The World Trade Organization has a long history of anti-American actions. They’ve just handed us another one, and in the process handed a big freebie to Chinese state capitalism.
Unbeknownst to most Americans, huge sections of our nation’s trade policy aren’t set in this country anymore. They are set by panels of WTO judges in Switzerland, to whom we have signed over the right to rule on the legitimacy of our policies.
At issue in a WTO ruling handed down last Friday is how much scope the U.S. is entitled to in trying to level the playing field for American companies competing against companies subsidized under China’s system of state capitalism.
By William T. Hathaway
"They have healed the brokenness of my people superficially, saying, 'Peace, peace.' But there is no peace." - Jeremiah 8:11
When the prophet Jeremiah wrote those words, he could have been describing the public-relations strategy of the current US government. Barack Obama won the presidency and the hearts of billions around the world by pledging to bring peace. His humanitarian rhetoric promised a new era in American foreign policy, away from armed confrontation and towards cooperation. But since taking office he has increased combat forces in Afghanistan, expanded our air strikes in Pakistan, shifted the fighting in Iraq onto hired mercenaries and local soldiers, and pledged his "full support" to the "heroic" CIA. Obama doesn't want to end the war, he wants to fight it smarter, cutting our losses in some areas while stepping up attacks in others, aiming to salvage a partial victory. The new commander in chief has scaled down the grandiose goals that launched the war, replacing them with a fallback battle plan for maintaining some control over the Iraqi and Afghan governments, oil supplies, and pipeline routes.
Half a century ago, during the late Senator Joseph McCarthy fueled “great red’ scare” that terrorized many in America, my kindergarten teacher at Milwaukie Grammar School in Oregon, Miss Kidd, used to instruct our class of five and six year olds how to prepare for the coming Atomic bomb attack from the communists in the Soviet Union, who she explained, “did not like our freedom and wanted to kill all Americans.”
As I recall, the twice weekly A-bomb practice sessions were actually sort of fun. Complete with squealing and sometimes trembling, pants wetting or crying classmates dropping to the floor as Miss Kidd, right in the middle of reading us a nice story like “Life on the Prairie”, from her chair in front of the class, would pause, remove her glasses, look toward the windows, slap shut the storybook on her lap, and shout “down!”
Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
To be seen as forthcoming, Israel's prime minister has tabled a new peace initiative. It is as empty as all prior Israeli charades.
Spurred by looming international pressure on Israel over the stalemated peace process with the Palestinians, and especially worried about the possible negative ramifications for Israel of ongoing revolutions in the Arab world, particularly Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he was preparing to launch a new peace initiative for resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The new initiative, which Netanyahu hopes will attract large publicity, is based on the concept of creating an interim Palestinian state on 60 per cent of the West Bank, with temporary borders, but with little or no sovereignty.
By Kevin Zeese
The Appeal of His Virtual Solitary Confinement Makes the Case of Inhuman Treatment by the Quantico Brig
Bradley Manning’s appeal of the refusal to relax his conditions of confinement makes a strong case that he has been a model prisoner who is being unjustly abused. His inhumane treatment violates his due process rights and is cruel and unusual punishment.
After providing detailed descriptions of his excellent behavior and the positive reports he has received while detained at Quantico since July 29, 2010, he contradicts the military’s claim that he is being treated just like any other prisoner.
Obama was elected to the presidency because we the people were ready for a change from the Bush regime. We were tired and angry with the Texas swagger and the bully-like approach to foreign policy. ("You're with us or you're with the terrorists!") We expected Obama to waste no time in reversing the Bush administration's more heinous (and, some say, illegal) policies in the so-called "war on terror". We expected Obama to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay as promised and end the unfair military commission system there. But talk is cheap. And now it looks like we've been fooled.
by Stephen Lendman
Against the backdrop of US - Cuban relations, the Havana Times broke the news, headlining on March 12, "Cuba Finds Alan Gross Guilty, Gets 15-Years," saying:
A US citizen, he was arrested on December 3, 2009, attempting to return home after his fifth Cuban visit in nine months, traveling on a tourist visa in spite of coming for other purposes.
On March 12, he was convicted for "Actions against the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State....while working for a (USAID) funded program seeking regime change in Cuba." In other words, for spying and involvement in destabilizing, subversive activities.
Before the verdict, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton audaciously demanded his immediate release. Earlier, her spokesman, PJ Crowley. said:
by Stephen Lendman
For years, Helen Caldicott warned it's coming. In her 1978 book, "Nuclear Madness," she said:
"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced."
More below on the inevitable dangers from commercial nuclear power proliferation, besides added military ones.
Jack A. Smith
Republican politicians in Washington and the nation's state houses are virtually wilding in the streets. It's as though they are drunk with power, even though the Democrats actually are stronger by virtue of controlling the White House and Senate.
The actions by Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker to crush the public unions in the name of closing the budget deficit — after first gifting state businesses with tax breaks and programs amounting to $117 million — are just the leading edge of a broad national assault on worker rights, union rights, women's rights, abortion rights, minority rights, and civil liberties.
“Even the Israelis in Gaza, when they moved into the Gaza Strip, they moved in with tanks to fight such extremists. It's the same thing here” Muammar Gaddafi (France 24)
In the last few days the UN have paved the way for a no-fly zone in Libya.
David Cameron and Barack Obama have also agreed to draw up "the full spectrum" of military responses to the crisis in Libya.
British PM David Cameron outlined his conversation with Obama, saying "We have got to prepare for what we might have to do if he [Gaddafi] goes on brutalising his own people…”
I find myself overwhelmed by Cameron's humanist stand -- it seems he really cares about the Libyan people.
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