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Recent ZNet

Renato redentor Constantino: The Colors of Memory

1. Memories of Black and Blue   We live under one sky — and the sweep of a past painted from the palette of a bruise.   Until the 20th century, pale was the pigment of wealth and privilege. To be called blue-blooded was to be recognized as a member of the aristocracy: those who Read more…

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Ward Churchill: Indigenism, Anarchism, and the State

Ward Churchill is one of the most outspoken activists and scholars in North America and a leading commentator on indigenous issues. Churchill’s many books include Marxism and Native Americans; Fantasies of the Master Race; Struggle for the Land; The COINTELPRO Papers; Genocide, Ecocide, and Colonization; Pacifism as Pathology; and A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust Read more…

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Michelle Chen: Energy Bill Alternatives

  Apr 27 – What if the energy bill that the House of Representatives just approved were completely rewritten to reverse the assumptions that have guided national energy policy for decades? Proponents of an alternative energy agenda say that idea is not as radical as it may sound. In the wake of what environmentalists view Read more…

Mark t. Harris: ‘Alternative’ Media Quietly Sells Out to Whole Foods Market

In July 2002, employees at the Whole Foods Market in Madison, Wisconsin, made history when they voted to become the first unionized store at the natural foods mega-chain. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)-supported organizing drive was motivated by lower-than-industry wages, absence of a legally-binding grievance procedure, and other unfair labor practices. The pro-union Read more…

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Marie Trigona: The Pismanta Hot Springs Undergo A New Approach To Management

The old Pismanta hot springs hotel, located in the Iglesia Valley at the foot of Argentina’s Andes 180 kilometers north of the city of San Juan, has undergone a notable remake that includes a new sauna, steam bath and spa. But in this case the improvements were not made by a new concessionaire or owner. Read more…

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Jonathan Steele: Our Guernica

Robert Zoellick is the archetypal US government insider, a man with a brilliant technical mind but zero experience of any coalface or war front. Sliding effortlessly between ivy league academia, the US treasury and corporate boardrooms (including an advisory post with the scandalous Enron), his latest position is the number-two slot at the state department. Read more…

Robert Arnow: Economic Freedom

In the early 1500s, Nicolo Machiavelli penned the famous quotation:               “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”   Unfortunately, Machiavelli’s wisdom holds as true today as it did in 16th Century Italy.  His statement, while probably a bit more black and white than reality, has the power to explain one of the cornerstone dynamics Read more…

Bashir Abu-Manneh: Palestinian Self-determination and the Israeli Occupation

One of the features of living in our contemporary societies is the prevalence of a certain kind of understanding of history. History is about change, discontinuity, and heterogeneity. The notion that there are deep determining structures of power or that there are certain historical constants and transhistorical truths is not something postmodern skepticism is happy Read more…

Greg Mitchell: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Atomic Testing Museum

Part I   April 23 — Judith Miller has a WMD problem. She sees them where they don’t exist. Where they did exist she tells only half the story.   Her prominent articles for The New York Times in 2002 and 2003 about alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq helped pave the way for Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Letting in the Draft?

An overstretched military? You bet. Things going terribly in Iraq? No kidding. Why only yesterday, Jill Carroll and Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor reminded us that, with 140,000 troops (and untold numbers of mercenaries) in Iraq, the Americans can’t defend a crucial six-mile stretch of highway between the two lodestars of the American Read more…

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Michael Schwartz: The Draft

After two years of intensive fighting in Iraq, the Pentagon is feeling the strain in every military muscle and has been looking for relief in just about every direction but one — the draft. All across the United States today, young people are wondering whether, sooner or later, in its increasingly airless military universe, the Read more…

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Patrick Cockburn: Killing Freely

An American patrol roared past us with the soldiers gesturing furiously with their guns for traffic to keep back on an overpass in central Baghdad. A black car with three young men in it did not stop in time and a soldier fired several shots from his machine gun into its engine. The driver and Read more…

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David Edwards: What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And Armageddon?

