The Unilateral Presidency

Dandelion Salad

by Anthony Dimaggio
Counterpunch
Feb 29, 2008

Signing Statements and the Rollback of American Law

In a refreshing investigative series in the Boston Globe from 2006, journalist Charlie Savage dropped a bombshell on the Bush administration. Reporting on Bush’s use of “signing statements,” Savage highlighted the president’s long-standing contempt for Legislative authority. Since then, the story has generally been overlooked although it recently resurfaced when Bush issued another statement that he would disregard Congress’s prohibition of permanent military bases in Iraq. The President’s issuance of this signing statement is just one of hundreds of challenges he’s made to national laws.

A signing statement, simply put, is an official announcement from the Executive–an attempt to alter the intent of a law by allowing the President to interpret its execution in any way he sees fit. While signing statements hold no official legal standing, the president acts as if they grant him the power to disregard segments of bills with which he disagrees. Since taking office, the Bush administration has issued over 150 signing statements, containing over 500 constitutional challenges, and questioning more than 1,100 provisions of national laws. This is a significant increase from years past. Former presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton issued over 300 such statements combined, while only 75 signing statements were issued in total from the early 1800s through the Carter Presidency.

…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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Olbermann: BUSH’S 1100 PLUS SIGNING STATEMENTS ARE MEANINGLESS! (vid)

Signing Statements

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Homegrown terrorism: Keeping your eye on others isn’t sneaky – it’s patriotic! (satire alert)

Dandelion Salad

by Mark Drolette
The Smirking Chimp
February 29, 2008

Well, it’s about time.

Sometime in the near future (if we’re lucky), the Senate will pass the long-needed “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” (VRHTPA). Happily, the bill breezed through the House on a 404-06 vote and, once it clears Congress’ upper chamber, will be signed into law by our brave president. (No, not Dick Cheney; the other guy.)

Vital to national security, VRHTPA will help eliminate terrorism from fomenting here in our hollowed homeland. How? By stopping domestic evil-doers right where terrorism begins: in the mind.

Predictably, rubber-spined liberals will cry this is George Orwell’s “thought-crime” come true. Come on! Alarmist thinking like this is dangerous. Truth be told, it’s downright criminal.

…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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Department of Pre-Crime – Why are citizens being locked up for “un-American” thoughts?

Rule by fear or rule by law? By Lewis Seiler & Dan Hamburg

Don’t Even Think About It By James Ridgeway & Jean Casella

Crunch Time on the Bread Line by Michael Fox

Dandelion Salad

by Michael Fox
The Smirking Chimp
February 29, 2008

Where will you be in the line? In a column last week, I discussed the forthcoming risk of global famine. Now the evidence is piling on, and there is every reason to expect – at the very least – astronomical inflation in food prices within the next year. Most significantly, this problem is not confined to any one region of the world, and the ripple effect is mind-boggling. Keep in mind that the dollar is falling on the world exchanges, and the food you buy is subject to the fluctuations of the currency exchanges. Why? Well, simply because it may be more lucrative for global agricultural corporations to sell to the highest bidder – no matter where they may be.

Think about the grocery products you buy that involve grains – and then think again. Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is bread (which, by the way, keeps nicely in the freezer, but never the fridge!). In the United States and Europe, we eat bread from wheat, but in Mexico, the more common equivalent is corn tortillas, and corn is already running short due in a large part to its (mis-) use for E-85 Ethanol production. Consequently, the Mexican tortilla market is running short and prices are rising for that most basic staple – because American conglomerates are buying up too much of the corn for Ethanol. The corn shortage is also causing the rapidly increasing prices for eggs and chickens, as they are, traditionally, corn-fed.

…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.

Is John McCain a Liar? By Robert Parry

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Parry
ICH
02/29/08 “MEO
Consortiumnews.com 02.23.08

In journalism, it’s a safe bet that if you write a story with the suggestion that a prominent male politician is bedding an attractive female lobbyist, whatever other point you hoped to make will be overlooked.

Continue reading

Iran Nuke Laptop Data Came from Terror Group By Gareth Porter

Dandelion Salad

By Gareth Porter
IPS
WASHINGTON, Feb 29, 2008

The George W. Bush administration has long pushed the “laptop documents” — 1,000 pages of technical documents supposedly from a stolen Iranian laptop — as hard evidence of Iranian intentions to build a nuclear weapon. Now charges based on those documents pose the only remaining obstacles to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declaring that Iran has resolved all unanswered questions about its nuclear programme.

