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October 17 - 23 on openDemocracy

The first ever use of bombing was in Libya 100 years ago, in 1911. Gaddafi’s gruesome end is arguably one legacy of that attack. We mark it with a sweeping survey of aerial destruction and its effect on our souls, announcing a three-day international conference in London supported by openDemocracy: Shock and Awe – a century of bombing.
31 October 2011

Power at a distance: don’t they love it. Mary Kaldor reviews a new book on intervention: she says that everyone underestimates the political intelligence of the poor sods on the ground.

This is a big question posed by the Arab Awakening. It preoccupies our writers after Gaddafi’s death. The Palestinian Ahmad Samih Khalidi meditates deeply to conclude that little will become what it seems. Khalil al-Anani sets out a crisp and contemptuous dissection of the Egyptian military’s attempt to keep power. Mehmet Dosemeci sees a ‘Mediterranean moment’ and Sami Zubaidi concludes his analysis of the ideological underpinnings of the entire Arab political landscape while David Held sets out a cosmopolitan framework for pluralism in a post-realpolitik era.

Polly Pallister-Wilkins presents a thorough analysis of the EU’s un-cosmopolitan migration management and its failures - while the Arab Awakening exposes its double standards.

‘Cosmopolitan’ is not a word that springs to the lips of those involved in the new #Occupy movement taking to cities in the wake of Occupy Wall Street (David Graeber’s account of how it began), and  Rome? As London joins in, OurKingdom hosts a rapidly growing collection of first hand reports and arguments on the #Occupy movements.

If you prefer to keep up with the grim side, openSecurity reports in short, informative posts on starvation in North Korea, plans to hammer Kurdish guerrillas, the staggering monsoon floods in mainland Southeast Asia and the US pullout from Iraq. Chris Wilkins exposes the underlying social conflicts in Hong Kong’s benevolent despotism. Costas Constantinou looks at machismo in the most recent episode of the Cyprus conflict, where Turkey’s ascent as a regional power is in full display, while nationalism at home grows.

On the (alleged) Iranian plot in Washington, we question the official story, uncovering internal struggles in the Islamic Republic, and assessing the implications: is war on Iran imminent?  

But to end on a positive note: there is hope for a world without borders. Could the future be cosmopolitan?

 

Three interesting links from elsewhere:

How the catastrophe of the little known 1991 western intervention in Algeria shows Muslim governments must be tolerated not destroyed.

It goes back to the shameful massacre of ordinary Algerians in Paris this month in 1911 given the coverage it deserves in the daily Mail.

Drones – the new arms race

 

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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