Red Reading: Spectrezine's latest picks from recent publications

EU: Commission warns member states not to change Constitution

The European Commission has issued a warning to states such as the UK and the Netherlands seeking to "roll back" what it sees as key parts of the EU constitution. The intervention came after the college of commissioners on 14 May held a seminar on the disputed EU constitution at Groot-Bijgaarden castle, just outside Brussels. Briefing journalists after the seminar, the spokesman for European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said "the new treaty must improve the EU's achievements, under no circumstances roll back these achievements." Read all about it on EU Observer

European Parliament: Delegation to Israel/Palestine

"At a cocktail reception on a balmy evening in East Jerusalem this past week, officials from the European Commission and Council were in a somewhat testy mood with their guests - a cross-party delegation of European members of parliament visiting the occupied Palestinian territories. They had spent most of the day fielding phone calls from their Commission colleagues in Brussels, from journalists, and from increasingly irate Israeli authorities, so they felt they were more than justified in demanding to know what, exactly, was going on. Our delegation of MEPs had dared to challenge the official EU position of boycotting the new Palestinian government of national unity, and - against the advice of Council and Commission - had been holding direct talks not only with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, but with a number of his Hamas ministers, and urging other EU institutions to do the same."

Read the rest of "Europe's Wrong Call" by UK Green MEP Caroline Lucas.

Development Aid: The World Is Still Waiting

This Oxfam report calls on the G8 countries to fulfil their promise of increasing international aid to $50 billion per year by 2010. Based on current aid trends, the G8 risk missing this target by “a staggering US$30 billion” – an amount which Oxfam estimates has the potential to “save at least five million lives.” Despite their pledges to significantly increase international donations – especially to Africa – aid from G8 countries actually decreased in 2006 for the first time in almost a decade. Read about the lies told to dupe has-been pop stars and the people who get their politics from them in The World is Still Waiting

Iraq: US Better at Destroying than Rebuilding

The US Department of State and USAID boast about the progress of reconstruction in Iraq, but this article from Le Monde Diplomatique's English-language edition presents evidence that US agencies have misallocated money, allowed shabby construction and in some cases completely failed to exercise contract oversight. Read the sorry, predictable story at this website

Venezuela: Washington’s New Imperial Strategy

First used in Serbia in 2000, Washington has now perfected a new imperial strategy to maintain its supremacy around the globe. Whereas military invasions and installing dictatorships have traditionally been the way to control foreign populations and keep them out of the way of business, the U.S. government has now developed a new strategy that is not so messy or brutal, and much sleeker; so sleek, in fact, that it’s almost invisible.

It was so invisible in Serbia that no one seemed to notice in 2000 when a regime was toppled, the country was opened to massive privatization, and huge public-sector industries, businesses, and natural resources fell into the hands of U.S. and multinational corporations. Likewise, few have noticed as countries in the former Soviet-bloc have recently been victims of the same strategy, with the exact same results.

Nations that do not give in to the demands of the empire and the expansion of global capitalism are targeted by an undercover, well-designed plan to change the political situation in the country, and open it up to corporate investors. U.S.-supported groups inside the country overthrow the president, making it seem like there is no outside intervention. And now, Washington has turned toward its new biggest threat: Latin America, and more specifically, Venezuela. Read the rest of Chris Carlson' article on the Venzuela Analysis website