Against the Current, No. 124, September/October 2006

— The Editors

THE LORDS OF empire set out to show that the United States, not Iran or any other potential rival, will rule the “new” Middle East. Unable to attack Iran directly, however, they instead employed the willing regional branch office of the U.S. military-industrial complex, the Israeli Defense Force, to destroy Lebanon.

— The Editors

WILL THE DEMOCRATS "regain control of Congress"? Will Joseph Lieberman change parties? Will Hillary Clinton be the Democratic frontrunner for 2008? How much does any of this matter?

— Roger Horowitz

ON JUNE 8 Americans awoke to the news that the U.S. military in Iraq had killed Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, alleged leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In the midst of press coverage that cravenly accepted government claims that this was, once again, a turning point in the war, one voice in the mass media dramatically countered government claims - that of Michael Berg, Green Party candidate for Delaware's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

— Marc Sanson, Mike Wunsch and Rae Vogeler

WITH JUST FOUR months until the general election, Green Party candidate Rae Vogeler has established herself as the main opposition to millionaire incumbent Senator Herb Kohl. Vogeler's campaign took off last September when the mother of two decided that Wisconsin needed a Senator to stand up for working people, end the war, and fund good jobs, quality education and affordable health care:

— Mike Rubin

IN CALIFORNIA THE Green Party is changing both in its social composition and in its political diversity. The party’s support for immigrants’ rights, especially around the issue of state driver’s licenses, has won the party growing support among Latinos. Leading activists such as Nativo Lopez, Chair of the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), and Miguel Araujo, from Centro Azteca, have come into the Green Party.

— David Cohen and Judy Atkins
ON APRIL 12, 2006 Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed legislation that is being touted nationally as the model for providing health care for all people. The goal of the legislation is to provide health insurance for the State's 780,000 people who have no health insurance, by July 1, 2007.
— Uri Avnery

SO WHAT HAS happened to the Israeli army? This question is now being raised not only around the world, but also in Israel itself. Clearly, there is a huge gap between the army’s boastful arrogance, on which generations of Israelis have grown up, and the picture presented by this war.

— Andrew Kennedy and Suzi Weismann Interview Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar is the author of Eastern Cauldron and The Clash of Barbarisms, both published by Monthly Review Press. His book of dialogues with Noam Chomsky on the Middle East, Perilous Power, is forthcoming from Paradigm Publishers. He was interviewed by Andrew Kennedy on August 1 for the September issue of Socialist Outlook (n10, London).

— Steve Downs

EARLY ON DECEMBER 20, 2005, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, representing some 33,000 of New York City’s subway and bus workers, called a strike. When dawn broke, there was no public transportation in NYC and millions of people walked, hitched rides, rode their bikes, or stayed home.

— Steve Early

LABOR’S STRIKE EFFECTIVENESS and organizational strength have long been connected. Throughout history, work stoppages have been used for economic and political purposes, to alter the balance of power between labor and capital within single workplaces, entire industries, or nationwide. Strikes have won shorter hours and safer conditions, through legislation or contract negotiation.

— Charles Post

WHATEVER THE THEORETICAL and empirical problems with the economics of the labor aristocracy thesis, its defenders still claim that well paid workers have generally been more reformist and conservative in their politics than lower paid workers. They point to the example of mostly white New York City construction workers ("hardhats") attacking antiwar demonstrators in the Spring of 1970; and contrast them with the militancy and progressive politics of some of the recent "Justice for Janitors" campaigns.

— Jeffery R. Webber

IN A LUCID contribution to our understanding of contemporary Africa, David Seddon and Leo Zeilig recently charted that continent's two waves of popular protest and class struggle over the last 40 years, as well as pointing to signs of a nascent third wave.

— Connie Crothers

HIP-HOP HAD A musical parallel in the 1940s. It was the music now called be-bop, although it wasn't called be-bop then. It was "the new thing" or "the revolution in music."

— Christopher Phelps

MORRIS SLAVIN, A historian of the French Revolution and one of the last remaining veterans of the American Trotskyist movement of the early 1930s, died on February 6 in Denver, Colorado, at the age of 92. The vast majority of Slavin's years were spent in Youngstown, Ohio, but his childhood took place in Russia.