October 3 – 9 on openDemocracy

Ten years ago the prescient Paul Rogers began his weekly column. As the US scored a success in Afghanistan in 2001, Paul wrote “Put bluntly, an apparent US victory achieved before the end of this year may, in reality, be just a further stage in a longer-term civil war in Afghanistan”. How right he was. This week he warns of a larger regional conflict while Bruno de Cordier contrasts the US invasion with the USSR’s baleful experiment.

20 October 2011

openDemocracy’s 50:50 section was far-sighted in a different way when it ran Leymah Gbowee on child soldiers in her native Liberia - now republished as she shares this week’s Nobel peace prize.

The incredible resistance of Gaddafi loyalists astounds most of us. Two exceptional analyses look behind the media’s clichés. Igor Cherstich shows how Libya’s is a genuine national revolution, while anthropologist Hugh Brody in a long, moving essay on the Tuareg and the modernity of nomadism shows why the “Lords of the Desert” fight to “the last drop of blood”. Also we are warned that Libya’s new constitution may be a product of haste.

oDRussia continues its biting coverage of Putin’s return to the Presidency while Yelena Milashina, a colleague of the great Anna Politkovskaya, still burns with indignation over her assassination five years ago, on Putin’s birthday. Three other leadership contests gather force: Patrice de Beer nails the Sarkozian malaise; we look at Julius Malema grotesque claim on South Africa; and note the three rules of thumb in China, apart from luck, if you want to become its leader in 2012.

While young Arabs are experiencing “a new birth”, an Iranian writer travels across his unhappy land and reports - the contrast is painful. We also look at Syria’s missed chance, question Turkey, and even find the bright side in Somalia.

In the UK, Mike Neary describes the Lincoln experiment: open education that, he hopes, can beat and better the market. Wendy Savage blasts the government’s plans to marketise the NHS, and Peter Oborne from the right tells the right to “Wake up!” to the new Labour leader’s originality, while Scotland’s Gerry Hassan tells the left to “Wake up!” to the qualities of British conservatives.

openDemocracy definitely finds it hard to sleep: Tony Curzon Price salutes the Steve Jobs phenomenon as “good capitalism”, our own Charles Shaw and Cara Lavan report with video on our symposium against the “war on drugs” and openDemocracy’s Chairman tries to rescue British journalism.


Three striking links from elsewhere:

The New Yorker on China’s Nobel Complex

Esquire on Occupy Wall Street

Daedalus abstract of the threat to the internet commons


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