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Obama's war can still be stopped: U.S. hawks out in force as Syria debate rages

Today's news shows just how right British MP's were who voted against war. David Cameron tried to sell parliament a limited, 'humanitarian intervention' and promised that we wouldn't be taking sides.

Now the truth is out.

Hawkish Republicans are now all over the U.S. media explaining that Obama has privately briefed them about plans that amount to a declaration of war against Assad.

No more talk of an attack of limited duration with narrowly limited targets. The whole of Assad's war machine is now in the U.S.'s sights.

Air strikes as well as missile strikes are now under discussion. More military support for the rebels is also in the frame.

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Hugo Chavez: Farewell to neoliberalism's nemesis

One of the great figures of the 21st Century has died.

At a time of universal mediocrity and ubiquitous buy-in to neoliberal orthodoxy, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stood out amongst politicians as a massive personality of independence, principle and courage.

He didn't just speak about socialism and social justice, he ensured his successive governments delivered measures that genuinely improved the lives of millions of people in his country, particularly the poorest. His charisma and radicalism was such that it is no exaggeration to say his example helped produce progressive governments and movements across the region.

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Politics, the media and the anti-war movement

The People v Tony Blair: Politics, the media and the anti-war movement

by Chris Nineham
(Zero Books,
2013;
$14.95)

On Tuesday, March 11 2003, British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon phoned Donald Rumsfeld, his opposite number in the U.S., and told him Britain might not participate in the invasion of Iraq. "We in Britain are having political difficulties," he said, "real difficulties, more than you might realise." He explained that there was a real chance an upcoming vote in parliament would go against the war, in which case Britain would have to 'disconnect' its troops from the operation. That night, Donald Rumsfeld went public about Blair's problems at a televised White House press conference, admitting Britain might not be showing up for the invasion. He reassured the media "there are workarounds." Blair, Hoon and their colleagues were furious.

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N14 anti-austerity protests in Europe: Millions co-ordinate strike action across borders

Wednesday marks a breakthrough in the struggle against austerity in Europe. There will be co-ordinated general strikes in Portugal, Greece and Spain and significant strikes and solidarity actions in many other countries. The CGIL union in Italy, for example, an organisation of nearly six million, has announced a strike of all its members around the country.

This is a historic and crucial development. There have been other European days of action and joint protests in Brussels and elsewhere, but this will be the first time since the great anti-war protests nearly ten years ago that this level of co-ordination has taken place across borders. It is the first time that general strikes have been organised simultaneously.

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