Archive for August, 2012

UK: Don’t Allow US Extradition of Assange

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Received by e-mail, From: Just Foreign Policy, Date: August 2, 2012.

Dear Supporter, For the past six weeks, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London while his application for political asylum is reviewed. Meanwhile, Ecuadorean officials have been trying to reach a diplomatic resolution by seeking assurances from the US, UK, and Swedish governments that Assange will not be extradited to the United States if he travels to Sweden for questioning. Read the rest of this entry »

A disrupted country

Monday, August 6th, 2012

From Pakistan to Kabul: Observations in Afghanistan – Published on Current Concerns, by Matin Baraki, July 23, 2012;

You generally reach the capital of Afghanistan only on detours. It is also advisable to not show that you have come  travelling from Europe. By the time you reach the country at the Hindu Kush, you already have a three-day beard, like many Afghans have in these days.

When I arrived in Peshawar from Frankfurt via Dubai, the airport to my surprise was no longer the “Peshawar International Airport,” but “Pacha Khan International Airport”. In the multi-ethnic nation of Pakistan, the Pashtuns are obviously becoming more confident.   Read the rest of this entry »

Islamists and Arab constitutions

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

While many had hoped that the drafting of new constitutions in post-Arab Spring countries would reinforce a new consensus, Islamists are sowing more discord than harmony – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Khalil El-Anani, 2 – 8 August 2012.

Having reached power in a number of Arab countries, Islamists have become an authentic party in the process of drafting constitutions in the countries of the Arab Spring. This reality raises numerous questions, not only on the components, substance and wording of the new constitutions, but also on how the process of drafting the constitution should be managed. The problem is particularly acute in Egypt, where a fierce battle rages between all parties, participants and non-participants alike.   Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering Gore Vidal

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Published on The Peoples Voice, by Stephen Lendman, August 2, 2012. (Find Stephen Lendman also on World People’s Blog).

Many labels characterize him: distinguished author, essayist, playwright, historian, acerbic sociopolitical/cultural critic, freethinker, intellectual, and humanist.

In 2009, the American Humanist Association (AHA) named him honorary president.

On July 31, Gore Vidal died from complications of pneumonia at his Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles home.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Corporate Vision for American Education

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Published on ZNet, by Jack Rasmus, August 01, 2012.

Both K-12 and college education systems in America were once the envy of the world. But that system is now in a state of continuing decline, with a halt to the decline nowhere in sight.

At the college level, the central problem is runaway costs.   Read the rest of this entry »

Iran and the Time of Last Resort

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Published on ZNet, by Vijay Prashad, July 30, 2012.

In early July, the United States Navy moved a converted transport ship, USS Ponce, into the Persian Gulf to its temporary home off Bahrain’s waters. The Ponce is a floating forward base for military operations in the region. This ship, originally built in 1966 but now retrofitted, is a platform for U.S. Special Forces in the region. It uses an array of helicopters as well as marine divers whose putative work is to assist minesweeping ships but whose other purpose is underwater sabotage. The Ponce joins USS Enterprise and USS Lincoln, both first class warships that are supported by a considerable battle group … // Read the rest of this entry »

Migrations to the north

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

A new translation of mediaeval Arab travel narratives may herald further English translations of classical Arabic literature – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by David Tresilian, 25 – 31 July 2012.

Speaking to the Weekly in an interview late last year, the British orientalist Robert Irwin suggested that while more works of modern Arabic literature were now being translated into English than ever before, western readers were still sometimes ill served when it came to translations from the classical literature.   Read the rest of this entry »