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Georgia War a Neocon Election Ploy?

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Posted on Aug 12, 2008
McCain and Saakashvili
AP photo, Mary Altaffer / Irakli Gedeniedze, pool

October comes early? Sen. John McCain and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

By Robert Scheer

Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?

Before you dismiss that possibility, consider the role of one Randy Scheunemann, for four years a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government who ended his official lobbying connection only in March, months after he became Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser.

Previously, Scheunemann was best known as one of the neoconservatives who engineered the war in Iraq when he was a director of the Project for a New American Century. It was Scheunemann who, after working on the McCain 2000 presidential campaign, headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which championed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

There are telltale signs that he played a similar role in the recent Georgia flare-up. How else to explain the folly of his close friend and former employer, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in ordering an invasion of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, an invasion that clearly was expected to produce a Russian counterreaction? It is inconceivable that Saakashvili would have triggered this dangerous escalation without some assurance from influential Americans he trusted, like Scheunemann, that the United States would have his back. Scheunemann long guided McCain in these matters, even before he was officially running foreign policy for McCain’s presidential campaign.

In 2005, while registered as a paid lobbyist for Georgia, Scheunemann worked with McCain to draft a congressional resolution pushing for Georgia’s membership in NATO. A year later, while still on the Georgian payroll, Scheunemann accompanied McCain on a trip to that country, where they met with Saakashvili and supported his bellicose views toward Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

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Scheunemann is at the center of the neoconservative cabal that has come to dominate the Republican candidate’s foreign policy stance in a replay of the run-up to the war against Iraq. These folks are always looking for a foreign enemy on which to base a new Cold War, and with the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, it was Putin’s Russia that came increasingly to fit the bill.

Yes, it sounds diabolical, but that may be the most accurate way to assess the designs of the McCain campaign in matters of war and peace. There is every indication that the candidate’s demonization of Russian leader Putin is an even grander plan than the previous use of Saddam to fuel American militarism with the fearsome enemy that it desperately needs.

McCain gets to look tough with a new Cold War to fight while Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, scrambling to make sense of a more measured foreign policy posture, will seem weak in comparison. Meanwhile, the dire consequences of the Bush legacy that McCain has inherited, from the disaster of Iraq to the economic meltdown, conveniently will be ignored. But the military-industrial complex, which has helped bankroll the neoconservatives, will be provided with an excuse for ramping up a military budget that is already bigger than that of the rest of the world combined.

What is at work here is a neoconservative, self-fulfilling prophecy in which Russia is turned into an enemy that expands its largely reduced military, and Putin is cast as the new Josef Stalin bogeyman, evoking images of the old Soviet Union. McCain has condemned a “revanchist Russia” that should once again be contained. Although Putin has been the enormously popular elected leader of post-Communist Russia, it is assumed that imperialism is always lurking, not only in his DNA but in that of the Russian people.

How convenient to forget that Stalin was a Georgian, and indeed if Russian troops had occupied the threatened Georgian town of Gori they would have found a museum still honoring the local boy, who made good by seizing control of the Russian revolution. Indeed five Russian bombs were allegedly dropped on Gori’s Stalin Square on Tuesday.

It should also be mentioned that the post-Communist Georgians have imperial designs on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. What a stark contradiction that the United States, which championed Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, now is ignoring Georgia’s invasion of its ethnically rebellious provinces.

For McCain to so fervently embrace Scheunemann’s neoconservative line of demonizing Russia in the interest of appearing tough during an election campaign is a reminder that a senator can be old and yet wildly irresponsible.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, August 17, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

folktruther:Your apporach, anarcissie, is very individualistic….

Don’t think so.  Politics, especially any sort of activism, is by definition about communities and collectivities.

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By Folktruther, August 17, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Your apporach, anarcissie, is very individualistic so naturally it is bound to be ineffective.  As you say, power, especially class power, is very coercive.  It can only be confronted effectively by groupings of people.

If you united with like minded people and helped mobilize them against the power system (not merely the state) rank and file power is magnified and has a much greater effect.

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By SCJ, August 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Issy You need to define what you mean by genetic trait.  While it can be argued quite well that the white race has genocidal tendancies, in various wars, colonialism Europe, US territories and client states and its own natives.  Theses are not genetic traits inherited in white nationalities DNA.  But they could be argued as behavior by products of society or parts of society, whether it be military tactics, goverment, ruling classes tactics pushed onto lower classes for their own gain.  Seems each generation or the health industry puts differant name tags on the side effects of war for its participants, gulf war sydrome, battle fatique the lists go on.  Goes back so far in the white mans history one would think it is genetic.  The Chinese have a good slaughter history G Khan with the bodies pilled high. A bit of critic on the story on Fox news interview.  Do we really know the girl and her aunt are from Ossetia.  Also as I posted on another article on this site and this article on is truly an unbelievabel proposal by the Russian president Medvedev’s offer to the US and the EU. Truley a remarkable offer, it would be historical if it were offered and followed thru on.  I suppose it would not help the world financial crisis they have created, especially if planned. http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/index.html

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, August 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Issywise:’... But, when you say, “My maximum role in this democracy is to cast a single vote, to give ludicrously small amounts of money to dubious politicos, and talk to others about it.” I say, and by the theory of our democracy that should be enough if 1) you have the best policy option on your tongue, if 2) you avoid conclusions that defeat your very persuasiveness—such as advocating overthrow on the nation-state system as the only solution and 3) You are addressing first things first. ...’

I don’t see any evidence that democracy always, or even usually, picks the best policies.  However, beyond this problem, there is also the problem of the rather self-contradictory notion of democracy itself which is, after all, a form of the state, a class-based, coercive institution.  For the people as a whole to have power in any meaningful way, it would be necessary to have either mob rule or some system by which each and every person’s thoughts, desires and interests were taken into consideration.  Neither of these are practical for the exercise of coercive power.  And so in modern liberal democracies, for all the talk, nothing of the sort happens: minorities (other than the rich and the ruling class) are shouted down and ignored and majorities are constructed by means of ignorance, terror and appeal to the basest instincts.  In any case, rulers by and large can ignore public opinion on issues that matter seriously to them.  I don’t know how one can change this situation within the state framework, because what is being contested in those symbolic wars we call elections is the power to coerce, and that influences, even forms, all that leads up to it.  I don’t know how one could go about curing this except by the sort of local subversion I choose to practice.

In spite of my doubts, though, when proposals are made to slaughter multitudes of people, I feel I have to at least register my objections, so on rare occasions I demonstrate against this or that war, or vote for this or that least-bloody candidate.  You can see how much effect that has.

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By Folktruther, August 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

I apologise, Jackpine, for putting words in your mouth.  I honestly didn’t mean to do that.  And you are quite right that the minority is too fearful to lead the majority to meaningful change. 

And you may be right,too,  that I scare real easy.  Certainly I was afraid a lot when I was a communist organizer on the truck docks of Los Angeles.  But like everyone else I do the best I can.  And I assume you don’t have this problem of fear, being very courageous yourself.

Maybe, Jackpine, the problem is that I don’t commemorate the courage of the orignal founders of the country by standing when the national anthem is played.  I don’t believe in that cheap Patriotism.  And my daughter doesn’t salute the flag in school either.  She’s under five feet tall but appears to have inherited your political courage.

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By Anarcissie, August 17, 2008 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

cyrena: ‘... Humm, very, very, very, telling. Pissywise isn’t interested in facts, since that would mean researching and discovering that American interference is what CREATED the Bosnian genocide, and that the bombing of the area by the US only made it that much worse. Yep, a little research would PROVE the truth of that, along with the fact that the US destruction (in the guise of humanitarian intervention) was just as illegal as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on international law. ...’

It is not very easy to get at the facts.  Besides the fact that the mainstream media dutifully followed the government (and, I suppose, ruling-class policy in general) in presenting a highly-biased view of events, the Croatian government and later the Muslim government in Bosnia and the Albanian forces in Kosovo hired public-relations experts (partly at the suggestion of none other than John McCain!) to cast the Serbs as Nazis.  The tactic worked, even among leftist (and rightist) dissidents; one received as much flak for critical thinking from one’s own as from the mainstream.  One can begin a voyage into the dark, twisted paths of American involvement in Balkan politics by starting with some of the following links, picking out phrases and persons of interest, and using Google to see where else they show up.  Warning: the articles cited are not necessarily factually correct: proceed with caution.  (Note that some URLS may be damaged by automatic line-breaking.)
* http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/1849
* http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/snoa.htm
* http://labourfocus.gn.apc.org/Twisted.html
* http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ruder_Finn’s_work_for_Croatia
* http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/politics/kosovo/papers/propagandapro.html
* http://www.byzantinesacredart.com/blog/2007/06/something-rotten.html
* http://www.counterpunch.org/johnstone10122005.html

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By jackpine savage, August 17, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Ok, Folktruther, they’re rights…that have to be continually reaffirmed and protected.  They didn’t just spring from some magical fountain, and everyone knows that.  The sacrifice to hand those rights down to us is reaffirmed every time we all stand up and sing the national anthem at a ball game.  The Fourth of July.  Etc.  How many times has the average American heard about the valiant sacrifice of soldiers so that we could live in freedom?

Your notion that “regular” people initiated the reforms of the US is equially [sic] mistaken.  You’re putting words in my mouth.  I never suggested that regular people “initiated” the reforms; i suggested that those reforms wouldn’t have happened without regular people getting up from in front of their televisions and doing something.

How weak and scared are you?  You’re cowed by the “Zionists” and the “neo-cons” and everyone else. You’re simply wrapping their fingers around your throat for them.  And that’s what’s really wrong with America.  The minority that might shake things is up is so fucking scared of their own system that nothing ever happens.

As George Clinton once said, “People keep waiting for some change…ain’t got sense enough to come in out of the rain.”

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By Folktruther, August 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Scheer’s analysis appears increasingly likely given the huge US geo-strategic loss of the pipeline routes because of Saakashvili’s looniness. Turkey is now taking Irani oil and the Turkmanistan gas and oil pipeline is now routed through Russia.  Everyone is now afraid to rely on the Georgia route becsuse of the war.  It seems unlikely even the Bushites would risk such a loss.

Hanniman’s article was dubious at the time he wrote it but I wonder what he thinks now.  Alexander Cockburn focused on Schoenemann, etc in his article without giving Scheer credit.

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JimBob's avatar

By JimBob, August 17, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

I’ll go Bob Scheer one paranoid step further: I think Putin is in on it.  He’s benefited mightily from Bush’s focus on militarism and high oil prices.  A sock-puppet doofus like McCain in the White House would serve Putin’s ambitions far better than a reasonable, reasoning man like Obama who’d tamp out lit fuses rather than let them lead to the kind of explosion that allows the Bushes and Putins of the world to grab power and use it as they please.
So, he says to George, maybe at an Olympic swim event: “I’ll fuck the Georgians up good, then you and Condi and John McWhatsisname shake your fists at me and make loud noises.  I’ll back off—or rather, I’ll tell Medvedev to back off—you guys’ll look like you’re swinging a big pair.  Don’t worry about me, my image at home is in fine shape. Just don’t blow this election and give it to that peacenik, Obama.”
“Duh, okay, Vlad.  Can I pet the rabbits, now?”

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Re jackpine savage, August 17 at 4:38 am #

I’m with you and Chris, jackpine. If you ask what is more fundamental, human nature or the social system, the answer is human. At bottom, human beings - the people - build the system, not the other way around. That is why communism failed. You can’t say that first we will create a new social order and from that a new “socialist man” will emerge. On the contrary, only a new socialist man can create a socialist society. The Russian people had not even evolved as far as bourgeois democracy, and were not ready for the artificial imposition of a “socialist” system - so what you really got was the same old Russian empire under a different name. Now the Soviet Union is gone, and it’s still the same Russian empire, with Putin as czar, or Party Chairman or whatever you want to call him. That is not to say that Russia has not evolved. It has, and is continuing to do so. So is this country, and I am just hoping that it’s people are sufficienly enlightened by now to elect Barack Obama to be their president.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 17, 2008 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 16 at 8:38 pm #

As for you, Tony Wicher, you seem to think analysis is distorting reality to conform to your Dem neocon worldview.  The “people” does NOT include the ruling class in political and social analysis, as you well know.
——————————————————————————
Foltruther,.

You obviously don’t understand a word I say, and you have taught me better than to try to explain myself to you. Forturnately there are others here I can communicate with.

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By SCJ, August 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For Cyrena to imply imperialism or even colonialism is a genetic trait is thought provoking.  While it is not probably so.  Any society, or leader of a society can develop those asperations and attempt to achieve them.  But for the most part those who have pursued or achieved them have been anglosaxon white.  They seem to have trended genocidal in thier divide counquer tactics. Is this a by product, again by product, of capitalism or human nature of anglosaxon societies or just mankind?  Was the final solution WWII towards the hate of a group or towards elliminating certain groups that could not produce for an aging war machine that needed high out put, and much need natural reasources, oil and metals, thus(invasion of Russia).  In a much needed war economy those groups become a drain but also scape goats to hide the faults of the goverment and its elites.  To leave that example, one could go into other colonial ventures where genocides took place.  Brittish with what they did in India that they tried to cover up.  The societies somehow seem to end up knowingly or unknowingly unable to stop their elite in those socieies from enabling these atrocities to come about.  It may not be that it is genetic in a DNA inherited way, seems it is some how deeply engrained.  A tactic that has been used frequently, and is continually passed down from generation to generation as a typical military and debatable societal tactic to remove a group from a society or newly emerging one.  The elite are hidden behind their society, yet they are calling the shots.  WE say we broke the yoke of King George, did we?  It seems to be either a frequent side effect of the divide and conquer system and justified thru the Monroe doctrine idea train of thought or it is just part of anglosaxon society.  One must take into account what part of the worlds society has been calling the shots for a number of hundreds years if not longer.  Until we can shake this white is right and also the al knowable mighty, even our white societys will be as much slaves to this system as the slaves themselfs.  Maybe it is just that the elite in society, whether it be in goverment or society just deem that any populace under them as justifiably disposable to insure thier dominance.  To me this is where socialism and communism can offer some solutions that, out of control capitalism has trouble, because of its profit run and motivated system, greed dominates.  Takes on its own greed drivine force. Back to the beginning I do not think it is genetic, but it may be white, at least in these last couple thou?  While the same dynamics can occur in the other two systems the chasm between the populace and the elite are not as great. I see the NWO and the neocons as two separate groups but wanting very simular world end results, control. Neocons being usually republican and wealthy think tanks with more military designs vs. the NWO to be more out of the corporation major holders and major banks that work more toward economic overpowerment and control thru markets. Putting these two groups together with total or near control ends up Fascim.  The mechanics of how Georgia has worked it was converted by the soft orange revolution, (the NWO investing in opposing and prowestern groups for the soft coup).  Then the neocons move in and do what they have to this time it was US and Isreali military buildup aid to Georgia to insure its rise and hopeful entry into NATO, which was denied because of its border problems with its two delinquent neighbors. To help McCain may have been a important secondary thought but those in power know that which ever one of THEIR two guys gets it thier interests in their free market world economy wil be persued.  Sorry I not abe to compartmetalise by paragragh, this long post.

