Search Results for ‘60’

A Smokescreen Summit (03 Mar 2009)

“We must avoid constructing a new Iron Curtain in Europe”, so addressed the Hungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany his twentysix EU-partners last weekend in Brussels. Attached to this appeal was a request for a recovery plan for banks in Eastern Europe worth between 160 en 190 billion Euros. The Hungarian government chief implied that if such a plan did not materialize, Europe would be divided once more, which would blow up the European Union. The Iron Curtain hyperbole was of course nonsensical and failed to impress Gyurcsany’s negotiating partners, but it did reflect the general atmosphere created by rather panicky leaks from Brussels, and the more widespread speculation that Europe’s current problems, and the seeming inability to come up with credible measures to cope with those, has caused the Union to drift into a danger zone. The convocation of this summit of heads of state and of government at Brussels had a bizarre background. It was to begin with a product of the generally unwelcome initiatives and ideas of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who earlier had reproached the Czechs and their current Union presidency for a lack of inventiveness and activism. It is no secret that Czech premier...

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Feeble European Mediation For Wobbly Peace (01 Feb 2009)

A sharper contrast is hard to imagine: The images of Gaza inhabitants, shell-shocked and bivouacking on the rubble of what once were their homes, and under which their loved ones are buried, and the images produced by the wave of enthusiasm flooding Washington this week. They were produced on Sunday, January 18th, a few days before the inauguration of the first non-white president of the United States, and at the beginning of a wobbly truce between the state of Israel and the Islamitic Hamas movement. It was also the day on which the Israeli army allowed American and British journalists to enter the Gaza strip for the first time. To quote the International Herald Tribune: “It was a day of digging and bitter discovery. Houses had lost walls, and the dead, after three weeks of war, had lost their faces. Families identified them by their clothes. Families clawed at rubble and concrete, trying to dislodge relatives who had died weeks before”.Aside from more than thirteen hundred dead (among them hundreds of children, according to British prime minister Brown) and thousands of wounded who could sparsely be attended medically, Gaza lost the infrastructure that makes government possible. The IHT...

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36 – The Most Monstrous Lie of the Twentyfirst Century (19 Sep 2011)

Following with half an eye the pap pouring forth from the commentariat about how it felt on the day and what it thought since the event “that changed everything”, I was heartened by a reminder from Douglas Lummis (a former US Marine living in Okinawa, and eminent observer of the American-Japanese vassalage relationship) that the anniversary deserving even more attention is tomorrow. It was on September 20th ten years ago that George W. Bush declared perpetual war on large chunks of the world. On that day he told Congress that terrorism would no longer be dealt with as a crime but as something to be confronted with military might. Judging by published mainstream opinion the monstrousness of that announcement has never sunk in. What it comes down to, as Lummis reminds us, is that the United States has granted itself the right to create suspects, murder them, and to invade countries for such a purpose. “And given that no other country, but only the U.S., claims these rights, the result is that in international law, the principle of equality under the law has been destroyed.” Bush and Cheney also began something, as Lummis understands well, that because...

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