29 August 2013

Lebanon's permanent 'interim' UN force

Al Jazeera

The latest press release from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) concerns the August 22 firing of rockets from Lebanon in the direction of Israel and the August 23 Israeli "retaliatory bombing" of a site in Lebanon nowhere near the rocket-firing location. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

24 August 2013

Those exotic Arabs, and other Orientalist fetishes

Al Jazeera

In the introduction to his masterpiece Orientalism, the late Edward Said writes of "the Orient" as "almost a European invention... a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences".

Indeed, the exoticisation of the "Other" is a subtler component of Western hegemony, comprised of caricatures that are premised on and reinforce a denial of indigenous agency. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.

21 August 2013

Mutual Opportunism in Ugandan–Israeli Relations


Israel’s relations with Uganda over the past five-plus decades epitomize how military ties and business investments ebb and flow with the currents of regional politics. These are halcyon days for mutual opportunism in Israeli-Ugandan relations. 
In some ways, the cooperative present harkens back to the early 1960s. In that decade of African independence, Israel was eager to win friends and influence economics on the continent. According to Arye Oded, a former Israeli ambassador to various African countries, 
Israel wanted to break through the encirclement of hostile Arab countries and open a way to a nearby continent, and especially East Africa. Moreover, as the number of independent African countries steadily increased during that decade, Israel wanted to gain their support at the United Nations and in international conferences. Israel also had commercial, economic, and strategic interests in Africa.

20 August 2013

Thomas Friedman’s “FLOP” – First Law of Petropolitics

NYT eXaminer

This is a book excerpt from Belén Fernández’s The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work (Verso).

By Belén Fernández:

One overly simplistic theory that somehow continues to elude the very minimal amount of scrutiny that is required to debunk it is Friedman’s First Law of Petropolitics, which I will refer to by its convenient acronym. The FLOP, which debuted in Foreign Policy magazine in 2006, posits that “in oil-rich petrolist states, the price of oil and the pace of freedom tend to move in opposite directions.” READ MORE AT NYTeXaminer.

15 August 2013

A boost for the terror industry

Al Jazeera

In the midst of the recent global travel warning and frenetic closure of 21 US embassies and consulates from Mauritania to Bangladesh , the State Department explained: "[W]e are concerned about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks against U.S. persons or facilities overseas, especially emanating from the Arabian Peninsula". READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA.