Geography Archives: Middle East

  • The Slaying of Jean Charles de Menezes

    There was a remarkable moment in London last month when the Israeli Defence Force looked more restrained than the Metropolitan Police. Having shot an unarmed civilian in the head seven times (and once in the shoulder), the Metropolitan Police was suddenly obliged to explain to the public a policy that had been decided on in […]

  • Tipping Friedman

    New York Times Op-Ed columnist Thomas Friedman is lucky I don’t have his phone number. If I did, I would call and tell him that the “tipping points” in the Middle East never tipped. The Bush administration presented a well-scripted farce to its consummate lapdogs in the media; and Friedman, along with his more conservative […]

  • What One Mom Has to Say to George Bush

    “That lying bastard, George Bush, is taking a five-week vacation in time of war,” Cindy Sheehan told 200 cheering members of Veterans for Peace at their annual convention in Dallas last Friday evening. She then announced she would go to Bush’s vacation home in nearby Crawford, Texas and camp out until he “tells me why […]

  • Waiting for Karl Rove

    Hi, I’m a mainstream pundit. You may remember me from such commentaries as “The GOP and Its Acronym” and “Why Must the Poor Have Such Bad Taste in Clothes?” As a pundit, one of my duties is to impart to you my sense of stylish pique concerning the war in Iraq. The war, when you […]

  • A “Better Occupation” of Iraq?

    It would be a mistake to say that it was inevitable that the US would fail in its putative mission of “liberating” Iraq or transforming it into a viable democracy, for that would be deterministic.  It would not be incorrect to state that it was practically inevitable, however.  And why that is so tells us […]

  • Distilling the 2005 AFL-CIO Convention: Disaster Ahoy!

    The Convention is over, delegates have returned home, and it’s time to make sense of the mess. First of all, the “Change to Win” Coalition’s boycott of the convention and split from the AFL-CIO was stupid. Workers are going to suffer for this stupidity for a while, at least. And they are going to suffer […]

  • A House Divided: For Better or Worse?

    Note: this concluding report on the AFL-CIO Convention and events surrounding it will be offered in two parts.  First, a summary and catch-up on certain events and impressions of the week in Chicago; second, an attempt to sort out and analyze these events, what they represent in a larger context, and what it all could […]

  • The Activists’ MC: An Interview with Rapper Son of Nun

    Most progressive-minded hip hop fans and culturally-inclined activists have not heard of Baltimore rapper Son of Nun yet. After listening to the Son’s first album, Blood and Fire, I can only say this: they will. Despite this being his first album, Nun — a high school teacher, activist, and organizer from Baltimore — is clearly […]

  • Dividing the Conservative Coalition

    The Bush government, itself a coalition of the willing, cobbles together four different streams of conservatives. Like all coalitions, it is vulnerable to events. Patrick Buchanan, the journal National Interest, and the think tank Cato Institute, are conservatives against Bush’s Iraq policy. Similarly, the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation criticize Bush’s fiscal […]

  • Market Fundamentalists Lose in Iran (For Now)

    The prevailing spin on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rise to Iran’s presidency wrongly suggests that a win for his rivals could have ushered a dawn of enlightenment. The mainstream press has largely described Iran’s competing factions as little more than vote-rigging theocrats arrayed against tolerant modernizers. In particular, strong support for Ahmadinejad among the Basij militia and […]

  • “The Prime Minister’s New Clothes” in Denmark Today

    In Europe, the legitimacy of almost all established political parties and governments seems to be suffering from metal fatigue. This malaise is aggravated by their attempts to implement neoliberal economic policies and adapt themselves to US imperialism at the same time. Is the small Scandinavian country of Denmark an exception that proves the rule? The […]

  • Of Shibboleth and Power

    Sometimes, when a comrade intentionally ignores relevant facts in the discussion of an issue, it may indicate that the comrade is enthralled by an unexamined shibboleth. If I remember my Bible, the word shibboleth was used as a kind of military password, because enemy intruders couldn’t pronounce it.  Those who approached Hebrew positions at night […]

  • Street Life of a Mad Activist

    Hey, lady. You got a problem with my hat? I mean, look. I was just walking down Fort Washington Avenue, minding my own business on my way to the A Train, and you — an ordinary, middle-aged white lady in a blue plaid housedress — stop to glare at my hat. How friendly is that? […]

  • Politics and the Playing Field: An interview with Dave Zirin

    It’s fashionable on the Left to look down one’s nose at the world of sports. To do so, according to Dave Zirin, would be to miss a chance at both inspiration and solidarity. Zirin’s new book, What’s My Name, Fool! Sports and Resistance in the United States creates a much-needed bridge between the political and […]

  • “The Question of Working-Class Power”: Bill Fletcher, Jr. Speaks to the Canadian Auto Workers Conference, Toronto, Canada, 13 July 2005

      Good morning. President Hargrove, leaders, and members of the Canadian Auto Workers, I wish to thank you very much for inviting me to speak with you today. This is a great honor and I have been looking forward to this opportunity. If all goes according to some plans, by the end of July, the […]

  • Puppets on a String?

    Freedom of the press, like freedom of speech, is sacred to most of us, limited as it is in a capitalist society in which the press is free only if you own one.  Today, Judith Miller of the New York Times is considered a martyr for freedom of the press. The emblematic defense of reporters’ […]

  • Fugitive Offers Reward for Rumsfeld’s Capture

    Speaking from Cuba, where she was granted asylum after escaping from a US prison in 1979, Assata Shakur, the alleged “Bandit Queen” of the now defunct Black Liberation Army, announced today that she would hand over one million “HANDS OFF ASSATA” t-shirts to the person or persons who successfully apprehend US Secretary of Defense Donald […]

  • “Guilty until Proven Innocent”: An Interview with Dr. Walter M. Brasch

    Journalism professor, columnist and author Walt Brasch began writing his essential new book, America’s Unpatriotic Acts, shortly after Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. “By exposure of what the federal government has done to our Constitutional rights during the past four years,” he explains, “I hope the people will fully understand that the claims by […]

  • Free Labor from the Empire: Breaking the NED-Solidarity Center Connection

    In the increasing “heat” of labor reform issues — which is not always the same as “light” — it has been discouraging to see how little attention has been paid to labor’s foreign policy issues.  This is, in my opinion, the 500-pound gorilla that no one wants to touch.  Yet, I argue it is absolutely […]

  • “Pas de vacances pour les bourgeois!”

    “Pas de vacances pour les bourgeois!” (no vacation for the bourgeois) was a favorite slogan at the Sorbonne during the May 1968 nationwide revolt in France. Not supported by any established political parties (including the CPF), the movement which originally started among students who took over the universities came to include workers who occupied factories […]