Global Famine, Is it a Conspiracy?

Global Famine, Is it a Conspiracy?

© By Eric Walberg

Food protests and riots have swept more than 20 countries in the past few months. On 2 April, World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a meeting in Washington that there are 33 countries where price hikes could cause widespread social unrest. The UN World Food Programme called the crisis the silent tsunami, with wheat prices almost doubling in the past year alone, and stocks falling to the lowest level since the perilous post-World War II days.

One billion people live on less than $1 a day. Some 850 million are starving.

Meanwhile, world food production increased a mere 1 per cent in 2006, and with increasing amounts of output going to biofuels, per capita consumption is declining. The most commonly stated reasons include rising fuel costs, global warming, deterioration of soils, and increased demand in China and India. So is it all just a case of hard luck and poor planning?
There is just too much of a pattern, and too many elements all pointing in the same direction. Anyone following the news will have heard of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which first met in 1921 and the group that represents the inner circle within the inner circle, the Bilderberg Club, which first met in 1954.
The latter, once a highly secretive organisation bringing together select world political and business leaders, was exposed to the media spotlight in the 1990s and since then has had to endure increasing criticism for its, to say the least, undemocratic role in shaping political leaders’ thinking and actions in accordance with the desires of the world business elite.
The US has never been shy about flaunting world opinion. A case in point is its sole “nay” to multiple UN General Assembly and conference resolutions which declare that “health care and proper nourishment are human rights.” The resolution was approved by a vote of 135-1 in 1981 under President Ronald Reagan, and at UN-sponsored food summits by similar margins in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, and in 2002 under President Bush, dismissing any “right to food.”
Whether Republican or Democrat, Washington instead champions free trade as the key to ending the poverty which it argues is at the root of hunger, and expresses fears that recognition of a right to food could lead to lawsuits from poor nations seeking aid and special trade provisions. And these are only resolutions by a powerless body which is in any case virtually subservient to the US.
We can see at this very moment how this international humanitarian body is not above using starvation of innocent Gazans as a political tool in the interests of the status quo. Despite loud protestations to the contrary, there is little real international will opposing a future where millions die of starvation while a world elite consolidate their power.
Trying to come to grips with the world food crisis, it’s hard not to subscribe to some version of a conspiracy theory – that somehow, for some reason, this rush towards widespread world famine is actually a plan by a world clique intent on drastically reducing the world population, accelerating the collapse of national governments, allowing gigantic world corporations effectively to take their place, controlling vast areas of land, leading towards a world governed by these corporations. Especially with the US so clear in its assumption that indeed widespread famine is in the cards, for which it does not want to be held responsible. Forget about global warming (which is of course very real and harmful to food production). Here are a few more red flags.
First, the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), set up largely by the US following World War II, are notorious for refusing to advance loans to poor countries unless they agree to Structural Adjustment Programmes that require the loan recipients to devalue their currencies, cut taxes, privatise utilities and reduce or eliminate support programmes for farmers. The results are a weakened state, impoverished local farmers and increased economic domination by international corporations.
Combined with this is constant pressure on poor countries to lower tariffs, preventing them from building up their industrial potential, often destituting their farmers who cannot compete with heavily subsidised produce from rich nations.
Second, rich country subsidies, in Canada, for example, allow the federal government to pay farmers $225 for each pig killed in an ongoing mass cull of breeding swine, as part of a plan to reduce hog production. Some of the slaughtered hogs may be given to local Food Banks, but most will be destroyed or made into pet food. None will go to, say, Haiti.
Third, biofuel programmes are now channelling massive quantities of cereal and other crops to produce fuel for the world’s wealthy to run their second and third family cars while close to a billion starve. Add in Genetically Modified products, which are now being forced on poor countries (and not only) by large multinationals, protected by copyright laws, effectively enslaving farmers in perpetuity, not to mention their likely dire effects on loss of crop variety.
Last but not least, the current US-sponsored wars in the Middle East, with the resultant sky-rocketing oil prices, are merely accelerating a descent into the abyss, as it and its conjunct NATO continue to expand beyond all responsible limits and venture into Asia, threatening more and more recalcitrant countries with loss of sovereignty, subversion and outright invasion.
Much of the world believes that 9/11 was not the work of a handful of ill-trained Saudi youth, but wilfully perpetrated by a handful of US/Israeli covert operatives as part of a plan to reinforce US hegemony in the world. If that is indeed the case, then the current world food crisis makes perfect sense – stage three, after 9/11 and the Middle East wars.
But you don’t have to believe in a “Made it Happen On Purpose” (MHOP) conspiracy for either 9/11 or the food crisis. As political analyst William Blum, famously cited by Osama Bin Laden on one of his video missives, says, “we’re speaking of men making decisions based not on people’s needs but on pseudo-scientific, amoral mechanisms like supply and demand, commodity exchanges, grain futures, selling short, selling long, and other forms of speculation, all fed and multiplied by the proverbial herd mentality – a system governed by only two things: fear and greed; not a rational way to feed a world of human beings.”
Blum subscribes to a “Let it Happen On Purpose” (LHOP) explanation concerning 9/11, that whatever conspiracy exists is loose and unorganised, that a big dose of incompetence mixed with justified anger by the oppressed is producing an explosive concoction, but that it is still possible that leaders will wake up and address the issues sensibly. This is a much more comforting worldview, but one that looks thinner and thinner as the whirlwind gathers momentum.
While Blum dismisses speculation about the food crisis as conspiracy, the links between the current world upheavals starting with 9/11 are there for all to see, and less and less seems to separate MHOP from LHOP as time marches on.
In fact there has been a food crisis ever since imperialism really got underway three centuries ago. Perhaps the most extensive famines in history were presided over by Britain in India in the 18-20th centuries. It has merely metamorphosed over time, just as has the “one world” movement that imperialism itself launched. Back then, it was more obvious: burn, rape, dispossess, enslave, create monopolies for trade and production (plantations), talk about “darkest Africa.” Now it is the World Trade Organisation, WB, IMF, emergency loans, privatisation, GM crops, and just possibly, the gathering “food crisis.”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez perhaps said it best: “It is a massacre of the world’s poor. The problem is not the production of food. It is the economic, social and political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis.”
Then what is really going on?
First of all, let’s get rid of the idea that we are seeing “impersonal market forces” at work. Supply and demand is not a law, it’s a policy. Second, let’s ask the question which any competent investigator should pose when starting out on the trail of a possible crime: “Who benefits?” Indeed we can even describe the crime as genocide if the events in question are avoidable or planned. Those who benefit are obviously the ones who finance agricultural operations, those who are charging monopoly prices for the commodities in demand, the various middlemen who bring the products to market, and the owners of the land and other assets used in the production/consumption cycle.
In other words, it’s the financial elite of the world who have gained control of the most basic necessities of life, guided by a long-term strategy by international finance to starve much of the world’s population in order to seize their land and control their natural resources.
In Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making (2008), David Rothkopf, currently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former deputy undersecretary of commerce for international trade under Clinton and managing director of Kissinger and Associates, brazenly outlines the real situation. As a consummate insider, he is clearly someone who should know. A global elite now run the planet and have usurped the power of national governments while ensuring laws constrained by borders are all but obsolete.
“Each one of them is one in a million. They number six thousand on a planet of six billion. They run our governments, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world’s most dangerous criminal and terrorist organisations. They are the global superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time,” states the promo for the book.
This elite “see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite’s global operations. Their connections to each other have become more significant than their ties to their home nations and governments.”
But why would an insider give the plot away to us plebs, you may well ask. For one thing, the exposure of the conspirators in the world media – yes, the Internet and satellite communications work both ways – has meant that there is a pressing need for some soothing PR, showing us that whatever conspiracy there is, it is benign, for our own good, necessary, if you will. That’s the only explanation for such a startlingly frank insider’s account as Superclass provides.
Secondly, it seems the time is ripe to move forward on this plan to drastically reduce world population, and increase control of the Earth’s land and resources for a world elite in perpetuity. One-world government, super imperialism, call it what you will.
The expansion of the US military empire abroad, the Trojan Horse of the conspiracy, comes with the creation of a totalitarian system of surveillance at home and abroad, put into place as part of the “War on Terror.” Human microchip implants for tracking purposes are starting to be used. The military-industrial complex has become the US’s largest and most successful industry, intent on destroying both foreign and domestic “enemies.” The pieces are now in place for world domination.
The 20th century – any conspiracy really can only be clearly argued starting from the Great War-to-end-all-war – surely was the US century, meaning it was able to impose its ideology of markets, consumerism and individualism even to the far reaches of Communist Russia and China, and hence ensure that the global elite it set in motion will subscribe in some form to its agenda – if indeed there is one.
However, the actors in the conspiracy – whether LHOP or MHOP, for I do believe the tragic state of the world did not just occur by chance – are not stable. There has been a remarkable power shift from the Amero-European coalition that dominated the world in the 20th century. Ironically with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West reigned supreme for only a very short time. The rise of China and Asia, the resurgence of Russia, while now integrated into the post-World War II international economic system, will no doubt shape the agenda that the 21st century inherits from its three centuries of imperialism.
This situation is in fact a perverse form of Kant’s recipe for world peace: countries must be willing to cede sovereignty to prevent war. His idealistic proposal floundered on the unwillingness of countries to cede meaningful autonomy to a world body, as the experience of the League of Nations and the UN have shown in spades.
However, once the US succeeded in amassing overwhelming economic might in the world and in splitting up the Soviet Union, it proceeded to use NATO as just such a world body, successfully tempting the resultant statelets to join it, i.e., to cede effective control over their foreign affairs to the US. The plan was for Russia to be coaxed into the fold as well, though this part of the plan has, as it turns out, hit a snag.

What about foreign aid? Yes, Bush just proposed spending an additional $770 million, bringing next year’s budget of food assistance to $2.6 billion. But since this is tied aid, forcing countries to import subsidised US produce, less than half the amount actually reaches the starving peasants, and combined with WB/IMF structural adjustment policies such aid really does more to compound the problem than provide any real long-term change for the better.
For sceptics about the possibility of some form of LHOP/MHOP, just consider the following: if indeed 6,000 elite business leaders control the world’s fate, surely such an immensely wealthy and powerful coterie could solve the food crisis in a flash. The massive expenditures on arms and the wanton destruction they cause every second, could, if stopped, provide the will and resources to restructure the world to end starvation, let alone poverty, leaving lots left over for the elite to wallow in. There is no organised force of any consequence opposing this world elite. What’s stopping it?

Iran warns any attack would start ‘world war’

Iran warns any attack would start ‘world war’

A senior military commander warned on Saturday that any attack on Iran would start a new world war, as Tehran pressed on with its controversial nuclear drive despite the risk of further UN sanctions.

“Any aggression against Iran will start a world war,” deputy chief of staff for defence publicity, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement carried by the state news agency IRNA.

Iran is under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, a process which lies at the core of fears about Iran’s nuclear programme as it can make nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atom bomb.

“The unrestrained greed of the US leadership and global Zionism… is gradually leading the world to the edge of a precipice,” Jazayeri said, citing the unrest in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Georgia.

“It is evident that if such a challenge occurs, the fake and artificial regimes will be eliminated before anything,” he said, without naming any countries.

Iran does not recognise Israel, which is often described by officials in Tehran as a “fake regime” and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has provoked itnernational outrage saying it should be wiped off the map.

The United States and its staunch ally Israel, the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear armed nation, accuse Iran of seeking atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme.

Iran, a leading OPEC member, has vehemently denied the allegations, insisting its only wants to provide electricity for a growing population when its reserves of fossil fuels run out.

The United States has never ruled out military action against Iran over its defiance of international demands for an enrichment freeze, but so far is pursuing the diplomatic route.

Iran has repeatedly vowed a crushing response to any attacks and has flexed military muscles in recent years by holding war games and showing off an array of home-grown weaponry including ballistic missiles.

Another top military commander said Iran was prepared to “take the enemies off-guard” and would unveil more weapons in case of an attack.

“Some of the equipment of our armed forces have been announced but there are important things hidden whose effect would be shown on the day (of any attack),” deputy army commander Abdolrahim Mousavi told Fars news agency.

“Offensives are part of the strategy of defence and if a country confines itself to its borders it has set a limit and eliminated part of its capability,” he said.

During war games in July which stoked international concern, aides to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Iran would target US bases and US ships in the Gulf as well as Israel if it was attacked.

Iran also test-fired its Shahab-3 missile which it says puts Israel within range.

In recent months, several Israeli politicians have talked of the possibility of a preemptive military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities to avoid any possibility of Tehran acquiring an atomic weapon.

Iran has repeatedly said it has no intention of halting enrichment despite three sets of UN Security Council sanctions and US and EU sanctions on its banking system.

Iran insists it has a right to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is currently operating about 4,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges and installing several thousand more.

However, the country’s first Russian-built nuclear power plant is yet to come on line.

The Islamic republic risks further sanctions for failing to give a clear response to an incentives package offered in June by six world powers in return for a halt to the sensitive work.

