The US State Department wants to open channels to non-state actors, but its policy at the practical level is still muddled.
Limiting US foreign relations to state-to-state diplomacy flies in the face of recent global developments. Since 2008, conflicts between a state and one or more non-state armed groups (NSAGs) have vastly outnumbered inter-state conflicts, according to the Human Security Report 2009/2010.
One problem that impedes engaging with NSAGs is that they are often classified as terrorist organizations. The term ‘terrorist’ is however sometimes used as a politically-motivated weapon against a target NSAG.
"While all terrorist groups are by definition NSAGs, not all NSAGs are terrorist groups," Knopf acknowledged. "But the State Department has shied away from engagement with many NSAGs."
The lead article in Friday’s New York Times business section, penned by Louis Uchitelle, praises the role of the US trade unions, in alliance with corporate management and the Obama administration, in implementing an historically unprecedented attack on the wages of US manufacturing workers.
The Obama administration’s bellicose stance towards Iran is setting the stage for a dangerous slide towards war in the Persian Gulf. Having provoked Tehran with legislation for what amounts to an oil embargo, the US is threatening Iran with military action if it retaliates by shutting down the Strait of Hormuz.
It is beneficial, and often distressing, to look back over the past year and attempt to rationalize the conduct of politicians elected to serve the American people to predict where the country is headed. The biggest news of 2011 is not the various Republican assaults on job creation, or holding the debt ceiling hostage nearly sending America into a credit default, or their extremist presidential candidates, but their sustained assault on the poor, women, children, and senior citizens. There is a famous quote that says; “The measure of a society is how it treats its weakest members”
While the unconcealed hypocrisy that led to the emergence of a new Libya fades from the public consciousness, the governments of the West are beginning to reap the profits of their investments. Under a mandate to protect civilians, these allied forces armed radical factions of Islamist fighters and showered white phosphorus tipped ordnanceonto densely populated residential areas.
The United States has signed a $3.5 billion sale of an advanced antimissile interception system to the United Arab Emirates, part of an accelerating military buildup of its friends and allies near Iran.
(calling people "anti-Semitic")
There is an old adage that puts forth a simple truth: Money talks, bullshit walks. In the case of the United States of America it can be rephrased to state 'money talks, liar warmongers die and lose'. Senator Joe Lieberman has proposed a bill that would terminate your citizenship if you stand up to the government. Well, frankly it is not theirs to give or take away for a natural born citizen. It is a birthright, not ordained by the asinine shitforbrains in Washington, DC. They are that desperate to cover up their lies, war crimes, human rights abuses and failures in Washington DC.
The coming year could be the make-or-break moment for the embattled eurozone. Europe could either continue on the path of ever-greater integration - or return to being a regional group of rival states.
EurosIt will be the year when the rescue plan for the euro presented by Germany and France this month in Brussels either takes flight upon a new spirit of European unity or falls flat amid nationalist squabbles.
"If 2011 was the year when globalization’s downside became impossible to ignore, then 2012 will likely raise the ante by another order of magnitude." --PG Capitalism's ceaseless quest to cut costs made us more jittery in 2011, and there's no relief in sight. For those looking for signs of how globalization has woven the world into a web of unexpected vulnerability, 2011 offered a bumper crop.
The coming year could be the make-or-break moment for the embattled eurozone. Europe could either continue on the path of ever-greater integration - or return to being a regional group of rival states. EurosIt will be the year when the rescue plan for the euro presented by Germany and France this month in Brussels either takes flight upon a new spirit of European unity or falls flat amid nationalist squabbles.
The council on foreign relations, one of the think tanks seen as a major contributor to the forecasting of the White House foreign policies, has lately published an opinion piece that says “Time to attack Iran”.
The Obama administration has erected a vast apparatus of global assassination involving unmanned aerial drones operated by the CIA and the military. This network of “targeted killing” machines is run in secrecy, behind the backs of the American people and with virtually no congressional oversight.
