A Not-So-Glorious Fourth + A Declaration for Our Times (videos)

Dandelion Salad

jperryam

Many thanks to Chris Satullo from the Philadelphia Inquirer for writing this excellent, much needed piece. Read it here:
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/column…

Many thanks as well to my friend Jim for sharing the link via email. I think it’s an extremely important message. I hope you’ll take it to heart, share it and stand up to demand that our elected representatives initiate the accountability and justice that their oath of office requires.

Peace –
JP

A Not-So-Glorious Fourth“, posted with vodpod

***

A Declaration for Our Times

bordc0110

New declaration, written in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, rejects the unwarranted sacrifice of fundamental liberties in the name of security.

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights offer protection and remedies for government assaults on civil liberties–but only if they are enforced. Demand that your representatives uphold their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution.

Join with others in your community and around the country in supporting the People’s Campaign for the Constitution, http://www.constitutioncampaign.org.

A Declaration for Our Times“, posted with vodpod

see

Towards a Second American Revolution By Ben Tanosborn

I’m sick and tired of this thing called “patriotism” by William Blum

The House I Live In by Greg Palast

The JFK Assassination and 9/11: the Designated Suspects in Both Cases

Dandelion Salad

by Peter Dale Scott
Global Research
July 5, 2008

Global Research recently published my essay entitled 9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics In this article, I argue that 9/11 should be analyzed as a deep event (an event not fully aired or understood because of its intelligence connections) and above all as one of a series of deep events which from time to time have frustrated peace initiatives or become pretexts for war.

In support of this overall thesis I pointed to features of 9/11 which recalled similar deep events: the still not fully understood outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the JFK assassination, and the so-called Second Tonkin Gulf Incident of 1964 (an alleged attack on U.S. destroyers which we now know never happened).

Continue reading

Unprofessional conduct

Thanks to
Socialist Standard

SOCIALISM OR YOUR MONEY BACK
Blog post
July 4, 2008

They’re still doing it. Calling the FARC rebels in Colombia “Marxist terrorists”, that is. The BBC has just done in the news about the recent freeing of the hostage Ingrid Betancourt. The Guardian has been guilty too.

See this Blog The FARC “Marxist” farce.

Last time this happened, a few months ago, a Socialist Party member sent the following letter to the Grauniad:

“Apropos the contention of Mr Phil Gunson in a recent issue of the Guardian (6 March) that FARC nationalist guerrillas in Columbia are ‘Marxist terrorists’, the following may be of interest.

During the recent IRA campaign of terrorism in Northern Ireland it was not uncommon for some journalists to refer to this essentially Catholic-nationalist organisation as ‘Marxist terrorists’ – obviously exposing overt Marxists to considerable danger from loyalist terror gangs.

After many efforts to rebut this dangerous nonsense – most of which, despite the first four articles in the NUJ Code of Conduct, were suppressed – I wrote a long and detailed comparison of the views of Marx, who utterly rejected terrorism, and Lenin whose strategies were frequently pursued by ‘left-wing’ terrorists. The resultant document I mailed to some members of the journalistic fraternity on the assumption that it might prove an antidote for their dangerous political ignorance.

The Head of Programme Planning at Ulster Television responded to the document with the assurance that he had issued instructions to his staff to avoid reference to ‘Marxist terrorists’ in programmes within local control in the future. Dr Steven King, then an adviser to David Trimble and a Belfast Telegraph columnist, responded and accused himself of ‘sloppy writing’ and, generally, we local socialists felt that some improvement had been effected.

However, on 25 November 2006, referring to three alleged IRA men who had been arrested by the Colombian authorities and accused of giving technical help to FARC, the Security Correspondent of the Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowan, described another Colombian terrorist group thus:

“ELN is a Marxist insurgent group formed in 1965”

We wrote the following personal letter to Mr Rowan:

Dear Mr Rowan,

According to your article in the Belfast Telegraph of the 25th November 2006: “ELN is a Marxist insurgent group formed in 1965”.

