The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act: A Tutorial in Orwellian Newspeak By Robert Weitzel

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Weitzel
After Downing Street
Dec. 1, 2007

“Political language has to consist largely of euphemisms . . . and sheer cloudy vagueness.”
– George Orwell

H.R 1955: the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 recently passed by the House—a companion bill is in the Senate—is barely one sentence old before its Orwellian moment:

It begins, “AN ACT – To prevent homegrown terrorism, and for other purposes.”

Those whose pulse did not quicken at “other purposes” have probably not read George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language,” or they voted for the other George both times.

Orwell’s jeremiad on the corruption of the English language and its corrosive effect on a democracy was written two years before his novel 1984 spelled out in chilling detail the danger of Newspeak, which renders citizens incapable of independent thought by depriving them of the words necessary to form ideas other than those promulgated by the state.

After its opening “tribute” to Orwell, H.R 1955 is strategically peppered with Newspeak regarding the establishment of a National Commission and university-based Centers of Excellence to “examine and report upon the fact and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States” and to make legislative recommendations for combating it.

The “sheer cloudy vagueness” of H.R 1955, as well as its terror factor, may account for its bipartisan 404-6 House vote but how, in an era informed by the Bush-Cheney administration’s egregious assault on the Bill of Rights, can the phrase “other purposes” fail to raise the “National Terror Alert” from its current threat level of “elevated” to “severe.”

Future “other purposes” will undoubtedly be justified by the Act’s use of the term “violent radicalization,” which it defines as “the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence . . .” or by the folksy, Lake Wobegonesque “homegrown terrorism,” defined as “the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born [or] raised . . . within the United States . . . to intimidate or coerce the United States, the civilian population . . . or any segment thereof . . . .”

In the service of some self-serving “other purposes,” will “extremist beliefs” become any belief the temporary occupants of the White House consider antithetical and threatening to their political agenda?

Will “ideologically based violence” or the use of “force” become little more than the mayhem resulting after a peaceful protest, daring to move beyond the barbed wire of the free speech zone, is attacked by a truncheon-wielding riot squad armed with tear gas, German Shepard dogs and water cannons?

Will the unarmed, constitutionally protected dissenters who are fending off blows or dog bites, or who are striking back in self-defense become “homegrown terrorists” and suffer draconian sentences for their attempt to “intimidate or coerce” the state with free thought and free speech?

A clue to future “other purposes” may lie in the Act’s parentage. The proud House “mother” of the Patriot Act’s evil twin is Rep. Jane Harmon (D-CA), chair of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee. Rep. Harmon has admitted to a long and productive relationship with the RAND Corporation, a California based think-tank with close ties to the military-industrial-intelligence complex. RAND’s 2005 study, “Trends in Terrorism,” contains a chapter titled, “Homegrown Terrorist Threats to the United States.” Is this Act a bastard child?

Keep in mind that the RAND Corporation was set up in 1946 by Army Air Force General Henry “Hap” Arnold as “Project RAND” sponsored by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Keep in mind also that Donald Rumsfeld was its chairman from 1981 to 1986 and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s felonious former chief of staff, and Condoleezza Rice were trustees. Enough said!

RAND maintains that “homegrown terrorism” will not be the result of jihadist sleeper cells. Rather, it will result from anti-globalists and radical environmentalists who “challenge the intrinsic qualities of capitalism, charging that in the insatiable quest for growth and profit, the philosophy is serving to destroy the world’s ecology, indigenous cultures, and individual welfare.”

Further, RAND claims that anti-globalists and radical environmentalists “exist in much the same operational environment as al Qaida” and pose “a clear threat to private-sector corporate interests, especially large multinational business.” Therein lies the real “other purposes.”

Predictably then, H.R. 1955 is not about protecting homegrown Americans. That protection is only incidental to its “other purposes” of protecting homegrown corporate interest and its unconscionable manipulation of the American political process to fill its coffers. Any thought or speech or action— however protected it might be by the Bill of Rights—that threatens corporate hegemony and profit will no doubt suffer the “other purposes” clause of the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.

Anyone doubting the Orwellian nature of a “bastard child” that equates anti-globalists and environmentalists with al Qaida terrorists will do well to read Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” and to acquaint themselves with the fate of Winston Smith in 1984.

_______

Biography: Robert Weitzel is a freelance writer whose essays appear in The Capital Times in Madison, WI. He has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Skeptic Magazine, Freethought Today, and on popular liberal websites. He can be contacted at: robertweitzel@mac.com


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by Matt Renner

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

Civil Libertarians Warn of ‘Patriot Act Lite’ By William Fisher

Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements in the United States by Jessica Lee

Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act Raises Fears of New Government Crackdown on Dissent (link)

Big Brother: House passes the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” by Lee Rogers

The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 by Matt Renner

Dandelion Salad

by Matt Renner
Global Research, November 30, 2007
t r u t h o u t – 2007-11-29

A month ago, the House of Representatives passed legislation that targets Americans with radical ideologies for research. The bill has received little media attention and has almost unanimous support in the House. However, civil liberties groups see the bill as a threat to the constitutionally protected freedoms of expression, privacy and protest.

HR 1955, “The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007“, apparently intended to assess “homegrown” terrorism threats and causes is on a fast-track through Congress. Proponents claim the bill would centralize information about the formation of domestic terrorists and would not impinge on constitutional rights.

On October 23, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a 404-6 margin with 23 members not voting. If passed in the Senate and signed into law by George W. Bush, the act would establish a ten-member National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism, to study and propose legislation to address the threat of possible “radicalization” of people legally residing in the US.

Despite being written by a Democrat, the current version of the act would probably set up a Commission dominated by Republicans. By allowing Bush and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to each appoint one member of the Commission, and splitting the appointment of the other eight positions equally between Congressional Democrats and Republicans, the Commission would consist of six Republican appointees and four Democratic ones.

The Commission would be tasked with collecting information on domestically spawned terrorism from a variety of sources, including foreign governments and previous domestic studies. The Commission would then report to Congress and recommend policy changes to address the threat. There is no opposition to this consolidation or research. However, the Commission would be given broad authority to hold hearings and collect evidence, powers that raise red flags for civil liberties groups.

