Aaron Glantz: How America Lost Iraq (video)

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briggsmedia

War Comes Home.

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Real ID: Obama/Clinton/McCain passport breach poetic justice

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Note: there is a commercial at the end of this video. ~ Lo

RidleyReport

Real ID update: MT governor beats Washington, NH holds firm, moving to anti-Real ID states, candidate ID breach damages Fed ID scheme,Michael “Skeletor” Chertoff backs down.

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Olbermann: Obama’s Passport Breach + Clinton Campaign Connection

Olbermann: More on Obama Passport Story + The LIES that BIND!

Olbermann: Once More Unto The Breach + Richardson Endorsement + Worst + Bushed!

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Kucinich: A season of renewed commitment to the human spirit

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Kucinich2008

A personal thank you from Dennis and Elizabeth for your friendship and support. And, in this season of renewal and hope, their best wishes to all in the spirit of hope that springs eternal, in the spirit of peace, and in the spirit of a better life on the planet we all share together.

Video by Chad Ely

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Dennis Kucinich at the Winter Soldier Event

Kucinich: Ending the war. Rescuing our nation. (video)

Kucinich-Dennis

Contribute to Kucinich for Congress

Bunny Wars at Easter! (video)

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Warning

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

djlookwood

I saw this report on yahoo news about how much people in the USA were spending on Easter Candy ….. and I thought that it would be a good satire, a parody of the media, to compare that broadcast with the iraq war reportage….

And this is what i came up with in a few hours …. while it’s still current!

Did you know that most chocolate is picked by slaves?

Buy Organic, fair-trade Chocolate – you’ll feel better, and it does help to make a choice about what you consume!

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The Coming Uncertain War against Iran by Ramzy Baroud

Dandelion Salad

by Ramzy Baroud
Global Research, March 21, 2008

When Admiral William J “Fox” Fallon was chosen to replace General John Abizaid as chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM) in March 2007, many analysts didn’t shy from reaching a seemingly clear-cut conclusion: the Bush administration was preparing for war with Iran and had selected the most suitable man for this job. Almost exactly a year later, as Fallon abruptly resigned over a controversial interview with Esquire magazine, we are left with a less certain analysis.

Fallon was the first man from the navy to head CENTCOM. With the US army fighting two difficult and lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and considering the highly exaggerated Iranian threat, a war with Iran was apparently inevitable, albeit one that had to be conducted differently. Echoing the year-old speculation, Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI wrote on 14 March 2007 that an attack against Iran “would fall on the US Navy’s battle carrier groups and its cruise missiles and Air Force B-2 bombers based in Diego Garcia”.

Fallon is a man of immense experience, having served equally high-profiled positions in the past (he was commander of US Pacific Command from February 2005 to March 2007). The Bush administration probably saw him further as a conformist, in contrast to his predecessor Abizaid who promoted a diplomatic rather than military approach and who went as far as suggesting that the US might have to learn to live with an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Fallon’s recent resignation may have seemed abrupt to many, but it was a well-orchestrated move. His interview in Esquire depicted him as highly critical of the Bush administration’s policy on Iran; the magazine described him as the only thing standing between the administration and their newest war plan. Further, his resignation and “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s handling of [it] is the greatest and most public break in the Bush team’s handling of preparations for war against Iran that we are ever likely to see,” wrote respected commentators and former CIA analysts Bill and Kathy Christison on 12 March. “Gates has in fact publicly associated himself with the resignation by saying it was the right thing for Fallon to do, and Gates said he had accepted the resignation without telling Bush first.”

Fallon’s resignation represents a bittersweet moment. On the one hand it’s an indication of the continued fading enthusiasm for the militant culture espoused by the neo-conservatives. On the other, it’s an ominous sign of the Bush administration’s probable intentions during the last year of the president’s term. Sixty-three-year-old Admiral Fallon would not have embarked on such a momentous decision after decades of service were it not for the fact that he knew a war was looming, and — having considered the historic implications for such a war — chose not to pull the trigger.

Unlike the political atmosphere in the US prior to the Iraq war — shaped by fear, manipulation and demonisation — the US political environment is now much more accustomed to war opposition, which is largely encouraged and validated by the fact that leading army brass are themselves speaking out with increasing resolve. Indeed pressure and resistance are mounting on all sides; those rooting for another war are meeting stiff resistance by those who can foresee its disastrous repercussions.

The push and pull in the coming months will probably determine the timing and level of US military adventure against Iran, or even whether such an adventure will be able to actualise (one cannot discount the possibility that as a token for Israel, the US might provide a middle way solution by intervening in Lebanon, alongside Israel, to destroy Hizbullah. Many options are on the table, and another Bush-infused crisis is still very much possible).

In an atmosphere of hyped militancy, Fallon’s resignation might be viewed as a positive sign, showing that the cards are not all stacked in favour of the war party. Nonetheless, it is premature to indulge in optimism. Prior signs have indicated a serious rift among those who once believed that war is the answer to every conflict. Yet that didn’t necessary hamper the war cheerleaders’ efforts.

