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Wed

27

Oct

2010

The Politicians' Bible: Bringing in the Receipts
by Walter and Rosemary Brasch

It will be cold tonight in Pennsylvania, but that means nothing to dozens of politicians who are in their final week of a ubiquitous campaign to get a government job.

There isn't a household in Pennsylvania that has active voters that hasn't been subjected to at least two dozen TV political ads each day, several robo-calls a week, and a few dozen direct mail full-color 8-1/2-by-11 inch postcard campaign ads. Many households have already received three or four dozen such ads in the past month.

Pennsylvanians aren't the only ones who have been subjected to a deluge of political campaign ads the past six months. In California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, in every state in which there is a possibility of Republicans taking Senate, House, and governor seats from Democrats, there is a battle. The tactic is fear. The facts don't matter. It makes little difference. It's the results the politicians, their parties, and innumerable special interest groups care most about.

This year, more than $4 billion will be spent on Congressional and Gubernatorial races on the midterm election. From individuals. From corporations. From special interest groups. Leading the donations from special interest groups are the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which pledged to spend more than $75 million; American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, formed by Karl Rove, George W. Bush's political advisor, which is expected to spend about $65 million; and the Republican Governors Association, which has already donated more than $30 million, leaving the Democratic Governors Association, which has contributed about $10 million, in its dust. Other Democrat-leaning organizations are Act Blue, which will spend about $15 and Moveon, which will probably spend about $25 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Thanks to a 5–4 ruling by the Supreme Court in January, corporations now enjoy the First Amendment rights of individuals. And corporate money, mostly to conservative causes, has poured into the campaigns. None of the special interest groups—no matter which political ideology they embrace—are taxed.
 

Wed

27

Oct

2010

After Wall Street II Oliver Stone should do JFK II - The last key witness has finally been found
by Roland Michel Tremblay

The last key witness that Oliver Stone mentioned in the film "JFK" (1991), the one who could have solved and proved the conspiracy surrounding JFK's assassination, has finally been found. Her name is Judyth Vary Baker and her 606 page testimony titled "Me & Lee, How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald" has just been published at Trine Day Press. Jim Marrs, the long-time investigator and author of the New York Times bestseller "Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy", upon which the "JFK" film was based, asked in the afterword of Baker's book how she can still be alive today. Good question.

It has not been easy. Baker decided to talk after 36 years of frightened silence, but after being confronted with death threats she had to leave the United States. She returned to the US twice, only to flee overseas due to ongoing stalking, harassment and several hospitalizations caused by what Marrs termed "freak accidents." In 2007 she was accepted as a political asylum seeker in Europe, the first ever non-combatant American woman to succeed in gaining asylum seeker status in the world. She is still struggling with character assassination over the Internet by people intent on destroying her as a credible witness, but her book is out now, and it changes everything. So much so that Oliver Stone could finally do a final and less static version of his film. Instead of telling us about what might have happened, he could now show us what really happened in 1963 in New Orleans and Dallas.

What happened is far more impressive and sinister than anyone could have imagined. Beyond the facts that the death of JFK opened the way to more wars, such as in Vietnam, ostensibly to fight communism while enriching the war industry, with the Mafia free of Bobby Kennedy's pesky presence countering corruption, we now know there is now a whole new angle to the story. And it is perhaps more important and worrying than even the assassination of a beloved President. Behind it all was the development of a biological weapon capable of killing anyone by injecting virulent cancer cells. Any such murder would, of course, look like a natural death.

This is what Lee Harvey Oswald, a US government agent, was working on with Judyth Vary Baker in the summer of 1963 in New Orleans, along with David Ferrie, Dr. Mary Sherman, and Dr. Alton Ochsner from the Ochsner Clinic, with the government and the Mafia waiting in the wings. That fact alone warranted that many witnesses had to be eliminated. If you check carefully, two of these witnesses died of a powerful cancer that spread quickly, without detection, that death ensued soon after its diagnosis -- the assassin of Oswald, Jack Ruby, who claimed to have been injected with cancer cells, and Clay Shaw, the central figure in the Garrison trial in Stone's movie, "JFK", who died in Ochsner's Clinic and was buried within 24 hours. Part of the whole story had been previously published in another significant book -- "Dr. Mary's Monkey" -- written by Edward T. Haslam. "Dr. Mary's Monkey" has become an underground bestseller. Haslam, the son of a prominent New Orleans doctor, wrote the foreword to Baker's book.
 

