Geography Archives: Iraq

  • Turkey Cools Down Tempers over Syria

    As Monday dawned, Turkey kept its fingers crossed in keen anticipation of the nationwide address by President Bashar al-Assad on the situation in Syria.  Ankara sent an open message ahead of Assad’s speech that if he failed to announce reforms even in a third attempt, he would “miss a big chance” to preserve power. Turkey […]

  • Capitalism and Imperialism

    The anti-colonial struggle in the third world countries had brought together workers, peasants, agricultural labourers, artisans, middle class intellectuals, and even the national bourgeoisie into one camp, demanding decolonisation.  This was a reflection of the fact that colonialism, or imperialism (if one uses the term in an inclusive sense to refer to all stages of […]

  • Imperialism and the European “Left”

    But revolts, to become revolutionary advances, will have to overcome many obstacles: on the one hand they will have to overcome the weaknesses of the movement, construct a positive convergence of its components, formulate and implement effective strategies; on the other they will have to defeat the interventions (including military interventions) of the imperialist triad. […]

  • Iraq: It’s Still about Oil

    Provocative suggestion: Obama’s increasingly desperate efforts to abrogate Bush’s Dec 31 withdrawal deadline and continue the military occupation may reflect, among other considerations, the need to protect the US drilling companies’ business. . . . American drilling companies stand to make tens of billions of dollars from the new petroleum activity in Iraq long before […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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.  […]

  • Muslim Brotherhood and US Representatives at Syrian Opposition Conference in Antalya, Turkey

      So Syrian opposition groups met in Antalya.  I closely followed that conference and read about their deliberations and received reports about it. There are Syrian leftists who argue with me constantly that I should not reduce the Syrian opposition to lousy Khaddam or lousy Ma’mun Humsi (a tool of Hariri Inc.) or lousy war […]

  • Message to Communists of the World

    Painful events have been continuing in Syria for nearly two months, since the emergence of a protest movement raising legitimate local and general demands among people in the governorate of Daraa. This movement threw light on the presence of major problems in the political life in Syria: the continuation of the state of emergency, the absence of laws governing political activity, and so on.

  • Should the Left Become Social Democratic?

    On a television channel on counting day, the panellists discussing the assembly election results were asked to offer advice to the Left, which had lost both the large states it ruled, one of them quite massively, on how it should reform itself for a future resurrection.  The overwhelming opinion among them was that it should […]

  • Parroting the Obama Administration’s Line on Iran and Syria

    Last year, we took the Washington Post‘s Joby Warrick to task for stories he published that relied “almost entirely on unnamed U.S. officials and a known terrorist organization” to advance “Iraq-redux” claims that the Islamic Republic is seeking to build nuclear weapons.  Now, Warrick published a front-page story in the Washington Post — a story […]

  • New Insights into the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Arguably the most important reason for the international interest in Iran is its strategically pivotal geography.  Like some of its Muslim neighbours, it has tremendous oil and gas reserves.  For the United States, the revolution in Iran was nothing less than a geopolitical shock. Revolutionary dynamics in the Arab World have recently rekindled the debate […]

  • Justice

    ICC to Sudan: “Who committed the crimes of genocide?” STL to Lebanon: “Who killed Hariri?” Justice, however, is asleep when it comes to Iraq, Gaza, and Afghanistan. . . . Fahd Bahady is a Syrian cartoonist.  This cartoon was first published in his blog on 9 March 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational […]

  • Tariq Ali on Syria and Libya: “Whenever the West Intervenes, It’s a Disaster”

      Tariq Ali: I don’t think sanctions work.  They are essentially a symbolic measure.  Usually when sanctions are applied against a country, they affect the poor people in that country more than the ruling elites, as we saw for years before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.  They had imposed a bloody sanctions regime, […]

  • Obama on the Middle East: Sticking with a Failed Script

    May 18, 2011 In an effort to define the dominant narrative about the ongoing Arab awakening and America’s role in the Middle East, President Obama will give what the White House is billing as a major address on Middle East policy.  However eloquently delivered, the address will not be able to overcome or compensate for […]

  • Post-3/11 Japan: Learning from Crises Past, Facing the Critical Present

    Two months after the disasters of March 11, most of the rhythms of everyday life have returned to Tokyo.  Although dimmed city streets remain as daily reminders of the critical nuclear situation 140 miles north, the university campuses that were deserted over an extended spring break have refilled.  Although the earth still shivers, the anxious […]

  • Ten Reasons Why Protecting Unions Is a Life and Death Issue

    In Wisconsin, tens of thousands of public sector workers were going to work every day, helping the people in the DMV, hospitals, health care centers, public transportation, teachers, fire fighters, and clerical workers.  Then, on February 11, 2011 Republican Governor Scott Walker introduced a bill, with a Republican majority in the legislature, that would virtually […]

  • Intervention in the Name of Stability

    Intervention in the Name of Stability Professor Noam Chomsky recently delivered an important address in Amsterdam entitled “Contours of the World Order.”1  A large part of the speech was devoted to the role of the United States in defending its area of absolute hegemony.  According to Chomsky’s excellent analysis, the US relates to all countries […]

  • The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden

    Those persons who deal with these issues know that on September 11 of 2001 our people expressed its solidarity to the US people and offered the modest cooperation that in the area of health we could have offered to the victims of the brutal attack against the Twin Towers in New York.… We also immediately opened our country’s airports to the American airplanes that were unable to land anywhere, given the chaos that came about soon after the strike.… Although we resolutely supported the armed struggle against Batista’s tyranny, we were, on principle, opposed to any terrorist action that could cause the death of innocent people. Such behavior, which has been maintained for more than half a century, gives us the right to express our views about such a sensitive matter.

  • Cuba Opposes Any Foreign Interference in Syria

    Statement of Cuban Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes, at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council, on the human rights situation in Syria, Geneva, 29 April 2011 Mr. President: Cuba condemns the hypocrisy and double standards on which the convocation of this special session is based.  Human rights are not its genuine motive.  The motive is […]

  • “Justice Has Been Done”?

    “Justice has been done,” said President Obama. “Justice has been done.” “Justice has been done.” Justice has been done!?  Justice!?  Justice??  For the last ten years, we’ve been engaged in an exercise of justice?  That’s what you call what we’ve been doing? Are we supposed to take out a large magnifying glass and a delicate […]