No Revolution in Syria: An Interview with Camille Otrakji by Elias Muhanna

3 May 2011 — MRZine

Camille Otrakji is a Syrian political blogger based in Montreal.  Although he tends to keep a low profile, Otrakji has been, for the past several years, at the forefront of many of the most interesting and influential online initiatives relating to Syrian politics.  He is one of the authors and moderators at Joshua Landis’s Syria Comment, and the founder of Creative Syria, a constellation of websites including Mideast Image (a vast collection of original old photographs of Middle Eastern subjects) and Syrian Think Tank (an online debate site hosting many of Syria’s top analysts).  Last year, Otrakji courted controversy with a new initiative devoted to the subject of Syrian-Israeli peace, entitled  He agreed to speak with me about the latest events in Syria, and I’m sure that his views will generate plenty of discussion.

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Battle for Algiers

5 May 2011

Time to remind folks about France’s role in North Africa. Trailer for Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece, Battle of Algiers (who also made the brilliant anti-colonial movie Burn (Quimada in the original) that starred Marlon Brando as a British Naval intelligence officer sent to put down a slave revolt (a role he considered his finest). Unfortunately only a mangled and heavily cut version is available of Burn.

Media Lens: Fallujah, Iraq 2004 – Misrata, Libya 2011

5 May 2011 — Media Lens

Operation Phantom Fury

In November 2004, the UN‘s Integrated Regional Information Network reported the impact of Operation Phantom Fury, a combined USUK offensive, on Iraq’s third city, Fallujah:

‘Approximately 70 per cent of the houses and shops were destroyed in the city and those still standing are riddled with bullets.’ (‘Fallujah still needs more supplies despite aid arrival,’, November 30, 2004)

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Killing Gaddafi’s Grandbabies By Glen Ford

4 May 2011 — Black Agenda Report – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

obama-war-libya.jpgWhen the U.S. and Europeans needed a way to get on the ‘right’ side of the Arab Awakening – and thereby crush it – they chose to re-demonize Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi as the evil from which the Euro-Americans would rescue North Africa. ‘Gaddafi was perfect, having long existed in cartoon form for western consumption.’ Killing Gaddafi’s son and three grandchildren was no crime, since ‘in American eyes they are no more than satanic versions of Daffy Duck’s cartoon nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.’

Killing Gaddafi’s Grandbabies by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

‘These modern Crusaders require ritual bloodletting before expropriating the lands and goods of their victims.’

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Black Agenda Report 4 May 2011: Obama Killing Spree / Brazil in Haiti / Obama Needs Birthers

4 May 2011 — BAR – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Osama, Obama and Bush: Apt Comparisons, Missed Opportunities

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
bush-to-obama.jpgIllustration by Leon Kuhn. More of his work at
This weekend the White House announced the extrajudicial killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the secret disposal of his body at sea. Are we any safer now? And would it be any different if George W. Bush were making the same announcement four years ago?

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European Social Movements Research Network‏

5 May 2011

An Invitation to Join the European Social Movements Research Network

This is to invite you to join a newly-formed European Social Movements Research Network organized under the auspices of the Council for European Studies at Columbia University. Potential participants are broadly defined as anyone researching social movements in European countries, east or west, including of course transnational, comparative and historical work. Please note that the network is open to researchers from anywhere in the world who study social movements in Europe, from a range of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. The network is multilingual as far as scholarly work goes although we expect that administrative / coordinating discussions will be through English.

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Bahrain mostly mainstream newslinks 5 May 2011: Bahrain renews emergency law as repression persists

5 May 2011 —

BAHRAIN: Medical staff face prosecution, alleged torture after aiding anti …
Los Angeles Times
Nearly 50 doctors, nurses and other medical staff have been detained in
Bahrain in connection with treating anti-government protesters,
human-rights officials said Wednesday. Those detained included 24 doctors
and 23 nurses and paramedics, according to …

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