Friday, June 16, 2006

Euro Vs US$:
Rogue States and Failed Nations

This brilliant article by Shane Elson of Morwell, puts current events into a context to better understand what is really going on in the world.
I found this in the excellent Irregular Gippsland Peace Newsletter, edited by Peter Gardner - subscription details at the end.

Times are tough for "dictators", "rogue states" and "failing nations".
Indeed in the last few years we've seen one or two lose their jobs and be relegated to the status of "jail bird".

It seems like it is not a good thing to be the head of a country that happens to sit on top of huge oil or gas reserves. Saddam was the first to go.

We find Iran is threatening everyone with "nuclear" weapons and that Venezuela is being led by "communists" and that Bolivia is being ruled by "Soviet sympathisers", while little East Timor is about due for a "regime change".

So what is it that links all these comparatively small and in many ways insignificant countries together?

Other than their shared history of imperial colonialism and the pillaging of their wealth by foreigners ably abetted by foreign trained, domestic elites, it seems these countries share a certain attraction to the Euro and the socialist goals of equality and equity.

The roll back began in mid 2000 when Saddam announced he wanted payments for the "oil for food" program in Euros not US dollars.

William Clark from the Global Research Centre in California,in a 2003 essay, wrote that the reason the US was going to war with Iraq was the "administration's goal of preventing further [OPEC] momentum towards the Euro as an oil transaction currency standard."

Clare Foss, in her online Journal, noted that the Iraqi switch to the Euro had "potentially perilous consequences for the US. If OPEC were to decide to accept Euros only for its oil, then American economic dominance would be over."

Saddam was not hated by the US administration for what he was doing to his own people. God knows,they had ignored that for years. What really got up their noses was that he was threatening to change the way his nation traded and seemed intent on hitching his caboose to the European currency.

Indeed one of the first things the new US supported administration in Iraq did was enshrine the US dollar as the trading currency for all Iraqi foreign exchange transactions.

Following hot on the heels of the great American Imperial push to secure a revenue stream from the Iraqi's, Iran took the first steps, in 2004, to set up its own oil trading exchange (a bourse) based on the Euro.

Dr. EliasAkleh, writing for the Arabic Media Internet Network, observed that, "Iran does not pose a threat to the United State because of its nuclear projects, its WMD, or its support to "terrorists organizations" as the American administration is claiming, but in its attempt to re-shape the global economical (sic) system by converting it from a petrodollar to a petroeurosystem. Such conversion is looked upon as a flagrant declaration of economical (sic) war against the US that would flatten the revenues of the American corporations and eventually might cause an economic collapse."

The strident rhetoric we have been hearing from the top US brass over the last 12 to 18 months about Iran's threat has not, therefore, been about any alleged "threats" posed by non existent WMD's or that nation's plans to develop a domestic nuclear power industry.

Rather it has been Iran's audacity in proceeding with its plans to establish a new trading regime that would, effectively, lock the US out and thus prevent US multinationals from skimming the cream off Iran's international oil trade.

Writing in Petroleum World magazine, Gwynne Dyer notes ominously, "The US government knows, and is deeply alarmed by the danger that the dollar may be losing its status as the world's only reserve currency. Given the huge deficits that plague the US economy, the US dollar's value would collapse if other countries began to see it as just another currency, so the Euro must be prevented from emerging as an alternative reserve currency. In practice,that means the Iranian experiment with a Euro-denominated oil bourse must be stopped - and the only way to do that is to attack Iran."

While it is obvious that Iraq and Iran got into strife for not towing the US line, what about the rest of the region?

Well, in a little reported retaliation for the US Senate's blocking of a Dubai based company's bid to buy into US ports, the United Arab Emirates told the US to go jump and that they would switch 10% of their $US23 billion reserves to Euros, thus putting a huge dent in the US money markets.

While all this is unfolding, south of the border, down Mexico way, some South American governments are also thinking of jumping the good ship US dollar.

Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia have both made it clear that they want the OPEC nations to stop trading in dollars and convert to the Euro.

They are also intent on reshaping their nation's internal economies by renationalising foreign owned resource companies and not paying any compensation.