Last December, the National Intelligence Estimate — an assessment composed by all American intelligence agencies — concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, and that any such programme remained frozen. Meanwhile the “bomb-first-ask-questions-later” crowd suggested that such an assessment is pure nonsense. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain has since then sung the tune of “bomb Iran”, — literally — and Israel’s friends continue to speak of an “existential” threat Israel faces due to Iran’s “weapons” — never mind that Israel is itself a formidable nuclear power.

According to Borchgrave, “McCain’s close friend Senator Joe Lieberman… invoking clandestine Iranian explosives smuggled into Iraq, has called for retaliatory military action against Tehran. He and many others warn that Israel faces an existential crisis. One Iranian nuclear-tipped missile on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv could destroy Israel, they argue.”

In fact, Lieberman, and other Israel supporters need no justification for war, neither against Iran nor any of Israel’s foes in the Middle East. They have promoted conflicts on behalf of that country for many years and will likely continue doing so, until enough Americans push hard enough to restack their government’s priorities.

An attack on Iran doesn’t seem as certain as the war against Iraq always did. Public pressure, combined with courageous stances taken by high officials, could create the tidal wave needed to reverse seemingly determined war efforts. Americans can either allow those who continue to speak of “existential threats” and wars of a hundred years to determine and undermine the future of their country, and subsequently world security, or they can reclaim America, tend to its needy and ailing economy, and make up for the many sins committed in their name and in the name of freedom and democracy.

Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London).

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Ramzy Baroud, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8410

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Crisis Over Teheran’s Alleged Nuclear Plans Nearing Climax

A Less than Grand Strategy: NATO’s New Vision, The Preemptive Use of Nuclear Weapons

Republicans Plan Double-Whammy by Michael Carmichael

Why the US sees Iran as a threat (video)

Fallon falls: Iran should worry by Gareth Porter

Threat of Iran War More Real: End the World for What? By Liam Bailey

Lies and Torture by Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

by Eric Margolis
March 17, 2008

NEW YORK – America was riveted last week by the lurid spectacle of the humiliation of New York State’s former governor, Elliot Spitzer who resigned office after be exposed as a long-time client of an escort service.

As a notoriously tough, some said ruthless, former prosecutor, Spitzer relentlessly crusaded against financial, political and moral malefactors, including a number of prostitution cases. Some saw him a future presidential candidate.

That was until what was described as a ‘routine’ federal tax investigation uncovered payments to a high-end prostitution service by a certain ‘Client 9’ – who turned out to be a modern Savolarola, that scourge of sinners, the upright, unforgiving Elliot Spitzer. Worse, it seemed the governor paid up to $80,000 for call girls, apparently at up to $4,000-5,000 per one hour session. This alone qualified him for a dunce cap.

It’s always satisfying watching hypocrites and moralists exposed to public humiliation. Except, of course, for the humiliation inflicted on his brave, loyal wife who stood by the embattled governor and even urged him not to resign.

US media overflowed with endless hours of silly, hypocritical commentary by feminists, psychiatrists, and pundits about ‘why did he do it,’ as if infidelity was an aberration or disease.

Spitzer did it because he was a typical man genetically programmed to lust after other women. As the old saying goes, if a man isn’t thinking about sex, his mind is wandering.

Too many Americans still have adolescent views of sex and sugar-coated images of marriage. Europeans, by contrast, shrug off men’s need to stray as normal and acceptable, provided done discreetly. An infidelity scandal would not have gotten far in continental Europe – except France, where, unfortunately, the hyperactive, publicity-seeking Nicholas Sarkozy has for the first time made politician’s private lives fair game for media.

However ruthless, self-serving and hypocritical about prostitution, Spitzer was doing one good thing: going after Wall Street’s crooks and fraudsters largely responsible for the current financial crisis shaking world markets. His resignation at least temporarily removes pressure to investigate this den of thieves that had, with tacit administration blessing, brought Enron-style fraud to America’s finances, then exported them around the globe.

Spitzer’s downfall unfortunately obscured two far more important events. First, the White House’s refusal to release an exhaustive Pentagon review of 600,000 Iraqi documents that found no evidence that Saddam Hussein had any links with al-Qaida.

This was the second big lie after the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ canard propagated by the Bush White House to justify invading Iraq. So successfully was it spread by the administration and tame media, that on the eve of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, 80% of Americans blamed Saddam for the 9/11 attacks. A small, al-Qaida Iraqi affiliate only appeared in Iraq as a result of the US invasion. It was not part of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida but Washington inflated this small group into the second coming of bin Laden and misled Americans still believe they are fighting his men in Iraq. All 22 of Iraqi organizations fighting US occupation are now called by Washington, ‘al-Qaida.’ No wonder the White House is trying to suppress the Pentagon study.

Spitzer’s pillorying also masked another profoundly shameful act. On Tuesday, 188 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to uphold President George Bush’s veto of a Democratic-sponsored bill to ban CIA from using torture to interrogate enemy detainees. Their party-line vote was strong enough to prevent the 225 Democrats who voted to overturn the president’s veto from achieving the required two-third majority.

