2008 election charade: White House bought by big money by Larry Chin

Dandelion Salad

by Larry Chin
Global Research, January 15, 2008
Online Journal

Part 2

As previously written, the 2008 election is a manipulation, rigged by political elites working behind sock puppet candidates. This fact is even more obvious when one follows the money.

What big money interests want

OpenSecrets.org is one vital resource that tracks campaign money flows in detail, and virtually in real time. Not surprisingly, both the mainstream corporate and so-called alternative media have devoted scant attention to this corruption.

As culled from the OpenSecrets.org list, here are some of the prominent corporate contributors behind leading candidates (as of 1/11/08):

Republicans

John McCain

Blank Rome LLP
Citigroup
Bank of New York Mellon
Merrill Lynch
Goldman Sachs
JP Morgan Chase
Credit Suisse
Lehman Brothers
Morgan Stanley
MGM Mirage
Univision

Mitt Romney

Bain Capital (note: Romney’s own company)
Goldman Sachs
Merrill Lynch
Citigroup
Marriott
Kirkland & Ellis
Morgan Stanley
PriceWaterhouse
JP Morgan
UBS
Lehman Brothers

Rudy Giuliani

Ernst & Young
Credit Suisse
Merrill Lynch
Citigroup
Bear Stearns
Lehman Brothers
Bracewell & Guiliani (Guiliani’s own firm)
Morgan Stanley
UBS
Milbank Tweed
Goldman Sachs
JP Morgan
Bank of America

Mike Huckabee

State of Arkansas
Wal-Mart
Tyson Foods
Morgan Stanley

Democrats

Hillary Clinton

DLA Piper
Goldman Sachs
Morgan Stanley
Citigroup
National Amusements
Emily’s List
JP Morgan
Kirkland & Ellis
Skadden Arps
Merrill Lynch
Time Warner
Lehman Brothers
Bear Stearns
Ernst & Young
Blank Rome LLP

Barack Obama

Goldman Sachs
Lehman Brothers
National Amusements
JP Morgan
Exelon Energy (parent of Commonwealth Edison)
Citigroup
Citadel Investments
Credit Suisse
Skadden Arps
Morgan Stanley
Time Warner
UBS
Harvard University

John Edwards

Fortress Investment Group
Act Blue
Goldman Sachs
Skadden Arps
Deutsche Bank
Citigroup

This is the bare tip of the iceberg that OpenSecrets.org’s database exposes. The site also tracks the money coming from lobbyists, wealthy individuals, and industries, cross-references money flows by industry, and updates the financial status of every campaign — for those who bother to look it up. There is dirty money that is not even being reported.

What is clear is the fact that major corporations are collectively hedging their bets, financing both sides. For example, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have money behind every leading candidate. Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, and UBS are also prominent players, in virtually all of the camps.

Corporate law and accounting firms, many of which are not household names (not all of them mentioned in this article), but well known in Washington and on Wall Street, are heavily involved with the campaigns — assuring that the laws and the books will be cooked.

Look up the upper management of the companies, and the pattern is clear.

There is no illusion what the “election” really is, and whose hands are manipulating the sock puppets. Each sock puppet serves the world’s upper management, and uses the populace as cannon fodder.

All the talk of “campaign finance reform,” “fighting special interests,” particularly from the corrupt John McCain (who is enthusiastically mainlining funding as you read this), is just that: talk.

The candidates are lying. The prospective puppets with the real chances of being selected are career liars to begin with.

Cultural abyss reflected in celebrity support

Election insanity also breeds a cultural sickness that worsens by the day.

The ignorant, acquiescent, uninformed and often painfully stupid mass US populace not only marches to the beat set by a blatantly corrupt corporate media, it further adds to its self-destruction by aping the political views of wealthy Hollywood celebrities — who are themselves painfully ignorant and misguided individuals, making asinine decisions with their celebrity power and mega-fortunes.

Here are some of the Hollywood celebrities behind the leading candidates, from the article Candidates hoping star power shines on them [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/11/08]:

Hillary Clinton

Barbra Streisand
Steven Spielberg

Barack Obama

Oprah Winfrey
David Geffen
Stevie Wonder

Mitt Romney

Pat Boone
Robert Bork (not a celebrity, but a notorious Republican)
Donnie Osmond
Marie Osmond

Rudy Giuliani

Dennis Miller
Adam Sandler

John McCain

Curt Schilling
Wilford Brimley
Rip Torn

John Edwards

Danny Glover
Kevin Bacon

Mike Huckabee

Chuck Norris
Ron Jeremy
Ted Nugent

Celebrities — whose fame is known around the world, and who possess the cultural power to shape mass consciousness — are helping the darkest forces drive the American empire deeper into the abyss. The average American, who doesn’t read and won’t bother to understand reality, simply follows Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Donnie & Marie, straight into hell.

Is it any wonder that, in this celebrity gossip-driven culture, a laughable crying act by the mega-corrupt Hillary Clinton successfully convinces some people that she is “genuine,” therefore “presidential”?

Here’s another example of shenanigans that few seem to understand: the Clinton’s open insult of Martin Luther King, Jr., was a calculated move, not a gaffe. It’s the old southern strategy, which Bill Clinton used successfully before. Piss off African-Americans (who are disenfranchised anyway), pick up some “cracker” votes and support, particularly with the reference to LBJ, garnering enough support to beat out Obama.

Against this total dearth of critical faculties, people are largely ignoring evidence that the New Hampshire primary results were manipulated, in outright Bush-Cheney 2000 fashion, right in front of their faces. And the average American still believes in elections and “democracy.”

The election has not “just begun.” It’s been over for a long time.

It is literally insane to spend one cent on any of the candidates, or their machines. It is insane to engage in beyond-ridiculous campaign nonsense that exhausts energy, in pursuit of illusions and false hopes.

