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Archives: January 2012

Tomgram: Michael Klare, No Exit in the Persian Gulf?

All of a sudden, the Strait of Hormuz has become the most combustible spot on the planet, the most likely place to witness a major conflict between well-armed adversaries.  Why, of all locales, has it become so explosive?

Béji: “We are all Tunisian Jews”

Hélé Béji, a prominent woman writer from an old notable family in Tunis, was outraged by an incident in early January when a small crowd of religious extremists at the airport in…

SOTU and a Destabilized Middle East

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address treated the Middle East at several points, underlining the unusual importance of this region to the United States. Obama began by celebrating the end…

Can Europe’s Oil Boycott Really Sink Iran?

The European Union threatened Iran on Monday with cutting off petroleum imports into the 27 EU member states, and announced sanctions on Iranian banks and some port and other companies. Iran sells…

Sharp-Elbowed Politics in the New Arab World

What are the big stories in the Arab world today? A newly elected parliament is being seated, and a deposed president is leaving the country. But beyond that, the remarkable thing is…

Can Solar Energy in Mideast Stop a Gas War?

The Emirates Solar Industry Association says that solar energy is competitive with natural gas already, without the need for more subsidies. Solar panels are rapidly falling in price, making solar ever more…

SOPA goes Down: Moulitsas on Olbermann

Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos discusses (with Keith Olbermann of the cable Current TV network) the Netroots’ victory over the Draconian SOPA bill that would have criminalized the internet.

God’s Way of Teaching Americans Geography

God’s Way of Teaching Americans Geography

With all the talk of Iran and Israel among the GOP presidential candidates, it is worth remembering that in this poll of a few years ago, three quarters of Americans could find…

SOPA & PIPA Blackout Day

SOPA & PIPA Blackout Day

Informed Comment is on strike on Wednesday January 18, 2012, to protest the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and “Protect IP” or “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft…

Petition against the Murder of Iranian Scientists

Scholars, Academicians, Journalists, and Activists Condemn Murder of Iranian Technical and Scientific Experts On January 12, 2012, a bomb ripped apart a car in Tehran, killing Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and…

Tomgram: Nick Turse, Drone Disasters

American fighter jets screamed over the Iraqi countryside heading for the MQ-1 Predator drone, while its crew in California stood by helplessly…

Elbaradei Quits Egyptian Presidential Race

Mohammad Elbaradei has withdrawn from the Egyptian presidential election. He is the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and was a thorn in the Bush administration’s eyes because of his…

Omar Khayyam (6)

When I die, prepare my body in wine, and in place of a eulogy lift a glass! On Resurrection Day you’ll find my dust stirring beneath the threshold of the bar. translated…

A Murder in Tehran

Reuters makes a good point that Iran is having difficulty getting the international community to condemn the terrorist attacks against its scientists, which over time have left four of them dead in…

The Arab Spring, Pt. 3

The Arab Spring, Pt. 3

Part 3 of Juan Cole’s talk on the Arab Spring at the American Historical Association: Parts 1 & 2 are here

The Arab Spring Part 2

The Arab Spring Part 2

Part 2 of my talk at the American Historical Association on the Arab Spring. Part 1 is here

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Energy Wars 2012

Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy “chokepoint” could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices, and putting the global economy at risk.

Majid: Why America Matters to Muslims

Anouar Majid writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: “Why America Matters to Muslims One thing that is striking about the recent revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain…

Arab Spring Pt. 1

Arab Spring Pt. 1

Part 1 of my presentation on the Arab Spring at the 2012 American Historical Association conference in Chicago. Thanks to Roger Owen and the National History Centerfor the kind invitation, and to…

Ahmadinejad in Latin America

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun a four-nation tour in Latin America that will include Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador. In part, the trip is for propaganda purposes. With the European Union…

Omar Khayyam (3)

This world that was our home for a brief spell never brought us anything but pain and grief; its a shame that not one of our problems was ever solved. We depart…

Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Why the Tea Party Needs Mitt

Still, my advice to you idealists of the right is this: get over it. Not for sell-out reasons like: Romney has the best chance of beating Obama. No. You should get behind the charging Massachusetts RINO (your favorite term for a Republican-In-Na…

Omar Khayyam (2) [Whinfield 1]

At dawn a shout     awoke us in      that watering hole… you crazed         carousing             drunk! Get up and grab that bottle    let’s finish what we started             before fate starts to finish us. Trans…

Omar Khayyam (1) [Whinfield 26]

In these one,     two,        three days       a lifetime has passed, like cascading waters     or a desert squall. But regret for two days     never comes to mind:        the one…

Three Republican Bears and none Just Right

Why did Mitt Romney win Iowa? Not because he is the ideal candidate, but because the Republican faithful will just have to settle. That the turnout was not impressive, despite grassroots exasperation…

Reading in the New Millennium: Cole at Truthdig

My essay, “Reading in the New Millennium: Forward to the Past?” is out at Truthdig. Excerpt: “I have been rereading Ralph Waldo Emerson’s two-volume “Essays” on my iPad via Google Books. His…

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Lessons from Lost Wars in 2012

It was to be the war that would establish empire as an American fact.  It would result in a thousand-year Pax Americana.  It was to be “mission accomplished” all the way.  And then, of course, it wasn’t.  And t…

New Year’s 2012 in Tahrir Square, Egypt

New Year’s 2012 in Tahrir Square, Egypt

New Year’s in Tahrir Square, Cairo: The leftist crowd begins by singing the national anthem. Then a woman revolutionary calls out, “Bread, Freedom and social justice!” “A civil state, civil state!” “May…