Michael Sullivan discusses his book, the American Adventurism Abroad, on how the United States, over the past 60 years, encompassing both the Cold War and the “war on terror,” came to succeed the earlier European imperial powers as arbiter of the international economic system. He compares the current expansionist policies of the United States with those of earlier empires, and makes judgments about the outcome of those activities. He tells us how the two rubrics of “fighting communism” and “war against terrorism” are essentially cover stories for a policy of global power projection in pursuit of world hegemony. Professor Sullivan talks about American neo-colonialism in the Western Hemisphere during the era of gunboat diplomacy, how America’s hostile reactions to the 1979 events in Iran and Afghanistan drove the creation of America’s expanding Middle East, the not so clear identity and objectives of NATO today, and more.
Submitted on Buzzflash
Jimmy Carter was in the post-Watergate, post-Viet Nam flush of Democratic victory. For the 1976 Presidential election, [if] it had not been for Chappaquiddick, Sen. Ted Kennedy would likely have been the Democratic Party’s nominee (if he had not already been such in 1972).
If it had not been for his bladder cancer, Sen. Hubert Humphrey might well have overtaken Carter in the later primaries. But Kennedy had Chappaquiddick and Humphrey had cancer and the Democrats had no one but a highly inexperienced, very nice, one-term governor of Georgia (the last Democrat to hold that position, I believe). Nevertheless, the Democrats were riding high. The Nixon dragon had finally been slain. The foreign policy front was relatively quiet, funnily enough due in major part to Nixon. Kissinger’s détente with the Soviet Union was in place. Nixon/Kissinger had opened the door to China. Israel had conquered huge territories in the Six-Day and Yom Kippur Wars, but had not yet begun their policy of gradual annexation of the West Bank.
So the Republican Scream Machine, this time both in Congress and on the airwaves, are screaming that President Obama should “do something about Iran.” He should be going hammer and tongs on the issue of the obviously stolen election there. Of course if President Obama had done the foolish thing and proclaimed long and loud about what is happening inside Iran, the Republicans would be yelling at him for doing that. But that reality just reflects what the GOP is all about: Just Saying “No” to everything the President says “Yes” to. After all, you can’t blame them, can you? After all, they have nothing positive to offer.
So let’s analyze what previous U.S. meddlings in Iranian affairs have produced, all but one of them the product of Republicans and, in all cases, the product of Republican policies. Before we do that, let’s ask the question why the current GOP crop, the Georgites, and their political residue are so upset with the present Iranian government. After all, I said in BuzzFlash commentary some time ago, George Bush and Mahmoud Ahmedinejad have a lot in common.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute
“Iraqis Distribute Candy and Calls Shoe Hurler: Hero,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Baghdadiya TV: Our Journalist was Practicing his Freedom of Expression,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Ahmadinejad Rejects French President’s Snub,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Nasrallah Urges Arabs to Break the Siege on Gaza,” Press TV, Iran
“Protesters Demand Access to Shalit,” IBA TV, Israel
“58 Killed in Traffic Accident in Egypt,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“What Can Carter Do in Lebanon?” New TV, Lebanon
“Iranian Demonstrate in Solidarity With Palestinians in Gaza,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
…what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. ~John F. Kennedy January 20, 1961
Close to two decades after this speech was made the concept of American self-sacrifice took hold in the form of a speech delivered by then president, Jimmy Carter. On April 18, 1977, Carter had an open and honest discussion with the American people about the ensuing energy crisis that would threaten our national security and well-being as a nation.
He warned us that in this century the energy crisis would likely get “progressively worse” and that, “we must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources.”
Over thirty years ago, this was the message from our President and what have we done as a nation? We have annually increased our oil consumption and dependence on foreign oil. In spite of Carter’s calls and efforts to wean Americans off Middle Eastern oil dependence, European nations began conservation efforts that surpassed those of the Carter Administration…and some countries like Brazil and Sweden have either completely weaned themselves from oil dependence or have offered bold proposals to do so, proposals that are sustainable and do not continue the patterns of environmental degradation of nuclear and “clean coal” technologies.
Regardless of these blaring mistakes, no politician to date has addressed this issue as substantively as Carter has. This is not a partisan issue; under the administration of Clinton, we saw an encouragement to use more fuel through the simple act of raising the speed limit.
In his speech, Carter set out clear and obtainable goals…
–Reduce the annual growth rate in our energy demand to less than two percent.
–Reduce gasoline consumption by ten percent below its current level.
–Cut in half the portion of United States oil which is imported, from a potential level of 16 million barrels to six million barrels a day.
–Establish a strategic petroleum reserve of one billion barrels, more than six months’ supply.
–Increase our coal production by about two thirds to more than 1 billion tons a year.
–Insulate 90 percent of American homes and all new buildings.