But those documents have long been regarded with great suspicion by U.S. and foreign analysts. German officials have identified the source of the laptop documents in November 2004 as the Mujahideen e Khalq (MEK), which along with its political arm, the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI), is listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organisation. Continue reading

Abbas: Gaza Attacks ‘A Holocaust’ (+ videos; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning

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

alaeddin2008

GAZA Palestine Mar.1.2008

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Israel’s Massacre in Palestine 

apurelondner

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Abbas: Gaza Attacks ‘A Holocaust’

ICH
By Al Jazeera
03/01/08 “Al Jazeera”

The Palestinian president has accused Israel of “international terrorism”, saying its assault on Gaza constitutes “more than a holocaust”.

Mahmoud Abbas’s comments on Saturday came as more Israeli air raids brought the total death toll over four days to 86 people, at least a third of which have been children, according to medical sources.

Fifty-two people were killed during Saturday’s raids alone.

…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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Six-month-old baby killed by Israel attacks + Israeli Military Prepares for MAJOR Offensive into Gaza

Israeli Minister Warns of Palestinian Holocaust By Liam Bailey

Mosaic News: 2/28/08 – World News from the Middle East

Gaza

Israel

Palestine

Nader did not “spoil” the 2000 election (videos)

Dandelion Salad

CitizenWorm

BTW–there’s a place around 6:30 where I say that the media did “votes” but what I meant to say was “vote counts”. That’s probably obvious but for clarity I thought I’d point that out.

This is the first part of my response to the concerns raised in the comments of my “Defense of Ralph Nader” video.

Here are some links.

Nader’s website! http://www.votenader.org

Report from the civil rights commission “Voting Irregularities in Florida During the 2000 Presidential Election” (June 2001)
http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/re…

list of Republican crimes in the 2000 election in Florida put together by democrats.com
http://archive.democrats.com/display….

Other materials by democrats.com. Included at this site are links to several of the media outlets who did hand counts of all the votes in the Florida 2000 election.
http://archive.democrats.com/display….

Diebold Memos Disclose Florida 2000 E-Voting Fraud
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0310…

Throughout this I am listening to a local group from my area called Jsan and the Analogue Sons. Dudes kick ass-seriously.

http://www.myspace.com/jsanandtheanal…

Nader is better than Obama + Obama’s scary advisor

This is the second part of my response to the concerns raised in the comments of my “Defense of Ralph Nader” video.

At one point here I say that the “system works” despite the presence of candidates like Nader. I should qualify that by saying what I mean is the system doesn’t crash when you run candidates. The only people who are harmed by having more options for the voters are the people pulling the strings in the most conservative part of the Democratic party.

Here are some links.

Nader’s website! http://www.votenader.org

I ended up editing out a bit on Obamas other advisors but check out this link where there is information about others.
Meet Obama’s Foreign Policy Advisors:
Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

I didn’t talk about this in the video but it’s interesting and speaks to Obama’s impenetrability.
McCain advisor unwilling to fight Obama
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/…

This site has quotes from Obama on his positions on the war. Take it with a huge grain of salt, he is after all a politician.
http://www.ontheissues.org/Celeb/Bara…

Throughout this I am listening to a local group from my area called Jsan and the Analogue Sons. Dudes kick ass-seriously.

http://www.myspace.com/jsanandtheanal…

Obama hearts Blackwater–the electoral college

This is part three of my response to the comments of my Defense of Ralph Nader.

Here are some links.

Nader’s website! http://www.votenader.org

I ended up editing out a bit on Obamas other advisors but check out this link where there is information about others.
Meet Obama’s Foreign Policy Advisors
Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

Here are the two videos where Jeremy Scahil talks about Obama’s war policy and his statement that he would not rule out employing firms like Blackwater.

Obama & Clinton both support Blackwater!!!! (videos)

Here is the study that shows Gore was ultimately helped by Nader entering the race and pushing him to adopt progressive positions on some issues.

