Archive | July, 2010

  • Sanctions against Iran and the Next War

    In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides relates how Pericles, in the fifth century BC, imposed economic sanctions against the city of Megara, which had allied itself with Sparta.  Athens prohibited trade with this city state and sent a message: if Megara did not break its alliance with Sparta, it would be punished.  Megara […]

  • Revolution and Public Debt: Britain and France

      David Stasavage, Public Debt and the Birth of the Democratic State: France and Great Britain, 1688-1789.  xii + 210 pp.  Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.  Tables, figures, notes, appendix, bibliography, and index.  $60.00 U.S. (cl).  ISBN 0-521-80967-3. In 1989, Douglass North and Barry Weingast published an article in the Journal of […]

  • In Memory of José Saramago, 1922-2010

    Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  This picture was originally drawn for Dromos. | Print

  • Egypt: No to Torture, No to Police Brutality!

    Protest against torture and police brutality, galvanized by the murder of Khaled Said, Lazoghly Square, Cairo, Egypt, 13 June 2010. Hossam el-Hamalawy is an Egyptian socialist, journalist, and photographer.  Visit his blog: .  The photographs above were first published on his blog and Flickr under a Creative Commons license. | Print

  • A Few Days More

    A poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

  • Somalia: Peace, Security, and the Upshot of Political Subjugation

    If I could think of any tactfully discreet and diplomatically clear way to describe the outcome of the 15th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Somalia without compromising the essence of my message, I would simply choose that approach.  Therefore, going crude is the appropriate way: As a […]

  • Israel: Boycott from Within

    Boycott from Within is a group of Israeli citizens that supports the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS).  The AIC sat down with Israeli activist Ofer Neiman to discuss the Boycott from Within movement, its goals, and what impact he thinks it will have on ending the Israeli occupation. Produced by the Alternative […]

  • Gulf Arab Support for Attacking Iran: The Strange Case of the UAE

    The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States, Yousef Al-Otaiba, is in the news for comments he made yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival — comments in which he apparently expressed some measure of support for a U.S. military attack on Iranian nuclear targets.  We have known Yousef since before his […]

  • SEIU Buys Its Own Version of History

    In the last five years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has gone from being a media darling to generating more bad press for itself than any other labor organization.  Some of SEIU’s negative publicity is a product of right-wing union bashing.  But a huge amount is self-inflicted — the result of conflicts with other […]

  • The Chair Not Taken

      A tale of politicians, seats, and struggles in a parliament far, far away. . . . Script, Design, and Animation by Zach Cohen.  This video is his final project at the Shenkar School of Engineering and Design in Israel.  Click here to view other works by Cohen. | Print  

  • Egypt under Emergency Law

    Pharaoh Mubarak, resting himself on the emergency law, says: “No, not enough.” The Egyptian people, oppressed by the burden of the emergency law,” says: “Enough.” Fahd Bahady is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was published in his blog on 4 July 2010; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  The text above is an […]

  • Offshore Oil Drilling and Hurricane Risks

    It’s time to stop blaming BP — alone.  At least four other oil companies hired the same firm to write their plans for handling spills in the Gulf of Mexico.  They ended up with nearly identical plans, complete with thoughtful concern about impacts on walruses.  The CEO of ExxonMobil called it “unfortunate” and “embarrassing” that […]

  • Labor Talks Sense About Immigration.  What Comes Next?

    Something unusual happened on June 18: an important figure on the U.S. political scene spoke sensibly and realistically about immigration. The occasion was a speech at the City Club of Cleveland, and the speaker was AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.  The news wasn’t that labor was backing a rational, equitable reform of U.S. immigration laws; the […]

  • Toronto G20: Remembering Politics, Celebrating Activism

    As news of the G20’s Toronto Summit recedes from the headlines, which memories shall prevail?  The answer to this question will not only shape official decisions, such as whether allegations of police brutality are seriously investigated, but may also have a profound impact on the political sensibilities of a generation of Canadians.  Given the constant […]

  • A Nuclear Revival?

      Justin Pemberton, dir.  The Nuclear Comeback.  DVD. New York: Icarus Films, 2007.  53 minutes. Are we on the brink of a nuclear revival?  Should we be?  The Nuclear Comeback, an absorbing documentary video, is titled declaratively but sprinkles question marks.  The Nuclear Comeback embarks on a tour of some of the high and low […]

  • Iran, Israel, and Air Defense: What, Exactly, Is the “Threat”?

    A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had sent Syria a “sophisticated radar system that could threaten Israel’s ability to launch a surprise attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities.”  The story cited reporting from “two Israeli officials, two U.S. officials and a Western intelligence source,” and was “confirmed . . . by […]

  • The Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation

      Paul Jay: So, in talking to people in Israel, one thing I hear constantly is the fight here is about national identity, it’s about the defense of the Jewish state.  I don’t hear very much about economics of Israel or the economics of occupation.  So how does national identity relate to the economics here? […]

  • The Boss, the Union, and the Government

    The boss commits a violent foul play against the union.  See which side the government red cards. Eneko Las Heras, born in Caracas in 1963, is a cartoonist based in Spain.  This cartoon was published on his blog . . . Y sin embargo se mueve on 14 June 2009.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi […]

  • Be Nice to America.  Or We’ll Bring Democracy to Your Country!

      Professor: The good news, class, is that the secret to understanding our country’s foreign policy is that there is no secret.  You simply have to understand that America strives to dominate the world for both economic and ideological reasons.  Once you understand that, much of the confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding our policy fades […]

  • Egyptian Police: To Serve the People

    Abdallah Ahmed is an artist based in Cairo, Egypt.  He blogs at .  This cartoon was published in his blog on 15 June 2010 under a Creative Commons license.  Among the latest victims of police brutality in Egypt is Khaled Said, a 28-year-old man from Alexandria.  The murder of Khaled Said sparked major protests in […]