The Anti-Empire Report

Shortchanged and Real Change

Change (in Rhetoric) We Can Believe In

I’ve said all along that whatever good changes might occur in regard to non-foreign policy issues, such as what’s already taken place concerning the environment and abortion, the Obama administration will not produce any significantly worthwhile change in US foreign policy; little done in this area will reduce the level of misery that the American Empire regularly brings down upon humanity. And to the extent that Barack Obama is willing to clearly reveal what he believes about anything controversial, he appears to believe in the empire.

The Obamania bubble should already have begun to lose some air with the multiple US bombings of Pakistan within the first few days following the inauguration. The Pentagon briefed the White House of its plans, and the White House had no objection. So bombs away — Barack Obama’s first war crime. The dozens of victims were, of course, all bad people, including all the women and children. As with all these bombings, we’ll never know the names of all the victims — It’s doubtful that even Pakistan knows — or what crimes they had committed to deserve the death penalty. Some poor Pakistani probably earned a nice fee for telling the authorities that so-and-so bad guy lived in that house over there; too bad for all the others who happened to live with the bad guy, assuming of course that the bad guy himself actually lived in that house over there.

The new White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, declined to answer questions about the first airstrikes, saying, “I’m not going to get into these matters.”1 Where have we heard that before?

After many of these bombings in recent years, a spokesperson for the United States or NATO has solemnly declared: “We regret the loss of life.” These are the same words used by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on a number of occasions, but their actions were typically called “terrorist”.

I wish I could be an Obamaniac. I envy their enthusiasm. Here, in the form of an open letter to President Obama, are some of the “changes we can believe in” in foreign policy that would have to occur to win over the non-believers like me.

Iran

Just leave them alone. There is no “Iranian problem.” They are a threat to no one. Iran hasn’t invaded any other country in centuries. No, President Ahmadinejad did not threaten Israel with any violence. Stop patrolling the waters surrounding Iran with American warships. Stop halting Iranian ships to check for arms shipments to Hamas. (That’s generally regarded as an act of war.) Stop using Iranian dissident groups to carry out terrorist attacks inside Iran. Stop kidnapping Iranian diplomats. Stop the continual spying and recruiting within Iran. And yet, with all that, you can still bring yourself to say: “If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.”2

Iran has as much right to arm Hamas as the US has to arm Israel. And there is no international law that says that the United States, the UK, Russia, China, Israel, France, Pakistan, and India are entitled to nuclear weapons, but Iran is not. Iran has every reason to feel threatened. Will you continue to provide nuclear technology to India, which has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while threatening Iran, an NPT signatory, with sanctions and warfare?

Russia

Stop surrounding the country with new NATO members. Stop looking to instigate new “color” revolutions in former Soviet republics and satellites. Stop arming and supporting Georgia in its attempts to block the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhasia, the breakaway regions on the border of Russia. And stop the placement of anti-missile systems in Russia’s neighbors, the Czech Republic and Poland, on the absurd grounds that it’s to ward off an Iranian missile attack. It was Czechoslovakia and Poland that the Germans also used to defend their imperialist ambitions — The two countries were being invaded on the grounds that Germans there were being maltreated. The world was told.

“The U.S. government made a big mistake from the breakup of the Soviet Union,” said former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev last year. “At that time the Russian people were really euphoric about America and the U.S. was really number one in the minds of many Russians.” But, he added, the United States moved aggressively to expand NATO and appeared gleeful at Russia’s weakness.3

Cuba

Making it easier to travel there and send remittances is very nice (if, as expected, you do that), but these things are dwarfed by the need to end the US embargo. In 1999, Cuba filed a suit against the United States for $181.1 billion in compensation for economic losses and loss of life during the almost forty years of this aggression. The suit held Washington responsible for the death of 3,478 Cubans and the wounding and disabling of 2,099 others. We can now add ten more years to all three figures. The negative, often crippling, effects of the embargo extend into every aspect of Cuban life.

In addition to closing Guantanamo prison, the adjacent US military base established in 1903 by American military force should be closed and the land returned to Cuba.

The Cuban Five, held prisoner in the United States for over 10 years, guilty only of trying to prevent American-based terrorism against Cuba, should be released. Actually there were 10 Cubans arrested; five knew that they could expect no justice in an American court and pled guilty to get shorter sentences.

Iraq

Freeing the Iraqi people to death … Nothing short of a complete withdrawal of all US forces, military and contracted, and the closure of all US military bases and detention and torture centers, can promise a genuine end to US involvement and the beginning of meaningful Iraqi sovereignty. To begin immediately. Anything less is just politics and imperialism as usual. In six years of war, the Iraqi people have lost everything of value in their lives. As the Washington Post reported in 2007: “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.”4 The good news is that the Iraqi people have 5,000 years experience in crafting a society to live in. They should be given the opportunity.

