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Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
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2012 - The Year that was
The "Arab Spring" began in Tunisia (the "jasmine revolution"), fuelled by increasing social oppression, revelations by Wikileaks of rampant corruption in the government and by the increasingly difficult economic circumstances amongst the citizens of the country. It was finally sparked off by an incident whereby a desperate vegetable merchant set fire to himself. After 28 turbulent days, Ben Ali fled the country, no doubt his ill gotten gains secured in a Swiss bank account. Buoyed by the apparent success of their Arab brothers in ousting their corrupt leader, the "revolution" then spread and infected Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and others. Initially the west was caught somewhat off guard by all this, but after consultation with think tanks such as NED and the Albert Einstein institute and others, it was realized that the west could take full advantage of the situation by working closely with the Muslim brotherhood to rid itself of some troublesome strongmen and better secure access to natural resources and strategic control across the whole of North Africa in preparation for the longer term push across the whole of Africa and into Syria in the middle east with an eye towards the further isolation and future invasion of Iran. In return for this alliance, all that seemed to be required was political support for the Muslim brotherhood and turning a blind eye to the imposition of islamic law in any countries that happened to fall in the process. And since when did the west ever care about what restrictions were being imposed on citizens once it was getting what it wanted?
Allying with strongmen had been a somewhat convenient compromise in the past for the west but such men were inclined to play hardball with the west over resources and money. Who knows, perhaps they reasoned that islamists might be conveniently less concerned with such earthly matters and could accordingly be more easily separated from them.
For example, Gadaffi was attempting, amongst other things, to create a gold backed currency for Africa. With shrewd operators like him attempting to strengthen Africa's hand at the negotiating table, and in the background the quiet opportunism of China in securing present and future resource deals in return for fiat dollars and for building infrastructure, the future exploitation of African resources was beginning to look somewhat more complicated. What was needed was to oust the likes of Gadaffi, make an example of them, destroy infrastructure and break up any fragile alliances that might be taking hold and replace all this with a corrupt sectarian religious weapon soaked witches brew which could be easily divided and conquered in the best western tradition.
Of course this "Arab spring" process could not be allowed to infect other vassal states such as Bahrain where the US 5th fleet is located. Gene Sharp and his manual of destabilization, strategic advisors coordinators, materials communications technology, weapons and willing jihadist mercenaries to help implement destabilization strategies were only available in selected oppressive Arab regimes. The rest would have to suck up the clouds of UK supplied tear gas until they choked and cower from the UK supplied armored cars and rubber bullets, and wonder why the media never seemed to cover their struggle against their oppressors like the heroes of Tahir. Western sponsored colour revolutions are not allowed for everybody!.
As a prelude, Mubarak was getting on in years and it was a good PR move to support his removal and replacement by a younger leader backed by the muslim brotherhood. Western media fell over themselves to support the "revolution". Al Jazeera gushed propaganda 24/7 and no amount of western expense was spared setting up technological fixes after the internet was shut down by Mubarak. The "twitter revolution" was hailed across every PR mouthpiece of the west. The Emphasis being on "twit" if you actually believed what the likes of Al Jazeera were saying about what was going on! In the end after a few nasty skirmishes blown up to huge proportions worldwide by the power of the internet and world media, Mubarak in the end left rather tamely and everyone believed it was some sort of victory for grassroots activism. However one election and one islamist constitution and an attempted Authoritarian power grab later and the penny is starting to drop for the idealists that rallied in Tahir square. They've been had!
Libya is now in chaos, awash with weapons and with armed militia roaming the country and sharia is on it's way. And of course there was no "no fly zone" to protect the civilians of Bani Walid from the cruel wrath of the "rebels"
It's ongoing at this time.
The Wikileaks saga continued to rumble on and the media have decided to make Julian Assange the public face of Wikileaks. In February the released the Global Intelligence Files which consisted of of more than 5 million emails hacked from the Texas-headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor giving an insight into the corrupt and underhand techniques of governments and corporations worldwide.
Obama was re-elected for a second term.
Not that it makes a sod of difference which imperialist corporate puppet gets to lie to the American people while their armies maintain bases in 130+ countries all over the world, their financial terrorist institutions on wall street lay waste to the economic futures of all of us to line their own pockets and their vacant selfish cultural paradigm is propagated to the detriment of richer more thoughtful cultures through televisions across the world. Not all of us were fooled by the pointless theatre that constituted the latest US election cycle. But perhaps it would have been better if the silver tongued puppet had lost and the less competent liar wingnut puppet had won. It would probably make our job at indymedia trying to wake people up to their reality a little easier. Sigh! :-(
Shell report: Boring machine
People should bear in mind that the gas processing terminal being built will be used for other gas fields also given away for free to Shell and other corporations but the government doesn't like to advertise that fact because then the penny might really drop about how comprehensive and utterly criminal the oil and gas giveaway has been. God forbid people might even rise up but then we're not like the Greeks so it is okay.
The threat of permanent pollution damage to the water tables over a wide area of the central North West midlands continued to loom as the Ponzi scheme that is fracking which its exponential falling production rates within 6 months of startup of a given well, continued to hang over Ireland. The famous investigator reporter Greg Palast came over to tells us Fracking is a fraud on the people and we would be mad to let it go ahead. Some of the stories from Indymedia on the issue this year were:
This supreme court ruling only dealt with a narrow range of scenarios where the life of the mother was clearly at risk. It was not even remotely attempting to grasp the nettle of allowing women the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. Clearly, in our eyes, once pregnant, a woman is nothing but a glorified incubator. Even in the case of rape or incest, the woman is still expected to carry the child of her rapist to termination.
Meanwhile, thousands of women each year will continue to travel to get their terminations in England, thus making this "ethical position" merely nothing more than a punitive tax on poorer women who cannot afford the cost of travel, accommodation and the operation. Rich women, on the other hand, will continue to view their unfortunate trip to England as a minor inconvenience. They book a first class flight online, book into a plush hotel room, and maybe catch a show in the west end and make a weekend of it. I'm sure the supreme being will be very happy with our "Irish solution to an Irish problem". However, you better all pray that the supreme being is not a woman otherwise we're all definitely going to hell!!
Other events of note in 2012:
Fiscal compact treaty
The government very successfully using scare tactics like they did famously for the Lisbon Treaty by saying it was about "Jobs" when in fact no jobs were created, achieved victory with the Fiscal Treaty earlier this year. Through the state propaganda apparatus and with help from the government friendly capitalist media they managed to get it over the line. If you were hood-winked into voting Yes you might want to re-read some of the issues raised around this were in the article below. Of course had we voted No the government prodded by the EU would have got us to vote again just like they got us to vote twice for the Nice Treaty and Lisbon Treaties. Article 136 TFEU amendment, the ESM and the Fiscal Compact Treaty