Friday, September 26, 2008

Rabbi Weiss: "We know he is not an enemy to the Jews, he has a Jewish community in his country that he honors, defends and supports."

The Destabilization of Bolivia and the "Kosovo Option"

By Michel Chossudovsky

The death squads armed with automatic weapons responsible for killing supporters of Evo Morales in El Porvenir are supported covertly by the US. According to one report, "USAID has an "Office of Transition Initiatives" operating in Bolivia, funneling millions of dollars of training and support to right-wing opposition regional governments and movements."


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Now Is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine

By Naomi Klein

The best summary of how the right plans to use the economic crisis to push through their policy wish list comes from Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. On Sunday.


Cold War Revisionism: Once Again the Major Historical Task

By Dan Spielberg

As the regime gears up to wage a new Cold War against Russia over its alleged "aggression" against the "democratic" (read: pro-U.S.) state of Georgia, it is time to remind ourselves once again that the first Cold War was a scam of epic proportions perpetrated by both the Democrats and the Republicans, for the sole purpose of providing an excuse for the worldwide expansion of Anglo-American imperialism and mercantilism.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain and the POW Cover-up

The "war hero" candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam

By Sydney H. Schanberg

Very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain's role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.


Friday, September 19, 2008

"We Blew Her to Pieces"

By Dahr Jamail

Aside from the Iraqi and Afghan people, nobody knows what the U.S. military is doing there better than the soldiers themselves.

A new book gives readers vivid and detailed accounts of the devastation the U.S. occupation has brought to Iraq and Afghanistan, in the soldiers' own words.

"Winter Soldier Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation," published by Haymarket Books Tuesday, is a gut-wrenching, historic chronicle of what the U.S. military has done to other countries, as well as its own soldiers.

Authored by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and journalist Aaron Glantz, the book is a reader for hearings that took place in Silver Spring, Maryland between Mar. 13-16, 2008 at the National Labour College.


The Wall Street Crisis and the Failure of American Capitalism

By Barry Grey

The end of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the largest Wall Street investment banks, one week after the government takeover of the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, marks a new stage in the convulsive crisis of American capitalism....
The fall of icons of American capitalism such as 158-year-old Lehman Brothers and 94-year-old Merrill Lynch can only lead to the further discrediting of the “free market” ideology of the US ruling elite, as well as its political and economic system.

The spectacle of giants of capitalism drowning in debt piled up over decades of reckless speculation must inevitably discredit the social class—the American capitalist class—which is responsible for the debacle....

The presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, made perfunctory statements that were remarkable only for their brevity and vacuity.

What is widely acknowledged, even in ruling class circles, as the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression is unfolding in the midst of a presidential election. But it barely rates a mention by either the Republican or Democratic candidate.

Both parties and their candidates tip toe around a financial scandal of world historic proportions because they are equally implicated. They are both bound hand and foot to Wall Street and single-mindedly dedicated to the defense of American capitalism.

McCain issued a statement demanding “reform” in Washington and on Wall Street and pledging to bring “accountability” to Wall Street. This from a multi-millionaire whose campaign is being run by a bevy of lobbyists for Wall Street and other sections of big business.

His Democratic counterpart, Barack Obama, issued a predictably mealy-mouthed statement complaining that “too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store.”

While attempting to pin the blame for the crisis entirely on the Bush administration—ignoring the “free market,” deregulatory policies of Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton—he offered a mutual amnesty between himself and McCain, saying, “I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems...”

These events are signposts in the historic failure of American and world capitalism. For the working class, they mean a rapid growth of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and social misery. The government, Wall Street and both political parties will seek to place the burden for the consequences of their own greed and incompetence squarely on the backs of working people....

Many of those who precipitated this economic disaster, on the other hand, will profit handsomely from the debris they have left behind.

Hedge funds and other short-sellers, who bet on the collapse of corporations, are even now speculating furiously on the demise of the remaining Wall Street firms, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, as well as big commercial banks such as Bank of America.

William Gross of the nation’s largest bond fund, Pimco, took in $1.7 billion last week by betting on—and publicly agitating for—a government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.....

