We dance-not war
We skank-frantic peace
We don’t need your dark mentality
Your ignorance follows
Wherever you go
Zombies don’t thrash
Zombies don’t thrash
Zombies don’t thrash
You’re gonna crash
Trick or Treat – this is a fun video to send to your friends for Halloween.
From Ralph to You 72 Hours Left.
Ralph’s words for you in this most critical period of the 2008 campaign. It’s the last stretch, let’s mobilize.
What explains the paradox of the dollar’s sharp rise in value against other currencies (except the Japanese yen) despite disproportionate US exposure to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?
The answer does not lie in improved fundamentals for the US economy or better prospects for the dollar to retain its reserve currency role.
The rise in the dollar’s exchange value is due to two factors.
One factor is the traditional flight to the reserve currency that results from panic. People are simply doing what they have always done. Pam Martens predicted correctly that panic demand for US Treasury bills would boost the US dollar.
The other factor is the unwinding of the carry trade. The carry trade originated in extremely low Japanese interest rates. Investors and speculators borrowed Japanese yen at an interest rate of one-half of one percent, converted the yen to other currencies, and purchased debt instruments from other countries that pay much higher interest rates. In effect, they were getting practically free funds from Japan to lend to others paying higher interest.
A week ago, I had a long conversation with a four-star U.S. military officer who, until his recent retirement, had played a central role in directing the global war on terror. I asked him: what exactly is the strategy that guides the Bush administration’s conduct of this war? His dismaying, if not exactly surprising, answer: there is none.
President Bush will bequeath to his successor the ultimate self-licking ice cream cone. To defense contractors, lobbyists, think-tankers, ambitious military officers, the hosts of Sunday morning talk shows, and the Douglas Feith-like creatures who maneuver to become players in the ultimate power game, the Global War on Terror is a boon, an enterprise redolent with opportunity and promising to extend decades into the future.
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is poised to suspend lucrative trade benefits to Bolivia in a move that could further worsen tensions between the U.S. and the impoverished South American country.
Administration officials say that Bolivia has failed to cooperate in drug control, which makes the country ineligible to export jewelry, textiles and other manufactured items duty-free to the U.S. under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act.
Bolivian officials counter that the threatened action has nothing to do with drug enforcement but is in retaliation for Bolivian President Evo Morales’ expulsion of the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, last month. The U.S. responded to that move by expelling the Bolivian ambassador to Washington.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close Morales ally, sided with Morales by expelling the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, prompting the U.S. to kick out Venezuela’s ambassador.
When I started traveling to Cuba ten years ago to make documentary films about the country’s music and culture, I was fairly certain that the embargo and travel ban could not possibly continue. Seeing Europeans and Asians, and our fellow North Americans from Canada and Mexico traveling around the country, enjoying the beaches, and most importantly interacting with the fantastic Cuban people, I felt that surely the time was ripe for change in this most futile of foreign policies. But when the Bush administration came in, with their ties to the most reactionary of the Miami Cubans, the stranglehold on Cuba only got tighter. Now there is potential for realistic change in this failed half century of aggression which only hurts the average Cubans who, remarkably, still think of Americans as their friends. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to be able to experience that friendship can only hope that other Americans who choose to do so, will also be able to feel the embrace of this remarkable culture. It’s been way too long. Continue reading →
We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform
By Richard C. Cook
Is the Monetary System Too Sick to Fix?
No, but it will take work to untangle the mess in which the U.S. and its citizens are immersed. Monetary reformer and futurist Richard C. Cook was a government analyst who retired after 32 years of service. For 21 years, he worked with the U.S. Treasury, analyzing financial programs and teaching courses. He reveals…
How to reform the broken monetary system.
Why the public infrastructure must be rebuilt.
The way to create income security for all people.
In his visionary approach, Richard C. Cook warns that we could be facing chaos in the streets and a total breakdown of society. Worse, U.S. citizens risk the loss of their core liberties—the Bill of Rights. The alternative is sustainable living through genuine monetary reform.
Has the Economic Cancer Spread Too Far, Too Fast?
In 2007, Richard C. Cook wrote a series of essays contained in We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform that bluntly predicted what the economic landscape would look like in 2008. In this unique collection, he’s revisited each…not with an, “Aha, I told you so,” but with an approach, “Here’s what we need to do and where we need to go now to regain our financial independence and solvency.”