Wed

27

Oct

2010

Amerikan Perestroika
by Peter Chamberlin

It would be nice if the world of man was a simple creation, where honest effort was its own reward.  In such a world, mistakes would be understood as signals of corrections which needed to be made.  It is not our good fortunes to live in such a world, at least not as far as all the governments of the world are concerned.

Human governments are in the business of capitalizing upon mistakes, especially turning the mistakes of the opposing party to political advantage.  When the stumbling political party happens to be an adversarial government that is the process of self-destruction, then the political urge is to let them suffer.  Such was the situation when the Soviet Union fell apart.  But that was no excuse for this mistaken American policy or for the train of mistakes which was to follow.

Nothing demonstrates the complexity of the ultimate design which confronts us, or the character flaws of the designers, better than the current state of American/Russian relations.  We were led to believe that we had witnessed the implosion of the Soviet state in 1991, but that earth-shaking event was not what it appeared on the surface to be.  The event, which was supposed to have meant the end of the modern Russian empire, as well as the end of Soviet Communism, ended nothing, except for the entangling alliances which had been arranged by the demented mind of Josef Stalin.

What really transpired was the “restructuring” (perestroika) of the Russian government, the cutting of economic and social liabilities under the liberal leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, to give the Kremlin leadership breathing space, in order survive the transition from a model communist system to capitalist model.  The “capitalism” that Gorbachev had in mind was not the “democratic-capitalist” of the United States, but the Chinese model of state-dominated capitalism.  Gorby had in mind the same Eastern version of “democracy,” as well.  The fact that George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton turned their backs on the people of Russia and the former satellite states and allowed Russian leader Putin time to reestablish a “moderate police state” in the former Soviet space, stands-out as one of the greatest mistakes that any American president has ever made.  Had we followed a different path in 1991, one based on cooperation and human compassion, instead of abandoning the people of the former totalitarian Communist dictatorship to suffer the tragic consequences of the failed Soviet system, then there is no doubt in my mind that we would now be living in that new world order of total peace and not living in a bankrupt world preparing for perpetual war and the strong likelihood of total economic collapse.  We should lay the blame for the failure of the world order at the feet of George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton, the “godfathers” of revolutionary interventionist democracy (Reagan is its father.).
 

Wed

27

Oct

2010

How & Why We Subpoenaed Election Thief Karl Rove
by  Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis 

Election woes got you down?

Imagine the look of contempt on Karl Rove's face this past Sunday as he swaggered toward his star turn on CBS's Face the Nation only to be served with our subpoena sanctioned by the Secretary of the State of Ohio. 

The federal subpoena orders Rove to testify in deposition. Our attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, intends to ask Mr. Rove about his role in the theft of the 2004 election, and to discuss his orchestration of tens of millions of corporate/billionaire dollars in the one coming up on November 2, 2010. 

As co-counsel and plaintiff in the on-going King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit, we have fought for six years to win justice and full disclosure in an election that Rove stole for George W. Bush. 

In the course of this civil rights federal suit, we have seen the illegal destruction of hundreds of thousands of paper and electronic ballots that were supposedly protected by federal law. 

We have seen 56 of 88 Ohio counties destroy most of their poll records, making a full recount of the 2004 vote an impossibility. Some of this destruction was done in defiance of federal law and a federal court order, for which no one has been prosecuted. 

We have also seen the very mysterious and disturbing death of Michael Connell, Rove's former chief computer guru. Rove used Connell to establish the electronic tools and architectural framework through which the vote count manipulations that shifted the election from John Kerry to Bush were accomplished. 

An experienced professional pilot, Connell died improbably in a fiery crash at his home airport in Canton in December, 2008. Connell had been deposed the day before the November 2008 election. Attorney Arnebeck was in the process of preparing for another round of questioning when Connell's life was ended. 

Our subpoena is aimed at letting Rove explain all he did to give himself, Bush, and Dick Cheney another term in the White House. 
 