Saudi Arabia

Demand before the world that this government enter the 21st century (or at least the 20th), or the United States has to stop pretending that it gives a damn about human rights, women, homosexuals, religious liberty, and civil liberties. The Bush family had long-standing financial ties to members of the Saudi ruling class. What will be your explanation if you maintain the status quo?

Haiti

Reinstate the exiled Jean Bertrand Aristide to the presidency, which he lost when the United States overthrew him in 2004. To seek forgiveness for our sins, give the people of Haiti lots and lots of money and assistance.

Colombia

Stop giving major military support to a government that for years has been intimately tied to death squads, torture, and drug trafficking; in no other country in the world have so many progressive candidates for public office, unionists, and human-rights activists been murdered. Are you concerned that this is the closest ally the United States has in all of Latin America?

Venezuela

Hugo Chavez may talk too much but he’s no threat except to the capitalist system of Venezuela and, by inspiration, elsewhere in Latin America. He has every good historical reason to bad-mouth American foreign policy, including Washington’s role in the coup that overthrew him in 2002. If you can’t understand why Chavez is not in love with what the United States does all over the world, I can give you a long reading list.

Put an end to support for Chavez’s opposition by the Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other US government agencies. US diplomats should not be meeting with Venezuelans plotting coups against Chavez, nor should they be interfering in elections.

Send Luis Posada from Florida to Venezuela, which has asked for his extradition for his masterminding the bombing of a Cuban airline in 1976, taking 73 lives. Extradite the man, or try him in the US, or stop talking about the war on terrorism.

And please try not to repeat the nonsense about Venezuela being a dictatorship. It’s a freer society than the United States. It has, for example, a genuine opposition daily media, non-existent in the United States. If you doubt that, try naming a single American daily newspaper or TV network that was unequivocally against the US invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam. Or even against two of them? How about one? Is there a single one that supports Hamas and/or Hezbollah? A few weeks ago, the New York Times published a story concerning a possible Israeli attack upon Iran, and stated: “Several details of the covert effort have been omitted from this account, at the request of senior United States intelligence and administration officials, to avoid harming continuing operations.”5

Alas, Mr. President, among other disparaging remarks, you’ve already accused Chavez of being “a force that has interrupted progress in the region.”6 This is a statement so contrary to the facts, even to plain common sense, so hypocritical given Washington’s history in Latin America, that I despair of you ever freeing yourself from the ideological shackles that have bound every American president of the past century. It may as well be inscribed in their oath of office — that a president must be antagonistic toward any country that has expressly rejected Washington as the world’s savior. You made this remark in an interview with Univision, Venezuela’s leading, implacable media critic of the Chavez government. What regional progress could you be referring to, the police state of Colombia?

Bolivia

Stop American diplomats, Peace Corps volunteers, Fulbright scholars, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, from spying and fomenting subversion inside Bolivia. As the first black president of the United States, you could try to cultivate empathy toward, and from, the first indigenous president of Bolivia. Congratulate Bolivian president Evo Morales on winning a decisive victory on a recent referendum to approve a new constitution which enshrines the rights of the indigenous people and, for the first time, institutes separation of church and state.

Afghanistan

Perhaps the most miserable people on the planet, with no hope in sight as long as the world’s powers continue to bomb, invade, overthrow, occupy, and slaughter in their land. The US Army is planning on throwing 30,000 more young American bodies into the killing fields and is currently building eight new major bases in southern Afghanistan. Is that not insane? If it makes sense to you I suggest that you start the practice of the president accompanying the military people when they inform American parents that their child has died in a place called Afghanistan.

If you pull out from this nightmare, you could also stop bombing Pakistan. Leave even if it results in the awful Taliban returning to power. They at least offer security to the country’s wretched, and indications are that the current Taliban are not all fundamentalists.

But first, close Bagram prison and other detention camps, which are worse than Guantanamo.

And stop pretending that the United States gives a damn about the Afghan people and not oil and gas pipelines which can bypass Russia and Iran. The US has been endeavoring to fill the power vacuum in Central Asia created by the Soviet Union’s dissolution in order to assert Washington’s domination over a region containing the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world. Is Afghanistan going to be your Iraq?

Israel

The most difficult task for you, but the one that would earn for you the most points. To declare that Israel is no longer the 51st state of the union would bring down upon your head the wrath of the most powerful lobby in the world and its many wealthy followers, as well as the Christian-fundamentalist Right and much of the media. But if you really want to see peace between Israel and Palestine you must cut off all military aid to Israel, in any form: hardware, software, personnel, money. And stop telling Hamas it has to recognize Israel and renounce violence until you tell Israel that it has to recognize Hamas and renounce violence.

