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By Daniele Ganser, a Swiss historian, senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. He specializes in inter-national relations and international history from 1945 to today. His research interests are peace research, geostrategy, secret warfare, resource wars, globalization and human rights. He teaches at Swiss universities, including the history department of Basel University. His current research is focusing on the so called “war on terror” and peak oil.
“When looking for a PhD research topic in early 1998, I became interested in the Gladio phenomenon, of which I had not previously heard. After some research I realized that despite its great importance for the most recent political, social and military history of Western Europe and the United States, only very limited work had been carried out on the phenomenon of the secret NATO armies, with no single study on the topic available in English. As the complex structure of the network and the mysteries surrounding it increasingly caught my interest, many well-meaning friends advised me against taking it as a PhD topic …” Look inside on Amazon
Culture and International Affairs: the Blog for William O. Beeman, Professor and Chair of Anthropology and specialist in Middle East Studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota, formerly of Brown University. It includes current publications on Middle Eastern affairs, especially Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region; anthropology; linguistics; performance; opera; things Japanese and Central Asian.
Borrowing again from P U L S E: Iran, Hamas, Syria, Hezbollah, Afghanistan, Israel and America. Laura Flanders of GRITtv interviews Hamid Dabashi and Paul McGeough on Obama’s promises of “change” and how it applies in respect to Washington’s dealings with these political groups and countries.
Paul McGeough is the author of Killing Khalid: The Failed Mossad Assassination of Khalid Mishal and the Rise of Hamas, and Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the author of Iran: A people interrupted and most recently of Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror.
This video ends with the amazing story of Sabriye Tenberken – a blind educator and adventurer who established the first school for the blind in Lhasa – and an interview with Lucy Walker the director of Blindsight.
A great lecture, if you haven’t seen it already
From South America, New Orleans, China to Iraq, Naomie Klein depicts with clarity and humour, patterns of McFreedom: corporate liberalization and militarism together with the steady neglect of the public sphere and infrastructure, the inherent need of violence in order to push these economic policies, and the accompanying narratives.
Klein highlights the importance of knowing and remembering history – not fairy tale history – in order to recognize those patterns and react in a constructive way.
Relevant link: Iran, War or Privatization: All Out War or “Economic Conquest”?
Previous post: Another world
Robert Fisk’s World: A brave man who stood alone. If only the world had listened to him
“I don’t know if I met Tom Hurndall. He was one of a bunch of “human shields” who turned up in Baghdad just before the Anglo-American invasion in 2003, the kind of folk we professional reporters make fun of. Tree huggers, that kind of thing. Now I wish I had met him because – looking back over the history of that terrible war – Hurndall’s journals (soon to be published) show a remarkable man of remarkable principle...” read more
Hi all. I am back home since a while but not much in the blogging mode! I thank everyone of you who kept visiting, I missed you all.
Just a short note to bring to your attention a book I came across recently and its author.
Crimes without frontier
“Jürgen Todenhöfer’s book is an attempt to shed light on the other side of the story. It reports on how Iraqi people talk about the war, […] . When neither helicopters nor humvees have been “cleansing” and securing the area for hours beforehand, for politicians and press convoys. “Why do you kill, Zaid?” gives a voice to those whom Pentagon press officers never take their visitor delegations to see – members of the Iraqi resistance. The book attempts to explain why this resistance is not only fighting against American troops, but also against Al Qaeda terrorists and the foreign-backed private militias of Iraqi politicians. It aims to clarify the fundamental differences between resistance fighters and terrorists. […]”
Dr. Jürgen Todenhöfer – an executive at a major European media group, former member of the German parliament, spokesman for the CDU/CSU on development and arms control – has written two bestsellers about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
With the proceeds he established a children’s home in Afghanistan and is building a children’s clinic in Congo. With the royalties from “Why do you kill, Zaid?” Todenhöfer will finance medical aid for Iraqi refugee children (IOM) and an Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation project in the Middle East (MEET).
Payvand is one of my favorite sites on all things Iranian. Wiith a good selection of articles, interviews, books, art events etc, it also covers the Iranian diaspora ‘s activities in political, cultural and social fields.
