Culling the Herd

Culling the Herd

by Sheila Samples

“Everything you can imagine is real”~~ Pablo Picasso

In 1974, a year after orchestrating a mass terror bombing of Cambodia — after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his National Security Council completed “National Security Study Memo 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” This document, whose sharp edges are dulled by page after leaden page of how to reduce over-population in the Third World through birth control and “other” population-reduction programs, was classified until 1989, but was almost immediately accepted as US policy, and remains the US blueprint for ethnic cleansing today.

It is difficult to imagine the staggering number of innocent humans who have perished through war or famine as a direct result of Kissinger’s half-century obsession with, and lust for, genocide. It’s even more difficult to imagine the cruel indifference with which Kissinger, and those like him in positions of political and corporate power — the elite — continue to plan the elimination of millions, even billions. All under the guise of national security, or to spread freedom…democracy…

Kissinger targeted a number of “key countries” whose populations, he said, must be curtailed and controlled lest they gain economic, political and military strength, and thus threaten US strategic interests. “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world,” Kissinger said, “because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.”

Then, as now, any nation refusing to surrender its natural resources was an ominous threat to our national security and was dealt with initially through birth control and other population-reduction programs such as food rationing. But that was too slow for Kissinger, for Brent Scowcroft who replaced Kissinger as national security adviser and was put in charge of thinning out the Third World population, and for his eager enabler, CIA Director George Bush who trotted like a love-starved puppy at Kissinger’s heels for decades.

At first, they used food as “an instrument of national power” to coerce the dumb masses to stop copulating and populating, and then as a deadly weapon because widespread famine not only dealt death quicker, but it was cost-effective. And it made more sense. Like Kissinger said, “To give food aid to a country just because they (sic) are starving is a pretty weak reason.”

If we could imagine the suffering endured by victims of such perverse inhumanity, we might feel a twinge of outrage or, as George Washington so succinctly put it — a “little spark of celestial fire called conscience.” Or not. Perhaps we are so far removed from reality because our minds cannot grasp the horror of that reality. Those who seek to destroy the denizens of this planet are totally without compassion or remorse. They are grotesque mutants who kill indiscriminately in their relentless drive for world conquest and domination.

It’s naive to think the carnage will stop once predators such as Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Robert McNamara, George H.W. Bush, and other One World advocates, many of whom are in their 80s or 90s, are no longer in our midst. With the release of thousands of tons of Depleted Uranium in both Bush Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, they have poisoned food, water and air, and turned the entire region into massive radioactive death camps. Without fear of accountability, they have ensured the slow, agonizing extermination of entire populations, to include the American military, whom Kissinger views as “dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy” — and their families — that will continue for many generations.

We’re like herds of cattle, grazing placidly, unable or unwilling to imagine that we might share the same fate as the millions throughout the Third World targeted by the elite as “bottom feeders,” contributing nothing — eating into their profit — gluttons who must be dispensed with. Any rancher or farmer will tell you that it’s good business to cull the herd for a variety of reasons, such as market outlook, cash flow, or just to maintain a healthier, more easily controlled mass of cattle. It makes no sense to keep problem cows, the elderly, the ill or non-productive around. There comes a time when you must cut your losses — and cull the herd.

There are those who, unlike Kissinger and his co-conspirators, are not interested in profit or power, but believe fervently that human population is destroying the planet. Perhaps the most outspoken is University of Texas evolutionary scientist Dr. Eric R. Pianka, who gave a speech in March 2006 advocating the elimination of 90 percent of Earth’s population.

According to Forrest M. Mims III, Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, and the editor of The Citizen Scientist, Pianka shrugged aside war and famine — too slow — and said “the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die” is disease. Pianka advocates airborne Ebola because, he explained, “it is highly lethal, and it kills in days, instead of years.”

Pianka drew rounds of enthusiastic applause throughout his speech, and a standing ovation when he threw in the Bird Flu for good measure, and quipped gleefully, “We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth.” Five hours later, the University presented Pianka with a plaque, not for winning hands down as “Mad Scientist of the Year,” but in recognition of his being named 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

It doesn’t take a wild imagination to know that genocide is real, and it’s underway in America. The most blatant example is the barbaric response to Hurricane Katrina victims — withholding food, blocking aid, ignoring those clinging to rooftops while crying out in vain for help, leaving corpses to float in the flooded streets or to rot in the Superdome.

If you start with the poor, minorities, elderly, the ill or non-productive, the culling becomes much easier the next time around. Those who wait become inured to the inhumanity and, rather than rise up against it, breathe sighs of relief that it’s others and not them who are rounded up and herded to the slaughterhouse.

Imagine what life would be like if the Food and Drug Administration did not ensure the safety of our food chain…if our creeks and rivers were polluted by sewage and industrial waste…if vaccines forced on our children caused mental deficiencies, even death…if mothers were afraid to breast-feed their babies because the environmental toxin perchlorate present in our food and water supply accumulates in mother’s milk…if our air was contaminated…if we had a government cold-hearted enough to withhold food and aid from the needy and health care from poor children…if we were spied upon and incarcerated, tortured, disappeared without charges…

Oh yeah. I forgot. That is what our life is like. All that, and more, is grinding relentlessly away at our safety, our health and our lives.

We have the power to remove these madmen. They are criminals under Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, and they must pay for their crimes. One more year wherein millions more throughout the world are slaughtered is, as they say, not an option.

The culling must stop, even if we are forced to stampede. They must be impeached. Go here, here, and here and take action.

Secret Police Concentration Camps

an actual concentration camp

Secret Police
Concentration Camps

In a revealing admission in June, 1997, the Director of Resource Management for the U.S. Army confirmed the validity of a memorandum relating to the establishment of a civilian inmate labor program under development by the Department of the Army. The document states, “Enclosed for your review and comment is the draft Army regulation on civilian inmate labor utilization” and the procedure to “establish civilian prison camps on installations.”
Amid widespread rumors, Congressman Henry Gonzales clarified the question of the existence of civilian detention camps. In an interview, Gonzalez stated, “The truth is yes — you do have these stand by provisions, and the plans are here…whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism…evoke the military and arrest Americans and put them in detention camps.”

Rapture politics fundamentalism and World War IV

Rapture politics


fundamentalism and World War IV

I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.
– George W. Bush, Lancaster County, July 2004

God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.
– George W. Bush

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.
– Adolph Hitler, speech to the Reichstag, 1936

I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.
– Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, pg. 46

Fundamentalism isn’t about religion. It’s about power.
– Salman Rushdie

A cult is a religion with no political power
– Tom Wolfe

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
– Aristotle

If you’re “born again,” does that mean you have a second belly button?

(SEE MORE)

Maurice Joly Plagiarized “Protocols of Zion”

Maurice Joly Plagiarized “Protocols of Zion”

(not vice-versa)

Henry Makow Ph.D. – Save the Males July 30, 2008

It is forbidden to mention the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (1905) without the Disclaimer that, of course, they are a “forgery” of Maurice Joly’s “Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu” (1864.)

The assumption is that since Protocols appeared some 40 years after Dialogue, it plagiarized the earlier work. But I will suggest that Protocols actually predated Dialogue and Joly borrowed from it. In other words, far from being an anti-Semitic ruse, the “Protocols of Zion” are authentic.

I have already argued that the two documents are neither similar nor derivative, although they have some lines and words in common. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is essentially a brilliant Master Plan for tyranny, i.e. the New World Order. It is the key to understanding our present predicament. (This is not a condemnation of all Jews, only the nucleus of bankers and high-level Masons directing this diabolical war against the human race.)

“Dialogue in Hell” was a veiled Masonic Jewish attack on Napoleon III, an example of how they championed liberalism to undermine the Old Order and usurp power, as described in the Protocols themselves. (The author of Protocols is contemptuous of liberalism and all egalitarian programs. They are just gimmicks to manipulate the masses.)

Reading Kerry Bolton’s monograph “The Protocols of Zion In Context” (Renaissance Press, 2003) it became obvious that Joly was plagiarizing from The Protocols and not vice-versa.

Joly, a Jew whose real name was Joseph Levy, was a lifelong Mason and member of the “Lodge of Mizraim.” He was the protege of Adolph Cremieux (Isaac Moise Cremieux 1796-1880) the head of the lodge and a Minister in the Jewish-backed government of Leon Gambetta.

The plot is described in the Protocols as “centuries-old.” It most likely predates “Dialogue.” Joly was well versed in the Protocols and borrowed from it to flesh out the unpopular authoritarian position of Machiavelli, which he ascribed to Napoleon III.

Joly, who committed suicide in 1879, was in the habit of “borrowing.” He is accused of plagiarizing a popular novel by Eugene Sue, namely “Les Mystères du Paris.” (1845) Also his work is predated by one by another of Cremieux’s proteges, Jacob Venedy, entitled, “Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Rousseau.” (1850)

In 1884 Mme. Justine Glinka, the daughter of a Russian General living in Paris, hired Joseph Schorst, a member of Joly’s Mizraim Lodge to obtain sensitive information. For the sum of 2500 francs, Schorst provided Glinka with “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” He was subsequently tracked down and murdered in Egypt.

The Tsarist government, already heavily infiltrated, sat on the document. Glinka subsequently gave it to a friend who passed it on to Professor Sergius A. Nilus who published it for the first time in 1901.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, Nilus was arrested in Kiev in 1924 ,imprisoned and tortured. The President of the Court told him he had “done them incalculable harm in publishing the Protocols.” (“Waters Flowing Eastward” by Paquita de Shishmareff, 1999, pp.74-76.)

CONCLUSION

If your plan for World Domination leaked out, what would you do? Would you admit it? “You got me! My bad!”

No, you’d employ an army of ciphers to convince everyone the document is a hoax motivated by “prejudice” and “anti-Semitism.” They have executed this “damage control” perfectly, a measure of their power to deceive even in the presence of the truth.

This is the only Conspiracy that has prevailed in spite of the Blueprint being freely available. It demonstrates the credulity (or venality) of the intelligentsia and the masses.

They have colonized our minds first. We cannot name our oppressor for fear of being accused of “anti-Semitism.” It’s as though Black slaves working on cotton plantations were taught it was “racist” or “prejudiced” to mention the White slave driver. Since the majority of Jews are ignorant of this plot, and are manipulated like everyone else, racism is a ploy to divert attention from a very dire problem.

The Illuminati (top-rung Masonic Jews and their non-Jewish allies) have distributed some wealth and power to the masses (liberalism, socialism) as a way of securing ultimate power for themselves. According to the Protocols, they will eventually withdraw these benefits once their “invisible government” is invincible. The “war on terror” should be seen in this context.

In my view, “Protocols Deniers” are complicit in this Conspiracy, which is responsible for most human suffering and will lead to a great deal more. As a Jew, I don’t want this responsibility on my head, or on other innocent Jews or Masons.

Behaviourism, Psycho-Analysis and Physiological Manipulation in Education

Behaviourism, Psycho-Analysis and Physiological

Manipulation in Education

Brent Jessop

The Scientific Outlook Part 5 by Knowledge Driven Revolution.com

“Education in a scientific society may, I think, be best conceived after the analogy of the education provided by the Jesuits. The Jesuits provided one sort of education for the boys who were to become ordinary men of the world, and another for those who were to become members of the Society of Jesus. In like manner, the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play.” – Bertrand Russell, 1931 (p243)

This article will examine the use of behaviourism, psycho-analysis and physiological manipulation as applied to education as discussed in Bertrand Russell’s 1931 book The Scientific Outlook [1].

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872-1970) was a renowned British philosopher and mathematician who was an adamant internationalist and worked extensively on the education of young children. This included running an experimental school in the 1920′s with his second wife Dora Black. He was the founder of the Pugwash movement which used the spectre of Cold War nuclear annihilation to push for world government. Among many other prizes, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 and UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Kalinga prize for the popularization of science in 1957.

Part 1 of this series examined science as power-thought and the use of scientific technique to increase the power of an elite scientific minority over the unscientific masses. Part 2 examined the composition of the society of experts who would use scientific technique to dominate the masses. At the forefront of this society of experts is the expert “manipulator”, whom Lenin is the archetype. This society would also aim to conceal its power and influence behind political veils like democracy. Part 3 explored the application of scientific technique to education with an emphasis on the distinction between education for the “governing class” and “working class”. Part 4 looked at the use of education, the Press, radio and Hollywood as forms of propaganda.

