Archive | October, 2010

  • Iran-Cuba Ties

      Nargess Moballeghi: Two revolutions in two parts of the world for two different reasons. . . .  The Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro overthrowing Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and the Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini overthrowing the Shah twenty years later.  Though ideologically they couldn’t have been further apart, they have a […]

  • Fareeda

    Laal dedicates this song to the diversity, plurality, and all the colours of Islam. “When the Taliban attacked the shrines of Rahman Baba, Data Sahib, and Abdullah Ghazi Shah, slaughtering hundreds who had gathered for alms or to pray, Laal felt obligated to not only defend the progressive aspects of sufi thought but to discover […]

  • The Empire from Inside (Part Two)

    In yesterday´s Reflection there appears a key paragraph taken from Woodward´s book: “One important secret that has never been reported in the media, or anywhere else, was the existence of a covert army of 3,000 men in Afghanistan, whose objective was to kill or capture Taliban and sometimes venture into the tribal areas to pacify them and get support.” That army, created and handled by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), trained and organized as a “special force” has been made up on tribal, social, anti-religious and anti-patriotic bases; its mission is the follow-up and physical elimination of Taliban fighters and other Afghans, described as extreme Moslems.A Saudi recruited and funded by the CIA to fight against the Soviets when their troops were occupying Afghanistan has nothing in common with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden.When Vice President Biden traveled to Kabul at the start of 2009,David Mckiernan, chief of American troops in Afghanistan told him in answer to a question about Al Qaeda that he hadn´t seen one single Arab in two years there. Despite the relatively brief and ephemeral importance that the principal international press gave to “Obama´s Wars”, without a doubt these did not shirk from recording this revealing piece of news.

  • French Labor Activism, US Labor Passivism

    US workers suffered a major rise in unemployment from its level in 2008 (5.8 %) to its level in the second quarter of 2010 (9.7 %).  By comparison, French unemployment rose from 7.4 % in 2008 to 9.2 % in the second quarter of 2010.  These data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show […]

  • A New Vision of Socialist Transition and Development

      Michael Lebowitz.  The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010. It is probably fair to say that revolutionary socialism does not come naturally to everyone.  Some of the young and curious pick up a grimy, twenty-page manifesto in a second-hand bookstore and never look back, but for myself it was […]

  • Interview with Sandy Pope: Labor’s Struggle for Self-Determination

      Sandy Pope is the president of Teamsters Local 805.  Her supporters are now engaged in a nationwide petition drive to gather 40,000 signatures from dues-paying Teamster members by 3 December 2010, so she can challenge Jimmy Hoffa in the Teamster General President election to be held in October 2011.  This interview was broadcast by […]

  • Riding Capitalism to the Bottom: Why Republicans Gain as the Economy Falters

      Overlooked in the recent rise of the Tea Party and the Republican Right is the way these groups have learned how to grow and thrive on the failures of capitalism.  The Democrats, in contrast, remain tied to its successes.  With capitalism performing particularly poorly at present, it is no wonder that the Right is […]

  • Israel: Liebermania in Action

    This week Israel’s security forces practiced the putting down of mass demonstrations and protests among Israel’s Arab citizens and their imprisonment in a large detention camp to be established at Golani Junction in Galilee.  The exercise was based on a scenario of the riots being provoked by implementation of Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for “an exchange […]

  • The Death Penalty, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the European Parliament

    What does the USA have in common with China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea?  You would hardly guess, but the European Parliament stated loud and all too clear on October 2nd: those are the countries which put lots of people to death.  In a long, detailed resolution, approved almost unanimously by 574 members […]

  • The Empire from Inside (Part One)

    I am amazed at the widespread ignorance about issues so vital for the existence of mankind, at a time that it has great media, unimaginable a hundred years ago, some as recent as the Internet. Just three weeks ago the news was announced of the imminent distribution of a spectacular book by Bob Woodward, The […]

  • Currency Wars and Global Rebalancing

      Guido Mantega, the Brazilian Finance Minister, said recently that Brazil is in the middle of a currency war.  His preoccupation with exchange rate appreciation is not directed to global imbalances, in general, or China, in particular.  A more depreciated currency provides protection for domestic production and makes domestic goods and services cheaper for foreigners. […]

  • Hard Work in the Public Sector

    Recent economic turmoil has led state and local governments to seek new paths to offset budget shortfalls.  Among other things, one widely discussed policy option is state employee pension reforms.  These proposals seek to cut pension benefits, and, moreover, to increase the retirement age.  State and local government employees generally are able to access full […]

  • On the Allahabad High Court Verdict

    There are three obvious problems with the Allahabad High Court judgment on the Babri Masjid issue.  Each of them in isolation is potentially damaging for the Constitutional fabric of the country; together they can cause irreparable harm. The first is the obliteration of the distinction between “fact” and “faith”, which represents a serious retrogression to […]

  • Hungary Toxic Mud Disaster Could Have Been Avoided

      Kolontàr, Hungary: An aerial photograph taken in June showing a damaged and clearly leaking sludge pond wall shows that the toxic mud disaster in Hungary and subsequent pollution of rivers including the Danube could have been avoided, WWF-Hungary said today. The sludge pond dam wall burst Monday flooding six villages with toxic red mud. […]

  • The Greening of Hezbollah: Nasrallah Fights Climate Change

    With a shovel in hand, Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah appeared on television screens, planting and watering a small tree outside his home in the southern suburbs of Beirut. His message to the whole world was save the environment: go green.

  • Canvassing for Serra Votes

    “Viva the Revolution of 1964 — 45-Caliber Serra”; “Vote Srra”; “Death to the Left”; “Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property: With God and Serra”; “Vote for SΣrra”; “Prison for Women Who Abort”; “Pro-coup Media for Serra” Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  See, […]

  • Beijing’s Europe

    The European tour of Wen Jiabao is taking place while the conflict between the US and China over the yuan/dollar exchange rate is getting worse.  At the same time, a similar if less noisy clash exists between China and the Eurozone countries.  Last but not least, tensions have also arisen in the Sino-Japanese relations following […]

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1993-2003

      Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003 Excerpt (Footnotes Omitted): Several incidents listed in this report, if investigated and judicially proven, point to circumstances and facts from […]

  • Largest Cuts in Local Government Jobs in 30 Years

    The economy lost 95,000 jobs in September — 77,000 of which were temporary Census positions — while the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent.  Including downward revisions in payroll employment for July and August, there are 110,000 fewer jobs than reported one month ago. Though the overall rate of unemployment did not change in September, […]

  • For the Rights of the Mapuche

      For the Rights of the Mapuche “Our struggle continues” Iván Lira is a Venezuelan artist.  This cartoon was published in Rebelión on 8 October 2010.  Cf. “In the face of the government’s failure to withdraw the charges of alleged terrorism against the Mapuche prisoners, as is stipulated in the accord reached last week, members […]