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Geography Archives: Somalia

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 […]

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Changing Captains on the Left

Wealthy, powerful heads of state and other bosses high up in the Bavarian Alps, and the vigorous protests from opposing crowds kept out of earshot downhill, largely stole media thunder this past weekend.  Far lower in altitude and attention, with almost no thunder from the media or otherwise, another meeting was held in less scenic […]

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Venezuela: Questions about Democracy and a Free Press

First question: Why? If Venezuela’s government is a dictatorship, why have there been 18 elections in 15 years under the late president Hugo Chávez Frías (d. 2013) and his democratically elected successor Nicolás Maduro?  Why is it that according to many international observers Venezuela’s democratic elections are, in the words of ex-president Jimmy Carter, “the […]

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Europe’s Future — Wanna Bet?

There are many TV talk shows in Germany, sometimes hot, often vacuous.  But the one on January 16th hit the roof, with far more people watching it afterwards via Internet than at the time it was aired.  And their comments, by the thousand, were mostly pounded away in great anger! A main cause of such […]

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Europe’s Future — Wanna Bet?

There are many TV talk shows in Germany, sometimes hot, often vacuous.  But the one on January 16th hit the roof, with far more people watching it afterwards via Internet than at the time it was aired.  And their comments, by the thousand, were mostly pounded away in great anger! A main cause of such […]

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The Resistible Rise of a New One-Party System

Conversation in Germany these days, when not about soccer, dealt often with beef which was part horsemeat, high-priced organic “bio” eggs which weren’t all they claimed to be, or, in thrilling, moving detail, the last weeks, days, and hours of the one and only German Pope (since 1058 A.D.). Also under often heated debate was […]

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Can Germany’s Left Party Be Saved?

What is the matter with Germany’s Left Party?  Or, more bluntly, can it be saved?  What is the truth about the charismatic leader Oskar Lafontaine, from West German Saarland, who suddenly, surprisingly withdrew from the fight for party leadership?  Is he really out of the running?  And is that good or bad?  What are the […]

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Summary of the 13 May 2012 Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia Elections Results

Some Good News, and Lots of Bad News, from Germany

Here’s “good news” and “bad news” from Germany.  The good news: the Christian Democratic Union of Angela Merkel took a real whipping in the election in North Rhine-Westphalia (usually abbreviated to NRW), the largest German state in terms of population.  Her smiling, almost benign mien, with little bluster or braggadocio, disguises less and less her […]

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An Imperialist Springtime? Libya, Syria, and Beyond

  Samir Amin: You see, the US establishment — and behind the US establishment its allies, the Europeans and others, Turkey as a member of NATO — derived their lesson from their having been surprised in Tunisia and Egypt: prevent similar movements elsewhere in the Arab countries, preempt them by taking the initiative of, initiating, […]

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U.S. Hands Off Mali! An Analysis of the Recent Events in the Republic of Mali

Recent developments in the West African Republic of Mali are raising serious concerns about the possibility of yet another U.S. intervention.  On March 22, one month before a scheduled presidential election, a military coup toppled the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré.  Quickly taking sides, the regional 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) […]

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The Assassination of Gaddafi

The news of the killing of Colonel Gaddafi in the battle to take Sirte marked one more episode in this NATO war in Libya and North Africa.  The killing has all of the hallmarks of a coordinated assassination, synchronised between NATO aircraft and forces on the ground.  The reports are that Gaddafi was attacked when […]

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