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Love of profits vs. the Love of the Prophet (part 2)
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Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Love of pofits Vs Love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

SCANDAL OF THE CENTURY ROCKS BRITISH CROWN AND THE CITY

Jeffrey Steinberg
http://larouchepac.com/pages/breaking_ne...entury.asp

On Wednesday, June 6, the British Broadcasting Corporation aired a sensational story, revealing that the British arms manufacturer BAE Systems, had paid more than $2 billion in bribes to Saudi Arabia's national security chief and longtime Ambassador in Washington, Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, over a 22 year period. The BBC revelations were further detailed on June 11, in a one-hour Panorama TV documentary, provocatively titled "Princes, Planes and Pay-offs," which detailed a more than decade-long probe by the Guardian, BBC, and the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO), into the Al-Yamamah arms contract, a nearly $80 billion, 22-year long deal between BAE Systems and the Saudi government, in which British-made fighter jets and support services were provided to the Saudi Kingdom, beginning in 1985.

Every British government, from Margaret Thatcher, through John Major, to Tony Blair, has been thoroughly implicated in the BAE-Saudi scandal. In December 2006, Britain's Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, ordered the SFO probe shut, declaring that any further investigation would gravely jeopardize British national security. Prime Minister Blair fully backed his Attorney General, and is now scrambling to complete the fourth phase of the Al-Yamamah deal before he leaves office next month.

The furor that followed the Goldsmith announcement triggered a number of international investigations into the BAE Systems scandal, including by the Swiss government and the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the so-called "rich nations" club). More recently, the U.S. Department of Justice has reportedly opened a probe into money laundering and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, on the part of the British and the Saudis. The estimated $2 billion in cumulative payoffs to Prince Bandar, for his role in brokering the Al-Yamamah deal, went through the Saudi government accounts at Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C., thus opening the U.S. jurisdiction.

While the various British investigations into the Al-Yamamah (Arabic for "the dove") arms deal did unearth a vast network of front companies, offshore shells, and corrupt politicians, who benefited richly from the deal, EIR's own preliminary investigation into the scandal has uncovered a far more significant story, one that will send shock waves through the City of London financial circles, as well as top figures within the British monarchy, who are all implicated in a far bigger scheme that goes to the very heart of the Venetian-modeled Anglo-Dutch Liberal system of global finance, which is now on its last legs.

Al-Yamamah

In 1985, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in part frightened by the ongoing war between its neighbors Iran and Iraq, which had reached a highly destructive phase known as the "war of the cities," sought to purchase large numbers of advanced fighter jets to build up their Royal Air Force. Initially, the Saudis sought approval from the Reagan Administration to purchase American-made F-15 fighters. The Saudi F-15 deal required Congressional approval, and the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) waged a massive effort to kill the sale. According to several well-informed Washington sources, Howard Teicher, a senior official on the Reagan National Security Council (director of Near East and South Asia, 1982-1985; senior director, Politico-Military Affairs, 1986-1987), also played a pivotal role in the AIPAC effort, which ultimately succeeded in killing the deal. Teicher, according to the sources, withheld information from Reagan, stalling a Congressional vote until AIPAC had fully mobilized, and then convinced the President to withdraw the request, rather than face an embarrassing defeat in the Congress.

Other sources have offered a slightly different version of the failure of the F-15 deal, claiming that intelligence community estimates, since the mid-1970s, had warned of instability in the Persian Gulf, and that there were, therefore, other reasons to question the advisability of the sales of advanced U.S. military technology to Saudi Arabia, particularly after the Khomeini Revolution in Iran.

Whatever the reason, the F-15 deal failed. The very next day, after the Reagan Administration threw in the towel, Prince Bandar, the Kingdom's de facto chief diplomat to Britain, the Soviet Union, and China, as well as the U.S.A., flew to London to meet with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. British arms sales did not require parliamentary approval, and the British government, in 1966, had created an agency, the Defence Export Services Organization (DESO), to hawk British arms around the globe. BAE Systems had been created in 1981, when Thatcher privatized the British arms manufacturing industry, which had, only four years earlier, been nationalized under the Labour government. And BAE Systems, the largest arms manufacturer in Europe, dominates the British defense sector.

The Bandar trip to London to confer with Thatcher had been in the works for months. A Ministry of Defence briefing paper, prepared for the Thatcher-Bandar sessions, stated, "Since early 1984, intensive efforts have been made to sell Tornado and Hawk to the Saudis. When, in the Autumn of 1984, they seemed to be leaning towards French Mirage fighters, Mr Heseltine paid an urgent visit to Saudi Arabia, carrying a letter from the Prime Minister to King Fahd. In December 1984, the Prime Minister started a series of important negotiations by meeting Prince Bandar, the son of Prince Sultan.... The Prime Minister met the King in Riyahd in April this year and in August the King wrote to her stating his decision to buy 48 Tornado IDS and 30 Hawk."

Thatcher also had every reason to feel confident that Bandar would be the perfect interlocutor between Saudi Arabia and Great Britain in the deal of the century. At age 16, several years after his father, Prince Sultan, had been named Minister of Defense of the Kingdom, the Prince was sent to England to study at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, the elite officer's training school for future RAF pilots. At least one senior American intelligence official has reported widespread rumors that Bandar was recruited by MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, before he finished his RAF training. Other sources, intimately familiar with the goings-on at BAE Systems, report that the "private" aerospace giant has a sales force made up almost exclusively of "lads" recruited to MI6 before their hires.

Whether or not these reports are accurate, Bandar certainly is a serious Anglophile. The best accounts of his adventures in England appear in the 2006 book, The Prince—The Secret Story of the World's Most Intriguing Royal (HarperCollins, New York), by William Simpson, a Cranwell classmate, and still-intimate pal of the Prince. Simpson, who wrote the book with the full cooperation of Bandar, recounted his friend's intimate ties with every occupant of 10 Downing Street.

"In London," Simpson reported, "Bandar would breeze into Number Ten with unhibited panache. From Margaret Thatcher to John Major to Tony Blair, Bandar's access was extraordinary." By Prince Bandar's own account to Simpson about Al-Yamamah, "When we first made the agreement, we had no contract. It was a handshake between me and Mrs. Thatcher in Ten Downing Street." It was months before the final details of the Al-Yamamah deal were finalized, and the contracts signed. But even before the ink had dried, Britain had provided the initial delivery of Tornado jets—from the inventory of the RAF.

By the time the formal Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the British and Saudi defense ministers on Sept. 25, 1985, the original order had been expanded to 72 Tornado fighter jets and 30 Hawk training aircraft, along with other equipment and services. There have been two subsequent deals, Al-Yamamah II and III, and Al-Yamamah IV, worth as much as $40 billion in additional arms deliveries, is in the final stages.

Oil-For-Aircraft

The Al-Yamamah deal was structured as a barter arrangement. While the Saudis did agree to pay cash for certain services and infrastructure construction under separate sub-contracts—and those cash payments went, in part, to "consulting fees" or bribes, including the $2 billion to Prince Bandar's accounts at Riggs Bank, and similar reported payments to the Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet and the Dutch Royal Consort, Prince Bernhard—the essential contract involved the Saudi delivery of oil to Britain, in return for the fighter jets.

And here is where the story gets really interesting.

Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Britain with one tanker of oil per day, for the entire life of the Al-Yamanah contracts. An oil tanker holds approximately 600,000 barrels of oil. BAE Systems began "official" delivery of the Toronado and Hawk planes to Saudi Arabia in 1989. BAE Systems now has approximately 5,000 employees inside Saudi Arabia, servicing the contract.

Is it possible to place a cash value on the oil deliveries to BAE Systems? According to sources familiar with the inner workings of Al-Yamamah, much of the Saudi oil was sold on the international spot market at market value, through British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell.

EIR economist John Hoefle has done an in-depth charting of the financial features of the oil transactions, based on BP's own daily tracking of world oil prices on the open market. Using BP's average annual cost of a barrel of Saudi crude oil, Hoefle concluded that the total value of the oil sales, based on the value of the dollar at the time of delivery, was $125 billion. In current U.S. dollar terms, that total soars to $160 billion.

Based on the best available public records, the total sticker price on the military equipment and services provided by BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia, over the 22-year period to date, was approximately $80 billion. And those figures are inflated by billions of dollars in slush fund payouts. Indeed, the latest limited-damage scandal around Al-Yamamah erupted in November 2006, when a Ministry of Defence document leaked out, providing the actual sticker price on the fighter jets. The figure confirmed the long-held suspicion that the prices of the jets had been jacked up by at least 40%.

BAE Systems, a crown jewel in the City of London financial/industrial structure, secured somewhere in the range of $80 billion in net profit from the arrangement—in league with BP and Royal Dutch Shell! Where did that money go, and what kinds of activities were financed with it? The answer to those questions, sources emphasize, holds the key to the power of Anglo-Dutch finance in the world today.

Prince Bandar's biographer and friend William Simpson certainly provided an insight into the inner workings of the Al-Yamamah project: "Although Al-Yamamah constitutes a highly unconventional way of doing business, its lucrative spin-offs are the by-product of a wholly political objective: a Saudi political objective and a British political objective. Al-Yamamah is, first and foremost, a political contract. Negotiated at the height of the Cold War, its unique structure has enabled the Saudis to purchase weapons from around the globe to fund the fight against Communism. Al-Yamamah money can be found in the clandestine purchase of Russian ordnance used in the expulsion of Qaddafi's troops from Chad. It can also be traced to arms bought from Egypt and other countries, and sent to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet occupying forces."

In effect, Prince Bandar's biographer confirms that Al-Yamamah is the biggest pool of clandestine cash in history—protected by Her Majesty's Official Secrets Act and the even more impenetrable finances of the City of London and the offshore, unregulated financial havens under British dominion.

The Saudi Side of the Street

For its part, the Saudi Royal Family did not exactly get ripped off in the Al-Yamamah deal. When the contract was signed in 1985, according to sources familiar with the arrangement, Saudi Arabia got an exemption from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The barter deal with BAE Systems did not come under their OPEC production quota. In other words, Saudi Arabia got OPEC approval to produce 600,000 barrels a day, above the OPEC ceiling, to make the arms purchases.

According to the Energy Information Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, over the life of the Al-Yamamah program, the average cost of a Saudi barrel of crude oil, delivered to tankers, was under $5 a barrel. At that price, the annual cost to the Saudis for the 600,000 barrels per day was $1.1 billion. Over the duration of the contract to date, the cost to the Saudis of the daily oil shipments was approximately $24.6 billion. The commercial value, in current dollars, as noted above, was $160 billion.

The Saudis have forged a crucial partnership with the Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy, headquartered in the City of London, and protected by the British Crown. They have, in league with BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, and other City giants, established a private, offshore, hidden financial concentration that would have made the British East India Company managers of an earlier heyday of the British Empire, drool with envy.

At this moment, there is no way of calculating how much of that slush fund has been devoted to the clandestine wars and Anglo-American covert operations of the past two decades. Nor is it possible to estimate the multiplier effect of portions of those undisclosed, and unregulated funds having passed through the hedge funds of the Cayman Island, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Panama, and Switzerland.

What is clear, is that the BAE Systems scandal goes far beyond the $2 billion that allegedly found its way into the pockets of Prince Bandar. It is a scandal that goes to the heart of the power of Anglo-Dutch finance.

There is much, much more to unearth, now that the door has been slightly opened into what already appears to be the swindle of the century.


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OPENS BAE PROBE
Lord Goldsmith Admits Withholding Facts from OECD

June 15, 2007 (LPAC)--The U.S. Justice Department has opened a preliminary investigation of whether the British aerospace company BAE paid bribes to win contracts in Saudi Arabia, Chile, and elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reports today. Citing several unnamed U.S. law enforcement officials, the Times says that the investigation is focused on whether BAE violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S. money-laundering laws.

The Times's sources emphasized that the DOJ investigation is more extensive than previously reported. "It's not just the Saudi payments that are an issue here," said one official, adding that BAE deals with many other countries are also being scrutinized, and calling it "a company-wide thing."

The Saudi side of the probe, according to U.S. law enforcement officials, centers on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., who is otherwise known to be a close ally of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Meanwhile, in a letter to Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain's attorney general, Lord Goldsmith admitted to the fact that information was withheld from the anti-corruption probe by the OECD of the BAE-Saudi Arabia deal.

Lord Goldsmith wrote that he himself was not involved in any decision to withhold information, that was made by the Serious Fraud Office based on "national security" interests. "I did not know the judgment the SFO had reached about this issue until it arose in the media last week.... I gave no orders, instruction or advice to the SFO about that." He did admit that his director general, Jonathan Jones was at the Paris meeting with the OECD to "deal with the national security aspects" and that Jones "was aware in general of what the SFO proposed to say and participated in the discussions in preparation for the working group meeting." He then claimed that "what level of detail to give about particular payments" never arose in those discussions."

In response Sir Menzies said, "These events get curiouser and curiouser. Major decisions...were taken by officials and not by those with direct ministerial responsibility. The plain unvarnished truth is that Britain did not reveal significant information to the OECD."


TWO "ETHICS" PIG PENS APPOINTED IN LONDON-A COMMON TROUGH

June 15, 2007 (LPAC)--BAE Systems, the worlds largest arms company, accused of covert-payments crimes which threaten to blow up the Anglo-Dutch imperial system, has hired a committee of experts to inquire whether the company is ethical.

Another, similar, panel of experts has been hired by private equity companies -- under increasing public attack for piratical corporate takeovers and asset-stripping that is erasing jobs everywhere -- to work out ethics rules that will block governments from regulating or interfering with this financial warfare.

The two panels are interlocked.

Last March, facing fire from trade unions and foreign governments, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and the pirate firms' own trade association together appointed Sir David Walker, a former City of London investment banker and Bank of England executive, to chair the private equity working group.

Sir David Walker immediately appointed to his panel Lady Sarah Hogg, chairman of the giant "3i" private equity firm. EIR readers will recall Lady Hogg as the ringleader of the group that sacked BBC Director General Greg Dyke for standing up to the Blair-Cheney war lies; and recall that her "3i" firm is used to financially sponsor the Blair-Cheney slander campaign against Lyndon LaRouche.

On June 15, BAE Systems named former English Chief Justice Lord Harry Woolf to chair its experts panel. One focal point for the U.S. Justice Department interest in the BAE covert-payments scandal is the Persian Gulf Kingdom of Qatar, the alleged scene of huge BAE bribes which were reportedly laundered through the island of Jersey. Lord Woolf is himself currently in Qatar, where he has been hired by the new Qatar Financial Centre to run the "legal system" for an unregulated speculators' paradise that is explicitly modeled on the City of London.

Lord Woolf immediately appointed Sir David Walker -- who is of course busy running the other (private equity) panel -- to be on the BAE Systems' self-checking panel.

On being named to his lucrative post, Lord Woolf said "It is of importance to BAE Systems and this country that BAE Systems' ethical standards are irreproachable. BAE Systems believes this is the case. I am, however, agreeable at BAE Systems request to be Chairman of a wholly independent committee of unquestionable integrity to ascertain whether this is the case and, if in the committee's view this is not the situation, to identify the improvements BAE Systems needs to make so that BAE Systems can make the necessary changes."


BAE: KEY TO UNDERSTANDING BRITAIN'S ROLE IN ORCHESTRATING THREE GULF WARS

June 19, 2007 (LPAC)--As one of the largest arms sales in history to the Middle East, the BAE deal is key to understanding Her Majesty the Queen's direct role in orchestrating the three Gulf wars of the last three decades, including the 1980-89 Iraq-Iran war, the 1991 Gulf War and the current Iraq war. It is also key to understanding the British role in the proposed war against Iran.