Readers of that newspaper could reasonably expect someone making such a definite pronouncement to be familiar not only with the political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx but with his attitude to the question of political terrorism.

Certainly your statement shows no evidence whatsoever of a knowledge, much less an understanding, of the writings of Marx and his co-worker, Engels. Marx during his lifetime was implacably opposed to political terrorism and fought a bitter battle with the anarchist, Michael Bakunin, which resulted in the expulsion of the latter from the International Workingmen’s Association.

Equally absurd is the implication in your suggestion that a group of Leninist nationalists fighting for land reform in a backward country are using terror tactics to bring about the objectives of Marx and the pioneers of scientific socialism.

Some years ago I prepared the document I enclose herewith to counter absurd statements like yours made by irresponsible commentators and I offered the sum of £1,000 pounds to any of its recipients who could show support for political terrorism or state capitalism in the writings of Marx. Only two – one a Belfast Telegraph contributor – were courageous enough to reply and both expressed apologies.

I look forward to your early advice and, incidentally, the £1,000 still stands.

Yours for a sane world

R.M.

see

Is Betancourt release the end of FARC? + Film emerges of mission

Behind the Colombia hostage rescue

McCain defends free trade with Colombia

FARC leaders were paid millions to free hostages: Swiss radio

The world could produce more food

Thanks to
Socialist Standard

SOCIALISM OR YOUR MONEY BACK
Blog post
July 1, 2008

Socialists have always contended that the world could produce enough to feed every human being on the planet. This has been confirmed time and again by bodies such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation as well as by agronomists and other specialists in the field. So, why is the world price of wheat, rice and other agricultural products rising? Surely this shows that enough food can’t be produced? No, it doesn’t. What it shows is that food is not produced today to meet people’s needs but to be sold on a market with a view to profit.

World food prices are rising, and this does reflect the fact that paying demand is currently exceeding supplies. But this does not mean that enough food cannot be produced. It means simply that enough food has not been produced.

Various explanations have been offered for this imbalance between demand and supply. Extra demand resulting from the migration of millions of people from the countryside to the towns in places like China and India. Diversion of land to growing biofuels instead of food. Such explanations concentrate on why demand has increased. An article in the Times (26 June) by Ross Clark offers an explanation why not enough food has been produced.

Clark is a supporter of the market (who thinks that any opponent of the “free” market is a “Marxist”) and so expects that sooner or later food supplies will increase to satisfy the paying demand. No doubt it will (but this will still leave those who can’t pay either to starve or to have to rely on minimal hand-outs from charities and from the UN and other agencies). He argues that food production has fallen because in previous decades it had been overproduced. It is of course obscene to talk of “too much” food being produced when there are millions in the world who are starving, but he means “too much” in relation to paying demand. Even so, his explanation is still interesting in showing the irrational way in which the capitalist system works.

According to him:

“The reason for the fall in cereal production over 15 years has not been soil degradation or climate change: while crops yields are not increasing as fast as they were doing in the 1960s, they have still risen by 1-2 per cent per annum over the past 15 years. Rather, the decrease in production has been a straightforward response to overproduction. Remember the grain mountains of the 1980s? They resulted in a collapse in prices that in turn persuaded grain producers to contract their operation. Now that prices are rising again the opposite has happened: the FAO estimates that this year’s wheat harvest will rise by 13 per cent as a result of extra planting, putting downward pressure on prices next year.”

He points out that today:

“the background to rising food prices is the shrinkage of global agriculture over the past decade and a half. Globally, less food is being produced on even less land than was the case in the early 1990s. Take the US, which according to the FAO was producing 1,210kg of cereals per person per year between 1990 and 1992 and 1,104 kg between 2001 and 2003. Or Canada, at one time the “world’s bread basket”, where cereal production fell from 1,905 kg per person per year in 1990-92 to 1,384 kg in 2001-03.”

Given the current strong paying demand for food, the 1990s levels may well be reached again but, as we just said, this will satisfy only paying demand. What about those who can’t pay?

