Latest Developments, May 9

In the latest news and analysis…

Democratic castration
Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang argues that the imposition of austerity has turned the present into “nothing less than crunch time for democracy” in Europe:

“In particularly difficult economic times, it was even argued, we need to insulate economic policies from politics altogether. Latin American military dictatorships were justified in such terms. The recent imposition of ‘technocratic’ governments, made up of economists and bankers who have not been ‘tainted’ by politics, on Greece and Italy comes from the same intellectual stable.
What free-market economists are not telling us is that the politics they want to get rid of are none other than those of democracy itself. When they say we need to insulate economic policies from politics, they are in effect advocating the castration of democracy.”

New boss
The Guardian reports that the World Trade Organization has chosen its next head, with the selection process mirroring the rich-poor divide that has left the Doha round of trade talks stalled for years:

“Ultimately, [Roberto] Azevêdo won the backing of a majority of the WTO’s 159 members, despite a lack of support from many rich countries.
‘Had [Herminio] Blanco won – with transatlantic support behind him, plus the support of Japan and Korea – it would have looked like another rich-country stitch-up of an international [organisation] job, and that would have been very unhelpful in terms of getting progress at the WTO,’ says [the University of St Gallen’s Simon] Evenett. ‘In that sense, the outcome that we have is good for the organisation.’

He added: ‘We all wish him well, but what can he do to change negotiating positions in national capitals? The answer is not much.’ ”

The Corruptors
Inter Press Service reports on some of the reactions to revelations of “bags of cash” being given by the CIA to Afghan President Hamid Karzai:

“While the United States preaches ‘good governance’ to developing countries at the United Nations, says one African diplomat, ‘it has been doing the reverse in its own political backyard’.
And good governance not only includes multi-party democracy, rule of law and a free press but also transparent and corruption-free regimes.
Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), told IPS, ‘If the U.S. ever stood for good government and democracy, it does not any longer.’ ”

Tainted profits
Norway has announced it has dropped an American and a Chinese tobacco producer from the government pension fund:

“The Ministry of Finance has decided to exclude Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc. and Huabao International Holdings Limited based on the recommendation from the Council on Ethics. In accordance with the guidelines, the decision to exclude is made public once the shares are sold.”

More bodies
The BBC reports that the death toll at the collapsed Bangladeshi garment factories, which supplied a number of Western retailers, has now risen above 800:

“Authorities are continuing to search the rubble for more bodies two weeks after the Rana Plaza building collapsed on 24 April.

Officials say about 2,500 people were injured in the collapse and that 2,437 people have been rescued.

The EU has said it is considering ‘appropriate action’ to encourage an improvement in working conditions in Bangladesh factories.”

Outsourcing lethality
Foreign Policy’s Micah Zenko writes about a particular kind of extrajudicial killing that eliminates perceived enemies of the US but “more easily masks US involvement and culpability” compared to drone strikes:

“However, if you’re concerned by the Obama administration’s targeted killing policies, don’t overlook similar attacks conducted by allies and partners who receive U.S. money, weapons, or actionable intelligence. When the United States provides other states or non-state actors with the capabilities that enable lethal operations — without which they would not happen — it bears primary responsibility for the outcome. Whatever drone strike reforms the White House offers, or if additional congressional hearings are held, they must take into account America’s troubling role in client-state targeted killings.”

Gun crazy
ProPublica reports that the majority of US states are enacting legislation that renders federal gun controls irrelevant or illegal:

“Kansas’ ‘Second Amendment Protection Act’ backs up its states’ rights claims with a penalty aimed at federal agents: when dealing with ‘Made in Kansas’ guns, any attempt to enforce federal law is now a felony. Bills similar to Kansas’ law have been introduced in at least 37 other states. An even broader bill is on the desk of Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell. That bill would exempt any gun owned by an Alaskan from federal regulation. In Missouri, a bill declaring federal gun laws ‘null and void’ passed by an overwhelming majority in the state house, and is headed for debate in the senate.”

