Bush’s Class Warfare By Peter Dreier

Dandelion Salad

By Peter Dreier
ICH
12/23/07 “Huffington Post

Just a week before Christmas, President Bush gave corporate America two big presents. On Tuesday, his Federal Communications Commission changed the rules to allow the nation’s giant conglomerates to further consolidate their grip on the media by permitting them to purchase TV and radio stations in the same local markets where they already own daily newspapers. As a gift to the country’s automobile industry, Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency ruled Wednesday, over the objections of the agency’s staff, that California, the nation’s largest and most polluted state, and 16 other states, can’t impose regulations to limit greenhouse gases from cars and trucks that are stronger than the federal government’s own weak standards.

So far, no major politicians or editorial writers have labeled these actions “class warfare,” although this is precisely what Bush is engaged in — helping the already rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. Class warfare is, in fact, the very essence of Bush’s tenure in the White House. In thousands of ways, big and small, Bush has promoted the interests of the very rich and the largest corporations. Corporate lobbyists have the run of the White House. Their agenda – tax cuts for the rich and big business, attacks on labor unions, and the weakening of laws protecting consumers, workers and the environment from corporate abuse – is Bush’s agenda.

For example, Bush has handed the pharmaceutical industry windfall profits by restricting Medicare’s ability to negotiate for lower prices for medicine. He targeted huge no-bid federal contracts to crony companies like Haliburton to supply emergency relief, reconstruction services and materials to rebuild Katrina while attempting to slash federal wage laws for reconstruction workers. He repealed Clinton-era “ergonomics” standards, affecting more than 100 million workers, that would have forced companies to alter their work stations, redesign their facilities or change their tools and equipment if employees suffered serious work-related injuries from repetitive motions. He opposed stiffer health and safety regulations to protect mine workers and cut the budget for federal agencies that enforce mine safety laws. Not surprisingly, under Bush, we’ve seen the largest number of mine accidents and deaths in years. Bush’s Food and Drug Administration lowered product-labeling standards, allowing food makers to list health claims on labels before they have been scientifically proven. His FDA chief announced that the agency would no longer require claims to be based on “significant scientific agreement,” a change that the National Food Processors Association, the trade association of the $500 billion food processing industry, had lobbied for. Bush resisted efforts to raise the minimum wage (which had been stuck at $5.15 an hour for nine years) until the Democrats took back the Congress earlier this year.

Virtually every week since he took office, the Bush administration has made or proposed changes in our laws designed to help the rich and powerful while harming the most vulnerable people in society and putting the middle class at greater economic risk. The list of horrors can be so numbing that one can lose sight of the cumulative impact of these actions. Taken together, they add up to the most direct assault on working people, the environment and the poor that the country has seen since the presidency of William McKinley over a century ago.

Bush has been a persistent practitioner of top-down class warfare, but the media rarely characterize his actions that way. In contrast, when progressive activists, unions, environmental groups, community organizations and politicians support legislation and rules to redress the balance of power and wealth, they are inevitably described as engaging in c lass warfare. Top-down class warfare seems to be OK, but bottom-up class warfare is apparently a no-no.

The class warfare rap is now being used against John Edwards, when he talks about challenging the power of the insurance and drug corporations. In a recent speech, Edwards said that his campaign was about challenging “the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy.” But wary of being criticized for fueling class resentments, even Edwards felt it necessary to say “This is not class warfare. This is the truth.”

Yes, the truth is that the rich have been at war with the rest of the country. It isn’t a question of “”rich against the poor,” which is often how leftists describe things. That leaves out most Americans. Its the very rich versus everyone else.

As Robert Kuttner observes in his new book, The Squandering of America, from 1966 to 2001, the wealthiest one-tenth of all Americans captured the lion’s share of society’s productivity growth. But it was the top one tenth of 1 percent that gained the very most. Those between the 80th and 90th percentiles about held their own. Those between the 95th and 99th percentiles gained 29 percent, while those between the top 99 and 99.9 percentile, gained 73 percent.

“But,” Kuttner writes, “it was those at the very pinnacle –the top one tenth of 1 percent of the population – one American in a thousand – who gained a staggering 291 percent.”

Wealth has become even more concentrated during the Bush years. Today, the richest one percent of Americans has 22 percent of all income and about 40 percent of all wealth. This is the biggest concentration of income and wealth since 1928. In 2005, average CEO pay was 369 times that of the average worker, compared with 131 times in 1993 and 36 times in 1976. At the pinnacle of America’s economic pyramid, the nation’s 400 billionaires own 1.25 trillion dollars in total net worth – the same amount as the 56 million American families at the bottom half of wealth distribution.

Meanwhile, despite improvements in productivity, the earnings of most workers have been stagnant, while the cost of health care, housing, and other necessities has risen. The basics of the American Dream – the ability to buy a home, pay for college tuition and health insurance, take a yearly vacation, and save for retirement – have become increasingly slippery. And for the 37 million Americans living below the official poverty line – $17,170 a year for a family of three – the dream has become a nightmare.

In many ways, America today resembles the conditions in the late 1800s that was called the Gilded Age. It was an era of rampant, unregulated capitalism. It was a period of merger mania, increasing concentrations of wealth among the privileged few, and growing political influence by corporate power brokers called the Robber Barons. During the Gilded Age, new technologies made possible new industries, which generated great riches for the fortunate few, but at the expense of workers, consumers, and the environment. The gap between the rich and other Americans widened dramatically.

It was also an era of massive immigration to the US from people fleeing political persecution and economic hardship. In the growing cities of the early 20th century, there were terrible poverty, child labor, sweatshops, slums, and serious public health crises, including major epidemics of contagious diseases.

But out of that turmoil, activists created a “Progressive” movement, forging a coalition of immigrants, unionists, middle-class reformers, settlement house workers, muckraking journalists, clergy, and upper-class philanthropists. They fought for, and won, better working conditions, better housing, better schools, and better public services like sanitation and public health laws. Those reforms began at the local and state levels, but eventually laid the foundation for a wave of reform at the federal level – the New Deal.

In 1939, in the midst of the Great Depression, the balladeer Woody Guthrie wrote a song about bank robbers and outlaws. “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered, I’ve seen lots of funny men,” Guthrie wrote, “Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.”

Throughout his Presidency, Bush has used his pen to sign regulations and laws that make the rich richer, allow big business to pollute the environment, reduce wages, and rip-off borrowers and consumers.

But Americans finally seem to have caught on. Iraq, Katrina, Enron, the current wave of foreclosures, and other events have helped wake them up to the reality that Bush’s top-down class warfare has done great damage to our country. We now may be on the brink of another progressive era. Bubbling below the surface is a new wave of social activism.

Today’s progressive movement is almost invisible to the mainstream media, but it is obvious to anyone involved in the struggle for social justice. It has many of the same elements as 100 years ago. There is a new wave of activism across America among labor unions, community organizations, environmental groups, immigrant rights activists, and grassroots housing and health care reformers. In the last decade, for example, more than 150 cities, dozens of counties, and now one state (Maryland) have adopted “living wage” laws to lift low-wage workers out of poverty, the result of solid organizing efforts by networks of unions, religious congregations, and community groups like ACORN and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. Environmentalists and unions – who were barely on speaking terms for many years – are now forging alliances to push for “green” jobs and waging joint campaigns, such as the coalition of Teamsters and environmental activists working together to clean up the Los Angeles/Long Beach port, the nation’s largest port and also its most polluted, and unionize the immigrant truck drivers.

Like the Progressive and New Deal eras, there is now a growing number of politicians at the local, state and national level who help give voice to this burgeoning movement. When they do, they are accused of engaging in “class warfare.” They should wear it as a badge of honor.

Peter Dreier is E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and director of the Urban and Environmental Policy program, at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

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.

