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Archives from May 2007
The Great Bank Heist of Tripoli
RANNIE AMIRI
If you think you understand Lebanese politics, it obviously has not been explained to you properly. - Anonymous It started out simple enough. A group of men robbed a bank in the northern Lebanese town of Amyoun and then fled...
A Less "White" USA
GLEN FORD
Sometime last year, the "minority" population of the United States reached the 100 million mark, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means only two-thirds of Americans are whites of non-Hispanic background. In four states–Hawaii, New Mexico, ...
The Political Economy of a Crisis
SUDHANVA DESHPANDE
and VIJAY PRASHAD Isn’t our life a tunnel between two clarities? Pablo Neruda, Libros de las preguntas, 1974. In August 2006, Mamata Banerjee traveled to Singur, home to around 20,000 people in the state of Wes...
Faith-Based Imperialism
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
The very nature of Christianity is imperialistic. A resurrected Christ reportedly told his disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore," he ordered them, "and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in t...
Tales from the Tree Tops
ZOE BLUNT
I’m standing at the base of the tree leaning back on my harness and peering at the platform sixty feet above. Ingmar is encouraging me to get up there. The press conference is supposed to start in forty-five minutes and we need to get into position. Ingmar&#...
Who’s to Blame for Iraq?
NIVIEN SALEH
In Germany, at the age of nine, I saw something on television that horrified me. It was a table lamp with a shade that looked like parchment. It had been made from the skin of a Jewish person. Disturbed by the sight of the lamp I began to wonder: what is it that m...
Opium: Iraq’s Newest Export
PATRICK COCKBURN
Farmers in southern Iraq have started to grow opium poppies in their fields for the first time, sparking fears that Iraq might become a serious drugs producer along the lines of Afghanistan. Rice farmers along the Euphrates, to the west of the city of Diwan...
China’s Great Wall of Cash?
CHINA HAND
From McClatchy’s article on the US-China strategic economic dialogue now going on in Washington, I learned that China’s immense foreign exchange reserves have earned the nickname "The Great Wall of Cash". In keeping with my kneejerk te...
Colombia’s Civil War and the US
JOE DeRAYMOND
Colombia’s civil war is the United States war in the Western Hemisphere. Each year the US provides over a half billion dollars to the Colombian police and military, and trains thousands of Colombian soldiers. Colombia is the largest recipient of US aid outsi...
Republicans in Self-Destruct Mode
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
As everyone except for a dwindling band of Bush supporters now knows, the US is in a terrible situation in Iraq from which it cannot extract itself. For Bush and Cheney, their own pride and delusion are more compelling than US casualties, the destruction of Iraq a...
A Front Row Seat for the Bloodbath in Lebanon
ROBERT FISK
Beirut. There is something obscene about watching the siege of Nahr el-Bared. The old Palestinian camp–home to 30,000 lost souls who will never go "home"–basks in the Mediterranean sunlight beyond a cluster of orange orchards. Soldiers...
Israeli Forest Named After Australian Prime Minister
SONJA KARKAR
There is something worrying about a prime minister of a liberal, democratic country who imposes values on his country’s citizens and those who wish to become citizens, yet does not adhere to those values when he regards it politically expedient to ignore the...
Meet Us in Detroit
JEFFREY KOLAKOWSKI
Dear Mr. Conyers, On May 29, 2007-as you already know-there will be a Town Hall discussion on the possible impeachment of George W. Bush, President of the United States. In your position as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, it is imperative th...
A Widening Chasm on Impeachment
DAVE LINDORFF
The divide between Democratic leaders contemplating their re-election prospects in 2008 and rank-and-file Democrats is becoming a chasm–one so wide that Congressional Democrats may soon find it hard to straddle it. The issue is impeachment. So ...
A Misleading Suicide Warning
EVELYN PRINGLE
On May 2, 2007, the FDA announced its most misleading warnings to date about selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants when it said the drug makers would revise the current black box warning of an increased risk of suicidality in children and adolesce...
An Orchard Without Workers
DAVID MOS MASUMOTO
Last year for one day, no one came to work in my peach orchard. A row of ladders stood empty. This was my day without immigrant labor. Without workers, I cannot farm. If I cannot farm, my organic heirloom peaches and raisins won’t reach people’...
Hillary Clinton’s Achilles Heel?
JOSHUA FRANK
Senator Clinton is sure trying hard to court the antiwar vote while still sustaining a muscular U.S. foreign policy agenda as she runs for the presidency. On May 16, Hillary Clinton sided with 28 other senators in support for advancing legislation to cut off fundi...
Politics Gary, Indiana-Style
JIM BAUMER
I’ve just returned from a week in Northwest Indiana, America’s post-industrial wasteland, known affectionately by locals as "the region." I am still trying to process all I’ve seen, particularly my time driving around Gary. It occurred ...
Bush, Giuliani, Whitman and the Lethal Fallout from 9/11
HARVEY WASSERMAN
The fallout now taints us all. Amidst the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush and Giuliani saddled up their bullhorns and raced down to the smoldering World Trade Center to shout out a single "patriotic" demand: re-open the stock market!...
The Afghan Quagmire
CONN HALLINAN
The longer the U.S. and NATO stay in Afghanistan, the more the place is looking like Vietnam: *Body counts. Remember when the U.S. used to claim things like "250 Vietcong" killed during a firefight, most of whom turned out to be civilians? On Apr...
Can the Everglades Save Florida?
ALAN FARAGO
If you can see through the smoke of forest fires, consider the experiment of putting 18 million people, plus visitors, on a narrow peninsula — Florida — in the midst of an historic drought. Soon enough, your eyes should stop itching. What should...
Green Mountain Days
RON JACOBS
Well, school’s about out for the year, but that doesn’t mean that all students are merely partying and taking exams. In fact, antiwar students have mounted what could be called an offensive in the last few weeks of the 2006-2007 academic year here in t...
The Secret US Plot to Kill Sadr
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. The US Army tried to kill or capture Muqtada al-Sadr, the widely revered Shia cleric, after luring him to peace negotiations at a house in the holy city of Najaf, which it then attacked, according to a senior Iraqi government official. The r...
Werewolf of Washington
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
From under what rock did he emerge that made it necessary to drag him kicking and screaming out of two capitalist entities, the US Department of Defense and the World Bank? Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is no run-of-the-mill political bureaucrat. He’s a neo-c...
The Dark Side of Democracy Promotion
PAUL BOUCHHEIT
The White House has clearly stated goals of promoting democracy around the world. Does this work? Let’s consider the past and present. In 1950 Jacobo Arbenz was democratically elected president of Guatemala. He tried to help native Mayan Indians regai...