Archive | June, 2011

  • America’s On-Again, Off-Again Love Affair with Iran’s Nuclear Program

    An advertisement for America’s nuclear industry from the 1970s Seymour Hersh, the acclaimed journalist who, in 1970, won a Pulitzer Prize for uncovering the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and has subsequently broken many other important stories dealing with America’s foreign and national security policies (e.g., prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib), has published his most […]

  • Interview with Jean Bricmont: NATO Powers’ Push for Syria Intervention Proves “There’s No Limit to How Crazy They Can Be”

      Jean Bricmont: There’s no limit to how crazy they can be.  They haven’t finished the war with Libya, which was supposed to last days, not weeks, not months.  Now it’s been months, they say another three months.  So they haven’t even finished Libya yet, and they are maybe going to go to another war […]

  • Louisiana Civil Rights Activist Sentenced to Fifteen Years in Prison

    On June 1, a week past her 31st birthday, civil rights activist Catrina Wallace was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.  This was a first arrest for Wallace, a single mother who became politically active when her brother was arrested in the case that later became known as the “Jena Six.”  Wallace was part of […]

  • “If You See Something, Say Something”

    Terry Everton is a cartoonist.  Visit his blog Working Stiff Review at .  Cf. “Secretary Napolitano Announces Expansion of ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ Campaign to Walmart Stores Across the Nation” (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 6 December 2010); PatriotAppTM, ; “King Introduces Legislation to Encourage Continued Citizen Involvement in Fighting Terrorism: ‘See Something, […]

  • Middle Classes, American-style “Democracy,” and the Muslim Brotherhood

    The middle classes as a whole rally around only the democratic objective, without necessarily objecting to the “market” (such as it is) or to Egypt’s international alignment wholesale.  Not to be neglected is the role of a group of bloggers who take part, consciously or not, in a veritable conspiracy organized by the CIA.  Its […]

  • Syrian Opposition’s “Day of the Clans”

      Today, with the declaration of “Day of the Clans,” it becomes obligatory for one to distance oneself from the dominant reactionary forces within the Syrian opposition.  It is clear that the same reactionary forces that have been at the heart of the Iraqi opposition under occupation are there in the Syrian opposition.  What about […]

  • Electoral Performance of the Left — A Review

      The following presentation contains graphic data.  Viewer discretion is strongly advised. — Ed. (function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })(); Barbara Steiner is a political scientist based in Vienna and member of  Walter Baier is an economist based […]

  • Russia Opposes Any UN Resolution on Syria

      RIA Novosti Russia is against any UN resolution on Syria as the situation in the country is not threatening to global security, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday. Britain and France submitted a new draft resolution on Syria on Wednesday.  The UN Security Council will vote on the document in the next […]

  • Alabama’s HB 56: The Harshest State-level, Anti-immigrant Measure to Date

    Alabama Governor Bentley today signed into law what may be the harshest state-level, anti-immigrant measure to date.  Inspired by Arizona’s notorious racial profiling law, SB 1070, the new Alabama law imposes a draconian immigration enforcement scheme that will subject immigrants and people of color to scrutiny in every aspect of their lives, including when renting […]

  • Dial 1-800-Unionism Is Not the Answer

    When the history of public sector de-unionization in the Midwest is written, its sad chroniclers will begin their story in Indiana.  That’s where Governor Mitch Daniels paved the way, six years ago, for more recent attacks on workers’ rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. Daniels, a right-wing Republican, was elected in 2004.  He got plenty […]

  • Statement of Solidarity with the Queer Palestinian Call for Action “IGLYO Out of Israel”

      Statement by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Society Palestinian queer activists from Al Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, Aswat — Palestinian Gay Women, and PQBDS (Palestinian Queers for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) have issued a joint statement on June 1st 2011 calling on organizations, groups and […]

  • U.S. Boat to Gaza Is a Quarter Jewish — “Not Too Shabby!”

    According to the New York Times, a quarter of the passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza are Jewish. What does it mean that the U.S. Boat to Gaza is a quarter Jewish?  According to the noted American Jewish commentator Adam Sandler, a quarter Jewish is “not too shabby!”  Maybe the U.S. Boat to Gaza […]

  • The Battle of Blair Mountain

      “In 1921, Blair Mountain, W. Va., was the site of a major milestone in the history of the labor movement when 15,000 union miners took a stand against the coal industry.  This week, Blair Mountain may end up being a new milestone in the movement to abolish mountaintop-removal coal mining and perhaps the larger […]

  • Turkey’s Not-So-Subtle Shift on Syria

    An old story from Istanbul in the Ottoman era mentions a Turkish imam who killed a Christian and confessed the crime, whereupon he was advised by the judge to talk things over with the mufti who told him privately that a good Muslim never admitted felony against infidels and he should simply recant his confession.  […]

  • Politics and Natural Resources in Eastern Saudi Arabia

      Toby Craig Jones.  Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010.  312 pp.  $29.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-674-04985-7. Toby Craig Jones opens his book, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia, with a description of a scheme to transport Arctic icebergs to Saudi Arabia in […]

  • Capitalism, Corruption, and the Subversion of Democracy and Secularism

    Capitalism is supposed to bring in modernity, which includes a secular polity where “babas” and “swamys”, qua “babas” and “swamys”, have no role.  Many have even defended neo-liberal reforms on the grounds that they hasten capitalist development and hence our march to modernity.  The Left has always rejected this position.  It has argued that in […]

  • The Becoming of Socialism

      Michael A. Lebowitz.  The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development.  Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010. Michael Lebowitz’s important book portrays a vision of the socialist alternative to capitalism through a synthesis of some of Marx’s most important philosophical arguments concerning human development, revolutionary practice and radical democracy.  Developed from his experiences in Hugo Chavez’s […]

  • Russia’s U-Turn

    Russia went to the Group of Eight (G-8) summit meeting at Deauville as an inveterate critic of the “unilateralist” Western intervention in Libya, but came away from the seaside French resort as a mediator between the West and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  The United States scored a big diplomatic victory in getting Moscow to work […]

  • Ongoing Crisis and Liberal Blindness

    The double dip of this crisis is upon us.  The latest data agree: the housing market has been in full double-dip mode for five months as home prices keep declining.  The foreclosure disaster keeps increasing the combination of homeless families and empty homes.  Think capitalist efficiency.  Unemployment rose back above 9% again.  The average length […]

  • Venezuela: GDP Shows Strong Gains in Q1 2011

    Venezuela’s central bank (BCV) has released GDP data for the first quarter of 2011.  The report points to an accelerating recovery: GDP grew 4.5% over its first-quarter 2010 level.  However, if we want to look specifically at the first quarter of 2011, we need seasonally adjusted data so we can compare it to the quarter […]