Quotes on Iran by Obama, Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
July 28, 2008

Below are some quotes taken from the speeches given by prominent political leaders during their recent visits to Israel.

“The threats to Israel’s security… [include] an Iranian regime that sponsors terrorism, pursues nuclear weapons and threatens Israel’s existence” (US Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, 23 July 2008)  [1]

“And to those who mistakenly and outrageously call for the end of Israel let the message be: Britain will always stand firmly by Israel’s side.” (British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 21 July 2008)  [2]

“Yes, France is Israel’s friend, and France will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel when her security and existence are threatened… And those who call scandalously for Israel’s destruction will always find France in their way, blocking the path.” (French President Nicholas Sarkozy, 23 June 2008)  [3]

“Ladies and gentlemen, the threats directed against Israel and the Jewish people by the Iranian President are without doubt a particular cause for concern…. If Iran ever acquires nuclear weapons, the consequences will be disastrous.” (German President Angela Merkel, 18 March 2008)  [4]

Notes:

[1]  Obama’s Speech in Sderot, Israel

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/us/politics/23text-obama.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=politics&pagewanted=print

[2] Speech by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the Knesset, Israel

http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page16003.asp

[3] Speech by M. Nicolas Sarkozy to the Knesset

http://www.consulfrance-miami.org/article.php3?id_article=794

[4] Speech by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Knesset in Jerusalem on 18 March 2008

http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Artikel/2008/03/Anlagen/2008-03-18-rede-knesset-englisch,property=publicationFile.pdf

see

The possibility of a retaliatory attack by Iran on US bases in the region

Ron Paul: US would back Israeli strike on Iran

If Iran is Attacking It Might Really be Israel By Philip Giraldi

Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel? By Paul Craig Roberts

Mike Gravel: Israel Threatens Nuclear War

RNN: Christian Zionists target Iran

The War Party – Zionism in NeoCon Foreign Policy (2003)

NYT Op-Ed: Israel Will Attack Iran

Nader on Obama and Israel (video)

Iran

Israel

The possibility of a retaliatory attack by Iran on US bases in the region

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
July 28, 2008

“If America and Israel shoot any bullets and missiles against our country, Iranian armed forces will target the heart of Israel and 32 US bases in the region before the dust from this attack has settled,” [the Iranian Supreme Leader’s aide] Mojtaba Zolnoor said. [1]

From July 15 to 18 more than 200 Turkish diplomats, including 103 of the country’s ambassadors and heads of missions serving in different countries around the world, met in Ankara to discuss Turkey’s short and long-term foreign policy goals. The unprecedented gathering of virtually all of the high-level personnel from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the brainchild of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan… [2]

I received extremely positive messages with regards to our diplomats’ Ankara meeting. It seems our diplomats have made extremely “realistic comments” on the issue of in particular.

According to my friends who attended the meeting, was a special item on the agenda. More specifically, views were exchanged on the kind of attitude Ankara should adopt “in the event of a possible Israeli and/or US attack against Iran, should Iran not give up enriching uranium to build a nuclear weapon”.

The probability of a [retaliatory] attack by the administration in Tehran on US bases in the region was regarded as being “unlikely”. So, our diplomats are not expecting “a retaliatory attack by on the Incirlik [US Airbase] “. Their argument is that “If Iran carries out a missile strike against the targets in the region, then they would wipe off the map. And Iranians know this fully well.”

One of the participants to the meeting said that as Iran’s missile technology is very backward, its missiles would not be able to carry warheads of claimed weights and their accuracy in hitting targets is very low. The example he cited in support of his argument was quite striking: “When they send a missile to Ankara, it would end up landing on Moscow.” [3]

[4]

Sunday Times_13 July 2008_detail

——————–

NOTES:

[1] Iran to target ’32 US bases’ if attacked

AFP, 12 July 2008

http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Iran_to_target_32_US_bases_if_attac_07122008.html

[2] Turkish Foreign Minister hosts Heads of Mission Conference in Ankara
by Gareth Jenkins, Jamestown Foundation, 19 July 2008

http://www.jamestown.org/edm/article.php?article_id=2373245

[3] Gundem Iran

by Sedat Sertoglu, Aksam, 24 July 2008

http://www.aksam.com.tr/yazar.asp?a=124536,10,199

[4] a map by Nir Ben-Yosef in ‘President George W Bush backs Israeli plan for strike on Iran’ by Uzi Mahnaimi, Sunday Times, 13 July 2008
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article4322508.ece

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

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Francis Boyle: Iran Should Sue to Stop US Attack

