|Progressive Calendar 08.09.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2008 05:28:01 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.09.08 1. Peace walk 8.09 9am Cambridge MN 2. RNC/war 8.09 10am 3. War made easy/f 8.09 10:30am 4. Nagasaki 8.09 10:30am 5. NWN4P Mtka 8.09 11am 6. Poor people 8.09 11am 7. Pancakes/benefit 8.09 11am 8. Garden tour 8.09 1pm 9. Sudman/Iraq 8.09 1:30pm 10. Northtown vigil 8.09 2pm 11. Nagasaki 8.09 7pm Duluth MN 12. Stillwater vigil 8.10 1pm 13. Health/RNC/AM950 8.10 3pm 14. Vets for peace 8.10 6pm 15. KFAI/Indian 8.10 7pm 16. Manuel Garcia - On voting: a ritual of justifying biases 17. M Shahid Alam - The Zionist way: dispossession, expansion & paranoia 18. David Model - Instant genocide: the legacy of Hiroshima & Nagasaki 19. Naomi Klein - The Olympics: unveiling police state 2.0 --------1 of 19-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 8.09 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------2 of 19-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: RNC/war 8.09 10am March on the RNC and Stop the War August 9 and 10, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. 1313 5th Street Southeast, Room 112c (Old Marshall High School in Dinkytown), Minneapolis. Volunteer to help spread the word about the upcoming March on the RNC and Stop the War. FFI and to Volunteer: Call Sarah, 612-379-4716. --------3 of 19-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: War made easy/f 8.09 10:30am Documentary: "War Made Easy" Saturday August 9, 10:30 a.m. Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis. "War Made Easy," the critically acclaimed documentary movie produced by the Media Education Foundation, narrated by Sean Penn and featuring Norman Soloman will begin a kickoff promotion for the non-partisan, non-profit "Peace Island Picnic" (one of the "UnConvention" projects being organized for September 4th on Harriet Island by Coleen and Ross Rowley). "War Made Easy" provides unique insights about the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq, setting government spin and media collusion from the present alongside virtually identical patterns from the past. --------4 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Nagasaki 8.09 10:30am Saturday, 8/9, 10:30 am, Nagasiki commemoration including moment of silence at 11:02 am, the time of the bomb dropping), Global Harmony Labyrinth, Como Park, St Paul. (Labyrinth is located near the south end of the pedestrian bridge.) http://www.wilpfmn.org/hn/ or JoAnn at msphncc [at] gmail.com or 952-922-0308. --------5 of 19-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 8.09 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------6 of 19-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Poor people 8.09 11am Saturday, August 9: Welfare Rights Committee invites all to come to a Celebration to get involved in organizing and planning the poor people's contingent. 11 AM - 1 PM at Sibley Park Community Center, Cedar Ave & 40th St E. Free rides, food and child care. This event is in preparation for their march on the RNC. They are asking all low income people to join the Poor Peoples Contingent in the Republican National Convention on September 1, 2008 and support the slogan "Money For Human Needs, Not for War!" --------7 of 19-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Pancakes/benefit 8.09 11am EWOK! presents a VEGAN PANCAKE BREAKFAST! THIS SATURDAY, AUGUST 9TH! @ THE TOAST SALOON 3221 ELLIOT AVE S. 11 AM suggested donations: 5-15$$ no one will be turned away for lack of funds all proceeds will go to JOYANNA ZACHER and NATHAN BLOCK (Sadie and Exile), eco-prisoners and victims of the green scare there will be coffee and tea and all-you- can- eat pancakes, and good company!!! --------8 of 19-------- From: Giving Tree Gardens <Giving_Tree_Gardens [at] mail.vresp.com> Subject: Garden tour 8.09 1pm Once again, Giving Tree Gardens will be offering a tour of its award-winning gardens at the Seward Co-Op. Join Russ Henry, of Giving Tree Gardens, on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 1 p.m. at the co-op gardens in front of the store (in the event of rain, the tour will be rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m.). Russ will discuss organic gardening practices, soil health, garden maintenance and composting, so bring your gardening-related questions. After we tour the co-op gardens Russ will also walk down a couple blocks with interested folks to one of his latest garden projects on historic Milwaukee Avenue! --------9 of 19-------- From: sudman [at] aol.com Subject: Sudman/Iraq 8.09 1:30pm FNVW 8/9 SPEAKER EVENT: LIFE IN IRAQ: ONE PERSPECTIVE Saturday, Aug. 9, 1:30pm at Friends for a Non-Violent World, 1050 Selby Av, St. Paul 55104 Natalie Sudman, artist and writer, and sister of FNVW member Sharon Sudman, works for the Army Corps of Engineers and was stationed in Iraq as a reconstruction engineer for 15 months. Wounded in an EFP attack last Thanksgiving, she is now traveling and telling her story. This will be an interactive presentation with photos of life on and off the base, and a generous Q&A. This is not an anti-war presentation, but an objective view from someone in a position to reveal much detail about occupation and reconstruction in southern Iraq. At FNVW, 1050 Selby, St. Paul, please RSVP to info [at] fnvw.org or call 651-917-0383. Presentation limited to 35. --------10 of 19-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 8.09 