random rantings of a Peacenik

As summer progresses, UK media has taken an even more comfortable than usual retreat back in on itself; news appetites are being met with a massive plateful of Corbyn scares. Add to that a daily sprinkling of stories like home-grown entrepreneur hoods ferrying migrants across the channel for a price from Dunkirk and the Little Britain media job keeps a firm grip.

Of course now and again something slips out to upset the equilibrium and expose how our new world order lite - existence might actually connect up with the rest of the world. Corbyn's pronouncement that if he becomes labour leader he intends to apologise about taking the country into war with Iraq, is certainly one of these moments. It also helps underline, if we are to be seen to take an interest in a country beyond bombing it, how we need to stay better informed about the unfolding consequences of our actions.

Enter the work of Christoph Germann and also his recent collaborative broadcasts with Pearse Redmond.

Germann's regular column, The New Great Game Round-up features regularly on Sibel Edmonds boiling Frogs Post website and provides objective incites into the current goings on in central Asia and beyond: signs of a US fomented "colour" revolution in Kyrgyzstan, Turkey's involvement in stirring up trouble among China's Muslim Uyghur population and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

In the west today, Afghanistan is too often remembered glibly as the stepping stone on the way to ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussain. Eric Draitser however, gives a contemporary viewpoint; [Afghanistan] in many ways is a country of proxy conflict between the US and its western and Gulf allies on the one hand, and Iran and certain non-western countries, most notably China on the other.

In this respect, Draitser further argues that western media and corporate think tanks, have failed to present the conflict in its true context. The narrative of Afghanistan, to the extent that it’s discussed at all, continues to be about terrorism and stability, nation-building and “support.” But this is a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization of the current war, and the agenda driving it.

And what is this new and dangerous agenda? It is about no less than the future of Afghanistan and Central Asia. It is about the US and its allies clinging to the country, a key foothold in the region, and wanting to find any pretext to maintain their presence. It is about Iran and China positioning themselves in the country for the inevitable moment of US withdrawal and the opening up of Afghanistan’s economy. At the most basic level, it is about access and influence. And, as usual in this part of the world, terrorism and extremism are the most potent weapons.

Draitser's article, the work of Pepe Escobar for Asia Times and Germann's ongoing research etc. perform a vital role in giving us an inter-connected world view. What's more, the growing online audience will gradually make it impossible for western mainstream media to lazily dismiss, statements such as the one last week from Corbyn, as mere random ranting of a nutty peacenik. 

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