Israel ‘ready for peace’ with Syria

Dandelion Salad
23:31 MECCA TIME, 20:31 GMT

Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, has reportedly offered to withdraw from Syria’s Golan Heights in exchange for a peace deal with Damascus.

Buthaina Shaaban, Syria’s minister for expatriate affairs, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that the offer was put forward through Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister.

She said: “The Turkish prime minister has conveyed to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that Ehud Olmert is ready for peace with Syria on the basis of international resolutions and the return of the whole Golan Heights to Syria.”



Israel ‘ready to return Golan’

23 April 2008 21:30 UK

Israel has passed a message to Syria that it would withdraw from the Golan Heights in return for peace, according to a Syrian government minister.

The expatriates minister, Buthaina Shaaban, said the message had been passed on by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

She said Mr Erdogan had informed the Syrian President Bashar Assad of the offer by telephone on Tuesday morning.


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.

Fox News: Not Wearing Flag Pin Encourages US Enemies by R J Shulman (satire)


by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post
April 23, 2008

NEW YORK – In a new study unveiled by Fox News, conclusive evidence points to the fact that Americas have put themselves in danger by not wearing flag lapel pins. The exhaustive study of radio talk show hosts showed that Osama Bin Laden cheers every time he hears that an American is not wearing one of these pins. “Just how many people were not wearing their flag lapel pins when 911 hit,” said Rush Limbaugh.

Even more disturbing is that pin wearing failure, or PWF as it has become known is the cause of other serious problems, according to the 255 page report. “It is not a coincidence that New Orleans had the lowest percentage of flag pin wearers of any major American city when Katrina hit,” said Laura Ingram. “Further proof of the dangers on not wearing pins,” said Sean Hannity, “comes from the fact that there were a substantial number of mortgage borrowers who took out sub-prime loans while not wearing their pins.” “As I have warned you,” said Michael Weiner, better known to his listeners as Michael Savage, “the biggest threat to America are Americans themselves, the ones who refuse to wear flag lapel pins, which clearly means they support amnesty for disease ridden-Mexican illegal immigrants. And even worse, those illegals don’t wear pins either.”

“The fact that Obama won’t wear a flag lapel pin,” said Neil Bortz, “is proof positive that he is a Muslim terrorist who favors natural disasters which ruin the mortgage market.” “On the other hand, I might think of voting for Obama,” said Bill O’Reilly, “if he would say pass me the MF pin. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon.” “The message is clear,” said Dick Cheney, “if Americans don’t wear these pins, we will be hit again and we will be hit hard.”

“The greatest patriotic duty and sacrifice that can be made by any true American who loves their country,” said Mike Regan, “is to make sure they are wearing a flag lapel pin.” This could be a bigger problem than anticipated due to the recent recall by All American Trading Company of El Segundo, California which just announced a massive return of flag lapel pins due the accidental use of lead paint when they were manufactured in China.

After Deal or no Deal, Bush to Appear on ABC-TV’s Lost by R J Shulman (satire)


by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post
April 22, 2008

NEW YORK – Due to the success of George W. Bush’s cameo appearance on NBC-TV’s popular “Deal or No Deal,” the President will soon appear on other TV shows.” “It was so exciticating to be on the TV,” said President Bush, “and not have reporter folks pesticate me with questions that try and make me look like some kind of dunce who can’t even complete a sentence without, you know.”

The President taped a “good luck video” in the White House library for “Deal or No Deal” contestant Captain Joe Kobes who served in Iraq. The President said, “I am here to supporticate Private or whatever his rank Joe Krebbs or whatever his name is as a real hero for going to Iraq for three times and wishing him luck to have three jobs waiting at home for him whenever he gets back, and of course, having them jobs ready will be the responsibility of the next President.”

“The show’s producers contacted the White House after learning that Captain Kobes wanted to meet the President,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. “I just wanted to hear from the guy who had the guts to send me and my buddies back to Iraq for three tours of duty,” Kobes said. “The least the President could do for me was to bring along his friends who won him Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 so they could help fix things for me with NBC in 2008. I really need the million dollar prize to send to my wife back home to help pay for gas so she can drive to her three jobs.”

The President will be careful what he does on TV to preserve the dignity of the highest office,” said Fratto, “so the next show he will appear on will be Bravo’s new reality show “America’s Next Disgraced President,” and then he will be part of an episode of ABC-TV’s “Lost” where he can show just how lost he is when it comes to foreign policy, domestic policy or determining his posterior from a hole in the ground.” Fratto has since left his White House position to spend more time with his family.

Gold, GATA and the Turn to Higher Ground

Dandelion Salad

by Catherine Austin Fitts
April 22, 2008

The following is Catherine Austin Fitts’ presentation at the “GATA Goes to Washington” conference which took place last week in Washington D.C.

Thank you for coming and making “GATA Goes to Washington” and our efforts to press for full disclosure of the U.S. gold stores a success.

To accomplish our goals in a politically managed economy requires a new integration of political and market skills. From the vantage point of good old-fashioned politics, I want to talk about what we can do.

For some time, we have been experiencing an extraordinary centralization of economic and political power. Economic power. Political power. The two go hand in hand.


h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

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.

Mosaic News – 4/22/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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


For more:
“Iraq Neighbors Meet in Kuwait,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Female Suicide Bomber Kills 4 in N. Iraq,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Egypt to Broker Ceasfire Between Israel & Hamas,” IBA TV, Israel
“Separation Wall Unites Settlers & Palestinian Farmers,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Mesh’al Refutes Carter,” Dubai TV, UAE
“3 Killed in Christan Enclave in Lebanon,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Pakistan Frees Pro- Taliban Leader,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Britain Supports Dialogue Between Pakistani Government & Militants,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Morocco Launches Anti-Drug Campaign,” 2M TV, Morocco
“Iran Blames Big Powers for Oil Market Instability,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“Economic Problems Did Not Stop Bush from Dancing,” Dubai TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod


Negotiable or not, the American Way of Life must be extinguished….