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By Folktruther, August 17, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Your notion that freedom and selfgovernment are privileges, Jackpine,  is not that of American ideology, where these are regarded as rights.  The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was accorded to all White Americans, excluding Indians and African slaves.  The notion was that the only form of legitimate self government was the kind that the people consented to.

Your notion that “regular” people initiated the reforms of the US is equially mistaken. “Regular” people were watching TV, sports,  or getting on with their personal lives as they are now, not engaging in political struggle.  They had to be mobilize by a policized minority before mass struggle could become possible.

But this is precisely the problem at the present time.  How does one unite a de-politicized, ideologically backward population against increasing class inequality and a police state being imposed on them by the neocons who steer both parties.

The population, and people like yourself, have to understand that the neocons have hijacked the US power system and both foreign and domestic policy is not being promoted in the interests of the American people, or even in the interests of the American power system, but is an American-Zionist grouping that leads to increasing class inequality, war, and a police state.  No matter whether the Gops or Dems are in power.

To unite the American people and activate them, they must understand, emotionally as well as intellectually, that their greatest enemy is now the American power system led by the neocons of both parties.  Bucannon is a right winger who understands this, but many progressives do not yet.

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By cann4ing, August 17, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Folktruther.  The flip side of Madison’s astute observation is the symbol Admiral John Poindexter chose for his Total Information Awareness program—a pyramid topped by an all seeing eye.  Beneath it was the inscription “Scientia Est Potentia,” Latin for knowledge is power.

By that, Poindextder did not have in mind a fully informed public.  To appreciate where the American fascists are coming from, picture the all-seeing eye from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” with Dick Cheney playing the role of Lord Sauran.  Utilizing the NSA and modern technology, these people seek the ability to know everything about every citizen, while hiding the truth about what they do behind a veil of secrecy.  They seek nothing less than to make the acquisition of knowledge a one-way transmission so as to convert such knowledge into absolute power.

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By Adam Mumcu, August 17, 2008 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We had enough of these neocons. A superpower and some European countries are being manipulated by these aggressive Jewish American or Canadian or English elites. USA is a constituonal country based on free elections if the issues of War and Peace are manipulated so easily, by external lobbies, we are in a mud of lies and wars created by the need of other governments.

I didn’t have time to read “The Israeli Lobby” book, written by two respected Chicago University conservative! professors but it seems it is a must now to understand how a small country like Israel and their powerful, rich lobby can infiltrate effect the power and decisions of superpower is terribly dangerous.

There are some stains on the Iraqi war. If it continues at other regions it is time to take action.

Unfortunately the best Jewish American minds like Prof. Norman Finkelstein whose parent during holocaust suffered and other progressive Jews were attacked by this lobby or AIPAC or Neocons or the best term Neo Nazis who loves war to gain upper hand, and serve another country.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, August 17, 2008 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

McCain accused of accepting improper donations from RothschildsDaniel Nasaw in Washington

“A US campaign watchdog has accused presumptive Republican president nominee John McCain of violating election laws by accepting campaign contributions from two prominent Londoners.

At issue is a fundraising luncheon held in March at London’s Spencer House, during McCain’s swing through the United Kingdom. An invitation to the event lists Lord Rothschild and Nathaniel Rothschild as hosts, and indicates the event was made possible with their “kind permission”.

Judicial Watch, a Washington organisation instrumental in the March release of Hillary Clinton’s White House schedules, has asked US election monitors to investigate whether the Rothschilds improperly sponsored the fundraiser. US political campaigns are forbidden from accepting contributions from foreign nationals.

“The question is whether or not the Rothschilds paid for the event, the venue, the catering, or any other related costs,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton.

Tickets to the event cost $1,000 to $2,300, and the luncheon dress code was “lounge suits,” the Washington Post reported in March.

The McCain campaign did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Judicial Watch also complained to the US election authority, the federal election commission, about Elton John’s involvement in Clinton’s campaign. The group alleged the British rocker broke US campaign laws by performing at a fundraiser for the New York senator. The Clinton campaign argued US law allowed the British musician to volunteer his time and solicit Americans for contributions.

The federal election commission is unlikely to act soon on the group’s McCain complaint. It is currently short-handed, a result of a political squabble between the Democratic-led senate and the Bush administration, and lacks a quorum to take action.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/29/johnmccain.uselections2008

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By jackpine savage, August 17, 2008 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, you’ve gone right off the deep end.  People aren’t “bad”, and ignorance is an active noun. (look at the root of it “ignore”)  All people are bad and good.

Keep blaming everything on indoctrination and the “ruling class”, “authority”, etc.  If it makes you feel better i suppose that’s all that’s important.

If i read my history right, the pension army sent DC politicians scurrying.  Labor unions fought for and gained workers’ rights against the capitalist plutocracy.  The American voter elected FDR four times and got all sorts of social services out of the deal.  Regular Americans fought for and won civil rights for people of color.

And way, way back, regular people took up arms and expelled the British capitalist plutocracy in order to found the nation.

Those people weren’t any “better” than the people today.  They still had daily lives to lead, and they had to find a way to feed their children. 

We the People have all the power that we need, we just don’t exercise it.  That power comes in the form of how/where we spend our money.  It comes in the form of how we vote.  It comes in the form of which laws we chose to obey.

All you’ve got are excuses.  And if we don’t do something about the “system”, how will it ever change?  You’re not hoping for some kind of miracle, are you?  Or are you so pessimistic that you assume only the worst can be the end of this trajectory?

And i’m not even saying that we should fix all of this.  My point is that if you want the privilege of self-government and freedom, then you must accept the responsibilities that go along with it.  If you don’t want those two things, fine, that’s your decision.

But it sounds like you want those things without accepting the responsibility.  And that is precisely how we got into this mess in the first place.

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Issywise's avatar

By Issywise, August 17, 2008 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

You say,
_______________
On the contrary, it is a truism, a cliché among people of my theoretical ilk that the state is replicated in daily life.  Hence the direction of our type of activism (which is not very prominent) toward daily life, rather than large demonstrations, mass meetings, and coercive institutions like governments and political parties.  But in any case, I am not a judge to be granting or withholding clemency.
_________________
I bow to your fine wisdom—there is nothing as powerful as example, but suggest that part of your exemplary daily life should be an attempt to persuade those within reach to share desirable goals—political action in other words.
———————-
But, when you say, “My maximum role in this democracy is to cast a single vote, to give ludicrously small amounts of money to dubious politicos, and talk to others about it.” I say, and by the theory of our democracy that should be enough if 1) you have the best policy option on your tongue, if 2) you avoid conclusions that defeat your very persuasiveness—such as advocating overthrow on the nation-state system as the only solution and 3) You are addressing first things first.

It does no good to look over the 20 foot wall and aspire to reach the mountaintop, if you make no effort to scale the wall in the way.

You and I and many other must first concentrate on the task most immediately before us: restoring the democratic link between the people and the elected leaders—the power of the vote. Politicians will always be cowardly self-servers, serving whoever gains their offices for them.  We’ve let that be monied interest. They are the ones that can fund the TV commercials and other media manipulations that win elections.

That must be change first before anything else will be changed. The vote must be enshrined as the single source from which political power flows and the national media (still dominated by public airways) must be returned (or, perhaps, made for the first time) a setting of civic virtue—a true marketplace of ideas instead of a shallow bipolar partisan mouthpiece—in other words, the media should be by design a true marketplace of ideas.

Those two goals: elevating the vote to be the sole source of political power and requiring the media to be a healthy marketplace of ideas will, in the end, achieve all your other goals. Those two goals can be achieved by specific programmatic, policy changes that will come only by changing attitudes of Americans.

People do already distrust politicians. What they lack is a program for restoring a functioning democracy.

There is something you can do that will be effective.

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Issywise's avatar

By Issywise, August 17, 2008 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

cyrena

By your reasoning on Georgia, the young fellow who helps an old lady across the street, where she is mugged by someone else is the mugger.

This idea that America is omni-potent and our leaders omnisciently manipulative is an aspect of our nationalist vanity and self-absorption, even if in you it has taken on a dissident strain.

I disagree with you too on Bosnia. There is one fact that I keep repeating and some of you can’t or won’t deal with: what ended those mass murders was American arms—special forces on the ground identifying bombing sites and advising genocide resisters how to cut up Serbian forces piecemeal and million dollar cruise missiles (that you helped buy) that destroyed the Serbian forces if they came out of hiding to fight back and which also (God forbid) destroyed bridges, television stations and other infrastructure until the Serbian leadership agreed to let the rest of its intended victims live.

You guys can’t acknowledge those FACTS, because they cannot be shoehorned into your ideology.

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By Nino Baldino, August 17, 2008 at 4:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is one of the most outrageous insenstive columns I have read this week..I guess when the Gipper destroyed the evil empire we are still worshipping as this phonies gravesite. This latest illustration of communist brutality is an in-your-face bit..our borders have been destroyed and Bush is silent…fuel prices go up to the roof and Bush and the insiders like Rush,Bill,Sean etc make light of it as this column has of the killing of Georgians! Rebate checks on the side anyone?China sends tons of sewage treated food and toys to America and Bush goes over there and wimps it all out..no this latest slaughter of innocent people is to just show that the establishment can do what it wants when it wants to and get away with it! McCain,the Manchurian candidate is the worst of all candidates for he just heats up that water slowly so the frog (we) dont notice the dictatorship coming..the illerate from Haarvaard..is for tossing us into boiling water rapidly..no good..the ruling class wants the strutting hero to win then they win..as potsie said on happy days..your funny as a crutch columnist…...

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By cyrena, August 17, 2008 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

