Vote in the Independent Primary Poll

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New Poll:

Vote here.

IndependentPrimary.Com was started by independent political activists from across America to establish and measure the power and impact of independent-minded voters on the presidential election.

We are part of a movement bringing together ordinary Americans who think that the good of the country is more important than the good of the political parties.

Frustrated by the lack of genuine and inclusive dialogue about the issues that are critical to the future of our nation, IndependentPrimary.Com is uniting independent-minded Americans into an organized force to challenge the partisanship and special interest control of policy-making which is endangering our democracy.

We are committed to find a new way of doing politics that is free from the domination of big money, political party bosses and the corporate-owned media.

h/t: Dennis Kucinich (the ORIGINAL UNOFFICIAL Page)

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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Dennis 4 President

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo (lots of polls, surveys, etc.)

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MLK, the legacy remembered, the message that should not be forgotten by Dennis Kucinich

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from an email:

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
the legacy remembered,
the message that should not be forgotten

by Dennis Kucinich
Jan. 21, 2008

The homage that Americans pay today to the inspiring life and lasting legacy of Dr. King is a fitting tribute to this leader who spoke so eloquently of peace, of social justice, and of equal rights under the law and under the moral covenant that established and guides this great nation. But, as we survey the grim realities of today, across this country and around the world, that rightful homage also has the somber ring of a faint and distant eulogy for a man and a message from another time.

That other time that we remember and honor was then. But, more than ever, it is also now.

In his speech at Riverside Church in New York City, on April 4, 1967, Dr. King spoke of one war that was destroying the aspirations of the people of two nations – the people of the United States and the people of Vietnam.

The Vietnam War resulted in the deaths of 4 million Vietnamese civilians in a nation of about 40 million – 10% of the total population of Vietnam. Americans lost 58,202 soldiers in that war. And in hard, cold numbers, the Vietnam War cost the United States the equivalent of $662 billion in today’s dollars.

So far, today, this no-end-in-sight war against Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million innocent Iraqis in a nation of 25 million. Four thousand of our best and bravest have died, and nearly 29,000 have been wounded. In hard, cold numbers, the Iraq War will cost the United States more than $2 trillion.

What would Dr. King say today? What would his message be to the President, to the U.S. Congress, and to the American people? It would be, I deeply believe, the same as it was more than 30 years ago: Iraq is a war that is destroying the aspirations of the people of two nations – the people of the United States and the people of Iraq.

And, it was only two years ago that the leadership of the Democratic Party, without invoking Dr. King but aligning itself with the powerful principles that he espoused, promised an end to the abuse of political power and an end to the war that was devastating the people of two nations. And Americans, believing that promise that we would “be free at last” from the policies that morally and economically enslaved this nation and unrepentantly took control of another, elected a new Democratic leadership in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

Tragically, in the two years since, nothing has changed. The policies of this President persist and prevail. The Congress yields and subjugates itself time and time again. And the powerful, righteous, and universal message of Dr. King has been forgotten.

Dr. King’s concluding remarks in his Riverside Church speech called for an end to the disintegration of humanity brought about by war: “Somehow this madness must end,” he implored.

It is not in our power to bring Dr. King back, but it is within our power to resurrect his spirit in our daily lives and in the policies of the government that we elect to represent and lead us. He demonstrated throughout his entire life that social and economic justice are achieved not through compromising what we believe, but rather, committing to what we believe – whatever the odds.

In this crucial year for the future of our nation and the future of our world, today is the day to remember Dr. King’s words, embrace his spirit, and fortify ourselves with the message that he left for us.

It is time, once again, to ask what we can do to forge ahead – in our votes, in our support, and in everything we do — to reach that place where his words, his strength, and his optimism become more than a legacy. They become the policy and mission of this nation: “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.”


Dennis Kucinich

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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Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence By Rev. Martin Luther King (audio; transcript)

Bill Moyers Journal: Clinton, Obama, King & Johnson + more (video)

Give the Candidates the MLK Test by Glen Ford

What you may not know about Dr. Martin Luther King + Rev. Yearwood on MLK’s dream (videos)

Martin Luther King, Jr/MLK

Kucinich-Dennis

Dennis 4 President

The Lessons of Violence By Chris Hedges

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By Chris Hedges
Truthdig
Jan. 21, 2008

The Gaza Strip is rapidly becoming one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world. Israel has cordoned off the entire area, home to some 1.4 million Palestinians, blocking commercial goods, food, fuel and even humanitarian aid. At least 36 people have been killed in Israeli strikes since Tuesday and many more wounded. Hamas, which took control of Gaza in June, has launched about 200 rockets into southern Israel in the same period in retaliation, injuring more than 10 people. Israel announced the draconian closure and collective punishment Thursday in order to halt the rocket attacks, begun on Tuesday, when 18 Palestinians, including the son of a Hamas leader, were killed by Israeli forces.

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Bush To Abandon Supply-Side Economics? By Paul Craig Roberts

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By Paul Craig Roberts
January 20, 2008

With his tax rebate policy, President Bush has put economic policy back on a Keynesian basis. Will it work?

During the two decades it was in effect, supply-side economics had restorative effects on the American economy. Its predecessor, Keynesian demand management, stimulated demand more than supply. Consequently, over time the trade-offs between employment and inflation worsened, and for a while it appeared that inflation and unemployment would rise together. The breakdown of the Keynesian policy opened the door for the Reagan administration’s supply-side approach.

By following Nobel economist Robert Mundell’s advice to “reverse the policy mix,” the supply-side policy allowed the US economy to grow without paying for the growth with rising rates of inflation. However, the new macroeconomic policy was not a cure-all, and its success in banishing worsening “Philips curve” trade-offs between inflation and employment masked the appearance of new problems, such as the loss of jobs and GDP growth to offshoring, problems from deregulation, and the growing concentration of income in fewer hands.

The Bush administration is turning to tax rebates, because problems in the financial system and the amount of consumer debt hinder the Federal Reserve’s ability to pump money to consumers through the banking system. Like an easy credit, low interest rate policy, the purpose of a tax rebate is to put money in consumers’ hands in order to boost consumer demand.

Will consumers spend the rebate, or will they use it to pay down their debts? If they spend the rebate on consumer goods, will it provide much boost to the economy?

Many Americans are overloaded with debt and will have to use the rebate to pay down credit card debt. The gift of $800 per means-tested taxpayer is really just a partial bailout of heavily indebted consumers and credit card companies.

The percentage of the rebate that survives debt reduction will be further drained of effect by Americans’ dependency on imports. According to reports, 70% of the goods on Wal-Mart shelves are made in China. During 2006, Americans spent $1,861,380,000,000 on imported goods, that is, 23% of total personal consumption expenditures were spent on imports (including offshored goods). This means that between one-fifth and one-fourth of new consumption expenditures will stimulate foreign economies.

Americans worry about their dependency on imported energy, but the $145,368,000,000 paid to OPEC in 2006 is a small part of the total import bill. Americans imported $602,539,000,000 in industrial supplies and materials; $418,271,000,000 in capital goods; $256,660,000,000 in automotive vehicles, parts and engines; $423,973,000,000 in manufactured consumer goods; and $74,937,000,000 in foods, feeds and beverages.

The Keynesian policy of driving the economy through consumer demand was applied to a different economy than the one we have today. In those days the goods Americans purchased, such as cars and appliances, were mainly made in America. Construction workers were not illegals sending their wages back to Mexico. The US had a robust manufacturing workforce. When consumer demand weakened, companies would reduce their output and lay off workers. Government policymakers would respond to the decline in employment and output with monetary and fiscal policies that boosted consumer demand. As consumer spending picked up, companies would call back the laid off workers in order to increase output to meet the rising demand.

Today Americans are losing jobs for reasons that have nothing to do with recession. They are losing their jobs to offshoring and to foreigners brought in on work visas. Today many American brands are produced offshore in whole or part with foreign labor and imported to the US for sale in the American market. In 2007, prior to the onset of the 2008 recession, 217,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. The US now has fewer manufacturing jobs than it had in 1950 when the population was half the current size.