Behaviourism and Psycho-Analysis

From The Scientific Outlook [Italicised text is original emphasis and bolded text is added by author.]:

“As a technique for acquiring power, behaviourism is, I think, superior to psycho-analysis: it embodies the methods which have always been adopted by those who train animals or drill soldiers; it utilizes the force of habit, the strength of which has always been recognized; and, as we saw when we were considering Pavlov, it makes it possible both to cause and to cure neurasthenia and hysteria. The conflicts which appear in psycho-analysis as emotional re-appear in behaviourism as conflicts between habits, or between a habit and a reflex. If a child were severely beaten every time it sneezed, it is probable that a phantasy world would in time build itself up in his mind around the conception of sneezing; he would dream of Heaven as a place where the spirits of the blest sneeze unceasingly, or on the contrary he might think of Hell as a place of punishment for those who live in open sternutation. In this sort of way the problems brought to the fore by psycho-analysis can, I think, be dealt with on behaviourist lines. At the same time it should be admitted that these problems, whose importance is very great, would probably not have come to the fore but for the psycho-analytic approach. For the practical purposes of educational technique, I think it will be found that the educator should behave as a psycho-analyst when he is concerned with matters touching powerful instincts, but as a behaviourist in matters which a child views as emotionally unimportant. For example, affection for parents should be viewed in the psycho-analytic manner, but brushing teeth in the behaviourist manner.” – 182

“The most important applications of psycho-analytic theory are to education. These applications are as yet in an experimental stage, and owing to the hostility of the authorities they can only be made on a very small scale. It is, however, already evident that moral and emotional education has hitherto been conducted on wrong lines, and has produced maladjustments which have been sources of cruelty, timidity, stupidity, and other unfortunate mental characteristics. I think it possible that psycho-analytic theory may be absorbed into something more scientific, but I do not doubt that something of what psycho-analysis has to suggest in regard to education will be found permanently valid and of immense importance.” – 181

Physiological Manipulation

“So far, no experiments have been made to test the effect of X-rays on the human embryo. I imagine that such experiments would be illegal, in common with many others that might make valuable additions to our knowledge. Sooner or later, however, probably in Russia, such experiments will be made. If science continues to advance as fast as it has done recently, we may hope, before the end of the present century, to discover ways of beneficially influencing the human embryo, not only as regards those acquired characters which cannot be inherited because they do not affect the chromosomes, but also as regards the chromosomes themselves. It is likely that this result will only be achieved after a number of unsuccessful experiments leading to the birth of idiots and monstrosities. But would this be too high a price to pay for the discovery of a method by which, within one generation, the whole human race could be rendered intelligent? Perhaps by a suitable choice of chemicals to be injected into the uterus it may become possible to turn a child into a mathematician, a poet, a biologist, or even a politician, and to ensure that all his posterity shall do likewise unless prevented by counter-irritant chemicals.” – 172

“So far we have been considering those ways of influencing the mental life which proceed by mental means as in psycho-analysis, or by means of the conditioned reflex as in behaviourism. There are, however, other methods which may in time prove of immense importance. These are the methods which operate through physiological means, such as the administering of drugs. The curing of cretinism by means of iodine is so far the most remarkable of these methods. In Switzerland all salt for human consumption is obliged by law to be iodized, and this measure has been found adequate as a preventive of cretinism. The work of Cannon and others concerning the influence of the ductless glands upon the emotions has become widely known, and it is clear that by administering artificially the substances which the ductless glands provide, a profound effect can be produced upon temperament and character. The effects of alcohol, opium, and various other drugs have long been familiar, but these effects are on the balance harmful unless the drug is taken with unusual moderation. There is, however, no a priori reason why drugs should not be discovered which have a wholly beneficial effect. I have never myself observed any but good effects to flow from the drinking of tea, at any rate if it is China tea. It is possible also that psychological marvels may become possible through pre-natal treatment. One of the most eminent philosophers of our day regards his superiority to his brothers, perhaps humorously, as due to the fact that shortly before his birth his mother was in a carriage which rolled down the Simplon in an accident. I do not suggest that this method should be adopted in the hope of turning us all into philosophers, but perhaps in time we shall discover some more peaceable means of endowing the foetus with intelligence. Education used to begin at eight years old with the learning of the Latin declensions; now, under the influence of psycho-analysis, it begins at birth. It is to be expected that with the advance of experimental embryology the important part of education will be found to be pre-natal. This is already the case with fishes and newts, but in regard to them the scientist is not hampered by education authorities.

The power of psychological technique to mould the mentality of the individual is still in its infancy, and is not yet fully realized. There can, I think, be little doubt that it will increase enormously in the near future. Science has given us, in succession, power over inanimate nature, power over plants and animals, and finally power over human beings. Each power involves its own kinds of dangers, and perhaps the dangers involved in power over human beings are the greatest, but that is a matter that we will consider at a later stage.” – 183

“Whether men will be happy in the Paradise I do not know. Perhaps biochemistry will show us how to make any man happy, provided he has the necessaries of life; perhaps dangerous sports will be organized for those whom boredom would otherwise turn into anarchists; perhaps sport will take over the cruelty which will have been banished from politics; perhaps football will be replaced by play battles in the air in which death will be the penalty of defeat, they will not mind having to seek it in a trivial cause: to fall through the air before a million spectators may come to be thought a glorious death even if it may be that in some such way a safety valve can be provided for the anarchic and violent forces in human nature; or again, it may be that by wise education and suitable diet men may be cured of all their unruly impulses, and all life may become as quiet as a Sunday school.” 214

Bertrand Russell would later write in a similar book entitled The Impact of Science on Society (1952) [2] that:

“It is to be expected that advances in physiology and psychology will give governments much more control over individual mentality than they now have even in totalitarian countries. Fichte laid it down that education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished. But in his day this was an unattainable ideal: what he regarded as the best system in existence produced Karl Marx. In future such failures are not likely to occur where there is dictatorship. Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.” – 61

Conclusion

Part 6 will examine the application of scientific technique to the reproduction of human beings including the separate breeding techniques to be applied to the “governing class” compared with the “working class”. Changes to Freedom and equality in the scientific society will be examined in part 7. Part 8 will examine changes to free trade and labour in the scientific society. Finally, Part 9 will describe two examples of artificially designed societies, including the creation of a new religion specifically for that new planned society.

[1] Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook (1931). First Edition.

[2] Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society (1952). ISBN0-415-10906-X.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

© 2008 Brent Jessop

SOURCE: http://www.knowledgedrivenrevolution.com/Articles/200807/20080728_Outlook_5_Psychology.htm

The Corporations -Killers Of Democracy

The Corporations –

Killers Of Democracy

By Siv O’Neall


It’s way too late at this moment to ask the question: Are we going to lose our democracy? We may not all have noticed it yet, but the Big Corporations stole our democracy a long time ago.

How did they manage? They bought up everything, from the heavy to the light industry, arms, oil, chemical, to the people in Congress who are supposed to protect us from abuse of power by applying the rules set down in the Constitution. But, above all, they bought up the media. There is no objective source for authentic news in the U.S. any more, other than the Internet.

Robert Murdoch and his equally power-hungry fellow media moguls have seen to it that we just get pre-cooked baby-formula infotainment. People are dumbed down by the non-stop stream of meaningless chatter and unceasing propaganda.

Two major disasters

Among all the outrageous and inhuman crimes that plague the world today, there are two all-consuming current disasters which tie into all the other dictatorial abuses of power, from the executive to the lobbies that have bought up the government in all its forms.

There is first of all world hunger and, on the same level of emergency, the phenomenon of global warming – both those enormous problems having to be seen as the disasters that must be dealt with in the most urgent way possible. And today, there is virtually no urgency displayed in the way those disasters are dealt with – or not dealt with.

And yet, those two huge problems have to be solved if the world is going to continue in a shape even vaguely like the world as we know it.

There is the planetary inequality which has caused the world hunger that finally seems to have attracted wide-spread attention. It is obviously not a recent phenomenon, but it has been enhanced by the rise in food prices, which have multiple causes – the use of food for biofuel, the rise in the price of oil for transport, the droughts in Australia and in Africa, the enormous sham of GMOs that were made out to be capable of saving the world from hunger, but instead are doing the opposite. And let’s not forget about the role the speculators and the hedge funds are playing in their roulette game with heavily loaded dice.


The second enormous disaster is climate change, which we don’t seem to be able to do anything much about. Or rather, governments are, at their own peril, disregarding the imminent danger of inaction in the face of global warming. It would be perfectly possible to roll back the disastrous situation where we find ourselves today. However, instead of dealing with the problem of over-consumption of oil in a rational way in order to save our lives and the life of the planet, governments are forging ahead in the same old way of splurging on oil consumption as if there was no tomorrow. Oil companies go on making bigger profits than ever before in human history, while the people are paying the price for their obscene profits at the gas pumps.

Why the lack of action?

So, why can’t we deal with the two foremost disasters, poverty and climate change? Because the corporations are more interested in making big bucks than saving the planet or saving people from starvation. Once again, it’s that short-term profit that outplays all true concern for realism and sound planning. Speculators drive up the prices of commodities without a second thought for the consequences of their short-sighted game of quick profit which produces nothing and benefits nobody.

So the real rulers of the world, the Big Corporations, are condemning us to a life of increased poverty and hunger in third-world countries, a general increase in insecurity and joblessness for middle class people in the western world and increased pollution in the emerging economies in Asia, where the standard of living is actually rising – for the rich. And of course, alongside all these disasters, we are seeing the lives of steadily increasing luxury for the people who are reaping the profits of the plunder. The Corporations see to it that the so-called governments, their obedient front men, cut back the taxes on the top levels of income, on capital gains and on inheritance.

Ethanol is NOT the solution

There is big talk and lots of activity for the production of ethanol, which is exactly the way we should NOT be going in the campaign to lower the rate of release of CO2 gas into the atmosphere. This use of corn, sugar cane and soybeans for biofuel makes for less food for the hungry in the third world and also in Brazil, which is now considered an emerging nation rather than a developing one, increasing food prices in the entire world. It does not make for less emission of CO2 gas since the production of ethanol gives off more CO2 than it saves as an alternative fuel. But corporations and industrial farms are taking advantage of people’s ignorance and gullibility and making huge profits. (See Addendum on ethanol*) Rain forests are being cut down to make room for millions of acres of culture for the production of ethanol and biodiesel. And those rain forests are exactly the best protection on the planet against too much CO2 in the atmosphere. [1]

The Corporations make money off ethanol production, so that’s the way we are going, even though it increases world hunger and does absolutely nothing to save the world from global warming.

Production of grazing land for cattle

Land is also being taken over for production of grazing land for cattle who are the heaviest consumers of grain and who, when converted to meat offer far less nourishment than they have consumed during their growing process.

One goal for corporations – maximum profit

In other words, the two problems of poverty and hunger and the problem of climate change are deeply intertwined. Both problems could be dealt with rationally, certainly to a somewhat satisfactory extent. But the corporations are not making money off a policy of improving the situation for the starving people in the world or on the urgent need to limit global warming and the disastrous consequences the planet will be undergoing in a near future. We have already begun to see the effects of climate change, but since the corporations own the governments, there is little chance that anything radical will get done very soon.

Renewable energy

There are several ways of producing renewable energy, but who cares? There is no money in it. There is, above all, solar and wind energy waiting to be developed, but no big-scale efforts have been made so far to save the planet using these fabulous non-polluting sources of energy. On a small scale, yes, enough to prove that it works. Even the tidal movements of ocean water can very efficiently be used to make energy. But it wouldn’t make any big bucks for the Corporations. And the Corporation is King. So what happens? We have opted for the destruction of the planet.


In short, the world has been taken over by the Big Corporations hand-in-hand with the Main Stream Media and they are all busy shredding our human rights and making our planet into a sterile desert. As long as wildfire capitalism is ruling the world, we are doomed.

*Addendum on Ethanol:

Ethanol And Biodiesel From Crops Not Worth The Energy
ScienceDaily (Jul. 6, 2005) – ITHACA, N.Y. – Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study. “There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel,” says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. “These strategies are not sustainable.”

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:
* corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
* switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
* wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:
* soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
* sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.


Footnote:

[1] “Recent research has shown that the Amazon rain forest is not a stable mature forest with growth and decay in balance but is in fact an expanding forest that is being fertilised by the excess atmospheric CO2. The trees are getting bigger and there is a net take up of 5000 kg of carbon per hectare per year ( 1 hectare = 100 x 100 metres ). The total area of forest is 400 million hectares so the whole forest could be absorbing 2 billion tons of carbon per year.”


“If the Amazon rainforest burns and releases billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in a short period then this will be a further boost to global warming that will result in significantly higher end of century temperatures.”


© Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com

Mukasey to Congress: Defy the Rule of Law

Mukasey to Congress: Defy the Rule of Law

Along with other past and present administration officials, Attorney General Michael Mukasey supports lawlessness and police state justice. Weeks after the Supreme Court’s landmark (June 12) Boumediene ruling, he addressed the conservative, pro-war American Enterprise Institute (on July 21) and asked Congress to overrule the High Court – for the third time. His proposal:

– subvert constitutional and international law;

– authorize indefinite detentions of Guantanamo and other “war on terror” prisoners (including US citizens designated “enemy combatants”); and

– deny them habeas rights, due process, and any hope for judicial fairness.

Since June 2004, the (conservative) High Court made three landmark rulings. Twice Congress intervened, and Mukasey wants a third time. In Rasul v. Bush (June 2004), the Court granted Guantanamo detainees habeas rights to challenge their detentions in civil court. Congress responded with the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) of 2005 subverting the ruling.

In June 2006, the Supreme Court reacted. In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, it held that federal courts retain jurisdiction over habeas cases and that Guantanamo Bay military commissions lack “the power to proceed because (their) structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions (of) 1949.”

