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

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 25 mei 2013

Syria 121


Syria as a Game-Changer: US Political Impotence in the Middle East
 
By Ramzy Baroud
May 25, 2013 "Information Clearing House
" - In an article published May 15, 2013, American historical social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein wrote, “Nothing illustrates more the limitations of Western power than the internal controversy its elites are having in public about what the United States in particular and western European states should be doing about the civil war in Syria.”

Those limitations are palpable in both language and action. A political and military vacuum created by past US failures and forced retreats after the Iraq war made it possible for countries like Russia to reemerge on the scene as an effective player.

It is most telling that over two years after the Syrian uprising-turned bloody civil war, the US continues to curb its involvement by indirectly assisting anti-Bashar al-Assad regime opposition forces, through its Arab allies and Turkey. Even its political discourse is indecisive and often times inconsistent.

Concurrently, Russia’s position remains unswerving and constantly advancing while the US is pushed into a corner, demonstrating incapacity to react except for condemnations and mere statements. This is to the displeasure of its Arab allies. Russia’s recent delivery of sophisticated anti-ship missiles and its own buildup of warships in the eastern Mediterranean is a case in point. The move was condemned by the Obama administration as one that is “ill-timed and very unfortunate,” according to a statement by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as reported in the LA Times on May 17.

But this American attitude in the region is fairly new. Behind it stands a history so bloody and filled with imprudent foreign policy. Regardless of how the US decides to move on Syria, the chances are that a return to its old dominant approach is no longer an option.

Indeed, the current American political impotence in the Middle East is unprecedented, at least since the rapid disintegration of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990’s. The dissolution of the Soviet Union had ushered in the rise of a unipolar world, wholly managed by the United States. The rise of the uncontested American hegemony represented a shift in historical dialectics, where great powers found their match and the rest of the world, more or less, accommodated the ensuing competition.

Then, the US acted quickly to assert its dominance starting with hasty military adventures such as the invasion of Panama in 1989. A much more calculated move followed with a devastating war against Iraq in 1990-91. In Panama the objective was to remind the US’s southern neighbors that the region’s cop was still on duty and was capable of intervening at a moment’s notice to rearrange the entire political paradigm in any way that Washington deemed necessary - As this has been the case since the CIA-orchestrated coup and war in Guatemala in 1954 and even earlier.

The US's massive military involvement in Iraq, however, was that of a conqueror who arrived with an entourage of many countries – regional and western allies – to claim the spoils resulting from the end of the protracted Cold War. It was an arrogant show of force since the target was a single Arab country with humble military and economic means vs. major military powers from near and far. The war devastated Iraq, as its initial aerial bombing campaign alone involved the dropping of 88,500 tons of bombs. Many new weapons were used and tested, while the US media and public celebrated the prowess of their military. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died or were wounded as a result of one of the most asymmetrical wars in history.

Trying to capitalize on its military triumph, Washington quickly pushed for a political settlement between its closest ally, Israel, and Arab countries. The logic behind the Madrid Conference in 1991 was achieving pseudo peace that catered to Israel’s interests, while opening up the gate of normalization between Israel and its neighbors. Moreover, the US hoped to achieve some sort of ‘stability’ that would allow it to manage the Middle East region and its ample resources in a less hostile environment. Eventually, Israel managed to negotiate its own political deal with the Palestinians, thus dividing Arab ranks and ensuring that the ‘peace talks’ outcome was entirely consistent with Israel’s colonial ambitions.

As years passed, the US and Israeli political visions moved even closer, but with Washington eventually becoming a mere conduit to Israeli colonial objectives. This fact was underscored repeatedly under the George W. Bush administration, which compounded US failure in the region with even more disastrous and dangerous wars.

A major fault in US foreign policy is that it is almost entirely reliant on military power – as in the ability to blow things up. The US war on Iraq which, in various forms, extended from 1990 to 2011, included a devastating blockade and ended with a brutal invasion. This long war was as unscrupulous as it was very violent. Aside from its overwhelming human toll, it was placed within a horrid political strategy aimed at exploiting the country’s existing sectarian and other fault lines, therefore triggering a civil war and sectarian hatred from which Iraq is unlikely to cover for many years.

