In Brussels in the first week of May NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivered his urbi et orbi (to the city and the world) monthly address, the bloc’s Military Committee assembled the defense chiefs of 49 nations supplying troops for the war in Afghanistan and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden visited the Alliance’s headquarters.
As the world faces an almost two-year economic downturn epitomized by the national crisis in Greece and natural disasters like the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the fallout from volcanic eruptions in Iceland, the U.S.-led Western military bloc is preparing for interventions around the world.
A scene in Claude Berri’s fine 1993 film Germinal captures the essence of it all. French coal miners, circa 1880s, are enduring bleak conditions. They have no union, so a group of them ask to speak to the mine owner at his manor house. This one scene reveals the extent of a certain mindset of that day , and of now . The workers enter the study of the boss. He is seated at his desk as the group enters. They take their hats off and, to a man, seem to lower their heads in his presence.
WASHINGTON: The CIA received secret permission to attack a wider range of targets, including suspected militants whose names are not known, as part of a dramatic expansion of its campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region, current and former counter-terrorism officials say.
The expanded authority, approved two years ago by the Bush administration and continued by Barack Obama, permits the agency to rely on what officials describe as ”pattern-of-life” analysis, using evidence collected by surveillance cameras on the unmanned aircraft and from other sources about individuals and locations.
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I admit to being one of the many millions of people who didn’t watch any of the so-called Prime-Ministerial ‘debates’ that have swarmed over the television channels since the announcement of the date of the General Election on 6 May. Not that this meant that I escaped the media onslaught on what’s left of our political senses even if, after the first ‘debate’, viewing figures for ‘Debate No.2’ plummeted by over 50%. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Each of the authors in this timely collection digs beneath the gilded surface to reveal a complex web of deceit and media distortion which serves to conceal the workings of the global economic system and its devastating impacts on people’s lives.