North Korea

Bush called the country part of “the axis of evil”, and Kim Jong Il a “pygmy” and “a spoiled child at a dinner table.”7 But you might try to understand where Kim Jong Il is coming from. He sees that UN agencies went into Iraq and disarmed it, and then the United States invaded. The logical conclusion is not to disarm, but to go nuclear.
Central America

Stop interfering in the elections of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, year after year. The Cold War has ended. And though you can’t undo the horror perpetrated by the United States in the region in the 1980s, you can at least be kind to the immigrants in the US who came here trying to escape the long-term consequences of that terrible decade.
Vietnam

In your inauguration speech you spoke proudly of those “who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom … For us, they fought and died, in places like … Khe Sanh.” So it is your studied and sincere opinion that the 58,000 American sevicemembers who died in Vietnam, while helping to kill over a million Vietnamese, gave their life for our prosperity and freedom? Would you care to defend that proposition without resort to any platitudes?

You might also consider this: In all the years since the Vietnam War ended, the three million Vietnamese suffering from diseases and deformities caused by US sprayings of the deadly chemical “Agent Orange” have received from the United States no medical attention, no environmental remediation, no compensation, and no official apology.

Kosovo

Stop supporting the most gangster government in the world, which has specialized in kidnaping, removing human body parts for sale, heavy trafficking in drugs, trafficking in women, various acts of terrorism, and ethnic cleansing of Serbs. This government would not be in power if the Bush administration had not seen them as America’s natural allies. Do you share that view? UN Resolution 1244, adopted in 1999, reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to which Serbia is now the recognized successor state, and established that Kosovo was to remain part of Serbia. Why do we have a huge and permanent military base in that tiny self-declared country?

NATO

From protecting Europe against a [mythical] Soviet invasion to becoming an occupation army in Afghanistan. Put an end to this historical anachronism, what Russian leader Vladimir called “the stinking corpse of the cold war.”8 You can accomplish this simply by leaving the organization. Without the United States and its never-ending military actions and officially-designated enemies, the organization would not even have the pretense of a purpose, which is all it has left. Members have had to be bullied, threatened and bribed to send armed forces to Afghanistan.

School of the Americas

Latin American countries almost never engage in war with each other, or any other countries. So for what kind of warfare are its military officers being trained by the United States? To suppress their own people. Close this school (the name has now been changed to protect the guilty) at Ft. Benning, Georgia that the United States has used to prepare two generations of Latin American military officers for careers in overthrowing progressive governments, death squads, torture, holding down dissent, and other charming activities. The British are fond of saying that the Empire was won on the playing fields of Eton. Americans can say that the road to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Bagram began in the classrooms of the School of the Americas.

Torture

Your executive orders concerning this matter of utmost importance are great to see, but they still leave something to be desired. They state that the new standards ostensibly putting an end to torture apply to any “armed conflict”. But what if your administration chooses to view future counterterrorism and other operations as not part of an “armed conflict”? And no mention is made of “rendition” — kidnaping a man off the street, throwing him in a car, throwing a hood over his head, stripping off his clothes, placing him in a diaper, shackling him from every angle, and flying him to a foreign torture dungeon. Why can’t you just say that this and all other American use of proxy torturers is banned? Forever.

It’s not enough to say that you’re against torture or that the United States “does not torture” or “will not torture”. George W. Bush said the same on a regular basis. To show that you’re not George W. Bush you need to investigate those responsible for the use of torture, even if this means prosecuting a small army of Bush administration war criminals.

You aren’t off to a good start by appointing former CIA official John O. Brennan as your top adviser on counterterrorism. Brennan has called “rendition” a “vital tool” and praised the CIA’s interrogation techniques for providing “lifesaving” intelligence.9 Whatever were you thinking, Barack?

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi

Free this Libyan man from his prison in Scotland, where he is serving a life sentence after being framed by the United States for the bombing of PanAm flight 103 in December 1988, which took the lives of 270 people over Scotland. Iran was actually behind the bombing — as revenge for the US shooting down an Iranian passenger plane in July, killing 290 — not Libya, which the US accused for political reasons. Nations do not behave any more cynical than that. Megrahi lies in prison now dying of cancer, but still the US and the UK will not free him. It would be too embarrassing to admit to 20 years of shameless lying.

Mr. President, there’s a lot more to be undone in our foreign policy if you wish to be taken seriously as a moral leader like Martin Luther King, Jr.: banning the use of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and other dreadful weapons; joining the International Criminal Court instead of trying to sabotage it; making a number of other long-overdue apologies in addition to the one mentioned re Vietnam; and much more. You’ve got your work cut out for you if you really want to bring some happiness to this sad old world, make America credible and beloved again, stop creating armies of anti-American terrorists, and win over people like me.

