Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gaddafi's Murder

Gaddafi's death:
 To be forgotten, not forgiven

31.05.2012 Pravda.RU

The U.S. Department of State is not waiting on the Libyan authorities to investigate the extrajudicial execution of Muammar Gaddafi. Here is the image of today's reality: the legitimate leader of an independent country can be brutally killed after being tortured, buried like a dog, and the "world policeman," or rather, the guardian of democracy, will only nod: this is the way it should be, and there is nothing to investigate.

The other day, the U.S. State Department was engaged in its favorite activity - teaching the world democracy and human rights. However, this time it was done not through a habitual, bomb-throwing way, but only verbally. The Department of State presented to the public a progress report on the fascinating topic of "respect for human rights in the world in 2011," and I will tell you, the conclusions of this report are truly shocking for the untrained imagination.

The fact that Russia has traditionally been kicked in this report is no news. Rather, our planet would begin to spin in the opposite direction if the United States recognized the satisfactory situation of human rights in the Russian Federation. But it turns out that the situation with human rights has greatly improved in the countries swept by a whirlwind of the "Arab spring" - that is, Tunisia, Egypt, and, of course, Libya. Where else but in Libya one can expect flowering of democracy, tolerance and political correctness?

Print version Font Size Send to friendHowever, the review of the report was attended - apparently by some stupid mistake - by committed journalists who were not quite enlightened. It was they who started asking all sorts of stupid questions: what human rights in Libya? What about the investigation into the death of Muammar Gaddafi? Or, is it permissible nowadays to brutally kill the legitimate leader of an independent country? Why has the new Libyan authorities failed to investigate this unfortunate incident?

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State "for democracy and human rights," Michael Posner answered by saying that he thought that the Libyan government had an extended agenda and that it would be unreasonable to expect that they were going to deal with every aspect of it. He had some difficulty finding the word to describe Gaddafi's death. It was not clear whether, out of human forgetfulness, he wanted to say "this crime", but stopped in time, or thought that it would not be appropriate to call it "this little thing." Nevertheless, the historic words were spoken: Tri-color Tripoli was fully and absolutely excused, and no longer even has to pretend to be bothered with an investigation of the extrajudicial execution of the leader. There are plenty of other things to do.

"Thousands of prisoners are still in prison, the militia has to be organized. But I plan to visit the country soon, and look into this matter ... I can give a better answer after going back and holding a series of meetings," said Posner.

We wish him good luck. The Deputy U.S. Secretary of State still has lot of interesting discoveries to make related to "human rights" in Libya. For example, he will miraculously have to believe in the fact that those in Libyan prisons are not in favor of the colonel and wish to return Jamahiriya. Not that long ago the new government of Tripoli passed a law whereby anyone who said that "it was better under Gaddafi" will respond to the fullest extent of the law, up to life imprisonment. No, in fact, behind the bars there are still the martyrs of the revolution, imprisoned by the evil Gaddafi. The government simply did not have time to let them go.

The comment about "organizing" militia would have been very funny had it not been so sad. Thinking back to the tragicomic Libyan war, one cannot but remember that the rebels looked nothing like combat troops. The ones who were fighting without rules and instilling fear on the civilians were Al-Qaeda militants. PNS has repeatedly admitted helplessness in the face of the "chicks" of Tripoli "mayor" Belhadj, an honorary veteran of this venerable terrorist organization. It will be interesting to see how the PNS (even with the help of the U.S.) will "organize" this "militia" and really - the most banal bandit gang.

However, discoveries and revelations did not end there. According to Posner, in Libya, preconditions for the formation of a democratic society were created, but the "new government" of the country had a lot of work to do. He expressed hope that in the coming months in the country led by the interim government elections will take place and the process of formation of state authorities will begin.

The United States "hopes" that in the bombed, smashed, shattered into dust by NATO bombs country scoured by bandit groups, finally (the United States, however, does not know when), the process of formation of a normal government will begin. Those in power in Tripoli today cannot be called government - it is a clique absolutely impotent, powerless before the ongoing civil war.

The same way Iraq has become a "showcase of democracy," Libya is becoming a real flower garden of "human rights". The U.S. is silent about the fertilizer that helps this garden grow: bones, flesh and blood of thousands and thousands of ordinary Libyans who were killed by NATO bombs and al-Qaida bandits. But now, it is much better than it was in 42 years under the tyrant, right? So let his mutilated corpse lie buried somewhere in the wilderness, let the "Libyan democracy" thrive on his bones. There should be no digging up in any event to avoid the excavation of the entire flower garden.

 Well, no one seems to intend to.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Atrocities Made to Order:
How Wall Street and London Manufacture Tragedy
to Sell War and Regime Change.

by Tony Cartalucci
Global Research, May 30, 2012

In the wake of the Houla massacre in Syria, and evidence exposing the West's initial narrative of Syrian troops "shelling to death" around 100 people to be categorically false, people are struggling to understand just what happened. The Guardian has chosen to post unverified witness accounts produced by the Free Syrian Army, seemingly custom tailored to refute evidence brought by Russia to the UN Security Council. The BBC has admitted that only "most" of the accounts they've received implicated what they "believe" were Syrian troops, or pro-government militias - and by doing so, imply that some did not and have told a different account.

As the window of opportunity closes for the West to exploit the bloodshed at Houla, the Western media is increasingly backpedaling, retracting, and being caught in a crossfire of their own lies and propagandizing. BBC was caught initially using years' old photos from Iraq for their Houla coverage, while papers and networks across the board have had to adjust their narratives entirely as each new piece of verified evidence emerges.

