Dwight was Right-Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address

Eisenhower’s famous farewell address speech. People were stunned when the military genius and American Hero offered this sober critique of the emerging Military Industrial Complex.

From the speech:

“… we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.”

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to recognize its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or our democratic processes”

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Cyrus Safdari on Iran Air Flight 655 and US Hypocrisy

http://www.iranaffairs.com/

Some of Cyrus’ quotes from interview below.

Not only does Cyrus have a cool name, he seems like a reasonable individual. Unlike most Bush supporters, I believe words and ideas and how they are expressed actually say something about the individual uttering them.

I also tend to not go for the glitz and gloss that you find masquerading as sincerity and reasonable discourse in the Main Stream Media (MSM). They look great, talk great and have the world of technology at their polished fingertips yet the discourse and debate somehow go nowhere. Go figure.

Cyrus Safdari may not be the most polished person to speak on the Iranian situation, but as someone who speaks for his own culture and has been in Iran both before and after the 1979 Revolution, I respect his point of view much more than I would an overly-telegenetic ‘talking head.’

I honor the fact that Cyrus is able to speak in clear and sober terms to such a personally painful situation in this corporate and western dominated media. I listen with an open mind because mine is the paradigm which assumes that the closer you get to the heart of a story, the more truth you will find.

People may speak of RT, or Russian Television as a lesser or biased media but the facts speak for themselves. There are many arguments here depending on which paradigm you adhere too. As far as the MSM goes, the paradigm is pretty one-sided. A corporate agenda where the views and the needs of the majority of people no matter what their culture, are subjugated to the will of the corporate/government infrastructure. Follow the money honey.

Collectivism, the idea that we should use our government as a tool for the management of our natural and cultural resources is portrayed in the media as “communism” and linked to the downfall of man. While unregulated capitalism is portrayed as a “savior” of our democracy and way of life. And they are laughing all the way to the bank…in the Cayman Islands, so they are laughing on a jet or yacht…just to rub it in I guess.

Just as African Americans never were or deserved to be viewed as 3/5ths human under the law, other cultures and civilizations are no less valuable than our own. We may prefer our own culture of course which is only natural, but to say that another country or people do not deserve to be treated with respect because we don’t understand them is immature and irresponsible.

My Gosh! How do we not realize the chain of struggles and events that women, children, immigrants and minorities have gone through in modern society and not see the links to how we view and treat people in foreign countries and civilizations today.

The painful truth is that we have more in common with the poor and middle class in other countries such as Iran than we do with the wealthy and upper classes in our own countries.

With our own country we share a common language and cultural identity with the wealthy but upon closer examination it turns out that we don’t have the same world view that the power hungry and market Mouseketeers do.

Real people don’t identify with Disneyland, they identify with a camaraderie that is borne of a shared fate. More like “The Three Musketeers” or “Robin Hood”, books and now movies that are reinvented and retold every generation because they resonate so strongly with our innate human needs and desires. It only feels like a Revolutionary desire because the powers that be are constantly fighting us for the ability to govern ourselves. So we feel like we are constantly at war in the political realm.

As it turns out the overwhelming majority of the worlds poor and middle class just want to work, raise families and try to live peaceful and relatively uneventful lives. I think it is called being happy. But as it turns out their is a small percentage of our humanity who’s main goal is to gain wealth and power at the expense of the health and well being of the rest of the population and the entire planet. They are willing to do whatever it takes, to take over every facet of our lives, to overwhelm the commons with their fear and loathing and sway public opinion against itself.

This is not class warfare, people have a right to be rich if they have earned it, but to then use that wealth and power to subdue and take away the rights that our forefathers and mothers struggled with and fought for their whole lives seems a bit extreme on their part. It should at least should be allowed to be discussed, don’t you think?

From the RT Utube channel:

“Iran Air Flight 655, also known as IR655, was a civilian airliner shot down by US missiles on Sunday 3 July 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, toward the end of the Iran–Iraq War.The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2 operated by Iran Air as IR655, was flying from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, UAE, when it was destroyed by the US. Is this an example of US policy hypocrisy towards Iran?”


Mr. Cyrus Safdar from the video:

“The Iranians are not silly or stupid, they are quite aware of the history of their country with respect to the US and so when the US tries to lecture Iran and the Iranians on Human Rights, Iranian actually wonder where this is coming from. Where was this concern for Human Rights when the US was backing Saddam (Hussein), or when they shot down IA Flight 655 or all of the other things that have happened between the two countries.”

“Everyday we are bombarded with the latest Iran news, however this news is never put in any kind of context which would allow it to be understood. Instead it’s constant fear mongering.”

“The US and Western medias are so dominant that it is hard to get independent voices heard.”

“Anyone who goes on the internet right now can see videos of Donald Rumsfeld the former Secretary of State shaking hands with Saddam Hussein at a time when SH was gassing the Kurds and the US tried to shift blame for that onto the Iranians.”