But limitations of US military power became quite obvious in later years. The empire was no longer able to bridge the divide between translating its dominance on the ground – itself increasingly challenged by local resistance groups - into a level of political progress required to achieve the minimum amount of ‘stability’. Moreover, an economic recession, coupled with the Iraqi retreat and an equally costly debacle in Afghanistan – forced the new administration in Washington, under the leadership of President Barack Obama to rethink Bush’s earlier quest for global hegemony. Massive military cuts were soon to follow. Concurrently, the imbalance of global power was slowly, quietly but surely being equalized with the rise of China as a new possible contender.

In the midst of the US transition and policy rethink, an upheaval struck the Middle East. Its manifestations – revolutions, civil wars, regional mayhem and conflicts of all sorts – reverberated beyond the Middle East. Shrinking and rising empires alike took notice. Fault lines were quickly determined and exploited. Players changed positions or jockeyed for advanced ones, as a new Great Game was about to begin. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ was rapidly becoming a game-changer in a region that seemed resistant to transformations of any kind.

The transformation of the Middle East – promising at times, very gory and bloody at others – arrived at a time when the US was making forced adjustments in its military priorities. Putting greater focus on the Pacific region and the South China Sea are such examples. Without much notice, it was forced to reengage with the Middle East, as a whole – not a country at a time. Only then, its weaknesses were seriously exposed and its lack of influence became palpable.

Bankrupt is maybe an appropriate term to use in describing the current US policy in the Middle East. Imprudent military adventures devastated the region but achieved no long term objectives. Reckless policies that are predicated on trying to exploit, as opposed to understand the Middle East and its complex political and historical formation and the insistence on keeping Israel a main priority in its approach to the vastly shifting political lines, will unlikely to bode well for US interests.

However, unlike the early 1990’s, when the US moved to reshape the entire region and established permanent military presence, new dynamics are forcing US hands to change tactics. In this new reality, the US is incapable of reshaping reality but merely trying to offset or control its unfavorable outcomes.

“What the United States (and western Europe) want to do is ‘control’ the situation,’ Immanuel Wallerstein argued. “They will not be able to do it. Hence the screams of the ‘interventionists’ and the foot-dragging of the ‘prudent.’ It is a lose-lose for the west, while not being at the same time a ‘win’ for people in the Middle East.”

This ‘lose-lose’ scenario might not necessarily translate to a complete American foreign policy meltdown in the near future, but will certainly open the possibility for new/old players to main serious gains, Russia being a lead example. This will likely compel the US to change tactics, despite the incessant objections of neoconservative forces and the Israeli lobby.
- Ramzy Baroud (ramzybaroud.net) is a widely published and translated author. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).

Geert Mak en de Kroning van 2013 (25)



Men kan zich niet onttrekken aan het vermoeden dat achter elke paranoia, zoals achter elke macht, dezelfde diepere tendens schuil gaat: de wens de anderen uit de weg te ruimen, om de enige te zijn of, in de mildere en vaak toegegeven vorm, de wens zich van anderen te bedienen, zodat men met hun hulp de enige wordt…

Of hij al dan niet metterdaad door vijanden wordt belaagd, altijd zal hij een gevoel hebben bedreigd te zijn. De gevaarlijkste dreiging gaat uit van zijn eigen mensen, die hij altijd beveelt, die in zijn naaste omgeving verkeren, die hem goed kennen. Het middel tot zijn bevrijding, waarnaar hij niet zonder aarzeling grijpt maar waarvan hij geenszins geheel afziet, is het plotselinge bevel tot massadood. Hij begint een oorlog en stuurt zijn mensen naar de plaatsen waar ze moeten doden. Velen van hen zullen daarbij zelf omkomen. Hij zal er niet rouwig om zijn. Hoe hij zich naar buiten toe ook mag voordoen, het is een diepe en verborgen noodzaak voor hem dat ook de gelederen van zijn eigen mensen uitgedund worden... De dood als dreiging is de munt van de macht.
Elias Canetti. Massa & Macht. 1960

