Latest Release: Monday, February 07, 2005

The Right to Return and National Missile Defense: Vikings, Kalaallit Nunaat & "The Discarded"

Macdonald Stainsby

What currently remains of the antiwar movement in many places-- in particular Canada-- has rightly seen an importance solicitar tarjeta de credito en linea Plata Card to discussing Ballistic Missile Defense, or BMD, as an antiwar issue in the age of the "War on Terror". However, there are issues involving BMD not even being discussed by the antiwar movement that sorely need exposure, education and hopefully, organization. And it all begins where the first European settlers, the Vikings, ended: on the largest island in the world.

- (Read full)

Building an Anti-Capitalist Organization and an Anti-Capitalist Front

Joaquin Cienfuegos

As we build a movement for radical change the question is always posed, what should be the "dividing line" or what should people unite under. 

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Contours of Conservative Hypocrisy: Part Two

M. Junaid Alam

In this ongoing series aimed at dissecting right-wing terminology, we take a look at two crucial and oft-employed codewords of the Right: personal responsibility and reverse racism.

Personal responsibility:

A key component of the Right's supposed notion of "rugged individualism" is the insistence that the plight of any individual in society is mainly, if not solely, the result of some flaw in that individual's personality or behavior. .

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Blind Patriotism on Display at Super Bowl

Francisco Unger

Not several years ago, America was a relatively tranquil nation; thoughts of war seemed distant, and rarely did the public consider themselves severely threatened.war nation led by a war President.

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Special Release on Latin America: Thursday, February 02, 2005

What is Happening in Venezuela? : An Interview With Jonah Gindin

M. Junaid Alam with Jonah Gindin

First, tell us a little bit about yourself and your initial experience in Venezuela - you attended college at Canada's McGill University, and now you have been living, writing, and working from Caracas, Venezuela as a journalist.

I did a joint-honors degree at McGill in History and International Development Studies. Part of that program required me to write an undergraduate thesis. I took a reading course with a Political Science professor, Dr. Samuel J. Noumoff, with whom I had studied previously, and a joint undergraduate-graduate history course with Dr. Catherine LeGrand. I was interested in studying a movement that was combating neoliberalism in Latin America. I had long ago settled on Latin America as the most dynamic site of anti-capitalist struggle essentially since the beginning of the cold war. However, I knew nothing of Venezuela at this time. Like so many other foreigners now either in, or involved in, Venezuela, I became aware of the political project of Hugo Ch�vez and the Bol�varian revolution because of the coup in April 2002.

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US Antagonism Toward Venezuela

Jake Hess

Some things about US foreign policy just never change.

Today, like yesterday and the day before, the ugly specter of yanqui imperialismo hovers over Latin America like a starved vulture, ever eager to descend. A left-leaning government in Venezuela - whose ambitious reform programs threaten to loosen the stranglehold of corporate globalization on the Andean region - has been firmly entrenched in the middle of Washington's backyard. The US, careful to uphold its deserved reputation, is responding in the only way it knows how: support the overthrow of the government.

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Imperialist Solidarity?

Macdonald Stainsby

There have been many times where the penetrating analysis of James Petras has come in essential to my personal development. In a world where, even on the supposed "revolutionary left" we have a tendency to put things into black and white, good and bad, up and down, red vs blue, ad nauseum-Petras has usually been able to smash such shortcuts to intellectualism and come through with a more nuanced and real analysis. Even in times where I personally disagree with the work he puts out-such as his August offering proclaiming the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela a mere reformist upsurge-- his take comes from neither bloated dogma nor a need to denounce.

Petras' newest article, available on Counterpunch, reminded me clearly of the frailty of human thought when we are exposed to unrelenting propaganda about the various movements that resist imperialism, in particular American imperialism.

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Lessons from the Heckling of Lula

Matthew Reichel

The defining element of the 2005 World Social Forum is that the superstar of previous years was heckled off of the stage: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva (Lula), now perceived as a sell-out by the movement that helped propel him into power. Once an inspiring labor organizer who helped formulate a grassroots political party within a political system replete with corruption and instability, Lula is now looked upon as just another leader in the pocket of the Washington consensus. Popular left discourse now paints him as a traitor, whose policymaking has been more in line with those discussed in Davos, and not Porto Alegre. Others have argued that Brazilian military involvement in Haiti, under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), has served to further reveal how changed Lula has become since entering power.

The easy conclusion to make is that this is a case in point: power corrupts. Then it follows that our goal as a movement seeking "another world" is to embrace anarchy or, minimally, radical de-centralization of power. While not opposed to either of these concepts, I think that it's extremely important to take away another very important lesson from Lula's fall from grace.

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Action Alert: Friday, February 02, 2005

Fox News Crosshairs on Professor Alam

The Editors

Dear Left Hook readers,

We urge everyone to take note of an impending attack by Fox News on Northeastern University professor M. Shahid Alam, father of Left Hook co-editor M. Junaid Alam. Professor Alam's statement explaining the circumstances behind the attack are included below (the statement also appeared in today's edition of Counterpunch).

For those who don't know, Professor Alam is an economics professor at Northeastern University. He writes often for journals like Counterpunch, criticizing US foreign policy and the political culture in which it is embedded. According to Professor Alam, Bill O'Reilly is going to attack him on his show tonight. Professor Alam has also related to us that Fox News has seemingly failed to get Northeastern University officials to come on the show and attack him.

Please defend Professor M. Shahid Alam. You can help by contacting Northeastern University and telling them to defend Professor Alam.

The contact information for President Richard Freeland is available at:

Also contact:

Ahmed Abdelal
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
112 Hayden Hall
(617) 373-4517

The contacts for the leading people in the President's office are available here:

The contact info for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is:

100 Meserve Hall
Northeastern University

Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-3980

Thank you,
M. Junaid Alam and Derek Seidman

Statement by M. Shahid Alam February 2, 2005

O'Reilly's Fatwah on "Un-American" Professors: FoxNews Puts Me In Its Crosshairs

I published an essay, "America and Islam: Seeking Parallels," in Counterpunch on December 29, 2004. A day later, I began to receive nasty and threatening emails, all at once. These were orchestrated by a Shortly thereafter, other right-wing websites got into act, posting excerpts from the essay; these included,,,, etc. The messages posted on these websites were equally vicious, and some of them, containing explicit death threats, were 'kindly' forwarded to me.

What did I say in this essay? I made two points. First, that the 9-11 attacks were an Islamist insurgency: the attackers believe that they are fighting--as the Americans did, in the 1770s--for their freedom and dignity against a foreign occupation/control of their lands. Secondly, I argue that these attacks were the result of a massive political failure of Muslims to resist their tyrannies locally. It was a mistake to attack the US. I followed the first essay with a second one, "Testing Free Speech In America," where I elaborate on the points I had made earlier. This too was published in Counterpunch.Org on Jan 1/2, 2005.