What is known is that Syrian troops were engaged with armed militants of the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) in and around Houla. Syrian troops, as they have been doing throughout the conflict, were using artillery and tanks to target heavily fortified rebel positions from a distance. During or shortly after this exchange, militants began entering homes and killing families with knives and small arms fire. The FSA and Syrian opposition claim the militants were pro-government militias while the government claims they were foreign-backed Al Qaeda terrorists, known to be operating throughout the country. What they weren't, by all accounts, were Syrian troops.

A recent "editorial" out of the Globe and Mail claims that Russia's position that opposition forces were involved in the massacre is "laughable." However, this is divorced from not only reality, but also from a complete understanding of modern 4th generation warfare. From Venezuela to Thailand, Western backed opposition groups have triggered unrest and used it as cover to pick off members of their own movement, to then blame on the targeted government and compound any given conflict until a critical mass is reached, and a targeted government is toppled..

A Historical Example: Bangkok, Thailand 2010

Wall Street-backed former-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a close associate of the Bush family with connections ranging from before, during, and after his term in office, was ousted from power in 2006 by nationalist forces for abuses of power. Thaksin had worked as a Carlyle Group adviser, sent Thai troops to aid in Bush's invasion of Iraq, attempted to implement a free trade agreement with Wall Street's Fortune 500 without parliamentary approval, hosted CIA torture facilities, and prosecuted a "war on drugs" that saw some 2,500 Thais extra-legally executed in the streets, most of whom were later determined to have nothing to do with the drug trade.

Since his ousting in 2006, he has received support from a myriad of prominent US lobbying firms including fellow Carlyle member James Baker and Baker Botts, Bush administration warmonger Robert Blackwill of Barbour Griffith & Rogers, and Neo-Conservative PNAC signatory Kenneth Adelman of Edelman.

With this backing, Thaksin has led an increasingly violent bid to return to power through a "red" color revolution constituting of a large political machine operating in Thailand's northeast provinces and a personality cult called the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD).

In April of 2010, Thaksin mobilized thousands of UDD members to paralyze Thailand's capital of Bangkok in retaliation to a court seizure of billions of his ill-gotten assets. On the night of April 10, 2010, when riot troops moved in to disperse the protesters, militants clad in black opened fire on Thai troops.

Page 62 of Human Rights Watch's "Descent into Chaos (.pdf)" report stated:
"As the army attempted to move on the camp, they were confronted by well-armed men who fired M16 and AK-47 assault rifles at them, particularly at the Khok Wua intersection on Rajdamnoen Road. They also fired grenades from M79s and threw M67 hand grenades at the soldiers. News footage and videos taken by protesters and tourists show several soldiers lying unconscious and bleeding on the ground, as well as armed men operating with a high degree of coordination and military skills."

HRW, an otherwise dubious organization, only conceded to this a full year after the events unfolded and only in the face of irrefutable photographic and video evidence captured and broadcasted by both professional and amateurs local and foreign journalists. This included videos and photos of militants armed with both AK-47's and M-16's. Previously, Thaksin's Western backers and his opposition leaders had tried to blame all deaths resulting from the M-16's 5.56mm rounds squarely on the Thai military, including the high-profile death of Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto. With proof that opposition militants were also firing 5.56mm rounds, this political leverage was negated.

However, the most chilling aspect of the April 10, 2010 violence was an incident involving the premeditated murder of a pro-Thaksin protester by Thaksin's own mercenaries - recorded on tape and extensively photographed, then shamelessly and relentlessly used as propaganda to this very day. The incident took place on April 10, 2010, the same night Reuters cameraman Hiro Muramoto was killed, and gives us immense insight into how Western-backed unrest will take advantage of chaos it itself creates to then purposefully kill both protesters and government troops to escalate tensions and violence while undermining the legitimacy of a targeted government.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Crimes of the U.S.

U.S. Intervention in Latin America

“U.S. prestige and interests … are being affected materially at a time when the U.S. can ill afford problems in an area that has been traditionally accepted as the U.S. ‘backyard’.” - Declassified CIA document following the election of Chilean President Salvador Allende, November 12, 1970

From its earliest days, the United States has had designs on Latin America and has felt entitled to intervene in the affairs of sovereign nations south of the border.

The U.S. interventionist posture was made official in the Monroe Doctrine beginning in 1823 which stated that the Western Hemisphere was the United States “sphere of influence,” and that the U.S. would not tolerate other countries’ interference in its geopolitical affairs. The Doctrine provided the intellectual justification for the U.S.’ future interventions in the region. At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, in which the United States claimed the right to intervene in any cases of “flagrant and chronic wrongdoing by a Latin American Nation.”

The U.S. acted on this policy with regular frequency, mounting no less than 55 military invasions or significant covert operations in the region between 1890 and 2004, usually overthrowing or undermining various Latin American and Caribbean governments through covert or overt means.

The Cold War

In the context of the Cold War (1945 – 1989) between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the U.S. used military, counter-insurgency, and a variety of covert and overt means in countries around the world to undermine social movements, political parties, labor unions, peasant groups, and various popular organizations in the name of anti-communism. In these efforts, the U.S. allied with various brutal dictatorships – some of which it helped to bring to power – which in turn employed murder, torture, rape, terror, and repression to stamp out Left-leaning and popular movements and control the population. In Latin America, the U.S. supported repressive regimes in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and other countries.

Some scholars and analysts believe that in many cases the threat of communism was exaggerated, and that the real purpose of these U.S. interventions around the world was to maintain as much control as possible over political and economic developments to ensure favorable conditions for U.S. and multinational business.


Throughout most of the Cold War, the key U.S. government agency engaged in these campaigns was the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA, which was created following the end of World War II, employed (and continues to employ) numerous secret and covert tactics including assassinations, sabotage, torture, disinformation and manipulation of the media, the creation of and dissemination of propaganda, the funding of political parties and groups, and of course widespread surveillance and espionage. Various details of the CIA’s methods and activities came to light in the 1970’s with Congressional hearings led by Senator Frank Church and the publication of the book CIA Diary: Inside the Company by a former CIA officer, Philip Agee, who had been stationed in Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico. Another important government agency for advancing U.S. interests abroad has been the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which historically has made U.S. aid money conditional on foreign governments’ acceptance of various policy changes.

