Ex-Iraq commander accuses Bush Admin of ‘gross incompetence’

Dandelion Salad

By John Byrne
ICH
05/03/08 “Raw Story

In a new memoir set to be published May 6, the former commander of US forces in Iraq provides new intimate details of the goings-on at high levels of the Bush Administration in the first year of the Iraq war.

His sharp tongued conclusion: “Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars were unnecessarily spent, and worse yet, too many of our most precious military resource, our American soldiers, were unnecessarily wounded, maimed, and killed as a result. In my mind, this action by the Bush administration amounts to gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.”

An excerpt from Sanchez’s book, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story, published in TIME, buries the quotation on the third page of the article.

Sanchez commanded the US military in Iraq from 2003-2004. The three-star general was relieved of his commander in 2004 following the Abu Ghraib scandal, and in 2005, was told his career was over and he wouldn’t be promoted to a fourth star.

The primary reason appears to be his involvement in authorizing harsh tactics for the treatment of Iraqi prisoners.

In a memo acquired by the ACLU through a freedom of information act request, Sanchez authorized techniques to be used against prisoners which included “environmental manipulation,” such as heating or cooling a room or using an “unpleasant smell,” isolating prisoners, and disrupting sleep patterns. Sanchez later denied ever authorizing interrogators to “go to the outer limits” and called the ACLU “…a bunch of sensationalist liars, I mean lawyers, that will distort any and all information that they get to draw attention to their positions.”

…continued

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The Boy With The Incredible Brain (video)

Dandelion Salad

48:02 minutes

Doc Film

This is the breathtaking story of Daniel Tammet. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, Daniel is one of the world’s few savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant, the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film ‘Rain Man’. (2005)

Continue reading

Obama, the Rev. Wright and hesitation

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission by:
World Socialist Party (US)

by Dr. Who
http://www.wspus.org
May 3, 2008

The latest scandal that surrounds Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama’s previous involvement with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and that highlights his difficulty fully disowning this association with the politically radical pastor until a statement unequivocally doing so publicly on April 29th is angrily upsetting his fans and supporters who fear that the time it has taken him to do this may seriously undermine his popularity among Democrats, and so impair his bid for president.

The mainstream press has not been able to provide any explanation for this hesitancy to detach himself from Rev. Wright either. It is certainly a major concern as Obama attempts to win the Democratic primary in Indiana on Tuesday, May 6th.

But a little bit of logic and materialist understanding may be able to come to our aid in explicating this curious phenomenon.

How would a young Chicago community organizer with strong ambitions to become a politician actually make his way into the political arena? His choice of church would have to be made carefully. There are hundreds of churches in Chicago, indeed more per capita than in any city in the United States. Young Obama could easily have joined any one of them if it were merely a matter of finding a place of worship in which to receive sermons about the miracle of God raising Lazarus from the dead. No, far more likely is that Barack, plotting to realize his political ambitions, would join a large, even controversial, church, such as the enormous Trinity United Church of Christ that has over 10,000 members, headed by Senior Pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright’s church had been openly advocating Black liberation theological principles as those found in the writings of James Hal Cone (whose 1969 book Theology and Black Power was among the first to delineate the importance of such a theological stress among churches in the black community). Barack would be best placed to forge community alliances in a church of especially disgruntled but educated and upward mobile parishioners if he were to win support for his own political aims of making a big political difference in America.

After beginning to sew important social connections on Chicago’s South Side through the Trinity United Church of Christ, Barack Obama went on to Harvard Law School in which he became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, his first major breakthrough into the world of the wealthy, powerful and influential that is essential to establishing a critical footing upon any important political career. He returned to Chicago to head an influential voter registration drive, taught law at the University of Chicago Law School, and then ran as a candidate for the Illinois Senate, which he won in 1996. Mr. Obama was representing the 13th District of Chicago, which is the same South Side area of Hyde Park and surrounding neighborhoods in which he had first forged important connections through Reverend Wright’s church.

It is likely that Obama’s connections with Wright’s church could no longer be severed thereafter since to do so would be to alienate himself from his initial and ongoing power base in Chicago, even while it was being expanded into wider territory. It is not known to what degree, beyond this speculation, he had even assigned political positions as a senator to some of these members of the community who had supported him in his rise to political success the same way other African-American Chicagoans from the same community, such as Senator Emil Jones, Jr., (who is President of the Illinois Senate) had been instrumental in supporting Obama when he was a little known legislator (for more about this connection, see CNN.com article dated March 31st, 2008, entitled “Political ‘godfather’ boosted Obama’s early career”). While it is clear that Obama is a very bright, likeable and socially aware, presidential candidate, who is well meaning in his desire to reform the United States for the better, those who only see Obama’s lengthy hesitancy to detach from his prior association with Reverend Wright as a sign of his weakness as a politician, may be failing to understand the deeper psychological ambivalence that Obama may be experiencing about both Wright and his mega-church, given any other political associations that that church or its members either did, or continues to, provide for him as an aspiring politician.

Capitalism is a society defined by a class that owns and a class that works for it. This reality will continue unabated until we, members of the class that works for the owning class, decide to put an end to it. We must never forget that however well-meaning, personally attractive, or articulate politicians may be, they remain politicians, who are as much attempting to rise in the political arena to accelerate their own upward mobility for pure personal reasons as much as to realize political ambitions of a reformist nature. Such personal motivations are not necessarily entirely avaricious. It is simply a reality that as the present political system exists to run the affairs of the capitalist class, nobody can navigate that realm without forging important relationships with those with money and power, backstabbing them when the relationships seem more costly than beneficial, and sometimes, as did Obama recently, making unfortunately poor political decisions about maintaining relationships with them because of a fear of possibly losing important support associated with them.

Politics is crazy, yes. But we are the crazy ones in allowing the machinations of adult babies who are political careerists as a way of trying to meet our needs and to look after ourselves. The only way to establish sanity in our world is to stop supporting the politicians altogether and to create a world in which power resides permanently in the democratic hands of the community, in which the means of producing wealth are owned by that same community, and in which the production of wealth is produced to meet our needs freely. Now that is what we are talking about.

see

Bill Moyers Journal: Essay on Jeremiah Wright (video)

Bill Moyers Journal: Reverend Jeremiah Wright (videos)

Since I gave up hope, I feel better. by William Blum

“Man Overboard!”: Obama turns away from a drowning friend By Mike Whitney

Reverend Wright at NAACP (videos)

The Jeremiah Wright You Won’t Hear on FOX News By Mike Whitney

Wright-Jeremiah

Clips From Hagee’s Sermons – Scary Stuff (video)

Dandelion Salad

TheYoungTurks

Watch more at http://www.theyoungturks.com

Added: May 01, 2008

see

Bill Moyers Journal: Essay on Jeremiah Wright (video)

Max and the Marginalized: Teflon John (cartoon video!)

