Congress is about to pour lighter fluid on Iran

Congress is about to pour lighter fluid on Iran

The U.S. Congress may inadvertently lay the foundations for war against Iran when it reconvenes in Washington this month.

Two essentially identical nonbinding resolutions call upon President Bush to “immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities.”

The House resolution has more than 200 cosponsors, including Minnesota Reps. Michele Bachmann, John Kline and Jim Ramstad. The Senate resolution has more than 30 cosponsors, including both Minnesota senators, Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar.

The methods for increased pressure differ slightly in the two resolutions. The House resolution calls for “stringent inspection requirements” of all goods entering or leaving Iran. The Senate resolution does not call for the inspection of all goods but joins the House resolution in calling for an embargo of refined petroleum products to Iran, which lacks the refining capacity to meet its need for gasoline. Achieving either goal would require a naval blockade — a de facto act of war on the part of the United States, though paradoxically both resolutions explicitly exclude authorization for military action.

Other provisions call for an economic embargo of banking operations, with the House resolution adding a prohibition of international movement on the part of Iranian officials.

Both resolutions have begun to cause alarm throughout the United States, and have caused several representatives to withdraw their cosponsorships. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., summed up the concerns in an article for the Huffington Post: “It is clear that despite carefully worded language in H. Con. Res. 362 that ‘nothing in this resolution should be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran’ that many Americans across the country continue to express real concerns that sections of this resolution will be interpreted by President Bush as ‘a green light’ to use force against Iran.”

According to the Jewish Daily Forward, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., offered an apology to a representative from the antiwar group Peace Action, saying, “I regret the fact that I did not read this resolution more carefully.” He further told the Valley Advocate of Northampton, Mass., that he’s “all for stricter sanctions against Iran, but the blockade part goes too far. I’m going to call the sponsors and tell them I’m changing my vote.”

Both Wexler and Frank are assuming some risk, because they are opposing the powerful American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which had a strong hand in the drafting of both resolutions. Just days before the resolutions were introduced, AIPAC issued a memo outlining what should be done to put more pressure on Iran. The language of the memo mirrors the language of the resolutions. The introduction of the resolutions also conveniently coincided with AIPAC’s annual policy conference during which it had more than 7,000 people on Capitol Hill to lobby. Its top legislative priority was for cosponsorship of the resolutions. AIPAC is careful to avoid direct calls for military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities but makes no secret that it would support such an action by the United States or Israel.

The most unfortunate aspect of the two resolutions is that they contain numerous outright falsehoods, misinformation and alarmist exaggeration about Iran and its nuclear development program. Of the 23 clauses in the Senate resolution, only five present incontrovertible statements of fact. The many legislators who have signed on as cosponsors, having subscribed to this false information, could be attacked by the Bush administration if they oppose a later request for military attack, as happened in the Iraq invasion.

Sadly, these resolutions make it clear that the battle to stop a war with Iran is not over.

William O. Beeman is a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, and is president of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. He has lived and worked in the Middle East for more than 30 years. His most recent book is “The ‘Great Satan’ vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other.”

SENATE RESOLUTION 580 (SENATE IRAN WAR RESOLUTION) CO-SPONSOR LIST

SENATE RESOLUTION 580 CO-SPONSOR LIST

SRES 580 is the same B.S. written down in House Res. 362.

Whereas for nearly 20 years Iran had a covert nuclear program, until the program was revealed by an opposition group in Iran in 2002;

All available evidence on Iranian nuclear intentions is unreliable, as it comes directly from the Israeli Mossad, who pass it on to the Iranian terrorist organization MEK (Mujahedeen-e-Khalq), who then pass it on to Israel’s neocon friends in America. This terrorist organization (which the Iraqi government is expelling from its sanctuary) uses “intelligence” produced by an American-compromised puppet secret service to prove what Israel thinks that Iran thinks.

The next “evidence” cited by the Senate neocons to prove that the Iranians are working on a nuclear bomb is a list of components in any elemental atomic industry or research:

importation of uranium hexafluoride, the construction of a uranium enrichment facility, experimentation with plutonium, the importation of centrifuge technology and the construction of centrifuges

At the end of that list is a reference to a CIA-doctored bomb design which they introduced into the Middle East to discredit Islamic nations:

the importation of the design to convert highly enriched uranium gas into a metal and to shape it into the core of a nuclear weapon

SRES 580 claims that Iran cannot produce enough bomb-grade uranium before the end of 2009, yet this resolution seeks to authorize a military blockade, banning the importation of refined petroleum products to Iran, among other measures. (Probably including the proposed no-fly zone over Iran called for in H. RES. 362), even though they added the disclaimer that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to authorize the use of force against Iran (even though military force is the only possible way to embargo gasoline).

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would pose a grave threat to international peace and security. The fear is that a nuclear-armed Iran would use its nuclear threat to intimidate its neighbors, much the same as nuclear-armed Israel does today.

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would fundamentally alter and destabilize the strategic balance of power in the Middle East. The Middle East is already destabilized by American and Israeli aggression in the region. The fear is that neither Israel nor the US would be able to continue their rape of weaker Middle Eastern nations.

Whereas allowing the Government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would severely undermine the global nuclear nonproliferation regime that, for more than 4 decades, has contained the spread of nuclear weapons. The United States and its allies are most responsible for the spread of nuclear technology throughout the world. The US gave Iran its first reactor. Nuclear weapons spread from the US to its most important allies. All nukes are based on American “know-how.”

Whereas the Government of Iran has repeatedly called for the elimination of our ally, Israel. Iran has never called for the elimination of Israel, even though many Israeli officials have openly called for the “Shoah” (destruction) of Iran.

Whereas the Government of Iran has advocated that the United States withdraw its presence from the Middle East. I also whole-heartedly endorse the idea of the United States withdrawing all of its forces from the Middle East.

SENATE RESOLUTION 580 CO-SPONSOR LIST

SRES 580

SENATE CO-SPONSORS

Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R-AL]

Sen. Ken Salazar [D-CO]

Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I-CT]

Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]

Sen. Mel Martinez [R-FL]

Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL]

Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]

Sen. John Isakson [R-GA]

Sen. Michael Crapo [R-ID]

Sen. Evan Bayh [D-IN]

Sen. Samuel Brownback [R-KS]

Sen. Pat Roberts [R-KS]

Sen. Mitch McConnell [R-KY]

Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-LA]

Sen. David Vitter [R-LA]

Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]

Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]

Sen. Olympia Snowe [R-ME]

Sen. Susan Collins [R-ME]

Sen. Debbie Ann Stabenow [D-MI]

Sen. Carl Levin [D-MI]

Sen. Norm Coleman [R-MN]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]

Sen. Christopher Bond [R-MO]

Sen. Thad Cochran [R-MS]

Sen. Roger Wicker [R-MS]

Sen. Elizabeth Dole [R-NC]

Sen. Byron Dorgan [D-ND]

Sen. Kent Conrad [D-ND]

Sen. Judd Gregg [R-NH]

Sen. John Sununu [R-NH]

Sen. Robert Menéndez [D-NJ]

Sen. George Voinovich [R-OH]

Sen. Thomas Coburn [R-OK]

Sen. James Inhofe [R-OK]

Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR]

Sen. Gordon Smith [R-OR]

Sen. Robert Casey [D-PA]

Sen. Jim DeMint [R-SC]

Sen. Lindsey Graham [R-SC]

Sen. John Thune [R-SD]

Sen. Tim Johnson [D-SD]

Sen. Bob Corker [R-TN]

Sen. Lamar Alexander [R-TN]

Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX]

Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX]

Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT]

Sen. Robert Bennett [R-UT]

Sen. Maria Cantwell [D-WA]

Sen. Patty Murray [D-WA]

Israel Is Europe’s Last Failed Rascist Colony

Leading Journal Publishes a Desperate Portrait of Israel as a ‘Failed European Fragment’ Hated by Its Neighbors

The forthcoming issue of Middle East Policy contains an astonishing piece by Ian Lustick of the University of Pa. on the desperation inside Israel about its future, titled “The Abandonment of the Iron Wall: Israel and the ‘Middle Eastern Muck.’” The long piece explores the mistaken ideology that “Israel and Israelis can remain in the Middle East without becoming part of it” and it will surely be grabbed by Barack Obama (and ignored by Sarah Palin), for it pulls together all the narratives that we keep hearing from I/P–the ruthless violence, the hateful fence, the emigration, the “war on terror” as a model for Americans, and not least, the Arabs’ hostile passivity and righteous, hardened resistance.

