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Posts uit december 31, 2006 weergeven

The Empire 122

De Nederlandse commerciele massamedia beseffen het niet, maar in de VS zelf wordt in alle lagen van de bevolking hard nagedacht over het economische en morele failliet van hun land en de ineenstorting van de voorheen alom geprezen American Dream. 'For America's Sake.
by Bill Moyers.

The following is an adaptation of remarks made by Bill Moyers to a December 12 gathering in New York sponsored by The Nation, Demos, the Brennan Center for Justice and the New Democracy Project. --The Editors
You could not have chosen a better time to gather. Voters have provided a respite from a right-wing radicalism predicated on the philosophy that extremism in the pursuit of virtue is no vice. It seems only yesterday that the Trojan horse of conservatism was hauled into Washington to disgorge Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and their hearty band of ravenous predators masquerading as a political party of small government, fiscal restraint and moral piety and promising "to …

The Empire 121

Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, DC.

The big question for the U.S. economy now is whether we will make it through 2007 without a recession. Most of the top economic forecasters are predicting a "soft landing," which means the economy slows but not so sharply as to cause a recession. But almost all of these same experts failed to forecast the last recession, and they missed the stock market bubble (the largest financial asset bubble in history). And most of them also missed the housing bubble until it began to burst. So it would not be prudent to rely solely on their forecasts at this time.
The timing of any downturn is not easy to predict. But a recession is likely, because of the enormity of the housing bubble and the impact of its collapse. Recall that our last recession (in 2001) was caused by the bursting of a stock market bubble of about $7 trillion. The housing bubble is comparable in size (about $5 trillion at p…

The Empire 120

'Can We Let Intelligence Officials Lie With Impunity?” By Ray McGovern and W. Patrick Lang.
Lies have consequences . All those who helped President George W. Bush launch a war of aggression—termed by Nuremberg “the supreme international crime”—have blood on their hands and must be held accountable. This includes corrupt intelligence officials. Otherwise, look for them to perform the same service in facilitating war on Iran.
“They should have been shot,” said former State Department intelligence director, Carl Ford, referring to ex-CIA director George Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin, for their “fundamentally dishonest” cooking of intelligence to please the White House. Ford was alluding to “intelligence” on the menacing but non-existent mobile biological weapons laboratories in Iraq.
Ford was angry that Tenet and McLaughlin persisted in portraying the labs as real several months after they had been duly warned that they existed only in the imagination of intelligence analysts who,…

The Empire 119

'The Peak Oil Crisis: 2006 in Review.
By Tom Whipple
Falls Church News-Press

As the year draws to a close, it is a good time to look back at what has happened and what clues we can discern about 2007.
The most notable event affecting the advent of peak oil during 2006 was, most likely, the great summer price spike. Oil started the year around $62 a barrel, steadily increased to just below $80 and then fell to close out the year about where it started. Now there are a number of observations that can be made about this spike.
First it drove average US gasoline prices from $2.21 in late December 2005 to a high of over $3.00 per gallon during the summer. This was significant in that it caught a lot of people's attention for the first time that there just might be a problem out there. At the height of the spike, Congressmen were running around like rabbits proposing new laws and making pious speeches about how they were doing something about gasoline prices. Althou…

Klimaatverandering 69

'EU to Urge "New Industrial Revolution" in Energy.
By Marcin Grajewski

Brussels - The European Commission will call next week for "a new industrial revolution" in the energy sector to boost competition, protect the climate and ensure security of supply, a draft paper from the EU executive showed.
The draft strategy proposals, obtained by Reuters on Thursday before publication on Jan. 10, call for cutting carbon dioxide emissions further, increasing energy from renewable sources and curtailing the powers of large energy companies.
The draft lacks crucial details as the European Union's executive Commission is divided over the scope of liberalisation and where to set various targets, a Commission source said.
The EU's priority should be to combat climate change, promote jobs and economic growth and reduce the bloc's reliance on energy imports, the draft said.
"This means transforming Europe into a highly efficie…

The Empire 118

'2006 Top Green Tech Ideas By Kelpie Wilson t r u t h o u t Columnist
Friday 05 January 2007
In 2005, Americans woke up to the reality of peak oil, the predicament first described by geologist M.K. Hubbert in which world oil production would reach a peak, followed by an inevitable decline. Three things worked together to set off the alarm.
First was a steep rise in gas prices. Although gas prices had risen before, they had always been followed by a drop as production rose to meet demand. 2005 was different, because respected oil analysts such as Kenneth Deffeyes and Matt Simmons spoke up to tell us that not only were the super giant oil fields of the Middle East slowly petering out, but the pace of new oil discoveries was down as well.
What finally opened many eyes to the likelihood of peak oil was the growing realization that the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with WMDs or the war on terrorism. And if it wasn't about those two things, then why else …

World Watch Institute

En terwijl miljarden worden gespendeerd aan oorlog en bewapening wordt de wereld geconfronteerd met een klimaatverandering en een groeiende kloof tussen arm en rijk.Ik kreeg net dit email van het World Watch Institute:'Happy New Year from the Worldwatch Institute!
Thanks for your support in 2006! We look forward to working together toward a sustainable world in 2007 and beyond.