And do you realize that you can eliminate all state and federal budget deficits in the United States, provide free health care and free university education to every American, pay for an unending array of worthwhile social and cultural programs, all just by ending our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not starting any new ones, and closing down the Pentagon’s 700+ military bases? Think of it as the peace dividend Americans were promised when the Cold War would end some day, but never received. How about you delivering it, Mr. President? It’s not too late.

But you are committed to the empire; and the empire is committed to war. Too bad.

  1. Washington Post, January 24, 2009. []
  2. Interview with al Arabiya TV, January 27, 2009. []
  3. Gorbachev speaking in Florida, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 17, 2008. []
  4. Washington Post, May 5, 2007, p.1. []
  5. New York Times, January 11, 2009. []
  6. Washington Post, January 19, 2009. []
  7. Newsweek, May 27, 2002. []
  8. Press Trust of India (news agency), December 21, 2007. []
  9. Washington Post, November 26, 2008. []

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: bblum6@aol.com. Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

30 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on February 4th, 2009 at 10:40am #

    I am watching the Senate today on c-span. The good the bad and the very very ugly is right there before your eyes. I think they need some help. Another two million to start in front of the Capital one voice loud and clear. Get it together people the time is now lose the suits go to work think anew. Who knows how to do this I will help you if I can and be there. Now or never it looks like. Calm at peace.

  2. Ramsefall said on February 4th, 2009 at 10:54am #

    “I’m not going to get into these matters.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the White House spokesperson will comfortably fall back on the evasive and arrogant precedent set by Bush’s crew of criminals. They (Obama and Co.) are gonna ride this wave until it sputters out. Who knows when that’ll be?

    The particular cases that Mr. Blum details are surely warranted. However, expecting any sort of change in regard to these matters is like wishing upon a falling star — not too practical. And, while his country-by-country and other examples of Imperial abuses are based on rationality, let’s not forget about the domestic front and the injustices happening there at the hands of the Empire.

    Part of the problem with Amerika is that it’s constantly focusing on exterior issues, which DO need to be addressed, yesterday. Perhaps if it had been more concerned with what needed to be done for its own citizens and their prosperity, it wouldn’t be in the conundrum that it’s presently in. That sort of reflective behavior, however, is uncharacteristic of an Empire…the greedy virus that always needs to move on and conquer others. What else should we expect at this point in its de-evolution?

    Thanks for your contribution, Mr. Blum.

    Best to you.

  3. John S. Hatch said on February 4th, 2009 at 2:45pm #

    Another great contribution from Mr. Blum. Thanks!

  4. Ryan said on February 4th, 2009 at 3:52pm #

    This is the most brilliantly written article I’ve read on DV yet. Thank you for this stimulating and intellectual read, Mr. Blum.

  5. Brian said on February 4th, 2009 at 8:23pm #

    William Blum is da man.

  6. The Angry Peasant said on February 4th, 2009 at 9:05pm #

    William Blum, I salute you!

  7. Kanomi said on February 4th, 2009 at 10:43pm #

    Amen!

    Unfortunately none of that is going to happen; I’d direct you and all to Arno J. Mayer’s equally brilliant and devastating essay on today’s Counterpunch, about the utter venality of our Western elites, the impossibility of change, and the psychopathology of systemic, enduring, perfectly corrupt empire:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/mayer02042009.html

  8. Dwarfgoper said on February 4th, 2009 at 10:52pm #

    Here’s another foreign policy issue that needs to be addressed: the U.S. government’s relationship with the indigenous nations of North America. Yes, this is a foreign policy issue and always has been such. Obama can make a good start on this issue by granting clemency to Leonard Peltier. Mr. Peltier has been imprisoned for 33 years for an act he did not commit.

  9. Hue Longer said on February 5th, 2009 at 12:58am #

    An act he would have been justified in committing?

  10. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2009 at 3:49am #

    Somehow Zionism and William Blum is like oil and water — they don’t mix. It is extremely revealing that Mr. Blum not once mention the ZPC in his analysis especially with regards to Iran, Israel, Russia and Afghanistan. It reads like another useless Chomskyesque diversion.

  11. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2009 at 3:52am #

    This article by William Blum leaves his readers very SHORTCHANGED indeed.

  12. Hue Longer said on February 5th, 2009 at 6:55am #

    DB…If you can read between the lines when nothing is said, why not read the lines when it IS said? If you scroll up to his Israel Chapter, he mentions well the topic and even calls it the biggest test. Is he supposed to flip out and demand that all things go through it to get your approval?