US job growth in the 21st century has been confined to low-pay domestic services. During 2007, waitresses and bartenders, health care and social assistance, and wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities accounted for 91% of new private sector jobs.

When a population drowning in debt is hit with unemployment from recession on top of unemployment from offshoring, will the people spend their rebates in eating places and bars, thus boosting employment among waitresses and bartenders? Will they spend their rebates in shopping malls, thus boosting employment for retail clerks? If they become ill, the lack of medical insurance will direct their rebates to doctors’ bills.

Economists and other shills for globalism told Americans not to worry about the loss of manufacturing jobs. Good riddance, they said, to these “old economy” jobs. The “new economy” would bring better and higher paying jobs in technical and professional services that would free Americans from the drudgery of factory work.

So far, these jobs haven’t shown up, and if they do, most will be susceptible to offshoring, just like the manufacturing jobs.

The Bush administration has in mind a total rebate of $150,000,000,000. As the government’s budget is already in deficit, the money will have to be borrowed. As the US saving rate is about zero, the money will have to be borrowed abroad.

Foreigners are already concerned about the US government’s indebtedness, and foreigners are bailing out some of our most important banks and Wall Street firms that foolishly invested in subprime derivatives.

Under pressure from budget and trade deficits, the US dollar has been losing value against other traded currencies. Having to borrow another $150 billion abroad will further erode the dollar’s value.

Meanwhile, Congress passed a $700 billion “defense” bill so that the Bush administration can continue its wars in the Middle East.

Our leaders in Washington are out to lunch. They have no idea of the real challenges our country faces and America’s dependence on foreign creditors.

The rebate will help Americans reduce their credit card debt. However, adding $150 billion to an existing federal budget deficit that will be worsened by recession could further alarm America’s foreign creditors, traders in currency markets, and OPEC oil producers. If the rebate loses its punch to consumer debt reduction, imports, and pressure on the dollar, what will the government do next?

As long as offshoring continues, the US cannot close its trade deficit. Offshoring increases imports and reduces the supply of potential exports. With Washington’s Middle East wars, with private companies ceasing to provide health coverage and pensions, with political spending promises in an election year, and with recession, the outlook for the federal budget deficit is dismal as well.

The US is moving into a situation in which the government could find it impossible to close the twin deficits without massive tariffs to curtail imports and offshoring and without pursuing peace instead of war. The outlook for the United States will continue to worsen as long as hegemonic superpower and free trade delusions prevail in Washington.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

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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Bush’s “Stimulus” Cash Giveaway; “Gentlemen, Start The Helicopters” By Mike Whitney

Bush speech on the U.S. Economy Jan.18, 2008

Is This The Big One? By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
21/01/08 “ICH

On Monday, fears of a US recession spilled over into Asian markets sending stocks tumbling. Indexes were hammered across the board in what turned out to be the worst day of trading since 2001. In India, the Bombay Sensitive Index plunged 1408 points, to 17,605. In China, the Shanghai Composite dropped 266 points (or 5.5%) to 23,818, while in Japan, the Nikkei fell 535 points, to 13,325 points. The bloodletting stretched across the continent and into Europe where shares nosedived by more than 4% by mid-morning “putting them on track for their biggest one-day fall in more than four and a half years.”

The huge sell-off is a sign that global investors do not believe that the Fed’s rate cuts or President Bush’s $150 billion “stimulus package” can revive the flagging economy or breathe new life into the over-extended US consumer. After Monday’s sharp downturn, the prospects for averting a deep and protracted recession are slim to none.

Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini summed it up like this nearly a month ago:

“The United States has now effectively entered into a serious and painful recession. The debate is not anymore on whether the economy will experience a soft landing or a hard landing; it is rather on how hard the hard landing recession will be. The factors that make the recession inevitable include the nation’s worst-ever housing recession, which is still getting worse; a severe liquidity and credit crunch in financial markets that is getting worse than when it started last summer; high oil and gasoline prices; falling capital spending by the corporate sector; a slackening labor market where few jobs are being created and the unemployment rate is sharply up; and shopped-out, savings-less and debt-burdened American consumers who — thanks to falling home prices — can no longer use their homes as ATM machines to allow them to spend more than their income. As private consumption in the US is over 70% of GDP the US consumer now retrenching and cutting spending ensures that a recession is now underway.

On top of this recession there are now serious risks of a systemic financial crisis in the US as the financial losses are spreading from subprime to near prime and prime mortgages, consumer debt (credit cards, auto loans, student loans), commercial real estate loans, leveraged loans and postponed/restructured/canceled LBO and, soon enough, sharply rising default rates on corporate bonds that will lead to a second round of large losses in credit default swaps. The total of all of these financial losses could be above $1 trillion thus triggering a massive credit crunch and a systemic financial sector crisis.” ( Nouriel Roubini Global EconoMonitor)

Decades of stagnant wages have left the American worker hamstrung and unable to continue to account for 25% of global consumption. Tightening credit and lack of personal savings have only added to his problems. The American consumer is tapped-out. That means that aggregate demand will fall dramatically across the world triggering increases in unemployment, decreases in capital expansion, and widespread slowdown in business activity. These are the beginnings of a deflationary spiral that will wipe out trillions of dollars of market capitalization in the real estate, equities and bonds markets. Even gold and oil will retreat significantly. (as we saw in Monday’s results)

The present crisis is not the result of normal market forces, but price fixing at the Federal Reserve and the financial engineering of the main investment banks. If there had been sufficient regulation of the activities of the Central Bank, so that interest rates had not been kept below the rate of inflation for over 31 months straight (under Greenspan) than the trillions of dollars in low-interest credit would not have flooded the real estate market, igniting a frenzy of speculative home-buying and creating the biggest housing bubble in US history. Despite his feeble excuses, Greenspan’s role in destroying the US economy is no longer in doubt. Even the far-right Op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal conceded Greenspan’s culpability in Saturday’s edition. Here’s what they said:

“Amid the daily market turmoil, and to help prevent a crash, it helps to step back and remember how we got here. With the benefit of hindsight, everyone can see that the U.S. economy built up an enormous credit bubble that has now popped. Our own view — which we warned about going back to 2003 — is that this bubble was created principally by a Federal Reserve that kept real interest rates too low for too long. In doing so the Fed created a subsidy for debt and a commodity price spike.”

Greenspan’s low interest rates stimulated risky speculation that resulted in humongous equity bubbles. That much is certain. The Fed’s “cheap money” policy generated artificial demand for housing which drove prices to unsustainable levels. Now we can expect to see a real estate crash unlike anything this country has experienced since the 1930s. That is the unavoidable outcome of Greenspan’s “low interest” fake prosperity.

Greenspan is not the only one responsible for the present calamity. The financial markets have been reconfigured in a way that accommodates all manner of corruption. The new model, “structured finance”, allows worthless assets to be disguised by fraudulent ratings and sold to unsuspecting investors. At one time, this assertion might have been dismissed as the ravings of a conspiracy nut. But now we can find the similar accusations in the Wall Street Journal and on CNBC.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal explaining how the $800 billion US current account deficit created a circular loop which channeled that money back to the U.S.:

“That capital flow and debt subsidy, in turn, became fuel for smart people in mortgage companies, investment banks and elsewhere to exploit. In a sense they created a new financial system — subprime loans, SIVs, CDOs, etc. — that is enormously efficient and brought capital to new places. But thanks to low interest rates and human enthusiasm, this debt spree also got carried away. ”

“Human enthusiasm”? Is that a euphemism for insatiable greed?

The Wall Street Journal admits that a new “structured debt” market was created to package dubious subprime liabilities (from “no doc”, no collateral , “bad credit” loan applicants) and sell them to hedge funds, insurance companies and foreign banks as if they were precious jewels. The WSJ avers that this is the way that “smart people” “exploit” the opportunities from lavish “capital flows”.

But was it “smart” or criminal?

