Posts Tagged ‘Geo-politics’

If ever there was a geo-political situation that seemed ultimately hopeless and perhaps destined to one day go very badly, it might be the relationship between India and Pakistan.

A situation that has been going on for decades, and in which it seems like the only ‘best-case scenario’ would be a permanent state of Cold War, in which two sides that might never come to terms with each other have to simply tread on the periphery for all eternity, watching each other like hawks.

On February 14th, a suicide bomber killed at least 40 Indian troops traveling through Pulwama, Kashmir. The militant group (Jaish-e-Mohammed), based in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack.

In response, India carried out airstrikes across the border (for the first time in about 50 years), destroying what were claimed to be terror camps under the control of this Jaish-e-Mohammed. Pakistan shot down two of the Indian fighter planes, capturing one of the pilots. (more…)

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So it looks like US military intervention in Venezuela might be on the cards.

Certainly, with Washington and other Western governments now officially recognising someone other than the sitting president as the legitimate leader, it’s hard to see how there won’t have to be some kind of forced conflict to finalise that arrangement: if it isn’t US military intervention, it would have to be some kind of military coup within Venezuela.

Either way, it’s been telegraphed way in advance. President Trump said a year and a half ago. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club.

He went on to say, “We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, we’re all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary.”

It looks like they’re now moving towards probably putting that into action. (more…)

Alright, so I’ve neglected to touch on this subject for a very long time.

I did cover it in March 2015 when the catastrophe started (and sporadically since then), but I’ve generally neglected it. Not because I don’t care: but because I find this subject so upsetting, so dispiriting, that I can’t bring myself to look at it.

But… Yemen. How the hell is that situation still going on?

I mean, it’s a massacre, right? That’s been going on in plain sight for over three years at this point.

Where is the international community? What’s the UN doing? Where’s the emergency session of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation? (more…)

100 years ago, the First World War was a devastating conflict in which many millions of people lost their lives and in which the political, social and even geographical state of the world was changed forever.
But, far from being the “war to end all wars”, the consequences of World War I are very much still relevant, still being felt today, particularly in regard to the Middle East.

The First World War was, after all, thought of as “the war to end all wars”, but within less than a generation of that apocalyptic conflict came the Second World War, the causes of which were directly traceable to World War I and specifically the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the treatment of Germany.

World War II then was arguably just a continuation of World War I. And the Cold War that followed World War II was arguably still a result of World War I and the Russian Revolution: in theory, the Cold War continued until the end of the 1980s.

But it’s fascinating to note how much of today’s conflict is rooted also in the events of the First World War.

For example, the situation currently occurring in the Middle East is directly traceable to the events of World War I, albeit via a much longer period of time; the Balfour Declaration, the creation of the modern State of Israel in Palestine, the Sykes-Picot agreement, the creation of the Saudi Kingdom and its continuing influence on the region and on international politics, the Colonial carving up of Iraq, Syria and the Middle East – these, among other things, are all traced back to the events of World War I or its immediate aftermath.

Strictly speaking, of course, the war did end in 1918. But, if you factor in conflicts or scenarios originating in that war and still going on now, then you could argue that the war certainly wasn’t wrapped up with a tidy little bow in 1918.

The argument that World War I never really ended (or, at least, that we’re still living in its enormous shadow) was reinforced by, of all things, the advent of the so-called Islamic State group and the bloody chaos that ripped apart the heart of the Middle East in recent years – with ‘ISIS’ having literally talked about “the end of Sykes-Picot” as part of its ill-conceived ‘manifesto’. (more…)

The mess that’s been created in Syria is extraordinary.

Syria is also definitively where international law died. Arguably, Iraq and Libya saw international law already collapsing: but Syria is where even all pretense of international law died. It is where borders, sovereignty and the right to self-determination got tossed out the window.

It is also where compassion, logic, reason, diplomacy, and truth, all seem to have died – along with journalism and along with probably the United Nations – their corpses rotting in the desert for all to see.

I want to explore here the subject of why international law is so important; why it is dead; and why I blame not just governments and military regimes, but journalists and the media. (more…)

In the sixth Star Trek  film, The Undiscovered Country, Ambassador Spock tells Captain Kirk, “There’s an old Vulcan saying – only Nixon could go to China.”

The line was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, suggesting that Nixon going to China was so symbolically significant that it had even become a saying among an alien race centuries in the future.

The Nixon-going-to-China reference has also been cited a bunch of times in recent days, since it has been announced that Donald Trump appears to have accepted North Korea’s invitation for the US President to attend a talk with Kim Jong-un. The seemingly sudden onset of diplomacy and de-escalation seems to have caught most commentators off-guard.

It seems, on the surface, to be a positive development, with the historic meeting tentatively scheduled for May. (more…)

I haven’t seen the Black Panther movie yet; but I’m looking forward to it.

T’Challa, the Black Panther, has for a long time been one of my absolute favorite comic book characters – and I’ve been glad that his mythology has been given the cinema treatment: and that it appears to be doing so well and generating so much conversation.

But, amid all of that conversation (much of which, rightly, is focused on the subject of the first entirely black superhero movie), one thing that probably won’t be discussed is the subject I’m going to cover here now: which gives me a rare opportunity to talk about both my love of comic-book mythologies and my interest in real-world geo-political conspiracies at the same time.

This isn’t an article about the film or even about the character’s history. Rather, it’s about a specific perception I have of the Black Panther mythology and how it relates to particular real-life North-African nation that I’ve written a lot about in the past – specifically Libya, and more specifically the Gaddafi-era Libya.

Now, obviously, I’ll need to justify this – and I will. (more…)

What really is going on with North Korea? Why has it been making threats that – if carried out – could only result in the regime’s destruction?

Why has President Trump been making over-the-top threats about “fury and fire” such as “the world has never seen” (he also did so on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, which was even more bizarre)?

And why is everyone suddenly being fear-mongered into expecting nuclear strikes or apocalyptic events?

As RT noted, NBC anchor Brian Williams (the same anchor who had a virtual orgasm over Trump’s missile strikes on the Syrian airbase and who was previously found to have made up stories about his experiences in Iraq) told a panel of guests that the media’s job was to “scare people to death” about North Korea. (more…)

The Lockerbie bombing in 1988 was perhaps the 9/11 of its time.
While it didn’t result in the kind of phony Global ‘War on Terror’ that was conducted after 9/11, it did give the US and Britain the platform for beginning a targeted downfall of a particular nation and society, this being Libya.

This was accomplished the same way in Libya as it was accomplished in Iraq: first by years and years of crippling sanctions and forced hardship (via the UN),then by all-out destruction against a nation that is no longer able to defend itself (Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011).

There are essentially two ways to look at Lockerbie.

One, the most important, is as a criminal investigation of an act of mass murder. The other is as a prolonged political or geo-political tool serving multiple purposes. Both are worth revisiting; particularly as the ghost of Lockerbie (and all of its victims) has reappeared in news media in the last few weeks.

Revisiting the subject of Lockerbie is important both as a study of geo-politics and the place of political terrorism within that arena and as a study in history and how it relates to contemporary events.

I want to take a broad overview of the Lockerbie subject here, touching on all of those areas: this article will cover (1) the reasons why the ‘official’ story of Lockerbie is so problematic and disputed, (2) the release of the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’ from prison in Scotland and why it happened, (3) the political and geopolitical motives and consequences of the Lockerbie trial and verdict, and finally (4) the many different theories as to who really did carry out the Lockerbie bombing and why. (more…)