I will never think about the region in the same way. The analysis is sure to find its way to the highest levels. It is not online yet, but here is my summary of the argument.

For the first 90 years of Zionism the Zionists understood that the Arabs didn’t want them there and in spite of Arab resistance they were going to just hang in there and pound the heck out of the Arabs till they reluctantly accepted their presence. “The iron wall” strategy of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, which even Rashid Khalidi said recently in the Nation has worked: Israel’s there, the Arab states have given in to its presence. Pile up the bodies a little more, sign a peace deal.

But in the wake of the first intifadah, the Iron Wall idea has been cast aside, giving way in a climate of mutual hatred to a sense of existential struggle: that Arabs and Israelis are fundamentally opposed, and that both cannot live in the region. The Israelis have yielded to irrational uses of violence typical of the French in Algeria and other pariah states. And meantime, the Arabs have gotten over the insuperable Iron Wall idea themselves–and begun to believe that if they just last the Israelis out, they will go away.

Neither side really believes in the other’s humanity. This explains the hysteria around Iran from Ahmadinejad and Benny Morris too: They want us gone. It explains the World War IV feelings of Norman Podhoretz and other neocons, basically saying that the U.S. has to destroy the Arab world in order to make it safe for Israel. And it explains the triumphalism of Hezbollah and Hamas, and also the growing support for a one-state solution even in leftwing Arabist circles in the U.S.–because it sure is feeling like the long Zionist nightmare is about to end. Israel is another “failed European fragment,” like the Crusaders or South Africa or India, but the last one to go.

Lustick admits that he doesn’t know the full range of Arab attitudes, but he ruthlessly explores the spiritual sickness in Israeli society, the resort to horrifying violence (wanting to turn Lebanon’s clock back 20 years), the lack of faith in Zionism, and the desertion of Israel by as many as 1 million of its citizens who would prefer to live in Europe or the U.S. Oh exile, where is they sting!

Lustick concludes by saying that the moment is truly desperate and the key is to reimagine Israeli existence, to reach some actual modus vivendi with the Palestinians through some real acknowledgement of Palestinian humanity and rights. He fully articulates something I’ve repeated here: that the Israelis want nothing to do with Arabs, though they live in the Arab world, 500 miles east of Istanbul. And that going forward requires asking, What do Palestinians want?

Below I’m going to sample choice bits of the piece, which is getting passed with excitement among followers of Middle East policy. As soon as it’s online, I’ll let you know. Ian Lustick:

Among Israelis, a natural and very
prominent result of this deep-seated
alienation from the region, its peoples and
its cultures is an urge to escape. It takes
many forms. Consider the construction of
the “security barrier,” a network of fencing,
concrete walls, barbed wire, trenches
and embankments intended to surround the
Jewish state. One can usefully imagine the
barrier as transforming Israel into a kind of
“gated community” sealed off from the
Middle East as hermetically as possible.

However, it must also be noted that
the effect of the barrier, and perhaps more
of its purpose than is commonly acknowledged,
is not to keep Middle Easterners
out of Israel, but to physically and psychologically
remove Israel from the Middle
East….

Israelis with the training, skills and
wealth to do so are also literally “escaping”
from the Middle East and from those parts
of Israel that are more Middle Eastern.

There is significant evidence that,
since the collapse of the Oslo peace
process and the outbreak of the al-Aqsa
Intifada, the emigration of Israeli Jews has
increased, as have activities that would
make future emigration easier. In February
2007, Israel’s minister of immigrant
absorption, Zeev Boim, acknowledged that
there were between 700,000 and 1 million
Israeli expatriates worldwide, with some
600,000 in North America alone…

The core idea [of the Iron Wall] was not to
avoid war, but to insure victories of such
vividness and consequence that Arabs
would come to regard Israel’s existence an
immutable, if unpleasant, fact of Middle
Eastern life. Once that attitude was
instilled, the objective was to combine the
stick of coercion with the carrot of compromise
to achieve negotiated peace
agreements….

What Arabs learned from the
Lebanon War was not the inevitability of
accommodating themselves to Israeli
diktats, but the vulnerability of the Israeli
army and Israeli society to determined
Arab and Muslim political and military
action…

As I have stressed, Zionism’s use of
violence against Arabs was traditionally
conceived as a pedagogical device to
convince Arabs of the Jewish National
Home’s indestructibility, and then to
persuade some among them to negotiate
mutually acceptable deals based on the
alternative of suffering painful defeats. It
is natural, then, that, as images of a future
in which Arabs and Muslims can come to
accept the Jewish state fade from Israeli
consciousness, the rationale for violence
also changes. Instead of being conceived
as a persuasive instrument in service of
political or diplomatic aims, force against
Arabs and Muslims is increasingly treated
as a kind of rattonade. This was the term
used to characterize the French practice in
Algeria of entering casbahs and other
Muslim quarters, killing inhabitants, and
then quickly returning to European areas or
bases. Its literal meaning is “rat hunt.”
More generally, it refers to a violent strike
against the enemy “on the other side of the
wall” for purposes of punishment, destruction
and psychological release….

Israel, of course, is the only survivor in
this list [of outposts of European settlement].Counting from the state’s establishment,
it is almost 60 years old. Counting
from the first arrival of Zionist settlers
in Palestine, it is 125 years old — compared
to almost two hundred years for the
Crusaders; about 80 years for the white
version of the Union, then Republic, of
South Africa; 120 years for French Algeria;
and 34 years for independent (white)
Rhodesia. Israel’s biggest challenge,
indeed the biggest challenge facing Zionism
and its descendants, is to escape the fate
of all other polities falling within this
category. Can Israel do what no other
country in this category has done —
establish itself as a commonsensical,
naturalized, and presumptively permanent
feature of a non-European landscape?

The argument set forth here has
been that Israel and Jewish Israelis are
deep into the process of abandoning any
image of the state or of themselves as part
of the Middle East. Instead of hoping to
transform Arab/Muslim attitudes toward
the Jewish state by a pedagogy of force
followed by diplomacy (the Iron Wall
strategy), or of transforming the cultural
content of the region via modernization
cum Westernization, Israelis are seeking
isolation or escape….

[I]t may be noted that in each of the modern cases of
failed European fragments, international
pariah status preceded the polity’s demise.
There is ample evidence that Israel is
assuming this image..

