Richard Eskow: Ten Facts Obama Doesn't Want You to Know About!

The chained CPI proposal in President Obama's budget, continues to draw much deserved fire, which is only likely to increase, as more information about it becomes known. Here are ten embarrassing facts about the chained CPI, which the White House and its defenders would prefer to see overlooked: 1. Of course it's a benefit cut. Chained CPI defenders say it's not a benefit cut, just a slowdown in the rate of the benefit's planned increases. That's a silly semantic game, unworthy of serious leaders or analysts. The Social Security benefit, as laid out on the Social Security Administration's website, includes adjustments designed to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Those adjustments are not a benefit increase. They are designed to prevent the benefit from being decreased as a result of inflation, If you lower that adjustment, you are cutting benefits, Period. 2. Of course it's a tax hike. Same goes for the tax impact of the chained CPI. Our tax brackets were designed to make sure that people who were not earning more in real dollars, which includes many, if not most of the 99 percent were not hit with an unearned tax hike. The president has repeatedly promised, that there will be no middle class tax hikes, while he is President. If you substitute the chained CPI for the current formula, as the President has proposed, people will be kicked into higher tax brackets earlier. Then they will pay more in taxes, even if they are not making any more real money. That is a tax hike. 3. And it is a tax hike for everyone but the wealthy. In fact, it is a tax hike for everyone but the wealthy. In fact, it is a tax hike on all but the highest levels of income. The richest earners will not be affected, because they are already in the highest tax bracket. Got it? So it is a tax hike on everyone, except the richest among us. Actually, it is a tax hike for them too, but only on their lower levels of income. The richer you are, the less you will see in a tax rate increase. 4. You could save much more money in other, better ways. The White House has said the chained CPI will save $122 billion in benefits over ten years. Leaving aside the fact that Social Security does not affect the deficit, here is what is not being done: Close capital gains loopholes: $174 billion. End the Bush tax cuts at Obama's original $250,000 level, rather than the compromise $400,000 number: $183 billion. Cut overseas military bases by 20 percent: $200 billion. Negotiate with drug companies: $220 billion. Enact Defense friendly Pentagon cuts: $519 billion. End corporate tax loopholes,, as the President is proposing: $1.24 trillion. Faced with those numbers, the chained CPI benefit cut is embarrassing.

Roi Tov: From Iraq to Turkey via Israel!

Geography beats politics, well, almost always. One could even say that money beats politics, but these two are too linked for this statement to make much sense. Since the opening statement is almost always true, let's begin with an odd geographical feature named the Beit Shean Valley. The Jordan River runs from west to east, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan Valley. The area where these valleys meet, is misleadingly called Beit Shean Valley. Since the Jezreel Valley is higher than the Jordan one, they meet in a series of dramatic cliffs and several steps. The widest step forms the bulk of the Beit Shean Valley, the area next to the river, is known as Zor. This is the site of what nowadays is called the Jordan River Border Crossing, and in the past the Sheikh Hussein Bridge. It is the main access point between Jordan and Israel. Few people alive remember the Sheikh Hussein Bridge. It was blown up by the Palmah First Battalion of the Haganah on June 16, 1946. This event was part of a massive terror operation known as The Night of the Bridges, during which nine bridges were destroyed. In two bridges the operation failed. Three others were spared by the political level behind the operation. It is one of the few actions committed by the Jewish Resistance Movement, an ad hoc alliance between the Hagana, Etzel and Lehi. This event, combined with the attack on the King David Hotel, led to the dismantlement of the JRM. After that, the road between Beit Shean and Irbid, a principal city and crossroads in Jordan, was cut until 1994, when the Peace Agreement between Jordan and Israel, led to the construction of a new bridge. A fact telling a lot about Israel, is that its side of the facility is administered by the Israel Airport Authority. The closest thing to an airplane passing through the area, are massive amounts of birds, during their seasonal migrations between Africa and Europe. Simply, this is the most proficient organization dealing with high security cross points. Judah Maccabee is said to have used the bridge in the 2nd Century BC. In 63BC, Roman Emperor Pompey, used this bridge to reach Beit Shean. In 638 AD, the Muslims used it to conquer the Holy Land. Simply, the cross offers a unique access to the coastal plains. Nowadays, it provides the Kingdom of Jordan with a valuable access to the Mediterranean Sea. Despite their unwillingness to admit that, Israel and Jordan are extremely close.    

