June 12, 2012 by Ben Campbell
Obama displayed an exceptional ability to inspire confidence in his promises during the 2008 campaign. One such promise was his pledge to actively pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians—an issue he did not shy away from on the campaign trail. Although Obama implemented an assertive and logical plan to resolve the conflict early in his presidency (something his predecessors avoided), the administration’s policies and diplomatic efforts have proven strikingly unsuccessful.
What happened over the past three and a half years, and why did a well-intentioned and forthright policy go wrong?
June 12, 2012 by John Kmiecik
For Athens, the birthplace of democracy, the time has come to decide the fate of the European Union (EU), the most ambitious political experiment in the world. Fate is maybe too strong a word, but the Greek elections on June 17, 2012 will surely go down in the history books as a watershed moment in the Euro Crisis, but what makes this election important?
In November 2011, former Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a referendum to be held over Greece’s continued commitment to the IMF/ECB (International Monetary Fund/European Central Bank) financial bailout package or more simply whether to abandon the Euro. Papandreou later called off the referendum due to political pressure but he resigned as a result. This ushered in an interim coalition government headed by Lucas Papademos, former Vice-President of the ECB, which lasted until elections in May 2012.
June 12, 2012 by George Grevett
Cyprus today hinted that it was seeking a €5 billion loan from the Russian authorities to bolster its bank’s capital levels before a key regulatory deadline at the end of June.
This assistance would follow a €2.5 billion loan in 2011 from the Kremlin which the island nation has been fully dependent on having been effectively shutout of capital markets. There had been signs over the past couple of days that Cyprus would formally request financial aid from the current Eurozone bailout fund, the EFSF, but this has yet to materialize, although it has not entirely been ruled out by the Cypriot authorities who claim to be “considering all available options”.
June 12, 2012 by Johan Galtung
The multi-season Arab Spring is the third anti-imperialist Arab revolt in less than a century: against the Ottoman empire, against the Western Italian–French–English empire, and now the US-Israel empire. The empires hit back. The Ottomans were weak, but England–France–Israel even invaded Egypt in 29 October 1956––in the shadow of the Hungarian revolt against the Soviet empire that crumbled nearly a quarter century later. And now it is the turn of USA–Israel to try to maintain an illegitimate structure.
So much for the background. In the foreground is class, pitting the powerless at the bottom against the powerful at the top. Wealth flows upward, accelerated by corruption; military, police and secret police forces protect the top against revolts; decision-making is by dictatorships; all of this that used to be justified by the fight against communism is now hitched on to fight against Islamism.