Speaking at the Euro Summit in May, Moralez told reporters that, "For more than 500 years our natural resources have been pillaged and our primary goods exported. This has to be ended now."

And we wonder why the US is calling him and Chavez "communists" and a "danger" to the world. "Whose world?" is a question well worth asking.

Finally, we come to East Timor.
As the poorest nation on earth with an average income of just over $1 a day, what threat could they pose and to whom?

Quite simply, they have looked beyond Australia and the US because neither our country nor the US will assist them or support their development agenda. Rather, our governments are intent on bleeding them dry.

The East Timorese government and its top leaders, all well known to us, made an interesting decision when they penned their independence charter back in 1998 and established the National Council of Timorese Resistance. This political arm of the resistance movement contained all the current players in the so called "crisis" they and their people are now experiencing.

What I have never heard reported was their stated aim to convert to the Euro as their trading currency in the sure knowledge that it would make investment in their nation more attractive to their Asian neighbours.

What is also little reported here in Australia is Mari Alkatiri's international tour in September last year to drum up Asian investment interest. Little was reported on the visits he made to 20 or more nations who have shown an interest in investing in East Timor's on and off shore oil and gas fields.

What is even worse in the eyes of the multinationals who are screwing Howard, Downer, Beasley and Rudd is the East Timorese intention to use the wealth of their resources to "alleviate poverty, create jobs and improve education" rather than reinvest it in their money making but wealth extracting schemes.

Regime change for our impoverished northern neighbour will probably come but at the cost of more innocent lives.

Like Iraq, Iran,Venezuela and Bolivia, East Timor will only become a failed state if we stand idly by and watch those who would rather it fail succeed in their quest.

Do we have the same courage the East Timorese have to dream of a better, more just and equitable society, or do we only care about those things that supposedly keep us safe from "dictators", "rogue states" and "failed nations"? The first is a possibility; the second only perpetuates the lies.

From: Irregular Gippsland Peace Newsletter
No.24 July 2006
Price:$10 (12 issues) /Donation
Copyright:None. Feel free to send / copy / proliferate all or in part / pinup on a notice board etc.
Peter Gardner (ed) c/-PO Swifts Creek 3896 to receive by email.

For email summary go to

Thursday, June 08, 2006

In Loving Memory of My Mother
October 16, 1924 - June 5, 2006

An ordinary, decent woman who showed
extraordinary love and devotion to her family and friends.

Loved by all, the memories of my Mum
will live forever in the hearts of those who knew her.

Spared further suffering, she now rests in peace.


Lois McPhie was born Norma Lois Haeberle, on
October 16, 1924 at "Glenhope", Estella Street Glen Iris,
in the eastern Melbourne district of Camberwell,
where she lived virtually all her life.

Her father was Christian Charles Haeberle, then 36 years old, wood merchant, labourer and gardener, born at Bet Bet in country Victoria.
Her mother was Charlotte Francis Haeberle (nee Wilkins), then 35 years old, born at Bowenvale in country Victoria.
Her sister was Francis Joyce, aged 8 when Mum was born.
Her family home was at 16 Fuller Avenue, Glen Iris.
The young Norma Lois Haeberle,
who would later prefer to be known as Lois,
attended Glen Iris Elementary School No.1148 all her school life.
(In the photo, Lois is standing on the left, 3 rows back.)

Generally, her school reports show an average or above-average student, who was "...promoted each year...always very reliable,
neat and honest in every way...
anxious to take her part in all school activities
both in the school and playground".

Lois Haeberle was awarded a 'Pupil's Cookery Certificate' from the Victorian Education Department on December 31, 1938, after making "satisfactory progress" at the Armadale Cookery Centre for 12 months. Anyone who would later enjoy her wonderful cooking would understand that!

In a reference, dated December 2, 1938, (her final school year),
the Head teacher, Mr. J.B.J. de Hugard, wrote:
"I would recommend her to any employer and feel sure she will do her best."

Lois graduated with her Grade 8 Merit Certificate in 1938, at the age of 14.

She worked some years as a machinist at the Melbourne Pelaco company.
There she made not only quality shirts, but also quality friends, some of whom would later be affectionately known by us as "Auntie" and "Uncle".


