The US Federal Budget Pipeline: Where Do The Dollars Drain?

In order to raise sales and personal royalty gains, Alan Greenspan, just prior to the release of his book The Age of Turbulence, carried out a public relations blitz dragged out for a whole week in which he made remarks similar to those conveyed in his hardback. These included statements such as “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

Indeed, many Americans and people from other countries knew that domination of a region rich in fossil fuels represented the primary motive for the Iraq incursion and the only reason that Iran is not similarly assaulted is that it has an arsenal, unlike Saddam Hussein, capable of rendering serious damage in retaliation. Besides, the U.S. military is stretched too thin as it is with approximately 1,000 bases worldwide, along with operations occurring on every continent, such as the AFRICOM sorties, which are generally tied to oil company interests as the map in the link shows.

Furthermore, plans to invade Iraq were long in the making, but the problem was finding the grounds, legal or otherwise, to obtain the support of the public for such an outrageous act of violence, which to date has led to the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the slaughter of more than one million individuals, including over 4,300 U.S. troops. In tandem, George W. Bush and Tony Blair knew that the UN inspectors would not find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and were hard pressed to find a reason that could justify the war. So the U.S. President came up with alternatives:

Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan “to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colours over Iraq with fighter cover.” Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.

The president expressed hopes that an Iraqi defector would be “brought out” to give a public presentation on Saddam’s WMD or that someone might assassinate the Iraqi leader. However, Bush confirmed [in a memo written approximately two months prior to America's preemptive attack on Iraq that] even without a second [United Nations] resolution, the US was prepared for military action. The memo said Blair told Bush he was “solidly with the president.”

This in mind, it behooves the public, particularly the American public, to realize that U.S. armed invasions and covert operations, in general, have little to do with protecting Americans from global terrorists and more to do with getting fossil fuels on behalf of the Pentagon and favored companies, whose heads contribute to government officials’ campaign funds and offer other perks like high paying jobs upon the completion of terms in office. As such, it would be more accurate were the directors of the Department of Defense to change its name to the Department of Assault. Doing so would, certainly, better reflect the United States history that has been well chronicled by Bill Blum, who indicates, “From 1945 to the end of the century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.”

Blum further reminds that there existed a total of 168 separate invasions of countries around the world by the United States. This information was derived from the revision to the 1969 rendition of the Appendix to a report researched by the Foreign Affairs Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1975 and listed as “Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945.

Meanwhile, Alan Greenspan summarized, in talks and The Age of Turbulence his displeasure with the Bush administration. “My biggest frustration remained the president’s unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending,” Greenspan indicated. “Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency . . . To my mind, Bush’s collaborate-don’t-confront approach was a major mistake.”

It, certainly, was and, in the Obama administration, it still is a major mistake compounded by other factors. These include the bailout funds committed as of December 2008 in the amount of $8.5 trillion, which represents 60% of the GDP and the $1,449 billion, 54% of the federal budget, allocated for military expenditures in 2009. (This is in contrast to $1,210 billion, which represents 46% of the $2,650 billion total intended for the 2009 federal outlay, which is largely comprised of money borrowed from Chinese government controlled institutions).

Out of such a reckless and cavalier setting, the total federal debt, itself, has blossomed to around $100 trillion, according to some researchers, based on the ongoing pattern of spending loaned funds and expecting future taxpayers to foot the ultimate bill in a Ponzi-like scheme, one that makes the USA unarguably the world’s biggest debtor. (While Barack Obama seems to consider spiraling healthcare costs as the primary driver of the public deficit, surely he jests. Based on the tabulations above, it is clear that warfare and preparedness for extended wars is the largest cost that taxpayers subsume.)

Simultaneously, the IMF and WTB directors, in a way, must be beside themselves with glee over the mounting shortfall. Like the personification of Bernie Madoff, Simon Legree and Uncle Scrooge all rolled into one, they draw together in a perfect vision of eager anticipation over the financial killing yet to come.

As Vi Ransel explains about them in two sections of “Manufacturing Poor People“:

The World Bank loans money to a poor country to “help” in its development, to build up a part of its economy. “If”, and almost certainly when (that’s The Plan) the poor country is unable to pay the usurious interest on the loan because of declining exports (again, The Plan), the country has to borrow more money in order to service the debt. Enter the [International Monetary Fund].

The IMF extends more loans, with more of those stainless steel strings more tightly bound around the victim, er, I mean, loan recipient, trussing up the “benefiting” poor nation like a Thanksgiving turkey about to be devoured by the West, The Rich. The country which borrows money… must give tax breaks to Western transnationals. The country must slash wages and refuse to protect local businesses from being ravaged by cheap imports and corporate takeovers.

The country is further strong-armed to sell, at fire sale prices, all its government-owned mines, its railroads, industries and utilities to privately-owned, mostly-foreign corporations. The country must allow its forests to be clearcut and its land to be strip-mined. Money for education, healthcare, food assistance and the transportation infrastructure must be sheared back to service the debt. And the interest on the debt, through the wondrously magical Western miracle of compound interest, keeps growing and growing and growing and growing and on and on and on and on… And all the while, the people of the country are less able to feed themselves, since they are forced to grow cash crops for export to feed that debt service.

Well, U.S. transnationals didn’t intend to ever let that happen again. There would be no more giving a real leg up to potential competitors. And thus we arrived at where we are today. And, in fact, the ruse works so well, that since the Seventies the plutocracy has been using the very same template here at home, – with an increasingly heavy hand. See U.S. auto workers, healthcare, the bank bailout, foreclosed homes, 600,00 jobs a month jettisoned, the murder of California, et al. Who, or what, will be next?

Will it be the entire USA? Perhaps it will be in that the public finances in America are, currently, arranged along this line:

In Fiscal Year 2008, $412 Billion was spent to pay back interest on money owed to holders of the National Debt. It represents the third biggest federal expense and the full amount owed in 2009, due to continued borrowing, will in all likelihood be higher as it equaled $214 Billion by May. Furthermore, educational spending in 2008 received a mere 4.4 percent of the budget while the accumulated estimated total for the interest owed on the National Debt is estimated to be $445,095,000,000, although the sum will, obviously, increase as more money is borrowed.

Meanwhile, the current monthly aggregate for the 2009 interest owed is roughly $42.8 billion per month while monthly federal outlay is approximately $220.8 billion per month with this interest paid back each month representing slightly more than 5.1 % of each tax dollar spent or, posed another way, over nineteen cents for each one expended while the budget deficit, itself, entails loans close to fifty cents on each dollar paid out with an increase in borrowing by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion expected in 2010 according to a White House spokesperson. [10]

In addition, there will, ultimately, be less tax dollars to collect in that presently, America is hemorrhaging jobs at one every thirty seconds according to some analysts. So why not spend money to bail out the families living in their cars and under tarps in tent cities by providing employment and income through a widespread Works Progress Administration (WPA) and extended Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) programs as occurred during the Great Depression?

Wouldn’t such a plan go further than bailouts to financial institutions and the ever present resource wars as a way to jumpstart the American economy, as well as US taxpayers who are watching 73 % of every tax dollar going to military expenditures (54%) and interest payments (19+ %)? (It forces one to wonder from where funds are going to derive for universal public health care, future Social Security payments, Medicare, Medicaid, public education and assorted other programs, such sustainable benign energy provision on a model close to energy independent Denmark’s enviable prototype as described by Thomas L. Friedman in “Flush With Energy.”

Then again, the Pentagon directors probably have concluded that they need their resource wars in that the U.S. military is the single biggest user of oil in the world and it takes lots of oil to get the further oil supplied to American favored oil companies so that it can be returned in large measure and at high expense to the armed forces. In other words, it requires the type of assurance for a continued oil supply that only beaten down countries and puppet governments can render.

On account, open combat and covert operations will be the favored means to obtain fossil fuels. On account, the military will continue to drain away the majority of the U.S. federal budget while the US covert operations budget, by itself, will surpass a staggering $50 billion for 2009.

