All posts filed under: Obama

2016: A Year of Monumental, Collective Failure

Do you feel impotent watching fascists on the march? You are not alone! You are so not alone! So in deference to your “shattered dreams” as Dr. King calls a hallmark of our mortal life, I am acknowledging you and your failures + shattered dreams, by acknowledging a few of my own. Two op-eds I couldn’t publish because one took on the largest owner of images in the world + the other arguably the largest owner of human souls, namely the office of the incoming president elect. But the failure is all mine! Surely, this work is inadequate and undeserving of a human audience. The bots can scrutinize it, as can any future interrogators. I leave my original headlines with the assumption that others could have done better, much, much better, because America will be great, so great, again! And at the end, a list of celebrities who have led the charge in normalizing the highly abnormal or flipped and gone full on fascist. By inauguration day/anticipated date of an American Kristallnacht, I will surely …

The Sources of Russian Conduct: Russian Reading List

RUSSIAN READING LIST by Amanda Rivkin Note: In light of the election of 2016 and the unprecedented interference in the American electoral process, it became clear that a generation that fought the global war on terror is woefully unfamiliar with what a much earlier generation of American scholars, diplomats and spies would call “the sources of Soviet conduct,” after former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow George F. Kennan’s now infamous article published in Foreign Affairs in 1947. This reading list is an attempt to plug holes, it is by no means comprehensive nor does it claim to be. It is an attempt to provide a brief selection of readings following key themes of the last century of Russian/Soviet history as it is still relevant today given the Russian leader’s training as a KGB spy and deep background in the Russian state and rise in the wake of a period of profound national humiliation of the 1990s. Usual academic caveats, any errors or oversights are mine and mine alone. BACK IN THE USSR: Ideology + Revolution: Leninist-Marxism …

Bienvenue a Perpignan! / Bienvengut a Perpinya! / Welcome to Perpignan!

They all say the same thing, the first in French, the second in Catalan and lastly English, perhaps the most useless of the languages accept for this week during Visa Pour L’image, as English maintains its credibility as the language of international media still. It is my first trip to the city, to the south of France (previous trips to the country have taken me only to Paris and Bretagne, where my dearest and oldest friend claims deep ancestral roots and where half of her family resides) and to the annual photojournalism festival, likely and perhaps the biggest in the world in its 23rd year. An editor once confided quite privately that the media was so late to catch the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and project images of the destruction of New Orleans worldwide not because President George W. Bush’s response left much to be desired but because the photo editors were on a working vacation in this city, Perpignan in the south of France. In other words, even if you think this annual gathering …

Lucie Foundation International Photography Awards 2011 Honorable Mentions

I received three honorable mentions this year at the Lucie International Photography Awards for work in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Hungary, and Chicago. The entries are below with brief descriptions. You will have to scroll down pretty far in the same “Honorable Mention” gallery to find these entries in the environmental, political, photo essay and feature story categories here. From the entry description: Entry Title: “Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline” Name: Amanda Rivkin, United States Category: Professional, Photo Essay and Feature Story The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline traverses three nations, skirts five conflict zones, and covers land held by believers in at least two of the world’s great religions. A major post-Cold War victory for the West that sent one million barrels of oil a day pumping from the oil fields of Azerbaijan with room to expand to transport energy from elsewhere in the Caspian and Central Asian regions, the BTC pipeline – as the project is known – has helped to redefine energy security in the early 21st century. (This work has previously appeared at National Geographic.) — …

New York Times: Jury Finds Blagojevich Guilty of Corruption

Jury Finds Blagojevich Guilty of Corruption By MONICA DAVEY and EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS Published: June 27, 2011 CHICAGO — A jury on Monday convicted Rod R. Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, of a broad pattern of corruption, including charges that he tried to personally benefit from his role in selecting a replacement for President Obama in the United States Senate. Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat who former aides say once envisioned himself as a future presidential contender, was found guilty of most of the 20 federal counts against him: 17 counts of wire fraud, attempted extortion, soliciting bribes, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes. As the verdicts were read aloud in court, one “guilty” following another, Mr. Blagojevich, who has always proclaimed his innocence, turned, his jaw clenched grimly, to look at his wife, Patti, in the front row. By then, she was already slumped back in the arms of a relative, eyes closed, wiping away tears. The verdict appeared to be the conclusion, at last, to the spectacle of …

From the Archive: Cordoba and “The Edge in Dissent”

“Cordoba had the edge in dissent,” begins Pakistani writer and commentator Tariq Ali in a section devoted to the one-time intellectual capitol of Al-Andalus, the once Muslim southern half of contemporary Spain that is home to one of the most spectacular works of Islamic architecture, The Mezquita, in his larger post-September 11 work, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity. Much has happened in the ever-complicated relationship between mine and Ali’s country in the last week since U.S. Navy Seals raided, killed and then buried at sea Osama bin Laden, who it turns out has spent several of the past fugitive years in an elaborate compound just off Kakul Road, the drive leading to Pakistan’s elite military academy equivalent to Sandhurst in the U.K. or West Point here in the U.S. The compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was just 40 kilometers from the capital Islamabad. Not even former President and Head of the Pakistani Army Pervez Musharraf received such treatment, although he did assert he had gone jogging in the area in the past. The …