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Archive for the ‘Iraq War’ Category

Let’s interrupt their fun

Posted by terres on March 27, 2010

Whichever way you look at it, the final war before the COLLAPSE has started

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the increasing American war front across the world: from Afghanistan to Africa and Latin America. This is the Third World War in all but name, waged by the only aggressive “ism” that denies it is an ideology and threatened not by introverted tribesmen in faraway places but by the anti-war instincts of its own citizens.

Have a nice world war, folks

25 Mar 2010
John Pilger

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the increasing American war front across the world: from Afghanistan to Africa and Latin America. This is the Third World War in all but name, waged by the only aggressive “ism” that denies it is an ideology and threatened not by introverted tribesmen in faraway places but by the anti-war instincts of its own citizens.

Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa. In preparation for an attack on Iran, American missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf states, and “bunker-buster” bombs are said to be arriving at the US base on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

In Gaza, the sick and abandoned population, mostly children, is being entombed behind underground American-supplied walls in order to reinforce a criminal siege. In Latin America, the Obama administration has secured seven bases in Colombia, from which to wage a war of attrition against the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Meanwhile, the secretary of “defence” Robert Gates complains that “the general [European] public and the political class” are so opposed to war they are an “impediment” to peace. Remember this is the month of the March Hare.

According to an American general, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is not so much a real war as a “war of perception”. Thus, the recent “liberation of the city of Marja” from the Taliban’s “command and control structure” was pure Hollywood. Marja is not a city; there was no Taliban command and control. The heroic liberators killed the usual civilians, poorest of the poor. Otherwise, it was fake. A war of perception is meant to provide fake news for the folks back home, to make a failed colonial adventure seem worthwhile and patriotic, as if The Hurt Locker were real and parades of flag-wrapped coffins through the Wiltshire town of Wooten Basset were not a cynical propaganda exercise.

“War is fun”, the helmets in Vietnam used to say with bleakest irony, meaning that if a war is revealed as having no purpose other than to justify voracious power in the cause of lucrative fanaticisms such as the weapons industry, the danger of truth beckons. This danger can be illustrated by the liberal perception of Tony Blair in 1997 as one “who wants to create a world [where] ideology has surrendered entirely to values” (Hugo Young, the Guardian) compared with today’s public reckoning of a liar and war criminal.

Western war-states such as the US and Britain are not threatened by the Taliban or any other introverted tribesmen in faraway places, but by the anti-war instincts of their own citizens. Consider the draconian sentences handed down in London to scores of young people who protested Israel’s assault on Gaza in January last year. Following demonstrations in which paramilitary police “kettled” (corralled) thousands, first-offenders have received two and a half years in prison for minor offences that would not normally carry custodial sentences. On both sides of the Atlantic, serious dissent exposing illegal war has become a serious crime.

Silence in other high places allows this moral travesty. Across the arts, literature, journalism and the law, liberal elites, having hurried away from the debris of Blair and now Obama, continue to fudge their indifference to the barbarism and aims of western state crimes by promoting retrospectively the evils of their convenient demons, like Saddam Hussein. With Harold Pinter gone, try compiling a list of famous writers, artists and advocates whose principles are not consumed by the “market” or neutered by their celebrity. Who among them have spoken out about the holocaust in Iraq during almost 20 years of lethal blockade and assault? And all of it has been deliberate. On 22 January 1991, the US Defence Intelligence Agency predicted in impressive detail how a blockade would systematically destroy Iraq’s clean water system and lead to “increased incidences, if not epidemics of disease”. So the US set about eliminating clean water for the Iraqi population: one of the causes, noted Unicef, of the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five. But this extremism apparently has no name.

Norman Mailer once said he believed the United States, in its endless pursuit of war and domination, had entered a “pre-fascist era”. Mailer seemed tentative, as if trying to warn about something even he could not quite define. “Fascism” is not right, for it invokes lazy historical precedents, conjuring yet again the iconography of German and Italian repression. On the other hand, American authoritarianism, as the cultural critic Henry Giroux pointed out recently, is “more nuance, less theatrical, more cunning, less concerned with repressive modes of control than with manipulative modes of consent.”

