Exclusive: Ron Paul, Money Bombs & Internet Politics: What It All Means (to a Philosophy Major) by Bryan John Dini

Bon

Bon

by Bryan John Dini
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Bon’s Blog
Dec. 17, 2007

Ron Paul, Money Bombs and Internet Politics: What It All Means (to a Philosophy Major)

The relative success of the Tea Party ’07 Money Bomb shows us that a group of individuals working together voluntarily on the local level is able to exert an undeniable collective influence and pressure at the top.

This has taken us to a whole new era: a new way of doing politics.

We will continue to exert this kind of decentralized, local, voluntary, cooperative, holistic, bottom-up pressure regardless of whether or not Ron Paul wins the nomination.

This is the way we will influence the market, as well, introducing a new level of corporate responsibility and accountability. If the “captains of industry” don’t respond to our needs, if the bureaucrats in Washington don’t represent our interests, we will redirect our wealth elsewhere. We will vacate the rascals and their various “departments” and get our own people into offices of our choosing. We will invest in our own enterprises: not necessarily corporate, probably cooperative; our human resources and natural resources, always adaptive and infinitely renewable.

We will respect private property as the boundary line and limiting point beyond which the fruits of a minority’s labor cannot be extracted by collective mandates and mob coercion. We may find it useful, however, to re-define “ownership” to include the “labor and energy we mix with something” rather than the strictly land-based sense of property that allows privileged landlords coming from a long line of entrenched aristocrats who benefit from a system of socialism for the rich to collect infinite rents from their wholly subservient “tenants.”

We still respect the creative capacity latent in market forces and free enterprise capitalism, if we understand this to mean a system of private property based on voluntary exchange and mutual cooperation, but we hope for the day when hard labor will largely become mechanized and the major factor determining the success or failure of individuals and organizations will be the strength of their ideas, the depth of their knowledge and information, translated into new inventions and goods with intrinsic value, rather than mass-produced plastic items to prop up a bankrupt economy dependent on counterfeit borrowing and crumbling credit expansion. All this, of course, produced at the local level by uniquely crafted hands that will benefit whole communities–a new age of “intellectual capitalism,” as it were.

Each and every one of us will be CEO in our own little department of “We the People” incorporated, and we will dominate the paltry competition that comes from greedy plutocrats and their parasitic corporate hierarchies who insist on hoarding all our wealth and depleting all our resources as though it were granted to them by the divine right of kings.

The internet has created a whole new social entity, an emergent life form that is neither a homogeneous collective nor a mere loose collection of individuals. It as as though bones and flesh and fiber optic cables have coalesced around certain core animating *ideas*, a form of postmodern Platonism. If the individual is a recent invention, as we gradually emerge as autonomous beings from tribal collectives, then the individual, in concert with other fully developed individuals, has morphed into something completely new. If tyranny is ancient, then the “new politics” will be dedicated to liberating the infinite potentialities latent in this new hybrid creature.

The old politics was based on an old way of looking at the world; it relied on the central planning of a “creator-deity” that is carried out by various divinely appointed authorities in the metaphysical hierarchy of angels, men, women and beasts. Now we believe in a world governed by spontaneous, emergent, self-organized, de-centralized, non-linear teleological forces of development. We have abandoned Plato’s Republic. Now, it is time to realize a uniquely American Republic, fully aware of all the imperialistic slave-inducing impediments that hindered its birth in the past.

The new politics will reflect this new order, while the “new order” promoted by elitist control freaks around the world will be shown for what it really is: an esoteric myth from archaic phases of human development that has outlived its usefulness and credibility. Laughable as the primordial deities they call forth in their mock rituals to implement policies that their own conscience balks at in relentless self-defeating narcissistic injury.

*Their* ideas are ancient; our ideas are characterized by their inability to be implemented in any other age than our own. Anthropologists and cultural theorists will no doubt study this phenomenon in future periodicals.

It’s about *us* now. It’s about the ideas *we* are launching into the representative system, with Ron Paul as our metaphorical figurehead.

We are going to take back this country, indeed, we are going to take back the world, and no one can stop us, because:

We are greater than the sum of our parts, but every single part is cherished as irreducibly unique and fundamental.

see

Cafferty On Ron Paul’s Money Bomb & Reading Emails + Tucker interviews Paul’s campaign chairman (videos) (updated)

Ron Paul Money Bomb Dec. 16, Fox News Reports (video)

Paul-Ron

Culling The Herd By Sheila Samples

Dandelion Salad

By Sheila Samples
12/17/07 “ICH

“Everything you can imagine is real” ~ Pablo Picasso

In 1974, a year after orchestrating a mass terror bombing of Cambodia — after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his National Security Council completed “National Security Study Memo 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” This document, whose sharp edges are dulled by page after leaden page of how to reduce over-population in the Third World through birth control and “other” population-reduction programs, was classified until 1989, but was almost immediately accepted as US policy, and remains the US blueprint for ethnic cleansing today.

It is difficult to imagine the staggering number of innocent humans who have perished through war or famine as a direct result of Kissinger’s half-century obsession with, and lust for, genocide. It’s even more difficult to imagine the cruel indifference with which Kissinger, and those like him in positions of political and corporate power — the elite — continue to plan the elimination of millions, even billions. All under the guise of national security, or to spread freedom… democracy…

Kissinger targeted a number of “key countries” whose populations, he said, must be curtailed and controlled lest they gain economic, political and military strength, and thus threaten US strategic interests. “Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world,” Kissinger said, “because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.”

Then, as now, any nation refusing to surrender its natural resources was an ominous threat to our national security and was dealt with initially through birth control and other population-reduction programs such as food rationing. But that was too slow for Kissinger, for Brent Scowcroft who replaced Kissinger as national security adviser and was put in charge of thinning out the Third World population, and for his eager enabler, CIA Director George Bush who trotted like a love-starved puppy at Kissinger’s heels for decades.

At first, they used food as “an instrument of national power” to coerce the dumb masses to stop copulating and populating, and then as a deadly weapon because widespread famine not only dealt death quicker, but it was cost-effective. And it made more sense. Like Kissinger said, “To give food aid to a country just because they (sic) are starving is a pretty weak reason.”

If we could imagine the suffering endured by victims of such perverse inhumanity, we might feel a twinge of outrage or, as George Washington so succinctly put it — a “little spark of celestial fire called conscience.” Or not. Perhaps we are so far removed from reality because our minds cannot grasp the horror of that reality. Those who seek to destroy the denizens of this planet are totally without compassion or remorse. They are grotesque mutants who kill indiscriminately in their relentless drive for world conquest and domination.

