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Index August – December 2005

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What kind of changes … in Syria?

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What kind of change from within does Washington want in Syria? By Sobhi Hadid, April 2005 on Alternative Online Edition.

Any person who has been following the history of the relations between the White House and the governing regime in Damascus during the past three decades since the late Syrian president Hafez Assad launched the reformist movement at end-1970 will not be surprised by the statement released by Adam Ereli, deputy spokesman of the US State Department.

Ereli was commenting on the meeting that gathered top US state officials (Elizabeth Cheney and John Hanna) with American civil society activists of Syrian origin. He made clear that the aim of the meeting was not to study alternatives to the Bashar Assad regime but to support the Syrian people’s desire for reform, freedom, and opportunity…from within the currently prevailing system!

Thus it is change ‘from within’ the system and not from outside of it. As such, the deputy spokesman expressed the actual position of the US administration with no suggestion of a shift of stance towards a different scenario that would replicate the experience of the Iraqi resistance, a regime which worked directly with and for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon. This, however, does not eliminate Washington’s instinctive tendency toward playing amateur games with men who, as the administration knows well, do not have significant weight in Syria. It is rather amusing to imagine that any of these men will be promoted to the stature of Ahmed Chalabi or Iyad Allawi or Meshaan Al-Joubouri. This also would not prevent some champions of the right in the European parliament from blindly following the American tide and inviting Farid El-Ghadiri (rather than Riad Turk or any other prominent representative of the Syrian opposition ‘from within’!) to attend the session dedicated to reach a bargain rather than a political deal with Damascus.

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the parecon idea

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Interview by Attac Germany: Can you say something about the process, the discussion that lead to Parecon (participatory economics) and the book that is now also appearing in German translation this fall?

Michael Albert – ZNet

Michael Albert: Sure. It was a long process. It started out by responding to people who would constantly ask “what do you want?”, not just to me, but to movements of all kinds.

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Corporatocracy

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Economic Hit Men, An interview with John Perkins, by Daniel McLeod, published in Z Magazine Online, December 2005 Volume 18 Number 12 – Late last year a small publisher released an autobiography titled Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. Written in the style of a spy novel, Perkins recounted his years as chief economist for MAIN, an international consulting firm based in Boston. His job there was to produce inflated economic forecasts to be used by the World Bank to plan massive engineering and construction projects in Third World nations. Young and successful, his career afforded a charmed life through the 1970s, filled with travel, women, money, and professional prestige … rest see on this link.