|[ 30/08/2008 – 04:40 PM ]|
Comment by Khalid Amayreh
It is really difficult to blame millions of young men and women throughout the Third World, especially in the Muslim world, for their mounting disenchantment with western democracy.
A few years ago, many people in this part of the world were made to believe that the “American way” would empower the masses and help build a society based on liberty and justice which would also eventually produce economic prosperity.
However, these people soon discovered that they had been duped and deceived as they saw how democracy looked like “in action” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, and, of course, in Palestine.
The often pornographic dichotomy between the ritualistic pronouncements by western leaders on democracy and human rights, on the one hand, and their scandalous actions, behaviors, and policies, on the other, served only to deepen people’s disillusionment with a “democracy” that preaches one thing and does the opposite.
In his second inaugural address, George W. Bush, emphasized the centrality of “democracy” in his administration’s foreign policy.
“It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”
In reality, however, we all saw that instead of supporting democracy and discouraging tyranny, Bush did quite the opposite by fighting democracy and encouraging tyranny in many parts of the world.
Indeed, in most countries in the Middle East, especially the Arab world, criminal violations of human rights and civil liberties are now more pervasive than when Bush became President nearly eight years ago.
Torture is widespread and such state-of-the-art torture tactics, e.g. “water-boarding,” are being introduced to a number of Arab states under benevolent American supervision. This is in addition to the scandalous “renditions”, which became an essential part of fostering democracy in the Arab world.
Today, virtually all American-allied regimes in the Middle East are full-fledged repressive police states where citizens venturing to exercise even a modicum of their civil rights and liberties are persecuted, imprisoned and tortured or dismissed from their jobs.
In some countries, thousands of people are rounded up like cattle and placed in mass prisons in order to prevent them from taking part in local or parliamentary elections. And this is done while western democracies keep blathering about democracy and human rights.
In occupied Palestine, George Bush’s hypocrisy cries out to the seventh heaven. In 2006, Palestinians held parliamentary elections at the urging of the man in the White House. However, when the Palestinian people elected a political party which Bush and Ariel Sharon didn’t like, all hell broke loose, and the Palestinian people were subjected to a harsh blockade unseen since the disciples of Hitler besieged Ghetto Warsaw in 1943.
And when Gaza children were being starved and killed in droves, as they continue to be even as I write this commentary, the Bush administration’s reaction was voiced by its secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, that unethical and lying lady, who congratulated Tzipi Livni, the equally criminal-minded Israeli foreign minister, on the “remarkable success” of the blockade, saying “It is working, and we are glad that it is.”
But Rice is by no means inventing anything. Madeline Albright, Secretary of State during the Clinton administration, had uttered even more virulent sound-bites when asked what she thought about the estimated one million Iraqis annihilated by the US-led sanctions during the 1990s. She reportedly said rather nonchalantly that “if it is good for America, it is worth it.”
Well, I imagine that Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin as well as all other mass murderers, past and present, would have made the same argument to justify their crimes against humanity.
Yes, many people in our part of the world thought, probably out of naivety, that western democracy was ethical, moral, just and humane, but reality showed that it is often unethical, immoral, unjust, inhumane and outright criminal.
Ask the Afghan civilians whose families have been exterminated and homes destroyed by wanton western bombardment of their villages. Ask them what they think about American democracy? Ask the Iraqis whose country has been bombed out back into the Middle Ages. Ask them if they are better off now than they were under Saddam Hussein.
Ask the Palestinians whose children have to succumb to illness and disease because the “only democracy in the Middle East” wouldn’t allow them access to adequate medical care.
Ask them, and they will tell you the truth.
Of course, George Bush is by no means the only villain in the arena. Most of the “democracies” of Western Europe have played a shameful role in effecting the genocidal wars in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, and they all, with a few appreciable exceptions, have done so in the name of democracy and human rights.
We saw recently how the leaders of Germany, Italy, France and Britain embraced the Nazi-like Israeli state on its 60th anniversary, the state whose very existence is a crime against humanity.
Similarly, we saw how British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently described the extirpation of the Palestinian people from its ancestral homeland and the creation thereon of the terrorist state as the “greatest event in the 20th century.”
This is the leader of the very country that had enabled Zionism to rape Palestine and expel its native inhabitants to the four corners of the world.
And at the top of all this monumental oppression, British leaders still have the moral and intellectual depravity to denounce us as “terrorists” for resisting our tormentors and wanting to be free.
Today, western democracies are busy fostering “democracy and human rights” in occupied Palestine by funding a police state apparatus where political activists are abducted and tortured and even killed, and journalists and university professors are incarcerated and maltreated by young, ignorant security cadres who would do anything for a few hundred dollars at the end of the month.
This is indeed the “democracy” that is being exported to us and which the West in coordination with Israel is trying to force down our throats.
Well, sorry guys, your democracy is killing us, we don’t want to have any part of it.
[They have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning — one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided. Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a “hippie house,” where 5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in those houses, that they were filled with “peaceful kids” who are politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly. Posted below is the video of the scene, including various interviews, which convey a very clear sense of what is actually going on here.
In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as “Do you have Terminator ready?” as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention, and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more emboldened than ever to do so.
Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis. Glenn’s post includes videos. One of them is embedded here, below, “from the house that had just been raided.”
Glenn’s Salon item also points to blog posts from the targeted protest groups, including this one from I-Witness. This group previously “videotaped police behavior at the 2004 GOP Convention in New York and helped get charges dismissed against hundreds of protesters who were arrested.” The post excerpted below was published while the police raid was happening today:
The house where I-Witness Video is staying in St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house. The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a dozen police are wielding firearms, including one St. Paul officer with a long gun, which someone told me is an M-16. We are suffering a preemptive video arrest. For those that don’t know, I-Witness Video was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests, at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which contradicted sworn statements which were fabricated by police officers. It seems that the house arrest we are now under and the possible threat of the seizure of our computers and video cameras is a result of the 2004 success.
THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD WEAPON
SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP……..
Start / End Date
11/19/2003 – 05/19/2004
Remote Personnel Incapacitation System
Objective of Phase Effort
The main goal of the Phase I project wad to design and build a breadboard prototype of a temporary personnel incapacitation system called MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio). This non-lethal weapon is based on the well established microwave auditory effect (MAE). MAE results in a strong sound sensation in the human head when it is irradiated with specifically selected microwave pulses of low energy. Through the combination of pulse parameters and pulse power, it is possible to raise the auditory sensation to the “discomfort” level, deterring personnel from entering a protected perimeter or, if necessary, temporarily incapacitating particular individuals.
Summary of Results from the Phase I Effort
The major results of the Phase I effort were that – An operating frequency was chosen – Hardware requirements were established (commercial magnetron, high-voltage pulse former) – Hardware was designed and built – Power measurements were taken and the required pulse parameters confirmed – Experimental evidence of MAE was observed
Potential Applications and Benefits
Potential applications of the MEDUSA system are as a perimeter protection sensor in deterrence systems for industrial and national sites, for use in systems to assist communication with hearing impaired persons, use by law enforcement and military personnel for crowd control and asset protection. The system will: be portable, require low power, have a controllable radius of coverage, be able to switch from crowd to individual coverage, cause a temporarily incapacitating effect, have a low probability of fatality or permanent injury, cause no damage to property, and have a low probability of affecting friendly personnel.
VOICE IN YOUR HEAD WEAPONS
A US company claims it is ready to build a microwave ray gun able to beam sounds directly into people’s heads.
The device – dubbed MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) – exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. A series of pulses can be transmitted to produce recognisable sounds.
The device is aimed for military or crowd-control applications, but may have other uses.
Lev Sadovnik of the Sierra Nevada Corporation in the US is working on the system, having started work on a US navy research contract. The navy’s report states that the effect was shown to be effective.
MEDUSA involves a microwave auditory effect “loud” enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. Sadovnik says that normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums.
“The repel effect is a combination of loudness and the irritation factor,” he says. “You can’t block it out.”
Sadovnik says the device will work thanks to a new reconfigurable antenna developed by colleague Vladimir Manasson. It steers the beam electronically, making it possible to flip from a broad to a narrow beam, or aim at multiple targets simultaneously.
Sadovnik says the technology could have non-military applications. Birds seem to be highly sensitive to microwave audio, he says, so it might be used to scare away unwanted flocks.
Sadovnik has also experimented with transmitting microwave audio to people with outer ear problems that impair their normal hearing.
Brain damage risk
James Lin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago says that MEDUSA is feasible in principle.
He has carried out his own work on the technique, and was even approached by the music industry about using microwave audio to enhance sound systems, he told New Scientist.
“But is it going to be possible at the power levels necessary?” he asks. Previous microwave audio tests involved very “quiet” sounds that were hard to hear, a high-power system would mean much more powerful – and potentially hazardous – shockwaves.
“I would worry about what other health effects it is having,” says Lin. “You might see neural damage.”
Sierra Nevada says that a demonstration version could be built in a year, with a transportable system following within 18 months. They are currently seeking funding for the work from the US Department of Defence.
VOICE IN YOUR HEAD WEAPONS
The mind-altering mechanism is based on a subliminal carrier technology: the Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (SSSS), sometimes called “S-quad” or “Squad”. It was developed by Dr Oliver Lowery of Norcross, Georgia, and is described in US Patent #5,159,703, “Silent Subliminal Presentation System”, dated October 27, 1992. The abstract for the patent reads:
“A silent communications system in which nonaural carriers, in the very low or very high audio-frequency range or in the adjacent ultrasonic frequency spectrum are amplitude- or frequency-modulated with the desired intelligence and propagated acoustically or vibrationally, for inducement into the brain, typically through the use of loudspeakers, earphones, or piezoelectric transducers. The modulated carriers may be transmitted directly in real time or may be conveniently recorded and stored on mechanical, magnetic, or optical media for delayed or repeated transmission to the listener.”
According to literature by Silent Sounds, Inc., it is now possible, using supercomputers, to analyse human emotional EEG patterns and replicate them, then store these “emotion signature clusters” on another computer and, at will, “silently induce and change the emotional state in a human being”.
Silent Sounds, Inc. states that it is interested only in positive emotions, but the military is not so limited. That this is a US Department of Defense project is obvious.
Edward Tilton, President of Silent Sounds, Inc., says this about S-quad in a letter dated December 13, 1996:
“All schematics, however, have been classified by the US Government and we are not allowed to reveal the exact details… … we make tapes and CDs for the German Government, even the former Soviet Union countries! All with the permission of the US State Department, of course… The system was used throughout Operation Desert Storm (Iraq) quite successfully.”
The graphic illustration, “Induced Alpha to Theta Biofeedback Cluster Movement”, which accompanies the literature, is labelled #AB 116-394-95 UNCLASSIFIED” and is an output from “the world’s most versatile and most sensitive electroencephalograph (EEG) machine”. It has a gain capability of 200,000, as compared to other EEG machines in use which have gain capability of approximately 50,000.
It is software-driven by the “fastest of computers” using a noisenulling technology similar to that used by nuclear submarines for detecting small objects underwater at extreme range.
The purpose of all this high technology is to plot and display a moving cluster of periodic brainwave signals. The illustration shows an EEG display from a single individual, taken of left and right hemispheres simultaneously. Ile readout from the two sides of the brain appear to be quite different, but in fact are the same (discounting normal leftright brain variations).
CLONING THE EMOTIONS
By using these computer-enhanced EEGs, scientists can identify and isolate the brain’s low-amplitude “emotion signature clusters”, synthesise them and store them on another computer. In other words, by studying the subtle characteristic brainwave patterns that occur when a subject experiences a particular emotion, scientists have been able to identify the concomitant brainwave pattern and can now duplicate it. “These clusters are then placed on the Silent Sound® carrier frequencies and will silently trigger the occurrence of the same basic emotion in another human being!”
SYSTEM DELIVERY AND APPLICATIONS
There is a lot more involved here than a simple subliminal sound system. There are numerous patented technologies which can be piggybacked individually or collectively onto a carrier frequency to elicit all kinds of effects.
There appear to be two methods of delivery with the system. One is direct microwave induction into the brain of the subject, limited to short-range operations. The other, as described above, utilises ordinary radio and television carrier frequencies.
Far from necessarily being used as a weapon against a person, the system does have limitless positive applications. However, the fact that the sounds are subliminal makes them virtually undetectable and possibly dangerous to the general public.
In more conventional use, the Silent Sounds Subliminal System might utilise voice commands, e.g., as an adjunct to security systems. Beneath the musical broadcast that you hear in stores and shopping malls may be a hidden message which exhorts against shoplifting. And while voice commands alone are powerful, when the subliminal presentation system carries cloned emotional signatures, the result is overwhelming.
Free-market uses for this technology are the common self-help tapes; positive affirmation, relaxation and meditation tapes; as well as methods to increase learning capabilities.
In a medical context, these systems can be used to great advantage to treat psychiatric and psychosomatic problems. As a system for remediating the profoundly deaf, it is unequalled. (Promises, promises. This is the most common positive use touted for this technology over the past 30 years. But the deaf are still deaf, and the military now has a weapon to use on unsuspecting people with perfectly normal hearing.)
In fact, the US Government has denied or refused to comment on mindaltering weapons for years. Only last year, US News & World Report ran an article titled “Wonder Weapons”, basically a review of the new so-called ‘non-lethal’ or ‘less-than -lethal’ weapons.’ Not one word about S-quad, although the technology had been used six years earlier!
Excerpts from the article read:
“Says Charles Bernard, a former Navy weapons-research director: ‘I have yet to see one of these ray-gun things that actually works.”
“DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has come to us every few years to see if there are ways to incapacitate the central nervous system remotely,’ Dr F. Terry Hambrecht, head of the Neural Prostheses Program at NIH, told US News, ‘but nothing has ever come of if,’ he said. ‘That is too science-fiction and far-fetched.'”
It may sound “science fiction and far-fetched” but it is not. However, that is just what the powers-that-be want you to believe, so as to leave them alone in their relentless pursuit of… what?
The idea behind non-lethal weapons is to incapacitate the enemy without actually killing them, or, in the case of riot control or hostage situations, to disable the participants without permanent injury, preferably without their knowing it. The electromagnetic mind-altering technologies would all fall into this class of weapons, but since they are all officially non-existent, who is to decide when and where they will be used?
And why should selected companies in the entertainment industry reportedly be allowed access to this technology when the very fact of its existence is denied to the general public?
As recently as last month [February], this stonewall approach of total denial or silence on the subject still held fast, even toward committees of the US Congress!
The Joint Economics Committee, chaired by Jim Saxton (R-NJ), convened on February 25, 1998 for the “Hearing on Radio Frequency Weapons and Proliferation: Potential Impact on the Economy”. Invited testimony included statements by several authorities from the military:
- Dr Alan Kehs, of the US Army Laboratories, discussed the overall RF threat.
- Mr James O’Bryon, Deputy Director of Operational Testing and Director of live fire testing for the Office of Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, discussed the role of Live Fire Testing and how it plays a role in testing military equipment with RF weapons.
- Mr David Schriner, Principal Engineer of Directed Energy Studies with Electronic Warfare Associates and recently retired as an engineer with a naval weapons testing facility, talked about the difficulty in building an RF weapon and about the terrorist threat.
- Dr Ira Merritt, Chief of Concepts Identification and Applications Analysis Division, Advanced Technology Directorate, Missile Defense and Space Technology Center, Huntsville, Alabama, discussed the proliferation of RF weapons primarily from the former Soviet Union.
Although these statements gave information of technical interest, they are perhaps more important for the information they did not give: information on the existence of radiofrequency weapons that directly affect the human brain and nervous system.
This technology did not spring up overnight. It has a long history of development and denials of development-by the US Government and probably half of the other governments of the world as well.
We know that the former Soviet Union was actively engaged in this type of research. In a previous article we reported that during the 1970s the Soviet KGB developed a Psychotronic Influence System (PIS) that was used to turn soldiers into programmable ‘human weapons’. The system employed a combination of highfrequency radiowaves and hypnosis. The PIS project was begun in response to a similar training scheme launched in the US by President Carter, according to Yuri Malin, former security adviser to USSR President Gorbachev.
In my Electromagnetic Weapons Timeline I covered a period of 60 years of interest and development in EM weaponsóinformation gathered from the many articles and news clippings sent in by readers of Resonance. In my article on synthetic telepathy I traced the development of the ‘voice in your head’ technology dating back to 1961, all my references coming from the open scientific literature.
POWER OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Jan Wiesemann has written an apt description of the situation which now exists in the United States, about the ‘forces that be’ and how the situation came about:
“During the Cold War the United States not only engaged in a relatively open nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union, but also engaged in a secret race developing unconventional weapons. As the intelligence agencies (which prior to the Second World War had merely played a supporting role within the government) continued to increase their power, so did the funds spent on developing techniques designed to outsmart each other.
“And as the US intelligence community began to grow, a secret culture sprang about which enabled the intelligence players to implement the various developed techniques to cleverly circumvent the democratic processes and institutions…
“Like many other democracies, the US Government is made up of two basic parts the elected constituency, i.e., the various governors, judges, congressmen and the President; and the unelected bureaucracies, as represented by the numerous federal agencies.
“In a well-balanced and correctly functioning democracy, the elected part of the government is in charge of its unelected bureaucratic part, giving the people a real voice in the agenda set by their government.
“While a significant part of the US Government no doubt follows this democratic principle, a considerable portion of the US Government operates in complete secrecy and follows its own unaccountable agenda which, unacknowledged, very often is quite different from the public agenda.”
Jan goes on to quote one of the United States’ most popular war heroes: Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II and was later elected 34th President of the United States. In his farewell address to the nation in 1961, President Eisenhower said:
“…we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defence establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognise the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military -industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or our democratic processes.”
INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS OVER NEW WEAPONS
The United Nations was established in 1945 with the aim of “saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. In 1975 the General Assembly considered a draft first proposed by the Soviet Union: “Prohibition of the Development and Manufacture of New Types of Weapons of Mass Destruction and New Systems of Such Weapons”.
In 1979 the Soviet Union added a list of some types of potential weapons of mass destruction:
1) Radiological weapons (using radioactive materials) which could produce harmful effects similar to those of a nuclear explosion;
2) Particle beam weapons, based on charged or neutral particles, to affect biological targets;
3) Infrasonic acoustic radiation weapons;
4) Electromagnetic weapons operating at certain radio-frequency radiations which could have injurious effects on human organs.
In response, the US and other Western nations stalled. They gave a long, convoluted reason, but the result was the same.
In an article entitled “Non-Lethal Weapons May Violate Treaties”, the author notes that the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention covers many of the non-conventional weapons; “those that utilize infrasound or electromagnetic energy (including lasers, microwave or radiofrequency radiation, or visible light pulsed at brainwave frequency) for their effects.”
Harlan Girard, Managing Director of the International Committee Against Offensive Microwave Weapons, told me he believes the strategy behind the government’s recent push for less-than-lethal weapons is a subterfuge. The ones that are now getting all the publicity are put up for scrutiny to get the public’s approval. The electromagnetic mind-altering technologies are not mentioned, but would be brought in later under the umbrella of less-than- lethal weapons.
These weapons were recently transferred from the Department of Defense over to the Department of Justice. Why? Because there are several international treaties that specifically limit or exclude weapons of this nature from being used in international warfare.
In other words, weapons that are barred from use against our country’s worst enemies (not withstanding the fact that the US did use this weapon against Iraqi troops!) can now be used against our own citizens by the local police departments against such groups as peaceful protestors of US nuclear policies.
TOWARDS GLOBAL MIND CONTROL
The secrecy involved in the development of the electromagnetic mind-altering technology reflects the tremendous power that is inherent in it. To put it bluntly, whoever controls this technology can control the minds of men-all men.
There is evidence that the US Government has plans to extend the range of this technology to envelop all peoples, all countries. This can be accomplished, is being accomplished, by utilising the nearly completed HAARP Project for overseas areas and the GWEN network now in place in the US. The US Government denies all this.
Dr Michael Persinger is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada. You have met him before in the pages of Resonance where we reported on his findings that strong electromagnetic fields can affect a person’s brain.
“Temporal lobe stimulation,” he said, “can evoke the feeling of a presence, disorientation, and perceptual irregularities. It can activate images stored in the subject’s memory, including nightmares and monsters that are normally suppressed.”