Fri

22

Oct

2010

Atrocity Now: Wikileaks Puts Spotlight Back on Continuing War Crime in Iraq

by Chris Floyd

Many, many years ago, I noted in the Moscow Times that shortly after the 2003 invasion, the United States had begun hiring some of Saddam's old torturers as the invaders sought to quell the then-nascent "insurgency" -- i.e., the opposition to foreign occupation that when carried out by white men, such as the French during World War II, goes by the more ringing name of "resistance." Here's part of that report, from August 29, 2003:

Here's a headline you don't see every day: "War Criminals Hire War Criminals to Hunt Down War Criminals."

Perhaps that's not the precise wording used by the Washington Post this week, but it is the absolute essence of its story about the Bush Regime's new campaign to put Saddam's murderous security forces on America's payroll.

Yes, the sahibs in Bush's Iraqi Raj are now doling out American tax dollars to hire the murderers of the infamous Mukhabarat and other agents of the Baathist Gestapo – perhaps hundreds of them. The logic, if that's the word, seems to be that these bloodstained "insiders" will lead their new imperial masters to other bloodstained "insiders" responsible for bombing the UN headquarters in Baghdad – and killing another dozen American soldiers while Little George was playing with his putts during his month-long Texas siesta.

Naturally, the Iraqi people – even the Bush-appointed leaders of the Potemkin "Governing Council" – aren't exactly overjoyed at seeing Saddam's goons return, flush with American money and firepower. And they're certainly not reassured by the fact that the Bushists have also re-opened Saddam's most notorious prison, the dread Abu Ghraib, and are now, Mukhabarat-like, filling it with Iraqis – men, women and children as young as 11 – seized from their homes or plucked off the street to be held incommunicado, indefinitely, without due process, just like the old days. As The Times reports, weeping relatives who dare approach the gleaming American razor-wire in search of their "disappeared" loved ones are referred to a crude, hand-written sign pinned to a spike: "No visits are allowed, no information will be given and you must leave." Perhaps an Iraqi Akhmatova will do justice to these scenes one day.
One of the first stories out of the gate from the gigantic new release of classified documents on the Iraq War by Wikileaks details the willing connivance and cooperation between the American invaders and their Iraqi collaborators in perpetrating heinous tortures against Iraqis. As we know, the Americans themselves were not exactly averse to atrocious maltreatment of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis they have rounded up, overwhelmingly without charges or evidience, over the long, long years of this godforaken enterprise. (As we've often noted here before, at one point early in the Iraq War, the Red Cross estimated that 70-90 percent of the more than 20,000 Iraqis then being held by the Americans as "suspected terrorists" were not guilty of any crime whatsoever. And of course many thousands more have been "churned" through the system since then. Which is doubtless one of the main reasons why there is still an active "insurgency" in Iraq after so many years of continuous "counter-insurgency." And yes, even after the "victorious" surge led by St. David Petraeus, and after the bogus "end of combat operations" declared by the Peace Laureate himself.)
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

Gilad Atzmon: From Scala To Wembley
by Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.

London Jazza festival is behind us.  It was stressful and we took a massive risk, but it turned into a great success.  For some of us, it was the most musically meaningful event we have ever participated in.

It occurred to me a while back that as far as Palestinian affairs are concerned, the tide has indeed changed -- The struggle of the Palestinian people has now become a part of a Western collective conscience. We are a mass movement becoming increasingly aware of itself. At our last week's first Jazza Festival, leading artists of all genres united together with an audience from all walks of life to side with the Palestinians.  In the Scala London, we stood together, protesting against Israeli brutality.  Funds were raised for the Free Palestine Movement, an organization that challenges many aspects of the occupation, and will soon bring the all important question of the 'Right of Return' right to the heart of Tel Aviv.  

Jazza is an event though, which is above political agendas: like the peace activists on board the Mavi Marmara, we have a humanitarian mission to accomplish. We are artists who very simply believe that beauty is hope. And we know that it is our duty to depict an alternative reality through our music.   
 
Naturally enough, we were supported by every possible Palestinian and Arab media outlet: The Palestine Telegraph rallied with us, as did the Palestine Chronicle. Middle East Online covered the production process and covered the event. Press TV promoted us and sent a team to cover the event.
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

Tomgram: Robert Lipsyte, America's Political No-Jocks Zone
by Tom Engelhardt

The image is seared into Olympic history: Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the medals podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, heads bowed, feet bare (to protest black poverty), necks draped with beads (to protest lynching), and most famously their black-gloved fists held aloft in a black power salute. It remains one of the most iconic collisions of sport and activism in history, a jarring and bold statement by two sprinters that left them branded for much of their lives as renegades, radicals, extremists. Which made it startling to learn that Smith, a civil rights icon, has decided to auction off his 1968 gold medal. The bidding, as the New York Times' William Rhoden reported, starts at $250,000.

