Opinion

Letter from Brazil: One year of Lula

It is one year since Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former metalworker and leader of Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party, was elected president of the country. I am in Rio de Janeiro, trying to find out what the people think about the country today and the president after his first year in office.

Washington, not Miami, calls the shots on Cuba

Opinion On Oct. 10, 2003, George W. Bush gave a Rose Garden rundown of a hard-line position on Cuba made even harder. It’s election time, and the prevailing wisdom is that the president is currying favor with right-wing Cubans in Miami so that, if need be, Florida can once again be used to select a president.

Du Bois before Lenin

Opinion This year marked the centenary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ most famous book, Souls of Black Folk. It fell in a year wracked by warfare and capitalist deceit. The fraud of weapons of mass destruction sent our troops into battle against a people who have suffered the ravages of an uncertain history for at least a century.

The canaries in the mineshaft

Opinion This summer’s heat wave in Europe left more than 11,000 people dead in France alone. Hospitals and morgues were overwhelmed. Most of the victims were elderly. Most lived in isolation from family and community. Most were poor.

Public vs. for-profit health care in Canada

Opinion The Canadian public has said no to the erosion of universal, single-tier public health care. Indeed, popular pressure forced a recent Canadian Royal Commission to propose expansion of the public system.

Edward Said: a voice for the voiceless

Opinion Edward W. Said, who died Sept. 25 at the age of 67, was many things to many people. Depending on which newspaper’s obituary you read, Said was “a prominent figure in the debate over the Arab-Israeli conflict” (Boston Globe), “the subject of bitter dispute” (the London Daily Telegram), a “Palestinian apologist” (The Jerusalem Post), or “the most prominent advocate in the United States of the cause of Palestinian independence” (The New York Times).

Celebrating our history

Opinion I learned to fly as an RAF cadet in Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] during the war and vividly remember the way in which Britain obliterated the history of the people of the country that it then occupied and controlled.

A new beginning for WTO after Cancun

Opinion Forget the spin you have been reading in the papers about the “failure” of the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun. It was one of the most successful international meetings in years because it redefined how trade can benefit the poor and how the developing world can be real players in these negotiations.

Why theres no peace in Palestine

Opinion On Sept. 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat signed a Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn, heralding the beginning of the Oslo peace process.

New world order?

Opinion When India was asked to send troops to help beef up security in Iraq, it declined. The message was clear to the U.S. – “We are not going to budge without the world/UN’s consent.”

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