Civil liberties activists have criticized the bill, some comparing the Commission it would establish to the McCarthy Commission that investigated Americans for possible associations with Communist groups, casting suspicion on law-abiding citizens and ruining their reputations. The Commission would be empowered to “hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.”

Odette Wilkens, the executive director of the Equal Justice Alliance, a constitutional watchdog group, compared the legislation to the McCarthy Commission and to the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), which infiltrated, undermined and spied on civil rights and antiwar groups during the 1950s and 60s.

“The commission would have very broad powers. It could investigate anyone. It would create a public perception that whoever is being investigated by the Commission must be involved in subversive or illegal activities. It would give the appearance that whoever they are investigating is potentially a traitor or disloyal or a terrorist, even if all they were doing was advocating lawful views,” Wilkens said.

In a speech on the floor of the House before the vote, Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California), the chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and author of the bill said, “Free speech, espousing even very radical beliefs, is protected by our Constitution – but violent behavior is not. Our plan must be to intervene before a person crosses that line separating radical views from violent behavior, to understand the forces at work on the individual and the community, to create an environment that discourages disillusionment and alienation, that instills in young people a sense of belonging and faith in the future.”

In the same speech, Harman explained why “homegrown” terrorists are a threat to the US. She offered the explanation that adolescents who might be susceptible to recruitment by gangs might also be potential terrorists.

“Combine that personal adolescent upheaval with the explosion of information technologies and communications tools – tools which American kids are using to broadcast messages from al-Qaeda – and there is a road map to terror, a ‘retail outlet’ for anger and warped aspirations. Link that intent with a trained terrorist operative who has actual capability, and a ‘Made in the USA’ suicide bomber is born,” Harman said.

The bill specifically identifies the Internet as a tool of radicalization. “The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.”

In a press release, Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington American Civil Liberties Union legislative office, took issue with this characterization. “If Congress finds the Internet is dangerous, then the ACLU will have to worry about censorship and limitations on First Amendment activities. Why go down that road?” Fredrickson asked in a press release.

The ALCU has “serious concerns” about the bill. Fredrickson said, “Law enforcement should focus on action, not thought. We need to worry about the people who are committing crimes rather than those who harbor beliefs that the government may consider to be extreme.”

According to Wilkens, the bill, in its current form, lacks specific definitions. which would give the Commission expansive and possibly dangerous powers. The Committee would be set up to address the process of “violent radicalization,” which the bill defines as “the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.” According to Wilkens, the bill does not adequately define “an extremist belief system,” opening the door for abuse.

“An ‘extremist belief system’ can be whatever anyone on the commission says it is. Back in the 60s, civil rights leaders and Vietnam War protesters were considered radicals. They weren’t committing violence but they were considered radicals because of their belief system,” Wilkens said.

The bill would also create a “Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States,” on an unspecified University campus. Unlike other Centers of Excellence university-based government research centers created by the Department of Homeland Security, the Center established by this bill could have a chilling effect on political activity on campus because of its specific mission to “assist Federal, State, local and tribal homeland security officials through training, education, and research in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism,” according to Wilkens.

“If you are on campus and the thought police are on campus are you going to want to join a political group?” Wilkens asked.

Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was one of three Democrats who voted against the bill, but he has given no public explanation for his opposition and his office did not respond to a call for comment as of this writing.

Neither the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) nor Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, voted on the bill.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut). With overwhelming support from the House, it is likely to pass quickly through the Senate.

Matt Renner is an assistant editor and Washington reporter for Truthout.

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Matt Renner, t r u t h o u t, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7506

see

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

Civil Libertarians Warn of ‘Patriot Act Lite’ By William Fisher

Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements in the United States by Jessica Lee

Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act Raises Fears of New Government Crackdown on Dissent (link)

Big Brother: House passes the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” by Lee Rogers

Fear-mongering legislation: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act by Philip Giraldi

Dandelion Salad

by Philip Giraldi
Global Research, December 1, 2007
Huffington Post

There has been a long tradition of fear-mongering legislation in the United States directed against groups and individuals believed to threaten the established order. The first such measures were the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress in 1798 during the administration of the second president of the United States John Adams. The Acts, consisting of four separate laws, made it more difficult to become a citizen, sought to control real or imagined foreign agents operating in the United States, and also gave the government broad powers to control “sedition.” Sedition was defined as “resisting any law of the United States or any act of the President” punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years. It also made illegal “false, scandalous or malicious writing” directed against either the government or government officials. The next President, Thomas Jefferson declared that three out of the four laws were unconstitutional and pardoned everyone who had been convicted under them.

Early in the last century, hysterical fear of anarchists resulted in the conviction and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti 1927 despite clear evidence that the two men were innocent. A few years later, in 1934, a Special Committee on Un-American Activities was set up by Congress to monitor the activities of fascists in the United States. Ironically, the two congressmen who were most instrumental in the establishment of the committee, Samuel Dickstein of New York and Martin Dies of Texas, both Democrats, were themselves tainted by activities that might reasonably be described as Un-American. Dickstein was himself a paid agent of the Soviet NKVD intelligence agency and Dies regularly spoke at Ku Klux Klan rallies. After the Second World War, the committee was renamed the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and focused almost exclusively on communists, continuing to do so until it was incorporated into the House Judiciary Committee in 1974. Concurrent with HUAC on the Senate side, Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, a Republican, became the public face of anti-communism in the early 1950s, with his frequent claims that communists had infiltrated the US government at various levels. Few of the claims could be substantiated, however, and McCarthy eventually fell out of favor and was censured by the Senate.

More recently, there has been the post 9/11 creation of a virtual avalanche of legislation and commissions designed to protect the country at the expense of the Bill of Rights. The two Patriot Acts of 2001 and 2006 and the Military Commission Act or 2006 have collectively limited constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of association, freedom from illegal search, the right to habeas corpus, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, and freedom from the illegal seizure of private property. The First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments in the Bill of Rights have all been disregarded in the rush to make it easier to investigate people, put them in jail, and torture them if necessary. A recent executive order of July 17th, 2007 goes even farther, authorizing the President to seize the property of anyone who “Threatens Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.” The government’s own Justice Department decides what constitutes “threatening stabilization efforts” and the order does not permit a challenge to the information that the seizure is based on.

