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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

'You have to have a story' - Aboriginal memory and opportunity

The history of Australia is often told as a story of how settlers made productive use of an empty land, thus saving Aboriginal peoples from destitution. Modern Aboriginal land campaigns are based on different rememberings, finds Hugh Brody. They ‘reclaim’ the past as well as ‘claim’ the present, and in the process weave a unique tapestry of memory, ownership – and opportunity for a future.

Discussion posts: about protest

The 'politics of protest' discussion has been wide-ranging. These are some of the posts about the nature of protest.

Discussion posts: what alternatives?

The 'politics of protest' discussion has been asking whether protest is enough. This strand of posts explores alternative ways of avoiding conflict.

Discussion posts: exchanging views

While problems remain for protest, in the 'politics of protest' discussion it seems clear that an exchange of views is more productive than an exchange of fire.

Discussion posts: marchers' messages

The 'politics of protest' discussion has also covered the details of protest technique.

Discussion posts: marchers' stories

These are some of the marchers' stories that have been posted in the 'politics of protest' discussion.

Discussion posts: representing dissent

Among some of the questions raised in the 'politics of protest' discussion: what do polls and statistics really tell us and how are dissenting views represented - for example, by celebrities? These posts tackle the arguments.

A long or a short war?

At the outset of the Iraq war, five different projections of its character and timescale were available. After eight days of fighting, which now seems most convincing? And does the unthinkable – US defeat – remain so?

After eight days of war in Iraq, there is growing evidence that the campaign is not going the way the US and Britain wanted or expected. The situation remains very fluid, with an enormous amount of misinformation coming from both sides.

Iraq: a war like no other

The war in Iraq serves the interests of a US power elite rather than democracy and global justice. In the midst of conflict, it is urgent to retrieve an international humanitarian perspective, one that can bind popular support to the ideal of genuinely humane intervention.

A British journalist at a recent seminar I attended talked approvingly about the alliance between American neo-conservatism and liberal interventionism. He favours the current war in Iraq.

Beyond protest?

Even in war, protestors remain active, alert, or in waiting. One lesson of passionate pre-war debates (including on openDemocracy) is that democracy inheres in quality of attitude not mere opinion, plurality not monotony, conversation not blunt instrument of power. If protestors learn this, and explain it to their fellow-citizens, what lies beyond protest may be creative beyond dreams.

Iraqi Faces

A series of black and white portraits by Italian photographer Michele Stallo.

Rebuilding Iraq - London sees it differently from Washington

The joint US-British military operation in Iraq involves not only the integration of two separate force structures but also the coordination of two different approaches to humanitarian assistance and recovery operations. In an interview with Peter Troy, Humanitarian Programmes Manager at the UK’s Department for International Development, Gil Loescher explores the contrasts in the two countries’ approaches.

Tony Blair and the Marxists

‘New’ Labour’s life-force is to move beyond – and forget – its leftist predecessors, who brought to democracy a passion for argument, vibrant radical politics, multicultural focus, and theoretical Marxism. But precisely these elements helped bring Tony Blair to power – and a denial of this past is sinking his project.

International Directory of Protest and Beyond

February 15th was a watershed for protest. Unprecedented in numbers and global reach, people power attained its greatest prominence yet. Below are country-by-country links to some of the main protest groups and networks who were involved. The list is not exhaustive by any means, but it is a start for any activist or casual browser who wants to try and keep up with this gathering phenomenon.

Talking about revolution: an interview with John Micklethwait

In the age of globalisation, companies are often associated with scandal (Enron), litigation (Microsoft), or overweening power (Wal-Mart). But in the wider historical perspective, the institution is both socially more transforming and politically less powerful than it often appears.

B.E.: the price of loyalty

The aftershocks of Rwanda’s genocide still shake neighbouring Congo, wrecking innocent lives. BE, now washed up on Europe’s shores, survives to bear witness.

Iraq: the true course

A former peacenik and now British government minister explains his belief that force is necessary and legitimate to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his regime’s weapons of mass destruction.

The northern Iraqi kaleidoscope

The northern frontline of the Iraq war does not separate only Kurds and regime forces. Independent Kurdish groups, pressed by Turkish incursions in the rear, are also engaged in bitter fighting with the extremist guerrillas of Ansar al-Islam. A Kurdish observer sends a vivid diary of a many-sided conflict.

The quicksand of war

By the fifth day of the Iraq war it is clear that a swift US and British victory is unlikely. Regime survival, fierce Iraqi resistance in the south, and popular suspicion of the invaders, all suggest that a war lasting weeks or even months is in prospect.

Caesar crosses the Rubicon

As the first war of the new era begins, the die is cast and War Fever peaks. Through the sandstorm and the summits, can we see our way toward responsibility and the Futures of Europe? From Cyprus to Malta and Belgrade to Finland, the wind is rising...

Your open letters to the leaders

We published an open letter from a Palestinian doctor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and asked our members to draft their own letters to Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein or George W. Bush. Here are the first responses…

Blood, sweat and tears

As the Iraq war he opposed opens, Gerhard Schröder, son of an unknown soldier, confronts two thorn-spiked mountains: tackling economic sclerosis against his own party’s wishes, and rebuilding transatlantic bridges. His former cabinet colleague Michael Naumann cuts through nostalgia to ask: is this Germany dying?

A heart in New York

For openDemocracy, modern war brings new tests to our thinking, practice, and values.

Iraq - Everything Must Go!

After the war, the fire sale. After the bombs, the brands. After the Baghdad blues, Dominic Hilton lights up the night.

Gujarat's 'successful experiment'

The racial violence gripping Indian politics may appear to be the latest manifestation of an age-old problem. But this is deceptive. Modern technology and globalisation have brought about a mutation.

A nuclear-free world: in reply to Achilles Skordas

Achilles Skordas recently argued in openDemocracy that legalising nuclear weapons could help ensure they are never used. Now, a former Naval Commander makes the opposite case: not only must the use of nuclear weapons remain illegal, but the dangerous current crisis offers an opportunity to push for their complete abolition.

Fear and loathing: Arab cultures need a strategy of resistance

Concerned by the Arab world’s culture of victimhood, a German Arabist issues a vigorous challenge to the prevailing sentiment of ‘anti-globalism’ among the Arab intelligentsia, typified by the prominent Egyptian intellectual Sherif Hetata.

The sovereign state of Europe: burying democracy

The new European Constitution drafted by Valery Gicard d’Estaing’s team can be seen as establishing a new unitary state, the unaccountable playground of national executives and the European Commission, according to this convention member and leading critic of the Brussels institutions. Will the voters get the chance, through referenda, to reject the prospect of European President Blair, Prime Minister Aznar and Foreign Minister Fischer? Jens-Peter Bonde was interviewed by Paul Hilder on 27 February 2003.

The future of Europe in the shadow of Iraq

The schism in Europe and the transatlantic rift over Iraq are shaking the foundations of the Convention on the Future of Europe also. A twin presidency of Europe sounds unworkable to this Dutch participant, but a European Security Council might work. Democracy has been jettisoned in favour of fixing Europe’s chassis; but a Constitution may be hard to sell to the people… Frans Timmermans was interviewed by Paul Hilder on 28 February 2003.

A just solution: military intervention

All the arguments about war must recognise an essential truth: the vicious tyranny of Saddam Hussein can only be ended by force, and with outside help.