• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 8 december 2007

Edward Burtynsky











Een van de meest fascinerende fotografen van deze tijd is Edward Burtynsky, de man over wiens werk de filmdocumentaire Manufactures Lanscapes is gemaakt. Ik kwam er pas net achter dat zijn werk in Helmond wordt tentoongesteld. Gaat het zien als u tijd heeft en zegt het voort!
'Te bezichtigen van 09-10-2007 t/m 06-01-2008

Edward Burtynsky Foto’s - Industrial landscapes
De sloop van afgedankte tankers in Bangladesh, het veranderende stadsbeeld in China door de snelle industrialisatie, de invloed van mijnbouw op de natuur in Noord-Amerika en Europa. Het zijn een paar van de thema’s die de Canadese kunstenaar Edward Burtynsky kiest voor zijn fotowerken.
Grootste museale tentoonstellingIn de expositie zijn ruim zeventig groot formaat werken te zien van deze fotograaf die al vele prijzen won voor zijn oeuvre. Na talloze exposities in Noord-Amerika is het de eerste keer dat in Europa een zo grote museale overzichtstentoonstelling van Burtynsky te zien is.
Industriële landschapsfotografieEdward Burtynsky (*1955 Sint-Catharines, Canada) specialiseert zich sinds eind jaren zeventig in industriële landschapsfotografie. Hij maakt ons bewust van wat wij met onze consumptiebehoefte aanrichten in de wereld. Zijn foto’s zijn niet als donderpreek bedoeld. Burtynsky beseft dat we allemaal deel uitmaken van dit veranderingsproces en dat we er ook de vruchten van plukken. Een van de grootste dilemma’s van onze tijd weet hij te visualiseren. Zijn kleurenfoto’s stralen geen zwartgalligheid uit, maar juist schoonheid. Burtynsky weet als een 19e-eeuwse fijnschilder zelfs de kleinste details vast te leggen. Scheepswrakken krijgen de grandeur van metalen sculpturen. Zijn opnames van China tonen een volledig verwesterd land, maar tegelijkertijd zie je in één oogopslag dat ze nergens anders genomen kunnen zijn. Zo goed weet hij het typisch Chinese te treffen.De foto’s zijn rijk aan details, ondanks hun sterk panoramisch karakter. Uitgaande van de zichtbare werkelijkheid componeert hij een perfecte balans tussen ordening en rust versus verstoring en ritmiek. Het lelijke, vluchtige en tijdelijke van de hedendaagse maatschappij wordt bij hem ongevormd tot schoonheid, rust en eeuwigheid.
WaarschuwenDoor al deze schoonheid heen waarschuwt de kunstenaar ons. Op zijn website zegt hij: ‘Deze beelden zijn een metafoor voor het dilemma van ons bestaan. Ze zoeken de dialoog tussen afschuw en aantrekking, tussen verleiding en angst. Wij worden gedreven door verlangen: een kans op een beter bestaan. Toch weten we bewust of onbewust dat de wereld moet lijden voor deze zucht naar succes. Onze afhankelijkheid van de natuur om ons de grondstoffen te verschaffen voor onze consumptie en onze bezorgdheid voor het welzijn van onze planeet plaatst ons voor een ongemakkelijk dilemma. Mijn foto’s functioneren als spiegelde plassen van onze tijd.’
ErkenningEen aantal van Burtynkys foto’s is opgenomen in de collecties van de vijftien grootste musea ter wereld waaronder The National Gallery of Canada, La Bibliothéque Nationale de Paris, The Museum of Modern Art en het Guggenheim Museum in New York. De Vereniging van Vrienden heeft vorig jaar veertien foto’s van Burtynsky aangekocht voor het Gemeentemuseum Helmond. Deze zijn uiteraard ook te zien in de tentoonstelling. '

The Empire 318

'The Shortage Myth
The Lies at the End of the American Dream
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Last June a revealing marketing video from the law firm, Cohen & Grigsby appeared on the Internet. The video demonstrated the law firm's techniques for getting around US law governing work visas in order to enable corporate clients to replace their American employees with foreigners who work for less. The law firm's marketing manager, Lawrence Lebowitz, is upfront with interested clients: "our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker."
If an American somehow survives the weeding out process, "have the manager of that specific position step in and go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position--in most cases there doesn't seem to be a problem."
No problem for the employer he means, only for the expensively educated American university graduate who is displaced by a foreigner imported on a work visa justified by a nonexistent shortage of trained and qualified Americans.
University of California computer science professor Norm Matloff, who watches this issue closely, said that Cohen & Grigsby's practices are the standard ones used by hordes of attorneys, who are cleaning up by putting Americans out of work.
The Cohen & Grigsby video was a short-term sensation as it undermined the business propaganda that no American employee was being displaced by foreigners on H-1b or L-1 work visas. Soon, however, business organizations and their shills were back in gear lying to Congress and the public about the amazing shortage of qualified Americans for literally every technical and professional occupation, especially IT and software engineering.
Everywhere we hear the same droning lie from business interests that there are not enough American engineers and scientists. For mysterious reasons Americans prefer to be waitresses and bartenders, hospital orderlies, and retail clerks.
As one of the few who writes about this short-sighted policy of American managers endeavoring to maximize their "performance bonuses," I receive much feedback from affected Americans. Many responses come from recent university graduates such as the one who "graduated nearly at the top of my class in 2002" with degrees in both electrical and computer engineering and who "hasn't been able to find a job."
A college roommate of a family member graduated from a good engineering school last year with a degree in software engineering. He had one job interview. Jobless, he is back at home living with his parents and burdened with student loans that bought an education that offshoring and work visas have made useless to Americans.
The hundreds of individual cases that have been brought to my attention are dismissed as "anecdotal" by my fellow economists. So little do they know. I also receive numerous responses from American engineers and IT workers who have managed to hold on to jobs or to find new ones after long intervals when they have been displaced by foreign hires. Their descriptions of their work environments are fascinating.'

Lees verder: http://counterpunch.org/roberts12042007.html

De Israelische Terreur 284

'Published on Friday
The Guardian/UK
Israel Considering Strike on Iran Despite US Intelligence Report
by Rory McCarthy

Senior Israeli officials warned today they were still considering the option of a military strike against Iran, despite a fresh US intelligence report that concluded Tehran was no longer developing nuclear weapons.
Although Israel argues that it wants to see strong diplomatic pressure put on Iran, it is reluctant to rule out the threat of a unilateral military attack. Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy defence minister, told Army Radio today: “No option needs to be off the table.”
Avigdor Lieberman, the hard-right deputy prime minister, said Israel should be ready to act if sanctions did not work. “If they don’t, we will sit and decide whatever we have to decide,” he told the Jerusalem Post in an interview today.
Several of Israel’s Iran experts say the American rethink on the threat posed by Iran had ruled out a US military strike and probably an Israeli strike too, at least for now. However, Israel’s political hawks continue to keep the threat of action alive.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the popular rightwing opposition leader, was asked whether Israel should launch its own military operation. “We always prefer international action, led by the United States, but we have to ensure that we can protect our country with all means,” he told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz today.
The repercussions of the new US intelligence assessment are consuming Israeli politicians, analysts and the press. Although Israeli leaders had been briefed in advance, the national intelligence estimate (NIE) which was declassified and published on Monday, brought surprise and frustration in Israel’s defence establishment.
In a marked shift from earlier assessments, the NIE said Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme in autumn 2003 and had not restarted it. America’s intelligence agencies said they now did not know whether Iran intended to build nuclear weapons.
Israeli officials quickly offered a direct challenge. Ehud Barak, the defence minister, said although Iran’s nuclear programme was halted in 2003 “as far as we know it has probably since revived it”.
It is, however, far from clear whether Israel has its own unique intelligence on Iran strong enough to contradict the American findings. Ha’aretz noted in an analysis today: “It wasn’t in the intelligence arena that Israel suffered a blow this week, but rather in the public opinion arena.”
Some have suggested that with Israel feeling isolated by its hardline stance on Iran, it might be more inclined to launch a unilateral military strike and a comparison is frequently drawn to Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. David Albright, a former UN nuclear inspector, said this week if Israel felt its “red line” had been crossed it might strike. “They may force a military confrontation,” he told the Associated Press agency. '