On September 21, 1946 at the age of 21, Lois married Colin McPhie,
at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Gardner.
Colin, 22 at the time, was born in Surrey Hills, to parents Norman McPhie and Pearl Barlow, but raised in Yarram, and later in Melbourne by relatives living at 158 Glen Iris Road, Glen Iris. .
Lois and Colin, who met at school, were always a devoted and inseparable couple for almost 60 years, living true to their solemn vows of love
"until death do us part".

(PHOTO: Mum with her father in the front garden of their family home at 16 Fuller Avenue.)


Together, Lois & Colin built their new family home
in what was then the orchards and green rolling hills of Burwood,
at 3 Morell Street, (later the suburb was renamed Glen Iris),
and there they raised their two sons -
Bruce born in 1951, and Russell born in 1955.

My brother Russell and I were blessed with parents who loved and supported us every step of the way through life. Through all the very good times and the bad, the ups and downs of life, Mum and Dad were always there with a helping hand or a comforting word.

When we were young, our parents were not wealthy, but they saved wisely and made sacrifices to give us a good education, and we enjoyed many family holidays together.

In the photo above, we are at Mordialloc Beach, near Melbourne, and below we are at Mildura. My favourite family holidays were on the farm at Yarram.

Lois was always the true loving Mother -
encouraging, sharing, seeking the best for and from her children,
and forgiving when necessary.
(PHOTO: The proud Mum!... I may have earned the Queen's Scout Award, but Mum & Dad rightly deserved much of the credit. Photo taken in November, 1968.)
(PHOTO: Russell, Lois, Colin & Bruce - a happy family celebrate Dad's 60th birthday
at 3 Morell Street, Burwood, in 1983.)

Mum devoted so much of her life to her family,
but she was also a keen supporter of Carlton at the footy,
and was especially keen on her magnificent garden.

Together with Colin, Mum enjoyed many coach tours around much of Australia, and they visited Singapore, Fiji and New Zealand.
More than just wonderful holidays, these became opportunities to gather even more close, long-term friends.

For Mum, many of her proudest days were devoted to her grandchildren
born to Russell and Janet - Stuart, Ryan and Ashlea -
whom she loved so much.
Now their loving Nanna is gone, but never forgotten.

(PHOTO: Mum & Dad with the youngest of their 3 grandchildren, in 1989.)

For some 20 years or more,
Mum was a popular and skilled player
at the Box Hill 10-Pin Bowling Centre.
As a member of the Jokers team, in the Morning Star league, Mum won a mantle-piece-full collection of trophies for both team and individual awards, including "Bowler of the Week" at least twice.

Dad would always accompany Mum to the bowling each week, although not bowl himself, and together they made many good friends there as well.
For the most part, Mum enjoyed an active, vibrant life.
Yes, she would sometimes talk of her aches and pains, and her "nerves", but mostly she got on with life.
Looking back now, Mum had to deal with a lot of sadness in her life,
(as well as the happiness), and she kept a lot of that to herself.
Her father (1888 - 1956) died when Mum was still quite young.
Her only sister's only child, Peter Stockdale, died tragically
in a car accident before he reached 21.
Her mother (1889 - 1971) died after suffering dementia for sometime.
This greatly troubled mother, who feared she would suffer
the same fate, and sadly she did.
Her much loved only sister Joyce died in 1986 after suffering angina.
Many of Mum's good friends also died during her lifetime.
In one of her letters, she mentioned 11 friends had recently died.
(PHOTO: My Grandma Haeberle with me on the left, brother Russell in the centre,
and cousin Peter on the right.
Grandma died in 1971, at age 82. Peter died before his 21st birthday.
The photo was taken at our family home at 3 Morell Street, Burwood.)
Unfortunately, Mum decided to give up her
10-pin bowling in the year 2000,
to have an operation on her wrist.
Not long after that, her health began to noticeably deteriorate,
and in 2003 she was officially diagnosed with
the feared Alzheimer's Disease.

Sadly, but eloquently, in one of the last of her many letters and
cards sent to me working in Viet Nam, Mum wrote:
"I never thought it would end like this!"

