Leid Stories Stories and news that affect us all

September 16, 2013  

Obama’s “Red Line” Extra Heavy With Syria, Totally Erased With Israel

The much-anticipated inspectors’ report on the Aug. 21 poison-gas attack in Syria is scheduled to be released today, while the U.N. Security Council begins work on formalizing a Russia-U.S.-brokered plan to search for and destroy Syria’s lethal inventory of chemical weapons.

President Obama vows to take military action if Syria does not comply strictly with the terms of the agreement. President Bashar al-Assad crossed the “red line” by gassing civilians, Obama has charged, and the United States has a “moral obligation” to inflict punishment.

But Obama’s “red line” talk is hypocritically circular, not morally straight. Leid Stories asks: How does the president explain his zeal to punish Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons but completely ignore the same internationally condemned act by Israel – and the United States itself, for that matter?

September 13, 2013  

Hubert Henry Harrison: The ‘Father of Harlem Radicalism’ – Part 2

Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry, editor of A Hubert Harrison Reader and author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918, concludes his presentation on this brilliant, self-taught intellectual and radical activist—“the only person in U.S. history to play leading roles in the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the New Negro/Garvey movement) of his era,” says Perry.

Harrison also is a key link in the ideological unity of the two great trends of Black struggle in the United States -- the labor/civil rights trend associated with leaders such as A. Philip Randolph and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the race/nationalist trend associated with Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X.

Perry discusses Harrison’s insistence that Blacks develop a consciousness about the universality and interrelatedness of their struggles, and the fire he drew from black bourgeois intellectuals. Plus, listeners’ questions.

September 12, 2013  

Hubert Henry Harrison: "The Father of Harlem Radicalism"

The recent commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – organized as a public consecration of “black leaders” and a showcase for the Democratic Party – purposely recast the historic 1963 protest as the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The Harlem-born radicalism of Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph, the driving forces behind the original march, terrified the political establishment (black and white) then, and still does today. Where did these men get their brazen ideas about black political power?

Leid Stories introduces the man Randolph called “The Father of Harlem Radicalism,” Hubert Henry Harrison. Our guest and guide is Dr. Jeff Perry, editor of A Hubert Harrison Readerand author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918.

Harrison, says Perry, “is the only person in U.S. history to play leading roles in the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the New Negro/Garvey movement) of his era. He is also a key link in the ideological unity of the two great trends of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation Struggle – i.e., the labor/civil rights trend associated with Randolph and King, and the race/nationalist trend associated with Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X.

September 11, 2013  


The 911 Attack and the Syria Crisis: Connecting the Dots

On this day 12 years ago, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists boarded four passenger planes en route to California from Boston, Newark and Washington, D.C., airports. They were on suicide missions – to use the planes as bombs and blow up iconic buildings, hoping for a high body count.  

They succeeded in bringing down the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and they plowed deep into the Pentagon’s fortified walls. Passengers on the fourth plane, however, tackled its four hijackers. That plane did not reach its target, said to be either the Capitol building or the White House. Instead it crashed into a field near Shanksville, Penn., just outside of Pittsburgh.

Thus began the United States’ most recent military entanglements with the Arab world.

As President Obama ups the ante with Syria, Leid Stories’ listeners connect the dots to answer the question: What’s wrong with U.S. policy in the region?

September 10, 2013  
September 9, 2013  

Syria: Ancient Land, Modern Imperialism

Noted historian, political scientist, social critic and author Dr. Gerald Horne offers an entirely different perspective on the current crisis in Syria – an ancient land that, like many nations in the region, has had to contend with the stranglehold of modern imperialism.

Dr. Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston.  A prolific author, he has written more than 30 books and 100 scholarly papers and reviews on struggles against imperialism, colonialism, fascism and racism.


September 6, 2013  

Obama On The Ropes, But Still Itching For A Fight

The G20 economic summit wound up its final day in Russia with clear signs to President Obama not only that America’s political currency is plummeting in value in much of the world, but that the nation is well on its way to being isolated as a warmongering pariah country infatuated with its self-acclaimed superpower status.

On both counts, the nation’s “Man of Hope” is being held singularly responsible.

G20 reaction to Obama’s itching trigger finger on Syria mirrors that of other world bodies urging an inclusive, diplomatic, nonmilitary solution to Syria’s ghastly civil war. Yet Obama, with only France as an ally, seems bent on bombs.

The president, who already has declared his executive power unilaterally to declare war, returns home to press a deeply divided Congress to green-light military action against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons on its own citizens.

Leid Stories’ listeners discuss the rapidly unfolding Obama drama, its likely consequences, and what, if anything, can be done to compel him to do the right thing.

September 5, 2013  

Super Hypocrisy: Obama’s ‘Outrage’ Over Chemical Weapons

William Blum, author, historian and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy, explains why, despite touting itself as “the protector of the innocent and defender of democracy,” the global thrill seems to be gone. The United States is virtually alone in its “moral obligation” to punish war-torn Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons in rebel strongholds.

Plus, Leid Stories explains why President Obama and high-ranking talking heads in his administration truly are shameless with their bogus campaign to persuade Americans and the rest of the world of the U.S.’s zero-tolerance policy on chemical weapons. 

September 4, 2013  

Now, How About A Nice Little War?

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, responding to President Obama’s urgent call for congressional approval to use force against Syria, held a hearing yesterday, with three of the administration’s top officials – Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – making the case for punitive military action against Bashar al-Assad’s regime for allegedly using chemical weapons on Aug. 21 to wipe out several rebel strongholds just outside of Damascus.

With a level of bipartisan productivity not seen in five years, the committee by the end of the day hammered out a draft resolution backing Obama’s request. To be debated next week when legislators return after recess, it sets a time limit of 60 days on any military operation; says the operation must be "limited and tailored” in the use of the U.S. armed forces; and bans the use of troops in the war-torn country.

Leid Stories explores with listeners the significance of the committee’s action and the likely impact/fallout among Americans and the world community of nations.

September 3, 2013  

Debating Obama’s Itchy Trigger Finger

He’s following Britain’s David Cameron lead, seeking Congress’s approval to unleash the fury of “the world’s oldest constitutional democracy” against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for allegedly killing hundreds of civilians in rebel strongholds with chemical weapons. But President Obama is pushing for a different result. (The Parliament's 285-to-272 vote last week sank Cameron's impassioned plea that Britain join a U.S.-led military strike against Syria.)

Team Obama is in overdrive, working feverishly to get a bipartisan go-ahead-and-bomb-Syria vote when legislators return from summer break on Sept. 9 (haven't they been on break for four and a half years?) to debate the issue. There are signs -- and reasons -- that Obama's surprise strategy of seeking congressional approval may not survive debate.

Leid Stories isn’t waiting. We debate the president’s position, as stated in his Aug. 31 news briefing, and offer thoughtful analyses of related issues.

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