Who would’ve thought that 140 characters could limit the in depth discussions of geopolitics and abstract ideas? Much appreciation to a Twitter follower, called Sophie, who is responsible for myself pondering the concept of Europe.
Jeremy Rifkin wrote an excellent book called The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream in 2004. Rifkin constructs a narrative in which a future Europe is a superpower, with the ability to rival the emerging economies of the world. Tragically, the book never foresaw the financial crisis and panic of the Eurozone.
Sophie thought the idea of Europe was purely economic. Financial and economic commentators would agree with her, but recent events in Libya also suggest a political and militarist aspect of Europe. An argument I put forward.
Europe is an abstract idea, with different incarnations and meanings to a variety of political and demographic collectives. Is Europe the idea of utilitarianism and a continent, which seeks to provide tranquility and peace to region of historical wars and conflicts? Or is it the first postmodern utopia and an existence without the concept of nation states.
It is almost philosophical in essence; the idea of Europe containing an objective truth or universal morality. I’m not even sure what is the true understanding of the European project and concept behind it; or if it even has one.
One truth is certain though. Twitter can really make you analysis the world sometimes.
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What on Earth is David Miliband planning? His twitter account is abundant with travels to Pakistan and meeting government officials; commenting on foreign affairs and providing advice to ministers’ on Afghanistan.
Recent television interviews demonstrate his vast knowledge, and strength, on a variety of issues. Significantly stronger than his younger brother, Ed. David, like the prodigal son, has return to front line politics.
But why now?
These interventions are extraordinarily calculated to achieve the maximum potential in terms of coverage and impact. Many Labourites are pondering on a ‘what if’ scenario about their fortunes under the leadership of David Miliband. Blairites are plotting and scheming; but, I provide a different reasoning for you to consider:
What if David Miliband is planning a rival party; a progressive party not aligned, or desperate, on union finances?
(image snip: Daily Mail)
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Posted in Foreign affairs, Thoughts, US elections 2012, US Politics, tagged anger, democracy, government, liberal, Liberalism, liberty, Obama, politics, President, United States on May 30, 2011 |
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As Europe suffers a hangover from President Obama’s visit and excitement from the media returns to normality, the ‘Leader of the Free World‘ remains unquestioned by Europeans. The message of ‘change’ still resonates in European capitals and has become the new mantra of our politicians.
However, one aspect of the President’s character remains unchallenged; a wall of silence has befallen the media and the adoring crowds: Obama is far from a liberal President.
The British coalition government have managed to achieve the following within 12 months;
- Prohibiting the creation of national ID cards.
- Ending child detention.
- Reducing the period of detention, without trial, for terrorist suspects.
- Scrapping DNA database.
- Regulating the use of CCTV.
- Eliminating hundreds of thousands from the British tax system.
- Reducing the influence of the state in education.
- Pupil premium.
- Liberalisation of the monstrous health system.
- Credible deficit reduction strategy.
Prime Minister Cameron is desperate to align himself to liberalism and claim he is a liberal, but his American counterpart is still viewed as the head of international liberalism. Obama supporters proudly highlight the draconian policies of President Bush – with analogies to Nazi Germany. They claim Obama restored the great American values and accumulated the wealth of democracy. Instead of taking the claims at face value, let us analysis Obama’s actions as President of the United States of America;
- Renewal of the US Patriot Act.
- Legal immunity for telecommunications corporatioons, which participated in unconstitutional wiretapping.
- Continuation of the death penalty.
- Failure to achieve his campaign promise of readdressing the relations between Native Americans.
- Increase of drone strikes in Waziristan.
- Guantanamo Bay is still operational.
- Military trials have restarted at the Cuban detention camp, too.
- Capricious attitude on gay marriage.
- Appointing a cabinet of former Wall Street and lobby associates.
- Fiscal and economic decisions that contradict economic liberalism.
President Obama is a brand; an advertisers perfect dream. His first term continued his cult of personality from the campaign, which prevented the media from inquiring election positions and failure to implement. Majority of his Presidency has been a continuation of the Bush-Cheney era because he is still rather timid and inept in foreign affairs.
He is nothing but an apparatchik for Chicago Democrats; which is allegedly a notoriously corrupt segment of the Democratic Party. Many of Obama’s advisors originate from Chicago and were instrumental throughout his lucrative career. Critics argue a liberal President would seek to remove the Washington norm of the ‘old boy network’ when appointing individuals to key advisory or governmental positions.
