Friday, July 30, 2010

Bomb Iran?


"Reuel Marc Gerecht’s screed in the Weekly Standard seeking to justify an Israeli bombing attack on Iran coincides with the opening of the new Israel lobby campaign marked by the introduction of House resolution 1553 expressing full support for such an Israeli attack.

What is important to understand about this campaign is that the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.

That has long been the Israeli strategy for Iran, because Israel cannot fight a war with Iran without full U.S. involvement. Israel needs to know that the United States will finish the war that Israel wants to start."

This, again, is what Afghanistan is really all about: a parking lot and staging area to keep our troops in the area pending the Next Big Attack.

The degree of control Israel has over our Congress is spoken of in this article in a matter of fact way that even I find alarming. How could we be so duped?

Also see Iran Under Siege By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO

And this article, Sickened Ire By BARRY CRIMMINS talking about our health care system from the standpoint of one of it's victims.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who Owns General Petraeus?

Who Owns General Petraeus? by Philip Giraldi
"Petraeus’ apparent close relationship with the neoconservatives and the Israel Lobby is a matter of concern, particularly if he does aspire to be president.

... In May 2010 Petraeus received the Irving Kristol award from the American Enterprise Institute, indicating clearly that the Israel Lobby and the neocon establishment regard him as a favorite son.

... Petraeus’ personal link to the neocons is through Max Boot and the two Kagans, Kimberly and Fred. All three have advised the general and have been cheerleaders for his "surge" policies.

... But maybe the neocons should think twice about their captive general. Many who harbor political ambitions rightly fear the power of the Israel Lobby, but fear is a far remove from affection. Many Congressmen held hostage by the Lobby resent it and long for the time when they would be able to support genuine American interests relating to the Middle East.

... Petraeus surely understands that no one can get nominated by a major party to run for president of the United States if the Israel Lobby and its media supporters say no.

... All America’s friends emphasized that it had become increasingly difficult to generate popular support for US policies in light of the Israeli repression of the Palestinians. The responses were so alarming that Petraeus arranged a briefing for Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a month later. Mullen also was shocked by the depth of the antipathy towards the United States caused by Israeli policies and the report to the Senate was the result."

The End of (Military) History? The United States, Israel, and the Failure of the Western Way of War By Andrew J. Bacevich

"So even as they professed their devotion to peace, civilian and military elites in the United States and Israel prepared obsessively for war. They saw no contradiction between rhetoric and reality."


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Superhighway To Hell

Superhighway To Hell By Stephen Saunders

Read this interesting article to see where the Internet is headed if we don't do something about it.

The core ingredient of this projection - and others like it - is the issue of privacy, something the framers of our Constitution didn't even think about, for good reason, but we now damn sure better be thinking about.

What we need is Constitutionally protected privacy, nothing less. How would it work? If anyone stores information about you, you'll have the right to know exactly what that information is, and you'll have the right to challenge that information from being used or published without your consent.

If you don't own information about you, then you're mince meat for the machine.

I've spent some 40 years programming computers, long aware that these machines are nothing less then a giant two-edged sword. In the simplest of terms, they can be the greatest invention of all time, or the very worst. The key and decisive issue is the matter of privacy. Since we've losing this right without even realizing it, it's now time to wake up and do something before, as Stephen Saunders correctly points out, we find ourselves in a world we don't want to live in.

The cost of war

Click the above link to watch how fast your money flies out of your pocket and into the sink-hole. A million bucks every few minutes.

Do something! Anything! Write letters, blogs, talk with your family, your friends, anyone who will listen. We must stop the loss of our children, our privacy and our bank accounts at the hand of what can only be called evil people.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Robert Gibbs sounding like an idiot

Document Leak May Hurt Efforts to Build War Support By ERIC SCHMITT and HELENE COOPER

“We are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11,” Mr. Gibbs said. “Ensuring that there is not a safe haven in Afghanistan by which attacks against this country and countries around the world can be planned. That’s why we’re there, and that’s why we’re going to continue to make progress on this relationship.”

It takes a certain kind of idiot to really believe that planning has anything whatsoever to do with geography. But planning sure can be helped by popular support, and that our enemies are winning more so with every civilian killed in our name.

But then "up is down, and down is up". Now it should be clear.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone: 'Jewish-Dominated Media' Prevents Hitler from Being Portrayed 'in Context'

If you look at the reader comments, you'll get a taste for the treatment John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt received after publishing their essay "The Israel Lobby", as described by Stephen Sniegoski here. From this piece:

"The initial reaction to John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's essay "The Israel Lobby" consisted of a relentless barrage of vituperative insults, smears, character assassination, misrepresentations, and other inflammatory rhetoric that condemned the essay in toto. In large part, the vicious pillorying of the piece came from members of the Israel lobby denying their own power and even existence. Presumably, the purpose of that approach was to intimidate anyone from ever daring to investigate the subject. But the effect of the venomous verbal bombardment also unintentionally illustrated the absolute correctness of the essay's claim about the lobby's power to suppress."