“‘That’s the largest-ever sum,’ according to Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman, a longtime black-budget seer — a three percent increase over last year’s total. It makes the Pentagon’s secret operations, including the intelligence budgets nested inside, ‘roughly equal in magnitude to the entire defense budgets of the UK, France or Japan,’ Sweetman adds. All in all, about seven and a half percent of the Defense Department’s total spending is now classified.”

All in all, the ongoing U.S. financial mess provides signs that, while China’s rising, the USA will never gain back its former glory days that gave rise to both world dominance and a large middle class. As the country continues to lose jobs at the rate of approximately one every thirty seconds to either offshore company sites or business cutbacks, it has nowhere else to go except to sink down into increased hardship, as well as some degree of destitution, for an increasing number of Americans and the nation as a whole.

The unending act of misappropriating a land’s collective assets year after year has a way of ensuring this final result. As Ethel Grodzins Romm alleges,“What could our worst enemy do to damage this strong and beautiful country? He could do no better than to get us to squander our human and natural resources on dubious missions and then trick us into plugging our ears against the howls of those who object.”

Emily Spence is an author living in Massachusetts. She has spent many years involved in human rights, environmental and social services efforts. She can be reached at: EHSpence@aol.com Read other articles by Emily.

51 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on June 25th, 2009 at 11:33am #

    Yes but we will have blimp’s and the masters of the Universe will be looking down upon us. The only thing these masters will be looking down upon is a dying planet on this present path that is. I guess a good job would be a the person who is doing the looking although a very sad job that would be. Will not happen well it already is pay attention to California and let’s see what things look like by October. Hot, dry and broke but they will have blimp’s and helicopters. Unclassified

  2. Krissie Smitherson said on June 26th, 2009 at 4:19am #

    I agree with so many points in Emily’s article. Hard times ahead but with any luck the slump will soon grind to a halt and light will appear at the end of the tunnel for a lot of people.

  3. Emily said on June 26th, 2009 at 8:32am #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts… Yes, Dan, they have their blimps and plenty of other toys to keep an eye on the public:

    High-tech Barbarism:: Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s a Raytheon Spy Blimp! (http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14084)
    – by Tom Burghardt – 2009-06-25

    Meanwhile, the government forces are fully prepared for any major signs of public discontent. As such, the FEMA compounds are, supposedly, ready in every or nearly every state [i.e., FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency (http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_sociopol_FEMA.htm) and Red Alert, FEMA camps and Martial Law (http://www.oilempire.us/redalert.html)], the weapons are primed [i.e., Raytheon ADS - A Pain ray gun to keep us in line (http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2009/06/raytheon_ads_-.html)] and the new supportive laws are in place [i.e., North American Integration and the Militarization of ... (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6586) and The Deployment of US Troops inside Canada (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8323)]. Concurrently, the public, the average propagandized American sheeple, are typically sleepwalking through the whole experience in the possible drift towards a fascist plutocratic corporacy, it seems… I hope that I’m proven wrong in this outlook.

  4. Emily said on June 26th, 2009 at 8:36am #

    Thank you for your commentary, Krissie. It’s appreciated.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that the majority will make out well at all due to the fact that we cannot have continued economic growth, greater consumption of natural resources, nor exponentially increasing population. All three happenings singularly or together (either way) will create disaster, as Paul Chefurka points out in the following pieces:

    Population, the elephant in the … (http://www.paulchefurka.ca/Population.html).

    World Energy and Population (http://www.paulchefurka.ca/WEAP/WEAP.html).

    So in my view, the best that we can do is continue to strive to curtail our carbon and overall footprint, as well as make solid preparations to deal with the harder times ahead. In doing so, we can delimit the overall destruction.

  5. Deadbeat said on June 26th, 2009 at 2:25pm #

    Ms. Spence’s article is really a manipulative rant that is not really about the huge amount of resources that are kept from the American people via military spending but is design to promote that the reason why the U.S. went to war on Iraq was “primarily” for oil with NO mention of the Zionist interest behind the war on Iraq. Once again we see the phony promotion of the Chomskyite “War for Oil” mantra behind all foreign policy endeavors.

    Once again if that was the case the U.S. would have invaded Canada and South America since those are the region whereby the U.S. obtains most of its oil. The Zionist and Gullible Left jumped on the the Great Obfuscator’s bandwagon in order to promote the “War for Oil” propaganda.

    As has been reported the oil interest was AGAINST BOTH Gulf War because they are actually BAD for business. However these same writers IGNORE any notion that other interest that could actually GAIN from going to war. Even the military brass was not in favor of going to war with Iraq and during that time you had former U.S. operatives speaking out against the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes the military consume 58% of the U.S. budget and much of that is to keep the resource AWAY from the people. But to promote that it is ALL about “U.S. Imperialism” is conjecture not supported by the empirical much less actual evidence.

    Unfortunately Ms. Spence’s article does not do anything to shed light. Her articles hopes to move people into action on dubious and dishonest claims. Her article does more to retard solidarity because it is grounded in dishonesty.

  6. Emily said on June 26th, 2009 at 4:49pm #

    Deadbeat, I see that you are a self-proclaimed mind reader. You presume about my intentions and my overall views regarding the role of Zionism, etc., in Middle Eastern affairs. Enjoy yourself, then, in creating such mind fluff.

    If you want to see reasons for USA not attacking certain regions of the world to obtain oil from them, there are plenty of resources on the internet covering that topic. (I haven’t time to get into a lengthy, point by point debate.) In addition, you might want to look at some of the links that I provided as they will help you to understand better about some of the issues for which you are making your claims.

  7. dan e said on June 26th, 2009 at 5:19pm #

    Mind reading?
    “…many Americans and people from other countries knew that domination of a region rich in fossil fuels represented the primary motive for the Iraq incursion.”

    That’s what you said above. Which is the standard Chomsky/Zunes/Juhacz “liberal” Zionist line about the motives for the US attack on Iraq.

    BTW your usage “incursion” is pure Sharon-speak, a euphemism for bombing attack, invasion and prolonged military occupation. Typical PNAC-ZPC-denier obfuscation.

  8. Max Shields said on June 26th, 2009 at 6:14pm #

    dan e you’re at it again, leaping from fossile to Zionism.

    You and deadbeat are obsessed with Zionism. Obsession is never healthy. It leads to bad judgement and droning boring discoure.

    Not to understand the issue of resources and empire – to deny that the US is an empire as deadbeat does repeatedly to make his case that it is always zionism – is frankly sicko.

    And I would hope that the writer of this article just lets the two of you stew in your Zionist stew. (Btw, give Chomsky a big fat kiss for us all.)

  9. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2009 at 1:18am #

    And Max you are just name calling because you can offer NO EVIDENCE to support your slander. IF anyone is obsessed it is YOU and your adherence to the Chomskyesque notion of all things “U.S. Imperialism”.

    The point of Chomskyism is to move the Left from confronting Capitalism and Racism and but to see only Militarism and this ideology of “U.S. Imperialism” which essentially obscures the influence that Zionism has especially on United States foreign policy. That has been the Chomsky’s shtick for years and clearly Max you have adopted that same stance.

    Another tactic that you do a great deal of is to distort your opponents position. I DARE YOU MAX TO PRINT ONE QUOTE WHERE I EVER DENIED THE U.S. OF BEING AN EMPIRE.

    YOU SIR ARE A LYING AND SMEARING IDIOT.

    The ONLY reason when an opponent uses distortion and smear tactics is due to the fact their arguments are on thin ice. You can’t produce any real facts to deny that Zionism had NO influence whatsoever on U.S. Middle East policy unless you want to deny AIPAC and to deny those researchers who has been warning the American Public about Zionism’s growing influence these past 30 years. Zionism has been able to grow and flourish in the U.S. because of so-called weak-asses on the so-called “Left” who have used their influence to obscure or worst to cover-up Zionism — a virulently racist ideology.

    You think you can smear me rhetorically as a “one-note” when in fact I have defined my position of being on the side of SOLIDARITY defined as JUSTICE and EQUALITY. That means confronting and challenging CAPITALISM, RACISM, AND MILITARISM.

