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How Should The West Engage With the Muslim World?

By David Swanson

Opening Remarks at a Dialogue With Islam.

I want to thank Shahinoor Ali and http://dialoguewithislam.org for inviting me and I'm honored to speak together with Dr. Azzam Tamami.

I don't know about the West, but I have some thoughts on the United States. I recently flew from California to Washington, D.C., and when the plane landed, the pilot came on the intercom to tell everyone to celebrate: our government had killed Osama bin Laden. This was better than winning the Super Bowl, he said.

Set aside for a moment the morality of cheering for the killing of a human being -- which despite the pilot's prompting nobody on the plane did. In purely Realpolitik terms, killing prominent individuals whom we've previously supported has never resolved anything.

Fewer guns, more solar arrays

Americans are feeling the chill of economic malaise, and the policy response should be to divert part of the defense budget and to tax U.S. corporations' offshore profits to develop an alternative energy infrastructure, columnist Cate Long writes.

Jobs, offshore profits and infrastructure

Jun 8, 2011 - Our nation is in a serious economic crisis. Both political parties dance around each other with varying demands for cuts in entitlement programs, tax increases and a rise in the debt ceiling. It’s a doomsday prospect and the American people are feeling the chill of economic malaise.

June 14th Economic Rebellion Update – This Is What Decentralized Resistance Looks Like

 What Are You Going To Do On June 14th to Rebel Against Economic Tyranny?Exciting times over here, to say the least! The June 14th Flag Day Rebellion against economic tyranny is growing much stronger and more rapidly than anticipated. As a small part of a decentralized movement, it’s hard to measure the overall impact, but my email inbox is exploding with support and interest. This movement is definitely succeeding in uniting people from all over the political spectrum. Hardcore progressives and libertarians have found common cause. Liberals who are sick of “spineless Democrats.” Conservatives who have had enough of “crony-capitalist and imperial Republicans.” Apolitical people who are sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to get by. The foreclosed upon. The unemployed. People desperately surviving off of food stamps.

A concerted effort from Europe against Israeli produce exporter Agrexco

A Global Day of Action Set for November 26, 2011

by Stephanie Westbrook

This past weekend in the Montpellier, France, over 100 activists from 9 countries gathered for the first ever European Forum Against Agrexco. Delegates from Italy, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Palestine joined the French organizers for two full days of workshops aimed at strengthening the boycott campaign against the Israeli agricultural export giant.

Agrexco is Israel's largest fresh produce exporter and European markets account for the vast majority of their sales under the brand Carmel. The Israeli government's 50% stake in the company as well as their marketing of 60-70% of the fruit and vegetables grown in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank have made Agrexco a prime strategic target for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Palestinian Divisions on Statehood

Palestinian Divisions on Statehood - by Stephen Lendman

On June 9, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Palestinian leadership divided over plan to seek UN recognition," saying:

Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are "sharply divided over the unilateral move to seek" UN General Assembly recognition in September. Abbas wants it. Others don't "because they believe (it) could do more harm than good to their cause," hurting Israel perhaps but not helping themselves.

Those opposed include Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (a former World Bank/IMF official closely tied to Israeli/Washington/Western interests), former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, and former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa.

Ravid said al-Qudwa's "opposition is particularly significant because he is considered the most experienced Palestinian official (in) dealing with the United Nations." He's also a possible presidential candidate.

The Obama Doctrine: Lawless Imperial Aggression

The Obama Doctrine: Lawless Imperial Aggression - by Stephen Lendman

Wikipedia says US presidential doctrines state "key goals, attitudes, or stances for United States foreign affairs." Except for James Monroe in 1823 asserting a declaration of regional dominance, later ones reflected Cold War and imperial politics since Harry Truman.

On March 29, eight New York Times contributors asked "Is There an Obama Doctrine," preceded by an introduction saying his previous day America's role in Libya speech asserted unilateral authority to intervene abroad "when our interests and values are at stake," an illegal position under international and constitutional law, unmentioned in the debate.

On April 13, Times writer Peter Baker headlined, "Obama Puts His Own Mark on Foreign Policy Issues," saying:

Tell Federal Judge Filipe Restrepo He Needs to Go Back and Study His Constitution

By Dave Lindorff

Federal Judge Filipe Restrepo, a man with a solid history as a defender of civil liberties and civil rights, and a defense attorney by training and private practice experience, seems sadly to have gotten a bit thin-skinned after donning the robes of a federal judge.

As my colleague Linn Washington wrote earlier this week, the judge lost it when Hampton Coleman had the effrontery to write a 28-word letter to Restrepo questioning the judge’s integrity and his commitment to “blind justice,” and warning that “we the people” would be “watching and listening very carefully” to the judge.