–Use solar energy in more than two and one-half million houses.
…in reaching these goals, President Carter laid out ten principles guiding energy policy…most notable, are Carter’s fifth and sixth principle where he states,
Our solutions must ask equal sacrifices from every region, every class of people, every interest group. Industry will have to do its part to conserve, just as the consumers will. The energy producers deserve fair treatment, but we will not let the oil companies profiteer.
…and the cornerstone of our policy, is to reduce the demand through conservation. Our emphasis on conservation is a clear difference between this plan and others which merely encouraged crash production efforts. Conservation is the quickest, cheapest, most practical source of energy. Conservation is the only way we can buy a barrel of oil for a few dollars. It costs about $13 to waste it.
The time has come for Americans to make small sacrifices in order to conserve; perhaps drive slower to work every day, take public transit or carpool once a week, buy food from local farmers, (in other words read the label of your food, was it produced in Mexico or China? Put it back!), buy your children’s clothing at a second hand store or look for that Made in America label, shop in small local businesses rather than shop online where your product is hand delivered using more fuel, reduce the amount of meat you eat, turn off the lights, take shorter showers, turn your refrigerator down, wash in cold water, buy energy efficient appliances, turn down your thermostat and put on a sweater, cook more using fresh fruits and veggies that do not require lots of unnecessary packaging, and if possible utilize alternative energy sources like solar power to power your home.
Certainly as Carter pointed out some thirty years ago, we as a nation will surely perish if we do not look to alternatives and conservation. Thirty years have been wasted in blood and national treasure and his promise, “Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 — never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s…” has gone unrecognized and held in contempt by many, especially those in the oil industry.
This brings us back to the request from John F. Kennedy, the idea of personal sacrifice for the well-being of our country, and the world, where violence has now become the accepted means to secure energy resources. From Africa to the Middle East, people die and suffer needlessly in order to quench our bloody thirst for oil.
by Greg Kafoury
Posted by The Nader Team
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This week, Senator Barack Obama traveled to Florida and spoke to Jewish and Cuban-American audiences. In those speeches, he embraced the right-wing policy positions of the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) and the hard-line program of the most reactionary elements of the Cuban exile community. Continue reading
9 May 2008
Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, 217-979-2857
Cecilie Surasky, Jewish Voice for Peace, 510-410-4202
Jewish Voice for Peace and Just Foreign Policy have presented former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with a petition signed by 5,000 of their members supporting his meeting with Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal. The petition is being delivered to the three remaining Democratic and Republican presidential candidates this week.
“In a joint effort, our two organizations have collected signatures to this petition over the last several weeks. … Please accept this as an expression of appreciation for your recent efforts toward creating a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and as encouragement for you to continue despite the criticism from many sectors. Peace demands courage,” the groups said in a letter delivered to President Carter on Thursday.
The text of the petition reads: “I support peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Jimmy Carter speaks for me when he says that resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires talking to Hamas. 64% of Israelis have said they support talks with Hamas. Please support including talks with Hamas in efforts to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“I am grateful for the efforts of Jewish Voice for Peace, Just Foreign Policy and others working for the cause of peace in the Middle East. Public dialogue and awareness are crucial to achieving the goals of peace with security for Israel and peace with justice for Palestinians,” said President Carter.
The petition was signed by 5,000 individuals from all 50 states. A copy of the petition can be found on-line at: www.justforeignpolicy.org/mideastpetition.pdf.
Jewish Voice for Peace is one of the largest Jewish peace organizations in the U.S. with chapters across the country and an advisory board that includes Pulitzer winner Tony Kushner, actor Ed Asner, and poet Adrienne Rich as well as other respected rabbis, artists, scholars and activists. JVP is dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on democracy, human rights and respect for international law.
Just Foreign Policy is an independent and non-partisan membership organization founded in 2006. Our Board includes Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP; former Congressman Tom Andrews; former California State Senator Tom Hayden; Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future; and Jeff Faux, Founding President of the Economic Policy Institute.
Support Jimmy Carter: US Needs to Talk to Hamas
Former President Jimmy Carter, predictably, is being denounced for meeting with the exiled leader of Hamas in Syria on April 18, 2008.
Carter’s critics are wrong. Talking to Hamas, which won the January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, is a necessary part of creating peace. As Carter himself said, “There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that, if Israel is ever going to find peace with justice concerning the relationship with their next-door neighbors, that Hamas will have to be included in the process.”
Please sign our petition — co-sponsored by “A Just Foreign Policy” — to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain asking them to support former President Carter and support talks with Hamas.
The world is witnessing a terrible human rights crime in Gaza, where a million and a half human beings are being imprisoned with almost no access to the outside world. An entire population is being brutally punished.
