Waging War at Home and Abroad While Pledging Peace

Stephen Lendman

Promising peace on May 19, Obama wages war against Middle East/North African and Central Asian states, as well as Muslim Americans at home.

Earlier articles explained they've:

been targeted;
hunted down;
bogusly entrapped by stings, false evidence or other means;
rounded up;
held in detention;
kept in isolation;
denied bail;
restricted in their right to counsel;
tried on secret evidence;
convicted on bogus charges;
given long sentences; and
incarcerated for extra harsh treatment as political prisoners in supermax confinement or segregated Communication Management Units (CMUs).

In fact, they violate US Prison Bureau regulations, stipulating that "staff shall not discriminate against inmates on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or political belief (including) administrative decisions (involving) access to work, housing and programs."

Moreover, the Supreme Court's February 2005 Johnson V. California decision prohibited segregating prisoners by race, national origin, or language, citing 14th Amendment protections against racial discrimination.

Nonetheless, post-9/11, Muslims have been vilified for their faith, ethnicity, activism, prominence, and, in the case of the Holy Land Foundation, charity. Bogusly, however, they were called a terrorist group and shut down, its principles given long prison terms for providing legitimate financial and other assistance, not aid to global terror groups.

Imam Amin Abdul Latif understands well. Recently, without explanation, he was removed from a plane with his son, also an Imam, despite having cleared security. Angrily he responded:

"I've never experienced anything like that before, that level of humiliation and disrespect. Never in my life! As an American citizen, you expect more. The whole idea of freedom of religion - that's what we pride ourselves over. As Americans, we pride ourselves! Now, we (no longer can) take pride. You single out a group of people (for their faith). This is just horrible."

Ironically, he and his son were headed for an Islamophobia conference.

Obama Plans Gutting Regulations for Corporate Favorites

Stephen Lendman

Promising change after eight Republican dominated years, Obama betrayed the public trust by special favors given business at the expense of essential growing needs.

Spurning them, in fact, he shows contempt for the things he rhetorically supports, proving he's no different from the worst of the bipartisan criminal class, serving wealth and power interests only.

As a result, he backed Wall Street's financial coup d'etat, looted the nation's wealth for them, institutionalized speculation and corporate racketeering, wrecked the economy, and consigned millions to impoverishment without jobs, homes, savings, social services, or futures.

Now more is planned, first announced in a January 18, 2011 Executive Order, (EO) titled, "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review" to benefit business, no matter the public cost.

On February 7, Obama elaborated in a Chamber of Commerce speech, promising to "remove outdated, unnecessary regulations" to free business more than ever since the roaring twenties to do whatever they damn well please, saying:

"I understand the challenges you face. I understand you are under incredible pressure to cut costs and keep your margins up. I understand the significance of your obligations to your shareholders and the pressures that are created by quarterly reports. I get it."

What he doesn't "get" or give a damn about is growing human need. Instead, he focuses solely corporate bottom line concerns no leader should prioritize over greater ones affecting millions of troubled households during the nation's gravest economic crisis in decades, one he's worsening, not alleviating.

In fact, acting more like one of them than one of us, he discussed various special favors he had in mind, including lowering corporate taxes and "breaking down some of the barriers that stand in the way of your success," eliminating "outdated and unnecessary regulations" to save billions of dollars annually, no matter the incalculable public cost. Dismissively he said:

I've ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them....I've also ordered agencies to find ways to make regulations more flexible for small business," promising to make government as accommodative as possible, giving away the store if there's anything left from the wreckage he already caused.

United Nations report warns of dollar "collapse"

Andre Damon

The risk of banking is socialized, while the profits are privatized.

The world economy faces the “looming risk of a collapse of the dollar,” together with the dangers of rising commodity prices, continued high unemployment and the risk of sovereign debt default, according to a report published last week by the United Nations.

The report [.pdf], a mid-year update to the 200-page conspectus[*][.pdf] of the world economy issued earlier this year, says that the precipitous fall of the dollar since the start of the new millennium portends the possibility of a destabilization and “crisis of confidence” of the world reserve currency.

