International relations, the UN & neo-colonialism

Obama at the United Nations

Washington prepares heightened aggression against Damascus and Moscow

By Barry Grey, 29 September 2015

It would be a dangerous mistake to believe that Washington’s decision to seek talks with Russia and Iran means the US is backing off from the use of military violence.

US-Sri Lankan resolution to UN human rights body to cover up war crimes

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2015

Washington’s willingness to countenance a largely domestic “human rights inquiry” is a payoff to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

War clouds loom over UN General Assembly

By Nick Beams, 28 September 2015

The mounting geo-political tensions that dominate the United Nations assembly are fuelled by the economic breakdown of world capitalism.

Global tensions over Syria on eve of G-20 summit

By Bill Van Auken, 5 September 2013

Obama’s bid for international support for US military aggression against Syria appeared to be gaining little ground as he headed for Russia.

France rules out rapid Afghanistan withdrawal

By Olivier Laurent, 28 January 2012

Sarkozy will keep French troops in Afghanistan despite rising popular opposition to the NATO occupation following the January 20 deaths of four French soldiers.

Israeli leaders press for attack on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 7 November 2011

While the Israeli political establishment remains intent on maintaining its military advantage, the current push for air strikes against Iran is driven by the political crisis within the region and Israel itself.

Top US and Chinese generals exchange words over South China Sea

By John Chan, 15 July 2011

The rather open slanging match highlights the sharpness of US-China tensions, the fundamental character of the strategic interests at stake, and the growing danger of conflict in this global flashpoint.

Canada’s military to establish base in Kuwait in push for global presence

By Graham Beverley, 14 July 2011

The Canadian Armed Forces is seeking to establish a worldwide network of bases to allow for the rapid deployment of military force in pursuit of Canada’s imperialist interests.

APEC summit ends with drift toward trade war

By James Cogan, 15 November 2010

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Japan ended with a clear divergence between the United States and China over the future of regional trade.

G20 meeting papers over conflicts

By Nick Beams, 25 October 2010

When it was established as the foremost international economic forum in response to the financial crash that began in September 2008, the prospect was held out that the G20 would become the means for overcoming the conflicts and imbalances wracking the global capitalist economy and provide the means for co-ordinating policies and ensuring growth.

Nobel Peace Prize: Another exercise in political cynicism

By John Chan, 12 October 2010

Last Friday’s announcement awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was a highly political decision designed to stoke up the issue of “human rights” in China on behalf of the US and European powers.

German army given green light to kill civilians in Afghanistan

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2010

The German government has now reclassified its military mission in Afghanistan as intervening in a civil war or, as they say in legal jargon, a “non-international armed conflict.” The recasting of the mission has far-reaching legal consequences.

The massacre at Kunduz and the policy of targeted killings

By Peter Schwarz, 28 December 2009

German military commanders and politicians are intent on using the recent massacre at Kunduz to circumvent restrictions imposed on the German army following the crimes it committed in the Second World War and permit “targeted killings.”

Copenhagen Climate Summit: The gulf between rhetoric and reality

By Peter Symonds, 7 December 2009

Even before the climate summit begins today in Copenhagen, the goal of a legally binding international treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions has been ruled out.

Former US diplomat Peter Galbraith grabs hundreds of millions in Iraqi oil money

By Alex Lantier, 13 November 2009

Peter Galbraith stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi oil money by cashing in on his links to the Kurdish regional leadership in Iraq.

Almost 200 million children undernourished in poor countries

By James Brewer, 13 November 2009

There are currently 195 million children under the age of five in underdeveloped countries whose growth is stunted due to chronic malnutrition, according to a UN agency.

G20 summit sets stage for sharpening of international tensions

By Barry Grey, 26 September 2009

The Pittsburgh summit of the Group of 20 leading economies concluded Friday with the issuing of a joint communiqué contrived to mask sharpening conflicts between the major powers over policies to revive the world economy and stave off another financial meltdown.

Great power conflicts overhang G20 summit in Pittsburgh

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2009

As political leaders gather for the Group of 20 summit of major economies, to be held today and Friday in Pittsburgh, they face the task of papering over increasingly open and embittered conflicts over policies to revive the world economy and prevent another financial disaster.

China-India border talks highlight rising tensions

By John Chan, 15 August 2009

This month’s border talks between China and India became a focus of mounting tensions between the two countries.