Dr Persinger wrote an article a few years ago, titled “On the Possibility of Directly Accessing Every Human Brain by Electromagnetic Induction of Fundamental Algorithms”. The abstract reads:
“Contemporary neuroscience suggests the existence of fundamental algorithms by which all sensory transduction is translated into an intrinsic, brain-specific code. Direct stimulation of these codes within the human temporal or limbic cortices by applied electromagnetic patterns may require energy levels which are within the range of both geomagnetic activity and contemporary communication networks. A process which is coupled to the narrow band of brain temperature could allow all normal human brains to be. affected by a subharmonic whose frequency range at about 10 Hz would only vary by 0. 1 Hz.”
He concludes the article with this:
“Within the last two decades a potential has emerged which was improbable, but which is now marginally feasible. This potential is the technical capability to influence directly the major portion of the approximately six billion brains of the human species, without mediation through classical sensory modalities, by generating neural information within a physical medium within which all members of the species are immersed.
“The historical emergence of such possibilities, which have ranged from gunpowder to atomic fission, have resulted in major changes in the social evolution that occurred inordinately quickly after the implementation. Reduction of the risk of the inappropriate application of these technologies requires the continued and open discussion of their realistic feasibility and implications within the scientific and public domain.”
It doesn’t get any plainer than that. And we do not have open discussion because the US Government has totally denied the existence of this technology.
I would like to give special thanks to: Jan Wiesemann for sending the Silent Sounds® statement and patents which were the keystone of this article; Mike Coyle, whose computer search turned up many more related patents; Harlan Girard, who has provided numerous official government documents; and to the many who have provided newsclippings and articles, moral and financial support to Resonance, without which we’d have ceased publication long ago.
Wayne Madsen Report (in full) –
August 28, 2008 — Russia confirms WMR report that it seized US intelligence equipment: On August 25, 2008, WMR reported, “Russians also captured another prize, five U.S. Marine Corps Humvees that were providing signals intelligence and electronic warfare assistance to Georgian forces. Along with the Humvees and their classified equipment, the Russians also obtained important and highly-classified encryption codes used by the United States and NATO to scramble their military and diplomatic communications. U.S. intelligence sources told WMR that the Russians obtained an intelligence windfall from the capture of the Humvees.”
The Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn told ITAR-TASS that five Humvees captured by Russian troops at the Georgian port of Poti wold have been returned to the United States if there “had there been U.S. citizens inside at the moment of detention.” The admission indicates that the United States military handed sophisticated Special Operations Forces (SOF) Intelligence Vehicles to Georgian troops, non-members of NATO, possibly compromising NATO and U.S. intelligence sources and methods to Russia.
Izvestia’s Moscow edition reported on August 27 that the Russians also seized a specialized military Landrover in Poti, along with the five Humvees. As Izvestia noted, “It’s hard to believe that Washington responded so quickly and brazenly to the loss of only six cars. Such vehicles burn by the dozen in Iraq – and the Americans don’t complain to the resistance there. But they feel differently about the jeeps in Georgia.”
However, the Russians soon realized that the six captured vehicles were not merely for transport but for intelligence gathering. Nogovitsyn stated in Moscow: “Russia is very interested in this incident. We believe the Pentagon has its reasons for worrying about the Humvees. We found a great deal of interest in the internal workings of these vehicles, and we are continuing to work on that.” Another translation of Nogovitsyn’s remarks had him stating: “It is not accidental the Pentagon is so worried about the future of its Hummers . . . We have discovered many things of interest to us inside the vehicles.”
Not only was the Pentagon concerned about the capture of the Humvees but Crawford White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe weighed in: “We’d certainly expect that the Russians would return any equipment that is U.S. equipment and return it quickly, if, in fact, they do have it.”
Izvestia also reported another curious element of the Humvee story — that some of the U.S. electronic equipment in the Humvees were manufactured under U.S. license in Odessa in Ukraine. Like Georgia, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, yet NATO-compatible sensitive military equipment is being manufactured in a non-NATO country. The Izvestia article stated: “The Georgian military not only abandoned valuable equipment, but essentially blew the lid on the U.S. security system. In Gori, Russian troops seized an American intelligence center packed with cutting-edge reconnaissance equipment. All of it is in Russia now. And the six jeeps [Humvees and Landrover] are a mobile reconnaissance and patrol complex, providing troop management in the field. According to our sources, the leading car’s equipment wasn’t the most modern at all; and most curiously of all, it is produced under license from the USA in Odessa, Ukraine.”
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson told Izvestia, “Another reason why the Americans are infuriated is because the Georgians have humiliated the USA in front of the whole world. The Americans trained the Georgian army for five years, arming them with the latest weapons and hardware – but the Georgians ran like rats at the first sign of action against Russian troops, abandoning all their hardware.”
Jane’s Defense reports that Georgia’s tactical intelligence left much to be desired even with their American and Israeli support. Georgia’s Israeli-supplied unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were worthless against the Russians because Russia’s “rapid assertion of complete air superiority” prevented the use of manned and unmanned aerial reconnaissance flights. Georgia’s military intelligence assets inside South Ossetia were confined to Georgian enclaves where they could not report on Russian military movements in the rest of the region.
Georgia’s own intelligence failure means that the United States likely supplemented Georgia’s reconnaissance with satellite imagery obtainable from mobile intelligence stations such as the one the Russians captured in Gori and the Humvees taken in Poti. Georgia’s problems with handling the intelligence provided by the Americans is also hinted at by a Jane’s report: “the Georgians proved unable to effectively fuse intelligence from a range of sources in the chaotic and sometimes panicked atmosphere that followed the Russian onslaught.”
Nogovitsyn’s comment that “we have discovered many things of interest to us inside the vehicles,” may be an understatement of the intelligence windfall obtained by the Russians, which means that CIA Director Michael Hayden and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, both former National Security Agency (NSA) directors, have a major security compromise on their hands.
Georgia not only suffered an intelligence defeat but also a major naval disaster. Jane’s Navy International reports that Russia’s Navy destroyed at least six Georgian patrol and fast attack vessels but only after Georgian vessels attacked Russian Federation naval ships off Abkhazia. Jane’s reports: “four Georgian craft made two attempts to attack ships of the RFN’s [Russian Federation Navy] Black Sea Fleet, with the Nanuchka-class corvettes RFS Mirazh and RFS Shtyl returning fire and sinking one of the boats.” Russian ground troops later neutralized Georgian vessels in Poti, including the Greek-supplied Anninos-class fast attack craft Dioscuria, Georgia’s most capable naval ship.
By G. Asgar MithaThese US mergers, mega-mergers, vertical integration and parent-subsidiary companies have become ultra giants. Shell, Total, BP-Amoco, ExxonMobil, JP Morgan Chase, Citi Group, Dow and Dupont, among others, control oil, finance and media globally. It is like one giant octopus with a million tentacles that reaches out to every corner of the globe. The entire objective, thus remains, one world if you will. But who are these “you”? They exist in small groups, far removed from the public eye. They seek to have control over the world governments whether it is the United States, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Zimbabwe or any other country in any of the six continents. They are the untouchables, an extremely elite group, tight lipped. These are the giants with the one world dream of a super empire. Their main weapon of control is the oil and the US dollar with G-7 servile currencies. – G. Asgar Mitha
In 2002, David Rockefeller wrote in his book Memoirs (Chapter 27, The Proud Internationalists) that “some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
The banking and financial empire of J.P. Morgan Chase consists of The Chemical Bank (est.1923), Hanover Bank (est.1873), Manufacturers Trust Company (est.1905), Chase National Bank (est. 1877) that was also known as The Rockefeller Bank, J.P. Morgan & Co. (est. 1877), Bank One acquired in 2004 and Bear Stearns acquired 2008. Total assets in 2007 were nearly $1.6 trillion. What is most interesting is that the main competitor bank of J.P. Morgan Chase has been and still is Citibank (formerly First National City Bank) owned by the Stillman family. First National City Bank flourished by its association with the Rockefeller’s oil wealth from Standard Oil. The Stillmans and the Rockefellers intermarried till the off springs James Stillman Rockefeller became chairman of Citi Bank at the same time that David Rockefeller became the chairman of Chase Manhattan.
Equity trading is the buying and selling of company stocks. Bear Stearns was founded in 1923 by Joseph Bear, Robert Stearns and Harold Mayer. Bear Stearns miraculously survived the great stock market crash of 1929 and between 2005 and 2007, it was Fortune magazine’s “most admired company”. Then in March 2008, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and J.P. Morgan Chase issued loans to Bear Stearns to prevent a potential market crash resulting from the subprime mortgage hedge fund crisis. Was it a crisis or was it deliberately engineered? Hedge funds are largely unregulated, private pools of capital whose managers can buy or sell any assets.
Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 by Marcus Goldman, a German immigrant. Later Samuel Sachs, Sidney Weinberg and Gus Levy joined this banking, investment and securities firm. Lloyd Craig Blankfein is the current CEO since May 2006 replacing Hank Paulson who went on to become the U.S. Secretary of Treasury. Similarly another very powerful private equity firm, Carlyle Group, was founded in 1987 by David Rubenstein. Carlyle Group is associated with defense, aerospace, communications, real estate and health care among others.
In 1904 Standard Oil, founded by David Rockefeller’s grandfather John D. Rockefeller, had control over 90% of oil production. Due to unfair practices and lawsuits by the States of Ohio and New Jersey, the US Department of Justice sued Standard Oil in 1909, under the Sherman Anti-trust Act. As a result, Standard Oil was broken up into over 30 companies. Two of these companies were Jersey Standard of New Jersey and Standard Oil Company of New York (SOCONY). The former later became Exxon and the latter Mobil Oil. Exxon and Mobil merged in November 1999 to become ExxonMobil. Also as a result of break-up of Standard Oil, Standard Oil of California (SOCAL) was formed in 1911. Socal, which became Chevron merged with Gulf Oil in 1984. In 1981, the Dupont group acquired Conoco but then sold all its shares in 1999 merging with Phillips Petroleum Company to become ConocoPhillips. Without going into the history, Amoco founded by Louis Blaustein in 1922, now merged with BP as Amoco-BP, had the John Rockefeller touch as Standard Oil of Indiana.
In 1980, Ted Turner launched his Cable Network News (CNN). Then in 1987 Warner Communications merged with Time Inc and in 1996 Time Warner acquired CNN. By 2000, another giant media was established, AOL-Time Warner that controlled everything from the print to TV news and entertainment. Then there is the Fox group founded by William Fox in 1915. It is a subsidiary of News Corporation whose chairman and CEO is the Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. News Corp. controls films, cable, news, internet and print media. Similarly ABC, NBC, CBS and BBC share the responsibility with Time-Warner and News Corp. to feed homes with across the globe. All global news is synchronized among the networks. The affiliate stations only feed homes with local news but never international news.
These US mergers, mega-mergers, vertical integration and parent-subsidiary companies have become ultra giants. Shell, Total, BP-Amoco, ExxonMobil, JP Morgan Chase, Citi Group, Dow and Dupont, among others, control oil, finance and media globally. It is like one giant octopus with a million tentacles that reaches out to every corner of the globe. The entire objective, thus remains, one world if you will. But who are these “you”? They exist in small groups, far removed from the public eye. They seek to have control over the world governments whether it is the United States, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Zimbabwe or any other country in any of the six continents. They are the untouchables, an extremely elite group, tight lipped. These are the giants with the one world dream of a super empire. Their main weapon of control is the oil and the US dollar with G-7 servile currencies.
Probably the one group that has recently attained some glare of publicity is the Bilderberg group. David Rockefeller Sr. may have said so in pun or he may have said so in pride that “we” are the internationalists, a secret cabal. If that is so, in pun or in seriousness, then the world has a lot to fear either way. We, in Rockefeller’s words, may well have applied to the neo-cons, collectively the Christian and Jewish Zionists and among them some Muslims Zionists like Zalmay Khalilzad, Ahmed Chalabi and Hamiz Karzai, all of whom have been well connected with western oil companies or with diehard front line neo-cons Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Rockefellers and most notably Henry Kissinger who helped form the group. The powerful Bilderbergers who come from, mainly, several western countries, are tight lipped so there is very little speculation about what transpires in the annual meetings. Only the elite who share the one world dream are invited to attend the annual forums.
Those individuals and countries that do not accept the political and economical supremacy of the western-Israeli axis and the objectives of Zionism become targets. Through fear, intimidation, propaganda, coercion, blackmailing and fabrication of charges, regimes are toppled by covert operations or direct war. Oil, US dollar and the UN are the principal weapons of control. The Gulf war of 2003 and occupation of Iraq was not about WMDs but it was about oil and the US dollar; Saddam refused to sell oil in dollars so he had to be removed. The propaganda against Iran is not about nuclear issues but about oil and dollars as it has established a bourse on Kish. Afghanistan occupation was not about Al-Qaeda but it was about oil and dollars.
Rather than living and letting live in peace, the architects of the super empire are making the world dangerous to live in. But somewhere along the line at some point in time, some force may rise to challenge the dreams of a super empire and the empire may get hemmed in by its own lies. Every country that has expanded into an empire has contracted back into the country again. And the architects will once again fight among themselves like vultures as they did for three hundred years in the colonial era.
© 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?
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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!
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.” 
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 , 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.
 Steven Rosenfeld: Hillary Electrifies: “Nothing Less Than the Fate of Our Nation … Hangs in the Balance”
 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.”
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?
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
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’
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.
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.
Joost de Haas en Bart Mos
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.
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
|By Bob Finch
The long term goals of the Jews-only state in Palestine are firstly, to gain political and military independence from all other countries. Secondly, to protect not only the reign of Jews within its borders but all Jews around the world, “Unlike many countries, including the United States, the Israeli state does not belong, even in principle, to those who reside within its borders, but is defined as the state of the Jewish people, wherever they may be.” (Noel Ignatiev ‘Toward a Single State Solution: Zionism, Anti-Semitism and the People of Palestine’). Thirdly, to increase the strategic territory of the Jews-only state to make it more difficult for it to be obliterated with nuclear weapons. Russia, the U.S., and Iran all have the strategic “depth” to survive a limitted nuclear exchange.
As regards the first objective, the jews-only state still has a significant technological, military, and economic, reliance on America. As regards the second objective, the Jews-only state has probably developed medium range nuclear missiles which can reach any country in the Middle East. It has also developed long range nuclear missiles which could pose a retaliatory threat to Russia, Europe, and China. But whether it has developed nuclear missiles which could reach the United States is another matter. The jews-only state can’t be far off such a missile given the sophistication of its space programme, “Israel is midway through a drive to establish a space program, much of it devoted to military purposes.” (Yoichi Clark ‘ The Wrong Stuff’ Pacific News Service).
In recent years, however, the Jews-only state has acquired four submarines from Germany which it could arm with nuclear cruise missiles. “Israel’s acquisition from Germany a few years ago of three Dolphin-class submarines capable of launching conventional and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles? The 1,720-ton diesel-electric submarines are among the most technically advanced subs of their kind in the world. Each can be equipped with four cruise missiles, which Israel reportedly tested in the Indian Ocean in 1999. (Uzi Mahnaimi and Matthew Campbell, “Israel Makes Nuclear Waves with Submarine Missile Test,” London Sunday Times, June 18, 2000) The subs will cruise the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and, ominously, the Persian Gulf -which tends to confirm the views of the late Israeli scholar, Israel Shahak, a leading dissident, who argued that Israel’s strategic goal is hegemony from Morocco to Pakistan. (See Israel Shahak, Open Secrets, 1997, chapters four and eight).”
So, even if the Jews-only state does not yet have nuclear missiles which could reach America it has submarines which could probably traverse the oceans to bring America within range of its nuclear weapons. It is bizarre that America helped to fund the acquisition of these subs for the Jews-only state.
As regards the vulnerability of the jews-only state because of its tiny size. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union was an unquestioned superpower which possessed a fairly efficient, but vastly powerful, military machine. The Jews-only state then acquired a tiny number of nuclear weapons – primarily to protect the conquests it had made over neighbouring Arab countries. However, even at that early stage, the Jews-only state was also planning to develop a nuclear capability to offset what seemed like the Soviet Union’s overwhelming nuclear superiority, “American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard obtained satellite-imaging data of the Soviet Union, allowing Israel to target accurately Soviet cities.” (Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army ‘The Third Temple’s Holy of Holies – Israel’s Nuclear Weapons’ The Counterproliferation Papers Future Warfare Series No. 2).
At that time, the Soviet Union may not have worried unduly about such a tiny nuclear threat from the Jews-only state. Since then, however, there has been a dramatic turn around in the relative power between the Jews-only state in Palestine and Russia. Such has been the calamitous political and economic decline of Russia, and the prodigious political and economic development of the Jews-only state that the latter is beginning to pose an increasingly serious threat to the former superpower. The existence of a Jews-only state with a plethora of powerful nuclear weapons on Russia’s doorstep has now gone far beyond the realms of a modern Cuban missile crisis in the Middle East. It’s a little difficult to credit it but basically a country with a mere six million people is getting closer to nuclear parity with a country of 120 million. Russia and the Jewish state are now in a sort of mad predicament. Russia would be highly unlikely to launch a nuclear attack against the Jews-only state because the Jews would retaliate causing large scale losses in Russia. However, this nuclear parity is deceptive. There is no equity between them so that in the maddest of situations, where the survival of one country or the other was at stake, the Russians have the upper hand. Russia could completely obliterate the Jews-only state making the country completely uninhabitable but the Jews-only state could not do this to Russia because of its vast size. True, it could make large parts of Russia uninhabitable but the Russian state and a substantial proportion of its population is almost certain to survive.
The irony of the situation in which the Jews-only state wants to become so powerful that even the U.S. will fear to challenge it, is that the Jews-only state in Palestine seems to be able to obtain almost any military technology it wants from successive American governments without America being in the slightest bit worried about the military implications for its own national security. With each transfer of military technology and military hardware, the Jews-only state becomes militarily stronger and thus more capable of striking a terrible blow to America. And yet since 1967, all American administrations have seemed perfectly willing to provide most types of military hardware and technology to the Jews-only state.
The dominance of Jewish interests over American interests could also be seen in 2003 when the ziocons pushed the Bush regime into a proxy zionist war against Iraq. The ziocons hoped this would be the first of many zionist proxy wars against anti-zionist Arab/Moslem countries – devastating each country in virtually the same way as the Jews-only state has devastated Palestinian society.
For the ziocons, America’s proxy zionist war against Iraq was intended to defeat a country which posed a minimal challenge to the regional dominance of the Jews-only state. They were not in the slightest bit concerned that America might struggle militarily against an Iraqi insurgency which was predicted not only by many civilian commentators but by many in the American military itself. The proxy zionist war against Iraq has ended up with America losing thousands of troops and suffering a huge financial strain on its economy. The zionists could not lose. The zionists would benefit if America was able to easily defeat Iraq, and the Moslem countries that aren’t subservient to the Jews only state, conversely, they would also benefit if America struggled to defeat such countries and ended up weaker, militarily and economically, than before. If the zionists manage to extract more military hardware and advanced military technology from the Americans during the occupation of Iraq this will continue the process of reducing the huge disparity in military power between themselves and America. By far and away the biggest reduction in the military disparity between the Jews-only state and America will occur if the zionists manage to develop, with or without America assistance, intercontinental nuclear missiles that could reach America. This will enable them to pose a considerable military threat to their main benefactor and protector.
The idea of the Jews-only state possessing nuclear missiles which could threaten America is not an issue which is discussed in America. It is politically impossible for Americans to discuss the nuclear threat from the Jews-only state because American politicians do not recognize the existence of the Jews-only state’s nuclear weapons. “The U.S. government has never acknowledged that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, even though the world knows otherwise, thanks to the whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu. (London Sunday Times, Oct. 5, 1986).
This is quite remarkable. Perhaps Americans are not concerned that yet another government is capable of launching nuclear missiles against their country. This seems to run counter to America’s national security and its national interests. Perhaps the reason why it has never become a political issue is because the American media and American politics is dominated by “Israel first” Jews who are not worried about America being threatened by the Jews-only state in Palestine. Even more amazing is that American politicians do not seem in the least bit bothered about the Jews-only state stealing American secrets or American military technology to help it develop nuclear missiles which could threaten America. But then again, America’s Christian evangelists spend more of their time supporting the Jews-only state in Palestine than they do defending their own country from the “Israel first” traitors stealing American technologies and threatening America’s security.
