Archive | October, 2010

  • Stuart Levey’s “Philosophy” of Iran Sanctions

    On October 6, Charlie Rose broadcast an interview with Stuart Levey, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Financial and Terrorism Intelligence (can be viewed here:  Levey is widely considered the principal architect of U.S. sanctions policy, particularly with respect to Iran, under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.  It is worth recalling […]

  • The Palestine Question and the U.S. Public Sphere

      The 2010 Edward Said Memorial Lecture, the Palestine Center, Washington, DC, 7 October 2010 Thank you all for coming today, and, to those of you who are watching, thank you for viewing this talk.  Those of you who live in Washington, who are subjected to the American media, will probably be relieved to hear […]

  • Professor Randhir Singh

    A Note on the Current Political Situation: Some Issues and a Conclusion

    The opening section of this note dealing with the most important issue in the current political situation—’the Maoist’ or the Naxal issue—sets the context for the argument that follows, which deals with issues involved in understanding and acting in this situation. I reproduce some key passages, marginally modified and compressed in one case, from my 2008 T. Nagi Reddy Memorial Lecture—now available as Indian Politics Today published by Aakar Books, New Delhi—touching upon these issues; a little reason and ability to interconnect is all that is needed to recognise the issue involved. I conclude with a brief summing up of the argument.

  • The Sound of Science

    “With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel.” Hello, Darwin, my old friend, I’ve come to read from you again You comfort me when I grow weary Of people saying “it’s just a theory” . . . Video by benjjuk.  Cf. Gerald Weissmann, “Teach Evolution, Learn Science: We’re Ahead of Turkey, But behind Iran” (The FASEB Journal […]

  • Petrobrás under José Serra and PSDB

    José Serra’s Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB): “Petrobrás ahead!  Prepare the torpedoes of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry and privatization!” Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  | Print

  • Historical Materialism Middle East Special Issue

      Historical Materialism has extended the deadline for proposal submissions to its special issue on the Middle East, conceived broadly to include: the Arab world from the Atlantic to the Gulf, Israel/Palestine, Iran and Turkey.  The new deadline for abstracts is the 10th of November 2010. HM is a Marxist journal, appearing four times a […]

  • Brazilian Elections: Initial Assessment of the First Round

    The Brazilian Left had the best electoral result in its history: Dilma in first place; governors in Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Pernambuco, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Sergipe, and Acre; good chances in the Federal District; chances also in Pará; an impressive clean-up and renovation with a big bench in the Senate; a further increase in […]

  • From Sugar to Services: An Overview of the Cuban Economy

      Summary: In 1989, services comprised no more than 10 per cent of Cuba’s export revenues, with sugar accounting for over 70 per cent.  In 2007, by contrast, it was sugar that made up 10 per cent of overseas earnings while services accounted for 70 per cent.  The article provides an overview of this drastic […]

  • The Secret to Understanding US Foreign Policy

    In one of his regular “Reflections” essays, Fidel Castro recently discussed United States hostility towards Venezuela.  “What they really want is Venezuela’s oil,” wrote the Cuban leader.  This is a commonly-held viewpoint within the international left.  The point is put forth, for example, in Oliver Stone’s recent film South of the Border.  I must, however, […]

  • Iran and Honduras in the Propaganda System: Part 1, Neda Agha-Soltan versus Isis Obed Murillo

    It would be hard to find a better test of the integrity of the establishment U.S. media than in their comparative treatment of Iran and Honduras over the past couple of years (2009-2010). Iran has been on the United States’ regime-change hit list for many years.  Since the first-half of 2003 (and overlapping its soon-to-be-discredited […]

  • Invisible Indians in Incredible India

    There’s no doubt about it, this is incredible India all right.  Where else in the world would you get Judges of a High Court treating a deity as litigant in a legal case?  And then, because the said deity, otherwise referred to as Ram Lalla in the judgement, is to be treated as a minor […]

  • Truth To Power: Guerilla Projection on FBI Headquarters Highlighting Suppression of Dissent

      Starting Friday, September 24th, FBI started raiding homes and offices of anti-war organizers, accusing them of providing material support for “terrorism.”  Grand juries, initially designed as a control on unlimited prosecutorial power, are now used for the purposes of unlimited fishing expeditions. — Glass Bead Collective Glass Bead Collective is a multimedia direct action […]

  • Brazil: Lula’s Labour Legacy

      When Time magazine awarded Brazil’s President Lula the most influential world leader spot in its 2010 ranking of most influential people, Michael Moore, who wrote the excerpt on Lula, heralded the creation of the Bolsa Familia programme as well as the expansion of public education and health care.  These are important achievements, but one […]

  • Venezuelan Election: Victory or Setback for Chávez?

      Paul Jay: Now, some of the critique is coming from the left; it’s not all coming from the right or from the elite.  And I guess one of the critiques is: why isn’t there more of a rainy day fund?  You know, when oil was riding high, why wasn’t there more reserves established for […]

  • Interview with Hooman Majd: US-Iran Relations in the Age of the Ayatollah

    Equally at home in Tehran or New York, Hooman Majd benefits from a background as intricately woven as any Persian carpet.  The son of a diplomat under the shah of Iran, Majd attended schools in California, India, Iran, North Africa, and England.  After the tumultuous 1979 Islamic Revolution, return to Iran for Majd and others […]

  • The Global Water Crisis Should Be a Top Priority Issue

    In recent years, climate change seems to have elbowed out other environmental issues to become the No. 1 global problem.  But the alarming problems of water — increasing scarcity, lack of access to drinking water and sanitation, pollution, flooding — are equally important and an even more immediate threat. On 28 July, the UN General […]

  • Somalia Aid

    Fahd Bahady is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was published in his blog on 2 October 2010; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  See, also, Merle David Kellerhals, Jr., “United States to Strengthen Engagement with Puntland, Somaliland” (, 27 September 2010); Sophia Tesfamariam, “Ethiopia: It Is in the Minority Regime’s Interest to Perpetuate […]

  • Krugman Frustrated

    Poor Paul Krugman, stuck in the old Keynesian rut amidst its blinders.  The recession would be over, he says, if only the government ran more and bigger deficits to provide the needed fiscal boost.  If only the Obama people and those crazy Republicans were less afraid of such bold government action, less befuddled by ideology, […]

  • Wanted: A Coordinated, Militant Fight-back, in Germany and across Europe

    Once again the time has come in Germany for bells to ring, fireworks to explode, politicians to declaim, and media to drench us with joyful, endless reminders of events of twenty years ago and the evils they overcame.  Last November it was the Fall of the Wall.  Now it’s German Unity which is so loudly […]

  • Signs of the Beginning of the End of the Long Retreat of Labor

    Six years ago, I organized a bus from the Albany area to attend the “Million Worker March,” which was an attempt by longshore local ILWU Local 10 and some activist African-American union leaders to present labor’s demands during the 2004 election year.  That rally was not supported by the AFL-CIO and of course fell far […]