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Showing posts from July, 2006


The failure to stop the bloodletting in the Middle East, Exxon's record second-quarter profits and Iran's nuclear cat-and-mouse game have something in common -- it's the oil.

By Greg Palast
July 26, 2006

I can't tell you how it started -- this is a war that's been fought since the Levites clashed with the Philistines -- but I can tell you why the current mayhem has not been stopped. It's the oil.

I'm not an expert on Palestine nor Lebanon and I'd rather not pretend to be one. If you want to know what's going on, read Robert Fisk. He lives there. He speaks Arabic. Stay away from pundits whose only connection to the Middle East is the local falafel stand.

So why am I writing now? The answer is that, while I don't speak Arabic or Hebrew, I am completely fluent in the language of petroleum.

What? You don't need a degree in geology to know there's no oil in Israel, Palestine or Lebanon. (A few weeks ago, I was joking around with Afif Safieh, the Pa…

Democracy and Oil

Ukraine had Orange revolution to save their democracy. Mexico is now fighting to save their democracy and freedom...

Realvoice Podcast

Boom town

The fastest-growing city on earth, Dubai is spending mind-boggling sums on construction and is about to swallow up P&O in its bid to be a global maritime power. Given the scale of its ambition, could it become the most important place on the planet? Adam Nicolson reports from 'Mushroom City'
Adam Nicolson
Monday February 13, 2006

It looks like a hot Grozny. On the vast invented islands offshore and in the even vaster building sites that stretch in a wide band the whole length of Dubai's now famous riviera, acre on acre of grey-faced, concrete, hollow-eyed buildings, fenced in with scaffolding and overhung by tower cranes, stare at each other across the sands. Tower blocks look abandoned rather than half-made. It is said that a fifth of the world's cranes are now at work here. An army of some 250,000 men, largely from India and Pakistan, are labouring to create the new glimmer fantasy, earning on average £150 a month, and living in camps, four to a room, 12ft b…

French team's rainbow connection

Can the rise again of Zinedine Zidane and his multicultural French team illuminate a fresh path towards unity for their racially divided nation? Michael Lynch reports from Berlin.

BEFORE many of the big matches in this World Cup, the two captains of the competing teams have been called on to read out FIFAprepared statements condemning racism and highlighting the potential of soccer to ease racial, ethnic and cultural tensions in countries whose populations resemble a patchwork quilt of nationalities.

Nowhere, perhaps, might those statements — contrived as some might claim them to be — be heard with more clarity than in a French dressing-room that has endured criticism not just about its age and its halting start to the competition but, fundamentally, about its racial composition.

Eight years ago, when the peerless Zinedine Zidane led Les Bleus to a historic World Cup triumph on home soil, the national team was held up as a wonderful mirror for a harmonious and multicultural French societ…

“Senor Blank-o” wins in Mexico

By Greg Palast

And the winner in Mexico’s presidential contest is… Senor Blank-o!

The official count of the ruling party is: 36.38% for the ruling party and 35.34% for the challenger.

Or, to put names and numbers to it: The Bush-o-philiac candidate, Felipe Calderon, collected 402,000 more votes than Bush-bashed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. But the big winner was Mr. Blank — the 827,000 ballots without a mark for president.

I smell something rotten… eau d’Ohio, vintage 2004. In that state, as in Mexico this week, the presidential “winner,” George Bush, had victory margin smaller than the combined “undercount” (blank ballots) and rejected and mangled ballots.

Blank ballots are rarely random — in the USA, nearly 88% were cast in 2004, notably, in minority areas, the result of bad voting machines. That is, Democrats’ ballots “spoil” and “blank out” a heck of a lot more often than Republican ballots. What about in Mexico?

I intend to find out. As soon as I saw the “official” vote count, I booked…

The Assassination of Hugo Chávez

Book Excerpt - Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast

Here is an extract from Greg Palast's new book Armed Madhouse, to be published in Britain on July 1 2006. Get Armed Madhouse at Greg Palast will be signing copies of his new book Armed Madhouse on Tuesday 4th July from 8pm at the NUJ headquarters (308 Grays Inn Road, London WC1, nearest tube: Kings Cross) with Hands Off Venezuela and the NUJ book branch. For more information see the press release Greg Palast talks to Hands Off Venezuela.

On August 26, 2005, the Lord spoke to His servant on cable television and His servant told the faithful watching in TV land: "Hugo Chávez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Reverend Pat Robertson has a tough time with the separation of church and hate. But Pat Robertson is not crazy. He is, in fact, one of the most ingenious, un-crazymen I've ever met. And the most calculating and viperous. Those who dismiss him…