The widespread poverty and deprivation from Nigeria's neocolonial legacy has created a fertile recruiting ground for Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency, responsible for thousands of deaths as well as the recent mass kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls.
Cornel West, on HBO’s Real Time, reiterated his criticism that President Obama is a “war criminal” for killing innocent people through drone strikes. He went on to make a simple, but rarely heard observation, that if you “have an empire, you’re going to have war crimes.” Critical voices like his are an exception in the mainstream. For the most part, establishment liberals have either been silent or have cheered as Obama has expanded the national security state. West chastises these liberals as “morally bankrupt” for giving Obama a pass for the same problematic policies that Bush was roundly criticized for.
As the US engages in military and intelligence overreach to try and preserve its role as the sole post-cold war empire, Noam Chomsky continues to offer trenchant analysis of how American hegemony is a self-destructive force to the nation – and at times a lethal world police force to maintain its position of privileged consumption.
The continuing opposition by loyalists to the decision by Belfast city council to limit the flying of the Union Jack is a product of a deeply sectarian colonial settlement that smothers the importance of class. The disturbances were pretty predicable in the context of summer riots over parading, intra unionist rivalry and rising anger in traditional protestant working class communities over shortage of jobs, housing and perceived gains made by the ‘nationalist’ community. The mass inflammatory leafleting by unionist parties in the days leading up to the council vote served to heighten fears in a constituency which is easily inflamed and mobilised in defence of the realm. This is not the cause of the disturbances; but the logical conclusion of capitalist decay and opportunist politicians battling for the hearts and minds of protestant working class communities- disenchanted and disillusioned with the peace dividends promised over 10 years ago.
After supplying Israel with the massive bunker-buster bombs that would be critical in any Israeli military strike on Iran, the US government now wants to have it both ways, trying to shield itself from any backlash by insisting it would not be "complicit" in such an Israeli gambit.
In another resolution apparently designed to prepare for war against Iran, the US House of Representatives, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan 401-11 vote, has passed a resolution (HR 568) urging the president to oppose any policy toward Iran "that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat."
That claim was presented in a way that suggested it was supported by intelligence. It now appears, however, to have been merely a propaganda line designed to support the Barack Obama administration's strategy of diplomatic coercion on Iran.