Masters of War

[Bob Dylan, author and artist of incisive musical poetry of the people’s sentiments and struggles for justice in the 1960’s, sharply described and condemned the horrific wars of the system in this song, Masters of War, performed in 1963.  An enduring expression of outrage and anger at the suffering of billions of people, it is all the more timely on this Armistice Day/Memorial Day, which the “masters of war” continually make into a glorification of their blood-soaked rule and wars of conquest — but which the people remember as the most hideous and callous destruction of generation after generation — since the 1914 beginning of the inter-imperialist World War I, touted falsely as “the war to end wars.”  Dylan himself has not always adhered to the clear vision and passionate advocacy of this song and others of that early period, but that does not diminish the timeless voice he has given to the struggle for justice and peace. — Frontlines ed.]

“Masters Of War”

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

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New York Times: “Rioting Widens in London on 3rd Night of Unrest”

[The New York Times, the leading imperialist media organizer, reports the events in London and the crisis in Britain in terms which express contempt for the masses in rebellion, and calculations of where this is all going–in terms of the sharpening of battlefronts for the class war which is leaping out of the shadows of “normal” life.   All this from the viewpoint of the defenders, and managers, of the existing system. –Frontlines ed.]

By RAVI SOMAIYA and JOHN F. BURNS

August 8, 2011

Sang Tan/Associated Press A shop was set on fire Monday in Croydon, south London. The home secretary said there had been hundreds of arrests.

LONDON — The rioting and looting that convulsed poorer sections of London over the weekend spread Monday to at least eight new districts in the metropolitan area and broke out for the first time in Britain’s second-largest city, Birmingham, in what was developing into the worst outbreak of social unrest in Britain in 25 years.

By early Tuesday, unrest was also reported by the police in two other major cities, Liverpool and Bristol, and an enormous fire was consuming a large warehouse in the Enfield section of London.

Prime Minister David Cameron, apparently caught off guard while on vacation with his family in Tuscany, reversed an earlier decision not to cut short his holiday in the face of plunging world financial markets and boarded a plane for home to lead a cabinet-level meeting on Tuesday to deal with the turmoil.

For Mr. Cameron’s government — indeed for Britain — the rapidly worsening situation presented a profound challenge on several fronts.

For a society already under severe economic strain, the rioting raised new questions about the political sustainability of the Cameron government’s spending cuts, particularly the deep cutbacks in social programs. These have hit the country’s poor especially hard, including large numbers of the minority youths who have been at the forefront of the unrest.

Together with the inevitable pressures to restore some of the spending cuts, Mr. Cameron and his colleagues have to confront the dark shadow that the rioting has cast on plans for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. That $15 billion extravaganza will have its centerpiece in a sprawling vista of new stadiums and an athletes’ village that lie only miles from the neighborhoods where much of the violence in the last three days has taken place. With the Games set to begin in barely 12 months, Britain will have to satisfy Olympic officials that there is no major risk of the Games being disrupted, or ruined, by a replay of the rioting.

Luke MacGregor/Reuters Police officers in riot gear tried to block a road near a burning car in the northern district of Hackney, in London, where rioting continued for a third night.

Beyond these challenges is the crisis that has enveloped London’s Metropolitan Police, popularly known as Scotland Yard, on which security for the Olympics, and the immediate hopes of quelling the rioting, depend.

Even before the outbreak of violence, the police have been deeply demoralized by the government’s plan to cut about 9,000 of about 35,000 officers and by allegations that it badly mishandled protests against the government’s austerity program last winter and failed to properly investigate the phone-hacking scandal that has dominated the headlines here for much of the summer. The force now faces widespread allegations that it failed to act quickly and forcefully enough to quell the rioting at its outset over the weekend. Continue reading