McCain/Kerry Support Imperial War on Libya

Stephen Lendman

On November 6, 1971, a remorseful John Kerry told Washington, DC's WRC-TV that

"I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals,"

protesting against America's Vietnam War involvement.

On April 22, 1971, Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), saying in part:

He came to discuss an investigation involving "over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans," who admitted committing Southeast Asian war crimes, explaining:

"stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, bl(ew) up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages (like) Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravages of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

Calling it a "Winter Soldier Investigation," he said "there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America." Linking America's involvement "to the preservation of to us the height of criminal hypocrisy...."

"We saw firsthand how money from American taxes was used for a corrupt dictatorial regime....We rationalized destroying save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very cooly a My Lai," and many others like it. "We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals." [...] "We have come here....because we believe this body can be responsive to the will of the people (saying) we should be out of Vietnam now...."

Adding much more, he condemned America's illegal, immoral war, wanting no further part in it. That was then. This is now. Since 1985, Kerry represented Massachusetts in America's Senate, chairing the Foreign Relations Committee he testified before in 1971.

In fact, one of many congressional millionaires, he's the Senate's richest approaching $300 million in net worth as heir, through his wife, to the HJ Heinz fortune.

Sharp increase in West Bank home demolition


Home demolition in Al Dakika, near Hebron (PCHR photo)

Civil Administration demolished more Palestinian homes this year than in all of last year. Last week alone, 33 residential structures were demolished in the Jordan Valley and southern Hebron hills.

In the past week, Civil Administration inspectors, accompanied by soldiers and Border Police officers, demolished 33 residential structures in the Palestinian communities Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza, all in the Jordan Valley, and in Khirbet Bir al-'Id, in the southern Hebron hills. These were home to 238 persons, 129 of them minors. According to B'Tselem’s figures, since the beginning of 2011, the Civil Administration has demolished 103 residential structures in Area C, most of them tents, huts, and tin shacks, in which 706 persons lived (including 341 minors). [These figures include only residential structures that were demolished and not those used for livestock, storage, and baking].

This is a sharp increase in home demolitions in Area C. In 2010, by comparison, the Civil Administration demolished 86 residential structures. In 2009, the figure was 28. See full figures.

Israel continues to control all aspects of Palestinian life in Area C, including planning and building. Yet few Civil Administration outline plans have been made for Palestinian communities, and they do not enable any construction or development beyond what already exists, making it impossible for Palestinians to build legally in these areas.

Collective Apathy About Collective Punishment

Meg Walsh

I am standing on a bridge between two worlds—one in which the powerful are silent, and the other in which the powerless are screaming, yet ignored.

It feels like my surroundings are rapidly closing in on me. The metal bars in which I am enclosed are ugly and the ground is littered with trash. Desperate children are trying to sell me gum and candy. Candy is the last thing I want right now; I want to escape. Bodies are pressing up against me as people struggle to make it through the revolving gate that only lets a few through at a time. If I am not aggressive, I will never get through. A teenage boy is getting yelled at by a soldier for some unknown reason, and a father is denied although his wife and children are granted passage. An old man in the car lane is taking out his groceries one by one from his trunk as a young soldier stands inspecting, finger on the trigger. Cars are backed up and people are getting impatient. I am angry.

I must pass through the checkpoint every time I wish to enter Jerusalem from Ramallah, even though east Jerusalem is Palestinian territory. I have to answer the familiar questions such as "What were you doing in the West Bank?" or "Do you have any Palestinian friends?" I hate being forced to lie. Having Palestinian friends should not be looked at as criminal. And I hate that they almost – almost make me feel that I am truly doing something wrong. Most of all, I hate the way the Palestinians are treated, and although I am uncomfortable, chances are I will get through without much problem. Their reality is much different. Any random checkpoint encounter could mean harassment, detainment, or worse. It seems to mostly depend on the mood of the soldier.

I had underestimated the anger and anxiety that I would feel in these scenarios. Some people around me appear visibly upset while others just look bored. Because of the freedom that I have enjoyed my entire life, I refuse to accept this dehumanizing process. As I stand there, I vow to never adjust, to never become desensitized to this. For me, that would signal complicity in the face of the injustice that is occurring: a complete domination of one group of people over another—a betrayal of humanity. Threat levels are determined by the color of your ID card and the language that you speak. I will not thank the soldiers when they return my passport. I will not grant legitimacy to their role by acting like they are doing me a favor. I will not be forced to equate human rights with privilege.

The Military As A Jobs Program: There Are More Efficient Ways To Stimulate An Economy

Ellen Brown
Web of Debt

Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit Two Zero Two
attached to Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek.
(Photo by
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Nuzzo.)

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. . . . We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”
~ Dwight David Eisenhower, “The Chance for Peace,” speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953

In a Wall Street Journal editorial on June 8 bemoaning the failure of the Obama stimulus package, Martin Feldstein wrote:

Experience shows that the most cost-effective form of temporary fiscal stimulus is direct government spending. The most obvious way to achieve that in 2009 was to repair and replace the military equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan that would otherwise have to be done in the future. But the Obama stimulus had nothing for the Defense Department.

You can’t make this stuff up. The most obvious way to stimulate the economy is to replace military equipment? And the Obama stimulus had nothing for the Defense Department? When veterans’ benefits and other past military costs are factored in, the military now devours half the U.S. budget. If military spending is such a cost-effective stimulus, why have the trillions poured into it in the last decade left the economy reeling?

The military is the nation’s largest and most firmly entrenched entitlement program, one that takes half of every tax dollar. Even if “national security” is considered our number one priority (a dubious choice when the real unemployment rate is over 16%), estimates are that the military budget could be cut in half or more and we would still have the most powerful military machine in the world. Our enemies (if any) are now “terrorists,” not countries; and what is needed to contain them (if anything) is local policing, not global warfare. Much of our military hardware is just good for “shock and awe,” not needed for any “real and present danger.”

Working America's Dismal State

Stephen Lendman

Two recent studies documented it, both discussed below. In May 2011, Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies (NECLMS) headlined, "The 'Jobless and Wageless' Recovery from the Great Recession of 2007 - 2009: The Magnitude and Sources of Economic Growth Through 2011 (Q I) and Their Impacts on Workers, Profits, and Stock Values."

From 2007 - 2009, private sector wages and salaries declined sharply, while unemployment, underemployment, and their median and mean durations skyrocketed.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER: the official US business cycle arbiter), the recession ended in June 2009. Public opinion polls sharply disagree. Two by ABC in May and June 2010 found 88 - 90% of respondents rating the economy "not so good" or "poor." They should know. They feel it.

A May 2010 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed 76% of respondents saying America's recession continued, 62% believing it wouldn't end for one or more years. Hardly a testimony to "recovery."

In November 2010, a Heldrich Center for Workforce Development study found 89% of respondents saying the economy wouldn't recover for another year or longer, and 56% said three years, if ever. Moreover, almost 90% believed healthy employment levels would take many years to achieve or perhaps never.

In March 2011, an AP/Viacom poll of 18 - 24 year olds found 75% calling the economy "approximately poor, somewhat poor, or very poor." Only 9% said it was "very good or somewhat good."

Despite NBER's declaration, US households disagree with good reason because they're unemployed, underemployed, underpaid, living through hard times, and see little assistance from Washington or state capitals helping them when it's most needed.

For them, the Great Recession, in fact, is a Great Depression, perhaps America's greatest given dire levels of growing misery for millions.

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