The Arc of Justice and the Long Run: Hope, History, and Unpredictability

Weeks before either the Tunisian or Egyptian revolutions erupted, no one imagined they were going to happen. No one foresaw them. No one was talking about the Arab world or northern Africa as places with a fierce appetite for justice and democracy. No one was saying much about unarmed popular power as a force in that corner of the world. No one knew that the seeds were germinating.

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The Mandela Barbie

Source: Truthout

I can’t take it anymore. All week, I’ve watched Nelson Mandela reduced to a Barbie doll. From Fox News to the Bush family, the politicians and media mavens who body-blocked the anti-Apartheid Movement and were happy to keep Mandela behind bars, now get to dress his image up in any silly outfit they choose.

Poor Mandela. When he’s not a doll, he’s a statue. He joins Martin Luther King as another bronzed monument whose use is to tell us that apartheid is now “defeated” – to quote the ridiculous headline in the Times. read more

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US Covert action in Colombia

Source: Washington Post

U.S. intelligence, GPS bomb kits help Latin American nation cripple rebel forces

The 50-year-old Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), once considered the best-funded insurgency in the world, is at its smallest and most vulnerable state in decades, due in part to a CIA covert action program that has helped Colombian forces kill at least two dozen rebel leaders, according to interviews with more than 30 former and current U.S. and Colombian officials.

The secret assistance, which also includes substantial eavesdropping help from the National Security Agency, is funded through a multibillion-dollar black budget. It is not a part of the public $9 billion package of mostly U.S. military aid called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000. read more

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Iraq’s Oil Workers Walk Off Drilling Rigs and Take to the Streets

Source: Truthout

Iraqi oil workers are the backbone of the industry that produces most of their country’s wealth. And since the US invasion and fall of Saddam Hussein, they’ve also organized its strongest and most vocal union. They’ve shut their industry down in the past, successfully challenging Halliburton during the US occupation and forcing it to leave Iraq. To try to stop Iraq’s government from signing unfavorable contracts virtually handing over the oil to foreign transnational corporations, they shut off the oil spigots again after the US withdrew. read more

scott crow. photo by Todd Sanchioni

Witness to Betrayal: scott crow on the Exploits and Misadventures of FBI Informant Brandon Darby

Brandon Darby has been notorious in anarchist circles for a decade — first as a wing-nut, a macho bully, and a womanizer; then as an informant and agent provocateur. He started out as a hippie, became a pseudo-militant leftist, and is now a pundit on conservative blogs. scott crow is one of the few people who saw this entire series of transformations unfold up close.