Pakistan is not the only country flouting US sanctions. According to Flynt Leverett, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of Going to Tehran, a growing list of countries including China, Russia, Turkey, and India are resisting US sanctions because of their own economic needs and because of the wider principle that they should not be bound by American legislation. "It is essentially the US making a kind of hegemonic assertion, which is not grounded in international law," he says, "and could be held to violate US commitments under the World Trade Organization."
With the vast buildup and ever-expanding reach of the American military and "security apparatus" since 2001, the changes have been dizzying. When Historians Against the War, a small national group formed ten years ago in response to the Iraq invasion, decided to hold a national conference in Baltimore on April 5-7, we chose the title "The New Faces of War." With it, we hope to provide a forum for historians and activists to analyze what is new and not-new in American warmaking.
All kinds of indigenous movements draw their inspiration from the Zapatistas, using direct action to secure their rights. Nearly three hundred indigenous families, more than a thousand people, have occupied a large tract of land near the center of the city since last June. In 2009, they first invaded the land, which once housed the National Indigenous Institute (INI), a government body dedicated to helping indigenous people. The governor of Chiapas convinced them to leave after signing documents promising to give them housing elsewhere. When he did not fulfill his promise, they returned.
Indignant over the police and government’s inability or unwillingness to reduce violent drug-related crimes, citizens in Mexico’s rural, mostly indigenous, southwestern state of Guerrero have (once again) organized armed self-defense groups to ensure their own public safety and security.
This August will mark twenty years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the first peace agreement between a Palestinian group and Israel. While the parties have signed a handful of agreements since then, arguably none have had an impact on the daily lives of people living on that land.
By now, the world is beginning to hear about Arafat Jaradat. A young Palestinian father, imprisoned three months without charge, in the notorious Israeli Megiddo Military Prison. Allegedly, he'd been involved in throwing stones. Two nights ago, he died, still in custody. Still without charge or trial.
On December 21st of last year, as many across the world were speculating about the end of the Mayan calendar, 40,000 actual Mayans marched silently into five cities in Chiapas, Mexico, putting the Zapatistas and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) back into the forefront of grassroots political discourse the world over, and mainstream political discourse in Mexico. A stream of provocative communiques from the EZLN's spokesperson, Subcomandante Marcos, have followed.
As we roll into 2013, we bring you a flashback from the Baltimore-based and organized Mobilizing and Organizing from Below Conference (MOBconf). Please enjoy this audio from the workshop: Don't Waste Time in Organizing, Decolonize!
Frank Bruni’s review of “Zero Dark Thirty,” Hollywood’s version of Washington’s assassination of bin Laden, is a reminder of the limits of criticism that the mainstream media projects. Unlike the usual nonsense churned out by Hollywood, Bruni considers the film to be a dedication “to the ethical ambiguities and messy compromises of governing — to the muck and stink that sometimes go into the effort of keeping this mighty country of ours intact and safe.” In making this argument, he accepts as an article of faith that the operation was defensive in nature. The available facts strongly suggest otherwise.
It’s hard to listen to reports on the UN climate conference in Doha without feeling like I’m listening to a broken record. Properly dealt with, climate change presents us with an opportunity to make the world a safer and fairer place. This is why much of the global justice movement (notably Naomi Klein) has diverted much of its efforts to climate activism. But UN Conference of Parties (COP) summits represent how not to react to the climate crisis. It’s clear where priorities lie, not just for the United States, but also for many of the other countries at the table: with the oil and gas industry.