  13. Don Hawkins said on February 5th, 2009 at 7:03am #

    In another sign that change has indeed come to the White House, President Obama’s Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu, is discussing the threat of global warming in new, stark and — frankly — frightening terms. This is not the kind of warning we ever heard from the Bush Administration.
    In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, his first since being confirmed as Energy Secretary, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist said that all agriculture in California could be undermined by global warming by the end of this century. In other words, within the space of one lifetime, the nation’s largest farm producer — known as the “salad bowl” because it provides about half of the nation’s veggies — could quickly become more like barren a dust bowl.
    Not only that, but California’s cities are in jeopardy, too, Chu said. The reason? Mountain snowpack in the Sierras is dwindling, as warmer temperatures prevent snow accumulation and lead to greater evaporation. It’s the runoff from those mountain snows that irrigate land and keep thirsty people alive in the valleys below. Dailygreen

    Rob Rogers
    Posted: 02/04/2009 05:59:55 PM PST

    Hattar hasn’t been doing as much gardening in the past week. She’s taking shorter showers. And she’s letting her laundry pile up until the weekend.
    “Each household is limited to 150 gallons of water per day,” said Hattar, a Bolinas resident. “That includes households with five people, or 10 people, or even two. It’s not fair. But that’s what it is.”
    For the past week, the Bolinas Public Utility District has limited each of its 581 customers to 150 gallons of water per day in response to a drought that has drained the town’s reservoirs, fed by the drying Arroyo Hondo Creek.
    After two warnings, a customer’s water connection would be shut off.
    Yet while the unprecedented rationing has attracted widespread media attention to the West Marin town, it barely seems to have fazed Bolinas residents, most of whom already use less than the prescribed 150-gallon limit.
    “The best thing for us to happen in a long time was to have no rain. It’s long overdue,” said Donald Holmes, who’s been limiting his water use for years with low-flow showers and toilets. “We’ve been giving away all the water in California to Southern California. The plans to limit growth that were put in place here are long overdue in other parts of the state.”
    At the Coast Cafe, bathrooms are now off-limits to non-customers, and glasses of water are available only at the customer’s request – and then they’re served in a disposable cup made of biodegradable corn plastic.

    The restaurant is encouraging its staff to do whatever it can to reduce dishwashing: beer is served in the bottle and spoons are placed on the table only if someone asks for them.
    “It makes you think about what you really have to have,” said waitress Pam Springer, who said the drought – though the worst she’d seen in 15 years – hasn’t had a dramatic impact on her life.
    “We don’t have a washing machine, so we don’t have to cut back a lot,” Springer said. “We could probably sell our extra water.”
    Juan Garcia has a washing machine, but decided to take his laundry to the Bolinas Laundromat on Wednesday. Because the laundromat has front-loading washers that use less water – six to eight gallons a load as opposed to 45 to 50 gallons for traditional top-loading washers – district officials have recommended going to the laundromat as a kind of civic duty.
    Garcia, however, just wanted to keep more of his 150-gallon allotment for washing and drinking.
    “I don’t use too much water for washing food, and I don’t use water for the garden,” Garcia said.
    Down the street at the Bolinas School, Principal Leo Kostelnik was smiling. On Friday, the school used 635.8 gallons of water. On Tuesday, it used only 329 – well below its target rate of 480 gallons.
    But Kostelnik believes it’s not enough for his students to cut back on their water use. His four-part plan encourages them to grapple with the problem – and even solve it.
    “We want each grade to understand the problem,” Kostelnik said. “We want to work with them on thinking about solutions. We want them to take field trips to see our sources of water (the Arroyo Hondo and the town’s two emergency reservoirs). And we want them to do community outreach.”
    This year’s drought isn’t the first time Bolinas students have sprung to action in the event of a crisis.
    In 2007, Kostelnik organized groups of students to remove debris from the beaches of Bolinas Lagoon, preventing them from becoming soaked with oil in the wake of the Cosco Busan spill. This time, while sixth- through eighth-grade students work on understanding the math behind water rationing, third-graders will be working to create a community bulletin board with information about water conservation.
    Next week, Bolinas will host a schoolwide presentation on the drought. There’s no money for the presentation – like every school district in California, Bolinas has been hamstrung by the state’s budget crisis – but music teacher Annie Owen convinced a group of performers, recently in town for a Jan. 17 seed swap, to return for the event.
    “The subject is ‘The Last Glass of Water in Bolinas,’ and how no one is able to get to it,” Owen said. “This is going to be a ‘teachable moment’ that includes everyone in the community.” MIJ

    Just a little reason why can’t we see just a little reason. What happened to the human mind for many. What happened?

