Hello

flags

Welcome to ZCommunications. The site has ZNet and ZMag content, topic and place pages under the Focuses link in the top menu - reading lists and whole books, debates, interviews, multimedia, Blogs, comments, a Store, a Sustainer program and more.

Relating to Z

To participate more deeply and generally in ZCommunications, please become a Sustainer. Sustainers who log in will see "+ New" in the black band at the top. Use that to add a blog post. Sustainers can comment on all content! Sustainers, please also upload a photo, using options in the left menu for "Your Account." There you can also change your settings, etc.

You can Help Z in many ways, one time donations, becoming a Sustainer, using our Store, etc. Just click Help Z.

If you have ideas or problems please send them to sysop@zmag.org

 

All Content Types

Stefan Eklöf: PIRACY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: REAL MENACE OR RED HERRING?

Counting Piracy   Over the past 25 years piracy and armed robbery against vessels have become a growing concern for the shipping industry and the international community. Since 1984, when the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations started to collect information about acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels, close to 4,000 such Read more…

avatar
Denis Vericel: Post-Colonial Petrol-Politics in Africa’s Last Colony

 Salim’s story is not unique in the Western Sahara.  In 1975, most of Salim’s family, including his father – a well-known fighter in the independence movement – fled to Algeria with thousands of other Western Saharans.  That was the year that Spain abandoned its Saharan colony to Morocco without consulting the wishes of the indigenous Read more…

avatar
Ben Dangl: What is the U.S. Military Doing in Paraguay?

The U.S. military is conducting secretive operations in Paraguay and reportedly building a new base there. Human rights groups and military analysts in the region believe trouble is brewing. However, the U.S. embassy in Paraguay denies the base exists and describes the military activity as routine. According to an article in the Bolivian newspaper, El Read more…

Daniel Sturm: Ohio’s Abu Ghraib

Before becoming an Ohio State Penitentiary physician, Dr. Ayham Haddad experienced a different side of incarceration as a political prisoner in Syria. After being arrested, tortured, and released, Haddad immigrated to the United States to begin a new life. Now a general practitioner at Ohio’s only supermax, located off state Route 616 in Youngstown, Haddad Read more…

Girish Mishra: On Disinvestment in India

The process of disinvestment means selling off partially or wholly the assets of state owned undertakings to private sector. Obviously, private sector comes to influence or fully control the management and production decisions of the firms concerned. It was first witnessed in Japan in the nineteenth century. After the Meiji Restoration, the state set up Read more…

avatar
Ramzy Baroud: Just Who’s Emboldening Terrorism?

Since the onset of the Bush administration’s ill-defined mission and subsequent “long, long war on terror”, the American people, even the whole world, have fallen victim to an utterly flawed, yet barely contested voice of reason. Despite the Vietnam-like debacle in Iraq, in which the US administration has willfully immersed the nation, fallacious logic continues Read more…

Amee Chew: Framed Out

Three years ago, the Women of Color Resource Center released a statement about the War on Terror that’s still relevant: “Women, Raise Your Voices!” They listed ten reasons for opposing the War on Terror, chosen to illustrate the gendered effects of militarism and imperialism. Today, deep into the quagmire of the unjust and brutal occupation Read more…

avatar
Milan Rai: Saudi Arabia Under The Spotlight

With the death of King Fahd, Saudi Arabia is the main topic of discussion in today’s newspapers. Below we fill in some of the gaps in the British coverage. THE WAHHABI-SAUDI CONNECTION The central fact of Saudi Arabia is the merger between the ruling al-Sa’ud family and the harsh Wahhabi version of Islam. This is Read more…

Bruce Shapiro: The Stakes in Roberts’s Nomination

Judge John Roberts is a white male who has spent his entire adult life in Washington. Those facts themselves mean nothing, but they do beg a question: What could be so compelling about Judge Roberts as a Supreme Court candidate that the White House was willing to forswear all claims on ethnic diversity and all Read more…

avatar
Tim Wise: Faith of the Faithless

As a child reared in the very buckle of America’s Bible belt, I can clearly remember hearing people speak of how Jesus was “in their hearts,” and was the cornerstone of their lives. Coming from most, the sincerity with which such proclamations were made was touching, even if I, as a Jew (and for a Read more…

Chris Christensen: A Young Man’s Death

[Introduction by Tom Engelhardt: I’m too old for the typical website with lots of posted back-and-forth commentary. So the Tomdispatch e-mail box is — and often I regret this — normally my own private adventure. I’m regularly amazed by the letters that come in, many encouraging, some stunningly thoughtful (often with striking turns of phrase), Read more…