A failure of AIG threatens to bring down the entire credit system both in the US and internationally, because the company holds a large stake in the multi-trillion-dollar, unregulated market in so-called “credit default swaps.” AIG has sold CDS contracts to banks, hedge funds and big investors all over the world, under which it guarantees the mortgage-backed debt of a wide range of companies in the event that they default.

If AIG should go under, the value of the debt which it insures would fall to an unknown level, destabilizing the credit markets and threatening a chain reaction of defaults and bankruptcies.

The events of the past two weeks demonstrate that the American financial aristocracy is plunging the entire country into bankruptcy. These events are themselves climatic moments in a protracted process.

For three decades, the “free market” has been elevated to the status of a secular religion in the US, with the capitalist market as its god and socialism as its devil. This period, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has seen the wholesale dismantling of the productive base of the US economy, at the cost of millions of jobs and the living standards of the American working class.

In the name of the supposed infallibility of the market, the operations of big business have been deregulated, removing all legal restraints on corporate profit-making and fueling the accumulation of ever more obscene levels of wealth in the hands of a financial oligarchy.

A vast process of social plunder has occurred, in which the wealth of the country has been redistributed from the bottom to the very top.

The scrapping of huge sections of industry and the immense growth of social inequality are the hallmarks of the historic decline of American capitalism.

At the heart of this decay is the separation of the process of personal enrichment of the ruling elite from the material process of production.

The United States has become the world leader not in manufacturing technology or industrial power, but in financial speculation and parasitism....

By its very nature, the parasitism of American capitalism has generated corruption and criminality on an unprecedented scale.

Wall Street CEOs have awarded themselves tens of millions and even billions in compensation, in an utterly irrational and socially destructive squandering of social resources for the benefit of private greed.

At the end of 2007, for example, the Lehman board awarded CEO Richard S. Fuld a compensation package worth more than $40 million. According to Reda Associates, he can expect to collect $63.3 million if he is terminated. In 2004, he paid $13.75 million for an ocean-front home in Jupiter Island, Florida, adding to his other properties, including a home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Joe Gregory, a former president of Lehman, used to travel to work in a helicopter. He recently put his 9,500-square-foot ocean-front home in Bridgehampton, New York on the market for $32.5 million.

The Financial Times recently reported that compensation for major executives of the seven largest US banks totaled $95 billion over the past three years, even as the banks recorded $500 billion in losses.

The question of precisely who and what is to blame for the greatest economic disaster in more than three quarters of a century is something that will not and cannot be raised by any section of the political or media establishment.

Since the eruption of the current crisis, there have been no serious congressional hearings, no public investigations, no attempts to hold anyone accountable. Massive government interventions into the supposedly sacrosanct precincts of the “free market,” for the purpose of bailing out giant Wall Street firms, including the biggest government takeover of corporate entities in US history, have been carried out without any public debate or significant opposition from either political party.

This, while millions of Americans are losing their homes and their jobs as a result of predatory corporate practices!

Certain conclusions must be drawn from the crisis of the American economic and political system.

There is no solution within the framework of the profit system. What is needed is a socialist program that places the needs of the people before the profits and personal fortunes of the ruling elite.

The entire financial system must be taken out of private hands and nationalized in the form of a public utility under the democratic control of the working class, with provisions taken to safeguard the holdings of small depositors and share-holders. It must be subordinated to the social needs of the people and dedicated to developing and expanding the productive forces in order to eliminate poverty and unemployment and vastly improve the living standards and cultural level of the entire population.....

Those who are responsible for the economic catastrophe must be called to account. Criminal investigations should be undertaken with appropriate sanctions for those who have plundered the social wealth.

A full public accounting should be made of the hundreds of billions that have been diverted to private bank accounts through fraud and criminality. Such gains should be seized and used for the public good.

The only social force that can carry this out is the working class. It requires a clean break with the Democratic Party and the two-party system and the mobilization of the immense social power of the working class in its own party, on the basis of a revolutionary socialist program.

This is the program fought for by the Socialist Equality Party.

"A sea change is unfolding in the US and world economy that portends a catastrophe of dimensions not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s."


Newsweek: How did the fallen CEOs make out?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

An Investigation Into 9/11


ZERO: An Investigation into 9/11, has one central thesis - that the official version of the events surrounding the attacks on 9/11 can not be true. This brand new feature documentary from Italian production company Telemaco explores the latest scientific evidence and reveals dramatic new witness testimony, which directly conflicts with the US Government's account.

