Posted by: quiscus | March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010

1.  FBI corroborates Sibel Edmonds:

“Luke Ryland, proprietor of the blog Let Sibel Edmonds Speak, discusses the disclosure of pre-9/11 FBI investigations that corroborate some of Sibel Edmonds’ previously unsupported claims, Turkish lobbies involved in Congressional bribery and drug trafficking, US foreign military aid (funded by taxpayers) that keeps the world awash in F-16s and lines the pockets of defense contractors and the best online resources for getting up to speed on Sibel Edmonds’ story.”

2.  “Can the ‘Bush Lied’ Deniers Handle the Truth?

Conservative apologists for the George W. Bush crew are swinging hard these days to defend their man — and themselves — from the charge that W. and his gang misled the nation into war. They must worry that they are going to end up on the wrong side of history. After all, a 2008 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans believed that the Bush administration “deliberately misled the American public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.” (This was a big change from a poll taken two months after the 2003 invasion that noted that 67 percent believed that Bush had played it straight.) ”

3.  “Could Israel Drag America Into a War With Iran?

U.S. military planners have little doubt that an Israeli air campaign against Iranian nuclear facilities would provoke Iranian retaliation against Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers allied with the United States. American efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which border Iran, would come under threat. And there would be no way that any U.S. administration, after so many decades pledging undying support for Israel, could make a convincing claim in Muslim eyes that it was not complicit in the attack.

// <![CDATA[// One of the cardinal rules of realism in international politics—and Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both pride themselves on their realism—is “never allow a weak ally to make decisions for you.” Political scientist Hans J. Morgenthau wrote in his classic Politics Among Nationsthat great powers “lose their freedom of action by identifying their own national interests completely with those of a weak ally.” And for all its bluster, Israel is, at the end of the day, a tiny country with a population smaller than that of New York City. “Secure in the support of its powerful friend, the weak ally can choose the objectives and methods of its foreign policy to suit itself,” Morgenthau warned. “The powerful nation then finds it must support interests not its own and that it is unable to compromise on issues that are vital not to itself, but only to its ally.”

Netanyahu wants to make sure that his priorities are America’s priorities on many issues. So he and his supporters argue that if they’re forced to make concessions that would create an independent, viable, contiguous Palestinian state, Israel would feel so insecure that it would have to attack Iran to protect itself—no matter what the implications for Americans and their men and women in the field.”

4.  “Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis ”

5.  “How Sovereign is Europe? Washington has Murdered Privacy Rights at Home And Abroad

How sovereign is the EU when it it unable to protect the financial privacy of its citizens from foreign governments?

For some time Zeit-Fragen has been reporting Washington’s pressure on the Swiss government to violate Swiss statutory law in order to comply with American demands to monitor financial flows within Switzerland and between Switzerland and the world. Writers show their astonishment at the total contempt Washington has for the sovereignty of other countries and the privacy rights of their citizens.

We Americans should not be surprised. Not withstanding statutory laws, our privacy rights are long gone. In the U.S. privacy has become a cruel and expensive joke. It means that parents cannot find out about the college grades of a son or daughter without the permission of the son or daughter. It means that credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions are required to waste money sending a steady stream of “privacy notices” to customers about the use of the customer’s information. It means an American cannot get information about his account with a credit card company, telephone, cable, and Internet provider, bank, utility company or make any alteration in his account without providing a stranger with his Social Security number or other private information over and beyond one’s name, address, and account number. This routine is a joke when the government has access to everything. It is part of our Orwellian world that privacy is protected by the requirement to give strangers private information over the telephone.

The American sheeple quietly accepted the complete destruction of their right to privacy. Encouraged by success in smiting the American people, Washington has now destroyed the privacy of Europeans.

Indeed, the “freedom and democracy” government spies on the entire world and sends drones into foreign countries to murder people disapproved by Washington.

Washington denounces other governments for human rights violations while itself violating human rights every day.

Washington puts foreign leaders on trial for war crimes, while committing war crimes every day.”

6.  “The creepy tyranny of Canada’s hate speech laws

Personally, I think threatening someone with criminal prosecution for the political views they might express is quite “hateful.”  So, too, is anointing oneself the arbiter of what is and is not sufficiently “civilized discussion” to the point of using the force of criminal law to enforce it.  If I were administering Canada’s intrinsically subjective “hate speech” laws (and I never would), I’d consider prosecuting Provost Houle for this letter.  The hubris required to believe that you can declare certain views so objectively hateful that they should be criminalized is astronomical; in so many eras, views that were most scorned by majorities ended up emerging as truth.