Israel and the Delusion of Separateness

John Grant

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

This 1954 quote from Albert Einstein hangs on the wall in my house. It seems to me truth distilled down to its most humble and indisputable essence. The more I read it, the more fundamental and inescapable its wisdom seems.

Global Economic Crisis Deepening

Global Economic Crisis Deepening - by Stephen Lendman

In the 1960s, economist Arthur Okum began calculated America's Misery Index by adding the unemployment and inflation rates for a sense of public pain or lack of it in good times.

In May, it hit a record high exceeding 25, surpassing the earlier June 1980 21.98 top, based on how both measures were then calculated, not today's methodology, manipulated to hide painful truths.

At issue is:

-- over 22% unemployment, including discouraged workers and the so-called "birth-death model" estimate of net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from ones no longer operating; during hard times, painful truths are hidden by creating non-existent jobs out of whole cloth instead of subtracting them to reflect fewer, not additional new businesses;

-- double digit inflation, including soaring food, energy, healthcare, college tuition, and other costs omitted or understated in core figures;

IMF Financial Terrorism

IMF Financial Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman

In July 1944, the IMF and Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now the World Bank) were established to integrate developing nations into the Global North-dominated world economy in ways other than initially mandated.

Under a new post-war monetary system, the IMF was created to stabilize exchange rates linked to the dollar and bridge temporary payment imbalances. The World Bank was to provide credit to war-torn developing countries. Both bodies, in fact, proved hugely exploitive, using debt entrapment to transfer public wealth to Western bankers and other corporate predators.

On a grander scale today, the scheme destructively obligates indebted nations to take new loans to service old ones, assuring rising indebtedness and structural adjustment harshness, including:

-- privatization of state enterprises, many sold for a fraction of their real worth;

-- mass layoffs;

-- deregulation;

-- deep social spending cuts;

"Time to Arrest Kissinger?" on The Burt Cohen Show

Listen to a podcast of "Time to Arrest Kissinger",
a recent panel discussion on The Burt Cohen Radio Show.

http://burtcohen.com/Podcasts/tabid/79/articleType/ArticleView/articleId...

Torturing Bahraini Doctors

Torturing Bahraini Doctors - by Stephen Lendman

For months, courageous Bahrainis protested peacefully against the Al Khalifa monarchy's repressive brutality, corruption, and discrimination, as well as unemployment, poverty, and other unaddressed social justice issues.

The response has been ruthless state terrorism against anyone challenging regime control, no matter how lawless, barbaric, and unresponsive to basic human rights and needs.

Since the mid-February uprising began, America's media largely ignored it, especially extreme repression Washington supports. Complicit in helping a key ally, Bahrain is home to the Navy's Fifth Fleet, strategically located in the heart of the Persian Gulf.

On June 6, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) highlighted the mistreatment of doctors and nurses, explaining their arrests, detentions, torture and upcoming military trials for doing their job.

Internet Censorship Bill Introduced

Internet Censorship Bill Introduced - by Stephen Lendman

During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to "(s)upport the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."

In fact, he failed to deliver on every major promise made, including the last frontier of press freedom, protected from censorship and corporate control.

Post-9/11, both he and Bush expanded intrusive government surveillance, including Internet monitoring of personal communications. On April 1, 2009 the Senate introduced two bills, endangering a free and open Internet - S. 773: Cybersecurity Act of 2009 and S. 778 to establish a White House cybersecurity czar.

Both measures included provisions to give federal authorities unprecedented Internet control by:

-- federalizing critical infrastructure, shifting power away from providers and users to Washington; and

JOAN'S DAILY DOGGEREL RE CURRENT EVENTS

Joan Wile, founder of Grandmothers Against the War, and author, "Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace" (Citadel Press, '08), as well as an award-winning ASCAP lyricist and composer, recently launched "Daily Doggerel Re Current Events" online. Joan is writing a short poem (observing the mandatory 140-character cap) every day on Facebook and Twitter about current events as they unfold. "It's a good mental exercise to write a poem within those constraints...maybe it will help stave off Alzheimer's," the 79-year-old songwriter said. "At least I'm not posting sleazy photos of myself."

Here are the first six:

JoanWile - Thursday, June 2
PALIN, A TWIT/BACHMAN, A DUNCE/AN EMPTY SUIT, MITT/ALL BRAINLESS RUNTS/WHAT A BUNCH OF CRETINS/KEEP EXPOSIN' THEM IN YOUR TWEETIN'S.

JoanWile - Friday, June 3
JOBLESSNESS RISING/BENEFITS DIPPING/COMPANIES DOWNSIZING/ ECONOMY'S SLIPPING/BOEHNER IS CLUELESS/WE'LL ALL WIND UP SHOELESS

Here Come da Judge: US Marshals Mangle Free Speech Rights with Unusual Crackdown

By Linn Washington Jr.

