Tag Archives: China

Sept 11 – America Reaps What It Sows!

A post-911 perspective by Black Liberation Army prisoner of war Jalil Muntaqim.

U.S. International Warfare Initiates World War III Human Rights During Wartime
By Jalil A. Muntaqim

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Americans have displayed their true colors of jingoism, a militaristic spirit of nationalism. Similarly, it was witnessed how the people of Iraq rallied in support of their President, Saddam Hussein, after the U.S. bombed to death 250,000 Iraqis, and continued devastation of that country with collateral damage of 1 million dead women and children. Hence, people rallying in support of their government and representatives is a common phenomenon when a country is attacked by an outsider. The U.S. has been foremost in the world extending foreign policy of free-market economy, to the extent of undermining other countries cultures and ideologies expressed as their way of life. Such conflicts inevitably positions the U.S. as the centerpiece, the bulls-eye for international political dissent, as indicated by demonstrations against the U.S. controlled IMF, WTO and World Bank conferences. The attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon did not occur in a vacuum. The people that carried out the attacks were not blind followers or robots with an irrational hatred of the U.S. peoples. Rather, this attack was part of an overall blowback to U.S. imperialist policy in support of zionist Israel and opposition to fundamentalist Islam.

There are essentially three primary world ideologies or world views: the capitalist free-market economy/democracy; the socialist production economy; and Islamic theocratic government, of which has been in competition for many decades. However, in the last 20 years the socialist economies has been severely subverted and co-opted by free-market economies, the ideals of American style democracy. This isolated, for the most part, Islamic theocratic ideology and system of government as the principle target of the U.S. in its quest for world hegemony. This reality of competing world views and economies is further complicated due to religious underpinning of beliefs that motivates actions, especially as they are expressed by U.S. and Western European christianity and Israel zionist judaism in opposition to Islam. From the struggles of the Crusades to the present confrontation, the struggle for ideological supremacy reigns, as the faithful continue to proselytize in the name of the Supreme Being.

When geopolitics are combined with religious fervor in the character of nationalist identity and patriotism, rational and logical thinking is shoved aside as matters of the moment takes historical precedents. It has often been said that “Truth Crush to the Earth Will Rise Again”. Since truth is relative to ones belief, can it be safely said that America has reaped what it has sowed? The American truth of capitalist christian democracy and its imperialist hegemonic aspirations has crushed both socialist and Islamic world views. It has extended its avaricious tentacles as the world police and economic harbinger of all that is beneficent, in stark denial of its history as a purveyor of genocides, slavery and colonial violence.

The U.S. was the first to use biological-germ warfare on people when it distributed blankets infected with smallpox to Native Americans; it has refused to apologize for Afrikan slavery acknowledging it engaged in a crime against humanity requiring reparations; it is the first and only country to use the atomic bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and intern thousands of Japanese and Italians in this country; it used carpet bombing and defoliates against the peoples of Vietnam; it has initiated embargoes, coup d’etats and assassinations against those it opposes, while propping-up right-wing military dictators; as well as continued military bombing of Vieques. In essence, the U.S. governments hegemonic goals has created the ire of millions of people throughout the world. While domestically, racial profiling, police killing and mass incarceration of Black and Brown people has eroded patriotic sentiments in opposition to white supremacy.

As America weeps and laments its loss, the public find itself joining the torn ranks of those whose heartaches beat opposing U.S. greed and international profiteering. The American public acquiesce to U.S. international folly has cause them to feel the economic pains of those who live daily in poverty. Indeed, Americans should brace for years of economic uncertainty, where the American ideal of freedom and liberty will resemble plight of those who live under the right-wing dictatorships the U.S. has supported. The tyranny suffered by others in the world as a result of U.S. imperialism, has come full circle to visit this country with the wrath of the U.S. own mechanization. Since the U.S. taught and trained right-wing military dictators in the School of the Americas, including the CIA training of Osama bin Laden in the Afghanistan proxy war against the Russians, it will be this same kind of terrorist activist that will be unleashed on American soil, as El-Hajj Malik Shabazz stated after the assassination of John Kennedy, a matter of the chicken coming home to roost. Therefore, American civil liberties and human rights are being garrotted by the yoke of the right-wing in the name of national security. The legalization of U.S. fascism was initiated with the war against political dissent (Cointelpro); the war against organized crime (RICO laws); the war against illegal drugs (plethora of drug laws) and now culminating in the war against terrorism with the American Joint Anti-Terrorist Taskforce and Office of Home Security, further extending police, FBI and CIA powers to undermine domestic civil liberties and human rights.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, recently stated that the U.S. need to create a new language in defining how to combat terrorism. This Orwellian propaganda in the media espouses the U.S. is venturing in a new type of warfare to defend the American way of life. However, what this double-speak propagates as a long-term and sustained initiative against terrorism is essentially a way of embellishing and enlarging U.S. counter-insurgency activity it has been engaged in since the advent of the Green Berets, Rangers, Delta Force and Navy Seals. The U.S. has been involved in counter-insurgency activity in Afrika, Latin America and Asia for decades. But due to the September 11, 2001, attack on U.S. soil, the government has seized the opportunity to offensively pursue left-wing revolutionaries and Muslim insurgents throughout the world. This U.S. military action extends and substantiates its position as the international police.

Since the establishment of the Trilateral Commission that initiated the process for the development of one world government, the U.S. has broaden its capacity to impose and enforce its will on oppressed peoples globally. The FBI and CIA has been operating in Europe, Afrika, Asia and Latin America establishing the long arm of U.S. law and order. Its bases of operations have conducted surveillance, investigations to arrest, prosecute or neutralize left-wing revolutionaries or Muslim insurgents. As the U.S. consolidates its political and economic influence throughout the world, it will seek to protect its overall hegemonic imperialist goals. After the Gulf War, and the air (bombing) campaign in Yugoslavia, the U.S. has employed its military might to ensure its foreign policy are achieved.

Because NATO has evolved into a European military entity that Russia is seeking to join, today, the U.S. has positioned itself beyond the mission of NATO. The U.S. now concentrates its military might in opposing Islamic countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Philippines, etc.) and those the U.S. deem as rogue nations (North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc.). The new military initiatives will be directed to towards Southeast Asia as the secondary target, as it continues to direct the Middle East conflict to preserve its oil investments and zionist interest. As the U.S. expand its imperialist military mission, as seen with committing military troops in Uzbekistan to also protect oil interest in the Caspian Sea, it has sought to redefine itself by targeting what it identify as the terrorist thereat wherever in the world it might exist. Hence, with the employment of conventional warfare combined with counter-insurgency tactical activities, the U.S. has pronounced itself as the military guardian of the world.

Although, the U.S. states its actions are in its self-interest, in terms of what is euphemistically defined as defending the free world, the truth of the matter is this action is a prelude to evolving one world government with the U.S. as its governing authority. Once the Peoples Republic of China becomes a full member of the WTO, and North Korea and Vietnam has been compromised, with Russia becoming an ally of NATO, the U.S. political-military influence in the world will be consolidated. The U.S. geopolitical strategy is not confined to the present crisis in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack and targeting Osama bin Laden as the world’s nemesis. Rather, the U.S. strategy is to preserve its capacity to establish one world government as originally envisioned by the Trilateral Commission.

Nonetheless, there are some serious obstacles to this hegemonic goal, of which the world of fundamentalist Islam has become the principle target. Here, it should be noted that Islam condemns suicide or the mass killings of women, children and non-combatant males. Yet, the U.S., Israel, western Europe, Russia, India and China all view Islam as the enemy. Although, there are over 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, the current alliance of economic interest headed by the U.S., are united to vanquish what they consider the growing menace of fundamentalist Islam. It is with this understanding of U.S. geopolitics one is able to comprehend why the U.S. has redefine its military mission, as opposition to globalization and U.S. imperialism metamorph into a political struggle without borders or territorial imperatives.

The ideological struggle between capitalist free-market economy and Islamic theocratic determinates has exploded into an international conflagration of insurgency with the potential of initiating World War III. The Islamic fundamentalist movements throughout the world has the potential to test the U.S. military, political and economic resolve as the world’s leader and authority of an one world government. With over 1.2 billion adherents, Islam has become a formidable foe to contend with for ideological supremacy in the world’s geopolitics. Even without discussing the religious (moral and ethics) aspects that motivates the geopolitics of Islam in opposition to U.S. imperialist hegemony, the call for Jihad/Holy War against the U.S. presents a serious threat that could precipitate WW-III. Therefore, the U.S. find it necessary to redefine its military mission, develop new language to codify warfare and legitimize its international political and economic purpose. Yet, many of the world’s oppressed peoples’ have already experienced U.S. military counter-insurgency tactics (Ethiopia, Somalia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Congo, etc.), including parts of the Islamic world. No matter how or why the U.S. attempts to persuade Americans that it is entering a new type of warfare, in reality it is more of the same, only extending the military arena to further protect its authority to establish one world government.

However, the U.S. is not the homogeneous country that people are deluded into believing exist. Rather, the U.S. has been held together due its ability to exploit the world’s resources and distribute (unequally) the profits amongst its citizens with its culture of conspicuous consumption. But, the recent attack on the U.S., and its aftermath may very well lead to the untangling and unraveling of the U.S. fabric as has been witnessed with the USSR and Yugoslavia. In understanding this true history of U.S. imperialism, outside and within its borders, essentially tells a story of why U.S. imperialism has been and will continue to be attacked.

Ultimately, the U.S. will eventually find itself at war with itself, as the ideology of a free democratic society will be found to be a big lie. This is especially disconcerting as greater restrictions on civil and human rights are made into law eroding the First and Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As during the Vietnam conflict, internal contradictions of racism, poverty and inequality will be exacerbated as a result of the U.S. military campaign and domestic undermining of civil and human rights. It is expected that strife in America will eventually become violent dissolving any semblance of the illusion of America the Beautiful. In anticipation of U.S. progressive activist opposing this claimed war against terrorism, the federal government will pass new laws to severely restrict protest, demonstrations and dissent. In the ’60s, U.S. progressive activists evolved the slogan “Bring the War Home!” – the question is what will be the slogan this time, now that the war has been brought home?

Free the Land!!

Rock Creek Free Press available in COS

The Rock Creek Free Press is available online, but if you want it in print, the DC monthly is available in Colorado Springs at the Bookman, 3163 W. Colorado. The September issue features a speech given by legendary Australian journalist John Pilger on July 4th in San Francisco.

Here’s the RCFP transcript:

Two years ago I spoke at “Socialism in Chicago” about an invisible government which is a term used by Edward Bernays, one the founders of modern propaganda. It was Bernays, who in the 1920s invented public relations as a euphemism for propaganda. And it was Bernays, deploying the ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud, who campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry for women to take up smoking as an act of feminist liberation calling cigarettes “tortures of freedom”. At the same time he was involved in the disinformation which was critical in overthrowing the Arbenz government in Guatemala. So you have the association of cigarettes and regime change. The invisible government that Bernays had in mind brought together all media: PR, the press, broadcasting, advertising and their power of branding and image making. In other words, disinformation.

And I suppose I would like to talk today about this invisible government’s most recent achievement, the rise of Barrack Obama and the silencing of much of the left. But all of this has a history, of course and I’d like to go back, take you back some forty years to a sultry and, for me, very memorable day in Viet Nam.

I was a young war correspondent who had just arrived in a village in the Central Highlands called Tuylon. My assignment was to write about a unit of US Marines who had been sent to the village to win hearts and minds. “My orders,” said the Marine Sergeant, “are to sell the American way of liberty, as stated in the Pacification Handbook, this is designed to win the hearts and minds of folks as stated on page 86.” Now, page 86 was headed in capital letters: WHAM (winning hearts and minds). The Marine Unit was a combined action company which explained the Sergeant, meant, “We attack these folks on Mondays and we win their hearts and minds on Tuesdays.” He was joking, of course, but not quite.

The Sergeant, who didn’t speak Vietnamese, had arrived in the village, stood up on a Jeep and said through a bullhorn: “Come on out everybody we’ve got rice and candies and toothbrushes to give you.” This was greeted by silence. “Now listen, either you gooks come on out or we’re going to come right in there and get you!” Now the people of Tuylon finally came out and they stood in line to receive packets of Uncle Ben’s Miracle Rice, Hershey Bars, party balloons, and several thousand toothbrushes. Three portable, battery operated, yellow, flush lavatories were held back for the arrival of the colonel.

And when the colonel arrived that evening, the district chief was summoned and the yellow, flush lavatories unveiled. The colonel cleared his throat and took out a handwritten speech,

“Mr. District Chief and all you nice people,” said the colonel, “what these gifts represent is more than the sum of their parts, they carry the spirit of America. Ladies and gentlemen there’s no place on Earth like America, it’s the land where miracles happen, it’s a guiding light for me and for you. In America, you see, we count ourselves as real lucky as having the greatest democracy the world has ever known and we want you nice people to share in our good fortune.”

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, even John Winthrope sitting upon a hill got a mention. All that was missing was the Star Bangled Banner playing softly in the background. Of course the villagers had no idea what the colonel was talking about, but when the Marines clapped, they clapped. And when the colonel waved, the children waved. And when he departed the colonel shook the Sergeant’s hand and said: “We’ve got plenty of hearts and minds here, carry on Sergeant.” “Yes Sir.” In Viet Nam I witnessed many scenes like that.

I’d grown up in faraway Australia on a cinematic diet of John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Walt Disney, and Ronald Reagan. The American way of liberty they portrayed might well have been lifted from the WHAM handbook. I’d learned that the United States had won World War II on its own and now led the free world as the chosen society. It was only later when I read Walter Lippmann’s book, Public Opinion, a manual of the invisible government, that I began to understand the power of emotions attached to false ideas and bad histories on a grand scale.

Now, historians call this exceptionalism, the notion that the United States has a divine right to bring what it calls “liberty” to the rest of humanity. Of course this is a very old refrain. The French and British created and celebrated their own civilizing missions while imposing colonial regimes that denied basic civil liberties. However, the power of the American message was, and remains, different. Whereas the Europeans were proud imperialists, Americans are trained to deny their imperialism. As Mexico was conquered and the Marines sent to Nicaragua, American textbooks referred to an Age of Innocence. American motives were always well meaning, moral, exceptional, as the colonel said, “There was no ideology” and that’s still the case.

