War or Peace? By Richard C. Cook

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Special Report: War or Peace? The World After the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election By Richard C. Cook

by Richard C. Cook
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
richardccook.com

November 22, 2008

The World After the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

INTRODUCTION

World war or world peace could be the blunt choice that will face either Barack Obama or John McCain when one of them is elected president of the United States on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

For a major eruption of violence to be averted, the new president must deal positively with the reappearance of Russia on the world stage, the emergence of China as an economic force, and the aspirations of all the nations on earth for a decent and secure way of life.

Making matters much more dangerous are the ongoing financial crisis, along with what appears to be the start of a worldwide economic recession.

It is Europe, not the U.S., from which proposals are emerging for a transformative approach to the most compelling issues. But will it be enough?

THE DISASTROUS PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE W. BUSH

In December 2000, at the time the U.S. Supreme Court was intervening in the disputed vote count in Florida to name Republican George W. Bush president over Democrat Al Gore, the U.S. stock market began to crash. The “dot.com” bubble, based largely on foreign investment in internet companies and technology stocks, deflated. By the time Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, signs of a recession were appearing.

This did not prevent the Bush administration from initiating a $450 billion tax cut for the upper income brackets that Congress approved in March 2001. A similar cut was subsequently enacted in May 2003.

On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City were attacked by airplanes flying into them, followed that morning by an air attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Al Qaeda was blamed.

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How can we be proud of being Americans? Call a referendum as soon as 50,000 walk out

By Roland Michel Tremblay
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
The Marginal
Nov. 22, 2008

Whenever 50,000 citizens across the country decide to walk on the streets to denounce something, that they feel somehow it is important enough for them to get out and denounce that something, surely there should be a device in place to automatically launch a referendum on the subject. So everyone could individually vote on the issue, since we can no longer trust politicians. Or else, where is democracy then, what more do we need to do to convince others that their decisions are wrong and unwanted?

National pride has been for far too long a weapon of mass destruction. It has been used to justify the worst atrocities, like illegal wars and torture, in the name of honor and nationalism, all under a floating flag over some land somewhere. We’ll have to think twice from now on before acting collectively on pride, we’ll have to pay attention and see through the manipulation of the masses by any kind of authority, be it the government or religions. Are we never going to learn the lessons of history?

Pride. Proud of being who you are, of belonging somewhere, of your personal accomplishments, of your collective achievements. All sounds very important, and yet insignificant, unworthy of any attention. When you take a good look back, what is there truly to be proud of? I can’t think of anything. And yet, pride can be such a powerful weapon, as long as you have the public vote, as long as you can manipulate the public opinion to your own advantage so it suits your agenda, even your war agenda.

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US Activist Detained in Israeli Jail Condemns Blockade of Gaza

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
Nov 21, 2008

US Activist Detained in Israeli Jail Condemns Blockade of Gaza

Israel’s tightened blockade of a million and a half Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is now entering its third week. On Monday, the Israeli navy seized fifteen Palestinian fishermen and three international activists off the coast of Gaza. The fishermen were released, but the activists remain in an Israeli jail. We speak to Darlene Wallach from inside the Masiyahu Prison near Tel Aviv.

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Who Will Stop The Settlers? By Jonathan Cook

Vanished – How the BBC disappears the news By William Bowles

Gaza Strip (Documentary; 2002)

Occupation 101 (video; watch while available; over 18 only)

Vatican Threatens to Excommunicate Catholic Priest for Supporting Ordination of Women into Priesthood

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
Nov 21, 2008

Vatican Threatens to Excommunicate Catholic Priest for Supporting Ordination of Women into Priesthood

We speak with Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest. He took part in a ceremony this summer to ordain a member of the group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. For the past two decades, he has organized the annual protest against the US Army’s School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia. [includes rush transcript]

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SOA Watch protest founder faces Catholic excommunication

By Chuck Williams

Ledger-Enquirer.com
11/20/2008

Two weeks ago, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois made a quick stop to a Columbus post office before driving seven hours to his childhood home in Lutcher, La.

He was dropping off a letter bound for Vatican City.

Because of the contents of that letter, Bourgeois, a Catholic priest in the Maryknoll Order for 36 years, was fearful he was about to break the heart of his 95-year-old father, a lifelong Catholic who attends Mass every day.

[…]

via Ledger-Enquirer.com | 11/20/2008 | SOA Watch protest founder faces Catholic excommunication

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Yes We Can Stop Torture and Close the School of Assassins

Yes We Can Stop Torture and Close the School of Assassins

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November 21, 2008

Thousands Gather this Weekend at Fort Benning, Georgia to say: Yes We Can Stop Torture and Close the School of Assassins

Advocates for Justice in the Americas Look Forward with Hope

Columbus, GA – Thousands will gather this weekend, November 21-23, at the gates of Fort Benning, GA for what organizers hope may be the last mass protest to close the controversial School of the Americas, renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (SOA/WHINSEC). With 35 Representatives who voted to continue funding the SOA/WHINSEC losing their seats in Congress on November 4th, human rights advocates have their sights set on pressuring the new Congress to permanently shut down the school in 2009. The last vote to defund the SOA/WHINSEC, in 2007, lost by a margin of only six votes.

Every November, the annual ‘Vigil to Close the SOA/WHINSEC’ draws thousands of people to the gates of Ft. Benning, the army base which houses the facility. Organizers hope to make the most out of the changing political climate that was revealed during this year’s elections. “We feel qualified optimism,” said SOA Watch founder Fr. Roy Bourgeois. The American people have rejected the Bush Administration’s policies of aggression, war-mongering and torture. By closing this notorious school of assassins now, Obama and the new Congress can show the world that we genuinely honor human rights.” Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, “disappeared,” massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the SOA/WHINSEC.

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