The Internet's most popular destinations, including eBay, Google, Facebook, and Twitter seem to view Hollywood-backed copyright legislation as an existential threat. It was Google co-founder Sergey Brin who warned that the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act "would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world." Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman argue that the bills give the Feds unacceptable "power to censor the Web."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has expressed his “suspicions” over the number of left wing Latin American presidents who have acquired cancer recently. “It’s difficult to explain, at this point, what is happening to some of us in Latin America,” Chavez said. “It’s strange that [Paraguayan president Fernando] Lugo, [Brazilian president] Dilma [Rousseff], and then myself, and a few days later [ex Brazilian president Luiz Inacio] Lula [Da Silva] and now Cristina [Fernandez] have contracted cancer”.
According to a study reported Tuesday, nearly half the members of the United States Congress are millionaires. Of the 535 legislators (100 members of the Senate and 435 members of the House of Representatives), at least 250 are millionaires and the median net worth is $913,000. Sixty-seven senators are millionaires and the median wealth of the body’s 100 members is $2.63 million. While the Senate has long been known as a millionaires’ club, the transformation of the House is a relatively recent phenomenon.
The withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq after nearly nine years of military occupation has been accompanied by a surge in sectarian tensions and violence that threatens to escalate into civil war. Following the explosions that ravaged Baghdad last week, there have been further attacks on government buildings in the capital and bombings and killings in the volatile cities of Fallujah, Mosul and Kirkuk.
Bloggers argue their very existence could be wiped out if the anti-piracy bill is passed. The conservative and liberal blogospheres are unifying behind opposition to Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act, with right-leaning bloggers arguing their very existence could be wiped out if the anti-piracy bill passes.
The paranoia infecting a broad swath of the American right-wing can be comical at times -- think about Orly Taitz and her fellow Birthers. But we laugh at our own peril, because what Richard Hofstadter famously characterized as "the paranoid style in American politics" poses a serious threat to our future: the right's snowballing conspiracy theories could ultimately lead to disaster.
When some Americans complain that foreign aid is wasting taxpayer money abroad that could be put to better use at home, they may not realize that today’s version of foreign aid isn’t what it used to be. Call it the Pentagon-zation of U.S. foreign assistance.
Brigadier General Vahidi says 'Zionist regime is completely isolated,' threatens deadly strikes from Iran, should Israel attack. Iran's defense minister said Sunday that any Israeli strike on Iran would constitute suicide, the official news agency IRNA reported. “The Zionist regime is completely isolated and under no circumstances it can attack Iran unless she wants to commit a suicide," IRNA quoted Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi as saying. "It is due to the fact that it will receive deadly strikes from Iran which will make it unstable."
The US Congress has ended the year 2011 by assaulting the constitution. The attack came in the form of the 2012 National Defence Appropriations Act (NDAA), which passed both the House of Representatives (14 December) and the Senate (15 December) by large margins despite having an attached provision (the "Homeland Battlefield Bill") that allows the United States military to take into custody and hold indefinitely without trial any American citizen designated a "terrorist suspect".
The issue of federal official recall has never reached the federal courts. (HELENA) - Moving quickly on Christmas Day after the US Senate voted 86 - 14 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) which allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial, Montanans have announced the launch of recall campaigns against Senators Max Baucus and Jonathan Tester, who voted for the bill.
In a study released by the International Journal of Biological Sciences, analyzing the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers found that agricultural giant Monsanto’s GM corn is linked to organ damage in rats.
Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport took her cupcake Wednesday, telling her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives. Hains, said the agent didn’t seem concerned that the cupcake could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited. She said he even offered to let her eat it away from the airport security area. Hains, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA in Boston didn’t do its job.
US defence secretary Leon Panetta: war with Iran could have dangerous consequences.There is the further risk that incidents outside Iran - in the western Gulf emirates, in Iraq, involving Hizbollah in southern Lebanon, through Israeli actions, or by sheer mistake or misunderstanding - could spark uncontrollable conflict.
Imagine if your banker offered to lend you a $150,000 to make up for the money that you’d lost on your home since the housing bubble burst in 2006. And, let’s say, he agreed to lend you this money for 3 years at rock-bottom rates of 1 percent provided that you post the contents of your garage (ie. rusty bikes, a bent basketball hoop, an old dollhouse, and rodent-infested luggage) as collateral on the loan.