World powers offered to start pre-negotiations with Iran during which Tehran would add no more uranium-enriching centrifuges and in return face no further sanctions.

The offer by permanent Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany included trade incentives and help with a civilian nuclear programme.

Israeli PR fails the “decent, honest and truthful” test

Israeli PR fails the “decent, honest and truthful” test

Stuart Littlewood


© Carlos LATUFF

Stuart Littlewood shows how Israeli public relations fodder pumped out in London and Tel Aviv fails a crucial PR test. He argues that, if the Palestinians and other Arab were to get their media act together, they could “make mincemeat” of Israeli propaganda.

When Ron Prosor arrived in London last year to take up his post as Israeli ambassador he was eager to step up public relations. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “I’m not afraid to appear anywhere, and there is no platform … that I will not utilize for PR work.”

We are familiar with the usual Israeli PR mantras:

► having to contend with suicide bombers
► how Arafat turned down former prime minister Ehud Barak’s so-called ‘generous offer’ in 2000
► how the Israeli public has moved to the left in recent years whereas Palestinians have moved to the extreme right
► Israel is a democracy under attack
► Jerusalem is the capital of Israel forever
► Israel is against any negotiations with Hamas because it as a terrorist movement.

This last is all the more preposterous when echoed by the US, Britain and the EU, which have connived to keep Palestine under Israel’s military jackboot for 40 years.

Israel, of course, is an ethnocracy with racist laws, not a democracy as we know it in the West. This week an Israeli human rights organization, Gisha, is appealing against a decision by Israel’s so-called ‘democracy’ banning radio advertisements to highlight the plight of Palestinian students enrolled at foreign universities but prevented by Israel from leaving the Gaza Strip. The director-general of the Broadcast Authority said the subject was “politically and ideologically controversial”.

I wonder if the Ambassador is aware that in the UK PR campaigns are supposed to observe rules set down by the Advertising Standards Authority? In short, all marketing communications must be legal, decent, honest and truthful. The main difficulty for Israeli PR, as others have pointed out, is that Israel is probably the world’s worst brand, followed closely by Zionism. Any marketing effort that is remotely decent, honest or truthful would sink both.

Let’s take the recent Telegraph article, in which the Ambassador says “the constant barrage of rockets being fired on Israeli citizens… the average British citizen is painfully unaware that, since Hamas seized control of Gaza last year, 1,400 rockets and 1,500 mortar bombs have landed on Israeli soil.” He fails to mention that these crude, home-made projectiles are nothing compared to the thousands of high-tech munitions fired by Israeli F16s, helicopter gun-ships, armed drones, tanks, troops and warships at the 1.5 million civilians imprisoned in the Gaza Strip. Is that honest?

Under the rules “no marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise”.

Ambassador Prosor claims that “Britain has become a hotbed for radical anti-Israeli views … Israel has been cast as a pantomime villain… a climate of hatred is fomented on campuses”. This would be hard to prove. Under the rules he must hold documentary evidence to support all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation.

If anti-Israeli views do exist, I imagine they’re directed not so much against Israel and its people as the Zionist Tendency that rules it.

As for hatred, the Israeli government provides a running master-class on how to stoke it up. Take the latest example. A report by Peace Now, an Israeli non-governmental organization, says that at least 2,600 new Israelis-only homes are currently under construction illegally – in Palestine’s West Bank, an increase of 80 per cent over last year. In occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians justly claim as the capital of their future state, the number of new Israeli government bids for construction has increased from 46 in 2007 to 1,761 so far this year.

This breaches earlier agreements as well as international law and obviously undermines final status talks. Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, says the construction will not affect talks. “The peace process is not, and should not be, affected by any kind of settlement activities” and the settlement building programme should not be used as an excuse to avoid negotiations, she tells Palestinians. What planet is the woman on? Everybody knows perfectly well that settlement building, like the Separation Wall, is a Trojan horse used by Israelis to bite deep into Palestinian land, seize control of precious water resources and fragment any future Palestinian state. The Israel government is busily creating ‘facts on the ground’ that are likely to prevent any peace deal, so cannot be regarded as a real ‘partner for peace’.

Enter Condoleezza Rice, having lost all touch with reality and ignoring Peace Now and other reports. She says she has faith in Israeli intentions. “I don’t believe that it is Israel’s policy to increase activity in the settlements, rather it is to decrease activity,” she remarked during a press conference. Rice is supposed to be bright but evidently inhabits the same planet as Livni.

Devious PR goes unchallenged

Let’s dwell for a moment on Barak’s ‘generous offer’, another of the myths Israelis love to peddle. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip, seized by Israel in 1967 and occupied ever since, comprise just 22 per cent of pre-partition Palestine. When the Palestinians signed the Oslo Agreement in 1993 they agreed to accept the 22 per cent and recognize Israel within ‘Green Line’ borders (i.e. the 1949 Armistice Line established after the Arab-Israeli War). Conceding 78 per cent of the land that was originally theirs was an astonishing compromise on the part of the Palestinians.

But it wasn’t enough for Barak. His ‘generous offer’ required the inclusion of 69 Israeli settlements within the 22 per cent remnant. It’s plain to see on the map that these settlement blocs create impossible borders and already severely disrupt Palestinian life in the West Bank. Barak also demanded the Palestinian territories be placed under “Temporary Israeli Control”, meaning Israeli military and administrative control indefinitely. The ‘generous offer’ also gave Israel control over all the border crossings of the Palestinian State. What nation in the world would accept that? The truth contained in Barak’s maps was hidden by propaganda spin.

At Taba, Barak presented a revised map. The Palestinians considered it a basis for negotiation but Barak repudiated it after his election defeat. You don’t have to take my word for it – the facts are well documented and explained by organizations such as Gush Shalom.

Another rule to remember is that you “should not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience” of your audience.

Several weeks ago I and others, describing ourselves as Friends of Mohammed Omer, wrote to Ambassador Prosor asking for an explanation after the young journalist was beaten up and admitted to hospital by Israeli security thugs when he arrived at the Allenby Bridge border crossing on 26 June. Mohammed, who had committed no crime, was on his way home to his family in Gaza after receiving the coveted Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism at a ceremony in London.

Mr Prosor ignored our request and several reminders, and finally had his Deputy Head of Mission send a woefully inadequate response to an MP. In it the Israelis tried to demolish Mohammed’s ‘testimony’ and discredit him. But according to Mr Omer no Israeli investigator contacted him and no-one asked for medical reports. Refusing an independent inquiry or tribunal in such a case, and not even interviewing the victim or his doctors, or the Dutch diplomats who accompanied him, spells whitewash – and a PR blunder of the first magnitude.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, when the two Free Gaza boats broke the illegal blockade last week Israel’s propaganda machine lashed out to brand the 40-odd multi-national and multi-faith activists who undertook the voyage a “handful of provocateurs seeking a public relations stunt… aimed at boosting Hamas”. This ridiculous claim didn’t end there. The siege-breakers, said Israeli officials, “support Hamas suicide bombers and rocket attacks on Israel towns and cities” and show “a complete and total disregard for innocent Israel terror victims”.

Unable to say anything intelligent about the voyagers – or indeed Hamas – the Israelis as usual resorted to nasty accusations that could not possibly be justified.

Most of the PR fodder pumped out relentlessly by Israeli propagandists in London and Tel Aviv could never hope to pass the ‘decent, honest and truthful’ test. Those responsible for it are plainly incompetent in the professional marketing sense. If only the Palestinians and the Arab League would get their media act together they could make mincemeat of their Israeli tormentors in the all-important battle for hearts and minds.

But I hear on the grapevine that the Palestinian Authority – that den of collaborators in Ramallah – promised their US sponsor not to embarrass Israel in public. So the PA, knowing which side their bread is buttered, make no effort. Thus Israel’s devious PR goes unchallenged – except by Hamas.

It’s a mistake to think you can turn around a poor brand by throwing more PR at it. You have to improve the product. In Israel’s case they’ll have to cut out the crime and racism, hand back what they have stolen, scrupulously observe international law and UN Charter obligations, and show contrition for past sins. Only then will it be possible to begin turning Israel into an acceptable and marketable entity with a fine reputation for justice and good neighbourliness, which surely is what most people wish to see.

When that’s on track is when good PR kicks in.

AMERICAN/ZIONIST WAR WHORES

AW, C’MON, YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT.

JUST LOOK AT IT THERE, GLISTENING IN THE BRIGHT SUNLIGHT, WITH BEADS OF OIL AND SWEAT DRIPPING OFF ITS NAKED ARMS…

THERE FOR THE TAKING. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TAKE IT…

IRAN, THE GREAT OIL PRIZE, THE HARLOT THAT TEASES NEOCON FANTASIES, KEEPING THEM AWAKE AT NIGHT, WAITING FOR AN OVERWHELMING AMERICAN THRUST…

IRAN, THE TEMPTRESS, WHO TAUGHTS THE ZIONIST WAR-MONGERS INTO SENDING THEIR FAVORITE AMERICAN HITMEN TO SUBDUE ISRAEL’S RELUCTANT BRIDE…

FOOLISH AMERICANS, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW MANY OF YOU WANT TO RAVAGE THE IRANIAN NATION.

Israel knows, 63% of us want Israel to launch a nuclear first strike against Iran, 55% think that we should nuke them ourselves. (SOURCE) This is total bullshit. This Jewish group promoting global thermonuclear war (any attack upon Iran is an attack upon Russia), the Israel Project, surely confined its survey to areas with large Jewish populations.

This is the same outfit that produced this commercial glorifying a first strike on Iran:

ZIONIST WAR-MONGERING

JUST ANOTHER CASE OF ZIONIST BRAINWASHING, MEDIA CONTROL, CONTROL OF BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES AND STARTING MORE ILLEGAL WARS. ONLY TRUE “ANTI-SEMITES” COULD MAKE SUCH ACCUSATIONS

Conservatism: Shilling for its Corporate Master

Conservatives dread the light of day. They know that if their true motives are revealed, they’ll be lucky to get away with their lives. If they didn’t have an iron grip on media, they’d be banished, like any monster would, and preferably tarred and feathered on the way out.

Conservatism: Shilling for its Corporate Master

by Jon Faulkner

Germany, under Hitler, defined fascism with its attendant brutality, and brought its ugly face to the world’s attention. Like the right wing everywhere, it sought to present a contrived rational for its existence, while trying to hide its crimes against humanity. When the truth won out, all it had left was the horror, the scorn, the disgust that humanity reserves for the monstrous. The smoking remnants of a nation lay broken, and its people were hesitantly recognized as human. Americans should take careful note.

Germany celebrated its heyday over the bones of the dead, and few Germans were aware enough to understand the contradiction of their imagined superiority over the weak, the dispossessed. They still bear the burden of that pain over 60 years later. Even the most casual student of history knows that nations bury themselves over the prospect of change. They realize that Germans saw in Hitler salvation, even though nothing threatened them. Hitler made Germans feel entitled to whatever it was they could claim as their own, and to hell with anyone who stood in their way.

The U.S, under Bush, would seem to bend to the same, aimless ambitions as Germany at war. Americans keep confirming the same themes the republicans insist are vital. Fiscal responsibility! They rave. As they run up the national debt to unprecedented heights. Freedom! They shout. As bombs are dropped on foreign lands and innocent people are murdered while the Constitution is diminished, subverted, disrespected, and why? Personal responsibility! They cry. As U.S. corporations need another taxpayer funded handout to correct their unregulated greed.

Conservatives dread the light of day. They know that if their true motives are revealed, they’ll be lucky to get away with their lives. If they didn’t have an iron grip on media, they’d be banished, like any monster would, and preferably tarred and feathered on the way out.

The right wing’s history is in acting as corporate shill. Corporate has no motive to understand morality so it must have a defense, an explanation for its lack. It is the right wing’s job to provide it. The care that human beings demonstrate for each other is a threat to the corporate bottom line. Compassion is a concept outside the province and interest of corporate law. The motives that drive a man or women to challenge the impossible are unwelcome, and even threatening, in a plutocratic, corporate society. Art is reduced to advertising, for in the corporate world imagination is not welcome. It doesn’t fall within the boundaries of strict definition. It’s not something that can be held, weighed, and measured so what possible use could it have to the corporate mentality?

Art is the medium, the window, through which humanity may catch a fleeting glimpse of itself. It allows, for an instant, that humanity may take an objective view of where it’s been and where it’s going. It’s a huge threat to the corporate function. That’s why advertisement is the public art. For advertisement celebrates the material, and art attempts to examine the intangible depths of the human soul. It asks that humanity look inward to its true nature – to the motives for its existence. The corporate world can’t recognize humanity, nor the moral tenants that guide it. It can’t concern itself with ordinary care outside of profit. It must restrict itself to its only function – bottom line profit, no matter the expense in human terms. Art, and the human imagination, threatens its existence.

Millions of Americans are ready and anxious to vote for Bush ll, the senile version. Why so many voters would do such a thing is entirely outside the province of rational explanation. Bush, one man, has visited fiscal disaster upon the nation. He has also presented the U.S. as an imperialist nation, willing to invade sovereign states for corporate opportunity, thinly disguised as freedom. If one such man may decide the fate of so many, then some assessment of their character, honor, and intelligence, seems vital.