This gross mistreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza was escalated dramatically by Israel, with United States backing, after political candidates representing Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Authority parliament in 2006. The election was unanimously judged to be honest and fair by all international observers.
Israel and the US refused to accept the right of Palestinians to form a unity government with Hamas and Fatah and now, after internal strife, Hamas alone controls Gaza. Forty-one of the 43 victorious Hamas candidates who lived in the West Bank have been imprisoned by Israel, plus an additional 10 who assumed positions in the short-lived coalition cabinet.
Regardless of one’s choice in the partisan struggle between Fatah and Hamas within occupied Palestine, we must remember that economic sanctions and restrictions on the supply of water, food, electricity and fuel are causing extreme hardship among the innocent people in Gaza, about one million of whom are refugees.
Israeli bombs and missiles periodically strike the area, causing high casualties among both militants and innocent women and children. Prior to the highly publicised killing of a woman and her four children last week, this pattern had been illustrated by a report from B’Tselem, the leading Israeli human rights organisation, which stated that 106 Palestinians were killed between February 27 and March 3. Fifty-four of them were civilians, and 25 were under 18 years of age.
On a recent trip through the Middle East, I attempted to gain a better understanding of the crisis. One of my visits was to Sderot, a community of about 20,000 in southern Israel that is frequently struck by rockets fired from nearby Gaza. I condemned these attacks as abominable acts of terrorism, since most of the 13 victims during the past seven years have been non-combatants.
Subsequently, I met with leaders of Hamas – a delegation from Gaza and the top officials in Damascus. I made the same condemnation to them, and urged that they declare a unilateral ceasefire or orchestrate with Israel a mutual agreement to terminate all military action in and around Gaza for an extended period.
They responded that such action by them in the past had not been reciprocated, and they reminded me that Hamas had previously insisted on a ceasefire throughout Palestine, including Gaza and the West Bank, which Israel had refused. Hamas then made a public proposal of a mutual ceasefire restricted to Gaza, which the Israelis also rejected.
There are fervent arguments heard on both sides concerning blame for a lack of peace in the Holy Land. Israel has occupied and colonised the Palestinian West Bank, which is approximately a quarter the size of the nation of Israel as recognised by the international community. Some Israeli religious factions claim a right to the land on both sides of the Jordan river, others that their 205 settlements of some 500,000 people are necessary for “security”.
All Arab nations have agreed to recognise Israel fully if it will comply with key United Nations resolutions. Hamas has agreed to accept any negotiated peace settlement between the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, provided it is approved in a referendum of the Palestinian people.
This holds promise of progress, but despite the brief fanfare and positive statements at the peace conference last November in Annapolis, the process has gone backwards. Nine thousand new Israeli housing units have been announced in Palestine; the number of roadblocks within the West Bank has increased; and the stranglehold on Gaza has been tightened.
It is one thing for other leaders to defer to the US in the crucial peace negotiations, but the world must not stand idle while innocent people are treated cruelly. It is time for strong voices in Europe, the US, Israel and elsewhere to speak out and condemn the human rights tragedy that has befallen the Palestinian people.
· Jimmy Carter, a former president of the United States, is founder of The Carter Center project-syndicate.org
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Guadamour’s blog post
Originally posted Dec. 13, 2007
Revised: April 30, 2008
Looking Back 30 Years
Today the world faces global warming. The USA is fighting two undeclared wars based on the rights to have access to petroleum. Cars are bigger than they were thirty years ago, there are more of them and for the most part they don’t get any better mileage. The dollar and the economy are in the toilet and many experts think things are headed down the drain and into the sewer.
In 1975 the US faced its first oil crisis when OPEC doubled the price of oil. The price of gasoline in the USA went from around 35 cents a gallon to 75 cents a gallon or more, and many service stations were completely out of gas or limiting purchases so that they wouldn’t run out.
In 1975 the Vietnam (Undeclared) War was ending after the failed Truman Doctrine originally involved the USA in this conflict in the 40s.
In 1976 Jimmy Carter was elected President and took office in January of 1977.
The USA was still getting over the Nixon Watergate era, and many laws were passed restricting the power of the executive branch.
One of the first things Carter managed to get passed through congress was a bill creating the Department of Energy. Its stated goal was to make the USA energy independent of outside sources of petroleum and energy.
Towards that goal of energy independence, fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks were mandated for the first time irregardless of the extreme protest of Detroit automobile and truck producers.
Japanese auto manufacturers and other foreign producers had no trouble meeting these requirements, and used their success to secure a larger and larger share of the US auto and small truck market. That trend continues to this day.
Under the Department of Energy, tax credits were given to home owners for insulating their homes and installing solar and wind energy in their homes. Many of the solar hot water heaters installed at that time are still in operation.
The Department of Energy funded research into alternative energy.
The current news about the huge potential for generating bio-diesel from algae was discovered at that time, and is just now being developed.