Enerzijds hebben we in de mediawereld te maken met een groeiende globalisering, maar anderzijds nemen ook de mediale oppervlakkigheid, de wanorde en het gebrek aan samenhang toe. Hoe meer men in contact staat met de media, des te meer klaagt men over een gevoel de kluts kwijt te zijn en over eenzaamheid.
Ryszard Kapuściński. De Ander. 2006

In een massamaatschappij vormen de twee hierboven beschreven fenomenen tezamen een uiterst explosief mengsel dat, eenmaal tot ontploffing gekomen, grootscheepse consequenties tot gevolg heeft. De wereldoorlogen van de vorige eeuw, met als dieptepunten Auschwitz en Hiroshima, zijn daarvan slechts twee voorbeelden. Desalniettemin waren ze geen uitwassen, maar eerder de culminatie van een langdurig proces. De Zweede auteur Sven Lindqvist schrijft daarover in zijn boek Exterminate all the Brutes, dat

 Auschwitz de moderne industriële toepassing [was] van een uitroeiingspolitiek waarop de Europese overheersing van de wereld […] lang heeft gesteund.

De titel van zijn boek verwijst naar de zin uit Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness  ‘verdelg al het gespuis’. Lindqvist werpt de vraag op waarom de westerse protagonist

'Kurtz zijn rapport over de beschavingstaak van de blanke man in Afrika met deze woorden eindigt?'

en schrijft dan:

Ik las Conrad als een profetische auteur die alle gruwelijkheden die in het verschiet lagen, voorzien had. Hannah Arendt wist beter. Zij zag dat Conrad over de genocides van zijn eigen tijd schreef. In haar eigen boek The Origens of Totalitarianism (1951), toonde ze hoe imperialisme racisme noodzakelijk maakte als het enig mogelijke excuus voor zijn daden […] Haar these dat nazisme en communisme van dezelfde stam komen is algemeen bekend. Maar velen vergeten dat zij ook de ‘verschrikkelijke slachtpartijen’ en het ‘barbaarse moorden’ van Europese imperialisten verantwoordelijk hield voor ‘de zegevierende introductie van dergelijke pacificatiemiddelen in de alledaagse, respectabele buitenlandse politiek,’ daarmee totalitarisme en zijn genocides producerend.


Lindqvist ontdekt gaandeweg dat de

Europese vernietiging van de ‘inferieure rassen’ van vier continenten de grond voorbereidde voor Hitlers vernietiging van zes miljoen joden in Europa […] Het Europese expansionisme, vergezeld als het was door een schaamteloze verdediging van het uitroeien, schiep manieren van denken en politieke precedenten die de weg baanden voor nieuwe wandaden, die uiteindelijk culmineerden in de gruwelijkste van alle: de Holocaust […] En toen hetgeen was gebeurd in het hart der duisternis werd herhaald in het hart van Europa, herkende niemand het. Niemand wilde toegeven wat iedereen wist. Overal in de wereld waar kennis wordt onderdrukt, kennis die als ze bekend zou worden gemaakt ons beeld van de wereld aan gruzelementen zou slaan en ons zou dwingen om onszelf ter discussie te stellen – daar wordt overal het Hart der Duisternis opgevoerd. U weet   dat al. Net als ik. Het is geen kennis die ons ontbreekt. Wat gemist wordt is de moed om te begrijpen wat we weten en daaruit conclusies te trekken.