Ignore the rhetoric and follow the money. Look up the corporations and, in particular, at the names on the boards of directors of each one. Look up the elites who are managing the sock puppets.

Ask Henry Kissinger who will “win.” He knows.

© Copyright Larry Chin, Online Journal, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7808

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2008 presidential charade promises deepening of government criminality and expansion of war by Larry Chin

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Crank Up The Printing Presses! by Josh Sidman

Josh

by Josh Sidman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Josh’s Blog Post

Jan. 15, 2008

Crank Up The Printing Presses!

After several years of ominous but murky financial conditions, the last couple months have served to make the writing on the wall much clearer. With the US real estate market in freefall, large banks facing enormous losses which will force them into bankruptcy or restructuring, a rapidly depreciating currency, and debt, debt, debt as far as the eye can see, something has to give. Basically, the financial authorities are faced with two undesirable alternatives. The first is to let things take their natural course and tolerate a painful recession. The other option is to crank up the printing presses and flood the market with dollars.

In ordinary times, it is usually the case that tolerating a recession is the more prudent (but less politically popular) option. However, the current crisis is not a typical one, as more and more people are coming to realize. Given the extraordinary amount of leverage and debt that resulted from Alan Greenspan’s ruinous policies of the early part of this decade, the prudent course of “taking our medicine” may simply not be a viable option. In past business cycles, it was possible to allow a recession to run its course, punishing the most imprudent market participants without threatening the foundations of the “blue chip” institutional players. However, this time around the blue chips themselves are in danger of collapse. The incredibly complex web of indebtedness is such that once the process of reckoning begins, there may be no effective “fire-wall” to prevent the decimation of the entire financial system. That being the case, the other alternative may be the only real option, and recent policy moves seem to indicate that the government and the Fed realize this.

A big part of the problem lies in our collective lack of understanding of the nature of money itself. The relative stability of the US dollar over the past 60 years has served to obscure the fact that few people really understand what money is. We use phrases such as “medium of exchange” or “store of value”, but do we really understand what we mean by such terms? If money is a “store of value”, how much value is stored in one dollar? The US government decrees that its currency is “legal tender for all debts public or private”, but it doesn’t tell us how much a unit of currency is actually worth. And, since money has had no “intrinsic value”, why are we all willing to give goods and services in exchange for these worthless pieces of paper? The best answer I am aware of is that we do so because everyone else does. Money, therefore, essentially boils down to a collective leap-of-faith that we all subscribe to because it benefits us to do so. However, it is important to keep all of this in mind and to never allow force of habit to prevent us from being aware of the true nature of money.

The ability of paper currency to serve its purpose is therefore predicated upon two basic requirements. First of all, everyone has to agree to use the officially designated currency as the primary medium of exchange. Secondly, whoever has the task of regulating the quantity of currency must do so in a way that keeps the purchasing power of money relatively stable. The first of these requirements is straightforward and comprehensible to virtually everyone. The second, however, is incredibly complex, and it is debatable whether anyone completely understands it. As a result, the realm of monetary policy presents endless possibilities for manipulation and deception. We are currently witnessing the consequences of decades of abuse on the part of the authorities and ignorance on the part of the general public.

The magnitude of the monetary system is so far beyond the comprehension of the average citizen that the authorities are free to tell us anything they think we’re likely to believe, regardless of whether or not it makes real sense. As John Maynard Keynes observed during the financial devastation following World War I, “the vast expenditures of the war, the inflation of prices, and the depreciation of currency, leading up to a complete instability of the unit of value, have made us lose all sense of number and magnitude in matters of finance. What we believed to be the limits of possibility have been so enormously exceeded, and those who founded their expectations on the past have been so often wrong, that the man in the street is now prepared to believe anything which is told him with some show of authority, and the larger the figure the more readily he swallows it.”

These episodes of collective delusion, however, cannot last forever. Even if we don’t understand what we’re doing, financial realities are inexorable. For example, it was possible for many people to believe that by using subprime mortgages they could “save” thousands of dollars and that they could thereby “afford” to buy houses that cost twice as much as what they could afford using standard mortgages. Their belief was the reason why so many people were willing to agree to such perilous financial terms. However, their belief does nothing to change the fact that they are indebted beyond any possibility of repayment. And, the same applies to matters of government finance, although the magnitude and duration of the episodes of delusion can greatly exceed those of individuals.

Does anyone really understand what it means that our national debt is $9 trillion? Does anyone understand the financial consequences of spending over $1 trillion on an unproductive war? Probably not, but that does nothing to change the inevitable financial consequences of such unbridled profligacy.

So, where do we go from here? If my initial analysis was correct, we may already be beyond the point at which “taking our medicine” (in the form of a traditional recession) is even an option. The other alternative is to allow the currency to completely collapse. Inflation of the currency is a windfall for anyone who owes money, since the money they use to repay the loan is worth far less than the money they borrowed. And, since the whole world has been willing to lend money indiscriminately to American government, corporations, and individuals, we are now in a position where the only course available to us (given that we can never hope to repay what we owe) is to deliberately destroy the value of the unit in which our debts are denominated. Of course, this approach doesn’t come without significant costs. For starters, anyone who has acted responsibly and foregone current consumption in order to save will see their hard-earned savings rendered worthless. Additionally, our ability to access credit in the future will be greatly diminished. Nevertheless, if the only other alternative is a complete collapse of our economy, this course may indeed prove to be the lesser evil.

