Archive | February, 2008

  • The Folly of Attacking Iran: Lessons from History

    Write a letter to Congress in support of real diplomatic engagement with Iran: . Join Stephen Kinzer, longtime New York Times correspondent and author of the book All the Shah’s Men, is now traveling across the nation to make the case for real diplomacy with Iran.  The tour coincides with a new publication of his […]

  • The Republican Candidate (Part 1)

    These reflections are self-explanatory.

    On the now well-known Super Tuesday, a day of the week when many U.S. states selected the candidate of their choice from among a pool of aspirants to the presidency of the United States, one of the possible candidates to substitute George W. Bush was John McCain…

  • Culture

    The mark of Cain won’t sprout
    from a soldier who shoots
    at the head of a child
    on a knoll by the fence
    around a refugee camp —
    for beneath his helmet,
    conceptually speaking,
    his head is made of cardboard.

  • On the Boycott Appeal: Israel as the “Guest of Honor” at the Book Fairs in Turin and Paris

    It is difficult to be critical of Israel without having one’s words misinterpreted, twisted, their meaning inverted.  A controversy centering on the Turin Book Fair is raging in Italy, amid conflicting claims and counter-claims.  French Journalist Pierre Assouline in a recent blog entry further distorted the terms of the debate. The facts are these: The […]

  • Kenya: Failures of Elite Transition

      The events in Kenya after the much criticized and controversial elections of 27 December 2007 have exposed the planned failures of our nascent democracy and the ideological rot and inadequacy across the Kenyan body politic.  This has left many wondering what actually went wrong.  I posit that an ideologically bankrupt political process that revolves around access […]

  • IV International Conference on “The Work of Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century”

    Venue:  Palacio de Convenciones This conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution which occurred on January 1, 1959. These are times of special importance for the destiny of humanity, given the increase in imperialist aggression and its confrontation with the resistance of peoples from all corners of the globe, who […]

  • Class and Inflation in Australia

    Just as the slump in the US economy threatens to trigger a global recession, Australian authorities have pronounced inflation ‘public enemy number one’ and are trying to slow growth.  They tell workers to ‘exercise wage restraint’. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Industrial Relations Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan sing the same tune: workers […]

  • Lift the Siege on Gaza!

    Let’s pretend for a moment that Israel and not Gaza is under siege by its Arab neighbors.  The Arabs are preventing all food supplies, medicine, and fuel from reaching starving Israelis.  The reason given: Israel’s refusal to accept the Arab peace initiative (land for peace). What would America and the rest of the world do? […]

  • The Cincinnati Public Schools: Military Recruitment in the Guise of College Prep?

      The Cincinnati Public Schools appear to be promoting military recruitment in the guise of college preparation through a corporate program called “Making Your College Search Count.”  Students at Walnut Hills High School spent fifty minutes this week in a required assembly listening to a talk about getting into college, and though the presenter never […]

  • ALBA: Creating a Regional Alternative to Neo-liberalism?

    Latin America was the first place where the US imposed the most callous economic system ever seen: neo-liberal capitalism.  Starting in Chile in 1973, the US used its power, along with its control over the IMF and the World Bank, to force governments across Latin America to adopt neo-liberal economic policies.  This has seen Latin […]

  • Carl Oglesby’s Ravens in the Storm

    Carl Oglesby was once the president of the original Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).  Before that, he was working for a defense contractor.  His last project with the company was to develop a method of delivering Agent Orange so that it would cover the Vietnamese jungle (and the humans therein) with the chemical as […]

  • Making Sense of Chad

    The war for Chad is not over.  It is likely to become more bloody and involve a wider humanitarian disaster before any solutions can be grasped.  The next week will be critical for the future of the country — and for the wider region, including Darfur, as well. Last weekend’s battle in the Chadian capital […]

  • Understanding the Kenyan Opposition

    INTRODUCTION: UNDERSTANDING FOR PEACE Much has been written about the Kenya elections — the rigging and the violence that has ensued, and the way to peace.  But next to nothing has been written regarding the nature of Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement. To struggle for peace, which in turn calls for engaging with the political leadership, […]

  • Can I Have My Change Back? Arab-Americans and Obama’s False Hope

    At what point does an individual stop supporting the lesser of two evils?  The question became particularly important this primary race, as one man ascended to political stardom ostensibly breaking free from the evils of mainstream politics and creating a platform based on hope and change.  This transcendent figure is presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Searching […]

  • Reflections on Venezuela: Food, Health, Democracy, and a Hope for a Better World

    Written hurriedly in Caracas February 2008 Background These are some brief impressions and reflections in the midst of a short visit to Venezuela.  For 10 days I traveled with a wonderful group of 23, mainly from the New York City area (with delegates from Washington, DC, Washington State, and myself from Vermont).  It was led […]

  • Our Blob in the White House

    (PU) In a move that may indicate some internal disarray within the GOP, Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush, called a press conference today to announce a new candidate in the Republican Party’s lineup of Presidential contenders. “McCain, Romney, they’re OK,” said Mr. Rove, renowned for his ingenious campaign strategies.  “But […]

  • The Black Jacobins 70 Years Later

      This year marks the seventieth anniversary of C.L.R. James’s The Black Jacobins: Touissaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution.  This classic account of the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803 is one of the greatest books in the twentieth century.  Its title refers to the Jacobins, the most radical element within the French Revolution who propagated, […]

  • Venezuela: Combatting Food Shortages

    “We lack everything” Frances Buitrago, a small shopkeeper in the city of Merida, commented to Green Left Weekly.  “There isn’t any milk, rice, mayonnaise, oil, wheat, or butter.” Luis Albonoz, who owns a small fruit and vegetable store in the same city, says his store hasn’t been directly affected by the food shortages that have […]

  • Volodia’s passing

    Some days ago I mentioned his name as an example of a militant communist, whose struggle gave his life meaning. For eight years he held the highest posts within his Party. He shared Allende’s faith in Chile and the beautiful vision that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues would again be opened “down which free humans could march toward the construction of a better society”.

  • 2008: The Demise of Neoliberal Globalization

    The ideology of neoliberal globalization has been on a roll since the early 1980s.  It was not in fact a new idea in the history of the modern world-system, although it claimed to be one.  It was rather the very old idea that the governments of the world should get out of the way of […]