Swanson’s Impeachment Update and Italy (audio link)

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Dandelion Salad

by David Swanson

Sun, 2007-12-23

After Downing Street

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

Lawyers Stepping Up by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Former CIA analyst says evidence abounds for impeachment

Italians Block Construction of U.S. Base By David Swanson

Vicenza! by Chris Capps-Schubert (includes photos of the protest)

FBI’s ‘body identity’ plan (video)

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

An invasion of privacy? Or a valuable weapon in the fight against crime?

America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is embarking on a billion-dollar plan to build the world’s largest biometric database.

The scheme would see not only fingerprints and eyes scanned, but physical characteristics and even scars stored on record.

Critics say the plan will lead to people’s bodies becoming de facto identification cards.

Nick Spicer reports.

Added: December 23, 2007

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FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics By Ellen Nakashima

Ron Paul on Meet The Press 12-23-07 (videos)

Dandelion Salad

vapatriot2

Dec. 23, 2007

h/t: Future with Ron Paul 2008

see

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul

Just a Theory: Ron Paul Doesn’t “Accept” Evolution By Manila Ryce (video)

Stossel interviews Ron Paul – Ask ABC to air it Part IV (video)

Why Quirky Ron Paul Is Wrong About The Civil War

The Green Stick: A Voice of Clarity and Truth Resurrected by Chris Floyd

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Dec. 23, 2007

You open the book, you turn the page, and once again you are in that familiar drawing-room, clutching your invitation to the soiree of Anna Pavlovna Scherer and being ushered over to pay your respects to her ancient, beribboned aunt. Then you take your long-accustomed place among the guests: the pert little Princess Bolkonsky with her needlework; the suave and repulsive Prince Vasily; the celebrity exile, Viscount Mortemart; and Princess Helene, whose astonishing yet deadening beauty gleams in the shining flesh of her bare shoulders and diamond-draped bosom…then at last to the fat, bumbling bear, the bastard Pierre Bezukhov, and his sworn friend, Prince Andrei, resplendent in his dry, sharp, angry gloom.

How many times have you been here, going back almost thirty years from your first entrance? A half a dozen, maybe more. Yet here you are again; and again, from the very first you are drawn back into that world that has lived inside you as vividly as your own life. And you know you will be there again through all twelve hundred pages; you have never yet stopped and walked away…

read more | digg story

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul

Dandelion Salad

Chomsky at the World Social Forum (Porto Alegr...

Image via Wikipedia

AnarchismToday.org (no longer available)
Posted by personman
Sun Dec 02, 2007 06:21:21

Update: I E-mailed Prof. Chomsky for confirmation. Z magazine is an official source, but some Ron Paul supporters are calling the forum comments a hoax or a fake. View Prof. Chomsky’s response here. (no longer available)

Continue reading

New Orleans City Council Bars Public From Housing Vote (video)

Dandelion Salad

WHYNotNews

Despite claims that it waited until the hall had reached capacity, this video clearly shows that there were still seats available before people were kept from coming into a public meeting on the fate of 83% of all available public housing in New Orleans. Tasers abounded inside the New Orleans City council chambers when police were used to clear the room of the leaders who have challenged the legality of the demolition of the public housing. Critics of the policy have charged that the City of New Orleans has systematically taken advantage of the “opportunity” Hurricane Katrina provided to racially cleanse the city of poor and largely African American citizens from the public housing by physically installing barricades to keep residents from housing that came through the hurricane unscathed, without so much as a window broken. They charge that the projects are within easy walking distance of the French Quarter and therefore represent prime real estate that would not be available to developers unless there was collusion with government officials. And if that were not enough, they charge that Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphozo Jackson has awarded no bid contracts for the demolition of the projects to a contractor who owed Jackson several hundred thousand dollars from previous dealings.

Added: December 22, 2007

see

The Shock Doctrine in Action in New Orleans by Naomi Klein

New Orleans City Hall Protest – Dec 20, 2007 (videos)

Police Use Stun Guns on Citizens Opposed to Demolition of Houses in New Orleans By Cain Burdeau

‘It’s Madness’ by Felicity Arbuthnot

Dandelion Salad

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, December 22, 2007

If the scale of the unimaginable tragedy the British have wrought in Basra was not of the historical enormity which it is and for which the UK will never be forgotten and likely, never forgiven, world wide (only second to the Americans, of whose accountability for unspeakable atrocities, words temporarily fail) with Prime Minister Gordon Brown again trying to dress up defeat as victory, as the British ‘left’ the city last week, it would be laughable. The British actually slunk off from their illegally inhabited palace in central Basra in September, to cower in a base well outside the town, spent, redundant and now with the loss of one hundred and seventy four tragically wasted lives, for UK government lies. Ironically, Iraqi women were photographed throwing sweets at the Iraq forces on December 16th’s Sunday ‘handover’ of the Iraqi city to Iraqis. The sweets and flowers promised by the CIA backed, convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraq National Accord’s Iyad Allawi to the invaders, transpired, absolutely predictably, to be rocket propelled and hand grenades, improvised explosive devices and ambush by varied imaginative booby traps and weaponry.

Gordon Brown, of course, again announced a troop draw down on 8th October this year, after they had (also predictably) lost Basra and already left. There is something about ‘October surprises’ that herald disasters. An early spectacular British defeat was the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854, an ill conceived maneuver at Balaclava in Russia during the Crimean war, with the losses leading the Russians to speculate that the troops must have been drunk to have contemplated such a move. It was a black day for Commanders and politicians too, the ‘Basra’ of the Eastern front, an adventure of which French Marshall Pierre Bosquet commented: ‘C’est de la folie’ (‘it’s madness’.)

In context, should anyone doubt the absolute disregard of parliamentary ‘democracies’ for the lives of their own citizens, yet alone other humanities, expendable for oil, gas pipelines, minerals, metals, gemstones, one only has to consider yet another October stunt. On the weekend of October 18-19, 1980, a former and future CIA head, met with Iranian officials in Paris. In an act of treason (US private citizens negotiating with a foreign government without official authorization) with calculated, cold, callous ruthlessness, the pair cut a deal with Ayatollah Khomeini‘s clerics, to ensure that the fifty two American hostages held in Tehran, stayed hostage until after the upcoming election between President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. The Americans in question were George Herbert Walker Bush, the former CIA Director and William Casey, the future one.

‘The Republicans were terrified of an October Surprise–a move by the Carter government to free the hostages before the vote. So Bush (who became) Reagan’s vice-presidential candidate–and Casey were dispatched to Paris to offer the Iranians a covert deal to keep the Americans in chains until Reagan was safely in office. The proposed payoff? A newly-elected Reagan-Bush administration would supply Khomeini’s military with a secret supply of American weapons.’ (See: ‘Speak Memory’, Chris Floyd, Counterpunch, 9th September 2002.)

Another cynically manipulated October occurrence was Iraq’s 2002 referendum, where Saddam, predictably, garnered little short of 100% of the votes, in his favor. The American and British administrations notched it up as another reason for regime change, these people needed liberation from questionable vote manipulation. No one should know better about alleged vote fixing than the Bush administration, from dimpled chads, to excluded likely Democrat voters, to accusations of eminently adjustable vote counting machines. In post-invasion Iraq they turned it in to a murderous art form, with death threats, ration coupons confiscation and no potentially murderous or otherwise, manipulation barred, to get their puppet ‘government’ voted in.

So what October surprises have the British left for the people of Basra? The ancient, battered, but still heart-wrenchingly beautiful (B.C., – Before ‘Crusade’) ‘Venice of the Middle East’? They have left rubble where homes and historic buildings nurtured and were nurtured , by successive generations. They have left broken doors, windows and walls, kicked down or blown in on raids on families sleeping in their beds. They have left broken hearts and lives.

