Syria | Iran | Inequality | Climate | China | USA

Sharmine Narwani: Questioning the Syrian “Casualty List” (al-Akhbar)

Glenn Greenwald: U.S. media takes the lead on Iran (Salon)

Andrew Hacker: We’re More Unequal Than You Think (New York Review of Books)

Throwing Out the Free Market Playbook: An Interview with Naomi Klein (Solutions)

I don’t think climate change necessitates a social revolution. This idea is coming from the right-wing think tanks and not scientific organizations. … You can set up carbon markets, consumer markets, and just pretend, but if you want to get serious about climate change, really serious, in line with the science, and you want to meet targets like 80 percent emissions cuts by midcentury in the developed world, then you need to be intervening strongly in the economy, and you can’t do it all with carbon markets and offsetting. You have to really seriously regulate corporations and invest in the public sector. And we need to build public transport systems and light rail and affordable housing along transit lines to lower emissions. The market is not going to step up to this challenge.

China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society (World Bank)
杜建国:世界银行,带上你的毒药滚回美国去 (Sina blog of Du Jianguo)
David Barboza: Furor Over Report Hints at a Chinese Policy Debate (New York Times)
John Bellamy Foster, Robert W. McChesney: The Global Stagnation and China (Monthly Review)

In order to avoid looming disaster, the current economic consensus suggests that the Chinese economy needs to rebalance its shares of net exports, investment, and consumption in GDP—moving away from an economy that is dangerously over-reliant on investment and exports, characterized by an extreme deficiency in consumer demand, and increasingly showing signs of a real estate/financial bubble. But the very idea of such a fundamental rebalancing—on the gigantic scale required—raises the question of contradictions that lie at the center of the whole low-wage accumulation model that has come to characterize contemporary Chinese capitalism, along with its roots in the current urban-rural divide.

Martin Hart-Landsberg: China and Neoliberalism (Lewis & Clark)

Michael Klare: America’s maritime power (Monde diplomatique)

Syria | Libya | Palestine/Israel | USA | China

Richard Spencer: Syria: Turkey raises prospect of buffer zone for first time (Telegraph)

The Syrian crisis has put new energy into old allegiances in what had been shifting diplomatic territory in the region. Syria and Russia are old allies, but Syria, already close to Iran, had been moving closer to Turkey too until earlier this year.
But Turkey, a key Nato member, moved squarely against first Libya and then a second state in the vanguard of anti-Western rhetoric in the region, Syria.
It remains unclear what effect this will have in military terms – most western countries are desperate to avoid further intervention in the region. But Turkey and its western allies imposed a buffer zone for the Kurds in northern Iraq in the early nineties, as part of a series of defensive measures and embargoes that ultimately led to the 2003 invasion.

Clinton to meet Syrian opposition in Switzerland (Daily Star)

Franklin C. Spinney: Why the US & Israel May Agree to Bombing Iran (CounterPunch)
Patrick Seale: Will Israel Bomb Iran? (agence global)
Paul Vallely: War on Iran has begun. And it is madness (Independent)

Diana Johnstone: As the “Humanitarian Warriors” Gloat… Here’s the Key Question in the Libyan War (CounterPunch)

A young French film-maker, Julien Teil, has filmed a remarkable interview in which the secretary general of the Libyan League for Human Rights, Slimane Bouchuiguir, candidly admits that he had “no proof” of the allegations he made before the U.N. Human Rights Commission which led to immediate expulsion of the official Libyan representative and from there to U.N. Resolutions authorizing what turned into the NATO war of regime change. Indeed, no proof has ever been produced of the “bombing of Libyan civilians” denounced by Al Jazeera, the television channel financed by the Emir of Qatar, who has emerged with a large share of Libyan oil business from the “liberation war” in which Qatar participated.

Amos Schocken: חיסולה ההכרחי של הדמוקרטיה / The necessary elimination of Israeli democracy (Ha’aretz) / Die israelische Apartheid (Frankfurter Rundschau)
Amira Hass: כשפשיסט איננה מלה גסה / In Israel, ‘fascist’ is not a rude word (Ha’aretz)
Or Kashti: סקר: מחצית מבני הנוער הודו שלא ילמדו בכיתה עם ערבי / Poll: Half of Israeli teens don’t want Arab students in their class (Ha’aretz)
Tom Segev: תוכנית קניה / Zionism, Uganda and the Jews (Ha’aretz)

Alexander Cockburn: Obama Rebirthed as TR (CounterPunch)
Alberto C. Ruiz: The AFL-CIO’s Covert Ops in Venezuela (CounterPunch)

Michael T. Klare: Playing With Fire: Obama’s Risky Oil Threat to China (Nation)
John Yi: An Anti-China Axis? (Diplomat)
Zhu Yuan: Small ray of hope for future (China Daily)

Libya | Manning | Fukushima

Stop the U.S. war on Libya and Bahrain! (International Action Center)

U.S., French, British, Italian hands off Libya!
NO to the U.S. supported attack on the people’s movement of Bahrain!
U.S. Out of Arab and African Lands!