Though it is far from his intention, Clark provides information which shows that enough food could be produced to satisfy their food needs too. Of course it won’t be, and never will be, under the capitalist market system which he supports. But it could be in a socialist world where production would no longer be limited to what can be sold.

Clark writes:

“the total landmass cultivated for arable crops in 2006, according Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), was 1.402 billion hectares – or 14 million sq km. In other words, all the world’s cereals and vegetables are grown on an area equivalent to the USA and half of Canada. A further 34 million sq km – equivalent to the rest of North America, South America and two thirds of Australia – is given over to grazing, much of it extensive, unimproved grassland. The rest of the world – equivalent to the whole of Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia plus a third of Australia – is not used for food production in any way. Some of this land, of course, is desert, mountain or rainforest, which either cannot be used for agriculture at all or would require irrigation, engineering or clearance. But a vast amount of it could quite easily be converted into agriculture, but has until now not been needed.”

What does he mean “has not been needed”? Of course it’s been needed! What Clark means again is that it has not been needed to meet paying demand. We say that it is needed to end world hunger but will only be able to be used for this when once the resources of the Earth have become the common heritage of all humanity. That’s the only basis on which these currently unused resources can be used to meet the food needs of everyone, not just of those who can afford to pay.

ALB

Book Review: Marching Toward Hell By Jim Miles (Scheuer)

Dandelion Salad

By Jim Miles
http://www.palestinechronicle.com
07/02/2008

Marching Toward Hell – America and Islam after Iraq.  Michael Scheuer.  Free Press (Simon & Schuster), New York, 2008.

Michael Scheuer’s new work “Marching Toward Hell” is very clear with its overall purpose of exposing where American interests have gone wrong in their interactions with the various peoples, beliefs, and religions of the Middle East.  As an ex-CIA agent specifically working on gathering information on Osama bin Laden and al Queda, Scheuer appears to have a solid background of information on the message and intentions of bin Laden.  He also has a solid perspective of putting ‘America first’ that more often than not contradicts the neo-traditional view of American exceptionalism and unilateralism.

…continued

h/t: ICH

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.

“Strategic Alliance” – US and Iraq

Jennifer Wants Justice and Peace

by Jennifer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Jennifer’s blog post
Justice and Peace
July 5, 2008

In spite of the Bush Administrations attempts to keep up the appearance that the Iraqi Government welcomes the continued presence of US troops indefinitely, members of the Iraqi Parliament have made numerous attempts to assert the independence of Iraq.

Never has this been more obvious than in recent months where Iraqi leaders have made both public and written statements opposing the continued US presence in their country.

Iraqi’s themselves have long been opposed the presence of US troops, largely because they are seen as a destabilizing factor. According to a recent BBC/ABC poll, 69% of Iraqis believe that the security situation in Baghdad will improve or at least stay the same with the withdraw of US troops.

After the discovery of a secret plan to continue the US military presence in Iraq indefinitely, numerous Iraqi lawmakers have attempted with little success to make their wishes known to American lawmakers and the American public. Although the majority of corporate media sources refuse to give voice to the Iraqi’s themselves, the information can be found through alternative sources. For example, “On Tuesday, Democracy Now! spoke to visiting Iraqi lawmakers…in New York. Iraqi parliament member Khalaf Al-Ulayyan criticized the US proposals” stating,

“I believe the parliament will not ratify the treaty in its current form, because it harms Iraqi sovereignty. Based on the details that have been leaked to the media, it seems that the deal will make Iraq not just an occupied country but an actual part of the US.”

And, in a recent letter to the American Congress and Senate, Iraqi lawmakers pointed out that any deal signed solely by the Executive branch, would be both “unconstitutional and illegal” under the current rulings and laws of the Iraqi Republic. According to the Iraqi Constitution Article 61 Section Four, the Iraqi government’s legislative power retains exclusive rights to ratify international treaties and agreements.

