The World

SACSIS seeks to examine global issues, particularly as they relate to South Africa.

Greek Elections and the Euro Leper Colony

Picture credit: A poster held up during the victory speech of Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras on 25 January, courtesy Neurope. Greg Palast - Europe is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece. Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy. Oddly, Syriza also promises that it will remain in the leper colony. That is, Syriza wants to rid Greece of the cruelty of austerity imposed by the European Central Bank but insists on staying in the euro zone. The problem is, austerity run wild is merely a symptom of an illness. The...

Will the Greek Elections Strengthen the Hands of the Global South?

Picture credit: Greece Alexander O'Riordan - This week Greece elected into power the left-wing political party, Syriza, headed by Alexis Tsipras, who led the party to victory on an anti-austerity ticket, thus rattling financial markets by raising the spectre of a Greek exit from the Eurozone and snubbing the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund troika of lenders to Greece. As it turns out, I happen to be in Brussels this week, the city where the EU has its headquarters. The word on the...

Jose Mujica's Legacy

Picture credit: President Jose Mujica of Uruguay and his wife First Lady Lucia Topolansky courtesy Marcopolo2007/Wikimedia Commons Natasha Hakimi Zapata - The world’s “humblest” president, the “poorest president” in terms of personal wealth, the “most radical.” How did one man earn so many superlative epithets? The 79-year-old Uruguayan President José Mujica—who leaves office at the end of next month—is at first glance an unlikely head of state. In keeping with the approach he developed while imprisoned for 14 years as a leftist Tupamaro urban guerrilla, Mujica repudiates...

Europe's Coming Battle

Picture credit: Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) rally in Germany courtesy Politically Incorrect John Feffer - In the first Crusade, on their way to fight the Muslim infidels in Jerusalem, the armed pilgrims asked themselves a provocative question: Why should we trek so far to kill people we barely know when we can just as well massacre infidels closer to home? And thus the crusaders of the 11th century embarked on some of Europe’s first pogroms against Jews. These anti-Semitic rampages in the heart of the continent had the added advantage of helping to finance that first Crusade, as the...

Paris Terrorist Was Radicalized by Bush's Iraq War and Abu Ghraib Torture

Picture credit: Gerry Lauzon/flickr Juan Cole - Sharif and Said Kouachi, the two brothers for whom the French police are searching, were born in Paris of Algerian parents, Mokhtar et Freiha Méguireche, according to a profile published by Le Monde.  Said was born in 1980.  Sharif was born in 1982.  The brothers were poor and unemployed.  Sharif did not finish school.  The Kouachi brothers sometimes delivered pizza to make a little money.  They were involved in petty crime as teenagers. Then in early...

How Pragmatism Drove China's Economic Transformation

Picture credit: Inonews Saliem Fakir - Decline can happen rapidly and all before one’s eyes. Sometimes the response to it can be slow and even result in total neglect. First, there’s denial or the inability to speak up. Then there’s some acceptance that things are not going well and finally there may be a belated attempt at collective mobilisation to tame the rot gripping the sinews of political and economic institutions. It can come just in time or be too little too late. China pulled itself out of the ashes...