From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER272

In the last week of August, after several false starts, a ceasefire finally halted the summertime slaughter in Gaza. Israel’s bombs stopped falling, Palestinians stopped dying and the world media stopped its round-the-clock coverage. And, just like that, Gaza was again yesterday’s news.

The Arab Bank and Washington’s Protectorate in the Levant

by Pete Moore | published September 25, 2014 - 2:43pm

One stated justification for US strikes in Syria and Iraq is to protect the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

State Department Taking Passports Away from Yemeni-Americans

by The Editors | published August 9, 2014 - 4:18pm

Over the past year, dozens of Yemeni-Americans visiting their ancestral homeland have had their US passports summarily revoked or confiscated by the embassy in Sanaa without any clear legal basis, effectively stranding them outside the United States. Last month, a coalition of US civil rights groups submitted a report on this practice to the Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) pursuant to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Another Benghazi

by Chris Toensing | published August 9, 2014 - 3:52pm

“We didn’t want another Benghazi.” Oh no, is that really why the Obama administration decided to bomb Iraq?

Do we have another bunch of fools in the White House who learn precisely the wrong lessons from their mistakes?

Beneath the Gray Lady’s Flak Jacket

by William Lafi Youmans | published July 28, 2014 - 2:16pm

The New York Times is the most prestigious of the prestige press in the United States. The famed “gray lady” is the newspaper of record, a citadel of objectivity, it is said, where the first draft of history is crafted. It sets the agenda for other newspapers, for the broadcast news programs and even for cable TV news.

Matthew Huber, Lifeblood

by Chris Toensing
published in MER271

Matthew Huber, Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom and the Forces of Capital (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

“The American way of life” -- is there another phrase that sounds so innocuous yet is so fraught? To most Americans, and admirers of the United States abroad, the four words evoke naught but virtue, the “values” of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that make the United States the envy of the world, for better and for worse. To critics fond of scare quotes, the term is more likely to mean runaway consumption, particularly as regards car culture, and blissful (or even willful) ignorance of the perils.

What About 'Abd al-Rahman al-Awlaqi?

by Lisa Hajjar | published June 29, 2014 - 7:29pm

The US government wanted to kill Anwar al-Awlaqi long before a CIA-JSOC drone strike actually succeeded in doing so on September 30, 2011. Before and after that deadly strike, al-Awlaqi’s kill-ability has been a bone of contention because he was a US citizen. The cleric, who had become radicalized as the “war on terror” wore on, moved to Yemen, his ancestral homeland, in late 2004.

Justice for Rasmea Odeh

by Nadine Naber | published June 19, 2014 - 5:31pm

This past winter, I was privileged to participate in several events in Chicago organized by Rasmea Yousef Odeh, associate director of the Arab American Action Network and leader of that group’s Arab Women’s Committee. The events brought together anywhere from 60-100 disenfranchised women, all recent immigrants, from nearly every Arabic-speaking country. The attendees were there to learn English, share meals and stories, and discuss personal struggles, in everything from marriage and parenting to navigating the US educational and medical industries and the US immigration system. The women also talked about fending off racism.

Postcard from Guantánamo

by Lisa Hajjar | published June 17, 2014 - 4:22pm

On June 14, 123 people -- including a military judge, teams of civilian and military defense lawyers and prosecutors, eight courtroom observers, and 15 journalists -- flew on a C-17 from Andrews Air Force Base to Guantánamo Bay for military commission proceedings. It is my fifth trip to Guantánamo, and the second to cover the pre-trial hearings related to the September 11, 2001 attacks. (I went three times in 2010 to cover the last hearings in the case of Omar Khadr, the Canadian “child soldier” who pled guilty and was convicted in October 2010.

Petraeus’ Real Failure

by Laleh Khalili | published June 12, 2014 - 12:38pm

On the sidelines of the catastrophic failure of the Iraqi army to hold back the militias of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (or ISIS, as it is usually known), and the fall of Mosul to that group, a debate is taking place in the United States about whether this turn of events is yet another black mark in the massive ledger of retired Gen. David Petraeus. As Anne Barnard of the New York Times tweeted, “Remember the ‘Mosul miracle’ under Petraeus?”