The risk of a dollar collapse is just one of the economic pitfalls outlined in the report. The report's headline conclusion on economic growth, which is slightly improved from its earlier estimate, is overshadowed by the risks it outlines to every other aspect of the world economy—from rising food prices, falling living standards, the potential for sovereign debt defaults, and the destabilization of currency systems.

Offshoring has Destroyed the US Economy

Paul Craig Roberts

Nobel Economist Michael Spence Says Globalism Is Costly For Americans

These are discouraging times, but once in a blue moon a bit of hope appears. I am pleased to report on the bit of hope delivered in March of 2011 by Michael Spence, a Nobel prize-winning economist, assisted by Sandile Hlatshwayo, a researcher at New York University. The two economists have taken a careful empirical look at jobs offshoring and concluded that it has ruined the income and employment prospects for most Americans.

To add to the amazement, their research report, “The Evolving Structure of the American Economy and the Employment Challenge,” was published by the very establishment Council on Foreign Relations.

For a decade I have warned that US corporations, pressed by Wall Street and large retailers such as Wal-Mart, to move offshore their production for US consumer markets, were simultaneously moving offshore US GDP, US tax base, US consumer income, and irreplaceable career opportunities for American citizens.

Among the serious consequences of offshoring are the dismantling of the ladders of upward mobility that made the US an “opportunity society,” an extraordinary worsening of the income distribution, and large trade and federal budget deficits that cannot be closed by normal means. These deficits now threaten the US dollar’s role as world reserve currency.

I was not alone in making these warnings. Dr. Herman Daly, a former World Bank economist and professor at the University of Maryland, Dr. Charles McMillion, a Washington, DC, economic consultant, and Dr. Ralph Gomory, a distinguished mathematician and the world’s best trade theorist, understand that it is strictly impossible for an economy to be moved offshore and for the country with the offshored economy to remain prosperous.

THE WALL a play by Douglas Watkinson – reviewed by Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon's Blog

The Wall is a thought provoking new play based on Douglas Watkinson’s own experiences.

At the age of sixty, David visits a British military cemetery in Israel. For the first time in his life he is about to call upon the grave of his father Ralph who was blown up in 1947 at the age of twenty five by the Jewish Stern Gang.

The play is a unique encounter between David, a middle-aged Englishman, and his dead father Ralph, a young English Corporal at the time of the British Mandate. It is a meeting through which we, the audience, can 'witness' six decades of Israeli brutality, through the eyes of a dead British Corporal buried in foreign soil along side thousands of his peers. The play is a cleverly constructed dialogue between a sixty year old son: a man who grew up in post WWII Britain, an indoctrinated gentleman and a liberated dead father who is free to call things what they actually are.

The play is a journey into the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It dares to look into the role of the British in the creation of yet another endless war. It is also courageous enough to review and assess the cruelty of Jewish terror-groups towards the British military. It goes deeper than most political commentators and academics, for it is brave enough to look honestly at the imaginary distinction between Jews, Israel and Zionism. Ralph is obviously impervious to political correctness -- he sees Zionists and Israelis for what they are -- namely, Jews. Initially, David couldn’t agree less, insisting that Jews are kind and compassionate people. He would contend, that it is merely the Israelis and Zionists who may be slightly problematic.

As the play evolves, David witnesses Israeli brutality for himself. And once he has visited a Palestinian home he falls in love with Palestine, immediately empathising with the Palestinian plight. Overnight, David is transformed into a Palestinian advocate. He then meets Israeli soldiers at a road block and he encounters the arrogance of an MIT lieutenant, a new Jewish-American immigrant who claims ownership of someone else’s land. He also meets a Romanian female sergeant who teaches him a lesson in Israeli rudeness.

Dispatches From The End Of Empire

David Michael Green
The Regressive Antidote

Well folks, there’s good news, and there’s bad news in America today.

The good news is that people seem to be waking up just a bit to what’s being done to them.

The bad news is that it really is just a bit that they’re waking up.

