Martial Law at the RNC

Martial Law at the RNC

If you deny that the U.S. is CURRENTLY under Martial Law you are not only locked into complete psychological denial you are an imbecile and a fool. Time to awaken; it is the Fall, the days are growing shorter.

Martial Law actually used to be called “Maritime Law” because Navies used to be the controlling/policing entity and primary military force of the globe. Then it was changed to “Martial Law.” Some still use “Maritime Law” especially old salty dogs.

But either way; local “law enforcement” and Homeland Security have basically fully made the transition into Federal Agents now.

After George HW Bush called up Martial Law in 1992 due to the Los Angels “Riots” of 1992 when the 1st Marines from Camp Pendleton, California and the 1st Armored Infantry Battalion form Fort Ord, California were deployed upon the city of Los Angeles. Under George HW Bush and for the first time in the history of the United States Posse Comitadus was repealed and US Federal Troops invaded their own country and killed their own people.

George HW Bush never truly and fully repealed his declaration of Martial Law once he called for it and that’s why he made his infamous “New World Order will be a success” speech that we all know and love so well…

Then it was only a matter of his son capturing the Throne so he continue the work his father King George I had began.

King George II has since installed 27 “Presidential Directives”, forced the FISA bill on the nation, empowered FEMA and created Homeland Security which all together completed his fathers earlier work and finalized the official but “unannounced” transition into full “Martial Law.”

Modern Definition of Martial Law:
Martial law is when military-like actions are taken upon a nations own citizens and constitutional and human rights are violated on a regular basis as part of a standard operating procedure (SOP).

It is when you cannot protest without a “permit” and your freedom of speech is silenced.

It is basically what they call a “police state”. It is when the “police” are trained by and act like federal officials/military police rather than the civilian peace keepers they are supposed to be.

It is when random AND permanent checkpoints are set up by Homeland Security and police officers like they have now all over the country especially along interstate-highway 8 and 10.

Many believe that martial law is ONLY when the actual Army/Marines/National Guard patrol the streets but this is incorrect as these troops are committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and attending to the other 1100 U.S. military bases that are outside of the U.S.

Homeland Security and the local police departments have been trained by federal agents and are federal agents and in these modern times are now enforcing obvious martial law.

The days of the Army rolling down the street in tanks is over as it is unnecessary because the U.S. citizens have been pacified enough and Homeland Security and the Police have been trained and armed enough to where this would surely be overkill.

Besides there are US National Guard bases in the majority of 30,000+ population towns and the troops are committed overseas.

A basic example of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for martial law would be the internment camps they have set-up in Colorado in preparation for the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

If the country was not under martial law setting up these kind of warehouse-style camps which are being hidden from the media and the citizens would not be permitted by the city, county or state.

Watch a White House press conference and/or go to your local court house and peak inside a court room and look at the American Flag.

You will notice that the flag will have gold tassel around it’s borders. If you understand this and have any education in these matters you would know in fact that it is a Federal Crime to attach ANYTHING to the American Flag.

The ONLY thing that can be attached to the American Flag by Federal law under penalty of prosecution are GOLD TASSELS, GOLD FRINGE and they can ONLY be attached in the case of MARTIAL LAW ordered by the President of the United States of America.

Of course under martial law information, education, news, networks and the internet (as seen nightly on FOX news and CNN) are censored therefor research on this subject is not the easiest although it can be done.


The Right To Peaceably Assemble -vs- Concussion Grenade Launchers

ACLU Slams Classified FBI Memorandum Directing Law Enforcement to Engage in Protest Suppression Tactic

ACLU Slams Classified FBI Memorandum Directing Law Enforcement to Engage in Protest Suppression Tactics

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today denounced a classified FBI intelligence memorandum, obtained by the New York Times, which gives police detailed instructions on how to target and monitor lawful political demonstrations under the rubric of fighting terrorism.

“”Attorney General Ashcroft has dismissed critics of the Justice Department’s tactics as ‘hysterical’ and has even said that such criticism aids the terrorists,”” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director.  “”But this bulletin confirms that the federal government is targeting innocent Americans engaged in nothing more than lawful protest and dissent.  The American people deserve an explanation for what is clearly a return to the days of J. Edgar Hoover’s spying tactics.””

According to a front-page story in today’s New York Times, the memorandum was circulated last month to local law enforcement agencies around the country in advance of mass marches and rallies in Washington, DC and San Francisco against the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

The memorandum, the Times reports, details how protesters have sometimes used “”training camps”” to rehearse for demonstrations, the Internet to raise money and gas masks to defend against tear gas.  It describes lawful activities like recruiting demonstrators, as well as illegal activities like using fake documentation to get into a secured site.

“”It is troubling that the FBI is advocating spying on peaceful protesters, but even protesters who engage in civil disobedience or other disruptive acts should not be treated like potential terrorists,”” Romero said.

Of particular concern is one section warning law enforcement about protesters’ use of videotaping as an “”intimidation”” technique.  Most mainstream demonstrators often use videotape during protests to document law enforcement activity and, more importantly, deter police from acting outside the law.

Citing no specific intelligence of suspected unlawful activity by the protesters, the memorandum describes, in detail, protest tactics and strategies that should be tracked by law enforcement officials including the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF).

While saying that the FBI possesses no information about any planned unlawful activity, the bulletin urges local law enforcement “”to be alert to these possible indicators of protest activity and report any potentially illegal acts”” to federal authorities.

Importantly, the ACLU said that it had already seen proof that peaceful activities were being monitored by the JTTF.  Documents recently obtained by the ACLU of Colorado as part of its “”Spy Files”” lawsuit against Denver police confirmed that the local JTTF has been collecting information about peaceful protest activities that have nothing to do with terrorism or any other criminal activity.

News of the classified bulletin also comes on the heels of an ACLU lawsuit against the Secret Service for the continuing practice of allowing pro-Bush protesters to remain visible to cameras during presidential appearances, and corralling anti-Bush protesters into pens or designated areas far from the media.

The FBI memorandum is online at:

Overcoming Human Nature: The Revolution of the Meek

Overcoming Human Nature: The Revolution of the Meek

By: Peter Chamberlin

What words can I conjure to give meaning to the visions that dominate my brain, images of evil and bloodlust, consuming the flesh of an unwary people. I see the rapidly approaching epic, the cataclysmic convulsion of a violent racist culture, stabbing feverishly at its own womb, hoping to abort the birth of the new man of peace and unity.