As for what might come after a dollar collapse, it is beyond my ability to say with any certainty. For one thing, I believe it is possible that within the next decade the US dollar may cease to exist and be replaced with a new currency (a la Germany in the 1920s). While this may seem far-fetched to people who have lived their whole lives convinced of the absolute solidity of the dollar, historical precedent argues otherwise. To return to Keynes, a man who understood monetary issues as well as anyone in history, “there is no record of a prolonged war or a great social upheaval which has not been accompanied by a change in the legal tender, but an almost unbroken chronicle in every country which has a history, back to the earliest dawn of economic record, of a progressive deterioration in the real value of the successive legal tenders which have represented money… The creation of legal tender has been and is a Government’s ultimate reserve, and no State or Government is likely to decree its own bankruptcy or its own downfall so long as this instrument lies at hand unused.”

see

Bush’s Voodoo Stimulus Package: $250 “freebie” for every taxpayer By Mike Whitney

Ooooooh Shit! No…. Shit. Economic Rollercoaster by Stephen P. Pizzo

Toward Militarism, War, Empire, Caskets & Bankruptcy By Jacob G. Hornberger

Clinton, Romney leading in Michigan Primary (updated)

Dandelion Salad

DavRam

Jan. 15, 2008

Live results from Michigan primary: http://www.20dc.com/miprimary.php

Approximately 95 percent of precincts reporting.

CLINTON – 55%

UNCOMMITTED – 40%

KUCINICH – 4%

GRAVEL – 0%

***

ROMNEY – 39%

McCAIN – 30%

HUCKABEE – 16%

PAUL – 6%

THOMPSON – 4%

GUILIANI – 3%

HUNTER – 0%

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.

Abbas: Israeli raid ‘a massacre’

Dandelion Salad

Al Jazeera English
TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2008
16:38 MECCA TIME, 13:38 GMT

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has described as “a masscre” Israel’s latest deadly incursion into the Gaza Strip which left 17 Palestinians dead.

At least 50 Palestinians were also injured in the military operation on Tuesday which had started the previous night while US president George Bush was in Saudi Arabia.

David Chater, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Jerusalem, said: “Apache helicopter gunships, armoured bulldozers, tanks and ground troops were all involved in this incursion.

“There are also reports of another incursion in the industrial zone near the Erez crossing.”

Peace bid ‘damaged’

He said the Gaza operation, in which Hussam al-Zahar – the son of Mahmoud al-Zahar, a former Hamas foreign minister – was also killed had severely damaged the peace efforts relaunched by Bush in the US city of Annapolis less than two months ago.

continued…

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

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The Hands of Esau By Uri Avnery

The War in Iraq – 1,760 Days & Counting By Robert Higgs

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Higgs
ICH
15/01/08 “LewRockwell

On October 19, 2001, in speaking about the new government controls and heightened surveillance already being clamped on the American people in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney said that the new war “may never end. At least not in our lifetime. . . . The way I think of it is, it’s a new normalcy.” We should have taken his grim forecast more seriously.

The U.S. attack on and occupation of Iraq, represented by the Bush administration as a critical element in the larger Global War on Terror, began nearly five years ago, and it shows no signs of ending soon. Indeed, if John McCain is elected president and (with help from his successors) carries out the not-so-veiled threat to keep U.S. troops in Iraq for a hundred years, then we can confidently expect that the war will not end in our lifetime. Such a prospect is so seemingly preposterous, however, that one’s mind does not readily assimilate it.

It is difficult enough to absorb the reality that the United States has now been at war against the Iraqis for almost five years. An engagement sold to the public as a “cakewalk” and represented just six weeks after it began as a “mission accomplished” has now (as I write) continued for 1,760 days. Compare this duration with the time the United States was formally engaged in World War I (589 days) or World War II (1,365 days). In the 1940s, the U.S. forces (with important allies, to be sure) defeated two major economic and military powers in a globe-circling war in less time than the U.S. forces have been engaged in Iraq.

And after all this time, where does the U.S. venture stand? Evidently it is no closer to the “victory” the president has repeatedly said he seeks than it was immediately after the occupation began. The 901 U.S. troops who lost their lives in Iraq during 2007 were the largest number in any calendar year since the war began. As 2008 begins, we read reports of a U.S. air strike on the outskirts of Baghdad in which B-1 bombers and F-16 fighters dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives, an attack described by Major Alayne Conway as “one of the largest airstrikes since the onset of the war.” The attack came only a day after six U.S. soldiers participating in a major ground offensive were reported killed in the “biggest one-day loss in Iraq since May.” These events do not epitomize minor “mopping up” activities. The war obviously has no end in sight.

Notwithstanding these inauspicious developments and Senator McCain’s bizarre pronouncement, we might well think in a more focused way about what will ultimately bring the war to an end, because it almost certainly will end someday. Given its nature, it cannot be ended as each of the world wars was ended, by the formal capitulation of an enemy state. Loosely organized insurgents and guerrillas do not stop fighting in that fashion. In view of the particulars on the ground in Iraq, it would seem that no complete cessation of armed hostilities can occur there until the United States withdraws its military forces. So the question becomes: What will induce a future U.S. president or a future U.S. Congress to act decisively to bring the troops home?

In the abstract, the answer is easy: U.S. authorities will extract their occupation force when they perceive that doing so is in their interest. Note well that I said, “in their interest.” Whether a U.S. withdrawal serves my interest, or yours, or that of 95 percent of the American people is not necessarily important, because government leaders do not act to serve other people’s interests. Anyone who has advanced beyond infancy in his understanding of political affairs knows that despite all the dutiful claptrap that political leaders and their functionaries spout in public, they invariably pursue their own interests. Those interests may be material, political, institutional, or ideological, but in any event they are their own interests, not yours or mine.

