Glenn

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  • Glenn commented on the diary post Pritzker, Hagel Visit India – Hello, T.P.P.! by firebagger.

    2014-08-10 22:57:31View | Delete

    Singapore does not execute people for homosexuality. Male homosexuality (but not female homosexuality) is technically against the law. But Singapore does not actually prosecute anyone for homosexuality. The reason that it’s technically illegal under an old British law but never prosecuted is because that’s the political compromise the government there has chosen to make. The [...]

  • Since you wish to argue that nonviolent strategies can produce profound changes, I can’t help but notice that in three of the case studies you cite, Burma, the Philippines, and the Palestinian Territories, the political changes achieved by the opposition seem to me comparatively trivial, compared to what needed to be done. In Palestine, neither violent or nonviolent resistance has stopped Israel’s slow ethnic cleansing. At best, it’s slowed it down a little. In the Philippines, I suppose we are expected to be impressed by the way “People Power” managed to replace an old and sick pro American dictator who was a member of a tiny oligarchic elite with a pro American widow who was a member of the same tiny oligarchic elite. But Aquino didn’t do much on land reform, since she belonged to a family that owned so much land.
    In Burma the daughter of an assassinated national leader got a Nobel and house arrest for the crime of winning an election against the military junta. She didn’t get power, of course, since there was no armed revolution demanding the military hand over power.

    If no great changes occur in a country, how can you cite that country as an example of how one strategy is better than another for producing great change?

  • Since you mention Malcolm X, in an implicit comparison to MLK, I’d like know if you think King would have enjoyed the limited success he did if people like Malcolm X had not also been politically active in the same period? After all, this was a period when there was a serious threat of mass riots in American cities. Also, the whole American civil rights struggle in the 60′s took place in the context of America’s struggle with the Soviet Union. Jim Crow and other racist policies threatened to undermine American propaganda about how the US was the leader of the “Free World”, fighting a life and death struggle against “Communist Tyranny”. Would MLK have been as successful without the violent struggles being fought against imperialism in Asia, Africa and South America?

  • Good afternoon, Erica, Maria, and Lewis. Thank you for participating in this chat. I have not read your book, but I’d like to know whether you discuss the way violent and nonviolent resistance strategies interact.

    Nonviolent demands for real redistribution of wealth or power are naturally as unacceptable to the existing holders of great wealth and power as violent demands. But when the people who have great wealth and power are confronted with both violent and nonviolent demands for real change, then the non violent demands can sometimes become a somewhat more acceptable compromise, if the violent demands are backed by sufficiently powerful groups to be frightening to the powers that be.

    Do you think you demonstrate in your book that that nonviolent strategies can succeed in the absence of violent ones?

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Nonviolent Conflict – Book Salon Preview by Elliott.

    2014-08-10 13:11:43View | Delete

    That’s a very good point, Wayoutwest. I know that the authors invited to these chats are only expected to answer questions that are related to the books they have written, but I wonder if it would be appropriate to ask them if they consider the US sponsored overthrow of the elected government of the Ukraine [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Nonviolent Conflict – Book Salon Preview by Elliott.

    2014-08-10 12:38:37View | Delete

    But at least in the cases of Burma, the Philippines, and the Palestinian Territories, the political changes achieved by the opposition are not what I at least would characterise as “remarkable changes”. In Palestine, neither violent or nonviolent resistance has stopped Israel’s slow ethnic cleansing. At best, it’s slowed it down a little. In the [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Nonviolent Conflict – Book Salon Preview by Elliott.

    2014-08-10 12:05:35View | Delete

    Obviously, the only groups that are likely to resort to violence are those which actually have the capability to use violence effectively. If you don’t have any guns, and your opponent has lots of guns, then you prefer to adopt nonviolent strategies in the hope that the guns, which are all in the hands of [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Nonviolent Conflict – Book Salon Preview by Elliott.

