Dr Tomasz Pierscionek. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You have worked on the theme of the Western Left. According to you, can we say that this left is in crisis?
Dr. Tomasz Pierscionek: The past decade of austerity, which has seen the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else and demonstrated that capitalism is a failing system unable to solve major global problems, provides an opportunity for the Left to demonstrate alternate programmes that benefit the majority rather than a wealthy and powerful minority. In Western Europe and the US, affected by years of indoctrination about the ‘failures’ of socialism, left-wing politicians and parties of labour have been cautious not too appear too left-wing and face the wrath of the rich and their media auxiliaries. In this way, they have failed to realise the potential of the Left to explain and advocate for socialist ideas and directly challenge capitalism. Far from being Marxists, as demonised by the media, the leaders of the Western Left have adopted the half-baked ideas of left of centre social-democracy – ie: let’s tinker at the edges of capitalism and smooth out its rougher bits whilst leaving its fundamental principles unchanged. Lire la suite »
Dr. T. J. Coles. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your masterful book « Britain’s Secret Wars », you demonstrate the hidden face of British politics and its direct involvement in major conflicts via its intelligence services. Do not you think that Britain is responsible, like its US ally, for the chaos that reigns in areas like the Middle East and the Sahel?
Dr. T. J. Coles: Yes. Britain has both historic and contemporary responsibilities for much of the carnage in the Middle East, Central Asia, and elsewhere. There are different degrees of responsibility. When a gang commits a crime, for example a murder and armed robbery, each member of the gang is sentenced by a court of law in accordance with the degree of their participation in the crime. The person who pulled the trigger is the murderer, their associate is the accomplice, and so on. The same principle applies, or if we care about morality should apply, to international affairs. At the moment, the US is the global superpower, so the US bears most of the responsibility for invading Afghanistan, firing drones at Pakistanis, Somalis, and Yemenis, invading Iraq, and using proxy terrorists in Syria and Libya. Lire la suite »
Dr. Christian Parenti. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your remarkable book The Freedom: Shadows And hallucinations in Occupied Iraq, you are talking about the investigations you have done on the ground in Iraq. Do not you think that the intervention of the United States marks a historic turning point not only in the Middle East but also in the USA with the unpunished crimes of the Bush administration?
Dr. Christian Parenti: Thank you for the kind words about The Freedom. While the US role in Iraq has been a humanitarian catastrophe for Iraq and the entire region, and has badly damaged US standing in global public opinion, there is nonetheless a sick imperial logic by which some of the invasion’s outcomes advance a US imperial agenda. Call it rule by chaos, state failure as imperial strategy. Russia, China and Iran all feel threatened by the chaos. Lire la suite »
Dr. Mohammad Marandi: “Mohammad bin Salman has said in public that he wants to take the war into Iran”
Dr. Mohammad Marandi. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is the immediate impact on the Iranian people of the Trump administration’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal?
Dr. Mohammad Marandi: Obviously, it is going to have a short term negative impact. People are concerned about the effect it will have on the economy and Iranian currency has dropped significantly. However, I believe that in the midterm the economy will stabilize, and as Iran reorientates its economy, trading partners and strategic partnerships things will stabilize. In the long term, I think Iran will probably even benefit because the US will no longer have any leverage that it can use against the country and its people. Lire la suite »
Dr. François-Bernard Huyghe: “I would not be surprised if Daesh, after the loss of Syria and Iraq, continues to spread in other countries”
Dr. François-Bernard Huyghe. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Are Western governments powerless in the face of terrorism?
Dr. François-Bernard Huyghe: We have terrorist attacks in the West since the end of the 19th century. There have been for various reasons, sometimes by anarchists, sometimes by independentists, sometimes the extreme left, the extreme right, etc. and no one has found the miracle solution. At the moment, for example, in France, we are living in a situation where, despite the military crushing of Daesh, every two months there is an attack or attempt to attack; claiming of the caliphate, with more or less means, so there is a kind of terrorist routine that settles down. Lire la suite »
Raoul Hedebouw: “We are seeing a war between the imperialist bloc and independent countries that can unfortunately lead to a global conflict.”
Raoul Hedebouw. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In the book you co-wrote with Peter Mertens « Priorité de gauche, pistes rouges pour sortie de crise” (Left-wing priority. Red slopes for crisis resolution), you talk about the neoliberal drift and you propose an alternative. Do you think that the systemic crisis of capitalism offers prospects for the constitution of a real fighting left that frames the workers’ struggle?
Raoul Hedebouw: Yes, it seems clear to me. We would do well to analyze the sequence in which we find ourselves, that is to say at the beginning of the 1990s with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the socialist countries, the neoliberals created a sequence that was the one where there was no alternative, the famous TINA (note: There is no alternative), and we must note that the 2008 banking crisis has reopened many prospects for discussion. And since 2008 and the banking crisis, there are many more prospects for debates and openings to go beyond capitalism. And we clearly see that there is a dynamic at the youth level, at the union level, where there is much more energy to debate this subject. It’s not by chance that Marx’s book « The Capital » has become a bestseller in the United States, Japan and France. Lire la suite »
His Excellency Dr. Nikolaos van Dam: “It would have been preferable not to militarily intervene in Libya, because like in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, it has turned out to be a disaster”
His Excellency Dr. Nikolaos van Dam. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You are a diplomat and you know very well the Middle East region where you have been Ambassador of the Netherlands in several countries. You have also been Special Envoy of the Netherlands for Syria. In your opinion, does the diplomatic and political solution still have a chance of succeeding in Syria after this bloody war?
His Excellency Dr. Nikolaos van Dam: Whether or not a political solution is still possible depends on the main parties to the conflict, both Syrian and foreign, involved directly or by proxy. The aims of the warring parties are so wide apart, however, that reaching a compromise seems to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, particularly because the opposing parties actually keep preferring to eliminate one another. This provides more fertile ground for a military “solution”, which in the end, however, will not turn out to be a durable “solution” but rather a reflection of the military balance of power. Lire la suite »