The emails to me and the University continued for another two weeks, eventually tapering off. In the meanwhile, I was speaking to people at the ACLU, Boston, and the ADC, Boston. On the suggestion of the ACLU, I contacted the campus police and the police in my hometown to let them know about the death threats posted against me.

I had a feeling this was not the end of the matter. So yesterday, February 1, I received an email from Fox News asking for a TV interview; they were producing a program "on me." At this point, I spoke to people at ACLU who advised me against going on the program. I received the same advice from other friends. I wrote back to Fox saying I could not do the interview but would be glad to answer any questions. They did not take me up on my offer. Clearly, this would not help them in their designs against me.

It appears that Bill O'Reilly is doing a series on 'unAmerican' professors on US campuses. Last night, my wife tells me, he did a piece on Ward Churchill. Tonight will be my turn. I expect he will make all kinds of outlandish accusations that will resonate well with the left- and Muslim-hating members of his audience. This will generate calls and emails to Northeastern and to me containing threats, calls for firing me, and threats to withhold donations. I am not sure how well NU will stand up against this barrage.

If we can generate a matching volume of emails, letters and call to NU supporting my right to free speech, it might be helpful.

What else can we do? [Northeastern Univ. contact info listed above]

M. Shahid Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University, is a regular contributor to Some of his CounterPunch essays are now available in a book, Is There An Islamic Problem (Kuala Lumpur: The Other Press, 2004). He may be reached at  1..

Latest Release: Monday, January 31, 2005

Letter from an Antiwar Soldier: Patrick Resta, Specialist E/4, Responds to a Lieutenant Colonel

Patrick Resta, Specialist E/4

Left Hook co-editor Derek Seidman recently interviewed Patrick Resta, an antiwar Army medic who returned from Iraq in November, 2004, and began speaking out against the war and occupation. .

- (Read letters)

The Not-So Veiled Tyranny: Small "r" republicanism

Rodney Foxworth

I very much admire the contributions of the celebrated "leftist" man of letters Gore Vidal. He is obviously brilliant, if not overtly arrogant, though brilliance does seem to breed this sort of foible. That said, me being a black male, he could never hold a place in my heart reserved for black intellectual notables such as James Baldwin or W.E.B. Du Bois. To go further than that, he could never take the place of my "blue-collar scholar" grandfather, a man's whose influence upon me supercede that of any public or historical figure. Just as Vidal was born with white privilege, I and those with skin similar to my own were given a sort of innate black advantage, the sort Baldwin referenced in "The Fire Next Time": The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed the collection of myths to which white Americans cling.

I bring this up because Vidal describes himself as the last small "r" republican - as if this were something to boast about.

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Democrats Support Bush's Iran Policy

Joshua Frank

By now you have probably heard about the Bush Administration's secret plan to attack Iran and how US Special Forces units have been operating in the country for some time. Seymour Hersh, the maverick journalist for the New Yorker, broke the story earlier this week.

"The immediate goals of the attacks would be to destroy, or at least temporarily derail, Iran's ability to go nuclear. But there are other, equally purposeful, motives at work," writes Hersh. "The government consultant told me that the hawks in the Pentagon, in private discussions, have been urging a limited attack on Iran because they believe it could lead to a toppling of the religious leadership."

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Two Parties, Same Bosses: A Book Review

Mark Yu

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils (Canada: AK Press, 2004), 289 pages, $15.95.

Many progressives in the United States, including some who jumped onto the "Anybody But Bush" bandwagon during the recent election, realize that the Democratic Party does not stand for the cause of peace, jobs, and justice. Often, however, this understanding is accompanied by a faint hope that, at some grave and climactic moment, the Democratic Party leadership will discover its long lost "backbone" and finally resist the steady rightward march in American politics.

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A Weekly Data Sheet of US-uk Military Fatalities Post-May 1, 2003 to Jan. 26, 2005

Paulo de Rooij

Why this data sheet? The US military doesnt allow the compilation and publication of Iraqi casualties, and it is very difficult to know how bloody the occupation of Iraq has resulted. 

Furthermore, as demonstrated elsewhere, the Pentagon and their media surrogates are attempting to hide the true extent of the carnage among its soldiers.

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Latest Release: Friday, January 28, 2005

Understanding the Attacks on Pro-Palestinian Professors at Columbia

By Jonah Birch

As the new year begins, the attacks by the right-wing media and mainstream politicians against professors at Columbia University who are critical of Israel and the United States have continued unabated. The current round of assaults began in November of last year following the release of a movie, Columbia Unbecoming, produced by a Boston-based Zionist organization, The David Project. Columbia Unbecoming features interviews with a small number of Zionist activists at Columbia who claim that they have faced intimidation at the hands of pro-Palestinian students and professors, especially in the Middle Eastern and Asian Languages And Cultures (MEALAC) Department.

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The Day We Started Again: Our War for America

Jared McBride

The Democratic Party is dead. Whether it scraps itself together or rebuilds for another election is irrelevant. We questioned its relevancy and ability to represent millions of Americans after the pathetic outcome of the last two elections (2000 and 2002), but with its utter annihilation delivered in the 2004 elections, we can question no more. Let me repeat, whether the Democratic Party picks itself up or not does not concern us.

The 'us' I speak of is the millions of Americans who are against preventative war. The millions who are against blatant abuse of civil rights and human rights, who believe a woman has the right to choose what is best for her own body, and who believe in better wages and working conditions for America's workers. We are the Americans who believe religion has a place in America�in churches, mosques, and temples, not government affairs. We believe that poverty and racism must be eliminated. We believe the environment must be respected and corporate rule of our airwaves and daily lives broken. These were not the beliefs of John Kerry, he was not one of us. He can now go back to being just another millionaire senator.

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A Report on Protests from Atlanta

Desmond Gadfrey

Two recent events have made Atlanta activists more confident as of late. The annual Martin Luther King (MLK) March and the local march and rally against Bush's inauguration were both inspiring events.

The MLK march featured GLBT, environmental, antiwar, and Black Power contingents that raised relevant political issues in an event that receives much mainstream coverage and support. These groups provided a welcome surprise to attendees who expected the usual, but bland, civil rights and community empowerment messages.

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The Antiwar Student Movement: The Implications of the J20 Walkout

Richard Moreno

The January 20th walkouts were a milestone in the student-youth movement. It was a veritable step in the reconsolidation of the genuine and vivacious antiwar-campus struggle that was set into motion on March 5, 2002.

High school and college students walked out from around the globe. Indeed, as of this writing, news of walkouts from San Francisco to Seattle to Germany to Canada is over-filling the author's email box.

Here are just a few examples of some student actions.