For as long as I’ll live, I’ll never understand how people want to vest in the Government the power to criminalize particular viewpoints it dislikes, will never understand the view that it’s better to try to suppress adverse beliefs than to air them, and will especially never understand people’s failure to realize that endorsing this power will, one day, very likely result in their own views being criminalized when their political enemies (rather than allies) are empowered.  Who would ever want to empower officious technocrats to issue warnings along the lines of:  be forewarned:  if you express certain political views, you may be committing a crime; guide and restrict yourself accordingly?  I obviously devote a substantial amount of my time and energy to critiquing the actions of the U.S. Government, but the robust free speech protection guaranteed by the First Amendment and largely protected by American courts continues to be one of the best features of American political culture.

Just to underscore the point:  last year, Canada banned the vehemently anti-war, left-wing British MP George Galloway from entering their country, on extremely dubious “national security” grounds.  Galloway is a vociferous critic of Canada’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan as well a defender of Hamas, which were clearly the bases for his exclusion.  Though that was under a different law than the one with which Coulter is threatened, that’s always the result of this mindset:  those defending these sorts of speech restrictions always foolishly think that the restrictions will be confined to those views which they dislike, and then are astonished and outraged when these censorship powers are turned against views with which they agree (the Bush administration sought to exclude Muslim scholars from the U.S. who were critical of its wars based on the same rationale).

To see how a genuinely principled individual thinks about such things, see this comment from a right-wing Canadian decrying the exclusion of Galloway despite the fact that he finds Galloway’s left-wing views noxious in the extreme.  In 2006, Newt Gingrich advocated that free speech rights should be restricted for “radical Muslims” because they were preaching dangerous “hatred,” speech which Gingrich wanted criminalized.  Those who defend “hate speech” laws like the ones in Canada and Europe are Gingrich’s like-minded comrades, even if they want to criminalize different views than the ones Gingrich happened to be targeting.”

7.  “Why Democracy Is “The Biggest Scam in the World”

8.  “The Crime of Empire.
Rogue Superpower and World Domination

Boggs points at a dichotomy in U. S. governments behavior. „No ruling elite proclaim the ´rule of law`more loudly, and no society produces more lawyers, prosecutors, judges, legal theorists – and prisons” than American society. But this goes no further than domestic society. At the international level, the U. S. „routinely favors power over legality, often dismissing legality as nuisance in the face of pressing global realities”. The U. S. power elites „believe” in „national exceptionalism”, they view the country as a „benevolent” or „benign” hegemon working for „democracy, human rights, and peace”. The elite – politicians, media, academia, and think tanks – presents U. S. policy as „pragmatic”, non-ideological, furthering liberal democracy, freedom, equality, and citizen participation. Policies are driven by a consensus of economic and geopolitical disiderata that actually „revolves around a struggle for domination over the Middle East”, writes Boggs. According to the author, the unholy legacy started with the white European settlers. They perceived their mission als „God-given”, driven by entlightenment and social progress. This „white-man´s burden” was later called „Manifest Destiny”. A concept rooted in the religious zealotry of the Puritans. In the nineteenth century the U. S. carried out military interventions in several nations in Central America and the Caribbean. The author writes that in 1844, under the presidency of James K. Polk, the U. S. annexed, after a self-provoced war against Mexico, large parts of Texas, California, New Mexiko, Arizona, and Nevada which belonged to Mexico. Already at that time this „premtive war” was justified by national security arguments. The Mexicans were slaughtered by the thousends as being „backward, ignorant, and undemocratic, hardly worthy proprietors of the land they had controlled”. Don´t the neocons and the religious fundamentalist of today cartoon the Muslims in a similar fashion, in order to dehumanize them and make attacks against them appeare more „rational”? With the massacre at Wounded Knee „a system firmly rooted in authoritarian controls and propelled by a micture of colonialism, racism, capitalism, and militarism” was firmly established. „An ideology of ruthless expansion was incorporated into the political culture, shared especially by the upper circles of politicians, business elites, the military, and Christian instituions.” And Boggs adds: „It is precisely the legacy of imperialism, warfare, and outlawry that was carried into, and helped shape, later U. S. behavior in such targeted areas as the Philippines, Central America, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.”


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