Subject: ON "IDENTITY POLITICS" AND NEW ALLIANCES IN "THE AGE OF EXTREMES" : FROM THE CENTER FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY OF AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS,
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
After grading a mountain of papers and
what seemed like an endless stream of exams, we are about to begin spring
At the end of this month, CEIMSA-IN-EXILE will sponsor a campus showing of the award-winning documentary : "The Corporation", featuring Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, Naomi Klein, and many other critiques of the American capitalist system in crisis
On another front ,
more than 50 graduate students in American Studies at
Meanwhile, we have received much mail dealing with personal and institutional identity crises in this "Age of Extremes".
Item A. is a wake-up call from NYU Professor Bertell Ollman, an international scholar and winner of the Charles A. McCoy Distinguished Career Award from the New Political Science Section of the American Political Science Association. Professor Ollman has devoted his professional life to making Marx's theories and methodologies accessible to social science scholars. In this piece he has sent us, Professor Ollman is dramatically rejecting "identity politics," beginning with his own ethnic identity, which in his youth he had embraced as a universal good.
Item B. is
a report from the
In item C. Stendhal University Professor of linguistics, Vicki Briault, has sent us a recent article warning that financial contributions to the victims on the tsunami-wracked costs on the Indian Ocean may never arrive at their intended destination, because servicing Third World debt takes priority over human lives. The banks are likely to receive this money before the victims needs are met.
And finally, in item D., Dahr Jamail has sent us another eye-witness account of U.S. imperialist violence and the "banality of evil" that hangs heavily in the air during these last weeks before the American-supervised "free elections" in Iraq.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
from Bertell Ollman
Subject: "Letter of Resignation from the Jewish People"
Please click on following link to CEIMSA’s “Scholarly Publications” for : “Letter of Resignation”, by Professor Ollman.
From: Council for the National Interest
Subject: Is AIPAC Mortally Wounded?
The FBI investigation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has long been viewed as the pro-Israel lobby on Capitol Hill, has sparked the thought that the once powerful organization may be headed for history's dustbin. If it is required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), as even mainstream Newsweek hinted at this week, it may spell the ruin of the organization that always professed itself the great supporter of "American" interests.
But some supporters are wondering if
In Congress, the Zionist lobby is
now comfortably institutionalized. The core bipartisan group of congressional
supporters of Israel can be found in the Middle East subcommittee of the House
Committee on International Relations, headed by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and
including Gary Ackerman (D-NY) (also minority leader of the full IR committee),
Howard Berman (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Shelley
Berkley (D-NV), and Tom Lantos (D-CA). Along with Robert Menendez (D-NJ),
Robert Wexler (D-FL), and Dan Burton (R-IN), this core group habitually puts forward
congressional resolutions and "dear colleague" letters to the
President on any number of Israeli needs and requests. The latest letter from
Wexler, Ackerman, Menendez, and Engel to President Bush expressed their
"concerns" about and requested information on why the FBI needs to
investigate their good friends at AIPAC, and Wexler has suggested that the FBI
is targeting Jews. This is the same group that circulated a letter condemning
the Presbyterian Church for its
So why is AIPAC needed at all? It
clearly is no longer required to push for economic or military aid; all that
seems to be left for the organization to do is provide junket trips for
congressmen and their staff to visit
One might wonder what will happen to
an organization with four of its principal officers testifying before a grand
jury investigating espionage on behalf of
Council for the National Interest
from Vicki Briault
Subject: Tsunami and debt
Dear Friends and Relations,
translated the enclosed article on Sunday for the CADTM hoping to get it
Love and best wishes to all,
PS For people who kindly helped me with the rereading of a chapter in Your Money or Your Life, we should be getting copies soon (it was delayed, they always are it seems) and I will send you each one by way of thanks.
donations may well end up servicing the
By Damien Millet and Eric Toussaint (*)
since the earthquake that struck off the coast of
countries are affected:
end of 2003, the total external debt of the eleven countries came to 406
billion dollars . Their economic performance varied
greatly, as did their creditors . Promising countries
In 2003, the eleven countries repaid a total of 68 billion dollars to their foreign creditors, as compared to 60 billion the preceding year. Their governments alone repaid 38 billion dollars . It is an enormous drain on their resources: between 1980 and 2003, repayments totalled eleven times the amount owed in 1980, while at the same time, that original debt had increased fivefold .
The amount of international aid so far pledged is estimated at 6 billion dollars, 4 billion of which will come from official institutions. Without wishing to discourage the wave of generosity, which relieves the donors' consciences long before it reaches the victims, it is urgent to point out that the eleven countries shell out six times that much in debt repayments each year. So the grossly over-publicised generosity, even when it is sincere, remains a very subtle mechanism for sucking the wealth of the populations of the South towards their rich creditors. If only December's tragedy could serve to highlight that other tragedy, going well beyond the eleven countries hit by the tsunami: the debt. Because of it, and with the complicity of the local ruling classes who have a personal interest in keeping their countries indebted, States do not guarantee the fulfilment of their people's basic needs; poverty and corruption are widespread; political and economic sovereignty have become meaningless concepts for dozens of countries; natural resources are pillaged or sold off to powerful multinational corporations; farmers are forced to grow cash crops for export to the detriment of subsistence crops. The debt is the particularly vigorous nerve centre of a predatory and oppressive economic model.