Ptof. James Petras: The Economic and Social Crisis: Contemporary Capitalism and Class Struggle

One of the most important, and yet most neglected determinants of the outcomes of the economic crisis, and resultant deepening of social inequalities and immiseration is the class struggle. In one of his most pithy metaphors, Karl Marx referred to class struggle as the motor force of history. In this essay we will analyze the central role of class struggle, its impact and reflection in economic decisions and, most especially, the different methods and forms, according to the particular classes engaged in class struggle. Having clarified the types and methods of class struggle, we will turn to the specific results of class struggles in different regions and countries. The different policies adopted as a result of class struggle reflect the balance of class power at both the national and regional level. In the last section, we will compare and analyze a series of case studies of class struggles, highlighting the particular class configurations of power, the changing nature of the class struggle, and the concrete contingencies, which need to be taken into account, in order for the class struggle from below to effectively counter act the class offensive from above. Too often writers conceive of class struggle as actions taken by workers for working class interest, overlooking the equally significant, and in our epoch even more important class struggle, organized and directed by the ruling classes via the state. The entire panoply of neo-liberal policies, from so called austerity measures to mass firings of public and private employees, to massive transfers of wealth, to creditors are designed to enhance the power, wealth and primacy of diverse sectors of capital, at the expense of labor. To paraphrase Marx: Class struggle from above, is the motor force to reverse history, to seize and destroy the advances secured by workers from previous class struggles from below. Class struggle from above, and the outside, is waged in board rooms, stock markets, Central Banks, executive branches of government, parliaments and Congresses. Decision makers are drawn from the ruling class, and are in their confidence. Most strategic decisions are taken by non elected officials, and increasingly located in financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, and the European Commission, acting on behalf of creditors, bondholders and big banks.        


Jonas E. Alexis: Islam and the West, Have the East and the West

Always been at war? If you are going to write history, you must sacrifice to truth alone, ignoring everything else. Well, my historian should be like that: fearless, incorruptible, frank, a friend of free speech and the truth, determined, as the comic poet puts it, to call figs figs and a tub a tub, indulging neither hatred nor friendship, sparing no-one, not showing pity or shame or diffidence, an unbiased judge, kindly to everyone up to the point of not allowing one side more than it deserves, a stranger without a stake in his writings, independent, serving no king, not taking into account what any man will think, but simply saying what happened. Ten years after the invasion of Iraq, editor of Front Page magazine David Horowitz declared at the end of last month: This is a war whose aims and purposes make it very hard to understand, how anyone who is a supporter of human rights, or who believes in freedom, could be against it. In four years, George Bush has liberated nearly 50 million people in two Islamic countries. He has stopped the filling of mass graves, and closed down the torture chambers of an oppressive regime. He has encouraged the Iraqis and the people of Afghanistan to begin a political process, that gives them rights they have not enjoyed in 5,000 years. The rationale for this war was not, as critics claim, stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. This is a misunderstanding that was the product of political arguments during a Democratic primary season, that was intended to unseat a sitting president, but had a grave fallout for the credibility and security of the nation itself. Horowitz has to dismiss all of history, in order to perpetuate the neoconservative fabrication, that the Iraqis and Afghans had been enslaved for 5,000 years. What he indirectly ended up saying, is that Iraq and Afghanistan only needed the neoconservatives in the twenty first century, to sexually, politically, economically and intellectually liberated them from the shackles of tradition and historical backwardness. It was reported last month, that 16,000 Iraq war prisoners are still unaccounted for. According to Agence France Presse: Kidnappings became increasingly common, in the years of violence following the US led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, especially after militants bombed a Shiite shrine in Samarra in 2006, sparking a bloody sectarian conflict. While the violence has been brought under a semblance of control, many Iraqis are still searching for family members who went missing, holding on to hope that they are alive.    

Adele M. Stan: Rand Paul Explains Black History to Black People!

If, in his speech to the students of the historically black Howard University on Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky, sought to demonstrate he was down with the concerns of African Americans, his approach left a bit to be desired. He explained black history to black people. He suggested that he was brave to have shown up. He quoted a poem that is said to be the lament of a sexually frustrated middle aged man. Paul went on to deny killing budget autonomy for the District of Columbia, despite the three poison pill amendments he added to the bill. During the question and answer period, he chided a young voting rights activist for comparing voter ID laws to the obstructions African Americans faced at the polls, during Jim Crow. And he said he had nothing against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, despite being on record as opposing the provision that desegregated the lunch counters, that were occupied at great peril by the Freedom Riders, who fought the South's Jim Crow laws. In short, Rand Paul delivered a pretty embarrassing performance, but perhaps not in ways that the audience for whom his speech was intended, Republican primary voters would notice. Not that all was lost for Paul, amid the audience in the auditorium of Howard's School of Business. His proposals for ending the mandatory minimum sentences, that have led to the incarceration of massive numbers of African Americans for non violent offenses, and against military intervention abroad, were well received. In apparent preparation for the presidential bid he's contemplating, Paul addressed a polite but skeptical audience in a speech that was part damage control, part condescending history lesson, and part appeal to African Americans to embrace his neo-libertarian philosophy. The damage Paul needs to control, is that he did to himself, when he went public during his successful 2010 campaign for US Senate, with his true feelings about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, specifically the part that integrated lunch counters, restaurants, and other privately owned establishments that are open to the public, which, he said, he opposed. But in his speech to the largely African American audience at Howard, Paul suggested that his position had been twisted and distorted by his political enemies. Just a couple of minutes into his speech, Paul referred top the controversy, attempting to frame it with a TS Eliot poem, The Love Song of J Alfred Prusock, in ways I found incomprehensible!

Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, A People's Budget for Tax Day!

Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a major speech at the National Defense University on cutting military aka defense spending. Hagel is considered a realist, and so when it comes to such cuts, this is undoubtedly the best we're likely to get out of Washington for a long time to come. Unfortunately, it turns out that the best is pretty poor stuff. The speech was filled with the sort of complaints we've already grown used to hearing from the Pentagon about the deep cuts imposed by sequester. These, Hagel insisted, will result in a significant reduction in military capabilities. In fact, President Obama's just released 2014 budget calls for only a miniscule 1.6% cut in the Pentagon's bloated budget. There was also the usual boilerplate stuff about the US global military stance, America's responsibilities are as enormous as they are humbling, and about the vacuum we'd create on planet Earth, if we reduced it in any way. As the Nation's Robert Dreyfuss wrote, Nature may abhor a vacuum, but it isn't the job of the United States to go stumbling into every regional conflict, humanitarian crisis, failed state, and would be terrorist nest that arises. Whatever those things are, they're not vacuum to be filled. Like Leon Panetta before him, Hagel, who took a voluntary sequester pay cut, managed to make it sound as if the US military were teetering at the edge of some financial cliff. He spoke mournfully, for instance, of the Pentagon having significantly less resources than the department had in the past. Well no, as Mark Thompson of Time magazine pointed out, it just ain't so. The facts aren't difficult to sort out, even for those of us, who aren't secretaries of defense. In a world filled with the most modest of enemies, after those sequestrations and other planned cuts in the military budget are taken into account, the country would still be spending at levels that weren't reached in the Cold War years, when there were two overarmed superpowers on the planet. As the Congressional Budget Office concluded last month, In real terms, after the reduction in 2013, DoD's base budget is about what it was in 2013, DoD's base budget is about what it was in 2007, and is still 7% above the average funding since 1980. Among Hagel's more accurate, if disheartening, comments was his praise for the way the US military had, in the post 9/11 era, grown more expeditionary.  


Roi Tov: Chinese Cinderella Reaches Israel!

Pirating movies is big business. In much of Asia and South America, improvised shops and stalls sell movies in cheap plastic sachets. In Bolivia, they face fierce competition from Llama fetuses, used clothes, miniature idol offerings, coca leaves, and dehydrated tubers. This is a reasonable explanation for Israel's Ministry of Tourism assessment, that a blockbuster Chinese movie shot in Israel, will boost Chinese tourism to the Holy Land. In 2012, only 20,000 Chinese reached Israel. The Ministry claims that in 2012, eight million Chinese chose their tourist destination, according to what they had seen in movies. Israel's strong links with Hollywood have created a significant movies' production infrastructure, that eased the Ministry's decisions. The Tourism Ministry offices in China, worked together with a Tel Aviv's production company, and succeeded to convince director Lu Chuan and superstar Zhang Jingchu to partially shot Old Cinderella in Tel Aviv Jaffa, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. The cast will arrive on April 16, 2013, for a week of filming. The Israeli effort is considerable. The Ministry will invest over $80,000 in the promotion of the movie, not including a CNN interview with the director, which had already broadcast, campaigns on Weibo, China's most popular social website, and the hosting of journalists from leading Chinese media in Israel. A competition in China, whose first prize is a vacation in Israel, has been announced. The step is rather unusual, especially when considering that it is only part of an Israeli cultural offensive on China. Expectedly, this has military reasons. On February 11, 2013, Beijing Television broadcast its annual Chinese New Year's gala. It is the most popular show on that day, with more than 100 million viewers on television and internet. This year, it featured Israeli singer Miri Mesika. In 2008, she was chosen Female Singer of the Year by Music Channel 24, Reshet Gimel, and Galgalatz, and has sold more than 100,000 albums. In the New Year's gala, she sang a duet in Chinese, with a famous Chinese singer. The show included remarks by Israel's Ambassador to China Matan Vilnai, and a short clip about Israel. Miri's song and the Israeli connection created a moving effect, which we hope will be relayed to the millions watching the broadcast on February 11, said Ran Peleg of the Israeli Embassy in China, shortly before the event. This second cataclysmic event in the recent relations Beijing as Israel's new ambassador. It was lucky for him, because a few months later, Netanyahu succeeded in forcing Barak not to run in the 2013 elections.

Mohammad al Shazli: Syrian Opposition. Assad's Overthrow Wouldn't End the Violence!