Fortunately, that question was answered this week in an extraordinary outburst on cable TV by market-insider and equities guru, Jim Cramer. In Cramer’s latest explosion, he details his own involvement in creating and selling “structured products” which had never been stress-tested in a slumping market. No one knew how badly they would perform. Cramer admits that the motivation behind peddling this junk to gullible investors was simply greed. Here’s his statement:

“ITS ALL ABOUT THE COMMISSION”

(We used to say) “The commissions on structured products are so huge let’s JAM IT.” (note “jam it” means foist it on the customer) It’s all about the ‘commish’. The commission on structured product is GIGANTIC. I could make a fortune ‘JAMMING THAT CRUMMY PAPER’ but I had a degree of conscience—what a shocker!–We used to regulate people but they decided during the Reagan revolution that that was bad. So we don’t regulate anyone anymore. But listen the commission in structured product is so gigantic. (pause) First of all the customer has no idea what the product really is because it is invented. Second, you assume the customer is really stupid; like we used to say about the German bankers, ‘The German banks are just Bozos. Throw them anything.’ Or the Australians ‘M O R O N S’ Or the Florida Fund (ha ha ) “They’re so stupid let’s give them Triple B (junk grade) Then we’d just laugh and laugh at the customers and Jam them with the commission…That’s what happened; that’s what happened….Remember, this is about commissions, about how much money you can make by jamming stupid customers. I’ve seen it all my life; you jam stupid customers.” See the whole damning confession on: http://www.cnbc.com/id/22706231

Trillions of dollars in structured investments (CDOs, MBSs, an ASCP) have now clogged up the global economic system and are dragging the world headlong into recession/depression. Cramer’s confession is a candid admission of criminal intent to defraud the public by selling products which people–within the financial industry—KNEW were falsely represented by their ratings. They sold them simply to fatten their own paychecks and because there is no longer any regulatory agency within the US government that curtails ilicit activity.

BOYCOTT US FINANCIAL PRODUCTS?

As the stock market continues its inexorable downward plunge, foreign central banks and investors need to reevaluate the present situation and aggressively pursue legal alternatives. They should initiate a boycott of all US financial products until an appropriate settlement for the hundreds of billions in losses due to the “structured finance” swindle can be negotiated. That is the best way that they can serve their own national interests and those of their people.

Deregulation has annihilated the credibility of US markets. There is no oversight; it’s the Wild West. The assets are falsely represented, the ratings are meaningless, and there’s a clear intention to deceive. That means that the stewardship of the global economic system is no longer in good hands. There needs to be a fundamental change. As the “nightmare scenario” of global recession continues to unfold; we need new leaders in Europe and Asia to step up and fill the void.


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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Stock Markets in Europe Plunge 7 Percent

Russian TV: Ron Paul is the renegade of the Republican Party (video)

Dandelion Salad

RussiaToday

Ron Paul is the renegade of the Republican Party, and is relying on word of mouth, Youtube and web sites to put his message across. He didn’t make it in the top three in the South Carolina primary. But after coming a distant second in Nevada, he still hopes for a turnaround in the race for the White House.

Added: January 21, 2008

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Neocon Wars: More than just a Ron Paul video/Star Wars parody By Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

Ron Paul on Russian TV (video)

Ron Paul: 2nd Place in Nevada (short video)
Paul-Ron

Kucinich – NCSE Presidential Candidates Forum (video)

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

Presidential Candidates Forum

What Will the Next President do to Manage Climate Change?
Each candidate was invited to attend or send a representative. Opening statements and moderated discussion.

Friday 18 January 2008

Added: January 21, 2008

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Dennis 4 President

There Is No “War on Terror” by Edward S. Herman & David Peterson

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by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
Global Research, January 21, 2008

Znet

One of the most telling signs of the political naiveté of liberals and the Left in the United States has been their steadfast faith in much of the worldview that blankets the imperial state they call home. Nowhere has this critical failure been more evident than in their acceptance of the premise that there really is something called a “war on terror” or “terrorism”[1]—however poorly managed its critics make it out to be—and that righting the course of this war ought to be this country’s (and the world’s) top foreign policy priority. In this perspective, Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than Iraq ought to have been the war on terror’s proper foci; most accept that the U.S. attack on Afghanistan from October 2001 on was a legitimate and necessary stage in the war. The tragic error of the Bush Administration, in this view, was that it lost sight of this priority, and diverted U.S. military action to Iraq and other theaters, reducing the commitment where it was needed.

Of course we expect to find this line of criticism expressed by the many former supporters who have fled from the sinking regime in Washington.[2] But it is striking that commentators as durably hostile to Bush policies as the New York Times‘s Frank Rich should accept so many of the fundamentals of this worldview, and repeat them without embarrassment. Rich asserts that the question “Who lost Iraq? is but a distraction from the more damning question, Who is losing the war on terrorism?” A repeated theme of Rich’s work has been that the Cheney – Bush presidency is causing “as much damage to fighting the war on terrorism as it does to civil liberties.” Even in late 2007, Rich still lamented the “really bad news” that, “Much as Iraq distracted America from the war against Al Qaeda, so a strike on Iran could ignite Pakistan, Al Qaeda’s thriving base and the actual central front of the war on terror.”[3]

Other expressions of faith in something called the “war on terror” abound. Thus in a long review of several books in which she urged “[r]evamping our approach to terrorism” and “recapturing hearts and minds” around the world, Harvard’s Samantha Power, a top lieutenant in the humanitarian brigade, wrote that “most Americans still rightly believe that the United States must confront Islamic terrorism—and must be relentless in preventing terrorist networks from getting weapons of mass destruction. But Bush’s premises have proved flawed….”[4] Most striking was Power’s expression of disappointment that “millions—if not billions—of people around the world do not see the difference between a suicide bomber’s attack on a pizzeria and an American attack on what turns out to be a wedding party”—the broken moral compass residing within these masses, of course, who fail to understand that only the American attacks are legitimate and that the numerous resultant casualties are but “tragic errors” and “collateral damage.”[5]

Like Samantha Power, the What We’re Fighting For statement issued in February 2002 by the Institute for American Values and signed by 60 U.S. intellectuals, including Jean Bethke Elshtain, Francis Fukuyama, Mary Ann Glendon, Samuel Huntington, Harvey C. Mansfield, Will Marshall, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Michael Novak, Michael Walzer, George Weigel, and James Q. Wilson, declared the war on terror a “just war.” “Organized killers with global reach now threaten all of us,” it is asserted in one revealing passage. “In the name of universal human morality, and fully conscious of the restrictions and requirements of a just war, we support our government’s, and our society’s, decision to use force of arms against them.”[6] The idea that “killers with global reach” who are far more deadly and effective than Al Qaeda could be found at home doesn’t seem to occur to these intellectuals. And like Power, they also make what they believe a telling distinction between the deliberate killing of civilians, as in a suicide bombing, and “collateral damage”-type casualties even in cases where civilian casualties are vastly larger and entirely predictable, though not specifically intended.[7] Throughout these reflections, the purpose is to distinguish our murderous acts from theirs. It is the latter that constitute a “world-threatening evil…that clearly requires the use of force to remove it.”[8]

In the same mode, Princeton University international law professor Richard Falk’s early contributions to The Nation after 9/11 found a “visionary program of international, apocalyptic terrorism” behind the events. “It is truly a declaration of war from the lower depths,” Falk wrote, a “transformative shift in the nature of the terrorist challenge both conceptually and tactically….There is no indication that the forces behind the attack were acting on any basis beyond their extraordinary destructive intent….We are poised on the brink of a global, intercivilizational war without battlefields and borders….” Some weeks later, in a nod to “just war” doctrine, Falk argued that the “destruction of both the Taliban regime and the Al Qaeda network…are appropriate goals….[T]he case [against the Taliban] is strengthened,” he added, “to the degree that its governing policies are so oppressive as to give the international community the strongest possible grounds for humanitarian intervention.”[9]

Peter Beinart, a liberal-leaning former editor of the New Republic and the author of the 2006 book The Good Fight: Why Liberals-and Only LiberalsCan Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, wrote in the aftermath of Cheney – Bush’s 2004 re-election: “Today, the war on terrorism is partially obscured by the war in Iraq, which has made liberals cynical about the purposes of U.S. power. But, even if Iraq is Vietnam, it no more obviates the war on terrorism than Vietnam obviated the battle against communism. Global jihad will be with us long after American troops stop dying in Falluja and Mosul. And thus, liberalism will rise or fall on whether it can become, again, what [Arthur] Schlesinger called ‘a fighting faith’.”[10]