Ron Paul: US would back Israeli strike on Iran

If Iran is Attacking It Might Really be Israel By Philip Giraldi

Iran’s President Did Not Say “Israel must be wiped off the map” By Arash Norouzi

Iran

Francis Boyle: Iran Should Sue to Stop US Attack

Dandelion Salad

justforeignpolicy

Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, proposes that Iran sue the U.S. in the World Court to enjoin it against threats to attack Iran

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US lawyer seeks to sue US over Iran threats

Boyle-Francis

Iran

Our President Should Support More Direct Democracy by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
www.delusionaldemocracy.com
www.foavc.org
July 28, 2008

Representative government fails when corrupt politicians mostly serve corporate and other special interests. Then it is crucial for citizens to have direct democracy opportunities. This means having the right to place initiatives or referenda on ballots that can make new laws, amend constitutions, recall elected officials, or control taxes and government spending.

Though many local and 24 state governments provide rules for some ballot measures and initiatives, they have been limited by diverse establishment, status quo political interests on the left and right that feel threatened by such populist citizen power.

I was impressed by the recent Wall Street Journal article by John Fund: The Far Left’s War on Direct Democracy. He made the point that direct democracy, though sorely needed, has been successfully crushed by ugly tactics from those interests that would rather use their money and influence to control legislative and other government functions. They fear citizen power. They know how to control elections and manipulate voters. “Unfortunately, some special interests have declared war on the initiative process, using tactics ranging from restrictive laws to outright thuggery,” said Fund.

I agree with Fund’s summation: “Representative government will remain the enduring feature of American democracy, but the initiative process is a valuable safety valve. …attempts to arbitrarily curb the initiative, or to intimidate people from exercising their right to participate, must be resisted. It’s a civil liberties issue that should unite people of good will on both the right and left.”

If this sounds reasonable to you, then the appropriate question to ask of presidential candidates is straightforward: Do you support providing more direct democracy opportunities?

Indeed, many people want some way of creating a federal ballot initiative mechanism whereby the misdeeds or inaction of government could be addressed by Americans voting directly to get the transparent and accountable government and effective public policies they want. A national ballot measure to end the Iraq war would have succeeded in 2006, for example. Putting Democrats in control of Congress did not work. Do we need the ability to recall a president because of dishonesty, incompetence and wrongheaded policies? Yes.

Also consider that the two-party plutocracy has been able to stifle political opposition by making third party and independent candidates unable to grasp any real power, as they can do in most other democracies.

In thinking about direct democracy I was reminded of the all too prevalent view that Barack Obama will challenge the traditional, money dominated two-party control of Washington politics. So, I pose this challenge to Obama: If you truly represent a force for fixing a divisive and ineffective political system, then why don’t you explicitly come out in favor of creating more direct democracy opportunities? Why not condemn all attempts to crush ballot measures and initiatives? And why not help start a national discussion of the possibility of a federal ballot initiative mechanism?

When over 80 percent of Americans see the nation on the wrong track it is fair to conclude that representative government has failed. The two-party plutocracy has too much power. This is the ideal time to recognize the limits of electoral, representative democracy and become an advocate for more direct democracy.

President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1912, wisely observed “I believe in the Initiative and Referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative.” Direct democracy is all about converting the notion of sovereignty of we the people into reality.

It comes to this: Should we be content to put our faith in elected representative or should we put it in ourselves? When you vote for candidates you don’t put your faith in yourself, you put it in them. Haven’t we been disappointed enough in those elected? We have less to fear from the will of the majority than from the actions of dishonest, corrupt and plutocracy-serving elected officials.

For political reform seeking Americans the litmus test for presidential candidates should be whether they support more direct democracy. If Obama is not just about rhetorical change, but a true reformer of the political system, then we need to hear from him on this issue.

Let him explain whether or not he supports what Ralph Nader does, who has said that presidential candidates should “put front and center empowering the American people in direct democracy format so they can move in when their so-called representatives cave in to the interests of big business. …Campaign finance reform has got to go hand in hand with direct democracy like initiative, referendum, recall.” His current platform says that we need “more direct democracy reflecting the preamble to our constitution which starts with ‘we the people,’ and not ‘we the corporations.’”

Can you imagine Obama saying these things? I can’t.

[Joel S. Hirschhorn can be reached through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.]

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Nader for President 2008

www.votenader.org/

The Termi-Nader

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Thar She Blows – The Last Hurrah for the Banking System

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
07/28/08 “ICH”

The Bush administration will be mailing out another batch of “stimulus” checks in the very near future. There’s no way around it. The Fed is in a pickle and can’t lower interest rates for fear that food and energy prices will shoot to stratosphere. At the same time, the economy is shrinking faster than anyone thought possible with no sign of a rebound. That leaves stimulus checks as the only way to “prime the pump” and keep consumer spending chugging along. Otherwise business activity will slow to a crawl and the economy will tank. There’s no other choice.

