British envoy says mission in Afghanistan is doomed, according to leaked memo

Dandelion Salad

Times Online
October 2, 2008

Britain’s Ambassador to Afghanistan has stoked opposition to the allied operation there by reportedly saying that the campaign against the Taleban insurgents would fail and that the best hope was to install an acceptable dictator in Kabul.

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, a Foreign Office heavyweight with a reputation for blunt speaking, delivered his bleak assessment of the seven-year Nato campaign in Afghanistan in a briefing with a French diplomat, according to French leaks. However sources in Whitehall said the account was a parody of the British Ambassador’s remarks.

François Fitou, the deputy French Ambassador to Kabul, told President Sarkozy’s office and the Foreign Ministry in a coded cable that Sir Sherard believed that “the current situation is bad; the security situation is getting worse; so is corruption and the Government has lost all trust”.


British envoy says mission in Afghanistan is doomed, according to leaked memo – Times Online.

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.

One Nation under Capitalism: It’s Time for a Crucifixion By Jason Miller

By Jason Miller
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Oct 2, 2008

Proudly surveying our kingdom from atop the capitalist pyramid, we US Americans have deluded ourselves into believing we are at the pinnacle of cultural, social, political, and economic evolution. We fancy ourselves to be so exceptional that we are entitled to a perpetual blessing from “our” Christian God.

Break out the Haldol!

We have afflicted the globe with the fatal contagions of the American Way and corporatism. And all of us, to varying degrees, are culpable. From bicycle-peddling vegans to limo riding corporados, we are each complicit in perpetuating American capitalism, a system so rotten that were it a piece of decaying meat, starving maggots would reject it.

We would have far fewer amends to make if our nation’s impact were limited by the size of our population. Were that the case, we would be a mere blemish on the face of Mother Earth. But due to our extraordinary wealth and power, insatiable avarice, hostility towards life, and obscene appetites for consumption, the United States is more akin to a cankerous fist-sized boil, oozing pus and reeking with infection.

We’re gluttonous beyond belief, greedily devouring every morsel of meat and marrow and leaving the “dogs” of the rest of the world to gnaw hungrily on the hollow bones we thoughtlessly cast aside.

Spiritually we’ve struck a perverse Faustian bargain. Like the good doctor, we crave “more than earthly meat, cheese and drink.” But knowledge is not the object of our desire. What an insult to think that we’d relinquish our souls in exchange for something so hollow and meaningless. Big Macs, the NFL, NASCAR, McMansions, Hummers, American Idol, liposuction, and Viagra—we’ll settle for no less. Gloating over our seemingly endless supply of fast foods and hard-hitting dudes, heart-pounding races and expansive living spaces, monstrous cars and aspiring stars, and hot chicks and hard dicks, we glare contemptuously at the “rats” from other nations scurrying about our feet and fighting over the crumbs we don’t manage to inhale.

For years we have satiated our desires with utter disregard for environmental cost, have ignored the abject suffering we inflict upon humans and animals, and have spilled a veritable ocean of blood to enable corporate plunder and to stomp anti-capitalist movements into the ground.

Yet when we finally reaped a bit of what we’d sown in September of 2001 and again in September of 2008, we wailed, wept, and gnashed our teeth as if we were the only people ever to have sustained staggering blows.

While both events are tragic, how can we express such righteous indignation that we’ve been wounded as a nation when we’ve been dishing out misery for years and have remained relatively unscathed?

And can we be so blinded by the shimmer of the gold and diamonds that we worship that we can’t see that these deep wounds to the very heart of capitalism (both the destruction of the World Trade Center and the current financial market crisis) are clarion calls to slay this formidable but staggering beast?

Capitalism has had its run and it has failed. Miserably.

Despite a number of ‘socialist’ measures implemented by the ruling elite to pacify the masses throughout the crisis-ridden history of American capitalism, we still have an obscene percentage of wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, poverty and homelessness, unemployment, imperial conquests, monopolies and oligopolies, and ‘recessions.’

And our collective psyche suffers from a host of maladies and malformations. We are alienated from nature, each other and ourselves. We value property over life. We buy far more than we need or could ever use. We measure success in dollars and cents. We are driven by greed and selfishness. We worship money and militarism.

As obviously dysfunctional, unjust, and destructive as our system is, many of us who oppose the $700 billion ‘bailout’ of the financial markets still soberly nod our heads in agreement when bourgeois economists insist that while the ‘bailout’ proposal is excessive, ‘something must be done to restore investor confidence and get credit flowing again.’

How about no? How about we do nothing?

Most of those who stand to benefit from a ‘bailout’ of any dollar amount are all about the ‘free market’ and ‘law of the jungle’ capitalism. It’s sad how quickly those in the moneyed class cast aside their ‘principles’ when adversity slaps them in the face.