Representing the majority of the two-hundred and seventy five members of the Iraqi Parliament, the letter goes on to state,

Likewise, we wish to inform you that the majority of Iraqi representatives strongly reject any military-security, economic, commercial, agricultural, investment, or political agreement with the United States that is not linked to clear mechanism that obligate the occupying military forces to fully withdraw from Iraq, in accordance with a declared timetable and with leaving behind any military bases, soldiers or hired fighters.

The Iraqi Council of Representatives is looking to ratify agreements that end every form of American intervention in Iraq’s internal affairs and restore Iraq’s independence and sovereignty over its land.

According to The Independent, in response to the resistance met by Iraqi lawmakers, United States negotiators “are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal…The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York…” These funds continue to grow as the price of oil climbs, furthering the pressure on Iraqi Lawmakers to accept the deal. This hold on these funds also inhibits the ability of Iraq’s rebuilding efforts as these funds, which under the UN mandate, are specifically for the reconstruction of Iraq including “the wheat purchase program, the currency exchange program, the electricity and oil infrastructure programs, equipment for Iraqis security forces, and for Iraqi civil service salaries and ministry budget operations.”

As Americans continue to debate the continued military presence in Iraq, what seems to elude them is the absolute hypocrisy of claims made by the Bush Administration both in regards to Iraq’s sovereignty and “The War on Terror.” in which he claims, “The rise of a free and self-governing Iraq will deny terrorists a base of operation, discredit their narrow ideology, and give momentum to reformers across the region. This will be a decisive blow to terrorism at the heart of its power, and a victory for the security of America and the civilized world.” Considering that Bush’s solution to terrorism is the establishment of a “free and self-governing Iraq” one would think this issue would be moot. Iraqi leaders and the Iraqi people have shown with little doubt they wish us to leave.

It leaves one to wonder, when will we listen?

see

Revealed: Secret Plan to Keep Iraq Under US Control by Patrick Cockburn

US Issues Threat to Iraq’s $50bn Foreign Reserves in Military Deal

Iraqi MPs speak out about occupation + Iraqi MPs against US bases

Bush-Led ‘Disaster Capitalism’ Exploits Worldwide Misery to Make a Buck

New Bush-push for US-Iraq security pact

Dahr Jamail: Iraq and U.S. Military Expansion

Clone politics or Cynthia McKinney?

Dandelion Salad

ImWithCynthia

The cast of Futurama discuss the options open to them in the coming election.

Tired of the same clone candidates they agree that going Green is the best option.

This video is not associated with the official Cynthia McKinney Power to the People Campaign, but we do support it.

Please visit the campaign site to volunteer and donate, http://www.runcynthiarun.org

Iran: War or Privatization: All Out War or “Economic Conquest”?

Dandelion Salad

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research
July 4, 2008

Is the war against Iran on hold?

Tehran is to allow foreign investors, in what might be interpreted as an overture to the West, to acquire full ownership of Iran’s State enterprises in the context of a far-reaching “free market” style privatization program.

With the price of crude oil at 140 dollars a barrel, the Iranian State is not in a financial straightjacket as in the case of most indebted developing countries, which are obliged by their creditors to sell their State assets to pay off a mounting external debt. What are the political motivations behind this measure? And why Now?

Several Western companies have already been approached. Tehran will allow foreign capital “to purchase unlimited shares of state-run enterprises which are in the process of being sold off”.

While Iran’s privatization program was launched during the government of Mohammed Khatami  in the late 1990s, the recent sell-off of shares in key state enterprises points to a new economic design. The underlying measure is far-reaching. It goes beyond the prevailing privatization framework applied in several developing countries within America’s sphere of influence:

“The move is designed to attract greater foreign investment and is part of the country’s sweeping economic liberalization program.

Iran will no longer make a distinction between domestic and foreign firms that wish to purchase state-run companies as long as the combined foreign ownership in any particular industry does not exceed 35%. … As an example, a foreign firm may purchase an Iranian steel company but it would not be allowed to buy every business enterprise in Iran’s steel industry.

Among the new incentive measures announced, foreign firms may also transfer their annual profit from their Iranian company out of the country in any currency they wish.”