Lees verder: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/07/5697/ En voor Israel's nucleaire wapens: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/index.html

vrijdag 7 december 2007

11 september 2001 (35)

There exists a shadowy government with its own Air
Force, its own navy, its own fundraising mechanism,
and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national
interest, free from all checks and balances, and free
from the law itself. –


Senator Daniel K. Inouye
during the Iran-contra scandal.

11 september 2001 (34)

Herman mailde mij dit:

'Ex-Italian President: Intel Agencies Know 9/11 An Inside JobMan who set up Operation Gladio tells Italy's largest newspaper attacks were run by CIA, Mossad

Paul Joseph Watson

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

'Ex-Italian President: Intel Agencies Know 9/11 An Inside Job'

'Former Italian President and the man who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio Francesco Cossiga has gone public on 9/11, telling Italys most respected newspaper that the attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad and that this was common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies.'

Former Italian President and the man who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio Francesco Cossiga has gone public on 9/11, telling Italy's most respected newspaper that the attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad and that this was common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies.
Cossiga was elected President of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide 1985 election to become President of the country in 1985.
Cossiga gained respect from opposition parties as one of a rare breed - an honest politician - and led the country for seven years until April 1992.
Cossiga's tendency to be outspoken upset the Italian political establishment and he was forced to resign after revealing the existence of, and his part in setting up, Operation Gladio - a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices that carried out bombings across Europe in the 60's, 70's and 80's.
Gladio's specialty was to carry out what they coined "false flag operations," terror attacks that were blamed on their domestic and geopolitical opposition.
Cossiga's revelations contributed to an Italian parliamentary investigation of Gladio in 2000, during which evidence was unearthed that the attacks were being overseen by the U.S. intelligence apparatus.
In March 2001, Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated, in sworn testimony, "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."
Cossiga's new revelations appeared last week in Italy's oldest and most widely read newspaper, Corriere della Sera. Below appears a rough translation.
"[Bin Laden supposedly confessed] to the Qaeda September [attack] to the two towers in New York [claiming to be] the author of the attack of the 11, while all the [intelligence services] of America and Europe ... now know well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the CIA American and the Mossad with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic Countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part ... in Iraq [and] Afghanistan."
Cossiga first expressed his doubts about 9/11 in 2001, and is quoted in Webster Tarpley's book as stating that "The mastermind of the attack must have been a “sophisticated mind, provided with ample means not only to recruit fanatic kamikazes, but also highly specialized personnel. I add one thing: it could not be accomplished without infiltrations in the radar and flight security personnel.”
Coming from a widely respected former head of state, Cossiga's assertion that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job and that this is common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies is highly unlikely to be mentioned by any establishment media outlets, because like the hundreds of other sober ex-government, military, air force professionals, allied to hundreds more professors and intellectuals - he can't be sidelined as a crackpot conspiracy theorist.

donderdag 6 december 2007

Het Neoliberale Geloof 70


'We're richer, and richer, and richer, and yet, no happier."
In many parts of the world, population growth has stabilized or fallen, but in no part of the world has consumption fallen, notes Gary Gardner, Worldwatch Senior Researcher and State of the World 2008 Project Co-Director, in this new video clip on responsible consumption.
More than 80 percent of the materials we use today are used once and then thrown away. But as consumers, our impacts are more than just environmental. As Gardner asks: What is the quality-of-life price we pay for our consumption choices?.
View: Gary Gardner on Consumption.
In many parts of the world, population growth has stabilized or fallen, but in no part of the world has consumption fallen, notes Gary Gardner, Worldwatch Senior Researcher and State of the World 2008 Project Co-Director, in this new video clip on responsible consumption.
More than 80 percent of the materials we use today are used once and then thrown away. But as consumers, our impacts are more than just environmental. As Gardner asks: What is the quality-of-life price we pay for our consumption choices?
Also, check out our other consumption resources and 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green.
Video courtesy of faircompanies.'

De Commerciele Massamedia 103



'MEDIA ALERT: THE FACELESS AND THE DEAD - THE GUARDIAN AND IRAQ’S REFUGEES

“See The World Through Their Eyes”For several months now, non-UK visitors accessing the Guardian website have been shown an endlessly revolving animation in three segments that would not look out of place on FAIR, ZNet, or indeed Media Lens. The first segment depicts a blue-eyed man wearing glasses with images of anti-war demonstrators reflected in the glasses. The protestors are carrying a banner that reads: “End The War NOW!” It instantly recalls the enormous February 15, 2003 anti-war march in London.The second segment shows a nervous-looking woman in traditional Arab dress with intense flames reflected in her eyes. The third has two grief-stricken women, again in Arab dress, with one carrying a frightened child - their images are reflected in a soldier’s goggles. The animation ends with the words:“See the world through their eyes. The Guardian Weekly Global Network (theguardian weekly.co.uk)”These images are shown hour after hour, week after week, to people visiting the site. This surely is a newspaper subjecting Western policies to fierce critical analysis. It must be focussing relentlessly on Iraqi, Afghan and other civilian suffering as a result of these policies. But in reality, the Guardian has a long history of supporting Western state violence and of suppressing the truth of its consequences. In 1956, the Guardian’s editors backed military action during the Suez crisis:“The government is right to be prepared for military action at Suez“, the paper wrote, because Egyptian control of the canal would be “commercially damaging for the West and perhaps part of a plan for creating a new Arab Empire based on the Nile”. (Leader, August 2, 1956; cited, Murray Mcdonald, ‘50,000 editions of the imperialist, warmongering, hate-filled Guardian newspaper,’ July 2007; http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2617&highlight=murray+McDonald)In 1991, a Guardian leader hailed the righteousness of Operation Desert Storm in almost biblical terms:“The simple cause, at the end, is just. An evil regime in Iraq instituted an evil and brutal invasion. Our soldiers and airmen are there, at UN behest, to set that evil right. Their duties are clear ... let the momentum and the resolution be swift.” (Leader, January 17, 1991, ibid)Eric Hoskins, a Canadian doctor and coordinator of a Harvard study team, later reported that the ensuing allied bombardment “effectively terminated everything vital to human survival in Iraq - electricity, water, sewage systems, agriculture, industry and health care”. (Quoted, Mark Curtis, 'The Ambiguities of Power - British Foreign Policy since 1945', Zed Books, 1995, pp.189-190)READ FULL ALERT'

Lees verder: http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php

Diaspora



Een van de mooiste en meest fascinerende musea ter wereld:

'octobre 2007 – 6 janvier 2008
installations d'art contemporain, sur une idée originale de la cinéaste Claire Denis.