The head of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCC) in exile, Haytham al Manna, said that the Syrian regime is seeking to clone the Algerian solution to solve the crisis in the country. He called on friends of the regime to pressure the regime, for serious negotiations that can rescue those, whose hands haven't been stained with the blood of Syrians. Speaking to Mohammad al-Shazli, prominent Syrian opposition activist Haytham al Manna, said that the Syrian crisis must be solved politically, and that a violent of the regime would only lead to more violence. In an interview with Al Hayat, Manna added that the conflict could not be solved militarily. He said, We have the choice of either Somalization of the country, or a political solution. We blame the regime for wanting to clone the Algerian solution. It will not succeed. He added that the opposition will not succeed in reaching a military solution. Thus far, the regime has not made any progress toward serious negotiations, he said. It is focusing on public relations, and agreeing to anything that is offered. However, when it comes to implementation, there is no practical element to this approval. Manna said, he believed that without serious pressure by friends of the regime, such as Russia, China and Iran, on the regime for serious negotiations, to rescue those whose hands haven't been stained with Syrian blood, the regime won't make painful and necessary concessions, in order to bring about a democratic transition. Manna added that the regime will not transfer presidential power to a transitional government. He said that a political solution means that parliamentary and democratic institutions must start working. Manna noted that Syria needs 20 years to get rid of the problems caused by the cult of personality and the dictatorial regime. Manna called on all parties, that care about the Syrian people, to stop supplying arms to any party. He explained that, according to American analysis, the regime can survive for another two years, and that we've put the state and the regime in one box. Manna noted that army defections were decreasing, amid growing fears on the part of minorities, due to the militancy and the Islamisation of the opposition, a reference to the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.      

Sarah Carlson: Food Loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry

Americans are Restrained by the Police? Hundreds of poor people waiting outside of a closed grocery store, for the possibility of getting the remaining food, is not the picture of the American Dream. Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga, that is exactly what happened. Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets, hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the store-owner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, as the store owner prior to the eviction said they arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises, as with any eviction, came into the ownership of the property holder, Sun Trust Bank. The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters, and hauled to a landfill, instead of being distributed. The people that gathered, had to be restrained by police, as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Round-tree told the news a potential for a riot was extremely high. People got children out here that are hungry, thirsty, local resident Robert-stine Lambert told Fox 54 in Augusta. Why throw it away, when you could be issuing it out? Sun Trust bank is trying to confuse the issue, and not take direct responsibility for their actions. Their media relations officer Mike McCoy stated, "We are working with store suppliers, as well as law enforcement, to dispose of the remaining contents of the store and secure the building. Yet he also said, that the food never belonged to Sun Trust Bank. There is no need to sugar coat what happened. Teresa Russell, chief deputy of the Marshall's Office in Richmond County, said the owner of the building ordered that the food be taken to the landfill. Some people even followed the truck to the landfill, and were still turned away. In Richmond County, there are about 20 evictions per day, and the area surrounding the supermarket is one of the poorest in the state. According to the last available data, the poverty rate is 41 percent. Many people in that parking lot probably knew all too well how evictions work, and were in desperate need of food assistance. This story is not some bizarre exception. It reeks of the truth of capitalism, and is strikingly similar to the H&M scandal, that broke in 2010, when clothes were being shredded before being thrown away, so as to make sure the value of the merchandise was unaffected!    


Tom Dispatch: Barbara Garson, Going Underwater in the Long Recession!

They call it the spring swoon. For the third straight year, the American economy bounded out of the starting blocks, adding hundreds of thousands of jobs in January and February, and for the third year in a row, that momentum melted away in the spring, like the last traces of winter snow. Employers added only 88,000 jobs this March, the Labor Department announced on Friday, the worst monthly jobs report since June. Economists predicted gains of at least twice as much, and the news fed fears that the economy's modest recovery might be faltering, and this before we've even felt the real effect of the sequester, those $85 billion across the board budget cuts recently approved by Congress and President Obama. The biggest cause for concern, however, isn't actually that anemic monthly job gain figure. Measuring the job market is, at best, an inexact science, and the number crunchers at the Labor Department, could yet revise that number upward or, god forbid, downward, in time for next month's report. Here's the real news, as US corporations rake in the profits, and shift record amounts of money into offshore tax havens, nearly half a million workers "disappeared" last month. Yes, disappeared. The Labor Department tracks what it calls the labor force participation rate, wonk speak for the percentage of people working, or actively hunting for a job. In March, that number slumped to 63.3%, the lowest point since 1979. That means there are millions of people out there, who have lost their jobs, stopped interviewing or even applying, who have packed it in, given up. The government excludes them, when it calculates the main unemployment rate. They have entered the invisible work force. The unemployment rate ticked down from 7.7% to 7.6% in March. Some might cheer that news. Don't. The jobless rate didn't dip because the economy improved, it dipped because the government simply stopped counting a half million out of work people as out of work. In her new book, Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% Live in the Great Recession, Barbara Garson, who has long chronicled the lives of people for whom bad times began decades ago, focuses on the self declared members of the Pink Slip Club. She memorably journeys across the United States to introduce us to a range of Americans just scratching by in the toughest of tough times, trying to carve out a living with, not being bankers, no government to bail them out. They, like Duane, the man she focuses on in today's post, deserves so much better!

Lawrence Davidson: Why Americans Are So Ignorant!