De westerse terreur werd gelegitimeerd door het diep in de christelijke cultuur verankerde racisme. En nog steeds is dit blanke racisme manifest, alleen nu onderhuids. Ik geef een voorbeeld hiervan. In 1995 schreef de Amerikaanse oud-minister van Defensie, Robert McNamara, dat als gevolg van het Vietnam-beleid van ‘de regeringen Kennedy, Johnson en Nixon… verschrikkelijk leed’ was toegebracht aan miljoenen mensen, omdat ‘wij de macht onderschatten van het nationalisme teneinde een volk te motiveren… om te vechten en te sterven voor hun overtuigingen en waarden- en we blijven dat vandaag de dag nog steeds doen in vele delen van de wereld,’ terwijl ‘wij niet het door God gegeven recht hebben om elke natie naar ons eigen beeld te scheppen.’
Volgens McNamara zijn tijdens de Vietnam-oorlog 3,4 miljoen Zuidoost Aziaten om het leven gekomen, onder wie talloze burgers van Laos, het zwaarst gebombardeerde land in de geschiedenis als we uitgaan van het aantal inwoners. Eenkwart van de bevolking vluchtte naar grotten in de bergen om aan het bruut geweld te ontkomen. De Amerikaanse luchtmacht gooide twee keer zoveel bommen op Laos dan destijds op Nazi-Duitsland, tien jaar lang elke 9 minuten een clusterbom. Omdat –volgens ‘USA TODAY,’ tien tot dertig procent van deze tegen mensen gerichte, in kleine fragmenten uiteenspattende bommen, niet explodeerde, komen tot op de dag van vandaag nog steeds Laotianen om het leven, de meerderheid van hen spelende kinderen. Ook Cambodja leed onder het Amerikaans terrorisme, een ander woord is er niet voor, tenminste als we de definitie hanteren zoals afgedrukt in het Amerikaanse Leger Handboek, waarbij terrorisme omschreven wordt als ‘het bewust geplande gebruik van geweld of dreiging van geweld om doelen te bereiken die politiek, religieus, of ideologisch van aard zijn.’ Meer dan 600.000 Cambodjanen kwamen om bij Amerikaanse bombardementen en door de totale verwoesting van landbouwgronden werden de overlevenden geconfronteerd met een massale hongersnood.
Desondanks kan Geert Mak in zijn bestseller Reizen zonder John onweersproken beweren dat de VS ‘decennialang als ordebewaker en politieagent [fungeerde] – om maar te zwijgen van alle hulp doe het uitdeelde.’ Stel nu dat de VS in de jaren zestig en zeventig verantwoordelijk was geweest voor de dood van 3,4 miljoen blanke, christelijke Europeanen, zou Geert Mak dan drie decennia later hebben geschreven dat de VS ‘decennialang ordebewaker en politieagent’ was geweest? Nee, dat zou hij zeker niet hebben gedaan, dat zou hij niet hebben durven schrijven, zo weet ik uit mijn langdurige contact met hem. De enige conclusie die dan ook getrokken moet worden, is dat Geert Mak een ander criterium aanlegt voor gekleurde volkeren en dat het leven van een vermoorde boeddhistische Vietnamese burger voor hem minder waard is dan dat van een vermoorde christelijke Europese burger.

Het onderhuids racisme is wijd verspreid onder de westerse mainstream opiniemakers en hun publiek. Ze realiseren het zich niet eens, zo diep verankerd is het racisme van de blanken. Maar de niet blanke kent dit racisme uit eigen ervaring maar al te goed. Joden mogen nu Arabieren vermoorden, net zoals christenen vele eeuwen lang joden mochten vermoorden. Voor het vermoorden van joden door christenen gold het zesde gebod niet. Ondanks alle mooie woorden van de blanke weet de gekleurde mens nog steeds dat ‘you are making us into monstrosities; your humanism claims we are at one with the rest of humanity but your racist methods set us apart,’ waardoor de Arabier vandaag de dag de rol heeft gekregen die de jood tot 1945 speelde: die van het slachtoffer van de blanke cultuur. Het racisme heeft vanaf het begin gediend als rechtvaardiging van de economische exploitatie van de mens met een andere huidskleur, zwart, rood, geel, het maakt niet uit. ‘These differences are born of colonial history, in other words of oppression,’ schreef in 1963 Jean-Paul Sartre in een voorwoord van Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched Of The Earth, om daarna de blanke bourgeoisie als volgt aan te spreken:

You, who are so liberal and so humane, who have such an exaggerated adoration of culture that it verges on affectation, you pretend to forget that you own colonies and that in them men are massacred in your name.


