Book Launch and discussion with Vijay Prashad on the geopolitics of the Middle East in the broader context of revolutionary history, featuring Aaron Jakes and Ahmad Shokr.
The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution
In 1927, Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou made the silent classic Metropolis. The film is set in 2026, where wealthy industrialists - such as Joh Fredersen - reign over workers who live beneath the ground (picture above is a still from the film). It ends with an anarchic workers' uprising.
In the current issue of Frontline, there are many reports on Trumpland. Perhaps the most important is an essay by Aijaz Ahmad that anchors the issue. My own report, coming after, merely catalogues the 598 day election and its aftermath. You can find it here. Ther
<R2P> A month ago, I visited Penn State, thanks to Sophia McClennen. The topic on the table was the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, which was the fig leaf for the West's attempt to give ideological cover for its wars after the Iraq debacle. The talk goes over the terrain of R2P, but falls heavily on Libya and Syria. You can listen to the talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MiYazFZYpI.
Before the talk, I spoke to two very smart undergraduate students, who had read my book - The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution - and asked me pointed questions. The i
On October 13, the UN General Assembly - by acclamation - elected the former Portuguese Prime Minister and former head of the UN Refugees Agency António Guterres as the next Secretary General. Guterres has a difficult job ahead of him. The refugee crisis, which he knows a great deal about, shows no sign of abating. The core issues that drive this crisis - war and poverty - are not really on the agenda. Keep in mind that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom - are t
The referendum in Colombia on the peace deal failed by a very narrow margin. My report - derivative of the mood in the country - appeared yesterday in The Hindu. The takeaway is in the last paragraph,
- Gloom prevails across the country. If the vote had gone the other way, Colombia might have shown the world that even intractable civil wars can come to an end. It would have been a message to Syria and to the Congo, a message of the power of negotiation towards a new civic compact. But this did not come to pass. Even as President Santos and the FARC leadersh
Last week, as many as 180 million Indian workers went out on strike. It was - by all indications - the largest strike in recorded history. Unsurprisingly, media reports of the strike have been anemic. There is a grudging recognition that this happened, but only to suggest either inconvenience or futility. There was little attempt to understand the essence of this strike and what this means for Indian politics.
In Alternet this week, my column addresses this strike. The last paragraph reads,
- What the strike says is that India’s workers remain a
Saudi Arabia, which has been pumping oil at record high levels, has now indicated that it would boost its oil production ahead of crucial talks next month to freeze oil levels. The game played by Saudi Arabia has hurt oil exporting states such as Venezuela and Russia. Next month, OPEC and non-OPEC states will meet to renew talks about a freeze in production, which would of course raise oil prices. The dangerous game played by Saudi Arabia has put the kingdom itself at peril.
But of course this is news best left to the business pages - if that. More important to tackle the m