“We can talk about their (Iran’s) nuclear program which started with the assistance of the US and suddenly now the US is telling Iran that it has to give up it’s rights under the non-proliferation treaty”

“However the US is closely allied with countries who have nuclear weapons and have refused to sign the same treaty.”

“What we have here (in Iran) is a third world country that dare to rise up and overthrow a US backed dictatorship. If Iran can do than so can people in Saudi Arabia, so can people in other countries in which the US is closely allied with their ruling governments, and this presents a threat to others in the region as well.’

The original by the great Leon Russel

“The End of America” Naomi ‘Never Cry’ Wolf

Naomi Wolf’s documentary, “The End of America” is a disturbing and detailed outline of the ‘Ten Steps To Fascism’ the United States has taken in the last ten years following the events of 9-11-01. The doc is based on her book of the same name which came out in 2007. The video has been available online since 2008.

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/the_end_of_america/

Not only do these steps mirror some of the laws and procedures taken by Nazi Germany and other 20th Century fascist regimes, but the GW Bush administration even had the chutzpah to use the direct translation of the terms the Third Reich used in their ‘War of Terror’ as Borat famously quipped.

Ms. Wolf resounds the warning bell of creeping fascism in the US and shows the disturbing similarities to the social and political tactics of The Third Reich.

The Nazi similarities are frightening and upsetting to say the least. Germany was a modern city/state with a vibrant art and political scene when the Nazi’s gained power. The Nazi’s took power by usurping the German Constitution in a time of crisis and using propaganda and fear to gain control of it’s population.

The Establishment Media love to put Nazi and Hitler iconography in our face constantly yet refuse to go into detail about the very sophisticated propaganda and political manipulation that evolved there. Germany was in financial crisis and Europe was still simmering after WWI, but the media and much of academia mainly focus on the ‘evil’ of the Nazi regime. Of course the Holocaust is usually a main focus as it should be.

While some of the historical context and psychological aspects of the German ‘psyche’ are touched upon by the media-usually some inherent belief in a German superiority with ‘Triumph of the Will’ iconography-less credence is given to the propaganda, political misdirection and theater that was at the heart of the Nazi regime.

The ‘theater’ is there to distract the public from seeing the behind the scenes nefarious ‘lawful’ activity. Without the implementation of these laws and tactics that Wolf outlines here, the Nazis would not have gained power and been able to wield and exert such force. Maybe there was a ‘perfect storm’ in which they ascended power so quickly, but it wasn’t effortless. Despite the media focusing on the ‘high German ideal’, the inherent cultural and genetic belief in a Germanic superiority, fascism can happen anywhere as the 20th Century bears out. Even here in the United States circa 21st Century Fox.

From Wikipedia: “The Gestapo controlled the German populace with some 100,000 spies and informers, thereby were aware of anti-Nazi criticism and dissent. Happy with Nazi prosperity, most Germans remained silently obedient, while political opponents, especially the Communists, Marxists, and international socialists were imprisoned; “between 1933 and 1945, more than 3 million Germans had been in concentration camps, or prison, for political reasons”. “Tens of thousands of Germans were killed for one or another form of resistance. Between 1933 and 1945, Sondergerichte (Nazi “special courts”) killed 12,000 Germans, courts martial killed 25,000 German soldiers, and civil justice killed 40,000 Germans. Many of these Germans were part of the government, civil, or military service, a circumstance which enabled them to engage in subversion and conspiracy, while involved, marginally or significantly, in the government’s policies.”

Bush did not use the language or have the linguistic finesse and showmanship of a Hitler or Mussolini, but he got the job done. If the US ever tilts far right again and elects a very charismatic right-wing leader we are in big trouble, the laws are already in place.

The Obama administration may not take full advantage of these measures to shut down public outcry completely, but even they will use it to gain political control. And an administration is not one person, it can be corrupted from within or without. The point is to have very thorough checks and balances on the powers that be in order to assure that major nefariousness is subdued. Without these checks and balances, justice is tilted haphazardly towards those in power and privilege at the expense of the needs and desires of the general populace.

Naomi begins by explaining why and how she wrote the book, “And I realized from my reading that intently, strategically, systematically, a small group of people set out to undermine the constitution, open the door for the horror to come”

She saw,”the similarity between all of these regimes in the 20th C, Germany, China, Chile, where a slow but purposeful eroding of the constitution takes place. Leaders learn from one another and have developed a blue print for closing down an open society.”

Naomi, then outlines 10 steps which 20th Century fascist governments such as the Third Reich and Stalin’s Russia implemented to close down an open society. These “Ten Steps to Fascism” describe ten political tactics that fascist regimes use to control the populace. Why is the US doing this when other countries who suffer ‘terror’ do not.

I will use Roman numerals to make it look classier. And away we go!