Oliver Stone: 'Jewish Domination Of The Media' Propagates Holocaust Myths

This Huffington Post article quotes Stone:

"The Jewish domination of the media," he said. "There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years."

Again, reader comments talk little about what he actually said.


Friday, July 23, 2010

The Real U.S. Government

The Real U.S. Government By Glenn Greenwald

"Most of what the U.S. Government does of any significance -- literally -- occurs behind a vast wall of secrecy, completely unknown to the citizenry. . . . Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption. That's why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics. They're one of the very few classes of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place."

... The NSA sorts a fraction of those [1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of daily collected communications] into 70 separate databases.

... we keep sacrificing our privacy to the always-growing National Security State in exchange for less security."

Scott Horton Interviews Stephen M. Walt by Scott Horton

"Well first of all, the state is explicitly founded as a Jewish state. In fact, though, it is considered by Israelis to be the state of the Jewish people, so in a sense you’ve already declared the Arab population to be second-class citizens. It would be as though the United States said, “We are a Protestant state” or “We are a Christian nation,” and anybody who wasn’t would have to walk around knowing that they somehow didn’t quite fit in.

... I think that early in the Bush administration, certainly about the time that we were going into Iraq, there was a pretty ambitious idea that we were really going to transform the entire region. And first we’d knock off Saddam Hussein, and then we’d turn on Iran or Syria and either threaten them into doing what we wanted or actually engage in more regime change as well. And that particular dream, I think, died in the sands of Iraq.

... I don’t want to overstate Mr. Kristol’s power, but he’s obviously a very influential figure. And the most disturbing thing about the sort of role of neoconservatives is the complete lack of accountability. You would think that the architects of the Iraq War — and neoconservatives really were; they were the first people to talk repeatedly about the need to go to war in Iraq, and this began in the mid to late 1990s. These were the guys who dreamed up this whole idea. And you would think that, given the results of Iraq — a costly, protracted, disastrous war for the United States — you would think that no one would be taking them very seriously at all. But in fact — because there is in fact very little accountability in the sort of inside-the-beltway establishment, they are continuing to be on talk shows and have their journals of opinion and op-ed columns and, you know, forming new organizations, having founded old committees and projects and groups to try and advocate for war with Iraq — we now see the same people, same tactics, being used to try and push the United States into a war with Iran. As I said, you know, a half hour or so ago, they don’t have quite as sympathetic an environment, and certainly the 9/11 attacks certainly helped the cause, although they had to do an awful lot of distortion to exploit that, but nonetheless they’re trying to do the same things now, and it’s really remarkable, given the track record that they’ve had so far.

... We’re now in a position where you can’t even have an honest discussion about it. If President Obama says anything critical about Prime Minister Netanyahu, he immediately gets a storm of criticism and lots of phone calls, things like that.

... Well, and as anybody who saw when first the article and then the book came out, you suffered the brunt of this criticism and every kind of accusation about your character that could be made — you know, congratulations to you for bearing through that and standing by your positions there. So, is there any progress being made? I mean it seems like, geez, well, like you said before, it seems like the neocons really overplayed their hand with Iraq, that would have discredited them. Are we ever going to get to the point where it’s not “anti-Semitic,” quote unquote, to say, “Hey, America’s interests are different than Israel’s and we ought to take care of ourselves. They can take care of themselves fine, especially with all the weapons we already bought them.”



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Advice for General Petraeus

Advice for General Petraeus on the Rules of Engagement: It’s Neither/Nor, Not Either/Or by Juan Cole

"It’s time to stop talking about those rules and start talking about the madness of making counterinsurgency the American way of war. It wasn’t always so. Not so long ago, after all, it was considered a scandal that, post-Vietnam, the U.S. military rebuilt its all-volunteer force without rewriting or reconsidering its counterinsurgency manual.

... So, after being buried and disinterred, COIN, as its known, is once again the reigning monarch of American war-fighting doctrines as the Pentagon prepares for one, two, three Iraqs or Afghanistans — and the scandal is that (surprise, surprise!) it’s not working. This should, of course, hardly have been news. The history of counterinsurgency warfare isn’t exactly a success story, or our present COINistas wouldn’t have taken their doctrine largely from failed counterinsurgency wars in Vietnam and Algeria, among other places. It’s not so encouraging, after all, when the main examples you have before you are defeats."

I participated in the USMC Vietnam version of COIN in 67-68. It didn't work. The so-called friends we were making were giving detailed maps of our compounds to the VC, who continued to (savagely) rule the night.

