Monday, August 26, 2013

Debt, austerity, devastation: it’s Europe’s turn

"Like plague in the 14th century, the scourge of debt has gradually migrated from South to North. Our 21st-century Yersinia pestis isn’t spread by flea-infested rats but by deadly, ideology-infested neoliberal fundamentalists. Once they had names like Thatcher or Reagan; now they sound more like Merkel or Barroso; but the message, the mentality and the medicine are basically the same. The devastation caused by the two plagues is also similar – no doubt fewer debt-related deaths in Europe today than in Africa three decades ago, but probably more permanent harm done to once-thriving European economies."

As the creditors get fatter, the innocent are punished. Susan George laments a leadership subservient to big business.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Oslo Illusion

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government. Officially known as the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the Oslo Accords were firmly ensconced in the framework of the two-state solution, heralding “an end to decades of confrontation and conflict,” the recognition of “mutual legitimate and political rights,” and the aim of achieving “peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and … a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement.”


Its supporters claimed that under Oslo, Israel would gradually relinquish control over territory in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the newly established Palestinian Authority (PA) eventually forming an independent state there. The negotiations process, and subsequent agreements between the PLO and Israel, instead paved the way for the current situation in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority, which now rules over an estimated 2.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank, has become the key architect of Palestinian political strategy. Its institutions draw international legitimacy from Oslo, and its avowed goal of “building an independent Palestinian state” remains grounded in the same framework. The incessant calls for a return to negotiations – made by U.S. and European leaders on an almost daily basis – harken back to the principles laid down in September 1993.

Read the rest

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CIA’s role in Iranian coup confirmed


On August 19, 1953 Iranian history took a critical turn when a U.S. and British-backed coup overthrew the country's prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. To mark the sixtieth anniversary the National Security Archive released the recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation.