Friday, December 28, 2007

Realpolitiks in Pakistan and Bhutto's Assassination

Yesterday the world was rocked by the news of the death of Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated just days before the general election, an election in which most observers predicted she would be ushered in as the next prime minister of Pakistan. The news media and politicians condemned the killers for the crime and lamented the death of the hope for a democratic Pakistan -- an elusive phantom that Bhutto promised her people should she get elected.

But, like so much on the mainstream news, most Americans who only listen to the sound bites will miss the realpolitiks about Pakistan which are covered up expertly by corporate/CIA spin masters.

Just last week I read a very interesting essay by Zahir Ebrahim called "Wakeup to the grotesque reality of the 'Grand Chessboard'!" which presents a very different dynamic about what's going on in that fractious country.

Ebrahim writes in this essay that western imperialistic forces are intent on destroying the sovereignty of Pakistan by using the fabricated "War on Terror" as an imperial doctrine to build their empire. He writes:
"In these times when the world's greatest minds, its foremost intellectuals, and its leading scholars and political-thinkers are seeding the underpinnings of the vast multi-faceted empire that very much needs this 'War on Terror' to accomplish its genocidal wet dreams of 'full spectrum dominance' of the planet, it is foolish to close ones' eyes and ones' mind to their doctrinal craftsmanship that is directly fueling the global power-plays and which is entirely crafting our own humble destiny while we are deliberately deflected into our own local petty gamesmanship! a humble student of geopolitics of the 'Grand Chessboard', the following are the rational steps, in order, that the Pakistani nation must urgently initiate in order to save the country and its peoples from imminent destruction before the despotic 'hectoring hegemons' come to really 'save' Pakistan just as they did Iraq. They are already deftly planting, spinning, and loudly singing the prelude 'unbirthday party' song to 'shock and awe' with copious unwitting help from our own 'native informants' (see “Response to Zia Mian's 'How Not to Handle Nuclear Security'”)!"

Zahir Ebrahim, "Wakeup to the grotesque reality of the 'Grand Chessboard'!", 2007
How does Bhutto fit into this global power play that Ebrahim describes in his essay? Journalist Gail Sheehy's recent article for Parade Magazine, 'A Wrong Must Be Righted,' gives the reader some useful insights into Bhutto's ascendancy:

Sheehy quotes Humayun Gauhar, a confidant of General Musharraf:
"If the Americans can have a government led by Bhutto, they will get what Musharraf has refused them. She will allow NATO boots on the ground in our tribal areas and a chance to neuter our nuclear weapons," said Gauhar. This is exactly why the American government was eager to see Bhutto gain or share power with the Musharraf's highly unpopular regime."

Gail Sheehy, Parade Magazine, 2007, "A Wrong Must Be Righted'

In an interesting op/ed piece in the Los Angele's Times Benazir's niece, Fatima Bhutto, thinks that her aunt is a great pretender when it comes to democratic reform and that her loyalties lie somewhere else. The piece titled, "Aunt Benazir's false promises" Fatima writes:
"I have personal reasons to fear the danger that Ms. Bhutto's presence in Pakistan brings, but I am not alone. The Islamists are waiting at the gate. They have been waiting for confirmation that the reforms for which the Pakistani people have been struggling have been a farce, propped up by the White House. Since Musharraf seized power in 1999, there has been an earnest grass-roots movement for democratic reform. The last thing we need is to be tied to a neocon agenda through a puppet "democrat" like Ms. Bhutto."

-- Los Angeles Times, Op/Ed., November 14, 2007
Now, is this the real story behind the continuing tragedy of Pakistan today? The pro-Western, Harvard- and Oxford-educated Bhutto had desires to bring in Western military forces into the country in order to dismantle the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, and Pakistan's nuclear weapons arsenal, making Pakistan a puppet government the Neocons could control? Would the ISI and others who believed in a sovereign Pakistan allow that to happen?

And, if the axiom that one is judged by the company one keeps is correct then one should be wary of Bhutto as she had a penchant for hiring the advice for those that are profiting greatly off the "War on Terror".

Sheehy gives us this interesting detail about Bhutto:
"Reflecting on the lessons of her two terms as prime minister, Bhutto tells me, “It’s only now that America has awakened to what we were already fighting—Islamic jihadis.” Fortunately for her, the West’s urgent fear of Pakistan as a breeding ground for terrorists has given Bhutto the chance to redefine herself. During most of her exile, she was considered irrelevant by Washington. Then she hired Hillary Clinton’s image-maker, Mark Penn, and began playing up to Musharraf."

Gail Sheehy, Parade Magazine, 2007, "A Wrong Must Be Righted'
For all those who have not heard of Mark Penn, he is CEO and President of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller and was Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist. His company helped defend the mercenary company Blackwater in hearings before Congress.

Bhutto also was a long-term client of Scribe Securities & Advisors which provided her with advice and counseling on political and media strategies. The president of Scribe, Joseph Szlavik Jr., served at the White House during the first Bush Administration as a policy analyst in the Office of Policy Development and as liaison with the Office of Cabinet Affairs and the Office of Legislative Affairs. The company also specializes in Homeland Security and Defense Consulting.

Bhutto was obviously not being propelled to government by grassroots support but by well-greased, well-connected consulting firms heavily tied to the Military Industrial Complex. With the Middle East blowing up both figuratively and literally because of the phony "War on Terror," does it surprise anybody that the very real world of realpolitiks caught up with her.

* * *

Also see:
The Destabilization of Pakistan, by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky for an excellent indepth analysis of the West's program to destabilize and balkanize Pakistan.

Bhutto tried to hire U.S. security guards Benazir tried to hire British and American security firms, including Blackwater, to protect her, but Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf refused to allow the foreign contractors to operate in Pakistan, according to aides.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The UN: Global Government, Gun Control and Genocide

A couple of years ago I was invited to a friend's house to hear Norwegian sociologist and founder of the discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies, Johan Galtung, speak on the topic of conflict resolution. My friend, a long-time peace activist, also invited many of her friends to hear him speak, and one of her guests caught my eye for the rather large UN flag draped around her shoulders.

I couldn't understand why this woman was wearing the UN flag so proudly when it was just a little over a year ago that UN soldiers went into Haiti to suppress an uprising by the Haitian people who were protesting the kidnapping of their beloved president Jean-Bertrand Aristide by U.S. and Canadian troops.

Even at the time of my friend's house party we were hearing reports coming out of Haiti that UN troops were massacring civilians indiscriminately in the slum district of Cite Soleil where there is strong Aristide support. Under the U.S. initiated coup about 7500 elected officials were removed from government, and thousands of people -- most of whom were supporters of Lavalas, Aristide's political party -- were killed, disappeared, or forced into exile. The U.S. and U.N. were instrumental in organizing a police force controlled by the Haitian elite who went about the business of incarcerating Lavalas elected officials, activists, and supporters.

So, I was curious to talk with her about this as well as the UN's involvement in a genocide of near Biblical proportions over a decade ago in Rwanda, where more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in just over a 100 days. Could she explain to me failure by the U.N. to intercede after it received advanced warnings that a massacre was imminent, and why the U.N. gave explicit instructions to its commanders not to intervene to stop the impending bloodshed?

For a little background into this horrifying story, General Romeo Dallaire, who was the head of the UN African mission in Rwanda, tells Mother Jones Magazine:
"It became very obvious very soon from the office of the DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations], from Kofi Annan and them. No one -- absolutely no one -- gave a damn. Or, to put it another way, no one wanted to risk soldiers in another “African adventure” where the country was of absolutely no strategic importance to anyone. So they simply applied the “Mogadishu rule,” that, unless it’s in your self-interest, you don’t go and waste resources or risk your people in these conflicts. So led by the Americans, and supported by the British and the French at the time, they simply pulled out and decided not to come back."