I see clearly the rising image of the new race, a new culture dedicated to enlightenment. The new mankind will be hungry for knowledge, in the same way that the current race is hungry for wealth and power. The new man will seek to overcome life’s problems through understanding them, instead of forcefully re-ordering them to a more acceptable configuration.

Bringing forth the “New Man” is the core of all religious teaching, as is the coming catastrophic era, which will draw-out the mind of the new man from the debris of the shattered old mind. No prophet or founder of religions has ever been able to convert more than a handful of his closest followers into these New Men, whose minds have been liberated from the baggage of the old. But each of them clearly described the apocalyptic events which would rip the new earth from the old.

All belief systems, even religious ones, have been corrupted by power-mad individuals who intend to keep mankind in the dark, confused about the most basic items of truth and reality. They perverted the faiths, turning each of them away from the nurturing teachings of their Prophet founders, focusing instead, on sowing division among the faithful. Trusted spiritual leaders, by their actions, have hidden the many ways of growing a generation of “New Men,” ensuring that mankind would only have one path to mass enlightenment open unto them, the path of cataclysm/conversion. The new man would eventually arise, but, like the Phoenix, he would necessarily arise out of the ashes of the old order.

The great intellectual leaps made in the past are portrayed as ends in themselves, not as steps in a series of enlightening revelations. Religion itself, has been turned into a dead end, where personal enlightenment is allegedly only possible if carried-out in a sanctioned group environment.

The closing of minds is the cornerstone of all efforts to claim illegitimate power on this earth. Conversely, the opening of minds must be the foundation for any effort to call forth the new man, who will naturally assume his rightful place between the majority of the human race and the evil minority that seeks to enslave all life.

In order for us to open a new path to awakening a generation of new men we must expose the corruption and imminent collapse of the old order, which is based on economic control, and visualize the new earth, based on cooperation and shared humanity. We see a new world, not based on control and the idea of domination, but one of unlimited human potential, given free rein to grow and understand the problems that we create for ourselves. The old world order must give way to a new world that has no center, where edicts and coercive dictates do not exist. In the new order, power will flow from each person.

In the old order, everyman was encouraged to want to be king. “Success” was measured by how close you came to fulfilling this kingly ambition. The “aristocracy” (“rule by the best,” meaning the wealthiest) came to rule over mankind, with each man giving his consent to the arrangement. The cultivated desire to live like kings is the glue that bound the kingdom together, becoming the basis of the capitalist system.

The “aristocrats” were a minority of individuals possessed of the desire to dominate and control all things within their grasp. The bigger their grasp, the more people there were under their influence, capable of being dominated or controlled. The original kings were the most successful members the self-appointed aristocracy, those most ruthless men who had amassed the most wealth, making them most capable of hiring armies of mercenaries and thugs to enforce their will and to maintain their economic domination.

These were men without consciences, who were never bothered by the human suffering they created in their lust to control and to accumulate the resources now divided amongst the masses.

The aristocratic minority possess abnormal personalities marked by psychopathic obsessions to dominate and control others, as opposed to normal people, whose natures allow them to work and play well with others. The economic system created by the aristocracy is a system of control, enforced by laws and armies, designed to expand, without end, until all life on the planet is brought under aristocratic domination. The expansion of the system will not stop until all resources are brought under their control.

In order for the system to function, the majority of the people have to remain as willing to submit to the economic domination of the wealthy minority as the elite are determined to dominate them. But a funny thing happened on the way to the world dictatorship, just before total resource domination was achieved, the majority began to resist. The “meek” were starting to assert their will to hold onto the little that they had. The resistance of the meek had begun.

For the total global aristocratic dominion to become reality the force levels used to maintain control over the majority have to increase to a level sufficient to eliminate all ideas of further resistance. It had become crystal clear to the elite planners that the only way for the aristocracy to maintain its web of control and to accomplish its plans for total resource domination was to unleash all the force in its arsenal into the heart of the global resistance.

If the key to continued domination of the earth was to unleash a spasm of violence like the world had never before witnessed, culminating in a global thermonuclear war, the death of millions and the destruction of the planet, then so be it! The meek cannot be allowed to inherit anything; everything belongs to the ruling class!

The would-be world rulers are faced with an extreme dilemma, “how to conquer the world without destroying themselves with it?” If the plan for total resource domination calls for the full use of all military power to overcome weaker enemies, then how could you attack adversaries with equivalent forces without causing your own destruction?

The self-appointed rulers of the world determined that these powerful competitors could be compromised through the same formula of economic coercion that their kind had always employed – bribes and threats of force. “King’s ransoms” would surely bend the most-dangerous resistance forces to their wills. “Low-level conflict,” a euphemism for warfare by terrorism, would convey the threat of greater war, along with the exorbitant bribes, for those who were more resistant to the empire’s “reasoning.”

But even this game is running-up against the will of the resistance, the “meek” are getting really pissed-off, in the face of insane measures meant to ignite world war and to unleash the dreaded nuclear “horseman of the apocalypse” upon the resistant “lower” classes. If a majority of us “get our backs up,” no amount of worthless currency will buy us off. We are witnesses to the ongoing attempts by the American government and its foreign minions to ignite an insane world war, for the sake of preserving the illegitimate power that drives their megalomaniacal dreams.

Enough is enough! The time has come for the revolution of the meek. We will not go quietly into the night!

For those who believe in freedom, the revolution calls you.

For those who hate freedom for others, the revolution waits for you.

All power which assumes greater powers for itself than those it was originally given is illegitimate power. In an age when illegitimate power is openly moving to seize all available power, all those free men who love the rights and powers granted to them by their Creator must step forward to oppose the seizure. If all good things flow from the mind of God, then those men who move to separate mankind from these good things are clearly evil.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke. This truism applies to all men, for all time, but it is truer today than in any past era. When governments all over the world work together to preserve their collective illegitimate powers, then it is time for a worldwide revolution to set all men free.