Certainly it is
true that some Arab regimes continue to
express their willingness to sign peace
treaties with Israel. But in a region whose
deepest and strongest political sentiments
are those of religion, it would seem that, if
democracy does take hold in the Middle
East, it may simply accelerate the rise to
power of forces unwilling to accept Israel
as a long-term partner in the future of the
region…

[If] Israelis are so disconnected from Middle
Eastern realities as to have lost the empathy
with Palestinians necessary to convince
them that negotiations will lead to a satisfying
outcome, and if Arabs and Muslims in
the Middle East are as intransigently hostile
to Israel as most Israelis believe them to
be, then, in effect, a two-state solution has
been rendered impossible. This is not
because of the oft-discussed supposed
impossibility of actually establishing a
Palestinian state next to Israel (Hamas, for
its part, is perfectly ready to accept one as
a prelude to a 20-year lull in the battle.).
The impossibility of a the two-state solution
hangs, instead, on the question of whether
the belief in the rationale behind it —
achieving some semblance of a comprehensively
stable and peaceful end to the
Arab-Israeli dispute — will have vanished
from inside Israeli political life. Why
should Israelis tear themselves to pieces to
produce a state that will satisfy the Pales
tinians if they come to believe that the rest
of the Middle East hates Israel more than
they care for the Palestinians?

…Having abandoned the Iron Wall,

Israelis are increasingly confused and even
distraught about the future. Yet they face
a stark choice: engagement with the real
Middle East and the demands it makes
upon Israel for justice, democracy and
territory, or escape from it.

The danger for the Jewish state is that, given the choice between convincing Middle Easterners that Israel can be a good neighbor and leaving the neighborhood, more and more Israelis are attracted to the latter…

Most unsettling of all is the interaction between two logical but mutually reinforcing trends. Israelis are embracing coercive and unilateralist policies that destroy whatever is left of its
image as a potential good neighbor. Arabs and Muslims can be expected to treat signs
of Jewish abandonment of the region as encouragement to forget any inclination
they may still have to make peace with the Jews rather than wait them out….

Turning Away From American State Terrorism

The Election Is a Turning Point

Turning Away From American State Terrorism

By: Peter Chamberlin

“The American people realize this election represents a turning point. In two months they will decide the future direction of our nation. It’s a decision to follow one path or another.” Rudy Giuliani

The choice we face in November is very clear. It is a choice to continue to support the US terror war, or to turn away from this path of unlimited destruction. This lie-based war is all about terrorism – whether America actually fights terrorism or promotes its use. To find the answer to this conundrum all we have to do is turn our gaze to Pakistan.

In Pakistan we find the complete history of the American “war on terrorism,” from its Cold War origins nearly thirty years ago to its present incarnation in the illegal American aggression in Pakistan’s Frontier region (FATA, Federally Administered Tribal Areas) and in American attempts to reignite the Cold War with Russia. The latest cross-border attack against Pakistan in South Waziristan, which involved American helicopters and ground troops, costing 15 villagers their lives, represents the first steps in American attempts to escalate its war into a reasonable facsimile of another world war.

Once again, America claims that its aggression against Pakistan is a legitimate act of self-defense against the “Pakistani Taliban” (TTP,Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan), who, it is claimed, are responsible for America’s faltering war effort in Afghanistan. Wednesday’s aggression was another attempt to get TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud (branded “public enemy number one” by the US) or one of his top commanders. Mehsud is the key to understanding America’s true role in the terror war, that of state terrorism planner and facilitator, in order to later assume the role of defender against the terrorism it causes.

Baitullah Mehsud assumed control of the TTP from its founder, his infamous cousin Abdullah Mehsud. Abdullah was a prisoner at Guantanamo before being inexplicably released to return to Pakistan, where he founded the new Taliban splinter group. On his second day in S. Waziristan he instigated the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers from the building of the Gomal Zam Dam, beginning the TTP fight against America’s adversaries in the region.

Setting the pattern for all future American terror attacks, the American media reported that America’s secret allies, the TTP, were “al Qaida linked.” Whenever and wherever the Western media uses the expression “al Qaida linked,” to describe terrorist attacks, they are referring to American terrorism. This is also painfully true about those sinister forces that killed 3,000 American civilians on September 11, 2001. American/“al Qaida” terrorism always targets civilians, even American civilians. Next to the US military, al Qaida is the greatest killer of innocent Muslims in the world.

Now we have American covert forces busily killing Pakistani civilians by the hundreds, in order to justify the planned overwhelming American assault upon Pakistan, which is conveniently situated between the main target Iran and all that juicy fuel located in the “Stans,” the former Soviet satellites where America’s Georgian mercenaries are busily committing acts of genocide to restart the new Cold War.

The American destabilization of nuclear-armed Pakistan has been the key to the planned destruction of Iran and the seizure of the Caspian region oil and gas fields and the pipeline routes for marketing the stolen booty. Targeting American-backed militants, who are using the same terrorist training camps created by the CIA to launch a “jihad” against the Soviets, American interests are seeking to topple the Pakistani government and to seize their nuclear arsenal.

The corporate American government cannot survive the debt-based collapse of its own economy and the world economy without a massive military expansion of its power, gaining control of the world’s energy reserves. America cannot continue bullying the world to have its way without this key asset.

The Republican and Democratic co-conspirators understand the dilemma created by America’s greed and attempts to forge a global empire. This means that no matter who wins the November election will continue this policy of international piracy and terrorism. It is up to the American people to decide whether these policies of state terrorism continue. It is our decision to make, whether we allow America to destroy the world to save itself, or whether we suffer the economic consequences for our actions in the past. By our inaction, or by the wrong action, we allow the evil that our government continually sows. By participating in our farcical “free elections,” casting a vote for either man, we vote to destroy a large portion of the world and its people.

We can no longer give our assent to the crimes against humanity committed against the world by our government on a daily basis. Non-participation in the affairs of this government on any level, will deny it the cover of legitimacy and support it needs to continue on its terror rampage. We must become the “monkey wrench” in the works of government and in American life, in general. We begin by overwhelming the Congress with our righteous anger against governmental plans to unleash hell on earth.

All it will take to do this is a unified signal from the people that we will no longer silently abide its immoral actions. The Congressional parasites who feed at the public trough fear a non-complacent electorate, a united people committed to reclaiming our rightful positions as “watchdogs” of government.

All we have to do to sway a chicken hawk Congress is to convince them that we are now awake. We must focus our antiwar efforts to disrupt the aggression against Pakistan. It is time to join with the democratic antiwar resistance forces in Pakistan, to put an end to the American empire of terror.

Fight the evil that we have become!

peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com

Who Is Wrecking America?

Who Is Wrecking America?

By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
09/03/08 “ICH “

Does the liberal-left have a clue? I sometimes think not.

In his book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” Thomas Frank made the excellent point that the Karl Rove Republicans take advantage of ordinary’s people’s frustrations and resentments to lead them into voting against their best interest.

Frank’s new book, “The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule,” lacks the insight that distinguished his previous book. Why does Frank think that conservatives or liberals rule?

Neither rule. America is ruled by organized interest groups with money to elect candidates who serve their interests. Frank’s book does not even mention the Israel Lobby, which bleeds Americans for the sake of Israeli territorial expansion. Check the index. Israel is not there.

Does Frank think that rapture evangelicals are conservative, that Christian Zionists are conservative? If so, where did he learn his theology?

Frank can’t tell the difference between Ronald Reagan and Cheney/Bush. He conflates the collection of opportunists and fanatics that comprise the Bush Party with the Reagan conservatives who ended stagflation and the cold war. The adventurer, Jack Abramoff, is Frank’s epitome of a conservative. Abramoff is the most mentioned person in Frank’s story. In Frank’s view, conservatives are out to ruin everyone except the rich.

But it was the Clinton administration that rigged the Consumer Price Index in order to cheat retired people out of their Social Security cost of living increases.

It was the Clinton administration that vanished discouraged workers from the unemployment rolls.

It was the Clinton administration that wrecked “effective government” by encouraging early civil service retirements in order to make way for quota hires.