The daily barrage of bad news is really starting to get on people’s nerves. Most of the TV chatterboxes have already cut-out the cheery stock market predictions and no one is praising the “impressive powers of the free market” anymore. They know things are bad, real bad. A pervasive sense of gloom has crept into the television studios just like it has into the stock exchanges and the luxury penthouses on Manhattan’s West End. That same sense of foreboding is creeping like a noxious cloud to every town and city across the country. Everyone is cutting back on non-essentials and trimming the fat from the family budget. The days of extravagant impulse-spending at the mall are over. So are the “big ticket” purchases and the “go-for-broke” trips to Europe. Consumer confidence is at historic lows, disposal income is a thing of the past, and all the credit cards are at their limit. The country is drowning in red ink.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the economy, but no one knows what it is? In the last three months bank credit has shrunk faster than any time since 1948. The banks aren’t lending and people aren’t borrowing; that’s a lethal combo. When credit-creation slows, the economy falters, unemployment rises and the misery index soars. That’s why Bush will have to mail out more stimulus checks whether he wants to or not; his back is against the wall. He’ll try to make it look like the economy is still breathing on its own and just needs a spell on the respirator before resuming its normal activities. But Bush is wrong; we’ve reached Peak credit and the blood-transfusions won’t work anymore. The vital signs have shut down and rigamortis is already setting in. Our goose is cooked.

MORE BANK RUNS

On Friday, after the market had closed, the FDIC shut down two more banks, First Heritage Bank and First National Bank. Two weeks earlier, regulators seized Indymac Bancorp following a run by depositors. The FDIC now operates like a stealth paramilitary unit, deploying its shock troops on the weekends to do their dirty work out of the public eye and at times when it will least effect the stock market. The reasons for this are obvious; there’s only one thing the government hates more than seeing flag-draped coffins on the evening news, and that’s seeing long lines of frantic soccer moms and blue-collar working guys waiting impatiently to get what’s left of their savings out of their now-deceased bank. After all, flag-draped coffins merely indicate that we’re losing a war, but lines at the bank prove that the system is broken. And the system is broken, that’s why people are depressed and confidence is waning.

Banks-runs are a shock to the collective psyche; they demonstrate that the stewards of the system are imcompetent and have made a mess of things. When depositors see a bank run they realize that their hard-earned money is not safe. That’s why they get edgy and cut back on their spending. When their confidence wanes, it extends to the whole system. Suddenly they start questioning everything they once took for granted. They become skeptical of the institutions which, just days earlier, seemed rock-solid. That’s why bankers surround themselves with marble columns, vaulted ceilings and lofty-sounding titles; to maintain the illusion of security while masking the truth, that fractional banking is the biggest scam in history. It relies on the “greater fools” theory which assumes that bankers can be trusted to only create credit when it is backed by sufficient capital. But it is not true. The banks have put us all at risk.

Bank runs are a direct hit on the foundation of the free market system. Unchecked, the tremors can ripple through the entire society and trigger violent political upheaval, even revolution. The public may not grasp their significance, but everyone in Washington is paying attention. They take it seriously, very seriously. It is a sign that the system is disintegrating and it may be irreversible.

SABER-RATTLING AT THE FDIC

An article in the San Francisco Business Times said that the FDIC is worried about the reporting on Internet blogs. They’d rather keep banking system’s troubles out of the news. The publicity just further undermines the publics confidence and spreads fear. Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., summed it up like this after the run on Indymac:

“The blogs were a bit out of control. We’re very mindful of the media coverage and blogs in controlling misinformation. All I can say is were going to continue to stay on top of it. The misinformation that came out over the weekend fed a lot of depositors’ fears.”

Is that a threat? The cure for a failed banking system is adequate capital and prudent oversight not threats to critics of the system. That’s balderdash. Commissar Blair apparently believes that bloggers should be treated the same way as journalists in Iraq, who, if they veer ever so slightly from the Pentagon’s “the surge is a great triumph” script, find themselves on the smoky end of an M-16 at some unmarked checkpoint outside Baquba.

If Blair wants people to take her seriously, she should stop the paramilitary-type mothballing operations to shut down banks and tell the American people the truth about what is going on. The banking system is busted; Blair knows that as well as anyone. Now its time for someone to accept the mantle of leadership, step up to the microphone and tell the public what they really need to know:

“My fellow citizens, we are embroiled in the greatest financial crisis our nation has ever faced and we will have to take emergency action to keep the entire system from melting down.”

