Despite the weeks of hysterical caterwauling in the US media, we are, for the moment, not going to war in Syria in time for the Labor Day weekend. The fact that the general public was almost universally opposed was really no impediment; after all, bipartisan consensus has long held that public opinion can always be brought along to support a war, any war, once the bombs start falling.
|By: Michelle Chen Tuesday June 4, 2013 3:30 pm|
From a distance, Dubai shines like an oasis of modernity in in the desert, with its glass towers and opulent hotels. Beneath the glittering surface, however, lies an underbelly of indentured servitude. The city-state’s brutal labor system was abruptly exposed last month when workers finally threw down their tools to demand fair pay and working conditions.
Thousands of employees at the United Arab Emirates-based construction firm Arabtec went on strike on May 19, calling for wage increases in an unprecedented act of rebellion under a notoriously authoritarian government. According to Reuters, the UAE Labor Ministry announced that it was working closely with Arabtec to suppress the protests. Some 200 protesters were taken into custody in response to the four-day strike, and many were reportedly threatened with deportation or arbitrarily terminated.
|By: Tom Engelhardt Tuesday May 28, 2013 4:30 pm|
Twelve and a half years after Congress didn’t declare war on an organization of hundreds or, at most, thousands of jihadis scattered mainly across the backlands of the planet, and instead let President George W. Bush and his cohort loose to do whatever they wanted; twelve and a half years after the president, his top officials, his neocon supporters, assembled pundits, and others swore we were nonetheless “at war” and the country in “wartime,” after our media beat the drums for “war” and assured us that “war” was our fate, after followers of the president insisted we were entering a monumental, multigenerational struggle, or even World War IV; twelve and a half years after the war that hadn’t been declared was launched and the bombing of Afghanistan began, after the CIA and Washington targeted up to 80 countries in a “worldwide attack matrix” — later given the leave-no-location-out name the Global War on Terror — and after top Washington officials swore we would soon “drain the [global] swamp,” another president has now assured us that someday, in a distant future, in a way that we might not even notice (“Our victory against terrorism won’t be measured in a surrender ceremony at a battleship…”), we might possibly find ourselves approaching the sort-of-end of what will have been a 20- or 30-year conflict.
|By: DSWright Thursday April 25, 2013 11:10 am|
American officials, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, have now stated that they believe the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against their people. This act crosses the “red line” President Obama declared existed and that, if crossed, would lead to direct American involvement in the Syrian Civil War.
|By: Michelle Chen Monday April 1, 2013 12:10 pm|
Originally posted at In These Times
This year’s World Social Forum, a transnational gathering of social activists, took place in Tunis, a city bubbling with unrest as it struggles to shake off a legacy of authoritarian rule while navigating tensions over women’s rights, labor and nationalism. At the gates of the gathering last week, these faultlines became starkly apparent when a caravan of trade unionists and rights advocates found themselves unexpectedly blockaded. Border police, under official orders, refused entry to a delegation of 96 Algerian activists that included members of the embattled union SNAPAP, known for its militancy and inclusion of women as leaders and front-line protesters.
|By: Michelle Chen Thursday January 31, 2013 4:11 pm|
Qatar sits like an oasis of hypertrophic capitalism amid a landscape barren in all respects except for its oil reserves. The emirate sustains itself by pumping out vast fossil fuel resources while importing human ones, in the form of legions of migrant workers from Bangladesh, Nepal and other Global South countries.
Labor activists say this fierce imbalance between the elite and the laboring underclass is headed for catastrophe as the country prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
|By: RH Reality Check Wednesday January 30, 2013 7:07 pm|
ust three days into 2013, Annika Rydh, a Swedish government official from the town of Almhult, issued a shrill call to both her colleagues and neighbors. Worried about the perceived growth of the Muslim population in her homeland and beyond, she urged the European Union “to act by having some kind of restriction, like the one-child policy in China.” If Muslims don’t like the proposed rule, she continued, they can go back where they came from.
Rydh’s appeal comes on the heels of a decade-long campaign to curtail Muslim immigration into western countries and reduce the number of babies born to Muslim families.
|By: szielinski Sunday December 9, 2012 7:00 pm|
The stakes are high, and can be encapsulated in this predicament: Will Egypt complete the transition from Mubarak’s authoritarian regime to a consolidated democracy or will it eventually — soon — produce another authoritarian regime, this one dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, its allies and the military?
|By: On The Issues Magazine Saturday December 8, 2012 10:00 am|
Some women manage to save their own lives. They hide and escape. A friend of mind from Kabul did just that. With a secret mobile phone she messaged her boyfriend from the bathroom of the family house where her father was keeping her a prisoner – and they plotted their escape.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday October 24, 2012 4:00 pm|
I recall hearing quite a bit from various governors that the US is the “Saudi Arabia of coal” or the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” or whatever natural resource they had in abundance. Now, according to AP energy writer Jonathan Fahey, the US verges on becoming the Saudi Arabia… of oil.