For Mum, it always seemed that her greatest joy in life
came from her caring for family and friends.
This was the ultimate measure of her happiness and quality of life.
Tragically, that fine quality of life was slowly, but inexorably, stolen from her
by the dreadful and debilitating Alzheimer's Disease,
and then finally other health complications.

The last 3 years of Mum's life were a 'living hell' for her and her family, as she
lost her memory, vitality and dignity.
The last part of her life was spent in different nursing care homes after it became impossible for Dad to care for her at home.
In a way, my grieving for the loss of my Mum began back then.


On the night of Sunday June 4, Dad, Russell and I visited Mum at her bedside in the Surrey Hills Private Nursing Home, at 16 Florence Street.
By now, Mum could not talk, or even move her head.
Her blank, staring eyes appeared to be lifeless, looking out into space.
We held her cold hands, but by now she could hardly even squeeze them.
There was no obvious sign that she even recognized we were there.
But later, perhaps those tears that formed in her blank, staring eyes spoke louder than words ever could.

Perhaps now, reunited with her immediate family all together with her again for the first time in some months, for Mum this was the right time to let go. Had she been awaiting my return from Viet Nam?

At 2:30 on the morning of Monday June 5, 2006,
I got the phone call I was actually expecting, but also dreading -
Mum had finally passed away
to that long-awaited and much-deserved peace.

I was just so thankful that I was able to fly urgently from Viet Nam back to Melbourne just in time to see Mum that very last time.
There was some satisfaction to be with her at the end of her life,
as at the beginning of mine.
The hand of Fate had been kind.


On Wednesday June 7, 2006 at 12:15pm,
about 45 close family and friends gathered at Wilson Chapel,
Springvale Crematorium, to say farewell to Mum,
who was cremated at her request.
Music played included Vera Lynne's "We'll Meet Again",
and the Carlton footy song. We think Mum would have liked that!

The moving service was well conducted by Mr. Michael Kesik
from Syd Peek & Daughter funeral services.
Coincidentally, it was held in the same Wilson Chapel
where the funeral service for Mum's only sister,
our Auntie Joyce, was held on September 4, 1986.

Some of the colourful flowers arranged on Mum's coffin
were from her own garden.
During the time of reflection, all those in attendance placed a strongly-scented lavender flower from her garden onto her coffin as they filed past.

Even brilliant sunshine came out that day to brighten up
the gloomy Melbourne winter, exactly as I had requested.
The hand of Fate had been kind again.
Mum would have been very happy!
My Mum was not a famous person, or a celebrity
(except to her family and friends, perhaps).
She was not much interested in high politics,
or achieving great things in the world.
Simply, she was a great Mum and friend
who would do anything to help others.
What she offered the world was her love.
How can we begin to adequately measure the great value of that?
The basic motivation of life (and politics) is,
or should be, love -
Love of humanity. Love for the planet.
Perhaps, at the most basic level, the most special love of all
is the love between mother and child.
Thank you, Mum.

(PHOTO: Mum & Dad at 3 Morell Street, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, September 21, 1996. This year, 2006, would have been their 60th wedding anniversary. Mum passed away just 3 months before reaching that milestone in married life.)


Although gone in body, the memory of Mum's spirit will live on forever in the hearts of all who were lucky to know her in her long 81-year life.

Mum, thankyou for your life, and your
unqualified love.

We will miss you very much.

Rest in Peace - Lois McPhie


With love from Bruce
35th Anniversary of the
Pentagon Papers

Thirty-five years ago, on June 13th, 1971, the New York Times began printing portions of a 7,000-page top-secret document [official US government studies of the war in Viet Nam] which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers.

In this article, Daniel Ellsberg, the source of the Papers to the Times, talks about the continuing relevance of the Papers today as our leaders wage war in Iraq and make plans for war in Iran.

This unjustified war [in Iraq] is waiting for its whistle-blower, says the leaker of Vietnam's secret history.

By Daniel Ellsberg
Los Angeles Times
June 11, 2006
(Link to original article)

A JOINT resolution referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) calls for the withdrawal of all American military forces from Iraq by Dec. 31.

Boxer's "redeployment" bill cites in its preamble a January poll finding that 64% of Iraqis believe that crime and violent attacks will decrease if the U.S. leaves Iraq within six months, 67% believe that their day-to-day security will increase if the U.S. withdraws and 73% believe that factions in parliament will cooperate more if the U.S. withdraws.

