TNI News: 5 October 2006

05 October 2006

TNI News: 5 October 2006.

In this edition of TNI News you will find:

New TNI Fellow

TNI is delighted to announce the appointment of Kamil Mahdi as a new Fellow of the Institute. Mahdi is a lecturer in the Economics of the Middle East at the University of Exeter (UK). He is also secretary of the International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, researching Iraq's economy, politics and modern history including the politics and economics of sanctions, conflict and occupation.

Carbon trading: a critical view

Market-based responses do little to mitigate the global threat of climate change according to “Carbon Trading,” a new book edited by Larry Lohmann. The book’s authors take issue with a new market which hands the rights to the atmosphere to transnational corporations, incentivising a business-as-usual approach to the environment rather than promoting investment in alternative energy sources. The book’s authors, all of whom participate in the Durban Group for Climate Justice, argue that carbon trading tends towards a redistribution of wealth from poor to rich, while the impossibility of measuring what is being traded and the complexity of the new carbon markets makes them a likely target for fraud. The book also provides a short history of carbon trading, and offers nine case studies of the outcomes of various carbon offset schemes.

Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privatisation and Power
Edited by Larry Lohmann
Development & Dialogue No. 48, September 2006

Carbon Trade Watch

Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation

Mercosur: between market and security

Mercosur: entre doctrinas, mercado y seguridad
Adriana Rossi
TNI Briefing series 2006/3
Mercosur, a regional trade bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and, more recently, Venezuela, has always been seen by Washington as both a security threat and an opportunity to promote free trade. The presidencies of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia, an associate member of Mercosur, have only augmented Washington’s wish to undermine its capacity to provide continental leadership. Andriana Rossi charts the challenges to Mercosur.

Cocaine base paste

The cocaine base paste market in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil

El paco bajo la lupa:
El mercado de la pasta base de cocaína en el Cono Sur

Drogas & Conflicto documentos de debate 14
TNI Briefing series 2006/4
Based on two studies carried out in the cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this report examines the origin, characteristics and impact of the explosive increase in cocaine base paste - “paco” - in urban areas. It also questions the possible cause-and-effect relationship between this increase and the transformation in the structure of drugs trafficking in Argenitna, Uruguay and southern Brazil.

New from our network

A Siamese Tragedy
By Walden Bello
The military coup in Thailand is an expression of a larger trend – a deep crisis of legitimacy among elite democracies that came into being in the 1980s and 1990s. The destabilising impact of the IMF upon Thailand should not be forgotten, argues Bello.

Europe's New Second Tier
By Boris Kagarlitsky
The accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU has created a precedent: both countries were accepted into the Union essentially as second-rate members. The EU is a confederation in form but is becoming an empire in essence, writes Kagarlitsky.

Musharraf's Memoir Sets Cats Among Pigeons
By Praful Bidwai
By launching his memoir amidst a two week-long high-powered publicity blitz across three continents, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has set a cat, or rather several cats, among the pigeons.

Imagine there’s no leaders
By Hilary Wainwright and Steve Platt
Imagine there’s no leaders. It’s easy if you try...But is it? Three leaders representing parties of different shades of the left – Tony Blair, Tommy Sheridan and President Lula – have each arguably all but destroyed the parties they were elected to represent. Such leadership crises are part and parcel of the left tradition. So what is it about the left and its leaders? What kind of leadership do we want – or need?

Lula “de novo”: a letter from Brazil
By Fred Halliday
Brazil's government led by President Lula has presided over a wave of corruption scandals and proved unable to bridge immense social divisions. But voters still seem prepared to give Lula another chance, reports Fred Halliday in Rio de Janeiro.

See also
In the Eye of the Storm
Edited by Hilary Wainwright and Sue Branford

Just Say No to War in Iran
By Phyllis Bennis
A recent US Senate report claimed that Iran is enriching weapons-grade uranium - a lie that forced even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to issue a rebuke. The political logic is clear though, says Bennis, as senators ratchet up the pressure for a war in Iran.

Threats of War in Iran, U.S.-Driven Violence Surges in the Region
By Phyllis Bennis
The Bush administration has a history of engaging in reckless military acts, so the threat of war in Iran cannot be dismissed. The threat of war in Iran can also help to explain the US government’s renewed interest in resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict, an initiative designed to ensure Arab governments’ acquiescence to broader US foreign policy objectives in the region.

The Roadmap to Nowhere
An Interview with Tanya Reinhart, by Eric Hazan
With the Israeli military increasingly taking key decisions, the Israeli political system is gradually crumbling, says Tanya Reinhart. In her latest book, “The Road Map to Nowhere,” she traces the legacy of Ariel Sharon’s government as pointing towards eternal war. She praises the daily endurance of the Palestinians, and draws hope from the growing non-violent struggle of Palestinians against the West Bank wall.

Post-Castro Cuba
By Saul Landau
Cuba after Fidel will not find a leader to match Castro’s charisma, but the new leadership – whether individual or by committee – will share his political philosophy, predicts Landau.

A litmus test of impartiality
By Praful Bidwai
The fairness of investigations into the Malegaon blasts, which targeted Muslims and killed 30 people, will decide whether the Indian state can re-establish its secular credentials and win Muslim hearts, writes Bidwai.

Grist for the ‘degree mills’
By Praful Bidwai
India and Pakistan are coming under growing pressure to open up their higher education system to foreign institutions. Bidwai urges self-reliance.

Ten Reasons Why the Wal-Mart Pundits Are Wrong
By John Cavanagh and Sarah Anderson
Busting the myths about Wal-Mart

A killing a day keeps democracy away
Millet Morante interviewd by Oscar Reyes
Left activists in the Philippines are being killed at an alarming rate. Oscar Reyes spoke to Millet Morante, a leading figure in Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD, Movement for National Democracy) and Laban Ng Masa (Struggle of the Masses), a coalition of progressive organisations and political parties.