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Nobel’s Peace Prize Is Not a Human Rights Prize

The Nobel Committee again ignores Nobel's will

This prize is not a human rights or do-good price

The two – excellent – people who are awarded the prize for 2014 have done great work for children’s rights but, unfortunately, human rights is not what Alfred Nobel sought to reward.

Therefore the Nobel Committee has, once again, violated the letter as well as the spirit of Nobel’s will.

The prize shall award reduction in military violence and end wars

Nobel wanted to reward “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion …

Again the Peace Prize Is Not for Peace

The Nobel Peace Prize is required by Alfred Nobel’s will, which created it, to go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

The Nobel Committee insists on awarding the prize to either a leading maker of war or a person who has done some good work in an area other than peace.

The 2014 prize has been awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay, which is not a person but two people, and they have …

Israel and the “G” Word

We need a better word than "occupation"

Israeli officials were caught in a revealing lie late last month as the country celebrated the Jewish New Year. Shortly after declaring the most popular boy’s name in Israel to be “Yosef”, the interior ministry was forced to concede that the top slot was actually filled by “Mohammed”.

That small deceit coincided with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations. He outraged Israelis by referring to Israel’s slaughter of more than 2,100 Palestinians – most of them civilians – in Gaza over the summer as “genocide”.

Both incidents served as a reminder of the tremendous power of a single word.

Most …

The Humility of Love: A Lesson from Chiapas

Humility. An important word you rarely hear in our culture anymore. Our culture seems to be going in the opposite direction, everything with a superlative. Everything bigger, faster, better, stronger. Everything new, shiny, pretty, expensive. But never humble. “Dude, love that car. It’s so humble.” Yeah, you never hear that.

Politically on the left, in the “fight” as we call it, we’re just as guilty. We have a tendency towards ego, self-righteousness, hyper-individualism. We want our movements to be better, stronger, bigger. We want the big social “pop-off”, the “sexy” revolution, perhaps our face on the next generation’s t-shirts. But we …

The Cycle of Poverty Spins Faster

Back in the mid 1980s, when I was a newly single mother of four, I went back to work with a nearly blank resume. I took one low-paying job, then somehow landed a better one, as assistant to the young president of a wholesale company.

It enabled me to cover the rent and necessary expenses in a time when a decent administrative or secretarial job did. For that I was thankful and proud to survive without assistance. It seemed like a dream job, but it lasted less than a year, from December to December to be precise.

I was salaried, as was …

Google’s Cold Betrayal of the Internet

Google Inc.’s 2013 book The New Digital Age, authored by Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Google Ideas director Jared Cohen, was showered with praise by many, but attacked in a review by Julian Assange for the New York Times, where it is described as a “love song” from Google to the US state. Also addressed in Assange’s subsequent book When Google Met WikiLeaks, Google’s book makes an unconvincing effort to depict the internet as a double-edged sword, both empowering (p. 6) and threatening our lives (p. 7).

The popular internet, Google argues, might help defeat the US’s “authoritarian” …

From Cradle to Grave, the U.S. Protected Jean-Claude Duvalier

In February of 2013, I stood in a sweaty, overcrowded Port-au-Prince courtroom and watched as Jean-Claude Duvalier answered questions about hundreds of his political opponents being arrested, imprisoned, and killed during his tenure as Haiti’s “President for Life.”

Many of Duvalier’s rivals were held in the notorious three prisons known collectively as the “Triangle of Death”—Casernes Dessalines, Fort Dimanche, and the National Penitentiary. One political prisoner held in the Casernes Dessalines recalls being placed in a cell underneath the grounds of the National Palace, where Duvalier lived. The prisoner was led to an area so dark he could not see, but …

Is this Palestine’s Last Chance?

Ever since I began taking an interest in the Palestinians’ struggle – nearly ten years ago – those brave people have been cursed with rubbish leadership that has taken them steadily backwards instead of forwards… leadership that studiously ignores Palestine’s friends outside, fails its people inside and allows its territory and resources to dwindle.

Western Christendom is afflicted with similar misfortune. Corrupted leaders don’t lift a finger to stop the Holy Land, which is central to the beliefs of most of their people, from being smashed, grabbed and bloodied.

Now the Palestinians are huddled in the Last Chance Saloon drinking bad whisky …

The Kosher “Philosopher”

Jews and philosophy have had a pretty troubled relationship.  The collision between ‘the tribal’ and ‘the universal’ or, more accurately, between Athens and Jerusalem, is inevitable. The few great Jewish thinkers who transcended the tribal, such as Spinoza or Otto Weininger, have been harassed and labelled by the  rabbis as ‘self haters’ and enemies of the Jews.

Some contemporary Zionist merchants insist upon wrapping their Judeo centrism in crypto philosophical arguments. Bernard-Henri Levy, for instance, advocates his Zionist warmongering using a pseudo ‘moralist’ terminology.

Today I came across a uniquely banal rant by Asa Kasher, a Jewish ‘philosopher’ at Tel Aviv University.  Kasher, who also …

Hysteric POTUS Channels Bushist War Shtick before UN

The U.S. without a war is like an apple pie without apples

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient is among the loudest voices for war nowadays. Better, this Nobel Peace prize recipient has unchecked power to wage war and uses it willfully in a variety of nations. Perhaps best, this prize-winning peace president has set out to a plan to make a desert and call it peace, for which a grateful power structure might well give him yet another prize.