This is Americanism, the only predatory ideology to deny that it is an ideology. The rise of tentacular corporations that are dictatorships in their own right and of a military that is now a state with the state, set behind the façade of the best democracy 35,000 Washington lobbyists can buy, and a popular culture programmed to divert and stultify, is without precedent. More nuanced perhaps, but the results are both unambiguous and familiar. Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, the senior United Nations officials in Iraq during the American and British-led blockade, are in no doubt they witnessed genocide. They saw no gas chambers. Insidious, undeclared, even presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, the Third World War and its genocide proceeded, human being by human being.

In the coming election campaign in Britain, the candidates will refer to this war only to laud “our boys”. The candidates are almost identical political mummies shrouded in the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes. As Blair demonstrated a mite too eagerly, the British elite loves America because America allows it to barrack and bomb the natives and call itself a “partner”. We should interrupt their fun.

Copyright: The author/publication.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Iraq War, Somalia, US basis in Colombia, Yemen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pilger on the Crime of the Century

Posted by terres on December 10, 2009

Normalising the Crime of the Century

Under international law an attack on a sovereign state is a crime.

By John Pilger

December 09, 2009 – Information Clearing House – I tried to contact Mark Higson the other day only to learn he had died nine years ago. He was just 40, an honourable man. We met soon after he had resigned from the Foreign Office in 1991 and I asked him if the government knew that Hawk fighter-bombers sold to Indonesia were being used against civilians in East Timor.

The “War” Dead
Source: As possible Afghan war-crimes evidence removed, US silent

“Everyone knows,” he said, “except parliament and the public.”

“And the media?”

“The media – the big names – have been invited to King Charles Street (the Foreign Office) and flattered and briefed with lies. They are no trouble.”

As Iraq desk officer at the Foreign Office, he had drafted letters for ministers reassuring MPs and the public that the British Government was not arming Saddam Hussein. “This was a downright lie”, he said. “I couldn’t bear it”.


Giving evidence before the arms-to-Iraq enquiry, Higson was the only British official commended by Lord Justice Scott for telling the truth. The price he paid was the loss of his health and marriage and constant surveillance by spooks. He ended up living on benefits in a Birmingham bedsitter where he suffered a seizure, struck his head and died alone. Whistleblowers are often heroes; he was one.

He came to mind when I saw a picture in the paper of another Foreign Office official, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who was Tony Blair’s ambassador to the United Nations in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. More than anyone, it was Sir Jeremy who tried every trick to find a UN cover for the bloodbath to come. Indeed, this was his boast to the Chilcot enquiry on 27 November, where he described the invasion as “legal but of questionable legitimacy”. How clever. In the picture he wore a smirk.


Image source:  Flag-draped coffins of U.S. soldiers, casualties of the Iraq war, are seen aboard a cargo plane in Dover, Del. in this undated photo.

Under international law, “questionable legitimacy” does not exist. An attack on a sovereign state is a crime. This was made clear by Britain’s chief law officer, Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, before his arm was twisted, and by the Foreign Office’s own legal advisers and subsequently by the secretary-general of the United Nations. The invasion is the crime of the 21st century. During 17 years of assault on a defenceless civilian population, veiled with weasel monikers like “sanctions” and “no fly zones” and “building democracy”, more people have died in Iraq than during the peak years of the slave trade. Set that against Sir Jeremy’s skin-saving revisionism about American “noises” that were “decidedly unhelpful to what I was trying to do [at the UN] in New York”. Moreover, “I myself warned the Foreign Office … that I might have to consider my own position …”.

It wasn’t me, guv.

The purpose of the Chilcot inquiry is to normalise an epic crime by providing enough of a theatre of guilt to satisfy the media so that the only issue that matters, that of prosecution, is never raised. When he appears in January, Blair will play this part to odious perfection, dutifully absorbing the hisses and boos. All “inquiries” into state crimes are neutered in this way. In 1996, Lord Justice Scott’s arms-to-Iraq report obfuscated the crimes his investigations and voluminous evidence had revealed.