Obama, in my humble opinion, has done nothing to prove he is a liberal or remotely aligned to the teaching of liberalism. And yet the world still adores him.
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Posted in Foreign affairs, Middle East, War, tagged anger, Arab war, arab world, crisis, democracy, freedom, human rights, Israel, Israeli, liberation, liberty, Middle East, Palestine, Palestinian, peace process, protest, protests on May 29, 2011 |
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An ideology that divides the world into those who are worth more and those who are worth less, into superior and inferior beings, does not have to reach the dimensions of the German genocide to be wrong.
Amira Hass, Israeli Journalist
The Arab League have endorsed the Palestinian Authority policy to gain recognition of state hood, on 1967 borders, from the United Nations. Sarkozy is understood to be considering French support, with the British yet to determine a position; the French Foreign Ministry have commented on a possible European Union recognition, too, on a Palestinian state. Which would be a powerful endorsement.
I will not lament over the struggle for self determination. It has been a tragic history of deceit, destruction, war and broken promise, but this is the first real prospect of a meaningful conclusion.
If Israel remains a obstacle to peace then considerable sanctions will be required. Israeli policy on the occupied territories is an apartheid doctrine. United States political assistance prevents any acknowledgment of human rights abuses at the United Nations; State Department own documents share the same assessments as the UN, but the condemnation is never public.
David Cameron, at the G8, placed himself in the vanguard of democracy and freedom in the Middle East. It’s time for Cameron to recognise the Palestinian homeland.
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I was surprised to discover an amendment to the Firearms Act. Thomas Docherty (Labour Member of Parliament for Dunfermline and West) introduced a private members bill to legislate a minimum age of 14 for a shotgun license.
I did not understand why Thomas was arguing for a minimum age in Parliament – especially a young threshold.
Perplexed by this revelation, I decided to investigate further and see what Docherty said when begging to move. Horrified is what I then became;
At present there is no minimum age for possessing a shotgun licence. This is at odds with the legislation covering other firearms, where there is a minimum age of 14. According to figures that I obtained from the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (James Brokenshire), almost 5,000 children in England and Wales possessed a licence to fire a shotgun. Of those 5,000 or so licences, 26 were issued to 10-year-olds, 72 to 11-year- olds, 134 to 12-year-olds and 231 to 13-year-olds. It is unfortunate that neither the Scottish Executive nor the Northern Ireland Executive keeps figures centrally for their devolved areas. However, I am sure we can assume that the figures are proportional to those elsewhere.
Granted, these figures are located in rural England and most likely on farms; I do feel the urge to ask a moral question though. Should the state be granting access to firearms for adolescents, especially children?
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Posted in Debt, Economy, Foreign affairs, Police State, Protests, tagged anger, bailout, budget, crisis, debt, democracy, EU, European revolution, European Union, liberation, liberty, protest, protests, Spanish revolution on May 27, 2011 |
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Police use force to disrupt the peaceful Spanish revolution in Barcelona. This YouTube video was e-mailed to me this morning. There have been no reports of violence by individuals representing the camps; these actions are unjustified.
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Posted in Foreign affairs, War, tagged anger, arab world, crisis, democracy, evil, freedom, Gaddafi, human rights, liberation, liberty, War on May 27, 2011 |
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Within the next 24 hours British and French apache helicopters will begin operations in Libya. The Prime Minister has promised to intensify the administration of military force in order to break the Libyan regime.
The Russian Foreign Ministry have aligned with the international community and declared Gaddafi has lost all authority to govern Libya. Russia will mediate a possible transition of power and thus providing a means for Gaddafi to exit.
Reports this morning from British intelligence have uncovered a network being used by Gaddafi. The dictator is hiding in hospitals, in order to prevent a direct NATO strike on his location. A classic archetype of a dictator is cowardice: using civilians as shields.
We are witnessing the final conclusions of this abrupt conflict. It is difficult to envision a prolonged period of conflict occurring; Gaddafi forces are demonstrating possible evidence of capitulation. The regime is no longer in control of basic functions of the state and The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) is increasing diplomatic presence in capitals across the world. Either Gaddafi will accept Russian assistance and voluntarily venture into exile (in South Africa, possibly) or shall be captured by NATO special forces.
Either way, we are nearing the end game.
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