If it Weren’t for Those ?*!*@!* Nader Voters we Wouldn’t Be in This Mess: The Social Determinants of the Nader Vote and the Constraints on Political Choice
New Political Science, Vol. 28, No. 2. (June 2006), pp. 229-244.
by Simmons, J Solon, Simmons, R James

Throughout this I am listening to a local group from my area called Jsan and the Analogue Sons. Dudes kick ass-seriously.

http://www.myspace.com/jsanandtheanal…

see

In defense of Ralph Nader (video)

Ralph Nader on Israel/Palestine Impeachment & the Candidates

Don’t be a Nader Hater by Rich

Six-month-old baby killed by Israel attacks + Israeli Military Prepares for MAJOR Offensive into Gaza

Israeli Minister Warns of Palestinian Holocaust By Liam Bailey

Behind Obama and Clinton: Who’s whispering in their ears says a lot by Prof. Stephen Zunes

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

Obama & Clinton both support Blackwater!!!! (videos)

Obama-Barack

Nader-Ralph

www.votenader.org/

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Obama & Clinton both support Blackwater!!!! (videos)

Dandelion Salad

IWantDemocracyNow

Jeremy Scahill: Despite Antiwar Rhetoric, Clinton-Obama Plans Would Keep US Mercenaries, Troops in Iraq for Years to Come
Jeremy Scahill reports Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will not “rule out” using private military companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. Obama also has no plans to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009. Despite their antiwar rhetoric, both Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton have adopted the congressional Democratic position that would leave open the option of keeping tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq for many years. [includes rush transcript]

Added: February 28, 2008

h/t: CitizenWorm

see

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/2/28/jeremy_scahill_despite_anti_war_rhetoric

Ohio Debate 02.26.08 (videos)

Nader did not “spoil” the 2000 election (videos)

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

DARPA’s UrbanMapping technology (CGI entire cities) (video)

Dandelion Salad

IgnoranceIsntBliss

The new technology–called the Tactical Ground Reporting System, or TIGR–is a map-centric application that junior officers can study before going on patrol and add to upon returning. By clicking on icons and lists, they can see the locations of key buildings, like mosques, schools, and hospitals, and retrieve information such as location data on past attacks, geotagged photos of houses and other buildings (taken with cameras equipped with Global Positioning System technology), and photos of suspected insurgents and neighborhood leaders. They can even listen to civilian interviews and watch videos of past maneuvers. It is just the kind of information that soldiers need to learn about Iraq and its perils.

Continue reading

No Strain No Gain – As SchNEWS Gets To The Root Of Problems With Seedy Business

Dandelion Salad

SchNEWS
Feb 29, 2008

As SchNEWS Gets To The Root Of Problems With Seedy Business

Last week, in France, the independent seed-saving and selling Association Kokopelli were fined €35,000 after being taken to court by corporate seed merchant Baumaux. Their crime was selling traditional and rare seed varieties which weren’t on the official EU-approved list – and, therefore, illegal to sell – thus giving them an ‘unfair trading advantage’. As the European Commission met this week to prepare new legislation for seed control, due in 2009, which will further restrict the geographic movement and range of crop varieties, this ruling will set a dangerous precedent.

Kokopelli, the non-profit French group set up in 1999 to safeguard endangered seed strains, may be driven out of existence by the fine. Their focus is biodiversity, food security, and the development of sustainable organic agriculture and seed networks in the ‘global south’. They have created one of the largest independent collections in Europe – with over 2500 sorts of vegetable, flower and cereals. Other non-government seedbanks are held by large agro-industrial companies like Limagrain, Syngenta and Pioneer – and guess what their main interest is money rather than starving subsistence farmers.

You may think that in an era of mass extinction it would be a no-brainer that we need to protect biodiversity and the heritage of the crop varieties which have been build up over centuries… but no. Since the 1970s, laws in the UK and Europe mean that to sell seeds, the strain needs to be registered – and everything else becomes ‘outlaw’ seeds, illegal to sell. In the UK it costs £300 per year to maintain the registration and £2000 to register a ‘new’ one – which all disadvantages smaller organisations.

“Seeds are the very beginning of the food chain. He, who controls the seeds, controls the food supply and thus controls the people.” – Dominique Guillet, Kokopelli

Garden Organic in the UK run a Heritage Seed Library (www.organicgardening.org.uk/hsl), and they get around the law by not selling ‘outlaw’ seeds, but getting individual gardeners to become ‘seed guardians’ who pass around seeds for free to other members of the Library. Unlike other seedbanks, seeds are not kept in cold storage, but are living species which are continually grown and allowed to adapt to new environmental factors.

Another law-busting approach is seed swaps – which in recent years have sprouted up and down the country. People freely share seeds for another year’s growing – a co-operative way of maintaining genetic diversity. Most are around February – see www.seedysunday.org for the remaining events this year.

