Geography Archives: Pakistan

  • Petroleum and Energy Policy in Iran

      Iran, a major oil producing and exporting country, also imports gasoline because of inadequate refining capacity and rising petrol consumption.  This article examines the problems faced by an economy dependent on the export of crude oil and gas that are compounded by the dilemmas of rising domestic consumption, a significant decline in productive capacity, […]

  • The End of Chimerica?

    Like the star gazers who last week watched the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, diplomatic observers had a field day watching the penumbra of big power politics involving the United States, Russia and China, which constitutes one of the crucial phenomena of 21st-century world politics. It all began with United States Vice […]

  • Responsibility to Protect?

    On July 23, a debate concerning the Responsibility to Protect took place in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  The responsibility to protect (R2P) is a notion agreed to by world leaders in 2005 that holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes […]

  • How Many Leftists Are “United for Iran”?

    So, how many leftists are United for Iran?  “8,000 people at the event in Paris, 4,000 in Stockholm, 3,000 in Amsterdam, more than 2,500 in Washington DC, 2,500 in New York, 2,000 in London. . . ,” says United4Iran.org, the sponsor of the global day of action on 25 July 2009.  The low numbers1 (in […]

  • Riding the “Green Wave” at the Campaign for Peace and Democracy and Beyond

    There are many problems with the Campaign for Peace and Democracy’s “Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis,” issued by the CPD on July 7, and widely circulated since then.1 The CPD adopted this format, it tells us, because “some on the left, and others as well, have questioned the legitimacy of and the need […]

  • Who Needs an Islamic State?

    Abdelwahab El-Affendi is a well-known Islamic scholar and political philosopher from Sudan, presently based in London.  Author of numerous works, his latest book, provocatively titled Who Needs an Islamic State? discusses what he regards as the serious lacunae in contemporary Islamist political thought, which, in his view, have caused Islamist movements to reach a virtual […]

  • An Open Letter to the Anti-War Movement: How Should We React to the Events in Iran?

    The “Iranian people” have not spoken. What’s happening in Iran today is a developing conflict between two forces that each represent millions of people.  There are good people on both sides and the issues are complicated.  So before U.S. progressives decide to weigh in, supporting one side and condemning the other, let’s take a little […]

  • Honduras: The Moment of Truth for the Obama Administration

      The military coup currently underway in Honduras is a hard coup accompanied by various vain attempts to make it appear soft and “constitutionalist.”  Behind the coup are diverse social, economic, and political forces, of which the most important is the administration of President Barack Obama.  No important change can happen in Honduras without Washington’s […]

  • War, Islamists, and the Left

      The US war machine continues to inflict untold miseries on the people of the world and particularly those of the Muslim faith.  Barack Obama, the first black president in the history of the United States, has repeatedly promised to repair some of the damage wreaked by his predecessor on the international stage.  But the […]

  • Obama’s Cairo Speech: A Rhetorical Shift in US Imperialism

    Barack Obama’s Cairo speech heralds a shift from the Islamophobic rhetoric of the Bush regime, but not from the long-term aims of the U.S. empire. Predictably, Barak Obama’s speech in Cairo came under hysterical criticism from the right.  Sean Hannity screamed that Obama gave “sympathizers of 9/11” a voice on the world stage, Charles Krauthammer […]

  • Obama’s Doublespeak on Iran

    On the US-Iran relationship, President Obama seems to be talking from both sides of his mouth.  From one side we hear promising messages of dialogue and a “new beginning” with Iran; from the other side provocative words that seems to be coming right out of the mouth of his predecessor, George W. Bush. For example, […]

  • Obama’s Guantánamo Appeasement Plan

    Two days after his inauguration, President Obama pledged to close Guantánamo within one year.  The Republicans, led by Senators John McCain, Mitch McConnell, and Pat Roberts, immediately launched a concerted campaign to assail the new president.  They claimed his plan would release dangerous terrorists into U.S. communities and allow released terrorists to resume fighting against […]

  • Netanyahu Chooses Warehousing

    Would Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu say the magic words “two states” after his meeting with President Obama?  All Israel held its breath.  (He didn’t).  The gap between the two is wider than those words could ever have bridged, however.  Obama, I believe, sincerely — perhaps urgently — seeks a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a […]

  • The Resurrection of India’s Congress Party — A Worrying Road Ahead

    On May 16th, some 60 percent of India’s 714 million-strong electorate delivered a definitive victory to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), giving it a commanding 262 seats in India’s 543-member parliament.  The UPA’s principal opponent, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), took a severe beating, dropping down […]

  • Stealth Move in Washington Aims to Get $100 Billion for IMF without Congressional Debate

    “You don’t have to do this.”  Those are the near-last words of several victims in the Coen brothers’ classic, No Country for Old Men, as they try to convince the movie’s unrelenting assassin that he should spare them.  The assassin, played by Javier Bardem, finds this annoying, because in his mind these murders are pre-determined. […]

  • Pakistan at the Precipice

    To watch my country of birth unravel has been a curious thing. As the Taliban continues to sweep across vast swaths of northern Pakistan, American pundits and officials ask incredulously, “How can their government let this happen?  How can their people let this happen?”  The United States looks on anxiously like a jolted passerby watching […]

  • Tariq Ali: “Nobody in Washington Knows What the War Aim Is”

      Tariq Ali says in an interview with Der Standard: To continue its war in Afghanistan, the US accepts the risk of destabilizing Pakistan.  But only a regional diplomatic approach can help. STANDARD: How would you evaluate the danger often invoked today that Pakistan is collapsing and its nuclear weapons may fall into the hands […]

  • US Pakistan Policy Is Floundering

    Paul Jay:  So, we left off the first segment of the interview with you suggesting that there really doesn’t seem to be any kind of sensible strategy of the US in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  What would the sensible strategy be right now?  Obama seems to have . . . it’s very strange, they assessed the […]

  • US Policy Makes Things Worse in Pakistan

      Paul Jay: So, President Karzai has just been in Washington, President Zardari has been in Washington, meeting President Obama.  What effect are the policies of the three presidents having in Pakistan? Aijaz Ahmad: We know that the pressure from the United States that has been mounted over the last two weeks has led to […]

  • From Blunder to Blunder in Afghanistan

      “I also made it clear that the United States will work with our Afghan and international partners to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties as we help the Afghan government combat our common enemy,” US President Barack Obama promised.  He received his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari at […]