Geography Archives: Iraq

  • Obstruct Militarization and the Usurpation of Democracy

    On behalf of the American University Anthropology department, I am deeply honored to welcome you all to AU, and to the Latin American Solidarity Coalition’s “Conference to Build a Stronger Movement to End US Militarism and the Militarization of Latin America.” It’s exciting personally to be involved in such an important event — after all, demilitarization of the Americas is now more important than ever — and I sincerely hope that we can continue this relationship and work to increase AU’s involvement with the event in the years to come, not only because it would save us money on the facility fees, but more importantly, because there is a deep thirst among AU students to become more engaged in this kind of solidarity work and because, I believe, the AU community can contribute to it in important ways. This conference is a perfect fit with all of the best aspects of this university, and those aspects — the dedication to community involvement, to social action and public intellectualism — always need reinforcing.

  • The Arab Spring and the Saudi Counter-Revolution

    We return from a recent trip to the region persuaded that the main question engaging people with respect to the “Arab spring” is no longer “who’s next,” but rather “how far will Saudi Arabia go in pushing a counter-revolutionary agenda” across the Middle East?  Whether Saudi Arabia is really capable of coping with the momentous […]

  • Tell America: There’s an Alternative to Domestic Budget Cuts

    To hear the mainstream media tell it, America confronts a choice: Republican plans for cutting domestic spending or President Obama’s plans for cutting domestic spending.  That’s what they want us to think. You’d never know from the mainstream media that 80 Members of Congress have put forward an alternative to cuts in spending on domestic […]

  • (Former) Communists for Liberal Democracy

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Yassin Al-Hajj Saleh in the New York Times Of course, Saleh suffered from the brutality of the Syrian regime and I share many of his criticisms of the Syrian regime although I don’t share his decision to write about Syria in racist anti-Syrian (people) right-wing publications, like An-Nahar and Al-Hayat […]

  • “Artists in Exile: Forgotten Iraqi Refugees in Syria”: Interview with Mel Lehman of Common Humanity

      “Syria hosts the largest number of Iraqi refugees who have fled their home since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.  Estimates as to how many refugees are huddled in Syria vary, but most organizations estimate that roughly 1.2-1.5 million Iraqis have staked a temporary claim on neighboring soil.  ‘Temporary,’ however, is a relative time-frame for the […]

  • Whither Syria?

      Flynt Leverett, a professor of international affairs at Penn State and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, is the author of Inheriting Syria: Bashar’s Trial by Fire.  Andrew Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is the author of the forthcoming book In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness […]

  • Mid-East Upheaval: What the Empire Sees

      The US left and progressives have been preoccupied about what we can do to impact events in the Mid-East, particularly obsessing about what we can do to counter US intervention.  In general, it is good to want to act, not just talk or analyze, in a crisis situation. However, despite the valiant and necessary […]

  • Taking Over the West

    Hi, my name is Sukant Chandan.  I’m 32 years old.  I was born in Chandigarh in North India, in Punjab, in April 1978.  I always say, teasingly to my parents, they brought me here, in the winter of 1981 without my consent, at the age of three and a half. . . .  I remember […]

  • Gilbert Achcar’s Defense of Humanitarian Intervention

    Gilbert Achcar defends the recently “UN-authorized” imperialist intervention in Libya on the ground that general principles may require exceptions in concrete cases.  “Every general rule admits of exceptions.  This includes the general rule that UN-authorized military interventions by imperialist powers are purely reactionary ones, and can never achieve a humanitarian or positive purpose.”1  This kind […]

  • Egypt, Iran, and the Middle East’s Evolving Balance of Power

    The full extent of the ramifications of the extraordinary developments in Egypt since the beginning of this year — for Egypt itself, for the Middle East, and for the world — will not be clear for some time.  At this juncture, though, it seems virtually certain that post-Mubarak Egypt will have a much more balanced […]

  • Who Rules Syria and How?  Interview with Joshua Landis

    Paul Jay: The title of your upcoming book, Syria’s Democratic Experiment, first of all, what is the experiment?  And then talk a little about how we got there. Joshua Landis: Well, the book really deals with a period at the time of independence — 1946, ’45, ’46 — in Syria, when the French left and […]

  • Bring the War Dollars Home, Fund Local Needs!

    Washington is broken — there has been no real debate on the $126 billion requested to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet $33 billion is being cut from vital programs — from heating oil for poor families to milk for infants to Pell grants for college students.  We have a new opportunity to […]

  • Libya and the Laws of War: Interview with Michael Mandel

    With respect to international law, in what ways does this intervention in Libya differ from those carried out in Afghanistan and Iraq? The intervention in Afghanistan, despite protestations to the contrary, was not authorized by the Security Council, whose relevant resolutions did not even mention Afghanistan, let alone authorize “all necessary means.”  That was because […]

  • Syria: Banias Refinery Workers March for Syria and Bashar

    Could it be that Syrian refinery workers thought it wise to warn imperialists not to descend on Syria to liberate their oil and jobs from them in the name of liberating them from Bashar? — Ed. Tartous, Syria, 29 March 2011 Cf. “Syria is the only significant crude oil producing country in the Eastern Mediterranean […]

  • What Do the Syrians Want? Interview with Joshua Landis

    Joshua Landis: Well, this [speech delivered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 30 March 2011] was a classic hard-line speech.  It was a nationalist speech.  It was an us-against-them speech.  And he rallied the nation.  And that’s what he sought to do.  He was fairly relaxed.  He made some jokes.  But he said this is […]

  • Millions of Syrians Rally for Syria and Bashar

    Millions of Syrians rallied all over Syria, pledging loyalty to the country, in support of Bashar al-Assad, on 29 March 2011.  The dialectic of the regime and the opposition in Syria, it is safe to say, is neither like Tunisia and Egypt, nor like Iraq and Libya.  Instead, it is more like what happened in […]

  • Libya: A Squalid Protectorate That the West Is Going to Create

    Yes, “collaborators,” that’s the word, not “revolutionaries.”  Calling a spade a spade can at least get rectification started, though, pace the street-fighting intellectual, too late in the game. — Ed. The US-Nato intervention in Libya, with United Nations security council cover, is part of an orchestrated response to show support for the movement against one […]

  • What Wisconsin Means for Immigrant Rights

    A few weeks can do a lot to sweep away old assumptions.  Last year U.S. leftists were wondering why the worst economic crisis in 70 years hadn’t inspired a stronger response from its victims; now Arabs have toppled neoliberal regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and U.S. workers have fought cutbacks and union-busting in Wisconsin with […]

  • Al-Jazeera: An Island of Pro-Empire Intrigue

    The Empire admits: without Al-Jazeera, they could not have bombed Libya. How did Al-Jazeera, once dubbed the ‘terror network’ by some and whose staff were martyred by US bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, end up becoming the media war propagandist for yet another Western war against a small state of the Global South, Libya?  We […]

  • COSATU Supports Democracy, But Condemns Foreign Military Occupation in Libya

    COSATU has reiterated its position in support of the legitimate and genuine struggles of the people and workers of the Middle East and North Africa for democracy, human dignity and social justice.  In doing so, we however, seek to exercise caution in the manner Western powers claim to be advancing the struggle for democracy in […]