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Justin Podur: A Dishonest Case for a Coup

[Note: This is a rejoinder to Michael Deibert’s reply to Podur’s review] I reviewed Michael Deibert’s book in an article titled "Kofi Annan’s Haiti" in New Left Review (NLR 37, Jan-Feb 2006). That review summarized Deibert’s book and its major flaws, while providing some relevant context and a picture of Haiti since the February 2004 Read more…

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Tariq Ali: This Is The Real Outrage

The latest round of culture wars does neither side any good. The western civilisational fundamentalists insist on seeing Muslims as the other – different, alien and morally evil. Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons in bad faith. Their aim was not to engage in debate but to provoke, and they succeeded. The same newspaper declined to print Read more…

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John Hepburn: Creating An Ecological, Worker Run Co-operative

Since 1998, Reverse Garbage Co-op has been diverting re-useable materials away from landfills and making them available at low cost to the local community. It has an annual turnover of around $300,000 per annum, employs 5-6 people, and is financially self- sustaining. It operates as a not-for-profit worker managed co-operative with a flat organisational structure. Read more…

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Amira Hass: Israel cuts Jordan Rift from rest of West Bank

While the international community busied itself with the disengagement from the Gaza Strip last summer, Israel completed another cut-off process, which went unnoticed; In 2005, Israel completed a process of sealing off the eastern sector of the West Bank, including the Jordan Rift Valley, from the remainder of the West Bank. Some 2,000,000 Palestinians, residents Read more…

Michael Deibert: Reply to Justin Podur

[This is in reply to Podur’s review of Deibert’s book, originally published in NLR. Podur’s rejoinder to this reply is here.] I read with interest Justin Podur´s review of my book, Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti (Seven Stories Press). Knowing the recent nature of Mr. Podur´s interest in Haiti (he first Read more…

Anthony Fenton: Left, Right, Left, Right: Running off With Haiti’s Democracy

If Haiti’s elites and their foreign backers are able to “sell” the Haiti election runoff to the international public, a significant milestone will have been achieved. Every Presidential election since the fall of ‘baby Doc’ has been won in a landslide victory for either Jean Bertrand Aristide or Rene Preval, with support from Haiti’s popular Read more…

Ike Nahem: Latin American Political Realities, Cuba, and US Politics Today

The political truth we face today is that there has never been-since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959-a greater possibility to change the dynamic of US-Cuban relations and force an end, or at least a major weakening and destabilization, of Washington’s economic war against Cuba. Why is this? First, for nearly Read more…

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Carl Bloice: Bigotry On The Loose

It wasn’t Copenhagen, it was Washington and something that transpired there recently was ugly and more than a little frightening. Bigotry was on the loose. It wasn’t covered much by the country’s major media, and those that did cover it seem to have missed a critical piece of the story which was reported by slate.com Read more…

Jordan Flaherty: Imprisoned in New Orleans

When hurricane Katrina hit, there was no evacuation plan for 7,000 prisoners in the New Orleans city jail, generally known as Orleans Parish Prison (OPP), or the approximate 1,500 prisoners in nearby jails. According to first-hand accounts gathered by advocates, prisoners were abandoned in their cells while the water was rising around them. They were Read more…

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Brian Tokar: WTO vs. Europe: Less-and Also More-Than it Seems

In the late Spring of 2003, amidst the political fallout of “Old Europe’s” refusal to support the US invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration threw down a gauntlet that threatened to permanently aggravate transatlantic hostilities. As a political favor to its agribusiness allies in the Midwestern farm belt, the administration filed a complaint with the Read more…

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Mark Weisbrot: Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small Central American country of four million people that – unlike its neighbors El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua during their bloody civil wars – has never attracted much attention in the United States, except as a destination for tourists and retirees. But last Sunday’s election there should serve as another wake-up Read more…

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Andrej Grubacic: The Departure of the Balkan Clouseau1

In ancient times and during the middle ages, enlightened people spoke de mortuis nihil nisi bene – nothing ill of the dead. This polite habit can be explained by the fact that the middle ages saw nothing of the Ibrahim Rugova phenomenon. Reporter Gojko Beric, of the Sarajevo paper Oslobodjenje, himself prone to historical reflection, Read more…

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Dick Meister: UC’s Quest For The Best, Brightest – And Greediest