One would have thought that the systematic dismantling of the Constitution of the United States would have been enough to satisfy even the most Jacobin neoconservative, but there is more on the horizon, and it is coming from people who call themselves Democrats. The mainstream media has made no effort to inform the public of the impending Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. The Act, which was sponsored by Congresswoman Jane Harman of California, was passed in the House by an overwhelming 405 to 6 vote on October 24th and is now awaiting approval by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which is headed by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. It is believed that approval by the committee will take place shortly, to be followed by passage by the entire Senate.

Harman’s bill contends that the United States will soon have to deal with home grown terrorists and that something must be done to anticipate and neutralize the problem. The act deals with the issue through the creation of a congressional commission that will be empowered to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and designate various groups as “homegrown terrorists.” The commission will be tasked to propose new legislation that will enable the government to take punitive action against both the groups and the individuals who are affiliated with them. Like Joe McCarthy and HUAC in the past, the commission will travel around the United States and hold hearings to find the terrorists and root them out. Unlike inquiries in the past where the activity was carried out collectively, the act establishing the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Commission will empower all the members on the commission to arrange hearings, obtain testimony, and even to administer oaths to witnesses, meaning that multiple hearings could be running simultaneously in various parts of the country. The ten commission members will be selected for their “expertise,” though most will be appointed by Congress itself and will reflect the usual political interests. They will be paid for their duties at the senior executive pay scale level and will have staffs and consultants to assist them. Harman’s bill does not spell out terrorist behavior and leaves it up to the Commission itself to identify what is terrorism and what isn’t. Language inserted in the act does partially define “homegrown terrorism” as “planning” or “threatening” to use force to promote a political objective, meaning that just thinking about doing something could be enough to merit the terrorist label. The act also describes “violent radicalization” as the promotion of an “extremist belief system” without attempting to define “extremist.”

As currently envisioned, the Commission will not operate in perpetuity. After the group has done its work, in eighteen months’ time, a Center of Excellence for the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism will be established to study the lessons learned. The center will operate either out of the Department of Homeland Security or out of an appropriate academic institution and will be tasked with continuing to monitor the homegrown terrorism problem and proposing legislation and other measures to counter it.

As should be clear from the vagueness of the definitions, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act could easily be abused to define any group that is pressuring the political system as “terrorist,” ranging from polygamists, to second amendment rights supporters, anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, and peace demonstrators. In reality, of course, it will be primarily directed against Muslims and Muslim organizations. Given that, there is the question of who will select which groups will be investigated by the roving commissions. There is no evidence to suggest that there will be any transparent or objective screening process. Through their proven access both to the media and to Congress, the agenda will undoubtedly be shaped by the usual players including David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson, and Frank Gaffney who see a terrorist hiding under every rock, particularly if the rock is concealing a Muslim. They and their associates will undoubtedly find plenty of terrorists and radical groups to investigate. Many of the suspects will inevitably be “anti-American” professors at various universities and also groups of Palestinians organized against the Israeli occupation, but it will be easily to use the commission formula to sweep them all in for examination.

The view that 9/11 has “changed everything” is unfortunately all too true. It has unleashed American paranoia, institutionalized mistrust of foreigners, and created a fantasy universe in which a US beset by enemies must do anything and everything to counter the alien threat. If it were a sane world, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would believe that a Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act is even necessary. The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars in strengthening law enforcement and intelligence capabilities against terrorists and has every tool imaginable to investigate and make arrests. It has created a whole new bloated and dysfunctional branch of government in the Department of Homeland Security. What is not needed is groups of congressionally empowered vigilantes roaming the country at will looking for “homegrown terrorism.”

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Philip Giraldi, Huffington Post, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7509

see

Civil Libertarians Warn of ‘Patriot Act Lite’ By William Fisher

Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements in the United States by Jessica Lee

Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act Raises Fears of New Government Crackdown on Dissent (link)

Big Brother: House passes the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” by Lee Rogers

AIDS Strikes More Kids and Some Have the Gall to Ask Why by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Dec. 1, 2007

An unidentified idiot writing for Yahoo’s “HealthDay News” stated yesterday:

“…(O)n the eve of World AIDS Day, a disturbing statistical fact has emerged in this country: The number of newly infected teens and young adults is suddenly on the rise.

And the question is, why?…”

Well, duh.

Boys and girls, can you say “abstinence-only education”?

The stupid author of this stupid article couldn’t. Not once does the phrase appear, amid a lengthy spate of speculative drivel that mainly lays the blame on better treatments that instilled a sense of security, alongside the tired “kids think they’re invincible” maxim.

Despite quoting an expert who said that “they’ve all heard ‘use a condom, use a condom,’ ” the stupid author of this stupid article evidently never bothered asking the source, “How can you be so sure?”

The stupid author of this stupid article went on to argue against complacency, as stupidly as possible, based on the specter that “someday, HIV…will develop mutations that render these drugs useless, triggering the re-emergence of AIDS.”

Setting aside the lunacy of implicitly suggesting AIDS has submerged to some level from which re-emergence is conceivable, it doesn’t require new strains of the disease to render extant treatments ineffective! Patients constantly develop resistance to the drugs they’re taking. The lucky ones move on to something different — knowing it, too, will wear out its usefulness soon — while those for whom there’s nothing effective left in the pharma-arsenal decline and die. An elaborate test is given periodically to determine which drugs can still help each individual, because responses vary greatly.

Somehow the stupid author of this stupid article managed nowhere to uncover these facts, despite interviewing executives at the Foundation for AIDS Research and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Community Center, both in New York City, plus REACH LA in Los Angeles.

We can’t blame the stupid author of this stupid article for the fact that it opens with a photograph of a giant red AIDS ribbon hanging from the White House North Portico — the same pic shown HERE, with a story in which stupid Shrub congratulates himself and stupid “faith-based groups” for their valuable work in this field.