What creditor would dare declare publicly that they still intend to obtain repayments from such badly damaged countries? Nevertheless, none has definitely given up. The long-awaited Paris Club meeting, (17 days after the quake) attended by 19 rich countries, should fool no one. The creditors are ready to suspend repayments, with no significant cancellation of the debt, all the better to lay down strict conditionalities enforced by the IMF. Yet this is the same IMF which already distinguished itself during the 1997-1998 crisis with remedies worse than the disease.
As a mater of conscience, all creditors can decide to renounce their debts. Without delay. It has already happened in recent years for geopolitical reasons . Hundreds of social movements present in the region, particularly the CADTM and Jubilee South networks, have called for cancellation, showing the objective solidarity that exists among all those who have first-hand experience of the tyranny of the debt. A moratorium or simple reduction will not do. Only the total and unconditional cancellation of the external public debt of the stricken countries, with local citizens' control over the money thus freed up, can be an adequate response to the scale of the tsunami disaster. Otherwise, the only purpose your donations will serve, in the end, is to help the devastated countries to repay their debt - a debt that has become immoral.
Damien Millet is president of CADTM France, Eric Toussaint is president of
from Dahr Jamail
Date: Januaru 13, 2005
Subject: A Restless Calm in
« This is not a life. |
A Restless Calm
I m typing as mortars are blasting away in the nearby Green Zone. Mortars are easy to tell-the higher pitched thunk of their launch, then a pause, then a loud boom that echoes through the still night. Blaring sirens wail in the distance, along with the random cracking of gunfire. Nightfall always seems to bring action in this area of central Baghdad-just last night there were many sporadic gun battles out my window.
Earlier today while I was in the al-Adhamiya district of Baghdad the
He took two plastic bags and began dumping our half eaten salads and extra bread into them. She thanked us and blessed us, then began to shuffle off&Abu Talat and I both quickly walked over to her and gave her a small wad of Iraqi Dinars. We walked back to the car not saying a word about it.
Funny that everyone lately is
talking about how calm it is here in
Calm looks like the military not releasing the number of times each day they are attacked&at last count this was around 70 per day that they admitted to&which means it is probably more.
It also looks like a van with four
bank guards being destroyed, burning the men to death; it looks like another
Both of these locations are in the vicinity of Fallujah.
Calm looks like mortars and gunfire
everyday, sporadically around
Of course it also looks like gas lines up to 6 miles long.
It is impossible to drive for long
in Baghdad without running into these&lines of
cars on the sides of highways and side streets, as people stand outside their cars
waiting, then pushing their car forward each time the line inches a few meters
closer to the sacred gas station. With 70% unemployment in
Sitting in another traffic jam while trying to decide how we ll work if any more fuel stations close and the black markets begin to dry up, I suggest to Abu Talat, We can get a donkey. You can drive and I ll sit on the back and write in my notebook and take photos.
Yes, that is certainly an option, he laughs, Definitely a much better idea than trying to steal a fuel tanker.
That had been my previous idea.
Earlier today I interviewed a man who was in the intelligence service of the former regime. He asked me if I wanted to go into Fallujah.
Um, no thanks, I said, Not right now, speaking to him from across a small table as we drank our orange Miranda soft drinks. The room was darkened by curtains, and he spoke to me only on condition of anonymity&after he took my satellite phone and placed it in another part of the building.
They can track the satellite phones even when they are not on, he explained to me, Only by removing the SIM card can they not be tracked.
Information I hope I never need to
apply. One learns the most interesting things in
He gives me a quick rundown of what he knows of Fallujah, telling me that the military controls two main checkpoints into the city and the main road which divides what is left of the demolished city. There are still 25 attacks each day by the mujahideen there against the occupiers, he says, And the resistance is in control of large areas of the city to this day.
Who knows how accurate this is. And with the military cordon around most of the city, it s almost impossible to verify for now.
He claims that only 3% of the people
killed during the assault were fighters, and the rest civilians. I m sure this
is a little low&but certainly closer to the truth
than the US estimate that 1200-1300 of 2000 killed were fighters, and
definitely closer than the statement from Allawi that
every single person killed in Fallujah was a fighter.
Even members of the
He suddenly says, That s it, no more, and the interview is over.
We thank him for his time and are back on the street.
There are white military
surveillance balloons floating all over
Most of the Iraqi Army (formerly known as Iraqi National Guard) is wearing black facemasks as they ride around in the backs of pickups with makeshift machine guns in them. They seem like boys with toys compared to the Humvees with the 50 calibers on top of them, rocket launchers slung over the backs of the seats of the soldiers riding atop them&their faces hidden under helmets and behind goggles.
Driving down the highway this afternoon a van passes with a man waving a pistol at cars&making them give way so it can speed ahead.
This is our civilization now, says Abu Talat, laughing his deep contagious belly laugh as he lights another of his terribly harsh Gold Seal cigarettes.
If you don t laugh here, you lose your mind in a hurry.
Posted by Dahr_Jamail