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------11 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Nagasaki 8.09 7pm Duluth MN Saturday, 8/9, 7 pm, remembering, mourning and repenting the destruction of the US bombing of Nagasaki, Peace UCC Church, 1111 N 11th St, Duluth. earthmannow [at] gmail.com or http://www.wnpj.org --------12 of 19-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 8.10 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------13 of 19-------- From: James Mayer <jmayer [at] academymayer.com> Subject: Health/RNC/AM950 8.10 3pm Of the People: This Sunday, August 10th at 3 p.m. on AM 950--Air America Minnesota's new name; call letters: ktnf--with Host James Mayer. " "What do we want?" "When do we want it?" Do those repeated shouts to demonstrators take you back to some of the protests and marches in other times of crisis? Protests and demonstrations will have an important role along with all the other tools of democracy in the remaining weeks of August leading to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul and Minneapolis from the 1st to the 4th of September. One response to those questions from a large and growing number of people would be "Health care for all of us!" and "Now!" To discuss this with us this Sunday, we welcome back health economist and Pharmacist Dr. Joel Albers, with the Minnesota Chapter of Universal Health Care Action Network, UHCAN-Minnesota. Among other things, he will share insights learned from protesting the previous three Republican National Conventions, and several other national protests on how Health Care activists can join forces with others to counter the attitude that John McCain shares other Republican National Convention (RNC) delegates. He will also discuss with our listeners the disconnect between health care positions of some candidates in the upcoming elections and what the public wants. --------14 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vets for peace 8.10 6pm Sunday, 8/10, 6 to 8:30 pm, Veterans for Peace chapter 27 meets, St Stephens Church, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls. (Ring bell on north door.) John Varone 952-2665. --------15 of 19-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org> Subject: KFAI/Indian 8.10 7pm KFAI's Indian Uprising, August 10, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #277 The Garden Warriors Apprenticeship Program is an environmental education project of the Dream of Wild Health Program for urban American Indian youth, ages 13-17, who participate in a four-week, paid apprenticeship. Each year, more than 30 Native youth learn about healthy nutrition and the prevention of diabetes and obesity, organic farming, cultural heritage, basic job skills, and leadership. Dream of Wild Health is a program of Peta Wakan Tipi (Lakota for Sacred Fire Lodge), Inc. DWH also offers a program for Native youth, ages 8-12, that teaches diabetes and obesity prevention, along with their cultural heritage and organic farming. DWH was created in 1998 to bring traditional Native plants--and their culinary, medicinal and spiritual uses--to clients in recovery and the broader American Indian community. Located on 10-acres in Hugo, Minnesota, DWH has preserved a large collection of indigenous heirloom seeds, grows a wide variety of organic produce, and provides educational and cultural programs for kids and adults. Peta Wakan Tipi is one of Minnesotašs oldest American Indian-established and run nonprofit organizations, having provided culturally appropriate housing and support services for recovering American Indian people in the Twin Cities since 1986. www.petawakantipi.org Ernie Whiteman (Northern Arapaho), Cultural Director, Garden Warriors Apprenticeship Program. GWAP Students * * * * Indian Uprising is a KFAI Public & Cultural Affairs program relevant to Native Indigenous people, broadcast each Sunday on 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Volunteer producer & host is Chris Spotted Eagle. For internet listening, visit www.kfai.org, click Play under ON AIR NOW or for listening later via their archives, click PROGRAMS & SCHEDULE > Indian Uprising > STREAM. Programs are archived for two weeks. --------16 of 19-------- A Ritual of Justifying Biases On Voting By MANUEL GARCIA, Jr. CounterPunch August 8, 2008 The brain is a food-seeking antenna at the service of the stomach, the controlling organ of the body. To understand this is to be free of the delusion that we humans are rational beings who observe to gather data for analysis, analyze to formulate plans and arrive at decisions, and then employ our physical selves and our exosomatic mechanisms to enact these plans and decisions. Instead, we decide emotionally and largely unconsciously, generally on the basis of fear and prejudice, and we use our brains to fabricate post-facto rationalizations for our biases and predetermined actions. Some may feel this characterization of human motivation is unjustly insulting to human dignity, and severely dismissive of human intellect. I concede that it will not be universally applicable, but I think it sufficiently representative to help explain many social trends and popular attitudes. Let us consider attitudes about voting in the 2008 US presidential election. All the ballots will list many presidential candidates, but we can group these into three categories based on political party: Democratic, Republican, minor party and independent candidates. The Democratic and Republican