However, the stupid author bears full blame for concluding the stupid article with what’s essentially a shrug — another quote from the “they’ve all heard about condoms” person: “You can save some, but you can’t save them all.”

We sure as hell could save a lot of more of them, if our stupid excuse-for-a-government would stop funding lying programs that tell kids condoms aren’t reliable enough to trust and if our stupid excuse-for-news-media would publicize the truth that people are still dying of AIDS every day, because the new drugs — wonderful as they are for a while — don’t keep people going indefinitely. That’s why researchers struggle on to develop more drugs. Twice, breakthroughs have been made just in time to benefit a loved one who’s been trying to survive this horrible disease for a dozen years. So that’s how I know (and why reading junk about AIDS puts me into a cold fury).

Please tell all the young people in your life that AIDS hasn’t become a “manageable” disease like diabetes. It seems manageable only because new tricks keep springing from researchers’ sleeves, and only for those who can get them before it’s too late. And, yeah, tell the kids to use condoms, too, because they’ve probably heard in school that those aren’t much good.

see

AIDS origin (video) + Who Says Africans/Haitians Gave AIDS to the World? by Jafrikayiti + 6 min video

Bush handed blueprint to seize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal By Adrian Levy & Cathy Scott-Clark

Dandelion Salad

By Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
ICH

10/01/07 “
The Guardian

· Architect of Iraq surge draws up takeover options
· US fears army’s Islamists might grab weapons

The man who devised the Bush administration’s Iraq troop surge has urged the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos.

In a series of scenarios drawn up for Pakistan, Frederick Kagan, a former West Point military historian, has called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan.

These include: sending elite British or US troops to secure nuclear weapons capable of being transported out of the country and take them to a secret storage depot in New Mexico or a “remote redoubt” inside Pakistan; sending US troops to Pakistan’s north-western border to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida; and a US military occupation of the capital Islamabad, and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan if asked for assistance by a fractured Pakistan military, so that the US could shore up President Pervez Musharraf and General Ashfaq Kayani, who became army chief this week.

“These are scenarios and solutions. They are designed to test our preparedness. The United States simply could not stand by as a nuclear-armed Pakistan descended into the abyss,” Kagan, who is with the American Enterprise Institute, a thinktank with strong ideological ties to the Bush administration, told the Guardian. “We need to think now about our options in Pakistan,” Kagan argued that the rise of Sunni extremism in Pakistan, coupled with the proliferation of al-Qaida bases in the north-west, posed a real possibility of terrorists staging a coup that would give them access to a nuclear device. He also noted how sections of Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment continued to be linked to Islamists and warned that the army, demoralised by having to fight in Waziristan and parts of North-West Frontier Province, might retreat from the borders, leaving a vacuum that would be filled by radicals. Worse, the military might split, with a radical faction trying to take over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Kagan accepted that the Pakistani military was not in the grip of Islamists. “Pakistan’s officer corps and ruling elites remain largely moderate. But then again, Americans felt similarly about the shah’s regime and look what happened in 1979,” he said, referring to Iran.

The scenarios received a public airing two weeks ago in an article for the New York Times by Kagan and Michael O’Hanlon, an analyst at the Brookings Institution, who has ties to the Democrats.

They have been criticised in the US as well as Pakistan, with Kagan accused of drawing up plans for another US occupation of a Muslim country.

But the scenarios are regarded with some seriousness because of Kagan’s influence over thinking in the Bush administration as the architect of the Iraq troop surge, which is conceded to have brought some improvements in security.

A former senior state department official who works as a contractor with the government and is familiar with current planning on Pakistan told the Guardian: “Governments are supposed to think the unthinkable. But these ideas, coming as they do from a man of significant influence in Washington’s militarist camp, seem prescriptive and have got tongues wagging – even in a town like Washington, built on hyperbole.”

Kagan said he was not calling for an occupation of Pakistan.

“I have been arguing the opposite. We cannot invade, only work with the consent of elements of the Pakistan military,” he said.

“But we do have to calculate how to quantify and then respond to a crisis that is potentially as much a threat as Soviet tanks once were. Pakistan may be the next big test.”

The political and security crises there have led the Bush administration to conclude that Pakistan has become a more dangerous place than it was before Musharraf took over in the coup of October 1999.

One Pentagon official said last week that the defence department had indeed been war-gaming some of Kagan’s scenarios.

A report by Kagan and O’Hanlon in April highlighted their argument.

“The only serious response to this international environment is to develop armed forces capable of protecting America’s vital interests throughout this dangerous time,” it said.

But in Pakistan, aides to Musharraf yesterday dismissed Kagan’s study as “hyperbole”.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Venezuela: Not What You Think By Robin Hahnel

Dandelion Salad

By Robin Hahnel
ICH
12/01/07 “MRZine

In the case of Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan Bolivarian Revolution, the mainstream media and politicians in the United States have elevated their game of demonizing all who oppose US foreign policy and business interests to a higher level of absurdity than usual. According to the mainstream media, the only newsworthy stories in Venezuela are one sided diatribes lifted from the discredited, opposition-owned media in Venezuela. For example, we read about Chavez shutting down opposition TV stations. We hear that Chavez is rewriting the Venezuelan Constitution so he can be President for life. Chavez is a dictator, QED.

All the badly outgunned, alternative media in the US can do is try its best to rebut the bias in the storylines defined by the mainstream media. The tiny fraction of Americans who visit the alternative media discover that Chavez has submitted a proposal to change the Venezuelan Constitution in a number of ways, one of which is to eliminate term limits on the office of President. All changes will first have to be approved by the democratically elected Venezuelan National Assembly, and then also approved in a popular referendum before they become law. Only Americans who search out the alternative media discover that HugoChavez was elected President by a comfortable margin in 1998, survived an opposition-sponsored recall in 2004, and most recently was re-elected in December 2006 with more than 60% of the vote. International observers certified all three elections as fair and square. George Bush, on the other hand, was selected President by a partisan Supreme Court after losing the popular vote in 2000, and won re-election only because enough black voters in Ohio were disenfranchised by a partisan Republican official to keep the Buckeye State in the Republican column in 2004. Few observers believe Bush could survive a recall election today, but of course this basic element of democratic rule is not permitted by the US Constitution. Nonetheless, the only storyline ninety-nine percent of Americans hear remains: Hugo Chavez is a dictator and George Bush is the democratically elected leader of the free world.