To really understand all this is very, very simple: just imagine foreign soldiers walking your streets. What would you do?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

out-of-control, privacy-destroying Surveillance State

The Real US Government by Glenn Greenwald

"Consider this: "Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications." To call that an out-of-control, privacy-destroying Surveillance State is to understate the case.

... the NSA sorts a fraction of those [1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of daily collected communications] into 70 separate databases. The same problem bedevils every other intelligence agency, none of which have enough analysts and translators for all this work.

... we keep sacrificing our privacy to the always-growing National Security State in exchange for less security.

... In every way that matters, the separation between government and corporations is nonexistent, especially (though not only) when it comes to the National Security and Surveillance State.

... how much longer will Americans sit by passively and watch as a tiny elite become more bloated, more powerful, greedier, more corrupt and more unaccountable -- as the little economic security, privacy and freedom most citizens possess vanish further still? How long can this be sustained, where more and more money is poured into Endless War, a military that almost spends more than the rest of the world combined, where close to 50% of all U.S. tax revenue goes to military and intelligence spending, where the rich-poor gap grows seemingly without end, and the very people who virtually destroyed the world economy wallow in greater rewards than ever, all while the public infrastructure (both figuratively and literally) crumbles and the ruling class is openly collaborating on a bipartisan, public-private basis even to cut Social Security benefits?"


Monday, July 19, 2010

Leaving Iraq and Afghanistan in ruins

Leaving Iraq The Ruin They'll Leave Behind By PATRICK COCKBURN

"American troops leave behind a country that is a barely floating wreck.
Iraq is full of people who have little left to lose and have a deep anger towards a government which they see as being run by a kleptomaniac elite gobbling up Iraq's oil revenues. As in Lebanon and Afghanistan, where disparities in wealth are also huge, class hatred and religious differences combine to exacerbate the hatred felt between and within communities. The anger of the dispossessed explains the savagery of the looting of Baghdad in 2003, as people poured out of the slums of Sadr City to plunder government ministries and offices."

Afghanistan in Ruins by ANTHONY DiMAGGIO

A clip from the bottom of the article speaks to the core problem: manipulation of our information supply, the elephant in the room.

"The story of growing U.S. deaths, however, has remained largely under the radar in the American press, which has rarely featured any stories about the historical levels casualties since it first emphasized the topic in late 2009. It appears that journalists have learned well the lesson not to “rock the boat” for a war in which both parties are strongly supportive, despite the growing public rebellion."

How Bank of America Got Away With a Huge Swindle By DAVE LINDORFF

"It’s the old story: steal a loaf of bread for a family and go to jail for years. Deceive national regulatory authorities and steal from a generation of pension investors and get a Troubled Asset Relief Program handout of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds."

Israel: a Failing Colonial Project? By M. SHAHID ALAM

As usual (as is my criteria for linking to any article), this is an exceptionally well thought out and written piece. Every point is consistent with an abundance of readily found information.

"In the end, the alternative to this orderly dismantling of Zionism is a destructive war in the Middle East that may not be limited to the region. Whatever else happens, it is unlikely that Israel or US interests in the Middle East will survive such a war."


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Netanyahu admits on video he deceived US to destroy Oslo accord

Netanyahu admits on video he deceived US to destroy Oslo accord by Jonathan Cook

When asked if the US will object, he responds: “America is something that can be easily moved. Moved to the right direction … They won’t get in our way … Eighty per cent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd.”

At the end of the YouTube version (with English translation), the reporter says:

At a point in the middle of the video Netanayhu asks the camera man to stop taping, but he continues...
Netanyahu says what he really thinks for the first time:
He brags about how easy is to manipulate the USA and he proudly explains how he sabotaged the Oslo process

The part about "how easy it is to manipulate the USA" is far and away the most important part of this of this video, to me, anyway.

Why? Because I've known about, and been talking for years to anyone who will listen about the stunning degree of editorial control the Zionists have over American media, aka "our information supply".

I've been shunned, ignored, heckled and greeted with just about every other bad attitude one can imagine over this issue.

Now we hear about "how easy" we are, right from the horse's mouth. Do I need to connect the dots from "how easy it is" to it's embodiment in "editorial control over our information supply"? How else would it be that easy?

I've spent a few years studying psychology, I read quite a bit of Carl Jung's works, so I refer to him mostly, but since it's a subject of great interest I'll listen to and read what others have to say. If you're not familiar with Jung's description of the unconscious mind, and you are interested in this subject, please Google "jung unconscious mind" for websites like this.

The point of all this is very simple: it is possible to "brainwash" people by manipulating their unconscious mind. Not only is it possible, it's been done: we've been programmed, aka "duped", regarding our "undying support" for Israel. Would 80% of Americans really support Israel after reading about the prison called Gaza?

