Countdown: Do As I Say & Not As I Do + Supreme Smackdown

Dandelion Salad

June 12, 2008


Do As I Say and Not As I Do

Keith reports on the resignation of Jim Johnson from Obama’s Vice Presidential search team and the McCain campaign using it as a line of attack on Obama even though he’s got similar and worse problems with those on his own staff and Vice Presidential search team. Rachel Maddow weighs in on the risks of those in glass houses throwing stones.

Supreme Smackdown

Keith reports on the recent ruling from the Supreme Court on the prisoners at Gitmo saying they do have the right to challenge their detention in US courts. Jonathan Turley weighs in.

Worst Person

And the winner is…Antonin Scalia. Runners up Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity.


Countdown: Special Comment: John McCain Confused 6.12.08

Bush Strongly Disagrees With Recent Supreme Court Decision!

Countdown: Special Comment: John McCain Confused 6.12.08

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Of Keith’s Special Comment On McCain and his Not Too Important Context.

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Countdown: McCain: Troops Not Too Important + Bushed! + Worst

Making Sense Of Collapse: Funeral Procession Or Party Time?

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By Carolyn Baker
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

[Correction: It was actually Pat Meadows, as quoted by Sharon Astyk, who originated the “theory of anyway”.–CB]

In his most recent post, Richard Heinberg asks “How Do You Like Collapse So Far?” and also asks why we should think or talk about collapse if there’s nothing we can do about it? He suggests that in the face of the gargantuan unraveling over which we have very little power, keeping in mind what it is about our species that is worth saving is a salutary emotional and spiritual practice. In fact he says, “…there may in fact be only one occupation worthy of our attention: that of identifying the qualities that make our species worth saving, and then celebrating and exemplifying those qualities. If we concentrate on doing that, perhaps we win no matter what. Outwardly, it will probably look a lot like what many of us are already doing: working to save a species, an ecosystem, a human community; to make a village sustainable, or to halt a new coal power plant.”

What Heinberg states here is exactly what many other collapse watchers have been up to for the past several years. We look at the truth, we feel it, we act. As we take action, we do not do so naively believing that any particular action or several actions taken even by masses of individuals will prevent collapse, but we do it because it’s the right thing to do-that is, acting according to what Sharon Astyk calls “The Theory Of Anyway.”


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.

Do schools today kill creativity? (Ken Robinson, TEDTalks)

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January 06, 2007 A must-see for every parent and teacher. Education guru Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. Sir Ken Robinson is author of “Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative,” and a leading expert on innovation in education and business. (Recorded February, 2006 in Monterey, CA.) More TEDTalks at

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Immunity to Telecoms for Illegally Spying on Americans

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, June 12, 2008
Antifascist Calling…

You can tell a sell-out by the Democrats are in the works when “Congressional and intelligence officials” revert to using phrases like “degradation,” loss of “intelligence capabilities,” “dangerous step backward” and “unthinkable.”

Was “terrorist chatter” sucked up by the NSA data vacuum or did the FBI’s “Quantico circuit” discover “actionable intelligence” of an al-Qaeda plot to nuke lower Manhattan?

No. The alarmist rhetoric from Washington insiders described a “severe gap in overseas intelligence” that would allegedly occur were U.S. spy agencies “forced” to obtain warrants to monitor terrorism suspects, The New York Times reports.

According to Eric Lichtblau,

That prospect seemed almost inconceivable just a few months ago, when Congressional negotiators and the White House promised a quick resolution to a bruising debate over the government’s surveillance powers. But the dispute has dragged on. Though both sides say they are hopeful of reaching a deal, officials have been preparing classified briefings for Congress on the intelligence “degradation” they say could occur if there is no deal in place by August. (“Impasse on Spying Could Lead to Tighter Rules,” The New York Times, June 10, 2008)

The fact that such assertions are patently false and obfuscate current interpretations of the 1978 FISA law, even by the (admittedly low) standards of the Bush Justice Department, doesn’t mean they won’t be used ad nauseam as bipartisan talking points to ram through flawed, indeed unconstitutional legislation.

