Is Iran Conquering the Middle East?

Juan Cole – The Nation

The rise of the Houthi movement in Yemen, the militias of Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon and even the Syrian Arab Army of Bashar al-Assad are being configured by many analysts as evidence of a wide-ranging Iranian Shiite incursion into the Middle East. The Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen, Israel’s recent bombing of Hezbollah bases in southern Syria, and Gulf Cooperation Council unease about Iraq’s Tikrit campaign are all a result of this theory of “the Shiite Crescent,” a phrase coined by King Abdallah II of Jordan. But is Iran really the aggressor state here, and are developments on the ground in the Middle East really being plotted out or impelled from Tehran?

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Are the European Authorities Destroying the Greek Economy in Order to “Save” It?

By Mark Weisbrot – Al Jazeera America

There is a tense standoff right now between the Greek government and the European authorities – sometimes known as the Troika because it includes the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ECB President Mario Draghi denied this week that his institution is trying to blackmail the Greek government.

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Samir Amin on the World Social Forum, Globalization & the Barbarism of Capitalism

AMY GOODMAN / JUAN GONZÁLEZ – Democracy Now!

As tens of thousands gather for the World Social Forum in Tunis, Tunisia, we speak to one of the most prominent radical thinkers in Africa — the Egyptian-born economist Samir Amin. He is considered one of Africa’s leading political economists and was one of the pioneers of describing modern human history from the perspective of the Third World, arguing that the countries of the South were not latecomers to capitalism, but were integrated into the global economy from the start in a position of dependency to the rich, industrialized North.

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Kiev, Moscow, Bonds and Haircuts

By Raúl Ilargi Meijer* – naked capitalism

When money managers talk outside their narrow field, nonsense is guaranteed to ensue. No better example than this Bloomberg piece on Ukraine’s ‘debt restructuring’ plans, which are as much a political tool as they are anything else at all. Ukraine’s American Finance Minister has announced a broad restructuring plan with a wide range of severe haircuts for creditors, and she – well, obviously – wishes to include Russia in the group of creditors who are about to get their heads shaved.

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The Most Important Thing We Can Do to Fight Climate Change Is Try

Rebecca Solnit – The Nation

The future will follow an unpredictable route, but we must still follow a compass called hope.

Most forecasts of the future presume that something in the present will continue to grow and increase its power or influence. It’s as simple as doing a math problem on compounding interest or multiplication tables.

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Obama Sees No Mideast Peace Deal During His Term

By Carol E. Lee – Wall Street Journal?

Deal that included the creation of a Palestinian state was a top foreign-policy goal

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama, citing conflicting comments in the past week from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, predicted Tuesday that there would be no peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians during the remainder of his time in office.

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ICDP President Federico Mayor meets with Pope Francis

International Commission against the Death Penalty

On 20 March 2015, ICDP President Mr Federico Mayor met Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican and discussed issues related to the abolition of the death penalty and areas of mutual cooperation. President Mayor highlighted during the audience that there is a strong global trend towards abolition of the death penalty.

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Eyewitness Greece: The SYRIZA factor in European politics

By Dick Nichols – LINKS

The following talk — “The Greek elections — what next? SYRIZA and the fight against austerity” – was presented to the Department of Political Economy and the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign, March 10, 2015, at the University of Sydney’s New Law School. Dick Nichols is Green Left Weekly’s and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal’s European correspondent, based in Barcelona, and a member of the Australian Socialist Alliance. Nichols is currently touring Australia presenting an eyewitness account of the SYRIZA election victory.

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A Radical Approach to Global Citizenship Education

By Wayne Hudson*

BRISBANE, Mar 2015 (IPS) – Although global citizenship education has now received the recognition it deserves, much of the literature recycles old agendas under another name – ‘education to promote peace and justice’, ‘sustainability’, ‘care for the environment’, ‘multi-faith’ and ‘multi-cultural understanding’ – and so forth.

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“Goebbelnomics – Austerian Duplicity and the Dispensing of Greece

By Rob Parenteau – Naked Capitalism

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” ? Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda 1933-45.

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The Militarists and Haters Win in Israeli Elections

by Rabbi Michael Lerner* – The Huffington Post

According to Israeli newspapers reporting on the outcome of the Israeli election on Tuesday, Likud increased its lead in the next Knesset of 120 members. It will now hold 30 Knesset seats, compared to the Zionist Union (former Labor Party) with 24 seats. As the front runner, Netanyahu will be asked to create the government coalition.

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Climate Change Continues, Impervious to Official Declarations

By Roberto Savio*

ROME, Mar 2015 (IPS) – It is now clear that we are not going to reach the goal of controlling climate change.

It is worth recalling that the goal of not exceeding a 2 degree centigrade rise in global warming before 2020 was adopted at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009 as a formula for consensus. Many in the scientific community had been clamouring for immediate action – and at most for a 1 degree rise – but bowed to political realism, and accepted an easier target.

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Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism

By George Yancy and Noam Chomsky – The New York Times

This is the eighth in a series of interviews with philosophers on race that I am conducting for The Stone. This week’s conversation is with Noam Chomsky, a linguist, political philosopher and one of the world’s most prominent public intellectuals. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, “On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare,” with Andre Vltchek.
– George Yancy

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