It’s naive to think the carnage will stop once predators such as Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Robert McNamara, George H.W. Bush, and other One World advocates, many of whom are in their 80s or 90s, are no longer in our midst. With the release of thousands of tons of Depleted Uranium in both Bush Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, they have poisoned food, water and air, and turned the entire region into massive radioactive death camps. Without fear of accountability, they have ensured the slow, agonizing extermination of entire populations, to include the American military, whom Kissinger views as “dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy” — and their families — that will continue for many generations.

We’re like herds of cattle, grazing placidly, unable or unwilling to imagine that we might share the same fate as the millions throughout the Third World targeted by the elite as “bottom feeders,” contributing nothing — eating into their profit — gluttons who must be dispensed with. Any rancher or farmer will tell you that it’s good business to cull the herd for a variety of reasons, such as market outlook, cash flow, or just to maintain a healthier, more easily controlled mass of cattle. It makes no sense to keep problem cows, the elderly, the ill or non-productive around. There comes a time when you must cut your losses — and cull the herd.

There are those who, unlike Kissinger and his co-conspirators, are not interested in profit or power, but believe fervently that human population is destroying the planet. Perhaps the most outspoken is University of Texas evolutionary scientist Dr. Eric R. Pianka, who gave a speech in March 2006 advocating the elimination of 90 percent of Earth’s population.

According to Forrest M. Mims III, Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, and the editor of The Citizen Scientist, Pianka shrugged aside war and famine — too slow — and said “the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die” is disease. Pianka advocates airborne Ebola because, he explained, “it is highly lethal, and it kills in days, instead of years.”

Pianka drew rounds of enthusiastic applause throughout his speech, and a standing ovation when he threw in the Bird Flu for good measure, and quipped gleefully, “We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth.” Five hours later, the University presented Pianka with a plaque, not for winning hands down as “Mad Scientist of the Year,” but in recognition of his being named 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

It doesn’t take a wild imagination to know that genocide is real, and it’s underway in America. The most blatant example is the barbaric response to Hurricane Katrina victims — withholding food, blocking aid, ignoring those clinging to rooftops while crying out in vain for help, leaving corpses to float in the flooded streets or to rot in the Superdome.

If you start with the poor, minorities, elderly, the ill or non-productive, the culling becomes much easier the next time around. Those who wait become inured to the inhumanity and, rather than rise up against it, breathe sighs of relief that it’s others and not them who are rounded up and herded to the slaughterhouse.

Imagine what life would be like if the Food and Drug Administration did not ensure the safety of our food chain…if our creeks and rivers were polluted by sewage and industrial waste… if vaccines forced on our children caused mental deficiencies, even death… if mothers were afraid to breast-feed their babies because the environmental toxin perchlorate present in our food and water supply accumulates in mother’s milk… if our air was contaminated… if we had a government cold-hearted enough to withhold food and aid from the needy and health care from poor children… if we were spied upon and incarcerated, tortured, disappeared without charges…

Oh yeah. I forgot. That is what our life is like. All that, and more, is grinding relentlessly away at our safety, our health and our lives.

We have the power to remove these madmen. They are criminals under Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, and they must pay for their crimes. One more year wherein millions more throughout the world are slaughtered is, as they say, not an option.

The culling must stop, even if we are forced to stampede. They must be impeached. Go here, here, and here and take action.

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at rsamples@wichitaonline.net.

see

Ehrlich: How to Control the AMERICAN Population by Brent Jessop (Part 1)

The Population Bomb Revisited By Joseph Schouweiler (12.07)

Professor’s “Kill 90% of Population” Comments Echo UN, Elite NGO policies

Top Scientist Advocates Mass Culling 90% Of Human Population

3 House Judiciary Members Want Cheney Impeachment NOW! by Dave Lindorff + A Case for Impeachment Hearings

Dennis Kucinich Calls For Impeachment During The Debate + UFOs (videos) + Russert Uses the “Giggle Factor” to Dismiss Dennis by Manila Ryce

www.WexlerWantsHearings.com

The Financing of Fundamentalism, & the Antichrist by Rev. Richard Skaff

Dandelion Salad

by Rev. Richard Skaff
Global Research, December 17, 2007

What is religious fundamentalism? Who promotes it? What purpose does it serve? And how to curtail it?

Continue reading

Staring into the Abyss – The Collapse Of The Modern Day Banking System By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
12/17/07 “ICH

“In past financial crises… the Fed has been able to wave its magic wand and make market turmoil disappear. But this time the magic isn’t working. Why not? Because the problem with the markets isn’t just a lack of liquidity — there’s also a fundamental problem of solvency.” Paul Krugman

Stocks fell sharply last week on news of accelerating inflation which will limit the Federal Reserves ability to continue cutting interest rates. On Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrials tumbled 294 points following the Fed’s announcement of a quarter point cut to the Fed Funds rate. On Friday, the Dow dipped another 178 points when government figures showed consumer prices had risen 0.8% last month after a 0.3% gain in October. The stock market is now lurching downward into a “primary bear market”. There has been a steady deterioration in retail sales, commercial real estate, and the transports. The financial industry is going through a major retrenchment losing more than 25% in aggregate capitalization since July. The real estate market is collapsing. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Friday that he will declare a “fiscal emergency” in January and ask for more power to deal with the $14 billion budget shortfall from the meltdown in subprime lending. Economists are beginning to publicly acknowledge what many market analysts have suspected for months; the nation’s economy is going into a tailspin which will inevitably end in a hard landing.

Morgan Stanley’s Asia Chairman, Stephen Roach, made this observation in a New York Times op-ed on Sunday:

“This recession will be deeper than the shallow contraction earlier in this decade. The dot-com-led downturn was set off by a collapse in business capital spending, which at its peak in 2000 accounted for only 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The current recession is all about the coming capitulation of the American consumer — whose spending now accounts for a record 72 percent of G.D.P.”

Most people have no idea how grave the present situation is or the disaster the country will face if trillions of dollars of over-leveraged bonds and equities begin to unwind. There’s a widespread belief that the stewards of the system—Bernanke and Paulson—can somehow steer the economy through this “rough patch” into calm waters. But they cannot, and the presumption shows a basic misunderstanding of how markets work. The Fed has no magical powers and will it allow itself to be crushed by standing in the path of a market-avalanche. As foreclosures and bankruptcies increase; stocks will crash and the fed will step aside to safety. That much is certain.

In the last few weeks, Bernanke and Paulson have tried a number of strategies that have failed miserably. Paulson concocted a plan to help the major investment banks consolidate and repackage their nonperforming mortgage-backed junk into a “Super SIV” to give them another chance to unload their bad investments on the public. The plan was nothing more than a public relations ploy which has already been abandoned by most of the key participants. Paulson’s involvement is a real black eye for the Dept of the Treasury. It makes it look like he’s willing to dupe investors as long as it helps his well-heeled Wall Street buddies.

