• Legal Flaws in US Complaint Against Iran

    The US allegation of an Iranian government plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Washington is meritless as a matter of law, principally due to the egregious flaws and inexplicable discrepancies in the (amended) complaint in a federal court in Manhattan.

  • Remembering Fred Halliday

    I was immensely saddened to hear of Fred Halliday‘s untimely passage.  I knew Fred since 1978 when through a New Left Review friend, Robin Blackburn, I met him at his London home on my way to revolutionary Iran, temporarily forfeiting my US education for the sake of the greater cause.  Fred was putting the final touches on his seminal book on Iran, Iran: Dictatorship and Development, which had the distinct flaw of depicting the Shah’s regime as “strong,” rather belatedly adding a final chapter to account for the unexpected whirlwind “populist” revolution that did not lend itself easily to Fred’s conventional Marxian class analysis.

  • Celebrating Zinn at Boston University the Right Way

    Boston University is planning a “celebration” of Howard Zinn on March 27th. I dare think that this is a proper moment for the university to address the need to reverse the grievous discrimination against Zinn, who taught political science at BU for over two decades and yet retired with a paltry junior faculty salary. John Silber, BU’s president at the time of Zinn’s tenure, repeatedly denied any salary increase for him, voted on unanimously by the faculty committees at BU. In one instance, Silber wrote an opinion letter justifying his unilateral decision against pay increase for Zinn by labeling Zinn’s books as “nonsense” and bereft of scholarly value.

  • Remembering Howard Zinn

    I studied with Howard Zinn at Boston University. He was my dissertation advisor, mentor, friend, tennis partner and a pillar of support for me during the eight grueling years when I fought a civil rights battle with Harvard University. Zinn’s passage is a great loss to all who knew him directly or indirectly, including the millions of people in America and around the world who were impacted by his revisionist American history written from people’s rather than elite’s point of view, his exemplary peace activism, as well as his literary works. The “old solider of the left,” as he was once described by the New York Times, was a hero of the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement who spoke at thousands of rallies and sit-ins against the war in Vietnam, as well as America’s invasions of Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., always at the forefront of American peace movement.

  • On the Liberal Hope for the New Middle Class’s Capitalist Revolution in the Muslim World

    Vali Nasr.  Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World.  New York: Free Press, 2009.  320 pp. This empirically informative yet analytically defective book labors to dissect the complexities of political and economic development in the Muslim world, strongly focusing on Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, […]

  • Will Iran Get to Have Three Women Ministers?

    President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s landmark decision to nominate three women for cabinet posts in his second administration bodes well for his post-election promise to usher in a “new era” in Iran. The choice of three females for top ministerial positions will be interpreted by critics as a ploy by Ahmadinejad to compensate for any perceived legitimacy […]

  • Iran: Mousavi States His Case

    Mir Hossein Mousavi, the reformist candidate challenging Iran’s authorities on the result of last week’s presidential elections, is a masterful tactician who wants to overturn the re-election of his rival, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, with allegations of a massive conspiracy that he claims cheated him and millions of his supporters. These supporters, identifiable by the color […]