The critical question Americans need to reflect upon, while they are boosting Jewish supremacy in the Middle East, donating vast subsidies to the Jews-only state, and providing it with the world’s most sophisticated military technology, is whether it is in their interests to allow the Jews-only state to develop nuclear weapons that could reach America. Given Jewish dominance of the media it is highly likely the zionists will continue to keep the topic a part of the wide range of taboos. If America continues to help the Jews-only state acquire inter-continental wmds without discussing the political and military implications for American security this is a clear indication of zionist control over American politics. This leads to the conclusion that the Jews-only state in Palestine has colonized America and is currently treating it as a resource for its own benefit. There could be no clearer example of Jewish domination of the West than America’s willingness to implement the foreign policies of another country, the Jews-only state in Palestine, and its failure to defend itself against its Jewish colonisers.
“The colonization of American government will only end with creation of a real fifty state democracy in the U.S.A. , which could help bring about a real one state democracy in Palestine. Unfortunately, anything less will mean much more pain and suffering, possibly of epic proportions. And not only in Palestine, and not only for Jews.”
“The zionist power configuration’s primary loyalty is to the state of Israel and its policy is designed to colonize the US congress… to the benefit of the ‘mother country’, Israel ”
— James Petras
Petras addresses a problem rarely discussed, except in whispers ; unquestioned support for Israel . He mentions congress, but the executive has also been “colonized”. Major party candidates, whether bowing before the American Israel lobby in Washington or praying before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, are evidence enough. The dominance of this “Zionist Power Configuration” is a very serious problem for Americans who remain generally unaware of its existence.
That power bloc has great control of government and media as well, and its political organizations bring enormous pressure on publications or individuals expressing criticism of Israel, quickly labeled anti -Semitism. If that criticism extends to questioning some aspects of the nazi persecution of jews, made even more horrible with constant repetition, they are labeled holocaust deniers. This heresy not only endangers individual freedoms, but the fate of nations , as the case of Ahmadinejad and Iran clearly shows.
America’s global position has establishment groups battling for control of foreign policy . Sectors of the old white anglo saxon protestant (WASP ) ruling class see dedication to the Jewish state endangering empire and are in a struggle with the newer Jewish power bloc. This clash of political mafias will hardly bring peace , but it has already brought out much about the previously unmentionable. Support for a colonial state that brutalizes its native population enough to shock survivors of South African apartheid can only continue with americans kept in complete ignorance.
Under a propaganda regime that depicts innocent Jews savageded by evil Palestinians, the U.S. massively finances and arms the Jewish state, while destroying other middle eastern countries on its behalf. Jewish persecution of Palestinians is somehow deemed acceptable because nazis persecuted jews. This illogical and morally degenerate policy has colonials settling where they believe they originated – with no evidence save mythology – and calling themselves semitic natives, while the semitic people who’ve lived there for centuries are expelled, made refugees , and called anti-semite terrorists when they resist.
This would be the ultimate black comedy if it were not so dangerous to all humanity. Israel is run by some seriously disturbed people ; we are not dealing with an individual nut case waving an ax, but with leaders of a state waving nuclear weapons – which nobody is supposed to know they have – and motivated by a cultural narrative which has it that everyone not jewish is ultimately dedicated to murdering everyone who is jewish .
A long history of suffering , both real and legendary , culminated in the dreadful nazi treatment of Jews in the 20th century, a terrible event that has become the fundamentalist holocaust religion. Its existential notion of pending doom has created a movement to destroy critics of any tenets of the faith. Such “thought crimes” can lead to social ostracism, professional failure and prison . For the zionists, the Jewish holocaust religion and the Jewish secular state are joined in necessity and meaning; one does not exist without the other, making it all the more difficult for reason, humanity or democracy to function when dealing with such contradictory fundamentalism .
The Zionist movement originating in a 19th century desire for a national jewish homeland has evolved into a belief that biblical mythology “proves” European jewish origins in Palestine. Religious freedom allows belief in any imaterialism we wish, even that the tooth fairy is responsible for modern dentistry. But when such mythology becomes the foundation for national policy, we are lowered to the mental status of primitive apes, but physically wielding nuclear weapons of mass destruction and not harmless war clubs.
How can americans tolerate this in the midst of a severe economic crisis and while carrying a colossal and growing debt which can never be paid? Only under mind management that convinces us all our problems originate outside America, and that Israel is our most important ally . An individual believing such nonsense would be judged insane and institutionalized. Our society is programed to treat delusions as real, lies as the truth, and psychotic behavior as evidence of mental health .
Once the Zionists achieved the destruction of Iraq their focus became Iran, with the most incredible claims fed to a public about that nation’s leader and policies. Ahmadinejad, having sinned against the holocaust religion by hosting a conference on that untouchable topic, has been transformed into a demonic monster who threatens Americans and Jews everywhere. He is called a nuclear madman who will exterminate Israel, based on a repeatedly twisted quote and oblivious of the facts of thousands of jews living quite well in Iran. But the zionist bloc brings us closer to war, writing belligerent legislation aimed at Iran and getting it rubber stamped by hundreds of its colony in the American, not Israeli, congress.
Tales of the Iranian threat stem from the same feverish source of psychotic fears and supernatural beliefs that transform Israel from a nightmare for Palestinians into a theme park for Jews . It is more vital then ever that we put a stop to this madness, but electing a new member of the colonized population to the presidency, whether in the USA or Palestine, will not make a substantial difference. Rather than minor change at the top , we need major democratic action by the whole population for a peaceful solution.
The colonization of American government will only end with creation of a real fifty state democracy in the U.S.A. , which could help bring about a real one state democracy in Palestine. Unfortunately, anything less will mean much more pain and suffering, possibly of epic proportions. And not only in Palestine, and not only for Jews.
GEORGIA IS A BUST, TIME TO DESTROY PAKISTAN
US, Pak army chiefs discuss Taliban
Fri, 29 Aug 2008 06:14:40 GMT
More than 70,000 US-led troops are active in Afghanistan.
The top US and Pakistani military officials have met to discuss strategies to contain the growing Taliban threats along the Pak-Afghan border.
The officials met on an American aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean to discuss growing militancy along Afghan border.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen who led the US side to the talks, said that Pakistan military chief General Ashfaq Kayani had stepped up operations to flush out Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who were using the border area as a staging point for attacks in Afghanistan.
Mullen told reporters at a Pentagon briefing on Thursday that he welcomed recent Pakistani military action in the violence-plagued tribal areas but said both Pakistan and the United States needed to do more to shore up security.
“(Kayani) is moving in that direction. I’m pleased that he’s moving in that direction and that he is actually operating. Kayani is undertaking operations that were not ongoing a few months ago,” the admiral said, adding “We have got to figure out how to get at this problem.”
“I came away from the meeting very encouraged that the focus is where it needs to be,” he said.
The meeting on a US aircraft carrier in the Indian Ocean was the fifth between Mullen and Kayani and took place amid mounting US concerns about insurgent violence in Afghanistan.
Kayani led the Pakistani team to the talks among the top military brass. Also in attendance were US Commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus, who takes over responsibility for the Middle East and South Asia next month; top NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen. David McKiernan; US special operations chief Eric Olson and Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is currently in charge of the Middle East and South Asia region.
The meeting also followed attacks on a major US military base in the southeast of Afghanistan and the combat deaths of 10 French elite troops. Last week, at least 10 suicide bombers staged a coordinated attack on one of the largest American military bases in the country. Also, about 100 insurgents ambushed and killed 10 elite French paratroopers in what was seen as the Taliban’s most complex and audacious attacks of the war since 2001.
US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan face an intensifying insurgency, especially in eastern regions of the country where troops have clashed with highly skilled fighters that US officials say are based at Taliban and al Qaeda safe havens across the border in Pakistan.
There are now nearly 70,000 US-led soldiers in Afghanistan to fight a Taliban-led insurgency. But the violence has mounted year by year, with about 50 percent more unrest in some areas this year as compared with 2007, according to NATO commanders.
The Bush adminestration’s concerns have deepened about the ability of nuclear-armed Pakistan to confront militants in its northwestern tribal regions, with US ally Pervez Musharraf no longer in office as president and political squabbles paralyzing the country’s civilian government.
Political experts say Washington has now focused their attentions on the Pakistani powerful army.
The Black Sea is the back yard of three big players Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Syria’s Assad has been billed as the first Arab leader to publicly support the Russians. And that was after nearly two weeks.
Is Turkey going to surprise the world? And continue to refuse the Americans? Is there is a pax Russia unfolding? And Ukraine for all its vitriol to Russia, transports about 90% of the Russian gas that goes to Western Europe. So there is clearly some interdependency between these 2 Black Sea neighbours. And if Georgia ends up a Russian dependency then Turkey is beholden to Russia for the BTC pipeline.
Public sentiment in Turkey for the US is still at rock bottom because of Iraq.
The President of Iran has just visited Turkey for two days against Israels objections.
It was in Turkey that the BTC pipeline was blown up, a few days before Georgia attacked, and a few days after Kazakhstan agreed to send its oil to Russia and not through the BTC pipeline. The Kurds claimed the sabotage, the Turks officially denied it was sabotage. If western agents had a hand in this might the Turks be upset? Their intelligence service knows what happened. As do the Russians, the Iranians and Israelis.
Are the Turks saying no to the Neocons?
This would P A N I C the Israelis, in fact Syria’s president visited Turkey this month, and Syria’s Interior Minister visited Turkey yesterday while Syria’s president Assad was in Moscow.
US in talks with Turkey for Straits passage of its naval vessels
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Lawmaker and analyst blasts Turkey for ‘not allowing a Georgia mission of U.S. hospital ships,’ whose passage into Black Sea would violate the straits convention. If Russia gains control of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, it will be a blow on world energy markets, McCain warns
Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that the United States had a general plan to send two hospital ships, the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, to the Georgian coast for the planned humanitarian aid operation.A U.S. news report suggested at the weekend that Turkey had denied passage through the Black Sea to the two ships; quoting an unnamed State Department official as saying that “Turkey was not helpful.”According to the Montreux Convention of 1936, which governs the traffic of military ships to the Black Sea through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, the number of naval ships from such states cannot, at any given time, exceed nine. In addition, the total displacement, or weight, of those military ships cannot exceed 45,000 tons. But according to official U.S. data, the USNS Mercy’s and the USNS Comfort’s tonnages both exceeded 69,000 tons, making them ineligible for passage to the Black Sea.
Ariel Cohen, a Russian expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative “think tank” in the United States, also criticized Turkey for the hospital ships, expressing the view that “Turkey is our NATO ally and, as a friend of Georgia, in my view, should have been more supportive of their Georgian neighbors and of their American allies” He continued, “And this brings back the bad taste of Turkey, for example, barring American troops from going into Iraq through Turkish ports and Turkish territory in 2003 – a step that vastly damaged the Turkish- American relations. I’d hoped we were putting that behind us.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The first U.S. military ship carrying humanitarian aid for Georgia is headed to the Black Sea after loading the supplies from a port in Crete on Wednesday, according to U.S. Navy officials.
A woman sweeps her tent at a camp for refugees, many from the South Ossetia region, in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The destroyer USS McFaul is one of two ships the Navy will use to transport the aid because the two Ships had permission from Turkey to transit into the Black Sea before the conflict between Georgia and Russia began, according to U.S. Navy officials. Source CNN
3 Responses to “Turkey is refusing US naval ships access to Georgia via the Black Sea!”
Signs of Turkish and German sympathy for the Russians regarding Georgia.
There is a long list of statements and military cooperation to show Turkish and German solidarity with NATO,There are also some incongruous happenings;
The Turkish President has put a hitherto banned in Turkey documentary on Russian Turkish solidarity on his web site:
And Germany’s Der Speigel has an interview with Ex President of Georgia Shevardnadze, which reads like, ‘wouldn’t he make a wonderful replacement for Shakasvilli’.
There is also a report from South Ossetia in Der Speigel showing how S. Ossetia was never really part of Georgia, few people speak Georgian, and (a sympathy arousing) how the brave youth fought the Georgian Tanks with kalashnikovs, and that was after Shakasvilli on August 7th promised peace.
As stated above Merkel is also quoted in Der Speigel as saying Russia will now be punished with possible isolation for recognizing the breakaway territories. Perhaps this was obligatory.
Certainly Der Speigel reliably reflects German Government thinking.
And Turkey’s navy is currently cooperating in a naval exercise with Israel and the US in the Mediterranean.
Although very quiet now, it does not seem that Turkey has authorized any new passages for large US ships.
See recent article about Turkey refusing Naval passage on this blog.
Banned film on president’s Web site – Sabah newspaper
A documentary film titled “Turkey’s Heart Ankara, “filmed in 1934 by Russian filmmakers upon Ataturk’s request but pulled from broadcast by the Turkish Radio and Television Broadcast Corporation, or TRT, in 1969 with then TRT Director Adnan Öztrak saying the production “was only appropriate viewing for Moscow,” has now been made available for viewing on the presidency’s Web site.
Also see (August 21) Turkey is refusing US naval ships access to Georgia via the Black Sea/
The documentary, which emphasizes Turkish-Soviet solidarity during the Turkish War of Independence, also gives broad coverage to the ceremonies commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Republic’s founding.
“Turkey’s Heart Ankara” boasts not only the famous 10th anniversary anthem but also The Internationale, the communist anthem, in a segment about Soviet Defense Minister Kliment Jefremovics Voroşilov’s visit to Turkey.
By LEONARD PELTIER
28/08/08 “Counterpunch” — – I have watched with keen interest and renewed hope as your campaign has mobilized millions of Americans behind your message of changing a political system that serves a small economic elite at the expense of the peoples of the United States and the world. Your election as president of the United States, where slaves and Indians were long considered less than human under the law, will undoubtedly constitute a historic moment in race relations in the United States.
Yet symbolism alone will not bring about change. Our young people, black and Native alike, suffer from police brutality and racial profiling, underfunded schools, and discrimination in employment and housing. I sincerely hope your campaign will inspire some hope among our youth to struggle for a better future. I am, however, concerned that your recent statement on the Sean Bell verdict, in which the New York police officers who fired 50 shots at a young man on the eve of his wedding were acquitted of criminal charges, displays a rather myopic view of the law. Until the law is harnessed to protect the victims of state violence and racism, it will serve as an instrument of repression, just as the slave codes functioned to sustain and legitimize an inhuman institution.
As I can testify from experience, the legal institutions of this nation are far from racial and political neutrality. When judges align with the repressive actions and policies of the executive branch, injustice is rationalized and cloaked in judicial platitudes. As you may know, I have now served more than three decades of my life as a political prisoner of the federal government for a crime I did not commit. I have served more time than the maximum sentence under the guidelines under which I was sentenced, yet my parole is continually denied (on the rare occasions when I am afforded a hearing) because I refuse to falsely confess. Amnesty International, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, my Guatemalan sister Rigoberta Menchu, and many of your friends and supporters have recognized me as a political prisoner and called for my immediate release. Millions of people around the world view me as a symbol of injustice against the indigenous peoples of this land, and I have no doubt that I will go down in history as one of a long line of victims of U.S. government repression, along with Sacco and Vanzetti, the Haymarket Square martyrs, Eugene Debs, Bill Haywood, and others targeted by for their political beliefs. But neither I nor my people can afford to wait for history to rectify the crimes of the past.
As a member of the American Indian Movement, I came to the Pine Ridge Oglala reservation to defend the traditional people there from human rights violations carried out by tribal police and goon squads backed by the FBI and the highest offices of the federal government. Our symbolic occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 inspired Indians across the Americas to struggle for their freedom and treaty rights, but it was also met by a fierce federal siege and a wave of violent repression on Pine Ridge. In 1974, AIM leader Russell Means campaigned for tribal chairman while being tried by the federal government for his role at Wounded Knee. Although Means was barred from the reservation by decree of the U.S.-client regime of Richard Wilson, he won the popular vote, only to be denied office by extensive vote fraud and control of the electoral mechanisms. Wilson’s goons proceeded to shoot up pro-Means villages such as Wanblee and terrorize traditional supporters throughout the reservation, killing at least 60 people between 1973 and 1975.
It is long past time for a congressional investigation to examine the degree of federal complicity in the violent counterinsurgency that followed the occupation of Wounded Knee. The tragic shootout that led to the deaths of two FBI agents and one Native man also led not only to my false conviction, but also the termination of the Church Committee, which was investigating abuses by federal intelligence and law enforcement agents, before it could hold hearings on FBI infiltration of AIM. Despite decades of attempts by my attorneys to obtain government documents related to my case, the FBI continues to withhold thousands of documents that might tend to exonerate me or reveal compromising evidence of judicial collusion with the prosecution.
I truly believe the truth will set me free, but it will also signify a symbolic break from America’s undeclared war on indigenous peoples. I hope and pray that you possess the courage and integrity to seek out the truth and the wisdom to recognize the inherent right of all peoples to self-determination, as acknowledged by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. While your statements on federal Indian policy sound promising, your vision of “one America” has an ominous ring for Native peoples struggling to define their own national visions. If freed from colonial constraints and external intervention, indigenous nations might well serve as functioning models of the freedom and democracy to which the United States aspires.
Yours in the struggle.
Until freedom is won,
P.O. Box 1000,
Lewisburg, PA USA 17837
By Cynthia McKinney
28/08/08 “ICH” — – Our country has been hijacked and the Democrats have proven themselves to have been in on the plan. When it came to the Constitution, the Democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us was more important to them than protecting our civil liberties.
When it came to war and occupation, the Democratic leadership showed us that financing an illegal and immoral war, based on lies, was more important to them than the people’s desire for peace.
And when the people, hurting from the financial mismanagement of this country, called for accountability for the crimes that have been committed against the people here, against the global community, against nature, itself, the Democratic leadership took impeachment off the table!
Grassroots Democratic Party activists want a livable wage! A “Medicare-for-all” type of health care system, repeal of the Bush tax cuts that have ushered in the greatest income inequality in this country since the Great Depression. But the Democratic Party has shown itself to be incapable of providing even a semblance of the values even of its own activists.
The Democratic Party’s national leadership didn’t even mention Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the first 100 days.
The Democratic Party’s national leadership gave us the Iran Naval Blockade bill, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and telecom immunity. They continue to fund war and occupation to the tune of $720 million a day while our children graduate from college tens–or even hundreds–of thousands of dollars in debt. Entire cities are going into receivership while the Democratic leadership in Congress gives the Pentagon one half trillion dollars annually with no accountability, no strings attached. That’s over and above spending for war.
Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are the hallmarks of the new U.S. gulag Democrats are helping to create.
They want us to believe that China and Russia are our enemies, in addition to the 60 countries on Dick Cheney’s list. They want us to believe that workers, who come to this country to support thier families after Democratic leadership in the country saddl3ed workers with NAFTA, are our enemies. But we are here today to declare that we know who the real enemies are: those false patriots that George Washington warned us of, who wrap themselves in the flag while betraying our values.
We are the true patriots!
We know that the strength of this country lies in the way it countenances dissent. And we are here to dissent. We are not deterred by reports of sleek, new detention facilities or recently-acquired taser guns that kill. For we come to dissent in peace. Indeed, we dissent for peace.
Today, we declare our independence from conformity and “go-along-to-get-along” politics. We declare our willingness to be radical in pursuit of peace and in our hunger for justice. We can see clearly now who the real stickup artists are and that’s why we’re in Denver!
Our actions here this week begin the disarming of the hijackers. We no longer are afraid. And we won’t be deceived. We know that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for more war in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.
But today, we are now free.
Free to stand on the four pillars guiding our political engagement: environmental wisdom, peace, grassroots democratcy, and social justice. And finally, we know our power. We know the power of the people. We know that true power rests in the hands of the people. People who are willing to take a stand.
We need look no further than Haiti, Code,I’voire, Spain, and India to see the power of the people at the ballot box. No further than Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Paraguay to know that if they can do it, so can we.
Provided our elections are fair!
And if the Democrats cave in, in the face of fraud, disfranchisement, and theft, then we will be there to demand election integrity!
All over this country, the signs are there. People from New York to Florida, Washington State to California, Colorado to Texas are liberating themselves. We must not stop! Our country is worth it! Let’s take our country back! Power to the People!
Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party’s nominee for president.
of the Fearful
By Dave Lindorff
28/08/08 “ICH” — – I was a speaker last night at an anti-war event sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, Progressive Democrats of America and Democrats For America in Lincroft, NJ, near the shore. It was a great group of activist Americans who want to see this country end the Iraq War, turn away from war as a primary instrument of policy, and start dealing with the pressing human needs of the country and the world.
