Geography Archives: Korea

  • Beijing’s Europe

    The European tour of Wen Jiabao is taking place while the conflict between the US and China over the yuan/dollar exchange rate is getting worse.  At the same time, a similar if less noisy clash exists between China and the Eurozone countries.  Last but not least, tensions have also arisen in the Sino-Japanese relations following […]

  • Just Say No to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

      The free trade push has begun again.  Both U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak are calling for ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by the two countries’ trade representatives in April 2007 but has yet to be approved by either the U.S. Congress or the South […]

  • Sanctions and Iran’s Regional and “Eastern” Options

    We noticed a small news item, reported from Tehran, which we think deserves more media attention and reflection in the West than it received.  According to the story, Chinese Transport Minister Liu Zhijun is expected to visit Iran Sunday to sign a $2 billion contract to build a 360-mile-long railway linking key Iranian destinations that […]

  • Who Will Allow Brazil to Reach Its Economic Potential?

    The biggest economic question facing Brazil, as for most developing countries, is when it will achieve its potential economic growth.  For Brazil, there is a simple, most relevant comparison: its pre-1980 — or pre-neoliberal — past. From 1960-1980, income per person — the most basic measure that economists have of economic progress — in Brazil […]

  • Iran’s Proposal to Russia: Enrichment Is Still Key

    August 26, 2010 Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said today that the Islamic Republic has proposed to Russia that the two countries create a joint consortium to fabricate fuel for the Bushehr reactor and other nuclear power plants that Iran plans to build in the future.  Salehi reportedly […]

  • Sending a Message, Setting a Precedent: Nuclear Powers vs. Iran, Brazil, Turkey, and Other Emerging Powers

      In international politics, if an action seems reckless or callous and the ones taking it are not certified loonies, usually it’s because it was made to look that way, on purpose.  To send a message. Take Israel’s attack in international waters on a civilian flotilla that resulted in the death of nine Turkish passengers. […]

  • Iranian Sociology and Its Discontents

    I recently returned from the quadrennial International Sociology Association’s World Congress held in Gothenburg, Sweden.  It’s kind of like the World Cup of sociology.  There I sat in on a session organized by the Iranian Sociology Association, where a few presenters, including its president Hossein Serajzadeh, discussed the state of social science in Iran.  I […]

  • Co-opting the Anti-Nuclear Movement

    No medium of propaganda is as powerful and effective as film.  Think of the classics, the most notorious efforts to sway the public with the electrifying and collective passion of cinema: racial apartheid was justified in the US with Birth of a Nation.  The Soviets glorified their revolution with The Battleship Potemkin.  Then there was […]

  • The Sentencing of Lynne Stewart

      “At all times throughout history the ideology of the ruling class is the ruling ideology.” — Karl Marx Lynne Stewart is a friend.  She used to practice law in New York City.  I still do.  I was in the courtroom with my wife Debby the afternoon of July 19th for her re-sentencing.  Judge John […]

  • What Difference Does a Revolution Make?  A Preliminary Contrast of India and China

    I. Commonalities At the time of their casting off of colonialism — India gaining independence from Britain in 1947, China putting an end to a century of imperialist domination in 1949 — the two largest countries in Asia shared many common characteristics.  Each possessed an enormous continental landmass with a population in the hundreds of […]

  • The Publicist: Henry Luce, Time Inc., and “The American Century”

    A starlet in a strapless dress smiles on the cover of the February 17, 1941, issue of Life.  Then, there are ten pages of ads: Oldsmobile, Knox Gelatine, Bendix automatic home laundry, Birds Eye Frosted Foods.  Further in, between one photo essay on iceboating and another on a woman racecar driver, there is an editorial, […]

  • The Dollar Question: Where Are We?

      The global crisis has led some to question the dollar’s place as the dominant currency.  This column discusses three camps in the literature: those advocating a new synthetic global currency, those arguing that a new reserve currency will emerge, and those suggesting a return to sharing the role.  It concludes that talk of the […]

  • A Nuclear Revival?

      Justin Pemberton, dir.  The Nuclear Comeback.  DVD. New York: Icarus Films, 2007.  53 minutes. Are we on the brink of a nuclear revival?  Should we be?  The Nuclear Comeback, an absorbing documentary video, is titled declaratively but sprinkles question marks.  The Nuclear Comeback embarks on a tour of some of the high and low […]

  • Brazil and Iran: Our Motives and the Bullying Trio

      Despite what the experts of barefoot diplomacy1 never stop repeating, there is nothing even remotely anti-American in the Brazilian position on Iran: our motives, unlike those of the bullying trio (USA, France, United Kingdom), are clear, transparent and openly stated several times. We support the peaceful development of nuclear energy.  We do not believe […]

  • Peter Erlinder Jailed by One of the Major Genocidaires of Our Era — Update1

      The May 28 arrest of U.S. attorney and Chicago native Peter Erlinder by the Paul Kagame dictatorship in Rwanda reveals much about this regime that is routinely sanitized in establishment U.S. and Western media coverage and intellectual life.  But if we use Erlinder’s arrest to call attention to some less-well-known facts, a much grimmer […]

  • Two, Three, Many 1960s

    The global Sixties began in Tokyo on June 15, 1960, with the death of Michiko Kanba, an undergraduate at Tokyo University.  On the night of her death she had joined a group of fellow university students at the front of a massive demonstration — 100,000 people deep — facing off against the National Diet Building. […]

  • The Empire and War

    Two days ago, I briefly commented that imperialism was unable to resolve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which is assaulting the world’s population.  Today, I would like to tackle another subject that, in my opinion, is of great significance. The current danger of North Korea being attacked by the United States, following the […]

  • South Africa: An Unfinished Revolution?

      The Fourth Strini Moodley Annual Memorial Lecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 13 May 2010 I In her historical novel, A Place of Greater Safety, which is played out against the backdrop of the Great French Revolution through an illuminating character analysis and synthesis of three of that revolution’s most prominent personalities, viz., Maximilien Robespierre, Georges […]

  • India Needs Course Correction on Iran

    The agreement between Iran, Turkey and Brazil for a swap deal on the stockpile of Tehran’s nuclear fuel sets the stage for a diplomatic pirouette of high significance for regional security.  The paradigm shift affects Indian interests. The Barack Obama administration has hastily debunked the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal, which was announced in Tehran on Monday, and […]

  • The US-Russia START Treaty: Just What Does “Arms Control” Really Mean?

    There’s a funny if intimidating gun-nut bumper sticker you may have seen on the road: “gun control means using both hands.”  It’s clever, invoking and mocking gun control at the same time. This last week the United States government, by its actions, formally adopted this bumper sticker as its de-facto nuclear weapons and arms control […]