Skip to content


Tag: Aljazeera
Dismisses allegations as weird and baseless (August 17 2012) Dismisses allegations as weird and baseless (August 17 2012)

Alexei Anatolievich Navalny the 36 year old Russian lawyer, political activist and critic of corruption in Russia, especially of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, has been charged with theft accused of organising a scheme to steal assets from a state timber company. In an Aljazeera article Navalny dismisses the allegations as “weird” and baseless is said to have been “…charged with theft, and could be handed a 10-year prison sentence as the government continues its crackdown on dissent. …The State Investigative Committee said it suspects Navalny of organising a scheme to steal assets from a state timber company. The assets are estimated to be worth about $500,000. As the committee pursues an investigation against him, Navalny has been ordered not to leave Moscow. …the anti-corruption crusader has been instrumental in rallying Russia’s young internet generation against Putin’s rule. Navalny, a lawyer, led a series of rallies in Moscow that attracted up to 100,000 people after December’s parliamentary elections were alleged to have been rigged and ahead of the March election that handed Putin a third presidential term. …The government embarked on a major crackdown on the opposition after Putin’s re-election, which was also criticised as fraudulent, arresting some activists and using legislation to try to curb its activities. …The probe against Navalny focuses on events dating to 2009 when he served as an adviser to a provincial governor in the Kirov region. Investigators allege that he colluded with the head of a state timber company and a trader to rob it. A previous probe into similar allegations was closed earlier this year for lack of evidence.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

UN corrupts Somali political transition (August 15 2012) UN corrupts Somali political transition (August 15 2012)

Abdi Ismail Samatar the 62 year old Somalian-American Professor of Geography whose research focuses on the relationship between democracy and development in the Third World has published an article on Aljazeera titled the ‘UN corrupts Somali political transition’. In the article Samatar states “For over the two decades, sectarian Somali leaders and their international patrons dominated political transitions in the country. The end results of these affairs have been perpetual political instability, endless violence and the misery for the population without any one being held accountable. Another transition is looming and the UN which is midwifing the process is enabling several Somali actors to gerrymander the process in order to predetermine the outcome to their advantage. …Notwithstanding these odds, faithful people are relentlessly working to change the course of history for the better while they pray for a miracle. The Somali civic movement is engaged in such a struggle and is striving for a miracle under horrific circumstances, but their efforts are continuously undermined by regional and international actors who seem to relish the humiliation of the Somali. Conceiving and executing a corrupt political process designed to disable the Somali people, the UN strategy makes mockery of the high democratic and humanitarian ideals international actors claim to cherish and could very well instigate a new wave of violence. Let us hope that the civics miraculously triumph and human dignity restored.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

Dangerous triumph of Israel's right wing (August 9 2012) Dangerous triumph of Israel’s right wing (August 9 2012)

Murtaza Hussain the Toronto-based writer and analyst focused on issues related to Middle Eastern politics has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The dangerous triumph of Israel’s right wing’ discussing how Israel faces an existential threat from the Netanyahu government’s embrace of settlements in the West Bank. In the article Hussain states “For Israel, a state that has always been tenacious and aggressive in combatting perceived de-legitimisation from abroad, the most dangerous threat to its continued political integrity might today be engineered by its own right-wing government. Recently, the Levy Commission, a blue-ribbon panel of Israeli jurists commissioned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to determine the legal status of the Palestinian West Bank, came back with findings and recommendations that represent a potential sea change in Israeli policy in the ongoing conflict. …The potential consequences of these findings can hardly be overstated. The report asserts that because the occupation and settlement enterprise have continued for decades under successive administrations and are historically unique, they should be de facto recognised as legal, regardless of international opinion. This position maintains that the West Bank is thus not occupied territory but in fact today is a part of Israel proper. …If the findings of the Levy Commission are indeed implemented as many high-ranking officials are presently advocating, it will either mean the end of Israel as a democracy or as the Jewish-majority state envisioned by its founders – two ideals that cannot exist simultaneously against a background of annexation and apartheid. While Israel’s strength facing its neighbours and the world continues to increase, its emboldened and ascendant right-wing may be engineering an existential threat to the country on its own.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Giant high-heel shoe of pots and lids (August 6 2012) Giant high-heel shoe of pots and lids (August 6 2012)