Petroleum myth
The Globe and Mail reports that former US vice-president Al Gore does not buy the argument that oil is more “ethical” if produced in democratic countries:

“ ‘There’s no such thing as ethical oil,’ he said. ‘There’s only dirty oil and dirtier oil.’ The remark triggered applause from a nearly full house at the Globe-sponsored event at a Ryerson University auditorium.

While noting that the U.S. needed to change to remove the demand for Canadian oil, Mr. Gore also said: ‘I had hoped that Canada would point the way toward a better path, but as yet it has not.’ ”

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Latest Developments, May 1

In the latest news and analysis…

US in Mali
The Washington Post reports that the US has sent “a small number” of troops to Mali despite earlier promises not to do so:

“About 10 U.S. military personnel are in Mali to provide ‘liaison support’ to French and African troops but are not engaged in combat operations, said Lt. Col. Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman. Twelve others are assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, the capital, he added.

Since the coup, there have been signs that some U.S. Special Operations forces have been deployed to Mali on undeclared missions. In April 2012, three U.S. soldiers were killed in a mysterious car crash in Bamako.
Last month, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) suggested that U.S. commandos were ‘taking action’ in Mali.”

Medical reinforcements
The BBC reports that the US has sent additional medical staff to its Guantanamo Bay prison to deal with a growing hunger strike among detainees:

“About 40 nurses and other specialists arrived at the weekend, camp spokesman Lt Col Samuel House said.
He said that 100 of 166 detainees were now on hunger strike, with 21 of them being force-fed through a tube.
The inmates are protesting against their indefinite detention. Most are being held without charge.”

As open as they want to be
Platts reports that Switzerland’s commodity traders are pushing the Swiss government to water proposed “transparency requirements” down to mere “voluntary principles”:

“The Swiss government has said it is at risk of reputational damage in the international community because of its role as a commodity trading hub, and in May last year set up an interdepartmental “platform” comprising the Swiss finance, foreign and economy departments to examine the role of commodity trading in the country.
Switzerland is home to the world’s biggest oil and other commodity trading houses, including oil traders Vitol, Glencore, Trafigura, Mercuria and Gunvor.”

Taking responsibility
Reuters reports that the UK’s Primark and Canada’s Loblaw have become the first two Western retailers to promise compensation for the families of victims of the collapsed garment factories that killed nearly 400 in Bangladesh last week:

“The collapsed complex housed a number of factories that made clothing for Western brands.

Loblaw has said it regularly conducts audits to ensure its garments are manufactured responsibly, but focuses on labor practices and not building construction.
Loblaw said it would issue updates as it developed details of its compensation plan.

Primark, owned by FTSE 100 company Associated British Foods , said on Monday that it was working with a local NGO to help victims of the disaster.
It pledged to provide long-term aid for children who lost parents, financial aid for the injured and payments to families of the victims.”

Swelling protests
The Globe and Mail reports that Canadian mining company Eldorado has triggered “something akin to civil war” in northern Greece:

“The first mobilizations against the expansion of the old mines in the Halkidiki peninsula, the birthplace of Aristotle in northeastern Greece, began in late 2011. That’s when Vancouver’s Eldorado Gold Corp. grabbed most of the local mining industry and unveiled plans for a €1-billion ($1.32-billion) development that would turn the recession-stricken region into a gold-producing powerhouse.
But development skeptics asked: At what cost to the environment, tourism and agriculture? They concluded that the massive project, smack in the middle of a part of Greece that could pass for Tuscany, would do more harm than good and took to the streets. ‘To live, you need, air, soil and water,’ explains Nina Karina, 50, an artist who opposes Eldorado. ‘This investment takes away all three from us.’ ”

NGO paradox
Plain Sense’s Fairouz El Tom argues that many of the world’s top 100 NGOs have a board make-up at odds with their stated mission:

“In different ways, the NGOs surveyed promote ideals of justice and social progress. Yet over half have board members who are affiliated with companies that invest in, or provide legal, marketing, or other services to the arms, tobacco and finance industries.”

