30 September 2013

Breeding terror in Guantanamo?

Al Jazeera

A September 18 dispatch from Reuters announces:
"A former prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay US naval base died fighting for anti-government rebels in Syria, according to an Islamist opposition group which posted a video of his funeral on YouTube".
Held in Guantanamo from 2002 until 2006, Moroccan-born Mohammed al Alami is reportedly the first former prisoner to perish in the war in Syria. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA

15 September 2013

Iran's 'invisible army' in Latin America

Al Jazeera

When contemplating the logistics of a possible war with Iran, it is helpful to consult maps indicating the multitude of US military bases that already encircle a country under crippling economic sanctions.

No similar visual aids are available for Iranian bases in the vicinity of the US, for obvious reasons.

However, there are various ways to compensate for the lack of an apparent Iranian threat in the western hemisphere. One is to blame it on "invisibleness". READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

11 September 2013

From banana republic to banana democracy

Al Jazeera

Banana distributor Chiquita Brands International recently published a corporate social responsibility report that swears a "commitment to high ethical, social and environmental standards across the entire organisation".

In the introduction to the report, CEO Ed Lonergan exalts the corporation's "multitude of partnerships, collaborations and local initiatives that have empowered local communities and delivered meaningful improvements to our company".

Of course, some of Chiquita's contemporary partnerships appear to be somewhat lacking in the ethical standards department. In 2007, for example, the outfit was fined $25m in a US federal court for having made payments to Colombian groups designated by the US State Department as foreign terrorist organisations. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

10 September 2013

Different War, Same Columnist


Back in February 2011, New Republic offered a summary of a Thomas Friedman column “edited down to nothing but mixed metaphors and clichés.” It begins:
A wake-up call’s mother is unfolding.  At the other end is a bell, which is telling us we have built a house at the foot of a volcano. The volcano is spewing lava, which says move your house.