It follows directly that up to this point the continued prosecution of the war has served the leaders’ interests. They may say they are trying to end the war. They may have secured their election or reelection, as many of the Democrats now serving in Congress have, by promising to do whatever they can to end the war. Yet the truth is that they’ve sold the public a bill of goods. When the leaders have considered all the personal consequences they expect to follow from acting to end the war, they have concluded that, all things being considered, doing so does not serve their interest, and therefore they have refrained from doing so.

After all, it’s not as though the U.S. war effort has a mind of its own. Whenever the president wants to remove the troops, he can do so; he has the power. Whenever the members of the majority in Congress want to remove the troops, by stopping the funding to support them there, they can do so; they have the power. The posture of powerlessness that our leaders often affect – my goodness, what can I do? my hands are tied – is a disingenuous pose. They can stop the U.S. engagement in the war whenever they want to do so. Thus far, they simply have not wanted to do so.

What might cause them to reach a new conclusion about what serves their personal interest? Several developments might turn the trick. Nearly all of them work by heightening the public’s anger with their leaders’ decisions.

Historically, the decisive development in similar instances has been the cumulation of public costs, especially the costs in life and limb. In both the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the public’s disfavor of the engagement closely tracked the cumulation of casualties. As political scientist John Mueller showed in his book War, Presidents, and Public Opinion, “every time American casualties increased by a factor of 10, support for the war dropped by about 15 percentage points” in the polls.

One reason the public has continued to tolerate their leaders’ continued prosecution of the war in Iraq is that the casualties have not been nearly so great, by an order of magnitude, as they were in Korea and Vietnam. So far, not quite 4,000 U.S. military personnel have been killed in Iraq. That’s only one death for every 75,000 persons living in the United States, and therefore the loss of life has not cut deeply into the public psyche – most Americans have not been personally acquainted with anyone killed in the war. (The vastly greater loss of Iraqi lives seems to have made even less impression.) Sad to say, the public may not turn decisively against their leaders’ continued prosecution of the war until many more American soldiers have died.

Economic costs have also mounted, and they have loomed relatively much larger in this war than in the earlier wars in Korea and Vietnam. Who says the military leaders never learn? They’ve certainly learned how to increase hugely the financial costs of fighting a war. Estimates of the costs to date vary widely, depending on how one accounts for various joint, indirect, and implied costs, but a total cost to date in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars is not implausible, and later costs, including those associated with decades of care for the war’s legions of physically and mentally disabled, will add enormously to the total.

In earlier wars, even though the costs were relatively greater in blood than in dollars, the public eventually wearied of the economic sacrifices entailed by the financial expenses of continued fighting. Economist Hugh Mosley concluded that the Johnson administration “was reluctant to resort to increased taxes to finance the war for fear of losing public support for its policy of military escalation.” Historian Stephen Ambrose wrote that President Richard Nixon “realized that for economic reasons (the war was simply costing too much) and for the sake of domestic peace and tranquility he had to cut back on the American commitment to Vietnam”; the retrenchment was “forced on [him] by public opinion.”

As the recession that has just begun deepens, the public may well object more strenuously to the government’s squandering of such vast amounts of tax money on a senseless continuation of the war in Iraq. When their purses are not so full, people may resent every additional dollar spent on the war more than they did previously. Ultimately, they may become so angry that they will take actions to punish severely the political leaders who continue to support the war. Serious political challengers may attract a mass following by embracing the example of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who promised in the 1952 campaign to end the enormously unpopular war in Korea and, after he took office, kept his promise expeditiously.

When substantial negative feedback begins to jeopardize the personal job security, not to speak of the respect and fawning, the electorate affords incumbents, they will begin to take notice, and to discount more heavily the contributions from defense contractors, big financial establishments, petrochemical companies, and other high rollers who have encouraged them to stay the hopeless course – though not hopeless for these special interests, of course; for them it has been a bonanza. George W. Bush parlayed a campaign of fear-mongering into his reelection in 2004, but unless another major terrorist attack occurs in the United States, the public will grow increasingly resistant to such appeals and more eager to throw the rascals out as the war’s costs continue to mount.

It is extremely unfortunate that escalating costs in blood and money are the only proven means of bringing the general public to resist strongly their political leaders who are committed to a continuation of unnecessary, unwise, and immoral war. Some of us wish that rational argument, cogent evidence, and humane sentiment would persuade a preponderance of the public to demand an end to the war. History suggests, however, that only personal grief and economic pain will induce the American public to act against their perfidious leaders. Needless to say, if the public remains as passive and as easily bamboozled as it has been during the past seven years, the war will continue, maybe even for the hundred years in which Senator McCain declares that a U.S. occupation of Iraq would be “fine with me.”

Robert Higgs [send him mail] is senior fellow in political economy at the Independent Institute and editor of The Independent Review. His most recent book is Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government. He is also the author of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy, Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis Since 9/11 and Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society.

Copyright © 2008 Robert Higgs


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.

Imperial Hubris: Lessons For America By Fritz Stern

Dandelion Salad

By Fritz Stern
ICH
15/01/08 “
Guardian

The United States, with its claims of exceptionalism, is usually thought of as free of historical analogies. But comparisons with the fate of earlier empires are becoming more common.

I have recently been struck by an analogy from German history: the disaster of German leadership during the first world war, epitomised by Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1888, at just 29, Wilhelm became the leader of a country on the cusp of European mastery. Wilhelm flaunted his absolute power, believing it to be divinely ordained, was contemptuous of parliament, revelled in the trappings of power, and delighted in uniforms. He was given to bombastic speeches, detested liberal critics, and spoke disparagingly of foreign nations.

Worse, he supported ministers and military personnel who called for an ever-greater German army, including a navy strong enough to challenge Britain’s, and shunned the details of government, for they interfered with his diversions. From the beginning, members of his entourage worried about his volatility and mental balance.