Americans failed to hold Bush to any qualifier, and their reward is richly deserved. The ones who saw it coming and had to watch it unfold, like an automobile accident in slow motion, will be dragged down right along with the rest of the herd, which, it seems, is poised again to abandon all caution in their support of McCain, a mere codification of the previous eight years. Even a dumb animal learns that after it’s been burned a few times it doesn’t revisit the source of its injury.

Americans remain largely ignorant of the right wing’s historical role in concentrating wealth among a comparative few. The robber barons of the late 19th century, and the grand opulence of the roaring twenties, were republican high points before Americans shook themselves awake and recoiled in horror at conservative excess. Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle, helped Americans understand the forces that would undermine democracy. Certain men, driven by unfettered greed, will casually abandon all consideration of moral allowance in their driven pursuit of more, more, more. This is a form of mental illness.

Conservatism’s chief interest is in enriching themselves at other’s expense. This doesn’t tie to the democratic principle of governance by the majority, where the individual does matter, and the desires and needs of the minority are recognized, and if possible, addressed. Conservatives, on the other hand, deliberately disqualify minorities as drags on economy, or even insurrectionists, who would bring harm to the nation. This scare tactic dovetails nicely into the public’s installed fear of minority groups. Divide and conquer.

As much as they try to disguise their hatred of anyone unlike themselves, they reveal their ambition to destroy. If only they would tell the truth, that ignorance is bliss, but only until the bill comes due. War is their forte’, and peace is only a convenient pause while dividing up the loot before their next target is selected, whether it be foreign or domestic. The world is growing more finite daily, and the corporate struggle is in grabbing as much claim to material as possible.

Those who fight wars do so knowing that sacrifice is their burden, and the resultant world should be a new, and better place. Those dead soldiers, who stormed the beaches against the stuttering German machine guns, summoned their impossible bravery from the realization that without their charge at certain death the world would be a darker place. The American soldiers, fighting in Iraq, are given to understand that their war is unending, that it can’t be won.

The aftermath of WWlI saw the collective efforts of the victors devoting every resource to bring the humiliated losers, the murderous outlaws of the world’s community, back into the human fold. The victors did this in gratitude to their dead, who kept the wolf, the ever creeping, relentless tide of fascism, away from their doors.

Conservatism would protest against helping the vanquished. Let them eat cake, it would say. No matter its disguise, conservatism always concerns itself with the condemnation of human spirit. It insists on mass conformity to realize its ends. It must punish human transcendence to realize its own, narrow boundaries. Its material infatuation is unshakeable, and it has no tolerance for any view but its own. It sees the human struggle in terms of possible advantage for itself. It can’t grasp the salient truth that humanity is its causation, and any diminishment of humanity is its own.

Any disposition of human spirit is an affront to its aim. It demands of humanity precisely what humanity can’t give – its collective surrender to sameness. Conservatism asks that equality be universal, without character or form. Conservatism is a colorless world, without the spontaneity of human inspiration. It doesn’t recognize humanities long history of overcoming impossible odds. It doesn’t welcome humanity with its incredible diversity of thought. It can only understand its own narrow aim, that like mules, human beings must be presented a carrot on a stick. Conservatism is constantly threatened by its black and white perception of the world, while humanity is intuitively unwilling to deny its collective dream of individual determination, that is only restricted by imagination.

Suppose they threw an election and nobody came

Suppose they threw an election and nobody came

By Paul Richard Harris

The editorial board of Axis of Logic is encouraging voters in the United States to stay away from the polls on November 4.

I’m part of that editorial board, and I agree that the US electoral system is so utterly corrupt that participating in its charade borders on stupidity. We are urging potential voters to do almost anything else that day: read a book, take in a movie, spend some time with your kids or parents, clip your toenails – there aren’t many things you could choose to do that will be less valuable than choosing a candidate in the next US election.

But that got me to thinking about two things:

  • What is the purpose of voting in the first place?
  • What happens if US citizens listen to us, and no one shows up to vote?

Let me digress for a moment. Although we are specifically concerned about the upcoming US elections, the issue of why we are voting in the first place is more universal.

My own country might have a general election before the United States. Our government is of the parliamentary form and, at the federal level at least, elections don’t follow a defined timeframe. An election must be conducted at least once every five years, but short of that requirement, the government is free to call for an election whenever the mood strikes them. Naturally, they normally do that only when they think their chances for re-election are solid. They don’t always guess right, but that’s life. Our present overlords seem to be thinking they will be good to go any day now.

So, supposing Canadians do get the opportunity to go to the polls soon, here are the options they can exercise: they can stay home and not vote; they can go to the polling place and spoil their ballots (in which case it is simply discarded); they can go the polling place and formally refuse the ballot (in which case it is registered as declined, like choosing ‘none of the above’); they can hold their noses and select one of whatever is on the ticket in their constituency.

We have relatively simple ballots. There is usually only the election itself taking place; referenda, special votes, and so on are quite rare. And we get one vote, for one candidate. So we can’t, say, choose Stephane Dion for prime minister without also choosing his band of no-goods along with him. We can’t select the Conservatives without getting stuck with Stephen Harper (the current prime minister). But we do have lots of choices — Canadian Heritage, NDP, Green, Marxist-Leninist, Lennon & McCartneyist and a bunch of others — whom we can choose with confidence, since we can be absolutely certain none of these will ever form a government.

It is hard to accept that thinking Canadians consider our electoral system to have any merit whatsoever. In almost every individual riding, we consistently elect ‘representatives’ (the term is used here loosely) who are opposed by more than half of those who bothered to vote. Perhaps that’s one of the main reasons that voter participation has steadily dwindled over the past few decades: only a small minority ever ends up with what it wants.

But — and here’s what sets us aside from our southern neighbours — our elections are actually fair. There are real ballots, counted by real people, and retained in case they need to be recounted. Vote counting is overseen by representatives of the parties, and done in the full sight of everyone. No matter how inept our candidates might have been, no matter how poor our choices might have been, we can be absolutely assured that the dreck we get stuck with is the dreck we chose.

Why do we vote?

The answer to that is pretty simple, really: people in most countries think they are participating in democracy.

But let’s be very clear about democracy: It never had a chance. The forces arrayed against the dream of government of, by, and for the people have been extraordinary. It is possible that they are insurmountable; it is certain that they are anonymous to most members of the public.

This is a very complicated subject, not because it addresses fair voting or republicanism versus parliamentary government, or proportional representation, or any of those things. But because it deals with the shadowy world of international economics and finance, about which most of us know very little. And it is a difficult subject because most of us don’t want to acknowledge that we’ve been had, that we have only briefly enjoyed anything that remotely approached government serving the interests of the public — which surely must be the purpose and definition of democracy.

Prior to the rise of democracy a few hundred years ago, hunger was rarely a social problem. As discovered in the writings of economic historian Karl Polanyi, hunger did not afflict individuals in traditional societies unless the whole group was threatened in some way — famine, fire, pestilence, disease, invasion, and the like. Almost everyone had work to do, and freedom from hunger was an accepted social norm. As the landholding gentry became established, this situation only varied a little. Using the feudal manor as an example, everyone worked and everyone was housed and fed.

According to Polanyi, the principle of having basic needs satisfied was sanctioned “under almost every and any type of social organization up to about the beginning of sixteenth century Europe.” At about that time, individuals ‘unattached to the manor’ began to arise and develop into craftsmen. Some were able to sell their services and products, while others fell to destitution. But with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, these individual craftsmen and artisans found themselves quickly swallowed and suddenly bereft of the ability to feed and house themselves and their families.

In England, this caused the onset of an early attempt at socialism. In 1795, a system was established that provided an allowance to the poor, tied to the price of bread, and meant to ensure a basic ‘right to live’. Within about forty years, though, the ‘right to live’ was considered an impediment to the progress of the Industrial Revolution, essentially because it eased the desperation of workers and made them a little less amenable to working in horrid conditions for starvation wages. It is not hard to see why an eventual clash between the labourers and the business owners was certain to come.

As we all know, the ruling classes around most of the world were eventually dragged, kicking and screaming, into a new reality where the people got to select governments and have some input into the direction that they wished society to take. And almost from the outset, these popularly elected governments, or democracies, have been chimera.

Government has, as one of its primary responsibilities, the management of the economy. Leaving aside whether they should have more or less input into economies, they have by their sheer size and force of law the ability to influence how a country’s economy operates internally, and how it reacts to or coalesces with international economies.

The simple reality is, however, that governments are only as powerful as their ability to control the movement of capital. And that has almost always eluded them. Gold was once the medium of exchange and the constant against which currency was measured; the ability to readily move the gold from one country to another was constrained. That gave government its last best opportunity to govern effectively.

In our present day, however, wealth moves in nanoseconds. Currencies around the world are bought and sold in a heartbeat, and decisions made just to put a few more coins into someone’s pocket can destroy the economy of some small country overnight. And all of this happens completely free of regulation.

To make matters worse, corporations now rule the world — no country’s government is in charge of anything, except a few small dictatorships. Decisions regarding economics are all made to serve the needs of corporations. In effect, our governments are the paid lobbyists of those corporations. So when we vote, all we are really determining is who we think is the best person to get paid by us for working against our interests.

This might not be so bad as it sounds if the corporations were housed locally, paid taxes locally, and generally provided a benefit to society. But they are not, do not, and cannot. It is a legal requirement for a corporation to take all steps necessary to achieve the maximum return on the shares of its investors. They cannot have concern for the needs of society.

My friends on the left — most of whom are not as far left as I — object to any acknowledgement that capitalist pursuits have some merit. But the trouble is, Adam Smith was largely right in his views that even-handed trade and strong worker power are the only things that could realistically promote fairness and democracy. And we on the left are often guilty of absolutism; we refuse to even acknowledge the possibility that some of the thinking of the right might have merit. On the right, however, it is far more common for them to lift the good ideas of the left and simply appropriate them.

The word ‘capitalism’ is in bad odour today, a disdain it has surely earned. But the ideal behind trade amongst peoples is a great incentive to people to produce, to get ahead, to make things and invent things; it is the necessary grease to move society forward.

My concern is always with labels — I know all about the arguments that surround the concept of ‘framing’, and that choice of language is very powerful in how things proceed. But looking at the reality, rather than at what things are called, we see pretty clearly that the problems stem — almost entirely — from corporate rule.

The British court which originally declared corporations to be ‘persons’ set us down an inevitable path to where we are right now. In the absence of reforming that issue, nothing is going to change. Even revolution won’t help unless we change that fundamental law. We need an overwhelming surge of jurisdictions throwing off the shackle of corporate rule, and willing to tell those nations who won’t do likewise to take their business elsewhere.

We do have the Scandinavian experience of how benign capitalism can be when sternly corralled — but even there, it is still the corporation at the heart of driving society. Given the legal personhood, corporate rule cannot help but be totalitarian — it’s what it’s designed to do.

So we have three essential problems that will need to be stopped before any real progress will take place:

  • outlawing speculation in currencies, or taxing it heavily enough to strongly curtail it
  • stripping corporations of their personhood
  • making corporations responsible first to the laws of their homeland, second to the laws of any country where they do business, third to international law, fourth to their shareholders

And another thing that would be helpful is that the United States needs to be sent to its room and told to think about what it has done.

I don’t invest; I don’t speculate in currencies or bond markets; the money I do have is kept in several Credit Unions; I actively boycott dozens of corporations based solely on their bad citizenship (Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, etc.); I buy from local farmers and local vendors wherever possible; I buy Fair Trade products as much as I can; I don’t eat meat — partly because I don’t like it much, but mostly because of the North American penchant for loading it up with chemicals, for mistreating the animals and the environment; I donate money to groups like Doctors Without Borders. In short, I try as hard as I can to live within the economy we have, while participating in it as little as possible.

But I don’t vote.

It isn’t that I wouldn’t love to vote; it’s just that I hate to waste my time on anything so meaningless. I’d get far better use of my time by looking for imaginary shapes in the clouds; and I wouldn’t have to wash my hands and gargle when I was done.

I am thoroughly a socialist (have been since my teens); but that’s not enough. Without those fundamental changes noted above in how the world’s economy operates, we will merely be moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. Because even socialism will eventually decay if required to operate within the current economic paradigm — whatever name we call it by.

In my view, the radical thinkers who seem to be trying to move society in the right direction are not nearly radical enough. I am a big fan of Hugo Chavez, but I don’t think his reforms will go far enough — they can’t, without those fundamental changes noted above.

What happens if no one gets elected?

I have tried to locate anything in United States, Canadian, or British law that can offer guidance here. But, frankly, no one seems to have considered the possibility that the populace would ever, en masse, just sit on their hands and refuse to be led to the polling booth.

Since it is the upcoming US vote that prompted this article in the first place, let me speculate about how they would handle it.

