Newsletter – September 2014

Welcome to The Global Dispatches,

This month we have Daniel Levy, the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the European Council on Foreign Relations,  previously an official negotiator for the Israeli government in peace talks with the Palestinians under Prime Ministers Rabin and Barak, and served as the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative on the 95% public support the Israeli military enjoys for its assault on Gaza. Adam Bodnar, vice-president of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, one of the leading human rights NGOs in Poland and Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, a lawyer and project co-ordinator at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights on the situation in Azerbaijan where prominent human rights defenders are being arrested; and NGOs raided. ‘Caviar diplomacy’ is covering it all up. David Green the author of  "The Hundred Years War: A People’s History" on how English and French nationalism were forged through centuries of bitter military rivalry that carved out a new European, and ultimately global, order. Kirsty Hughes explains why the UK no longer has a foreign policy. Isabel Hilton, the editor of chinadialogue.net, on how China’s rapid growth is placing increasing demands on natural resources in the region but Beijing’s political rise is encouraging the dictatorship to flex its muscles.  Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere visits the Truth and Preserving the Memory Commission of Paraíba, Brasil to see how they are collecting information about torture during the 21 years of military rule in the country - and much more

Capitalising the Future
By Ronen Palan

The wealth of the superrich is tied up in complex leverage schemes and esoteric predictions about future earnings, making it much more complex and volatile than most economists recognise explains Ronen Palen, Professor of International Political Economy at City University London.

The 100 Years War and the Making of Modern Europe
By David Green

English and French nationalism were forged through centuries of bitter military rivalry that carved out a new European, and ultimately global, order.

Opening wounds
By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere

Brazil was ruled by the military for 21 years from 1964 to 1985. In 1979 the generals gave themselves an amnesty for crimes committed during the dictatorship. However, since 2012, a truth commission has been collecting information, data and names. For the time being the torturers can only be punished morally, but the hope is to overturn the amnesty law in the future.

Israel’s Spinning Moral Compass
By Daniel Levy

Apparent wall-to-wall consensus in favour of the Gaza offensive among the Israeli public masks a deep internal moral malaise and an erosion of democratic checks and balances explains Daniel Levy, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the European Council on Foreign Relations

China tests its neighbours’ patience
By Isabel Hilton

China’s rapid growth is placing increasing demands on natural resources in the region but Beijing’s political rise is encouraging the dictatorship to flex its muscles.

Why the UK has no foreign policy
By Kirsty Hughes

In the absence of any political lead either from their UK masters or their indirect US ones, the UK's foreign office diplomats are left with little direction to exercise real clout, and no role, even on a realpolitik basis, to play in a changing and challenging world.

‘Caviar diplomacy’ hides human rights abuse in Azerbaijan
By Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska - Adam Bodnar

In Azerbaijan, prominent human rights defenders are being arrested; and NGOs raided. ‘Caviar diplomacy’ covers it all up.

How many minutes to midnight?
By Noam Chomsky

Despite Hiroshima's scars, history cruelly reveals one instance after another in which the US elected to maintain the power of nuclear weapons for statecraft, squandering opportunities to de-escalate in favor of building the case for the national security state.

Secret Prisons, Disappearances and Torture
By Rory O’Connell

In a ruling described by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as “landmark”, the European Court of Human Rights has passed excoriating judgment on the US “war on terror” following the attacks of 2001.

If only Turkey were Thrace …
By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere

On 10 August the first ever direct election of the president will take place in Turkey. Erdogan's victory seems clear-cut, but In Thrace, Ihsanoğlu, the opposition candidate is expected to inflict a heavy defeat on the current Prime Minister. Thrace, however, is an exception and home to just over 2% of the population.

 
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