Similarly, only the small fraction of Americans who access the alternative media learn that RCTV was not shut down because it campaigns openly against the government — which it has for nine years. Instead, when its license came up for renewal, its application was denied because it had violated 200 conditions of its licensing agreement — many violations having to do with its role in helping to organize a military coup that nearly toppled the duly elected President of the country. Moreover, the station continues to broadcast on a cable network, and the opposition in Venezuela still broadcasts on more major TV channels than there are channels sympathetic to the government. In stark contrast, the alternative media in the US cannot be viewed on any major channel. Consequently the vast majority of Americans receive all their news from a mainstream media which never questions whether the US has any right to dominate other nations, but only debates the wisdom of alternative strategies for doing so, and would never dream of questioning the desirability of an economic system dominated by their corporate owners. Nevertheless the storyline most Americans hear remains: Freedom of the press is dead in totalitarian Venezuela, but alive and well in the democratic United States.

It is important to distinguish between whether mainstream coverage of issues like amendments to the constitution and the TV license is biased, whether there are grounds for reproaching the Venezuelan government, and whether the policies are wise. Clearly the mainstream media has failed to report relevant facts and their coverage has been grossly unfair. From what I know, the procedure that led to non-renewal of the TV license was unobjectionable, and the proposed constitutional amendment will be decided by a thoroughly democratic process. So while there are ample grounds for reproaching mainstream media coverage in the US, as far as I can see there are no grounds for reproaching the Venezuelan government in either case. However, this does not mean the policies are necessarily wise. Those in Venezuela who argue that the revolutionary government would be hammered by the imperial press in any case are surely correct. On the other hand, that does not mean either initiative is good policy, independent of the news coverage it receives. Moreover, giving one’s enemies an easy chance to focus on a negative storyline seems unwise — unless the policy has important benefits.
Unfortunately, the fact that only a tiny fraction of the American public are ever exposed to balanced coverage of the Venezuelan stories defined by our mainstream media is only one problem. A larger problem is that practically nobody in the United States ever hears anything about truly newsworthy stories in Venezuela. Stories about exciting new political and economic initiatives that are dramatically reducing poverty and challenging popular myths about the abilities of ordinary people to make good political and economic decisions for themselves go virtually uncovered in the United States.1

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Chavez’s Speech: Go ahead, make my day By Joaquin Bustelo

Venezuelan Government Uncovers Video of Opposition Destabilization Plan by Chris Carlson

Venezuela: “A People Under Fire” by Fidel Castro Ruz

Venezuela’s referendum: What’s at stake? (video)

Chavez’s Speech: Go ahead, make my day By Joaquin Bustelo

Dandelion Salad

By Joaquin Bustelo
11/30/07 “ICH

Chavez spoke to a huge crowd in Caracas on Friday. It was by a significant amount the hardest speech I’ve ever heard from him, mostly to the effect of “Go ahead, make my day.” (No, I’m not in Venezuela. I listened to it — most of it at any rate — at work, where we have access to the satellite signals of the government VTV and the opposition Globo channel).

Chavez has ordered the military to protect the oilfields and other installations and warned that if there is any sabotage, any US-inspired disturbances Sunday night, oil shipments to the U.S. will be cut off immediately. He singled out the bourgeois media and said that any attempt to violate the law –which forbids publishing polls in the week before the election and (alleged) election results before polls close– will lead to their immediate shutdown. He warned international broadcasters –and CNN by name, and repeatedly– that this or any other sort of shenanigans will be met with the expulsion of their staff from the country.

He’s also expressed very clearly the line he has taken especially since coming back from abroad, that this referendum is an up-and-down, yes-or-no vote on the revolution and his presidency. I’m sure the ultralefts will go, “Aha! Bonapartist plebiscite!” But sometimes you’ve just got to call things by their right name. That is what the fight is about — not whether the subordinate clause in article 53 is infelicitously worded.

And he made very clear what being with the revolution means — it means going against the oligarchs, against Uribe, against the American imperialists, against the King of Spain, against the European imperialists, and being in solidarity with progressive and revolutionary forces throughout the world in general and with Fidel in particular.

He read and commented on Fidel’s latest column, which Walter I’m sure has already forwarded to the list.

The rally was at the same place where the opposition held its event yesterday, which CNN described as having been “hundreds of thousands.” Without having been there and knowing the area, it is hard to judge, but VTV had no problem yesterday finding areas of this avenue with very few people, even though the main area of the rally was full for what looked like several blocks. VTV today made a point of scanning from what seemed to be the same vantage point to show there were people much further back, and Chavez highlighted it also. I did not see the opposition channel I have access to try to show that the crowd thinned out after a few blocks; but I wasn’t monitoring them all the time.

Since Chavez came back from abroad and mounted what’s been in essence a ferocious counter-offensive against the opposition, it seems to have wilted a fair deal. An adventurist attempt to disrupt major traffic arteries a couple of days ago (they were going to leaflet motorists was the claim …) was dispersed with vigor, dispatch, and a good deal of tear gas. Some of the students came with their own tear gas masks and tried to provoke an escalation by pelting the police with rocks, but the police responded only with more tear gas. “Strangely,” an opposition TV mobile unit just “happened” to be nearby and filmed the events, but it did not appear to have evoked the hoped-for outrage when it was broadcast, perhaps because any idiot could see it was the opposition forces that provoked the incident and tried to escalate it (unsuccessfully).

So now it is a question of waiting for the next right wing provocation. Chavez has promised a no-holds-barred response and seemed to go way out of his way to make sure everyone understood there was no wiggle room, he was consciously painting himself into a corner. The deployment of army and other military units to guard oil fields and other strategic installations has the added advantage of making a coup by some disloyal officers much harder to carry out.

