A Perilous Power
Trevor Blake has always known he possessed magical gifts. For instance, he can conjure objects at a distance. But since he was young, he has suppressed his magic lest it draw hostility from the skeptical and ungifted and intolerant. In the small farming community where Trevor lives with his family, the practice of magic is forbidden-sometimes from fear...or jealousy. Most of the gifted, known as Adepts, practice their arts far away in the big cities. In fact, it is in the bustling coastal city of Port-of-Lords that Trevor has heard of a group of the gifted that have banded together in a secret underground community of adepts. Practicing their art among their own and under the cloak of secrecy, they are able to perfect and master their chosen gifts, perhaps reaching levels of art they could never have imagined. Buoyed with letters of introduction from influential relatives, Trevor boldly makes his way to Port-of-Lords, intent on joining the Community. Happily his best friend, Les Simonton, has agreed to join him on the journey. But no sooner have the boys arrived than the trouble begins. The kind of trouble that Trevor -even with his formidable magic-may be powerless to prevent. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The volatile Middle East is the site of vast resources, profound passions, frequent crises, and long-standing conflicts, as well as a major source of international tensions and a key site of direct US intervention. Two of the most astute analysts of this part of the world are Noam Chomsky, the preeminent critic of U.S, foreign policy, and Gilbert Achcar, a leading specialist of the Middle East who lived in that region for many years. In their new book, Chomsky and Achcar bring a keen understanding of the internal dynamics of the Middle East and of the role of the United States, taking up all the key questions of interest to concerned citizens, including such topics as terrorism, fundamentalism, conspiracies, oil, democracy, self-determination, anti-Semitism, and anti-Arab racism, as well as the war in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the sources of U.S. foreign policy. This book provides the best readable introduction for all who wish to understand the complex issues related to the Middle East from a perspective dedicated to peace and justice.
This expansive book surveys the history of warfare from ancient Mesopotamia to the Gulf War in search of a deeper understanding of the origins of Western warfare and the reasons for its eminence today. Historian John France explores the experience of war around the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. His bold conclusions cast doubt on well-entrenched attitudes about the development of military strength, the impact of culture on warfare, the future of Western dominance, and much more. Taking into account wars waged by virtually all civilizations since the beginning of recorded history, France finds that despite enormous cultural differences, war was conducted in distinctly similar ways right up to the Military Revolution and the pursuit of technological warfare in the nineteenth century. Since then, European and American culture has shaped warfare, but only because we have achieved a sense of distance from it, France argues. He warns that the present eminence of U.S. power is much more precarious and accidental than commonly believed. The notion that war is a distant phenomenon is only an illusion, and our cultural attitudes must change accordingly.
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Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times
From the Constitutionâe(tm)s adoption, presidents, Congress, judges, scholars, the press, and the public have debated the appropriate scope of presidential power during a crisis, especially when presidents see bending or breaking the rules as necessary to protect the country from serious, even irreparable, harm. Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times examines this quandary, from Abraham Lincolnâe(tm)s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilsonâe(tm)s enforcement of the Espionage Act of 1917 during World War I, Franklin D. Rooseveltâe(tm)s evacuation and internment of West Coast Japanese during World War II, Harry S. Trumanâe(tm)s seizure of the steel mills during the Korean War to George W. Bushâe(tm)s torture, surveillance, and detention programs following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Presidents have exercised extraordinary power to protect the nation in ways that raised serious constitutional concerns about individual liberties and separation of powers. By looking at these examples through different constitutional perspectives, Scott Matheson achieves a deeper understanding of wartime presidential power in general and of President Bushâe(tm)s assertions of executive power in particular. America can function more effectively as a constitutional democracy in an unsafe world, he argues, if our leaders embrace an approach to presidential power that he calls executive constitutionalism.
The Arabs and the Holocaust
An unprecedented and judicious examination of what the Holocaust means—and doesn't mean—in the Arab world, one of the most explosive subjects of our time There is no more inflammatory topic than the Arabs and the Holocaust—the phrase alone can occasion outrage. The terrain is dense with ugly claims and counterclaims: one side is charged with Holocaust denial, the other with exploiting a tragedy while denying the tragedies of others. In this pathbreaking book, political scientist Gilbert Achcar explores these conflicting narratives and considers their role in today's Middle East dispute. He analyzes the various Arab responses to Nazism, from the earliest intimations of the genocide, through the creation of Israel and the destruction of Palestine and up to our own time, critically assessing the political and historical context for these responses. Finally, he challenges distortions of the historical record, while making no concessions to anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial. Valid criticism of the other, Achcar insists, must go hand in hand with criticism of oneself. Drawing on previously unseen sources in multiple languages, Achcar offers a unique mapping of the Arab world, in the process defusing an international propaganda war that has become a major stumbling block in the path of Arab-Western understanding.