Amid escalating violence, Dallaire faced a nearly impossible situation. The United Nations repeatedly refused to send him reinforcements, and his force shrunk from 2,600 soldiers to 800 as nations withdrew their troops in the first days of the slaughter. Dallaire and his remaining forces stayed, trying to save as many people as they could while the killing continued, witnessing acts so inhuman that the general later suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder."

(See article)
(Mother Jones Magazine, January 25, 2005)
"Absolutely no one -- gave a damn."

(Dallaire was found in Quebec in the summer of 2000 curled up on a park bench, disheveled, drunk and suffering from PTS. A victim too of the Rwandan genocide.)

Soon Galtung's talk ended and I had a chance to talk with the women with the UN scarf around her neck. I brought up both the UN's role in Haiti and Rwanda and waited to hear how she would justify those actions. She acknowledged that mistakes were made but, according to her, there was no evil intent, just errors in judgment and unclear mandates by the UN. She also brought up the often-repeated canard that if only the member states would pull their weight and give more money to the organization then the UN could do the job that they were designed to do.

But, why should we believe her, or the UN for that matter? As Haiti and Rwanda demonstrate the UN was used as a tool by members of the General Security Council (the five permanent members are the United States, England, Russia, China and France) for political reasons. The Security Council has been dominated by the United States and other powerful nations and many times, their national interests have come to be described as the “will of the international community.” As General Dallaire pointed out in his interview with Mother Jones, the UN got their instructions not to get involved in the Rwandan genocide by the United States with the tacit support of both Britain and France and Kofi Annan.

Why would these General Council member states and the head of the UN not want to intervene when they knew an imminent slaughter was on its way? What ever happened to "never again!" -- the sentiment coined to refer to stopping future genocides from ever taking place?

One horrible thought that comes to mind is that perhaps the genocide was intentional. For all the UN's humanitarian rhetoric, the body was founded and promoted by members of the Council of Foreign Relations, a organization controlled by the world's financial elite and whose agenda is to advance global government. (See article). Many members of the CFR have written some curious policy papers and one of these papers, Global 2000, could only be described as simply evil. Written by Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig this document lays out the arguments for the necessity to depopulate the world.

According to Lonnie Wolfe from Executive Intelligence Review. The papers advocate for creating:
"...a planning apparatus operating outside the control of the White House whose sole purpose is to reduce the world's population by 2 billion people through war, famine, disease and any other means necessary. This apparatus, which includes various levels of the government is determining U.S. foreign policy. In every political hotspot -- El Salvador, the so-called arc of crisis in the Persian Gulf, Latin America, Southeast Asia and in Africa -- the goal of U.S. foreign policy is population reduction. The targeting agency for the operation is the National Security Council's Ad Hoc Group on Population Policy. Its policy-planning group is in the U.S. State Department's Office of Population Affairs, established in 1975 by Henry Kissinger. This group drafted the Carter administration's Global 2000 document, which calls for global population reduction, and the same apparatus is conducting the civil war in El Salvador as a conscious depopulation project."
Unbelievably, Thomas Ferguson, Latin American case officer for the State Department's Office of Population Affairs, the policy-planning group that develop the Global 2000 document, is blunt about the the elite's murderous intentions:
"There is a single theme behind all our work -- we must reduce population levels. Either they [governments] do it our way, through nice clean methods or they will get the kind of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran, or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it. "The professionals," said Ferguson, "aren't interested in lowering population for humanitarian reasons. That sounds nice. We look at resources and environmental constraints. We look at our strategic needs, and we say that this country must lower its population -- or else we will have trouble."

(see article)
-- Lonnie Wolfe - Special Report EIR, Executive Intelligence Review
Do the elite really think this way?

The elite really do.

To make my point: here is another quote from the 5th World Bank President and former U.S. Secretary of Defense and key architect of the Vietnam War, Robert Strange(love?) McNamara:

"...There are only two possible ways in which a world of 10 billion people can be averted. Either the current birth rates must come down more quickly. Or the current death rates must go up. There is no other way. There are, of course, many ways in which the death rates can go up. In a thermonuclear age, war can accomplish it very quickly and decisively. Famine and disease are nature's ancient checks on population growth, and neither one has disappeared from the scene.... To put it simply: Excessive population growth is the greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of most of the societies in the developing world."

-- Robert McNamara, Oct. 2, 1979
Now, my premise is: Could the UN be instrumental in carrying out genocide for the purposes of depopulation? Well, think about what McNamara said, and think about this statement from the World Bank Website in the "About Us" section:

"Cooperation between the (World) Bank and the UN has been in place since the founding of the two organizations (1944 and 1945) and focuses on economic and social areas of mutual concern such as reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and investing in people. In addition to a shared agenda, the Bank and the UN have almost the same membership. Only a handful of UN member countries, including Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, are not Bank members."(See link)
Hmmmm, the World Bank and the UN have been cooperating together since their founding and have almost the same membership. Knowing this information and knowing that the elite think like McNamara and Ferguson, and that the U.S. and other Security Council members are functionally in control of the UN, is it a stretch to think that the genocide in Rwanda, and the genocide that is currently happening in the Congo and the Sudan, aren't part of a depopulation program designed by the people controlling the UN? Can will rule this out.

Let me just say that I don't mean to malign all the good people working for the UN. I am sure that the majority believe they are doing good for humanity and the planet, and at some levels they probably are; however, when the leadership roles in the UN go to people who think like Annan, McNamara and Ferguson, how can we so sure that the UN isn't being used as a tool to carry out imperialistic aggression, like demonstrated in Haiti and Yugoslavia, and for depopulation programs like those devised in the Global 2000 document, and advocated by McNamara?

We can't.


There is also another important topic to consider in light of this knowledge and that is the UN's global campaign to disarm civilians. According to the UN "illicit" guns are those guns not controlled by the State, under the aegis of the UN.

William Norman Grigg writes in Global Gun Grab: The United Nation's Campaign to Disarm Americans:
"Unveiled by President John F. Kennedy in a September 1961 speech before the UN General Assembly, Freedom from War, and its 1962 follow-up, Blueprint for the Peace Race, outline a three-stage program for the disarmament of all nations, associations, and individuals who are not under the authority of a UN 'peace force.' In the third stage of the Freedom from War plan, 'States would retain only those forces, non-nuclear armaments, and establishments required for the purpose of maintaining internal order; they would also support and provide agreed manpower for the UN Peace Force.'"

-- Global Gun Grab: The United Nation's Campaign to Disarm Americans, p. 40
In the United Nation's Millennium Declaration adopted on September 19, 2000, under the title:
"Peace, security and disarmament" we read: "We will resolve: To ensure the implementation, by States Parties, of treaties in areas such as arms control and disarmament... and To take concerted action to end illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, especially by making arms transfers more transparent and supporting regional disarmament measures, taking account of all the recommendations of the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light weapons." (See UN's Website)
The UN is spearheading this campaign to disarm civilians by saying that civilian ownership of guns is the major cause of violence around the world, but is that true? Who if not States hold the monopoly on violence? It is reported that over 60 million people were murdered during Stalin's rule; seven million during Hitler's and up to 3 million in Cambodia during Pol Pot's regime. These are just a few examples of mass killing of civilians by an all powerful state that has the monopoly on weapons. (This number does not reflect the 100s of millions that have died in the 20th century in state-sponsored wars which the elite manufactured and profited from. The UN is strangely silent about these violent actors on the world stage.)