Even David Cole and Jules Lobel, authors of a highly-regarded critique of Cheney – Bush policies on “Why America Is Losing the War on Terror,” take the existence of its “counterterrorism strategy” at face value; this strategy has been a “colossal failure,” they argue, because it has “compromised our spirit, strengthened our enemies and left us less free and less safe.” The U.S. war in Iraq “permitted the Administration to turn its focus from Al Qaeda, the organization that attacked us on 9/11, to Iraq, a nation that did not. The Iraq war has by virtually all accounts made the United States, the Iraqi people, many of our allies and for that matter much of the world more vulnerable to terrorists. By targeting Iraq, the Bush Administration not only siphoned off much-needed resources from the struggle against Al Qaeda but also created a golden opportunity for Al Qaeda to inspire and recruit others to attack US and allied targets. And our invasion of Iraq has turned it into the world’s premier terrorist training ground.”[11]

Elsewhere, appearing at a forum in New York City sponsored by the Open Society Institute to discuss his work, David Cole made the remarkable assertion that “no one argued” the post-9/11 U.S. attack on Afghanistan was “not a legitimate act of self-defense.” No less remarkable was Cole’s statement shortly thereafter that the United States’ “holding [of prisoners] at Guantanamo would not have been controversial practice had we given them hearings at the outset,” because, as Cole explained it, such hearings “would have identified those people as to whom we had no evidence that they were involved with Al Qaeda and then they would be released.”[12]

Cole’s first remark ignores the UN Charter, which allows an attack on another state in self-defense only when an imminent attack is threatened, and then only until such time as the Security Council acts on behalf of the threatened state. But given the absence of such urgency and the absence of a UN authorization, and given that the hijacker bombers of 9/11 were independent terrorists and not agents of a state, the October 2001 U.S. war on Afghanistan was a violation of the UN Charter and a “supreme international crime,” in the language of the Judgment at Nuremberg.[13] Would Cole have defended Cuban or Nicaraguan or Iraqi bombing attacks on Washington D.C. as legitimate acts of self-defense at any juncture in the past when the United States was attacking or sponsoring an attack on these countries? We doubt it. Cole also seems unaware that the United States attacked after refusing the Afghan government’s offer to give up bin Laden upon the presentation of evidence of his involvement in the crime.[14] Furthermore, the war began long after bin Laden and his forces had been given time to exit, and was fought mainly against the Taliban government and Afghan people, thousands of whom were killed under targeting rules that assured and resulted in numerous “tragic errors” and can reasonably be called war crimes.

Given the illegality and immorality of this war—now already well into its seventh year—the killing of people in Afghanistan cannot be regarded as “legitimate”—and neither can the taking of prisoners there under any conditions. Cole’s second remark also ignores the modes of seizure of prisoners, some turned over in exchange for cash bounties; or their treatment in Afghanistan, en route to Guantanamo, and in rendition facilities, apart from delays in or absence of “hearings at the outset.” Last, Cole is wrong even on the alleged general agreement on the legitimacy of this act of “self-defense” in Afghanistan. Despite the domestic hysteria in the United States at the time, a number of lawyers here contested its legitimacy .[15] Furthermore, a series of opinion polls in 37 different countries by Gallup International in late September 2001 found that in no less than 34 of these countries, majorities opposed a U.S. military attack on Afghanistan, preferring instead to see the events of September 11 treated as crimes (i.e., non-militarily), with extradition and trial for the alleged culprits. The three countries where opinion ran against the majority in the other 34 were the United States (54%), India (72%), and Israel (77%). Otherwise, it appears that significant and sometimes overwhelming majorities of the world’s population were opposed to the U.S. resort to war.[16]

What War on Terror?

But talk of the “failure” of the war on terror rests on the false premise that there really is such a war. This we reject on a number of grounds. First, in all serious definitions of the term,[17] terror is a means of pursuing political ends, an instrument of struggle, and it makes little sense to talk about war against a means and instrument. Furthermore, if the means consists of modes of political intimidation and publicity-seeking that use or threaten force against civilians, a major problem with the alleged “war” is that the United States and Israel also clearly use terror and support allies and agents who do the same. The “shock and awe” strategy that opened the 2002 invasion-occupation of Iraq was openly and explicitly designed to terrorize the Iraq population and armed forces. Much of the bombing and torture, and the attack that destroyed Falluja, have been designed to instill fear and intimidate the general population and resistance. Israel’s repeated bombing attacks, ground assaults, and targeted assassinations of Palestinians are also designed to create fear and apathy, that is, terrorize. As longtime Labour Party official Abba Eban admitted years ago, Israel’s bombing of Lebanon civilians was based on “the rational prospect, ultimately fulfilled, that afflicted populations [i.e., civilians deliberately targeted] would exert pressure for the cessation of hostilities.”[18] This was a precise admission of the use of terrorism, and surely fits Israeli policy in the years of the alleged “war on terror.” Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has also acknowledged an intent to attack civilians, declaring in March 2002 that “The Palestinians must be hit and it must be very painful: we must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel the heavy price.”[19]

The United States and Israel actually engage in big-time terror, like strategic bombing, helicopter attacks, torture on a continuing basis, and large-scale invasions and invasion threats, not lower-casualty-inflicting actions like occasional plane hijackings and suicide bombings. This has long been characterized as the difference between wholesale and retail terror, the former carried out by states and on a large scale, the latter implemented by individuals and small groups, much smaller in scale, and causing fewer civilian victims than its wholesale counterpart.[20] Retail terrorists don’t maintain multiple detention centers in which they employ torture (at the height of its state terror activities in the 1970s the Argentinian military maintained an estimated 60 such centers, according to Amnesty International;[21] the United States today, on land bases and naval vessels and in client state operated facilities, uses dozens of such centers).

Furthermore, retail terror is often sponsored by the wholesale terrorists—notoriously, the Cuban refugee network operating out of the United States for decades, the U.S.-supported Nicaraguan contras, Savimbi’s UNITA in Angola in the 1980s, backed by both South Africa and the United States, the South Lebanon Army supported by Israel for years, and the Colombian rightwing death squads still in operation, with U.S. support. Thus, a meaningful war on terror would surely involve attacks on the United States and Israel as premier wholesale terrorists and sponsors, a notion we have yet to find expounded by a single one of the current war-on-terror proponents.

In short, one secret of the widespread belief that the United States and Israel are fighting—not carrying out—terror is the remarkable capacity of the Western media and intellectual class to ignore the standard definitions of terror and the reality of who does the most terrorizing, and thus to allow the Western political establishments to use the invidious word to apply to their targets. We only retaliate and engage in “counter-terror”—our targets started it and their lesser violence is terrorism.

A second and closely related secret of the swallowing of war-on-terror propaganda is the ability of the swallowers to ignore the U.S. purposes and program. They never ask: Is the United States simply responding to the 9/11 attack or do its leaders have a larger agenda for which they can use 9/11 terrorism as a cover? But this obvious question almost answers itself: Documents of the prior decade show clearly that the Bush team was openly hoping for another “Pearl Harbor” that would allow them to go on the offensive and project power in the Middle East and across the globe. In the rightfully infamous words of the Project for the New American Century (2000), “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”[22] The huge military forces that have been built up in this country conveniently permit this power-projection by threat and use of force, and their buildup and use has had bipartisan support, reflecting in large measure the power and objectives of the military establishment, military contractors, and transnational corporations. The military buildup was not for defensive purposes in any meaningful sense; it was for power-projection, which is to say, for offense.