Why doesn’t Frank know that the “Reagan deficit” was due to the collapse of inflation below the forecast, thus reducing the flow of inflated revenues into the government’s budget, whereas the Bush deficit is a result of what Nobel Democrat economist Joe Stiglitz has calculated to be a $3 trillion dollar war in the Middle East?

Frank doesn’t want to know. Like so many fighting ideological battles, he just wants to damn “the enemy.”

But who is Frank’s enemy? He calls them “conservatives.” But the Bush regime is a neoconservative regime. Neoconservatives, despite the name, are not conservatives. They have taken over formerly conservative publications, think tanks, and foundations and driven out the conservatives.

Neoconservatives are in the tradition of the French Jacobins of the 18th century. Having had the French Revolution, the revolutionaries thought that they should take it to all of Europe. Napoleon exercised French hegemony over Europe. The American neocons desire American hegemony over the world.

The true American conservative does not believe in foreign wars. In US history, conservatives were derided by liberals as “isolationists.”

There is nothing conservative about launching wars of aggression on the basis of lies and deception in order to control the direction of oil pipelines and to enhance Israeli territorial expansion.

Frank misses all of this.

And what a pity that is. A false conservative-liberal fight distracts attention from the growing police state that is destroying civil liberties for all Americans. It obscures the real motives of policies in behalf of special interests that are leading to nuclear confrontation with Russia and China.

What is wrecking America is not conservatives, but a neoconservative ideology of US hegemony.

What is wrecking America is the “impeachment-is-off-the-table” twins, Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers.

What is wrecking America is the Democratic Party, which was put in control of the House and Senate in the 2006 congressional elections to stop the gratuitous wars and gestapo police, but, instead, has continued to cooperate with the Cheney/Bush regime in behalf of war and police repression, such as we witnessed at the Republican National Convention.

Frank’s book, “The Wrecking Crew” falls into the scapegoat category of blaming the innocent and irrelevant. The Democrat Party could impeach Cheney/Bush and cut off funding for the wars and corrupt military contracts. But they do nothing and get a free pass from Frank.

The Wrecking Crew” does have one virtue. Frank shows that the Republicans have spawned a new generation of brownshirts that lust to imprison, torture, and kill people. These ignorant bloodthirsty thugs see enemies everywhere and fervently desire to nuke them all. The Republican brownshirts are equally willing to kill American critics of the Bush regime as to kill Taliban and al Qaeda.

The latest “enemy” is Russia. The Bush regime, complicit in its Georgian puppet’s war crimes against South Ossetia, is attempting to hide its responsibility for ethnic cleansing by demonizing Russia. With every threat the Bush regime issues against Russia, the war drums beat louder. Yet, the print and TV media and Democratic Party have jumped on the war wagon.

The rapture evangelicals and the neocons are euphoric at the prospect of nuclear war. Frank’s misguided barrage at conservatives, who are a brake on war and the police state, hastens end times.

Wake up! We have nothing of value to lose.

The American Reality

Like Orwell’s sheep, we repeat and regurgitate robotic rationalizations justifying the fatal deprivation of the most fundamental human needs of our own brethren, of which these necessities could be so easily and readily provided, to deny other humans them is not less than malice. And while we refuse to recognize and respect the rights of others, we seldom pass up an opportunity to relinquish ourselves of all responsibility for our own actions and inactions. We blame victims for their condition of victim-hood. Our relationships with each other are often void of sincerity and love, driven more by fear, habit, selfishness, expectations and other self-serving and superficial qualities. If we wish to once and for all, remove ourselves from our despicable and pathological role that we are fulfilling at this very hour then we must break free from the indoctrination system to smash these ideological constraints and cease with our passive behavior that we have mastered over recent years. Wake up! We have nothing of value to lose. – Max Kantar


by Max Kantar
World Prout Assembly
September 4, 2008

09/04/08 – “WPA” – Amidst the independence day flag waving, summer sporting events, and even a few murmurs about the prospect of ‘change’ in an upcoming national election, a much darker reality exists in this country.

Blinded by the bright lights of flatscreen televisions and drowned out by the numbing buzz of propaganda and unimportant words, we have been hypnotized by the doctrinal system of mass media and baptized in materialistic excess.

By allowing a fraction of the spoils of international terrorism and exploitation to trickle into the hands of a substantial sector of the American working and middle class, the corporate elite have effectively purchased not only our blessing and consent, but our morals and souls.

They have lulled us into submission not simply through jingoist indoctrination, but by creating a necessary diversion from the undesirable images of the masses of emaciated children and mangled and deformed bodies suffering from disease and terror.

Our oil, our apparel, our electronics, jewelry, agriculture– so much of our ridiculous consumption, comes bearing a pretty face, benevolent message, or an admiral ideal. They are marketed and sold based on the principle that our values and human worth can be found in and measured by empty and soulless material possessions.

The faces of our hero celebrities don the false images of tyrannical corporations who have virtually enslaved hundreds of millions of men, women, and children, compelled to suffer criminal wages, physical and sexual assault, and countless other abuses, all driven simply by their need to eat and stay alive.

On top of endless commercial propaganda, the financial masters feed the masses daily the idiocy of pop culture. Images depicting animalistic fantasies of primal gratification consume the public mind in a roaring tsunami of sex, glorified violence, flesh chewing, intoxication, and militaristic spectator sporting events.

Not only are our consciousness and minds removed and averted by this swarm of barbarism, but our highest values are constructed out of it and cemented into our shallow and hollow being.

We contract, we kill, we subsidize, we profit. We impose starvation, disease, murder, and oppression. But yet because we, the public, do not see these conditions and people that we create and degrade, we are oblivious.

Virtually no human being, if given the opportunity, would steal food from a starving child. Likewise, none of us would dream of supporting or perpetrating terrorism on innocent victims in the interests of commercial investment and foreign capital. But yes, that is precisely what we are doing! Everyday!

This is the object of mass media, to properly indoctrinate the population with misconceptions about the nature of our nation regarding domestic and international affairs and to reinforce a value system that worships all things superficial, profitable, and meaningless.

We are all part of this unsustainable, exploitative, and violent structure, participating as consumers, workers, teachers, students, debtors, taxpayers and officials.

We built the Caterpillar bulldozers that have demolished tens of thousands of homes in Palestine, making tens of thousands of Palestinian families homeless. We are the ones paying for Palestine’s ethnic cleansing and the starvation and imprisonment of Gaza. It is us whose hands are covered in Palestinian blood.

With our tax dollars, we have allowed for highly subsidized corporate agribusiness to destroy food independence of countless poorer nations, leading to the dispossession of their farmers, the destruction of their crops, and eventually, massive famine in the said nations. And while the masses of the ultra-exploited world struggle to eat and watch their children starve, we are using a subsistence crop, corn, to feed to automobiles rather than people amidst a global food crisis.

We are the ones drinking the coffee from Starbucks brought to us by the slavish, U.S. corporate plantations of Central America. To satisfy the artificial wants of our globalized consumer society, over 200 million children around the world forgo school and family life to work unfathomably long days under command and the threat of beatings and starvation, producing carpets, sporting goods, rugs, shoes, and many other objects of our collective desire. We might wonder how many hundreds of million adults suffer the same fate as well.

It is the oil from the Niger Delta that fills our vehicles, courtesy of Exxon Mobile and Shell, whose existence assures the continued desperation and hopelessness of the people of the region, the rightful owners of the natural resources of their homeland.

Using our overwhelming influence in international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, our representatives have effectively underdeveloped much of the world over the past 25 years, imposing neoliberal ‘structural adjustments’ on poor nations for the benefit of our own Wall Street criminals while several thousands of human beings unnecessarily starve to their graves daily.

