By Dan Ephron
Newsweek Web Exclusive
July 10, 2009″Newsweek” [pdf]
How do you sell the American public on the idea that Israel has the right to maintain or even expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank? Be positive. Turn the issue away from settlements and toward peace. Invoke ethnic cleansing.
Those are three of the recommendations made by Frank Luntz, a political consultant and pollster, in an internal study he wrote for the Washington-based group The Israel Project (TIP) on effective ways to talk to Americans about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The 117-page study, titled The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was commissioned by the nonprofit group, which aims to promote Israel’s side of the story, and leaked to NEWSWEEK. It includes chapters with such titles as “How to Talk About Palestinian Self Government and Prosperity” and “The Language of Tackling a Nuclear Iran.”
The report is strewn with bolded examples of “Words That Work” and “Words That Don’t Work,” alongside rhetorical tips such as “Don’t talk about religion” and “No matter what you’re asked, bridge to a productive pro-Israel message.” Taken together, the 18 chapters offer a fascinating look at the way Israel and its supporters try to shape the public debate in their favor.
“Pigs at risk from people as new flu spreads” citing authoritative scientific sourcesis the title of a recent news report. “With the increasing numbers of human infections, a spillover of this virus to pigs is becoming more likely.”
Pigs are the victims. Humans are the perpetrators. In a twisted logic, the news reports convey the impression that only people can infect pigs with the H1N1 swine flu and that pigs cannot be the original source of the infection.
The reports also convey the impression that hog farms are clean and that the swine flu is not endemic to the hog farms: Continue reading →
A few days ago, a citizen asked the progressive legislator from California, Congressman Henry Waxman why he took his name off the list of about Eighty House sponsors of single-payer health insurance? Mr. Waxman replied: “it [H.R. 676] isn’t going to happen.”
In early January and last year, Americans who believe in Presidential accountability for constitutional, statutory and treaty violations asked Democrats in Congress—“If not impeachment, why not at least a resolution of censure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?” The uniform reply was “It’s not practical.”
These lawmakers—Democrats all, who are the majority in Congress and who agree with these questioners—keep saying “It’s not going to happen” or “It’s not practical.”
“It’s just not practical” to provide a federal minimum wage equal to that in 1968, inflation adjusted, which would be $10 an hour.
The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia – Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 US Marines, attack helicopters and tanks and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther’s Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults – in the Afghan province of Helmand.
The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.
Other NATO and allied nations have also boosted or intend to increase their troop strength in Afghanistan, with German forces to exceed 4,000 for the first time, Romanian troops to top 1,000 and contingents to be augmented from dozens of other NATO member and partner states, including formerly neutral Finland and Sweden.
In testimony before the US Senate Tuesday, legal representatives of the Obama administration not only defended the system of kangaroo military tribunals set up under Bush, but affirmed the government’s right to continue imprisoning detainees indefinitely, even if they are tried and acquitted on allegations of terror-related crimes.
This assertion of sweeping, extra-constitutional powers is only the latest in a long series of decisions by the Democratic administration demonstrating its essential continuity with the Bush White House on questions of militarism and attacks on democratic rights.
A political-economic oligarchy has taken over the United States of America. This oligarchy has institutionalized a body of law that protects businesses at the expense of not only the common people but the nation itself.
CNN interviewed a person recently who was seriously burned when his vehicle burst into flames because a plastic brake-fluid reservoir ruptured. Having sued Chrysler, he was now concerned that its bankruptcy filing would enable Chrysler to avoid paying any damages. A CNN legal expert called this highly likely, since the main goal of reorganization in bankruptcy is preserving the company’s viability and that those creditors who could contribute most to attaining that goal would be compensated first while those involved in civil suits against the company would be placed lowest on the creditor list since compensating them would lessen the chances of the company’s surviving. This rational clearly implies that the preservation of companies is more important than the preservation of people. Of course, similar cases have been reported before. The claims of workers for unpaid wages have often been dismissed as have their contracts for benefits.
by Prof James Petras
Global Research, July 9, 2009
The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years.
In a manner reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s New Cold War policies, Obama has vastly increased the military budget, increased the number of combat troops, targeted new regions for military intervention and backed military coups in regions traditionally controlled by the US . However Obama’s rollback strategy occurs in a very different international and domestic context. Unlike Reagan, Obama faces a prolonged and profound recession/depression, massive fiscal and trade deficits, a declining role in the world economy and loss of political dominance in Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia and elsewhere. While Reagan faced off against a decaying Soviet Communist regime, Obama confronts surging world-wide opposition from a variety of independent secular, clerical, nationalist, liberal democratic and socialist electoral regimes and social movements anchored in local struggles.
This new film looks at the origins and history of the Afghan Mujahedin & al-Qaeda and their associations with various intelligence agencies including the CIA, FBI, MI6 and those of Saudi Arabia & Pakistan.