Geography Archives: Asia

  • Rowboat Federalism: The Politics of U.S. Disaster Relief

    [All figures below are in current dollars.] Part 1: History: The Problems Are Inherent The U.S. constitution established a federal system of “dual authority” incorporating both national and state sovereignty. The product of a series of political accommodations made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention, federalism was designed as an opportunistic political battlefield with ambiguous boundaries, […]

  • The Genocidal Imagination of Christopher Hitchens

    The Lighter Side of Mass Murder Picture a necrotic, sinister, burned-out wasteland — a vast, dull mound of rubble punctuated by moments of bleak emptiness and, occasionally, smoking. Those of you whose imaginations alighted instantly on the Late Christopher Hitchens have only yourselves to blame, for I was referring to Fallujah.  The “city of mosques” […]

  • Labor: Engaging the Community and Building Grassroots Legitimacy — a Report from Northwest Indiana

    While I have been critical of developments in the labor movement at the national level for quite a while, there are stirrings at the local levels in some places that are encouraging. I want to report on a recent effort by the Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor. Indiana, as many know, strongly supported President Bush […]

  • On Murtha: Withdrawal, Redeployment, and the Antiwar Movement

    Until last Thursday, the ideological battle lines of the occupation of Iraq were drawn around a central question — to “stay the course” or withdraw the troops immediately.  Of course, the reality was more complicated, with many Americans who opposed the war arguing that to leave now would be “abandoning our responsibility” to Iraq, letting […]

  • Empire’s Gift on Mother’s Day, 2005: A Review of Born into Brothels

    Bombay, Our City Early on, in Anand Patwardhan‘s Bombay, Our City (1985), a passionate film made with the working people who live in Bombay’s slums and are coping with and organizing against their displacement by the police, the bureaucracy, and the business community, a woman reproaches the filmmakers. “Why do you take pictures of the […]

  • FreedomChunks: A True Story from Canada’s Little War on Terror

    Over the course of the whole debacle, there was a lot of criticism directed against Mandeep and me — even from our purported supporters — for the way that we handled the public relations angle of our case. Much was made, particularly, of the so-called “Kafka Declaration” episode wherein, against the cool protestations of our […]

  • Successful Student Walkouts across the Country, 2 November 2005: Reports from Seattle, Twin Cities, Tacoma, Boston

      On November 2, 2005, thousands of students from across the country walked out of class and onto the streets to protest Bush’s war in Iraq and military recruitment in their schools. In August, the call went out from Youth Against War and Racism chapters across the country to mobilize for student walkouts and protests […]

  • Cuba and the Lessons of Katrina

      What explains why the “dictatorial regime” of Fidel Castro can do a vastly better job of saving the lives of its citizens from hurricanes while the “democratic” government in Washington has proven to be so apparently inept? In 2004, Hurricane Ivan, a category five storm, slammed Cuba with devastating force. Yet there was not […]

  • Tookie Williams and the Politics of the Death Penalty

    “. . . what a state of society is that which knows of no better instrument for its own defense than the hangman, and which proclaims . . . its own brutality as eternal law? . . . [I]s there not a necessity for deeply reflecting upon an alteration of the system that breeds these […]

  • GM, the Delphi Concessions, and North American Workers: Round Two?

    It is important to recall that, until the 1970s, collective bargaining in the United States and Canada was largely about workers demanding improvements from their employers. But a new era in collective bargaining erupted at the end of the 1970s that was soon dubbed “concessionary bargaining.” Corporations were now the ones making the demands. Tensions […]

  • Mobilization

      For the most part, we go along living without thinking much about the world around us. Things just seem to happen without rhyme or reason. My parents knew that people like themselves were not quite the same as people who had a lot more money, but they didn’t reflect very deeply as to why […]

  • Commodity Fetishism: A Concept for Organizing against Sweatshop Labor and Neoliberal Globalization

    Two URPE Insights First, I should start by assuring you that I have not gone round the bend. I am not about to suggest that we dust off our volumes of Capital, corner some poor unsuspecting soul, and then launch into some long-winded exegesis of the concept of commodity fetishism. That sounds more like a […]

  • Parental Guidance Suggested

    A rare moment of truth — several of them, actually — occurred at last week’s meeting of the Toledo Board of Education’s Policy Committee when school officials, peace activists, and military recruiters assembled to discuss a draft policy to control recruiters in public schools. Thanks to the federal No Child Left Unrecruited Act, kicking the […]

  • The Sykes Anthem

      “I’ve always loved George Plimpton, Norman Mailer, those kinds of guys,” said Kevin’s smiling, catastrophically Caucasian father from his overstuffed recliner, as I waited for the boy to come down the wide, oak stairway with the sheets of music he had scribbled his ideas down onto, but which he had mistakenly left upstairs in […]

  • “We’ve Seen the Inner Workings and Felt the Consequences”: Iraq War Vet Pat Resta Speaks Out about the War and Occupation

    (Patrick Resta is the New England organizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War. He can be reached at .) I want to discuss Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), but first a little background on you. Can you tell us about your service in Iraq? When were you in Iraq? I served as a medic […]

  • Another World Is Indeed Possible

    For some time, business and government leaders in the United States have aggressively promoted policies designed to expand opportunities for private profit making.  The result has been growing instabilities and inequalities.  Many opposed to this development have called for the imposition of controls on private production, investment, and price decisions.  However, those in power routinely […]

  • The Political Economy of Sham Justice: Carla Del Ponte Addresses Goldman Sachs on Justice and Profits

    On October 6, 2005, Carla Del Ponte, prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), gave a talk before an audience at Goldman Sachs in London that throws light on the role of the ICTY as well as the character of Ms. Del Ponte and qualities of her efforts.1 Speaking before this […]

  • Is It a State of Crisis Yet?

    It’s time for the antiwar movement to take the US threats against Iran and Syria very, very seriously. Not only are stories of such threats appearing at an increasing rate in antiwar journals and websites, they are now a topic of concern on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, […]

  • Labor: Eyeless in America

    Whoopee! The Change to Win Coalition has established itself in the labor movement! Happy Days are here again! Andy Stern’s going to lead us to the promised land! And the overwhelming response by American workers: yawn. At the time when American workers — indeed, US society as a whole — so much need a new […]

  • Revelation

    Legal pad in hand, I strode into the classroom trying to look confident. Forty mostly young faces watched me, probably wondering how heavy the workload would be and how easy the grading. I lit a cigarette and passed out a stack of note cards. In those days you could smoke in class, and I burned […]