2007: It's Getting Hotter...Now What?
Looking for something to do now that scientists are predicting that 2007 might be the hottest year ever? Let your friends know about the report, American Energy: The Renewable Path to Energy Security, and visit to learn more about the potential of renewable energy technologies to power the United States, the world's largest guzzler of climate-altering fossil fuels.

Next Week: State of the World 2007 Release and Web Chat
In 2008, half of the Earth's population will live in urban areas, marking the first time in history that humans are an urba…

Amerikaanse Oorlogsmisdaden 36

Abbas hopes to expand his forces from 3,700 to 4,700 in 12 to 18 months.

Net al in Irak is de Amerikaanse regering druk doende een burgeroorlog in Palestina te veroorzaken. De Nederlandse regering steunt deze extremistische politiek.

Al Jazeera bericht:

'US funds Fatah force expansion.

The Bush administration will provide $86.4 million to strengthen security forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, as part of a plan to expand US involvement in Abbas's power struggle with Hamas.

Fighting between Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas, the ruling Islamist group, has surged since talks on forming a unity government collapsed and Abbas called for early parliamentary and presidential elections.
Hamas accuses Abbas of mounting a coup.

A US government document said on Friday: "The US money will be used to "assist the Palestinian Authority presidency in fulfilling its commitments under the road map (peace plan) to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and establis…

The Empire 117

Degenen met de werkelijke macht in de VS schoven deze B-filmster en reclameman Ronald Reagan als president naar voren. Hoe zijn wereld eruit zag leest u in dit bericht van de New York Daily News. Het toont opnieuw aan dat een rijk nooit democratisch bestuurd kan worden en dat het recht onderworpen is aan de ware macht. 'G-men were used to quell justice's critics.

Buried in the 1,500 pages of FBI files the federal government released last week on former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist are three astonishing memos.
They have have nothing to do with Rehnquist's personal addiction to prescription drugs - as do most of the files the government released.
Instead, they reveal how top federal officials abused their powers, intimidated critics and hid important information from public view for decades.
The memos involve three separate telephone conversations on the afternoon of July 30, 1986, between FBI agents and key members of the Justice Department.
That same week, the S…

Irak 151

Zou premier Balkenende het ophangen van Saddam Hoessein nog steeds toejuichen? Misschien moet de Nederlandse parlementaire pers dit eens aan hem vragen. Politici die weten waarover ze het hebben zijn intussen 'ontzet' over de beelden.

De Guardian bericht:

'Cairo Dismayed at "Primitive" Saddam Death.

Saddam Hussein was made into "a martyr" by the manner of his execution, the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, warned today, saying he had urged Washington not to hang him during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.
In an interview with an Israeli newspaper, Mr Mubarak said that when it became clear the former Iraqi dictator was about to be hanged he sent a message to president George Bush asking to get it postponed. "Don't do it at this time," Mr Mubarak told the US leader, he recounted in an interview with the Yediot Ahronot newspaper.
"Why is it necessary to hang (him) just at the time when people are saying the holiday prayers?"
Mr Mubar…

Israelisch Expansionisme 37

Galilee October 1948, Ethnically Cleansed Palestinians on their way to Lebanon.

Electronic Intifada:

With the New Year, will Ha'aretz's op-ed page be any
different? By Zachary Wales.

On New Year's Day, notions of resolve, reform, or reflection come as no surprise on newspaper editorial pages. Similarly unsurprising are the op-eders that carry on with business as usual. Things were no different on Ha'aretz's opinion page, which kept an even keel of New Yearisms. Rather untypical, however, was the limited role that honesty played in the mix. The most curious example was the lead editorial, -- often viewed as any paper's mouthpiece -- entitled, "Our obligation to refugees, as refugees." One might guess that it covered the subject of Palestinian refugees, a conundrum that has crippled every "peace process" since Israel's creation in 1948. Subsequent to the expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians during that perio…

Boycot Israel 4

Amnesty International's secretary-general, Irene Khan, visits the gate of Ras Atja in Israel's separation fence in the West Bank near Qalqilia.