Republicans have now become the party of torture. Never has the Grand Old Party sunk so low. Those great Republicans, Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan, must be weeping in their graves.

Among tortures America now routinely inflicts on mostly Muslim captives: water torture, near suffocation, beatings, confinement in cramped positions, sleep and sensory deprivation, freezing rooms, ear-splitting noise, mock executions, psychotropic drugs, food laced with pork or excrement. Even KGB did not use all of these tortures.

However, the White House and Republicans insist none of this is really torture. Republicans just love euphemisms. These tortures are merely ‘enhanced interrogation.’ Overthrowing foreign governments is ‘regime change;’ murdering foreign leaders, ‘taking them out; ’ water torture is, ‘water-boarding.’

George Orwell warned such double-talk was the hallmark of totalitarian regimes.

The president and his party are violating existing American and international law, and UN agreements against torture. Their sanction of torture, and its apotheosis in the Guantanamo gulag, has disgraced America’s name around the globe and will continue to haunt the United States for decades to come. Captured American soldiers now know what to expect.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama and John McCain – the latter a torture victim – all properly condemn the White House for promoting torture. But McCain, who should know better, fudges, saying he won’t restrict CIA interrogations. That is ominous.

The Spitzer follies should not distract us from the Bush Administration’s continuing violations of American and international law, and growing violations of the values America used to hold dear.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 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.

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“Today, I weep for my country” by Sen. Robert Byrd

It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Olbermann: More on Obama Passport Story + The LIES that BIND!

The Lies That Led to War (video link; 2007)

How to Destroy a Country & Get Off Scot-Free By Linda Heard

Another Act of Evil: Slow Murder at Gitmo by Chris Floyd

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks & Spitzer charges are intimately linked By Greg Palast

Forget Spitzer, fire Bernanke By Chan Akya

Dennis Kucinich: You Can’t Secure Our Nation With LIES!

Bush vetoes bill outlawing torture techniques By Joe Kay

Condoleezza Rice: Liar, Secretary of State, War Criminal (video)

Why the Bush Admin “Watergated” Eliot Spitzer by F. William Engdahl

A Less than Grand Strategy: NATO’s New Vision, The Preemptive Use of Nuclear Weapons

Dandelion Salad

by Spencer Spratley
Global Research, March 21, 2008

A few months ago, a report was published entitled “Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership”. It was written by five generals and it proposes a new vision for the NATO alliance and a strengthening of ties between the United States and the European Union. The report outlines the major security threats facing the world today and it asserts that NATO, in spite of its shortcomings, remains the most effective body for confronting these threats. The five generals outline a strategy for NATO to adopt in its effort to make the world a more “certain” place and for ensuring the dominance of the Western world in global security matters.

The report contains some shocking and alarming statements which demand further attention and analysis. The most unnerving idea put forth is that the preemptive use of nuclear weapons must remain in the NATO toolkit as a viable option for confronting entities which pose an “imminent threat” to global security. The following passages taken from the report clearly illustrate this point:

“The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction, in order to avoid truly existential dangers.”

“What is needed is a policy of deterrence by proactive denial, in which preemption is a form of reaction when a threat is imminent, and prevention is the attempt to regain the initiative in order to end the conflict.”

“Regrettably, nuclear weapons – and with them the option of first use – are indispensable, since there is simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world. On the contrary, the risk of further proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible. This development must be prevented. It should therefore be kept in mind that technology could produce options that go beyond the traditional role of nuclear weapons in preventing a nuclear armed opponent from using nuclear weapons. In sum, nuclear weapons remain indispensable, and nuclear escalation continues to remain an element of any modern strategy.”

In short, the publication suggests that NATO should adhere to the Bush administration’s credo of “strike first” and that the definition of “proportional” can, and must, include the use of tactical nuclear weapons. The flawed logic is that the Western world should be prepared to use nuclear weapons in order to prevent their “enemies” from developing and/or using those same weapons. It goes without saying that that this position carries with it a whole host of problems. The following issues immediately spring to mind:

1) The naive belief that “mini-nukes” are somehow a safe and proportional response to perceived threats is an unproven and frightening proposition which contains the potential to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust. Reducing parts of the world to a massive laboratory where NATO will bomb first and asses the accuracy of their beliefs in retrospect is frightening indeed. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the use of nuclear weapons would not have grave implications for civilian casualties and massive environmental contamination. The report also offers no comforting assurances that other nations who are “allies” of the targeted country would not respond to the use of nuclear weapons by retaliating in kind.

2) A policy of preemptive use eliminates any real notion of deterrence. If a government felt it was being targeted for attack or regime change, what incentive would there be for that nation to refrain from striking first with WMD’s or any other means at their disposal? In addition, what incentive would there be for these nations to refrain from forming strategic alliances with terrorist organizations which may help them retaliate in the event of an attack? If anything, the whole notion of preemptive strikes serves to make the world a less certain and stable place.