In this connection we should point out that at the time of 9/11 in the year 2001, Al Qaeda was considered by most experts to be a small non-state operation, possibly centered in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan, but loosely sprawled across the globe, and with at most only a few thousand operatives.[23] It is clear that such a small and diffuse operation called for an anti-crime and intelligence response, not a war. Of course a war could be carried out against the country which was their principal home, but given the lags involved and the threat that a war, with its civilian casualties and imperialist overtones, would possibly strengthen Al Qaeda, the quick resort to war in the post-9/11 period suggests covert motives, including vengeance and taking advantage of 9/11 for power-projection. And while a war could be launched against Afghanistan and an attack made on Al Qaeda headquarters, this was hardly a war on terror. Nor could the huge military buildup that ensued have been based on a fight in Afghanistan or against tiny Al Qaeda.[24]

It is also notable that there has been no attempt by the organizers of the war on terror to try to stop terrorism at its source by addressing the problems that have produced the terrorists and provided their recruiting base. In fact, for the organizers and their supporters in the “war on terror,” raising the question of “why” is regarded as a form of apologetics for terror, and they are uninterested in the question, satisfied with clichés about the terrorists envy, hatred of freedom, and genetic or religious proclivities. This is consistent with the view that getting rid of terror is not their aim, and that in fact they need the steady flow of resisters-terrorists which their actions produce to justify their real purpose of power projection virtually without limit. Failure to end terrorism is not a failure of the “war on terror,” it is a necessary part of its machinery of operation.

In short, the war on terror is an intellectual and propaganda cover, analogous—and in many ways a successor—to the departed “Cold War,” which in its time also served as a cover for imperial expansion. Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, Indonesia, Zaire (and many others) were regularly subverted or attacked on the ground of an alleged Soviet menace that had to be combated. That menace was rarely applicable to the actual cases, and the strained connection was often laughable. With that cover gone, pursuing terrorists is proving to be an admirable substitute, as once again a gullible media will accept that any targeted rebels are actual or potential terrorists and may even have links to Al Qaeda. The FARC rebels in Colombia are terrorists, but the government-supported rightwing paramilitaries who kill many more civilians than FARC are not and are the beneficiaries of U.S. “counter-terrorism” aid. Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, on the other hand, which does not kill civilians, is accused of lack of cooperation in the U.S. “counter-terrorism” program, and is alleged to have “links” to U.S. targets such as Iran and Cuba, which allegedly support terrorists.[25] Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and other torture-prone states are “with us” in the war on terror; states like Venezuela, Iran and Cuba are not with us and are easily situated as terrorist or “linked” to terrorist states.

If Al Qaeda didn’t exist the United States would have had to create it, and of course it did create it back in the 1980s, as a means of destabilizing the Soviet Union. Al Qaeda’s more recent role is a classic case of “blowback.” It is also a case of resistance to power-projection, as Al Qaeda’s terrorist activities switched from combating a Soviet occupation, to combating U.S. intervention in Saudi Arabia, Palestine and elsewhere. It was also spurred by lagged resentment at being used by the United States for its Soviet destabilization purposes and then abandoned.[26]

While U.S. interventionism gave Al Qaeda a strong start, and while it continues today to facilitate Al Qaeda recruitment, it has also provoked resistance far beyond Al Qaeda, as in Iraq, where most of the resistance has nothing to do with Al Qaeda and in fact has widely turned against it. If as the United States projects power across the globe this produces resistance, and if this resistance can be labeled “terrorists,” then U.S. aggression and wholesale terror are home-free! Any country that is willing to align with the United States can get its dissidents and resistance condemned as “terrorists,” with or without links to Al Qaeda, and get U.S. military aid. The war on terror is a war of superpower power-projection, which is to say, an imperialist war on a global scale.

The issue of who terrorizes whom is hardly new. Back in 1979, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism featured the U.S. terror gulag in great detail, and even had a frontispiece showing the flow of economic and military aid from the United States to 26 of the 35 countries using torture on an administrative basis in that era. Herman’s The Real Terror Network of 1982 also traced out a U.S.-sponsored terror gulag and showed its logical connection to the growth of the transnational corporation and desire for friendly state-terrorists who would produce favorable climates of investment (recall Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s statement to U.S. oil companies back at the time of his 1972 accession to power: “We’ll pass laws you need—just tell us what you want.”[27]). But these works were ignored in the mainstream and could hardly compete with Claire Sterling’s The Terror Network, which traced selected retail terrorisms—falsely—to the Soviet Union. This fit the Reagan-era “war on terror” claims, which coincided with the Reagan era support of Israel’s attack on Lebanon and subsequent “iron fist” terrorism there, Reagan’s support of the Argentine military regime, Suharto, Marcos, South Africa, the Guatemalan and Salvadoran terror regimes, Savimbi, the Cuban terror network, and the Nicaraguan contras.

This historical record of U.S. terrorism and support of terrorism occasionally surfaces in the mainstream, but is brushed aside on the ground that the United States has taken a new course, so that long record can be ignored. In a classic of this genre, Michael Ignatieff, writing in the New York Times Magazine, claimed that this was so because President George Bush said so! “The democratic turn in American foreign policy has been recent,” he wrote, adding that at long last, the current George Bush has “actually risked his presidency on the premise that Jefferson might be right.”[28] This capacity to ignore history, and the institutional underpinning of that history, complements the mainstream media and intellectuals’ ability to take as a premise that the United States is virtuous and in its foreign dealings is trying to do good or is just defending itself against bad people and movements who for no good reason hate us. As noted, the amazing definitional systems in use are de facto Alice-in-Wonderland: Terrorism is anything I choose to target and so designate.

Two novelties of the Bush era projection of power and wholesale terrorism are their brazenness and scope. Past U.S. employment of torture, and of gulags in which to hold and work-over alleged or possible terrorists or resisters, were more or less sub rosa, the cruelties and violations of international law and U.S. involvement kept more or less plausibly deniable. The Bush team is open about them, calling for legalization of torture and their other violations of international law, which they rationalize by heavy-handed redefinitions of “torture” and claims of the inapplicability of international law to their new category of “enemy combatants.”[29] Bush also brags in public about the extension of the U.S. killing machine to distant places and the extent to which declared enemies have been removed, implicitly by killing, obviously without hearing or trial. On September 17, 2001, Bush signed a “classified Presidential Finding that authorized an unprecedented range of covert operations,” the Washington Post later reported, including “lethal measures against terrorists and the expenditure of vast funds to coax foreign intelligence services into a new era of cooperation with the CIA.”[30] And in his State of the Union speech of 2003, Bush asserted that “more than 3,000 suspected terrorists” had been arrested across the globe “and many others have met a different fate—Let’s put it this way: They are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.[31] As Chris Floyd has pointed out, this represents the work of a “universal death squad,”[32] the authorization and accomplishments of which were barely acknowledged in the mainstream media.

U.S. state-terrorism has also been broadened in scope and is a facet of globalization. In accord with the principles of globalization, there has been a major increase in the privatization of terrorism. Blackwater Worldwide is only the best known of mercenary armies in Iraq that now outnumber regular armed force members, and who are free from some of the legal constraints of the armed forces in how they treat the local population. The global American gulag of secret prisons and torture centers to which an unknown number of people have been sent, held without trial, worked over and sometimes killed as well as tortured, is located in many countries: The “spider’s web” first described by a Council of Europe investigation identified landings and takeoffs at no fewer than 30 airports on four different continents;[33] and earlier research by Human Rights First estimated that the United States was operating dozens of major and lesser known detention centers as part of its “war on terror”: These included the obvious cases of Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq, the U.S. Air Force base at Bagram in Afghanistan, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, and other suspected centers in Pakistan, Jordan, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, and on U.S. Navy ships at sea.[34] Still others are operated by client and other states at the torture-producing end of the “extraordinary rendition” chain (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Morocco). Given the vastness of this U.S. enterprise, surely we are talking about tens-of-thousands of prisoners, a great many picked-up and tortured based on rumor, the inducement of bonus payments, denunciations in vendettas, and accidents of name or location.[35] We know that a great majority of those imprisoned in sweeps in Iraq were taken without the slightest information on wrong-doing even on aggressor-occupier terms.[36] There is strong anecdotal evidence that suggests that the same is true in Afghanistan.

