June 5, 2006 | The Nation

In the Magazine

June 5, 2006

Cover: Cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

Browse Selections From Recent Years














Redmond, Wash.


The NSA surveillance scandal raises questions about whether
phone companies will become pawns of an Administration bent on
expanding its power.

Hurricane victims are still homeless in New Orleans, but thanks to the federal government's $30 million contract bonanza, Blackwater USA's profits are soaring.

Americans are now caught in a security paradox: We expect the
government to protect us, but its responses make us feel even more

The United States has fueled a worldwide overreaction to the threat of a bird
flu pandemic, putting AIDS, malaria, malnutrition and other crucial
global health programs at risk.

Democrats in Congress must press for a full investigation of NSA phone call surveillance and prove that the rule of law is an asset, not an obstacle, to national security.



Desperate to report progress in Iraq Bush boasts that the newest Iraqi
leader has taken his phone call twice. Wow. And it only cost $200
billion and thousands of dead and maimed Americans.


It's outrageous enough that the NSA is secretly monitoring Americans' calling
patterns. But has anyone considered what would happen if unscrupulous
monitors sold that information to the highest bidder?

If democracy represents the will of the people, then there is either
something wrong with democracy in the United States and Britain or something wrong with the people on both sides of the Atlantic.

The left may be a dusty relic in Germany, but in the Indian state of Kerala,
it has made formidable gains on a platform of reform and smart
economic policies.


As conditions worsen in Darfur, the nascent International Criminal Court, whose mandate is to bring genocidaires to justice in a chaotic environment hostile to the rule of law, is facing a daunting challenge.

Confronting the forces of war, genocide and lawlessness begins with the
belief that individual citizens have the power--and the
responsibility--to focus our government's mind, change its priorities
and save lives.

Israel's plans for a series of farms and wineries designed to draw tourists to the Negev Desert is the latest insult to its marginalized Bedouin population.

The Bush Administration's warm embrace of the Equatorial Guinea's despotic President Teodoro Mbasogo demonstrates how low it will go in pursuit of oil.

The limp grassroots response to Democratic gubernatorial
candidates reveals that the plummeting popularity of one party doesn't
automatically translate into support for the other.

When the Ford Foundation came under pressure, it revised its grant-making standards, restricting the political activities of its grantees.

Books & the Arts


In Frontiers of Justice, philosopher Martha Nussbaum explores our moral
obligations to the disabled, to nonhuman animals and to the unresolved
areas of international law.


"The Road to Damascus" explores the strange, the beautiful
and the uncanny in Syrian cinema.


Absurdistan is a stunning encore for novelist Gary Shteyngart,
both the avatar of a new Jewish-American literature and an inveterate
Eastern European trickster.


Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo, written during the cultural renaissance that followed the Mexican Revolution, is a marvel of storytelling and testament to the power of the word.