Killing in the name
The New Yorker’s Steve Coll reviews two new books on ‘the return of Presidentially sanctioned assassinations’:

“But [Anwar] Awlaki’s case, troubling as it may be, raises a broader issue: the Administration’s refusal to disclose the criteria by which it condemns anyone, American or otherwise, to death. The information used in such cases is intelligence data rather than evidence; it is not subject to cross-examination or judicial review. Unanswered questions abound. Does the President require that intelligence used to convict a terror suspect in absentia be based on multiple sources, or is one sufficient? Must intercepts, photographs, or credible firsthand testimony be obtained, or can people be executed on the basis of hearsay from paid informants? How directly involved in violence must an individual be to receive a death sentence? At what point does a preacher’s hate speech warrant his being killed?”

Inflated claims
The Guardian reports on a new study that suggests aid figures reported by donor countries are “a very different thing” from the resources they actually transfer:

“Some donors, including Japan and Germany, receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year in interest repayments on the loans they give, said DI. In total, ‘if interest repayments are taken into account, the net resource flows associated with global [official development assistance] are approximately $5bn per annum lower than the reported total net ODA figure suggests,’ said a DI discussion paper this month.

Net ODA figures subtract repayments made by recipients, but, according to current OECD rules, only account for principal repayments. Instead, interest repayments are recorded only as a memo item in OECD statistics.”

Latest Developments, February 5

In the latest news and analysis…

Redefining imminence
NBC News reports that a confidential US government document lays out the conditions needed to ensure the “lawfulness of a lethal operation” against American citizens who are thought to be senior members of certain organizations:

“It refers, for example, to what it calls a ‘broader concept of imminence’ than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

Instead, it says, an ‘informed, high-level’ official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been ‘recently’ involved in ‘activities’ posing a threat of a violent attack and ‘there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.’ The memo does not define ‘recently’ or ‘activities.’ ”

Conflict parasites
Olivier Roy, of the School of Advanced Social Science Studies (EHESS), argues the solution to Mali’s current conflict will require more political negotiation than military force:

“Al-Qaeda’s strategy is global and deterritorialized: it seeks to multiply confrontations, always with the West.
In a word, al-Qaeda draws on local conflicts, each of which has its own logic, in order to promote radical anti-Western sentiment and lure the West into the trap of intervention.

It would be absurd for France to hope it can dislodge al-Qaeda from the Maghreb by occupying territory: the group will just reconstitute itself a little further away.
And it would be equally absurd to aim to destroy these groups: given their small number of fighters (a few hundred) and international recruiting, nothing would be easier for them than to relocate, cross borders or come back clean-shaven and wearing jeans in Toronto or London.
Al-Qaeda is a nuisance, but not a strategic threat. To remove a big part of its power, one must ensure the local forces off which the movement wants to feed no longer have any good reason to protect it.” [Translated from the French.]

ICC detainees
Radio Netherlands reports that Congolese witnesses before the International Criminal Court are struggling to get the attention of the Dutch state, which “tries to keep people away from court and out of range of Dutch law”:

“Last month the International Criminal Court (ICC) handed down the second verdict in its 10-year history: Congolese militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was found not guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes relating to a deadly 2003 attack in the Ituri region of DR Congo. Ngudjolo was released pending the prosecutors’ appeal, but the three Congolese witnesses who testified against him remain in custody.
The witnesses have spent almost two years in a prison cell in the ICC’s detention unit in a legal limbo one of their lawyers has compared to Guantanamo Bay. Last month they lost their first legal round in an attempt to get asylum from the Dutch state.”

Swiss plunder
The Berne Declaration alleges that Trafigura, Switzerland’s third largest company, has extensive ties with a pair of Angolan generals who dominate their country’s economy:

“In the US, laws have been passed forcing oil and mining companies to publish any payments made to governments in countries where they are active; the EU is also about to do the same. Switzerland has decided to do nothing. The lack of transparency and regulation in Switzerland provides a refuge for unscrupulous companies and contributes to enriching dictators to the detriment of the poorest peoples on the planet. Angola is but another country on the long list where Switzerland is complicit in the plundering of their natural resources.”