Dandelion Salad

By Jason Miller
Thomas Paine’s Corner

(As inspired by a conversation with Derrick Jensen)

“There’s got to be just more to it than this;
Or tell me why do we exist?”

–Iron Maiden

Is the Western consumerist culture that we inflict upon the rest of the world truly the pinnacle of our evolution? If it is, I resign my membership in the human race. Though I don’t fear that I’ll be compelled to tender my resignation any time soon because our so-called “non-negotiable American Way of Life” is a piece of shit, for myriad reasons.

We in the Western “developed” nations, particularly in the United States, are an utter disgrace to our species. Our myopic, self-centered, jejune, hubristic, and benighted ways of examining and interacting with the rest of the world, including other human animals, non-human animals, and Mother Earth herself, are reprehensible to the point of nausea and beyond.

And why wouldn’t they be? We carry perceived entitlement to such pathological lengths that we actually believe that the world and all of its inhabitants are resources we can objectify and use to enhance and ensure our “prosperity,” “security,” and “the growth of our economy.” We are conditioned to believe ahistorical, manipulative and grossly distorted sound-bites streamed into our shriveled, atrophied cerebrums by well-coiffed, polished talking head sycophants who owe their careerist souls to a system that is destroying the world.

And why wouldn’t we US Americans believe that our “shining city upon the hill” is entitled to whatever our little hearts desire (and our $1 trillion per year military can plunder)? We are all living large thanks to the genocide our forefathers committed against the natives of Turtle Island. After all, who’s going to worry about a little thing like 10-100 million dead “red men?” Or the 100 million black slaves who contributed mightily (and involuntarily I might add) to the development of our economic juggernaut of a nation? I can already see the shoulders shrugging and people assuaging potential guilt with the shop-worn arguments that “we’ve more than made it up to them,” “you can’t change the past,” or “I wasn’t there when it happened.” Well, guess what. I’m not suggesting reparations or apologies. Fuck applying band-aids to gaping wounds. We are barbarians masquerading as enlightened Christian folk—we’ve even deluded ourselves into believing our shit smells like roses. How far do we go before we call a halt to our insanity?

Stocks of large marine animals have fallen 90% since 1950. The polar bears and penguins are drowning and disappearing in droves. Cattle, pigs, and chickens suffer unspeakable horrors in torture facilities euphemistically labeled factory farms mostly so we can get our “fast food fix” and destroy the world one burger at a time by eating at McDonald’s. 50% of the world’s tropical forests are gone and if present trends continue they will all be gone by 2090. A unique species of life goes extinct every 20 minutes.

Conscienceless sociopaths like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney routinely rise to the ultimate positions of power, visibility and responsibility in our nightmare society. We have already slaughtered over a million Iraqis in retaliation for the 3,000 people they DIDN’T kill on 9/11. Disproportionate scapegoating at its finest. Job well done, USA! (One shudders to think how many we would’ve killed had Iraqis been the actual perpetrators of the WTC bombings).

I wonder, dear reader, if you are wondering the same thing I’m wondering as I’m writing: Just what the fuck is wrong with us? We US Americans excel at paying lip service to worshipping Christ and/or the God of the Old Testament, but the truth is that our real god is Mammon. Even those who reject mainstream culture and its obsession with wealth and material possessions are forced to subjugate themselves to the almighty dollar in our filthy capitalist dog-eat-dog, winner-take-all system.

We fancy ourselves to have a monopoly on “freedom” and “decency.” In fact, we’ve mind-fucked ourselves into believing it is our “duty” to “civilize” the rest of the world. In reality we are wage and debt slaves who each play a role in perpetuating a system that is grossly immoral, exploitative, and malevolent. We export our evil via our blood-drenched foreign policy. “Get them before they get us” is our motto—even if we happen to be the equivalent of Mike Tyson pulverizing an infant. Hey, he might’ve attacked us when he grew up, right?

For those of us who haven’t had every shred of moral decency indoctrinated out of us, there is cause for some optimism. Like a pyramid balancing on its apex, capitalism is destined to topple. Linear, short-sighted, chaotic, grossly immoral, and dependent upon infinite growth in a finite world, it has already reached obsolescence in the minds of most intellectually honest critical thinkers. Its myriad victims have discovered perhaps its ultimate vulnerability: asymmetric warfare. In its insatiable thirst to commodify everything, capitalism is at odds with Mother Nature herself. If the victims of imperialism and monopoly capitalism don’t bring this son of a bitch down, the Earth will. And I feel confident that I speak for many when I state that the world will be truly blessed when our violent, hierarchal, and malignant culture of murder and mayhem is throttled to death like a perpetrator who finally encounters a victim with the means to eradicate him.

Meanwhile, we can accelerate the demise of the dominant culture, as Derrick Jensen has labeled our rotten-to-the-core Westernized, capitalistic way of being. As Jensen suggests, we need to build upon the culture of resistance that is rapidly expanding in the pre-revolutionary environment in which we find ourselves.

As the inevitable revolution or crash approaches (the power elite can only fuck the people or the environment so hard before the backlash takes them out), there are many things we can do (each according to our abilities and resources) to monkey wrench this merciless, murderous machine.

Students of history will note that all manner of people and activities are necessary to bring down a deeply entrenched rotten and oppressive establishment. Strikers, boycotters, organizers, thinkers, writers, spiritual leaders, protestors, civil disobedients, conscientious objectors, providers of resources, and groups engaged in direct action like the ALF are all essential to the success of resisting the considerable might and tenacity of those who hold a majority of the world’s wealth and power.

So, as Jensen suggests, find what you love and do it in such a way that it puts a little more wobble on that inverted pyramid.

And when the time comes, those of us who are clinging to our guns so bitterly will know what to do with them.

Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor ( and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at You can reach him at

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.


Maximum Leverage (videos; Derrick Jensen; Apr 07)

The Fight for Workers’ Rights by Ralph Nader

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Andy Stern, the president of the 1.9 million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is embroiled in the politics of accepting sweetheart union contract deals that and, ironically is being condemned by the Wall Street Journal. What gives here?