Americanism is an ideology that is unique because its main feature is its denial that it is an ideology. It’s both conservative and it’s liberal. And it’s right and it’s left. And Barack Obama is its embodiment. Since Obama was elected leading liberals have talked about America returning to its true status as, “a nation of moral ideals”. Those are the words of Paul Krugman, the liberal columnist of The New York Times. In the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Mark Morford wrote,

“Spiritually advanced people regard the new president as a light worker who can help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

Tell that to an Afghan child whose family has been blown away by Obama’s bombs. Or a Pakistani child whose house has been visited by one of Obama’s drones. Or a Palestinian child surveying the carnage in Gaza caused by American “smart” weapons, which, disclosed Seymour Hersh, were re-supplied to Israel for use in the slaughter, and I quote; “Only after the Obama team let if be known, it would not object.” The man who stayed silent on Gaza is the man who now condemns Iran.

In a sense, Obama is the myth that is America’s last taboo. His most consistent theme was never “change”, it was power. “The United States,” he said, “leads the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. We must lead by building a 21st century military to ensure the security of our people and advance the security of all people.” And there is this remarkable statement, “At moments of great peril in the past century our leaders ensured that America, by deed and by example, led and lifted the world; that we stood and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders.” Words like these remind me of the colonel in the village in Viet Nam, as he spun much the same nonsense.

Since 1945, by deed and by example, to use Obama’s words, America has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, and crushed some 30 liberation movements and bombed countless men, women, and children to death. I’m grateful to Bill Blum for his cataloging of that. And yet, here is the 45th (sic) president of the United States having stacked his government with war mongers and corporate fraudsters and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, promising, not only more of the same, but a whole new war in Pakistan. Justified by the murderous clichés of Hilary Clinton, clichés like, “high value targets”. Within three days of his inauguration, Obama was ordering the death of people in faraway countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan. And yet, the peace movement, it seems, is prepared to look the other way and believe that the cool Obama will restore, as Krugman wrote, “the nation of moral ideals.”

Not long ago, I visited the American Museum of History in the celebrated Smithsonian Institute in Washington. One of the most popular exhibitions was called “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War”. It was holiday time and lines of happy people, including many children, shuffled through a Santa’s grotto of war and conquest. When messages about their nation’s great mission were lit up; these included tributes to the; “…exceptional Americans who saved a million lives…” in Viet Nam; where they were, “…determined to stop Communist expansion.” In Iraq other brave Americans, “employed air-strikes of unprecedented precision.” What was shocking was not so much the revisionism of two of the epic crimes of modern times, but the shear scale of omission.

Like all US presidents, Bush and Obama have very much in common. The wars of both presidents and the wars of Clinton and Reagan, Carter and Ford, Nixon and Kennedy are justified by the enduring myth of exceptional America. A myth the late Harold Pinter described as, “a brilliant, witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist; partly because it is indeed extraordinary to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery. However, this is the 21st century and race together with gender, and even class, can be very seductive tools of propaganda. For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe above all, is the class one serves. George Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multi-racial in presidential history. It was PC par excellence. Think Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. It was also the most reactionary. Obama’s very presence in the White House appears to reaffirm the moral nation. He’s a marketing dream. But like Calvin Klein or Benetton, he’s a brand that promises something special, something exciting, almost risqué. As if he might be radical. As if he might enact change. He makes people feel good; he’s a post-modern man with no political baggage. And all that’s fake.

In his book, Dreams From My Father, Obama refers to the job he took after he graduated from Columbia in 1983; he describes his employer as, “…a consulting house to multi-national corporations.” For some reason he doesn’t say who his employer was or what he did there. The employer was Business International Corporation; which has a long history of providing cover for the CIA with covert action and infiltrating unions from the left. I know this because it was especially active in my own country, Australia. Obama doesn’t say what he did at Business International and they may be absolutely nothing sinister. But it seems worthy of inquiry, and debate, as a clue to, perhaps, who the man is.

During his brief period in the senate, Obama voted to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for the Patriot Act. He refused to support a bill for single payer health care. He supported the death penalty. As a presidential candidate he received more corporate backing than John McCain. He promised to close Guantanamo as a priority, but instead he has excused torture, reinstated military commissions, kept the Bush gulag intact, and opposed habeas corpus.

Daniel Ellsberg, the great whistleblower, was right, I believe, when he said, that under Bush a military coup had taken place in the United States giving the Pentagon unprecedented powers. These powers have been reinforced by the presence of Robert Gates – a Bush family crony and George W. Bush’s powerful Secretary of Defense. And by all the Bush Pentagon officials and generals who have kept their jobs under Obama.

In the middle of a recession, with millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes, Obama has increased the military budget. In Colombia he is planning to spend 46 million dollars on a new military base that will support a regime backed by death squads and further the tragic history of Washington’s intervention in that region.

In a pseudo-event in Prague, Obama promised a world without nuclear weapons to a global audience, mostly unaware that America is building new tactical nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war. Like George Bush, he used the absurdity of Europe threatened by Iran to justify building a missile system aimed at Russia and China. In another pseudo-event, at the Annapolis Naval Academy, decked with flags and uniforms, Obama lied that America had gone to Iraq to bring freedom to that country. He announced that the troops were coming home. This was another deception. The head of the army, General George Casey says, with some authority, that America will be in Iraq for up to a decade. Other generals say fifteen years.

Chris Hedges, the very fine author of Empire of Illusion, puts it very well; “President Obama,” he wrote, “does one thing and brand Obama gets you to believe another.” This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they make you feel. And so you are kept in a perpetual state of childishness. He calls this “junk politics”.

But I think the real tragedy is that Obama, the brand, appears to have crippled or absorbed much of the anti-war movement – the peace movement. Out of 256 Democrats in Congress; 30, just 30, are willing to stand up against Obama’s and Nancy Pelosi’s war party. On June the 16th they voted for 106 billion dollars for more war.

The “Out of Iraq” caucus is out of action. Its member can’t even come up with a form of words of why they are silent. On March the 21st, a demonstration at the Pentagon by the once mighty United for Peace and Justice drew only a few thousand. The out-going president of UFPJ, Lesley Kagen, says her people aren’t turning up because, “It’s enough for many of them that Obama has a plan to end the war and that things are moving in the right direction.” And where is the mighty Move On, these days? Where is its campaign against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? And what, exactly, was said when Move On’s executive director, Jason Ruben, met Barack Obama at the White House in February?

Yes, a lot of good people mobilized for Obama. But what did they demand of him? Working to elect the Democratic presidential candidate may seem like activism, but it isn’t. Activism doesn’t give up. Activism doesn’t fall silent. Activism doesn’t rely on the opiate of hope. Woody Allen once said, “I felt a lot better when I gave up hope.” Real activism has little time for identity politics which like exceptionalism, can be fake. These are distractions that confuse and sucker good people. And not only in the United States, I can assure you.

I write for the Italian socialist newspaper, Il Manifesto, or rather I used to write for it. In February I sent the editor an article which raised questions about Obama as a progressive force. The article was rejected. Why, I asked? “For the moment,” wrote the editor, “we prefer to maintain a more positive approach to the novelty presented by Obama. We will take on specific issues, but we would not like to say that he will make no difference.” In other words, an American president drafted to promote the most rapacious system in history, is ordained and depoliticized by important sections of the left. It’s a remarkable situation. Remarkable, because those on the, so called, Radical Left have never been more aware, more conscious of the inequities of power. The Green Movement, for example, has raised the consciousness of millions, so that almost every child knows something about global warming. And yet, there seems to be a resistance, within the Green Movement, to the notion of power as a military force, a military project. And perhaps similar observations can also be made about sections of the Feminist Movement and the Gay Movement and certainly the Union Movement.

One of my favorite quotations is from Milan Kundera,

“The struggle of people against power is [the] struggle of memory against forgetting.”

We should never forget that the primary goal of great power is to distract and limit our natural desire for social justice and equity and real democracy.

Long ago Edward Bernays’ invisible government of propaganda elevated big business from its unpopular status as a kind of mafia to that of a patriotic driving force. The “American way of life” began as an advertising slogan. The modern image of Santa Claus was an invention of Coca Cola.

Today we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity. Thanks to the crash of Wall Street and the revelation, for many ordinary people, that the free market has nothing to do with freedom. The opportunity, within our grasp, is to recognize that something is stirring in America that is unfamiliar, perhaps, to many of us on the left, but is related to a great popular movement that’s growing all over the world. Look down at Latin America, less than twenty years ago there was the usual despair, the usual divisions of poverty and freedom, the usual thugs in uniforms running unspeakable regimes. Today for the first time perhaps in 500 years there’s a people’s movement based on the revival of indigenous cultures and language, a genuine populism. The recent amazing achievements in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay represent a struggle for community and political rights that is truly historic, with implications for all of us. The successes in Latin America are expressed perversely in the recent overthrow of the government of Honduras, because the smaller the country, the greater is the threat of a good example that the disease of emancipation will spread.

Indeed, right across the world social movements and grass roots organization have emerged to fight free market dogma. They’ve educated governments in the south that food for export is a problem, rather than a solution to global poverty. They’ve politicized ordinary people to stand up for their rights, as in the Philippines and South Africa. Look at the remarkable boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign, BDS, for short, aimed at Israel that’s sweeping the world. Israeli ships have been turned away from South Africa and Western Australia. A French company has been forced to abandon plans to build a railway connecting Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli sporting bodies find themselves isolated. Universities in the United Kingdom have begun to sever ties with Israel. This is how apartheid South Africa was defeated. And this is how the great wind of the 1960s began to blow. And this is how every gain has been won: the end of slavery, universal suffrage, workers rights, civil rights, environmental protection, the list goes on and on.

And that brings us back, here, to the United States, because I believe something is stirring in this country. Are we aware, that in the last eight months millions of angry e-mails, sent by ordinary Americans, have flooded Washington. And I mean millions. People are outright outraged that their lives are attacked; they bear no resemblance to the passive mass presented by the media. Look at the polls; more than 2/3 of Americans say the government should care for those who cannot care for themselves, sixty-four percent would pay higher taxes to guarantee health care for everyone, sixty percent are favorable towards Unions, seventy percent want nuclear disarmament, seventy-two percent want the US completely out of Iraq and so on and so on. But where is much of the left? Where is the social justice movement? Where is the peace movement? Where is the civil rights movement? Ordinary Americans, for too long, have been misrepresented by stereotypes that are contemptuous. James Madison referred to his compatriots in the public as ignorant and meddlesome outsiders. And this contempt is probably as strong today, among the elite, as it was back then. That’s why the progressive attitudes of the public are seldom reported in the media, because they’re not ignorant, they’re subversive, they’re informed and they’re even anti-American. I once asked a friend, the great American war correspondent and humanitarian, Martha Gellhorn, to explain the term “anti-American” to me. “I’ll tell you what anti-American is,” she said in her forceful way, “its what governments and their vested interests call those who honor America by objecting to war and the theft of resources and believing in all of humanity. There are millions of these anti-Americans in the United States, they are ordinary people who belong to no elite and who judge their government in moral terms though they would call it common decency. They are not vain; they are the people with a waitful conscience, the best of America’s citizens. Sure, they disappear from view now and then, but they are like seeds beneath the snow. I would say they are truly exceptional.” Truly exceptional, I like that.

My own guess is that a populism is growing, once again in America evoking a powerful force beneath the surface which has a proud history. From such authentic grass roots Americanism came women suffrage, the eight hour day, graduated income tax, public ownership of railways and communications, the breaking of the power of corporate lobbyists and much more. In other words, real democracy. The American populists were far from perfect, but they often spoke for ordinary people and they were betrayed by leaders who urged them to compromise and merge with the Democratic Party. That was long ago, but how familiar it sounds. My guess is that something is coming again. The signs are there. Noam Chomsky is right when he says that, “Mere sparks can ignite a popular movement that may seem dormant.” No one predicted 1968, no one predicted the fall of apartheid, or the Berlin Wall, or the civil rights movement, or the great Latino rising of a few years ago.

I suggest that we take Woody Allen’s advice and give up on hope and listen, instead, to voices from below. What Obama and the bankers and the generals and the IMF and the CIA and CNN and BBC fear, is ordinary people coming together and acting together. It’s a fear as old as democracy, a fear that suddenly people convert their anger to action as they’ve done so often throughout history.

“At a time of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Thank you.

Is the Museum of Nature and Science gathering health data for insurers?

dmns expedition health
DENVER- At the Denver Museum of Nature and Science the most popular exhibit this summer is called “Expedition Health” and features high-tech diagnostic kiosks where visitors can gauge the general state of their health. Judging by the long lines, you’d think these people haven’t visited a doctor lately. I suspect that unless the medical insurance underwriters of the exhibit can be trusted, many of the DMNS-goers won’t get to see a doctor again.

My hypothesis– that “Expedition Health” is surreptitiously collecting personal medical data on every visitor who comes through their doors, to add actionable factors to insurance customer files. If this is happening or not, it easily could. And the DMNS is not offering any assurance that it is not.

Basically, everybody who goes through the Expedition Health exhibit is surrendering personal health data, which in the hands of insurers could be critical in their decision about whether or not to offer them medical coverage. Museum staff insist that the personal information is purged every night, although with a simple internet link this explanation is disproved. Staff explain that attendee magnetic cards are erased, perhaps innocently ignorant of where the information actually accrues as the public circulate from one kiosk to the next.

expedition health peak passAt pharmacies you can measure your blood pressure without a personalized magnetic card. But at the DMNS health exhibit, sponsored by Met Life, Kaiser Permanente, et al, you have to tell the machines who you are before you can learn your heart rate, your vital statistics, results of a stress test, a measure of your “stride,” digital imagery of your body at rest and in motion, scans of your fingers and palm, and a 3-D imaging of your face.

A telling detail, to my mind, is that the DMNS offers no printed assurance that the health information of its attendees is not being harvested by data merchants. Is it? Do I have any proof? I will offer you the clues, and you can be the judge. I think there are enough signs of subterfuge to suspect that “Expedition Health” is not serving your health.

