11 Years of Guantanamo. Brennan CIA Nomination Consolidates Drone Assassination Strategy, Michael Ratner (Interview)
The New War for Afghanistan’s Untapped Oil, Antonia Juhasz
The Anti-Empire Report #113, William Blum
The Anti-Empire Report #114, William Blum
UK most unequal country in the West, Geoffrey Lean and Graham Ball
Cyprus. Grand Theft Euro, Paul Bowman
Egypt. The self-management of Port Said and the workers’ struggles
“The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture” by David Mamet, Louise Rubacky
The Ugly Truth Behind Obama’s Cyber-War, Alfredo Lopez
Lights, Camera, Activism, Louise Rubacky
The Tower that Toppled a Terrible Technology, Harvey Wasserman
Obama, Israel, and the Politics of Catharsis, Norman Pollack
Mr. President, You Confused Me, Amer Zahr
Flotilla 3.0: Redeeming Obama’s Palestine Speech with Gaza’s Ark, Robert Naiman
Another Thing Netanyahu Needs to Apologize For : The Gaza Blockade, Juan Cole
Rachel Corrie’s Rafah Legacy, Ramzy Baroud
Harvest Of Bil’in. Five Broken Cameras, Jane Frere
A new left arrives in Israel, Shany Littman
Knesset member condemns Israeli "Nazism" against Arabs
A ’no-strategy’ strategy : The Gatekeepers and soldier testimonies, Oded Na’aman
Soldiers’ confessions prove shocking Israeli Instagram photo soldiers not just a few bad apples, Adri Nieuwhof
Five Palestinian children killed in Syria, Noam Sheizaf
[*ON THE NET*]
’How to get filthy rich in rising Asia’ is Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel, part parody of the trashy American airport bookstore self-help guides, part reality check on what it means to claw your way out of dire poverty of the Far East and jump on the West’s gravy train. Interestingly the author himself went from Pakistan to Princeton, studied law at Harvard and worked for McKinsey’s management consultancy before making his name as a writer. His latest book is being published at a time when the concept of the Asian tiger economies is being questioned and in a gloomy and drawn-out era of austerity and recession, classic moves towards protectionism are back on the agenda.
Only a few years ago a new word entered the newspeak lexicon of management consultancy. Unlike many buzzwords that have their day and disappear, the term ’reshoring’ is gaining currency not just in the USA where it was coined as an expression for repatriating production that had been ’outsourced offshore’. For decades during the cataclysmic shift of the West’s manufacturing base to China and other parts of Asia’s low wage economies, people were spoonfed the corporate mantra that globalisation was the only way.
Gullible and greedy Westerners went on a spending spree grabbing low cost imported goods with little thought for why they were so cheap or what the longer term consequences might be. Participating in the exploitation of workers didn’t register as bargain hunters clinched a good deal, and the impact of moving goods back and forth in terms of carbon footprint and global warming was what the economists like to call an ’externality’ - someone else will pay the price.
It is slowly dawning that the game may be drawing to a close. Now businesses - not only in the USA - are being urged and have begun to bring back manufacturing contracts - to ’reshore’ the work. But what are the real reasons behind this reversal? The US financial sector continues to teeter on the brink, fearing it may yet plunge into a new Great Depression. Manufacturers are being told that they can cut costs by not exporting production and help restore the failing economies of Europe too. Suddenly there seems to be a new equilibrium where labour costs seem to have been driven low enough and there is a large enough reserve of the unemployed and desperately poor to be a match for China’s cheap labour.
Is there another agenda? After turning itself into a permanent war economy, the US is facing up to critical issues such as its dwindling energy supply, dependence on imports and chronic deficits. The Bank of China has been acquiring substantial property interests in the USA, and China has also been systematically extending its global economic influence, and importantly has secured long term oil supply deals with Iran, which is increasingly threatened with US-backed attack.
China has also been strengthening its military capabilities and has not merely been squaring up to Japan but rattling sabres over the Diaoyu Islands, uninhabited but key to territorial claims for mineral rights. Beijing political leadership is not best pleased that the US has had high level defence discussions with Japan over potential conflict.
China is also one of two major foreign creditors each owning about $1.1 trillion of US public debt. The other creditor is Japan. The USA is between a rock and a hard place. One false move against Iran or in the East China Sea could send the US and the rest of the world on a downward spiral where no amount of ’reshoring’ will help.
Photos CP. See http://divergences2.divergences.be/spip.php?article322