    However Max your idea of “U.S. Imperialism” — NOTE THE QUOTES — is a rhetorical DEVICE. A device that has been USED by Chomskyites like yourself to misdirect, misinform, disinform which RETARDS solidarity.

    It is a shame Max that you are part of the problem and FAR, so VERY FAR, from being part of the solution.

    DB

  10. Hue Longer said on June 27th, 2009 at 1:35am #

    “Once again we see the phony promotion of the Chomskyite “War for Oil” mantra behind all foreign policy endeavors…Once again if that was the case the U.S. would have invaded Canada and South America since those are the region whereby the U.S. obtains most of its oil”.

    Canada and South America (for the most part) are under effective hegemony while Iraq was not. It is very ignorant to think that only invasion conquers nations. Check out what the US did to Australia…it didn’t take one bomb.

  11. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2009 at 3:18am #

    Canada and South America (for the most part) are under effective hegemony while Iraq was not. It is very ignorant to think that only invasion conquers nations. Check out what the US did to Australia…it didn’t take one bomb.

    Oh really that Iraq was not under “effective” hegemony. Iraq was suffering under the sanction that lasted from the end of the first Gulf War in 1990 through the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Those sanction led to the deaths of 500,000 children and crippled Iraq’s economy. Can you guys do any better? Why are you selectively IGNORING the facts. The invasion of Iraq was totally unnecessary with regard to HEGEMONY since Iraq was crippled by the sanctions. However Latin America, where the U.S. obtains a MUCH larger portion of its oil — much larger than what it obtains from the Middle East — was not invaded yet Latin America is clearly moving OUT of and is throwing up REAL resistance to U.S. hegemony. Thus what is occurring in Latin America when contrasted to Iraq is COUNTER to both the “U.S. Imperialism” and the “War for oil” arguments used to explain the invasion of Iraq by the phony “Left”.

    If you are going to offer a thesis then it must HOLD and if there is a single argument that makes your thesis fall apart then you need to develop a NEW thesis. It become DOGMA when you want facts to fit the thesis. And that is what Chomsky, Shields and unfortunately now you Hue seems to want to offer the readers here on DV.

  12. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2009 at 3:32am #

    My response to Ms. Spence…

    What Ms. Spence doesn’t realize is that I on DV had this same debate a year ago when Ron Jacobs jumped on the Alan Greenspan “War for Oil” bandwagon in an article he wrote for DV. You can read the comments posted from Ron’s article “It Really Is About the Oil–And Not Only in Iraq”

    Here is what I wrote on 9/18/2007:

    Ron Jacobs continues to expound on the same strawman argument to ridicule those who challenge the “War For Oil” mantra oft repeated by so called “progressives”.

    That strawman is that the U.S. MidEast policy is being conducted by Tel Aviv. In other words, that the “tail is wagging the dog”. Such rhetoric is obviously not true and critics of the “War For Oil” mantra has never claimed that U.S. foreign policy is being formulated by Tel Aviv.

    What has been stated by scholars like James Petras and critics of Israel such as Jeffrey Blankfort and Lenni Brenner is that MidEast policy is being influenced by Zionism. Groups such as AIPAC wield a great deal of influence among both Democrats and Republican politicians and especially the neo-cons currently in power. The ideology of neoconservativism by the way is grounded in Zionism and their interest are aligned with the advancement of Israeli hegemony.

    What folks like Jacobs are doing is minimizing the influence of Zionism to conflate the issue as SOLELY or MAJORITY a desire of the U.S. to control MidEast oil. Once again that belies the fact that there is more oil to control in Latin America whereby the U.S. has not conducted a major invasion and prefer covert actions.

    The contradictions of Jacobs assertions are easily exposed by James Petras reports that the oil industry was NOT supportive of the invasion of Iraq while the supporters of Israel and neo-cons where greatly in favor of it and expressed their favor of the invasion in the late 1990’s via PNAC written by Paul Wolfowitz.

    The real problem is that there are “progressives” who are queasy when the “War for Oil” mantra is challenged because it places Zionism in the U.S. and its influence on U.S. Foreign policy front and center.

    These “progressives” are not unlike “whites” who would rather ignore the problem racism in the U.S. And to be frank Zionism is a racist ideology promoting Jewish hegemony. To be unconcerned or dismissive about Zionism in the U.S. is to call into question the credibility of these so-called “progressives”. In reality these “progressives” do not desire to CONFRONT the real issue of racism(Zionism) as it exist in the United States that now carry a huge cost in lives and resources.

  13. Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2009 at 3:33am #

    Excuse me make that more than a year ago. It’s more like that debate occurred nearly TWO years ago.

  14. Emily said on June 27th, 2009 at 3:42am #

    From my perspective, there’s no justifiable reason to contentiously argue over the finer details (unless one likes to bicker). Besides, there’s no ultimate proof to conclusively establish about which vision is more correct. On account, rhetorical nitpicking is a waste of time unless one relishes the act since nothing is ever accomplished other than to get the “sides” more divided and trenchant in the act. In other words, it’s a no-win situation from the start.

    So instead of posing either/or conditions and looking at the trees instead of the forest, why not admit that all the points regarding origins could be valid? Then one can “move on”…

    Besides, it’s often arrogant and always futile to try to bully another into taking his own stance, especially as free thought and speech are certainly allowed. So, all power to him if John Doe wants to join the Flat Earth Society or anyone else harbors biased skewed views regarding any portion of the Earth.

    In the end, civil and respectful discourse goes a long way in dispelling wars and other battles. If the aim is to do so, then one starts with his own corner of the planet and, from the acorn, might grow the mighty oak and, eventually, the whole forest or, put another way, one should be the change that he wants, as Mohandas Gandhi so aptly pointed out.

  15. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 4:40am #

    NEW DELHI, India (CNN) — Pista Devi struggles to keep her toes from poking out through the holes in her shoes as she pushes and pulls a wicked-looking farm tool. She is a widow, struggling to feed herself and five children.

    Pista Devi is struggling to feed herself and five children in a region with a rain deficit 85 percent below normal.

    She is bone thin but strong. She has to be. The soil is as hard as stone and as dry as the desert. Pista is trying to prepare the land for seeding.
    But her part of India is dealing with a rain deficit that is 85 percent below normal.
    “If the rains don’t come then these fields will remain empty,” Devi says.
    “No one will call us for work and the children will have to go hungry. We won’t have anything to eat.”
    Devi is among roughly 600 million people in India who make a living off the land. That is about 60 percent of India’s population of 1.1 billion.

    Most of the country is suffering from a rain deficit. The Monsoon has been delayed in some parts of the country. Usually the season begins around the first of June.
    In developed countries, irrigation is common and electricity readily available, but both are a luxury for most Indian farmers.
    Rainwater is key to crop survival and the livelihoods of those who work the farms.
    Devinder Sharma is a food and trade policy analyst. He says “65 percent of farmers in India rely on rainwater.”

    Let’s watch In the States California and the mid west by say November. Hot dry and broke. What is the plan in the States wait don’t tell me blimps and helicopters. Of course the answer from the masters of the Universe is bring back the system to normal.

    Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. ~Cree Indian Proverb

    I watched the climate change bill in the House yesterday and stupid is the wrong word. Bring back the system to normal right. Masters some are not. Still time with change we can believe in. Read DV Mr President?