German foreign policy from 1890 to 1914, for which the kaiser bore formal and intermittently actual responsibility, comprised a series of failures and setbacks. But Wilhelm did not in fact rule, as Germany’s conduct during the second world war made clear. In early July 1914, after the murder of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Wilhelm egged on the Austrians, but by the end of the month he couldn’t restrain his own subordinates from starting a war, following the dictates of military strategy – the famed Schlieffen plan.

After the battle of the Marne (in September 1914) and the failure of the Schlieffen plan, some of Wilhelm’s advisers realised that the chances for a military victory were slim, hence the need for a negotiated peace. But by that time, even the civilian chancellor had resolved on extravagant war aims that made hopes for a negotiated peace illusory.

From then on, the kaiser’s mental state became a dominant issue in the war’s conduct. Yet the most portentous decisions had to be taken: changes in the military and civilian leadership, and, in 1917, whether to declare unrestricted submarine warfare and thus ensure the US entry into the war.

The fate of his country (and of Europe) depended on how Wilhelm decided. But the kaiser was systematically shielded from bad news, and, after three years of unimaginable carnage, had been reduced to an instrument of a military dictatorship run by Paul von Hindenburg and his chief of staff, Erich Ludendorff. They enjoyed the confidence of Germany’s ruling classes, were determined to reject all compromise, and believed that “one more push” would deliver “total victory”.

For a moment in the spring of 1918 – after the Bolsheviks signed a German-dictated Carthaginian peace – a German victory seemed possible. But by August, allied forces broke through German lines, and a stunned Ludendorff, fearing a sudden collapse of his army, demanded that the newly constituted civilian government send an immediate request for an armistice. But the allies wouldn’t negotiate with the kaiser. Warweary Germans began to demand the kaiser’s abdication.

The army forced Wilhelm into exile in the Netherlands, where, until his death in 1941, he spread venomous poison where he could: the Jews and socialists were to blame; he alone was right. Once more reflecting and encouraging a large segment of what had been his people, he saw in Hitler the new man chosen by providence, the saviour of a Germany defeated by treachery.

Wilhelm had his terrifying flaws, and he operated at the head of a deeply flawed political system. But, ultimately, his chief failure had been to hand power to military and civilian hawks – wrongly called conservatives, for their vision was a radical reordering of Europe.

Of course, America is not like imperial Germany. But there may be a lesson from a country whose wartime rulers, quarrelling among themselves, inflicted unimaginable harm on their people and to the world with their mendacious, secretive and paranoid style. The consequences of their leadership became manifest only later, as an aggrieved nation’s people turned against each other in their deep political and moral divisions and hatreds.

It took a worse catastrophe, a world-historical scourge, to teach these people a lesson. Let us hope that Americans learn their lesson about the dangers and follies of imperial hubris sooner.


In cooperation with Project Syndicate, 2008.


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.

The Hands of Esau By Uri Avnery

Dandelion Salad

By Uri Avnery
15/01/08 “ICH

Which of the two men is the leader of the greatest power on earth and which is the boss of a small client state?

A visitor from another planet, attending the press conference in Jerusalem, would find it hard not to answer: Olmert is the president of the great power, Bush is his vassal.

Olmert is taller. He talked endlessly, while Bush listened patiently. While Olmert anointed Bush with flattery that would have made a Byzantine emperor blush, it was quite clear that it is Olmert who decides policy, while Bush humbly accepts the Israeli diktat. And Bush’s flattery of Olmert exceeded even Olmert’s flattery of Bush.

Both, we learned, are “courageous”. Both are “determined”. Both have a “vision”. The word “vision”, once reserved for prophets, starred in every second sentence. (Bush could not know that in Israel, “vision” has long become a jocular appellation for highfaluting speeches, usually in combination with the word “Zionism”.)

The President and the Prime Minister have something else in common: not a word of what they said at the press conference had any connection with the truth.

One OF the most moving dramas in the Bible tells about our old blind forefather, Isaac, who wanted to bless his eldest son, Esau, a reddish and hairy hunter. But the second son, the homebody (or rather tent-body) Jacob, exploited the absence of his brother and went to his father in order to steal the blessing. He wore Esau’s clothes and covered his arms with hairy goat skins. The ruse nearly failed, when the father felt the arms of Jacob and his suspicion was aroused.

That’s when he uttered the famous words: “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” (Genesis, 27:22).

Yet Jacob, the impostor, did receive the blessing and became the father of the nation which was named after him (he was also called Israel). It seems that Ehud Olmert is a true successor: there is no connection between his voice and his hands.

Anyone who listens to him – not just at the press conference, but also on every other occasion – hears words of peace and reason: The Palestinians must have a state of their own. The “vision” must be realized while Bush is president, because Israel has never had and never will have a truer friend. The settlement outposts must be removed, as promised by us again and again. The settlements must be frozen. Etc. etc.

That is the voice of Jacob. But the hands, well, they are the hands of Esau.

* * *BEFORE ANNAPOLIS, during Annapolis and after Annapolis, nothing at all was done to promote the Two-State Solution. The negotiations were about to begin – any moment now – a year ago, and now they are again about to begin – any moment now. Yes, the “core issues” – borders, Jerusalem, refugees – will be addressed. Sure. Any moment now.

But in the meantime, the hands of Esau are working feverishly. All over the occupied territories, the settlements are being enlarged. The existing outposts remain untouched, new ones spring up from time to time. Around them, a well choreographed dance has evolved, a kind of formal ballet executed by the settlers and the army. The settlers set up a new outpost, the army removes it, the settlers return and set it up again, the army dismantles, and so forth.

In the meantime the outpost gets bigger and bigger. The government connects it to the electricity and water systems and builds a road. And the army, of course, protects it day and night. We cannot leave good Jews at the mercy of the evil Palestinian terrorists, can we?