Sur une idée originale de la cinéaste Claire Denis, l’exposition Diaspora montre des installations d’art contemporain spécialement commandées à des artistes, (cinéastes, chorégraphe, musiciens...) : Jeff Mills, Brice Leboucq, Caroline Cartier, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Yousry Nassrallah, Mathilde Monnier, Agnès Godard, Claire Denis… Ces créations incarnent toutes l’apport de la diaspora africaine aux régions du monde qui l'ont reçue et qui l’accueillent. L’exposition propose une approche inattendue de la diaspora d’Afrique : elle témoigne des créations que l’exil et la vie hors de leur pays d’origine inspirent à ces artistes. Elle choisit de montrer la diaspora non comme une perte d’identité mais au contraire comme une source d’enrichissement au contact d’horizons nouveaux. Loin de s’en tenir à la question douloureuse du rapport aux origines, géographiques et communautaires, il s’agit de souligner l’énergie créatrice à l’œuvre dans chaque parcours individuel.
catalogue numérique Diaspora-l’expo
Pendant toute la durée de l'exposition, le musée du quai Branly vous invite à partager votre vision de la diaspora africaine.
Témoignez de votre expérience, réagissez à votre visite de l'exposition, donnez votre opinion... en image, en vidéo ou par écrit ! Afin que dialoguent les cultures via internet, le musée du quai Branly ouvre les débats sur :
MySpace
Dailymotion
flickr
YouTube
(cliquez sur l'espace communautaire web de votre choix pour y accéder).
Pour rester en contact avec le meilleur de ce catalogue numérique, le musée du quai Branly diffusera périodiquement, à partir de mi-octobre, la newsletter Diaspora-l'expo, qui mettra en avant les contributions les plus marquantes déposées sur ces espaces.
Pour découvrir les dernières contributions au catalogue numérique, cliquez ici.
La newsletter Diaspora-l'expo n°2 est en ligne ; pour la découvrir, cliquez ici.'

Lees verder: http://www.quaibranly.fr/fr/programmation/expositions/a-l-affiche/diaspora/index.html

Zochrot 3

'This week: 60th anniversary of the Partition Plan

On Thursday, 29.11.2007, at the corner of Rothschild Blvd. and Balfour (!) Street in Tel Aviv, Zochrot commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the UN decision to partition Palestine. Five life-size photographs were displayed, showing Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Nakba. The people in the photographs were born in the village of al Ras al-Ahmar, today the site of moshav Kerem ben Zimra, in the Upper Galilee. The photographs were taken as part of "Bridging Memory," a project developed by Zochrot together with partners in Lebanon and Europe. A poster showing the development of the project, including an exhibition of the photographs on the former site of the village, was also displayed. Passers-by were handed flyers explaining the event. On the rear of the flyers were printed excerpts from "talk-backs" received in response to other Zochrot activities. One of us climbed a tree to read the talk-backs aloud.'

Lees verder: http://www.zochrot.org/index.php?id=651

Kernenergie

'ATOMIC BALM: NUCLEAR REVIVAL IGNORES CASUALTIES
By Joseph J. Mangano

Nuclear power plants employ a controlled atomic fission reaction,splitting uranium atoms to create heat to boil water to make steam toturn a turbine to generate electricity. Because nuclear power is socomplex, it is accident-prone and unforgiving -- small errors can havelarge consequences. Because of these important disadvantages, for thepast three decades it has looked as if nuclear power were a dyingindustry. But now the nuclear industry has seized on global warming to promoteatomic power plants once again as necessary and safe. From politiciansto corporate executives and conservative pundits, we hear thatreactors are "clean" or "emission free" -- with no evidence offered tosupport the claims. Unfortunately, this baseless promotion emanatesfrom a long-standing culture of deception that has plagued theindustry since its beginnings. Earlier this year the Britishmagazine, the Economist, characterized the U.S. nuclear industry as"a byword for mendacity, secrecy and profligacy with taxpayers'money. Half a century ago, as America produced and exploded hundreds ofatomic bombs (1054 nuclear tests in all, 331 in the atmosphere),public officials assured everyone that low-dose radiation exposureswere harmless. But after the Cold War ended, barriers to the truthgave way. Government-funded research found that nuclear weaponsworkers and those exposed to fallout from atomic bomb tests inNevada suffered from cancer in large numbers. The BEIR VII study.published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2005, ended thedebate on this question: it is now firmly established that anyamount of radioactive exposure carries some risk of harm. Theonly safe dose is zero. In the U.S., atomic bombs are no longer being tested. However, 104nuclear power reactors still operate here, producing the sameradioactive elements found in bomb test fallout, and people livingdownwind are routinely exposed to low levels of radioactivity.Government regulators have established "permissible limits" forradioactive reactor emissions, declaring the resulting exposures"safe" -- contrary to the findings of the National Academy's BEIR VIIstudy. The U.S. nuclear power industry stopped growing in the mid-1970s.Until this year, no new reactors have been ordered in the U.S. since1978, and several dozen reactors have been closed permanently.[1] Butfears of global warming and an ardently pro-nuclear Administration inWashington have laid the groundwork for an industry revival. The industry's revival plan has four parts: 1) Enlarging the capacity of existing reactors; 2) Keeping old reactors running beyond their design lifetime; 3) Operating old reactors more hours per year; and 4) Building new reactors. To help promote the so-called nuclear renaissance, health risks fromlow-level radiation are once again being ignored or denied -- eventhough evidence of harm exists.'

Lees verder: http://www.precaution.org/lib/07/ht071206.htm#Atomic_Balm_Nuclear_Revival_Ignores Casualties

De Israelische Terreur 283


Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. (Dan Keinan)

De Israelische oorlogsmisdadigers zijn bang geworden voor hun daden veroordeeld te worden. Misschien dat ze eieren voor hun geld gaan kiezen en ophouden met hun terreurbeleid.

'Dichter cancels U.K. trip over fears of 'war crimes' arrest
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent
Tags: U.K., Avi Dichter, war crimes

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter canceled a trip to Britain over concerns he would be arrested due to his involvement in the decision to assassinate the head of Hamas' military wing in July 2002. Fifteen people were killed in the bombing of Salah Shehade's house in Gaza, among them his wife and three children, when Dichter was head of the Shin Bet security service. He is the first minister to have to deal with a possible arrest. Dichter was invited to take part in a conference by a British research institute on "the day after" Annapolis. He was supposed to give an address on the diplomatic process.

Dichter contacted the Foreign Ministry and sought an opinion on the matter, among other reasons because of previous cases in which complaints were filed in Britain and arrest warrants were issued on suspicion of war crimes by senior officers who served during the second intifada. The Foreign Ministry wrote Dichter that it did not recommend he visit Britain because of a high probability that an extreme leftist organization there would file a complaint, which might lead to an arrest warrant. The ministry also wrote that because Dichter was not an official guest of the British government, he did not have immunity from arrest. Dichter's bureau said in response that the minister does not intend to go to Britain on any type of official or unofficial visit until the matter of the arrest warrant is resolved. Dichter was already charged in a civil suit in the United States in 2005 for his part in the decision to assassinate Shehade. But in this U.S., this is not a cause for arrest. British law, however, states that a private individual can file a complaint against another person for offenses such as war crimes. According to the law, such a complaint might lead to the court issuing an arrest warrant, or a summons to criminal investigation or clarification of the complaint by the police, or even the opening of criminal proceedings.'