Do You Believe? At the beginning of every episode of the long running sci-fi series, The X-Files, viewers were shown the mysterious words "I want to believe." We were to understand that one of the FBI investigators in the show was eager to overcome his scepticism, to be persuaded that aliens, goblins and suchlike really Read more…

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George Monbiot: A Different Kind of Revolution

The people fighting the new wind farm in Cumbria have cheated and exaggerated. They appear to possess little understanding of the dangers of global warming. They are supported by an unsavoury coalition of nuclear power lobbyists and climate change deniers. But it would still be wrong to dismiss them. The Whinash project, on the edge Read more…

Jorge Martín: Venezuela ends military exchange programme with the United States

During his weekly Alo Presidente broadcast Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave an explanation of the reasons for the suspension of the bilateral military exchange programme with the United States. According to Chavez, US military advisors “were carrying out their own campaign within the military institution and this cannot be allowed”. He added that they were Read more…

Jennifer Loewenstein: The Disengaged: Gaza And The Fragmentation Of Palestinian Nationhood

I. Introduction Shortly before midnight on July 22nd, 2002 I heard an unusually loud roar from an aircraft flying low above the skies of Gaza City. Because the sound of Israeli warplanes is commonplace in the area, I didn`t feel particularly alarmed and went to sleep as usual. I was awakened less than a half Read more…

Samer Elatrash: Boycott Israel?

                   [The Association of University Teachers in Britain voted today to begin an academic boycott of two Israeli universities, Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University. They voted not to initiate a boycott of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.                   The boycotts are based on specific causes in the case of Read more…

Terry Jones: A Founding Member Of Monty Python Blasts Bush And Blair’s War On Terror

 As the daily attacks on U.S. forces and their allies in Iraq step up after a post-election lull, increasing numbers of citizens are becoming skeptical of a White House forecast for stability and a reduction in the number of American troops in the occupied nation. With suicide bombings and kidnappings an almost daily occurrence, few Read more…

Álvaro García linera: Marxism and Indigenism in Bolivia: A Dialectic of Dialogue and Conflict

On Sunday morning, April 10, 2005 I sat in the book-lined living room of Álvaro García Linera’s modest La Paz apartment and talked to the former guerrilla and political prisoner – now a mathematician and sociologist – about the Bolivian traditions of Marxism, indigenism, and the contemporary state of the Left and popular movements in Read more…

Jeff Sommers: The Contradictions of a Contrarian: Andre Gunder Frank

Among academic activists I know the two names most frequently cited for inspiring us to pursue our work are Noam Chomsky and Andre Gunder Frank. Yesterday we lost one of them in Andre Gunder Frank. Gunder must have put, literally, thousands on that path, who in turn reached perhaps millions of students in some fashion. Read more…

Duroyan Fertl: Ecuador: People Drive Out President

After four months of mounting political pressure and constitutional crisis, the people of Ecuador have driven President Lucio Gutierrez from office. In the face of unstoppable mass protest, and growing calls for the dissolution of Congress and establishment of popular assemblies, Ecuador’s right-wing Congress abandoned Gutierrez, leaving vice-president Alfredo Palacio to assume the role. Gutierrez Read more…

Ben Gregory: Contesting neo-liberalism in Nicaragua

Don Carlos was in full stride. “We have oranges, limes, lemons, sweet lemons, sour lemons, sweet and sour lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, naranjella, pomelo.” He pointed at the trees shading the coffee bushes. “All 60 citrus fruits adapt themselves to grow here. And we’ve got cacao, and twenty five varieties of avocado, all with a unique Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Iraq ‘Uptick,’ Superpower Downtick?

Quote of the month (November, 1967)   “In November, as their plans gelled, General Westmoreland embarked on a whirlwind tour of the U.S. to testify before Congress and drum up support for the Johnson Administration. ‘With 1968,’ he said, speaking before the National Press Club in Washington, ‘a new phase is starting … we have Read more…

Alison Weir: New York Times Distortions

A little over a week ago, some members of our organization, If Americans Knew, met with New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent to discuss the findings of a detailed study we had completed of two years worth of Times news stories on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Okrent was going to be writing a column discussing Read more…

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Andrej Grubacic: A Talk on Anarchism and The Left

I would like to start with a famous remark by Theodor W. Adorno. Anarchism is, as Adorno noted in the famous essay, nothing more but the “return of the ghost”. I agree with Adorno although the explanation I would like to offer is slightly different. If Anarchism is the “return of a ghost,” as Adorno Read more…

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Marie Trigona: Another Attack on Zanon Occupied Factory

The workers of Zanon and other social organizations mobilized in front of the central courthouse on April 21 to defend their factory against mounting attacks. At a moment when the courts and government must make a “political and legal decision” concerning the ceramics factory that has been producing under worker control since 2001 – legal Read more…