To be sure, it is we who have been in gluttonous fashion usurping much of the global oil resources for our over-consumption. We are the United States of America. How many million human beings have been deprived, starved, killed, and oppressed to assure the profits of Middle Eastern oil find their ways into Western pockets? The bloody siege of Iraq and Afghanistan is only the most recent peak of repression and violence carried out for oil interests in the region. These policies are not new.

We, and nobody else, are paying for our 700 military bases around the globe, stationed to protect foreign western capital and poised to destroy popular struggle. We have supplied the weapons, planes, ammunition, training, soldiers, and cash to scores of belligerent nations with the pretext of assuring the preservation of foreign investment domination and the suppression of popular demand.

It is us who have subsidized, supported, and sacrificed to assure that no nation defies the global economic order and breaks the imperial laws of the West to pursue a social and economic agenda of the choosing of its population. Have we not learned that it is not communism that we despise, but independence that we so loathe?

Have we made the world safe for democracy yet?

We are so deeply indoctrinated and disillusioned by the carefully constructed reality that the elites are presenting us. Any thoughtfulness is drowned out by the pervasive rubbish being thrust upon our minds from all angles.

Our perceptions are so controlled by marketing, advertising, and selfishness that we cannot even begin to conceive that we are active participants in a global program of racism, capitalism, war, depravation, and destruction, that by the laws of economic gravitation, has already begun to create the conditions in which we too, shall reap what has been sown.

In this sick and deranged society we are programmed as well, to see our own countrymen as not our brothers and sisters, but as objects of competition. As an army of debtors, workers, and consumers, we march through the streets aimlessly towards our next meaningless purchase, destination, or crusade, instinctively kicking aside the faceless un-people sheltered in the cardboard barracks on the streets and sidewalks of multimillion dollar shopping centers and enterprises.

Like Orwell’s sheep, we repeat and regurgitate robotic rationalizations justifying the fatal deprivation of the most fundamental human needs of our own brethren, of which these necessities could be so easily and readily provided, to deny other humans them is not less than malice.

And while we refuse to recognize and respect the rights of others, we seldom pass up an opportunity to relinquish ourselves of all responsibility for our own actions and inactions. We blame victims for their condition of victim-hood. Our relationships with each other are often void of sincerity and love, driven more by fear, habit, selfishness, expectations and other self-serving and superficial qualities.

If we wish to once and for all, remove ourselves from our despicable and pathological role that we are fulfilling at this very hour then we must break free from the indoctrination system to smash these ideological constraints and cease with our passive behavior that we have mastered over recent years.

Wake up! We have nothing of value to lose.

Purge The System of its Failures

Purge The System of its Failures

Bob Chapman

Dont bail out the big failures in the markets, time to throw out the toxic waste stocks, reign in the tax system, America as the next Weimar republic, more subprime losses to come, elitists cant control Russia, credit problems all around

Fannie and Freddie, the Scylla and Charibdis of the real estate world, should be allowed to fail. There are no “if’s,” “and’s” or “but’s” about this issue. The morons who recommended investment in these monstrosities, whether in bonds, in preferred stock, but especially in their common stock, ought to have their empty heads examined. And as for the institutional and professional players who invested in these GSE Ponzi schemes despite insane, psychopathic levels of risk and leverage, so far as we are concerned, they can now take a big dive over the fraud precipice onto the rocks of mal-investment below. These inane, feckless investors were mostly the big players on the Street and in world markets, and they should have known better. Do you think, perhaps, that the failure of these fraudulently run monstrosities to comply with exchange rules for financial reporting for multiple years might have been a bit of a clue? Yeah, like a REALLY BIG clue!

And who are these big players who so foolishly invested in the most lethal variety of all toxic waste? Mainly, the big spendthrift nitwits were the Wall Street fraudsters that helped to create and run the Ponzi scheme to begin with, and the big holders of dollar forex who acquired their stake in our country through their fraudulent currency manipulations which enabled them to decimate our manufacturing sector and to create massive US trade deficits through free trade, globalization, off-shoring, outsourcing and both legal and illegal immigration. China and Japan can be singled out as being especially culpable for artificially weakening their currencies against the dollar in order to acquire an unfair trade advantage against our competing domestic industries. Why do you think our auto and electronics industries have been under such tremendous pressure, pressure that is likely to bankrupt many of these companies and a host of others who were decimated by these unfair trade and currency machinations. This is also how big elitist transnational conglomerates broke the power of our trade unions. China and Japan own hundreds of billions of toxic GSE debts and equities, which are about to get fried. Awww! Let’s all have a pity-party for them!

And then there are the OPEC nations, who, together with US and UK big oil interests, have conspired to create a “peak oil” crisis, despite the fact that we have two centuries worth of untapped domestic oil and gas resources, while not a single domestic petroleum refinery has been built in over thirty years despite mega-profits that could have easily been invested in such refineries to ensure future supply. Yeah, let’s blame the environmentalists, whose organizations and lobby groups were all created and funded by big oil and other Illuminist interests, while our nuclear plants were sabotaged and our inventors of efficient and clean methods of producing energy were bought out, threatened or murdered! There are patents that could transform our nation collecting dust in the vaults of Illuminist transnational conglomerates, which do not want to set us free from energy bondage like Mr. Tesla had wanted to do, because they would rather keep us in manacles and chains so they can perpetually extort criminally exorbitant profits from us. These OPEC nations hide much of their ill-gotten gains in their holdings of GSE debts and equities, which are also valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and which they acquire clandestinely through big UK and European banking interests, particularly those of the Rothschilds, so the US public does not become outraged at the amount of their filthy lucre which has been fraudulently extracted from them and taken out of their hides.

Rounding out the list of criminals who sought to benefit from the higher rates of return, and commissions and fees, offered and generated by the stock and bond offerings of these toxic real estate entities, are the ratings agencies who conspired with our corrupt government regulators and the Wall Street fraudsters to give these lethal concoctions an AAA rating. And let’s not forget the mortgage securitizers, who, assisted by the Fed, which brought interest rates down to ludicrously low levels to suck in dupes from the ranks of the poor with no down-payment loans at adjustable, unrealistic teaser rates while cheering on the new credit qualification requirements that allowed anyone who could draw breath to get a mortgage loan, not to mention the Wall Street firms who rammed these investments down the throats of their trusting and gullible clients, knowing full well that these entities were mismanaged, overrated, over-leveraged, non-compliant with exchange filing requirements for years, and doomed some day to failure just as sure as God made little green apples! Oh, and incidentally, that government guaranty for GSE debts and equities – you know, the one that the elitist scum keep reminding us about – that guaranty was implied, not express, so don’t try to hang your hats on that issue!!! You knew there was no express guaranty, and you bought this toxic garbage anyway, or you rated it AAA, or you recommended it to your clients!

We say, let’s have the fraudsters bail out the non-professional investors, as was done with the auction rate municipal bonds, along with some of the smaller regional banks who got sucked into this Ponzi scheme, AND THE REST CAN FREAKING BURN!!! LET ALL THE CRIMINAL SCUM BURRRRRRRRN!!! Take Mr. Hanky Panky Paulson’s bailout bazooka, shove it down his throat, and pull the trigger!!!

But if we let them burn, then they are going to stop buying our debt and all that inflation we exported will come screaming back to haunt us! Our system will collapse! YES, AND YOUR POINT BEING? We say good, let’s let the whole freaking system be purged, as it should have been almost two decades ago, and then LET’S START FROM SCRATCH — NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!! We would rather see a third-world US run by unselfish, intelligent, ethical, service-oriented leaders like our Founding Fathers, than have an evil, world-dominating US run by the reprobates and sociopaths who fill the ranks of the corrupt, traitorous, criminal, Illuminist scum, and who are intentionally ruining our country to pave the way for world government!!!