US-Russian relations remain tense as Obama travels to Moscow

By Niall Green, 6 July 2009

US President Barack Obama will meet with his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin July 6-8 in Moscow. Despite suggestions from both sides that the talks are part of a new, more co-operative era of US-Russian relations, tensions remain high between the powers.

Australian government announces military buildup as strategic dilemma intensifies

By James Cogan, 18 May 2009

In its new Defence White Paper, the Australian Labor government has committed to a major military build-up, under the aegis of the country’s postwar alliance with the United States, despite mounting concern over the decline of American hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and the prospect of conflict with China.

Obama lays out Afghanistan war strategy

By James Cogan, 11 March 2009

The desperation at the heart of the Obama administration’s plans for the escalation of the war in Afghanistan was laid bare in the interview that the president gave to the New York Times last Friday.

US, Israel, other military powers refuse to sign cluster munitions treaty

By Jeff Lassahn, 22 December 2008

On December 3 nearly 100 nations signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions Treaty, which bans the production, stockpiling and use of cluster munitions. The US, Israel and other major military powers refused to sign the agreement.

Pressures mount over Arctic energy resources

By Niall Green, 5 August 2008

Across the globe, reserves of oil and gas that were previously regarded as uneconomical are being actively explored and developed. From the Arctic to East Asia to the South Atlantic, untapped billions of barrels of oil are attracting the interests of energy companies and speculative finance capital, seeking to take advantage of the high price of crude oil.

US Congress receives warning of China’s growing influence in South Pacific

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 August 2007

The US Congress last month received a 30-page report, “The Southwest Pacific: US Interests and China’s Growing Influence”, drafted by the foreign affairs, defense, and trade division of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), its public policy research arm.

A new race for the North Pole

Russia plants flag, Canada sends troops

By Niall Green, 20 August 2007

The heroic age of polar exploration took shape at the turn of the twentieth century, as teams from several countries hoped to reach one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. Expeditions from Norway, Italy and the United States made early attempts, with Norwegian Roald Amundsen being the first person generally acknowledged to have crossed the North Pole when he flew overhead in 1926. Twenty-two years later, Aleksandr Kuznetsov’s Soviet exploration party became the first to set foot there.

UN conceals Picasso’s “Guernica” for Powell’s presentation

By David Walsh, 8 February 2003

In an act with extraordinary historical resonance, United Nations officials covered up a tapestry reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s anti-war mural “Guernica” during US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 5 presentation of the American case for war against Iraq.

What really happened to the League of Nations

By David North, 20 September 2002

In the intellectual and moral wasteland that comprises American journalism, there is no part of the territory that is as repugnant as that occupied by the syndicated newspaper columnist, also known as the pundit. His or her specific job is the daily administration of the necessary doses of cynicism, deceit, ignorance, mammon-worship and chauvinism required to stupefy, mislead and incite public opinion.

UN summit subordinates environment and development to corporate interests

By Joseph Kay, 11 September 2002

The United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development came to an end on September 4. After much haggling, the nearly 200 countries represented reached a non-binding agreement that calls in vague terms for an improvement in human and environmental health and sustainability. The summit also sanctioned numerous partnerships between governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for specific actions related to the conference’s stated aims.

UN food summit ends in fiasco

By Peter Daniels, 19 June 2002

Last week’s four-day meeting of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Italy ended in a fiasco after it was essentially boycotted by the wealthy countries of North America and the European Union.

UN human rights vote fuels US-Europe conflict

By Patrick Martin, 10 May 2001

The May 3 vote to remove the United States from the UN Commission on Human Rights has sparked a paroxysm of rage in official Washington and in the American media. Editorial and political comment has focused on the role of the European countries, and especially France, in delivering a deliberate slap to American foreign policy interests.

Munich security conference shows mutual distrust inside NATO

By Peter Schwarz, 7 February 2001

For security and foreign policy experts, the Munich conference on security policy, which met last weekend for the thirty-seventh year in succession, is what the World Economic Forum in Davos is for economic policymakers. It is not an official diplomatic conference, but all the top brass and political bigwigs can be found there. The discussions are held in public and diplomatic niceties play a smaller role than at official meetings. This means that opinions are expressed more openly and more clearly than is otherwise usual at summits.

UN climate summit fails amid bitter recriminations between US and Europe

By Julie Hyland, 1 December 2000

The United Nation's climate summit broke down at the weekend amid bitter exchanges between developed and developing countries, and between the major powers themselves.