Lees verder: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/931835.html

Het Israelisch Expansionisme 66

De Apartheids Muur

'About us

We are a group of documentary photographers acting for social change, convinced in the power of photography as a vehicle of change through awareness. We seek to bring awareness to issues and situations that we believe create social injustice, through images that question the society in which we live in. We believe in the capability and obligation of photography and all arts in general to make a statement and to stimulate conscience. Photography is a channel of self expression. The camera is the mouth. The picture is the scream. The group was integrated during the current year out of the belief that mutual work may serve the personal statement of each member and similarly make a conjoined statement that will echo from afar. Our first project was related to the situation of the Palestinian village of Bilin and the High Court of Justice 's decision regarding the trace of the Separation Wall. This work was the fruit of a year of working in the village, and the choosen format was a street exhibition that was displayed in several public spaces in Tel Aviv. We have chosen the common space as a platform for presenting our works. Using the walls of the city as an open gallery is derived from the will to create a communication with the surrounding. Art as we grasp it shouldn't be locked in galleries, but open to the wide public. We address the people on the street, whom we like to influence, the ones in which the power to make real social changes is latent. ActiveStills operates in Israel and Palestine and focuses on social and political documenting, projects production, publications and open exhibitions at topics in which the public is not exposed in its daily informative routines, managed by the established media.'

Zie: http://www.activestills.org/aboutenglish.html

The Empire 317




Na al het gezwets in de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia nu echte deskundigen aan het woord over de 'revolutie' van de gevestigde orde in de VS. Het NOS-Journaal had het nieuws ergens achterin verstopt, maar dat komt omdat hun correspondent de hele tijd voor dat witte huis staat. Die man moet eens bewegen en met mensen gaan praten in plaats daar voor dat hek te blijven blauwbekken. Hij heeft toch helemaal niets te doen.
'Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Bush's Losing Iranian Hand
Whatever else the release of the 16-agency National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Iranian bomb may be, it is certainly a reasonable measure of inside-the-Beltway Bush administration decline. Whether that release represented "a pre-emptive strike against the White House by intelligence agencies and military chiefs," an intelligence "mini-coup" against the administration, part of a longer-term set of moves meant to undermine plans for air strikes against Iran that involved a potential resignation threat from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and a "near mutiny" by the Joint Chiefs, or an attempt by the administration itself to "salvage negotiations with Iran" or shift its own Iran policy, or none of -- or some combination of -- the above, one thing can be said: Such an NIE would not have been written, no less released, at almost any previous moment in the last seven years. (Witness the 2005 version of the same that opted for an active Iranian program to produce nuclear weapons.)
Imagine an NIE back in 2005 that, as Dilip Hiro wrote recently, "contradicts the image of an inward-looking, irrational, theocratic leadership ruling Iran oppressively that Washington has been projecting for a long time. It says: 'Our assessment that Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure indicates Teheran's decisions are judged by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs.'"
The Iranians as rational, cost-benefit calculators? Only the near collapse of presidential and vice-presidential polling figures, and the endless policy failures that proceeded and accompanied those numbers; only the arrival of Robert Gates as secretary of defense and a representative of the "reality-based community," only the weakening of the neocons and their purge inside the Pentagon, only the increasing isolation of the Vice President's "office" -- only, that is, decline inside the Beltway -- could account for such a conclusion or such a release.
Whatever the realities of the Iranian nuclear program, this NIE certainly reflected the shifting realities of power in Washington in the winter of 2007. In a zero-sum game in the capital's corridors in which, for years, every other power center was the loser, the hardliners suddenly find themselves with their backs to the wall when it comes to the most compelling of their dreams of global domination. (Never forget the pre-invasion neocon quip: "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.")
Now, as Jim Lobe points out, we probably know why the Vice President and others suddenly began to change the subject last summer from the Iranian nuclear program to Iranian IEDs being smuggled into Iraq for use against American forces. And why, in August, according to the Washington Post's Dan Froomkin, the President "stopped making explicit assertions about the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program... and started more vaguely accusing them of seeking the knowledge necessary to make such a weapon." They knew what was coming.
Enough power evidently remained in the hands of Vice President Cheney and associates that the final NIE was delayed at least three times, according to Congressional sources speaking to the Los Angeles Times. The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh claims that "the vice-president has kept his foot on the neck of that report... The intelligence we learned about yesterday has been circulating inside this government at the highest levels for the last year -- and probably longer." Still, it's now out and that is a yardstick of something.
Dilip Hiro is intent on measuring a more significant decline -- not of the Bush moment in Washington, but of imperial America which, as he points out below, now finds itself on the losing end of an ever more humiliating zero-sum game with a relatively minor power. If you needed the slightest proof of this, just consider how, on Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad termed the release of the NIE a "declaration of victory" for Iran's nuclear program. And he has reason to crow. After all, as the headline of the latest Robert Scheer column at Truthdig.org indicates, when it came to the latest stare-down at the nuclear OK Corral between the President of the planetary "hyperpower" and the president of a relatively weak regional power: "It Turns Out Ahmadinejad Was the Truthful One."
Tom'

dinsdag 4 december 2007

Voedsel


'Report: World food prices to rise
By HENRY SANDERSON
Associated Press Writer
BEIJING (AP) -- Food prices are set to rise around the globe after years of decline, with climate change making it harder for the world's poorest to get adequate food, according to a report released Tuesday.
Rising global temperatures as well as growing food consumption in rapidly developing countries such as China and India are pressuring the world food system, meaning that food prices will rise for the foreseeable future, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.
Joachim von Braun, the director of the Washington-based research group, said food prices have been in a declining trend since scientists began developing high-yield plant varieties decades ago, "but the days of falling food prices may be over."
"The last time the world experienced such food price increases was in 1973 to 1974 ... but today the situation is completely different. For one, the climate risk and climate change situation has increased, the climate vulnerability has increased," von Braun told reporters in Beijing.
The institute said in a report that hunger and malnutrition could rise as poor agricultural communities most sensitive to the environment, such as in Africa, are hurt. Dependency on food imports will also increase as cereal yields decline in those countries.
The world's agricultural production is projected to decrease by 16 percent by 2020 due to global warming, the report said, with land used for certain crops shrinking. For example, it said land to grow wheat could almost disappear in Africa.'

The Empire 316


Anderhalf jaar geleden was ik hier, vlakbij Tuba City, waar de Navaho en Hopi Indianen leven. Het is gebied waar uranium wordt gedolven en gedumpt, zoals ik zag en zoals u op de bovenste foto van me kunt zien.


