US decline: The shock and awe that wasn’t

Jim Creegan analyses the secular decline of the United States as the world hegemon and the failure of Barack Obama’s Syria gambit

The White House has for the past couple weeks attempted to spin defeat into victory. The tentative US-Russian agreement, so goes the official line, has succeeded in attaining Washington’s original objective of forcing Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons without the use of force only because force was threatened in the first place. But it is apparent to all but the most credulous that divesting Bashar al-Assad of his chemical stockpile was never the principal aim of American sabre-rattling against Damascus. The actual purpose - to affirm Washington’s ability to deploy military might to reverse the steady decline of its influence in the Middle East - has proved an abject, and indeed a comical, failure, at least for the time being.

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Get together; Put off; Get a life; Simples; Leave it out; Woman question; On the spot

SWP: Treating the symptoms

Attempting to reform the disputes procedure will not cure the SWP of its bureaucratic centralism. Meanwhile, splits have opened up in both the opposition and loyalist camps, writes Peter Manson

UKIP: Dangers of nationalism

Will Nigel Farage change the face of politics? Eddie Ford looks at the evidence

Safe spaces: Conway-Hudson school of censorship

Paul Demarty defends the idea of free speech on the left

Iran: Edging towards a settlement

US sanctions appear to have produced results for imperialism, writes Yassamine Mather

Religion: Painfully detailed origins

David Douglass reviews: John Pickard, 'Behind the myths: the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam', AuthorHouseUK, 2013, pp492, £17.99

Die Linke: Principled opposition, not coalition poker

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Die Linke: Safe spaces task force

A word of warning from Maciej Zurowski for those in Left Unity who wish to emulate the German left party

Labour Party: Safe for capitalism

Calling Miliband ‘Red Ed’ is a joke, writes Stan Keable of Labour Party Marxists

Fighting Fund: Legal settlement

Robbie Rix provides and update and thanks our dedicated readership

Weekly Worker 979 is also available in PDF format