Category: Peace, War & Social Conflict

Rethinking Agrarian Transitions and Left Politics in India: 50 years since Naxalbari

It is now half a century since the small uprising in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal led to the spread of a Maoist inspired revolutionary armed struggle in India, that is still ongoing. But with the Indian state now bent on crushing these Naxalites, and with the more general challenges faced by parliamentary communist parties across India, the question of how to analyse the agrarian economy – the basis of left strategy for a communist society in many...

"Not In My Name" Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

“Not In my Name” they shouted. That was ten years ago, but it feels as though the same could be said today of the increasingly hate-filled, aggressive tone of public life in the UK, United States and much of Europe. “Not In My Name” was one of the slogans of the campaign against the UK’s invasion of Iraq. Although I was sympathetic to the message at the time, I thought this was a slightly pathetic, anodyne slogan, one which felt...

Breaking the Nuclear Taboo

Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines are back in the headlines. After a mass march in central London on January 24th, following the Commons debate on scrapping Trident when David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and a shocking 250 other MPs caused a scandal after not even turning up to vote, this long-dormant issue has grabbed the country’s attention. Nukes are now the hot topic of conversation in kitchens, offices and factories across the land, and will surely be a key factor in how...

Eating the World

  Christmas comes every year, and every year, much like a snowball rolling down a mountain in er…Lapland, it accumulates new ‘traditions’. New additions in recent years include Christmas jumpers, Black Friday, and songs from X Factor going to Number One. Great. Go back further and see that Christmas trees, Santa Claus, crackers, Saint Nicholas, Christmas carols and even the nativity story have all been tacked onto what was originally the pagan festival of the winter solstice, the shortest day...

In Defense of Trigger Warnings (… as a Practice, not a Policy)

Over the past few months, numerous publications have discussed – and mostly: dismissed – the trend to incorporate so-called trigger warnings into the college classroom and syllabus. Trigger warnings have become a standard practice for articles in feminist blogs and other online media that discuss incidences of violence, sexual assault and that may contain other potentially ‘triggering’ material, with the purpose of giving readers a way to opt-out of exposing themselves to said material. As some college professors have started...

The Crimean War of Signatures

    On March 18, Vladimir Putin signs a treaty with his Crimean counterpart Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov to welcome Crimea into the Russian Federation after the referendum on March 16. On March 20, Obama signs an executive order to impose sanctions on senior officials of the Russian government as well as an additional agreement allowing sanctions on ‘key sectors of the Russian economy’.

The Spectacle of War or, Reality TV on the Front Lines

Battleground Afghanistan and Eyewitness War are two new shows premiering on National Geographic Channel this July. Both reality dramas follow the firsthand experiences of soldiers on the front lines of combat, as they engage in battle and carry out a variety of missions for the American military. And although these shows have yet to begin, I’d like to pose some “guiding questions” for those who might end up watching them.

The truths of the war in Afghanistan : does visibility decrease support?

On Monday, Wikileaks, a website devoted to exposing the underbelly of the political and corporate world, revealed thousands of documents that, in a nutshell, depict the complications, perils and pitfalls of the war in Afghanistan. One piece of alarming information is that terrorist organizations in Afghanistan are clearly being supported by Pakistan. Another is solid evidence of the corruption of Hamid Karzai (though this has been suspected for quite some time). The force with which this story hit the news...

‘Carnage’ at the War Memorial

by paulabowles Philip Laing, the 19 year old student from Sheffield Hallam University has become the latest focus for the media. Recently photographed urinating upon a poppy wreath at a Second World War Memorial, Laing has attracted an enormous amount of negative attention. Although, Laing claims he was drunk at the time, and remembers nothing of the events of that evening, he did make ‘a full and complete admission’ when confronted by the photographic evidence. Upon appearing in court this...

Peace Prize Choice Celebrated and Criticized

by smteixeirapoit The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that President Barack Obama will receive the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Committee commended President Obama for encouraging international diplomacy, engaging in nuclear disarmament dialogue and arms control negotiations, and providing global citizens with an optimistic outlook on the future. Additionally, the Committee supported President Obama’s position that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.” According to an article...

Raising Awareness About the Plight of Refugees

by smteixeirapoit Today, communities celebrate World Refugee Day. Worldwide, communities hope to raise awareness about the plight of refugees. In “Refugees”, Steve Loyal explains that refugees are people who escape their country of origin because of persecution or fear of persecution. After refugees flee to neighboring countries, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees interviews them and determines whether they meet the criteria for refugees. If the High Commissioner classifies them as refugees, then they are allowed to remain in...

Colonizing the New Frontier: Bloggers Beware

 by ishein1 Newly elected president, Barack Obama, held his first official press conference on Monday evening.  This historically rich press conference on the surface was isomorphous with press conferences of the past.  This fact was accentuated by the presence of Helen Thomas, currently a columnist for Hearst Newspapers.  As she has done for the past four decades, and despite attempts by President Obama to lighten the moment, Thomas asked her usual critical and pertinent questions.  Obama responded as most past...