At Seattle Central Community College, an estimated 500 students managed to kick military recruiters off their campus during their walkout, and then the students met up with 500 other students from the University of Washington (KoinNews6). In Chicago, several hundred Evanston Township High School students walked out of classes despite threats from the administration, which charged them with absences (Chicago Tribune). At Mt. San Antonio College in the Los Angeles area, students who walked out staged a mock trial of George W. Bush (SGV Tribune). In Colorado, one Boulder High School student, inspired by the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, led a walkout alongside of his English teacher (Colorado Daily).

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Special Release: Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"I Will Continue To Speak Out Until the Last Soldier Leaves Iraq": Interview with Antiwar Veteran of the Iraq War

Patrick Resta, Specialist/E4
Interviewed by Derek Seidman

Patrick Resta, Specialist/E4, served as an Army medic in Iraq with the 30th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. He was stationed in Iraq for eight months in 2004, returning home just about two months ago. 

- (Read interview)

"My vehicle has absolutely no armor": An Antiwar Soldier's Pictures From Occupied Iraq

Photo Gallery by Patrick Resta, Specialist/E4

These photographs were taken last year in Iraq by Patrick Resta, Specialist/E4. The captions are written by Resta.

- (View full gallery)

Action Alert: Defend Sergeant Kevin Benderman!

Sgt. Benderman has refused to deploy to Iraq
Here are some ways you can help

On January 7, 2005, 40 year old Sergeant Kevin Benderman, stationed in Ft. Stewart, GA, refused an order to deploy to Iraq, applied for Conscientous Objector status, and requested a Courts-Martial. He and his wife, Monica, have been speaking out against the war, and bravely defending their case. They have conducted dozens of interviews and received hundreds and hundreds of emails--not all of them have been supportive.

Here are some ways you can help:

1) Read Kevin and Monica's letters (posted below)

2) Send a message of support to Kevin and Monica send a message to The messages will be combined and forwarded to Kevin and Monica.

3) Print these flyers:

"Domestic Enemy" Here is Kevin's open letter to Bush. A great piece of antiwar literature where Kevin correctly identifies Bush as a "domestic enemy." This can be distributed to students, co-workers, neighbors etc. Download it here.

"Defend Sgt.Kevin Benderman": A .pdf flyer to spread awareness and support for Kevin's case, print it out and put it up - located here

(note: there's a space to write a local contact for an antiwar group at the bottom of the flyer)

4) Get the word out to others!

A Matter of Conscience

Kevin Benderman

Having watched and observed life from the standpoint of soldier for ten years of my life, I felt there was no higher honor than to serve my country and defend the values that established this country. My family has a history of serving this country dating back to the American Revolution and I felt that to continue on in that tradition was the honorable thing to do.

As I went through the process which led to my decision to refuse deployment to Iraq for the second time, I was torn between thoughts of abandoning the soldiers that I serve with, or following my conscience which tells me: war is the ultimate in destruction and waste of humanity.

- (Read full letter)

One Man's Choice and its Unsupportive Consequences

By Monica Benderman

For the past two weeks, my husband and I have answered questions from reporters, journalists, interested citizens from almost every state in the union, and about 8 foreign countries. After all of these interviews, I have a few questions of my own.

What is wrong with a country in which a man and his wife have to jump through hoops, and take psychological tests, and wait three months for the results of an application that declares that he has made a conscious choice to never go to war again?

- (Read full letter)

Latest Release: Monday, January 17, 2005

"In Our Hands is Placed a Power": Victory Against a Racist Business in Santa Monica

Julia Wallace

Right before a planning committee meeting, Progressive Alliance, a socialist group based in Santa Monica, had its weekly meeting. One of the members said he parked in front of a store which had signs in its windows reading, "Palestinians are Pigs, murderous scum Pigs," and called Arabs "Rag head terrorist pigs". We were naive enough to think that a racist bigot would not dare poke their heads out in Santa Monica. After the meeting we walked to the store (All Phone Wholesale, 2919 Pico Blvd, and saw that it was true. This started our campaign against All Phone Wholesale.

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The Bush Administration: Aiding the Terrorists? (And, Why They Really Hate Us)

Derek Seidman

It has been a mantra repeated over and over again by George W. Bush and his administration: the world is a safer place because of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The usual explanation goes something like this:

"The world changed on September the 11th, and since that day, we have changed the world. We are leading a steady, confident, systematic campaign against the dangers of our time. There are still terrorists who plot against us, but the ranks of their leaders are thinning, and they know what fate awaits them�

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Contours of Conservative Hypocrisy: Part One

M. Junaid Alam

It is not controversial to assert that the values, ideals, and opinions held by people on social and political matters vary in accordance with their place on the political spectrum. What if, however, it was posited that on one end of this spectrum, politics consists not only of pursuing stated aims, but also of crafting codewords and rhetoric to lure in others who would not otherwise be interested in those aims? Judging from the output of its vast array of columnists, pundits, and intellectuals, the modern American Right perfectly fits this description.

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Democrats, Republicans attack womens rights

Rebecca Doran

A common goal of the feminist movement has always been for the end of sex discrimination and abolishment of the second-class status of women. One of the most vital issues pertaining to this goal is the right to reproductive freedom and accessible health care, without which, women are constrained to the shackles of unwanted pregnancies, sickness, and an inability to function in society with the same facility as men.

In recent months, however, the right wing has stepped up its attacks against these rights to a new, more disturbing level. In what is being called another backdoor attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade, a last-minute addition to the $338 billion spending bill signed by President Bush in November could have a serious impact on women�s right to reproductive freedom.

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Latest Release: Wednesday, January 11, 2005

Framed of Ebon and Ivory

Rodney Foxworth

"To say that black people feel uncomfortable in the white world would be to say that black people feel uncomfortable in America. You don't have to be among white people to be in a world dominated by Anglo-Saxon Christian culture." - Walter Mosley

"You have a mandate with one vote, and he [George W. Bush] treated it that way in his first term, and that's the way the system works."- William Safire

"...the Kurds will be firmly in charge of northern Iraq. And look, you've got two-to-one, three-to-one majority of Shia over Sunnis, and they're going to run Iraq. And the Sunnis, who live in the middle, not with the northern oil fields or the southern oil fields, are going to have to live with it and come to grips with it."- William Safire

How and why I would juxtapose these seemingly dissimilar quotes from acclaimed writers representing opposing ideologies in the so-called political spectrum is a legitimate question. If I were the dishonest and arrogant type, I might suggest it's because of my unbridled brilliance. Because my friends and family know this not to be true and honesty is said to be the best policy, I'll profess that I can make a connection because of equal amounts of blackness, cynicism, bitterness, and political incorrectness.

