Peace and Socialism

The Taliban’s clever parody of American exceptionalism quickly went viral. They have every right to be proud of defeating the Empire single-handed. Ok, with help from their Pakistani, Saudi and Emirati friends, and in the final lap, the Empire itself as it abandoned state-of-the-art boy toys.

The photoshopped collage provides a neat set of bookends for the Empire. 1945--2021. America’s declaration of empire in 1945, and America’s (sort of) admission of the end of empire in 2021. Japan surrendered to the US September 2, America’s formal departure from Kabul is slated for August 31, though the real anniversary could be August 15, when the Taliban captured the presidential palace in Kabul, prompting other collages comparing the follies of empire and the real thing.

a nice piece on nigeria's 5 years of protests. i'm on at 19:00.

Although covid-19 exact origins are still in dispute, it appears to be another case of the virus jumping from the animal kingdom into humans, like the bird flu or swine flu. It is almost certain it was a bat virus ingested by pangolins and passed on to humans, as Chinese medicine prizes pangolin scales (it is the only scaled mammal). It’s flesh is also prized.

Like hundreds of other extracts in Chinese medicine, this is based on unscientific, magical theory that you gain powers ingesting the beast you want to emulate. Bear bile is another prized medicine, though the active ingredient has been synthesized and there is no reason to torture bears to get it. Why this perverse fascination with destroying Nature?

A hidden positive effect of Corvid-19 is the immediate ban in China of such trade in wild life, where 900,000 pangolins were ground up and/or eaten last year. In February 2020, the Chinese government passed a law "prohibiting the illegal wildlife trade, abolishing the bad habit of overconsumption of wildlife, and effectively protecting the lives and health of the people."

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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