Here's a simple test: when I say "priest", you think _________?

Will I rest my case now, on this video taped evidence, or continue talking about it? The latter, because this is the biggest issue of our time, the Zionists have already suckered us into the military invasion of the Middle East, and we've got to stop them before they sink America entirely.

Most basically, we must restore the damage done to the concept of America, and we must do it quickly. Computers and technologies are making a whole new level of tyranny possible, and if we don't restore allegiance to human rights and our moral compass, we're going to be supremely fucked.

Update 1: See Justin Raimondo's article today: Bibi Unmasked Caught on tape: what the Israelis really think of us


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Rot from Within

The Rot from Within: Character Disorders of the Republic by Robert Logan

I've quoted from this article to some excess because it impressed me so much. I think you'll agree, and that we'll both agree these words should be heard very clearly by every American.

"There are almost no national politicians that base their positions on an over-arching set of principles maintained consistently across the issues. An example would be Ron Paul. I can’t think of any others. In general they are lying, hypocritical, deceitful cowards cloaking their manipulative actions in sheep’s clothing.


As a nation, almost everything we do is driven by hidden agendas with superficially noble intentions. Just look at acts passed by Congress such as the "Patriot Act" or even entire institutions such as the Federal Reserve.

The Patriot Act is clearly something the founding patriots fought a revolution to overthrow in terms of the Bill of Rights. The Federal Reserve is not an institution of the Federal Government, and there is nothing on reserve. As a rule of thumb, you can predict that the nature of a Federal Act is the opposite of what it claims to be.


The children of this nation are also learning well the lesson that a million Iraqis or Afghanis are not worth the life of one American ...


What is missing is the moral compass. You are wasting your time arguing with them, "informing" them, or trying to change them."


In terms of interpersonal relations, these books on manipulative behavior have changed my life. But in terms of what they mean for our nation, it is a terminal diagnosis. Historically empires collapse not because the people had a change of heart, but because a greater force such as bankruptcy or defeat in war put an end to it.


The "Never Again" attitude after the Vietnam War has been replaced with "Again and Again" today.




The Fall of Obama

The Fall of Obama By Alexander Cockburn

"The man who seized the White House by fomenting a mood of irrational expectation is now facing the bitter price exacted by reality. The reality is that there can be no “good” American president. It’s an impossible hand to play. Obama is close to being finished.


By the time you tot up the people who have given up looking for work and the people on part-time, the total is heading toward 20 million.


It is not Obama’s fault that for 30 years America’s policy – under Reagan, both Bushes and Bill Clinton – has been to export jobs permanently to the Third World. The jobs that Americans now desperately seek are no longer here, in the homeland, and never will be. They’re in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Indonesia.


It is not Obama’s fault that across 30 years more and more money has floated up to the apex of the social pyramid till America is heading back to where it was in the 1880s, a nation of tramps and millionaires.


But it is Obama’s fault that he did not understand this, that always, from the getgo, he flattered Americans with paeans to their greatness, without adequate warning of the political and corporate corruption destroying America and the resistance he would face if he really fought against the prevailing arrangements that were destroying America. He offered them a free and easy pass to a better future, and now they see that the promise was empty.


What can save Obama now? It’s hard even to identify a straw he can grasp at. It’s awfully early in the game to say it, but, as Marlene Dietrich said to Orson Welles in Touch of Evil, “your future is all used up.” "


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Can't Mainstream American Journalists Tell the Truth ...

Why Can't Mainstream American Journalists Tell the Truth About the Horrors of America's Wars? By Nick Turse

This is a powerful article because it goes to a place and touches nerves rarely mentioned even in passing by our information supply. It's like yet another elephant in the living room that everyone is determined not to see.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mel Gibson

Interesting story here.

This story began, AFAIK, when Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving. During the proceedings, he said: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world".

The story is ending, or at least the die is cast, and we mainstream media followers have prime time, front row seats to Mel's destruction, a quote at a time (here is one, and another and another, - the list goes on, probably including all or most of these mouthpieces.

He did apologize, but apparently that wasn't enough. It's obviously been decided that he must now be destroyed. And throw in "obliterated" for good measure (relish?).

Suppose he were sober, researched his suspicions, and able to phrase his thoughts more clearly. Would he then have said something like:

"The Zionists and their supporters played a major role in duping America into the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, an act that set the stage for a much longer - and very likely far more savage - war in the Middle East that we Americans will assuredly come to rue"

Would this require an apology? Far more important, when you think about it, is the question: "would anyone have heard him say that?"

Mel's BraveHart movie was a riveting saga of one man's quest for justice, his extreme bravery, and his ultimate betrayal and public execution at the hand of evil rulers, duly witnessed by a properly brainwashed mob.