First, having absolutely no one vote is simply unthinkable. At the very least, each of the self-serving candidates is going to vote for him or herself. And depending on the size of their families, and who owes them favours or hopes to get favours, somebody is going to win each seat. But if every candidate manages to win election on a basis of, say, 20 votes against 15 for their opponent in a jurisdiction with half a million potential voters, how do you think that will play out? Even in the United States, where citizens are often referred to as ‘we the sheeple’, it must be assumed that no one would tolerate the formation of a government on such a basis.

So the next logical choice is that the incumbents would try to enact some form of martial or emergency authority to maintain the seats themselves. That would require a level of cooperation between these people that is likely to be so far outside their experience as to be impossible — they can rarely even agree on lunch. Regardless, whatever efforts they tried to hold power would require the assistance of the military, and it is speculative how much support the military would be willing to give. More likely, some strong military leader would get it into his head that if there was ever a time in the US for a coup, this was it.

By far the most likely scenario, is that all hell would break loose. And the US would finally see a real revolution; not like the one in the late 1700s where the population simply exchanged one sort of aristocratic authority for another. The society that would eventually flow out of this revolution is anyone’s guess, considering that US citizens are armed to the teeth.

In Canada, if there was a complete absence of government, it is doubtful that most of us would notice the difference.

What can we do about all this?

Maybe nothing.

But maybe, just maybe, we’ll wake up and smell the rot. Maybe we’ll take the initiative and go after our governments — with threats, if need be — and force them to take control. One of the things our rulers have always relied upon is our willingness to be cowed. From time to time, here and there throughout the world, a movement arises that overthrows the order of the day. Unfortunately, in all but a very small number of cases, the movement quickly deteriorates into a carbon copy of what it just replaced.

What is needed is a completely new mindset. One that is based on thinking that the world really belongs to us all, not just a few of us; one that is built on the principle that society needs enough capitalism so as to maintain individual incentive, enough socialism so as to maintain individual humanity.

A significant part of the world, in particular the part usually referenced as the ‘First World’, has developed from the stock of Christianity. That is not to say that all those folks are Christian, but the basis of the laws and the societal standards they have developed over the centuries arose from that tradition. Unfortunately, Christ would find very little in society today that he would recognize; he would be quite surprised at the things said and done in his name. In fact, Western society has moved so far from the basic principles of Christian charity and caring that if Christ was to appear on earth today he’d probably sue for slander.

No matter what sect of Christianity you wish to consider, the reality is that Christ was a humanist, a socialist. He lived and breathed the Golden Rule; he cried out for the rich to take care of the poor and ill; he spoke of a brotherhood of mankind; he asked us all to play nice. It would take a very vivid imagination for anyone to believe that much of mankind has stayed even vaguely familiar with the teachings of Christ.

Indeed, that same sort of tradition forms the basic tenets of most of the world’s great religions and, therefore, the backbone of the societal structures built by the adherents of those religions. While the practices of the religions themselves may have declined in many places throughout the world, the basic fabric of those societies was still woven from those beliefs. As much as I can say Christianity is hard to recognize in today’s societies, the same is true for most other religious traditions.

Abandoning our basic humanity has become de rigueur among those who have embraced the capitalist dogma. It seems that many among us believe any activity that smells like socialism is the very bane of life, and that it is necessary for us to make sure we get ours while everyone else is on their own.

To be sure, there are nations where dog eat dog eat dog is not the norm. I think particularly of the Scandinavian countries who, better than anyone, appear to have grasped the idea that society should care for and nurture its members. They are amongst the most highly taxed people on earth, and much of their lives is regulated by governmental rules and regulations. But the average Scandinavian will tell you that the taxes they pay are well spent, that they are getting their money’s worth. Are you? They will tell you that a caring society is a good thing, that they all benefit from it, that it is still possible to get rich but not if it means other people go hungry. What exactly is wrong with that?

The fact is, there is little to distinguish humans from the rest of the animal kingdom, except that they are generally better people than us. We have at our disposal the tools, the wealth, the opportunity to put aside centuries of bickering and warfare; we are more than able to feed all of our species; we are quite capable of allowing for the drive of those who want to succeed in capitalist pursuits and for allowing them to prosper while they help others.

Surely it must be self-evident that a society which cares for its weakest, that prevents unnecessary hunger and illness, that ensures the basic necessities of life are available to all, is a society worth having. Surely it is self-evident that such a society takes away much of the impetus toward anti-social behaviour that has caused so much strife among us. Surely it is self-evident that removing some of the want from people and addressing the needs of the dispossessed, the refugees, the poor, is an act of self-preservation.

There are some basic needs that should be satisfied at the governmental level: potable water; electricity; heat; a minimum level of shelter. But establishing a society where the exploitation of one class by another does not exist shouldn’t be a pipe dream. A capitalist system where entrepreneurs are free to develop their ideas and their enterprises, and to get rich, should not interfere with an orderly distribution of wealth within a society.

I’m not talking about stealing from the rich to give to the poor; I’m talking about a fair system of distribution where the truly industrious can get as rich as their labours will allow, and where the less able or poorly equipped receive a boost to maintain dignity and basic living standards. There doesn’t seem to be any problem with filthy rich sports franchises redistributing gate receipts to benefit the smaller market teams; but there is a strong aversion to giving the same sort of attention to common people.

Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degrees of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and tolerable administration of justice.

- Adam Smith, the ‘father of capitalism’

The Wealth of Nations

Maybe we should seriously look at the way we order our priorities and the care we give to our species. We put a great deal of effort into managing everything except ourselves, and we are the one creature on this planet desperately in need of a good slap upside the head.

But here is the main point: None of this is going to come about by voting. It is only going to come about through people gathering and demanding control.

I am advocating revolution. I prefer it to be non-violent; we know that enough people peacefully lining the streets demanding change has been very effective more than once. But that requires the organization of the left, who currently appear to be in disarray. The left needs to think a lot more clearly about what it hopes to achieve, and it needs to plan a lot more diligently how the diverse groups on the left can come together and work together.

There are far too many marginalized people, too many impoverished and hungry people. Eventually, that is a dam that is going to burst. And if the left can’t make progress before this happens, revolution will eventually occur without them. History suggests it will not be pretty.

Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com

No More DU, No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis

No More DU, No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis

By Cathy Garger

This is the original prepared version of a speech presented by Cathy Garger at the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Peace Commemoration at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC on August 5, 2008. *

To our very special guests from Japan, the Hibakusha, who traveled so far to be with us today, to our guests from the US, I welcome you. I wish to thank the Washington Peace Center for inviting me to come speak to you here today in memory of the tragic – and needless – bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

My name is Cathy Garger. I’m a writer and public speaker, and volunteer with activists around the nation in a group called CORE – which stands for Citizens Opposing a Radioactive Environment. Our primary focus is to stop the use of toxic, radioactive weapons in illegal, genocidal acts of aggression against innocent peoples of the world. We educate about the dangers of all forms of radioactive Uranium in our environment – everything from bombs and weapons to nuclear power plant reactors that emit life-destroying radiation into our air and water. I wish to also give special thanks to my friends from Hawaii for their continued inspiration as they fight – with supreme dedication – against continued environmental contamination created by the US military in their occupations throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

Baghdad – 2007

Today I will be speaking about the US use of Uranium weapons. While nations other than the US do possess these weapons and a few have used them? By and large, the world has the US to thank, as the majority of these radioactive weapons owned and used by other nations have been sold to them by the United States.

With regard to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, honestly, I really wish I could say we admit that our government made two horrible, monumental mistakes 3 days apart in August of 1945 – and then be able to say, we are so very sorry, and it’s all over, and that is that.

Unfortunately, however, if I were to tell you that the radioactive poison gas onslaughts against Japan and the rest of the world ended on August 9, 1945? Then, truly, I would be telling you a rather large lie.

The US ranks first in the world in terms of military spending and arms import – and first in the world in infringing upon the sovereignty and human rights of other nations. You know, we hear so much about the US military using torture, a violation of human rights. But, as bad as torture is? The even bigger violation of human rights we rarely hear mentioned is our Depleted Uranium use – or DU – our radioactive poisoning of people here at home and around the planet – and the wanton contamination of the air, water, and soil upon which we all depend on in order to survive.

The nuclear bombs we started exploding in 1945 – first in the US in New Mexico, and then the two in Japan were very visible with mushroom clouds, shaking the earth even hundreds of miles away. In contrast, the Uranium gas weapons used today are not as visible. And since there’s no mushroom cloud, it’s hard for some people to believe that the radioactive poison gas is still being used – because it is something they can not see.

And our government tells us that our diseases are caused by other chemicals, and they say Uranium weapons are not really all that harmful or hazardous unless you happen to be sitting on top of an exploding armored tank. So many people tend to believe our government. How many after all, even suspect their government would tell a lie – or do anything that might harm their own citizens – quite knowingly? It’s too horrible for many to even fathom – and so we are a nation both ignorant and in denial.

So many Americans believe all the lies – such as, Uranium munitions are “mildly” or “weakly” radioactive and therefore, don’t really pose much of a problem. Any of us who have studied the effects of ionizing radiation, however, recognize this for the lie it truly is.

And so I am here today to tell you the truth. But first, going back to Japan for a moment… in addition to the nuclear bombs of 1945, the US has also used Uranium munitions on the Japanese island, Tori Shima, Okinawa, which has been used as a bombing range for more than half a century.

In the Okinawa area, the US Marine Corps Harrier jets fired over 1,500 DU rounds – they said “accidentally – which were dumped into the ocean from 1995 to 1996. Mind you, these munitions are clearly marked and required special handling. The use of Uranium weapons is certainly never an accident.

Then in May, 2000, hundreds of 25mm DU cartridges were sold to a scrap yard dealer as scrap iron in a drum with the word “uranium” on it! Furthermore, 400,000 DU “bullets” were found at the US Kadena Base in Okinawa in 2001. But even one year prior to that, Okinawans had had just about enough, and at the G8 summit held in July, 2000 nearly 30,000 protesters formed a human chain surrounding the 11-mile perimeter of the Kadena Air Force Base – the largest military base in Asia.

But it does not end there. In August, 2004, a US transport helicopter with DU in its blades, believed to be carrying DU munitions – crashed at Okinawa International University. Thirty thousand people protested after this crash. Recently, the world heard our USS Houston nuclear submarine leaked radioactive fluid – as these vessels very often do – into Japan’s waters when it was docked as Sasebo, Japan. Other places it has leaked include Guam, Hawaii, and the Pacific Ocean.

Military bases occupy about 20 percent of Okinawa and exercises in Okinawa, with live ammunition causing forest fires, soil erosion, earth tremors, and accidents, destroying the natural ecosystems, leaving land barren and filled with ammunition shells, adversely impacting Okinawa’s environment for many years to come. Fish are in plentiful supply there – tuna, bonito, squid – but the fishermen have to sacrifice that area in order to keep their food supply safe. Unfortunately, the health and environment problems regarding the US military’s love of radioactive materials seems to have no end in sight.

The United States government is completely and thoroughly addicted to using toxic and radioactive poison gasses that destroy – for billions of years – the Earth’s environment. These aerosols devastate the health and genetic makeup of all forms of wildlife, and human health, too.

When geo-scientist and atmospheric uranium specialist Leuren Moret was working at the Livermore Laboratory in 1991, she saw fresh environmental samples from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When she asked why they were still monitoring Hiroshima and Nagasaki, she was told “Because they are still radioactive.”

Sadly, the isotopes of Uranium used in the two bombs have half lives of 704 million and 4.5 billion years. When we use Uranium in our weapons? We contaminate the people, nature, and the environment for an eternity.

Ever since July 16, 1945, when we dropped the Trinity Bomb on ourselves in New Mexico, the US government has been continuously using Uranium in the form of nuclear weapons and also in the form of everyday Uranium weapons they call “conventional” weapons. Imagine calling “conventional” weapons that are made from nuclear materials! Used in penetrators, bunker buster bombs, cluster bombs, and missiles used, for example, by our Navy ships, fighter jets, and armored tanks, what some call “Depleted” Uranium, was coined the misleading term on purpose. While these munitions may be reduced in some of the Uranium 235 (just one of the isotopes of Uranium)? DU certainly still packs a hefty dose of ionizing radiation and is not at all depleted in radioactivity!

In fact, Professor Katsuma Yagasaki of the University of the Ryukyus said, “DU shells are atrocious radioactive weapons, which must never be allowed to use.” He also stated, “Radioactive weapons commit an impermissible crime scattering radioactive materials in the environment.”

In testimony in 2003 at the International War Crimes Tribunal On Afghanistan in Japan, Leuren Moret said, “I realized after only two years at the lab, that the culture of nuclear weapons was a culture of insanity. What species on earth kills its young generation after generation? What species on earth sacrifices its young for the false notion of —security?”

Ms. Moret also stated, “In 1991, in the first Gulf War, the United States broke a 60 year taboo and introduced depleted uranium to the battleground, a radiological weapon which is truly a weapon of indiscriminate killing and mass destruction. Now that we know both, we must ask a question – which is worse, the horrific effects of flash annihilation from an atomic bomb or slow mutilation forever from depleted uranium weapons?”

