16 Sep

Events of Interest and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

Cardinal Walter Kasper in Moscow in 2004

Pressure grows for ‘third world’ cardinal to say sorry

A papal aide who compared the UK to a “Third World country” was facing growing pressure to apologise today as the Pope flew in for his historic visit………………………..


Rupert Cornwell: This civil war spells only bad news for the US in the long term

The US faces huge challenges best settled by compromise and bipartisanship. These are anathema to the Tea Party

The Republican Party has got what it asked for: civil war. That is the main message of the US primary season which wrapped up this week, and it may be very good news for the Democrats in the short term. But it is very bad news for America in the longer term.

Primaries, when voters choose each party’s candidate for the general election, normally pass virtually unnoticed in a non-presidential year. They tend to be a hodge-podge of local contests, with no discernable national pattern, the feeblest of curtain-raisers for the main event on the first Tuesday in November. Not however in this year of America’s discontent, 2010………………………………


Roma expulsions cloud EU summit

Anger simmers as justice commissioner says sorry for likening deportations to wartime persecution of Jews


Drone attack in Pakistan kills at least 12

15 Sep 2010: Latest US air attack targets Haqqani network linked to al-Qaida, but it’s unclear whether militants or civilians were killed……………………………………………………..


Fraud fears over Afghan election

Opposition leader says elections should go ahead despite the wide circulation of fake voter registration cards.


Afghanistan’s main opposition leader has said that Saturday’s parliamentary elections should take place despite evidence that thousands of fake voter-registration cards are in circulation across the country.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Thursday, Abdullah Abdullah, who was the main contender to Hamid Karzai in the 2009 presidential election, said: “There are shortcomings in the elections… but this is the only way forward.

“I think at this stage, the only thing that we can do is call on our people to participate in the elections and be observers and monitors [themselves by not buying] fake cards from sources.”

Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton, in an exclusive report from Jalalabad, a city east of Kabul, said fake cards were being sold in the country for just over 300 Pakistani rupees [roughly $3] each, were printed in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.


Obama edges to the dark side

Possibly the most dramatic mea culpa in Presidential history, Bill Clinton, newly appointed as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, admitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US policy of compelling poor developing countries to buy US agricultural products at subsidised prices, which destroyed local agricultural sectors, was a disaster.

“I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else.”

For where Clinton helped lay the groundwork for the demilitarisation of America’s political and economic systems through his uncritical embrace of neoliberalism (which, despite the “liberal” in the label, inevitably leads to neoconservatism and war), Obama, with the greatest of care and deliberation, is heading to the ‘dark side’ that the millions of Americans who voted for him did so with the justified expectation that he’d avoid.

Politics of insanity?

The warning signs that President Obama’s trajectory would depart from his campaign rhetoric were clear from the beginning. Like when the newly minted President chose for his senior economic advisor’s men like Lawrence Summer, Clinton’s one time Treasury Secretary, who were responsible for the policies that besides destroying Haiti’s rice crop, also enabled a million and one corporate get rich schemes such as the sub-prime mortgage bonanza whose collapse has left the country in its current disastrous condition.

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