• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Archive | September, 2010

After False Promises, the Heat is On in Iraq

BAGHDAD – Iraqis promised development with the ouster of Saddam Hussein and the arrival of the U.S. are now suffering lack of development as never before. And where it hurts every moment is through the collapse of power supply.

More than seven years into the U.S. occupation, most Iraqis lack electricity, leading to demonstrations in towns and cities across the country.

“The big problems began in 2003 with the occupation of Iraq,” 61-year-old Hashim Mahdi told IPS in Baghdad. “The occupiers destroyed all the institutions and the country’s infrastructure, including power plants. More than seven years later there is no improvement.”

Like other Iraqis, Mahdi agreed there had been infrastructure problems before the U.S. occupation, due to Iraq’s war with Iran, and then the U.S. bombing campaigns throughout the 1990s that targeted power plants. But after those attacks, the former regime was able to get the electricity supply restored.

The problems since 2003 have been far worse.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Evidence Mounts of BP Spraying Toxic Dispersants

Private contractor in Carolina Skiff with tank of Corexit dispersant, August 10, south of Pass Christian Harbor, 9:30 AM. (Photo: Don Tillman)

Private contractor in Carolina Skiff with tank of Corexit dispersant, August 10, south of Pass Christian Harbor, 9:30 AM. (Photo: Don Tillman)

Shirley and Don Tillman, residents of Pass Christian, Mississippi, have owned shrimp boats, an oyster boat and many pleasure boats. They spent much time on the Gulf of Mexico before working in BP’s Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program looking for and trying to clean up oil.

Don decided to work in the VOO program in order to assist his brother, who was unable to do so due to health problems. Thus, Don worked on the boat and Shirley decided to join him as a deckhand most of the days.

“We love the Gulf, our life is here and so when this oil disaster happened, we wanted to do what we could to help clean it up,” Shirley explained to Truthout.

However, not long after they began working in BP’s response effort in June, what they saw disturbed them. “It didn’t take long for us to understand that something was very, very wrong about this whole thing,” Shirley told Truthout. “So that’s when I started keeping a diary of what we experienced and began taking a lot of pictures. We had to speak up about what we know is being done to our Gulf.” Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Life vs. Productivity: “What Would You Live and Die to Protect?”

People in Louisiana expressing their feelings about the BP oil disaster. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld © 2010)

People in Louisiana expressing their feelings about the BP oil disaster. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld © 2010)

“It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks.” -Malcolm X

If someone broke into your house, pinned down your loved ones and began pouring poison down their throats, would you stop that person?

What if someone poured crude oil all over your crops and livestock? Wouldn’t you try to stop them from doing it?


Pointed questions like these come from a man named Derrick Jensen. They provide a lens through which to view the havoc that corporate capitalism is wreaking on our planet. They are meant to jolt us into the awareness that we are watching life on earth annihilated. They are also meant to challenge us into thinking about what form our resistance to this should take.

“I think what we need to do is to stop deluding ourselves into believing that those in power will do what they have not done and they’ve shown no inclination to do, which is to support life over production,” says Jensen, an author and environmental activist who lives in Northern California.

Lewis Mumford, a US historian and philosopher of science and technology, has written, “The chief premise common to both technology and science is the notion that there are no desirable limits to the increase of knowledge, of material goods, of environmental control; that quantitative productivity is an end in itself and that every means should be used to further expansion.” Continue Reading →

Continue Reading