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The Real Purpose of the IMF

To much trumpeting the IMF have kindly agreed to help out desperate and war torn Ukraine. How wonderful they are we are all meant to think, but the truth couldn’t be more opposite.

The International Monetary Fund was set up in 1945, describing itself as an “organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”

This all sounds very laudable, but in reality the IMF has a very different purpose from that which is stated. If you look at the history of …

Time to Revive the Peace Movement

It has been 10 years of dormancy for the peace movement: a full decade since the thriving demonstrations of the early Bush years gave way to liberal demands that the focus shift to defeating the president at the ballot box. This fixation remained through the two ensuing presidential elections, which have demonstrated, beyond a reasonable doubt, the futility of this approach to altering American foreign policy. The vibrant and young foot soldiers of Obama’s first election are now seven years older, jaded and frustrated. Most of them are underemployed, over-indebted, and increasingly hopeless about their lot in life. Meanwhile, the …

Children at the Border

Another U.S. Foreign Policy Debacle

Seeing through the tear-jerking to the guilty U.S. Government

The pictures of thousands of children huddled in shelters are upsetting, and the tales some tell are horrifying, and that is all a real but sentimental distraction from the entrenched American power that created these conditions. American power uses these children and their families and their countries for its own ends. American power is not likely to make any meaningful changes to solve what is essentially a permanent crisis. Whatever official alleviation there is will be just enough to get those heart-rending images off the front pages so that the …

Badgering UK’s Environment Secretary

Is this the end of “badger bashing”?

Prime Minister David Cameron has just carried out a sweeping and fairly vicious Cabinet reshuffle.  So many of the old guard gone, some resigning and some sacked, swept aside to make room for young women, or “Cameron’s cuties” as they are known.  With an election just a year away it looks like he’s panicking, and is hoping that a youthful government will appeal to the younger voter.

A pity he didn’t reshuffle himself in his “night of the long knives”, but at least we can be glad of one removal.  All those working to protect our precious (and valuable) environment, …

Postcard from the End of America: Williston

Oil made this America-dominated, futuristic world, and with its increasing scarcity, will unravel it. Most pampered yet most disappointed, we’re living in the age of peak oil, water, gold, copper, wheat, rice, cabbage, porn, greed and banking shenanigans, etc., for with more mouths than ever going after a shrinking donut hole, the ugliness is just getting started, and let us not forget, this age of oil has also been an era of mass carnage, a century of resource wars that have wiped out hundreds of millions, but for the survivors, us grubby schmucks, what a cool ride, eh?

But wait, wait, …

With and Without God On Their Side

Recently, the US House of Representatives voiced unanimous support for the Israeli onslaught on the people of Gaza. Many opponents of Israel’s continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinians pointed, like they always do, to the disproportionate influence the so-called Israeli Lobby has in Congress. While this is an established and verifiable fact, I would argue that the Lobby is just a manifestation of a less obvious but essential reason for the never-ending support Israel receives from Washington and its apologists in the US media.

As a resident of the United States one hears repeatedly of an illusion many fellow residents …

Once Again, Israel Is Defeated

As the Israeli Cabinet announced earlier today that it accepted the Egyptian cease-fire offer, Palestinian freedom fighters in Gaza continued firing rockets targeting the whole of Israel.

The situation is clear.  Israel is desperate for a break in the violence. In spite of its endless ‘bravado,’ and military might, Israel lacks the military capacity and the courage to encounter Palestinian resistance on the ground. The Israeli elite recognizes that the military can’t resolve the problem, if anything, its extensive use would diminish Israeli manoeuvrability on the international front.

Hamas, on the other hand, has won its biggest military, political and ideological victory …

What if Hamas Dumped all their Rockets in the Sea Tomorrow?

West Bank Palestinians DO NOT fire rockets, yet there is no sign of an end to their misery and oppression.

The slaughter of civilians is necessary to stop Gaza rocket-fire. That’s what Israel says. “This isn’t about rockets from Gaza,” says Unite.

The union Unite is to be congratulated on its no-nonsense analysis and statement expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people. Especially at this horrific time. Unite is the biggest union in the UK and Ireland, with nearly 1.5 million members. Its mission is to strive for a society that places equality, dignity and respect above all else.

The statement on Palestine is an easy-to-digest description of the Holy Land situation in blunt language. Here is a key passage:

There will be no

Iraq Insurgents Have Chemical and Nuclear Material

"Minimal Risk" says U.S.

America and Britain destroyed Iraq for them, lynched the country’s President for them, created five million orphans, five million displaced, over a million widows and now upper figures of over one and a half million dead for them. They created mass graves on an industrial scale for them, with people’s beloveds buried in car parks, gardens, patios and football pitches – but now that they are in the hands of ISIS (the self proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) they pose barely a “minimal risk” say US government spokespeople. We are talking, of course, chemical weapons.

The currently sanguine view …

Crapademia

When I was asked to review Eric Larsen’s The Decline and Fall of the American Nation (New York: Olivers Arts & Open Press, 2013), I was intrigued by the title. Now I am firmly of the conviction never to apperceive the contents of a book by its title.

So what did I expect? I expected something like a dystopia from economic collapse caused by the offshoring of much of its manufacturing base, by the ever increasing spending on a military and its wars, and a world that had abandoned the US currency. And maybe this was the case, but …

Run, Hillary, Run

Defy Friends & Critics Alike – Show Yourself, Never Give Up

One reluctantly knocks the political wizardry of HBO’s Bill Maher. And yet, how rude: telling his party’s heir apparent, Hillary Clinton, to take a hike, in fact, a year off from publicity: “Just go away.” Uh oh, here’s a hugely visible Democratic donor scolding the era’s ultimate career politician — though the chance of Hillary (HC) abandoning her paid PR campaign/celebrity book-tour, let alone her White House run, hovers above absolute zero. Her entire schtick is perseverance personified.