In these countries, as well as Rwanda, civilians were prohibited from owning guns, the only factor which could have gave them a chance to defend themselves from murder and genocide.

Today in America, under various administrations, we are seeing the rapid destruction of the U.S. Constitution. A globalization plan through stealth and deception? Already, we have lost good portions of the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th amendments. Is the 2nd amendment, the one that gives the citizenry the right to bear arms to protect itself from tyranny the next to disappear?

One thing we need to ask ourselves: If Americans give up our 2nd amendment rights how could we protect ourselves when and if the State becomes rogue and/or genocidal like in Rwanda in the early 90s, and German during the Nazi period? We couldn't. The state would have complete life and death control over us. Given the history of governments to kill their citizens in large quantities, it would be incredibly foolish for Americans to give up their 2nd Amendment rights.

Though the Constitution is wounded and almost in its death throws, we will know when it is dead and buried when the State comes after our guns. Whether they come under the black helmets or blue ones we should be prepared for a for a loss of our liberties and a potential bloodbath if we forfeit our 2nd Amendment rights.

As English essayist James Burgh wrote at the time of the American Revolution to British Parliamentarians that "the possession of arms is the distinction between a freemen and a slave."

We must ask ourselves, will we be free or slaves?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The New Inquisition Against 9/11 Truth

On November 6, CSPAN aired a hearing of the Homeland Security Subcommittee's "Terrorism and the Internet" which stated purpose was to attempt to identify and focus on the use of the internet by "home grown terrorist recruiters." The hearing was chaired by California democrat Jane Harman, sponsor of the infamous HR 1955, "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007", and ranking Republican, Rep. Dave Reichert.

This event generated quite an uproar in the 9/11 Truth and civil liberties communities because of testimony by panelists conflating two very distinct and unconnected groups -- the 9/11 truth movement with jihadi terrorists. What generated the most buzz -- and condemnation -- was a powerpoint demonstration from Mark Weitzman of the Simon Weisenthal Center, whose powerpoint presentation titled "Internet: Incubator of 9/11 Conspiracies and Disinformation" showed a video of building 7 collapsing as well as a screenshot of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth's website in between websites which featured bomb-making techniques and a terrorist's training manual.

For anyone who has visited you will see that Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is as far from a terrorists' recruitment website as you can get. Just click on the "About Us" button and you will read this copy:
"We are a non-partisan association of Architects, Engineers, and affiliates, who are dedicated to exposing the falsehoods and to revealing truths about the 'collapses' of the WTC high-rises on 9/11/01.

We call upon Congress for a truly independent investigation with subpoena power. We believe that there may be sufficient evidence to conclude that the World Trade Center buildings #1 (North Tower), #2 (South Tower), and #7 (the 47 story high-rise across Vessey St.) were destroyed not by jet impact and fires but by controlled demolition with explosives.

We believe that this website, as well as the other referenced sites, contains the information necessary to demonstrate to all with an open mind that this is the case, and that such an investigation is warranted and overdue. We believe that the available relevant evidence casts grave doubt on the government's official story of these 'collapses'.

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth are encouraged to take an active role by reporting the results of their research on 9/11 by means of lectures, articles, and methods of disseminating the truth about the 9/11 WTC building 'collapses'."

Then there is a picture of Richard Gage, AIA, founder of AE 9/11 Truth and his professional biography.

Scary, huh?

So, What were they thinking? Why would more than 200 architects and engineers who are calling on Congress to hold an independent investigation as to what really happened to the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 get associated with islamic extremists?

It has become painfully obvious that when Glenn Beck (a CNN host who recently said that Truthers were of the same ilk as Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh) and a Homeland Security subcommittee do a smear job on Truthers they are doing so not because they are violent, or because their ideas are helping to recruit terrorists, but because they are threatening to the whole "War on Terror" agenda -- an agenda foisted on us by the military industrial complex and their corporate sponsors.

Like in the Middle Ages, Beck and Harman are fulfilling the role of the Church's Inquisitors by persecuting and prosecuting those who do not willingly submit to the "War on Terror" religion, which demands that we accept Osama bin Laden and "Islamofascists" as the Devil incarnate, and George W. Bush and the State as our personal Savior. According to Beck and Harman, If you lack the faith, and can't quietly hold your tongue in your disbelief, then the state has no room for you in polite society. Off to Gitmo you go to get tortured and be redeemed by the fascist rod of righteousness.

So, we need to think of Harman's committee as nothing more than a modern day witch hunt -- a panicky attempt to shore up support for a crumbling corporatists' consensus.

We have seen these kinds of repressive tactics countless times before in history -- from the Espionage and Sedition Acts during WWI, to the McCarthy's Red Scare in the 50s, to Cointelpro in the 60s and 70s. But this time the stakes are much higher as there is no end to the War on Terror as you can't have war on an abstract idea. As long as people are being repressed and are fighting back to preserve their freedoms and lives, this state will call them "terrorists," thus, the perpetual rational to keep repressing people, thus constantly creating new terrorists, thus keeping the cycle going; i.e., the war that will not end in our lifetimes.

We need to see that these attacks on Truthers, or anyone else who threatens the status quo (like Ron Paul and his supporters) as nothing more than a battle of ideas -- ideas that have the ultimate power to shape the world we want to live in. It is imperative that We The People build this world and not a criminal elite who are driven solely by power and profits.

This demands that we must make a choice: either that we live as free people or we live as slaves to a corporatist's state that will demand our riches and our blood in perpetual war. There is only one choice to be made. The other will be made for you.

Though Jane Harman's Homeland Security Inquisition and the cable news attacks by Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly on Truthers are scary to many, they are also a good sign as well. The mythmakers are seeing their flimsy house cards fall apart by the rigorous logic and analysis on sites like As a consequence, Truthers are winning the battle over hearts and minds and, as a result, going through the final stages that Gandhi said will happen when challenging the status quo:

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

We are very close to winning.

For an excellent write up on this issue, see:

State Terror: H.R. 1955 a Weapon of Mass Destruction of Civil Liberties

Monday, November 12, 2007

The (Updated) Declaration of Independence

By the People of the United States of America, Veteran's Day, 2007.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present illegitimate King George and his neocon advisors, with the complicity of Congress is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

• The Government has refused the most wholesome and necessary laws for the public good by decimating the public sector for the war sector, thus depriving children and the poor of healthcare and food for the benefit of corporate profiteering and empire.

• The Government has called together legislative, business and intelligence bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of usurping the right of the people to rightfully know of policies being implemented in their name, fatiguing them into compliance with their measures.

• The Government has ignored serious inquiry into the events of 9/11, and has supported a whitewash 9/11 commission, which has enormous consequences for the world as 9/11 is used as pretext for a fabricated "War on Terror," which promises to end "not in our lifetime."

• The Government has, through deceit and collusion, allowed the people's institutions to be taken over by foreign powers whose only goal is to use America as a tool until its ulitmate destruction through debt and warfare.

• The Government has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others not amenable to the neocon agenda to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, crippled by inertia and fear, have become nothing more than a insignificant body going through the motions of government; the People remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

• The Government with its corporate sponsors has taken over much of the media and forced propaganda on the people in order to promote an evil Neocon ideology and criminal war.

• The Government's legislative branch has sanctioned an illegal war on Iraq and Afghanistan by abrogating their constitutional duty to be the sole government body to decide on whether or not the government should go to war and have forfeited this power to the Executive branch.