It seems that Stern wants to put heat on the private equity funds that have bought hospitals, nursing home chains and other firms whose employees he wants to organize. He lost a clumsy attempt to get a bill through the California legislature to restrict state pension funds from investing in private equity firms. The bill was backed by some foreign countries’ sovereign investment funds.

The state pension funds—CalSTRS and CalPERS—defeated the bill and received the approval of the Wall St. Journal’s right wing editorial writers—a rare plaudit indeed. The Journal even praised the California Nurses Association for obtaining a restraining order from a California court against SEIU harassing, assaulting and stalking members of this union, which is embroiled in disputes with SEIU for what the nurses’ union says are blatant sweetheart contracts that SEIU dangles before large employers.

Are you confused?

The California Nurses Association (CNA) is a fast growing union that fights for patient rights, for adequate nurse-patient ratios and bargains for strong contracts with hospital chains. SEIU, by contrast wants membership growth even if the cost is a weaker contract for the newly organized workers.

In Ohio, the CNA exposed a SEIU deal with nine hospitals owned by Catholic Healthcare Partners. SEIU let the employer pick SEIU as its chosen union without a single signed union card. The company-union collaboration scheduled elections.

CNA sent representatives to Ohio and sounded the alarm about a top-down agreement sealed by a mutually imposed code of silence.

SEIU and the hospital chain owner postponed the election after the employees became aware of this sweetheart deal.

CNA’s actions threw SEIU into a rage. Buses of SEIU people from Ohio were sent by Mr. Stern to break up an annual meeting of 1000 labor activists sponsored by the magazine, Labor Notes, in Dearborn, Michigan. CNA’s Executive Director, RoseAnn DeMoro was scheduled to speak to the assemblage.

Shouting, scuffling, overturned chairs and the arrival of the Dearborn Police to impose order led A.F.L.-C.I.O. president John J. Sweeney, to denounce what he called “a violent attack” orchestrated by SEIU.

SEIU split from the A.F.L.-C.I.O. in 2005. SEIU aggressively raids other unions, such as the Allied International Union (AIU).

AIU fled a RICO law suit in New York against Stern’s alleged racketeering behavior and tactics to replace AIU leadership and take control of its members.

In addition, the Department of Labor is investigating a Las Vegas local of SEIU regarding possible misuse of employer funds to advance certain candidates in a local election.

All these struggles and outside charges against Andy Stern are not keeping him from moving to remove rebellious leaders of locals and consolidate power at the top. The biggest battle is in San Francisco. Dissident, Sal Rosselli, head of SEIU-United Health Care Workers West, will propose democratic changes to the autocratic way Stern runs the union at their national convention in June.

Rosselli is pushing to give local unions of SEIU more authority in contract bargaining and more voice in proposed union mergers.

Some labor observers believe Andy Stern is biting off more than he can chew. His assurance to the Democratic Party of over $50 million for the upcoming election exposes him to critics who believe he should be spending the money on and pay far more attention to getting more for his members from the large corporations he massages.

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.


Ralph Nader posts

Nader for President 2008

McCain Sound Bytes the MSM Ignored (videos)

Dandelion Salad


McCain: “It’s long and it’s hard and it’s tough”

Added: April 03, 2008
John McCain at a Meet and Greet in North Myrtle Beach, SC, 11/31/07. McCain says, “My friends, it’s long and it’s hard and it’s tough and you’ve still got the Iranians exporting these explosive devices into Iraq which is killing brave, young Americans.”

McCain: War in Iraq, Afgahnistan, and ‘other places?’

Added: April 04, 2008
John McCain admits “There are other places where we may have to [fight]” in a speech in Keene, NH.

McCain: ‘I know how to handle the Iranians …”

Added: April 04, 2008
John McCain says “”My friends, I know how to handle the Iranians. And I’ll handle ’em.” at a speech in Keene, NH on January 7, 2008.

McCain: Young people, serve in my century long war!

Added: April 03, 2008
John McCain at a speech in Nashua, 1/7/08. McCain says, “We are in a greater struggle that is going to be with us for the rest of this century and my friends, I believe that I have the experience and the knowledge and the judgment [sic]. These young people that are in this crowd, my friends, I’m going to be asking you to serve.”

h/t: anonymous source

Tomgram: Steve Fraser, The Two Gilded Ages

Dandelion Salad

By Tom Engelhardt
April 23, 2008

Think of it as gilding the pain. Last year, hedge fund manager John Paulson of Paulson & Co. hauled in a nifty $3.7 billion. (Yes, you read that right.) Mainly, he did so, according to the Wall Street Journal, “by shorting, or betting against, subprime mortgage securities and collateralized debt obligations.” And he wasn’t alone. Hedge fund money-maker Philip Falcone of Harbinger Capital Partners raked in a comparatively measly $1.7 billion in 2007, also by shorting subprime mortgages. These are fortunes beyond imagining, made in no time at all by betting on the pure misery of others. Think of them as Las Vegas with a mean streak a mile wide.

In a week in which Citibank released news of quarterly losses of $5.1 billion and sweeping job cuts, food riots dotted the planet, oil hit $117 a barrel, and regular gas prices averaged $3.47 a gallon at the pump (with another 30 cents likely to be tacked on in the next month), Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine released its list of the 50 top hedge fund managers. In 2007, they “made” a cumulative $29 billion. (Even to slip in among the top 25, you had to take in at least $360 million.) To put this in perspective, Paulson alone made $1.6 billion dollars more than it is going to cost J.P. Morgan Chase to pick up the tanking Bear Stearns; in one hour, he made 30 times what the median American family earned all last year. And here’s a little tidbit to go with that: Income inequality in 2007 was, according to the Associated Press, “at the highest level since 1928, the year before the Great Depression began.”

