Monthly Archives: June 2010

How Slovenia Wins the World Cup

Take the 32 countries that qualified for the World Cup and have each represented by an iconic living cultural figure rather than 23 footballers, and here are the results: Group A: 1. Uruguay — Eduardo Galeano 2. South Africa — … Continue reading

Posted in Rebellion Into Money | 17 Comments

Gone (World Cup) Blogging

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Here’s a panel I did with friends a few weeks ago. For my daily World Cup musings, click on’s 2010 World Cup Special. And you can also follow my relentless footie and political babble on Facebook and Twitter… Continue reading

Posted in Situation Report | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

What the Gaza Flotilla Tells Us About the Future of the Mideast

‘We’re the only ones who believe them,” a US official was quoted as complaining last week in response to Israel’s account of its attack on the Gaza aid flotilla.

The bloodshed on the high seas and the resulting diplomatic fallout is a reminder of just how far US influence has fallen in the region, and the grim prospects for the US president Barack Obama reversing that trend as long as the US continues to accord Israel special status.

Indeed, in a statement that would have evoked howls of protest had it been made on Capitol Hill, the Mossad chief Meir Dagan last week told a Knesset sub-committee that Israel is turning “from an asset to the United States to a burden”.

The drama of last week has forced the US and its European partners to concede that the Israeli blockade on Gaza is untenable, as is its underlying policy – shared by Washington and the Europeans – of refusing to engage with Hamas as an intractable fact of Palestinian political life.

The fact that a group of defiant civil society activists – backed by the Turkish government – has forced that acknowledgement is a sign of how far the balance of power in the Middle East has shifted.

It is a change that will also have implications for how the Iranian nuclear standoff is resolved. Continue reading

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