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By Dave Lindorff
While this statement by Occupy Wall Street is a powerful list of grievances against capitalism, it fails to even once mention the word "war." This is a significant failing, and cannot have been an oversight. The activists in Liberty Park and in cities across the country, if they want to make this a mass movement to confront the corporate domination of American politics and society, must be willing to confront head on the reality that the corporate elite have made the U.S. into the world's greatest war-monger. It is not just "colonialism," an outmoded term, that is the problem. It is a vast web of imperialism, imposed by a war machine that is bigger and costlier than all the rest of the world's armies combined, and it is the single biggest reason that this country is descending into a state of social and economic decay and decline.
While Obama publicly pressured Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians over settlements, he secretly sold Jerusalem deep-penetrating bombs it had long sought. Eli Lake previews an exclusive story appearing in Monday's Newsweek.
By Charles M. Young
By John Grant
When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.
Veterans and the Veterans Administration have been short changed for decades now, costing much more in fighting to catch up then if funded properly at the beginning and into, and throughout, our wars of choice, instead it's easier for the people, their reps and some veterans to lay blame on the agency. Magnetic ribbons, wordy patriotic meme's, flag waving and historic costumes, lapel flag pins and purple heart bandages is Not Sacrificing after Demanding the Soldiers and their Families do!!
To Hell with the Democrats!: Time to for Any Real Progressives in Congress to Bolt the Party and Start a New One
By Dave Lindorff
Jeff Greenwald has just written that President Obama, by playing a leading role in pushing for cuts in Social Security benefits as part of the whole kabuki-theater drama over the debt ceiling, and the alleged crisis of America’s national debt, has cut out the “soul” of the Democratic Party.
Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, DC. Appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on June 24, Bolton reiterated his calls for military action against Iran and openly expressed his support for the MEK, a radical Islamic terrorist group. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)
In 1991, Iraqi exiles set up the Iraq National Congress (INC) with funding from the CIA. Under the leadership of Ahmad Chalabi, and flush with tens of millions dollars in US government funding, the INC allied itself with the neoconservatives in Washington and unceasingly beat the drums of war, presenting itself as the popular democratic alternative to Saddam Hussein and feeding faulty intelligence to an eager media and Bush
administration. Eventually, they succeeded in dragging the United States into disastrous war that cost Americans and Iraqis their lives and caused incalculable damage to American prestige and power.
Now, history may be repeating itself.
A segment of our political establishment that is chafing at the bit for a military attack on Iran has found their INC, in the form of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (also known as the MEK, or MKO), a radical Islamic terrorist group with Iranian roots that has been designated a terrorist organization since the State Department created the Foreign Terrorist Organization list in 1997.
Appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on June 24, John Bolton, the former ambassador to the UN under President Bush, reiterated his calls for military action against Iran and openly expressed his support for the MEK. Weeks later, former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey appeared before the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee and called for the US to delist the MEK. Mukasey was even photographed prior to the hearing receiving counsel from the leadership of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the MEK's political wing, which is also designated as a terrorist organization.
Bolton and Mukasey are not alone in their avowed public support for this known terrorist group. They have been joined by a number of former senior Bush administration officials, other hawks and advocates of the whatever-it-takes war on terror - luminaries such as Rudy Giuliani, former CIA director James Woolsey, and former head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, as well as a number of Republican and Democratic legislators.
Multiple Wars are Symptoms of the Need to Escape the Quagmire of Empire
By Kevin Zeese
I can't remember a time when the U.S. military has been stuck in so many war quagmires at once. Libya seems destined to fail unless the U.S. gets a lucky shot and kills Gaddafi. U.S. militarists are openly maneuvering to stay in Iraq -- the war Obama told us was over. Relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan are at their lowest levels ever. And, Afghanistan is getting worse with Obama’s minimal, slow withdrawal looking more like staying than leaving.
U.S. may act unilaterally vs Iran-armed Iraq militias
By Phil Stewart, Reuters
The United States will take unilateral action when needed to deal with the threat to American troops in Iraq from Shi'ite militias armed by Iran, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Monday.
Panetta's comments came during his first trip as defense secretary to Iraq, where he also vented frustration over Baghdad's failure to decide whether it wanted to keep some of the remaining 46,000 U.S. troops in the country beyond an end-year deadline for their withdrawal.