Professor Yagasaki calculated that the amount of DU the US is believed to have used in the first Gulf War on Iraq is the radiological equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs.

Later, in March 2004, Yagasaki’s calculations yielded DU use in Iraq as the equivalent of 250,000 Nagasaki bombs. Since that was over 4 years ago, conservatively, we’ve used over one-half million times – probably closer to one million times – the amount of radiation in Iraq and Afghanistan that we used on Nagasaki!

DU is even more dangerous to human health over the long run than nuclear bombs!

Hiroshima – 1945

Veterans tell us Depleted Uranium was first tested in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. They also say DU was used in Grenada and Panama – but no, the US government has not admitted to any of this, at least not as far as I have read. DU was used in Iraq beginning in 1991 in the first Gulf War and continuously to the current day. NATO, led by the US, used DU in the ‘90s in the Balkans, causing high radiation readings in nearby Albania, Macedonia, Italy, Austria and Hungary. Since October 2001, Uranium munitions have used in Afghanistan. We’ve also used DU in Somalia, Africa, from the 1990’s to present.

In the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa, we’ve caused unfathomable pain, suffering, sickness, and death – and worst of all? The environmental radiation has resulted in horrendous effects on babies and children. This poison is also used in so-called military “testing” in North America and Australia, too.

Much of what they do is secretive. Not only are they withholding how many tons of DU they’ve used in these pre-emptive, illegal, barbaric, aggressive acts upon innocent – they often deny even using it!

Now I ask you, why would they not tell us all about what they’re doing if DU was really as harmless as they say?!

The US military is not sharing how many tons of DU it has used in these pre-emptive, illegal, barbaric, and aggressive acts upon innocents – and it sometimes even denies using these munitions. Yet the Department of Defense budgets allocates monies for DU weapons and the proving grounds upon which to fire and explode them – and soldiers in all of these conflicts verify that Uranium weapons have been used extensively in these combat areas.

The Defense budgets allocate monies for DU – and Veterans – at least one-third of them disabled with undiagnosed symptoms of radiation poisoning – verify DU has and is being used in our armed conflicts.

Unfathomably large numbers of our soldiers are contaminated in Asia and then come home with tell-tale signs of DU poisoning, more often are not are denied testing for Uranium contamination, and, find tremendous difficulty receiving the proper diagnosis, care, treatment, and benefits that are rightfully due them. Sadly, their lives are typically cut short due to radiation’s effects on their immune systems and the creation of diseases that destroy their vital organs.

In a letter to a VA physician sent in May, 2006, Senator John Warner of Virginia confirms DU use by writing: “Such munitions played a major role in the allied victory against Saddam Hussein’s armored divisions in the first Gulf War and in the peace-keeping operations in Kosovo in 1999. The Department of Defense continues to procure depleted-uranium munitions as a crucial part of America’s defense arsenal in Iraq and Afghanistan today based largely on these successes.”

As I stated earlier, we first started using Uranium in July, 1945 in the US in bombings of America they like to call “tests”… and we have been firing, burning, and exploding Uranium – rendering tremendous amounts of poison gas ever since on US Department of Energy and military sites. According to the Environmental Protection Agency? The number of toxic and contaminated federal sites under the jurisdiction of the Departments of Energy, Defense, and the Interior tops 57,000. Fifty Seven Thousand contaminated sites… and that’s just inside this country alone!

In fact, Depleted Uranium is being fired into the open air not that far from here in Maryland – at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds that’s about 45 miles away – which has irreparably contaminated our beloved Chesapeake Bay for an eternity. When I told a retired veteran who use to train soldiers at Aberdeen that my husband’s family enjoys picking crabs harvested from the Cheapeake Bay, the Army vet said, “Don’t eat the seafood from the Bay! I wouldn’t even put my little toe in that Bay!”

Lest we think we are safe here in DC from inhaling ionizing radiation because Aberdeen is 45 miles away? Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan discovered high levels of Uranium in the air filters 2,400 to 2,500 miles away, inside the United Kingdom 7 to 9 days after the US “Shock and Awe” Uranium bombing campaign in Baghdad. These Uranium oxides travel through the winds, remain suspended in the atmosphere, and come down to the earth through rain and snow, becomes re-suspended again – and so the cycle goes. So, no, I’m sorry. We are not safe here.

In fact, I have calculated that the US military has used 457 tons of Depleted Uranium in military “testing” inside the US. Yes, that’s 457 tons of Depleted Uranium, used by the US in its own country on its own citizens! That’s more DU than the 320 tons they admit to using in the first Gulf War in Iraq! And the actual number of tons used on us – Americans – is probably much higher, because early on, good records were not kept on DU used at its military sites, many bases have been closed down, and this number does not include the many thousands of pounds of Uranium that have been detonated by the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons laboratory test sites.

And how does DU compare to the effects of atomic bombs? Dr. Ernest Sternglass, Professor Emeritus of Radiological Physics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project, and a pioneer in the study of health effects of low-level radiation, provided research and testimony in 1963 which played a role in President Kennedy’s decision to sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty. According to Dr. Sternglass, “the biological damage from internal radiation at low dose is some 100 to 1000 times greater than estimated by the government sponsored International Committee of Radiation Protection largely based on extrapolation of the results of the study of A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki exposed to short, high doses of gamma rays and neutrons.”

Nagasaki – 1945

In other words, even though there are no atomic bombs being detonated any longer, the Uranium penetrators, bombs, and missiles we are using right now – in Afghanistan and Iraq, Somalia, and at weapons practice sites – like the one nearby in Maryland – are even more dangerous to human health – over the long run – than large atomic bombs.

Sadly, they may be able to get away with saying that they stopped so-called “nuclear tests” in our country, but the fact of the matter is, atmospheric explosions of Uranium and other radioactive elements continue to this very day! With our Department of energy detonating Uranium since the 1950’s at locations such as Livermore – outside San Francisco in California, at the Nevada Test Site, and the Los Alamos in New Mexico? The nuclear materials explosions, in reality, never stopped!

A bit more about DU – When fired or exploded, it is pyrophoric, becoming a tremendous fiery explosion, and reaches high temperatures between 3,000-6,000 degrees Centigrade. The Uranium and other metals form a gas or aerosol. These are invisible, nano-sized particles, a billionth of a meter in size, smaller than microns. They act more like a gas than a particle.

These explosions cause the creation of ceramic Uranium oxides – aerosols – a poison gas – the US uses on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as formerly in Bosnia and Kosovo – the Balkans, the former Yugoslavia, and in what they call “testing” – even though they’ve been “testing” the same materials for over 5 decades in places like Okinawa, Japan, Australia, Germany, Scotland, Guam, Panama, Vieques in Puerto Rico, South Korea, off the coasts of Canada in the Atlantic and Pacific, and up and down the coasts of the US in the Atlantic and Pacific – and in Hawaii and Alaska.

Inside the US, Depleted Uranium has been fired, exploded, and/or burned in the open air in many states, just some of which are: Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and California. In addition, these radioactive wastes have been dumped into the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico or burned in our open air.

DU has been fired from Naval boats into the Atlantic – off the coast of Nova Scotia and Massachusetts – off the Pacific – from up north off the coasts of Vancouver Island, Washington State, and California.

In October, 1995, President Bill Clinton revealed that many thousands of human radiation experiments have been conducted by the US spanning into five decades. Do you think this all stopped because Clinton told us so? Well, we do know the Department of Energy measures the radiological “doses” in air filters in California, as well as the “doses” in vegetation and wine. And in the San Francisco area, which surrounds the Livermore Weapons Laboratory, statisticians follow diseases like cancer, with the CDC watching and recording corresponding increases in diseases over time. Some consider this form of atmospheric radioactive contamination and the careful measuring of American disease rates to be one gigantic human radiation experimentation project without any end in sight.

Going back to what is called “battlefield Uranium,” Dr. Sternglass states, “It has been clearly shown to allow these fine particles that have less than a quarter of a million diameter. They measured it and calculated in three weeks how many of these particles would be taken in by a person breathing normally and spending some time outdoors and they calculated that 23 million tiny particles of a quarter million diameter in the concentration that they measure would reach the body and go to the lungs and enter the lymphatic system and produce all kinds of organ damage.”

Dr. Sternglass also said, “if these particles are small enough, that is tinier than a micron, which is a millionth of a meter, or one ten thousandths of a centimeter, if these particles are that small, it turns out they are toxic in themselves, whatever they are composed of.”

“That’s exactly what’s happening in the case of nanoparticles which are produced when the uranium burns upon impact and melts steel and the fine particles are so small, they act like a gas. So what you’re getting is a gas of uranium that gets transported around the world….And so what we’re seeing is an epidemic of all types of conditions that we did not understand, that have been in continuous rise in this country in the last 15 years, actually since the mid-80s. A very consistent rise, especially in cancers that are known to be produced by radioactive materials.”

Since 1994-2004 we’ve seen a tremendous increase in cancers and diabetes in the US. Japan now has almost twice the rate of diabetes as the US – and radiation is considered by many scientists to be the contributing factor.

Some of the known health effects caused by low levels of ionizing radiation include: cancers, birth defects, respiratory disease, kidney and thyroid disease, chronic diseases caused by neurological and neuromuscular radiation damage, mitochondrial diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s, heart and brain disorders, DNA damage in men’s sperm, infertility, learning disabilities, mental illness, lower birth rates, higher death rates, diabetes, and infant mortality.

What a horrible thing to have to face – In a nation so supposedly Christian and into human rights and the so-called “right to life” movement that pushes to protect the un-born, we are, in actuality a nation of baby killers who are now into our seventh decade of poison gassing innocent men, women, children and babies – babies! – all the world over.

Shouldn’t this be illegal, you might wonder? Well, yes, in fact. It not only should be but it already is. According to UN Humanitarian Lawyer, Karen Parker, DU violates international humanitarian law that governs armed conflict – as well as basic human rights laws. In 1996 and again in 1997, the UN Sub-Commission Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, found DU weaponry —incompatible with existing humanitarian and human rights law.

In Humanitarian law, there are 4 rules:

First, weapons may only be used in the legal field of battle, on legal military

targets of the enemy in the war.

Second, weapons can only be used for the duration of an armed conflict.

Third, weapons may not be unduly inhumane, causing unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury and

Fourth, weapons may not have an unduly negative effect on the natural environment. Given this, Karen Parker says DU weaponry fails all four tests.

Uranium causes cell mutations. Thus, the genocidal effects on people long after hostilities cease is grounds for consideration of DU weapons as crimes against humanity – war crimes! Weapons may not use or employ poison, and they may not severely damage the environment.

Our violators are therefore subject to legal liability for their effects on victims and the environment, as well as criminal liability of the users. Legal justice also includes fair compensation and other remedies for the victims of these weapons.

I interviewed Ms. Parker and was told DU firing and exploding inside the US is a violation of the basic human rights of US citizens!

DU weaponry cannot be used in military operations without violating these rules, and therefore must be considered illegal Ms. Parker states: “In my view, use of DU weaponry necessarily violates the grave breach provisions of the Geneva Conventions, and hence its use constitutes a war crime or crime against humanity.”

Many people agree – and they think that the logical thing to do is to call for a treaty that bans the use of DU and other U weapons. To many this seems like the logical thing to do – It is a lethal poison gas and thus there should be a ban, right?

International UN Humanitarian Attorney, Karen Parker, says no, there should not be a ban. After studying this matter, I agree, and here’s why.

A ban can be risky because the US uses a trick to use the treaty process to weaken and completely undermine the already existing customary laws to terminate them. The reason why this would be devastating is because the US Courts are likely to be persuaded that a new ban will over-ride already existing customary international laws.

So there is a huge push for a treaty calling for a DU ban even though the US government and UK, in all likelihood, will never sign such a ban. Yet, the US will still be able to argue that a ban exists, and therefore the already existing international laws are no longer applicable.

Just as an example, the US courts, when trying a future case brought up with regard to Uranium weapons related damages, could say, Well DU was not banned in 2008, therefore, all the veterans who are sick and who have served since 1991 to 2008 could then be told: DU was not illegal nor banned until 2008, so you are arguing for compensation of an illness caused by a substance used which was still legal between 1991 to 2008. So in other words, a ban is being called for that will actually harm the case of our veterans and others who will try to seek legal recourse in the future. A ban would allow the US to duck their responsibility and get easily off the hook for its many years of crimes!

In an article co-written by UN Lawyer Karen Parker, I quote: “Even a cursory review of existing norms of the laws and customs of war (humanitarian law) supports the conclusion that uranium weaponry of any type is so patently illegal that the discussion should really focus on bringing to justice those who have used it and redirecting action towards the victims of these weapons.”

So where do we go for here? Just because we do not need to push for a treaty that calls for a ban on Uranium weapons use does that mean we have to sit and do nothing? On the contrary! We must demand the end to Uranium munitions. The US military, I have been informed by a knowledgeable source – could easily stop using all Uranium weapons tomorrow… that is, if they only wanted to!