‘Dog-eat-dog’ is their mantra when they’re fighting tooth and nail to cut spending on socially beneficial programs, rewarding mass firings by increasing stock values, pushing for increased regressive taxes and decreases on progressive taxes, and slaughtering millions of innocents in resource wars. But when these uber-predators become prey, they expect the rest of us to charge to their rescue.

So what of Paulson and the rest of the power elite who are coming to the working and middle classes on bended knee, begging for a hand-out? Let them twist in the wind and pray they start hurling themselves out of windows.

What of the financial markets, Wall Street, and the decaying socioeconomic infrastructure of American capitalism? Let them collapse.

What of the rest of us? Let us suffer as our victims have suffered for decades.

Motivated by pain and by the realization that our system is ecocidal, genocidal, and morally reprehensible, we of the working and middle classes can finally redeem ourselves by nailing our depraved god of American capitalism to the cross and starting to forge a just, egalitarian, democratic and humane socioeconomic order. Good for us and good for the rest of the planet!

Jason Miller is the associate editor of Cyrano’s Journal Online, founding editor of Thomas Paine’s Corner, and a corporate wage slave. He has experienced unemployment and homelessness, looks forward to meeting interesting people at the soup kitchen once his 401K has zeroed out and his job has been eliminated, and wonders when America’s wage slaves will finally unite and revolt.


The New American Century: Cut Short By 92 Years By Mike Whitney

Does the Bailout Bill Mark the End of America as We Know It? by Richard C. Cook

Dennis Kucinich: Someone Sticks Up A Bank They Get A Jail Sentence!

The Wall Street bailout and the threat of dictatorship

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Katie Couric Interviews Palin and Biden

Dandelion Salad


Oct 1, 2008

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Countdown: Palin’s Greatest Hits + Bailout Bill Changes

McCain: If I Was A Dictator Which I’ve Always Aspired To Be!




Robert Fisk: The Age of the Warrior

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

Oct. 2, 2008

“The Age of the Warrior”: Robert Fisk on the US Elections, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine

Robert Fisk is Britain’s most celebrated foreign correspondent and has borne witness to countless tragedies in the Middle East for over three decades. With the publication of a new collection of essays, Fisk joins us to talk about the US elections and their bearing on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel-Palestine. [includes rush transcript]

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Democracy Now! | “The Age of the Warrior”: Robert Fisk on the US Elections, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine.




Riz Khan: Robert Fisk: Challenge Authority

Inside Story: US anti-missile system in Israel







McSexist: Town Hall 10/02/08 + Bush in 2000, Palin in 2008

Dandelion Salad


John McCain
Town Hall Meeting
Denver, CO 10/02/08

JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, I’ve had hundreds of town hall meetings around this country for many, many years and I’ve got to say, thanks to you and to you and to you this is one of the more impactful and emotional town hall meetings I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because a women’s town hall.

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Bush in 2000, Palin in 2008


Bush in the debates of 2000 saying almost the exact same talking points Sarah Palin uses in the 2008 debate.

Partisan Politics


Palin Said Shes Known For Putting Partisan Politics Aside. During the 2008 vice presidential debate, Governor Palin said, We’re known for putting partisan politics aside to just get the job done.” [Vice Presidential Debate, 10/2/08]


Bush Said Partisanship Needs To Be Put Aside. During the third presidential debate in 2000, Governor Bush said, In order to get something done on behalf of the people, you have to put partisanship aside, and that’s what we did in my state. [Commission on Presidential Debates, 10/17/00]

Tax Credits


Palin Called For Health Care Tax Credit. During the 2008 vice presidential debate, Governor Palin said, “He’s proposing a $5,000 tax credit for families so that they can get out there, and they can purchase their own coverage, and that’s a smart thing to do.” [Vice Presidential Debate, 10/2/08]


Bush Called For Tax Credit. During a 2000 presidential debate, Governor Bush said, We need a $2,000 credit, rebate for people, working people that don’t have insurance, they can get in the marketplace and start purchasing insurance. [Commission on Presidential Debates, 10/17/00]

Global Warming


Palin Said She Didnt Want To Argue About Causes Of Global Warming. During the 2008 vice presidential debate, Governor Palin said, But there are real changes going on in our climate, and I don’t want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts.” [Vice Presidential Debate, 10/2/08]


Bush Said Questions Remain About Global Warming. During the second presidential debate in 2000, Governor Bush said, ” I — of course there’s a lot — look, global warming needs to be taken very seriously, and I take it seriously. But science, there’s a lot — there’s differing opinions. And before we react, I think it’s best to have the full accounting.” [Commission on Presidential Debates, 10/12/00]

h/t: John McStain


Countdown: Palin’s Greatest Hits + Bailout Bill Changes

McCain: If I Was A Dictator Which I’ve Always Aspired To Be!