How hard is that? But it won’t happen, because everyone in the administration has an aversion to telling the truth; it’s like the Devil and Holy Water. Besides, its easier to blame the bloggers, that harmless subspecies that spend long hours pecking away at their keyboards in their windowless 5′ by 7′ hovels.

Bloggers aren’t the problem; the problem is a system that’s collapsing from decades of abusive credit expansion creation and insufficient capital. Now everyone is going to pay for the excesses of the few.

As the bank-runs increase, the FDIC will be forced to admit the truth, that they don’t have the resources to deal with a problem this big. Currently, the FDIC has only $53 billion in reserves to guarantee $4 trillion in total bank deposits. The entire system has a mere $267 billion cash in the vaults. What a shabby way to run a banking system. Where’s the money going to come from when depositors start withdrawing their savings? How will the FDIC deal with the ongoing deleveraging in the market which is forcing more and more investors move into cash?

No one knows. All we get is more prevaricating; more smoke and mirrors, Bush assures us that “Our capital markets are functioning efficiently and effectively.” Nonsense. The markets are cratering and the banks are toast. A blind man can see it. The FDIC is listing and Blair knows it. Bush needs to cut the gibberish and tell the American people the truth so they can prepare for the hard times ahead.

P.T. PAULSON: “The the banking system is sound… This is a very manageable situation.”

Last Sunday, sought Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson tried to reassure the public that the banking system is sound, while bracing people for more trouble ahead:

“I think it’s going to be months that we’re working our way through this period — clearly months. But again, it’s a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”

Paulson is like a broken record. Everything is always hunky-dory. He is the consummate Wall Street investment sharpie; a bright guy who could charm a hungry dog off a meat-wagon. But when it comes to telling the truth; forget about it. You’d be better off listening to Bush, which isn’t saying much. The banking system is not sound nor is it well capitalized. It is a corpse that’s been propped up in the office hallway next to the water-cooler so that everyone who passes by gets a stifling whiff of the decaying flesh. Still, the charade goes on. Still the lies persist.

If the rate of bank closures continues at the present pace, by the middle of 2009 their will be restrictions on withdrawals. Even now, if you go to your bank and try to withdraw $9,000 or $10,000, it sends waves of panic through the entire building like a 5-alarm fire that quickly engulfs the main exits. It’s crazy. Tellers go scampering around helter-skelter, and bank managers suddenly appear at the window grimacing in pain and wringing the sweat from their brows.

“Did you say $10,000, sir?” which is usually followed by low moaning sounds and heavy wheezing.

Journalist Bill Sardi summed it up nicely in an article last week on lewrockwell.com titled “Could Your Bail Fail?”:

“The banking industry is walking on pins and needles, hoping the bad news doesn’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy that drives bank depositors to demand withdrawal of funds en masse…….. There is a high likelihood the American banking system will fail, and you will likely be the last to know. The more panicked you get, and withdraw funds, the worse the implosion. In an effort to avert runs on the banks, will the news media delay informing the public of the current dire situation, which appears to be an inevitable system-wide banking collapse?

What to do?

So, while your bank still has money and can process your checks, it may be time to pay down debts, pay quarterly taxes and mortgage payments in advance, and think of having money outside of banks (gold, foreign currencies), etc., before your money is inaccessible or even evaporates! Don’t think all your investments outside of banks are immune from all this turmoil. For example, money market mutual funds, where Americans have invested $3 trillion, are not covered by FDIC insurance (however, money market accounts offered by banks are covered). Recent losses in some of these money market mutual funds have caused some companies to rush to plug the losses. For example, Legg Mason Inc. and SunTrust Banks Inc., recently pumped $1.4 billion each into its money market funds. Bank of America Corp. has injected $600 million.

As for your checking and savings accounts, recognize you may have five different accounts in the same bank, but the FDIC only insures individuals, not each account, up to $100,000. Putting your money in different accounts in the same bank does not necessarily provide better insurance for your deposits. (Bill Sardi, “Could Your Bail Fail?”, lewrockwell.com)

Good advice, but if the whole system blows; we’re all in trouble. It’s probably wise to have a back-up plan; like plenty of ammo and a couple hundred pounds of seed potatoes. It could get hairy.

FANNIE BAILOUT: “If they dumped these securities on the market today, their value would go straight to 0.”

Most people are unaware of the fact that the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout package that was passed into law on Saturday, provides Paulson with $300 billion of taxpayer dollars to shore up the faltering mortgage behemoths. In order to accomplish this, the congress increased the national debt by a whopping $800 billion sending it over the $10 trillion mark for the first time in history. Naturally the congress buried this little tidbit of information deep in the 600 pages of legislation. It’s clear that the administration is lying about Fannie and Freddie. They’ll need much more than the $25 billion infusion that Paulson is predicting. That’s why the national debt is ballooning. This is the biggest boondoggle of all time and it’s spearheaded by the “dueling windbags”, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank; both Democrats. Dodd’s lengthly oratory on the floor of the House on Friday nearly earned him a citation from the EPA for releasing massive levels of toxic gas into the jet-stream and accelerating the rate of global warming.