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The Cult of Imperialism: Confronting a Recruiter

Alex Sheremet

No matter the nature of any given power structure, resistance to the status quo - whatever it may be - will exist without question. The most one can hope for is the establishment of a system that will naturally limit dissent by creating conditions that are favorable to not only the majority, but also to the human collective in its entirety. However, under an arrangement that is, in essence, undemocratic, parasitic and subservient to a fortunate minority, dissent will be visible only to the extent that the power structure is able to artificially suppress it.

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From El Salvador to Iraq: Death squads come in waves

Charles Demers

Remember the heady, idealistic days of early 2005? You know, like, January 1st through to, say, the 7th or 8th? After the three-hundred-and-sixty-six day bloodbath that was 2004, and once the Are-the-Tourists-Okay? angle of the Tsunami story was driven into the ground - because apparently middle-aged sex tourists are still a more compelling image of Thai suffering than orphaned locals - it really seemed as though, this year, mourning brown-skinned folks as though they were real people would be en vogue.

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Aid as a Weapon of Foreign Policy: The US Isn't "Stingy"; It's Strategic

Tom Barry

Uncle Sam is not Ebenezer Scrooge. The U.S. government is the world's largest foreign aid donor, contributing economic assistance to more than 150 countries. The United States is also the largest national source of humanitarian and emergency relief aid. Before President Bush took office in 2001, the U.S. government was providing foreign nations with nearly as much development aid and humanitarian assistance as did France, Germany, and Great Britain combined.

When Jan Egeland, UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, called the U.S. "stingy" last week in the wake of the tsunami disaster, he affirmed the belief of many that the Bush administration was not only arrogant and aggressive but also lacking in compassion and generosity. The failure of the president to make a personal statement of support and condolence until three days after the tragedy--and the paucity of the U.S. initial commitment of emergency humanitarian aid--gave widespread credence to the charge that the U.S. is not a good global neighbor but rather a self-centered Scrooge.

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Latest Release: Wednesday, Junuary 05, 2005

Essay Contest Results

The Editors

Dear Left Hook Readers,

The results for our essay contest, "Why are you a radical?", sponsored by Monthly Review, are in: four contestants won $25 each for their submissions and they along with ten others won a year-long subscription to Monthly Review magazine. The four winners were: Chris Maisano, Josh Saxe, Shane Brinton, and Francisco Unger. Francisco's entry has already been published here; the other three winning entries have been included in this update.

Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

by Chris Maisano

This past summer I caught a glimpse of the new society on a dirt road in rural Ohio.

I was working on a campaign to organize nursing home workers in Monroe County, and I pulled my car over to the side of the road to stop in front of the worker's house I was visiting. It rained hard the day before, and being the city slicker that I am, I didn't realize the seemingly solid ground was actually a mud patch. I was stuck.

I approached the worker's house to talk about the union and, if the meeting went well, to get some help. Nobody was home. Dejection set in. I began to think I'd be stranded in the Appalachians forever.

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Why I Am A Radical

Josh Saxe

My uncle isn't a janitor and my older cousins don't take a bus every morning into verdant neighborhoods to clean houses or raise rich people's kids. I haven't had to watch my parents struggle to find daily buyers of their bodies, and I haven't had to watch their health go as a boss translated their lives into spending money for his kids. Nobody mowed my grandparents down in the streets with water hoses while news cameras rolled because they wanted their humanity acknowledged. In fact, I am a white male who can't point to a worker in his family; fate has endowed me with comfort powered on the churning wheels of a global capitalism built on mountains of stolen lives and fed by other people's souls.

But how about the souls of the guardians of the system?

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Rebel With A Cause: Why I am a Revolutionary

Shane C. Brinton

It wasn't hard to become a radical. I was born in Humboldt County, CA to a leftist single mother. Being raised in the environmental movement, in the struggle to save the old growth redwood trees of Northern California, "radical" politics were all around me.

My earliest memories were of getting dressed up in my little tweed sport coat-my mom and I called it "the demo jacket." Mom would say "Shanie-boy, go get your demo jacket on." This was exciting. I knew that we would be going to some sort of rally. Essentially, I was born a radical; a green diaper baby. I was lucky. But, that was the easy part.

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The Campus Anti-War Movement: A View from an Insider

Richard Moreno

When I recently took part in conversations with student anti-war activists from campuses across the nation, I heard them say over and over again, to my disillusionment, how the anti-war movement had fizzled out after the initial invasion of Iraq--and even more so during the presidential election. 

But let us put things in perspective.

- (Read full)

Latest Release: Friday, December 31, 2004

Final Fund Drive Note

The Editors

Dear Left Hook Readers,

Our first anniversary fund drive is soon coming to a close. We would like to thank all those who donated to our cause for their generous support. We would also like to ask those still interested in helping us out financially to please do so soon. It looks like we have received roughly the same amount we did in our first drive six months ago, which is somewhat unfortunate since the workload, output and readership of the journal has at least doubled since then - but regardless, we are still determined to intensify and expand our work. Look out for Left Hook to keep swinging strong in 2005.

Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

Youthful Conservatism: Superficial Diversity at Phillips Exeter

Francisco Unger

At the age of 15, I am privileged to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the nation's oldest and most historic high schools. 

However, over the course of my first semester, this superficial diversity would crumble.

- (Read full)

Heartless in Crawford Bush and Tsunamis

Walter Brasch

On Sunday, Dec. 26, an earthquake-triggered tsunami with an effect of 1,000 miles from its epicenter in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra devastated 12 countries. Within hours, numerous countries and private social service agencies had begun massive relief operations. President George W. Bush, vacationing on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, made no public statements. His press office, however, released a 121-word press expressing the President's "condolences," and that the Bush Administration would provide all "appropriate assistance" to the affected nations. The statement did not directly quote the President. In contrast, German chancellor Gerhard Schr�der cut short his vacation to return to Berlin.

- (Read full)

Will they bring themselves home?

Zeljko Cipris

Stuck in an endless, bloody war troops will sometimes simply pull up the proverbial stakes and go on home. In 1917, Tsar Nicholas' troops told him in effect to go screw himself (or Alexandra, or Rasputin, or whomever) and headed back to their towns and villages.

- (Read full)

Reaching for Babel: A Review of John Sabonmatsu's The Postmodern Prince

Reviewed by Chad Faldt

Taking a look around the globe, and evaluating the relative positions of the political right and left, in many ways it is still clear that the right is riding triumphantly on the wave of communism's collapse. The political right has been able to wage a pivotal war in Iraq, which, despite the difficulties being encountered, has provided them with massive opportunities to loot and accumulate wealth and further their agenda of global domination by the market. Social movements may be sprouting up all over the world, but 'leftwing' governments are still following the prescriptions of neo-liberalism; global and in-country wealth inequality is continuing to increase, and there are forebodings of possible major calamities in the future, with the re-emergence of pre-WWII nation-state imperial politics and the coming environmental crisis.