So I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Ernest Sternglass who said, “We have to end the use of ammunition that contains uranium in any form.”

So what do we, as citizens, do? Many international treaties and protocols already exist that show that radioactive weapons are a violation of international humanitarian law, basic human rights, and environmental law. A UN Sub-Commission has already condemned the use of DU weapons – and nations like the US are ignoring them. International law is quite clear. We do not need any new laws!

What we need is for our government to do the right thing by its citizens and by humanity! This is clearly not happening – And I don’t pretend to know how to turn an absolutely morally bankrupt, corrupt government around.

What I do know, however? There’s tremendous strength in numbers –vastly huge numbers of citizens of the world in loud uproar protesting the destruction of life all over the planet by the world’s most destructive nation intent on robbing, and stealing all of the planet’s resources they possibly can while weakening, sickening, and killing those populations.

In October 1995, President Bill Clinton, addressed the subject of several thousand human radiation experiments conducted by the US government over decades. I quote:

“Our greatness is measured not only in how we . . . do right but also how we act when we know we’ve done the wrong thing; how we confront our mistakes, make our apologies, and take action.”

As we know, Clinton sure knows a great deal about making mistakes – and even though I’m normally none too keen with the ex-President, he makes some good points.

We must confront our mistakes – make our apologies – and take action. Clinton also “asked the committee to determine the truth about this dark chapter in our nation’s history” and said, “Finally the federal government is providing redress to those who have suffered radiation experiments. “

Yes, this is indeed a “dark chapter in our nation’s history” –arguably, our darkest ever – as this government has knowingly, purposely exposed all of us on the planet to radiation in our environment for many billions of years. We appear to be one huge human radiation experiment… an experiment that sadly, due to Uranium’s multi-billion years half life… has no end.

We can not un-do the past. But starting right now we can together vow to allow them to do no more harm.

Each and every day we wait, more lethal radiation bombards and irreparably contaminates all living things – and our environment. Right now, all of us can take action. If we realize that genocide and, what many experts are calling omnicide – eventual human extinction by human action – is taking place? We must demand the end of the use of radioactive weapons and keep right on screaming till they clean up their messes, pay for care and treatment for all afflicted parties, and provide just compensation.

Last – but certainly not least – we must call for the arrest of all these war criminals who ordered, used, and funded these weapons and kept their use and health effects a secret. We must find a way to keep these individuals securely in a place where they can do no further harm to another living soul. We must hold all of them accountable in a court of law for their domestic and international crimes – grave breeches of humanitarian, human rights, and environmental laws committed all over the world.

All of this can not – will not – happen unless and until we make this happen! Far greater awareness and public education must take place. Since our media works hand in glove with Uncle Sam to keep this covered up – it is up to you and me – ordinary people – to do this critical grassroots education.

By our knowledge of these massive crimes against humanity and the environment –we must expose this, demand an end to this madness, and work together to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law. We need a modern Nuremburg –and we need it now!

Doing so will take you and me and many more like us – sane, compassionate, people of conscience who know that purposeful destruction of other humans, wildlife, and the planet is wrong.

We have a huge job ahead of us, and because even many of our peace groups are controlled – they do not allow lectures like this one – so thanks again to the Washington Peace Center for giving me this opportunity today.

Yes, it’s a huge job, and we need to get to work. The world’s been waiting for us to do this ever since 1945. On behalf of the health and well-being of our kids, their kids, and all future generations of our descendants for billions of years to come? I urge you to join me and get your family, friends, everyone you know to help. We are all breathing radioactive poison dust and gas. Time is running out and there is not even one more precious moment of life left to waste!

The Slow Death of Democracy and the Rise of the Corporate Hydra

The Slow Death of Democracy and the Rise

of the Corporate Hydra

By Siv O’Neall

What has happened to the common sense of Americans? Has it completely gone down the drain with the propaganda of U.S. superiority?

Don’t they see the millions and millions of people who have died and are still dying across the world, due to U.S. empire illusions and the firmly established greed and power of the Big Corporations? Don’t they see that the lone superpower as a taken-for-granted is a fiction?

Yes, the United States was once a powerful nation, and a nation that people in the world looked up to, but it lost all its good points on the aggressive stand all over the world. Its go-it-alone, we’re-the-leaders-of-the-world mentality is the way this ‘superpower’ has been living it up at least since World War II. The more it has been crushing and killing, the more it has lost its credibility in the world. The more its corporations intruded on the sovereignty of other states, the faster did this country lose its favorable standing in the world.

And Americans themselves, how do they see the world at this point? From a distance it seems as if they are beginning to open their eyes. One big BUT however. The everyday American is not capable of giving up on his deeply indoctrinated faith that the United States is the greatest country in the world. They ‘know’ that they are basically moral, highly civilized, good people who want to confer their way of life to the whole world since the rest of the world is so uncivilized, so poor, living in such precarious conditions.

There is no doubt in their minds that the United States is the foremost democracy in the world. Since they don’t know anything about the rest of the world, it’s easy to propagandize them into believing just about anything you want to make them believe. And besides, don’t the every-two-year elections prove that they are the ones who select the leaders and so they have a voice in what’s being done in their names? A majority of U.S. citizens are most certainly taken in by the belief that they participate in the running of the country.

It’s doubtful if there are many Americans who see the National conventions that have just started as the fool’s gold that they are. The most expensive circus that ever was and that the people pay dearly for. Just another Disney World to fool the people into believing that something important is going on and that they matter. “We don’t have a moment to lose or a vote to spare,” [Hillary] Clinton said. “Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance.” [1]

What is hanging in the balance is hard to see since both presidential candidates are saying pretty much the same things, except that their styles are different. Ok, Obama/Hillary now say Healthcare for all, but that is to be seen once the corporations get into the game. The arms manufacturers telling the new administration what they ‘need’, the HMO’s, the pharmaceutical industry, all the corporate giants telling them of their sine qua non. Nothing so far has indicated in the least that either Hillary or Obama is against privatization or the free market. Disaster capitalism, as Naomi Klein says, is the name of the system and democracy is the victim. Regulation is a non-concept. How can corporations develop and maximize profit if they are being regulated? Starve the people but don’t you ever think of strangling the corporations that are making the world go round. Profit is king and the people be damned.

So how do Americans see their country’s criminal aggressions and the callous greed? First of all, greed is a good thing in the American credo. God rewards the hard workers and the ones left behind have no reason to complain. Socialism is a dirty word and welfare is only good when it’s for the benefit of the Big Corporations.

Instead of seeing that the United States invades or buys every country that does not agree with their methods of running business, the gullible U.S. citizen is firmly convinced that the U.S. comes to the aid of every country when it is in trouble. They support the evil dictator and things calm down. Nobody ever lets them know that what the U.S. is doing is in the interest of its own global hegemony and that the indigenous people are beaten down and suffering even worse after the United States gets in on the side of the dictator. For every social uprising in Central America, from the CIA-orchestrated coup in 1954 in Guatemala on through the Reagan years, the United States has intervened with an iron fist, bombing and killing, usually through mercenary death squads, until the leftist struggle for justice is totally crushed and the U.S.-supported dictatorship can go on doing the bidding of the Empire.

Inside the United States, the increasing inequality and vanishing civil rights are forcefully backed up by the Big Corporations who see that state of things as the only way of meeting their goal of ever increasing dividends to the shareholders and multi-million bonuses to the CEOs. Furthermore, this is the way of life that is considered by them as the normal way of running the economy. Ethics do not exist. Those who were born to grab from the others will do so no matter what they were taught in Sunday school about doing good to their neighbor.

So why don’t the U.S. governments try to rein in the greedy corporations? Because the corporations are the ones who run the show, who tell the so-called rulers what to do – in all countries more or less, not just in the United States. The lawmakers and the heads of governments are all puppets dancing on strings, unless the so-called rulers actually have a foot in each camp. They pretend to run the country but they are actually looking after the corporations they are tied to and their own interests. In this last administration, this has been the case more than ever before.

It is certainly not in the interest of the ruling elite to give in to demands of fair treatment from the poor sections of society or even from the middle class. Starving the beast is a prerequisite for controlling the populace, for setting the rules of the game. A population that is ignorant, apathetic from tiredness and overwork, dumbed down from infotainment and antiseptic television shows – that is exactly what suits the greedy money makers. No insurgency, since there’s no energy left for such a thing as a fight for better conditions. No knowledge about the rest of the world, and so Americans can go on believing that they are the best, no matter what the rest of the world might feel about that unquestioned rule of faith. So the world doesn’t love us any more. It’s because of the war in Iraq. It’s that simple.

Creeping totalitarianism, the people losing one civil right after the other, and their voices not being heard or paid attention to. This is what has become of ‘America the beautiful’. And all the while through non-stop propaganda the citizens are made to believe that they live in a democracy.

In this police state there is no need to make Jews scrub the sidewalks. There is no need for ostentatiously depriving a section of the population of their freedoms and making them the scapegoats. Poverty will serve the purpose of creating a marginal group that can be exploited. No need for arm bands with the star of David. The poor people and in particular the immigrants have their backs sufficiently bent to serve the ever-existing need of a class to look down on. In spite of the age-old history of racism in America, this is not a war on race, it’s a class war, and it’s getting more and more extreme. The so-called free trade system, which is far from free, is only benefiting Big Money.

Desperate poverty has been increasing all over the world ever since the organizations that set the rules for the economies of third world countries promised to solve the crisis of hunger and poverty in the world. In fact, what they were gearing up to do was finish off the plunder of the poor countries that depended on their high-interest loans. You might well ask yourselves if this neocolonialism is not even more disastrous for the third-world countries than the former kind that was very gradually ended after World War II, at least in a legal sense.

9/11 was a windfall for the neocons since, whoever orchestrated it, it paved the way for the totalitarianism that we are now witnessing. It made the invention of the ‘war on terror’ possible. A war president can allow himself to commit aggression in the name of the people that would meet with violent protests in a peaceful era. Fear is the ever efficient means of keeping a population under control.

Little did they see that the ambitions of the neocons went much farther than the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the control of its oil resources. The aim was much higher. To begin with they wanted control of the whole Greater Middle East. Then what was going to follow was clearly control of the planet and possibly outer space. However, it now seems obvious that their ambitions will be cut short, since other big powers are rearing their heads in different parts of the world.

Also the ‘war on terror’ has been proven to be a worn-out cliché, a nonsense word, mainly because all this so-called war is doing is increasing the resistance to the United States and its aggressive march across the world’s continents. Even the U.S. citizens are aware of this counter-effect.

So what the neocon regime is now aiming at is a renewal of the cold war. Russia is going to be the enemy No.1 once again. They make the people believe that things are calming down in the Middle East. Iraq is moving towards a democracy, is what they try to make people believe. What is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan is hushed up. They have the media on their side, which has of course been essential in winning the support of the people that they have had so far.

The question is now: Will le capitalisme sauvage (as the French say) win the life or death game or will the people finally gather strength and a voice and manage to throw them out? To the corporations it’s a game, to the people it’s a matter of sheer survival.

All the ballyhoo about the American dream is just that and as for Bill Clinton’s words about restor[ing] America’s standing in the world [2], that’s for megalomaniacs and dreamers. We will be lucky if the planet survives, and it will take the rising up of the people, a forceful attack on the prevailing corporate system by the people all over the world to make that happen. The world is under attack from U.S. corporatism, ecology, economy, inequality, injustice, and it’s not just American citizens who have to speak out and act out. It’s the people of the world.

Notes

[1] Steven Rosenfeld: Hillary Electrifies: “Nothing Less Than the Fate of Our Nation … Hangs in the Balance”

[2] Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 2008 – exact quote: “Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America’s standing in the world.”

Is Azizabad the New My Lai? 60 Children Killed In One Airstrike

Is Azizabad the New My Lai?

by Russ Wellen

By now you’ve probably heard about our airstrike in Afghanistan that ganged more seriously agleigh than any that preceded it. “A United Nations human rights team,” Carlotta Gall reported in the New York Times, “has found ‘convincing evidence’ that 90 civilians — among them 60 children — were killed in [US] airstrikes on a village in western Afghanistan on Friday.”

She continues: “Mohammad Iqbal Safi, the head of the parliamentary defense committee and a member of the government commission, said the 60 children were 3 months old to 16 years old, all killed as they slept. ‘It was a heartbreaking scene,’ he said.” That might seem obvious to us. But he may have intuited how inured the American public is to such news and was only trying to drive the point home.

A member of Afghan Parliament explained to Ms. Gall that the inhabitants of the village of Nawabad in the Azizabad area of the Shindand district had been preparing for a visit from their extended families to honor the memory of a man who had died. In fact, there’s no evidence of the presence of the Taliban.

Along with another member of Parliament, the MP said “the villagers blamed tribal enemies for giving the military false intelligence on foreign fighters gathering in the village.” In an earlier story, Ms. Gall wrote that it was the “Afghan National Army, whose commandos called in the airstrike along with American Special Forces trainers.”

Far from providing the those who called in the strike — and those who approved it –- a measure of exoneration, the claim that the memorial celebration was a gathering of Taliban only exacerbates the extent of their blunder.

