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Saving a Failed System

August 25th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Combining 17 dissimilar countries under one monetary/fiscal system assured disaster waiting to happen. One size fits all rules don't work. Euro expert Bernard Connolly knew it before the euro's 1998 introduction.

Saying so cost him his job as EU monetary affairs department head. He called the euro system a harebrained idea doomed to fail. He was years ahead of his time.

Since 2008, one crisis conditions deepened. Stopgap solutions buy time but nothing else. Massive money printing keeps wobbly Europe afloat but for how long. Bailouts, rescue plans, debt monetization, and other forms of money manipulation haven't made sick economies healthy.

Prosperity remains elusive. Money used for zombie banks and speculation sacrifices growth and millions of households with it. Debt problems can't be solved by adding more to existing amounts.

Financial expert Martin Weiss calls the West's financial crisis a debt monster. America and Europe face similar problems. Current US debt levels are three times what they were four years ago, six times greater than in the mid-1990s, 10 times mid-1960s levels, and hundreds of times compared to earlier periods.

Full story »

Do US Prisons Violate European Human Rights Law? --An interview with Hamja Ahsan and Aviva Stahl

August 24th, 2012

By Angola 3 News

On April 10, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued judgement in the case of Babar Ahmad and Others v The United Kingdom, thereby making a landmark ruling on the legitimacy of solitary confinement, extreme isolation and life without parole in US supermax prisons (view ECHR press release and ruling). The ECHR denied the appeal filed jointly by six appellants, consisting of four British nationals (Babar Ahmad, Haroon Rashid Aswat, Syed Talha Ahsan, and Mustafa Kamal Mustafa—aka Abu Hamza), an Egyptian national (Adel Abdul Bary) and a Saudi Arabian national (Khaled Al-Fawwaz) who have been imprisoned in the United Kingdom, pending extradition to the United States for alleged terrorism-related activities.

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War of Words on Iran

August 24th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

If words could kill, imperial Washington long ago would have returned Iran to its nightmarish Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi days.

Propaganda wars rage daily. Tehran is wrongfully called an existential threat. Imagine a country wanting peace accused of belligerent intents. Repeating it enough times gets people to believe it. Big lies have impact.

London's Telegraph supplied the latest. More on it below. Perhaps it’s connected to what's shaping up to be an impressive August 26 - 31 Non-Alignment Movement Tehran meeting.

Officials from over 100 countries will attend. On August 22, the Tehran Times said over 50 "will participate….at the level of president, prime minister, king, and vice president and this number will probably increase."

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Power Politics vs. American Prosperity

August 24th, 2012

Ian Fletcher

I had one of those “Aha!” moments recently.

I was engaged in an e-mail dialogue with a moderately prominent individual active in America’s international trade relations. He’s a former high-ranking public official, important enough to matter but not a household name. You might recognize him if you follow trade politics closely. Democrat, left-of-center, but nothing radical.

Anyhow, what I realized, in the course of this discussion, was that we were, in fact, arguing at cross purposes.

I viewed the American economy as a thing whose purpose is to provide income and a living standard to Americans.

He viewed it as a thing whose purpose was to provide a platform for projecting power in the world.

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America and Israel Need Change: Animosity and Insanity cannot live for Ever

August 23rd, 2012

Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD

“There are the times that try men’s soul”, noted Thomas Paine in his famous “Common Sense”, the lifeline to American independence. In situations of adversity and crises, competent leaders represent hope and optimism for change, not egoistic political agenda and animosity…………… Peace requires new THINKING and New VISIONS that American President and Israeli PM do not have except the WAR agenda. Would Peace and Security grow out of the nowhere? Threatening rhetoric of pre-emptive war strikes on Iran nuclear’s centers and the nuisance of individualistic political indoctrination do not articulate rational and responsible opportunities for rational and intelligent leaders to engage in peaceful dialogue or conflict resolution. Obama appeared confused instead of pragmatic and visionary leaders, his face and body language did not seem to correspond to his movements of lips and the air he was breathing at the AIPAC stage. There is no scarcity of proactive Jewish intellectuals and scholars in Israel and America enriched with political imagination and strong sense of interests of the global humanity and people who love peace and harmony with the Arabs and Palestinians, and likewise, American thinkers and political visionaries who could do a better job than Netanyahu and Obama’s warrior mindsets.