The object of these wars has been to destroy the two most important countries in the region, Iran and Iraq, as a key to resurrecting the global British Empire. This was best expressed by a retired British Military officer, who served as Her Majesty's military attache in Iraq in the 1980s. When the Gulf War began in 1991, he told this news service: "My dear sir, you have to understand this is how we built the British `Empah'. We had two powerful countries we wanted to destroy, in this case Iran and Iraq. We got them into a war and sold weapons to both sides. Just at the appropriate point we dried up on one and let the other beat him. Then we only had one country to destroy." This referred to the tilt towards Iraq in 1988, which led to the defeat of Iran. Three years later Iraq was manipulated into the war against Kuwait, only to be destroyed in the Gulf War.

The LPAC story, "The Queen's Connections to the BAE Scandal" touched on the direct role of Her Majesty's Crown Agents in the original BAE deal. The groundwork for this was laid by Sir John Cuckney, now Lord Cuckney of Millbank, who in the 1970s was Chairman of Crown Agents and Director of Millbank Technical Services, which, in 1978 was transferred to the Defense Ministry and renamed International Military Systems Ltd (IMS). Cuckney served as chairman of IMS until 1985. It was his replacement, Sir Colin Chandler, a BAE executive seconded to the Defense Ministry, who in 1985 negotiated the BAE deal.

In organizing IMS, Cuckney laid the basis for the massive arms and munitions sales to both Iran and Iraq during the first gulf war, the Iran-Iraq war. At the same time, Cuckney served as Director of the British Midland Bank between 1978 and 1988, where he founded and headed its Midland International Trade Services, the bank division expressly organized to sell the tools of war to both Iran and Iraq. Through these institutions Britain organized a European-wide network to sell arms and munitions to both Iran and Iraq in violation of the United Nations' sanctions against arms sales to both countries.

IMS, which was headed by Sir Colin Chandler between 1985 and 1989, was the key facilitator in this trade in weapons to Iran and Iraq. IMS had offices in both Iran and Iraq as well as in Saudi Arabia throughout the duration of the war. At stated above, Chandler was simultaneously a BAE executive and organizer of the BAE-Saudi deal.

The second Gulf War was initiated only after British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher convinced President George Bush Sr. to "liberate" the Kingdom of Kuwait, which was considered nothing more then a British satrapy. It was Thatcher's advisors, such as Lord Cuckney, who organized the BAE deal only a few years before. It was then her successor Tony Blair, the Labor Party "Thatcherite," who marched into Iraq with the British stooge Vice President Dick Cheney.


BAE-CONNECTED RIGGS BANK HAS LONG HISTORY AS BRITISH ASSET

June 19, 2007 (LPAC)--The Riggs Bank, the Washington-based institution at the center of the BAE Saudi scandal, has a long history as an asset of the British Crown. Riggs, while never in the league of the huge New York banks such as JP Morgan, was a strategically placed institution in the Washington area, often doing the finances for Presidents and legislators. Central to the financial operations of government institutions, it was once referred to as "just about the closest thing we'll ever have to a Bank of the United States." Indeed, other reports indicate that, during the first decades of its existence, Riggs was the "best known American banking institution" throughout the Far East.

Riggs bank grew out of a dry-goods firm started by a Baltimore financier George Peabody, who got his original financing from Elisha Riggs. Peabody partnered with Riggs to form Peabody Riggs in 1836, officially becoming a bank in 1852. During that time period, Peabody relocated to London, where he lived out the remainder of his life. While in London, Peabody developed close ties to the monarchy, including Queen Victoria herself. He also established relationships with both Junius Morgan and Nathaniel Rothschild, and was a central figure in the establishment the JS Morgan Bank, which was later transplanted to the US as JP Morgan Bank.

Peabody also had excellent relationships with another anglophile Baltimore firm (established in Liverpool), the Brown Brothers. Alexander Brown came to Baltimore in 1801, and established what is now known as the oldest banking house in the United States, still operating as Brown Brothers Harriman of New York; Brown, Shipley and Company of England; and Alex Brown and Son of Baltimore. Those relations may have been maintained through the years, for in 1998, J Carter Beese, a man who had spent the majority of his career at Alex. Brown, joined the board of Riggs.

In 1973, Riggs would become the first bank to open a facility with a foreign embassy, at the request of the British embassy itself. By 1980, Riggs will have established its first branch in a foreign country, at the US Embassy in London, supposedly at the request of the US State Department. In 1994, Riggs reportedly established the Riggs Bank Europe, through purchase of the Anglo-Portuguese Bank. In 2003, Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the US, will directly join the board of the bank, just as the scandal involving the bank's connections to the Saudis and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet are beginning to surface.

In the immediate aftermath of the Bank's Saudi/Pinochet relationships, Riggs was quickly and quietly sold, to the Pittsburgh banking institution known as PNC bank.

STUNG BY EXPOSURE, BAE OFFERS TO REDUCE ARMS SALES AGENTS

June 20, 2007 (LPAC)--Stung by the exposure of its $80-billion slush fund for promoting war, revolution, and regime change, the British defense giant BAE has proposed a token gesture of reducing the number of independent advisers it uses for foreign arms sales.

The measure is intended, in large part, to try to reduce pressure from the United States, where a pending criminal investigation by the Justice Department, and scrutiny by other government agencies and Congress could foul up BAE attempts at takeover of a major U.S. arms contractor. The independent agents are the lower-level operatives in the bribery and kickback arrangements that form the heart of the company's operating practices, as in the 20-year running al Yamamah deal, arranged between the Margaret Thatcher government and Saudi Prince Bandar.

Mike Turner, BAE's chief executive, said the company would reduce the number of its independent advisers form 240 to "no more than 100 in the near term," according to a report in today's Financial Times of London. He made clear that the principal reason was to whitewash: "Now we have a huge market in the U.S. and we don't take any risks on our reputation," Turner is quoted as saying.

Reducing the number of agents is unlikely to stem the corrupt practices. In 1999, BAE reduced the number of its agents from 600 to 250 when it first entered the U.S. market, but the scandal only grew.


TODAY's BAE SCANDAL AND THE FORCE BEHIND 9/11

June 23, 2007 (LPAC)--Discussing the exploding British mega-scandal around the huge BAE Systems arms firm, at his June 21 Washington webcast, U.S. statesman and economist Lyndon LaRouche touched on the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Speaking of the current war and economic crisis, LaRouche said that BAE "is not the cause of the problem, it is a symptom of the problem: Is that more and more, under a system which was established, a change in the system established with the election of a non-person as a President, George W. Bush, Jr., under his chimpanzee keeper, the Vice President, that the world was being run, more and more, by what is behind the BAE. The BAE is actually better known as the British Empire. Some people call it the 'Brutish Empire.'

"Now, not all the people in England are guilty of this. Many of them, even who are Brits, or who believe in the imperial system, or the British Empire or whatever, think that what is being done now by BAE is insane. They think that other things are insane: They know that the idea of a global warming swindle is a hoax--they know that. They know it's totally unscientific, and could not be sold to a society in which science was still known as a subject for most people of that generation. And therefore, not because they are anti-British, but because they know that the system which is being run by the Blair government and its associates in the British system--being run by Blair's friend Cheney, and others--that this system is clinically insane. And therefore, they object to it. And they raised objections to it, which are registered in places like the London Guardian--called Guardian Unlimited these days--and the British BBC, and other locations.

"There was virtual silence on the subject of this, at least to its substance, inside the United States itself. It was only in the past three days, that there has been any appearance in the major English-speaking American press, of anything--even hinting at what has been the ongoing reality of this Bush Administration, since before the President was sworn in, in 2001. The world has been living under a system, which is the 9/11 system, which already existed, as I warned at the beginning of 2001, before President George W. Bush was inaugurated for the first time in January of 2001. Where I said: The world system has reached the point, that an onrushing collapse of the system is now in process. We can not determine exactly when or how this will occur, but we know the following two things:

Number 1, we know that this President and this Presidency can not deal with this crisis. Therefore, we must expect that the entire world will be subjected to the kind of thing we experienced in February of 1933, when Hermann Goering, the man behind the throne, the sort of Dick Cheney of the Hitler administration, orchestrated the burning of the Reichstag as a terrorist event. And this terrorist event was used on that night, or the following day, to install Hitler with dictatorial powers, which Hitler never lost, until the day he died!

"And I said then: The danger is that something like this will occur, under present trends in the United States, and it did occur: And it was called 9/11.

"Now, without going into the details of what we know and what we don't know about how 9/11 was orchestrated, we know that the only means by which this kind of thing is orchestrated, is found in one location: in a financial complex which is centered in the identity of the BAE.

Now, that's the mystery of 9/11. How it was done, the mechanics, that's irrelevant. We'll find out. And everybody in and around government who understands these matters, knows that!

And that's where the heat is, here."


THE MOTHER OF ALL SCANDALS
Eric Margolis
http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis79.html


Anyone who wants to understand what really goes on in the Mideast should have a look at the scandal that erupted earlier this month over the outsized character of Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia.
Bandar has long been a renowned mover, shaker, and charmer. As Saudi ambassador to the US, the influential Bandar schmoozed official Washington for two decades. He became an intimate of the Bush family. He invested a least $60 million in Saudi funds in the Carlyle Corp., in which the Bush family has important interests. Equally significant, Prince Bandar was a particular favorite at the CIA, where he was long considered one of its prime Mideast “assets.”

Bandar flew in his own personal Airbus A-340 painted in the colors of his favorite US football team, and threw lavish parties in his $135 million Aspen house and in Washington. He was Mr. SaudiAmerica. Congress, the media, and the rest of official Washington hailed Bandar as the kind of “good Arab” with whom the US was happy to do business.

After leaving Washington, Bandar returned home to become the highly influential head of national security and chief foreign policy advisor to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. Bandar’s father, Crown Prince Sultan, is the nation’s powerful defense minister and next in line to the throne. Many Saudi observers believed Bandar was being positioned to sit one day on the throne of Saudi Arabia.
On top of all this, Bandar is also a marketing genius.

The UK Guardian newspaper and BBC recently revealed that Bandar personally received over US $2 billion in “marketing fees” from the British defense firm BAE as part of the huge, 1985 al-Yamamah arms deal. Al-Yamamah means dove in Arabic. Charges of massive corruption over the Al-Yamamah deal have swirled for years. But even for the rich Saudis, $2 billion is a lot of money. That’s twice what Washington’s most important Arab ally, Egypt, was given.

For the Saudi royals, Britain’s outgoing PM Tony Blair, and Washington, the “dove” and Bandar’s $2 billion worth of payola have become one big albatross.

During the 1980’s, Saudi Arabia sought to buy modern US warplanes. But the US pro-Israel lobby blocked the sale, costing the loss of billions in sales by US industry and 100,000 American jobs. The Reagan Administration advised the Saudis to go buy their warplanes from Britain.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was only too happy have the British defense firm, known today as BAE, sell the Saudis 120 Tornado strike aircraft, Hawk trainers, military equipment, and lucrative training and maintenance programs worth some $90–100 billion and the 100,000 jobs America lost. Over their operational lives of 20 or so years, warplanes consume six times their original cost in spare parts. These supply contract also went to BAE and other British industrial firms.

The Saudis could barely operate the modern military equipment they bought from the US, Britain, and France. Their military forces were a big zero. Most of it stayed in storage, or was operated by foreign mercenaries . The Saudi arms deals were really about buying military protection from the western powers.

All arms sales to the west’s Mideast clients routinely include 10–15% “commissions” to heads of state, generals, and their cronies. These funds are traditionally channeled through middlemen, the flamboyant Adnan Kashoggi being the most notorious.

Kickbacks, rechristened “marketing fees,” were of course expected in the Al-Yamamah deal. But Bandar’s $2 billion set a record for size and venality. Thatcher ordered Bandar’s payments carefully hidden from public gaze. They remained so until recent years when British and American government investigators began questioning secret, multi-million dollar payments to Prince Bandar routed from the UK to the shady Riggs Bank in Washington. Before it was shut down after a series of scandals, Riggs had become one of the favorite handlers of “black” money for pro-US autocratic regimes.

When Britain’s Serious Fraud Office began probing BAE’s secret payoffs to Bandar, Tony Blair sanctimoniously ordered the investigation shut down for “national security” reasons. The Saudis threatened to cancel their arms deals with Britain if payoff charges were made public by HM’s government. Blair was trying to sell the Saudis BAE’s new, high-tech Eurofighter. He blocked similar investigations by OECD, the international anti-bribery watchdog agency which was also closing in on the Saudi money trail.

Bandar denies any wrongdoing, claiming the “marketing” funds all went into a legitimate Defense Ministry account and were properly accounted for and audited.

Few believe him. The only “marketing” effort in the arms deal was payola to high Saudi officials. If the funds were legit, why all the secrecy and money laundering? Were the payments simply western “baksheesh” for Bandar and his clan? Were they to help him against his main power rival, Prince Turki Faisal, who is not seen as amenable to US and British interests as Bandar?

Could the billions have been used for covert operations, possibly with US participation? One recalls the Reagan years when money from Israel’s secret sales of US arms to Iran were used to finance the Nicaraguan Contras.

The most significant effect of this revolting scandal is being felt in the Muslim world. One of the major reasons for the fast-spreading influence of militant Islamic groups like Hezbullah, Hamas, and Taliban has been their success in uprooting the Muslim world’s endemic corruption and nepotism. We are so used to Islamists being demonized as “terrorists” that their highly effective and popular social accomplishments are rarely noted. In fact, their appeal and popularity is based primarily on their welfare and incorruptibility.

Islamic militants insist the west exploits their nations by keeping deeply corrupt regimes in power. In exchange for protection from their own people and neighbors, and fabulous wealth, these authoritarian Arab regimes – always termed “moderates” by western media – sell oil on the cheap to the west and do its bidding. US-installed governments in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan are all noted for egregious corruption, including secret payoffs from Washington to their leaders.

No wonder Prince Bandar was always so amiable and accommodating. Or that he managed to fly out a planeload of Saudis the day after 9/11 when all US flights were grounded. Or that the Bush administration was trying to position the always amenable prince as the next Saudi monarch.

The Bandar scandal is hugely embarrassing for Blair and Bush, who claim to be leading a crusade to bring democracy and good government to the benighted Muslim world. It starkly confirms Islamists’ accusations that the west promotes corruption. And it dramatically exposes the dirty underbelly of the west’s much-vaunted “special relationship” with the Saudi royal family. Laughing


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

MUSLIMS UNITED

.
.Whoever kills an innocent soul.. it is as if he killed the whole of mankind, And whoever saves one, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind”
[The Holy Quran, 5:32]

The Muslim communities across Britain are united in condemning the attempted bombings in London and Glasgow.

We are united with the rest of the country at this critical time and are determined to work together to avert any such attacks targeting our fellow citizens, property and country.

Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. We reject any heinous attempts to link such abhorrent acts to the teachings of Islam.
• British Muslims should not be held responsible for the acts of criminals.
• We commend the government for its efforts to respond to this crisis calmly and proportionately, and welcome both the Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s and the Home Secretary’s emphasis on the need to distinguish between the overwhelming majority of British Muslims who are law-abiding citizens and a few criminals who seek to inflict harm and terror on our country.
• We express support for the emergency services who are working tirelessly and courageously to avert these attacks and ensure the safety of our country.
• We urge the media and all politicians to continue to maintain the values of our open society, free from prejudice and discrimination, sustained by tolerance and mutual respect for all.
• We call on our government to work towards a just and lasting peace in areas of conflict around the world and to take the lead in helping eliminate the injustices and grievances that foment division and nurture violence.