Electronic Intifada:

'Why an academic boycott of Israel is necessary.
Let me begin by stating that any successful academic boycott imposed upon Israeli institutions of higher education will assuredly have an impact on the academic freedom of Israeli scholars and teachers, at least in terms of its expression beyond their national borders. Is this acceptable? After all, other teachers and scholars who obviously have a stake in academic freedom, will have to cooperate with the boycott if it is to have an impact. As one of those academics, my answer to this question is that it is not only acceptable but absolutely necessary -- and for the following reasons:1. Academic freedom is an ideal, and ideals if they are to be responsibly adhered to, must be judged against their consequences in real life situations. One of the major real life situa…

Irak 150

The Jewish Daily Forward bericht:

'Israeli Experts Say Middle East Was Safer With Saddam in Iraq.

Jerusalem - Although few tears were shed in Israel over Saddam Hussein’s death last week, a small but growing chorus — including government officials, academics and Iraqi émigrés — is warning that Israel could find itself in more danger with him gone, and that it might even regret having welcomed his toppling.
“If I knew then what I know today, I would not have recommended going to war, because Saddam was far less dangerous than I thought,” said Haifa University political scientist Amatzia Baram, one of Israel’s leading Iraq experts.
Saddam was feared and reviled in Israel, both as a tyrant and as an enemy of the Jewish state. He demonstratively supported Palestinian terrorists, and few have forgiven his bombarding of Israel with Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War.
“Retrospectively, justice has been done,” Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told Israel Radio this week. Still, he cau…

De Nuance van de NRC 12

Mede dankzij het Nederlandse gewelddadig ingrijpen in Afghanistan zijn volgens de NRC ' te veel burgers' gedood. 'Te veel?' Is er dan zoiets als een acceptabel aantal burgerdoden en is dat aantal overschreden? Is er een bepaald quotum gedode dan wel vermoorde burgers dat wij in het 'beschaafde' Westen aanvaardbaar vinden? Wat is dit voor verborgen propaganda?

'''Te veel burgers dood door NAVO.''

Kabul, 4 jan. De NAVO heeft gisteren erkend dat er het afgelopen jaar te veel burgerslachtoffers zijn gevallen bij haar strijd in Afghanistan.
„De grootste fout die we hebben gemaakt [..] is het doden van onschuldige burgers”, zei een woordvoerder van de NAVO-stabilisatiemacht ISAF gisteren in de Afghaanse hoofdstad Kabul.
De NAVO zou al enkele weken werken aan een verandering van tactiek, waardoor burgers minder gevaar zouden lopen. Details over die nieuwe tactiek zijn (nog) niet bekendgemaakt.
Dinsdag, een dag vóór de NAVO-verklaring, had de Afghaanse p…

Irak 149

Democracy Now:

'AMY GOODMAN: Well, today on Democracy Now!, we're going to continue our coverage of the execution of Saddam Hussein by airing one of the last televised interviews Saddam Hussein did with an American journalist. The interview actually took place in 1992, soon after Desert Storm. It was in Baghdad and was conducted by our colleague here at Downtown Community Television, 15-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Jon Alpert. Until now, this broadcast was never aired in the United States. In a moment, we'll play excerpts. But first, Jon Alpert, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about this interview you did with Saddam Hussein.
JON ALPERT: Well, everybody was anxious to find out what he was thinking after the Gulf War. Did he feel that he had made a mistake in invading Kuwait? Was he interested at all in trying to find a path to peace? There didn't really seem to be much going on in the diplomatic front. And we were fortunate enough to get an interview with him, …

Irak 148

Patrick Cockburn schrijft in de Independent: Saddam: From monster to martyr?
How Bush and Blair's choices have led to disaster in Iraq, culminating in a chaotic execution that is fuelling civil war
It takes real genius to create a martyr out of Saddam Hussein. Here is a man dyed deep with the blood of his own people who refused to fight for him during the United States-led invasion three-and-a-half years ago. His tomb in his home village of Awja is already becoming a place of pilgrimage for the five million Sunni Arabs of Iraq who are at the core of the uprising.
During his trial, Saddam himself was clearly trying to position himself to be a martyr in the cause of Iraqi independence and unity and Arab nationalism. His manifest failure to do anything effective for these causes during the quarter of a century he misruled Iraq should have made his task difficult. But an execution which vied in barbarity with a sectarian lynching in the backstreets of Belfast 30 years ago is elevating him…

Robert Fisk 22

Arminius wees me op het volgende artikel van Robert Fisk:

'Robert Fisk: He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him.
How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal.
Published: 31 December 2006.
We've shut him up. The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe. The shameless, outrageous, covert military support which the United States - and Britain - gave to Saddam for more than a decade remains the one terrible story which our presidents and prime ministers do not want the world to remember. And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support - given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War - is dead.
Gone is the man who personally received the CIA's help in destroying the Iraqi communist party. After Saddam …

Iran 73

'President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that the World Arrogance and the bullying powers will spiral downward in their confrontation with Iranian nation.