DIGGING THE DIRT

There’s so many types of potato – why not just use the best ones and forget the rest? Seed varieties which have been developed over the centuries have adapted to environments, and the genepool has to survive unforeseen factors such as pests and diseases – or climate change. The Irish potato famine was caused by an over-reliance on blight afflicted spuds, or, to take another example, a variety of cauliflower grown in Cornwall was abandoned in the 1940s for a French cauli which gave a higher yield, but turned out to be vulnerable to fungal ringspot – but the old ringspot-resistant Cornish type is now extinct.

Limiting the varieties means limiting the genetic base – presumably to leave GM technology in the clear as the only option.

While mass extinctions are taking place in natural ecosystems, the same has taken place in domesticated seeds. Today there are only half a dozen apple types grown in the UK, down from 2,000 a century ago. Over 90% of crop types listed in the US have been lost in 80 years, and China now grows fifty types of rice, down from 8,000 just twenty years ago. The whole human population is supported by just 30 main crop varieties – a recipe for disaster.

LIFE INC.

Originally laws regarding seeds were brought in during the 1920s – mostly to regulate quality and make sure they did what they said on the tin, and not disease ridden, full of stray weed seed or stones. At the time these laws were a good thing but guess what! It’s all been twisted around and now companies use these and subsequent laws to get control of the market. By cutting out the independent networks of farmers, gardeners, and independent seed-sellers – on a worldwide scale – ten companies now control two-thirds of seed distribution. And which companies are we talking about? It’s yer bio-tech giants like Monsanto and Syngenta. Unsurprisingly governments around the world are building up the legal framework to support these firms.

When you register a seed type, potentially anyone growing it is liable to pay you royalties – making ‘intellectual property’ out of plants which have evolved over thousands of years. These companies take an interest in the myriad of varieties with a view to splicing genetic traits into other types, and take out patents on the genetic content. Monsanto have a European patent on a type of wheat which is derived from a traditional Indian one, the sort used to make chapatis.

These same companies are narrowing the market down to the few mono-culture crops they are flogging, reducing diversity. Once farmers limit theirs to these few types – often hybrids which produce defective seeds – they are forced to return to ‘the man’ to buy next year’s seed rather than being able to save and use last year’s. This is the next thing down from the prospect of ‘terminator’ seeds – genetically modified to be sterile, and deliberately unable to supply future yields (See SchNEWS 557).

The farmers were in a far stronger position with their traditional varieties which were open-pollinated, carrying a wider genepool, and better able to adapt to new conditions and diseases.

SEWING WILD OATS

Seeds – and ultimately the control over production of food – becomes another front in which communities and individual farmers across the world have to fight against the forces of neoliberalism and corporatisation.

Via Campesino – the international peasants movement – held a gathering last weekend in Austria, bringing together small farmers from sixteen countries on ‘food and power’. They are increasing networking and solidarity amongst farmers across the world both to protect biodiversity and increase the sharing of crop choices and farming techniques. And it’s not just the corporations and large-scale agro-industry they are up against – due to climate change they are being forced to adapt quickly to new environmental factors and more than ever need to pool knowledge and resources.

For more see www.viacampesina.org

JUDGEMENT DAY

But don’t fret – whatever catastrophe, armageddon or ecocide befalls us, measures are at hand to make sure that if we survive a nuclear winter or total desertification, we’ll be able to recreate a bucolic paradise: This Tuesday (26th), Norway opened the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic circle. The vault is over 500 feet inside a mountain, and 130 metres above sea-level – in case the polar ice caps melt. Seeds are stored at below -20 degrees in moisture free packs and it is claimed that many will last a hundred years – longer for some cereals. Maybe after all the cyborg mutant terminator seeds have all long since sprouted legs and run off into the sunset, the traditional common-or-garden varieties will be the ones saying, “I’ll be back”.

* See www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault
* For more about Kokopelli see www.kokopelli-seeds.com


@nti copyright – information for action – copy and distribute!
PDF Version – Download, Print, Copy and Distribute!

h/t: Bard of Ely

see

Inside The Svalbard Global Seed Vault + “Noah’s Ark” seed vault opens

Feb 25 Program: Seeds of Destruction, US Military Bases Around the World, Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

“Seeds of Destruction, The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” by Stephen Lendman

GMO Seeds: ‘MNCs Gaining Total Control Over Farming’ by Anil Netto

“Doomsday Seed Vault” in the Arctic by F. William Engdahl (GMO)

Librarians & archivists demand US return of stolen Iraqi documents

Dandelion Salad

By Sandy English
wsws.org/
1 March 2008

The removal of millions of pages of Interior Ministry documents from Iraq by the American military has prompted calls from organizations and individuals in the library and archives community for their return to the Iraqi people.

