Nasir Khan: The heroic life of Dada Amir Haider Khan

February 10, 2014
Posted: 2008-08-08
From: Mathaba
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No matter what hardships Indo-Pakistani revolutionary Dada Amir Haider Khan came across, he held belief in the eventual emancipation of the toiling masses, not by any outside force or agency but through their own struggles shaped by their political consciousness for a worthy human existence.
by Nasir Khan
All those who oppose imperialistic wars and plunder, subjugation and oppression of weaker nations and peoples, and wide-spread violations of human rights in various parts of the world will be glad to see the publication of the two-volume autobiography of Indo-Pakistani revolutionary Dada Amir Haider Khan. The life and struggles of this eternal revolutionary who stood for advancing the cause of workers and peasants and firmly adhered to the world-outlook of proletarian internationalism is quite amazing. No matter what hardships he came across, he held belief in the eventual emancipation of the toiling masses, not by any outside force or agency but through their own struggles shaped by their political consciousness for a worthy human existence.

Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

February 9, 2014


Most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is total nonsense. Here’s a clearer picture

Why you're wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)Karl Marx, Gordon Gecko

As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is arrant nonsense. This is not surprising, given our country’s history of Red Scares designed to impress that anti-capitalism is tantamount to treason. In 2014, though, we are too far removed from the Cold War-era threat of thermonuclear annihilation to continue without taking stock of the hype we’ve been made, despite Harry Allen’s famous injunction, to believe. So, here are seven bogus claims people make about communism and capitalism.

1. Only communist economies rely on state violence.

Obviously, no private equity baron worth his weight in leveraged buyouts will ever part willingly with his fortune, and any attempt to achieve economic justice (like taxation) will encounter stiff opposition from the ownership class. But state violence (like taxation) is inherent in every set of property rights a government can conceivably adopt – including those that allowed the aforementioned hypothetical baron to amass said fortune.

In capitalism, competing ownership claims are settled by the state’s willingness to use violence to exclude all but one claimant. If I lay claim to one of David Koch’s mansions, libertarian that he is, he’s going to rely on big government and its guns to set me right. He owns that mansion because the state says he does and threatens to imprison anyone who disagrees. Where there isn’t a state, whoever has the most violent power determines who gets the stuff, be that a warlord, a knight, the mafia or a gang of cowboys in the Wild West. Either by vigilantes or the state, property rights rely on violence.

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Avi Shlaim: The perils and pitfalls of patriotic history

February 8, 2014

War is said to be too serious a business to be left to the soldiers. By the same token, military history is too serious to be left to the politicians. When politicians pontificate about the past it is rarely in the disinterested pursuit of a complex truth.

Michael Gove’s perspective on the First World War is a classic example of a narrow, nationalistic, blinkered version of history. In an article in the Daily Mail, on 2 January 2014, the education secretary used the centenary of the Great War to declare war on “left-wing academics” whom he accused of peddling unpatriotic myths about Britain’s role in the conflict.

For Gove this was a plainly just war, a patriotic war in defence of the homeland and freedom, a war forced on Britain by imperial Germany’s “aggressively expansionist war aims”. British soldiers, according to Gove, went to war in 1914 to defend “the western liberal order”. Gove also argued that dramas such as Oh What a Lovely War and satires such as Blackadder enable left-wing myths to take hold, leading some people to denigrate the “patriotism, honour and courage” of those who fought and died for their country. Gove’s article provoked a barrage of angry responses, including one from Baldrick, Blackadder’s wily sidekick.

One of the fiercest counter-attacks on the education secretary came from the left-wing journalist Seamus Milne in an article entitled “An imperial bloodbath that’s a warning, not a noble cause” (The Guardian, 9 January). Milne dismissed Gove’s claims about the war and its critics as “preposterous nonsense”. For Milne the 1914-18 bloodbath was not just a war: “It was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of predatory imperial powers, locked in a deadly struggle to capture and carve up territories, markets and resources”.