Step I. Invoke and internal and external threat

We experienced an attack on our ‘Homeland” in 2001 of course, but other countries such as Spain or England who also had major terrorist attacks still kept their citizen’s rights. They did not bypass their constitution, to ‘protect themselves from the ‘enemy’.

The Bush league raised fear levels as high as possible. The Department of Homeland Security was created and the Patriot Act was passed.

The actual events surrounding the 2001 attacks are still considered inconclusive, and enough evidence has been presented for the government to open a thorough and transparent investigation into what transpired on ‘911’. Many of our progressive congressman want an open investigation but to no avail. Therefore, all the evidence that points to a ‘False Flag Operation’ is ignored and ‘911’ still remains a frustrating mystery for all except those who blindly wave the flag. It is our patriotic duty to fully investigate the attacks and hold those responsible, whether it be for treason, or just plain negligence.

How do you separate 9/11 and 911? To put a link to the impetus for our War on Terror and link it ass to ass to our euphemism for emergency seems suspicious. 911 is something we yell instead of Help!, or Emergency! It is basically means emergency. Seeing and hearing that number over and over again makes a strong and permanent link, which I believe is purposeful.

By October 2001 the White House and Congress drove the Patriot Act through Congress. It was printed at 3am and had to voted on by 11 am. This allowed the government to wiretap, use electronic surveillance, go through medical and bank records, credit card statements and library book records without warrant or probable cause.
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The Bush league was able to do this because they helped create such a storm of fear.
“We cannot wait for the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud” said Cunning-linguist Rice from the White House right before Iraq War. Although Colin Powell’s regrets his statements at the UN now, his now famous “yellow cake” speech was a big part of the false build up to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

And As much as Cheney denied it, he was quoted on national television as saying these exact words,

“There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”

“No doubt!” he emphasized more than once. He backpedaled furiously after that, even denying that he said the words, and the media allowed him to squirm out of it.
.
“No Doubt!”, he assured trusting Americans. Not, “Saddam used them on the Kurds” or “we thought we had reliable intelligence” or “we had satellite photos, yellow cake, known suspect informants”. Not “we have the receipt” for the weapons.

When Cheney was pressured further to answer the allegation that none of the evidence so far was conclusive, he assured the reporter and the American people that from the intel privy only to him which was an issue of national security, he was giving the American people his word that Saddam was a real threat. Not to Kuwait, or Iran. Not in 10 years, but now.

Cheney has been discredited to all but the true believers. His pushing for the war for ideological reasons and silencing of war critics in the Pentagon and elsewhere is well known. How you go from, “shut up, I am right!” to “oh gee, I thought I was” with this much at stake and many experts within his administration telling him he was wrong and remain a credible figure in the Mainstream Media is sign that things are very wrong.

He lied, they died. With what is now known, all the knowns that were previously unknown in the Donald Rumsfeld Defense Department and Dick Cheney White House, if it wasn’t for the political turmoil and outing of everyone involved, these guys would be tried for treason. As it is, they cannot travel to many countries for fear of arrest under international war crime law.


Step II:SECRET PRISON SYSTEM

Secret here means unaccountable.We know Guantanamo Prison is there, but we are not allowed to find out what is really going on. From all reports Guantanamo was using torture tactics right out of the Russian gulags. These tactics are against the Geneva Convention and our previous government and military stances.

Bush signs Military Order #1. The government can pick up anyone it wants and hold them as an ‘enemy combatant’. They are then not official ‘prisoners of war’ and are not eligible for the protection of the Geneva Convention

Secretary of Defense Donald ‘Duck You Suckers’ Rumsfeld personally sought to redefine torture as only “organ failure” or “severe pain and suffering with specific intent”. He expands the 16 rules of interrogation to 35. Nice guy. Favorite exercise, running his chainsaw. I kid you not.

The Nazi’s used the exact same term ‘Enhanced Interrogation’, ‘Verscharfte Vernehmung’. Sounds better in German actually. Many other disturbing Third Reich linguistic similarities. Why was this done? There were enough smart people in the White House to catch this, and it was brought to their attention immediately when made public. So what kind of sick and twisted Skull and Bones bullshite we got here?

The White House memo for 2-7-02. “Geneva does not apply to our conflict with Al Qaeda, detainees also do not qualify as prisoners of war” Good ole GWB doing his patri-idiotic duty.

From all reports, torture is known to provide much wrong and distorted information. People will say anything to make it stop. The reason for invading Iraq was based on false evidence obtained by torture.

The Military Commission Act of 2006 which:

-Stripped Habeas Corpus-the right to a speedy trial and to see the evidence against you.

-expands the definition of enemy combatant

-gives power to detain indefinitely

-gave legal jurisdiction to military commissions that could be try and execute without public knowledge.

-can be tried as ‘terrorist’ or ‘enemy combatant’, somewhat nebulous terms.