Richard C. Cook was the lead resource analyst at NASA for the space shuttle solid rocket boosters. In 1985, he had written a memo that warned of catastrophic failure, based on meetings with headquarters engineers. He became a key figure in the investigation of the space shuttle Challenger disaster when he leaked a series of memos to the New York Times. His groundbreaking exposé, Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age was deemed “The most important space flight book in 20 years,” in an Amazon.com review. His career included service with the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S.Treasury Department. Today he writes articles on economics, geopolitics, and space policy for numerous websites and print magazines.
We Hold These Truths Available now from the publisher:
Tendril Press, LLC www.tendrilpress.com. $19.95.
Consider multiple copies for holiday gifts!
We have all been awestruck by the Bush-Cheney regime, possibly the most dangerous in U.S. history. We have all marched to protest the criminal excesses of this administration. And we have repeatedly tried to convince our elected officials to take action. However, our pleas for impeachment have been ignored. And now it is October 2008, in the twilight days of the Bush-Cheney administration. This is a situation that demands citizen action before the curtain is drawn on January 20, 2009.
So, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance is organizing a presence at the Department of Justice on November 10 to demand an indictment of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney for war crimes. While millions favor impeachment, this act of resistance will probably be relatively small. But it is necessary, and those inspired to take part will be motivated by the Nuremberg obligation to speak out when the government violates the law.
Outreach to numerous groups and individuals was made, and agreement was reached on sending a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey seeking a meeting to urge the attorney general to move forward with an indictment. The letter was sent on September 26. The letter is a tool to challenge a government agency which has been complicit in aiding and abetting the shredding of the Constitution.
On November 10, a delegation will try to enter the DoJ building in order to demand that an indictment process be initiated.
Please indicate your interest in participating in the Indictment Day Action on November 10 by e-mailing Max Obuszewski at email@example.com or Joy First at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to pose any questions.
There will be a planning meeting on Sunday evening November 9, 8:30 p.m. at the Code Pink House at 712 H Street NE, D.C. All who may be risking arrest are expected to attend.
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.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
Oct 30, 2008
Following Deadly US Attack on Syria, Questions of Bush Admin Motives in its Waning Months
The Syrian government has condemned a deadly US military raid near the Iraqi border as “terrorist aggression.” The Bush administration has remained mum, stoking fears it could be trying to provoke further conflict in its remaining months in office. We speak to Robert Dreyfuss of The Nation magazine and University of Oklahoma professor Joshua Landis. [includes rush transcript]
Syria has ordered the closure of the American School and the US cultural centre in Damascus. The closures are a response to a deadly cross-border raid carried out on Sunday, October 26, 2008. Damascus blames the US for the attack on a Syrian village near Abu Kamal, close to the border with Iraq.
Syria called the raid criminal and terrorist aggression, while Washington called it a successful operation. Eight Syrians were killed in a US raid on the village of Sukariya.
We ask: Is the Bush administration trying to make a desperate point in its final days? Is it warning Syria, or is the US foreign policy likely to change with the new administration?
You are walking along the street one day,
chewing cinnamon gum,
and the world is full of cinnamon
when there’s a fireball–
and a blast of gushing air and noise
like the Earth is cracking
and time has exploded. …
Then … silence. …
You think you’re okay, but you look down and your forearm
lies in the street like a dead snake and you collapse.
You don’t think:
“It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the blasts that went off within minutes of each other, but the region is torn by dozens of militant separatist groups that have long fought the government and one another.”
This will come within minutes from those who were far away–
cool and calm analysis, almost reassuring in its syntactic coherence.
You are suddenly cold from the loss of blood
and you wonder if you will die and you cry out
in someone else’s voice underwater.
But none of the rushing men notice.
You are twenty two and you have/had a good job–
you were earnestly trying to help.
But now you think there was no point to your life,
and you remember your mother and father
whose voices are in the sirens.
You are embarrassed to have
emptied your bowels,
and your white shirt is red and muddy,
your tie is choking you
and the men and women are running wildly but slowly.
You wonder if the gleaming metal in the street
is part of the motorcycle that sheared off your arm.
Somebody squats down, peers at your face, then rushes on.
There are many people screaming now
but you can’t know if one of them is you
because nothing sounds like it used to.
You watch the sun come down into the road
and then there is only
soughing, impregnable blackness
sucking air from your lungs.
Gary Corseri has posted/published his work at Dandelion Salad and hundreds of other venues. His books include: A Fine Excess; Holy Grail, Holy Grail; and, Manifestations (edited). He can be contacted at Gary_Corseri@comcast.net.