The unity of our society must be maintained and we must not allow divisions to emerge between us. We must remain friends, neighbours and colleagues, and take Britain forward as one nation – towards a Greater Britain.


On behalf of …

Accountants * Actors * Administrators * Airline Captains * Air traffic controllers * Antique dealers * Archaeologists * Architects * Artists * Armed Forces Personnel * Athletes * Babysitters * Bakers * Bankers * Barbers * Barristers * Beauticians * Bookkeepers * Botanists * Bricklayers * Builders * Businessmen and women * Butchers * Call Centre Agents * Calligraphers * Cameramen and women * Cashiers * Chief Executives * Chief Financial Officers * Chairmen and women of the board * Charity Workers * Chefs * Chemical Engineers * Chemists * Civil Servants * Cleaning staff * Sports Coaches * Composers * Computer Engineers * Computer Programmers * Confectioners * Construction workers * Consultants * Cooks * Copywriters * Corporate Executive Officers * Couriers * Craftsmen and Craftswomen * Curators * Customs officers * Doctors * Dentists * Designers * Diplomats * Disc jockeys * Doormen * Dressmakers * Drivers * Dustmen * Economists * Educationalists * Electrical Engineers * Electricians * Engineers * Entertainers * Entrepreneurs * Estate Agents * Factory workers * Farmers * Fashion designers * Film Directors * Film producers * Financial advisers * Firemen * Fishmongers * Fitters * Flight Attendants * Flight instructors * Florists * Footballers * Gardeners * Greengrocers * Hairdressers * Headmasters and Headmistresses * Hospital Administrators * Hoteliers * Housewives * Human Resources Officers * Imams * Information Technology Specialists * Interpreters * Investment analysts * Investment bankers * Joiners * Journalists * Judges * Laboratory workers * Lecturers * Librarians * Lifeguards * Magazine Editors * Maids * Management Consultants * Managers * Marketing Directors * Mayors * Mechanics * Midwives * Newspaper Editors * News Correspondents * Nurses * Physiotherapists * Pilots * Plumbers * Poets * Police Officers * Politicians * Porters * Professors * Publishers * Real Estate Agents * Record Producers * Repairmen * Reporters * Researchers * Restaurateurs * Retailers * School Principals * Scientists * Scouts * Screenwriters * Secretaries * Security Guards * Shop Assistants * Social Workers * Solicitors * Street Cleaners * Students * Surveyors * Tailors * Taxi-drivers * Tea ladies * Teachers * Technicians * Theatre directors * Traders * Veterinarians * Waiters and Waitresses * Writers * Youth Workers *

… Muslims across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is that the whole system stinks. Britain's "prosperity" and that of other major Western countries depends on armaments sales. To sell arms is much more profitable than to sell "white goods" (washing machines, refrigerators etc.) So the people who own the armaments firms have a vested interest in promoting instability and warfare. This is the power of the military-industrial complex which US President Dwight D Eisenhower warned of in 1961.

I can think of no other way to bring about an end to this corrupt system than making the public aware of it and devising systems which put the satisfaction of human need above the aim of making profits. This is not specifically an Islamic aim. Human yearning for justice and sharing is ancient and permeates all religions and cultures. The problem is that those who chase the profits are extremely powerful and use their power to maintain the current system and even to press for a "New World Order" which appears to mean supreme global power for them and their henchmen.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with all you say here, Xmasdale. But to achieve it we shall need nothing less than a revolution. The only class capable of that are the professional middle classes and until they are hit so hard as to become disaffected they will continue to cling onto the wicked old status quo.

Now, there are signs of this happening. For example, as house prices soar to the level that they become no longer accessible. But there's a long way to go yet and a lot of suffering by the poor and downtrodden.

In this context, please read my article, War Crimes, USUK Hypocrisy & Collective Responsibility, in the Campaigns section as well as on my blog, Chimes of Freedom.

Again, despite the fact that our politicians are war criminals and that this country holds a collective responsibility for its leaders' war crimes, very few give a damn, so engrossed are they in consumerism like pigs at the trough.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

Top stuff Moeen,
You and I are as one on this..... I particularly like point one. And the crimes still haven't been properly pinned on anyone.
The secret government - see the multimedia section - have got away with it so far.
But we may be getting somewhere on that - just today it's announced that Conrad Black will have to serve 20 years...

And on 9/11 there's this...

Explosive - Bilderberg/Al-Qaeda Connection
http://www.nineeleven.co.uk/board/viewtopic.php?t=10316

moeen yaseen wrote:
MUSLIMS UNITED

.Whoever kills an innocent soul.. it is as if he killed the whole of mankind, And whoever saves one, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind”
[The Holy Quran, 5:32]

• British Muslims should not be held responsible for the acts of criminals.
• We commend the government for its efforts to respond to this crisis calmly and proportionately, and welcome both the Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s and the Home Secretary’s emphasis on the need to distinguish between the overwhelming majority of British Muslims who are law-abiding citizens and a few criminals who seek to inflict harm and terror on our country.
• We express support for the emergency services who are working tirelessly and courageously to avert these attacks and ensure the safety of our country.
• We urge the media and all politicians to continue to maintain the values of our open society, free from prejudice and discrimination, sustained by tolerance and mutual respect for all.
• We call on our government to work towards a just and lasting peace in areas of conflict around the world and to take the lead in helping eliminate the injustices and grievances that foment division and nurture violence.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And as for all this nonsense about Islamic killers blah, blah, blah, let's look at the reality. Which religious group has killed more, the relatively peaceful Muslims or the inherently aggressive, so-called Christians? No prizes for the correct answer.

I saw a guy from Hizb'ut Tahrir interviewed by an Asian coolie, Nina Pillai, yesterday on BBC Four TV. Her attitude towards Jamal was hostile right through and she kept talking about how Hizb'ut Tahrir's radicalism encourages violence.

Now I am not a supporter of Hizb'ut and I hear it is infiltrated by MI5. But Jamal was quite right in his defence against Pillai's narrowminded attitudes.

And the elephant in Pillai's living room was while she wets her knickers about so-called Islamic violence, the daily, murdering violence committed by the USUK is not to be mentioned. She'd soon lose job if she did.

She accused Hizb'ut of supporting Iraqi insurgents who are, in my book, freedom fighters. I wonder what the Tamil Pillai would have to say about the Tamil Tiger freedom fighters or if Tamil Nadu was invaded? Or, as Pillai is British, if Britain was invaded? Wouldn't the British be entitled to resist?

What blind, ignorant hypocrisy!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

venceremos wrote:
I agree with all you say here, Xmasdale. But to achieve it we shall need nothing less than a revolution.


Exactly Very Happy But what do we mean by "revolution"? There's the rub.

venceremos wrote:
The only class capable of that are the professional middle classes and until they are hit so hard as to become disaffected they will continue to cling onto the wicked old status quo.


That's an interesting thesis. Lenin said the revolution would be led by the industrial workers. Mao that it would be led by the peasants and Venceremos that it would be led by the middle classes.

You may be right, but I'd be interested to learn more about your reasoning.

It does seem that in the end revolutions end up favouring the middle classes. The British one, commonly known as the Civil War, ended up with an authoritarian, puritanical government of the middle classes, headed by a general and forgot the truly revolutionary aims of many of their earlier supporters, such as the notion advanced by the Levellers and their allies in the Putney Debates: that all land should be held in common. But the middle classes weren't going to have any of that nonsense, were they?

BTW I keep being told I should refer to it as the "English" rather than the British Revolution, but since the resistance to Charles I's tyranny began in Scotland and involved fighting throughout the British Iles, I maintain it was a British Revolution.

Likewise in the French Revolution the middle classes came out on top, and in Russia Stalin struck a deal with the "middle class" kulaks. Milovan Djilas in Yugoslavia argued that the revolution there had created a new ruling class.

So I'm sure that if revolution looks likely, some of the middle classes will get in there on the side of the revolutionaries in the hope that once more they will come out on top. But whether they will succeed is anyone's guess IMHO.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So I'm sure that if revolution looks likely, some of the middle classes will get in there on the side of the revolutionaries in the hope that once more they will come out on top.


Sad, the old survivor instinct of the middle classes ueber alles. Even the Russian revolution couldn't have happened without the vanguard leadership of their middle classes.

I was reading a Government report which predicts that our middle classes will favour revolution more and more as their material conditions deteriorate in years to come. A bit of a no-brainer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

venceremos wrote:

Even the Russian revolution couldn't have happened without the vanguard leadership of their middle classes.


Well as you probably already know the Russian Revolution was indeed manufacture by the middle classes. But NOT by the Russian middle classes.
A fact which is avoided discussion by people of the left is that the Russian Revolution was bought and paid for by the Rothschild family. The facts speak for themselves. Rothschild means Red Shield or Red Flag in german. And as you know the Red Flag is the symbol of Marxism and the UK Labour party and several other Rothschild owned businesses.

Leon Davidovich Bronstein AKA Trotsky lived all over Europe and also New York. When he returned to Russia he had $20 million of Rothschild money to spend on gaining total control.
Karl Heinrich Mordechai AKA Marx
lived in Highgate, London
Friedrich Engels lived in Manchester
Lenin lived in Zurich, Geneva (where he lectured and studied at Geneva State University), Munich, Prague, Vienna, Manchester and London
Yuli Osipovich Zederbaum AKA Julius Martov
Lev Borisovich Rosenfeld AKA Kamenev
Isaac Nachman Steinberg lived in Germany

So, this cabal plotted their policies from under the Rothschild umbrella. The Russian Revolution was hardly a grass roots russian movement, it was planned and created from overseas. Very much like the CIA manufacture revolutions all over the world.

As i have said many times i an anti-labour and anti-communist so i do not pretend to be impartial. But how many Labour Party supporters know their beloved party is just another Rothschild enterprise?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

RADICALISATION, EXTREMISM AND ISLAMISM: REALITIES AND MYTHS IN THE WAR ON TERROR

http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=334 Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:32 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs the Love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

PARASITIC IMPERIALISM : THE ECONOMICS OF WAR PROFITEERING

Prof. Ismael Hossein-zadeh
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6330

How recent U.S. wars of choice, driven largely by war profiteering, are plundering not only defenseless peoples and their resources abroad, but also the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens and their resources at home.

Although immoral, external military operations of past empires often proved profitable, and therefore justifiable on economic grounds. Military actions abroad usually brought economic benefits not only to the imperial ruling classes, but also (through “trickle-down” effects) to their citizens. Thus, for example, imperialism paid significant dividends to Britain, France, the Dutch, and other European powers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. As the imperial economic gains helped develop their economies, they also helped improve the living conditions of their working people and elevate the standards of living of their citizens.

This pattern of economic gains flowing from imperial military operations, however, seems to have somewhat changed in the context of the recent U.S. imperial wars of choice, especially in the post-Cold War period. Moralities aside, U.S. military expeditions and operations of late are not justifiable even on economic grounds. Indeed, escalating U.S. military expansions and aggressions have become ever more wasteful, cost-inefficient, and burdensome to the overwhelming majority of its citizens.

Therefore, recent imperial policies of the United States can be called parasitic imperialism because such policies of aggression are often prompted not so much by a desire to expand the empire’s wealth beyond the existing levels, as did the imperial powers of the past, but by a desire to appropriate the lion’s share of the existing wealth and treasure for the military establishment, especially for the war-profiteering Pentagon contractors. It can also be called dual imperialism because not only does it exploit the conquered and the occupied abroad but also the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens and their resources at home.

Since imperial policies abroad are widely discussed by others, I will focus here on parasitic military imperialism at home, that is, on what might be called domestic or internal imperialism. Specifically, I will argue that parasitic imperialism (1) redistributes national income or resources in favor of the wealthy; (2) undermines the formation of public capital (both physical and human); (3) weakens national defenses against natural disasters; (4) accumulates national debt and threatens economic/financial stability; (5) spoils external or foreign markets for non-military U.S. transnational capital; (6) undermines civil liberties and democratic values; and (7) fosters a dependence on or addiction to military spending and, therefore, leads to an spiraling vicious circle of war and militarism. (The terms domestic imperialism, internal imperialism, parasitic imperialism, and military imperialism are used synonymously or interchangeably in this article.)

1. Parasitic Imperialism Redistributes National Income from the Bottom to the Top

Even without the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are fast surpassing half a trillion dollars, U.S. military spending is now the largest item in the Federal budget. President Bush’s proposed increase of 10% for next year will raise the Pentagon budget to over half a trillion dollars for fiscal year 2008. A proposed supplemental appropriation to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq “brings proposed military spending for FY 2008 to $647.2 billion, the highest level of military spending since the end of World War II—higher than Vietnam, higher than Korea, higher than the peak of the Reagan buildup.”[1]

The skyrocketing Pentagon budget has been a boon for its contractors. This is clearly reflected in the continuing rise of the value of the contractors’ shares in the stock market: “Shares of U.S. defense companies, which have nearly trebled since the beginning of the occupation of Iraq, show no signs of slowing down. . . . The feeling that makers of ships, planes and weapons are just getting into their stride has driven shares of leading Pentagon contractors Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., and General Dynamics Corp. to all-time highs.”[2]

But while the Pentagon contractors and other beneficiaries of war dividends are showered with public money, low- and middle-income Americans are squeezed out of economic or subsistence resources in order to make up for the resulting budgetary shortfalls. For example, as the official Pentagon budget for 2008 fiscal year is projected to rise by more than 10 percent, or nearly $50 billion, “a total of 141 government programs will be eliminated or sharply reduced” to pay for the increase. These would include cuts in housing assistance for low-income seniors by 25 percent, home heating/energy assistance to low-income people by 18 percent, funding for community development grants by 12.7 percent, and grants for education and employment training by 8 percent.[3]

Combined with redistributive militarism and generous tax cuts for the wealthy, these cuts have further exacerbated the ominously growing income inequality that started under President Reagan. Ever since Reagan arrived in the White House in 1980, opponents of non-military public spending have been using an insidious strategy to cut social spending, to reverse the New Deal and other social safety net programs, and to redistribute national/public resources in favor of the wealthy. That cynical strategy consists of a combination of drastic increases in military spending coupled with equally drastic tax cuts for the wealthy. As this combination creates large budget deficits, it then forces cuts in non-military public spending (along with borrowing) to fill the gaps thus created.

For example, at the same time that President Bush is planning to raise military spending by $50 billion for the next fiscal year, he is also proposing to make his affluent-targeted tax cuts permanent at a cost of $1.6 trillion over 10 years, or an average yearly cut of $160 billion. Simultaneously, “funding for domestic discretionary programs would be cut a total of $114 billion” in order to pay for these handouts to the rich. The projected cuts include over 140 programs that provide support for the basic needs of low- and middle-income families such as elementary and secondary education, job training, environmental protection, veterans’ health care, medical research, Meals on Wheels, child care and HeadStart, low-income home energy assistance, and many more.[4]

According to the Urban Institute–Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, "if the President's tax cuts are made permanent, households in the top 1 percent of the population (currently those with incomes over $400,000) will receive tax cuts averaging $67,000 a year by 2012. . . . The tax cuts for those with incomes of over $1 million a year would average $162,000 a year by 2012.”[5]

Official macroeconomic figures show that, over the past five decades or so, government spending (at the federal, state and local levels) as a percentage of gross national product (GNP) has remained fairly steady—at about 20 percent. Given this nearly constant share of the public sector of national output/income, it is not surprising that increases in military spending have almost always been accompanied or followed by compensating decreases in non-military public spending, and vice versa.