But the opposition has also painted itself into a corner. The impression I get is that they’ve depicted this as the final, now or never, effort to turn back the revolution, and it won’t be easy to get their hotheads to change course. Although Chavez and his supporters tend to present this all as a conscious, coordinated plot, the truth is that there is a law of social struggles that applies here to the opposition especially: when you set controlled forces into motion, you also set uncontrolled forces into motion.

The next couple of days will tell the tale.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Venezuelan Government Uncovers Video of Opposition Destabilization Plan by Chris Carlson

Venezuela: “A People Under Fire” by Fidel Castro Ruz

Venezuela’s referendum: What’s at stake? (video)

Venezuelan Government Uncovers Video of Opposition Destabilization Plan by Chris Carlson

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Carlson
Global Research, November 30, 2007
venezuelanalysis.com

Caracas, November 30, 2007

Venezuelan Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon presented a video revealing the opposition strategy of destabilization for Sunday’s referendum at a press conference on Thursday. In the video, opposition leaders call on their supporters to reject the results of the referendum and to take part in nation-wide protests to overturn the constitutional reform. Two opposition leaders are being investigated for inciting violence and calling on supporters to break the law.

In the video that has been posted on the internet at various web pages, including YouTube, leaders of the Venezuelan opposition can be seen speaking to supporters in a church in Caracas, calling on supporters to create “pockets of protest” all over the country after the national vote this Sunday.

“It is a more efficient mechanism that generates a political crisis and a crisis of instability that forces the regime to withdraw the reform,” says opposition leader Alejandro Peña Esclusa in the video. Esclusa insists that the plan for massive protests must be a group effort all across the nation, making the government unable to control it.

Alongside Esclusa is opposition mayor Leopoldo Lopez, who also speaks in the video, making the case that the electoral results cannot be trusted, but he does not give explicit support for the destabilization plan.

“The worst part,” said Minister Chacón, “is that the mayor of Chacao and leader of Un Nuevo Tiempo [the opposition party A New Era] appears in the video. We’d like to know if Mr. Leopoldo López will tell the nation that he does not believe what Esclusa says, and that if the CNE says that the reforms are approved, if he will respect the results.”

Chacón stated that he was not surprised upon seeing Lopez in the video and assured that he and Exclusa are not democrats, but rather “fascists.” He also accused the bishops of the Catholic Church of endorsing the destabilization plans of Esclusa and called on the Venezuelan Catholic hierarchy to reflect on their use of the church to hold these kinds of meetings, and incite the Venezuelan people to the use of violence.

“How is it possible that the temple of God be used to incite violence?” asked Chacón. “The pulpit should be used to call for peace, not for violence.”

As a result of the finding, the Venezuelan government launched an investigation of two opposition leaders, Alejandro Peña Esclusa and Carlos Guyón Celis, for publishing various videos online that incite violence. Government intelligence will investigate the two leaders for their involvement in calling on sectors of society to not recognize the results of the national vote on Sunday and to break the law.

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez denied the accusations of the Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon and assured that he does not agree with the plans of Esclusa.

“It is not true that I said to not recognize the electoral results, or to create protests in that meeting,” said Lopez. “On the contrary, I had a different position than Peña Esclusa, who didn’t want people to go vote. I have always been working in favor of voting.”

Minister Chacón called on all Venezuelans to respect the electoral process on Sunday, and to respect the results, no matter what they are.

“I imagine that the Venezuelan people that vote ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are going to respect the results. Because if not, what they are preparing is a situation of destabilization and violence on the night of December 2nd, which the government is not going to permit.”

“We are not going to permit a situation of destabilization and violence on December 2nd,” assured Chacón. “We are going to respect the results on Sunday, whatever they are.”

Link to destabilization plan video (in Spanish)

Global Research Articles by Chris Carlson

see

Venezuela: “A People Under Fire” by Fidel Castro Ruz

Venezuela’s referendum: What’s at stake? (video)

CIA Operation “Pliers” Uncovered in Venezuela by Eva Golinger (Psyop)

Another CIA Sponsored Coup D’Etat? Venezuela’s D-Day: Democratic Socialism or Imperial Counter-Revolution by Prof James Petras

News Not Fit to Print: US Coup Planned for Venezuela? By Dave Lindorff

The Method to Bush’s Madness in Overthrowing Venezuela

Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform: Article-by-Article Summary by Gregory Wilpert

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Chris Carlson, Venezuelanalysis.com, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7505

Venezuela: “A People Under Fire” by Fidel Castro Ruz

Dandelion Salad

by Fidel Castro Ruz
Global Research, November 30, 2007
Prensa Latina – 2007-11-29

Cuban President Fidel Castro stated that the assassination of Venezuela’s leader or a civil war in that country would blow up the globalized world economy, due to its huge reserves of hydrocarbons.

In his Friday’s article entitled “A People Under Fire,” the Cuban Revolution leader says that such circumstances are without precedent in the history of mankind.

“On Chavez’ recent visit last November 21, I seriously discussed with him the risks of assassination as he is constantly out in the open in convertible vehicles,” the statesman stresses.

“I said this because of my experience as a combatant trained in the use of an automatic weapon and a telescopic sight. Likewise, after the triumph, I became the target of assassination plots directly or indirectly ordered by almost every United States administration since 1959,” President Fidel Castro states.

Prensa Latina issues below reflections by the Cuban President:

REFLECTIONS OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF

A PEOPLE UNDER FIRE

Venezuela, whose people are heirs to Bolivar’s ideas which transcend his era, is today facing a world tyranny a thousand times more powerful than that of Spain’s colonial strength added to that of the recently born United States which, through Monroe, proclaimed their right to the natural wealth of the continent and to the sweat of its people.

Marti denounced the brutal system and called it a monster, in whose entrails he had lived. His internationalist spirit shone as never before when, in a letter left unfinished due to his death in combat, he publicly revealed the objective of his restless struggle: “…I am now every day risking my life for my country, and for my duty -since I understand it and have the courage to do it- to timely prevent, with the independence of Cuba, that the United States expand over the Antilles and that they fall, with this additional force, over our lands in America…”

It was not in vain that he stated in plain verse: “With the poor of this earth, my fate I wish to cast”. Later, he proclaimed categorically: “Humanity is homeland”. The Apostle of our independence wrote one day: “Let Venezuela call on me to serve her: I am her son”.