Die hypocrisie is geenszins verdwenen. De naam kolonialisme mag dan wel verouderd zijn, maar niet de neokoloniale mentaliteit en daaraan verbonden grootschalige westerse agressie die de grondstoffen en de markten moet veilig stellen voor de plutocratie. De hypocrie van opniemakers als Mak is niet anders dan een beschamende poging om het onverzadigbare egoisme, begeerte, eurocentrisme te verhullen. Voor hem en zijn cultuur is het humanisme absoluut niet universeel, zoals de blanke baasjes zo graag beweren zodra de westerse macht weer eens de economische noodzaak voelt om met zoveel mogelijk geweld ‘humanitair’ in te grijpen in soevereine staten. En ‘since none may enslave, rob, kill his fellow man without committing a crime, they lay down the principle that the native is not one of our fellow men.' Sartre voegde hieraan toe dat het kolonialisme, overigens net als het huidige imperialisme,

seeks to dehumanize them. Everything will be done to wipe out their traditions... to destroy their culture without giving them ours... shame and fear will split up his character and make his inmost self fall to pieces...

The reason is simple; this imperious being, crazed by his absolute power and by the fear of losing it, no longer remembers clearly that he was once a man; he takes himself for a horsewhip or a gun; he has come to believe that the domestication of the 'inferior races' will come about by the conditioning of their reflexes...

We find our humanity on this side of death and despair; he finds it beyond death and despair; he finds it beyond torture and death. We have sown the wind; he is the whirlwind. The child of violence, at every moment he draws from it his humanity. We were men at his expense, he makes himself man at ours...

First, we must face that unexpected revelation, the strip tease of our humanism. There you can see it, quite naked, and it's not a pretty sight. It was nothing but an ideology of lies, a perfect justification for pillage; its honeyed words, its affectation of sensibility were only alibis for our agressions... You know well enough that we are exploiters... This fat, pale continent ends by falling into what Fanon rightly calls narcissism. Cocteau became irritated with Paris -- 'that city which talks about itself the whole time.' Is Europe any different? And that super-European monstrosity, North America? Chatter, chatter: liberty, fraternity, love, honor, patriotism, and what have you. All this did not prevent us from making anti-racial speeches about dirty niggers, dirty Jews, and dirty Arabs. High-minded people, liberal or just softhearted, protest that they were shocked by such inconsistency; but they were either mistaken or dishonest, for with us there is nothing more consistent than a racist humanism since the European has only been able to become a man through creating slaves and monsters.

Geen woord daarover in Mak's 1223 pagina's tellende In Europa. Door het westers racisme blijven onze slachtoffers met een andere huidskleur onzichtbaar voor Mak en zijn publiek. Het valt hen niet op dat het Amerikaanse geweld overal ter wereld miljoenen doden, gewonden en vervolgden heeft veroorzaakt onder gekleurde volkeren. Sartre had gelijk: de zwarten, bruinen en gelen spelen geen rol in de witte, eurocentrische, racistische, geschiedenis van Mak en zijn aanhang. Daarom kan hij zijn publiek onweersproken vertellen dat Washington 'decennialang als ordebewaker en politieagent' optrad 'om maar te zwijgen van alle hulp die het uitdeelde.' Vanuit de provincialistische optiek van een witte racist bestaan er geen zwarte slachtoffers van onze eeuwenlange terreur. Het kleinburgerlijke kent het kosmopolitische niet. In zijn essaybundel The Curtain definieert Milan Kundera het 'provincialisme' als volgt:

As the inability (or the refusal) to see one's own culture in the large context... The small nation inculcates in its writer the conviction that he belongs to that place alone.

De populariteit van Geert Mak is een graadmeter voor het diep verankerde provincialisme van de polder met zijn onuitroeibaar onderhuids racisme. 'Conformism is a habit cultivated by the well-off,' zo vertelt John Berger zijn lezers. En voor de anderen geldt:

From time despair enters into the lives which are mostly grief. Despair is the emotion which follows a sense of betrayal. A hope against hope (which is still far from a promise) collapses or is collapsed; despair fills the space in the soul which was occupied by that hope. Despair has nothing to do with nihilism.