At that time, I interviewed Tim Laxton, who had attended every day of the inquiry as auditor of companies taken over by MI6 and other secret agencies as vehicles for the illegal arms trade with Saddam Hussein. Had there been a full and open criminal investigation, Laxton told me, “hundreds” would have faced prosecution. “They would include,” he said, “top political figures, very senior civil servants from right throughout Whitehall … the top echelon of government.”

150 of the British troops killed in Afghanistan. As of posting at least 4,367 US troops and 179 UK soldiers were killed in Iraq. In Afghanistan 1,536 foreign troops have been killed including 932 Americans and 237 UK soldiers.

That is why Chilcot is advised by the likes of Sir Martin Gilbert, who compared Blair with Churchill and Roosevelt. That is why the inquiry will not demand the release of documents that would illuminate the role of the entire Blair gang, notably Blair’s 2003 cabinet, long silent. Who remembers the threat of the thuggish Geoff Hoon, Blair’s “defence secretary”, to use nuclear weapons against Iraq?

In February, Jack Straw, one of Blair’s principal accomplices, the man who let the mass murderer General Pinochet escape justice and the current “justice secretary”, overruled the Information Commissioner who had ordered the government to publish Cabinet minutes during the period Lord Goldsmith was pressured into changing his judgement that the invasion was illegal. How they fear exposure, and worse.

The media has granted itself immunity. On 27 November, Scott Ritter, the former UN chief weapons inspector, wrote that the invasion “was made far easier given the role of useful idiot played by much of the mainstream media in the US and Britain.” More than four years before the invasion, Ritter, in interviews with myself and others, left not a shred of doubt that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had been disabled, yet he was made a non-person. In 2002, when the Bush/Blair lies were in full echo across the media, the Guardian and Observer mentioned Iraq in more than 3,000 articles, of which 49 referred to Ritter and his truth that could have saved thousands of lives.

What has changed? On 30 November, the Independent published a pristine piece of propaganda from its embedded man in Afghanistan. “Troops fear defeat at home,” said the headline. Britain, said the report, “is at serious risk of losing its way in Afghanistan because rising defeatism at home is demoralising the troops on the front line, military commanders have warned.” In fact, public disgust with the disaster in Afghanistan is mirrored among many serving troops and their families; and this frightens the warmongers. So “defeatism” and “demoralising the troops” are added to the weasel lexicon. Good try. Unfortunately, like Iraq, Afghanistan is a crime. Period.

http://www.johnpilger.com

Posted in Chilcot enquiry, Crime of the Century, Iraq War, Sir Jeremy Greenstoc, UK Foreign Office | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More Rape and Torture by British Soldiers

Posted by terres on November 15, 2009

Female British soldiers are accused of aiding in the rape and torture of Iraqi detainees

Phil Shiner, a lawyer representing detainees, has cataloged 33 new cases of abuse,  including rape and torture: Report

Britain probes new claims of abuse by troops in Iraq

By Stefano Ambrogi   –  Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:06am EST – LONDON (Reuters)

…  Independent newspaper reported that Phil Shiner, a lawyer acting for detainees, had catalogued 33 new cases of abuse since the 2003 invasion, including rape and torture.

The paper reported that, for the first time, female soldiers were accused of aiding in the sexual and physical abuse of detainees.

He told the BBC that not all the cases were new and “that about seven have come in within the last month.

In one case, soldiers are accused of piling Iraqi prisoners on top of each other and subjecting them to electric shocks, the Independent reported.

The paper compared it to the abuse at the notorious U.S. detention center at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison.

One abuse claim relates to a 16-year-old boy who says he was raped by two British soldiers while he was in custody in 2003. Others say they were stripped naked, abused and photographed.