“Democracy Promotion”

In the early 1980’s, the U.S. Congress created a group of organizations to conduct some of the CIA’s previous activities in the open.[ii] These so-called “democracy promotion” groups include the National Endowment for Democracy, which in turn funds the Solidarity Center of the AFL-CIO, the Center for International Private Enterprise, and the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, which act as international arms of the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively.[iii] The NED and these other groups provide funding and/or training to numerous foreign political parties, trade unions, business groups, women’s groups and other minority groups in an attempt to gain control over political movements, prevent any undesirable revolutionary changes, and advance U.S. interests.

U.S.-Supported Coups d’etat

During the Cold War, the U.S. employed these various agencies and methods to support violent coups d’etat in Latin American and Caribbean nations. Two of the more infamous examples occurred in Guatemala in 1954 and in Chile in 1973.


The CIA engineered and assisted the Guatemalan military in carrying out a violent coup d’etat against the government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. The U.S. opposed Arbenz’s program of, as the CIA referred to it, “an intensely nationalistic program of progress colored by the touchy, anti-foreign inferiority complex of the ‘Banana Republic,”[v] which included land reforms and other policies opposed by the U.S.-based United Fruit Company (now known as Chiquita). Hundreds of Guatemalans were killed following the coup, and the coup paved the way for decades of successive dictatorships who are estimated to have killed over 100,000 civilians between 1954 and 1990.[vi] As is now known from declassified CIA documents the CIA helped to target individuals for assassination, and provided funds and weapons to do so. The CIA had planned to assassinate Arbenz himself prior to his resignation during the coup.


Following the election of Salvador Allende, a democratic socialist, to the presidency of Chile in 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon “demanded a coup” in the words of scholar Peter Kornbluh.[vii] Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, and CIA Director Richard Helms responded, laying out plans for a coup d’etat. Nixon also vowed to “make the Chilean economy scream.” As it would later do to undermine the Aristide government in Haiti, the U.S. blocked loans to Chile from the World Bank and other international lenders.

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, led by General Augusto Pinochet, struck, seizing control of strategic parts of the country and attacking the presidential palace. Rather than be captured, Allende shot himself in the head. The new regime rounded up thousands of Allende supporters and suspected Leftists, many of whom it held in the national stadium where the regime interrogated and tortured them. In the weeks following the coup, 1,500 people had been killed, including over 320 whom the regime summarily executed.

The U.S. continued to support the Pinochet dictatorship for the next 18 years, even as the regime carried a campaign of terror and assassinations – called Operation Condor – in Argentina, Spain, Italy, and even the United States. In 1976, the Pinochet regime killed former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and his American assistant, Ronni Moffit, in a car bombing on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. Prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, this incident had been considered to be one of the worst acts of foreign terrorism on U.S. soil.

Post-Cold War

The end of the Cold War brought few changes to U.S.-Latin American relations. The U.S. continued to undermine the Left and popular movements through a variety of means. The U.S. role in several coups d’etat over the past decades illustrates the continuity of policy.

In 1991, the Haitian military ousted Haiti’s first democratically-elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in a coup d’etat. During the next few years, while Aristide remained in exile, armed paramilitary groups targeted his supporters, labor and peasant groups, and other popular movements, killing thousands and employing a campaign of rape as a weapon of repression. It later emerged that leaders of the key paramilitary group, FRAPH, were on the CIA payroll.[x] In 1994, the U.S. safeguarded Aristide’s return to Haiti, but only after he agreed to a series of economic and political policies known as the “Paris Plan.”

In 2004, during his second, non-consecutive term, Aristide was ousted again. This time, democracy promotion groups – especially the International Republican Institute – played a larger role in undermining Aristide, although at this time what role U.S. intelligence agencies might have played is not known.[xii] This undermining of Aristide was aided by a destructive U.S.-led aid embargo which prevented Aristide’s government from much-needed loans from the World Bank and other institutions. Inside Haiti, armed thugs – some of whom had been in FRAPH – provided the official pretext for Aristide’s departure from the country as they vowed – through the media – to attack the presidential palace. When Aristide refused to leave, the U.S. military put him on a plane and flew him to exile in the Central African Republic. Aristide claimed to have been the victim of a “kidnapping and under the cover of coup d’etat.” A U.S.-backed radio talk-show host from Florida, Gerard Latortue, was installed as the head of the new, unconstitutional, “interim” government. Over the next two years, 8,000 people were murdered and 35,000 women and girls raped,[xiv] and many Aristide government supporters and others were imprisoned on bogus charges.

In April 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was removed in a coup d’etat following violence and instability provoked by a violent protest movement that was aided by major television networks and other media that promoted the protests. Although the New York Times said “Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator,” the new regime, headed by Pedro Carmona, quickly dissolved the constitution, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. Chavez returned to power just two days later after thousands of people – supported by factions of the Venezuelan military – took to the streets and surrounded the presidential palace. Declassified U.S. government documents reveal that the U.S. had advanced knowledge of the coup, yet did nothing to warn the Venezuelan government of the plot. The U.S., through the NED and other groups, also funded and providing training for some of the individuals and organizations involved in the coup.