In October 2006, Congress responded a second time. It enacted the Military Commissions Act (MCA) – subverting the High Court ruling in more extreme form. In its menu of illegal provisions, it grants the administration extraordinary unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate, torture and prosecute alleged terrorist suspects, enemy combatants, or anyone claimed to support them. It lets the President designate anyone anywhere in the world (including US citizens) an “unlawful enemy combatant” and empowers him to arrest and detain them indefinitely in military prisons. The law states: “no (civil) court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause for action whatsoever….relating to the prosecution, trial or judgment of….military commission(s)….including challenges to (their) lawfulness….”

On June 12, 2008, the High Court again disagreed. In Boumediene v. Bush, it held that Guantanamo detainees retain habeas rights. MCA unconstitutionally subverts them, and the administration has no legal authority to deny them due process in civil courts or act as accuser, trial judge and executioner with no right of appeal or chance for judicial fairness.

On July 21, Mukasey responded, and immediately the ACLU reacted in a same day press release headlined: “Attorney General Wants New Declaration of War Allowing Indefinite Detention and Concealment of Torture.” It called Mukasey’s speech “an enormous executive branch power grab….authoriz(ing) indefinite detention(s) through a new declaration of armed conflict.” He asked Congress to redefine habeas through legislation “that will hide the Bush administration’s past wrongdoing – an action that would undermine the constitutional guarantee of due process and conceal systematic (lawless) torture and abuse of detainees.”

Like his two predecessors, Mukasey mocks the rule of law and supports harsh police state justice. He wants Congress to “expand and extend the ‘war on terror’ forever” and let the president detain anyone indefinitely without charge or trial. ACLU’s Washington Legislative Director, Caroline Fredrickson, called this “the last gasp of an administration desperate to rationalize what is a failed legal scheme” – that the Supreme Court thunderously rejected three times.

Mukasey proposes lawlessness and cover-up, “but there is no reason to think that Congress will assist him.” It “won’t fall for this latest (scheme) to (suppress) its wrongdoing.” Besides, the House Judiciary Committee is now investigating whether high-level administration officials authorized torture and abuse. Mukasey wants to hide it and is asking Congress to “bury the evidence.”

The ACLU is righteously outraged by this latest attempted power grab. It rejects Mukasey’s lawlessness and states there is “no need to invent yet another set of legal rules to govern the detention and trial of prisoners held on national security grounds, and the rules that (Mukasey) is proposing are fundamentally inconsistent with” constitutional and international law.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Responds

After Mukasey’s September 17, 2007 nomination for Attorney General, CCR issued the following November 1, 2007 statement:

“Michael Mukasey is not fit to be Attorney General because he supports torture, illegal spying on Americans, and limitless powers for the Executive Branch.” As the “country’s highest law enforcement official,” he’s obligated “to enforce the law” – not make excuses for the government when it’s in violation. CCR stands “firmly against Mukasey’s nomination….Our country cannot afford to make compromises to our laws, our morals, and our humanity any longer.” The Senate must reject Attorney General candidates who’ll “undermine American justice and shred the Constitution.”

CCR expressed equal outrage on July 21. Its Executive Director, Vincent Warren, denounced Mukasey’s proposal in the following excerpted statement:

“What Mukasey is doing is a shocking attempt to drag us into years of further legal challenges and delays. The Supreme Court has definitively spoken” in Boumediene v. Bush and its two prior rulings. “For six and a half years,” the administration and Congress “have done their best to (deny due process) and prevent the courts from reviewing the legality of the detention of the men in Guantanamo. Congress should be a part of the solution this time by letting the courts do their job.”

For the past six years, CCR litigated for Guantanamo detainee rights and continues to do it. It organized and coordinated over 500 pro bono lawyers for everyone held there illegally. Most recently, it represented plaintiffs in the landmark Boumediene v. Bush case – argued on December 5, 2007 and ruled on June 12, 2008.

The Wall Street Journal Reports and Editorializes

Its July 22 article states: “Mukasey Seeks Law on Detainees – Congress Is Urged to Limit Rights of Terror Suspects….in light of a rebuke by the Supreme Court.” It quotes Mukasey wanting:

– legislative “principles” for “practical” limits on the right of detainees to challenge their incarceration;

– Congress to give the administration freedom to detain combatants “for the duration of the (‘war on terror’) conflict;”

– a “reaffirmation of something that was enacted in legislation after September 11, 2001″ (a menu of harsh repressive laws);

– no “enemy combatants” released in (or brought to) the US (even to appear in civil court);

– no intelligence (or harsh interrogation) methods revealed (so evidence of torture and abuse is suppressed), and

– military officers (and intelligence officials) to be excused from testifying (because what they know is damning).

On its editorial page, the Journal is supportive. It called Mukasey’s proposal “modest” on a “difficult” issue over which “different judges even on the same court will disagree.” Mukasey wants congressional “guidance” because there’s risk of “inconsistent rulings and considerable uncertainty.”

According to the Journal, Mukasey “was right in stepping forward to say that someone has to take responsibility for the consequences of the Supreme Court’s 5 – 4″ Boumediene ruling. It wants “Congress (to) give one court jurisdiction over (all detainee) cases” and not let the process “bog down into a Babel of conflicting procedural and legal rulings.” Mukasey is “right” to ask Congress to settle the issue, (regardless of three landmark High Court rulings). In other words:

– constitutional and international laws don’t apply;

– judicial fairness is a dead letter;

– presidential power is supreme; and

– Congress must support the executive and overrule the highest court in the land….A “modest (police state) proposal” according to the Journal and one it clearly supports.

Political Parties, Corporations And The Truth

Political Parties, Corporations And The Truth

By Timothy V. GattoOther violations of civil liberties such as American citizens being subject to electronic surveillance and wiretapping without a warrant have also taken place. In violation of the law which established the FISA Court which requires the Federal Government to request a warrant at least 72 hours after the fact, were ignored. Presidential Directive 51 which establishes continuity of government in the event of a “national emergency” declared by the President has been written. This document, which basically gives dictatorial power to the President without authorization by Congress, has parts of it that are classified as “secret”. This directive is so secret, that members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees that possess the highest security clearances have not been allowed to see it. What could possibly be so secret that members of Congressional Intelligence Committee members can’t see it? – Tim Gatto


In this article I am going to make one last attempt to clarify my views on this presidential race, U.S. foreign policy, the economy and what we are experiencing in this new era as far as our civil liberties, the constant threats (real and perceived) to our “security” and the increasing gap between the rich and the not so rich in this country. One could write a book about each of these subjects, putting everything in one article is a daunting task. I’m not an expert nor am I an economist, diplomat or a military genius. What I am attempting to do is separate fact from fiction as I see it. I’m sure that many will take exception to what I have to say and that’s understandable, we all can’t be mirror images of each other. I ask your indulgence beforehand.

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has emerged as the leading superpower. This is not because we are better or smarter than other nations; it is because we have basically been on a war-footing since World War II and have outspent more on our military than the next 20 countries combined. When the Soviet Union fell, we had no reason to continue to fund our military at Cold War levels, but our economy was so dependent on our Military Industrial Complex. The United States could have shifted its focus from producing weapons and funding our huge military machine to projects like rebuilding our infrastructure and finding alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The problem with changing our focus from military spending to a peacetime economy was that the defense industry sector was a key player in our political structure. The influence of right wing conservatives that made up the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that called for projecting American power throughout the world and installing friendly democracies in key strategic regions warranted continuing the high level of military spending.

During the Clinton and then the Bush administrations, the Federal Government basically took the hands-off approach as far as regulating business. Huge mergers, predatory lending practices, free-trade agreements and tax breaks to companies that were outsourcing their labor force to other nations led to decreased competition and contributed to rising unemployment. The practice of cutting benefits and pay cuts as cost saving measures while CEO’s and other top echelon executives were paid in the hundreds of millions, even though their companies were running in the red, faced little opposition from labor unions that had lost much of their clout while others worked hand in hand with management. The disparity between the rich and the poor increased so that now, the 10% of the wealthiest families in the U.S. hold 71% of this nation’s wealth, leaving 29% of wealth to be distributed by the remaining 90%.

Some sectors of the economy, Big Oil, the Pharmaceutical Industry, Banking and Investment, Insurance companies, the Defense industry and Lawyers made heavy contributions to politicians, gaining unprecedented clout in regard to influencing government policy. Huge contributions to political campaigns became essential if a politician wanted to keep his or her job. Campaigns became more expensive and many elected officials realized that corporate support was a necessity. The media was bought up by corporate entities and the large networks were bought up five or six corporate groups. The era of networks owned by networks ended. The large media groups were now owned by corporate entities, mostly owned by the defense industry, primarily GE and Westinghouse, two of the largest defense contractors in the country. This and “corporate-personhood” that guaranteed corporations first amendment rights, meant that much of the content in the mainstream media, was controlled by a few select industries. Self-censorship of network content in order not to incur the wrath of owners or advertisers became paramount to the network executives. The United States gradually entered a phase of corporate influence that some call the “Corporacracy”. The government eventually became not a “Government by the people and for the people”, becoming a “Government by the corporations and for the corporations”.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 ushered in The Global War on Terrorism. This became the replacement for the Cold War and justified the huge expenditures for the military, keeping the defense industries and the stock market thriving. Eisenhower’s warning to “Beware the Military-Industrial-Complex had become a reality. The largest slice of the nation’s discretionary budget is spent on the defense industry. The fall of the Soviet Union meant a larger NATO, and many more overseas military bases for the Armed Forces. We immediately invaded Afghanistan, holding Osama Bin Laden responsible for 9/11, even though, to this day, a criminal investigation has never been done. The ultimate result was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the largest agency created since the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt.

The GWOT ushered in many new laws to protect the security of the United States. New laws such as the Patriot Act have been passed, which allows the government to search a citizen’s home without their knowledge or presence, and with no obligation to even tell the person after the fact, if he or she happens to be unfortunate enough to be deemed a “terrorist suspect” or a “terrorist sympathizer”. There are many more provisions such as a “No-Fly List” that prevents a suspected terrorist, or a terrorist sympathizer, from flying on a commercial airliner. Passports are now required to enter or come in from Mexico and Canada as well as other nations that previously did not require a passport. The new passport now carries a chip that contains much of your personal information. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 allows the Federal Government to arrest anyone without a warrant, and to hold them indefinitely without counsel, and to try them in a military tribunal. Extraordinary Rendition is a practice of seizing individuals suspected of terrorism and flying them to nations that practice torture so as to extract information vital to “national security”.

The John Warner Defense Bill (the re-vamped Insurrection Act) allows the President to federalize State National Guards and use them as law enforcement in any US State or territory over the objections of the State Governor. This effectively repeals Posse Comitatus that was passed in 1867 that prohibits Federal troops from acting as law enforcement in order that the military could not be used to effectively promote a dictatorship. These laws that were designed to promote the security of the country against terrorists, but these laws have also drastically reduced the civil liberties of American Citizens. The writ of Habeas Corpus has effectively been eliminated; this is the right to be presented with the evidence of a crime, and the right to be tried by a jury of peers, and the right to have a swift speedy trial that was written into the cornerstone of English and American common-law, the Magna Charta in 1215.

Other violations of civil liberties such as American citizens being subject to electronic surveillance and wiretapping without a warrant have also taken place. In violation of the law which established the FISA Court which requires the Federal Government to request a warrant at least 72 hours after the fact, were ignored. Presidential Directive 51 which establishes continuity of government in the event of a “national emergency” declared by the President has been written. This document, which basically gives dictatorial power to the President without authorization by Congress, has parts of it that are classified as “secret”. This directive is so secret, that members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees that possess the highest security clearances have not been allowed to see it. What could possibly be so secret that members of Congressional Intelligence Committee members can’t see it?

Many Americans disapprove of many of the decisions by the Executive Branch and Congress. The Bush Administration has been seen by many as an advocate of executive power and a danger to civil liberties. Allegations of torture and admissions of water-boarding, sleep depravation, sensatory deprivation, subjecting suspected terrorists to extreme heat and cold, slapping them around, being threatened by dogs and many other examples have surfaced. International Law on the treatment of prisoners has been broken. Many people around the world, and some people in America, expect the International Court to eventually file charges against members of the U.S. Government, to include President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. Impeachment articles against President and Vice-President have been introduced in Congress.

Everything written in this article has been illustrated to underscore the issues that we currently face as a nation. We are coming up on a Presidential election that will determine who will succeed this President. We are faced with a world that believes the allegations of torture by our government. We invaded Iraq on the premise that Saddam had WMD’s which proved to be false, killing over a million Iraqi’s and displacing another two million. We have almost destroyed their infrastructure. We have used over two hundred fifty tons of depleted uranium in our ordinance that is still on the ground emitting radiation that has caused the level of childhood leukemia to rise by 600%. Deformed children and the increase in all kinds of cancer have been reported. American soldiers have been exposed to radiation from DU and this affects their DNA and is responsible for many babies born in the US that fail to thrive and many children that have suffered their hearts exploding at 4 to 8 month of age (www.BeyondTreason.com). The economy is crippled by rampant capitalism and deregulation. American citizens are losing their homes to foreclosures due to predatory banking practices and the government is bailing out the banks and ignoring the homeowners. People are losing health benefits due to unemployment, firms that hire on a part-time 35 hour work week, and cost-cutting measures. 42% of Americans have either no health insurance or are under-insured. Unemployment has reached a 25 year high.