Joana Vasconcelos the 41 year old Portuguese-French artist renowned for her appropriations, de-contextualisation and subversion of pre-existent objects and everyday realities. Vasconcelos’ work has been critiqued by Patricia Vieira & Michael Marder in an Aljazeera article, where her piece titled ‘Dorothy’ is described as a “giant high-heel shoe is created by putting together aluminium pots and lids of various sizes. …Dorothy juxtaposes the most recognisable markers of the stereotypical private and public female roles: the pots symbolise housekeeping duties and the high-heel shoe stands for the glamorous image of a seductress. The artist and her work become channels for the communication among disparate things that did not previously belong to the same spatial and temporal constellation. The pots and the shoe speak to one another, and what they relate to us in their thingly language is the material underside of women’s oppression. In Dorothy, Vasconcelos stages an encounter not only between things drawn from two different spheres of everyday life but also between a given thing and a seemingly incongruous milieu. This is accomplished both by changing the dimensions of a normal shoe and by placing the giant shoe in an unexpected setting: a garden or a hall of Versailles.” Vasconcelos’ sculptures and installations, as well as performances and video or photographic records, reveal an acute sense of scale and mastery of colour, while combining in the materialization of concepts that challenge the prearranged routines of daily life.


Inspired by Patricia Vieira & Michael Marder image source Facebook

Art and the language of things (August 5 2012) Art and the language of things (August 5 2012)

Patricia Vieira the American assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Comparative Literature has co-published an article on Aljazeera with Michael Marder a Research Professor of Philosophy. The article titled ‘Art and the language of things’ discusses how inanimate objects may communicate a meaning or intent through their juxtaposition with other objects. In the article Vieira states “Two of modern art’s most salient features are its self-reflexivity and its attention to context, and both bear upon the language of things. First, many modern artworks include an extended meditation on materiality. They realise, in the course of their open-ended aesthetic self-critique, that their inspiration lies somewhere other than the “genius” of the artist, namely in the things themselves. Second, modern art often plays with contextuality, placing familiar objects in unexpected environments, and so changing the relations among things. Art pieces extend beyond themselves and cannot be interpreted without referring to their literal and figurative frames. …Re-contextualisation has been a hallmark of the artistic avant-garde since the beginning of the 20th century – for instance, in Duchamp’s ready-mades, transported into the space of a museum. …The things the artist brings together get a chance for a second life in the material communities created by … aesthetic interventions. Once it begins, there is no inherent closure to the conversation among things, as more can be added to the ones already in existence… It demonstrates that things communicate with one another in their materiality, without resorting to words. The language of things is a language without names … offers us a glimpse into their interminable conversation by allowing the unnameable to speak to us.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Jimdo

Thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide (August 1 2012) Thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide (August 1 2012)

William Lloyd George the British freelance journalist warns of an impending humanitarian crisis in western Myanmar where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims are threatened by an increase in sectarian violence. George in an article published on Aljazeera states “There is a thin line between ethnic cleansing and genocide. Hitler carried out ethnic cleansing on Jewish communities for years before he attempted genocide. With the whole country, including the democracy movement, seemingly behind the government’s plans to expel the Rohingya, urgent intervention is needed to save the Rohginya from a humanitarian crisis, and the potential for a violent campaign by the state, alongside Rhakine extremists backed by local authorities. The two communities should not be separated as the government plans; instead there is an urgent need to bring the communities back together, and return the region to normality. Conflict resolution programmes and development is needed as soon as possible. The longer the two communities are apart, the more radicalisation – of both groups – will fester, and whether the government allows it to take place, supports it, or just turns a blind eye, a return to some form of violence will be almost inevitable. …Myanmar’s democracy activists, human rights defenders, and vibrant civil society, should immediately address the impending humanitarian crisis and potential devastation of the Rohingya people.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source rtrfm

The Earth is running a fever (July 30 2012) The Earth is running a fever (July 30 2012)

Stan Cox the American senior scientist at The Land Institute and author of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Air-conditioning: The cold reality’€™. Cox discusses how the use of power-hungry appliances is skyrocketing in the developing world, and is a major factor of CO2 emissions. Cox states ‘The Earth is running a fever. So with summers growing hotter (and with affluence rising) year by year, our world is becoming more and more dependent on air-conditioning. The possibility that air-conditioning could go universal has, in turn, raised ecological alarms, prompting a scramble for more eco-friendly cooling. …Those countries around the world that still have a low degree of dependence on air-conditioning should think twice before moving toward the United States’ industrial comfort standards. Energy consumption is not the only burning issue. The cool, still, dry atmosphere of the standard US home or office has a variety of other unpleasant and sometimes hazardous side effects. …If we are ever to gain some control over fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse emissions, a massive worldwide adjustment of thermostats will be required. But most importantly, we’ll need to adjust our own internal thermostats. By taking a more flexible attitude toward comfort and finding alternative ways to make the indoor environment livable, we can not only save energy but also become more resilient human beings. And we will need that resilience. The coming decades will test our ability to adapt and create, and we cannot leave it to technology to bail us out next time.”€