Right to say no
The Guardian reports, in photo essay form, on a recent gathering in Mexico, which brought together activists from across the Americas to “co-ordinate growing local resistance” to mining on indigenous lands:

“In the final moments of the gathering a declaration of intent was read out: ‘The time when the government represented absolute power is a thing of the past, we need a new relationship with the government, where indigenous peoples decide the fate of their territories. Faced with the great threat that the mining industry represents to our Mesoamerican region, we call on the people and communities of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Canada and Mexico to strengthen our networks of resistance and to generate broad-based partnerships based on our knowledge, where the defence of territory is the basis of our co-ordination.’ The event closed with the statement: ‘We have the right to say NO to imposed development and to define our own forms of economic, social, political and cultural production’ ”

Population boom
Inter Press Service reports that the number of inmates in US federal prisons has increased by close to 800 percent over the past three decades:

“ ‘Last year, some 95,000 juveniles under 18 years of age were put in prison, and that doesn’t count those in juvenile facilities,’ [Human Rights Watch’s Maria McFarland] noted.
‘And between 2007 and 2011, the population of those over 64 grew by 94 times the rate of the regular population. Prisons clearly aren’t equipped to take care of these aging people, and you have to question what threat they pose to society – and the justification for imprisoning them.’ ”

Fragile states
Oxfam’s Duncan Green summarizes (and quotes extensively) from a recent report that lays out some of the ways in which outside actions can further destabilize countries they are ostensibly meant to help:

“ ‘There is a strong, negative and significant association between military interventions and democracy. Military interventions have tended to destroy a state’s conflict-resolution mechanisms, often unleashed forms of politics incompatible with democracy, upset political settlements and critically weakened state systems in general.’

‘Policy makers need to consider the extent to which deregulating an economy across the board will be politically destabilising and actually undermine economic reforms….. policies that contribute to state withdrawal are often evaluated on grounds of efficiency and equity, but almost never for their impact on the institutional resilience of the state. This is a major blind spot which has far-reaching consequences for the ability of states to embark upon or return to a path of institutional consolidation.’ ”

Global new deal
UN economist Richard Kozul-Wright and Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Jayati Ghosh argue the international community is “in the wrong frame of mind” for solving global problems, such as extreme poverty and environmental destruction:

“Making inequality part of the development policy agenda has already gained traction. But to make lasting progress, it will be necessary to move beyond MDG-style targets and instead consider a global new deal allowing different economic strategies providing benefits for all.

Policies of universal social protection (including basic income policies) can help repair the social contract. Along with humanitarian aid for the poorest and most vulnerable, the international community needs to guarantee adequate policy space for countries to develop measures relevant to their own contexts.”

Latest Developments, January 3

In the latest news and analysis…

Condoning secrecy
Reuters reports that an American judge has ruled the US government does not have to justify its targeted killings:

“[U.S. District Judge Colleen] McMahon appeared reluctant to rule as she did, noting in her decision that disclosure could help the public understand the ‘vast and seemingly ever-growing exercise in which we have been engaged for well over a decade, at great cost in lives, treasure, and (at least in the minds of some) personal liberty.’
Nonetheless, she said the government was not obligated to turn over materials the Times had sought under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), even though it had such materials in its possession.
‘The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me,’ McMahon said in her 68-page decision.”

Drone stats
The News reports that Pakistani government statistics indicate US drone strikes have killed four times more children than “high value CIA targets” since 2004:

“According to facts and figures compiled by the Ministry of Interior, of the 2,670 people killed by the US drones, 487 were innocent civilians including 171 children and 43 women. Of the remaining 2,183 people killed by the drones, hardly 42 were high value CIA targets while the rest of 2,141 people were believed to be low and mid-level al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked operatives.”

