necessary. Yet, he still became a victim of Israeli terror.
From El Barrio to La Realidad
Women Lead Struggles to Transform the World
On May 24, hundreds of members of the Movement for Justice in El Barrio from New York, mostly women of all ages, came together to honor the life and struggle of the murdered Zapatista from La Realidad, "Galeano". For this event, the prominent Mexican feminist, activist and thinker Sylvia Marcos sent her reflections on Being "Jovena" (a young woman) and Zapatista in La Realidad. The women of El Barrio and the Zapatista women of La Realidad are two examples of how women in struggle all over the world are coming together to inspire and learn from each other, and how, in the process, women are transforming the world. The Movement for Justice in El Barrio is a community-based organization, led by immigrant women who work for dignity and social justice and against oppression, gentrification and displacement in El Barrio, New York. The organization was founded nearly ten years ago by Mexican immigrant mothers, many of them indigenous. They had been displaced from their native land and forced to emigrate, and now found themselves faced with racism, brutal landlords, appalling living conditions, and a constant threat of displacement. These women had never participated in social struggles in Mexico, and they did not speak English. But they started listening to their neighbors and realized that they all shared the same problems...