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation avers,

[Assistant Attorney General for National Security Kenneth] Wainstein said that the current interpretation of FISA does not impede the interception of foreign-to-foreign telephone calls–even after the secret FISA court ruling that [Director of National Intelligence Mike] McConnell claims required the change in the law. Thus, according to the Department of Justice’s own interpretation of FISA, the surveillance law does not require court orders for foreign-to-foreign phone calls, or any other communications where both ends are known to be overseas, even if the communication passes through a U.S. switch. The Government does not need prepare individual warrants for surveillance of terrorism targets overseas. …

Pursuant to FISA, the government can freely wiretap any “agent of a foreign power,” which includes those who “engages in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefore.” Any one who the Intelligence Community has evidence is a terrorist is fair game, even if the terrorists are communicating with a United States person.

The FISA court approves almost every application put before it. For example, the court granted all but four of 2,371 government requests in 2007. FISA Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth, has said he has approved FISA orders in minutes with only an oral briefing. [Kurt Opsahl, “What Will Happen to Surveillance in August 2008,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 10, 2008)

What it all boils down to has nothing to do with “national security” or an “imminent threat” of a terrorist attack, but rather, a Congressional plan to grant retroactive immunity to lawbreaking telecoms who hope to escape liability for illegally spying on Americans at the behest of the Bush administration.

Among the “compromises” sought by Democrats and Republicans is a scheme cooked-up by Senators Christopher Bond (R-MI) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to allow the FISA court, the most secretive and least transparent judicial body in the United States, “to review the administration’s requests and determine by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ whether the requests were valid,” according to the Times.

But as Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) wrote to House and Senate “leadership,”

As we understand it, the [Republican] proposal would authorize secret proceedings in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to evaluate the companies’ immunity claims, but the court’s role would be limited to evaluating precisely the same question laid out in the Senate bill: whether a company received “a written request or directive from the Attorney General or the head of an element of the intelligence community… indicating that the activity was authorized by the President and determined to be lawful.” Information declassified in the committee report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the FISA Amendments Act, S. 2248, confirms that the companies received exactly these materials….

In other words, under the Bond proposal, the result of the FISA Court’s evaluation would be predetermined. Regardless of how much information it is permitted to review, what standard of review is employed, how open the proceedings are, and what role the plaintiffs’ lawyers are permitted to play, the FISA Court would be required to grant immunity. To agree to such a proposal would not represent a reasonable compromise.

And since “the FISA court would be required to grant immunity” under terms of the “compromise” legislation, what’s the real significance of the angst-laden “August deadline”? According to Lichtblau,

Democrats may have even more at stake. They acknowledge not wanting to risk reaching their national convention in Denver in August without a deal, lest that create an opening for the Republicans and Senator John McCain, their presumptive presidential nominee, to portray themselves as tougher on national security–a tried-and-true attack method in the past–just as the Democrats are nominating Senator Barack Obama.

There you have it. Unfortunately, Lichtblau doesn’t share this “news” with Times’ readers until the 20th paragraph of a 25 paragraph piece. Talk about “burying the lede”! But just for kicks, let’s take a closer look.

The Bush administration, a mendacious pack of war criminals who by all standards of decency should be packed off to the Hague in chains, have subverted constitutional guarantees against Americans’ right to privacy, in league with giant multinational privateers (telecoms) who were paid $1,000 per illegal wiretap that presumably represent millions of illegal data sweeps. How many? We don’t know because its secret.

Why the rush then, to pass this piece of legislative flotsam? Liability, and lots of it, too! According to USA Today’s Leslie Cauley, under section 222 of the Communications Act, the FCC “can levy fines up to $130,000 per day per violation, with a cap of $1.325 million per violation. The FCC has no hard definition of ‘violation.’ In practice, that means a single ‘violation’ could cover one customer or 1 million.”

Were the multiple lawsuits against spying telecoms to go forward, and should they be found guilty in open court of violating their customer’s constitutionally-protected right to privacy, it would add up to a horde of angry shareholders and a “deep impact” on the corporate bottom line.