The good news is that the Republican Party is showing some serious signs of preparing for self-immolation.

The bad news is that that leaves us with Barack Obama and the other Republican Party as an ‘alternative’.

Such is the state of America at the end of empire.

This week, one of the reddest districts in the country voted to send a Democrat to Congress. There was a special election to fill the seat, after the highly moralistic married Republican who had been holding it previously got busted sending out hunky topless pictures of himself as he trolled for a little babe action on Craigslist. What a shock to find that those who lecture us incessantly about our sexual morality turn out to be, er, somewhat hypocritical about it all, eh? If you ask me, it’s one of the few iron laws of political science. You can bet the house that any politician who makes it his or her business to speak and legislate on your sexuality is, in fact, secretly one of the most twisted vines in the jungle. Count on it. But back to our story.

Inviting Chaos: The Perils of Toying With the Debt Ceiling

Ellen Brown
Web of Debt

[T]hreatening to default should not be a partisan issue. In view of all the hazards it entails, one wonders why any responsible person would even flirt with the idea.
- Alan S. Blinder, Princeton professor of economics, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve

A game of Russian roulette is being played with the national debt ceiling. Fire the wrong chamber of the gun, and the result could be the second Great Depression.

The first Great Depression led to totalitarian dictatorships, war to consolidate power and concentrations of capital in the hands of a financial elite. The trigger was a default on the global reserve currency, in that case the pound sterling. The US dollar is now the global reserve currency. The concern is that default could create the same sort of global panic today. Dark visions are evoked of the president declaring a national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans locking into place, camps being readied for protesters and the secret government taking over.

This may all just be political theater, but do we really want to get close enough to the economic precipice to find out? The conser­vative ideologues toying with the debt ceiling are doing it to force cuts in the budget, a budget that was already approved by Con­gress. Congress is being held hostage by a radical minority push­ing a risky agenda, one that is based on an economic model that is obsolete.

Encircling Russia with US Bases

Stephen Lendman

In 1991, after the Soviet Union dissolved, everything changed but stayed the same. As a result, today's stakes are far greater, presenting much larger threats to world peace.

In America, neocons are still dominant. Obama is more belligerent than Bush, waging four wars and various proxy ones. The Israeli Lobby, Christian Right, and other extremist elements drive them. Conflict is preferred over diplomacy.

Congressional majorities support Washington's imperial agenda, including global militarization against potential challengers and America's main rivals - China and Russia, encircling them belligerently with bases and strategic weapons. It's a policy fraught with danger.

NATO has 28 member states, including 10 former Soviet Republics and Warsaw Pact countries. Prospective new candidates include Georgia, Ukraine, and potentially others later to more tightly encircle Russia and China.

At the same time, the Middle East and parts of Eurasia have been increasingly militarized with a network of US bases from Qatar to Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond - a clear breach of GHW Bush's promise to Mikhail Gorbachev that paved the way for unifying Germany in 1990 and dissolving the Soviet Union.

Washington's promises, of course, aren't worth the paper they're written on, a hard lesson many nations later learn painfully.

Moreover, the Pentagon has an expanding network of 1,000 or more global bases, including secret and shared ones for greater control. In fact, at a time no nation threatens America, trillions of dollars are spent anyway for what military planners call "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.

Peak Civilization and the Winter of Our Disconnect

Carolyn Baker

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~ George Santayana

The appearance of springtime in North America may be more welcome this year than at anytime in recent history. The winter has been long, cold, and dreary-particularly in the Rust Belt where the devastations of housing foreclosures, unemployment, and the resultant blight have left a trail of human misery and degradation not seen since the Great Depression. Ten percent of the population of Ohio now relies on food stamps while hordes of domestic animals abandoned in foreclosed homes endure long and grotesque deaths from starvation.

For countless Americans across the nation, this winter has brought with it something far more distressing than brutal, bone-chilling temperatures-horrific, traumatic revelations that the American dream, neatly packaged and sold for decades, has become their worst possible nightmare. Should they happen to see on TV the guy from the Countrywide commercial greeting them with "Homeowners...", they are probably wondering why he hasn't been assassinated and at the very least wondering why Countrywide is still in business.

