Russias attempt to suppress the movement for Chechen independence in the past decade is marked by human rights violations on a massive scale. The rape and murder of one young Chechen woman, and its scandalous legal outcome, is emblematic not just of a savage military occupation, but of a criminal politics that deserves condemnation not indulgence from other world leaders.
The Indian government has finally refused Americas request to send thousands of troops to help police Iraq. Our New Delhi columnist welcomes a triumph of principle over power but questions the meaning of its long delay. For Indias ambitious new elite, the request appealed to the countrys martial-imperial legacy and its own hunger for global status. Can the moral foundations of Indian statehood survive this elites ambition to make India a superpower?
A Malaysian dancer and arts manager, from the countrys eastern state of Kelantan, reflects on career choices made and chances missed including being denied a visa to the United States on account of his Muslim name. In nurturing the rich cultural heritage of his home territory, he sees a vital role for Islam as a shelter from the globalisation storm.
Hollywood products like The Matrix, X-Men and their sequels indulge the spectacle of violence and terrorism in the name of a nebulous truth, and thus echo the very mental strategies of al-Qaida. But they also make available narratives of meaning that illuminate the realities of power which imprison the world. Should their consumers be alarmed or amused?
In Iraq with the United States army, Dominic Hilton takes hold of the psychodrama of the American male, sucks Mint Imperial, sees Saddams gold toilet, and liberates some Iraqis. Does life get any better than this?
One voice is too often missing in the debate about genetically-modified (GM) foodstuffs that of experienced, practical farmers themselves. In a wide-ranging interview with Sophie Jeffreys and Caspar Henderson of openDemocracy, three Canadian farmers explain why they think it is time to bring the GM rollercoaster under control.
Part 3 of The new information ecosystem: cultures of anarchy and closure
Military occupation, armed resistance, pervasive insecurity, the hunger for religious certainty, a compliant media and oil. The parallels between Russias war in Chechnya and Americas in Iraq are uncomfortably close. Will either imperial power heed the warning they present?
Could GeneWatch UK be exactly the kind of genetic union Mike Fortun advocated as a vehicle for genomic solidarity? Here, its deputy director focuses on the controversial Biobank UK, and questions its aims, cost, science and commerce. She makes the case for a democratic debate which alerts the public to the moral and political issues it raises, and helps find a way of reconciling scientific progress with citizens rights.
A question worth asking in the context of the current European Union debate surrounding the constitutional convention is whether, given contemporary processes of rapid cultural and ethnic hybridisation, the perennial values supposed to define the "Europeanness" of life on the old continent as well as uniting Europeans into a common project, make any sense.
Taking this as their departure point, the authors of People Flow are right to invite fresh thinking on the kind of Europe we want to live in. Europe is now home to millions of people from non-European backgrounds, many religious and cultural dispositions, and networks of attachment based on diaspora connections and cultural influences from around the world.
Icelandic might, Evil manoeuvres, Pentagon anger
The violent, unstable condition of Iraq continues to provoke doubts over the wars motive, conduct and justification. While British and United States governments welcome the death of Saddams sons and resist accusations over faulty pre-war intelligence, recent revelations about their preparations for and conduct of the war present disturbing evidence that may yet have political and legal consequences.
A young Iranian director used the forum of the 'International debate: The Rights and Roles of Young People as Artsmakers' to talk about the oppression students experience in his country. Remembering the old tradition human rights have in Iran he calls upon the power of Art to re-establish these.
The Iraq Reconstruction Assessment Mission, an independent team of experts commissioned by the Pentagon, recently published a report of their ten-day Iraqi tour. After presenting evidence to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the authors draw on their report to challenge the Coalitions masters of war to a gargantuan effort of peacemaking and society-building.
Young people from around the world took part in a London workshop on their roles and rights as artmakers as part of the LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 'Family-Friendly Season'. They presented their views at the concluding event in a combination of polemic and performance through their skills in music, dance, poetry and drama. This was followed by a discussion between the participants and the audience, including politicians, policy makers, children's rights specialists, business people, and teachers.
The epic journey of a Sikh man from the Afghan city of Jalalabad to Londons Southall district ended with his deportation to Kabul by the British authorities. If this policy of forced return of Afghans becomes standard practice, what will happen to the legions of the lost in Iran and Pakistan?
Sierra Leone, torn apart by a decade of brutal civil war, desperately needs the catharsis that truth and reconciliation can bring. But the attempt to establish this process has encountered problems - confusion about the role of the two different commissions, a lack of public engagement and the non-compliance of critical witnesses.
A few weeks after the war in Iraq, three Iraqi poets read to an audience at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Uncertainty and excitement mingled, as the writers spoke of a time that seemed to be both receding and emerging into view. New freedom was ahead, bringing unheard stories and fresh voices. Identities were shifting just as attention fell upon them. Fadhil Assultani was one of the poets present. These translations of his poems come from Iraqi Poetry Today, the Spring 2003 issue of Modern Poetry in Translation. Poetry by Salah Niazi and Hashem Shafiq will follow soon on openDemocracy, along with the discussion from that evening, which ranged over many of the political, personal and artistic questions these exiled Iraqi writers now face.
The US economic model that commands around a third of the worlds wealth fascinates and infuriates Europeans. But both reactions reveal ignorance of its most essential features. The keys to its success lie not in industry, but in those sectors providing social amenities to the middle class health care, education, housing and pensions: systems of provision that have little to do with the free market.
Trouble in the evil axis, Islamic anti-capitalism, sexing up Germany