Obama’s New Oil Wars: Washington Takes on ISIS, Iran, and Russia
by Michael T. Klare
t was heinous. It was underhanded. It was beyond the bounds of international morality. It was an attack on the American way of life. It was what you might expect from unscrupulous Arabs.
It was “the oil weapon” -- and back in 1973, it was directed at the United States. Skip ahead four decades and it’s smart, it’s effective, and it’s the American way.
The Obama administration has appropriated it as a major tool of foreign policy, a new way to go to war with nations it considers hostile without relying on planes, missiles, and troops. It is, of course, that very same oil weapon.
Until recently, the use of the term “the oil weapon
” has largely been identified with the efforts of Arab producers to dissuade the United States from supporting Israel by cutting off the flow of petroleum. The most memorable example of its use was the embargo
imposed by Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on oil exports to the United States during the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, causing scarcity in the U.S., long lines at American filling stations, and a global economic recession.
Created on Friday, 10 October 2014 12:32
Written by David Swanson
Urgent: Right-Left Alliance Needed to Stop This War!
by David Swanson
- Ron Paul InstituteL
ast year, public pressure played a big role in stopping US missile strikes on Syria. The biggest difference between then and now was that televisions weren't telling people that ISIS might be coming to their neighborhood to behead them. There were other, smaller differences as well: Britain's opposition, Russia's opposition, and the difficulty of explaining to Americans that it now made sense to join a war on the same side as al Qaeda.
But there's another big difference between last year and this year. Last year was not a Congressional election year.
With elections coming this November, Congress declared an early vacation in September and fled town in order to avoid voting a new war up or down. It did this while fully aware that the President would proceed with the war illegally. Most Congress members, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Leader Harry Reid, believe that by allowing a war to happen without explicitly voting for or against it they can best win our votes for re-election without offending their funders.
Congress members have good reason to think that way.
Created on Friday, 10 October 2014 12:22
Written by Mohammed Omer
Sinai Hit Hard by Egypt's Child Labour Problem
by Mohammad Omer
- Middle East EyeSINAI, Egypt
he worn-out plastic sandals on his feet looked like they have travelled a great distance - to school, to his work and to his home, and everywhere in-between.
At 3am, he is stood shivering in the cold Sinai Desert night air, as he tries to sell his wares to truck drivers in a rest area. “Tissues for two pounds,” said 11-year-old tissue-seller Karim Mustapha.
“This is what I do right now to support my sick father and mother,” said Karim, who is just one of 2.7 million Egyptian children involved in such labour in Egypt.
8-year-old Mohammed sells nuts on the side of the road (MEE / Mohammed Omer)
This a meagre source of income for the Mustapha family - they are not on the agenda of any organisation in Egypt, so do not receive any donations from charities or welfare groups - and are among one of the poorest groups in the population who have no other option but to send their young children to work.
Read more: No Dickens for Sinai's "Olivers"?
Created on Friday, 10 October 2014 12:14
Written by Fran Quigley
From Cradle to Grave, the U.S. Protected Jean-Claude Duvalier
by Fran Quigley
n February of 2013, I stood in a sweaty, overcrowded Port-au-Prince courtroom and watched as Jean-Claude Duvalier answered questions about hundreds of his political opponents being arrested, imprisoned, and killed during his tenure as Haiti’s “President for Life.”
Many of Duvalier’s rivals were held in the notorious three prisons known collectively as the “Triangle of Death”—Casernes Dessalines, Fort Dimanche, and the National Penitentiary. One political prisoner held in the Casernes Dessalines recalls being placed in a cell underneath the grounds of the National Palace, where Duvalier lived. The prisoner was led to an area so dark he could not see, but a guard’s torchlight revealed the man was locked in a room amid the skeletons of former prisoners.
At the court hearing I attended, Duvalier ducked responsibility, saying that the killing and oppression was done without his knowledge.
Then he walked out of that courtroom a free man, which is how he died earlier this month, at age 63.
The dictator in happier days
Created on Friday, 10 October 2014 11:55
Written by Jonathan Cook
Israel and the g-word: We need a better word than ‘occupation’
by Jonathan CookI
sraeli officials were caught in a revealing lie late last month as the country celebrated the Jewish New Year. Shortly after declaring the most popular boy’s name in Israel to be “Yosef”, the interior ministry was forced to concede that the top slot was actually filled by “Mohammed”.
That small deceit coincided with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations. He outraged Israelis by referring to Israel’s slaughter of more than 2,100 Palestinians – most of them civilians – in Gaza over the summer as “genocide”.
Both incidents served as a reminder of the tremendous power of a single word.
Most Israelis are barely able to contemplate the possibility that their Jewish state could be producing more Mohammeds than Moshes. At the same time, and paradoxically, Israel can point to the sheer number of “Mohammeds” to demonstrate that at worst it is eradicating the visibility of a Muslim name, certainly not its bearers.
Read more: Mohammed Rising: Israel's Name Problem