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Showing posts from April 1, 2014

Iraq Nation Destroyed, Oil Riches Confiscated. Surviving Population Impoverished

By Asad Ismi

- On the 11th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq (launched in March 2003), it is important to emphasize the true motives for this attack and occupation and its horrendously destructive impact that continues today. Both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars stem from the needs of U.S. and Western capitalism for resources and markets.

Capitalism has inflicted war on most of humanity for centuries to acquire the world’s resources and markets. The establishment of capitalism as a global economic system by European imperialists has killed more than a billion people, most of them in the Global South.

Since 1945, the United States has presided over the killing of more than 46 million people in the Global South through wars and neocolonialism in order to maintain Western economic dominance. This strategy has failed. In spite of the genocide, the U.S. has declined as an economic power, which has only made it more war-like as it tries to substitute military force for economic prow…

Charting the AKP's Popularity in Turkey's Recent Elections

In Turkey's March 30 local elections, roughly 45 percent of the overall vote across the country went to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. The election results have renewed the party's mandate in the face of challenges such as a slowing economy and a wave of corruption allegations that triggered a Cabinet reshuffle at the beginning of the year. Many thought the election would hobble the long-serving Erdogan, particularly in light of the ruptured alliance with the powerful network of the Fethullah Gulen religious movement. Instead, it proved a successful endorsement of a party that has overseen a doubling of Turkey's per capita gross domestic product in the past decade.

The AKP retained control of the key cities of Istanbul and Ankara; retook the largest Mediterranean city, Antalya, which it had lost four years ago; and even beat expectations in regions bordering Syria that have been buffeted by the collapse of trade and h…

Geopolitical Calendar: Week of March 31, 2014


March 31: Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci will attend a new round of talks in Brussels, which will include EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.
March 31: Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit EU headquarters in Brussels and meet with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. He will then deliver a speech April 1 on EU-China relations at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
March 31: Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will continue talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on the Cyprus issue.
March 31-April 4: European Parliament committee meetings will be held all week.
April 1: Hungary will reduce household natural gas prices by 6.5 percent.
April 1-2: EU finance ministers will gather in Athens for an informal meeting.
April 1-2: The foreign ministers of NATO member states will meet and discuss topics including the standoff with Russia over Ukraine.

Syria: A New Rebel Offensive Draws Attention

Rebel fighters near the village of Kassab in the northwestern province of Latakia, Syria, on March 24. (AMR RADWAN AL-HOMSI/AFP/Getty Images)


On March 21, rebel forces in Syria, predominantly from the Islamic Front and Jabhat al-Nusra, launched a surprise offensive in Latakia governorate on the far northwestern tip of Syria near the Turkish border. Even if the rebels do not have the strength to seize Latakia, their recent assault has been highly successful in shifting the regime's attention from other hard-pressed regions.


The Latakia offensive, alternatively known as "Anfal" by Jabhat al-Nusra and "The Martyrs Mothers" by the other rebel groups, has made significant progress in the week since it began. The rebels have reportedly managed to seize the ethnic Armenian village of Kassab and its associated border crossing as well as the villages of Samra, Nabaain, and Duzaghaj. Other significant gains include the so-called "Observatory 45," …

Turkey's Ruling Party Consolidates Its Fractured Power Base

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and his wife greet the crowd at the AKP headquarters in Ankara on March 31. (ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)


In a string of local elections turned national referendum on the rule of one man, the big winner in the March 30 local elections in Turkey was Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP. The results -- roughly 45 percent of the overall vote across the country was in favor of the AKP -- renewed the party's mandate in the face of challenges that include a slowing economy and a wave of corruption allegations that triggered a Cabinet reshuffle at the beginning of the year. While the results mean Turkey's political landscape will remain polarized and combative, the outcome paves the way for Erdogan to make an expected bid for the presidency next August, consolidating his rule over the country's institutions and signaling increased confidence in the region.


Many though…