Iraq: They Make It a Desert and Call It Peace By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
10/02/09 “ICH”

Those Wall Street financial alchemists who turned garbage into gold must have helped John McCain prepare for his debate with Barack Obama last Friday.

Senator McCain’s insistent claims that the US is winning the war in Iraq thanks to his “surge” strategy are the military-political equivalent of the junk securities that Wall Street’s shady financiers have been selling around the globe.

McCain successfully peddled this latest untruth about Iraq on Friday night with skill and verve. Sen. Barack Obama mostly let him get away with it. Obama should have skewered McCain over Iraq and all the lies he supported to ignite this unnecessary conflict. There is enough criminal behavior over the Iraq War to fill a phone book. Two out of three America’s think it was a terrible mistake.

But Obama’s gentle, professorial criticism of the Iraq war was tepid and ineffective, leaving McCain to capture the flag of patriotism with his reheated Cold War rhetoric.

Why didn’t Obama tell Americans that the ill-begotten Iraq War has played a key role in the nation’s current financial near-death experience?

Obama should also have riposted to McCain’s bombast over Georgia: “Senator McCain, are you ready to go to war with Russia over Georgia? That’s where your plans could lead.”

The two candidates did reasonably well in the debates, and both emerged looking presidential. But McCain seized the jingoistic high ground by using carefully selected slogans like “victory” and “free world,” and lambasting America’s favorite hobbyhorses, Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Russia’s Putin. The two vied over who could more fulsomely support Israel.

McCain’s claims that the US is heading toward victory in Iraq thanks to his inspired military leadership immediately recalled the epic words of Pyrrhus, King of Eprius. In 281 BC, after defeating a Roman army at Heraclea in an extremely bloody, hard-fought battle in which his forces suffered grave losses, Pyrrhus famously exclaimed, “one more such victory and we are ruined!”

The Red King of Epirus (modern Albania) might as well have been speaking of Iraq. Far from the victory described by McCain, the Roman historian Tacitus’s words are appropriate: “they make a desert and call it peace.”

That is precisely what the US has so far done in Iraq, a small, devastated nation of only 25 million. After five years of war, over four thousand American GI’s are dead, and 30,000 seriously wounded (some figures say 75,000), many with incurable head injuries.

No one knows how many Iraqis have died, but estimates run as high as one million – and this does not include the 500,000 who died from hunger and disease as a result of the draconian US-led embargo of Iraq and the destruction of its national water purification and sewage system by the US Air Force in 1991.

The “surge,” an addition of over 30,000 US troops to the Iraq conflict, was not the primary cause of the sharp drop in violence there over the past 12 months, as McCain claims, though it did play a supporting role.

The real reason for the drop in violence and attacks on US occupation forces lies in three other areas. First, ethnic cleansing. The US occupation quietly abetted the ethnic cleansing by Shia militias of millions of Sunni Iraqis. The US took yet another page from Israel’s West Bank occupation copybook by segregating off entire neighborhoods of Iraqi cities with high, concrete walls, and conducting round-the-clock house search operations.

Today, between four and five million Iraqis are either refugees in neighboring nations or internally displaced, one of the world’s biggest number of refugees. Most are Sunni Muslims. The United States is wholly responsible for this human disaster.

The US has done what it vowed to oppose: the partition of Iraq into three weak parts: Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish. There are now three Iraqi de facto mini-states. Breaking up Iraq and US-approved ethnic cleansing by Shia death squads – just the type of criminal behavior the US condemned in Bosnia and Kosovo – has put the damper on the Sunni-Shia conflict. But it has left Iraq a ruined state, with the Sunni region a no-man’s land, the Shia region dominated by Iran, and the Kurds under US and Israel tutelage.

Second, US occupation forces finally got smart and realized it’s cheaper to buy off your foes than try to kill them all. So the US now pays 80,000 Sunni gunmen, called Awakening Councils, to fight resistance forces. Attacks by al-Qaida fanatics in Iraq against fellow Sunnis opposing US occupation drove the more moderate resistance groups into the arms of the US.

But now, the US is handing control of these Sunni gunmen, which were patterned on death squads in El Salvador, over to Shia control. The US-armed Sunni militias who sought protection against Shia government forces by siding with the Americans are now likely to become a major new problem.

Third, the firebrand Shia militia leader, Muktada al-Sadr, whose ragtag Mehdi Army used to fight US forces, has gone to ground and ordered his gunmen to stack their arms. His volte-face reflects changes in internal Shia politics but also pressure from Iran which, fearing attack by the US, ordered Muktada to stop his attacks.

But less violence, at least for now, does not in any way mean victory. Polls show 75% of Iraqis want US troops to depart. Iraq remains a nation under foreign occupation. Its US-installed regime controls nothing but the Baghdad Green Zone. Real power remains in the hands of the Shia and Sunni militias, and the two Kurdish parties in their by now almost independent state. There is still no agreement on sharing oil.