A link to a book review: The devil we know by Robert Baer, a former CIA operative whose character was played by George Clooney in the movie “Syriana,” based on Baer’s book “See No Evil.” He has extensive contacts throughout the Middle East […]
If you’re looking for a clear-headed, rational look at the Middle East, read “The Devil We Know.” It turns conventional “wisdom” on its head. Of the three options Baer outlines for dealing with Iran — Staying in Iraq forever; provoking a “Mad Max” Shia-Sunni civil war; or sit down at the negotiating table with Iran, “treat it like the power it has become, and see what it has to offer” the latter is the only sensible course of action … read more
Update: Robert Baer in NPR
An article: Comprehensive sustainable development as a potential counter-hegemonic strategy: Is Iran’s Strategy Counter-Hegemonic? By Dr. Mehdi S. Shariati, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics/Sociology
Writer’s conclusion (emphasis mine): “Globalization, militarism, colonialism, imperialism, and the structure within which these forms of violence are taking place—contemporary capitalism—have created a tragic human and planetary condition. Measures taken to remedy these problems must delve into the causes. There are tens of millions of land mines around the world (80 countries in Africa and Asia alone) killing and maiming people around the world. The price of food has increased by 83 percent in the past three years. Over 1 billion people live on one dollar a day. One billion suffer from hunger and close to one billion are malnourished. Most surface water on the planet is polluted. Two to three billion have tuberculosis and half of billion have malaria every year mostly in Africa. Worldwide, 700 people die of malaria every hour and respiratory diseases along with the destruction of the environment kill millions. As the advanced countries of the global north march forward, they devour resources much beyond their real needs and pollute the planet. Those who are lagging behind will continue to suffer a worsening condition. This process can be reversed only if the global south reaches a certain level of internal solidarity, values social justice, and practices radical democracy. Blaming others goes only so far and excessive finger pointing will divert the attention from forging alliances toward overcoming hegemony. A healthy future world requires a global strategy for comprehensive sustainable development and all of its prerequisites.” Link to the article
Another book: ANCIENT IRAN: A pictorial history for young readers ages 8 and up, by Massoume Price, a Social Anthropologist and Human Ecologist from London University, Kings and University Colleges. She specializes in ancient Mesopotamian Studies. She currently lives in Canada. Works with a number ofWomen’s organizations and is a free lance writer.
Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States: A Dinner Party Approach to International Relations, by Chris Fair (h/t to Ann)
What can a nation’s eating habits tell you about it?
Isn’t Middle Eastern food all alike?
Which of your axis of evil dinner parties has gone over best?
More questions and answers: What if you gave a dinner party and the Axis of Evil came?, and her favorite dish: Khoresht-e Fessenjan!
Drawing Paradise on the ‘Axis of Evil’: Images from an art exhibition by Emily Johns
Don’t forget to check Reclaiming space for the untold story of Iraq: “Two excellent recent videos discussing Iraq and US foreign policy.”
- A panel featuring Jeremy Scahill (the author of Blackwater: The rise of the worlds most powerfull mercenary army) Laila Al-Arian, Chris Hedges and Seymour Hersh: how to withdraw responsibly and what is not on the US Congressional debating agenda. June 3 2008
- Chris Hedges talking about his latest book, co-authored with Laila Al-Arian, Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians. June 27 2008
The first chapter of the book focuses on Iran. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:
“You are holding a warped travel book. […] This warped travel book remixes three main themes: globalization, energy wars and the Pentagon’s Long War, originally packaged as the “war on terror.” Call it a—what else—war travel book. […]
You will be traveling mostly in the arc from Middle East to Central Asia, but also in China, Russia, Western Europe, Western Africa, South America. […] You’ll see how national resistance wars have nothing to do with “terrorism.” […] You’re going to revisit how, where and who profits from economic globalization and especially war corporatism. You’ll see how more trade does not necessarily mean more peace. You’ll see how and where possible New Orders are emerging, and Old Orders disintegrating. And you will finish the pilgrimage back in the middle of a—predictable—global war of the privileged few against the excluded many. […]” read more
گل و بلبلستان