The Republicans are offering up Senator John McCain for the presidency. By all that has been said so far, he earnestly expects to “win” in Iraq without even proposing what the definition of “winning” is. He has said that he will follow the economic policies of George W. Bush. That means more “hands-off” behavior when it comes to regulating certain business practices that are hurting the economy. With a McCain presidency we can expect more Federal bailouts for banks and other industries, and no relief for the middle-class. We can expect to see more tax breaks for the wealthy, so that the divide between the Middle-Class and the wealthy, is even greater. We can expect more free trade agreements that could lead to more out-sourcing. We can look forward to more of our civil liberties lost to “protecting national security”. We can look forward to a continuation of the Global War on Terror and continued defense spending at the current rate as our economy becomes even more crippled and we stay dependent on fossil fuels that are heading the causes of global warming.

The Democrats are offering up Senator Barack Obama. This is a junior Senator with no executive experience. The Democratic presumptive nominee has already committed another two Army Divisions to the war in Afghanistan while leaving a “residual force” in Iraq, thus continuing this premise of the GWOT. He has not committed to lowering the defense budget. He has reneged on his opposition to strike immunity from prosecution for illegal electronic eavesdropping on American citizens by the telecoms. He has not come forward in opposition to the Patriot Act and the other draconian acts committed by the Bush Administration. He has pandered to AIPAC by threatening Iran with attack and supporting Jerusalem as the Israeli Capitol under Israeli control. He has threatened to invade Pakistan to fight the Taliban thereby increasing the scope of the war. The corporate control of the media and the body politic has not been addressed. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party has been virtually ignored. Senator Obama snubbed his nose at Netroots Nation, the so-called “Progressive” bloggers of Democrats and liberals. Senator Obama claims that he receives most of his financial support from small donations of middle income supporters. This is a not exactly the truth. Investment bankers and hedge fund managers are among his largest donors. “Bundled” contributions are the bread and butter of the Obama campaign.

The world see’s the United States as the biggest supporter of Israel’s right-wing government. Israel continues to build settlements on the West Bank and keeps the inhabitants of Gaza in a virtual “lockdown”. Bulldozers still raze homes in Gaza and unarmed young men are shot on a regular basis by the Israeli Defense Force. The J Street Coalition of liberal Jews claims to represent 60% of Jews in America. AIPAC, which J Street claims only represents 30% of Jewish Americans is the target of Senator Obama’s affection. Why? What is it about AIPAC that draws politicians in like moths to a light? The answer I come up with is money. Money and the fact that Republicans that lean hard right support AIPAC along with religious zealots like Rev. Hagee who seems to believe that once Jerusalem is entirely in Israeli hands, God can then fulfill the Bible’s prophesy and start the “rapture” and Hagee and his followers can enter the kingdom of heaven. I wonder if they’ll meet the Muslim suicide bombers and their 72 virgins hanging out at St. Peter’s gate.

The two corporate political parties have their two corporate candidates. I see Cynthia McKinney as the favored candidate of the true left in America. She has ballot access and she isn’t afraid to condemn the loss of civil liberties in America, nor does she hesitate to criticize the pandering of both corporate politicians to the military industrial complex. She is highly critical of Israel and also speaks out on the corporate controlled media. The Greens, which in my mind are born-again feudalists’, are extremely lucky to have her. She just might qualify for matching campaign funds for the Green Party. Brian Moore of the Socialist Party is, in my opinion, the best candidate… but only intellectually. The lack of ballot access for the Socialists, and the hangover from the Cold War, leaves many Americans afraid of the name Socialist. I believe that if the same corporate control of the two political parties, that are essentially not too different from one another continues, those Americans that find the divide between the rich and middle class (if we still have a middle class), will find the message of the Socialists more attractive than at any time in the past. Their support of strong unions and a return to a peacetime economy will become much more attractive. While Senator Obama gets the Democrats misty-eyed with his talk of change and tearing down walls, in reality, change will be the last thing we’ll see in an Obama presidency, and the walls of distrust between the corporatists, the wealthy and the rest of us, will be higher than ever. Until real limits are legislated on campaign financing, the corporate money will continue to rule the two major political parties, along with the corporate media that will promote them.

Unless Americans start to look past the hype that the mainstream media provides to their myopic vision of this so-called two-party system, the future seems bleak indeed for the average middle-class citizens. To get a clear understanding of modern politics today, one needs only to follow the money in the political arena to see who will emerge as the victor in this particular election. It seems to me the cruelest joke that is being played today is on all of the young people in this country that see a champion in Barack Obama and his mantra of “change”. I believe that the disillusionment that they will feel when the changes they are hoping for fail to materialize, it will bring a backlash of epic proportions. Maybe then the Socialists will start looking pretty good in a world separated by those that have and those that don’t.
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Court Confirms President’s Dictatorial Powers

Court Confirms President’s Dictatorial Powers

in Case of US “Enemy Combatant” Ali al-Marri

By Andy Worthington

On July 15, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled by 5 votes to 4 in the case of Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli (PDF) that the president can arrest US citizens and legal residents inside the United States and imprison them indefinitely, without charge or trial, based solely on his assertion that they are “enemy combatants.” Have a little think about it, and you’ll see that the Fourth Circuit judges have just endorsed dictatorial powers.

In the words of Judge William B. Traxler, whose swing vote confirmed the court’s otherwise divided ruling, “the Constitution generally affords all persons detained by the government the right to be charged and tried in a criminal proceeding for suspected wrongdoing, and it prohibits the government from subjecting individuals arrested inside the United States to military detention unless they fall within certain narrow exceptions … The detention of enemy combatants during military hostilities, however, is such an exception. If properly designated an enemy combatant pursuant to legal authority of the President, such persons may be detained without charge or criminal proceedings for the duration of the relevant hostilities.”

As was pointed out by Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, who was steadfastly opposed to the majority verdict (and whose opinion was endorsed by Judges M. Blane Michael, Robert B. King and Roger L. Gregory), “the duration of the relevant hostilities” is a disturbingly open-ended prospect. After citing the 2007 State of the Union Address, in which the President claimed that ‘[t]he war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others,’” Judge Motz noted, “Unlike detention for the duration of a traditional armed conflict between nations, detention for the length of a ‘war on terror’ has no bounds.”

The Court of Appeals made its extraordinary ruling in relation to a habeas corpus claim in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, whose story I reported at length here. To recap briefly, al-Marri, a Qatari national who had studied in Peoria, Illinois in 1991, returned to the United States in September 2001, with his US residency in order, to pursue post-graduate studies, bringing his family — his wife and five children — with him. Three months later he was arrested and charged with fraud and making false statements to the FBI, but in June 2003, a month before he was due to stand trial for these charges in a federal court, the prosecution dropped the charges and informed the court that he was to be held as an “enemy combatant” instead.

He was then moved to a naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina, where he has now been held for five years and one month in complete isolation in a blacked-out cell in an otherwise unoccupied cell block. For the first 14 months of this imprisonment, he was subjected to sleep deprivation and extreme temperature manipulation, frequently deprived of food and water, and interrogated repeatedly.

In August 2003, representatives of the International Red Cross were finally allowed to visit al-Marri, and two months later he was permitted to meet with a lawyer, when he finally had the opportunity to explain that his interrogators had “threatened to send [him] to Egypt or to Saudi Arabia where, they told him, he would be tortured and sodomized and where his wife would be raped in front of him.”

Based on advice given to Donald Rumsfeld by Defense Department lawyers regarding the use of isolation at Guantánamo, when the lawyers warned that it was “not known to have been generally used for interrogation purposes for longer than 30 days,” al-Marri has now been held in solitary confinement for 67 times longer than the amount of time recommended by the Pentagon’s own lawyers (this figure includes the six months that he spent in isolation in Peoria County Jail and the Metropolitan Correction Center in New York, before being transferred to Charleston).

It is, therefore, unsurprising that his lawyer, Jonathan Hafetz of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, has explained that he is suffering from “severe damage to his mental and emotional well-being, including hypersensitivity to external stimuli, manic behavior, difficulty concentrating and thinking, obsessional thinking, difficulties with impulse control, difficulty sleeping, difficulty keeping track of time, and agitation.”

So what is Ali al-Marri supposed to have done to justify being held in solitary confinement for almost as long as the duration of the Second World War? The presidential order declaring him an “enemy combatant” stated simply that he was closely associated with al-Qaeda and presented “a continuing, present, and grave danger to the national security of the United States.” Elaborating, in subsequent statements, the government has claimed that he was part of an al-Qaeda sleeper cell, who had been instructed to carry out further terrorist attacks in the United States, targeting reservoirs, the New York Stock Exchange and military academies.

What’s particularly worrying about these charges is that, by the government’s own admission, the primary sources for its supposed evidence against al-Marri are confessions made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks, during the three months following his capture in March 2003, when, as even the CIA has admitted, he was subjected to waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning, which the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition at least had the honesty to call “tortura del aqua.”

As I discussed at length in an article last summer, KSM stated during his tribunal at Guantánamo in March 2007 that he had given false information about other people while being tortured, and, although he was not allowed to elaborate, I traced several possible victims of these false confessions, including Majid Khan, one of 13 supposedly “high-value” detainees transferred with KSM to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons in September 2006, Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani businessman and philanthropist held in Guantánamo, and his son Uzair, who was convicted in the United States on dubious charges in November 2005, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

As I also stated last November, “It’s possible, therefore, that al-Marri is another victim of KSM’s tangled web of tortured confessions, but whether or not this is true, the correct venue for such discussions is in a court of law, and not in leaks and proclamations from an administration that appears to be intent on holding him without charge or trial for the rest of his life.”

When I wrote these words, it seemed possible that the Fourth Circuit judges would act to prevent al-Marri from having the dubious distinction of being the last “enemy combatant” on the US mainland, and would put pressure on the government to transfer him to a federal prison to face a trial in a US court, as happened with Jose Padilla, a US citizen and one of two other “enemy combatants” imprisoned without charge or trial — the other being Yaser Hamdi, a US-born Saudi, who was held in Guantánamo until it was ascertained that he held US citizenship. In Hamdi’s case, however, a brief stay at the Charleston brig was followed by a deal that allowed him to return to Saudi Arabia.

In June 2007, a panel of three Fourth Circuit judges dealt a blow to the administration’s claims by ruling that “the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them ‘enemy combatants.’” Last week’s decision followed a successful appeal by the government, but when the Fourth Circuit court met en banc to reconsider al-Marri’s case in October, it seemed possible that they would uphold the panel’s June verdict. When Judge Michael asked the government’s representative, Gregory J. Barre, “How long can you keep this man in custody?” and Garre replied that it could “go on for a long time,” depending on the duration of the “war” with al-Qaeda, Judge Michael stated, “It looks like a lifetime.”

I now realize, of course, that it was always highly improbable that the Fourth Circuit court — widely regarded as the most right-wing court in the country — would end Ali al-Marri’s legal limbo, although it was somewhat ironic that, in a separate ruling, the swing-voting Judge Traxler ruled in al-Marri’s favor when it came to a decision to grant him some as yet unspecified ability to challenge the basis of his definition as an “enemy combatant.”

This, at least, earned him the gratitude of Judge Motz, who stated that “the evidentiary proceedings envisaged by Judge Traxler will at least place the burden on the Government to make an initial showing that ‘the normal due process protections available to all within this country’ are impractical or unduly burdensome in al-Marri’s case and that the hearsay declaration that constitutes the Government’s only evidence against al-Marri is ‘the most reliable available evidence’ supporting the Government’s allegations.”

In other respects, however, the court only added to its reputation as a defender of the indefensible. Not content with endorsing the President’s dictatorial right to imprison “enemy combatants” without charge or trial on the US mainland, the judges responsible for the majority verdict ruled that the President did not even have to allege, as he did with Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla, that an “enemy combatant” had either been in Afghanistan or had ever raised arms against US forces.

The injustice of this was pointed out in the opinion of Judge Motz, who stated that, “unlike Hamdi and Padilla, al-Marri is not alleged to have been part of a Taliban unit, not alleged to have stood alongside the Taliban or the armed forces of any other enemy nation, not alleged to have been on the battlefield during the war in Afghanistan, not alleged to have even been in Afghanistan during the armed conflict, and not alleged to have engaged in combat with United States forces anywhere in the world.”

Judge Motz added, however, “With regret, we recognize that this view does not command a majority of the court. Our colleagues hold that the President can order the military to seize from his home and indefinitely detain anyone — including an American citizen — even though he has never affiliated with an enemy nation, fought alongside any nation’s armed forces, or borne arms against the United States anywhere in the world. We cannot agree that in a broad and general statute, Congress silently authorized a detention power that so vastly exceeds all traditional bounds. No existing law permits this extraordinary exercise of executive power.”