  14. Hue Longer said on February 5th, 2009 at 7:10am #

    And guys,

    The singular fascination with Israel begs what the hell you think the US was doing before Zionism. For as much conspiracy (a word I respect and hold dear) as you tout, it seems that you yourselves have a need to believe the US was somehow a benevolent force for good on the planet and all things evil began with Israel. The conspiracy happening in broad daylight is bad enough without pretending that the US was a light on the hill until lizard men from space corrupted it. Is it better to have the likes of the Constitutionalists dictating world power? Seriously, fuck them all but stop being so loving by omission to the gentiles…do they feed better scraps under the table? Yes, AIPAC is horrible and the argument is wide open to whether the tail wags more than the dog does–but if it were obvious that it didn’t, would you folks be pledging the allegiance, voting for Ron Paul and hanging Mexicans and abortionists? What’s after Israel?

  15. Max Shields said on February 5th, 2009 at 8:49am #

    Hue, “The singular fascination with Israel begs what the hell you think the US was doing before Zionism.”

    This has been my refrain for months. Deadbeat and J. Anderson are bent on the ahistorical version which makes the US a “boy toy” for Israel, with only the best intentions until the US plutocrats got suckered by “Zionism” and AIPAC.

    The omission, as you rightly put it, seems to almost be chauvinistic (pro-US) on the part of these posters (DB/JA). It verges on anti-Jew.

    I have repeatedly stated the monster that is AIPAC and the terrorist nation-state Israel. But that is not enough for DB and JA, et al.

    It is ALL about AIPAC/Zionism. The US is just a poor patsy with no history (current as well as past) of terror when the facts show just the opposite concerning the latter.

    The “tail/dog” is just a Gordian knot that gets us nowhere. I suspect that’s exactly where JA and DB want to keep it.

  16. Ramsefall said on February 5th, 2009 at 9:23am #

    Max,

    I’m pleased to see your positive reinforcement confirming my suspicion regarding the fact that JA particularly has his head buried in the dark crevice of his arse.

    Best to you.

  17. Max Shields said on February 5th, 2009 at 9:46am #

    Ramesfall

    Best to you.

  18. Josie Michel-Brüning said on February 5th, 2009 at 9:53am #

    Dear Mr. Blum, we here in Germany are very grateful again for your excellent article. We copied it and my hausband translated most of it for our website http://www.miami5.de .
    We hope you don’t mind.
    We are especially grateful for your mentioning of the Cuban Five, as well.
    The case has just gone to the Supreme Court and all of us hope around the world it will have been registrated by public opinion. So, that the Supreme Court will be impressed respectively.
    Please, join the amicus brief of the independent well-known US attorney Thomas C. Goldstein.
    Best wishes!

  19. Josie Michel-Brüning said on February 5th, 2009 at 9:58am #

    I wonder why my comment was not registrated?

  20. Josie Michel-Brüning said on February 5th, 2009 at 10:03am #

    Dear Mr. Blum, thank you very much for your excellent article from Germany. We copied and translated it for our own website. We hope, you don’t mind.
    We are especially grateful for your mentioning of the “Cuban Five” just trying to get the attention of the Supreme Court.
    Please, join the amicus brief of US attorney Thomas C. Goldstein.

  21. bozh said on February 5th, 2009 at 10:05am #

    as far as i know, israel does not have slavery to date; it or its cult demands, tho.

    how cogruent was slavery with (hallowed) constitution? very compatible! else one of the two had to have gone; either the slavery or the constitution.

    actually a writ, any writing is dead until it is read and upon some reflection interpreted; i.e., a meaning extracted.
    remember reading and digesting what one is reading cannot happen at the same time; thre is a time gap;very tiny one.
    and according to heisenberg’s nonidentity principle time factor plays vital role in nonidentity of two events separated by even microsecond.

    obviously we can’t blame socalled zionism for this; i.e., a particular case of land theft.

    and folks, by now all of us observers, know that it is judiciary who interpret any law/saying.
    and judges are not elected but selected! by whom? unfortunately we don’t know but must guess.
    nevertheless, people call it democracy. but then people call a clazy priest “father” and head of one church “papa”, the chief father.

    ‘zionist’ have stolen land; fraction of what UK, Russia, India, pakistan, france, US et al have stolen.
    not of course that ‘zionists’ don’t want to steal much, much more land.

    what ‘zionists’ have is a wretched piece of land. so it is only natch that some USans with the cult beseech US ruling class asking permission to go for more.
    and the darn it, US is not listening. so, quest’n arises how powerful are the ‘jews’? sixty yrs gone by and still there is no israel. there are palestinians in israel who are not wanted.
    who’s in charge of this matter? it appears not to be ‘jews’. jews are desperately trying to obtain an apsolute peaceful occupation and thereby peace that they so desperately desire.

    as noted before, ‘jews’ still don’t have a country. and why? well, by having a country, getting or stealing more land wld amount to casus belli.
    nor does israel has to sign anything or agree to any law it doesn’t like.
    it seems it can get away with such lawlesness only because the mighty christian world allows it. thnx

  22. RG the LG said on February 5th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    It is interesting that there seems to be so much support for the ideas Blum articulates. Strange, it seems to me, that there are many who agree … but there is no action.

