Archive for the 'war' Category

post-war economy: Gaza

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Democracy Now! producer Anjali Kamat files a report on the state of the Gazan economy, where unemployment and poverty rates are among the highest in the world, agricultural land and infrastructure are wasteland, and tunnel smuggling into gaza is the main way people can access food and stuff but at very high prices. But there is still something missing in this report: How do people live nonetheless?

Resource war in Congo and green capitalism

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

video_button_white_dred.gifThis is a “democracy now” clip on the current Congo’s resource war and its links to green and communication capitalism. To what extent the new green capitalist governance paradigm that is being taking shape these days will depend on war like these? And to what extent war like these are fundamental to reshape Africa’s role in the new global political economy?


Rumsfeld leaves a trace on his way out

Monday, December 4th, 2006

rumsfeld-i-dont-see-a-civil-war2.jpgRead the text of a classified Nov. 6 memorandum that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld sent to the White House suggesting new strategic options in Iraq. The memorandum was sent one day before the midterm Congressional elections and two days before Mr. Rumsfeld resigned. These options reveal to us how they think. It will be interesting for us to see what of these will be adopted by the remaining two years of the current US administration and possibly future democratic administration. In any case, just pick these two option for illustrative purpose:

“Publicly announce a set of benchmarks agreed to by the Iraqi Government and the U.S. — political, economic and security goals — to chart a path ahead for the Iraqi government and Iraqi people (to get them moving) and for the U.S. public (to reassure them that progress can and is being made).”

Here the request is for a set of target/benchmarks against which military intervention in Iraq is measured and assessed. Measurement here has a function of double coupling: on hand hand to couple US political, economic and security goals to Iraqi Government and on the other to couple US military intervention in Iraq with domestic aspirations of the public (i.e. factroy of consent).

Another interesting point is the application of disciplinary processes to engineer “behavioural changes”.

¶Stop rewarding bad behavior, as was done in Fallujah when they pushed in reconstruction funds, and start rewarding good behavior. Put our reconstruction efforts in those parts of Iraq that are behaving, and invest and create havens of opportunity to reward them for their good behavior. As the old saying goes, “If you want more of something, reward it; if you want less of something, penalize it.” No more reconstruction assistance in areas where there is violence.

Here resources for reconstruction are not seen as tied to a general political goal which might bring benefit to the US in the future, but as a specific strategy of subjectification, of creation of subjects behaving in certain ways. Interestingly, this was the idea for the entire of Iraq, once they got in in the first place. When they invaded, the plan was indeed to make of the whole of Iraq a “havens of opportunity” to hold as a exemplary case of a fully neoliberal state in the hearth of the Middle East.

And what to say of this other piece, in which Rumsfeld advice to use some old Saddam Hussain methods to gain support in Iraq: “Provide money to key political and religious leaders (as Saddam Hussein did), to get them to help us get through this difficult period.” Wasn’t Goring who said that the methods of propaganda, corruption and denunciation of “anti-patriotism” were applicable to all systems of government?

If your non violent protests make them loose money, you are a terrorist (and they are the terrorised!).

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifNews clip from Democracy Now! of 14 November about a new bill passed in the US House of Representatives turning up the criminalisation of non violent animal right protests (and others, of course, perhaps soon to follow . . .let us see what the neodem will do about this . . .). Here are the seeds for the criminalisation of the “beginning of history” because terrorist is said here of a protest that make business loose money . . . in other words, terrorism is being fed up with a system based on making money. . . .and who are the terrorised?

Thanks Unicef (for nothing)!

Monday, October 30th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is a clip showing Lebanese parents describing the type of school equipment Unicef solidarity has been able to deliver. The clip is from Mosaic, at www.LinkTV.org. Bags that tear apart, two pens per students which do not write, children who are ashamed . . we can imagine the many meetings attended by busy Unicef project managers who must have spent hours to decide how to measure things, how to minimise “waste”, how to provide “effective” help without wasting resources . . .

“National Security” and the “economy”

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifWars are justified in terms of “national security”, and todays empire’s wars are, for good or bad, justified in the same terms. Critics generally tend to dismiss the national security argument, by pointing out, as in the case of Colin Powell’s infamous speech on WMD at the UN used to justify US and British attack on Iraq, that the threats to national security are often constructed, and indeed, they become more real as a result of imperial policies. In a sense, this is true. But in another sense, this is not taking the forces of Empire seriously enough. There is in fact a sense in which “national security” — as defined by capital’s empire — is threatened if new markets, new realms of market relations, are not created. The difficult thing is to articulate this broader sense of “national security” with the lies and constructions used to justify wars. (more…)

empire and media-government collusion

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifShort news clip from Democracy Now! 9 October 2006 on the collusion between US government and media for the preparation of the war in Afghanistan. Today’s president of the World Bank (Paul Wolfowitz) was yesterday’s convener of a propaganda planning meeting with journalists. Click here if you cannot run the video below.

Ethical weaponry

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

The following comes from The Time online edition of few weeks ago. Madness, isn’t it?! Critics may confuse this with hypocrisy, but it is actually much worse than this. It is systemic stupidity. Even managers of an arm company like BAE can be ”ethical” people, worry about the environment and seek for ways to minimise the environmental impact of ammunitions and bomb explosions (sic!) produced by their factories. It is when we measure these individuals’ “ethical” concerns with the practices emerging from the interaction of all these ethical people performing particular roles as business leaders, that systemic stupidity arises. Becasue this is a role that seeks market expansion, and market expansion requires subjecting populations to new rules, new enclosures, new systems of governance. And this increasingly requires war. familyrunning.jpgThe concerns of ethical weapon producers are wahed aside by the sheer growing destructive use of weapons in today’s Empire, the barbaric practices used by the US and Israeli forces in attacking civilians, the maiming and killing children for years to come thanks to scores of unexploded cluster bombs, the use of “next generation weapons” that turn the body into a carbonised lab measuring destructive effectiveness (for a catalogue of latest horrors, browse for example human right watch website). (more…)

Livelihoods in times of war

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is a video collage of news clip appeared on he internet in the past month. You’ll find palestinian and lebanese fishermen stranded on the shore, lebanese people starting reconstruction without government intervention, lebanese managers blaming Israelis for bombing their forniture and milk factories as a competitive move, and empty palestinan household refrigerators. Enclosures pass through war . . .