As Americans, we are at the epicenter of the world collective of illegitimate power. It is our destiny to be the ones who stand face-to-face with “the Beast, to force a divide within the government collective (Congress), that will disable the forward thrust to crush the rights of all mankind. To all the members of the United States Congress I say, if you, as our representatives, allow the invasion of another country, or the introduction of American troops into the streets of the United States, for the purpose of ending democracy and eliminating the Bill of Rights, then the revolution awaits you.

To President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid, I say to you, if you move forward with your plans for world war or for establishing a police state in America, for the purpose of seizing control of the world’s energy sources and creating an illegitimate world government, then the revolution awaits you, with all its fury.

America’s illegitimate power can no longer be maintained. America’s military and other powers of persuasion can no longer contain the actions of the other governments of the world. Killing is not the solution, the saving and improving of all life is the answer. This country has amassed the largest debt that the world has ever witnessed, for the sake of empowering the military machine used to dominate the world. This debt will never be repaid.

In the time America has left to continue operations under this debt-based system (before our creditors decide to pull the plug on our borrowing) we must move away from war, towards the path of reconciliation. In a world of near-total chaos, brought about by our double-dealing “diplomacy” and our own military and economic aggression, America will find itself broken and alone. If we have any hope of being allowed back into the world community after it begins to recover from the great collapse, then it will only come about by our trying right now, to repair the damage that we have wrought, before it becomes impossible to do so.

This requires that we stop our war of terrorism and devote a large portion of those funds dedicated to waging the war into an international re-building effort, to begin to repair the nations we have destroyed and to alleviate some of the human suffering we have caused. In the new world economy, the illegitimate power of capitalism, which can only be maintained by military force, will have been broken itself. This breakdown will cause unimaginable suffering to intensify, as the food distribution chains break down, as well. What would an investment equivalent to one year of the Pentagon’s budget (or the amount spent on new weapons systems in one year) do towards insuring that more people do not starve because of America’s mistakes?

Americans must reconcile themselves to the horrendous truth about what has been done to the world in our name. We must face the ugly truth that we have allowed our government to rampage through the world like some rabid beast, devouring the weak and wounding the strong. We have allowed our government to assume illegitimate power to a level that rivals all predecessor progenitors of evil.

As this evil government moves against the world with the fullness of its military power, we can see clearly that the revolution has come to us. Do we allow the destruction of freedom, God’s greatest gift to mankind, or do we follow the example of our own sacred predecessors and stand together as free men, standing between our government and the world? The revolution is all that stands between the evil plans of these men and their fulfillment. What will you do when the rest of us take our stand?

This evil era has been foretold by prophets the world over, for many centuries. Each prophecy spoke of those who stood fast for truth in the face of those who sought to bury freedom and turn the world into a race of slaves. Are you among those few who will place your very life on the frontline of freedom?

The revolution has found you. Can you ignore its call?

“Corporism: The Systemic Disease that Destroys Civilization.”


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Huge corporations now control America’s body politic by reason of their bald-faced purchases of the three branches of the American government and America’s major media.


by Ken Reiner:

05/09/03: I view the continuing growth of corporate power and its despotic control of governments throughout the world, including our own, as a socio-economic disease. While Mussolini and others named it “Fascism,” I call it “Corporism” because that name better reveals its underlying institutional structure. I would define Corporism as the domination of government and society by the emergence and power of the giant publicly-traded multinational corporations and financial institutions, organized in totalitarian hierarchies, which singly and in combinations buy or destroy their competitors, corrupt the politics of nations, and seize, hoard, and wield for themselves most of the wealth of the human race.

We must recognize that we do have this cancerous disease, what it is doing to us and the world we live in, how it came about historically, and how and why it continues to be generated and sustained now in our society. Just as computer viruses find their ways into the software of our computers and destroy their operation, Corporism, promulgating itself by financial, legal, and technological means, has infected society in ways that lead to the hoarding of human resources, increasing insecurity and misery for the bulk of the world’s population, perhaps even to worldwide holocaust. We must conquer this disease if we are to survive.

Long before the birth of the American Republic, the British crown adapted the corporation that was the form of ancient universities into a device to dominate British colonies throughout the world, including those on this continent. Through their “crown corporations” the Kings of England and their designated agents governed, taxed, and controlled the production and trade and skimmed off the profits of their colonial lands and subjects, enforcing their reign by military means. When our forebears revolted, defeated the British, and formed the United States, we also wiped out the King’s corporations. They ceased to exist here. That was part of what independence meant to our founding fathers.

By the time of our civil war, however, the “robber barons,” those famous, greedy, wealthy, ruthless American industrialists, had again found ways to establish device of British kings to their own aggrandizement. In court case after court case for almost a century and a half, corporation lawyers have refined and perfected the legal immunities and powers of these artificial, state-created, wealth-hoarding, irresponsible entities. Beginning in 1886, they prevailed upon the U.S. Supreme Court to grant them virtually all of the constitutional rights of citizens. This in effect allowed them to resume the role of their royal predecessors in ruling the country. In cahoots with their banks, huge corporations now control America’s body politic by reason of their bald-faced purchases of the three branches of the American government and America’s major media.

In consequence, by the beginning of the 21st Century the United States had ceased to function as a republic, much less as a democracy. These giant corporations, headed in most instances by members of an extremely wealthy elite group of multimillionaires and even billionaires, subvert healthy enterprise and true entrepreneurship. One percent of those at the top of the economic scale now have as much wealth as the bottom 95%, and the ratio keeps worsening. We humans, reduced to being “the non-corporate citizens” of the United States, retain only those rights and benefits that Corporate America allows us. Corporations in essence now elect and control our government, write virtually all its laws, and have control of the police, the courts, and the military.

This same Corporate America, ensconced now as “the only superpower,” through its foreign subsidiaries and the state-corporate world-governing instruments, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund, effectively controls the entire world. We Americans have come full circle in these past 225 years. We overthrew the British King’s corporate rulers in 1776, but now we suffer the domination of American corporate rulers who are also colonizing the rest of the world on behalf of themselves.

Is this the land of the free our forbears fought with their lives to establish? Do we have any chance of peacefully co-existing with the growing number of nations our multinational corporations are exploiting and impoverishing throughout the world? Half the world’s people are being thrown into greater and greater poverty, starvation, and despair as they lose their means of livelihood, their health, their cultures, and their hopes for self-government and self-sufficiency. They, like us, can find no ways to improve their access to and control over their governments.