Since I gave up hope, I feel better. by William Blum

“Man Overboard!”: Obama turns away from a drowning friend By Mike Whitney

Countdown: Delegate Switch To Obama + Obama Interview + Mission Unaccomplished

Cannon Fodder For The Rapture – The Children of Palestine & Israel

Bill Moyers Journal: The GOP’s Nominee + Christians United For Israel (CUFI)

Dungeons and Despots by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris
Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
May 3, 2008

Like others raised before the age of infotainment, I was taught to scorn the voyeuristic impulse. I wouldn’t dream of watching a building burn, slowing traffic to gawk at a smashup or reading beyond unavoidable headlines about celebrity meltdowns, cult busts and diableries du jour.

However, the Austrian dungeon tales have drawn me in. They’re actual news, in an allegorical way.

Really, could there be a more perfect example of microcosmic/macrocosmic similitude? I was thinking that already, when this line in a business story underscored it: “I have this feeling that there is a wall in front of us.”

Axel Marceau, identified by The New York Times as “a 41-year-old schoolteacher living outside of Frankfurt…(whose) father had a teaching job that afforded the family upward mobility, from owning a home to fancy ski vacations,” went on to say, “We’re just not going to get any further… (W)e’ve been in a slow process of losing to the people up top.”

“A wall.” “The people up top.” See what I mean? Betrayed by our supposed protectors, we’re in the grip of a monstrous evil. Elisabeth Fritzl and her children call it Father; Axel Marceau calls it Fatherland. In all its forms, the tyranny of powerful sociopaths has crafted hell on earth for its captives.

In Madrid, Maria Salgado, a TV director and divorced mother of two, is scraping by on little more than she earned 14 years ago as a novice. “The middle class used to live well. And if you have lived well, it’s hard to live so badly,” she said, adding that her daughter asked if they were poor, because they can no longer shop at health food stores or buy fish more than once a week. “I’m surprised we haven’t started a revolution,” she observed.

“I look at people on the bus and they seem sad and beaten down,” said Francesca Di Pietro, who works in Rome but can’t afford to live in the city. She and her partner, both in their 40s, earn middle class wages, yet have to pack lunch, buy secondhand clothes and get beauty school haircuts. “We should be feeling more combative,” she remarked, “but really all we feel is frustrated.”

A typical couple of the French middle class reported sinking farther into debt every month, despite selling one of their cars due to gasoline prices, giving their son powdered milk and baking their own bread. “In France, when you can’t afford a baguette anymore, you know you’re in trouble,” said Anne-Laure Renard, a teacher. “The French Revolution started with bread riots,” she noted.

Across the Channel, London’s Daily Mail recently completed an analysis that showed “food costs alone are rising at 15.5 per cent a year – more than six times the official rate. And there are double-digit increases in other … essentials such as petrol, gas and electricity. Many families need … more than £1,200 extra a year just to stand still. Once higher mortgage costs are added, millions … (need) at least another £2,000 a year to keep their heads above water.”

Despite sharp drops in buying power due to “free trade” policies imposed through our governments by conscienceless oligarchs, the shrinking middle class of Europe are substantially better off than we are. They have universal healthcare, a stronger currency, a higher wage (both minimum and median), better access to higher education and unions that retain some strength. Even their poor are more secure than we, thanks to social safety nets that keep everyone who seeks help fed and sheltered.

Thus, within this hell of exploitation in which all but the few – our oppressors – reside, distressed Europeans occupy the top circles. Americans who work for a living exist on several levels between them and the world’s most wretched, descending from those struggling to hold it together to those in extremis: the dispossessed, the sick who have no hope of care, the unemployed, the hungry.

Recognizing that all who lack independent wealth are together in the same dungeon now, we must also admit the only difference between workers surviving in some degree of comfort and the Haitians eating dirt is one of degree. Given time enough, those who prey on us will reduce our circumstances equally. They call what they’ve been doing to us for decades Labor Arbitrage. If we have a lick of sense, we’ll start calling it crime and demanding an end to government complicity.

see

The Economic Reality Check Machine by The Other Katherine Harris

Desperate For Health Care

The Global Food Crisis: SlideShare

We work harder but get poorer in the U.S.

.

.
***
Featured on the Top Stories on news.wordpress.com.
Dungeons and Despots by The Other Katherine Harris

Bush-Cheney Israel Disinformation Campaign to Justify an Attack on Iran

Dandelion Salad

by William H. White
Global Research, May 2, 2008
www.concordbridge.net

Campaign’s Overall Design and Objectives

The Bush administration and Israeli government appear to be operating a joint disinformation campaign, whose objective is to establish a media based alternative reality from which to accuse Syria/Iran of developing nuclear weapons with help from North Korea, by using a real event combined with planted stories establishing a defining narrative. This accusation in turn is augmented with stories about Iranian sponsored “Special Groups killing US troops in Iraq” and purported naval incidents the Persian Gulf, creating self-reinforcing, media based crisis.

The immediate purpose of this disinformation campaign is apparently to help justify the planned US attack on a wide range of Iranian industrial and military targets. And, as in the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, the objective is to swiftly inflict substantial damage to the national infrastructure of Iran, followed by an abrupt cessation of attacks and a call for a cease-fire to prevent substantial Iranian retaliation. Again, as in the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, the US likely will resist calls for a cessation of the attacks until a significant portion of the Iranian target set has been addressed, then it will accept calls for a cease-fire and demand Iran do the same.

Any subsequent attacks by Iran would probably be characterized by the US as Iranian aggression, further justifying US follow-up attacks on remaining Iranian assets as defensive measures. The transparent duplicity of such US actions and claims is not a problem because US corporate media is prepared to report repeatedly the administration’s claims with little or no criticism or mention of alternative assessments. In other words, subjecting its audience to blatant propaganda masquerading as journalism, which is effective as it is because of US corporate media’s quantitative monopoly on information provided the public.

As far as can be determined, no credible or even plausible evidence for any of these claims has been presented by the Bush administration, let alone by any independent verification of such claims. Instead, in the pattern similar to the disinformation campaign before the invasion of Iraq, questions about these claims, when raised at all, are ignored or “answered” with repeated or additional claims. Essentially this disinformation campaign, as all such campaigns, is an elaborate set of lies to deceive an enemy, in this case the Unites States Congress and the American people, in pursuit of Bush administration secret policy objectives for the benefit of a foreign government.

