Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Best of the Diary

[updated - 28 / 11 / 2009]

My most significant articles from 2006 onwards appear on my homepage at University College London's School of Public Policy.

This page includes my best blog posts, essays and articles from February 2005, when I started this blog, to late 2007. Have a browse and see if anything grabs your attention.

About The Democrat's Diary (February 2005)
Short Q&A about the site, plus a more detailed explanation of the view of the global political economy that underpins what’s written here.

Africa’s battle with corruption (July 2005)
79% of people in Britain blame corruption for Africa's economic problems. However, not only are much of the West’s (and New Labour’s) own third world policies intrinsically corrupt, but those policies also contribute directly towards corruption in Africa itself. The obstacle to third world development that corruption represents could be dealt with in no small part by correcting our own behaviour.

Are Muslims from Mars and Europeans from Venus? (February 2006)
Some thoughts on the “clash of civilisations”.

Bad Medicine - the bitter taste of the Anglo-Saxon model (May 2007)
Is neo-liberalism the pragmatic, non-ideological choice of "what works best"? The facts suggest otherwise.

The Blair Myth (June 2007)
A challenge to the popular hagiography that saw Tony Blair as a uniquely gifted politician and a crusader for liberal values on the world stage.

Blessed are the poor in spirit (April 2005)
Introducing Pope Benedict XVI.

Britain’s Role in the Israeli-Hezbollah War (September 2006)
As far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive, in-depth and researched account available of the role Britain played in backing Israel during its assault on Lebanon in the summer of 2006. Used by US Middle East academics Norman Finkelstein and Juan Cole, and, in shorter form, by Le Monde Diplomatique (subscribers only). Part 3 of a series on Israel (see below).

Britain's Failure in Iraq (November 2007)
An analysis piece for Le Monde Diplomatique, "Britain's failure in Iraq" reviews the British involvement in the invasion and occupation and explores the reasons for London's failure to achieve its strategic goals.

The Credit Crunch and the Free Market (August 2007)
Some observations on the crisis in the global markets that began in summer 2007, and what the events revealed about the nature of the Western 'liberal' economies

Following Orders (January 2006)
On the moral and institutional relationship between government and the armed forces.

Gorgeous George (April 2005)
A profile of George Galloway written with the intention of disucssing the broader issue of the difficulties facing those attempting to put forward alternative political points of view.

The Guardian, Colombia and Venezuela: a paired example (June 2007)
Noting the differences in The Guardian's coverage of politics in Columbia and Venezuela.

If Britain were Iraq, What would it be Like? (March 2005)
A transposition of Iraq’s current situation onto Britain, which puts things into a decidedly unsettling perspective.

Ignoring the Intelligence: How New Labour Helped Bring Terror to London (July 2005)
On the government’s culpability in the London tube bombings of 2005, including a comprehensive review of the warnings it received that the invasion of Iraq would materially increase the risk of terrorist attacks on Britain.

Incitement to racial hatred (March 2005)
Examining the politics of race and immigration in the run up to the UK General Election of 2005. Recall that current Conservative leader David Cameron was instrumental in designing the Tory approach described here (and here).

Iraq and the Western Media: Sleepwalking through slaughter (November 2005)
Gruesome atrocities continue to be committed by the occupying powers in Iraq, passing with little or no mention in the mainstream media on either side of the Atlantic. As such the media are accessories to these crimes, standing as they do between the criminals and accountability.

Iraqi Democracy and the Limits of Western idealism (March 2006)
The fraud of Bush and Blair’s “stand for democracy” in Iraq.

The Iran hostage crisis in context (April 2007)
An analysis of the geo-political context in which the capture of several British servicepeople by Iran took place in spring 2007. I was interviewed on this subject by Nadim Mahjoub for his show "Middle East Panorama" on Resonance FM. You can listen to the interview here.

Israel: Colonialism in the 21st Century (Part 1 and Part 2) - (Summer 2005)
An in-depth study in two parts. Part 1 examines the nature of Israeli colonialism. Part 2 examines the fraud and melodrama of the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, comparing it with IDF evictions of Palestinians in Gaza during May 2004. My article of 2006 on the Israel-Hezbollah war (see above) can be taken as the crucial
third part of this series, looking at the reason that these affairs concern us - Britain's unstinting support for Israel and complicity in its actions.

Kosovo and its Implications (May 2007)
An essay arguing that the war on Kosovo was driven by geo-strategic self-interest, not liberal altrusim.

The Liberties of Boris Johnson (July 2007)
An examination of UK Tory politician Boris Johnson and the right-wing 'libertarian' world view he espouses.

The legality of the Iraq war: time to move on (April 2005)
Examining the legal status of the invasion of Iraq.

The Mythical Centre Ground (Summer 2006)
Where does the “centre-ground” of British politics really lie? Not, according to the evidence, where the political class imagines it to be. In two parts, one on domestic and one on foreign policy.

The Politics of Happiness (July 2006)
Discussion of the standard doctrines on economics that prevail in political discourse. Published on the English-language website of Le Monde Diplomatique.

The Poor Are Revolting (April 2005)
On the sanctions against Iraq, and whether opposition to New Labour can “only hurt the poorest”.

Still Strangling Palestine (April 2007)
On the Western response to the Hamas election victory in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of January 2006.

Still Time for War with Iran (July 2007)
George Bush's political weakness in the final days of his Presidency does not rule out the chances of a US military strike on Iran.

Understanding Britain (February 2007)
An examination of the relationship between UK foreign policy and the current debates about “Britishness” and national identity.

Unfamiliar terrain, new opportunities: some thoughts on future campaigning (November 2006)
Paper to a conference of UK anti-war group Iraq Occupation Focus.

United by a Goal (August 2007)

The reaction to Iraq's victory in football's Asia Cup tells us something about the state of Iraqi nationalism, even in a time of civil war (published by the Arabic edition of Le Monde Diplomatique here - subscribers only though, I'm afraid).

Why is the WTO facing a Legitimacy Crisis? (May 2007)
An essay reviewing developing-world resistance to Western demands on trade liberalisation.

Withdrawing from Iraq (October 2005)
An attempt to turn the call for US-UK withdrawal from Iraq into a detailed policy proposal to unite around and campaign for; addressing in particular the questionable dichotomy of ‘occupation-or-civil-war’.

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