When calling in airstrikes, American officers weigh the value of killing their designated enemy against the loss of life of the enemy’s families. But how can any experienced member of the American Special Forces accept the word of locals without first sniffing out their motives? Weren’t Abu Ghraib, Bhagram and Guantanamo filled by locals fingering their personal or tribal enemies? Siccing an invasive force to attack your enemy in the next valley is the oldest trick of the book.

Second, how can you call in a strike on a group that size without getting a closer look? Though the bombing occurred at midnight, the target area was well-lit by cooking fires. Apparently the services of scouts, like intelligence assets on the ground, are no longer needed since the switch to surveillance technology.

Conventional opinion holds that My Lai was a turning point in the American public’s opinion about the Vietnam war. But instead of learning the lesson that war brutalizes our young into people we don’t know, it’s entirely possible that many Americans took something else away from Vietnam.

We hear the justification, by now pretty time-worn, expressed by a commenter named Vernon at the hard-right Web site Jihad Chat: “When terrorist thugs hide among the civilian population and the civilian population tolerate it, we have a choice: take them out or let them use the civilians as cover. There is one way for it to stop: civilians/non-combatants stop hiding the terrorists and reveal their location to competent authority.”

It’s naïve to think you can expect locals to become informers with any consistency when they do so at their own considerable risk. Also, singling out Those Who Love Terrorists is playing the dirtiest of all possible games of blame the victim.

Even after Iraq and the enormous casualties its civilians suffered at our hands, we seem to be making no progress in separating the wheat of civilians from the chaff of our designated enemy. Does Azizabad point to a flaw in procedures or the personnel involved?

It’s of particular concern to this author because his 25-year-old nephew, a sergeant in the Special Forces, is due to be deployed again to the Middle East soon. The fear that he’ll be party to an atrocity gnaws just as much as the fear that he’ll be killed.

Whether or not My Lai was instrumental in turning the tide of opinion against the Vietnam War, what will it take to generate American outrage over incidents like Azizabad? Will the day ever come when we can find it within ourselves to demonstrate a shred of sympathy or a twinge of empathy for the casualties of our wars?

Stop AIPAC Summit in Chicago! Confronting the Lobby for Militarism & Occupation

Protesting H Con Res 362 at Pelosi's office

“AIPAC Summit” in ChicagoStop AIPAC!
Confronting the Lobby for
Militarism & Occupation

We are happy to report we are hearing of major organizing for a protest of the “AIPAC Summit” in Chicago. Second only to AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference in DC each Spring, the Summit is one AIPAC’s largest events. Taking place October 26 and 27th, it is for “elite activists” in the pro-war lobby, and is likely to feature luminaries from Congress and the Bush administration (and no doubt, representatives from the religious extreme-right). We could not be happier then to report that Chicagoans Against Apartheid in Palestine are drawing up plans to protest this celebration of war and occupation. Go to their website for more info.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, we are again planning to protest at the annual AIPAC dinners that come our way. This time we are likely to focus our protest at the San Francisco dinner taking place on the early evening of December 9th (mark your calendar!) at the Hilton Hotel just above Union Square. During the holiday season, this area is packed with people, so this will be an unforgettable protest for a new foreign policy of peace and justice that people demand, and a repudiation of the politics of war that is AIPAC’s agenda.

In this email, we continue with our coverage of the Iran Resolution (H Con Res 362/Sen Res 580). A look at an example of a AIPAC-related think-tank, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and its push for war with Iran. Also, good news for Gaza as boats defy the Israeli blockade.

Do keep in mind, more opportunities for action to defeat AIPAC’s agenda also mean the need for more funding, so don’t miss the appeal below.

Help spread the word. Forward this email. PLEASE use this Forward Option.

Stopping AIPAC, One Resolution at a Time. Update on H Con Res 362, the Iran Blockade Resolution.

In many ways, this is a tremendous victory. A resolution AIPAC supported, indeed, made its legislative priority, has stalled in Congress due to overwhelming citizen opposition organized by a wide-range of peace groups around the nation. AIPAC has lost a battle. Politicians have had to back off their initial support, this is nothing less than remarkable. Not only that, AIPAC is getting much of the blame for this extremist resolution, at least much more so than usual. AIPAC usually works much more in background, preferring that the politicians get the spotlight.
Still, while this marks a real defeat for AIPAC, and that should be of much encouragement for us, its not like they are giving up. Yes, they will have to change the language of the resolution if they expect it to pass in Congress, and they are prepared to do just that. The clause supporting what amounts to a blockade of Iran will be deleted. Yet as Carol Ong points out, it is not merely this clause that is the problem, “the remainder of the resolution is still provocative and sends the wrong signal to Iran and to the Bush administration that Congress supports a more belligerent policy and, potentially, belligerent actions against, Iran.”
We still encourage everyone to continue to call their congresspeople and tell them to reject this resolution in its entirety. We must call for global nuclear disarmament, and not place the burden on some states while allowing total disregard for nonproliferation for others. We must reject the insane notion of using militarism as a tool for “disarmament”.
Stay tuned for our continued coverage of this resolution on our website. Stop the Iran War Resolution!

Human Rights Activists Break Siege of Gaza!

In what will no doubt be remembered as an historic moment for the people of Palestine and for nonviolent activism, two small boats filled with 46 human rights activists from around the world were able to outmaneuver the Israeli regime. This nonviolent action of the Free Gaza Movement presented Israeli authorities with a lose-lose option. Israel could either stop the boats and risk international scrutiny and criticism for days on end, or they could let the boats through and risk a crack of their immoral and illegal blockade of the 1.5 million people of Gaza. It choose to do the latter. We need to continue to apply pressure lift the blockade permanently so that the people of Gaza may live with dignity.

War with Iran? Not as Bad As You Think says WINEP.
Reading old Stephen King novels not giving the same fright for you that they once did? For hair-raising chills on a hot summer day, we suggest “The Last Resort” (no, it is not a travel story) published by the AIPAC-related think-tank “Washington Institute for Near East Policy” (WINEP). This is a fresh example of cold-blooded support for “preventative action” (that’s their favorite phrase for what most of us call “war”) against Iran, at some “future date” (not now, “the time is not right for such a decision”…but “sometime soon, perhaps later this year” it says hopefully).

The report explains that contrary to fears, Iran may not retaliate against the US or Israel. That targeted bombing of Iran may be successful even if not all nuclear production facilities are destroyed, on the supposition that Iran can be dissuaded by a bombing campaign not to rebuild damaged nuclear facilities. Bombing oil production facilities may also be helpful it suggests.

It notes that using military force would help the US, in that its “deterrent posture would most likely be strengthened”. Echoing in more intellectual phraseology Michael Leeden’s famous saying:”Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” I have no doubt of the sincerity of those who advocate such positions, truly believing that such actions will help the US empire, any more than I do of the criminal mindset that such a position requires.

What is barely touched on is the terrible human cost that would be the outcome of even the most “limited” of bombing campaigns. Or that such an attack on Iran would be a crime against peace, a grave crime against humanity. What is not discussed at all is real diplomacy that is needed to reach agreements for a “nuclear-weapons-free” Middle East, and the need for global nuclear disarmament (especially the US, that is modernizing its weapons arsenal). Instead, it suggests “diplomacy” that only makes demands on Iran, and no responsibility to end Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the Middle East. These issues are “off the table”. However, until these issues are discussed openly, by this administration and the next, we cannot expect any real progress, and only move closer to war.

WINEP is making a case for war. It is doing its part to make war look like a feasible option, to do what Norman Solomon calls “making war easy”. Policy leaders, including politicians and the military elite, are influenced by the works of think-tanks like WINEP. We need to make our voices heard, the voice of reason, the voice demanding a world that we can all share together and to loudly denounce any case for war against Iran.
More info on WINEP here….

Cracks in the Empire

Cracks in the Empire

by Michael S. Rozeff

Building an empire is one thing. Preserving it is quite another.

“If the U.S. government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic. If it is not the end of the world, it is the end of the current international financial system. The seriousness of such failures could be beyond the stretch of people’s imagination.” These are the words of Yu Yongding, who is a Professor in Beijing and a former advisor to China’s central bank (August 22, 2008, in Bloomberg news).

We should listen to Prof. Yongding. The Bloomberg article reports: “Yu is ‘influential’ among government officials and investors and has discussed economic issues with Premier Wen Jiabao this year, said Shen Minggao, a former Citigroup Inc. economist in Beijing, now an economist at business magazine Caijing.”

China has loaned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac huge amounts of money: “China’s $376 billion of long-term U.S. agency debt is mostly in Fannie and Freddie assets, according to James McCormack, head of Asian sovereign ratings at Fitch Ratings Ltd. in Hong Kong. The Chinese government probably holds the bulk of that amount, according to McCormack.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that have invested in and supported the U.S. housing market these many years, have essentially already failed. The equity of stockholders is 95 percent gone, due to the bad loans these companies made and the prospects of further losses.

Professor Yongding is notifying everyone that China has first priority at the “bankruptcy” table. Even if there is no formal bankruptcy procedure, China, as the foremost creditor, does not want to absorb default losses on its loans to Fannie and Freddie. China is pressuring the U.S. to make good on its implicit guarantee to support the GSEs.

The U.S. taxpayer is the ultimate bagholder in this process. U.S. citizens borrowed heavily from the GSEs and thus from China to build and buy houses. They are being asked to pay off these loans and not stiff their creditors. If they do not pay, China will hasten to wind down its loans to U.S. institutions, and that includes the U.S. government. This process has already begun.

To have reached this phase in which creditors line up to see who is first means that the GSEs have already failed. This is not surprising. The entire enterprise of Government, in the bloated and intrusive form we know it as, is destined to fail. The failure of any and every coercive monopoly Government is assured by its own dynamics. Unaccountable monopolies blunder, fragment, lose direction, lose momentum, and fail. It is only a matter of time.

Government is like a great glacier. At first, the glacier grows and builds up, drawing mass from the cold and snow and strength from the compressed ice. These lead to movement of the river of ice. It slowly flows, grinding everything in its path. The old landscape gives way and a new one appears. But the motion creates fissures and crevasses. The glacier reaches lower and warmer climes and begins melting away. Cracks in the ice field appear. Huge chunks break off as icebergs form and float away. The glacier dissipates.

Fannie and Freddie have broken off. Their values have melted away. The Government is trying to hold them in place. The more that it tries, the more that these GSEs will dislodge further pieces of the Government and weaken it.

The current international financial system is already at an ending phase, if by that is meant the dominance of the U.S. The signs of this are plain. The Fed has a weak balance sheet that is growing weaker as the U.S. government is forced to take on such obligations as Fannie and Freddie. These chew up taxes while adding nothing to the country’s productive potential.

A second sign is that the U.S. people have built a mountain of debt. A third sign is that the era of U.S. world control using financial institutions like IMF and World Bank has passed its prime. A fourth sign is the bubble in central banks, which are instruments of monetary repression. There are 159 central banks in the world (including such notable places as Tonga and the Solomon Islands), each in place to control a country’s money and support the government’s policies of control over the people. Root and branch, central banks are anti-liberty and anti-monetary freedom. This bubble is bound to burst, as the negatives of central banks become recognized.

Central banks are well-paid homes and sinecures for intelligent men and women who have gotten doctorates and other advanced degrees and who in comfort imagine themselves as building up the financial system of their nation. For example, the Central Bank of Sudan sounds like our Federal Reserve. It has four “pillars.” These are monetary and financial policy, foreign exchange, currency, and bank supervision, with other mentions of price stability and the bank’s titular independence. In time, the world will recognize that central banks are the antithesis of basic human rights and that they cannot help but fail at their publicly announced goals.

When will this worldwide phase of monetary suppression, now led by the U.S., climax and begin to reverse? Is it now? No one knows. Maybe it will take years more, maybe decades, maybe centuries. The Roman Empire went on in altered form for a very long time. No one knows how long this will go on. Adam Smith is supposed to have said “There’s a lot of ruin in a country.” There is a lot of ruin in the world.

But when a great country like the U.S. finds itself in hock to another nation and being warned that it must pay up or else, then the game has already been lost. The handwriting is on the wall. The chickens have come home to roost. Choose the cliché you prefer.

What game? The game of empire is the game that is being lost, and that is a game that it is good to lose. Great Britain survived the loss of its empire. So did Spain, Germany, Russia, and countless others. So will we. Let us make the best of it.

The financial side of the American Empire is cracking open. The powers-that-be will tax us and patch it up. But that is not the only fissure. Our would-be emperors are no better, no wiser, and no more capable than those who have ruled all the other failed empires. We have a succession of good, bad, and mediocre Presidents, Congressmen, and Judges. In this, which is our final phase, we are encountering more and more of those in the category of bad, which includes those who are stupid, venal, arrogant, boastful, greedy, inept, and ignorant. Choose your own failings. They display them.

The final phase of empire must of necessity be such as to include more idiotic, foolish, short-sighted, blind, and mis-calculating rulers. Of necessity, the follies must multiply as the empire self-destructs.

