Against the Current 120

— The Editors
"A GOVERNMENT HEADED by right-wing extremists has been returned to power, to preside over a divided country and a potential for real catastrophe in Iraq…" That's what we wrote a year ago, in the immediate wake of the 2004 election (editorial statement, ATC 113).  In other words, the Republicans were firmly installed as the country's ruling party, albeit with a razor-thin majority, unless and until they were to screw something up really, really badly—and have they ever, from...
— Joanna Dubinsky Interviews Shana Griffin
It had been two weeks since Katrina's floodwaters and the government's indifference was unleashed on the city of New Orleans: two weeks spent in anguish and outrage—searching for information, analysis, and hope.  I was thinking about how to wrap my mind around everything—especially wondering where the feminist analysis was—when this email demanding gender analysis popped into my email inbox.
— Malik Miah
IT TURNS OUT that the city of lights and city of jazz have a lot in common. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and militant explosions in the suburbs of Paris expose the underbelly of racism and class divisions.
— Yves Coleman
IN FRENCH SUBURBAN slang, to "dance with the wolves" means to provoke the cops, make them run and, obviously, to escape without being arrested.  The unfortunate reality is much less romantic.  The three weeks of recent riots may be seen as a long overdue political response to the profound racism of French society; but in this writer's view this uprising is more an index of desperation of French youth, of all national origins, than the beginning of a new political movement.
— Steve Downs
WHAT DO YOU get when you mix 35,000 angry workers, an arrogant management, a union leadership under pressure from its membership, a decades-long drive to shrink the public sector, a racial divide between bosses and workers, and miscalculations?
— Dianne Feeley
ON DECEMBER 19, facing a strike threat and pressure from GM, Delphi Corporation backed away from its "final offer" to the United Auto Workers, pushing the deadline back to the end of February.  With the demand for a 63% wage cut off the table, complicated horse trading will ensue—but what's clear is that rank-and-file anger and mobilization makes a big difference.
— Amanda Plumb
ON NOVEMBER 9, 2005, graduate student employees at New York University (NYU) put down their red pens and picked up their picket signs. After a 2004 ruling by a Bush- appointed majority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NYU administration seized the opportunity to refuse to recognize and renegotiate with the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC)/ UAW Local 2110.
— Michael Schwartz
ONE OF THE most complicated aspects of the war in Iraq is that the Iraqi resistance is divided into a multitude of different groups with a multitude of different goals.
— Gilbert Achcar
THE ASSASSINATION [of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri] resulted in the intensification of the campaign by the USA and France against the Syrian presence and influence in Lebanon. This pressure was able to base itself on the mass mobilization inside Lebanon, which forced the withdrawal of Syrian troops.
— David Finkel interviews Jeff Halper
“FROM SHARON’S POINT of view it’s a done deal. Israel has won its century-old conflict with the Palestinians,” writes Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
“Surveying the landscape — physical and political alike — the Israeli Prime Minister has finally fulfilled the task with which he was charged 38 years ago by [former PM and leader of the Israeli right wing] Menahem Begin: ensure permanent Israeli control over the entire Land...
— Gode Davis and Peter Ian Asen
ON OCTOBER 9, 2005, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter appeared on ABC's "This Week" to defend Harriet Miers, President Bush's confidante whose nomination to the Supreme Court had evoked howls of protest, particularly from the Christian Right.  Specter told George Stephanopoulos that Miers' verbal critics made up "one of the toughest lynch mobs ever assembled in Washington, DC, and we assemble some tough lynch mobs."  In claiming Washington's penchant for "tough lynch mobs," Senator Specter...
— Michael O. West
ON OCTOBER 15, 1968 the government of Jamaica barred Walter Rodney from returning to the island. A lecturer at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Rodney had been out of the country attending a Black Power conference in Canada. The Guyanese-born Rodney was no stranger to Jamaica, having graduated from UWI in 1963. He returned to his alma mater as a faculty member at the beginning of 1968, after doing graduate studies in England and working briefly in Tanzania.
— Ursula McTaggart
Malcolm X:
Inventing Radical Judgment
By Robert Terrill
East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2004, $49.95 hardcover.
SPIKE LEE CLOSES his 1989 film “Do the Right Thing” with two quotes: In one, Malcolm X proclaims the right to self defense and in the other, Martin Luther King, Jr. insists upon non-violent protest. Each quote has the potential to produce a drastically different reading of the film, which ends in a police murder of an African-American youth and a subsequent...
— David Finkel
Obstacles to Peace
A Critical Re-framing of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
By Jeff Halper
maps prepared and designed by Michael Younan.
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), PalMap (Palestine Mapping Centre).
Third edition April 2005.
128 pp (large format). For ordering information (USA) contact: usa@ichad.org
“THE OCCUPATION CHALLENGES us all… Can a system of control, displacement, denial of fundamental rights and repression actually prevail? What does it mean if...
— Michael Steven Smith
Radicals, Rabbis, and Peacemakers:
Conversations with Jewish Critics of Israel
By Seth Farber
Common Courage Press, 252 pages, $19.95.
MY GRANDPARENTS CAME to America from Hungary in 1912. My family who stayed there and the Hungarian Jewish population were mostly killed by the fascists in the bitter winter of 1944, some 800,000. Twenty thousand alone died of the cold and disease, huddled in the great unheated synagogue, the largest in the world, on Dohany Street in Budapest.
— John Vandermeer
The Corporation:
The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
By Joel Bakan
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005 $14 paper.
Hegemony or Survival
America’s Quest for Global Dominance
By Noam Chomsky
New York: Henry Holt & Company 2004, $13 paper.
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim
America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror
By Mahmood Mamdani
New York: Doubleday Publishing 2005, $14.95 paperback.
Cuba
A Revolution in Motion
By Isaac Saney
London: Zed Books, 2004, $19.95 paper.
THERE ARE TIMES...