Why would we want such a thing, besides the fact that this would be the right thing to do, both in God’s eyes and from every other imaginable perspective? Because the US could go from third-world to world-class once again far more quickly than you might think through use of ethical governmental and business practices conducted by unselfish, intelligent, ethical, service-oriented leaders at the helm, and supported by a gold-backed currency consistent with the terms of our Constitution which limits legal tender to gold and silver coinage.

If we do not purge the system now, get rid of the Fed and the income tax, have our Treasury start printing our own, gold-backed currency like President Kennedy had meant to do in his still valid Executive Order 11110, and essentially start from scratch, then Jefferson’s declaration will come true, to wit: “If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” According to Mr. Jefferson, “Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” And now you all see, in spades, what he was talking about!

That type of Constitutional system is what we had before the Illuminist scum took over our government in 1913 with the passage of the act establishing the public-screwing Federal Reserve System, which is no more “federal” than Federal Express, which act was also accompanied by the fraudulent, and improperly ratified, Constitutional amendment establishing the US income tax.

The income tax, which started out at diminutive levels to bamboozle the public, has morphed into a middle-class-destroying monstrosity, just as the elitists had planned. They use the Federal Reserve System to stealth-tax the sheople with inflation, while simultaneously draining them of their assets directly through the income tax, creating a double-whammy that keeps the sheople too busy trying to support their families to care about what is being done to them by their corrupt government and by the even more corrupt corporate America. And of course, the income tax proceeds are used to fund the Illuminist military-industrial complex, and to power their psychological, brainwashing operations also known as public schools, while also being used to infiltrate and dominate our systems of higher education such as our public and private colleges and universities. That way, good, little, compliant, brainwashed sheople are produced for future Illuminist profit-harvesting, and for slaughter in wars for profit (oh, sorry, we meant to say for democracy and freedom – please excuse us for a moment while we puke, as our attempt to be “politically correct” has made us nauseous).

If we do not purge the system now, we may be tempting fate to become the only large, mature, industrialized nation to undergo out-of-control hyperinflation since Weimar Germany in the 1920s. Let’s let Fannie’s and Freddie’s demise purge the system, and let the countries and corporations who abused and destroyed the system reap a large portion of the resulting damages. Yes, there will be recession and even depression, but it will be more mild and survivable than allowing the system to crash after it has been bailed out and wildly manipulated to kingdom come, which looks to be where the Illuminati are going to try to take it. Creating more money and credit until it is coming out of our ears to save an already failed system is madness, and it will make the final Fall of the House of Usher worse by an order of magnitude. The US is about to join the Roman Empire in the scap-heap of history, and the sheople are still clueless, still stuck in their Illuminist-contrived Goldilocks Matrix pod where their box-of-rocks-brains have been washed to think that everything will always turn out “just right.” Just listen to them screaming and carrying on like rock groupies at the Jackass and Dumbo political conventions. If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

This ties in with the current madness we see in the Georgia situation, which shows the growing desperation of the Illuminati. Desperate people do desperate things, and the Illuminati are no exception.

This is why their policies are so toxic and dangerous, because they are borne out of a desperation that is growing by the minute. The elitists know that they have blown it, that their own greed and deceitful arrogance have now destroyed their base of power, both financially and militarily. They have bankrupted not only the American people, but themselves in the process, as they have attempted to rip off the public in one final plunge into fraud, greed and nefarious chicanery meant to keep the system on life support while their plans around the world were unraveling and they were desperately trying to shore them up.

Their subprime fraud led to the credit-crunch, which has destroyed their precious fiat banking system and its fractional banking leverage while their crucial bond and derivative markets have imploded, and a quadrillion dollar nightmare volcano of Ponzi-like derivatives, that the fraudsters created in the wake of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, is about to explode in a blaze of pyroclastic glory. They have slaughtered and gutted the sheople with free trade, globalization, off-shoring, outsourcing and both legal and illegal immigration.

As all of this contrived financial destruction has transpired, their wars for profit have gone badly, exacerbating the financial problems by heaping up endless debt on top of an already overburdened system. The current crew of inane, clueless “Chaos” henchmen could not carry out a coup in Timbuktu, much less in Russia and China. Our military hierarchy is quite competent, but they are taking their orders from raving lunatics who give them a quarter to a third of the men and equipment, which are required to succeed based on established military logistics for a successful attack and occupation. In their attempt to keep America from becoming too powerful and thus standing in the way of the establishment of world government, they have continued to fight un-winnable wars by hamstringing our military with outrageously doltish rules of engagement, doomed strategies and a shortage of manpower and equipment.

Out of their desire to keep the US from becoming too successful, these idiots have grossly miscalculated, and while they have badly bungled their plans for world domination via a one-world government and a socio-economic system of feudality, the Russians and Chinese have both rapidly grown in power financially and militarily despite all the elitists’ attempts to keep them in check. So now the Illuminati have managed to relegate themselves to third-world status in the face of a Sino-Russian, Frankenstein-like juggernaut which they themselves have created, fostered and financed. They have foolishly created the best enemies that money can buy in order to keep their military-industrial complex fed, while scaring the sheople into giving up their long-held and precious Constitutional rights to pave the way for their Orwellian police state. This is what the contrived “Cold War” was all about, and what the current, and totally phony, “War on Terror” is all about. Both “wars” were completely contrived, fear-mongering affairs intended to pave the way for a police state run by a one-world government, with the would-be lords of the universe at the helm.

The sheople of the US can no longer bail these fiends out as usual, because their wealth has been stolen from them by inflation, taxation, wars for profit and rampant financial fraud carried out by Wall Street while corrupt, bought-and-paid for, compromised US government regulators looked the other way. The hapless sheople are in debt up to their eyeballs and sinking fast. The Illuminati can attempt to have the sheople taxpayers bail out their precious system all they want, but where will the bailout funds come from? You can print all the money you want, but if it is rendered worthless through hyper-stagflation, then what are these reprobates and sociopaths really trying to accomplish? The Illuminati are headed toward a Pyrrhic victory, and they know that unless they can somehow level the world playing field, Russia and China are about to become the ascendant world powers while the US, Canada, Japan and much of Europe are doomed to fade into the ignominy they deserve and have earned with their arrogant, fraudulent and violent mistreatment of the people of the world, all in the name of greed and power.

Yes, Putin was right when he said the Georgian attack on South Ossetia was timed to coincide with US elections to support John McCain for President, but the real plan of attack goes much deeper than that, and is far more sinister. If the Illuminati want Manchurian Candidate and Bush Clone John McCain to win, all they have to do is give the word to Diebold, and it is a done-deal. What really happened with this Georgian debacle is that the Illuminists simply commenced a much broader plan of attack at a time when it was advantageous to the candidate that the neocon, Illuminist faction, currently in power, wants. The broader purpose of this plan is to destabilize both Russia and China, and the forces of “Chaos” know they only have two to three years before their precious system irreparably implodes. Hence, their desperation. They did not risk WWIII just to get McCain elected. Their campaign against competing world powers is existential in nature, and their failure at this juncture could put their plans for world government back by a half a century. Russia and China are both wise to their game. Putin’s response to the attack in Georgia could not have been more measured or more precise. The Russians learned their lesson in Afghanistan. Putin is a genius who has pulled Russia rapidly out of the ashes of the former Soviet Union after booting out the usurping Western-installed oligarchs, and he makes Bush, Cheney and Rice look like the three stooges. The power-mad neocons and their Rockefeller-Kissinger cohorts have completely bungled things, and now the real evil geniuses, Brzezinski and Rothschild, the brains behind the Black Nobility of Europe, are taking over in one last ditch effort to save the Illuminist plans. They are going to fail. Hail Caesar! Welcome to the Fall of the American Empire.

