Archive | April, 2009

  • Alfredo Jaar: Gramsci & Pasolini

      Alfredo Jaar: There are two thinkers, Italian thinkers, that I admire greatly: Antonio Gramsci and Pier Paolo Pasolini.  I was invited for a series of exhibitions in Italy last year, and I wanted to make homage to both men.  In the world of culture today, I miss Gramsci, and I miss Pasolini.  I miss […]

  • Has Change Come to Post-Katrina New Orleans? Bush, Obama, and the First 100 Days

      As people in the U.S. and around the world evaluate President Barack Obama’s first one-hundred days, many — that is, those who truly wanted a break from the racist, militarist, anti-working class policies of the Bush regime — are coming to the conclusion that the ‘change’ his campaign promised seems to have turned into […]

  • Israel: The Killing of Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahme

      Clayton Swisher, “Palestinians Mourn Demonstrator’s Death,” Al Jazeera, 18 April 2009 Clayton Swisher: Laying to rest one of their own, the village of Bil’in mourn the death of Bassem Abu Rahme, killed while protesting against Israel’s West Bank separation wall.  It divides Bil’in in two, with Palestinians on both sides and Israeli settlers not […]

  • A Secret Heliotropism of May 1968

      “The class struggle, which is always present to a historian influenced by Marx, is a fight for the crude and material things without which no refined or spiritual things could exist.  Nevertheless, it is not in the form of the spoils which fall to the victor that the latter make their presence felt. [. […]

  • The Baloch Question

    The brutal murder of three nationalist leaders of Balochistan and the ensuing crisis has brought the issue of the Baloch national struggle to the forefront once again, only to be met with feigned surprises and arrogant dismissals by a major part of the rest of Pakistan.  We in Pakistan — and particularly those of us […]

  • An Impressive Gesture

    I confess that many times I have meditated on the dramatic story of John F. Kennedy. It was my fate to live through the era when he was the greatest and most dangerous adversary of the Revolution. It was something that didn’t play a part in his calculations. He saw himself as the representative of a new generation of Americans who were confronting the old-style, dirty politics of men of the sort of Nixon whom he had defeated with a tremendous display of political talent.

  • Let’s Hope This Gift Keeps on Giving

      Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, 25th anniversary edition (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1997). As Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press, I was delighted to learn that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins […]

  • Lessons from History: The Case against AFRICOM

      Africa has historically been less of a priority to U.S. foreign policy planners than other regions, such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.  This was certainly the case when George W. Bush took office in 2001.  But during the course of his tenure, “Africa’s position in the U.S. strategic spectrum . […]

  • The Communist Party of Israel against the Rightist Netanyahu Government’s New Economic Plan

    The rightist Netanyahu government unveiled yesterday (Thursday, April 23, 2009) its “jet plane for economic growth,” with an immediate cut in corporate taxes and massive privatizations of the Electricity Corporation, the Employment Agency, the ports, and the Land Authority, in an attempt to fuel renewed capitalist gains. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval […]

  • Palestinian BDS Campaign Calls on Tehran to Cut Ties with Alstom and Veolia

    Bethlehem, Ma’an — Palestinian civil society groups called on Tehran to cut ties with two French companies profiting from work in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. A day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took center stage as a critic of Israel at a UN conference in Geneva, the Palestinian Campaign for […]

  • Somalia: There Is No Military Solution to Piracy

    Make no mistake — the proliferation of piracy in the Somali coast is a serious problem, not only for the international community but for Somalia in general, and more specifically, for the current Islamist-led government of national unity.  After all, Islamic law has zero tolerance for banditry, whether sea-based or land-based. That said, piracy in […]

  • Pontius Pilate Washed his Hands

    Pressure against the U.S. blockade of Cuba was so great that on the day Raúl categorically declared that our country would not join the OAS, the secretary of the discredited institution began to prepare the terrain for Cuba’s participation in an eventual future Summit of the Americas. His recipe is to abolish the resolution which decided the expulsion of the Island for ideological reasons. Such an argument is truly laughable when important countries such as China and Vietnam, which the world today cannot do without, are being lead by Communist parties that were created on the same ideological foundations.

  • Trapped by History

    Daniel’s appearance on the National Television Round Table program went as I hoped. He spoke eloquently and he was persuasive, calm and irrefutable.

  • Is Obama a Justice President?

    Will Obama emancipate US farmworkers and domestics from involuntary servitude?  The man has a busy agenda, but it’s a fair question. The vast majority of immigrants to the US have had to serve a sentence, often a life sentence, of involuntary servitude for the privilege of coming to America.  Historically, first generation immigrants have endured […]

  • Scottish Trade Union Congress Votes for BDS against Israel

      22 April 2009 — On Wednesday, Scotland joined Ireland and South Africa when the Scottish Trade Union Congress, representing every Scottish trade union, voted overwhelmingly to commit to boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.  This is the third example of a national trade union federation committing to BDS and is a clear indication that, […]

  • Government Pressure to Cut Wages Will Increase the Risk of Deflation

    A group of economists from across Canada are concerned about the federal government’s response to the auto crisis that blames the CAW for a crisis it didn’t create.  They’ve signed the following open letter outlining their concern that government pressure to cut wages will increase the risk of deflation and calling for new and focused […]

  • Unions in New Zealand Organize the Unorganized, Win Gains in Minimum Wage

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — On April 6, 2009, I spent a day visiting the offices of New Zealand’s newest, and among its most dynamic, trade unions, Unite. Unite is at the forefront of a revitalization of a section of the labour movement in New Zealand that has resulted in thousands of young and marginalized workers […]

  • The Summit and the Lie

    Some of the things Daniel [Ortega, President of Nicaragua] told me would be difficult to believe if they weren’t being told by him and if they weren’t happening at a Summit of the Americas.

  • Images of Women in the Maghreb: Persistent Clichés and Changing Realities

      L’image de la femme au Maghreb (Images of Women in the Maghreb), a collection of articles edited by Barzakh in Algeria and by Actes Sud and the Mediterranean Center for the Humanities (MMSH) in France, is a work of research by four writers on the representation of women in their countries.  The project was […]

  • The Indian Police and the Threat to the Life of Dr. Binayak Sen

    The following letter from Ilina Sen, wife of Dr. Binayak Sen, was sent on April 22nd, 2009. Dear friends, I am writing to share some extremely distressing information that has just now come to light.  We now have clear proof that the police in Chhattisgarh are actively interfering with Binayak’s need for health care.  I […]