Shutting down Creech

A small army of pilots operate the drones flying over Afghanistan and Iraq, acting as Uncle Sam’s eyes in the sky, and the Hellfire-armed drones firing missiles at people on the ground in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, Syria, and Iraq. Just in late January, in one case we happen to know something about, a 13-year-old…

From Watts to Ferguson

In 1965, the Watts Riots convulsed Los Angeles. In 2014, Ferguson, MO is the latest erruption of protest and looting. We will still be here in another 50 years unless the nation’s fundamental inequalities are ameliorated. The demonstrations in Ferguson are ostensibly about the impunity with which the police executed a teenager, Mike Brown. However, that…

Food Ethics and Anthropology

A recent piece at Waging Nonviolence by Sangamithra Iyer usefully argues for the importance of the vegan dietary movement. Iyer traces the origin of the movement to an Englishman, Donald Watson, who founded a group adopting vegan principles in 1944. Iyer notes the fanatical opposition from the corporate food industry and captured government agencies. Contemporary society…

Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehisi Coates Lose the Plot

The recent Chait vs. Coates debate attracted a lot of sustained attention for an internet pundit spat. The dispute revolved around the role of culture in black poverty. It is a perfect topic for the web: an emotionally charged Rorschach Test. The question at hand is easily answered: of course culture can play a role in…

Malalai Joya versus Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Malalai Joya was listed under the banner of “Heroes” by Time Magazine in its ‘100 Most Influential People of 2010’. That Time should have even attempted to profile a courageous activist against the U.S./NATO occupation of Afghanistan is surprising. More predictable is the treatment it accorded her. Not one word of her unwavering opposition to…

The Revolutionary Party Is An Oxymoron

The campaign of socialist Kshama Sawant for the Seattle City Council continues to attract excitement on the left for her strong showing. A Counterpunch contributor recently called it a “highly significant” development. I wish her well of course. A socialist threat in the city of Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks is indeed heart warming. Hopefully the publicity will introduce…

Who Supports the Revolution in Syria?

Update 8-Sept-13 5:22pm: link added at bottom to a new source further describing the popular self-organization in some rebel-held areas Update 17-Sept-13: further links documenting the revolution added Update 23-Sept-13: NYT link added on the gulf between the revolutionaries on the ground and the unrepresentative expat leadership; a reflection by Reem Salahi; and Rochelle Davis on…