Blog

  • Banco de Gaia - Not In My Name [Live]

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-22 08:50:52
  • John Lennon - Imagine

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-17 17:56:49
  • Noam Chomsky: Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-11 14:42:17
    'Imagine if Iran -- or any other country -- did a fraction of what American and Israel do at will.

    It is not easy to escape from one’s skin, to see the world differently from the way it is presented to us day after day. But it is useful to try. Let’s take a few examples.

    The war drums are beating ever more loudly over Iran. Imagine the situation to be reversed.

    Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel with great-power participation. Its leaders announce that negotiations are going nowhere. Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done. Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. Throughout, Iran enjoys the support of its superpower patron.

    Iranian leaders are therefore announcing their intention to bomb Israel, and prominent Iranian military analysts report that the attack may happen before the U.S. elections.

    Iran can use its powerful air force and new submarines sent by Germany, armed with nuclear missiles and stationed off the coast of Israel. Whatever the timetable, Iran is counting on its superpower backer to join if not lead the assault. U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta says that while we do not favor such an attack, as a sovereign country Iran will act in its best interests.

    All unimaginable, of course, though it is actually happening, with the cast of characters reversed. True, analogies are never exact, and this one is unfair – to Iran.

    Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext.

    Thirty years ago Israel destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor, an act that has recently been praised, avoiding the strong evidence, even from U.S. intelligence, that the bombing did not end Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program but rather initiated it. Bombing of Iran might have the same effect.

    Iran too has carried out aggression – but during the past several hundred years, only under the U.S.-backed regime of the shah, when it conquered Arab islands in the Persian Gulf.

    Iran engaged in nuclear development programs under the shah, with the strong support of official Washington. The Iranian government is brutal and repressive, as are Washington’s allies in the region. The most important ally, Saudi Arabia, is the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime, and spends enormous funds spreading its radical Wahhabist doctrines elsewhere. The gulf dictatorships, also favored U.S. allies, have harshly repressed any popular effort to join the Arab Spring.

    The Nonaligned Movement – the governments of most of the world’s population – is now meeting in Teheran. The group has vigorously endorsed Iran’s right to enrich uranium, and some members – India, for example – adhere to the harsh U.S. sanctions program only partially and reluctantly.

    The NAM delegates doubtless recognize the threat that dominates discussion in the West, lucidly articulated by Gen. Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command: “It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East,” one nation should arm itself with nuclear weapons, which “inspires other nations to do so.”

    Butler is not referring to Iran, but to Israel, which is regarded in the Arab countries and in Europe as posing the greatest threat to peace In the Arab world, the United States is ranked second as a threat, while Iran, though disliked, is far less feared. Indeed in many polls majorities hold that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons to balance the threats they perceive.

    If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability – this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence – that may be because it is “inspired to do so” by the U.S.-Israeli threats, regularly issued in explicit violation of the U.N. Charter.

    Why then is Iran the greatest threat to world peace, as seen in official Western discourse? The primary reason is acknowledged by U.S. military and intelligence and their Israeli counterparts: Iran might deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel.

    Furthermore Iran must be punished for its “successful defiance,” which was Washington’s charge against Cuba half a century ago, and still the driving force for the U.S. assault against Cuba that continues despite international condemnation.

    Other events featured on the front pages might also benefit from a different perspective. Suppose that Julian Assange had leaked Russian documents revealing important information that Moscow wanted to conceal from the public, and that circumstances were otherwise identical.

    Sweden would not hesitate to pursue its sole announced concern, accepting the offer to interrogate Assange in London. It would declare that if Assange returned to Sweden (as he has agreed to do), he would not be extradited to Russia, where chances of a fair trial would be slight.

    Sweden would be honored for this principled stand. Assange would be praised for performing a public service – which, of course, would not obviate the need to take the accusations against him as seriously as in all such cases.