Part I
By Issywise, August 16 at 12:55 pm

Anarcissie …We disagree on the facts regarding the Serbian genocide (or whatever you call it). It was, in fact, American special forces advisers on the ground and American air power that ended those mass murders….But, let’s not argue fact: facts are better researched than argued about.”

~~~~~~

Humm, very, very, very, telling. Pissywise isn’t interested in facts, since that would mean researching and discovering that American interference is what CREATED the Bosnian genocide, and that the bombing of the area by the US only made it that much worse. Yep, a little research would PROVE the truth of that, along with the fact that the US destruction (in the guise of humanitarian intervention) was just as illegal as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on international law. AGAIN, the US acted UNILATERALLY, and without the approval or a resolution from the UN Security Council, and that was under Clinton, and in an effort to Wag the Dog I might add.

Which brings me to my current post, in keeping with the topic of the article…the US engineered attack on South Ossetia, for the purposes of distracting attention from one of many huge problems that would certainly prevent the neocons from winning the election. Once they’re OUT, the long time purveyors of the Greatest Heist known to humankind will have either escape quickly, or face the angry throng.
So, not unlike the Clinton “Wag the Dog” maneuver with the Serbian conflict, (that the US created) when he was facing impeachment, (even if it was for a stupid reason) the Thugs are doing the same thing now, to detract attention on a much larger event. Gorbachev may have been correct in that the US has nothing to gain from the conflict, aside from the continued perpetration of the global hegemony that we already understand. But, this is a multipurpose action, will also distracts from the complete failure of the economy, which is what is REALLY running on empty.

So check out Ellen Brown’s excellent piece on that element of it.

Wag the Dog: How to Conceal Massive Economic Collapse
By Ellen Brown
Global Research, August 14, 2008
webofdebt.com

“I’m in show business, why come to me?”
“War is show business, that’s why we’re here.”
–  “Wag the Dog” (1997 film)

Last week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had just announced record losses, and so had most reporting corporations. Unemployment was mounting, the foreclosure crisis was deepening, state budgets were in shambles, and massive bailouts were everywhere. Investors had every reason to expect the dollar and the stockmarket to plummet, and gold and oil to shoot up. Strangely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 300 points, the dollar strengthened, and gold and oil were crushed. What happened?

It hardly took psychic powers to see that the Plunge Protection Team had come to the rescue. Formally known as the President ’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the PPT was once concealed and its very existence denied as if it were a matter of strict national security. But the PPT has now come out of the closet.

What was once a legally questionable “manipulator” of markets has become a sanctioned stabilizer and protector of markets. The new tone was set in January 2008, when global markets took their worst tumble since September 11, 2001. Senator Hillary Clinton said in a statement reported by the State News Service: “I think it ’s imperative that the following step be taken. The President should have already and should do so very quickly, convene the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. That’s something that he can ask the Secretary of the Treasury to do.

. . . This has to be coordinated across markets with the regulators here and obviously with regulators and central banks around the world.”

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By cyrena, August 17, 2008 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

Part II

The mystery over what was going on with the dollar the first week in August was solved by James Turk, founder of GoldMoney, who wrote on August 7: “[T]he banking problems in the United States continue to mount, while the federal government ’s deficit continues to soar out of control. . . . So what happened to cause the dollar to rally over the past three weeks? In a word, intervention. Central banks have propped up the dollar, and here’s the proof.

“When central banks intervene in the currency markets, they exchange their currency for dollars. Central banks then use the dollars they acquire to buy US government debt instruments so that they can earn interest on their money. The debt instruments central banks acquire are held in custody for them at the Federal Reserve, which reports this amount weekly.

“On July 16, 2008 . . . , the Federal Reserve reported holding $2,349 billion of US government paper in custody for central banks. In its report released today, this amount had grown over the past three weeks to $2,401 billion, a 38.4% annual rate of growth. . . . So central banks were accumulating dollars over the past three weeks at a rate far above what one would expect as a result of the US trade deficit. The logical conclusion is that they
were intervening in currency markets. They were buying dollars for the purpose of propping it up, to keep the dollar from falling off the edge of the cliff and doing so ignited a short covering rally, which is not too difficult to do given the leverage employed in the markets these days by hedge funds and others.” 2

Just as central banks manipulate currencies in concert, so gold can be manipulated by massive selling of central bank reserves. Oil and any other market can be manipulated as well. But markets can be manipulated by only so much and for only so long without fixing the underlying problem. There is more bad news coming down the pike, news of such magnitude that no amount of ordinary manipulation is liable to conceal it.

For one thing, roughly $400 billion in ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) have or will reset between March and October of this year. Assuming 3 to 6 months for strapped debtors to actually hit the wall with their payments, a huge wave of defaults is about to strike, continuing through March 2009 – just in time for the next huge wave of resets, in option ARMs. 3 Option ARMs are loans with the option to pay even less than just the interest on the loan monthly, increasing the loan balance until the loan reaches a certain amount (typically 110% to 125% of the original loan balance), when it resets. The $800 billion credit line recently opened to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be not only tapped but tapped out, at taxpayer expense. The underlying problem is little discussed but impossible to repair – a one quadrillion dollar derivatives scheme that is now imploding. Banks everywhere are facing massive writeoffs, putting the whole banking system on the brink of collapse. Only public bailouts will save it, but they could bankrupt the nation.

What to do? War and threats of war have been used historically to distract the population and deflect public scrutiny from economic calamity. As the scheme was summed up in the trailer to the 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” “

There’s a crisis in the White House, and to save the election, they’d have to fake a war.”

Perhaps that explains the sudden breakout of war in the Eurasian country of Georgia on August 8, just 3 months before the November elections. August 8 was the day the Olympic Games began in Beijing, a distraction that may have been timed to keep China from intervening on Russia ’s behalf.

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By cyrena, August 17, 2008 at 2:40 am Link to this comment

Part III

The mainstream media version of events is that Russia, the bully on the block, invaded its tiny neighbor Georgia; but not all commentators agree. Mikhail Gorbachev, writing in The Washington Post on August 12, observed:

“What happened on the night of Aug. 7 is beyond comprehension. The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas. Russia had to respond. To accuse it of aggression against “small, defenseless Georgia” is not just hypocritical but shows a lack of humanity. . . . The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and encouragement of a much
more powerful force.” 4

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power, commented in OpEdNews on August 11:

“The U.S. has long been involved in supporting ‘freedom movements’ throughout this region that have been attempting to replace Russian influence with U.S. corporate control. The CIA, National Endowment for Democracy . . . , and Freedom House (includes Zbigniew Brzezinski, former CIA director James Woolsey, and Obama foreign policy adviser Anthony Lake) have been key funders and supporters of placing politicians in power throughout Central Asia that would play ball with ‘our side’. . . . None of this is about the good guys versus the bad guys. It is power bloc politics . . . . Big money is at stake . . . . [B]oth parties (Republican and Democrat) share a bi partisan history and agenda of advancing corporate interests in this part of the world. Obama ’s advisers, just like McCain ’s (one of his top advisers was recently a lobbyist for the current government in Georgia) are thick in this stew.” 5

Brzezinski, who is now Obama ’s adviser, was Jimmy Carter ’s foreign policy adviser in the 1970s. He also served in the 1970s as director of the Trilateral Commission, which he cofounded with David Rockefeller Sr., considered by some to be the “master spider” of the Wall Street banking network. 6 Brzezinski later boasted of drawing Russia into war with Afghanistan in 1979, “giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War.” 7 Is the Georgia affair an attempted repeat of that coup? Mike Whitney, a popular Internet commentator, observed on August 11:

“Washington ’s bloody fingerprints are all over the invasion of South Ossetia. Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili would never dream of launching a massive military attack unless he got explicit orders from his bosses at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. After all, Saakashvili owes his entire political career to American power brokers and US intelligence agencies. If he disobeyed them, he’d be gone in a fortnight. Besides an operation like this takes months
of planning and logistical support; especially if it ’s perfectly timed to coincide with the beginning of the Olympic games. (another petty neocon touch) That means Pentagon planners must have been working hand in hand with Georgian generals for months in advance. Nothing was left to chance.“8

Part of that careful planning may have been the unprecedented propping up of the dollar and bombing of gold and oil the week before the curtain opened on the scene. Gold and oil had to be pushed down hard to give them room to rise before anyone shouted “hyperinflation!” As we watch the curtain rise on war in Eurasia, it is well to remember that things are not always as they seem. Markets are manipulated and wars are staged by Grand Chessmen behind the scenes.

The article is at the link below, and has all of the reference/citation notes.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9828

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By cyrena, August 17, 2008 at 2:38 am Link to this comment

Part IV

I’m curious about this part of her inclusion though, since I’ve not found any references that can tie any specific adviser (from either of the current candidates’ campaign teams) directly to the ‘plot’. (unless we’re talking about Karl Rove and of course the former Georgian Lobbyist, both of the McCain team).

“…[B]oth parties (Republican and Democrat) share a bi partisan history and agenda of advancing corporate interests in this part of the world. Obama ’s advisers, just like McCain ’s (one of his top advisers was recently a lobbyist for the current government in Georgia) are thick in this stew.” 5
This particular quote is from this source,

~ Bruce Gagnon, “What Do We Know About Georgia Russia Conflict?”, OpEdNews (August 11, 2008).

While it’s impossible to deny the first part of this (as far as the bi-partisan history is concerned) I’ve not found any direct ties to the interference of Obama’s advisers in initiating THIS conflict. (yes, we know Brzezinski has been guilty of similar antics in the past, but that doesn’t allow for an irrefutable claim that he was involved in this one) I’d very much like to hear from him on this, but I’m not certain that we will.

Still, there are the other democratic culprits that have joined the Obama advisory team, having left the Clinton campaign. Now I don’t know how much ‘advice’ Obama is actually taking from them, and I don’t believe he has the clout as a Jr. Senator to help this along. Still, it’s something to check further into.

There’s also something vaguely discomforting for me about this guy’s name…Bruce Gagnon. Not sure why. So, I’ll have to check that out as well.

And while I’m doing that, I’ll be happy to provide Pissywise with some research on the Serbian Genocide of the Bosnians. That will allow him to argue ‘facts’ and specifically ones that have only been made available since the atrocity, since those ‘facts’ were covered up the same way that this event has been carefully planned to blame the Russians.

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By Sepharad, August 17, 2008 at 1:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tony Wichner, No worries—of course I’m not going to vote for McCain. The problem is that I don’t think Obama is going to be much better in any significant way except that he says he will do away with Bush’s tax cuts for the super-rich, and I’m not even sure he’ll do that as he has gone back on so much else that he said in his effort to defeat Clinton. I would have voted for Kucinich in the California primary if he hadn’t more or less dropped out by then, but he had so I supported Clinton and like Paul Krugman still think she’d be a better President for all Americans than Obama. But I’ll vote for him. Reluctantly. Since the whole world is as image-mad as we are, the fact that we have a mixed-race President will make us more popular for awhile. Also he’s socially slicker and suaver than Bush, which would be less embarrassing for people who worry about how the Europeans see us. And Obama is smarter—it’s all in how you use your smarts, though. Can’t we ever have a President who did not go to an Ivy League school? (Bush surprised and, for the first time ever, impressed me when his only action re Russians & other paramilitary Cossacks in Georgia has been to send massive humanitarian aid, delivering it to the Tsilbisi airport rather than the one at Gori, which would have been more confrontational.)

Folktruther, Tony Wichner didn’t suggest that you or anyone like you be tortured. If I recall, he—possibly someone else?—suggested something to the effect that anyone who believes that life in the United States resembles that in Iran or Saudi Arabia or Syria or Russia should try living as a citizen of one of those countries. Excellent point.

I’m a Jewish American Zionist, and find a lot of comments on digger posts not merely anti-Semitic but also quite ignorant of the history of Israel and its neighborhood as well as of that of the Jewish people in general. The majority of Israel’s secular population, including Zionists—all Ashkenazi, or European diaspora, Jews—have been reaching out to the Arabs for peace for more than 100 years. Some of the most religious Jews, as fundamentalist as some of the Islamists—particularly the Mizrahi, Jews who were born and lived in Arab countries till they were expelled during and after the ‘48 war, and tend to be distrustful of Arabs. Novelist and Peace Now founder Amos Oz, born in Jerusalem, made a long trek to various communities in Israel and Judea (West Bank) and spoke to people, Arab and Jew. He mostly listened and wrote down what people said, transforming it into delicate, lively essays in the collection “In the Land of Israel.” Anyone with a true desire to understand that region and its peoples could do worse than finding and reading that slender little paperback book. Fadel, you too; I think you would enjoy it more than most people here.

Zionists and Jews in general probably have fewer racists per capita than any other ethnic group—though remember there aren’t all that many of us. Nearly 6 million in the U.S., 5 million in Israel, and 13 million still in the the diaspora.

Saggy et al,how could SO few Jews control such a large industry as the US media? The old blood libels and other forms of anti-Semitism sound pretty ridiculous when there are so few of us around. I think that this line of thinking distracts from the real work, of taking back our country from the multinationals, big oil and all the rest of it.

Re free speech, I’m all for it and my disagreement with ADL is that people should be able to write what they want to. During a short stint with ACLU, we had to support the Nazi party’s right to have their hate-message material on a telepone lines. I hated working on the amicus brief for them, hated it more when it prevailed and they could keep on spewing their garbage to anyone who cared to listen. But the ACLU’s policy was a wise one:“what can be done to one can be done to everyone.”

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By yours trulyj, August 17, 2008 at 1:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We have to elect someone who’s going to dismantle Empire-USA as well as turn things around here at home.”

“Otherwise?”

“The abyss.”

“Based on?”

“Perpetual war + global warming = Doomsday.”

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

I REALLY like your last sentence, cann4ing, quoting Madison, and plan to steal it from you.  However I will give you credit, which you deserve, for composing ir; which is astonishing actually, you being a lawyer and all. 

Knowledge will ever govern ignorance, and a people who wish to goven themselves must attain the power that only knowledge can bring.  Or something.  It has a ring to it.  Another stong bit for the writers of your biography.

As for you, Tony Wicher, you seem to think analysis is distorting reality to conform to your Dem neocon worldview.  The “people” does NOT include the ruling class in political and social analysis, as you well know. 

Your worldview has been expanded by your family’s leftist past, but your values have somehow been perverted since then.  The transformation from Trotskyism and Shactmanism has informed both the Gop and Dem neocons, a danger not only to the US but to the whole world.

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By Tony Wicher, August 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

By Chris1274, August 16 at 1:48 pm #


cann4ing said:

“The reason that “we” (meaning progressives) did not succeed in getting a Dennis Kucinich elected is not the product of some inherent moral deficiency in the American people.  It is the product of the fact that 95% of what Americans see, hear and read on television, radio, newspapers and magazines is controlled by six giant media conglomerates, and that number may eventually shrink to three.”

I’m just not sure the American people aren’t morally (or intellectually) deficient after all. Think about it: how did *you* free yourself from the corporate media Matrix that still holds the electorate captive? An intuition, perhaps, that what’s coming across the TV screen or the newspapers just doesn’t jive with reality, and a decision to look to other, independent sources of information? But if you can do it, why can’t the poor, helpless masses who are still enslaved to corporate media? It can only be because their enslavement is voluntary, or at best born of either apathy or dim-wittedness. How can I say this? Easy. Consider your average consumer of corporate media. Why is he still consuming corporate media? Maybe he’s quite happy with it, in which case his enslavement is voluntary. Maybe he’s dissatisfied with it but doesn’t bother to look elsewhere for his news, in which case he’s apathetic. Maybe he’s dissatisfied and even wants to look elsewhere but doesn’t know where to look, in which case he’s just dim-witted, given how easy it is to access information these days.

“I would urge you to read Noam Chomsky’s “Failed States” wherein he discusses the “democracy deficit”—the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and those who purport to represent them.”

I’m a fan of Chomsky too, but only to a point. Ultimately, in his efforts to maintain his faith in the goodness of The People, he bends over backward to assign blame to The Elite. But if there really is a democratic deficit - as there assuredly is - then why do not The People assert themselves by taking their demands to the streets? If half the population got off their asses and demanded what the polls say they want, The Elite wouldn’t know what hit them.
—————————————————————————-
Chris,

From this post, it appears that I have found a soul brother. Allow me to lend you some support.


“The people” means every single citizen of the country, rich or poor, from the tip-top of the ruling class down to the homeless beggar. Generally speaking, the political views of the “ruling class”, that is the people at or near the top of the social pyramid are the dominant views of society as a whole. The people at the top control the flow of information and they control the educational system. Throughout the world, children are taught the official view of politics and history, and they believe what they are told, poor innocent suckers that they are. In later life the same official views are reinforced by televisions, radios, newspapers and all other forms of media. So what I’m saying is that the people of the world everywhere are totally brainwshed from day one. ‘Twas ever thus. We cannot blame innocent babes for the world in which they were born. Not even poor baby Adolph Schickelgruber. But once they become part of that world, they continue with the beliefs and follies of the previous generation. Progress is only possible because human intelligence has the capacity to rise above these inherited beliefs. To rise above these beliefs through the awakening of intelligence is to be enlightened. This process is how humanity evolves.

People will be free, have a just government and enlightened rulers to the same degree that they themselves are enlightened and just.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Part V

On November 16, 2006 Rep. Keith Ellison (D.MN), the first Muslim ever to be elected to the United States Congress, appeared on Beck’s show.  “I have been nervous about this interview with you,” Beck tells Ellison, “because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’” 

Beck didn’t lose his job for this racist remark.  To the contrary, he not only remained but moved up with ABC News announcing on January 9, 2007 that Beck would soon join Good Morning America, whose executive producer, Jim Murphy, told AP, “Glenn is a leading cultural commentator.” 

Sadly, Murphy is right.  Beck is a “leading cultural commentator” precisely because 21st Century American culture is imbued with the racist sentiments embodied in the 1,000 films reviewed by Jack Shaheen.

Beck’s reprehensible comments about rounding up people on the basis of their religion and putting them behind “razor wire” are but an echo of racist sentiments that led to the internment of loyal Japanese Americans during World War II.  Coulter’s conflation of the actions of nineteen 9/11 hijackers into “they killed 3,000 Americans” and Beck’s obnoxious demand that a United States Congressman “prove” he is “not working with our enemies” are but a reflection of what Prof. Zimbardo described as the “cortical cataract” brought on by the process of dehumanization; a myopic inability to distinguish the actions of a handful of individuals from the larger, objectified they, meaning all Arabs, all Muslims.  Coulter’s “what did we do to Arabs?” even more so than George Bush’s “why do they hate us?” reflects a fundamental ignorance of issues of “blow-back.” Coulter seems totally unaware that thirteen years of devastating U.N. economic sanctions imposed at the insistence of three successive U.S. presidential administrations caused the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five.