3) It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where this policy would not, in fact, encourage the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (and weapons of all kinds). Common sense suggests that nations who feel cornered would likely adopt an attitude of, “If we’re gonna be hit, lets make sure we can hit back.”

4) The publication does not address the long-term implications of a preemptive attack. Decapitating the leadership of a nation and laying waste to its terrain does not provide any reason to hope that from the ashes of such a calamity would emerge a model state which would pose no further threat to the Western world. The American invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, without the use of nuclear weapons, should illustrate the dangers inherent in this philosophy. Would a nuclear attack on Iran, for example, be based on “intelligence” that was also completely erroneous and deceptive? The world is not any safer as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Adding nuclear weapons to the mix would only make the situation worse from a humanitarian and security perspective.

These issues are only those that spring to mind from a “layperson’s” perspective. Other analysts with a more sophisticated understanding of the issue could likely demonstrate innumerable problems with the doctrine of preemptive use. At a basic level, the idea is simply counter intuitive and seemingly immoral. The argument seems devoid of all reason and logic and carries with it some very grave risks for the future of humanity.

The report itself contains other flaws and arguments which only serve to polarize groups and nations and move us further from a spirit of co-operation and understanding. The publication also contains messages that wreak of cultural superiority and arrogance. For example, the report states that, “In some Western societies, faith in purely irrational belief systems has overtaken belief in religions that have moral and rational substance, as well as cultural roots. But symptoms such as the decline of interest in science reflect an intellectual decline that might have more immediately palpable social consequences in areas such as journalism, law, and even public health. It reflects a more general loss of respect for the value of evidence and argument. As a direct consequence of the globalisation of information flows, all kinds of irrational belief or political fanaticism circulate freely in the public domain.” Have the generals who prepared this report elevated themselves to the status of experts on which religions are moral and contain “rational substance”? Are they suggesting that religions that are not homogeneous with “traditional” Western belief systems are somehow inferior and contributing to “intellectual decline”? The suggestion, only slightly veiled, is clear and it’s obnoxious.

The report further states that, “If the irrational and fanatical get out of hand, there is a risk that, in the long term, the instability of uncertainties, the rise of fundamentalisms and despotisms will usher in a new, illiberal age, in which the liberties that Western societies enjoy – but will not defend – are seriously jeopardised”. If the authors had not displayed a clear bias in this report, the reader might be tempted to imagine that they are referring to neo-conservatism and not the Islamic faith.

The authors of the report explore, at great length, the challenges that they perceive as constituting the greatest threats to global security. Unfortunately, they completely ignore the greatest threat to stability and harmony on the planet: poverty. Their complete failure to address this issue in any depth makes it difficult to give the report, as a whole, any credibility. Any discussion of global security must take poverty into account. The widening gap between those who have more than enough and those who have less than they need must be central to any discussion on global security and making the world a safer place for everyone.

On the whole, the report contains an unabashed support for increased militarism and an arrogant endorsement of continuing Western hegemony throughout the world. The “Western way of life” must be preserved at all costs and those groups and/or nations which pose a threat to Western dominance must be wiped off the face of the earth. For these, and other reasons, the report is disturbing and presents a strategy which is something far less than grand. It is time for military leaders, security elites, and Western governments to engage in a level of thoughtfulness, creativity, consultation, and broad-mindedness which might result in perspectives that truly serve to unify the nations of the world and create greater harmony among its populations. No-one likes a bully and this report simply encourages the Western world to continue to threaten other nations into submission and to destroy them when they will not bow down. For the rest of the world, these bullies are not just after your lunch money. They are after your culture, your beliefs, your resources, your right to self-determination, your territory, and, ultimately, your life.

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Spencer Spratley, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8411

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The US-NATO Preemptive Nuclear Doctrine: Trigger a Middle East Nuclear Holocaust to Defend “The Western Way of Life” by Michel Chossudovsky

NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

NATO; Kucinich; Political Intelligence; Keep on Preaching to the Choir by William Blum

In Response to NATO Threat: Russian Armed Forces prepare for Nuclear Onslaught by Andrei Kislyako

Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike a Key Option, NATO Told By Ian Traynor

The New New World Order: A First-Strike NATO Über Alles by Chris Floyd

Resisting the Empire

Dandelion Salad

by Joseph Gerson
Foreign Policy In Focus
March 20, 2008

Victories are within sight for people in a growing number of nations where communities that host U.S. foreign military bases have long fought to get rid of them.

Ecuador’s decision not to renew the U.S. lease for the forward operating base at Manta (see Yankees Head Home) is the culmination of just one of many long-term and recently initiated community-based and national struggles to remove these military installations that are often sources of crime and demeaning human rights violations. A growing alliance among anti-bases movements in countries around the world, including the United States, is preventing the creation of new foreign military bases, restricting the expansion of others, and in some cases may win the withdrawal of the military bases, installations and troops that are essential to U.S. wars of intervention and its preparations for first-strike nuclear attacks.