Yet even in this group of committed people, one woman stood up during the question-and-answer session and said, “I want to get involved in writing emails to members of Congress urging them to cut off funding for the war and other things, but if I do that won’t I end up getting put on a “watch list'” or something?”
I told her the short answer was yes, she probably would. In George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s America, no one is safe from such spying, and even from harassment, as witness Tom Feeley, the man behind the website Information Clearing House, who had armed men invade his house at night and threaten his wife complaining about his First Amendment-protected effort to publicize important stories on the Internet.
But I also told her that it didn’t matter. She should defend her freedom of speech and her right to petition for redress of grievances, just as she was defending her freedom of assembly by attending last night’s event.
The only demonstrably true statement George Bush has made in his sorry eight years in office is that the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper.” While it wasn’t the point he was making, when he reportedly shouted this at a couple of Republican members of Congress who were questioning the constitutionality of some of his actions, he was right that the nation’s founding document is only worth the parchment and ink it’s composed of, unless people use it and defend it.
There is a remarkable and palpable fear abroad in this land-not a fear of terrorism, but a fear of speaking up, a fear of being labeled as “different” or as a “troublemaker.”
People will lean over and whisper their opinions, if they think they are anti-Establishment, as though someone might be listening. People write me after some of my columns run, praising me for my “courage,” though why it should be perceived as requiring courage to merely write something in America is beyond me.
The worst thing is that every time someone says she or he is afraid, or acts afraid to speak or write what she or he is thinking, five more acquaintances become equally scared and silenced.
The corollary, though, is that each time someone forgets or ignores or rejects that fear, five people gain courage the do the same thing.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t people monitoring, and reporting on, what we say. I know our government is busy doing that. I assume that my Internet activities are being monitored by the National Security Agency. I assume my phones are tapped. I assume there was some agent or informant among the fine people at the church last night. But these Stasi wannabes have no power if we don’t let them frighten us into silence and inaction.
What I find discouraging is the widespread acceptance, even on the left, of this effort to intimidate us, and the pervasive attitude of fear that has grown up around us. I spent a year and a half living in a truly fascistic society in China, where there are real, concrete threats to life and liberty faced by those who stand up and say what they are thinking, and yet sometimes I think that ordinary people I met in China were braver about stating their minds than many, or even most Americans are. I’m not talking here about saying things like that you think the Post Office is dysfunctional, or that you think federal bureaucrats are corrupt or that taxes are too high. I’m talking about questioning the system, or challenging the war, or protesting military spending. Chinese people would tell me all the time that the Chinese Communist Party was a corrupt gang of thugs or that you could not get justice in a Chinese court. Chinese people are closing down factories that short them on their pay. They have rallied in the thousands and burned down police stations when corrupt police have raped, killed and then covered up the death of a young girl. They have marched in massive impromptu protests at the theft of their homes through eminent domain.
If you want to see where we’re headed here in America, check out the workplace. There, we Americans have, through years of collective cowardice and unwillingness to stand together in organized labor unions, allowed our constitutional freedoms to be almost completely erased. Today, an American workplace is more akin to a police state than to a democratic society. Say what you’re thinking on the job, and you’re liable to lose it. Wear a shirt that says something the boss disagrees with, and you either remove that shirt or you are unemployed. Even that final refuge of free speech, the bumper sticker, can get workers in trouble if the wrong one shows up in the company parking lot. That loss of will and of freedom has in no small way contributed to the loss of jobs and the decline in living standards of American workers.
It’s time for all of us to put a stop to this creeping usurpation of our liberties.
The anxious woman who asked her question came up to me after the meeting and said proudly that she would not be afraid, and would start signing on to protest letter-writing and emailing campaigns.
We need lots more like her.
YouTube video shows Georgian tanks attacking Tskhinvali
New footage of the first days of the Georgian attack on South Osettia has made its way onto the internet. The images on YouTube depict the early stages of the military aggression on the capital Tskhinval, which began three weeks ago.
A person is heard speaking Georgian and giving orders to the tanks.
He is saying: “Aim at the roofs and set the houses on fire. Use ammunition supplies sparingly. Choose your targets and take two to three shots.”
MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin prompted an angry reaction from Washington on Thursday after suggesting the Georgia conflict may have been provoked to give an advantage to “one of” the U.S. presidential candidates.
“If my guess is right, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US deliberately created this conflict in order to worsen the situation and create an advantage… for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States,” Putin said on CNN.
The White House dismissed the allegation as “patently false.”
“To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate – it sounds not rational,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said.
The Democratic Party’s candidate in November’s presidential election is Senator Barack Obama, and the Republicans are expected to nominate Senator John McCain at their convention next week.
McCain was widely judged by the U.S. media to have come out of the Georgia conflict looking like an old hand, while Obama is seen as lacking foreign-policy experience. McCain told a campaign crowd in the state of Pennsylvania as fighting raged in Georgia that, “We are all Georgians now.”
The Russian premier also told CNN that Moscow had hoped the United States would step into the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict and stop Georgia attacking South Ossetia.
“We expected the U.S. to intervene in the conflict and stop the aggressive actions of the Georgian leadership,” Putin said, adding that the inability of the U.S. to stop Georgia from attacking South Ossetia had damaged bilateral relations.
Russia officially recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Tuesday, despite Western warnings not to do so, saying the move was needed to protect the regions following Georgia’s August 8 attack on the South Ossetia.
The other seven members of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations have condemned Russia’s decision to recognize the two regions, while calling on Moscow to withdraw its troops from Georgia.
The current standoff, in which ties between NATO and Russia have been frozen, has sparked media speculation that Russia could be ousted from the G8, but the joint statement from the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany and Italy avoided any hint of such a move. British Foreign Minister David Miliband stressed Wednesday that there were no such plans.
The 2008 Bilderberg Conference (est. 1954) was held in Chantilly, Virginia from June 5th to the 8th. Bilderberg “comprises around 200 top elitists in government, banking, business, media and academia who meet annually in semi-secrecy and manipulate the world, yet are subject to little or no mainstream media scrutiny”, as described in recent coverage on Prisonplanet.com. Bilderberg is a summit of shadowy organizations and clearly violates the 1799 Logan Act restricting unauthorized US citizens from negotiating foreign affairs. Among those who gather are mainstream media owners, war-criminal-extraordinaire Henry Kissinger (still guiding policy in the White House), Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, disgraced former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and elitist David Rockefeller, among many others from across the globe.
Rockefeller alone illustrates how much power is wielded by these men who are exempt from our laws. Bill Moyers described Rockefeller as “the unelected if indisputable chairman of the American Establishment… one of the most powerful, influential and richest men in America… the hub of a vast network of financiers, industrialists and politicians whose reach encircles the globe.” David Rockefeller founded the Trilateral Commission when he chaired the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The Trilateral Commission envisions world government composed of three global sectors. Co-founders Greenspan and Volcker both became Federal Reserve Chairmen! Presidents Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, and Carter were also part of the Trilateral Commission. Groups such as these preempt our constitution.
Some believe the presidential race covered by the corporate media is of importance. American political contests and those worldwide are footnotes of Bilderberg’s power and the media is absolutely corrupted (look up “left gatekeepers” on Google Images and read Ben Bagdikian’s “Media Monopoly”). Politicians are merely a means to an end, a New World Order, which is inscribed on our dollar bills as “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM.” CNN’s Raw Story covered Obama’s press entourage being duped into flying to Chicago, thinking Obama was on board. An outraged press was notified during takeoff and then Obama’s spokesperson denied intentionally deceiving them to protect a “private meeting.” Meanwhile, Obama flew into Northern Virginia, coincidentally while Bilderberg was taking place. It’s no secret Obama rendezvoused with Mrs. Clinton that night.
Elitist Jim Johnson (CFR, Trilateralist and Bilderberger) has been charged with selecting Obama’s running mate after leading Kerry’s search for a running mate in 2004, as covered by the NY Times. No surprise that election was rigged, since Kerry and Bush Jr. are Skull and Bones members. This explains Kerry quickly conceding the election despite massive voter disenfranchisement in Ohio, as reported by Greg Palast.
Media manipulation is no surprise when groups like CFR have founding missions to “guide” American public opinion, now updated to “inform.” Distorting our view of the world invites justification for madness. Founded by Rockefeller, Warburg and JP Morgan, CFR is intent on creating “a world system of financial control, in private hands… to dominate the political system of each country, and the economy of the world as a whole,” as revealed by Professor Carroll Quigley (who authored Tragedy and Hope) through CFR’s internal documents. CFR’s roster includes VP Dick Cheney and the California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed (since 1987). These men, as members of previously mentioned groups, hold allegiances that undermine the free will of the people. Cheney chuckled at a CFR dinner that he concealed his membership from voters. “Secrecy,” as JFK noted, “is repugnant in a free and open society,” Cheney thinks its amusing.
Skull and Bones (est. 1832) is a secret society from Yale University. This Faustian Fraternity was founded by William Russell after visiting Germany’s Illuminati (est. 1776, University of Ingolstadt). The Russell family fortune originated from the infamous opium trades before Big Pharma doped up the masses. The British East India Company made massive riches from opium and spice trades; Elihu Yale, for whom Yale University was named, served them as well. This company was the owner of property destroyed during the Boston Tea Party in 1773, an unquestioningly pivotal event in fomenting revolution from Britain.
Thomas Jefferson knew “if a nation expects to be ignorant and free… it expects what never was and never will be,” so learn the truth, it will set you free. Can you take on the task of unshackling yourself and your family from the matrix of power? The game is rigged and as Americans, we should take no part in this corrupt charade. Whether you entertain the enormity of coordinated conspiracies or not, these power circles ultimately exist. Research the content of this yourself, do your homework, what you find will be shocking and urgent for you to understand. Alex Jones’s “Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement” on Google Video and lectures from Jordan Maxwell, Alan Watt and John Taylor Gatto are useful resources. The world is a stage, will you continue to spectate or become one of the actors?
SCO backs Moscow against West
Thu, 28 Aug 2008 14:23:43 GMT
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has supported Russia’s peacekeeping mission in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia.
The organization’s member states however reiterated that any solution to the dispute over the region should be based on the principle of territorial integrity, the Russia Today reported.
“Unfortunately, we have to state that attempts are being made to secure certain interests using force, not the principles of strict observance of international law and denial of confrontational bloc thinking,” Medvedev told the SCO summit in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe.
“A fine example of such irresponsible criminal actions is Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia. It is well-known who connived with the Georgian authorities and even incited them, pursuing their own profit. Such behavior is unacceptable and should be stopped. In such an extreme situation, we remained reserved and continued our responsible and predictable policy,” he added.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed hope on Thursday that the united position of the organization would send a signal to” those who try to turn black into white.”
Leaders from the countries convened in Dushanbe as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional group founded in 2001 to balance NATO influence in the Central Asia region.
The West has strongly opposed Russia’s military action in Georgia this month and Medvedev’s decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country holds the presidency of the European Union, earlier said the bloc was considering sanctions against Moscow.
But Russia criticized the West for agitating the Black Sea region and warned attempts to isolate Moscow could lead to an economic backlash.
Moscow remains wary of a growing NATO naval presence in the Black Sea, accusing the West of using aid shipments as a cover for rearming Georgia’s shattered forces after Russia responded to Georgia’s military action against the province of South Ossetia.
“Certainly some measures of precaution are being taken,” said a spokesman for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov. “It’s not a common practice to deliver humanitarian aid using battleships.”
Peskov stressed such attempts by Western states against his oil-rich country would “definitely harm the economic interests of those states.”
China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, however, voiced support for Russia’s ‘active role’ in resolving the conflict in Georgia.
By Dana Milbank
Al-Jazeera’s presence wasn’t appreciated by some residents, including James Morris, left. Golden’s mayor at first invited the Al-Jazeera crew to a cookout, then withdrew the offer.
GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 27 Deep divisions, bad feelings. Tensions that threaten to boil over during this week’s gathering in Colorado.
The Obama-Clinton feud at the Democratic National Convention? Well, yes, but that’s happening 13 miles to the east of here, in Denver. The fight in Golden is between the townsfolk of this quaint Western hamlet and al-Jazeera English, which is trying to broadcast from here during the convention.
It started innocently enough: Qatar-based al-Jazeera decided it would film the locals in Golden, the home of Coors beer, as they watched the convention from a biker bar Wednesday night. This would allow al-Jazeera’s viewers to see Bill Clinton and Joe Biden through the eyes of those in a small American town that could pass as a set for a Hollywood Western.
City leaders at first offered to host a pork-free barbecue for the Jazeera crew, then abandoned that plan when angry residents protested. But the Buffalo Rose, a 150-year-old saloon here catering to bikers, offered to let al-Jazeera broadcast from its bar.
The result: a sort of 21st-century shootout at the O.K. Corral on Wednesday night under the shadow of Lookout Mountain, where Buffalo Bill is buried.
Word spread that three rival biker gangs — the Sons of Silence, the Banditos and the Hell’s Angels — declared a truce for the night so they could meet at the Buffalo Rose in a united protest against al-Jazeera. But the network stood its ground and set up its cameras.
Across the street from the bar, two dozen protesters under the watchful eye of a statue of Adolph Coors waved American flags, blew air horns and revved motorcycle engines. “Al Jazeera is terrorism,” announced one sign. “Go home, Al Jazeera — Voices for al Qaeda and bin Laden,” proclaimed another. The protesters had shirts printed up for the occasion, saying “Buffalo Rose/Tokyo Rose” in English and Arabic, although they botched the Arabic translation.
One biker covered his T-shirt in thoughtful, handwritten messages, such as “Islam Sucks” and “Al-Jazeera: Anti-American Pond Scum.”
“Al-Jazeera is the No. 1 propaganda machine for the enemies we fight,” growled Mick Woodworth, a Navy veteran of the Iraq war. “They support terrorism,” he said, and the mostly American al-Jazeera crew in Golden “are traitors to the United States of America.”
Across the street, a smaller group of Golden residents lined up in a counterprotest. A bunch of right-wing fanatics, grumbled one. Buffalo Rose owner Murray Martinez, a biker himself with long hair and a chin beard, folded his arms across his chest. “They think I’m bringing in terrorists to launch a jihad in the little town of Golden,” he scoffed.
The Golden police manned the rooftops around the bar. Inside the bar, the al-Jazeera crew sat idly while the overhead television flashed scenes of the Democratic convention, where Barack Obama was being nominated for president by acclamation. Nobody was watching.
The regulars at Buffalo Rose took the Qatari invasion, and the demonstration, in stride. “Al-Jazeera? Is he here? Where is he?” inquired Travis Henry, sipping a Bud Light.
Golden, a gold-rush town of 18,000, was a too-good-to-be-true locale for al-Jazeera. Across the main drag in town is an arch announcing: “Howdy Folks!” The smell of brewing beer is in the air, and a large sculpture of a buffalo stands outside the Buffalo Rose.
The leader of this would-be terrorist cell: al-Jazeera’s Josh Rushing, a Texas-born Marine veteran who wears blue jeans and cowboy boots. “I guess you could call it a mild jihad for the truth,” said Rushing, sipping a latte. Wearily, he added, “This isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened.”
Al-Jazeera, like Fox News, bills itself as a straight-news outlet, but others, including the Bush administration, accuse it of an anti-American bias; it also seems to have first dibs on all of Osama bin Laden’s videotapes when al-Qaeda chooses to release them.
City Manager Mike Bestor, before he rescinded his barbecue offer, called the al-Jazeera visit a way to “show Arab viewers what Americans are like.” For better or worse, Golden seems to be doing just that.
Townsfolk raised such objections at last week’s city council meeting that the city manager rescinded the barbecue offer, but others rushed to the network’s defense, including Steve Stevens, who wrote to a local e-mail list offering to host the al-Jazeera barbecue: “My home is (1) a zero carbon home; (2) a Museum of Net Zero Carbon Transportation; (3) a Victorian Bicycle Museum . . . I will cook the Bar-B-Que in the 2 Solar Ovens.”
“I’m welcoming to any international visitors coming to visit us in peace,” explained Stevens, wearing Uncle Sam attire and riding one of his Victorian bicycles outside of Buffalo Rose.
But that wasn’t the majority view Wednesday night in downtown Golden.
Inside the Buffalo Rose, the Al-Jazeera crew was filming the locals watching Bill Clinton’s convention speech. Outside, Woodworth, the Navy veteran, circled the block in a pickup truck, honking the horn and trailing an American flag.
A man with dark skin drove by and looked curiously at the fracas. “Go back to your own country,” a biker shouted at him.
Buffalo Rose owner Martinez, who said he received death threats for hosting Al-Jazeera, responded by tacking the First Amendment to a pillar outside the bar and directing his staff to wear the “Buffalo Rose/Tokyo Rose” T-shirts the protesters made.
“They’re doing it strictly on emotion,” he said as he watched the flag-wavers across the street. “They only support the First Amendment for people who see things their way.” Martinez said something else, but a protester’s air horn drowned out the words.
George Bush, with the clock ticking down the last months of his presidency, nearly started yet another war that might have escalated in the manner of World War I: a diplomatic failure backed by arms that resulted in a superpower clash.
It is a wonder that the world has survived his “war on terror,” which turned out to be a war on American liberty and anyone in the world who got on his nerves. His confrontation with Russia in defense of a belligerent little client state of the US could have sealed his fate and ours too.
We need to examine Bush’s actions and see how the US nearly stumbled into a calamity. For in the last weeks, we have gained a picture of the future with this continued push for a secure American world empire with its endless webs of payments, relationships, jockeying for power and treasure, and a diplomatic corps honeycombed with belligerents and lobbyists for foreign governments. The peace, such as it is, can be shattered through small screwups that will end in massive death.
Make no mistake about it: the flare-up was caused entirely by US diplomatic failures. You wouldn’t know this, however, if all you did was watch television news. Fox and CNN have portrayed Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili as a benevolent leader of a “young democracy” struggling in the shadow of the mighty bear Russia.
In fact, Saakashvili was elected on a “National Movement” ticket with a centralizing, revanchist platform of retaking the autonomous provinces in the Caucasus, and he has ruled this country the size of South Carolina with an iron fist under a state of emergency for years. He had every intention of ruling these non-Georgian peoples who do not want to be ruled by him, as even the CIA admits. As for his domestic program, it has consisted mostly of cracking down on tax evasion and beefing up state coffers.
After smashing the province Ajaria in 2004 following his rigged election, and then crushing Kodori Gorge in Abhkazia (which even has a separate language) in 2006, he moved on to South Ossetia (which also has its own language) this year, where Ossetians and Russians live and Russian peacekeepers patrol.
A young democracy? Ossetians never voted for Saakashvili. But he insisted on ruling them anyway, moving militarily and bombing the capital in the middle of peace talks on the opening day of the Olympics.
Tin-pot, fascist mini-dictators like this are a dollar a dozen, and such territorial disputes will always be with us. The critical question is: what gave Saakashvili the confidence that he could pull this off? He believed that the United States would back him as a quid pro quo for his having sent troops to Iraq. The US responded to his cooperation in Iraq – sending Georgian citizens to kill and be killed – by sending him military training support and guns and bombs, and wining and dining him in Washington.
In all the confusion of the last days, there is no question, then, that Georgia was the aggressor in South Ossetia. Russia responded within its sphere of influence both against Georgia but mostly against an incredible show of arrogance by the Bush administration. According to the New York Times, which interviewed many officials who refused to be named, the Bush administration began backpedalling very quickly, claiming that they never gave permission to Georgia to crush any separatist movement.
But by that time, the politics began. In a very scary editorial and series of speeches, John McCain all but threatened nuclear war against Russia, failing to mention that his own foreign policy adviser was a paid lobbyist for Georgia. Had McCain had his way, the US very well might have a hot war going on right now on the Russian border, fighting for the privilege of a dictator to crush the rights of South Ossetians to their own self-determination.
No doubt that had the conflict continued – and it still might – we would have been told that we were fighting for the rights of the poor Georgian people against Russian imperialism. The American media, even before looking at the facts, had already decided who wore the halo and who wore the horns in this struggle, giving loving interviews to liars of all stripes, so long as they took the US line.
None of which is to say that Russia wears the halo and Georgia the horns. In war, blood ends up on the hands of everyone involved, and there is no shortage of evidence to prove the case against any and all governments involved.
