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Tag Archives: Middle East

Yanis Varoufakis: Interview with Léa El Azzi on Capitalism After the Pandemic, Europe, Greece, Lebanon & the IMF

Yves here. Yanis Varoufakis meets the Lucy Kellaway test, of always having a clear and forcefully stated point of view, even if it might rub the listener the wrong way. Varoufakis makes some important observations about capitalism and the political impact of Covid-19, but one remark had me scratching my head. He claims corporate profits fell after the financial crisis. In the US, that’s simply false. Corporate profits have been at a record share of GDP, between 10% and 12% (analysts differ as...

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Pentagon Porks Up as Covid-19 Bleeds Economy

Yves here. Official America is doubling down on what it has become, a country where redistribution of income to protected interests and industries is a top priority. Despite the fact that the US hasn’t won a war since World War II (and even then, Russia deserves more credit), we keep throwing money at the Pentagon. Exercising soft power is much more cost effective, but it’s way too obvious that national interests broadly defined don’t factor in this equation. We’ve had so many national...

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How Covid-19 is Creating a Social-Distancing Version of War

Yves here. Even as dark a cloud as Covid-19 can have a silver lining: it’s crimping America’s war-making style. By Danny Sjursen, a retired U.S. Army major and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now lives in Lawrence, Kansas. He has written a memoir of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, will be published in...

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The War Nerd: How Many Dead Yemeni Nobodies Does It Take to Equal 1 Wapo Contributor?

By Gary Brecher. Republished from the Radio War Nerd subscriber newsletter. Subscribe to Radio War Nerd for podcasts, newsletters and more! The headline here is not a joke, unfortunately. It’s a question you can’t help asking if you’ve followed the war in Yemen. You probably noticed that on Radio War Nerd we’ve pointed out over and over that some wartime deaths get a whole lot of attention, others very little — or none. But it’s not easy to get a real-life scientific-type test of the...

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‘No Warming, No War’: Report Details How US Militarism and Climate Crisis Are Deeply Interwoven

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer at CommonDreams. Originally published at CommonDreams A new report examining the federal budget illuminates the deep connections between the climate emergency and the U.S. military, arguing that the shift to a green economy requires a just transition away from both fossil fuels and endless war. The report, entitled No Warming, No War: How Militarism Fuels the Climate Crisis—and Vice Versa (pdf), says that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic “has utterly changed...

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Tracking global energy transition in turbulent times: solar stutters, coal keeps growing

As the extent of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on economic activity and power demand emerges, newbuild activity in global power faces old and new sets of challenges. The short-term focus has been shifting due to coronavirus-related disruption of manufacturing activity and logistics, but delays will most likely be short-lived. The global power capacity mix has already been shifting toward renewables. S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates that solar photovoltaic, wind and hydro...

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How Far Will Trump Go To Save U.S. Shale

Jerri-Lynn here. I have one major quibble with this post, which focuses on high-level maneuevring to get Saudi Arabia to call off its price war. But observers such as Justin Mikulka at DeSmogBlog have shown how the shale oil industry was in deep trouble long before the price way erupted. We’ve crossposted Mikulka’s excellent work. See, e.g., Is the U.S. Fracking Boom Based on Fraud? and To Many’s Dismay, Permian Produces More Gas and Condensate Instead of Oil and Profits for just two recent...

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Russia Is Defeating The U.S. In The Middle East Oil Game

Yves here. There’s a bit of a “dastardly Russia” undertone to this piece which undercuts the notion that the author, Simon Watkins, is engaged in reporting. But Watkins may regard this positioning as necessary. Frankly, the US has made such a mess of Iraq, and in killing Iran’s Solemani, also knocked off Iraqi general al-Muhandis, that it should be no surprise that Russia is getting a receptive audience. By Simon Watkins, a former senior FX trader and salesman, financial journalist, and...

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Iraq Is on the Brink of an Energy Crisis

Yves here. Lots of juicy detail, but I wonder about the cheery conclusion, that the US wins in Iraq no matter how it plays the question of extending the Iraq waiver to pay for energy imports from Iran. It’s not clear to me how further destabilizing Iraq (and demonstrating that the US is an irresponsible and destructive imperialist) benefits the US beyond enriching our arms merchants. By Simon Watkins, a former senior FX trader and salesman, financial journalist, and best-selling author. He...

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War for Fun and Profit

Yves here. The furor over Iowa, the State of the Union, and the failed impeachment gambit have managed to push aside a lot of solid reporting and commentary. This offering is yet another look at war profiteering, American style. By William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor. His personal blog is Bracing Views. Originally published at TomDispatch The expression “self-licking ice cream cone” was first used in 1992 to describe a hidebound bureaucracy at NASA. Yet,...

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