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Third World Resurgence #197 (January 2007)

This issue’s contents:


COVER: Iranian Nuclear Crisis: The threat of a US-led war

Rising confrontation with Iran: Is Bush spoiling for a fight?
By Praful Bidwai

There are serious grounds for concern that the US, either on its own or in coordination with Israel, may launch a military attack on Iran. While the neo-conservatives in Washington who are behind this drive to war have set their sights on a larger goal than merely destroying Iran's nuclear facilities, it is the spectre of a nuclear Iran that is frequently invoked to justify the Bush administration's paranoid and irrational approach to Tehran. Tragically, Praful Bidwai argues, it is precisely this hawkish and aggressive stance towards Iran that may ultimately drive that Middle Eastern nation state towards adopting a nuclear weapons programme.

Iran's nuclear programme: fact or fiction?
By Garth le Pere

Rather than demonising Iran over its nuclear energy programme, the major powers should make every effort to maintain dialogue and seek a negotiated solution, writes Garth le Pere.

Iran's nuclear aspirations: A poisoned chalice
By Ronald McCoy

The Iranian case is a selective challenge to the legitimate right of developing countries to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy. However, nuclear energy has to be phased out as its continuing use will result in more nuclear weapons proliferation and a deadly legacy of nuclear waste which cannot be disposed of safely.

If we're not going to abolish them all...
By Mike Whitney

In this provocative piece written in 2004, Mike Whitney argues that under the current dispensation, Iran has a valid case for going nuclear. The only solution is to abolish all nuclear weapons.

Bush's Iraq plan - goading Iran into war
By Trita Parsi

Recent US actions against Iran and Iranian national interests may be aimed at provoking the Iranians to respond, thus furnishing the US with a justification for launching a war against that Middle Eastern nation.

Iran refusing to be provoked by the US
By Kimia Sanati

Wary of falling into a trap, Iran has to date refused to retaliate against US provocations, in particular, the recent arrest of six of its diplomatic staff by the US military in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.

Iran: Thinking the unthinkable
By Conn Hallinan

Are recent Israeli threats to launch military strikes against Iran mere bombast to scare the Iranians, or do they presage a more terrifying development?


ECONOMICS

Halving world poverty: The need to change liberalisation policies and the world’s distorted

agricultural markets
By Sofia Naranjo

If world leaders are serious about halving world poverty and hunger by 2015 as envisioned by the UN’s first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1), urgent policy changes are necessary to address the negative impacts of distorted markets and liberalisation measures on the developing world's rural population.

The new Maharajas of India
By Devinder Sharma and Bhaskar Goswami

What is it like to be a modern-day Indian prince? Devinder Sharma and Bhaskar Goswami explain how the laws of the land are being redefined to bring in the royal tag for the rich and beautiful.


WORLD AFFAIRS

Chavez’s development strategy provokes furious outcry
By Tom Fawthrop

President Hugo Chavez’s announcement after his recent election victory that Venezuela will buck the global trend towards privatisation and free markets, has engendered a new wave of disinformation and distortion by the Western media.

Into the labyrinth
By Brad Miller

As the US government proceeds with its strategy of walling off and militarising the US-Mexico border, the fallout of these anti-immigration policies has been a rash of human rights abuses against indigenous and immigrant communities, a rise in the toll of border-crossing-related deaths, the trashing of the delicate desert

environment and a palpable, worrying racial tension and polarisation.

Silencing dissent on the Middle East
By Allan C Brownfeld

Attempts by pro-Israeli groups in the US to stiffle dissent on Middle Eastern issues are now meeting with resistance, largely from members of the Jewish community.

Yes, there is apartheid in Israel
By Shulamit Aloni

Ex-US President Jimmy Carter recently wrote a book entitled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which caused an uproar especially among Jewish groups as it claimed that the Israeli state practises its own, quite violent, form of apartheid with regard to the Palestinian population. But as Shulamit Aloni, a former Education Minister of Israel, points out, Carter's assessment is not wrong.  


HUMAN RIGHTS

Thai Human Rights Commission attacks FTA with US
By Sanya Smith

Thailand's proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the US will result in serious human rights violations, says the country's national human rights body.


WOMEN

Many to blame for war crimes against Congo’s women
By Judy Amunga Ndibo

In the fertile hills of eastern Congo Kinshasa (DRC), the region’s women tell tales of war crimes crueller than others can imagine. They are angry with brutal rebel groups, Rwandans, the national army, mineral companies and the US, which they say supplied the arms. And the greatest war crime of all, they warn, is not letting their voices be heard even today.

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