Month: May 2011
WikiLeaks: Saudis Often Warned U.S. About Oil Speculators
Further evidence of the vacuity of the ‘war for oil’ argument. Much of the price for oil is today determined in the derivatives market by Wall Street speculators rather than by producers or suppliers. The underlying commodity usually has a minimum impact on the actual price. But the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will not investigate this for the same reason why it was prevented from investigating the banks. Because Wall Street owns the executive branch. (Don’t miss the excellent Inside Job and this post by Pat Lang).
Kevin Hall: The Saudis have been saying for years something should be done to curb the influence of banks that are speculating on the price of oil.
Wikileaks is still around
In 2010 Time magazine defied the judgment of its readers to select Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg over Julian Assange as its person of the year. In a readers’ poll Assange had secured 382,000 votes to Zuckerberg’s 18,000. It had been some years since Facebook was big news; some therefore suggested Time had really chosen 2007’s person of the year. Explaining his choice, Time managing editor Richard Stengel confidently declared that ‘Assange might not even be on anybody’s radar six months from now…I think Assange will be a footnote five years from now.’ This was a day before Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight. It was also before Tahrir Square. It’s over six months since Stengel’s daring prediction yet Assange still remains on the radar and his list of media partners has expanded to over 60—and its growing. Wikileaks has yet to release a much anticipated tranche of documents on the banking sector. It is safe to assume that Wikileaks will be with us for some time to come. But given the present state of publishing, it is likelier that Time will be a footnote five years from now. Here are some recent interviews with Assange:
Zelaya’s Return: Neither Reconciliation nor Democracy in Honduras
by Adrienne Pine
This article was first published in NACLA.
Over the past few weeks U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and latter-day media “experts” have hailed Manuel Zelaya’s return to Honduras and the pending reintegration of the country into the OAS as a restoration of democracy. Here in Honduras, it is clear that such claims could not be further from the truth. Despite the triumphal language of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Honduran president Porfirio Lobo, and even Zelaya himself following their signing of the Cartagena Accords, Honduras today is no closer to reconciliation than it was in the months following the June 28, 2009 military coup.
As Dana Frank points out in The Progressive on May 27, the Cartagena Accords ensure the reinstatement of Honduras into the OAS in return for only one “concession” that is not already ostensibly guaranteed: that the trumped-up charges, leveled against Zelaya by the same court that legitimated his unconstitutional expulsion from the country, be dropped. That this should be sufficient for Honduras’s return is perplexing, given that the country was expelled under Article 21 of the OAS Democratic Charter, which reads in part:
When the special session of the General Assembly determines that there has been an unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order of a member state, and that diplomatic initiatives have failed, the special session shall take the decision to suspend said member state from the exercise of its right to participate in the OAS by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the member states in accordance with the Charter of the OAS.
Continue reading “Zelaya’s Return: Neither Reconciliation nor Democracy in Honduras”
Pakistan: A Hard Country
Anatol Lieven discusses his new book Pakistan: A hard country, which I shall review here shortly.
The people want…
Part of Al Jazeera’s The Arab Awakening series.
“The people want the fall of the regime” is the shared slogan of the Arab uprisings. In this episode an array of characters from across the region explain what they want and what they expect for the future.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
The great Gil Scott-Heron is no more. He was a poet, revolutionary and a fighter. He fought against apartheid in South Africa and he fought against Apartheid in occupied Palestine. He was also a prophet who foresaw in 1968 something which rings just as true today. Rest in peace brother.
P.s. Don’t know if this is any good but here is a lengthy profile from the August 2010 issue of the New Yorker.
Bouazizi family’s message to Libya
I had missed this. Menobia Bouazizi, the mother of Mohamed Bouazizi, the 26-year-old martyr whose death triggered the Arab revolt, sent the following message to Libya’s freedom fighters.
The family of Mohamed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian from Sidi Bouzid whose act of self-immolation triggered the Tunisian Uprising, has a message for the families in Libya who have lost their loved ones to the violent repression of the protests.
Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor, set himself on fire on December 17 after police abused and humiliated him. He died of his burns on January 4.
The protest movement that began in Sidi Bouzid swelled to become a nationwide phenomenon, and spread to other countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, it reached Libya.
Amnesty International: Do the Media Aid Israel?
The following series of talks, on media coverage of Israel, was hosted by Amnesty International, who came under pressure to cancel the event. It was surprising to see reports that the Jewish division of the EDL had shown up at the meeting as I thought they’d been ejected from that noxious organisation for being too extreme. Perhaps they’ll set up there own Israeli Defence League instead: which would probably be more honest, and would cause less confusion about what to call them now.
The concerted Zionist campaign to smear the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) failed dismally last night as the two groups co-hosted one of their most successful public events to date. The topic up for discussion was “Complicity in Oppression – Does the Media Aid Israel?” The panellists consisted of Prof. Greg Philo who discussed his new book “More Bad News from Israel” (an excellent academic analysis of the media’s skewed coverage of news coming out of Palestine-Israel); Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East correspondent, and Abdel Barri Atwan, expert Palestinian commentator on the Middle East. The discussion was chaired by Victoria Brittain, former associate foreign editor of the Guardian.
Prof. Greg Philo, co-author of Bad News from Israel and More Bad News from Israel
Continue reading “Amnesty International: Do the Media Aid Israel?”
Part of Al Jazeera’s The Arab Awakening series.
As revolution shakes the Arab world, a series of films explore the roots of the uprisings and ask ‘what next’? Those in a position to know reveal the ‘tricks of the trade’ of Arab dictatorship.