The American people still have some fight left in them

The neocons have tried everything they could to frighten America into going along fully with the program meant to reduce the rights and freedom given to us by the Constitution and to keep people from complaining by calling into question their patriotism. Along the way neocons have enlisted the help and support of the main stream media as well as politicians. Unfortunately help was rendered by people on both sides of the ideological divide, liberals as well as conservatives, Democrats as well as Republicans, each chipping in to the effort of state sponsored control, each waiting for their turn to exert that control in ways they see fit, not necessarily for the benefit of the people.

Realistically speaking the political process is the only way for people to regain control of this great Republic; by removing recalcitrant politicians, irrespective of their political persuasion, there is hope that people can turn the country around to the point it respects the rights of its citizens as well as the rule of law, nationally as well as internationally. One cannot be deceived by party loyalty; politicians are to easy to purchase. Witness this bipartisan list of people who’ve had their loyalty purchased by the neocons whose goal it is to insure perpetual chaos internationally, swell the coffers of the war machine and curb the rights of citizens of the United States while increasing government control over their lives. Of particular note are the Democrats on the list and especially Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House and the third most important person in the US government’s hierarchy. She has steadfastly refused to consider impeachment of Bush or a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq despite pledges to the contrary when hers was a minority party in politics. However, anything goes in love and war, and by identifying with the mood of the country which was against war and presidential policies she was able to install her party to power and enrich her personal wealth in ways she had not been able to do previously.

However, politics can be redemptive, enter Cindy Sheehan, who has successfully petitioned to have her name included on the ballot to challenge Ms. Pelosi. Judging from the looks of what some people are saying in her district Pelosi may be in for a fight and that’s a good thing. Comfortable and unresponsive politicians should always have to feel the ire of the people when they are ignored or neglected.

The Media approach to Israel

I ran across comments at one of my favorite blog sites, Xymphora, talking about the media’s treatment of Israel. We all know that generally the media has a very kid glove approach to Israel, however there is a very healthy skepticism about Israel in the blogsphere and an exploration of issues corporate media simply refuses to touch.  My interests were more than a little aroused when I ran across articles that spoke of the Fairness Doctrine and net neutrality implying that the call for the “Fairness Doctrine” by politicians might infringe upon the more vibrant discussions that take place on the net and in the blogsphere.  I was happy to read that bloggers themselves were the first to oppose this idea of net neutrality.  I’m left wondering whether the real reason for mentioning this possibility by an  FCC commissioner was to frighten some away from a particular politician or party or was this a genuine threat/concern?  In any event back to my discussion about Israel, it’s a sure bet any government intrusion onto internet content will more positively affect Israel’s position on the internet than what we already have in main stream media.  Here is how some think corporate media deals with the recalcitrant Israelis.

Any news program which deserves special citation for being produced from an Israeli perspective should follow these rules: never mention the word “occupation,” nor the conditions that Palestinians are forced to endure when speaking about the West Bank and Gaza; if you address the issue of casualties suffered by innocent Palestinians as a result of Israeli military offenses, always give the Israelis time to appear “aware and troubled” and to claim they do everything possible to minimize “collateral damage”; never mention anything negative or embarrassing about the Israeli armed forces which cannot be dismissed as an unfortunate mistake. Finally, and this is key, always express that the targeted enemy is “Hitler” and that the military action under consideration will prevent another Holocaust.

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Regime change, America’s pandora box

The US used the expression “regime change” to justify its incursion into Iraq in 2003, but the term has been around since the beginning of the 20th century and was used by Bill Clinton who like George Bush referred to it with regards to Iraq. In the language of geopolitics, or in other words raw power, regime change for the US means installing people in power who will place US strategic interests above their own country’s interests. The myth that regime change has something to do with democracy really is a lie when you look at those countries America has instituted regime change in which were at the time democracies, like 1953 Iran, 1960’s Republic of Congo, 1973 Chile and 1980’s Nicaragua just to name a few. Those are all examples where the overthrow of countries was attempted or done clandestinely by the US with results that were usually not democratic and in some cases autocratic and dictatorial. However the results were seen as favorable for long term US interests.