It's not only Fox News, there are some understandable reasons for it, In 2008, Rick Shenkman, the Editor in Chief of the History News Network, published a book titled Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. In it he demonstrated, among other things, that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs, and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless wiling to accept government positions and policies, even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping simplistic solutions, irrational fears, and public relations babble. Shenkman spent 256 pages documenting these claims, using a great number of polls and surveys from very reputable sources. Indeed, in the end it is hard to argue with his data. So, what can we say about this? One thing that can be said, is that this is not an abnormal state of affairs. As has been suggested in prior analyses, ignorance of non local affairs, often leading to inaccurate assumptions, passive acceptance of authority, and illogical actions is, in fact, a default position for any population. To put it another way, the majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories, or government actions, that do not appear to impact their lives, or the lives of close associates. If something non local happens, that is brought to their attention by the media, they will passively accept government explanations and simplistic solutions. The primary issue is, does it impact my life? If it does, people will pay attention. If it appears not to, they won't pay attention. For instance, in Shenkman's book unfavorable comparisons are sometimes made between Americans and Europeans. Americans often are said to be much more ignorant about world geography than are Europeans. This might be, but it is, ironically, due to an accident of geography. Americans occupy a large subcontinent isolated by two oceans. Europeans are crowded into small, contiguous countries that, until recently, repeatedly invaded each other, as well as possessed overseas colonies. Under these circumstances, a knowledge of geography, as well as paying attention to what is happening on the other side of the border, has more immediate relevance to the lives of those in Toulouse or Amsterdam, than is the case for someone in Pittsburgh or Topeka. If conditions were reversed, Europeans would know less geography, and Americans more.   

Dean Henderson: Rothschild's BCCI Shake Down of Arabs!

The Bank of Credit & Commerce International's (BCCI), most notorious acts were hatched out of its Karachi branch, where the bank's Black Network (BN) operated. BN was a global intelligence and enforcement unit, that specialized in transporting arms, drugs and gold. BN operations overlapped with the operations of CIA, Israeli Mossad, the Pakistani ISI and Saudi intelligence, all of whom had accounts at BCCI. BN served as middleman for Saudi aid to both the Nicaraguan contras, and the Afghan mujahadeen, aid which was being solicited by Richard Secord. BN worked extensively with the Israeli Mossad to coordinate Israeli arms deals, especially to Arab countries. Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi was often at the middle of these deals, along with Manucher Gorbanifar, the former SAVAK agent for the Shah of Iran, whose prowess in the fine arts of torture had landed him a job at Mossad. BN had close ties to Lieutenant Colonel Amatzia Shuali, an Israeli who split time training Nicaraguan contras and Guatemalan death squads. BCCI was banker to Columbian drug kingpin Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, and had numerous branches in that country. In 1984, at the height of the contra war, BCCI founder Abedi bought Banco Mercantil in Columbia. In 1989, when Columbian officials raided Gacha's farm, they found Galil assault rifles in crates marked Israeli Military Industries. The guns had been used in Mossad's training of Gacha's paramilitary army, which was instructed to assassinate Columbian union leaders. Another Israeli with close ties to BN, was Ari Ben Menashe, who helped the Reagan Administration arm Iran. BN helped Iraqi President Saddam Hussein stash $30 million in skimmed oil revenues from his country's Treasury, while simultaneously
brokering Iraqi Scud missile purchases. The bank brokered nuclear weapons deals for Iraq, Libya, Argentina and Pakistan. It financed Italian tank sales to Abu Dhabi, North Korean artillery sales to Dubai, Chinese Silkworm missile sales to Saudi Arabia, Brazilian rocket launcher sales to Iran and Iraq, Argentine tank sales to Iraq, and French Mirage fighter plane sales to Pakistan, India, Peru, Libya and the GCC Gulf States. They even supplied the tanks to the Kuwaitis for the victory march, following Operation Desert Storm, along with Eastern European personnel to drive the tanks, while the inept Kuwaitis rode on top waving flags.


Professor Chossudovsky: The Threat of a Pre-emtive Nuclear War directed against Iran!

Michel Chossudovsky is an award winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. Founder and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, Montreal and Editor of global research. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty, and The New World Order, and America's War on Terrorism. His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. Professor Chossudovsky's hard hitting and compelling book, explains why and how we must immediately undertake a concerted and committed campaign to head off this impending cataclysmic demise of the human race, and planet earth. This book is required reading for everyone in the peace movement around the world. The US has embarked on a military adventure, a long war, which threatens the future of humanity. US-NATO weapons of mass destruction, are portrayed as instruments of peace. Mini nukes are said to be harmless to the surrounding civilian population. Pre-emptive nuclear war is portrayed as a humanitarian undertaking. While one can conceptualize the loss of life and destruction resulting from present day wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from present day wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation, resulting from present day wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan, it is impossible to fully comprehend the devastation which might result from a Third World War, using new technologies and advanced weapons, until it occurs and becomes a reality. The international community has endorsed nuclear war in the name of world peace. Making the world safer is the justification for launching a military operation, which could potentially result in a nuclear holocaust. Nuclear war has become a multi-billion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake, is the outright privatization of nuclear war. The Pentagons global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously. Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign, which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled. Breaking the big lie, which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit driven military agenda destroys human values, and transforms people into unconscious zombies. The object of this book, is to forcefully reverse the tide of war, challenge the war criminals in high office, and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them!