The have left fundamentalist militias they either brought in with them, or against whom they failed to control the borders (and then blamed the Iraqis.) They have confined women to their homes at best and to death, often by beheading, for even wearing makeup, at worst. Britain’s finest have returned secular women to the equivalent of the burkha they were so keen to free them of in Afghanistan (nonsense of course, it was about strategic interests and a gas pipeline.) They have taken a town, where the worst harassment a woman walking alone, through streets, by the canals, or the beauty of the Shatt Al Arab would suffer, was small, bare foot boys, selling dates, citrus fruits, sweets, who stuck like glue until they had beguilingly somehow persuaded you to buy the whole lot (then they would be back with more.) The embargo’s children, providing for their families, instead of aiming to be top of the class. Britain and America’s victims.

‘I came to rid Basra of its enemies, and I now formally hand Basra back to its friends,’ Britain’s Major General Graham Binns said, before signing documents giving Iraqi forces operational control of the province, which holds most of Iraq’s proven petroleum reserves. Before Britain’s invasion , Basra had few ‘enemies’, just the sort of policing issues found in any city. He has handed it, in fact, also to police and security forces riddled with Basra’s enemies. The British being unable to speak the language, culturally clueless, know not from where their recruits have come -or if they are even Iraqis at all. They have ‘handed back’ their rubble and mass graves, in a city bleeding from lack of essential services, its children seeping away from malnutrition and lethal diseases resultant from the killer water supply the British army has left them with. Seldom has: ‘We gave them a wasteland and called it peace’, been more appropriate.

No better example of British depthless floundering , was fellow speaker, Muwaffaq Al Rubaie, Iraq’s ‘government security advisor’. ‘The security of Basra is one of our main responsibilities. I address, directly, the governor, the general commander of the security forces in Basra, the provincial council and the people of Basra. Will you agree with militias? Will you engage in corruption? Will you go easy on terrorism?’ Asked Rubaie. Thus under the nose of and with General Binns, was speaking the man many respected Iraqi and Middle East experts allege is actually Karim Shaboori, an Iranian, who came in with the invaders and changed his name and acquired himself an Iraqi passport to which he has, allegedly, no entitlement. If correct, stones and glasshouses, again come to mind.

So unphased by the lynching of Iraq’s legitimate President and the horrifying scenes around his body, Rubaie/Shaboori responded: ‘This is the tradition of the Iraqis – when they do something they dance around the body and they express their feelings’ – a ‘ tradition’ no Iraqi seems to be aware of. Does General Binns know that Iraqis joke that the dominant language in the ‘Iraqi Ministries’ in the Green Zone is Farsi (and indeed say many Iraqis, in their Embassies abroad, along with Kurdish, not Arabic.)

The British stole even the myths and legends from Basra. They took the city known to children world wide, as from where Sinbad left for his magical journeys and named a killing spree on the population (dressed in press briefings as a ‘security crackdown’) as: ‘Operation Sinbad’. They are now illegally inhabiting the airport, of which the city was so proud, when they had rebuilt it, opening again in 2000. Hope returned. The British and Americans of course, bombed it, but damage was repaired within days, to be bombed, repaired again … Having subsequently destroyed homes, history, lives, ‘our boys’ are now again doubles ‘restructuring’ the airport.

What else has Britain’s illegal invasion and occupation contributed to? A snapshot : 2.4 million internally displaced; 2.2 million fled (UNHCR) 1.1 million dead (Just Foreign Policy) 3 million wounded (‘a conservative estimate’) 4 million in need of emergency aid (ICRC) 5 million orphans (Iraqi ‘government’ figures.) As the tireless Dahr Jamail writes: ‘Iraq’s population at the time of the US invasion in March 2003 was roughly 27 million and today it is approximately 23 million. Elementary arithmetic indicates that currently over half the population of Iraq are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead.’ Is this genocide, a holocaust, deliberate de-population, or will the usual suspects just mess around with semantics? ‘What we have done in Iraq, are tears in the fabric of history’, comments Hussein Al Alak of the (UK) Iraq Solidarity Campaign.

Basra’s dead have been hard to enumerate (but then the British, historically, were always better at keeping the lid on atrocities for a while. Not ‘Perfidious Albion’ for nothing.) However, Iraq ‘government’ figures, in a rare glimpse, revealed in May 2006, that the previous month, under British Army watch, one person had died violently every hour. The killing after April 2006, certainly did not miraculously stop. How many have the British disappeared, how many are still in British custody, how many have died in British custody – and how many, in the ‘hardback’, have been handed over to those who will drill their heads and chuck them in to the garbage? Figures are, to say the least, elusive.

There have been a number of kidnappings (including ones the West noticed, like Margaret Hassan and Ken Bigley. Iraqi ones, shamefully, rarely are, in their uncountable numbers) where the request has been to release Iraqi women prisoners (usually held by the occupiers as a bargaining chip for men in the family – totally illegally.) The word was that, as the US denied they held any women , they had in fact transferred them to British custody in Basra. Still, as yet, impossible to prove or disprove. When I heard the story denied by Anthony Charles Lyndon Blair QC., however, I thought again of MP George Galloway, who recounted, as a little boy in Glasgow, running home to tell his Father excitedly: ‘Dad, Dad, my teacher says “the sun will never set on the British Empire”. ‘

‘Aye, son’, said his father: ‘That’s because God would never trust the British in the dark’.

Meanwhile, Ann Clywd MP (who for years has been dubbed ‘Mrs. Talabani’ by many) Blair’s formerly silent ‘human rights’ advisor on Iraq, said this week that she was ‘right to support the war’ to rid the country of brutality. Is she psychologically challenged., or just delusional.? However, as founder of the CIA funded INDICT (launched in the House of Parliament) and a close friend of the embezzler Ahmed Chalabi, who fed fairy tales of non-existent weapons of mass destruction to the British government, the words culpability and duplicity come to mind regarding Ms Clywd.

As George Orwell (real name : Eric Arthur Blair) spins in his grave, the other Blair is reinvented as ‘Middle East Peace Envoy’ and reiterates he has no regrets. He knows ‘it was the right thing to do,’ and ‘I’d do the same thing again’. The terminal patients that are Gaza and Iraq, the threats to the rest of the region, the misery and torment heaped on the region’s humanity, have taken second place to his finding time to appear in a Christmas video with Barney, George Bush‘s dog, once described as the only sane being in the White House. It shouldn’t happen to a dog. And sorry for the pun, but is – as many have speculated for a long while – Blair truly ‘barking’?

The joys of Eid Al Adha escaped Basra and Gaza. The Chaldean Bishop of Basra has ‘cancelled’ Christmas, as has happened throughout Iraq (with the Eids) for many years now. How can we celebrate amid such death, destruction, deprivation, misery, fear and poverty? he asked.

In a BBC Panorama programme, aired on 17th December, the night before Eid Al Ahda, presenter Jane Corbyn asked a woman in Basra, who had returned to Iraq after thirty years, after the fall of Saddam Hussein: ‘What have the British left you?’

‘Nothing’, she replied : ‘Just misery.’

And in a December surprise, three days before Christmas and little over a week to the anniversary of the lynching of Iraq’s legitimate President, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, QC., has announced his conversion to Catholicism. He was received into the Church by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O-Connor. Having morally bankrupted the Palace of Westminster, he has now done the same to its Cathedral. Hope they have enough cleaning staff to wipe the blood from his hands off the church furniture after his visits. As former Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray remarked: ‘Perhaps the Catholic church has a dearth of mass murderers in their congregation.’ It is all ‘madness’.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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 Felicity Arbuthnot, Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7671

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Blair’s chameleonic path to divinity by Trevor Murphy

Lawyers Stepping Up by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Dandelion Salad

by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Global Research, December 22, 2007
The Nation – 2007-12-21

We are lawyers in the United States of America. As such, we have all taken an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law…. We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws…. Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight …. Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution…. We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President. American Lawyers Defending the Constitution

Over one thousand lawyers – including former Governor Mario Cuomo and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein – have signed onto the above statement demanding wide-ranging investigative hearings into unconstitutional and potentially criminal activity by the Bush administration.