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, October 31, 2008
For several years now, senior officials of the Bush administration including the President and the Vice President have intimated, in no certain terms, that there will be “a Second 9/11”.
Quotations from presidential speeches and official documents abound. America is threatened:
“The near-term attacks … will either rival or exceed the 9/11 attacks... And it’s pretty clear that the nation’s capital and New York city would be on any list…” (Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, December 2003)
“You ask, ‘Is it serious?’ Yes, you bet your life. People don’t do that unless it’s a serious situation.” (Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, December 2003)
“… Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process… (Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, 8 July 2004)
“The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured yet it is still lethal and planning to hit us again.” (Vice President Dick Cheney, 7 January 2006)
“We are still a nation at risk. Part of our strategy, of course, is to stay on the offense against terrorists who would do us harm. In other words, it is important to defeat them overseas so we never have to face them here. Nevertheless, we recognize that we’ve got to be fully prepared here at the homeland.” (President George W. Bush February 8, 2006)
“Our main enemy is al Qaeda and its affiliates. Their allies choose their victims indiscriminately. They murder the innocent to advance a focused and clear ideology. They seek to establish a radical Islamic caliphate, so they can impose a brutal new order on unwilling people, much as Nazis and communists sought to do in the last century. This enemy will accept no compromise with the civilized world.… (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
“[W]e now have capabilities in science and technology that raise the very realistic possibility that a small group of terrorists could kill not only thousands of people, as they did on September 11th, but hundreds of thousands of people. And that has changed the dimension of the threat we face.” (Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Secretary, Yale University, April 7, 2008.
We’re fighting a war on terror because the enemy attacked us first, and hit us hard. … Al Qaeda’s leadership has said they have the right to “kill four million Americans,… For nearly six years now, the United States has been able to defeat their attempts to attack us here at home. Nobody can guarantee that we won’t be hit again. … (Vice President Dick Cheney, United States Military Academy Commencement, West Point, New York, May 26, 2008)
All these authoritative statements point in chorus in the same direction: The enemy will strike again!
“Second 9/11”: Historical Background
The presumption of a Second 9/11 has become an integral part of US military doctrine. America is under attack. The US military must respond preemptively.
In the immediate wake of the invasion of Iraq (April 2003), various national security measures were put in place focusing explicitly on the eventuality of a second attack on America. In fact these procedures were launched simultaneously with the first stage of war plans directed against Iran in May 2003 under Operation Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT). (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Theater Iran Near Term” (TIRANNT), Global Research, February 21, 2007).
The Role of a “Massive Casualty Producing Event”
Former CENTCOM Commander, General Tommy Franks, in an magazine interview in December 2003, had outlined a scenario of what he described as “a massive casualty producing event” on American soil [a Second 9/11. Implied in General Franks statement was the notion and belief that civilian deaths were necessary to raise awareness and muster public support for the “global war on terrorism”:
“[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event.” (General Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003)
Franks was obliquely alluding to a “Second 9/11” terrorist attack, which could be used to galvanize US public opinion in support of martial law.
The “terrorist massive casualty-producing event” was presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil resulting from the civilian casualties would facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures, leading to the suspension of constitutional government. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? Global Research, June 24, 2007)
The concept of “massive casualty producing event” is part of military planning. In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled “Operation Northwoods”, to deliberately trigger civilian casualties among the Cuban community in Miami (i.e. “staging the assassination of Cuban living in the US”) to justify an invasion of Cuba:
“We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” “We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” (See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba” (See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html).
Operation Northwoods was submitted to President Kennedy. The project was not carried out.
General Franks was not giving a personal opinion regarding the role of civilian deaths. He was describing a central feature of a covert military-intelligence operation going back to Operation Northwoods.
The triggering of civilian deaths in the Homeland is used as an instrument of war propaganda. The objective is to turn realities upside down. The aggressor nation is being attacked. the USA is a victim of war by the State sponsors of Islamic terrorism, when in reality it is the perpetrator of a large scale theater war in the Middle East.
The entire “Global War on Terrorism” construct is consistent with the logic of Operation Northwoods: Civilian casualties in America resulting from the September 11 attacks are used as “a war pretext incident” to galvanize public support for a military intervention in Afghanstan and Iraq.
As of 2005, the presumption of a Second 9/11 had become an integral part of military planning.