Bush knows all this and still continues to blabber that “the illegal outposts must be removed”. And so it continues: the voice is Jacob’s voice, the hands are the hands of Esau.

But one cannot fool all of the people all of the time, to quote another American President who was slightly more intelligent than the present incumbent.

And so, after Olmert and Bush repeated the mantra about removing the outposts and freezing the settlements, one of the journalists popped an innocent question: How does this fit together with the announcement about the building of a huge new housing project at Har Homa?

If anyone thought that this would embarrass Olmert, he was sadly mistaken. Olmert just cannot be embarrassed. He simply answered that this promise does not apply to Jerusalem, nor to the “Jewish population centers” beyond the Green Line.

“Jerusalem” – since the time of Levy Eshkol – is not only the Old City and the Holy Basin. It is the huge tract of land annexed to Israel after the Six-Day War, from the approaches to Bethlehem to the outskirts of Ramallah. This area includes the hill that was once forested and called Jebel Abu-Ghneim, now the site of the big and ugly Har Homa settlement. And the “population centers” are the big settlement blocs in the occupied Palestinian territories, which President Bush so generously presented to Ariel Sharon.

This means that almost all the extensive building activities that are now going on beyond the Green Line are not covered by the Israeli undertaking to freeze the settlements. And while Olmert publicly announced this, President Bush was standing at his side, smiling foolishly and painting on another layer of compliments.

The following day, Bush visited Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and told the shocked Palestinians that the innumerable Israeli roadblocks in the West Bank, which turn the life of the Palestinians into hell, are necessary for the protection of Israel and must remain where they are – until after the establishment of the hoped-for democratic Palestinian state.

Condoleezza Rice was quick to remind him in private that this was not very wise, since he was about to visit half a dozen Arab countries. So Bush hastened to call another press conference in Jerusalem, talking about the “core issues”: there would be a “contiguous” Palestinian state, but the 1949 borders (the Green Line) would not be restored. He would not speak about Jerusalem. Also, the refugee problem would be settled by an international fund – meaning that none at all would be allowed to return.

Altogether, much less than Bill Clinton’s 2000 “parameters”, and less than most Israelis are already prepared to accept. It amounts to 110% support for the official Israeli government line.

After that, Bush had dinner with Israeli cabinet ministers. He cordially shook the hand of Minister Rafael Eitan, the former spymaster who controlled the Israeli spy in Washington, Jonathan Pollard, whom Bush refuses to pardon. (Eitan would be arrested the moment he set foot on American soil.) He spoke cordially with the ultra-rightist Minister Avigdor Liberman, urging him to support Olmert. Throughout the dinner, he talked and talked, until Condi sent him a discreet note suggesting that he shut up. Bush, in high spirits, read the note out loud.

* * *I HAVE mentioned more than once the British World War II poster which was pasted up on the walls in Palestine: “Is this trip really necessary?”

That is again the question now: Is this trip of Bush’s really necessary?

The answer is: Of course. Necessary for Bush. Necessary for Olmert. Necessary for Abbas, too.

For Bush, because he is a lame duck, in the last year of his term, and therefore almost paralyzed. In the United States he is rapidly becoming irrelevant. His touted Middle East tour has been drowned out by the primary elections mayhem, which produces a new drama almost every day. While Hillary wrestles with Obama and the glib Bill competes with an impressive black grandma, who cares where the worst president in American history is traipsing around?

Olmert is well aware of the situation. When he declares that the last year of the term of his noble friend must be used, what he really means to say is: he cannot exert any pressure on us, he cannot even “nudge” us, as he promises. There is no need to remove even one single outpost for him. So let us squeeze the last drop of juice out of his presidency, before he is thrown onto the trash pile of history.

But Olmert needs the presence of Bush at his side, because his position is not much more secure than Bush’s. Bush is bankrupt in a big way, after starting one of the most pointless and unsuccessful wars in US history. That is true for Olmert in a small way. He is bankrupt too, and he also started a pointless, failed war.

In two weeks time, the Winograd Commission will publish its final report on Lebanon War II, and everyone expects it to come down on Olmert like a 16 ton weight. He may survive, if only because there is now no credible substitute. But he needs all the help he can get – and what better help than the “Leader of the Free World” gazing at him with liquid eyes?

It’s the old story about the lame and the blind.

* * *THIS WAS NOT Bush’s last presidential visit to Israel. He has already promised to return on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state, which falls this year (in accordance with the Hebrew calendar) on May 8. What else can a president do in his last months in office, except star in ceremonies with kings, presidents and prime ministers?

Perhaps he had intended to finish with a big bang, a historic climax that would overshadow even his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, such as a grand attack on Iran. But it seems that the US intelligence community, in a patriotic act that makes up for some of its earlier sins, has prevented this by publishing its sensational report.

True, this week something happened that put on a warning light. Some small Iranian boats were reported to have made a provocative gesture against the powerful American warships in the Strait of Hormuz.

That takes us right back to 1964 and to what has become known as the “Gulf of Tonkin incident”. President Lyndon Johnson announced that Vietnamese vessels had attacked American warships. That was a lie, but it was enough for Congress to empower the president to widen the war that killed millions of people (and buried Johnson’s career).

But this time the red light went out quickly. The US Congress is not what it was, it seems that the Americans have no stomach for another war, the historical parallel was too obvious. Bush has been left without an option for war. He has been left with nothing.

Apart from Olmert’s flattery, of course.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli peace activist who has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He served three terms in the Israeli parliament (Knesset), and is the founder of Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc)

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.