Paulson also put together an “industry friendly” rate freeze that is supposed to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. But the plan falls well short of providing any meaningful aid to the estimated 3.5 million homeowners who are facing the prospect of defaulting on their loans if they don’t get government assistance. Recent estimates by industry experts say that Paulson’s plan will only help a meager 140,000 mortgage holders, leaving millions of others to fend for themselves. Paulson has proved over and over that he is just not up to the task of confronting an economic challenge of this magnitude head-on.

Fed chief Bernanke hasn’t done much better than Paulson. His three-quarter point cut to the Fed’s Funds rate hasn’t lowered interest rates on mortgages, stimulated greater home sales, stabilized the stock market or helped banks deal with their massive debt-load. It’s been a flop from start to finish. All its done is weaken the dollar and trigger a wave of inflation. In fact, government figures now show energy prices are rising at a whopping 18.1% annually. Bernanke is apparently following Lenin’s injunction that “The best way to destroy the Capitalist System is to debauch the currency.”

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve initiated a “coordinated effort” with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the and the Swiss National Bank to address the “elevated pressures in short-term funding of the markets.” The Fed issued a statement that “it will make up to $24 billion available to the European Central Bank (ECB) and Swiss National Bank to increase the supply of dollars in Europe.” (Bloomberg) The Fed will also add as much as $40 billion, via auctions, to increase cash in the U.S. Bernanke is trying to loosen the knot that has tightened Libor rates in England and reduced lending between banks. The slowdown is hobbling growth and could send the world into a recessionary spiral. Bernanke’s “master plan” is little more than a cash giveaway to sinking banks. It has no chance of succeeding. The Fed is offering $.85 on the dollar for mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that sold last week in the E*Trade liquidation for $.27 on the dollar. At the same time, the Fed has promised to keep the identities of the banks that are borrowing these emergency funds secret from the public. Thus, accountability and transparency have been both been shattered by one shortsighted action. The Fed is conducting its business like a bookie.

Unfortunately, the Fed bailout has achieved nothing. Libor rates—which are presently at seven-year highs—have not come down at all. This is causing growing concern among the leaders of the Central Banks around the world, but there’s really nothing they can do about it. The banks are hoarding cash to meet their capital requirements. They are trying to compensate for the loss of value to their (mortgage-backed) assets by increasing their reserves. At the same time, the system is clogged with trillions of dollars of bad paper which has brought lending to a grinding halt. The massive injections of liquidity from the Fed have done nothing to improve lending or lower interbank rates. It’s been a complete flop. Bernanke has lost control of the system. The market is driving interest rates now. If the situation persists, the stock market will crash.

STARING INTO THE ABYSS

One of Britain’s leading economists, Peter Spencer, issued a warning on Saturday:

“The Government must suspend a set of key banking regulations at the heart of the current financial crisis or risk seeing the economy spiral towards a future that could make 1929 look like a walk in the park”.

Spencer is right. The banks don’t have the money to loan to businesses or consumers because they’re desperately trying to raise more cash to meet their capital requirements on assets that continue to be downgraded. (The Fed may pay $.85 on the dollar, but investors are unwilling to pay anything at all.)Spencer correctly assumes that the reason the banks have stopped lending is not because they “distrust” other banks, but because they are capital-strapped from all their “off balance” sheets shenanigans. If the Basel regulations aren’t modified, money markets will remain frozen, GDP will shrink, and there’ll be a wave of bank closings.

Spencer said:

“The Bank is staring into the abyss. The Financial Services Authority must go round and check that all banks are solvent, and then it should cut the Basel capital requirement level from 8pc to about 6pc.” (“Call to Relax Basel Banking Rules, UK Telegraph)

Spencer confirms what we already knew; the banks are seriously under-capitalized and will come under growing pressure as hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) continue to lose value and have to be propped up with additional capital. The banks simply don’t have the resources and there’s going to be a day of reckoning.

Pimco’s Bill Gross put it like this:

“What we are witnessing is essentially the breakdown of our modern day banking system.” Gross is right, but he only covers a small portion of the problem.

Economist Ludwig von Mises is more succinct in his analysis:

“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought on by credit expansion. The question is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”

The basic problem originated with the Federal Reserve when former Fed chief Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates below the rate of inflation for 31 months straight which pumped trillions of dollars of low interest credit into the financial system and ignited a speculative frenzy in real estate. Greenspan has spent a great deal of time lately trying to avoid any blame for the catastrophe he created. He is a first-rate “buck passer”. In Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Greenspan scribbled out a 1,500 defense of his actions as head of the Federal Reserve pointing the finger at everything from China’s “low cost workforce” to “the fall of the Berlin Wall”. The essay was typical Greenspan gibberish. In his trademark opaque language; Greenspan tiptoes through the well-documented facts of his tenure as Fed chief to absolve himself of any personal responsibility for the ensuing disaster.

Greenspan’s polemic is a masterpiece of circuitous logic, deliberate evasion and utter denial of reality. He says:

“I do not doubt that a low U.S. federal-funds rate in response to the dot-com crash, and especially the 1% rate set in mid-2003 to counter potential deflation, lowered interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and may have contributed to the rise in U.S. home prices. In my judgment, however, the impact on demand for homes financed with ARMs was not major.”

“Not major”? 3.5 million potential foreclosures, 11 month inventory backlog, plummeting home prices, an entire industry in terminal distress pulling down the global economy is not major?

But Greenspan is partially correct. The troubles in housing cannot be entirely attributed to the Fed’s “cheap credit” monetary policies. They were also nursed along by a Doctrine of Deregulation which has permeated US capital markets since the Reagan era. Greenspan’s views on how markets should function were–to great extent–shaped by this non-interventionist/non-supervisory ideology which has created enormous equity bubbles and horrendous imbalances. The former-Fed chief’s support for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and subprime lending; shows that Greenspan thought of himself as more as a cheerleader for the big market-players than an impartial referee whose job was to monitor reckless or unethical behavior.

Greenspan also adds this revealing bit of information in his article:

“The value of equities traded on the world’s major stock exchanges has risen to more than $50 trillion, double what it was in 2002. Sharply rising home prices erupted into major housing bubbles world-wide, Japan and Germany (for differing reasons) being the only principal exceptions.” (“The Roots of the Mortgage Crisis”, Alan Greenspan, WS Journal)

This admission proves Greenspan’s culpability. If he knew that stock prices had doubled their value in just 3 years, then he also knew that equities had not risen due to increases in productivity or demand.(market forces) The only reasonable explanation for the asset inflation, therefore, was monetary policy. As his own mentor, Milton Friedman famously stated, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon”. Any capable economist would have known that the explosion in housing and equities prices was a sign of uneven inflation. Now that the bubble has popped, inflation is spreading like mad through the entire economy.