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Hope and Despair for Lebanon’s Palestinians

August 23rd, 2012

Franklin Lamb
Beirut

Remarkably, this Ramadan holiday season in Lebanon designees from both the Shia Higher Islamic Shiites Council and the Sunni Dar el Fatwa, figuratively speaking, pointed their binoculars deep into the eastern sky and in almost unheard of unison, proclaimed that Eid al Fitr this year was to be August 19th. It was a good omen for many in Lebanon that Shia and Sunni religious leaders agreed of this important event given the internal and external forces at work to further divide the two main denominations of Islam as well as all of Lebanon by sect, confession, geography, region, tribe, clan and neighborhood.

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Japan: America's Imperial Proxy

August 22nd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

On August 15, 1945, Japan announced its surrender. On September 2, WW II officially ended. Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu's formalized it aboard the USS Missouri. Both dates signify VJ (Victory over Japan) or VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day.

End of war meant occupation. General Douglas MacArthur became military governor. He ruled a conquered state.

To this day, 67 years later, Japan remains occupied. A US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stipulates terms under which American forces remain and operate.

In his book "The Sorrows of Empire," Chalmers Johnson described SOFAs as follows:

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Turn out the lights, the party's over

August 21st, 2012

Michael Collins

(Washington, DC) Don Meredith blessed us with that song. It's just about time to sing it regarding the 2012 Presidential Election. (Graph source)

Why? Because Mitt Romney's pick for vice president, the ultra-fit Representative Paul Ryan, is tightly associated with a make no mistake about it misogynist of the very worst kind. Republican Representative Todd Akin of Missouri is running in the Republican primary to oppose incumbent Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). At least he was until he revealed just how warped he really is at in an August 19 interview with Charles Jaco on the Fox local outlet in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jaco: In the case of rape, should that [abortion] be legal or not?

Rep. Todd Akin: … from what I understand from doctors, if it's a legitimate rape, the female bodies have ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that doesn't work or something, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment should in the rapist… (Charles Jaco, KTVI Fox, St. Louis, MO)

This isn't Ryan speaking but the slime may well stick to Ryan. Romney's number two is cosponsor of pieces of legislation with Rep. Akin. The Sanctity of Human Life Act equates a fertilized egg with a human being. Any procedure, birth control or abortion that ends the viability of the egg would be considered homicide (see Center for American Progress). Ryan isn’t casual about this issue. In a joint press release today, the Romney campaign clarified that Ryan opposes abortion in the case of rape. Romney does not.

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Agent Orange: A Deadly Legacy

August 20th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Fifty-one years and counting! On August 10, 1961, America began spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Operation Ranch Hand waged herbicidal warfare for 10 years.

Around 20,000 sorties were flown. Other spraying was done from boats, trucks, or soldiers mounted with backpacks. Over five million acres were contaminated. About 20% of South Vietnam was sprayed at least once.

Millions of gallons of dioxin-containing defoliant were used across vast areas. Concentrations were 50 times greater than for other defoliation purposes. Horrific consequences followed.

Dioxin is one of the most deadly known substances. It's both natural and man-made. It's a potent carcinogenic human immune system suppressant. Minute amounts cause serious health problems and death.

Full story »

AIPAC Wants War on Iran

August 20th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

AIPAC is an unregistered foreign agent. It calls itself "America's Pro-Israeli Lobby." It's represented Israeli interests since 1953.

Virtually no one in Congress confronts it. Doing so is a career-ender. It has enormous influence over US Middle East policies affecting Israel, including war and peace.

It disseminates disinformation, lies and hate. It viciously attacks opponents. It calls Iran "the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is racing toward a nuclear weapons capability."

Full story »

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