While the right crusades forth, smashing past commitments to the welfare state and common good, waging wars and proxy wars with near impunity, the left remains quite in a lurch, stuck in a strategic impasse. John Sabonmatsu's book The Postmodern Prince comes as a refreshing effort to offer the outlines of a coherent strategy to the political left, by attempting to carry the Machiavelli-Gramscian concept of the 'prince' into the 21st century.

- (Read full)

Latest Release: Monday, December 27, 2004

Interviewing the Youth Anti-War Movement

M. Junaid Alam with CAN Reps.

As the disastrous consequences of the war on Iraq continue to unfold, millions of Americans are becoming increasingly disillusioned and angry with the war effort. In the struggle to translate that sentiment into a formidable anti-war movement, progressive youth will undoubtedly play an important role. Spearheading this effort on the national level is the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN), comprising many anti-war student groups on college campuses across America. Earlier this month M. Junaid Alam of Left Hook asked four of CAN's elected representatives about the political imperatives and realities the movement faces, including internal debates, the effect of linking up with anti-war veterans, the extent of right-wing harassment, and mobilizations planned in the near future.

- (Read interview)

Social Security is Healthy and Successful

Ron Watson

At 31 years of age, I have already benefited from the Social Security program. My father died when I was 3 years old. Like most women at the time, my mother was a housewife.

- (Read article)

Saving Social Security?

Seth Sandronsky

Officially, the people of Iraq are being saved with bombs and bullets by the Bush White House. .

- (Read article)

Book Review: Selling Culture: Magazines, Markets, and Class at the Turn of the Century

Derek Seidman

Richard Ohmann's Selling Culture is a rigorously intelligent study of the emergence of a national mass culture in the United States at the turn of the nineteenth century as seen through the rise of widely-consumed popular magazines. Ohmann argues that the economic crisis of the early 1890s compelled the capitalist class to devise new and more stable profit-making avenues, and that this was done through orchestrating the emergence of a consumer culture targeting the rising "professional-managerial class" (PMC). At the vanguard of this project was the rise of cheap, mass-circulated magazines, and this story is at the center of Ohmann's work: "I propose to consider what conjunction of interests, needs, activities, and forces led to the invention and success of the modern magazine industry" (32). Not only were magazines the vehicles for advertisements (both direct and indirect profit-makers), but more importantly, they helped to solidify the identity of the rising PMC and generally shape a new consumer-oriented mass culture.

- (Read article)

Special Release: Thursday, December 23, 2004

Civilization versus Barbarism? : An Interview with Noam Chomsky

M. Junaid Alam with Noam Chomsky

On December 17th, Left Hook co-editor M. Junaid Alam met with Professor Noam Chomsky at his MIT office to get his thoughts on the ideological justifications and historical realities behind America's "war on terror." Professor Chomsky spent a half-hour taking apart the framework of "civilization" versus "barbarism," pointing to Western and particularly US state-sponsored atrocities, laying out the grave nature of war crimes committed in Iraq, attacking the intellectual culture which sanctions massive suffering, and explaining the elite's knowledge of the roots of terrorism. Below is the audio link and then the transcript for the interview.

- (Listen to/read interview)

Latest Release: Monday, December 20, 2004

Essay Contest Reminder

The Editors

Dear Left Hook readers,

We want to remind you that the Monthly Review-sponsored essay contest deadline is by the end of this month. So be sure to submit your entry to get a full year-long subscription to the MR magazine, which contains some of the best political-economic analysis around, (first 25 entries), and have a chance at winning $50 (top two entries).

Details are available here.

Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

LH Exclusive: An Interview with Stan Goff

M. Junaid Alam with Stan Goff

Recently, Left Hook co-editor M. Junaid Alam was able to fire off some questions to Stan Goff, a former US Special Forces Master Sergeant with more than two decades of military experience who is now heavily involved in anti-war work with Military Families Speak Out and the Bring Them Home Now campaign, and is also the author of Full Spectrum Disorder and Hideous Dream. Below, he offers his sharp insights on recent tactical, military, and political developments taking place in Iraq, discusses the very real signs of growing discontent within the armed forces, and what the anti-war movement should do about it.

- (Read interview)

The Ohio Recount: a "Dumboacracy" Issue

Josh Frank

What a waste of time and money this is. This Ohio recount business is nonsensical. The Green Party and David Cobb are calling it a democracy issue. More like "dumbocracy."

Larry Long, the Executive Director of the Ohio Association of County Commissioners, claims that Cobb's actions are "an exercise in futility and a ridiculous waste of county tax money." He's not kidding. Each county in the state has had to shell out thousands of dollars, and hundreds of hours of staff time to proceed with the recount.

- (Read full)

Smile: A Short Story

Josh Saxe



Amanda squints into the peephole that stretches a shaggy face winking under white light. It's Mike: she says, wringing the indoor air with her tightened throat, her tone hiding in decayed drunkenness; she clamps him with nervous fingers, like a bombed-out refugee clutches pear-faced kids and burnt jewelry. Tonight he and Eli leave for a dusty base in Seattle, from there its off to Baghdad.

- (Read full)

A Weekly Data Sheet of US-uk Military Fatalities Post-May 1, 2003

Paulo de Rooij

Why this data sheet? The US military doesnt allow the compilation and publication of Iraqi casualties, and it is very difficult to know how bloody the occupation of Iraq has resulted. 

Furthermore, as demonstrated elsewhere, the Pentagon and their media surrogates are attempting to hide the true extent of the carnage among its soldiers.

- (Read full)

Latest Release: Friday, December 17, 2004

CAN Fights Zionist Smear Campaign At Columbia Univ.

Suzie Schwartz

Since the (Campus Anti-war Network) CAN National Conference in November, the Columbia University Antiwar Coalition has been extremely active since the release of "Columbia Unbecoming," a film that targets professors in the Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) program, saying they "intimidate" students. A Boston-based Zionist group, the David Project, funded the documentary as an attempt to dislodge the credibility of professors who teach an anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist perspective. The film is not an honest portrayal of sentiment on campus-it features six well-known right-wing Zionist students and alumni who hold a very specific political agenda in making such a film.

- (Read full)

Canada in Haiti

Yves Engler

"Haiti is not for sale," "Liberate Haiti's political prisoners" and "Latortue assassin - Paul Martin complicit" were just a few of the chants this weekend in Montreal (in French of course). Friday and Saturday the Canadian government held a conference with an elite few of Haiti's two-million person Diaspora to discuss the future of that country.

Canadian officials interested in legitimating the February 29th overthrow of elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and improving western companies' short-term economic prospects on the Caribbean island, selected participants accordingly. The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network labeled the gathering the "Chalabis of Haiti."