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Giornalettismo

The Greek crisis as racketeering (July 28 2012) The Greek crisis as racketeering (July 28 2012)

Despina Lalaki the Greek Sociology doctoral candidate in Hellenic Studies and University Lecturer has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The Greek crisis as racketeering’ citing the Greek government’s classic mobster tactic of offering citizens protection from threats it has itself created. In the article Lalaki states “Sociologist Charles Tilly drew a compelling analogy between the state as the place of organized means of violence, and racketeering. He defined the racketeer “as someone who creates a threat and then charges for its reduction”, in order to gain control and consolidate power. In this regard, a state and its government differ little from racketeering, to the extent that the threats against which they protect their citizens are imaginary or are consequences of their own activities. Considering the pain, the humiliation, and the social degradation that the economic and political policies of the Greek government have inflicted upon the country the past four years, Tilly’s analogy may offer us a useful tool to both describe and evaluate the current crisis and the regime of fear that the state has unleashed on the Greek public. …In defiance of this fear, an awakening of political consciousness is taking place in Greece’s squares, streets, and online social networks, not merely condemning the policies of austerity and social degradation but collectively working towards new types of political resistance. It is becoming clear that only the people of Greece can deliver and ultimately save themselves from the racketeering, criminal practices of their “protectors”.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Academia

Puerto Rico's outlaw police force (July 27 2012) Puerto Rico’s outlaw police force (July 27 2012)

Belén Fernández the 30 year old American magazine editor and feature writer has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Puerto Rico’s outlaw police force’ describing how police in the US territory have been accused of civil rights abuses and overzealous crackdowns on peaceful protests. In the article Fernández states “…intense crackdowns by Puerto Rican police on peaceful protests that began in response to fiscal austerity measures, the firing of 30,000 state employees, the suspension of collective bargaining rights, and a 50 per cent increase in tuition fees – rendering education prohibitively expensive for many students. …the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD)’s rampant violations of human and constitutional rights range from beatings with batons and nightsticks to sexual harassment of female protesters, from the administration of pepper spray at point-blank range and potentially lethal rubber bullets to the indiscriminate use of chemical agents – including tear gas dispersed from helicopters and a highly toxic form of gas not used in the US in 50 years. …As for disproportionate police-to-resident ratios, the PRPD’s employment of more than 17,000 officers for a population of 3.7 million is more than twice the national average. However, the expansion of both mainland policing activities and of a reality in which those tasked with the protection of civil rights are often the ones violating them – indicates that Puerto Rican struggles may indeed increasingly “mirror those across America”.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source

Learning wrong lessons from Latvia (July 22nd 2012) Learning wrong lessons from Latvia (July 22nd 2012)

Mark Weisbrot the American economist, columnist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Learning the wrong lessons from Latvia’ referring to Europe’s use of the Baltic state’s austerity programmes as an example. In the article Weisbrot states “Latvia, a Baltic country of 2.2 million that most people could not find on a map, has suddenly garnered attention from economists involved in the debate over the future of Europe and the global economy. …This is terrible, because if there’s one simple lesson that most of the world – if not the European authorities – seems to be learning from the prolonged crisis in Europe, it is that fiscal tightening is not the proper response to a recession. …Latvia lost about a quarter of its national income. Unemployment rose from 5.3 per cent to more than 20 per cent of the labour force and, …under-employment peaked at more than 30 per cent. Official unemployment remains at more than 15 per cent today, even after the economy finally grew by 5.5 per cent last year, and about 10 per cent of the labour force has left the country. …the bottom line is that no country with three times the unemployment rate that it had before the world recession, and Latvia’s huge income losses, should be considered even a qualified success story. It would be a shame if these unwarranted conclusions from Latvia’s experience were to help prolong the unnecessary suffering in the eurozone.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Pretext to muzzle artists and creativity (July 19th 2012) Pretext to muzzle artists and creativity (July 19th 2012)

Héla Ammar the 43 year old Tunisian photographic Artist a participant in the Printemps des Arts [Springtime Art Festival] has been interviewed by Yasmine Ryan for Aljazeera in regard to the rise of conservative moral and violent religious censorship of her home land’s artists and intellectuals. In the interview Ammar states “A misleading video montage showing a painting has been widely shared online, presenting artists as non-believers. It’s this diffusion of dishonest information and images which has provoked hatred and condemnation from a fringe of society. …The concept of national or sacred values is just a pretext to muzzle artists and creativity. These concepts can be interpreted in many different ways, especially the most restrictive, which will ultimately result in Tunisia having official art and dissident art. This is very serious and echoes dark periods in history… In reality, the artists have been used as scapegoats. This affair has been entirely manufactured to eclipse more serious issues. We are in the middle of a war between several political movements, with the Salafists and other reactionary movements which are pressuring the present government against moderation and appeasement. …What is happening is definitely very serious because the personal details of some artists have been published on extremist [Facebook] pages which have thousands of fans. They are calling for the murder of these artists. My friends are receiving endless phone calls and insulting messages and death threats. We are very worried because we don’t have any protection, and even the cultural ministry, which should be defending us, has abandoned us.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