'Hopi springs still in danger
By CYNDY COLE

Sun Staff Reporter

Sunday, December 02, 2007

After years of unsuccessfully petitioning various federal agencies to remove radioactive waste at a dump near Tuba City, Hopi officials now say any cleanup might come too late.A plume of contaminated water has migrated to within one-third mile of a spring the Hopi village of Lower Moencopi uses for drinking water, new data shows.But the EPA does not consider the dump an emergency cleanup site, and at this point, village drinking water is still safe, according to EPA standards.That could change very soon, however. Two out of three testing wells -- those located closer to the dump -- are registering levels of radioactive water slightly above what is federally considered safe in drinking water, according to hydrogeologist Mark Miller, a consultant contracted by the tribe.One of those wells sits at the same elevation as the spring used by Lower Moencopi."This is a major concern of ours," said Bill Havens, special assistant to Hopi Chairman Ben Nuvamsa.The contaminated water has reached the canyon used to water nearby crops, raising health concerns about potentially tainted corn, beans and melons."It's close enough to the water that we irrigate with from Pasture Canyon that we need more conclusive data and some action to start doing something about the cleanup," said Lorena Naseyowma, assistant community services administrator for Lower Moencopi.
http://www.azdailysun.com/articles/2007/12/02/news/20071202_front%20page_23.txt

The Empire 315

'The Guatemalan Police Archives
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 170
By Kate Doylekadoyle@gwu.eduPhone - 646/613-1440, ext. 238 or 646/670-8841
Research Assistance: Emilene Martínez Morales
Washington, D.C.

On July 5, officials from the Guatemalan government's human rights office (PDH - Procuraduría de Derechos Humanos) entered a deteriorating, rat-infested munitions depot in downtown Guatemala City to investigate complaints about improperly-stored explosives. During inspection of the site, investigators found a vast collection of documents, stored in five buildings and in an advanced state of decay. The files belonged to the National Police, the central branch of Guatemala's security forces during the war - an entity so inextricably linked to violent repression, abduction, disappearances, torture and assassination that the country's 1996 peace accord mandated it be completely disbanded and a new police institution created in its stead.
The scope of this find is staggering - PDH officials estimate that there are 4.5 kilometers - some 75 million pages - of materials. During a visit to the site in early August, I saw file cabinets marked "assassinations," "disappeared" and "homicides," as well as folders labeled with the names of internationally-known victims of political murder, such as anthropologist Myrna Mack (killed by security forces in 1990).
There were hundreds of rolls of still photography, which the PDH is developing now. There were pictures of bodies and of detainees, there were lists of police informants with names and photos, there were vehicle license plates, video tapes and computer disks. The installations themselves, which are in a terrible state of neglect - humid and exposed to the open air, infested with vermin and full of trash - contain what appear to be clandestine cells.
The importance of the discovery cannot be overstated. Since 1996, when the government signed a peace accord with guerrilla forces, Guatemalans have fought to recover historical memory, end impunity and institute the rule of law after more than 30 years of violent civil conflict. In 1997, a UN-sponsored truth commission was created to investigate the war and analyze its origins.
Despite a mandate granting it the right to request records from all parties to the conflict, the Historical Clarification Commission was stonewalled at every turn by military, intelligence and security officials, who refused to turn over internal files on the grounds that they had been destroyed during the war, or simply did not exist. The truth commission released its final report in 1999 without the benefit of access to such critical material. According to the report, some 150,000 Guatemalan citizens died in the war, and another 40,000 were abducted and disappeared.
Despite this terrible legacy, Guatemala represents today an extraordinary example of how information can advance the cause of justice over the barriers of impunity. Guatemalan investigators have drawn on victims' accounts, forensic records, published human rights reports, perpetrators' testimonies and thousands of declassified U.S. documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to provide some historical and judicial accountability for what happened during the war. Openness advocates have used the government's silence about the war to press their case for the passage of a national freedom of information law. Prosecutors have incorporated U.S. declassified documents into legal battles targeting military and police abusers in key human rights cases. And now Guatemalans are discovering their own buried, hidden, and abandoned records from the files of the repressive Guatemalan security services.
The newly discovered police archives, which cover a century of police operations, promises to be one of the most revealing collections of military or police records ever discovered in Latin America. The appearance of these documents has created an extraordinary opportunity for preserving history and advancing justice that the Archive is mobilizing to meet.'
Lees verder: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB170/index.htm

The Empire 314

Tom-Jan Meeus van NRC moet dit maar eens lezen, dat helpt om te begrijpen welke belangen op dit moment de Bush bende aan banden willen leggen.

'National debt grows $1 million a minute
US National Debt Expanding at Mind-Numbing Rate, Nearly $1.4 Billion Per Day
TOM RAUM
AP News

Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day — or nearly $1 million a minute.
What's that mean to you?
It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.
Even if you've escaped the recent housing and credit crunches and are coping with rising fuel prices, you may still be headed for economic misery, along with the rest of the country. That's because the government is fast straining resources needed to meet interest payments on the national debt, which stands at a mind-numbing $9.13 trillion.
And like homeowners who took out adjustable-rate mortgages, the government faces the prospect of seeing this debt — now at relatively low interest rates — rolling over to higher rates, multiplying the financial pain.
So long as somebody is willing to keep loaning the U.S. government money, the debt is largely out of sight, out of mind.
But the interest payments keep compounding, and could in time squeeze out most other government spending — leading to sharply higher taxes or a cut in basic services like Social Security and other government benefit programs. Or all of the above.
A major economic slowdown, as some economists suggest may be looming, could hasten the day of reckoning.
The national debt — the total accumulation of annual budget deficits — is up from $5.7 trillion when President Bush took office in January 2001 and it will top $10 trillion sometime right before or right after he leaves in January 2009.
That's $10,000,000,000,000.00, or one digit more than an odometer-style "national debt clock" near New York's Times Square can handle. When the privately owned automated clock was activated in 1989, the national debt was $2.7 trillion.
It only gets worse.
Over the next 25 years, the number of Americans aged 65 and up is expected to almost double. The work population will shrink and more and more baby boomers will be drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits, putting new demands on the government's resources.
These guaranteed retirement and health benefit programs now make up the largest component of federal spending. Defense is next. And moving up fast in third place is interest on the national debt, which totaled $430 billion last year.
Aggravating the debt picture: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates could cost $2.4 trillion over the next decade
Despite vows in both parties to restrain federal spending, the national debt as a percentage of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has grown from about 35 percent in 1975 to around 65 percent today. By historical standards, it's not proportionately as high as during World War II — when it briefly rose to 120 percent of GDP, but it's a big chunk of liability.
"The problem is going forward," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard and Poors, a major credit-rating agency.
"Our estimate is that the national debt will hit 350 percent of the GDP by 2050 under unchanged policy. Something has to change, because if you look at what's going to happen to expenditures for entitlement programs after us baby boomers start to retire, at the current tax rates, it doesn't work," Wyss said.
With national elections approaching, candidates of both parties are talking about fiscal discipline and reducing the deficit and accusing the other of irresponsible spending. But the national debt itself — a legacy of overspending dating back to the American Revolution — receives only occasional mention.
Who is loaning Washington all this money?
Ordinary investors who buy Treasury bills, notes and U.S. savings bonds, for one. Also it is banks, pension funds, mutual fund companies and state, local and increasingly foreign governments. This accounts for about $5.1 trillion of the total and is called the "publicly held" debt. The remaining $4 trillion is owed to Social Security and other government accounts, according to the Treasury Department, which keeps figures on the national debt down to the penny on its Web site.
Some economists liken the government's plight to consumers who spent like there was no tomorrow — only to find themselves maxed out on credit cards and having a hard time keeping up with rising interest payments.
"The government is in the same predicament as the average homeowner who took out an adjustable mortgage," said Stanley Collender, a former congressional budget analyst and now managing director at Qorvis Communications, a business consulting firm.'