• The Government has refuses to stop financing the war in Iraq even though it is against the direct wishes of the majority of the people and is causing untold suffering and death.

• The Government by Deceit and Acts of War has incurred an enormous national debt that will be used as an excuse to sell off the people's assets to transnational corporations and banks, as well as keep the people in perpetual slavery.

• The Government has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by allowing partisan political appointments to the courts in order to carry out the unitary executive doctrine.

• The Government, representing corporate interests, has made Judges dependent on their Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

• The Government has not seriously contested the last two stolen elections which effectively made the notion of our country as a "democracy" null and void and the voice of the people insignificant.

• The Government has passed countless un-Constitutional laws, including the "U.S. Patriot Act," "the Military Commission's Act," "The John Warner Defense Appropriations Act", and the more recent H.R. 1955, otherwise known as the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007."

• The Government is actively sanctioning torture and rendition practices, both crimes against domestic and international law.

• The Government has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

• The Government has taken no action to censor the president when he calls the Constitution "just a goddamned piece of paper” when It is mandatory that very federal official who takes an oath of office swears "to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

• The Government has kept among us, standing private Armies like Blackwater and Dyncorp who are above the law without the consent of the people.

• The Government has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

• The Government is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign and domestic Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

• The Government has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Private Military Contractors, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

• The Government has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.

• The Government has protecting them by mock Trials and Commissions, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

• For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent

• For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury by calling a citizen an "enemy combatant" and effectively getting rid of Habeas Corpus

• For spying on citizens without a warrant

• For not upholding their oaths of office by defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC

• For transporting prisoners beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses and tortured by U.S. client states

• For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments

• For allowed unfettered War Profiteering based on a war that should never have happened

• For abdicated their responsibility by declaring us out of their Protection and waging War against us.

• For plundering our seas, ravaging our Coasts, burning our towns, and destroying the lives of our people, specifically in New Orleans, and California

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Government whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our American brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our laws and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the People of the United States of America, in General, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of the World, solemnly publish and declare, That these States are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to a Fascist Corporate Cabal who have illegally taken over this Government and Pretends to do the will of the people, and that all political connection between them and the People, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy Change, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

(Disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or to our present government is entirely intentional, however, this article is intended purely as a creative writing exercise with no intent to imply the forced removal of the present occupants in our government except through democratic and/or peaceful means)

The Declaration of Independence as read by actors:

Monday, November 5, 2007

When Government Becomes Destructive of These Ends

"...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

-- The Declaration of Independence

Recently Congressman Pete Stark made news with his fiery speech about Bush wanting to blow up innocent kids for Bush's personal amusement. Unfortunately, Stark caved in through pressure from Bush's appeasers on both sides of the aisle (and probably a barrage of phone calls stoked by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck). In his apology speech he said that he hoped his mea culpa would allow him to “become as insignificant as [he] should be.”

Now, I ask you, how does Congressman Stark being "insignificant" in congress serve his constituents and the nation? Do we want our representatives to just go through the motions of pretending to be working for the people and thus serving to help legitimize this illegal government? That is called enabling and reflects a similar time when in Nazi Germany the Reichstag passed a law called the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers and made Germany's legislators obsolete. Is this what Stark and the Democrats are doing?

Many of us have already figured out that the democrats are acting as co-conspirators against the American people and the Constitution. As proof we just can look at the recently passed bill (HR 1955) titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, sponsored by Democrat Jane Harmon. The vote for passage in the House of Representatives was 404 ayes to 6 nays and 22 representatives not voting. Eleven of the fifteen sponsors of this bill are Democrats. There are three main components to defining who is a homegrown terrorist in this bill:

VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.

Why is this so scary? Well, if I help to promote an anti-war or 9/11 Truth event in front of the White House and someone (a provocateur?) shoves and injures a police officer, I could be liable for prosecution under this new law.

And, who gets to define what is an "extremist belief system"? The President? Jane Harmon's new committee? What about Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter or Bill O'Reilly?

Already Glenn Beck has called 9/11 Truthers "Timothy McVeigh" types, and Bill O'Reilly has called anti-war activists "America Haters" and dangerous (see videos below), even though there is no evidence that either of the groups are violently inclined.

No doubt there will now be agent provocateurs who will align themselves with Truthers or anti-war activists to implicate them in some future violent incidences. Let us not forget that Donald Rumsfeld advocated (created?) for an elite "counter-terrorism" group called P2OG that would provoke terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens in order to save U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks. According to
"The Los Angeles Times has revealed the creation of an organisation by US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld called the 'Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group.' Its purpose is to 'bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception'. The PPOG's role is to manufacture the terrorism that is to be combatted.
It doesn't get any more Orwellian --and more self-fullfilling -- then this.

So, let's thank the Democrats for helping to destroy the First Amendment and our rights to free speech. And, while we are at it, we can also thank them for refusing to investigate massive vote fraud in the last two presidential elections; refusing to consider impeachment of the President and Vice President, men who have committed gross international and domestic crimes; refusing to support a truly independent investigation into the crime of 9/11; refusing to stop financing the phony "War on Terror"; refusing to hold the President accountable for spying on the American people; refusing to insist that torture be stopped by this government; refusal to hold the President accountable for calling the Constitution "just a goddamn piece of paper; refusal to uphold their oaths of office to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

We are effectively at a time when we should all be reading the Declaration of Independence for inspiration as to where we are in history and what we need to do next.

And here is Bill O'Reilly who says "9/11 Truthers hate America"

Friday, October 26, 2007

Who is responsible for the California Fires?

Are the fires in Southern California a result of terrorism as some on Fox News have suggested? Fox News quoted a 2003 FBI memo that alerted law enforcement agencies that an al-Qaeda terrorist being held in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States. Of course, "al Qaeda" is always the operative word when Fox refers to terrorism, but what if there is someone else behind these fires, someone who could clearly benefit from getting rid of problematic neighbors and getting big government contracts from disaster relief operations?

I recently got two emails that are pretty disturbing. The first one links to the National Terror Alert Response Center and is sourced from ChicoER (although ChicoER's link is now down). It describes suspicious activity by men with cameras visiting various Northern California Fire Stations and running off when detected. see

The second one is about the town of Potrero where the citizens were planning a major fight against Blackwater, the mercenary company that is planning to build a 824-acre facility in in their community. This article describes how the citizens of Potrero saw no firetrucks until long after their houses burned down, found all roads blocked, and heard no reverse 911 calls warning them to evacuate.

Obviously, we don't have enough information to come to any conclusions as to what this might mean, maybe we never will, but these are very suspicious stories that need some examination.

Here's the first story:

Posted on September 20th, 2007

During the last week of July, fire officials in the Bay Area city of Campbell reported that two men had been seen videotaping routine activities at a fire station.

The men were reportedly in their 20s or early 30s, and one was using a sophisticated news media-style camera.

When firefighters attempted to talk with the men, they reportedly jumped into a waiting car and sped off.

The incident prompted the Sacramento Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center to send out a request for Northern California fire stations to watch for similar incidents, and report them immediately.

The day the request went out, Sept. 6, a second, similar incident was reported at a fire station in Yuba City.

According to officials, a fire captain encountered two men parked outside the city’s main fire station. One of the men got out and allegedly began taking pictures of the fire station’s administration building. When the captain approached the men, to tell them they were in a no-parking zone, the photographer jumped in the vehicle and the men left.

The man who took the photos was described as being between 30 and 40 years of age.

