Archive | February, 2008

  • Higher Inflation Makes the Fed’s Job Far More Difficult

    CPI Rises 0.4 Percent in January, Core Edges Higher Higher inflation is the cost of the high dollar policy of the last decade. The overall consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent for the second straight month in January, pushed up by 0.7 percent increases in both food and energy prices.  The January increase brings […]

  • East Timor’s Crisis The Strangest Yet

    East Timor’s latest crisis is the strangest yet.  The shoot-out that left president Jose Ramos Horta in intensive care, and killed the charismatic rebel Major Alfredo Reinado, is still unexplained. At first they told us it was a coup attempt by Reinado’s forces, disaffected ex-soldiers who had come from their hiding places in the hills […]

  • The US “War on Terror” Exported to Rwanda: A Threat to Peace in DRC

      There is a common flaw in US foreign policy.  In giving aid to foreign nations, the United States prioritizes its own foreign policy goals over any standards of good governance.  Because this system of support ignores the realities on the ground, it ultimately backfires, undermining US long-term interests and fueling instability, conflict, and violations […]

  • Peter Hallward Untangles the Truth about Haiti from a Web of Lies

    DAMMING THE FLOOD : Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment by Peter HallwardBUY THIS BOOK In Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment, Peter Hallward meticulously explains how, on February 29 of 2004, the U.S. managed to “topple one of the most popular governments in Latin America but it managed to […]

  • Reviving the Iranian Revolt

    At the height of the Iranian revolution in the winter of 1979, French philosopher Michel Foucault described what he was seeing in Tehran as “perhaps the first great insurrection against global systems, the form of revolt that is the most modern and the most insane.” “Islam,” he wrote, “– which is not simply a religion, […]

  • Dear Compatriots

    Last Friday, February 15, I promised you that in my next reflection I would deal with an issue of interest to many compatriots. Thus, this now is rather a message.

  • Interview with Shahla Lahiji on Women’s Presence in the Labor Market: No Vocation Must Be Prohibited for Women

      Shahla Lahiji is the first Iranian woman who succeeded in getting a publisher’s license registered in her own name.  She founded Roshangaran and Women’s Studies, a publishing house, 23 years ago.  Lahiji sees herself in a kind of living history on the question of women’s labor, for her mother was the fifth woman who […]

  • Real Muslims, Real Lives: An Enchanted Modern by Lara Deeb

      Lara Deeb.  An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi’i Lebanon.   Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics Series.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. ix + 263 pp. Illustrations, footnotes, glossary, bibliography, index. An Enchanted Modern by Lara Deeb is an important book that illustrates and explores the lives of real, modern, Muslim women.  Published […]

  • The Republican Candidate (Part Five and Last)

    More than two weeks ago, on January 27, 2008, the digital publication Tom Dispatch reproduced an article translated for Rebelión by Germán Leyens: “Why the Debt Crisis is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic” by Chalmers Johnson. This American author has not been awarded the Nobel Prize, as has Joseph Stiglitz, the famous and well-known economist and writer, or even Milton Friedman himself, who inspired neoliberalism and led many countries down that disastrous path, including the United States.

  • Walking Away: The Least Bad Option

    Except for a hardy band of neo-con optimists and the official apologists of the Bush regime, almost everyone is agreed today that the United States has gotten itself into a nasty, self-wounding mess in Iraq where it is fighting a drawn-out guerrilla war it cannot win.  At the same time, a very large number of […]

  • Injustice at Guantanamo: Torture Evidence and the Military Commissions Act

    The Bush administration has announced its intention to try six alleged al Qaeda members at Guantánamo under the Military Commissions Act.  That Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted by torture, although it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment if it was secured before December 30, 2005.  Thus, the administration would be forbidden […]

  • The Republican Candidate (Part 4)

    When in the previous reflection I asked McCain what he thought of the Five antiterrorist Cuban Heroes, I did so because I remembered what he had published on page 206 of his book Faith of My Fathers, co-written with his assistant Mark Salter: “It’s an awful thing, solitary….”

  • Dror Ze’evi on the Sexual Discourses of the Early Modern Ottoman World

      Dror Ze’evi.  Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourses in the Ottoman Middle East, 1500-1900.    Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. xiv + 223 pp.  Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. According to one tradition, the Prophet Muhammad once ordered a handsome youth from the tribe of ‘Abd Qays to sit behind him, so that he (the […]

  • Algeria, the Return of the FIS [Algérie, le retour du FIS]

    Dans le quotidien Le Monde (9 février), M. Ali Belhadj, l’ancien numéro 2 du Front islamique du salut (FIS) a donné un entretien à Florence Beaugé, « Il faut trouver, d’urgence, une solution politique en Algérie » 1. Cet important entretien appelle quelques commentaires. 1. Le moment choisi pour sa publication est important, marqué par […]

  • As Rome Burned, the Emperor Fiddled

    As global finance’s house of cards implodes, Bush and Congress fiddle and Bernanke Fedles.  When sub-prime mortgages defaulted, debt-backed securities tanked, and credit everywhere contracted.  Business investment then shrank as did consumer spending.  Recession now looms in the US if it is not already here.  Worry deepens that it might get very bad and last […]

  • Race, Poverty, and the Neoliberal Agenda in the United States: Lessons from Katrina and Rita

    Abstract The global economic system has come to be dominated de facto by institutions subscribing to and enforcing the neoliberal agenda.  Since the end of World War II, these institutions have sought not only to regulate but, in a manner reminiscent of classical colonialism, to control global resources facilitated by the emergence of the neoliberal […]

  • The Republican Candidate (Part 3)

    Yesterday, I said that while Bush was speaking to Congress, McCain was being honored at the Versailles Restaurant of Little Havana.

    It was there that most of the fiercest enemies of the Cuban Revolution and their families took up residence, Batista’s followers, the big landowners, owners of apartment buildings and millionaires who tyrannized and plundered our people. The United States government has used them at will, to organize invaders and terrorists who have shed our people’s blood through almost 50 years. Later, illegal emigrants joined that stream, along with the Cuban Adjustment Act and the brutal blockade imposed on the people of Cuba.

  • Halting California Tuition Hikes

    Making ends meet is a fight for Valencia Henley, an ethnic studies major graduating from California State University, Sacramento this spring. “Each semester I have faced being kicked out of classes due not to my grades but to being late paying student fees,” she said.  “At times my professors have let me stay in their […]

  • Fear of the Left Cripples German Defense Chiefs

    What a difference a party on the left can mean! US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, at the annual International Security Conference in Munich, stepped up pressure on Germany to send more troops to Afghanistan and commit them to active fighting there, not only in the currently more peaceful north but in the battle-ridden south […]

  • The Republican Candidate (Part 2)

    One of the most hostile U.S. newspapers when it comes to Cuba, headquartered in Florida, offers the following report:…