William Boardman: America's Hired Death Squads and Torture Teams

are still operating in Iraq: Death squads, torture, secret prisons in Iraq, and General David Petraeus, are among the featured atrocities, in a recently released new British documentary. James Steele: America's Mystery Man in Iraq, the result of a 15 month investigation by Guardian Films and BBC Arabic, exploring war crimes long denied by the Pentagon, but confirmed by thousands of military field reports, made public by Wiki-leaks. The hour long film explores the arc of American counter insurgency brutality from Vietnam to Iraq, with stops along the way in El Salvador and Nicaragua. James Steele is now a retired US colonel, who first served in Vietnam as a company commander in 1968-69. He later made his reputation as a military adviser in El Salvador, where he guided ruthless Salvadorian death squads in the 1980s. When his country called again in 2003, he came out of retirement to train Iraqi police commandos in the bloodiest techniques of counter insurgency, that evolved into that country's Shia-Sunni civil war, that at its peak killed 3,000 people a month. Steele now lives in a gated golf community in Brian, Texas, and did not respond to requests for an interview, for the documentary bearing his name. News coverage of this documentary has been largely absent in the mainstream media. The Guardian had a report, naturally, at the time of release, and Democracy NOW had a long segment on March 22, that includes an interview with veteran, award winning reporter Maggie O'Kane, as well as several excerpts from the movie she directed. The documentary is available on line at the Guardian and several other websites. James Steele opens with a montage of soldiers, some masked, taking prisoners, some hooded, as the woman narrator sets the stage: This is one of the great untold stories of the Iraq War, how just over a year after the invasion, the United States funded a sectarian police commando force, that set up a network of torture centers to fight the Sunni insurgency. This is also the story of James Steele, the veteran of America's dirty war in El Salvador. He was in charge of the US advisers, who trained notorious Salvadorian paramilitary units to fight left wing guerrillas. In the course of that civil war, 75,000 people died, and over a million people became refugees. Steele was chosen by the Bush administration to work with General Petraeus to organize these paramilitary police commandos.    

Sarttre Batr: The North Korea Paper Tiger!

If you listen to the alarm coming out of the imperium empire media, you would think that missiles would be flying at any moment. That medieval torture regime, noted for starving their population is boasting that a bellicose attack is imminent. Of course, their propagandists are pointing the finger at the Yankee bully, that is the perennial bogyman, posed to snuff out the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Such an earthly paradise is billed as a genuine workers' state, in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression. The workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals are the true masters of their destiny, and are in a unique position to defend their interests. Indeed, such a freedom loving society takes pride in professing their government is the rightful leadership for the entire Korean peninsula. Such bold determination to dominate the imposter that has set up shop in the south, must mean that the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong Il dynasty will prevail. Both adopted the Songun, or military first policy, in order to strengthen the country and its government. North Korea is the world's most militarized country, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. Now the grand Kim Jong-un general in chief is ready to hit the nuke button as a sign of his manhood. Does it matter that North Korea Defies World Body with the Third Nuke Test, or is this just another opportunity for the world community, to play the role of the white knight, as it slays an infantile dragon, that causes trepidation among his commie mentors? Still, three Security Council resolutions, in 2006, 2009 and 2013, critical of North Korea's nuclear program and tightening sanctions on Pyongyang, had the blessings of China, a permanent member with veto powers. But the harshest of possible sanctions, a naval blockade, an oil embargo or a cutoff of economic aid from China, have escaped Security Council resolutions, at least so far. The 15 member Council met in an emergency session Tuesday, and issued a predictable statement, condemning the test as a grave violation of its three resolutions, and describing North Korea as a country, which is a clear threat to international peace and security. When the Guardian newspaper writes, Now North Korea defies even China, should we really believe that the true Asian tiger is powerless to reign in the unhinged stepchild. In this tense game of diplomatic military poker, South Korea is not even the North's principal adversary.


Roy Tov: Israeli Anthrax Developer Resigns!

Dr Avigdor Shafferman, Director of the Israel Institute for Biological Research, (IIBR) since 1995, resigned on April 4, 2013. He sent a letter to the institute workers, in which he explained: In the last two years, the institute development tendencies changed. In 2013, I was forced to reduce the budget in over 4%, including the firing of workers. Two weeks ago, we were asked to prepare ourselves to another reduction in the budget, which will have deep repercussions. I cannot be part of this. The real reason for the unprecedented step was different. Shafferman has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He joined the IIB in 1983, establishing the Molecular Genetics Department there. Later on, he became Head of the Biology Directorate, Manager of Scientific Research, and finally Director of the Institute. IIBR has approximately 350 workers, 150 of them scientists, a large part of it is owned by Japanese pharmaceutical companies. One of the IIBR strongest fields is the development of nerve toxins. On 4 October 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 cargo plane crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein Kruitberg flats, in the Bijlmermeer neighborhood of Amsterdam. Many people died and were injured. The cargo included over 280 kilograms of depleted uranium, used for certain types of missiles, and 190 liters of dimethyl methyl phosphonate, which is used in the synthesis of Sarin nerve gas. The owner of the latter was the IIB. The IDF possesses weapons containing Sarin. On September 15, 1997, Khaled Mashal, a prominent leader of the Hamas, was the target of an assassination attempt, carried out by the Israeli Mossad, under orders of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who at this occasion became a proven bio terrorist. Two Mossad agents, carrying Canadian passports, entered Jordan and injected Mashal with an unknown nerve toxin. A few days later, Netanyahu surrendered to international pressure and provided the antidote. Toxin and antidote were developed at the IIB. Shafferman has a different field of expertise: Anthrax. How can a physical chemist become an expert on a biological weapon? The point is simple, the infection with anthrax is not a biological problem. The disease is caused by bacillus anthracis, a bacteria that can form dormant endo-spores, capable to survive in harsh conditions for centuries.    