Would anything but an empire in its final phase behave so foolishly as this one is behaving with respect to Russia, Georgia, and Eastern Europe? Or with respect to Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, and Afghanistan? It is as if our rulers were on drugs and could not think or see straight. It is as if they had a death wish.

This sort of ruinous behavior of rulers has occurred in every empire on its downward path, whether Roman, Ottoman, British, or American. Why does this happen, and why must it happen?

An empire is a criminal organization that thrives on taking, not creating, wealth and property, domestically and internationally. As in a pond, the scum rises to the top. The scum are the best criminals, those who are best equipped to lead the far-flung criminal enterprise. Hoppe has put it well: “That is, open political competition favors aggressive, hence dangerous, rather than defensive, hence harmless, political talents and will thus lead to the cultivation and perfection of the peculiar skills of demagoguery, deception, lying, opportunism, corruption, and bribery. Therefore, entrance into and success within government will become increasingly impossible for anyone hampered by moral scruples against lying and stealing.”

But if the best and most clever criminals rise to the top, why do they fail to hold the empire together and extend it? Why do they eventually make decisions that bring it to ruin and failure? Why does good management of the empire outrun their capabilities? Why do they begin to behave so stupidly? Why does folly begin to prevail? Why do large cracks in the empire appear? Why are they incapable of altering course? Why do they fiddle while Rome burns? Why does the glacier grind to a halt and begin to break up?

Why do we all blunder? Why are all mortals foolish? The same reasons hold for our rulers, only more so, in an exaggerated and enlarged fashion, because they are rulers. And that means they wield power, and that means that they have an easier way out when they make mistakes (as compared with those of us who lack power.) They can force those whom they rule to pay for their mistakes. And this easy way out, in turn, means that they are more apt to blunder and act foolishly in the first place. And because they have a great scope of rule, over whole peoples and nations and regions, over all sorts of laws and edicts, in short, over every aspect of human life, their blunders will necessarily be large blunders that impact very many of us in very many ways. But, being powerful and possessed of inordinate belief in their own capacities and rightness, they will not recognize their blunders as such. They will not own up to them or take responsibility for them for fear of weakening their own power. They will attribute them to their enemies, because that is one method by which they gain our approval of their rule. He who lives by deception will die by deception.

Building an empire takes force, cunning, aggressiveness, and the wile to integrate disparate peoples into one while allowing them their differences. It takes the skill to allow those different peoples to accumulate the wealth that the empire needs to live on and extend itself.

Preserving an empire requires preventing the inroads of foreign peoples (and internal dissent) for that means war, and war is very costly. The ruler of an existing empire should be attempting to avoid these wars while augmenting his treasure chest (and thus the public’s wealth). But since the rulers come to power by means of their aggressiveness, they lack both the restraint that is needed and the favorable attitude toward public wealth accumulation. They are ill-suited to merely preserving the empire. Not only do they encourage the taking of wealth internally (rather than its production), but, sooner or later, one of them stimulates a foreign war that empties the treasury and weakens the empire. The empire needs a firm and strong economic base, and if it is weakened domestically as well as by costly warfare, it will go downhill. France was weakened by wars in Vietnam and Algeria and socialism at home. Great Britain followed that course and so is the U.S. The U.S.S.R. made war on its own people and dramatically weakened its domestic economy.

It is a near certainty that the next emperor (President), no matter who he is, will behave just as foolishly, if not more so, than his predecessors in office. He will surround himself with associates who are sycophants, and they will do nothing to puncture the myths he believes in, which include his own greatness and perspicacity. He will believe himself the unique man of the hour who is sent to make good the ills of his society. He will live in the bubble of his own court and entourage. He will be immersed in his own media and their myths. Any new ideas that come his way will be distorted and broken into pieces that fit his own preoccupations and biases. Whatever psychological weaknesses he may have will be amplified and realized in the form of his policy decisions and priorities.

He may play golf, touch football, bed a woman a day in or near the Oval Office, take naps, ride horseback, eat Big Macs, or have barbecues. He may even be a policy wonk and study every option in sight, from wearing sweaters to turning down thermostats. But, in the end, he has only 24 hours a day, he is a limited man, and he will be unable to manage the empire. He will leave most of that to others, and they will not be under his control. The empire’s power will be fractionated and dispersed in unaccountable ways, to be misused and mishandled. The greater the empire is, the larger it is, the more things it attempts to control, the more wealthy it is, the more powerful it is – the more that it will spin out of control, the more that diverse motives of petty and greedy men and women will prevail, and the more rotten and decadent the empire will become.

An empire is a complex piece of organizational machinery. Bureaucracies unaccountable to almost anyone will prevail. Machinations behind the curtains of power will prevail. Money and influence will prevail. Presidents will put in place their own palace bureaucracies in order to attempt to bypass the existing ones. The complexity will multiply, assuring its own eventual demise.

The rise of the power and preeminence of the American Empire contained the seeds of its own fall. They are now maturing.

Russia monitoring NATO movements

Russia monitoring NATO movements
Wed, 27 Aug 2008 15:21:16 GMT

Destroyer USS McFaul anchors in Georgia’s Black Sea port

Russia warns NATO against the build-up of its naval forces in the Black Sea, saying that the Russian fleet is monitoring their movements.

Deputy Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said that despite the large armada of NATO warships in the Black Sea, Russia has no plans to reinforce its fleet in the region.

“The tasks are clear to us and we endeavor to adhere to peacekeeping functions on land. We don’t intend to add any group of forces to the Black Sea Fleet, although we could,” Nogovitsyn said.

The Russian official referred to the 1936 Montreux Convention, saying that further NATO build-up in the Black Sea would lead to the violation of the pre-World War II agreement.

According to the Montreux Convention, countries outside the Black Sea region can only deploy 45,000 tons on the number of warships in the basin.

NATO says the deployment is part of previously planned exercises involving US, German, Spanish and Polish vessels, adding that the ships would also deliver aid to Georgia.

Russia says NATO countries are using humanitarian aid as cover for a build-up of Western naval forces in the strategic waters.

“Normally battleships do not deliver aid and this is battleship diplomacy, this does not make the situation more stable,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Tuesday.

NATO has currently deployed 10 ships in the Black Sea, three US warships, the Polish frigate General Pulaski, the German frigate FGS Lubeck, and the Spanish navy ship Admiral Juan de Borbon, as well as four Turkish vessels.

Tension between Russia and the US has been escalating after Georgia’s military offensive into South Ossetia in early August to reclaim the de-facto region, prompted Russia to send its troops into the area.

The conflict in South Ossetia, which claimed the lives of at least 2,000 people and displaced 40,000 others, ended after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a French-brokered ceasefire deal with Georgia on August 12.

‘NATO ships’ funeral, a missile salvo away’

‘NATO ships’ funeral, a missile salvo away’
Fri, 29 Aug 2008 17:22:12 GMT

NATO’s naval squad is no match for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and would fall to pieces should the fleet launch a ‘single missile salvo.’

Former Russian commander Admiral Eduard Baltin said “a single missile salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group.”

The one-time fleet commander was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying that the NATO squad looked better than they fought. “Despite the apparent strength” the 10-pieace NATO armada in the Black Sea “is not battle-worthy.”

He noted that the entire squadron could only brave the Black Sea Fleet for ’20 minutes’ adding that the NATO sailors would be “people with suicidal tendencies,” if they lead a charge towards the Russian warships.

While the conflict-ridden Georgia lies within the 900-kilometer (560-mile) reach of the NATO drill’s whereabouts, the alliance keeps billing the measure as only a routine exercise.

The time, however, seems inappropriate for such a potentially problematic move as, off the Georgian coast, the Russian warships have been tasked with keeping an eye on the powder keg of a situation in Georgia’s violence-stricken province of South Ossetia.

Ria Novosti, however, quoted sources within the Russian military officialdom as raising the concerns that a ‘surface strike group’ was being mustered in the location of the exercise.

US, UK begin war games in Persian Gulf

US, UK begin war games in Persian Gulf Source: Press TV

The US has begun five-day military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf, claiming it is preparing for a ‘potential confrontation’ in the region.


According to a US navy statement issued on Wednesday, the joint war games led by Britain’s Royal Navy Commodore Peter Hudson have also brought together vessels from Britain and Bahrain and started Sunday.

Earlier in August, a large armada of US and European naval vessels were reportedly deployed to the Persian Gulf to reinforce the US strike force in the region.

The deployment took place following a military operation, which saw more than a dozen warships from the US, Britain and France conducting war games in the Atlantic Ocean.

The current statement by the Bahrain headquarters of the US 5th Fleet claims that the joint maneuvers are aimed at better protecting coalition ships against vessels ‘deemed threatening’.

This comes as the West has intensified its go-to-war rhetoric against Iran.

The US, the UK and Israel are among countries that accuse Tehran of pursuing a military nuclear program and under such pretext have attempted to portray the country as a threat to regional and global security.

Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened to launch military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities should the country continue with its uranium enrichment program.

This is while the UN body responsible for monitoring Iranian nuclear activities has confirmed that Tehran enriches uranium-235 to a level of 3.7 percent – a rate consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

In reaction to Western threats, Iran has started revamping its military hardware, supplying its navy with sophisticated military equipment, such as a high-tech weapons system, capable of targeting any vessel within a range of 300 km from its shores.

Another high-ranking military official in Iran has warned that Washington would not be faced with ‘orthodox and classic tactics’ should it attempt to engage in a war with Tehran.

Tehran has repeatedly warned that if the country comes under attack, it would not hesitate in taking necessary measures to protect its sovereignty, including the closure of the Strait of Hormuz.

Commodore Hudson stated that the war games dubbed ‘Goalkeeper’ are intended for practicing skills such as ‘locating and tracking’ vessels in the Persian Gulf and ‘handling command and control’ operations during a potential confrontation.

Dutch Sabotage Operation In Iran Called Off Because of American Bombing Plans

Attack on Iran expected

Joost de Haas en Bart Mos

AMSTERDAM

De Nederlandse inlichtingendienst AIVD heeft de afgelopen jaren een ultrageheime operatie laten uitvoeren in Iran met als doel infiltratie en sabotage van de wapenindustrie in de islamitische republiek. The Dutch intelligence service AIVD has in recent years a top secret operation carried out in Iran with the aim of infiltration and sabotage of the armaments industry in the Islamic republic.

The operation described as extremely successful was recently discontinued in connection with plans for an imminent U.S. air strike on Iran. Daarbij zouden ook doelen worden gebombardeerd die in verband staan met de Nederlandse spionageactie. It would also be bombed targets that relate to the Dutch spionageactie. Dat verklaren goed ingevoerde bronnen tegenover De Telegraaf. That explained properly imported sources opposite De Telegraaf.

Atoombom Atomic Bomb

Teheran werkt vermoedelijk aan een atoombom en weigert gehoor te geven aan de eisen van het Westen om te stoppen met het verrijken van uranium. Tehran is suspected of being an atomic bomb and refuses to comply with the requirements of the West to stop enriching uranium.

Een van de betrokken agenten, die onder supervisie van de AIVD wist te infiltreren in de Iraanse industrie, is recent teruggeroepen omdat in de VS de beslissing zou zijn genomen binnen enkele weken met onbemande vliegtuigen Iran aan te vallen. One of the agents, who under the supervision of the AIVD managed to infiltrate into the Iranian industry, has recently recalled in the U.S. because the decision would be taken within a few weeks with unmanned aircraft to attack Iran. Tot de potentiële doelwitten behoren naar verluidt niet alleen nucleaire fabrieken, maar ook militaire installaties die mede door toedoen van de AIVD in kaart zijn gebracht. Among the potential targets are allegedly not only nuclear plants, military installations but also partly caused by the AIVD have been identified. Informatie uit de AIVD-operatie is de afgelopen jaren gedeeld met de Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst CIA, aldus bronnen. Information from the AIVD-operation in recent years shared with the American intelligence agency CIA, according to sources.

Ook konden diverse leveranties worden gesaboteerd en tegengehouden. It also could be sabotaged various supplies and stopped. Het ging om onderdelen voor raketten en lanceerinstallaties. It involved parts for missiles and launching vehicles. Iran is sinds 2006 drie keer getroffen door VN-sancties wegens het omstreden nucleaire programma. Iran is three times since 2006 hit by UN sanctions because of the controversial nuclear program. Westerse inlichtingendiensten vrezen dat het land van de ayatollahs in 2010 over kernwapens kan beschikken. Western intelligence agencies fear that the land of the ayatollahs in 2010 about nuclear weapons at its disposal. De Iraanse president Ahmadinejad dreigt regelmatig Israël van de kaart te vegen. The Iranian President Ahmadinejad threatens Israel regularly on the map sweep.

ZIONIST WAR-MONGERING

WE ARE TOLD THAT IT IS AN “ANTI-SEMITIC CANARD” TO SAY THAT JEWS START WARS, BUT HERE IS A JEWISH VIDEO CALLING FOR A NUCLEAR FIRST STRIKE AGAINST IRAN.

The Israel Project – A Nuclear Iran