Iraq News Is Bleak, Even for Pentagon's 'Early Bird'
by Jim Lobe
Published on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 by the Inter Press ServiceWASHINGTON - "Readers of the Pentagon's 'Early Bird' news file, a daily compilation of around 50 stories circulated throughout the U.S. national-security bureaucracy, could be forgiven Monday for reaching for the Rolaids, a popular over-the-counter medication for queasy stomachs.
As with the Jun. 10 edition, the file's lead stories all dealt with Iraq. Indeed, news about Iraq, which faded to the inside pages after the Jan. 30 elections and well into the spring, has made a surprisingly strong comeback in the Early Bird of late, just like the Iraqi insurgency itself." [...] Click here for the whole articleOr click here for the article as reposted on Common Dreams with direct links to related articles
"USA's unique strength today ... just as a tiger hunted by dogs"
Lessons of Iraq
Speaking notes by Alyson J.K. Bailes, SIPRI Director
Beijing, 9 May 2005"It is clear that even in the short two years since the invasion of Iraq, some quite different lessons have been drawn e.g. by Americans and Europeans, by Western States and Arab States, or by Libya and by North Korea. In this talk I can only offer you the lessons that I myself see, fully admitting that they will be subjective as well. They will also have to be selective, for reasons of time, and in fact I am just going to cover four issues or clusters of issues: (a) US policy and power, (b) the consequences of conflict and challenge of peace-building, (c) perceptions of the threat hierarchy and (d) the link between all these things and democracy." Global spending on arms tops $1 trillion
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
09 June 2005"Less than a month before leaders of the world's most powerful nations meet to discuss financial help for Africa, a new report reveals the extraordinary sums spent by those same countries on weapons compared to the relatively modest sums spent on aid.
In 2004 - the sixth successive year in which arms spending increased - the global total spent on munitions topped $1 trillion for the first time since the height of the Cold War. In contrast, the amount spent on aid over the same period was $78.6bn."
Telestreet: Media Jacking
A short documentary exploring Italy's Telestreet phenomena, a network of close to 200 micro pirate TV transmitters that begun in the summer of 2002 to counter the media monopoly of Silvio Berlusconi. Perhaps the most interesting tactical media initiative of recent times, the TeleStreet network combines both old and new media, lo-tech and hi-tech. The documentary speaks with activists from TeleAut and SpegnilaTV and media theorist Franco Berardi (Bifo), who can be found at Rekombinant (italian + some english)
A short documentary:Telestreet MP4
A lower resolution .mov version can be downloaded here.
Daily Dose of EU Constitution - The Conclusion
I finally found some good analyses on the voting for the European Constitution at THIS BLOG
"Next Wednesday, June 1st, I will be asked to answer the following question: "Bent u voor of tegen instemming door Nederland met het Verdrag tot vaststelling van een Grondwet voor Europa?"
(Are you pro or contra the ratification by the Netherlands of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe?)
I did three things to answer this question for myself. The first thing was reading the constitution myself. The second thing was to listen carefully to opinions of other people. The third thing was asking myself which criteria I find important for a European Constitution.
If the EU has power, it needs democratic control. The constitution needs to tell how.
The existence of the EU has to add something that individual countries can't reach. The constitution needs to make that clear.
A constitution needs to be political neutral and time resistant (not containing items which will lose meaning in a couple of years).
It's also very important to state that I don't judge this constitution against the current situation. I already concluded that it will be an improvement over the current situation. But that is not what they ask me to vote for.
Before I check the criteria, I'll give the most important good and bad points in this constitution (in my mind).
The Objectives of the EU are written down. And I like them, apart from the "competition is free and undistorted" statement.
Human rights are now an integral part.
Environment and sustainability play a role.
We will have a common security, defense and foreign policy. That gives us a better role in the World.
No ability to veto, some form of complex majority voting that’s suitable for this set up.
Solidarity on all kinds of areas.
A common immigration policy.
Open internal borders for work, living and traveling.
A European court with enough power as final judge.
A reasonable social policy.
Stimulation of research on a European level.
The free market principles as an integral part of big parts of this constitution.
No full democratic control on all levels of the EU.
Defense and foreign policy are outside the control of the European Parliament (EP).
The quest for forever increasing production and consumption (III-229).
The amount of detail of some articles (like when to have meeting of a committee)
Having an agriculture policy that only includes Europe, not the rest of the world.
Exceptions on a lot of rules (like rules on transport but not on flying and rules on animal rights but excluding local traditions (bull fighting).
There are loads and loads more remarks to make, be it positive, negative or neutral. But that would only make this a very long post.Now back to my criteria and how this constitution measures up to them.
If the EU has power, it needs democratic control. The constitution needs to tell how." /../
okay, i'll go and vote now...