Another notable feature of the “war on terror” is the extent to which this mythical war has been advanced via the UN and the “international community,” the UN’s work in particular serving as an extension of U.S. policy. This has been in marked contrast to their treatment of open aggression and violations of the UN Charter’s prohibition of aggressive war. Time and again the United States and Israel have violated this fundamental international law during the past decade, and they are clearly the global leaders in state-terrorism that many observers believe to be the main force inspiring a global resistance and spurring on various forms of Islamic terrorism, including Al Qaeda. But instead of focusing on the causal wars and state-terrorism, following the U.S. lead the UN and international community have focused on the lesser and derivative terrorism, and taken the “war on terror” at face value. In other words, they have once again assumed the role of servants of U.S. policy, in this instance helping the aggressor states and wholesale terrorists struggle against the retail terror they inspire.

We can trace this pattern at least as far back as October 1999 (almost two years before 9/11), when the Security Council adopted Resolution 1267 “on the situation in Afghanistan.” This Resolution deplored that the “Taliban continues to provide safe haven to Usama bin Laden,” and it demanded that the “Taliban turn over Usama bin Laden without further delay to appropriate authorities in a country where he has been indicted.” 1267 also created the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee to manage this effort to squeeze the Taliban and anyone linkable to either of them.[37] At the time, bin Laden had been indicted by a U.S. Federal Court for his alleged involvement in the August 1998 suicide bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing some 250 people; Al Qaeda had also been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State. “The international community has sent a clear message,” President Bill Clinton announced. “The choice between co-operation and isolation lies with the Taliban.” But the Taliban complained that “This unfair action was taken under the pressure of the United States….So far, there has not been any evidence of Osama’s involvement in terrorism by any one”—essentially the same retort that the Taliban made to Bush White House demands after 9/11 that the Taliban surrender bin Laden.[38] 1267 thus extended key components of the 1996 U.S. Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act’s category of states designated “not cooperating with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts” beyond U.S. borders to the level of internationally-enforceable law.

Only four days after 1267, the Council adopted companion Resolution 1269 “on the responsibility of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security.” 1269 condemned the “practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation,” and stressed the “vital role” of the UN “in combating terrorism.”[39] Similarly, Resolution 1373, adopted shortly after the 9/11 attacks and just days before the United States launched its war to remove the Taliban, greatly expanded the UN’s involvement in the U.S. “war on terror,” creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee to manage the fight against terrorism and criminalizing all forms of support for individuals and groups engaged in terrorism. Like 1267 and, later, 1540 (April 24, 2004), which created a committee to prevent “non-State actors” from acquiring “weapons of mass destruction,”[40] the Security Council adopted each of these resolutions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, on the basis of which the Council is to supposed to respond to “threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression.”

All of this vigilance with respect to “terrorism,” and the notion that “non-State actors” and “terrorists” of the Al Qaeda variety deserve this intense UN concern, stands in dramatic contrast with the treatment of literal aggression, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, and genocidal actions such as the U.S.-U.K.-UN “sanctions of mass destruction” that killed possibly a million Iraqi civilians during the years between the first and second wars against Iraq, ca. 1991-2003.[41] Yet, in his report In larger freedom (March, 2005), Kofi Annan argued that “It is time to set aside debates on so-called ‘State terrorism’. The use of force by States is already thoroughly regulated under international law. And the right to resist occupation must be understood in its true meaning. It cannot include the right to deliberately kill or maim civilians.”[42]

But these comments contain a major falsehood and reflect serious pro-state-terrorism and anti-resistance bias—there is no “thorough” regulation of state-terrorism, and in fact there is none at all, as evidenced by the fact that the United States and its allies have been able to attack three countries in a single decade (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq) without the slightest impediment from Kofi Annan’s United Nations,[43] but also in each case with the UN’s ex post facto assent. Note also Annan’s failure to suggest that states should not have the “right to deliberately kill or maim civilians,” a concern that he exhibits only as regards resisters to state violence and occupation. This despite the fact that in their recent and ongoing wars the United States and its allies have killed, maimed, starved, and driven from their homes vastly more civilians than has Al Qaeda or all of the world’s retail terrorists combined. Note also that within the targeted countries, political leaders have been captured by these aggressors, and subjected to trial by tribunals—but never the leadership of the great powers. In pursuing their enemies to the farthest reaches of the earth, they continue to enjoyed complete impunity.[44]

Concluding Note

In sum, the war on terror is a political gambit and myth used to cover over a U.S. projection of power that needed rhetorical help with the disappearance of the Soviet Union and Cold War. It has been successful because U.S. leaders could hide behind the very real 9/11 terrorist attack and pretend that their own wars, wholesale terrorist actions, and enlarged support of a string of countries—many authoritarian and engaged in state terrorism—were somehow linked to that attack and its Al Qaeda authors. But most U.S. military actions abroad since 9/11 have had little or no connection with Al Qaeda; and you cannot war on a method of struggle, especially when you, your allies and clients use those methods as well.

It is widely argued now that the war on terror has been a failure. This also is a fallacy, resting on the imputation of purpose to the war’s organizers contrary to their actual aims—they were looking for and found the new “Pearl Harbor” needed to justify a surge of U.S. force projection across the globe. It appears that Al Qaeda is stronger now than it was on September 11, 2001; but Al Qaeda was never the main target of the Bush administration. If Al Qaeda had been, the Bush administration would have tried much more seriously to apprehend bin Laden, by military or political action, and it would not have carried out policies in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere that have played so well into bin Laden’s hand—arguably, policy responses that bin Laden hoped to provoke. If Washington really had been worried at the post-9/11 terrorist threat it would have followed through on the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for guarding U.S. territory (ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities, airports and other transportation hubs, and the like).[45] The fact that it hasn’t done this, but instead has adopted a cynical and politicized system of terrorism alerts, is testimony to the administration’s own private understanding of the contrived character of the war on terror and the alleged threats that we face.

Admittedly, the surge in power projection that 9/11 and the war on terror facilitated has not been a complete and unadulterated success. But the “war on terror” gambit did enable this surge to come about, and it should be recognized that the invasion-occupation of Iraq was not a diversion, its conquest was one of the intended objectives of this war. That conquest may be in jeopardy, but looked at from the standpoint of its organizers, the war has achieved some of the real goals for which it was designed; and in this critical but seldom appreciated sense it has been a success. It has facilitated two U.S. military invasions of foreign countries, served to line-up many other states behind the leader of the war, helped once again to push NATO into new, out-of-area operations, permitted a further advance in the U.S. disregard of international law, helped bring about quasi-regime changes in some major European capitals, and was the basis for the huge growth in U.S. and foreign military budgets. While its destabilization of the Middle East has possibly benefited Iran, it has given Israel a free hand in accelerated ethnic cleansing, settlements, and more ruthless treatment of the Palestinians, and the United States and Israel still continue to threaten and isolate Iran.

Furthermore, with the cooperation of the Democrats and mass media, the “war on terror” gave the “decider” and his clique the political ability to impose an unconstitutional, rightwing agenda at home, at the expense of the rule of law, economic equality, environmental and other regulation, and social solidarity. The increased military budget and militarization of U.S. society, the explosive growth in corporate “counter-terrorism” and “homeland security” enterprises, the greater centralization of power in the executive branch, the enhanced inequality, the unimpeded growth of the prison-industrial complex, the more rightwing judiciary, and the failure of the Democrats to do anything to counter these trends since the 2006 election, suggests that the shift to the right and to a more militarized society and expansionist foreign policy may have become permanent features of life in the United States. Is that not a war on terror success story, given the aims of its creators?

Endnotes

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© Copyright Edward S. Herman, Znet, 2008
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Stock Markets in Europe Plunge 7 Percent (updated)

Dandelion Salad

News Updates from Citizens for Legitimate Government

21 Jan 2008

http://www.legitgov.org/

http://www.legitgov.org/index.html#breaking_news

Breaking: Stock Markets in Europe Plunge 7 Percent 21 Jan 2008 Global stock markets plunged on Monday as fears spread that the turmoil in United States mortgage markets is spreading. Indexes in Europe fell as much as 7 percent after a huge sell-off in Asia. “There’s something approaching panic in the market,” Holger Schmieding, the chief European economist at Bank of America in London, said by telephone.