Campaign’s Origin

The origins of this disinformation campaign was the the Bush administration’s appreciation in the late summer of 2007 that the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) subsequently released in November 2007 would undermine its attempts to claim Iran was developing nuclear weapons, the then primary justification for an attack on Iran. When it became clear to the Bush administration that the intelligence community would issue the 11/7/07 NIE, completely undermining the administration’s claims of Iranian nuclear weapons development, they apparently decided, instead of accepting this judgment or objecting to it within official channels, that an alternative foundation needed to be established for its planned attack on Iran. This alternative would bypass not only the US intelligence community’s collective assessments, but also the judgments of the United States’ Joint Chiefs of Staff military command.

Essentially, the Bush administration, in cooperation with a foreign government, Israel, decided to bypass the intelligence community as well as the military commands of the United States, in order undertake attacks by US military forces on a foreign nation, Iran, by deliberately ignoring and undermining the judgments of authorities charged by law with informing the US Congress about such data so it can make sound judgments in exercise of its US Constitutional authority over matters of war and peace. Apparently the Bush administration hopes for a fait accompli after attacks on Iran, leaving the next administration with a region-wide tar baby, with Israel the only remaining “friend” in the region, otherwise populated with outright enemies or alienated former allies.

In addition, a likely last minute Israel-Palestinian peace deal negotiated with the unelected Fatah based faction, in which Israel would be granted costly long term aid and security assurances, in exchange for Israeli commitments of limited value and voracity. With Israel positioned to attempt an alliance with the Kurds upon the expected partition of Iraq, following an inevitable US withdrawal. Again, as with the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration’s planning is front loaded, focused on the mechanics of military operations or manipulating public and official opinion, with little or no thought given to what happens next, let alone second or third order consequences, except the general intention to take maximum political advantage of any resulting crisis.

On the face of it, some elements of the Bush administration’s undertaking appear to be acts of treason, by giving aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States, in as much as it aided Israel to act in its own interests and without regard for, or to the detriment of, the manifest interests of the United States; however, we defer such judgments to another, more appropriate venue, and only pursue our limited assessment of the administration’s actions with regard to their immediate objectives.

First Overt Act

The first known overt act in pursuit of this effort, besides Israel’s attack on Syria, was a letter Bush wrote to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, as reported by the BBC on December 6, 2007, wherein Bush asked the Korean leader to reveal any assistance to others in the development of nuclear weapons. While a matter of speculation, this letter combined with other demands by the US government, were meant to pressure the North Korean government into making accusations against Syrian and Iran, in exchange for concessions in the form of released impounded funds and oil shipments promised as by part of the US-North Korean agreement on its weapons development program. According to the NYTimes Dec 15, 2007 report, Bush wrote a letter to the North Korean leader demanding, among other things, he reveal who he have helped with his nuclear technology, as specified in the nuclear declaration or so-called “come clean” section of the US-North Korean agreement.

Because the usual glacial movements of North Korea’s foreign policy were incompatible with Bush administration’s Iranian timetable, attempts were made to pressure North Korea to give in sooner to US demands by the end of the year, but as U.S. Will Hold North Korea to Nuclear Commitments by Reuters 01/03/08 reports, these efforts failed thus far. Instead, North Korea made a forthright statement, North Korea Says Earlier Disclosure Was Enough by The New York Times 01/05/08, which repudiated such claims. Since this was contrary to Bush administration objectives, it was apparently largely ignore by US corporate media. Pressure continues on North Korea to make such admissions.

Change of Policy

Overall, it appears the sudden US agreement with North Korea, after years of the usual “Bush diplomacy” whereby he refuses to speak to the other side until they concede every major point of contention, was an attempt to clear the decks for attacks against Iran. Among the most informed and insightful observers of national security affairs, Seymour M. Hersh, in a video interview at The New Yorker, suggested that a US agreement with North Korea would be among the clearest signs of US preparation for an attack on Iran. He further discusses, in an interview with Al Jazeera on Feb 7, 2008, US intentions and the likelihood Cheney may have overrode US Joint Chiefs of Staff objections to the attack.

As part of the administration’s disinformation campaign, Israel attacked a Syrian site, which was later linked to North Korea through a set of stories released over time to give the impression of information being slowly revealed over time, hoping to establish “facts” more firmly than making accusations at the time of the attack on Syria.

US Corporate Media’s Role in the Nuclear Weapons Development Story

It appears that certain media outlets were a party to the disinformation campaign, in that they misled their readers and others with stories clearly designed to establish the impression that North Korea was helping Syria, and likely Iran, to develop a nuclear program, to be conveniently confused in the public’s mind with the far more costly and complex development of nuclear weapons. Among those noted, Harretz, the Washington Post and New York Times appear to have been willing conduits of this disinformation campaign, since it would strain all credulity to believe they themselves were deceived, especially since no effort was made to report on other observers who question the validity of these claims:

Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’, Sunday Times, Sept 16, 2007

Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site, Washington Post, Sept 21, 2007

Israel Admits To Sept. Air Attack In Syria, CBS News Oct 2, 2007

Israel Struck Syrian Nuclear Project, Analysts Say, NYTimes Oct 14, 2007

Photographs Said to Show Israeli Target Inside Syria, Washington Post Oct 24, 2007

North Koreans said killed in IAF strike on alleged Syria nuclear reactor site, Harretz Staff and Reuters, Apr 28, 2008

It should be noted: All of these ginned-up, hand ringing stories about programs “to develop the capability; to learn technologies; to establish potentials for securing; etc.,” not once mention that Israel is armed with several hundred nuclear warheads, some of which are aboard submarines capable of attacking Europe, Russia and the US.

A New Casus Belli: “Iran Is Killing US Troops”

The Bush administration has augmented and subordinated the nuclear issue and naval incidents as casus belli to the “Iran is killing US troops” propaganda offensive, which immerged with the invention of the so-called “Special Groups” by the US military command, first mentioned by the US Military Command in Iraq on July 2, 2007. They took on new life at the end of March 2008, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) on March 26, 2008, when military spokesman Major General Kevin Bergner, as part of the US Military’s effort to “document” Iranian sponsored operations in Iraq, revealed these Iranian-supported Special Group criminals” were apparently and suddenly everywhere.

Within a month, hundreds of stories in the US corporate media reported all about these “Special Groups”, almost without exception identifying them as Iranian trained and fielded. The NYTimes reported by April 24, 2008 that, 73 percent of fatal and other harmful attacks on American troops in the past year were caused by roadside bombs planted by so-called ‘special groups.’” according to “Senior officers in the American division that secures the capital.” As far as can be determined no credible or even plausible evidence for such groups has been presented by the US Military command in Iraq. Clearly, weapons stamped with Iranian manufacturing labels, while subject to counterfeiting, would mean little, even if genuine, in as much as such small arms are trafficked throughout the Middle East and indicate nothing about the actions of the government of Iran. Instead, in a pattern similar to the run up to the invasion of Iraq, questions about these claims, are ignored or met with additional claims.