China didn’t veto the UN resolution, but now “regrets” the attack:

外交部发言人姜瑜就多国部队对利比亚实施军事打击答记者问
(Gov.cn)

中方注意到利比亚局势的最新发展,对向利进行军事打击表示遗憾。中方一贯不赞成在国际关系中使用武力,主张遵循《联合国宪章》的宗旨与原则以及相关国际法准则,尊重利主权、独立、统一和领土完整。我们希望利局势尽快恢复稳定,避免武装冲突升级造成更多平民伤亡。

Russia didn’t veto the UN resolution, but now “regrets” the attack:
Moscow regrets coalition operation in Libya (ITAR-TASS)

“Moscow regrets the armed action undertaken in Libya by a number of countries with reference to a hastily adopted U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973,” [Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich] said on Saturday, March 19.

The Arab League first called for a “no-fly zone” and now says it isn’t happy about the attack:
Patrick Wintour, Ewen MacAskill: Gaddafi may become target of air strikes, Liam Fox admits (Guardian)

The Arab League secretary general, Amr Moussa, also startled western governments when he denounced the air attacks only a week after the league had called for creation of a no-fly zone.
Moussa, who is a candidate for the Egyptian presidency, said: “What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians.”

Morales and Chávez have condemned the attack:
Presidente Morales reiteró su rechazo a intervención militar en Libia (RNV)

El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, reiteró su rotundo rechazo a la intervención de potencias extranjeras militares, de Estados Unidos, de la Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte (Otan) o de otros países en Libia y puntualizó que no aceptan la violación de derechos humanos en la nación norte africana.

Presidente Chávez ratificó llamado al cese al fuego en Libia (RNV)

En cadena nacional de radio y televisión, el presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, rechazó este sábado la acción militar de los aliados de Estados Unidos contra Libia y ratificó su llamado al cese al fuego.

Gilbert Achcar: Libyan Developments (Znet)

Obama is not only keeping Guantánamo and other torture sites for subhuman non-Americans open, but he’s also condoning the torture of US citizens.

Josh Rogin: Crowley resigns over Manning remarks (Foreign Policy)

“With respect to Private Manning, I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are,” said Obama. “I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.”

Glenn Greenwald: WH forces P.J. Crowley to resign for condemning abuse of Manning (Salon)

So, in Barack Obama’s administration, it’s perfectly acceptable to abuse an American citizen in detention who has been convicted of nothing by consigning him to 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement, barring him from exercising in his cell, punitively imposing “suicide watch” restrictions on him against the recommendations of brig psychiatrists, and subjecting him to prolonged, forced nudity designed to humiliate and degrade. But speaking out against that abuse is a firing offense. Good to know.

Here are projections by the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna of the dispersion of radioactive elements from the Fukushima nuclear plant. They show that particles are mostly taken to the east, over the pacific. The maps are not very detailed and not so reassuring for people who live within 250 kilometres of the site.
Article (in German): Unfall im japanischen Kernkraftwerk Fukushima.
Animations: Ausbreitung der Wolke von Fukushima – permanente Freisetzung, Jod-131; permanente Freisetzung, Cs-137, globales Bild; Edelgas Xe-133, globales Bild (ZAMG)
Earlier simulations:
Gerhard Wotawa: Ausbreitungsrechnung der Strahlungswolke in Japan, 15–18 March (ZAMG)
Gerhard Wotawa: Störfall im japanischen Kernkraftwerk Fukushima, 12–17 March (ZAMG)

Thailand | Iran | Israel | ecology

Thailand: Economic Background to Political Crisis (MRzine)

The conflict between the current Thai government (…) and the wide spectrum of anti-government protestors is not simply about certain political processes or about individuals like Thaksin Shinawatra … Rather, it is substantially about economic policy … The continued popularity of Thaksin among the peasants and otherwise unorganised workers is largely because of what the Thai elite sniffs away as “populist policies”. This term is a favourite among chattering classes across the developing world, used to denigrate any economic policies with minimally redistributive impact from the rich and middle classes to the poor.

Goalposts on Iran moved, yet again (IranAffairs)

No sooner had Iran announced that it was going to ship its LEU to Turkey, than State Department spokesman PJ Crowley held a press conference in which he added the proviso that the US would not accept the deal since Iran had not stopped enrichment too.
Of course, stopping enrichment was never part of the original deal offered to Iran, and Iran would not have even provisionally accepted such a offer if it was included.

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons (Guardian)

Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons

John Bellamy Foster: The Ecology of Socialism (MRzine)
Original: De ecologie van het socialisme (Solidair) /« Ce qu’il faut, c’est une révolution écologique » (Solidaire)