For example, when by virtue of FDR’s New Deal reforms and LBJ’s metaphorical War on Poverty, the share of non-military government spending rose significantly the share of military spending declined accordingly. From the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s, the share of non-military government spending of GNP rose from 9.2 to 14.3 percent, an increase of 5.1 percent. During that time period, the share of military spending of GNP declined from 10.1 to 5.8 percent, a decline of 4.3 percent.[6]

That trend was reversed when President Reagan took office in 1980. In the early 1980s, as President Reagan drastically increased military spending, he also just as drastically lowered tax rates on higher incomes. The resulting large budget deficits were then paid for by more than a decade of steady cuts on non-military spending.

Likewise, the administration of President George W. Bush has been pursuing a similarly sinister fiscal policy of cutting non-military public spending in order to pay for the skyrocketing military spending and the generous tax cuts for the affluent.

Interestingly (though not surprisingly), changes in income inequality have mirrored changes in government spending priorities, as reflected in the fiscal policies of different administrations. Thus, for example, when from the mid 1950 to the mid 1970s the share of non-military public spending rose relative to that of military spending, income inequality declined accordingly.

But as President Reagan reversed that fiscal policy by raising the share of military spending relative to non-military public spending and cutting taxes for the wealthy, income inequality also rose considerably. As Reagan’s twin policies of drastic increases in military spending and equally sweeping tax cuts for the rich were somewhat tempered in the 1990s, growth in income inequality slowed down accordingly. In the 2000s, however, the ominous trends that were left off by President Reagan have been picked up by President George W. Bush: increasing military spending, decreasing taxes for the rich, and (thereby) exacerbating income inequality.

The following are some specific statistics of how redistributive militarism and supply-side fiscal policies have exacerbated income inequality since the late 1970s and early 1980s—making after-tax income gaps wider than pre-tax ones. According to recently released data by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), since 1979 income gains among high-income households have dwarfed those of middle- and low-income households. Specifically:

The average after-tax income of the top one percent of the population nearly tripled, rising from $314,000 to nearly $868,000—for a total increase of $554,000, or 176 percent. (Figures are adjusted by CBO for inflation.)
By contrast, the average after-tax income of the middle fifth of the population rose a relatively modest 21 percent, or $8,500, reaching $48,400 in 2004.
The average after-tax income of the poorest fifth of the population rose just 6 percent, or $800, during this period, reaching $14,700 in 2004.[7]
Legislation enacted since 2001 has provided taxpayers with about $1 trillion in tax cuts over the past six years. These large tax reductions have made the distribution of after-tax income more unequal by further concentrating income at the top of the income range. According to the Urban Institute–Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, as a result of the tax cuts enacted since 2001, in 2006 households in the bottom fifth of the income spectrum received tax cuts averaging only $20; households in the middle fifth of the income range received tax cuts averaging $740; households in the top one percent received tax cuts averaging $44,200; and households with incomes exceeding $1 million received an average tax cut of $118,000.[8]

2. Parasitic Imperialism Undermines Public Capital—both Physical and Human

Beyond the issue of class and inequality, allocation of a disproportionately large share of public resources to the beneficiaries of war and militarism is also steadily undermining the critical national objective of building and/or maintaining public capital. This includes both physical capital or infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, mass transit, dams, levees, and the like) and human capital such as health, education, nutrition, and so on. If not reversed or rectified, this ominous trend is bound to stint long term productivity growth and socio-economic development. A top heavy military establishment will be unviable in the long run as it tends to undermine the economic base it is supposed to nurture.

In March 2001, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued a “Report Card for America's Infrastructure,” grading 12 infrastructure categories at a disappointing D+ overall, and estimating the need for a $1.3 trillion investment to bring conditions to acceptable levels. In September 2003, ASCE released a Progress Report that examined trends and assessed the progress and decline of the nation’s infrastructure. The Progress Report, prepared by a panel of 20 eminent civil engineers with expertise in a range of practice specialties, examined 12 major categories of infrastructure. The report concluded: “The condition of our nation's roads, bridges, drinking water systems and other public works have shown little improvement since they were graded an overall D+ in 2001, with some areas sliding toward failing grade.”[9]

Neoliberal proponents of laissez faire economics tend to view government spending on public capital as a burden on the economy. Instead of viewing public-sector spending on infrastructure as a long-term investment that will help sustain and promote economic vitality, they view it as an overhead. By focusing on the short-term balance sheets, they seem to lose sight of the indirect, long-term returns to the tax dollars invested in the public capital stock. Yet, evidence shows that neglect of public capital formation can undermine long-term health of an economy in terms of productivity enhancement and sustained growth.

Continued increase in military spending at the expense of non-military public spending has undermined more than physical infrastructure. Perhaps more importantly, it has also undercut public investment in human capital or social infrastructure such as health care, education, nutrition, housing, and the like—investment that would help improve quality of life, human creativity and labor productivity, thereby also helping to bring about long-term socioeconomic vitality. Investment in human capital—anything that improves human capacity and/or labor productivity—is a major source of social health and economic vitality over time.

Sadly, however, public investment in such vitally important areas has been gradually curtailed ever since the arrival of Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980 in favor of steadily rising military spending. Evidence of this regrettable trend is overwhelming. To cite merely a few examples: “The war priorities have depleted medical and education staffs. . . . Shortages of housing have caused a swelling of the homeless population in every major city. State and city governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs of the military—giving automatic approvals to its spending without limit. The same officials cannot find money for affordable housing.”[10]

The New York Times columnist Bob Herbert recently reported that some 5.5 million young Americans, age 16 to 24, were undereducated, disconnected from society's mainstream, jobless, restless, unhappy, frustrated, angry and sad. Commenting on this report, Professor Seymour Melman of Columbia University wrote: “This population, 5.5 million and growing, is the product of America's national politics that has stripped away as too costly the very things that might rescue this abandoned generation and train it for productive work. But that sort of thing is now treated as too costly. So this abandoned generation is now left to perform as fodder for well-budgeted police SWAT teams.”[11]

3. Parasitic Imperialism Undermines National Defense Capabilities against Natural Disasters—the Case of Hurricane Katrina

Neglect of public physical capital, or infrastructure, can prove very costly in terms of vulnerability in the face of natural disasters. This was tragically demonstrated, among many other instances, by the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina. In light of the steady cuts in the infrastructural funding for the city of New Orleans, catastrophic consequences of a hurricane of the magnitude of Katrina were both predictable and, indeed, predicted.

Engineering and meteorological experts had frequently warned of impending disasters such as Katrina. Government policy makers in charge of maintaining public infrastructure, however, remained indifferent to those warnings. They seem to have had other priorities and responsibilities: cutting funds from public works projects and social spending and giving them away to the wealthy supporters who had paid for their elections. It is not surprising, then, that many observers and experts have argued that Katrina was as much a policy disaster as it was a natural disaster.

The New Orleans project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, Alfred Naomi, had warned for years of the need to shore up the levees, but corporate representatives in the White House and the Congress kept cutting back on the funding. Naomi wasn’t the only one who had warned of the impending disaster.

In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing the country,” wrote Eric Berger in a prescient article in the Houston Chronicle of December 1, 2001. In that piece, Berger warned: “The city’s less-than-adequate evacuation routes would strand 250,000 people or more, and probably kill one of ten left behind as the city drowned under twenty feet of water. Thousands of refugees could land in Houston.”[12]

In June 2003, Civil Engineering Magazine ran a long story by Greg Brouwer entitled “The Creeping Storm.” It noted that the levees “were designed to withstand only forces associated with a fast-moving” Category 3 hurricane. “If a lingering Category 3 storm—or a stronger storm, say, Category 4 or 5—were to hit the city, much of New Orleans could find itself under more than twenty feet of water.”[13]

On October 11, 2004, The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story by Paul Nussbaum, entitled “Direct Hurricane Hit Could Drown City of New Orleans, Experts Say.” It warned that “more than 25,000 people could die, emergency officials predict. That would make it the deadliest disaster in U.S. history.” The story quoted Terry C. Tuller, city director of emergency preparedness: “It’s only a matter of time. The thing that keeps me awake at night is the 100,000 people who couldn’t leave.”

But government representatives of big business in the White House and the Congress were not moved by these alarm bells; the warnings did not deter them from further cutting non-military public spending in order to pay for the escalating military spending and the generous tax cuts for the wealthy.

Some disasters cannot be prevented from occurring. But, with proper defenses, they can be contained and their disastrous consequences minimized. Katrina was not; it was not “because of a laissez-faire government that failed to bother to take warnings seriously,” and because of a skewed government fiscal policy “that is stingy when it comes to spending on public goods but lavish on armaments and war.”[14]

4. Parasitic Militarism Costs External Markets to Non-military Transnational Capital

U.S. military buildup and its unilateral transgressions abroad have increasingly become economic burdens not only because they devour a disproportionately large share of national resources, but also because such adventurous operations tend to create instability in international markets, subvert long-term global investment, and increase energy or fuel costs. Furthermore, the resentment and hostilities that unprovoked aggressions generate in foreign lands are bound to create backlash at the consumer level.

For example, A Business Week report pointed out in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq that in the Muslim world, Europe, and elsewhere “there have been calls for boycotts of American brands as well as demonstrations at symbols of U.S. business, such as McDonald’s corporation” (Business Week, 14 April 2003, p. 32).

A leading Middle East business journal, AME Info, reported in its April 8, 2004 issue that “In 2002, a cluster of Arab organizations asked Muslims to shun goods from America, seen as an enemy of Islam and a supporter of Israel. In Bahrain, the Al-Montazah supermarket chain, for example, boosted sales by pulling about 1,000 US products off its shelves, and other grocers followed suit.” The report further pointed out that “Coca-Cola and Pepsi, sometimes considered unflattering shorthand for the United States, took the brunt of the blow. Coca-Cola admitted that the boycott trimmed some $40 million off profits in the [Persian] Gulf in 2002.”[15]

The report also indicated that in recent years a number of “Muslim colas” have appeared in the Middle Eastern/Muslim markets. “Don't Drink Stupid, Drink Committed, read the labels of Mecca Cola, from France. . . . Iran's Zam Zam Cola, originally concocted for Arab markets, has spread to countries including France and the United States.” In addition, the report noted that “US exports to the Middle East dropped $31 billion from 1998-2002. Branded, value-added goods—all the stuff easily recognized as American—were hit the hardest.” Quoting Grant Smith, director of IRmep, a leading Washington-based think tank on Middle Eastern affairs, the report concluded: “Our piece of the pie is shrinking, and it's because of our degraded image.”[16]

Evidence shows that foreign policy-induced losses of the U.S. market share in global markets goes beyond the Middle East and/or the Muslim world. According to a December 2004 survey of 8,000 international consumers carried out by Global Market Insite (GMI) Inc., one-third of all consumers in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom “said that U.S. foreign policy, particularly the ‘war on terror’ and the occupation of Iraq, constituted their strongest impression of the United States. Brands closely identified with the U.S., such as Marlboro cigarettes, America Online (AOL), McDonald's, American Airlines, and Exxon-Mobil, are particularly at risk.” Twenty percent of respondents in Europe and Canada “said they consciously avoided buying U.S. products as a protest against those policies.” Commenting on the results of the survey, Dr. Mitchell Eggers, GMI's chief operating officer and chief pollster, pointed out, "Unfortunately, current American foreign policy is viewed by international consumers as a significant negative, when it used to be a positive."[17]

Kevin Roberts, chief executive of advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi, likewise expressed concern about global consumer backlash against militaristic U.S. foreign policy when he told the Financial Times that he believed consumers in Europe and Asia are becoming increasingly resistant to having "brand America rammed down their throats." Similarly, Simon Anholt, author of Brand America, told the British trade magazine Marketing Week that “four more years of Bush's foreign policy could have grave consequences for U.S. companies' international market share.”[18]

Writing in the October 27, 2003 issue of the Star Tribune, Ron Bosrock of the Global Institute of St. John’s University likewise expressed anxiety over negative economic consequences that might follow from the Bush administration’s policies of unilateral military operations and economic sanctions.

Concerns of this nature have prompted a broad spectrum of non-military business interests to form coalitions of trade associations that are designed to lobby foreign policy makers against unilateral U.S. military aggressions abroad. One such anti-militarist alliance of American businesses is USA*ENGAGE. It is a coalition of nearly 700 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy actions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. The coalition’s statement of principles points out, “American values are best advanced by engagement of American business and agriculture in the world, not by ceding markets to foreign competition” through unilateral foreign policies and military aggressions (http://www.usaengage.org/about_us/index.html).

Non-military business interests’ anxiety over the Bush administration’s unilateral foreign policy measures is, of course, rooted in their negatively-affected financial balance sheets by those actions: “Hundreds of companies blame the Iraq war for poor financial results in 2003, many warning that continued U.S. military involvement there could harm this year's performance,” pointed out James Cox of USA Today.

In a relatively comprehensive survey of the economic impact of the war, published in the July 14, 2004 issue of the paper, Cox further wrote: “In recent regulatory filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission, airlines, home builders, broadcasters, mortgage providers, mutual funds and others say the war was directly to blame for lower revenue and profits last year.” Many businesses blamed the war and international political turbulence as a ‘risk factor’ that threatened their sales: “The war led to sharp decreases in business and leisure travel, say air carriers, travel services, casino operators, restaurant chains and hotel owners.” The survey covered a number of airlines including Delta Airlines, JetBlue, Northwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines, all of which blamed the war for a drop in air travel. Related industries such as travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and resort and casino operations all suffered losses accordingly.[19]

Even technology giants such as Cisco, PeopleSoft and Hewlett-Packard that tend to benefit from military spending expressed concerns that “hostilities in Iraq hurt results or could harm performance.” For example, managers at Hewlett-Packard complained that "potential for future attacks, the national and international responses to attacks or perceived threats to national security, and other actual or potential conflicts or wars, including the ongoing military operations in Iraq, have created many economic and political uncertainties that could adversely affect our business, results of operations and stock price in ways that we cannot presently predict." Other companies that were specifically mentioned in the survey as having complained about the “whiplash from the Iraq conflict” included home builders Hovnanian and Cavalier homes, casino company Mandalay Resort Group, retailer Restoration Hardware, cosmetics giant Estée Lauder, eyewear retailer Cole, Longs Drug Stores, golf club maker Callaway, and H&Q Life Sciences Investors.[20]

5. Parasitic Imperialism Accumulates National Debt, Weakens National Currency, and Undermines Long-Term National Financial/Economic Health

A major source of the financing of the out-of-control military spending has been borrowing—the other source has been cutting non-military public spending. This represents a cynically clever strategy on the part of the powerful interests that benefit from war and militarism: instead of financing their wars of choice by paying taxes proportionate to their income, they give themselves tax cuts, finance their wars through borrowing, and then turn around and lend money (unpaid taxes) to the government and earn interest.

Viewed in this light, the staggering national debt of nearly $9 trillion, which is more than two thirds of gross nation product (GNP), represents a subtle redistribution of national resources from the bottom to the top: it represents unpaid taxes by the wealthy, which has to be financed by cutting non-military public spending—both now and in the future. This means that the wealthy has successfully converted their tax obligations to credit claims, that is, lending instead of paying taxes—which is in essence a disguised form of theft or robbery.

This cynical policy of increasing military spending, cutting taxes for the wealthy and, thereby, accumulating national debt cannot continue for ever, as it might eventually lead to national or Federal insolvency, collapse of the dollar, and paralysis of financial markets—not only in the United States but perhaps also in broader global markets.