Scandalous. Outrageous. Astounding. Brazen. Pick your adjective. The sky-high and often secret spending of University of California administrators on each other’s salaries and other compensation is all that and probably more. But finally the State Legislature is paying serious attention – and finally may try to do something about it. Republican Assemblyman Jeff Denham of Salinas, Read more…

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George Monbiot: A Good Model for a Mugging

From the hubbub surrounding the privatisation of the British government’s defence research service – Qinetiq – last week, one statement stopped me dead. Lord Drayson, the minister for defence procurement, asserted that it was a “good model for future privatisations”(1). Three things hit me. The first was that Lord Drayson is minister for defence procurement. Read more…

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Amy Goodman: “i Am A Renegade, An Outlaw, A Pagan”

AMY GOODMAN: This is an excerpt of my on-stage interview with Alice Walker. AMY GOODMAN: I was just saying to Alice that I think one of the last times that I saw her was right before the invasion. It was International Women’s Day, March 8, 2003. She was standing in front of the White House Read more…

Mahmood Mamdani: The Political Uses of Free Speech

I empathize with those baffled by the rapidly spiraling controversy around the series of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad.   The cartoons were first published in the Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, nearly five months ago, in September. The initial protest was limited to Denmark‘s Muslim minority but was brushed off by both government and civil society. This Read more…

Brian Concannon: Counting Some of the Votes in Haiti

[Note: Rene Preval was declared the winner on Feb 16, 2006, but this analysis remains an important record – ZNet]. Haiti’s elections on February 7 went well enough that the post-election vote counting should have been uncontroversial.  The turnout was huge, there was almost no violence, and the people’s choice was so clear that the second place Read more…

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Tom Engelhardt: Can You Say ‘Permanent Bases’?

We’re in a new period in the war in Iraq — one that brings to mind the Nixonian era of “Vietnamization”: A President presiding over an increasingly unpopular war that won’t end; an election bearing down; the need to placate a restive American public; and an army under so much strain that it seems to Read more…

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John Gibler: Who’s Not Listening

The Los Angeles Times article “Masked Marxist, With Marimbas” (January 23, 2006) describes the Zapatistas’ Other Campaign like a bizarre provincial circus. By excluding information, using delegitimizing descriptive terms, and creating inaccurate and false characterizations, the Los Angeles Times reporters and editors strip the politics from the Other Campaign and convert it into a cartoonish Read more…

Siddharth Varadarajan: Perils of 3-Way Security Cooperation

THIS WEEK, the chief of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force — a well-equipped and robust navy that is still shy about calling itself by its proper name — will arrive in India to kick off a series of the most intensive high-level military and security-related contacts the two countries will have had to date. Admiral Takashi Read more…

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Nick Turse: The Bureaucracy Strikes Back

In the first installment of this series, I offered 42 names to begin what now seems an endless — and ever-growing — list of top officials as well as beleaguered administrators, managers, and career civil servants who quit their government posts in protest or were ridiculed, defamed, threatened, fired, forced out, demoted, or driven to Read more…

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Ilan Pappe: Occupation Hazard

Why is the history of modern Palestine such a matter of debate? Why is it still regarded as a complex, indeed obscure, chapter in contemporary history that cannot be easily deciphered? Any abecedarian student of its past who comes to it with clean hands would immediately recognize that in fact its story is very simple. Read more…

Anon: Turkish Dissent

In countries where military service is compulsory and understood and fulfilled as a “national duty” and where there is no social opposition, it is really hard for anyone to declare “I want to use my right to not to be armed”, especially when you are a homosexual. In Turkey, men are held “exempt” from the Read more…

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John Gibler: Who’s Not Listening

The Los Angeles Times article “Masked Marxist, With Marimbas” (January 23, 2006) describes the Zapatistas’ Other Campaign like a bizarre provincial circus. By excluding information, using delegitimizing descriptive terms, and creating inaccurate and false characterizations, the Los Angeles Times reporters and editors strip the politics from the Other Campaign and convert it into a cartoonish Read more…

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Patrick Bond: Municipal elections won’t appease furious South Africans

The run-up to March 1 elections for 284 South African city, town and district councils provides a good opportunity to review the state of social struggle, and the character of neoliberalism. The ruling African National Congress will win the vast majority of seats given the lack of left electoral opposition. An ANC vow that half Read more…

