I was making a guest appearance on a radio show trying to promote my new book From Complicity to Contempt the other day, when a listener called the show and insisted that Russia was the aggressor in the Russo-Georgian War of last year. I had written an article after the brief flare-up https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/commonsense-and-the-russo-georgian-war-by-timothy-v-gatto/ and to this day it was Georgia that started things there by launching an artillery barrage on the South Ossetia capitol. The listener believed that Russia had wanted the war and that Georgia was the “victim” of Russian aggression.
by Rick Rozoff
September 3, 2009
On August 21 the chief of the U.S. Marine Corps, General James Conway, arrived in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi to begin the training of his host country’s military for deployment to the Afghan war theater under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
“During the meeting the sides discussed a broad spectrum of Georgian-U.S bilateral relations and the situation in Georgia’s occupied territory.”  Occupied territory(ies) meant Abkhazia and South Ossetia, now independent nations with Russian troops stationed in both.
What are dreams? For that matter, what is sleeping? We spend at least a third of our time sleeping and perhaps also dreaming, in fact, sleeping and dreaming can almost define us more than anything else we will ever do or achieve in our lifetime, and yet so rarely we stop to wonder about their real significance, and how it could actually change the world.
Why do we need to sleep? Every single mechanical machine we have created requires fuel or energy to function, like oil, gas, hydro-electricity, nuclear energy, solar energy, etc. And yet, they could function all the time until they finally break down, and still they can be repaired on the spot and made to work for many more years. They don’t need to sleep, they certainly don’t need to dream.
By Mike Whitney
September 03, 2009 “Information Clearing House”
The U.S. economy is at the beginning of a protracted period of adjustment. The sharp decline in business activity, which began in the summer of 2007, has moderated slightly, but there are few indications that growth will return to pre-crisis levels. Stocks have performed well in the last six months, beating most analysts expectations, but weakness in the underlying economy will continue to crimp demand reducing any chance of a strong rebound. Bankruptcies, delinquencies and defaults are all on the rise, which is pushing down asset prices and increasing unemployment. As joblessness soars, debts pile up, consumer spending slows, and businesses are forced to cut back even further. This is the deflationary spiral Fed chairman Ben Bernanke was hoping to avoid. Surging equities and an impressive “green shoots” public relations campaign have helped to improve consumer confidence, but the hard data conflicts with the optimistic narrative reiterated in the financial media. For the millions of Americans who don’t qualify for government bailouts, things have never been worse.
Kevin Harrington, managing director at Clarium Capital Management LLC, summed up the present economic situation in an interview with Bloomberg News: “If we have a recovery at all, it isn’t sustainable. This is more likely a ski-jump recession, with short-term stimulus creating a bump that will ultimately lead to a more precipitous decline later.”
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United Nations (backed strongly by the US and UK) imposed harsh sanctions on Iraq that lasted for 10 years (1991-2001); the harsh restrictions on imports of everything, including access to key medicines, resulted in over a million deaths, more than half a million of which were women and children. That’s more deaths than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan and 9/11 combined. The purpose was regime change, but it never came. The overwhelming majority of those killed were the poor, elderly, women and children. Empirically, sanctions overwhelmingly punish the poor, the destitute. While the sanctions were in place, the richest people in control of the resources (Saddam Hussein et al.) still had everything they wanted: food, cars, mansions, access to the best medicines, etc. Award-winning journalist John Pilger has documented the reality of UN harsh sanctions in this hard-hitting film.
After the attacks on the twin towers on 9-11, former President George W. Bush proclaimed in the jargon of the old west that Osama bin Laden was wanted: “Dead or Alive.” George W. Bush claimed that he was going to smoke him out of his cave, as if this whole sophisticated operation had been planned and coordinated from a cave in Afghanistan. Then, came the war against Afghanistan, ostensibly because the Taliban were protecting Osama bin Laden, and there was no other way to capture or kill him. History is full of examples where this was not the case, and that criminals or wanted men can be killed or captured even when protected by powerful armies. Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Gestapo, was killed by two Czech exiles, who were parachuted into Czechoslovakia by the British for that particular mission. Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, was captured by the CIA and imprisoned on an island by Turkey, although he too was protected by an army. Noam Chomsky has accurately stated that capturing Osama bin Laden was an international police operation and not an excuse for a war, which has lasted 8 years and is increasing greatly in intensity, resulting in many more Afghan civilians being killed, burned, blinded or crippled and an ever increasing amount of radioactive uranium blowing in the wind from US bombs. In fact, in the Punjab area of India, there are startling increases in birth defects and cancers similar to those seen in Iraq. Continue reading
The world’s most important gathering of monetary reformers takes place each year in Chicago at the American Monetary Institute’s annual conference. This year’s event takes place September 24-27 at Roosevelt University. Chairing the conference is Stephen Zarlenga, AMI director and author of the landmark book “The Lost Science of Money.” For information and the list of speakers, including monetary economist Michael Hudson, see the AMI website at http://www.monetary.org/2009schedule.html. While personal matters will prevent me from appearing on-site, I have sent the following remarks. Segments of my six-part DVD, “Credit as a Public Utility,” will also be shown.
September 03, 2009
The former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, has reversed a decision to stay out of the public eye by signalling his determination to campaign for justice for prisoners at the American detention camp. Six months after his release, the British resident used his first public speech to explain the legacy of his seven years in detention. Roshan Muhammed Salih reports from London.
By Rev. Jim Rigby
September 02, 2009 “Counterpunch”
“Mercy More Than Life”
Last week supporters of health-care reform gathered around the country, including in Austin, TX, where 2,000 people crowded into a downtown church to hear speakers talk about different aspects of the issue. Asked to speak about the ethical dimensions of health care, I tried to go beyond short-term political strategizing and ask more basic questions. This is an edited version of what I said.
Is anyone else here having trouble with the fact that we are even having this conversation? Is anyone else having trouble believing this topic is really controversial? I have been asked to talk about the ethical dimension of health care. Here’s one way to frame such a discussion:
If an infant is born to poor parents, would we be more ethical to give medicine to that child so he or she does not die prematurely of preventable diseases, or would we be more ethical if we let the child die screaming in his or her parent’s arms so we can keep more of our money?
Or, let’s say someone who worked for Enron, and now is penniless, contracted bone cancer. I’ve been asked to discuss whether we are more ethical if we provide such people medicine that lessens their pain. Or would we be more ethical to let them scream through the night in unbearable agony so we can pay lower taxes?”
I can’t believe I am standing today in a Christian church defending the proposition that we should lessen the suffering of those who cannot afford health care in an economic system that often treats the poor as prey for the rich. I cannot believe there are Christians around this nation who are shouting that message down and waving guns in the air because they don’t want to hear it. But I learned along time ago that churches are strange places; charity is fine, but speaking of justice is heresy in many churches. The late Brazilian bishop Dom Hélder Câmara said it well: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.” Too often today in the United States, if you talk about helping the poor, they call you Christian, but if you actually try to do something to help the poor, they call you a socialist.
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