The remedy to our malaise is not to be found in “we’re all to blame” mea culpas, but in acquiring a base understanding of the power of media and the impact of abuse of that power.  James Madison observed that knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who desire to be their own governors must acquire the power that only knowledge can bring.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Part IV

When Don Imus disparaged the Rutgers’ women’s basketball players as “nappy-headed hos,” it brought forth a firestorm of protest that ultimately led to his dismissal by MSNBC television and CBS radio,  as well it should have.  Yet, American media pundits regularly disparage Arabs, even call for their wholesale slaughter, and, almost universally, they do so without adverse repercussions to their careers.

In a December 21, 2005 column, Ann Coulter wrote:  “I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.”  After lauding a sham election in Iraq, on February 3, 2006 Coulter wrote:  “Isn’t it great to see Muslims celebrating something other than the slaughter of Americans.”  On February 8, 2006, Coulter referred to Islam as “a car bombing cult.”  When her use of the words “camel jockeys” was challenged during an October 1, 2006 appearance on Fox News’s Hannity & Colmes, Coulter responded with sarcasm:  “Oh. Yeah.  No.  They killed 3,000 Americans.  I’ll be very careful with my language.”  In her November 30, 2006 column Coulter took the NAACP to task for speaking up for Muslims who had been subjected to racial profiling at airports.  “The only reason Americans feel guilty about ‘racial profiling’ against blacks,” Coulter claims, “is because of the history of discrimination against blacks in this country.  What did we do to the Arabs?  I believe Americans are the victims in that relationship.  After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.”

Glenn Beck is not one to be outdone by America’s Eva Braun.  During a May 11, 2006 Clear Channel radio broadcast of The Glenn Beck Program, Beck said:  “I say we nuke the bastards.  In fact, it doesn’t have to be Iran.  It can be everywhere, any place that disagrees with me.”  During an August 10, 2006 airing of The Glenn Beck Program, after calling out Muslims for not being “the first ones in the recruitment office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head,”  Beck added, ominously, “I’m telling you, with God as my witness…when people become hungry, when people see that their way of life is on the edge of being over, they will put razor wire up and just based on the way you look or just based on your religion, they will round you up.  Is that wrong?  Oh my gosh.  It is Nazi, World War II wrong, but society has proved it time and time again:  It will happen.”

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Part III

The psychic distance afforded by the process of dehumanization is embodied in a contemporaneous account of the 1915 lynching of Thomas Brooks in Fayette County, Tennessee.  “Hundreds of kodaks clicked all morning at the scene of the lynching.  People in automobiles and carriages came from miles around to view the corps dangling from the end of a rope….  Picture card photographers installed a portable printing plant…and reaped a harvest in selling postcards showing…the lynched Negro.  Women and children were there by the score.  At a number of country schools the day’s routine was delayed until boy and girl pupils could get back from viewing the lynched man.”

Viewing Without Sanctuary’s gruesome pictorial display is a daunting task, perhaps lightened by the absence of color in the black-and-white images.  But the truly disturbing feature is the carnival-like atmosphere; smiling white faces of people genuinely enjoying themselves; an atmosphere calling to mind a scene from the Steven Spielberg film, Schindler’s List, in which, while dining with their families, one of the SS officers nonchalantly picks up a rifle and begins firing it randomly at helpless prisoners.  It is a reflection of the degree of psychic distance created by the process of dehumanization; one in which the perpetrators see themselves and the atrocities they commit as virtuous.  “This may be ‘Southern brutality’ as far as the Boston Negro can see,” proclaimed a Little Rock newspaper, defending the practice when applied to blacks who cast “lustful eyes on white women,” “but in polite circles, we call it Southern chivalry, a Southern virtue that will never die.”

If it was some immutable characteristic of the American people that brought forth these racist atrocities, one would expect that they would have continued unabated, but as Martin Luther King recognized, the impact of the civil rights movement was not merely to liberate the oppressed but the oppressor.

Today’s principle object of the dehumanization process carried out by media and culture is no longer the African American.  It is Arabs, Muslims.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Part II

Dehumanization is by no means unique to Nazi Germany.  To the contrary, Zimbardo observes, citing Sam Keen’s analysis of the “hostile imagination” in Faces of the Enemy,  it “is created by virtually every nation’s propaganda on its path to war….”
 
“The process,” Zimbardo tells us, “begins with stereotyped conceptions of the other,…conceptions of the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful,…the other as a fundamental threat to our cherished values and beliefs.  With public fear notched up and enemy threat imminent, reasonable people act irrationally, independent people act in mindless conformity, and peaceful people act as warriors.  Dramatic visual images of the enemy on posters, television, magazine covers, movies, and the internet imprint on the recesses of the limbic system, the primitive brain, with the powerful emotions of fear and hate.”

The dramatic impact of dehumanization found its embodiment in the testimony of Vietnam veteran Scott Camile’s testimony at the February 1971 “Winter Soldier” hearings in Philadelphia.  After he described how members of his unit, in the presence of a Lt. Colonel beheaded two people, leaving their heads on stakes in the middle of a field, Camile was asked whether the men in his unit felt they could do anything they wanted to the Vietnamese, Camile replied:  “It wasn’t like they were humans, like we were—you know, we were conditioned to believe that…this was for the good of our country, and anything we did was okay.  And like, when you shot someone, you didn’t think you were shooting a human.  They were a gook or a Commie, and it was okay.”

We can see a similar level of dehumanization in “Without Sanctuary,” a gruesome pictorial of 19th and early 20th Century lynchings in these United States.
(continued in next post)

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Chris, I am inclined to agree with folktruther.  You seek nothing less than to blame the victims of the propaganda network for its impact.

Perhaps a different angle will explain. 

Part I

In 1971 Professor Phillip Zimbardo, now a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment in a university basement where “24 male college students were randomly assigned the roles of prison guards and prisoners…”  Although the experiment was to have lasted two weeks, Zimbardo was forced to cancel it after just six days as the “guards had become dangerously sadistic and the prisoners were breaking down emotionally.”
“What we wanted to do,” Zimbardo explained, “was [to] create [the] essential psychology of imprisonment, and that’s all about power.  Every prison is about power.  Guards have to assume more and more power and domination, and prisoners have to have their power stripped away.  And so that is the ultimate evil of prison.  It’s about power, dominance, and mastery.  And that is the same thing we found at Abu Ghraib prison.”

Though cut short, the Stanford Prison Experiment provided the foundational basis for The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn to Evil (2007) which Zimbardo describes as a “summary of more than 30 years of research on factors that can create a ‘perfect storm’ which leads good people to engage in evil actions.”

Zimbardo studied “the process of dehumanization by which certain other people or collectives of them are depicted as less than human….”  He regards this as “one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil….a ‘cortical cataract’ that clouds one’s thinking and fosters the perception that other people are less than human…to see…others as enemies deserving of torment, torture, and even annihilation.”

It is here that the danger of irresponsible media is exposed.  History’s most abhorrent example, the “final solution,” was not the product of some inherent psychological deficiency in the German people.  To the contrary, as Zimbardo forcefully points out, it was the product of a deliberate campaign carried out in newspapers, on radio, in required texts of school children, and even in comic books, which “sought to create the perception of Jews as a sub-human race that was a threat to the national state.”

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

It is clear that my arguments, and Cann4ing’s, which were excellent, did not dispell in the short term the anti-people worldviews of TD truthers, blaming the people for their own oppression.

The reason, in my opinon, is because we are instilled from childhood with anti-people worldviews that legitmate the power of the Educated classes.  These religious, political and scientific worldviews explicitly, and especially implicitly, demean and denigrate earthpeople.

When we are taught from childhhod a respect for authorized power, we simultaneously are taught a disrespect for the people ruled by power.  This contempt for people is incorporated into our religious, political and scientific worldviews to prevent us from understanding ourselves and from understanding our relations to other people.  It prevents us from understanding how we are ruled.

This is most easily seen in our religious worldviews.  Religous truthers posit powerful gods, or Almighty God, that we must flatter, pray to, sacrifice for and above all OBEY, just as we must flatter, appeal to, sacraifice for and OBEY earthly power.

But we don’t, miserable wretches that we are.  Like that great rebel SATAN, we rebel against Divine and earthly authority because we are sinful, corrupt, willful and, above all, DISOBEDIENT.  So we must be ruled with rods of iron and chastised with scorpions, and its all our own fault.  Or consigned to the Fiery Pit to undergo hideous tortures for all Eternity.  Or, if we live in south Asia, in the next life we might be turned into a cockroach.  Because of how Bad we are.

This type of irrationality has been instilled in earthpoeple for thousands of years by power structures, who have hijacked religous and spiritual ideologies for their own purposes.  And these religous values have corrupted our political and scientific worldviews as well, where people are conceived as ignorant and stupid, or irresponsible, or, in the scientific worldview, insignificant and powerless compared to the rest of the universe.

So the crimes of the power sstucture are conceived as the responsibility of the people, who are indoctrinated from childhood to prevent them from rising up against power.  And its all our own fault.

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By Anarcissie, August 16, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Issywise:’... You have granted yourself full clemency for the acts of your own nation by asserting it has been hijacked by a “ruling class.” ...’

On the contrary, it is a truism, a cliché among people of my theoretical ilk that the state is replicated in daily life.  Hence the direction of our type of activism (which is not very prominent) toward daily life, rather than large demonstrations, mass meetings, and coercive institutions like governments and political parties.  But in any case, I am not a judge to be granting or withholding clemency.


‘... I suggest the solution is closer at hand.  Use your role in this sick democracy to expunge it of what is making is sick—the corrupting tide of money pumped into the political process, the abandonment of the media of its role as an educator of voters in favor of optimal profit commercial irrelevance or open partisan advocacy. ...’

My maximum role in this democracy is to cast a single vote, to give ludicrously small amounts of money to dubious politicos, and talk to others about it.  I doubt if those powers will suffice to, for instance, stop the corrupting tide of money, etc.  (People already claim to distrust the politicians and the media and yet they vote for the former and believe in and recite the lies of the latter, so I am not at all sure what is to be done with them anyway.)

Normally I do not tell the masters of bourgeois institutions how to run them.  You will not find me advising the president on farm policy or the educational system.  However, the effects and prospects of the present general ruling-class policy of war, imperialism and repression are so dire I feel that I must try to do something to at least slow the old handbasket down, at least rhetorically.

I hope you can get around to examining the details of the dirty business in Yugoslavia one of these days, although I can’t say as it’s very edifying reading.

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By jackpine savage, August 16, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

The crucial power decsions are not made by the population but by a capitalist plutocracy ruling in their name. ~Folktruther

I won’t argue with that because it is true.  That does not change the fact that the system functions as it does because we allow it.  There is nothing keeping the capitalist plutocracy in power except our willingness to give it to them.

It is not a matter of “emotional truths” so much as one of responsibility.  Freedom and self-government aren’t a right; they are a privilege.  Privilege and responsibility go hand in hand.

Why try to split hairs about children, the mentally infirm, etc.?  But since you mention protesters and those of us who have been against the Iraq occupation from the first, yes, we are culpable too.

We have not done enough, it’s as simple as that. 

I am beginning to have a feeling here that rationality is breaking on the rocks of highly indoctinated, and irrational, emotional truths.  Yeah, me too.  You mean like blaming everything on a group of “American-Zionist” “neo-cons” who’ve “hijacked” the system?  As if this particular group came from nowhere eight years ago, or that none of our imperial bullshit happened prior to eight years ago?

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By Chris1274, August 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing said:

“The reason that “we” (meaning progressives) did not succeed in getting a Dennis Kucinich elected is not the product of some inherent moral deficiency in the American people.  It is the product of the fact that 95% of what Americans see, hear and read on television, radio, newspapers and magazines is controlled by six giant media conglomerates, and that number may eventually shrink to three.”

I’m just not sure the American people aren’t morally (or intellectually) deficient after all. Think about it: how did *you* free yourself from the corporate media Matrix that still holds the electorate captive? An intuition, perhaps, that what’s coming across the TV screen or the newspapers just doesn’t jive with reality, and a decision to look to other, independent sources of information? But if you can do it, why can’t the poor, helpless masses who are still enslaved to corporate media? It can only be because their enslavement is voluntary, or at best born of either apathy or dim-wittedness. How can I say this? Easy. Consider your average consumer of corporate media. Why is he still consuming corporate media? Maybe he’s quite happy with it, in which case his enslavement is voluntary. Maybe he’s dissatisfied with it but doesn’t bother to look elsewhere for his news, in which case he’s apathetic. Maybe he’s dissatisfied and even wants to look elsewhere but doesn’t know where to look, in which case he’s just dim-witted, given how easy it is to access information these days.

“I would urge you to read Noam Chomsky’s “Failed States” wherein he discusses the “democracy deficit”—the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and those who purport to represent them.”

I’m a fan of Chomsky too, but only to a point. Ultimately, in his efforts to maintain his faith in the goodness of The People, he bends over backward to assign blame to The Elite. But if there really is a democratic deficit - as there assuredly is - then why do not The People assert themselves by taking their demands to the streets? If half the population got off their asses and demanded what the polls say they want, The Elite wouldn’t know what hit them.

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By Issywise, August 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie

We disagree on the facts regarding the Serbian genocide (or whatever you call it). It was, in fact, American special forces advisers on the ground and American air power that ended those mass murders.

But, let’s not argue fact: facts are better researched than argued about.

We also greatly disagree in our world views.  You have granted yourself full clemency for the acts of your own nation by asserting it has been hijacked by a “ruling class.” You also pessimistically abandon hope for improvement by vesting all your hopes in some amorphous super revolution in the future that will supersede the worldwide practice of governance nation states. I guess I’d call it surrender by idealism.

It isn’t our leaders, it is us.

I suggest the solution is closer at hand.  Use your role in this sick democracy to expunge it of what is making is sick—the corrupting tide of money pumped into the political process, the abandonment of the media of its role as an educator of voters in favor of optimal profit commercial irrelevance or open partisan advocacy.

Hold your elected representatives accountable to you for a change.  Get the thing in between you and your elected leaders out of between you and your representatives.  Elected politicians are a bunch of cowards—devious, manipulative and self-serving for sure, but most of all they are cowards—-they want to stay on the gravy train and say what you will about this democracy we have the ability to toss them out on their cowardly buts.

They will be responsive to whomever can take their sweat ride away. You’ve let it be somebody else—the ruling elite, for sure. They are there by your leave.

Getting all radicalized and wishing for a future worldwide revolution is futile. You have power at hand. Us it.  If you are impotent, it is only because YOU make yourself so.

Tony Wicher & cyrena,

Even though I’m a “psychopath,” I think it’s good that cyrena acknowledged that such statements are inappropriate. But cyrena and I know this wasn’t a one time thing—I was waiting for a denial so I could direct readers to other such posts, but all of that is moot…...

Provided she has taken the point to heart. Harboring racist ideas is a horrible thing. We have to guard against intrusion of chauvinist notions in otherwise valid perspectives. God knows I’ve caught myself doing it—-usually pointed out to me through the help of others.

Now, cyrena….......let’s talk about why you think Iran is just as democratic as America…..just kidding.

Tony Wicher

I cannot say it more clearer than I have: I will never vote for a candidate who says there is something more important than counting votes.  To me that is the top most value in a supposed democracy. I suppose if a candidate endorsed incest or racism, I’d react the same way, but I cant say even those appalling depredations are more offensive to my electoral hackles than voiding votes.

It’s a no brainer for me and I am most certainly aware of all the other favors. To me, it ain’t so eclectic or out of place.  It is the most natural and fundamental of things.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Saggy, I would hope that you and I can disagree on a subject without resorting to pejoratives like “idiocy.”

The reason that “we” (meaning progressives) did not succeed in getting a Dennis Kucinich elected is not the product of some inherent moral deficiency in the American people.  It is the product of the fact that 95% of what Americans see, hear and read on television, radio, newspapers and magazines is controlled by six giant media conglomerates, and that number may eventually shrink to three.

I would urge you to read Noam Chomsky’s “Failed States” wherein he discusses the “democracy deficit”—the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and those who purport to represent them.

The conventional task of doctrinal managers is to protect power and those who wield it from scrutiny and, most important, to deflect analysis of their rational planning in pursuit of the real interests they serve.  This is made possible because campaigns are run by the PR industry which employs the same level of deceit in selling candidates as it does with products.

Chomsky observes, “In his landslide victory in 1984, just under 30 percent of the electorate voted for Reagan.  Of these, 4 percent gave as their primary reason that he’s a real conservative…. Polls showed that by 3 to 2, voters hoped that Reagan’s legislative program would not be enacted…[and] that the public favored tax increases devoted to New Deal and Great Society programs.  Support for equal or greater social expenditures was about 80 percent in 1980, and increased in 1984.  Cuts in Social Security were opposed with near unanimity….The public preferred cuts in military spending to cuts in health programs by about 2 to 1.  Large majorities supported government regulations to protect worker health and safety, protection of consumer interests, help for the elderly, the poor…. But none of this matters as long as elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population, freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people.”

Where elections in European democracies occur over a span of weeks, the U.S. has devolved into a permanent electoral cycle so that candidates are forced to spend less time governing and more time trolling for the corporate dollars needed to purchase deceptive but expensive 30-second spot ads.  Candidates who challenge the corporate security state, like Mr. Kucinich, are marginalized, seldom mentioned—denigrated where any mention is made, while those candidates favored by corporate America are dubbed “front-runners” and covered.

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Modern American elections, Saggy, are largely determined, I am sorry to say, by 30-second TV spots.  Americans watch TV over thirty hours a week, according to a number of polls, and this amount is increasing.  Apparently people tend to believe that if it doesn’t happen on TV it is not really real.

These spots cost a lot of money to make and to repeat hundreds and thousands of times.  They are directed at the middle of the political spectrum, the least knowledgeable and most politically indifferent of the population.  They are astonishingly professional and emotional persuasive.
See, for example, Al Gore’s latest book THE ASSAULT ON REASON.

You have to have a lot of money to win elections, and it greatly helps to have the media on your side.
The ruling class contributes most of the money and controls the media.  A fourth or 30% of the ruling class are Jewish,and a significant number of both Jews and non-Jews are Zionist.  They support the neocons in both parties.

Most people don’t know this because the learned and mass media and other truth organs don’t tell them so.  They tell them about Freedom and Democracy, while a capitalist plutocracy, that controls both political parties, makes the crucial policy decisions.

And there is a tendency to blame the population for the decisions the population has no control over.

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By Robert, August 16, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 16 at 11:30 am #

Robert:  Interesting video, linking the increase in McCain’s support for Bush policies to a corresponding precipitous drop in the Bush approval ratings to the point that in 2008 McCain voted with Bush 100% of the time as Bush’s approval number plummeted to 28%.

