December 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Max Blumenthal discusses his book Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel with Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation. (Also check this excellent defence of Blumenthal’s free speech by James Fallows of The Atlantic).
November 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Danny Postel, co-editor of The Syria Dilemma, interviews Max Blumenthal, author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, on his reporting from Syrian refugee camps, his resignation from the newspaper Al Akhbar over its Syria coverage, and the peace movement’s confused and problematic response to the Syrian conflict
For background, see Blumenthal’s resignation letter from al-Akhbar and his report from Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. Also see Postel’s piece on the antiwar movement and the spirit of internationalism.
November 24, 2013 § 2 Comments
This is a positive and historic development. Not only will it relieve pressure on ordinary Iranian people, it will also empower the country’s reformists. It will also put the interests of the powerful merchant against the interests of the hardliners. It will erode the power of hawks not just in Iran, but also the US and Israel.
This also creates an opening for a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Syria. Until now Iran’s hardliners have been running amuck in Syria, and the IRGC has been actively at war. Now Iran has something to lose. The US has gained leverage that until now it didn’t have. It is now in a position to pressure Iran to drop its support for Assad. Given the fragility of the entente, the last thing Iran would want is to jeopardise it by continuing a policy with an uncertain end.
November 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
On 27th November Intelligence Squared is hosting a special debate with Save the Children: ‘How should the world protect Syria’s Children?“. The debate will take place at London’s Royal Institute of British Architects. We encourage Pulsers to attend.
The debate will be livestreamed around the world from 7pm-8.30pm UK Time, and the panel includes:
- Mikhail Kasyanov, former Russian Prime Minister;
- Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children;
- Dr Rola Hallam, the British-Syrian doctor and war-zone medic who was recently involved in BBC’s Panorama documentary, ‘Saving Syria’s Children’;
- Lord Mark Malloch Brown, former UK government minister (2007 – 2009) and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General (2006)
- Paul Conroy, World-renowned photojournalist and war-photographer
- Jon Sopel, award-winning BBC News presenter and correspondent who will chair.
November 23, 2013 § 1 Comment
Gilbert Achcar’s presentation for the MENA Solidarity Network – US on November 17th, 2013.
November 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
UCL has released a new study which shows that immigrants contribute more to British finances than is expended on them and are less likely to claim benefits or housing. Since 2000, it shows immigrants have contributed £25 billion to the British economy. So much for all the Tory/New Labour/UKIP hysteria. But unfortunately reality rarely intrudes on this fear-driven campaign. David MacIsaacs, a respected head teacher at a Scottish school, who is married to a British citizen, is being deported after living 10 years in this country. I myself nearly suffered a similar fate after living 8 years in this country and paying tens of thousands in taxes.
This debate is even more poisonous across the Atlantic, and it is poignantly highlighted in a new documentary “The Dream is Now” by Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim. The film tells the story of those directly affected by the immigration system, especially the undocumented children of immigrants.
October 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
Martin Bashir interviews family of drone strike survivors
Here is the deceased’s grand daughter Nabila talking about the murder:
On October 24, 2012, a drone strike hit and killed Rafiq ur Rehman’s mother who was tending vegetables in the garden.
For the first time ever, on October 29, 2013, Rafiq ur Rehman, along with his two children, will testify before Congress and share their story with the American public in a briefing called by Representative Alan Grayson (FL-09).
RSVP NOW to witness this historic event: http://unmanned.warcosts.com/unmanned…
October 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
My latest for Guernica Magazine.
Earlier this month, the British street artist Banksy produced a video on Syria that attracted over five million viewers in three days. At a time of intensifying state repression, the target of Bansky’s satire was not the regime in Damascus but its opponents. By contrast, the most watched video from the chemical attack in August, showing a traumatized young survivor, managed only half a million hits in over a month.
Six weeks after the attacks on Ghouta that killed hundreds of civilians, regime forces have choked off food supplies to the targeted neighborhoods. Survivors of the chemical attack are now facing the threat of starvation. Children have been reduced to eating leaves; clerics have issued fatwas allowing people to eat cats and dogs.
The belated discovery of the Syrian conflict by “anti-imperialists” after the US government threatened war inspired impassioned commentary. The strangulation of its vulnerable population has occasioned silence. But dog whistles from issue-surfing provocateurs like Banksy are unexceptional; they merit closer scrutiny when they come from respected essayists like David Bromwich.
In a recent front-page article for the London Review of Books, Bromwich identifies many rogues in the Syrian drama: Barack Obama, John Kerry, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, “the jihadists”. But conspicuously absent is Assad’s Baathist regime. Vladimir Putin is the closest Bromwich admits to a hero. The Syrian people are denied even a cameo.
October 24, 2013 § 1 Comment
The Forward’s great cartoonist Eli Valley responds to anti-Iran doom-mongering by Israel lobby figures like Sheldon Adelson.
October 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Physicist Lawrence M. Krauss suggests that science and art ask the same fundamental question: Who are we, and what is our place in the universe? He is joined in the conversation by Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy. (Don’t miss Herzog reading a passage from McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses at 38:00).
(via the indispensable Open Culture)