Here’s how it looks to the average exhibit visitor: the attendee is given a magnetic card to use at the electronic kiosks, at the culmination of which a “Peak Pass” card will be generated to reflect the user’s health results. In the process the attendee learns about positive and negative factors which govern human health. Attendee are free to initiate the card with whatever fictitious ID data they wish, depending on how helpfully relevant they want their results to be.

The impression of anonymity is bolstered by several insincerities. I will illuminate a few.

A. The ruse of an aliased identity

Part one, the ID. Before museum-goers can attend “Expedition Health,” they must obtain an admission ticket marked with the time they can be scheduled to enter. This is done ostensibly to ease congestion through the exhibit hall.

denver museum peak passIn purchasing their museum passes, or submitting their DMNS membership cards, the visitors are of course revealing their verifiable identities. If they are not already members in the museum’s database, their admission purchase via credit card or personal check and driver’s license confirms who they are. Under the pretense of museum security, driver’s IDs can be inspected all of their own. Who would begrudge the museum knowing who is visiting? And if you had the foresight to worry about your anonymity, what would it matter if the museum recorded too, when you would be presenting yourself at the start of the health exhibit?

Part two: the unclean slate. At the exhibit door attendees submit their tickets and are admitted entrance and given a blank magnetic card. The staffer who collects the tickets is not the same person who immediately hands out the magnetic cards, thus reinforcing the sensation of a severed paper trail. But in actuality, there is no discontinuity because the card-holder immediately queues for a kiosk to personalize the card.

Although the user can chose to conjure personal information entirel fictitious, the impression is given that the card’s data goes no further than the exhibit’s exit door. When I asked, a staff member earnestly assured me that all the cards are erased every night. Which could be true, but irrelevant. The cards serve like a patient wristband at the hospital. The wristband confirms the identity of the patient at the various checkup points, as the medial records accumulate in remote files.

Part three, a false sense of anonymity. The museum patients are free to initiate their magnetic cards with whatever manner of fictitious name and birthday. Especially if it does not matter to them that the final printout will bear false facts. My companion felt he had to turn around to explain to me that he always lies about his birthday, by one day, to shake off the data spooks,. He volunteered this in case I thought he didn’t remember his own birth date. My sense is that most people give their true identity, if only so the kiosks will address them by their given names, the exchanges being in full view of friends and relatives waiting in line.

If the attendee hopes to glean some helpful health advice from the “Expedition Health” experience, they are inclined not to falsify the three remaining details: sex, age, and which “buddy,” among a statistical sampling of lifestyle types, they might identify themselves with.

Tell me that the last three profile items are not enough to provide a match to the hard data from the museum entrance receipts or membership database. Remember, the samples to compare are linked by the window of time the museum alloted to your ticket.

The choice of your “buddy” is the clincher. It might appear to be the most innocuous of indiscretions, but your surrogate patient type relays reliable biographical data about you, and doesn’t add anything to the health exhibit narrative except to use as a third person example, when the patient-specific explanation would reveal the alarming degree to which the diagnostics had taken your measure.

Which, to be fair, would create a liability risk for the museum, to complicate matters with pseudo diagnoses, easily misinterpreted by laymen.

The DMNS “Expedition Health” curators thus know quite definitively who you are, as you pass through their kiosks, putting yourself through a fairly extensive check up, the results of which are explained only generally to you, but to a medical administrator say enough to narrow many odds about your health prospects.

B. Diversionary misapplication of magnetic cards

Several of the Kiosks at “Expedition Health” are not interactive, and do not require the magnetic card. Of course, to assure that your “Peak Pass Personal Profile” data card will be filled print out with your EKG, Resting Heart Rate, Target Heart Rate, whether you reached your heart rate; your Arm Span, Height, Energy Score, Stride Length and Speed, a silhouette of your walking profile and another of your outreached Leonardo DaVinci pose; you’d have to have scanned your magnetic card at those machines.

By the way, the data summarized on the personal profile card was far more rudimentary in comparison to the information shown on the screens, and doubtless neither reflect the sophistication of the diagnostic electronics employed. The optics, for example, are capable of far better than inch-high cameos of your body. The lengths of time for which you have to pose for the scans betray the resolution the graphics engines are really processing.

Here’s the information being gathered at the various stops:

Taking your measure
The station which measures your arm span and height requires you to stand, arms outstretched, shoes off, for a full body digital picture, which records an uncommonly revealing photographic record of the subject’s body fat ratio.

Another station measures your stride length and speed, from which an “energy” score is awarded. To do this, a full motion video records you as you take over a half dozen steps, perhaps pushing yourself purposefully to boost your “energy score.” This video must be invaluable in what it reveals about a person’s vitality or physical challenges.

While the cardio-vascular stress tests might appear to offer mere stationary bicycling experiences, a subject’s entire session can be recorded, offering telltale clues to heart condition and lung stamina. Probably we’d all be more comfortable studying these results with the peace of mind that we have health insurance, as opposed to considering that our results might be grounds used to deny us health insurance coverage.

Diet
Several kiosks would seem to have no need for a card. For example, one featured an interactive script about nutrition. Mostly children sit at this station, to pick among menus of food, the mission being to fortify a climber for an ascent of a peak. Their choice of nutrients determines how far the animated climber will get, before tumbling after from hunger. You plug in your card to begin, and as a result the climbing figure features a Tanqueray-head-type of your chosen buddy. If this kiosk is gleaning a sense of your diet preferences, it’s not revealed on the exhibition debriefing printout.

Identification Marks
Another kiosk teaches you about wind chill. You stick your hand into a plexiglass chamber where lasers measure the change in your skin temperature over the course of several minutes. Curiously, you have to insert the magnetic card at this stop. Why? And you cannot proffer your elbow, your fist, or the back of your hand. Is it possible that the lasers reading your hand are actually scanning the prints of your palm and fingers? I know too little about medicine to conjecture what use the medical industry might have for such information, but the data is certainly marketable to security firms.

Confessions
While on this tangent, there’s another kiosk, the most popular in fact, which DOES NOT REQUIRE A CARD. At this station you get to see your face as it’s projected to age over the course of your life. The line is the longest at this station, while subjects pose, their face held immobile, framed in a stainless steel ring, for an interminable several seconds. I witnessed one person complain that the light into which he had to stare hurt his eyes. Eventually the scan yields only an oddly primitive, cellphone-quality facsimile of the subject’s face, projected on an adjacent flat screen. Next, the subject is asked which among three factors might influence how he’s expected to age. Please check which apply: UV damage, Obesity, and/or Smoker.

By law, none of these behaviors would have to be confessed to a doctor, or an insurance agent, in particular if such was a vice already put well behind. But the aging machine draws out the truth. Because the interrogator machina does not ask for your ID, it creates the semblance that you are being asked anonymously. Who doesn’t fully comprehend by now that sun exposure, obesity and smoking are very tragic predictors of our future health problems?

The pseudo age-disfigured face is disappointing. The transformation is just a transparency of age spots, wrinkles and discoloration overlaid on an initial low-rez photograph. If you are not recording the age-progression with your own camera, the ephemeral image passes, with no trace of what the long facial scan had actually recorded. You’d think since the lines of visitors here are always so long, that the aging image is what visitors might like to take with them as a memento. Alas, there’s no slot on this kiosk into which to insert your magnetic card to “record” it. But the sovereignty of this station is illusory.

Biometrics
If a webcam, a PC, and a common internet connection can transmit video in real-time video, why would this DMNS workstation be laboring for so long over your face? Can I hazard a guess? A 3-dimensional study of your face, and something just short perhaps of a retinal scan? If medical administrators are not looking at symptoms deep in your eyes, or in the translucence of your skin, perhaps this kiosk is for the security interests tabulating your biometrics.

If nothing else, the biometric configuration of your face can be matched to a digital image of your whole body from a previous kiosk, thus confirming your identity, BECAUSE AT THIS KIOSK YOU ENJOYED ANONYMITY. But now your smoker/obesity concession can be deftly noted alongside the other red flags being added to your health profile.

C. The Parting Shot
The last kiosk, in my opinion, gives the game away. If you insert your magnetic card, you can record a video message, a propo anything at all. I saw many takers offering calm Youtube soliloquies, as if composing a greeting to send into space. And AHA –instead of pretending that your video would be encoded on your card, instructions beside the screen offered the internet URL at which you can go see it.

First, this directive gives truth to the lie, the DMNS staffers’ incurious conclusion, that individual records are purged everyday. Your profile lives on on the internet, see it for yourself. Give your six-digit pass-code to a friend and they can see it too. And of course, you’re not the only one with the pass-code.

Second, you might well ask yourself, what does a videogram have to do with apprising me about my health? Unless it’s a time-capsule snapshot of you before you lost your insurance coverage. Because the video has everything to do with breached personal privacy. There you are, in your unguarded candor, sitting not upright like you would for a job interview, nor slouched like you might for Social Security, and you’re providing a recording for voice pattern recognition, for further data triangulation.

Third, you’ll have noticed, if you tried the Peak Pass link to the DMNS website, you get no further with your personal code than an invitation to “extend your experience” by installing Microsoft Silverlight. I hadn’t mentioned that the Gates Foundation was another big sponsor of “Expedition Health.” Beside the security vulnerabilities of client-side code, managing what is supposed to be confidential information, what usual back doors is Microsoft leaving in its pseudo-Flash, offering untold windows into our personal medical records?

The DMNS
I do not believe the museum staff have any idea what becomes of the data, nor the extent of the data, logged as museum visitors recreate through “Expedition Health.” The multiple employees, including a manager to whom I spoke, believed all data was erased daily. I’m not sure why they were untroubled by the internet database that obviously refutes their understanding of the process.

However the IT programmers who wired up the displays, and information managers handling the data, would most certainly know the full extent of this nefarious harvest.

Judging from the recent performance of the CEOs of the top medical insurers before Congress, expressing no remorse about their disreputable practice of rescinding coverage for customers upon their being diagnosed with expensive health problems, I do not think it is alarmist in the least to suspect that projects like “Expedition Health” and other similar museum “exhibits” around the country, are being used to further screen the prospectively less-than healthy.

DNA
Readers who’ve already visited “Expedition Health” will note that I ‘ve omitted mention of a significant corner of the experience, the hands-on, let’s play pathologist portion where visitors don lab-coats and, with the assistance of similarly lab-coated docent/lab-technicians, draw and observe their own DNA samples.

Where I inquired, I saw no magnetic-stripped cards changing hands, so I cannot say, on the hot topic of DNA, that the sky is falling. This holds with my inclination to believe that the museum volunteers are not party to the privacy improprieties of the sponsors running the machines. But what hands-on scientific observations are being conducted on digital equipment, as distinguished from analog microscopes, might be kept in the records, and it would only require just one lab-coated coordinator to monitor which sample came from whom. And wouldn’t that be the whole ball of wax?

CRYING WOLF?
If all this seems implausible, consider what is happening at Buckley AFB, by coincidence only a few miles away in Denver. Although US security agencies refuse to comment, respected intelligence experts have determined that at Buckley reside the data storage units upon which are the recordings of every single cellphone conversation that’s been transmitted via satellite. Every last one, for the past several years. Current technology does not afford agents the capability to monitor all those calls, but the processors are quickly catching up. The spooks can project that the eventual capacity to parse the information is inevitable. So why not begin logging the information now? The public has learned about Buckley from former employees, this is not mere idle speculation. Meanwhile the telecom companies who’ve been complicit in the data collection, have been very adamant about receiving immunity from prosecution for what constitute gross violations of American law.

AND NOW?
The information tracking mechanisms are there, the DMNS staff do not presume to vouch for machines, only for the harmless cards. Meanwhile the DMNS has no written pledge that their visitors’ confidentiality is being respected. Harvesting test data is not illegal after all, and with the pretense of anonymity, it’s even laudable, in the name of Science and Nature. I am awaiting a written response from the “Expedition Health” curator, and I intend to solicit an informed and verifiable refutation of these charges. I’ll keep you posted.

The “Expedition Health” installation went up in April, but it’s not coming down. It’s the most recent PERMANENT EXHIBIT to be added to the DMNS offerings. Add the trajectory of time to the information the diagnostics will be able to assemble about you.

And so, what do you think of a museum of Nature and Science, adding a whole wing about FREE HEALTH TESTING? Is that the dominion of museums, usually public repositories of the archives of knowledge? Or can you imagine a more appropriate setting for equipment and staff to perform medical checkups?

If others can kill, Israel wants permit too

Israeli idf propaganda newspaper adJune 6th is the 42nd anniversary of Israel’s seizure of Gaza. At right is a UK newspaper ad placed by the Anti-Defamation League, one of Israel’s myriad damage control engines, when UK students were calling to boycott Israel over its attacks in Gaza. 400,000 killed in Sudan, so Israel should get a pass on its 1,300 victims in Gaza? It sounds like the IDF expects allowances to be made for its periodic ethnic cleansing, permits maybe, like polluters trade carbon credits. The US Humane Society euthanizes 5.4 million dogs every year, no doubt it’s just a double standard to demonize Israel for bagging their 1,300 in Gaza.

Where there are fingers pointing at Sudan, there are Zionists diverting attention from their final Palestinian solution. No one’s crying GENOCIDE in Darfur, calling for military intervention against the Muslim regime but Israel, the US and George Clooney.

I just read an eyewitness recollection of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, published on this 20th anniversary, by a reporter who went on to fault China less for its human rights transgressions than for Chinese investments in Sudan and Iran. Sudan? IRAN? What was an evocative historical account began to smell of Zionist agitation… Of course the WSJ columnist turned out to be a “conservative” who also labels those who stand up for Palestinian rights as anti-Semites.

Anti-Zionism 4D: Defining Demonization Double Standards and Delegitimization

The word “nutritious” defines a food quality that provides sustenance. I’ve no doubt as skepticism grows about the likely poisonous aspects of refined sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup, the corporate sugar-water purveyors will append “satiates your subliminal impulses” to the meaning of nutritious. Who safeguards our dictionaries from authoritarians who profit from reweaving the fabric of knowledge we consider inviolate?

We expect facts to change, but it is unsettling to be robbed of the words which we count on to measure the change.