  16. Emily said on June 27th, 2009 at 5:12am #

    Along with some other excellent assessments, these evaluations are at http://e360.yale.edu/:

    26 Jun 2009: Spreading Desertification
    Affecting Mediterranean, Group Says
    Growing depletion of aquifers and climate change are turning parts of Italy, Spain, and France into desert, according to the Italian environmental group, Legambiente. The group said that 11 percent of arable land in Sicily, Sardinia, and sections of southern Italy already shows signs of drying up and could eventually affect the livelihoods of 6.5 million people. The main cause is the depletion of underground aquifers, which can result in seawater intruding into the groundwater, effectively poisoning water supplies, Legambiente said. The group reported that 74 million acres of land in Italy, Spain, and the French Riviera were gradually turning to desert because of overexploitation of water resources, with 20 percent of the Iberian Peninsula already experiencing desertification. Legambiente said that nearly half of Egypt’s farmland had been compromised by brackish groundwater caused by saltwater intrusion. U.N. officials confirmed the threat of desertification to large areas bordering the Mediterranean, and Legambiente said that unless water and land-use policies are changed “the risk will become concrete and irreversible.” Climate scientists say that rising temperatures also are contributing to spreading desertification in Spain and around the Mediterranean.
    PERMALINK

    Especially Lorna Salzman’s comment in the response section is approriate…

    Opinion
    The Waxman-Markey Bill:
    A Good Start Or A Non-Starter?
    As carbon cap-and-trade legislation works it way through Congress, the environmental community is intensely debating whether the Waxman-Markey bill is the best possible compromise or a fatally flawed initiative. Yale Environment 360 asked 11 prominent people in the environmental and energy fields for their views on this controversial legislation.
    Comments (7) | READ MORE

    Likewise, this could be of interest (at http://novakeo.com/?p=4321):

    The Population Orgy
    California’s Ultimate Calamitous Path…
    Have you ever gotten a feeling that you were on a date
    with the wrong person? Kind of…
    June 25, 2009 | Frosty Wooldridge

  17. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 5:41am #

    Start it something like this:

    People of the United States, people of the World. We are in a defining moment in human history. Let’s put it in simple terms deep do do.

  18. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 5:49am #

    When the strategic interest of the nation and the world is so clear, can a few gluttons with a few
    bucks really drive our policy? Does this great country not have better leadership than that?
    Op-ed on mountaintop removal is at http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2168#comments
    June 23 Declaration

    When, in the course of their lives, people find they are being abused by those in position of
    power, and their children and their children’s future are being damaged by those in power, it is
    the right of the people, and their sacred duty, to resist those in position of power and fight for the
    well-being of the young and the unborn..

    Now of course over there at Fox News we hear much about tax’s and if the truth be known tax’s are least of our problems. Changes are needed and soon well that is if we wish to survive. People of the United States people of the World.

  19. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 5:55am #

    Go to that web page I just posted and read the comments. I think some of those people went to Harvard business school. Masters of the Universe, right.

  20. Max Shields said on June 27th, 2009 at 6:26am #

    Deadbeat

    How many times do I need to say this: I have no interests in what you call “Chomskyesque notion[s]“. Chomsky did not create American Imperialism. There are hundreds of sources that pre-date him on what the US policies are and have been. That he has made this a particular thesis is neither here nor there.

    These are facts, DB. You can’t refute them, though you can twist them into some fantasy.

    Everytime someone speaks of oil, you think their “followers of Chomsky” and Zionists. This is not healthy analysis.

    Petras has written some good stuff. There are points I disagree with him on; just as I disagree with Chomsky on the two-state solution, I think Petras overplays the idea that oil companies were not for invading Iraq and from that launches a whole notion that there’s plenty of oil and that this has more to do with ideology that resources.

    I strongly disagree with that because while ideology frames worldviews it is usually at the service of something more fundamental: domination and control of land and other natural resources – oil being but one.

    So, when you and dan e attack a writter or poster because they “fail to see” zionism as the sole reason for US foreign policies, there is something from my perspective that calls out for justification, if not justice. Zionism is a significant problem; it is all I’ve ever posted here. But it does not explain the American empire. I think Petras would agree that the US is an empire with a horrible past and present on the world stage. I don’t think even Petras would claim that this empire is begin sustained by Zionism.

    Discernment, judgement is what’s called for and instead you and dan e are stuck on one track regardless. And I will “speak out” every time I see this kind of rejectionism of US imperialism in the name of some “Chomsky/Zionists” incredulous “concept” you guys float.

  21. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 6:44am #

    Growth is a concept that did work not anymore and as we see now it didn’t work all that well. Growth for some is just the way the World works. Those people are in for a very big surprise. There is away and growth is not the answer. Things should be made as simple as possible but not simpler. The very thought of this sends some heads ah spinning. The don’t have any choice in the matter anymore it is what it is.

  22. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 7:08am #

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0626/p09s01-coop.html

    Read this and just maybe China does have an answer.

  23. bozh said on June 27th, 2009 at 7:18am #

    if one starts evaluating what it is US is after, then, to me, only one assumption crops up: it is after the planet; all or much of it or as much as it is allowed to obtain.

    so, ergo, US is waging wars for oil also as well as for israel and for the christo-judaic soyuz.

    and, folks, about 180 wars [?all waged to defend US 'interests' ] prove US had an expansionist foreign policy for at least two centuries.

    expansionism is more fervent now than ever because of the triad of causative factors for the frenzy: more people, warmings, and diminishing planetary wealth.

    and US uses any land- israel more than others; possibly it being de facto 51st US state- it can, to ‘defend its interests'; the ‘interest’ being, being in charge of the planet.

    the socalled US interests are also known as: our economy must grow; we must maintain our sphere of influence; we have to keep an eye on what is going on; we must be a constant threat to any disobedient land; we must spread democracy, our ideals, etc. tnx bozh vancouver

  24. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 7:28am #

    And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
    Confucius

    In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.
    Confucius

    To me some of Confucius witting in the twenty first century does not apply but these two do.

  25. bozh said on June 27th, 2009 at 7:45am #

    US influences the “hug” countries in one way and is influenced in turn by the hug [friendly] countries.

    US influences [persuades] the “bug” countries in entirely different ways: threats of invasions,missiling,bombings, blockades, sanctions, etc.

    since auatralia, canada, UK, france, germany, and many other lands are strongly [but not more strongly than US] fascist, the fascist do what they usually do: wage wars, etc.

    fascism had been with us for millennia. It dehumanizes all humans. As long as it has a bn worshippers and iron-grip control on spy agencies, money, army we can expect worsening and eventualy use of nukes. tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

  26. Shabnam said on June 27th, 2009 at 7:54am #

    [So instead of posing either/or conditions and looking at the trees instead of the forest, why not admit that all the points regarding origins could be valid? Then one can “move on”…]

    The forest in the Middle East is Zionism, why do you hide it? We know that the closet Zionists includes Chomsky, Zunes, Zinn, Solomon hide Jewish lobby’s strong role in policy making decision regarding the region including North Africa. Zionists’ foot prints can be found all over the region including Sudan, especially in Sothern Sudan and Darfur. Are you denying these facts? If you do, why don’t you ask Charles Jacobs, and ‘Save Darfur’, they will tell you all about it. Please don’t try to confuse the public.
    Chomsky and others again have signed a petition to support the ‘protest’ against the ‘stolen election’ in Iran. Chomsky has also signed all CPD petitions, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, a phony organization where its duty is to push forward the interest of Israel and state department’s agenda around the world, where many Iranians as well as non-Iranians have exposed their hidden agenda of regime change where is manifested in their slogan “ No to Imperialism, No to theocracy, exactly like the Trotskyite circle in HOPI where its political views on Islamic liberation movement is identical to Israel. Their concern is fixed on ‘Islamofascism’ and has left zionofascism completly alone.
    Recently CPD has posted “Crisis in Iran” on their favorable website Zmag where one commentator has left the following comment:

    [The Campaign for Peace and Democracy sounds exactly like the Committe for the Liberation of Iran in the George Clooney film, "Syriana".
    I think a copyright lawsuit is in order here, actually, as this whole destablization caper is straight out of the screenplay.
    It's also a virtual double of the post-referendum caper in Venezuela in 2004.
    A pathetic lack of creativity is at work here.
    I am going to stop my annual contributions to Znet--you've hit the skids, guys.]

    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21733

    If the closet Zionists who are in the leadership position of MAORITY of Western political parties, mainly are Trotskyites, and organizations including GREEN PARTY to influence public opinion and give a helping hand to ‘Jewish state’, then we have a RIGHT to expose them all.

  27. Hue Longer said on June 27th, 2009 at 7:59am #

    Deadbeat said on June 27th, 2009 at 3:18am #

    “Oh really that Iraq was not under “effective” hegemony. Iraq was suffering under the sanction that lasted from the end of the first Gulf War in 1990 through the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Those sanction led to the deaths of 500,000 children and crippled Iraq’s economy. Can you guys do any better”?