In the ’80s the methodology of regime change took a different direction as the US became an active, visible part in the dissolution of governments with the full might and power of the US military. Invasions with the insertion of US combat troops onto foreign soil to cause the overthrow of governments or the capture and/or arrest of government officials became the way by which regime change was done. Grenada and Panama are two prime examples arising from that time period. Elaborate excuses were advanced to the American public to win broad appeal for the invasion of these countries, and media outlets were used to put the spin on threats which were magnified to an extent that equaled existential threats to American security from mere banana republics. What is interesting is some of the people who were instrumental in trying to overthrow Iraq in the 21st century, Elliot Abrams, Doug Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle were honing their skills working in government, particularly the Pentagon, during the ’80s when America was overrunning small states, particularly in the “American sphere of influence” the Caribbean and Central America.

Of course we all know about the regime change which took place in Iraq where the Americans became an occupying power and conducted the plunder of Iraqi territory and the murder of many of its political figures. As in the recent past, rationale was given and the media was used to propagate that rationale to the satisfaction of the American public which gave its approval for grave violations of international law. Little if any consideration was given to world opinion and the rhetoric of the day made irrelevant bodies erected to maintain the rule of law, like the UN or Geneva Conventions, or opponents of American policy domestically or internationally were either belittled or completely ignored. Because America perceived itself, justifiably, as the only superpower in the world, there was no government strong enough to stop it and world opposition opinion was meaningless. What mattered to American lawmakers was instituting a policy which would insure American interests were given the highest priority of the newly installed government, even at the expense of American citizens. (Witness the kid glove approach the US Justice Department shows towards private contractors in Iraq who have committed crimes against American citizens in Iraq, and the extent to which the US wants these contractors to be immune from prosecution by the Iraqi government.) Little thought was given to the fact that this in your face behavior of the US would open the door for others to do the same thing, with the same behavior along the way and that’s exactly what has happened in the conflagration in the central Asian republic of Georgia.

Having lost its moral right to indignation because of its previous scorn for morality and international law, America is reduced to howling from the sidelines as Russia defines its interests in terms which are geopolitically correct with much more at stake. It is irrelevant for the sake of this discussion, who started the conflict that began in the late summer of 2008, what’s at issue is the unilateral military intervention of a superpower seeking to define its interests as it sees fit without regard to public opinion because there’s no one who can stop it, and more primordially, because it can! Russia’s conflict involved a neighbor on its border with whom it has had an almost two decade conflict, and this conflict is one of natural resources, oil. Under those circumstances it is understandable Russia would react to the slightest provocation, real or imagined. After all the “threat” exists on its borders. What is interesting is how quickly the US administration has forgotten this very principle it used to justify its own illegal acts merely months ago. It had to be reminded of its own transgressions when the Russian ambassador to the UN told that forum and the US directly that regime change was an American concept and therefore America had no right to use that as a pejorative term directed at Russia. Just as the US accused Saddam of gassing the Kurds and justified removing him from power because of that, the Russians accused the Georgians of ethnic cleansing and meant to remove Georgian insurgents from the disputed territories of Abkhaz and South Ossetia. They can also claim there was no shock and awe campaign designed to obliterate whole cities and neighborhoods which were of no military values, merely as an act of intimidation as was the case with the American invasion of Iraq. As we stand on what could be the precipice to world war, America ‘s disdain for Russian aggression is as meaningless as the world’s outcry against American aggression in Iraq. American policy wonks shouldn’t be allowed to forget they opened this box.

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Images of war return to the public

A bipartisan effort initiated by Republican congressman Walter Jones, NC and co-sponsored by three Democrats and three Republicans has culminated in the The Fallen Hero Commemoration Act, or H.R. 6662, which states, “The Secretary of Defense shall grant access to accredited members of the media at military commemoration ceremonies and memorial services conducted by the Armed Forces for members of the Armed Forces who have died on active duty and when the remains of members of the Armed Forces arrive at military installations in the United States.”

We’ve blogged before about how the Administration has tried to control the images coming from their occupation in order to control public opinion and everyone from media to government and the public in general has gone along with the program.  Finally, members of Congress are attempting to correct that situation by using the power they have as legislators to undo this Bush Administration policy.  Let’s hope they can wipe the entire slate clean of the excesses done by this cabal.

Obama the Anti-Christ

Or at least according to John McCain, and it’s unbelievable CNN actually explored this topic on one of their news segments.  I know why they did it; it appeals to the cheap, gaudy, entertaining nature of “news” these days.  Why even I used the tactic to increase the hits this blog gets from people who “google” the topic, but it’s another indication why CNN is not a news channel and why John McCain shouldn’t be president.