Michael Walker: America and Kim Jong Un Play a Dangerous Game of Escalation!

News about North Korea falls into two categories: The comical and the frightening. Examples of the former type of stories abound, a memorable one being the claim by a Japanese expert in 2008, that the country's Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, had in fact been dead for five years, and was being played by a series of doubles. More recently, bizarre footage was broadcast by North Korean state television, in which the country's fresh faced supremo, Kim Jong-un, paid a seaborne visit to an artillery unit stationed near the country's southern border. Kim was greeted by a group of hysterical soldiers, who raised their arms aloft, and cried as if they had been visited by a deity, rather than a portly young man with an odd haircut. Unfortunately, the news from Korea has of late, been of the frightening variety. In February Pyongyang tested a nuclear device for the third time, prompting the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions on Kim's beleaguered regime. Even China, the North's supposed ally, voted in support of this resolution. Then, in March, it was reported that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, to use the country's official name, had declared the 1953 armistice agreement, which had brought the Korean War to a close, null and void. These worrying developments have been accompanied by an uptick in the North's usual strident rhetoric against South Korea and the United States. The gravity of the situation is apparent from the message broadcast by Pyongyang's official news agency on March 30th, which spoke of the existence of a state of war between the two Korea's. The United States has hardly been passive in the face of these alarming events. In addition to increasing the pressure on North Korea at the UN, annual US South Korea military exercises are ongoing. Escalating the tensions, the Pentagon dispatched a pair of nuclear capable B-2 stealth bombers on "a training mission" over the Korean peninsula, at the end of March. This sortie was described by US officials as a way of underscoring the US commitment to its long standing regional allies, Japan and South Korea. Presumably it also had the objective of intimidating Kim Jong-un and his advisers. What the North Korean leadership is hoping to achieve by its belligerence, is anyone's guess. As a senior US official told the Reuters news agency that, when it comes to Kim's strategy, It's a little bit of an all bets off kind of moment! 

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya: Russian War Games send a Strong Message

Against NATO intervention in Syria. Is there any connection, between events in Syria, unless US tension with North Korea, and Russia's impromptu Black Sea war games, that started on March 28, 2013? While on his way from Durban in South Africa, where the BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa announced they were forming a new development bank to challenge the IMF and the World Bank, Russia's Vladimir Putin gave the go ahead for unscheduled war games in the Black Sea. By themselves the games mean little, but in a Global context, they mean a lot. According to the Kremlin, the war games involved about 7,000 Russian servicemen, Russian Special Forces, Russian Marines, and airborne rapid development troops. All of Russia's different services were involved, and used the exercises to test their interoperability. Over thirty Russian warships based out of the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula, and the Russian port of Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai will be participating. The objective of the games are to show, that Russia could mobilize for any event at a moments notice. The war games surprised the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Who even complained the Russian war games started in the Black Sea without prior notice. In fact, NATO asked Russia to be more open about its moves, and give NATO Headquarters in Brussels notice of its military movements in the future. Alexander Vershbow, the American Deputy Secretary General of NATO, even demanded maximum transparency from Russia. One may ask, why the rattled bones? Is it mere coincidence, that Russia is flexing its muscles, after NATO revealed it was developing contingency plans, for a Libya style intervention in Syria on March 20? Two days later, Israel and Turkey ended their diplomatic row through a timely agreement, that with Obama's help, a deal was made with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, to end the diplomatic rift over the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. Days later, this event was followed by the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), a phoney opposition organization constructed by the US, UK, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey being ceremoniously given Syria's seat at the Arab League. In what appears to be an attempt at repeating the Libya scenario, the SNC is being recognized as the government of Syria. At the Arab League summit at repeating the Libya scenario, the SNC is being recognized as the government of Syria.   


David Hoffman: The key to Armageddon!