The Challenge

Of course, there is still plenty of bad news. The Bush Administration is currently negotiating what is, in essence, a security treaty with the Maliki puppet government in Baghdad to secure one of the principle Bush-Cheney war aims: permanent military bases for tens of thousands of U.S. troops. The goal is to transform Iraq into an U.S. unsinkable aircraft carrier in the heart of the oil-rich Middle East. Unfortunately, the plan for Iraq is only one part of the vast and expanding U.S. infrastructure of nearly 1,000 military bases and installations strategically scattered around the world.

…continued

h/t: Cem Ertür

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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Ecuador wants military base in Miami By Phil Stewart

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

Operation Iraqi Freedom Exposed – Bush Negotiates Permanent Presence in Iraq By Marjorie Cohn

U.S. to build military base in Lebanon (video)

Republicans Plan Double-Whammy by Michael Carmichael

Dandelion Salad

Note: Passover starts next month. ~ Lo

by Michael Carmichael
Global Research, March 21, 2008
The Planetary Movement

It has been a long Good Friday even though Easter arrives early this year. Today’s full moon coincides with yesterday’s vernal equinox to deliver a very early Passover and Easter.

This holiday weekend, elite political circles will be charged with talk of a Republican “Double Whammy,” the internal nomenclature for a top secret plan to deliver the White House to the hand-picked candidate of the Bush-Cheney junta.

While the media is filled with stories analyzing and dissecting the White House plans for war with Iran in the wake of the sacking of Admiral William Fallon, only a select few politicians and their minions will be privy to a plan that it is arresting in its boldness and predicated on the establishment of an ironclad pretext for the forthcoming US hard-power attack on the regime in Tehran.

Some Republican strategists have become apoplectic at the rise of Barack Obama. Sagacious Republicans now see Obama as the most dangerous threat their party has faced since the Great Depression, when FDR relieved them of power for the next twenty years.

Republicans have never been as motivated to maintain their weakening grasp on power as they are today. The new era of Republican ruthlessness launched in 2000, when James Baker and his cronies, John Roberts and John Bolton, engineered the legal coup d’etat to rescue their lost election and place the Bush-Cheney junta in power.

Karl Rove is deemed to be a mastermind of political strategy, but Rove’s presidential campaigns have both resulted in colossal failures. In 2000, Gore won the popular vote, a factor that tarnished the first Bush-Cheney administration with the taint of illegitimacy. In 2004, Rove’s plan led to what appeared to be a narrow margin for the re-election of a sitting president in time of war – in fact, it was the smallest proportional margin for a presidential re-election since 1828. It eventually became apparent that Rove and his Republican operatives had manipulated votes across the red and blue spectrum of states using a veritable cornucopia of tactics for rigging and fixing the outcome.

So where’s the Rovian beef? As Greg Palast informs us, Rove’s beef is there in several dubious achievements in which he has established himself as a master:

• the suppression of Democratic votes by racial discrimination;

• vote rigging via ‘spoiled’ paper ballots;

• purges of voter rolls of eligible voters with names similar to convicted felons and

• hacking elections via clandestine manipulation of electronic voting machines.

At this point in the current campaign, Democrats are still engaged in settling the matter of the presidential nomination. In actual point of fact, Barack Obama has won the nomination as Hillary Clinton cannot reasonably expect to overtake his lead in delegates in the remaining primaries. Neither can she hope that a majority of the superdelegates will violate the will of the primary voters and opt for her over Obama – after he has won the majority of delegates available in the primaries and the majority of their votes, as well.

In short, the Clinton campaign has actually morphed into some sort of political zombie, dead yet seemingly alive or half-alive and apparently undead according to the latest polls. The Time cover said it best. With a flattering picture of Hillary Clinton, the cover proclaims her, “The Fighter: How she came back and why it could be too late.”

The editors at Time were being polite with Senator Clinton; the arithmetic of her campaign is now clear. She is no longer a viable contender for the Democratic presidential nomination even though polls say she is now more popular than she was one month ago. Her Chief Strategist, Mark Penn, trumpets her marginal improvements over the last month reflecting her apparent victories in Texas and Ohio, as he would be expected to do.

But, the professional prognosis of Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects is entirely different from Penn’s rosy picture of his client’s faltering but apparent rejuvenation. It came too late. Obama has a palpable lead in the delegate count and the votes, and her lingering popularity is not capable of overwhelming his lead. Finally, her “victories” in Texas and Ohio were barely that – for they were won only through massive influxes of Republicans who voted for Clinton under command from Rush Limbaugh and his ventriloquist, Karl Rove.

The Republicans are more than well aware of the shape of the Democratic nomination. They were hoping and praying and manipulating to the best of their abilities for their chance to destroy Hillary Clinton. Now that Clinton’s viability has been eroded by the Democratic base itself, the Republicans are moving swiftly to Plan B – an insidious plot to shock and awe the body politic with a double blow to the psyche of America.

For several years, Seymour Hersh has elucidated the ominous plans of the Bush-Cheney junta to complete their conquest of the Middle East by attacking Iran. Iran is now in the grip of an enormous and extremely uncomfortable American vise. The US occupies both Afghanistan to Iran’s east and Iraq to her west. The rich oilfields of Iran are arrayed in a belt near her south-western coast just over the border from Basra on the west. And, there is an enormous US flotilla now stationed just off the coast of Iran in the Persian Gulf.