    Two thoughts … one maybe we, the few who respond, are the only ones who agree … two, maybe we are just complaining and don’t really want anything done to disturb the empire and our place under the sun?

    RG the LG

  23. Garrett said on February 5th, 2009 at 12:42pm #

    Hue,

    Great comment.

    RG the LG,

    How do you know folks here aren’t taking action? Many DV readers, for all either of us know, might be active in grassroots organizing.

  24. Hue Longer said on February 5th, 2009 at 2:50pm #

    I know Max…I’ve read your comments on it. I suppose I got a bit frustrated last night. I respect DB and his efforts to expose Zionism but I was wowed a bit by that one

    Cheers Garrett

  25. AaronG said on February 5th, 2009 at 7:38pm #

    There has been a fierce debate for some time now on DV (and elsewhere I suspect) regarding America’s involvement with Israel. There seems to be two main camps, which I will summarise as below:

    1) the oil camp
    2) the Zionism/AIPAC camp

    Because this is a summary, I am omitting items such as religion, water/land theft, military trade etc for reasons of brevity. Personally, with the little reading I have done, I am a fence-sitter with a slight lean to the oil camp. My reasons are simple – guys in power do something and expect a return for their actions. We support you cos we need the oil.

    Could someone please (briefly) explain to me – If 2) Zionism/AIPAC is the FOREMOST reason that the US has it’s nose in the Middle East, what benefit does the US gain from this relationship? I believe, like many DV readers, that the US is an evil empire. But they are not stupid. When there is a relationship with another country, the US (like all countries) only wish to be on the winning side of the deal. International affairs is not a charity.

    Becasue I respect his comments, I would prefer if Deadbeat replies. This request is genuine and not in the spirit of provocation.

    Please explain.

  26. Tennessee-Socialist said on February 5th, 2009 at 10:03pm #

    it is sad that this nation which was an economic powerful nation, has been destroyed by the corrupted plutocratic Democrat and Republican Parties, along with the different corporate lobbies, with the zionist lobby, and with the capitalist philosophy which has been a great traditional ideology in the essense of America. The Free Market egocentric, selfish ideology of Ayn Rand, Adam Smith, John Locke, John Stuart Mill and other egoists. We must burry that ideology as failed and wrong and give way toward Leninist, Marxist, Christian, humanist and socialist, collective ideology and doctrine.

    USA was a very developed nation producing a lot of wealth, and statibility for most US citizens compared to third world nations which have less rational, orderly, and scientific political and economic systems.

    USA has never been a socialist nation, however the capitalist-welfare american system provided stability for most americans thru the a “trickle down capitalist welfare system”.

    Unfortunately, thanks to the mafia-cartels of both capitalist parties (Democrats and Republicans)this ‘trickle down welfare capitalist system’ which has provided stability, food, cars, pleasures, toys and wealth for majority of americans is coming to an end ending !!

    Sooner or later this ‘tricke down welfare capitalist system’ will not provide bread for all, and will morph a plutocratic corporate capitalist system that can only provide stability, food and wealth for the upper bourgeoise classes of America.

    when that time comes we will see a revolutionary situation, when the proletariat take the bull by its horns and overthrows the corporate corrupted capitalist system for complete emancipation of the workign classes of this country

    HERE ARE THE MAIN 3 TRAITS OF A REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION IN USA:

    # 1 – When it is impossible for the rich people of this country (like Bill Gates, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Donald Trump, Al Gore, Ross Perot, Dick Cheney, etc.) to maintain their wealth without any change; when there is an economic crisis, in one form or another, among the rich people, a crisis in the policy of the rich ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of middle and lower classes of America burst forth. For a socialist-revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for the middle and lower classes not to want to live in their old comfortable and stable way; it is also necessary that the rich upper millionaire class should be unable to live in their old comfortable way.

    # 2 – When the suffering and the needs of the middle and lower working classes of this country have grown more acute than usual

    # 3 – When, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the middle and working classes, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in peace time, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis *and by the upper classes themselves* into independent historical action.

    READ SOME OF MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO SAVE UNITED STATES FROM SINKING LIKE THE TITANIC:

    What USA needs is a gradual change toward a participative-democratic socialist system of the XXI Century, thru a Constitutional Reform by a Constitutional Assembly like many modern nations today are reforming their own political and economic systems in order to change this country from a corporate-kleptocratic plutocracy of the few into a participative-democratic social economic democracy for all americans, not for the few millionaires and billionaires.