By the time General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker testified before the US Congress in early April, the “special groups” were an established element in the alternative reality maintained by official Washington and US corporate media. In addition, the ever compliant Congress allowed the two to testify for just a single day before the Senate and another day before the House committees in a mockery of oversight, during which not much was made of the question as to whether these claims about “special groups”, even if true, legally justified attacking Iran under international law.

It is highly likely arrests of “Iranian agents” and weapons store seizures of “Iranian weapons” will continue, along with “counter infiltration” operations along the Syrian and Iranian borders.

The New York Times Particularly Duplicitous

The New York Times in particular, after its public vows to do better following exposure of its reporter Judith Miller, who made a significant contribution the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” disinformation campaign run out of Cheney’s office prior to the invasion of Iraq that ultimately proved to be totally false, now seems to have slipped back into its old habit of blatant pro-Israel coverage and disinformation, while objecting in its editorial page to the very policies it advances in its reporting, making its practices especially duplicitous and irresponsible, given its undisputed influence both on official Washington and the rest of US corporate media.

In another example, a NYTimes Apr 26, 2008 article “Questions Linger on Scope of Iran’s Threat in Iraq” that nominally purports to question the US claims about Iranian/Iraqi “Special Groups” and Iranian involvement in training and arming fighters in Iraq; in fact, reinforces such claims using “directly or indirectly quoted unnamed officials an astounding 30 times,” according to an insightful analysis of the article by Jeff Huber “When Did Iran Start Beating Its Wife Again?”. The importance of the “Special Groups” claims is clear in that the Bush administration has shifted part of justification for a war with Iran to the charge that “Iran is kill US troops in Iraq”, adding to this to its “warnings” about naval incidents in Persian Gulf and nuclear weapons development as Casus Belli options.

Recent encounters involving US and Iranian naval vessels show a evolution toward a much more aggressive and manipulative posture in the Bush administration’s characterization of these events. The widely reported incident between US and Iranian vessels on January 6, 2008 in the Strait of Hormuz was actually the third such recent encounter. The first two encounters occurred in December 2007, during one of which on December 19, 2007 the USS Whidbey Island fired warning shots toward an approaching Iranian vessel, causing the Iranian vessel to alter course. The first two encounters passed unreported at the time and were largely routine for the area of operations.

However, the third encounter on January 6, 2008 was not only characterized as a far more grave “incident” by official Washington, accompanied by reports by official US sources of threats made against the US vessels, based on video and voice transmission “evidence” released by the Pentagon to vast coverage by US corporate media. Examination of the voice transmission recordings indicated the actual segment containing the only threat was of doubtful authenticity; and, a later release of an Iranian video of the same incident indicated the Pentagon had mischaracterized its own video, revealing another blatant disinformation effort, but received little coverage in US corporate media.

Another two naval incidents have been hyped by US corporate media, one in the Persian Gulf where a US military chartered cargo vessel, Western Venture, fired warning shots at approaching unidentified small boats without known injuries or damage. While the media attention added to regional tensions and increased oil prices, the incident was much like the other incident at the entrance to Suez Canal, except in that case a boat borne local vendor was shot to death by personnel aboard a US military chartered vessel Global Patriot. Needless to say the dead vendor was of little note in US corporate media.

Finally, the Accusations and Warnings

Perhaps the most transparent effort to link the alleged Syrian and North Korean reactors is the Apr 25, 2008 report in the BBC, which included pictures provided the CIA that “said to have been obtained by Israel – showed striking similarities between the Syrian facility and the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, the US said.” The report goes on to note: “The CIA briefing and statement coincides with the end of a two-day meeting between US and North Korean officials on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, which both sides say have gone well – fuelling speculation that a deal may be imminent.” What this “deal” is remains to be seen, but bribes paid to a foreign government (North Korea) in exchange for accusations against another foreign government (Syria), in order to justify claims against a third foreign government (Iran) are hardly the stuff upon which grave policy decisions (going to war with Iran) should be made. Unless your objective is to lead the US into yet another war no matter what the facts actually are, as the Bush administration and Israel appear to be trying to do.

Finally, we have Bush himself taking the money shot in the Israeli press, with a truly bizarre parlaying of the accusations against Syria into a warning to Iran: Bush: Revealing details of attack on Syrian site was message to Iran, in a Haaretz Staff and Reuters, Apr 29, 2008, stating that “U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday he released U.S. intelligence about the nuclear facility that Israel bombed in Syria in September so as to put pressure on North Korea and send a message to Iran that it could not hide its own nuclear program.” Apart from the fact that a nuclear reactor is not proof of a weapons program in Syria, Iran is not Syria, any more than Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks on the US.

These Bush “warnings” have become a mainstay of US corporate media, in which often baseless threats against others are portrayed as “last, best efforts” to change alleged behavior before action is reluctantly taken, after giving the ever-preferable “diplomacy” a chance. The most blatant example of this is the number of times Saddam Hussein was “warned” about “weapons of mass destruction” and we were all warned about not letting the “smoking gun being the mushroom cloud” as well as warning about his final chances to “come clean.” The added virtue of “warnings” is they contain an embedded assertion that the warned party knows full well the truth of the accusation as does the one issuing the warning, as well implying a reasonableness in that the target need only comply to avoid getting what they would otherwise deserve.

Should North Korea finally agree, at likely unknown cost, to “come clean” and mention help to Syria or Iran, such bribery is likely to be no more credible than confessions of tortured prisoners in the Bush administration’s special prisons, whether they be “Iranian Agents” or “Terrorists” turned over to US authorities as part of the US’s far flung bounty programs. After all, we have all become prisoners to the attendant lunacies of the Bush administration and US corporate media’s alternative reality, in which new “warnings” based on disinformation lurk: hair-trigger “facts” poised to “provoke” the US into “defending” itself by attacking Iran, including nuclear program/weapons development; “Special Groups” killing US troops in Iraq; and, hostile naval incidents. By the time time the attack on Iran comes, the US corporate media will be asking why it took the US so long to “react.”

author’s website: www.concordbridge.net

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 William H. White, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8880

see

Secret Bush “Finding” Widens War on Iran-Democrats OK Funds for Covert Ops

Is War With Iran Imminent? This time, it’s more than a rumor…

Iran dumps U.S. dollars in oil transactions

The March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran by John McGlynn

UK: Iran supports Iraqi militants

The Clock is Ticking for an Attack on Iran by Dave Lindorff

Somalia: a victim of Bush’s recklessness

Dandelion Salad

by Matthew Carr
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk
May 3, 2008

One of the forgotten battlegrounds of George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ jumped sharply into focus yesterday, with the announcement that a pre-dawn US missile strike had killed the Islamist militia leader Aden Hashi Ayro and at least 10 other people in the town of Dusamareb in Somalia.

