vrijdag 24 oktober 2008
Naar aanleiding van dit bericht kreeg ik deze reactie:
'Vrije-wereldburger heeft een nieuwe reactie op uw bericht "De Bankier Onno Ruding 11" achtergelaten: Sterker nog ,de opperpraatjesmaker van Bos vermaant ons toch vooral niet kritisch te kijken naar de machthebbers - het moet maar eens afgelopen zijn met al dat wantrouwen waar een welingelicht krantelezer toch al niets van merkt. '
En ja hoor, ene Jeroen Sprenger, directeur voorlichting bij het Ministerie van Financiën, schrijft in Trouw: 'Voorbij dogma’s van Blokker en Hofland. Overal is het georganiseerde wantrouwen uit de jaren zestig verdwenen. Behalve tussen media en politiek. In discussies over politiek en media is het bon ton steeds de ander onverantwoord gedrag te verwijten.
Laat ieder in eigen kring bezien wat er kan worden gedaan om de trend om te buigen en vertrouwen in dit land terug te brengen. Te beginnen met het afleggen van het fundamentele wantrouwen in elkaar.' Zie: http://www.trouw.nl/opinie/podium/article1883639.ece/
Jawel, en dit alles kennelijk in het kader van wat de VPRO-journalist Chris Kijne noemt 'een hoger belang dan "de waarheid, niets dan de waarheid."'
Ik begrijp alleen niet waar directeur voorlichting (what is in a name) Sprenger het over heeft. De zelfcensuur en het vertrouwen in gezagsdragers is in de Nederlandse journalistiek hoger dan waar dan ook in de samenleving. Maar kennelijk moet het allemaal nog erger.
Herman en Chomsky concluderen in hun uitgebreide studie Manufacturing Consent het volgende: 'Given the imperatives of corporate organisation and the workings of the various filters, conformity to the needs and interests of privileged sectors is essential to succes. In the media, as in other major institutions, those who do not display the requistite values and perspectives will be regarded as "irresponsible," "ideological," or otherwise aberrant, and will fall by the wayside.'
'Greenspan Admits Error in Trusting Free Markets
by: Michael M. Grynbaum, The New York Times
Facing a firing line of questions from Washington lawmakers, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once considered the infallible maestro of the financial system, admitted on Thursday that he "made a mistake" in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/102308R
'Minister-president Balkenende en minister Bos van Financiën antwoorden op vragen van Kamerlid Vendrik (GL) over de benoeming van Ruding tot lid van een Europese werkgroep over financieel toezicht.' het volgende: 'de heer Ruding [is] door de Voorzitter van de Europese Commissie gevraagd zitting te nemen in een 'high level group' onder voorzitterschap van voormalig IMF-directeur Jacques de Larosière. De groep heeft echter een meer toegespitst mandaat dan in de vraag van de heer Vendrik wordt gesuggereerd: de groep wordt geacht aanbevelingen te doen voor een verbetering van het toezicht op Europees niveau, in het bijzonder met betrekking tot financiële instellingen die in meerdere lidstaten actief zijn. De groep wordt verwacht aan de Europese Raad van maart 2009 over de eerste bevindingen te rapporteren. Overigens zullen de precieze modaliteiten van groep nog nader door de Europese Commissie worden uitgewerkt… Het Kabinet is verheugd dat de heer Ruding bereid is in deze belangrijke groep zitting te nemen. Hij combineert ervaring als Minister van Financiën met een diepgaande praktijkkennis van het nationale en internationale bankwezen. Bovendien heeft hij een sterke betrokkenheid bij de Europese samenwerking, getuige ook zijn huidige voorzitterschap van het Centre of European Policy Studies.' Zie:http://www.nieuwsbank.nl/inp/2008/10/22/R196.htm
En daarmee was de kous af. De Nederlansdse volksvertegenwoordiging accepteert dit en de journalistiek zwijgt. Onno Ruding was in de jaren tachtig de minister die de basis legde voor de deregulering in Nederland waarbij de gemeenschap steeds minder greep kreeg op het reilen en zeilen van onder andere de handel in lucht die nu ontploft is. Als beloning daarvoor werd hij vice-voorzitter van de raad van bestuur van de Amerikaanse CitiBank. Voor wat hoort wat.