The U.S. troop withdrawal leaves behind a country embittered by an occupation that's cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars. And as U.S. soldiers return home for Christmas, the mood is far from joyful among veterans struggling to deal with the personal aftermath of the war. With soaring suicide rates, it's still too early to estimate the true cost of the invasion. Our correspondent Liz Wall reports.
Israeli Rabbi who teaches that “the sole purpose of non-Jews is to serve Jews” plans to tap support of Sephardic Jews in US. In its 30 years of existence, Shas has evolved from a marginal ethnic political group to Israel’s fourth largest party in the Knesset and is today the unchallenged kingmaker of Israeli politics.
Too bad Kim Jong-il kicked the bucket last weekend. If the divine hand that laid low the North Korean leader had held off for a week or so, Kim would have been sustained by the news that President Obama had signed into law a bill that puts the United States not immeasurably far from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in contempt of constitutional protections for its citizens or constitutional restraints upon criminal behavior sanctioned by the state.
Forget monetary policy. Re-examining the cause of the Great Depression—the revolution in agriculture that threw millions out of work—the author argues that the U.S. is now facing and must manage a similar shift in the “real” economy, from industry to service, or risk a tragic replay of 80 years ago.
LISBON - The most far-reaching programme of privatisation of state enterprises in the history of Portugal kicked off Thursday with the sale of almost all of the state's shares in the Energias de Portugal (EDP) utility to China's Three Gorges Corp. The Chinese company paid 3.5 billion dollars for a 21 percent stake, beating out Germany's E.ON and Brazil's Eletrobras and Cemeg, and making it the largest shareholder. The state was left with less than four percent of the shares in the power company.
Thousands have left Europe this year in search of employment and a more relaxed lifestyle in Buenos Aires. The newly elected prime minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, caused a minor scandal during his electoral campaign earlier this year when he claimed that "1,200 young Spaniards are emigrating to Argentina each month" due to his country's economic crisis.
A series of developments - in Iraq, the United States and Iran itself - nudges the balance of calculation towards an attack on Tehran. The additional danger is that this could happen by inadvertence.
You’ve probably noticed that our government and corporate-owned media treat the Occupy Movement differently from the Tea Party. Think back to how some Tea Partiers brought guns to their protests, where some protesters even suggested killing President Obama. They weren’t pepper-sprayed. They weren’t bashed in the head, and they weren’t even told to take their guns home.
Top experts – including the sponsors of the bill – say that the newly-passed National Defense Authorization Act authorizes indefinite detention of Americans living within the United States. Top legal experts point out that the government claims the right to assassinate American citizens on U.S. soil without any charges, trial or other constitutional protection.
Canada has announced its intention to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty on greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), sandbagging the other signatories to the convention. The Kyoto protocol, initially adopted in Kyoto, Japan in 1997, was designed to combat global warming with the agreement allowing countries like China and India take voluntary, but non-binding steps to reduce their greenhouse gas carbon emissions.
After seven days of testimony and the submission of more than 300,000 pages of documents, a key question remains unanswered in the case against Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. How exactly did his leak of hundreds of thousands of secret documents, logs and at least one video — which he passed to WikiLeaks — directly harm U.S. national security?
In a nation where corporations are people and others want fetuses to be, a core of philosophers and attorneys are trying develop laws to declare animals “legal persons.” On December 19, 1994, animal protection lawyer Steven Wise — a deeply patient man — was frustrated. A decade into his 25-year plan to upend the fundamental legal principle that animals are property or “things” with no more rights than a table or bicycle, he was barely making a dent.
Earlier this year, long before Occupy Wall Street turned Zuccotti Park into Liberty Plaza, Stephen Lerner, a longtime labor organizer with SEIU and mastermind of the Justice for Janitors campaign, wrote in New Labor Forum of “large-scale sit-ins, occupations, and other forms of nonviolent civil disobedience that must inevitably overcome court injunctions and political pressures.”
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