    I don’t think you are understanding what is being said to you.

    I hate to keep using analogies because it should be unnecessary and gives the buttressed the gift of analogy–no matter how appropriate…Vietnam too was laid siege and many people slaughtered. I don’t think you understand hegemony—is this because Chomsky uses the word?

    death and starvation is a tool to achieve but does not = effective hegemony. Iraq remained recalcitrant despite the bombings, espionage and siege. Hell, Venezuela still rolls over compared to the belly Iraq was showing.

    You are right in ways you don’t know though! It’s never just about oil…Among other interests, Iraqi concrete production was forced to sell for pennies on the dollar. At least create a larger more fleshed out Zionist conspiracy which goes beyond the pointless. Lizard men from space is where this usually leads but I’m down for anything if you’d bother to explain it all.

    (Your begging that intellectuals preface all with a denouncing of Zionism is ridiculous…you’re more valuable to Zionists than the average skinhead)

  28. Max Shields said on June 27th, 2009 at 8:04am #

    Bozh,

    You are right. The number of wars in conflicts provoked by US hegemony is absolutely incredible!!

    It’s as if we wake up and each day is Ground Hog Day. We’re in Iraq, and so history begins there. We’re in Afghanistan so, Iraq fades and the only illegal war is now Afghanistan and than Pakistan.

    The legacy is vast and endless, there are but a few historical moments in time when the American empire has not been at war or in a major conflict (directly or through proxy). And yet the mythology of a “land of the free, home of the brave” is so powerful it erases the very notion from memory. The country that invaded Vietnam and killed 3 million Southeast Asians has not changed its stripes. Why should it when no one stops it? It roams the earth unfettered by UN Charters, Treaties and International Laws. Total impunity; as it sits on the UN Security Council and holds court on who the “bad guys are” and who the “good guys are” without some much as a sign of a moral compass to pass these good/bad judgements.

    Bozh is also right that the American people – enmasse – don’t care one iota about the death squads, the invasions (as long as they’re quick – in and out), collateral damage where mostly civilians die, with huge number of children mutilated and killed. These are wars against humanity. They are brutal and we are the “land of the brave and the free”. Such is this terrible tragedy of complicity, of duality of an Empire with a faux democracy, and a proped Republic. It is cloaked in the perfect symbolism of Obama.

    We ARE the model for Israel and Zionism, a Western invention

  29. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 8:21am #

    Yes but remember this is all done to keep America save so we can eat until we can’t walk or prescription drugs drugs in general is part of it. Reading for many kid’s not high on the list. Consume whenever we get a chance. Go to high school some not many. Consume whenever we get a chance. Yes the greatest nation on Earth. How’s Canada doing? Oh I forgot and broke.

  30. Don Hawkins said on June 27th, 2009 at 9:01am #

    China by all means follow our lead hese in the States. You just might want to rethink that but if you feel you must knock youself out. We have a saying in the States and it goes “going to hell in a hand basket”. Ever heard of that one? I’ll take it from here. Whatever you think is best.

  31. Max Shields said on June 27th, 2009 at 9:25am #

    Hue,

    It’s obvious that DB cannot see the error of his ways. I think he only begins from the point of Zionism and works out from there. All else is either encompassed within that paradigm or dismissed as irrelevant. So US hegemony, empire and imperialism and all that that has done in the world, is just a minor, irrelevant footnote to him.

    He is blinded by Chomskyitis, a rare and strange disease that for some colors all. I’m surprised DB bother to use English, since Chomsky writes in that language.

  32. Shabnam said on June 27th, 2009 at 9:42am #

    Do not listen to nonsense and boycott Israel and the US goods.

  33. dan e said on June 27th, 2009 at 4:18pm #

    Max Shields… Well first Ms Emily Spence: you crack me up, with your pleading for “civil discourse”:) It was you who responded to Deadbeat’s comment with a personal insult, poohpoohing him as a “mindreader”. Actually it was and is YOU who base your arguments on being able to read what “everybody knows”. Where is your point by point rebuttal of what Walt & Mearsheimer, James Petras, Kathy & Bill Christison, Hatem Bazian, Jeffrey Blankfort, and Stephen Lendman have documented so thoroughly?
    Why is it that people like you are so free with terms like “mindreading”, but when faced with facts that contradict your spiel you take refuge in “oh well, to each his own, there’s a little truth in everything, it’s really a matter of taste”? Why don’t you want to get down to brass tacks?
    No, getting clear about who/what caused the US to invade & occupy Iraq is NOT a matter of taste. It’s a question of where attention needs to be focussed.
    Now to Brother Max: You are too arrogant. I give you credit when credit is due; so does Deadbeat. But your conditioning seems to be blinding you to what is in front of your face. You simply refuse to consider evidence that doesn’t fit into your preconceived schema.

    I know, it’s easy to start reacting to what seems to be a personal challenge. I do it myself from time to time, and always regret it. But I’m not important, my “image” is not important, my ego is less than irrelevant. Actually you Max, are probably quite a bit more important than I am in the political process overall, with your following attending your lectures, your standing in the Green Party & so on. There is just this one area in which you aren’t making full use of your intelligence.

    Now to this counterposing of your concern re “Imperialism” vs the strawmen you call things like “fixations”, “Zionitis”, Chomskyitis: I can’t speak for DB, but my own fixation on understanding the phenomenon of US Imperialism really took hold about 1961. Capitalism in general was the focus at first. My investigations began with C Wright Mills, proceeded through the sociologists. Floyd Hunter, Weber, critical theory. Thence to Sartre, detour through Heidegger, Husserl. Back up, start over with Galbraith, Keynes, Samuelson, Shumpeter, Robt Michel’s Iron Law of Oligarchy. Adam Smith, de Toqueville in here someplace.
    Then: Vietnam. To that pt I’d been concerned about 1. the Civil Rts/Blk Liberation movement, 2. why the CEO of Western Electric was being paid something like a hundred times what I was getting — but very quickly Vietnam became Topic No 1.
    It was widely believed or at least claimed that the Vietnamese revolution was an extension of the Chinese, which led me to the Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung. Of course the Sino-Soviet Split was raging at the time, and people like Bob Scheer and John Ross were talking in terms of Lenin said this, Lenin said that. Realizing I was way behind the curve I dug into “What is to be done”, “State & Revolution”, “Imperialism the Highest Stage” etc. But in the light of Kruschev’s speech, all this stuff was cast into doubt. So back to Marx. A whole shelf by Karl & Fred, then to biographies, histories. Raya Dunayevksaya said Back to Hegel. Phenomenology of Mind, take a class from– ohdamn, mentalblock, cant think the name, brilliant guy, ran down the whole Hume/Kant/Feuerbach number off top his head to intro the course. Dunayevskaya put me onto CLR James. From there I got to British Trotskyism, Perry Anderson. There to Frankfurt School, Nikos Poulantzas, Althusser, then Wallerstein, Samir Amin, Andre Gunder Frank. Of course I’m leaving out a lot, like Brecht & Genet. Le Balcon. Les Noirs. Monk’s “Evidence”, Parker’s “Donna Lee”:)
    Little remembered fact: 1946/47 WEB Dubois used to lecture Sunday afternoons at the Audobon Ballroom in Harlem. He featured an Opening Act consisting of the Charlie Parker Quintet which at the time included Max Roach but not J. B. Gillespie or Miles. Anyway.

    I said that to say what? Maybe it’s partly that when you start talking about “Imperialism” to me, you’re talking to somebody who has done a little homework on the subject. Oh yes, I did check out Hobson too.

    Sidebar: I forgot to mention Mao’s “On Contradiction”, which is v. short, compact, simple & clear, & should be v. useful to anyone trying to understand historical processes, shifts in the balance of power etc.

