Barack Obama’s Message — Continuation of the National Emergency with respect to the Actions of the Government of Syria + Wilkerson: Obama Under Pressure to Seek Regime Change in Syria and Iran


Image by SS&SS via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

Propaganda Alert!

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 7, 2013


Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency, unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. Continue reading

Eric Margolis: The current Republican Party appeals to fear and prejudice

A “cold warrior’s” take on the Republican Party

March 18, 2010

Eric Margolis: The current Republican Party appeals to fear and prejudice

Continue reading

Eric Margolis: Wars sending U.S. into ruin Pt.2


Eric Margolis: Democrats and Republican leadership buy into “Pax Americana”

From Wikipedia Pax Americana (Latin: “American Peace”) is an appellation applied to the historical concept of relative liberal peace in the Western hemisphere and, later, the Western world, resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States of America starting around the turn of the 20th century. Although the term finds its primary utility in the latter half of the 20th Century, it has been used in various places and eras, such as the post United States Civil War Era in North America and globally during the time between the Great World Wars. Pax Americana is primarily used in its modern connotations concerning the peace established after the end of World War II in 1945. In this modern sense, the term has come to indicate the military and economic position of the United States in relation to other nations. The term derives from and is inspired by the Pax Romana of the Roman empire and the Pax Britannica of the British Empire.

Continue reading

Eric Margolis: Wars sending U.S. into ruin


Eric Margolis: Obama the peace president is fighting battles his country cannot afford

Eric Margolis is a journalist born in New York City and holding degrees from Georgetown the University of Geneva, and New York University. During the Vietnam War he served as a US Army infantryman. Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World –- The Struggle for Afghanistan and Asia is a syndicated columnist and broadcaster whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Mainichi Shimbun and US Naval Institute Proceedings. Margolis is an expert of military affairs, a former instructor in strategy and tactics in the US Army, and a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Institute of Regional Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan. Eric Margolis’ books have been published in the US, Canada, Britain, and India. He often appears and contributes to national and international news items for outlets such as CNN, ABC,CBC and Voice of America to the Wall Street Journal and Maninichi-Tokyo. He broadcasts regularly on foreign affairs for Canadian TV (TV Ontario and CBC), radio, and has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, and PBS

Continue reading

Eric Margolis: Israel has handed the Obama administration a ‘fait accompli’ + Aftermath of attacks + Israel shelling of a U.N. compound

Dandelion Salad


Continue reading

Eric Margolis: Bush admin has left Obama an international ‘mess’ + When Camelot meets Gitmo


Updated: added more videos; see below

Obama’s foreign policy challenge

Eric Margolis: Bush admin has left Obama an international ‘mess’, with Russia at the top of the list

Continue reading

Maybe U.S. Needs Yard Sale – Russia could buy back Alaska… by Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

by Eric Margolis
October 22, 2008 “Toronto Sun

Russia could buy back Alaska or perhaps Canada could pick up sunny Florida

At the end of Second World War the British Empire still ruled nearly a quarter of the globe. But the war bankrupted Britain. Its once mighty empire quickly collapsed and the United States inherited much of the British Imperium.

Six decades later the United States is close to bankruptcy thanks to a national orgy of borrowing, the replacement of manufacturing by financial manipulation, ruinous foreign wars and a government whose stunning incompetence and arrant stupidity was exceeded only by its reckless imperial arrogance.

The financial panic now gripping the planet, and the ignominious collapse of Wall Street, showed the American colossus had feet of clay. Washington’s furious printing of untold billions of new dollars to prop up its sinking economy, finance this year’s $1 trillion deficit and pay debts may unleash a storm of dangerous inflation.

The world balance of power is already shifting. For example, Pakistan’s new president, Asif Zardari, went cap in hand this week to China, seeking up to $6 billion US in emergency loans. Pakistan is on the verge of bankruptcy and may shortly default on its debt.

But Pakistan’s patron, the United States, which has been renting that nation’s politicians and army for $1.2 billion per annum to support the occupation of Afghanistan, can’t spare any cash for Pakistan. So Pakistan is turning to China, which has $19 billion in foreign exchange reserves — the world’s largest. The U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan is likely to be adversely affected by Washington’s new pauper status.

Bankrupt people, companies and nations have to sell assets to meet their debt obligations. China and Japan alone hold over $1.5 trillion of U.S. government securities (IOUs).

Their nervous central bankers now want real assets rather than more paper.

So there is talk of America’s Asian creditors converting their IOUs into shares in U.S. corporations and property.

Sovereign wealth funds from the Arab oil states and Singapore may soon demand chunks of such assets.