On Sept. 12, Fresno Fire Department officials spotted two men in a vehicle allegedly observing activities at a fire training center. When questioned, the driver reportedly said they were just checking things out, then left immediately.

Two days later, on Sept. 14, personnel from the Sacramento Metro Fire Department noticed two men taking photos of a fire station. A third man sat in the back of a car, and appeared to be drawing or taking notes. When fire officials walked toward them, the two taking pictures jumped in the vehicle and sped away.

The men allegedly took pictures in front of the station, and in the rear. They ranged in age from late teens to about 60, officials recalled.

Tim Johnstone, a commander with the threat assessment center in Sacramento, said all of the incidents are being investigated, but there is no indication they might be related.

“We aren’t considering this a specific threat at this time; we’re just asking our public safety partners to be on the watch for suspicious activity,” he said.

He said the threat assessment center was formed to act as a collection point for homeland security intelligence, and disseminate it appropriately.

Jay Alan, deputy director of communication for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is concerned about security agencies sharing information, and has made it a top priority.

Local officials said no suspicious incidents involving videotaping or photos have been reported at fire stations.

Fire department personnel are being asked to take note of vehicle descriptions, descriptions of suspicious subjects, and complete license plate numbers. Citizens who witness suspicious activity, near fire stations or elsewhere, should do the same, and report it to their local law enforcement agency.

Citizens should not attempt to contact suspicious individuals."

The second story is from award-winning journalist Miriam Raftery:
Potrero, California, the town that has gained national attention for standing up against Blackwater Worldwide's plan to build a private military-style training camp in their pristine backcountry community east of San Diego, now faces an even more formidable force. The Harris wildfire which began outside Potrero early Sunday morning has ravaged the small rural community, where many residents remain trapped without supplies four days after the fire began.

"It's like the Kalahari Desert as you drive down Potrero Valley Road. There are sand dunes everywhere-dirt and ash," Jan Hedlun reported via cell phone on Tuesday. "We can't get in or out, and we are running out of supplies." This morning, however, Hedlun said food will be provided to beleaguered residents at the old Volunteer Fire Department Building. The County recently began initiating its fire consolidation plan, closing some rural volunteer firefighting departments. But here in Potrero, some residents complained that they never saw a single fire engine until long after their homes burned down.

Stretches where homes once stood along Highway 94 have been reduced to wasteland. Many homes have burned, although the town's store, library, and Post Office are still standing. "There is looting going on up here," said Hedlun. Another source described Potrero as a "moonscape with houses here and there."

Many Potrero residents never received reverse 911 calls warning them to evacuate. Some rely on cell phones, which were not included in the evacuation system.

"It's like Armageddon," said Jill Michaels, who had just four minutes to pack belongings before fleeing flames that singed her husband. She and her family tried to evacuate but found all roads blocked. She returned to witness her Potrero home burn to the ground.

Here you can read the rest of the story:

So, as the people of Potrero were preparing for an intense recall election on December 11 to kick out the planning group who approved Blackwater's base this fire breaks loose and devastates their community. And, then we have an alert regarding the men filming fire stations in Northern California?

Do these two events connect in anyway?

Time and investigation may tell.

(And this just in: FEMA says sorry for faked briefing:
Three days after staging a televised news briefing defending its response to the California wildfires, FEMA apologized and said it wouldn't happen again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Zio-Fascism Awareness Week

From October 22 to 28th, David Horowitz and his right-wing fascist cohorts -- misogynist Ann Coulter, Neocon Godfather Michael Ledeen, Fetalphobe ex-Senator Rick Santorum, and an assortment of other ghouls and goblins, will be coming to a university near you. They bring visions of evil-doers with bombs strapped around their waist, ready to blow up you and your loved ones in an attempt to scare you into giving up your treats (freedoms) for tricks (boggiemen) during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week.

Examine your candy closely...who knows what you'll find...Osama bin Laden...It is just a matter of time.

According to Horowitz's Terrorism Awareness Project website, which is promoting the Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week:
"The purpose of this protest is as simple as it is crucial: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat. Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves. According to the academic left, anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the war on terror is an "Islamophobe." According to the academic left, the Islamo-fascists hate us not because we are tolerant and free, but because we are "oppressors."

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a national effort to oppose these lies and to rally American students to defend their country."
Oh, my, they hate us because we are "tolerant and free," not because we are blowing up their children and contaminating their land with radioactive depleted uranium. How silly of us.

But of course what is really going on is the attempt to mould our minds to support a rabid right-wing agenda through the process of mythmaking.

Horowitz and the Power of Myths

So, who is David Horowitz and what is his gig? This “ex-Marxist” is now a right-wing ideologue/deceiver who is a key promoter of grand myths in support of the Neocon agenda. As most of you know, the Neocons hold key positions in the Bush Administration and are the crafters of today’s boogieman -- the “Islamofascist” as well as the phony “War on Terror” -- two phantoms to be used as tools for furtherance of their goals of dividing and dismantling the Middle East by war and deception.

One of Horowitz's fellow mythmakers is Neocon Philip Zelikow, the ex-executive director of the 9/11 Commission who helped create one of the grandest public myths of all -- that 19 hijackers fooled the entire military and intelligence community and carried out the crimes of 9/11. Zelikow was a student of mythmaking and while at Harvard Zelikow worked with Ernest May and Richard Neustadt on the use, and misuse, of history in policymaking. They observed, as Zelikow noted in his own words, that "contemporary" history is "defined functionally by those critical people and events that go into forming the public's presumptions about its immediate past."

Presciently, Zelikow speculated in an 1998 article he co-authored entitled "Catastrophic Terrorism" that if the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Towers had succeeded,
"such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, the event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently."

Do these people hold magic powers to foretell the future? Yes, and no. They can tell the future because they know the game plan ahead of time, but they have no magical powers except for the power they hold over American minds through deceit, deception and evil.

Are we being NeoConned?

You Bet. The Neocons have written in their policy papers called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses; Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century” and “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” of the need for a wider war in the Middle East to create a beneficial geopolitical landscape for Israel. Both papers are widely criticised for advocating for an aggressive foreign policy and advancing right-wing Zionism. In the Rebuilding America’s Defences document they write of the need for a “catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor” to further this goal.

Today, there is plenty of evidence to prove that we have been lied to about 9/11 and the real reasons for the war. Millions of Americans are now calling for a truly independent investigation of 9/11 because of the many discrepencies and inconsistancies in the official story. For more information, see and

Today the grand myth is that “islamo-fascisism” is the greatest threat to democracy and our “way of life”. This fabrication is being promoted by the corporate media and a few right-wing ideologues. However, Horowitz is concerned that you have not sufficently bought this lie which is why he is on his campus crusade.

Don’t fall for the lies. Don’t buy the grand con of the neocons.

For a feminist perspective on Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week see Barbara Ehrenreich's latest

Film below: "The Neocon Agenda" An interview with Dr. Stephen Sniegoski by Karen Kwiatkowski

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Who's Your Daddy Nation

(Editor's note: Phil Rockstroh, a contributing writer to Redpill8, is not only an eloquent writer but he is a keen observer of those forces that are wreaking havoc on the soul of America. In this essay, Phil gives us insights as to how rampant corporatism has taken over the American psyche and is acting like an alien plague that is stripping the state and its people of any vestiges of freedom, compassion, and individuality.)

By Phil Rockstroh
October 2, 2007

"We must become the change we want to see."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"In any case, I hate all Iranians."
--Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary to Defense Secretary, Robert Gates

How many times do we, the people of the U.S., have to go around on this queasy-making merry-go-round of propaganda and militarism before we shout -- enough! -- then shutdown the whole cut-rate carnival and run the scheming carnies who operate it out of town?