Such absurdity dominates the world we live in now, because people in governments are committing us all to irrational choices based on no credible public explanation. Examples are myriad, but President Obama’s shrill war …

New Horizon Conference: Meeting of Minds in Tehran

The 2nd conference “New Horizon: the International Conference of Independent Thinkers” was held in Tehran, September 29–October 1 2014, including over 30 journalists, writers and academics from around the world presenting papers and arguing issues of world geopolitics, with a focus on the Middle East. I came from Canada, along with University of Lethbridge Globalization Studies Professor Anthony Hall, author of Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization, and Capitalism (2010).  It was greeted in western media by hysterical denunciations; firstly, by the American Jewish Committee which accused it of “promoting hatred of Jews and Israel”, and the Anti-Defamation League which accused …

Welcome to Whitehead’s Cannibal War Machine: 21st Century Hell

At the same time the progressive evacuation in the 20th century of the nation-state as a means of class domination and the advent of a nomadic pirate class of financial capital, means that the practice of endemic global war has become  indifferent to national territory and so functionally infinite in its horizons for future conflict The cannibal war-machine thus consumes persons and ecologies through forms of commodity production and price speculation that profit from the systematic creation of social chaos and its re-ordering through the violence and destruction of high-tech military performance and the enforced disciplines of emergency or pandemic

Nothing about Us without Us: The Token Palestinian and Authentic Narrative

I recall, with particular awkwardness, my first talk at a socialist student gathering at the University of Washington in Seattle nearly two decades ago. When I tried to offer an authentic view of the situation in Palestine from the viewpoint of a refugee, my hosts were hardly impressed.

However, the head of the student group knew how to move the crowd. He spoke of Palestinian and Israeli proletariat classes, which, according to him were ultimately fighting against the same enemy, the neoliberal capitalist elites shamelessly subduing the working classes in both Palestine and Israel. But what the audience loved the most …

Robbing the Poor to Subsidise the Rich

Back in 2008 we all became aware of corporate recklessness and poor governance that led to the financial crash. Against our better judgment, most people failed to object to the bailouts – the use of public funds to save bankrupt private enterprises.

That many countries around the world, Europe and America especially, let this happen with barely a murmur of complaint is both sad and laughable.

Unfortunately where we stand now is in an even worse position – no lessons have been learned, the mistakes of the corporate sector continue unpunished and worse still, the public continues to fund the recapitalisation of …

Endless War for Perpetual Peace

At last the American government has found the perfect formula for war without end: Invade and bomb Middle East states. This creates jihadists which must be got rid of. So bomb the jihadists. This creates more jihadists who must also be bombed and so on. The military/industrial complex is in business in perpetuity. Endless peace by waging endless war as forecast by Gore Vidal has now come to pass. And the UK, obedient as ever, clicks into the backup position. The UK government’s propaganda is blatant and shameless. We must bomb ISIS because it presents a direct threat to the …

ISIL: From Decapitation to Islamophobia

With the ISIL terrorists mounting more gory adventurism in Syria and Iraq and capturing villages and towns, there seems to be no tangible impediment to stop this influx of terror.

The ghastly images circulated freely by the cult on the internet from beheading to crucifying their victims in cold blood have incensed the international community on the one hand but on the other hand, they have regrettably conduced to Islamophobia, a plan long funded by the officials in Washington.

The root causes of the ISIL cult are not hard to imagine and there are times that those involved in the creation and …

Challenging Drone Warfare in a U.S. Court

On October 7, 2014, Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker appeared before Judge Matt Whitworth in Jefferson City, MO, federal court on a charge of criminal trespass to a military facility.  The charge was based on their participation, at Whiteman Air Force Base, in a June 1st 2014 rally protesting drone warfare.  Kelly and Walker attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the Base Commander, encouraging the commander to stop cooperating with any further usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, (drones) for surveillance and attacks.

The prosecutor, USAF Captain Daniel Saunders, said that if Kelly and Walker would …

Instead of Bombing IS: Concrete Proposals

First some principles to stimulate another discourse, another way of thinking that is not militarist – and then the concrete proposals below – 27 in all for your deliberation, discussion with friends and perhaps to share through your social and other media.

The proposals are not numbered – there is no linearity, some of it can be done simultaneously.

How to make bombing and wars irrelevant

Stop the financing of ISIS – sadly it is non-democratic allies of the West – Saudi-Arabia, Qatar, UAE etc – that seem to pay its bills. Joe Biden apologised for being truthful.

Allegedly, …

Instead of Bombing IS: Some Principles

First some principles to stimulate another discourse, another way of thinking that is not militarist – and then some concrete proposals – 27 in all for your deliberation, discussion with friends and perhaps to share through your social and other media.

Neither war nor doing nothing

The principle of ”An eye for an eye will one day make the whole world blind” – said Mohandas K. Gandhi who was born on October 2, 145 years ago. Since then, human civilisation has not advanced much when it comes to handling conflict.

Let’s recognise that it is a difficult situation – the Middle East is …

George Monbiot, the Left’s McCarthy

Questioning someone’s integrity is not something I do lightly, especially when I share much ideological common ground with them. But the unsavoury behaviour of George Monbiot, a leading columnist for the Guardian and one of Britain’s most prominent progressive intellectuals, is becoming ever harder to overlook – and forgive.

On a whole range of issues, such as corporate greed and threats to the planet posed by climate change, I agree wholeheartedly with Monbiot. It is also entirely possible for two people to disagree, even intensely, but still believe their opponent’s views are legitimate and advanced in good faith. That is how …