From the Editor

published in MER261

A question nagged at Occupy Wall Street and its myriad imitators, the most exciting social movement to emanate from the United States in more than a decade, for much of the fall. “What are your demands?” journalists persisted in asking. “What do you want?”

Responsibilities of the US Peace Movement

by David Cortright
published in MER167

Once again the American peace movement faces the threat of war. In the 1960s and 1970s it was Vietnam, in the 1980s Central America and the nuclear threat, and now it is Arabia. This dangerous moment calls for a major change of direction for peace and anti-intervention forces. Activities underway before the crisis -- the peace dividend campaign, redefining global security -- have been sidetracked. Everything now depends on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East.

Although press coverage has been scant, many groups in cities across the country have already begun organizing, and a growing movement is emerging. Most groups are united around five political demands:

Debunking the Iran "Terror Plot"

by Gareth Porter | published November 3, 2011

At a press conference on October 11, the Obama administration unveiled a spectacular charge against the government of Iran: The Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, right in Washington, DC, in a place where large numbers of innocent bystanders could have been killed. High-level officials of the Qods Force were said to be involved, the only question being how far up in the Iranian government the complicity went.

The Pentagon's New Army

Doubts About Desert War

by Mark Perry
published in MER167

Sitting comfortably in his living room in Arlington, Virginia, some two years ago, Gen. Edward C. Meyer reflected on the American military and the transformations it has undergone in the last two decades. “This isn’t the American military of World War II, or even Tet,” he said. “This is a totally different military than we’ve ever had before. For one thing, it’s a married military, a family military. It’s a much more complex unit, with much greater demands. We just don’t know how it will do in conflict.”

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The Rites and Rights of Citizenship

by Moustafa Bayoumi | published September 9, 2011

On Tuesday I became a citizen of the United States. Almost ten years ago, I was granted permanent residency. Between my Green Card and my naturalization certificate lies the seemingly endless decade of the “war on terror.”

Bush Locks Horns with Shamir

by Jeffrey Blankfort
published in MER173

On January 21, six days into the US air war against Iraq, Israeli Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai took advantage of Washington’s praise for Israel’s “restraint” in the face of 11 Scud missile attacks to drop a bombshell of his own. Before the assembled Jerusalem press corps, he advised visiting Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger that Israel would require an additional $13 billion dollars from the US at the conclusion of the war, $3 billion as “compensation” for the bombing and $10 billion in loan guarantees for the anticipated immigration of Soviet Jews.

American Jews and Palestine

The Impact of the Gulf War

by Marilyn Neimark
published in MER175

In 1988, in the midst of the intifada, American Jews mustered their forces in opposition to an Israeli government policy and forced the government to back down. At issue was the Israeli government’s decision to change the Law of Return to recognize only Orthodox converts to Judaism. The same American Jewish leaders who vigorously denounced and tried to silence any Jew who dared to speak out against the Israeli occupation and its violation of Palestinian human rights lost not a moment in their rush to criticize Israel publicly on what came to be known as the “Who-Is-A-Jew” question. The pressure worked, and the Israeli government retreated.

The Media and the Polls

Domesticating the Body Politic

by Fouad Moughrabi
published in MER180

From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting

Middle Eastern Diaspora in Los Angeles

by Hamid Naficy
published in MER180

Transnational media conglomerates and television networks from RCA to Associated Press to CNN have created and dominated a model of broadcasting which might be called “centralized global broadcasting.” Worldwide restructurings and rapid technological advances, though, have ushered in a new model of television which could be termed “decentralized global narrowcasting.” Middle Eastern television programs in Los Angeles are an example of developments in mass media which have led to the emergence of so-called minority and ethnic television and video. Their programs constitute part or the dynamic and multifaceted popular cultures produced and consumed by immigrant and exile communities in southern California.

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