- (Read full)

Frame It! Creating Progressive Frameworks

Igor Volsky

Speaking with Tim Russert on NBC's Meet the Press, incoming Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid conceded that with just 45 seats in the Senate (including independent James Jeffords of Vermont) his party will "have to work toward the middle."

- (Read full)

We Will Reclaim Our Armed Forces!

Speech by Stan Goff

...This is one reason we are important to the movement not just against the war, but the movement to overthrow a system that breeds war, why veterans and military families and dissident soldiers are so important in this crucial period. In this period when the old tricks no longer work, and the depredations of this global system have once again consumed the very bases of that system - its subordinated people and its wrecked environment - the essence of that system, its true essence, the gun and the bomb and the rape and the prison, are being unmasked by the necessity to use these colonizers' tools openly to preserve power.

- (Read full)

Latest Release: Monday, December 13, 2004

Folks, We Need Your Help: Left Hook Fund Drive Needs Your Support

The Editors

Dear Left Hook readers,

On December 4th we marked our first anniversary of publication, and launched our first anniversary fund drive. Given the journal's steadily increasing readership, its growing content, and the increasing importance of leftist youth voices in these uncertain times, we had hoped that our readers would provide us the support needed to sustain a serious effort like Left Hook.

However, it seems so far that these hopes have been misplaced.

In the ten days since the launch of our fund drive, we have received only 9 contributions totaling just $450. Needless to say, these results are rather depressing. We know there are many more of you out there - both young and old(er) regular readers of Left Hook - since there are almost 100 youth activists on the discussion list, 500 more readers on the information list, and 500 daily visitors to our website. We also know that getting our material is only a matter of a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks - but the reality behind that is many long hours of work. A lot of effort goes into making what you see and read on your computer screen actually happen.

The bottom line is, without a significant upturn in contributions, we will be forced to drastically scale down our work on Left Hook. This is not a matter of alarmism, simply an honest assessment of plain and simple facts: no time-intensive venture -- certainly no radical, independent one -- is sustainable without the concrete financial support of its audience.

For a long time, leftists have been griping about the increasingly right-wing drift of American society, and specifically, the growing rise of a viciously right-wing media. This is all true enough - but how can these dangerous trends be countered if efforts to project and develop the voices of youth fighting these trends - efforts like Left Hook - are not supported? Quite simply in this case, it's a matter of "putting your money where your mouse is."

So please, if you are one of our many thousands of regular readers who have not yet donated to our fund drive, show your support by contributing today. Contributions both large and small are greatly welcomed - and urgently needed to move forward.

Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

The War is the War Crime: Abused Iraqis, Abused Americans

M. Junaid Alam

This was a war to transcend all wars - a war fought not for crass interests or crude motives, but for freedom and democracy. Or so we were told. Once this grand narrative was felled by reality, however, the story of its basic actors was twisted to meet new requirements: since it could not possibly be that the war aims were themselves corrupt, it must be the Iraqis - the supposed recipients of liberation, and the American soldiers - the deliverers of that liberation - who were flawed. This twist was to serve as punishment for those Iraqis who interpreted "freedom" to mean not only freedom from Saddam but freedom from US control, and as a smear job against those US soldiers who interpreted "defending the country" to mean something other than killing innocents and creating more hatred for America...

As the struggle in Iraq intensifies, its bitter and revealing ironies rise like angry waves, pummeling the eroding promontory of the war's many myths - foremost among them its very viability. Iraqis resisting occupation, soldiers exposing the brutalities that are fueling anti-occupation sentiment, and other Americans reluctantly being pressed into service to strengthen that occupation, are, in uneven, overlapping and contradictory ways, all victims of this war.

- (Read full)

Report on the Youth Anti-War Movement: Rebuilding the Antiwar Movement on Campuses

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field

Since the election there have been small signs of the reemergence of the antiwar movement - with small actions and emergency protests around the country in response to the U.S. slaughter in Falluja, for example, and more recent campaigns against campus repression, such as the campaign against Zionist attacks on the right to criticize Israel at Columbia University. Last weekend, 400 people marched against the war in Boston in response to a call put out by the Boston Student Mobilization to End the War, and in many cities, plans are being made to travel to D.C. to protest Bush's inauguration on January 20.

With the U.S. going full throttle to crush the resistance and impose the "election" of its hand-picked puppets, these are very welcome developments. And in another significant step toward rebuilding the national antiwar movement, nearly 100 people from 30 schools gathered at Pace University in New York City on November 13-14 at the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN)'s Stop the War 2004 national conference. As a conference participant from the CAN chapter at New York University, I want to give my impressions of the conference and how the student antiwar movement is positioning itself.

- (Read full)

The Antigay Mandate?: Fault lines in the Republican Party

David Baake

On Election Day 2004, the Republican Party achieved a major victory, gaining seats in both houses of Congress, and re-electing their president to serve four more years and to appoint up to three new members to an already Republican Supreme Court. In the exit polls, Bush supporters overwhelmingly agreed that there was one major reason that Bush should still be president despite a quagmire in Iraq, a never ending 'war on terror,' and an economy in shambles, this reason was of course, 'moral values.'

Bush's 'moral values' are based on two issues: he is pro-life, and he supports a constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriages. Many lower class Americans, especially Catholic Hispanics, voted directly against their economic interests because of these 'values' that are championed by the religious right. The Christian Right, after putting Bush back into office after the most expensive campaigns in history, will demand results. Bush can't allow Roe v. Wade to stand, when he controls all three branches of government, without losing the support of the religious right. Similarly, they will demand more than a symbolic attempt to ban homosexual marriage.

- (Read full)

Vote Fraud As Fundraiser: Cobb and the Ohio Recount

Josh Frank

Something fishy is in the air out in Ohio, where the presidential vote recount in being led by the Green Party's ex-presidential candidate, David Cobb, with minimal support from the Libertarian Party. However well-intentioned Cobb's pains to make every vote count seem, he may well be pulling a fast one on his supporters and Democrats, who have been battling denial since John Kerry's loss to George W. Bush last month.

Cobb's own performance in Ohio can be diagnosed as miserable. And that's putting it kindly. His ticket pulled in a mere 186 write-in votes in the state (Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson were not far behind). This alone should make anybody wonder why Cobb and his staff, which is comprised largely of new recruits, are even dealing with the recount in the first place.

For starters, Cobb's name did not even appear on the ballot in Ohio, yet his team is the driving force behind Ohio's 88 county recount. Too bad Cobb didn't put this amount of energy into his own 2004 campaign. But for anyone who paid even the slightest bit of attention to the Greens this past election season, it should come as no surprise that Cobb's actions serve the interest of the Democratic Party once again.

- (Read full)

What is Happening in Haiti?