So it’s not just the Fed and the Treasury that are ruining the system; the politicos are busy bankrupting the country, too. In fact, the Fannie bailout could quite possibly be the last straw.

It now looks like Obama has been anointed by Wall Street (who are his biggest contributors) to revive the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC)–a morgue for dead banks—so that the investment giants can off-load hundreds of billions in bad paper in one fell swoop and purge the system. That will be the big “post election” surprise; another bone for investment giants.

The path ahead has never looked so uncertain. Still, niether Paulson nor Bernanke seem at all upset by the riskiness of their strategy or by the fact that the nation’s economic future has been reduced to a crap-shoot. The Fed has already spent more than $300 billion to prop up the teetering banking system in the last year alone, plus another $29 (that was never approved by congress) to buy the toxic bonds from Bear Stearns in the JP Morgan acquisition. Now, the Treasury has been authorized by congress to buy an “unlimited amount” of Fannie and Freddie shares at their own discretion. They are presently exchanging Fannie and Freddie securities for US Treasurys, which means that the dollar is now backed by dodgy mortgage-backed sludge for which there is no market. According to Rep Ron Paul, “This is the asset (MBS) which now backs up our currency. An asset that no one else wants. If they were to dump these securities on the market today, the value of these stocks would go straight to 0. But that is literally the asset that is behind our currency. It is a very serious situation.”

None of congress’s back-room maneuvering has anything to do with “providing a lifeline for the struggling homeowner”, as Senator Dodd claims. That’s all bunkum. The homeowner won’t get a lick of help from this bill. Its just another handout for the brokerage fraternity. The country is putting its AAA credit rating on the line for same clatter of carpetbaggers who created the mammoth equity bubble in the first place. Now they are being rewarded for their criminal conduct. Also, Bloomberg News notes that, “Sensible people are starting to question whether the U.S. can hang on to its AAA credit rating. The prospect of an extra $5 trillion or thereabouts leaking onto the U.S. government’s tab from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has spooked investors.”

America’s AAA rating will vanish in a year. It should be zero anyway. No one really believes the US will repay its debts. The US bond market is just a glitzy imitation of casino roulette only the odds are considerably worse.

Our political leaders have engineered this whole farce and are now speeding up the process by savaging the dollar. How long before foreign creditors see through this ruse and dump their dollar-backed assets on the open market? The hoax can’t go on forever.

Of course, some market analysts think the banking system will make it through this rough patch, even though it is likely to take a real pasting. Economics guru, Gary North, for example, expects a slightly different outcome which he details in his latest article on Lew Rockwell’s web site “Ben Bernanke’s Hush Money”:

“There is an enormous difference – a literally life-and-death difference – between individual bank failures and a systemic banking failure. I do NOT believe we are facing a systemic banking failure. But we are facing more individual bank failures…

Beginning in December 2007, the Federal Reserve System has sold Treasury debt whenever it has increased its purchase of questionable assets that it has bought from banks and large financial institutions. It has unloaded about 40% of its holdings of liquid Treasury debt. This has kept it from inflating the money supply at a dramatic rate. At some point, it will run out of Treasury debt to sell to the general public in order to offset the increase of its purchase of questionable assets held by the financial system. At that point, the great inflation will begin. This could be a year away. This could be a month away. All we know is this: when the Federal Reserve system runs out of Treasury debt to sell, its purchase of all assets will be inflationary. The banking system as a whole is protected. What is not protected is the purchasing power of the dollar.” (“Ben Bernanke’s Hush Money”, Gary North, lewrockwell.com)

North makes a good point; when the Fed runs out of US Treasuries, they’ll have to rev-up the printing presses and monetize the debt. That’ll be doomsday for the dollar. When foreign central banks see the greenbacks a-gushing like the blood from a harpooned whale; they’ll have to sell off their dollar stockpiles and take the loss. That will trigger a period of hyper-inflation in the US. Everyone will pay for the excesses of the few.

The whole system has been rejiggered to serve the needs of a few greedy bankers on top of the food chain. They could care less whether the whole country blows up or not as long as they get their slice of the pie. That’s all that matters. Congress is just as bad. They abdicated their most important responsibility by giving Paulson the authority to take whatever money he needs to do whatever he wants. If that’s their attitude, then what do we need congress for? Let’s just board up the House of Representatives and send them all home. It would be a lot cheaper.