Bush was able to push threw these measures because he was a good ole’ boy. Americans like their fascism with a beer and ballgame.

STEP III. CREATE A PARAMILITARY FORCE

Blackwater gives 2.4 million to Republicans. 500 million then awarded in no bid security contracts. Blackwater hires killers and torturers from foreign countries. Reporter Jeremy Scahill saw them in Katrina patrolling in HumVees with machine guns. On the Blackwater website they are hyping US Protest Control, which is very frightening. It is way for them to bypass the military code that prohibits domestic use of the military, especially for crowd control.

“You cannot close down an open society without a paramilitary,” says Naomi. Blackwater is a very right wing dis-oriented organization with very strong right-wing Christian religious ties, even more so than the American military.


STEP IV: SURVEIL ORDINARY CITIZENS

FISA-Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the government to spy on it’s own citizens without warrant.

Very similar to the East German Stazi Force after WWII. They had similar powers to surveil and had checkpoints everywhere. A modern police state where the first casualty is freedom of speech and assembly, especially from the left, as the right can always be co-opted with patriotic lingo.

The List. No Fly List which has one million people on it. An interview with Colonel Antoon, who’s entire family shows up on the watch list for political or bureaucratic reasons. Many military personnel are on list. Many academics and socio-political leaders are prevented from entering the US. This also works as ‘soft pressure’, preventing many people from speaking out through threat of “extreme inconvenience”.

The FBI was blocked from investigating any allegations of wrongdoing by the State Department and White House.

Severe weakening of ‘posit comatatis’, the police are supposed to be accountable and have civilian oversight.

STEP V: INFILTRATE CITIZEN GROUPS

Groups like the Quakers are on the watch list and there are numerous reports of peaceful and law abiding groups being infiltrated. While there are leftist groups such as Earth First! who have damaged property in order to defend their cause, there is no real violence or credible threats unless you count the so called young ‘anarchists’ who break Starbuck windows. But the media and the corp/state portray the mostly pacifist and harmless organizations as violent and ideological threats to Western Civilization.

Police illegally spied on protesters in NYC rally, but the FBI is not allowed to investigate.

Cointelpro, which is short for Counter Intelligence Program, had been a big part of the FBI ever since J Edgar Hoover put on a dress. Infiltration is also a big psychological pressure point, you aren’t sure who is who, it changes the perception of reality.

As Naomi says, “To make them unable to stand up for themselves, even trust their own reality.”

STEP VI: DETAIN AND RELEASE ORDINARY CITIZENS

Again intimidation is a big factor. Who wants to go to jail? Who wants to protest and get beat up or even worse.

James Yee was a Chaplin in the US Military. He was being detained and accused of being a terrorist spy, due mostly to a term paper he wrote about Islam. He says, “religion is being used as a weapon.” by the US Military.

In Charlestown, S.C. there is a prison for citizen enemy combatants.

Maher Arar, a Canadian who the US govt sent to Syria to be tortured for 10 months with no charges filed and others who are held in American prisons and not allowed redress.

STEP VII: TARGET KEY INDIVIDUALS.

They target key individuals who are powerful social or political critics. The Bush League boycotted the Dixie Chicks through their friends at Clear Channel. The Cd burnings that Clear Channel and it’s conservative backers sponsored evoked the book burnings of old as well as the burning of Beatles albums back in the early sixties, due to their “commie ways”.

Dan Rather was fired with White House pressure and of course Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA agent, both due to critical views of the White House.


STEP VIII: RESTRICT THE PRESS

White House started to prosecute reporters again under the espionage act of 1917, which made it illegal to criticize the war or express dissent. Yes, Librarians et al were arrested and beaten back in the day, and expressed solidarity with their sisters in recent years by refusing to release information.

The marginalization of populist politician Eugene Debs who was given a 10 year prison sentence for speaking out against US involvement in WWI, cast a pall over civil society and silenced political debate for decades.

Bilal Hussein detained two years, a photographer for a major news organization.

Josh Wolf, an American freelance journalist was sent to prison for a full year. Longest in history for a US journalist. The government was so desperate to identify the protesters in Josh’s video that they prosecuted this case. Again, intimidation and this is a case where the FBI was barred from investigating.

Without confidentiality, sources will not come forward and journalists will be seriously hindered in pursuing investigative stories about government or corporate corruption. Not to mention the effect this has on what journalists will cover. The mob uses intimidation all the time, but when the state uses it, it ain’t funny.

STEP IX: RECAST CRITICISM AS ESPIONAGE AND DISSENT AS TREASON.

At the 2008 St Paul Republican convention, 400 people are arrested for protesting, many journalists including Amy Goodman. Hundreds are illegally arrested in a round up at a local park. Eight Americans were charged with terrorism.

HR 1955 which passed the House would have basically criminalized free speech. The “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” of 2007 which would allow the government to classify many types of political activity as terrorism is still alive in the Senate according to Joe Lieberman.