These documents, many of which detail the crimes of the regime of Saddam Hussein and his predecessors, are now in the United States in the hands of the military and intelligence agencies. Others are being held by a private foundation in the US headed by pro-occupation Iraqis.

Makiya is a defender of the rapacity of American imperialism and its willingness to take whatever it wants from a people that it has militarily overwhelmed. To commit a “sociocide”—the destruction of an entire culture—it is not enough to kill a million people and drive millions of others form their homes. Keeping the documents out of Iraq intellectually abases the Iraq people. It goes hand-in-hand with the destruction of education at all levels, the assassination of academics, and the fragmentation of common culture by ethnic cleansing, and the looting of archeological sites.

…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.

‘Dump Dennis?’ An ad targeting Rep. Kucinich has some dubious claims

Dandelion Salad

By Justin Bank
Newsweek
factcheck.org
Mar 1, 2008

Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is now fighting to hold onto his House seat in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s the target of a tough attack ad that says he “gives a lot of speeches” but “doesn’t get much done.” But the ad is a textbook example of deceptive political advertising – it uses dramatic-sounding numbers that, put into context, aren’t such a big deal after all:

The ad, by challenger Joe Cimperman, says that under Kucinich’s watch, “we’ve lost 38,000 jobs.” That’s the decline in employment figures for an Ohio county, part of which Kucinich serves. But we’re sure that one congressman doesn’t bear the sole responsibility for such job losses.

…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

Ron Paul and Kucinich safe in their congressional districts

Kucinich-Dennis

Contribute to Kucinich for Congress

Stop the Spying! (video; action alert)

Dandelion Salad

PFAWdotorg

SIGN THE PETITION: http://www.pfaw.org/go/StopImmunity
Americans speak out against telecom immunity, urging Congress to stand up to the Bush administration and stop the spying. A video from People For the American Way and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Added: February 21, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

.

Principle Confronting Power by Prof. Francis A. Boyle

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, March 1, 2008

In Memory of Hans Morgenthau

During the 1950s I grew up in a family who rooted for the success of African Americans in their just struggle for civil rights and full legal equality.  Then in 1962 it was the terror of my own personal imminent nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis that first sparked my interest in studying international relations and U.S. foreign policy as a young boy of 12:  “I can do a better job than this!”

With the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1964 and the military draft staring me right in the face, I undertook a detailed examination of it.  Eventually I concluded that unlike World War II when my Father had fought and defeated the Japanese Imperial Army as a young Marine in the Pacific, this new war was illegal, immoral, unethical, and the United States was bound to lose it.  America was just picking up where France had left off at Dien Bien Phu.  So I resolved to do what little I could to oppose the Vietnam War.

In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson gratuitously invaded the Dominican Republic, which prompted me to commence a detailed examination of U.S. military interventions into Latin America from the Spanish-American War of 1898 up to President Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called “good neighbor” policy.  At the end of this study, I concluded that the Vietnam War was not episodic, but rather systemic: Aggression, warfare, bloodshed, and violence were just the way the United States Power Elite had historically conducted their business around the world.  Hence, as I saw it as a young man of 17, there would be more Vietnams in the future and perhaps someday I could do something about it as well as about promoting civil rights for African Americans. These twin concerns of my youth would gradually ripen into a career devoted to international law and human rights.

So I commenced my formal study of International Relations with the late, great Hans Morgenthau in the first week of January 1970 as a 19 year old college sophomore at the University of Chicago by taking his basic introductory course on that subject.  At the time, Morgenthau was leading the academic forces of opposition to the detested Vietnam War, which is precisely why I chose to study with him.  During ten years of higher education at the University of Chicago and Harvard, I refused to study with openly pro-Vietnam-War professors as a matter of principle and also on the quite pragmatic ground that they had nothing to teach me.

In the summer of 1975, it was Morgenthau who emphatically encouraged me to become a professor instead of doing some other promising things with my life:  “If Morgenthau thinks I should become a professor, then I will become a professor!”  After almost a decade of working personally with him, Morgenthau provided me with enough inspiration, guidance, and knowledge to last now almost half a lifetime.

Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898.  Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions.  Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America ’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy.   But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War.    Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration are now threatening to set off World War III.

By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf under the bogus pretexts of (1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or (2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or (3) the promotion of democracy; and/or (4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention.”  Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago:  control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system – oil and gas.  The Bush Jr. administration has already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation.  In this regard, the Bush Jr. administration recently announced the establishment of the U.S. Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate, and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species.

