Revelations of UK covert propaganda operation to counter extremism reveals dangers of secretive state-sponsored 'civil society' initiatives. A healthy democracy depends on civil society groups staying independent of government and corporations, or otherwise open about their relationship.
Ben Hayes, Gavin Sullivan, Louise Boon-Kuo, Vicki Sentas
16 February 2015
For those interested in peace and the non-violent resolution of conflict the prognosis is not good. Not just because the war on terror keeps producing enemies with whom, it is said, there is no negotiating, but because the legal and political framework it has engendered has transformed the way in which political violence and armed conflict is understood and managed.
Making banks and non-profits liable for the acts and social networks of their customers and beneficiaries while holding charities and CSOs responsible for the ‘extremist’ views and actions of their associates stifles freedom of association and expression and promotes self-censorship.
The media and government celebration over the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to allow the extradition of five individuals accused of terrorist offences from Britain to the USA obscures one of the most undemocratic, one-sided and duplicitous treaties that our political masters have ever signed.
It wasn’t the events of September 11th that changed the world, but the events of September 12th and beyond, when the Bush administration took the world to war in response; that changed the world, and continues to threaten U.S. and global security, and shred U.S. democracy.
Debate over the 10-year-plus war in Afghanistan tends to focus on how and when it "can be won," obscuring the fundamental question of whether it was morally acceptable in the first place. Now as the US gets closer to consolidating its imperial presence in the region for decades to come, the high cost to the Afghani people continues to be ignored.
Israel's defence minister spends much more time in Washington than the nation's pro-"ethnic cleansing" foreign minister; no wonder when the US is committing hundreds of billions of US taxes to Israel's militarization.
Israel's practice of illegal assasinations, such as the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhough in Dubai, is in line with its ruthless policy of consolidating its occupation, expanding illegal settlements, and tightening its economic hold over Palestinians — in defiance of Security Council resolutions and global opinion.
Obama's Cairo speech shifted the discourse, away from justifying reckless imperial hubris, unilateralism and militarism and towards a more cooperative and potentially even internationalist approach. It is the task of people across the US to mobilise and turn that new language into new policies.