Archive | February, 2009

  • Turkey’s Hidden Shame

      Rageh Omaar: Amnesty International’s 2008 report on human rights states that allegations of torture and other ill treatments and the use of excessive force by law enforcement officials persist in Turkey.  This despite an overt expression of zero tolerance for torture by the Turkish government since 2002.  Kurdish-born human rights lawyer Eren Keskin has […]

  • Human Rights Watch Goes to War

      The Middle East has always been a difficult challenge for Western human rights organizations, particularly those seeking influence or funding in the United States.  The pressure to go soft on US allies is in some respects reminiscent of Washington’s special pleading for Latin American terror regimes in the 1970s and 1980s.  In the case […]

  • Israel’s Rationale for Murder: No One Is Innocent

    “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” — Israeli Army Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan, 1983 “Before [the Palestinians’] very eyes we are possessing the land and the villages where they, and their ancestors, have […]

  • A Meeting with Michelle Bachelet, the President of Chile

    It doesn’t matter what I say about the friendly meeting, some news agencies and papers will take the information and will print that the old man, convalescing after a serious illness or some other description directed towards reducing the modest value of whatever I expressed to my prestigious interlocutor.

  • On the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution

    Thirty years ago, during the several months past, my generation was restructuring social life in Iran, breaking down government doors previously impervious to people’s demands, evicting a dictatorial bunch of idiots who had been imposed on us in 1953, in a coup inspired in the U.K. and carried out by the CIA. And so it […]

  • Darwin versus Intelligent Design

    One of the most important books that influenced Darwin, by his own account, was John Herschel’s A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1831).  Herschel was one of the leading British scientists of the age, known for his work in astronomy, geography, and scientific method.  Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy provided […]

  • Charles Darwin: Reluctant Revolutionary

    In 1846, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The German Ideology, the first mature statement of what became known as historical materialism.  This passage was on the second page: We know only a single science, the science of history.  One can look at history from two sides and divide it into the history of nature […]

  • Israeli Elections: Initial Assessment of Results

    The elections to the 18th Israeli Knesset were called due to multiple corruption cases connected to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.  However, the elections’ agenda was radically altered by the Israeli military offensive against Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. Israel’s military offensive against Gaza and the major protest demonstrations organized by Palestinian citizens of Israel focused […]

  • Socialism and the Peasantry

    One of the greatest insights of Karl Marx was his perception of the capitalist system as a self-acting, self-driven and “spontaneous” order.  Far from being a malleable system, where intervention by the State could be used for bringing about basic changes in the mode of its functioning, in which case of course the need to […]

  • Iran: Legacy of a Revolution

    Featuring interviews with Abbas Abdi, Ervand Abrahamian, Dr. Farhad Aftar, Hussein Alaie, Ali Ansari, Nazanin Ansari, Reza Ansari, Assadolah Badamchian, Shaul Bakhash, Daniel Brumberg, Shirin Ebadi, Masoumeh Ebtekar, Zahra Eshraqi, Dr. Ahmed Etemad, Shideh Gourani, Ayatollah Mehdi Karoubi, Lowell Bruce Laingen, John Limbert, Abbas Milani, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Ata’ollah Mohajerani, Seyed Ali Akhbar Mohtashamipur, Hojatolislam Seyed […]

  • Obama to Coddle Bankers

    Emily Dickinson once advised: “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.”  Evidently the New York Times‘ headline writers are taking advice from the enigmatic poet.  The headline on the story on how the Obama administration will be going easy on banks and bankers getting bailout money blamed it all on the Treasury Secretary: “Geithner […]

  • A Call to End All Renditions

    Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian residing in Britain, said he was tortured after being sent to Morocco and Afghanistan in 2002 by the U.S. government.  Mohamed was transferred to Guantánamo in 2004 and all terrorism charges against him were dismissed last year.  Mohamed was a victim of extraordinary rendition, in which a person is abducted without […]

  • Interview with Mohammed Nafa’h, Secretary General of the Communist Party of Israel

      “Supporting the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination is a duty of Israeli communists.” The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and its front Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) were the only political forces in Israel that confronted the massacre perpetrated by the Tzahal (IDF), the Israeli armed forces, in Gaza last January.  Regrettably, […]

  • Zimbabwe Ten Years On: Results and Prospects

      After a decade of political polarization and international standoff, the debate on Zimbabwe has finally been opened up to a wider reading public, thanks to Mahmood Mamdani’s “Lessons of Zimbabwe,” appearing in the London Review of Books (04/12/2008).  Renowned scholars, within and without Africa, have broken their silence and have taken public positions.  The […]

  • Palestinian Opinions after the Gaza War

    Fatah and Hamas The results of the public opinion poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) during the period 29-31 January 2009 show that the majority of respondents (46.7%) believed that Hamas came out of the war victorious compared with only 9.8% who said that Israel won the war.  Over one-third, 37.4%, […]

  • A Voice of Peace in Sderot: Interview with Nomika Zion

      Sderot is a small city about 1km away from the Gaza border, well known because it has suffered many hits from the Qassam rockets that the Gaza resistance has been launching on and off for about 8 years.  When we think of residents living under the threat of missiles, hiding in bunkers, it’s quite […]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    What a strange surname! It appears Spanish, easy to pronounce, but it’s not. Never in my life have I heard or read about any student or compatriot with that name, among tens of thousands.

  • Somalia: Daunting Challenges

      The parliament broadened by the Djibouti peace process elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, chairman of the executive council of the Islamic Courts Union, as President of Somalia.  The Ethiopian occupation alone had failed to shore up the Transitional Federal Government, so Washington had to try a new tack.  Al Jazeera’s report, however, indicates trouble […]

  • Why Support the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel?

    February 3, 2009 Dear All, Last week, with initial hesitation but finally strong conviction, I endorsed the Call for a U.S. Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel.   I’d like to offer my reasons to friends, family and comrades.  I have tried in fullest conscience to think this through. My hesitation: I profoundly believe in […]

  • The Crisis of Global Capitalism and the Environment: Interview with John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review and Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon, for Eleftherotypia (Greece)

      CP: After twenty-five years of sporadic growth and extreme polarization of income and life conditions around the world, actually existing neoliberalism seems to be on the verge of collapse.  Where do you situate the current crisis in the history of the development of global capitalism? JBF: Neoliberalism has clearly collapsed.  But as Fred Magdoff […]