Prospects of such developments has led a number of observers to argue that the profit-driven military expansion might prove to be the nemesis of U.S. imperialism: the escalating and out-of-control militarization tends to gradually drive the once-prosperous U.S. superpower in the direction of a mismanaged and destructive military imperial force whose capricious and often purely existential military adventures will eventually become costly both politically and economically. While the top-heavy imperial military colossus tends to undermine its economic base, it is also bound to create many enemies abroad and a lot of discontentment and hostility to the established order at home. Unchecked, a combination of these adverse developments, especially a drained economy and an empty or bankrupt treasury, might eventually lead to the demise of the empire, just as happened to the post-Rubicon, Old Roman Empire.[21]

6. Parasitic Imperialism Undermines Democratic Control and Corrupts the System of Checks and Balances

As noted earlier, powerful beneficiaries of war dividends (the military-industrial complex and affiliated businesses of war) have successfully used war and military spending as a roundabout way to reallocate national resources in their own favor. Appropriation of public finance by these war profiteers has reached a point where more than half of the discretionary Federal budget, or more than one-third of the entire Federal budget, is now earmarked for “national security.”

This perverse allocation of national resources in the name of national security has meant that while the increasing escalation of war and militarism have hollowed out national treasury (and brought unnecessary death, destruction, and disaster to millions), it has also brought tremendous riches and resources to war profiteers. Concealment of this subtle robbery of national treasury from the American people requires restriction of information, obstruction of transparency, and obfuscation or misrepresentation of national priorities—that is, curtailment of democracy.

Curtailment of democracy, however, is best achieved under conditions of war, which in turn, requires invention of enemies or manufacturing of threats to national security. Therefore, it is not fortuitous that, in the post-Cold War world, U.S. architects of wars of choice have become very resourceful in invoking all kinds of bogeymen (rogue states, global terrorism, axis of evil, radical Islam, and more) that are allegedly threatening “our national interests” in order to justify their plans of increased militarization of U.S. foreign policy. (Under the bipolar world of the Cold War era, “threat of communism” served the purpose of continued increases of the Pentagon budget.)

This means that U.S. wars of choice abroad are prompted largely by metaphorical domestic wars over allocation of public resources, or tax dollars. From the standpoint of war profiteers, instigation or engineering of capricious wars for profits help achieve two closely-linked purposes: on the one hand, they will help justify escalation of military spending, which means escalation of their share of U.S treasury, on the other, they will help camouflage such a cynical robbery of public money by restricting information under the cover of war-time circumstances.

For example, only under conditions of war the Bush the administration could display an attitude of cavalier contempt for lawful norms, undermine constitutional balances, corrupt national institutions with nefarious special interests, smear dissent as unpatriotic, suspend traditional legal rights for certain citizens, obstruct the free flow of information, sanction domestic spying without legal warrant, institute military tribunals, and promote torture in defiance of American and international law.

Likewise, only under conditions of war (and the self-fulfilling threats of imminent “terrorist attacks” on the U.S.) could the administration establish and manage a prison system outside the rule of law where torture can be used. With this system of prison camps in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba (Guantánamo), and a number of other undisclosed overseas places, where detainees are abused and kept indefinitely without trial and without access to the due process of the law, the United States now has its own gulags. President Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced they would issue no information about the secret CIA "black site" prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate people who have often been seized off the street.[22]

From the vantage point of war profiteering militarists, such prison camps are an essential ingredient for the justification of war: they are portrayed as evidence of the existence of terrorists, of the “enemies of the people,” or of “enemy combatant” without, at the same time, having to show what the alleged evidence really is, or who the alleged “enemy combatants” really are—as would be required in an open court of law. Combined with warrantless wiretapping, electronic surveillance, and various types of illegal searches, this prison system serves yet another objective of the beneficiaries of war dividends: inspiration of fear and cultivation of silence and obedience among citizens, which means subversion of democracy and promotion of authoritarianism.

James Madison warned against such an ominous symbiosis of war and authoritarianism long time ago: “Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” The Congress of the United States of America had earlier (1784) issued a similar warning against authoritarian consequences of maintaining a large military establishment during times of peace: “standing armies in time of peace are inconsistent with the principles of republican governments, dangerous to the liberties of a free people, and generally converted into destructive engines for establishing despotism.”[23]

But perhaps the strongest and most well-known warning against the baleful consequences of a large peace-time military establishment came from President Dwight Eisenhower: “The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a huge arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, and even spiritual—is felt in every city, every state house, and every office of the federal government. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex” (Farewell Address, January 17, 1961).

Eisenhower’s warning that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence” of the military-industrial complex is more relevant today than when it was issued nearly half a century ago. The steadily rising—and now perhaps monopolizing and overwhelming—power and influence of the Complex over both domestic and foreign policies of the United States is testament to the unfortunate realization of Eisenhower’s nightmare. As Howard Swint, Democratic candidate for Congress in West Virginia, put it: “The seat of power for formulating foreign policy and defense strategy is not in the White House but rather in the Pentagon. While a civilian Commander-in-Chief may tweak policy in four-year increments, it’s obvious that military careerists together with major defense contractors effectively control the Congressional budget process and drive defense appropriations.”[24]

7. Parasitic Imperialism Leads to Dependence on, or Addiction to, War and Militarism

The fact that the Pentagon appropriates and controls more than one-third of the entire Federal budget has allowed it to forge the largest constituency and/or dependents nationwide. Tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs, and thousands of cities and communities have become dependent on military spending. While a handful of major contractors take the lion’s share of military spending, millions more have become dependent on it as the source of their livelihood.

It is not surprising then that not many people are willing to oppose the continuing rise in the Pentagon budget—even if they might philosophically be opposed to militarism and large military spending. Because of the widespread presence of military installations and production sites nationwide, few politicians can afford not to support a continued rise in military spending lest that should hurt their communities or constituencies economically.

This helps explain the vicious and spiraling circle of war, international political convulsions, and military spending: Major Pentagon contractors and other powerful beneficiaries of war dividends are dependent on continued war and militarism in order to maintain and expand hefty profits. This dependence has, in turn, created a secondary (or derived) dependence; it is the dependence of millions of Americans on military spending as the source of their livelihood, which then plays into the hands of war profiteers in their perennial quest for ever newer enemies, newer wars, and bigger appropriations for the Pentagon—hence the addiction to and the vicious circle of war profiteering, international political tension, war, and military spending.

Concluding Remarks—Parasitic Imperialism: A Most Dangerous Type of Imperialism

Dependence on, or addiction to, war and militarism for profitability makes U.S military imperialism (that is, imperialism driven by military capital, or arms conglomerates, vis-à-vis non-military transnational capital) a most dangerous kind of imperialism. Under the rule of the past imperial powers, the conquered and subjugated peoples or nations could live in peace—imposed peace, to be sure—if they respected the interests and the needs of those imperial powers and simply resigned to their political and economic ambitions.

Not so in the case of the U.S. military-industrial empire: the interests of this empire are nurtured through “war dividends.” Peace, imposed or otherwise, is viewed by the beneficiaries of war dividends inimical to their interests as it would make justification of continued increases of their share of national resources (in the form of Pentagon appropriations) difficult.

Of course, tendencies to build bureaucratic empires have always existed in the ranks of military hierarchies. By itself, this is not what makes the U.S. military-industrial complex more dangerous than the military powers of the past. What makes it more dangerous is the “industrial,” or business, part of the Complex. In contrast to the United States' military or war industries, arms industries of past empires were not subject to capitalist market imperatives. Furthermore, those industries were often owned and operated by imperial governments, not by market-driven giant corporations. Consequently, as a rule, arms production was dictated by war requirements, not by market or profit imperatives, which is the case with today’s U.S. armaments industry.

Ismael Hossein-zadeh is an economics professor at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. This article draws upon his recently published book, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan Publishers)

References

[1] William D. Hartung, “Bush Military Budget Highest Since WW II,” Common Dreams (10 February 2007), http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0210-26.htm.

[2] Bill Rigby, “Defense stocks may jump higher with big profits,” Reuter (12 April 2006), http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2006/04/12/defense_stocks_may_ jump_higher_with_big_profits/.

[3] Shakir F. et al., Center for American Progress Action Fund, “The Progress Report” (6 February 2007), http://www.americanprogressaction.org/progressreport/2007/02/deep_hock .html

[4] Robert Greenstein, “Despite the Rhetoric, Budget Would Make Nation’s Fiscal Problems Worse and Further Widen Inequality,” Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (6 February 2007), http://www.cbpp.org/2-5-07bud.htm.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Richard Du Boff, “What Military Spending Really Costs,” Challenge 32 (September/October 1989), pp. 4–10.

[7] Congressional Budget Office, Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates: 1979 to 2004, as reported by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, http://www.cbpp.org/1-23-07inc.htm.

[8] Tax Policy Center, Table T06-0279, online: http://taxpolicycenter.org/TaxModel/TMDB/TMTemplate.cfm?Docid=1361 ; and Table T06-0273, online: http://taxpolicycenter.org/TaxModel/TMDB/TMTemplate.cfm?Docid=1355

[9] American Society of Civil Engineers, “What can happen if America fails to invest in its infrastructure? Anything,” news release (4 September 2003), http://www.asce.org/reportcard/index.cfm?reaction=news&page=5

[10] Seymour Melman, “They Are All Implicated: In the Grip of Permanent War Economy,” Counterpunch.com (15 March2003), http://www.counterpunch.org/melman03152003.html

[11] Ibid.

[12] M. Rothschild, “Katrina Compounded,” The Progressive (1 September 2005), http://progressive.org/?q=node/2377.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.




PLAN IRAQ=PERMANENT OCCUPATION

Stephen Lendman
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6334


Congress is back from its July 4 break and with it more bluster and political posturing on changing course to keep things the same, including everything not working in place. It's the same old scheme, back again, to fool enough of the people all the time and most all of them long enough to move on to the next change of course mission shift starting the whole cycle over again. Even the blind can see the hopelessness of staying the course in Iraq. Aside from its lawlessness and immorality, pushing on with a failed effort qualifies as a classic definition of insanity - continuing the same failed policies, expecting different results.

The only sensible, honorable option is a full, speedy withdrawal along with providing multi-billions for Iraqis to rebuild what we destroyed and have no intention restoring now or ever beyond what's needed for permanent occupation. The only other honorable option is owning up to what no one in Washington or the major media will do - that the Iraq and Afghan conflicts are illegal wars of aggression making those responsible for them in the administration and Congress war criminals warranting prosecution for their crimes.

That won't happen nor will the administration and Congress do anything more substantive than say one thing and do another. It's been an unbroken pattern since 9/11, and especially on Afghanistan and throughout the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Both wars were sold through lies and deceit. They're based on a fictitious "outside enemy" threat without which no "war on terrorism" could exist, and no imperial foreign wars could be waged.

They're possible only by scaring the public enough to believe the threat is still real, and "Enemy Number One" Osama bin Laden (recruited through Pakistan's ISI as a CIA asset in the 1980s) and Al-Queda represent it. So with Saddam gone and no WMDs found, staying the course is vital to the nation's security even when, in fact, the truth is the opposite, crying wolf's wearing thin, and selling snake oil solutions get harder to do. But schemers keep trying with complicit Democrats as much part of the scam as Republicans and Bush loyalists, dwindling down to a precious hard line few but still around in key positions making noise.

With "the walls of Jericho" crumbling around him as the world's most hated man and the ship of state listing badly, a pathetic caricature of a president keeps pleading for more time. He claims it's needed to head off the threat of "mass killing on a horrific scale" in Iraq and plenty at home as well. He then continues using the same timeworn line that the war can be won, the "surge" is working, give it a chance, and withdrawing will be disastrous. Be more patient, and we'll know more in September we're told.

The Iraqi puppet government gets blamed for what's gone wrong with no one in Washington pointing the finger where it belongs. George Bush can do no better than keep asking Congress and the public "to give (generalissimo) David Petraeus a chance to come back (September 15) and tell us whether his (unworkable) strategy is working, and then we can work together on a way forward (further over the cliff)."

At his July 12 news conference, he never mentioned and attending shameless journalists never pressed him on CIA Director Michael Hayden's earlier bleak assessment of things on the ground. He called the Iraqi puppet government "unable to govern" and its inability to do it "irreversible." Also not discussed was the July UN refugee agency's plea for doubling its Iraq funding to $123 million for the growing humanitarian needs of an estimated 2000 people fleeing uncontrollable violence in the country daily (60,000 a month) and an estimated four million or more displaced refugees within and outside the country.

No comment or questions were raised either on what journalists Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian (daughter of US political prisoner Sami Al-Arian) reported in the July 30 issue of The Nation. Based on interviews with 50 returning Iraq combat veterans (ranking from privates to captains), they wrote about "disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops" and an indiscriminate use of force (with pictures to prove it) amounting to a "depraved enterprise." Mentioned were accounts of American troops gratuitously killing Iraqi civilians, including children, that these actions are common, go unreported, are rarely investigated, and almost always go unpunished.

George Bush's comments (and most others) ignore as well that over 7 in 10 Americans favor a force withdrawal, over 60% say the war was a mistake, only one in five believe the "surge" improved things, and new polls keep showing the numbers getting worse the longer the conflict continues. It's got the president's approval rating barely above the lowest ever registered since polling began with Richard Nixon, Harry Truman, during the unpopular Korean war, Jimmy Carter, briefly in 1980, and his own father sharing bottom honors.

Maybe George Bush is kept above rock bottom through some creative manipulation of the data or the result of what questions were asked, to whom, the phrasing used, and the order in which they were presented. It seems likely for the most despised, distrusted and disgraced US president ever. Even clever pollsters, however, can't salvage Dick Cheney's rating. At a bottom-scraping 12% reported, it's the lowest number scored for a president or vice-president ever, by far and then some.

The reason is simple. A decisive majority in the country think the war's unwinnable, was a mistake, want it ended, and know it was based on lies. People resent being had. Even through heavily filtered mainstream news reports, they know the situation on the ground is out of control and an appalling US-inflicted crime against humanity atrocity of enormous proportions.

No one in Iraq is safe anywhere, even in the heavily secured, fortress-like Green Zone becoming more like a embattled one daily with regular attacks on it causing damage, injuries and deaths. Few are reported, but one on July 10 was with two to three dozen katyusha rockets and mortar rounds striking inside the world's "ultimate gated community" killing at least three persons and wounding 25 or more. Throughout the country, violence long ago spiraled out of control, and since the "surge" began in February, even the Pentagon admits things are worse, not better, in its quarterly April - June report to Congress.

It contradicts generalissimo Petraeus' claim of "astonishing signs of normalcy" in Baghdad overall and "breathtaking" progress even though he (and others high up) earlier said repeatedly there's no military solution to the conflict. The only thing "breathtaking" about Petraeus is his inconsistency and that he's either more incompetent than Custer at the "Little Bighorn" or a man who'll say anything to please George Bush. On the ground, in fact, civilian deaths are higher than ever. They number well over 5000 a month known about and countless others never reported, the claimed June numbers notwithstanding that are too low to be believed and should be discounted and ignored as meaningless. In addition, US forces are sustaining more attacks and suffered the highest level of listed fatalities and injuries in the latest three month April - June period since the war began.

Nearly everyone outside the administration and Congress knows the war is lost, but no one's brave enough to admit it or do anything about it. So shifting mission means "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" with the dominant media always in tow to shape the facts on the ground to fit the policy. Admiral Farragut would be proud.