    2014-08-10 11:42:58View | Delete

    Why, for example, did nonviolent American Black leaders like Martin Luther King become somewhat acceptable to the American elite? First, King himself, despite his nonviolence, was spied on and harassed by the FBI. He was also assassinated, though one could claim that wasn’t the direct fault of the American power structure he opposed nonviolently. Second, [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Nonviolent Conflict – Book Salon Preview by Elliott.

    2014-08-10 11:23:02View | Delete

    Nonviolent demands for real redistribution of wealth or power are naturally as unacceptable to the existing holders of great wealth and power as violent demands. But when the people who have great wealth and power are confronted with both violent and nonviolent demands for real change, then the non violent demands can sometimes become a [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Malaysian Press: Ukrainian Fighter Jets Shot Down Flight MH 17 by Ohio Barbarian.

    2014-08-09 09:14:15View | Delete

    I have heard that some of the passengers on the plane were fairly important AIDS researchers. If the plane was really shot down as part of a plan to blame the Russians, I’d have to wonder if that plane was chosen intentionally, to allow accusations that “Putin has the blood of future AIDS victims on [...]

  • Glenn commented on the blog post Gaza Strikes Resume As Ceasefire Ends

    2014-08-08 13:41:45View | Delete

    “So they’re in collusion, and neither deserves the time of day from any of us.”

    What slimy hypocrisy. Anyone who pretends to see some moral equivalence between the Palestinian’s demand that Israel stop committing a WARCRIME by blockading Gaza, and the Israeli demand that the Palestinian’s surrender unconditionally by allowing the demilitarization of Gaza cannot possibly be regarded as anything other than a really vile racist.
    The Zionist obsession with crushing the Untermenschen has reached the point where the Zionists must, with terrible and horrific irony, be regarded as the spiritual heirs of Adolf Hitler. In the same way that abused children sometimes grow up to become abusers themselves, the Zionists have learned exactly the wrong lesson from the tragic abomination which was the Holocaust.

  • Natty, do you know what a Siege is? According to Wikipedia, “A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault.” Gaza has been under siege by the Israelis for the last seven years. In other words, Israel has been using its military against Gaza every day for the last seven years. Given this context, I do not agree with you that “Hamas’s rocket attacks are equally despicable.” When you impose a siege on over a million people for years, you just have to expect that some of them are going to try to fight back. And when the military power possessed by two sides in a conflict is as unequal as it is in the Israeli/Palestinian war, I think it is a grotesque false equivalency to claim that anyone who resorts to any violence at all, no matter how weak or ineffectual it is, is “equally despicable”.

  • Glenn commented on the blog post Under Sanctions American Sales To Russia Increase

    2014-07-30 09:54:37View | Delete

    Knox, there are two website’s I’d suggest you look at on this issue. Moon of Alabama, and The Vineyard of the Saker.
    The way in which the US government has tried to blame Russia for this aircraft seems to me far too similar to the way in which Obama tried to blame Assad for the gas attack which was nearly used as a pretext for an American attack on Syria. It’s also very similar to the lies Bush used to justify his attack on Iraq. When dealing with a proven liar like the US government, I think it’s essential to demand a much higher standard of proof than we have so far received.

  • Glenn commented on the diary post Israel! Beware! The American Financial Aristocracy is Thinking of Writing You Off. Maybe. by Ohio Barbarian.

    2014-07-29 15:36:35View | Delete

    I must say that I think comments about how the Palestinians don’t have leaders like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, or have never tried nonviolent resistance, extraordinarily patronizing. Of course some Palestinians have tried to protest non violently. For one example, you might like to look at the documentary 5 Broken Cameras. Just because [...]

  • Glenn commented on the blog post Any More U.S. “Stabilization” and Africa Will Collapse

    2013-12-23 14:16:25View | Delete

    Van Buren basically answers his own question in his last sentence. Why is the US “just throwing up barbed wire” in Africa? Because “the Chinese are building cultural ties and signing deals all over Africa”. It’s not like the US has the money or the political will to build cultural ties or sign deals, after all. Doing so might actually require raising taxes on the US looter class, and that’s unthinkable in Washington these days.