Hampton Coleman, a military veteran, felt secure in his constitutional free speech rights until a few weeks ago when three U.S. Marshals showed up at his Delaware home issuing demands Coleman considered threats.

Those U.S. Marshals, two male and one female from Philadelphia, came to Coleman’s home last month accusing him of sending a threatening letter to a federal magistrate judge.

“Why would I put my name and address on a letter containing a threat? I’m not crazy,” Coleman said during a recent interview.

Those Marshals warned Coleman to not send any more letters to U.S. Magistrate L. Felipe Restrepo.

Coleman claims the Marshals service is overreacting to his three-sentence, 28-word letter voicing concern about bias he felt Restrepo had exhibited in a race discrimination case handled by that judge, who ordinarily has a reputation for fairness.

Coleman attended an April 2011 hearing in that case.

Here Come da Judge: US Marshals Mangle Free Speech Rights with Unusual Crackdown

By Linn Washington Jr.

Hampton Coleman, a military veteran, felt secure in his constitutional free speech rights until a few weeks ago when three U.S. Marshals showed up at his Delaware home issuing demands Coleman considered threats.

Those U.S. Marshals, two male and one female from Philadelphia, came to Coleman’s home last month accusing him of sending a threatening letter to a federal magistrate judge.

“Why would I put my name and address on a letter containing a threat? I’m not crazy,” Coleman said during a recent interview.

Those Marshals warned Coleman to not send any more letters to U.S. Magistrate L. Felipe Restrepo.

Coleman claims the Marshals service is overreacting to his three-sentence, 28-word letter voicing concern about bias he felt Restrepo had exhibited in a race discrimination case handled by that judge, who ordinarily has a reputation for fairness.

Coleman attended an April 2011 hearing in that case.

Humala Wins Peru's Presidential Runoff

Humala Wins Peru's Presidential Runoff - by Stephen Lendman

On April 10, Ollanta Humala received most support among five presidential candidates, but not a majority. Eliminated were former neoliberal President Alejandro Toledo, his former economic minister and Lima mayor Luis Castaneda Lossio, and former Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Discredited and now imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori's daughter Keiko proceeded to a runoff with him.

On June 6, New York Times writer Simon Romero headlined, "Ex-Officer Set to Win Narrow Victory in Peru," saying:

Incomplete returns show him heading for victory, rebuking Peru's "economic model that has driven (its) robust growth, (but left) millions of (its) citizens....mired in poverty...."

America's Imperial War on Libya

America's Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman

Obama's claimed humanitarian intervention, if fact, is lawless imperialism by any standard, America's latest target to be conquered, colonized, controlled and pillaged for greater power and profit.

As a result, daily NATO atrocities continue, a shocking display of imperial arrogance against another nonbelligerent state, targeted for other than declared reasons.

Begun on March 19, NATO announced June 1 that Operation Unified Protector (the renamed Operation Odyssey Dawn) will continue unabated through September to inflict mass casualties and turn Libya to rubble like Serbia/Kosovo in 1999, Iraq in 1991 and 2003, Afghanistan in 2001, and earlier campaigns since (and during) WW II by bombing, killing and destroying gratuitously. In fact, doing so violates international law and moral principles, ones Western powers long ago abandoned, especially Washington.

If Killing Were As Evil As Flirting

I, Robert Gates, resign my position as Secretary of Defense of the United States of America with deep regret for actions that do not reflect my true values. For decades I have experienced a steady lapse of judgment for which I accept full responsibility. I lied about the strength of the Soviet Union and failed to see its collapse coming. I lied about abandoning Afghanistan and went on funding terrorists. I've been lying about cutting the military budget while actually increasing it. I've pushed for war escalations and fought against withdrawals. I'm sincerely sorry for these mistakes. I apologize to those my actions have killed, wounded, disemboweled, traumatized, or driven suicidal. Above all I apologize to my wife.

What Does Resisting Military Recruiting Look Like To You?

We Challenge YOU to design a NEW fresh logo for for the
We Are Not Your Soldiers Tour. This tour brings Iraq era war veterans into high school classrooms across the country.

Come up with the most powerful image that captures this youth driven movement to resist the military recruiters as a key part of ending these wars!

What Does Resisting Military Recruiting Look Like To You?

For more details:
http://www.wearenotyoursoldiers.org/

Support Antiwar.com

They're libertarian, I'm leftist. They want to close all public schools, I want to create a massive jobs program in green energy. And yet I tell you this:

Support http://antiwar.com because I need it to turn to for news on our wars

Go there right now and tell me if you've ever seen a more convenient, comprehensive, and compelling source of news on our numerous ongoing wars.

Antiwar.com needs our support in order to keep doing what it's doing, including Antiwar Radio.

Give them a hand!