But they know where the power center is, in New York and Washington. On September 11th, 2001, just a few men, probably no more than 19 of them, organized into four bands, and armed only with box-cutters, hijacked four commercial airliners from three separate airports hundreds of miles apart and, in a painstakingly planned suicidal operation, flew two of the planes into America’s famous trade-center towers which came crashing down, another into one of the five wings of the Pentagon, and another into the earth in Pennsylvania, the target still not known or revealed. These startling, horrific acts, unopposed by our defense forces for still unexplained reasons, causing almost 3,000 deaths, took place in broad daylight. The repercussions that immediately ensued were new in human history. Televised images of these cataclysmic events and the chaos in the streets of New York were viewed by hundreds of millions of people around the world, assuring immeasurable consequences.

This was followed by the shutdown of national air travel and the stock market, President Bush’s declaration of war against those he claimed he knew were responsible or suspected of aiding the hijackers, the war against and bombing of Afghanistan, a clampdown on civil liberties in the United States, and the dispatch of U.S. troops to the Philippines, the nation of Georgia, and Indonesia. And any day now, as we write, we plan to attack 23-million-person nation of Iraq, which sits on eleven percent of the world’s oil supply.

As if that wasn’t enough, The Los Angeles Times recently revealed that in a new Nuclear Posture Review, signed by Donald Rumsfeld after close consultation with George W. Bush, our corporate-controlled government considers seven sovereign nations possible targets of our nuclear weapons and, casting aside the taboo against using nuclear weapons, appears to be preparing to use them to fight the war on Iraq and future wars.

Our government’s fundamental answer to September 11th in its “war on terrorism” is a demand for a military budget larger than the combined such budgets of the next 14 largest national militaries and a promise of endless war making around the world. The reality that America rules the world through force of arms, trade treaties that give our corporations the advantage, and U.S. control of the world oil supply through our “association” with the dynastic rulers of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, must be addressed and renounced. In a world filled with poverty-stricken, starving people, a doctrine of America-First hegemony based on market profitability as the factor guiding the world, instead of the well-being of people and nature, puts all of human society on the verge of explosion and revolt.

Were the plain facts of the corporate takeover of the United States and the world known and understood by a large section of the American people (they are not because the corporate media belong to the forces governing us), no doubt our citizenry would try to overturn those who have created this situation. As long as our response to attacks on us is military there will likely continue to be many more such calamitous attacks on us, even perhaps with devastating nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. These may come from persons outside of the country, or they may come from domestic sources, such as the Oklahoma City attack and possibly the anthrax attacks.

It can now be seen that the root of our national crisis is the system that was designed to enfranchise only propertied white males. That system, Corporism, refined and perfected by the robber barons in 1886 and beyond by the Supreme Court’s establishment of the rule of Americans by public corporations, effectively takes the wealth of the many and funnels it to the few. The kind of economic and political growth that Corporism engenders, under the unitary law of profit over people and place, is leading our nation and the world toward a totally inhuman, anti-environmental state. That in turn is leading more and more people throughout the world to blame our country for their suffering, with many seeking our demise by one means or another.

We are now in exceedingly dire straits, and it is imperative that we understand how these forces improperly controlling the world developed, and continue to grow, right under our eyes, right here in this country. To contribute to an understanding of how this happened is the purpose of this essay.

THE FOUNDERS of our democracy regarded corporations as pariahs. The Boston Tea Party and our ensuing American Revolution had the primary purpose of freeing us from the domination of the British Crown and the Crown’s corporations, which ruled the colonies in the Eighteenth Century. Originally the states chartered public corporations for limited terms of years and specific operations. Our founders insisted that these limited-purpose corporations were creations of the people and could be shut down by the people.

Since the Civil War, however, America’s public corporations have developed and grown dynamically. In 1886, in Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was reported to have declared that the court regarded corporations as “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment, although the court did not so hold in its decision. That amendment had been adopted to guarantee formerly-enslaved blacks the full protections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It had not been written with corporations in mind. The doctrine that corporations, like persons, have personal constitutional rights is strictly judge-made law without the authority or awareness, and against the interests of, the people. Once the public corporations had been granted these rights–extending eventually to almost all personal constitutional rights–they escaped the control of the states and gained powers that our founders thought had been revoked forever.

If we are to reclaim the democracy we have lost because of these court decisions, this gross error must be corrected. As Justice William O. Douglas stated in a famous 1948 Supreme Court dissent: “If they (the people) want corporations to be treated as humans are treated, if they want to grant corporations this large degree of emancipation from state regulation, they should say so. The Constitution provides a method by which they may do so. We should not do it for them through the guise of interpretation. I can only conclude that the Santa Clara case was wrong, and should be overruled.”

As an engineer, I know that to solve any problem the first and most important step is to understand what the problem really is. I have been a successful manufacturer, independent entrepreneur, and inventor for more than half a century. My wife and I actively run a manufacturing company, and from that perspective for more than the past 40 years I have experienced and talked about Corporism, which I believe is society’s greatest disease.

It starts in this manner. A business enterprise “goes public,” that is, it sells shares through a public offering in the marketplace, and thereby embarks on a sustained program of uncontrollable and potentially unlimited growth. As the corporation grows and grows it becomes more powerful, richer, more important, and more incorrigible. Its growth becomes as incompatible with the needs of society as cancer cells are to the needs of the body. As cancer cells overpower normal cells and the person dies; our civilization is going through this same kind of process. Corporate growth and power have destroyed our body politic and are now proceeding to enslave our citizenry as well as the people of other societies.

A public corporation’s fundamental characteristic, its nature, is to expand constantly, to grow ad infinitum. This trait is dominant from the first moment of its public existence, making it an uncontrollable element in society with the capability of destroying its opponents–and ultimately, in the aggregate, our civilization and the ecosystem in which we exist.

Every successful public corporation goes through this same pattern. Throughout its new corporate life it pursues its single, simple goal of maximizing profits with optimum effective disregard for any societal or human consequence; by the rules of their charters and their court-defined obligations, corporations have only one goal, profit maximization. This is why many public corporations are guided eventually by accountants: the bottom line is all that matters. As Milton Friedman so aptly stated, “The corporation cannot be ethical; its only responsibility is to turn a profit.” Should a firm fail to excel in that one goal, even briefly, it will be seized and absorbed by another more powerful corporate entity, often with junk-bond financing.