The truth is, the big money guys have taken a wrecking-ball to the financial system and have now moved on to the real economy. By the time their done, we’ll all be picking through the wreckage just to feed our families.

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

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Spreading the pain and pocketing the gain

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Pull the Plug on the War State By Charley Reese

Dandelion Salad

By Charley Reese
ICH
07/28/08 “Anti War

Hopefully, the next president, whoever he is, will have sense enough to realize that an anti-missile site in Eastern Europe is not worth rekindling the Cold War with Russia.

Though the press pays little attention to it, the Bush administration has already practically wrecked relations with Russia by insisting on adding the Eastern European countries to NATO and siting his anti-missile system in the Czech Republic and in Poland. The Russians are right that it represents a threat to their security.

President Bush’s lame excuse that the system is designed to protect Europe from Iranian missiles is no doubt another deliberate lie. I can’t think of any reason whatsoever for Iran to attack Europe, and I’m sure the Iranians can’t, either. Iran hasn’t attacked anybody for more than 100 years. They would have absolutely nothing to gain by firing a few missiles at Europe. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

Nor does it make any sense to add the small countries of Eastern Europe to NATO. This was a war-fighting alliance set up at the end of World War II specifically to deter and, if necessary, go to war with the Red Army. The Soviet Union set up its own alliance, the Warsaw Pact.

…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.

Mosaic News – 7/25/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

.

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

linktv

For more: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries
“Truce Breaks Down in Tripoli, Lebanon,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Italy to Compensate Libya for Colonial Era,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Did Washington Shun Syrian Delegates?” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Libya Threatens Switzerland,” New TV, Lebanon
“Karzai Protects Drug Lords,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Discovering Rabat,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Obama And The Wall,” Link TV USA
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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Bush Will Issue a Mass Pardon By Brent Budowsky

Dandelion Salad

By Brent Budowsky
ICH
07/28/08 “Smirking Chimp
Jul 26 2008

Before leaving office George W. Bush will issue a mass pardon, the largest collection of presidential pardons in American history. Bush will pardon himself, Vice President Cheney, and a long list of officials involved in torture, eavesdropping, destruction of evidence, the CIA leak case and a range of potential crimes.

As George Bush signs the pardons and boards the helicopter to depart Washington as his presidency finally ends, even then, he and those pardoned will worry about the statute of limitations.

There is an important point to this, often not recognized in official Washington during the Bush years, where the unthinkable becomes a way of life, and acts have been done that have never been done by an American president or administration.

Torture violates international law, domestic law, statutory law, customary law, American law, European law — the list goes on.

…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.

see

Bill Moyers Journal: Torture Hearings + Jane Mayer + Fritz Hollings

ACLU Obtains Key Memos Authorizing CIA Torture Methods

Tell Congress: Reject Endless War and a Torture Cover-Up + video

Mukasey to Congress: Defy the Rule of Law by Stephen Lendman

Atty General John Ashcroft: I’m Not Gonna Answer! (torture hearings)

To John McCain: End All Torture

Torture As Official US Policy by Stephen Lendman

Terror, Torture, and the Dark Side + Bush officials could be charged with war crimes

Torture

John Yoo-4th Amendment-Torture

FISA

Ron Paul: US would back Israeli strike on Iran

Dandelion Salad

PressTV
Mon, 28 Jul 2008 22:40:24

Former US presidential candidate Ron Paul says should there be an Israeli strike on Iran over its nuclear work, it would not be unilateral.

The Texas congressman told Press TV that there is no ‘such thing as independent Israel doing anything’, dismissing speculation that the world may witness unilateral Israeli bombardments of Iranian nuclear sites.

“No matter what they do, it is our money, it is our weapons, and they are not going to do it without us approving it,” said the 72-year-old Republican.

While the UN nuclear watchdog admits that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the ‘alleged studies’ of weaponization attributed to Iran, the West continues to allege that Tehran is pursuing a military nuclear program.

Under US pressure, the UN Security Council has intervened in the nuclear case and has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran.

Upper Israeli echelons, who seek Washington’s green light for attacking Iranian nuclear sites, have publicly threatened Tehran with the military action should the country continue uranium enrichment.

Tel Aviv, believed to possess the sole nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, reportedly staged a large-scale air maneuver in early June in preparation for a unilateral strike against Iran.

Top US officials and military commanders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, have spoken against such military action.

In a recent article, Gates said ‘another war in the Middle East is the last thing’ the United States needs right now. He warned that a war with Iran would be ‘disastrous on a number of levels’.

When asked last week about the prospect of an Israeli or US attack, Admiral Mullen said that he worries about ‘the possible unintended consequences of a strike’ on Iran.

