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Showing posts from December 9, 2007

Hillary Clinton on International Law, Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus

It ain't pretty. Bush-Lite, and the "lite" is a hope, not a fact.

She does make nice cookies, though.

One thing: Zunes is out of his mind if he thinks that "Senator Clinton’s notions of what constitutes the legitimate use of force by the United States are so extreme, she would – if elected – likely become the most aggressive-minded Democratic president since James K. Polk." Has he forgotten about Kennedy and LBJ's little war in Southeast Asia? Or the multiple coups and attempted coups engineered by the CIA under those two? Has he forgotten about Hillary's husband's totally illegal war in Kosovo? The genocidal sanctions regime in Iraq that killed a million people, half of them children, forcing two successive UN chairs of the program to quit, claiming genocide? I mean, I could go on and on.

However, Zunes' historical lacunae do not detract from his accurate warning about Hillary. I just don't know whether Obama or Edwards would be much different…

Al Gore in Bali on US Obstructionism

Sign a petition that's already gotten 164,000+ signatures; let's try to force some change today and tomorrow!

Docs: Israel Demanded 80% of Settlements in 2000-01 Peace Talks

From Democracy Now, with links by yours truly. I'm sure this new information won't change official Washington's mind (both the Democratic and Republican lobes) about who scuttled the Camp David/Taba talks, but it's useful for the people to know the truth.
The talks come as new details have been released on the breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks nearly seven years ago. Israel and the U.S. have long blamed Palestinians for rejecting what they called a generous offer to return most of the Occupied Territories. But new internal Israeli government documents reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz confirm several key Palestinian claims. The documents show Israel insisted on retaining the major West Bank settlement blocs home to 80% of the more than 220,000 settlers. The figure does not include settlements in East Jerusalem, which Israel also insisted on keeping. The documents also show Palestinians proposed an equal land swap if Israel wanted to hold onto land out…

2007 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion

From the American Jewish Committee, for whatever that's worth. Interesting:

Survey Results
A. International Affairs
B. Israel
C. National Affairs
D. Anti-Semitism
E. Jewish Identity

Note both what was asked and what wasn't asked. Glenn Greenwald on this survey.

Here's an interesting response:

7. Would you support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?
Support35Oppose57Not Sure8

The 401(k) Myth, By Marie Cocco

Or: don't think that this privatized version of social security -- known as a "benefit" (for whom?) -- will either be there when you need it or forms a good model for the total privatization of all social security.

401(k)s are there to enrich Wall Street investment banks. If you are enriched, eventually, that's a side benefit. You won't get bailed out; they will. Evidence? Look around you; look at recent history. Wealth takes care of wealth.

Kucinich Barred from Democratic Debate in Iowa

Oh, yeah: this is a democratic process. No one's being excluded unfairly -- and why, I ask you? Lack of popularity in polls doesn't cut it, as you can see below. Home office -- i.e., lack of money -- doesn't cut it. So, what possible explanation are we left with? I leave it to you to figure out. From Democracy Now, linked in the title above (my emphases):
In campaign news, Congressmember and Democratic hopeful Dennis Kucinich has been excluded from today’s Democratic presidential debate in Iowa. Debate sponsor the Des Moines Register told Kucinich he isn’t eligible because he doesn’t meet local requirements on a local campaign office and paid staff. Kucinich’s Iowa field director works out of a home office. The most recent poll of likely Democratic voters shows Kucinich has one percent support in Iowa—the same as Senator Chris Dodd. Nationally, Kucinich has two percent support—the same as Bill Richardson and Senator Joe Biden. Dodd, Richardson and Biden are all taking part …

Max Roach 1924-2007: Thousands Pay Tribute to the Legendary Jazz Drummer, Educator, Activist

Sick of the Dem Congress Funding the War? Join the Democratic Donor Strike against the DCCC and DSCC