It is important to carefully analyze this decision. The timing of the announcement by Iran’s Privatization Organization (IPO) coincides with mounting US-Israeli threats to wage an all out war against Iran.

Moreover, the divestment program is compliant with the demands of the “Washington Consensus”. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed, with some reservations, that Tehran is committed to a “continued transition toward a viable and efficient market economy” while also implying that the building of “investor confidence” requires an acceleration of  the privatization program.

In its May 2008 Review (Art. 4 Consultations), the IMF praised Tehran for its divestment program, which essentially transfers the ownership of State assets into private hands, while also underscoring that the program was being carried out in a speedily and efficient fashion.

Under the threat of war, is this renewed initiative by Tehran to privatize key industries intended to meet the demands of the Bush Administration?

The Bretton Woods institutions are known to directly serve US interests. They are not only in liaison with Wall Street and the US Treasury, they are also in contact with the US State Department, the Pentagon and NATO. The IMF-World Bank are often consulted prior to the onslaught of a major war. In the war’s aftermath, they are involved in providing “post conflict reconstruction” loans.  In this regard, the World Bank is a key player in channelling “foreign aid” to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The privatization measures suggest that Iran is prepared to allow foreign capital to gain control over important key sectors of the Iranian economy.

According to the chairman of the Iranian Privatization Organization (IPO) Gholamreza Kord-Zanganeh some 230 state-run companies are slated to be privatized by end of the Iranian year (March 2009). The shares of some 177 State companies were offered in Tehran Stock Exchange in the last Iranian year (ending March 2008).

Already the state-owned Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) has indicated that “a number of foreign telcos have expressed an interest in acquiring its shares when the government sells off part of its interest in a month’s time. Local press reports did not name the potential investors. TCI has a monopoly in Iran’s fixed line market and is also the country’s largest cellular operator via its subsidiary MCI.” France’s Alcatel, the MTN Group of South Africa and Germany’s Siemens already have sizeable interests in Iran’s telecom industry.

Other key sectors of the economy including aluminum, copper, the iron and steel industry have recently been put up for privatization, with the shares of State companies floated on the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE)

More than Meets the Eye

Is this decision by Tehran to implement a far-reaching privatization program, in any way connected with continuous US saber rattling and diplomatic arm twisting?

At first sight it appears that Tehran is caving into Washington’s demands so as to avoid an all war.

Iran’s assets would be handed over on a silver platter to Western foreign investors, without the need for America to conquer new economic frontiers through military means?

But there is more than meets the eye.

Washington has no interest in the imposition of a privatization program on Iran, as an “alternative” to an all out war. In fact quite the opposite. There are indications that the Bush adminstration’s main objective is to stall the privatization program.

Rather than being applauded by Washington as a move in the right direction, Tehran’s privatization program coincides with the launching (May 2008) of a far-reaching resolution in the US Congress (H.CON. RES 362), calling for the imposition of Worldwide financial sanctions directed against Iran:

“[H. CON. RES. 362] urges the President, in the strongest of terms, to immediately use his existing authority to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, … international banks which continue to conduct financial transactions with proscribed Iranian banks; … energy companies that have invested $20,000,000 or more in the Iranian petroleum or natural gas sector in any given year since the enactment of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996; and all companies which continue to do business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.” (See full text of H.CON RES 362) (emphasis added)

The resolution further demands that “the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran …. prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”(emphasis added)

Were these economic sanctions to be carried out and enforced, they would paralyze trade and monetary transactions. Needless to say they would also undermine Iran’s privatization program and foreclose the transfer of Iranian State assets into foreign hands.

Economic Warfare

Now why on earth would the Bush administration be opposed to the adoption of a neoliberal-style divestment program, which would strip the Islamic Republic of some of its most profitable assets?

If “economic conquest” is the ultimate objective of a profit driven military agenda, what then is the purpose of bombing Iran, when Iran actually accepts to hand over its assets at rock-bottom prices to foreign investors, in much the same way as in other compliant developing countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil,  etc?