How do these public corporations daily harm society? With public monies, their growth is vastly accelerated, and they can select an area of business, dominate it, and ultimately monopolize it. When independent private enterprises try to compete with public corporations in the same field there’s usually no contest. The public corporation’s tremendous buying power stemming from its vast financial resources soon dominates the marketplace.

Witness what Home Depots have done to neighborhood hardware stores, or Stapleses and Office Depots to stationery stores, or Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Waldenbooks to neighborhood bookstores. Look at what corporate agribusinesses have done to family farmers, HMOs to the medical profession. By reason of their buying power and global resources, public corporations can import products made in foreign lands, frequently by slave and child labor, without the health or safety regulations that are applicable to domestic manufacturers.

Clearly, public corporations destroying the infrastructure of our legitimate business communities. Far fewer owners of local businesses pay local, state, and federal taxes and serve on local civic committees. Profits are now funneled to distant, out-of-state or out-of-country locations where taxes are limited or sheltered through one ruse or another, piling much heavier burdens on local taxpayers. The Enron Corporation used hundreds of offshore affiliates to pay no taxes at all in four of its last five years, a prime example of corporate misbehavior. And all such ruses and practices have been made completely legal and proper by the pliant Congress that corporate money has bought. Superstores or supermanufacturers, abetted by the “deregulation” approved by an accommodating Congress, destroy competition. Then the prices on commodities they sell either to consumers or to industry rise considerably, for when competition dies out prices go up.

In today’s corporate economy the cost of product bears little relationship to the price asked. Look how the price of major-brand gasoline is lowered when there is an independent competitor in the area. That same major brand sells for a lot more a few miles down the road while major companies try to buy or force the independent out. Rockefeller made his fortune with Standard Oil of New Jersey doing just that. Today independent oil companies are virtually nonexistent, and the price of gasoline skyrockets when the international oil cartel decides that it should. So do the prices of natural gas and all sorts of energy. All the producers, having deregulated the marketplace, can charge whatever they wish. Not too long ago telephone directory service was free; now it can cost as much as several dollars a number, depending on which phone company you must use! Tens of thousands of products, costing only pennies to manufacture, sell in stores for many dollars, even if they are made in China or Haiti by workers paid 15 cents an hour. Superstores, supermarkets, and other chains feature and limit the items they sell to highly-advertised brands produced by multinational companies, charging whatever price is obtainable–the operational phrase is “what the market will bear.” All told, Americans are undoubtedly paying the multinationals, by reason of their monopolistic practices and power, hundreds of billions of dollars annually in excess charges. Essentially these “profits” are hidden taxes on all of us, though the money doesn’t go to our government. As Adam Smith wrote, high profits are “absurd taxes.”

Perhaps, however, the greatest threat to our democracy from public corporations is the breakdown of ethical standards that their practices embody and their policies demand. In turn, this breakdown is driving citizens down to similar standards and practices in their pursuit of jobs or business. Just as a boxer obeying the Marquis of Queensbury Rules can’t compete in a fight with a person boxing under street rules, a legitimate businessperson can’t compete effectively with another one who follows no rules whatsoever–or, in the case of the public corporation, which uses its power to make the rules or bend them in its favor. When the government abandons its role in providing a level playing field, as ours has, and anything goes, as anything does, the most aggressive and heavily financed company wins.

IN CONTRAST to the inhuman public corporation, there are a variety of other forms of endeavor, such as proprietorships, partnerships, co-ops, worker-owned enterprises, and private corporations. The public corporation is as different from these as night from day, and for a basic reason. The public corporation is the only one of such entities that has made a legally binding agreement with its investors to at all times maximize stockholders’ profits; no such requirement exists for any of the aforementioned entities. The system that drives public corporations does not apply to private enterprises, which operate purely at their owners’ discretion.

Now, due to tax, property, and other laws, most U.S. businesses, no matter how small, as well as numerous professionals, incorporate primarily to obtain liability protection for their owners, stockholders, officers, and directors. They do this since not to do it would be imprudent. Here in the United States, if people invest monies in any business venture that is not incorporated, potentially they expose their entire estates to the uncertainties of the marketplace, aggressive attorneys, powerful predators, or competitors set on destroying or acquiring their businesses. They could become personally indebted for years or be forced into personal bankruptcy. Another reason: tax laws provide solely to corporations the means for sequestering profits to accumulate the capital necessary for growth, so in effect any business planning on growth must of necessity incorporate under present laws and tax rules.

Most businesses or financial endeavors begin small, usually producing services or a product. The complexity of business causes the majority of them fail within the first three or four years. Typically those that survive thereafter will grow healthily, achieve some stability, provide employment, pay taxes, and become integral parts of the communities where they are situated. They fill basic needs of their communities and frequently in areas beyond.

Privately-owned small businesses, professions, and other enterprises, whether incorporated or not, are the true cornerstones of our economy. Privately-owned small businesses differ radically from public corporations in that such small businesses are creative, dynamic, diverse, employ local people, and frequently support community endeavors. Their activities are easily observable and understandable and, subject, of course, to argument, are usually compatible with society’s needs. Small independent local businesses have always been the cornerstones of the business community.

Depending on the levels of profitability and reinvestment they can grow to sizable proportions. A business that a partner and I started in 1943 with investments of $400 apiece was valued at around $15 million in 1961. There were no outside investors, all corporate stock was owned equally by the two of us. Our product sales were worldwide and our expansion did not require going public. Many privately-owned companies have grown to immense sizes, although their rate of growth is usually slower than that of public corporations.

Not all private corporations are beneficial to society, nor are all proprietorships, partnerships, co-ops, or any other kind of business entities. Each enterprise reflects the personalities and character of those who create and run it. Private businesses, usually run by well-meaning people, may also be run by people who fall into the anti-social patterns of the public corporation. Frequently companies that grow large and powerful develop leaders who possess more power over others than it is wise to permit. With that power there is always the temptation to go for even more power. Those at the head of private corporations can become creatures of power and greed just as the heads of public corporations do.