The most sophisticated media developed by technology, employed to kill human beings and to subjugate or exterminate peoples; the massive sowing of conditioned reflexes of the mind; consumerism and all available resources; these are being used today against the Venezuelans, with the intent of ripping the ideas of Bolivar and Marti to shreds.

The empire has created conditions conducive to violence and internecine conflicts. On Chavez’s recent visit last November 21, I seriously discussed with him the risks of assassination as he is constantly out in the open in convertible vehicles. I said this because of my experience as a combatant trained in the use of an automatic weapon and a telescopic sight. Likewise, after the triumph, I became the target of assassination plots directly or indirectly ordered by almost every United States administration since 1959.

The irresponsible government of the empire does not stop for a minute to think that the assassination of Venezuela’s leader or a civil war in that country would blow up the globalized world economy, due to its huge reserves of hydrocarbons. Such circumstances are without precedent in the history of mankind.

Cuba developed close ties with the Bolivarian government of Venezuela during the hardest days resulting from the demise of the USSR and the tightening of the United States economic blockade. The exchange of goods and services grew from practically zero level to more than 7 billion dollars annually, with great economic and social benefits for both our peoples. Today that is where we receive the fundamental supplies of fuel needed for our country’s consumption, something that would be very difficult to obtain from other sources due to the shortage of light crude oil, the insufficient refining capacity, the United States’ power and the wars its has unleashed to seize the world oil and gas reserves.

Add to the high energy prices, the prices of foods destined by imperial policy to be transformed into fuel for the gas-guzzling cars of the United States and other industrial nations.

A victory of the Yes vote on December 2 would not be enough. The weeks and months following that date may very well prove to be extremely tough for many countries, Cuba for one; although before that the empire’s adventures could lead the planet into an atomic war, as their own leaders have confessed.

Our compatriots can rest assured that I have had time to think and to meditate at length on these problems.

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 29, 2007


Global Research Articles by Fidel Castro Ruz

see

Venezuela’s referendum: What’s at stake? (video)

CIA Operation “Pliers” Uncovered in Venezuela by Eva Golinger (Psyop)

Another CIA Sponsored Coup D’Etat? Venezuela’s D-Day: Democratic Socialism or Imperial Counter-Revolution by Prof James Petras

News Not Fit to Print: US Coup Planned for Venezuela? By Dave Lindorff

The Method to Bush’s Madness in Overthrowing Venezuela

Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform: Article-by-Article Summary by Gregory Wilpert

Chavez-Hugo

Venezuela

Castro-Fidel

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Fidel Castro Ruz, Prensa Latina, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7500


Venezuela’s referendum: What’s at stake? (video)

Dandelion Salad

TheRealNews

More at http://therealnews.com
Mark Weisbrot: The constitutional referendum and the media’s “anti-Chavez” slant

Friday November 30th, 2007

Mark Weisbrot is co-director and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. An economist, Weisbrot is a frequent guest on U.S. television and radio news programs and writes a regular column for the McClatchy-Tribune chain of over 550 newspapers.

see

CIA Operation “Pliers” Uncovered in Venezuela by Eva Golinger (Psyop)

Another CIA Sponsored Coup D’Etat? Venezuela’s D-Day: Democratic Socialism or Imperial Counter-Revolution by Prof James Petras

News Not Fit to Print: US Coup Planned for Venezuela? By Dave Lindorff

The Method to Bush’s Madness in Overthrowing Venezuela

Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform: Article-by-Article Summary by Gregory Wilpert

Chavez-Hugo

Venezuela

The Myth Of Free Markets – Corporate Lie Behind It Part II (video)

Dandelion Salad

Video no longer available.

erkd1

We currently have a coordinated misinformation campaign to convince people that free market laissez-faire economic policies are the direction we need to take in our trade policies. We need to educate ourselves in going back to proven pragmatic trade philosophies that work and debunk common free market myths and “debates”. I hope this video helps with that goal.

Continue reading

Quiz time: Are you a Libertarian? How about a Populist? Maybe a Socialist or a Green? by Lo

Originally posted May 8, 2007 on my myspace blog.

Dandelion Salad

by Lo

The basics about some third parties. I went directly to their sites for this info. Here’s a one minute quiz to take:World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Here’s a longer one: What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?

Parties are listed below in alpha order. I’ve concluded with a list of third parties and their websites for you to read more about them if interested.

The two party system isn’t even two separate parties, imo, anymore. The Democratic Party isn’t what it used to stand for, and neither is the Republican Party for that matter. In past elections I’ve said, “The Dems and Reps are so close that they are sleeping together.” Both are owned by the corporations that run the world. Just ask Ralph Nader.

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The Green Party of the United States

Source

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Are you a Libertarian?

Source
Libertarian National Committee

We know that can be a tough question as you may have heard many different definitions of the word “libertarian” or maybe you met a few people who identify themselves as such.

Let’s see what Webster’s has to say about it:

Pronunciation: “li-b&r-‘ter-E-&n
Function: noun
1: an advocate of the doctrine of free will
2 a: a person who upholds the principles of absolute and unrestricted liberty especially of thought and action bcapitalized: a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles

While many may quibble with the definition, we think it’s close enough.

Simply put, if you believe that you are responsible for yourself and your family, and not the government, then you belong with us.

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A Populist America

The Populist Party

In a Populist America, you will be free. Free to do whatever you want with your self and your property, as long as by doing so you don’t infringe on another person’s freedom to do the same.

In a Populist America, the federal government will obey all ten articles of the Bill of Rights. Not just the ones that the politicians like.

Your person and property will be safe from arbitrary searches and seizures.

Your privacy will be complete so that you’re not exposed to politicians and bureaucrats who think that the greater good of the country gives them the right to spy on your bank account, read your letters or emails, or monitor your life in any way.

