The Paris Peace Gambit: Everyone Gains Except the Palestinians

If you have been following the Middle East ‘peace process’ business in the last quarter of a century, you are certainly aware that the ‘negotiations table’ is nothing but a metaphor for buying time and obtaining political capital. The Israelis want time to finalize their colonial projects in building up illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land; and the Palestinian leadership uses the ‘talks’ to acquire political validations from the so-called ‘peace-brokers’, namely the United States. 

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Why Trump Now? It’s the Empire, Stupid

Source: The Nation

Amid the wreckage of the Iraq War and the Great Recession, he speaks to a constituency that sees the frontier and outward expansion as peril rather than possibility.

Is Donald Trump a fascist? It’s an interesting question that has generated insightful commentary over the past few months, with the best answers situating Trumpian illiberalism within America’s long history of racial oppression, slavery, Jim Crow apartheid, and the ongoing backlash to the loss of white privilege. But a key concept is missing from this discussion: empire. In particular, the way in which the end of the American empire—especially the exhaustion of its two most recent expressions, neoliberal economics and neoconservative militarism—has profoundly transformed its domestic politics. read more

The Role of Climate Change in the Syria Crisis

Last year, the media started joining the dots between the crisis in Syria and climate change. But they only got half the story right. They badly misrepresented the role of social movements in Syria; and they painted Syrian migrants as a source of violence and chaos. Most reporting ignored the complex relationship between climate, drought, migration and conflict.

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Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media

Source: The Intercept

Last night, the Associated Press — on a day when nobody voted — surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization’s survey of “superdelegates”: the Democratic Party’s 720 insiders, corporate donors, and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this. read more

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Conflict and terrorism cost the world trillions, says peace index

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

Global peace index, which ranks Syria bottom and Iceland top, says political instability, terrorism and conflict cost the global economy $13.6tn last year

The world’s expensive slide into violence and unrest continued last year, with conflict, terrorism and political instability costing the global economy $13.6tn (£9.3tn), according to the annual global peace index.

The 2016 index, which analysed 163 countries and territories, rates Syria the least peaceful country, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The world’s most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal. read more