What we need to fix on here are the first principles. It’s an upside-down world, not all that different from the one that existed at the start of World War One, another conflict which was said to be about fighting against aggression and fighting for democracy and self-determination. As Francis Neilson said in his 1915 classic How Diplomats Make War: “No country thinks of putting these principles into practice, but somehow they seem to be worth fighting for.”
If we are to follow Neilson further, we will see that in his lessons of the start of that war, he takes aim at a central pillar of diplomacy then and now, namely the claim that the proliferation of arms guarantees the peace. He quotes Richard Cobden: “the greatest evil connected with these rival armaments is that they destroy the strongest motives for peace.”
So it has been in these diplomatic games played by our rulers. They believe they are controlling the world, when suddenly they are controlled by events. Then they rope the rest of us into it, following the usual plan of war: forcing the rest of us to adopt the government’s view of who is wearing the halos and horns, regardless of the facts:
During a war it is no easy task to prevent your sympathy clouding your reason. The whole social system seems to be organized against any individual attempt to concentrate the attention dominantly upon the causes of the war. Governments, churches, theatres, the press, and local authorities, direct their efforts, in the main, warwards; the whole thought of society and commerce seems to be occupied with war; and all desire to question the reasons given by statesmen for participating in the war must be suppressed. It has been ruled already by certain ‘leaders of thought’ that it is unwise, unpatriotic, and un-English, to suspect the motives of Governments, or waver for a moment in swearing wholehearted allegiance to the authorities: you must think only of the war. If you dare ask for the truth, you are helping the enemy; if you suggest an early peace, you are hindering the militarists who desire no peace until their enemy is utterly crushed. Insidious, bewildering, and plausible, are the reasons given by statesmen and journalists for inflicting a humiliating defeat; without it, they tell us we must not hope for disarmament. No patriot is supposed to ask if disarmament is at all probable. No one must ask if a single statesman really believes such a blessing will follow if the enemy be annihilated.
Over just a few short days, we saw this whole process beginning to play itself out, in an ominous sign for the future. But it is a future that can change. As Neilson wrote, “Citizens who desire peace can indulge in no greater folly than that which is summed up in the phrase, ‘the best way to preserve peace is to prepare for war.’ … Governments have made the war; only the peoples can make an unarmed peace.”
August 27, 2008 — crescentandcross
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been forced to give that answer in the last 2 days I could no doubt buy something REALLY nice for my wife’s upcoming birthday. This–meaning ‘No, relax, Rev. Pike is not working for the ADL’ has been the stock answer I’ve been forced to give to the deluge of bewildered (and sometimes outraged) queries I’ve received in the last few days concerning the piece he wrote recently dealing with the conference in Baltimore attended by me, Hesham Tillawi and Chuck Carleson a week or so ago in which he asserts that the three of us (but more importantly, Chuck Carleson and I, being Christians) have given the Jewish spy agency ADL ‘all the ammo they need’ to destroy our movement.
When my spiritual blood-brother Hesham Tillawi called me to talk about the article I could hear the blood in his temple veins pounding like war drums. I can’t say I blame him. As a Muslim who has never harmed a hair on a Christian head and who has personally seen friends and family members in Palestine killed before his eyes (including a 14-year old kid who took a bullet in the face at point blank range) hearing one of the more ‘enlightened’ experts within our movement spouting such nonsense about Islam is maddening.
I was not particularly surprised to hear the news of the article. I spoke with Ted this past weekend and (as usual) had an extended and for-the-most-part friendly discussion on this topic where he made his feelings known to me. Sad to say that no matter what reasonable arguments I used in countering the irrational opinions he held about Muslims, no matter how many times I quoted sections of the Koran and clarified those portions deliberately misquoted and misrepresented by the Jewish media he had used in forming his opinion it wound up being a wasted effort on my part.
The real reason I was not surprised however is because it’s something I’ve dealt with now for many years, meaning well-intentioned but at the same time poorly-informed Christians going off half-cocked over my willingness to rub elbows with ‘the Mohammedans’, as they often put it. Since I began writing on this issue of the war in the Middle East, as well as the three components to it–meaning Judaism, Christianity and Islam, I have lost most (if not ALL) of my former ‘Christian’ friends, to say nothing of the extended lecturing I‘ve received from family members. ‘Don’t you know what it says in the Koran??? My God, what are you thinking????’
Good God, how many times have I heard that from friends and relatives who repeat what they heard from Jewish groups that lie as a matter of principle, as well as all their Gentile lackeys such as Hanity, Limbaugh, Glen Beck, et al? It is an incalculable number, to be sure. Talk about feeling like Will Smith’s character in the movie I am Legend where he is the only sane person in a city full of zombies completely unaffected by reason. Hearing contradictions to positions they have held their entire lives, namely that Christianity and Judaism where not affectionate siblings within the same family but rather were antithetical to each other, as well as that other ‘biggie’–that Islam is not about ‘jihad, 72 virgins and conversion by the sword’ has been like telling the average person steeped in the superstition of the Dark Ages that the world was not flat and that leeches do not cure disease.
I have come to the conclusion that this–the unwillingness to consider the possibility they are misguided–Is as much an ‘American’ thing as it is a ‘Christian’ thing. Westerners in general and Americans in particular, much due to the fact that they have been the dominant culture in terms of economic and military power the last 4 centuries have developed an organic sense of their invincibility and infallibility and refuse to consider the possibility that maybe they get it wrong from time to time.
And unfortunately, as brilliant and as brave as Ted Pike is he is no exception, something I learned recently in conversations we had about various issues concerning the Middle East. While he may be an expert on Judaism, he certainly is not when it comes to understanding Islam. Based upon things he has said to me in the past year it was obvious to me that he has not done any substantive study of what Islam teaches and our conversation this past weekend was no exception, where his slightly-accusatory questions were surprising and yet not surprising at all–‘Slay the unbelievers were you find them‘–straight out of the Zionist script in demonizing Islam with no mention of the fact that this particular passage in the Koran deal specifically with Muslims utilizing their right to self-defense when THEIR homes, churches and communities were being assaulted, as is occurring today. ‘Look at the war between the Shias and Sunnis in Iraq’ as if it were all a product of the inherent, organic violent nature of Islam and not related to the fact that it is a civil war deliberately started by Israel and the US. ‘Look at the way they treat their women’ as if we in the west had any business lecturing ANYONE around the world on things such women’s issues when we raise gems like Madonna and Britney Spears as role models for young girls. The fact that there are millions of Christians in the Middle East, as well as churches standing that have been there for 20 centuries–IN THE MIDST OF A SEA OF MUSLIMS–and that these populations and structures have not been destroyed was not evidence enough that there is nothing anti-Christian about Islam. IF there is anything anti-Christian these days about Muslims‘ attitudes towards Christians, could it possibly have something to do with the fact that the Christians working in the interests of Zionist Jews have invaded the Middle East, murdered millions of innocent people and subjected tens of millions to a lifetime of mental and physical suffering?
And yet, what is the position we are supposed to adopt? No, this has NOTHING to do with it, it is all because the ‘Moozlims’ hate everyone and want to convert them to their way of thinking.
Of course, the truly maddening thing of it all is that the entire problem dealing with the misconceptions of Islam could be cleared up literally in about 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES. That’s all it would take, for someone with 3 functioning brain cells to sit down with a copy of the Koran (as I did) and read the sections constantly quoted by the Jewish media to see that they are all lies and misrepresentations. 10 minutes could have saved the 4,000 American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the millions of innocent persons between those two countries who have been murdered.
I suppose I should be more disappointed than I am, but the fact is that when it happens enough times you start to develop a thick skin. The fact that Rev. Pike’s piece was picked up by a few of the bigger websites within the alternative media does not surprise me either, as some (and I emphasize SOME) of them have started to swim in the waters of irrelevancy as evidenced by the fact they will post just about ANYTHING, including ‘breaking news stories’ concerning UFO’s, Bigfoot, and in the case of one rather large website, stories that parrot the Jewish line about Islam being violent and backwards. If there was anything that harms the credibility of our movement, it is these folks. Barring some radical shift (where they ditch the foolishness and disinformation they are using as filler for their sites) they are destined to become the step children of Art Bell and his ilk and then before long there will be no substantive resistance to the madness of the Zionist agenda.
Generally I do not get into public squabbles with fellow soldiers on the field. There is enough ordnance being lobbed at us from our enemy and, as much as a no-brainer as it may be, the fact is I don’t think it is a good battlefield tactic to shoot one of my own guys. However, as soon as someone within my platoon becomes a liability rather than an asset and starts shooting at me, then I have to take steps to protect myself, and this is one of those times.
That having been said, I will say this–the position taken by Ted Pike and others in refusing to share a foxhole with someone else based upon the fact they are not ‘Christian’ is suicidal. We in the formerly Christian West fighting the beast are a mere handful up against all the powers of hell and are few in number the fact is this–WE NEED THEM, meaning the Muslims, and as far as I am concerned as long as they are shooting at the same enemy I am and not at me than I am all too happy to march alongside them and call them fellow soldiers, which includes clapping them on the back when they put themselves in harm’s way in order to fight the good fight.
On the other hand, writing pieces such as he did this past weekend, where he is basically siding with the ADL and other Jewish groups that hate us for our freedoms, want to see our freedom-loving, freedom-minded civilization become a mirror image of the totalitarianism they have setup everywhere they have gone does our effort NO help. As much as Rev Pike imagines the ADL rubbing its hands with glee over the fact that a few Christians spoke at a for-the-most part Islamic conference, the truth is they are more pleased with the fact that someone from within the ‘truth movement’ is spouting the same lie-based Islamo-phobia that has become the most important sparkplug in the engine of the New World Order.
The fact is, I had a fabulous time last weekend with the ‘Mohammedans’, as some disparagingly refer to them. There were no beheadings, no suicide bombers, no one put a sword to my throat and threatened to kill me if I did not turn to Allah and I did not see any women being beaten. No foul language, no ‘Jesus F******Christ’ that I would have heard at a gathering of typical Christians in America. Not only did I have a great time, I would bring my wife and kids at any such similar gathering any day of the week. So much for the conventional wisdom that depicts Muslims as terrorists and jihadists.
Therefore, what I will tell those deluging me with emails and calls wondering if indeed Ted Pike is ‘one of them’, my answer is, only if you consider ‘them’ to be those well-intentioned but poorly informed activists who go off half-cocked and by virtue of this action allow themselves to (unwittingly) be used in the service of our enemy. He is otherwise a brilliant man, but it appears that in this case he is allowing his tunnel-vision sense of religion to get in the way of him doing the right thing and to see the bigger picture which includes a reconsideration of the propaganda that the Jewish media is feeding the West concerning Islam and all for the purpose of robbing us of our senses and our ability to think rationally and in our best interests.
Otherwise, as far as the rest of the dishes on his information buffet table dealing with Zionism, Judaism and the Talmud, I would say ‘eat to your heart’s content’, but avoid anything he offers dealing with Islam, as it is no doubt likely to give you a certain amount of intellectual indigestion.
14 Responses to “‘No, Ted Pike is Not an ADL Agent’”
Russia: NATO interference means war
Wed, 27 Aug 2008 22:09:45 GMT
Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitri Rogozin
Russia’s ambassador to NATO has warned that any military interference in the Caucasus conflict will be considered as declaration of war.
In an interview with the Russian newspaper Vremya Novostei, Dmitry Rogozin, warned that any NATO attack on the Moscow-backed regions would “mean a declaration of war on Russia.”
This is while the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev held talks with the Chinese President Hu Jintao in Tajikistan ahead of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which is taking place on Thursday.
Medvedev, “informed his Chinese colleague about the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” AFP reported. The two men also discussed regional and international issues.
Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev (L) China’s Hu Jintao (R)
The SCO is an intergovernmental organization which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran holds an observer status in the SCO. This year’s summit will also be attended by the presidents of the above mentioned nations on August 28.
August 16, 2008
The Russian invasion of Georgia following Georgia’s attempt to reestablish its dominance over its secessionist province of South Ossetia has certainly infuriated the neocons. Max Boot and Charles Krauthammer have called for various moves to isolate Russia from the West and from the international economic community. The Weekly Standard has an article by Stuart Koehl urging Georgians to fight on with US aid, and an article by Charlie Szrom of the American Enterprise Institute (aka neocon central) advocating massive US aid and alliances among Eastern European countries.
We know that neoconservatism is a Jewish movement — the news having finally reached the mainstream media with books like Jacob Heilbrunn’s They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons. Now imagine for a moment that you are a typical Jewish neocon — that is, someone who sees the world fundamentally through Zionist lenses and, for starters, cannot fathom any difference between the interests of the United States and Israel. Or, what amounts to the same thing, imagine that you are an Israeli geopolitical strategizer. How would such a person think of the situation?
Quite clearly, you would be very unhappy that Russia has managed to crush the Georgian military and threaten regime change in Georgia. Israel has strong connections to Georgia. It has provided weapons and training to the Georgian military (although it recently stopped providing weapons after Russian complaints). Israel also has over $1.5 billion invested in Georgia, and Israel is proposing that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline be extended to the Israeli port of Ashkelon for transshipment to south and east Asia. Two top ministers of the Georgian government are Jews with strong ties to Israel, including Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili who is a former Israeli fluent in Hebrew.
The other side of the equation is that neocons have been hostile toward Russia. They supported the war that resulted in independence of Kosovo from Serbia, an ally of Russia. They also support Chechnyan independence from Russia, NATO membership for Eastern European countries formerly dominated by the USSR, and the aggressive US policy of providing missiles to Poland and the Czech Republic.
Why the neocon hostility toward Russia? We could certainly imagine that if Russia was controlled by the Israel Lobby and Jewish interests in the same way that the United States is, this would not be happening. Indeed, a major neocon complaint is that Russia delayed sanctions against Israel’s arch-enemy Iran and has supplied Iran with nuclear material as well as weaponry designed to protect its nuclear installations.
Quite simply, we think that neocon hostility stems from the fact that Russia under Vladimir Putin proved to be far more nationalistic than is good for the Jews or for Israel. A landmark event was Putin’s crackdown on the oligarchs — that small, overwhelmingly Jewish group of tycoons that came to control the industrial base of the USSR during the shift to capitalism. The oligarchs pumped huge amounts of money into the campaign to keep Boris Yeltsin in office and enrich themselves. They also supported Putin at first, but Putin gradually cut into the dominance of the oligarchs.
When in 1996 it appeared that Yeltsin might lose his reelection to the Communists, the oligarchs poured millions into Yeltsin’s campaign and began flooding the television airwaves (which they owned) with pro-Yeltsin “news” items while conspicuously failing to give any airtime to the opposition. With Yeltsin’s victory, the loans-for-shares deal was finalized, catapulting the oligarchs from a small group of millionaires to a small group of billionaires. A few years later the oligarchs “guaranteed” (to use Berezovsky’s term) that Vladimir Putin, like Yeltsin before him, would get elected in Russia’s 2000 Presidential elections.
A turning point was the arrest and imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of Yukos, the oil giant. Arch-neocon Richard Perle led the charge against Putin, calling for the ouster of Russia from the G-8 — the same sort of policy the neocons are proposing in the wake of the invasion of Georgia. Khodorkosky was viewed as without any feeling for Russian nationalism and far too friendly with the United States:
Khodorkovsky has spent years pursuing what is essentially a personal, pro-American foreign policy, cultivating contacts with the most influential politicians, diplomats, bankers and public relations specialists in Washington — actions the siloviki, a group of hawks in the Kremlin made up of former KGB men, consider reprehensible….
Compounding this perceived threat are Khodorkovsky’s efforts to endear himself to the White House. One only need look at the people who have rallied to Khodorkovsky’s defense [the article mentions Stuart Eizenstat, Richard Perle, George Soros, and John McCain (!)] to see how the siloviki could make a convincing case to cut Khodorkovsky down to size.
The crackdown against the oligarchs resulted in agonized complaints about the demise of democracy in Russia, and we are sure to see more such complaints in the wake of the invasion of Georgia. The neocons much preferred a democracy in which the Jewish oligarchs completely controlled the media and could buy large blocs of the Duma — in other words, a democracy that much more resembles our own.
The fact that Soros and Eizenstat — both associated with the left — also condemned Khodorkovsky’s arrest suggests a Jewish consensus on this issue. Soros was also deeply involved in the so-called Rose Revolution that vaulted Mikheil Saakashvili into the presidency of Georgia.
Moreover, the most recent ADL document on anti-Semitism in Russia notes that despite better relations between the Russian government and Jews within Russia, there have been no changes in Russia’s foreign policy toward Iran or its policy of engagement with the Palestinian group Hamas. This contrasts with the ADL’s stance early in Vladimir Putin’s presidency when the ADL complained that the Russian leadership did not immediately condemn what the ADL terms “Governor [of Kursk Alexander] Mikhailov’s blatantly anti-Semitic statement.” Mikhailov had expressed his gratitude for the support Putin had given him in his struggle against “filth” — a reference to the previous governor of Kursk, Alexander Rutskoy, Boris Berezovsky, and the All-Russian Jewish Congress. Berezovsky is a former Russian-Jewish media tycoon who used his control of the main television channel to promote Boris Yeltsin for president in 1996 but fled Russia after the ascent of Putin after being charged with fraud. Rutskoy, who is Jewish, was seen as allied with Berezovsky. The ADL complained that the Russian leadership chastised Mikhailov only after a “storm of protest that Mikhailov’s conduct generated among Jews and the mainstream media in Russia and abroad.”
No wonder Pat Buchanan recently termed democracy a “flickering star” because democratic governments are so often out of touch with the people they rule, whereas governments like China and Russia enjoy overwhelming popular support. This is so on a wide range of issues in the US — immigration policy being the most egregious example. In the area of foreign policy we have seen that a small cabal of neocons could successfully promote US involvement in a costly and disastrous war in Iraq — a war on behalf of Israel and certainly not in the interests of the United States.
And speaking of democracy, the fact that John McCain came to the defense of Khodorkovsky is yet another indication that he is completely tied into the neocon foreign policy establishment. Just recently it became known that Randy Scheunemann, McCain’s foreign policy adviser, was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of Georgia. Scheunemann was also President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, sponsored by Bill Kristols’ Project for a New American Century. Kristol, like the other neocons, is eager for the US to stand up to Russia over Georgia: “Is it not true today, as it was in the 1920s and ’30s, that delay and irresolution on the part of the democracies simply invite future threats and graver dangers?” Ah, the old argumentum ad Hitlerum.
There can be no greater condemnation of American democracy than that John McCain will be the candidate of one of the major parties, while the other party will nominate Barack Obama.
Finally, we should remember that from 1881 until the fall of the Czar, in addition to dominating the revolutionary movement in Russia, there was a Jewish consensus to use their influence in Europe and America to oppose Russia. This had an effect on a wide range of issues, including the financing of Japan in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, the abrogation of the American-Russian trade agreement in 1908, and the financing of revolutionaries within Russia by wealthy Jews such as Jacob Schiff.
The triumph of Bolshevism resulted in a period of Jewish dominance in the Soviet Union and unimaginable horrors for the Russian people. This period of Jewish dominance and its disastrous effects on the Russian people are doubtless not far from the minds of Russia’s current leaders.
We can expect a similarly long and persistent Jewish campaign against Russia, waged with all the intensity of the 1881–1917 campaign. In an age of nuclear weapons the stakes are very high for the entire planet.
37m Americans live in poverty
Wed, 27 Aug 2008 08:52:10 GMT
Over 37 million Americans lived in poverty in 2007.
More than 37 million Americans live in poverty while nearly 46 million have no health insurance, an annual US Census Bureau report shows.
The “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage Report” for year 2007 showed on Tuesday that around 37.3 million Americans lived in poverty last year, an increase from the 36.5 million people in 2006.
The report also indicates that children bear a disproportionate share of the burden as the poverty rate for under-18 Americans rose to 18 percent in 2007, up from 17.4 percent in 2006, compared with 11 percent of adults aged 18-64.
However, paradoxically, as the number of poor people rose, numbers without health insurance fell to 45.7 million people in 2007 from 47 million in 2006.
This is while the report added that the percentage of Americans on employer-based insurance — the main source of health coverage for Americans — fell from 59.7 percent in 2006 to 59.3 percent last year.
At present, the poverty threshold in the United States is set at $21,000 for a family of four, but experts believe that the official standard US poverty line, set up in the early 1960s, was out of date.