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Boris Kagarlitsky: Slavs Put Up Their Dukes

The dispute was short but bitter. As it celebrated the new year, Russian society did not notice that on the morning of Jan. 1 it had been drawn into the biggest foreign affairs conflict since the end of the Cold War. The Kremlin knew in advance that Ukraine was unable to pay for gas at Read more…

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Devinder Sharma: Indian Villages For Sale

Harkishanpura is a non-descript village in Bathinda district of Punjab in northwestern India. It suddenly made its way into news when in an unprecedented move the village panchayat announced that the village was up for sale. That was in Jan 2001. Since than five more villages in Punjab – in the midst of the food Read more…

Adel Safty: Manipulating the Evidence to Start a War

Last November, the US Senate Intelligence Committee was pressured by the Democrats to commence the long-delayed investigation of whether the Bush administration had deliberately distorted the intelligence to justify the Iraq war.   A growing body of evidence, however, is already showing that the Bush administration manipulated the evidence to bolster support for its planned Read more…

Tim Redmond: Merger Mania

The merger between the nation’s two largest alternative newspaper chains was finally consummated Jan. 31, and the very next day, Mike Lacey, the new owner of the Village Voice, was in New York City giving the staff the facts of life. Lacey met with Voice staffers Feb. 1, and, according to sources who were present Read more…

Carolina Cositore: Reporters Without Britches

What’s in a name? The assumption of the cachet Reporters Without Borders twenty years ago, in conscious parody of the then above reproach international humanitarian Doctors Without Borders, certainly lent Robert Menard’s group more  than a touch of automatic respectability from the get-go. The appellation gave the group acceptance as an unbiased investigative human rights organization Read more…

Matthew Rothschild: VA Nurse Investigated for ‘Sedition’ for Criticizing Bush

Laura Berg is a clinical nurse specialist at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, where she has worked for 15 years.   Shortly after Katrina, she wrote a letter to the editor of the weekly paper the Alibi criticizing the Bush Administration.   After the paper published the letter in its September 15-21 issue, VA Read more…

Simon maxwell Apter: Hey, Kids: Spying Is Fun!

Move over, McGruff. The trench-coated canine mascot of the National Crime Prevention Council has some youthful competition in the battle for the hearts and minds of America’s children. Now in virtual training on the website of the National Security Agency are the CryptoKids, the code-makers and code-breakers of America’s future.   The NSA, based at Read more…

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Katha Pollitt: Betty Friedan, 1921-2006

Betty Friedan is dead at 85–a brilliant, pugnacious woman who lived a big life and wrote a big book, a book that helped change our world, in every way for the better. The far-right magazine Human Events knew what it was doing when it put The Feminine Mystique on its list of the Ten Most Read more…

William Underwood: Mitsubishi, Historical Revisionism and Japanese Corporate Resistance to Chinese Forced Labor Redress

Just as Nazi Germany did in Europe during World War II, Imperial Japan made extensive use of forced labor across the vast area of the Asia Pacific it once occupied. Today, however, Japan’s government and corporations are dealing with the legacy of wartime forced labor very differently than their German counterparts.   This article examines Read more…

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Saul Landau: Munich And The Hamas Electoral Victory

How does Steven Spielberg’s Munich relate to Hamas’ recent electoral victory? Israel presents this organization as the epitome of Palestinian terrorism. This caricature could lead Washington to deny aid to the Palestinian people Munich starts with the recreation of the 1972 kidnapping and slaughter of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. The Palestinian Read more…

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Dick Meister: The Day Seattle Stood Still

It was 87 years ago this month. It was in Seattle: “Street car gongs ceased their clamor. Newsboys cast their unsold papers into the streets. From the doors of mill and factory, store and workshop, streamed 65,000 working men. School children with fear in their hearts hurried homeward.  The lifestream of a great city stopped.” Read more…

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Michael Albert: Campus Concerns

Editors: What can we learn from movements on college campuses in the past? Albert: It is a very large question that can’t be answered in anything but very broad strokes in a short interview. That said, I think we can learn quite a lot about organizing techniques and problems, things like the need to address Read more…

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Michael Albert: Realize Some Hope