Disturbingly, as Judge Motz mentioned above, the court also indicated its presumption that its ruling applies not just to legal residents like Ali al-Marri, but to US citizens as well. Judge Traxler noted, “it is likely that the constitutional rights our court determines exist, or do not exist, for al-Marri will apply equally to our own citizens under like circumstances,” and Judge Motz explained that the lack of distinction between citizens and residents had become apparent at oral argument, when the government “finally acknowledged that an alien legally resident in the United States, like al-Marri, has the same Fifth Amendment due process rights as an American citizen. For this reason, the Government had to concede that if al-Marri can be detained as an enemy combatant, then the Government can also detain any American citizen on the same showing and through the same process.”

We have, to be honest, been here before. In September 2005, a three-member panel upheld, in Padilla’s case, the President’s power to hold US citizens indefinitely without charge or trial (PDF). This verdict was never tested, as the government took Padilla out of the brig and into the court system (where he was convicted in January) before the Supreme Court could rule on his case, but as Glenn Greenwald noted in an article in Salon, the upshot is that the 2005 Padilla verdict still stands. To that extent, all that has changed now is that the Fourth Circuit court has reinforced its former ruling en banc.

Al-Marri’s lawyers will doubtless appeal, and, if justice still counts for anything, his case will go all the way to the Supreme Court. However, it remains incomprehensible to me that the whole sorry saga has lasted for so long already. As Jonathan Hafetz and his colleagues explained last November when they presented their arguments to the Fourth Circuit judges (and as Judge Motz noted last week), the President “lacks the legal authority to designate and detain al-Marri as an ‘enemy combatant’ for two principal reasons”: firstly, because the Constitution “prohibits the military imprisonment of civilians arrested in the United States and outside an active battlefield,” and secondly, because, although a district court previously held that the President was authorized to detain al-Marri under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (the September 2001 law authorizing the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those involved in any way with the 9/11 attacks), Congress explicitly prohibited “the indefinite detention without charge of suspected alien terrorists in the United States” in the Patriot Act, which followed five weeks later.

That seems pretty clear to me. In the “War on Terror,” however, as I learned during my research for The Guantánamo Files, all forms of logical thought — sometimes in the courts, most of the time in military custody, and as a permanent fixture in the war rooms where torture was endorsed — have been engulfed in a fog of fear and barbarism.

I leave the final words to Judge Motz, and her clear-eyed awareness of the injustice of the al-Marri verdict. “To sanction such presidential authority to order the military to seize and indefinitely detain civilians, even if the President call them ‘enemy combatants,’ would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country,” Judge Motz wrote. “For a court to uphold a claim to such extraordinary power would do more than render lifeless the Suspension Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the rights to criminal process in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments; it would effectively undermine all of the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. It is that power — were a court to recognize it — that could lead all our laws ‘to go unexecuted, and the government itself to go to pieces.’ We refuse to recognize a claim to power that would so alter the constitutional foundations of our Republic.”

Unless Ali al-Marri is allowed a meaningful review of his status as an “enemy combatant,” Judge Motz’s fears have already come true.

America’s Democratic Collapse

America’s Democratic Collapse

By Chris Hedges


n a dramatic speech, Chris Hedges warns that the nation is on the verge of becoming a full-blown corporate state.

Note: Chris Hedges gave this keynote address on Wednesday, May 28, in Furman University’s Younts Conference Center. The address was part of protests by faculty and students over the South Carolina college’s decision to invite George W. Bush to give the May 31 commencement address.

When it was announced in May that Bush would deliver the commencement address, 222 students and faculty signed and posted on the school’s Web site a statement titled “We Object.” The statement cites the war in Iraq and the administration’s “obstructing progress on reducing greenhouse gases while favoring billions in tax breaks and subsidies to oil companies that are earning record profits.”

“We are ashamed of the actions of this administration. The war in Iraq has cost the lives of over 4,000 brave and honorable U.S. military personnel,” the statement read. “Because we love this country and the ideals it stands for, we accept our civic responsibility to speak out against these actions that violate American values.”

I used to live in a country called America. It was not a perfect country, God knows, especially if you were African American or Native American or of Japanese descent in World War II, or poor or gay or a woman or an immigrant, but it was a country I loved and honored. This country gave me hope that it could be better. It paid its workers wages that were envied around the world. It made sure these workers, thanks to labor unions and champions of the working class in the Democratic Party and the press, had health benefits and pensions. It offered good public education. It honored basic democratic values and held in regard the rule of law, including international law and respect for human rights. It had social programs from Head Start to welfare to Social Security to take care of the weakest among us, the mentally ill, the elderly and the destitute. It had a system of government that, however flawed, was dedicated to protecting the interests of its citizens. It offered the possibility of democratic change. It had a media that was diverse and endowed with the integrity to give a voice to all segments of society, including those beyond our borders, to impart to us unpleasant truths, to challenge the powerful, to explain ourselves to ourselves.

I am not blind to the imperfections of this America, or the failures to always meet these ideals at home and abroad. I spent 20 years of my life in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans as a foreign correspondent reporting in countries where crimes and injustices were committed in our name, whether during the Contra war in Nicaragua or the brutalization of the Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces. But there was much that was good and decent and honorable in our country. And there was hope.

The country I live in today uses the same words to describe itself, the same patriotic symbols and iconography, the same national myths, but only the shell remains. America, the country of my birth, the country that formed and shaped me, the country of my father, my father’s father and his father’s father, stretching back to the generations of my family that were here for the country’s founding, is so diminished as to be nearly unrecognizable. I do not know if this America will return, even as I pray and work and strive for its return. The “consent of the governed” has become an empty phrase. Our textbooks on political science are obsolete. Our state, our nation, has been hijacked by oligarchs, corporations and a narrow, selfish political elite, a small and privileged group which governs on behalf of moneyed interests. We are undergoing, as John Ralston Saul wrote, “a coup d’etat in slow motion.” We are being impoverished — legally, economically, spiritually and politically. And unless we soon reverse this tide, unless we wrest the state away from corporate hands, we will be sucked into the dark and turbulent world of globalization where there are only masters and serfs, where the American dream will be no more than that — a dream, where those who work hard for a living can no longer earn a decent wage to sustain themselves or their families, whether in sweatshops in China or the decaying rust belt of Ohio, where democratic dissent is condemned as treason and ruthlessly silenced.

I single out no party. The Democratic Party has been as guilty as the Republicans. It was Bill Clinton who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough. Clinton argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers, he insisted, would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, he argued, to take corporate money. By the 1990s, the Democratic Party, under Clinton’s leadership, had virtual fundraising parity with the Republicans. Today the Democrats get more. In political terms, it was a success. In moral terms, it was a betrayal.

The North American Free Trade Agreement was sold to the country by the Clinton White House as an opportunity to raise the incomes and prosperity of the citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico. NAFTA would also, we were told, staunch Mexican immigration into the United States.

“There will be less illegal immigration because more Mexicans will be able to support their children by staying home,” President Clinton said in the spring of 1993 as he was lobbying for the bill.

But NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, had the curious effect of reversing every one of Clinton’s rosy predictions. Once the Mexican government lifted price supports on corn and beans for Mexican farmers, they had to compete against the huge agribusinesses in the United States. The Mexican farmers were swiftly bankrupted. At least 2 million Mexican farmers have been driven off their land since 1994. And guess where many of them went? This desperate flight of poor Mexicans into the United States is now being exacerbated by large-scale factory closures along the border as manufacturers pack up and leave Mexico for the cut-rate embrace of China’s totalitarian capitalism. But we were assured that goods would be cheaper. Workers would be wealthier. Everyone would be happier. I am not sure how these contradictory things were supposed to happen, but in a sound-bite society, reality no longer matters. NAFTA was great if you were a corporation. It was a disaster if you were a worker.

Clinton’s welfare reform bill, which was signed on Aug. 22, 1996, obliterated the nation’s social safety net. It threw 6 million people, many of them single mothers, off the welfare rolls within three years. It dumped them onto the streets without child care, rent subsidies and continued Medicaid coverage. Families were plunged into crisis, struggling to survive on multiple jobs that paid $6 or $7 an hour, or less than $15,000 a year. But these were the lucky ones. In some states, half of those dropped from the welfare rolls could not find work. Clinton slashed Medicare by $115 billion over a five-year period and cut $25 billion in Medicaid funding. The booming and overcrowded prison system handled the influx of the poor, as well as our abandoned mentally ill. And today we stand in shame with 2.3 million of our citizens behind bars, most for nonviolent drug offenses. More than 1 in 100 adults in the United States is incarcerated, and 1 in 9 black men ages 20 to 34 is behind bars. The United States, with less than 5 percent of the global population, has almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

The growing desperation across the United States is unleashing not simply a recession — we have been in a recession for some time now — but the possibility of a depression unlike anything we have seen since the 1930s. This desperation has provided a pool of broken people willing to work for low wages and without unions or benefits. This is good news if you are a corporation. It is very bad news if you work for a living. For the bottom 90 percent of Americans, annual income has been on a slow, steady decline for three decades. The majority’s income peaked at $33,000 in 1973. By 2005, according to New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston in his book “Free Lunch,” it had fallen to a bit more than $29,000, this despite three decades of economic expansion. And where did that money go? Ask ExxonMobil, the biggest U.S. oil and gas company, which made a $10.9 billion profit in the first quarter of this year, leaving us to pay close to $4 a gallon to fill up our cars. Or better yet, ask Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, whose compensation rose nearly 18 percent to $21.7 million in 2007, when the oil company pulled in the largest profit ever for a U.S. company. His take-home pay package included $1.75 million in salary, a $3.36 million bonus and $16.1 million of stock and option awards, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He also received nearly $430,000 of other compensation, including $229,331 for personal security and $41,122 for use of the company aircraft. In addition to his pay package, Tillerson, 56, received more than $7.6 million from exercising options and stock awards during the year. Exxon Mobil earned $40.61 billion in 2007, up 3 percent from the previous year. But Tillerson’s 2007 pay was not even the highest mark for the U.S. oil and gas industry. Occidental Petroleum Corp. CEO Ray Irani made $33.6 million, and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. chief James Hackett took in $26.7 million over the same period.

For each dollar earned in 2005, the top 10 percent got 48.5 cents. That was the top tenth’s greatest share of the income pie, Johnston writes, since 1929, just before the Roaring ’20s collapsed in the Great Depression. And within the top 10 percent, those who made more than $100,000, nearly all the gains went to the top tenth of 1 percent, people like Tillerson or Irani or Hackett, who made at least $1.7 million that year. And until we have real election reform, until we make it possible to run for national office without candidates kissing the rings of Tillersons, Iranis and Hacketts to get hundreds of millions of dollars, this rape of America will continue.

While the Democrats have been very bad, George W. Bush has been even worse. Let’s set aside Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. George Bush has also done more to dismantle our Constitution, ignore or revoke our statutes and reverse regulations that protected American citizens from corporate abuse than any other president in recent American history. The president, as the Boston Globe reported, has claimed the authority, through “signing statements,” to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, whistle-blower protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ”to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” George Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ”execute” a law he believes is unconstitutional. The Bush administration has gutted environmental, food and product safety, and workplace safety standards along with their enforcement. And this is why coal mines collapse, the housing bubble has blown up in our face, and we are sold lead-contaminated toys imported from China. Bush has done more than any president to hand our government directly over to corporations, which now get 40 percent of federal discretionary spending.

Over 800,000 jobs once handled by government employees have been outsourced to corporations, a move that has not only further empowered our shadow corporate government but helped destroy federal workforce unions. Everything from federal prisons, the management of regulatory and scientific reviews, the processing or denial of Freedom of Information requests, interrogating prisoners and running the world’s largest mercenary army in Iraq has become corporate. And these corporations, in a perverse arrangement, make their money off the American citizen. Halliburton in 2003 was given a no-bid and non-compete $7 billion contract to repair Iraq’s oil fields, as well as the power to oversee and control Iraq’s entire oil production. This has now become $130 billion in contract awards to Halliburton. And flush with taxpayer dollars, what has Haliburton done? It has made sure only 36 of its 143 subsidiaries are incorporated in the United States and 107 subsidiaries (or 75 percent) are incorporated in 30 different countries. Halliburton is able through this arrangement to lower its tax liability on foreign income by establishing a “controlled foreign corporation” and subsidiaries inside low-tax, or no-tax, countries known as a “tax havens.” They take our money. They squander it. And our corporate government not only funds them but protects them. Halliburton — and Halliburton is just one example — is the engine of our new, rogue corporate state, serviced by people like George Bush and Dick Cheney, once the company’s CEO.

The disparity between our oligarchy and the working class has created a new global serfdom. Credit Suisse analysts estimates that the number of subprime foreclosures in the United States over the next two years will total 1,390,000 and that by the end of 2012, 12.7 percent of all residential borrowers in the United States will be forced out of their homes. The corporate state, which as an idea is an abstraction to many Americans, is very real when the pieces are carefully put together and linked to a system of corporate power that has made this poverty, the denial of our constitutional rights, and a state of permanent war inevitable. The assault on the American working class — an assault that has devastated members of my own family — is nearly complete. The U.S. economy has 3.2 million fewer jobs today than it did when George Bush took office, including 2.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs. In the past three years, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. workers was laid off. Among workers laid off from full-time work, roughly one-fourth were earning less than $40,000 annually. A total of 15 million U.S. workers are unemployed, underemployed, or too discouraged to job hunt, according to the Labor Department. There are whole sections of the United States which now resemble the developing world. There has been a Weimarization of the American working class. And the assault on the middle class is now under way. Anything that can be put on software — from finance to architecture to engineering — can and is being outsourced to workers in countries such as India or China who accept a fraction of the pay and work without benefits. And both the Republican and Democratic parties, beholden to corporations for money and power, allow this to happen.