In the 19th century European imperial powers used to force loans on China and local rulers in the Mideast and Latin America. When the locals could not pay off their debts, parts of their territory were seized. Russia was forced to sell Alaska to the U.S. for next to nothing when it could not repay its debts.

China’s coast was carved up by the British, French, Germans, Russians, Americans and Japanese. These imperial foreclosures created the trading”concessions” of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tsingtao, Tianjin, and Port Arthur.

Now, it’s payback time for China. How ironic that the Chinese Communists have ended up with a so far sound financial system while the Wall Street bandit capitalists have gone bust.

To help pay its monster debts, I suggest Washington consider selling Louisiana back to France. Canada, whose banking system remains solid thanks to being what Americans called “boring and stodgy,” ought to pick up Florida for a song. Canadians have a manifest destiny for sunshine.

Mexico will want to buy Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Russia, of course, will buy back Alaska and Washington State. China will purchase California; San Francisco will become “New Beijing.”

Japan will buy up Washington State, Oregon, Montana, and Hawaii. Holland will repossess New York State, and Germany will buy Pennsylvania and Minnesota.


Pakistan’s move into China’s financial embrace is a harbinger of things to come. Unless the U.S. quickly repairs its economy, its world power could slip away as quickly as post-war Britain’s, leaving China, Japan, Russia, the EU and India as the world’s new super powers.

This may not be so awful. All power, as Lord Acton famously said, corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely. As the world’s sole superpower, the U.S. under the Bush administration became totally corrupted by imperial hubris, financial fraud, lust for resources and greed.

A world with more balanced, diffused power may be preferable. But what if cash-rich China steps into America’s imperial boots much sooner than anyone expected?

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Time To Face The Facts On Afghanistan By Eric S. Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric S. Margolis
Toronto October 06, 2008

For those who savor historical irony, the Soviet Empire collapsed in the years 1989-1991 because of an implosion of its economy brought on by a ruinous arms race with the United States and the heavy costs of occupying Afghanistan.

Seventeen years later came the turn of the world’s other great imperial power, the United States. Lethally bloated by runaway debt, and burdened by 50% of the world’s military spending, the house of cards known as the US economy finally collapsed.

The doomsday news from New York and Washington has obscured most other world affairs. This is unfortunate because for the first time there is a flicker – and I mean only a flicker – of light at the end of the Afghanistan tunnel. It may only be an oncoming truck bomb.

The US-installed Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, revealed last week he had asked Saudi Arabia to broker peace talks with the alliance of tribal and political groups resisting Western occupation collectively known as Taliban. Saudi Arabia had been one of the few nations to recognize the Taliban government and retains considerable influence in Afghanistan and remains a loyal friend of Pakistan.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar quickly rejected Karzai’s offer, and claimed the US was heading toward the same kind of catastrophic defeat in Afghanistan that the Soviet Union had met. The ongoing financial panic in North America lent substance to his words.

The US economy is in grave peril and its big three automakers may soon face bankruptcy. In a crazy sidebar, as Wall Street and the Us banking system faced meltdown, the insouciant Pentagon just announced it would spend $300 million with American `contractors’ to spread pro-US propaganda in Iraq. This remarkable idiocy notwithstanding, Washington could soon run out of money necessary to keep paying for operations in Iraq, and bribing Pakistan with $250-300 million a month to wage war against its own rebellious Pashtun tribes people along the Afghanistan border.

The able and forthright US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, urgently called for at least 10,000 more troops. US and NATO forces in Afghanistan are increasingly on the defensive, hard pressed to defend vulnerable supply lines in spite of massive fire power and total control of the air.

Attacks on US and NATO convoys are even beginning at the port of Karachi. The prospect of the US spreading a war it can’t win in Afghanistan into Pakistan is military and political madness.

Startlingly, Gen. McKiernan appeared to break with Bush administration policy by proposing political talks with Taliban and admitting the war had to be ended by diplomacy. The military men know this war cannot be won on the battlefield. McKiernan’s predecessor told Congress that 400,000 US troops would be needed to pacify Afghanistan. There are currently 80,000 western troops in Afghanistan, many of them unwilling to enter combat.

By sharp contrast, I recently asked Karl Rove, President Bush’s former senior advisor, how the US could ever hope to win the war in Afghanistan. His eyes dancing with imperial hubris, Rove brightly replied, `More Predators (missile armed drones) and helicopters! Then we’ll go into Pakistan.’

Which reminded me of poet Hilaire Beloc’s wonderful line about 19th century British imperialism that I use in my new book, `American Raj:’ `Whatever happens/we have got/the Maxim gun* /and they have not.’

