Rene -- What's Fueling the Genocide in Darfur?
What's Fueling the Genocide in Darfur?
By Nat Hentoff, Village Voice
Posted on October 19, 2004, Printed on October 20, 2004
A woman and teenage girl who were raped and abducted by soldiers in
western Darfur have claimed that the Sudanese army organized airlifts
of sex slavesto serve as the "wives" of government soldiers in
Khartoum. . . . "Each of us was raped by between three and six men,"
said Bokur [Hamis, 21]. "One woman refused to have sex with them, so
they split her head into pieces with an axe in front of us."
- Benjamin Joffe-Walt, Sunday Telegraph, London, September 19
None of the [oil] companies operating in Sudan can reliably ensure
that they and their operations, singly or collectively, do not
facilitate or benefit from human rights abuses. Indeed, they operate
in the midst of the abuses.- Sudan, Oil, and Human Rights, Human
Rights Watch, pages 694-695
George W. Bush, in his September 21 speech to the United Nations,
urged the formation of a Democracy Fund within the U.N. that "would
help countries lay the foundations of democracy by instituting the
rule of law in independent courts, a free press, political parties,
and trade unions." As old-time labor organizers used to say of
companies claiming that their "fully protected workers" didn't need
unions, the president is talking of "pie in the sky."
Structurally, the United Nations is utterly incapable of assuring the
rule of law and human rights in many of its member countries. Human
rights abusers Russia and China, for example, have veto powers in the
Security Council. And of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, composed
of many unremitting human rights abusers, Sudan itself is a proud
Emily -- More on Joseph Massad
Here is what the Zionists on Columbia campus are trying to do to
Professor Joseph Massad. It is unbelievable! And of course in typical
Democrat style, U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-Queens) called
for the University administrators to fire Massad......
Here are some more articles on the issue:
Film Accuses MEALAC Professors of Anti-Semitism
David Project Documentary Is Latest Event in Series of Controversies
Surrounding Middle East Studies; Students Featured Allege
By Megan Greenwell
Spectator Staff Writer
October 27, 2004
A film produced by a Boston-based Zionist group alleges that Columbia
professors discriminated against Israeli students or those who defended
Israel's right to exist.
The David Project, a non-profit organization that aims to "promote a
fair and honest understanding of the Middle East conflict," according
to its president, created the film after meeting with students who said
they had been intimidated by professors in Columbia's Middle East and
Asian Languages and Cultures department. The film has reignited
controversy surrounding professors of Middle East studies at Columbia,
many of whom have long faced charges of voicing anti-Semitic and
anti-American sentiments. Most recently, the University administration
was widely criticized for accepting a $200,000 gift from the United
Arab Emirates to fund the Edward Said chair in Middle East studies that
professor Rashid Khalidi now holds.
Dina -- Please sign the petition in defense of Professor Joseph Massad
Please sign the petition in defense of Professor Joseph Massad: http://www.petitiononline.com/jmassad/petition.html In addition to signing your name in for the petition above and writing to Columbia, it's also important that we write to the newspapers and respond to them. Please...
Avi -- The injustice of the new formula
Palestine / Israel
The injustice of the new formula
By Meron Benvenisti
In recent weeks, the discussion of the chances of the struggle for the establishment of a Palestinian state as a way to resolve the conflict has become sharper and more profound, and alternatives to the formula "two states for two peoples" have been raised; despair over implementing this solution is reinforcing the idea of "one binational state." As long as there were only "a few more or less naive Israelis, who were caught up in the foolish idea of a binational state" (Avraham Tal, Haaretz, October 14), the issue could be treated with condescending dismissiveness.
But when the matter is starting to be discussed by groups and people who belong to the heart of the political and military establishment in both the Israeli and the Palestinian camps, and the attention being devoted to it by pundits and journalists the world over is reaching new heights, the sense heightens that a process of a paradigm change has begun, and that it won't be long before a contest erupts as to who owns the patent for the new formula. After all, the slogan "two states" is less than 20 years old, and many of those who are rejecting the binational formula scornfully and aggressively had the same hostile attitude toward the two-state formula, until it gained legitimacy - after being emptied of meaning.
Rene -- Shaviro -- A Hacker Manifesto
By Steven Shaviro
The Pinoccio Theory
October 21, 2004
A Hacker Manifesto
McKenzie Wark's A Hacker Manifesto is a remarkable and beautiful book:
cogent, radical, and exhilarating, a politico- aesthetic call to arms for
the digital age.
The book really is, as its title says, a manifesto: a public declaration
of principles for a radically new vision, and a call to action based on
that vision. It's written as a series of short, numbered paragraphs or
theses; the writing is tight, compressed, and aphoristic, or a Wark
himself likes to say, "abstract." It's not "difficult" in the way that
certain "post-structuralist" philosophical texts (Derrida, Lacan, etc) are
difficult; rather, A Hacker Manifesto is characterized by an intense
lucidity, as if the writing had been subjected to intense atmospheric
pressure, so that it could say the most in the least possible space.
Deleuze writes somewhere that an aphorism is a field of forces in tension;
Wark's writing is aphoristic in precisely this sense. I read the book with
both delight and excitement, even when I didn't altogether agree with
everything that Wark said.