Something is festering in the psyches of the formerly middle class of this nation-something far more ominous than burgeoning public assistance and food stamp applications or mushrooming meth labs. If the subprime mortgage massacre had occurred in a vacuum, the dirty little secret might have been kept a bit longer, but juxtaposing it with Peak Oil, skyrocketing food prices, wacky weather and debilitating droughts, not to mention proliferating pink slips, it daily becomes embarrassingly obvious that Jim Kunstler was spot-on when he uttered his infamous declaration in the documentary, "The End Of Suburbia" that "the entire suburban project is the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world."

Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Anti-Union Law

Stephen Lendman

Since taking office on January 3, Republican Governor Scott Walker waged war on public workers and their unions, aiming to restrict collective bargaining rights to wage negotiations before ending them altogether.

He also demanded draconian health insurance and pension contribution increases, doubling them for state employees during hard times when they're already strapped to make ends meet. Doing so called for pay cuts ranging from 8 - 20% ahead of more planned reductions coming.

On March 9, a protracted Senate battle ended when hard-line Republicans violated Wisconsin's open meetings law, requiring 24 hours notice prior for special sessions unless giving it is impossible or impractical.

At issue was passing an old-fashioned union-busting law with no Democrats present, brazen politicians and corrupted union bosses selling out rank and file members for self-enrichement and privilege, complicit with corporate CEOs.

The epic battle ended along party lines after State Assembly members past Walker's bill 53 - 42, following the Senate voting 18 - 1 with no debate. The measure reads:

"This bill authorizes a state agency to discharge any state employee who fails to report to work as scheduled for any three unexcused working days during a state emergency or who participates in a strike, work stoppage, sit-down, stay-in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the operations or services of state government, including specifically purported mass resignations or sick calls. Under the bill, engaging in any of these actions constitutes just cause for discharge."

In addition, the governor may unilaterally declare "state of emergency" authority to fire striking workers, and under the section titled, "Discharge of State Employees:"

"The Governor may issue an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the state or any portion of the state if he or she determines that an emergency resulting from a disaster or imminent threat of a disaster exists."

In other words, he can dictatorially do what he wishes, especially regarding public worker rights and job security. They're gone unless resurrected by a sustained, mobilized, united, and committed mass action statewide shutdown for rights too important to lose.

Washington's War on Chávez

Stephen Lendman

President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez (L) & Sean Penn (R)

Since George Bush took office in January 2001, efforts to oust Chávez failed three times:

in April 2002 for two days, aborted by mass street protests and support from Venezuela's military, notably its middle-ranked officer corps;
the 2002 - 2003 general strike and oil management lockout, causing severe economic disruptions; and
the failed August 2004 national recall referendum, Chávez prevailing with a 59% majority.

Nonetheless, disruptive activities continue, including malicious propaganda, CIA subversion, funding opposition forces, sanctions, and militarizing the region, notably in Colombia as well as gunboat diplomacy by reactivating the Latin American/Caribbean Fourth Fleet for the first time since 1950 despite no regional threat.

Ignoring America's appalling human rights record, on April 11, the State Department issued its 2010 Human Rights Report: Venezuela, claiming Chávez government responsibility for largely uncorroborated, exaggerated or falsified abuses, including:

"unlawful killings, including summary executions of criminal suspects; widespread criminal kidnappings for ransom; prison violence and harsh prison conditions; inadequate juvenile detention centers; arbitrary arrests and detentions; corruption and impunity in police forces; corruption, inefficiency, and politicization in a judicial system characterized by trial delays and violations of due process; political prisoners and selective prosecution for political purposes; infringement of citizens' privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of expression; government threats to sanction or close television stations and newspapers; corruption at all levels of government; threats against domestic NGOs; violence against women; trafficking in persons; and restrictions on workers' right of association."

