OBAMA & THE FAILURE TO REDEFINE FOREIGN POLICY

 

 

Obama’s foreign policy has certainly been disappointing: the promise of engagement with the Middle East, to put solve the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict, the reset with Russia, the missed opportunities with Iran & North Korea, & the escalation of tension with China. The past 20 years has seen a general increase in the militarisation of US foreign policy, which Obama was supposed to move away from, but has effectively increased. Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Political Commentary: International | Tagged | 1 Comment

TWEEDLE DUM & TWEEDLE DEE: NEW LABOUR & THE BETRAYAL OF THE LEFT IN THE UK. A Reply to the Alexander – Miliband Missive.

In an article published in the Observer [9-9-2012] two of the great intellectual heavyweights of New Labour, apparently, wrote from their eyrie at the Democratic Convention at Charlotte, that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband was risking becoming dangerously left wing. This was strange, as the direction of the Labour Party under his leadership could only be described as moderately social democratic. Furthermore, after 13 years in power of New Labour [what the Blair administration referred to itself as in order to signal its break from social democracy to neoliberalism après Clinton & his failed experiment in the US (prior to this it was just the Labour Party - when they were a left of centre party)] has much to be modest about, & serious reflection ought to revolve around why they missed such a golden opportunity to develop a progressive left leaning political consensus, & how to usher one in in the future [although they are unlikely, in the foreseeable future, to have such  auspicious circumstances as heralded their assumption of power in 1997 Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Domestic Politics | Tagged , | 5 Comments

SELF SERVING DECEPTION & PROPAGANDA: THE THOUGHT OF RICHARD HASS. A Reply to Hass’s Al Jazeera ‘Opinion’ Article ‘The legacy of the 9/11 terrorists’.

 

What is the point of this article, other than as a propaganda piece for the lamentable conduct of US foreign policy in recent history, &over the past decade in particular. Perhaps this is unsurprising given who wrote it, & his baleful influence over US policy in the Middle East. Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Middle East, Political Commentary: International | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

YET ANOTHER TURD FROM THE NEW SCHOOL SAVANT; A response to Tarik Barkawi’s ‘ Invasions and evasions: The Tutu-Blair paradox’ – Al Jazeera Opinion Article

This is another partial & misleading article from Barkawi. To start off with Tutu’s attack was not concerned with political ‘success’, whatever that might be, but with ethics, & in this regard his remarks were entirely apposite. Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Domestic Politics, Middle East, Political Commentary: International | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

‘SPRINGS': PEOPLE, POWER, & LIBERTY

.

‘Spreading’, or, ‘making the world safe for democracy’ has been the reason propounded by the US neoconservatives for visiting ‘shock & awe’ across the world, be in Central America in the 1980s, or the Middle East during the past decade. The benefits of democracy are not just for the world of course, the people then can have self-determination & decide their government for themselves. They can reach ‘maturity’ by becoming an autonomous people. The West gives itself a self congratulatory pat on the back in having created societies which are a reflection of themselves, the epitome of human civilisation & achievement. Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Middle East, Political Commentary: International | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A NEW GEOPOLITICAL ORDER ? DEMOCRACY & THE EXIGENCIES OF REALPOLTIK

The idealism of justice & harmony governing international relations is nothing new. It has a long history in liberalism & socialism, incorporating such diverse figures as Marx & Adam Smith. In formal diplomacy it was supposed to be the underlying principle of Versailles & the founding of the League of Nations, the Kellog – Chateaubriand Pact, &, in part, the UN, although, as Falks noted, is a hybrid institution, partly due to the failures of the League, consisting of a wider ‘family’ of nations & peoples, & progressive organisations like the ILO & WHO, yet, in effect, presided over by the ‘Great Powers’. Whilst serving as a forum for international diplomacy, which has been important in the discussion of conflicts, it has ushered in an age of ethical statecraft. For example, despite UN Resolutions having been passed on the Israel/ Palestine question, they have not been implemented. Indeed, attempts at intervention have been so nugatory that the resolutions themselves have become otiose, & the conflict has been addressed by the ‘Great Powers’ in such a way as to negate the very principles of the UN itself. Israeli/ Palestinian conflict resolution has moved outside the UN to the Oslo process, & then to the US, & has failed there too. This in itself shows the ‘Great Powers’ commitment to the ethical principles which underpin the UN, & which they themselves espouse. Moreover, the failure to bring about a change in the conduct in high diplomacy can be seen as the motivating factor behind the founding of the Non Aligned Movement at Bandung in 1955. Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Political Commentary: International | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ACHESON, THE JUBILEE & THE CRISIS OF IDENTITY

Fifty years ago Dean Acherson stated that ‘Britain has lost an Empire and has not yet find a role in the world’. This perspicacious thought has rather ironically been answered by becoming the US’s most supine puppet state: a Zhivkov to Brezenev relationship. This fawning runs very deeply within the British establishment. The BBC has a policy of never broadcasting anything which could be conceived as being critical of US foreign policy; indeed Justin Webb has fulminated on air at the notion that the US is an imperialistic power, Pinter’s Nobel Prize address was not broadcasted, & the portrayal of current events in Syria has been uncritically one-sided. The list could go on & on [we even have the indignity of the death of Hollywood composers receiving on air obituaries]. This pusillanimous obsequiousness is, apparently, because, as Ming Campbell, the Lib Dem doyen of ‘progressive’ foreign policy, says, ‘our shared values’. Of course, being a contemptible pawn of a foreign power is not finding a position in the world so much as losing yourself, your identity & your dignity. This year has been Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. On her accession around a third of all British people felt that she had been given to them by God. It is touching to note that compulsory education to the age of sixteen in a modern state, & the massive expansion of higher education, has not done much to alter the capacity of the British to think in the intervening sixty years. Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Critique, Domestic Politics, Political Commentary: International | Tagged , | Leave a comment