Did you think “anti-Semitic” meant prejudice against the Jews? It does, except the Zionists behind sustaining Israel want it to indemnify their unpopular endeavor too. Anti-Semitism now means opposing Israel, although the stigma implied is of course still “Jew Hater.” But the appropriation is unseemly. Crusading Evangelicals could tell you, if you oppose their bloody incursions into the lands of Islam, then you must be anti-Christian. But are you?

It would seem only fair that the victims of anti-Semitism should be entitled to define what oppresses them, but that’s not who’s wrapping themselves in its protection. Zionists (both Jewish and Christian) claim that an overwhelming percentage of World Jewry supports sustaining the US-Israel occupation of Palestine. Is it true? I wager that the far greater proportion of both Jews and non-Jews repudiate military aggression, occupation, ethnic cleansing and religious oppression. But if it were true, claims of suffering historical persecution are not grounds to be given license to persecute others.

Anti-Semitism describes real, tradition-rooted anti-Jewish sentiment. To expand its meaning disrespects the very tangible prejudice which Jews still face. Opposition to sustaining Israel is actually Anti-Zionism, which is neither for nor against Judaism. Anti-Zionism denounces another long-held prejudice: White European Man’s assertion that the Holy Land belongs to him.

Anti-Zionism is the opposition to sustaining an illegally invaded, illegally occupied, racist administration of Palestine in the name of “Zionism.” Anti-Zionism calls for “the destruction of Israel,” meaning the dissolution of the Western colonial theocracy imposed on the indigenous population of the Middle East. To oppose the sustaining of Israel is a call to exterminate Israeli apartheid. Anti-Zionism is no resurrection of the Final Solution. It means leave people be. White settlers should not assume to usurp the lands and water rights of the native Palestinians.

Zionism defender Nathan Sharansky has constructed a definition of anti-Semitism with an expanded breadth, he calls them the three Ds: Demonization, Double Standards and Delegitimization. It’s this 3D definition with which Zionists are branding UCSB professor William Robinson, himself a Jew, as an anti-Semite. Professor Robinson circulated an email among his sociology students, comparing Israel’s actions in Gaza to methods used by the Nazis, now US-Israeli lobby groups are calling for UCSB to censure him.

Sharansky’s three Ds are easily refuted because he offers no more than circular argument. Ipso Facto my eye. I reprint Sharansky’s explanation below, but first an abridgment:

Demonization: “…having [the Jewish state’s] actions blown out of all sensible proportion … can only be considered anti-Semitic.”

Double Standards: “It is anti-Semitism … when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while tried and true abusers … are ignored.”

Delegitimization: “…the denial of Israel’s right to exist is always anti-Semitic.”

Thus, if Israel considers the criticisms leveled against it to be insensible, then the criticisms are anti-Semitic; also, so long as abusive regimes persist, Israel reserves its prerogative to abuse; and, the legitimacy of Israel’s biblically ordained Manifest Destiny is never to be questioned. These are self-rationalizations which beg ridicule, but doing so would appear anti-Semitic.

Sharansky finishes: “If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.” To suggest that the right of the Palestinians to live in their homeland, have been usurped by the Jewish people, most of whom knew other homelands, is apparently anti-Semitic.

Here is Nathan Sharansky’s statement to support the 3-D formula for decrying “ANTI-SEMITISM!”

I propose the following test for differentiating legitimate criticism of Israel from anti-Semitism. The 3D test, as I call it, is not a new one. It merely applies to the new anti-Semitism the same criteria that for centuries identified the different dimensions of classical anti-Semitism.

DEMONIZATION
The first D is the test of demonization.

Whether it came in the theological form of a collective accusation of deicide or in the literary depiction of Shakespeare’s Shylock, Jews were demonized for centuries as the embodiment of evil. Therefore, today we must be wary of whether the Jewish state is being demonized by having its actions blown out of all sensible proportion.

For example, the comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of the Palestinian refugee camps to Auschwitz — comparisons heard practically every day within the “enlightened” quarters of Europe — can only be considered anti-Semitic.

Those who draw such analogies either do not know anything about Nazi Germany or, more plausibly, are deliberately trying to paint modern-day Israel as the embodiment of evil.

DOUBLE STANDARDS
The second D is the test of double standards. For thousands of years a clear sign of anti-Semitism was treating Jews differently than other peoples, from the discriminatory laws many nations enacted against them to the tendency to judge their behavior by a different yardstick.

Similarly, today we must ask whether criticism of Israel is being applied selectively. In other words, do similar policies by other governments engender the same criticism, or is there a double standard at work?

It is anti-Semitism, for instance, when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while tried and true abusers like China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria are ignored.

Likewise, it is anti-Semitism when Israel’s Magen David Adom, alone among the world’s ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross.

DELIGITIMIZATION
The third D is the test of deligitimization. In the past, anti-Semites tried to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish religion, the Jewish people, or both. Today, they are trying to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish state, presenting it, among other things, as the last vestige of colonialism.

While criticism of an Israeli policy may not be anti-Semitic, the denial of Israel’s right to exist is always anti-Semitic. If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.

Virus H1N1 Pig Pork Ham Hog Swine Flu

Melissa Francis and Contessa BrewerMSNBC- Apparently “some importers don’t understand … you can’t catch Swine Flu from eating pork.” The perky MSNBC duo ridiculed China for banning pork from the US and Canada, but their guest expert interjected another priority: the correct term was “H1N1 virus,” not Swine Flu. Everyone agreed the distinction could quell international hysteria against the falsely accused.

Interesting that Health Officials should “STRESS THAT YOU CAN’T GET SWINE FLU FROM EATING PORK.” We need Health Officials to STRESS how to avoid Swine Flu, not where to avoid avoiding it. Leave it to the pork industry which brewed the swill, up from which Swine Flu had wafted, to clear their pork by-product for public consumption.

The Contessa Brewer & Melissa Francis Sweet Valley Twins act lets MSNBC set up contrived incredulity which consultants can confirm within the context of otherwise false assumptions. “Swine Flu has nothing to do with pigs, right? I mean, pigs don’t catch it, right?”

Neither Brewer nor Francis can be as dumb as they pretend. One graduated Magna Cum Laud, the other is a Harvard alumni. You might welcome an everywoman chattiness on a daytime news presentation, but playing to a lower denominator means that corporate spokesmen can relay their talking points without scrutiny.

On this program, the twin debs were perplexed by the apparent overreaction of Hong Kong officials, who quarantined a hotel, a vestage, it was determined, from their difficult experience with SARS. The MSNBC guest expert offered a further helpful obfuscation: medical researchers still don’t understand how SARS spread between hotel guests.

Thus, international scrutiny of hog production was greeted with an incurious derision. This has nothing to do with the pigs, right?

And you don’t get malaria from pools of standing water. Mosquitoes spread malaria and dengue fever among many tropical diseases. We can probably guess that Brewer, Francis and guest know that malaria control efforts center on mosquito breeding grounds.

But the guest kept up the ridicule of swine-focused measures. Egypt was trying to slaughter pigs which it considered vulnerable to the pandemic, how unfair. The expert wasn’t addressing the probable unfairness of the farmers targeted by the Egyptian government, the expert was speaking up for the poor hogs who would be slaughtered in vain. I may have mistaken a lament for lost pork chops, sooner than empathy for the misjudged pigs, but the latter seemed illogical. The poor hogs otherwise what future exactly, beside imminent slaughter?

UN Security Council and US government rubber stamp Sinhalese slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka

Like how the UN Security Council and the US government ONCE hid in the shadows egging on Saddam Hussein-led Iraq and its assault on Iran in previous times, today it is doing the same with the Sri Lanka Civil War. But Saddam Hussein couldn’t get in the death blow against Iran that the Security Council lusted for on behalf of the US in the ’80s. Sinhalese Sri Lanka is though against its Tamil opposition, and now the Security Council has come out of the shadows and is egging the final kill on. See Tamil Tigers urged to surrender (by UN Security Council)

Geopolitical reasons always dictate who the world corporate press declares as being righteous and who is denounces as being villainous in these conflicts. The US and its European allies have definitely tilted towards using India as regional ally against China and Russia, and India wants the end of Tamil rebellion, both inside India itself, and also inside Sri Lanka. That’s enough to spin the conflict as it is being done. While the ‘Security Council’ with the name of the United Nations attached to itself is calling for the Tamil insurrection to lay down its arms, we sincerely doubt that it will ever do anything to protect the Tamil population from slaughter at the hands of Sri Lanka’s government. It certainly hasn’t in the past.

Saipan abuses impervious to outrage?

A 2006 article in MS Magazine exposed labor abuse in the US territories of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Have conditions changed since protectors Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff were dislodged? Consider that US Senator Daniel Kahikina delivered this condemnation of human exploitation in the Saipan in 1998.

The Commonwealth shares our American flag, but it does not share the American system of immigration.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a CNMI immigration system that issues permits to recruiters, who in turn promise well-paying American jobs to foreigners in exchange for a $6,000 recruitment fee. When the workers arrive in Saipan, they find their recruiter has vanished and there are no jobs in sight. Hundreds of these destitute workers roam the streets of Saipan with little or no chance of employment and no hope of returning to their homeland.

The State Department has confirmed that the government of China is an active participant in the CNMI immigration system. There is something fundamentally wrong with an immigration system that allows the government of China to prohibit Chinese workers from exercising political or religious freedom while employed in United States.

Something is fundamentally wrong with a CNMI immigration system that issues entry permits for 12- and 13-year-old girls from the Philippines and other Asian nations, and allows their employers to use them for live sex shows and prostitution.

Finally, something is fundamentally wrong when a Chinese construction worker asks if he can sell one of his kidneys for enough money to return to China and escape the deplorable working conditions in the Commonwealth and the immigration system that brought him there.

There are voices in the CNMI telling us that the cases of worker abuse we keep hearing about are isolated examples, that the system is improving, and that worker abuse is a thing of the past. These are the same voices that reap the economic benefits of a system of indentured labor that enslaves thousands of foreign workers — a system described in a bi-partisan study as “an unsustainable economic, social and political system that is antithetical to most American values.”

There is overwhelming evidence that abuse in the CNMI occurs on a grand scale and the problems are far from isolated.

Peru convicts Fujimori for war crimes even as Sri Lanka slaughters thousands in a similar counter insurgency war against its citizens

Tamil Tigers The world once sat by and allowed the United States and its Peruvian puppet, Alberto Fujimori to slaughter off tens of thousands of its indigenous citizens. The excuse was that Sendero Luminoso, the oppositional group, was not a nice enough group of people for liberals and Leftists to campaign to stop the slaughter from occurring. Today the whole world sits by, because they don’t like the Tamil Tigers, and does the exact same thing of allowing the slaughter to go on.

Yet, On this very same day, today Fujimori got convicted and Tamils are demonstrating to stop the same sort of slaughter. The world as a whole though seems to learn nothing? No CHANGE has occurred still.

The role of the US government has been is to simply accept what its ally, India, does in Kashmir and in regard to the ‘Tamil Question?’ India is needed in a US constructed Asian regional alliance against both Russia and China, so this slaughter is just not important enough to the US government to prevent from occurring. The Tamils will simply join others as collateral damage.

The Bolsheviks had the right idea…

As far as ending World War One.

Since the issue was raised that the United States intervention in 1917 was what ended the war.

Silly on the face of it and sillier still the further you delve into the idea.

Britain and the rest of the Triple Entente (although there were far more than three of them) had the propaganda going about “That Small nations might have the same rights as the Great Powers”.

Just not nations like Ireland, India, China, Kenya, VietNam (only “our” French allies were calling it “Cochin China”… Cochin is French for “pig”) the Congo, the Sudan, South Africa… you know, the Small Nations inhabited by those the European Royalists considered “inferior”.

So while the Band of Cousins, related by blood and by their arrogance, sent “their” subjects to do bayonet charges against poison gas and belt-fed water-cooled machine guns, eventually, the worst of the lot, Cousin Nicholas Romanoff, pissed off his Peasant Slaves errr Lawfully Appointed Subjects to the point that they got sick of it, and gave him and his Demon Spawn family exactly what they deserved..

If it had spread much further, and the American intervention was the only thing the “free” nations had to end it…(Free to Obey Your King as though he were anointed by God) (and the Royalists still believe that they ACTUALLY ARE anointed by God)

If there were no American intervention the general mutiny that was building in ALL the trenches, French, Belgian, English, Turkish, German, Austrian… the same way it had amongst the Russian Conscripts, would have reached it’s natural apex, and they would have gotten rid of THEIR parasite class the same way the Russian people had.

The war would have ended a lot sooner, and even the Spanish Influenza epidemic might have been averted.

And since it wouldn’t have ended on terms imposed by the “victors”… it would actually have been over.

Instead of, you know, our generation still fighting the same war, different battles.

And the Good News is…

Well, Psych… There isn’t any… Faked you out pretty good, huh?

The Chinese Navy is playing cat and mouse with “our” Navy in the South China Sea.

Two possibilities, one is that they’re doing what I suggested two years ago, “we” owe them our entire national treasury since they bought up all those T-Bills that we had just laying around not doing anything, just, you know, gathering dust and all…
The way CheneyBush Corporation intended to finance the war without raising taxes and all.

So maybe they’re simply foreclosing on our mortgage in Iraq and Afghanistan and are simply evicting us.

That would be good. Sure we wouldn’t have the oil, but hey, there’s no way in Hell we would be able to hold onto our Conquests long enough to collect the oil anyway.

The other option, far more probable, is that they’re anticipating a Red Hot Nuclear Exchange between us and Iran, except that Iran, like Iraq, doesn’t actually have nuclear weapons…

and of course the two Nuclear Powers who border Iran,

India and Pakistan…. Also border China.

Sure, the border consists of the tallest MuFu mountains in the entire MuFu world… But a mushroom cloud laden with all those nice little radioactive particles will go much much higher.

Nuking Iran, as some of “our” Government representatives wish to do, especially our Unofficial Government Officials like Bibi Netanyahu…

Would involve nuking Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan, and Outer Absurdistan, and India…

…and China.

Naturally, none of these PEOPLE have any desire to die in a nuclear holocaust just to appease the Jackasses in Arlington Virginia.

Glow in the dark Grandchildren are NOT on their agenda.

