This week's editor
Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.
Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.
Mandela: the global icon
The period since 9/11 has renewed global debate about the nature of United States power and influence in a world being transformed by globalisation. openDemocracy writers - American and non-American - bring fresh perspectives to bear on the Iraq war, the question of empire, unilateralism, the "end of history", neo-conservatism, and foreign policy under and after George W Bush
Any United States effort to bring democracy and freedom to the middle east needs to respect eight principles of action, says Rami G. Khouri.
Will the United States attack Iran? Eight major arguments say no. Each one dissolves on inspection, says Dan Plesch.
Why do people around the world increasingly see America as illegitimate and arrogant, even imperial? Thomas N Hale on George W Bushs democratic deficit.
The free world of the United States-plus-Europe no longer exists. Can it be reinvented as a world of freedom? The leading liberal internationalist Timothy Garton Ash talks to Dominic Hilton of openDemocracy.
George W Bushs language of freedom is not benevolent idealism but ideological weapon, says Anatol Lieven.
The United States is burdened with the pains, frustrations, and hatreds of the rest of the world. Ignorant and unfair, says Dominic Hilton, in a scathing and witty critique of a disabling obsession.
Dominic Hilton was part of the team working on openDemocracys My America: Letters To Americans project, in which eighteen non-American nationals wrote to counterparts in the United States. Here he gives his view on aspects of those exchanges and Americas role in role in world affairs.
Todd Gitins acute, informed, acerbic Our election year weekly column has been an openDemocracy highlight of 2004. He discusses the lessons of a tumultuous political year in American politics with Solana Larsen.
Colin Greer, director of the New World Foundation, tells openDemocracys Solana Larsen that the Democrats must learn a different way of thinking and acting in effect, to become a real political party rather than a message machine if they want to regain legitimacy and support across the United States.
Tom Nairn presents a searching critique of Timothy Garton Ashs book Free World. He argues that it seeks to conserve the global status quo through a comforting subordination to American power. His wide-ranging survey suggest that the new century is not going to embrace any such outcome.
The United Statess war-gaming of Iran suggests that despite the Iraqi quagmire the ambition of the second Bush administration to spread freedom and democracy is undiminished, says Charles V Peña.
Anatol Lievens misunderstanding of nationalism, inconsistent liberalism, and personal prejudices deform his judgment of the relationship between Israel, the United States, and the Arab world, says Emanuele Ottolenghi.
Anatol Lieven responds to Emanuele Ottolenghis fierce criticism of him in openDemocracy.
The military aircraft in which Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul sat chained to a bench, soaked in their own urine, ear-muffed, masked and unable to see, landed at the American airstrip at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on 14 January 2002. The two men, who had travelled to Pakistan from their homes in Britain five months earlier in order to attend Iqbals wedding, had already survived a massacre of prisoners by their original captors, the private army of the Afghan warlord Rashid Dostum.
In a trenchant analysis of the post-9/11 world, Fred Halliday documents the two-sided assault both by the United States and its fundamentalist enemies on universal principles. Can citizens of the world retrieve a confident, humane politics from beneath the rubble?
The Bush administration responded to 9/11 by exploiting a force deeply rooted in United States thinking and behaviour: American nationalism. This force, says Anatol Lieven in an extract from his new book America Right or wrong, is now deforming the countrys relationship with the world and damaging America itself.
Three years after 9/11, what progress has the United States made in the war on terror? Charles Peña assesses the evidence and finds American policy and action wanting.
Americas funding policy towards the global HIV/Aids epidemic is motivated by political and corporate self-interest, says Bill Bowtell.
The policies and practices of the current United States administration are all too reminiscent of George Orwells dystopian fantasy, Nineteen-Eighty Four. It is time, says an influential Democrat, for Americans to wake up from their national nightmare.
Neo-conservatism has created an axis of disorder within American governance. But it will not disappear even if its current champions fade from view. A former official in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and a former British diplomat argue that neo-conservatism is a manifestation of a deeper syndrome that has structural roots in United States history and politics.
The United Nations is exploring how best to work with the United States and the international community to meet future global security threats. The UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, outlines the thinking behind the high-level panel he appointed to investigate this key 21st century challenge.
Can America find its universal soul in being complexly human rather than eternally innocent? And can Europe's former "dissidents" find a fresh language of truth in which to challenge unjust United States power? Martin Matutík invokes signifiers of Czech national identity and American history to address his current homeland and his former compatriots alike.
If Iraq reconstruction costs are included, United States funding for international programmes has almost doubled since 2000. But this funding lacks focus, strategic vision, and sustainability, argues a former senior official at the US state department. Should Congress require the administration not to cut spending but to improve the design and coordination of its programmes?
A surge of anti-state violence in Uzbekistan suggests that the policies of the autocratic Tashkent regime and the attitude of its international sponsors are alike in urgent need of reform.
The Unites States prison population is 2.1 million over twice the number in 1988, when the first President Bush was elected. Most of them are non-violent drug offenders. Sixteen years after his incarceration for cocaine distribution, Michael Santos reflects on the political cycle he has witnessed from the wrong side of the prison walls.