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Global News and Analysis

Afghanistan: No Good Reasons to Continue America’s Longest War

Source: Common Dreams

The longest war in modern U.S. history approaches its 16th anniversary Saturday, and so far there is no end in sight. The war in Afghanistan began in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., with the promise of vengeance aimed at the Taliban, hosts of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. But that original justification—still as morally questionable now as it was then—has gotten lost amid the open-ended rhetoric of “fighting terrorism.” read more

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Writing While Socialist

Source: Boston Review

Editor’s Note: Over the past year, the scholar and activist Vijay Prashad taught a series of nonfiction writing workshops to students, activists, workers, and journalists across India. The workshops sought to develop an ethics and practice of socialist writing to foreground what Prashad calls “the small voices of history.” Here he talks to the poet Mark Nowak, founder of the Worker Writers School in New York City, about the political valence of socialist writing in a time of rampant populism, racism, and xenophobia. This is the second in a series of dialogues between Prashad and Nowak. Their first conversation, The Essentials in Socialist Writing, was published in Jacobin. read more

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Why Europe Needs a New Deal, Not Breakup

Source: The Nation

The American New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt’s first two terms combined the goals of financial stabilization, reconstruction, conservation, and employment—jobs for the jobless; public works; power systems and new industries, especially in the South; soil conservation and reforestation to battle the Dust Bowl; and a potent mix of regulations and insurance to assert public power over high finance.

Europe today needs all of these. Its overgrown banks, haunted by the specter of insolvency, are pushing households into foreclosures and evictions across the continent, and at an accelerating scale in the most depressed countries. States are bankrupt and will only become more so as the European Central Bank begins to tighten under pressure from German savers crushed by negative interest rates. Like America 80 years ago, Europe has a vast periphery. In its South, there is a semi-permanent Great Depression, whereas in the East there is great need for new and renewed industries, transport networks, housing, and social investments. Above all, Europeans need jobs. read more

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Germany and the Rise of a ‘Fascist International’

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

Germany funds foundations for its political parties. If the far right gets one, we’re one step closer to globalizing the alt-right.

Germany got its very own electoral shock this week when the far right won 13 percent of the vote in country’s parliamentary elections.

For the first time in more than half a century, the far right will be represented in the German parliament, with more than 90 seats. Although it’s now Germany’s third most popular party — behind the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SDP) — the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is still too toxic to become part of a ruling coalition. read more

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“Winning is a moral imperative:” Naomi Klein’s Speech at Labour Party Convention in the UK

Author Naomi Klein
Author Naomi Klein

Source: Labour List

This is the full text of the September 26, 2017 speech delivered at Labour conference’s international slot by author and campaigner Naomi Klein.

Thank you Kate for that lovely introduction and all the work that you do to put social justice on the world agenda.

It’s been such a privilege to be part of this historic convention. To feel its energy and optimism.

Because friends, it’s bleak out there. How do I begin to describe a world upside down? From heads of state tweeting threats of nuclear annihilation, to whole regions rocked by climate chaos, to thousands of migrants drowning off the coasts of Europe, to openly racist parties gaining ground, most recently and alarmingly in Germany. read more

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Bernie Sanders to Democrats: This is What a Radical Foreign Policy Looks Like

Source: The Intercept

Bernie Sanders, now the most popular politician in the United Statesby a country mile, has long been obsessed with breaking up big banks and getting Medicare for all Americans. He can speak for hours about the evils of income inequality and the grotesquerie of the “billionaire class.”

On foreign policy? Not so much.

Yet this week, the independent senator from Vermont finally delivered his major foreign affairs speech at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, part of the Green Foundation Lecture series. Winston Churchill gave his “Sinews of Peace” speech at Westminster College — in which he famously introduced the world to the concept of “The Iron Curtain” — as part of this lecture series in 1946. Mikhail Gorbachev’s memorable 1992 account of how the Cold War ended was also part of this series. Thus, on the basis of his appearance in Fulton, you might say that Sanders is now playing in the Foreign Policy Big Leagues. read more