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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
Dear Tom, Dear Matt A Fan's Notations

A Fan’s Notations

by ADAM ENGEL

To: Tom Turnipseed

From: ADAM ENGEL

CC: United States of America

Subject: "Blowback in Iraq," Counter Punch, August 14, 2003

Dear Tom Turnipseed,

Horrifying. I actually hoped, though the waving flags and media hoopla indicated otherwise, that all the marching, writing, teaching I and colleagues did from September, 2002 through March 2003 would actually prevent Gulf War II. Hell, fifteen million people across the globe screamed NO in a single February week-end. It ended in a massacre, which itself was the culmination of twelve years of slaughter, starvation, intimidation and outrages too numerous to mention against the people of Iraq (and let’s not forget about our great People’s Victory over the mighty Taliban).

Whatever happens to the U.S. now is, at the very least, justice. Still, I remember the WTC crumbling to the pavement with friends of mine dying inside. I don’t want to see Americans suffer the same punishment we inflicted on the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan and (via our Israeli proxies) Palestine. The typical American, despite the flag-waving, jingoistic, fanaticism and indifference to human suffering, is no more deserving of the coming horrors than the Mid East citizens "our" army destroyed with cruise missiles and radioactive shells. But protesting this blowback seems even less effective than protesting the warmongers who started it all (dating back to WWII). Uncle Sam murdered in our names, with our tax money, and the support of a large segment of our population. Now we must all pay.

What were people thinking? That we could allow "our" military to step on humans as if they were insects and get away with it? Because we’re such nice people? Because even though our parents and grand-parents got suckered into a materialistic, racist, anti-social "American Dream," they basically meant well?

My wife’s best friend, a woman she met in kindergarten, who worked ten hours a day while raising two daughters, probably never made the connection between the fuel that heated her house and powered the vehicles that drove her kids to school and the liquid fire that blew her out of some shiny glass WTC office window.

Great article.

ADAM ENGEL

NYC


From: ADAM ENGEL

To: Matt Siegfried

CC: United States of America

Subject: "Bush Administration in Context", Counter Punch, August 18, 2003

Dear Matt Siegfried,

Fabulous, terse synopsis of "some of the defining events that have set the stage for our current situation" since 1945 and inspiring call to arms against capitalism/imperialism/militarism itself rather than the ridiculous and ineffectual targeting of one member of the tag-team Republican/Democrat wrestling duo that sends in a "new" administration to fight all life on the planet in four to eight year cycles (approximately the time it takes for one or the other to exhaust its own rhetoric and tactics and take a breather while the other fights on).

The problem for me is, despite all that Greens, socialists, anarchists, progressives and anyone else on the left has done to point out that this global meltdown is the result of a highly evolved system, rather than the mere exchange of a "happy hegemon" like Clinton for a "surly hegemon" like Bush, false consciousness (or unconsciousness) wins the day here in America time and time again. It’s as if Americans still think in the binary code taught to them by FDR.

I write a weekly column in the Cultural Section of Counter Punch, and I actually receive emails/newsletters daily which invoke the horrors of corporatism, militarism, racism, corruption, exploitation and everything else that makes our "democracy" tick, only to blame it ALL on Bush and urge me to (What, rebel? organize? resist? Of course not!) VOTE Democrat (for Howard Dean or Denis Coconut or whoever else is slated to accept the torch of status quo).

Such thinking truly baffles me, and leaves me speechless. For every such e-missive I receive, I will reply with a link to your article.

Excellent work.

ADAM ENGEL

NYC

ADAM ENGEL can be reached at: bartleby.samsa@verizon.net.