This current bout of U.S. imperialism is what Hans Morgenthau denominated “unlimited imperialism” in his seminal work Politics Among Nations (4th ed. 1968, at 52-53):

The outstanding historic examples of unlimited imperialism are the expansionist policies of Alexander the Great, Rome , the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, Napoleon I, and Hitler. They all have in common an urge toward expansion which knows no rational limits, feeds on its own successes and, if not stopped by a superior force, will go on to the confines of the political world. This urge will not be satisfied so long as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination–a politically organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the conqueror’s lust for power. It is, as we shall see, exactly the lack of moderation, the aspiration to conquer all that lends itself to conquest, characteristic of unlimited imperialism, which in the past has been the undoing of the imperialistic policies of this kind….

On 10 November 1979 I visited with Hans Morgenthau at his home in Manhattan. It proved to be our last conversation before he died on 19 July 1980.  Given his weakened physical but not mental condition and his serious heart problem, at the end of our necessarily abbreviated one-hour meeting I purposefully asked him what he thought about the future of international relations. This revered scholar, whom international relations experts generally consider to be the founder of modern international political science in the post World War II era, responded:

Future, what future? I am extremely pessimistic. In my opinion the world is moving ineluctably towards a third world war—a strategic nuclear war. I do not believe that anything can be done to prevent it. The international system is simply too unstable to survive for long. The SALT II Treaty is important for the present, but over the long haul it cannot stop the momentum. Fortunately, I do not believe that I will live to see that day. But I am afraid you might.

The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently hover like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of all humanity.  It is imperative that we undertake a committed and concerted effort to head-off Hans Morgenthau’s final prediction on the cataclysmic demise of the human race.  The simultaneous impeachments of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney would be an excellent place to start.

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© Copyright Francis A. Boyle, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8232

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Boyle-Francis

Bill Moyers Journal: Rick Karr on Government Secrecy (Sibel Edmonds) + Viewer Mail

Dandelion Salad

Note: featured writer for Dandelion Salad (The Other) Katherine Harris had her viewer comment aired on the show last night. Way to go, Erin! ~ Lo

Bill Moyers Journal
PBS
Feb 29, 2008

Web Exclusive: Rick Karr on Government Secrecy

Are whistleblowers and muckrakers facing insurmountable odds? Correspondent Rick Karr takes stock of the cases of THE NEW YORK TIMES’ James Risen and former FBI agent Sibel Edmonds.

Take the case of former FBI agent Sibel Edmonds: She blew the whistle on massive incompetence at the Bureau — sloppy translations, missed messages from terror suspects. She even alleged that insiders were leaking secrets to foreign agents. She lost her job for it.

Just after Congress got interested in her story — and a bipartisan group of Senators said they found her claims credible enough to warrant an investigation — the administration retroactively classified everything that she knew, pretty much shutting down any chance of an investigation. U.S. journalists have found it nearly impossible to look into her claims. Over the past year, there’s been only one article on her in a major newspaper, and it simply announced that she’d won a freedom-of-speech award. Meanwhile, the TIMES OF LONDON has published three stories — just this year — digging into her claim that Administration officials sold secrets to foreign governments.

Video link

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Bill Moyers Journal
PBS
Feb 29, 2008

Viewer Mail

BILL MOYERS: It’s time once again to take a look at some of the comments you’ve been sending to us at the JOURNAL. You’ve been writing and we’ve been reading.

When Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul were excluded from participating in their parties’ presidential debates, we brought them on our show to give them a chance to speak their mind.

BILL MOYERS: And in a recent essay, I explored what the investigation of steroid abuse in major league baseball reveals about america as a whole.

BILL MOYERS: Suppose our national past time has become our national pathology? Ours is a society on steroids, and we’re as blind as baseball’s owners were a decade ago.

As someone who’s never given a hoot about baseball — or any team sport — it’s always been immaterial to me whether athletes take drugs or not…By contrast, we’re all embroiled in the larger political/economic/ethical issues you raise and…I’m not sure it’s fair to compare a rigged system that victimizes almost everyone with narrow areas of endeavor that needn’t occupy our attention unless by choice.
(The Other) Katherine Harris

Video link

h/t: (The Other) Katherine Harris

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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Scott Horton Interviews Daniel Ellsberg

UK Times: Brewster Jennings outed by ‘treasonous’ US govt official in 2001, not 2003 by Luke Ryland

FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft

For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets

Sibel Edmonds (archive of posts)

Edmonds-Sibel