Protecting Us from Our Freedoms: Congress Set to Renew Patriot Act Spy Provisions

Tom Burghardt
Antifascist Calling

As night follows day, you can count on Congress to serve as loyal servants and willing accomplices of our out-of-control National Security State.

Last week, in another shameless demonstration of congressional "bipartisanship," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) forged a filthy backroom deal that reauthorizes insidious surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act for an additional four years.

"Like clockwork," the ACLU reports, Reid and McConnell "introduced a bill, S. 1038, that will extend the provisions until June 1, 2015." As of this writing, the text of that measure has yet to be published.

And, like a faint echo from the past when the Patriot Act was signed into law nearly a decade ago in the wake of the 9/11 provocation and the anthrax attacks, the ACLU tells us that "the Senate begins its debate on Monday with votes possible that same night."

But why not forego a vote altogether. After all, with the White House "skipping a legal deadline to seek congressional authorization of the military action in Libya" under the War Powers Act, "few on the Hill are objecting," the Associated Press reports.

Why not extend congressional "courtesy" to the White House over demands that their illegal spying on Americans continue indefinitely "as long as consultations with Congress continue"?

Consensus by congressional Democrats and Republicans over extending the provisions, the World Socialist Web Site reports, "meets the demands of the Obama administration and the Justice Department for a 'clean' extension, that is, one that does not make any concessions to concerns over the infringement of civil liberties, particularly in relation to the authorization to seize the records of libraries and other institutions."

"The idea," the Associated Press informs us, "is to pass the extension with as little debate as possible to avoid a protracted and familiar argument over the expanded power the law gives to the government." (emphasis added)

While most of the surveillance powers handed the security apparat were permanent, three controversial provisions had expiration dates attached to the law due to the potential for serious civil rights abuses. Such suspicions were certainly warranted as dozens of reports by Congress and the Justice Department, media investigations and Freedom of Information Act and other lawsuits subsequently disclosed.

US, Pakistan Near Open War; Chinese Ultimatum Warns Washington Against Attack

Webster G. Tarpley

China has officially put the United States on notice that Washington’s planned attack on Pakistan will be interpreted as an act of aggression against Beijing. This blunt warning represents the first known strategic ultimatum received by the United States in half a century, going back to Soviet warnings during the Berlin crisis of 1958-1961, and indicates the grave danger of general war growing out of the US-Pakistan confrontation.

“Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China”

Responding to reports that China has asked the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty in the aftermath of the Bin Laden operation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu used a May 19 press briefing to state Beijing’s categorical demand that the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected.” According to Pakistani diplomatic sources cited by the Times of India, China has “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China.” This ultimatum was reportedly delivered at the May 9 China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, where the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Prime Minister Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo.[1] Chinese warnings are implicitly backed up by that nation’s nuclear missiles, including an estimated 66 ICBMs, some capable of striking the United States, plus 118 intermediate-range missiles, 36 submarine-launched missiles, and numerous shorter-range systems.

Support from China is seen by regional observers as critically important for Pakistan, which is otherwise caught in a pincers between the US and India: “If US and Indian pressure continues, Pakistan can say ‘China is behind us. Don’t think we are isolated, we have a potential superpower with us,’” Talat Masood, a political analyst and retired Pakistani general, told AFP.[2]

G8 summit: major powers discuss how to contain “Arab Spring”

Bill Van Auken

The G8 leaders including (L-R) President of the European Commission
Jose Maneul Barroso, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, US President
Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan walk to lunch
after their first meeting at the G8. (Getty Images)

"In the Libyan war, the real aims of the US and the Western European powers emerges clearly: the recolonization of the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Africa as part of an attempt to offset the deepening crisis of their economies."

The G8 summit opened in France Thursday with discussion on a response to the so-called “Arab Spring” that has seen mass uprisings against Western-backed regimes.

The two-day meeting is being held under the shadow of the sharpening global crisis of capitalism, including the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the ballooning US debt, which has now surpassed $14 trillion.