Take a look at our government departments. Who runs the Defense Department? The Department of Interior? The Department of Agriculture? The Food and Drug Administration? Who runs the Department of Labor? Corporations. And in an election year where we are numbed by absurdities, we hear nothing about this subordinating of the American people to corporate power. The political debates, which have become popularity contests, are ridiculous and empty. They do not confront the real and advanced destruction of our democracy. They do not confront the takeover of our electoral processes.

We have watched over the past few decades the rise of a powerful web of interlocking corporate entities, a network of arrangements within subsectors, industries, or other partial jurisdictions to diminish and often abolish outside control and oversight. These corporations have neutralized national, state and judicial authority. They dominate, for example, a bloated and wasteful defense industry, which has become sacrosanct and beyond the reach of politicians, most of whom are left defending military projects in their districts, no matter how redundant, because they provide jobs. This has permitted a military-industrial complex, which contributes lavishly to political campaigns, to spread across the country with virtual impunity.

Defense-related spending for fiscal 2008 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in history. The U.S. has become the largest single seller of arms and munitions on the planet. The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is the largest since the Second World War even as we have more than $400 billion in annual deficits. More than half of federal discretionary spending goes to defense. This will not end when Bush leaves office. And so we build Cold War relics like $3.4 billion submarines and stealth fighters to evade radar systems the Soviets never built and spend $ 8.9 billion on ICBM missile defense that will be useless in stopping a shipping container concealing a dirty bomb. The defense industry is able to monopolize the best scientific and research talent and squander the nation’s resources and investment capital. These defense industries produce nothing that is useful for society or the national trade account. (Seymour) Melman, like President Eisenhower, saw the defense industry as viral, something that, as it grew, destroyed a healthy economy. And so we produce sophisticated fighter jets while Boeing is unable to finish its new commercial plane on schedule, and our automotive industry tanks. We sink money into research and development of weapons systems and starve technologies to fight against global warming and renewable energy. Universities are awash in defense-related cash and grants, and struggle to find money for environmental studies. This massive military spending, aided by this $3 trillion war, is hollowing us out from the inside. Our bridges and levees collapse, our schools decay, and our safety net is taken away.

The corporate state, begun under Ronald Reagan and pushed forward by every president since, has destroyed the public and private institutions that protected workers and safeguarded citizens. Only 7.8 percent of workers in the private sector are unionized. This is about the same percentage as in the early 1900s. There are 50 million Americans in real poverty and tens of millions of Americans in a category called “near poverty.” Our health care system is broken. Eighteen thousand people die in this country, according to the Institute of Medicine, every year because they can’t afford health care. That is six times the number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks, and these unnecessary deaths continue year after year. But we do not hear these stories of pain and dislocation. We are diverted by bread and circus. News reports do little more than report on trivia and celebrity gossip. The FCC, in an example of how far our standards have fallen, defines shows like Fox’s celebrity gossip program “TMZ” and the Christian Broadcast Network’s “700 Club” as “bona fide newscasts.” The economist Charlotte Twight calls this vast corporate system of spectacle and democratic collapse “participatory fascism.”

How did we get here? How did this happen? In a word, deregulation — the systematic dismantling of the managed capitalism that was the hallmark of the American democratic state. Our political decline came about because of deregulation, the repeal of antitrust laws, and the radical transformation from a manufacturing economy to a capital economy. This understanding led Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 29, 1938, to send a message to Congress titled “Recommendations to the Congress to Curb Monopolies and the Concentration of Economic Power.” In it, he wrote:

The first truth is that the liberty of democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism — ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way to sustain an acceptable standard of living.

The rise of the corporate state has grave political consequences, as we saw in Italy and Germany in the early part of the 20th century. Antitrust laws not only regulate and control the marketplace, they serve as bulwarks to protect democracy. And now that they are gone, now that we have a state that is run by and on behalf of corporations, we must expect inevitable and perhaps terrifying political consequences.

I spent two years traveling the country to write a book on the Christian right called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” In depressed former manufacturing towns from Ohio to Kentucky it was the same. There are tens of millions of Americans for whom the end of the world is no longer an abstraction. They have lost hope. Fear and instability has plunged the working class into personal and economic despair, and not surprisingly into the arms of the demagogues and charlatans of the radical Christian right who offer a belief in magic, miracles and the fiction of a utopian Christian nation. And unless we re-enfranchise these Americans back into the economy, unless we give them hope, our democracy is doomed.

As the pressure mounts, as this despair and desperation reaches into larger and larger segments of the American populace, the mechanisms of corporate and government control are being bolstered to prevent civil unrest and instability. It is not accidental that with the rise of the corporate state comes the rise of the security state. This is why the Bush White House has pushed through the Patriot Act (and its renewal), the suspension of habeas corpus, the practice of “extraordinary rendition,” the warrantless wiretapping on American citizens and the refusal to ensure free and fair elections with verifiable ballot-counting. It is part of a package. It comes together. It is not about terrorism or national security. It is about control. It is about their control of us.

Sen. Frank Church, as chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence in 1975, investigated the government’s massive and highly secretive National Security Agency. He wrote:

“That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. Telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

When Sen. Church made this statement, the NSA was not authorized to spy on American citizens. Today it is.

… We are fed lie after lie to mask the destruction the corporate state has wrought in our lives. The consumer price index, for example, used by the government to measure inflation, has become meaningless. To keep the official inflation figures low, the government has been substituting basic products they once measured to check for inflation with ones that do not rise very much in price. This trick has kept the cost-of-living increases tied to the CPI artificially low. The disconnect between what we are told and what is actually true is worthy of the old East German state. The New York Times’ consumer reporter, W.P. Dunleavy, wrote that her groceries now cost $587 a month, up from $400 a year earlier. This is a 40 percent increase. California economist John Williams, who runs an organization called Shadow Statistics, contends that if Washington still used the CPI measurements applied back in the 1970s, inflation would be in the 10 percent range. The advantage to the corporations is huge. A false inflation rate, one far lower than the real rate, keeps equitable interest payments on bank accounts and certificates of deposit down. It masks the deterioration of the American economy. The Potemkin statistics allow corporations and the corporate state to walk away from obligations tied to real adjustments for inflation. These statistics mean that less is paid out in Social Security and pensions. It has reduced the interest on the multitrillion-dollar debt. Corporations never have to pay real cost-of-living increases to their employees. The term “unemployment” has also been steadily redefined. This has rendered official data on employment worthless. In real terms, about 10 percent of the working population is unemployed, a figure that is, over the long run, unsustainable. The economy, despite the official statistics, is not growing. It is shrinking. And as the nation crumbles, we are awash with the terrible simplicity of false statistics. We confuse our emotional responses, carefully manipulated by advertisers, pundits, spin doctors, television hosts, political consultants and focus groups, with knowledge. It is how we elect presidents and those we send to Congress, how we make decisions, even decisions to go to war. It is how we view the world. Four media giants — AOL-Time Warner, Viacom, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch’s NewsGroup — control nearly everything we read, see and hear. This growing disconnect with reality is the hallmark of a totalitarian state.

“Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines,” Hannah Arendt wrote, “totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared the never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations. The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda — before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world — lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

So what do we do? Voting is not enough. If voting was that effective, to quote the activist Philip Berrigan, it would be illegal. And voting in an age when elections are stolen by rigged ballot machines and a stacked Supreme Court willing to overturn all legal precedent to make George Bush president, will not work. I am not saying do not vote. We should all vote. But that has to be the starting point if we want to reclaim America. We must lobby, organize and advocate for the dissolution of the World Trade Organization and NAFTA. The WTO and NAFTA have handcuffed workers and consumers and stymied our efforts to create clean environments. These agreements are beyond the control of our courts and have crippled our weakened regulatory agencies. The WTO forces our working class to compete with brutalized child and prison labor overseas, to be reduced to this level of slave labor or to go without meaningful work. We need to repeal the anti-worker Taft-Hartley law of 1947. The act obstructs the organization of unions. We need to transfer control of pension funds from management to workers. If these pension funds, worth trillions of dollars, were in the hands of workers, the working class would own a third of the New York Stock Exchange.

The working class has every right to be, to steal a line from Obama, bitter with liberal elites. I am bitter. I have seen what the loss of manufacturing jobs and the death of the labor movement did to my relatives in the former mill towns in Maine. Their story is the story of tens of millions of Americans who can no longer find a job that supports a family and provides basic benefits. Human beings are not commodities. They are not goods. They grieve and suffer and feel despair. They raise children and struggle to maintain communities. The growing class divide is not understood, despite the glibness of many in the media, by complicated sets of statistics or the absurd, utopian faith in unregulated globalization and complicated trade deals. It is understood in the eyes of a man or woman who is no longer making enough money to live with dignity and hope.

George Bush, who will be here on Saturday, has done more to shred, violate or absent the government from its obligations under domestic and international law. He has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, backed out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, tried to kill the International Criminal Court, walked out on negotiations on chemical and biological weapons, and defied the Geneva Convention and human rights law. He has set up offshore penal colonies where we deny detainees basic rights and openly engage in torture. He launched an illegal war in Iraq based on fabricated evidence we now know had been discredited even before it was made public. And if we as citizens do not hold him accountable for these crimes, if we allow the Democratic majority in Congress to get away with its refusal to begin the process of impeachment, which appears likely, we will be complicit in the codification of a new world order, one that will have terrifying consequences. For a world without treaties, statutes and laws is a world where any nation, from a rogue nuclear state to a great imperial power, will be able to invoke its domestic laws to annul its obligations to others. This new order will undo five decades of international cooperation — largely put in place by the United States — destroy our own constitutional rights and thrust us into a Hobbesian nightmare. We are one, maybe two, terrorist attacks away from a police state. Time is running out.

We must not allow international laws and treaties — ones that set minimum standards of behavior and provide a framework for competing social, political, economic and religious groups and interests to resolve differences — to be discarded. The exercise of power without law is tyranny. And the consequences of George Bush’s violation of the law, his creation of legal black holes that can swallow American citizens along with those outside our borders, run in a direct line from the White House to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and military brigs in cities such as Charleston. George Bush — we now know from the leaked Downing Street memo — fabricated a legal pretext for war. He decided to charge Saddam Hussein with the material breach of the resolution passed in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. He had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was in breach of this resolution. And so he and his advisers manufactured reports of weapons of mass destruction and disseminated them to a frightened and manipulated press and public. In short, he lied. He lied to us and to the rest of the world. There are tens of thousands, perhaps a few hundred thousand people, who have been killed and maimed in a war that has no legal justification, a war waged in violation of international law, a war that under the post-Nuremberg laws is defined as “a criminal war of aggression.”

We have blundered into nations we know little about. We are caught between bitter rivalries and competing ethnic groups and leaders we do not understand. We are trying to transplant a modern system of politics invented in Europe characterized, among other things, by the division of earth into independent secular states based on national citizenship in a land where the belief in a secular civil government is an alien creed. Iraq was a cesspool for the British when they occupied it in 1917. It will be a cesspool for us as well. We can either begin an orderly withdrawal or watch the mission collapse.

A rule-based world matters. The creation of international bodies and laws, the sanctity of our constitutional rights, have allowed us to stand pre-eminent as a nation — one that seeks at its best to respect and defend the rule of law. If we demolish the fragile and delicate domestic and international order, if we permit George Bush to create a world where diplomacy, broad cooperation, democracy and law are worthless, if we allow these international and domestic legal safeguards to unravel, our moral and political authority will plummet. We will erode the possibility of cooperation between nation-states, including our closest allies. We will lose our country. And we will, in the end, see visited upon us the evils we visit on others. Read Antigone, when the king imposes his will without listening to those he rules or Thucydides’ history. Read how Athens’ expanding empire saw it become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. How the tyranny the Athenian leadership imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. This, Thucydides wrote, is what doomed Athenian democracy; Athens destroyed itself. For the primary instrument of tyranny and empire is war and war is a poison, a poison which at times we must ingest just as a cancer patient must ingest a poison to survive. But if we do not understand the poison of war — if we do not understand how deadly that poison is — it can kill us just as surely as the disease.

Hope, St. Augustine wrote, has two beautiful daughters. They are anger and courage. Anger at the way things are and the courage to see they do not remain the way they are. We stand at the verge of a massive economic dislocation, one forcing millions of families from their homes and into severe financial distress, one that threatens to rend the fabric of our society. We are waging a war that devours lives and capital, and that cannot ultimately be won. We are told we need to give up our rights to be safe, to be protected. In short, we are made afraid. We are told to hand over all that is best about our nation to those like George Bush and Dick Cheney, who seek to destroy our nation.