Greenspan is a very sharp man. It is crazy to think he didn’t know what was going on. This is basic economic theory. Of course he knew why stocks and housing prices were skyrocketing. He was the one who put the dominoes in motion with the help of his well-oiled printing press.

But Greenspan’s low interest credit is only part of the equation. The other part has to do with way that the markets have been transformed by “structured finance”.

What’s so destructive about structured finance is that it allows the banks to create credit “out of thin air”, stripping the Fed of its role as controller of the money supply. Author David Roache explains how this works in an excerpt from his book “New Monetarism” which appeared in the Wall Street Journal:

“The reason for the exponential growth in credit, but not in broad money, WAS SIMPLY THAT BANKS DIDN’T KEEP THEIR LOANS ON THEIR BOOKS ANY MORE—AND ONLY LOANS ON BANK BALANCE SHEETS GET COUNTED AS MONEY. Now, as soon as banks made a loan, they “securitized” it and moved it off their balance sheet.

There were two ways of doing this. One was to sell the securitized loan as a bond. The other was “synthetic” securitization: for example, using derivatives to get rid of the default risk (with credit default swaps) and lock in the interest rate due on the loan (with interest-rate swaps). Both forms of securitization meant that the lending bank was free to make new loans without using up any of its lending capacity once its existing loans had been “securitized.”

So, to redefine liquidity under what I call New Monetarism, one must add, to the traditional definition of broad money, all the credit being created and moved off banks’ balance sheets and onto the balance sheets of nonbank financial intermediaries. This new form of liquidity changed the very nature of the credit beast. What now determined credit growth was risk appetite: the readiness of companies and individuals to run their businesses with higher levels of debt.” (Wall Street Journal)

This is truly mind-boggling.

The banks have been creating trillions of dollars of credit (by originating mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and asset-backed commercial paper) without maintaining the proportional capital reserves to back them up. That explains why the banks were so eager to provide mortgages to millions of loan applicants who had no documentation, no income, no collateral and a bad credit history. They believed their was no risk, because they were making enormous profits without tying up any of their capital. It was, quite literally, money for nothing.

Now, unfortunately, the mechanism for generating new loans (and fees) has broken down. The main sources of bank revenue have either been seriously curtailed or dried up entirely. (Mortgage-backed) Commercial paper (ABCP) one such source of revenue, has decreased by a full-third (or $400 billion) in just 17 weeks. Also, the securitization of mortgage-backed securities is DOA. The market for MBSs and CDOs and other complex bonds has followed the Pterodactyl into the history books. The same is true of structured investment vehicles (SIVs) and other “off balance-sheet” swindles which have either gone under entirely or are presently withering with every savage downgrade in mortgage-backed bonds. The mighty gear that was grinding out the hefty profits (“structured investments”) has suddenly reversed and—like a millstone that breaks free from its support-axle–is crushing everything in its path.

The banks don’t have the reserves to cover their downgraded assets and the Federal Reserve cannot simply “monetize” their bad bets. There’s no way out. There are bound to be bankruptcies and bank runs. “Structured finance” has usurped the Fed’s authority to create new credit and handed it over to the banks. Now everyone will pay the price.

Wary investors have lost their appetite for risk and are steering-clear of anything connected to real estate or mortgage-backed bonds. That means that an estimated $3 trillion of securitized debt (CDOs, MBSs and ASCP) will come crashing to earth delivering a withering blow to the economy.

And it’s not just the banks that will take a beating either. As Professor Nouriel Roubini points out, the broker dealers, the investment banks, money market funds, hedge funds and mortgage lenders are in the crosshairs as well.

Nouriel Roubini:

“Non-bank institutions do not have direct access to the Fed and other central banks liquidity support and they ARE NOW AT RISK OF A LIQUIDITY RUN as their liabilities are short term while many of their assets are longer term and illiquid; so the risk of something equivalent to a bank run for non-bank financial institutions is now rising. And there is no chance that depository institutions will re-lend to these to these non-banks the funds borrowed by central banks as these banks have severe liquidity problems themselves and they do not trust their non-bank counterparties. SO NOW MONETARY POLICY IS TOTALLY IMPOTENT IN DEALING WITH THE LIQUIDITY PROBLEMS AND THE RISKS OF RUNS ON LIQUID LIABILITIES OF A LARGE FRACTION OF THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM.” (Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor)

As the downgrades on CDOs and MBSs continue to accelerate, there’ll likely be a frantic “flight to cash” by investors, just like the recent surge into US Treasuries. This will be followed by a series of spectacular bank and non-bank defaults. The trillions of dollars of “virtual capital” that was miraculously created through securitzation when the market was buoyed-along by optimism; will vanish in a flash when the market is driven by fear. In fact, the equity bubble has already been punctured and the process is well underway.

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African Americans Bear Brunt of Subprime Crisis

Full Spectrum Information Warfare by Brent Jessop

Dandelion Salad

by Brent Jessop
Global Research, December 17, 2007
Knowledge Driven Revolution.com
November 5, 2007

Information Operation Roadmap Part 1

When the US military refers to full spectrum domination, they truly mean full spectrum. Information operations or information warfare is a key part of the military battlespace. Recently, a document entitled Information Operation Roadmap was declassified by the Pentagon because of a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The document was described by the Council on Foreign Relations’ website as:

“A 2003 Pentagon document previously classified as ‘noforn’ (not for release to foreign nationals, including allies), this report details the US military’s information operations, including psychological operations, electronic warfare, and involvement in foreign journalism. The document was made public by the National Security Archive on January 26, 2006.”

On Par with Air, Ground, Maritime and Special Operations

The importance of information warfare is clearly laid out in this document.

“Key assumptions. Information, always important in warfare, is now critical to military success and will only become more so in the foreseeable future. Three key assumptions underscore the growing importance of information:

– (U) Effectively communicating U.S. Government (USG) capabilities and intentions is an important means of combating the plans of our adversaries. The ability to rapidly disseminate persuasive information to diverse audiences in order to directly influence their decision-making is an increasingly powerful means of deterring aggression.” [emphasis mine] – 3

The major thrust of the document was that information operations should be centralized under the Office of the Secretary of Defense and made a core military competency.

“Objective: IO [information operations] becomes a core competency. The importance of dominating the information spectrum explains the objective of transforming IO into a core military competency on a par with air, ground, maritime and special operations. The charge to the IO Roadmap oversight panel was to develop as concrete a set of action recommendations as possible to make IO a core competency, which in turn required identifying the essential prerequisites to become a core military competency.” [emphasis mine] – 4

Uniformity in Message and Themes

The major reason for centralizing the information operations under a single command was to create consistency between the various segments of the Pentagon’s information operations.