A public inquiry is already under way into the death of an Iraqi civilian, Baha Mousa, who died in British custody in Basra in 2003 after sustaining 93 separate injuries to his body.

Shiner, who is representing Mousa’s family, told the BBC he believed “there are hundreds of cases that are going uninvestigated.”

“It is very important now that there should be no further attempt by this government and the MoD to sweep this under the carpet — the ‘few bad apples’ thesis does not work,” he told the BBC. More…

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Posted in Abu Ghraib, British soldiers, detainee abuse, detainee rape, detainee torture, Iraq War | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Look What Military Taught Me

Posted by terres on November 5, 2009

Mr Obama, Stop this War Racket!

Look What Military Taught Me!  Look What War Did to Me!

Twelve people have been killed and at least 31 others injured in a shooting rampage at a military base in Texas.

fort hood reuters
The main gate at the US Army base Fort Hood. The tombstone for so many victims of the War Racket.

The incident reportedly occurred shortly before a graduation ceremony for soldiers was due to start at the base. Fort Hood  is  used as a “Soldier Readiness Facility,” preparing soldiers for overseas deployment. The shooting rampage started at about 1:30 pm CST.

“The shooter was killed. He was a soldier. We since then have apprehended two additional soldiers that are suspects. There were eyewitness accounts that there may have been more than one shooter,” Cone said.

About 500 soldiers were deployed to lock down Fort Hood as Army helicopters hovered overhead, it was reported.

Outburst of violence

Mr Obama said it was a “horrific outburst of violence.” He added: “It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an army base on American soil.”

Outburst of violence, indeed. What did this guy think they do in the military, just hold hands,  sing songs and dance. Someone please tell Mr Obama it’s the military, the War Racket, that teaches otherwise good men how to kill.

“I don’t know how anybody can speculate about motives at this time given how few facts we have,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

For that, you have to close your eyes and keep them shut;  it takes monumental efforts to forget about all other similar incidents that have occurred previously, and will reoccur in the future, again and again.

“A U.S. Army official in Washington said the incident took place shortly before a scheduled graduation event at the base.” Reuters reported.

Fort Hood is located halfway between Austin and Waco, Texas about 95 km (60 miles) from either city.

“Collateral Damage” of the Worst Kind

  • In September 2008  a  1st Cavalry Division soldier shot an officer to death and then shot himself.
  • A jury in Kentucky found former US soldier, Steven Green, 24, guilty of rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, and murder of her parents and younger sister.
  • A US soldier shot dead five of his colleagues at Camp Liberty, a base near the Iraqi capital Baghdad on May 11, 2009.
  • Captain Phillip Esposito and First Lieutenant Louis Allen were killed by fragging on June 7, 2005, at Forward Operating Base Danger in Tikrit, Iraq.

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Posted in 1st Cavalry Division, Collateral Damage, Fort Hood, Iraq War, safe in the army, the War Racket, Waco | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Slick “O”

Posted by terres on April 30, 2009

Obama’s 100 days – the mad men did well

By John Pilger
30 Apr 2009

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the power of advertising – from the effects of smoking to politics – as he reaches behind the facade of of the first 100 days President Barack Obama.

“Walk to any major fast food chain outlet and you’ll get almost exactly the same stuff you got the last time. … The manager and staff at your nearest McDonald’s burger joint change regularly, for example, but a Big Mac is a Big Mac; it would taste like the one you got there the last time.” Source: Obsessed with Obama’s McWhitehouse?

The BBC’s American television soap Mad Men offers a rare glimpse of the power of corporate advertising. The promotion of smoking half a century ago by the “smart” people of Madison Avenue, who knew the truth, led to countless deaths. Advertising and its twin, public relations, became a way of deceiving dreamt up by those who had read Freud and applied mass psychology to anything from cigarettes to politics. Just as Marlboro Man was virility itself, so politicians could be branded, packaged and sold.