Mel, when he's not drunk, is a very smart fellow. What will he do now? What can he do? He can certainly afford the research to determine the truth of his (sober) assertions. He's capable of making another riveting film, this time one about the Neocon gang and what they and their cronies in Washington, Wall Street and the media have perpetrated. If he can do that, he may also be able to arouse public awareness of Vincent Bugliosi's quest to put Bush on trail for murder.

But will the people who are handling the snuffing of him today then turn around and give him the airtime to promote his movie? I doubt it, but something like that could go "viral".

Or - will life just imitate art, as it sometimes does?

Addendum: A related thought: Mel Gibson is being destroyed because he's been branded a racist. Isn't it fascinating to see this much attention given one racist at the very same time an entire country, Israel, practices racism at the highest level with what is effectively an Apartheid state? It's even more interesting when you consider the stunning degree of influence Zionists have over our information supply. Is this not yet another perfect example of accusing your enemy with the very crime you yourself are guilty of?

Update 1: Source: Gibson's wife says she was not abused

"According to celebrity website, Robyn Gibson wrote in the declaration, "Mel never engaged in any physical abuse of any kind toward me before, during or after our marriage." She also noted that "Mel was a wonderful and loving father." "

Whether he's innocent or guilty to a lesser extent, the hatchet job is done, by our information supply, which performed perfectly for the task. I'd be willing to bet 80% of American's know about each and every accusation, and that's tainted him severely. Make that film, Mel!


The three trillion dollar war by Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Harvard University professor Linda Bilmes

Two question/answers from this page:

Submitted by Dave from Washington, DC

Q: While I understand your tabulation and overall methodology, aren't you getting a lot of shock value from simply stating the cost at $3T? After all, over the 70+ years these costs will hit the Treasury, the average annual cost is about $43B--hardly as shocking. I realize these cost are front loaded, but there are other long-term Federal costs that are far larger. BTW: I'm not a war supporter. I just can't stand sensationalized stories.

Answered 04/16/08 12:03:11 by Linda Bilmes

A: We actually tried to be very conservative. You can easily support a number that is much higher and we decided not to do that. The $3 trillion is really simple: it is just the sum of the $800bn we will have spent by the end of 2008, the present value of a conservative estimate of health care and disability compensation for the veterans, plus the cost of ongoing fighting, replacing military equipment, and paying interest on the money we borrowed. This reaches $3 Trillion. For example, oil prices have gone up from $25 before the war to over $100 barrel now. The war changed the supply&demand equation and put upward pressure on oil prices. But in our book we only attribute $5-$10 of this increase to Iraq, because we don't want to be sensationalist.

Submitted by Jack Tuten from Pelahatchie Ms

Q: why are not the american people in the streets in protest?

Answered 04/03/08 22:24:21 by Linda Bilmes

A: Hard to know for sure, but one reason is that the sacrifice in this wra is not widely shared. The average person in America is not paying higher txes for the war (because we borrowed all the money to pay for the war), and is not at risk of sending their loved ones to fight (because there is no draft).


Monday, July 12, 2010

Fixing the American election system

After listening to Chris Hodge's perfectly rational discussion on "when have we had enough, and what to do about it", I definitely agree we need to do something very soon.

The following is based on an earlier post titled "How to fix America". I've copied (and updated) it here because this is a "core fix" - one that, when implemented, helps to fix the other problems.

The Election process

I don't vote. Why not? Because I have no interest in picking one of the puppets the powerful allow through the gates and onto the stage, and letting myself be fooled into thinking this is democracy.

Sure, every now and then a truly good candidate steps up only to be marginalized by our information supply. Witness the fate of Ron Paul, who would have truly represented the interests of the American people, but we got the lackey instead.

Our problem of finding and electing people who would truly represent and lead up is an easy one to solve nowadays, given the existence of the Internet and America's abundant supply of very capable programmers.

We can remove money from the election process by using the Internet effectively.

We've been duped into thinking the richest people are also the wisest. They've never been able to see past their 5-year-plan noses, and they are in control of our long term future? Nyet! How foolish have we been! And now we're on the brink of some escalation of their war. How much longer do you think it will be before you yourself actually feel the impact, and perhaps the horror, of war? Whoa, you say, no war here! War only happens over there and on our TV.

Maybe a shooting war isn't the first war to be launched on us. Maybe it will be electronic, or maybe financial. In fact, if we consider the greatest heist of all time, the Wall Street Bailout, as an act of war upon us, that would be true.

But there are all kinds of war. There's war that employs terrorism, there's war that is traditional, with soldiers, tanks and planes, there's war with mercenaries such as Blackwater, and there's covert war with assassins and drones, and there's information war fought with propaganda.