    So when in 1982 I was confronted with the fact that when the State of Israel launched its naked aggression into Lebanon, the “left” was unanimously silent. So I looked around for others who might be into protesting it.
    Before that invasion, I had a general sense that “Israel” was up to no good; after all the UN itself had declared Zionism to be racism in the now revoked resolution. I’d been reading the old National Guardian since early Vietnam days; the editor then was Irwin Silber who was then a big fan of George Habash, and was pushing a book by a guy named Hilton Obenzinger called “Neither this year or the next will I ever be in Jerusalem”. But I didnt then see Palestine or the Middle East or Zionism as anything to do with me. I was into Central America, Free Mandela, trying to come to terms with Wallerstein & “World Systems Theory”, deciding what to accept or reject of Althusser, Foucault, de Beauvoir, Alexandra Kollontai. But Sabra & Shattilla upset my applecart.
    So eventually I met some Palestinians, who gave me some books to read. Israel Shahak; Rabbi Elmer Berger. Rashid Khalidi, Walid Khalidi. Louise Cainkar. Ibrahim Abu Lughod. I went to the county library and read everything in it that mentioned Zionism, Palestine, Israel, Herzl, Weissman, Ben Gurion. Curiously there was nothing in the card catalog about Jabotinsky, but by a lucky chance I ran into Lenni Brenner & got to listen to him rap for about an hour. Hehe, the car was full of Middle East Experts, (I was the dummy along for the ride:) and Lenni talked nonstop from SF State to where some lady was putting him up in the Berkeley Hills. Nobody interrupted, not once. A walking encyclopedia of all aspects.\
    So I made it a pt to read and reread the three books he had out then. In the third, “Jews in America Today” (IE 1985) he provided a long list of wealthy US Jews, excluding any he had reason to believe might not be wholehearted supporters of the Zionist project. He also engaged in some “informed speculation” about the overall level of affluence then enjoyed by US Jews in general, estimating the magnitude of the space within the overall Imperialist edifice occupied by the US Zionism supporters.
    I checked his figures with those available in “mainline” US Jewish sociological work at the time; his estimates did not seem out of line.
    Ohoh, I forgot to mention Wm Domhoff’s “Who Rules America” which for a long time was the accepted version of the sociology of US Capitalism. Domhoff identified what he called “the Jewish financial group” as one among over a dozen same, the largest/most signif being the Rockefeller and the JP Morgan financial groups, then the Mellons, Duponts, & various regional financial grps, based in Cleveland, Chicago, SF, Weyerhauser in Seattle. The “Jewish Fin. Grp” was described as being, like Cleveland and SF, of minor significance.
    Domhoff, in spite of his chosen subject matter, was no flaming radical, being more into appearing at cocktail parties in a tuxedo than hanging out with the unwashed. But for decades his was the last word on the subject among radical activists. It was only later that I began to doubt his total objectivity:) Of course if you haven’t read his stuff you need to, along with Cleveland Amory; also visit Prof Val Burris “Power Structure Research” site hosted by U of Oregon Eugene. See if you can find back issues of the original “Insurgent Sociologist” journal published in mid/late seventies. Others hijacked the name later, they’re fakes, ignore them.

    Let me post this much now, before I have an accident and erase it all:)
    To be continued:

  34. Deadbeat said on June 28th, 2009 at 3:16am #

    Dan

    I appreciate your contributions to this discussion and appreciate reading the history of your political journey. My journey is not nearly as deep as yours. I accepted the “War for Oil” explanation until I got active in the anti-war movement only to see the “Left” deliberately dismantle that movement in order to obfuscate Zionism which was finally being raised. I also adopted the Chomsky-esque perspective of “U.S. Imperialism” as a major talking point until I read articles which indicated that the oil interest was against the war in Iraq. It wasn’t just articles written by Petras but articles in very mainstream publication like The Economist which revealed the oil interest angst toward both Gulf wars.

    The insidiousness of the “U.S. Imperialism” explanation is that it transposes the awfulness of U.S. History to explain every epoch. I’ve stated this before here on DV in rebuttal to Mr. Shields. Sure the U.S. History is replete with violence but the MOTIVE of the violence in one epoch doesn’t mean they are the same MOTIVES in another epoch. It means ANALYZING the particular epoch. This means Mr. Shields and ironically Chomsky are engaging in intellectually laziness or intellectual diversion. Either way both are dishonest and does little to foster trust which is at the core of building solidarity.

    Max’s latest tactic is not new. It is to interject a strawman — the “victimization” line to claim that there is an attempt to explain all things Zionism. The real problem has been the opposite. To blame all things “war for oil” and “U.S. Imperialism” as a way to dodge the question about the growing influence of a virulent racist ideology in the United States. This behavior is extremely troubling. And it is extremely troubling when the “Left” elevates a right wing hack like Alan Greenspan as Ms. Spence does to the level of “believability” in order to maintain the “War for Oil” mantra in order to obfuscate Zionism.

    Again from the debate from 2007 where I made similar arguments. (Also if Mr. Max Shields is reading this you will notice in my 2007 rebuttal I acknowledge that the U.S. in an imperialist nation. I’m still waiting for Mr. Shields to back up his slanderous allegation.)

    >ron jacobs>However, to pretend that US foreign policy is set by Tel Aviv is nonsesne.

    Ron, to interject that same strawman in your rejoinder actually confirms the point that I made in my response to your piece. The critics of the “War For Oil” mantra has never stated that Tel Aviv is wagging the U.S. dog. What people like Petras and Brenner are doing is exposing influence groups like AIPAC and there role in helping to advance and encourage U.S. military presence in the Middle East. Among whom neo-con Paul Wolfowitz penned the PNAC policy paper now being implemented by the neo-cons whose ideology is grounded in Zionism.

    Unfortunately those who are fearful of any discussion of the role Zionism is playing within U.S. society has accused critics of such commentary as you have done in your piece and rebuttal.

    My rebuttal to your piece clearly reject your strawman yet you see fit to repeat that same strawman. Why? Because it serves to diminish the role of racism(Zionism) influence in U.S. policy. What you fail to understand is that there must be an OUTCRY against Zionism (as well as racism) in the United States similar to the OUTCRY against apartheid in South Africa in order to eliminate a major pretext for U.S. militarism in the Middle East.

    It is clear that U.S. is an imperialistic nation yet HISTORICALLY the Middle East has played a very little role in U.S. imperialism. LATIN AMERICA has been where the U.S. has put most of its imperialistic energies. However since the 1990’s and especially since 2003 the U.S. has spend a great deal of its budget engaged in an illegal invasion in the Middle East where there is no “economic benefit” to the U.S. and whereby U.S. oil companies are on record being against.

    >>ron jacobs>>Zionism may very well be a racist ideology (it certainly appears to be in practice), but then again what the hell is US imperialism? One of the most racist ideologies in history, that’s what!<<

    So why not an openly acknowledge the role Zionism is playing today in influencing U.S. foreign policy and the role it has played in miring the U.S. in the Middle East as well as U.S. culture?

    To focus on Zionism in fact weakens the pretext for U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Many people attempt to justify U.S. imperialism on economic grounds as “the need for the resources”. However your piece, like many who spread the “War For Oil” mantra results in diminishing the role Zionism plays in ADVANCING U.S. imperialism abroad as well as ADVANCING racism WITHING the U.S.

    The rhetoric has now been altered to say that the Iraqi invasion is part and parcel with “U.S. Empire” and “U.S. Imperialism” by “leftist” like yourself not to educate the intended reader but to serve as a reactionary shield for U.S. Zionism.

  35. Deadbeat said on June 28th, 2009 at 3:22am #

    Max,

    I still waiting for you to back up your assertion of my denial of U.S. Imperialism. Until you back up your remarks with EVIDENCE you have NO credibility whatsoever.

  36. Deadbeat said on June 28th, 2009 at 3:31am #

    Max the smear-monger was not a participant on DV in 2007 when I wrote these words regarding U.S. Imperialism:

    To focus on Zionism in fact weakens the pretext for U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Many people attempt to justify U.S. imperialism on economic grounds as “the need for the resources”. However your piece, like many who spread the “War For Oil” mantra results in diminishing the role Zionism plays in ADVANCING U.S. imperialism abroad as well as ADVANCING racism WITHING the U.S.