Emanuel Pastreich: The Balancer:

The President of the Republic of Korea is unique as a politician in the media age, both in embracing the potential of the Internet and refusing to pander to the sound bite. He spends hours on-line each week promoting his vision of e-government. The website of the Cheong Wa Dae presidential residence, the Korean equivalent Read more…

Yoshibumi Wakamiya: Nuclear Weapons, Suicide Bombers, and the Danger of Swarming Human Locusts

On the afternoon of Aug. 7, 1945, the Imperial Headquarters in Tokyo made the following announcement: (1) “Yesterday, Aug. 6, Hiroshima was attacked by a small number of enemy B29s and suffered severe damage.”, and (2) “While it appears that the enemy used a new type bomb for the aforementioned attack, we are currently looking Read more…

David Mcneill: Freedom of the Press U.S. Style on Okinawa

Why did the US Military prevent Okinawa’s two largest newspapers from covering one of its ceremonies? Revenge says the newspapers; tactics says the military. On April 1st, journalists from the Okinawa Times and the Ryukyu Shimpo were stunned to learn that they would not be allowed to participate with other media covering the return of Read more…

avatar
Doug Ireland: Restoring Pasolini

Ostia, the harbor city of ancient Rome, is noted for its ruins of temples, baths and palaces, constructed in the centuries before Christ, which dot its sprawling landscape. It was on a deserted vacant lot, hard by an obsolete seaplane base in Ostia just 20 miles from modern Rome, that the mutilated, bloody body of Read more…

avatar
Peter Hayes: South Korea’s Power Play at the Six-Party Talks

By Peter Hayes, David von Hippel, Jungmin Kang, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Richard Tanter, and Scott Bruce   The participants at the six-party talks should consider the full scope of activities needed to implement the South Korean scheme; that they should explore an alternative approach that would link the Russian and South Korean grids, thereby achieving the Read more…

avatar
Cynthia Peters: WASP Values and Political Work

At a recent funeral of an African American family member, people took turns standing up to eulogize him. But they didn’t stand up alone. There was always one person, sometimes two, at their side, the assumption being that they might not be able to stand there alone. They might need someone to hold them up. Read more…

Norm Dixon: Hiroshima And Nagasaki: Worst Terror Attacks In History

August 6 and August 9 will mark the 60th anniversaries of the US atomic-bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Hiroshima, an estimated 80,000 people were killed in a split second. Some 13 square kilometres of the city was obliterated. By December, at least another 70,000 people had died from radiation Read more…

avatar
Kim Scipes: AFL-CIO Foreign Policy:

As one who has written a number of articles about the struggle to transform AFL-CIO foreign policy into genuine international labor solidarity and to pass the "Build Unity and Trust Among Workers Worldwide" resolution at the recent AFL-CIO National Convention in Chicago as part of this larger effort, I thought I would post a final Read more…

avatar
John Pilger: Fascism Then And Now

We gathered, the other day, at the International Brigades’ Memorial in Jubilee Park beside the Thames in London. It was warm with no breeze, “a Spanish day”, one of the Brigaders said. Like the others, all in their eighties and older, he took shelter in the shade and rested on his walking stick. He wore Read more…

avatar
Dick Meister: The NLRA At 70: A Promise Not Kept

This year marks the 70th anniversary of National Labor Relations Act, the Depression-era law that was ­ and still is ­ essential to the well-being of working Americans. But hold the applause, please. It¹s not celebration that¹s wanted. It¹s reform. The NLRA granted the right of unionization to workers who until then had very few Read more…

avatar
Milan Rai: Why? Iraq

BLAIR CHANGES HIS LINE After weeks of denying that there was any link between the ongoing war in Iraq and the London bombings, Prime Minister Tony Blair was forced on 26 July to admit that the occupation of Iraq is used by al Qaeda to recruit new bombers. UK MAJORITY BELIEVES IN LINK The Guardian Read more…

avatar
Justin Podur: Removing the Accidental Protection

What is behind the Gaza ‘disengagement plan’? It has been spelled out clearly enough by Ariel Sharon’s own advisor, Dov Weisglass, in an often-quoted Ha’aretz interview about ‘freezing’ the peace process in ‘formaldehyde’. Palestinian activist and commentator Azmi Bishara stated it like this: The plan is one package containing the dismantling of settlements in Gaza Read more…