De Nederlandse regering is nu 'verheugd dat de heer Ruding bereid is in deze belangrijke groep zitting te nemen.' Greenspan mag dan bekennen dat hij fout zat, Ruding doet dat niet en wordt daarvoor ook nog eens tot blijdschap van minister Bos en premier Balkenende de man die namens Nederland gaat onderzoeken hoe het allemaal zo fout heeft kunnen gaan en welke oplossingen er moeten komen. De zwendelaar gaat de zwendel onderzoeken en wordt daarvoor door de Nederlandse belastingbetaler vorstelijk beloond. Ik zou zeggen dat dit nu een saillant voorbeeld is van het poldermodel, met andere woorden van corruptie. Ruding wordt door de politiek niet gedwongen om ter bekennen dat hij fout zat. Integendeel, hij krijgt een bezoldigde prachtbaan als dank voor zijn falen. En mijn immer wakkere collega's in Den Haag accepteren dat en onderzoeken niets. Dat nu is het grote verschil tussen een groot en een klein land. In grote landen gaat de corruptie lange tijd door, tot het niet meer kan. In Nederland gaat de corruptie altijd door. En de journalisten staan erbij en kijken er naar. Wakker worden jongelui!
'Schedel van 75 miljoen in Rijksmuseum
Door Damian Hirst ingelegde schedel in november te zien
Van onze redacteur Henk Meijer
For the Love of God, gemaakt door de Brit Damien Hirst.26-08-2008 Het Rijksmuseum stelt komende winter een schedel tentoon, die is ingelegd met 8601 diamanten. Het kunstwerk heet 'For the Love of God' en is gemaakt door de Britse kunstenaar Damien Hirst. De schedel komt uit de achttiende eeuw en is bedekt met platina. Op het voorhoofd draagt de schedel een roze peervormige diamant.'
Niet het object an sich, maar het feit dat het 75 miljoen kost maakt het bijzonder. Dat het 75 miljoen kan opbrengen is het relevante element, zoals de kop verraadt. Was het van nep diamanten geweest dan zou het op het Waterlooplein in de regen liggen. Kitsch, dat is wat de massacultuur betovert.
Of zoals Milan Kundera het stelde: 'Op grond van de dwingende noodzaak te behagen en zo de aandacht van het grootst mogelijke publiek te trekken, is de esthetiek van de massamedia onvermijdelijk die van de kitsch en naarmate de massamedia ons gehele leven meer omsluiten en infiltreren, wordt de kitsch onze dagelijkse esthetiek en moraal.'
In een wereld met meer dan 900 miljoen mensen die honger lijden, bewondert de westerse massa een object getiteld: For the Love of God van 75 miljoen. Amen, en God zij met ons.
donderdag 23 oktober 2008
NEW INTERVIEW WITH YOUR NEWS DISSECTOR BY KATHY SANBORN
Another day of fear.
Major stock indexes down 5%-6%Profit worries slam Wall St.Stocks pick up where they left off Tuesday — in decline. After quarterly results, McDonald’s and Apple seek to buck the Street’s bearish trend.Economy fears fuel hasty retreat
FT: Global stock markets plunged on Wednesday as the White House said it would invite world leaders to a global financial summit next month, 11 days after the US presidential election.
WORSE TO COME, REPORTS ROUBINI
The financial crisis, following hard on the heels of the soaring food price crisis, which threw 75 million people into hunger and poverty last year alone, may well deepen the plight of the poor in developing countries sending food prices soaring and pushing an extra 119 million people into hunger
Slowing commodity prices because of a slowing world economy could mean a cutback in planting followed by reduced harvests in major exporting countries. Given continuing low grains stocks, this scenario could lead to another turn of record food prices next year - a catastrophe for millions who by then would be left with little money and no credit.
Moe Sacerby: Rating Agencies at Center of Reformulated Global Financial Order?
President Sarkozy’s initiative would make rating agencies more as gatekeepers, bureaucratic or otherwise…The proposal would at least begin the decoupling of the rating agencies from US regulators and American style capitalism.
ALTERNET: THE ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR HOUSE OF PAINCHARGE: WE HAVE A FINANCIAL KEPTOCRACYBy Michael Hudson
Wall Street is in control, but its policies are so shortsighted that they are eroding the underlying economy - which is passing from democracy to oligarchy, and indeed it seems to a bipartisan financial kleptocracy.