Say it ain't so, Tommie. Or as the Times' Rhoden wrote, "Smith and Carlos raised clenched fists in a silent yet powerful gesture. Now Smith wants to cash in."

The way Smith's co-biographer, David Steele, tells it, Smith isn't actually hawking his medal for lack of cash. Then again, no one's quite sure why Smith has put the medal up for sale -- again. (A 1999 auction failed to garner bids high enough for him.) Steele suggests that Smith might use the money to start a youth foundation in his central California hometown, and either way, that no one should read the worst into Smith's intentions: "Until further notice, it sounds as if that's the better assumption to make: that Smith again sees a way to have that gold medal make a tangible impact on others in a way it isn't doing now while tucked away at his house."

Whatever Smith ends up doing with his medal will never overshadow his courage on that warm night in Mexico City, a decision that led to a life as a human rights activist, writer, and speaker. If only the ex-jocks currently vying for coveted spots in that most public of American spaces -- I'm talking about politics -- had half as much morality or mettle as Tommie Smith. Quite the opposite: As Robert Lipsyte, longtime sportswriter and TomDispatch's Jock Culture correspondent, writes, today's athletes-turned-politicians are a roster of blowhards and hypocrites running for office in what's shaping up to be a blockbuster (with an emphasis on the “bust”) midterm election season. (To catch Lipsyte discussing why jocks make such good candidates and poor politicians in a Timothy MacBain TomCast audio interview, click here or, to download it to your iPod, here.) Andy 

Leave ‘Em in the Locker Room
Pro Athletes Make Lousy Public Officials
By Robert Lipsyte

Old sportswriters are always being asked for tips on big games. Here’s one for the biggest game on the schedule: never vote for a jock.

This is particularly good advice in a political season whose starting line-up includes Chris Dudley, a former NBA back-up center running for governor of Oregon; Linda McMahon, co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment running for senator from Connecticut; and Heath Shuler, a former NFL quarterback, scrambling for a third-term as a member of the House from North Carolina. They are already campaigning to fit into the woeful tradition of Jim Bunning, Jesse Ventura, Tom Osborne, and Vinegar Bend Mizell, athletic role models whose narcissism, ignorance, and conservatism helped them make a seamless transition from entertaining people to exploiting them. 

 
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

How Voting Perpetuates Evil
by Joel S. Hirschhorn

For many years Americans have justified voting for candidates they were not especially thrilled with by convincing themselves that the lesser evil deserved to win office.  The fraction of people totally committed to one of the two major parties is small.  Most Americans see themselves as independents, liberals, conservatives, progressives or libertarians, but not as loyal Democrats or Republicans.  Most Americans are fed up with both major parties, not just incumbents.

But this year’s midterm elections will once again result in only Democratic or Republican candidates winning.  Other than staying home and not voting, nearly all voters will employ the lesser-evil justification.  Just one problem: That lesser-evil strategy has resulted in the dismal state of the nation that angers most Americans.

The only logical conclusion is that lesser-evil voting perpetuates all the cancerous evil plaguing the political system.  This should not surprise anyone.  Regardless of party affiliation, major party candidates convincingly lie to voters and the tons of money poured into politics create a mass propaganda machine from both parties that deceives voters.

Lesser-evil voting sometimes works in favor of Democrats and sometimes favors Republicans.  Negative advertising creates fear of some candidates and media pundits and celebrities use their considerable power to give voters reasons to vote for or against candidates.  The thirst for true reforms of government persists, as evidenced by the Tea Party movement and even the election of President Obama.  It is the force that moves the pendulum from one party to the other.

When will Americans wake up and realize that lesser evil still means evil?  Least bad still means bad.  Least corrupt still means corrupt.  Least dishonest still means dishonest.  Least stupid still means stupid.

But many people despairingly see no other option if they want to fulfill their civic responsibility and participate in elections.  That is because the two major parties have given Americans no real options.  They like the lesser-evil system that sustains the two-party plutocracy.  Only voters in Nevada can choose the “none of the above” option.  The rest of us can stay home or vote for third party candidates that stand no real chance of winning.  What to do?