Dear Fellow ZNet Sustainer, Here is where I abuse my position as a ZNet Commentator to write an open letter to you as my commentary. Well, I guess it isn’t exactly abusing it – any commentator can do it, not just me. And I will send two commentaries today, so this replaces nothing. At any Read more…

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John Pilger: The Next War — Crossing The Rubicon

Has Tony Blair, the minuscule Caesar, finally crossed his Rubicon? Having subverted the laws of the civilised world and brought carnage to a defenceless people and bloodshed to his own, having lied and lied and used the death of a hundredth British soldier in Iraq to indulge his profane self-pity, is he about to collude Read more…

: The Ultimate Chicken Joke

Late last year, Senator Bill Frist told the National Press Club that, according to a study by the Congressional Budget Office, bird flu could cost the United States $675 billion in economic damage. This count and amount assumes that 30% of the nation will be stricken by a disease that has thus far proved lethal Read more…

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Gareth Porter: Fear of U.S. Drove Iran’s Nuclear Policy

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (IPS) — The George W. Bush administration’s adoption of a policy of threatening to use military force against Iran disregarded a series of official intelligence estimates going back many years that consistently judged Iran’s fear of a U.S. attack to be a major motivating factor in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Two Read more…

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Michael T. Klare: The Permanent Energy Crisis

President Bush’s State of the Union comment that the United States is “addicted to oil” can be read as pure political opportunism. With ever more Americans expressing anxiety about high oil prices, freakish weather patterns, and abiding American ties to unsavory foreign oil potentates, it is hardly surprising that Bush sought to portray himself as Read more…

David Mcneill: Enemies of the State:

Japanese democracy took a large step backwards with the arrest and conviction of three people for posting antiwar fliers.   Is Obora Toshiyuki a threat to society? The Japanese state certainly seems to think so. The police arrested the bespectacled, 47-year-old elementary school worker, interrogated him in grueling five-hour stretches and held him in detention Read more…

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Justin Podur: Kofi Annan’s Haiti

In the vast corrugated-iron shanty town of Cité Soleil, home to quarter of a million people, all the schools are shut down and the one hospital closed. White armoured UN personnel carriers patrol the perimeter, half a dozen blue-helmeted heads poking out of the turret, automatic weapons trained on the streets. It is the masked Read more…

Anisha Desai: Coretta Scott King’s Passing Reminds Us All To Address Racial Inequality

Every politician, every news anchor and every newspaper eulogized Coretta Scott King after her January 30 death, praising her commitment to civil rights. But how much attention did we pay to Mrs. King’s words and actions when she was alive? Must it only be upon the passing of our iconic leaders that we pause to Read more…

Nathan Rao: An Impressive Achievement

I left Montreal on Sunday evening feeling positively giddy about the founding convention of the Québec Solidaire party (PQS), a new left-wing party that enters the fray with more than 4000 members and strong roots in Quebec’s wide array of social movements and Left political traditions. I was impressed by the tone of the event Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Those Danish Cartoons

So now it’s cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed with a bomb-shaped turban. Ambassadors are withdrawn from Denmark, Gulf nations clear their shelves of Danish produce, Gaza gunmen threaten the European Union. In Denmark, Fleming Rose, the “culture” editor of the pip-squeak newspaper which published these silly cartoons–last September, for heaven’s sake–announces that we are witnessing Read more…

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Russell Mokhiber: Of Snowboarders And Corporations

What’s the most powerful and underutilized legal tool in combating corporate crime and violence? Sarbanes Oxley? No. The Martin Act? No. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? No. The antitrust laws? Clearly not. No, the most powerful and underutilized tool in combating corporate crime and violence is the law in your state making it a crime Read more…

Prachanda: People’s War to Competitive Democracy

Bespectacled and greying, 52-year-old Prachanda looks and sounds distinctly professorial. His measured tone and quiet demeanour bear no resemblance to the fearsome descriptions propagated by his royalist detractors. When I met up with him at an undisclosed location, he spoke for more than an hour-and-a-half on a wide range of topics concerning the situation in Read more…

Laura Wiens: Popular Communication in Honduras

       Cramped inside a small concrete studio, a gaggle of teenagers stand around the mixing board and prepare for the broadcast. One boy rewinds a fresh interview with a local elder, another fiddles with the sound levels while a third reads community notices and greetings into the microphone, selecting among the dozens that have been Read more…

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