And still, a New York Times piece on the gains of Paulson and crew described the hedge fund managers with genuine awe as “those masters of a secretive, sometimes volatile financial universe.” Master of the Universe (a label originally attached to an over-muscled action figure of the 1980s by the name of He-Man) — such descriptions have been with us since the beginning of our new Gilded Age and no one knows this better than Steve Fraser. His book on our financial “masters of the universe” from the eighteenth century to the present, Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace, has just been published. As he writes, “Beginning with the merger and acquisition mania of the mid-1980s, the media were overrun with depictions of Wall Street ‘gunslingers,’ ‘white knights’ and ‘black knights,’ ‘killer bees,’ ‘hired guns,’… and ‘barbarians at the gates,! ‘ warrior appellations borrowed helter-skelter from antiquity, the Middle Ages, and America’s mythologized West.” The language brought to bear always had that requisite edge of awe, part of an ethos that added up to a cult of the Titan. Fraser, whose book is simply superb (and, in this age of information onslaught, mercifully short), offers a brief history of key images of Wall Street movers and shakers — the aristocrat, the confidence man, the hero, and the immoralist — taking you on a concise tour of America’s love/hate relationship with Wall Street from the founding of the republic to late last night.

Now, as the gilding on our present age begins to peel and flake, Fraser turns back to the last Gilded Age at the end of the nineteenth century, to ask a few questions germane to our moment, especially why, today, unlike in the late nineteenth century, the protests over the Paulsons of our world aren’t rising to the heavens. Tom

The Great Silence

Our Gilded Age and Theirs
By Steve Fraser

Google “second Gilded Age” and you will get ferried to 7,000 possible sites where you can learn more about what you already instinctively know. That we are living through a gilded age has become a journalistic commonplace. The unmistakable drift of all the talk about it is a Yogi Berra-ism: it’s a matter of déjà vu all over again. But is it? Is turn-of-the-century America a replica of the world Mark Twain first christened “gilded” in his debut bestseller back in the 1870s?

Certainly, Twain would feel right at home today. Crony capitalism, the main object of his satirical wit in The Gilded Age, is thriving. Incestuous plots as outsized as the one in which the Union Pacific Railroad’s chief investors conspired with a wagon-load of government officials, including Ulysses S. Grant’s vice president, to loot the federal treasury once again lubricate the machinery of public policy-making. A cronyism that would have been familiar to Twain has made the wheels go round in these terminal years of the Bush administration. Even the invasion and decimation of Iraq was conceived and carried out as an exercise in grand-strategic cronyism; call it cronyism with a vengeance. All of this has been going on since Ronald Reagan brought back morning to America.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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.

How Hillary Can Knock-Out Obama by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
April 23, 2008

Now is the time for Hilary Clinton to take a bold position that in one brilliant, courageous stroke shows the nation that she is more willing to pursue true reforms of the two-party plutocratic political system than Obama is.

With this position she can reveal that all the Obama talk about change is just a clever campaign strategy to seduce people who rightfully are fed up with politics as usual.

With this single position she can transform herself from status-quo-political-establishment-candidate to a true believer in what the Founders gave us in the Constitution: the right to turn public mistrust and lack of confidence in the federal government into peaceful constitutional problem solving. When 81 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, then the constitutional path to reform should be used.

How can a true political leader do better than advocating use of what is sitting right there in our beloved Constitution?

How can a candidate advocating solutions for America do better than supporting what has already been used hundreds of times by the states, but has been blocked by fearful political forces for over 200 years at the federal level?

How could Obama tell the nation that he does not believe in using what the Constitution says we have a clear right to use? How could this self-professed change agent say he is against using the peaceful constitutional path to examining profound political reforms? Neither Obama nor McCain would find it easy to say that what the Founders gave us in our Constitution should not be used. Indeed, as Senators, would they introduce a bill to amend the Constitution to remove this option? I think not.

Sometimes, a great notion just needs to be articulated for people to see the clear way forward. Now is the ideal time for Hillary Clinton to say to Americans that she agrees that the political system must be fixed and that the time has arrived for a serious national discussion of political reforms that only can be achieved through constitutional amendments, because Congress has shown no inclination for pursuing deep, systemic political reforms.

The constitutional alternative is to use what is in Article V: a convention of state delegates that is given the constitutional power that so far only Congress has used, to debate and consider proposals for constitutional amendments. The Framers brilliantly created both this option and the safety net that proposed amendments, like those from Congress, must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Nor can a totally new Constitution be considered, only amendments to the present one.

Clinton would have history and facts on her side. The clarity of the Article V convention option in the Constitution is undisputed. Better yet, the one and only stated requirement for Congress to obey for convening the convention has already been satisfied – namely that two-thirds of state legislatures ask Congress for a convention. Indeed, there have been over 500 such state requests from all 50 states. Hillary could state very simply that the time is long overdue for Congress to obey the Constitution and convene a convention. She could introduce a bill that says exactly that to show that she is really true to her words.

There have been several important books from respected academics that provide the intellectual ammunition for taking this bold position. These include: “A More Perfect Constitution” by Larry Sabato; “The Second Constitutional Convention: How The American People Can Take Back Their Government” by Richard Labunski; and “Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It)” by Sanford Levinson.

In other words, advocating the nation’s first use of an Article V convention is no far-out, brainless idea. Indeed, it is exactly what the nation needs at this time and exactly what any political leader that claims both to love our Constitution and see the need for political reforms should support.

Clinton can give many examples of what a convention could consider proposing, including amendments that: make universal health insurance coverage a constitutional right; replace the Electoral College with the popular vote for president and vice-president; take all private money out of political campaigns and replaces it with total public campaign financing; clarify that only Congress can declare war and must do so explicitly.

Be brave Hillary. Do what is both right and politically dazzling.

[Joel S. Hirschhorn can be contacted through; he is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention at]


Seeking Political Reform Through Solidarity by Joel S. Hirschhorn



John Yoo: The President’s Executioner

Dandelion Salad

by Jennifer Van Bergen
Global Research, April 22, 2008

The title of this article – The President’s Executioner – is a play on words. It refers to professor John Yoo, who teaches law at Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley. But this man – mild-mannered by all appearances – is not what he seems. He is the man who was, more often than nearly any other, behind the White House decisions to violate the international laws of war. He was the one who told the White House how to get away with committing war crimes. While he may have been a henchman for others who instructed him to make the arguments he did, he repeatedly refused to reverse himself, both while he worked in the Department of Justice and after he left that office and returned to academia.

