Costs of War March 2012

Costs of current US imperial wars, courtesy Bill Moyers.

Lessons (Again, because we’re memoryless morons.) of military interventions, this time Libya: “Military interventions that topple repressive regimes invariably offer occasions to observe, though at others’ expense, the law of unintended consequences. Second, the constituencies that clamor for such campaigns move quickly to other matters once those malign consequences become manifest.”

Advertisements

Geist in the Machine

Arundhati Roy’s “Capitalism, a ghost story” is beautifully written and meaty.

“By calling their tower Antilla, do the Ambanis hope to sever their links to the poverty and squalor of their homeland and raise a new civilisation? Is this the final act of the most successful secessionist movement in India? The secession of the middle and upper classes into outer space? 

As night fell over Mumbai, guards in crisp linen shirts with crackling walkie-talkies appeared outside the forbidding gates of Antilla. The lights blazed on, to scare away the ghosts perhaps. The neighbours complain that Antilla’s bright lights have stolen the night. 

 Perhaps it’s time for us to take back the night.”

Again with the Containment of US Lebensraum!

Despite Anglo-Israeli-American efforts to isolate Iran, China is building a $2 bn domestic railway line for Iran that could eventually be linked up with Syrian and Iraq railway networks that extend to the Mediterranean.

As it ever has been in the history of capitalism and apparently ever shall be, the Anglosphere is trying to control and exploit the whole globe, and China and India are working with neighboring countries–like capable Iran–to push back and create their own independent transport routes.

Maoists Win Nepalese Elections 2008

Nepal’s Maoists extend poll lead
Nepal’s Maoist party has increased its lead as more results are declared from the country’s landmark elections.
BBC News
April 13, 2008

The former guerrillas have won 40 out of 79 seats declared, well ahead of all other parties, and far more than many analysts had expected.

Partial results suggest a similar lead elsewhere, polling officials said.

The polls, for an assembly tasked with writing a new constitution, are the first to test the Maoists at the ballot box after their 10-year insurgency.

The BBC’s Charles Haviland in Kathmandu says it is not just the fact that the Maoists are ahead that has caused amazement, but the scale of their lead.

The Maoists have so far won more than three times as many seats as the traditionally powerful Nepali Congress, which is currently in third place.

Many key Maoist leaders have won seats, mostly with very large majorities.

Several senior politicians have lost, including the nephew and daughter of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and the leader of the traditional second party, the Communist UML, as well as a veteran royalist Prime Minister, Surya Bahadur Thapa, who came third in his seat.

The new assembly is expected to confirm an agreement made in December between the ruling government alliance and former rebels to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy.

‘Committed’

The Maoists’ leader, known by his nom-de-guerre, Prachandra, called the results a “victory” as he celebrated his win on Saturday in the capital, Kathmandu.

“We are fully committed to the peace process and multiparty democracy and to rebuild this country,” he said.

Maoist supporters have been holding victory processions, with red vermillion powder smeared on their faces and red hammer-and-sickle flags in their hands.

The election for the 601-seat assembly is a key element in the peace deal that ended the Maoists’ decade-long insurgency.

Although the Maoists have not yet renounced violence, they will almost certainly now have to adjust from being a party of revolt to being a party at the heart of government, our correspondent says.

Many Nepalis say they voted for the former rebels because they want the new faces that the older parties do not offer, or because the Maoists’ actions have, in many cases, raised the wages they earn.

Intimidation

Results for the 240 constituencies chosen by the first-past-the-post system are expected over the next 10 days, although another 335 seats to be elected by proportional representation are not expected to be decided for several weeks.

The interim government is to appoint the remaining 26 seats.

While the Maoists were widely accused of electoral intimidation and threats ahead of the vote, the figures so far make it clear that even without that kind of fear factor, voters are still giving them a huge mandate, our correspondent says.

Nepal held its first polls since 1999 following the Maoists’ decision to end their armed struggle in 2006.

King Gyanendra seized absolute power in 2005 but was forced to give up his authoritarian rule the following year after weeks of pro-democracy protests.

He has since lost all his powers and his command of the army.