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New Afghanistan law could silence women who are victims of domestic violence

February 7, 2014


Law would ban relatives of the accused from testifying against them

A new law in Afghanistan could allow men to abuse their wives, children and sisters and not face criminal prosecution by banning the relatives of an accused person from testifying against them.

If passed, the bill would make it much more difficult for victims to bring cases of abuse to court which often happen as they most often occur within the confines of the family home, The Guardian has reported.

The small change to a section of the criminal code Prohibition of Questioning an Individual as a Witness would also prevent doctors, children and defence lawyers from testifying in a case.

The bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament but is awaiting the signature of the conservative President Hamid Karzai, who by choosing to sign it will bring it into force. Campaigners are now calling on Karzai to refuse to sign the bill they assert will weaken “already inadequate” legal protections for women.

“President Karzai should reject a law that will effectively let batterers of women and girls off the hook,” Brad Adams, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

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USSR’s Heroic Struggle against Nazi Germany Saved the Allies

February 2, 2014
Pravda, 11.05.2010
Pages: 1 2

Who put an end to World War Two and who defeated Hitler? These questions seem extremely strange, to say the least, to all Russians. Fascism was obviously defeated by the troops of the anti-Hitler coalition, in which the Red Army and the USSR played the most important role.

The USSR caused much bigger damage to Nazi troops. The losses, which the Soviet Union suffered in the war, were incomparable to those of Western allies. Nevertheless, the West seems to stick to another opinion. Western historians and ideologists make many people in the West believe that it is the USA and England that liberated the world from fascism. This point of view can be found in many text books, newspapers, magazines, research works and films.

Historical facts are often taken to absurdity. The Battle of El-Alamein, on the border between Libya and Egypt, which is evidently very far from the European scene of operations, was an event, in which tens of thousands of people fought on every side. However, western historians compare this battle to the Battle of Stalingrad, which was a clash between millions. The landing of allied troops in Normandy in 1994 is compared to all operations of the Red Army in the Eastern Front.

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Red Army broke siege of Leningrad 70 years ago

January 28, 2014


By Workers World on January 27, 2014
Red Army snipers, Leningrad 1944: Snipers Faina Yakimova, Roza Shanina and Lidia Volodina

Red Army snipers, Leningrad 1944: Faina Yakimova, Roza Shanina and Lidia Volodina

Editor’s note: The imperialist ruling class puts its plentiful resources into making humanity forget the enormous contribution of the Soviet Union toward defeating Nazi-led German imperialism in World War II. The people of Leningrad made historic sacrifices in that effort that should be commemorated by all supporters of socialism.

Jan. 27 — Seventy years ago today, the Soviet Union’s Red Army broke through the ring of German imperialist troops that had surrounded  Leningrad — now called St. Petersburg — for 900 days. During the siege, 1 million people trapped in the city died from disease, starvation and enemy action. The city’s liberation came less than a year after Soviet troops stopped Nazi-led Germany’s advance in Stalingrad and forced the retreat that would end with their surrender in Berlin.

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Aam Aadmi, Aam Aurat (Common Man, Common Woman)

January 25, 2014


 —Badri Raina


Clearly, you are the bulk of the nation,

Forgotten much of the time, except

When  you are invoked to deride

Or justify this or that political fashion.

Indeed, when need be, even

Dalal street sings paeans to the ordinary.


O hoi polloi, throughout human history,

Denied  dignity or education, you  have

Much  of the time stood up to save

Whole civilizations from  the cruelty

Of those who assumed godhead of one  

 Kind or another, often in your name,

Spreading greed, lust, and shame,

Generation after generation.


Yet, you must admit it is also true

That  in dire times, you have not  always

Known  the  wicked chaff from the maize,

Empowering  the cunning desperado,

Only to be betrayed in the extreme

Into  hunger, oppression, war, and the dream

Of some perfection of time to ensue.


