Alternative Web News on the Middle East

Given the narrow reportage of the mainstream media and the increasing accessibility, simplicity, and range of online information sources, there is no reason for people who want to keep up on news from Israel and Palestine to remain in corporate-sponsored darkness. Following is a brief survey of some of the best alternative Middle East media websites.

Economic Globalization and the Environment

Among many preposterous claims, advocates of economic globalization argue that it increases long-term environmental protection. The theory goes that as countries globalize, often by exploiting resources like forests, minerals, oil, coal, fish, wildlife, and water, their increased wealth will enable them to save more patches of nature from their ravages and they will be able to introduce technical devices to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of their own increased production. There is ample evidence, however, that when countries increase their apparent receipts in a global economy, most of the benefit goes to global corporations who have little incentive to put their profits back into environmental protection. Instead, they plow them back into further exploitation, or they just take the money and run, right out of the country. This is normal corporate behavior in a global economy.

A Spiritual Third Way

In this time of ideological upheaval, when the old ideologies of left and right, of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism, no longer capture the political imagination the way they once did, new political visions are required. Some have tried to formulate a “Third Way” between social democracy and conservatism. Others, such as Michael Lerner, have proposed a more spiritually-oriented approach to transcend left and right. I would like to present another vision, that of Integral Politics.

Stop Playing the Nuclear Game

The basic medical facts about a full-scale nuclear war have been clear and undisputed for decades. Hundreds of millions would be killed and injured. Massive outbreaks of disease would follow. Food supplies and water would be contaminated and the systems to deliver them destroyed. Drastic and sudden climate changes would wreak havoc on agriculture and human and animal populations. All essential services, including medical and health services, would be rendered useless. Epidemics would rage. Civil defense–the notion that there is somewhere to hide–remains a hoax.

Zero Tolerance

There is a growing sense in American life that politics has become corrupt. Those traditional public spheres in which people could exchange ideas, debate, and shape the conditions that structured their everyday lives increasingly appear to have little relevance or political importance. Within the increasing corporatization of everyday life, market values replace social values and people appear more and more willing to re treat into the safe, privatized enclaves of the family, religion, and consumption. The result is not only silence and indifference, but the terrible price paid in what Zygmunt Bauman calls the “hard currency of human suffering.”

Clinton’s Environmental Legacy

When Jimmy Carter was inaugurated, he said that he would spend every day of his presidency thinking about how to reduce the threat of nuclear war. Four years later, the United States and the former Soviet Union possessed more nuclear weapons in their arsenals than before Carter’s arrival in the White House. What was Carter thinking about on those long afternoons in the Oval Office?