“If they (Israelis) get in trouble, we are going to bail them out,” continued congressman Paul, who is a staunch advocate of a diplomatic approach toward Iran over its nuclear program.

As the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) acknowledges the rights of all signatory states in uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes, Iran has cited diplomacy as the only means acceptable in settling the dispute surrounding its nuclear program.

h/t: CLG

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

Ron Paul: End of The Dollar

Ron Paul: Something Big is Happening

Ron Paul on Iran Policy (videos)

Paul-Ron-MD

US kicks off Latin military drill

Dandelion Salad

PressTV
Mon, 28 Jul 2008 18:13:35

US marines have landed at Puerto Belgrano naval base in Argentina to launch a joint amphibious drill with Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

“The intention of the exercise is a common language for when the moment comes a UN mission needs this kind force services. The significance of the exercise is given by the continuity factor: Chile in 2007 and Brazil next year, with Peru subscribing as another candidate to join forces”, said Sunday an official release from the Argentine command.

Three hundred men, half of them Argentine marines (36 US marines with Iraq experience) took part in the exercise code-named “Exchange 2008”. The drills included amphibious landings from Argentine Navy light transport plus combined operations on the ground.

Peruvian officers next to observers from Uruguay, Colombia and Bolivia were present at the exercise as well as Brigadier General John Croley, Commander of the US Southern Command Marine Corps.

The purpose of the joint exercise has been described as training forces to act combined in peace missions under the UN command. But some experts in the field say that military drills is aimed at weakening the anti-US front already present in the region.

The United States encourages military pacts among its regional allies like Colombia and Brazil to ward off the influence of the socialism fostered by Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia in its backyard.

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.

With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military

Dandelion Salad

Hmm, apparently some Christians have forgotten, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”.  Personally I do not understand how any Christian can be a soldier. ~ Lo

talkingsticktv

Interview with Michael L. Weinstein, President and Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of “With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military”

Continue reading

The coming economic & environment meltdowns … and the possibilities for fighting back

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission by:

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at http://links.org.au

July 15, 2008

Audio link

The planet is facing a meltdown — from the global financial system to the unprecedented environmental crisis. Almost everyone from stockbrokers to scientists to economists agree the situation is dire.

Yet Wall Street banks are given hundred-million-dollar bailouts, while millions face home foreclosures. In the Third world it’s worse — crops are used to provide fuel for thirsty rich-world SUVs, while 100 million more people face starvation due to the growing food crisis. The disregard for the hardship of the majority has seen food riots and strikes hit over 30 countries.

How can we understand the crisis, how is it effecting the “Rudd honeymoon” and how can we organise for sustainable, people and planet-centred solutions?

Jim McIlroy explores the roots of this global crisis in a talk delivered to a Green Left Weekly forum in Brisbane on July 15, 2008.

Part 2

Paul Benedek explores the impact of this global envonoment crisis and how we can begin to fight back

Audio link

see

Social change to stop climate change

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

FOOD CRISIS: Capitalism, Agribusiness & the Food Sovereignty Alternative (Part II)

The Bush Administration’s Secret Biowarfare Agenda

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, July 28, 2008

When it comes to observing US and international laws, treaties and norms, the Bush administration is a serial offender. Since 2001, it’s:

— spurned efforts for nuclear disarmament to advance its weapons program and retain current stockpiles;

Continue reading

Bolivia: Tensions rising as vote looms by Federico Fuentes

Dandelion Salad

Posted with permission by Green Left Weekly

by Federico Fuentes
Green Left Weekly
26 July 2008

Tensions and uncertainties continue to rise as what some are calling a bout of “referendumitis” sweeps through Bolivia.

On July 23 — one day after the right-wing opposition to Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, demanded a referendum on the controversial issue of the nation’s capital — the sole magistrate remaining on the Constitutional Tribunal called into question the constitutionality of the recall referendums set for August 10 that will determine the fate of Morales and eight out of nine of the sitting prefects (governors).

The majority of prefects are from the opposition.

The government, along with the National Electoral Court, declared the decision invalid. With the resignation of four other judges, and and Congress unable to agree upon successors, the decision was made without reaching the three-member quorum.

Since May 4, four unconstitutional autonomy referendums have been held in the eastern departments (states) of Santa Cruz, Pando, Beni and Tarija — strongholds of the opposition. The referendums aimed to legitimase the claims of the elites for control over natural resources and land in the east, as well as their push to modify the draft constitution. The draft was written up by the democratically elected constituent assembly and handed over last December to be approved in a national referendum.

The opposition announced victories of “over 80%” in the polls, while the government highlighted the fraud and mass abstention on voting days that were marred by racist attacks against indigenous people.