STEP X: SUBVERT THE RULE OF LAW

The Bush league subverts laws of Congress with 110 signing statements all overriding the Constitutional authority of Congress.

Bush administration targeted high ranking attorneys who did not fall in. Even purging of the entire staff was discussed, a tactic that Goebbels employed.

It is now much easier to declare Marshal Law with all of these laws in place.

In 2008 an American combat brigade was stationed with 3-4,000 troops, mostly to be trained and used for ‘civil disobedience’. Again, this is against the long standing prohibition of using military for crowd control.

At the end of the documentary it asks us to support the ‘American Freedom Agenda’ act which would reverse all of the dangerous laws of the Patriot Act.

Remembering Ed Abbey.

American Heroes like these will classified as ‘terrorists’ or ‘enemy combatants’ and dissent and public dialogue will be discouraged. People have already exhibited a tendency to pop pills and engage in mind and soul numbing activities. While the template for this type of control of the masses is more Huxleyan , Orwell is right there below the surface and in the bureaucracy if you dare to look.

When I was a kid I saw the “Elephant Man” and was struck by the cruelty of the desperate and uneducated English population versus the dignity and beauty that such a man possessed. Matched against the horror and cruelty that the so called best and brightest of us commit and take part in on a daily basis, I was struck by the sado/masochistic tendencies that are at the center of any culture that has such extremes of wealth and poverty.


These are the types of tendencies that undemocratic governments like to manipulate in order to gain control. I spent enough days in the sales/marketing world to know the banal evil of consumerism.

The things we need are held hostage. Our natural resources, our food and water supply. Our energy and education. On and on. These things are state and corporate controlled and are used as big wedges to divide society. The US is an expansive land inhabited by many different peoples and environs, when you add religion and tribalism in the mix , along with class, race and sex with all of their historical implications, you see all of the fears and confusion that ensue.

It is a self-hate that comes about when you detach, both physically and emotionally from the natural world. It is a self-loathing and pessimistic view that leads to unraveling of all that is sacred around us, and a corporate state loves it, a fractured and exhausted populace ready to be manipulated.

The incredibly emotive John Hurt received an Oscar nomination for his raw and heart-breakingly sensitive portrayal of Sir Joseph Merrick in the David Lynch film. Hurt was also the main character in “1984”, the 1984 British film by Michael Radford based on the Orwell book.

Two very important movies. One more human revelation, the other political. Both coalescing around the amazing and brave work of Sir John Hurt. Both exemplifying the darkness of the human condition and how it relates to our downfall as social and political creatures.

Nader Honors and Defends Helen Thomas on “The Real News”

Addendum:7-2-10.

“The Rabbi took down the original video in it’s edited form, but there happens to be a full video of the interview on utube where you can see the context of Helen’s statements in full view. It is completely clear that Ms Thomas was speaking specifically about the two state solution, a Gaza strip and occupied terror-tories where Israel has been demolishing Palestinian villages and creating new Israeli settlements in it’s place. This is against the UN agreed upon borders of 1967 and a violation of international treaty.

Would someone explain to me why is it not a rational point of view to consider the possibility that instead of Israel sending it’s population farther and farther into Palestine it consider other alternatives. What is wrong with living in Poland or the US instead of Israel as a Jewish citizen? I am not saying it is the best solution, if you want to stay in Israel by all means, but why is throwing this out there when you are approached by some young people in the park such a heinous thing?

Maybe she thought of another generation of kids growing up with an Israeli/Palestine situation at the heart of many of our worst issues as a planet, and wanted to think outside the box.

Not the “all the Jews need to get out of the Middle East” as many people would like you to believe. Helen was taken down by old enemies in the Bush White House who were insulted that a reporter would ask challenging questions about the Iraq War. Don’t believe me, well she was the only one to question Bush in the White House “out to im”Press Corps.

I am very happy that I was one of the few to defend Helen Thomas and I believe the Rabbi’s video exonerates her somewhat when you take into context her Lebanese background and the fact that she was maybe caught off guard a little. And I guess as an Arab American she is not to be upset by things like this.

From Wiki:

‘On 27 December 2008,[74] Israeli F-16 strike fighters launched a series of air strikes against targets in Gaza. Struck were police stations, schools, hospitals, UN warehouses, mosques, various Hamas government buildings, a science building in the Islamic University, and a U.N.-operated elementary school in a Palestinian refugee camp.[75] Israel said that the attack was a response to Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel, which totaled over 3,000 in 2008, and which intensified during the few weeks preceding the operation. Palestinian medical staff claimed at least 434 Palestinians were killed, and at least 2,800 wounded, made up mostly civilians and some Hamas members, in the first five days of Israeli strikes on Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces rejected claims the majority of those killed were civilians, providing evidence that Hamas deliberately hides weapons and fighters in “mosques, school yards and civilian houses” to deter an attack and exploit Israel’s rules of engagement.[76] Israel began a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip on 3 January 2009.[77] Israel rebuffed many cease-fire calls and both sides declared unilateral cease-fires.'[78][79]

In total, between 1,100-1,400[80] Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the 22-day war.[81].