This past week the market was slightly weaker. It was held up by gains in banks, brokers and financial stocks. This is supposed to be a signal that the worst of the credit crisis is over. We are told by the “experts” who have been wrong over and over again, that the housing market is bottoming. It isn’t bottoming, it won’t recover for years. The credit crisis will be with us for 2 to 3 more years and then Washington and Wall Street will have to deal with depression. Investors, particularly professionals are becoming more and more receptive to the economic resiliency thesis. This viewpoint will keep investors in the market when they should be existing. We sometimes wonder if they know they are being lied too?

The latest obfuscation of GDP figures are a slap in the face to any intelligent American. From 1.9% to 3.3% in a quantum leap. What government and Wall Street forgot to tell you is that the figures are bogus. What they failed to report was that the GDP deflator was up 4.5% yoy, the strongest year-on-year increase since 1991.

Tighter credit is strangling the economy. The money and credit is out there but the banks are hoarding it to get themselves out of bankruptcy. The money one way or the other is borrowed from the Fed. The tightening reflects bank’s fears that they won’t have adequate reserves and that those they lend to might default.

DOES THIS MEAN THAT WE ARE ALL “TERRORISTS” NOW?

WILL THEY CHARGE AMY GOODMAN (DEMOCRACY NOW) NEXT?

Ramsey County charges nonviolent Food Not Bombs

volunteers under Minnesota version of USAPATRIOT Act,

alleges acts of terrorism

By Keith McHenry

In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal USAPATRIOT Act, Ramsey County prosecutors have formally charged eight alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.

Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7½ years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50 percent increase in the maximum penalty.

Affidavits released by law enforcement, which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants.

“These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience,” he said.

Five Food Not Bombs volunteers were arrested in Minneapolis in early morning raids on Saturday, August 30, and are facing charges of conspiracy to riot, conspiracy to commit civil disorder and conspiracy to damage property.

The five, who are being held in the Hennepin County Jail, are Nathanael Secor, Garrett Fitzgerald, Eryn Trimmer, Monica Bicking, and Erik Oseland.

Officers from the Minneapolis Police Department, the Hennepin and Ramsey County Sheriffs’ departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, armed with search warrants, executed the raids. The FBI and county sheriffs’ departments held the cooks face down at gunpoint for several hours as they videotaped and photographed their cooking equipment and other belongings. Later that evening Monica Bicking, owner of the Food Not Bombs house at 2301 23rd Ave. South in Minneapolis, was interrogated in her cell by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. She refused to talk. Eryn Trimmer reported yesterday morning in a phone call to his mother that 50 new prisoners joined him in the county jail last night. Monica Bicking was released yesterday.

The FBI claims that Food Not Bombs had weapons stored at their homes are false. Fortunately, the FBI and Ramsey county sheriff’s department did clean out all the old belongings left behind in the garage by the past owners saving Food Not Bombs a great deal of work. Volunteers held at gunpoint reported that “we aren’t even painting banners here. All we have is food and cooking equipment.“

The FBI, Pentagon and other agencies have been investigating and disrupting the Food Not Bombs movement since at least 1988 when volunteers were first arrested for feeding the hungry. That same year, the San Francisco Police wiretapped my (Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry) home phone. By 1997, the San Francisco police had made over 1,000 arrests for sharing vegetarian meals. I faced 25 years to life in prison even though I have written many articles and a book on nonviolent social change and have never participated in any violence and promote vegan and vegetarian diets, animal rights and peace.

This past year Eric McDavid and Lauren Weiner were framed by the Sacramento California office of the FBI after they paid a college student $75,000 to join Food Not Bombs. Wren is starting a five-year prison sentence and Eric has been sentenced to 19 years. The FBI provided their informant “Anna” with a specially wired car and home. They also gave her blasting caps, a book on how to build bombs and instructed her to try and convince Eric and Wren to bomb a dam in California. Eric and Wren refused but because they failed to stop “Anna” talking about her plans they were convicted.

“This investigation pertains to actions of the RNC Welcoming Committee,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said in a statement at midday Saturday. “The ‘Welcoming Committee’ is a criminal enterprise made up of 35 anarchists who are intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention.

Food Not Bombs has spent the last year organizing to provide free meals to protesters attending the demonstrations outside the Republican National Convention in Minnesota and the Democratic National Convention in Colorado in the United States.

Food Not Bombs is an all volunteer movement dedicated to nonviolent social change. Food Not Bombs provides free vegetarian meals every week in over 1,000 cities all over the world. Food Not Bombs volunteers provided free meals to the rescue workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11, to the protesters at the Orange Revolution in Kiev, Ukraine and fed survivors in nearly 20 communities in the Gulf region of the United States in the months after Katrina. From Iceland to Chile, Nigeria, New Zealand, Israel and beyond thousands of Food Not Bombs volunteers will be sharing vegetarian meals, working for peace, planting gardens, fixing up bikes for poor children and responding to hurricanes and earthquakes.

Please forward this to your local media and community groups.

Iraq said not to favor U.S. firms to develop oil fields

Iraq said not to favor U.S. firms to develop oil fields

Azzaman, September 3, 2008

Iran is pressuring Iraqi authorities to exclude U.S. oil majors from contracts to develop the country’s massive oil fields, sources at the Oil Ministry said.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the authorities currently favor Chinese and Russian companies to those of the United States.

Their remarks come following a contract the ministry signed last month with China’s state-owned oil firm CNPC.

The $3bn oil services contract is a renegotiated deal of the Ahdad oilfield which CNPC had agreed to develop in 1977.

China is the first country to win such a contract since the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country.

Russia had also signed a deal in 1977 to develop West of Qurna, one of Iraq’s largest fields with reserves estimated at billions of barrels.

It is not clear how much influence Iran had in persuading the government to renegotiate CNPC’s 1997 contract.

The Ministry of Oil and other key portfolios such the Ministry of Interior and Finance are in the hands of pro-Iran Shiite factions.

Analysts say it is difficult today for any major development, whether economic or political, to take place in Iraq without Iranian consent.

Iran has emerged as the country’s top trading partner. Its firms are present in the Kurdish north and southern Iraq carrying out projects worth billions of dollars.

Iranian goods are the most conspicuous merchandise in Iraqi shops.

Iraq, though occupied and administered by America, has grown to be so pendent on Iran that some analysts see it as a satellite state of Tehran.

Putin fires warning over Nato presence in Black Sea

Putin fires warning over Nato presence

in Black Sea

russian prime minister ‘will act’ if west continues to support Georgia

Published: 03/09/2008

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned yesterday that he would respond to the increased number of Nato ships in the Black Sea in the aftermath of the war with Georgia.

Russia has repeatedly complained that Nato has too many ships in the area.

“We don’t understand what American ships are doing on the Georgian shores but this is a question of taste. It’s a decision by our American colleagues,” Mr Putin said.

“The second question is why the humanitarian aid is being delivered on naval vessels armed with the newest rocket systems.”

He said Russia’s reaction to Nato ships “will be calm, without any sort of hysteria. But, of course – there will be an answer.”

Asked exactly what measures Russia would take, Mr Putin answered: “You’ll see.”