On June 30, 2009, the Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zelaya at gunpoint and sent him on a flight into exile. The Obama administration’s response to the coup fell far short of the condemnation expressed by Latin American countries, as it did not condemn the coup, and never officially determined that a military coup had occurred, which would have immediately required the cutting off of aid to Honduras. Over the next several months, U.S. officials undermined Latin American efforts to pressure the coup regime, and publicly criticized Zelaya for attempting to return to Honduras.[xvii] When Zelaya still had not been restored to power by scheduled elections in November, the U.S. praised the elections, despite election-day violence and despite that the electoral process was controlled by the Honduran military. The Obama administration led – and continues to lead – international efforts to have the new Honduran government of Pepe Lobo officially recognized by other nations. The U.S. response to the Honduran coup was widely seen as the first major test for U.S.-Latin American relations under Obama, and has led to continued U.S. alienation from Latin America.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Assange With Correa

Julian Assange talks to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. Correa is a left wing populist who has changed the face of Ecuador. But unlike his predecessors he holds a Ph.D. in economics. According to US embassy cables, Correa is the most popular President in Ecuador's democratic history. But in 2010 he was taken hostage in an attempted coup d'etat. He blames the coup attempt on corrupt media and has launched a controversial counter-offensive. Correa says the media defines what reforms are possible and they take orders from the USA.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dead Long Ago

Report: Bin Laden Already Dead

Published December 26, 2001

Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader.
"The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead," the source said.

Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.

About 30 close associates of bin Laden in Al Qaeda, including his most trusted and personal bodyguards, his family members and some "Taliban friends," attended the funeral rites. A volley of bullets was also fired to pay final tribute to the "great leader."

The Taliban source who claims to have seen bin Laden's face before burial said "he looked pale ... but calm, relaxed and confident."

Asked whether bin Laden had any feelings of remorse before death, the source vehemently said "no." Instead, he said, bin Laden was proud that he succeeded in his mission of igniting awareness amongst Muslims about hegemonistic designs and conspiracies of "pagans" against Islam. Bin Laden, he said, held the view that the sacrifice of a few hundred people in Afghanistan was nothing, as those who laid their lives in creating an atmosphere of resistance will be adequately rewarded by Almighty Allah.

When asked where bin Laden was buried, the source said, "I am sure that like other places in Tora Bora, that particular place too must have vanished."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Black Day

May 15th 1948:
The Black Day
In Humanity's Contemporary History

When Zionists Wiped Out Palestine

By Dr Salim Nazzal 15 May, 2012
Dedicated to Palestinians who still holding the dream to return back home.

As they have done ever since, in the dark year of 1948 Zionists were dancing joyously in Tel Aviv. While they danced, Palestinians were dying on the roads and in the mountains, towns, villages and ports of Palestine. Palestinians were 'not wanted' according to the will of the Russian and Polish Jews who were the new masters of the nation.

Thus they were forced to leave their homeland for the obvious reason that the Jewish incomers wanted it to be state solely for Jews.

Palestinians were forced to leave, with Jewish terrorists shooting anyone who even glanced backwards as they departed, as an elderly man told me years later; he recalled that a Jewish officer sneered that those being driven from their homes should 'move to Lebanon,' telling them that anyone who looked back would be shot dead!

Some went to Lebanon, others to Jordan or Syria, while many simply took to the open sea in small overcrowded boats in a desperate attempt to flee murder, and subsequently drowned. In short, a whole society and nation and one of the world's oldest cultures were destroyed that day.

The question now is, had Palestinians any quarrel or war with Jews? The answer to that is No.

So why then had they to suffer all this, as we have asked ever since. We were told that Jews were persecuted in Europe and in order to escape this, they had to commit all this horrific brutality against people who had done them no harm. But why did those Jews not stay in their home nations to struggle for equality there? Which is more easy, to fight for equality in your homeland or to travel thousands of miles away to a country in a different region of the world and launch a perpetual war with the native people of that nation? Whatever one's answer to that question, Jews obviously chose the second option.

Zionists refer to this date in history, May 15th, as their 'Independence Day.' To which the only answer can be, Independence from whom?

To gain independence, one must first have suffered occupation; in this case the facts are the very opposite. Britain occupied Palestine and consequently the Palestinians were the occupied people. Britain brought Jewish terrorists to Palestine, providing every form of aid for them, including arms, while arresting Palestinians for even owning a knife! How is it then that those brought to the nation as occupiers by a colonial power can celebrate independence? Independence from whom?

Every Palestinian knows the answer to this question, as does every Zionist: one Zionist with whom I argued some years ago answered the complete answer in blunt language, saying, "We took Palestine by force!'' This was not news to me, the son of a Galilean family expelled by Zionist Jews.

But Zionist Jews did not stop at occupying the country; they changed everything about it, creating new and oppressive laws for those Palestinians who survived the massacres and the expulsions.

According to Israeli law, Palestinians have no right even to commemorate the Nakhba (Catastrophe). Is there anything more brutal and offensive than that? Imagine that Britain and France introduced legislation that prohibited Jewish citizens there from commemorating the Holocaust. But of course, nobody can imagine such a thing because we know from their history that Britain and France are incapable of reaching such a state of brutality.

Anyway, Zionist occupied Palestine that is true, but to keep Palestine a racist state for Jews is a goal I doubt Zionist will ever achieve.

Dr. Salim Nazzal, a Palestinian-Norwegian historian on the Middle East, He has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Amerikan Business

World's Prison Capital
is Also #1 in For-Profit Prisons

Joe Wright May 16, 2012

 The world's prison capital is not the United States, per capita, although it leads the world for its overall prison population. One state far outdoes America itself and incarcerates nearly double the national average.

First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana's incarceration rate is nearly triple Iran's, seven times China's and 10 times Germany's. (Source)

The U.S. prison business has become the essence of predatory corporatism: it privatizes profits and socializes losses. This combination has led to a situation where correctional facilities have very little incentive to correct the behavior of those who reside within their walls, but every incentive to ensure that new bodies arrive as fast as possible, and keep them in a state of indentured servitude.