Bible Code, Redux

So, it was on again today.

And this time, thanx to all the Mossad, Knesset and IDF name dropping that’s been going on, courtesy of our Trolls…

Some of the names were eerily familiar.

People in Netanyahu’s Koalition of the Killing government with his 22% “majority mandate”.

Nut Job after Nut Job saying how wonderful the Bible Code works, citing events they ‘discovered” in the code … after they happened of course…

And even a couple of Pentagoons and yeah, Troll, I know you think you have a handle on accuracy but I call the PentaGoons that deliberately.

Our Army is at least in their leadership every bit as thuggish and murderous as IDF.

It makes it difficult to tell which is the Master and which the Disciple in their Sick Sadistic relationship.

But the theme comes out, they want to take the so-called Proven Accuracy of their decoding of the Talmudic Matrix, and use it as Legitimate Foreign Policy.

And apparently, these demented Freaks actually have backing from some shadowy types from OUR government.

Let’s boil that down, shall we?

Why thank you, of course we shall.

There’s a politically backed movement to base Life and Death decisions, active in TWO Nuclear Armed governments,

On a Glorified Seance.

An Ouija Board.

Reading Tea Leaves.

The show was taped in 2004.

The people interviewed saying how much they would love to actually influence Official Policy both in Washington and Tel Aviv, are now close to the hearts of both governments.

One of the “ACCURATE” predictions involved the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

You know the ones, the 500 metric tonnes (that’s more than a MILLION pounds, folks) of WMDs that it turns out didn’t exist in the first place.

OOOPS….

Apparently the Code didn’t predict that disastrous misstep.

Or the bit about the Syrians and Lebanese running the IDF out one more time when they invaded Lebanon again.

Just like the IDF got run out in 85.

Well well well well well…

But one thing predicted during the show, and welcomed with Loud Hosannahs from the Silly Ass proponents of the Bible Code, was the notion of WMDs in Iran…

I know the Country Song says the writer is too stupid to be able to tell the difference between Iraq and Iran.
Probably can’t tell the difference between the U.S. and Mexico or Russian and China or Germany and France either.
Bigots are like that…
But for those terminally confused types, that’s IRAN spelled with an “N” on the end of it and with nearly 4 times the prewar population of IRAQ spelled with a “Q” or alternately IRAK spelled with a “K”.

Remember always, gentle readers, and forget never, that these are the SAME “experts” that George Bush hired to give intelligent intelligence reports about Uranium, anthrax, Smallpox, Mousepox, Nerve Gas… In Iraq 6 years ago.

In other words, Lying Warmongering Sell-outs to God and the Whole Human Race.

Since both Washington and IDF still have prisoners in Torture Chambers across the globe being tortured and Murdered based on these DumbShit’s “expert testimony”…

That would cast a rather large shadow on every other aspect of their Continuing Terroristic War against everybody who doesn’t bow and worship the Washington-London-Tel Aviv REAL Axis of Evil.

How many more prisons filled up with their victims, how many graves?

How much more of the basic humanity and wealth of the world are going to be bombed out of existence based on their Lying Interpretation of “Code” which, by a bizarre coincidence, is manipulated to support their already predisposed an predetermined Plans of Conquest, Murder and Pillage?

Ward Churchill: Some People Push Back

British edition titled Reflections on the Justice of Roosting ChickensHere is Ward Churchill’s notorious 9/11 “Little Eichmanns” essay, published online September 12, 2001, presented here for archival purposes lest critics think they can silence one of our nation’s strongest dissenting voices. Churchill later expanded this piece into a book entitled On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: reflections on the consequences of U.S. imperial arrogance and criminality published by AK Press in 2003.

Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
by Ward Churchill

When queried by reporters concerning his views on the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, Malcolm X famously – and quite charitably, all things considered – replied that it was merely a case of “chickens coming home to roost.”

On the morning of September 11, 2001, a few more chickens – along with some half-million dead Iraqi children – came home to roost in a very big way at the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Well, actually, a few of them seem to have nestled in at the Pentagon as well.

The Iraqi youngsters, all of them under 12, died as a predictable – in fact, widely predicted – result of the 1991 US “surgical” bombing of their country’s water purification and sewage facilities, as well as other “infrastructural” targets upon which Iraq’s civilian population depends for its very survival.

If the nature of the bombing were not already bad enough – and it should be noted that this sort of “aerial warfare” constitutes a Class I Crime Against humanity, entailing myriad gross violations of international law, as well as every conceivable standard of “civilized” behavior – the death toll has been steadily ratcheted up by US-imposed sanctions for a full decade now. Enforced all the while by a massive military presence and periodic bombing raids, the embargo has greatly impaired the victims’ ability to import the nutrients, medicines and other materials necessary to saving the lives of even their toddlers.

All told, Iraq has a population of about 18 million. The 500,000 kids lost to date thus represent something on the order of 25 percent of their age group. Indisputably, the rest have suffered – are still suffering – a combination of physical debilitation and psychological trauma severe enough to prevent their ever fully recovering. In effect, an entire generation has been obliterated.

The reason for this holocaust was/is rather simple, and stated quite straightforwardly by President George Bush, the 41st “freedom-loving” father of the freedom-lover currently filling the Oval Office, George the 43rd: “The world must learn that what we say, goes,” intoned George the Elder to the enthusiastic applause of freedom-loving Americans everywhere. How Old George conveyed his message was certainly no mystery to the US public. One need only recall the 24-hour-per-day dissemination of bombardment videos on every available TV channel, and the exceedingly high ratings of these telecasts, to gain a sense of how much they knew.

In trying to affix a meaning to such things, we would do well to remember the wave of elation that swept America at reports of what was happening along the so-called Highway of Death: perhaps 100,000 “towel-heads” and “camel jockeys” – or was it “sand niggers” that week? – in full retreat, routed and effectively defenseless, many of them conscripted civilian laborers, slaughtered in a single day by jets firing the most hyper-lethal types of ordnance. It was a performance worthy of the nazis during the early months of their drive into Russia. And it should be borne in mind that Good Germans gleefully cheered that butchery, too. Indeed, support for Hitler suffered no serious erosion among Germany’s “innocent civilians” until the defeat at Stalingrad in 1943.

There may be a real utility to reflecting further, this time upon the fact that it was pious Americans who led the way in assigning the onus of collective guilt to the German people as a whole, not for things they as individuals had done, but for what they had allowed – nay, empowered – their leaders and their soldiers to do in their name.

If the principle was valid then, it remains so now, as applicable to Good Americans as it was the Good Germans. And the price exacted from the Germans for the faultiness of their moral fiber was truly ghastly. Returning now to the children, and to the effects of the post-Gulf War embargo – continued bull force by Bush the Elder’s successors in the Clinton administration as a gesture of its “resolve” to finalize what George himself had dubbed the “New World Order” of American military/economic domination – it should be noted that not one but two high United Nations officials attempting to coordinate delivery of humanitarian aid to Iraq resigned in succession as protests against US policy.

One of them, former U.N. Assistant Secretary General Denis Halladay, repeatedly denounced what was happening as “a systematic program . . . of deliberate genocide.” His statements appeared in the New York Times and other papers during the fall of 1998, so it can hardly be contended that the American public was “unaware” of them. Shortly thereafter, Secretary of State Madeline Albright openly confirmed Halladay’s assessment. Asked during the widely-viewed TV program Meet the Press to respond to his “allegations,” she calmly announced that she’d decided it was “worth the price” to see that U.S. objectives were achieved.

The Politics of a Perpetrator Population
As a whole, the American public greeted these revelations with yawns.. There were, after all, far more pressing things than the unrelenting misery/death of a few hundred thousand Iraqi tikes to be concerned with. Getting “Jeremy” and “Ellington” to their weekly soccer game, for instance, or seeing to it that little “Tiffany” and “Ashley” had just the right roll-neck sweaters to go with their new cords. And, to be sure, there was the yuppie holy war against ashtrays – for “our kids,” no less – as an all-absorbing point of political focus.

In fairness, it must be admitted that there was an infinitesimally small segment of the body politic who expressed opposition to what was/is being done to the children of Iraq. It must also be conceded, however, that those involved by-and-large contented themselves with signing petitions and conducting candle-lit prayer vigils, bearing “moral witness” as vast legions of brown-skinned five-year-olds sat shivering in the dark, wide-eyed in horror, whimpering as they expired in the most agonizing ways imaginable.

Be it said as well, and this is really the crux of it, that the “resistance” expended the bulk of its time and energy harnessed to the systemically-useful task of trying to ensure, as “a principle of moral virtue” that nobody went further than waving signs as a means of “challenging” the patently exterminatory pursuit of Pax Americana. So pure of principle were these “dissidents,” in fact, that they began literally to supplant the police in protecting corporations profiting by the carnage against suffering such retaliatory “violence” as having their windows broken by persons less “enlightened” – or perhaps more outraged – than the self-anointed “peacekeepers.”

Property before people, it seems – or at least the equation of property to people – is a value by no means restricted to America’s boardrooms. And the sanctimony with which such putrid sentiments are enunciated turns out to be nauseatingly similar, whether mouthed by the CEO of Standard Oil or any of the swarm of comfort zone “pacifists” queuing up to condemn the black block after it ever so slightly disturbed the functioning of business-as-usual in Seattle.

Small wonder, all-in-all, that people elsewhere in the world – the Mideast, for instance – began to wonder where, exactly, aside from the streets of the US itself, one was to find the peace America’s purportedly oppositional peacekeepers claimed they were keeping.

The answer, surely, was plain enough to anyone unblinded by the kind of delusions engendered by sheer vanity and self-absorption. So, too, were the implications in terms of anything changing, out there, in America’s free-fire zones.

Tellingly, it was at precisely this point – with the genocide in Iraq officially admitted and a public response demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were virtually no Americans, including most of those professing otherwise, doing anything tangible to stop it – that the combat teams which eventually commandeered the aircraft used on September 11 began to infiltrate the United States.

Meet the “Terrorists”
Of the men who came, there are a few things demanding to be said in the face of the unending torrent of disinformational drivel unleashed by George Junior and the corporate “news” media immediately following their successful operation on September 11.

They did not, for starters, “initiate” a war with the US, much less commit “the first acts of war of the new millennium.”

A good case could be made that the war in which they were combatants has been waged more-or-less continuously by the “Christian West” – now proudly emblematized by the United States – against the “Islamic East” since the time of the First Crusade, about 1,000 years ago. More recently, one could argue that the war began when Lyndon Johnson first lent significant support to Israel’s dispossession/displacement of Palestinians during the 1960s, or when George the Elder ordered “Desert Shield” in 1990, or at any of several points in between. Any way you slice it, however, if what the combat teams did to the WTC and the Pentagon can be understood as acts of war – and they can – then the same is true of every US “overflight’ of Iraqi territory since day one. The first acts of war during the current millennium thus occurred on its very first day, and were carried out by U.S. aviators acting under orders from their then-commander-in-chief, Bill Clinton. The most that can honestly be said of those involved on September 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course.

That they waited so long to do so is, notwithstanding the 1993 action at the WTC, more than anything a testament to their patience and restraint.

They did not license themselves to “target innocent civilians.”

There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . .

Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire – the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to “ignorance” – a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

The men who flew the missions against the WTC and Pentagon were not “cowards.” That distinction properly belongs to the “firm-jawed lads” who delighted in flying stealth aircraft through the undefended airspace of Baghdad, dropping payload after payload of bombs on anyone unfortunate enough to be below – including tens of thousands of genuinely innocent civilians – while themselves incurring all the risk one might expect during a visit to the local video arcade. Still more, the word describes all those “fighting men and women” who sat at computer consoles aboard ships in the Persian Gulf, enjoying air-conditioned comfort while launching cruise missiles into neighborhoods filled with random human beings. Whatever else can be said of them, the men who struck on September 11 manifested the courage of their convictions, willingly expending their own lives in attaining their objectives.

Nor were they “fanatics” devoted to “Islamic fundamentalism.”

One might rightly describe their actions as “desperate.” Feelings of desperation, however, are a perfectly reasonable – one is tempted to say “normal” – emotional response among persons confronted by the mass murder of their children, particularly when it appears that nobody else really gives a damn (ask a Jewish survivor about this one, or, even more poignantly, for all the attention paid them, a Gypsy).

That desperate circumstances generate desperate responses is no mysterious or irrational principle, of the sort motivating fanatics. Less is it one peculiar to Islam. Indeed, even the FBI’s investigative reports on the combat teams’ activities during the months leading up to September 11 make it clear that the members were not fundamentalist Muslims. Rather, it’s pretty obvious at this point that they were secular activists – soldiers, really – who, while undoubtedly enjoying cordial relations with the clerics of their countries, were motivated far more by the grisly realities of the U.S. war against them than by a set of religious beliefs.

And still less were they/their acts “insane.”

Insanity is a condition readily associable with the very American idea that one – or one’s country – holds what amounts to a “divine right” to commit genocide, and thus to forever do so with impunity. The term might also be reasonably applied to anyone suffering genocide without attempting in some material way to bring the process to a halt. Sanity itself, in this frame of reference, might be defined by a willingness to try and destroy the perpetrators and/or the sources of their ability to commit their crimes. (Shall we now discuss the US “strategic bombing campaign” against Germany during World War II, and the mental health of those involved in it?)

Which takes us to official characterizations of the combat teams as an embodiment of “evil.”

Evil – for those inclined to embrace the banality of such a concept – was perfectly incarnated in that malignant toad known as Madeline Albright, squatting in her studio chair like Jaba the Hutt, blandly spewing the news that she’d imposed a collective death sentence upon the unoffending youth of Iraq. Evil was to be heard in that great American hero “Stormin’ Norman” Schwartzkopf’s utterly dehumanizing dismissal of their systematic torture and annihilation as mere “collateral damage.” Evil, moreover, is a term appropriate to describing the mentality of a public that finds such perspectives and the policies attending them acceptable, or even momentarily tolerable.

Had it not been for these evils, the counterattacks of September 11 would never have occurred. And unless “the world is rid of such evil,” to lift a line from George Junior, September 11 may well end up looking like a lark.

