Ukraine – the big picture: a year ago this country was at peace, economically viable and sovereign. It had a tolerant political culture. This is not the case today. On this edition of CrossTalk we discuss the tragic odyssey known as Ukraine. CrossTalking with Eric Draitser, Alexander Mercouris and Dmitry Babich.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on Sputnik Radio (Dec. 19, 2014) to discuss the continuing conflict between Russia and the West. Draitser provides his insights into the collective mindset and attitudes of westerners (especially Americans) in regards to Russia, and the way in which these attitudes are shaped by the mainstream (corporate) media. He also addresses the burgeoning friendship and cooperation between Russia and China, and the denial of many western analysts about the potential impact of such a shift. These and other issues are touched on this roughly 12 minute interview.
Despite receiving almost no attention in the international press, South Africa has once again become the scene of an all-important political struggle: the fight to advance and defend working class politics in Africa. While South Africa has been included in the well known BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), which serves as an indicator of how the country’s economy is viewed internationally, there remains a deep, and in many ways widening, class divide separating South Africa’s political elites from the working class they are meant to represent.
The deepening rift between many workers, trade unions, and urban and rural poor, and the Alliance made up of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South African Communist Party (SACP) is cause for concern as the government of Jacob Zuma faces internal political challenges that threaten to rock his ruling coalition to its very foundation. While some commentators have framed the conflict as merely personal politics as leaders jockey for influential positions in the Alliance and government, the reality is that the emerging conflicts reflect a deeply divided society in which millions still yearn for the fruits of the revolution of 1994.
There are two distinctly different, yet inextricably linked currents in South Africa’s working class political movement. The first is the organized labor struggle, including powerful and politically active trade unions and organizations and their leadership which, more often than not, represents a significant locus of power in its own right. The second is the movement of urban and rural poor which represents the most economically marginalized group in the country, one that feels, with much justification, completely left out of the much touted economic growth the country has experienced in recent years. In examining how these political currents both independently and collectively engage with South Africa’s ruling class, including their demands and theaters of struggle, it becomes clear that though apartheid formally ended twenty years ago, the country remains deeply divided and sorely needing to realize the dream of the revolution.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary on the recent news that the US Army is sending more military hardware to Eastern Europe as a means of threatening Russia. Draitser explains that this is merely the latest example of a 25 year policy of NATO expansion eastward, with Ukraine providing an important pretext and justification for such a bellicose policy. He also notes that US aggression comes in the form of military hardware, but also in the form of anti-Russia legislation and Russophobia peddled by the corporate media.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on RT to provide his analysis of the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the grand jury’s refusal to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown. Draitser explains that the protests are a manifestation of a powerful undercurrent of rage and dissatisfaction, especially in the Black community where unemployment, mass incarceration, police violence, access to education and health care, and many other vital issues are almost entirely ignored. He notes that these problems have only been exacerbated by President Obama. Draitser also argues that the protests around the country demonstrate before the world that the image of America as the beacon of freedom, justice, and democracy propagated by the corporate media is pure fantasy.