There were plenty of important statements from Pope Francis during his recent three-day trip to Palestine and Israel—including a plea for “justice,” a traditional call for peace and a reference to the “State of Palestine”—but at the end of the day it was all about the photo-ops.
The Butcher of Beirut, as he was long known, is no more. After eight years in a coma, during which the militaristic hard-right leader was re-branded a peacenik, Israeli General Ariel Sharon was finally pronounced dead.
The threat of a reckless, dangerous, and illegal US or US-led assault on Syria is looking closer than ever. However any attack will not protect civilians—it will mean taking sides once again in a bloody, complicated civil war.
What the civil war in Syria has exposed is that the massive political and social transformation, and real regime change under way is led by people themselves. US military involvement serves only to escalate the destruction.
India’s neighbourhood is in great turmoil, but New Delhi seems unable to fashion a coherent, balanced, mature and self-confident response to it. In particular, India has dealt with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal in confused and indecisive, if not wholly inept, ways.
While Israel moved away from the far right in last month’s elections, the new coalition is unlikely to alter the occupation. Change may come from divestment campaigns, the new UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, and in the Israeli and Palestinian campaigns of nonviolent resistance.
Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU for maintaining peace is like crediting Alexander Graham Bell for the i-phone. Since its formation in 1993, the EU has increasingly shunned peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.
The U.S. is 11 years into its current war in Afghanistan and still losing. We never had a chance to "win" this war of vengeance – and while few in Washington are ready to admit that, they’ve continued to revise and redefine just what "winning" might look like.
Ten years and two wars later, Americans face the monetary and psychological costs of both militarism and Wall Street materialism, effectively bankrupting the country; not to mention the casualties of war at home, and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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.