Once upon a time an evil witch visits a kingdom and poisons the central well with a potion that drives people mad. The next morning all who drink from that well go crazy. The king, however, knew about this in advance, and didn’t drink from the communal well. The next day, those who drank the poisoned water came to the king and accused him of being the crazy one. The king, aware of what had transpired, was faced with a dilemma: drink from the well and lose his sanity like the rest of his subjects, but remain king; or don’t drink, remain sane, but be swept from power by those who would view his very sanity as madness.
WASHINGTON, May 31, 2011 (IPS) – The leaked reports over the past two weeks of a series of meetings between U.S. officials and a Taliban figure close to leader Mullah Omar seemed to point to real progress toward a negotiated settlement of the war in Afghanistan.
But in fact the talks are part of a Barack Obama administration strategy aimed at putting pressure on the Taliban leadership in part by dividing it from Pakistan as well as bolstering Obama’s domestic support for the war.
“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, and all the beauty that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour, the paths of glory lead but to the grave.” — Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
It was quite a week for America’s Nobel Peace Laureate President. After a speech to AIPAC, there was the major, pre-UK arrival “interview” with the BBC’s political commentator, Andrew Marr. Less an interview, in fact than a breathlessly adoring audience.
Is Iceland’s rejection of financial bullying a model for Greece and Ireland?
Last month Iceland voted against submitting to British and Dutch demands that it compensate their national bank insurance agencies for bailing out their own domestic Icesave depositors. This was the second vote against settlement (by a ratio of 3:2), and Icelandic support for membership in the Eurozone has fallen to just 30 percent. The feeling is that European politics are being run for the benefit of bankers, not the social democracy that Iceland imagined was the guiding philosophy – as indeed it was when the European Economic Community (Common Market) was formed in 1957.
We Reject United States Sanctions Against Venezuela
On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the United States Department of State unilaterally imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), for its alleged relations with the government of Iran. The sanctions are a desperate and weak attempt to link Venezuela to Iran’s nuclear energy program as part of an ongoing campaign to justify further aggressive action against the South American oil producing nation.
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the reputation of the Democratic Party from the party of the Southern slaveholders to that of “friend of the working people”–a reputation that the Democratic Party, undeservedly, continues to enjoy.
Roosevelt himself became nothing less than a legend, with his campaign promise of a “New Deal for the American people” and his signing of the National Recovery Act in 1933, which opened the way for the mass union organizing drives of the Depression era.
The rapid and terrifying acceleration of global warming, which is disfiguring the ecosystem at a swifter pace than even the gloomiest scientific studies predicted a few years ago, has been confronted by the power elite with equal parts of self-delusion. There are those, many of whom hold elected office, who dismiss the science and empirical evidence as false. There are others who accept the science surrounding global warming but insist that the human species can adapt. Our only salvation—the rapid dismantling of the fossil fuel industry—is ignored by both groups. And we will be led, unless we build popular resistance movements and carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience, toward collective self-annihilation by dimwitted Pied Pipers and fools.
Take a closer look at the struggles faced by early Christians and their driving force to endure, as Dr. Joseph Stowell, President of Cornerstone University, takes you on an amazing journey to modern-day Rome. You’ll also visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ephesus, and other significant locations that reveal the formation of the Christian faith in the Roman Empire from a social, economic, and political perspective.
“Nobody messes with Venezuela. Venezuela must be respected.”
— Rafael Ramirez, Venezuelan Energy Minister
I am in Caracas, Vz today (May 29th–Casey’s birthday)—a country I love and a people that I support with all my heart in their struggle against US imperialism and corporate interests so they can make their own lives better.
Released on Memorial Day 2011, ‘Over A Barrel’ tells the tale of a serving soldier overwhelmed by Afghan combat fatigue. Starring James Young, the track features a breathtaking sax solo from Lord Nelson and is dedicated to the late Gil Scott-Heron.
Naomi Wolf, in her fine 2007 book The End of America, hit the nail on the head. She mentions, in her preface, that Nazi propagandists were referring to Germany as ‘The Heimat ‘or ‘Homeland ‘. Is it a coincidence that the Bush crew used this phrase after 9/11? Hitler’s gang, after the suspicious Reichstag fire, got the German Parliament to pass the Enabling Laws. These laws virtually gave unlimited power to the government, stripping away civil liberties. They disallowed the right to dissent, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press…while legitimizing the arrest of political opponents to the regime. Continue reading →
A friend of mine, Sung-Hee Choi, a sister peace activist in South Korea, was recently arrested May 17, along with seven other leaders protesting construction of a navy base on Jeju Island. I have linked my heart in solidarity with her in this struggle because I understand that a line has to be drawn in the sand at Jeju Island, stopping further construction of military bases for the U.S. to threaten Asia.