Is Maher aware he’s messing with the substratum of the plutocratic universe, as dramatized by the movie, Network, disturbing the “ecological balance” of the “primal …

Dear PLO…

Take your case to the ICC

As I write, the Israelis have slaughtered 160 Palestinians in their latest mad-dog military adventure, the vast majority being civilians including 35 children. 934 others have been wounded, including 280 children.

And still the mighty international community shuffles and mumbles.

The Israeli onslaught has brought a flurry of press releases from the Palestinian authorities. One gave detailed prisoner figures highlighting that the huge number of Palestinians arrested in this latest blitz included 12 MPs, bringing the number of Palestinian parliamentarians in Israeli jails to 23. This shocking statistic shows the lengths to which the regime will go in order to deny Palestinians …

Old Man Take a Look at Your Life

Neil Young's Concert in Israel is Cancelled Due to Safety Concerns

Neil Young’s July 17th, 2014, concert in Israel has been cancelled, not because Young had a change of heart but, as promoter Shuki Weiss productions (who booked Young while on his ‘Honour the Treaties’ tour of Canada) claimed in part:  “It is with deep regret that we are forced to announce the cancelation (sic) of the Neil Young and Crazy Horse show… in light of the missile attacks in recent days and the fear for the audience’s safety at an event with so many participants”…

Neil Young later issued a statement saying:

It

Israel Is to Blame for the Violence

Israel is waging a war, and it has been ever since European Jews entered Palestine and began a campaign to denationalize Mandate Palestine. The continuing siege, occupation, dispossession, and annexation of Palestine are crystal clear examples of the state of war.

Palestinians have every right to resist the siege, occupation, dispossession, and annexation. Palestine has the legitimate right of self-defense and the use of violence to resist violence against itself. If there were no siege, occupation, dispossession, and annexation, then there would be nothing for the Palestinians to resist against. Israel provides the right for Palestinians to fire rockets into Israel. …

“Quantified Self”

A Technomorphic Delusion

What was the much-hyped Computer Revolution but another big step in the history of automation? De-skilling millions of people, and forcing each remaining, computer-“literate” worker to then generate the work output which, say, six employees formerly did. Drastically reducing labor costs, even with stagnant revenues, remains a major source of corporate profit. So now, the unemployed college graduate, having sunk into huge debt to pay for tuition, computer-system, etc., finds himself busily “at work” (unpaid, of course) churning out resumes, taking additional (online) courses, etc., ad nauseam.

But lately, I’ve noticed an especially odd cultural phenomenon: …

“Labor Reform”

Proposals to Maximize Workplace Bullying

Leading management consultants, top government officials and prominent financial journalists are proposing, what they dub, “labor reforms” as the solution for double-digit unemployment and underemployment, economic stagnation and the decline of capital investments.

“Labor Reform” as the Concentration of Power and Profits

First of all, the term “labor reform” is just a euphemism for labor regression, the reversal of laws and practices that workers and employees secured through decades of struggle against employers.

The idea that “labor reforms” …

Remembering Srebrenica, 1995

Every year in July, the memories of the Srebrenica Massacre swell anew and bring tears to not just Bosniaks but anyone who has even an ounce of humanity left in him/her. Years go by, debates keep happening, and we keep telling ourselves that humanity is not yet dead.
Remembering Srebrenica
Between 1992 and 1995, over 100,000 innocent civilians of Bosnia lost their lives. In the town of Srebrenica, nearly 8000 Muslims were massacred between July 11 and 13 in the year 1995.
Yes, Srebrenica was a protected UN Safe Area. There was a Dutch peacekeeping force stationed in the region and …

Khamenei Remarks Show Both Sides Maneuvre on Enrichment

IPS — Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s comments on the nuclear talks Monday provided an unusual glimpse of diplomatic maneuvering by the U.S.-led coalition of five nuclear powers and Germany on the issue of enrichment capability to be allowed in a comprehensive agreement.

But his remarks also suggested that Iran was responding with its own diplomatic maneuvre on the issue. Both sides appear to have put forward demands that they knew were non-starters with the intention of moderating their demands substantially in return for major concessions from the other side.

Khamenei described the United States and the P5+1 as demanding initially that …

What Would a Psychiatrist Call This? Delusions of Grandeur?

The Anti-Empire Report #130

US Secretary of State John Kerry, July 8, 2014:
“In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

President Barack Obama, May 28, 2014:
“Here’s my bottom line, America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Nicholas Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, May 8, 2014:
“Where is American power and leadership when the world needs it most?”

Mitt Romney, Republican Party candidate for President, September 13, 2012:
“The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership and I intend to be …

On Israeli Defeat and the Future of Jewish Politics

Interview with Gilad Atzmon

#PalestineUnderAttack

Alimuddin Usmani: After “Cast lead” in 2009 and “Pillar of Defense” in 2012, the Israeli army has launched operation “Protective Edge” in July 2014 against Gaza. What is the purpose of these repeated large scale military operations?

Gilad Atzmon: It is important to note that Israel hasn’t won a single military battle since 1973. True, it has killed many Arabs, but it hasn’t managed to achieve any of its military objectives.

Israel’s military domination has been sustained by the power of deterrence. The strategy was to force Arabs to avoid conflict by threatening that they could lose everything. This …