parties are the official political organizations of the military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC). They prosecute the interests of US capitalism's ownership class by managing the dollar-area empire, both parties vying for each four-year contract to operate the national government. These two parties are called "the major parties" because they share a joint control of the political apparatus, extending to all three branches of government: executive, judicial and legislative. The relative proportions of managerial power allotted quadrennially to the major parties reflects the consensus of political opinion among the many constituencies making up the MICC (adjustments may occur through mid-term elections). It is important to remember that the domestic component of MICC capitalism is economic class warfare, capital's unrelenting attack on the working class ("labor," "wage earners," or most accurately "wage slaves"), and the foreign component is imperialism by militarized dollar-area economics (see my previous article, "Oiling The War Machine" http://www.counterpunch.org/garcia07112008.html). Voting for a major party candidate is an endorsement of MICC capitalism, both in its domestic assaults on popular democracy and the working class, and in its imperialistic aggression. Expressing a preference for a Democratic or Republican candidate is accepting MICC capitalism with an endorsement of one of its two proposed management styles. The major parties have been called collectively a "duopoly." It is delusional to imagine that, once in office, a charismatic or maverick presidential candidate from a major party would betray the class interests of his or her patrons - the MICC sustaining this political career - to advance a popular working class aspiration, in other words to reverse the course of the class war. On the other hand, it is certain that those the MICC advances to the presidential competition will be adept at convincing much of the public (in the proletariat) that a populist bond of shared aspiration does indeed exist between them. The MICC prizes Individuals capable of this feat because they are more effective at social control by the leading of public opinion. This projection of illusion, basically a lie, is called "identity politics." Vanity leads many presidential contenders to overestimate their capabilities in this area, and the primary elections are intended to weed them out. The third category of presidential candidates is that of independent and minor party candidates. We eliminate from further discussion the frivolous and delusional candidacies appearing on any ballot. There remain numerous individuals leading a wide variety of political parties with little if any actual political power, and independent candidates with some substantive platform. The three minor parties of most significance are the Constitution Party (paleoconservative, or authoritarian capitalist), the Green Party (center-left populist) and the Libertarian Party (anti-authoritarian capitalist). Two notable independent candidates today are Ralph Nader (a long-time and effective advocate for economic justice), running for US president, and Cindy Sheehan (today's best-known US anti-war activist), running for California's 8th congressional district seat in the US House of Representatives. Honest minor party and independent candidates (we exclude the dishonest careerists from further consideration) seek to have their platforms of ideas widely accepted, whether or not they themselves advance to leadership roles by riding on the hypothetical flood tide of social transformation they advocate. Voting for a minor party or independent candidate is an endorsement of their platform. Since the US American empire is a hierarchy of greed managed by patronage, the only way to register your preference for a different model of national organization, through the electoral process, is to vote for an anti-imperialist or socialist minor party or independent candidate. In doing this you add to the popularity of the party or organization advocating the platform you support, and that organization may then reach the stature necessary in the U.S. to receive public funding. A vote for a minor party or independent candidate is a vote to "build the party" that carries the message, the platform, you believe in. In choosing to vote this way you choose to forsake registering an opinion on which of two styles of empire management is preferable. So, you have three choices: 1, vote for the empire led by John McCain with a lumbering regressive politics; 2, vote for the empire led by Barack Obama with sophisticated regressive politics; 3, vote against the empire. There are many minor parties and independent candidates, and the array spans the political spectrum. Some are anti-imperialist and/or democratic-socialist, and it is the combination of these that I indicate in choice 3. For completeness I should add choice 4: one could probably find and vote for minor parties unopposed to empire, and with narrow ideological, issue or regional focus. Applying a leftist bias, I discount this fourth choice. We already know the most important outcome of the 2008 election, the headline could read: "Americans Overwhelmingly Endorse Empire!" Why? Because too many voters have internalized the indoctrination that instructs them to measure the efficacy of their elected representatives by the quantity of pork barrel slopped their way. It's all about the money. Everybody