Statements emanating from the White House, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security point to a growing consensus on the necessity and inevitability of a second terrorist attack on a major urban area in the US.
In the month following the July 2005 London bombings, Vice President Cheney is reported to have instructed US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to draw up a contingency plan “to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States”. The “contingency plan” uses the pretext of a “Second 9/11” to prepare for a major military operation against Iran. (Philip Giraldi, Attack on Iran: Pre-emptive Nuclear War, The American Conservative, 2 August 2005)
In April 2006, the Pentagon, under the helm of Donald Rumsfeld, launched a far-reaching military plan to “fight terrorism” around the World, with a view to retaliating in the case of a second major terrorist attack on America.
The presumption of the Pentagon project was that this presumed attack on America by an outside enemy would result in the loss of American lives, which in turn would be used to justify US military actions in the Middle East war theater. The covert support of US intelligence to Islamic terrorist organizations (the outside enemy) slated to carry out the attacks, was of course not mentioned.
Various “scenarios” of a second 9/11 attack on the Homeland were envisaged. According to the Pentagon a Second attack on America, would serve an important policy objective.
The three Pentagon documents consisted of an overall “campaign plan” plus two “subordinate plans”. The second “subordinate plan” explicitly focused on the possibility of a “Second 9/11” and how a second major attack on American soil might provide “an opportunity” to extend the US led war in the Middle East into new frontiers:
“[It] sets out how the military can both disrupt and respond to another major terrorist strike on the United States. It includes lengthy annexes that offer a menu of options for the military to retaliate quickly against specific terrorist groups, individuals or state sponsors depending on who is believed to be behind an attack. Another attack could create both a justification and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets, according to current and former defense officials familiar with the plan. (Washington Post, 23 April 2006, emphasis added)
Since 2003, various procedures have been adopted regarding the enactment of Martial Law in the case of a so-called “National Catastrophic Emergency”.
Under martial law, the military would take over several functions of civilian government including justice and law enforcement.
Initiatives in the area of Homeland Security outlined the precise circumstances under which martial law could be declared in the case of a second 9/11.
“any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.”
NSPD 51 is predicated on the notion that America is under attack and that the “Catastrophic Emergency” would take the form of a terror attack on a major urban area.
“Continuity of Government,” or “COG,” is defined in NSPD 51 as “a coordinated effort within the Federal Government’s executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency.”
NSPD59 complements NSPD 51. The new directive is not limited to KSTs, which in Homeland Security jargon stands for “Known and Suspected Terrorists”, it includes various categories of domestic terrorists, the presumption being that these domestic groups are working hand in glove with the Islamists.
“The ability to positively identify those individuals who may do harm to Americans and the Nation is crucial to protecting the Nation. Since September 11, 2001, agencies have made considerable progress in securing the Nation through the integration, maintenance, and sharing of information used to identify persons who may pose a threat to national security.” (NSPD 59)
NSPD is explicitly directed against American citizens, who are now categorized as potential terrorists.
While “conspiracy theorists” have been accused of cogitating regarding the possibility of a Second 9/11, most of the insinuations emanate from official US sources including the White House, the Pentagon and Homeland Security.
The fact that a “massive casualty producing events” could be used as part of a US foreign policy agenda is diabolical. The official statements are grotesque.
Bipartisan Consensus in the Presidential Election Campaign: “Al Qaeda will Strike Again”
While the presidential election campaign has avoided the issue of a Second 9/11, both candidates have acknowledged the dangers of a second attack. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have underscored their resolve to protect America against Al Qaeda:
[Question: Who’s the enemy?] “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a whole host of networks that are bent on attacking America, who have a distorted ideology, who have perverted the faith of Islam, and so we have to go after them.” (Barack Obama in response to Bill O’Reilly, John Gibson News, September 5, 2008
“We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they’ll strike us again if they can.” (John McCain, Acceptance Speech, September 5, 2008)
Mainstream Media Report: “The Need” for a Second 9/11
While the Washington Post leaked the substance of the Pentagon’s classified documents pertaining to the “opportunity” of a Second 9/11, the issue has not been the object of mainstream commentary or analysis.
It is worth noting, however, that in an August 2007 Fox News interview, “A Second 9/11” was heralded as a means to create awareness and unite Americans against the enemy.
