Communist Histories

Algiers Diary, Wars of Destruction and Communist Histories

Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/04/2017 - 23:43

 

Algiers Diary

 

Dear Friends,

Above, a picture from the Casbah of Algiers, with children running playfully down some steps, chasing each other. They are a long way away from the French colonial period and from the 'Black Decade' of the 1990s, and yet around them linger not only the signs of those periods but also their structural residues.

In Frontline this week I have a diary on my wanderings through Algiers and my wonderings about Algerian history. The key moment that focused my thoughts was a chance encounter with a young boy named Akram. I asked him a benign question, which could not remain at the

Syria, Libya and the US Presidential Election

Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/28/2016 - 00:52

 

Trump-Clinton
Photo Lesley Clark

 

Dear Friends,

The US presidential season is almost over - it is like the end of a mini-series, a television show that has run out of steam. November 8 is the final episode. What comes next is anyone's guess? Wikileaks' surprises from John Podesta's emails about Hillary Clinton come at a furious pace, but so too do erratic things from Donald Trump. It is a mess. My most recent Frontline report is out this week, and it is on the death knell of this campaign. The report ends, like all such bluster, with a whimper, saying that Hillary Clinton 'is a reliable candidate. Ther

Medea Benjamin & book reviews

Submitted by admin on Thu, 08/18/2016 - 09:22

 

Medea Benjamin

 

Dear Friends,

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

Aerial Bombardment

Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 10:51

 

 Blick vom Rathausturm
Dresden, 1945, view from the city hall (Rathaus) over the destroyed city
Photo Deutsche Fotothek (CC BY-SA 3.0 de)

 

Dear Friends,

In Afghanistan the Taliban makes major gains, while in Yemen the talks with the Saudis have broken down. Roads to peace are blocked.

In Alternet this week I have an essay on the great futility of aerial bombardment. The last paragraph runs,

  • The monstrous anger of the guns continues. Space for a peace process desiccates. The Saudi-Yemen discussions fell apart on Sunday, while the Syrian peace process lifts few hopes. There is no real conversation towards peace