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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

 

Who's getting rich from COVID-19?

Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Layla Moran Liberal Democrat MP (TBC)

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

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