Separately, Russian officials criticised European threats to postpone talks on a partnership deal over the war in Georgia but the Russian envoy to the EU said he was not surprised the EU declined to impose sanctions on Russia.

“We are too interdependent,” Vladimir Chizhov said.

“Russia and the European Union are bound by destiny to be close partners.”

EU officials said on Monday that unless Russian troops pulled back from positions in Georgia, talks on the wide-ranging political and economic agreement would be delayed.

The UK and Eastern European nations held out for a tougher line but Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and natural gas deterred stronger sanctions.

Mr Putin visited Uzbekistan yesterday, highlighting that dependence: He announced a new natural gas pipeline to cross Uzbekistan, strengthening Russian control over Central Asian gas exports to Europe and undermining western-backed efforts for a rival trans-Caspian route.

Criticising the EU decision, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Russia had fulfilled “all of its commitments”.

He claimed efforts were under way to rebuild Georgia’s armed forces and said Georgian military forces were behind protests against Russian troops in the country.

Later last night, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow does not fear expulsion from the G8 over the war in Georgia, adding that the west needs Russia.

He said Moscow would not agree to any contacts with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, whom he called a “political corpse”.

Jim Crow alive and well in Hebron

Jim Crow alive and well in Hebron

Joel Gulledge, The Electronic Intifada, 3 September 2008

Masked Israeli settlers near the West Bank city of Nablus, June 2008. (Rami Swidan/MaanImages)

I left my home in the United States to spend the summer in the West Bank, where I was attacked by Israeli settlers late last month. As a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), I went to the south Hebron Hills to help keep young Palestinian children safe from Israeli settlers intent on dominating and hurting Palestinians. Armed only with a video camera, it was my job to escort the children back and forth from school and summer camp.

On 27 July, the children and I were walking home when a group of Israeli settlers assaulted us from a hilltop with fist-sized stones. Some narrowly missed my head. Focusing my video camera, I recorded an Israeli settler flinging stones at the children from his long-range slingshot. When he saw that I was filming him, he struck me in the leg with a rock. He chased me, kicked me and screamed that he was going to kill me. Wrestling the video camera from my hand, he then repeatedly struck me in the face and upper body with a stone.

After the assault, I was helped by Palestinians to reach a hospital where I was treated for my injuries.

The occupied West Bank today is like walking through a page from a different era — part Wild West, part Jim Crow — with one set of laws for Palestinians and another set for Israeli settlers.

There are now over 450,000 Israeli settlers living on land taken from Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in defiance of international law. The settlers in and around Hebron are, according to Israeli journalist Ran HaCohen, “fanatic extremists even by Israeli standards. They regularly ransack Palestinian shops, cut electricity lines and water pipes, wreck cars, and attack schoolchildren.”

The schoolchildren I worked with have no one to protect them. In fact, the Israeli military had refused to provide an escort for them. Consequently, volunteers from America and Europe have been accompanying the children. We take them on a longer route through the hills to bypass the Israeli settler outpost.

I spent my formative years in Mississippi. I know the stories of African-American students being denied an education and intimidated by adults who had no shame. As we trudge up the hillsides with Palestinian children, I am reminded of African-Americans having to avert their eyes and get off the sidewalk to avoid passing white people during the Jim Crow years in the American South.

Settler violence toward the children here has been a persistent problem. In 2004, the local Palestinian leadership requested assistance from international organizations. CPT responded and has been accompanying Palestinian children and documenting their interactions with Israeli settlers and soldiers ever since. As my beating demonstrates, we have become targets as well.

That same year, five masked settlers attacked American volunteers Kim Lamberty and Chris Brown with a chain and bat. According to The Washington Post, “Lamberty suffered a broken arm and bruised knee, and Brown was hospitalized for several days with cracked ribs and a punctured lung.”

The day I was attacked, the Palestinian children with me were fortunate to escape unscathed. One result of my spilled American blood is that the Israeli military is now providing these children with an escort. However, just three days after my attack, my colleagues in CPT and other international volunteers witnessed the soldiers failing to escort the children the entire designated route; settlers hiding along the way began to throw rocks at the children. And, according to a report issued in July by the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, only one in 10 Israeli investigations of settler attacks on Palestinians ends with anyone being charged with a crime.

Something has gone profoundly wrong when Palestinian children must risk their lives just to get to school. It is past time for our government to pressure Israel to rein in the settler movement.

How much more powerful would it have been for Sen. Barack Obama to have said in Jerusalem — or Hebron — what he said in Berlin: “The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”

Our leaders must insist that Israel not apply one system of law in the West Bank for Israeli settlers and another for Palestinians. Colonizing another people ought to be regarded as ancient history.

Bush pushes for more police power

Bush pushes for more police power

document.title = “Bush pushes for more police power”;
BY NAT HENTOFF

In his last months, President Bush is working to ensure that his successor will have the greatly expanded power of the executive branch — unprecedented in American history — that Bush instituted after 9/11. His chief enabler in this ever-increasing surveillance of American citizens is Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking minority member Arlen Specter are aware of Mukasey’s plan for new FBI guidelines that could begin national security and criminal investigations of racial and ethnic groups without any evidence of wrongdoing. They have asked Mukasey to delay implementation until Congress can review the changes. Mukasey agreed but wants the expanded surveillance to begin Oct. 1.

Four Democratic senators — with the lamentable absence of their leader, Harry Reid — also have reminded the attorney general of his oath to protect the Constitution. Russ Feingold, Richard Durbin, Edward Kennedy and Sheldon Whitehouse warn not only Mukasey but also the rest of us that the new rules “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities.”

As Lara Jakes Jordan of The Associated Press (Aug. 18) pointed out: “The new policy, law enforcement officials said, would let agents open preliminary terrorism investigations after mining public records and intelligence (including tips from informants) to build a profile of traits that, taken together, were deemed suspicious.” There would be no evidence of criminal activity.

Such “traits” could include a person’s race or ethnicity.

Michael German, an FBI agent for 16 years and now a policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, warns that if Mukasey goes ahead, he will undermine the restrictions placed on the FBI after the dragnet approach of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO (domestic counter-intelligence program) during the 1950s and 1960s: “… These were corrections originally designed to prevent the type of overreach the FBI engaged in for years.”

Long after those years, I obtained my FBI file through the Freedom of Information Act and found I had been “a person of interest” to COINTELPRO agents even though I was on record as a passionate anti-communist. I was just one of millions of innocent Americans looked into as Hoover promised “an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”

Mukasey also has “proposed a new domestic-spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years” (The Washington Post, Aug. 16). State and local police agencies would not be hampered by Fourth Amendment’s requirements that they must search and seize traces of our activities and beliefs only upon “probable cause” that we are, or have been or plan to be, involved in criminal actions. They would need only a suspicion that we somehow are involved in terrorism or are providing “material support” to terrorism. “Material support” can mean sending a check to a charitable organization that, unknown to the giver, provides funds to a group later listed by the government as a terrorist group.

The Fourth Amendment, contrary to Bush and Mukasey, mandates that state and local police and the FBI “particularly describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” before an American can be entered into a database without probable cause of criminal activity.

If Bush and Mukasey succeed, state and local police and the FBI will increase their infiltration into organizations that object to administration policies as well as keep an unsleeping eye on various individuals with suspicious traits.

On Sept. 17, the occasionally independent FBI director, Robert Mueller, will testify at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He will have a patriotic opportunity to insist that Bush and Mukasey return to American citizens our Bill of Rights intact. And he should insist that public hearings be held on Mukasey’s plan.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard nothing from Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain about the Mukasey revisions of the Bill of Rights. Do they care?

Do they remember that Sept. 17 is Constitution Day? Do you?