Saturday, August 11, 2012

Crisis and alternatives


Crisis for whom? Why after all this is it business more or less as usual? Because those who benefit think they can get away with it. Where there is greater ground level resistance – for example in Greece, significant political forces have put forward specific alternatives of a fundamentally anti-austerity kind – debt renegotiation, partial cancellation, progressive taxation and redistribution, employment generating policies, reversal of privatization, moving towards public control of finance. What the elites of Europe fear is that this kind of upsurge from below can spread from Greece to other European countries hence their support to the conservative parties.
(A paper was presented at the Sub-regional Conference of the Asia-Europe People’s Forum in Jakarta in  June )
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Julian Assange is right to fear US prosecution

There are clear signs that the US is on track to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder, which, as his US lawyer, I advise him to heed, despite the denials of the Obama administration.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Neoliberal Occupation: How the IMF and the European Central Bank Are Strangling the Greek Economy


The troika--the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank--is using its leverage to arrange Greece's debt-ridden economy as it sees fit.

ATHENS--With Greek workers bracing themselves for more announcements of privatization of public services and industries, the fight among political factions continues. But the drama that is unfolding proves that Greek Parliament is but a puppet regime for an occupying force known as the troika: the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Syrian war of lies and hypocrisy




The West's real target here is not Assad's brutal regime but his ally, Iran, and its chemical weapons
Has there ever been a Middle Eastern war of such hypocrisy? A war of such cowardice and such mean morality, of such false rhetoric and such public humiliation? I'm not talking about the physical victims of the Syrian tragedy. I'm referring to the utter lies and mendacity of our masters and our own public opinion – eastern as well as western – in response to the slaughter, a vicious pantomime more worthy of Swiftian satire than Tolstoy or Shakespeare.

While Qatar and Saudi Arabia arm and fund the rebels of Syria to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's Alawite/Shia-Baathist dictatorship, Washington mutters not a word of criticism against them. President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, say they want a democracy in Syria. But Qatar is an autocracy and Saudi Arabia is among the most pernicious of caliphate-kingly-dictatorships in the Arab world. Rulers of both states inherit power from their families – just as Bashar has done – and Saudi Arabia is an ally of the Salafist-Wahabi rebels in Syria, just as it was the most fervent supporter of the medieval Taliban during Afghanistan's dark ages.

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By: Robert Fisk (Independent)

The neoliberal Games: who are the real winners from London 2012?




Far from embodying some timeless ‘Olympic spirit’, the 2012 Games reflect the injustice and inequality of the current economic system. 
Long before John Carlos stood beside Tommie Smith to give their famous clenched-fist salutes on the podium at the 1968 Olympics, he was a boy growing up in Harlem. ‘When I first learned about the existence of the Olympics,’ he recalls, ‘my reaction was different from anything I had ever felt when listening to baseball or basketball or football or any of the sports that I’d seen people play in the neighbourhood. The sheer variety of sports, the idea of the finest athletes from around the globe gathering and representing their countries: it was different, and the fact that it was every four years made it feel like an extra kind of special.’

The origins of the Olympic wonder lie in International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin’s struggle with the French sporting authorities, and in the Olympic Charter, with its promises ‘to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity’.

The London Olympics have always had a much narrower set of ambitions. One of the five promises made in the original Olympic bid was: ‘To demonstrate that the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live in, to visit and for business.’


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By: David Renton (Red Pepper)