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and winner of the 2007 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, said: “The majority of lawyers in this country understand that the Bush administration has really gone off the page of constitutional rights and off the page of fundamental rights, and is willing to push the Congress to restore those rights.” Ratner said he was “dismayed” that a Democratic majority has failed “to push on key illegalities… the torture program, and now the destruction of the tapes involving the torture program; the warrantless wiretapping, the denial of habeas corpus, the secret sites/rendition program, special trials, and of course what we now know is the firing of US Attorneys scandal…. The minimal that absolutely is needed to get us back on the page of law is to have serious investigative hearings that go up the chain of command and figure out who is responsible for what.”

Ratner noted that even with regard to the US attorney’s investigations, where Congressional committees held Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and Karl Rove in contempt, leadership has failed to enforce these actions by bringing the resolutions to a vote. “Just announcing that investigations will be held and subpoenas will be issued is terribly insufficient unless Congress is willing to enforce the subpoenas by issuing contempt citations,” Ratner said. “Congress has a constitutional duty to oversee the activities of the executive branch and our entire system of government is threatened when Congress simply folds before an obstinate executive. Issuing contempt citations against Bolten, Miers, and Rove should be Congress’s first order of business in 2008.”

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, discussed the administration’s torture program violating three US-ratified treaties and the US torture statute; the illegal War in Iraq violating the US-ratified UN Charter as a war of aggression; and Attorney General Michael Mukasey‘s conflict of interest in overseeing investigations into the torture program and the destruction of the CIA interrogations tapes.

Also speaking with reporters was Jesselyn Raddack, a former Justice Department ethics lawyer who served as an advisor during the interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban”). Raddack said, “My e-mails documented my advice against interrogating Lindh without a lawyer, and concluded that the FBI committed an ethics violation when it did so anyway. Both the CIA videotapes and my e-mails were destroyed, in part, because officials were concerned that they documented controversial interrogation methods that could put agency officials in legal jeopardy…. ” Raddack pointed to the Department of Justice’s investigations of Enron and Arthur Anderson for obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence, and the need for the same aggressive oversight and legal proceedings in these scandals.

This is a vital effort by those charged with defending our constitution, as Ratner said, “This lawyers’ letter and the growing number of signatures we’ll have on it, and prominent people – it’s a way of saying to Congress, ‘You need some backbone. You need to have a serious investigation, wherever it might go, on these issues that really have taken the United States out of the mainstream of human rights.’ It’s absolutely critical… We’ve opened up the door to illegality…. Unless we have accountability on those illegalities, we’re going to be facing a very bleak future in which fundamental rights will not really be obeyed.”

Global Research Articles by Katrina vanden Heuvel

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 Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7672

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It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

The World is passing through a Critical Phase in Human History

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, December 22, 2007

Anti Imperialist Conference 2007 Declaration

DECLARATION

Delegates from USA, Russia, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, France, Bangladesh, Nepal and India adopted the following document as the Declaration of the International Anti-imperialist Conference held at Calcutta on November 27-29, 2007.

The world is passing through a very critical phase in human history. In the name of globalization the capitalist class has brought down most murderous attacks, vicious persecution, and ruthless exploitation on the working masses. The ferocity of this attack can be gauged by the ever deteriorating living conditions of the working people. Retrenchment and lay-off are increasing by leaps and bounds. Steep decline in real wages and pauperization of the peasantry, particularly in the so-called third world countries have become the order of the day. On the other hand, “fighting terrorism” and championing “democracy” are the new ploys in the hands of the imperialists to launch barbaric military aggression on countries, to forcibly occupy them and to engineer regime changes. This is the “new world order” that the imperialists led by USA want to impose.

To understand the alignment of forces of progress and of reaction and to correctly chart out our course in this critical juncture, let us go back into history a little bit. The Second World War ended with the victory over the fascist powers and the post-war period was marked by a surge of people’s struggle for emancipation. Socialist states were established in the countries of Eastern Europe, in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba. Victorious anti-imperialist struggles liberated the colonies one after another. Soviet Union emerged as a leading light in this struggle for emancipation. Socialism was freed from the bounds of one country and was transformed to a world system, as an alternative to the capitalist system. Losing a large part of the world market, and being politically cornered, capitalism was weakened and intense market crisis gripped the capitalist world. But in the post-Stalin period revisionism established a firm grip on the leadership of the Soviet Communist Party, and the downward slide began, ultimately leading to dismantling of socialism and establishment of capitalism in Soviet Russia. China also, after the demise of Comrade Mao Ze-Dong, turned back from the socialist path and ultimately capitalism was restored there. Restoration of capitalism in Russia and China, and disappearance of the socialist camp gave a new lease of life to imperialism by expanding their areas of exploitation.

The imperialists gleefully proclaimed that the world has become unipolar and that with the disappearance of the “evil empire” of Soviet Russia the main danger for war and threat to world peace has disappeared from the scene. They claimed that the world market is now integrated to a single entity, in which all the countries will have opportunities for growth and prosperity. The slogans of privatization, globalization and liberalization were aggressively paraded and it was touted that these measures would open the doors to unfettered progress of the whole humanity. But even as these golden dreams were being peddled to a confused populace, crisis in the capitalist-imperialist economy further intensified. This is a result of the inherent contradiction in the capitalist system. Spectacular technological advances increased the productive capacity many times over, but the purchasing power of the people was being continuously squeezed. Competition between the imperialist powers for shares in the shrinking world market is becoming more and more fierce. At first USA was the unquestioned leader in the imperialist camp because of its economic and military strength. But the economic domination of USA is now being challenged; European Union and Japan have emerged as contenders. Capitalist Russia after getting over the initial chaos following the overthrow of the socialist system is trying to expand its sphere of economic and political influence. To counter this, USA by extending the NATO eastwards is trying to militarily encircle Russia. China, after being converted to a capitalist state through counter-revolution, is also flexing its muscle to emerge as a global economic force and to assert its dominance in South Asia. To counter the Chinese domination USA is trying to form a bloc with India and other countries like Australia, Japan, Israel. Thus we see that the number of competitors is getting more while the market is being progressively squeezed. This is the crisis in imperialist economy – excess capital and shrinking of market.

Globalization is a desperate attempt of capitalism- imperialism to come out of the crisis in the capitalist economic system. GATT and WTO came into being as crisis management measures to somehow patch up a regulated trade system and division of market according to strength of capital. But globalization has completely failed to meet the crisis that is rocking the capitalist world. Industrial growth in all the capitalist countries, including the advanced countries, has slowed down; there is severe recession, widespread unemployment, rise of poverty, and slashing of social welfare measures. With each passing day it is becoming increasingly clear that the real objective of globalization, privatization, liberalization is to squeeze the last drop of blood from the impoverished workers and to establish the all-round domination of the western imperialist powers over the underdeveloped world.

In the post-Second-World-War period the newly independent bourgeois nationalist regimes, in order to hold onto their political independence and to protect their economy from western imperialist penetration, leaned on the Soviet Union and got the necessary support. These countries, without joining either the imperialist or the socialist camp, built up the platform of non-aligned movement, which was aimed at reaping benefits from both the camps through bargaining in order to consolidate their native capitalism. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp these countries became vulnerable to the transnationals’ penetration. India, long considered an ally of the poor developing countries in their fight against imperialist penetration, joined the western imperialist camp to fulfil its own imperialist ambition. The resistance of the third world countries got severely weakened.

WTO is a tool in the hands of USA and other big imperialist powers to pressurize the weaker nations to open up their markets for unrestricted loot and plunder and to allow the imperialists to have free access to their resources. In the name of ‘reforms’, they are forcing the weaker countries to remove subsidies and lift all barriers against penetration of foreign goods and capital, but at the same time they themselves are preserving subsidies and resisting external penetration into their own market. The economy of the poor countries depends a lot on agriculture, but their agricultural products cannot compete with the heavily subsidized products from the advanced countries. Further, imperialism is exerting its control over the agriculture of these countries by making them dependent on imported seeds, genetically engineered products, fertilizers etc. Privatization-globalization-liberalization is used as an instrument of the imperialist strategy. Opening up of the market, privatization and structural reforms dictated by the World Bank and IMF are impoverishing the people and are leading to a stark polarization between the rich and the poor. Not only is the difference between the rich and the poor increasing within each country, but the gap between rich and poor nations is also widening.