It is more than 100 days since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. The “Obama brand” has been named “Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008”, easily beating Apple computers. David Fenton of MoveOn.org describes Obama’s election campaign as “an institutionalised mass-level automated technological community organising that has never existed before and is a very, very powerful force”. Deploying the internet and a slogan plagiarised from the Latino union organiser César Chávez – “Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can” – the mass-level automated technological community marketed its brand to victory in a country desperate to be rid of George W Bush.

No one knew what the new brand actually stood for. So accomplished was the advertising (a record $75m was spent on television commercials alone) that many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding. Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous “Change you can believe in”, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. “We will be the most powerful,” he often declared.

Perhaps the Obama brand’s most effective advertising was supplied free of charge by those journalists who, as courtiers of a rapacious system, promote shining knights. They depoliticised him, spinning his platitudinous speeches as “adroit literary creations, rich, like those Doric columns, with allusion…” (Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian). The San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford wrote: “Many spiritually advanced people I know… identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who… can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

In his first 100 days, Obama has excused torture, opposed habeas corpus and demanded more secret government. He has kept Bush’s gulag intact and at least 17,000 prisoners beyond the reach of justice. On 24 April, his lawyers won an appeal that ruled Guantanamo Bay prisoners were not “persons”, and therefore had no right not to be tortured. His national intelligence director, Admiral Dennis Blair, says he believes torture works. One of his senior US intelligence officials in Latin America is accused of covering up the torture of an American nun in Guatemala in 1989; another is a Pinochet apologist. As Daniel Ellsberg has pointed out, the US experienced a military coup under Bush, whose secretary of “defence”, Robert Gates, along with the same warmaking officials, has been retained by Obama.

All over the world, America’s violent assault on innocent people, directly or by agents, has been stepped up. During the recent massacre in Gaza, reports Seymour Hersh, “the Obama team let it be known that it would not object to the planned resupply of ‘smart bombs’ and other hi-tech ordnance that was already flowing to Israel” and being used to slaughter mostly women and children. In Pakistan, the number of civilians killed by US missiles called drones has more than doubled since Obama took office.

In Afghanistan, the US “strategy” of killing Pashtun tribespeople (the “Taliban”) has been extended by Obama to give the Pentagon time to build a series of permanent bases right across the devastated country where, says Secretary Gates, the US military will remain indefinitely. Obama’s policy, one unchanged since the Cold War, is to intimidate Russia and China, now an imperial rival. He is proceeding with Bush’s provocation of placing missiles on Russia’s western border, justifying it as a counter to Iran, which he accuses, absurdly, of posing “a real threat” to Europe and the US. On 5 April in Prague, he made a speech reported as “anti-nuclear”. It was nothing of the kind. Under the Pentagon’s Reliable Replacement Warhead programme, the US is building new “tactical” nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war.

The day the world should have known there was a problem:

Importing orchids from New Zealand: An immoral act of ecological recklessness, economic extravagance and social hubris!

—TERRES

Ordering orchids from New Zealand for the presidential inauguration is a callous disregard for the environment; it also rates high, “Scale F,” on the Adolescents Social Insensitivity scale

From: Obama Inauguration Carbon Footprint

Perhaps the biggest lie – the equivalent of smoking is good for you – is Obama’s announcement that the US is leaving Iraq, the country it has reduced to a river of blood. According to unabashed US army planners, as many as 70,000 troops will remain “for the next 15 to 20 years”. On 25 April, his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, alluded to this. It is not surprising that the polls are showing that a growing number of Americans believe they have been suckered – especially as the nation’s economy has been entrusted to the same fraudsters who destroyed it. Lawrence Summers, Obama’s principal economic adviser, is throwing $3trn at the same banks that paid him more than $8m last year, including $135,000 for one speech. Change you can believe in.

Much of the American establishment loathed Bush and Cheney for exposing, and threatening, the onward march of America’s “grand design”, as Henry Kissinger, war criminal and now Obama adviser, calls it. In advertising terms, Bush was a “brand collapse” whereas Obama, with his toothpaste advertisement smile and righteous clichés, is a godsend. At a stroke, he has seen off serious domestic dissent to war, and he brings tears to the eyes, from Washington to Whitehall. He is the BBC’s man, and CNN’s man, and Murdoch’s man, and Wall Street’s man, and the CIA’s man. The Madmen did well.