There is no reason, after all, to believe that the teams deployed in the assaults on the WTC and the Pentagon were the only such, that the others are composed of “Arabic-looking individuals” – America’s indiscriminately lethal arrogance and psychotic sense of self-entitlement have long since given the great majority of the world’s peoples ample cause to be at war with it – or that they are in any way dependent upon the seizure of civilian airliners to complete their missions.

To the contrary, there is every reason to expect that there are many other teams in place, tasked to employ altogether different tactics in executing operational plans at least as well-crafted as those evident on September 11, and very well equipped for their jobs. This is to say that, since the assaults on the WTC and Pentagon were act of war – not “terrorist incidents” – they must be understood as components in a much broader strategy designed to achieve specific results. From this, it can only be adduced that there are plenty of other components ready to go, and that they will be used, should this become necessary in the eyes of the strategists. It also seems a safe bet that each component is calibrated to inflict damage at a level incrementally higher than the one before (during the 1960s, the Johnson administration employed a similar policy against Vietnam, referred to as “escalation”).

Since implementation of the overall plan began with the WTC/Pentagon assaults, it takes no rocket scientist to decipher what is likely to happen next, should the U.S. attempt a response of the inexcusable variety to which it has long entitled itself.

About Those Boys (and Girls) in the Bureau
There’s another matter begging for comment at this point. The idea that the FBI’s “counterterrorism task forces” can do a thing to prevent what will happen is yet another dimension of America’s delusional pathology.. The fact is that, for all its publicly-financed “image-building” exercises, the Bureau has never shown the least aptitude for anything of the sort.

Oh, yeah, FBI counterintelligence personnel have proven quite adept at framing anarchists, communists and Black Panthers, sometimes murdering them in their beds or the electric chair. The Bureau’s SWAT units have displayed their ability to combat child abuse in Waco by burning babies alive, and its vaunted Crime Lab has been shown to pad its “crime-fighting’ statistics by fabricating evidence against many an alleged car thief. But actual “heavy-duty bad guys” of the sort at issue now? This isn’t a Bruce Willis/Chuck Norris/Sly Stallone movie, after all.. And J. Edgar Hoover doesn’t get to approve either the script or the casting.

The number of spies, saboteurs and bona fide terrorists apprehended, or even detected by the FBI in the course of its long and slimy history could be counted on one’s fingers and toes. On occasion, its agents have even turned out to be the spies, and, in many instances, the terrorists as well.

To be fair once again, if the Bureau functions as at best a carnival of clowns where its “domestic security responsibilities” are concerned, this is because – regardless of official hype – it has none. It is now, as it’s always been, the national political police force, an instrument created and perfected to ensure that all Americans, not just the consenting mass, are “free” to do exactly as they’re told.

The FBI and “cooperating agencies” can be thus relied upon to set about “protecting freedom” by destroying whatever rights and liberties were left to U.S. citizens before September 11 (in fact, they’ve already received authorization to begin). Sheeplike, the great majority of Americans can also be counted upon to bleat their approval, at least in the short run, believing as they always do that the nasty implications of what they’re doing will pertain only to others.

Oh Yeah, and “The Company,” Too

A possibly even sicker joke is the notion, suddenly in vogue, that the CIA will be able to pinpoint “terrorist threats,” “rooting out their infrastructure” where it exists and/or “terminating” it before it can materialize, if only it’s allowed to beef up its “human intelligence gathering capacity” in an unrestrained manner (including full-bore operations inside the US, of course).

Yeah. Right.

Since America has a collective attention-span of about 15 minutes, a little refresher seems in order: “The Company” had something like a quarter-million people serving as “intelligence assets” by feeding it information in Vietnam in 1968, and it couldn’t even predict the Tet Offensive. God knows how many spies it was fielding against the USSR at the height of Ronald Reagan’s version of the Cold War, and it was still caught flatfooted by the collapse of the Soviet Union. As to destroying “terrorist infrastructures,” one would do well to remember Operation Phoenix, another product of its open season in Vietnam. In that one, the CIA enlisted elite US units like the Navy Seals and Army Special Forces, as well as those of friendly countries – the south Vietnamese Rangers, for example, and Australian SAS – to run around “neutralizing” folks targeted by The Company’s legion of snitches as “guerrillas” (as those now known as “terrorists” were then called).

Sound familiar?

Upwards of 40,000 people – mostly bystanders, as it turns out – were murdered by Phoenix hit teams before the guerrillas, stronger than ever, ran the US and its collaborators out of their country altogether. And these are the guys who are gonna save the day, if unleashed to do their thing in North America?

The net impact of all this “counterterrorism” activity upon the combat teams’ ability to do what they came to do, of course, will be nil.

Instead, it’s likely to make it easier for them to operate (it’s worked that way in places like Northern Ireland). And, since denying Americans the luxury of reaping the benefits of genocide in comfort was self-evidently a key objective of the WTC/Pentagon assaults, it can be stated unequivocally that a more overt display of the police state mentality already pervading this country simply confirms the magnitude of their victory.

On Matters of Proportion and Intent
As things stand, including the 1993 detonation at the WTC, “Arab terrorists” have responded to the massive and sustained American terror bombing of Iraq with a total of four assaults by explosives inside the US. That’s about 1% of the 50,000 bombs the Pentagon announced were rained on Baghdad alone during the Gulf War (add in Oklahoma City and you’ll get something nearer an actual 1%).

They’ve managed in the process to kill about 5,000 Americans, or roughly 1% of the dead Iraqi children (the percentage is far smaller if you factor in the killing of adult Iraqi civilians, not to mention troops butchered as/after they’d surrendered and/or after the “war-ending” ceasefire had been announced).

In terms undoubtedly more meaningful to the property/profit-minded American mainstream, they’ve knocked down a half-dozen buildings – albeit some very well-chosen ones – as opposed to the “strategic devastation” visited upon the whole of Iraq, and punched a $100 billion hole in the earnings outlook of major corporate shareholders, as opposed to the U.S. obliteration of Iraq’s entire economy.

With that, they’ve given Americans a tiny dose of their own medicine.. This might be seen as merely a matter of “vengeance” or “retribution,” and, unquestionably, America has earned it, even if it were to add up only to something so ultimately petty.

The problem is that vengeance is usually framed in terms of “getting even,” a concept which is plainly inapplicable in this instance. As the above data indicate, it would require another 49,996 detonations killing 495,000 more Americans, for the “terrorists” to “break even” for the bombing of Baghdad/extermination of Iraqi children alone. And that’s to achieve “real number” parity. To attain an actual proportional parity of damage – the US is about 15 times as large as Iraq in terms of population, even more in terms of territory – they would, at a minimum, have to blow up about 300,000 more buildings and kill something on the order of 7.5 million people.

Were this the intent of those who’ve entered the US to wage war against it, it would remain no less true that America and Americans were only receiving the bill for what they’d already done. Payback, as they say, can be a real motherfucker (ask the Germans). There is, however, no reason to believe that retributive parity is necessarily an item on the agenda of those who planned the WTC/Pentagon operation. If it were, given the virtual certainty that they possessed the capacity to have inflicted far more damage than they did, there would be a lot more American bodies lying about right now.

Hence, it can be concluded that ravings carried by the “news” media since September 11 have contained at least one grain of truth: The peoples of the Mideast “aren’t like” Americans, not least because they don’t “value life’ in the same way. By this, it should be understood that Middle-Easterners, unlike Americans, have no history of exterminating others purely for profit, or on the basis of racial animus. Thus, we can appreciate the fact that they value life – all lives, not just their own – far more highly than do their U.S. counterparts.

The Makings of a Humanitarian Strategy
In sum one can discern a certain optimism – it might even be call humanitarianism – imbedded in the thinking of those who presided over the very limited actions conducted on September 11.

Their logic seems to have devolved upon the notion that the American people have condoned what has been/is being done in their name – indeed, are to a significant extent actively complicit in it – mainly because they have no idea what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

Now they do.

That was the “medicinal” aspect of the attacks.

To all appearances, the idea is now to give the tonic a little time to take effect, jolting Americans into the realization that the sort of pain they’re now experiencing first-hand is no different from – or the least bit more excruciating than – that which they’ve been so cavalier in causing others, and thus to respond appropriately.

More bluntly, the hope was – and maybe still is – that Americans, stripped of their presumed immunity from incurring any real consequences for their behavior, would comprehend and act upon a formulation as uncomplicated as “stop killing our kids, if you want your own to be safe.”

Either way, it’s a kind of “reality therapy” approach, designed to afford the American people a chance to finally “do the right thing” on their own, without further coaxing.

Were the opportunity acted upon in some reasonably good faith fashion – a sufficiently large number of Americans rising up and doing whatever is necessary to force an immediate lifting of the sanctions on Iraq, for instance, or maybe hanging a few of America’s abundant supply of major war criminals (Henry Kissinger comes quickly to mind, as do Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and George the Elder) – there is every reason to expect that military operations against the US on its domestic front would be immediately suspended.

Whether they would remain so would of course be contingent upon follow-up. By that, it may be assumed that American acceptance of onsite inspections by international observers to verify destruction of its weapons of mass destruction (as well as dismantlement of all facilities in which more might be manufactured), Nuremberg-style trials in which a few thousand US military/corporate personnel could be properly adjudicated and punished for their Crimes Against humanity, and payment of reparations to the array of nations/peoples whose assets the US has plundered over the years, would suffice.

Since they’ve shown no sign of being unreasonable or vindictive, it may even be anticipated that, after a suitable period of adjustment and reeducation (mainly to allow them to acquire the skills necessary to living within their means), those restored to control over their own destinies by the gallant sacrifices of the combat teams the WTC and Pentagon will eventually (re)admit Americans to the global circle of civilized societies. Stranger things have happened.

In the Alternative
Unfortunately, noble as they may have been, such humanitarian aspirations were always doomed to remain unfulfilled. For it to have been otherwise, a far higher quality of character and intellect would have to prevail among average Americans than is actually the case. Perhaps the strategists underestimated the impact a couple of generations-worth of media indoctrination can produce in terms of demolishing the capacity of human beings to form coherent thoughts. Maybe they forgot to factor in the mind-numbing effects of the indoctrination passed off as education in the US. Then, again, it’s entirely possible they were aware that a decisive majority of American adults have been reduced by this point to a level much closer to the kind of immediate self-gratification entailed in Pavlovian stimulus/response patterns than anything accessible by appeals to higher logic, and still felt morally obliged to offer the dolts an option to quit while they were ahead.

What the hell? It was worth a try.

But it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the dosage of medicine administered was entirely insufficient to accomplish its purpose.

Although there are undoubtedly exceptions, Americans for the most part still don’t get it.

Already, they’ve desecrated the temporary tomb of those killed in the WTC, staging a veritable pep rally atop the mangled remains of those they profess to honor, treating the whole affair as if it were some bizarre breed of contact sport. And, of course, there are the inevitable pom-poms shaped like American flags, the school colors worn as little red-white-and-blue ribbons affixed to labels, sportscasters in the form of “counterterrorism experts” drooling mindless color commentary during the pregame warm-up.

Refusing the realization that the world has suddenly shifted its axis, and that they are therefore no longer “in charge,” they have by-and-large reverted instantly to type, working themselves into their usual bloodlust on the now obsolete premise that the bloodletting will “naturally” occur elsewhere and to someone else.

“Patriotism,” a wise man once observed, “is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

And the braided, he might of added.

Braided Scoundrel-in-Chief, George Junior, lacking even the sense to be careful what he wished for, has teamed up with a gaggle of fundamentalist Christian clerics like Billy Graham to proclaim a “New Crusade” called “Infinite Justice” aimed at “ridding the world of evil.”

One could easily make light of such rhetoric, remarking upon how unseemly it is for a son to threaten his father in such fashion – or a president to so publicly contemplate the murder/suicide of himself and his cabinet – but the matter is deadly serious.

They are preparing once again to sally forth for the purpose of roasting brown-skinned children by the scores of thousands. Already, the B-1 bombers and the aircraft carriers and the missile frigates are en route, the airborne divisions are gearing up to go.

To where? Afghanistan?

The Sudan?

Iraq, again (or still)?

How about Grenada (that was fun)?

Any of them or all. It doesn’t matter.

The desire to pummel the helpless runs rabid as ever.

Only, this time it’s different.

The time the helpless aren’t, or at least are not so helpless as they were.

This time, somewhere, perhaps in an Afghani mountain cave, possibly in a Brooklyn basement, maybe another local altogether – but somewhere, all the same – there’s a grim-visaged (wo)man wearing a Clint Eastwood smile.

“Go ahead, punks,” s/he’s saying, “Make my day.”

And when they do, when they launch these airstrikes abroad – or may a little later; it will be at a time conforming to the “terrorists”‘ own schedule, and at a place of their choosing – the next more intensive dose of medicine administered here “at home.”

Of what will it consist this time? Anthrax? Mustard gas? Sarin? A tactical nuclear device?

That, too, is their choice to make.

Looking back, it will seem to future generations inexplicable why Americans were unable on their own, and in time to save themselves, to accept a rule of nature so basic that it could be mouthed by an actor, Lawrence Fishburn, in a movie, The Cotton Club.

“You’ve got to learn, ” the line went, “that when you push people around, some people push back.”

As they should.

As they must.

And as they undoubtedly will.

There is justice in such symmetry.

ADDENDUM
The preceding was a “first take” reading, more a stream-of-consciousness interpretive reaction to the September 11 counterattack than a finished piece on the topic. Hence, I’ll readily admit that I’ve been far less than thorough, and quite likely wrong about a number of things.

For instance, it may not have been (only) the ghosts of Iraqi children who made their appearance that day. It could as easily have been some or all of their butchered Palestinian cousins.

Or maybe it was some or all of the at least 3.2 million Indochinese who perished as a result of America’s sustained and genocidal assault on Southeast Asia (1959-1975), not to mention the millions more who’ve died because of the sanctions imposed thereafter.

Perhaps there were a few of the Korean civilians massacred by US troops at places like No Gun Ri during the early ‘50s, or the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians ruthlessly incinerated in the ghastly fire raids of World War II (only at Dresden did America bomb Germany in a similar manner).