But as the exploitation is getting more, so also is the people’s resentment towards globalization increasing not only in the poorer countries, but also in the advanced capitalist countries. Within USA itself people’s opposition to globalization is growing. American capital instead of being invested in local industry is exported abroad to manufacture goods using the cheap labour power and resources of those countries. This is leading to closing down of local industry, resulting in widespread retrenchment and unemployment. People are starting to question whether free trade is such a good thing. Demands for review of all trade agreements, starting with NAFTA are being voiced.

Lenin pointed out nearly hundred years ago that it is the crisis in capitalism that poses the greatest danger to world peace and is the basic cause that leads to wars. In today’s globalized world all the capitalist-imperialist countries are engaged in trade wars, with each one trying to obstruct penetration by the others into its own market, while demanding unrestricted right to enter into others’ markets. Bitter disputes are coming out into the open between the three major imperialist groupings, USA, European Union and Japan, each trying to expand their shares in the global market and thereby multiply their political influence. On the other hand the fissure between the developed countries and the resurgent capitalist countries are becoming wider. The latter are trying to group together to oppose the agenda of the G8 countries. In this scenario of deep division and bitter fight between them, all the imperialist countries have the compulsion to constantly strive to enlarge their own reserve markets. Another point to take note of is that in the recessive capitalist world market today the military establishments are the richest and chief consumers all over the world. For artificial stimulation of the sagging economy, the capitalist states of both the imperialist and developing countries are taking recourse to militarization of economy. Buying and selling of arms have become a major international trade. Hence, for release of stockpile of arms, engineering local and partial wars, fomenting army-based coups, propping up military dictatorships, have become a compulsive necessity of imperialism. Side by side, the sharpening contradiction among the imperialist powers is making real the danger of trade war hot up to military confrontation. Increasing militarization of economies of the imperialist powers is accentuating this contradiction and is leading to outbreaks of war.

To meet its own economic crisis US imperialism finds it a compulsion to control as many economic, political and military-strategic levers as it can. The Bush administration openly proclaimed in its ‘National Security strategy of the United States of America’ that the US has the right to use military force anywhere in the world, at any time it chooses, against any country that it believes to be a threat to American interests. US imperialism refuses to respect as a matter of international law the sovereignty of any other country, and reserves the right to get rid of any regime, in any part of the world, that is at the moment, or may in future become, hostile to what US considers to be its vital interests. It will not hesitate to act alone if its attempt to enlist the support of the international community does not succeed. The US will not be restrained by the convention of international law. This assertion in words was matched with action in the savage military attack on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq and in the continuous economic sanction and threat of military action against Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea, Cuba.

West Asia has now become the main theatre of battle between American aggression and the people’s aspiration for emancipation. The 9/11 incident gave USA the pretext to launch its ‘War on Terror’ and unleash vicious military offensive in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. Afghanistan war was waged with an eye to open up and control the corridor to the oil reserves of Central Asia. With this end in view they established military bases in Kyrghizstan and Tajikistan. And war on Iraq had the design to establish control over the vast oil resources of Iraq. Oil is of strategic significance in shaping the international balance of power. Saudi Arabian oil is already under the control of USA and it wants to establish full control on the rich Iraqi oilfields so that it will have complete monopoly over the resources of oil in the Middle East. Oil would give it the power for world domination, the power to control the lifeline of economy of any country. The weapon of oil supply could be utilized to thwart the aspiration of any nation that challenges US supremacy. Dick Cheney once said, “Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well.” Saddam Hussein had signed development and exploration contracts with China, France, India, Indonesia and Russia. This was against the US interest and by establishing political control over Iraq USA wanted to set these aside in favour of US and possibly British companies. Earlier America had a monopoly on the oil trade, with the U.S. dollar being the fiat currency, but Iraq broke ranks in 1999, started to trade oil in the EU’s euros, and profited. America wanted to take over Iraq so that it could block the entry of the EU and its euro into the international trade and make America’s position as the dominant economic power in the world unassailable.

But there are other dimensions to the American design. If the United States can install a puppet regime in Iraq, that would serve as a platform from which it can accomplish a complete reordering of the political set up in West Asia and establish its hegemony. It would not only give the United States greater leverage to act against countries like Syria and Iran, but would give it the power to crush the growing anti-imperialist movement in the Arab world and help its close ally Israel to put down the freedom struggle of the Palestinian people. This is a part and parcel of its imperialist drive to maintain and expand its reserve market in all these countries for exploitation of their resources, cheap labour power and market by its finance capital, crushing by whatever means all opposition and resistance to its machinations. As we have already said the other compulsion of USA to wage this war is to revamp its sagging economy, and to artificially stimulate its ever-shrinking market by boosting up the war industry and effecting stock clearance of arms and ammunition through warfare. The US economy stands on quicksand; its industrial growth rate is declining towards nil; there is large-scale retrenchment and lockout, growing unemployment, rampant financial corruption. So it is an imperative necessity for the administration to divert people’s attention from domestic economic problems by fanning up war jingoism.

A 2000 document, entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, written by the Republican think-tank, brings out the deep design of the American policy in West Asia. It says “while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein”. Control of the Gulf and its oil resources, the document added, was necessary for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. The document borrowed the conceptions put forward in a 1992 Pentagon strategy document. It envisioned the control of Persian Gulf oil as part of an “American grand strategy” that would “discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role”. Thus the war was planned and executed to further the designs of the US ruling class for global hegemony. It was aimed not just against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, but at Europe, China, Japan and any other power that could conceivably challenge US world domination.

In the wake of September 9/11 the ruling class in USA and its subservient intelligentsia started a most heinous campaign to equate global terrorism with what the USA rulers call “Islamic movement” and stepped up this slanderous campaign to garner domestic support for its naked aggression against the Muslim countries of Afghanistan and Middle East. But we know from history that imperialist powers, specifically USA, has in many countries actively sponsored fundamentalist forces like the Taliban in order to terrorize the masses and crush the genuine, progressive, democratic and revolutionary forces that endanger the continued rule of imperialism and local reactionary forces and become a threat to imperialism. Jordonian Marxist activist Hisham Bustani said in an interview that in every country the USA’s targets of attack are those forces which resist US policies. In Latin America the leftist forces provide the bulwark of resistance and they are the targets of attack by USA. In the Middle East the resistance takes an Islamist form and so Islam becomes the US target. In this context we note that in the Middle East there is a symbiotic relation between USA and Zionist Israel. USA uses Israel as a frontier state to further its imperialist agenda and crush the liberation movements which have a strong anti-US stance. And the Israeli aggressors are using the ‘anti-terrorist’ line of USA to depict the Palestinian and Lebanese freedom fighters as terrorists and crush the Intifada and the Lebanese armed resistance to Israel’s aggression.