Cleto Sojo: Venezuelan Media

Venezuela’s Communications and Information Minister Andres Izarra, dismissed accusations made in The Washington Post newspaper, about the persecution of journalists and censorship of the press by the Venezuelan government. In an article titled “Chavez’s Censorship, Where ‘Disrespect’ Can Land You in Jail,” published on March 28, Post columnist Jackson Diehl asserted that “beginning this month Read more…

Mukoma Ngugi: Kenya

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir – “I Have A Dream” – Martin Luther King Jr. Background A constitution serves the simultaneous roles of laying the framework that will Read more…

Zia Mian: American Domination is in Trouble

In 1997, a group of conservative American politicians, academics and policy brokers announced ‘The Project for a New American Century’. The line up reads like a who’s who of important players in the Bush administration since 2001. There is vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Lewis Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff), Paul Wolfowitz, formerly Read more…

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Ramzy Baroud: US Middle East Policy: Heedless But Unequivocal

There are no conspiracies to dissect, no hidden agendas to sort through and no oblique language to skillfully decode: the Bush administration’s position on illegal Jewish colonies in the occupied Palestinian territories is crystal clear. President George W. Bush did all of us a great favour when he once more articulated his stance on the Read more…

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Glen Ford: Black Caucus Losing Cohesion

The corporate Right has succeeded in establishing a ‘coalition of the willing’ within the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), as shown by last week’s votes on bankruptcy and estate tax legislation. The defection of ten of 41 voting CBC members to the Republicans on bankruptcy, and eight on repeal of the estate tax signals that corporate-controlled Read more…

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Paul Street: “The Nuclear Option” and the One Party State

America’s wacky right wing party and political system doesn’t get much worse than this. Tomorrow, the Republican United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) will appear on a national evangelical Christian television show that depicts Democrats as against religious believers. Frist’s remarks will appear as part of a “Justice Sunday” telecast titled “The Filibuster Read more…

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Justin Podur: Will people power have a chance in Colombia?

Yesterday (April 22), as the attacks on their communities continue to intensify, the indigenous communities of Northern Cauca, specifically Toribio and now Jambalo, convoked an assembly in the main city of the region, Santander de Quilichao. Supporters of the movement came, on very short notice, from different parts of the country, to affirm the indigenous Read more…

Ed Vulliamy: Doing It For Tom: Mr Keys Takes On The Prime Minister

By tradition, an incumbent prime minister – when time comes for re-election – faces a miscellany of Monster Raving Loonies and hapless candidates from the other major parties. Tony Blair is now up against no less than 14 rivals for his Labour fortress of Sedgefield. But this time around, with so much hanging on Mr Read more…

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Andrew J. Bacevich: New Boys in Town

In our own time — and especially since the ascendancy of George W. Bush to the presidency — “neoconservative” has become a term of opprobrium, frequently accompanied by ad hominem attacks and charges of arrogance and hubris. But the heat generated by the term also stands as a backhanded tribute, an acknowledgment that the neoconservative Read more…

China labour bulletin: Striking Shenzhen Workers at Japanese-owned Wal-Mart Supplier Firm Demand Right to Unionize

[In recent weeks, a number of protests directed against Japan have erupted throughout China. The most widely reported have been sparked by anger at new Japanese school textbooks that elide discussion of World War II atrocities, by territorial conflicts over the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islands, and by the Japanese bid for a permanent Security Council seat. Participants Read more…

James Cagan: Iraqi Legislators Denounce Us Assault On Assembly Member

An incident on Tuesday graphically illustrated the real relationship that exists between the US military forces in Iraq and the newly-elected, so-called “sovereign” Iraqi national assembly. At a vehicle checkpoint controlling the entrance to the “Green Zone” compound where the assembly’s building is located, a US army private threw an assembly member’s identity card in Read more…

Andrew Gumbel: Ecuador’s Parliament Removes President After Popular Uprising

Ecuador’s embattled president Lucio Gutierrez was unexpectedly thrown out of office yesterday after a week-long popular uprising in Quito and other cities in which he was accused of attempting to cling to power through dictatorial means. An extraordinary session of Ecuador’s parliament, which convened amid the shouted slogans of tens of thousands of protesters in Read more…

