Syria | Egypt | Obama tales | Canada | Žižek

Michel Chossudovsky: Syria: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention” (Global Research)
Elias Muhanna: Talking about a Revolution: An Interview with Camille Otrakji (Qifa Nabki)
Plankó Gergő: A legdurvább bajuszt is nyaldossa a forradalmi hullám (Index)

Finally, mainstream media have begun to report on a significant shift in Egyptian foreign policy:
Jim Lobe: Egypt’s new diplomacy worries Washington (Aljazeera)

Gordon Rayner, Steven Swinford, Martin Evans: Osama bin Laden: day two and a new version of how events unfolded (Telegraph)

The White House came under increasing pressure yesterday to release video footage of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound after the official version of events began to fall apart.

Robert Booth, Saeed Shah, Jason Burke: Osama bin Laden death: How family scene in compound turned to carnage (Guardian)

The scene after Bin Laden’s death emerged amid graphic new details about Monday’s raid, which now seems to be far more one-sided than US officials previously claimed. On Thursday it emerged that far from there being a sustained “firefight” in the compound, as senior White House officials had said, the Navy Seals drew fire from only one al-Qaida gunman and quickly killed him. Thereafter their progress to their target was largely unopposed. … The soldiers left four dead bodies, survivors bound with plastic ties and women and children injured.

Ed Pilkington: Bradley Manning’s jail conditions improve dramatically
after protest campaign
(Guardian)

The Conservative Majority and the Left—A Few Notes to Begin the
Discussion
(New Socialist)

The Conservatives won a majority of seats not because they convinced a much larger number of people to support them, but because of how a small increase in support was translated through the peculiarities of the “first-past-the-post” version of capitalist democracy. The Tories won 37.7% of the popular vote in 2008 and 40% in 2011. There hasn’t been a major swing to the right in the population, only in the way seats are distributed in the House of Commons.

The record-high 31% vote for the NDP (up from 17.5% in 2008) represents a major change in the voting choices among the very large numbers of people who support minor social reforms and defence of existing social programs within the framework of the neoliberal consensus that defines official politics (whose touchstone is “fiscal responsibility” and deficit elimination), above all in Quebec. It means something that so many people voted for the party seen as most on the left. But the NDP ran on its most moderate platform ever, with the goal of replacing the Liberals as the party perceived as the main and 100% respectable alternative to the Tories in administering Canadian capitalism—not as a party that stands for a social democratic alternative to the business parties.

Duncan Cameron: After the election: Time for democratic action (rabble.ca)
Judy Rebick: The morning after: Where are we and where do we go from here? (Transforming Power)

Everyone in English Canada talks about a split between the NDP and the Liberals but the NDP and the Bloc are much closer politically. A major weakness of the social democratic left in Canada is its fierce identification with the federalist cause against the self-determination of Quebec …

On the other hand, having an NDP caucus that is half Quebecois can bring together the concerns of progressive in Quebec and English Canada. That can only be a good thing. However, today on Democracy Now, Stephen Lewis declared the NDP victory in Quebec a blow to “separatism,” which is exactly the wrong way to see it. What it seems to be is a desire of the people of Quebec, including sovereigntists to stop a Harper majority, as well as a fatigue with the same old Bloc Quebecois and a genuine affection for Jack Layton. We should be thanking them.

If you can spare 40 minutes, watch and listen to this talk Slavoj Žižek gave on July 2nd, 2009 at a conference on Marxism in Bloomsbury about what it means to be a revolutionary today. This is an interesting question and this talk could be the starting point for a discussion. The page is in German, but the talk (the video) is in English.
Slavoj Žižek: Was bedeutet es heute, ein Revolutionär zu sein? (Weltnetz.tv)

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