Lees verder:
http://www.rawstory.com/news/mochila/National_debt_grows_1_million_a_min_12032007.html

Oorlog is heel duur. Tom-Jan, wie betaalt het?

Het Israelisch Expansionisme 65

'Colonizing a Metaphor
The Bible and Middle East History
By ERIC WALBERG

For more than a century, archaeologists and historians have attempted to confirm beliefs of both Christians and Jews about their common past using the Old Testament (OT) and New Testaments (NT) as starting points. Christians, while embracing the OT as a harmless precursor of the NT, insist that the combined texts prove the truth of Judaic monotheism, with its covenant with God, a covenant that was renewed with the resurrection of Jesus as the Christ. Jews, of course, stick with the basic OT texts, insisting they alone prove their role as God's Chosen People and their right to create a Jewish state, Israel, in the Holy Land. This Jewish state was first grudgingly accepted by the Christian West, and now is enthusiastically embraced by some Christians based on their own misreading of the Bible. The Bible supposedly predicts that the Jews will return to their supposed promised land, and the messiah will (re)appear, signalling either the end of the Earth or the reign of God.So what are the "facts"? What do modern archaeology and other sciences have to say about the Bible? Does it help us resolve the question of the validity of Jesus as a legitimate messiah, one who would end Judaism and found a truly universal religion for all mankind? Does it allow Judaism a new lease on life, providing proof of the existence of a Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, with a spectacular and ancient history? And are we fated to die in a fiery apocalypse as predicted in Revelations?While archaeologists cannot help us answer the latter question, it can tell us something about the past. Biblical archaeology has expanded rapidly in the past half-century as a new academic field in search of both justification and funding. Unlike Muslims, for whom the Biblical legends are accepted as the legacy of all mankind and require no shards or inscriptions to prove this, both Christians and Zionists have tapped them to fuel their respective politico-religious agendas and have produced mountains of studies. But it is now clear to the most respected Christian, Jewish, Muslim and/or secular archaeologists that this supposedly scholarly, rigorous and objective discipline, with its methodology of taking biblical passages and digging and poking away in likely places, looking for proof of what they say, has been a big failure, if not a hoax. While the financial benefits of tying the Bible to archaeology have increased, historical and intellectual benefits have just as rapidly diminished.Two egregious flaws lie behind this. Firstly, it is somehow overlooked that both the Old and New Testaments were first written down only in the fourth c BC (mostly from the third c BC) to the first c AD by Hellenised Jews, i.e., over a relatively short historical period of approximately four centuries, the culmination of Hellenism as it flourished in the Middle East up to and including its manifestation under the Roman empire. The references to "old Israel" of the distant past are directed at the enlightenment of people living at that time, and have much more to do with events at that time than some distant, mythical history which was never recorded in stone, so to speak, but was rather passed down from generation to generation much like other peoples have passed down the legends of their origins -- orally, embellished by talented composers and poets. Furthermore, the OT and NT are closely integrated in structure, themes, and underlying philosophy, and to reject one part as heretical (as the Jews do the NT) or another part as a mere harmless introduction to the real text (as do the Christians concerning the OT) is not only unprofessional, but foolish and even subversive.'

Lees verder: http://www.counterpunch.org/walberg12032007.html

De Nuance van de NRC 44


NRC bericht:
'Iran even van Amerikaanse agenda
Gepubliceerd: 4 december 2007 12:23
Gewijzigd: 4 december 2007 14:26
Door onze correspondent Tom-Jan Meeus
Het Iran-rapport van de Amerikaanse inlichtingendiensten heeft in de VS grote binnenlands-politieke gevolgen. Voor president Bush, voor Hillary Clinton, en voor talrijke Republikeinen…
Opmerkelijk was vooral dat de zestien inlichtingendiensten hun stuk – de zogenoemde National Intelligence Estimate – zélf openbaar maakten. De afgelopen jaren talmden ze geregeld met de vrijgave van inlichtingenanalyses.
Maar uit de reacties van de twee voorzitters van commissies voor de inlichtingendiensten in het Congres, de Democraten Rockefeller (Senaat) en Reyes (Huis), bleek gisteren dat zij geen van beiden druk op de diensten hadden hoeven uitoefenen om de stukken naar buiten te brengen. Het wekt de indruk dat de inlichtingengemeenschap de vorige oorlog – althans de aanloop daartoe – aan het overdoen zijn. Voorafgaande aan de invasie van Irak waren de diensten immers niet alleen bereid hun bevindingen aan te passen aan de politieke behoefte. Ook hielpen ze mee aan een proces waarbij openbare controle op de bevindingen nagenoeg onmogelijk was: alle analyses kregen het stempel vertrouwelijk. Fouten in het werk van de CIA werden zodoende te laat vastgesteld.'
Inderdaad, zie je nou wel, dat kekke kereltje Tom-Jan Meeus kan het wel. Nu nog een stapje maken, Tom-Jan. Wie zou bepaald hebben dat de inlichtingendiensten hun vertrouwelijke informatie publiek moesten maken zodat zowel de Bush-bende als de pro-Israel lobby politiek vleugellam worden gemaakt. Welke belangen zitten hier achter? Want niets in de politieke wereld, beste collega, gebeurt zomaar toevallig. Vertel nu de lezers van de slijpsteen voor de geest welke belangen hier mee spelen en wiens belangen daarmee onderuit worden gehaald. Dat heeft niets met complotten te maken, maar alles met machtspolitiek, zoals die door grootmachten worden bedacht en uitgevoerd. Welke groep heeft er op dit moment er belang bij dat de macht van de neoconservatieven wordt vernietigd. Juist, ja, goed zo, je bent op weg... Laten we morgen in de krant kijken of Tom-Jan Meeus het antwoord al weet.

JSF

'Persbericht Campagne tegen Wapenhandel

Niemand wil betalen voor peperduur gevechtsvliegtuigActivisten 'collecteren' tevergeefs voor de JSF
4 december 2007 –