Click to view

35 Years After Original 9/11

New Transcripts of Kissinger's Role in Chilean Coup

By Peter Kornbluh

When Henry Kissinger began secretly taping all of his phone conversations in 1969, little did he know that he was giving history the gift that keeps on giving. Now, on the 35th anniversary of the September 11, 1973, CIA-backed military coup in Chile, phone transcripts that Kissinger made of his talks with President Nixon and the CIA chief among other top government officials reveal in the most candid of language the imperial mindset of the Nixon administration as it began plotting to overthrow President Salvador Allende, the world's first democratically elected Socialist.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?

By David Ray Griffin

Much of America's foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that it was attacked by Muslims on that day. - Is it conceivable that this assumption might be false? ....
When actually examined, however, the proffered evidence turns out to be remarkably weak.



Zero: An Investigation Into 9-11 YqET96OO0

Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain and The Forrestal

By Robert Dreyfuss

Perhaps it is too much to expect McCain, born on a naval air station in the Panama Canal Zone and programmed virtually since birth for his part in the war, to have let his conscience get the better of him.

......Certainly McCain could not have been unaware of the havoc unleashed by his bombing missions over Vietnam. Though Pentagon war planners and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara preferred to emphasize the antiseptic nature of aerial bombardment against carefully chosen targets, a highly publicized series of articles in late 1966 by Harrison Salisbury in the New York Times described the widespread devastation of civilian neighborhoods around Hanoi by American bombs.

"Bomb damage...extends over an area of probably a mile or so on both sides of the highway" near one target, he wrote, noting that "small villages and hamlets along the route [were] almost obliterated."

Several years ago, a chastened McNamara acknowledged that Operation Rolling Thunder, which unloaded 800 tons of bombs a day over North Vietnam, caused more than a million deaths and injuries in Vietnam each year from 1965 to 1968. .......

On October 26, 1967, on his twenty-third bombing mission, this one against a thermal power plant in what McCain described in his book as "a heavily populated part of Hanoi," he was shot down, plunging into a lake just blocks away from Ho Chi Minh's presidential palace, and taken to prison.

"Nobody made me fly over Vietnam," McCain says now, as quoted in John McCain: An American Odyssey, the biography by Robert Timberg. "That's what I was trained to do and that's what I wanted to do."...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why was Cheney's Guy in Georgia Before the War?

By James Gerstenzang

What was a top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney doing in Georgia shortly before Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's troops engaged in what became a disastrous fight with South Ossetian rebels -- and then Russian troops?


US military trained Georgian commandos
The revelation, based on recruitment documents and interviews with US military trainers obtained by the Financial Times, could add fuel to accusations by Vlad­imir Putin, Russian prime minister, that the US had "orchestrated" the war in the Georgian enclave.

CNN Interviews Putin

Video - (English subtitles)

Compiled by Sean M. Madden

The following three-part series is an interview, held on August 28, between CNN's Matthew Chance and Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

The CNN transcript is available here.

Following the three-part series is the truncated version broadcast for Western audiences.

Click to view

Full Text
US-Iraqi Agreement: Leaked

By Raed Jarrar

This leaked draft is a treasure of information.

It's the first time any document related to this topic is made public.

It shows how weak the Iraqi negotiations team is (it is really pathetic to read their "suggestions" on how to fix the disaster of an agreement).


In case you missed it

The Keating Five

One Crook Went To Prison,

The Other Is Running For President

For anyone not aware of the Keating Five, here’s a very simple summary:


In case you missed it

McCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five

The story of "the Keating Five" has become a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome and Watergate

By Tom Fitzpatrick

You're John McCain, a fallen hero who wanted to become president so desperately that you sold yourself to Charlie Keating, the wealthy con man who bears such an incredible resemblance to The Joker. He poured $112,000 into your political campaigns. He became your friend. He threw fund raisers in your honor. He even made a sweet shopping-center investment deal for your wife, Cindy. Your father-in-law, Jim Hensley, was cut in on the deal, too.


The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack

History of CIA Involvement in Drug Trafficking

By William Blum

"In my 30­ year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA."

-- Dennis Dayle, former chief of an elite DEA enforcement unit.