wants their local federal grant, or highway repair, or school building fund in exchange for their vote; every politician wants those votes, as well as his or her campaign funds; and every capitalist wants political and regulatory favors in exchange for those campaign funds. The Duoploy continues not only because it can manipulate the apparatus of government to prevent parliamentary democracy, but because much of the public does not want to lose its share of the pork barrel occasionally cracked open for it, by shifting its allegiance to minor parties and independent candidates. We voters make our electoral choices on the basis of biases that are rarely as dispassionate and principled as we declare. Racism is one obvious factor influencing electoral choices in the U.S. If we view bias as "thinking with your stomach," or "gut feel," then we can ask: what is any voter's bias? A US industry revolves around this question. Each individual's dominant motivation will often combine the avoidance of their fears, which can involve prejudices and superstitions few admit openly today, and the grasping for objects (including money), status (self-esteem) and relationships that are idealized as desirable. People dominated by the grasping for wealth, and prone to xenophobia, will easily find that the Republican Party speaks for them. People dominated by a desire for protection against both impersonal natural forces and socially callous authoritarian, bureaucratic and capitalist organizations are more likely to be drawn to the Democratic Party. These are broad generalizations offered as suggestive, not exhaustive, descriptions. Some portion of a voter's preference will be based on the personal attributes of a candidate: race, military veteran status, age, ethnicity, assumed state of health, assumed sexual proclivities; and another portion of the preference will be based on the assumed benefits to be had with the victory of one or another party as regards: the personal pocketbook, the social impact, potential policy changes in an area of personal interest, pork barrel. "What's in it for me?" So, after people vote in hopes of lowering their taxes, sheltering their capital gains, closing out undesirable populations from their comfortable neighborhood enclaves, or from the entire country, gaining advantages from foreign laborers cheaply, subsidizing their private liabilities at public expense, initiating new wars they anticipate profiting from, and in many other ways gaining exclusive preferences and subsidies, and giving free rein to their prejudices, they may seek sympathetic characterizations of their voting rationales because uttering the unvarnished truth would be too embarrassing. We can surmise that most eligible voters, and many ineligible ones, already know how they would vote in November 2008, their major uncertainty is how to describe why they voted as they will, while maintaining the appearances that matter to them. Justifying a vote for McCain or against empire is trivial, raw capitalism and white power prefer the former, revolution the latter. More nuanced justifications are needed by Obama voters. Perhaps the simplest and sincerest justification would be a desire to elect an Afro-American president. Others could claim they are Democratic Party loyalists, hence automatic voters for Obama. This is an elastic rationale which can be conveniently stretched to cover over both ideological and pork barrel affinities. The most elaborate justifications would have to be by leftists and progressives, people who see themselves as anti-imperialists, who plan to vote for Obama as a way to vote against the McCain continuation of Bush-Cheneyism, thus of necessity casting ballots in favor of the empire. This conflict between self-image and political reality - Obama is an imperialist - has been oozing through its cocoon of denial in published commentaries that admit to "disillusion" and complain about Obama's "shift to the right." Obama hasn't changed, but for people who can't yet face up to the fact that they deluded themselves, it is easier to ascribe the evaporation of their illusions to an undesirable shift in Obama's political stance. In fairness to the reader, let me state that my own bias is for an anti-imperial, anti-capitalist, socialist model of national organization. I do not expect most citizens of the United States to arrive at this conclusion in the foreseeable future. Given this view, it is illogical for me to vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama. With either one I get more war, and I will never again vote for war. Ralph Nader is my logical choice for president because he advocates what I want (Cindy Sheehan would be my choice for congress if I lived in Nancy Pelosi's district). Objectively, I realize that Ralph Nader will not win the election. So, is my vote wasted? Since it is my vote and I prefer to apply it to the support of the people who carry on the platform of ideas I would wish this nation to adopt, no. I understand how presumptuous Democrats may wish to commandeer my vote, with the excuse that as a leftist I should be a captive of their party, and vote for O'Clinton to spite McBush. They will wail that my vote for Nader is a wasted vote, perhaps even contributing to a Republican victory. But, I repeat, I will never again vote for war, and I will never again endorse the empire. I don't care if I'm the only person in the country who votes against the empire. That will never be a wasted vote. "I'd