While the story of Bush and Cheney’s designs on Iran are well known to international audiences, most of America remains oblivious to the impending expansion of the unpopular war. Fewer still are aware of the political motivations now calculating the moves in the global game of chess. The players are not really Bush and Cheney on the one hand and Ahmadinejad and his mullahs on the other. The opposing forces are now the Republicans against the Democrats, for the stakes are quite simple: the presidency of America and the key factor in its bristling portfolio of power – Commander-in-Chief of America’s vast arsenal.

Karl Rove has a powerful force arrayed on the field: the Pentagon, Central Command and the White House with its lame duck presidency encompassing overall command and control of the US military and, therefore, foreign policy. On the other hand, the Democrats have little to oppose the massive bureaucratic power of the Republican forces: slender majorities in both the House and the Senate – where Democratic support for ending the war is fragmented by blocs of “Blue Dog” Democrats who faithfully follow every command they perceive from the Republicans in the White House.

In his perceptive paper, Guy Saperstein has proposed that the Democrats could respond to a Republican-dominated attack on Iran by assembling Congressional investigations that could subpoena Admiral William Fallon and other stalwart patriots in the US military who oppose a US attack on Iran. Saperstein’s suggestion is certainly a good one, and it has the added distinction of being the only one on the table. But, the truth remains as Saperstein points out, the Democrats do not have a viable Iran strategy, nor are they likely to settle upon one anytime soon for they are preoccupied with the struggle between Obama and Clinton for the nomination.

The geopolitical ramifications of a US attack on Iran will be grave. It will signal the end of America’s global domination as the sole superpower. A triumvirate of nations: China, Iran and Russia will arise to challenge the US for global supremacy launching a new cold war and its concomitant arms race. The next phase of geostrategic military rivalry will extend to the astronomically expensive region of outer space, where Donald Rumsfeld has already made the preliminary moves to establish US supremacy in an area that was supposed to be permanently disarmed by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The US aerospace industry will be pleased, and their profits will surge.

While that scenario is bad enough, it does, indeed, get worse. Much worse, as a matter of fact. A sagacious retired US military professional, Captain Eric May, has warned that a false-flag attack could trigger public panic and mobilize massive political backing for the next phase of neocon belligerence. Thanks to Seymour Hersh and others, we know that the next phase of neocon expansion of conflict is their well-planned launch of the Iran War.

That is the “Double Whammy” now enthralling top-level Republican strategists – a counterfeit attack on US soil (a typical false-flag operation modeled on Hitler’s burning of the Reichstag) followed swiftly by a shock and awe bombing campaign against Iran. At this point, there is no Democratic response on the drawing boards for such a crisis. It is obvious that the presidential nominee should lead the protest to expand the war. But, what will he or she do if there is a traumatic false-flag operation as Captain May proposes?

That opening move and the sequence of moves to follow are transparently obvious: both Clinton and Obama should lock arms and decry the total failure of Bush-Cheney and their neocon junta to protect Americans from the onslaught of terrorism. Congress should immediately convene to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney and simultaneous investigations of the latest act of “terrorism” and its predecessor: 9/11. All 9/11 files currently classified should be immediately opened to public scrutiny by the Congressional investigators.

If the Republicans make the mistake and open with the False Flag-Iran Gambit, the Democrats should be ready to repudiate it in unison. At this point in the political calendar, there is no clear indication that they will be able to do more than rubber stamp the next Republican moves to ensure that national security will determine the outcome of this November’s election. That is what Karl Rove predicts.

In several televised interviews, Karl Rove has predicted that national security will be the defining issue of the next election and that the Republican nominee will prevail over the Democrat. That is why the top-drawer Republicans are so enthralled with their marvelous new toy – the “Double Whammy.”

SOURCES

Survey finds McCain would defeat both Obama and Clinton in latest prospective General Election match-ups

The Shift to Hillary by Mark Penn

Why we want to keep Hillary alive by Rush Limbaugh

The Boston Globe / Many voting for Clinton to boost GOP: Seek to prolong bitter battle

Rush Limbaugh Explains Why He’s Urging Republicans in Texas and Ohio to Vote for Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday 2

The New Yorker / Annals of National Security – The Iran Plans by Seymour Hersh

Guy Saperstein, The Dems Need an Iran Strategy ASAP

The resignation of Admiral Fallon will provoke renewed fighting in Iraq

False Flag Prospects, 2008: Top 3 US Target Cities by Captain Eric H. May

The Shock and Awe of Bombing Iran: The Bush-Cheney Grand Finale of Destruction

Outer Space Treaty (1967)

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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© Copyright Michael Carmichael, The Planetary Movement, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8412

“Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam” Explains Why America is in Trouble

Dandelion Salad

by Dr. Sherwood Ross
Global Research, March 22, 2008
– 2008-03-21

Review of Lawrence Velvel’s book

For an original view about why America is in trouble, read “Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam” (Doukathsan Press) by award-winning author Lawrence Velvel.