01.14.08 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

Jan. 14, 2008

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Bush Visits Saudi Arabia,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Saudis React to Bush’s Visit,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Bush Warns Iran from the UAE,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Israel Continues Airstrike on Gaza,” IBA TV, Israel
“Nasrallah Proud to be Called a Terrorist by Bush,” IBA TV, Israel
“ID Card a Step for Freedom for a Palestinian,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Iraq’s New Laws,” Dubai TV, UAE
“No Room for Inspections after IAEA Approval,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“European Muslim Charter Born,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Kucinich: Evidence Undercuts Bush’s Rhetoric On Iran

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

President’s Deliberate And Calculated Comments Are Setting The Stage For More War

Washington, Jan 14 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement after President Bush increased his rhetoric against Iran this weekend, labeling the Islamic country as the world’s leading sponsor on terror:

“This is the third time in two months that President Bush has actively and systematically sought to deceive the American public into thinking Iran is threatening security around the world,” Kucinich said.

Yesterday President Bush urged wary Persian Gulf allies to rally against Iran “before it is too late,” even as the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that the country had agreed, yet again, to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear programs within four weeks, reported The New York Times.

“After the lies and deception used to lead us to war in Iraq, the Bush Administration cannot be given leeway with aggressive statements that suggest a preemptive attack on Iran is necessary to avoid a larger war,” Kucinich said.

A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report released just last month reaffirmed that Iran does not have an active weapons program, which is in direct opposition to unsubstantiated claims made by the Bush Administration over the last several months. Just last week, the Administration accused small Iranian boats swarming around U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz with harassment and provocation.

The Pentagon is now backing down from its initial version of the Iranian-boat encounter. The commanders of the two Navy ships involved in the incident said that a menacing radio message may not have come from the Iranian boats.

“It has been proven time and time again that Iran is cooperating with the international community. But that doesn’t matter to the Bush Administration because they are already intent on starting another war. They refuse to see the writing on the wall.

“Bush’s deliberate and calculated comments are setting the stage for more chaos in the world and in the process, are making the United States less safe. It is time to stop using war as an instrument of foreign policy. It didn’t work with Iraq and it won’t work with Iran,” Kucinich concluded.

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

Al Jazeera: Bush: Confront Iran (videos)

Why is Iran Still in the Cross-Hairs? by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown

Toward Militarism, War, Empire, Caskets & Bankruptcy By Jacob G. Hornberger

Bush’s Mideast Visit & N. Korea Declaration Deadline By William H. White

Bush launches scathing attack on Iran (video)

Gulf Shenanigans: No Laughing Matter By Ray McGovern

We Are Trained Killers! (video; over 18 only)

Please if you are sensitive to graphic violence, do NOT watch this video. It starts off VERY violent. ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

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

MoreAntiWar

(FOR MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY)

US in Iraq: Are We Humane? What are Americans representing to the world? How many Americans truly support Bush, this war and the promotion of inhuman attitudes and actions?

Added: January 13, 2008

h/t: ICH

In June, the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health acknowledged “daunting and growing” psychological problems among our troops: Nearly 40 percent of soldiers, a third of Marines and half of National Guard members are presenting with serious mental health issues.

see

Report: 121 Iraq, Afghanistan veterans kill after return to US h/t: ICH

Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles h/t: ICH

Toward Militarism, War, Empire, Caskets & Bankruptcy By Jacob G. Hornberger

Dandelion Salad

By Jacob G. Hornberger
ICH
14/01/08 “
fff

When U.S. intelligence agencies recently surprised the nation with their National Intelligence Estimate announcement that Iran had ceased its nuclear-weapons program several years ago, many people, including ardent supporters of the president, felt that the announcement put to rest any chance of a war against Iran.

Not so fast! After all, did the disintegration of the WMD rationale for invading Iraq dissuade the interventionists from continuing their invasion of Iraq and occupying the country and continuing to kill Iraqis for several years after that?

The incident in the Gulf of Tonkin — excuse me, Gulf of Hormuz — this past week confirms how easy it is for an American ruler to send the entire nation into war, especially given that he is now permitted to ignore the constitutional provision requiring a congressional declaration of war. If the captains of those U.S. battleships and destroyers had blown those Iranian speedboats out of the water, one can already hear Bush and Cheney proclaiming, “We’ve been attacked! We’ve been attacked! The Department of Defense is responding by defending our nation from this attack by bombing Iran. Support the troops. God bless America!”

Question: If China, Iran, and Venezuela sent a fleet of warships into the Gulf of Mexico for joint war games, how would U.S. officials respond? Wouldn’t they go ape?

Question: What’s the point of sending a fleet of battleships and destroyers into the Middle East if it’s not to poke hornets’ nests? Surely, U.S. officials aren’t claiming the Muslims are getting ready to board millions of troops onto tens of thousands of Muslim naval vessels in preparation for an imminent invasion of the United States.

Of course, in the old days, when the president was expected to comply with the Constitution, the president would have to go to Congress, which would decide whether such an incident warranted going to war against a nation. Today, the Decider decides whether to declare war, no matter what the Constitution says. Poking hornets’ nests can play an important role in that process.

Amidst all the political fanfare about “change,” if anyone was hoping for a change away from the machismo, militarism, and empire that has held our nation in its grip, last night’s Republican presidential debate confirmed that change isn’t going to come from that direction (Ron Paul excepted, of course).

What was fascinating was watching how conflicted these people are within their own minds. They first point out that yes, America is faced with economic problems. They then point out that it’s all because Washington, D.C., is “broken” and that each of them is the man who can finally fix the nation’s capital. They then say that the U.S. should continue expanding its overseas empire, especially in the Middle East. Of course, no department or agency of the federal government should be abolished.

It’s all just a mishmash of thinking that boils down to this: “Give the power of the welfare-warfare state to me. Put your faith in me.”

