Letter from the editors

THE GROWING opposition to the occupation in Iraq still has not found expression in a mass movement. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t organization and resistance. Our cover story looks at the speeches of several members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) who explain how their experiences in Iraq convinced them to oppose the occupation and join IVAW. “It’s not going to be Congress or the government that ends the war,” Adrienne Kinne tells us, “but people speaking out and taking a stance against the war that’s going to end it.” Dahr Jamail’s report on the Winter Soldier event in Seattle praises its vibrancy, and the fact that the 800-strong event was organized by a broad coalition of forces, ending with a march through Seattle.

Complementing the above articles is a speech by Ashley Smith that reviews the state of the antiwar movement and offers some ideas on how to take it forward. “Today we must seize every opportunity to educate, organize, and act locally to establish vehicles to mobilize the growing sentiment for change,” he concludes. “We must do so with the determination to provide an alternative means for winning change when the Democrats either fail to deliver or deliver inadequate solutions to the various crises we will confront.”

Lance Selfa’s analysis of Barack Obama’s presidential run argues that it is historically unprecedented, and that his support reflects a desire for genuine change that the Left should welcome; but his supporters should expect to be disappointed by what he can actually deliver.

In May, while Israel celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, Palestinians marched and demonstrated to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the Nakba—their mass expulsion from Palestine to make way for Israel’s founding. Paul D’Amato describes the Nakba, and explains why it continues today.

Lee Wengraf looks at how the world’s major powers, in their efforts to find and control sources of oil, are in the throes of a new “scramble for Africa,” and how that scramble is reshaping the political economy of the world’s poorest continent. Phil Gasper’s regular column, “Critical Thinking,” asks why the price of oil is so high, and what it tells us about the state of capitalism today. In a related analysis, Lee Sustar looks at recent claims that the economic crisis that began with the mortgage meltdown is receding, noting that there is much to the contrary.

As part of our ongoing series on 1968, we reprint here an excerpt from Joe Allen’s new book, Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost, covering the rise of Robert F. Kennedy to the 1968 Democratic Party National Convention, where Mayor Daley’s thugs in blue wreaked havoc on peaceful protesters while the whole world watched. Accompanying Joe’s article are interviews with two participants in the Chicago ’68 events.

We also present the second, and final, installment of Amy Muldoon’s review of Trotsky’s classic, History of the Russian Revolution, newly republished by Haymarket Books. “Trotsky’s motivation in writing History of
the Russian Revolution,”
Muldoon writes, “was to translate the experience of the revolution into both a teaching tool for revolutionaries and a weapon in the battle against Stalinism.”

Lenin’s What Is to Be Done? is almost universally misrepresented as Lenin’s “elitist” break from orthodox Marxism, the point where he lost “faith” in the Russian working class. Paul D’Amato debunks these claims, arguing that Lenin’s little book is full of confidence in the workers and doubt about the ability of the intelligentsia to rise to their level.

For our featured review, Sarah Hines analyses a new Verso book by Forrest Hylton and Sinclair Thomson, Revolutionary Horizons: Past and Present in Bolivian Politics, on the last several years of mass revolt in Bolivia, examining the authors’ claim that it constitutes a “social revolution.”

Issue #100

Spring 2016

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