Eric Hobsbawm: Retreat of the Male

The family is a subject on which, for obvious reasons, there is no shortage of public or private views. Google records 368 million items under the word ‘family’, as against a mere 170 million under ‘war’. All governments have tried to encourage or discourage procreation and passed laws about human coupling and decoupling. All the Read more…

Jim Lobe: Dating Cheney’s Nuclear Drumbeat

In the wake of the release of the Downing Street Memo, there has been much talk about how the Bush administration “fixed” its intelligence to create a war fever in the U.S. in the many months leading up to the invasion of Iraq. What still remains to be fully grasped, however, is the wider pattern Read more…

avatar
Andre Vltchek: Colonia Dignidad In Chile – Fall Of The “gods”

Some 350 kilometers from Santiago de Chile a highway cuts through the humble agricultural town of Parral, a place where one of the greatest poets of the 20th century – Pablo Neruda – was born. One can exit there; then take a narrow picturesque country road straight towards the Andes and to the hot springs Read more…

Guest Author: Edge of Sports

In High School, I was a 5′ 10″ inch center for the fearsome Friends Seminary Quakers in New York City. It wasn’t pretty, but I lived for it and didn’t care if the opposing center could spit on my head. I just loved sports. My walls were shrines to Magic Johnson, Lawrence Taylor, and Keith Read more…

avatar
Uri Avnery: The Moment of Truth

At this moment, Israel resembles a patient before an operation. Like every major operation, it is dangerous. The patient hopes that everything will go well, but knows that there is no guarantee.   In 16 days, the evacuation of 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and four in the north of the West Bank is Read more…

Yoshiko Nozaki: The ‘Comfort Women’ Controversy: History and Testimony

  [A] conference of historians, psychoanalysts, and artists, gathered to reflect on the relation of education to the Holocaust, watched the videotaped testimony of the woman in an attempt to better understand the era. A lively debate ensued. The testimony was not accurate, historians claimed. The number of chimneys was misrepresented. Historically, only one chimney Read more…

Sheila miyoshi Jager: Re-writing the Past/ Re-Claiming the Future

The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 led to one of history’s worst atrocities. Known as the Taejon massacre, an estimated 5000 to 7500 civilian deaths have been attributed to a single incident committed by the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) in late September 1950. The incident, described as “worthy of being recorded Read more…

avatar
Tom Engelhardt: Making Sense of the Plame Affair

Oh what a tangled web we weaveWhen we first practice to deceive…   I’ve written regularly about the media’s inability to connect the dots. The other day a reporter out in the far-flung reaches of our imperium wrote in to Tomdispatch pointing to a front-paged dot that no one — myself included — had bothered Read more…

avatar
Doug Ireland: The Controversy Over The Iranian “Gay” Hangings

The report on the hanging of two Iranian teenagers  for being gay, the controversies surrounding the initial reports, and the way in which the story has evolved illustrate a number of problems which should concern sentient gay and lesbian people here in the U.S. Gay people in American culture are not exempt from the self-centeredness Read more…

avatar
Norman Solomon: In Praise of Kevin Benderman

Conscience is not in the chain of command. “Before being sentenced to 15 months for refusing to return to Iraq with his Army unit, Sgt. Kevin Benderman told a military judge that he acted with his conscience, not out of a disregard for duty,” the Associated Press reports. Benderman, a 40-year-old Army mechanic, “refused to Read more…

Paul Rogat Loeb: Speaking Truth To Roberts

From the moment the John Roberts nomination was announced, the media called it a done deal. NPR and the New York Times gushed over his humility, humor, and congeniality. With Roberts’s belief system barely mentioned, you’d think Bush had just nominated Mister Rogers. In the wake of this media love fest, I keep encountering people Read more…

Steven Hill: Reforming the Supreme Court Appointment Process

Should U.S. Supreme Court justices serve life terms? This is a question that is raised whenever there is a vacancy on the Court. At 50 years of age, Judge John Roberts, President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, could serve for decades. Perhaps more than any single factor, this “until death do we part” constitutional requirement has Read more…

Vitw: Voices in the Wilderness Iraq Briefing

Having illegally invaded Iraq in Mar 2003 – killing thousands of civilians in the process – the US-led foreign military forces currently occupying Iraq clearly have no right to remain there. The international community rightly took a zero tolerance approach to Saddam’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and the invasion and occupation of Iraq has lasted Read more…

Constanza Viera: Indigenous Women in Colombia

 BOGOTA, Jul 25 (IPS) – A caravan of around 1,250 indigenous and afro-Colombian women and women’s rights activists drove Saturday into an area of southwestern Colombia that is caught up in fighting between leftist guerrillas and the army, for a “Visit to the Family”. Under this Nasa Indian tradition, the broader community accompanies families who Read more…