To avert such a “disaster,” the telecom industry has rolled-out the big guns–bundles of cash to their congressional “friends.” According to the Center for Responsive Politics, AT&T Inc. has spent $5,213,841; Verizon Communications $3,880,000; the National Cable & Telecommunications Association $3,260,000 and Comcast Corporation $2,660,000 during the first quarter of 2008 on lobbying pay-outs. In a word, that’s a lot of fire power! Call it a veritable “shock and awe” campaign for senators and congressmen cozily ensconced in the corporatist kennel.

And lest we forget the significance of the “gathering threat” posed by that “August deadline,” president Bush stepped-up to the the plate and reminded us that “terrorists are planning attacks on American soil that will make September 11 pale in comparison.”

And so it goes, on and on and on…

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

© Copyright Tom Burghardt, Antifascist Calling…, 2008

The url address of this article is:

Casinos on Wall Street by Ralph Nader

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by Ralph Nader
Tuesday, June 10. 2008

Move over Las Vegas. The big time gamblers are on Wall Street and they are gambling with your money, your pensions, and your livelihoods.

Unlike Las Vegas casinos, these big investment banks, commercial banks and stock brokerage houses are supposed to have a fiduciary relationship with your money. They are supposed to be trustees for the money you have given them to safeguard, and tell you when they are making risky investments. Continue reading

Bush Strongly Disagrees With Recent Supreme Court Decision! (Gitmo)

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President Bush says he’ll abide by the Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo detainees, but that he doesn’t agree with it.

Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge their detention in federal court.

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Strutting Fascism And Swaggering Militarism By Gaither Stewart

by Gaither Stewart
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rome, Italy
June 12, 2008

“We work for the moral and traditional values which Socialists neglect and despise….”

–Benito Mussolini

It’s their strutting. That detestable image of the strutting that links them, the strutting and prancing Fascists and their swaggering and parading military cousins, up front for their conveniently concealed corporatist controllers. A strutting and swaggering couple they are, Fascism and the entrenched class of war. Their distorted visions of gallantry and nation come so naturally to both. The spick and span generals, employers of mercenaries and killers, chin in, chest out, and their majors and their colonels (especially the generals in the offices and the majors in the tents), thick chests covered with ribbons and medals and rows of multicolored decorations—awarded for killing. And the political Fascists! Defiant chins thrust forward, hard fists clinched, swaggering and prancing and strutting across the stages of piazzas nations and continents—in support of the killing.

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A Failed Project for the New American Century?

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By Tim Buchholz

It was early morning (for me) when my roommate got a call from his mother in Wisconsin telling him to turn on the TV. That’s when we saw the first building on fire. We ran to our roof in Brooklyn that overlooked Manhattan and saw the plumes of smoke filling the air, and that’s when we saw the second plane hit. We were in shock; we couldn’t believe what we just saw. We thought the world was ending.

As soon as the trains were running again, my friend and I went in to the city and got off at Union Square/14th Street, where anything below 14th was blocked off. Makeshift hospitals lined the streets as gurney’s rushed past us with bleeding bodies through the smoke clouded air.

“How could this have happened?” we asked ourselves as a soldier motioned with his machine gun that we could not go any further.

I’m sure we all have stories of where we were on 9/11; even those numbers will never be the same to us again. And there are just as many theories as to why it happened, and who is to blame. I’m not going to try to answer those questions, but 9/11 did set into motion a military plan that seemed to have been waiting for it to happen.

In 1997, many of the names we have seen so often since the War in Iraq began were listed as members of a neoconservative think tank called “Project for a New American Century,” or PNAC. Founded by William Kristol (not the comedian) and Robert Kagan, its stated goal according to Wikipedia was “to promote American global leadership. Fundamental to the PNAC are the views that American leadership is both good for America and good for the world and support for a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity.” And their Statement of Principle ends with, “While such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today, it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.” They felt that America was the most powerful country in the world and it was their duty to keep it that way, protecting the world while serving the interests of the United States. PNAC called for an increase in military spending, and a redeployment of our troops oversees to meet modern needs.

In January 1998, in a letter to Bill Clinton, written in part by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, PNAC called for the US Military to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and later criticized the December 1998 bombing attempts the Clinton Administration had made in Iraq, calling them ineffective.

