Perry Anderson's analysis of Obama's foreign policy was first published in New Left Review in September 2013 and forms a part of American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers.
Democratic takeover of the White House in 2009 brought little alteration in American imperial policy. Continuity was signalled from the start by the retention or promotion of key personnel in the Republican war on terror: Gates, Brennan, Petraeus, McChrystal. Before entering the Senate, Obama had opposed the war in Iraq; in the Senate, he voted $360 billion for it. Campaigning for the presidency, he criticized the war in the name of another one. Not Iraq, but Afghanistan was where US firepower should be concentrated. Within a year of taking office, US troops had been doubled to 100,000 and Special Forces operations increased sixfold, in a bid to repeat the military success in Iraq, where Obama had merely to stick to his predecessor’s schedule for a subsequent withdrawal.
This essay is excerpted from Sohail Daulatzai's Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue, published by the University of Minnesota Press. A new 4K restoration of The Battle of Algiers is currently touring theaters across the United States.
Though it is both troubling and telling, the screening of the film by the Pentagon in the aftermath of 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan is only the latest chapter in the afterlife of The Battle of Algiers. In many ways, the film is a battleground and a microcosm of the enduring struggles between the West and the Rest, whiteness and its others. But in a post- 9/11 moment, it’s hard to ignore the ways in which the centrality and omnipresence of the figure of the Muslim and the “War on Terror” have not only coded and shaped every aspect of social life but have also sought to undermine the power and politics of The Battle of Algiers.
An agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians and opposition fighters from the besieged eastern districts of the city of Aleppo, a senior Turkish official and rebel officials have told the Guardian.
The agreement has capped weeks of horrific suffering and violence that have left many dead and others in total despair, raising serious questions at the lack of response from the international community.
People in east Aleppo have issued desperate pleas for rescue, posting farewell messages on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, predicting they would either die in the ongoing bombardment or be tortured and killed if they surrendered.
As events continue to unfold, we present a reading list of key books which — through investigative journalism, graphic storytelling, and critical analysis – shed light on the unfolding crisis in the Middle East.
Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo to go to the government-held side.
On the 10th anniversary of the founding of Wikileaks, we publish The Wikileaks Files: The World According to US Empire in paperback, available at 40% off until Saturday October 8th.
In essays by area specialists that mine information from the 251,287 diplomatic cables brought to light by Wikileaks' Cablegate publication, The WikiLeaks Files exposes the neo-imperialist machinations of the United States. Below, we present a contribution to the book by journalist, legal researcher and Wikileaks section editor Sarah Harrison, which explains the construction of the Public Library of US Diplomacy — Wikileaks' database of US State Department internal documents — and offers instructions on how to use it.
What is PlusD?
“The Public Library of US Diplomacy,” or “PlusD,” is a very large and constantly expanding collection of internal documents from the US Department of State, published by WikiLeaks in a searchable archive. The library began in 2010 and at the time of writing contains 2,325,961 individual documents made up of about 2 billion words, spread over three collections of cables: Cablegate, the Kissinger Cables, and the Carter Cables. The State Department is the foreign affairs department of the US government and oversees the embassies and consulates of the United States all over the world. Each embassy or consulate corresponds with the State Department in Washington, DC, by sending daily telegram reports, or “cables,” between them, using a special electronic communications system.