Thursday November 27th, 2014, 5:35 am (EST)

Middle East

Middle East

What Would Einstein Say?

In a Reflection published on August 25, 2010 under the title of “The Opinion of an Expert”, I mentioned a really unusual activity of the United States and its allies which, in my opinion, underlines the risk of a nuclear conflict with Iran. I was referring to a long article by the well-known journalist Jeffrey […]… | more |

238 Reasons to be Worried, Part 2

June 21: AFP: Brazil refused to go on mediating on the Iranian nuclear subject after the US and other powers rejected the agreement for exchange signed in May by Iran and Turkey, as declared this Monday by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to The Financial Times.… | more |

238 Reasons to be Worried, Part 1

We are living in an exceptional moment of human history. Starting from a period in which it was divided into Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History. Not the history we were studying in school 75 years ago but the history brilliantly described by Karl Marx as Pre-history. That would be the result of the incredible […]… | more |

The Opinion of an Expert

If I were to be asked who best knows about Israeli thinking, I would answer that without question it is Jeffrey Goldberg. He is an indefatigable journalist, capable of having dozens of meetings to ascertain how some Israeli leader or intellectual may think. He is not neutral, of course; he is pro-Israel, without question. When […]… | more |

Israel will not attack first

The ex-CIA officers Phil Giraldi and Larry Johnson; W. Patrick Lang from U.S. Military Intelligence and the U.S. Army Special Forces; Ray McGovern, from Naval Intelligence and the CIA; and other former senior officers with many years of service, are right to warn Obama that the Israeli prime minister has plans for a surprise attack with the idea of forcing the United States into the war on Iran.… | more |

The origin of wars

I affirmed on July 4 that neither the United States nor Iran would give in; “one, due to the pride of the powerful, and the other, out of resistance to the yoke and the capacity to fight, as has occurred so many times in the history of humanity…” In almost all wars, one of the […]… | more |

Impossible joy

I promised that I would be the “happiest man in the world if I was wrong” but, unfortunately, my happiness was short-lived. The World Cup has still not ended. There are six days left to go before the final. What an exceptional opportunity the yanki empire and the fascist state of Israel might miss for keeping […]… | more |

How I wish I was wrong

WHEN these lines are published tomorrow, Friday, in Granma newspaper, the 26th of July, a date on which we always recall with pride the honor of having resisted the onslaughts of the empire, will still be in the distance, despite it being only 32 days away. Those who determine every step of the worst enemy of […]… | more |

The Empire and the War

Two days ago, I said in a few words that imperialism was unable to solve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which has become a scourge for the people all over the world. Today, I wish to deal with another issue that I consider of major significance. The current danger that the United States […]… | more |

Obama Has No Easy Task

I remember that, when I visited the People’s Republic of Poland, during Gierek’s government, I was taken to Osviecim, the most notorious of all concentration camps. There I learned about the horrible crimes committed by the Nazis against Jewish children, women and senior citizens, which resulted from the implementation of the ideas contained in the book Mein Kampf written by Adolph Hitler. Those ideas had been implemented before at the time when the territory of the USSR was invaded in the quest for ‘living space.’ By that time, the governments of London and Paris incited the Nazi chief against the Soviet State.… | more |

Jews Confront Zionism

One of the main accomplishments of the Israeli government’s bombing and invasion of the Gaza Strip last winter was to inspire new vitality within leftist and peace groups in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice and liberation. This wave of activity has continued after the supposed ceasefire, with demonstrations and direct actions from New York to Los Angeles, Paris, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv. Most noteworthy has been a coming out of sorts of an increasingly large and vocal segment of the Jewish world that is not only opposed to the Israeli government’s wars and military occupations, but critical of Zionism itself.… | more |

Inconvenient Truths about ‘Real Existing’ Zionism

The celebrations on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel brought forth mixed feelings for those of us who survived the Holocaust. The reason for this ambivalence is that, while the survivors of the Nazi genocide celebrated the creation of a Jewish state in 1948, few were aware at the time of the human costs and injustices that had been, were being, and would be perpetrated against Palestinian Arabs in our name. The slogan “Never Again,” which was the dominating thought in the Jewish psyche in those years, was mostly concerned with the fate of European Jews.… | more |

Analyzing Political Islam

A Critique of Traditional Historical Materialist Analytic

Political,1 more so, militant Islam has become an influential religious and social force in many post-colonial states.2 The militants face very little by way of real political opposition within Muslim-majority societies, but they are now targeted and attacked militarily by the United States, other Western imperial interests, and client post-colonial states. In the context of the war in Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, and the “war on terror,” much has been written by people on the left. But, there is little by way of understanding political Islam from a historical materialist perspective. Some months back, however, Samir Amin offered his traditional historical materialist analysis of political Islam (Monthly Review, December 2007) and very briefly touched on a range of issues, such as modernity, secularism and imperialism. Amin has been generally dismissive of political Islam and unambiguous in saying that Islamists have been in the “service of imperialism.” … | more |