It is imperative the nation's citizens begin to apprehend the patterns present in this ceaseless cycle of official deceit and collective pathology. This republic, or any other, cannot survive, inhabited by a populace with such a slow learning curve.

Over the last three decades, the authoritarian right has risen to create the nation they have been longing for since their humbling by the Watergate scandal.

After being subdued and humiliated by the mechanisms of a free republic, the Right has turned the tables -- and subdued and humiliated the republic. If the trend continues, all but unchallenged and unabated, we might as well replace the torch held aloft by Lady Liberty with a taser.

How could it come to this? How did so many U.S. citizens grow so apathetic, oblivious, if not flat-out hostile to the tenets of a free republic?

The authoritarianism inherent to the structure of multi-conglomerate corporatism is antithetical to the concept of the rights and liberties of the individual. Most individuals -- bound by a corporation's secrecy-prone, hierarchical values -- will, over time, lose the ability to display free thinking, engage in civic discourse, and even be able to envisage the notion of freedom.

This is true, from the florescent light-flooded aisles of Wal*Mart to the insular executive offices of Halliburton to the sound stages of CNN and Fox News.

Under the prevailing order, reality, for the laboring class of the corporate state, has become debt slavery; in contrast, the simulacrum of reality, in which, the striver class exists, is a milieu defined by obsessive careerism.

Under the hegemony of corporatism, freedom might as well be fairy dust. It only exists in an imaginary land, not the places one arrives by way of one's morning and evening commute.

In addition, economically, by way of decades of financial chicanery, perpetrated by the nation's business and political elite, we are eating our seed crop, and the consequences of this harvest of deceit have left the people of the U.S., intellectually and spiritually malnourished.

As a result, many attempt to sate the keening emptiness and mitigate the chronic unease by gorging themselves on the Junk Food Jesus of End Time mythology, which is a belief system wherein corporeal events and actions (personal and collective) have no lasting consequence because even the human body is to be cast aside, like a junk food wrapper, when the cosmic CEO decides to make the earth a part of his heavenly franchise.

Accordingly, the corporate state requires modes of being that evince obliviousness and obedience (the defining traits of the US consumer) on the part of the majority of the populace. Ergo, the rise of both Christian consumerists and the vast apparatus of the right-wing propaganda matrix that dominates news cycles via the electronic mass media.

History’s Pantheon

All coming to pass, as George W. Bush -- the reigning mascot of this fantasyland of infantile omnipotence and instant gratification -- is rocked to sleep by his handlers cooing preposterous tales of how history will place him in the pantheon of those men whose greatness was unrecognized by the shallow and petty minds of their own era.

When, in fact, Bush, whose ruinous wars of aggression, deficit-ballooning tax breaks for the wealthy, and policies of crony capitalism (that enabled the economy-decimating, easy credit banking scams of the present) displays the character traits of a man ridden with severe psychological trauma; his attempts to tamp down immense inner turmoil, by means of his grandiose bearing, his absolute certitude regarding his own infallibility, and his bullying behavior, have resulted in an exteriorizing of his pathologies on a global scale, and this is playing out ugly, for all concerned.

Why do the people of the nation (for the most part) slouch, slack-jawed and passive, before this assault upon their collective integrity and personal dignity?

For generations, the ephemeral dazzle of pop culture paternalism and tabloid Manichaeism, as confabulated by advertising and public relations hacks and corporate news courtesans, has overwhelmed gravitas, history, even self-awareness.

As all the while, shallow opportunists have been elevated to the status of pundits, experts and sages. Withal, the present system generously rewards those individuals who have mastered the art of impersonating human traits and responses in utterly contrived environments.

As a whole, the majority of the populi have come to garner information about the world at large, and, worse, their own self-image, from a medium where phoniness is a treasured commodity, while authentic human traits and responses are banished to a beggar's road.

Is it any wonder that the media types who thrive in these artificial settings have come to define authenticity as being only those attributes that appear authentic on television?

Apropos, if you ask these "media personalities" about the shortcomings and corruption of the present system, they will plead the careerist's Nuremberg Defense ... of only being a storm trooper obeisant to the "bottom line."

Fantasy alert: One would hope that if one were to descend down a ladder constructed of these layers upon layers of bottom lines, one would arrive in a Hell reserved for those possessed with such shameless cupidity.

Reality redux: Yet as much as the human heart might yearn for such outcomes, there will never arrive the terrible majesty and bitter reckoning of anything resembling Judgment Day, heralded by celestial trumpets and legions of naked and cowering sinners; instead, in human affairs, there arises dire exigencies that can no longer be ignored nor explained away.

The arrival of such a moment for the U.S. is nearly at hand.

When a nation manifests a mixture of mass ignorance and official mendacity, in combination with unchecked power emanating from an insular and arrogant elite, a golden age of peace and plenty is as possible as holding a tea dance in a tsunami.

As sure as a village of desperate fools who devour their seed crop, a nation that refuses universal health care to its children -- yet rushes to the aid of its parasitic class of wealthy "speculators" and "investors" from the consequences of their own greed-besotted, fiscal debacles -- is doomed.

Collective Immolation

This is the classic pattern of collective immolation experienced by a nation when power and privilege is increasingly consolidated in fewer and fewer hands.

In essence, this is the key to the conundrum paralyzing the leadership of the Democratic Party: In a culture in which an individual's worth is determined by the degree one can be exploited by the corrupt interests that control both the private and public sector, the public at large has little value to the political establishment ... That is: other than, every few years, being bamboozled for their votes in the sham spectacles known as the U.S. electoral process, a scam mostly financed, hence controlled, by the aforementioned big money interests.

In sum, this is the reason the Democratic Party feels little allegiance to its base. In turn, the political classes themselves are only of value to the big money corporate elite, because, by their delivery of staggering amounts of pork, massive tax cuts, and the passage of desired anti-regulatory legislation, they serve as their errand boys.

Moreover, the corporate control of Congress is a microcosm of U.S. society as a whole. Accordingly, the increasingly corporatized, ever more submissive people of the U.S. should be termed, the Whose-Your-Daddy Nation.

Yet, since life does not exist in stasis, within this hierarchy of deceivers and dupes, we will gnaw at one another's ankles until the whole pathetic pyramid collapses.

All around us, we can feel the shoddy structure starting to sway and buckle. Axiomatically, the value of the dollar is collapsing like the smooth facade of a con man called-out by a group of wised-up marks.

At present, in the wake of the bust in the housing market, repo men are retracing the tracks of real estate grifters who fleeced legions of wishful thinkers who bought the American dream and now only possess the misery of debt slavery.

One would think the time for insurrection has arrived -- that, at long last, an awakened and enraged public would rise up and foreclose on these reprobates and ne'er-do-wells squatting in the White House and skulking through Congress.

The power and privilege of the corporately controlled elite of Washington should be repossessed like the Lexuses of Atlanta real estate agents and the oversized pickup trucks of Tucson contractors, confiscated in the wake of the collapse of the housing market.

Foreclosure signs and repossession notices should festoon the whole of official Washington. Turn about would be fair play.

Since, the rise of Reaganism, the financial sector has been engaged in selling off the assets of the nation's public sector to the highest bidders. It is amazing that, at this point, this klavern of kleptocrats haven't yet torn from the walls and absconded with all the copper plumbing fixtures and fittings on Capitol Hill.


Is a turnaround possible?

If we wake-up and smell the jackboot.

