Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

From PressTV

 Fri, 03 Apr 2009 17:08:46 GMT

noam_chomskyNATO would be better off if it sought an “immediate disbandment”, renowned American author and political analyst Professor Noam Chomsky says.

“If the question was ‘How ought NATO to develop?’ the answer is ‘immediate disbandment’,” Chomsky told Russia Today when asked about the alliance’s development in the future.

Chomsky said despite the costly maintenance of the US military, which spends half of the world’s military expenditure, and the financial crisis, President Barack Obama has shown no desire to limit the military spending.

“In reality there is little sign of change. You may have noticed that despite the financial crisis there is no serious attempt to limit US military spending since (Barack) Obama became president,” he said.

“They may cancel some expensive high tech projects like purchase of the F22 fighter. You don’t need those sorts of planes for the sort of wars we have now.”

Chomsky also slammed the previous US administration for concocting excuses which contributed to NATO’s survival.

The administration of George W. Bush “issued a defense strategy document that effectively said that the real threat was actually the advanced technological level of third world countries and the need to preserve the superiority of the US technological military industrial base…. So suddenly the original threat turns out to be a lie and it is business as usual for NATO.”

The comments came ahead of the 60th NATO anniversary which marks its formation with the aim of providing collective defense for members.

The body’s defensive capability rose to utmost standards upon accepting the then-united West Germany in mid-1990s. Moscow dropped its objection to the accession in exchange for the alliance’s promise not to expand beyond Germany’s border and close to those of Russia’s.

In contravention of the pledge, however, the Bush administration threw its weight behind the membership bid of former Soviet Union states such as Georgia and Ukraine.

“The United States wants to recruit Eastern European nations to join NATO because they think they will be prepared to send soldiers to fight in those sorts of wars,” Chomsky concluded.

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guantanamo_bayToday President Obama signed orders, 3 in all, with one directing that Guantanamo Bay be closed within the year. This is interesting because many, including myself, would like to see this place closed down but there are people who believe that the people being held there are all terrorists.

My understanding is that many of the people held there were mass rounded up, with others brought in piecemeal based on undisclosed charges at various times, and though most are adults, some are young teenagers. It is also my understanding that up to this point there has been no evidence or charges filed on most, if not all, of the so-called terrorists being held there so how, in reality, do we know that they are really and truly terrorists? Just because they are Iraqi or Afghan or sympathetic to Al Qaeda causes? This automatically makes them terrorists? People here in the States are sympathetic to the Confederate flag and I do not think they are terrorists…

As a side note, if people are sympathetic to Rush Limbaugh, or idiots like him, how come they are not called terrorists? Limbaugh’s arrogant, ignorant, rabble-rousing comments have even reached the ears of middle school students in Wisconsin. Limbaugh interrupted the inauguration broadcast which the students were listening to via radio and now is in the middle of trying to make up for his inappropriate comments. I do not understand what Limbaugh is still doing on the air or why any decent broadcasting station would allow him air time… Sorry I know I got off subject here.

Anyway as I said, the Guantanamo Bay issue will be interesting. People will be arguing from both ends of the spectrum on this issue and that freaking terrorist b.s. will be flung from one end to the other. I especially like the argument about where to send them… Why is Iraq or Afghanistan not an option? That’s where they came from originally. That’s where their homes and families are.

What’s your opinion?

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from the Project Syndicate

by Naomi Wolf

Is it possible to fall out of love with your own country? For two years, I, like many Americans, have been focused intently on documenting, exposing, and alerting the nation to the Bush administration’s criminality and its assault on the Constitution and the rule of law – a story often marginalized at home. I was certain that when Americans knew what was being done in their name, they would react with horror and outrage.

Three months ago, the Bush administration still clung to its devil’s sound bite, “We don’t torture.” Now, Physicians for Human Rights has issued its report documenting American-held detainees’ traumas, and even lie detector tests confirm they have been tortured. The Red Cross report has leaked: torture and war crimes. Jane Mayer’s impeccably researched exposé The Dark Side just hit the stores: torture, crafted and directed from the top. The Washington Post gave readers actual video footage of the abusive interrogation of a Canadian minor, Omar Khadr, who was seen showing his still-bleeding abdominal wounds, weeping and pleading with his captors.

So the truth is out and freely available. And America is still napping, worrying about its weight, and hanging out at the mall.

I had thought that after so much exposure, thousands of Americans would be holding vigils on Capitol Hill, that religious leaders would be asking God’s forgiveness, and that a popular groundswell of revulsion, similar to the nineteenth-century anti-slavery movement, would emerge. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if torture is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

And yet no such thing has occurred. There is no crisis in America’s churches and synagogues, no Christian and Jewish leaders crying out for justice in the name of Jesus, a tortured political prisoner, or of Yahweh, who demands righteousness. I asked a contact in the interfaith world why. He replied, “The mainstream churches don’t care, because they are Republican. And the synagogues don’t care, because the prisoners are Arabs.”

It was then that I realized that I could not be in love with my country right now. How can I care about the fate of people like that? If this is what Americans are feeling, if that is who we are, we don’t deserve our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Even America’s vaunted judicial system has failed to constrain obvious abuses. A Federal court has ruled that the military tribunals system – Star Chambers where evidence derived from torture is used against the accused – can proceed. Another recently ruled that the president may call anyone anywhere an “enemy combatant” and detain him or her indefinitely.

