The dirty war on Syria: Washington, regime change and resistance (2016)

The Dirty War on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. In seeking regime change the big powers sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies of Islamists , demonising the Syrian Government and constantly accusing it of atrocities. In this way Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a mild-mannered eye doctor, became the new evil in the world. Continue reading “The dirty war on Syria: Washington, regime change and resistance (2016)”

Land and livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (2015)

A slow motion drama is in play in Melanesia, above all in Papua New Guinea, where the ‘omissions’ of the colonial era are being addressed by neo-colonial forces. The economic interest of the big powers has its focus on land – always a key resource but increasingly valuable in times of multiple food, financial, energy and ecological crises. Continue reading “Land and livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (2015)”

Human development, the state and participation (2014)

Human development should be seen as a broad, emancipatory and social process, rather than the mere expansion of individual choices or ‘capabilities’. In post-colonial nations, a strong ‘human development enabling’ state is necessary to build basic human capacity, such as in health, education, shelter and nutrition; and then to promote popular participation. This requirement can be seen in a range of historical experience and is reflected in the declaration on the right to development. Continue reading “Human development, the state and participation (2014)”

Timor Leste: The second Australian intervention (2006)

Two stories are in circulation over the second Australian intervention in Timor Leste (East Timor). The first has it that the small, newly independent country, beset with leadership and ethnic divisions, and led by an arrogant and even despotic Prime Minister, out of touch with the people, called once again on Australian assistance to avoid collapse into a ‘failed state’. Continue reading “Timor Leste: The second Australian intervention (2006)”

The Howard Government, Australian aid and the consequences (2006)

In 1997 the Howard Government gave Australia’s foreign aid program a ‘poverty reduction’ focus with a ‘national interest’ link, later developing ‘good governance’ as the principal program theme. This anticipated the IMF and World Bank’s 1999 abandoning of ‘structural adjustment’ in favour of ‘poverty reduction’ programs, and build on National Competition Policy established by the previous Labor Government. Most aid moneys are now contracted to private Australia (and New Zealand) based companies, and the total aid budget has grown considerably. Continue reading “The Howard Government, Australian aid and the consequences (2006)”

Hugo Chávez on resource sovereignty (2006)

Short clip from Hugo Chávez’s speech on resource sovereignty at the Poliedro, World Social Forum, Caracas, January 2006. Continue reading “Hugo Chávez on resource sovereignty (2006)”