Only Now

French President Hollande says the attacks in Paris were "an act of war" and that "faced with war, the country must take appropriate action."

If you're only going to cognitively unpack one thing from this whole mess, unpack those statements.

Because those words are coming from the president of a country that has already been dropping bombs on Muslim babies for the better part of a fucking decade.

Language is a powerful thing. When people hear "act of war" they immediately think something has just started. That one side has just started a conflict against an enemy in peacetime. Hollande is very purposely using this language to wipe away the memory of military interventions in Afghanistan, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Interventions that, not coincidentally, helped give rise to ISIL.

Hollande is attempting to create a fresh start, a morally clean slate, where we all naively believe we've been attacked 'out of the blue' - that 'we' didn't start this, 'they' did. That France is, only now, "faced with war."

The state's Orwellian strategies work very well: Just look at all the French flag-coloured Facebook profile pictures. Look at all the news articles only now - over a decade after the West first started its endless 'War on Terror' - announcing that "France Declares War" in response to last week's atrocities in Paris.

We need to stop allowing our leaders and the media to convince us we should be surprised each time people actually die on 'our' side of a war that's been raging for years.

Or are we so sure of the righteousness of our cause that we cannot possibly imagine why we can't kill thousands with impunity, why we can't bomb without consequence, why leaving behind a long trail of broken states and ruined lives would come back to haunt us?


Implicating Capital: Examining the Dimensions of Food Security Discourse

Introduction: Balancing the Scales

In order to conduct research into food security, researchers need to start with a broad conceptual framework for what constitutes that security and what characterizes its absence. Not only that, but researchers must also decide the scale at which to locate their investigations: food security can be examined from a global perspective, with a national focus, at the community level, or through the lens of individuals within households. While there are probably well over 200 competing definitions for food security, only two organizations have, since the late 1970s, defined the boundaries of that debate while simultaneously providing major funding for worldwide food security research, policy, and practice: the World Bank (WB) and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

These international and multilateral bodies, along with bit players like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), and various other multinational agricultural interests, have formed the collective force behind which governmental and non-governmental food security policies have been historically transformed.

Through annual reports, research journals, conferences, and funding decisions, these institutions have framed food security discourse at various scales, starting in the 1970s at the global/national macroeconomic level, and subsequently transitioning to a position that today views food security as best examined at the local, microeconomic level. The question of whether or not these changes have been the result of a natural progression defined primarily by research/policy successes and failures, or whether they are in fact simply theoretical readjustments necessary to serve prevailing neoliberal economic practice, will be the focus of this paper.


Hypocritical Much?

Isn't it strange how the West expects other world leaders to take the fall for the behaviour of their security forces...