But the heads of private companies or corporations are able to make up their minds on the goals and standards of their business–no one can tell them what must be done. On the other hand, to reach a secure level within the public corporation, CEOs and their management people have to submit to the corporate mantra, to maximize profits in every way possible to insure the best short-term bottom-line figures. So when the owner of a private corporation goes public, he contracts with investors to do everything he can to maximize their earnings, and his investors include savvy mutual fund managers. In the context of more than a century of case law, the owner then has a mandatory, legal requirement to follow the corporate credo, the end justifies the means–whatever needs to be done to maximize stockholder profits must be done whether or not that action hurts employees, customers, the environment or the community. If that isn’t a Faustian pact with the devil I don’t know what is.

And the rewards are big!–compensation packages in the millions of dollars, with all sorts of perks, stock options frequently worth tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, and in some cases billions. Under today’s corporate laws in the United States there are absolutely no limits to how big a company can become or how much its executives can be paid. And under the right conditions oodles of publicly accessible funds are available–the more profitable the business, the more money is available. With the payoffs so fabulous, is it any wonder that those persons to whom great wealth is the most important objective in life gravitate toward going public? Why not subordinate your morals for a while to become a millionaire overnight, to be free from want, from work, from all restraints, and to be admired as a success? How many people can resist that?

And then, what are embryonic public corporations but “live bait” for larger public corporations which, using their vast resources, can gobble them up almost at will? In a sense the new public corporations are the growth industry of the multinationals. Many multinationals, lacking creative talent or disvaluing what talent they have, can grow only by assimilating these newer entities, many of which are on the cutting edge of new technologies or creativity. Generally speaking, the size and hidebound nature of major corporations prevent them from creating their own innovations. I truly believe that if public corporations were barred from acquiring smaller corporations or businesses, they could not dominate the economy as they now do. Actually it wasn’t too many years ago that the law prevented public corporations from buying others, but, as with virtually all laws restricting the growth of megacorporations, that rule has been repealed, too.

THE DISEASE of Corporism is endemic in America today; there is little if any concern on the part of public corporations for the health and welfare of their customers or the public they sell to. There is no fair trade, no fair play. There is no way for injured customers to obtain redress of their grievances or collect damages against corporations too powerful to sue effectively in court, no way to prevent public corporations from sending the bills to the American taxpayer for the damages they cause in communities or for losses caused by corporate fraud or failures, no sufficiently powerful political party that will represent consumers and citizens and protect them from monopoly-created excessive costs. There are just no remedies at all.

After the 2000 election it became all too clear that the political parties in our two-party system, both of which are totally under the control of corporate finance and capital, have in fact perfected a system that locks out any third party from effective access to the people and deprives the people of knowledge about alternatives that are likely to improve their lot. Lawmakers from either of the two parties cannot obtain or retain their seats in Congress without earning the financial support of their corporate sponsors by doing their bidding. The slogan of America as the country “of the people, by the people, for the people” is thus exposed as a myth.

Can we allow the people who command these vast, inaccessible corporations to run our work, our lives, our political parties? We do now because we haven’t found a way to stop them, but we must find a way. People elsewhere in the world believe we have democracy and freedom here, and of course compared to certain societies we do. But more and more of us who live here know that we have democracy in name only, that in reality we have lost it to the robber barons and the corporations they spawned–to an elite oligarchy that rules us with the iron fist of the Supreme Court and the police and military forces at the captive government’s disposal.

A world ruled by multinational corporations is the opposite of a world ruled by people. It was a gross mistake to allow these mythical entities, corporations, to be given the rights of citizens, to function as “family” within our communities. Like the blood-sucking Dracula of Bram Stoker, they pretend to be human, but by their nature they prey upon humans at every opportunity.

An ever-increasing tangle of new chemicals and toxins is infesting our air, water and food, which daily become more contaminated, as do our bodies. That is only one of the astounding specters that now actually threaten us–global warming and the rising sea level; the ever-growing hole in the ozone exposing us to cancer-causing ultraviolet rays; the destruction of life in the oceans; the emergence of global water shortages, welcomed as just another opportunity for profit and growth by the late unlamented Enron and the wholly opportunistic multinational corporations that presently rule us.

And threatening us even more than all these tangible things is the capture of the minds of the masses of people by the insidious corporate TV culture–the conversion of billions of us, through TV propaganda and trivial entertainment, into unthinking, dependent consumers, and the amalgamation of the venerable varieties of human life and culture into one world society addicted to and dependent on the types of products, services, values, and culture that the multinationals are best equipped to produce, foster, and deliver.

The terrible truth is, we are fast losing our civilization, which was thousands of years in the making. Just as fish don’t know they’re in water, collectively we do not realize that we have been plunged into a commercial effluvium that is suffocating us and draining away our independence..

This seizure of our civilization and humanity by giant corporations must be reversed. Corporism, today’s government of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation must not be permitted to continue. Unless and until we can make corporations powerless to control either us or our government they will continue to divide us by race, by class, by haves and have-nots, by religion, by any and every means possible. The world’s bankers, in concert with the largest corporations in the world (which they enable, since they are cut from the same cloth), will use the justice system against us at every turn, as they have just done in the very selection of a president they preferred, and they will oppose us ferociously with their police systems, armies, and mind-numbing propaganda.

There are a myriad of real problems, human and ecological, that we must get on with. We need a truly democratic government representing only the people, for without that we are truly lost. We Americans invented and refined Corporism, and let it break loose upon the rest of the world. Now we must band together with people all over the world to stop this huge mistake from destroying everything we hold dear and creating a world unworthy of the potential of human beings. It will be a tough struggle, and it will have to be world-wide, for technology has enabled the multinationals to be in power everywhere and their leaders won’t just give up the system that gives them money, power, and what they see as the good life at the expense of the have-nots of the world, who have become their (and our) slaves.

Can we actually recover control of our societies from corporations? It’s almost too late, and we can fiddle around no longer; freedom, variety, and democracy are slipping out of focus. It will take a superhuman effort to overcome these seemingly insurmountable forces, but it can and it must be done. Many of us are legitimate business people trying to earn a reasonable livelihood while producing products or services for our communities or the nation. We private business owners need to resist the corporate powers just as much as workers or retirees. Fortunately, many in our country have tasted democracy and freedom, and still believe in them, and will not accept the cancerous dismantling of our economic production, our systems of justice, and our freedom in the cause of building a transnational corporate oligarchy.