The occupation is costing the US at least $10 billion per month, not counting depreciation, $67 billion replacement costs for equipment, and billions for medical care of wounded and veterans benefits. By the end of 2008, the supposed “cake walk” in Iraq will have cost US taxpayers $1 trillion, a good part of its borrowed from Japan and China, making it America’s second most expensive war in history.

Half the US Army is bogged down in Iraq. This war and Afghanistan have led the US ground and air forces “to the breaking point,” in the words of senior American commanders. History shows that all occupation armies become brutalized, corrupted and demoralized.

At least 30,000 Iraqi prisoners are held by the US and routinely tortured or executed without trial. They should be considered political prisoners. Saddam Hussein’s prisons held less inmates. The brutality of the US occupation of Iraq has enraged the Muslim world against America and, according to US intelligence agencies, has created a whole new generation of anti-American militants.

The Bush administration’s torrent of lies about Iraq and ongoing occupation are seen around the globe as crude imperialism worthy of the 19th-century British Raj or old Soviet Union. Sen. Obama was at least right in the debate when he noted that America’s image is an important factor in national security. Today, America is hated around the globe, thank you George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Washington’s current plans to continue ruling Iraq by means of a puppet government and mercenary army backed by US air power are an attempt to copy the way the British Empire ruled Iraq and exploited its oil. But once most of the US forces are withdrawn, Iraq may dissolve once again into violence and chaos, or complete its process of splintering into three mini-states, inviting intervention from its covetous neighbors. Iran has already become the dominant power in eastern Iraq, and Turkey, hungry for Iraq’s oil, is watching menacingly.

I wish Obama had riposted: “Senator McCain, one more victory like this and America is ruined. You had better think about this as you and your neocon alter ego Joe Lieberman urge confrontation against Iran, Hezbullah, Pakistan, Taliban, al-Qaida, insubordinate Arabs, Russia and China.”

PS: And don’t forget Venezuela, Cuba, Somalia, and Sudan.

Eric Margolis [] contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada, is the author of War at the Top of the World. See his website:

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.

The New American Century: Cut Short By 92 Years By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
10/02/08 ‘ICH”

America’s time as a superpower is coming to an end. The financial crisis was just the last straw. Whatever good faith was left after the invasion of Iraq, the shrugging off of international treaties and the shameless disregard for human rights, is now gone. The United States has polluted the global economic system with worthless mortgage-backed securities and, by doing so, has pushed 6 billion people closer to a long and painful recession. That’s not something that can be easily forgiven.

The anger at the US seems to be surfacing everywhere at once. It was particularly noticeable at the recent opening of the UN General Assembly. Typically, this is a tedious event full of empty political blabbering and pretentious ceremonies. But not this time. With the world sliding towards a US-created recession; patience have worn thin, and foreign leaders have started to lashing out at the United States more vehemently. The speeches have been blunt and acrimonious; no one is “pulling their punches” any more. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez summed up the mood of the meetings like this:

“I think that, sooner rather than later, this empire will fall – to the benefit of the whole world, enabling a balance in the world to be created: polycentric and multi-polar. That will guarantee peace in the world. To the creation of this multi-polar world we are making our small contribution.”

Chavez likes the American people but opposes the American Empire; it’s that simple.  He was the first foreign leader to offer food and medical assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (Bush refused his offer) Also, he regularly supplies tons of heating oil to low-income families in the Northeast USA.

What Chavez objects to is Bush’s “unipolar” model of global governance whereby all the world’s crucial decisions–on everything from global warming to nuclear proliferation–are made by Washington. No one likes being told what to do, just as no one likes the US constantly meddling in their affairs. That’s why none of the UN attendees seem particularly bothered by the fact that the US financial markets are in freefall. It’s called schadenfreude, taking pleasure in someone elses misfortune, and there was ample supply of it at the United Nations last week.

Many of the dignitaries seem to believe that America’s sudden downturn presents opportunities for a change in the way the world is run. That’s what everyone wants; change. Real change. No one wants another 8 years like the last.  That’s why the central theme in Chavez’s speech was repeated over and over again by the other world leaders. They reject the present system and want a bigger role in shaping the world’s future.

That doesn’t mean that the world hates America. It just means that everyone wants a breather from the torture, the abductions, the bombing of civilians, and now, the financial contagion that the US has spread throughout the global system. The US’s lack of regulation and low interest monetary policies have driven up inflation, triggered food riots, and sent oil prices skyrocketing. Enough is enough. The United States is like the dinner guest who doesn’t know when it’s time to go home. Perhaps, a touch of recession will help to rebalance Washington’s approach and make its leaders more responsive to the needs of the rest of the world. In any event, other nations are already preparing for a world where America’s role is greatly reduced.

