Count the bases

How much do the Americans (or Australians, for that matter) know about their military presence worldwide? Let Chalmers Johnson tell you a few facts of life: As a continuation of my own analytical odyssey, I then began doing research on the network of 737 American military bases we maintained around the world (according to the…

The debate The Oz doesn’t want to have

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey: Is a debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict too hot for The Australian to handle? In his recent controversial book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, former US president Jimmy Carter describes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank as worse than apartheid South Africa. I was commissioned in…

Lebanese blowback

Mohamed Bazzi, The Nation, January 30: It’s remarkable how quickly everyone remembered the patterns set during Lebanon’s long civil war. When violence suddenly erupted in Beirut on the afternoon of January 25, people rushed to stock up at grocery stores, businesses quickly shut their doors and traffic was snarled throughout the city as everyone hurried…

A royal Dick

We’re all about to get some Dick Down Under. US Vice-President Dick Cheney is coming to town. He’s a man of mystery. He’s a “most happy fella.” And perhaps most importantly, he’s liked by the Decider. Wait a few years, and people like Cheney will have to be very careful where they travel. Warrants for…

Co-exist or die

While ignored in the West, the Palestinians in Israel are starting to gain a stronger voice and demand equal rights. Zionism has much to fear. But long-term peace can only be achieved through mutual understanding. An Israeli/Palestinian comedy night in East Jerusalem last week showed what is truly possible.

The Western blindness

Danny Rubinstein, Haaretz, January 29: The evil begins in Gaza. The statistics are familiar: a crowded and besieged strip of land, largely cut off from the world, with an impoverished population lacking any economic future, political horizon and social infrastructure. The Palestinians have not succeeded in creating a government of law and order in Gaza,…