From the miasma of right-wing media propaganda, to the proliferation of predatory capitalism, to the corruption and cupidity of the prison industrial complex, to the pandemic of police brutality and the trampling of the rights of the accused, to perennial civilian shooting sprees, to the muzzling of dissent, to the rise of the national surveillance state, to the use and acceptance of torture as state policy, to the adoption of an unlawful, immoral foreign policy doctrine that promotes policies of perpetual war, one is forced to conclude that bullying, and deferring to bullies, has become the dominate mode of being in the U.S.

Remedy: In order to turn this trend around, the people of the U.S. must begin to acquire the anti-authoritarian traits of empathy and engagement. The gaining of empathy alleviates the pathological need to be a bully, while social and political engagement mitigates feelings of powerlessness that authoritarian bully-boys, such as Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, et al., exploit.

In short, remedial human lessons for the U.S. population, in general, and for the corporate and political classes, in particular.

Let us start the process by having a period of grief and repentance for the death and suffering that our government, in our name, has inflicted on the people of Iraq.

This should be done as the U.S. begins the process of a complete military withdrawal from their decimated nation, and the bestowing of economic reparations upon the millions of Iraqis who have suffered under the brutal machinations and murderous mayhem unloosed by our country's contemptible invasion and occupation.

To do so, might save the people of our next target, Iran (as well as ourselves) a world of grief.

(Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at Visit Phil's website,

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why Torture?

Recently a Washington Post associate editor proposed that President Bush and others in his administration who support torture (or as the administration likes to phrase it "harsh interrogation techniques") should go through the sanctioned techniques themselves.

Eugene Robinson wrote on a discussion board on Sunday:
"My proposal on torture is serious. Let me know if you agree: Bush administration officials who claim the 'harsh' interrogation techniques being used on terrorism suspects are not torture should have to undergo those same techniques. Personally. Repeatedly."
Robinson has a point. After all, this would be a good experiment to conclude whether or not the administration's policies mesh with their rhetoric, and would bring a lot of peace of mind for those of us who are worried that the U.S. is breaking international and domestic laws that prohibit torture.

After all, If being waterboarded and/or having to sit naked for 3 days in a cold cell is fine with them, maybe we would need to reevaluate our revulsion to such practices.

But, of course, we know that President Bush, Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, co-author of the "torture memos," would never take up such a bold proposition. They know exactly what these "harsh" treatment are: torture by another name. They would never submit to what the goat herder who got swept up in Afghanistan for the ransom money would submit too. They would be terrified and wet their pants.

But, we should be asking ourselves: Why does the administration want to torture people anyway? Isn't torture justly condemned all around the world? Why would the U.S. want to commit such abhorrent practices when it could damage the nation's reputation?

The administration's excuse for torture is that it is the only way to get actionable intelligence from those who are resistant to talk. They basically use the "ticking-time" hypothesis that law professor Alan M. Dershowitz has raised in his arguments in support of torture.

However, there is a big problem with this argument as people will confess to just about anything just to make the torture stop. As Michael Ratner from the Center for Constitutional Rights puts it, "The 'intelligence' coming out of the Guantanamo interrogations is... basically garbage." Most pychologists and interrogators would agree.

So, maybe we should be looking for a more likely rationale for torture.

Naomi Wolf has been studying the rise of fascism in America. Her latest book, "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" spells out why torture is so appealing to fascists regimes, especially when the state's excuse for repression is primarily a ruse:

She writes on page 71:
"Consider: If you have a much-hyped threat that you've used to lead the nation to war—and if case after case against the "dangerous terrorists" falls apart—don't you need false confessions? If you torture prisoners, you will certainly obtain an endless stream of false confessions...

The answer I believe is political stage management: Because how can we demonstrate we are at war without military commissions and detainees?

If there were a fair legal system that sorted out the guilty from the innocent, it would be impossible to maintain the main goals—not to mention the profits, though this pressure is doubtless unconscious—of the War on Terror. Too many innocent people would be sent home."
Naomi hits the nail on the head here.

Of course, you need people to confess to being combatants in a fictional war, and torture is a great weapon in the administration's arsenal to support their thesis: the innocent goat herder can be transformed by electric shocks into a menacing islamofascist bent on importing a dirty bomb into America; and, the American patriot who believes that the Constitution is the law of the land can become a member of "al Queda in America" with enough water being pour down his throat. Their confessions validate the war-makers' myth.

Confessions through torture was also a favorite tactic of the Roman Catholic church during the Inquisition. Like today, false accusations and "confessions" of so-called witches were used to decimate the church's enemies and confiscate people's land and wealth.

Nothing much changes in how repressive states work: back then it was witches that did the "devil's work"; today, it is "evildoers," bent on taking away our freedoms.

And, there's also another side benefit for the state to announce that it tortures: it has a chilling effect on dissent here at home. Today, if you are declared an "enemy combatant," and Bush now has that authority to call you one by his say-so alone, you can be tortured too. I believe he, and the state, want you to know that.

Of course, they are hoping that we will shrink in fear and be compliant with this knowledge. If we lose our courage to speak out, they win. We all need to condemn the perpetrators and supporters of torture as well as expose the lies that help them get away with these crimes.

above art by

Friday, October 5, 2007

The coup d'tat has been televised

Please, somebody help me! I can't stop watching Glenn Beck, Joe Scarborough and Bill O'Reilly! I am drawn to them like a fly on a hot, steaming pile. But, unlike the fly, I am not enjoying the experience. When I watch these vipers I feel dirty, my skin crawls, my blood pressure rises, the feeling of dread frequently overwhelms me. Perhaps I should take some Prozac like the commercial says.

I know I should banish my TV. Take it out to pasture. Scream at it. Shoot it. Give it a befitting undignified burial. I should have complete and utter contempt of the de-illuminating box; after all, one can only tolerate so many missing blondes, microwaved babies, and mushroom clouds over Beck's head. But, sadly, and maybe insanely, I am compelled to watch the nightly macabre stage shows; after all, how else will we get clues as to what the madmen have planned for us.

Prozac please!

Question: why won't the REVOLUTION BE TELEVISED? THE COUP WAS in vivid detail. Two majestic towers hit by lightening from the sky; people falling; the crown topples -- 9/11 is the trump card of change. We will be forever changed. The master magician has played his hand. It is up to us to interpret the card properly.

Will we?

Maybe Better Bad News has some answers for us in modern-day news vernacular, i.e., random verbal chaos with occasional truth smattered in. Their motto -- "half true more or less 100% of the time." Enjoy.


Ahh, it's all beginning to make sense now.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Debt and the Destruction of America

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson."
-- A letter written by FDR to Colonel House, November 21st, l933

Congress is once again heading for another rubber stamping of a requested of $190 billion to keep the war afloat for another year. When approved, Congress would have appropriated more than $760 billion for the two wars, having already approved of $450 billion for Iraq and $127 billion for Afghanistan. This already far exceeds the Congressional Budget Office's 2005 projection for the war to cost $600 billion by 2010.

Of course, fellow citizens, you and I will be asked to pay off the creditors who loaned the money to the government for a war we never asked for or wanted. And, according to our creditors, we (and not just those pod people on Capital Hill) must pay the money back, with interest. If we don't, the creditors will sell our country from under our feet.