CHRIS FLOYD: WHAT THE WORLD KNOWS AND THE US DOESN’T ABOUT THE BAILOUTNY BANKS MINE DATA, TARGET TROUBLED BORROWERSWhat Went Wrong in the Capitalist Casino?
By Tony Benn
What we are watching is nothing less than the steady transfer of real political power from the polling station to the market and from the ballot to the wallet - reversing the democratic gains we have made over the last century when we were able, increasingly, to use our votes to shape our economic future.
Wall Street’s ‘Disaster Capitalism for Dummies’14 reasons Main Street loses big while Wall Street sabotages democracy
By Paul B. Farrell
Yes, we’re dummies. You. Me. All 300 million of us. Clueless. We should be ashamed. We’re obsessed about the slogans and rituals of “democracy,” distracted by the campaign, polls, debates, rhetoric, half-truths and outright lies. McCain? Obama? Sorry to pop your bubble folks, but it no longer matters who’s president.'
ISRAELISCHE AUTORITEITEN WEIGEREN BUITENLANDSE DEELNEMERS TOEGANG INTERNATIONALE GEZONDHEIDSZORG CONFERENTIE IN GAZA
Nederlands Palestina Komitee en Stichting Palestina Rotterdam
Op 27 en 28 oktober zou in Gaza de internationale conferentie Siege and Mental Health, Walls versus Bridges plaatsvinden; georganiseerd door the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme en de World Health Organisation (WHO,Verenigde Naties).Zou, want dezer dagen kregen de deelnemers te horen dat de Israëlische autoriteiten weigeren de deelnemers toe te laten tot Gaza (zie ook www.gcmhp.net). Onder die deelnemers bevindt zich ook een viertal uit Nederland: prof WHG Wolters, beoogd keynote speaker en al jarenlang actief in door de Nederlandse overheid gefinancierde mental health projecten voor kinderen in Gaza, de dames Ingrid Rollema en Lilian Peters, beiden ook actief betrokken bij (mental health en opbouw) activiteiten in Gaza en dhr Benji de Levie, verantwoordelijk voor de campagne Gaan voor Gaza, Maak Gaza Gezond van de Stichting Palestina. De Israëlische weigering maakt het nu onmogelijk om met de counterparts in Gaza -artsen, onderzoekers, veldwerkers en andere betrokkenen- ervaringen uit te wisselen, resultaten te aanschouwen en nieuwe ontwikkelingen te bevorderen. En betekent dus een extra obstakel om de (geestelijke) gezondheidszorg in het noodlijdende gebied te verbeteren.
De Israëlische weigering de conferentie toe te laten maakt deel uit van de strikte blokkade om “veiligheidsredenen” van de bevolking van de Gazastrook. Het recht op academische vrijheid, dialoog en vrije meningsuiting wordt door de bezetter met voeten getreden. De ruim 120 deelnemers van universiteiten en hulpverleningsorganisaties uit de hele wereld, onder wie een groot aantal onderzoekers, gezondheidswerkers en hoogleraren, wordt op deze wijze tevens de gelegenheid onthouden om ook met de bevolking van de Gazastrook in contact te komen en van hun lijden kennis te nemen, terwijl tegelijkertijd diezelfde bevolking de mentale steun die van de conferentie zou uitgaan moet ontberen. In feite betekent een en ander ook voortzetting van het heilloze beleid van isolering van Hamas en weigering van de noodzakelijke politieke dialoog die noodzakelijk is om ooit uitzicht op vrede krijgen.
Betrokken en gedupeerde buitenlandse organisaties en personen hebben inmiddels bij hun regeringen en parlementen protest aangetekend tegen de Israëlische beslissing die voorbijgaat aan mensenrechten en internationale afspraken; en roepen op tot het alsnog laten doorgaan van de conferentie in Gaza. Ook de Nederlandse vaste Kamercommissie Buitenland is geïnformeerd en gevraagd de minister te bewegen tot stappen. Tot dusver zonder resultaat.'