If that's true, then what are we doing there?

If Iraqis don't believe that we're making things better or safer, what does that say about the legitimacy of prolonged occupation, much less permanent American bases in Iraq (foreseen by 80% of Iraqis polled)?

What does it mean for continued American armored patrols such as the one last November in Haditha, which, we now learn, led to the deaths of a Marine and 24 unarmed civilians?

It was questions very much like these that were nagging at my conscience many years ago at the height of the Vietnam War, and that led, eventually, to the publication of the first of the Pentagon Papers on June 13, 1971, 35 years ago this week.

That process had begun nearly two years earlier, in the fall of 1969, when my friend and former colleague at the Rand Corp., Tony Russo, and I first started copying the 7,000 pages of top-secret documents from my office safe at Rand to give to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

That period had several similarities to this one.

For one thing, Republican Sen. Charles Goodell of New York had just introduced a resolution calling for the unilateral withdrawal of all U.S. armed forces from Indochina by the end of 1970.

Unlike the current Boxer resolution, his had budgetary "teeth," calling for all congressional funding of U.S. combat operations to cease by his deadline.

Two other similarities between then and now: First, though it was known to only a handful of Americans, President Nixon was making secret plans that September to expand, rather than exit from, the ongoing war in Southeast Asia — including a major air offensive against North Vietnam, possibly using nuclear weapons.

Today, the Bush administration's threats to wage war against Iran are explicit, with officials reiterating regularly that the nuclear "option" is "on the table."

Second, also in September, charges had been brought quietly against Lt. William Calley for the murder 18 months earlier of "109 Oriental human beings" in the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai 4.

This went almost unnoticed until mid-November of that year, when Seymour Hersh's investigative story burst on the public, followed shortly by the first sight for Americans of color photographs of the massacre.

The pictures were not that different from those in the cover stories of Time and Newsweek from Haditha: women, children, old men and babies, all shot at short range.

What was it that prompted me in the fall of 1969 to begin copying 7,000 pages of highly classified documents — an act that I fully expected would send me to prison for life? (My later charges, indeed, totaled a potential 115 years in prison.)

The precipitating event was not Calley's murder trial but a different one.

On Sept. 30, I read in the Los Angeles Times that charges brought by Creighton Abrams, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Vietnam, against several Special Forces officers accused of murdering a suspected double agent in their custody had been dismissed by the secretary of the Army.

The article, by Washington reporters Ted Sell and Robert Donovan, made clear that the reasons alleged by Secretary Stanley Resor for this dismissal were false (and that the order to dismiss the charges had most likely come directly from the White House).

As I read on, it became increasingly clear that the whole chain of command, civilian and military, was participating in a coverup.

As I finished the article, it hit me: This is the system I have been part of, giving my unquestioning loyalty to for 15 years, as a Marine, a Pentagon official and a State Department officer in Vietnam.

It's a system that lies reflexively, at every level from sergeant to commander in chief, about murder.

And I had, sitting in my safe at Rand, 7,000 pages of documentary evidence to prove it.

The papers in my safe, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers, constituted a complete set of a 47-volume, top-secret Defense Department history of American involvement in Vietnam titled, "U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68."

I had exclusive access to the papers for research purposes and had been reading them all summer; they made it very clear that I, like the rest of the American public, had been misled about the origins and purposes of the war I had participated in — just as are the 85% of the troops in Iraq today who still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 and that he was allied with Al Qaeda.

The papers documented in stunning detail a pattern of lies and deceptions by four presidents and their administrations over 23 years to conceal their war plans — along with internal estimates of the high costs and risks of these plans (and their low probabilities of success), never meant to reach the public and provoke debate.

They showed very clearly how we had become engaged in a reckless war of choice in someone else's country — a country that had not attacked us — for our own domestic and external purposes.

It seemed to me that to be doing that against the intense wishes of most of the inhabitants of that country was not just bad policy but morally wrong.

Moreover, it became clear to me that the justifications that had been given for our involvement were false. Vietnam was not a just war, and never had been. And if the war itself was unjust, then all the victims of our firepower were being killed without justification. That's murder.

