Richard Mock, Sculptor, Painter and Editorial
Cartoonist, 61, Dies

Roberta Smith, New York Times

Richard Mock, a painter and sculptor whose interest in
politics led to a second career as an editorial
cartoonist, died on July 28 in Brooklyn, where he
lived. He was 61.

His death followed a long illness, said his companion,
Roberta Waddell, curator of prints at the New York
Public Library.

Mr. Mock was a lifelong painter whose work ranged from
a cartoonish, politically charged Neo-Expressionism
through portraiture and self-portraiture to bright,
paint-laden abstractions. But he was best known for
the satiric linocut illustrations on social and
political issues that appeared on the Op-Ed page of
The New York Times from 1980 to 1996, in other New
York-based newspapers and in worldwide publications.


Dorothy Healey, 91
Lifelong Communist Fought for Working People

Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times

Dorothy Healey, a onetime labor organizer, civil rights activist and
Marxist radio commentator who was chairwoman of the Southern
California district of the Communist Party USA from the late 1940s
through the 1960s, has died. She was 91.

Healey, dubbed "the Red Queen of Los Angeles" by headline writers
during her heyday, died Sunday of pneumonia in the Greater Washington
Hebrew Home, said her son, Richard. She had been a resident of
Washington, D.C., since 1983.

The diminutive Healey, who stood just under 5 feet tall and once wore
a pendant that pictured a clenched fist raised as a symbol of
solidarity and militancy, fought a lifelong battle against what she
called the oppression of the middle class and minorities.


Women Seize TV Station in Oaxaca, Mexico

Rebecca Romero

From SF Gate

About 500 women banging spoons against pots and pans seized a state-run television station and broadcast a homemade video Wednesday that showed police kicking protesters out of Oaxaca's main square last month.

The women took control of Oaxaca's Channel 9 station Tuesday and held employees for about six hours before releasing them. It was unclear how long the siege would last and police were nowhere to be seen near the station Wednesday.

The standoff is the latest by demonstrators who accuse Gov. Ulises Ruiz of rigging his 2004 election victory and violently repressing opposition groups.

Station director Mercedes Rojas said the state has filed a criminal complaint with the federal attorney general's office, noting that the station has about $54.5 million worth of equipment inside and that the protesters had threatened the 60 employees with violence while holding them captive.


"The Art of War:

Deleuze, Guattari, Debord and the Israeli Defense Force"

Eyal Weizman

The Israeli Defence Forces have been heavily influenced by contemporary philosophy, highlighting the fact that there is considerable overlap among theoretical texts deemed essential by military academies and architectural schools

The attack conducted by units of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the city of Nablus in April 2002 was described by its commander, Brigadier-General Aviv Kokhavi, as ‘inverse geometry’, which he explained as ‘the reorganization of the urban syntax by means of a series of micro-tactical actions’.1

During the battle soldiers moved within the city across hundreds of metres of ‘overground tunnels’ carved out through a dense and contiguous urban structure. Although several thousand soldiers and Palestinian guerrillas were manoeuvring simultaneously in the city, they were so ‘saturated’ into the urban fabric that very few would have been visible from the air. Furthermore, they used none of the city’s streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, or any of the external doors, internal stairwells and windows, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as ‘infestation’, seeks to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. The IDF’s strategy of ‘walking through walls’ involves a conception of the city as not just the site but also the very medium of warfare – a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.

Contemporary military theorists are now busy re-conceptualizing the urban domain. At stake are the underlying concepts, assumptions and principles that determine military strategies and tactics. The vast intellectual field that geographer Stephen Graham has called an international ‘shadow world’ of military urban research institutes and training centres that have been established to rethink military operations in cities could be understood as somewhat similar to the international matrix of élite architectural academies. However, according to urban theorist Simon Marvin, the military-architectural ‘shadow world’ is currently generating more intense and well-funded urban research programmes than all these university programmes put together, and is certainly aware of the avant-garde urban research conducted in architectural institutions, especially as regards Third World and African cities. There is a considerable overlap among the theoretical texts considered essential by military academies and architectural schools. Indeed, the reading lists of contemporary military institutions include works from around 1968 (with a special emphasis on the writings of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari and Guy Debord), as well as more contemporary writings on urbanism, psychology, cybernetics, post-colonial and post-Structuralist theory. If, as some writers claim, the space for criticality has withered away in late 20th-century capitalist culture, it seems now to have found a place to flourish in the military.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Delusional Expectations"

John Chuckman

At this writing, Israel has killed six hundred civilians in Lebanon, including more than one hundred children, and killed another one hundred and fifty in Gaza. It has created hundreds of thousands of refugees and destroyed enough bridges and power stations and apartments to create misery for years to come.