During the past year, conversion to Judaism has been the subject of much press and analysis. The crises surrounding the recognition of conversion and the annulment of conversion have rocked the Jewish world to its core. Ironically, in the past six months, it is Orthodox converts from overseas in particular that are being deliberately persecuted by the State of Israel. In the present environment, both the Interior Ministry and the rabbinate have engaged in a misinformation campaign, which has befuddled even the most acute analysts of Jewish life in Israel. This cannot be allowed to continue.
The Jerusalem Rabbinate.
Two criteria related to conversion delegitimize even the most serious of Orthodox converts. The first - which is reasonable in its conception but not in its realization - prevents Orthodox converts from making aliya subsequent to their conversion. Since the State of Israel (as differentiated from the rabbinate) accepts conversions from all the denominations, and since conversion overseas entitles a convert to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return, the Interior Ministry lives in constant fear that foreign workers (now numbering more than 100,000) will take advantage of "quickie conversions" or "pop-over conversions" overseas and then become citizens.'
The extent of poverty in Israel is the highest in the western world, with one out of every four citizens is defined as poor, according to a report published this week by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (O.E.C.D.). That statistic is 2-1/2 times the average number of poor people per capita in the developed world.
Israel ranks third in terms of the social gaps between the rich and poor, following Turkey and Mexico, according to IDF Army Radio.
The O.E.C.D. report criticizes government taxation policy for not significantly reducing the proportion of poor.'
Voters are rightly furious at the proposal to spend $700,000,000,000 that the government doesn't have to bail out Wall Street bankers who created the current economic crisis in the first place. But why then aren't we concerned about the trillions of dollars the Federal Reserve is pumping into the system? Or the trillions missing from the Pentagon? Or the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble.'
'The Idiots Who Rule America
October 21, 2008 "Truthdig"
“Their inability to see the human as anything more than interest driven made it impossible for them to imagine an actively organized pool of disinterest called the public good,” said the Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul, whose books “The Unconscious Civilization” and “Voltaire’s Bastards” excoriates our oligarchic elites. “It is as if the Industrial Revolution had caused a severe mental trauma, one that still reaches out and extinguishes the memory of certain people. For them, modern history begins from a big explosion—the Industrial Revolution. This is a standard ideological approach: a star crosses the sky, a meteor explodes, and history begins anew.”
Our elites—the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools—do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good. They are stunted, timid and uncreative bureaucrats who are trained to carry out systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions which will satisfy the corporate structure. They are about numbers, profits and personal advancement. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are able to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they think, is a secondary product of the free market. And they slavishly serve the market.
Andrew Lahde, the Santa Monica, Calif., hedge fund manager who made an 870 percent gain last year by betting on the subprime mortgage collapse, has abruptly shut down his fund, citing the risk of trading with faltering banks. In his farewell letter to his investors he excoriated the elites who run our investment houses, banks and government.
“The low-hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking,” he said of our oligarchic class. “These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.”
“On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal,” he went on. “First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have [reined] in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government.”
Democracy is not an outgrowth of free markets. Democracy and capitalism are antagonistic entities. Democracy, like individualism, is not based on personal gain but on self-sacrifice. A functioning democracy must defy the economic interests of elites on behalf of citizens. This is not happening. The corporate managers and government officials trying to fix the economic meltdown are pouring money and resources into the financial sector because they only know how to manage and sustain established systems, not change them. Financial systems, however, are not pure scientific and numerical abstractions that exist independently from human beings.
“When the elite begin to think that money is real, the crash is coming,” Saul said in a telephone interview. “That is just a given in history. Because what they’ve done is pull themselves out of the possibility of looking in the mirror and thinking, this is inflation, speculation, this is fluff. They can’t do it. And when you say to them, gosh, this is not real. And they say, oh, you don’t understand, you’re so old-fashioned, you still think this is about manufacturing. And of course, it’s basic economics. And that’s what happens every single time.'
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article documents a current court case. Information may change rapidly as the case progresses.
For other people named Steven Green, see Stephen Green.
PFC Steven Dale Green
United States Army
Born May 2, 1985 (1985-05-02) (age 23)
Place of birth
United States of America
United States Army
Years of service
Private First Class
101st Airborne Division
Steven Dale Green (born May 2, 1985) is a former Private First Class in the United States Army who is charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl named Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi and murdering her and three of her family members in the village of Mahmudiyah.