Perilous Interventions The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos
It was an exclusive lunch at a high-end Manhattan restaurant on 7 March 2011. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his entire A-team were present. It soon became clear that the main item on the menu was Libya, where it was alleged that the forces of Muammar Gaddafi were rapidly advancing on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi to crush all opposition. Over an $80 per head lunch, a small group of the world's most important diplomats from countries represented on the Security Council discussed the possibility of the use of force, ostensibly to protect civilians, but in reality to effect regime change. As things turned out, the Council's authorization came only ten days later, and all hell broke loose. Hardeep Singh Puri, India's envoy to the UN at the time, now reveals the Council's whimsical decision-making and the ill-thought-out itch to intervene on the part of some of its permanent members. In contrast, on Syria-which too was unravelling at the same time-the Libyan experience and internal differences within the Council led to a complete policy paralysis. The result, made worse by the earlier intervention in Iraq, has been the biggest refugee crisis since World War II and the creation of the ISIS. Perilous Interventions shows how some recent instances of the use of force-not just in Libya and Syria but also in Yemen and Crimea, as well as India's misadventure in Sri Lanka in the 1980s-have gone disastrously wrong. He focuses on the syndrome of intervening nations turning away from the scene once their vested interests have been achieved, as in the case of Iraq, where more than 100,000 civilians have died since the war began in 2003. He also highlights India's key role in warning against interventions and attempts at regime change. Treading the path of reason and caution, Perilous Interventions calls out world powers on their misdeeds and cries for a reform of the global political order.
The People Want
"The people want . . .": This first half of slogans chanted by millions of Arab protesters since 2011 revealed a long-repressed craving for democracy. But huge social and economic problems were also laid bare by the protestors’ demands. Simplistic interpretations of the uprising that has been shaking the Arab world since a young street vendor set himself on fire in Central Tunisia, on 17 December 2010, seek to portray it as purely political, or explain it by culture, age, religion, if not conspiracy theories. Instead, Gilbert Achcar locates the deep roots of the upheaval in the specific economic features that hamper the region’s development and lead to dramatic social consequences, including massive youth unemployment. Intertwined with despotism, nepotism, and corruption, these features, produced an explosive situation that was aggravated by post-9/11 U.S. policies. The sponsoring of the Muslim Brotherhood by the Emirate of Qatar and its influential satellite channel, Al Jazeera, contributed to shaping the prelude to the uprising. But the explosion’s deep roots, asserts Achcar, mean that what happened until now is but the beginning of a revolutionary process likely to extend for many more years to come. The author identifies the actors and dynamics of the revolutionary process: the role of various social and political movements, the emergence of young actors making intensive use of new information and communication technologies, and the nature of power elites and existing state apparatuses that determine different conditions for regime overthrow in each case. Drawing a balance-sheet of the uprising in the countries that have been most affected by it until now, i.e. Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria, Achcar sheds special light on the nature and role of the movements that use Islam as a political banner. He scrutinizes attempts at co-opting the uprising by these movements and by the oil monarchies that sponsor them, as well as by the protector of these same monarchies: the U.S. government. Underlining the limitations of the "Islamic Tsunami" that some have used as a pretext to denigrate the whole uprising, Gilbert Achcar points to the requirements for a lasting solution to the social crisis and the contours of a progressive political alternative.
'Occupy is the first major public response to thirty years of class war.' Since its appearance in Zuccotti Park, New York, in September 2011, the Occupy movement has spread to hundreds of towns and cities across the world. No longer occupying small tent camps, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its messages spread from street protests to op-ed pages to the highest seats of power. From the movement's onset, Noam Chomsky has supported its critique of corporate corruption and encouraged its efforts to increase civic participation, economic equality, democracy and freedom. Through talks and conversations with movement supporters, Occupy presents Chomsky's latest thinking on the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1% influencing the lives of the other 99%? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like? How can we redefine basic concepts like 'growth' to increase equality and quality of life for all?