The largest foreign investors in Iran are China and Russia.

While US companies are notoriously absent from the list of foreign direct investors, Germany, Italy and Japan have significant investment interests in oil and gas, the petrochemical industry, power generation and construction as well as in banking. Together with China and Russia, they are the main beneficiaries of the privatization program.

One of the main objectives of the proposed economic sanctions under H. RES CON 362 is to prevent foreign companies (including those from the European Union and Japan) , from acquiring a greater stake in the Iranian economy under Tehran’s divestment program.

Other countries with major foreign investment interests in Iran include France, India, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland. Sweden’s Svedala Industri has major interests in Iran’s copper mines.

France, Japan and Korea have interests in the automobile industry, in the form of licensing agreements with Iranian auto manufacturers.

Italy’s ENI Oil Company is involved in the development of phases 4 and 5 of the South Pars oil field amounting to 3.8 billion dollars. (See Iranian Privatisation Organization, 2008 report) Total and the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Shell are involved in natural gas.

While the privatization process does not allow for the divestment of Iran’s State oil company, it creates an environment which favors foreign investment by a number of countries including China, Russia, Italy, Malaysia, etc. in oil refinery, the petrochemical industry, the oil services economy as well as oil and gas infrastructure including exploration and oil-gas pipelines.

While several US corporations are (unofficially) conducting business in Iran, the US trade sanctions regime (renewed under the Bush adminstration) outlaws US  citizens and companies from doing business in Iran. In other words, US corporations would not be allowed to acquire Iranian State assets under the privatisation program unless the US trade sanctions regime were to be lifted.

Moreover, all foreign firms are treated on an equal footing. There is no preferential treatment for US companies, no corrupt colonial style arrangement as in war-torn Iraq, which favors the outright transfer of ownership and control of entire sectors of the national economy to a handful of US corporations.

In other words, Tehran’s privatization program does not serve US economic and strategic interests. It tends to favor countries which have longstanding trade and investment relations with the Islamic Republic.

It favors Chinese, Russian, European and Japanese investors at the expense of the USA.

It undermines and weakens American hegemony. It goes against Washington’s design to foster a “unipolar” New World Order through both economic and military means.

And that is why Washington wants to shunt this program through a Worldwide economic sanctions regime which would, if implemented, paralyze trade, investment and monetary flows with Iran.

The proposed economic sanctions’ regime under H. CON 362 is intended to isolate Iran and prevent the transfer of Iranian assets into the hands of competing economic powers including China, Russia, the European Union and Japan.  It is tantamount to a declaration of war.

In a bitter irony, H CON 362 serves to undermine the economic interests of several of America’s allies, it would prevent them from positioning themselves in the Middle East, despite the fact that these allies (e.g. France and Germany) are also involved through NATO in the planning of the war on Iran.

War and Financial Manipulation

The Bush administration has opted for an all out war on Iran in alliance with Israel, with a view to establishing an exclusive American sphere of influence in the Middle East.

A US-Israel sponsored military operation directed against Iran, would largely backlash on the economic and financial interests of several of America’s allies, including Germany, Italy, France, and Japan.

More generally, a war on Iran would hit corporate interests involved in the civilian economy as opposed to those more directly linked to the military industrial complex and the war economy. It would undermine local and regional economies, the consumer manufacturing and services economy, the automobile industry, the airlines, the tourist and leisure economy, etc.

Moreover, an all out war feeds the profit driven agenda of global banking, including the institutional speculators in the energy market, the powerful Anglo-American oil giants and America’s weapons producers, the big five defense contractors plus British Aerospace Systems Corporation, which play a major role in the formulation of US foreign policy and the Pentagon’s military agenda, not to mention the gamut of mercenary companies and military contractors.

A small number of global corporations and financial institutions feed on war and destruction to the detriment of  important sectors of economic activity, Broadly speaking, the bulk of the civilian economy is threatened.