A state of fear only engenders cruelty — cruelty, fear, insanity, and then paralysis. In the center of Dante’s circle, the damned remained motionless. If we do not become angry, if we do not muster within us the courage, indeed the militancy, to challenge those in the Democratic and Republican parties who herd us toward the corporate state, we will have squandered our courage and our integrity when we need it most.

We, the Salt of the Earth, Take Precedence

We, the Salt of the Earth, Take Precedence

by Paul Craig Roberts The hypocrisy of the Nuremberg trials is that the victors were also guilty of crimes for which the vanquished were punished. The purpose of the trials was to demonize the defeated in order to divert attention from the allies’ own war crimes. The trials had little to do with justice. In Freedom Next Time, Pilger shows the complete self-absorption of American, British and Israeli governments whose policies are unimpeded by any moral principle. Pilger documents the demise of the inhabitants of Diego Garcia. The Americans wanted Diego Garcia for an air base, so the British packed up the 2,000 residents, people with British passports under British protection, and deported them to Mauritius, one thousand miles away. – Paul Craig Roberts


Which country is the rogue nation? Iraq? Iran? Or the United States? Syndicated columnist Charley Reese asks this question in a recently published article.
Reese notes that it is the US that routinely commits “acts of aggression around the globe.”

The US government has no qualms about dropping bombs on civilians whether they be in Serbia, the Middle East, or Africa. It is all in a good cause – our cause.

This slaughtering of foreigners doesn’t seem to bother the American public. Americans take it for granted that Americans are superior and that American purposes, whatever they be, take precedence over the rights of other people to life and to a political existence independent of American hegemony.

The Bush regime has come up with a preemption doctrine that justifies attacking a country in order to prevent the country from possibly becoming a future threat to the US. “Threat” is broadly defined. It appears to mean the ability to withstand the imposition of US hegemony. This insane doctrine justifies attacking China and Russia, a direction in which the Republican presidential candidate John McCain seems to lean.
The callousness of Americans toward the lives of other peoples is stunning. How many Christian churches ask God’s forgiveness for having been rushed into an error that has killed, maimed, and displaced a quarter of the Iraqi population?

How many Christian churches ask God to give better guidance to our government so that it does not repeat the error and crime by attacking Iran?

The indifference of Americans to others flows from “American exceptionalism,” the belief that Americans are graced with a special mission to impose their virtue on the rest of the world. Like the French revolutionaries, Americans don’t seem to care how many people they kill in the process of spreading their exceptionalism.

American exceptionalism has swelled Americans’ heads, filling them with hubris and self-righteousness and making Americans believe that they are the salt of the earth.
Three recent books are good antidotes for this unjustified self-esteem. One is Patrick J. Buchanan’s Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. Another is After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation by Giles MacDonogh, and a third is John Pilger’s Freedom Next Time.

Buchanan’s latest book is by far his best. It is spell-binding from his opening sentence: “All about us we can see clearly now that the West is passing away.” As the pages turn, the comfortable myths, produced by history written by the victors, are swept aside. The veil is lifted to reveal the true faces of British and American exceptionalism: stupidity and deceit.

Buchanan’s strength is that he lets the story be told by Britain’s greatest 20th century historians and the memoirs of the participants in the events that destroyed the West’s dominance and moral character. Buchanan’s contribution is to assemble the collective judgment of a hundred historians.

As I read the tale, it is a story of hubris destroying judgment and substituting in its place blunder and miscalculation. Both world wars began when England, for no sound or sensible reason, declared war on Germany. Winston Churchill was a prime instigator of both wars. He seems to have been a person who needed a war stage in order to be a “great man.”

The American President Woodrow Wilson shares responsibility with Britain and France for the Versailles Treaty, which dismembered Germany, stripping her of territory and putting millions of Germans under foreign rule, and imposed reparations that Britain’s greatest economist, John Maynard Keynes, correctly predicted to be unrealistic. All of this was done in violation of assurances given to Germany that there would be no reparations or boundary changes. Once Germany surrendered, the assurances were withdrawn, and a starvation blockade forced German submission to the new harsh terms.

Hitler’s program was to put Germany back together. He was succeeding without war until Churchill provoked Chamberlain into an insane act. Danzig was 95 percent German. It had been given to Poland by the Versailles Treaty. Hitler was negotiating its return and offered in exchange a guarantee of Poland’s frontiers. The Polish colonels, assessing the relative strengths of Poland and Germany, understood that a deal was better than a war. But suddenly, the British Prime Minister issued Poland a guarantee of its existing territory, including Danzig, whose inhabitants wished to return to Germany.

Buchanan produces one historian after another to testify that British miscalculations and blunders, culminating in Chamberlain’s worthless and provocative “guarantee” to Poland, brought the West into a war that Hitler did not want, a war that destroyed the British Empire and left Britain a dependency of America, a war that delivered Poland, a chunk of Germany, all of Eastern Europe, and the Baltic states to Joseph Stalin, a war that left the Western allies with a 45-year cold war against the nuclear-armed Soviet Union.

People resist the shattering of their illusions, and many are angry with Buchanan for assembling the facts of the case that distinguished historians have provided.

Churchill admirers are outraged that their hero is revealed as the first war criminal of World War II. It was Churchill who initiated the policy of terror bombing civilians in non-combatant areas. Buchanan quotes B.H. Liddell Hart: “When Mr. Churchill came into power, one of the first decisions of his government was to extend bombing to the non-combatant area.”

In holding Churchill to account, Buchanan makes no apologies for Hitler, but the ease with which Churchill set aside moral considerations is discomforting.

Buchanan documents that Churchill’s plan was to destroy 50% of German homes. Churchill also had plans for using chemical and biological warfare against German civilians. In 2001 the Glasgow Sunday Herald reported Churchill’s plan to drop five million anthrax cakes onto German pastures in order to poison the cattle and through them the people. Churchill instructed the RAF to consider drenching “the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany” with poison gas “in such a way that most of the population would be requiring constant medical attention.”

“It is absurd to consider morality on this topic,” the great man declared.

Paul Johnson, a favorite historian of conservatives, notes that Churchill’s policy of terror bombing civilians was “approved in cabinet, endorsed by parliament and, so far as can be judged, enthusiastically backed by the bulk of the British people.” Thus, the terror bombing of civilians, which “marked a critical stage in the moral declension of humanity in our times,” fulfilled “all the conditions of the process of consent in a democracy under law.”

British historian F.J.P. Veale concluded that Churchill’s policy of indiscriminate bombing of civilians caused an unprecedented “reversion to primary and total warfare” associated with “Sennacherib, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane.”

The Americans were quick to follow Churchill’s lead. General Curtis LeMay boasted of his raid on Tokyo: “We scorched and boiled and baked to death more people in Tokyo that night of March 9-10 than went up in vapor in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.”
MacDonogh’s book, After the Reich, dispels the comfortable myth of generous allied treatment of defeated Germany. Having discarded all moral scruples, the allies fell upon the vanquished country with brutal occupation. Hundreds of thousands of women raped; hundreds of thousands of Germans died in deportations; a million German prisoners of war died in captivity.

MacDonogh calculates that 2.5 million Germans died between the liberation of Vienna and the Berlin airlift.

Nigel Jones writes in the conservative London Sunday Telegraph: “MacDonogh has told a very inconvenient truth,” a story long “cloaked in silence since telling it suited no one.”

The hypocrisy of the Nuremberg trials is that the victors were also guilty of crimes for which the vanquished were punished. The purpose of the trials was to demonize the defeated in order to divert attention from the allies’ own war crimes. The trials had little to do with justice.

In Freedom Next Time, Pilger shows the complete self-absorption of American, British and Israeli governments whose policies are unimpeded by any moral principle.
Pilger documents the demise of the inhabitants of Diego Garcia. The Americans wanted Diego Garcia for an air base, so the British packed up the 2,000 residents, people with British passports under British protection, and deported them to Mauritius, one thousand miles away.

To cover up its crime against humanity, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office created the fiction that the inhabitants, which had been living in the archipelago for two or three centuries, were “a floating population.” This fiction, wrote a legal adviser, bolsters “our arguments that the territory has no indigenous or settled population.”

Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart conspired to mislead the UN about the deported islanders by, in Stewart’s words, ” presenting any move as a change of employment for contract workers – rather than as a population resettlement.”

Pilger interviewed some of the displaced persons, but emotional blocs will shield patriotic Americans and British from the uncomfortable facts. Rational skeptics can find a second documented account of the Anglo-American rape of Diego Garcia online. An entire people were swept away.

Two thousand people were in the way of an American purpose – an air base – so we had our British dependency deport them.

Several million Palestinians are in Israel’s way. Pilger’s documented account of Israel’s crushing of the Palestinians shows that our “democratic ally” in the Middle East is capable of any evil and has no remorse or mercy. Israel is an apt student of the British and American empires’ attitudes toward lesser beings. They simply don’t count.

Those who are the salt of the earth take precedence over everything.

A Work Force Betrayed

By Paul Craig Roberts
09/07/08 “ICH” – – The collapse of world socialism, the rise of the high speed Internet, a bought-and-paid-for US government, and a million dollar cap on executive pay that is not performance related are permitting greedy and disloyal corporate executives, Wall Street, and large retailers to dismantle the ladders of upward mobility that made America an “opportunity society.” In the 21st century the US economy has been able to create net new jobs only in nontradable domestic services, such as waitresses, bartenders, government workers, hospital orderlies, and retail clerks. (Nontradable services are “hands on” services that cannot be sold as exports, such as haircuts, waiting a table, fixing a drink.)
Corporations can boost their bottom lines, shareholder returns, and executive performance bonuses by arbitraging labor across national boundaries. High value- added jobs in manufacturing and in tradable services can be relocated from developed countries to developing countries where wages and salaries are much lower. In the United States, the high value-added jobs that remain are increasingly filled by lower paid foreigners brought in on work visas.
When manufacturing jobs began leaving the US, no-think economists gave their assurances that this was a good thing. Grimy jobs that required little education would be replaced with new high tech service jobs requiring university degrees. The American work force would be elevated. The US would do the innovating, design, engineering, financing and marketing, and poor countries such as China would manufacture the goods that Americans invented. High-tech services were touted as the new source of value-added that would keep the American economy preeminent in the world.
The assurances that economists gave made no sense. If it pays corporations to ship out high value-added manufacturing jobs, it pays them to ship out high value-added service jobs. And that is exactly what US corporations have done.
Automobile magazine (August 2008) reports that last March Chrysler closed its Pacifica Advance Product Design Center in Southern California. Pacifica’s demise followed closings and downsizings of Southern California design studios by Italdesign, ASC, Porsche, Nissan, and Volvo. Only three of GM’s eleven design studios remain in the US.
According to Eric Noble, president of The Car Lab, an automotive consultancy, “Advanced studios want to be where the new frontier is. So in China, studios are popping up like rabbits.”
The idea is nonsensical that the US can remain the font of research, innovation, design, and engineering while the country ceases to make things. Research and product development invariably follow manufacturing. Now even business schools that were cheerleaders for offshoring of US jobs are beginning to wise up. In a recent report, “Next Generation Offshoring: The Globalization of Innovation,” Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business finds that product development is moving to China to support the manufacturing operations that have located there.
The study, reported in Manufacturing & Technology News, acknowledges that “labor arbitrage strategies continue to be key drivers of offshoring,” a conclusion that I reached a number of years ago. Moreover, the study concludes, jobs offshoring is no longer mainly associated with locating IT services and call centers in low wage countries. Jobs offshoring has reached maturity, “and now the growth is centered around product and process innovation.”
According to the Fuqua School of Business report, in just one year, from 2005 to 2006, offshoring of product development jobs increased from an already significant base by 40 to 50 percent. Over the next one and one-half to three years, “growth in offshoring of product development projects is forecast to increase by 65 percent for R&D and by more than 80 percent for engineering services and product design-projects.”
More than half of US companies are now engaged in jobs offshoring, and the practice is no longer confined to large corporations. Small companies have discovered that “offshoring of innovation projects can significantly leverage limited investment dollars.”
It turns out that product development, which was to be America’s replacement for manufacturing jobs, is the second largest business function that is offshored.
According to the report, the offshoring of finance, accounting, and human resource jobs is increasing at a 35 percent annual rate. The study observes that “the high growth rates for the offshoring of core functions of value creation is a remarkable development.”
In brief, the United States is losing its economy. However, a business school cannot go so far as to admit that, because its financing is dependent on outside sources that engage in offshoring. Instead, the study claims, absurdly, that the massive movement of jobs abroad that the study reports are causing no job loss in the US: “Contrary to various claims, fears about loss of high-skill jobs in engineering and science are unfounded.” The study then contradicts this claim by reporting that as more scientists and engineers are hired abroad, “fewer jobs are being eliminated onshore.” Since 2005, the study reports, there has been a 48 percent drop in the onshore jobs losses caused by offshore projects.
One wonders at the competence of the Fuqua School of Business. If a 40-50 percent increase in offshored product development jobs, a 65 percent increase in offshored R&D jobs, and a more than 80 percent increase in offshored engineering services and product design-projects jobs do not constitute US job loss, what does?
Academia’s lack of independent financing means that its researchers can only tell the facts by denying them.
The study adds more cover for corporate America’s rear end by repeating the false assertion that US firms are moving jobs offshore because of a shortage of scientists and engineers in America. A correct statement would be that the offshoring of science, engineering and professional service jobs is causing fewer American students to pursue these occupations, which formerly comprised broad ladders of upward mobility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ nonfarm payroll jobs statistics show no sign of job growth in these careers. The best that can be surmised is that there are replacement jobs as people retire.
The offshoring of the US economy is destroying the dollar’s role as reserve currency, a role that is the source of American power and influence. The US trade deficit resulting from offshored US goods and services is too massive to be sustainable. Already the once all-mighty dollar has lost enormous purchasing power against oil, gold, and other currencies. In the 21st century, the American people have been placed on a path that can only end in a substantial reduction in US living standards for every American except the corporate elite, who earn tens of millions of dollars in bonuses by excluding Americans from the production of the goods and services that they consume.
What can be done? The US economy has been seriously undermined by offshoring. The damage might not be reparable. Possibly, the American market and living standards could be rescued by tariffs that offset the lower labor and compliance costs abroad.
Another alternative, suggested by Ralph Gomory, would be to tax US corporations on the basis of the percentage of their value added that occurs in the US. The greater the value added to a company’s product in America, the lower the tax rate on the profits.
These sensible suggestions will be demonized by ideological “free market” economists and opposed by the offshoring corporations, whose swollen profits allow them to hire “free market” economists as shills and to elect representatives to serve their interests.
The current recession with its layoffs will mask the continuing deterioration in employment and career outlooks for American university graduates. The highly skilled US work force is being gradually transformed into the domestic service workforce characteristic of third world economies.