But it was also during this time period, as we now know, that the Department of Justice became “politicized.” Instead of executing the laws as it should have been doing, the Justice Department became an instrument of President Bush, executing his wishes.

And John Yoo executed White House wishes to twist the law into something it was not and was not meant to be.

Yoo, however, did more than execute orders. The so-called “Torture Memos,” in the writing of which Yoo was an active and primary participant, opened the door to such abuse of the laws that some detainees were actually murdered. For all practical purposes, they were executed, without a trial or guilty verdict.

Thus, the President’s Executioner.

Yoo & the Unlimited Executive

Professor Yoo teaches the following courses: International Civil Litigation, International Law, Constitutional Law, Foreign Relations Law, Civil Procedure, International Trade, Separation of Powers Law. These courses cover big issues. They relate not to person-to-person issues, to one family’s inheritance, a personal injury lawsuit, or a burglary. Most of the courses Professor Yoo teaches relate to how our country is run and who has the power to do what, internally and internationally.

But it would be a mistake to rely on Yoo’s advice in these areas, for he would be interpreting laws he has broken and advised others to break.

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice is the office that issues legal opinions for the President and other departments (including the Department of Defense) in the executive branch. OLC opinions are relied on by these offices to guide them in carrying out their jobs. They are rarely rescinded, having almost the precedental effect of judicial decisions.

Yoo was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the OLC. While there he participated in authoring several documents, all of which became mainstays of the administration’s policies at particular points and most or all of which the OLC later rescinded. The memos all manifest one characteristic: they all suggest that the President, as President and Commander-in-Chief, has the authority to violate any laws or treaties he sees fit in order to protect the country.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who became Deputy Attorney General after Yoo left and who was the one who made the difficult (and unpopular) decision to rescind Yoo’s opinions (and who later resigned because of it), writes in his book “The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration” that Yoo’s “interrogation opinions” contained an “unusual lack of care and sobriety in their legal analysis,” and that “[n]owhere was this more evident than in the opinions discussion of the President’s commander-in-chief powers.” (p. 148)

Yoo’s opinion went much further than necessary, Goldsmith thought. Yoo wrote: “Any effort by Congress to regulate the interrogation of battlefield detainees would violate the Constitution’s sole vesting of the Commander-in-Chief authority in the President.” Goldsmith states: “This extreme conclusion has no foundation in prior OLC opinions, or in judicial decisions, or in any other source of law.” (pp. 148-9) Yoo’s pronouncement about presidential powers, furthermore, “was all the more inappropriate because it rested on cursory and one-sided legal arguments that failed to consider Congress’s competing wartime constitutional authorities, or the many Supreme Court decisions potentially in tension with the conclusion.” (p. 149)

Of course, the “interrogation opinion” was not Yoo’s only one, as we now know.

The Yoo Memos

Yoo’s memos were written in the wake of 9/11. On September 18, 2001, Congress issued the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which authorized President Bush to:

use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Only fourteen days after 9/11 and a week after Congress issued the AUMF, Yoo submitted his first memo: “Memorandum Opinion for the Deputy Counsel to the President” titled “The President’s Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them.” This memo claimed:

The President has constitutional power not only to retaliate against any person, organization, or State suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks on the United States, but also against foreign States suspected of harboring or supporting such organizations. The President may deploy military force preemptively against terrorist organizations or the States that harbor or support them, whether or not they can be linked to the specific terrorist incidents of September 11.

On November 13, 2001, the White House issued a Presidential Military Order (PMO) on detentions, which Yoo co-authored with Vice President Cheney’s legal counsel, David Addington. The PMO purported to authorize the Secretary of Defense to detain terrorist suspects indefinitely and created military commissions to try those he decided to try. It established procedural baselines for commissions which (along with later-issued DOD procedures) were later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

A little over a month later, on December 28, 2001, Yoo submitted another memorandum, this time co-authored with fellow Deputy Assistant Attorney General Patrick F. Philbin, to William J. Haynes II, General Counsel to the Department of Defense, titled “Possible Habeas Jurisdiction Over Aliens Held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” While expressing some uncertainly, the memo argues that “the great weight of legal authority indicates that a federal district court could not properly exercise habeas jurisdiction over an alien detained” at Guantanamo. (The administration maintained this argument all the way up to the Supreme Court, which ruled against it in Rasul v. Bush.)

Then, on January 9, 2002, Yoo submitted a memorandum titled “Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees” and co-authored with Special Counsel Robert J. Delahunty, that purported to address “the effect of international treaties and federal laws on the treatment of individuals detained by the U.S. Armed Forces during the conflict in Afghanistan.”

This memo argued that the President was not bound by international laws in the war on terror. The memo stated that “any customary international law of armed conflict in no way binds, as a legal matter, the President or the US Armed Forces concerning the detention or trial of members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.” The memo purported to deny the protections of international laws to detainees and to exempt from liability those who denied such protections. The memo thus approved and promoted violations by the U.S. of long-standing international laws and treaties.

Finally, Yoo authored a memo that was dated August 1, 2002, titled “Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. ss. 2340-2340A” (the statutes that implement the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)). According to Goldsmith, “This opinion was addressed to Alberto Gonzales from my predecessor, Jay Bybee, but according to press reports and John Yoo’s public comments, it was drafted by Yoo himself.” (Terror Presidency, p. 142)

Among other criteria, it stated that “[p]hysical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.” Goldsmith states: “The opinion formed part of the legal basis for what President Bush later confirmed were ‘alternative’ interrogation procedures used at secret locations on Abu Zubaydah, a top al Qaeda operative; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al Qaeda mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks; and other ‘key architects of the September 11th’ and other terrorist attacks.” (p. 142)

Jordan Paust writes in “Beyond the Law”: “The memo attempted to justify torture as well as the intentional infliction of pain more generally as interrogation tactics” and it “was completely erroneous with respect to Geneva law and war crime responsibility.” (p. 11)

Media and Legal Experts on Yoo’s Memos

The January 9, 2002 memo, which discusses the application of treaties on detainees, is widely viewed as having sparked the abuse and torture of prisoners by members of the U.S. military. The Department of State (DOS) responded to Yoo that “both the most important factual assumptions on which your draft is based and its legal analysis are seriously flawed.” Two days after Yoo issued his January 9th memo, DOS legal adviser William H. Taft, IV, commented that all three of Yoo’s main premises were wrong as a matter of international law and other arguments he made were “without support,” “contrary to the official position of the United States,” and “legally flawed and procedurally impossible at this stage.”

