Monday 4, February 2013
Afghanistan’s future, Palestine and politics
The war in Afghanistan has been going for more than thirty years. There are some different faces today than when the Soviets invaded in 1979 but its legacy continues. The country remains deeply divided and broken, partly the effect of a NATO-led invasion and occupation that has empowered the brutal forces they claimed to be defeating. During my visit there last year, researching a documentary and book on vulture capitalism out this year, I saw the effects of this Faustian bargain.
In December I was asked to give evidence before an Australian Senate committee on Afghanistan, its future post 2014 and what support, if any, the West should provide (here’s the full transcript of proceedings). I argued that accepting failure of the post 2001 period is the first step. Reparations are vital. Withdrawing military forces. Supporting local NGOs and aid groups to rebuild the nation. Building up local institutions. There are no simple solutions but the militarised policies of the last decade have been a catastrophic disaster and crime.
In other news:
– My first book, My Israel Question, has just been released in an Arabic edition across the Muslim and Arabic worlds.
– After Zionism, a book I co-edited,reviewed in Lebanon’s Al Akhbar English.
– Arab News reviews After Zionism.
– Agence France-Presse discusses After Zionism and one-state solution.
– Report of After Zionism book event in Washington DC with co-editor Ahmed Moor and me.
– After Zionism interview on New York radio.
– Revealing examples of pro-Israel forces defending occupation and attacking After Zionism.
– After Zionism contributor Jeremiah Haber imagines Abrahamic state in Middle East on ABC Radio National.
– After Zionism at Gleebooks in Sydney (photos here and video here).
– After Zionism reviewed by British magazine Crossfire.
– My top book of 2012.
– Reflections on the film, Zero Dark Thirty.
– Me on ABC TV talking Syria, sexism and corporate divestment.
– Recent global statement, alongside many prominent Jews worldwide, supporting the Palestinian right of return.
– ABC Radio National on popular culture highlights of 2012.
– Article in ABC on why an academic boycott against Israel is vital.
– NGO Jubilee Australia’s report on Papua New Guinea, its LNG plans and the issues over vulture capitalism. I provided advice on some sections and provided photographs from my 2012 PNG visit.
– Talking to Radio Live New Zealand on the massive heroin addiction problem in Afghanistan.
– Supporting a public campaign in Australia to boycott Sri Lanka over its cricket team due to its government ongoing human rights violations.
– 3CR radio interview about UN vote on Palestine.
– 2SER radio interview on Australia’s position on UN Palestine vote.
For a daily dose, here’s my website, Twitter and Facebook.
Until next time.