VIDEO: Death, Destruction Mean Freedom to America

VIDEO: Death, Destruction Mean Freedom to America
An Iraqi oil engineer showed a film in which US soldiers throw detainees off from buildings and compete in who can shoot the injured first.

Javno.hr

BRUTAL, THOUGH DEEPLY MOVING VIDEO CAN ONLY BE SEEN ON SITE: http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=45261&s2=29

The price of the ‘liberation’ of Iraq has been paid with the lives of dozens of thousands Iraqis [1], of thousands of American soldiers, of thousands of American mercenaries, an cost over 700 billion dollars.

Oil Engineer Ali Kadhim spoke about all these events, and then showed a very shocking film on American crimes, revealing the special role of Iran in the occupation of his country.

- Iran has helped the Americans to enter Iraq, in order to take revenge for the war we led against them at the time of Saddam Hussein. When the Americans had already occupied Iraq, the Iranians personally decapitated our scientists, professors and intellectuals in general. We are talking about almost 10 thousand people, whose names I have written in documents which are available on the internet – said Ali Kadhim, adding that everything Iran and the USA are bring up now is only a play in front of the world. What is really happening takes place under the table

As oil expert, he confirmed the well known story according to which the USA made up everything about weapons of mass destruction in order to seize Iraqi oil.

Vanja Deželić-.–.– We are a land rich in oil and America, as the greatest consumer, had to encroach what we had. Now, after they have occupied us, they said that now we are in dept with them for freedom, and that we will have to pay them back a dept of 700 billion dollars in oil – Mr Khadim stated, adding that Iraq gets only six dollars a barrel.

Aspects of the Iraqi occupation are visible

However, regardless of the fact that the Iraqis presently live with one hour of electricity and water a day and that death comes with every step, Ali Kadhim revealed that the opposition movement against the aggressor is growing and that victory is close.

- It is worst than Vietnam to them, today we have the internet, we have cameras, mobile phones, the world sees everything they do. The sun of freedom will soon shine in the sky of Iraq – Ali said, and he presented the film on five years of occupation of Iraq.

The film is really shocking. It starts showing the beautiful treasures of Iraq before chaos and death overtook everything. Then it immediately shows scenes of Iraq today. Fires, dead bodies, bombs are everyday life.

As if it were not shocking enough, the scenes that follow awake an even greater rage. Mainly because you are conscious of your impotence in front of what you see. The crimes of the American soldiers. Shooting the injured and competitions to see who can kill them first, throwing detainees off from buildings and the shocking behaviour towards children.

However, the end, just like the beginning, features a proud theme. Scenes of the Iraqi opposition movement inform everyone that Iraq is not on its knees. The film ends with the message that the Iraqi resistance lives forever. The whole story really recalls the events of the Second World War, especially because the Iraqis, and not only them, compare Bush with Hitler.

[1] Uruknet’s note: actually more than one million Iraqis have died because of the war in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Eager to Tap Iraq’s Oil, Industry Execs Suggested Military Intervention

Eager to Tap Iraq’s Oil, Industry Execs Suggested Military Intervention

Jason Leopold, The Public Record

July 2, 2008

Two years before the invasion of Iraq, oil executives and foreign policy advisers told the Bush administration that the United States would remain “a prisoner of its energy dilemma” as long as Saddam Hussein was in power.

That April 2001 report, “Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century,” was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the request of Vice President Dick Cheney.

In retrospect, it appears that the report helped focus administration thinking on why it made geopolitical sense to oust Hussein, whose country sat on the world’s second largest oil reserves.

“Iraq remains a de-stabilizing influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East,” the report said.

“Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the U.S. should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.”

The advisory committee that helped prepare the report included Luis Giusti, a Shell Corp. non-executive director; John Manzoni, regional president of British Petroleum; and David O’Reilly, chief executive of ChevronTexaco.

Those companies now stand to earn tens of billions of dollars in no-bid contracts in a U.S.-brokered deal that was recently announced to drill Iraq’s untapped oil fields.

James Baker, the namesake for the public policy institute, was a prominent oil industry lawyer who also served as Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush and was counsel to the Bush/Cheney campaign during the Florida recount in 2000.

Ken Lay, then chairman of the energy-trading Enron Corp., also made recommendations that were included in the Baker report.

At the time of the report, Cheney was leading an energy task force made up of powerful industry executives who assisted him in drafting a comprehensive “National Energy Policy” for President George W. Bush.

A Focus on Oil

It was believed then that Cheney’s secretive task force was focusing on ways to reduce environmental regulations and fend off the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

But Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, later described a White House interest in invading Iraq and controlling its vast oil reserves, dating back to the first days of the Bush presidency.

In Ron Suskind’s 2004 book, The Price of Loyalty, O’Neill said an invasion of Iraq was on the agenda at the first National Security Council. There was even a map for a post-war occupation, marking out how Iraq’s oil fields would be carved up.

O’Neill said even at that early date, the message from Bush was “find a way to do this,” according to O’Neill, a critic of the Iraq invasion who was forced out of his job in December 2002.

The New Yorker ’s Jane Mayer later made another discovery: a secret NSC document dated Feb. 3, 2001 – only two weeks after Bush took office – instructing NSC officials to cooperate with Cheney’s task force, which was “melding” two previously unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states” and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.” [The New Yorker, Feb. 16, 2004]

By March 2001, Cheney’s task force had prepared a set of documents with a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a list titled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts,” according to information released in July 2003 under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch.

A Commerce Department spokesman issued a brief statement when those documents were released stating that Cheney’s energy task force “evaluated regions of the world that are vital to global energy supply.”

There has long been speculation that a key reason why Cheney fought so hard to keep his task force documents secret was that they may have included information about the administration’s plans toward Iraq.

‘Conspiracy Theory’

However, both before and after the invasion, much of the U.S. political press treated the notion that oil was a motive for invading Iraq in March 2003 as a laughable conspiracy theory.

Generally, business news outlets were much more frank about the real-politick importance of Iraq’s oil fields.

For instance, Ray Rodon, a former executive at Halliburton, the oil-service giant that Cheney once headed, said he was dispatched to Iraq in October 2002 to assess the country’s oil infrastructure and map out plans for operating Iraq’s oil industry, according to an April 14, 2003 story in Fortune magazine.

“From behind the obsidian mirrors of his wraparound sunglasses, Ray Rodon surveys the vast desert landscape of southern Iraq’s Rumailah oilfield,” Fortune’s story said. “A project manager with Halliburton’s engineering and construction division, Kellogg Brown & Root, Rodon has spent months preparing for the daunting task of repairing Iraq’s oil industry.”

“Working first at headquarters in Houston and then out of a hotel room in Kuwait City, he has studied the intricacies of the Iraqi national oil company, even reviewing the firm’s organizational charts so that Halliburton and the Army can ascertain which Iraqis are reliable technocrats and which are Saddam loyalists.”

At about the same time as Rodon’s trip to Iraq – October 2002 – Oil and Gas International, an industry publication, reported that the State Department and the Pentagon had put together pre-war planning groups that focused heavily on protecting Iraq’s oil infrastructure.

The next month, November 2002, the Department of Defense recommended that the Army Corps of Engineers award a contract to Kellogg, Brown & Root to extinguish Iraqi oil well fires.

The contract also called for “assessing the condition of oil-related infrastructure; cleaning up oil spills or other environmental damage at oil facilities; engineering design and repair or reconstruction of damaged infrastructure; assisting in making facilities operational; distribution of petroleum products; and assisting the Iraqis in resuming Iraqi oil company operations.”

In January 2003, as President Bush was presenting the looming war with Iraq as necessary to protect Americans, the Wall Street Journal reported that oil industry executives met with Cheney’s staff to plan the post-war revival of Iraq’s oil industry.

“Facing a possible war with Iraq, U.S. oil companies are starting to prepare for the day when they may get a chance to work in one of the world’s most oil-rich countries,” the Journal reported on Jan. 16, 2003.

“Executives of U.S. oil companies are conferring with officials from the White House, the Department of Defense and the State Department to figure out how best to jump-start Iraq’s oil industry following a war, industry officials say.

“The Bush administration is eager to secure Iraq’s oil fields and rehabilitate them, industry officials say. They say Mr. Cheney’s staff hosted an informational meeting with industry executives in October [2002], with Exxon Mobil Corp., ChevronTexaco Corp., ConocoPhillips and Halliburton among the companies represented.

“Both the Bush administration and the companies say such a meeting never took place. Since then, industry officials say, the Bush administration has sought input, formally and informally, from executives and industry experts on how best to overhaul Iraq’s oil sector.”

Guarding the Oil Ministry

Despite the Bush administration’s denials about oil as a motivation for war, the Bush administration’s focus on Iraqi oil was firmly set.

On April 5, 2003, Reuters reported that the State Department’s “Future of Iraq” project headed by Thomas Warrick, special adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, held its fourth meeting of the oil and energy-working group.

Documents obtained by Reuters showed that “a clear consensus among expert opinion favoring production-sharing agreements to attract the major oil companies.”

“That is likely to thrill oil companies harboring hopes of lucrative contracts to develop Iraqi oil reserves,” the news agency reported. “Short-term rehabilitation of southern Iraqi oil fields already is under way, with oil well fires being extinguished by U.S. contractor Kellogg Brown and Root …

“Long-term contracts are expected to see U.S. companies ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips compete with Anglo-Dutch Shell, Britain’s BP, TotalFinaElf of France, Russia’s LUKOIL and Chinese state companies.”

After U.S. troops captured Baghdad in April 2003, they were ordered to protect the Oil Ministry even as looters ransacked priceless antiquities from Iraq’s national museums and stole explosives from unguarded military arsenals.

Now, the long-held dreams of U.S. dominance over the Iraqi oil spigot now seem close to fulfillment.

Last weekend, The New York Times reported that State and Commerce department officials have been secretly working with Iraq’s Oil Ministry in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and Western oil companies to develop Iraq’s oil fields.

Unacceptable Options

This outcome for U.S. and other Western oil companies now appears to have been foretold by the Baker Institute report more than seven years ago.

In April 2001, the report laid out a series of unacceptable options, including helping Iraq under Saddam Hussein extract more oil by easing embargoes that were meant to hem Hussein in.

“The U.S. could consider reducing restrictions on oil investment inside Iraq,” the report said. But if Hussein’s “access to oil revenues was to be increased by adjustments in oil sanctions, Saddam Hussein could be a greater security threat to U.S. allies in the region if weapons of mass destruction, sanctions, weapons regimes and the coalition against him are not strengthened.”

Iraq is a “key swing producer turning its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest,” the report said, adding that there even was a ”possibility that Saddam Hussein may remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time” in order to drive up prices.

“Under this scenario, the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma, suffering on a recurring basis from the negative consequences of sporadic energy shortages,” the report said. “These consequences can include recession, social dislocation of the poorest Americans, and at the extremes, a need for military intervention.”

The report recommended Cheney move swiftly to integrate energy and national security policy as a means to stop ”manipulations of markets by any state” and suggested that his task force include “representation from the Department of Defense.”

“Unless the United States assumes a leadership role in the formation of new rules of the game,” the report said, ”U.S. firms, U.S. consumers and the U.S. government [will be left] in a weaker position.”

Two years after the Baker report, the United States – along with Great Britain and other allies – invaded Iraq. Now, more than five years after that, with Hussein dead and a U.S. expeditionary force still occupying Iraq, the U.S. oil industry finally appears to be in a strong position relative to Iraq’s oil riches.

However, the price that has been paid by American troops, Iraqi civilians and the U.S. taxpayers has been enormous.