But I have a problem with the question posed at the end of the clip—“Do you support George Bush today more than you did four years ago?” For me, and I suspect for you, there never was “any” support for Bush policies.  So the question just doesn’t fit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ernest…You are absolutely correct regarding “any” support for Bush policies. I never supported his “Neocon” policies at all.

The question doesn’t fit for your position &  my position, but for those who are still out there on the sidelines just watching and believing the endless lies of their evil, corrupt and power hungry…Neocon controlled masters, I think the question fits for them.

Ernest…as per one of your previous comments, those voting machines are still out there and WE MAY SEE ANOTHER STOLEN ELECTION THIS COMING NOVEMBER…YET!

I will NOT be surprised!

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

You see to echo, Jackpine, a strong disposition to believe politically in orignal sin.  You believe that the “fact of the matter” is that we all have blood on our hands.  All of us includes children, the ill, the imprisoned, the mentally incompetent, and many other groupings that you include in the “facts of the matter.”

And why?  Because ‘supposedly” our govenment is one of, by and for the people.  But this is political gibberish, Jackpine.  The crucial power decsions are not made by the population but by a capitalist plutocracy ruling in their name.  Indeed, a American-Zionist grouping of neocons have seized power in the US and only partially represent the ruling class and ong term interests of the American power system.

You do not seem to find this relevant.  So the milliions of people demonstrating against the war in Irzq have blood on their hands because the American power system promotes policies that they stongly oppose. 

I am beginning to have a feeling here that rationality is breaking on the rocks of highly indoctinated, and irrational,  emotional truths.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Robert:  Interesting video, linking the increase in McCain’s support for Bush policies to a corresponding precipitous drop in the Bush approval ratings to the point that in 2008 McCain voted with Bush 100% of the time as Bush’s approval number plummeted to 28%.

But I have a problem with the question posed at the end of the clip—“Do you support George Bush today more than you did four years ago?”  For me, and I suspect for you, there never was “any” support for Bush policies.  So the question just doesn’t fit.

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By Tex, August 16, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: Fadel
” wasn’t there a justification for jealous and true patriotic democratic citizens to revolt, even if it would have led to a civil war?! “

armed insurrection by American citizens aganst the government,,in 2008.. really?
against the military, local and state police and national guard?
that is laughable…. Fadel, good buddy..where do you live?.. and what have you done for ‘the revolution’?
even some of my hard core friends here in the south would think long and hard before doing that…...

even if it were proven beyond a doubt that the elections were rigged (I believe they were) expecting the American populace to ‘rise up’ is just not going to happen…. status quo above all else.

if and when you see food riots breaking out, and the military shooting civilian demonstrators as was done during the Great Depression, you will be closer to armed citizen action as Fadel suggests is needed… until then folks will vote and hope for the best.

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By jackpine savage, August 16, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, Folktruther, you’re wrong.  The United States is supposedly a government of, for, and by the People.  Hence it is the People’s duty to be informed and active.

You’re right in saying that most people are simply immersed in their daily lives/struggles, with no serious understanding of policy implications.  But the People’s end in the bargain of self-government is to be involved in those policy decisions.

And while it does no good to tell people that they have blood on their hands, as you correctly point out, the fact of the matter is that we do all have blood on our hands.  Perhaps the only way to shake people into retaking their government is to make it very clear that they cannot separate themselves from the actions of that government…no matter how much they ignore or try.

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By SCJ, August 16, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any significant turns a new president is going to make will have to be slow.  To make changes where the US would fall under international war crimews at the Hague would be fought might the mighty military industrial complex.  I can only guess that possibley the same fears apply with impeachment.  Many goverment officials in congress and the senate would fall under investigation and possible prosecution, they do not want that. As the economy falls and poverty increases, the enlistments into the military who has raise the age limits will begin to rise.  Preditory capitalism at its lowest. Hang on because it is going to get even bumpier.  Again with a possible black president, black nationalism will rise along with whites, blacks, any minorities.  This countrie aims and gains will be achieved on the sweat and blood of the minorities.  With McCain it will be nearly the same, just no race card to help the NWO achieve its gains.  WATCH YOUR BACKS. I would love to see us achieve a minority president, but not if it means it will cost more of our youth to die not to mention the larger numbers of lost from UD bombs and cluster bombs. We can only go to the streets to a point as they are waiting for us and they have all the guns.  The media controls inability to speak out.  WE must try to develop a type of speaking out and yet also non cooperation.

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By Robert, August 16, 2008 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Saturday, August 16, 2008

McSame is Getting even More Same


“Approval Ratings: The Public v. McCain”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBfngOsvmA0

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Fadel, let me respond to your comment that we all “have innocent blood on our hands!” in the following way: fooosh.

Most people are involved in their personal ives and political thought and action in on the vaery moargin of their existence, if it exists at all.  Cann4ing is perfectly right that most people don’t know the elections were stolem.  And they wouldn’t much care because they don’t understand the policy implications, and, if they knew and cared, wouldn’t know what to do about it.

People are not heros, Falel, (except for you and me of course.)  Blaming people for being involved in their work, families and personal lives goes nowhere. It is part of the same impulse that Saggy has of blaming the population for what their rulers do. 

The American population is very confused politically, deluded, de-politicized and afraid.  We have been systematically confused, deluded, de-politicized and subjected to fear by the American power system.  Deliberately. 

So we must, as best we can, clarify, undelude, politicize and make people more courageous.  This cannot be done by telling people that they and their children have innocent blood on their hands.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Actually, Fadel, the reason that the “revolt” did not occur is that most Americans are not aware of the fact that both elections were stolen.  Oh, you can go to a number of books on the subject demonstrating that both elections were stolen—one of the best being Frieman & Bleifuss’s statistical analysis set for in “Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?” but these solid academic accounts receive no play in the U.S. corporate media which, if it mentions them at all, dismisses them as “conspiracy theories.”

Note:  I said that a majority of Americans did not vote for Bush in either election.  I did not say that the majority of Americans were aware that these two elections were stolen?

So long as America’s disparate voting systems includes paperless electronic DREs into which one can install what are called “Easter Eggs”—vote flipping software which remains undetectable except on election day, the only day they are programmed to do their dirty deed, we are at risk of more stolen elections.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 16, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 16 at 8:04 am #

Saggy, speak for your self.  A majority of Americans voted for someone other than George W. Bush who was “selected” by a judicial coup and massive electoral fraud the first time, and re-selected as the result of wholesale, computerized vote-flipping the second time around.
====================
OK my friend cann4ing! I hate to look like disagreeing with you, however, assuming that what you say as “a majority of Americans voted for someone other than Bush who was “selected” by a judicial coup and massive electoral fraud the first time…” is one hundred percent correct, then wasn’t there a justification for jealous and true patriotic democratic citizens to revolt, even if it would have led to a civil war?!

The fact that the majority you talk about did not do any concrete thing to reverse the abuse, makes their culpability clear in going ahead with the manipulated political process. It follows that we are all guilty, by association, silence and inaction, about what they have done in our names and with our tax-payer money. It follows, likewise, that everyone, including I and you, have innocent blood on our hands! And this is the great dilemma of conscious I have been tortured by for eight years now: that through my tax money and my inaction I have been contributing to the killings and oppression of my fellow co-religionists in Palestine,  Iraq and Afghanistan!

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By jojo, August 16, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:cann4ing’s
Your diatribe(a bitter and abusive speech or writing) against Zaggy is unfounded.Why don’t you just call him Anti-Jewish and go along with the pack of blood thirsty Wolvies?
FYI: You forgot to mention the real culprits—America’s solely/Jewish media. Even if the public voted for Kerry/ Liebermann(both Jewish)—the public wouldn’t notice anything differant, cause both parties are Israel Firsters.
Try looking up NeoCons and how the term was established and for what purpose it serves and look up Semite .Yes Americans voted twice for Bush—too Stupid to know better,but Democrats are no better!
Take Georgia news—all Baloney one sided.Question-What gain is there from the Jews in the media?

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By jackpine savage, August 16, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

But what Saggy says is fundamentally true, because even with all the wrong pointed out by cann4ing, the majority of Americans never lifted a finger to right the wrongs.

If i had a nickel for every time i’ve heard “it will be alright”, i’d be rich.  But i’ve noticed that responding to the above statement with, “How do you know?” Only provokes garbage like, “Because it has always turned out ok,” or, “We’ll elect a Democrat next time.”  Baloney.

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By cann4ing, August 16, 2008 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Saggy, speak for your self.  A majority of Americans voted for someone other than George W. Bush who was “selected” by a judicial coup and massive electoral fraud the first time, and re-selected as the result of wholesale, computerized vote-flipping the second time around.

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By Robert, August 16, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

August 16 / 17, 2008

A Letter to Colin Powell

Out Damn Blot

By RAY McGOVERN


Dear Colin,

“Your U.N. speech of February 5, 2003 left me speechless, so to speak—largely because of the measure of respect I had had for you before then. Outrage is too tame a word for what quickly became my reaction and that of my colleagues in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), as we watched you perform before the Security Council less than six weeks before the unnecessary, illegal attack on Iraq.

The purpose—as well as the speciousness—of your address were all too transparent and, in a same-day commentary, we VIPS warned President George W. Bush that, if he attacked Iraq, “the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

That’s history. Or, as investigative reporter Ron Suskind would say, “It’s all on the record.” You have not yet summoned the courage to admit it, but I think I know you well enough to believe you have a Lady Macbeth-type conscience problem that goes far beyond the spot on your record. With 4,141 American soldiers—not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens—dead, and over 30,000 GIs badly wounded, how could you not?”


http://www.counterpunch.org/mcgovern08162008.html

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Yes, Fadel, expanding the anti-militaristic anti-neocon population in both the US and Israel is the only peaceful solution.  And it is a real historical problem.  In Isreal the media is a little freer than in the US, but not much, and the popultion a little more politically advanced to permit small peace groups like Ari Avernary’s.  But they generally do not go far enough.

The problem is that oppression oppresses, corruption corrupts, and brutality brutalizes.  The American population is very backward and tends to identify with brutality. We have been miseducated, misinformed and misentertained from childhood by the power system to identify with our own oppression and the oppression of other people.

Look at Saggy’s last comment below, holding the American people responsible for the Bushites and the Jewish people responsible for 3000 years of history.  In Europe the distinction between the rulers and the ruled is authomatic on the left but in the US… well, you live here, you already know it.

So Tony Wicker’s characterization of Saggy as being anti-American and anti-Semetic is partially justified, Saggy also being anti-imperialist and anti-oppression of the currently oppressed.  But what would happen, do you think, if a grouping with Saggy’s values got in power?

What would happen is what happened in Israel: we were oppressed by the powerful, we are now the powerful so we have the right to oppress.  It makes no rational sense but it makes emotional sense and earthpeople have not yet evolved to the point where rationality and morality have been applied to the power process.

In the BROTHERS KARAMUSOV, Ivan says to his brother   “Man is too broad.  I would have made him narrower.”

Not me.  But I know what he means.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 16, 2008 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

By Saggy, August 16 at 5:49 am #

I no longer buy into that proposition.  Let’s take the Iraq war as an example.  We just had a primary election, Dennis Kucinich was a candidate, he called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.  Mike Gravel likewise.  Ron Paul likewise.  None of them could buy a vote.  The American population is DIRECTLY responsible for the carnage in Iraq.
=============================
Saggy,

Amazingly, I just finished posting in agreement with Folktruther, then I read your post and find myself in total agreement with yours. Your explanation is correct since we taxpayers don’t have the choice to protest against the misguided policies of our government by withholding our financial support through refusing to pay taxes. The conclusion is that we all have innocent blood on our hands both in Israel and the US. This is more so because, at least theoretically, the US and Israel are the most-bragged about democracies in the world, and yet decent people and peaceful citizens cannot do any thing, aside from angry talk from a minority, to change the misguided and criminal policies of these two governments, controlled by the military-industrial complexes and the merchants of death. 

Though I did agree with Folktruther and now I am agreeing with you, I don’t find contradiction in this if we go beyond the surface of semantics to real issue we are all addressing and concerned / angry about!

Thank you again for your true patriotism and your noble indignation against the dangers that threatens our humanity!

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By cwhamsun, August 16, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Check www dot economist dot com. It’s a weekly news mag and has had an article on these disputed regions pretty regularly for months if not years.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 16, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, August 16 at 5:00 am #

Saggy, you have to make a distinction between the Jewish power structure-Zionism- and the Jewish population.  Just as there is a distinction of the American power structure and the American population.  It is quite true that the Zionist power structure is highly racist, especially apartheid Israel, and Aipac and ADL that supports them, but the Jewish population, except probably for it’s anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism-granted a large exception- may well be LESS racist than, say, the American population as a whole.
=========================
Folktruther,

Well said and I concur 100%. I myself said something like that on several occasions on these threads. I, with a Palestinian background, can live in peace with a person like yourself as a trusted neigbor, and I can trust you with my property, home and even my life, because you’re a decent fair-minded human being.

However, my qualms are with political-militaristic Zionism and Israel and political-militaristic America, always in bed with peach others at the expense of other groups and in promotion of wars and conflicts.

The solution to all this antagonism and mutual hatred and mistrust will come only when the base of anti-political-militaristic in both these countries is expanded to become a majority.

On the margin of this, I am, like you, concerned with what I’ve been reading from Tony Wicher. I used to like him and agree with what seemed to be a diplomatic and peaceful approach on his part, however, I lately read some disturbing things from him that make me agree with what you said about him.

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By jojo, August 16, 2008 at 6:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tony Wicher ,please name what other religious group hides behand phonie wasp +++ names and other religions but practices Judism in secret and conives with their bloodlines to control the world.
Take Mel Gibson,he stated a fact and the guy is toast in his business affairs.  All he said was—Jews started all wars. It’s a fact,if you have a problem with it—why Georgia is in hot water and a mess in Iraq,Afaghistan? Our Jewish controlled media has ruined America—just wait for the next year coming.
http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/wag_the_dog.php
Zaggy is right on and Tony is asleep.

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By Folktruther, August 16, 2008 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Saggy, you have to mmake a distinction between the Jewish power struture-Zionism- and the Jewish population.  Just as there is a distinction of the American power structure and the American population.  It is quite true that the Zionist power structure is highly racist, especially apartheid Israel, and Aipac and ADL that supports them, but the Jewish population, except probaably for it’s anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism-granted a large exception- may well be LESS racist than, say, the American population as a whole.

And there are a significant minority of Jews, like myuself, who oppose the racism of Zionism and Israel, and try to combat it.  And who are disgusted with the complicity of the Jewish population in remaining silent in combating Jewish racism with regard to Muslims. 

But being afraid to speak up is a different thing than being racist, although its effects are abomidable.  The Good Germans of the German population are different than the Nazies, and the Patroitic Americans of the Amerncan population are different from the American power structure that speaks in its name.

Attacking a whole ethnic or racial grouping, whether Afraican-Americans, Arabs, Latinos under the euphemism of Immigrants, or Jews,  is itself racist.  The religion of the Western tradition has been highly racist against non-Christians historically, notably against Jews, and this ideology has been intermixed with legitimate cricism against Zionism, which intentionally confuses the difference to defuse the criticism of the unjustifiable, notably apartheid, Israel.

It’s quite true that Tony Wicher justifies American and Israeli imperialism as internationalism, and consequently has a racism worldview, disguised under liberal gibberish and gutter ad hominem attacks, but he does not represent the Jewish people.  He represents their power structure, which you ae quite justified in attacking.

But there are Christian Zionists as well, who support Israel while themselves retaining their traditional Christian anti-Semitism.  Aipac at its conference feature Reverand Hagee who is organizing fundamentalists for Israel, who publically preached that Hitler was doing God’s work in massacring five or six million Jews, including my grandparents. 

It is quite true that Israel uses the Hollcaust for racist and oppressive purposes, even to the point of putting people in prison for denying it, but it promotes anti-Semitism to legitimate its racist policies. 

But by not making a distinction between Zionism and the Jewish population, you, and many well meaning Americans, are feeding into this paranoia that Jews have about being attacked.  And as the intelligence agencies say, some paranoids have real enemies.  If you are going to attack the Jewish population, they will support Zionism as their only defense, rather than oppose Zionists who speak in their name.

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By youraveragejoe, August 16, 2008 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

Where can I find the best, non-partisan time line of who has done what to whom in Georgia/S. Ossetia lately?

Everyone seems so knowledgeable, and opinionated, it makes me suspicious that I’m just immersed in a Liberal echo-chamber, where the truth has been a casualty not only of war, but of politics.

There’s enough blame to go around I’m sure.

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

By Saggy, August 15 at 7:39 pm #

I know that no one except Jews take the charge of racism as seriously as you pretend to.
——————————————————————————-
Only Jews have a problem with racism? That’s a good one! Black folks think racism is a joke, right? They don’t mind at all!

How much more of a fool can you make of yourself, Saggy?

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

By cyrena, August 15 at 7:56 pm

Good enough for me, cyrena

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By Tex, August 15, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

pretty intense discussion here, but very informative… good reading.
I am not as well versed in the history of the region as most of you here, but the thing that is curious to me and a bit ironic is that the former republics of the Soviet Union struggled through their years of soviet control and oppression and finally, after the collapse… became independent countries…. Georgia seems to be in a similar situation with the 2 regions that want to be independent..Georgia doesn’t want to let them go and uses force to keep them in line.

Same struggle, just further on down the food chain…

The U.S. wants closer eyes on Russia and, to the south, Iran ... along with the oil and strategic ‘defense’ systems adding to the mix.

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By cyrena, August 15, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 15 at 3:55 pm #
cyrena,
Is Issiwise correct that you did say,
“...because for some odd reason, the arrogance and hubris seems to be genetic”?
I agree with Issywise that this doesn’t sound so humorous. Would you be willing to take it back so we
can get on with our dialogue? I’m sure you’re not a racist, but everybody says things in the heat of the moment they regret, including me, of course.
~~~~~~~

