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Written by johncollins on Jun 18, 2009

The following article is reprinted with permission.  I'm posting it here because I think the author, Ali Alizadeh, raises some very important issues regarding the ways in which the ongoing political crisis in Iran is being framed (and misunderstood) in the international media. (See also the excellent analysis at Juan Cole's blog.) You can find Alizadeh's original post here

why are the iranians dreaming again?*

[The following is a guest post from Ali Alizadeh, Researcher at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University]

This...

Written by erkinalp on Jun 11, 2009

On May 15th, antimilitarists all around the world have celebrated the World Day of Conscientious Objectors (COs). Believing that the only way to stop wars is to eradicate their human source, conscientious objectors have invited everyone to lay down their arms and reject military service.

Leaving aside the many forms and expressions of civil disobedience used to this date, anti-militarists in Turkey have come up with a new alternative: "militourism." Living in a country where conscientious objection is not recognized, since 2004, anti-militarists of Turkey tried to draw attention to the issue by a day of "touristic" visits to symbols of militarism in major cities in their country. Since then, the events took place in the Eurasian metropolitan of Istanbul in 2004; in 2005 in Izmir, a city of great significance with respect to the Turkish War...

Written by erkinalp on Jun 11, 2009

In the previous entries of this series I introduced to you a new expression of anti-militarism, militourism, gave some background information about what conscientious objection is and how it evolved, presented to you some of the different legislations existing in the world and the major issues concerning COs. In this final entry, drawing on some of the common questions directed to COs, I will note the significance of conscientious objection today.

The Courage of Peace:

The biggest questions that COs have faced to date is whether their ideals could ever become reality, i.e. whether the resistance to bear arms would bring wars to an end.

While describing conscientious objection, Margaret Levi ironically identifies it as "a weapon of protest" - it...

Written by adempewolff on Jun 4, 2009

After spending most of the early afternoon both watching the president's speech in Cairo and reading reactions to it online, I found myself returning to an essay I wrote the first semester of my freshman year. The title of the essay was "The Transformation of Republican Rhetoric regarding the Peace Process" and it looked at three texts (two speeches and a document) by Gerry Adams (former member of the IRA and important member of Sinn Fein), and how his use of language in the texts--which were from 1987, 1995, and 2005--evolved over time. I argued that in...

Written by Acorde on May 30, 2009

A couple of days ago I was startled to hear in one of the most important Costa Rican National newscast (Teletica ) that Costa Rica was ranked by its citizens as the best country in Latin America to live. Really?

According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB ) , Costa Rica, Venezuela, Guatemala and Mexico are the most optimistic nations of the Americas; on the other hand, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago appear as the most pessimistic.

The IDB attributes this disparity to the nature of the study (Entitled "Ideas for Development in the Americas," vol.17 ): it was based on people's opinions. The IDB highlights that citizens of a nation are too optimistic and others are...

Written by johncollins on May 27, 2009

As any student of news analysis knows, the mainstream media's attention is quite easily diverted from important stories once a moment of "crisis" has passed.  The Israeli strangulation of Gaza is an ongoing story that is decades in the making and, for ordinary Gazans, an ongoing reality.  While Israel's recent full-scale military assault on Gaza has ended, the suffering of Gaza's colonized population goes on.  Here is an update on some key Gaza stories that are flying under the radar. 

Writing in the indispensable Electronic Intifada...

Written by johncollins on May 18, 2009

A recent article in Al-Ahram Weekly by a St. Lawrence University alumnus tackles the thorny issue of the intercommunal tension that continues to plague Indian society.  Somdeep Sen, who graduate from SLU in 2007 and is currently doing graduate work at Central European University in Budapest, argues that India's large Muslim minority continues to bear the brunt of the society's internal contradictions. 

Pointing to the data revealed in the important 2006 Sachar Commitee Report, Sen notes that India's Muslims are...

Written by johncollins on May 13, 2009

One of the most underreported aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been its detrimental impact on the environment.  Living under occupation, Palestinians are unable to engage in fully autonomous and effective development efforts.  In response to this situation, a new local NGO called Bustan Qaraaqa (the Tortoise Garden) has emerged in Beit Sahour, a town famous for its inspiring tax revolt during the first Palestinian intifada (uprising) in the late 1980s.  Bustan Qaraaqa seeks to "propagate a...

Written by milansova on May 6, 2009

"Into Abyssinia" a Chautauqua Films production, was shown for students at Saint Lawrence this semester. The film is co-directed by SLU student O'Keefe Foster. Knowing Keefe, I was interested in having a converstion about the film, his mother's Selamta Project, and cultural tranfers and perceptions that are created through NGO's. "Into Abyssinia" documents a trip by the Foster family, and friends to Ethopia, the struggles and process of adopting children, and the questions of identity raised for an internationally adopted child in the U.S. I believe the film is very touching and promotes a critical look at the importance of projects like the Selamta Project. To learn more about the Selamta Project click here.

[video:http://...

Written by Danielle on May 4, 2009

To say that America revolves around capitalism and economics is not a stretch of the imagination. When these issues are possibly threatened, Americans look for someone to blame or something to punish in order to fix the problem, and unfortunately, immigrants, or individuals who "look" like immigrants, have become a primary target for this blame. Is this a legitimate claim or an extension of racism and discrimination in the US?

Each year, millions of migrant workers travel across the United States to find employment. As a result, their children are transferred from school to school and often must work in the fields with their parents in order to make money. Some of these workers are immigrants, both documented and undocumented , and some just can't find...