De Nederlandse bevolking blijkt geen cent voor de Joint Strike Fighter te willen geven. De Campagne tegen Wapenhandel heeft de proef op de som genomen. Activisten zijn in vier steden met de (luchtmacht)pet rondgegaan om de Nederlandse burger om een financiële bijdrage voor het beoogde nieuwe gevechtsvliegtuig te vragen. De opbrengst van deze collecte was – niet geheel onverwacht - minimaal. Terwijl volgens een vandaag verschenen rapport van de Rekenkamer de kosten van de beoogde opvolger van de F-16 een onzekere factor blijven en de vooruitzichten voor de industrie verre van rooskleurig zijn. In Amsterdam werd op de Dam ‘gecollecteerd’ door activisten in luchtmachtkleding. Het publiek bleek echter vooral geïnteresseerd in Sinterklaasinkopen. In Enschede werden handtekeningen opgehaald tegen de JSF, en werd cake verkocht ‘ten behoeve van de JSF”. Het publiek liep wel warm voor de petitie tegen de JSF. In Den Haag probeerde een vertegenwoordiger van de wapenindustrie het publiek te bewegen tot een financiële bijdrage, om deze te kunnen overhandigen aan het NIFARP, de lobby van de defensie-industrie ten behoeve van de JSF. Ook hier was de opbrengst minimaal. In Hoogeveen collecteerden ‘luchtmachtmilitairen’ ten behoeve van het aldaar gevestigde Stork Aerospace, één van de grootste profiteurs van de JSF-deelname. Het plan was om het opgehaalde geld over te dragen aan de directie van het bedrijf, maar helaas was de opbrengst onvoldoende. Als troost zal de Stork directie chocolade geld worden aangeboden. In het vandaag verschenen rapport over de JSF concludeert de Rekenkamer dat de Nederlandse deelname gepaard blijft gaan met een groot aantal onzekere factoren, zowel wat betreft de ontwikkeling van de kosten als ook de toegang van de industrie tot het programma. Bovendien zou volgens de huidige stand van zaken de industrie een hoger dan voorzien percentage van de JSF omzet moeten terugbetalen aan de staat. Tegelijk nemen de kansen voor de industrie om deel te nemen af naarmate de euro duurder wordt ten opzichte van de dollar.
Zie: http://www.stopwapenhandel.org/
Zie ook de nieuwe website http://www.jsf-nee.nl/

Klimaatverandering 122

'What Is Progress?

The numbers show that this should be the real question at the Bali talks.
By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 4th December 2007

When you warn people about the dangers of climate change, they call you a saint. When you explain what needs to be done to stop it, they call you a communist. Let me show you why.
There is now a broad scientific consensus that we need to prevent temperatures from rising by more than 2°C above their pre-industrial level. Beyond that point, the Greenland ice sheet could go into irreversible meltdown, some ecosystems collapse, billions suffer from water stress, droughts could start to threaten global food supplies(1,2).
The government proposes to cut the UK’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. This target is based on a report published in 2000(3). That report was based on an assessment published in 1995, which drew on scientific papers published a few years earlier. The UK’s policy, in other words, is based on papers some 15 years old. Our target, which is one of the toughest on earth, bears no relation to current science.
Over the past fortnight, both Gordon Brown and his adviser Sir Nicholas Stern have proposed raising the cut to 80%(4,5). Where did this figure come from? The last G8 summit adopted the aim of a global cut of 50% by 2050, which means that 80% would be roughly the UK’s fair share. But the G8’s target isn’t based on current science either.
In the new summary published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you will find a table which links different cuts to likely temperatures(6). To prevent global warming from eventually exceeding 2°, it suggests, by 2050 the world needs to cut its emissions to roughly 15% of the volume in 2000.
I looked up the global figures for carbon dioxide production in 2000(7) and divided it by the current population(8). This gives a baseline figure of 3.58 tonnes of CO2 per person. An 85% cut means that (if the population remains constant) the global output per head should be reduced to 0.537t by 2050. The UK currently produces 9.6 tonnes per head and the US 23.6t(9,10). Reducing these figures to 0.537t means a 94.4% cut in the UK and a 97.7% cut in the US. But the world population will rise in the same period. If we assume a population of 9bn in 2050(11), the cuts rise to 95.9% in the UK and 98.3% in the US.
The IPCC figures might also be out of date. In a footnote beneath the table, the panel admits that “emission reductions … might be underestimated due to missing carbon cycle feedbacks”. What this means is that the impact of the biosphere’s response to global warming has not been fully considered. As seawater warms, for example, it releases carbon dioxide. As soil bacteria heat up, they respire more, generating more CO2. As temperatures rise, tropical forests die back, releasing the carbon they contain. These are examples of positive feedbacks. A recent paper (all the references are on my website) estimates that feedbacks account for about 18% of global warming(12). They are likely to intensify.'

Lees verder: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/12/04/what-is-progress/

Iran 186



Het dringt nog niet tot mijn collega's in Nederland door, maar in de VS rebelleert de gevestigde orde. Al eerder hadden generaals de Bush bende laten weten dat ze niet akkoord gingen met een oorlog tegen Iran, maar nu hebben de geheime diensten zich uitgesproken, onmiddellijk gesteund door Democraten in het Congres, het is een gecoordeneerde actie. Iran is geen gevaar voor de wereldvrede en ontwikkelt geen kernwapens, hoeft dus ook niet gebombardeerd te worden, zoals Israel en de pro-Israel lobby al jarenlang beweert en suggereert. Dat is een klap voor Israel en de Amerikaanse oorlogsindustrie. De gevestigde orde in de VS weigert nog langer mee te doen aan de oorlogshysterie. Dat is een revolutionaire gebeurtenis, maar onvermijdelijk.

De Independent bericht:

'Iran ''has halted its nuclear weapons programme''
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 04 December 2007

In a blow to Bush administration hawks demanding military strikes on Iran, a US intelligence report reveals that Tehran's secret nuclear weapons programme was shut down four years ago.
The finding which has come as a surprise to friends and foes of the US concluded: "We do not know whether [Iran] currently intends to develop nuclear weapons." That is in sharp contrast to an intelligence report two years ago that stated Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons".
US officials said the report showed that the Bush administration was right to conclude that Tehran intends to develop nuclear weapons in the long term. They also said that Iran was forced to end its secret programme because of financial sanctions and diplomacy backed up with the threat of force.
"Today's National Intelligence Estimate offers some positive news," said the National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. "It confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons."
He added that on balance the report was "good news", insisting it showed Tehran was susceptible to international pressure but that the risk of it acquiring nuclear weapons "remains a very serious problem".
President Bush seemed to prepare the ground for just such an attack last month when he declared that any international effort to avoid "World War III" would have to start by preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability. Vice-President Dick Cheney then threatened "serious consequences" if Tehran did not abandon its nuclear programme.
As these threats were being made, the CIA had secretly concluded that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ended the nuclear weapons work years ago in the face of diplomatic pressure and the threat of sanctions. The order " was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure," the spy agencies said.'

Lees verder: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3221003.ece

maandag 3 december 2007

De Bush Bende 63

An Old Face Resurfaces
By Michael Isikoff
Newsweek

The Bush administration has offered the former World Bank president a new public service position.
Don't ever say the Bush administration doesn't take care of its own. Nearly three years after Paul Wolfowitz resigned as deputy Defense secretary and six months after his stormy departure as president of the World Bank-amid allegations that he improperly awarded a raise to his girlfriend-he's in line to return to public service. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has offered Wolfowitz, a prime architect of the Iraq War, a position as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, a prestigious State Department panel, according to two department sources who declined to be identified discussing personnel matters. The 18-member panel, which has access to highly classified intelligence, advises Rice on disarmament, nuclear proliferation, WMD issues and other matters. "We think he is well suited and will do an excellent job," said one senior official.
Wolfowitz, now a visiting scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, will replace former senator Fred Thompson, who quit over the summer to run for president. Although officials declined to say how Rice came to choose him, Wolfowitz began his government career in the 1970s in the State Department as an arms-control expert; he forged a relationship with Rice during the 2000 presidential campaign, when they both served as top foreign-policy advisers to the then candidate Bush. But his selection has raised more than a few eyebrows within State because he'll be providing advice on some of the same issues that critics say the administration got spectacularly wrong when Wolfowitz was pushing the case for the Iraq War at the Pentagon. (One of the department sources called the appointment "amazing.") At least Wolfowitz, who did not return calls seeking comment, will have like-minded company: other panel members include Robert Joseph, the former National Security Council official in charge of Iraq WMD intelligence, and ex-CIA director James Woolsey, both strong allies during the Iraq debate.
The sources said Wolfowitz has already accepted Rice's offer to fill the part-time position, though it won't be announced until the completion of a standard check for conflicts of interest. But he won't have to worry about any complaints from pesky Democrats. The position doesn't require Senate confirmation.'

