“Gorbachev has been a persona non grata in his own country ever since. In the West he remains a hero, a respected historical figure, a man who peacefully cut a superpower down to its true size.” Newly published minutes from meetings of the Politburo reveal what really happened behind closed doors.
“Defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face. And our job is to fight politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn’t make us any safer.” Bruce Schneier is not about to give in. Are you?
Robin Cook, one of few political figures to command my lasting respect, has suddenly died on August 6, 2005. If you are only ever going to read one political statement made to the House of Commons, read Robin Cooks’s resignation speech from 18 March, 2003.
“I’m struck by the work of some of the anti-globalization protesters, which has been admirably out-of-the-tunnel in terms of motivation, but naively ill-informed about how the world economy works.” Economist Paul Seabright on how human beings developed a complex system of cooperation and specialization between unrelated individuals.
“Every German schoolchild knows the tales of German atrocities. But in England, Prince Harry parties with a swastika arm band.” Matthias Matussek wonders whether the time has finally come for the British to re-evaluate their stance.
“The Power of Nightmares – first screened in Autumn 2004 and repeated this week on BBC2 – questions whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda really is an organised network.” Read producer Adam Curtis’ responses to comments from viewers around the world.
The journalist Sean Langan spent the months from November 2003 to February 2004 in Iraq filming a documentary to be broadcast on BBC television. In this interview he talks about the making of the programme.
“The president and his speechwriters have yet to confront the tension between their rhetoric about freedom, which is universally popular, and their practice of projecting US firepower, which is resented in equal measure.” Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on the day George Bush began his second term in office.
“The transfer of power from West to East is gathering pace and soon will dramatically change the context for dealing with international challenges—as well as the challenges themselves.” James Hoge highlights some of the main issues facing today’s foreign policy makers in the US and around the world.
“Divine ordination is a very dangerous idea, especially when combined with military power. With God’s approval, you need no human standard of morality.” Howard Zinn expands on the myths of American exeptionalism.
Millions around the world were united in protest against going to war in Iraq.
Hamburg, February 2003
“Combating HIV/AIDS requires more than prevention and treatment. It requires improving the conditions under which people are free to choose safer life strategies and conditions.” Editorial reflecting on what changes are necessary to prevent AIDS from spreading further among those most at risk.
“Oil and the dollar were the real reasons for the attack on Iraq, with weapons of mass destruction as the public reason now exposed as woefully inadequate.” A disturbingly coherent explanation put forward by John Chapman.
“Is globalisation sending the best American jobs overseas? If you get your news from CNN’s Lou Dobbs, the answer is ‘of course’.” Brink Lindsey puts some commonly made assumptions about the US American economy to the test. Useful reading even if, like me, you do not live in North America.