You will never be prosecuted for what you think, for what you own, for what you eat, for what you smoke, for what you drink, or for what you put in your body in any way. People will only be prosecuted for the harm they do to others.

You will never be thrown in jail and denied the bill of rights for any reason.

In a Populist America, any federal employee who violates the bill of rights will be subject to censure, dismissal or even prosecution.

In a Populist America, the government will mind its own business. It will make no enemies abroad, and it will rely on a strong defense for peace; rather than trying to rule the world with a strong offense.

The government will not tell other countries what to do. It will not financially support or arm dictators, as such support only helps them suppress people in their own country.

You won’t have to fear that your children will have to fight and die in some other country’s war, or that terrorists will target your city.

In a Populist America, federal regulation will no longer run up the price of everything you buy, keep your wages low, or prevent you from having access to life-saving medicines.

In a Populist America, social issues will be decided by you, your family and your neighbors – in your community only. You’ll always have the ability to vote with your feet, and move to areas not affected by laws you don’t agree with.

We cannot have freedom, peace, and prosperity when the Federal government is telling every American school what to do; when the Federal government is forcing mandates and laws down the throats of state and local governments; and when the Federal government directly taxes every American only to use that money for the expansion of power.

In a Populist America, you will keep every dollar you earn. You’ll be able to spend it, save it, or give it away as you think best; not as the politicians decide. A government limited by the 9th and 10th Amendments will be small enough to get by on today’s tariffs and excise taxes.

IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In a Populist America, you will be free to say NO! You’ll be able to say no to the politicians who claim that they know better than you how to run your life.

In a Populist America, your government will be local, and therefore, it will be much more responsive than anything we’ve ever experienced in this country.

If all government were local, a locality would not be able to enforce excessive restrictions. People would have the ability to move to another area that gave them what they wanted, or the threat of people moving would prevent the politicians from enacting such measures in the first place.

As power is increasingly handed over to people at the local level, the negative effects of an overbearing federal government progressively reduce as well. When laws are made close to home, we not only understand their costs and benefits more thoroughly, we can also work to affect them more easily.

We come to you not as an advocate of government solutions to problems, but as an advocate of getting rid of government programs in order to solve problems.

Following this line of thought, there are three basic principles in the development of a Populist America:

1. Government power is far too great and must be reduced dramatically. Power must be shifted to the People on a local level.
2. It is morally wrong to try to solve social problems by force. Forcing people to your way of thinking will never solve problems in the long run.
3. Most of today’s social problems were created or worsened by government involvement in the first place. Solving those problems, then, can be done by reducing government power, not by giving it more.

Put simply, we want you to be free. Free to live your life as you think best, not as any politician thinks is best for you.

Through decentralized, local government, this can be a reality.

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Socialist Party

What We Stand For

World Socialist Party (WSP)

Many people subscribe to the self-defeating philosophy that “socialism” means whatever anyone or any group calling itself socialist declares it means. We maintain that it describes just one very specific goal, that there are certain constant elements of the class struggle which continually generate the potential for a majority interested in the immediate replacement of production for profit with production for use, and that these elements can be codified as a set of principles. These principles we advocate as the basis of organizing for socialism.

In our view, creating a worldwide system of production for the satisfaction of human needs, individual and social, rather than for private profit, requires a majority that is socialist in attitude and commitment. Events since the beginning of the World Socialist Movement (going back as far as 1904) have demonstrated the validity of this judgment. Socialists are committed to one overriding goal: direct, immediate abolition of capitalism, and the establishment of a truly democratic, socialist form of society — through the ballot. Accordingly, membership in any of the companion parties of socialism requires a general understanding of and agreement with the basic principles of scientific socialism. But of course, thinking is no crime, and there is always room for differences of opinion in a socialist party. In contrast to principles, relatively few in number, there are a multiplicity of matters upon which socialists may have all kinds of conflicting views.

The following statements deal with the areas of most general confusion to people who seek to get a better understanding of what socialism means. If you agree with these statements, you are a socialist and belong with us.

1) To establish socialism, the working class throughout the world must gain control of the powers of government through their political organizations.

2) The present, capitalist, society, even with “repair” and reform, cannot function in the interests of the working class, who make up the majority of the population in most of the world today.

3) The World Socialist Party does not support, directly or indirectly, any political party other than our companion parties in the World Socialist Movement.

4) The form of society once in effect in the Soviet Union, and still more or less in effect in China and Cuba now, was not and is not socialism or communism.

5) Trade unionism is the institution by which wage and salary workers attempt by various means to sell their working abilities, their mental and physical energies, at the best possible price and to improve their working conditions.

6) The World Socialist Party rejects the theory of leadership.

7) The socialist point of view rests solidly on the materialist conception of history, a way of looking at things that focuses on how human communities meet their actual survival needs by producing what they need to live (their economic systems, in other words). Out of this process the human brain weaves its ideas, which eventually exert their own influence on the cycle, causing it to become more and more complex as society evolves.

This approach, known as historical materialism, is a scientific method for helping us understand how and why capitalism does what it does.

8) Socialists hold that materialist explanations of human society and the rest of nature supersede supernatural ones.

More info:
The Need For Socialism

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Read more about it:

Major Third Parties

Third Party

Communist Party USA – www.cpusa.org

Constitution Party – www.constitutionparty.com

Green Party – www.gp.org

Labor Party – www.thelaborparty.org

Libertarian Party – www.lp.org

Natural Law Party – www.natural-law.org

Reform Party – www.reformparty.org

Socialist Party USA – www.sp-usa.org

Workers World Party – www.workers.org

Working Families Party – www.workingfamiliesparty.org

See

Anarchism

Capitalism

Fascism

Socialism

Nader-Ralph

Pick Your Candidate – Take the Survey (video no longer available)

Should You Be President? Take the Survey

Neoliberalism: The economic model: origins, theory, definition (2005)

Political Compass by Lo (survey)

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

VoteMatch Quiz – On the Issues by Lo

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo (updated)

Updated: Jan. 12, 2008 Added more items to Dennis Kucinich’s platform.

Updated: Dec. 29, 2007

Added two video links on Paul and his position on Global Warming. Continue reading