Russian Invasion of Ukraine Analysis; and A New Wave Of Book Banning

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Analysis

We turn to the on-going war between Russia and Ukraine. Let me introduce this topic by sharing, briefly, a few of my own thoughts on the matter. I believe the Russian invasion and its on-going deadly and destructive military assault in Ukraine is, of course, just plain wrong. I believe it mirrors, albeit to a much lesser extent, Americas deadly and destructive military assaults on Iraq and Afghanistan, to say nothing of Vietnam, Central America and too many other places to recount here. I believe Russia should end its war before its impact spreads far beyond the current conflict; before it provides an even greater opportunity than it already has to the capitalist war profiteers in America, and further emboldens the imperial designs of America, thereby radically changing the future in ways too dire to contemplate. I believe the severe sanctions imposed on Russia will have little impact on Putin and the Russian oligarchs but will have a devastating impact on the working-class people of Russia, and of the entire world. I believe that the United States bears at least as much blame for the war as does Russia, and probably more. That may, at first blush, seem an odd thing to believe. But if you stay tuned, todays guest on the war will explain why he and I believe this to be true. Lastly, I am personally saddened, beyond adequate description, over the fact of this new war. It, like Americas illegal and devastating wars in other countries, tells me that since the days of the cave man wielding his club, while the weapons used by warring sides to resolve their differences have advanced and become far more deadly and sophisticated, we humans have not, ourselves, found the way we resolve our disputes beyond that of the cave man with his hand-wielding club.

Guest – Richard Becker is the Western Region Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition; that is Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. Richard Becker is a regular contributor to The Liberation newspaper, a publication of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, of which he is a member. And Mr. Becker is the author of Palestine, Israel and the US Empire, as well as of the book, The Myth of Democracy and the Rule of the Banks.


A New Wave Of Book Banning

Book banning is the most widespread form of censorship in the United States. Its when government officials, private individuals, or organizations remove books from libraries, school reading lists, or bookstores because they object to the content or themes contained therein. Children’s books are the main targets.

Often, complaints are that the book contains is sexually explicit, contains graphic violence, has offensive language, or shows disrespect for parents and family. Censors claim they’re afraid the contents are dangerous for kids, or that they’ll cause young people to raise questions, and incite critical inquiry among children that parents, political groups, or religious organizations deem inappropriate or aren’t ready to address.

Before the 1970s book bans typically focused on obscenity. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence and Ulysses by James Joyce were often banned. From the late 1970s on, attacks focused on ideologies. To Kill A Mockingbird, The Color Purple, The Catcher in the Rye, and Harry Potter are among the 50 of the top banned books in this country.

A new wave of book banning in public and school libraries is sweeping the nation in 2022. Its been under way since debates have percolated over critical race theory and what students should learn in the classroom. Several states are cutting funding for books written by authors in specific communities.

Guest – Christopher Finan, executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship. He previously served as president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the booksellers voice in the fight against censorship. Before that, he was executive director of Media Coalition, a trade association that defends the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of media. Christopher is the author of From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America by Beacon Press, which won the 2008 Eli Oboler Award of the American Library Association. His forthcoming book is How Free Speech Saved Democracy.

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