Black Monday as biggest FTSE crash since 9/11 wipes off nearly £60bn in shares 21 Jan 2008 The stock market was in meltdown today as nearly £60billion was wiped off London shares. A combination of poor economic figures and the worsening global credit crunch sent the FTSE 100 plunging. At one stage the drop was the biggest since 9/11 in 2001, although the index of Britain’s biggest companies later clawed back some of the losses.

British shares in worst fall since Sept. 11 attacksFTSE 100 index drops 323 points as miners and banks weigh 21 Jan 2008 Shares in London tumbled Monday in their worst session since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 as a sharp downturn in mining and banking shares pointed to growing investor fears about a slowdown in global economic growth and a U.S. recession. The U.K. FTSE 100 index declined 5.5%, or 323.5 points, to 5,578.20, led by financials including the Royal Bank of Scotland, which dropped 8.2%, and mining giant BHP Billiton, which fell 8.7%. On Sept. 11, 2001, the FTSE 100 dropped 287.70 points, according to data from Thomson Financial.

Updated: Jan. 22, 2008

 

Japanese Stocks Plunge in Biggest Two-Day Rout in 17 Years 22 Jan 2008 Japanese benchmarks plunged, completing the worst two-day drop in 17 years on concern global growth is faltering. The Nikkei dropped 9.3 percent in the last two sessions and the Topix fell 9.1 percent. That was the biggest two-day decline for both gauges since 1990 and erased 39.2 trillion yen ($369 billion) in value from the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board. The loss is more than twice the size of an economic stimulus plan suggested by U.S. President [sic] George Bush.

‘I think the blood bank is trawling all broker’s floors to recover the blood’ Australian shares in freefallSharemarket is now officially in a bear market 22 Jan 2008 Australian shares plunged a massive 7 per cent this afternoon as panic selling set in among investors over an expected slowdown in global growth. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index had shed more than 7 per cent, down 393.6 points to 5186.8 points – its lowest since November 2006 – placing the market on course for a record 12th day of declines. The plunge equated to a $90 billion loss of market value. The latest plunge means the sharemarket has now lost more than 24 per cent of its value since hitting a record high last November and is now officially in a bear market.

India’s Sensex tumbles 11.5% in early minutes, trade halted 21 Jan 2008 India’s Sensitive Index tumbled 11.5% within the first two minutes of trading on Tuesday, forcing a trade halt for an hour. The index stumbled 2,029.05 points to 15,576.30, after slumping 7.4% in the previous session. “It doesn’t look good at all. We expected it to fall, but nobody expected this kind of correction,” said Sharmila Joshi, a trader with Prabhudas Lilladher in Mumbai.

FTSE 100 slumps as market rout deepens 22 Jan 2008 The rout in global equity markets accelerated this morning, with the FTSE 100 slumping more than 100 points in the first few minutes of trading, as gloom about the economic outlook for 2008 deepened. The drop to 5441.1 shortly after 8am comes a few hours after all of Asia’s major stock markets plummeted, continuing the bloodbath in share prices that saw London’s FTSE 100 yesterday suffer its biggest one-day fall since the 9/11 terror attacks.

£70bn wiped off shares as FTSE plunges 21 Jan 2008 More than £70 billion was wiped off the value of blue chip shares today as the London market suffered its worst one-day fall since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The stock market misery came as fears of a recession in the US intensified. Traders described the losses on the FTSE 100 Index as “incredible”, with the Footsie at one stage plummeting by as much as 330.7 points.

 

The American Media’s Complicit Failure to Investigate & Report on the Sibel Edmonds Case By Daniel Ellsberg

Dandelion Salad

By Daniel Ellsberg
After Downing Street
BradBlog

For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch’s London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.

For the last two weeks — one could say, for years — the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.

Just as important, there must be pressure by the public on Congressional committee chairpersons, in particular Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Patrick Leahy. Both have been sitting for years on classified, sworn testimony by Edmonds — as she revealed in the Times’ new story on Sunday — along with documentation, in their possession, confirming parts of her account. Pressure must be brought for them to hold public hearings to investigate her accusations of widespread criminal activities, over several administrations, that endanger national security. They should call for open testimony under oath by Edmonds — as she has urged for five years — and by other FBI officials she has named to them, as cited anonymously in the first Times’ story.

And this is the time for those who have so far creditably leaked to the Times of London to come forward, accepting personal risks, to offer their testimony — and new documents — both to the Congress and to the American press. I would say to them: Don’t do what I did and waste months of precious time trying to get Congressional committees to act as they should in the absence of journalistic pressure. Do your best to inform the American public directly, first, through the major American media.

But perhaps today the alternative media and the international press are a necessary precursor even to that. It shouldn’t be true, but if it is, it’s a measure of how far the New York Times and Washington Post have fallen from their responsibilities to the public, to their profession and to American democracy, since I gave them the Pentagon Papers in 1971. They printed them then. Would they today?

It’s impossible to believe that they — or Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal — could not have acquired documents and testimony that Murdoch’s London paper reports on today. Now the challenge to them is to end their silence on that reporting and do their job.

Otherwise, like the now-Democratic-controlled committees, they are complicit in cover-up. That’s not what these institutions should be doing. It’s not that “the cover-up is always worse than the crime”: that favorite media mantra is itself a cover story. The criminal cover-up by the FBI revealed by Edmonds and the Times’ documents is, as often the case, to conceal extremely serious crimes endangering our security, and to protect the official perpetrators. But if “freedom of the press is mainly for the people who own presses,” it is time for those owners to stop using that freedom to help conceal official wrongdoing. And the people who own computers should be using them to light a fire under the owners of presses and television networks.

In support of the official cover-up, various American journalists in the last weeks have reportedly received calls from “intelligence sources” hinting that “what Sibel Edmonds stumbled onto” is not a rogue operation by American officials and Congressmen working to their own advantage — as believed by Edmonds and some other former or active FBI officials — but a sensitive covert operation authorized at high levels. If there is any truth to that, we clearly have another prize candidate — giving us, as blowback, the Pakistani Bomb and nuclear sales — in the category of “worst covert operation in U.S. history,” rivaling such contenders as the Bay of Pigs, Iran-Contra, and the secret CIA torture camps abroad.

In the first two of those, the American press gullibly responded to official warnings of “sensitivity” and sat on information they should have reported (as did the New York Times, for a year, on the illegal NSA surveillance program). If the Washington Post had heeded such warnings and demands with respect to the covert torture camps, they would have missed a well-earned Pulitzer Prize and the camps would still be torturing.

Many, if not most, covert operations deserve to be disclosed by a free press. They are often covert not only because they are illegal but because they are wildly ill-conceived and reckless. “Sensitive” and “covert” are often synonyms for “half-assed” or “idiotic,” as well as for “criminal,” as the pattern of activities revealed by Edmonds would appear to be if it were truly presidentially authorized. These activities persist, covertly, to the point of national disaster because the press neglects what our First Amendment was precisely intended to protect and encourage it to do: expose wrongdoing by officials.

===

Daniel Ellsberg is a former American military analyst who sparked a national uproar in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of government decision-making during the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers.

ED NOTE: A short video compilation (appx. 1.5 minutes) of a number of previous public comments made by Ellsberg, in support of Sibel Edmonds, has now been posted here by Edmonds expert Luke Ryland.

Daniel Ellsberg supporting Sibel Edmonds

lukery2
Added: January 20, 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.

see

FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft

The Fox news fluke and increasing blogosphere coverage of Sibel Edmonds

Edmonds-Sibel

Older blog posts:

Turkey & America: the Corridors of Intelligence and Geopolitics by John Stanton (Sibel)

Sibel Edmonds: Kill The Messenger (must-see video)

What if the FBI Hired Someone Honest to Look into 9-11? By David Swanson

New Whistleblowers Back Sibel by Scott Horton (Interview w/Sibel Edmonds & James Bamford)

The Highjacking of a Nation By Sibel Edmonds (9-11; Carlyle; Saudi Arabia; MIC)

Hersh: On the Iraq War, Bush Foreign Policy, Private Contractors & the Prospects of War with Iran By Wajahat Ali

Dandelion Salad

By Wajahat Ali
Jan. 15, 2008

Going 15 Rounds with Seymour Hersh

“I‘m having a horrible day,” grumbled Seymour Hersh, the 70 year-old Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, arguably the most revered of his time, and reporter for the prestigious New Yorker magazine.