And, of course, it could have been those vaporized in the militarily pointless nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There are others, as well, a vast and silent queue of faceless victims, stretching from the million-odd Filipinos slaughtered during America’s “Indian War” in their islands at the beginning of the twentieth century, through the real Indians, America’s own, massacred wholesale at places like Horseshoe Bend and the Bad Axe, Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, the Washita, Bear River, and the Marias.

Was it those who expired along the Cherokee Trial of Tears of the Long Walk of the Navajo?

Those murdered by smallpox at Fort Clark in 1836?

Starved to death in the concentration camp at Bosque Redondo during the 1860s?

Maybe those native people claimed for scalp bounty in all 48 of the continental US states? Or the Raritans whose severed heads were kicked for sport along the streets of what was then called New Amsterdam, at the very site where the WTC once stood?

One hears, too, the whispers of those lost on the Middle Passage, and of those whose very flesh was sold in the slave market outside the human kennel from whence Wall Street takes its name. And of coolie laborers, imported by the gross-dozen to lay the tracks of empire across scorching desert sands, none of them allotted “a Chinaman’s chance” of surviving.

The list is too long, too awful to go on.

No matter what its eventual fate, America will have gotten off very, very cheap.

The full measure of its guilt can never be fully balanced or atoned for.

In response to criticism, Churchill issued this press release January 31, 2005:

PRESS RELEASE

In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into the opposite of itself, and I hope the following facts will be reported at least to the same extent that the fabrications have been.

* The piece circulating on the internet was developed into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. Most of the book is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. My point is that we cannot allow the U.S. government, acting in our name, to engage in massive violations of international law and fundamental human rights and not expect to reap the consequences.

* I am not a “defender”of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people “should” engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, “Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.”

* This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world. My feelings are reflected in Dr. King’s April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed . . . without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”

* In 1996 Madeleine Albright, then Ambassador to the UN and soon to be U.S. Secretary of State, did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that “we” had decided it was “worth the cost.” I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths.

* Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as “Nazis.” What I said was that the “technocrats of empire” working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of “little Eichmanns.” Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

* It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American “command and control infrastructure” in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a “legitimate” target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than “collateral damage.” If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these “standards” when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

* It should be emphasized that I applied the “little Eichmanns” characterization only to those described as “technicians.” Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that’s my point. It’s no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

* The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the “Good Germans” of the 1930s and ’40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.

* These points are clearly stated and documented in my book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which recently won Honorary Mention for the Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award. for best writing on human rights. Some people will, of course, disagree with my analysis, but it presents questions that must be addressed in academic and public debate if we are to find a real solution to the violence that pervades today’s world. The gross distortions of what I actually said can only be viewed as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues at hand and to further stifle freedom of speech and academic debate in this country.

Ward Churchill
Boulder, Colorado
January 31, 2005

Truth Wanted: IDF military intelligence propagandists need not apply

Soldiers Media CenterWell, engaging the Israeli Internet Megaphone was an interesting experiment, although the popular consensus interjected the qualifier “hardly.” Now smeared across the NMT comment record is the indelible impression of what an industrial strength, defense department white-wash program can do to an open blog forum. It’s particularly distinct at NMT because we don’t have the red-neck yahoos which usually camouflage the disinformation agents. Well, we’ve documented the propaganda mechanism, it’s provided the scat samples, now it’s time to close the study.

Much as we’re plenty eager to take on the front line soldiers working PR combat, we must also realize our limitations. Their eloquence may be invitingly mud-hued, but they’ve got a machine gun to our dueling sword.

In every war, of chief concern to aggressors is the strategy to dominate what’s being said about them, from propaganda leaflets to postal censors to intelligence departments directing the press. It should be no surprise that the blogosphere would be of intense interest to them. It’s become cliche to say it, but in war “the first casualty is the truth.” Whereas journalism is always misperceived as representing the truth, blogs are truth’s living, breathing aspirants. Up against mercenary contractor liars, truth-adherents will asphyxiate.

Here’s what we’re going to do. When we detect comment coming from a documented military intelligence source, it’s gone. Well, replaced with a link to this post. That way Not My Tribe can still bear witness to the frequency of the onslaught. And if we’re then hit with denial-of-service attacks, we’ll serve as a record of those too. Freedom of speech on the internet is not going down without a fight.

And so we bid the truth-assassins adieu, and thanks for the fish. You’ve helped us demonstrate how it’s done, who’s doing it, and to what lethal extreme. Israel is not the only military maneuvering online. China and the US have legions working sabotage and censorship. NMT represents only the blogosphere arena, and only an English-language sampling. No doubt whichever governments commit atrocities, they have military advisers tell them the job isn’t done until public discussion is controlled.

But you’ve given us a ray of hope too. No matter what the budget, I don’t care if you’re paid $1000/hr, your voice will never resonate above the intellect of a dullard. As universities know, brains don’t come cheap, and the best are free. Thank goodness. Your voice may be loud and brash, but nothing which will get traction with thinking folk.

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime!

Occupation is a crime
A.N.S.W.E.R. has 7 Reasons to March on DC. We can borrow them!
– The war in Afghanistan is expanding and widening.
– 350,000 U.S. troops and US-paid contractors still occupy Iraq.
– Israel’s Siege of Gaza remains in place, with backing of Washington.
– Obama’s Justice Department is continuing the policy of renditions.
– Air strikes on Pakistan are killing an increasingly number of civilians.
– The real Pentagon war budget is over $1.3 trillion annually.
– More than 20 million people are now unemployed and under-employed.

7 Reasons You Should March on the Pentagon on March 21, 2009

1
The war in Afghanistan is expanding and widening. President Obama announced last week that another 17,000 troops are on their way to Afghanistan. Only 18 percent of Afghanis support this escalation and only 34 percent of the people of the United States approve of the added troops despite the president’s popularity, according to the Washington Post/ABC poll announced on February 17, 2009. This is a colonial war. The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was not involved in the decision to add more occupying troops into his country. Rather, he was “informed of the deployments in a telephone call with Obama” on February 17, according to the Washington Post (February 18, 2009).

2
About 350,000 U.S. troops and U.S.-paid private contractors (mercenaries) still occupy Iraq. The Iraqi people want the occupation to end. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is insisting that only two of the 14 combat brigades in Iraq exit in 2009. The war and occupation of Iraq costs $430 million each day. If the U.S. government were to end the military occupation, any and all future Iraqi governments would return to a position of political independence from the economic and political dictates of the United States. Iraq’s anti-colonial legacy has created a political reality that prohibits the country from becoming like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia–an out-and-out dependency on U.S. imperialism. That is the real reason that the U.S. government fears a complete disengagement from Iraq and an end to its military occupation.

3
Israel’s Siege of Gaza remains in place, with the full backing of Washington. The U.S. government has continued to fund Israel’s war and blockade against the people of Gaza. The Pentagon provided the funding, and technical and logistical support for the establishment of the Israeli war machine, including its massive cluster and white phosphorous bomb arsenal, and the country’s large cache of nuclear bombs.

4
The new Justice Department has announced that it will continue the policy of renditions, meaning the CIA and Pentagon will capture and kidnap individuals anywhere in the world and transfer them to other countries. “The Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.” (LA Times, Feb. 1, 2009)

5
The new administration has stepped up the air strikes that are killing an increasingly large number of Pakistani civilians. Unmanned drone bombing attacks violate Pakistani sovereignty and are creating an ocean of resentment and anger inside of Pakistan. The U.S. government has no right to carry out these drone bombing strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The people of the United States would not accept the legitimacy of other governments ordering air attacks in the United States. We must openly and loudly reject such tactics by the government that speaks in our name and spends our tax dollars for such aggression.

6
The real Pentagon war budget is over $1.3 trillion annually. This is greater than the combined total of most of the other countries in the world, including all the NATO countries, and Russia and China. Some label this “waste spending” because it spends precious resources to build exotic and high cost weapons, a new generation of nuclear weapons, and space-based war fighting capabilities, while filling the coffers of the big investors (i.e., the biggest banks) in the war corporations. Pentagon contracting is often based on guaranteed “cost-plus” contracts that reward price gouging since corporate profit is based on a fixed percentage above their expenses. Another label for this process is “extreme corruption” and theft from the public treasury.

7
More than 20 million people are now unemployed and under-employed. Nine million families are either in foreclosure or are at risk of foreclosure this year, according to the statistics just released by the government. Forty-seven million people are without health care. College tuition hikes are soaring and millions of students are at risk of being forced out of school. The people want change. They don’t want a simple tweaking of Bush’s criminal foreign policies. They want to put people’s needs before corporate greed. They want an end to wars of aggression that are wreaking havoc, death and destruction abroad, and diverting urgently needed resources in the service of semi-colonialism and Empire.

Greg Mortenson encircles Swat Province, US drones launched from Baluchistan

Pakistan showing Swat encirclement by CAI and Shamsi Airport in Bandari Baluchistan
Not many maps show the location of the Pakistani airport from which US drones are launched against targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To plot the Shamsi Airport in Baluchistan, I started with a graphic supplied by the Central Asian Institute (CAI) showing Greg Mortenson’s school building projects, which appear to encircle the Taliban resurgent Swat Province, where schools are a battleground.

Recognize the map above? It’s an updated diagram of CAI’s progress in northern Pakistan, making it all the more clear that school-building is taking point in our Western incursion in Southwest Asia.

Think-tank pundits are describing the Southwest Asian conflict as having become the Afghanistan and Pakistan War. With 17,000 more US troops moving in (who knows how many more contractor mercenaries), Europe pulling its NATO soldiers out, and Kyrgyzstan ousting our base, we might as well become more familiar with Pakistan.

dronesBy the way, the furor about our military use of the Shamsi Airport has more to do with where we are deploying the drones. The US was given permission by the Pakistani government to use several bases in Pakistan from which to direct our attacks on Afghanistan. The bases are in Karachi, Jacobabad, Pasni and Dalbadin. Shamsi is noteworthy because it is being used by the CIA, and because its drones are monitoring regions in Pakistan itself.

We need zoom out only a little from this map to see that the US actions here are part of an encirclement strategy against China, Russia, and to the West, Iran!

Rod Blagojevich a Great American Hero

Governor Rod Blogojevich Blaggo BlaggovichDeposed Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich earns my nomination for great American hero. What hyperbolic laurels would fit a loudmouth buffoon? Be fair. Blagojevich brought the media spotlight to an overlooked exploit of American political cronyism: a governor’s solitary prerogative to appoint national legislators. Alright, Blago didn’t mean to. But if the little Dutch boy had stuck his Rod Blagojevich into the dike, instead of his finger, would the little pervert be any less a hero?

Had you wondered how so many otherwise quite obviously unelectable, pasty white men of entitled bearing, each of them visibly the creepiest of crooks, become unassailable political incumbents? They sneak into office aided by other white cronies. And the governor’s appointment is the fast track.

Blagojevich wanted his share in the payola, but maybe other governors have simply been more discrete. A look at just the appointments made after the formation of Barack Obama’s cabinet, turns up odors of the most dubious of machinations. In this case, those chosen were Democrats who look more like Republicans, and certainly nothing like the kind of politician which the mostly progressive American voter would have supported in the last election.

Should legislative seats be appointed by a governor? Someone has to do it I suppose. A governor is elected after all. Maybe in this instance he’s representing his constituents in choosing a senator for them.

But a recent Obama cabinet appointment episode calls that justification into question. When Obama picked Republican Senator Judd Gregg for Commerce Secretary, a deal was struck whereby the senator would only consent to the appointment if the senator’s state governor agreed to allow a Republican replacement. Who then, can be said to have made the choice of that representative?

Whether it’s a bribe paid to a governor, fundraising shenanigans, or a favor offered by the president, it’s still crooked.

US, too, joins China in having companies killing people with tainted foods

peanut butterCapitalists just don’t care. They care about making profits. The US has now joined with China in food scandals where company officials knowingly and deliberately sold off contaminated and deadly food substances to the general public. Salmonella found at Ga. plant as early as 2006 Owner Stewart Parnell of Peanut Corporation of America refused to testify at Congressional hearing; 9 have now died

And we here at NotMyTribe personally know one of those people effected by this horrible Salmonella epidemic, and it has made a mess of our friend’s life! We have no functioning Public Health System that can be depended on in our country and plenty of people are negatively impacted by this sad reality. Why do people have to live this way in our modern age?

Collapsing Mexico

villa and zapataCollapsing Mexico was not the intent of Lawrence Summers, Obama’s new US Secretary of Treasury, but he has pulled it off BIG! Mexico’s economy today is shedding hundreds of thousands of badly needed jobs and is providing negative economic growth to its continually growing population rather than any positive numbers. Lawrence Summers is the architect of that catastrophe, so let’s review his US-Mexican resume some for those who are unaware of it. And let’s see what might be in store for Mexico’s neighbor, the USA?

Lawrence Summers was Clinton’s offerer of the US government’s move to tie Mexico into the NAFTA con, and point man to convince the Mexican PRI dictatorship, led by Ernesto Zedillo, to totally tie their country’s economic and political cart to an elephant and a donkey from the North. The carrot was a ‘giant bailout’ loan offer of billions of US treasury dollars (>$55 billion to be more exact). Many of Mexico’s PRI tied business men jumped at the opportunity and headed towards behind the scenes funding of the actual setting up of an American style 2 party con game, instead of the holding tight to the one party regime they had been supporting for so many decades. The final result was an acceptance of the billions coming from the US and a turn to setting up the Vicente Fox-PAN into the Mexican White House (Los Pinos). National debt to the US was set as something to worry about in the future, meanwhile they planned to ride high on the hog short term, and they did.

But now the US sowed genetically altered corn is coming come to roost, as Mexico has become caught totally tied to the US economy as the international collapse of all the world markets is underway. Mexicans are returning from the US because they cannot find jobs in the collapsing US economy, and returning under-aware of Mexico’s collapsing economy. A dark storm is beginning to brew, and just last weekend several hundred thousand people demonstrated in the capital against their US government enforced upon them government. John Ross, America’s foremost commentator on Mexican politics, writes of the unfolding situation this week in his commentary When (Mexican) Millionaire Mummies Mourn
Davos vs. Belem; Swine vs. Pearls

Why should Americans care about any of this? Isn’t the US collapsing world economies (China, Japan, Russia, European, and so on),one on top of the other anyway? What’s so special about what the US con-omy is doing to Mexico? Well…….? It is simply the fact that Mexico and the US are so intimately tied to each other and have been for centuries now. Wither Mexico, wither Latin America as a whole, too? It’s a volatile brew that is being stirred. BANG!

