No Picture
Global News and Analysis

For Unionists, Iraq’s Oil War Rages On

Source: In These Times

Many Iraqi oil workers thought the fall of Saddam Hussein would mean they would finally be free to organize unions, and that their nationally owned industry would be devoted to financing the reconstruction of the country. But the reality could not have been more different. Earlier this month, the head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hassan Juma’a (below right), was hauled into a Basra courtroom and accused of organizing strikes, a charge for which he could face prison time. The union he heads is still technically illegal: Saddam’s ban on public-sector unions was the sole Saddam-era dictate kept in place under the U.S. occupation, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki hasn’t shown any interest in changing it since most U.S. troops left. read more

No Picture
Global News and Analysis

Why are There no Peace Correspondents?

Source: The Progressive

Why are there no peace correspondents?

War correspondents are omnipresent on cable news networks—in fact, they’re the superstars of TV journalism. Anchors are just a pretty face, perched on swivel chairs and shuffling papers on top of laminate countertops. The war correspondent, however, plays the role of the beautiful, disheveled hero brazenly sending dispatches from a conflict zone.

Compare Anderson Cooper, the fluffy daytime television show host, to Anderson Cooper, reporting live from Kandahar—rolled-up sleeves, wind-swept hair, bombs literally detonating behind him. One of these two versions of Anderson made himself into a superstar — and it’s not the one in front of a studio audience, discussing the finer points of “Real Housewives.” read more

No Picture
Global News and Analysis

How the Pentagon Corrupted Afghanistan

Source: TomDispatch.com

Washington has vociferously denounced Afghan corruption as a major obstacle to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. This has been widely reported. Only one crucial element is missing from this routine censure: a credible explanation of why American nation-building failed there. No wonder. To do so, the U.S. would have to denounce itself.

Corruption in Afghanistan today is acute and permeates all sectors of society. In recent years, anecdotal evidence on the subject has been superseded by the studies of researchers, surveys by NGOs, and periodic reports by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). There is also the Corruption Perceptions Index of the Berlin-based Transparency International (TI). Last year, it bracketed Afghanistan with two other countries as the most corrupt on Earth. read more