If his book title, taken from the fourth stanza of the national hymn “America The Beautiful,” is intended as sarcasm, that’s only because of the author’s outrage over the injuries he has seen inflicted on the country he loves.

Velvel grew up in Chicago —site of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 whose architectural “White City” inspired poet Katharine Lee Bates to describe the promise of “alabaster cities” in her beloved hymn.

And it is this glorious promise that Velvel shows over and again in his 818-page quartet of books, now collected for the first time in one volume, that has been shattered by the forces of dishonesty and greed.

Velvel writes all about it from his insider’s perspective, based on 40 years in the legal field as a law student at the University of Michigan, Justice Department attorney, private practitioner, law professor and cofounder and dean of a maverick law school pioneering a heralded new approach to legal education. The book, he says, is “lightly fictionalized to protect the guilty, e.g., by changing their names.”

TACG doesn’t discuss Iraq beyond the initial invasion. It doesn’t discuss the subprime meltdown. It doesn’t discuss the widening gap between rich and poor across the nation. “Rather,” Velvel says, “I wanted instead to discuss the habits of mind, and the culture, which brought these debacles upon us.”

“My intent is to show how qualities such as honesty, competence, and compassion have continuously declined since about 1960 and how selfishness has increased dramatically,” Velvel says. “You can see in our leadership that dishonesty is rampant, fake celebrityhood is worshipped, and competence and modesty take back seats.”

“What has emerged is extensive human and societal wreckage, and the rise of a selfish class characterized by men such as President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, the late Enron CEO Ken Lay, and WorldCOM CEO Bernie Ebbers,” Velvel says, adding, “and hundreds of thousands or, maybe millions, more, who share their rotten values.”

“In fact, you can depend upon most people to do the wrong thing most of the time,” he says. At one point, Velvel writes of his protagonist:

“It was only then that he finally knew in his gut, where it really counts, not just in his head, where it does not, that most people, most of the time, do not care a whit for social justice, care only about betterment of their own selfish interests, are impervious to reason no matter how objectively persuasive it may be, and will dissemble or sometimes even lie outright at the drop of a hat.”

Velvel’s book will resonate with anyone who has ever been treated badly in any court, federal or state, e.g., people involved in cases ranging from billion dollar litigations to family law cases like divorces and child custody fights.

Describing both the narrower and broader aspects of Velvel’s work, Amazon reviewer Daniel Jolley adds, Velvel “attempts to show what has gone terribly wrong in the American legal system in the latter half of the twentieth-century and how the problem has spread throughout American culture.”

Adds historian Howard Zinn, Velvel “delivers a scathing critique, based on personal experience, of the pretense and corruption that pervades the world of academe, of law schools, and the legal profession…Coming from a dean of a law school, this bold refusal to ‘play ball,’ to ‘play it safe’ is especially refreshing.”

In real life, Velvel is cofounder and dean of the fiercely independent Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, which is purposefully designed to educate minority, immigrant and low-income students that could not otherwise afford a quality legal education. Founded in 1988, MSL today has a student body of 600 students whose $13,300 annual tuition is less than half that charged by other New England law schools.

A prolific writer, Velvel has authored hundreds of professional legal articles, newspaper columns and internet essays on a wide variety of topics from civil liberties to foreign policy. He is also the author of “Undeclared War and Civil Disobedience: The American System in Crisis” (Dunellen). Velvel’s involvement with books is also expressed as host of an hour-long television book review show, “Books of Our Time,” produced by MSL and seen on Comcast throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states. Numerous prize-winning authors have described him as the best prepared interviewer they ever had.

Further information and to arrange for interviews with Dean Velvel, or to obtain copies of his book, please contact Sherwood Ross, Media Consultant to Massachusetts School of Law.

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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© Copyright Sherwood Ross, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8414

Derivatives – A Potential Financial Tsunami?

Dandelion Salad

by Daniel Apple and Rick Baugnon
Global Research, March 21, 2008
financialtsunami.com

Derivatives generate reported earnings that are often wildly overstated and based on estimates whose inaccuracy may not be exposed for many years. -Warren Buffet

Derivatives are complex financial transactions based upon underlying instruments like real estate, bonds or stocks and are of two main types; either bets about the direction of some market, or insurance, that takes on a hedging function against a market position.

The total amount of derivatives is now estimated (2006 mid-year market survey), by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), to be over $283 trillion. That number is about 7 times the economic output of the entire world, at about $40 trillion.

The ISDA, which represents participants in the privately negotiated derivatives industry, is among the world’s largest global financial trade associations as measured by number of member firms. ISDA was chartered in 1985, and today has approximately 780 member institutions from 54 countries on six continents.

These members include most of the world’s major institutions that deal in privately negotiated derivatives, as well as many of the businesses, governmental entities and other end users that rely on over-the-counter derivatives to manage efficiently the financial market risks inherent in their core economic activities.