White Black & catch-all Mongoloid group (July 17th 2012) White Black & catch-all Mongoloid group (July 17th 2012)

Khaled A. Beydoun the American Attorney and author has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The business of remaking Arab-American identity’ in which he provides an overview of racial categorization within the USA. Beydoun states “Since its inception, the United States government has had a fixation with race. The judiciary was the government’s arbiter of making and molding racial designations, and subsequently, classifying new immigrant communities into the fluidly shifting and arbitrary American racial taxonomy. Racial categories were shaped, and reshaped, according to shifting demographics. Initially, three primary categories, White, Black, and the catch-all “Mongoloid” group were created to distinguish between Americans, and segregate the latter groups from full-fledged citizenship. These categories were incessantly morphed, by American courts, and new titles such as “Caucasian” and “Hispanic”, for instance, were introduced. …The first major wave of Arab-Americans, who arrived in America circa the turn of the 20th century, was largely Christian natives of the Ottoman-colonised Levant. Religion, and the physical appearance of this wave, facilitated racial passing, and American courts ruled that (this pioneering) influx of Arabs were “part of the white race”. …Arab-Americans would ultimately be racialised differently, creating a divided landscape where American courts facilitated the early wave’s pursuit of whiteness and white privilege, and established jurisprudential baselines that denied the subsequent wave of largely Muslim, “ethnic” Arabs that same path. Caucasian was a legal term imposed on Arabs-Americans, while whiteness as an on-the-ground status was only enjoyed by those Arabs the courts – and the court of public opinion – deemed worthy of inclusion.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source

Exercise great caution in playing the "India card" (July 14th 2012) Exercise great caution in playing the “India card” (July 14th 2012)

Robert L Grenier the American former CIA director of counter-terrorism who was dismissed from the position, and now Chairman of ERG Partners, an independent financial and strategic advisory firm focusing on the security and intelligence sectors, has released an article on Aljazeera discussing implications of the USA playing the ‘India card’ in Afghanistan. Grenier states “Involving India in the US war in Afghanistan could further polarise Pakistan and turn the country into a proxy war. …US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta’s visit to New Delhi, in which he pressed the Indians to raise their level of engagement in Afghanistan. No longer satisfied simply with Indian provision of economic and development assistance, the American defence chief indicated he would like to see India engaged with Afghan security forces as well. In so saying, he was apparently not unmindful of how this message would be received in Islamabad. …But the US government should know that to the extent it is successful in pressing India into high-profile security engagement in Afghanistan, the more likely it is to produce the very situation it fears most: A renewed Afghan civil war in which India and Pakistan are actively engaged in support of their respective proxies, and in which Islamabad’s ties to the Taliban are strongly reinforced. …it should likewise exercise great caution in playing the “India card” in Afghanistan.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source University of Delaware

Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? (July 11th 2012) Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? (July 11th 2012)

Hamid Dabashi the 63 year old Iranian-American Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature has published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘The mother of the world: The birth of Egypt’s democracy’ referencing the Egyptian election as not a ‘referendum’ on the revolution, but a step in the only direction possible: forward. Dabashi states “Analysts are asking: Has the revolution failed? …there are other historical comparisons we can make. If you want to have a simple sense of what exactly has happened in the Arab and Muslim world that we celebrate as the “Arab Spring”, just compare the Iranian Revolution of 1979 with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 – in a span of just a little more than three decades. …The Egyptian revolution is everything that the Iranian revolution was not: calm, composed, gentle, civil, human, hopeful, principled. All the legitimate fear that all Egyptians now have for the future of their revolution is fuel for visionary progress. …Those who fear that Egyptians are not revolutionary enough, or that they are caught in a “Stockholm Syndrome” ought to ask themselves: Do they want Egypt to be thirty years from now where Iran is today – ruled by a fraudulent tyranny, violently opposed by career opportunists in cahoots with the neocons, with the vast majority of Iranians sick and tired of one and disgusted by the other?”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

Growing 'dead zones' in the world's oceans (July 9th 2012) Growing ‘dead zones’ in the world’s oceans (July 9th 2012)