Debt Crisis Sparks Another War

The oft heard response by most people in the left is that the war is about oil, and this is true to some extent, however, it is not the principle reason for war. Here is a telling statement from the U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice, a network committed to ending the neo-liberal economic programs of international finance:
"The economic restructuring of Iraq to benefit foreign investors was most likely one of the main motivations for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq – or at least a highly profitable windfall. The fact that Paul Wolfowitz, the newly appointed president of the World Bank, was one of the major architects of the invasion only heightens the probability of a conscious plan on the part of the Bush administration."
And, here Ed Kinane gives us an example of how countries lose their sovereignty when they go into debt:
"In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam. Most Iraqis were greatly relieved. But even apart from the ensuing occupation, their ordeal – their captivity – was far from over. Saddam's creditors, Saddam's former allies, have forced Iraqis to pay billions annually in debt service. If the United States and other world powers have their way, the Iraqis will keep being bled dry – and having their oil hijacked – paying off Saddam's loans for decades to come.

In an interesting wrinkle, the United States is simultaneously seeking to have some loans "forgiven." The United States isn't being altruistic; the price would be more IMF “reforms” and “privatization.” "In exchange [for some debt forgiveness], Iraq will surrender its economic sovereignty to global financial institutions, provide foreign investors greater access to Iraqi natural resources, and increase investment opportunities for multinational corporations." [Brian Dominick, “New Standard”]"

Hmmm, "surrender its economic sovereignty to global financial institutions."

Is there any doubt that the U.S. is heading in precisely the same direction as Iraq?

We are systematically being pillaged by the bankers and creditors who have no problem giving the U.S. government loans to carry out a criminal, illegal war in Iraq. That high priest of Mammon, Alan Greenspan, doesn't see any problems with the war (with the exception that it was being mismanaged) or the tax-cuts to the wealthy as long as other programs like Social Security, and public education were slashed. How kind of him. Americans can lose it all, but the investors of the Fed will demand that they get paid back...or else.

Or else.... there is a doctrine called "Odious Debt" that creditors dread to hear. This doctrine states that "when creditors lend to a dictatorial regime which they know is not using the loans to benefit the population, then debt payments cannot be demanded of those people once they are free."

Since most Americans didn't want this war and we repeatedly asked congress to put a halt to funding it (with congress ignoring us), we should feel no obligation to pay off the creditors who are financing it.

Of course, debt forgiveness is what many Iraqis have demanded to no effect. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club have concluded that the Iraqis must sell off most of their assets and privatize their economy to help pay off their creditors. If Iraqis seem a little pissed off about this it is pretty understandable.

What will happen when the creditors of this country start to demand payback of the loans for this evil war that our government (and the creditors) are perpetrating? Are we going to see a free-fall fire-sell of America's assets and public institutions at rock bottom prices? or are we going to do what the Iraqis are doing and fight back?

Either way, it looks increasingly bleak for America.

For further reading:

addendum: a recent comment from radio talk show host Mike Malloy recently posted on

September 26, 2007

Under the radar, quietly hidden behind his disastrous foreign policy failures and trillion-dollar bloody affair in Iraq, the U.S. economy under Bush’s fiscal “leadership” is a speeding train heading into a brick wall. So far the major news networks have only been reporting on this around the fringes, but that’s about to change as recession and perhaps full-blown depression are looming around the corner.

Alex S. Gabor, writing for The American Chronicle put it this way: “Bush's military adventurism, not to mention his administration's exorbitant tax cuts for the wealthy, gutted the surplus of $128 billion Clinton handed him in 2001 into a deficit of well over $1 trillion today. Bush has simultaneously increased the national debt by over $3 trillion effectively nailing each and every US citizen with a bill for almost $30,000. The foreign bankers know that its time to wean America off its free debt ride and that any further debt will never be repaid. The greatest (Ponzi) scheme in the history of mankind is rapidly, within the next decade, completely unwinding.”

Want more good news? The U.S. unemployment rate is climbing, as is the poverty rate, there’s almost no such thing as an American manufacturing job, the personal savings rate is at a negative number, big corporations continue to ship jobs overseas with no restrictions or oversight, mortgage companies are going bankrupt, and the home ownership rate is at its lowest point in two decades. Worse, increasing numbers of foreclosures are depressing home prices all over the U.S., adding to the buildup of unsold inventory and further harming the already damaged housing market.

Meanwhile, despite recent rate cuts by the Fed, the dollar has fallen to par with the Canadian dollar with no bottom in sight. The national debt is now beyond $10 trillion. Foreign bankers have been shifting from dollar denominated oil contracts into Euro denominated exchanges such as the one recently established in Iran, and gradually shifting out of the US Treasury market along with the Chinese who have already shifted billions out of dollar denominated assets.

US taxpayers have spent over $450 billion on Iraq alone, while Bush/Cheney cronies continue making a killing from military contracts. Bush says he’s plenty capable of “being wise about the money.” ‘Fraid not Chucklenutz. You're not equal to managing a lemonade stand, much less the (formerly) largest economy on the planet. You've never been wise about anything and managing the huge budget surpluses Clinton left in your greasy hands is no exception.

We’re in serious financial trouble, Truthseekers."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" and the policy of Disaster Capitalism

"Shock and Awe" is what the media and pentagon called the bombardment of Baghdad by U.S. forces at the start of the 2003 Persian Gulf War. We remember the horrible visuals well, just as we remember, in graphic detail, our own shock and awe event on September 11, 2001, when we were treated to the first in a series of psychological trauma for the new the "War on Terror" PR campaign. All of these horrible events were designed to turn us, and Iraqis, into pliable infants, willing to let our government do whatever they want in order to "protect us."

Many of us picked up early on how this shock therapy was being used to remake society to the benefit of the planners of these events, however, we just didn't know the root philosophy or the faces behind the doctrine. Now Naomi Klein helps us fill in the holes to our understanding with her new tour de force book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

Based on years of research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, Klein outlines for us how the "shock doctrine" is used as an instrument of foreign and domestic policy to reengineer the political/economic landscapes of the world. Here is an excerpt from Naomi Klein's website on how it works:
"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts.... New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters -- to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don’t succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets."

The book traces the Shock Doctrine's origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today. New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, “shock and awe” warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay."
Klein also writes in October's Harpers Magazine, "Disaster Capitalism" on how this reengineering by the elite is radically remaking the United States government by destroying the "New Deal" programs put in place by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in favor of pay-as-you-go privatized services by corporations. In effect, she outlines, that those that can afford good schools, health care, policing and fire department services will get them; and those that can't will have to try and survive with the decaying public-sector programs and infrastructure. She writes that what is being planned is the setting up of two parallel forms of government—one for the rich and one for poor.

Though I think Naomi has done a phenomenal work of research here, there is just one criticism I have regarding her conclusions as to who or what are behind these "shock" events. She lays out in Harpers that she doesn't believe these disasters are the work of conspiracies, with, perhaps, the exception of Iraq:
"The disaster-capitalism complex does not deliberately scheme to create the cataclysms on which it feeds (though Iraq may be a notable exception), but there is plenty of evidence that its component industries work very hard indeed to make sure that current disastrous trends continue unchallenged."
Naomi, I hope you will examine September 11, 2001 as much as you have examined this "shock doctrine". If you do, you will note that many of these disasters are man-made -- from the 9/11 event itself, to the Reichstag Fire, to the Gulf of Tonkin and Pearl Harbor. These events where either planned and carried out or instigated by people who wanted war. With such a level of understanding it will bring a whole new level of Machiavellian insight to your research.

In hindsight, the "shock doctrine" shouldn't surprise us more jaded individuals; the fact that the people that are behind this doctrine and are still getting away with it is the more shocking still.

Thanks Naomi for the great research into the twisted philosophy of unchecked corporate capitalism.

Here is a must-see mini-documentary by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón.