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Art as humanization

By David Walsh, 30 December 2005

Munich, directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, based on Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, by George Jonas

David Walsh picks his favorite films of 2005

By David Walsh, 30 December 2005

I include two lists below. The first contains what in my opinion were the best films shown in a cinema in the US in 2005 (although, in some cases, this might have meant only a limited run in New York and Los Angeles, for example). The second list includes films that I saw in 2005, at film festivals, for example, which I thought significant but which have not yet received a showing in an American movie theater.

Eugene McCarthy, dead at 89, played pivotal role in 1968 political crisis

By Patrick Martin, 30 December 2005

The death December 10 of former senator and US presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy provides an occasion for reviewing one of the most important chapters in recent American history—the political crisis that erupted in 1967-1968, shattering the administration of President Lyndon Johnson and giving a powerful impetus to the long-term decline and political decay of the Democratic Party.

Historical and political issues behind Iranian president’s anti-Semitic campaign

By Justus Leicht and Stephan Steinberg, 30 December 2005

In recent months, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly gone public with anti-Semitic declarations. He has described the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews during the Second World War as a “myth” concocted to justify the existence of Israel, refused to accept the claim that “Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews,” called for the state of Israel to be “wiped off the map” and demanded that Jews currently living in Israel be moved to Canada or Alaska.

India’s tsunami victims abandoned

By T. Kala and Ram Kumar, 30 December 2005

One year after the tsunami devastated southern Asia, millions of people in the southern and eastern coastal areas of India are yet to return to their normal lives. Contrary to the big promises made by the national and Tamil Nadu state governments, relief and rehabilitation measures largely remain in the distant future.

Indonesian court implicates intelligence agency in murder of human rights activist

By John Roberts, 30 December 2005

Pollycarpus Budihari Priyato, a pilot for the Indonesian state airline Garuda, was found guilty on December 20 of the murder of the internationally respected Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by the Jakarta Central District Court. The court dropped a political bomb shell, however, when it implicated members of the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency (BIN) in the murder despite neither the prosecution case nor the accused himself making such a claim.

Israel mounts air attacks on Gaza and Lebanon

By Chris Marsden, 30 December 2005

The Israeli government has dramatically escalated its offensive against the Palestinians, with war planes mounting attacks on the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon. Both attacks were carried out on the pretext of responding to rockets fired by Palestinian militant groups.

Pre-election terror and repression in Haiti

By Jonathan Keane, 30 December 2005

While the Bush administration and the US mass media focused enormous attention on the recent elections in Iraq—promoting them as supposed proof of Washington’s “democratizing” mission—preparations for another vote taking place in another invaded and occupied country just a few hundred miles off US shores are virtually ignored, and for good reason.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

30 December 2005

Europe

Harold Pinter’s artistic achievement

By Paul Bond, 29 December 2005

When playwright Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in October 2005, it produced anxiety within government circles in Britain. Pinter’s determined opposition to US and British foreign policy, and his resistance to the renewed imperialist carve-up of the globe centring on the war against Iraq, have brought attacks on him from many quarters. His fellow playwright David Hare noted that not a single party leader in Britain had congratulated Pinter on the award. This was hardly surprising, given the support the major parties in Britain gave to the US-led invasion of Iraq.