Archive | February, 2010

  • The Price Is Right (On)

    At a Paul Winter concert (I think it was) one summer in the 1980s I somehow found myself backstage at Carnegie Hall beside a very tall man.  I looked up — as it turned out to be, both literally and figuratively — and was shocked to see who stood next to me.  “God bless you, […]

  • Socialism: The Goal, the Paths, and the Compass

      On the occasion of the presentation of El socialismo no cae del cielo: un nuevo comienzo at the 2010 Havana Book Fair, 18 February 2010 There’s an old saying that if you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there.  As I’ve said on many occasions, this saying is […]

  • The Risks of 21st Century Stagflation

    Well before the global financial crisis finally broke in September 2008, most people in developing countries were already reeling under the effects of dramatic volatility in global food and fuel markets.  From late 2006, prices of most primary commodities first increased very rapidly, then collapsed even more sharply from their peaks in May-June 2008. This […]

  • Central Bank Independence: From Whom?

    The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández, recently fired the head of the central bank, Martín Redrado, when he rejected the government’s plan to use $6.6 billion of international reserves to pay off debt. The domestic and international press response was overwhelmingly negative, with complaints that this would “kill central bank independence.” Leaving aside the question […]

  • Rethinking Islam and Masculinity in Germany

      Katherine Pratt Ewing.  Stolen Honor: Stigmatizing Muslim Men in Berlin.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.  xii + 282 pp.  $60.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8047-5899-4; $21.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-8047-5900-7. Katherine Pratt Ewing’s Stolen Honor provides an interesting and original approach to analyses of discourses of Islam in Europe by focusing on constructions of Muslim masculinity in […]

  • The Greek Present

      The Brazilian expression “Greek Present” (Presente de Grego) means unwelcome gift, an obvious reference to the infamous Trojan Horse.  The current crisis in Greece might show that the euro was just one of those presents.  If the European Union (EU) does not provide sufficient resources to preclude not just a default, but also and […]

  • Israel’s Region-wide Underground War

    Imagine for a moment what the reaction would be if Iranian intelligence was almost universally believed to have assassinated a leader of one of the organisations fighting the Tehran government in a western-friendly state.  Then consider how Britain, let alone the US, might respond if the killers had carried out the operation using forged or […]

  • A Dangerous Liaison: The Iranian Greens and the West

    In the 1979 Revolution in Iran the liberal forces made a fatal mistake: they adopted the old dictum of the enemy of my enemy is my friend and allied themselves with just about every force that opposed the tyrannical rule of the shah.  The result was helping to replace one form of despotism for another: […]

  • In the Tropical Forests of Sumatra: Notes from Climate Change “Ground Zero”

    Introduction by Geoffrey Gunn It is probably a cliché to observe that tropical rain forests host the greatest known concentrations of bio-diversity on the planet.  Together, the three great global equatorial biozones are central Africa, the Amazon basin, and the Indonesian archipelago, including southern Sumatra Island, and the even more remote tin-rich offshore island of […]

  • PFLP Hosts National Unity Meeting of All Factions in Gaza

    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hosted a meeting of all national and Islamic forces, including representatives of Fateh and Hamas, in its office in Gaza City, on February 14, 2010.  This meeting was the first of its kind to take place in Gaza since the internal division. The objective of the meeting […]

  • Israel Is at an Impasse: It Can Make Neither War Nor Peace

    The Main Points of the Speech We reiterate on this occasion our condolences for the loss of our dear martyrs, and our congratulations as well, for they are ultimately the first victors.  They are our glory and pride. I will discuss current challenges and our strategy for addressing them.  When we remember these leaders and […]

  • Dresden Beats the Nazis

    The Berlin anti-fascists waiting near the Spree River at 4:30 AM for the buses to Dresden were sleepy, cold, and nervous.  Not without reason.  Some had faced the Nazis a year earlier.  Every year these latter-day storm troopers try to misuse the emotions of Dresdeners mourning the loss of 25,000 to 35 000 people in […]

  • IMF in Haiti

    The IMF grants Haiti “an emergency aid” of 114 million dollars. . . “Take it, pretty girl, it will make you feel better.” . . . and this tale will never come to an end. This cartoon was first published by Rebelión on 17 February 2010.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  […]

  • The Crisis and Employment in Asia

    Ever since the global financial and economic crisis broke, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been regularly tracking its impact on the level and quality of employment.  In January 2009, the ILO (International Labour Office 2009) indicated that, under alternate scenarios, global unemployment could increase by between 18 million and 51 million people worldwide from […]

  • “A Military Strike at Iran Would Be a Colossal Mistake”: An Interview with Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Vladimir Nazarov

      White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said last week that Iran’s latest statements and actions were compelling the United States “. . . and other countries” to resort to stiff sanctions.  Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Vladimir Nazarov said in his turn that Moscow might support sanctions but that they must be “adequate to […]

  • How Credible Is Human Rights Watch on Cuba?

      In late 2009 the New York-based group Human Rights Watch published a report titled New Castro, Same Cuba.  Based on the testimony of former prisoners, the report systematically condemns the Cuban government as an “abusive” regime that uses its “repressive machinery . . . draconian laws and sham trials to incarcerate scores more who […]

  • Lessons of the Year: Tailing Democrats Equals Defeat, Only a Mass Movement Can Win

      The Democratic defeat in Massachusetts on the anniversary of the start of the Obama administration makes a fitting conclusion to the lessons that the last year should have taught everyone in this country.  The question is: will the lessons be learned, especially by left activists?  Let us try to see what these lessons are. […]

  • The Global Organic Crisis: Paradoxes, Dangers, and Opportunities

    The capitalist world has experienced its deepest economic meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Paradoxically, whereas the earlier period saw the breakdown of liberal capitalism, the rise of fascism and Nazism, and the Soviet alternative to liberal capitalism, today neo-liberalism and capitalist globalization still remain powerful, and apparently supreme, on the stage of […]

  • Do I Look Rich?  Student Voices on Fee Hikes in California

      For more information about the education crisis and the 4 March 2010 strike and day of action to defend public education in California, go to <>, <>, or <>. | | Print  

  • How to Fire a Central Banker: Lessons from Argentina

      In the United States, the mismanagement of the financial crisis, in particular the ill designed Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), has led to a wave of populist protests, and to a narrow confirmation vote for Bernanke.  In Argentina, where the recession was considerably milder than in the United States and had no financial cause, […]