“IO requires coordination with public affairs and civil military operations to complement the objectives of these related activities and ensure message consistency.” [emphasis mine] – 23

“- (U) The USG [US Government] can not execute an effective communication strategy that facilitates military campaigns if various organs of Government disseminate inconsistent messages to foreign audiences. Therefore, it is important that policy differences between all USG Departments and Agencies be resolved to the extent that they shape themes and messages.

– (U) All DoD [Department of Defense] information activities, including information operations, which are conducted at the strategic, operational, and tactical level, should reflect and be consistent with broader national security policy and strategy objectives.” [emphasis mine] – 25

“Coordinating information activities. Major DoD “information activities” include public affairs, military support to public diplomacy and PSYOP [psychological operations]. The State Department maintains the lead for public diplomacy, the [half line redacted] and the International Broadcasting Board of Governors maintains the lead for broadcasting USG messages overseas, often with DoD in a supporting role. DoD has consistently maintained that the information activities of all these agencies must be integrated and coordinated to ensure the promulgation of consistent themes and messages.” [emphasis mine] – 25

A Trained and Ready Career Force

With the ascension of information operations into a core military competency the document recommended, under the heading “A Trained and Ready Career Force” that the:

“DoD [Department of Defence] requires a cadre of IO professionals capable of planning and executing fully integrated IO in support of Combatant Commanders. An IO career force should be afforded promotion and advancement opportunities commensurate with other warfighting areas and provided opportunities for advancement to senior executive or flag level rank.” – 32

Support

The forward of this document was signed by then Secretary of Defence Donald H. Rumsfeld which contained the following statement of support:

“I approve the Roadmap recommendations and direct the Services, Combatant Commands and DoD Agencies to fully support implementation of this plan.” – iv

What Are Information Operations?

This document defined information operations as follows:

“The integrated employment of the core capabilities of Electronic Warfare, Computer Network Operations, Psychological Operations, Military Deception and Operations Security, in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decisions-making while protecting our own.” – 22

Global Research Articles by Brent Jessop

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 Brent Jessop, Knowledge Driven Revolution.com, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7637

Belgium’s Rocky Marriage by Eric S. Margolis

Dandelion Salad

Eric S. Margolis
17 December 2007

Little Belgium is in serious political trouble. The historically shaky marriage between 6.3 million Flemish in Belgium’s north and 4 million French-speaking Walloons in the south are at the point of dissolution.

Political tribal warfare between Flemish and Francophone Walloons has lately become so intense that Belgium, a constitutional monarchy, has been without a government for the past six months.

The French TV/radio network RTBF ran a spoof of a national divorce called `Bye, Bye Belgium,’ that enraged Flemish. There are increasing calls on both sides to split the troubled nation along linguistic lines. In an act of political desperation, a provisional government under former PM Guy Verhofstadt is about to be appointed. If that fails, King Albert II might be forced to take over.

It’s not easy being Belgian. The snooty Dutch look down on neighboring Flemish Belgians as country bumpkins who speak a corrupted dialect of haut Dutch. Flemish insist they speak perfectly good Dutch. Afrikaans, the language spoken by South Africa’s Boers, comes from Flemish, not Dutch, as most believe. Flemish have little love for their Dutch cousins, against whom they once battled.

At least historically rich Flanders is booming. The southern Francophone region of Wallonia is a rust belt suffering chronic high unemployment and crime. French never tire of insulting the poor French-speaking Belgians.

A widely held view in France is that Belgians cannot drive.
When driving in France, Belgians must endure a storm of insults like `miserable petit Belge!’ and very rude gestures. Many French look down on Belgians in the same patronizing way they do on French-speaking Canadian Quebeckers – as backwards rustics with a debased though amusing patois. Walloons insist they speak perfectly good French, which they do.

In fact, Belgium’s linguistic conflict recalls the ill feelings between English and French-speaking Canadians. Flemish regard Walloons as lazy, unreliable and priest-ridden. Walloons call the Flemish arrogant and pig-headed boors with cold Protestant hearts. None of these stereotypes are true. Both Flemish and Walloons are decent, industrious peoples. But old prejudices run very deep as this writer found when covering Belgium’s election races.

The only thing on which Belgians agree is their excellent national cuisine and heavenly chocolates. Belgium’s food rivals France. Belgians even invented the `French fry’ – which the dastardly French expropriated as their own.

I’m probably going to have my Belgian restaurant privileges cut off for saying this, but modern Belgium is an accidental nation, though one of Europe’s wealthiest and most historic regions, and Belgians distant descendants of ancient Germanic tribes against whom Julius Caesar battled.

In 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna gave the region of Flanders to Holland. Previously, it had been part of the Spanish Netherlands, then a French protectorate. But the Flemish didn’t want to be ruled by the Dutch, and revolted. As a compromise, Europe’s diplomats were forced to cobble together a new state from Flanders and Wallonia. Luxemburg, historically part of the low countries, went its own way as a grand Duchy.

But the marriage was unhappy from day one as Flemish and Walloons feuded and argued. As Wallonia’s coal and steel-based economy ran down, Flemish increasingly asked why they should be forced to subsidize and support the economically depressed Walloons. Many Flemish wanted divorce.

Belgium’s unwieldy political system makes coalition governments inevitable. But with Flemish politicians squabbling with Walloons, and just as fiercely among themselves, political paralysis ensued. For a modern European nation, Belgium faces the triple embarrassments of being politically unstable, having an inordinate number of ghastly crimes against children, and rampant corruption, notably in the south.

I don’t think Belgium will break up. The EU is pressuring Belgians to calm down and act sensibly. But tribal linguistic, religious and cultural passions often pre-empt rational behavior, as we have too often seen.

Interestingly, many Belgians are feeling they don’t need their own dysfunctional, inept governments. Given the huge, ever growing political and economic superstructure of the European Union transnational government based in Brussels, Belgians could readily do without their own wretched politicians. One senses a similar new political feeling in Spain, where the government in Madrid is becoming increasingly redundant, and even in Scotland, Wales, and parts of highly decentralized Germany.

I have another solution to Belgium’s marital problems. Fire all of Belgium’s useless, feuding politicians. Sign a ten year contract with the Swiss Federal Government to manage Belgium’s political and economic affairs. Switzerland, with 7.5 million citizens, has four official languages and two major religions.

There are no opposition parties in Switzerland. All parties must cooperate at the national level and produce leadership that acts for the good of the country.

Switzerland runs like…well…a Swiss watch. That’s what the fractious Belgians need. A stiff dose of common sense and discipline. Then they can go back to doing what they do best: manufacturing, operating seaports, and brewing beer.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 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.