Dahr Jamail the 44 year old American journalist best known as one of the few unembedded journalists to report extensively from Iraq during the 2003 Iraq invasion, has published an article on Aljazeera about the pollution of the world’s oceans, highlighting the alarm of Scientists and experts at amount of plastic debris and growing ‘dead zones’ in the world’s oceans. Jamail states “The amount of plastic floating in the Pacific Gyre – a massive swirling vortex of rubbish – has increased 100-fold in the past four decades, phytoplankton counts are dropping, over-fishing is causing dramatic decreases in fish populations, decreasing ocean salinity is intensifying weather extremes, and warming oceans are speeding up Antarctic melting. … Scientists recently investigated the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, and found an “alarming amount” of refuse, much of it comprising individual pieces of very small size. The eastern section of the spiralling mass, between Hawaii and California, is estimated to be around twice the size of Texas, and is having ecosystem-wide impacts… Another phenomenon afflicting Earth’s oceans are “dead zones”. While these can be formed by natural causes, climate change, along with human activities and industrial waste, have greatly aggravated the situation. The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration released a study showing that rising global temperatures cause oceans to warm, which translates into a decreased capacity to hold oxygen.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

A plausible progressive counter-narrative (July 7th 2012) A plausible progressive counter-narrative (July 7th 2012)

Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama the 60 year old American political scientist and economist is the subject of an article published by Dan Hind on Aljazeera titled ‘Just how do you change the world? Is there a progressive counter-narrative to the libertarian right?’ Hind states “Francis Fukuyama wrote an article for Foreign Affairs entitled The Future of History. In it he talked about the absence of “a plausible progressive counter-narrative” to the “libertarian right”. This libertarian right has “held the ideological high ground on economic issues” for a generation. …Fukuyama claims that “one of the most puzzling features of the world in the aftermath of the financial crisis is that populism has taken primarily a right-wing form, not a left-wing one”. So while he thinks it conceivable that the “Occupy Wall Street movement will gain traction”, he can’t find space for the hundreds of other occupations in the United States and worldwide. The role of trade unionists and socialists in Arab Spring is nowhere to be found and the vast movement for real democracy in Spain likewise vanishes. The Tea Party is what captures Fukuyama’s attention. …It would be unfair to mock him for his failure to predict the rise of Syriza in Greece, the defeat of a right-wing president in France and the growing confidence of anti-capitalist left in Europe and North America. It is, though, reasonable to expect a prophet to have some kind of grip on the recent past.”


Inspired by Dan Hind image source Robert Goddyn

Azerbaijan jockeys for new geopolitical weight (July 5th 2012) Azerbaijan jockeys for new geopolitical weight (July 5th 2012)

Joshua Kucera the American freelance journalist in an article published on Aljazeera titled ‘Azerbaijan jockeys for new geopolitical weight’ questions ‘What do the US and Israel have to gain by strengthening Azerbaijan’s naval capacities in the Caspian sea?’ Kucera states “As the prospect of an Israeli attack on Iran has loomed over the past several months, a great deal of attention has been paid to Israel’s close ties with Iran’s northern neighbour, Azerbaijan. And while those ties are indeed close, the two countries nonetheless have very different concerns vis-a-vis Iran – ones that make them unlikely to cooperate on any potential Israeli strike against Tehran. The most visible part of Azerbaijani-Israeli cooperation is in the weapons business. Azerbaijan and Israel announced a massive arms deal, worth US $1.6bn, earlier this year, fuelling speculation that Israel was using Azerbaijan as a proxy against Iran. …But while Israel’s concern about Iran is Tehran’s nuclear programme and the fear that Iranian nuclear weapons could be used against them, Azerbaijan has displayed a less alarmist view of Iran’s nuclear intentions. …However, Azerbaijan does have significant strategic concerns about Iran as well, and tensions between the two countries have the potential for creating a new flashpoint in the region – albeit one unrelated to Israel.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source ufollow

UK's most senior minority-ethnic politician (July 3rd 2012) UK’s most senior minority-ethnic politician (July 3rd 2012)

Sayeeda Hussain Warsi the 41 year old British Baroness solicitor and politician who was created a life peer in 2007 has been defended by Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari of The East London Communities Organisation, in an article he published on Aljazeera. Bari states ” Media and political pressure has been piling on Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative Party co-chairman and minister-without-portfolio in the coalition government. Unpopular with the Tory Right, the guns have turned on her following the Conservative Party’s dismal electoral performance in last month’s local elections. … There is barely a week that goes by without someone, usually a Tory, calling for her head. The Labour Party has seized upon her plight and called for her to step down. … Lady Warsi is the UK’s most senior minority-ethnic politician. She was initially seen as a shining light in the Conservative Party, long-struggling to recruit from the black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Is she going to be a scapegoat for the sliding unpopularity of the Conservative Party? …Lady Warsi is not a political maverick. She is sharp, charismatic and she speaks her mind. As such, she has brought a distinctive appeal to the Conservative Party, traditionally viewed as led by a white middle (or upper) class elite.”