U.S. forces officially ended combat operations in Iraq last August but have come under increasing fire in recent weeks. A senior U.S. defense official described it as part of a campaign by militants to "bloody our noses on the way out."
Makes sense as we condemn them constantly for what is now very public the same practices against humanity we're ordering done as we joined them, and the others who do and some we used, in the toilet as to crimes against humanity while still condemning! We even use those issues as justified excuses to invade, destroy and occupy countries!
07 July 2011 - Iran will certainly put the 26 US officials on trial in absentia and will pursue their cases at international circles: MP
Iran to file lawsuits against 26 US nationals who committed crimes against humanity, FNA quoted Iranian parliament’s National and Foreign Policy Commission Seyyed Ali Aqazqdeh as saying.
In other words, Risen published a story about the US providing fabricated nuclear plans to Iran. He published it–in spite of the government’s earlier success at persuading the NYT not to publish it–because the US had since been proven to have used fabricated intelligence to trump up a war against Iraq, and the government was in the process of using probably-fabricated materials (which included fabricated blueprints) to trump up action against Iran.
Now, I think Leonie Brinkema will do what District Court judges tend to do when the government says judges are unqualified to measure the importance of secrecy: I think she’ll cede to the government’s argument, no matter what she does on the other legal arguments.
But that doesn’t mean the conflict shouldn’t be one of the primary topics of public discussion about this case.
The government is basically arguing that Risen shouldn’t have published information that helped us (so far) avoid a trumped-up war against Iran. It is quite possible he will end up spending time in jail–for protecting his sources–for having done so (as well as for having exposed illegal wiretapping that has never been punished). While the legal arguments may not work in Risen’s favor, that is what is at stake.
A 'Patriotic' U.S. company ripping off the Army and the American Tax Payers, and military procurement officers allowing it to happen, knowing many will go to work for these defense contractors after their service, especially with two long occupations still ongoing, say it ain't so!
With prince having a U.S. flag stamped on his forehead, done in our names, al Qaeda move over, new kid, same as the old, on the block!!
18 May 2011 - You can buy a war for half a billion dollars. But get in quick. That's at current market prices.
Costs may rise following last Saturday's New York Times story revealing that the United Arab Emirates has paid $529m to a company set up by Blackwater boss Eric Prince to recruit and train a mercenary army to undertake 'special missions' against the oil state's enemies, defend oil pipelines, crush internal opposition and so forth.
Bomb Iran? Sheer Madness! Send a Sane Voice to Congress.
By Marcy Winograd
I was stunned during a recent southern California debate when I heard my Democratic Party opponents say they would approve of Israel’s right to decide, should Israel decide to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. "Sheer madness," I said. Please contribute here to elect a sane voice to Congress on May 17th.
To know more about my peace platform, watch a video of another recent debate.
Bombing Iran's nuclear storage sites could spread radioactive fall out around the globe, kill tens of thousands of people, and start the next world war. Those who disagree might say, “Well, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear site, and that went okay.” Wait a minute -- that was a construction site, not a loaded reactor with tons of enriched uranium.
At a time when the issue of civilian casualties in Libya has been dominating the international agenda, our Recording Casualties of Armed Conflict programme has launched Every Casualty.org, a website aiming to raise the profile of casualty recording worldwide and the organisations that undertake it. The site is a one-stop shop for information on casualties of conflict worldwide. It engages 22 of the organisations that record them in the International Practitioner Network convened by ORG.
By Elliott Adams
The printed invitation was written in such flowery official diplomatic language – “... the Permanent Representative to the United Nations of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Khazaee invites...” – I had to reread it to understand it. It said go to the United Nations entrance by the towering Administrative Building. I am used to entering through the visitor’s entrance over by the General Assembly Building. Here we were treated with more decorum and courtesy than at the visitors’ center. As I entered I was thinking that the official policy of the Bush administration had been regime change in Iran. And under the Obama administration that had not changed substantively. But, it seems that has been the policy for almost 100 years.
CALL FOR AN END TO U.S. WAR THREATS AND SANCTIONS PROGRAM
AND FOR AN END TO REPRESSION WITHIN IRAN
NEW YORK, N.Y., February 23, 2011 - A delegation of 12 U.S. peace and human rights activists will visit the U.S. and Iranian missions to the United Nations Friday, February 25, to deliver a statement drafted by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD), "End the War Threats and Sanctions Program against Iran, Support the Struggle for Democracy inside Iran," and the list of more than 1,150 statement signers including Noam Chomsky, Hamid Dabashi, Frances Fox Piven, Cindy Sheehan and Cornel West.
