Sunday, May 29, 2011

What Walt & Mersheimer said

Bibi and the Yo-Yos By URI AVNERY

"It was all rather disgusting.

There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.

What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?

The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.

The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert? "

See Walt & Mersheimer's book on the Israel lobby here


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chomsky hits some high notes

Please read Chomsky: When Did America Completely Jettison the Rule of Law? By Noam Chomsky

I've tried, but I can't summarize this piece without taking away from it.

The title is broad, abstract and not very titillating, but the case Chomsky lays out in this post is very powerful and deserving of your attention, and I daresay a better title, although I must admit I can't think of what it should be.


Monday, May 16, 2011

The burning issue of our time

I'm passionately against the military invasion of the ME, and the Zionist-heavy Neocon gang who seized too much control of America's media, finances and Congress for their special interest purposes and caused that invasion to happen.

This is of such concern to me because the consequences of that action have yet to be felt. When Saddam was captured, people who defended the invasion jumped up and down. When I tried to interrupt their jubilee by pointing out that "it's not over", the words fell on deaf ears. That was 8 years ago. Today the same words apply. Are people numb?

That gang has sent our children to kill vast numbers of innocent people, driven us trillions in the hole, and the flood of negative consequences ("blowback") may be deferred by massive spending, but sooner or later we'll run out of those trillions.

That invasion and the status quo today are absolutely intolerable. It seems to me that Americans tolerate it because the American information supply is selling the party line, over and over and over (tell a lie a million times and it becomes truth).

If you are more thoughtful, you know by now these people believe that might is right, the ends justify the means, greed is good, etc. You are also probably aware of the folly of this attitude. Yet, these people are still controlling this country. Obama is just another face.

How is this possible? It's because these people are typically capitalists up the food chain somewhere, who have with plenty of money to purchase editorial control over the pieces of our information supply, the so-called "mass media" which provides "news" to the vast majority of Americans. With sweeping editorial controls, they can shape the "news" any way they wish, and they do. They can make some stories disappear, and others into household words. In effect, they are programming people.

It has occurred to me there's a "megatrend" going on that's revealed by this kind of power (to make pre-emptive war and the murder of thousands of innocent people) signifies a shift in American core values, traditionally based on the New Testament back to the Old Testament, or at least the Old Testament as it's being practised today in the form of Israel and it's practices. I'm not enough of a scholar to debate this observation, but it is what my gut is telling me. As said below, I have no allegiance to either Testament,but certainly others do, and some evidentially will kill innocent people based on these instructions. I have a real problem with such people being in positions of power that so deeply affects our lives.

I've studied and lived enough history to see some of it's big trends, and the current big trend is more ominous then any before. In the simplest of terms, the weapons have become too terrible. If we continue the "might is right" course, our enemies will shove this attitude right up our asses. We're taught they are stupid, but they are not. And if they aren't already armed with some of those terrible weapons, it's only a matter of time. They are driven by rage born of injustice. No enemy if more fearsome.

If you aren't against the invasion of the ME based on the injustice of it all, then perhaps you can be moved by fear of the inevitable consequences. In either case let's agree that war only begets war and cannot be regarded as "an extension of politics by other means".

As a consequence of the invasion, we're now faced with 3 great dilemmas, the first is ending it, the second is to do everything in our power to make amends, and third is to make sure that our democratic republic cannot be victimized by wealthy special
interests again.

For the first, we must withdraw our military and mercenaries immediately

For the second, we must put Bush on trial for war crimes. Doing so will begin the process of unraveling the corruption he served as a face for. To make amends for what they've done, we must end all government controlled foreign aid and support charities and philanthropic institutions. The more the merrier. Let these organizations compete with each other as to who has the best approach, message, etc., but get our government out of that business.

For the third, we must remove money from politics.

I've stopped arguing with the warmongers with their highly clever but circular arguments, and have decided to spend time instead devoted to using technology to undo the damage they've wrought. It can be done. We can use computers and the Internet to replace the election process with one based on lists of issues and candidates developed by the people, for the people. There's no room for Big Money in this scenario - and good riddance! It's such a simple concept, but it couldn't exist before computers and the Internet, but now that it can exist, it must exist. And not a moment too soon!

We-the-people can get back on track with the kind of democratic republic envisioned by the founders if we can just elect people who truly care for the people they represent, and not the Big Money specials interests so completely in charge of America today. And we can have this for the asking. All of the needed technologies exist, and we have no shortage of excellent programmers. Heck, even I know how to design a suitable election system. But I'd love for someone else to have an even better design.


Why was Strauss-Kahn Arrested but W. & Cheney went Free?

Why was Strauss-Kahn Arrested but W. & Cheney went Free? by Juan Cole

"What is it about the United States that makes for harsh prosecutions over sex crimes but lets leaders off the hook when it comes to war crimes?


I agree entirely with Greenwald that it is dangerous to let members of the Bush administration off the hook for their war crimes (which go beyond the initial transgression of launching a war of aggression with no UNSC sanction). There is no difference in principle between what Bush and Cheney did and what Slobodan Milosevic did, except that we live in a hypocritical world of victor’s justice. To shield the rich and powerful makes a mockery of Chapter 7"

Breaking the Gaza Embargo and Israeli Piracy by Huwaida Arraf, Noam Chomsky and Gabriel Schivone

"Threatening to hijack boats in international waters and kill or kidnap passengers is, of course, a serious crime. But Israel’s threats and actual uses of force are nothing new. For decades, Israel has been hijacking international vessels throughout the Mediterranean and kidnapping or killing passengers. To understand the current situation involving civil resistance to Israeli policy, a glance at Israel’s aggressive history in international waters is in order."


Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death

My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death by Noam Chomsky

"We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region."

I was thinking to post my own reaction to Bin Laden's killing, but, lucky for me I was saved the time by Noam Chomsky's take, which matches mine, and is better written.