*Maxim gun – early machine gun

Though Karzai’s olive branch was rejected, the fact he made it public is very important. By doing so, both he and Gen. McKiernan broke the simple-minded Western taboo against negotiations with Taliban and its allies.

Let us remember that Taliban is not a `terrorist movement,’ as claimed by western war propaganda, but was founded as an Islamic religious movement dedicated to fighting Communism and the drug trade.

Taliban received US funding until May, 2001. In fact, CIA keep close contacts with Taliban, many of whose members were US-backed mujahidin from the anti-Soviet war of the 1980’s, for possible future use against the Communist regimes of Central Asia and against China. The 9/11 attacks made CIA immediately cut its links to Taliban and burn the associated files.

In recent years, Western war propaganda has so demonized Taliban that few politicians have the courage to propose the obvious and inevitable: a negotiated settlement to this pointless seven-year war. A noteworthy exception came last April when NATO’s secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who admitted the war could only be ended by negotiations, not military means.

The Karzai government cannot extend its authority beyond Kabul because that would mean overthrowing the very same Uzbek and Tajik drug-dealing warlords and Communists chiefs that are its base of power. There is no real Afghan national army, just a bunch of unenthusiastic mercenaries who pretend to fight.

The current war in Afghanistan is not really about al-Qaida and `terrorism,’ but about opening a secure corridor through Pashtun tribal territory to export the oil and gas riches of the Caspian Basin of Central Asia to the West. The US and NATO forces in Afghanistan are essentially pipeline protection troops fighting off the hostile natives..

Both Barack Obama and John McCain are wrong about Afghanistan. It is not a `good’ fight against `terrorism,’ but a classic, 19th century colonial war to advance western geopolitical power into resource-rich Central Asia. The Pashtun Afghans who live there are ready to fight for another 100 years. The western powers certainly are not.

As that great American founding father Benjamin Franklin said, `there is no good war, and no bad peace.’ Time for the West to face reality in Afghanistan.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. Visit his blog –

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Iraq: They Make It a Desert and Call It Peace By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
10/02/09 “ICH”

Those Wall Street financial alchemists who turned garbage into gold must have helped John McCain prepare for his debate with Barack Obama last Friday.

Senator McCain’s insistent claims that the US is winning the war in Iraq thanks to his “surge” strategy are the military-political equivalent of the junk securities that Wall Street’s shady financiers have been selling around the globe.

McCain successfully peddled this latest untruth about Iraq on Friday night with skill and verve. Sen. Barack Obama mostly let him get away with it. Obama should have skewered McCain over Iraq and all the lies he supported to ignite this unnecessary conflict. There is enough criminal behavior over the Iraq War to fill a phone book. Two out of three America’s think it was a terrible mistake.

But Obama’s gentle, professorial criticism of the Iraq war was tepid and ineffective, leaving McCain to capture the flag of patriotism with his reheated Cold War rhetoric.

Why didn’t Obama tell Americans that the ill-begotten Iraq War has played a key role in the nation’s current financial near-death experience?

Obama should also have riposted to McCain’s bombast over Georgia: “Senator McCain, are you ready to go to war with Russia over Georgia? That’s where your plans could lead.”

The two candidates did reasonably well in the debates, and both emerged looking presidential. But McCain seized the jingoistic high ground by using carefully selected slogans like “victory” and “free world,” and lambasting America’s favorite hobbyhorses, Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Russia’s Putin. The two vied over who could more fulsomely support Israel.

McCain’s claims that the US is heading toward victory in Iraq thanks to his inspired military leadership immediately recalled the epic words of Pyrrhus, King of Eprius. In 281 BC, after defeating a Roman army at Heraclea in an extremely bloody, hard-fought battle in which his forces suffered grave losses, Pyrrhus famously exclaimed, “one more such victory and we are ruined!”

The Red King of Epirus (modern Albania) might as well have been speaking of Iraq. Far from the victory described by McCain, the Roman historian Tacitus’s words are appropriate: “they make a desert and call it peace.”

That is precisely what the US has so far done in Iraq, a small, devastated nation of only 25 million. After five years of war, over four thousand American GI’s are dead, and 30,000 seriously wounded (some figures say 75,000), many with incurable head injuries.

No one knows how many Iraqis have died, but estimates run as high as one million – and this does not include the 500,000 who died from hunger and disease as a result of the draconian US-led embargo of Iraq and the destruction of its national water purification and sewage system by the US Air Force in 1991.

The “surge,” an addition of over 30,000 US troops to the Iraq conflict, was not the primary cause of the sharp drop in violence there over the past 12 months, as McCain claims, though it did play a supporting role.