Health care is a key issue in the US presidential campaign, with an overwhelming majority of Americans — 82 percent — wanting the health care system overhauled, a survey released this month by the Commonwealth Fund showed.
During his presidency, George W. Bush twice vetoed legislation which would have expanded a popular children’s health program, covering millions of children in low- and moderate-income families.
By Patrick Wood, Editor
Will it matter if Obama or McCain are elected in November? Hardly.
Both are rigidly backed by important members of the Trilateral Commission who hijacked the Executive Branch of the U.S. government starting in 1976 with the election of Jimmy Carter.
In Obama’s case, Zbigniew Brzezinski (co-founder of the Commission in 1973) is emerging as his principal advisor on foreign policy. Ex-Fed Chairman Paul Volker has made a once-in-a-lifetime, glowing endorsement of Obama. Madelyn Albright is seen sitting next to Obama in several conferences. Shoot, even Jimmy Carter himself endorses Obama. All are top members of the Commission.
John McCain is being supported by several Trilateral Commission giants including: Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, Lawrence Eagleburger and Alexander Haig. All of these are ex-Secretaries of State who issued a joint endorsement of McCain early-on in his campaign.
And, unless Obama shoots both of his own feet (or…?) before the general presidential election in November, he is most likely to be the next president of the United States.
You would think that Americans would want to know who the “special interests” are that are embodied by this Trilateral Commission, and what they intend to do or not do with America.
What is the Trilateral Commission?
The Trilateral Commission was founded by the persistent maneuvering of David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1973. Rockefeller was chairman of the ultra-powerful Chase Manhattan Bank, a director of many major multinational corporations and “endowment funds” and had long been a central figure in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Brzezinski, a brilliant prognosticator of one-world idealism, was a professor at Columbia University and the author of several books that have served as “policy guidelines” for the Trilateral Commission.
Brzezinski served as the Commission’s first executive director from its inception in 1973 until late 1976 when he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
The initial Commission membership was approximately three hundred, with roughly one hundred each from Europe, Japan and North America. Membership was also roughly divided between academics, politicians and corporate magnates; these included international bankers, leaders of prominent labor unions and corporate directors of media giants.
The word commission was puzzling since it is usually associated with instrumentalities set up by governments. It seemed out of place with a so-called private group unless we could determine that it really was an arm of a government – an unseen government, different from the visible government in Washington. European and Japanese involvement indicated a world government rather than a national government. We hoped that the concept of a sub-rosa world government was just wishful thinking on the part of the Trilateral Commissioners. The facts, however, lined up quite pessimistically.
If the Council on Foreign Relations could be said to be a spawning ground for the concepts of one-world idealism, then the Trilateral Commission was the “task force” assembled to assault the beachheads. Already the Commission had placed its members in the top posts the U.S. had to offer.
Jimmy Carter: The first Trilateral president
President James Earl Carter, the country politician who promised, “I will never lie to you,” was chosen to join the Commission by Brzezinski in 1973. It was Brzezinski, in fact, who first identified Carter as presidential timber, and subsequently educated him in economics, foreign policy, and the ins-and-outs of world politics. Upon Carter’s election, Brzezinski was appointed assistant to the president for national security matters. Commonly, he was called the head of the National Security Council because he answered only to the president – some said Brzezinski held the second most powerful position in the U.S.
Carter’s running mate, Walter Mondale, was also a member of the Commission. (If you are trying to calculate the odds of three virtually unknown men, out of over sixty Commissioners from the U.S., capturing the three most powerful positions in the land, don’t bother. Your calculations will be meaningless.)
On January 7, 1977 Time Magazine, whose editor-in-chief, Hedley Donovan was a powerful Trilateral, named President Carter “Man of the Year.” The sixteen-page article in that issue not only failed to mention Carter’s connection with the Commission but also stated the following:
“As he searched for Cabinet appointees, Carter seemed at times hesitant and frustrated disconcertingly out of character. His lack of ties to Washington and the Party Establishment – qualities that helped raise him to the White House – carry potential dangers. He does not know the Federal Government or the pressures it creates. He does not really know the politicians whom he will need to help him run the country.”
Was this portrait of Carter as a political innocent simply inaccurate or was it deliberately misleading? By December 25, 1976 – two weeks before the Time article appeared – Carter had already chosen his cabinet. Three of his cabinet members – Cyrus Vance, Michael Blumenthal, and Harold Brown – were Trilateral Commissioners; and the other non-Commission members were not unsympathetic to Commission objectives and operations. In addition, Carter had appointed another fourteen Trilateral Commissioners to top government posts, including:
- C. Fred Bergsten (Under Secretary of Treasury)
- James Schlesinger (Secretary of Energy)
- Elliot Richardson (Delegate to Law of the Sea)
- Leonard Woodcock (Chief envoy to China)
- Andrew Young (Ambassador to the United Nations).
As of 25 December 1976, therefore, there were nineteen Trilaterals, including Carter and Mondale, holding tremendous political power. These presidential appointees represented almost one-third of the Trilateral Commission members from the United States. The odds of that happening “by chance” are beyond calculation!
Realities of the New World Order
In 1972, Brzezinski’s wrote that “nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.”
The late Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) was one of a very few people who understood what Brzezinski was alluding to, when he issued a clear and precise warning in his 1979 book, With No Apologies:
“The Trilateral Commission is international and is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power – political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical.”
Trilateral Entrenchment: 1980-2008
Every Administration since Carter has had top-level Trilateral Commission representation through the President or Vice-President, or both! George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Dick Cheney are all members.
In turn, these have appointed their Trilateral cronies to top positions in their Administrations.
Secretaries of State include Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, Alexander Haig, George Schultz, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright. Yep, all members of the Trilateral Commission.
Follow the money, follow the power
You decide which is scarier: Obama and Brzezinski or McCain and Henry Kissinger?
Either way, Americans will continue to lose…
Every major crisis we face today is directly attributable to policies put forth and executed by members of this Trilateral Commission: Banking/lending/mortgage crisis, energy/gas price crisis, food/shortage/price crisis.
In addition, in the last fifteen to twenty years we have lost of millions of prime manufacturing jobs to China, India and Mexico. Our prime assets are being purchased by sovereign wealth funds and foreign investors. Our currency has all but been destroyed throughout the world.
Remember Brzezinski’s vision that “international banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state”?
Well, that’s been true enough. But, for all their acting and planning at the expense of our own prosperity and Sovereignty, who wants or needs more of the same under Obama or McCain? With friends like this, who needs enemies?
For several Presidential elections now, this writer has voted according to the philosophy of voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Never again!
A vote for either Obama or McCain is a vote for the complete destruction of America!
By BEN FELLER
President Bush is dispatching Vice President Dick Cheney to Georgia, setting up a high-ranking diplomatic mission to an ally reeling from war.
The White House announced today that Cheney will head abroad on Sept. 2 for stops in three former Soviet Republics — Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine — plus Italy.
“The president felt it was important to have the vice president consult with allies in the region on our common security interests,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said today.
The vice president’s office described Cheney’s mission in similarly broad terms, and called it a chance to reiterate the U.S. commitment to its allies.
Indeed, Cheney’s presence in the war zone is a clear sign to Russia of the U.S. resolve behind Georgia after the small country was pummeled by a Russian military response.
Cheney’s office has used tough rhetoric against the former Cold War foe, saying that “Russian aggression must not go unanswered.” The Pentagon has ruled out a military response.
Cheney’s trip was in the works before the war erupted in Georgia on Aug. 7, but clearly takes on heightened significance as a result of it.
Cheney will hold talks in Georgia with President Mikhail Saakashvili, and will meet with the respective presidents of the other countries he is visiting.
The news comes as Russia’s parliament voted unanimously today to urge the country’s president to recognize the independence of Georgia’s two breakaway regions, a move likely to stoke further tensions between Moscow and the small Caucasus nation’s Western allies.
The war erupted Aug. 7 as Georgia launched a massive artillery barrage targeting the separatist province of South Ossetia. Russian forces repelled the offensive and attacked deep into Georgia, taking crucial positions across the small former Soviet republic.
Russia pulled the bulk of its troops and tanks out Friday under a cease-fire brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but built up its forces in and around South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another separatist region. It also left military posts inside Georgia proper.
Bush has been adamant that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia.
Russia’s attack and its actions after the cease-fire have caused serious strains in relations with the West, and heightened fears in the young Eastern European democracies. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a quick trip to Georgia earlier this month to help seal the cease-fire agreement.
Cheney’s trip was originally driven by his plans to attend the Ambrosetti forum in Italy, an annual meeting of world leaders. The Georgia and Azerbaijan stops have been planned for some time. The visit to Ukraine was recently added.
Ukraine, like Georgia, has angered Moscow by seeking closer ties with the West and membership in the NATO military alliance. While siding with Georgia, Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that Moscow’s quick military victory exposed their nation’s own vulnerability.
Russia played a trump card in its strategic poker game with the West yesterday by threatening to suspend an agreement allowing Nato to take supplies and equipment to Afghanistan through Russia and Central Asia.
The agreement was struck at a Nato summit in April to provide an alternative supply route to the road between the Afghan capital and the Pakistani border, which has come under attack from militants on both sides of the frontier this year.
Zamir Kabulov, the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, told The Times in an interview that he believed the deal was no longer valid because Russia suspended military cooperation with Nato last week over its support for Georgia.
Asked if the move by Russia invalidated the agreement, he said: “Of course. Why not? If there is a suspension of military cooperation, this is military cooperation.”
Mr Kabulov also suggested that the stand-off over Georgia could lead Russia to review agreements allowing Nato members to use Russian airspace and to maintain bases in the former Soviet Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“No one with common sense can expect to cooperate with Russia in one part of the world while acting against it in another,” he said.
His remarks are likely to alarm Nato commanders because the Taleban have been targeting the supply routes of the alliance this year, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviet Union two decades ago. Nato imports about 70 per cent of its food, fuel, water and equipment from Pakistan via the Khyber Pass, and flies in much of the rest through Russian airspace via bases in Central Asia. It has not started using the “northern corridor” because the deal – covering nonmilitary supplies and nonlethal military equipment – has yet to be cleared with the Central Asian states involved.
The need for an alternative route was highlighted by recent attacks on Nato supply convoys, including one that destroyed 36 fuel tankers in a northwestern Pakistani border town in March. Four US helicopter engines worth $13 million (£7 million) went missing on the way from Kabul to Pakistan in April. Last week militants killed ten French soldiers on the same route 30 miles from Kabul.
Western officials fear that such attacks could increase in the power vacuum in Pakistan created by the resignation of Pervez Musharraf as President last week and the collapse of the coalition Government yesterday.
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President-turned-Prime-Minister, was the first foreign leader to telephone President Bush after the attacks on September 11, 2001, and has supported the War on Terror ever since. The Kremlin has fears about the spread of Islamic extremism into Central Asia and Muslim regions of Russia, especially Chechnya, where it fought two wars with Muslim rebels in the 1990s.
However, many Russian officials have bitter memories of the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and strong reservations about the US presence in Central Asia, which they see as their strategic backyard.
“It’s not in Russia’s interests for Nato to be defeated and leave behind all these problems,” Mr Kabulov, who worked at the Soviet Embassy in Kabul from 1983 to 1987, said. “We’d prefer Nato to complete its job and then leave this unnatural geography.
“But at the same time, we’ll be the last ones to moan about Nato’s departure.”
A Nato spokesman declined to respond to Mr Kabulov’s comments and said that Russia had not informed the alliance officially of any decision to annul the northern corridor agreement.
By Chris Hedges
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind forward with their terrible human toll, even as the press and many Americans play who gets thrown off the island with Barack Obama. Coalition forces carried out an airstrike that killed up to 95 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan on Friday, 50 of them children, President Hamid Karzai said. And the mounting bombing raids and widespread detentions of Afghans are rapidly turning Afghanistan into the mirror image of Iraq. But these very real events, which will have devastating consequences over the next few months and years, are largely ignored by us. We prefer to waste our time on the trivia and gossip that swallow up air time and do nothing to advance our understanding of either the campaign or the wars fought in our name.
As the conflict in Afghanistan has intensified, so has the indiscriminate use of airstrikes, including Friday’s, which took place in the Azizabad area of Shindand district in Herat province. The airstrike was carried out after Afghan and coalition soldiers were ambushed by insurgents while on a patrol targeting a known Taliban commander in Herat, the U.S. military said. Hundreds of Afghans, shouting anti-U.S. slogans, staged angry street protests on Saturday in Azizabad to protest the killings, and President Hamid Karzai condemned the airstrike.
The United Nations estimates that 255 of the almost 700 civilian deaths in fighting in Afghanistan this year have been caused by Afghan and international troops. The number of civilians killed in fighting between insurgents and security forces in Afghanistan has soared by two-thirds in the first half of this year.
Ghulam Azrat, the director of the middle school in Azizabad, said he collected 60 bodies after the bombing.
“We put the bodies in the main mosque,’’ he told the Associated Press by phone, sometimes pausing to collect himself as he wept. “Most of these dead bodies were children and women. It took all morning to collect them.”
Azrat said villagers on Saturday threw stones at Afghan soldiers who arrived and tried to give out food and clothes. He said the soldiers fired into the crowd and wounded eight people, including one child.
“The people were very angry,” he said. “They told the soldiers, ‘We don’t need your food, we don’t need your clothes. We want our children. We want our relatives. Can you give [them] to us? You cannot, so go away.’ ”
We are in trouble in Afghanistan. Sending more soldiers and Marines to fight the Taliban is only dumping gasoline on the bonfire. The Taliban assaults, funded largely by the expanded opium trade, are increasingly sophisticated and well coordinated. And the Taliban is exacting a rising toll on coalition troops. Soldiers and Marines are now dying at a faster rate in Afghanistan than Iraq. In an Aug. 18 attack, only 30 miles from the capital, Kabul, the French army lost 10 and had 21 wounded. The next day, hundreds of militants, aided by six suicide bombers, attacked one of the largest U.S. bases in the country. A week before that, insurgents killed three foreign aid workers and their Afghan driver, prompting international aid missions to talk about withdrawing from a country where they already have very limited access.
Barack Obama, like John McCain, speaks about Afghanistan in words that look as if they were penned by the Bush White House. Obama may call for withdrawing some U.S. troops from Iraq, but he does not want to send them all home. He wants to send them to Afghanistan, or to what he obliquely terms “the right battlefield.” Obama said he would deploy an additional 10,000 troops to Afghanistan once he took office.
The seven-year war in Afghanistan has not gone well. An additional 3,200 Marines were deployed there in January. Karzai’s puppet government in Kabul controls little territory outside the capital. And our attempt to buy off tribes with money and even weapons has collapsed, with most tribal groups slipping back into the arms of the Taliban insurgents.
Do the cheerleaders for an expanded war in Afghanistan know any history? Have they studied what happened to the Soviets, who lost 15,000 Red Army soldiers between 1979 and 1988, or even the British in the 19th century? Do they remember why we went into Afghanistan? It was, we were told, to hunt down Osama bin Laden, who is now apparently in Pakistan. Has anyone asked what our end goal is in Afghanistan? Is it nation-building? Or is this simply the forever war on terror?
Al-Qaida, which we have also inadvertently resurrected, is alive and well. It still finds plenty of recruits. It still runs training facilities. It still caries out attacks in London, Madrid, Iraq and now Afghanistan, which did not experience suicide bombings until December 2005. Al-Qaida has moved on. But we remain stuck, confused and lashing about wildly like a wounded and lumbering beast.
We do not have the power or the knowledge, nor do we have the right under international law, to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. We are vainly trying to transplant to these countries a modern system of politics invented in Europe. This system is characterized by, among other things, the division of the Earth into independent secular states based on national citizenship. The belief in a secular civil government is to most Afghans and Iraqis an alien creed. It will never work.
We have blundered into nations we know little about. We are caught between bitter rivalries among competing ethnic and religious groups. We have embarked on an occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan that is as damaging to our souls as it is to our prestige and power and security. And we believe, falsely, that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war.
We divert ourselves in our dotage and decline with images and slogans that perpetuate fantasies about our own invulnerability, our own might, our own goodness. We are preoccupied by national trivia games that pass for news, even as the wolf pants at our door. These illusions blind us. We cannot see ourselves as others see us. We do not know who we are.
“We had fed the heart on fantasies,” William Butler Yeats wrote, “the heart’s grown brutal from the fare.”
We are propelled forward not by logic or compassion or understanding but by fear. We have created and live in a world where violence is the primary form of communication. We have become the company we keep. Much of the world—certainly the Muslim world, one-fifth of the world’s population, most of whom are not Arab—sees us through the prism of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. We are igniting the dispossessed, the majority of humanity who live on less than two dollars a day. And whoever takes the White House next January seems hellbent on fueling our self-immolation.
Barack Obama may be doing the one thing that might have seemed impossible: he’s picking a running mate whose ideas about Iraq are even worse than, and stupider than, John McCain’s.
Obama, whose mushy Iraq plan excites no one, is marrying his own’s flawed ideas — which mostly revolve around beefing up US forces in Afghanistan and unilaterally attacking Pakistan — with Biden’s discredited notion of partitioning Iraq into three squabbling mini-states.
Indeed, last year it was the passage by the US Senate of a resolution in favor of Biden’s dangerously misguided ideas that sparked an outburst of Iraqi nationalism. More than the Blackwater killings, more than US efforts to forcibly privatize Iraq’s oil, it was the Biden idea of splitting Iraq into three pieces that galvanized Iraqi Arab nationalists. (It does, of course, excite the Kurds no end.)
Perversely, by selecting Biden, Obama might in fact hasten the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, if only because Iraqis won’t be able to stomach Vice President Biden pompously lecturing them on why Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds can’t live together.
As the always astute Reidar Visser points out, Biden has quietly suppressed talk of his partition plan even on his own web site, in cleaning up his act in preparation for being named Obama’s running mate. Noting that Obama himself seems unable to think of Iraq in other than the Sunni-vs.-Shiite paradigm, Visser points out:
Arguably, the addition of Joe Biden to the Obama ticket might aggravate these tendencies, because in the past Biden has been a leading American voice in promoting an interpretation of Iraq as a country of three mutually hostile and internally stable population blocks. His various “plans for Iraq”, while frequently misunderstood, in different ways reinforce the view that the main problem in Iraq has to do with a centralised state structure and coexistence issues. Like many others in American politics, Biden has failed to acknowledge the emerging non-sectarian trends in Iraq, seeking instead to push ideas about “Sunni federalism” during his visit to the Anbar governorate.
Need we point out that, in addition, Biden joined McCain in voting for the war resolution in 2002 that propelled the United States into Iraq? How, exactly, does Obama enhance his anti-war stand by selecting a pro-war hawk as his running mate? Among other things, Obama makes it impossible for himself to criticize McCain’s pre-2003 Iraq bloodlust by selecting a bloodthirsty Democrat as his running mate.
By Patrick Martin
The selection of Senator Joseph Biden as the vice-presidential candidate of the Democratic Party underscores the fraudulent character of the Democratic primary campaign and the undemocratic character of the entire two-party electoral system. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the supposed protagonist of “change,” has picked as his running-mate a fixture of the Washington establishment, a six-term US senator who is a proven defender of American imperialism and the interests of big business.
The rollout of the Biden selection over three days of escalating media attention, culminating in the text-message announcement early Saturday and a kickoff rally in Springfield, Illinois, is a metaphor for the entire Obama campaign. His presidential candidacy represents not an insurgency from below, but an effort to manipulate mass sentiments, using Internet technology and slick marketing techniques, aided by a compliant media, to produce a political result that is utterly conventional and in keeping with the requirements of the US ruling elite.
Long gone are the days when the selection of a vice-presidential candidate by one of the two major big business parties involved a complex balancing act between various institutional forces. In the Democratic Party, this would have involved consultations with trade union officials, civil rights organizations, congressional leaders and the heads of particularly powerful state and urban political machines.
Today, neither party has any substantial popular base. In both parties there is only one true “constituency”: the financial aristocracy that dominates economic and political life and controls the mass media, and whose interests determine government policy, both foreign and domestic. The selection of Biden, the senator from a small state with only three electoral votes, whose own presidential bids have failed miserably for lack of popular support, underscores the immense chasm separating the entire political establishment from the broad mass of the American people.
