Archive | November, 2008

  • South America: Recession Can Be Avoided

    Can South America escape the wrath of the economic and financial storms that have their epicenter in the United States?  Since the financial meltdown began in mid-September, the bond markets of most of the region (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela) have been hit, as well as most of their stock markets and a number of currencies.  […]

  • “The Americans Have Failed”: An Interview with Nawaf al-Moussawi

    With Barack Obama, the US could improve its position in the Middle East.  Lebanon’s Hezbollah believes that an attack on Iran is unlikely. Nawaf al-Moussawi is Deputy Secretary and a member of the Politburo of Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Al-Moussawi, a Doctor of Philosophy, is Hezbollah’s spokesman for international relations. Mr. al-Moussawi, does the election of […]

  • The Real Goal of Israel’s Blockade

    The latest tightening of Israel’s chokehold on Gaza — ending all supplies into the Strip for more than a week — has produced immediate and shocking consequences for Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants. The refusal to allow in fuel has forced the shutting down of Gaza’s only power station, creating a blackout that pushed Palestinians bearing […]

  • Much Ado about Nothing

    Bush seemed happy to have Lula seated on his right during dinner on Friday. Hu Jintao, whom he respects for his country’s enormous market, the capacity to produce consumer goods at low cost and the volume of his reserves in U.S. dollars and bonds, was seated to his left.

  • Tracing the Development of Islamic Criminal Law

      Rudolph Peters.   Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-first Century.   Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.  xi + 219 pp. $30.99 (paper), ISBN 978-0-521-79670-5; $74.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-521-79226-4. In his Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law, Rudolph Peters has provided an excellent, accessible, clearly delineated, […]

  • Venezuela’s Transition to Socialism

      In October 2008, I was invited by the World Forum for the Alternatives to a conference in Caracas, Venezuela.  This provided me with an opportunity to learn more about a country that has embarked on a path of redistribution under a programme that Venezuela’s President Hugo Cavez Frias now calls “Socialism of the 21st […]

  • The Rise and Fall of the Arab Middle Class in the Middle East: Between Modernization, Nationalism, and Revolution

      Keith David Watenpaugh.   Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class.   Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.  xi + 325 pp. $37.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-691-12169-7. One of the great modern landmarks of the city of Aleppo is the Baron Hotel.  The Mazloumians, a wealthy Armenian family of […]

  • India: Fighting Fascism

    Last month, the New Delhi-based human rights group Anhad, along with some 90 other organizations, held a two-day national convention on the theme, ‘Countering Fascism: Defending the Idea of India’.   It was attended by scores of social activists from various parts of the country.  Predictably, it received hardly any mention in the so-called ‘mainstream’ […]

  • Same-Sex Marriage

      Same-Sex Marriage: Part 1, “It’s Amazing” Slide presentation on all the things the LGBT community has achieved and will surely get. Same-Sex Marriage: Part 2, “Oh, My God!” Slide presentation on biblical arguments to support same-sex marriage. Same-Sex Marriage: Part 3, “What It Is All About” Slide presentation on the reasons why full marriage […]

  • The Washington meeting

    According to recent statements, some supportive governments do not cease to say they want to facilitate transition in Cuba. What kind of transition? Transition to capitalism, the only system they have absolute faith in. They do not say a word about the merits of our people, which for almost half a century of harsh economic sanctions and aggressions, has defended a revolutionary cause that together with its morale and patriotism, has given it the strength to put up a resistance.

  • Neoliberalism and Hindutva: Fascism, Free Markets and the Restructuring of Indian Capitalism

    Over the 1980s and 1990s we witnessed the simultaneous rise of two reactionary political projects, Hindutva and neoliberalism, to a position of dominance in India.  Such a combination is not unusual, in that neoliberalism is usually allied with and promoted by socially reactionary forces (such as the hyper-nationalism of the “bureaucratic-authoritarian” dictatorships in Latin America, […]

  • Cats, Dogs, and Creationism: On Intelligent Design and the Left

    “The criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticism.” — Karl Marx, Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right With all due respect to cats and dogs, I don’t expect them to ever understand the laws that govern planetary motion.  Does this prove the existence of God?  Of course […]

  • Fidel Castro Book Values Principles

    Fidel Castro’s book “La Paz en Colombia” (Peace in Colombia ), launched in this capital Wednesday, proclaims Cuba and its leader’s attachment to ethics and principles to politically solve the conflict in that nation.

  • An Open Letter to President-elect Barack Hussein Obama

      Dear President-elect Obama, Members of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) congratulate you on your glorious victory that was felt and admired especially by common men, women and children of all races and economic status in the United States and around the world.  Tuesday, November 4, 2008 is a date that will live in […]

  • “Special” New York Times Blankets Cities with Message of Hope and Change: Thousands of Volunteers behind Elaborate Operation

    PDF: Ongoing video releases: The New York Times responds: Hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists are claiming credit for an elaborate project, 6 months in the making, in which 1.2 million copies of a “special edition” of the New York Times were distributed in cities across the U.S. by thousands of […]

  • Election of Barack Obama: The People’s Victory?  Or the Elite’s?

    Barack Obama has won.  What happens when what appears to be the people’s victory is also the victory of the economic elite?  Where is that convergence of interests located?  And how long can such a coincidence of interest last?  What are the tasks of the left and the social movements in the face of the […]

  • La Paz en Columbia

    “La Paz en Colombia” (Peace in Colombia), written by Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro, will be launched Wednesday at the capital’s Conference Center, Granma newspaper reports.

  • Myth of the Black-Gay Divide

    In the wake of Barack Obama’s historic victory, a false and reactionary narrative has emerged that blames Black voters for the gay marriage ban that passed by a 52 to 48 percent margin in California. While Florida and Arizona also passed same-sex marriage bans, the vote for Prop 8 in the politically progressive state of […]

  • Saving 7 Billion Environments

      As I write this, the most serious economic crisis in 80 years is rolling across the planet.  Only time will tell if we are now going into one of history’s U-turns or if it’s all just part of the normal boom-and-bust business cycle.  And no one yet knows how badly humanity and the ecosphere […]

  • Obama’s Economic Advisors: Will Well-tested Enemies of Africa Prevail?

    One of Barack Obama’s leading advisors has done more damage to Africa, its economies and its people than anyone I can think of in world history, including even Cecil John Rhodes.  That charge may surprise readers, but hear me out. His name is Paul Volcker, and although he is relatively unknown around the world, the […]