Journalist John Gray summed it up like this in his article in The Observer, “A Shattering Moment in America’s fall from Power”:

“The control of events is no longer in American hands…..Having created the conditions that produced history’s biggest bubble, America’s political leaders appear unable to grasp the magnitude of the dangers the country now faces. Mired in their rancorous culture wars and squabbling among themselves, they seem oblivious to the fact that American global leadership is fast ebbing away. A new world is coming into being almost unnoticed, where America is only one of several great powers, facing an uncertain future it can no longer shape.”

The US is about to join the family of nations and learn how to get along with its neighbors whether it wants to or not. There’s simply no other choice; the dollar is falling, the deficits are soaring, and the financial markets are in a shambles. America will either learn to cooperate or become isolated in a world that is rapidly integrating. It’s “get along or get out”; a message that Washington needs to learn quickly so it can adapt to a new power-paradigm.

Yes; plenty of money will still go into covert operations and CIA-sponsored dirty tricks just to keep alive the hope the Superpowerdom will be restored. That is to be expected. The well-heeled rogues in the British royal family  still dream of rebuilding the Empire, too. But realists know that it’s just a harmless fantasy. Nothing will come of it. Empire’s have a short shelf-life and they’re impossible to stitch-back together. They usually end on a corpse strewn battlefield or in a towering financial bonfire which leaves nothing behind but a pile of ashes and shards of broken glass. We can only hope that the yawning economic chasm ahead of us all, will involve less hardship than we anticipate. But when a nation sows dragon’s teeth, it shouldn’t expect a harvest of sweet plums.

Journalist Steve Watson reports on Infowars:

“A Council on Foreign Relations member and former policy planner under prominent Bilderberger Henry Kissinger has penned a piece in the Financial Times of London calling for a “new global monetary authority” that would have the power to monitor all national financial authorities and all large global financial companies.

“Even if the US’s massive financial rescue operation succeeds, it should be followed by something even more far-reaching – the establishment of a Global Monetary Authority to oversee markets that have become borderless.” writes Jeffrey Garten also a former managing director of Lehman Brothers

The biggest global financial companies would have to register with the Global Monetary Authority (GMA) and be subject to its monitoring, or be blacklisted. That includes commercial companies and banks, but also sovereign wealth funds, gigantic hedge funds and private equity firms. The GMA’s board would have to include central bankers not just from the US, UK, the eurozone and Japan, but also China, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. It would be financed by mandatory contributions from every capable country and from insurance-type premiums from global financial companies – publicly listed, government owned, and privately held alike.” (

The dream of “one world” government does not die easily, but it is dead all the same. The center of the present global financial system is the Federal Reserve. Its offspring includes the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, The World Bank, the G-7 banking cartel and thousands of predatory NGOs which have expanded the grip of the Washington banking cabal and the dollarized system across the planet. Neoliberalism is collapsing. What we are seeing now is the erratic spasms of a terminal heart patient entering the final stages of cardiac arrest. There is no drug or medical procedure that will restore the victim to good health.

No one is looking to the US or its  “economic hit-men” to chart a course for their country’s economic future. Those day’s are over. The US will have to pull itself from the rubble and start over without the massive infusions of low interest capital from China, Japan and the Gulf States. The money spigots have been turned off. It’s thin gruel and hard times ahead. That’s the price one pays for swindling the world with worthless mortgage-backed snake oil and other “illiquid” garbage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin summed up recent events in the financial markets like this:

“Everything that is happening in the economic and financial sphere has started in the United States. This is a real crisis that all of us are facing, and what is really sad is that we see an inability to take appropriate decisions. This is no longer irresponsibility on the part of some individuals, but irresponsibility of the whole system, which as you know had pretensions to (global) leadership.”

Back at the United Nations, Germany’s Finance Minister Peer Steinbuck echoed similar sentiments when he said:

“The United States is solely to be blamed for the financial crisis. They are the cause for the crisis and it is not Europe and it is not the Federal Republic of Germany. The Anglo-Saxon drive for double-digit profits and massive bonuses for bankers and company executives that were responsible for the financial crisis.”

He added,

“The long term consequences of the crisis are not clear. but one thing seems likely to me; the USA will lose its superpower status in the global financial system. The world financial system is becoming multipolar.”

Steinbuck was merely reiterating the feelings of Chancellor Angela Merkel who used more diplomatic language in her critique:

“The current crisis shows us you can do some things on the national level, but the overwhelming majority must be agreed to on the international level. We must push for clearer regulations so that a crisis like the current one cannot be repeated.”