12.14.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Dec. 14, 2007

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Slain Lebanese General Laid to Rest,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Israeli Air Strike Kills 3 in Gaza,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Abbas’ Government Slashes Salaries in Gaza,” Al Aqsa, Gaza
“Israeli Racism Against Palestinians Rises,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“US Wants Dialogue with Iran,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Negotiations Over Western Sahara,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Pilgrims Head to Mecca,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“MIR: Al Qaeda’s Revenge,” Link TV, USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

Cafferty On Ron Paul’s Money Bomb & Reading Emails + Tucker interviews Paul’s campaign chairman + Abrams: Big Winner (videos)

I can answer this one: his name isn’t included in the polls, same as Kucinich and Gravel. See: This is Why Kucinich is Down in the Polls By Manila Ryce

~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

researchris2

CNN’s Jack Cafferty asks “If Ron Paul can raise more than $6million in one day, how come he’s not higher in the polls?” The email replies also included.

http://ronpaul2008.com
http://voteronpaul.com
http://ronpaulblimp.com

http://researchris.blogspot.com

Tucker interviews Paul’s campaign chairman

Dan Abrams declares Ron Paul the Big Winner of the day 

Dec 17, ’07, Dan Abrams declares Ron Paul at the Big Winner of the day for the record breaking day. However, states that he broke the one day internet fundraiser record…..

see

Ron Paul Money Bomb Dec. 16, Fox News Reports (video)

Ron Paul Money Bomb Dec. 16, Fox News Reports (video)

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

So in total about 90secs of “Ron Paul” time by faux news over the course of 12 hours. This is every sec I could find through out the entire morning.

They spent over a hour in the same 12 hours talking about Joe Lieberman endorsement of John Mccain.

If this was any of the faux declared “front-runners” this would have been a top story all day, heck all week.

Added: December 17, 2007

see

Ron Paul TV Special for Iowa (long videos)

Dec 16th Ron Paul donation day coverage on CNN (video)

Perhaps It Is Time For The U.S. To Reconsider Its Partnership With Israel By Scott Ritter

Dandelion Salad

By Scott Ritter
ICH
12/17/07 ” Antiwar

I have for some time now publicly articulated my sympathy and support for the state of Israel, even while criticizing those cases that I believed constituted poor judgment and bad policy. My stance was based upon my past experiences with Israel, which began indirectly in 1990-1991 when I was involved in counter-SCUD activities during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and continued in a much more direct fashion as a weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), charged with disarming Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

As a weapons inspector I made numerous visits to Israel for the purpose of coordinating with the Israeli intelligence community on matters pertaining to Iraqi WMD. I was greatly impressed not only with the professionalism of the Israeli intelligence services, but also with the Israeli people and society. During my time in Israel, I was witness to numerous horrific events, including several terrorist bombings and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The resilience of the people of Israel in absorbing these blows yet continuing to live life to its fullest was remarkable, and worthy of admiration.

As a firsthand witness to the remarkable vigor of the Israeli state and its people, and as someone who considers himself to be their friend, it saddens me to see just how poorly the current Israeli government returns this friendship, not to me personally, but to my country, the United States of America. The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has embarked on policies that are questionable at best when one examines them from a purely Israeli standpoint; they are nothing less than a betrayal of the United States when examined from a broader perspective.

The insidious manner in which the current Israeli government has manipulated the domestic political machinery of the United States to produce support for its policies constitutes nothing less than direct interference in the governance of a sovereign state. The degree to which the current Israeli government has succeeded in this regard can be tracked not only by the words and actions of the administration of President George W. Bush and the American Congress, but also by the extent to which a pro-Israel lexicon has taken hold within the mainstream media of the United States. Witness the pro-Israel bias displayed when discussing the situation in southern Lebanon, the air strike in Syria, or the Iranian situation, and the retarding of any effort toward a responsible discussion of anything dealing with Israel becomes apparent.

One would expect such efforts to shape the domestic public opinion of a state deemed hostile, but when the target of these Israeli actions is its ostensible best friend, one must begin to question whether or not the friendship is a one-way street. And if this is indeed the case, then perhaps it is time for the United States to reconsider its decades-old policy of strategic partnership with Israel.

It must be understood that the government of Ehud Olmert is acting in a post-9/11 environment, with considerable facilitators in the administration of President Bush, including the vice president. These two factors combine to create a cycle of enablement that allows a purely Israeli point of view to dominate American policy. If the Israeli point of view were built on logic, compassion, and the rule of law, then this tilt would not constitute a problem. But the Israeli point of view is increasingly constructed on a foundation of intolerance and irresponsible unilateralism that divorces the country from global norms. In this day and age of nuclear nonproliferation, the undeclared nuclear arsenal of Israel stands as perhaps the most egregious example of how an Israel-only standard destabilizes the Middle East. It is the Israeli nuclear weapons program, including its strategic delivery systems, that is the core of instability for this very volatile region.

The statements by Israeli officials concerning the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran and its nuclear program are perhaps the best manifestation of this reality. Avi Dichter, Israel’s public security minister, has condemned the NIE as a flawed document, and in terms that link the American analysis to a cause-and-effect cycle that could lead the Middle East down the path of regional war. Like many Israelis, including the prime minister, Dichter disagrees with the American NIE on Iran, in particular the finding that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The Israelis hold that this program is still active, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reached a conclusion similar to the NIE’s based upon its own exhaustive inspection activities inside Iran over the past five years.

In threatening the world with war because America opted for once to embrace fact instead of fiction, Israel, sadly, has become like a cornered beast, lashing out at any and all it perceives to threaten its security interests. The current Israeli definition of what constitutes its security interests is so broad as to preclude any difference of opinion. Israel’s shameless invocations of the Holocaust to defend its actions not only shames the memory of those murdered over 60 years ago, but ironically dilutes the impact of that memory by linking it with current policies that are cruel and intolerant. The message of Holocaust remembrance should be “never again,” not just in terms of the persecution of Jews, but in terms of man’s inhumanity to man. The birth of the Israeli state, as imperfect and controversial as it was, served as a foundation for the pursuit of tolerance. However, Israel’s current policies, rooted in ethnic and religious hatred, are the antithesis of tolerance.

Israel at present can have no friends, because Israel does not know how to be a friend. Driven by xenophobic paranoia and historical grievances, Israel is embarked on a path that can only lead to death and destruction. This is a path the United States should not tread. I have always taken the position that Israel is a friend of the United States, and that friends should always stand up for one another, even in difficult times. I have also noted that, to quote a phrase well known in America, friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and that for some time now Israel has been drunk on arrogance and power. As a friend, I have believed the best course of action for the United States to take would be that which helped remove the keys from the ignition of the policy vehicle Israel is steering toward the edge of the abyss. Now it seems our old friend is holding a pistol to our head, demanding that we stop interfering with the vehicle’s operation and preventing us from getting out of the car. This is not the action of a friend, and it can no longer be tolerated.