Address a large public gathering, he said that certain bullying powers cherish a dream that they can drive the Iranian nation out of the scene with hue and cry, but, to no avail.
President Ahmadinejad said that the Iranian nation has become further resolute in reacting to the threats of the bullying powers, a reference to UN Security Council Resolution 1737.
"Leaders of US and the UK are unable to respond to questions brought up by their own people and have resorted to escalating war and bloodshed in the international community to divert public opinion of their own nations from their domestic shortfalls," he said.
He said that the US and UK governments have imposed heavy expense on their own nations by going to war.
"Respect for other nations rights is the only way to salvation.
"You should accept that you ar…

De Israelische Terreur 140

George Bisharat ( is a professor of law at University of California Hastings College of the Law. He writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East.

Truth at last, while breaking a U.S. taboo of criticizing Israel.
By George Bisharat.

Americans owe a debt to former President Jimmy Carter for speaking long hidden but vital truths. His book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid breaks the taboo barring criticism in the United States of Israel's discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. Our government's tacit acceptance of Israel's unfair policies causes global hostility against us.
Israel's friends have attacked Carter, a Nobel laureate who has worked tirelessly for Middle East peace, even raising the specter of anti-Semitism. Genuine anti-Semitism is abhorrent. But exploiting the term to quash legitimate criticism of another system of racial oppression, and to tarnish a principled man, is indefensible. Criticizing Israeli government…

Irak 147

'Saddam Hussein Hanged for the Wrong Reason.Gwynne Dyer, Arab News.

It was not the Iraqi government but its American masters that chose to execute Saddam Hussein in a great rush as soon as the first sentence was confirmed, thus canceling all the other trials on far graver charges that awaited him. The current Iraqi government had nothing to hide if those trials went ahead; the United States government did.
Cast your mind back to the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Washington’s pretext for war then was Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, with barely a word about bringing democracy to the downtrodden Iraqi people. But in order to persuade us that Saddam’s WMD were a threat to the whole world, we were told a lot about how wicked he was, how he had even “gassed his own people.”
Well, there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction, so now the script has been changed to say that the war was about bringing democracy to Iraq. But that still requires Saddam Hussein to be a monstrous…

Irak 146

'Short video explains the CIA's role in Saddams rise to power.' Zie:

De Dollar Hegemonie 23

'Dollar Dethroned By Red Ink.
Paul Craig Roberts.

Will Congress allow President Bush to waste another year on his Iraq misadventure while serious problems overwhelm the United States? During 2006 while the US government focused on the deteriorating situation in Iraq, the US dollar declined sharply against many currencies. By December China’s central bank was expressing its concern that the massive US trade deficit could lead to a run on the dollar and to an international financial crisis. Since WW II the US dollar has been the world’s reserve currency, the currency in which oil is billed and international trade accounts are settled. The low US saving rate means that Washington’s budget deficits must be financed by foreign lenders, who are awash in US Treasury bonds. The massive US trade deficit means that foreigners acquire US assets as payment for US consumption of goods made abroad. Foreigners are worried about their large dollar holdings, because there is no indication that the …

Irak 145

'''Illegal'' Execution Enrages Arabs By Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily.

The execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein carried out at the start of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha has angered Iraqis and others across the Middle East.* Saddam Hussein was hanged on what is held to be a day of mercy and feasting in the Islamic world. It is usually celebrated with the slaughter of a lamb, which represents the innocent blood of Ishmael, who was sacrificed by his father, the prophet Abraham, to honour God. Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, the Kurdish judge who had first presided over Saddam Hussein's trial told reporters that the execution at the beginning of Eid was illegal under Iraqi law, besides violating the customs of Islam. Amin said that under Iraqi law "no verdict should be implemented during the official holidays or religious festivals." While Iraqi Shias, particularly those in the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, view the execu…

Mazin Qumsiyeh

'"The best jihad is when a person speaks the truth before a tyrant ruler."
The prophet Muhammad (PBUH, from authenticated Hadith)
"You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments that stand
out are the moments when you have done things for others." Henry Drummond
January 1, 2007 we spent a few hours taking turns reading the
names of the 3000 US military personnel killed in Iraq interspersed with
reading a few hundred selected names from the hundreds of thousands of
Iraqis killed. Despite the rain, there were over 50 of us attending in New
Haven, CT. Similar events were held in hundreds of cities around the US. I
was especially touched reading names of whole families killed in Iraq. It
helps one focus on what is important and what we need to do. It could not
have been a more fitting beginning to the new year as it helps us focus our
energy and remember why we work for peace and why this war and colonial
occupation (and all wars and occupations) must stop.
If …