What we are dealing with are conflicts and rivalries within the upper echelons of the global capitalist system, largely opposing those corporate players which have a direct interest in the war to the broader capitalist economy which ultimately depends on the continued development of civilian consumer and investment demand.

These vested interests in a profit driven war also feed on economic recession and financial dislocation. The process of economic collapse which results, for instance, from the speculative hikes in oil and food prices, triggers bankruptcies on a large scale, which ultimately enable a handful of global corporations and financial institutions to “pick up the pieces” and consolidate their global control over the real economy as well as over the international monetary system.

Financial manipulation is intimately related to military decision-making. Major banks and financial institutions have links to the military and intelligence apparatus. Advanced knowledge or inside information by these institutional speculators regarding specific “false flag” terrorist attacks, or military operations in the Middle East is the source of tremendous speculative gains.

Both the war agenda and the proposed economic sanctions regime trigger, quite deliberately, a global atmosphere of insecurity and economic chaos.

In turn, the institutional speculators in London, Chicago and New York not only feed on economic chaos and uncertainty, their manipulative actions in the energy and commodity markets contribute to spearheading large sectors of the civilian economy into bankruptcy.

The economic and financial dislocations resulting from the hikes in the prices of crude oil and food staples are the source of financial gains by a handful of global actors. Speculators are not concerned with the far-reaching consequences of a broader Middle East war, which could evolve into a World War Three scenario.

The pro-Israeli lobby in the US indirectly serves these powerful financial interests.  In the current context, Israel is an ally with significant military capabilities which serves America’s broader objective in the Middle East. Washington, however, has little concern for the security of Israel, which in the case of a war on Iran would be the first target of retaliatory military action by Tehran.

The broader US objective consists in establishing, through military and economic means, an exclusive US sphere of influence throughout the Middle East.

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20080704&articleId=9501

see

Attack on Iran would turn region into a fireball + The most radical President in history

Seymour Hersh: The secret war in Iran Part 1

Cheney & manufacturing consent on Iran Part 2

Rep. Ron Paul Assails Congress’ “Virtual Iran War Resolution” + vid

Congressional Resolution to Provoke Iran (Action Alert)

Will the US Congress ratify the Bush Administration’s Decision to launch a War on Iran (H. CON. RES. 362)

Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran

Preparing the Battlefield by Seymour M. Hersh

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

Iran

Towards a Second American Revolution By Ben Tanosborn

Dandelion Salad

By Ben Tanosborn
ICH
07/04/08

That existing government by engaging in criminal wars, embargoes, blockades and other black-listing of foreign nations has made the United States not just an international bully but a piranha, world’s leading perpetrator of genocide and dislocation of people

A Re-Declaration of Independence

By the People of the United States of America

On This Fourth of July 2008

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with its own government, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the denunciation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, a new government must be instituted, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of the people of the United States of America; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their existing system of government. The history of the Executive in this government, exemplified and accentuated by the current administration; together with a long history of a lobbies-corrupted Legislature and a politically-appointed Judicial, are histories of repeated injuries and usurpations, not acting as to balance power but jointly providing a unified corruptive government, all having in direct object the establishment of a world empire and a domestic ruling class able to exercise absolute tyranny over the people. The present and recent past administrations of the United States of America are hereby deemed non-responsive to the interests and well-being of the people of this nation while also acting as an imminent and constant danger to the cause of peace in the world. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

…That existing government has made itself a self-perpetuating tyranny where the channels to change and impeachment are de facto blocked by the duopolistic party system.

… That existing government operates under the auspices of special interest groups whose money influence the election of officials in such government, the enactment of legislation, and the way domestic and foreign policy are created and conducted.

… That existing government has not only permitted but promoted the ever-widening gap between haves (20%) and have-nots (80%), with serious wealth and income inequality.

… That existing government shows no concern for the well-being of the people as evidenced by the availability of healthcare, education and social welfare relative to other nations with similar or fewer resources.

… That existing government is responsible for instilling fear in the population, making terror the underlying reason for curtailing freedoms, spying or even lying to the people.