Merkel knows that Europe was blind-sighted by America’s deregulated system which allows crooks and chiselers to rule the roost. Even now–in the middle of the biggest financial scandal in history–not one CEO or CFO from a major investment bank has been indicted or dragged off to prison. US markets are a lawless “free for all” where no one is held accountable no matter how large the crime or how many people are hurt. But, there’s a price to be paid for running a crooked system and fleecing investors, and the US will pay that price. Already, the purchase of US Treasurys has slowed to a crawl. In the coming months, America’s life-support system will be disconnected altogether and the oxygen tent removed. Kissinger’s protege is not worried about that; but working class American’s should be. There’s a train wreck just ahead and many people will suffer needlessly.

This is how Spiegel Online puts it:

“The banking crisis is upending American dominance of the financial markets and world politics. The industrialized countries are sliding into recession, the era of turbo-capitalism is coming to an end and US military might is ebbing….This is no longer the muscular and arrogant United States the world knows, the superpower that sets the rules for everyone else and that considers its way of thinking and doing business to be the only road to success.

A new America is on display, a country that no longer trusts its old values and its elites even less: the politicians, who failed to see the problems on the horizon, and the economic leaders, who tried to sell a fictitious world of prosperity to Americans….Also on display is the end of arrogance. The Americans are now paying the price for their pride.” (Spiegel Online, “America loses its Dominant Economic Role”)

President Dmitry Medvedev was not present at the opening ceremonies at the United Nations, but his views on the nascent “multipolar” world are worth considering. In a recent interview he said:

“We cannot have a single polar world. The world has to have various poles. A policentric world is the only way of ensuring security for the years ahead. So I think it is a very promising direction for our country to pursue…The world is more stable when there are a range of major, important political players. In a multipolar world, everyone influences everyone else. We will work to extend ourselves.

I do not think that the bipolar world that existed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact (The Cold War) has any future prospects. But it is clear today that the single-polar world is completely unable to manage crisis situations.”

Both presidential candidates have vowed to continue the unilateralist Bush Doctrine. Obama is just as eager as McCain to violate sovereign borders, invade countries that pose no imminent national security threat to the US, and carry out the many flagrant violations of human rights and international law as long as it advances the geopolitical objectives of western mandarins. There’s no doubt that the impending financial meltdown will bring our leaders back to their senses and help to restore the republic. The US needs a foreign policy that doesn’t require slaughtering people in their homes or ripping off their retirement savings to maintain our standard of living.

The war that Bush has launched against the world–the war on terror–will persist for years after the US financial system collapses in a heap. The will to power is fueled by arrogance, class consciousness, and a “sense of entitlement” that is stronger than even the will to survive. This is the force that animates the destructive, suicidal impulses of the current conflict. And that is why the war will continue.  The social fabric within the US will be torn to shreds long before the fighting stops. A strong sense of entitlement creates the belief that “The world is mine to do with whatever I choose; the claims of others are of no consequence”. These feelings cannot be changed through logic or rational discussion; they must be eradicated with a scalpel the same way one would remove a cancerous tumor.

There’s trouble ahead. The multi-polar world is about to collide head-on with the “faith-based” unipolar world and millions are bound to suffer. But there is no doubt about the final outcome. The geopolitical plates are shifting inexorably away from Washington. America’s ability to wage war will steadily erode as capital and resources dry up.  Its only a matter of time before the war machine sputters to a halt and the troops return home. When the killing stops, a truly new world order will begin.

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.


Does the Bailout Bill Mark the End of America as We Know It? by Richard C. Cook

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Mosaic News – 10/1/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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Dr. J.’s Commentary: Bill Kristol’s McCain Rx (but is it covered by Medicare?)

by Steven Jonas, MD
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Sept 30, 2008

We liberals and progressives (I count myself one of the latter) were shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, when The New York Times took on one of the Far Right’s loudest barking dogs, Bill Kristol, as a weekly columnist. “How could they do that?” the question was asked. After all, he’s got his own weekly right-wing Republican ScreamPaper, Rupert Murdoch’s The Weekly Standard. And he is a standard feature of the Fox “News” Channel’s flock of “political analysts,” otherwise known as Republican flacks. How could they? Well, now we know.

It has been becoming increasingly obvious that the reason The Times took on Kristol has nothing to do with “balance.” They’ve got their resident right-winger, David Brooks (although admittedly somehow he does manage to say something sensible every now and then). And they are suppressive/censorial of certain types of real news such that the highly estimable Media Matters does go after them every now and again. So “balance” it ain’t. Actually, with the publication of Kristol’s latest column, “How McCain Wins” (The New York Times, Sept. 29, 2008) it has become clear that what The Times had in mind was nothing but exposure — exposure of what a fatuous, outdated, head-in-the-sand “thinker” (if one can actually use that term to describe Kristol) the man is.