Five-star development
A Pro Publica investigation concludes that the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, ostensibly set up to help reduce global poverty through promotion of private investment in poor countries, “likes to work with huge corporations, funding projects these companies could finance themselves”:

“Today, the IFC’s booming list of business partners reads like a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It has funded fast-food chains like Domino’s Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more.
The criticism of most such investments—from a broad array of academics and watchdog groups as well as local organizations in the poor countries themselves—is that they make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.”

Bounty hunters
The BBC reports on the spam-like and mistake-prone methods of a private company hired by the British government to track down people thought to be in the UK illegally:

“Migrants are contacted by text message, telephone or email.
The standard text message reads: ‘Message from the UK Border Agency. You are required to leave the UK as you no longer have the right to remain.’ It then advises people to contact the agency.

Capita was hired to trace those in the pool and warn them that they are required to leave the country. The firm will be paid depending on how many actually go back to their home country.”

Let them eat cake
Bloomberg reports that “the richest people on the planet” became even wealthier in 2012:

“The aggregate net worth of the world’s top moguls stood at $1.9 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the index. Retail and telecommunications fortunes surged about 20 percent on average during the year. Of the 100 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2012, only 16 registered a net loss for the 12-month period.
‘Last year was a great one for the world’s billionaires,’ said John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of Red Apple Group Inc., in an e-mail written poolside on his BlackBerry in the Bahamas.”

Extermination risk
The Guardian reports that Peru’s “biggest indigenous federation” intends to look to the country’s courts to stop the expansion of natural gas extraction in a remote area of the Amazon by a consortium that includes US, Korean and Spanish companies:

“[The Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (Aidesep)] said the plans by Peru’s energy and mines ministry to increase exploration and drilling in Block 88, the largest gasfield leased by the Camisea consortium, risk the existence of nomadic groups living in ‘voluntary isolation’ in the Nahua-Kupakagori indigenous reserve, 23% of which overlaps the gas block in the country’s south-eastern jungle.

The risks of ‘unwanted’ contact are well-documented. Around 60% of the isolated Nahua people died during a series of epidemics after their first contact with outsiders soon after oil company Shell discovered the gasfields in 1984.”

Banned exports
The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian government has offered its arms merchants “new market opportunities” by allowing them to export to Colombia assault weapons banned in Canada:

“Now, Colombia has been added to a list that includes Canada’s 27 NATO allies – along with Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Botswana – where prohibited firearms manufactured in this country may be sold.
The government notice says the amendment is ‘consistent with the aim of the [Automatic Firearms Country Control List] to promote transparency in the export and transfer of prohibited firearms, prohibited weapons and prohibited devices by making public that Canada will now consider export permit applications for the export of those items to Colombia.’ ”

Humanitarian cover
Senegal/Mali-based journalist Peter Tinti writes that debates in Washington over the US approach to counterterrorism in Africa have more to do with “keeping policy frameworks apace with practice” than actually shaping that practice:

“Under the Obama administration, U.S. military operations in Africa have rapidly expanded in scope, depth and breadth, creating a skeletal infrastructure that enables a panoply of near-constant training exercises with partner governments — as well as clandestine activities.
Though Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti is technically the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa, in reality, there are hundreds of military outposts and locations dotting the continent, with several thousand uniformed U.S. military and civilian Department of Defense personnel, as well as an unknown number of defense contractors, working across the continent at any one time. U.S. special operations forces regularly work within civil-affairs and humanitarian assignments that provide cover for covert counterterrorism activities.”

Latest Developments, March 5

In the latest news and analysis…

Justifying targeted killings
Talking Points Memo provides an excerpt of US Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech in which he explains the thinking behind the current administration’s growing habit of eliminating perceived threats extrajudicially.
“Some have called such operations ‘assassinations.’ They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings. Here, for the reasons I have given, the U.S. government’s use of lethal force in self defense against a leader of al Qaeda or an associated force who presents an imminent threat of violent attack would not be unlawful — and therefore would not violate the Executive Order banning assassination or criminal statutes.

Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

Drones in the Philippines
American University’s Akbar Ahmed and Frankie Martin argue last month’s US drone strike in the southern Philippines – the first in Southeast Asia – has the potential to “further enflame” a conflict that has killed an estimated 120,000 over the past four decades.
“By unleashing the drones, the US has pushed the conflict between centre and periphery in the Philippines in a dangerous direction. If there is one lesson we can learn from half a millennium of history it is this: weapons destroy flesh and blood, but cannot break the spirit of a people motivated by ideas of honour and justice.
Instead, the US and Manila should work with the Muslims of the Philippines to ensure full rights of identity, development, dignity, human rights and self-determination. Only then will the security situation improve and the Moro permitted to live the prosperous and secure lives they have been denied for so long; and only then will the Philippines be able to become the Asian Tiger it aspires to be.”

Kiobel expanded
Bloomberg reports the US Supreme Court has expanded the scope of a human rights and corporate liability case involving Nigerian plaintiffs and oil giant Shell.
“When the justices heard arguments in the Shell case last week, they focused on whether the Alien Tort Statute allowed suits against corporations. Several justices, including Samuel Alito, suggested during the argument that they were more interested in considering contentions that the law can’t be applied overseas.
A ruling on the so-called extraterritoriality issue would potentially impose more sweeping limits on lawsuits, shielding corporate officers as well as the companies themselves.”

Beyond Kiobel
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law’s Joanna Kyriakakis presents an overview of the issues at play in the Kiobel case, as well as future avenues for corporate liability advocates should the Supreme Court rule in Shell’s favour.
“Comments by plaintiff lawyer, Paul Hoffman, in a panel conversation the day after the hearing indicate that, whatever the outcome in this case, they will continue to pursue corporations implicated in human rights abuses through US judicial avenues. One option already noted would be to litigate individual corporate executives. In many respects, this option may be less appealing to the business world.”

Rich get richer
UC Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez presents new figures suggesting these are good times for America’s “one percent”.
“In 2010, average real income per family grew by 2.3% but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 11.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.2%. Hence, the top 1% captured 93% of the income gains in the first year of recovery. Such an uneven recovery can help explain the recent public demonstrations against inequality. It is likely that this uneven recovery has continued in 2011 as the stock market has continued to recover. National Accounts statistics show that corporate profits and dividends distributed have grown strongly in 2011 while wage and salary accruals have only grown only modestly. Unemployment and non-employment have remained high in 2011.”

In defense of social unrest
In a Q&A with Inter Press Service, former UN Conference on Trade and Development head Rubens Ricupero speaks approvingly of how “dissatisfaction” drives history.
“I hope this movement demanding change will modify not only the internal economies of countries, in the sense of moving away from that market fundamentalism, but that it will also change the institutions that have represented that fundamentalist spirit.
And in order for that to happen, the central role has to be played by people around the world – not only in the (developing) South – who are aware of the problem, that it is not possible to continue with an organisation that foments the growth of inequality.”

World Bank non-leadership
Following close on the heels of Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs’s open application to become the next World Bank president, New York University’s William Easterly spells out how he would not run the international financial institution.
“I would not lead the World Bank by perpetuating the technocratic illusion that development is something ‘we’ do to ‘them.’ I would not ignore the rights of ‘them.’ If the New York Times should happen to report on the front page that a World Bank-financed project torched the homes and crops of Ugandan farmers, I would not stonewall the investigation for the next 165 days, 4 hours, 37 minutes, and 20 seconds up to now.”

Development gospel
Aid on the Edge of Chaos’s Ben Ramalingam argues the World Bank must stop being a “Development Church” that promotes economic dogma if its client countries are ever going to be “intellectually in the driver’s seat.”
“[Former World Bank staffer David] Ellerman argues that in the face of these Official Views, adverse opinions and critical reasoning tend to give way to authority, rules and bureaucratic reasoning shaped by the hierarchies within the organisation. Moreover, these Official Views “short-circuit” and bypass the active learning capability of national and local actors, and substitute the authority of external agencies in its place.”