Which of these wars affect you today, and which are likely to affect you tomorrow? How long will it go on?

In war, the real horror comes from the daily grind of it all. People are tolerant at first, then progressively less so, and eventually many will get to the point of not being able to stand it anymore. Remember the "war to end all wars"? That war helped to prove that there is no such thing as a war to end all wars, except perhaps the last one in which everyone dies.

An Internet based election process can work. I've got a design in my own mind for one, and this is one type of computer program that I truly wish someone else could destroy with something so much better. Regardless of the winner, the result will be the removal of money and turning our attention to putting people who truly represent us in office.

Look back over history and note some of the great people that shaped what's good about our world. Where are they today? Would you for even one second think to compare Bush to, say, George Washington or the great thinker Thomas Paine, in his day? Where are people of this caliber and mold today?

Why is this so damn important? The wars we're engaged in today are much bigger - and far more intractable - then we realize. Heck, we didn't even realize that at the beginning it was an invasion of the Middle East. It wasn't all about Afghanistan or Iraq in the first place, it was about the Middle East as a whole. Only from this point of view does the big picture of what actually happened come together. It also, in my view, what I call evil that made it happen.

It's the weapons at their disposal and their inclination to use them. Given the climate of fear and hatred they have fostered on our world, the direction is very clear: they will use those weapons, and unless we stop them, it's only a matter of time.

Who do we stop? Our information supply has to move to the Internet, with (here's our election process at work) elected overseers who insure the net remains open and
"neutral" and insures everyone (such as me) will have an equal presence. Give us this and our best people will rise to the surface. Bill Moyers, who unfortunately is soon to retire, is a perfect example of someone we can trust to represent us. Try to find someone even remotely like Bill Moyers in Congress - if you need more proof that we need to dump them all, there you have it.

A key feature of a replacement voting system would be how it develops the list of issues in the 1st place. Today we're told what the issues are by the "news" and "pollsters" et al, meaning the issues that are important to them, or framed by them. Instead we need to start with asking people what THEY think the issues are, and then work from that list.

Once we know what the issues that people actually care about, and they aren't spun, but laid bare, then we can match these issues to candidate positions, and eventually cull from the list of candidates those whose positions on the issues most closely match our own, or the majority of us, anyway.

A perfect example of an issue that has been spun until it looks like something else is the economy. Nowhere in the "news" are we told that the real root problems for our economy are that war, the debt it's cost us, and Wall Street's biggest theft of all time. Those 3 factors are our economic problem, but the spinsters have it framed differently, that's it's this or that or some other thing.


Chris Hedges and Derrick Jensen on Totalitarianism and Resistance

Chris Hedges and Derrick Jensen on Totalitarianism and Resistance by Chris Hedges and Derrick Jensen

"What is it going to take for concerned and engaged citizens to finally feel as though some crucial threshold has been crossed—that our nation’s political system and the global corporate culture it both serves and feeds into will never represent them or serve their needs? Continuing along these lines, what’s to be done once that realization has hit home, as it has for authors Chris Hedges and Derrick Jensen? Both Hedges and Jensen offer their ideas in this July 5 interview with Mount Royal University Professor Michael Truscello."

Please click the link on the page linked to above to listen to the interview.


On Being Led By the Nose, The Unchallenged Power of the Israel Lobby

On Being Led By the Nose The Unchallenged Power of the Israel Lobby By James Abpirezk
"The idea that George W. Bush's neocon advisers--Perle included--convinced him that the U.S. should invade Iraq received some attention after the Iraqi war started. But to my knowledge, no one, either in politics or the media, pressed the case too hard, lest they discover that those who wanted to invade Iraq had, not America's interest, but Israel's interest in mind.

There was never a threat to the United States from Saddam Hussein. He was a threat to his own people, but not to our country, a fact which became much more clear as the war went on. But Bush's critics stopped short of implicating Israel's interests as a reason for invading Iraq. A great many people believe, myself included, that Israel wanted Saddam out of the way because, while he was not really a military threat to Israel, he was a political threat. He was someone, like Hizbollah, who stood in the way of Israeli hegemony over the entire Middle East.


Does anyone beside a few people in the United States see the danger to our country in being led around by the nose by the Israeli government?"


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Losing Afghanistan

Losing Afghanistan By Marjorie Cohn

"The new appropriation is in addition to the $130 billion Congress has already approved for Iraq and Afghanistan this year. And the 2010 Pentagon budget is $693 billion, more than all other discretionary spending programs combined.

Our economic crisis is directly tied to the cost of the war. We are in desperate need of money for education and health care. The $1 million per year it costs to maintain a single soldier in Afghanistan could pay for 20 green jobs."