Intrigue and deceit marked the birth of the Jewish State of Israel and its 60-year history is one of aggression and annexation. To implement their geo-political designs in the Middle East the Anglo-US imperialists wanted to have an outpost here, a region rich in strategic oil resources. They needed a regime to play the role of a gendarme for crushing the anti-imperialist national liberation struggles in the Arab countries, which would overthrow the imperialist control on oil resources. The imperialists knew that after worst persecution under Hitler and the killing of millions of Jewish people in the gas chambers, the Jews had the sympathy of the world people. So in order to implement their nefarious design against the Palestinian people, they cunningly exploited people’s sympathy for Jewish people and sought to confuse world opinion. Thus the State of Israel was founded in a region where the Jews were in the minority. In 1948 the Zionist leaders announced the formation of Israel and grabbed much more territory than that allotted to Israel under UN partition plan. They drove out through terror and massacres 700,000 Palestinian people who had lived there for centuries, and razed to the ground over 500 Palestinian villages. Israel occupied 78% of historic Palestine. Through successive wars in 1956, 1967 and 1973 Israeli rulers have aggressively and illegally annexed the remaining 22% of historic Palestine. They have brazenly defied the world opinion to vacate the occupied lands, and on the contrary are pursuing a policy of colonization of these lands. The barbaric aggressive policy of Israel has driven practically a whole people out of their homeland and forced millions to a life of untold misery in sordid refugee camps, depriving them of all political, economic, social and cultural rights. Israel has stubbornly refused their right to return to their homelands. In the occupied territories the Palestinians are living as second-class citizens, in abject poverty, deprived of education and proper medical care, subjected to wanton killing or injuries by the Israeli soldiers and security guards. Israel routinely detains Palestinians without charge or any prospect of judicial process. They are held for years without charge or trial and are subjected to inhuman torture. Israeli ill treatment of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, the common use of torture and brutality, the appalling, sub-human conditions under which they are held are flagrant violations of basic human rights, and contravene most international conventions, including those concerning prisoners of war.

The Israeli brigandage is done with full support and encouragement of the USA and other imperialist powers. The purpose is to crush the Arab national liberation movements with an anti-imperialist content. Israel, moreover, plays a strategic role in the United States global arms industry. Not only does it buy and develop sophisticated military hardware for US military industries, Israel has also become the main subcontractor of American arms. Recently Israel signed multi-billion dollar contracts to train and equip the Chinese army and Indian armies with American weapons.

The Zionists, with US patronage, are violating every international law and norm and have flouted all UN resolutions with impunity. Palestinian resistance struggle grew against the historic wrong and persecution of their entire people. The intense hatred of the Palestinian people against the state of Israel found expression in the successive Intifadas, mass uprisings, which was ringing the death knell for the State of Israel. Even within Israel opposition to the State’s annexation policy and the oppression of the Palestinians was growing. As both sympathy and admiration of the Palestinian struggle on the one hand and condemnation of the Israeli ruthlessness and oppression on the other were growing among the people all over the world, the imperialist powers conspired to deflect world opinion from the steadfast demand of the Palestinian people for an independent state, to discredit their militant mass struggle and to protect Israel from people’s upsurge. They forced upon the Palestinians the Oslo Accords to foil the Palestinian demand for statehood and the right to return to their homeland. But even the limited concessions granted in the Oslo Accords remain unfulfilled because of the Israeli intransigency. Since the time of the Accords, Israel has been increasing fortress-like settlements in the semi-autonomous areas under Palestine Authority. And Israel intends to lock in the Palestinians into their scattered cities and villages in the West Bank which are fragmented by Israeli settlements by building a complex of fences, concrete walls, trenches and barbed wire fences. Israel has gone on assassinating one Palestinian leader after another through missile attacks, as well as killing indiscriminately civilians, including women and children, and seeing to it that the areas under Palestine authority have no economic viability. After all this they call the Palestinian people who began to revolt against such criminal treatment — often fighting the modern Israeli army with nothing but stones — as terrorists, and are arresting, torturing and killing them.

Israeli soldiers frequently infiltrated into neighbouring countries of Lebanon and Syria and Israeli army invaded them again and again. In 2006 determined armed resistance by Lebanese fighters drew the Israeli response of savage attack by air force, army and navy. Israel destroyed large parts of the Lebanese civilian infrastructure, including roads, bridges, Beirut’s International Airport, ports, water and sewage treatment plants, electrical facilities, schools, hospitals and homes. Large tracts of Lebanon were turned into rubbles. But this wanton killing and destruction only strengthened the resolve of the fighters to resist aggression.

We cannot also turn a blind eye to the role of some reactionary forces and rulers in the Arab world who did not hesitate to stab the Palestine resistance in the back, either in collusion with imperialism or succumbing to imperialist pressure and intrigue. These forces are apprehensive that the impact of these movements would strengthen the left-democratic movements in the Arab countries that may eventually overthrow the exploitative regimes. We appeal to all those fighters who earnestly desire the victory of the resistance movement to foil their conspiracy and work for uniting and strengthening the left and democratic forces within the movement.

The indomitable courage, self-sacrifice and perseverance of the people the Middle East countries in their fight against a most ruthless enemy, even in the midst of persecution, massacre and treachery is setting a unique and glowing example before the world. History has thrown up many examples demonstrating that bombs cannot annihilate peoples’ aspiration for freedom, missiles will not force an acceptance of occupation, and shells will not wipe out the desire of the oppressed to resist the oppressors. The imperialists’ attempt to cow down the fighting people of Middle East will also not succeed. In fact all over the globe people’s resistance against imperialist aggression is crystallizing. Within the big imperialist countries millions have come out on the streets protesting against military aggression by the imperialist powers. American hegemonism is challenged by the downtrodden and oppressed people of the world. In Iraq determined resistance of the people has driven USA into a corner. Latin America, which USA once considered as its backyard, has totally rejected USA, and the people are getting steeled in their resolve to fight against American hegemonism. In Africa, Asia, everywhere there is mounting resentment against USA.

This Conference expresses its solidarity with the struggle of the people in the countries of Middle East, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, Africa and from all corners of the globe against imperialist aggression, oppression, and exploitation. Their battles are the battles of all freedom-loving people and are constituents of the global struggle against imperialism. What is needed today is to coordinate all the individual struggles of the different countries and to link them up with the anti-capitalist movements in these countries. If we succeed in building broad anti-imperialist solidarity and international anti-imperialist united front we can deliver a decisive blow to capitalism-imperialism and free the world from this scourge. In this struggle we have to maintain the unity of the people, fight all forms of sectarianism and build up organization strong as steel on the foundation of a correct ideology. This Conference is a bold step in this direction.

This Conference adopts the following political resolutions:

  1. The International Anti-imperialist Conference declares, its delegates who are here to voice the inner words of millions of their countries, all stand up on their feet to hail peoples around the world, in particular peoples of Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon for their dour struggle against occupation, onslaught, genocide, carnage, sanction and blockade by the imperialist powers with US imperialism as the bulwark. In Iraq itself, hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians have been slaughtered by US-led occupation armies, nearly a million of adults and children have died of starvation and for want of life-saving drugs, thousands are maimed, disabled or psychologically wrecked. Inhuman tortures are brought to bear upon innocent people imprisoned in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay without trial for years.

This Conference expresses its deep concern over the worsening status of women in particular in Iraq. The democratic rights and the social status that they had under their sovereign government are being badly eroded under the present puppet regime installed by US imperialism. We express our solidarity with the struggling women of Iraq, and also of Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

Against this monstrosity of crimes, the people of Iraq are fighting in resistance, suffering unspeakable miseries, refusing to bow down to the aggressor. Within USA itself, with nearly 3000 young Americans drafted for services for occupation of Iraq having died, resistance to the Bush Administration is growing by the day. This silver lining is one more source of inspiration to people in other countries who all stand in solidarity with the cause of the Iraqi people.

This Conference demands immediate withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq, release of all people unlawfully detained in prisons wherever. The Iraqi people must be allowed the democratic option of choosing their own government in peace without interference from any powers.