It is time for what those who are familiar with dependency issues would term an intervention. Like a child too long spoiled by an inattentive parent, Israel has grown accustomed to American largess, to the point that it is addicted to an American aid package that is largely responsible for keeping the Israeli economy afloat. This aid must be reconsidered in its entirety. The day of the free ride must come to an end. The United States must redefine its national security priorities in the Middle East and position Israel accordingly. At the very least, American aid must be linked to Israeli behavior modification. The standards America applies to other nations around the world when it comes to receiving aid must likewise apply to Israel.

Let there be no doubt: Israel and its considerable lobby of supporters here in America will scream bloody murder if their aid is trimmed in any fashion. But in the greater interest of what will best benefit the security interests of the United States, and indeed the Middle East and the entire world, the grip Israel has on American policymaking must come to an end. It is up to the American people to make this change, first and foremost by recognizing that a real problem exists in American-Israeli relations, then by electing officials to Congress who will deal responsibly with these problems based not on the behind-the-scenes lobbying of Israel and its proxies, but rather the legitimate interests of the United States.

If Israel decides it wants to be our friend, then it will change its behavior accordingly. Absent this, America has no choice but to declare its independence from a relationship that has destroyed our credibility around the world and drags us dangerously down the path toward another irresponsible military misadventure in the Middle East. If, in the future, Israel desires to reestablish a relationship with the United States built upon the principles of mutual trust and benefit, then so be it. Such a relationship is something I could embrace without hesitation. But one thing is certain: no such friendship can truly exist under the conditions and terms that are in place today, and for that reason the entirety of the American-Israeli relationship must be reexamined.

Scott Ritter is a former UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq and the author of Target Iran: The Truth Behind the White House’s Plans for Regime Change (Nation Books, 2006).

Copyright 2007 Antiwar.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.

American Jews on War and Peace: What Do the Polls Tell Us and Not Tell Us? By James Petras

Dandelion Salad

By James Petras
12/17/07 “ICH

Once again, a poll recently released by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) (1) has confirmed that on some questions of major significance there are vast differences between the opinion of the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations and the mass of American Jews. On questions of the Iraq war, the escalation of US military forces in Iraq (the ‘Surge’) and military action against Iran, most Jewish Americans differ from the leaders of the major American Jewish organizations.

Most liberal, progressive or radical Jewish commentators have emphasized these differences to argue, “most American Jews resoundingly reject the Middle East militarism and GOP foreign policy championed by right-wing Jewish factions.”(2) This progressive interpretation however avoids an even more fundamental question: How is it that a majority of US Jews who, according to the AJC poll (and several others going back over two decades) differ with the principal American Jewish organizations, have not or do not challenge the position of the dominant Jewish organization, have virtually no impact on the US Congress, the Executive and the mass media in comparison to the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations?

The issue of the ‘silent majority’ is questionable since all Jewish and non-Jewish commentators point to the highly vocal and disproportionate rates of participation of American Jews in the political process, from electoral campaigns to civil society movements. Not is it clear that the progressive majority lacks the high incomes of the reactionary ‘minority’. There are some Jewish millionaires and even a few billionaires who hold views opposing the leadership of the major Jewish organizations. There are several probable explanations that account for the power of Jewish leaders in shaping US Middle East policy and the relative impotence of the majority of American Jews.

The Poll: A Re-Analysis

The poll results highlighted by progressive Jewish analysts point to the 59% to 31% majority of Jews disapproving the way the US is handling the ‘campaign against terror.” The problem with using the answers to this question to indicate progressive opinion is that a number of Zionist ideologues and their followers also oppose the ‘handling of the campaign’ because it is not sufficiently brutal, authoritarian and arbitrary. Other findings cited include a 67% to 27% majority currently believing that the US should have stayed out of Iraq, a 76% to 23% majority who believe the war is going ‘somewhat’ or ‘very badly’ in Iraq, a 68% to 30% majority believing that the ‘surge’ has either made things worse or has no impact.

Even more important, a large majority (57% to 35%) of American Jews oppose the United States launching a pre-emptive military attack against Iran, even if it were taken ‘to prevent (Iran) from developing nuclear weapons.” The progressive analysts then cite the polls finding that most American Jews are ‘some shade of liberal’ rather than ‘conservative’ (42% to 25%) and overwhelmingly identified as Democrats rather than Republicans by 58% to 15%. Most Jews believe that Democrats will make the ‘right decisions on the war in Iraq (61% to 21%). Finally, the progressives have very favorable views of the top three Democratic presidential candidates.

On the surface these polling results would suggest that American Jews would be at the cutting edge of the congressional anti-war movements, arousing their fellow Jews to join and resurrect the moribund peace movement. Nothing of the sort has occurred.

One reason for the gap between the ‘progressive’ polling results and the actual pro-war behavior of the major American Jewish Organizations is found in several of the opinions not cited by progressive analysts but emphasized by the 52 leaders of the major communal organizations (Daily Alert, December 13, 2007). Over eighty percent (82%) of American Jews agree that ‘the goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel’. Only 12% of Jews disagree. And 55% to 37% do not believe Israel and its Arab neighbors will settle their differences and live in peace. On the key issue of a compromise on the key issue of Jerusalem, by 58% to 36% American Jews reject an Israeli compromise to insure a framework for permanent peace.

Given the high salience of being pro-Israel for the majority of American Jews and the fact that the source of their identity stems more from their loyalty to Israel than to the Talmud or religious myths and rituals, then it is clear that both the ‘progressive, majority of Jews and the reactionary minority who head up all the major American Jewish organizations have a fundamental point of agreement and convergence: Support and identity with Israel and its anti-Arab prejudices, its expansion and the dispossession of Palestine. This overriding convergence allows the reactionary Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations in America to speak for the Jewish community with virtually no opposition from the progressive majority either within or without their organizations. By raising the Israeli flag, repeating clichés about the ‘existential threat’ to Israel at each and every convenient moment, the majority of Jews have bowed their heads and acquiesced or, worst, subordinated their other ‘progressive’ opinions to actively backing the leaders ‘identity’ with Israel. Their franchise on being the recognized Jewish spokespeople intimidates and/or forces progressive Jews to publicly abide to the line that ‘Israel (sic) knows what is best for Israel’ and by extension for all American Jews who identify with Israel.

A second important factor in undermining progressive American Jewish activity against US-Israeli war policy in the Middle East (Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Palestine) is the influence of Israeli public opinion. A Haaretz report (December 9, 2007) documents a civil rights poll showing that ‘Israel has reached new heights of racism…’, citing a 26% rise in anti-Arab incidents (Association for Civil Rights in Israel Annual Report for 2007). The report cites the doubling of the number of Jews expressing feelings of hatred to Arabs. Fifty percent of Israeli Jews oppose equal rights for their Arab compatriots. According to a Haifa University study, 74% of Jewish youth in Israel think that Arabs are ‘unclean’.

