Monday, September 27, 2010

BP management is responsible for the oil disaster, not consumers

Did consumers cause the BP oil disaster?

Definitely not, according to Ian Angus, the editor of Climate and Capitalism and associate editor of Socialist Voice.

One of the myths of modern capitalist society is that big multinational corporations are simply responding to what consumers want. If the average consumer did not want their products, there would be no market, and hence the corporation would fail. This risible line of reasoning has popped up to shift the culpability of the BP oil spill onto the consumers, and exculpate the BP higher level management, who are responsible for this disaster and its terrible environmental and economic consequences.

Go read the whole article here; Did Consumers Cause the BP Oil Disaster?

Monday, September 20, 2010

First the urge, then the surge, and end with the dirge

The Canadian government, along with Australia, has fully supported the illegal war and occupation of Afghanistan since October 2001. They have closely aligned themselves with the objectives of US foreign policy in the region, which is to secure a sound base of operations in energy-rich Central Asia to secure access to the important oil and natural gas reserves in that part of the world. The US intends to project its military power, to the detriment of Russia, China and other regional competitors.

Today I am linking to an article by the Canadian socialist and antiwar group, Socialist Voice. They have been consistently critical of the war in Afghanistan and Canada's participation in it. The trajectory of the Afghanistan war has followed a similar course to US policy in Iraq; first the urge to surge, which means an escalation of terrifying violence, torture and human rights abuses. Then the actual surge, which consists of committing massive crimes against the civilian population, imprisoning people without charge or trial, rendering them in secret prisons, committing horrifying tortures, mass bombing of villages, and hoping that the militarily-sanctioned violence will intimidate the population into submission.

When the occupiers realise that their increasing levels of violence alienates ever-greater numbers of the indigenous population, creating new recruits for a nationalist/patriotic insurgency, then comes the funeral dirge; a rethinking of the policy choices, a focus on 'winning hearts and minds', a sobering reflection on why the foreign occupiers (yes the US, Canada and Australia are the foreigners in Afghanistan) are hated so much by the overwhelming majority of the population and why the puppet regime of Hamid Karzai in Kabul is increasingly beleaguered.

The article is called Afghanistan crisis deepens: US, Canada and NATO threaten to extend war.

After eight years of war in Afghanistan, Karzai is now making overtures to the insurgents, calling for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Pope's visit to Britain

There is much critical commentary about the Pope's visit to the United Kingdom.

I agree with most of the comments made about the Vatican's appalling coverup of child sexual abuse, the reactionary and outdated views of the current Pope, Benedict XVI, and his uncritical quotation of outrageously provocative Islamophobic statements made by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus. While the Pope claimed he did not share the views of Manuel II Paleologus, the effect of his 2006 lecture was to heighten tensions between the Christian and Islamic communities.

I wish to post the link to the following essay by a Marxist group in Britain, because I wholeheartedly agree with its contents.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Begin

This is my very first post in my first ever blog.

Over the coming weeks and months I hope to make regular contributions on politics, economics, books that I have read, and any other subject that interests me. Reading and writing is one way that I try to make sense of the world, and understand the way it operates. Being active in social causes, for refugees and against war and racism, is the practical way to combat the many injustices that are prevalent today.

I hope I can live up to the example of my hero, my late father, Vahak Savoulian (1934-2009) a scholar, gentleman, pan-Arab nationalist and socialist humanitarian.