Many people can make the argument that Carter was neither a good or efficient president. The Democrat, Tip O. Neil. makes a good argument for that in his autobiography, Man Of The House.
Carter didn’t win reelection and Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980 after secret negotiations with theIranians who were holding American captives.
One of the first items of business the Reagan Administration completed when they assumed office in 1981 was to completely dismantle the Department of Energy. This included removing the solar system that had been installed in the White House.
The Department of Energy effectively ceased to exist. There were no longer tax credits for solar and weather proofing one’s home.
All funding of research into alternative energy sources was stopped.
Few mandates for increased gas mileage for vehicles have come down from the Federal government since that time.
When Ronald Reagan left office in 1989 the US debt was over four times larger than when he took office. The rate of the growth of the debt has become bigger under every Republican president since Reagan.
Today under very questionable and arguably unconstitutional Presidential “signings” the power of the executive branch is larger than it has ever been. This totally ignores the laws that were enacted after Nixon’sabuse of power. Nixon’s abuse of power seems trite in relationship to what is happening today.
Sort of makes one wonder what state the world would be in today if Jimmy Carter had been elected to a second term, especially considering the fact that he was able to broker the only lasting peace pacts in the Middle East.
If Carter had been re-elected there is a good possibility that the world would not be facing a possible World War III with the US planned invasion into Iran. Iran is not occupying other countries as are the US and Israel, nor has it invaded anyone. The same cannot be said for the US & Israel.
April 29, 2008
CNN Wolf Blitzer
Middle East Conflict
April 29, 2008
2008-04-20 21:36:32 **opinion**
Ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter has caused quite a stir, in the press and in the U.S. and Israeli governments, when he met with Hamas leaders in Cairo, as part of his Middle East visit; his personal mission of peace.
Okay, well done for brokering the peace deal between Egypt and Israel, but you had some clout back then and Egypt actually posed a threat to Israel. Now you have no clout, and Hamas poses as much threat to Israel’s existence as a grasshopper does to a Lion’s; no threat at all.
Obama disappointed me today, by criticising Carter for meeting with a terrorist group, repeating the necessary pro-Israeli line that any Presidential hopeful must follow. As I have written before I believe Obama’s statements show a hidden pro-Palestinian stance, but to have any chance of getting elected he must play the game of I’m more pro-Israeli than you are.
I just hope that, should Obama get elected he uses his one chance in life to make a real difference in the world to do the right thing in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and by the right thing I mean: make sure the Palestinians get a state on at least what they had before the 1967 war.
I agree with everything that has been written about Carter’s statements during his trip: yes, any deliberate killing of civilians is an act of terrorism, and yes, any peace negotiations must include Hamas, and yes, any peace negotiations must run alongside Israel stopping the building of its settlements, and pulling all Israeli citizens back behind the 1967 border, and resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees. But it’s just not going to happen.
There is nothing in it for Israel. Israel is losing nothing from the status quo, in fact it is substantially gaining. Israel at war is the single biggest recipient of U.S. military aid, Israel at war can build a great big wall to defend its citizens, which incidentally runs meters into what should be Palestinian territory after a peace deal, i.e. well outside the 1967 border, Israel at war can starve an entire population and force them to live, not only in abject poverty but surrounded, at times and in places, by their own waste.
But it is not just the fact that Israel can do whatever it wants and call it self defence, it is the reason behind Israel’s free reign; the biggest problem: the ongoing, unwavering and unquestioning support of Israel by successive U.S. administrations, especially the current Bush administration, and the fact that reliance on the substantial Jewish vote prevents any President or hopeful speaking or acting against Israel in any way.
Why shouldn’t Israel take this opportunity, while they have an avid supporter in the White House to steal yet more Palestinian land by building settlements, why shouldn’t Israel demolish Palestinian homes and continue unabated the Judaization of Jerusalem — who’s going to stop them.
For Israel, international support for shunning Hamas is like a get out of jail free card; if they are forced by Bush and Rice to reach an agreement with moderate Abbas, or at least to ramp up the efforts thereof, they know that Hamas will literally blow it out of the water.
In fact Palestinian mistrust of Abbas may assist Hamas in that aim. Whereas Israel being forced to include Hamas in talks, any resulting peace deal would almost certainly have wide support in the Palestinian population — hence Israel will avoid it at all cost.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
“Muqtada Sadr Threatens Open War,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Maliki Urges Neighboring Countries to Help Iraq,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“More Qassam Rockets Launched onto Israel,” IBA TV, Israel
“Carter Says Hamas Willing to Accept 1967 Borders,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Children in Gaza Suffer Malnutrition,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Secret Talks Between Israel & Syria,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Jenin’s Economy Devastated,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“Afghanistan’s Children Live on the Streets,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.