First, a little background. Bill Kristol’s dad was Irving Kristol, one of the most prominent of the neo-right-wingers, the predecessors of the current generation of “neo-conservatives,” better entitled “neo-cons” for the great con jobs they have run on the American people over the last 30 years. They started out life as left-wingers of a sort, going back to the 30s and 40s. But they were a special sort. While they supported much of the New Deal domestically, on foreign policy, they were known as “Trotskyites.”

Leon Trotsky (born Lev Bronstein) was one of the lions of the Russian Revolution. He was one of the most prominent leaders of the failed 1905 Revolution. After serving a prison term, he was exiled and actually came to The Bronx, where he supported himself and his family in part by working as a tailor. He returned to Russia at the outbreak of the 1917 revolution. (It has been said that a New York newspaper headlined: “Bronx Tailor Makes Revolution in Russia,” or some such.) Lenin asked him to organize what came to be known as The Red Army, the fighting force that eventually won the Russian Civil War (the opposition having been heavily supported by Western powers lead by the U.S. and the UK). In addition to his remarkable organizing skills (for he was not a military man), he also had an outsized intellect and was one of the great 20th theorists of socialism. One of his principal dicta was that “socialism could not succeed in one country.” A rival of Stalin’s, he famously said in 1926 that if Stalin ever came to power in the USSR, he would become “the grave-digger of Communism.” How prophetic he was, on both counts.

Irv Kristol’s generation became interested in Trotsky’s thinking during his second exile, at the hands of Stalin, in the 1930s. But they quickly moved from a focus on his revolutionary theories to become a center of anti-Sovietism. Domestically in the United States that was soon turned into anti-Communism, beginning in the 1940s. Pre-McCarthyite crackdowns on civil liberties for U.S. Communist Party members lead by Martin Dies’ House Un-American Activities Committee (which had been created before WWII as a political focus for anti-New Dealers) began before the outbreak of World War II. Prominent “Trotskyites” such as the Kristol compatriot Sidney Hook proclaimed that Communists were somehow “different” as people and thus were not entitled to such protections. The essence of this kind of “Trotskyism” was to be against something: The Soviet Union under Stalin, “international communism,” domestic communism. Always against, never for, anything (other than, since Reagan, unrestrained capitalism).

And so, when the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 90s, these folks were left at a loss. By golly, they would seem to have won. But actually, they were adrift. All of their focus had been on the Soviet Union and how terrible it was, and now they had no enemies. Oh dear. And so came the Project for the New American Century, which, proposing to establish American hegemony over the whole world, sort of made the whole world the new enemy. Being a bit too generic, however, the focus first fell on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a former U.S. ally against Iran. These folks were proposing an Iraq Attack beginning in the mid-90s. Well, they got their wish. But while their men in the White House got rid of Saddam, by golly they had that problem again: no enemy.

Al Qaida was a good stand-in for a while, but for whatever reasons it hasn’t stood the test of time. Amorphous as it is, the “War on Terror” doesn’t seem to be grabbing too many people in the U.S. any more, as its costs in U.S. lives and treasure keep mounting, with no end in sight. The neo-cons have tried to gin up Islamophobia, hatred of all Muslims, but that isn’t going too well either. The bulk of Muslims in the U.S. that non-Muslim U.S. citizens know seems like pretty ordinary people, and indeed they are. So, oh my what-to-do? Well, Bill Kristol tells us, in the aforementioned column.

How is McCain to win? By going after the “liberals,” “liberalism,” and “liberal orthodoxy.” Kristol doesn’t bother to mention that the latter includes such elements as some sort of national health insurance, rescuing our failing educational system, doing something real about global warming before it overwhelms our species and numerous others at the same time, ending nuclear proliferation, developing a rational energy policy, returning to a diplomacy-first/shoot-later foreign policy, and so and so forth, actually taking as the Statement of Purpose for the U.S. Federal Government the Preamble to the Constitution, which is nothing if not liberal.

No, “liberalism” is to be condemned without defining it, as Limbaugh/Hannity/O’Reilly and their clones in the Republican Scream Machine have been doing for years now. “Liberal” is to be equated with “Commie.” The solution to all of the nation’s ills, as Limbaugh tells us every day (and yes, I do force myself to listen to him now and again) is to “get rid of the liberals,” who are, naturally, the cause of all of the nation’s problems. Just how this is to be done, Limbaugh does not yet specify. And so here is Kristol, always needing to be against, never for, showing just what a member of the Scream Machine crowd he is: “The core case against Obama is pretty simple: he’s too liberal.”

Thank you, The New York Times. For those of us who do not have the time or patience to read him in The Weekly Standard or listen to him on the Fox “News” Channel, we now can find out exactly who this man is and what he stands for, without spending more than a few minutes a week doing so.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. He has also published numerous articles and reviews in both the academic and the lay literature on health policy, health and wellness, and athletics. On politics Dr. Jonas is a Contributing Author; a regular Columnist for the webmagazine Buzz Flash; a Special Contributing Editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online; a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC; and a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad.