Nothing is more dishonest than attempting to justify this barbarism with "Islamist fundamentalists declare their goal openly to destroy the state of Israel and kill Jews."

There is no possibility that Israel can be destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists: the notion is simply a fantasy. This is so not just because of Israel's ready willingness to bomb and kill, but because of great-power guarantees. It is so also because no Arab state believes any longer that Israel’s destruction is a sensible or possible goal, despite their leaders’ public rhetoric. And it is true because the enemies Israel claims are so threatening, organizations such as Hezbollah or Hamas, are militarily weak by any rational standard of calculation.


Ailing Castro Gives Power to Brother

Associated Press

HAVANA — Fidel Castro temporarily relinquished his presidential powers to his brother Monday night and told Cubans he will undergo surgery.

The Cuban leader said in a letter read live on television by his secretary that he had suffered gastrointestinal bleeding, apparently due to stress from recent public appearances in Argentina and Cuba.

Because of that illness, Castro said he was temporarily relinquishing the presidency to his brother and successor Raul, the defense minister, according to the statement read by Carlos Valenciaga.


Social Ecologist Murray Bookchin Dies at 85

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Murray Bookchin, an early proponent of what he described as social ecology, died at home early Sunday at the age of 85.

He was surrounded by family when he died of heart failure at home, said his daughter, Debbie Bookchin.

Murray Bookchin long was a proponent of left-leaning libertarian ideas and was among the first people in the early 1960s to promote the then-emerging field of ecology into political debate.

He published Our Synthetic Environment under the pseudonym Lewis Herber in 1962 in which he called for alternative energy supplies among other environmental proposals. It was in that book, which predated by five months the better known work Rachel Carson Silent Spring, that Bookchin introduced the notion of social ecology.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"From Beirut"

Bilal El-Amine

Hi everyone. First of all, I am fine as are family and friends. We’re scattered in different places, some still in the south, some in Tyre, the rest in Beirut and its surroundings. Those who live in the southern suburbs where Hizbullah is based managed to leave before the latest strikes and are safe with relatives.

As most of you know, Hizbullah carried out a bold operation a few days ago and managed to capture two Israeli soldiers. The resistance has been saying for quite some time now that it intends to free the remaining Lebanese prisoners in Israel, most prominently Samir Qantar. Dubbed the “dean of the prisoners,” Qantar is the longest serving Arab prisoner in Israel. He was to be released along with other Lebanese prisoners in a swap between Hizbullah and Israel. The Israeli government voted not to release him and two others and stupidly kept the prisoner file open.

The Hizbullah operation was an attempt to put an end to the matter. There were several previous unsuccessful attempts that were costly to the resistance. This operation according to Nasrallah, the general-secretary of Hizbullah, was months in planning and its timing, which has been endlessly criticized, may have been logistical more than anything else.

In light of Israel’s ferocious response, it is worth noting that the capture of the two Israeli soldiers was a pure military operation and did not as much scratch an Israeli civilian. Israel’s counter is exactly the opposite—collective punishment of the civilian population by destroying the country’s infrastructure and committing ugly massacres against families and fleeing refugees as they did yesterday in the south. Who’s the terrorist in this case, even by the self-serving definitions peddled in Washington.

beyrut is me writes:

"A Protracted Colonial War"

Tariq Ali, Guardian

With US support, Israel is hoping to isolate and topple Syria by holding sway over Lebanon.

In his last interview — after the 1967 six-day war — the historian Isaac Deutscher, whose next-of-kin had died in the Nazi camps and whose surviving relations lived in Israel, said: "To justify or condone Israel's wars against the Arabs is to render Israel a very bad service indeed and harm its own long-term interest." Comparing Israel to Prussia, he issued a sombre warning: "The Germans have summed up their own experience in the bitter phrase 'Man kann sich totseigen!' 'You can triumph yourself to death'."

In Israel's actions today we can detect many of the elements of hubris: an imperial arrogance, a distortion of reality, an awareness of its military superiority, the self-righteousness with which it wrecks the social infrastructure of weaker states, and a belief in its racial superiority. The loss of many civilian lives in Gaza and Lebanon matters less than the capture or death of a single Israeli soldier. In this, Israeli actions are validated by the US.

Neocons Rise From Mideast Ashes
Robert Dreyfuss

Israel's reckless, high-stakes decision to launch simultaneous wars against both Hamas and Hezbollah last week is a critical, perhaps world-shattering event. It cannot be seen merely in its local context, that is, as an act by the unilateralist regime in Jerusalem to crush the armed wings of two Islamic fundamentalist organizations in Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon. Nor can it be seen merely in its regional context, that is, as an effort to raise the stakes in the struggle against Syria, Iran and rejectionist factions in occupied Iraq. Rather, Israel's actions must be seen, first and foremost, in the context of global politics.

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