In a May 25, 2004 Newsweek article, referring to Yoo’s memos, reporter Michael Isikoff stated that “Critics say the memos’ disregard for the United States’ treaty obligations and international law paved the way for the Pentagon to use increasingly aggressive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay — including sleep deprivation, use of forced stress positions and environmental manipulation — that eventually were applied to detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.”

(For all the so called “torture memos” and other “Interrogation Documents,”

Scott Horton — an expert on human rights law and the law of armed conflict, a professor at Columbia University School of Law, a commentator for Harper’s Magazine, and a partner at Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP in New York — wrote that “ following the issuance of high-level legal advice [eg., the Yoo/Delahunty and other memos] … command authorities in Iraq no longer considered the Geneva Conventions to restrain them in their handling of detainees.”

Isikoff quoted Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, who had examined the memo. Roth “described it as a ‘maliciously ideological or deceptive’ document that simply ignored U.S. obligations under multiple international agreements. ‘You can’t pick or choose what laws you’re going to follow,’ said Roth. ‘These political lawyers set the nation on a course that permitted the abusive interrogation techniques’ that have been recently disclosed.”

Jordan J. Paust, Professor of International Law at University of Houston Law Center wrote in his book “Beyond the Law: The Bush Administration’s Unlawful Responses to the ‘War’ on Terror,” about the memo: “Yoo and Delahunty knew that their claim” about the application of the Geneva Conventions “was completely contrary to developments in the customary laws of war recognized by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, but they thought their reliance on a fifty-three-year-old text and ‘historical context’ was preferable…” (p. 10.)

Another eminent law professor, Stephen Gillers, at New York University School of Law noted that: “Explicitly and by omission, then, the lawyers [Yoo and Delahunty] told the government it could treat detainees from Afghanistan as though they existed outside the rule of law.” While the Memo purported to consider the effect of international treaties and federal law on the treatment of detainees from Afghanistan, it “ignore[d] duties imposed by the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (which the United States ratified with reservations in 1994) and the federal torture statute, which creates criminal liability for U.S. nationals who commit torture abroad under color of law.” As further explained by Scott Horton (and quoted by Gillers), the Yoo and Delahunty memo “is not only wrong, it lays the groundwork for the commission of war crimes.”

But the January 9th memo is clearly not the only one that could be construed as giving interrogators carte blanche on extreme techniques. The August 1st memo specifically deals with the issue of torture and attempts to redefine it to permit interrogations that most experts agree would violate traditional prohibitions. Goldsmith notes that the definition of pain amounting to torture was “culled … ironically, from a statute authorizing health benefits.” (p. 145) According to Yoo himself, the denial of Geneva protections and the coercive interrogation “policies were part of a common, unifying approach to the war on terrorism.” (Paust, p. 177, fn. 14, quoting Yoo, “War by Other Means.”)

Yoo’s Most Recently-Revealed Memo

Last week, the Washington Post published yet another memo that Yoo had authored. This one was dated March 14, 2003 and discussed “Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States.” (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

Here again, Yoo argues that the President is not bound by federal laws. “Such criminal statutes, if they were misconstrued to apply to the interrogation of enemy combatants, would conflict with the Constitution’s grant of the Commander in Chief power solely to the President,” writes Yoo. The laws by which Yoo says the President is not bound are those that prohibit torture, assault, maiming, stalking, and war crimes. Yoo’s opinion restricts the application of treaties against torture to definitions that, once again, simply authorize torture as long as it doesn’t kill the person.

Further, contrary to current understanding of international law, Yoo’s memo declares that “our previous opinions make clear that customary international law is not federal law and that the President is free to override it at his discretion.” And finally, the memo suggests several defenses (military necessity and self defense) for those brought up on criminal charges for violating laws during interrogations.

According to Vincent Warren, the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights:

The ‘Torture Memo’ was not an abstract, academic foray. Rather, it was crafted to sidestep U.S. and international laws that make coercive interrogation and torture a crime. It was written with the knowledge that its legal conclusions were to be applied to the interrogations of hundreds of individual detainees… And it worked. It became the basis for the CIA’s use of extreme interrogation methods as well the basis for DOD interrogation policy.

Warrens adds that “Yoo’s legal opinions as well as the others issued by the Office of Legal Counsel were the keystone of the torture program, and were the necessary precondition for the torture program’s creation and implementation.”

Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild, analyzing Yoo’s actions in light of the relevant case law, writes that Yoo was an “integral part of a criminal conspiracy to violate U.S. laws” in which “it was reasonably foreseeable that the advice [Yoo] gave would result in great physical or mental harm or death to many detainees.”

Cohn echoes Scott Horton, who writes that Yoo’s “analysis was false, a point acknowledged ultimately by the [Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice] itself” and points out that “a solid basis exists under the standard articulated by the United States under which John Yoo may be charged and brought to trial” for the false legal advice he gave.


Yoo’s efforts to deny rights to detainees is, alone, a breach of basic requirements of the 1907 Hague Convention, which states that “it is especially forbidden … [t]o declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party.” (Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907, Art. 23)

Breaches of the Hague or Geneva Conventions may constitute war crimes, by definition, under the 1996 War Crimes Act.