Now it's back to the political drawing board with a repackaged new scheme certain to end up little different from the last one. Ideas floating promise a substantial drawdown of troops leaving behind what's claimed is needed to maintain security for the Iraqi people that's killing thousands of them every month. All NATO combined can't contain the hate and growing opposition in both war zones matched against any size occupying force put in place to contain them. Iraq and Afghanistan have a long history of resisting occupiers and a successful record of ousting them in the end. It will be the same this time as earlier after many more lives are lost in a futile effort to prove otherwise.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the struggle for liberation is on the ground. At home, shifting mission is being concocted by scared politicians up for reelection in 2008. They'll face millions of angry voters fed up with wars they want ended and ready to throw out the bums who won't do it. So it's back to political posturing (again) with Democrats and Republicans trying to convince voters this time they mean it, and what they say is what they'll follow through on. It's the same old repackaged scam in the nation's capitol where nothing can be taken on its face. It's high time the public realized the criminal class there is bipartisan, and nothing short of a new breed of uncorrupted officials will change things. And that won't happen until enough fed up voters elect them.

For now it's business as usual, and summer battle lines have the "intrepid" Democrat-led Congress and a few nervous Republican defectors facing off with the Bush administration on the FY 2008 DOD budget. It calls for an astonishing $648.8 billion plus an additional $142 billion war supplemental likely to end up topping $800 billion when the dust settles and usual pork is added in. Debate will play out the same as last year with Democrats in the end failing to use the one constitutional power Congress alone has - the appropriation authority to cut off funding and end the Bush administration's imperial adventurism once and for all. No money, no wars, that simple.

It's apparently too simple, and all that's likely ahead is more disingenuous posturing over restricting troop deployments and setting an open-ended timetable for an unspecified partial withdrawal at the discretion of the administration taking full advantage to do as it pleases. And if that doesn't work, George Bush promises to veto any legislation setting timelines for withdrawal he'll ignore even if overridden. On July 10, he repeated his earlier statements that Iraq troop levels "will be decided by our commanders on the ground (obeying White House orders), not by political figures in Washington, DC" (except him, Dick Cheney and their hard line cronies.

The president has no more to fear from "opposition" Democrats and "defecting" Republicans than he had before, but he's quivering anyway. Their posturing (and his) is as phony now as immediately post-9/11 in selling the Afghan war and enacting police state laws. It's as bad as in pre-March, 2003, last year's budget debate, and this spring's agreement to continue funding through September with George Bush certifying (on his word alone) progress is being made and Iraqis are carrying their share of the burden that's impossible because the world's only superpower can't handle its own.

But note Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's compromising language with a September 15 administration/Pentagon accountability report upcoming: "The war is headed in a dangerous direction, and Americans are united in the belief that we cannot wait until the administration's September report before we change course in Iraq." His next statement shows he's not preaching pullout but only says "We cannot ask our military to continue to fight without a strategy for success (never mind there is none short of full, unconditional withdrawal), and we certainly cannot ask them to fight before they are ready to do so."

He's referring to deployment lengths (unchanged after July 11 Senate amendments were blocked) and concern for a broken military the Pentagon already admits to. The likely outcome of current debate will be the same quick fix as before, save for a few dubious amendments achieving nothing. In the end, the compromise solution will be to kick the can down the road and throw lots more money at the problem hoping it will go away. It'll only get worse. No amount can salvage a lost war, lawmakers and the Pentagon know it, but solutions like last year and this spring are coming with bloated budgets getting more bloated.

Ignore meaningless party line votes like the one the House passed July 12 for withdrawing most combat troops by April 1, 2008. Not while this administration's in power, and so far, the Senate's going nowhere. It can't get the 60 votes needed to prevent a Republican promised filibuster, and votes cast in both Houses are to deceive voters, not get action. They're made knowing they're safe with George Bush promising to veto any change of course and can make it stick.

The wars will thus continue to progress in an endless cycle of more spending with no results beyond growing deficits, intensifying public anger, greater violence on the ground, and defeats getting worse as the conflicts drag on. George Bush calls it "progress. I know we can succeed in Iraq, and I know we must" he said on July 12. Incredibly, he claimed it on eight trivial military benchmarks under US control, blaming eight more important political failures on the Iraqi puppet government in charge of little more than cleaning daily rubble and dead bodies off streets. He added results to date are a mixed bag and overall it's too early to pass judgment - after over four disastrous years of failure and a conflict longer in duration than WW II when war raged on three continents against formidable enemies, and it was no simple task beating them.

It again proves this man is unchallenged as a world champion serial liar. By now, he may believe some of his own lies the way writer Alex Cockburn said Ronald Reagan believed his. "Truth (for the great fabricator) was what he happened to be saying at the time. He (and Bush) went one better than George Washington in that he couldn't tell a lie and he couldn't tell the truth, since he couldn't tell the difference between the two."

There is a difference, however, between the two deceivers. During his first term at least, Reagan (as a former actor, albeit a B-rated one) did a reasonable job impersonating a president. He could find his "mark" and read his lines. George Bush never rose to that level even as Texas governor or any other time in his life, and when it comes to lying, he can't stop doing it even when he knows the difference. He proved it July 12 in his ludicrous portrayal of the true state of things in Iraq. It's part of his desperate effort for new congressional funding in even greater amounts. To get it, he ignores growing public disenchantment and deep revulsion about a criminal lost cause enterprise launched and continued on the basis of lies.

That notwithstanding, Reid and other Democrats have their grandiose notions of mission shift. It's to avoid "a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq" with legislation he'll propose calling for permanent occupation forces on the ground for the spurious notion of "conduct(ing) counterterrorism operations, protect(ing) our assets (meaning oil) and train(ing) Iraqi forces." Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Carl Levin is on board with him. He'll support a limited troop withdrawal by late year, an end to combat operations on the ground by April 30, 2008 with Iraqi forces taking over, and a large remaining permanent occupation force hunkered down inside fortified super-bases. Never mind what Iraqis want that excludes our presence in their country. And the same is true for the Afghans.

Voices from the administration, Pentagon, Congress and the dominant media assure they'll be disappointed as the top goal is salvaging America's imperial adventurism and mission shifting current operations into a workable permanent occupation. Here's why. The Afghan and Iraq wars are for resources, primarily oil, and in the parts of the world where more than four-fifths of proved reserves are located. Canadian journalist and author Linda McQuaig explains the grandest of grand prizes is "hidden in plain sight" in Iraq. It's the country's oil treasure - the planet's last remaining bonanza of easily harvested "low-hanging fruit" with more potential reserves than Saudi Arabia, the great majority of them untapped.

It makes the country "the most sought after real estate on the face of the earth" according to one Wall Street oil analyst she quoted. Even with dated information on its potential, it's known Iraq has at least 10% of dwindling world reserves. But it's potential was "frozen in time" with no new development in over two decades because of intervening wars in the 1980s, economic sanctions following the Gulf war in 1991, and the current war ongoing since March, 2003. If the country's potential doubles or triples, as Saudi Arabia's did in the last 20 years, it would, in fact, have the world's largest (mostly untapped) proved reserves making Iraq too rich a prize for America and its Big Oil allies to pass up. It's worth trillions of dollars and immense geopolitical power at a time of peak oil in the face of future dwindling supplies, except in this resource-rich country the US won't ever leave as long as there's enough of them in the ground and region to justify staying.

It's why the country is being turned into a giant permanent military base protecting the ocean of oil beneath it Washington intends to control for its Big Oil friends and to have veto power over who gets it, who doesn't, and at what price. To understand what's happening, consider Korea. The US arrived in the country in 1950 following Harry Truman's committing American forces to help the South after Washington's instigated civil war began there on June 25 that year. Fifty-seven years later, around 37,000 troops still remain with no intention to leave. Washington has the same thing in mind for Iraq. The Pentagon set up shop there and intends to stay.

Below is shown, as best we know, how far advanced we've come toward militarizing the country for permanent occupation no matter how debate plays out in Congress. It's all bluster providing cover for administration policy both parties support.

Plan Iraq - Permanent Occupation

Drawdowns, withdrawal, timelines, mission shifting, building democracy and all the other current and long-standing phony rhetoric aside, America is in Iraq to stay as a conqueror and occupier - that is, until Iraqis finally kick us out as they will in time in a part of the world long a graveyard for foreign invaders. But it won't happen quickly or before countless more thousands die, are injured, suffer immeasurably, are displaced, and lose everything. This is the ugly dark side of imperialism, nurtured on conquest, unchallengeable control, and keenly focused on destroying and permanently occupying the cradle of civilization now smashed and planned for dismemberment.

In the meantime, a new "peace candidate" will become president in January, 2009 on the strength of distant echos of Richard Nixon's "peace with honor" 1968 campaign and hopes history would call him a "peacemaker." Instead, there were five and one-half more years of intense war, thousands more American deaths, and one to two million more Southeast Asian victims in Vietnam and the secret wars in Cambodia and Laos.

Whatever little, if anything, a new president does at home, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan will remain with plans for Iraqi forces eventually to do most of our killing and dying for us. If or when they're up to it, the scheme involves US troops staying hunkered down inside their super-bases, used as needed outside them, with massive air power deployed freely to slaughter innocent victims on the ground whenever they resist what no one should ever have to endure. For now, Iraqis have no choice but to bear up and fight back because it's their misfortune to have an ocean of "our" oil beneath their sand we laid claim to.

Already discussed is Iraq's importance as the planet's last remaining "low-hanging fruit" bonanza of mostly untapped oil riches worth trillions of dollars as the key reason America came to stay. The US military arrived in March, 2003 and dug in for the long haul with fixed military installations around the country. Dick Cheney's former employer, Halliburton, got most of the huge no-bid contracts, worth many billions, to war-profiteer and build them, irrespective of its outlandish record of waste, fraud and abuse.

As of May, 2005, US forces were operating out of 106 bases around the country from an original estimated 120 sites. They range in size from the huge Main Operating Base (MOB) Camp Victory complex near Baghdad airport where thousands of American troops are stationed to smaller ones known as Forward Operation Sites (FOS) that are still major installations. In addition, there are many Cooperative Security Locations (CSL) that are small outposts for as few as 500 personnel, a number of prisons and detention facilities, and an original dozen sites given to Iraqi military or police units that now likely number many more.

Reports vary, and much remains secret, about the administration and Pentagon's current and future construction plans for Iraq. What is known is $18 billion earlier was allocated for in-country work that includes base installations, the US Embassy and whatever other occupation facilities are intended. The current figure is likely much higher. It's also known US engineers are focusing on building 14 large "enduring bases" for extended encampments for the tens of thousands of US forces there now and future replacements.

Professor Emeritus Jules Dufour of the University of Quebec, Canada discussed "The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases" in his July 1, 2007 article posted on Global Research.ca. It included detailed information plus maps and much more on what he called "the Worldwide development of US military power (in place) to view the (entire) Earth surface as a vast territory to conquer, occupy and exploit (for giant US corporate behemoths it's in league with)." He characterizes the scheme as a process of "Humanity....being controlled and enslaved by this Network of US military bases." He and Chalmers Johnson believe they number 1000 or more that, according to Johnson, were in 153 countries as of September, 2001 and now likely in 160 or more. There are also many other secret, espionage, and other bases jointly used in many countries with their hosts.

Dufour says post-9/11, the US built 14 new bases in the Persian Gulf region. It's also involved "in construction and/or reinforcement of 20 bases (106 structured units as a whole) in Iraq" plus others in Afghanistan and other Central Asian former Soviet bloc countries and elsewhere to encircle and control both regions' strategic resources, mainly oil, and the pipeline routes needed to transport it.

Iraq bases are located or are being built around Baghdad, Mosul, Taji, Balad, Kirkuk, Nasiriyah, Tikrit, Fallujah and Irbil. There are also plans to rebuild and improve Baghdad, Mosul and other airfields as
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

THE GUNS OF AUGUST OR A NEW TYPE OF FDR-IMF

http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=132&pid=1294#pid1294
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xmasdale wrote:
venceremos wrote:
I agree with all you say here, Xmasdale. But to achieve it we shall need nothing less than a revolution.


Exactly Very Happy But what do we mean by "revolution"? There's the rub.

venceremos wrote:
The only class capable of that are the professional middle classes and until they are hit so hard as to become disaffected they will continue to cling onto the wicked old status quo.


That's an interesting thesis. Lenin said the revolution would be led by the industrial workers. Mao that it would be led by the peasants and Venceremos that it would be led by the middle classes.

You may be right, but I'd be interested to learn more about your reasoning.

It does seem that in the end revolutions end up favouring the middle classes. The British one, commonly known as the Civil War, ended up with an authoritarian, puritanical government of the middle classes, headed by a general and forgot the truly revolutionary aims of many of their earlier supporters, such as the notion advanced by the Levellers and their allies in the Putney Debates: that all land should be held in common. But the middle classes weren't going to have any of that nonsense, were they?

BTW I keep being told I should refer to it as the "English" rather than the British Revolution, but since the resistance to Charles I's tyranny began in Scotland and involved fighting throughout the British Iles, I maintain it was a British Revolution.

Likewise in the French Revolution the middle classes came out on top, and in Russia Stalin struck a deal with the "middle class" kulaks. Milovan Djilas in Yugoslavia argued that the revolution there had created a new ruling class.

So I'm sure that if revolution looks likely, some of the middle classes will get in there on the side of the revolutionaries in the hope that once more they will come out on top. But whether they will succeed is anyone's guess IMHO.

We are the Revolution and we all come from mixed backgrounds, its how or where WE take it forward which is important now Wink If I thought we had a chance tomorrow I'd openly march from Brentwood High St with pitchfork in hand as many of our forefathers once did Wink

_________________
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Help, help, I'm being repressed!'


“The more you tighten your grip, the more Star Systems will slip through your fingers.”


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

TROUBLE IN HEDGISTAN: "IT's GONNA GET A LOT WORSE"

http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=19&pid=1295#pid1295
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

THE BRITISH GREAT GAME: PAST AND PRESENT

http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=258
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

IS CHENEY PREPARING FOR A NEW 9/11 INCIDENT ?

http://www.larouchepac.com/news/2007/07/20/cheney-preparing-new-9-11-i ncident.html

Increase DecreaseJuly 20, 2007 (LPAC)--As the leading politicians in Washington continue to "fake it," day by day the danger of the imposition of a full dictatorship in the United States, linked to an expanded World War IV, grows greater. Already, Cheney (and Bush) have made it clear that they consider themselves the law, as Hitler did, and will not comply with any Congressional oversight, or instruction, demonstrating that it's a total waste of time for the Congress to debate and pass resolutions on war policies. Only a full-fledged impeachment drive, which will, in the best case, lead rapidly to Cheney's resignation, can be effective in saving the Constitution, and the nation.

However, as the LaRouche Youth Movement and LaRouche PAC have found in their organizing, especially where they have turned Congressmen around to sign on to the impeachment bill, there is a full-scale revolt in the population against the failure of Congress to act. Out in the boondocks, the majority wants the impeachment of Cheney. Instead of screaming about the inactivity of the Congress, effective organizers should be focussing on and mobilizing in the boondocks. When the Congressmen return home in August, they will be confronted by a population in revolt, and right where we want them -- susceptible to pressure. Organizing in the boondocks is crucial in this period. But if we know this, we have to assume that Cheney and his controllers do as well. Thus the question posed by former Reagan Administration official Paul Craig Roberts in his recent interviews and columns, which has also been picked up in the Russian press, is relevant: Is Cheney preparing for a new 9/11 incident, in order to try to whip the American people back into malleability? We don't know that that's what they're planning, but the danger is clearly there. The first 9/11 almost worked to get a full-fledged dictatorship, but not quite. The question is, will they try again?

Roberts is also right on in identifying the stupidity of the Democrats who think that keeping Cheney in place will "help'' them in the 2008 elections. As LaRouche asked before, what makes them think there will be elections? Roberts puts it well: The Cheney faction in power has "no belief in the people or anything like that.... The Constitution is in the way.... Americans need to comprehend and look at how ruthless Cheney is.... A person like that would do anything." In fact, LPAC has written the book on that.

