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Peace & Socialism

Who is the enemy? Part I

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The US is not only repeating all the Soviets' mistakes in Afghanistan, it is showing remarkable creativity in the horrors department, says Eric Walberg in the first of a two-part series
 
22/5/8 -- Twenty years ago this week (22 May 2008) the Soviet Union began its withdrawal from Afghanistan, eight and a half years after it was invited by the desperate People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), which had degenerated into intra-party squabbling and was beset by Islamic rebels massively financed by the United States. The straw that broke the Soviets' back was when the US began providing Stinger missiles to Osama bin Laden and his friends.
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Food crisis: Silent Tsunami

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Is there more than meets the eye in the sudden flurry of talk about a world food crisis, asks Eric Walberg

15/5/8 -- Food protests and riots swept more than 20 countries in early 2008, including Egypt. On 2 April, World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a meeting in Washington that there are 33 countries where price hikes could cause widespread social unrest. The UN World Food Programme called the crisis the silent tsunami, with wheat prices almost doubling in the past year alone,

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9/11 for dummies

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As demonstrators march on the White House with a million signatures on a petition to impeach Bush and Cheney, doubts persist about the event that made them "wartime leaders", says Eric Walberg

6/9/7 -- Theories about what really happened on 11 September, 2001 continue to inspire books and documentaries and convince otherwise sane, respectable public figures, not to mention the teeming masses. Journalist Robert Fisk recently joined the fray, intrigued by the scientific improbably of the buildings collapsing in such a seemingly controlled way and charges by engineering professors who call the final report "fraudulent or deceptive". As a Middle East expert, he also finds the letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker- murderer "weird", surely a forgery.

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The UN: Achieving peace through development?

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While UN peacekeeping has done little to calm the world's troubled waters, the UN's other mandate -- development -- has had some success despite its many problems, argues Eric Walberg

30/8/7 -- The debate over how to achieve peace revolves around two poles: world peacekeeping and disarmament vs economic and social development. The latter argument goes: busy literate hands and full stomachs obviate the need for war, just as the improvement of women's status leads to reduced family size.

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The UN: Peacemaker or puppet?

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With its largest peacekeeping mission planned in Sudan, Eric Walberg considers the UN's track record in the first of two articles
 

16/8/7 -- Founded amidst the rubble of World War II -- well, actually in untouched San Francisco, with delegates spirited in by United States military planes, and nursed and spied on by a US determined to make the most of its new unrivalled world hegemony -- the United Nation started out with much more potential than its stillborn predecessor, the League of Nations, precisely because the US was committed. Even the Republicans were onboard, and all the major powers were present and willing. However, this US blessing was a two-edged sword and the UN's history is one of ups and downs with few political highpoints.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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