The real reason for the drop in violence and attacks on US occupation forces lies in three other areas. First, ethnic cleansing. The US occupation quietly abetted the ethnic cleansing by Shia militias of millions of Sunni Iraqis. The US took yet another page from Israel’s West Bank occupation copybook by segregating off entire neighborhoods of Iraqi cities with high, concrete walls, and conducting round-the-clock house search operations.

Today, between four and five million Iraqis are either refugees in neighboring nations or internally displaced, one of the world’s biggest number of refugees. Most are Sunni Muslims. The United States is wholly responsible for this human disaster.

The US has done what it vowed to oppose: the partition of Iraq into three weak parts: Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish. There are now three Iraqi de facto mini-states. Breaking up Iraq and US-approved ethnic cleansing by Shia death squads – just the type of criminal behavior the US condemned in Bosnia and Kosovo – has put the damper on the Sunni-Shia conflict. But it has left Iraq a ruined state, with the Sunni region a no-man’s land, the Shia region dominated by Iran, and the Kurds under US and Israel tutelage.

Second, US occupation forces finally got smart and realized it’s cheaper to buy off your foes than try to kill them all. So the US now pays 80,000 Sunni gunmen, called Awakening Councils, to fight resistance forces. Attacks by al-Qaida fanatics in Iraq against fellow Sunnis opposing US occupation drove the more moderate resistance groups into the arms of the US.

But now, the US is handing control of these Sunni gunmen, which were patterned on death squads in El Salvador, over to Shia control. The US-armed Sunni militias who sought protection against Shia government forces by siding with the Americans are now likely to become a major new problem.

Third, the firebrand Shia militia leader, Muktada al-Sadr, whose ragtag Mehdi Army used to fight US forces, has gone to ground and ordered his gunmen to stack their arms. His volte-face reflects changes in internal Shia politics but also pressure from Iran which, fearing attack by the US, ordered Muktada to stop his attacks.

But less violence, at least for now, does not in any way mean victory. Polls show 75% of Iraqis want US troops to depart. Iraq remains a nation under foreign occupation. Its US-installed regime controls nothing but the Baghdad Green Zone. Real power remains in the hands of the Shia and Sunni militias, and the two Kurdish parties in their by now almost independent state. There is still no agreement on sharing oil.

The occupation is costing the US at least $10 billion per month, not counting depreciation, $67 billion replacement costs for equipment, and billions for medical care of wounded and veterans benefits. By the end of 2008, the supposed “cake walk” in Iraq will have cost US taxpayers $1 trillion, a good part of its borrowed from Japan and China, making it America’s second most expensive war in history.

Half the US Army is bogged down in Iraq. This war and Afghanistan have led the US ground and air forces “to the breaking point,” in the words of senior American commanders. History shows that all occupation armies become brutalized, corrupted and demoralized.

At least 30,000 Iraqi prisoners are held by the US and routinely tortured or executed without trial. They should be considered political prisoners. Saddam Hussein’s prisons held less inmates. The brutality of the US occupation of Iraq has enraged the Muslim world against America and, according to US intelligence agencies, has created a whole new generation of anti-American militants.

The Bush administration’s torrent of lies about Iraq and ongoing occupation are seen around the globe as crude imperialism worthy of the 19th-century British Raj or old Soviet Union. Sen. Obama was at least right in the debate when he noted that America’s image is an important factor in national security. Today, America is hated around the globe, thank you George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Washington’s current plans to continue ruling Iraq by means of a puppet government and mercenary army backed by US air power are an attempt to copy the way the British Empire ruled Iraq and exploited its oil. But once most of the US forces are withdrawn, Iraq may dissolve once again into violence and chaos, or complete its process of splintering into three mini-states, inviting intervention from its covetous neighbors. Iran has already become the dominant power in eastern Iraq, and Turkey, hungry for Iraq’s oil, is watching menacingly.

I wish Obama had riposted: “Senator McCain, one more victory like this and America is ruined. You had better think about this as you and your neocon alter ego Joe Lieberman urge confrontation against Iran, Hezbullah, Pakistan, Taliban, al-Qaida, insubordinate Arabs, Russia and China.”

PS: And don’t forget Venezuela, Cuba, Somalia, and Sudan.

Eric Margolis [] contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada, is the author of War at the Top of the World. See his website:

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Will Obama-Biden question military dominance?

Dandelion Salad

New tag/category for Dennis Kucinich’s posts: Kucinich-Dennis J.


The Obama-Biden worldview with Eric Margolis, Phyllis Bennis and Paul Heinbecker Pt2

Continue reading