They just don’t get it — or maybe they do. The problem is not that Washington, D.C., is broken. It’s that their beloved welfare-warfare philosophy is broken and bankrupt in every sense of the term — morally, financially, and economically. The dollar, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, Iraq, immigration, trade, foreign policy, housing, drug war — all broken and bankrupt. After decades of welfare-warfare failure and catastrophe, the chickens are finally coming home to roost.

And all these people can do is summon the ghost of Ronald Reagan and call for “tax cuts,” no matter how much the Federal Reserve must continue to debase the dollar to finance the ever-increasing debt to pay the ever-increasing expenses of this federal monstrosity.

One of the weirdest parts of the debate came when they were praising Ronald Reagan’s “defense” buildup, which, they said, brought down the Soviet Union. Yeah, never mind that it was out-of-control government spending that brought down the Soviet Union. That just can’t happen to the U.S. Empire. After all, we’ll just continue borrowing the money from the Chinese communists!

One amusing moment in the debate was when Paul pointed out (I’m paraphrasing): “Let me see if I understand this correctly. You people want to go out and borrow millions of dollars from the Chinese communists in order to give the money to the unelected dictator of Pakistan while you’re continuing to kill people in Iraq for the sake of democracy.”

What was amazing was that you could tell from the faces of the other candidates that they didn’t see anything odd about any of that.

If America continues to move in the same direction of militarism, interventionism, war, and welfarism and if all this pushes our nation into a perfect storm of financial, monetary, and economic crises, combined with lots of caskets containing the remains of U.S. soldiers as well as victims of terrorist blowback, Americans will be left with a sad lament: “If only we had listened to the libertarians rather than the welfare-warfare statists who took us down this road.”

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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

Gulf Shenanigans: No Laughing Matter By Ray McGovern

Why is Iran Still in the Cross-Hairs? by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown

Another Iranian Act of Aggression by Gordon Prather h/t: Greg

Showdown in the Strait of Hormuz: Strait Facts by Daniel M. Pourkesali

US War Plans & the “Strait of Hormuz Incident”: Just Who Threatens Whom? by Michel Chossudovsky

Ron Paul answers journalists’ questions (video)

Paul-Ron

Boycott the MSNBC Democratic Debate On Tuesday + Protesting exclusion (videos)

Dandelion Salad

representativepress

http://representativepress….
Boycott the MSNBC Democratic Debate On Tuesday (don’t watch the debate on MSNBC)

***

Protesting NBC’s exclusion of Kucinich

leftie613

Video of protest at NBC studios

Added: January 14, 2008

see

Boycott Disney & GE: Mickey Mouse Politics by Manila Ryce (vid)

Judge says MSNBC must include Kucinich by Andrew Malcolm + OK’d for debate, appeal planned + video (updated)

Judge True Patriot

NBC BATTLES TO KEEP KUCINICH OUT OF THE DEBATE

Mike Gravel: Weed Safer Than Booze, Fox Doesn’t Think So (video)

Compassion and Fight: The Personality of Dennis Kucinich By Joel Wendland

Kucinich falls behind in ‘corrupt system’ by Zaid Jilani

Wed. Jan 16, 2008, National Call-In Day for Impeachment (action alert)

Kucinich-Dennis

Dennis 4 President

Kucinich Speaks at the U of Michigan (vid; medical pot)

Dandelion Salad

the23rdfnordian

Dennis Kucinich answers a question about Medical Marijuana from a woman suffering from MS. For more information visit http://www.umdrugpolicy.org

Added: January 14, 2008

see

Mike Gravel: Weed Safer Than Booze, Fox Doesn’t Think So (video)

Judge says MSNBC must include Kucinich by Andrew Malcolm + OK’d for debate, appeal planned + video (updated)

Kucinich Weekly Update 01.14.08 “David v. Goliath” (video)

(Koo-sin-ich Re-mix) Dennis 4 Michigan Version (video)

Kucinich-Dennis

Dennis 4 President

Olbermann: Bushed! + Worst + The Falafel-Guy Fatwa + Waterboarding is torture if it is done to me!

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

January 14, 2008

Bushed!

Hopeless-Gate

Gitmo-Gate

Iran-Gate

Worst 

Worse: Christopher Columbus

Worser: Jonathan Goldberg

Worst: Adm. Mike Mullen

The Falafel-Guy Fatwa

Keith gives us tips how to deal with a Bill’O ambushed interview.

CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

Waterboarding is torture if it is done to me!

Mike Gravel: Weed Safer Than Booze, Fox Doesn’t Think So (video)

Dandelion Salad

wmurtv

Ryokibin

I think in a way Gravel is correct. How many people die from OD on Marijuana compared to how many die from OD on Alcohol.

But for Ben Ferguson to compare smoking pot to murder or slavery is just insane.

Just seems Fox wanted to sling some mud at Gravel for wanting to legalize pot. Think of the money they could get off taxing pot, also the biggest part for the war on drugs would be cut out, saving probably billions there also.

Plenty of countries have pot legalized, yet crime actually goes down, the government brings in more tax revenue. You still can get a DUI, so where did Gravel ever say, just because pot is legal means you can drive around all day high?

Added: January 14, 2008

see

Pres Candidate Mike Gravel: “You should be able to buy Marijuana at the liquor store.” (vid)

Mike Gravel gets major press coverage in Georgetown U. dorm room (vid; drugs)

Gravel: Bomb the Guantanamo Bay & Abu Ghraib Prisons (videos)

Primary Considerations 2008 with Noam Chomsky (video)

Chomsky Applauds Mike Gravel (video)

Gravel-Mike

Let the People Make the Laws by Ralph Nader

Drugs/Marijuana/War on Drugs/Prohibition (Older posts)

Drugs (newer posts)