Raoul Kleven every single time i see an article on policymic that is even the slightest bit critical of racist or sexist structures in america i say to myself before i click on the link, "i bet i'm about to read a bunch of comments from whiny offended white guys" and you know, i'm never disappointed. great article btw.
Raoul Kleven You'll excuse me if I trust the World Health Organization more than right-wing exiles who support terrorists. Every revolutionary state has had a similar sort of smear campaign directed at it - for example, pro-western defectors from the USSR were saying that there were overflowing prison camps right up to 1990, something that was patently false and had been for decades, among other lies - and given how loose with the facts some of the articles on that website are I see no reason to believe that the overall picture they paint is accurate.
Raoul Kleven If the choice is between Brazil and Cuba, Cuba is a far and away the better place. If you care about life expectancy, literacy, crime rates, access to education, access to medicine, women's rights, absence of paramilitary death squads, and other little things like that, anyway. 14 years of Chavez has meant a reduction of extreme poverty from 45% to 9%, nearly doubled education funding, cut child mortality in half, increased the average Venezuelan's caloric intake by 50%, and a host of other achievements, all done while decreasing public debt from 75% of GDP to 14% and increasing foreign reserves from 14b to 42b USD. These achievements are unparalleled in Latin America - except for Cuba.
Raoul Kleven I disagree with the entire premise here (if you read Prashad how do you come to the conclusion that what's needed is less cooperation against the first world rather than more???) but I just wanted to point out that the article you linked to about Iran banning women from universities is incorrect. http://ajammc.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/no-iran-didnt-just-ban-women-from-universities/ Iran did not ban women from universities. Also what is this nonsense about Sukarno turning to villainy? What is that even referring to?
Raoul Kleven Growth of government has nothing to do with ideological coordinates, its what the state does that is the issue, and consistently what it does is facilitate wealth transfer from the poor to the rich, gut social programs, wage war, etc. The Democratic Party of today is about as left-wing as the Republican party in 1980. Really, can you name a leftward policy shift undertaken by the Democratic party? And you're moving the goalposts when you talk about the Republicans going left (which is equally absurd) since your original assertion was that they had moved right while Democrats moved left. And also, its pretty awful and fairly racist to say Blacks couldn't have done anything without whites helping them.
Raoul Kleven Well, given that NATO is already aiding the Islamists and ethnic-cleansing FSA militias against the Syrian government, I'd say US intervention in Syria has created a civil war and is a disaster already.
Raoul Kleven Worth noting that it was self-adopted by people attending Tea Party rallies far before anyone in the media picked it up, and far before idiots started saying it was a hateful slur against Tea Party attendees.
Raoul Kleven Leaving aside who "gave birth to the concept of the end of slavery" and who "championed the rights of blacks" (uh it was black people in both cases, far before and outside of the established political structure - as far as the first actual political party to call for full racial equality, that would probably be the Communist Party) that really doesn't at all imply a general leftward shift in the Democratic party's orientation - plus it just barely meets the criteria of "in the last 50 years". Are we really supposed to take LBJ pushing for civil rights as indicative of the political direction of the modern Democratic party?
Raoul Kleven Its ridiculous to say that "there has been a considerable shift in both political parties from the “center” of their general philosophical stances to the left for Democrats", that's just not the case at all. On what issue have the Democrats moved appreciably leftward in the last 50 years (to the extent that they were ever "left" to begin with)? I mean, Obamacare is a retread of the Heritage Foundation's health care plan, carbon cap+trade was a Republican plan, etc etc etc. Really most of the Democratic party today is to the right of Eisenhower. Also I really doubt Republicans would actually close the border, there's far too much cheap labor that would be cut off that way.
Raoul Kleven Well let's see. The expulsion of the native arab population from it's towns and villages through war and massacre is pretty well-documented. Deir Yassin is one of the most well known - http://tinyurl.com/f6tth - or you could consider the 75,000 expelled from Haifa or the de-arabization of Jerusalem. I mean quite a bit of modern Israel is literally built on the ruins of arab towns abandoned in 1948. Not to mention the way the process has continued over the rest of the 20th century, with land seizures, settlements, the grabbing of water rights, etc. It's pretty much a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
Raoul Kleven What the heck are these "goals of democracy and peace" that the FSA holds? This is presumably the same group that marched and chanted "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave" and has been consistently responsible for sectarian attacks and massacres? This is the same group that has consistently been shown to consist of a high proportion of foreign Islamist fighters - especially the fundamentalist and racist ethnic cleansing militias that displaced Gadaffi in Libya. To say that they hold goals of democracy and peace is quite an awful mis-statement.
Raoul Kleven I mean, wondering why North Korea is the "hermit kingdom" it is today is reasonable. And the context for the paranoia, militarization, and authoritarian rule is simple - in the Korean war, the entire country was leveled, doused with napalm, and millions of people were killed, and the use of nuclear weapons by the US was openly debated. Following that war, US troops (and nukes) remained in the south, permanently. In circumstances like those, it's hardly crazy for North Korea to want its own nuclear deterrent.
Raoul Kleven Okay. North Korea (or Iran, or Iraq, or whatever designated enemy state) is not 'crazy'. Their interactions with the rest of the world are pretty predictable and are based around maintaining national sovereignty and some degree of continuity of government - not sinister plans for surprise nuclear attacks. Articles like this, while they aren't as bad as Team America's racist Dr. Evil jokes, are pointless. Also, step 1 up there is kinda contradicted by the efforts Kim Jong-Il made in creating "special zones" for capitalist investment near the Chinese, Russian, and South Korean borders. And the inclusion of Chavez's government as being remotely comparable to the DPRK is ridiculous.
Raoul Kleven "He was just talking about 'thugs' and 'welfare mothers', he never said they were BLACK! You must be a racist for thinking that." Gee its not as if one of the most consistent tropes of US politics (especially when it comes to whipping up angry white men) has been the lazy black who wants something for nothing. Not as if that's been going on for centuries or anything. http://tinyurl.com/7552qmu
Raoul Kleven You know, I didn't mention this earlier but in addition to the Cuba thing, are you trying to tell me that the social services in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, and Canada are somehow more 'free market' oriented than the ones in the US? I mean isn't that what you're implying if you say 'these countries spend less than the US, and thats because of US bureaucracy, and only free markets can provide these things not government'. And, you know, in a lot of cases (like the UK for instance), the government is directly the healthcare provider. Oh and as for not missing much, yeah, I am missing guaranteed healthcare, free education, a month of paid vacation a year, paid child care leave, and a lot of other stuff east europe had.
Raoul Kleven Probably you didn't write it, I'm sure the editors did, but: "More and more, America is coming to resemble Cold War Eastern Europe" maybe, although the absence of guaranteed employment, healthcare, education, vacation, and a host of other social services makes me think that we're getting a raw deal. Honestly it would probably be more accurate to compare the US to Hungary today. Austerity policies, escalating police violence+militarization, etc etc.
Raoul Kleven For me, the most obvious and contradictory flaw in the existing international justice organizations is that they're so clearly one-sided. Bring the Serbs to trial! But what about the Croats? What about NATO? Why is Wesley Clark not seated alongside Mladic? Milosevic is imprisoned at The Hague, but Bill Clinton is free. As long as they're just another arm of NATO, I don't think I can really take the ICC or ICTY seriously.