During a delay after sentencing, while she was finishing her college degree, Sheila began writing articles for the Washington Free Press, an “underground” newspaper.
According to Wikipedia:
The Washington Free Press was a biweekly radical underground newspaper published in Washington, DC, beginning in 1966, when it was founded by representatives of the five colleges in Washington as a community paper for local Movement people. It was an early member of the Underground Press Syndicate. Starting in Dec. 1967 they shared a three-story house in northwest Washington with the Liberation News Service, the Washington Draft Resistance Union, and a local chapter of the anti-draft group Resistance.
Around this time, she also became involved in the Students for a Democratic Society.
Here’s how LNS covered the settlement of the charges resulting from the LNS split that summer:
This article by Sheila was printed in the April 10, 1969 edition of the SDS New Left Notes:
Panthers & Pigs: New York
by Sheila Ryan
Liberation News Service
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (LNS) — “SMASH PANTHER BOMB PLOT!* “COPS: CUBA HELPS PANTHERS PROWL,” and “SEEK PANTHER LINK TO STOLEN YOUTH FUNDS” displaced the headlines of the previous week describing a city in disintegration— hospitals being closed because adequate funds were denied by the city and state governments, welfare appropriations cut so that clients would be hard-put to survive, the City College president resigning because the legislators had cut the budget below minimum, high school students in a state of rebellion.
Sheila wrote this article about the Palestinians from Jordan in late 1969:
In June 1970, Sheila and George left New York for the Middle East. The trip was partially financed by the advance for a book contract. The book was written, but never published.
Cited as “Palestine on the Brink of People’s War,” Sheila Ryan and George Cavalletto, unpublished manuscript, 1970.
Sheila and George co-wrote this report from Jordan in 1970:
This report was filed by Sheila and George as LNS’s foreign correspondents in Amman, and appeared in the November 19, 1970 packet from LNS:
— From LNS packet 297, digitized and archived at lns-archive.org: p1, p2.
From 1978 to 1989, Sheila worked with George on Claremont Research and Publications.
Claremont Research ran a clipping service called Mideast Press Report that collected press reports about the Middle East, indexed and summarized them, and sent out a binder full of photocopies each week to interested subscribers. As the Institute for Palestine Studies described it:
… articles from over 80 publications, including the major US, European, Israeli and Arab English-language press … are contained in Mideast Press Report, a weekly clipping service of Claremont Research and Publications in New York.
Claremont Research also published a monthly news magazine called Update: Mideast, and several books, including one by Noam Chomsky.
Sheila wrote the news analysis section of Update: Mideast every month, as well as a weekly news analysis for subscribers of the Mideast Press Report.
Every week she would read through hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles clippings about the region, come up with a mental synthesis of what it all meant, and sit down at her Selectric typewriter and bang out several pages that coherently summarized everything that had been reported that week, just in time for her report to be photocopied and express-shipped to various organizations and international clients who relied on this service to stay abreast of how their region was being described in global news reports.
As one example, the Iraqi National Library in Baghdad had a subscription for a while, although when they re-indexed their remaining holdings after the chaos and destruction of the war, they seem to have only retained a dozen or so issues from 1981:
Sheila wrote a book chapter on the economics of the Israeli occupation:
“The Colonial Exploitation of Occupied Palestine : a study of the transformation of the economies of the West Bank and Gaza”, by Sheila Ryan, in Zionism, Imperialism, and Racism, ed. A.W. Kayyali, Croom Helm (London), 1979.
This research was cited in a Village Voice front-page article:
Middle Eastern Bantustan
Sheila appeared on a number of radio programs in the early eighties, including these:
THURSDAY / 16 … 9:00 THE MIDDLE EAST REPORT. An update of regional events. With Sheila Ryan.
— From the “WBAI Folio” for December 1982.
Middle East Report / A. Walker | RECORDED: September 15, 1983. – CONTENT: INTERVIEWER: Sheila Ryan| INTERVIEWEE: Israel Shahak, Chairperson of the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights. Talks about the implications of transition from the governments of Menachem Begin to that of Yitzak Shamir, Foreign Minister and Israel Cabinet.
— From a 1/4″ tape reel catalog entry at the Pacifica Radio Archives.
TUES 20 … 7:30 PRAXIS. An examination of changing social, political and economic institutions in the Middle East and Asia. Presented by Stuart Schaar and Sheila Ryan.
— From the “WBAI Folio” for March 1984.
RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Wednesday, November 27 at 9 PM
Religious fundamentali.sm — Islamic, Jewish, and Christian — has become a significant taaor in Mideast politics. This program explores what tensions in the various scxieties have given rise to this phenomenon, and what effect fundamentalist movements are having on that volatile region. Produced by Sheila Ryan, Nubar Housepian, and Stuart Scharr.
— From the “WBAI Folio” for November 1985.
Sheila wrote the April 1983 book review column for the journal “Race and Class”:
Race and Class (SAGE Publications): Ryan, S., (1983 April) Book reviews : The Battle of Beirut: why Israel invaded Lebanon. By MARTIN JANSEN (London, Zed Press, 1982). 142 pages. £4.50. ‘Lebanon Eyewitness’, By MARTIN PERETZ in The New Republic (2 August 1982). ‘J’Accuse’ By NORMAN PODHORETZ in Commentary (September 1982). ‘Lebanon: the case for the war’ By ROBERT W. TUCKER in Commentary (October 1982). 24 (4), 485-493
In 1983, Sheila wrote an report that was published as a book, “Palestine Is, But Not In Jordan”.
During the 1980s, Sheila also wrote for the Journal of Palestine Studies, published by Kuwait University:
- “Israel’s Invasion of Lebanon: Background to the Crisis“, by Sheila Ryan, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 11, no. 4 – Vol. 12, no. 1, Special Issue: The War in Lebanon (Summer – Autumn, 1982), pp. 23-37.
- “A Palestinian State for Israel’s Sake“, by Sheila Ryan, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol 14, No. 2, Special Issue: The Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories (Winter, 1985), pp. 154-156.
(Available on Amazon)
Sheila on the roots of terrorism:
Were some diabolical social engineer to design an environment to provide the perfect growth conditions for terrorism, the result would be something very like Sabra and Shatila.
— From “No Place To Call Home“, by Sheila Ryan, New Internationalist, July 1986.
Amusingly, this report was quoted positively in a report sponsored by the Israel Resource News Agency which was critical of UNRWA:
With prescience, Sheila Ryan wrote, in 1986, “Is it any wonder…these dispossessed people listen to the shadowy figures who preach the efficacy of bloodshed…when all else seems to have failed?”
— From “UNRWA: A Report“, by Arlene Kushner, July 2003. (Alternate Draft)
In 1986, Claremont Research and Publications published “Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World”, a book by Noam Chomsky.
Sheila’s review of the book appeared in the next issue of “the Link”, a journal published by Americans for Middle East Understanding (AMEU):
— From AMEU Link, Vol. 20, No. 1, January-March 1987, p. 14, archived at ameu.org.
Sheila wrote numerous articles about the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s, including these for MERIP:
- U. S. and Jordan: Thrice-Rescued Throne, by Sheila Ryan, Joe Stork,
MERIP Reports, No. 7 (Feb., 1972), pp. 3-11
- Constructing a New Imperialism: Israel and the West Bank, by Sheila Ryan,
MERIP Reports, No. 9 (May – Jun., 1972), pp. 3-11+17
- Israeli Economic Policy in the Occupied Areas: Foundations of a New Imperialism, by
MERIP Reports, No. 24 (Jan., 1974), pp. 3-24+28
- Palestinians and the Political Situation in Kuwait, by Sheila Ryan, Joe Stork,
MERIP Reports, No. 54 (Feb., 1977), pp. 14-17
- The West Bank and Gaza: Political Consequences of Occupation, by Sheila Ryan, MERIP Reports, No. 74 (Jan., 1979), pp. 3-8
- Khalid al-Hassan: “Our Strategy is to Help Our People Stay on Their Land”, by Khalid al-Hassan, George Cavaletto, Sheila Ryan, Jim Paul,
MERIP Reports, No. 83 (Dec., 1979), pp. 12-14
- Abu Leila: Confronting the Dilemmas of the PLO in Lebanon and Jordan, by Abu Leila, Sheila Ryan, George Cavaletto, Tim Roberts,
MERIP Reports, No. 83 (Dec., 1979), pp. 15-17
- The Reagan Budget: Money is Policy, by Sheila Ryan,