Nihilism, in its contemporary sense, is the refusal to believe in any scale of priorities beyond the pursuit of profit, considered as the end-all of social activity, so that, precisely: everything has its price. Nihilism is resignation before the contentation that Price is all. It is the most current form of human cowardice,

zo schreef hij in Hold Everything Dear. Dispatches On Survival And Resistance.  (2007) Uiteindelijk is de 'hoop' van Geert Mak en zijn publiek niets anders dan een vorm van nihilisme. Ze lijken kleur te bekennen terwijl ze dit juist niet doen. Morgen meer.


vrijdag 24 mei 2013

The Rich


Dank!
Andere inzichtelijke info over de gruwel van absurde geldverschillen: www.therules.org

Fennie Stavast

HELP CHANGE THE RULES THAT CREATE INEQUALITY AND POVERTYThe richest 300 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion. This is no accident; those in power write the rules.Together, we have the power to change those rules


Obama's Crimes 19

GEERT MAK HOOPT DAT OBAMA WINT

6 november 2012


'Het is beter voor Nederland en de internationale gemeenschap dat Obama de verkiezingen wint.' Dat stelt Geert Mak.


'Bij Obama speelt het erg over het verdedigen van verworven rechten,' aldus Geert Mak



OpEdNews Op Eds 

Interview with Code-Pink founder, Medea Benjamin After She "Heckled" Obama

By  (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)

An interview with Code-Pink founder, Medea Benjamin, on why she disrupted a national foreign policy speech given May 23 by President Barack Obama








Code-Pink founder, Medea Benjamin, took President Barack Obama head-on during a major foreign policy speech the president was giving Thursday on drone policy and related issues. Benjamin demanded that the president close the Guantanamo Bay prison immediately.
On at least three occasions, Benjamin engaged the president, ultimately forcing him off script. At one point, a frustrated Obama told the peace activist: "Why don't you sit down, and I will tell you exactly what I'm going to do... about Guantanamo." But soon Benjamin was back up on her feet again, definitely not satisfied with Obama's plan to send detainees to other countries.
"Release them today!" she screamed, as security moved to eject her from the room. "You are commander in chief! ...  You can close Guantanamo today! ... You can release those 86 prisoners! ... It's been 11 years! ...  I love my country! ... I love the rule of law!" A s she was finally taken into custody by security,  Benjamin shouted --  "Abide by the rule of law! You're a constitutional lawyer!" She also confronted the president on the killing of a 16-year old American citizen.
I spoke to Benjamin right after she was released from federal custody, during a live broadcast on Pacifica Radio's Flashpoints Show. Benjamin said what she really wanted to tell the president if she had a little more time, the significance of the ongoing hunger strike by the detainees at Guantanamo, and why she believes the president should be tried for war crimes based on his extra-legal drone policy.

Here's what Medea really wanted to say had she been given the chance. Although, I think she got more time than most get in that position, and she wasn't even charged with a crime...

DBMedea, how are you feeling? You were taken into custody?MB: I am doing great. I was held by people in the military base, the FBI, and the secret service, and questioned for a while about who I am and my motives. Then amazingly enough, I was let free with no charges.
DBWhat were you trying to tell the president?
MB: I got to speak three different times. When he was speaking about blaming Congress for not being able to close Guantanamo, I said he is the Commander-in-Chief so obviously has the ability to close Guantanamo today if he wanted to and release the 86 prisoners who have been cleared for release -- so why isn't he doing that.  I got a chance to speak up again, talk about the drone strikes and ask why he isn't taking them out of the hands of the CIA. Why isn't he prohibiting signature strikes where people are killed just on the basis of suspicious activities? And why will he not apologize to, and compensate the families of the innocent victims of our drone strikes?  I got one more chance and asked who killed the 16-year-old American Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and why?
DBThat's when you were arrested and taken into custody?
MB: Yes.
DB:  Obama made a major foreign policy speech today. He said something about Guantanamo. What is your response to what the president said?
MB: I was hoping we would get some significant changes because the rumors had been flying about real policy changes like the ones I just mentioned. Unfortunately what we got is more rhetoric that justifies the drone program.  He talked about Anwar al-Awlaki but refused to talk about his 16-year old son. He said the drone strikes are only used when we can't capture people, which is not true. I know many examples where it would have been simple to capture people, such as 16-year old Tariq Aziz from Pakistan, who was in the capital city of Islamabad at a public meeting in a public hotel. Instead of capturing him there, he was killed two days later by a drone strike.
In Yemen there are many drone strikes that are very near the capital city were people could have easily been captured. There were many statements in the speech that weren't true. Unfortunately there were no significant policy changes except the restricting of the self-imposed ban on not releasing people from Guantanamo to Yemen.
DB:  You told Obama you wanted him to recognize the hunger strike. Why is it very important for the president of the United States to recognize the hunger strike?
Dennis J Bernstein is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints, a daily news magazine broadcast on Pacifica Radio. He is (more...)
http://www.opednews.com/articles/An-Interview-with-Code-Pin-by-Dennis-Bernstein-130524-930.html

