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Showing posts from June, 2005

Thomas Friedman's Imaginary World

By ALEXANDER COCKBURNIf it's Monday, it must be Bangalore. Thomas Friedman's back in India and the mysterious subcontinent exercises its usual sorcery on the wandering pundit, eliciting paragraphs of ecstatic drivel, as it has from so many Times-men.

My favorite remains a post-Christmas dispatch, published onDecember 27, 2002, by the NYT's resident correspondent in India at the time, Keith Bradsher. It was a devotional text about neoliberalism's apex poster boy at the time, Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh, Time's "South Asian of the year", hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "a model for fellow state leaders".

After composing a worshipful resume of Naidu's supposed achievements, Bradsher selected for particular mention a secret weapon that the canny reporter deemed vital to Naidu's political grip on Andhra Pradesh. "Naidu and his allies", Bradsher disclosed to the NYT's readers, "speak …

The Madness of Money

As We Forgive Our DebtorsBy MICHAEL DICKINSONMoney, which has hitherto been the root, if not of all evil, of great injustice, oppression, and misery to the human race, making some slavish producers of wealth, and others its wasteful consumers or destroyers, will be no longer required to carry on the business of life: for as wealth of all kinds will be so delightfully created in greater abundance than will ever be required, no money price will be known, for happiness will not be purchasable, except by a reciprocity of good actions and kind feelings.
Robert Owen, Book of the New Moral World, 1842-4At least half a million protesters are expected to march in the streets of Edinburgh on July 2nd, demanding that world leaders gathering for their G8 summit meeting there comply with demands raised by global movement Make Poverty History. Demonstrations will continue through the week.The…

How video that put Serbia in dock was brought to light

Srebrenica massacre tape has at last forced Belgrade to face up to its war atrocities

Tim Judah in Sarajevo and Daniel Sunter in Belgrade
Sunday June 5, 2005
The Observer

For 10 years they have not slept easy. The casual killers of the six cowed and beaten prisoners from Srebrenica were happy to play to the camera that day in July 1995, high on victory and heroes in the eyes of many fellow Serbs. But, as the years have worn on, that sheen has dimmed and the fear has grown. Did the tape still exist? Who had it? Where was it?

For the first time since the execution video was shown at the UN's war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague on Wednesday, The Observer can reveal the full story of the tape that has rocked not just Serbia and Bosnia, but the whole world.

It is the extraordinary story of how the tape was hidden for more than nine years but then, as its existence was revealed in a trial in Serbia, how a race began between the frightened killers and Serbia's leadin…

Towering egos

From Hitler's vision of a new Berlin to Tony Blair's Dome and Michael Eisner's EuroDisney, tyrants, kings and tycoons have erected grand monuments to their own vanity. Deyan Sudjic deconstructs the Edifice Complex

Sunday May 29, 2005
The Observer

I used to keep a photograph, torn from a tabloid, pinned over my desk. Through the blotchy newsprint, you could make out the blurred image of an architectural model the size of a small car jacked up to eye level.

Left to themselves architects use non-committal shades of grey for their models, but this one was painted in glossy lipstick colours, suggesting it was made to impress a client with an attention span shorter than most. Strips of cardboard and balsawood had been used to represent a mosque with a squat dome fenced in by concentric circles of spiky minarets. The gaudy shapes, and the reduction of an intricate decorative tradition to a cartoon, tried and failed to be simultaneously boldly modern and respectfully rooted in the pas…

Deep Throat Cover Blown

Washington Post Still Sucks

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

By Greg Palast

I've been gagging all morning on the Washington Post's self-congratulatory preening about its glory days of the Watergate investigation.

Think about it. It's been 33 years since cub reporters Woodward and Bernstein pulled down the pants of the Nixon operation and exposed its tie-in to the Watergate burglary. That marks a third of a century since the Washington Post has broken a major investigative story. I got a hint of why the long, dry spell when I met Mark Hosenball, "investigative" reporter for the Washington Post's magazine, Newsweek.

It was in the summer of 2001. A few months earlier, for the Guardian papers of Britain, I'd discovered that Katherine Harris and Governor Jeb Bush of Florida had removed tens of thousands of African-Americans from voter registries before the 2000 election, thereby fixing the race for George Bush. Hosenball said the Post-Newsweek team "looke…
The public calls for the West to apply pressure on Russia will obviously be counterproductive

As we go to press, Mr. Khodorkovsky has been found guilty as charged of numerous economic crimes, including fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement as relates to Yukos. We are still awaiting the verdicts as regards the fraudulent Apatit privatization. Furthermore, the Prosecutor's Office has announced that a new slew of charges will be brought - primarily involving money laundering.

Given the billions that Menatep has abroad the charges seem well-founded. What we are still awaiting is prosecution for crimes of violence. Nevzlin stands accused of murder, and if the reputation of the Menatep boys is anything to go by (the Apatit privatization alone reportedly could have filled up a small cemetery) there is more to come.

There are two great mysteries here. The first - which we have returned to repeatedly - is how anyone as intelligent as Mikhail could have done something so stupid as to engage in a…