Keep an eye on Mexico as the economic downturn continues. The US government is losing its authority to direct…. to direct the people of Mexico in their own internal affairs with the collusion of their corrupt death squad loving elites who follow the order of our US elites. Don’t believe for a second that this development will not impact our own political turmoil ahead. Mexico will always be the key ‘foregin’ society for Gringolandia, and its just South of our ‘Homeland Security’. We are in this mess our corrupt capitalists have created for the common folk all of us together, and it has become a brewing Cauldron, Presidente Calderon.

Barack Obama resembles Gerald Ford more than he does Lincoln

Gerald FordToday’s Denver Post print edition headline reads U.S. closes door on Guantanamo, torture. Of interest is how their internet version of this headline has changed the verb tense from ‘closes’ to ‘closing’. Yes, well it amounts to about the same thing, kind of? Well but is it a closed book, or not? That question has to be asked because Gerald Ford supposedly closed the book on Watergate, which was where a President acted in a criminal manner but was left entirely free from facing any criminal charges! The President will be stopped (after his criminal acts become just too obvious and exposed) but is simply above the law, was how the message was left later to be read by the likes of Dubya Bush and Dick Cheney.

Yes, Barack Obama wants to clean America’s image up and closing Guantanamo’s detention unit down is key to that. But he also wants to sweep the dirt under the rug and get on with it, so to speak. There is no evidence that he plans to prosecute anybody for the crimes they committed by running this Federal torture camp, and this is what makes us look on these seemingly positive moves with a huge amount of scepticism.

Eisenhower, too, eventually stopped the McCarthyite witch hunt from going further forward, but then continued to wage the Korean War that resulted in millions going to their deaths. He kept the Cold War going full tilt, and much of the world worried that the ‘cold’ would become a hot war with nuclear weapons begin launched. In fact, Eisenhower’s military command thought long and hard about nuking China. So looking at the edicts coming out from Barack Obama on his first day about supposedly moving to end the torture regime of the Bush Administration should not be looked at with rose tinged glasses on.

Suspected U.S. missile attacks kill 18 in Pakistan At the same time as Barack is supposedly ending US government torture of POWs, his Administration is continuing the bombing of targets that hit civilians in Pakistan as often as not. Further, the bombing raids are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, same as the continued now Barack Occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are, too.

While nobody can expect Barack Obama to reverse all that Bush’s Klan instituted with DP loyal assistance in just one or two days, let alone one or two weeks, there still is really no reason to assume that Barack has any plan to do so… EVER. In this sense, Barack Obama resembles Gerald Ford much more than he resembles Abraham Lincoln. Eventually this will become rather obvious but for now the liberal euphoria continues. They are being led around on their leashes by the corporate media and Barack, but what we are actually seeing so far is Barack Obama pardoning Bush and his gang for crimes committed.

The shipping news

container shipThe whining and hang-wringing about the “credit crunch” is getting on my nerves. It was this supposed crisis that led to the $700 billion bailout and we’re told every day that it must be solved quickly, no matter the cost, or we’re toast. But why? How many of us are actively seeking credit right now? Surely the developers and retailers want us to have lots and lots of it so we can keep hyper-consuming their goods; the bankers want us to have it so they can collect their interest and fees but, seriously, is free-flowing credit what the American public needs right now? Living beyond our means is what caused the credit meltdown in the first place!

Here’s a meaty statistic: the Baltic Dry Index, which measures the demand for global shipping capacity, dropped from 11,793 last May to, get this, an inconceivable zero. The complexity of the BDI is beyond the scope of this post but, suffice it to say, there are lots of cargo ships sitting at anchor today. The collapse of the BDI augurs a rapidly evaporating demand for foreign goods. Combine this with the massive deterioration in domestic consumption during the fourth quarter of 2008, and wager a guess as to the meaning of it all. We’re not buying anything and the world is following suit! So tell me, Wall Street wizards, why the continued hyperbole about a credit crunch?

How could our purchasing habits change so dramatically overnight? Currently, Americans own an estimated 250 million personal computers and 175 million iPods. There are 9 million mobile homes within our borders, approximately 102-130 million single-family homes, and countless million apartments. One could safely assert that there’s a home, an mp3 player and a personal computer for every man, woman and child in the United States. I’ll go on. Everyone has a television, a cell phone. Nearly everyone owns a car. Most have closets full of clothes they never wear, and we all have too many shoes. So when Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke or anyone else talks about freeing up the flow of credit, we should ask ourselves why.

Recently, through the dense economic fog came a thin ray of revelation: I may actually have enough stuff. Perhaps, just maybe, I can stop buying new stuff for awhile. I can keep my slightly dented iPod for yet another year. My Toyota with 90,000 miles is probably good for another road trip or two. I won’t move to a bigger house just yet, or buy the 52″ flatscreen Santa forgot to leave under the tree. I may have to forego the spring sales and make do with last summer’s tank tops, wrong color though they may be.

I don’t mean to minimize the hardship of doing without, but we are a nation of excess inventory. Somewhere in our stuffed dressers and overfull garages, there is room to accommodate a changed perspective.

Wall Street is telling us that all will soon be well. If we just give them hundreds of billions, they’ll take their cut and loan the rest to us so we can get back to “business as usual”. But what if we don’t cooperate with their economic “recovery” plan? What if we collectively turn our backs on Wall Street and Madison Avenue and live simply, buying what we need and paying as we go, stopping to share with others along the way?

Remember, our banks and investment companies built themselves toward inevitable failure during the economic boom. Don’t expect them to act nobly in the coming recession because they won’t. You can bank on that. So stop worrying about their silly market indices and their credit machinations. Let the Federal government give them another trillion pieces of worthless paper. Help them plaster their walls with negotiable instruments. Make them eat derivatives for breakfast, sell them short against the box and leverage them to outerspace. Leave them with their excess shipping capacity and their phantom dollar bills.

It’s time for the rest of us to disembark this sinking stinking ship for good.

Germany the victim, Japan the victim, America the victim, Israel the victim?

victimWhat happens when imperialist states put on airs of victim-hood? First an imperialist state defined is simply a country that holds property of other nations, cultures, or religions, or a country that desires to do so. Or both covets new property and holds old properties of others, as the case of the United State so amply demonstrates.

Imperialist states are rarely to never satisfied with their actual criminal take in profits. But what happens when countries that are imperialist, develop in their populations the notion that they are somehow also the victims and not the aggressors, as has happened to Germany, Japan, the US, and Israel, as just a few most prominent examples to mention?

As one might remember from History lessons at school, Germany and Japan had populations of elites that began to feel that they were victimized by the other imperialist nations, whom all already had colonies to exploit. Japan wanted China to make up for that, and Germany wanted to compete with Britain, France, Holland, and Belgium in the imperialism arena, too. The German people chafed at having been given bad conditions by these other Powers post World War One, and they began to think that they were victims of a conspiracy, a conspiracy that denied them their just status, a conspiracy that exploited them financially and had thrown the majority of Germans into poverty.

Shoot to the US, which after the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan was where the US began to rally its population around the idea that America was the Grand Victim of conspiracy. Later the Americans dropped the only atomic bombs ever used on people, and they dropped them onto civilian Japanese. Everything went over smoothly morality wise for the Americans because they had convinced themselves they were victims. In fact, the American government then became the preachiest government ever seen around anywhere, as it began to define war crimes as being always the actions of others, and never themselves.

Now with 9/11, it is as if another dose of victim-hood has become injected into the modern US population.

‘We’re victims!’, shouts the American crowd once again. We must be allowed to do anything without the slightest recriminations against us, because? ‘We’re victims! We are targets from a criminal conspiracy!’ They are talking about Muslims now. The word the more direct Victim-hood fanatic uses is ‘Islamofascsits’ as code for Muslims. Yes, well that was what the Germans were convinced by Hitler to believe, too. Except the criminal conspiracy supposedly was from the Jews.

In WW2 the Jewish European population actually were victims. Most did not escape alive either. Certainly the Jewish population were victims much more than the Americans, the Germans, or the Japanese ever have been. Further, they were not people of an imperialist nation at the time when that happened. Many Jews found that status of having no imperialist nation (Homeland) impossible to maintain and tolerate without changing the situation to try to obtain an imperialist state of their own. They succeeded.

‘We, the Jews, are victims!’

Well, the Jewish survivors of the European Holocaust obtained their imperialist state, obtained their weaponry, and eventually obtained their nuclear arms. How prideful they became, and started to imitate the Americans themselves. They began to think of themselves as the country of the Mighty Mouse. They began to think of themselves as the Mighty Mouse that not only had been victimized before, but would always be victimized by those angry at their thefts of other people’s property and land. This Jewish sense of always feeling that they were about to be victimized again began to grow side by side with the Americans’ sense of the very exact same. So here we are today… Another imperialist nation feeling themselves the eternal Victim.

There is much destruction on the horizon and the people who will cause it consider themselves to be the victims of others. That’s the way it always is with imperialist nations, too. It is the mass psychology of the self-righteous Mob at work. Aggressors that see themselves as Victims will lash out at those that see through the ruse. They will lynch, they will bomb, they will burn alive The Other. The victim imperialist country always see themselves as The Pure surrounded by vicious animals. But it is always themselves that become The Rabid.

One big pimp for the Pentagon

Korean prostitute“Our government was one big pimp for the U.S. military,” one of the women, Kim Ae-ran, 58, said in a recent interview reports the NYT. Ex-Prostitutes Say South Korea and U.S. Enabled Sex Trade Near Bases.

This woman is talking about South Korea but just as well could have been talking about the South Vietnamese government, the Thai government, or the Philippine government. When one strips away all the rhetoric about fighting communism, fighting terrorism, and fighting to bring democracy to whoever? …what remains is the naked reality of ‘our boys’ screwing over other peoples on behalf of the US corporate elites’ profit making and power.

All those lies about why the US supposedly went and occupied South Korea to spread democracy we have heard through all these long years, are now crumbling away into the real facts becoming more known about mass atrocities, mass prostitution of Korean women, and the simple mass brainwashing of the American people back then that is coming out. Korea was no good war, but was rather merely the Japanese occupation of that country being turned into the US occupation of a portion of that Peninsula.

Many in the US military High Command wanted to drop nuclear weapons on China at that time as they used Korea as a base for their US government Asian aggression! That’s the moral caliber of the US Political and Military establishment and the forced sex trade was the same thing just passed downward as spoils to the grunts. Part of the ‘character building’ the US military is noted for. Join the Army and get a license to kill. Get a license to fuck an under aged prostitute with little to no risk from the law.

Barack’s tea party

obama teapartyObama has lunch with 4 presidents. Well isn’t that nice? I wonder what they discussed at the Barack’s tea party? Did they all discuss how to better pacify Iraq, Somalia, Palestine, and Afghanistan? Did they discuss just how bloody they should make Gaza? What did the Peanut Man, Jimmy Carter have to say? Did he wear that big shit eating smile of his?

Did they talk about the trillion dollar deficit the government will have? Did they talk about how better to guarantee corporate profitability through tax money give aways? Did they laugh and giggle some? Did they have caviar at the tea party, or did they rather eat some plebeian food for the press later to let the public know, how just they all are with the Common Folk?

This is what Barack Obama calls ‘change’? This is what Democratic Party voters think of as ‘hope’? Was the tea organic tea, better to lessen the impact on the environment? Did they discuss torturing of POWs any? Was anybody sad because Dick Cheney and Al Gore could not be allowed into the photo op tea party? Was Barack’s cup for his tea China Made in China, or was it American made? Does the American public approve of how Barack handled his tea party?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Barack and Dubya walk hand in hand

barack Obama Commander in Chief
WELL, YES HE IS NOW… He is co- Commander in Chief.

It should be becoming increasingly clear to the public by now that both Dubya and Barack have the same programs to ‘rescue the economy’ through increasing government debt, ‘surging’ in Afghanistan, and green lighting Israel’s slaughter in Gaza. Did I mention that they both plan to stay in Iraq, though after the inauguration it will be Barack totally in command of this operation? Does anybody seriously still believe that Barack is somehow against keeping Iraq an occupied country with US troops? Really? Then what kind of dope are you are on would be my question to you?

U.S. could be facing debt ‘time bomb’ this year is the Barack plan for ‘change’, as Obama sugar coats the Democrats plan to bailout the corporate elites with a shallow promise to supposedly create 3,000,000 jobs. Sure you will, Barack, and you will throw the US government into bankruptcy along with your Republican and your Clintonite buddies screwing us, the working public, over royal. It’s clear who your real friends are, and it ain’t us.

And the con game that Barack is playing about not being in office yet with an inability to change US government policy towards Israel’s invasion of Gaza is totally phony. Shoot! Barack and his Buddies are already plotting out space wars with China in the years ahead even. Obama Moves to Counter China With Pentagon-NASA Link (Update1) It’s just pure gullibility on the part of anybody that actually believes that Obama is not able to intervene in regards to Israel bombing and invading Gaza. The same type of gullibility that made some folk think that Dennis Kucinich was some sort of DP Golden Boy, too. Not much a menace to the gun toting Barack-Hillary group at the top of the party is Dennis. He can’t even open his mouth having caught the same bug that must be ailing Barack on this matter.

And Bush and Obama are walking hand in hand on the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, continuing US torture of POWs, and threatening the Russians, too. Surprising isn’t it, that President Mr. BIG CHANGE has not muttered one word about ending official US government policy of torturing its POWs? He plans merely to cover it up and pretend otherwise. Barack is as much war without end as the Republicans he is now copying like a parrot for.

Don’t get it wrong. Obama will enter into office with a virtual bombardment of meaningless ‘change’ rhetoric, since that is his forte. He’s good at saying nothing real while doing a shuffle. You can continue to fall for it if you want, but think how stupid you will feel down the line? Your only excuse will be…. At least he wasn’t Dick Cheney and Dubya. Small consolation though for you inactivity while you made excuses for this crew. Barack and Dubya are walking hand in hand now, and that’s what your vote bought.