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Whiteness and Its Dominion

The happenings in Charlottesville expose America’s “unshakable grounding in a virulent and diseased whiteness” and white America’s incapacity to confront the naked truth.

President Obama

We should in the first place celebrate the extraordinary improbability and incredible beauty of Barack Hussein Obama's victory in the presidential elections of the United States. It required the worst financial crisis in a century, eight years of the most inept presidency in its history, two costly and ineffectual wars, and an opponent seemingly trapped in a time-warp, for the American public to finally accede to sending a black man to the White House. Even as the world celebrates Obama's victory, it should remember how more than 20 years ago another African-American - Jesse Jackson - ran twice for president and garnered substantial support for a progressive agenda that Obama has had to sacrifice on the altar of pragmatism.

Elephant in the Room

The elephant in the room in the campaign for the US presidential elections remains the "race" factor which no one wishes to acknowledge. Barack Obama, as an Afro-American, has to perform according to far higher standards than a candidate from the mainstream. Obama has to come across as calm, rational and anything but angry as that would be disastrous for a black candidate. Many sections in the US still see a black man asserting himself as "uppity".

Too Close to Call? Maybe Not

With two months to go for the presidential elections in the United States, the race to the presidency appears to be a very close one, akin to the last two elections in 2000 and 2004. The puzzle is why, in spite of president George Bush's unpopularity, Barack Obama does not have a major lead over John McCain. The country may not yet be ready for a black president, and the Republicans are more than likely to sell the message that "he is not one of us". And perhaps the centre of gravity of the electorate has shifted to the right, making it extremely difficult for Democrats to break the Republican stranglehold over the presidency.

Latin America Looks towards European Union

With many of the Latin American countries electing left wing governments in the past decade, the United States is losing its influence in what has hitherto been its "backyard". These countries are now looking towards the European Union as a model for trade and internal integration.

America's Pakistan Problem

The relations of the United States with the people of Pakistan could not have been worse. The US military actions on Taliban and Al-Qaida bases within Pakistan have inflamed public opinion and led to perceptions that the US is at war with that country. The US "war on terror" in Pakistan has only fed Pakistani support for the Islamists.

Where Is the 'Right' in Latin America's Left Turn?

Recent events in Latin America are indicative of the prevailing political instability. The laptops seized during a raid by the Colombian government on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Ecuador allegedly reveal linkages between the leftist leaders of Venezuela/ Colombia and the rebels. Another indication of political fluidity is the case of the Bolivian separatist elites fostering autonomy claims, which could fuel regionalist sentiments across countries.

Ten Years of the Bomb

It is 10 years since India and Pakistan went openly nuclear. The dangers of a nuclear south Asia are becoming more and more apparent, yet the governments of the two countries continue to build their arsenals. Both countries continue to produce plutonium for more and more bombs, both countries have been testing new kinds of delivery vehicles and both countries have conducted war games assuming the use of nuclear weapons. The pursuit of nuclear weapons is beginning to take, as elsewhere in the world, a logic of its own. South Asia awaits a strong peace movement that will make the governments of India and Pakistan see reason.

Five Years of War

After five years of US military operations in Iraq the mission still remains unaccomplished. The war, besides the horrendous cost, has exposed the limits of American power, its army has started to crack under the strain and there is a growing public sentiment that the country should not meddle around the world.

Black Man/White House

Barack Obama's presidential campaign has caught the imagination of large sections of the United States citizenry. Yet, the irony is that if Obama does become president, the ascendancy of a black man to the White House will have a more symbolic than real value.

Trajectory of Indigenous Politics in Latin America

The emergence of powerful indigenous movements throughout Latin America has led to the indigenous peoples asserting their presence in national politics without being intimidated by violence or fear of the ruling classes.

Poverty of American Policy in Pakistan

From being someone the us had no time for, Benazir Bhutto turned during the course of 2007 into a crucial player in Pakistan for American policy. Yet, like everything else of us foreign policy, this too was to have disastrous consequences for the people of Pakistan. The us claims a right to be a player in the domestic political system; the people of Pakistan are paying a price for that.

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