“War crimes” are not just crimes under some vague view of unenforceable international law subject to dispute by civilized nations. Nor are they just crimes under widely accepted international laws;they are also crimes under U.S. federal domestic law.

Professor Yoo not only laid the groundwork for the commission of war crimes by others, but his “legal advice” was itself a promotion of crime. His memos provided advice on how to break the law and avoid prosecution. His continued endorsement of the views expressed in his memo could be construed as continued promotion of unlawful activities, which could subject him to criminal prosecution. (Paust, p. 20.)

Beyond the issue of Yoo’s direct liability for aiding and abetting crimes is the question whether the Yoo/Delahunty memo has misled other departments or branches of the government. In a November 7, 2005, blog entry, Horton pointedly asked: “Has the Department of Justice been corrupted by its ‘torture memoranda’?” Given subsequent revelations of Justice Department improper “politicization” and firings of U.S. attorneys, the effect of Yoo’s memos seems highly relevant.

Professor Paust, who calls the Yoo/Delahunty memo “manifestly erroneous,” “unprofessional, and subversive,” states: “What is particularly disturbing is the attempt to mislead and abuse the judiciary to further the denial of required rights and protections.” Paust points to at least one instance where a court has been misled. (Paust, pp. 19-20.) Paust says that the “criminal memoranda and behavior of various German lawyers in the German Ministry of Justice, high-level executive positions outside the Ministry, and the courts in the 1903s and 1940s that were addressed in informing detail in “The Justice Case” … reflect the concern regarding government lawyer attempts to use courts to further a denial of required rights and protections under the laws of war. Consequences for the German legal system were disastrous … and consequences for a number of lawyers included criminal convictions for, among other crimes, aiding and abetting violations of the laws of war.” (pp. 19-20)

Horton, in a response to a statement issued by Christoperh Edley, Jr. dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, where Yoo teaches, states the legal standard in The Justice Case, also known as U.S. v. Altstoetter:

First, the case dealt with persons under detention in wartime (not POWs, in fact most of the cases in question addressed persons not entitled to POW or comparable protections). Second, it had to be reasonably foreseeable that the advice dispensed would result in serious physical or mental harm or death to a number of the persons under detention. Third, the advice given was erroneous.

Horton sums up: “Each of these criteria is satisfied with respect to Yoo’s advice under the torture memoranda” and adds that “what [Yoo] did raises not merely ethics issues, but actual criminal culpability.” Horton’s conclusion bears marking:

Yoo is protected by the political umbrella of the Bush Administration for the moment, which is to say, he is protected by his actual fellow conspirators, including those who continue to run the Department of Justice. That protection will expire soon enough, and it is highly unlikely that the Government which follows in its wake will be prepared to act quite so strenuously as this one in Yoo’s behalf.

1 For all the so-called “torture memos” and other “Interrogation Documents,”

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Welcoming Immigration as a Solution by Guadamour


by Guadamour
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Guadamour’s blog post
Originally written in 2006
Apr. 23, 2008

A couple of the major issues of our time are immigration and the exploding world population, and unequal distribution of wealth. Today I read one of the most positive and uplifting articles I have ever read on this topic.

The article described the people in two communities. One in Spain, Aguaviva, and one in Romania, Peretu.

Aguaviva is located almost due east of Madrid in Catalunia and a good distance from the sea. Aguaviva was shrinking, steadily losing population. The Mayor of Aguaviva, a doctor, knew that he had to do something drastic to save his patient, the village. The vital signs were not good, and there was a very real possibilty of death.

He decided to embrace and encourage immigration. He advertised for people from Romania to move to the area.

It worked! The people from Peretu, southwest of Bucharest near the Bulgarian border moved to Aguaviva.

Now Aguaviva has a growing population, new houses being built, new businesses being opened, and it’s first ever manufacturing facility.

It has never been in a better econmic position. Because Aguaviva is doing better, so is Spain and the European Union.

Peretu, a destitute rural community that was able to offer its inhabitants little or nothing, has also benefitted.

Now what drives Peretu to growth and a better standard of living is the money sent back home from the people living in Spain. Also, when the people from Spain have accumulated enough money to move back to Peretu, they build new and improved houses with indoor plumbing, and they bring new ideas and concepts to improve their community back with them.

It is a win win situation.

In the United States of America the overall population is increasing as is the population of the world. However, almost all of the population growth is occurring in urban areas.

In the USA heartland and rural communities the population continues to dwindle. Schools are closed, business shut and boarded up, and the tax base shrinks.

The USA spends millions and is planning on spending billions in keeping people from entering the country. It is militarizing the border, and people are dying trying to cross, hoping to help their families in the countries they are leaving. They don’t want to leave their families, but out of economic necessity they do.

In Spain almost the entire immediate family immigrates.

Why can’t the USA start a program to rebuild and revitalize the rural heartland? Why can’t the money being spent on trying to seal our borders be invested in promoting and developing our shrinking rural resources?

The immigrants coming to develop our heartland would benefit as would the people in the places they came from, not to mention our communities and country.

Canada has huge tracts of vacant land, and they can take in a much larger number of immigrants than the USA. Canada would benefit, as would their neighbor, the USA, not to mention the entire world, for, after all, the total of humanity lives on the same small planet, and the differences that separate our cultures and societies is minimal.

This immigration policy needs to be implemented and implemented soon so the entire world can gather the harvest from the fruition of the total of humanity.

Everyone would gain with this immigration model!



Provocateur Attacks WeAreCHANGE (video)

Dandelion Salad


Our proud member Gary, who was confronting Laura & Jenna Bush was threatened by an unknown individual. This unknown individual was much taller and larger than Gary. For no reason this individual started to lunge at Gary and punch him and beat him. Gary did not defend himself or fight back. Gary was the victim and did not strike once at the unknown individual. This provocateur provoked an attack by trying to instigate a fight and now Gary was arrested and is now facing third degree assault charges by this unknown provocateur. Gary will be arraigned tomorrow morning please call the 19th Precinct and ask them why Gary was unlawfully arrested and charged with a third degree assault charge when he is innocent and obviously the victim.