  1. The International Anti-imperialist Conference condemns the butchery of Palestine people and forcible occupation by the ruling clique of Israel with overt and covert patronage and aid from the US rulers. Expressing solidarity with the people of Palestine in their struggle against Israeli occupation, this conference urges the people of the world to unconditionally support the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people for an independent state with capital at Jerusalem, and the right of return of all Palestinian refugees on the basis of peace and justice. Israel must release the Palestinian prisoners and withdraw from the occupied territories.
  2. The International Anti-imperialist Conference expresses its deep concern over the US bullying of people of Lebanon and the US-backed Israeli threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty and extends its full support to the Lebanese resistance led by Hizbullah and others against US-Zionist interference regarding Lebanese sovereignty, independence and security. This Conference conveys it deep admiration and respect to the courageous and militant Lebanese resistance led by Hizbullah and its leader Mr. Hassan Nassrallah, for achieving this tremendous victory facing the US-Israeli brutal and devastating aggression against Lebanon. Such victory is to teach the free people of the world a historic lesson in defending their countries and their rights against imperialist policies and aggressions.
  3. The International Anti-imperialist Conference condemns the attacks of the fascist dictatorship of Turkey to oppress and liquidate the revolutionary and nationalist movements in Turkey, as exemplified by the attacks on the Marxist Leninist Communist Party of Turkey and North Kurdistan, the revolutionary forces and the Kurdish national movement. This Conference demands the release of all political prisoners, in particular the 10 September prisoners, and withdrawal of conviction of communists. This Conference condemns the fascist dictatorship’s policy of denial and annihilation of Kurdish nation and its policy of occupation of South Kurdistan.
  4. The International Anti-imperialist Conference demands that the USA immediately cease its diplomatic and military moves to attack Iran and impose sanctions. This Conference expresses its solidarity with the Iranian people’s struggle to protect their sovereignty from imperialist attack. We condemn India’s siding with USA in voting against Iran in International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  5. The International Anti-imperialist Conference expresses its solidarity with the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Latin America, and the fight of its champion Hugo Chavez against US imperialism. We appreciate the international activities of Hugo Chavez aimed at supporting people’s movements against imperialism. We strongly condemn the imperialist aggression and destabilization campaigns led by the USA against Cuba, Venezuela and other Latin American countries.
  6. The All India Anti-imperialist Conference affirms that the record of US imperialist design in the post-Second World War period is a dark chapter in the history of humankind. Intrigues, assassinations, aggressions, blockades, sanctions, invasions together reveal a compelling imperialist drive to maintain and expand the US reserve market in countries of its operation for exploitation of resources, cheap labour and market by its finance capital, undermining and crushing by whatever means all opposition to its machinations.

The true objective of US design becomes apparent when its operations are viewed in the perspective of the unprecedented economic crisis in which world capitalism-imperialism is plunged and its bid for tiding over the crisis through recourse to militarization of economy, and so-called globalization through integration of national markets and managed trade on a globalized scale. This globalization is another imperialist bid to overcome its ever-deepening crisis of the market.

To control resources, to exploit markets, to secure foothold in one country for geopolitical-strategic control of other countries, to subjugate people who refuse to yield under bullying and protracted pressure, to exercise control over other imperialist powers, to test and display prowess of its military machine, the US imperialist clique has been carrying out machinations, aggressions and invasion of countries of its economic-political target — Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, so forth, all come under this target-chain.

The USA today is the progenitor of wars of aggression in different corners of the world, taking advantage of absence of the erstwhile powerful socialist camp and of worldwide organized militant anti-war peace movements. Brazenly trampling the sovereignty of nations, the US imperialist clique has openly declared its right to intervene in the affairs of any other country.

This Conference notes, people in different countries are coming out in great numbers to resist the evil US design, which design is creating an atmosphere of reaction in which racism, chauvinism and religious fundamentalism are raising their ugly heads.

This Conference calls upon people all over the world to build broad-based united anti-imperialist struggles which alone can resist the aggressive manoeuvres of the arch-imperialist US ruling class and its allies for world domination.

8. This Conference notes with grave concern that the recently concluded India-US Strategic Nuclear Deal, which the Government of either country has been cleverly steering to secure respective necessary endorsements for this settled agreement toward closing up for mutual imperialist interests, portends real threat to urge for peace and genuine development of the people of not India alone, of other peoples as well across South and South-East Asia.

Under the smokescreen of the objective of peaceful utilization of atomic energy, together with the complement of Hyde Act to circumvent the restrictive article 123 of US Atomic Energy Act, India now earns US recognition as a nuclear great power and entitlement to receiving, without the whip to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuels, plants, and technologies for its nuclear power stations which India Government itself will identify as non-strategic, also the right to export indigenously built special types of reactors to other countries. Palpably, India Government’s claim and media euphoria that this Deal allows this country to augment now its nuclear power generation capabilities is only a fig leaf to cover up the design to enhance nuclear military capabilities and economic-political hegemony in this region.

This Deal, the Conference notes, is part of a blueprint for a bigger political-strategic collaboration between India and the US, a plank for the ruling powers to come closer for mutual accommodation and fulfilment of respective imperialist interests, the current benchmark of a long process of growth which, in fact, initiated in the opportunistic exploitation by India of the former Non-Aligned Movement, crossing through the stages of India-US Arms Training Committee, joint naval exercises, India-US Defence Collaboration Treaty, former BJP-led NDA Government’s measures for closer strategic partnership, present CPI(M)-backed Congress-led UPA Government’s agreement for a newly defined outline for defence partnership. The US gains by blocking India’s ties with Iran in its bid to isolate Iran, and securing a strong foothold in India for carrying out its economic-political-military designs in West, South and South-East Asia; India gains by accessing foreign markets for its nuclear military hardware and securing stronger hegemony over this region for its economic forays and expansionist manoeuvre. The role of the CPI(M)-led Left parties to blow hot and cold over the issue nakedly for parliamentary power game, and of the BJP to cry muted for bypassing parliamentary protocols, is both shameful and treacherous as, under this feigned hue and cry over sale-out of sovereignty and keeping people in the dark about the terms of the Deal, these parties betray their collusion with the Congress to cover up the growing imperialistic character and cravings of the Indian State.

This Conference demands that all Indo-US strategic and military agreements including the Indo-US Nuclear Deal be scrapped immediately.

This Conference exhorts the Indian people to stand steadfast in their struggle against not only the US imperialist machinations but simultaneously against the imperialist cravings and designs of the Indian State.

9. At a time when both the Central Government of India and the different State Governments are inviting the foreign capital to invest in the country and are setting up Special Economic Zones to give them the opportunity for unrestricted exploitation, loot and plunder, throughout India and all over the world the name Nandigram has become synonymous with people’s battle against imperialist economic attack. The heroic struggle of the people in a remote place in West Bengal shook the world, and the example of Nandigram is providing courage and inspiration to the struggling people everywhere for resisting the capitalist-imperialist offensive. The CPI(M), the leading party in the so-called Left Front ruling the State of West Bengal has been following a policy of offering special concessions to the multinationals and Indian monopolists and is acquiring the land for them by forcibly ousting the peasants. At Singur the peasants built up a determined resistance against such land acquisition for the benefit of the Indian monopoly house of the Tatas. While the agitation was going on at Singur, the Government unilaterally issued a notice for acquiring a huge amount of land in Nandigram for the infamous Salem Group of Indonesia to set up a chemical hub under the SEZ scheme. But the peasants were determined to resist this move, and to conduct the struggle they built up their own people’s committee – Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) (Committee to Resist Eviction from Land). The Government and the party leaders and cadres coaxed, cajoled and threatened the peasants but could not cow them down. Failing in their attempt, on 14th March the police and the criminal cadres of the CPI(M) disguised in police uniforms launched a barbaric attack on unarmed villagers killing scores of people, injuring hundreds and raping women, even young girls. But this did not destroy the morale of the villagers or their resolve to fight and for eight months they continued their struggle with democratic demands, fought with exemplary courage, and were successful in resisting the entry of the criminal gangs and their police protectors. Forced by their heroic struggle the Government had to withdraw their decision to set up SEZ at Nandigram. But, the CPI(M) started to assemble criminals from all over the state and even from other states for storming Nandigram. Then starting from 5th November to 10th a large contingent of armed party cadres and hired criminals encircled the villages and indiscriminately started shooting at the villagers, killing them, ransacking their homes, raping the women and the driving the residents of almost whole villages from their homes. The police stood as ineffective bystanders during the carnage on instructions from the higher-ups, and the CPI(M) goons sealed off the entire area so that nobody from outside, not even the media, could enter. Never before in the history of this country has such barbaric action been perpetrated on the people by the rulers through their cadres and hired criminals. While all over the country citizens from all sections of society have roundly condemned this inhuman act, the CPI(M) leaders are eulogizing this action as heralding a new dawn in Nandigram. The criminals are still occupying the villages, preventing the return of their opponents and are terrorizing the people. Though tens of thousands of people are still in relief camps without proper shelter, food and medical help, their fighting spirit remains undiminished. The heroic battle of the people of Nandigram is a beacon to all who are fighting to resist imperialist penetration done with the collaboration of the ruling class.