… That existing government maintains a military with a destructive capacity far in excess of that needed for self-defense; and to the detriment of public needs. And that such massive destructive capacity only serves to paint the United States as a coercive, imperialistic and terrorist nation.

… That existing government by engaging in criminal wars, embargoes, blockades and other black-listing of foreign nations has made the United States not just an international bully but a piranha, world’s leading perpetrator of genocide and dislocation of people.

… That existing government has in fact misgoverned domestically in every facet of governing; while abusing its power to promote mayhem internationally which has gravely damaged the reputation of the people of this nation before the eyes of the world.

We, therefore, the people of the United States of America, in self-representation and joined in mind and effort, appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name of one another with common joint interests, and self-exercising our authority as free people, solemnly publish and declare, that these United States of America are, and of right ought to be free from the tyranny of the existing government; that they are absolved from all allegiance to this existing Federal government, and that all political connection between them, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that the Fifty States making up this union immediately join forces to create and summon a Constitutional Congress for the sole purpose of enacting a new constitution and the formation of a new Federal government; representatives to that Congress to be judiciously chosen by the States in proportional numbers to population. The new constitution, and the government which will derive from it, to be exemplary models in morality and brotherhood; such government to have full power to work for peace and against war, to regulate all wealth-producing activities to guarantee a free but fair market, and to do all other acts and things which independent nations may of right do for the well-being of its citizens. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we, the people of these United States of America, pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

© 2008 Ben Tanosborn – www.tanosborn.com

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I’m sick and tired of this thing called “patriotism” by William Blum

The House I Live In by Greg Palast

The House I Live In by Greg Palast

Dandelion Salad

by Greg Palast
July 4, 2008

America is a nation of losers. It’s the best thing about us. We’re the dregs, what the rest of the world barfed up and threw on our shores.

John Kennedy said we are “a nation of immigrants.” That’s the sanitized phrase. We are, in fact, a nation of refugees, who, despite the bastards in white sheets and the know-nothings in Congress, have held open the Golden Door to a dark planet. We are not imperialists and that’s why Bush lies and Cheney lies and, yes, the Clintons lied.

Winston Churchill didn’t lie to the Brits about their empire: He said, These lands belong to the Crown, we own’m and we’ll squeeze the value from them. “Imperialism,” as Karl Marx complained, was a good word in Britain, a word that got you elected in Europe until too recently.

…continued

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

Israeli Apartheid, According to Israelis

Dandelion Salad

by Rebecca Vilkomerson
http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com
July 3, 2008

Using the word “apartheid” as a description for what is happening in Israel is hotly contested, at least in the United States. But in Israel, it is becoming quite common. Following closely on the heels of Yediot Aharonot, which published a piece (albeit only in Hebrew) calling Route 443 an apartheid road on June 10th (see http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com/2008/06/apartheid-road-route-443.html for more coverage), this past weekend, in its prime Op-Ed spot, Haaretz published an article by its own publisher, Amos Schoken, entitled “So as Not to Be an Apartheid State.” This article addresses Israel’s Citizenship Law, which in practice prevents Palestinian Israeli citizens from marrying and living together with residents of the Occupied Territories. Schoken, well known as being on the left side of the Zionist spectrum, is also the third generation of Schokens to publish Haaretz, and thus firmly embedded in Israel’s establishment.

So As Not to Be an Apartheid State

By Amos Schoken
http://www.haaretz.com
29/06/2008

The government’s decision last week to extend the validity of the Citizenship Law (Temporary Order), for another year, is evidence that the legal barriers preventing severe discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizens and harm to their civil rights have been removed.

This extension is the eighth since the law was first passed in 2003, and it shows just how naive Justice Edmond Levy’s position was when he refused to join in the 2006 decision by five judges from the High Court of Justice, who stated that the law was unconstitutional, that it contravened the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom, and that it must be removed from the law books. Levy explained his refusal by saying that he saw no need to intervene because only two months remained until the law expired. However, at the end of the two months, the law was extended by a year, and now they want to extend it for yet another year.

…continued

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