Tony, you’re kidding right? This sounds like Hillary Rodham demanding that Bararck Obama ‘formally/officially’ *denounce* (or was it *renounce* - I forget), Louis Farrakhan.

Now I could break this down, and advise the same as reasonable people generally will, (the context, the context, the context) but it’s not even worth that, just to make Pissy-the-un-wise happy.

So, whether this is the exact sentence out of those several dozen that I wrote in that and related posts or not, I’ll ‘take it back’.

So, here it is, I formally ‘take back’ whatever it was that I said that got pissy’s shorts in a wad.

Now, do you REALLY think this is going to allow the ‘dialogue’ to continue?  I mean, if I can write one sentence, and just send the whole thread into disarray, then I think these near 8 years of the terror and chaos of insanity is really getting to everybody. I don’t know if we can hold out long enough for Obama.

You all are willing to get down on your knees to a psychopath. (Pissy un wise) . But hey, I’ll be a good sport. It’ll be fun to find out how long it takes for him to start whining again.

(or otherwise highjacking the context of any given thread).

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By Anarcissie, August 15, 2008 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Issywise—in regard to Serbia, the U.S. did not oppose ethnic cleansing, it supported it, as I mentioned before.  The program for Serbia rather resembled the Russian program for Georgia: punish the unsatisfactory state by knocking off pieces of it and bombing it a bit.  I notice Russian propagandists have not failed to emulate their American counterparts by asserting that Georgia intended ethnic cleansing or genocide of the Ossetians, although I have not read that they have compared Saakashvili to Hitler, as the U.S. did Milosevic.  Maybe I just missed that one as it went by.

I completely agree with you that mere talk will not end violent aggression, at least the kind of talk which takes place between the ruling classes of states on such occasions as the Kellogg-Briand treaty, which is usually what is meant when “talk” is referred to in the frame of global Realpolitik.  That is because the state and its necessary class system are war, the domination and subjugation of the many by the few by such force and fraud as may be necessary (or entertaining).  It is an inherently unstable arrangement, like a pact between thieves, and as we observe, such arrangements tend to break down pretty rapidly, historically speaking, and revert to the customary contests of force.  I do not see any solution to the problem of the state short of global revolution, and it would have to be a rather peculiar revolution since the traditional use of violence would have to be foregone—the state is the structure which grows out of the use violence, and violent revolutions against the state replicate the state (see France, Russia and China as prominent examples).

However, since the prospects of superseding the state are somewhat long-term, in the meantime it seems reasonable to do what one can to mitigate the worst evils of the state, to wit, war, imperialism, and repression, by consistently opposing them wherever they arise as best one can.  It seems especially pertinent to oppose the aggressions of the state one lives under.  Who knows, the fashion may catch on.

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By Folktruther, August 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

Cann4ing’s quote of Klore that the Georgia war was at least partially correct and may be entirely correct.  There is a nillion barrel a day pipeline that goes through Georgia that the Israelis want to connect to a port in Israel.

In which case Scheer is probably right and it was McCain’s advisers that instigated Saakashvili to attack Ossetia.  Bush and the Israeli’s wouldn’t want to risk this.

On the other hand, the Bushites and neocons may have wanted to provoke Russia to get Geogia into Nato, in which case Paul Craig Roberts is correct, and the Bush regime was responsible.

I think Scheer’s analysis more ;lausible in this case, but what do I know.

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By Frank Cajon, August 15, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Thank God for the Olympics and NFL so that I don’t have to listen to the news shows telling me about the Russian invasion of Georgia and Herr Bush’s condemnation of this ‘invasion of a sovereign state by a bullying superpower’ for the next five months, because it is another engineered war, another crock of hypocrisy, and an election ploy that anyone with a computer and a rudimentary knowledge of the region can smell out in 10 minutes. The bottom line is that Putin is a slick assassin and hugely popular leader who, if he was half as stupid or ruthlessly pathological in his ambition as Bush, the world would be a nuclear wasteland by now. Thank God again he isn’t and is a me-first pragmatist. He will rattle his sabre, take some concessions, and establish a Soviet border threat in the area. McCain will snag some votes from people who probably would have voted for him anyway, and Chancellor Bush will continue to look like the fool we all know him to be.

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By kath cantarella, August 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘McCain gets to look tough with a new Cold War to fight while Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, scrambling to make sense of a more measured foreign policy posture, will seem weak in comparison.’
If this is the general perception, than there is something deeply wrong with US society. The insane weak fool comes across as ‘tough’ and the strong intelligent capable man appears ‘weak’? How can such things can be interpreted this way? 
Obama predicted this crisis and with presidential powers would likely move to prevent such bloodshed. That is leadership. Obama’s proving himself all the while that McCain is degrading himself, and yet he’s still not pulling ahead in the polls. Something is wrong and it’s not in Obama’s campaign.

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By mackTN, August 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Blame the United States?  No, blame the people who have hijacked the government of the United States.  The Bush adminstration has trashed this country—bankrupt it, permitted corporations to do business wthout regulations so that they suck people dry, con them, destroy the economy, do more damage that radical Islamists wth a fully fueled plane. 

I put nothing past Republicans who are desperate to hold on to power for fear that their sleazy deeds wll come to blnding late and they’ll all do the perp walk down justice row.  Fraid they’ll hand over the keys to Democrats who’ll then rush to those files and piece this slimy story together.

When that day comes, for the first time, I’ll be really proud of my country.

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

re: By Sepharad, August 15 at 2:02 pm:

Sepharad writes:

“Georgia was foolish to provoke the Russians with Ossetia…”

Um, it’s a bit strange that someone would designate as the main deed here - the main thing that’s been done to somebody - as a “provoking”, with the people on the receiving end of the action being “the Russians”.

And then the characterizing adjective is the morally neutral word “foolish”.

The main thing that has been done here is a mass killing with gross destruction, with no warning at all — taking advantage of ongoing peace negotiations, with promises of a negotiated autonomy proffered, so everyone is relaxed, eating in the sidewalk cafés on a lovely day, catching the population completely unawares — a deliberate surprise attack on an entire capital city, an entire province, a deliberate targeting of civilians with more than a whiff of ethnic cleansing.

And it’s being done to the South Ossetians, not to Russia.

And it’s a gross trivialization to call it merely “foolish”.

Calling it merely “foolish” is like watching someone get mugged, raped, tortured, and stabbed to death, and then remarking, “Well, what an imprudent thing to do. One shouldn’t provoke the police like that. I wouldn’t do that to the police without more careful planning.”

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By Anarcissie, August 15, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355:
‘Anarcissie,

I can only say that I disagree with your analysis of history and of my statements.’

Well, you can also say why, which will get the ball back over the net.

It might be a relevant or useful conversation since the idea that aggressive war brings peace and security is indeed very popular among people who unfortunately can do something about it.

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By cann4ing, August 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

Author Michael Klare makes a significant case for viewing this conflict as a “resource war.”  It “has to do with the fact that the US has eyed the Caspian Sea…as an energy corridor for exporting Caspian Sea oil and gas to the West, bypassing Russia. And this was the brainchild of Bill Clinton…”

Klare asserts that the U.S. built up its military alliance with Georgia to protect the oil pipeline.

“And it is the ambition of the Russian leadership, especially Vladimir Putin, to dominate the flow of oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe, so they could maximize the profit and the political advantage of dominating the flow of Caspian energy to Europe. And by building these alternate pipelines, the US is trying to undercut Russia’s political and economic power in Europe. That’s what this is about.”

Klare notes that in bombing the pipelines, the Russians conveyed a message to European leaders.  “‘You can build pipelines through Georgia, but we can snap them whenever we want….‘Don’t think that you could build more pipelines through Georgia and they’ll be safe.’”

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/15/4ussia_georgia_conflict_fueled_by_rush

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

By Saggy, August 15 at 4:00 pm

I understand how you would not take a charge of racism seriously since you are an out-and-out anti-Semitic racist yourself who thinks every stereotype of Jews cooked up by bigots for the last 2000 years is true.

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

cyrena,

Is Issiwise correct that you did say,

“...because for some odd reason, the arrogance and hubris seems to be genetic”?