Barbara Mcmahon: Italian Pm Bows To Pressure To Resign

Silvio Berlusconi resigned as prime minister of Italy yesterday but pledged to form a government with a new programme in an attempt to resolve the political crisis that has engulfed him. The 69-year-old leader was forced into the move as a way of holding together his faltering four-way conservative coalition, which was threatening to collapse Read more…

Dave Wearing: Blessed are the poor in spirit

When Joseph Ratzinger, the man who will be Pope Benedict XVI, is described as conservative, we should remind ourselves of what he would be conservative in relation to. The Pope is the supreme leader of an ancient and powerful hierarchy dedicated to the strict enforcement of a two-millennia-old religious dogma. In this case conservative means Read more…

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Andrew J. Bacevich: The Normalization of War

At the end of the Cold War, Americans said yes to military power. The skepticism about arms and armies that pervaded the American experiment from its founding, vanished. Political leaders, liberals and conservatives alike, became enamored with military might.   The ensuing affair had and continues to have a heedless, Gatsby-like aspect, a passion pursued Read more…

Derrick z. Jackson: The Catholic Church Steps Backwards

With the election of Joseph Ratzinger to be Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church is not joining the 21st century anytime soon. After all the speculation that it was time for a pope from a developing country and after the debate of whether the conclave of cardinals would pick someone who would build bridges toward Read more…

Tim Anderson: Imperial ‘transition’ And Human Rights

Amidst the many monstrous human rights abuses in the world, most of them committed by imperial armies, the United Nations has recently chosen to focus on Cuba. At issue has been about 70 Cubans who were arrested and jailed in 2003. These people (variously called ‘dissidents’, ‘independent journalists’, and even labelled ‘prisoners of conscience’ by Read more…

Aasim Sajjad: Politics at the frontline

After the geo-political upheaval following September 11th, interest in Pakistan and its political economy has heightened in the first world. The corporate media has predictably heaped praise upon Pakistan’s army (effectively the ruling class), and made somewhat of a liberal icon out of General Pervez Musharraf. Just as predictably, radical Islam has been depicted as Read more…

David Mcneill: Japan and China Battle over History

Sino-Japanese relations sunk to a new low on the weekend of April 9-10 when an estimated 10-20,000 Chinese protestors surrounded the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, pelting it with missiles and shouting “Japanese pigs come out” and “Be ashamed of distorting history.” Thousands more vented their rage in other parts of the capital and in Guangzhou, Read more…

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Michael Albert: WTO, Globalization, and Alternatives

Q: Michael, the WTO is set to come to Hong Kong for its next ministerial in December 2005. Could you describe briefly just what the WTO is, and also the process of ‘globalization’ that it fits into? MA: The WTO is an international organization whose purpose is to govern trade and more general exchange norms Read more…

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George Monbiot: Signal Your Opposition

Michael Howard could not have done a better job of proving people like me wrong. He has missed no opportunity to demonstrate that, however much they agree on economic, foreign and defence policy, there is still a real difference between Labour and Conservative. His campaigns against Gypsies and asylum seekers, his ghoulish opportunism in hijacking Read more…

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Sasha Lilley: Meat Packer’s Union on the Chopping Block

The Tyson Fresh Meats beef slaughter and processing facility in Pasco, Washington is an industrial tower of Babel. Fifteen hundred workers from Mexico, Bosnia, Vietnam, and other far-flung countries, labor elbow-to-elbow along the plant’s disassembly lines, cutting off heads, legs, and hooves, and skinning the enormous cattle carcasses. The bodies are then carried along by Read more…

Suadi sulaiman Laweueng: Aceh Seperatist Leader

Suadi Sulaiman Laweueng is the Free Aceh Movement’s (GAM) spokesperson for the Pidie regency in north Aceh, and he spoke to Green Left Weekly about the struggle in Aceh. The interview was translated by James Balowski. Can you explain the situation there? The conditions on the ground are indeed extremely repressive. Every single civilian has become Read more…

Igor Volsky: Uncle Sam Would Be a Good Used Car Salesman

Progressive policy critics and moderate government insiders have long cautioned against a sustained American presence in the Middle East. American encroachment, they warn, radicalizes young Muslim fundamentalists and substantiates Bin Laden’s message of religious Jihad. Administration officials dismiss these critics publicly (although rare words of candor do sometimes escape—CIA Chief Goss admitted that the Iraqi Read more…

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