Copyright: John Pilger http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=530

Image and captions sourced by Moderator: TERRES

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Posted in Afghanistan, Henry Kissinger, Iraq War, nuclear weapons, secret government | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Torture, Murder NOT U.S. Monopoly

Posted by terres on April 23, 2009

British soldiers ‘tortured and murdered 20 Iraqis, then covered it up with firefight claim’

By Neil Sears

British soldiers tortured and murdered up to 20 Iraqis in cold blood, the High Court was told yesterday.

It happened after a three-hour gun battle at an Army checkpoint near Basra, a lawyer claimed.

Rabinder Singh said a group of local men were taken prisoner and transported to an Army camp where they were beaten with a rusty tent pole, punched, slammed against walls, denied water, blasted with loud music and forced to strip naked in the presence of a woman – a humiliation for Muslim men.

Ann Clwyd
Camp Abu Naji: MP Ann Clwyd at the base where abuse allegedly happened

The next day, he said, only nine were still alive – and 20 corpses were returned to their families. One was teenager Hamid Al-Sweady. …

But Mr Singh said that when the shooting was over, the British troops took bloody revenge. He said: ‘It is the claimants’ case that at least some of those captured were tortured and killed by British troops between 14 and 15 May 2004, and that there has been no effective investigation into what happened to them in that 24-hour period.

‘This constitutes a substantive and procedural breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.’

He added: ‘There is a lot of evidence from soldiers at the battlefield that there were more than nine that were taken alive.

‘Many of the bodies of the Iraqis returned on 15 May 2004 were severely disfigured and some appeared to show marks of torture and mutilation.’ …

Read full article …

© 2009 Associated Newspapers Ltd

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1172688/British-soldiers-tortured-murdered-20-Iraqis-covered-firefight-claim.html

Posted in British troops, illegal war, Iraq War, Mutilation, War of Aggression | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bailing Out America? First, Stop the Serial Wars!

Posted by terres on January 29, 2009

Astonishing Incongruities

Is It Time to Bail Out of the US?

By Paul Craig Roberts

January 28, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse” — California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California’s bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.

Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.

California is often identified as the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is broke.

A person might think that California’s plight would introduce some realism into Washington, DC, but it has not. President Obama is taking steps to intensify the war in Afghanistan and, perhaps, to expand it to Pakistan.

Obama has retained the Republican warmongers in the Pentagon, and the US continues to illegally bomb Pakistan and to murder its civilians. At the World Economic Forum at Davos this week, Pakistan’s prime minister, Y. R. Gilani, said that the American attacks on Pakistan are counterproductive and done without Pakistan’s permission. In an interview with CNN, Gilani said: “I want to put on record that we do not have any agreement between the government of the United States and the government of Pakistan.”

How long before Washington will be printing money?

On January 28 Obama announced his $825 billion bailout plan. This comes on top of President Bush’s $700 billion bailout of just a few months ago.

Obama says his plan will be more transparent than Bush’s and will do more good for the economy.

As large as the bailouts are–a total of $1.5 trillion in four months–the amount is small in relation to the reported size of troubled assets that are in the tens of trillions of dollars. How do we know that by June there won’t be another bailout, say $950 billion?

Where will the money come from?

Obama’s bailout plan, added to the FY 2009 budget deficit he has inherited from Bush, opens a gaping expenditure hole of about $3 trillion.
Who is going to purchase $3 trillion of US Treasury bonds?

Not the US consumer. The consumer is out of work and out of money. Private sector credit market debt is 174% of GDP. The personal savings rate is 2 percent. Ten percent of households are in foreclosure or arrears. Household debt-service ratio is at an all-time high. Household net worth has declined at a record rate. Housing inventories are at record highs.