Zie: http://www.newsweek.com/id/73273 Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/120307N.shtml

The Empire 313


Het is wonderlijk hoe een mens of een natie of een imperium zichzelf bewust ten grond kan richten.
De New York Times bericht:
'National Debt Grows $1 Million a Minute The Associated Press
Monday 03 December 2007
Washington - Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day - or nearly $1 million a minute.
What's that mean to you?
It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.
Even if you've escaped the recent housing and credit crunches and are coping with rising fuel prices, you may still be headed for economic misery, along with the rest of the country. That's because the government is fast straining resources needed to meet interest payments on the national debt, which stands at a mind-numbing $9.13 trillion.
And like homeowners who took out adjustable-rate mortgages, the government faces the prospect of seeing this debt - now at relatively low interest rates - rolling over to higher rates, multiplying the financial pain.
So long as somebody is willing to keep loaning the U.S. government money, the debt is largely out of sight, out of mind.
But the interest payments keep compounding, and could in time squeeze out most other government spending - leading to sharply higher taxes or a cut in basic services like Social Security and other government benefit programs. Or all of the above.
A major economic slowdown, as some economists suggest may be looming, could hasten the day of reckoning.
The national debt - the total accumulation of annual budget deficits - is up from $5.7 trillion when President Bush took office in January 2001 and it will top $10 trillion sometime right before or right after he leaves in January 2009.
That's $10,000,000,000,000.00, or one digit more than an odometer-style "national debt clock" near New York's Times Square can handle. When the privately owned automated clock was activated in 1989, the national debt was $2.7 trillion.
It only gets worse.
Over the next 25 years, the number of Americans aged 65 and up is expected to almost double. The work population will shrink and more and more baby boomers will be drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits, putting new demands on the government's resources.
These guaranteed retirement and health benefit programs now make up the largest component of federal spending. Defense is next. And moving up fast in third place is interest on the national debt, which totaled $430 billion last year.
Aggravating the debt picture: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates could cost $2.4 trillion over the next decade
Despite vows in both parties to restrain federal spending, the national debt as a percentage of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product has grown from about 35 percent in 1975 to around 65 percent today. By historical standards, it's not proportionately as high as during World War II - when it briefly rose to 120 percent of GDP, but it's a big chunk of liability.
"The problem is going forward," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard and Poors, a major credit-rating agency.
"Our estimate is that the national debt will hit 350 percent of the GDP by 2050 under unchanged policy. Something has to change, because if you look at what's going to happen to expenditures for entitlement programs after us baby boomers start to retire, at the current tax rates, it doesn't work," Wyss said.'

zondag 2 december 2007

Het Neoliberale Geloof 69


'Fed: Economy loses speed, shopping slows

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy grew at a slower pace in the late fall as shoppers watched their pennies heading into the busy holiday season.

The Federal Reserve's new snapshot, released Wednesday, suggested the strains from a severe housing slump and a painful credit crunch are affecting the behavior of individuals and businesses alike - making them somewhat more cautious.

Yet, the hope that the Federal Reserve will cut a key interest rate for a third time this year to energize the economy sent stocks soaring on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrials jumped for the second day in a row, gaining 331.01 points to close at 13,289.45. It marked the index's biggest two-day point gain in five years.

"Reports on retail spending were downbeat in general," the Fed survey said. "Most retailers said that they were expecting a slow holiday season, with only small gains in sales volumes compared with last year," the Fed added.

Spending by consumers and businesses is the lifeblood of the country's economic activity. The big worry for economists is that consumers and businesses will cut back on spending and investing, dealing a blow to economic growth. The odds of a recession have grown this year. Still, Fed officials and many other economists remain hopeful the country will weather the financial storm without falling into recession.

The Fed report found the national economy continued to grow during the survey period of October through mid-November but at a "reduced pace." Of the 12 Fed regions surveyed, seven reported a slower pace of economic activity, while the remainder generally pointed to "modest expansion or mixed conditions," the Fed said.

The findings will figure prominently into discussions when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues meet on Dec. 11 to decide their next move on interest rates. Investors and some economists believe the Fed report, along with recent turbulence on Wall Street, would justify another rate reduction.

"The Fed realizes markets are fragile, and the ongoing dislocations we expect will lead the (Fed) to ease on Dec. 11," said T.J. Marta, fixed income strategist at RBC Capital Markets.'


Norman Solomon




Ik ben al lange tijd een fan van Norman Solomon. Nu was hij in Amsterdam zonder dat ik het wist. Gelukkig heeft iemand anders hem geinterviewd. Ik kreeg deze email van Kees van http://www.globalinfo.nl/

'Dag Stan van Houcke,

Een erg goede film op het IDFA was War Made Easy, over propaganda en
oorlog. Ik heb de journalist op wiens onderzoek de film gebaseerd is,
Norman Solomon, geinterviewd voor mijn website globalinfo.nl.
Wat me opviel was de schampere beschrijving van de film op de VN- website (http://www.vn.nl/BijVN/IDFA2007.htm zie hieronder) waarin de
beschrijver beklaagt dat de film geen aandacht besteedt aan de
'ongehoorzame' media (dus die de propaganda niet gevolgd hebben).
Maar ten eerst doet de film dat juist wel en geeft het voorbeeld van
Phil Donahue wiens programma op MSNBC enkele weken voor begin van de
oorlog gekilled werd omdat hij te kritisch was. En daarnaast vraag je
je af welke kritische media de VN-meneer verder nog bedoelt?
Met groet, Kees
----------------

War made easy - Loretta Alper, Jeremy Earp (VS, 2007, 73') 24-11-2007 Door Pieter van den Blink

Wie Sean Penns woorden heeft gehoord of gelezen bij de uitreiking van
de First Amendment Award in december vorig jaar - een felle aanklacht
tegen de oorlog in Irak onder de titel Georgie, there's a crowd
downstairs - had misschien meer verwacht van deze film (die verteld
wordt door Penn). Geen fellere aanklacht, want dat is juist wat deze
film is: één grote aanklacht. Dit keer niet tegen Georgie W. zelf
alswel tegen de 'diep ingesleten patronen van gehoorzaamheid' aan
diens oorlogspropaganda in de Amerikaanse media. Tussen het Tonkin- incident en Colin Powells speech in de Veiligheidsraad is er niets
veranderd, toont Penn. Maar hij zaagt planken van heel dik hout, en
besteedt geen aandacht aan mogelijk tegenwicht in de 'ongehoorzame'
media.
http://www.vn.nl/BijVN/IDFA2007.htm