The Americans claim Ayro was a key al-Qaeda figure in East Africa. There is no way of objectively assessing these claims, but his assassination is certain to fuel the ongoing conflict in a country that Oxfam recently described as Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis.

To much of the Western public, violent mayhem has long been synonymous with the failed state depicted in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down. But the violence that is currently ripping Somalia apart is a direct consequence of the Bush administration’s reckless military adventurism and the Manichean fantasy world of the 21st century’s terror wars.

…continued

h/t: ICH

see

Somalia or “New Britney Spears Sex Tape Bares All!” by Chris Floyd

Riz Khan: Somalia: Forgotten war? (vids)

Somalia

Somalia (from my old blog)

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.

Paris Hilton, Britney Spears sue Rev Wright for stealing spotlight (satire)

Robert

by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post
May 3, 2008

HOLLYWOOD, California – Attorneys for Paris Hilton and Britney Spears have filed a lawsuit against Reverend Jeremiah Wright for “stealing their thunder.” The lawsuit, which asks for $27 million in damages, claims Wright illegitimately flooded the news media with “hogwash about hating national policies, hating racism and just plain hating, all of which has deprived plaintiffs of their God given right to continually be the lead story in a world gone mad.” “By the time we’re done with that so-called reverend,” said Aaron Schlozman, an attorney for Paris Hilton, “he’ll wish Barack Obama had never entered his church.”

“The whole media focus on Jeremiah Wright is nothing more than a well orchestrated and purposeful distraction,” said Kingston Schwartz, a media consultant with Boston based Bucholtz and Associates, “to keep the American public from paying attention to the real issues that actually effect them personally, such as what body part Britney will flash next as she battles for custody of her kids.”

Barack Obama said he was not aware of the lawsuit, but said that he vehemently opposes everything all of the parties involved in the lawsuit believe in. John McCain said he wished the lawsuit would last one-hundred years while Reverend Wright told reporters, “All I got to say about Hilton and Spears is God damn their skinny white asses.”

Nicole Ritchie says she has no plans to join the suit, but the estate of Anna Nicole Smith has indicated they will join as soon as they can determine who will represent the estate.

see

Since I gave up hope, I feel better. by William Blum

“Man Overboard!”: Obama turns away from a drowning friend By Mike Whitney

Reverend Wright at NAACP (videos)

The Jeremiah Wright You Won’t Hear on FOX News By Mike Whitney

Wright-Jeremiah

Desperate For Health Care

GUADAMOUR

by Guadamour
Dandelion Salad
featured writer

Guadamour’s blog post
May 3, 2008

My friend Frank is a genius and a bit of an eccentric and always has been.

Frank was born in nineteen-fifty-five and is a member of the Mensa Society. His IQ is suppose to be off the charts.

When Frank wanted to join the military in 1968 the authorities wouldn’t let him because he was already studying physics engineering and they deemed what he was doing as a civilian too important to let him into the military.

Frank never actually worked as a physics engineer, instead he slipped onto the ground floor level of computer development. He was a natural at this, and the start-up company he was with boomed.

He ended up retiring in 1995 when the company was bought out. Frank was given a huge retirement package and a really good pension.

He looked forward to retirement and working on a number of projects he had in mind, projects he felt would benefit everyone and make him wealthy (though money had never been his major concern).

The company that bought-out the company that Frank worked for was consolidated into another larger corporation, and suddenly Frank’s pension disappeared. This didn’t bother Frank. He was well invested, had no debt and nothing to worry about.

At first Frank’s daughter just didn’t feel right. Then it was discovered that she had a kidney cancer that had metastasized to the liver and brain.

When Frank’s pension disappeared his insurance had evaporated, and he was unable to obtain coverage at any cost because both his wife and daughter were asthmatic.

By the time Sylvia died six months later over half Frank’s sizable life savings were gone. He was still not really worried, though he started looking for work in the field he had been employed. By this time the Dot.com bubble had burst and there were no jobs to be had.

Things still looked good. He and Dorothy would get by. They owned their own house free and clear and still had no debt, plus they had always lived modestly and didn’t spend money frivolously.

Then Dorothy was diagnosed with lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia. Within four months all but thirty thousand dollars of Frank’s savings were gone, and Dorothy was dead.

Even as depressed as he was, Frank knew he would get buy. He still wasn’t in debt, and he was hoping for an idea that would make him millions. He worked on his ideas every day. He had to do something to keep himself from going crazy.

It was then the stiffness and jerkiness of his movements started roping him in. It took the doctors months, but he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Congestive heart Failure and Diabetes Mellitus.

Frank was worried. He went and applied for Social Security Disability, but he was denied over and over, because none of them were totally debilitating.

Frank was getting desperate. He put his house on market, but the bottom had fallen out and the bubble had burst. There were no takers, no matter at what price.

He still had too much money to qualify for welfare.

Frank ended up in the emergency room, and half his remaining money was gone, but he still did not qualify for indigent health care.

He realized that if he didn’t get care soon he would be dying quick, and he was still a relatively young man and wasn’t ready for that.

It was at that time he decided to take things into his own hands. He went and bought a handgun, and with it went in a tried to rob the local bank.

He ended up in Federal prison. He’s not happy with being in there, but he is getting treatment for his medical conditions and is improving, and he hopes to be out within ten years. He’s confided to me that he’ll probably try to rob another bank when he gets, because he can’t afford to take care of himself even when he gets social security.

Frank jokes and says, “And they say the United States doesn’t have a good health care plan!”

see

How to Get Universal Health Care by Joel S. Hirschhorn

The McCain Health Plan: Millions Lose Coverage, Health Costs Worsen, & Insurance & Drug Industries Win

US Relief Organization Takes Expedition to the USA (video) + What have we become as a nation?

No End to Media Myths About Healthcare Policy

God Bless Ralph Nader By Joel Hirschhorn

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The Global Food Crisis: SlideShare

Dandelion Salad

Still having trouble getting non-YouTube videos to post via vodpod on my blog, please click the link to view this slideshow. ~ Lo

ratbagradio

“The world’s 200 wealthiest people have as much money as about 40% of the global population, and yet 850 million people have to go
to bed hungry every night.”