So Americans are colluding with a criminal regime. We have become an outlaw nation – a clear and present danger to international law and global stability – among civilized countries that have been our allies. We are – rightly – on Canada’s list of rogue nations that torture.

Europe is still high from Barack Obama’s recent visit. Many Americans, too, hope that an Obama victory in November will roll back this nightmare. But this is no time to yield to delusions. Even if Obama wins, he may well be a radically weakened president. The Bush administration has created a transnational apparatus of lawlessness that he alone, without global intervention, can neither roll back nor control.

Private security firms – for example, Blackwater – will still be operating, accountable neither to him nor to Congress, and not bound, they have argued, by international treaties. Weapons manufacturers and the telecommunications industry, with billions at stake in maintaining a hyped “war on terror” and their new global surveillance market, will deploy a lavishly financed army of lobbyists to defend their interests.

Moreover, if elected, Obama will be constrained by his own Democratic Party. America’s political parties bear little resemblance to the disciplined organizations familiar in parliamentary democracies in Europe and elsewhere. And Democrats in Congress will be even more divided after November if, as many expect, conservative members defeat Republican incumbents damaged by their association with Bush.

To be sure, some Democrats have recently launched Congressional hearings into the Bush administration’s abuses of power. Unfortunately, with virtually no media coverage, there is little pressure to broaden official investigations and ensure genuine accountability.

But, while grassroots pressure has not worked, money still talks. We need targeted government-led sanctions against the US by civilized countries, including international divestment of capital. Many studies have shown that tying investment to democracy and human rights reform is effective in the developing world. There is no reason why it can’t be effective against the world’s superpower.

We also need an internationally coordinated strategy for prosecuting war criminals at the top and further down the chain of command – individual countries pressing charges, as Italy and France have done. Although the United States is not a signatory to the statute that established the International Criminal Court, violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are war crimes for which anyone – potentially even the US president – may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are parties to the conventions. The whole world can hunt these criminals down.

An outlaw America is a global problem that threatens the rest of the international community. If this regime gets away with flouting international law, what is to prevent the next administration – or this administration, continuing under its secret succession plan in the event of an emergency – from going further and targeting its political opponents at home and abroad?

We Americans are either too incapable, or too dysfunctional, to help ourselves right now. Like drug addicts or the mentally ill who refuse treatment, we need our friends to intervene. So remember us as we were in our better moments, and take action to save us – and the world – from ourselves.

Maybe then I can fall in love with my country again.

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Here come the 2008 DNC and RNC so I get to thinking about different things that surround them both…

Why do I always read stories that the police have to prepare for riots and unruly citizens when it comes to the political conventions? Recent case in point is this story from Denver where a large warehouse has been turned into a secured holding facility. This was done because the city feels there could be mass arrests arising from the Democratic National Convention. Review videos and pictures available on the web (check YouTube and use search words like dnc, cops) and see why “could be” will become fact.

From past stories most of the problems arise with the police not the attendees at the conventions. Case in point is the 2004 RNC in which police doctored video of those being arrested and more than 90% of those cases ended up being thrown out of court. Tsk-tsk, don’t the police understand that tampering with evidence is a crime? What have our police become…?

With the Democratic National Convention scheduled for August 25-28 in Denver, CO and the Republican National Convention scheduled for September 1-4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN I wonder what videos and pictures we will see of police harassment and abuse coming out of those gatherings? If you attend either of these conventions keep your eyes open and your camera lens clean. The cops will, inevitably, be out in their military-style gear looking for problems – to stir them up or create them.

And if this doesn’t stir you up at all you should read the article Obama Doesn’t Sweat. He should. by Greg Palast. For years now Greg Palast has been saying that the Republicans will win the 2008 election year – no matter who is riding the ticket. He has written about it in his book Armed Madhouse (a good read btw) and in articles on his website. States have been gearing up to help the Republican candidate win with an estimated one million vote headstart. Look to have McCain as your next President whether you voted for him or not.


As we should have learned in 2000 and again in 2004 voting in this country no longer matters or should I say that your vote does not matter. That may hurt and you may not want to hear it but do some reading and you will find out the truth; the votes are fixed. Bush never gained office by your vote in either election year; 2008 will be no different. If people don’t get off the duffs, start waking up and fight to get this country back we will soon lose it all. We have already had many of our constitutional rights and privileges taken away and it will continue under McCain.

So if you haven’t been paying attention watch what occurs during the DNC and RNC. Read between the lines. Watch how the media markets only certain stories to you and they play them over and over again. The media markets what they are told to market – the war on terror (a bunch of baloney), the housing and mortgage crisis, and other such stories. They draw your attention away from the fact that the government is slowly taking over the country from its own citizens.

So as we roll into September I’ll be looking forward to seeing those photos and videos from vigilant citizens on what really goes on at these conventions. You know, the stuff mainstream media won’t really be reporting on… Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of that stuff on my site and help in getting the information and message out to any and all that will listen. Listen that is to the fact that “we the people” barely exists anymore and corruption and lies run amok and rule. This country has been sold to the highest bidder and justice is truly blind.

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