  • Glenn commented on the diary post The Decline of the U.S. ( and Everyone Else … ) by GREYDOG.

    2013-11-25 14:37:55View | Delete

    I think the case for US decline is a lot more plausible than most of the counterarguments for US recovery you cite. You have to look at the details. For instance, take the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If this anti Chinese trading pact is actually ratified by most of the countries currently negotiating it (and it’s by [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post What Does the TPP Mean for the World as a Whole? Can It Contain China? by E. F. Beall.

    2013-04-13 23:52:36View | Delete

    Wendy, the US complaint against the Yuan isn’t that it’s overvalued. The US claims it’s undervalued. If a country’s currency is undervalued, it makes it easier for that country to have a trade surplus. That’s why China and South Korea are angry about Japan’s recent decision to effectively depreciate the Yen, through a major increase [...]

  • Glenn commented on the diary post SCOTUS Justices Don’t Read Polls, But They Do Read History by Peterr.

    2013-03-19 16:27:18View | Delete

    I don’t think that most of the Oligarchs really care very much about gay rights. It’s not something that directly effects how rich and powerful they are. If they aren’t gay themselves, it’s just a useful wedge issue that distracts part of the population from economic issues. Oboma is mildly supportive of gay rights, at [...]

  • I would agree that the massive social disruptions caused by the Great Depression and WW2 are not in themselves a sufficient explaination for the way the US turned away from oligarchy in the 1930′s and 1940′s. The efforts of many activists in the decades before then was undoubtably important, and should serve as an inspiration to contemporary actiivists. But do you think the increase in economic equality that occurred in that period would have been possible without the Great Depression and WW2? Do you think that a social change comparable to what happened in the thirties could occur without a societal collapse comparable to what happened in those decades?

  • Glenn commented on the blog post Senate Passes China Currency Bill

    2011-10-12 09:52:47View | Delete

    Frankly, this is just another example of American hypocrisy. Of course China is “manipulating” its currency in order to help Chinese industry and keep unemployment lower than it might otherwise be. But America also “manipulates” its currency to help specific American businesses. In the case of the US, the focus is much more on helping the US banks and US investors in other countries than it is on supporting manufacturing in the US, but that just reflects the political domination of the US government by the rich.
    Smoot-Hawley was an example of the “beggar your neighbor” trade policies the prevailed during the Great Depression, as each country tried to make other countries suffer the worst consequences of the Great Depression. Because the US at the time had a very strong economy, it probably hurt other countries more than it hurt the US. But it certainly started a wave of retaliatory trade policies that hurt world trade. To quote the Wikipedia article on Smoot-Hawley,

    U.S. imports decreased 66% from US$4.4 billion (1929) to US$1.5 billion (1933), and exports decreased 61% from US$5.4 billion to US$2.1 billion, both decreases much more than the 50% decrease of the GDP.

    According to government statistics, U.S. imports from Europe decreased from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million during 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe decreased from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade decreased by some 66% between 1929 and 1934.[14]

    Using panel data estimates of export and import equations for 17 countries, Jakob B. Madsen (2002) estimated the effects of increasing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers on worldwide trade during the period 1929–1932. He concluded that real international trade contracted somewhere around 33% overall. His estimates of the impact of various factors included about 14% because of declining GNP in each country, 8% because of increases in tariff rates, 5% because of deflation-induced tariff increases, and 6% because of the imposition of nontariff barriers.

    I think the current desire among some US politicians for trade sanctions against China has more to do with the US Military Industrial Complex’s need for an enemy (in order to justify spending huge amounts on the military), and the desire for a scapegoat, (in order to distract the US public from the criminality of US elites), than it does with getting more manufacturing jobs for Americans. Vilifying the Chinese as “currency manipulators” ignores the fact that when American corporations use Chinese labor to manufacture things in China and then ship them back to the US, it counts as part of a Chinese trade surplus. When parts are manufactured in Vietnam or Singapore and then shipped to China to be assembled into items which are then exported to the rest of the world, that also counts as part of a “trade surplus”.

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