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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Debates and articles from across the openDemocracy website that discuss or are relevant to the Americas

Argentina's mirror: the causa Malvinas

The south Atlantic islands fought over in 1982 have played a key part in the formation of Argentina's national identity. The Malvinas "cause" thus illuminates the complexities of modern Argentinean nationalism, says Celia Szusterman.

Argentina and Britain: the lessons of war

Argentina’s democracy and commitment to global peace are the most important legacies of the Falklands war, argues Justin Vogler.

For someone born after the Beatles split up, I have surprisingly clear memories of the Falklands/Malvinas war, which started on 2 April 1982 when Argentina's military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri seized the islands, and ended seventy-four days later with the humiliating surrender of the Argentinean forces.

Argentina and the Malvinas, twenty-five years on

The story of how Argentineans have responded to defeat in the Malvinas/Falklands war of 1982 contains a quarter-century of contradictions, says Ivan Briscoe.

The great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, who had been raised to admire gauchos and English gentlemen in equal measure, was gravely aggrieved by the sight of his two favourite nations at war in the south Atlantic. "Two bald men fighting over a comb", was his bitter putdown.

'Guantánamo', Paolo Pellegrin

What is life like at Guantánamo Bay? Photographer Paolo Pellegrin offers a rare glimpse: over 100 photos inside the prison complex, plus audio interviews with human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith and former Camp X-Ray detainee, Moazzam Begg.

Brazil, the United States and ethanol

Biofuel production could offer Brasilia and Washington a source of partnership rather than of conflict, says Rodrigo de Almeida.

Churchillism: from Thatcher and the Falklands to Blair and Iraq

In 1982, Anthony Barnett argued that Britain's decision to wage war with Argentina in the south Atlantic was triggered by its deep political culture. Twenty-five years on, he looks afresh at the entrails.

Hugo Chávez at his peak

The Venezuelan president’s status as Latin America’s leading radical icon is intimately tied to the price of oil, says George Philip.

Democracy in America: the money trap

Politics in the United States is being devoured by the sums needed to finance it, says Godfrey Hodgson.

A ship with no anchor: Bush in Latin America

The lives of north and south Americans are becoming both more intermingled and more unequal. This may be as significant for long-term United States interests as the region’s political polarisation, says Ivan Briscoe.

Hugo Chávez's operatic pursuit of a political "corpse" up and down the Americas provided the principal drama, but the most telling signs of the United States's radically reduced influence in its own landmass came in a more discreet fashion.

The Republican subversion of law

The Bush administration's treatment of United States attorneys is the logical outcome of a long Republican effort to distort the constitutional framework in the interest of partisan consolidation of power, says Sidney Blumenthal.

Mexico: living with drugs

The advance of organised crime in Mexico is at last provoking a serious political response, says Sergio Aguayo Quezada.

Los Desaparecidos: rescuing real lives

A new exhibition explores one of the terrible legacies of Latin America's dirty wars – the forced "disappearance" of thousands of people across the continent. Rob Cawston reviews, plus, a slideshow of selected images.

Death and life in New Orleans

Within a single day in New Orleans, the passing of two strangers pierces Jim Gabour to the soul.

After Bush: dealing with Hugo Chávez

The United States needs a strategy to meet the challenge of Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela. Juan Gabriel Tokatlian takes the long view.

The future of US foreign policy: a reply

Michael Lind's advocacy of a concert-of-power solution to the United States predicament in Iraq provoked a range of criticisms on openDemocracy. Here, he replies to his critics.

The United States and Colombia: the next plan

The United States could play a decisive new role in helping a crisis-ridden Colombia move toward being a modern democracy. In the wake of George W Bush's brief visit to Bogotá, Adam Isacson assesses the chances of a policy shift in Washington.

A Latin American's memo to Bush

The United States president’s rare foray to Latin America could benefit both sides, but only if he follows candid advice, says Juan Gabriel Tokatlian.

Bienvenido, Señor Bush

A close scrutiny of George W Bush’s five-nation Latin American tour reveals the degree of political calculation behind the stirring rhetoric, says Justin Vogler.

Muslims and multiculturalism: lessons from Canada

Canada is tuning into Europe's debate on Muslims. But it doesn't want to abandon its own model for living with diversity – at least for now, reports Ehsan Masood.

"What do you think of the debate in Britain about Muslims who live in communities of extended families and friends?"

Dick Cheney in Afghanistan: close to home

The United States mission in Afghanistan has been undermined by the Bush administration’s diversion to Iraq, says Sidney Blumenthal.

London and Washington: Tony Blair's special relationship

The British prime minister's peculiar attitude to America’s leaders weighs heavily on his domestic legacy, says Godfrey Hodgson.

A liberal foreign policy for the US: ten maxims

A post-Bush vision of the United States role in the world needs clear principles to guide it, says Bob Burnett.

Concerts and silly seasons

The interests of the great powers won’t be reconciled in a multipolar world, argues David Rieff. Competition, not cooperation, is the lifeblood of power.

Mardi Gras, 2007

"The carnival that keeps us sane after all this madness." Listen to Jim Gabour report from New Orleans's big parade.

The United States vs I Lewis Libby

The I Lewis Libby trial shines a remorseless spotlight on the United States vice-president, reports Sidney Blumenthal.

A regional path to peace in Iraq

American economic strategies, domestic political inadequacy and problems of timing all work against a multilateral approach to its Iraq crisis, writes Mark Luccarelli.

America against itself

The United States's predicament is that one side of its dualist face has come to predominate. But bullying will not forever eclipse idealism, says Godfrey Hodgson.

Jan Morris spoke for many around the world in a piece in the Guardian on 14 February 2007 in which she admitted to disenchantment with what the United States has become. "[The] missionary instinct", she wrote, "which impelled Americans into so many noble policies, was to be perverted by power".

A song for the kitchen, a song for the heart

When the Vegetable Man returns, can normality in New Orleans be far behind?

A question of moral legitimacy

Global cooperation is sorely needed in the face of America's diplomatic and strategic failings, says Mark Kingwall. It's the right answer – and the only answer.

Looking into America's dark places

To find the political means to end its disastrous middle-east adventurism, writes Sankaran Krishna, the United States needs to examine its profoundly undemocratic politics and foreign policy.

On a collision course with the future

Major sovereign powers should not be setting world order, says Richard Falk. The United States, reinforced by the United Nations and the rule of law, needs to give way to global institutions and alliances.

America's Iraq plight: old and new thinking

In Iraq, it's time for new approaches focusing on people rather than states, argues Mary Kaldor – who finds Michael Lind's emphasis on geopolitical moves too parochial.

What next? US foreign policy after Bush

The argument for a new-model American foreign policy that unites liberal internationalism and Realpolitik is intellectually and politically flawed, argues Michael Lind of the New America Foundation.

Latin America, China, and the United States: a hopeful triangle

Latin America has an unlucky record in geopolitical partnerships. A new one can work and benefit the world, says Juan Gabriel Tokatlian.

The Libby trial: contortions of power

The White House leaking of information to discredit opponents before the Iraq war lays bare its cynical, manipulative culture, says Sidney Blumenthal.
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