Now, in this land of togetherness,

Another test awaits your common instinct;

Either to fall to some sanctimoniousness,

Loud and red in blood, but enticing,

Or to read beyond the  disingenuous rant

And  trust your faith in those whose

Syllables may be scant but deceptions few.

Some Remarks On Belief In God

January 23, 2014

Nasir Khan,  January 23, 2014

[The following remarks are part of the discussion that started on Facebook with a quotation of English philosopher, Bertrand Russell.]

First of all, there are many people who believe god, devil, angels, etc., are not mere fantastic ideas but they really exist. One proof: they are mentioned in some holy books. And in some holy books god is reported to have spoken to his selected few. The holy books that are revealed are from god; therefore they represent the obvious truth which no one can or should find fault with. In fact, the believers in god have internalised such mode of thinking that any critical look at it is regarded as wrong and a result of mental confusion. At the same time, the term ‘god’ means different things to different people. But the idea of god entails some sort of belief in a ‘supernatural being’ or ‘power’. In monotheistic religions, starting with Judaism, many deities were finally reduced to only one god (this is despite Akhenaton’s early attempt to introduce Aton as the sole god but the project collapsed after his death).

Secondly, the believers in god have offered some well-known arguments in support of the existence of god. At present, I’ll only briefly mention their names: the ontological argument, the causal argument, the argument from contingency, the teleological argument or argument by design, the argument from religious experience, the argument from miracles and the utility argument. These arguments have been subjected to a closer look by philosophers. None of these has stood the test of analytical scrutiny. All of them have been refuted and put aside.

Ariel Sharon, war criminal (February 26, 1928-January 11, 2014)

January 13, 2014


By Jean Shaoul, WSWS, 13 January 2014

Former Israeli prime minister, general and unindicted war criminal Ariel Sharon was pronounced dead on Saturday, January 11 at the age 85. He had lay for eight years in a comatose state after suffering a series of strokes in January 2006.

Ariel Sharon [Photo: Jim Wallace (Smithsonian Institution)]

Under investigation for corruption at the time, he had been kept alive on the insistence of his family, despite the advice of the doctors treating him, while relatives sorted out his financial affairs.

Sharon is justly reviled by millions for his policies of provocation, murder and ethnic cleansing. His entire military and political career, for which he earned the nickname “butcher of the Palestinians,” was marked by a series of atrocities carried out against both the Palestinians and Israel’s Arab neighbours. The most notorious was his collusion with the Lebanese fascist Phalange in the September 1982 massacre of over 3,000 Palestinians in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, following the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon.

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Gaza Loses an Underground Lifeline

January 11, 2014


, IPS,     | Print |
Underground trade tunnels destroyed on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza. Credit:  Khaled Alashqar/IPS.

Underground trade tunnels destroyed on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza. Credit: Khaled Alashqar/IPS.

GAZA CITY , Jan 10 2014 (IPS) - The border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip used to buzz with activity until a few months back as traders brought in an array of Egyptian goods – from food supplies to raw material – through hundreds of tunnels.

But these underground structures, located 40 km from here, between Rafah in Gaza and Sinai in Egypt, have fallen silent.

Things came to a grinding halt after the Egyptian army came to power in Cairo. Calling them a security threat, it launched a systematic military campaign against the tunnels, destroying them, along with the houses under which they were built on its side of the border.

“Never before have we faced this kind of pressure from the Egyptian army.”

For people in Gaza, home to 1.7 million people, the closure of the tunnels has choked a lifeline. Thousands of tunnel operators, traders and workers have been hard hit.

“Never before have we faced this kind of pressure from the Egyptian army and, it seems, things are going to get worse,” said Abu Nabil, a Gaza resident who gave only his nickname for security reasons. He had operated a tunnel on the Palestinian side since 2007.

Nabil said more than 90 percent of the passages, most of which are privately operated, have been destroyed by the Egyptian military, completely paralysing trade through the tunnels.

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