Ms Cohn clearly lays out the "losing Afghanistan" proposition. Of course it's bankrupting us, and of course it's a losing proposition

The part I can't understand is why commentators aren't looking through the smoke and mirrors to see what's really happening: the neocon gang that pulls America's foreign policy strings has to make it look like we're getting out of their miserable failure of Iraq, but they can't bring our troops home because to do so would mean abandoning the mission of establishing military authority in the region - which our "friend" Israel wouldn't allow to happen - so the gang opted to use Afghanistan as a parking lot for troops and supplies until the next phase breaks out.

What will the "next phase" look like? The media barons have been pushing Iran in our faces, but it could be anywhere they can manufacture a cover story for.

Let's be clear on these points: there was and is no "winning" in Iraq, there is no "winning" in Afghanistan; there is simply killing, maiming, fighting, destruction and a giant, extremely expensive mess that's destroying America.

Taken as a whole, the invasion of the Middle East makes absolutely no sense at all, but has anyone ever made sense of the attack on the USS Liberty, the murder of Rachael Corrie or the murders of people involved with the Gaza flotilla?

The only thing we can take to the bank of all this is that our military isn't going to leave the Middle East now or anytime soon. To my mind (and I've been right about this disaster all along), the gang is going to make another move as soon as they can to exploit any opportunity to open up a new front in their mission to establish military authority in the region. Sorry for repeating myself, but we must understand the problem if we're going to solve it.


Update 1: In case anyone still believes in the Afghanistan mission as it's being sold, please see these (among other) articles published today:

Revealed: How Strategy to Train Afghan Forces is in Deep Trouble by Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady

Saving Face in Unwinnable War by Eric Margolis

Again: "winning" in Afghanistan was never the point of that mis-adventure. It's being used as a giant parking lot for our troops so they don't come home and abandon the underlying mission: the crusade for military authority in the region, which has been and remains the neocon primary objective. Once our troops come home, this mission will be over - and lost. Therefore it wouldn't happen so long as the gang is in power.

Update 2: See Why Are We in Afghanistan? by Tom Engelhardt

Afghanistan is a catastrophe by Simon Jenkins

Friday, July 9, 2010

Israel’s Nukes Harm US National Interests

Israel’s Nukes Harm US National Interests by John Mearsheimer

John Mearsheimer co-authored The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

Excerpts from this article:

"The Israelis can do almost anything and get away with it. So the idea that opacity matters, I don’t think so. The lobby believes it can finesse any issue. They’ve never seen an issue that they can’t finesse. Look at what they did with the Goldstone report.


Alan Dershowitz was correct when he said that "Jews of my generation created what is, perhaps, the most powerful interest group in the history of democracy."


I actually believe the situation is going to get much worse over time. I believe that we’re not going to have an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. I believe that talk of a two-state solution and all this talk about moving from "proximity talks" to "direct talks " is a charade. I find it hard to believe that people in this town take this discussion seriously. I think, at this point in time, that you’re going to get a "Greater Israel," and it either is, or is going to be, an apartheid state. It is going to cause us enormous problems, in the Middle East, or in the Arab and Islamic world. It is going to continue to keep relations between Israel and its neighbors in a troublesome state.


What of course all of this is going to point to is the fact that America’s interests and Israel’s interests are going to continue to diverge. And the end result of that, back here in the United States, is that the lobby is going to have to work overtime to cover that up and make it look like everything is hunky-dory when in fact it’s not. And that has all sorts of negative consequences for domestic politics.

So I think things are very bad now but I’m sad to say they’re only going to get worse."

Hope and Change Fade, but War Endures - Seven Reasons Why We Can’t Stop Making War By William J. Astore

Please read these 7 reasons - and consider how it makes you feel about America

The Worst of Times, the Best of Times By Alexander Cockburn

"It’s the worst of times. America is plunging back into Depression. Only one out of every two Americans of working age has a job. Forty years ago that would have been okay. Dad went to the factory. Mom stayed at home to mind the kids. These days, just to keep the show on the road, mom and pop both work and the kids get daycare.

Somewhere near 10 million Americans without work aren't getting any kind of check. One in every five children is living below the poverty line, sometimes by as much as 50 per cent – classed as "extreme poverty". Across America, in state after state the till is empty. Barack Obama's home state of Illinois is effectively bankrupt. So is California. Forty-six of the 50 states are buried under huge deficits.

The stimulus has failed. The housing market is in free fall. A couple of months ago market analysts predicted there would be five million more foreclosures between now and 2011 and it looks like they're on target. Forty per cent of delinquent homeowners have already loaded up the SUV, thrown the plastic chairs in the swimming pool and tossed the house keys back at the bank. Only 30 per cent of foreclosures have been re-listed for sale. The banks have been keeping them back to avoid flooding the market."

