Afghan Women

Bombed to be Liberated?

by Saba Gul Khattak
published in MER222

When we are hungry, nobody listens, but when we are fighting, they send us loads of firearms and artillery. Why? -- Zubaida (April 1998)

Controllable Democracy in Uzbekistan

by Alisher Ilkhamov
published in MER222

Few doubt that the prolongation of the presidential term in Uzbekistan’s January referendum paves the way for presidency for life for Islam Karimov. The Uzbek regime is building a controllable democracy, combining the expansion of democratic-looking institutions with restricted civil liberties and human rights. All this is unlikely to affect Washington’s ever-strengthening ties with its newest ally.

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The Decline (But Not Fall) of US Hegemony in the Middle East

by Yahya Sadowski , Fareed Mohamedi
published in MER220

Americans who voted for “compassionate conservatism” in the November 2000 presidential election have been disappointed. George W. Bush has proven to be much more radical than his moderate campaign rhetoric implied. In the area of environmental policy, Bush’s moves to lift regulations on pollutants, promote the use of nuclear power and “clean coal” and encourage oil exploration off the coast of Florida and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge have triggered opposition even on the right. Where Ronald Reagan sought to overturn the social policies of Franklin Roosevelt, George W. seems to seek an even wider reversal of the health and labor regulations instituted by Theodore Roosevelt.

From the Editor

published in MER220

Upon its installment in the White House, the second Bush administration was universally expected to be the loyal handmaiden of Big Oil. The US oil and gas industry lavished $1,387,975 upon the hastily assembled committee which planned the inaugural festivities for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. BP-Amoco contributed $100,000, and executives from Conoco, Chevron and Exxon Mobil ponied up the same amount. In all, Big Oil gave $26 million to Bush, Cheney and their fellow Republicans in the 2000 election campaign.

From the Editor

published in MER218

On February 16, US and British warplanes bombed targets outside the no-fly zones for the first time since December 1998, prompting a brief media frenzy that refocused the world's attention on the low-level US-UK air war waged against Iraq since the 1990-1991 Gulf war. But the media mostly missed the real story. With bitter irony, George W. Bush's characterization of the raid as a "routine mission" highlighted the media's near-total neglect of the remarkable escalation of bombing inside the no-fly zones over the last two years.

From the Editors

published in MER223

At least 700,000 people jammed the streets of New York on June 12, 1982 to demand full disarmament from the heads of state gathered to discuss nuclear policy at the United Nations. The raucous crowd's chants of "No nukes!" drew favorable comment from German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who praised the "great and positive moral force" protesting outside the UN building.

American Justice, Ashcroft-Style

by Keith Feldman
published in MER224

The Bush administration's large-scale detentions of Arab and Muslim men -- without charge -- and draconian immigration restrictions are only two of its initiatives to erode civil liberties, civil rights and norms of procedural justice under cover of the "war on terrorism." Many initiatives were enabled by the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, signed into law by George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, after little public debate and no public hearing. The USA PATRIOT Act, approaching its first anniversary on the books, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 356 to 66. Only one senator, Russell Feingold (D-WI), voted to stop it.

Arabs, Race and the Post-September 11 National Security State

by Salah Hassan
published in MER224

In the face of a post-September 11 wave of racially motivated attacks against people from the Middle East and South Asia, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division announced in a September 13, 2001 press release that "any threats of violence or discrimination against Arab or Muslim Americans or Americans of South Asian descent are not just wrong and un-American, but also are unlawful and will be treated as such."