    The most prominent news story of the day here is the U.S. election. An appropriate perspective was provided by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who held that “We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”

    Guided by that insight, coverage of the election should focus on the impact of wealth on policy, extensively analyzed in the recent study “Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America” by Martin Gilens. He found that the vast majority are “powerless to shape government policy” when their preferences diverge from the affluent, who pretty much get what they want when it matters to them.

    Small wonder, then, that in a recent ranking of the 31 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of social justice, the United States placed 27th, despite its extraordinary advantages.

    Or that rational treatment of issues tends to evaporate in the electoral campaign, in ways sometimes verging on comedy.

    To take one case, Paul Krugman reports that the much-admired Big Thinker of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, declares that he derives his ideas about the financial system from a character in a fantasy novel – “Atlas Shrugged” – who calls for the use of gold coins instead of paper currency.

    It only remains to draw from a really distinguished writer, Jonathan Swift. In “Gulliver’s Travels,” his sages of Lagado carry all their goods with them in packs on their backs, and thus could use them for barter without the encumbrance of gold. Then the economy and democracy could truly flourish – and best of all, inequality would sharply decline, a gift to the spirit of Justice Brandeis.'

    http://www.alternet.org/world/noam-chomsky-why-america-and-israel-are-greatest-threats-peace
  • From a Veteran to the Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me

    posted by Keito
    2012-07-26 19:43:30
    Dear Freedom Fighter Who Shot Me,
    Today is April 14, 2010. Six years ago today I was occupying your land and your communities near Karabillah, Iraq. That particular day I was in a four vehicle convoy travelling from Al Qa'im to Husaybah. I was the gunner standing in the turret of the final vehicle facing the rear, and we ran into the guerilla ambush.

    The US Government and the US corporate media would say that you are a terrorist, but you are not a terrorist. I was a terrorist. For that I must offer my deepest apologies and ask your forgiveness. I must also thank you. The bullet that you used to protect yourself from me changed my life. That day, you shot holes through everything I had grown up believing about America fighting for freedom and liberty. Your bullet, like a seed, penetrated far beyond skin and muscle, and sank deep into something in the core of my being where, over time it grew to be something much greater. It grew into a world view that included people outside of the United States of America as human beings and equals. It grew into an understanding of my place in the world and my part in the suffering of other people and the part that the United States Empire plays in the world as one of the greatest enemies of freedom and justice that exists.

    We were told that we would be going to Iraq to liberate people. I now see this as an absolute lie. It is you, who was there that day fighting for the liberation of the Iraqi people. The United States Empire is a weapon of oppression, not a force for justice. Occupation will never be liberation.

    I oppose all ruling class wars, but this war is particularly unfair. The United States Empire is a military super power and many of the countries in the Middle East that the United States Empire attacks exist in third world conditions as a results of US foreign policy, neo-liberal globalization, free market economics, sanctions, and US military attacks. Since the United States disbanded the Iraqi military, this is nothing but military super power attacking civilians. I can say with full confidence, with no hesitation that you had every right to be a part of that attack and to shoot me that day. I am thankful that I was wearing a canteen full of water that slowed the impact and possibly spared my life, but even had that round lain me silent forever, you would be free of guilt. You have a right to resist. You have a right to protect your family, your community, and your way of life.

    I know an apology seems so small and meaningless at this point, but I hope it can be a start.

    You are brave and courageous. Thank you for opening my eyes. Thank you for allowing me to see that I am just like you, and you are just like me. Thank you for telling me that I was on the wrong side. I will probably never know who you are, but I hope you and your family are safe somewhere. I know there can never truly be justice for what has been done to the people of the Middle East, but I hope that we do all we can to get as close as possible, to stop the killing, and reduce suffering and as we have bled together, we can begin to heal together and together we can put an end to these wars. Power to the resistance! Solidarity! Salaam!


    Peace, Love, and Anarchy,
    Bobby Whittenberg
  • Hypocrite Level 9000+

    posted by Keito
    2012-07-25 21:15:41