Tag Archives: Al Jazeera

Big money behind war: the military industrial complex

Big money behind war: the military industrial complex

“The new military-industrial complex is fuelled by a conveniently ambiguous and unseen enemy: the terrorist. Former President George W Bush and his aides insisted on calling counter-terrorism efforts a ‘war’. This concerted effort by leaders like former Vice President Dick Cheney (himself the former CEO of defence-contractor Halliburton) was not some empty rhetorical exercise. Not only would a war maximise the inherent powers of the president, but it would maximise the budgets for military and homeland agencies.”

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The lie of ‘women and children’

The lie of ‘women and children’

My first question: Why invoke ‘womenandchildren’ when condemning the use of chemical weapons by Assad?  Chemical weapons cross a line of human decency – although one might argue that all weapons do so. Calling for the protection of “womenandchildren” allows leaders to frame wars as matters of national security, under the assumption that women and children must be protected for nations to be secure. “

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Richest Country’s Empty Plates

Richest Country’s Empty Plates

“Lori Silverbush, co-director of A Place at the Table , says she always knew people were hungry in the US, but had no idea the numbers were so massive. The film shows hunger increasing under US Presidents, along with clips of them all claiming to tackle the issue. Under Reagan, 20 m Americans were hungry; George HW Bush, 30 m; Bill Clinton, 33 m; George W. Bush, 49 million; President Barack Obama, almost 50 million.

Over the course of interviewing people for two years, Silverbush was shocked to learn that there is hunger in every single county in the US. Before making the film, like many Americans, she believed that writing a bigger check to her favorite charitable organisations was the answer. The other misconception is that we just do not have enough healthy food to feed everyone.  That is not true. The real problem is poverty.”

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In defense of complaining

In defense of complaining

“Another common response to complaining is that the respondent has heard it all before. ‘That problem has been around forever’, they say, as if this itself did not attest to the severity of the problem. Long-term complaining indicates that a problem is serious and structural, not that it is hopeless and should continue to be ignored.

Complaints long discounted often grow louder over time. We see this today in the slowly growing movement against labour exploitation in America, a movement which includes everyone from fast food workers to adjunct professors. As the American economy lurches into permanent contingency, everyone is told it is their own fault.”

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