While doing research for this article, I began to review some old textbooks from my teaching days, and happened across a theory, initially developed by some sociologists, to explain why and how crime exists: the Social Control Theory. The fundamental underpinnings of the Social Control Theory. The fundamental underpinnings of the Social Control Theory, are that the inclination towards deviance, meaning nonconformity to social norms and crime, is actually a normal part of human nature, consequently crime prevention programs should not focus on why some people become criminals, but instead on why others do not. Critics of the Social Control Theory, contend that its almost fatalistic embrace of biological determinism, not only undermines the concept of free will, it also fails to explain, why people often feel guilty or remorse, after committing antisocial or criminal acts. In response, Social Control theorists argue that, while guilt and remorse may indeed be present during early stages of criminal activity, human beings have a remarkable and, as this article contends, dangerous ability to neutralize any guilt they feel about their wrong doings through the use of rationalizations. Soon I began to realize that the Social Control Theory supports a maxim of mine, that I've frequently proffered in many Pravda Ru articles over the past ten years: Human nature is basically inclined towards evil. Therefore most of the world's conflicts are not caused by clashes between good and evil, but between what degrees of evil are considered to be acceptable, and what degrees are not. There is some historical evidence to support this maxim. America's founding fathers, having fought and won a war against a monarchy, saw how easily evil can manifest, when too much power is concentrated into too few hands. Thus they created a government with three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial in the hope that each branch would check and balance the power of the others. By contrast, theoretical communism was created, on the belief that human nature was basically good, that people would be willing to labor not for their own benefit, but for the betterment of humanity as a whole. That human beings will act communally, and share their resources, would be based on one's need, instead of one's abilities. Logic naturally dictates, that if human beings are fundamentally good, no check and balance system is required. The result is that communist regimes, or perhaps more accurately, regimes that claimed to be communist, produced some of history's worst dictators.  

Julie Levesque: From Afghanistan to Syria, Women's Rights, War Propaganda and the CIA!

Women's rights are increasingly heralded as a useful propaganda device, to further imperial designs. Western heads of state, UN officials and military spokespersons will invariably praise the humanitarian dimension of the October 2001 US NATO led invasion of Afghanistan, which allegedly was to fight religious fundamentalists, help little girls go to school, liberate women subjected to the yoke of the Taliban. The logic of such humanitarian dimension of the Afghan war is questionable. Lest we forget, Al Qaeda and the Taliban were supported from the outset of the Soviet Afghan war by the US, as part of a CIA led covert operation. As described by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), the US and her allies tried to legitimize their military occupation of Afghanistan under the banner of bringing freedom and democracy for Afghan people, but as we have experienced in the past few decades, in regard to the fate of our people, the US government first of all considers her own political and economic interests, and has empowered and equipped the most traitorous, anti democratic, misogynist and corrupt fundamentalist gangs in Afghanistan. It was the US, which installed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 1996, a foreign policy strategy, which resulted in the demise of Afghan women's rights: Under NSDD 166, US assistance to the Islamic brigades, channelled through Pakistan,, was not limited to bona-fide military aid. Washington also supported and financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the process of religious indoctrination, largely to secure the demise of secular institutions. Religious schools were generously funded by the United States of America: Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet Afghan war, was largely secular. The US covert education destroyed secular education. The number of CIA sponsored religious schools increased from 2,500 in 1980, to over 39,000 in 2001. Unknown to the American public, the US spread the teachings of the Islamic jihad in text-books filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation. The primers,which were filled with talk of jihad, and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then, as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American produced books.   

The Editor World News Tomorrow: US Asteroid Warning Supprest, 14 April 2013!

World News Tomorrow USA, a web bot search engine designed to keep track of intelligence gathering on internet, picked up a possible threat of secret visitor, namely an asteroid 1.2 miles in diameter, that might be heading for earth, and if its correct, the date might be 14 April 2013. On March 19, 2013, the US House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, met in a hearing to discuss threats from space. The comment made by the committee, 'If it's coming in three weeks, pray' have have set of an alarm in web bot systems, and this importuning information from the intelligence network process, begun to analyze the public responses. From the information we have, we don't know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States. But if it's coming in three weeks, pray. In February 15, a small asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, generating shock waves, that shattered windows, and injured some 1,500 people. On that same day, asteroid 2012 DA 14 made a close pass by Earth, at a scant 17,200 miles from our world's surface, closer than some communication satellites. In response to these events, the US House Science, Space, and Technology Committee met in a hearing on March 19, 2013. The hearing was titled Threats from Space: A review of US Government Efforts to Track and Mitigate Asteroids and Meteors. Scientists and lawmakers discussed the risk of, and defense strategy for an unforeseen asteroid or meteor on collision course with Earth. While trying to emphasize the need for adequate funding, for detecting and characterizing
near Earth objects, and diverting them if necessary, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said: From the information we have, we don't know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States, but if it's coming in three weeks, pray. An Asteroid is our world's number ONE threat, say global threat analyst expert, Baron Baretzky! This comment by Charles Bolden, seems to be the key to information non disclosed, and typical of information, that could carry a real warning, that something is seriously wrong. In other words, unless we know in advance that an asteroid is coming, and therefore have time to divert it, there is little we could do about an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Bolden added, but then the question would remain, why the mentioning of three weeks? Bolden went on and said: The reason I can't do anything in the next three weeks, is because for decades we have put it off.