We all have so much in common. We believe in families, in children growing up healthily. For that a family needs a decent home in a nonviolent neighborhood and enough income from one parent working to at least let the other parent teach and supervise the child or children. Public schools are needed with classes small enough that teachers, supplied with good teaching materials, have a chance to teach. Citizens must not accept the reduced status of being merely consumers; a democratic society cannot survive without reliable knowledge about what is happening inside the country and throughout the world. Therefore, commercial TV must not dominate our national broadcasting, as currently it does, and radio and TV outlets, utilizing the airwaves that we the public own, must be made freely available to all communities throughout the nation for wide-open public discourse.

I urge every legitimate business person to join with every worker, in every industry, and with every union representing workers–I call on every cleric or religious person, every politician genuinely interested in the people, the heads of all non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and every person raising a family, every student of voting age, every mother and father in every village, city, state or country, to join the struggle against corporism. You might start by talking to neighbors, friends, associates about the facts you are aware of, complain as cogently and as clearly as you can, and then find allies and common ground through organizations that are in no way financed by, related to, or supported by corporate interests or the foundations controlled by them. With an advance wave of hundreds of thousands of students in American universities, we are on the move. Many dedicated groups are working together already, and many more are springing up in this hemisphere and on other continents. As we saw in Seattle in 1999 and have seen again and again since then, a powerful movement of popular revolt against corporate domination and for justice and peace is rising in the United States and all over the world. Join this movement here and all over the world, help your fellow citizens save civilization.

Film of Soldiers’ Atrocity Brings Army Reign of Terror to Palestinian Village

Film of Soldiers’ Atrocity Incurs Heavy Price
Palestinian Village Faces Army Reign of Terror



The window through which Salam Amira, 16, filmed the moment when an Israeli soldier shot from close range a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainee has a large hole at its centre with cracks running in every direction.

“Since my video was shown, the soldiers shoot at our house all the time,” she said. The shattered and cracked windows at the front of the building confirm her story. “When we leave the windows open, they fire tear gas inside too.”

Her home looks out over the Israeli road block guarding the only entrance to the village of Nilin, located just inside the West Bank midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It was here that a bound Ashraf Abu Rahma, 27, was shot in the foot in July with a rubber bullet under orders from an Israeli regiment commander.

The treatment of the family stands in stark contrast to the leniency shown to the soldier and his commander involved in that incident.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, has accused the Israeli army of seeking “revenge” for the girl’s role in exposing the actions of its armed forces in the West Bank.

It may also be hoping to dissuade other families from airing similar evidence of army brutality, particularly since B’Tselem began distributing dozens of video cameras to Palestinians across the West Bank.

Scenes captured on film of hooded settlers attacking Palestinian farmers near Hebron came as a shock to many early this summer.

The village of Nilin has been the focus of the Israeli army’s actions since May, when its 4,700 inhabitants began a campaign of mainly non-violent demonstrations to halt the building of Israel’s separation wall across their land.

After the wall is completed, the village will be cut off from 40 per cent of its remaining farmland, effectively annexing it to half a dozen large Jewish settlements that encircle Nilin. The settlements are all illegal under international law.

Several times a week the villagers, joined by small numbers of Israeli and international supporters, congregate in olive fields where bulldozers are tearing up the land to make way for the wall.

The people of Nilin have tried various non-violent forms of protest, including praying in the path of the heavy machinery, using mirrors to reflect sunlight at the construction workers, banging pots and pans, and placing rocks in the way of the bulldozers during the night.

The army has responded with tear gas and stun grenades, as well as on occasion, with rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. Last month it was reported that Israel was also experimenting with a new crowd dispersal method called “skunk”, which involves firing a foul-smelling liquid at demonstrators.

In the past few weeks, two youngsters have been shot dead by the army, including one, Ahmed Moussa, who was 10. The army claimed he was throwing stones. An autopsy showed he was hit in the head by a bullet from an M-16 rifle.

This week a soldier fired from close range three rubber bullets at Awad Surur, a mentally disabled man, as he tried to prevent his brother from being arrested. Two bullets penetrated his skull, according to B’Tselem, which denounced the army as increasingly “trigger-happy” and “reckless”.

Salam’s family, like many other villagers, bear the injuries from attendance at protests. Most of her five brothers have been hit by rubber bullets, as has her father, Jamal Amira, 53. The army has sealed the village off on several occasions and, according to villagers, beaten and terrorised inhabitants.

Mr Amira is among at least 100 farmers whose livelihoods will be devastated by the wall. He will lose all 14 hectares of his land, fields on which his ancestors have made their living by growing olives, cucumbers, aubergine and tomatoes.

But Salam’s five-minute film of the roadblock incident, taken during a four-day curfew imposed on the village, has only intensified the family’s troubles.

Three days after the video was aired, the army arrested her father during a peaceful protest. He was the only one seized after the army claimed the demonstrators had entered a closed military zone. Mr Amira was also charged with assaulting a soldier.

He was held for three and a half weeks before an Israeli military judge rejected the army’s demand that he be remanded for a further three months until his trial.

In an almost unprecedented rebuke to the prosecution, the judge questioned the army’s case, saying he could see no evidence of an assault. He also asked why Salam’s father was singled out from all of those protesting.

Mr Amira’s lawyer, Gabi Laski, said the decision confirmed “our preliminary claim that the arrest was out of vengeance and punishment for the video filmed by the girl”.

Nonetheless, Mr Amira still faces a military trial. A report last year by Yesh Din, a human rights group, found that in only 0.25 per cent of cases heard by military tribunals was the defendant found innocent. Even if acquitted, Mr Amira is expected to face legal costs amounting to nearly US$10,000 (Dh36,700), a sum the family says it cannot pay.

In contrast, the two soldiers responsible for the shooting of the detainee at the roadblock have been reprimanded with the minor charge of “unbecoming conduct”. Neither will stand criminal trial. B’Tselem has called the decision “shameful”.

According to the legal group the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the punishment under Israeli law for aggravated abuse of a detainee is seven years imprisonment. ACRI’s lawyers have submitted a petition arguing the lenient charge “transmits to officers and other soldiers an extremely grave message of contempt for human life”.

