Europe, Canada and US,

The disastrous Bush years have left a legacy of war and financial collapse. They have also brought North America to a political impasse, bemoans Eric Walberg

1/1/9 -- The truly extraordinary political event in North American politics as 2008 came to a close was not the albeit remarkable election of the first US black president, but the collapse of Canada's parliamentary system.

Disappointment follows disappointment with each "new" face, bemoans Eric Walberg, but there is a sort of silver lining

27/11/8 -- Yes, we mustn't expect too much. We all know it is the establishment that comes first in United States politics. Obama's presidency could easily be sabotaged by the powers that put him there.

But still. He would never have made it past the first, obscure primary without his army of selfless, grassroots activists, and his coffers were first filled by millions of small, personal donations. Surely these are the people he should honour with at least a few names.

This Wall Street bailout -- yes, bailout, not "rescue" -- is yet another boondoggle by the neocons, pulled out of bankers' back pockets, and being enacted in an atmosphere of panic orchestrated and spread around the world to make sure it got passed ASAP. A bankers' 9/11: implode a few bank towers to make sure the system as a whole survives.

9/10/8 -- As the dust settles, it is clear that nothing much about our casino capitalism is about to change at all. But what is to be expected from the likes of United States President George W Bush? Joseph Stiglitz comments, “This ‘cure’ is another one of these rearrangements: by stripping out the bad assets from the banks and paying fair market value for them, the value of the banks will soar.”

It is hard to sort through the hype and heat of Obamania, but one thing is clear: who's pulling the strings, argues Eric Walberg
24/7/8 -- As the United States election race entered the final stretch, Barack Obama as the candidate promising change revealed his true colours, much to the despair of anyone actually expecting any change. His call to declare Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel, his denial of Palestinians' right of return, and his support for a Bantustan Palestinian "state" which poses no threat to Israel show how completely he has caved in to the Zionist establishment on that issue.

Radovan Karadzic24/7/8 -- THE EUROPEAN Union hailed the arrest of ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic after more than a decade on the run, calling it a key step towards lasting reconciliation in the Balkans and for Serbia's hopes of joining the EU.

Karadzic was born in Montenegro in 1945, and moved to Croatia only in 1960 to study medicine, working as a psychologist. He also published several volumes of poetry,

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here