Stan Goff

Below is an audio link to a talk ex-Special Forces Sergeant Stan Goff gave at the Peoples Organization For Progress about developments in Haiti. Goff once served with the US military in Haiti and now goes back there frequently as an anti-imperialist activist.

  • Listen to the talk
  • Listen to the Q & A
  • Go to the website hosting the audio

    Latest Release: Thursday, December 09, 2004

    Elections as Ideology

    Asad Haider

    The elections are over, and it is time to move on to the many pressing issues humanity faces these days; but it is always important that we learn from our setbacks and mistakes. I attended a "town hall meeting" of local liberals and was utterly astounded by their unwillingness to accept the impotence of electoral politics and the Democratic party. There was much self-congratulation for fruitless voter registration drives, and plans were made for electing Democrats in the next elections. Unmentioned were issues of central importance like the occupation of Iraq, "moral values" and job loss, much less the issues that do not receive attention in the mainstream media...

    The liberal might look at this state of affairs and lament that the system isn't working. The radical, however, would say that the system is working very well; that the system of electoral politics is designed to suppress real political discourse. The critique of ideology advanced within the Marxist tradition is one useful tool to understand the way in which elections reinforce the status quo.[3] The reasons for John Kerry's loss are complex; but one major reason is the inability of American liberals and even sectors of the left to see outside of the ideology of elections.

    - (Read full)

    How the New York Times Misreports: An Interview with Howard Friel

    Joshua Frank

    Howard Friel is the author of Dogs of War: The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page and the Right-Wing Campaign Against International Law, to be published in 2005. .

    Joshua Frank: Howard Friel, in your critique with Richard Falk on how the New York Times misreports US foreign policy, you seem to steer clear of focusing on the obvious, like that of Judith Miller's numerous fabricated Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction stories (which you do talk about, but not at great length), and instead dive into somewhat untrammeled terrain: the Times and their history of ignorance regarding international law. Why the focus on these factors and not the more talked about corruption, like Miller's?

    - (Read full)

    Flight Attendants, the Working Day and Labor Solidarity

    Seth Sandronsky

    A nationwide strike of 46,000 flight attendants has been authorized by the board of the Association of Flight Attendants. They are resisting airline employers making workers labor for longer hours at lower wages, and threatening to get rid of their pensions. A strike vote will be taken at four airlines--UAL Corp.'s United, US Airways Group Inc., ATA Holdings Inc.'s ATA Airlines and Hawaiian Holdings Inc.'s Hawaiian Airlines-with the votes set to be counted by the end of December.

    Many U.S. air carriers are in financial distress and squeezing their work forces in an effort to return to profitability. The judicial branch of the state is a key player. For example, US Airways is trying to use federal bankruptcy court to void collective bargaining agreements for current and retired employees over hourly pay, pension plans and health care coverage.

    - (Read full)

    Another View: The Triumph of Liberalism

    Dave Stratman

    The electoral campaign has finally crawled to its dreary and foreseeable end: the victory of George W. Bush, anti-"red state" hysteria and despair among Kerry supporters, and the effective end of the antiwar movement.

    The struggle against the War on Terror, or whatever name we wish to give the policy of pre-emptive wars endorsed by both candidates, is the most important struggle of our lifetimes. To succeed in it, we need now to establish a new antiwar movement on a broader popular basis than the one which chose to self-destruct in the Kerry campaign. To do this we must first step outside the mind-set which dismisses as mere bigotry the moral concerns of Americans who oppose gay marriage and abortion and other items on the liberal agenda such as gun control and affirmative action, but who are also deeply opposed to this criminal war.

    - (Read full)

    Latest Release: Saturday, December 04, 2004

    Left Hook Fund Drive on Our First Anniversary

    The Editors

    Dear Left Hook readers,

    This December marks the first full year of online publication for Left Hook. When we first began work on this journal, our goal was to fill a major void on the American Left by providing a space for leftist youth to discuss the struggles and concerns of our generation. For the past year, we have strived hard to fulfill this goal; to make the journal an open, engaging space for young American leftists to express their ideas, offer their analyses, share their ideas, and discuss and debate the pressing political and social issues of our time.

    Against the backdrop of an emboldened US imperialism, with increasing dangers and tragedies unfolding both domestically and abroad, we have tried to equip our readers with a better, clearer understanding of our world, offering political commentary, ground reports, interviews, cultural pieces, and reviews relevant to our struggles. With this all-sided effort, Left Hook has committed itself to a presenting bold, unapologetic stand in favor of justice and equality, strongly opposing the immoral and disastrous war in Iraq, relentlessly exposing the brutal nature of Israeli colonialism, taking a principled stand against the two-party fiasco during the elections, highlighting important union struggles and initiatives, among many other causes.

    In the past few months we have also made a concerted effort to improve the journal. Instead of updating once a week or week and a half, we now consistently update the site with new material once every three or four days. We have not only included more content, but more original content, relying less on reprints and more on exclusives and youth contributions. Furthermore, we recently upgraded the journal's look, putting a forth a completely redesigned and cleaner-looking website. We have also started new projects, including the Left Hook War Blog, GI Briefings, and an essay contest, with several other initiatives planned and under way.

    The result has been a steady increase in participation and readership: in July, we received 7,708 visits, in August, 9,453, in September, 11,094, in October, 12,718, and in November, our all-time high of 15,845.

    However, all of these improvements, initiatives, and successes have meant an increasingly strenuous workload for us: the tasks have rapidly increased, but we are still only two people, and in school full-time. Working on the journal has become much like a demanding part-time job, involving much editing, writing, outreach, updating, increased activism, and technical work. The recent resurgence of the anti-war movement, including GI dissent and meetings across college campuses, for instance, has required a redoubling of efforts and investment of greater time and energy to explore, publicize, and help these positive developments along through Left Hook.

    To maintain this demanding pace and to keep providing the content you have enjoyed here for a year, Left Hook greatly needs your financial support for this month's Fund Drive. We have no business backers, prestigious think tanks, or renowned institutes dictating our content, no advertisements cluttering our site, and no hidden Swiss bank accounts to fall back on.

    You, our readers, are our only source of support. Ultimately, for all our efforts, it is you who will determine the quality and success of the journal and its various new initiatives. If you value our efforts - if you value the presence of a radical journal offering a hub for young leftists to coordinate, develop and strengthen not only themselves but the entire American Left - please make a donation today. It is, we think, a worthwhile investment in our collective future.

    Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

    Praise for Left Hook:

    "Left Hook has been providing refreshing, informative, independent reporting and analysis, with flair and insight. It's a very valuable contribution, much needed."

