FINIAN CUNNINGHAM—Like so many other obscene American wars down through the decades, Washington is facing yet another ignominious defeat in Yemen. When the US starts to talk about “ending the war” with a spin about concern for “mutual peace”, then you know the sordid game is finally up.
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RAMIN MAZAHERI—The only way Reza Pahlavi could be half the patriot, leader, and sincerely religious Shia he claims to be would be to follow the example of someone like the last emperor of China, Pu Yi. Revolutionary China reformed Pu Yi from a self-centered autocrat who considered himself divine into someone who tried to be a genuinely good person. He was not executed in 1949 — he served 10 years in jail, and then was given a regular job as a street sweeper and gardener. He regularly spoke out in support of the democratic choice of the Chinese people, and he sincerely seemed to realize that monarchy is antiquated, immoral, and unwanted.
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RAMIN MAZAHERI—The show would have been broadcast by MTV, which would have furthered the reach of this attempt to normalise an abnormal government. MTV would have surely billed Minaj’s performance as a “step forward for female empowerment in Saudi Arabia”, which is preposterous.
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Chris Hedges discusses the threat of war with Iran and the US relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel with anti-war activist Medea Benjamin of Codepink.