The Water Is Wide: Building a Revolution

(Summary: There are outbreaks of positive, activist responses to GOP extremism in the U.S. -- but there's not a coordinated effort to create a national movement against the worst excesses of the HardRight. With so many citizens turned off by Obama and Dem fecklessness and refusal to fight, here are some ideas for how to battle the left's political despair.) 

By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers

"The water is wide and I cannot cross over/Nor do I have wings to fly/Build me a boat that can carry two..." -- Fred Neil

I've been writing about political depression on the Left for years now, especially during the horrific CheneyBush decade but also in the distressing Obama years. I can't tell you how many of my liberal friends have been fighting despondency (and I'm among that cohort) as the social/political/economic situation has gone from bad to worse to a bit better to worse again.

"Love Your Enemies?" Oh, Please! Don't Be "Quaint"

Gen. Keane Still Keen on Attacking Iran

By Ray McGovern

June 6, 2011

Celebrating a golden anniversary reunion with classmates from Fordham College
(class of 1961) on a perfect June day in New York should be a time of pure
Gaudeamus Igitur and little or no stress.

I should have known better that to attend a long lecture by Jack Keane, a retired
four-star general of Fordham Business School’s class of 1966. Actually, I did know
better; but I went anyway. I felt I could risk going to hear Keane’s slant on the world
because, prior to my upcoming Mediterranean cruise to Gaza, my cardiologist had
pronounced my blood pressure under control. I felt as good, and energized, as 50
years ago.

Keane, now a member of Fordham’s Board of Trustees, has been the go-to general
for the neoconservatives in recent years. He indicated that he was about to catch
a flight to Europe where he would lobby leaders of the 41 NATO countries who,

Shrinking the Withdrawal from Afghanistan and Calling it a Steeper Withdrawal

The New York Times has this headline:

"Steeper Pullout Is Raised as Option for Afghanistan"

over an article that takes what was earlier reported as a possible withdrawl of 5,000 troops and contractors (or 2.5% of the 200,000 in Afghanistan) and reduces it to:

"3,000 to 5,000 troops."

I am assuming that actually means troops AND contractors, rather than troops plus a similar number of contractors as well.

According to the NY Times, the withdrawal in July could be EVEN MORE that that. Wow! But no number is given. Instead the idea of withdrawing a mere 30,000 is pushed off into the distant future as an ultimate goal.

Paying For War: The Results From

Notice how the congressional tepublicans, and especially their cult like followers, never mention the Wars after rubber stamping everything but Veterans Care and even Military Care related to while talking about the growing budget problems they created when they controlled it all. Even now gaining back the House and a few more in the Senate, to continue obstruction, they have sought to cut area's of the Veterans Admin budget!

 

The cost of caring for America’s wounded vets

 

June 3, 2011 - Even as the wars wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan the financial cost of taking care of veterans continues to mount and could reach a trillion dollars in coming decades

 

Our Tahrir Square: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th

When other nations' governments go off track, their people do something about it. In Tunisia and Egypt people have nonviolently claimed power in a way that has inspired Americans in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the people of Spain and the rest of the world.

Washington, D.C., is the weakest point in our democracy, without which state-level reform cannot succeed. Most Americans want our wars ended, our corporations and billionaires taxed, and our rights expanded rather than curtailed. We want our money invested in jobs and green energy, not a global military that can't stop itself. Our government in Washington goes in the opposite direction, opposing popular will on these major issues, regardless of personality or party.

Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror

Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror - by Stephen Lendman

Supported, funded and armed by Washington, Israelis terrorize Palestinians daily. From late May to early June alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine News Network, and others reported:

-- an Iraq Bourin village child wounded;

-- in Bil'in village, one resident wounded, another 15 arrested, including eight international human rights activists against Israel's illegal Separation Wall, stealing up to 12% of Palestinian land when completed;

-- on May 29 at 1AM, Israeli forces stormed Bil'in village, panicking residents with sound bombs while they slept;

-- on June 3, IDF troops attacked weekly Bil'in anti-Wall protesters with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, and sprayed sewage water, injuring six and many others from asphyxiating fumes;

BROOKLYN HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS STATE THAT THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS A CRIME

It was a well-used music room in a slightly beat-up ancient school in Brooklyn. Approximately 20 kids piled in. They appeared to be all Latino and African-American. They were seniors about to graduate. We were told by their teacher, Stephen, that every single one was going on to college, some with full scholarships.

We were invited guests for a special occasion on June 2 -- Carol Huston, an active member of the Granny Peace Brigade; Alicia Godsberg, currently Executive Director of Peace Action New York State; Hugh Bruce, a Vietnam veteran member of Veterans for Peace, and me, founder of Grandmothers Against the War.

The conflict between liberalism and democracy by Immanuel Wallerstein

Fourth Daalder Lecture, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, Interfacultaire Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, March 15, 1997

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