As I read the story in The Times that morning about the coverup of the Special Forces murder and compared it with what I'd been reading in the secret history, I came to see it as a microcosm of what had been happening since the war began.

And I thought to myself: I don't want to be part of this lying machine anymore. I am not going to conceal the truth any longer.

I called Russo, who had been fired from Rand a year earlier, in part for inconvenient field reporting about torture of prisoners by our Vietnamese allies. I asked him if he had access to a copying machine. He did. We began on Oct. 1.

Night after night, I brought out batches of papers from my safe, and we copied them. I gave them first to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hoping that they would make the documents public. But they did not.

Eventually, I gave them to the New York Times, which began publishing them Sunday, June 13, 1971.

Two days later, the New York Times was ordered by a federal judge, at the request of the White House, to stop publishing — the first injunctive prior restraint of the press in U.S. history.

I then gave copies to the Washington Post and, when it also was enjoined, to 17 other newspapers, while I was being sought by the FBI.

On June 28, I turned myself in and was arrested and charged with violations of the Espionage Act and theft.

Today, there must be, at the very least, hundreds of civilian and military officials in the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, National Security Agency and White House who have in their safes and computers comparable documentation of intense internal debates — so far carefully concealed from Congress and the public — about prospective or actual war crimes, reckless policies and domestic crimes: the Pentagon Papers of Iraq, Iran or the ongoing war on U.S. liberties.

Some of those officials, I hope, will choose to accept the personal risks of revealing the truth — earlier than I did — before more lives are lost or a new war is launched.

Haditha holds a mirror up not just to American troops in the field, but to our whole society. Not just to the liars in government but to those who believe them too easily. And to all of us in the public, in the administration, in Congress and the media who dissent so far ineffectively or who stand by as murder is being done and do nothing to stop it or expose it.

It is past time for Americans to summon the civil courage to face what is being done in their name and to refuse to be accomplices.

We must force Congress and this president, or their successors if necessary, to act upon the moral proposition that the U.S. must stop killing men, women and children in Iraq, and must not begin to do so in Iran.

Neither the lives we have lost, nor the lives we have taken, give the U.S. any right to determine by fire and airpower who shall govern or who shall die in countries we have wrongly attacked.



Zarqawi's end is not a famous victory

By Robert Fisk

So, it's another "mission accomplished". The man immortalised by the Americans as the most dangerous terrorist since the last most dangerous terrorist, is killed - by the Americans. A Jordanian corner-boy who could not even lock and load a machine gun is blown up by the US Air Force - and Messrs Bush and Blair see fit to boast of his demise. To this have our leaders descended. And how short are our memories.

Dissecting the Zargawi Spectacle

By Danny Schechter

What a coup! What a show! And what an event for Iraqi “leaders” to show-off with terms like he has been “eliminated.” Within hours, the spinmeisters were claiming a “major victory” and pronouncing another “turning point.”


By Mike Whitney

George Bush is right; Iraq is “the central battlefield in the global war on terror”. Regrettably, it is the United States that is the main sponsor and supporter of that terror in the form of American-trained death squads.

Death squad activity in Iraq now accounts for more than 1,000 casualties per month. The Baghdad morgue has become a conveyor-belt for American-generated carnage.
Anyone who still accepts the Bush administration's official explanation about 9-11, is in deep and dangerous denial.

If you still accept the White House's official explanation, do yourself a favor and view this video!
May Peace Prevail on Earth!

International Day of Peace, September 21st.

The 191 Member States of the United Nations all approved UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/55/282 fixing the date for the International Day of Peace as 21 September and declaring:

“that the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day...”

For the past 24 years, the International Day of Peace has been a catalyst for individuals, nations and civil society to unite in our shared yearning for a world at peace.

Thousands of activities have taken place, coordinated by governments, individuals and a network of more than 1,000 civil society organizations in at least 106 nations!

And yet the Day has not been well reported or recognized – until this year.

People around the world are slowly awakening to the International Day of Peace and the opportunity it offers for action in concert on all levels, manifesting the oneness of humanity.

This Day belongs to all citizens of the planet!

So let the musicians play, let the activists demonstrate, let the religious pray, let the students learn – and let all the people celebrate!