I agree with Issywise that this doesn’t sound so humorous. Would you be willing to take it back so we
can get on with our dialogue? I’m sure you’re not a racist, but everybody says things in the heat of the moment they regret, including me, of course.

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By James M. Martin, August 15, 2008 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

You ask if it is possible that the Georgian mess is a put up job.  Of course it is.  I think the Bush-McShame people asked their old friend Saakashvili to make some trouble along the border—maybe slaughter a few ethnic Russians—so that the Big Bear would have to react with great force.  Bush said he’d looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul.  Forget that it’s silly metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.  What Bush actually saw was himself.  Both of the creeps are my-way-or-the-highway.  But Bush probably has the gaul to call Putin up (perhaps it’s what they discussed opening night in Beijing?) and ask, “Vlad, do you remember that American movie, ‘Wag the Dog’?”

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By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher

I’m sorry,  cyrena’s and my disputation about her racism spilled over from another article on this site: Zachary Karabell on the Middle East
http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/20080808_zachary_karabell_on_the_middle_east/

In that discussion she said:

“But, isn’t that (and hasn’t it always been) the arrogance of the Western white people? Of course it has. They didn’t just start doing this a century ago. They’ve been doing it far, far, far longer than that. Destroying cultures and civilizations established long before they even knew what a civilization was.”

To which she added: “because for some odd reason, the arrogance and hubris seems to be genetic.”

Res ipsa loquitur—the thing itself speaks.

I’m not being unkind to her.  I let these kind of statements pass in the past.  I know that she, like you and I, understands that some use of racist statements can parody and reduce to deserved absurdity the multitude of idiot white racists in America (of which there millions—I know, I’m related to a some of them).

cyrena and I have discussed how Blazing Saddles aired and confronted such ignorances thirty years ago. We share many sensibilities.

Therefore, it is remarkable that she only utters racist statements in the context of discussions of history—deadly serious discussions.

She’s got a problem there.  Behaviors are not genetically linked to race. It is racist to believe they are so linked; and racist to say they are.

I like the lady otherise. I loved my dad too, but he was a racist through the first sixty years of his life, and if he was indiscrete enough to let is show in my company, I shoved it right back in his face too.  Eventually, he changed. I think that was because nobody was making allowances for utterances of the racism he’d been indoctrinated into.

Somehow, cyrena’s historical viewpoint has been infected with racist elements.  I hope better for her.
———————-

I won’t vote for Obama—the vote voider, under any circumstances. I do, at this time, plan to vote for McCain. But there are times when his political panderings to the fringe of his party upset me bad that I might go a third way—if a responsible third alternative is on the ballot.

I thought I’d vote for Ralph Nadar once, but I changed my mind at the last moment because I don’t Ralph would kill for us. I know he’d die for us, but as the world is today, we have to have a commander in chief who’d pull the trigger too.

God, isn’t that awful to say.

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

Re Sepharad, August 15 at 2:02 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Georgia & Russia—commentary seems mostly divided with one side (like Issywise, who makes a lot of sense) pondering the balance-of-power theory, while the “We Hate Neocons” set seems to reject the Putin-as-Bad-Guy concept.
——————————————————————————
Sepharad,

Issywise does make a lot of sense, up to the point where one hears him say he’s going to vote for McCain. Then he no longer computes. From what you say, I presume you would like to see a foreign policy that is less militaristic and belligerent and more diplomatic and internationalist than the one we have been seeing. That ought to mean that you are not going to vote for McCain. Right?

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

By Issywise, August 15 at 1:23 pm #


Ed Harges & Tony Wicher,

It all depends on how important you think counting votes is. I categorically will not vote for anybody who say there are good reasons not to count American votes.

If you don’t keep the fundamentals of the machine operating , it doesn’t matter what frills you attend to, the vehicle breaks down.

So are you saying voting on those values is irrational? Did you say “irrational?”

Sounds alot like those who say not recognizing the imperialistic nature of America are irrational. Or to say it otherwise, those who disagree with me are [insert your own preference]
—————————————————————————
I’m just trying to figure you out, Issywise. You’re a strange political beast, as Ed says.

“Counting votes”? What does this have to do with what we’re talking about? Yes, I’m in favor of honest elections where every vote is counted. In fact, I’m in favor of a compulsory voting law. I also think the Republicans have rigged the last two elections by hacking voting machines and other means, and I am afraid it’s going to happen again this time.

So, maybe the real difference is that you don’t recognize a concept of “imperialism” whereas Ed, cyrena, Anarcisse and I all do find this concept meaningful and do distiguish between imperialism and internationalism. The uber-leftists on this site think everything the U.S. does is imperialism. You, apparently, think nothing the U.S. does is imperialism. I for one say that U.S. policy has always been a mixture of both. That’s why I have agreed with you in not calling the U.S. action against Serbia under Clinton imperialistic, and it is also why I DO call the second Iraq war pure imperialism. That’s why I am voting for Obama instead of McCain, because I regard Obama as internationalist and McCain imperialist.

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By Sepharad, August 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re Georgia & Russia—commentary seems mostly divided with one side (like Issywise, who makes a lot of sense) pondering the balance-of-power theory, while the “We Hate Neocons” set seems to reject the Putin-as-Bad-Guy concept.

Georgia was foolish to provoke the Russians with Ossetia, but a NYTimes piece including comments from fleeing Gori residents to the effect of “Where are the Americans?” does suggest that the Georgian government had some American assurances, whether implicit (pushing NATO to admit Georgia) or specific (as in “We stand by our allies,” something our allies should never really count on). Yet Georgia’s invasion of Ossetia is not remotely in America’s best interests, considering that it was bound to give Russia an excuse to go after one of its former satellite states—a bad idea at best and positively awful just now, given our military’s situation. It seems stupid for our government to accelerate the plan for missiles pointed at Russia in Poland, indeed even stupider than Georgia going into Ossetia, and much scarier. Because the Russian Bear is waking up again, obviously hungry, and this bellicosity is welcomed by the Russian people not because they are wicked but because they’ve been so down and so humiliated for so long, sort of like the impoverished Germans welcomed Hitler after Britain and France smacked them with the unnecessesarily punishing Versailles Treaty. So what’s to lose by treading more carefully?

As for Putin, though I haven’t had Bush’s opportunity to look into his eyes in search of a soul, I’m convinced that he is a very bad guy. Like Stalin was bad (from the Kulaks point of view) only sneakier, very old-school KGB. You definitely wouldn’t want him as the Russian premier negotiating if we should be so foolish as to reactivate the Cold War and get into another Khruschev-JFK situation. And we no longer have, nor will have in the foreseeable future, anyone as good as JFK to skillfully negotiate and derail a potential nuclear holocaust. McCain might just decide to go for broke, and Obama might ramble on so charismatically that Putin would lose patience and call in the codes just to shut him up.

About a month ago, we saw a documentary filmed by a guy interviewing a KGB defector shortly before he was poisoned by Putin’s men, and the documentarian and the defector continued conversing during the grisly progress of the man’s slow, disfiguring, painful death. (The former KGB agent defected because, he said in the film, he was a patriot but couldn’t stand what he was being ordered to do by an increasingly repressive government. Afterwards the documentarian flew to Russia to interview a Russian journalist—a beautifully strong-minded dissenter (her vitality and presence reminding me of Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who turned her husband’s murder by Greek fascists into the powerful “About a Man.”) She had been a friend of both the dead defector and his dissident wife. This journalist said she was continuing to investigate and publish the Russian secret police’s resurgent domination because life under Putin was becoming so smothering and cruel that it made living more intolerable than dying. She was assassinated a few weeks later. Lots of Russian (as well as foreign) journalists have been murdered the last few years as Putin consolidated his power. (Can’t recall name of defector or documentary title, but it was showing at the Roxie in San Francisco’s Mission District and they doubtless remember.)

I think that military power should be used primarily in self-defense and as mutual deterrence, but also when it can short-circuit ethnic cleansing or genocide, or protect the distribution of food during famine and war, as in the Blackhawk incident, even if it leads to shooting. There are power-hungry people who act in complete disregard for their own countrymen’s welfare. If Somalia warlords were one example, George Bush is another, but he’ll be gone by January.

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

re: By Issywise, August 15 at 1:23 pm:

I really do not see how any of what you say here rationalizes your decision to vote, finally, this year, for a Republican, after never having done so before.

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Issywise, August 15 at 11:42 am #


Tony Wicher

cyrena, indeed, writes many things I agree with. But she also says racist things. I don’t know how we can excuse her for saying racist things by assuming—in spite of her saying them, that she doesn’t mean them.

I excuse many kinds of utterances, but I am not disposed to treat racist statements as mere “rhetorical flip[s].” In America, racism is an issue aside from all others—our history and our diversity requires we attend to our racial mental health.

If, as she says, cyrena believes bad behavior is genetically tied to race, then she’s a bigot: plain and simple, regardless of all the other good ideas she articulates.

What do you think of her saying certain behaviors are genetically tied to certain races? Is it excusable? Do you think particular behaviors are tied to race? Do you think something as complex as imperialism could be tied to race? Do you think history does not demonstrate imperialism in other races too?
—————————————————————————-
Issywise,

Opposition to racism of EVERY kind, whether anti-black, anti-white, anti-Semitic - there are thousands of different varieties -  has always been a major guiding principle for me. I consider myself sensitive to racism of every kind. If cyrena had really said anything like that, I would call her a racist. But she really hasn’t, and it is hard to understand your apparently deliberate mischarachterization of her meaning. In spite of the fact you are voting Republican, you mostly sound like a rational person who might be persuaded to change your mind. Perhaps you are honestly misreading cyrena as I misread you. It happens.
—————————————————————————-
I excuse many kinds of utterances, but I am not disposed to treat racist statements as mere “rhetorical flip[s].” In America, racism is an issue aside from all others—our history and our diversity requires we attend to our racial mental health.
——————————————————————————
As I said, I believe I am quite sensitive to racism. When it comes to judging racism, intent is everything. It makes the difference between a vicious smear an a hilarious Dave Chapelle skit that is the very opposite of racist. Judging intent is a matter of of context.  Cyrena’s comments obviously WERE intended as flip and humorous, and your insistence on taking them seriously is suspicious. It does remind me of the way folktruther deliberately misinterpreted my humorous comment about the electrodes to the testicles. It constitues an unprovoked smear and demonstrates hostile intent.


“Methinks thou doest protest too much.”
“Methinks thou doest protest

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By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges & Tony Wicher,

It all depends on how important you think counting votes is. I categorically will not vote for anybody who say there are good reasons not to count American votes.

If you don’t keep the fundamentals of the machine operating , it doesn’t matter what frills you attend to, the vehicle breaks down.

So are you saying voting on those values is irrational? Did you say “irrational?”

Sounds alot like those who say not recognizing the imperialistic nature of America are irrational. Or to say it otherwise, those who disagree with me are [insert your own preference]

irrational
genetically disposed to imperialism
war mongers
baby killers
Republican
Democrat
SUV driver
supporters of the ruling classes
secularist relativists
white oppressors

It’s all analysis by name calling.

Think about the point rather than shifting to projecting disdain on the speaker—what value should we attach to having every American vote count? Where should it be shuffled into all the other considerations as a priority? Is it below foreign policy, economic policy, health care issues; or is it above some but not others? Where do you put it?

What’s more important than imposing a minimum expectation on our elected leaders that they not consider our votes expendible to the process?

In the end, you are going to end up with a political manipulator who has shown himself willing to dispense with the most fundamental of American values. Why do you think you are voting for an improvement?  Why do you suppose he is really committed to anything, if he isn’t committed to the role of the vote in a democratic political process?

The problem isn’t that our leaders fail us. The problem is that they know we expect so darn little of them.

We get what we deserve. Their ought to be values that they know we won’t compromise.

Which are yours? Don’t they include having every American vote count?

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By Folktruther, August 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

As a consequence of the Georgian war, to save face with the other regimes surrounding Russia, The US is trying to put in missles in Poland as part of a frist strike copacity against Russia.  Both the Polish and Checko people oppose this because they will be targeted by nuclear weapons and they are not insane.  The opposition of the population of small countries, as usual, is not reported in the US mainstream media.

Should missiles actually be put in Poland and Checko, it will measurable increase the likelihood of thermonuclear war.  But it will also increase the military tension useful to McCain to pose as a military leader. 

Consequently the US election strategy drives policies that are strongely against the interests of the American population and people of the world.  And this is Scheer’s larger point, that neocon interests trump rational policy for the larger population.

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, August 15 at 12:33 pm:

Isn’t it interesting how eclectic can be politically?

We’re like these mythical animals made from various parts of things stuck together - lions with bat wings, or fishes with hooves. You get ahold of one and you think - “feathers - ah! it’s some kind of bird! - no wait - a trunk??”

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, August 15 at 12:18 pm #


Issywise writes:

“I have never voted for a Republican president in my life. This year will be my first.”

Wow. This year, of all years???

Issywise sounds like somebody saying, “Never before now have I considered puchasing a gas-guzzling SUV — but now that gasoline has gone up to 4 dollars a gallon, I can’t resist!”
——————————————————————————-
Ed,

Wow is right! I sure misread Issywise, but can you blame me? How could I be expected to think an apparently rational person could vote Republican this year? It takes all kinds to make a world!

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Issywise writes:

“I have never voted for a Republican president in my life. This year will be my first.”

Wow. This year, of all years???

Issywise sounds like somebody saying, “Never before now have I considered puchasing a gas-guzzling SUV — but now that gasoline has gone up to 4 dollars a gallon, I can’t resist!”

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Re Ed Harges, August 15 at 10:42 am #


(Well, it’s seems that this thread is dominated recently by discussions about whatever offense was taken or meant by this or that post.
——————————————————————————
Sorry, Ed. Got my feelings bruised. 
——————————————————————————-
But for those who are still interested in news on the Georgia/Ossetia matter, I will re-post something relevant which was ignored earlier:)

SOUTH OSSETIAN WAR VICTIM TO HORRIFIED FOX NEWS INTERVIEWER: “WE WANT TO THANK RUSSIA FOR HELPING US! THE PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA IS A WAR CRIMINAL! GEORGIA IS THE AGGRESSOR!”

Watch this - it’s hilarious. Fox News interviews some victims of the war in Ossetia, and as the interviewer sits in helpless discomfort, they insist on saying what he doesn’t want to hear: “We blame Georgia’s president for this war, and we want to thank the Russian troops for helping us!”:

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/08/14/american-girl-i nterviewed-on-fox-news-we-were-running-from-georgian-troops -thank-you-to-russian-troops/#comment-158959
——————————————————————————
Great link, ed! Beautiful! The only thing I would say is Fox News actually deserves credit for putting those people on at all, and letting them have their say.