Naturally, this is exactly what is happening in Louisiana, as the vast majority of inmates are not housed in state-run prisons, but in those owned by private corporations. The social fallout has been profound.

Corrections Corporation of America has led the charge toward creating a sound business model for those who would profit from crime and punishment since it won the first private prison contract from Tennessee in 1984. CCA has expanded nicely, recently submitting letters to 48 states with an offer to buy their prisons: "In exchange ... for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full." (Source)

America already holds 25% of the world's prison population, with the number of these prisoners held in private prisons rising dramatically over the past 10 years from 2,000 housed in 5 private prisons, to more than 60,000 housed in 100. It is a number expected to rise to 360,000 prisoners over the next decade. (Source) Moreover, as the economy declines, there has even been a revival in debtors prisons, formally abolished in the early 1800s. Perhaps more troubling is the heightened criminalization of children for behavior which previously was considered merely a nuisance, not something worthy of handcuffs and the big house.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Making A Killing

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dying Nation

Does The West Have A Future?

May 10, 2012

Living in America is becoming very difficult for anyone with a moral conscience, a sense of justice, or a lick of intelligence. Consider:

We have had a second fake underwear bomb plot, a much more fantastic one than the first hoax. The second underwear bomber was a CIA operative or informant allegedly recruited by al-Qaeda, an organization that US authorities have recently claimed to be defeated, in disarray, and no longer significant.

This defeated and insignificant organization, which lacks any science and technology labs, has invented an “invisible bomb” that is not detected by the porno-scanners. A “senior law enforcement source” told the New York Times that “the scary part” is that “if they buil[t] one, they probably built more.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that “the plot itself indicates that the terrorists keep trying to devise more and more perverse and terrible ways to kill innocent people.” Hillary said this while headlines proclaimed that the US continues to murder women and children with high-tech drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Africa. The foiled fake plot, Hillary alleged, serves as “a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant at home and abroad in protecting our nation and in protecting friendly nations and peoples like India and others.”

FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress that the fake plot proves the need for warrantless surveillance in order to detect–what, fake plots? In Congress Republican Pete King and Democrat Charles Ruppersberger denounced media for revealing that the plot was a CIA operation, claiming that the truth threatened the war effort and soldiers’ lives.

Even alternative news media initially fell for this fake plot. Apparently, no one stops to wonder how al-Qaeda, which has become so disorganized and helpless that it is on the run and left its revered leader, Osama bin Laden, in a Pakistan village alone and unguarded to be murdered by US Navy Seals, could catch the CIA off guard with an “undetectable” bomb, to use the description provided by Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, who was briefed on the device by US intelligence personnel.

Notice that the Secretary of State has committed the bankrupt US and its unravelling social safety net to the protection of “India and others” from terrorists. But the real significance of this latest hoax is to introduce into the fearful American public the idea of an undetectable underwear bomb.
What does this bring to mind? Anyone of my generation or any science fiction aficionado immediately thinks of Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters.

Written in 1951 but set in our time, Earth is invaded by small creatures that attach to the human body and take over the person. The humans become the puppets of their masters. Large areas of America succumb to the invaders before the morons in Washington understand that the invasion is real and not a conspiracy theory.

On clothed humans, the creatures cannot be detected, and the edict goes out that anyone clothed is a suspect. Everyone must go about naked. Women are not even allowed to carry purses in their hand, because the creature can be in the purse attached to the woman’s hand.

Obviously, if the CIA, the news sources, and Dianne Feinstein’s briefers are correct that defeated al-Qaeda has come up with an “undetectable” bomb, we will have to pass through airport security naked.
If so, how will this be possible? If each airline passenger must go through a personal screening by disrobing in a room, how long will it take to clear “airport security”? I doubt there is any place in North or South America that the traveller couldn’t drive there faster. Or perhaps this is an answer to depression level US unemployment. Millions of unemployed Americans will be hired to view naked people before they board airliners.

As the Transportation Safety Administration division of Homeland Security has taken its intrusions, unchallenged, into train, bus, and highway travel, are we faced with the total collapse of the clothing industry? Stay tuned.

A couple of years ago a noted philosopher wrote an article in which he suggested that Americans live in an artificial or virtual reality. Another noted philosopher said that he thought there was a 25% chance that the philosopher was right. I am convinced that he is right. Americans live in the Matrix. Nothing that they know or think that they know is correct.
For example, our non-truth-telling “leaders” continually declare that “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.” This myth is one of the many reasons rolled out to justify American taxpayers’ declining incomes being taxed to provide the Israeli government with the means to murder Palestinians and steal their country.

Israeli democracy a myth you say? Yes, a myth. According to news reports compiled and reported by (May 8), the September 4 Israeli elections have been cancelled, because the “opposition leader Shaul Mofaz is joining the government.”

Mofaz sold out his party for personal power, a typical politician’s behavior.

Mofaz’s treachery produced protests from his followers, but, according to news reports, “Israeli police were quick to crack down on the protest, terming it ‘illegal’ and arresting a number of journalists.”
Ah, “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.”

In truth Israel is a fascist state, one that has been in violation of international law and Christian morality during the entirety of its existence. Yet, in America Israel is a hallowed icon. Like Bush, Cheney, and Obama, millions of American “christians” worship Israel and believe it is “God’s calling” for Americans to die for Israel.

If you believe in murdering your opponents, not debating with them, dispossessing the powerless, creating a fictional world based on lies and paying the corporate media to uphold the lies and fictional world, you are part of what the rest of the world perceives as “The West.”
Let me back off from being too hard on The West. The French and Greek peoples have shown in the recent elections that they are unplugging from the Matrix and understand that they, the 99%, are being put by their elites in a position to be the sacrificial lambs for the mistakes of the 1% mega-rich, who compete with one another in terms of how many billions of dollars or euros, how many yachts, collections of exotic cars, and exotic Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds they have as personal possessions.