Bush, millionaires, consumption, and under-consumption

No one requires additional proof of the growing hatred that drives the slaughter in Iraq, a country where 95 percent of the population is Muslim —of these, over 60 percent are Shiites and the remainder Sunnis—or the killings in Afghanistan, where over 99 percent of the population is also Muslim —80 percent Sunni and the remainder Shiite. The two nations are also made up of nationalities and ethnic groups of diverse origins and locations.… | more |

March 2008 (Volume 59, Number 10)

March 2008 (Volume 59, Number 10)

This month marks the fifth year of the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq, which commenced on March 19, 2003. Despite setbacks for the U.S. empire, including unexpected losses in lives and money as a result of the continuing resistance of the Iraqi population, this war has succeeded in the U.S. imperial objective of eliminating Iraq, once a powerful force in the Middle East, as a nation to be reckoned with. Much of its population is dead, displaced, and divided. Its infrastructure is in tatters. The country is occupied on a seemingly permanent basis by U.S. military forces, allowing Washington to project its power more fully in the region, and making it easier to threaten Iraq’s neighbor Iran. Iraqi oil, designated as a vital strategic asset by Washington, is now largely in the grip of the U.S. empire.… | more |

Abu Ghraib and Insaniyat

The issues that I will cover in this article and the cases I would like to describe make for uncomfortable reading. But I believe that it is important to record the torture at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere in Iraq and to deconstruct the culture that accommodated and legitimated it, because what happened cannot be relegated to a mere footnote in the history of the region. I feel the same about Halabja and the chemical warfare employed by Saddam Hussein with the sponsorship of the “international community,” which is why I covered it in my other writings.1 I do not want to be misunderstood as arguing that the cultural context I will explain here is all-encompassing, that the U.S. presence in international society is singularly destructive, and that the “West” as an idea is nothing but “intoxicating.”2 What I say is much more confined. I am arguing that Abu Ghraib could not have happened without a particular racist current in the United States, that the individuals who committed the atrocities against the detainees were not isolated, and that they were part of a larger constellation with its own signifying ideational attitudes toward Muslims and Arabs. Those are the general claims that I would like to qualify in the following paragraphs… | more |

November 2007 (Volume 59, Number 6)

November 2007 (Volume 59, Number 6)

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan’s new book The Age of Turbulence (Penguin 2007) set off a firestorm in mid-September with its dramatic statement on the Iraq War: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: that the Iraq war is largely about oil” (p. 463). The fact that someone of Greenspan’s stature in the establishment—one of the figures at the very apex of monopoly-finance capital—should issue such a twenty word statement, going against the official truths on the war, and openly voicing what “everyone knows,” was remarkable enough. Yet, his actual argument was far more significant, and since this has been almost completely ignored it deserves extended treatment here. … | more |

Inside Lebanon

Inside Lebanon

Journey to a Shattered Land with Noam and Carol Chomsky

In May 2006, Noam and Carol Chomsky visited Lebanon for the first time—just two months before Israel unleashed a new military campaign against both Lebanon and Palestine. During their eight-day trip, they toured refugee camps and a former Israeli prison and torture compound; met with political leaders—including the pro-government coalition; and Noam conducted interviews and gave public lectures on U.S. imperialism and the imminent crises facing the Middle East.… | more |

July-August 2007 (Volume 59, Number 3)

July-August 2007 (Volume 59, Number 3)

At the end of May the Bush administration announced that the United States is planning on maintaining permanent military bases in Iraq on a model like that of South Korea, where U.S. troops have been deployed in massive numbers for more than fifty years. Despite the failures associated with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Washington is openly proclaiming to the world that it intends to do everything it can to maintain a lasting military presence in that country. By doing so it hopes to retain the main spoils won in the war and to declare it a partial victory. The strategic objectives are obvious: to control Iraq and Iraqi oil, threaten Iran, and dominate the geopolitically vital Middle East. Thus Secretary of Defense Robert Gates declared on May 31 that he did not expect the United States to withdraw from Iraq as from Vietnam “lock, stock and barrel” and invoked the example of South Korea. Earlier that week White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, conveying the views of President Bush, said U.S. troops would remain but would be in an “over-the-horizon support” role to maintain security in Iraq—with permanent bases on the South Korean model. Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, in charge of daily military operations in Iraq, stated on May 31 that he supported the creation of a South Korean type U.S. military presence in Iraq. The message could not be clearer and can be summed up as: Naked Imperialism: The U.S. Pursuit of Global Dominance (see John Bellamy Foster’s book with this title for an analysis of the larger forces at work).… | more |

Hippocratic Hypocricy in the War on Terror

Steven H. Miles, M.D., Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror (Random House, 2006), 240 pages, hardcover $23.95.

When he saw the pictures from Abu Ghraib, medical ethicist and practicing physician Steven Miles immediately wondered: Where were the doctors, nurses, and medics while these abuses were happening?… | more |

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