Obama has selected Biden to provide reassurance that, whatever populist rhetoric may be employed for electoral purposes in the fall campaign, the wealth and privileges of the ruling elite and the geo-strategic aims of US imperialism will be the single-minded concerns of a Democratic administration.
An establishment figureBiden has been a leading figure in the political establishment for three decades. He was first elected to the US Senate from Delaware in 1972, when Richard Nixon was president and Obama was 11 years old, and he has held that position through seven administrations. He has headed two of the most important Senate committees: Judiciary, which vets nominations to judicial positions, including the Supreme Court, and Foreign Relations, which Biden chaired in 2001-2002 and again since the Democrats regained control of the Senate in the 2006 election. Biden ran for president 20 years ago and again this year.
In the 1990s, with Bill Clinton in the White House, Biden was one of the principal proponents of US intervention in the former Yugoslavia, a role that he describes in his campaign autobiography, published last year, as his proudest achievement in foreign policy. In the mid-1990s he called for the US to arm the Bosnian Muslim regime against Serbia, and then advocated a direct US attack on Serbia during the 1999 Kosovo crisis, joining with a like-minded Republican senator to introduce the McCain-Biden Kosovo Resolution, authorizing Clinton to use “all necessary force” against Serbia.
This legislative proposal provided a model for a 2002 congressional resolution authorizing Bush to wage war against Iraq, which Biden co-authored with Republican Senator Richard Lugar. The Bush administration opposed the Biden-Lugar resolution, because it was limited to ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, and successfully pressured the Democratic-controlled Senate to adopt a broader war resolution, for which Biden voted.
On domestic policy, Biden is a conventional liberal whose roots go back to the Cold War era. He combines occasional populist bromides about concern for the poor and downtrodden with close relations with the trade union bureaucracy and unquestioning defense of the profit system. Like every other senator, he has “looked after” the interests of those big corporations with major operations in his state, including the Delaware-based MBNA, the largest independent issuer of credit cards until it was acquired in 2005 by Bank of America.
In this capacity, Biden was one of the most fervent Democratic supporters of the reactionary 2005 legislation overhauling the consumer bankruptcy laws, making it much more difficult for working class and middle-class families to escape debt burdens exacerbated by the corrupt and misleading marketing tactics employed by companies like MBNA. The 2005 law has compounded the problems of distressed homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure.
Biden defended the bankruptcy bill during the Senate debate and voted for the legislation along with the overwhelming majority of Republicans, including John McCain. Obama opposed the bill, and has attacked it repeatedly during the 2008 campaign as a punitive measure against working families.
Employees of MBNA were the biggest single financial supporters of Biden’s campaigns over the past two decades. In 2003, MBNA hired the senator’s son, Hunter Biden, fresh out of law school, quickly promoting him to the position of executive vice president. (While his father is not wealthy by US Senate standards, Hunter Biden has since become a hedge fund multi-millionaire).
Biden has occasionally taken positions slightly more liberal than those of Obama, most recently voting against the bill (which Obama supported) authorizing a massive expansion of government surveillance of telephone calls and e-mail, and providing legal immunity to the giant telecom firms that collaborated with such illegal spying over the past seven years. But he is a fervent supporter of the USA Patriot Act, defending it during the recent Democratic primary campaign against criticism by some of his opponents.
Biden and the war in IraqSenator Obama prevailed over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic nomination contest in large part because she had voted in October 2002 to authorize the Iraq war, while Obama, not then a US Senator, verbally opposed the decision to go to war. This difference in political biographies was utilized by Obama’s campaign to make an appeal to antiwar sentiment, although Obama’s record once he arrived in the Senate in January 2005 was indistinguishable from Clinton’s.
Biden’s record on Iraq makes his selection as the vice-presidential candidate all the more cynical, since he was an enthusiastic supporter of the war far longer than most Senate Democrats. He advocated measures to drastically increase the scale of the violence in order to win the war, including the dispatch of 100,000 additional US troops and the breakup of Iraq into separate Sunni, Shia and Kurdish statelets—on the model of the former Yugoslavia—which would presumably be more easy to control.
In the run-up to the launching of the unprovoked US aggression in March 2003, Biden echoed Bush administration propaganda. At a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just after Secretary of State Colin Powell’s notorious appearance before the United Nations Security Council in February 2003, Biden gushed, “I am proud to be associated with you. I think you did better than anyone could have because of your standing, your reputation and your integrity …” Every major element of Powell’s indictment of Iraq has since proven to be false.
Once the Bush administration’s lies about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi connections to Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks had been exposed, Biden began to express increasing alarm over the failure of the Bush administration to find an adequate rationale for maintaining public support for the war.
He bemoaned the Bush administration’s failure to sell the war effectively to the American people. In a speech to the Brookings Institution in June 2005, he declared, “I want to see the president of the United States succeed in Iraq…His success is America’s success, and his failure is America’s failure.”
Biden was particularly critical of the rosy forecasts of imminent success in Iraq being issued by the Pentagon and White House, which were at odds with the reality on the ground. “This disconnect, I believe, is fueling cynicism that is undermining the single most important weapon we need to give our troops to be able to do their job, and that is the unyielding support of the American people. That support is waning.”
Only after public opinion turned decisively against the war did Biden shift from advocating escalation to a limited pullout of US troops. A Washington Post column in late 2005—which noted the convergence of views of the longtime senator from Delaware and the newly elected senator from Illinois, Barack Obama—described Biden as “an early and consistent supporter of the US intervention against Saddam Hussein.”
Once the Democrats regained control of Congress in the November 2006, Biden became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he played a major role in the capitulation by the congressional Democrats to the Bush “surge” policy. Millions of antiwar voters had cast ballots for the Democrats seeking an end to the war, but the White House escalated the war instead, and the Democrats postured impotently and then went along.
The Democratic-controlled Congress meekly submitted after Bush vetoed modest restrictions on the conduct of the war, and in May 2007 passed full funding for military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When several Democratic senators voted against the funding bill as a protest—including Clinton and Obama—Biden denounced them for undermining the safety of the troops.
Two weeks after this critical vote, Biden denounced antiwar critics of the Democratic Congress, claiming, “We’re busting our neck every single day” trying to end the war. There could be no end to the war, he said, until a significant number of Republican senators defected, to provide the two-thirds majority needed to override a Bush veto, or until a Democratic president was in the White House. “We’re funding the safety of those troops there till we can get 67 votes,” he declared.
By then, the Democratic presidential contest was well under way, and Biden, despite winning little support and no delegates, played an important political role. As the World Socialist Web Site noted following a candidates’ debate in August 2007, “Biden has carved out a niche as the Democratic presidential candidate most willing to publicly rebuke antiwar sentiment.”
In the course of the debate, Biden attacked those who suggested that by threatening a quick withdrawal, the US government could compel Iraqi politicians to establish a stable government in Baghdad. He denounced illusions “that there is any possibility in the lifetime of anyone here of having the Iraqis get together, have a unity government in Baghdad that pulls the country together. That will not happen…. It will not happen in the lifetime of anyone here.” In other words, the US occupation would have to continue indefinitely.
There have been numerous suggestions from Democratic Party officials and the media over the past few days that, given Biden’s reputation for verbal confrontation, his selection signals a more aggressive attitude from the Obama campaign. On his record, however, it is quite likely that Biden will be deployed as an “attack dog” against antiwar critics of the Obama campaign.
This fact makes all the more despicable the fawning embrace of Biden by purportedly “antiwar” publications like the Nation. John Nichols, Washington editor of the left-liberal magazine, wrote that the choice of Biden was an “acceptable, perhaps even satisfying conclusion to the great veep search,” which could tip the polls back in Obama’s direction.
Commenting on the Springfield rally Saturday, Nichols gushed, “When Biden went after John McCain, with a vigor and, yes, a venom that has been missing from Obama’s stump speaking, it was a tonic for the troops who have been waiting for a campaign that is more prepared to throw punches than take them.”
This response only confirms a fundamental truth about the political crisis facing working people in the United States: it is impossible to conduct a serious struggle against American imperialism, and its program of social reaction and war, without first breaking free of the straitjacket of the Democratic Party.
Working people have no stake in the outcome of the Obama-McCain contest, which will determine, for the American ruling elite, who will be their commander-in-chief over the next four years. The task facing the working class is to break with the two-party system and build an independent political movement based on a socialist and internationalist program.
Is the world drifting towards a new global war? From this week the dominant super-power, America, will for three months pass through the valley of the shadow of democracy, a presidential election. This is always a moment of self-absorption and paranoia. Barack Obama and John McCain will not act as statesmen but as politicians. They will grandstand and look over their shoulders. Their eye will stray from the ball.
Meanwhile, along history’s fault line of conflict from Russia’s European border to the Caucasus and on to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, diplomats are shifting uneasily in their seats, drums are sounding and harsh words are spoken. The world is now run by a generation of leaders who have never known global war. Has this dulled their senses?
Dan McNeill, an American general, was recently interviewed in Kabul on how to beat the Taliban. He was not the first to conclude that this could not be done militarily but only by “winning hearts and minds”. The problem, he said, lay in the answer to the question, “Whose hearts and minds?” Was it those of the Afghan people or was it rather those of the American Congress and voters?
Both Obama and McCain have claimed that the war in Iraq has been allowed to distract attention from the war in Afghanistan. This is different from the neoconservatives, who felt the war in Afghanistan was a distraction from the more important war in Iraq.
America now thinks it has won in Baghdad and must return to Kabul – and possibly even Tehran. At the same time it must face the possibility that these conflicts may in turn be a distraction from the reemergence as world powers of Russia and China, who are already gaining the initiative in Iran and Africa. Moscow is also precipitating a nationalist resurgence in eastern Europe and among Russian minorities in the Caucasus.
The question is critical. Has the West misjudged the fault line of an impending conflict? Its global strategy under George Bush, Tony Blair and a ham-fisted Nato has declared the threat to world peace as coming from nonstate organisations, specifically Al-Qaeda, and the nations that give them either bases or tacit support. Western generals and securocrats have elevated these anarchist fanatics to the status of nuclear powers. Policing crime has become “waging war”, so as to justify soaring budgets and influence over policy, much as did America’s military-industrial complex during the cold war.
Might it be that a raging seven-year obsession with Osama Bin Laden and his tiny Al-Qaeda organisation has blinded strategists to the old verities? Wars are rarely “clashes of civilisation”, but rather clashes of interest. They are usually the result of careless policy, of misread signals and of mission creep closing options for peace.
Terrorists, wherever located and trained, can certainly capture headlines and cause overnight mayhem, but they cannot project power. They cannot conquer countries or peoples, only manipulate democratic regimes into espousing illiberal policies, as in America and Britain. By grossly overstating the significance of terrorism, western leaders have distracted foreign policy from what should be its prime concern: securing world peace by holding a balance of interest – and pride – among the great powers.
To any who lived through the cold war, recent events along Russia’s western and southern borders are deeply ominous. Moscow initially spent the 17 years since the fall of the Soviet Union flirting with the West. It had been defeated and had good reason for disarming and putting out feelers to join Nato and the European Union. It took part in such proto-capitalist entities as the G8.
In the case of Nato and the EU it was arrogantly rebuffed, while its former Warsaw Pact allies were accepted. Moscow was told it would be foolish to worry about encirclement. A nation that had never enjoyed democracy should content itself with basking in its delights. Russians in the Baltic states and in Ukraine should make their peace with emerging governments. The political clutter of the cold war should be decontaminated.
Suddenly this has not worked. The world is showing alarming parallels with the 1930s. Lights are turning to red as the world again approaches depression. The credit crunch and the collapse of world trade talks are making nations introverted. Meanwhile, the defeated power of the last war, Russia, is flexing its muscles and finding them in good working order.
On Thursday Gordon Brown told his troops in Afghanistan that “what you are doing here prevents terrorism coming to the streets of Britain”. He cannot believe this any more than do his generals. Afghanistan poses no military threat to Britain. Rather it is Britain’s occupation and the response in neighbouring Pakistan that fosters antiwestern militancy in the region. Like the impoverishment of Germany between the wars, the stirring of antiwestern and antiChristian sentiment in the Muslim world can only be dangerous and counter-productive. Yet we do it.
The Taliban are fighting an old-fashioned insurgent war against a foreign invader and recruiting Pakistanis and antiwestern fanatics to help. They have succeeded in tormenting Washington and London with visions of a destabilised nuclear Pakistan, a blood-drenched Middle East and an Iran whose leaders may yet turn to jihad. For Brown – or the American presidential candidates – to imply that these conflicts with the Muslim world are making the world “safer” is manifestly untrue.
Worse, it distorts policy. Rather than calming other foes so the West can concentrate on the conflicts in hand, it is pointlessly stirring Russian expansionism to life.
There is no strategic justification for siting American missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. It is nothing but right-wing provocation. Nato’s welcome to Georgia and Ukraine, for no good reason but at risk of having to come to their aid, has served only to incite Georgia to realise that risk while also infuriating Moscow.
Russia is well able to respond recklessly to a snub without such encouragement, so why encourage it? The more powerful state – America – surely has an obligation to show the greater caution. Any strategic decision, such as the goading of Moscow, must plan for its response. Nato’s bureaucracy, lacking coherence and leadership, has been searching for a role since the end of the cold war. That role is apparently now to play with fire.
Western strategy is dealing with a resurgent, rich and potent Russia. It has played fast and loose with Moscow’s age-old sensitivity and forgotten the message of George Kennan, the American statesman: that Russia must be understood and contained rather than confronted. The naive remarks welcoming Georgia to Nato by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, show a West far detached from such analytical truths.
Any student of McCain or Obama, of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, or of the leaders of Britain, France and Germany, might conclude that these are not people likely to go to war. They are surely the children of peace. Yet history shows that “going to war” is never an intention. It is rather the result of weak, shortsighted leaders entrapped by a series of mistakes. For the West’s leaders at present, mistake has become second nature.
There are better options
|By Daniel Levy|
Israel’s response to the Iranian challenge has been out of synch with developing realities for some time. Recently though, it has become dangerously counter-productive, anchored as it is in denial. As Israel intensifies its role as threatener-in-chief, and clings to a “more sticks, bigger sticks” line, events all around are moving on.
The supposed logic behind Israel’s escalating threats, suggesting it is ready to go it alone militarily, is threefold. It pressures Iran, thereby increasing international leverage in negotiations; a nervous world feels compelled to up sanctions and deliver results; and the path is smoothed to international acceptance of possible future Israeli action. Except that the logic (always a tenuous one) is now being repudiated on all three fronts.
Iran apparently views the threats as a reason to pursue more vigorously, not desist from, its enrichment program. In general, Iran’s perception that it is the threatened party (surrounded by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arabian Gulf) adds impetus to its weapons-acquisition program. Israeli threats only add to that momentum. Sanctions tend to be a plodding, blunt and ineffective policy instrument. Iranian technological advances have outpaced sanctions every time. Anyway, the prospects of intensifying collective UN sanctions has likely been buried in the rubble of America’s spat with Russia over Georgia and its breakaway provinces.
But the collapse of Israel’s policy has been most dramatic in eliciting a public and vocal pushback against Israeli military action – from, of all places, the United States. All of America’s top military brass have gone on record recently cautioning against a military strike against Iran – and each time after having held meetings with senior Israeli officials. It seems clear that as far as the Pentagon is concerned, there will be no third front in its broader Middle East quagmire and no military green light to Israel.
In addition to losing its efficacy, the “threatener-in-chief” position is also based on a false and now more transparently false premise – namely, that Israel has a military option that carries an acceptable level of risk. American reticence is just one consideration. Several influential studies, most recently one from the Institute for Science and International Security, in Washington, suggest that an attack would only strengthen Tehran’s resolve to acquire a bomb, and that its centrifuge program could be quickly rebuilt. An attack would very likely rally the public around the most hard-line elements of the Iranian regime. Already the saber-rattling has allowed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s faction to distract attention from its economic mismanagement and to play the nationalism card.
These concerns are well-known, but it’s worth recapping them: The region would be radically, and perhaps in the medium term irreversibly, destabilized, with a potentially huge blowback for both Israel and the U.S. Israel is understandably keen to avoid a confrontation on several fronts with Iran and its allies – but an attack would create the optimal conditions for exactly that eventuality to be realized. Iranian enmity for generations would be guaranteed and friendly regional regimes shaken, or worse. For American and coalition troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and even the Gulf, an already harsh reality would likely become untenable, and that’s even before one considers the effects on oil markets and implications for world food prices and instability, and for European dependence on Russian energy supplies. Israel quite simply cannot and should not risk it.
The good news is – there are better options. For one, Israel should be leading, or at least contributing to, rather than retarding, a policy re-think on Iran. Instead, when the U.S. sends Under-Secretary of State William Burns to sit in on talks with Iran in Geneva or considers opening an interest section in Tehran, Israel takes umbrage. The same is true when our back-channel mediators with Syria, the Turks, host Iran’s leaders.
Israel needs to encourage this direct hard-headed diplomatic engagement between its friends and Iran – contributing talking points of its own and suggesting the dialogue address a broad range of issues of concern to Israel. Israel might even wrong-foot its adversaries and advance a constructive regional dynamic by developing an offer occasionally hinted at by President Shimon Peres – that Israel will support a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction in the context of regional peace, mutual recognition and security guarantees.
Beyond that, Israel should de-emphasize its unilateral military options and stress confidence in its own deterrence capacity vis-a-vis Iran. Rather than irresponsibly scaring its own public and broadcasting fear to the region, Israel’s message can be that it is uniquely placed to meet the military challenges potentially posed by Iran. In fact, without giving anything new away, Israel might reiterate that of all regional actors, it has reason to be the least concerned by developments on the Iranian side. Mutual deterrence would be an acceptable, if undesirable, outcome. That would create the sense of this being a shared problem far more than the desperate cries of gewalt and threats of unilateral action.
Don’t expect preventive diplomacy to be swift or simple – but Israel would be making a terrible, even fatal, mistake if it attacked Iran. It does no one, least of all itself, any favors with the parrot-like repetition of the “threatener-in-chief” mantra.
Daniel Levy, a senior fellow at the New America and Century Foundations, was a former adviser in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, and was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative.
At first glance, the title of this article may sound too incredible to imagine and many (in the US and Israel) will dismiss it as pure fantasy. But is it?
In the last couple of weeks we have seen changes taking place that suggest the balance of global power is beginning to move in a different direction.
Despite the “valiant” efforts of the Mainstream Media (mostly controlled by those supportive of the Bush administration and Israel), in trying to “brainwash” their readers into believing that Russia is now the “bad guy” again. It is encouraging to see that their tactics are not working quite as well as they have done in the past, and people are starting to ask questions.
But what has caused this sudden change? This can be answered in two words: Greed and Stupidity!
Once upon a time, America was a great country, it really was the land of opportunity and everyone wanted to go there to make their dreams come true. Many other countries tried to copy their success and developed a more western style. Unfortunately, some time between then and now, America stopped leading by example and decided that it should “force” its lifestyle on others (whether they wanted it or not).
At some point, America abandoned its belief in “freedom and democracy” and became an “enforcer”, a country that bullied others and dictated terms to them, the very thing that the American people have been brought up to despise.
Sadly, this change in tactics has been accepted by many Americans as the “correct” thing to do and some truly believe that America has a right to impose its beliefs on others. However, if the situation was reversed, would American citizens consider this acceptable? We have already seen the reaction of some to the increase in immigrants from Mexico and the growing use of Spanish in the United States. There is also a growing fear that Islam may play a more active part in the religious make-up of the country. How would Americans feel if they were taken over (by force) by one of these groups and told that it was in their best interests? There are many who still haven´t noticed that Israel has more influence over their country than any other group in the USA.
Since Bush was “elected”, Russia has had to listen to his insults (and those of Cheney, Rice and others), but has made every attempt to respond in a diplomatic way. However, there is always a limit to what people can accept and that line has well and truly been crossed now.
Even though the Bush administration have illegally invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and recently carried out attacks within the sovereign territory of Pakistan (killing many civilians), you do not see reports in the Russian press with headlines like “Russia demand that the US pullout of Iraq” or “The US must be punished for their invasion of Iraq”. Maybe we should, but you don´t. Russia has preferred (at least until recently) to use diplomatic methods (talk) to resolve situations. But how can you “talk” with a country that does not want to listen and seeks your destruction?
The US has been “buying” the leaders of ex-Soviet States to join them, in order to try and take control of Russia at some future date. Not to bring some “democracy and freedom” to that country, but to take its resources and move one step nearer to global supremacy.