The central banks of the West–the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the UK bank–are totally committed to the prosperity of the mega-rich. No one else counts. Marx and Lenin never had a target as exists today. Yet, the left-wing is today so feeble and brainwashed that it does not exist as even a minor countervailing power. The American left-wing has even accepted the absurd official account of 9/11 and of Osama bin Laden’s murder in Pakistan by Navy Seals. A movement so devoid of mental and emotional strength is useless. It might as well not exist.

People without valid information are helpless, and that is where Western peoples are. The new tyranny is arising in the West, not in Russia and China. The danger to humanity is in the nuclear button briefcase in the Oval Office and in the brainwashed and militant Amerikan population, the most totally disinformed and ignorant people on earth.
 About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Change and Chaos

The Middle East
 is Moving Towards Radical Changes
and Probably Chaos

By Dr Salim Nazzal
May 5 2012

Let me state my position clearly. I initially did support the Arab spring despite the fact that I belong to the gradual (British) reform school than the (French) revolutionary school. I wrote 6 articles and given two lectures in support of the change because I support the transformation towards democracy and political pluralism.

I have used the term “Explosion” to describe the Arab spring because I think it was rather more of an explosion than a revolution. In other words it is because the old fashioned Sultanic state is not able any longer to cope with modernity which includes meeting the minimum requirement of a modern state. I made it clear that two political systems have become out-of-date, the one party system and the religious system. My concern increases the more I saw the religious parties taking over because I think this will increase the crisis and not solve it .I know that the Islamists were oppressed under these regimes but this does not mean that they have the right to take the power because of that.

I am aware that the road towards democracy is not a one day work. It might take a whole generation and probably more to construct it provided that there is a will and political culture that goes in that direction.

What makes things worse is that the Arab democratic, left wing, liberal, and rational forces are relatively weak and surely unable to meet the current challenges. This note is quite important because it raises a serious question about the political alternative.

I predict that the Arab region and probably the whole Middle East is moving toward Major radical change that would in the long run transform the whole political scene (ethnically ,culturally, politically). The political players are too many with various levels of conflicts: (Arab Israeli conflict, Irani Israeli conflict, regimes opposition conflict, islamists versus democratic forces, sectarian conflict, Irani Turkey interest conflict, the USA intervention etc.) All this in my view is a clear indication that the unrest, and probably the chaos would be the future of the region before the resolution of this conflict and the emergence of a new political scene.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Bollivia Importance

Why should Europeans
pay attention to Bolivia?

Why should Europeans pay attention to Bolivia? Kepa Artaraz Earlier this week Spain’s credit rating was downgraded yet again, reigniting fears that the Eurozone crisis that never left might in fact accentuate and force the fourth biggest economy in the Euro to go cap in hand to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.

Ever since the Lehman Brothers bank went belly-up in 2008, signalling the beginning of the biggest global financial crisis since the collapse of Wall Street in 1929, there have been fears of a disorderly breakup of the European monetary union and of an unprecedented economic catastrophe.

Cue in, the international financial institutional architecture, mobilised, along with national banks. They have effectively ‘nationalised’ the bad debts incurred by private investors in a weakly regulated banking sector and transferred these to the balance sheets of sovereign states. As if magic, we are all now in this together and what was once private debt is now everyone’s debt.

The IMF might have changed a lot since the 1980s when it acted as the exporter of the neoliberal ‘shock doctrine’ to indebted countries like Bolivia.[1] It might even have come to realise that employment, equality and social justice lie at the heart of any project of economic recovery.[2] And yet, the austerity medicine being dished out is the same as it was then, austerity that results in falling salaries, reduced pensions, cut welfare services and unemployment for increasingly impoverished masses.

Some have argued that neoliberalism is dead precisely because the taxpayer has had to rescue the banking system.[3] In fact, the paradox is that a financial crisis created by neoliberalism is being ‘solved’ by deepening its reach and privatising the remaining bastions of the welfare state.

The current financial crisis might have different origins to the one that afflicted Latin America in the 1980s but its results in the form of sovereign debt and conditionality-driven ‘rescue’ plans look startlingly similar. As the social pain increases, what are the populations of Greece – or Spain for that matter – meant to do? Venting their anger through the ballot box offers little reassurance since all mainstream political parties are wedded to operating within the same system. Are we forever condemned to the dictatorship of the market?[4]

Not necessarily. The last four years in Europe have seen a certain democratic rebirth in the form of citizen movements that would have been unthinkable only a decade ago. From Spain’s indignados (the indignant) to Greece’s aganaktismenoi (the outraged), to the growing numbers in the ‘occupy’ movement, spontaneous civil society movements unattached to existing political parties are starting to find their voice and demand the right to play a part in the creation of alternative societies.[5]

 Given the lack of apparent grand, alternative narratives to neoliberalism, we are forced to look for the budding, small scale alternatives that are growing around us. Bolivia, where resistance to the social suffering caused by the neoliberal revolution began in the 1990s, can provide a few useful lessons and visions of what the future might hold for us. For, in the process of implementing popular responses to neoliberalism’s worst excesses, Bolivia and other Latin American countries have had a head start that is decades long. [6]

It is a well established position in the literature that, by the end of the 1980s, the levels of human suffering being dished out by neoliberalism in Bolivia led to popular discontent, effectively sowing the seeds towards grassroots mobilisation in favour of the current process of change.[7]

At the same period of time following the return to democracy, a crisis of what Bolivians have referred to as ‘partidocracy’ took hold of political institutions that, mired in corruption, were unable to represent and channel social demands. Once the masses reached the conclusion that political parties were in fact part of the problem and liberal democracy became a byword for illegitimate rule by the few, a new set of political actors stepped into the void to create new democratic spaces.[8]