After 22 days of fighting, Israel decided to stop fighting, while insisting on holding its positions, while Hamas has vowed to fight on if Israeli forces do not leave the Strip.[82]

The conflict damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of homes,[83] 15 of Gaza’s 27 hospitals and 43 of its 110 primary health care facilities,[84] 800 water wells,[85] 186 greenhouses,[86] and nearly all of its 10,000 family farms[87]; leaving 50,000 homeless,[88] 400,000-500,000 without running water,[89][90] one million without electricity,[91] and resulting in acute food shortages.[92]”

Or the Israeli block-aid of Gaza?

And of course she is still 90 years old, Okaaaaaaaay!

And the fact that she defended her parents neglecting to teach her Arab by pointing out that it was frowned upon by American uncivil society makes her even more endearing.”

Original article begins here.

It is pretty simple actually,

This is the infamous Helen Thomas video. The rabbi with a camera is leading Helen. Her comments, although simplistic sum up a rational point of view, albeit historical. Israel deserves of course to be a state, but I think Helen was saying, if you allow me to paraphrase, “It is Palestinian land, and if the Jews hate it so much there, if after all this time we cannot come to a ‘fair settlement’ (PI), then maybe it would be easier to avoid WW III and have the Jews go back to Europe.”

And I know in the video it sounds like she is talking about all of Israel but I believe she could be just referring to Gaza and the West Bank. There might be some confusion there.

I know, it is hard to defend her statement but she apologized immediately and retracted it. I just think that because she is 90 years old and has always been on the defensive with that cowardly White House Press Corps, coupled with the fact that she was led by the interviewer, that he was even paraphrasing her statements back to her…I mean she needs to be cut some slack.

A Washington Post poll came out showing 88% want her reinstated.

In my book, you do not take down old ladies like this after they have given so much.

Here is the Nader interview with his salient quotes underneath.

“She is a courageous journalist. She came here in 1942, blazed the way for women like no one did.”

“She demanded that all of these doors that had been closed to females be opened up.”

“She also set the standard for journalism, asking the tough questions on the minds of most Americans that the weak-kneed White House Press Corps would never ask. Like to Bush, “Why did you invade Iraq? A million people have died.”

Now this will be what she is remembered for? Not cool man! She is freakin’ 90 years old, okay!!! Tryin to take down grandma needs to be at least looked at closer.

My guess is that she was horrified at the flotilla raid and vented, saw the WWIII scenario unveiling and just let it roll. She was just thinking outside the box, as they say. I have no way to spin it to sound good but is it really that terrible? I will isolate and encapsulate what she was saying, “things are so bad in the Middle East and the Israeli/Palestine situation is the nexus of an existing and escalating situation which is leading to WWIII…let’s have a do over or something for Pete’s sake!”. That was the best I could do.

My family suffered greatly from WWII, their country was invaded and 2 million non-Jewish Polish citizens were killed in the war but I would not use this fact to drown out the debate. For some reason Israel is the only country that gets to use ‘their’ holocaust as “sacrosanct”, a word Obama used in reference to Israel in a major speech.

From Wiki:

Parallel to the Holocaust, the Nazis executed the General plan Ost (General Plan East) for the conquest, ethnic cleansing, and exploitation of the populaces of the captured Soviet and Polish territories; some 20 million Soviet civilians, 3 million Poles, and 7 million Red Army soldiers were killed. The Nazis’ aggressive war for Lebensraum (Living space) in eastern Europe was waged “to defend Western Civilization against the Bolshevism of subhumans”. Estimates indicate that, had the Nazis won the war, they would have deported some 51 million Slavs from Central and Eastern Europe. Because of the atrocities suffered under Stalin, many Ukrainians, Balts, and other oppressed nationalities, fought for the Nazis. The populaces of Nazi-occupied Soviet Russia who racially qualified as of the Aryan race, or had no immediate Jewish ancestors, were not persecuted, and often were recruited to the Waffen Schutzstaffel (Waffen-SS) divisions; eventually, the Nazi regime meant to Germanize the racially acceptable volk of occupied eastern Europe.”

And being of Polish descent, I am especially offended by the fact that the interviewer had to explain that Poland was a country that fought Germany. Wow! I thought that was really well known, but I guess with the way Polish people were portrayed in movies like “Schindler’s List”, you might not guess that Poland had the most Jews of any country and that would not be the case if it were not one of the friendliest, ok let’s say less hostile places for the Jewish diaspora.