Inspired by Muhammad Abdul Bari image source UK Cabinet Office

What can we do? What is the next step? (June 30th 2012) What can we do? What is the next step? (June 30th 2012)

Mario Draghi the 64 year old Italian banker, economist and President of the European Central Bank has told European politicians that they should do a lot more to tackle the debt crisis, according to an Aljazeera article. The article states “He says the current setup is unsustainable and has urged member states to take immediate action towards developing a clear vision for the next few years. …warn[ing] that the structure of the euro currency union has become unsustainable and criticised political leaders, who, he said, had been slow to respond to a European debt crisis now well into its third year. “Can the ECB fill the vacuum or lack of action by national governments on the structural front? And again the answer is no, structural reforms don’t have much to do with monetary policy,” Draghi said, adding: “Can the ECB fill the vacuum left by the lack of euro area governance? And the answer is no. So, let’s ask: What can we do now? What is the next step? The next step is basically for our leaders to clarify what is the vision for a certain number of years from now.” …All of this has taken a toll on the value of the euro currency. It fell to its lowest level in almost two years against the dollar.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source World Economic Forum

Invest in Afghan people not foreign contractors (June 29th 2012) Invest in Afghan people not foreign contractors (June 29th 2012)

Michael Shank the American Vice-President at the Institute for Economics and Peace has co-published an article on Aljazeera with Congressman Mike Honda titled ‘Invest in the Afghan people not foreign contractors – The country’s post-withdrawal development plan should be handled by those who know Afghanistan best – the Afghans’. The article states “The truth is that development in Afghanistan is currently in the wrong hands. Tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer money have been spent over almost 12 years in Afghanistan on development projects which were largely managed and implemented by foreign contractors and with little regard for long-term localised viability. It is now clear for anyone intimately involved in the reconstruction and stabilisation process that the key to building a strong state lies not in foreign contractors, but rather local village efforts connected to a Kabul command. To achieve a crucial state of regional stability, Afghans need peace, security and the right to self-determination based on their own social, cultural and religious values. In this spirit, it is problematic that the Afghanistan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development’s National Solidarity Program – out of which the highly effective Community Development Councils are run – remains stunted due to limited financial capacity…”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source

Brazil the next cop on the beat in Africa (June 25th 2012) Brazil the next cop on the beat in Africa (June 25th 2012)

Nikolas Kozloff the American writer and Latin American historian has published an article titled ‘Is Brazil the next cop on the beat in Africa? The Pentagon seems to hope so’ in which he argues that ‘any action Brazil takes in Africa should be based on peaceful cooperation and not military escalation’. Kozloff’s article on Aljazeera states “Facing budgetary constrictions and overstretched resources, the Pentagon knows that it cannot effectively patrol the entire globe on its own. …in Rio, Panetta [Pentagon] emphasized Brazil’s long held ties to Africa. Historically, Brazil was the largest destination of the Atlantic Slave Trade, and today a sizable portion of the country’s population is of African descent. …WikiLeaks cables suggest that some within the Brazilian political elite want to redirect Brazilian foreign policy toward Africa …Nevertheless, given all of the controversy about the US role in Africa, Brazil should firmly reject Panetta’s calls for closer military collaboration in the region. This doesn’t mean that Brazil should outright withdraw from Africa, and if anything the WikiLeaks documents serve to highlight the many shortcomings of the South American giant’s foreign policy on the continent. Hopefully, Brazil will become more engaged in Africa in the long-term, not less.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Daniel Gros the German Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies, and former economic adviser to the European Commission, believes that only determined action by EU governments that is strongly supported by their citizens will save the common currency. Gros published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Democracy versus the eurozone‘ in which he states “The reality is that the larger member states are more equal than the others. Of course, this is not fair, but the EU’s inability to impose its view on democratic countries might actually sometimes be for the best, given that even the Commission is fallible. The broader message from the Greek and French elections is that the attempt to impose a benevolent creditors’ dictatorship is now being met by a debtors’ revolt. Financial markets have reacted as strongly as they have because investors recognise that the “sovereign” in sovereign debt is an electorate that can simply decide not to pay. This is already the case in Greece, but the fate of the euro will be decided in the larger, systemically important countries like Italy and Spain. Only determined action by their governments, supported by their citizens, will show that they merit unreserved support from the rest of the eurozone. At this point, nothing less can save the common currency.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source World Economic Forum

