Archive for April, 2012

Ignore the markets – or how to really defeat the economic crisis

By Jonathan Power

What have these eleven countries in common – Finland, Norway, Canada, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Australia and, to a lesser extent, the US, Russia, Sweden and Denmark? They have not put themselves through the economic purge and their economies are growing at a reasonable rate. Not for them savage cuts in social services and public investment combined with lower wages. They have kept their economies purring. They are pro-Keynesian – a policy attributed to John Maynard Keynes, the most brilliant economist of the last century, in an age when there were many brilliant economists, both of the left, the middle and the right. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Europe is not yet a ‘Culture of Peace’

By Richard Falk

It is undoubtedly true that the greatest unacknowledged achievement of the European Union (EU) is to establish ‘a culture of peace’ within its regional enclosure for the 68 years since 1944. This has meant not only the absence of war in Europe, but also the absence of ‘war talk,’ threats, crises, and sanctions, with the single important exception of the NATO War of 1999 that was part of the fallout from the breakup of former Yugoslavia.

This was undertaken by the American-led alliance both to accomplish the de facto independence of Kosovo from Serbian rule, to ensure the post-Cold War viability of NATO, to reinforce the lesson of the Gulf War (1991) that the West could win wars at low costs due to their military superiority, and to rescue Albanian Kosovars from a possible humanitarian catastrophe at the hands of their Serb oppressors. Read the rest of this entry »

For a denuclearized Middle East

By Daisaku Ikeda (*)
© IPS 2012

TOKYO, Mar (IPS) – In recent months, the dispute over the nature and intent of the Iranian nuclear development programme has generated increasing tensions throughout the Middle East region. When I consider all that is at stake here, I am reminded of the words of the British historian Arnold Toynbee, who warned that the perils of the nuclear age constituted a “Gordian knot that has to be untied by patient fingers instead of being cut by the sword.”

Amidst growing concerns that these tensions will erupt into armed conflict, I urge the political leaderships in all relevant states to recognize that now is the time to muster the courage of restraint and seek the common ground on which the current impasse can be resolved. Read the rest of this entry »

India uphill or downhill?

By Jonathan Power

When the distinguished foreign policy expert, former US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, told me a couple of years ago that he worried about the stability of India I thought he was way off track. Living in Calcutta at the time, democracy seemed to be thriving and both the state of West Bengal and most of the country were very clearly developing fast.

But that was before the crises of the last year. One major financial scandal has followed another. Read the rest of this entry »

Military intervention in Syria is a bad idea

By Stephen Zunes

Although the impulse to try to end the ongoing repression by the Syrian regime against its own people through foreign military intervention is understandable, it would be a very bad idea.

Empirical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that international military interventions in cases of severe repression actually exacerbate violence in the short term and can only reduce violence in the longer term if the intervention is impartial or neutral. Other studies demonstrate that foreign military interventions actually increase the duration of civil wars, making the conflicts longer and bloodier, and the regional consequences more serious, than if there were no intervention. In addition, military intervention would likely trigger a “gloves off” mentality that would dramatically escalate the violence on both sides. Read the rest of this entry »

Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike has ended, but not her punishment

By Richard Falk

As with Khader Adnan, Israel supposedly compromised with Hana Shalabi on the 43rd day of her hunger strike in protest against administrative detention and her abysmal treatment. But Israel’s concept of ‘compromise’ if considered becomes indistinguishable from the imposition of a further ‘vindictive punishment.’

How else to interpret Israel’s unlawful order to coercively exile (not technically deportation because she is being sent to a location within occupied Palestine) Hana Shalabi for three years to the Gaza Strip, far from her home village of Burqin in the northern part of the West Bank, and more significantly, far from her grief-struck family? Read the rest of this entry »


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