It does not matter what group you are, no country or people should be regarded as “sacrosanct”, while the other is unfairly regarded as a terrorist. At the end of the day, people just want a decent life and to be left alone. Very few people hate. but organizations far and wide use ‘people’ as figurative and literal cover for their crimes.

Confucius say, “Make no organization sacred so as evil can hide behind it’s veil.”

And I most definitely applaud the interviewer for bringing up the Native American analogy. Bravo

Here is Nader explaining the hypocrisy of it all.

“You got Savage, Hannity, Limbaugh and the things they say about Muslims, Muslim Americans.”

“And what about Ann Coulter, and she said horrible things about slaughtering Muslims. But she didn’t lose one gig, one column.”

But for Helen, “One mistake and they have terminated her column, terminated her career?”

“Eleven year olds would ask tougher questions than the Washington Press Corps.

Even recently she asked Obama, “What country in the Middle East has nuclear weapons.”

A question so powerful and revealing that Obama refused to answer it. Only because it would show the hypocrisy of the Israeli and American stances on the Middle East.

I smell major hypocrisy here! Helen Thomas is a hero, her comments were stupid but I would hate to be judged every time a rabbi with a camera asked me a question about Israel. In fact, when I am 90, if this problem is still happening and a rabbi or a Hindu, or a Kutcher with a camera gets in my face about Israel or anything else I am going to say, “Anyone who isn’t a Scientologist should be shot into space.”

I might be so fed up when I am 90 that I hate everyone, everything. I already hate cell phones and I am still youthfullish.

Oh my goodness! We are all going to judged by what we say to people who bother us with cameras in the park when we are 90 years old! It is going to be awful!

I am gonna be like, “I am freakin 90 years old Holmes!”

From the movie, “TV Set”. One of the best comedies about Hollywood, and the media in general. If you like Duchovny you will love it, his dry wit and soulful sarcasm and verve versus the chasm of barren soullessness that is Holllyhood. Hilarious.

Bill Maher Tea-bags the Tea-baggers.

Funny video of one of our best political satirists showing the hypocrisy of the Tea Party movement.

It does seem that the New Tea Party has strong right-wing corporate ties, which could be one of the reasons that teabaggers don’t protest Wall Street or even Republicans nearly as much as Democrats. If the teabaggers are going to mainly focus on Obama and his administration while pretty much ignoring the role and responsibility of the Bush/Cheney cabal and the Republicans presently in Congress, then they should not be surprised that their movement’s sincerity is being questioned.

Billy also scolds all of the American people for their denial of our bloated empire around the world. Mr Maher carries on the fine tradition of biting socio-political satire that Lenny Bruce and George Carlin did so well.

His HBO shows and specials will go down as some of the best political comedy of the modern age. One of the most dangerous men in America.

‘The Nation’s Chris Hayes Drops the ‘O’-bomb on Countdown

The ‘O’ bomb is OLIGARCHY.

If we are seeing a progressive journalist like Chris Hayes saying openly and almost whimsically that we have a totally corrupt, bought and sold government…an “oligarchy”, on prime time MSNBC, then isn’t the cat out of the bag?

What more has to happen for people to wake up and demand justice, or accountability or whatever buzz word you want to use for doing what’s right. And so much is on the line. There is serious death and dismemberment all over the world due to the collective unconsciousness of the American citizenry.

Any expert from the right or left who has an ounce of honesty will tell you that the government is bought and sold by the elites.

And if the entire government is bought and sold, as Tea-Partiers like to say, then why do they not display pictures of Republicans in effigy or as voodoo priests? There may be lots of genuine people in the Tea Party movement but they are being used and manipulated by corporate and quasi-republican party operatives. Dick Morris is an example of one of the buzzards, with my apologies to birds of prey.

Why does it take a progressive like Chris Hayes to state it? Will the threat of a right-wing popular revolt, a la the tea-partiers, bring progressives together? Or more likely, will progressives complain while the right organizes and grows and threatens to move the country even more to the right? We are on the doorsteps of fascism as it is, or rather fascism is on our doorsteps. My advice, don’t open the door.

Why Haiti Really Matters to the US…… “The Masters of War” Want Their Oil

"Little Crippled Haiti" by Edouard Duval-Carrié, painter, sculptor, curator, and director of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance

OUR FOREIGN POLICY HAS ALWAYS BEEN GEARED…towards gathering as much of the world’s resources unto ourselves…at the expense of others…we are a nation run by Big Money, Big Corporations, Big Banks, Big Finance…they have their Brains men…people who identify those to be destroyed…and they have their Big Muscle…our Armed Forces…so you can say that I was the Chief High Class Muscle Enforcer for our Money and War Racketeers….and I was , in effect, the Gangster for Capitalism….it has nothing to do with freedom or democracy.