Mark Hertsgaard the American journalist reports on ‘the biggest climate victory you never heard of’ in an article he published on Aljazeera about ‘the fight against coal in the US [that] has achieved great success due to activists’ passion and commitment’. Hertsgaard in the article states “Coal is going down in the United States, and that’s good news for the Earth’s climate. …the dirtiest and most carbon-intensive conventional fossil fuel, generated only 36 per cent of US electricity in the first quarter of 2012. That amounts to a staggering 20 per cent decline from one year earlier. …a persistent grassroots citizens’ rebellion that has blocked the construction of 166 (and counting) proposed coal-fired power plants… At the very time when President Obama’s “cap-and-trade” climate legislation was going down in flames in Washington, local activists across the United States were helping to impose “a de facto moratorium on new coal”… Like the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Beyond Coal [activist] campaign has shown that the status quo is not all-powerful. When large numbers of people unite around a compelling critique of the existing order and build political power at the local level, they can change the world. And perhaps even the planet.”

Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Mirza Shahzad Akbar the Pakistani lawyer and director at the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, renowned for his legal action against the USA for drone strikes in Pakistan, has criticized the USA for authorizing drone strikes in Yemen. In an article by Jason Koebler on Aljazeera, Akbar states “They can’t kill them if they know someone is a low value target, however they can kill if they don’t know that person… They have a checklist, and here’s what they’re looking for—Are they carrying weapons? Do they have a beard and a turban? Are they traveling with a large group of people? Well, everyone in that area carries a weapon, a beard is part of the religion, turban is part of the culture. As for traveling in a group, well, it’s a society that has bigger families. If you’re looking for a pattern like this, you’re killing citizens and civilians. …The CIA is, so far, the only source of information. Look at the quality of the information they give you—it’s nothing. Who are they killing? Who are these people? What are their names? They say they’re taking out the bad guys, but the facts on the ground are very different, there are a huge number of women, children, elderly and incapacitated people. …Once people learn what’s really happening, they’ll complain. People need to make an informed decision.”

Inspired by Jason Koebler image source Twitter

Ahmed Daak the Sudanese lecturer of medical biochemistry along with Harry Verhoeven a specialist researcher on conflict, development and environment in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region has published an article titled ‘The battle for the soul of the Islamic world’. The article published on Aljazeera discusses the Islamists and Salafis battle ‘for prominence in forging new political realities in the Islamic world’. They state in the article “The new realities emerging from the Arab Spring are demonstrating that Islam will occupy a key position in the political debate from Morocco to Indonesia. Yet what remains unclear is whether this will lead to greater societal cohesion or increased tensions within the Islamic world and between it and outside actors. To understand what the future might look like, we must analyse the struggle within the camp of the pious believers: reformist Islamists versus archconservative Salafis. …For all their differences, important similarities exist between Salafis and Islamists. The choice is not between “Westernisation” and “traditional Islam”: neither camp belongs to the caricature categories of the GWOT [Global War on Terror]. Both are products of modernity, who think about politics and religion in deeply modern ways and who respond to modernisation through discourses, institutions and ideas that are solidly rooted in 21st century imaginations.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

Hamdeen Sabahi the 57 year old former member of parliament and leader of the Dignity Party finished third place with 21.5% of the vote. As the opposition leader, Sabahi was jailed for political dissidence 17 times during the Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak presidencies. Sabahi has been profiled by Evan Hill in an article on Aljazeera, where he states “Sabahi’s campaign has reflected his likable persona. He is the only major candidate whose posters show him smiling, and his slogan, “one of us,” reflects a more populist appeal than the vagueness of the Brotherhood’s “renaissance is the will of the people” or the sternness of Moussa’s “Egypt needs the work of every Egyptian” or Shafiq’s “deeds, not words”. He has received broad support from Egypt’s journalism and media communities – his headquarters is housed in the office of popular director Khaled Youssef – and his campaign claims that it has run haphazardly on a shoestring, with donors buying billboard and newspaper ad space where they can. …Yet by the first day of voting on May 23, Sabahi had ascended into the national debate. From taxi drivers to pensioners to well-educated consultants, his emphasis on justice and the poor had resounded.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Egyptian Society