US role

On July 23, US State Department official Thomas Shannon arrived late for his 5am meeting in the presidential palace for talks to try to sooth rising tensions between the two countries. Morales had announced in front of a massive peasant march in Potosi that he would present proof of how Washington “was campaigning against me, against my government and therefore against the social movements”.

Morales stated that money from “the gringos” in USAID, a US government-funded body supposedly for promoting democracy that is helping fund the opposition in Bolivia, was being used to divide people. Last month, the coca growers (whose union Morales still heads) together with municipal councils run by Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) expelled USAID from the Chapare region.

Rising anti-imperialist sentiments were also on display at the massive demonstrations that surrounded the US Embassy in June, following the decision to grant ex-minister of defence Carlos Sanchez Beltran asylum in the US. Bolivia has been asking for his extradition, along with that of former president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, to face charges for their involvement in “Black October” — the massacre of around 70 people during the uprising that toppled Sanchez de Lozada in 2003.

US ambassador in Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, was called to Washington to discuss the tensions between the two nations, while Morales fired the head of the police for the repression meted out to those protesting outside the embassy.

Meanwhile, the attempts by the US and Colombia to “prove” support from the left-wing Venezuelan and Ecuadorian governments for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been expanded to include Bolivia. Bolivian newspaper La Razon claims the laptops allegedly rescued from a bombed FARC camp in Ecuador now also have turned up emails linking the FARC to MAS senator Antonio Peredo.

Peredo denounced this as part of a “perverse” campaign to try and link Morales to the FARC.

Referendums

This is just part of the backdrop to the August 10 recall referendums, initially rejected by the opposition-controlled senate in January, then approved in May and then rejected once again in June by the National Democratic Council (CONALDE) that groups together the right-wing pro-autonomy prefects of the east.

Following a new arrival on their team in the form of newly elected opposition prefect of Chuquisaca, Sabina Cuellar, CONALDE announced that they would participate in the referendums.

Only Cochabamba prefect Manfred Reyes, who last year challenged Morales to test his support at the polls but is now reneging on his ultimatum, is opposing the electoral battle. As an opposition prefect in the heartland of MAS’s support base, Reyes knows his position is one of the most at risk.

CONALDE also announced plans to begin protests the day after the referendums if the government did not agree to a referendum on the issue of the capital. This issue was at the centre of recent violent confrontations in Sucre, Bolivia’s historic capital in the country’s centre where the constituent assembly that drew up the current draft was convened.

The controversy over the capital dates back to the civil war in 1899 that saw state powers shift to La Paz in the west. Resentment over the lack of development in Sucre have also been stoked by opposition forces, who raised the issue of the capital in an attempt to stop the constituent assembly and spread their support base from the east.

The third plank of CONALDE’s announced offensive is mobilisations against government moves to use 60% of money collected from the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH), previously destined for the departments, to fund a universal pension for those over 60.

This opposition comes despite the fact that gas revenue to the departments has more than doubled over the last two-and-a-half years as a result of the government’s gas nationalisation policies.

While the remnants of the discredited traditional parties have formed an unstable “National Coalition for No to Evo”, some political commentators have noticed a curious anomaly: while participating in the referendum, much of the opposition is afraid to openly campaign for a vote against Morales and lend support to the allegations that they aim to “bring down the Indian”.

Writing in the July 20 Argentinian daily Clarin, Pablo Stefanoni reported that Jose Pomacusi, ex-director of the virulent anti-Morales TV station Unitel stated his position was, “we don’t need to change Evo, Evo has to change”.

Pomacusi argued that the best scenario would be a Morales victory by a small margin, denying him any blank cheque. Others have expressed fears that without an obvious opposition figure to replace Morales, the country could become even more unstable.

Mobilisations

While the opposition forces are yet to mobilise in the streets around the referendum campaigns, they have begun an intensive publicity campaign attacking the government’s record. Meanwhile, more and more social organisations are coming behind the campaign to vote in favour of Morales, taking to the streets across the country. In some places, right-wing youth have violently attacked pro-Morales campaigners.

Many in MAS are saying that a big victory for Morales could pave the way to an overwhelming victory in the referendum on the new constitution, which enshrines some of the key planks of the self-proclaimed “cultural and democratic” revolution led by Morales, such as a plurinational state and state control over natural resources.

In the east, many see a defeat for Morales in those regions, regardless of whether he wins nationally, as a mandate to implement the autonomy statutes “approved” in the illegal referendums.

In his speech in Potosi, Morales stated his confidence in the support of “all the social forces of the country to defeat the neoliberals and traitors to the homeland”.

see

Latin America’s struggle for integration and independence

Riz Khan: Evo Morales vs US

Fuentes-Federico

Socialism