The Arab Street is owed an apology!

Most of the time I post stuff about Denmark, it tends to be bad news--of course, if you're a Muslim observer of Danish politics there's often been, sadly, pretty good reason for that--so I thought I'd try to atone a bit by translating this very thoughtful and topical piece by a Danish pundit on the lessons of the Arab Spring. One could quibble about a few small things (e.g., identifying Saudi-funded establishments as "ultra-orthodox"; their claim to orthodoxy is rather … [Read more...]

Colbert b-slaps W and the Beltway (REPOST)

[So I've censored my original, overly exuberant title to mostly eliminate the b-word.  To cleanse the URL, I must repost.  No major changes otherwise.  Guess I'm getting squeamish and prudish with middle age. ] Forgive the thuggish turn of phrase, but it's the only way to capture what went down. I just watched the clip of Stephen Colbert's absolutely brutal send-up of George W. Bush, the Beltway establishment, and the media that prostitutes itself to them at the White House … [Read more...]

Ethiopia & Eritrea at it again

It looks like those estranged siblings, Ethiopia and Eritrea might be going to war again. God only knows why.It's comical in a morbid sort of way, as these two nations were long held up as examples for the rest of Africa because of their regimes' eager embrace of American neoliberal orthodoxy and supposed commitment to democracy.  Now, they're increasingly tyrranical, poor, and fighting over dirt because their leaders--who once were close associates--are in a spat.  Thousands of … [Read more...]

Reality check for Karen Hughes (and Bush Junior)

Karen Hughes, Bush Junior's PR flack to the the Muslim world, recently had a rude awakening in Ankara when she was grilled by Turkish women activists on the Iraqi occupation and American militarism in general. Despite its brevity, the article (Glen Kessler, "Turks Challenge Hughes On Iraq Female Activists Decry U.S. Policy", Washington Post, 29 September, 2004) is quite enlightening and sums up the problem with so much Beltway debate and analysis on the Middle East and the Muslim … [Read more...]

The Catholic Church in Argentina and the “dirty war”

From "Breaking the silence: the Catholic Church in Argentina and the 'dirty war'" by Horacio Verbitsky  in the horrors of Argentina’s military rule that “disappeared” up to 30,000 citizens from 1976-83, the complicity of senior figures in the Catholic hierarchy is becoming known thanks to the investigations of writer Horacio Verbitsky. openDemocracy publishes an exclusive extract from his new book, “The Silence”.While the systematic cruelty reported here is … [Read more...]

The problem with Michael Ignatieff (and so many other liberal American pundits)

Mariano Aguirre has written a trenchant critique of the politics of the pundit Michael Ignatieff  in This piece highlights a depressing trend in American political life, the willingness of many self-described liberal and progressive intellectuals to propagandize for the immoral and disastrously short-sighted "Neocon" foreign policy of the Bush administration and its allies. Since 9/11 there has been a parade of liberals who've finally come out of the … [Read more...]

Came across a promissing project called  This group distributes independent documentaries on current affairs online for free.   Such innovative initiatives are desperately needed, as the corporate media's stranglehold on debate is becoming a threat to America's social and political health.  Alternative delivery channels must be developed so that progressives and activists can bypass the sterile, complacent "debate" of the Corporate … [Read more...]