An interesting new paper recently published in Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, discusses the impact of the 2011 campaign, carried out by the French government, to publicize and promote the law banning the full veil from public spaces. The paper goes on to discuss how this campaign used specific norms of female dress in order to establish a certain understanding of French citizenship, which in turn only served to further alienate young Muslim women in France.
In 2007 President Sarkozy pledged to ‘protect’ women from oppression. He led a nationwide consultation and political campaign centred on gender and nationalism to publicise and promote the law banning the full veil from public spaces. This brought forward tensions with Islam and raised questions about the exclusionary nature of French citizenship. In 2011 an act was passed prohibiting the concealment of the face in public spaces; the burqa ban. A new article by Claire Hancock in Gender, Place and Culture studies the implications for gender, race, religion and citizenship in France. Can a veiled woman be truly French?
By: Sherwood Ross
By subverting the elected government of The Ukraine, President Obama has restarted a dangerous and costly Cold War with Russia that literally threatens life on the planet.
This reckless president, who has already bombed six countries, (Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq) is risking a possible escalation of the Ukraine crisis he helped foster, into World War III against Russia.
Victoria Nuland, Mr. Obama’s Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, stated at a Washington conference last Dec. 13 that since 1991 the U.S. has invested $5 billion in Ukraine to install “a good form of democracy.”
But in a recent article published by Global Research, Bill Van Auken identified the “good democrats” the U.S. has been aiding in The Ukraine as those responsible for last February’s “fascist-led coup that installed an unelected ultra-nationalist government in which neo-Nazis from the Right Sector and the Svoboda party hold prominent positions.”
Paul Craig Roberts, of the Institute For Political Economy and former high treasury official under President Reagan, has written the U.S. objective in the current crisis “is to restart the Cold War by forcing the Russian government to occupy the Russian-speaking areas of present day Ukraine where protesters are objecting to the stooge anti-Russian government installed in Kiev by the American coup.”
The heightened tensions, says The Nation in its May 19th editorial, “will almost certainly result in a new nuclear arms race, a prospect made worse by Obama’s provocative public assertion that ‘our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians.’”
Russian authority Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, Champaign, says the U.S./NATO/European Union “are promoting the destabilization and the breakup of Ukraine in order to achieve the NATO goal of moving into Ukrainian territory closer to Russia.” The U.S., for a long time, has been attempting to get The Ukraine into NATO, he noted.
Obama now has broken the promise President George H.W. Bush gave to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that if he agreed to the reunification of Germany, NATO would move no farther east, toward Russia’s boundaries, Boyle said. He adds, “The Obama administration and NATO are maneuvering humanity into a reverse Cuban Missile Crisis right on the borders of Russia. Can World War III be far behind?”
Author Roberts said NATO official Alexander Vershbow, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, told reporters NATO has given up on “drawing Moscow closer” and soon will deploy a large number of combat forces in Eastern Europe. And so the dreaded Cold War, with all its staggering cost, with all its immeasurable weight of fear, begins again.
One wonders what the U.S. reaction might be to a Russian warning that it was going to station armies in Mexico or Canada? It should not be forgotten that Russian foreign policy in recent years has been one of peaceful contraction while President Obama’s has been one of violent expansion. This is reflected in the official figures for military spending last year compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
The U.S., it reports, spent $640 billion of a world total of $1747 billion, or 37% of all. After the U.S. came China, $188 billion; Russia $88 billion; Saudi Arabia, $67 billion and France $61 billion. U.S. arms spending is now greater than the next nine nations combined.
And while Russia has fewer than a dozen military bases world-wide, most of them built in former Soviet territory, the U.S. has more than 1,000 bases, in addition to 1,000 located on its own soil.
Given the fact that the U.S. is pounding on Moscow’s door; that it is actively engaged in half a dozen shooting wars; that it has 1,000 military bases abroad; that it leads the world in military spending by a wide margin; and that it has spent $5 billion to aid the neo-Nazis in an overthrow by force and violence in The Ukraine; it is hard to disagree with Roberts when he asserts “Washington has no intention of allowing the crisis in Ukraine to be resolved.”