In 2003, Briton Greg Muttitt was "furious about my government’s decision to go to war" and resolved to "see what happens next to the oil," he told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on Monday.[1]  --  The result of his investigation, published this week by New Press, is a 432-page book entitled Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, which Naomi Klein calls "nothing short of a secret history of the war."  --  Muttit's book focuses on the struggle over Iraq's oil law, which pressure from oil companies and the U.S. government failed to impose on Iraq because of a remarkable "grassroots civil society campaign.  Now, to me, that is a very inspiring story.  It’s why I feel hopeful about the future of Iraq.  That operating in the most difficult circumstances imaginable, civil society was able to stop the USA of achieving its number one objective."  --  Iraq has still not passed the law.  --  At present, Muttit said, "The multinationals are there, [but] they didn’t show the contracts to parliament, so technically, they’re illegal [under existing Iraqi law].  Now the trade unions have played a central role in fighting this fight.  What it says to me is that, although, on its face it looks like a victory for big oil, it’s a temporary one, and a future Iraqi government, if they get a more representative and genuine Iraqi government -- they couldn’t get a less one -- it could potentially tear up the contracts and say these are not in Iraq’s interest and the companies wouldn’t have a legal come back against that." ...

In 1945, Randall Jarrell published a short poem about the death of a ball turret gunner in the Second World War.[1]  --  There's more than meets the eye in this famous five-line poem, as a close reading demonstrates.[2]  --  Some other perspectives on and interpretations of the poem can be read here....

Michael "Cha as in Shea Stadium, Bon as in Bon Jovi" Chabon, relayed, in the Jul. 12, 2012, New York Review of Books, an account of his long-delayed immersion in Joyce's Finnegans Wake.[1] ...