Hilal Elver the Research Professor of Global Studies and the co-director of the Climate Change, Human Security and Democracy Project, writes that diplomats at climate change talks in readiness for Rio+20 appear unlikely to draft a workable legal document on CO2 reduction. Elver in an article published on Aljazeera states “shortly after this meeting a major summit of UN Sustainable Development, Rio+20, will be held. The 1992 summit in Rio de Janeiro was a turning point in global awareness for several reasons. Major environmental law documents were produced – the Rio Declaration, a Global Policy of Sustainable Development for the 21st Century, and Agenda 21 – and two important global framework conventions on climate change and biological diversity were agreed upon. The Earth Summit was by far the biggest international conference ever convened. More than 100 heads of states took part. Rio+20 will not be nearly as successful. Many important leaders from the United States, Germany and France, will not be attending. A few months ago the UN organisers announced that the main agenda will not be climate change. The focus will be placed on green development, green energy, job creation, and sustainability. The objective is to lay the groundwork for a new phase of the global economy, almost a second industrial revolution. Therefore many NGOs are very sceptical about this prospect. They worry that the Rio+20 is being hijacked by the corporations to showcase the “new green sector”, a colour normally associated with making profits…”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Facebook

Evi Pappa the Greek Professor of International Macroeconomics and Monetary and Fiscal Policy believes a Greek exit from the euro could have wide-ranging consequences for other European countries. Pappa in an interview with Sam Bollier for Aljazeera, states “The Greek election results express the anger of the Greek population. They had somehow to punish the two political parties that have been in power the past 20 years. So they voted in anger and in protest… I think that most of them realise that leaving the euro is going to be disastrous for Greece. …You would expect three things if Greece leaves the euro: inflation, devaluation, and banking collapse. …Inflation is sometimes good. But the problem is that Greece is not going to experience inflation. It is going to experience, most likely, hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is not good at any time. …Modern Greece, like Antigone [Classic Greek tragedy of Sophocles], is condemned to the austerity measures of the European Commission, burying it alive, and it looks like, when the Europeans come to her mercy, it might be too late – and Greece might commit suicide by deciding to leave the eurozone. I don’t have a lot of hope for Greece.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source uab

Ben White the British journalist and human rights activist specialising in Palestine/Israel, has published an article on Aljazeera claiming ‘Israel has a Jewish majority today because of the expulsions and denationalisation of most Palestinians living there’. White’s article titled ‘Jewish democracy founded on ugly battles’ states, …the Nakba [Day of the Catastrophe] is ongoing, in the daily acts of piecemeal ethnic cleansing from the Jordan Valley to the Negev, and secondly, the way in which the historical facts of “transfer” undermine the mythology of Israel as a supposed “Jewish and democratic” state. …Discussing Israel without mentioning the Nakba is linked to the myth of the Jewish state miraculously emerging from an unpopulated, arid wasteland. …the “invisibility” of the Arabs was self-serving. Palestine at the time of first Zionist settlement was not empty of people, but of people deemed worthy by Europeans of controlling their own country. …With the Nakba in clear view, current attempts to reconcile both “Jewish and democratic” components of Israel’s identity can be seen for what they are: a grand exercise in missing the point. The only reason why there is a Jewish majority in Israel today is because of the expulsions and denationalisation of most Palestinians who would have become citizens in the new state.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source prc

Siobhan Courtney the British freelance broadcast journalist and writer, argues when the UK’s water infrastructure is already in severe drought, why is fracking even being considered? Courtney published an article on Aljazeera titled ‘Fracking: A dehydrated UK, watered only by capitalism’, stating “Only after the first attempt at fracking in the UK resulted in two minor earthquakes, did the department of energy and climate change decide to commission a panel of (government led) experts to investigate hydraulic fracturing further. Published in April, the first official British report [PDF] advises ministers to allow fracking to be extended across Britain. Quite how this decision was reached is staggering, as the report is full of confusing contradictions that only highlights the risks and consequences. …There has been a huge amount of attention and focus on the contamination process and structural damage caused by fracking. These concerns are of course, extremely valid, but attention, analysis and focus must be directed towards the sheer volume of water used in the fracking process. Water: nature’s most important and kindest gift to humanity. How ironic it is then, that humanity shows its gratitude by intentionally wasting and poisoning this precious life source.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source BBC

Enid Gabriella ‘Biella’ Coleman the American anthropologist, academic and author whose work focuses on hacker culture and online activism has published an article on Aljazeera about the Anonymous Hactivitst group. In the article Coleman states “… as a masked entity bearing the name Anonymous – it relays an urgent message about anonymity to contemplate. Given the contemporary reality of a corporate and state controlled surveillance apparatus, Anonymous stands out, compels, and enchants for a very particular reason: it has provided a small but potent oasis of anonymity in the current expansive desert of surveillance, much like the one quite literally being built in the Utah desert right now by the NSA. In an era when most of our personal data is archived online – in a time when states and corporations collect, market, and monetise our plans and preferences – there is indeed something hopeful, one might even say necessary, in Anonymous’ effacement of the self, in the cloaking of their identities, in striking at legislation seen to threaten privacy, and seeking to expose the depth and extent of privatised government contractors that have rapidly emerged as a security apparatus parallel to that of the national government.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Karora

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button