Not America’s foreign creditors. At best, the Chinese, Japanese, and Saudis can recycle their trade surpluses with the US into Treasury bonds, but the combined surplus does not approach the size of the US budget deficit.

Perhaps another drop in the stock market will drive Americans’ remaining wealth into “safe” US Treasury bonds.

If not, there’s only the printing press.

The printing press would turn a deflationary depression into an inflationary depression.
Unemployment combined with rising prices would be a killer.

Inflation would kill the dollar as well, leaving the US unable to pay for its imports.

All the Obama regime sees is a “credit problem.” But the crisis goes far beyond banks’ bad investments. The United States is busted. Many of the state governments are busted. Homeowners are busted. Consumers are busted. Jobs are busted. Companies are busted.

And Obama thinks he has the money to fight wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Except for the superrich and those banksters and CEOs who stole wealth from investors and shareholders, Americans have suffered enormous losses in wealth and income.

The stock market decline has destroyed about 45% of their IRAs, 401Ks, and other equity investments. On top of this comes the decline in home prices, lost jobs and health care, lost customers. The realized gains in mutual funds and investment partnerships, on which Americans paid taxes, have been wiped out.

The government should give those taxes back.

Americans who have seen their retirement savings devastated by complicity of government regulators and lawmakers with financial gangsters should not have to pay
any income tax when they draw on their pensions.

The financial damage inflicted on Americans by their own government is as great as would be expected from foreign conquest. While Washington “protected” us from terrorists by fighting pointless wars abroad, the US economy collapsed.

How can President Obama even think about fighting wars half way around the world while California cannot pay its bills, while Americans are being turned out of their homes, while, as Business Week reports, retirees will work throughout their retirement (which assumes that there will be jobs), while careers are being destroyed and stores and factories shuttered.

Americans are facing tremendous unemployment and hardship. Obama doesn’t have another dollar to spend on Bush’s wars.

Taxpayers are busted. They cannot stand another day of being milked by the military-security complex. The US government is paying private mercenaries more by the day than the monthly checks it is providing to Social Security retirees.

This is insanity.

The banksters robbed us twice. First it was our home and stock values. Then the government rewarded the banksters for their misdeeds by bailing out the banksters, not their victims, and putting the cost on the taxpayers’ books.

The government has also robbed the taxpayers of $3 trillion dollars to fight its wars. About $600 billion are out of pocket costs, and the rest is on the taxpayers’ books.

When foreign creditors look at the debt piled on the taxpayers’ books, they don’t see a good credit risk.

Washington is so accustomed to ripping off the taxpayers for the benefit of special interests that the practice is now in the DNA. While bailouts are being piled upon bailouts, wars are being piled upon wars.

Before Obama gets in any deeper, he must ask his economic team where the money is coming from. When he finds out, he needs to tell the rest of us.

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Action calling for Indictment for War Crimes

Posted by terres on November 9, 2008

The Delaration of Peace

The Declaration of Peace encourages your participation in the following nonviolent action, organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, on November 10, 2008 in Washington, D.C.

If you can’t be in D.C. on Monday, see below for how you can still participate.

Citizens Risking Arrest to Bring Indictment to Bush and Cheney


Contact: Max Obuszewski at mobuszewski@verizon.net or
Joy First at jsfirst@tds.net
(608) 239-4327

WHO: The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) is a nationwide network of individuals and organizations committed to Peace and Justice, utilizing the nonviolent practices and disciplines of Gandhi and King through nonviolent civil resistance.

WHAT: Gathering at the Department of Justice to request a meeting.
In September, members of NCNR sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey, asking to meet with him to discuss the indictment of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney for war crimes. Attorney General Mukasey has not responded. (See the letter here.)

WHEN: At 12 noon on Monday, November 10, 2008, members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance will go to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. with a copy of the letter and again ask for a meeting with Attorney General Mukasey to discuss indicting Bush and Cheney for war crimes. If they are refused, some members of the group will be moved by conscience to risk arrest.

WHERE: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.
The delegation will meet on the CONSTITUTION AVENUE side of the DoJ BUILDING at NOON.