Stop deluding yourself that any Democrat or Republican in Congress or the White House will actually do absolutely everything, even if it means not winning reelection, to reform the corrupt, dysfunctional, wasteful government system being controlled by wealthy people and corporate interests, and devastating ordinary Americans.

Your lesser-evil vote perpetuates evil.  Do you want to live with that?
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

WTF?: A Letter to Appalled, Puzzled European Friends

by Bernard Weiner Ph.D.

Dear Wolfgang and Jacqueline:

Your recent email, wondering "what the f--- is going on" these days, questioning whether we Americans have taken "more than your usual amount of stupid pills," is well deserving of a considered response.

How is it possible, you ask, that the very rightwing party whose policies helped create the current mess may very well take control of the House of Representatives and conceivably the Senate as well, in the upcoming November elections? "Is the U.S.A. experiencing some kind of death wish? Are we in Europe witnessing the paroxysms of a failing democracy, and a failing empire? Will the flat-Earth Know Nothings really take over in America?" Good questions all.

It's not easy to explain to foreigners what's happening here and what to do about it. I do know that in too many societies, for a relatively brief period of time, a contagious irrationality seems to spread dangerous nonsense in the polity; moral moorings and common-sense fly out the window. It's happened in your countries: the French right now ethnically-cleansing themselves of the Roma/Gypsy peoples, for example, or the Holocaust in Germany in the 1930-40s. But I'll have a go at some explanations, and you and your families and friends in those countries can tell me whether my analyses make any sense.

THE IDEOLOGICAL DIVIDE

To understand our current and dangerous political circus requires a quick romp through the historical context:

The first thing to understand is that what's happening today in American politics is not new. One could go back to the major philosophical splits amongst the Founding Fathers who, because of ideological fervor, were at each others' throats over how to distribute power. Or we could go back to the "robber barons" era of the late 19th century, when capitalist greed and industrial might, both basically unregulated at the time, ran roughshod over the economy and country. That unrestricted "free-market" philosophy helped lead eventually to the Great Depression and the resulting major social correctives of FDR and the Democrats in the 1930s-1940s.

But for our purposes here, let's pick up the thread in 1964 when Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was the Republican candidate for president.
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

Gilad Atzmon: From Rabbi Yosef to Marx
by Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון‎, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be an Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the "Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua non for activists to adopt.
 In case the Goyim cannot find a purpose in their life, Israeli senior Sephardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is there to help them out.  In his Saturday sermon  Rabbi Yosef revealed that the sole purpose of Gentiles is to serve Jews.
“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world.”  The Rabbi was also kind enough to provide the Goyim with some precise tasks. “Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.
That is why gentiles were created.”

I guess that it is about time the friends of Israel in Western politics started to fully comprehend their role in our Judified universe -- AIPAC and the Conservatives’ Friends of Israel do indeed, have a crucial function : They are there to ‘help’ our politicians grasp why they ‘were created’.

And their role is, apparently, to ‘serve the Jews,’ as the Chief Rabbi describes it so eloquently.

But there is a further and even much more sinister meaning to Rabbi Yosef’s sermon: according to the Rabbi, the Goyim will ‘work’ hard, they will ‘plow’ and ‘reap’ while the Jew ‘sits like an effendi (master)’ and ‘eats’. In just a few words Rabbi Yossef expresses the depth of Judaic contempt towards labour.

The senior Rabbi provides us with a devastating glimpse into the Judaic alienation from these aspects of the human condition and human experience. In an unequivocal manner, Rabbi Yosef depicts a clear dichotomy: Jews are the master race and the Goyim are nothing but a work force. The Goyim are there to sweat and struggle while the Jew is ‘sitting’   and ‘eating’. I guess that Rabbi Yossef has managed, in just a few words, to portray the intrinsic relationships between Judaism and Capitalism.

But in fact, Rabbi Yossef didn’t invent anything new here -- his Saturday sermon sounds familiar enough to me. Karl Marx in his paper On The Jewish Question, identified aspects of Jewish ideology at the heart of Capitalism: “It is mankind (both Christians and Jews) that needs to emancipate itself from Judaism” Marx wrote.
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

Jewistan: Finally Recognizing Israel as the Jewish State

by Francis A. Boyle Ph.D.