Trade unions, the unquestioned political actor in their opposition to military governments had been decimated by the neoliberal revolution and by decree 21060. The political vacuum left by their loss of influence was filled the social movements. In this way, social movements became the historic agent for the refoundation of Bolivia, acting beyond simple opposition to provide alternative visions to the existing hegemonic model of politics as representative democracy; society, in the form of a society that excluded a majority of its indigenous citizens; and economy, as represented by the neoliberal order.[9]

 Civil society represents the reconstitution of the collective political activity of Bolivian society and every sector of society was incorporated to become part of a process of change that began with the emancipation of indigenous peoples and their constitution as political actors. The indigenous marches of 1990 and 2002 were key milestones in this process and have been most clearly associated with the demand for a constitutional assembly.[10]

 This became most clearly articulated at times of national crises and popular uprisings that had common roots against the privatisation of natural resources – as was the case with water and gas in Cochabamba and El Alto during the crises of 2000 and 2003.[11]

 These crises led the Bolivian population to accept indigenous demands for a constitutional assembly, a process of debate and deliberation that incorporated every sector of society, with the mandate to write a new constitution. Thus, during a process of national crisis brought to a head by the dual economic and political failings of neoliberalism, the constitutional assembly was presented as the mechanism that could deliver a resolution to this crisis by creating a roadmap for a new Bolivia on the basis of new sets of values and purpose.[12]

The story of Bolivia’s political change since then is one of miracles and frustrations in equal measure. Who in 2000 would have thought that an indigenous coca grower could become President five years later? Who could have predicted that by 2010 the traditional political parties would have all but been obliterated from the new plurinational assembly? In spite of its limitations, Bolivia’s constitutional assembly constitutes a unique democratic experiment. The final text promises to change the country’s political sphere, by introducing a range of levels of decentralisation and a new relationship between the social movements and the state. It also redefines the relationship between the individual and the state, re-establishing the role of the state in guaranteeing social protections, integrating excluded majorities, and incorporating their traditional forms of knowledge.[13]

The constitution also proposes to regain for the state a dominant role in the country’s economic steerage whilst incorporating a plurality of forms of economic practice and property ownership that suggest the possibility of a future post-neoliberal paradigm.[14]

 Finally, the constitution also denounces imperialism and promises to redefine international relations, accepting the existence of interdependencies between regions and countries – just as between individuals – and building on these interdependencies through values of solidarity to deliver better futures for all. ALBA represents this collaborative experiment and a glimpse, perhaps, that better worlds are possible. Whilst the new constitution was written and eventually approved by the Bolivian people, the political process before, during and after the production of the constitutional document provided a glimpse of the difficulties involved in renegotiating national values and power relations in a highly divided society. The 2008 political crisis following the Porvenir massacre has been followed by the current malaise that erupted with government plans to build a road through the TIPNIS national park. In between lie accusations of top level political corruption, a government that is too cosy with multinational corporations and, in spite of its anti-neoliberal and climate change rhetoric in the global stage, unable to think of development in ways that go beyond the extractivist model. What then, is left of Bolivia as a ‘resistance movement and counter hegemonic project’ in the Latin American Region?[15]

Does Bolivia in any way show European countries an image of their own future? In spite of noticeable progress in economic growth, poverty and inequality reduction and the introduction of a basic social safety net, the jury is still out on the long term potential of the current Bolivian constitution to deliver its promise in the context of long-term social cleavages. On the other hand, Bolivia’s ability to deliver political renewal and new leaderships through a healthy civil society is perhaps the best guarantee that the process of change will not become stagnant in the near future. The biggest legacy from Bolivia’s resistance to neoliberalism lies precisely in the possibilities offered by this kind of politics to give people the right to make their own decisions and commit their own mistakes.

Kepa Artaraz is lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Brighton. His book, Bolivia: Refounding the Nation, was published by Pluto in April 2012.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Day Labor Day

Today, 1st of May, is a legal holiday in most countries of the world except the USA where is seems to be a day for children to dance around a flowered pole in welcome of Spring. In the rest of the world it is workers rather than flowers that are honored and laws entitle them to a day off work with full pay or double pay if they do work.

The contrast is especially curious since May Day honors events that happened in the US. The designation of May 1 as Labor Day by nations other than the US came about from worldwide outrage over events that took place in Chicago. It is the story of Haymarket Square.

Of course, labor history is anathema to corporate America and is edited out of its textbooks. (Except for examples of corruption). As Orwell pointed out in 1984: "Those who control the present, control the past, and those who control the past, control the future." We should take strength from these brave Americans who fought against the entrenched forces of the right.

All of the privileges workers enjoy today—a minimum wage, safety laws, and even an eight-hour workday—came about only with the sacrifice of the workers who came before. Although the government prefers our collective amnesia, workers on this May Day should remember the past and realize that we too are part of an ongoing struggle to bring about an end to the exploitation of labor around the world. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, people in factories have worked very long shifts, lasting up to fourteen or more hours a day.

During the 1880s a new movement calling for an eight-hour day inspired both labor unions and unorganized workers in the US. At its 1884 convention, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions adopted a resolution stating that beginning May 1, 1886, "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's work" and workers would strike at companies that did not recognize the eight-hour day. By April 1886, a quarter of a million workers had committed themselves to go on strike as part of the May Day movement. This enabled thousands of workers to win shorter shifts. Most employers, however, refused to reduce working hours.

