Z Nightly Commentaries
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Recent Z Nightly Commentaries
Fletcher: Listening to Goldstone
Nov 01, 2009
Justice Goldstone, a Jewish South African with impeccable credentials as an international human rights advocate and investigator, was charged by the United Nations with the task of conducting an investigation into allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes which took place at the time of the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December 2008. The result, a report adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council this past week, while finding war crimes committed by both sides, represented a stinging indictment of the activities of the Israeli military in its attack on the Gaza.
Fletcher: Trumka & Labor
Oct 12, 2009
The Pittsburgh convention of the AFL-CIO (the largest of the union federations in the USA) made it official: Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO under John Sweeney, and formerly President of the United Mine Workers of America, was elected to their top office.
Aug 29, 2009
On Varadero Beach, a hail of bullets fired from a speedboat hit their target, shooting up the Hotel Melia, one of Cuba's main resort hotels. A week later, the Miami Herald reported that it had received a "war communiquÃ©" boasting that "On the evening of October 7, 1992, Comandos L attacked a military objective off the coast of the province of Matanzas, Cuba." A tourist hotel had become publicly - not secretly -- a "military objective." And three months later, Tony Bryant, who headed Comandos L, boasted on national TV at a Miami news conference of plans for more raids against targets in Cuba, especially hotels. Warning tourists to stay off the island, he declared, "From this point on, we're at war." In fact, Washington had begun its War of Terror against Cuba in 1959. Tony Bryant's televised press conference merely exhibited how legitimate and normal that War of Terror had become.
Fletcher: Torture Dismissed
Jun 30, 2009
Many people on the Left have difficulty addressing the issue of torture. Certainly when the torture is carried out by imperialists, there is no problem condemning it. But what happens when torture is carried out by organizations or governments that claim to be progressive, anti-imperialist, or even on the Left? At that moment there is often silence, sort of a freeze-frame.
Fletcher: East Jerusalem
May 11, 2009
The Israeli government often reminds me of a dog I once owned. My dog was forbidden to enter into the living room. Nevertheless, she would creep into the living room, usually moving a few inches at a time in order to see whether we reacted. If we did not react, she would move further into the living room. Sometimes, when she was in the mood, she would move so far into the living room that she would feel comfortable tearing apart the furniture.
Fletcher: Labor & Obama
Jan 10, 2009
The president of the Maryland and DC AFL-CIO, Fred Mason, had an idea. Following the electoral victory of Barack Obama he found himself perplexed by the enthusiastic, yet very unfocused, response of organized labor as to what should happen next. While there was optimism in the air, what was missing was real content. But what was especially missing was any sort of public display of both support AND concern by US workers for an incoming Administration at a point of significant economic and political crisis.
Fletcher: UAW Fight
Dec 19, 2008
When I awoke on Friday morning, December 12th, I turned on my computer. The first thing I saw was that the deal being worked on in the Senate to provide the automobile companies with loans had fallen through. The explanation offered on MSN: the United Auto Workers (UAW) refused to take a pay cut.
Fletcher: End Gaza Blockade!
Dec 15, 2008
When it comes to Israel's blockade of Gaza, the silence is deafening, at least outside of Palestine. One wonders how many international conventions the Israelis need to break before there is an actual global outcry and action against their repeated human rights abuses against Palestine. The blockade of Gaza is only the latest in a long list of such abuses, but the scale of the abuse is beyond dramatic.
Fletcher: Right-Wing Populism
Oct 17, 2008
In the face of economic crises there is always a search for scapegoats. Particularly in the case of modern capitalism, there remains a certain level of disbelief that crises are built into the system, i.e., that capitalism generates crises (and always has!).
Fletcher: First 100 Days
Oct 09, 2008
Two days after the November 2008 elections, Democrats and their allies are still celebrating the decisive defeat of Republican John McCain. With his defeat comes the chance to render unto history the remnants of the Bush/Cheney regime that so ruined the lives of the bottom 80 percent of the U.S. population, and turned most of the world against the U.S. Eight years of Bush/Cheney have brought incompetence, jingoism, and neoliberalism. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, and the deepening economic crisis have served to discredit much of the conservative agenda, even going so far as to generate despair among the right-wing evangelical base.
Fletcher: Black Radicalism
Oct 05, 2008
Jeffrey Perry has constructed a masterful examination of the life of the little known, though immensely significant, Black radical Hubert Harrison. In the first volume of what Perry promises to be a two volume work, Perry examines Harrison from birth till 1918, ending just prior to Harrison's entrance into the Back-to-Africa Movement of Marcus Garvey.
Fletcher: Labor Vanishes
Sep 08, 2008
Organized labor has vanished, as if it were part of the story line of a science fiction novel. Labor Day 2008 came and went and ...nothing. I searched through the newspaper...nothing. I looked at the TV schedule... nothing. It was as if there is not and never was anything called organized labor.
Fletcher: Change vs. Movement
Aug 31, 2008
Probably like many of you, I have found myself reflecting on Senator Obama's choice of Senator Joseph Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate. From the standpoint of campaign strategy, I must say that it was a brilliant decision. Obama, sensing his own vulnerability on matters of foreign policy - in mainstream circles - picked a running mate with nearly impeccable credentials.
Fletcher: Attack On Iran?
Jul 16, 2008
Once again, there's a lot of serious attack-on-Iran talk going around. We've both been following this, admittedly with no deep expertise, for several years now. During that time a number of media/blogosphere storms declaring such an attack imminent have whirled up and then blown away. (Of course, we oughtn't to forget that in the old children's story, the wolf eventually does come and eat the shepherd boy who produced the false alarms.) So we decided to sketch out these few points.
Fletcher: Rev. 'Icarus'
May 13, 2008
The Greek myth is both simple and compelling. Daedalus, imprisoned on the island of Crete with his son (Icarus), fashioned wings made of feathers and wax in order for the two of them to fly to freedom. Daedalus warned Icarus, however, not to fly too close to the Sun because the wax would melt and he would fall. The two of them took off, but Icarus became entranced with flight and, ignoring his father's warnings, flew higher and higher until the wax melted and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.
Fletcher: Edwards' Strategic Mistake
Feb 03, 2008
In the aftermath of the Nevada caucuses, it is not entirely clear where the Edwards campaign is going, but I do not think that he can yet be counted out. Nevertheless, it is important that we reflect on the Edwards campaign and the weaknesses it has displayed.
Fletcher: Labor & Presidential Candidates
Jan 17, 2008
I have been struck, both positively and negatively, by the approach taken by labor unions towards the 2008 Presidential race.
Nov 25, 2007
Amandla: A new voice from within the South African Left
In November 1989, three weeks before the U.S. invasion, I attended a conference in Panama hosted by Panama's Center for International Studies to inform 118 U.S. delegates about what was taking place. Panamanians were already under constant attack by U.S.
Fletcher: Labor Day without Labor?
Sep 06, 2007
I am sure that you have noticed this as well. The tendency has been underway for years, though at certain moments it seems to reverse itself. Labor Day takes place with little mention of labor. I donÕt mean that unions are not mentioned. I mean that th