Thomas Freidman: Bad Planning

Even Thomas Freidman is taking potshots at the Bush government now. He states the same old stuff being written about in thousands of papers around the world, but this is of note as he was earlier supporting the war on Iraq, and is one of the more influential journalists in the US.

President Bush is sure lucky no weapons of mass destruction have been found yet in Iraq.

Because had we found these weapons our entire focus today would be on the real issue: why the Bush team ? which wanted this war so badly and had telegraphed it for so long ? was so poorly prepared for postwar Iraq.

>>”NYTimes: Bad Planning”:

Monbiot: “I was Wrong about Trade”

“George Monbiot’s”: latest article makes for “interesting reading”: The gist of the article is: “So let us campaign not to scrap the World Trade Organisation, but to transform it into a Fair Trade Organisation, whose purpose is to restrain the rich while emancipating the poor.”

My conversion came on the day I heard a speaker demand a cessation of most forms of international trade and then, in answering a question from the audience, condemn the economic sanctions on Iraq. If we can accept that preventing trade with Iraq, or, for that matter, imposing a trade embargo on Cuba, impoverishes and in many cases threatens the lives of the people of those nations, we must also accept that a global cessation of most kinds of trade would have the same effect, but on a greater scale.


Another “article”: over at YaleGlobal: David Dollar, Director of Developmental Policy at the World Bank, cites findings from a recent survey to support the argument he has made in the past that globalization indeed helps reduce poverty and inequality.

WASHINGTON: A recent worldwide poll may have come as a shock to those who view the anti-globalization demonstrations as emblematic of a general souring mood about global economic integration. The Pew survey found that not only was the attitude generally positive but there was more enthusiasm for foreign trade and investment in developing countries than in rich ones.


Why Israel and Palestine are not morally equivalent

Good article on Israel/Palestine at “Pedantry”: Lots of good reading… go see archives.

There is a very simple notion in political science, one that goes back to Max Weber: A state possesses, by definition, a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, and it protects that monopoly. When a state is unable to protect that monopoly, it isn’t a state. There is no Palestinian state, and a non-existent state can not have a monopoly on violence. There is no possibility of anti-Israeli terrorism ending until there is a genuine Palestinian state with a monopoly on legitimate violence to protect. Any decision not to negotiate or make concessions until the violence abates is nothing but a cheap rationalisation for maintaining the status quo indefinitely.


Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy

Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy

(Buy One, Get One Free)

by Arundhati Roy

Presented in New York City at The Riverside Church

May 13, 2003

Sponsored by the Center for Economic and Social Rights

Published on Sunday, May 18, 2003 by

In these times, when we have to race to keep abreast of the speed at which our freedoms are being snatched from us, and when few can afford the luxury of retreating from the streets for a while in order to return with an exquisite, fully formed political thesis replete with footnotes and references, what profound gift can I offer you tonight?

Continue reading Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy

Depleted Uranium

It seems the weapons used in Iraq by the US will be killing people long after the war. Common Dreams has a good article about it. The Guardian has a good overview of the whole depleted uranium issue. There is even a campaign against depleted uranium.

So it seems all those stores about gulf war syndrome do have a solid scientific reason for them. What worries and suprises me is that all over the western media they are worried about the effects of DU on the American and British troops. They were just firing the damn things! What about the the entire country littered with hundreds of tons of the damn things? It’s going to be there for centuries. Even newspapers like the Christian Science Montior are investigating the effects of DU.

This website has good links to discussion of the effects and implications of the use of DU. Especially the impact of its use in the Gulf War and effect on the Iraqi population.Read A POST-WAR DISASTER FOR ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH. There’s also a pdf version of this article. It’s worth printing and reading.

There’s even a website called Stop Nato with a Depleted Uranium Watch section.

Most likely they US will just not bring up the topic ever. Its the same tactics they used to deal with Agent Orange in Veitnam. Till I read this article I had no idea of the extent of the chemical warfare to which the US had engaged.

Continue reading Depleted Uranium

Afghanistan – On the Roads to Ruin

Eighteen months have now passed since the West made a series of unequivocal promises to Afghanistan. Bush started the ball rolling by forgetting to include in the last budget any aid for Afghanistan.

Tony Blair vowed that the West would not walk away from Afghanistan. But in a remarkable journey, meeting militia leaders and the heavily guarded President, Peter Oborne found a nation left to fend for itself – and Taliban thugs undeterred

(On the Roads to Ruin)