George W. Bush was elected in 2000, and his Vice President (Dick Cheney), the VP’s Chief of Staff (I. Lewis Scooter Libby), Secretary of Defense (Donald Rumsfeld), Deputy Secretary of Defense (Paul Wolfowitz), Deputy Secretary of State (Richard Armitage), and his appointed Ambassador to the UN (John R. Bolton) were all members of PNAC, as well as many members of his cabinet and his brother Jeb, who was Governor of Florida during the recount that made him president. PNAC published a 90 page report entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources for a New Century” which explains exactly how they planned to implement their program, and also states, “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” They knew the American people wouldn’t go for the plan without a major catastrophe, and they were about to get it. But let’s backtrack just a bit.

Dick Cheney had been Secretary of Defense under George Bush Sr., and as we all know moved on to Halliburton after Bush Sr.’s presidency. During the Clinton Administration, the stock value for Halliburton dropped significantly, and they were rumored to be doing business through their subsidiary businesses with Iran, even though sanctions forbid such dealings. George Jr. asked Cheney to help him pick a VP for his presidential run, and Cheney suggested … Cheney.

Once elected, Bush put Cheney in charge of a national energy policy team called “National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG).” According to, Cheney’s group “met secretly with lobbyists and representatives of the petroleum, coal, nuclear, natural gas, and electricity industries. Many of these individuals work for energy companies which gave large campaign contributions to Bush/Cheney 2000. Environmental groups were mostly excluded from the task force.”

Congress asked Cheney to release the information from these meetings, and he declined. Judicial Watch sued under “The Freedom of Information Act” to make these reports public, and finally managed to get some released in July 2003. According to, “Those documents include maps of Iraqi and other mid-east oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, two charts detailing various Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a March 2001 list of “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” They also sate that, “In January 2003, The Wall Street Journal reported that representatives from Halliburton, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron-Texaco Corp. and Conoco-Phillips, among others, had met with Vice President Cheney’s staff to plan the post-war revival of Iraq’s oil industry. However, both Cheney and the companies deny the meeting took place.” The War didn’t begin until March 2003, but we already had maps showing who would get Iraq’s Oil Fields when the war was over, drawn up in meetings held between January and May, 2001.

According to “Crossing the Rubicon – Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney” by
Michael Kane, “On May 8, 2001 – four months prior to 9/11 – the president placed Dick Cheney in charge of all federal programs dealing with weapons of mass destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies… This included all training and planning which needed to be seamlessly integrated, harmonious and comprehensive in order to maximize effectiveness. This mandate created the Office of National Preparedness in FEMA, overseen by Dick Cheney.”

Michael Kane goes on to say that Cheney and the Secret Service were running War Games on 9/11, “that placed ‘false blips’ on FAA radar screens. These war games eerily mirrored the real events of 9/11 to the point of the Air Force running drills involving hijacked aircraft as the 9/11 plot actually unfolded. The war games & terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks – who had trained their entire lives for this moment – would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding. These exercises were under Dick Cheney’s management.”

As the planes hit, Dick Cheney was rushed to a secret bunker/command center, while George W. Bush read to school children. Who was really in charge that day? And was this the new “Pearl Harbor” that PNAC had said it would take to implement their plans?

After 9/11, we started to hear links between Al Qaeda and Hussein, mainly from Members of PNAC who happened to be in Bush’s administration, like Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Then we heard the reports of the WMD’s and the PNAC plan to invade Iraq was set into motion.

The question now is – how did The Project for the New American Century go? PNAC had stated that removing Hussein from power would be good for American interests. Well, our economy is in a recession, we are spending 275 million dollars a day in the war, the dollar is hitting record lows, and there are rumors of oil reaching $150.00 a barrel in just a few weeks time. Bush’s approval rating has gone from close to 70% at the start of the war to 67% disapproval. Donald Rumsfeld was forced to resign. Scooter Libby was implicated in the Valerie Plame scandal, which some say was an attack on her husband for his views about the US’s desires to go to war. Paul Wolfowitz went on to lead The World Bank, till he was forced to resign amidst scandal. Republicans are distancing themselves from the Bush Administration, and a new report was just issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee stating the administration “led the nation to war on false premises,” and, “statements that Iraq had a partnership with Al Qaeda were wrong and unsupported by intelligence.”

So far, not so good.

But, according to, Halliburton’s stock price tripled since the Iraq invasion from $20 to $63 as of 2005. They have since leveled off to around $50.00 today. Cheney still has stock options from Halliburton, but he gives the profits to charity. Then in March of 2007, amidst scandals for no-bid contracts and overcharging our troops, they moved their headquarters out of the United States and to the United Arab Emirates, which means they are no longer an American based company or pay American taxes. Exxon Mobile beat its own 2006 record profit by 3%, and according to a U.S. News report from February 2008 called “Exxon’s Profits: Measuring a Record Windfall” by Marianne Lavelle, “If Exxon Mobil were a country, its 2007 profit would exceed the gross domestic product of nearly two thirds of the 183 nations in the World Bank’s economic rankings. It would be right in there behind the likes of Angola and Qatar—two oil-producing nations, incidentally, where Exxon has major operations.” She also says, “Exxon Mobil’s profits are 80 percent higher than those of General Electric, which used to be the largest U.S. company by market capitalization before Exxon left it in the dust in 2005. Microsoft earns about a third as much money. And next to Exxon, the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, looks like a quaint boutique, with annual profits of about $11 billion.” It is interesting to note that their headquarters are in Bush’s home state of Texas. According to Ms. Lavelle, Exxon-Mobile was not the only oil company to profit; the major oil companies combined profits for 2007 surpassed 100 billion.

The members of The Project for the New American Century felt that America was in a prime position atop the rest of the world in 1998, and called for an increase in military spending to keep that position. According to Gordon Lubold of The Christian Science Monitor; “Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, the defense budget has ballooned about 35 percent.” He goes on to say, “For the 2009 fiscal year, the Defense Department is asking for $515 billion and a separate $70 billion to cover war costs into the early months of a new administration. Those amounts combined would represent the highest level of military spending since the end of World War II (adjusted for inflation).” He says that we are currently spending 4% of our GDP on Defense, (as much as the rest of the world put together) which The Pentagon wants to keep as the new “floor” for Defense spending. But Mr. Lubold goes on to say that this trend is coming to an end. He quotes Steven Kosiak, a senior budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, another think tank in Washington as saying “Under this plan, between fiscal year 2010 and 2013, The Defense Department’s base budget would be cut by 1.5 percent. Thus, the administration is proposing that the buildup, begun in earnest after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, should come to an end in fiscal 2010.”

So the war in Iraq led to an increase in the short term, but looks like it will lead to a decrease in the future. The dollar is reaching new lows and people are starting to invest in Euros and Yen instead. Our housing market has crashed. Our deficit continues to grow. China and India’s economies are growing and threatening to overtake our prime spot on top. It has been suggested by our own Senate in a Bipartisan report that we went to war under false pretense. An article in today’s Los Angeles Times states that “Monthly growth in unemployment rate is biggest in over 20 years,” and the Dow Jones dropped sharply after this report and another rise in oil prices. And even PNAC’s website,, has been taken down, saying only “This account has been suspended. Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible.”

Do not forget, PNAC also said that their, “Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity” was good for the world too. Noam Chomsky, interviewed by Gabriel Mathew Schivone in May 2008’s “Monthly Review” states, “There was a recent study by two leading terrorism experts (using RAND Corporation government data) which concluded that what they called the “Iraq effect”—meaning, the effect of the Iraq invasion on incidents of terror in the world—was huge. In fact, they found that terror increased about seven-fold after the invasion of Iraq.” The rise in oil prices has led to a food crisis all over the world. According to “2008: The Year of Global Food Crisis” By Kate Smith and Rob Edwards, “Millions more of the world’s most vulnerable people are facing starvation as food shortages loom and crop prices spiral ever upwards. And for the first time in history, say experts, the impact is spreading from the developing to the developed world.”

How did it go? I guess it all depends on whose interests you’re interested in.

Tim Buchholz is a freelance writer living in Ohio

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.

Black Friday by Dave Cohen

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by Dave Cohen
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder
—Stephen Wright

I don’t know why the oil markets chose June 6th, 2008, to freak out.1 The upward price movement started the day before, but Thursday’s rise was within the bounds of “normal” single-day volatility lately. On Black Friday, the NYMEX WTI price jumped up nearly $11/barrel during the call-out trading session between 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM EST.

A spate of bad news appears to have “caused” the price hike, but can we honestly say that any of these concerns, or even all of them put together, was extraordinary? Was there a profound shift in the market fundamentals? The answer is “no”—anxieties in the skittish market turned to full-blown panic. The fear-driven stampede reflects the high degree of uncertainty in the markets about the continuing devaluation of the dollar, conflict in the Middle East, unfettered oil demand growth in China and the Middle East, lagging supply growth, and last but not least, the poor health of the American economy.


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 – 6/11/08: World News from the Middle East

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


For more:
“Bush on Iran: All Options Open,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Jordanians Missing in Israel,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Israel Holds Off on Gaza Operation,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Israel Rules Out Gaza Invasion Now to Seek Truce,” IBA TV, Israel
“Palestinian Students Undergo Testing Under Occupation,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Somali Government Signs Ceasefire,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Plane Crashes in Sudan,” Sudan TV, Sudan
“Pakistan Says US Airstrike Killed 11 of Its Soldiers,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Italians Demonstrate Against Bush,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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New America Foundation: Implosion at the Pentagon

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On June 10th the American Strategy Program brought in Senior Adviser to CSIS and the Atlantic council, Washington Times columnist, and renowned expert on military affairs Harlan Ullman for a thought-provoking discussion with American Strategy Director Steve Clemons on the drastic need for reform at the Pentagon.

Harlan Ullman outlined in stark terms the problems faced by our military in the coming years: ballooning defense budgets that cannot easily be paid for, a bloated and inefficient procurement process, the cost of enlarging the military, and a powerful military that is nonetheless poorly equipped and trained for the wars it is currently fighting.

To face these issues, Ullman discussed a series of ideas for reform, drawing on history and modern thought alike. He proposed several ideas, from revamping the procurement process to increasing enrollment at the service academies and the National Defense University, and redefining NATO as a security alliance, rather than a defensive one. But his most striking idea was that the military needs to rethink its entire concept of war-fighting, and decide once and for all whether it will be a force that fights big, conventional wars, or one that fights the “smaller” asymmetric wars seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘The Constitution of the United States is not for export’


by Guadamour
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Guadamour’s blog post
June 12, 2008

In the book Day of Reckoning–How Hubris, Ideology, And Greed Are Tearing America Apart (Thomas Dunne Books 2007) Patrick J. Buchanan writes “Bush and McCain (and legislators like McCain) sent thousands of Americans and scores of thousands of Iraqis to their deaths. They forgot (and more than likely never knew) what the American historian Daniel Boorstin taught: ‘The Constitution of the United States is not for export.’ After five years of bleeding America to build democracy in Iraq, ‘perhaps the most helpful change we can make is to help President Bush and Senator McCain and others like him change their own thinking.”

Buchanan, a Nixon speech writer, historian, long time Washington insider, former presidential candidate, slams the Neocons that came to Washington with George W. Bush. Using numerous examples from history he shows how wrong they have been and the extreme damage they have done to the fabric of the United States of America. As well as the missed opportunities they’ve had.

“Free Trade” is knocked as hard as it is in The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. The knocking is done by someone who formerly believed in it, but one whose eyes are not blinded by ideology.

It is conclusively shown in this book how foolish it would be to attack Iran, and how talking with Iran and Russia would be the smartest possible move in terms of US foreign policy.

Sharing some of the beliefs of Ron Paul, Buchanan makes a strong case for closing foreign US military bases and not putting more of them in Iraq.

Furthermore, he argues persuasively for the US to remove itself from NATO.

Buchanan gives a list of steps that can be taken to restore the United States of America to the dominate power it has retained over most of the past century.

It’s hard to agree with all the ideas covered in this book, like the idea of taking draconian measures to stem the tide of immigration; however, Buchanan marshals his facts well for everything he covers.

The book is well written, well researched, gives numerous good historical examples, spares no one the author believes warrants criticism, and reads fast.

It is a thoughtful and surprising read coming from a well known conservative, and will likely have much better reception in Democratic circles than in Republican.