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s socialist president: “The problem is not the production of food … it is the economic, social and political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis.”

Vodpod link

h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

see

Global Famine by Michel Chossudovsky

Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry

FOOD CRISIS: The greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model

Since I gave up hope, I feel better. by William Blum

Food Fights: Predation vs Protection by The Other Katherine Harris

‘Blood Diamonds’ ‘Blood Oil’ and ‘Blood Food’ By Pablo Ouziel

High prices & less land keep Haiti hungry (vid) + The Black Hole of Debt

America’s Role in Haiti’s Hunger Riots

Crisis in Food Prices Threatens Worldwide Starvation: Is it Genocide?

Global Food Crisis: Hunger Plagues Haiti & the World by Stephen Lendman

Food – The Ultimate Weapon Of The Ruling Elite

Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide & the Politics of Containment Part I

Haiti: Damning the Flood, Part II by Stephen Lendman

Food

YouTube down at the moment (updated)

Dandelion Salad

Updated: added screenshot

Updated: It’s working again!

Well YouTube is down right now and has been for the last hour or so. I hope it gets back online soon.

Check back later for the videos that you wanted to see here.

Sorry about that.

thanks,

Lo

Updated:

Pretty cool!

Times Beach

see

Video

Latest Videos on Dandelion Salad

Net Neutrality – Internet

Global Famine by Michel Chossudovsky

Dandelion Salad

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, May 2, 2008

Humanity is undergoing in the post-Cold War era an economic and social crisis of unprecedented scale leading to the rapid impoverishment of large sectors of the World population. National economies are collapsing, unemployment is rampant. Local level famines have erupted in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and parts of Latin America. This “globalization of poverty” –which has largely reversed the achievements of post-war decolonization– was initiated in the Third World coinciding with the debt crisis of the early 1980s and the imposition of the IMF’s deadly economic reforms.

The New World Order feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the natural environment. It generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife, undermines the rights of women and often precipitates countries into destructive confrontations between nationalities. Since the 1990s, it has extended its grip to all major regions of the World including North America, Western Europe, the countries of the former Soviet block and the “Newly Industrialized Countries” (NICs) of South East Asia and the Far East.

This Worldwide crisis is more devastating than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It has far-reaching geo-political implications; economic dislocation has also been accompanied by the outbreak of regional wars, the fracturing of national societies and in some cases the destruction of entire countries. By far this is the most serious economic crisis in modern history. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty, First Edition, 1997)

Introduction

Famine is the result of a process of “free market” restructuring of the global economy which has its roots in the debt crisis of the early 1980s. It is not a recent phenomenon as suggested by several Western media reports, narrowly focusing on short-term supply and demand for agricultural staples.

Poverty and chronic undernourishment is a pre-existing condition, prior to the recent hikes in food prices. The latter are hitting an impoverished population, which has barely the means to survive.

Food riots have erupted almost simultaneously in all major regions of the World:

“Food prices in Haiti had risen on average by 40 percent in less than a year, with the cost of staples such as rice doubling…. In Bangladesh, [in late April 2008] some 20,000 textile workers took to the streets to denounce soaring food prices and demand higher wages. The price of rice in the country has doubled over the past year, threatening the workers, who earn a monthly salary of just $25, with hunger. In Egypt, protests by workers over food prices rocked the textile center of Mahalla al-Kobra, north of Cairo, for two days last week, with two people shot dead by security forces. Hundreds were arrested, and the government sent plainclothes police into the factories to force workers to work. Food prices in Egypt have risen by 40 percent in the past year… Earlier this month, in the Ivory Coast, thousands marched on the home of President Laurent Gbagbo, chanting “we are hungry” and “life is too expensive, you are going to kill us.

Similar demonstrations, strikes and clashes have taken place in Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Yemen, Ethiopia, and throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa.” (Bill Van Auken, Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry, Global Research, April 2008)

With large sectors of the World population already well below the poverty line, the short-term hike in the prices of food staples is devastating. Millions of people around the World are unable to purchase food for their survival

These hikes are contributing in a very real sense to “eliminating the poor” through “starvation deaths”. In the words of Henry Kissinger: “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

In this regard, Kissinger had intimated in the context of the 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests”. that the recurrence of famines could constitute a de facto instrument of population control.

According to the FAO, the price of grain staples has increased by 88% since March 2007. The price of wheat has increased by 181% over a three year period. The price of rice has increased by 50% over the last three months (See Ian Angus, FOOD CRISIS: The greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model, Global Research, April 2008):

“The most popular grade of Thailand rice sold for $198 a ton, five years ago and $323 a ton a year ago. In April 2008, the price hit $1,000. Increases are even greater on local markets — in Haiti, the market price of a 50 kilo bag of rice doubled in one week at the end of March 2008. These increases are catastrophic for the 2.6 billion people around the world who live on less than US$2 a day and spend 60% to 80% of their incomes on food. Hundreds of millions cannot afford to eat” (Ibid)

Two Interrelated Dimensions

There are two interrelated dimensions to the ongoing global food crisis, which has spearheaded millions of people around the World into starvation and chronic deprivation, where people no longer have the means to purchase food.

First, there is a long term historical process of macroeconomic policy reform and global economic restructuring which has contributed to depressing the standard living Worldwide in both the developing and developed countries.

Second, these preexisting historical conditions of mass poverty have been exacerbated and aggravated by the recent surge in grain prices, which have led in some cases to the doubling of the retail price of food staples. These price hikes are in large part the result of speculative trade in food staples.

Speculative Surge in Grain Prices

The media has casually misled public opinion on the causes of these price hikes, focusing almost exclusively on issues of costs of production, climate and other factors which result in reduced supply and which might contribute to boosting the price of food staples. While these factors may come into play, they are of limited relevance in explaining the impressive and dramatic surge in commodity prices.

Spiraling food prices are in large part the result of market manipulation. They are largely attributable to speculative trade on the commodity markets. Grain prices are boosted artificially by large scale speculative operations on the New York and Chicago mercantile exchanges. It is worth noting that in 2007, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, forming the largest Worldwide entity dealing in commodity trade including a wide range of speculative instruments (options, options on futures, index funds, etc).

Speculative trade in wheat, rice or corn, can occur without the occurrence of real commodity transactions.

The institutions speculating in the grain market are not necessarily involved in the actual selling or delivery of grain. The transactions may use commodity index funds which are bets on the general upward or downward movement of commodity prices.

A “put option” is a bet that the price will go down, a “call option” is a bet that the price will go up. Through concerted manipulation, institutional traders and financial institutions make the price go up and then place their bets on an upward movement in the price of a particular commodity. Speculation generates market volatility. In turn, the resulting instability encourages further speculative activity.

Profits are made when the price goes up. Conversely, if the speculator is short-selling the market, money will be made when the price collapses.

This recent speculative surge in food prices has been conducive to a Worldwide process of famine formation on an unprecedented scale.

These speculative operations do not purposely trigger famine. What triggers famine is the absence of regulatory procedures pertaining to speculative trade (options, options on futures, commodity index funds). In the present context, a freeze of speculative trade in food staples, taken as a political decision, would immediately contribute to lower food prices.

Nothing prevents these transactions from being neutralized and defused through a set of carefully devised regulatory measures.

Visibly, this is not what is being proposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Role of the IMF and the World Bank

The World Bank and the IMF have come forth with an emergency plan, to boost agriculture in response to the “food crisis”. The causes of this crisis, however, are not addressed.

The World Bank’s president Robert B. Zoellick describes this initiative as a “new deal”, an action plan “for a long-term boost to agricultural production.”, which consists inter alia in a doubling of agricultural loans to African farmers.

“We have to put our money where our mouth is now so that we can put food into hungry mouths” (Robert Zoellick, World Bank head, quoted by BBC, 2 May 2008)

IMF/World Bank “economic medicine” is not the “solution” but in large part the “cause” of famine in developing countries. More IMF-World Bank lending “to boost agriculture” will serve to increase levels of indebtedness.

World Bank “policy based loans” are granted on condition the countries abide by the neoliberal policy agenda which, since the early 1980s, has been conducive to the collapse of local level food agriculture.

“Macro-economic stabilization” and structural adjustment programs imposed by the IMF and the World Bank on developing countries (as a condition for the renegotiation of their external debt) have led to the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people.

The harsh economic and social realities underlying IMF intervention are soaring food prices, local-level famines, massive lay-offs of urban workers and civil servants and the destruction of social programs. Internal purchasing power has collapsed, famines health clinics and schools have been closed down, hundreds of millions of children have been denied the right to primary education.

IMF Shock Treatment

Historically, spiraling food prices at the retail level have been triggered by currency devaluations, which have invariably result in a hyperinflationary situation. In Peru in August 1990, for instance, on the orders of the IMF, fuel prices increased overnight by 30 times. The price of bread increased twelve times overnight:

“Throughout the Third World, the situation is one of social desperation and hopelessness of a population impoverished by the interplay of market forces. Anti-SAP riots and popular uprisings are brutally repressed: Caracas, 1989. President Carlos Andres Perez after having rhetorically denounced the IMF of practicing “an economic totalitarianism which kills not with bullets but with famine”, declares a state of emergency and sends regular units of the infantry and the marines into the slum areas (barrios de ranchos) on the hills overlooking the capital. The Caracas anti-IMF riots had been sparked off as a result of a 200 per cent increase in the price of bread. Men, women and children were fired upon indiscriminately: “The Caracas morgue was reported to have up to 200 bodies of people killed in the first three days … and warned that it was running out of coffins”. Unofficially more than a thousand people were killed. Tunis, January 1984: the bread riots instigated largely by unemployed youth protesting the rise of food prices; Nigeria, 1989: the anti-SAP student riots leading to the closing of six of the country’s universities by the Armed Forces Ruling Council; Morocco, 1990: a general strike and a popular uprising against the government’s IMF-sponsored reforms.” (Michel Chossudovsky, op cit.)

The Deregulation of Grain Markets

Since the 1980s, grain markets have been deregulated under the supervision of the World Bank and US/EU grain surpluses are used systematically to destroy the peasantry and destabilize national food agriculture. In this regard, World Bank lending requires the lifting of trade barriers on imported agricultural staples, leading to the dumping of US/EU grain surpluses onto local market. These and other measures have spearheaded local agricultural producers into bankruptcy.

A “free market” in grain –imposed by the IMF and the World Bank– destroys the peasant economy and undermines “food security”. Malawi and Zimbabwe were once prosperous grain surplus countries, Rwanda was virtually self-sufficient in food until 1990 when the IMF ordered the dumping of EU and US grain surpluses on the domestic market precipitating small farmers into bankruptcy. In 1991-92, famine had hit Kenya, East Africa’s most successful bread-basket economy. The Nairobi government had been previously placed on a black list for not having obeyed IMF prescriptions. The deregulation of the grain market had been demanded as one of the conditions for the rescheduling of Nairobi’s external debt with the Paris Club of official creditors. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, Montreal 2003)

Throughout Africa, as well as in Southeast Asia and Latin America, the pattern of “sectoral adjustment” in agriculture under the custody of the Bretton Woods institutions has been unequivocally towards the destruction of food security. Dependency vis-à-vis the world market has been reinforced leading to a boost in commercial grain imports as well as an increase in the influx of “food aid”.

Agricultural producers were encouraged to abandon food farming and switch into “high value” export crops. often to the detriment of food self-sufficiency. The high value products as well as the cash crops for export were supported by World Bank loans.

Famines in the age of globalization are the result of policy. Famine is not the consequence of a scarcity of food but in fact quite the opposite: global food surpluses are used to destabilize agricultural production in developing countries.

Tightly regulated and controlled by international agro-business, this oversupply is ultimately conducive to the stagnation of both production and consumption of essential food staples and the impoverishment of farmers throughout the world. Moreover, in the era of globalization, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program bears a direct relationship to the process of famine formation because it systematically undermines all categories of economic activity, whether urban or rural, which do not directly serve the interests of the global market system.

The earnings of farmers in rich and poor countries alike are squeezed by a handful of global agro-industrial enterprises which simultaneously control the markets for grain, farm inputs, seeds and processed foods. One giant firm Cargill Inc. with more than 140 affiliates and subsidiaries around the World controls a large share of the international trade in grain. Since the 1950s, Cargill became the main contractor of US “food aid” funded under Public Law 480 (1954).

World agriculture has for the first time in history the capacity to satisfy the food requirements of the entire planet, yet the very nature of the global market system prevents this from occurring. The capacity to produce food is immense yet the levels of food consumption remain exceedingly low because a large share of the World’s population lives in conditions of abject poverty and deprivation. Moreover, the process of “modernization” of agriculture has led to the dispossession of the peasantry, increased landlessness and environmental degradation. In other words, the very forces which encourage global food production to expand are also conducive antithetically to a contraction in the standard of living and a decline in the demand for food.

Genetically Modified Seeds

Coinciding with the establishment the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, another important historical change has occurred in the structure of global agriculture.