    - Noam Chomsky, professor at MIT and author of Hegemony or Survival

    "In a time when the left is still trying to struggle out of its post-90's malaise, the voices of both clarity and militancy must be cherished and nurtured. Especially when those are the voices of the young upon whom the world depends for the continuity of a politics of resistance to the devastating criminality of late imperialism. Left Hook is one of the most important of those youth voices, coming in loud and uncluttered by the hand-wringing individualism of liberal poseurs and life-style 'radicals.' Read it. Contribute to it. Distribute it. And support it."

    -Stan Goff, former Master Sergeant in the US Special Forces, anti-war activist with Military Families Speak Out, and author of Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century

    "Left Hook is unique among progressive electronic journals, both because it is run by two amazing young men and because it provides incisive analyses which have no match. Editors Seidman and Alam cover a wider spectrum of issues and regions than do other journals - ranging from the Ivory Coast to Arafat to a critique of the Left's assumption that Kerry was the lesser of two evils. If you want to read a serious radical Left journal that pulls no punches in critiquing the capitalist establishment and does not sink into formulaic ideologies, this is the journal for you."

    -Elaine Hagopian, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Simmons College, author of Civil Rights in Peril: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims

    "Left Hook represents a very exciting development for everyone struggling to understand our world and to create a better one. The fact that it has been up and running for a year is testament not just to the quality of the essays and interviews it publishes but also to the fact that there are many thousands of committed young radicals in the United States and around the world. A very hopeful sign indeed. I urge you to support Left Hook in whatever ways you can."

    -Michael D. Yates, Associate Editor of Monthly Review magazine and author of Naming the System: Work in the Global Economy

    "Left Hook is a new voice of dissent, radicalism and social transformation, and a vital one. Left Hook speaks for and with the new generation of activists, and needs to be heard by all. Send them money!"

    -Paul Buhle, professor at Brown University, author of Encyclopedia of the American Left

  • Donate today to Support Left Hook.

    Know Your Enemy: Political Contradictions of the Right

    M. Junaid Alam

    As right-wing forces consolidate their control over the commanding heights of national power, reaping the fruits of both their mobilization and liberals' demobilization, it has become increasingly urgent for serious progressives to examine the outstanding contradictions which mark many of the Right's main political positions. For as conservatism gains more power and prominence, it becomes increasingly difficult for it to sustain momentum by merely blaming its favorite boogeyman - the now marginalized "left" - as causing all America's ills. Stripped of this crucial crutch, conservatism's bold advance regresses into a limping gait - a fact of some consequence - but only if we are willing to expose and attack the Right's weaknesses and inconsistencies.

    - (Read full)

    America's Alternate Reality

    Igor Volsky

    During the first presidential debate, President Bush said, "there's 100,000 troops trained: police, guard, special units, border patrol. There's going to be 125,000 trained by the end of this year. Yeah, we're getting the job done. It's hard work." But on Nov. 24, the Washington Post reported something quite different. The paper noted that "U.S. authorities have concluded that plans to provide new police officers with a two-month introductory course followed by some on-the-job mentoring will not be enough to ensure their effectiveness. With many police officers intimidated by killings and threats, some U.S. officials have begun questioning the notion of trying to establish a system of local policing at this time."

    Thus, in a sense, we on the left have been vindicated. The president has in fact been living in an election-induced alternative reality - and that's putting it mildly.

    - (Read full)

    Liberalism and Its Bounds: Election 2004, an Epic Betrayal

    Joshua Frank and Merlin Chowkwanyun

    The amount of insult and betrayal those on the liberal-to-left spectrum will take seems to have few limits, if any. Below, we survey one election's worth of pre- and post-election betrayal from the Democratic Party. By the end, we hope that rank-and-file Democrats and their Anybody But Bush (ABB) election year sympathizers agree that the time has arrived for all those that abandoned their movements in 2004 to root for John Kerry, to now abandon the Democrats on the national level and join radical reformers and others working outside of the Party's stifling structure. Change will not come within this corrupt political entity.

    - (Read full)

    GI News Briefing #4: Army Gearing Up to Punish Soldiers Who Refused Dangerous Mission - Defend the 343rd!

    Left Hook Readers: below is a statement issued by the Campus Antiwar Network in defense of the 24 soldiers of the 343rd quartermaster company who are facing punishment for refusing to go on a dangerous mission earlier in October. Left Hook urges readers to visit and show your support for these soldiers by signing the petition being circulated in their defense. Read more about what happened with the 343rd and here.

    Defend the 343rd! Sign the petition in support of the 343rd Quartermaster soldiers who refused to follow dangerous orders at:

    - (Read full)

    Special Release: Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Underhanded Anti-Union Maneuvers on Campus at Concordia U.

    The Editors

    Dear Left Hook readers,

    It has very recently come to our attention that the student union at Concordia University has been engaged in some deplorable anti-union behavior, attacking and attempting to intimidate the on-campus union CUPE local 4512 and those supporting them with suspension, firing, and legal threats. We condemn these acts and stand in support of CUPE local 4512. Below is an article on the situation by a Concordia student and the recent press release of the union.

    Derek Seidman and M. Junaid Alam

    Student-Union Union Busting?

    Macdonald Stainsby

    Concordia University is a strange place indeed for a student like myself to attend. Having been involved in anti-imperialist work for years, in particular around the issue of Palestine, the fact that this University was in the only city on Turtle Island that I could see myself moving to -- Montreal-- made it an obvious slam dunk for me over two years ago. Back then, global headlines were made by students and others who shut down an attempt to by Hillel Concordia to bring known war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu onto the campus; this was after years of attacks from right wing Zionists and other neo-liberals on what they dubbed the "bin Laden youth wing" student union and associated student clubs, who held real sway on the hallowed grounds of this institution. I would forgive you if you thought that the only issues brought up by students were around the Middle East, but that's very much not the case.

    Forcing a reduction in tuition (through direct action and student strikes) for the first time in many years anywhere in the territory called Canada or Quebec, these students had also worked on union battles and even helped their own staff members become a local of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), now CUPE local 4512.

    - (Read full)

    CUPE 4512 Resolution

    CUPE 4512

    The following message was passed unanimously at the largest ever Special General Meeting of CUPE 4512:

    The CUPE 4512 membership (CSU staff) vigorously condemns the recent heavy-handed and completely unjustified disciplinary measure imposed on CUPE 4512 President Christina Xydous by the Concordia Student Union.

    - (Read full)

  • Discussion List Issues: The Youth Anti-War Movement: A Debate (1) The Youth Anti-War Movement: A Debate (2) The Youth Anti-War Movement: A Debate (3) Oil and Indigenous Lands (1) Oil and Indigenous Lands (2) Oil and Indigenous Lands (3) Israel, Palestine, and Nationalism (1) Israel, Palestine, and Nationalism (2) Israel, Palestine, and Nationalism (3) To join our discussion list, go here Join Our Info. List:
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