 Biographical details
Green graduated from Infantry Training Brigade and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. According to a military spokesperson and a criminal complaint filed in connection with the charges, Green was honorably discharged from the military "due to antisocial personality disorder but before the military was aware of the incident."
Green grew up in Midland, Texas. According to school officials, he dropped out of high school in 2002 after completing the 10th grade and moved to Denver City, Texas, where he earned his high school equivalency in 2003. Days after a January 2005 arrest for alcohol possession, Green enlisted in the US Army. In doing so, he was granted a moral character waiver for prior drug and alcohol related offenses that might have otherwise disqualified him. Green was stationed in Iraq from September 2005 to April 2006 and discharged in May 2006.
 Mahmudiyah incident
Main article: Mahmudiyah incident
On June 30, 2006, the FBI arrested Green, who was held without bond and transferred to Louisville, Kentucky. On July 3, 2006, United States Federal Court prosecutors formally charged him with raping and killing Abeer Qassim Hamza, a 14-year-old girl, and with killing her five-year-old sister Hadeel, her father, Qassim Hamza Rasheed, and her mother, Fakhriya Taha Muhasen in Mahmoudiyah, on March 12, 2006. On July 10, the U.S. Army charged four other active duty soldiers with the same crime. A sixth soldier, Sgt. Anthony Yribe, was charged with failing to report the attack, but not with having participated in the rape and the murders.
Green and four other soldiers, Sgt. Paul E. Cortéz, Spc. James P. Barker, Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, had planned raping Abeer Qassim Hamza. Pfc. Howard was ordered to monitor radio traffic while the others entered the Hamza family's house. Green ordered the father, mother, and younger daughter to a bedroom and shot them, saying: "I just killed them; all are dead." Green, and at least one other soldier, raped Abeer Qassim Hamza, after which Green shot her in the head two or three times. Five soldiers, including Green, have been formally charged with raping the girl and murdering her parents and little sister. The soldiers Paul E. Cortéz, James P. Barker, Jesse V. Spielman, and Bryan L. Howard might face the death penalty, said Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell in a news conference. 
Reportedly, Fakhariya Taja Muhassain worried that her daughter, Abeer, had attracted the unwanted attention of U.S. soldiers at the checkpoint near their home. She asked her neighbor, Omar Janabi, if she could sleep in his daughter's room at his house. Janabi agreed, but the Hamza family were murdered the next day. Janabi, who said he discovered the Hamza family bodies, found the husband, the wife, and the younger, five-year-old daughter in one room, all shot dead. In another room of the Hamza house, Janabi found Abeer Qassim Hamza's burned body.
On July 6, 2006, Green entered a plea of not guilty through his public defenders. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Moyer set an arraignment date of August 8 in Paducah, Kentucky.
On July 11, 2006, his lawyers requested a gag order. "This case has received prominent and often sensational coverage in virtually all print, electronic and Internet news media in the world." "Clearly, the publicity and public passions surrounding this case present the clear and imminent danger to the fair administration of justice," said the motion.  Prosecutors had until July 25, 2006 to file their response to the request.
On August 31, 2006, a federal judge rejected a gag order. U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell said there is "no reason to believe" that Green's right to a fair trial would be in jeopardy. Furthermore he added, "It is beyond question that the charges against Mr. Green are serious ones, and that some of the acts alleged in the complaint are considered unacceptable in our society."
In July 2007, federal prosecutors, led by Brian Skaret of the United States Department of Justice's Domestic Security Section, announced they will be seeking the death penalty for Green. This is based on the fact that prosecutors believe the rape and killings were premeditated, and were committed using a firearm.
The prosecution of this case is unique in that although the alleged crimes were committed by an active member of the United States military, which normally would fall under the jurisdiction of the military court system, Green was indicted and arrested after he had been discharged from the Army. Thus, the case is being tried instead by the United States Department of Justice's Domestic Security Section.
Green was assigned to the same platoon as Spc. David J. Babineau, who was shot to death at a roadside checkpoint on June 16, 2006, in Yusufiyah, and Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Lowell Tucker, who were captured, tortured and killed, allegedly by Iraqi insurgents. Military investigators are now looking into whether the insurgents abducted Menchaca and Tucker in retaliation for the killing of the Iraqi civilians. However, in the first video depicting the desecration of what is believed to be the bodies of both Menchaca and Tucker, there is no mention of the incident at Mahmudiya at all. It is only in a second release of the video, two months later, that any mention of the Mahmudiya incident is made.