A Hacker Manifesto owes something -- both in form and content -- to Marx
and Engels, and more to Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle (a book
about which I feel deeply ambivalent). Wark's ambition (which he calls
"crypto- marxist") is to apply Marx's ideas to our current age of
digitization and "intellectual property." Unlike cultural marxists and
"post-marxists" (who tend to refer to Marx's general spirit more than his
actual ideas), Wark focuses squarely on "the property question," which is
to say, on issues of economic production, of ownership of the means of
production and the results of the production process, and therefore of
exploitation and expropriation. Class is the central category of Wark's
analysis, and Wark defines class as Marx defined it, as grounded in
people's diverse relations to production and property, rather than using
the vaguer sociological sense (a group of people with a common sense of
identity and values) that is most often used today. It's always a question
of conflicting interests between the producers of value, and the legal
owners who gain profit from the producers' labor, and who control the
surplus that the producers produce.
Rene -- Time Out of Joint -- Western dominance, Islamist terror, and the Arab imagination
Time Out of Joint
Western dominance, Islamist terror, and the Arab imagination
Sadik J. Al-Azm
There is a strong injunction in Arab Islamic culture against shamateh,
an emotion-like schadenfreude-of taking pleasure in the suffering of
others. It is forbidden when it comes to death, even the violent death
of your mortal enemies. Yet it would be very hard these days to find
an Arab, no matter how sober, cultured, and sophisticated, in whose
heart there was not some room for shamateh at the suffering of
Americans on September 11. I myself tried hard to contain, control,
and hide it that day. And I knew intuitively that millions and
millions of people throughout the Arab world and beyond experienced
the same emotion.
I never had any doubts, either, about who perpetrated that heinous
crime; our Islamists had a deep-seated vendetta against the World
Trade Center since their failed attack on it in 1993. As an Arab, I
know something about the power of vengeance in our culture and its
consuming force. I also knew that the United States would respond
with all its force to crush the Islamist movement worldwide into
oblivion. But I didn't understand my own shameful response to the
slaughter of innocents. Was it the bad news from Palestine that week;
the satisfaction of seeing the arrogance of power abruptly, if
temporarily, humbled; the sight of the jihadi Frankenstein's
monsters, so carefully nourished by the United States, turning
suddenly on their masters; or the natural resentment of the weak and
marginalized at the peripheries of empires against the center, or, in
this case, against the center of the center? Does my response, and
the silent shamateh of the Arab world, mean that Huntington's clash
of civilizations has come true, and so quickly?
In the end, no. Despite current predictions of a protracted global war
between the West and the Islamic world, I believe that war is
over. There may be intermittent battles in the decades to come, with
many innocent victims. But the number of supporters of armed Islamism
is unlikely to grow, its support throughout the Arab Muslim world will
likely decline, and the opposition by other Muslim groups will surely
grow. 9/11 signaled the last gasp of Islamism rather than the
beginnings of its global challenge.
Terrorism, Joseph Conrad once wrote, is an act of madness and
despair. The madness of the Islamists' spectacular attack on the World
Trade Center is self-evident; its despair lies in its inevitably
annihilating impact on the plotters and perpetrators themselves, world
Islamism in general, and the al Qaeda networks, organizations, and
systems of support in particular (including the Taliban regime in
Although unique in its horror, in its desperation 9/11 can be compared
to past terrorist acts that foretold the ends of the movements in
whose names they were committed: for example, the abduction and
murder of the German industrialist Hans Martin Schleyer by the
Bader-Meinhoff gang in the summer of 1977 and the abduction and
murder, a year later, of Aldo Moro, the dean of Italy's senior
political leaders after World War II, by the Italian Red Brigades. In
these cases a swift and decisive response would devastate not only
the plotters, perpetrators, and their supporting networks and
organizations, but ultimately their protective communist regimes and
worldwide radical leftist movements as well. Looking back after 9/11
it seems to me that the left-wing terrorism of the 1970s in Europe
was indeed a futile attempt to break out of the historical impasse
and terminal structural crisis reached by communism, radical labor
movements, Third Worldism, and revolutionary trends everywhere. The
terrorism of that period was the first visible manifestation of that
impasse and the prelude to the final demise of those movements,
including world communism itself.
Today the hard-core Islamists' spectacular terrorist violence reflects
a no less desperate attempt to break out of the historical impasse
and terminal structural crisis reached by the world Islamist movement
in the second half of the 20th century. I predict this violence will
be the prelude to the dissipation and final demise of militant
Islamism in general. Like the armed factions in Europe who had given
up on society, political parties, reform, proletarian revolution, and
traditional communist organization in favor of violent action,
militant Islamism has given up on contemporary Muslim society, its
sociopolitical movements, the spontaneous religiosity of the masses,
mainstream Islamic organizations, the attentism of the original and
traditional Society of Muslim Brothers (from which they generally
derive in the way the 1970s terrorists derived from European
communism), in favor of violence. Both were contemptuous of politics
and had complete disregard for the consequences of their actions.
Ay -- Jacques Derrida -- I'll have to wander all alone
Too much to say, and I don't have the heart for it today. There is too much to say about what has happened to us here, about what has also happened to me, with the death of Gilles Deleuze,...
The Guardian -- The death of Jacques Derrida
Philosopher Jacques Derrida Dies at 74 Saturday October 9, 2004 9:01 PM AP Photo PAR114 By ELAINE GANLEY Associated Press Writer PARIS (AP) - World-renowned thinker Jacques Derrida, a charismatic philosopher who founded the school known as deconstructionism, has...