Hillary Hypocrisy? Secretary Calls for Free Speech, while Vet Arrested, Abused Before Her Eyes for Exercising Free Speech
By Kevin Zeese
On Tuesday, February 15th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the importance of Freedom of Speech in the Internet age. She focused her attention on foreign countries and chided them for curtailing the speech of their citizens.
During that speech Ray McGovern, a veteran who also served for 27 years as a CIA analyst, exercised his freedom of speech by standing and silently turning his back on Secretary Clinton. He was protesting the ongoing wars, the treatment of Bradley Manning and the militarism of U.S. foreign policy. He did not shout at the Secretary of State or interrupt her speech. He merely stood in silence. See the video here of the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-Vy8fFnz18
By Dave Lindorff
I never expected to find myself agreeing with Sarah Palin, but I’ve got to admit that the woman nailed it regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Asked to comment on it, she said it had a lot of “WTF moments.”
That’s exactly what I found myself thinking as I read through it!
We’ve “broken the back” of the recession? WTF? The official unemployment rate is still 9.4%, and even that is down slightly from a 9.8% high only because so many people have given up trying to find a job and have left the workforce, taking early retirement or just staying home. And the real unemployment rate--the one that counts those who have given up but would work if there were actually jobs to be had, and those who have grasped at part time work just to survive--is still at between 19% and 22%, depending on how you’re counting. Who’s Obama kidding: us or himself?
By Edward S. Herman and David Peterson
By an historical coincidence, both Julian Assange and Luis Posada Carriles were brought before Western courts around the same time in late 2010 and early 2011—Assange in Britain and Posada in the United States. The contrast in their treatment by the U.S.-Anglo system of justice and in their handling by the Western establishment media is enlightening.
Posada, now 82, is a self-confessed terrorist, Bay of Pigs veteran, School of the Americas graduate, and CIA operative who has been credibly placed at two meetings where the plan was hatched for the October 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed all 73 civilians aboard. He also has been implicated in numerous other terrorist acts in which people were killed or injured and property destroyed, and he played a role in the United States' arms-smuggling network in Central America that eventually came to light in the Iran-Contra investigations.
AMERICAN IRANIAN FRIENDSHIP COMMITTEE (AIFC)
The American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) regrets that the two-day multilateral talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations held in Istanbul on January 21-22 have been unfairly labeled as “disappointing” and “unsuccessful” by some western diplomats and aspects of western media.
Connecting the Crazy Dots: Assange, Recruiting Kids, the Tucson Massacre and General American Bloodthirstiness
By Dave Lindorff
There is, it cannot be denied, a tendency on the part of many Americans to grab for their guns, if not actually, then figuratively.
And let’s face it, we also have an awful lot of guns to reach for. The FBI estimates that it’s 200 million, not counting the guns owned by the military, and the National Rifle Assn. says that’s a number that rises by close to five million a year.
And we sure do use ‘em. NY Times columnist Bob Herbert says 150,000 people have been killed by guns in the US just in the first decade of this new century. Clearly it’s not just Tucson, capital of the Arizona county that also includes the gunslinger town of Tombstone, that is the Wild West. This whole country is gun-crazy.
Dec 27th, 2010 - Not since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has the fear and loathing of Muslims been as virulent, as widespread among Americans, and as close to morphing from hateful rhetoric into life-threatening violence.
By Jean Casella and James Ridgeway
As Christmas is celebrated in Incarceration Nation, it’s worth remembering certain things about the two figures who dominate this holiday.
As more than 3,000 American sit on death row, we revere the birth of a godly man who was arrested, “tried,” sentenced, and put to death by the state. The Passion is the story of an execution, and the Stations of the Cross trace the path of a Dead Man Walking.
Less well know is the fact that Saint Nicholas, the early Christian saint who inspired Santa Claus, was once a prisoner, like one in every 100 Americans today. Though he was beloved for his kindness and generosity, Nicholas acquired sainthood not only by giving alms, but in part by performing a miracle that more or less amounted to a prison break.