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By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher

cyrena, indeed, writes many things I agree with. But she also says racist things. I don’t know how we can excuse her for saying racist things by assuming—in spite of her saying them, that she doesn’t mean them.

I excuse many kinds of utterances, but I am not disposed to treat racist statements as mere “rhetorical flip[s].” In America, racism is an issue aside from all others—our history and our diversity requires we attend to our racial mental health.

If, as she says, cyrena believes bad behavior is genetically tied to race, then she’s a bigot: plain and simple, regardless of all the other good ideas she articulates.

What do you think of her saying certain behaviors are genetically tied to certain races? Is it excusable? Do you think particular behaviors are tied to race? Do you think something as complex as imperialism could be tied to race? Do you think history does not demonstrate imperialism in other races too?

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By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

I would almost certainly have voted for Obama, but for one thing. I have never voted for a Republican president in my life. This year will be my first.

Nor, have I ever voted for a Republican federal senator.  I am a registered independent who usually votes for the best person.

However, there are those two important exceptions to that rule—president and federal senator. For these positions, I apply a higher principle than just temporarily manning the government with the best individual.

Because I have studied our national history, I know of the role of the Supreme Court. I vote the court.

To explain, in 1876, a particular black man living in my state had been freed, enfranchised and empowered by Civil War Constitutional Amendments enacted by Congress and ratified by the states. He’d climbed by merit to serve in Congress. By 1905, he’d been disenfranchised, legally rendered a non-citizen and been politically and economically marginalized. He was a janitor.

This had all been done in the forty years after the Civil War amendments without an official shot being fired or Congress changing any laws. It had all been done by Supreme Court decisions.

Therefore, I thought I’d always vote the court in presidential and senate races. In every single election of my adult life, the Republican Party has aligned itself with groups demanding reactionary Supreme Court mandates. McCain, of course, has done so too.

But Obama and all of the Democratic candidates trumped that principle with yet a higher principle. I believe that the only true link between a free people and their government—the only means to impose accountability, is the vote. The Democratic Party’s shenanigans with millions of votes this year absolutely precludes me voting for it. Obama in particular is obnoxious on the issue.  I’m voting for McCain on principle.

I don’t think either of them will do much different from one another on foreign policy as president. Geo-political reality is….well, reality; and either of them will likely deal with it rationally—-without the ideological blinders worn by “neocons” and many of the people “anti-imperialism” folk posting here.

I can’t say I “believe” in balance of power politics. I don’t see it as a perspective that is mutually exclusive with the imperialist perspective so many here are just soaked to the bone in. Both perspectives are among the many useful ways of looking at events.

That’s what I think we should do—actually look at events, see them for what they are and understand them: not pound them into a shape that fits some preconceived ideology. 

I think, in the end, the criticism of balance of power thinking, sometimes articulated here, that it never lets us “step down” is correct: balancing ad infinitum means militarism ad infinitum. I hope there can be a passage of humanity away from militarism.

I just think the anti-America-is-an-empire people’s prescription for stepping away from militarism—national non-militarism or even anti-militarism, is the surest prescription for ensuring militarism is enhanced and bumped ahead for another half or whole century. Security and peace can allow everybody to step down. Unilateral anti-militarism is a recipe for ensuring another worldwide whirl of insecurity and inevitable military conflict. Their arguments are exactly those made by British intellectuals following WWI. Prevalence of the viewpoint now would have the same result it had for Britain in the third and forth decade of the 20th Century.

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

here’s the youtube link to those war victims THANKING RUSSIA as the poor Fox Noise interviewer sits helplessly aghast:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8XI2Chc6uQ&eurl=http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/08/14/american-girl-interviewed-on-fox-news-we-were-running-from-georgian-troops-thank-you-to

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

The link got destroyed by a line breake; here it is intact:

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/08/14/american-girl-interviewed-on-fox-news-we-were-running-from-georgian-troops -thank-you-to-russian-troops/#comment-158959

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By Robert, August 15, 2008 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

August 15, 2008

The Neocons Do Georgia

umanity’s Greatest Enemy?

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

“The success of the Bush Regime’s propaganda, lies, and deception with gullible and inattentive Americans since 9/11 has made it difficult for intelligent, aware people to be optimistic about the future of the United States. For almost 8 years the US media has served as Ministry of Propaganda for a war criminal regime. Americans incapable of thinking for themselves, reading between the lines, or accessing foreign media on the Internet have been brainwashed.

As the Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, said, it is easy to deceive a people. You just tell them they have been attacked and wave the flag.

It certainly worked with Americans.

The gullibility and unconcern of the American people has had many victims. There are 1.25 million dead Iraqis. There are 4 million displaced Iraqis. No one knows how many are maimed and orphaned.

Iraq is in ruins, its infrastructure destroyed by American bombs, missiles, and helicopter gunships.

We do not know the death toll in Afghanistan, but even the American puppet regime protests the repeated killings of women and children by US and NATO troops.

We don’t know what the death toll would be in Iran if Darth Cheney and the neocons succeed in their plot with Israel to bomb Iran, perhaps with nuclear weapons.

What we do know is that all this murder and destruction has no justification and is evil. It is the work of evil men who have no qualms about lying and deceiving in order to kill innocent people to achieve their undeclared agenda.

That such evil people have control over the United States government and media damns the American public for eternity.

America will never recover from the shame and dishonor heaped upon her by the neoconned Bush Regime.

The success of the neocon propaganda has been so great that the opposition party has not lifted a finger to rein in the Bush Regime’s criminal actions. Even Obama, who promises “change” is too intimidated by the neocon’s success in brainwashing the American population to do what his supporters hoped he would do and lead us out of the shame in which the neoconned Bush Regime has imprisoned us.

This about sums up the pessimistic state in which I existed prior to the go-ahead given by the Bush Regime to its puppet in Georgia to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia of Russians in order to defuse the separatist movement. The American media, aka, the Ministry of Lies and Deceit, again accommodated the criminal Bush Regime and proclaimed “Russian invasion” to cover up the ethnic cleansing of Russians in South Ossetia by the Georgian military assault.

Only this time, the rest of the world didn’t buy it. The many years of lies—9/11, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda connections, yellowcake, anthrax attack, Iranian nukes, “the United States doesn’t torture,” the bombings of weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games, Abu Ghraib, renditions, Guantanamo, various fabricated “terrorist plots,” the determined assault on civil liberties—have taken their toll on American credibility. No one outside America any longer believes the US media or the US government.

The rest of the world reported the facts—an assault on Russian civilians by American and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian troops.

The Bush Regime, overcome by hubris, expected Russia to accept this act of American hegemony. But the Russians did not, and the Georgian military was sent fleeing for its life.

The neoconned Republican response to the Russian failure to follow the script and to be intimidated by the “unipower” was so imbecilic that it shattered the brainwashing to which Americans had succumbed.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08152008.html

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By Ed Harges, August 15, 2008 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

(Well, it’s seems that this thread is dominated recently by discussions about whatever offense was taken or meant by this or that post.

But for those who are still interested in news on the Georgia/Ossetia matter, I will re-post something relevant which was ignored earlier:)

SOUTH OSSETIAN WAR VICTIM TO HORRIFIED FOX NEWS INTERVIEWER: “WE WANT TO THANK RUSSIA FOR HELPING US! THE PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA IS A WAR CRIMINAL! GEORGIA IS THE AGGRESSOR!”

Watch this - it’s hilarious. Fox News interviews some victims of the war in Ossetia, and as the interviewer sits in helpless discomfort, they insist on saying what he doesn’t want to hear: “We blame Georgia’s president for this war, and we want to thank the Russian troops for helping us!”:

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/08/14/american-girl-i nterviewed-on-fox-news-we-were-running-from-georgian-troops -thank-you-to-russian-troops/#comment-158959

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Issywise, August 15 at 3:36 am #


Re Issiwise to cyrena

——————————————————————————-
You said white Europeans are possessed of a genetic trait that makes them imperialistic, arrogant, destructive and other evil things.

You have said it in more than one post and on more than one website. It slips into your writings with regularity.

——————————————————————————
Issy,

You do not talk like an imperialist but more like one who believes in “the balance of power” and that U.S. military power can and must be used for good purposes instead of bad ones, as opposed to the pacifists, isolationists, anarchists, infantile Marxists, anti-Americans and Republican trolls posting here. I have mostly agreed with your posts. Let me ask you, how are you planning to vote in November? From your posts, it sounds to me like you will be voting for Obama. Maybe I’m not reading you right, but if I am, you and cyrena are on the same side, and I don’t know why you are wasting your time accusing her of racism. It’s preposterous. I have been communicating with her for quite some time now and she’s anything but that, I assure you.

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By cann4ing, August 15, 2008 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:  The best description of the neocon Orwellian conception of peace was provided by the ancient Roman historian, Tacitus, commenting upon the impact of imperial conquest.

“They create desolation and call it peace.”

Take a good look at any recent photo displaying the devastation and smoldering ruins, usually sans the gruesome reality of people whose faces and bodies are scorched and mutilated and you get the drift of what Tacitus was saying.

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By Alan, August 15, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey kids! The real election ploy is the rupert inside
your tv.  Most of the hundreds of millions of
campaign dollars will flow to rupert.  TV itself
and its offspring on the web constitute
the real elephant in the room.  Next on
TwentyTwentyMinutesOfPrimeTimeLive:
World War III, It’ll *warm* your heart.  Then
John McCain talks to Babwahwah about his
heroic life as a heroic hero of America’s
hero days.  But now a word from our sponsor,
fox nooz.

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By Anarcissie, August 15, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

Rus7355:’... Talk, understanding and “conflict resolution” have their proven places too. But those proven tactics very often don’t end wars. Winning ends most wars. And it is proven that peace follows winning.

I am labeled here a “war monger”. But nothing could be further from the truth. I am passionately and avidly Anti-War.’

The logical conclusion, then, would be that you are also anti-peace.  (According to you, peace follows from victory, which follows from war.)

This logic is actually quite popular, especially with our great leaders, but when you look at history you will observe that what usually follows war, especially victorious war, is more war, whereas peace comes from defeat and exhaustion.  Example: the U.S. has aggressively attacked other countries on the average of every two or three years since World War 2; however, after Vietnam, there was a considerable hiatus (unless you count Carter’s failed raid on Iran to get the hostages back, which was pretty small potatoes, and his funding of the proto-Taliban).  There was plenty of opportunity: Henry Kissinger wanted to invade Angola and maybe Portugal (which was then having a leftish fit).  But bombs would not again fall, nor troops march, until Reagan and the “New Morning In America.”  And even then, Reagan and company chose to attack only very small, very defenseless countries.  It was not until Bush 1 that even a middle-sized war could be celebrated.  So history seems to argue against your theory; maybe you should think about revising it.

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By Tony Wicher, August 15, 2008 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

cyrena,

I don’t mind the admonition. I deserved it for losing my temper. The reason for the flash was that I was really, honestly trying to communicate with Folktruther as a decent human being. I told him a little personal history. The second part of my post was an attempt to be gently humorous.
——————————————————————————
You should know that when I was young, my family was essentially exiled from this country by McCarthy. We lived down in Mexico for eight years with the Hollywood Ten and other victims of political persecution. The United States was approaching a police state at that time, but the forces of democracy beat McCarthy. My family returned from Mexico in 1962, when this country was free and making progres

I wish you would have to live in a real police state, such as Egypt, Syria, Iran, China or Russia for a while, rant against the government like you do here on TD, and see how long you last. Such an attitude deserves some electrodes to the testicles to enlighten their owner.
—————————————————————————-
This was a really personal and honest attempt to commumnicate. It was not a personal attack at all.
To this he replies,

Your comment, Tony Wicher, “such an attitude deserves some electords to the testicles to enlighten their owner” is quite revealing.

It sounds like you strongly identify with Israeli methods and those of the CIA.
——————————————————————————-
What a stupid ass! Well, I’m not going to cast any more pearls before this particular swine, I can tell you.

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By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF THE COMMENT BELOW—YOU SHOULD READ THAT ONE FIRST.

“..in other words by prior voluntary agreement, just as we supposedly set up governments among individuals.”
——————————
You do know that war was outlawed by written agreement in 1928 by the Kellogg-Briand Pact? Just as there are laws on the books that govern individuals and there are still individual criminals who murder and rape in violation of those laws? State lawlessness has never been restrained by writings.

The will and means to suppress lawlessness is necessary.

In the wake of the first half of the 20th Century, many European and American intellectuals have taken the Arcadian view that talk alone can end violent aggression and are the only means necessary to inhibit it. The inability of Europe to end a Balkan genocide within its own continental borders show the impotence of this hopeful but unrealistic perspective.

The same lesson is taught by the world’s response to Darfur. In that case, It took what I am sure you regard as an “illegal” exercise of American military force to end that genocide. Only the barest pretense of doing it “covertly” was made. Look it up.

More important than talk or rules is the presence of the will to resist unjust military adventurism or abuse of whole peoples.  Without the last, the former two usually prove worthless.

I believe that with order and habit the need for employment of force will diminish and perhaps pass altogether from history.

I also believe the will to act for justice has to be possessed by more than one self-appointed nation—particularly one of our own self-absorbed and self-glorifying disposition.

The first failure blocking your goal of a peaceful world is the attitude held by you and others that blankets any employment of force as evil—your “black and white” world view.

You say all of the very powers capable of suppressing world disorder are unfit to do it without pursuing empire. I can only respond that I hope history’s verdict isn’t final on that point. I’ve also cataloged for you cases where force was not used for imperial purposes. You mistake the tool for the motive. They are not inherently the same thing.

Most offensively you conclude that it is an “academic question.” Hey! I live in the same times as you do—with Vietnam, Iraq, the Bushes, our gormless Congress and an American national population whose militant militarist chauvinism is the most reliable political button that can be pushed.

We differ in that you blame our leaders. I blame our public which tolerates those leaders and specifically you.

I get oppressed by the reality too, but it is no academic question: It is a matter of immediate life and death for some around the world and of the highest future importance to your children and mine.

I say that blanket anti-militarism, so satisfying to indulge in, is also destructive.  We live in the world we live in.  To change it to a better one, we have to avoid assuming a pose of moral superiority and standing aside to harp from the sidelines: We have to deal with the “complex, nuanced” real world facing us. Shaking our hands in front of our faces and saying no, no, no—while doing no more, is what permits a Balkans and Darfur to happen.

I think your black and white position is an abandonment of the effort to bring about a better world. If it is too hard to deal with today’s reality for you, then you’ve got no right to expect a better reality for the future.

Concluding we are unfit to exercise military force justly is cowardly.  The same could have been said by people at the first use of fire, tools and is said today by some people about our possession of scientific understanding.

Academic my butt! It’s a question of faith: Are you a social Luddite—deny us the tool because we are unfit to wield it?

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