In the face of such a proven fascist, it looks like Congress has had surgery, and lost their guts in the process.

In organizing to prevent the "Guns of August," it is important to inoculate the American population against such a 9/11 scenario, which Roberts has called a "false-flag" terrorist attack, which could be used as a pretext, and which LaRouche has also warned against in connection with the BAE scandal. The best way to prevent a new 9/11? Lock Cheney up, put him in prison -- maybe Guantanamo.


PARTY LEADERS ARE FAKING
http://www.larouchepac.com/news/2007/07/18/party-leaders-are-faking.ht ml


As the news came, that the cruise ship was sinking, the Captain of the vessel jumped into bed with a passenger with whom he had been flirting.

In replies to his First Officer's pleas to act to save the passengers, the Captain, snarling mercilessly from the bed which he had just occupied: "Not now! Can't you see I'm busy?!"

That is the way most of the leading Presidential pre-candidates and others are deserting the defense of our nation in the face of the enemy! They are like the Captain of our story, fleeing from a reality that they lack the guts to face, by occupying their minds with something else.

"Get out of that bed, Captain! Get out now!" the First Officer ordered the cowardly captain.

So, Franklin Roosevelt Democrat Lyndon LaRouche is ordering the so-called leading political figures of our nation, now.

All that keeps the U.S. war in Iraq ongoing is the lack of the political courage needed among political leaders to stop the process of sending our troops to more needless, and utterly useless dying. All that stands in the way of the now onrushing explosion of the greatest Wall Street bubble in history, is the lack of the guts of political leaders who refuse to face the fact that the entire present world financial system is at the verge of blowing out, unless the U.S. returns to the kind of leadership that Franklin Roosevelt used to save the U.S. from the catastrophe brought on by the Coolidge and Hoover administrations.

The time to act on the real issue is now!

Dump Cheney right now! Organize a recovery from the world depression right now! Laughing


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:05 pm    Post subject: Love of Profits Vs Love of the Profit( Part 2) Reply with quote

SLEEPWALKING INTO WORLD WAR 4 WHILST: "PARTY LEADERS ARE FAKING"

http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=132&pid=1308#pid1308 Laughing


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:00 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

THE GUNS OF AUGUST 2007 : CHENEY'S FINGER IS ALREADY ON THE TRIGGER
Jeffrey Steinberg

http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=132&pid=1294#pid1294

On July 16, the London Guardian reported that President Bush, under the powerful influence of Vice President Dick Cheney, has tilted in favor of military action against Iran before he leaves office. According to the Guardian account, a series of meetings during June and July, involving top White House, Pentagon, and State Department officials, was used by the Vice President to assert that the diplomatic track, ostensibly pressed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had failed to produce any results, and that no future U.S. administration would have the courage to act militarily against Tehran. President Bush, according to the account, went along with Cheney, and once again, the prospects for a new Persian Gulf preemptive war loom large over Washington.

Highly informed sources contacted by EIR confirmed and elaborated on the Guardian leak, which came from circles close to the White House who are adamantly opposed to the prospects of an American or Israeli preventive strike against targets inside Iran. EIR's sources confirmed that President Bush had, indeed, tilted back towards supporting Cheney's position that Iran's alleged nuclear weapons sites must be hit preemptively, and that one of the most persuasive arguments mounted by Cheney and his neo-con allies, is that unless the U.S. strikes against Tehran, Israel will launch an attack, and this will create an even bigger mess for Washington.

Speaking for some of Cheney's London patrons, Patrick Cronin, director of studies at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a leading Anglo-American think tank, is quoted by the Guardian: "Cheney has limited capital left, but if he wanted to use all his capital on this one issue, he could still have an impact.... The red line is not in Iran. The red line is in Israel. If Israel is adamant it will attack; the US will have to take decisive action. The choices are: tell Israel no, let Israel do the job, or do the job yourself."

In fact, the consensus among American military strategists is that Israel does not have the capacity to do serious damage to Iran's now widely dispersed nuclear research program—unless it were to use nuclear weapons.

The Two Liebermans
As Cheney was making his power play inside Administration circles, he was receiving back-up from "the two Liebermans." In early July, Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, traveled to Brussels to confer with top NATO officials, and on his return, he told Israeli Army Radio that he had won backing from the United States and Europe for preemptive strikes against Iran's nuclear sites. Lieberman, who is known among Israeli analysts as "Israel's closest thing to a National Socialist," elaborated that, if Israel were to launch air attacks against Iran's nuclear sites, NATO would join in to defend Israel in the event of Iranian retaliation. Lieberman could not have been more blunt: "We're stuck in Afghanistan, and European and American troops are wallowing in the Iraqi quagmire, which is something that is going to prevent the leaders of countries in Europe and America from deciding on the use of force to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Therefore," he concluded, "at the end of the day, Israel is going to have to remove the nuclear threat posed by Iran with the means at its disposal, and it won't be able to count on international cooperation." But, the Israeli minister then declared, "Europe and the U.S. will support us."

The very day that Avigdor Lieberman was threatening Israeli preemptive strikes on Iran, July 11, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced an amendment to the defense spending bill, demanding that U.S. intelligence agencies report to Congress every 60 days on Iran's activities inside Iraq. Although Lieberman's amendment, which contained a string of dubious or outright false claims of Iranian combat support operations against American forces in Iraq, was clearly aimed at putting the Senate on record as supporting a warlike policy against Iran, the entire Senate sheepishly voted, 97-0, in favor of the Lieberman ploy.

Lest there be any doubt that Joe Lieberman's actions were tightly coordinated with Cheney, the text of the Lieberman amendment quoted extensively from Gen. Kevin Bergner, the former top military aide to neo-con Elliott Abrams at the National Security Council, who was dispatched to Baghdad in June 2007, to conduct White House "spin control" over the war reporting. Bergner has put out a steady stream of disinformation and/or exaggerated claims of Iranian involvement in the Iraqi insurgency. Bergner's propaganda from Baghdad, according to Pentagon sources, has infuriated the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who see it as a replay of the "stovepipe" of fake intelligence, funneled from the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans to the Vice President's office, in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. This time, there is no pretense that the war propaganda is being vetted by the Pentagon intelligence services. It is being funneled directly from Baghdad via General Bergner, directly to Cheney, Lieberman, et al., and is increasingly showing up on CNN and other news outlets.

Impeach or Remove Cheney Now
The turn toward war against Iran, coming from the "usual suspects" in Washington, must be assessed against the backdrop of the July 1-2 Kennebunkport, Maine summit meeting between President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two days of discussion, hosted by former President George H.W. Bush, represented a potential strategic breakthrough in U.S.-Russian relations. President Putin proposed a long-term strategic partnership between Washington and Moscow, encompassing all of Eurasia in a security alliance, built upon Lyndon LaRouche's original strategic defense proposal, which later became President Reagan's SDI. Just days before Kennebunkport, former President Bill Clinton, in a speech in Yalta, Ukraine, had also signed on to the proposal, indicating a powerful intervention by the institution of the U.S. Presidency—along with that of the Russian Presidency—to avoid war in Eurasia for decades to come.

It was in response to that initiative that Cheney made his move, and set the United States potentially back on a course towards near-term war, a war that would soon spread from Southwest Asia to other parts of Eurasia, and ultimately lead into World War IV—pitting the United States against Russia and China.

It is for this reason that LaRouche, in a dialogue in Washington with a group of diplomats on July 19 (see transcript, this issue), asserted that the only way to avoid war at this late date, is for Dick Cheney to be either impeached or removed from office now—before the guns of August are fired.

It was also in this context that LaRouche reiterated his message to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), the ostensible Democratic Party front-runner for the Presidential nomination. LaRouche called upon Clinton to take the lead in the fight to remove Cheney from office, promising that if she does so, she will be "virtually acclaimed" as the next President, by an American electorate that is overwhelmingly demanding Cheney's ouster.

LaRouche's message is also resonating among leading Republican circles, who fear a total wipeout in the 2008 general elections, if Cheney remains long on the job—and if the preemptive strikes against Iran take place. While some Republican Party voices, including former Reagan Justice Deparment official Bruce Fein, former Presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan, and retired CIA officer and American Conservative columnist Phil Giraldi, all have demanded Cheney's immediate ouster to stop an Iran fiasco, GOP leaders have so far failed to come forward to confront President Bush and force Cheney's ouster. And Congressional Democrats have chosen to dodge the Cheney bullet and opt for impotent gestures, like the all-night Senate debate over Bush Administration Iraq policy, in which Cheney's name was not mentioned once. The ultimate cowardly act was the Democratic Senate capitulation to the "Buckleyite Damn-ocrat" Joe Lieberman's Iran war gambit. Such cowardice and opportunism, LaRouche has frequently warned, could bring about the doom of the American republic and a global "permanent war" that would engulf the planet for several generations to come.

Cheney and Bandar
While General Bergner's "wurlitzer" continues to churn out war propaganda from Baghdad, pushing the idea of military action against Iran to "save the lives of American GIs" fighting the "Iranian-backed" insurgency in Iraq, U.S. intelligence specialists have alerted EIR that there is growing worry about another aspect of the Iraq insurgency. Saudi Arabia, through Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Cheney's chief ally and the purported national security advisor to King Abdullah, has been pouring money and weapons into Sunni tribes in western Iraq, who have now emerged as what some U.S. intelligence officials brand "al-Qaeda II." These Iraqi Wahabi networks, distinct from the bin Laden/Zawaheri "al-Qaeda in Iraq" apparatus of largely foreign fighters, have emerged in recent months as a significant element within the overall insurgency. According to these sources, "al-Qaeda II" is part of Cheney's scheme—designed in London by the likes of Dr. Bernard Lewis—to promote a permanent Sunni versus Shi'ite conflict in the region.

This Cheney-Bandar effort, the sources warn, is one of the driving factors, provoking Iran, and fueling the prospects of a near-term explosion. Earlier in July 2007, an emissary of Prince Bandar delivered $750,000 to the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian exile group that formerly worked for Saddam Hussein, and which is on the U.S. State Department's international terrorist organizations (ITO) list, for having assassinated American military officers in Iran. The MEK is actively engaged in sabotage and assassination operations inside Iran—with the enthisiastic support of Washington neo-cons, typified by Daniel Pipes, who recently attended the MEK gathering outside of Paris where the Bandar money was delivered.

The U.S. Department of Justice is already investigating Prince Bandar for his role in the BAE Systems scandal, involving the $100 billion offshore covert operations fund, established under the British-Saudi "Al-Yamamah" barter deal. At least $2 billion in "Al-Yamamah" funds went directly to Bandar's bank accounts in the United States, and some of those funds went to a range of Wahabi insurgencies, according to U.S. intelligence sources. One question that Justice Department investigators should take up is whether some of those funds are now going to the MEK to fuel Dick Cheney's Iran war schemes.


BUSH ADMIN GOES FOR ARMS BUILD UP IN PERSIAN GULF
http://larouchepac.com/news/2007/07/28/bush-administration-goes-arms-b uildup-persian-gulf.html

When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates travel to the Middle East, next week, they will be bringing with them a $20 billion arms deal for Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states. The deal, according to today's New York Times, includes advanced satellite guided bombs, fighter upgrades and new naval vessels, all as part of a strategy to contain Iran. Israel is to be bought off to accept the deal by a 40 percent increase in the amount of military aid it annually receives from the United States. The details of both packages were briefed to Congress, this week, by senior Bush Administraion officials. The Times report indicates a certain degree of desperation on the part of U.S. officials, because if the deal falls through, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries could turn to other suppliers in the region, which is exactly what happened in 1985 when the Saudis turned to Britain in the now-infamous Al Yamamah arms deal.

The proposed sale comes in the context of Dick Cheney's threatened "Guns of August" war on Iran and a long-term perspective of a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq that could spread to other parts of the region. According to the Israeli intelligence website Debkafile, an Israeli intelligence and right wing Likud linked outlet, there are three levels to the plan Gates and Rice will be bringing to Riyadh, next week: U.S. forces in Iraq will be redeploy to giant extraterritorial land and air bases in the north and central regions of the country; the U.S. would double the size of the air forces of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman and expand its own military facilities in the Gulf; and Jordan and Israeli military strength would form a backbone around the Red Sea, augmented by new U.S. bases. The arms deal includes advanced versions of the F-15 and F-16 fighter planes or even, according to Debkafile's sources, the new F-22 (though it's currently illegal to sell this plane overseas). Another element of the plan is to convert the U.S. facility on the Omani island of Masirha, in the Arabian Sea just outside the Strait of Hormuz, into the largest U.S. air base in the Persian Gulf region.

Debkafile further reports that Russia has responded to the Bush Administration's military plans for the region by selling 250 SU-30MKM fighter bombers to Iran, the first of which is to be delivered before the end of 2007.

BEWARE THE 'GUNS OF AUGUST' 2007

Democratic Party leader and head of the LaRouche PAC, has issued a stark warning about the danger of Dick Cheney's drive to start a war with Iran, this August 2007. Executive Intelligence Review, the weekly international news and strategic analysis magazine that LaRouche founded in 1974, features LaRouche's warning, delivered on July 19 at a closed-door discussion with Washington diplomats, in the July 27, 2007 issue. In a unique feature section entitled, "Beware the Guns of August," LaRouche is quoted from his opening remarks to that closed-door meeting: "This is not yet August, but as I think back to Augusts in the past, I think of August 1914, August 1939," LaRouche said, adding that there now exists a virtual state of war between Russia and Great Britain. On Cheney's drive for war with Iran, LaRouche said, "It wouldn't be war in the simple sense of World War I and World War II, but something comparable. It's very dangerous. Anything can happen. And governments are on vacation." To avert this war, LaRouche said, get Cheney out of office. "We've come to a very dangerous period, but dangerous periods are times when people who recognize the danger will do things they wouldn't otherwise do. This is a deadly threat; its also an opportunity. The point is very simple. My view is that we have to somehow get rid of Cheney And the time for those changes is now. The potential is now." Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Scuse me sir. Do you think George W Bush is a Christian? Do you think Christ will cut Tele-Vangelists down to size when he comes back? Or do you just have an axe to grind? No prizes for guessing that one. Smoke

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Which religious group has killed more, the relatively peaceful Muslims or the inherently aggressive, so-called Christians? No prizes for the correct answer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suppose the Inquisition and the Crusades never figure in your view of history? and because it was politicized God that mass genocide doesn't count?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

THE MORALITY OF ECONOMICS : THE KEY ISSUE OF THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY

Richard Cook
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6439


Since January 2007, Global Research and other forums have published a series of articles by this writer on the urgent need for economic and monetary reform.

Some readers have commented on how distant these monetary reform recommendations are from current practice. The reason for this is simply that the recommendations derive from a starting point that is not customary.

This starting point is that human morality should be the essential factor in analyzing and making economic policy decisions. In other words, an economic system should reflect what is good and right, not just what those in power choose to dictate or the compromises that can be worked out by the balance of power in some political equation.

Economic decisions, as they are made presently within the United States and elsewhere, reflect the standpoint of a moral outlook that is critically defective. This is what must be changed, not just mechanics.



For the past quarter century, economic life, under the rubric of globalization, has increasingly been based on such overt or covert precepts as, “survival of the fittest,” “privatization,” “might makes right,” “money talks,” “whoever has the gold rules,” and “let the buyer beware.”



