The new Strategic Concept adopted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at its summit in Lisbon, Portugal on November 19-20 reiterated the U.S.-led military bloc’s determination to expand military partnerships and deployments throughout the so-called Greater Middle East, including in the Persian Gulf. 
The Alliance’s doctrine for the next decade contains the assertion that “we attach great importance to peace and stability in the Gulf region, and we intend to strengthen our cooperation in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative,”  the reference being to the decision reached at the bloc’s 2004 summit in Turkey to upgrade partnerships with the seven members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue program – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia – and the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to the status of the Partnership for Peace program used to graduate 12 Eastern European nations to full NATO membership over the last 11 years.
I am not a “gamer”, have never been one. I have enough ways to waste my time on reading, television and the information portion of the internet, so that virtually blowing people away with a 50 caliber machine gun really does not do it for me. I was in the military during Viet Nam, and have a good idea that killing people is a lot more involved than just pressing a button on a video controller. I realize that my friends who play these games are just utilizing the latest technology to spend some free time and I’m cool with that. But the phone message I received a week ago from a close friend was still a bit shocking. “I shot Fidel last night”, he told me. Continue reading →
If there was a mental health hospital for institutions the Republican Party and its top leaders would be admissible as clinically insane. Their bizarre wackopedia seems to contain no discernible boundaries. Repeatedly, these corporate supplicants oppose any measure, any regulation, any legislation that will directly help workers, consumers, the environment, small taxpayers and even investor-shareholders.
There are some exceptions. Since these Republican politicians eat, some did vote for the long-delayed food safety bill last week so that e-coli does not enter their intestines to disrupt the drivel drooling from their daily repertoire.
Secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The cables show how the United States sought dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming, how financial and other aid was used by countries to gain political backing, and how the United States mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the “Copenhagen Accord.” We speak to Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón. Several of the cables addressed Bolivia’s opposition to the U.S.-backed accord.
Innocence, as defined by law, makes us complicit with the crimes of the state. To do nothing, to be judged by the state as an innocent, is to be guilty. It is to sanction, through passivity and obedience, the array of crimes carried out by the state.
To be innocent in America means we passively permit offshore penal colonies where we torture human beings, some of whom are children. To be innocent in America is to acquiesce to the relentless corporate destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species. Continue reading →
The Socialist Alternative
Monthly Review Press, 2010
pp 192; US$15.95
The onset of the global economic crisis in mid 2008, symbolised by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s most iconic companies, led to soaring sales of Karl Marx’s seminal work Das Kapital, as many sought explanations to the tumultuous events unfolding.
Although written more than 100 years ago, this devastating and insightful dissection of how capital functions is still a powerful tool for people looking to understand and change the world.