Lt Col Omri Borberg, the commander who gave the order to shoot Abu Rahma, resigned his post but was immediately moved sideways to a senior post in a different unit. In a show of support, Gabi Ashkenazi, the head of the army, said Lt Col Borberg may be reinstated to a command position.

Meanwhile, the villagers said the army’s behaviour would not dissuade them from protesting or cause them to renounce their commitment to non-violence.

Salah Hawaja, a protest organiser, said: “When we started our demonstrations, maybe 50 soldiers showed up. Now there are hundreds stationed permanently around us. Israel is treating us like a major war zone, even though we are using non-violence.

“The people of Nilin have accepted that the best strategy to stop Israel’s plans to steal our land and leave us inside a ghetto is non-violence,” said Mr Hawaja.

“We need to show the world who is the occupier and who the occupied. Israel understands how threatening this is, which is why it is using so much force against us.”

A fund has been established to help the Amira family. Donations can be sent to: Amira Legal Defense Fund, PO Box 1335, Kfar Saba, Israel 44113, made out to “Matte Hacoalitsia”. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal:

Israel of the Caucasus

Israel of the Caucasus

Arnaud De Borchgrave

Middle East Times

NATO guarantees that an attack against one member country is an attack against all are no longer what they used to be. Had Georgia been inside NATO, a number of European countries would no longer be willing to consider it an attack against their own soil.

For Russia, the geopolitical stars were in perfect alignment. The United States was badly overstretched and had no plausible way to talk tough without coming across as empty rhetoric. American resources have been drained by the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the war on terror. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put it, Washington must now choose between its “pet project” Georgia and a partnership with Moscow.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili evidently thought the United States would come to his side militarily if Russian troops pushed him back into Georgia after ordering an attack last Aug. 8 on the breakaway province of South Ossetia. And when his forces were mauled by Russia’s counterattack, bitter disappointment turned to anger. Along with Abkhazia, Georgia lost two provinces.

Georgia also had a special relationship with Israel that was mostly under the radar. Georgian Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili is a former Israeli who moved things along by facilitating Israeli arms sales with U.S. aid. “We are now in a fight against the great Russia,” he was quoted as saying, “and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House because Georgia cannot survive on its own.”

The Jerusalem Post on Aug. 12 reported, “Georgian Prime Minister Vladimir Gurgenidze made a special call to Israel Tuesday morning to receive a blessing from one of the Haredi community’s most important rabbis and spiritual leaders, Rabbi Aaron Leib Steinman. ‘I want him to pray for us and our state,'” he was quoted.

Israel began selling arms to Georgia seven years ago. U.S. grants facilitated these purchases. From Israel came former minister and former Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo, representing Elbit Systems, and his brother Shlomo, former director general of Military Industries. Israeli UAV spy drones, made by Elbit Maarahot Systems, conducted recon flights over southern Russia, as well as into nearby Iran.

In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter-bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli air force would fly over Turkey.

The attack ordered by Saakashvili against South Ossetia the night of Aug. 7 provided the Russians the pretext for Moscow to order Special Forces to raid these Israeli facilities where some Israeli drones were reported captured.

At a Moscow news conference, Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, Russia’s deputy chief of staff, said the extent of Israeli aid to Georgia included “eight types of military vehicles, explosives, landmines and special explosives for clearing minefields.” Estimated numbers of Israeli trainers attached to the Georgian army range from 100 to 1,000. There were also 110 U.S. military personnel on training assignments in Georgia. Last July 2,000 U.S. troops were flown in for “Immediate Response 2008,” a joint exercise with Georgian forces.

Details of Israel’s involvement were largely ignored by Israeli media lest they be interpreted as another blow to Israel’s legendary military prowess, which took a bad hit in the Lebanese war against Hezbollah two years ago. Georgia’s top diplomat in Tel Aviv complained about Israel’s “lackluster” response to his country’s military predicament and called for “diplomatic pressure on Moscow.” According to the Jerusalem Post, the Georgian was told “the address for that type of pressure is Washington.”

Haaretz reported Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili — who is Jewish, the newspaper said — told Israeli army radio that “Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers” because he explained rather implausibly, “a small group of our soldiers were able to wipe out an entire Russian military division, thanks to Israeli training.”

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis was agreed at the highest levels with the approval of the Bush administration. The official liaison between the two entities was Reserve Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch who commanded Israeli forces on the Lebanese border in July 2006. He resigned from the army after the Winograd Commission flayed Israel’s conduct of its Second Lebanon War. Hirsch was also blamed for the seizure of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.

Israeli personnel, working for “private” companies with close ties to the Israel Defense Forces, also trained Georgian soldiers in house-to-house fighting.

That Russia assessed these Israeli training missions as U.S.-approved is a given. The United States was also handicapped by a shortage of spy-in-the-sky satellite capability, already overextended by the Iraq and Afghan wars. Neither U.S. nor Georgian intelligence knew Russian forces were ready with an immediate and massive response to the Georgian attack Moscow knew was coming. Russian double agents ostensibly working for Georgia most probably egged on the military fantasies of the impetuous Saakashvili’s “surprise attack” plans.

Saakashvili was convinced that by sending 2,000 of his soldiers to serve in Iraq (who were immediately flown home by the United States when Russia launched a massive counterattack into Georgia), he would be rewarded for his loyalty. He could not believe President Bush, a personal friend, would leave him in the lurch. Georgia, as Saakashvili saw his country’s role, was the “Israel of the Caucasus.”

The Tel Aviv-Tbilisi military axis appears to have been cemented at the highest levels, according to YNet, the Israeli electronic daily. But whether the IAF can still count on those air bases to launch bombing missions against Iran’s nuke facilities is now in doubt.

Iran comes out ahead in the wake of the Georgian crisis. Neither Russia nor China is willing to respond to a Western request for more and tougher sanctions against the mullahs. Iran’s European trading partners are also loath to squeeze Iran. The Russian-built, 1,000-megawatt Iranian reactor in Bushehr is scheduled to go online early next year.

A combination of Putin and oil has put Russia back on the geopolitical map of the world. Moscow’s oil and gas revenue this year is projected at $201 billion — a 13-fold increase since Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin eight years ago. Not shabby for a wannabe superpower on the comeback trail.