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 »
Sheldon Richman: ”The Trump administration clearly sees Israel and Saudi Arabia as vital parts of an anti-Iran coalition.”
Sheldon Richman. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Israel continues to massacre the Palestinian people with the utmost impunity. Is not Israel a rogue state?
Sheldon Richman: That would depend on your definition of “rogue state,” about which I would not expect broad agreement. I’d prefer to analyze the Israeli government’s conduct without looking for a contentious label. The policies and conduct of Israel’s government toward the Palestinians are systematically unjust and brutal. And I believe those things are inherent in the Zionist philosophy of Israel as the State of the Jewish people everywhere rather than the state of all its citizens regardless of religion or supposed ethnicity or race. The original Reform Jewish movement agreed with what I just said. The treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza qualifies as apartheid since the individuals there have no rights whatever. They exist, as though they were subhuman, at the mercy of Israel. Lire la suite »
Prof. Robert Jensen. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain the silence of Western media and governments regarding the massacre of the people of Yemen by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, strategic ally of the US?
Prof. Robert Jensen: I am not an expert on the war in Yemen, but it is clear that the Saudi-led coalition has used tactics that have caused widespread civilian suffering. The US media have not completely avoided the story but also have not focused on those humanitarian disasters in the same way they would if the forces responsible were US enemies. This is a longstanding pattern, what Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky called the distinction between “worthy” and “unworthy” victims, depending on who is doing the killing. It’s one way we see that an allegedly “objective” US news media tends to fall in line behind US foreign policy. 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 »
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your book « Faith in the Face of Empire« , you describe the specific suffering of Palestinian Christians. Can you explain us what it means to be a Palestinian Christian under Israeli occupation?
Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb: For a Palestinian Christian to live under Israeli occupation can means different things. For Christians living in Gaza it means living in a big open air prison without much chances to move in and out with deteriorating living condition: only 4 hours a day electricity, salted drinking water and polluted air and sea. For Palestinians Christians living in the west bank it means to be surrounded by Israeli Jewish colonies with no room for expansion, restricted movement, surrounded by walls and a kind of apartheid system. For Palestinian Christians living in east Jerusalem it means to be living in your own city as a resident alien being discriminated against in terms of the provision of municipal services, building permits, etc. 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 »