Boycot Monsanto! 2

Anoniem heeft een nieuwe reactie op uw bericht "Boycot Monsanto!" achtergelaten: 

Hier een link hoe Bill Gates aan "ontwikkelingshulp"doet.
Monsanto and (Bill)Gates foundation push GE Crops on Africa.
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/2105 



In Europe, March Against Monsanto Is Latest Rejection of the GMO Giant

An official ban on GM crops is still absent in most EU states, but regions have defined themselves as GMO-free.

Boycot Monsanto!


Anoniem heeft een nieuwe reactie op uw bericht "Geert Mak en de Kroning van 2013 (21)" achtergelaten: 

Op RT tv hoorde ik dat morgen, zaterdag 25 mei overal ter wereld protest-demonstraties tegen MONSANTO zullen zijn.

Herman 


The Growing Global Challenge to Monsanto's Monopolistic Greed

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers Truthout | Op-Ed
Monsanto.(Photo: Monsanto via The New York Times)
The common problem we face is the power of concentrated wealth and monopolistic corporate interests. This has created a crony capitalist economy that uses government to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the people, often threatening our basic necessities for life.A clear example of this is found in the behavior of the chemical and seed corporation, Monsanto.Monsanto threatens the world's food supply; this is a major challenge of our era. This struggle is central to the global ecosystem, economy and energy crises. Monsanto also pushes poisonous chemicals into the environment and promotes agricultural practices that exacerbate climate change.
Monsanto's actions truly affect each of us. They put their profits over the need for healthy foods, diverse seed supplies and the stability of the agricultural economy. They employ a variety of tools to control access to seeds and aggressively push genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and toxic chemicals despite serious safety concerns about them. And they accomplish this with great help from the US government.
When President Obama appointed a Monsanto lobbyist, Michael Taylor, as the "food czar" (officially the deputy commissioner for foods) - avoiding the Senate confirmation process, which would have brought public attention to the appointment - it was one more example of how corrupted both parties have become by corporate influence.
A global grassroots movement is building to challenge Monsanto as more people realize that we are in a struggle for our survival. May 25 is a global day of action against Monsanto taking place in hundreds of cities and 41 countries. Monsanto must be stopped before its unfettered greed destroys our health and environment. We urge you to join the effort to stop Monsanto.
Monsanto: A Threat to Public Health and the Environment 
Monsanto's products increase the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, water and energy. At a time when the world needs to be making a transition away from the destructive impacts of energy and chemical-intensive agriculture toward local and organic food and farming, Monsanto is pulling the world in the opposite direction.
Monsanto began as a chemical company in 1901. In the 1930s, it was responsible for some of the most damaging chemicals in our history - polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB's, and dioxin. According to a Food & Water Watch corporate profile, a single Monsanto plant in Sauget, Illinois, produced 99 percent of PCB's until they were banned in 1976. PCBs are carcinogenic and harmful to multiple organs and systems. They are still illegally dumped into waterways, where they accumulate in plants and food crops, as well as fish and other aquatic organisms, which enter the human food supply. The Sauget plant is now the home of two Superfund sites.
Dioxin is the defoliant used in Vietnam known as Agent Orange. It is one of the most dangerous chemicals known, a highly toxic carcinogen linked to 50 illnesses and 20 birth defects. Between 1962 and 1971, 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed in Vietnam. A class action lawsuit filed by Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange was settled for $180 million. And a Monsanto plant that made dioxin in Times Beach, Missouri, poisoned the area so greatly that the town has been wiped from the map. Thousands of people had to be relocated and it is now also a superfund site. Consistent with their method of operation, Monsanto has denied responsibility for the harm these chemicals have caused.