But America is rich! Please read the rest of this article.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Wall Street Heist

Two More Candidates for the McChrystal Treatment By Robert Scheer

Please read this insightful article about the Wall Street Heist, the magnitude of which will keep us in economic shock for some time to come.

"It was Geithner who, as head of the New York Fed, presided over the $180 billion bailout of AIG, which, as revealed by the 500-page documented record of that travesty released last week by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, was a scam to pass taxpayer money to Goldman Sachs and the other large banks that had created the problem. And it was Summers who as President Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which guaranteed “legal certainty” for the toxic derivatives packages that Goldman and the others sold. At the time Summers assured Congress that “the parties to these kinds of contracts are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies. …”

For such not-so-prescient but very convenient insight, Goldman Sachs rewarded Summers with $200,000 for two speeches he gave to its executives while he was an adviser to candidate Obama. Not surprisingly, the new financial regulations proposed by this administration and soon to be signed into law let Goldman and the others so much at fault off the hook. "


Perfect Citizen

U.S. Plans Cyber Shield for Utilities, Companies By Siobhan Gorman

"Perfect citizen" is the code name for yet another gov't breech of our civil liberties and any semblance of privacy that we think we have.

This name comes from, of course, the same folks who named the Patriot Act.

Just when we think we've seen trashed all of the words an actual patriot might use to describe what's happened to America, they find the next phrase to twist. The barrel may be empty now, but it matters little because the deep and profound damage is already done: we can't trust words anymore. Think about the implications!

Let's do everything we can to use the Internet to usurp those with such power over our information supply (and our priorities and the national mood on each). The Internet is truly our big - and only - hope.

"The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks"


"U.S. intelligence officials have grown increasingly alarmed about what they believe to be Chinese and Russian surveillance of computer systems that control the electric grid and other U.S. infrastructure."


"With the growth in concern about cyber attacks, these relationships began to extend into the electronic arena, and the only U.S. agency equipped to manage electronic assessments of critical-infrastructure vulnerabilities is the NSA, government and industry officials said."


"Wow, the name "Perfect Citizen" just screams of Orwellian repression" -Mike Lorrey

The crux of this issue is that (a) technology enables the 1984-style Orwellian world we should be absolutely terrified of, (b) the march into this horrific world is coming in a series of small doses, each cloaked in patriotic-sounding words, and (c) at the very core of this matter is the issue of privacy, which was not mentioned in the Constitution and Bill of Rights simply because the Founding Fathers had no concept of what was to come by way of computers and networks.

Food for thought: imagine our world when your car issues you a ticket for speeding or not fully stopping for a stop sign, etc. You can extrapolate this fact to come up with even more chilling scenarios. All of it, of course, will be sold to the public "for our own good".

The crux of our endless War on Terror By Glenn Greenwald

In this story, Glenn reacts to information that there are a few hundred Al Qeada members in the world.

"So between Afghanistan and Paksitan combined, there are a few hundred Al Qeada members total. All of this ongoing war and those hundreds of billions of dollars spent and those deaths and the decade of occupation, and those bombings and shootings and drone attacks and lawless prisons and habeas-stripping court precedents: it's all (ostensibly) for a few hundred extremists total hiding in remote tribal areas."

Octavia Nasr's firing and what the liberal media allows By Glenn Greenwald

This article explores the inner workings of media control.

"That message spawned an intense fit of protest from Far Right outlets, Thought Crime enforcers, and other neocon precincts, and CNN quickly (and characteristically) capitulated to that pressure by firing her. The network -- which has employed a former AIPAC official, Wolf Blitzer, as its primary news anchor for the last 15 years -- justified its actions by claiming that Nasr's "credibility" had been "compromised." Within this episode lies several important lessons about media "objectivity" and how the scope of permissible views is enforced."

We're in a Recession Because the Rich Are Raking in an Absurd Portion of Wealth By Robert Reich

"Our economy can't thrive when the richest 1% get an ever larger share of the nation's income and wealth, and everyone else's share shrinks."


"Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation's total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America's total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income reconcentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total."

Two More Candidates for the McChrystal Treatment By Robert Scheer

"It’s not working. Time for the president to concede that the economy is at best stagnating and at worst about to take another steep nose dive. I don’t know if we are headed for another Great Depression, as Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman dared suggest recently, but it is amply clear that the Obama strategy, inherited from George W. Bush, of bailing out Wall Street in the forlorn hope that it would repair the economic damage the fat cats inflicted on the rest of us has not worked."


"The housing market remains in dire shape, and with it the nest eggs of Americans who are responding by squelching their appetite for consumption. The Wall Street hustlers were made whole, but not so the people whose home mortgages the banks are foreclosing, or businesses and their customers looking for the credit that the banks had promised to free up."