  37. Hue Longer said on June 28th, 2009 at 3:37am #

    Deadbeat,

    And I’m still waiting for you to stand corrected on this…not because of ego but because it will help with future discourse….

    “Oh really that Iraq was not under “effective” hegemony. Iraq was suffering under the sanction that lasted from the end of the first Gulf War in 1990 through the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Those sanction led to the deaths of 500,000 children and crippled Iraq’s economy. Can you guys do any better”?

  38. Max Shields said on June 28th, 2009 at 6:05am #

    DB,

    Anyone who has been on DV for a month knows your mo. It’s consistent and your denial of US hegemony (which is what an imperial empire does by definition) is done either by ignoring all efforts to bring your attention to it; or through your lashing out by coming up with your – “you must be a Chomsky-Zionist”.

    The US invasion of Iraq had multiple motives, but among them (and central) is the control of the primary resource in the region. Creating bases in a central location (Iraq) was and has been the outcome of that invasion. I would not overstate “oil” but it is a pivotal gateway to be controlled by the world’s only Empire – USA.

  39. bozh said on June 28th, 2009 at 6:19am #

    Sargon , ruler of akkad 2350-2300, was known as “the ruler of four quarters of the earth”.
    he was also divine. More, than obama, but O is also divine to some degree to perhaps 60% of US pop.
    so, it seems to me every empire sought to expand. Expansions may stop for a while and then [de] accelerate but the telos, methinks, is always there.
    expansions speed up or slow dwn due to unforeseen changes which forces an empire to employ new lingo and new tactics but the old telos remains.
    thus, the land robbers in israel with the fervent help [my deduction] from 90-99.97% of the adherents of christo-judaic cult want more land robbery.
    the christo-judaic cult is now in accelerating mode. Until at least it reaches the chinese wall or kiev.
    i’ve said before that one cannot present an elucidation of just about any aspect of life unless one also studies the role that cults play [generally deleterious] in all what goes on.
    so, let’s bring on that ole religion! tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

  40. Don Hawkins said on June 28th, 2009 at 6:59am #

    Where do the dollars drain, Like the human race down the drain and in not such slow motion. It get’s harder from here on and I don’t think we need Nostradamus anymore on this.

  41. Don Hawkins said on June 28th, 2009 at 7:25am #

    Don Blankenship, Massey CEO and seemingly a role model for a few of his employees,
    suggested he would like to “debate” me about global warming. I agreed to a discussion in which
    I could make a presentation (of order 40 minutes) of the science, he would have as much time
    (before or after), followed by discussion and interaction including audience. Mountain State
    University eagerly agreed to provide the auditorium. It seemed fool-proof, because if
    Blankenship failed to show, I could give a bit longer talk and have discussion with the audience.
    But, after I got a room in Beckley, staying an extra day, Blankenship decided he would only do a
    debate in a television studio with his favorite moderator. When Mountain State University
    learned what Blankenship wishes were, they withdrew permission to use their auditorium. I
    turned on the television news and heard: Blankenship offered to have a discussion with me, but
    “Dr. Hansen was still trying to check his schedule” – this was a television station that knew
    exactly what had actually happened. It seems that even the media is owned by coal. James Hansen

    What a brave soul this Blankenship.

  42. Deadbeat said on June 28th, 2009 at 12:17pm #

    I’m still waiting for Max Shields to back up his smear with PROOF. The problem Max is that you cannot uphold your arguments without smears and lies. That sir is DOGMA and you’ve been spouting the DOGMA since you’ve been on DV. That is YOUR MO and then you proceed to distorts and to smear your opponents.

    The truth is the “Left” uses this tactic so create confusion and discombobulation. This is why the “Left” was able to dismember the anti-war movement and other movement. They don’t need the Democratic Party to breakdown the Left. The “Left” phonies like you Max does a good job of doing that. You USE the Democrats as a foil to cover up your own bogus MO.

    I’m still waiting for you Max TO POST EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR SMEAR.

  43. Max Shields said on June 28th, 2009 at 3:29pm #

    DB you are certifiable.

  44. dan e said on June 29th, 2009 at 12:43pm #

    And here our friend Max demonstrates again his ability to read minds: “The US invasion of Iraq had multiple motives, but among them (and central) is the control of the primary resource in the region.”

    This proposition may seem like common sense to you, Max, but the evidence presented so far says otherwise. Of course we can’t know what various oil moguls were thinking, but publically, when the PNACkers were calling for a second attack vs Iraq to be followed this time by a ground invasion, all the reports I know of say that oil industry representatives were expressing grave misgivings about US involvement in any such project.
    Perhaps you have inside information proving that PNAC was initiated by the oil industry? Or about oil industry lobbying for such a plan?
    Over and over DB and myself have cited scholarly research which you or anyone else can go and check, but it seems you prefer to remain in denial.
    It’s one thing to differ with me over the role of Zionist-controlled Capital in the globalized system of capital concentration/centralization we call “Imperialism”, but the record of political activity, of who advocated what then and who is advocating what now leaves no doubt that the principle advocate for the 2003 invasion of Iraq is the same as the current principle advocate for a US attack vs Iran: the State of “israel” and its Fifth Column in the US, often loosely referred to as “The Lobby”.
    You keep trying to claim, along with Chomsky, Zunes and Co. that when people hold the activities of the Zionist Power Configuration in the US up to the light, such people are somehow “diverting attention from Imperialism”. Others have already dealt with Chomsky’s and Zunes’ nonsense on this question; I can supply citations upon request.

    But in your case Max, I have to laugh: you pose as this great opponent of “Imperialism” without having a clue to what the term refers to. You seem to think that if only “Imperialism” was eliminated, we could return to some ideal decentralized mom & pop capitalism run by highly intelligent Green Libertarian philosopher princes such as yourself.
    Modern Imperialism is a phenomenon of the Capitalist Era. The era of Commodity Production in the context of Feudalist political relations automatically gives rise to Capitalism. This happened not just in Europe and its colonies, but over and over again in Japan, where the Samurai class intervened time and again to stop the process by decapitating the Peasant class everytime their accumulation of wealth started to threaten the established order. (Gary Leupp is a good source for more on this fascinating chapter in economic history).

    Anyway if you think you can eliminate US Imperialism and its war machine without eliminating A) capitalist laws of property, the capitalist system of property relations, and B) the US Zionist Power Configuration, which is the operational State Apparatus in power now and here, I have a bridge I want to sell you:)

    Next time I want to take up Marx’s dialectic and the successions of Modes of Production, so we can discuss how best to approach the political suppression of the War Criminal imperialist class. But for now I’ll content myself with noting the Iron Law of Oligarchy, and the truism that “Democracy” is a principle, an ideal to strive for, but is an impossibility except on a very small scale. What we can do is try to influence the outcome of the contest between competing oligarchies, so that hopefully we can help install the one most favorable to our interests.
    How’s that for “ranting and raving”?

  45. Melissa said on June 29th, 2009 at 1:33pm #

    I’m interested to hear more about what these posters have to say about property, and property being the basis for law in USA.

    Where does one draw the line here? I am specifically interested in how you protect people’s homes, privacy and most importantly BODIES, without allowing for private property?

    Don’t read between the lines, here, I believe in the commons as well, but it seems that sometimes the “greater good” bleeds into areas where it ought not. (Think mandatory experimental vaccinations and evolving viruses, forcing transfusions, forcing chemotherapy)

    Sorry to drag this thread further from the article, I find your arguments rather informative . . .