Broadcast on Fox News, Columnist Stu Bykofsky claimed that America “needs” a new 9/11 to unite the American people, because they have “forgotten” who the enemy is. He also claimed that “there will be another 9/11”, and Fox New Anchorman John Gibson concurred. Civilian casualties would contribute to uniting the country and creating awareness:
“it’s going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up” said John Gibson. [emphasis added]
While Stu Bykofsky’s controversial article in the Philadelphia Daily News (August 9, 2007) was, at the time, considered as outlandish, what Bykovsky was actually saying was not very different from The Pentagon’s ploy (modeled on Operation Northwoods) concerning the role of massive casualty producing events in triggering “a useful wave of indignation”.
Transcript Fox News Network
THE BIG STORY WITH JOHN GIBSON
August 7, 2007, 5PM, EST
Columnist Comes Under Fire for Saying “We Need Another 9/11 Attack”
Anchorman: John Gibson
Interview with Columnist Stu Bykofsky
John Gibson: In big security, to save America we need another 9/11. That’s what one columnist is advocating as a way to unite America. Nearly 6 years after the heinous terror attacks he says we have forgotten our enemy. He says the Iraq war has divided the US, the Republicans and Democrats are on the attack over the war, we pulled together after 9/11 but he justifies his controversial statement by saying the united front just didn’t last. And now, bloggers are outraged. Some say the journalist should be fired from his job for suggesting we, quote, “need” another attack. So is this just a means to shock or offend or does this columnist actually have a valid point? Well, he’s here now live to explain: Philadelphia Daily news columnist Stu Bykofsky. So Stu, let me… let’s just say it again. What do you say America needs at this point?
Stu Bykofsky: Well, my thesis here is that we’re terribly divided, there’s disunity in this country, and as a divided country we’re weak. When I look back over what has pulled the country together over the past few years, 9/11 united the country and it remained united and we were all on the same team for at least a year or two.
John Gibson: Stu, but do you mean to say that we are going to be attacked again, we will be united again, there’s a sort of inevitability to that or that in order to achieve this unity we actually need to suffer?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, John, I didn’t actually call for an attack on the United States. Uh, I can see where people read it that way but I didn’t actually say it. However, another attack on the United States is inevitable. I believe that, don’t you?
John Gibson: Yes, I do, actually, and I think that it’s going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up. I think the deal, Steve, Stu, I’m sorry…
Stu Bykofsky: It’s okay.
John Gibson: …is the word “need”. If you say, well, it’s gonna happen and it, you know, Americans are gonna die because we’ve let down our guard – one thing – but when you say we “need” an attack it… especially has riled relatives of the dead.
Stu Bykofsky: John, uh, I can understand them being upset. Are you reading from the headline or from the text of my column which I don’t have in front of me?
John Gibson: Well, that’s a good point. Did you use the word “need” in the text or was it only the headline?
Stu Bykofsky: It’s the headline.
John Gibson: So you don’t actually, you don’t endorse the word “need”?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, no, I don’t. There was a slight difference. Other people write headlines and it’s not exactly what I was trying to say.
John Gibson: Alright, so…
Stu Bykofsky: But, but if you look at the context…
John Gibson: But, but what you are trying to say is, is that, that somehow we have been, we’ve let down our guard, we’re fighting each other instead of the terrorists and that if we don’t get it together people are going to die.
Stu Bykofsky: That’s absolutely correct. We’re fighting like a group of rabid dogs and our attention should be turned elsewhere. And I also say that the primary reason for that in my opinion is the, uh, the war in Iraq which has been conducted so horribly by the administration.
John Gibson: Stu…
Stu Bykofsky: Not by our troops.
John Gibson: Yeah, okay, I don’t want to get you in further trouble. Stu, uh, what has been the reaction? Did the newspaper switchboard light up?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, no, we don’t have a switchboard, John. Uh, yesterday when it appeared, the reaction was moderate because I think people in Philadelphia who have been reading me for a long time maybe know what to expect. Then it got posted somewhere outside of Philadelphia and this morning when I came in uh, there were well over a thousand e-mails and more kept coming in during the day. And a lot of calls…
John Gibson: A bunch want you fired, right?
Stu Bykofsky: Pardon?
John Gibson: A bunch of those e-mails want you fired, right?
Stu Bykofsky: Uh, a number of people told me that they were calling my editor and they were going to suggest that he fire me, yes.I don’t think that’s going to happen.
John Gibson: You standing by the column?
Stu Bykofsky: Oh, absolutely.
John Gibson: Stu Bykofsky, down in Philadelphia. Stu, thanks a lot.