Here is data from that report:

Notional amount outstanding of interest rate swaps and options and cross-currency swaps grew by 18 percent to $250.8 trillion from $213.2 trillion. The annual growth rate for interest rate derivatives to mid-2006 is 25 percent from $201.4 trillion in mid-2005. 101 primary member firms provided interest rate derivatives data.

Notional amount of credit default swaps grew by 52% in the first six months of the year to $26.0 trillion from $17.1 trillion. The annual growth rate for credit derivatives is 109% from $12.4 trillion at mid-year 2005. 88 firms provided credit default swap data.

Finally, notional amount outstanding of equity derivatives, which consist of equity swaps, options, and forwards, grew by 15 percent from $5.5 trillion to $6.4 trillion. This represents year-on-year growth of 32 percent from $4.8 trillion at mid-year 2005. 87 firms provided equity derivatives data.

And this does not refer to exchange derivatives, like futures contracts which are small by comparison. What it does refer to are the unregulated derivatives contracts between hedge funds, pension funds, banks, insurance companies, etc.

Interestingly, Mr. Buffett had previously stated banks simply have no idea what their exposure could be. “When Charlie [Munger, his business partner] and I finish reading the long footnotes detailing the derivatives activities of major banks, the only thing we understand is that we don’t understand how much risk the institution is taking.”

Also, the $6 billion loss in natural gas by the Amaranth hedge fund demonstrates how even experienced traders can suddenly and unexpectedly undergo a tremendous loss. This begs the question that if the financial system were to experience a major shock how would that possibly be covered?

Mr. Buffett has said that such highly complex financial instruments are time bombs and “financial weapons of mass destruction” that could harm not only their buyers and sellers, but the whole economic system.

Daniel Apple is managing principal of Apple & Associates, and a Registered Principal with Financial Telesis Inc. he is a member of the Institute of Certified Financial PlannersTM and a charter member of the Gold Country Estate Planning Council.

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

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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© Copyright Daniel Apple, financialtsunami.com, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8409

Palestinian Groups Should Distance Themselves from Al Qaeda By Liam Bailey

Liam

By Liam Bailey
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Bailey Mail
March 22, 2008

2008-03-21 10:25:46 **opinion**

I have said it before and I will say it again, the best possible thing for the Palestinians to do is distance themselves completely and utterly from Al Qaeda. The Palestinians are in a legitimate fight for their own freedom, and because the struggle is the most legitimate armed Muslim struggle in the Muslim world, it is being used by Al Qaeda as a cause for recruitment. It has been used time and time again over the years, and has been used again Mar 20, in the second audio release by Osama Bin Laden in as many days.

In the tape aired by Al Jazeera, which hasn’t yet been confirmed as authentic, the man claiming to be Bin Laden says the best way for Muslim’s to aide in the Palestinian struggle is to go and fight the Jihad in Iraq. His exact words were:

“The nearest jihad battlefield to support our people in Palestine is the battlefield of Iraq. The people of the blessed land should sense the great favour God has bestowed upon them and do what they should do to support their mujahideen brothers in Iraq. It is a great opportunity and a major duty for my brothers the Palestinian emigrants [in Arab countries], between whom and jihad on the plains of Jerusalem a barrier has been built.”

The BBC article on the speech ended with something I have read before, always with great scepticism: that the U.S.’ efforts in Iraq, along with the capture and killing of several Al Qaeda’s senior members are proving to be major set-backs for the group. According to the BBC the most successful arm of the U.S. Iraq mission is the current effect the “Awakening” councils — ex-Sunni militants now fighting alongside the U.S. — are having in clearing “Al Qaeda inspired” foreign militants out of central Iraq.

As much as it pains me to say: the current Al Qaeda PR drive; two releases in as many days from Al Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden, is a sign that the U.S. led War on Terror is finally making some gains against the group, which is clearly becoming desperate for recruits in Iraq.

It is undoubted that the U.S. has international support in its war with Al Qaeda, in fact it is pretty much a war between the Western world and Al Qaeda, in which only a few countries are fighting it with their military.

The Palestinian’s best chance of obtaining their own state is to gain the widest possible level of international support in that aim. Any bond between their cause and that of Al Qaeda will give them absolutely no chance of achieving that, and will actually increase support for Israel’s brutal military actions, and strangulation of Gaza in every way imaginable. I personally think Bin laden’s release requires a response from the Palestinian groups, especially Hamas, publicly distancing themselves from Al Qaeda.

see

Israel Strangling the Life Out of Gaza By Liam Bailey

Bailey-Liam

The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see By Siv O’Neall

Dandelion Salad

Note: Full video: The World According to Monsanto

greenpeace.org

International — A new movie has dealt yet another severe blow to the credibility of US based Monsanto, one of the biggest chemical companies in the world and the provider of the seed technology for 90 percent of the world’s genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The French documentary, called “The world according to Monsanto” and directed by independent filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin, paints a grim picture of a company with a long track record of environmental crimes and health scandals.

You can order a DVD of it (in English, French and Spanish) here.

…continued

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