MERIP Reports, No. 105, Reagan Targets the Middle East (May, 1982), pp. 14-16
- Israel’s Future in Lebanon, by Elias Khoury, Nubar Hovsepian, Jim Paul, Joe Stork, Sheila Ryan,
MERIP Reports, No. 108/109, The Lebanon War (Sep. – Oct., 1982), pp. 28-32
- Further Reading on the Occupied Territories, by Joel Beinin, Sheila Ryan,
MERIP Reports, No. 116, Israel’s Strategy of Occupation (Jul. – Aug., 1983), p. 31
- U.S. Military Contractors in Israel, by Sheila Ryan, MERIP Reports, Jan/Feb 1987
- Economic Dimensions of the Uprising, by
Sheila Ryan, Middle East Report, No. 155, The Middle East after Reagan (Nov. – Dec., 1988), pp. 38-41
- Middle East Peace Priorities in the US: Seven Perspectives, by Eqbal Ahmad, Jeanne Butterfield, Noam Chomsky, Denis F. Doyon, Deena Hurwitz, Sheila Ryan, James Zogby,
Middle East Report, No. 158, Palestine and Israel in the US Arena (May – Jun., 1989), pp. 6-11
From some time in 1989 through about 1991, Sheila was a co-producer for a weekly radio program named “Medium Hot” on WBAI, along with Adele Oltman.
The show had an hour-long slot on Fridays at 3:30 pm and then moved to 1:30 pm in February 1990.
It was described in the WBAI “Folio” as:
3:30 MEDIUM HOT. International affairs with an emphasis on how the different media present the issues. Produced by Adele Oltman and Sheila Ryan.
— From “WBAI Folio” for December 1989; similar listings found in listings for February 1990 and February 1991.
Later in 1991 she worked on another international affairs program:
8:30 … the Morning Show continues with reports firom the Middle East and Africa; produced by Sheila Ryan and Zenzile Khoisan.
— From “WBAI Folio” for November 1991.
In 1990, Sheila co-authored a book about legal structures used in settler societies:
Israel and South Africa: Legal Systems of Settler Domination, by Sheila Ryan and Donald Will, Africa World Press (May 1990)
A number of people have commented on the importance of this book, despite the relative obscurity of the specialty press that distributed it:(Cited in Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma, by Kalí Tal.)
In 1991, a book was published containing a chapter by Sheila:
“Power Projection in the Middle East”, by Sheila Ryan, in Greg Bates, ed., Mobilizing Democracy: Changing the U. S. Role in the Middle East (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1991).
According to Publishers Weekly,
Sheila Ryan concludes that after 45 years of a Middle East policy based on anti-Soviet “containment,” the U.S. is now guided by its determination to control Europe’s and Japan’s source of oil.
(Available at Amazon)
In 1991, a book was published about the Gulf War that included a chapter by Sheila about US preparation for force projection in the middle east prior to the 1991 Gulf War.
Here’s the opening paragraph:
One of the aspects of the Gulf War of 1991 which seemed to amaze many Americans was the efficiency with which the U.S. military carried out the enterprise. Within six months of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the United States had deployed half a million military personnel to the region, and had all of their supplies and equipment on hand: television viewers in the United States watched the process transfixed, for many of them experienced great difficulty in being deployed about their daily routines over bridges rusting out for lack of maintenance, pothole scarred roads and public transportation systems characterized by delay and discomfort. People marveled as targets were sought out and destroyed by smart bombs produced by the very country whose declining educational system sees to be producing a dumb generation.
— From “Countdown for a Decade: The U.S. Build-Up for War in the Gulf”, by Sheila Ryan, in Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader, edited by Phyllis Bennis, Michel Moushabeck, Interlink Pub Group, 1991, pp 91 – 102.
(At Google Books) (Available at Amazon)
Sheila was a co-author, along with other Special Needs Clinic staff, of several chapters in a psychology handbook:
Psychotherapy And AIDS: The Human Dimension, ed. Lucy A. Wicks, Taylor & Francis, 1997.
(At Google Books) (At Amazon)