All are basically reflections of the profit motive vs. any ideal of charity, compassion, or service. Indeed, mention of such lofty motivations is even likely to evoke sneers among self-anointed “realists.” But the fact is that laws and practices have been increasingly marked by greed for gain by some at the expense of everyone else, which is an indicator of a society-wide relapse into barbarism.



These trends have been abetted by the contention that economics is a science, somehow similar to physics, which describes the behavior of “forces” that are essentially amoral. The primary such force, perhaps, is the postulated existence of an impersonal “market,” the functioning of which, even when appearing ruthless, supposedly results in the common good.



A recent example may be found in a statement by Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson to Fortune magazine predicting a global economic downturn. Paulson said, “It’s just that we’re not going to defy economic gravity.” By placing his forecast on a par with the most relentless of all physical laws, Paulson lends an aura of inevitability to events which, if they occur, could be devastating to billions of people.



By implication, Paulson also denies the possibility of any political choice about the likely event, even though it would be at least partially a result of the housing bubble, the biggest such financial travesty in history, which the Federal Reserve, along with the last several presidential administrations, have contributed to creating in the absence of any genuine economic driver for the U.S. economy.



But such “forces” as policy-makers buy into are usually manmade. Further, more than people realize, the way a nation’s economy functions is a reflection of its moral choices and values. The “market” behaves as it is designed to behave and distributes its benefits accordingly. The upside of this observation is that an economic system can be altered to reflect a higher moral vision.



A glaring instance was the 600-plus-point drop in the Dow-Jones the week of July 23. The “causes” were the ongoing collapse of the housing market and the worldwide tightening of credit. Though many commentators have been predicting an economic decline, few are willing to say that the credit crunch is by design and represents a choice by the central banks, including the Federal Reserve, to favor the interests of creditors over debtors.



The most basic question to be addressed in analyzing the morality of economics is whether human beings have a right to life. Most people would say yes. Many would consider the answer so obvious that the question is unnecessary, even foolish. The basic principle of the Declaration of Independence is that human beings have an “unalienable right” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”



Yet the actions of governments and individuals give the lie to this idea. Even after a century of the horrors of world war, governments continue to embrace war as an instrument of policy. This has applied particularly with regard to the United States, which has engaged in almost continuous warfare since 1941 and which today maintains military personnel or bases in over 130 countries.



Weapons of violence and warfare blanket the earth. Obviously many people believe that human beings have a right to life unless some government that is armed to the teeth decides otherwise. The most recent glaring example has been the U.S. occupation of Iraq, which, based on whatever rationale, has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilian non-combatants. In this instance, the values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” have clearly been viewed as secondary to other, perhaps unstated, priorities. One such priority, without doubt, is control of oil.



This is only one example whereby the basic precepts of human welfare have taken a back seat to more urgent imperatives. Decisions are constantly being made by some people that have a life or death result for others, including the one to maintain or even raise interest rates in the face of the pending economic decline.



There was a time when individuals and families were much better equipped than at present to live by means of their own labor, without regard to the economic decisions made by economists, financiers, military planners, or politicians. Tribal and agrarian societies, including much of the United States through at least the end of the nineteenth century, were based on technologies that allowed people to survive at a subsistence level with minimal interference by outside experts or authorities.



The same was true of the agricultural and peasant classes of Europe until recent times. Even during the so-called “Dark Ages,” the masses of people were able to subsist off the land even as the warrior castes slaughtered each other.



All this changed through the mechanization of work brought about by the industrial revolution. Now more could be produced by fewer workers. The first of many epoch-making innovations was the application of steam power to the operation of machines. Observers believed naively that mankind had now evolved to such a degree that the curse of labor had been lifted and that the human race would now be free from merely having to earn a living and could devote itself to higher pursuits.



But it turned out that the benefits of industrialization flowed mainly to those who controlled the processes of production. Those who did the work, or those whose work was no longer needed, were left out. The system which imposed this paradigm was capitalism. It was opposed by a variety of ideologies, including various types of socialism and trade unionism, which argued that the gains in productivity really should be viewed as the property of the community, not just a handful of those with economic and political power.



In recent years, capitalism has conquered most of the world, even in countries that still may consider themselves socialist, such as China. The brand of capitalism that has become the most powerful is finance capitalism, based ultimately on the lending of money at interest. Backing up this system is the greatest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction ever seen.



There was a time when such lending, particularly at excessive rates of interest, was condemned as usury, but no more. Now it is even a matter of official policy that the central banks of the world may raise interest rates as high as they wish if they are able to make the claim that they are fighting inflation or making borrowers more responsible. The name for this policy is “monetarism.” But this justification of lending practices that many ethical authorities in history have regarded as criminal is an excuse, not a reason.



As a result of capitalism, much of the world’s population has increasingly been left out of the prosperity and material security that industrialization once seemed to promise. Around the world, the benefits clearly have accrued mainly to the upper income echelons, while the majority of people are left to struggle. The results increasingly are un- or under-employment, poverty, lack of adequate nutrition or health care, or even, in many countries, starvation.



Within the United States alone, thirty-five million people are malnourished and almost a million are homeless, including some war veterans. No one could possibly argue that all of these people are personally at fault and that none are suffering because of the type of economy we have chosen to embrace. Yet for many, poverty and homelessness are a death sentence, whether through ill health, exposure, or violence, because in economics, due process and equal protection of the laws no longer seem to apply.



Faced with such situations, another ideology has sprung up based on the idea that there are not enough resources on the earth to support the human population, so that many must simply die—with the exception, of course, of oneself, one’s friends and family, one’s co-religionists, or one’s countrymen. Overly-pessimistic alarms about such phenomena as global warming also become part of the litany of doomsayers.



This latter-day Malthusianism is more prevalent than many are aware of. We are afflicted with a mind-set of scarcity in a Universe where there are so many signs of an infinity of abundance. It may be easier to comprehend a philosophy of abundance by realizing that the resources available to us may someday include not only those of the earth but those of surrounding space and the solar system as well.



People are drawn into the illusion of scarcity without giving much thought as to whether there might be better ways to distribute the prosperity of the modern technology-driven economy so that the world’s population can be adequately maintained. But doing so must be a collective effort. What, then, does society have a moral obligation to provide to its members under today’s conditions?



The most obvious is meaningful employment. Here United States policy makers have failed drastically by pursuing policies which have led to the collapse of our industrial base and the export of so many of our jobs. But even beyond creation of a robust producing economy, three additional measures come to mind.



One is a guaranteed income for all. Each individual should be granted, as a basic human right, a sufficient amount of money to survive at a subsistence level. Such an income should be made as a recurring cash payment by every government, or on a worldwide basis by the U.N. Richer nations should provide poorer ones the means to do this if necessary. There is no reason except human ignorance why poverty worldwide could not be eliminated now through a basic income guarantee.



The second should be low-cost credit provided at the individual and consumer levels for grassroots economic development. Credit should be viewed as both a public utility and a human right and should be made available at minimal cost—no more than one percent interest payable to whatever public agency is charged with administering the program. Banks have the privilege of creating credit “out of nothing.” Governments, which grant banks this privilege, should have it also and could and should exercise it to the benefit of their populations. Low-cost credit is essential for maintenance of dynamic local economies.



The third is a public infrastructure consisting of health, education, water, transportation, and waste disposal services that are provided without charge to all persons. Again, there is no reason except prejudice why governments should not be able to exercise the privilege of spending or lending money directly into circulation for these purposes without recourse to either taxation or borrowing. As America’s greatest inventor, Thomas Edison, once observed, the government could as easily spend interest-free money into circulation for such purposes as sell bonds to banks then borrow the money back as an addition to the public debt.



An economic and monetary system that would provide these benefits is within reach, given the current state of development of technology and the world economy. Once the system is in place, society would have a firm basis on which a robust and creative private sector could be supported, including meaningful jobs available on demand. The first requirement for prosperity would have been met, which is a healthy, educated, and enterprising population.



In fact, more advanced economies could provide an additional cash dividend to their citizens in order to allow firms engaged in production to recover through their pricing sufficient earnings for investment in future growth and innovation. The term used by monetary reformers for such a stipend is a “National Dividend.”



These measures could be instituted regardless of the type of political system a nation chooses to embrace. They would not only sustain the entire population but would also inject the purchasing power needed at the grassroots level to distribute what the global economy is able to produce. The number one unsolved economic problem the world faces today is that people lack purchasing power to buy what industry can create, so they must constantly go deeper into debt.



Such a program as described herein would go a long way toward satisfying the injunction contained in all the world’s religions which is reflected in the Christian precept that we should strive to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” This is what I believe should define the morality of economics. Our community life would then become a “house built on rock,” rather than on the shifting sands of greed, profiteering, poverty, and debt.



We must realize that as long as a single person on earth is unfairly denied sustenance, we remain barbarians. Everywhere in the world people are waking up to the fact that the work of applying enlightened concepts of morality to economics is the key task which mankind faces in the twenty-first century. Unfortunately, as of this writing, there are signs that those in power are making plans for another wave of warfare and violence to hold the day of reckoning at bay. But they cannot do so forever.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet (Part 2) Reply with quote

THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM HAS ALREADY COLLAPSED
http://www.gv2000.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=132&pid=1314#pid1314 Laughing


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:10 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

CRASH IS ON... IT'S TOO LATE TO ESCAPE

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:38 am    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

WAR ON IRAQ IN PERSPECTIVE: THE DEVELOPING US IMPERIALISM AND DEMONOCRACY

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:32 pm    Post subject: Love of profits V love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

THEIR GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM IS FINISHED

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:58 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

STOCK MARKET MELTDOWNMike Whitney

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:45 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

DEMOCRACY DREAMING
Joel S. Hirschhorn

What is this thing called democracy? So easy to talk about, so difficult to make real.

Pure democracy is not what our Founders gave us. Who would want a simple majority to control the minority? Instead, America was given a representative democracy within a constitutional republic where laws that protect all people trump majority rule. Standing between majority-won elections and government power are elected representatives: writing, overseeing and implementing laws. But when you can no longer trust the elected representatives what happens to American democracy? It becomes an oxymoron.

We have arrived at a delusional democracy. Delusional because Americans overwhelmingly cannot admit the painful truth that their limited democracy no longer works for the good of most citizens. Instead, through corruption and dishonesty, our representative democracy has morphed into a plutocracy that serves the wealthy, power elites and corporate masters that control the political system and through that the economic system.

The Framers of the Constitution had deep concerns about the long-term viability of the government structure they created. Some think that the checks and balances among the three branches of the federal government preserve its integrity. Really? The money that controls the legislative branch also controls the executive branch, and both of those control the judicial branch. Even worse, it has become clearer to increasing numbers of Americans that many parts of the Constitution -- the supreme law of the land -- have been directly or more deviously disobeyed or distorted. Constitutional rule is a myth.

We have a Congress that gives its constitutional power to declare war to the president and refuses to impeach him for his many violations of laws. We have a president that openly signs laws but says he will not honor them. We have a Supreme Court that decides who becomes president rather than the voters and often amends the Constitution unconstitutionally. We have elections that are not to be trusted. We have a government using free trade globalization hogwash to sell out the middle class. We have rising economic inequality that is creating a two-class society: the wealthy Upper Class and the Lower Class for everyone else.

Overlaid on this delusional system is the myth that having just two major political parties somehow is right and necessary for our representative democracy. In reality, partisan differences are just another layer of corruption, dishonesty and deceit. Artificial political competition distracts. Big money from the wealthy and corporate and other special interests controls both parties, producing mutually assured corruption. They are two faces of the same coin, two heads of the same monster, two puppets controlled by the same masters. Of course the two-party system provides stability. It has stabilized a criminally corrupt government.

Delusional political competition supports a delusional democracy based on a set of delusional checks and balances. The whole system that once worked has become a sham.

Did the Framers anticipate that their system could become such a travesty? They did.

So, in addition to the better known parts of the Constitution, they imbedded what might be called a legal loophole -- a kind of escape clause, just in case things went terribly wrong. They have.

The public is largely ignorant of Article V’s option for a convention, when asked for by two-thirds of the states, to propose amendments to the Constitution. Worse, nearly all people with political power have opposed using it. Even worse, despite Article V explicitly saying that Congress “shall” call such a convention when a sufficient number of states have asked for one -- and that is the ONLY specified constitutional requirement -- for over 200 years Congress has willfully disobeyed the constitution and NOT granted a convention. In fact, Congress never had the integrity and constitutional respect to even set up a system of any kind to collect state requests for an Article V convention. Still, we know from the hard work of many that there have been well over 500 such state requests.

People with power in the present corrupt political system fear an Article V convention. Operating independently of Congress and the White House, it might reduce their power and ignite widespread public interest in deep reforms. One trick of the power elites has been to fool people that an Article V convention would inevitably become “runaway” and threaten all that Americans hold dear -- especially their freedom. Nonsense. A convention can only propose amendments that, just like proposals made by Congress, must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Most absurd are the anti-convention right-wingers who profess total allegiance to the Constitution, except for Article V. John T. Noonan, Jr., observed in 1985: “RESPECT, indeed reverence, for the Constitution is a proper attitude for conservatives to cultivate. Is it respectful to the Constitution to maintain that of the two methods of amendment specified by Article V one is too dangerous to be put to use?”

Exactly why did the Framers give us the option of an Article V convention? Listen to the wise words of one of the nation’s foremost legal scholars. Professor Paul Bator wrote this in 1980:

“I think the Article V convention represents a profound political protection for us, as a people, against the tyranny of central government. And whatever we say about Article V, I think it is very, very wrong, just because we may disagree with the content of any particular constitutional amendment that is now being proposed, to interpret Article V in such a way as to clip its wings as a protection for the liberties of the people. That is why I think it is profoundly important, particularly for constitutional scholars, to be hospitable toward the concern that Article V represents, which is that there be a way out for the states and the people if a willful and intransigent central authority governs us in a way we find unacceptable.”

We definitely need a way out. Two of our best presidents explicitly supported using the Article V convention option -- Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower.

Have any recent presidential candidates expressed support for an Article V convention, even mavericks like Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and Pat Buchanan? They have not. Have any third parties demanded an Article V convention? They have not. Have any mainstream media exposed Congress’ failure to obey the Constitution’s Article V? They have not. Has the Supreme Court or any elected official that swore to obey the Constitution faulted Congress for disobeying the Constitution? They have not.

If you are not a rich and powerful American, ask yourself: Has your government become so untrustworthy, dysfunctional and unacceptable that you should demand what our Constitution gives you a right to -- an Article V convention?

Thomas Jefferson said “a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical.” Have many Americans concluded that rebellion has become necessary? They have not.

But some of us want to pursue political rebellion, not by using violence and not hoping against reality that necessary reforms will come from within the two-party controlled political system. No, we want to use what the Constitution grants us. We have created Friends of the Article V Convention to inform the public about this constitutional option and also to prod the states to demand a convention and the Congress to finally obey the Constitution and give us one. Check the group out at www.foavc.org to learn much more, and seriously consider becoming a member.

What do they say about insanity? Repeating what has not worked in the past? As in the past, no Democrats, no Republicans and no elections will give us what we truly need. Whatever risks an Article V convention pose, they are worth taking. Every rebellion is waged because the benefits sought outweigh the risks taken. Jefferson and the other Founders knew that. Not fixing the government they gave us dishonors them and all the Americans that have died and sacrificed for their country. And it makes our lives miserable and penalizes future generations. Has time run out for restoring American democracy? It has not.

J
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs Love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

TIME TO LAUNCH INTOLERANCE OFFENSIVE AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ISLAMOPHOBES

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=118464967 9908&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Love of profits Vs love of the Prophet(Part 2) Reply with quote

FIGHTING THE DEMOCRATS' COMPLICITY WITH BUSH

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