Their biggest selling chemical worldwide is the herbicide glyphosate, sold under the name RoundUp. Monsanto markets it as a safe herbicide and has made a fortune from it. Sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides accounted for 27 percent of Monsanto's total 2011 net sales. Monsanto engineers genetically modified seeds, branded as "Roundup Ready," to resist Roundup so that the herbicide is absolutely necessary for those who buy these seeds. Roundup Ready seeds have been Monsanto's most successful genetically modified product line and have made Roundup the most widely used herbicide in the history of the world.
Roundup is toxic, known to cause cancer, Parkinson's Disease, birth defects and infertility. A 2012 European Report found that the, "Industry has known from its own studies since the 1980s that glyphosate causes malformations in experimental animals at high doses" and that industry has known "since 1993 that these effects also occur at lower and mid doses." This information was not made public, and both Monsanto and the European government misled people by telling them glyphosate was safe - as did the US government.
In response to Monsanto's denial of this toxicity, Earth Open Source explicitly pointed to studies, including some funded by Monsanto, that showed "glyphosate causes birth defects in experimental animals" and also causes "cancer, genetic damage, endocrine disruption and other serious health effects. Many of these effects are found at very low, physiologically relevant doses."
Before the use of glyphosate-resistant seeds, farmers used lower quantities of Roundup for fear of killing their own plants (since the herbicide kills anything green). But, a 2012 report found that with resistant seeds, "the herbicide can be sprayed in massive amounts, often from planes, near homes, schools and villages, resulting in massive increases in cancer and birth defects."  
In addition, farmers are discovering Roundup resistant "super weeds" that are not killed by the herbicide. An Arkansas farmer tells US News "This is not a science fiction thing, this is happening right now. We're creating super weeds." Indeed, there are now 24 Roundup resistant weeds that have been reported. In response to the appearance of these weeds, a report found: "farmers ... use progressively more glyphosate as well as mixtures of other even more toxic herbicides." In fact, farmers who grow genetically modified crops use about 25 percent more herbicides than farmers who use traditional seeds.
Monsanto produces a variety of pesticides that are less well known. Author Jill Richardson reports that these include "a number of chemicals named as Bad Actors by Pesticide Action Network." They include known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and other toxins such as Alachlor, Acetochlor, Atrazine, Clopyralid, Dicamba and Thiodicarb.
Not only does Monsanto never take responsibility for the impact of its poisonous chemicals, but they do their best to prevent research showing toxic effects. For example, in 2011, Monsanto acquired Beeologics, a company dedicated to restoring the health of the bee population, amid scientific and media speculation that an overuse of pesticides was to blame for dwindling bee populations.
Monsanto also threatens the sustainability of agriculture because its products require the use of larger quantities of water and fossil fuels in farming. While genetically engineered crops are supposed to be more drought resistant, the opposite turns out to be true. Don Huber, a science expert, notes "It takes twice as much water to produce a pound of a Roundup-ready crop soybean plant treated with glyphosate, as it does with soybean plant that's not treated with glyphosate." 
Monsanto is a major threat to climate change due to its energy-intensive agricultural model and promotion of ethanol as a fuel source. The Organic Consumers Association adds it all up: "All told, the production and processing of Monsanto's GMO crops, from deforestation to fossil-fuel-based pesticides and fertilizers, polluting factory farms, and fuel-intensive food processing and distribution, is estimated to produce up to 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions."
As a result of Monsanto's marketing, there are a lot of myths about GMOs. The truth is that GMO foods are different from traditional foods and are neither more nutritious - nor have they been proven to be safe to eat. Limited studies so far indicate that GMO foods may cause kidney and liver damage. GMO crops do not produce larger crop yields or make farmers' lives easier, nor are they a key to feeding the world. The use of GMO seeds does environmental damage by increasing the use of pesticides, fossil fuels and water. And they make the world's biggest environmental problem, climate change, worse.
Monsanto: A Threat to Biodiversity and Independent Agriculture