We salute the peasants of Nandigram for setting an example of uncompromising fight against state- and party-sponsored attack and express full solidarity with their struggle. Condemning the barbaric act of the CPI(M) and its Government, this Anti-imperialist Conference demands that, (i) the CPI(M) marauders must leave the villages (ii) the leaders, cadres, criminals and the police personnel responsible for the killing, raping, torturing must be arrested and given exemplary punishment, (iii) food, clothes, shelter, medical assistance must be provided by the Government for the relief camps, (iv) adequate compensation must be given to all the victims, (v) schemes like SEZ which give special concessions to the multinationals and Indian monopoly houses to loot the country’s resources, and exploit the people must be scrapped.

  1. The Conference resolves to set up an International Anti-imperialist and People’s Solidarity Coordinating Committee (IAPSCC) to coordinate the anti-imperialist struggles in different countries. The Composition of the IAPSCC will be as follows:

President : Ramsey Clark

General Secretary : Manik Mukherjee

Secretariat : Representatives from USA, Canada, France, Germany, Bangladesh, Lebanon (2), Palestine, India, Nepal (2)

To be approached : Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Iraq and others

With powers of cooption

Support Committee : Russia, Turkey, Bahrain, Bangladesh and others

With powers of cooption

The names of the representatives would be finalized after consultation with the organizers in different countries.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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 , Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7673

The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (Parts 1-4)

Dandelion Salad

Updated: Nov. 27, 2012 added full length video.

on Jan 26, 2012

Arithmetic, Population and Energy

A presentation by:

Dr. Albert A. Bartlett
Professor Emeritus
Department of Physics
University of Colorado, Boulder
Continue reading

Zapatista Code Red by Naomi Klein

Dandelion Salad

by Naomi Klein
Global Research, December 23, 2007
The Nation

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas

Nativity scenes are plentiful in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a colonial city in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. But the one that greets visitors at the entrance to the TierrAdentro cultural center has a local twist: figurines on donkeys wear miniature ski masks and carry wooden guns.

It is high season for “Zapatourism,” the industry of international travelers that has sprung up around the indigenous uprising here, and TierrAdentro is ground zero. Zapatista-made weavings, posters and jewelry are selling briskly. In the courtyard restaurant, where the mood at 10 pm is festive verging on fuzzy, college students drink Sol beer. A young man holds up a photograph of Subcomandante Marcos, as always in mask with pipe, and kisses it. His friends snap yet another picture of this most documented of movements.

I am taken through the revelers to a room in the back of the center, closed to the public. The somber mood here seems a world away. Ernesto Ledesma Arronte, a 40-year-old ponytailed researcher, is hunched over military maps and human rights incident reports. “Did you understand what Marcos said?” he asks me. “It was very strong. He hasn’t said anything like that in many years.”

Arronte is referring to a speech Marcos made the night before at a conference outside San Cristóbal. The speech was titled “Feeling Red: The Calendar and the Geography of War.” Because it was Marcos, it was poetic and slightly elliptical. But to Arronte’s ears, it was a code-red alert. “Those of us who have made war know how to recognize the paths by which it is prepared and brought near,” Marcos said. “The signs of war on the horizon are clear. War, like fear, also has a smell. And now we are starting to breathe its fetid odor in our lands.”

Marcos’s assessment supports what Arronte and his fellow researchers at the Center of Political Analysis and Social and Economic Investigations have been tracking with their maps and charts. On the fifty-six permanent military bases that the Mexican state runs on indigenous land in Chiapas, there has been a marked increase in activity. Weapons and equipment are being dramatically upgraded, new battalions are moving in, including special forces–all signs of escalation.

As the Zapatistas became a global symbol for a new model of resistance, it was possible to forget that the war in Chiapas never actually ended. For his part, Marcos–despite his clandestine identity–has been playing a defiantly open role in Mexican politics, most notably during the fiercely contested 2006 presidential elections. Rather than endorsing the center-left candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, he spearheaded a parallel “Other Campaign,” holding rallies that called attention to issues ignored by the major candidates.

In this period, Marcos’s role as military leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) seemed to fade into the background. He was Delegate Zero–the anti-candidate. Last night, Marcos had announced that the conference would be his last such appearance for some time. “Look, the EZLN is an army,” he reminded his audience, and he is its “military chief.”

That army faces a grave new threat–one that cuts to the heart of the Zapatistas’ struggle. During the 1994 uprising, the EZLN claimed large stretches of land and collectivized them, its most tangible victory. In the San Andrés Accords, the right to territory was recognized, but the Mexican government has refused to fully ratify the accords. After failing to enshrine these rights, the Zapatistas decided to turn them into facts on the ground. They formed their own government structures–called good-government councils–and stepped up the building of autonomous schools and clinics. As the Zapatistas expand their role as the de facto government in large areas of Chiapas, the federal and state governments’ determination to undermine them is intensifying.

“Now,” says Arronte, “they have their method.” The method is to use the deep desire for land among all peasants in Chiapas against the Zapatistas. Arronte’s organization has documented that, in just one region, the government has spent approximately $16 million expropriating land and giving it to many families linked to the notoriously corrupt Institutional Revolutionary Party. Often, the land is already occupied by Zapatista families. Most ominously, many of the new “owners” are linked to thuggish paramilitary groups, which are trying to force the Zapatistas from the newly titled land. Since September there has been a marked escalation of violence: shots fired into the air, brutal beatings, Zapatista families reporting being threatened with death, rape and dismemberment. Soon the soldiers in their barracks may well have the excuse they need to descend: restoring “peace” among feuding indigenous groups. For months the Zapatistas have been resisting violence and trying to expose these provocations. But by choosing not to line up behind Obrador in the 2006 election, the movement made powerful enemies. And now, says Marcos, their calls for help are being met with a deafening silence.

Exactly ten years ago, on December 22, 1997, the Acteal massacre took place. As part of the anti-Zapatista campaign, a paramilitary gang opened fire in a small church in the village of Acteal, killing forty-five indigenous people, sixteen of them children and adolescents. Some bodies were hacked with machetes. The state police heard the gunfire and did nothing. For weeks now, Mexico’s newspapers have been filled with articles marking the tragic ten-year anniversary of the massacre.In Chiapas, however, many people point out that conditions today feel eerily familiar: the paramilitaries, the rising tensions, the mysterious activities of the soldiers, the renewed isolation from the rest of the country. And they have a plea to those who supported them in the past: don’t just look back. Look forward, and prevent another Acteal massacre before it happens.

Please visit www.naomiklein.org to see photos from Naomi’s visit to Chiapas.

Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, which will be published in September.Visit Naomi’s website at www.naomiklein.org, or to learn more about her new book, visit www.shockdoctrine.com .

Global Research Articles by Naomi Klein

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 Naomi Klein, The Nation, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7674

see

Winter Wonderland (wake up, this winter, take a stand!) by Davis Fleetwood (music video)

Dandelion Salad

davisfleetwood

Dec. 22, 2007

Comment by FactsjustFacts

“I will give your people’s movement the same reccomendation I have given mine-At all polling places have your supporters outside with signs such as “Did you vote DK, stop here”-and have them sign an exit poll type paper-then it is undeniable as to how many votes were cast for your candidate. Good Luck DK supporters! The song was excellent Davis!”

see

Being part of the solution: GOOD Congresspeople need support by Kathryn Smith

Former CIA analyst says evidence abounds for impeachment

http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com