Imperialism

A region transformed

Issue section: 
Author: 

The Arab Spring has been marked by a series of momentous events that herald the beginning of an era of revolutionary change. The uprisings have transformed in weeks and months a region mired in decades of political stagnation. The revolutions contain the possibility of growing over to an even more radical social change. To understand this potential we have to examine the deep social changes that have transformed the Arab world, but this requires breaking with many of the ideas that have dominated our understanding of the region.

For many people the Arab revolutions are simply a "correction" in the struggle against imperialism. The overthrow of Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Ali Saleh of Yemen have struck deep blows to imperialism. The uprising in Bahrain, which pits a disenfranchised population against a US and Saudi client regime, is seen in the same light.

Friend of the Palestinians?

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Miriyam Aouragh dismisses the claim that a revolution in Syria would be a disaster for the Palestinians

Syria lies at a very sensitive nexus in the Middle East. It borders Israel, a state that poses a very real threat to it. The country lacks it own natural resources, and is dependent on other states economically. US president George Bush described Syria as a "state sponsor of terrorism", and the regime sees itself as standing alone. So it looks to ally with other anti-US and anti-Israel movements, such as Palestinian Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon, in order to strengthen its position.

Syria: between revolution and imperialism

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Both those who call for intervention and those who condemn the revolution in Syria are wrong. Jamie Allinson argues that Syrians can liberate themselves

On 23 February the self-appointed "Friends of Syria" met in Tunis to demand, in the words of Barack Obama, that "the international community...send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition". Given that this group includes the US, UK and France, who have never rallied anyone to demand Israel's withdrawal from occupied Syrian territory, and Saudi Arabia, whose troops have enforced a bloody terror against the Bahraini revolution, Syrian activists might think that with friends like these they don't need enemies.

Libya: The West's new client?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The uprising in Libya was inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. But the intervention of Nato forces changed the situation dramatically. Simon Assaf asks if Libya is now destined to become a client state of Western powers or whether its revolution could revive

The revolution itself appears to have stopped, becoming instead a Western-backed revolt. While in Egypt young revolutionaries are storming the Israeli embassy, in Libya Western leaders are greeted as heroes. French, US and British flags fly over the centre of Benghazi. In Cairo these flags are being torn down.

Imperialism and homophobia

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Recent years have seen increased international coverage of LGBT issues. While activists are rightly outraged by the attacks people suffer in other parts of the world, it's important to understand the broader context of homophobia in order to avoid promoting racist stereotypes, argues Colin Wilson

In February the BBC screened a documentary about Uganda, The World's Worst Place to be Gay?, fronted by gay Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills. Mills documented the grim facts: serious attacks against lesbians and gays are going on in Uganda, with a bill under discussion in parliament which would introduce the death penalty for gay sex if the offender has previous convictions, is HIV+ or has sex with someone under 18. There is widespread public hostility to gay people, and gay activists face murderous attacks - such as that on David Kato, who was beaten to death in January.

Bahrain: uprising and intervention

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The arrival of Saudi Arabian troops has raised the stakes for Bahrain's fledgling revolution. Tim Nelson reports on the uprising in the Middle East's smallest state

On 14 March Saudi troops crossed the causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The United Arab Emirates has also sent about 500 police into the country. They were invited by the Bahraini government after it was becoming increasingly clear the security forces were unable to contain the mass protests against the authoritarianism of the ruling Al Khalifa family. Since 14 February there have been mass protests against the regime, demanding democratic reforms and, increasingly, the removal of the ruling family.

Libya: at the crossroads

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Libya's revolution faces stark choices. Simon Assaf looks at the roots of Gaddafi's regime and the danger posed by Western intervention

As we go to press, Libya's revolution is at a crossroads. The uprising that erupted on 17 February faces two dangers - the possibility that an offensive by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi could crush the revolt, and that the West could intervene and undermine the revolution. This crisis is not of the revolution's making, but is nonetheless one that throws into sharp relief two possible options - to make an alliance of dependency with Western powers, or to draw on the forces that have been pushing for change across the region.

Band of warring brothers

Issue section: 
Author: 

The spending review comes at a time of high international tension, as governments around the world compete to escape economic ruin. Jane Hardy analyses the global "currency wars".

Financial pundits have given up scrabbling for the green shoots of recovery. New York professor Nouriel Roubini said on 14 October, "The growth rate is so low it's going to feel like a recession even if technically it's not a recession." On top of that he has predicted that there is a 35 to 40 percent chance of a double dip recession. The recovery in the US, the heartland of global capitalism, looked extremely fragile. In mid-October the dollar hit a 15-year low and unemployment increased, and 18 months into the so-called recovery jobs are still being shed.

Playstation warfare

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The military use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones, has risen sharply over the last decade. These remotely piloted killer robots enable operators to launch missiles and bombs on human targets in the combat zone while they remain safe, thousands of miles away in the Nevada desert.



Grim game: a Reaper drone operator

With weapons dispatched at the touch of a joystick, armed drones involve a form of "playstation warfare" that risks creating a culture of convenient killing.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Imperialism