    A Political Reform would not be complete without a democratic economic reform, so that USA could move from a corporate-capitalist country toward a real democratic workers socialist economy by the workers in favor of workers who are the creators of wealth like Karl Marx said.

    The wealth of this great land belongs to all US citizens and specially *workers* who are the creators of wealth, but they won’t be able to claim that wealth without a nationalization program under state and workers-control of the key elements of US industries like oil, water, communication, electricity, gold, mines, etc.

    Americans also need access to subsidized or free Universities and Colleges, this country needs more public socialist education instead of private education. It would also be a great idea for US government to regulate right-wing stations like CNN and FOX and also to create a state-owned progressive TV station with progressive media people like Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, in order to spread the ideology of the US founding fathers, to teach americans democratic egalitarian values, so that thru a good education programs americans truely be free individuals and architects of of our own destiny and wealth. On the international level it is worth studying the closing of most US military bases, the incorporation of USA in the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas), and it would be a great idea to consider Jimmy Carter as peace missioner on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

    .

    Let others know about People’s Revolution! Spread the word… the more who know the truth, the greater the force against the capitalist system! Resistance forever!

    …………………../´¯/)
    ………………..,/¯../
    ………………./…./
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯\
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ………\……………..’…../
    ……….”…\………. _.·´
    …………\…………..

    STICK UP YOUR MIDDLE FINGER TO US IMPERIALISM AND CAPITALIST OPPRESSION!

  27. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2009 at 11:19pm #

    Tennesee-Socialists writes …

    Americans also need access to subsidized or free Universities and Colleges, this country needs more public socialist education instead of private education. It would also be a great idea for US government to regulate right-wing stations like CNN and FOX and also to create a state-owned progressive TV station with progressive media people like Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, in order to spread the ideology of the US founding fathers, to teach americans democratic egalitarian values, so that thru a good education programs americans truely be free individuals and architects of of our own destiny and wealth. On the international level it is worth studying the closing of most US military bases, the incorporation of USA in the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas), and it would be a great idea to consider Jimmy Carter as peace missioner on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

    I agree with much on T-S analysis I think he is too optimistic about the state of conscientiousness of American workers for revolutionary changes. That really should be quite evident from the even the conditions as its exist on the Left. There is just too much polarization among the working class despite that they share common oppression. There has been a deliberate attempts even by the so-called “vanguard” to maintain a state of disarray on the Left who should be building alliances and solidarity — ESPECIALLY WITH PEOPLE OF COLOR. Until the working class can build that bridge there WILL NOT be any change of any revolutionary movement in the United States.

    The best potential of having a revolutionary effort IMO is coming from the Latino/a communities. They were able to mobilize against the horrid Stensenbrenner bill and that shocked the ruling class. That mobilization was an extension of the kind of mobilization in Latin America. There is clearly some hope on that front. I’m sure there are other fronts but those fronts have to be able to coalesce and find solidarity. There will be no revolution IMO if they remain disparate.

    I’m all ears if T-S can demonstrate or offer suggestions as to how these fronts can unite.

    In addition I would like to see the range of opinion not limited to Amy Goodman but I would like to see more inclusion and a wider range of opinion coming from the left from people who are serious and passionate about fighting injustice.

  28. bozh said on February 6th, 2009 at 9:04am #

    aarong,
    i see a third probability as most valid: settling of the planet by euros.
    cults, supremacism, warming, planet getting poorer, fear of losing wealth are the integral aspects of amero-planetarism.
    americanism, japanism, and all other isms are evanescening at a rate like never before.
    anomie is on rise; only plutocratic laws are now valid.
    what, Zionism? the tiny, impoverished israel? a total dependency, while plutos enjoy near total interdependency.
    that’s where the power is, in being interdependent. that’s why plutos favor for us- the unwashed- fierce independency and for self, a strong union, in which each pluto is fully protected.
    as per what bailouts clearly prove. hey, a banker can’t go dwn, but you, the fiercely independent person, you do go dwn.

  29. bozh said on February 6th, 2009 at 9:19am #

    deadbeat, yes we need the people of color. after all, humans have survived and later spread thru continents because at times of a handful of black people who had to survive difficult condition of a hot regions.

    unfortunately, people who spread to other parts of the planet did not know that they were there because they decended from blacks- and being s’mwhat more advanced than medes, elemites, persians, arabs, et al- concluded that they (we) were superior.
    thnx

  30. Hue Longer said on February 6th, 2009 at 4:13pm #

    Hello Bozh,

    I wouldn’t say “advanced”…Disease resistant, ruthless and extremely ignorant is a powerful mix when handed gunpowder. running around shooting your teachers with it so that you forget who taught you and nothing is left to compete with your calculus and bar soap is what happened.