Israel's Likudnik Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached into his bag of Zionist tricks and pulled out a brand-new demand that had never surfaced before in the history of the Middle East Peace Process going all the way back to their beginning with the negotiation of the original Camp David Accords conducted under the personal auspices of U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1978: The Palestinians must recognize Israel as "the Jewish State." Not surprisingly, the Zionist controlled and funded Obama administration publicly endorsed this latest roadblock to peace that was maliciously constructed by Israel.

Netanyahu deliberately shifted the goal-posts on the Palestinians. It would be as if the United States of America demanded that Iran recognize it as the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) State as a condition for negotiating and then concluding any comprehensive peace settlement with it. Of course such demands are racist and premeditated non-starters to begin with.

Netanyahu's racist ultimatum would lead to the denationalization of the 1.5 million Palestinians who are already less than third-class citizens of Israel and set the stage for their mass expulsion to the Palestinian Bantustan envisioned by Netanyahu as the "final solution" to Zionism's "demographic problem" created by the very existence of the Palestinians. This racist and genocidal demand would also illegally terminate the well-recognized Right of Return for five million Palestinian refugees living around the world as required by U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194(III) of 1948, by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13(2) (1948), and by general principles of public international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights law. This would doom all prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians forever, and pave the way for the creation of "Greater Israel" dominating the entire former Mandate for Palestine, both of which objectives have been the intention of Netanyahu and Likud all along.

But if Netanyahu is really serious about Israel being recognized internationally as "the Jewish State" then there is a simple manner by which this universal diplomatic status can instantly be achieved unilaterally and without the consent of the Palestinians. Under basic principles of international law, every state is free to change its own name if it so desires: e.g., from Congo to Zaire then back to Congo. Therefore Israel is free to change its name to Jewistan -- the State of the Jews.

Thereafter every state in the world that has diplomatic relations and treaty relations with Israel will henceforth necessarily have to recognize it as Jewistan -- the State of Jews -- and deal with it as such by that name on a daily basis. The name of Jewistan would automatically replace the name of Israel in the United Nations System, at all other concerned international organizations, and on all bilateral and multilateral treaties to which Israel is currently a contracting party. Indeed, in the aftermath of its serial genocidal atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinians and the Lebanese, Israel has quite understandably been seeking to "re-brand" itself. Jewistan is Israel's perfect new moniker.
 

Wed

20

Oct

2010

Why is the World Rushing Headlong into Environmental Armageddon?
by Tom Termotto

Is there any doubt that planet Earth has been undergoing an environmental armageddon for decades? We are not just referring to the spate of oil spills all over the world such as the BP Gulf Oil Spill, or the many other toxic deluges which go unreported unlike the Hungary Toxic Sludge Disaster, or the ongoing destruction of the world’s rainforests like those being systematically wiped out in the Amazon Basin. We are also alluding to the “unseen” worldwide chemical apocalypse, the global proliferation of electro-pollution (EMR), the major uptick in man-made geopathic stress events on both the micro and macro levels, as well as the relentless contamination of living environments throughout the planet with radioactivity.

There are many other forms of ecological apocalypse taking place which, when viewed in the aggregate, are taking an immense toll on human, animal and plant life. Many of these ongoing assaults against the biosphere have unforeseen and collective ramifications which are extremely far-reaching and of great consequence to the viability of the planet. We ignore them at our peril, and will continue to suffer from a plague of alphabet soup diseases, multi-infection syndromes and infectious disease epidemics which have exploded on the healthcare landscape during the 21st century.

Just how far-reaching? How consequential? Are these environmental issues, which have been occurring for well over a century, so urgent that we need to address them now? Does the fate of humankind really lie in the balance? How about the future of the planet Herself – our Mother Earth?

May we speak plainly about the awesome challenges which humanity is now facing? Truly, the fate of the planet lies in the balance at this great juncture between the ages. The future of humanity is being determined every moment by the collective consciousness and actions of every resident of planet Earth. As a race, there can be no doubt that we have veered way off the straight and narrow, and have been going in a dangerous direction since the beginning of the industrial revolution. We now “sit in the stink” of all the misguided foundational paradigms, which were laid down throughout this age of commerce and industry.

If one were to just consider the deleterious effects of the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm alone around the globe, they would quickly see the ravages of this single industry – Oil & Gas – which in and of itself has wreaked havoc wherever oil rigs, natural gas platforms or refineries are found. Waging war for oil and gas deposits, oil spills on land and undersea, awesome amounts of water and air pollution outside of spills, oil and gas pipeline explosions, exploitation of precious lands and water bodies for oil and gas, sinking oil tankers, peoples oppressed because they live on or near oil and gas deposits, etc.

But back to the original question: Why is the world rushing headlong into environmental armageddon? How did we get here when the signs and messages at every milestone were so obvious about where the civilization was heading?
 

Tue

19

Oct

2010

U.S. And Iraq Regime Busting Labor Unions
by Sherwood Ross

It is only in comic books and Hollywood movies that America's superheroes exist to defend the underdog. In practice, the armies of America have fanned out around the globe to show they are the willing servants of the corporate overdog. As Noam Chomsky writes in his book “Imperial Ambitions”(Metropolitan), “You can almost predict (U.S.) policy by that simple principle: Does it help rich people or does it help the general population? And from that you can virtually deduce what's going to happen.” There is no more disgraceful example than Iraq.

Instead of supporting Iraq's pro-democracy labor unions, which would have put Washington on the side of the working-class, the U.S. signaled its attitude toward Iraqi labor unions in 2003 “when coalition troops stormed the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions(IFTU) headquarters in Baghdad, ransacked their offices, arrested eight union workers, and shut down the office,” wrote Matthew Harwood in the April, 2005, issue of “The Washington Monthly.” Harwood added that when historians re-examine what went wrong during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, “somewhere on the list will be the administration's indifference, indeed hostility, to Iraqi organized labor. The Iraqi people are paying a price for that attitude.”

This hostility continues to this very day. In an article titled, “Unionbusting, Iraq-Style,” published in the October 25th “The Nation” magazine, author David Bacon writes “because Iraqi unions have organized opposition to privatization since the start of the occupation, the (Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-) Maliki administration is enforcing with a vengeance Saddam Hussein's prohibition of public sector unions.” Last March, he writes, after oil workers protested low pay and their union's “illegal” status, “leaders were transferred hundreds of miles from home.”

The unions' “crime” in Iraq is to oppose production-sharing agreements with foreign oil companies, which would then get a share of what they produce rather than a fee for services. In the past, some oil outfits used this tack to swindle their government partners out of huge sums. In Iran, BP's predecessor in the Fifties wouldn't even tell Tehran how much oil it was extracting! “Although the (Iraqi) oil union doesn't oppose all foreign investment, it has criticized the (Maliki) government for signing unfavorable contracts with oil corporations, in particular production-sharing agreements...” writes Bacon.
 

Tue

19

Oct

2010

A World Made by War How Old Will You Be When the American War State Goes Down?
by Tom Engelhardt

When you look at me, you can’t mistake the fact that I’m of a certain age.  But just for a moment, think of me as nine years old.  You could even say that I celebrated my ninth birthday last week, without cake, candles, presents, or certainly joy.

I’ve had two mobilized moments in my life.  The first was in the Vietnam War years; the second, the one that leaves me as a nine-year-old, began on the morning of September 11, 2001.  I turned on the TV while doing my morning exercises, saw a smoking hole in a World Trade Center tower, and thought that, as in 1945 when a B-25 slammed into the Empire State Building, a terrible accident had happened. 

Later, after the drums of war had begun to beat, after the first headlines had screamed their World-War-II-style messages (“the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century”), I had another thought.  And for a reasonably politically sophisticated guy, my second response was not only as off-base as the first, but also remarkably dumb.  I thought that this horrific event taking place in my hometown might open Americans up to the pain of the world.  No such luck, of course.

If you had told me then that we would henceforth be in a state of eternal war as well as living in a permanent war state, that, to face a ragtag enemy of a few thousand stateless terrorists, the national security establishment in Washington would pump itself up to levels not faintly reached when facing the Soviet Union, a major power with thousands of nuclear weapons and an enormous military, that “homeland” -- a distinctly un-American word -- would land in our vocabulary never to leave, and that a second Defense Department dubbed the Department of Homeland Security would be set up not to be dismantled in my lifetime, that torture (excuse me, “enhanced interrogation techniques”) would become as American as apple pie and that some of those “techniques” would actually be demonstrated to leading Bush administration officials inside the White House, that we would pour money into the Pentagon at ever escalating levels even after the economy crashed in 2008, that we would be fighting two potentially trillion-dollar-plus wars without end in two distant lands, that we would spend untold billions constructing hundreds of military bases in those same lands, that the CIA would be conducting the first drone air war in history over a country we were officially not at war with, that most of us would live in a remarkable state of detachment from all of this, and finally -- only, by the way, because I’m cutting this list arbitrarily short -- that I would spend my time writing incessantly about “the American way of war” and produce a book with that title, I would have thought you were nuts.

 

Tue

19

Oct

2010

War is War, not Peace- President Obama
by Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
“It is the policy of the United States government to provoke violent extremist groups into action. Once they are in play, their responses can then be used in whatever way the government that provoked them sees fit. And we also know that these provocations are being used, as a matter of deliberate policy, to rouse violent groups on the "Af-Pak" front to launch terrorist attacks.”
- Chris Floyd (“Darkness Renewed: Terror as a Tool of Empire” ICH, 04/2009)
“The hell of human suffering, evil and oppression is paved with good intentions. The men who have most injured and oppressed humanity, who have most deeply sinned against it,  were according to their standards and their conscience, good men;  what was bad in them, who wrought moral evil and cruelty,  treason to truth and progress, was not at all in their intentions,  in their purpose, in their personal character, but in their  opinions.”

(Robert Briffault, Professor at Cambridge University (The Making of Humanity, London, 1918)
Dr Ali Shariati, the visionary Muslim scholar once noted: “when people live in darkness, they loose sense of direction.” For long, America floats in darkness without purpose and sense of direction until its political bankruptcy has become a fact of life. Like the actors, its leaders pretend to be an invincible superpower always keen to make peace, not war. Most contemporary politicians do read Machiavelli’s Prince to perform at the global stage. President Obama on the election night 2008 spoke of “remaking America” but while accepting the controversial Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo argued not for much needed peacemaking to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather he defended the Bushism of waging aggressive wars against the poor and destitute nations, out of the scope of the US animosity radar. Let us say that to kill millions of innocent human beings just to prove that America can and will institutionalize insanity, not reason in an age of reason. President Bush and his neoconservatives warmongers invested heavily to make America morally, politically and financially bankrupt by waging the bogus wars on terrorism. There was a strategy in No Strategy after the 9/11 events to demonstrate to the fearful American masses that something forceful was being done to protect the US security interests. The ultimate aims of the wars on terrorism were to create more terrorism and to destabilize those nations having reservoirs of untapped oil and gas resources and to crop up new markets for the American corporations to sell more arms and weapons. If President Obama is true to his words on political change (“Yes we can”), why would he continue to follow the Bush war agenda?  Chris Floyd (“Darkness Renewed: Terror as a tool of Empire”, ICH, 04/2009), provides an explicit answer to human curiosity:

“But leaving aside for now the ever-thorny matter of divining the varying proportion of connivance, acquiescence, foreknowledge, exploitation, incompetence and fate involved in 9/11, we can say this as an established fact: It is the policy of the United States government to provoke violent extremist groups into action. Once they are in play, their responses can then be used in whatever way the government that provoked them sees fit. And we also know that these provocations are being used, as a matter of deliberate policy, to rouse violent groups on the "Af-Pak" front to launch terrorist attacks.”

 

Tue

19

Oct

2010

History will repeat itself -- only if we let it
by Sheila Samples
"History will repeat itself -- only if we let it"~~Mike Malloy
Hardly a day goes by that we are not inundated with demands to attack Iran. Our media, our Congress -- packs of neoconservatives -- have been howling for war on Iran for years. And years.

This reckless axis has been relentless in its orchestrated effort to manipulate and influence public opinion. And, if we are to believe the myriad of polls, it's working. According to investigative journalist Gareth Porter, who wrote on July 30 that "polling data for 2010 show a majority of Americans have been manipulated into supporting war against Iran -- in large part because more than two-thirds of those polled have gotten the impression that Iran already has nuclear weapons."

Horror Tent Revival

Is it possible that a majority of Americans can be lured again into the tent of horror to support yet another bloody war? Have we learned nothing from history -- the blatant lies that catapaulted us into Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan? It's amazing how easily our handlers control us; enrage us; shape our beliefs, our opinions. As George Orwell wrote in 1948 about those controlled by Big Brother...
"A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp."
 
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