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However, those involved in this plan (the US and Israel) have become impatient and looked to speed up the process (with the conflict between Russia and Georgia). This was their biggest mistake, but perhaps a blessing for the rest of the world. Russia (and many other countries) have seen that action must be taken quickly to rectify this problem and as a result we are likely to see a major increase in arms supplies to countries that are located near the US and Israel. These may well be of a defensive nature (initially), but the increased number of locations where missiles could be launched, will greatly reduce The US and Israel´s ability to defend themselves if they were used, thus neutralizing their ability to use their weapons at all.
News that Russia is considering supplying defensive missiles to Syria has certainly got Israel worried, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has requested a meeting with the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, to find out more. Olmert has been quoted as saying he may try and “block” any such deal, but it is unclear how he hopes to achieve that (especially as he must step down in September because of fraud and bribery charges). Perhaps if Israel weren´t the main supplier of weapons to Georgia, Russia would not be considering doing the same. What goes around comes around.
Over the next few months we can expect to see the heat turned up on the US and Israel, but the outcome is really up to them. In the meantime, we may see Europe look towards Russia as a more “stable” partner and perhaps a doorway to a much more lucrative market (not just in Russia).
Although Russia has a good supply of natural Resources, there are many areas that could benefit from European technologies and investment, but this would have to be on mutually acceptable terms (something that hasn´t always existed in the past). There is much Europe and Russia can offer each other, and maybe Europe would like the opportunity to be less dependent on America? Russia can also provide military protection as well, this is not an ability that is exclusive to America.
We have seen that many Middle Eastern countries respect and trust Russia (apart from Israel) and they have good relations with many countries that the US dislike (which is quite a long list nowadays). What better time to get around the table for a friendly chat and a few business deals? Maybe it´s time to make some “changes”, and wait for the US and Israel to behave themselves more before allowing them in to a world that can get along without threats, if they are given a chance?
Israel’s weapons policy jeopardises the country’s own security and undermines efforts to create a nuclear-free Middle East
Israel’s interior minister Meir Sheetrit – who is vying to take over the reins from outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert – has struck a welcome note of caution on Iran in his campaign for the ruling Kadima party’s leadership.
On Wednesday, he said: “Israel must on no account attack Iran, speak of attacking Iran or even think about it … Israel must defend itself only if attacked by Iran, but attacking Iran on our own initiative is a megalomaniacal [and] reckless idea.”
Earlier, former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy also struck alarm bells against calls to bomb Iran. He warned that an attack could hurt Israel’s interests for a century. “It will have a negative effect on public opinion in the Arab world.”
In fact, the ex-intelligence chief’s opinion is that, without doing anything, Israel wins anyway. “Ahmadinejad is our greatest gift,” he told the US-sponsored Arabic-language network al-Hurra on Tuesday. “We couldn’t carry out a better operation at the Mossad than to put a guy like Ahmadinejad in power in Iran.”
According to Time magazine, another senior Mossad official opined “Iran’s achievement is creating an image of itself as a scary superpower when it’s really a paper tiger.”
Although these statements, as well as reported US opposition and murmurs of dissent in Tehran against the regime’s posturing on Israel, reduce the possibility of a military confrontation for the time being, tensions could flare up at any moemnt.
“Paper tiger” or not, Tehran’s strident rhetoric is fuelling public fear in Israel, which plays into the hands of hardliners. In addition, Israel may not trust Iran’s reassurances about its civilian nuclear intentions because Israel itself gave similar assurances but, nevertheless, went on to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.
In fact, Israel’s quest to become a nuclear power started shortly after independence, and the main driving force behind it was the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. The Israeli leader – who admitted to having nightmares about “a combined attack by all the Arab armies” despite Israel possessing more firepower than all the Arab countries combined – saw nuclear weapons as the main way of ensuring Israel’s strategic security. Like Iran, he was also lured by the prestige factor of joining the nuclear club.
Following the Suez fiasco, Ben Gurion became more adamant. However, many senior officials opposed his nuclear ambition for a number of reasons: they feared it would spark a dangerous escalation, draw resources away from conventional forces and cripple the struggling Israeli economy.
Despite this opposition, Ben Gurion, whose status allowed him to circumvent the cabinet and the Knesset, struck a landmark deal with France in 1957 to build a large reactor that could separate plutonium. Concerned at where this was leading, all but one of the members of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission resigned in protest at the growing military orientation of the programme.
Although the Dimona reactor was constructed in great secrecy, with not even a whisper in the Israeli press, word leaked out and in December 1960 rumours spread in the western press and were confirmed by U2 spy planes. This triggered concern in Washington and Moscow, and fear and condemnation in the Arab world. The news also took the Israeli public by complete surprise. Ben Gurion assured the world that the reactor was “designed exclusively for peaceful purposes”.
It was around this time that Israel formulated its policy of nuclear ambiguity. Faced with international criticism and internal opposition, the legendary military leader Moshe Dayan developed the concept of what he ominously called “the bomb in the basement”.
Israel began its line that it would not be the first to “introduce” nuclear weapons into the region. Pressed on what exactly that meant, the then ambassador to Washington, Yitzhak Rabin, vaguely responded that Israel would not be the first to “test” such weapons.
Israel resisted international supervision under the IAEA and only grudgingly agreed to pre-arranged American inspections to limited sections of the Dimona facility which, critics argued, allowed it to hide the military activity at the reactor behind false walls.
Experts estimate that Israel acquired a nuclear capability shortly after the 1967 war and today possesses up to 200 nuclear warheads, putting it among the top six nuclear nations, just behind the UK.
Interestingly, a 1963 CIA report predicted that a nuclear Israel would polarise and destabilise the region and would probably make “Israel’s policy with its neighbours … more, rather than less, tough”. The report also touched on the attendant dangers, such as a possible Arab quest for their own “deterrent”, as well as the damage to western interests in the region.
And, as long as Israel holds on to its nuclear arsenal, the shadow of proliferation will not go away. For at least 30 years, Arab governments, as well as Iran, have been pushing for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East. If Israel is concerned about a nuclear Iran, or the possibility that other regimes in the region will acquire the bomb, the best way it can avert this is to offer to phase out its nuclear arsenal in return for cast-iron Iranian assurances under international supervision.
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America’s New World Order is not just under global siege, its values are now downright dangerous to our survival, fears Richard Wright.
There may be no other country in the world in which myth and history are as intimately entwined as the United States of America.
As history buff and novelist Ronald Wright (Stolen Continents; A Short History of Progress) points out in his eloquently impertinent and persuasive book What Is America?, it’s a dance of co-dependency that dates back to 1492. Without the self-serving embellishments of myth – especially that which pertains to the endlessly exploitable horizon of the frontier — American history stands to lose the rudder of progress that sustains its “manifest destiny” as the anointed leader of the free world.
But freedom’s a cunning little word, isn’t it? If evoked with due persuasiveness, it can conceal a multitude of sin and hypocrisy. It is this history of persuasion, held against 500-plus years of events, actions and policies that contradict freedom’s good name, that What Is America? deconstructs with such provocative rhetorical passion.
It would be one thing if this were an angry book – there are as many angry books out there as there are reasons to be angry – but it’s something more than that: an angry book with an excellent case.
“All who delve into American history must contend with a language of misnomer and condescension,” Wright states in his author’s foreword. “Whites are soldiers, Indians are warriors; whites live in towns, Indians in villages; whites have states, Indians have tribes.” This is the language of myth, an idiom of seductive euphemism that serves the purpose of reassuring a dominant culture that it is on the right side of history.
Right from the suggestion that the “New World” was “discovered” by Columbus, America has been cast as vast, God-given opportunity, a bounteous geographical buffet, created for the feasting of those hungry and adventurous enough to gorge on the spoils.
But America was no more discovered than it was new. As he did in previous books, Wright enlists documents and eyewitness accounts dating back to the Europeans’ first contact with the original Americans (whose semantic demotion to “Indians” is “a measure of the demographic catastrophe that gave rise to the United States”). He quickly demonstrates how the continent was actually fully “settled” – by various civilizations stretching from one tip of the Americas to the other – long before the first European ships first laid anchor.
This created a public relations problem of epic proportions: How does one portray the wholesale takeover of one populated continent by force as an act of righteous destiny? How does one render a systematic history of invasion, plunder, imperial aggression and – to use Wright’s term – ethnic cleansing, as the fulfillment of God’s intentions?
Well, what you must do is infuse history with myth, thereby setting in motion the process of “spin” that marks yet another thread linking the contemporary idea of the “New World Order” with one that began more than five centuries ago.
In Wright’s view, America was invaded, occupied and taken over. But that invasion required both justification and self-delusion to function as a nobler purpose and inevitable action. This is where the notion of “frontier” found its enduring and fundamental calling.
“In the mythology created by romantic novels and Hollywood westerns,” Wright states, “the frontier is a virgin wilderness tamed by heroic pioneers. The real frontier was a rolling three-century war zone, from 1607 to 1890, in which the continent violently changed hands.”
The taming of the geographical frontier only marked the beginning of another one: “Isolated and unschooled, the frontier became a breeding ground for militarism and religious extremism – the two aspects of American culture that outsiders, and many Americans, find most alarming today, especially when they converge in government policy as they did under Ronald Reagan and again, more strongly, under George W. Bush.”
Yes, that’s the line we’re drawing here: a history of European and subsequently American imperial impulse, justified by a half-millennium of historical makeover that connects Christopher Columbus to George W. Bush. If that seems strident or simplistic – as mapped out by What Is America?, it is neither – it is also a line that runs parallel to the thread that justifies the actions of the present with the mythology of the past.
The difference, of course, is the difference between the purposes of history and the function of mythology. If the knowledge of the past is essential to the illumination of the present, myth is knowledge’s opposite. History cautions us to proceed into the future carefully, our rear-view mirrors firmly in place. Myth insists we follow our dreams – even if it leads over the brink.
Wright’s book will not likely find sympathetic readers among those who see it as America’s mission – if not its very self-definition – to dream big. But that kind of dreaming needs to end if the world is to open its eyes to what it has become, how it became that way, and where it might be headed.
Wright flat out declares that the United States’s version of a world order threatens Earth’s very survival, “eating into Nature’s capital instead of living on her interest, wrecking the very ecosystems on which we depend.”
In the European Union, Wright sees hope: a group of nations that have collectively awakened to the necessity of a clear vision linking present, past and future. “America,” concludes Wright, “which helped set the Europeans on their new path half a century ago, must now examine its own record – the facts, not the myths – and free itself from the potent yet potentially fatal mix of forces that created its nation, its empire, and the modern world.”
Toronto author and broadcaster Geoff Pevere is The Star‘s book columnist. He appears weekly.
Below is the article titled “Fascism Anyone?” by Dr. Laurence W. Britt that appeared in the Spring 2003 Free Inquiry magazine. Free Inquiry magazine is a journal of humanist thought published quarterly by the Council for Secular Humanism. The link to the article follows the article. The list of fourteen characteristics of fascism is interesting but it leaves unexplained how fascism comes into existence in capitalist countries. The way fascism comes into existence is this. Typically, in capitalist nations that have gone fascist, the capitalist class controls most of the capital. Also, typically, the pro-fascist faction of the capitalist class uses their overwhelming economic power to finance the political campaigns of the pro-fascist politicians, and in some cases the private fascist armies at the service of pro-fascist politicians, in their rise to power. In all cases, the attraction of fascism to the pro-fascist faction of the capitalist class is they deceive themselves into believing that they can retain their enormous economic power, and the political power it can buy, without solving the inherent problems associated with capitalism or the external problems confronting capitalism. That is, they deceive themselves into believing that they can retain their power via a fascist state that crushes all political opposition. Historically, this has been a recipe for disaster. – John P. Stoltenberg, P.E.
Laurence W. Britt
August 24, 2008
Free Inquiry readers may pause to read the “Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles” on the inside cover of the magazine. To a secular humanist, these principles seem so logical, so right, so crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.
We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist1 regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.
Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.
For the purpose of this perspective, I will consider the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible.
Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice-relentless propaganda and disinformation-were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.
5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.
6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.
9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.
14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.
Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.
1. Defined as a “political movement or regime tending toward or imitating Fascism”-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.
With less than a week to go until the Democrats officially nominate Obama at their convention in Denver, and with barely two-and-a-half months until the election, the candidate’s speech underscores a stark political reality confronting the American people. Once again this November, the two-party system will offer no means of expressing the massive popular opposition to war, but rather an empty choice between two big business candidates who are committed to the expanded use of militarism in pursuit of US corporate and financial interests. – Bill Van Auken
By Bill Van Auken
20 August 2008
Speaking before an audience of 3,000 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama defended his patriotism while attacking his Republican rival for being squeamish about launching unilateral military attacks against Pakistan.
Obama’s speech Tuesday in Orlando, Florida followed an appearance Monday before the same convention by Republican candidate Senator John McCain, who delivered a right-wing diatribe portraying the Democrat as a political opportunist and virtual traitor for his policy on the war in Iraq.
McCain charged Obama with having “tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge.” He continued: “Not content to merely predict failure in Iraq, my opponent tried to legislate failure.”
In his response, Obama spoke not as an opponent of war, but rather as an advocate of a superior strategy for pursuing US imperialist interests by military means.
He chided McCain for “talking tough without acting tough and smart,” while outlining a policy agenda that includes a continuation of the occupation of Iraq–albeit on a reduced basis–an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and its extension across the border into Pakistan. Finally, he put forward a policy of confrontation with Russia in the Caucasus that dovetails fully with the positions taken by the McCain campaign and the Bush administration itself.
Obama began his speech by declaring that America confronted a “defining moment in our history,” a conjuncture that he indicated had been reached owing to a series of events involving the ongoing or potential use of American military force.
“We are in the midst of two wars,” he said. “The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large. Russia has invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia. Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.”
Obama objected to McCain’s charge that he had shifted his position on Iraq, arguing that he had been consistent from the start. Referring to his initial opposition to the 2003 invasion, the Democratic candidate stressed that he was not opposed to aggressive wars in general, but that he viewed the war in Iraq as a miscalculation. He insisted instead that “our first priority had to be finishing the fight” in Afghanistan.
While suggesting that the “costly strategic errors” involved in the Iraq war had not been erased by the supposed successes of the military “surge” which sent 30,000 additional American troops into the country, Obama nonetheless praised the operation.
He hailed General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who oversaw the military escalation, as “outstanding Americans,” while attributing the “lowering” of “the level of violence” in Iraq to “the outstanding efforts of our military, the increasing capability of Iraq’s Security Forces, the ceasefire of Shiite militias, and the decision taken by Sunni tribes to take the fight to Al Qaeda.” He concluded, “Those are the facts, and all Americans welcome them.”
There are other “facts,” however, which millions of Americans recognize as both criminal and shameful. The suppression of Iraqi resistance to foreign occupation, which is neither complete nor permanent, has been achieved through the killing of well over a million civilians and the turning of millions more into refugees. The US war and occupation have essentially destroyed Iraq as a functioning society.
Yet for Obama, the catastrophe produced by a war aimed at seizing control of Iraq’s oil reserves is the fault not of Washington, but of the Iraqis themselves.
“We have lost over a thousand American lives and spent hundreds of billions of dollars since the surge began, but Iraq’s leaders still haven’t made hard compromises or substantial investments in rebuilding their country,” declared the Democratic candidate. “And while we pay a heavy price in Iraq–and Americans pay record prices at the pump–Iraq’s government is sitting on a $79 billion dollar budget surplus from windfall oil profits.”
“Iraqi inaction threatens the progress we’ve made and creates an opening for Iran and the ‘special groups’ it supports,” he continued. “It’s time to press the Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. The best way to do that is a responsible redeployment of our combat brigades, carried out in close consultation with commanders on the ground.”
In other words, Obama is not advocating an end to a predatory war, but rather its reconfiguration in a manner designed to pressure the regime in Baghdad into acceding more fully to US demands.
As he spelled out, this “responsible redeployment” will not mean an end to the US occupation. While vowing to remove US “combat brigades” from Iraq over the course of his first year-and-a-half in office–extending their presence well into 2010–Obama made it clear that many other troops would remain.
“After this redeployment, we’ll keep a residual force to target remnants of Al Qaeda, to protect our service members and diplomats, and to train Iraq’s Security Forces if the Iraqis make political progress,” he said. Such a force would inevitably consist of tens of thousands of American soldiers and Marines.
Moreover, he explained, the purpose of this reduction in the American “footprint” in Iraq would not be to curtail the global role of American militarism, but rather to facilitate its exercise elsewhere.
The partial withdrawal from Iraq, he said, would allow Washington to “strengthen our military, and to finish the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and the border region of Pakistan.”
Describing Afghanistan as the “central front in the war on terrorism,” Obama continued: “This is a war that we have to win. And as commander-in-chief, I will have no greater priority than taking out these terrorists who threaten America and finishing the job against the Taliban.”
Obama’s attempt to sell the US intervention in Afghanistan as some kind of “good war” being waged against the perpetrators of 9/11is as grotesque a lie as the ones used by the Bush administration to justify the war in Iraq. US and NATO forces are waging a brutal campaign that is claiming an escalating toll of civilian casualties as they fight popular resistance to the US-led occupation from the predominantly Pashtun population on both sides of the porous Afghan-Pakistani border. “Taking out these terrorists who threaten America” means a savage military campaign against this population.
He called for throwing two more US combat brigades into the colonial-style war against the people of Afghanistan.
The Democratic candidate’s call for a shift in the relative weight of US military power from Iraq to Afghanistan has emerged as the consensus position within the predominant layers of the American foreign policy establishment.
A so-called “terrorism index” published Monday by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress, based on a survey of “foreign policy experts” (US security officials, intelligence operatives and academics), found that 69 percent support shifting US forces from Iraq to Afghanistan and 80 percent believe that Washington has devoted too much attention to Iraq and not enough to Afghanistan.
Underlying this orientation is a concern not with combating “terrorism,” but rather with US strategic interests. Central Asia, with its extensive oil and natural gas reserves, has emerged as a region of critical importance. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, Washington has attempted to assert its hegemony in Central Asia in opposition to both Russia and China. The attacks of September 11 provided the pretext for a military intervention that had been planned long beforehand.
Obama went on to attack McCain from the right, accusing him of reticence about “bombing our ally” in Pakistan.
“So for all of his talk about following Osama bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, Senator McCain refused to join my call to take out bin Laden across the Afghan border,” he said. “Instead, he spent years backing a dictator in Pakistan who failed to serve the interests of his own people.”
The McCain campaign issued a statement pointing out that in the Democratic primary debates last year, Obama voiced his own support for US collaboration with Pakistan’s military strongman, Pervez Musharraf, who was forced to resign Monday.
“We have to work with Musharraf, because the biggest threat to American security right now is in the northwest provinces of Pakistan,” Obama said in the debate. He added, “We should continue to give him military aid contingent on him doing something about that.”
Finally, on Georgia, Obama stressed his unity with his Republican rival, declaring, “Senator McCain and I both strongly support the people of Georgia.”
The Washington Post reported Monday that “Some Democrats have been pleading with Obama to use McCain’s tough response to the Russian invasion of Georgia to paint him as a trigger-happy interventionist who would risk bringing a war-weary nation into military conflict in regions where the United States has no interest.”
Instead, Obama tried to outdo the Republican candidate in terms of menacing rhetoric. He regurgitated the war propaganda about “Russian atrocities,” while repeating the administration’s mantra that “Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected,” a euphemism for supporting the attempt by the regime in Tbilisi to militarily conquer the autonomous territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He also voiced his support for Georgia, a former Soviet republic, being “integrated” into the NATO military alliance, a policy that has dramatically heightened US-Russian tensions.
Obama included a tribute to Senator Joseph Biden (Democrat of Delaware)–reportedly a leading contender for the vice-presidential nomination–who had just returned from a trip to Georgia, and went on to cast the conflict in bellicose, Cold War terms.
The candidate concluded by warning Moscow that its actions in the Caucasus would “have consequences.”
With less than a week to go until the Democrats officially nominate Obama at their convention in Denver, and with barely two-and-a-half months until the election, the candidate’s speech underscores a stark political reality confronting the American people. Once again this November, the two-party system will offer no means of expressing the massive popular opposition to war, but rather an empty choice between two big business candidates who are committed to the expanded use of militarism in pursuit of US corporate and financial interests.