Matt Lepacek was released tonight with a summons for disorderly conduct and will go to court in the future.

19th Precinct
153 E 67th Street
3rd & Lex, New York, NY 10065
(212) 452-0600

Disclaimer: Please when calling the precinct please be polite and courteous to the police officers. We Are Change does not advocate any threats of violence of any kind.

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What the Iraq War is about By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
April 22, 2008

The Bush Regime has quagmired America into a sixth year of war in Afghanistan and Iraq with no end in sight. The cost of these wars of aggression is horrendous. Official US combat casualties stand at 4,538 dead. Officially, 29,780 US troops have been wounded in Iraq. Experts have argued that these numbers are understatements. Regardless, these numbers are only the tip of the iceberg.

On April 17, 2008, AP News reported that a new study released by the RAND Corporation concludes that “some 300,000 U.S. troops are suffering from major depression or post traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 320,000 received brain injuries.”

On April 21, 2008, OpEdNews reported that an internal email from Gen. Michael J. Kussman, undersecretary for health at the Veterans Administration, to Ira Katz, head of mental health at the VA, confirms a McClatchy Newspaper report that 126 veterans per week commit suicide. To the extent that the suicides are attributable to the war, more than 500 deaths should be added to the reported combat fatalities each month.

Turning to Iraqi deaths, expert studies support as many as 1.2 million dead Iraqis, almost entirely civilians. Another 2 million Iraqis have fled their country, and there are 2 million displaced Iraqis within Iraq.

Afghan casualties are unknown.

Both Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered unconscionable civilian deaths and damage to housing, infrastructure and environment. Iraq is afflicted with depleted uranium and open sewers.

Then there are the economic costs to the US. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates the full cost of the invasion and attempted occupation of Iraq to be between $3 trillion and $5 trillion. The dollar price of oil and gasoline have tripled, and the dollar has lost value against other currencies, declining dramatically even against the lowly Thai baht. Before Bush launched his wars of aggression, one US dollar was worth 45 baht. Today the dollar is only worth 30 baht.

The US cannot afford these costs. Prior to his resignation last month, US Comptroller General David Walker reported that the accumulated unfunded liabilities of the US government total $53 trillion dollars. The US government cannot cover these liabilities. The Bush Regime even has to borrow the money from foreigners to pay for its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no more certain way to bankrupt the country and dethrone the dollar as world reserve currency.

The moral costs are perhaps the highest. All of the deaths, injuries, and economic costs to the US and its victims are due entirely to lies told by the President and Vice President of the US, by the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, and, of course, by the media, including the “liberal” New York Times. All of these lies were uttered in behalf of an undeclared agenda. “Our” government has still not told “we the people” the real reasons “our” government invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

Instead, the American sheeple have accepted a succession of transparent lies: weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda connections and complicity in the 9/11 attack, overthrowing a dictator and “bringing democracy” to Iraqis.

The great moral American people would rather believe government lies than to acknowledge the government’s crimes and to hold the government accountable.

There are many effective ways in which a moral people could protest. Consider investors, for example. Clearly Halliburton and military suppliers are cleaning up. Investors flock to the stocks in order to participate in the rise in value from booming profits. But what would a moral people do? Wouldn’t they boycott the stocks of the companies that are profiting from the Bush Regime’s war crimes?

If the US invaded Iraq for any of the succession of reasons the Bush Regime has given, why would the US have spent $750 million on a fortress “embassy” with anti-missile systems and its own electricity and water systems spread over 104 acres? No one has ever seen or heard of such an embassy before. Clearly, this “embassy” is constructed as the headquarters of an occupying colonial ruler.

The fact is that Bush invaded Iraq with the intent of turning Iraq into an American colony. The so-called government of al-Maliki is not a government. Maliki is the well paid front man for US colonial rule. Maliki’s government does not exist outside the protected Green Zone, the headquarters of the American occupation.

If colonial rule were not the intent, the US would not be going out of its way to force al Sadr’s 60,000 man militia into a fight. Sadr is a Shi’ite who is a real Iraqi leader, perhaps the only Iraqi who could end the sectarian conflict and restore some unity to Iraq. As such he is regarded by the Bush Regime as a danger to the American puppet Maliki. Unless the US is able to purchase or rig the upcoming Iraqi election, Sadr is likely to emerge as the dominant figure. This would be a highly unfavorable development for the Bush Regime’s hopes of establishing its colonial rule behind the facade of a Maliki fake democracy. Rather than work with Sadr in order to extract themselves from a quagmire, the Americans will be doing everything possible to assassinate Sadr.

Why does the Bush Regime want to rule Iraq? Some speculate that it is a matter of “peak oil.” Oil supplies are said to be declining even as demand for oil multiplies from developing countries such as China. According to this argument, the US decided to seize Iraq to insure its own oil supply.

This explanation is problematic. Most US oil comes from Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. The best way for the US to insure its oil supplies would be to protect the dollar’s role as world reserve currency. Moreover, $3-5 trillion would have purchased a tremendous amount of oil. Prior to the US invasions, the US oil import bill was running less than $100 billion per year. Even in 2006 total US imports from OPEC countries was $145 billion, and the US trade deficit with OPEC totaled $106 billion. Three trillion dollars could have paid for US oil imports for 30 years; five trillion dollars could pay the US oil bill for a half century had the Bush Regime preserved a sound dollar.

The more likely explanation for the US invasion of Iraq is the neoconservative Bush Regime’s commitment to the defense of Israeli territorial expansion. There is no such thing as a neoconservative who is not allied with Israel. Israel hopes to steal all of the West Bank and southern Lebanon for its territorial expansion. An American colonial regime in Iraq not only buttresses Israel from attack, but also can pressure Syria and Iran from giving support to the Palestinians and Lebanese. The Iraqi war is a war for Israeli territorial expansion. Americans are dying and bleeding to death financially for Israel. Bush’s “war on terror” is a hoax that serves to cover US intervention in the Middle East in behalf of “greater Israel.”

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

h/t: Greg

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