The Trouble with US Americans is, if our Dollar can’t buy more than 6% of its value at home…we get uneasy , so we go abroad so it can buy 100% more..and where the Dollar goes, our Flag Follows, where the Flag goes, our Army follows..the True purpose of our ARmed Forces is to make the world safe for our BIG BOSS…our supernationalistic Capitalism…and our Cultural and Economic Assault…for 30 years I suspended my own conscience, knowing that what we do is EVIL…i will have nothing more to do with it”.

GENERAL SMEDLEY BUTLER, US MARINES…1933.

What most Americans do not really understand or admit is: we are living our lifestyles ONLY because it is part of a very, very Vicious system of exploitation that dehumanizes and enslaves people everywhere….this is our Project of Empire..we are the world’s largest empire in history..and we have gotten away with building this empire through manipulation, torture, blackmail, assassinations, fomenting insurrections and instabilities against countries uncooperative to our WILL and the will of our Chamber of Commerce…I was part of that project of Empire..our Foreign Policy is designed to render weaker nations permanently subjugated to our will and that of our Chamber of commerce”…

JOHN PERKINS — former CIA “Economic Hitman”. 2000′

What these men assert is not that far off from what President Eisenhower warned the American people about in his January 17th, 1961 Farewell Address to the nation. It is accepted common knowledge among all facets of enlightened political life that the term “Democracy” is just used to pacify the masses and that there is a bigger and more important game going on, that the elites control and the bureaucracy participate in, willingly or not.

The US now has a permanent military and industrial infrastructure which uses force and economic bullying to promote it’s agenda of dominance and control of the masses and their resources.

Haiti is merely a pawn in their game. The “Masters of War” as Dylan referred to them back in 1963, are hard at work behind the scenes, operating behind their smoke screens that the media blows in our faces in an absurd post-Orwellian fashion.

While the government and media is telling us that our large troop presence is there to organize the relief effort, many within and outside Haiti are questioning the US’s true intent. It’s is widely known that the democratically elected leader Juan Baptiste Aristide was ousted twice with the backing of the US.

In his place is the dubiously elected Rene Preval as Prime Minister, a member of the Haitian Oligarchy. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank now have an ally in Haiti, and if the Haitian people want to organize or protest the privatization of their resources then they will have the US military to reckon with now. And the mercenary soldiers and military contractors will be soon to follow.

From an article linked below by F. William Engdahl, author of “Full Spectrum Dominance”:

Marguerite Laurent (‘Ezili Dantò’), president of the Haitian Lawyers’ Leadership Network (HLLN) who served as attorney for the deposed Aristide, notes that when Aristide was President — up until his US-backed ouster during the Bush era in 2004 — he had developed and published in book form his national development plans. These plans included, for the first time, a detailed list of known sites where the resources of Haiti were located. The publication of the plan sparked a national debate over Haitian radio and in the media about the future of the country. Aristide’s plan was to implement a public-private partnership to ensure that the development of Haiti’s oil, gold and other valuable resources would benefit the national economy and the broader population, and not merely the five Haitian oligarchic families and their US backers, the so-called Chimeres or gangsters.”

“A US military occupation of Haiti under the guise of earthquake disaster ‘relief’ would give Washington and private business interests tied to it a geopolitical prize of the first order. Prior to the January 12 quake, the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince was the fifth largest US embassy in the world, comparable to its embassies in such geopolitically strategic places as Berlin and Beijing.[17] With huge new oil finds off Cuba being exploited by Russian companies, with clear indications that Haiti contains similar vast untapped oil as well as gold, copper, uranium and iridium, with Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela as a neighbor to the south of Haiti, a return of Aristide or any popular leader committed to developing the resources for the people of Haiti, — the poorest nation in the Americas — would constitute a devastating blow to the world’s sole Superpower. The fact that in the aftermath of the earthquake, UN Haiti Special Envoy Bill Clinton joined forces with Aristide foe George W. Bush to create something called the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund ought to give everyone pause.”

” According to Marguerite Laurent (‘Ezili Dantò’) of the Haitian Lawyers’ Leadership Network, under the guise of emergency relief work, the US, France and Canada are engaged in a balkanization of the island for future mineral control. She reports rumors that Canada wants the North of Haiti where Canadian mining interests are already present. The US wants Port-au-Prince and the island of La Gonaive just offshore – an area identified in Aristide’s development book as having vast oil resources, and which is bitterly contested by France. She further states that China, with UN veto power over the de facto UN-occupied country, may have something to say against such a US-France-Canada carve up of the vast wealth of the nation.”

“Patrick Elie, the former Minister of Defence in Haiti, told Anthony Fenton of the Inter Press Service that “these guys are like vultures coming to grab the loot over this disaster, and probably money that might have been injected into the Haitian economy is just going to be grabbed by these companies and I’m sure they are not the only these mercenary companies but also other companies like Haliburton or these other ones that always come on the heels of the troops.”

Masters Of War

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead

Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/5600-haitis-oil-curse.html

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/pers-j15.shtml

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/03-4

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/02/03

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