Progressive American Jews, identifying with a racist colonial state, face a dilemma: Whether to act against their primary identity in favor of their progressive opinions or whether to back Israel and submit to its American franchise holders and recognized leaders.

Given these issues, a serious analyst clearly must distinguish between ‘opinions’ and ‘commitment’. While a majority of American Jews may voice private progressive opinions, their commitments based on their identity as Jews rests with the State of Israel and its principal mouthpieces in the US.

This probably explains the unwillingness of progressive Jews to criticize the principal reactionary Jewish leaders and their mass organizations, even worse to attack and slander any critics of the pro-Israel power configuration. Progressive Jews have subordinated their progressive opinions to their loyalty and identity with Israel. Organizationally this has meant that the majority of major American Jewish organizations are still led and controlled by pro-war, pro-Israel leaders. Progressive Jewish organizations are on the fringe of the organizational map, with virtually no influence in the Congress or Presidency and backers of a pro-war Democratic Party and Congress.

Progressive analysts who cite overwhelming Jewish support for the Democratic Party, its top three Presidential candidates and their preference for the liberal label as differentiating them from the leaders of the major organizations, commit an elementary logical and substantive fallacy. Liberals, like the Clintons, supported the wars against Iraq and are among the driving forces promoting a military attack on Iran. The Democratic majority in Congress has backed every military appropriation demanded by the Republicans and the White House. Being Democrat and ‘liberal’ is no indicator of being ‘progressive’ using any foreign policy indicator, from the Middle East wars to destabilizations efforts in Venezuela.

The apparent paradox of progressive anti-war Jews contributing big bucks to pro-war Democrats is based on the latter’s unconditional support for Israel which trumps any ‘dissonance’ that might exist in the head of progressive Jewish political activists.

With the American Pro-Israel Power Configuration leading the way to savaging the National Intelligence Estimate study, released in December 2007, on the absence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, progressive Jewish opinion is silent or complicit. Worse still, progressive liberal and radical Jewish peace activists have acted as gate-keepers in the anti-war movement – prohibiting any criticism of Israel and labeling individuals or citizen activists critical of the pro-war Zionist lobby as ‘anti-Semites’.

The AJC opinion poll on the high proportion of American Jewish with more progressive opinions than the leadership of all the major mainstream organizations would be officially welcomed if it led to something else besides private opinions compromised by Israeli identities.

Footnotes:

1. www.ajc.org/site/c.1J1TSPHKoG/b.36428551

2. Glen Greenwald, “New Poll Reveals How Unrepresentative Neo-Con Jewish Groups Are”, on salon.com

James Petras is the author of The Power of Israel in the United States (Clarity Press 2006); The Rulers and the Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants (Clarity Press 2007)

He is a specialist on US Zionist politics and a close reader of the Israeli and American Jewish Press.

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.

see

New poll reveals how unrepresentative neocon Jewish groups are by Glenn Greenwald

December152007.com – Recap (Kucinich)

Dandelion Salad

December152007.com – Recap
Dec. 17, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS!

  • You really made a difference!
  • While the results below show that we fell short of the goal, the fact is, we have contributed a considerable amount to the Kucinich campaign.
  • Without furter ado, here are the results …

——————–

RESULTS

  • $131,400 TOTAL
    • $86,400 made directly to the Kucinich site
    • $45,000 made to ActBlue
  • Approximately 1,592 donors (1,072 to Kucinich, approx. 520 to ActBlue)
    • At least 665 were new donors (As determined via contributions to the Kucinich site. New donor results via ActBlue are not known.)
    • Average donation works out to $82
  • December 15, combined with the Black Friday event and the Nov 29 drive, will amount to a very successful 4th quarter for Dennis Kucinich. You can view historical data, as well as the 4th quarter results when they are released, at opensecrets.org.
  • Special thanks to rcut for the tireless promotional efforts, and to Adam for his help with the graphs. And thanks to everyone else that posted stories, voted for stories, sent emails and anything else!

——————–

FUTURE KUCINICH DRIVES

  • I am working on ideas for future drives. I will send out one last email to this list once the details are worked out.

——————–

NEW FORUM FOR KUCINICH

  • There is a new forum for Kucinich supporters: denniscrats.com/vanilla
  • Check it out – it’s a great way to stay connected with people that were part of this event.

——————–

CONGRESSIONAL REVOLUTION

  • As we have all seen, Congress plays an integral role in shaping the direction of the country. Or should I say, *should* play a role.
  • It is obvious that we cannot simply rely on electing the right president. We must also work to elect the right Congress.
  • Visit congressionalrevolution.com to join that movement
  • Seriously, check it out -)

——————–

REAL LIFE

  • As you may have seen in the recent Kucinich email, it is very important that we do what we can to expand Kucinich’s exposure from the Internet and into real life.
  • Join a Meetup group near you: http://denniskucinich.meetup.com/

Once again, thank you, everyone.

Stay involved,

William Scott Hunter
– info@december152007.com

h/t: Danielle

see

Time to join your Dennis Kucinich Statewide Meetup group!

Kucinich: Impeachment and Peace (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

CalJennings

Dennis Kucinich on impeachment and strength through peace.  Added: December 17, 2007

h/t: Cal-el

see

Kucinich Campaign Weekly Update 12-17-07 (video)

Police State America – A Look Back and Ahead by Stephen Lendman

3 House Judiciary Members Want Cheney Impeachment NOW! by Dave Lindorff + A Case for Impeachment Hearings

Kucinich Praises Vote By The New Jersey Assembly To Abolish The State’s Death Penalty

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

Washington, Dec 14 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement praising the New Jersey legislature for voting to repeal the state’s death penalty:

“I strongly support the New Jersey legislature’s approval of legislation yesterday to abolish their state’s death penalty and praise Governor Corzine for indicating his intention to sign the repeal next week,” Kucinich said.

“The decision by the New Jersey legislature shows that there is growing support in America for a repeal of the death penalty. This practice is inconsistent with American values.”

New Jersey reinstated the state’s death penalty 25 years ago, but after extensive study and debate determined that the costs, suffering by victims’ families and the risk of taking innocent lives are sufficient to warrant repeal.

“I have long advocated for the abolition of the death penalty during my time in Congress. It is not a deterrent to crime.  It disproportionately affects people of color and those of modest means. It allows innocent people to be executed and is morally indefensible,” said Kucinich.

“If the United States wants to hold itself up as leader in the international human rights community, the death penalty must be abolished.

“I will reintroduce legislation to abolish the federal death penalty.”

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.

see

Kucinich Campaign Weekly Update 12-17-07 (video)