Remember Iraq? Well done if you do, because the government, aided valiantly by the mass media, is doing its best to persuade us to forget it.
Even allowing for the predictable saturation coverage by the media, the death of Pope John Paul II does seem to have touched a genuine chord of grief and respect.
In late 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, US president Lyndon Johnson appointed his secretary of defence, Robert MacNamara, as president of the World Bank.
Recently I read Ian McEwan’s new novel Saturday, which is set in London on 15 February 2003, the day of the great march against the war in Iraq. The fact that McEwan uses 15 February as a framing device is an illustration of how deeply the anti-war movement has rooted itself in public consciousness in Britain.
It’s a remarkable irony that the methods that helped bring down one empire are now being used to expand another.
Half a million demonstrated in Rome last Saturday. The slogans of the march were "Free Giuliana" and "Free the Iraqi people". The first slogan referred to Giuliana Sgrena, a journalist with Il Manifesto, the centre left daily paper. She is being held hostage in Iraq and was shown on video last week appealing to the Italian government to withdraw its troops from Iraq.
NO ONE can accuse George Bush of setting his sights low. His inaugural speech last week — delivered to what amounted to a mass rally of the Christian fundamentalist right — promised more of the neo-conservative medicine that gave us the conquest of Iraq.
THE WORLD media's attention has been so focused on George W Bush's plans to attack Iraq that little notice has been taken of the fact that the global economic crisis is getting worse. Take the three biggest economies – the US, Japan and Germany.
AMID NEW Labour's long and growing list of crimes and failures, the government's defenders constantly cite one factor in its favour-the allegedly strong state of the economy.
ONE MOMENT summed up for me the enormous tensions that George W Bush's administration is creating with its support for Ariel Sharon's reign of terror in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. US Secretary of State Colin Powell spent a week dawdling around the world before arriving in Israel on his supposed "peace mission".
The Guardian last Saturday tried to explain the decision by George W Bush and his advisers to reverse their previous policy and demand that Ariel Sharon pull Israeli troops out of the West Bank:
TONY BLAIR was off swanking at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland last week. He lectured European business and political leaders that they needed to copy the flexible, free - market model offered by British and US capitalism. "Does Europe continue with the old social model, that has an attitude to social legislation rooted in the 60s and 70s, or does it recognise that the new economy demands a redirection of European economic policy for the future?" Blair asked.