The draft statement prepared for the summit includes pledges from the Europeans to confront fiscal crises within the European Union with “determination”, while it calls on the Obama administration to develop a “clear and credible medium-term fiscal consolidation framework.”

In both cases this means the implementation of brutal austerity against working people on both sides of the Atlantic, which will inevitably provoke mass protests and resistance of the kind that have already swept Spain, Greece and other countries.

Despite the bland language of G8 diplomacy and the pretense of common purpose, this latest summit only underscores the inability of the major Western capitalist powers to devise any coordinated response to the financial crisis that has shaken the world economy since September 2008.

Welcome to the violent world of Mr Hopey Changey

John Pilger
New Statesman

As Barack Obama continues his ludicrously overhyped European tour, media gloss cannot disguise the renewed imperial ambition of Libya’s western aggressors.

When Britain lost control of Egypt in 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden said he wanted the nationalist president Gamal Abdel Nasser "destroyed . . . murdered . . . I don't give a damn if there's anarchy and chaos in Egypt." Those insolent Arabs, Winston Churchill had urged in 1951, should be driven "into the gutter from which they should never have emerged".

The language of colonialism may have been modified, but the spirit and the hypocrisy are unchanged. A new imperial phase is unfolding in direct response to the Arab uprising that has shocked Washington and Europe, causing an Eden-style panic. The loss of the Egyptian tyrant Hosni Mubarak was grievous, though not irretrievable: a US-backed counter-revolution is under way as the military regime in Cairo is seduced with bribes, and power is shifting from the street to political groups that did not initiate the revolution. The western aim, as ever, is to stop authentic democracy and reclaim control.

The Book of Netanyahu

Philip Giraldi

Lord Netanyahu's commission from God was to cause havoc among the wicked goyim. So this is what he did. There were some that called him ‘the destroyer of [their] nation’, (Jeremiah 4:7) but there were many who prostrated themselves before him in adoration & worship. - The Editor

If the people of the Land of Obama render their gold and precious goods to the Land of Israel and pledge their children to fight in Israel’s just wars, he will vouchsafe forgiveness." At Lord Netanyahu’s words, the nobles and lords of the Land of Obama rose up as one, acclaiming "We pledge our fealty to the great Lord Netanyahu and the Land of Israel. We shall be your liegemen in all that you do." And so it was done and the people of Israel rejoiced.

On the First Day Lord Netanyahu met with his faithful counselor Count Avigdor. Avigdor said, "O Lord Netanyahu, you must go even unto the land of the Obamaites to deal with their King. The Obamaites have rendered unto us their gold and precious goods in great abundance but now their King is seeking to treat with our enemies." Then Netanyahu spoke and his heart was full of anger. "Yea verily, we must smite them and also their wives and children and all that they hold dear. For even as we have smitten the children of Canaan we will strike them. They shall ken who is master and who is slave. Prepare for me my chariot of gold and I will journey even unto the land of the Obamaites with my host. Instruct our brethren in the land of the Obamaites to prepare for my coming with stealth. Organize them with weapons ready at hand and instruct them to deceive the Obamaites by declaring fealty and respect for the Kingdom of Obama so the King’s retainers will not fear them. When the King of the Obamaites declares his bad faith they shall be prepared to rise up and join us." And so it was done. Lord Netanyahu ascended into his chariot of gold to confront the King of the Obamaites and smite him sorely. And the children of Israel rejoiced.

Netanyahu Spurns Peace

Stephen Lendman

Calling for Palestinian capitulation, not peace and liberation, Netanyahu delivered a litany of lies, fabrications, misstatements, and half-truths to AIPAC members on May 23, saying:

"Israel is unjustly accused of not wanting peace with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth." In fact, he once called the peace process "a waste of time," governing accordingly to avoid it.

Peace "can only come through....mutual trust," he said, adding that he envisions "peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state." In fact, they're preconditions solely for them, no other states with which Israel has diplomatic relations, including peace treaty terms with Egypt and Jordan.

