Archive for May 25th, 2015

25/05/2015

The Crisis of the Left and the Decline of Europe and the United States

Human Wrongs Watch

Rome, 25 May 2015 – The victory of the Conservative Party and the debacle of the Labour Party in the recent British general elections is yet another sign of the crisis facing left-wing forces today, leaving aside the question of how, under the British electoral system, the Labour Party actually increased the number of votes it won but saw a reduction in the number of seats it now holds in Parliament (24 seats less than the previous 256).

Roberto Savio

Roberto Savio

If the proportional rather than uninominal system had been used, the Conservative Party with its 11 million votes would have won 256 and not 331 seats in Parliament (far short of the absolute majority of 326 needed to govern), while at the other extreme the United Kingdom Independence Party with nearly four million votes would have landed 83 and not just the one seat it ended up with – results that would be hard to imagine anywhere else and a good example of insularity.

To an extent, the recent British general elections mirrored the U.S. presidential elections in 2000 when Democratic candidate Al Gore won around half a million more popular votes than Republican candidate George W. Bush but failed to win the majority of electoral college votes on which the U.S. system is based.

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25/05/2015

Who Will Save Israel?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

23 May 2015

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

THE BATTLE is over. The dust has settled. A new government – partly ridiculous, partly terrifying – has been installed.

It is time to take stock.

The net result is that Israel has given up all pretense of desiring peace and that Israeli democracy has suffered a blow from which it may never recover.

ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS – with the possible exception of Yitzhak Rabin’s – have never really desired peace. The peace that is possible.

Peace, of course, means accepting fixed borders. In the founding declaration of the state, which was read out by David Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, any mention of borders was deliberately omitted.

Ben Gurion was not ready to accept the borders fixed by the UN partition resolution, because they provided only for a tiny Jewish state. Ben-Gurion foresaw that the Arabs would start a war, and he was determined to use this for enlarging the territory of the state.

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25/05/2015

Why Elites Love Drones

Human Wrongs Watch

By Robert J. Burrowes*

I sometimes read that drone strikes are counterproductive to western security interests because each person killed by a drone results in more new ‘terrorists’. See, for example, ‘The more civilians US drones kill in the Mideast, the more radicals they create‘.

**Image: Minneapolis anti-war protest: 'Stop Killer Drones', 5 May 2013 | Author: Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States | Wikimedia Commons

**Minneapolis anti-war protest: ‘Stop Killer Drones’, 5 May 2013 | Author: Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States | Wikimedia Commons

However, this analysis completely fails to understand what is driving elite military policy, carried out by the United States elite and key elite allies within NATO and elsewhere.

In brief: drone strikes work precisely because they provoke violent responses which help elites to ‘justify’ their perpetual war to secure control of the world’s diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, water and strategic minerals while tightening control of domestic populations through expansion of the security and surveillance state.

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