by Stephen Lendman
David Swanson is co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com. He's also a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace as well as a member of the legislative working group of United for Peace and Justice.
Subtitled "Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming A More Perfect Union, Daybreak" is Swanson's first book, a timely and impressive account of presidential extremism, congressional complicity, the urgency for progressive change, and how to do it.
Swanson exposes what was wrong under George Bush and provides a compelling prescription for real change.
In his book "Cracks in the Constitution," Ferdinand Lundberg explained that the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, never deterred presidents or sitting governments from doing what they wished, then inventing justifications for their actions. During eight years in office, George Bush personified it and said so in his own words. In 2005, he told congressional Republican leaders:
As reported in the New York Times, according to a new Congressional study, “the United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar.” This is 10-times more than their closest rival, Italy, at $3.7 billion.
Keep in mind that this boom in business is occurring during a global economic meltdown which has been compared to the Fall of Rome by the former Comptroller General of the United States.
After NATO pledged 5,000 more troops for the war in Afghanistan at its sixtieth anniversary summit In Strasbourg, France and Kehl, Germany this April, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the commitment as representing "a strong down payment on the future of our mission in Afghanistan and on the future of NATO."
The Alliance offer was in addition to Obama's own vow to deploy 21,000 more American forces to the war-wracked nation where the U.S. is waging its longest war since that in Vietnam and NATO is fighting the first ground and first Asian war in its history. A conflict that will enter its ninth calendar year next month.
The current world recession and the potential recovery of some countries reveals all the weaknesses of the traditional “export market” – free trade - comparative advantage doctrines. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent experience of Latin America.
Despite recent popular upheavals and the ascent of center-left regimes in most of the countries in the region, the economic structures, strategies and policies pursued, followed in the footsteps of their predecessors particularly in relation to foreign economic practices.
An air strike ordered by the German army at the end of last week has resulted in one of the worst massacres in the history of the eight-year-old NATO war in Afghanistan.
It is now clear that in the course of Thursday night at least 125 persons were killed in the attack, which had been ordered by the military commander of the German “Provincial Reconstruction Team” (PRT) in Kunduz, Colonel Georg Klein. In addition to armed fighters, the attack wiped out many inhabitants of neighbouring villages. The incident was one of the bloodiest air strikes since US forces invaded the country in the autumn of 2001.
Such a massacre is not the result of “bad decisions”, an alleged “disregard of NATO rules” or an “unclear situation”. It is the inevitable result of the objective logic of the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan.
By: Peter Chamberlin
The world is awash in news and other daily revelations that all point in the direction of an encroaching police state. The war, the ongoing economic collapse, global epidemics and collapsing environmental systems bombard us from all sides with apparent proof that the end is near and that we are all helpless to avoid it. The world’s richest men have spent a sizeable portion of their vast personal fortunes to convince us that a “new order” is mankind’s only defense against the inevitable.
The finest minds available have studied the human psyche, in particular, instincts and reactions, in order to use fear as a way to preempt reason. The idea was to instill a feeling of helplessness within the minds of the people, in order to convince them to give-up, short-circuiting their innate instincts for self-defense. They are trying to make us drop our guard.
Ayman T. Quader
Gaza City, Sept. 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) It has been 9 months since the devastating War on the Gaza Strip, which left thousands of people either killed or wounded.
Today I was invited to take a Ramadan breakfast in my friend Jumaa’s house. He lives in Al Maghzi Refugee Camp where people still are suffering miserably from the impacts of the War on their houses and streets. Basically, most of the residents of the Gaza Strip are already refugees and during the War they were once again forced to evacuate their houses and flee. I asked my friend to take me around in the camps small pass-ways, as I wanted to be closer to the people actually living there. Indeed, this made me feel strongly how much the people in the Refugee Camp are still in real pain. In the middle of the Al Maghzi Refugee Camp there is still a completely destroyed building – impossible to ignore by the people living in the Camp. I found little children playing on the rubbles of this building which really made me sad. But THEY didn’t mind and seemed to be really happy.
Allen L Roland
When Pandora's Box is finally fully opened on the deceptions and abuses of power by the Cheney/Bush administration ~ the 9/11 conspiracy and cover-up will stand alone as the most treasonous act in American history. Here are 40 experts, including Commission members, who share their misgivings about the 9/11 Commission and the questions left unanswered:
The resignation Sunday of longtime Bay Area activist Van Jones as a White House environmental adviser left many progressives, including myself, rightfully angry at the Obama administration for crumbling to conservative criticism of Jones' controversial past comments and actions ~ particularly regarding 9/11. Jones resigned amid a furor over his signature on a 2004 petition rightfully questioning the government's actions around the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A petition that I and many other Progressive leaders proudly signed and still support.
Franklin Lamb Beirut
Being wrapped in an Israeli flag this past week has caused Madonna, our Lady of Miracles, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and AIPAC some flak.
First the simple case.
Strutting underdressed across the concert stage in Tel Aviv wrapped in an Israel flag on 9/2/09, as her partner, the Brazilian model ‘Jesus’ shouted ‘Viva! Viva!’ off stage was probably just the Material Girl doing her material thing. And anyhow, the late Michael Jackson could have been mistaken when he made his snide remark a while back, “She can’t sing. She can’t dance. I don’t understand her success!”
“…It is iron and wheat which have Civilized men and ruined the human Race.” –Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Discourses on the Origin of Inequality” (Rousseau 24)
“It would be better to dump the whole stinking system and take the consequences.” -The Unabomber (Kaczynski #179, Unabomber 140)
Just as human activity has taken the world to the brink of ecological destruction, Al Gore has emerged as the ecosystem’s ostensible messiah, mobilizing millions to change their habits of consumption. Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” has made it fashionable to “go green,” to “save the planet.” His analysis, however, seems somewhat mitigated compared to the more urgent descriptions of others who contend that this generation “is on the verge of the most profound catastrophe the human species has ever faced. Death threats to the living earth are coming from all sides. Water, sunlight, air and soil are threatened” (Koetke 155). With “every organism on the planet” threatened (Koetke 155), the intentions of Al Gore and his millions of “go green” proselytes—who want only to scale back consumption –are called into question; is their conservation message truly designed to save the planet, or merely postpone the inevitable through a drink-slower-party-longer approach to global warming, then they in no way save the environment; they save civilization. In other words, scaled-back consumption will still destroy the environment—it will simply take longer before the destruction causes civilization to sputter out.
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