WHY: Barack Obama has won the election, and now more than ever we need to continue our work calling for Peace and Justice. We must continue to demand that the new president ends the occupation of Iraq and does not escalate military action in Afghanistan. The call for Justice demands that Bush and others in his administration be held accountable for the deaths of over a million innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and nearly 4,200 U.S. soldiers.

All are encouraged to join in!

In April 2008, Obama said that as president he would indeed ask his new Attorney General and his deputies to “immediately review the information that’s already there” and determine if an inquiry is warranted. It is the responsibility of citizens to make sure this happens.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, appointed by President Truman to be the Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunals following World War II, stated, “let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.”

We take this action knowing that we are doing what we are called to do, knowing that we are doing the only thing we can do as our leaders have continued to disobey the laws of the United States and to trample on and shred the U.S. Constitution for the last 8 years.



If possible, please join us in D.C. on November 10 for this action.

If you are not able to make it to D.C., we ask citizens across the country to join us in solidarity through local actions on November 10 and beyond as we call for the restoration of Justice.

FIRST, call the attorney general’s office on November 10 to encourage him to meet with the citizenry who want to discuss the indictment of Bush and Cheney: Department of Justice Main Switchboard: (202) 514-2000 and Office of the Attorney General: (202) 353-1555.

SECOND, hold a solidarity demonstration at your local federal building or local Attorney General office on November 10. During the demonstration, you would have a copy of the NCNR letter requesting a meeting. You would emphasize that the attorney general must meet with these concerned citizens and consider an indictment.

THIRD, ask your Congressperson to support H. Resolution 1509, introduced by Tammy Baldwin. This resolution expresses “the sense of the House of Representatives that the next president should immediately work to reverse damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration”. The resolution states the need to fully investigate the administration for alleged crimes and hold them accountable for any illegal acts.

FOURTH, insist that the new Congress, in January 2009, uphold the subpoenas that they have issued to investigate crimes of the Bush administration. The subpoenas have been mocked and ignored by the current administration. The new Congress must reissue these subpoenas and have them supported by the new administration so that Justice can prevail across the land.

It is time to bring the criminals of the Bush regime to Justice.

We, the people, have the power. We, the people, call for Justice.

For More Information:

http://www.declarationofpeace.org

E-mail: info@declarationofpeace.org

Posted in Afghanistan war, Attorney General, H. Resolution 1509, Iraq War, We the People | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

An injury to one is an injury to all of us!

Posted by terres on March 13, 2008

Longshore Caucus calls for Iraq war protest at ports on May 1

Nearly one hundred Longshore Caucus delegates voted on February 8 to support a resolution calling for an eight-hour “stop-work” meeting during the day-shift on Thursday, May 1 at ports in CA, OR and WA to protest the war by calling for the immediate, safe return of U.S. troops from Iraq.

 

“The Caucus has spoken on this important issue and I’ve notified the employers about our plans for ‘stop work’ meetings on May 1,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath.

 

Caucus delegates, including several military veterans, spoke passionately about the importance of supporting the troops by bringing them home safely and ending the War in Iraq. Concerns were also raised about the growing cost of the war that has threatened funding for domestic needs, including education and healthcare. Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard economist Linda J. Bilmes recently estimated that the true cost of the War in Iraq to American taxpayers will exceed 3 trillion dollars–a figure they describe as “conservative.”

The union’s International Executive Board recently endorsed Barack Obama, citing his opposition to the War in Iraq as one of the key factors in the union’s decision-making process.

Caucus delegates are democratically elected representatives from every longshore local who set policy for the Longshore Division.

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath has written letters to President John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO and President Andy Stern of the Change-to-Win Coalition, and to the presidents of the International Transport Workers Federation and the International Dockworkers Council to inform them of the ILWU’s plans for May 1.

Visit ILWU

Posted in Iraq War, Longshore, May 1, union, War in Afghanistan, war protest | Leave a Comment »