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5 Most Popular Recent Articles

Global NATO Raises Alarms From Arctic To Brazil PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rick Rozoff   
Friday, 17 September 2010 00:00

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Global NATOThe current century’s only and history’s largest military bloc will hold the latest of what have become annual summits in Lisbon, Portugal this November 19 and 20. Heads of state, defense chiefs and chiefs of general staff from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 28 full members will be in attendance, as will be leaders from an unannounced number of the military alliance’s forty some odd partner states.

Starting last year a 12-member Group of Experts headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and ex-president and chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Jeroen van der Veer toured Europe and North America to promote NATO’s new Strategic Concept, its first in the 21st century as the current version was adopted in 1999, the year of the bloc’s first expansion into Eastern Europe and its 78-day air war against Yugoslavia, the first military assault against a sovereign nation in Europe since World War II.

On May 17 of this year Albright and her cohorts submitted their recommendations – a set of already determined priorities for the expanding military alliance – to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s top governing body, to be formally endorsed at the Lisbon summit. [1]

The new Strategic Concept will elaborate upon and extend the policies of its predecessor and will reflect the past decade’s transformation of an erstwhile Cold War-era alliance into an increasingly global warfighting machine. One which has grown in the interim from 16 to 28 full members, the 12 new inductees all in Eastern Europe, 10 of them former members of the Warsaw Pact and three of those ex-Soviet republics.

Internet Freedom Isn't Just Another Word PDF Print E-mail
Written by Art Brodsky   
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 00:00

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To hear some big-time business columnists tell it, fighting for freedom is a bad thing.

The usually sensible Steve Pearlstein at the Washington Post notes that, “net neutrality zealots” (also known as “ayatollahs of net neutrality”) worked themselves into a “self-righteous lather” over the Verizon-Google compromise on Net Neutrality, caring more about “principles” than the “real world.”For Joe Nocera over at the New York Times, the Verizon-Google deal was a “well-meaning proposal,” that is being set upon by “fierce, unyielding proponents” of an open Internet, a group that includes Public Knowledge as part of the “net neutrality purists.”

These two columns by respected writers point to an unfortunate tendency among reporters who peer down from Olympian heights onto the world of mortals to bless a compromise as a way to settle a dispute, regardless whether the compromise is productive.  There is the surface “pox on both their houses” approach, although it seems as if in practice the tendency further is distinguished by the pejorative descriptions of liberal or progressive parties, and rarely of conservative or business-oriented opinions or groups.

Global youth unemployment reaches record levels PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jordan Shilton   
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 00:00

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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has issued a report documenting the severe impact of the global economic crisis on employment prospects for the world’s youth. The report, “Global Employment Trends for Youth”, presents detailed statistics on the growing number of 15-to-24-year-olds who find themselves out of work.

The most striking findings are those showing the rapid rise of youth unemployment from the eruption of the financial crisis in 2008 onwards. At the end of 2009, according to the report’s introduction, global youth unemployment stood at 81 million. This was an increase of 7.8 million, or nearly 10 percent, from the end of 2007.

In percentage terms, global youth unemployment rose from 11.9 percent to 13 percent during this period, an increase described as “sharper than ever before”.

In 2009 alone, the number of young people out of work globally rose by a staggering 6.6 million. As the report noted, “To put this in perspective, over the course of the ten-year period prior to the current crisis (1996-1997 to 2006-2007), the number of unemployed youth increased, on average, by 192,000 per year”.

Wikileaks CIA Release - Say What? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Collins   
Saturday, 28 August 2010 00:00

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Wikileaks offered its first release since the controversial distribution of documents related to the United States effort in Afghanistan.

The current leak was posted to their web site on August 25. It is titled CIA Red Cell Memorandum on United States "exporting terrorism", 2 Feb 2010.

The leak describes Red Cell as a CIA unit created by the Director to develop "out-of-the-box" analysis offering "alternative viewpoints" on key intelligence issues.

This document doesn't disappoint in being out-of-the-box.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:16
US to spend $1.3 billion on Afghanistan bases PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Van Auken   
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 00:00

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Got Contract?The Pentagon is embarking on a major base construction effort in Afghanistan even as Obama administration and military officials are making it clear that the US “surge” will last well past the July 11 deadline for beginning a drawdown of US troops.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the US Congress is preparing to pass legislation providing “$1.3 billion in additional fiscal 2011 funds for multiyear construction of military facilities in Afghanistan”. These funds would cover, in part, $100 million expansions for each of three major US air bases in different parts of the country.

These projects, the Post stated, are indicative of plans “to support increased US military operations well into the future.”

A notice seeking contractor bids placed on a US government web site last week maps out plans for the expansion of one of these US bases in Shindand, an airfield in western Afghanistan that had been used by the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan more than two decades ago.

The project is to include new runways, hangars, barracks, storage areas, a “weapons arming area” and other facilities. They are being built to accommodate the Special Operations troops used by Washington to carry out “targeted killings,” i.e., assassinations, which have become a key component of the US war. They will also house a unit operating pilotless drone aircraft for purposes of “Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance” as well as missile attacks.

The request for bids states that the contract will not be issued until January of next year and that the job itself will not be completed until at least a full year after that, i.e., January 2012, six months after the deadline set by President Barack Obama for the beginning of the drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan.

Europe's Disoriented Right PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yascha Mounk   
Friday, 20 August 2010 16:05

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AT NO time since the Second World War has Europe been so firmly in the grip of right-wing leaders. From old hands like Angela Merkel in Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy in France, and Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, to the recently elected David Cameron in the UK, the center Right now governs the biggest European countries. Even the figureheads of the EU—including the presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament—have an impeccable conservative political pedigree. The only notable left-wing holdout, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain, will likely be defeated at the polls when he stands for reelection in less than two years.

With such unprecedented power, it would seem that the Right has a rare opportunity to reshape Europe in its own image. Left-wingers might fear that their adversaries will roll back the achievements of the last decades. What major political reforms, they might ask with terror in their voices, is the Right implementing? In what fundamental ways will it change Europe over the next five to ten years?

The hegemony of the Right is cause for serious concern. Even so, scared questions about the transformative political vision of Europe’s current leaders smack of hyperbole. In reality, they are strangely toothless. Their policies barely deviate from those of their left-wing predecessors. The question is: why?

Iran, Tajikistan And Afghanistan: Diplomacy Of Brotherhood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kourosh Ziabari   
Saturday, 14 August 2010 12:31

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The trilateral summit of the presidents of three Persian-speaking countries of Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan wrapped up on August 5 in Tehran and recorded another unforgettable event in the memory of the three brother nations. With innumerable cultural, religious, social, lingual and strategic commonalities, the three countries of Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan have demonstrated their potentiality to build one of the strongest diplomatic partnerships in the region and benefit the world nations through a unique, fruitful and constructive cooperation.

The people of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, whose countries were parts of the Greater Persia in ancient times, consider Iran as their cultural homeland and believe that the Iranian nation is the inheritor of their paternal legacy, the Persian civilization.

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