Delayed until after the United States achieved a United Nations Security Council statement on July 9 condemning the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, Washington’s plans for naval maneuvers in the Yellow Sea near Chinese territorial waters are forging ahead.
The joint exercises with South Korea, as news sources from the latter nation have recently disclosed, will be conducted on both sides of the Korean Peninsula, not only in the Yellow Sea as previously planned but also in the Sea of Japan. (Referred to in the Korean press as the West and East Seas, respectively.) Confirmation that the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington will participate has further exacerbated concerns in Northeast Asia and raised alarms over American intentions not only vis-a-vis North Korea but China as well.
Yet another coal miner was killed on the job this week, and journalist and author Jeff Biggers says that the situation has reached crisis level–that it’s a war on miners. He also notes that abuse of the land and abuse of the people who work on it has always gone hand in hand, so as pressure for mountaintop removal and new coal mines mounts, so do safety violations–the latest being a story broken by NPR, that a methane gas monitor at the Little Big Branch mine, where 29 workers died in an explosion in April, had been deliberately shut down.
For those who might not be familiar with the term, “fuhgeddaboudit” is one of those three-into-one Noo Yawk words that puts the final stamp on the subject with which it is concerned. Yes, folks, good folks like Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa can present very logical arguments for getting rid of the most anti-democratic rule crippling the functioning of any legislature in any of the “Western Democracies” (see his “Fixing the Filibuster” of June 30, 2010). However, as long as the Democratic Losership Council (love that name, applied by a commentator on an earlier commentary of mine) controls the Democratic Party, it ain’t going to happen.
Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Researching the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, some of his research topics include international aid to the Palestinians and Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of the economy of the Israeli occupation.