From Democrats.com: a great idea. I might add that you'll want to add that you're also boycotting any company or other organization that donates to the Democrats, and that you will not lift a finger to help any Democrat win office who doesn't support an immediate funding cut-off for all operations in Iraq not related to withdrawal.
Join the Democratic Donor Strike against the DCCC and DSCC
http://democrats.com/donor-strike-2007
Once again our Democratic "leaders" are betraying our troops by keeping them in Iraq forever to be murdered or maimed for no reason except the insatiable greed of Bush-Cheney's oil cronies. On Tuesday, House Democrats plan to approve $30 billion more for Afghanistan. Then Senate Democrats plan to approve $70 billion to cover Iraq as well. Then House Democrats plan to approve the full $70 billion. Why are our Democratic "leaders" betraying us? Because they want Bush to sign -- not veto -- the $522 billion omnibus spending bill to…

Analysis: Big Oil to sign Iraq deals soon

Mission (almost) accomplished. Don't like it? Then read this:
One year ago, peace voters were celebrating the election of a new Congress that promised an end to the US occupation of Iraq. Since then, Congress has done little to bring US troops home from Iraq while the Bush administration has pushed ahead with the same war agenda. Peace voters have been left with few victories-- until now.

Two months after the benchmark deadline for the Iraq oil law, the law has so far been successfully resisted. The Bush administration tried to bully their way into Iraq's oil riches by pressuring Parliament to pass a law in favor of foreign oil companies but the oil workers union protested it, international media criticized it, Iraqi Parliament refused to debate it, and Americans such as yourself denounced it.

While we should be encouraged by this success, the fight is far from over. Even as Al-Sharistani concedes that the current law will not pass anytime soon, the I…

Bush's (Very) Selective DisARMament Plan

Economist Dean Baker breaks it down: click the title to this post to see how well Daddy Bush takes care of his flock.

I assume that the newly homeless will be Raptured up to that Big Condo in the Sky (or Giant Gitmo Underground) soon enough, so why take any real action?

In any event, as Andrew Carnegie is said to have said, "During a depression, assets return to their rightful owners." Let the fire sale begin!

Top Democrats Were Fine with Waterboarding...Supposedly

If the neocon WaPo's "official sources" are accurate, then those Democrats are scumbags. I don't see how the executive-branch sources can leak this stuff without breaking laws; now the Democrats' staffers, if any were present, or the lawmakers themselves, can risk prosecution by counterleaking.

So, it smells fishy, although it would be in keeping with the general acquiescence of the Democrats in 2002 to just about anything the Junta wanted.

Climate Change Performance Index 2008

2007 Nobel Peace Prize Lectures

Videos not yet up, but on the way. You can read the transcripts now, if you like. The title of this post has the presentation ceremony and both lectures. If you want to watch individual acceptance lectures, click the links below.
Al GoreIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Here's the ceremony on CSPAN. There's a killer Indo-European jam (guitar and tabla), by the way.

Here (and here) are the relevant posts on this blog on the IPCC's work this past year.

The Story of Stuff

Click the title of this post to see a great 20-minute film on stuff: where it comes from, what it costs (those pesky "externalities"), and what it does to people and to the earth.

It's great, uh, stuff.

PS: Download the movie (50 MB) by right-clicking on the image below and saving the link (not the image) to your computer (i.e., desktop):

Scott Ritter on the NIE, Anti-War Radio, KAOS, Texas, 12/6/07

Good point, if true: the sneaky, little point that Iran "used to have" a nuclear weapons program up to 2003 is apparently also untrue. This leaves the door open for the current propaganda. Cause and effect is difficult to divine in propaganda -- the admin may simply be making the best of the NIE by claiming that Iran could restart its alleged program -- but it's worth noting that the one laptop from which the notion of a weapons program arose is apparently a sole source. Curveball, the laptop version, in other words.

Look, it's pretty clear that the US wants to hit Iran. Not because of Iran, of course. We didn't drop atomic bombs on Japan because of Japan (yes, dear, I know it's amazing to contemplate). Hitting Iran is yet another shot across the bow against the EU, Russia, China, and India (and anyone else): we, the US, are the top military dog, and we can not only hit anyone at any time, but we will also continue to aim at unilateral domination over the foun…