"Israel stands ready to make compromises necessary for peace." In fact, Israel never had a peace camp. For decades, efforts were stillborn, obstructing it, perpetuating conflict, and denying Palestinians a sovereign independent state or a viable one-state solution for all its people.

"(O)ne thing I will never compromise is our security."

In fact, claimed existential "security" threats are bogus, a red herring, mischaracterizing Israel as vulnerable, surrounded by hostile Arab states. Nuclear armed, it's a regional superpower, unthreatened since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Addressing Congress on May 24, he repeated the same canards, including saying he's ready to "make painful compromises (for) peace," while remaining obstructionist against it, a viable Palestinian state, Jerusalem as its capital, Hamas/Fatah unity, and the inviolable right of return.

Bibi and the Yo-Yos

Uri Avnery
Uri Avnery's Column

It was all rather disgusting.

There they were, the members of the highest legislative bodies of the world’s only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu.

It was worse than the Syrian parliament during a speech by Bashar Assad, where anyone not applauding could find himself in prison. Or Stalin’s Supreme Soviet, when showing less than sufficient respect could have meant death.

What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to?

The sight of these hundreds of parliamentarians jumping up and clapping their hands, again and again and again and again, with the Leader graciously acknowledging with a movement of his hand, was reminiscent of other regimes. Only this time it was not the local dictator who compelled this adulation, but a foreign one.

The most depressing part of it was that there was not a single lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – who dared to resist. When I was a 9 year old boy in Germany, I dared to leave my right arm hanging by my side when all my schoolmates raised theirs in the Nazi salute and sang Hitler’s anthem. Is there no one in Washington DC who has that simple courage? Is it really Washington IOT – Israel Occupied Territory – as the anti-Semites assert?

In Saakashvili's Georgia, the Bloom Is Off the Rose

Stephen Lendman

Since May 21, anti-goverment protests rocked Georgia. Organized by an alliance of opposition parties, they erupted initially in September 2007 for early elections and democratic change, as well as ending corruption and police state terror. More on current protests below.

In 2003, Georgia's bloodless "Rose Revolution" replaced Edouard Shevardnadze with Mikhail Saakashvili, a totalitarian US-installed puppet with ties to other NATO countries and Israel.

Shevardnadze became a liability when he began dealing with Russia on energy pipelines and privatizations. Funded by the State Department, US intelligence, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), George Soros, and Freedom House, efforts to replace him played out as follows.

Georgia held parliamentary elections on November 2, 2003. Without evidence, pro-western international observers called them unfair. Saakashvili claimed he won. He and the united opposition called for protests and civil disobedience.

They began in mid-November in the capital Tbilisi, then spread throughout the country, peaking on November 22, parliament's scheduled opening day. While it met, Saakashvili-led supporters placed "roses" in the barrels of soldiers' rifles, seized the parliament building, interrupted Shevardnadze's speech, forcing him out for his safety.

NATO bombing of Tripoli kills 19 civilians, wounds 150

Bill Van Auken

In the most intensive bombardment since the US and NATO launched their war of aggression against Libya, strikes by British and other NATO warplanes in the early hours of Tuesday morning killed 19 Libyan civilians. Another 150 were wounded, some of them seriously, according to Libya’s health ministry, the General People’s Committee for Health.

The highly concentrated air raid, reportedly led by British Typhoon and Tornado warplanes, included up to 20 huge separate explosions in the area of central Tripoli where the residential compound of Col. Muammar Gaddafi is located. Libyan officials said that the explosions damaged a number of houses as well as a nearby mosque.

Like earlier air strikes on Tripoli—including one last month that claimed the lives of Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Arab and three of his grandchildren—Tuesday morning’s raid appeared to be aimed at decapitating the Libyan regime, or failing that, terrorizing Tripoli’s population and those who oppose NATO’s intervention.

The pretense that the US-NATO military operations are being carried out in conformity with the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone and measures to protect Libya’s civilian population has been all but abandoned. Leaders in Washington and Western Europe make no attempt to hide the reality that the aim of the war is “regime change,” and they are prepared to kill as many Libyans as necessary to accomplish that goal.

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