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Turkey and Russia Defy America's Imperial Design in the Middle East and Central Asia

The new Ottomans and the new Byzantines are poised for an intercept as the US stumbles in the current Great Game.

Eric Walberg, Global Research

The new Ottomans and the new Byzantines are poised for an intercept as the US stumbles in the current Great Game.

The neocon plan to transform the Middle East and Central Asia into a pliant client of the US empire and its only-democracy-in-the-Middle-East is now facing a very different playing field. Not only are the wars against the Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis floundering, but they have set in motion unforeseen moves by all the regional players.

The empire faces a resurgent Turkey, heir to the Ottomans, who governed a largely peaceful Middle East for half a millennium. As part of a dynamic diplomatic outreach under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey re-established the Caliphate visa-free tradition with Albania, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Syria last year. In February Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay offered to do likewise with Egypt. There is “a great new plan of creating a Middle East Union as a regional equivalent of the European Union” with Turkey, fresh from a resounding constitutional referendum win by the AKP, writes Israel Shamir.

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Obama at the UN: The arrogant voice of imperialism

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  • In its tone and its content, the Obama speech was the authentic and arrogant voice of US imperialism.
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  • Parroting remarks delivered by George W. Bush from the same podium, Obama began by invoking September 11, 2001, once again exploiting the terrorist attacks of that day to justify the acts of military aggression committed by both US administrations in the intervening nine years.
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Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site

President Barack Obama used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday (Sep 24) to defend US wars and state terror abroad and to proclaim that the economic crisis has been resolved thanks to his Wall Street bailout.

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The US president received a noticeably tepid response from the assembled UN delegates. While in his first address to the body last year, he was able to pose as a fresh alternative to the crimes carried out by the Bush administration, by now it has become clear to most on the international stage that his administration’s policies are largely in continuity with those of its predecessor.

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For Haiti, U.S. aid remains just a promise

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  • The authorization bill that would direct how the aid is delivered remains sidelined by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) "because it includes an unnecessary senior Haiti coordinator when we already have one" in U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten, Coburn spokeswoman Becky Bernhardt said.
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  • Meanwhile, deaths in Port-au-Prince are mounting, as quake survivors scramble to live without shelter or food.
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Jonathan M. Katz and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press/Boston Globe | MA

Catholics prayed amid the rubble of the Notre Dame cathedral during Mass in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sunday. (Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press)

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Nearly nine months after the earthquake, more than a million Haitians still live on the streets between piles of rubble. One reason: Not a cent of the $1.15 billion the U.S. promised for rebuilding has arrived.

The money was pledged by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March for use this year in rebuilding. The United States has already spent more than $1.1 billion on post-quake relief, but without long-term funds, the reconstruction of the wrecked capital cannot begin.

With just a week to go before fiscal 2010 ends, the money is still tied up in Washington. At fault: bureaucracy, disorganization, and a lack of urgency, the Associated Press learned in interviews with officials in the State Department, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the White House, and the UN Office of the Special Envoy. One senator has held up a key authorization bill because of a $5 million provision he says will be wasteful.

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Anti-austerity protests sweep across Europe

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  • All the actions sought to protest the budget-slashing, tax-hiking, pension-cutting austerity plans of European governments seeking to control their debt.
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  • Romanian govt in uproar amid austerity protests
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  • Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet
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  • Nobel Laureate Krugman: The Myths of Austerity
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Raf Casert, Associated Press/Washington Post | DC


Pickets run after lighting fires to block a highway in Vigo, Spain during a nationwide general strike organized by the Spanish unions, in Madrid, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. Spanish workers staged a general strike Wednesday to protest austerity measures imposed by a government struggling to slash its budget deficit and overcome recession.

Anti-austerity protests erupted across Europe on Wednesday (Sep 28) — Greek doctors and railway employees walked out, Spanish workers shut down trains and buses, and one man even blocked the Irish parliament with a cement truck to decry the country's enormous bank bailouts.

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Tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into Brussels, hoping to swell into a 100,000-strong march on European Union institutions later in the day and reinforce the impact of Spain's first nationwide strike in eight years.

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All the actions sought to protest the budget-slashing, tax-hiking, pension-cutting austerity plans of European governments seeking to control their debt.

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Romanian govt in uproar amid austerity protests, Alison Mutler, Associated Press/Seattle Times | WA

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  • The chaos on Monday (Sep 27) reflects the latest fallout from the sharp wage cuts and austerity measures the government has taken to fight its budget deficit amid a deep recession.
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  • Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet
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  • The Myths of Austerity
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Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says EU Austerity Is Wrong Bet, Reuters/Common Dreams

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  • 'If that (austerity) happens I think it is likely that the economic downturn will last far longer and human suffering will be all the greater,' he said.
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  • The Myths of Austerity
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The Myths of Austerity, Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY<>

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  • The next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation.
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  • This isn’t a recovery, in any sense that matters.
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