By May 1 some 200,000 workers were on strike. An additional 340,000 workers in the industrial cities of Boston, New York, Milwaukee, Chicago and Pittsburgh, turned out for local parades and rallies. One of the most militant campaigns occurred in Chicago. The syndicalist International Working People's Association—promoting equal rights and an end to racism and the class system—had successfully organized huge numbers of workers, building a movement that included African-Americans, immigrants, and women standing together with white men. Largely because of the organization’s efforts, 50,000 workers went on strike, with tens of thousands attending the city's May Day parade. The IWPA's successful broad-based appeal worried businesses and the government alike. This fear resulted in the expansion of both the police and the militias.

On May Day, Albert Parsons, along with Albert Spies, spoke to a huge crowd assembled as part of the May Day activities. Parsons was a member of both the Knights of Labor and the Chicago Central Labor Union, and Spies was the editor of the German workers' paper Die Arbeiter-Zeitung. Despite the city leaders' expectations of violence (which led to a heavy police presence), the rally ended without incident. Two days later, Spies spoke to a meeting of 6,000 workers. Among the workers were striking lumber workers and employees from the McCormick Harvester Works.

Cyrus McCormick, a determined union-buster had locked his workers out as a result of their strike of 2 ½ months. Nonstriking workers and replacement workers became the focus of heckling by other meeting participants, which created a chaotic atmosphere. Then, in a classic case of overreaction, police fired into the crowd and killed at least two men while wounding many more. Appalled by the police violence, Spies called for a massive rally the next day in Haymarket Square. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people attended the May 4 rally. Parsons gave an hour-long speech that was relatively tame. He specifically stated, "I am not here for the purpose of inciting anybody."

Chicago Mayor Harrison, who had attended most of the meeting, stopped by the police station on his way home. He reported to Police Captain Bonfield that "nothing looked likely to require police interference." Despite this advice the captain, who regularly employed Pinkerton detectives and supported "shoot to kill" policies when dealing with strikers, sent additional officers to the square. After hours of speeches, people had begun to leave, when Samuel Fielden, a Methodist preacher and the final speaker, took the podium. Concluding his speech, he encouraged workers to stand up to the law, which did not protect them, urging them to "kill it, stab it . . . to impede its progress."

The police considered this "inflammatory language" and 200 police officers ordered the remaining crowd to disperse immediately. As Fielden argued with the police of the peaceful intent of the meeting, someone threw a dynamite bomb at the police. One sergeant was killed immediately. The police then opened fire at the crowd. Estimates indicated that seven or eight civilians were killed. Several policemen and additional civilians died later. Following the event, hysteria swept the city.

Mayor Harrison declared martial law. Some believed the bomb had been thrown by an agent provocateur. Indeed, it served nicely as an excuse for the police to harass and attack scores of people. Hundreds were arrested. State Attorney for Cook County J. Grinnell announced in a public statement, "Make the raids first and look up the law afterwards." Labor unions were broken up. Picketing strikers were arrested and the police continued to beat labor supporters.

In conjunction with the bombing, the state arrested and indicted eight anarchists: Spies, Michael Schwab, Fielden, Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lingg and Oscar Neebe. All were charged with conspiracy to murder, despite the fact that only three had been present at the Haymarket meeting. For their trial, a special bailiff was appointed to pick the jury. He stated, "These fellows are going to be hanged as certain as death." During the trial in June 1886, the state could not provide evidence that any of the men had knowledge of the bomb or that they had incited or participated in the violence.

But it wasn't the men so much as their ideas that were considered dangerous. As Grinnell stated in his summation: "Law is on trial. Anarchy is on trial. These men have been selected, picked out by the grand jury and indicted because they were leaders. They are no more guilty than the thousands who follow them. Gentlemen of the jury: convict these men, make examples of them, hang them and you save our institutions, our society."

As a result of the trial, all but one of the men received death sentences (Neebe received 15 years). Despite international outcry, Spies, Parsons, Fischer, and Engel were hanged on November 11, 1887; Lingg escaped by committing suicide. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the funeral procession for the executed men. Later, in 1893, when newly elected Governor Altgeld granted pardons to Neebe, Schwab, and Fielden, he admitted that the trial had been unfair and that the men had always been innocent of the crimes.

After Haymarket, workers all over the world pointed towards May 1 as their day. After 1886 rallies, strikes and other militant actions promoted the cause of the working class around the world. Unfortunately, a conservative element within U.S. organized labor, combined with the crushing government repression of left politics, allowed the significance of the day to become lost in the United States.

As early as 1894, President Cleveland signed a bill naming not May 1 but the first Monday in September as "Labor Day." This creatively sidestepped the day with more historical significance. Adding further insult, President Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 as "Law Day" in 1958. In light of the history of May Day, it was ironic that the theme of the 2002 year's Law Day (sponsored by the American Bar Association) was "Celebrate Your Freedom." The focus was worded as "equal protection of the laws", though of course the effect was the opposite.

We must not forget what happened at Haymarket, lest we give reactionary forces the opportunity to revoke what the labor movement has gained. In 1886 the movement was strong and visible. It was the state that provoked crowds into violence in order to create an excuse to undermine the progress of the working class. We cannot allow the government to frighten us back into silence. Instead we must follow the examples set by Parsons, Spies, Fischer and Engel, and all the others who have died or been imprisoned by the state. The events of May Day 1886 remind us that workers will continue to be exploited until we stand up and oppose that exploitation. It is only with organization and the courage to speak out against injustice that we will gain better working conditions, better pay, and better lives.

Then came George W Bush once more further obscuring the truth of history by newly changing the name and function of the real Labor Day to "Loyalty Day". Haymarket Square no longer exists. Its location was where Chicago's Kennedy Expressway now crosses Randolph Street, The statue which marked the point of Labor Day's inception has been moved to the Chicago Police Academy and can only be viewed with special permission.

They can rename, they can distort, they can run, but they can't hide, for the world remembers.

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