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Showing posts from October 19, 2014

The Current State of Global Maritime Piracy

Benjamin Syme Van Ameringen




The western romantic imagination disinclines people to take pirates seriously (they have been portrayed in over 260 films since 1904). But the modern piracy, which made a comeback at the end of the 1990s, has become a scourge of maritime transport, with a significant human and economic cost.

-UNOSAT Global Report on Maritime Piracy (1995-2013).



Maritime piracy is an age-old act that for centuries has inflicted grave economic damage on the global trade of goods and commodities. Over the centuries, the nature of piracy has evolved and the pirates of today conduct operations very differently from those of their primarily European predecessors. This article will report on the current state of global piracy and examine the current threat environment. It will also delve into piracy hotspots in Africa, new and emerging threats, their root causes, and anti-piracy countermeasures.

According to UNOSAT, between 1995 and August 2013 there were a total of 6,249 reported ins…

Europe: The New Byzantium or Declining Rome?

Anis Bajrektarevic




A freshly released IMF World Economic Outlook brings (yet again, for the sixth year in a row, and for the third time this year alone) no comforting picture to anyone within the G-7, especially in the US and EU. Will the passionately US-pushed cross-Atlantic Free Trade Area save the day? Or, would that Pact push things over the edge and mark an end of unionistic Europe? Is the extended EU conflict with Russia actually a beginning of the Atlantic-Central Europe’s conflict over Russia, an internalization of mega geopolitical and geo-economic dilemma – who accommodates with whom, in and out of the Union? Finally, does more Ukrainian (and Eastern Europe) calamities pave the road for a new cross-continental grand accommodation, of either austerity-tired France or über-performing Germany with Russia, and therefore the end of the EU? For whose sake Eastern Europe has been barred of all important debates, such as that of Slavism, identity, secularism and antifascism?

Why do we…

The Real Secret of Iraq's Germ Weapons

By Eric Margolis

Back in the 1990’s, journalists used to joke, “Of course we know Iraq has chemical weapons. We have the delivery receipts to prove it!”

The joke turned out to be the exact truth.

While covering Iraq in 1990 – just before the first massive US bombing campaign – I discovered the US and Britain had secretly built a germ weapons arsenal for Iraq to use against Iran in the eight year-Iran-Iraq War.

This while both the US and Britain were fulminating with breathtaking hypocrisy against the alleged dangers of Iraq’s supposed WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) that never existed. Some years later, the two leading apostles of attacking Iraq, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, delivered Philippics against Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs while never mentioning that high level of western support for Iraq’s late leader.

Last week the widely read “New York Times” ran a multi-page exposé entitled “Abandoned Chemical Weapons and Secret Casualties in Iraq.”

The NY Times played a key role in …