 See also
United States Army portal
^ "Officials: Soldier was discharged for 'antisocial personality'", CNN (2006-07-05). Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
^ Allen G. Breed (2006-07-05). "Ex-GI Accused in Iraq Rape Had Rocky Past", The Houston Chronicle (AP). Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ "U.S. military names soldiers charged in rape, murder probe". Retrieved on 2006-10-20.
^ Kim Gamel (2006-07-03). "At Least 12 Killed in Attacks Across Iraq", SFGate.com. Retrieved on 2006-07-03.
^ CNN. "Ex-soldier pleads not guilty to rape, murder: Former Army private accused of raping woman, killing family". Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ CNN (2006-07-11). "Gag requested in Iraq rape-murder case". Retrieved on 2006-10-20.
^ AP (2006-09-01). "Judge in Rape-Murder Case Denies Gag Order". Retrieved on 2006-10-20.
^ Michael Hedges (2006-07-04). "Killings of two soldiers perhaps retaliation for slain Iraqi family", The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved on 2006-07-05.
 See also
Human rights in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq
Abeer Qassim Hamza
Fakhriya Taha Muhasen
Affidavit by F.B.I. related to Steven D. Green's arrest
 External links
BBC News: Troops 'took turns' to rape Iraqi
Wikinews has related news:
Steven D. Green
Guardian: Soldiers 'hit golf balls before going out to kill family'
Iraq girl in troops rape case just 14
Text of criminal complaint: U.S. vs. Green
101st vet charged with murder, rape of Iraqi
Ex-Soldier Charged by U.S. in Killing of Four Iraqi Civilians
Encountering Steven Green: "I came over here because I wanted to kill people."
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Dale_Green"
Categories: 1985 births American military personnel of the Iraq War Living people People from Midland, Texas People indicted for war crimes Recipients of the Combat Infantryman Badge United States Army soldiers American rapists American murderers American murderers of children
Hidden category: Current events as of March 2008
DATE: Thursday 6 November 2008
VENUE: ABC Treehouse, Voetboogstraat 11, Amsterdam
door open 20h00, start 20h30
and what will be the new administration's foreign policy. Will the
occupation of Iraq continue? Will there be a turn away from the current
policy towards Iran or will the aggressive threats escalate?
Just a day after the election results emerge, Phyllis Bennis, a veteran
analyst of US foreign policy, will examine the history of the current
U.S. wars and crises, and assess the prospects for change that may - or
may not - open with the arrival of the new administration.
Bennis has just published new primers on the Iraq war and the US-Iran
crisis. Written in an easy-to-read "frequently asked questions" format,
ENDING THE IRAQ WAR discusses the issues that have determined the course
of the war, and provides a set of strategies for ending the US-led
occupation and allowing Iraqis to reclaim their own country to build
their own peace in Iraq and the region. UNDERSTANDING THE US-IRAN
CRISIS: A PRIMER examines the history of U.S.-Iran relations, and calls
for replacing the current U.S. policy of aggression toward Iran with
alternative strategies for defusing the crisis.
Both just-published books are for sale at the venue!
Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in
Washington, D.C. and the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She is a
long-time analyst of U.S. policy in the Middle East, particularly
regarding the Iraq war and Israel-Palestine conflict. She is the author
of another book in this series, UNDERSTANDING THE PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI
CONFLICT: A PRIMER.
For more information, contact Andrea Sturkenboom
andrea[at]tni.org or Call +31 (0)20 662 66 08'
The stakes could not be higher: With a rapidly increasing population of more than 150 million -- larger than that of Russia -- Pakistan is also the world's only Muslim nuclear power. But since the fall of President Pervez Musharraf earlier this year, the bitter regional, social and religious disputes that have been building for decades have exploded in public. The current government of pro-American President Asif Ali Zardari is struggling to maintain any effective presence at all in the vast North-West Frontier Province, which covers one-quarter of the country.
If the government in Islamabad goes bankrupt, then the extreme Islamist forces spearheaded by the Taliban of Afghanistan, who already enjoy broad support among the Pashtun tribes of the NWFP, will have a far greater chance to turn the great cities of Pakistan, especially giant Karachi, into chaos.