Aaron Mate: Democracy Progresses in Haiti

      On July 16, the Council of Sages, the Western-backed body that has overseen Haiti’s political affairs since the February 2004 ouster of President Jean Bertrand Aristide, made a startling recommendation. Blaming the exiled Aristide and his Lavalas party for “continu[ing] to promote and tolerate violence,” the council urged the interim regime that it appointed Read more…

avatar
Gavan McCormack: A North Korean Visitor to the White House

On 13 June 2005, the doors of the White House Oval Office opened to admit a young (37 year-old) Korean man named Kang Chol-Hwan, a refugee from North Korea and perhaps the first person from North Korea for the president to meet. Kang was slightly overwhelmed by the warmth of his welcome, not only from Read more…

avatar
Herbert P. Bix: Hirohito and History:

For nearly 60 years many Japanese have been struggling honorably to come to terms with the China War and the Pacific War, and indeed their entire imperialist past. But their struggles never take place in a vacuum. Trends in history, politics, international relations, and even culture, shape them. During the occupation years (1945 to 1952) Read more…

Derrick z. Jackson: Does Us Care About Niger Now?

PRESIDENT BUSH sure cared about Niger in 2003 when he said, ‘The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Vice President Dick Cheney sure cared about the yellowcake, so much that one of the reported reasons diplomat Joseph Wilson went to the African nation in 2002 was Read more…

avatar
Tom Engelhardt: Stop, Thief!

“At a black-tie dinner for the visiting prime minister of India in the White House State Dining Room that night, [White House Chief of Staff Andrew] Card ran into Justice Clarence Thomas. ‘You’re going to love who the president picks,’ Card assured him.” (Peter Baker, Unraveling the Twists and Turns of the Path to a Read more…

avatar
David Edwards: Cogitation: They Just Never Meant Very Much To Us

Samples From An Ocean Of Suffering In 1992 a group of neuroscientists travelled to India to research the effects of meditation. In the mountains above Dharamsala, the scientists spent time with a young monk who had been meditating intensively for six years. Richard Davidson, a psychobiologist from the University of Wisconsin, had done pioneering work Read more…

avatar
Robert Jensen: It’s The Empire, Stupid

It is this American exceptionalism — the belief that unlike other great powers, the United States is motivated not by the self-interest of some set of elites but by benevolence — which allows policymakers to sell wars that are designed to extend and deepen U.S. power as a kind of international community service. In the Read more…

avatar
Robert Jensen: ItÕs The Empire, Stupid

a review of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death By Norman Solomon John Wiley & Sons 291 pages, $24.95 To put the problems of U.S. foreign and military policy into the quip-ridden language of contemporary politics: “It’s the empire, stupid.” Understanding this big picture is crucial as we struggle Read more…

avatar
Boris Kagarlitsky: Africa First

The terrorist attacks in London have given the Russian press more food for thought and discussion. Had it not been for the explosions, death of people, search for the malefactors, the journalists wouldn’t have had the slightest clue of what to write about the “Big Eight” Summit in Scotland. Vladimir Putin himself felt quite lost Read more…

avatar
David Edwards: The New Statesman Editor And Blair’s “Mistake”

The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau once wrote: "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board." (Thoreau, Walden And Civil Disobedience, Penguin, Read more…

avatar
John Pilger: Blair Is Unfit To Be Prime Minister

The latest bombings in London have produced a strange political atmosphere here; I cannot recall anything like it. A truth is struggling to be heard. It is being said guardedly, apologetically. Occasionally, a member of the public breaks the silence, as an East Londoner did when he walked in front of a CNN camera crew Read more…

avatar
Norman Solomon: Thomas Friedman, Liberal Sadist?

The acclaimed New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has often voiced enthusiasm for violent destruction by the U.S. government. Hidden in plain sight, his glee about such carnage is worth pondering. Many people view Friedman as notably articulate, while others find him overly glib, but there’s no doubt that he is an influential commentator with Read more…

Jim Lobe: Civil War Spectre Spurs New Iraq Exit Plans

WASHINGTON, Jul (IPS) – Growing pessimism about averting civil war in Iraq, as well as mounting concerns that the U.S. military presence there may itself be fuelling the insurgency and Islamist extremism worldwide, has spurred a spate of new calls for the United States to withdraw its 140,000 troops sooner rather than later. Although resolutions Read more…

Skip to toolbar