Archive | May 2012

Lines of bodies said to be in Houla are actually images from Iraq, 2003

Al Musayyib, Iraq – May 27, 2003

An Iraqi child jumps over a line of hundreds of bodies, in a school where they have been transported from a mass grave, to be identified. They were discovered in the desert in the outskirts of Al Musayyib, 40 km south of Baghdad. It has been estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 Iraqis had been reported missing in the region south of Baghdad. People have been searching for days for identity cards or other clues among the skeletons to try to find the remains of brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters and even children who disappeared when Saddam’s government crushed a Shi’ite uprising following the 1991 Gulf War.

Marco Di Lauro
Reportage by Getty Images





The shit going on in Syria is horrific – the pictures of those massacred children in Houla are just awful. It’s interesting that the government don’t consider Syria worth invading; is Assad less of a despot than Saddam Hussein, or is it because they don’t have WMD an excuse? Or maybe, they can’t get access to the oil…




Elizabeth Gurley Flynn – what a woman




Read this

This is an amazing article. It’s long, but take the time to read it. A lot of what Roy says about capitalism rings true – other articles like her one on the Maoist guerillas in the forests that I read I think in 2010/11 is of a similarly powerful ilk.

A lot is covered: feminism, tribal rights, development, capitalism , the role of NGOs, arts, economics.

The point about NGOs being receptors for radicalism, feelers and tentacles of the all-powerful corporations is essentially what I’ve been feeling for a long time – the thing that concerns and niggles me about NGOs that I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on. Apart from the fact that a lot of the money doesn’t reach the right places, problems of inherent corruption and local bureaucracy, of de-readicalising and brain-washing vulnerable people (children, uneducated women, marginalised groups etc), there is the underlying fact that a lot of these supposedly independent organisations are funded by companies with corporate agendas. Political agendas. Just because an NGO isn’t backed by this or that government, doesn’t mean it hasn’t got a set of fundamental rules to work to – and at the end of that line of thought – some of these conglomerates are backed by governments, so it all comes full circle.

Capitalism is disease, and it can’t be inflicted on developing countries in such a selective manner. The Ford/Rockefeller/Bretton Woods/Washington Consensus/IMF/Bill Gates Foundation/World Bank/WHO/Monsanto/Rio Tinto (I could go on..) mode of doing things artificially replicates the most unjust and inequitable sections of American and Westernised society. It’s disgusting – why should the promotion of inequality and uneven wealth distribution be heralded?

Development is essential for millions of people in the developing world – but it needs to be equal, and not sponsored by some hulking corporation with a biased political agenda.