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Obama and Kerry lecture Russia on Ukraine

US Secretary of State John Kerry used a State Department press conference Friday to lecture Russia on the necessity to uphold the “stability” and “territorial integrity” of Ukraine as Western intervention has brought the situation there to the boiling point.

The remarks came just shy of one week after the concerted intervention of the United States, Germany, France and other European powers led to a violent coup by fascist and far-right forces in the capital of Kiev.

“The United States totally supports the Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the sovereignty [sic], and we expect other nations to do the same,” Kerry declared. He added that he had earlier that day instructed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that “it is important for everybody to be extremely careful not to inflame the situation and not to send the wrong messages.”

US and Japanese troops train for war against China

A prominent article in the New York Times last weekend left no doubt about US-Japanese preparations for war or the intended target. Entitled “In Japan’s drill with the US, a message for Beijing”, the article covered US Marines training Japan’s newly-formed amphibious force in “how to invade and retake an island captured by hostile forces.”

While the joint exercise, codenamed Iron Fist, is an annual event, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John O’Neal declared that the Japanese troops came this year with “a new sense of purpose.” The 250-strong unit—up from just 25 soldiers in 2006—arrived with “their own “Humvees, gear and paraphernalia for retaking islands—or, in Marine parlance, ‘amphibious assault with the intent to seize objectives inland’.” O’Neal explained that the month-long exercise at Camp Pendleton in southern California was the “largest and most involved operation so far.”

The political lessons of the UAW debacle in Tennessee

The defeat of the United Auto Workers in a union recognition vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee has provoked an outpouring of handwringing and despair from liberal and pseudo-left publications.

Over the last two weeks, the New York Times, the Nation, the American Prospect, In These Times, Labor Notes, Socialist Worker and other publications have characterized the 712-626 vote against recognizing the UAW as a defeat for the VW workers and for American labor more broadly.

According to their narrative, which echoes that of the union leadership, the UAW is a “progressive” organization whose loss is the result of antiunion Republicans playing upon the backwardness of southern workers and manipulating them to vote against their own interests.

This narrative is a reactionary fiction.

The David Miranda ruling and the attack on press freedom

To appreciate in full the deeply reactionary import of the ruling that David Miranda was detained lawfully at Heathrow airport last August, one need only cite some of the arguments marshalled by the High Court in London.

The formulations employed by Lord Justice Laws, Mr. Justice Ouseley and Mr. Justice Openshaw in their judgement last Wednesday go far beyond this one incident—itself an unprecedented assault on journalistic freedom. They point to the outlawing of any notion of a “free press.” On the spurious grounds of “anti-terrorism” and “national security”, no one is safe from the reach of a British state determined to cover up its crimes and legitimise those yet to come.


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