Your mission (should you choose to accept it!) is to provide the spiritual support for all of these activities to help create the shift in consciousness we know must come.

* Let your community know about this Day.
* Lead a Minute of Silence for World Peace at 12 noon in your home, your town, your school, your office or around a Peace Pole.
* Offer your prayers and meditation for world peace.

Together, let us raise the vibration of the entire planet on the International Day of Peace by joining in the powerful, universal prayer, "May Peace Prevail on Earth!"

We all know the power of our shared intention: let us focus our heart energy together on September 21st, across the planet, to create a new culture of peace for all our human family.

Resources for International Day of Peace activities
worldwide can be found at:

Thank you for the love and light you shine!
May Peace Prevail on Earth!

From Deborah Moldow
The World Peace Prayer Society
The International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the United Nations
The United Religions Initiative Global Council
Legacies of Malcolm X & Ho Chi Minh live on today

By Larry Hales

May 19 was the birthday of two beloved internationalists and revolutionaries....

Both Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh saw the importance of the global class struggle, in whatever terms they placed it. As the fight against oppression becomes more radicalized, because of the increasing reactionary tendencies of the capitalist class and its governments, it is even more important that the movement remember the revolutionary leaders of the past and make the commemorations relevant to today.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tomgram: Greg Grandin on the Mother of All Scandals

a project of the Nation Institute
To send this to a friend, or to read more dispatches, go to

....the twentieth anniversary of the Reagan administration's
Iran-Contra Affair lies just ahead this November. As Greg Grandin reminds us, Irangate (as it came to be known in the wake of Nixon's Watergate fiasco) was a kind of coming attractions, right down to its cast of characters, for our own era of right-wing domination, carnage, and now -- finally -- full-blown corruption scandals.

From Vice President Cheney to the new Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, so many of the Iran-Contra era scoundrels returned to the political stage these last years for a grim second bow and, perhaps not so strangely, similar results -- though this time not on the relatively parochial stage of Central America, but in the oil heartlands of our planet.

The question Grandin's piece raises is this: Is a look into the past also a look into the future?

As the Iran-Contra moment seeded our own second age of Bush, what will this Bush moment bequeath us? What cast of characters, another decade or two down the line will emerge to take that grim second bow?

For those who care for some deeper background on that 1980s moment and our own, don't miss Grandin's superb new book,
Empire's Workshop, a history of the American imperial presence in Latin America; but even more compellingly, a history of how, in relation to that region, the New Right first was stirred into a combustible political brew.

The Swift Boating of America

By Greg Grandin

An illegal war, torture rooms, warrantless wiretapping, manipulated intelligence, secret prisons, disinformation planted in the press, graft, and billions of reconstruction dollars gone missing: just when it seemed that the Bush administration had reached its corruption quota comes a new

This one is a bribery case involving defense contractors, Republican congressmen, prostitutes, secret Hawaiian getaways, Scottish castles, and -- wait for it -- the Watergate Hotel.

At its center is the just ex-Executive Director of the CIA, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, whose sole qualification for being appointed to that post by just ex-Director Porter Goss seems to have been his ability, while head of the Agency's Frankfurt post, to hand out bottled-water contracts to friends and show junketing politicians a good time.

Don't fret though if you are having trouble separating this particular crime from other Republican offenses. There's a good reason -- they're all one scandal, part of the same wave of militarism, fraud, and ideology that has swamped American politics of late. While this wave of scandal seems now to be heading for tsunami proportions, its first swells date back decades. Just take a look at Dusty's

After his zealotry got him booted from Sears' security and the San Diego police department, Foggo drew on his collegiate Young Republican connections to land a job in the early 1980s with the CIA. His first mission was in Honduras, then the staging ground for Ronald Reagan's secret paramilitary war against Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government.

In addition to his official duties, Foggo helped his old college buddy Brent Wilkes -- the defense contractor now implicated in the ongoing bribery case involving former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham -- bring conservative cadres down to Central America. There, he introduced them to anti-Sandinista rebels, better known as Contras. It seems that, even then, a lot more than anti-Communist solidarity was on the agenda. Three of Wilkes' former friends now claim that these trips included partying with prostitutes. .....

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