Imperialism

Imperial Oil: Petroleum Politics in the Nigerian Delta and the New Scramble for Africa

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Anna Zalik and Michael Watts explain why being "oil rich" has become a curse on the poor of Nigeria and Angola.

The new scramble for Africa strikingly resembles the gun boat diplomacy and violence of the late nineteenth century. And the violence in the Niger Delta arises from a context in which oil industry policies have encouraged competition among local residents for the meagre payments associated with corporation activities on their land and waterways. Africa is experiencing a major oil boom. The continent accounts for roughly 10 percent of world oil output, and 9.3 percent of known reserves. Over the last decade it has emerged as a strategic supplier to the US market.

The End of Subsidies Will Not Solve Poverty

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Cutting state aid to farmers in the North could make matters worse for those in the South.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference in Hong Kong is over. The 14 political prisoners, mainly Korean farmers arrested during a protest against the Hong Kong agreement, have been released, although three of them will be prosecuted. And, it would seem, the WTO became just that little bit better, by addressing a charge frequently laid by its critics - the WTO is a fig leaf for a kind of agricultural imperialism.

Global Faultlines

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Chris Harman identifies three problems facing global capitalism.

The ruling classes of mainland Europe are now trying to recover from the shock which hit them in the early summer. Their central project of pushing through neo-liberalism was thrown into crisis by the No vote in the French and Dutch referendums.

Since the referendum all leaders of the European Union's mainstream parties have repeated the same refrain. Europe's economies, they say, have no future unless the mass of people are prepared to work harder, and for lower wages and pensions in order to cope with 'the challenge from India and China'.

US Imperialism: The Cracks in the US Machine

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Behind the military superiority of the US empire lie major weaknesses. Walden Bello and John Rees discuss the problems facing America's rulers.

Walden Bello: US imperialism today, despite its seeming power, is in crisis. This crisis has several different dimensions. There is a crisis at the economic level (the state of global capitalism), the military-political level and the ideological level. It is the way that the crisis of overproduction at the economic level, the crisis of overextension at the military-political level and the crisis of legitimacy at the ideological level relate to one another that constitutes the uniqueness of this period.

The crisis of global capitalism

The No's Have It

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Alex Callinicos examines the problems facing Europe's ruling class.

Europe In Crisis' has been a regular fallback for headline writers over the decades. But now, after the referendums in France and the Netherlands, the European Union really is in crisis. Various factors have gone into the making of this crisis, some of which have been in the foreground of the debate on the proposed European Constitution - for example, the implications for the EU of enlargement to incorporate East and Central Europe.

Revolt against the elites

Imperialism's African Helpers

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Africa needs to break immediately from the most destructive circuits of global capital, and its leaders are on the wrong side.

Paul Wolfowitz is a 'wonderful individual'. He is 'perfectly capable'. This judgment of the Iraq war architect's anointment as World Bank president came from Africa's most prominent finance minister, Trevor Manuel. The former grassroots anti-apartheid leader offered the comments at a 17 April press conference of the World Bank/IMF Development Committee, which he has chaired since 2002.

Interview: The Imperial Blowback

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Robert Fisk explains to Simon Assaf why there can be no peace in the Middle East until Britain and the US get out.

You are currently writing a book - what is it about?

It's called The Great War of Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East. It studies the way in which history traps us, and how we are never free to make decisions because we are always caught by history.

End of Empire: Spectre of Defeat

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Will the Iraqis humble the mighty US empire? Alex Callinicos investigates.

Something extraordinary has happened in the past three years. On 11 September 2001, we are endlessly reminded, the greatest military power in history was fiercely attacked before the eyes of the world. Its rulers reacted to this grievous humiliation by declaring a global 'war on terrorism' and conquering two 'rogue states' - Iraq and Afghanistan.

Imperialism - Remaking the Middle East

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The history of British and French rule in the Middle East makes uncomfortable reading for Iraq's new conquerors.

'I'll never engage in creating kings again: it's too great a strain.' As they struggle to impose a compliant government on Iraq, Pentagon officials may well reflect on the words that Gertrude Bell wrote in 1921. Bell, an adviser to the British High Commissioner in Baghdad, played an important role in creating a new colonial order for the Middle East. Out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire, the imperialists of an earlier generation fashioned a network of client kingdoms under British and French tutelage.

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