    Melissa

  46. bozh said on June 29th, 2009 at 4:15pm #

    throughout history, and probably in all empires and countries, those who possesed more property [up to couple centuries it was agricultural and other lands; now it is money, work, and land] had more say how a land is to be governed and what laws wld be enacted.

    in the old days it was solely high and low nobility that voted; i.e., voted for king, war commander, etc.
    now everybody votes. This is an insignificant structural change; not affecting much if at all basic structure of governance.

    voting in US is rendered null and void because the owners of [dis]information, [mis]education are the modern high nobility but fully supported by lower nobility.
    i use US because it exemplifies more than any other land how it is done.

    in the olden days, nobles were called dukes, princes, generals, bishops, marshalls, kings, lords, counts, barons, earls; in modern times they are called billionaires or mutlimillionaires.

    arms manufacture, army, spies were owned by nobles; today the same is owned by modern nobles. So, the system of rule is not that esoteric or comlex not to espy reality.
    natch, the ruling class wld accuse me of making a simplicity out of a comlexity or simplifying complex events that no one can comprehend, etc., so that any sipmlification wld be a misevaluation.

    in fact, it is the ruling class which almost always make simplicity out of complexity and complexity out of simplicity. While substituting one for the other or switching btwn them, a man on the street becomes at total loss as to what is going on and usually blames self for not understanding or calls self stupid.
    precisely why that trick is used.
    do the above descriptions limn reality as it is? tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

  47. dan e said on June 30th, 2009 at 1:42pm #

    Melissa: In the beginning was the State. Which came first, Technology or Tricknology? Warriors with weapons or the priesthood? To my knowledge they seem to appear simultaneously in the archeological record of all the locations where urbanization arose independently.
    More about “property” etc lower down, I’ll mark it “MELISSA” so you can scroll to it.
    Anyway this series of phenomena we call “the State” is the key to history. Capitalism arose in conditions created/maintained by the Feudal State. Once capitalist property relations had been established, the focus fell onto analyzing how the capitalist system perpetuated itself. For a long time the exploitation of the laborers via extraction of Surplus Value was the main mechanism that had to be analyzed and understood.
    But we are now just entered into an era where the main means of accumulating capital is not via selling products or even products and services. The main thing now is direct extraction of the surplus via Taxation, or more precisely by using the State’s ability to levy taxes as collateral for exponentially expanding public Debt.

    Let me offer what I believe to be the truth of recent history as a Hypothesis, then see if what I come up with in support of same is enough to persuade some readers that I have a clue to what I’m talking about.
    Whatever the facts re these matters, I’m not the one who will be leading efforts to do something about them. I’m not a “general” or a “leader”, much less a politician. I do aspire to play the role of something like a Reconnaissance Patrol, to take a long look at the Situation and the Terrain & report it back. I hope what I come up with will be of use to the right people.
    Recently we’ve seen some major changes in the Economic sphere. Trillions and trillions of dollar-denominated Money Capital have been looted from the public purse and donated free gratis to private parties.

    In my view this tectonic shift in the Financial sector reflects a tectonic shift that has been taking place in the Imperial State, in the Political and the Ideological spheres.

    We’ve recently seen whole branches of Industry bite the dust. Is it too farfetched to wonder if whole branches of the heretofore hegemonic fractions of the Ruling Class may not have lost the position of social dominance they once enjoyed?

    The only way I can present my hypothesis is to grossly oversimplify it, but it IS based on a couple decades of study of works coming from all sides of the related questions. Maybe I’ll resort to appending a string of source notes.
    The first Jews allowed to settle in New Amsterdam were Sephardim refugees from Brazil whom Gov. Peter Stuyvesant didn’t like but thought it wise to tolerate because of their skill and connections useful in facilitating long distance trade. The community established by this first 23 individuals apparently fragmented within a few years, but their example attracted other Sephardim who engaged in similar pursuits.
    By the time of the American Revolution their numbers were still tiny but their social significance so substantial that Geo Washington made it a point to demand they be allowed to live and pursue happiness “each under his own vine & figtree”.
    So when successive waves of Jewish immigrants arrived, whether Sephardic or Ashkenazic from Germany, then from Poland and the Tsar’s “Pale of Settlement”, they found an established Jewish Community in place. For a long time US Jewish entrance into many of the most profitable industries was hindered, but they were not just tolerated but encouraged to invest in others.
    The situation affluent US Jews found themselves in was one which gave rise to considerable satisfaction but also to feelings & attitudes of insecurity. There was a lot of Christian anti-Jewish ideology abroad in the US so it was totally understandable that Security was a top priority.
    So the norm for affluent US Jews was to do their best not to attract a lot of attention. Modesty of dress and behavior was the rule.
    The late nineteenth century influx of workingclass Jews and their role in the early US Labor movement was seen as a problem by the wealthier element who had secured a place for themselves within US Capitalism. Especially threatening if you were a Jewish capitalist was the wide influence of Marxist, Socialist and Anarchist ideas among workingclass Jews as well as many intellectuals.
    Books have been written about the process by which these workingclass Jewish immigrants eventually became assimilated to the US small property and professional classes, and more recently to the Zionist Consensus.

    MELISSA: first off, your right to control your own body is a human right guaranteed by international law. it is not a “property” issue.
    The right to “own your own home” is limited even under US law; the misuse of Eminent Domain has recently become epidemic. But when we speak of “private property” what is usually meant is Private Property in the Means of Production: land, factories, deposits of valuable resources, fisheries etc etc. When Marxists etc talk about “abolishing Private Property” they/we aren’t talking about siezing the modest dwellings of workingclass people or even of journalists and college professors.
    But to be clear, your “right and title” to your domicile is ultimately guaranteed by the State which controls the jurisdiction where you live.
    A “Real Estate 101″ truism: Land Titles Rest On Right Of Conquest.
    Okay, I’m mentally exhausted, will try to finish this rap later.

  48. Melissa said on June 30th, 2009 at 2:38pm #

    Still chewing . . . thank you for putting it out there.

    I am not afraid of “commies” coming for my humble shack. I am afraid that we keep swinging (ideologically) back and forth between extreme isms that BOTH suppose that I, as an individual, can’t be trusted to balance self-interest with common good.

    International law or not, my body, my children’s bodies are property of State (surrogate for pharma and commerce). That is how it plays out.

    Property seems to be defined in too many ways, I need some sort of definitive set of words here. Mean of production is getting closer, perhaps, to a distinction that I need to form what feels like might be an understanding -even if ephemeral.

    Yes, the whole basis for the marriage of property and law has been conquest. BUT, my home in the next couple of years WILL be Eminent Domained, and it will, in fact, be for the greater good (transit rail) even though I will be screwed. So, how’s that for wishy-washy ambivalence? It has its place . . .

    Thank you,
    Melissa

  49. Danny Ray said on June 30th, 2009 at 3:07pm #

    Melissa , This will make the people in here scream, But this is what our country needs to turn to, we have strayed too far, we have abrogated our individual rights for the presumed welfair of people who will do nothing for theirselves.

    #1
    Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    #2
    Right to keep and bear arms

    A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    #3
    Conditions for quarters of soldiers

    No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    #4
    Right of search and seizure regulated

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    #5
    Provisons concerning prosecution

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

    #6
    Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

    #7
    Right to a trial by jury

    In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    #8
    Excessive bail, cruel punishment

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    #9
    Rule of construction of Constitution

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    #10
    Rights of the States under Constitution

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  50. Melissa said on June 30th, 2009 at 3:23pm #

    Danny Ray,

    I am trying to figure out WHY it makes people scream. I get that the rich, propertied MEN set this all up, and it sucked to be anyone else, but I don’t get why we’d throw the baby out with the bathwater when we’re in such peril.

    The above Bill of Rights is not a buffet.

    What is for the common good is also very subjective and cannot be universal, except with regards to water, air, space to make survival, just to name a few. Because it (what’s in best interest for all) is so subjective, and only requires majority, however educated, it will always rest on force and subjugation . . . trouble is my emotional attachment to some appealing points, my emotional aversion to others. Hence feeling wishy-washy. Same can be said of most of us, I contend.

  51. Danny Ray said on June 30th, 2009 at 4:53pm #

    Yes, rich white men wrote it, but that was then and this is Now, it applies to everyone now. it has served us well for 200 years and only in the last few years has it become a buffet, My take on the big ten is they are a house of cards lose one and you lose them all. And we cannot afford to lose them. They work well for us and imagine what a paradise the world would be if we had this universally applied to the whole world. We must go back to our beginnings (bringing with us universal suffrage of course) where all people are equal and responsible to only ourselves.