Almost a week before, I called Seymour Hersh on a lark trying to score an interview regarding his New Yorker article “Shifting Targets: The Administration’s plan for Iran,” an explosive piece outlining the Bush Administration’s strategic and aggressive preparation for a potential attack on Iran. When Hersh writes, everyone reads, and the world pays attention.

Fast forward one week, I’m casually sitting behind my desk with my laptop in front of me, calling Hersh’s office number to leave a message on his machine reminding him of the interview upon his return from the publicity trip.

The phone rings. It rings again. Instead of a soothing, feminine, robotic automated voice message, a surly and flustered voice answers, “Hello?”

“Why do you want an interview? Who are you again? Islamic ­ what? Islamic? Listen, you know I did Jazeera right? Al Jazeera? They’re Muslim (pauses). Oh, God. I mean, so, so what? What, you want an interview or something? Is that what you want? I – I usually do the pimping for my pieces for 2-3 days after they’re published, but once it’s done I move on. I move on, ya’ know? That was last week. This is this week. I got a lot of reporting to do (Sigh, sounds overwhelmed). I got a lot of reporting to do.”

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.

see

Seymour Hersh: Bush Admin Has Known of Iran Intel All Year (video)

Olbermann: Seymour Hersh Interview (video)

The Administration’s plan for Iran By Seymour M. Hersh

Seymour Hersh (older posts)

Hersh-Seymour (newer posts)

Honeybees may be wiped out in 10 years By Jasper Copping

Dandelion Salad

By Jasper Copping
Telegraph
12:01am GMT 20/01/2008

Honeybees will die out in Britain within a decade as virulent diseases and parasites spread through the nation’s hives, experts have warned.

Whole colonies of bees are already being wiped out, with current methods of pest control unable to stop the problem.

The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) said that if the crisis continued, honeybees would disappear completely from Britain by 2018, causing “calamitous” economic and environmental problems.

It called on the Government to restart shelved research programmes and to fund new ones to try to save the insects.

Tim Lovett, the association’s president, said: “The situation has become insupportable and the Government is unwilling to take steps to avoid disaster.

“We’re increasingly unable to cope with threats as they arise. No bees means a huge cost to agriculture, without touching on the ecological and environmental issues. We’re facing calamitous results.”

Last year, more than 11 per cent of all beehives inspected were wiped out, although losses were higher in some areas.

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.

see

Mystery: Millions of Bees Dying Across North America (video)

A Mysterious Killer Of Honeybees Threatens Our Food Supply by Guadamour

UN transformation proposed to create ‘new world order’ + PM urges world institution reform

Dandelion Salad

By Andrew Grice in Delhi
The Independent
Published: 21 January 2008

Gordon Brown has begun secret talks with other world leaders on far-reaching reform of the United Nations Security Council as part of a drive to create a “new world order” and “global society”.

The Prime Minister is drawing up plans to expand the number of permanent members in a move that will provoke fears that the veto enjoyed by Britain could be diluted eventually. The United States, France, Russia and China also have a veto but the number of members could be doubled to include India, Germany, Japan, Brazil and one or two African nations.

Mr Brown has discussed a shake-up of a structure created in 1945 to reflect the world’s new challenges and power bases during his four-day trip to China and India. Last night, British sources revealed “intense discussions” on UN reform were under way and Mr Brown raised it whenever he met another world leader.

continued…

h/t: ~Radical Truth~

***

PM urges world institution reform

BBC
21 January 2008, 09:12 GMT

Gordon Brown has called for reform of international institutions, including the United Nations and the World Bank, on the final day of his trip to India.

In a keynote speech in New Delhi, the prime minister said it was time to build a “new global society”.

He also called for the expansion of the UN Security Council – with a permanent seat for India – and a World Bank fund to combat global warming.

Later, he laid a wreath at a memorial to the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Rise of Asia

Mr Brown told business leaders in the Indian capital that to succeed, post-war international institutions “must be radically reformed to fit our world of globalisation”.

“We can and must do more to make our global institutions more representative and I support India’s bid for a permanent place, with others, on an expanded UN Security Council.”

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.

Bill Moyers Journal: Clinton, Obama, King & Johnston + more (video)

Dandelion Salad

PBS

A Bill Moyers essay on Martin Luther King, Jr., LBJ, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

For more go to http://www.pbs.org/moyers

h/t: After Downing Street

Bill Moyers Journal
January 19, 2008

BILL MOYERS: If William Shakespeare were around I suspect he might describe the recent flap between the Obama and Clinton camps as much ado about nothing or a tempest in a teapot. Senator Clinton was heard to say that it took a president – Lyndon Johnson – to consummate the work of Martin Luther King by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Almost no one in the media bothered to run the whole quote. Here it is:

HILLARY CLINTON: Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the president before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done”

BILL MOYERS: There was nothing in that quote about race. It was an historical fact, an affirmation of the obvious. But critics pounced. THE NEW YORK TIMES published a lead editorial accusing Senator Clinton of “the distasteful implication that a black man needed the help of a white man to effect change.” Suddenly we had a rhetorical inferno on our hands, with charges flying left and right, and pundits throwing gasoline on the tiniest of embers. Fortunately the furor has quieted down, and everyone’s said they’re sorry, except THE NEW YORK TIMES. But I can’t resist this footnote to the story.

continued…

***

David Cay Johnston

With all the talk of change coming out of the campaigns, can we expect big money to lose its grip on Washington? Bill Moyers interviews NEW YORK TIMES investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston who says America’s system has been rigged to benefit the super-rich.

Johnston is the best-selling author of PERFECTLY LEGAL: THE COVERT CAMPAIGN TO RIG OUR TAX SYSTEM TO BENEFIT THE SUPER RICH–AND CHEAT EVERYBODY ELSE. Johnston’s latest book, FREE LUNCH: HOW THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS ENRICH THEMSELVES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND STICK YOU WITH THE BILL, explores the power of lobbyists and wealthy donors to manipulate government policies such as regulation, taxes, and subsidies to enrich themselves at tax-payers’ expense.

transcript and video link

***

Harvey J. Kaye: Time Again for Tom Paine?

Decades ago Ronald Reagan borrowed a phrase from a founding father often overlooked. He rallied his party at the Republican National Convention with these patriotic words: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

Calling for a revolution, Reagan chose those words from the writings of America’s first great radical, and its first best selling writer. His name was Thomas Paine. Over two centuries ago this month, Paine’s most famous book, COMMON SENSE, sold what today would be fifty million copies. Farmers in the fields stopped to read it.

transcript and video link

***

Craig Unger on the U.S. and the Saudis

As President Bush winds up what will probably be one of his final trips to the Middle East, Bill Moyers sits down with journalist Craig Unger, contributing editor of VANITY FAIR and author of the best-selling HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF SAUD and, most recently, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF BUSH for some analysis.

“Well, this is the story essentially of the oil addict coming to the dealer and not being treated too well. Yes, there’s a lot of fine ceremony on the surface. But … I think it’s very unlikely that those oil prices will go down or that the Saudis are really in a position to help Bush fulfill his vision of reshaping the Middle East.”

On January 3, 2008, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley announced that President George W. Bush was embarking on an eight day trip to the Middle East starting on January 8th.



transcript and video link

see

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence By Rev. Martin Luther King (audio; transcript)

Give the Candidates the MLK Test by Glen Ford

What you may not know about Dr. Martin Luther King + Rev. Yearwood on MLK’s dream (videos)

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Govt Expense (& Stick You with the Bill)” (must see video)

Martin Luther King, Jr/MLK