Tunisia | Libya | Iran | Sri Lanka | Korea | Israel | Denmark

Sarah Ben Hamadi: Ennahdha-Qatar-United States: Dangerous Liaisons (MRzine)

Arundthati Roy: We are all Occupiers (Guardian)
Tom Ackerman, Slavoj Žižek: Capitalism with Asian values (Aljazeera)

In his distinct and colourful manner, [Žižek] analyses the Arab Spring, the eurozone crisis, the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and the rise of China. Concerned about the future of the existing western democratic capitalism Zizek believes that the current “system has lost its self-evidence, its automatic legitimacy, and now the field is open.”

Nathan Brown: Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi (UCDavis Bicycle Barricade)

Seymour M. Hersh: Iran and the IAEA (New Yorker)

Robert Kelley, a retired I.A.E.A. director and nuclear engineer who previously spent more than thirty years with the Department of Energy’s nuclear-weapons program, told me that he could find very little new information in the I.A.E.A. report. He noted that hundreds of pages of material appears to come from a single source: a laptop computer, allegedly supplied to the I.A.E.A. by a Western intelligence agency, whose provenance could not be established. Those materials, and others, “were old news,” Kelley said, and known to many journalists. “I wonder why this same stuff is now considered ‘new information’ by the same reporters.” (…)Greg Thielmann, a former State Department and Senate Intelligence Committee analyst who was one of the authors of the A.C.A. assessment, told me, “There is troubling evidence suggesting that studies are still going on, but there is nothing that indicates that Iran is really building a bomb.” He added, “Those who want to drum up support for a bombing attack on Iran sort of aggressively misrepresented the report.”

Hugh Roberts: Who said Gaddafi had to go? (London Review of Books)

Presented by the National Transitional Council (NTC) and cheered on by the Western media as an integral part of the Arab Spring, and thus supposedly of a kind with the upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt, the Libyan drama is rather an addition to the list of Western or Western-backed wars against hostile, ‘defiant’, insufficiently ‘compliant’, or ‘rogue’ regimes: Afghanistan I (v. the Communist regime, 1979-92), Iraq I (1990-91), the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (over Kosovo, 1999), Afghanistan II (v. the Taliban regime, 2001) and Iraq II (2003), to which we might, with qualifications, add the military interventions in Panama (1989-90), Sierra Leone (2000) and the Ivory Coast (2011). An older series of events we might bear in mind includes the Bay of Pigs (1961), the intervention by Western mercenaries in the Congo (1964), the British-assisted palace coup in Oman in 1970 and – last but not least – three abortive plots, farmed out to David Stirling and sundry other mercenaries under the initially benevolent eye of Western intelligence services, to overthrow the Gaddafi regime between 1971 and 1973 in an episode known as the Hilton Assignment. (…)
Libya was part of the wider ‘Arab awakening’ in two respects. The unrest began on 15 February, three days after the fall of Mubarak: so there was a contagion effect. And clearly many of the Libyans who took to the streets over the next few days were animated by some of the same sentiments as their counterparts elsewhere. But the Libyan uprising diverged from the Tunisian and Egyptian templates in two ways: the rapidity with which it took on a violent aspect – the destruction of state buildings and xenophobic attacks on Egyptians, Serbs, Koreans and, above all, black Africans; and the extent to which, brandishing the old Libyan flag of the 1951-69 era, the protesters identified their cause with the monarchy Gaddafi & Co overthrew. This divergence owed a lot to external influences. But it also owed much to the character of Gaddafi’s state and regime.

Rory Stewart: Because we weren’t there? (London Review of Books)
Martin Chulov: Free Syria Army gathers on Lebanese border (Guardian)
Michael Doliner: Why the U.S. Can’t Do Anything Right: China’s Game (CounterPunch)

Umakant Delhi: Sri Lanka: The Siege Within Continues… (HardNewsMedia)

With more than two decade long Civil War over, annihilation of LTTE, a farce called democracy in the form of Constitutional Dictatorship and amidst growing militarisation the siege within continues in Sri Lanka

Conn Hallinan: Playing With Fire in Korea (CounterPunch)

Gideon Levy: A new Israel in the making / המדינה שבקרוב תהיה כאן (Ha’aretz)
Jonathan Lis: Israeli ministers back bills to limit funding for human rights groups / השרים אישרו את הצעות החוק המיועדות להגביל מקורות מימון לארגוני זכויות אדם (Ha’aretz)

Bills set for preliminary vote in Knesset would cap foreign governments’ contributions to ‘political’ NGOs; EU, U.S. say legislation could harm Israel’s standing as a democratic country.

Jonathan Lis, Ophir Bar-Zohar: Netanyahu is working to limit free speech in Israel, Labor leader says / לבני: הקואליציה סותמת פיות; דנון: השמאל הקיצוני הוא נגע שיש להסירו (Ha’aretz)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has set upon itself to limit free speech and declare war on Israel’s judicial system, Labor leader MK Shelly Yachimovich said on Sunday, adding that a wave of recent Likud bills was pushing Israel away from the democratic world.

Rob Evans, Paul Lewis: Undercover policeman admits spying on Danish activists (Guardian)

The controversy over the [British] undercover policeman Mark Kennedy has deepened after he admitted spying on and disrupting the work of activists in another European country.
Kennedy has admitted that he infiltrated a Danish community centre that had housed progressive causes for more than a century, obtaining intelligence that helped police to storm it and close it down in violent raids. (…)
Details of his deployment in Germany, Iceland, and Ireland have previously been revealed, leading to criticism that British police were interfering in the democratic affairs of other countries.
Kennedy said he went to 22 countries in total during his seven years under cover, pretending to be an environmental activist. The list also includes Spain, Poland, France, and Belgium.