Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jail term for thowing footwear

I think we just lost the right to condemn the treatment meted out to Muntadhar al-Zeidi.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Here's a thought experiment

From an article about Iceland's huge debt to Britain and the Netherlands and how it's trying to wriggle out of it:

Icelanders for their part feel that the EU has treated them as a financial colony while backing a neoliberal kleptocracy preying on an increasingly indebted population. In many ways Iceland is the tip of the iceberg – the proverbial canary in the coal mine showing the need to better cope with over-indebted economies. The EU and IMF-style austerity programs to pay off foreign debts that corrupt insiders have run up is not what was promised in 1991 (to) the post-Soviet economies or Third World debtors. It is not the promise of industrial capitalism. It is a financialized post-industrial dystopia, an imperial neofeudalism.


 Instead of imposing the kind of austerity programs that devastated Third World countries from the 1970s to the 1990s and led them to avoid the IMF like a plague, the Althing is changing the rules of the financial system. It is subordinating Iceland’s reimbursement of Britain and Holland to the ability of Iceland’s economy to pay

Do you think any of the Third World debtors would have gotten away with it if they had tried to pull the same stunt as Iceland? Any talk about how their "position as a sovereign state precludes legal process against their assets which are necessary for them to discharge in an acceptable manner their functions as a sovereign state" would only have elicited a "Nice try, just STFU and cough up the money". However, I'm sure the fact that they are not denizens of the civilized white western world would not have had anything to do with such a response. Not.