Dennis Kucinich: Someone Sticks Up A Bank They Get A Jail Sentence!

Dandelion Salad

October 02, 2008 C-SPAN

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From the Nader campaign


But for now, we’re back at it, trying to derail the $700 billion Mother of All Bailouts.

The bill will be voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow.

So, here’s what we need you to do now.

Call Congress’ main switchboard number at 202.224.3121.

Ask for your member of Congress.

(If the main switchboard number is jammed, you can Google your member’s name and find a direct dial phone number. If your member of Congress voted against the first bailout bill, you can find their direct dial phone number on this spreadsheet our staff just cobbled together.)

Tell the person who answers the phone to please take a message for your elected representative.

The message for your member of Congress is this:

Please vote against the bailout bill.

Call 202.224.3121.

Tell your member of Congress:

Please vote no on the bailout.

Let’s crank it up.

And get it done.

Onward to November

The Nader Team


US Senate to Vote on Wall Street Bailout Today!!! (Kucinich)

Tell Congress: No to Bailout! (Action alerts)

Dennis Kucinich on The Rachel Maddow Show

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Rejects $700 Billion Bailout + Plan being rushed with no alternatives

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Kucinich-Dennis J.

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

Countdown: Palin’s Greatest Hits + Bailout Bill Changes

Dandelion Salad


Oct. 1, 2008

Keith does a compliation of the “greatest hits” by Sarah Palin and her recent interviews or statements during town halls.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Bailout Bill Changes

Keith reports on the changes that went into the bailout bill today to get the Republicans to support it. Paul Krugman weighs in.

The Miseducation of Sarah Palin

Keith reports on Palin’s disasterous interview with Katie Couric. James Moore weighs in.


McCain: If I Was A Dictator Which I’ve Always Aspired To Be!

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse



Deals and Illusion by Bruce Gagnon


by Bruce Gagnon
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Bruce’s blog post
Oct. 2, 2008

The dollar is going the way of the Mexican peso. While just on my Nordic trip it was humbling to pay the equivalent of $10 USD for a beer.

The Senate appears prepared today to make a deal that will pacify the Republicans and will include more tax cuts. Just what we need – more debt. We are always told that tax cuts for big business creates more jobs. Yes it does, jobs overseas where they can maximize profits.

For me the message is clear – we have become a colony. Like colonialism everywhere the people are exploited for their labor and their resources and made to serve the interests of big capital.

In our case we get something else in the bad deal. We get security export as our role under corporate globalization. We get to send our kids into the military, since few other job opportunities are available and education for the poor and working class is priced out of their reach. They get to go off and fight for the interests of big capital overseas where they help to suppress others who have been colonized. Heroes these soldiers are called – the defenders of the rich. They get a medal or two and if severely wounded they get promises of medical treatment which in the end is an illusion.

It’s a money game and the public in America are now only included as the chips on the game board. We are not real players in the game. It’s monopoly and we get the boot.

We have no political voice. The Democrats are the party of capital just like the Republicans. So many people I know tell me that we have to vote for Obama and all other Democrats because we have no other choice. They tell me that we can’t let McCain become president because he will support more wars and only represent the rich.

These folks don’t want to see how Obama says we have to expand the war in Afghanistan and move into Pakistan, that we have to increase the size of the military. I’ve seen these people on TV cheering for Obama when he tells them this and I wonder if they can see how they are being led to the slaughter. Obama is also strongly promoting the bailout of the big banks.

I heard on the news yesterday that Obama opposed helping to bailout those who can’t pay for their home mortgages by restructuring their debt. These are the “down-and-out” people the Democrats profess to represent but that too is an illusion.

America is all about illusion. We pretend to be a democracy. We pretend to support peace in the world. We pretend to care about the environment. We pretend to care about the working class while we slide the national treasury into the bank accounts of the rich.

What we need most is an analysis of the present “occupation” of our nation by big business and the determination to fight for real democracy. But sadly far too many “progressive” people are content to allow the Democrats to pretend that they represent the “little guy” when in fact they do not.

We set our sights far too low and thus we get what we ask for.

As anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass once said, “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Who will stand up and make demands?


The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

The Wall Street bailout and the threat of dictatorship

Dandelion Salad

By Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate

2 October 2008

Recriminations have continued to reverberate internationally over the vote in the US House of Representatives Monday to reject a $700 billion bailout package for the Wall Street banks.

Much of the opposition in the 228-to-205 vote to defeat the bailout was attributed to representatives—Democratic and Republican alike—who face tight races for their seats in November and fear being tarred by their opponents as shills for Wall Street who handed over hundreds of billions in taxpayers’ money to the CEOs and speculators who are responsible for the crisis.


The Wall Street bailout and the threat of dictatorship.

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The Economy Sucks and or Collapse