As American military analyst and UPI columnist William S. Lind has warned, Fourth Generation war -- 4GW -- non-state forces like al-Qaida benefit from undermining the structures of established states and can metastasize rapidly if a state structure collapses, especially in a vast nation like Pakistan.
The Taliban and their fellow Islamists, aided by al-Qaida, already have stepped up their guerrilla operations against the Pakistani army and police.
On top of all this, Pakistan is now on the verge of default. It needs $3 billion within a month to maintain its debt service schedule and $10 billion over two years. This seems peanuts compared with figures thrown around in the United States recently. The U.S. Congress approved a $700 billion bailout, and critics charged that even this huge sum would prove to be insufficient to restore investor confidence.
Precisely because major governments around the world feel under pressure, however, Pakistan is currently struggling to get a financial support package put together. Pakistani officials are meeting International Monetary Fund representatives in Dubai Tuesday to craft a rescue -- they hope.
But there have been some ominous signs: Apparently traditional supporters of Pakistan -- China and Saudi Arabia -- have shown no willingness to step up to the plate. Ironically, they are two of the handful of nations that do, in fact, have enormous financial reserves. But the plunging global oil price has spooked the Saudis, and the Chinese know their economic stability is dependent on the U.S. economy staying afloat and continuing to provide them with their most important export market.
Overall the Pakistani economy is in a desperate state, and the causes are long term, structural and not at all conducive to any "quick fix": The new Zardari government in Islamabad has inherited high inflation, large income inequality and a chronic lack of spending for infrastructure and education.
The caution and preoccupations of other countries around the world, however, do not diminish the threat to global and regional peace if Pakistan should default. The Zardari government -- already unpopular with the Islamists, the urban poor and its own military establishment, especially the officers of the Inter-Service Intelligence agency -- could hardly survive such a catastrophe. And if the Zardari government fell, the impact on regional stability would be dire.'
Forget about non-Jews in the army; they are lesser humans anyway.
Israel military rabbi under fire for 'brainwashing' soldiers
By Amos Harel
Top U.S. General on Cover-up of Forces Behind War http://www.wanttoknow.info/warcoverup
Honor) deserves to be heralded for this timeless message, which rings true today more than ever. Below is an engaging two-page summary.
WAR IS A RACKET – by General Smedley Butler
WHO MAKES THE PROFITS?
The World War cost the United States some $52 billion. That means $400 [over $4,000 in today's dollars] to every American man, woman, and child.
The normal yearly profits of a business concern in the U.S. are 6 to 12%.
But war-time profits, that is another matter – 60, 100, 300, and even 1,800% – the sky is the limit. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it. Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump, leap, and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed.
Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people. The average pre-war earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6 million a year. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the war years,
1914 to 1918. $58 million a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950%.
Take one of our steel companies. Their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged
$6 million. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump? Well, their
1914-1918 average was $49 million a year! Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105 million a year. Then along came the war and up went the profits.
The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240 million. Not bad.
They sold your Uncle Sam 20 million mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!
There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. When the war was over some 4 million sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them.
If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. Their profits were as secret as they were immense.
How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body. It has been estimated that the war cost your Uncle Sam
$52 billion [X 10 or more for inflation]. Of this sum, $39 billion was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16 billion in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way.
This $16 billion profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum.
And it went to a very few.
WHO PAYS THE BILLS?
Who provides these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill. If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, I visited 18 government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation 18 years ago. Mortality among veterans is three times as great as those who stayed at home.
Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the offices, factories, and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded. They were made to "about face," to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put through mass psychology and entirely changed. We trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed. Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face!" This time they had to do their own readjustment. We didn't need them any more. Many of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about face" alone.
Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that their ships might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a "glorious adventure."
HOW TO SMASH THIS RACKET!
Well, it's a racket, all right. A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences. You can't eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can't wipe it out by resolutions. Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket: 1) We must take the profit out of war; 2) We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war; and 3) We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.
I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war. Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly? Money.
An allied commission came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group: "There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars. If we lose (and without the help of the US we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money. So..."
Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, America never would have entered the war. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off, they were told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars." Very little has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars. Disarmament conferences don't mean a thing. At all these conferences, lurking in the background are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not seriously limit armaments. So...I say, TO HELL WITH WAR!'