Geography Archives: Iraq

  • Syria, March 31, 2013

    Controlling the Narrative on Syria

    Since 2011, the torrent of ill-informed, inaccurate and often entirely dishonest analysis of events in Syria has been unremitting. I have written previously about the dangers of using simplistic explanations to make sense of the conflict, a problem that has surfaced repeatedly over the past five years. However, there is a greater problem at large.

  • Forward Ever, Normal Never: Taking Down Donald Trump

    This dream.  Something is in the house, something’s breaking, the things I love are going away.  I reach for Laura, she becomes translucent, evaporates.  I wake up, telling myself this dream means I’m worried about how tired and worn Laura has grown from years of activist work trying to get people out of prison.  I’ve […]

  • Spanish Recollections: the 80th Anniversary of the International Brigades

    In one hurrying day, eighty years ago, in Albacete, a center of Spain’s La Mancha region, a few officers somehow created quarters for five hundred men arriving the following day, then five hundred more, and more.  Soon three or four thousand, somehow organized in units despite a mad variety of languages, were issued a motley […]

  • The Mad Activist Refrains from Assassinating Donald Trump

    Time to vote for our next president!  Time to choose just the right person to lead our world’s most militarily advanced superpower.  That’s why presidential elections should be nonviolent and fulfilling on a deep personal level!  O whom, shall I choose?  Let’s see. . . Hillary Rodham Clinton: Democrat and fellow feminist.  Speechifies against poverty, […]

  • The Imperial War Museum in London: A Lesson in State Propaganda?

    In January 2016, I attended Tate Britain’s Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past, a disappointing exhibition that in spite of its title did not face Britain’s past in any meaningful way.  On the contrary, as I argued in my review, it shied away from this bloody history in favour of quasi-glorification, non-committal wording and […]

  • Police Shoot Another Rich White Man

    Darien, CT — Only days before he was to enter Yale Law School, Trey Von Der Brown, 22, was mowed down behind the wheel of his powder-blue 2016 Mini Cooper convertible in a hail of police bullets.  In the passenger seat, Wentworth MacFarquhar, 19, a second-year student at Yale Business School, was critically wounded. Rich-white-people […]

  • Hillary and My Vaginal Vote: Best Identity Politics Ever!

    Dear Hillary Rodham Clinton, I am voting for you to be our first woman president because Sisterhood is Powerful, and who doesn’t love power?  For a woman to be accepted as “one of the boys,” she has to be twice as good at the things boys like.  War, for instance.  That’s you, Sister! As Senator, […]

  • Who Is to Blame?

    Back in 1963 Bob Dylan (soon to be 75) wrote a bitter song; Pete Seeger also sang it often.  It asks, after the death of a young boxer: “Who killed Davey Moore?  How come he died, and what’s the reason for?”  Then came the alibis of all those responsible, from the manager and media to […]

  • For a “Third Reconstruction”: An Interview with Bill Fletcher, Jr.

    As the 2016 electoral game here ratchets up to nasty polemics, the US media is mainly focused on the carnival atmosphere of the Republican Party candidates.  (The Democratic Party infighting is only now beginning to boil over.)  Meanwhile, the Obama administration, free from scrutiny, continues its airstrikes in Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and […]

  • How Most Aid to the Palestinians Ends Up in Israel’s Coffers

    Diplomats may have a reputation for greyness, obfuscation, even hypocrisy, but few have found themselves compared to a serial killer, let alone one who devours human flesh. That honor befell Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the European Union’s ambassador to Israel, last week when Jewish settlers launched a social media campaign casting him as Hannibal Lecter, the terrifying […]

  • First Woman President Nukes Iran

    WASHINGTON — President Hillary Clinton, making good on her 2008 threat to “totally obliterate” Iran, celebrated her first week in office by ordering a nuclear strike on Iran’s capital city of Tehran.  As a squadron of F-35s streaked through the sky toward the Mideast metropolis of over eight million, President Clinton outlined her foreign policy […]

  • Germany: Icy Times and Rays of Hope

      2016 began here with an icy chill, not only with the weather but far worse, with human relations.  It also offered some, like myself, at least a few warm rays of hope. First the larger scene.  The huge influx of immigrants and asylum seekers, over a million in 2015, saw Germany effectively split in […]

  • A Wonderful Parade Against TTIP

    It was a day to remember, a date for the record books!  It marked a surprising development in German politics!  And who said Germans don’t like protest marches or demonstrations?  The organizers counted 250,000, a quarter of a million.  Of course the police scaled that down — to 150,000.  But who’s counting?  It was definitely […]

  • Altruism: Viral & More Dangerous Than ISIS

    Early this month in Germany, a few thousand refugees from war-torn Syria and neighboring countries spilled out of a train station and into Munich.  Rather than being tripped by the locals, or thrown inside cargo trucks, or sorted out according to skin color (as per quaint Old World custom), the migrants were actually welcomed by […]

  • Bombs for Peace: A Review

    George Szamuely.  Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia.  Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2013 (Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press).  Paper.  Pp. 611. In Bombs for Peace, George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University, has produced a revealing and sharply […]

  • Immigrants, Welcome and Unwelcome

    A silent three-year-old, lying drowned on a Turkish beach; the tearful protest of a Syrian man as he, his wife and baby are torn from the tracks next to a locomotive by Hungarian police; desperate families jammed into tiny, leaky boats, hoping to reach Europe alive or, if they do, facing ever new obstacles from […]

  • German Know-Nothings Today

    “I don’t know.”  Those words, often repeated 160-odd years ago in the USA, earned the gang of those using them the nickname “Know-Nothing Party.”  Those were no expressions of intellectual modesty; party doings were secret, so members were not supposed to disclose anything about them, but just say, “I don’t know.”   Their patriotic title was […]

  • Misconceptions about Neo-Liberalism

    Neo-Liberalism is often seen only as an economic policy.  This per se might not matter, since a specific set of economic measures do, no doubt, fall under the rubric of neo-liberalism.  But by reducing neo-liberalism only to a set of economic measures, a misleading impression is often conveyed that this set of measures are a […]

  • Remembering Robert Weil: Intellectual and Political Activist

      Robert Weil, author of the powerful critique of Deng Xiaoping’s “reforms” entitled Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of Market Socialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1996, republished in India by Cornerstone Publications, Kharagpur), quietly passed away in California on 12 March 2014.  Almost a year after, on 15 February 2015 a […]

  • The Americas Summit on the Border of an Imperialist Abyss

    Two features of contemporary imperialism are key to explaining the importance — or actually the relative unimportance — of the VII Summit of the Americas (organized by the OAS) recently held in Panama.  One is that, in the post-World War II period, imperialism has operated in a context defined by the prevalence of relatively sovereign […]