Under the articles of agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO)), the food giants will have unrestricted freedom to enter the seeds markets of developing countries. The acquisition of exclusive “intellectual property rights” over plant varieties by international agro-industrial interests, also favors the destruction of bio-diversity.

Acting on behalf of a handful of biotech conglomerates, GMO seeds have been imposed on farmers, often in the context of “food aid programs”. In Ethiopia, for instance, kits of GMO seeds were handed out to impoverished farmers with a view to rehabilitating agricultural production in the wake of a major drought . The GMO seeds were planted, yielding a harvest. But then the farmer came to realize that the GMO seeds could not be replanted without paying royalties to Monsanto, Arch Daniel Midland et al. Then, the farmers discovered that the seeds would harvest only if they used the farm inputs including the fertilizer, insecticide and herbicide, produced and distributed by the biotech agribusiness companies. Entire peasant economies were locked into the grip of the agribusiness conglomerates.

With the widespread adoption of GMO seeds, a major transition has occurred in the structure and history of settled agriculture since its inception 10,000 years ago.

The reproduction of seeds at the village level in local nurseries has been disrupted by the use of genetically modified seeds. The agricultural cycle, which enables farmers to store their organic seeds and plant them to reap the next harvest has been broken. This destructive pattern – invariably resulting in famine – is replicated in country after country leading to the Worldwide demise of the peasant economy.


The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

by Michel Chossudovsky

In this new and expanded edition of Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.

This book is a skilful combination of lucid explanation and cogently argued critique of the fundamental directions in which our world is moving financially and economically.

In this new enlarged edition –which includes ten new chapters and a new introduction– the author reviews the causes and consequences of famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic meltdown of financial markets, the demise of State social programs and the devastation resulting from corporate downsizing and trade liberalisation.


Michel Chossudovsky
is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which hosts the critically acclaimed website www.globalresearch.ca . He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Published in 12 languages. More than 150,000 copies sold Worldwide.

The Globalization of Poverty in its First and Second editions has been published in twelve languages. Twelve English language editions and co-editions in the US, UK, Canada (2 editions), Australia, Malaysia (2 editions), South Africa, India (2 editions), Philippines (2 editions)), French (2 editions), German, Spanish, Portuguese (two editions, Brazil and Portugal), Finnish, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Italian (2 editions), Arabic, Croatian.

Click here to order The Global of Poverty

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 Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8877

see

Amid mounting food crisis, governments fear revolution of the hungry

FOOD CRISIS: The greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model

Since I gave up hope, I feel better. by William Blum

Food Fights: Predation vs Protection by The Other Katherine Harris

Food

Secret Bush “Finding” Widens War on Iran-Democrats OK Funds for Covert Ops

Dandelion Salad

By Andrew Cockburn
ICH
05/02/08 “Counterpunch

Six weeks ago, President Bush signed a secret finding authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that, according to those familiar with its contents, “unprecedented in its scope.”

Bush’s secret directive covers actions across a huge geographic area – from Lebanon to Afghanistan – but is also far more sweeping in the type of actions permitted under its guidelines – up to and including the assassination of targeted officials. This widened scope clears the way, for example, for full support for the military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, the cultish Iranian opposition group, despite its enduring position on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups.

Similarly, covert funds can now flow without restriction to Jundullah, or “army of god,” the militant Sunni group in Iranian Baluchistan – just across the Afghan border — whose leader was featured not long ago on Dan Rather Reports cutting his brother in law’s throat.

Other elements that will benefit from U.S. largesse and advice include Iranian Kurdish nationalists, as well the Ahwazi arabs of south west Iran. Further afield, operations against Iran’s Hezbollah allies in Lebanon will be stepped up, along with efforts to destabilize the Syrian regime.

All this costs money, which in turn must be authorized by Congress, or at least a by few witting members of the intelligence committees. That has not proved a problem. An initial outlay of $300 million to finance implementation of the finding has been swiftly approved with bipartisan support, apparently regardless of the unpopularity of the current war and the perilous condition of the U.S. economy.

Until recently, the administration faced a serious obstacle to action against Iran in the form of Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon, who made no secret of his contempt for official determination to take us to war. In a widely publicized incident last January, Iranian patrol boats approached a U.S. ship in what the Pentagon described as a “taunting” manner. According to Centcom staff officers, the American commander on the spot was about to open fire. At that point, the U.S. was close to war. He desisted only when Fallon personally and explicitly ordered him not to shoot. The White House, according to the staff officers, was “absolutely furious” with Fallon for defusing the incident.

Fallon has since departed. His abrupt resignation in early March followed the publication of his unvarnished views on our policy of confrontation with Iran, something that is unlikely to happen to his replacement, George Bush’s favorite general, David Petraeus.

Though Petraeus is not due to take formal command at Centcom until late summer, there are abundant signs that something may happen before then. A Marine amphibious force, originally due to leave San Diego for the Persian Gulf in mid June, has had its sailing date abruptly moved up to May 4. A scheduled meeting in Europe between French diplomats acting as intermediaries for the U.S. and Iranian representatives has been abruptly cancelled in the last two weeks. Petraeus is said to be at work on a master briefing for congress to demonstrate conclusively that the Iranians are the source of our current troubles in Iraq, thanks to their support for the Shia militia currently under attack by U.S. forces in Baghdad.

Interestingly, despite the bellicose complaints, Petraeus has made little effort to seal the Iran-Iraq border, and in any case two thirds of U.S. casualties still come from Sunni insurgents. “The Shia account for less than one third,” a recently returned member of the command staff in Baghdad familiar with the relevant intelligence told me, “but if you want a war you have to sell it.”

Even without the covert initiatives described above, the huge and growing armada currently on station in the Gulf is an impressive symbol of American power.

Armed Might of US Marred By Begging Bowl to Arabs

Sometime in the next two weeks, fleet radar operator may notice a blip on their screens that represents something rather more profound: America’s growing financial weakness. The blip will be former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin’s plane commencing its descent into Abu Dhabi. Rubin’s responsibility these days is to help keep Citigroup afloat despite a balance sheet still waterlogged, despite frantic bail out efforts by the Federal Reserve and others, by staggering losses in mortgage bonds. The Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund injected $7.5 billion last November (albeit at a sub-prime interest rate of eleven percent,) but the bank’s urgent need for fresh capital persists, and Abu Dhabi is where the money is.

Even if those radar operators pay no attention to Mr. Rubin’s flight, and the ironic contrast it illustrates between American military power and financial weakness, others will, and not just in Tehran. There’s not much a finding can do about that.

Andrew Cockburn is a regular CounterPunch contributor. He lives in Washington DC. His most recent book is Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy.

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

see

The March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran by John McGlynn