rather vote for what I want and not get it, than vote for what I don't want and get lots of it." If I can do this, then so can you, and so could a majority of US voters, once they wake up. Manuel Garcia, Jr. is a retired physicist. E-mail = mango [at] idiom.com --------17 of 19-------- Dispossession, Expansion and Paranoia The Zionist Stratagem By M. SHAHID ALAM CounterPunch August 8, 2008 "Anti-Semitism has grown and continues to grow, and so do I". Theodore Herzl  As a self-defined movement for the national "liberation" of European Jews, Zionism had an anomalous relationship with its perennial Other, the Gentile nations, from whom it wanted the Jews to secede and become a distinct nation under a Jewish state. The Zionists did not define Europe's Gentile nations as the adversary they would have to oppose, and against whom they would struggle, to secure the rights of Jews to emerge as a distinct nation. On the contrary, the Zionists would harness the strength of their perennial Other - their adversary - to gain their nationalist objective. Unlike nationalists who secede from a state or empire by drawing new borders, the Zionists did not demand any European territory; they planned to establish their Jewish state outside the borders of Europe. In other words, the Zionists were offering to execute what any state facing secessionist demands would have embraced quite avidly: the Jewish "secessionists" would sail away from Europe and establish their state in the Middle East, well-removed from Europe. This was a novel approach to national liberation. As a first step, the Zionists proposed to liberate Jews from European persecution by arranging for their exodus from Europe. This had always been the dream of European anti-Semites: to cleanse their landscape of Jewish presence. Over the past thousand years, different states in Europe had periodically attempted this voiding of Jews through forced conversions, pogroms, expulsions, and segregating Jews from Gentiles. The Zionists were now proposing to purge Europe of its Jews on a scale never attempted before, and without the inconvenience of disturbing the peace. It was a contract that Europe's anti-Semites would have difficulty turning down. Indeed, the Zionists fully expected the anti-Semites to give them whatever help they needed to effect the Jewish exodus. The Zionists were counting on this help; it was indispensable for the completion of their project. The second step in the Zionist plan was to seize control of Palestine, open it up to Jewish colonization, and, when the Jewish colons had gained sufficient demographic mass in Palestine, they would convert it into a Jewish state, preferably without the natives. The Zionists could not undertake this step without the help of European powers. This was a clever stratagem: quite original to Zionism. The Zionists sought to convert an impossible nationalism - with little prospect of ever achieving its goal inside Europe - into a settler-colonial project. In addition, they would convert the Jews' erstwhile adversaries into strategic partners. The Zionists expected to persuade at least one European power to play the part of "mother country" to the Jewish colons in Palestine. It appeared that the Zionists were going to outperform Moses of Jewish tradition. Moses too had chosen to liberate the Hebrews of ancient Egypt by marching them out of Egypt into Canaan, where they would establish their own state. There were important differences, however, between the two plans. The Zionists did not seek divine help, but they would receive help from the anti-Semites. Moses had divine help but his plan was opposed by the Egyptians. The Egyptians could not have agreed to Moses' long march because he was running away with their property - their Hebrew slaves. In Europe, on the other hand, the Jews owned considerable property - banks, bank accounts, factories, houses, lands - that they would leave behind. Clearly, the Zionists were offering the Europeans an attractive deal. Help us create a Jewish settler-state in Palestine: and we will solve your Jewish problem, free you from Jewish competition, free you of the Jewish presence, and you can have all their property we leave behind. This Jewish property was another gift the Zionists offered to Europe's anti-Semites. To Europe's anti-Semites, the deal was irresistible. In fact, some of them would think they could kill two birds with the Zionist stone. They would get rid of the Jews, and renew the Crusades against the Muslims. Of course, there were complications. States do not get into deals without considering all the costs. The great powers with an interest in the Middle East knew that backing the Zionist plan would mean war against the Ottomans. It would also mean perpetual war against the Muslims, since this was an egregious injustice against them and a deep violation of their historical space. That is why the great powers balked. It was World War I that changed the calculus. When the Ottomans joined the war on the side of Germany, the Allied Powers - Britain, France and Russia - decided to dismantle the Ottoman empire. Even then, there was little interest in the Zionist plan - despite intense Zionist lobbying. Two factors turned the tide in 1917. In Britain, a new cabinet had taken office in December 1916 with at least five strongly pro-Zionist ministers, including the prime minister, David Lloyd George. In addition, the war had been going badly for the Allied Powers on the eastern and western fronts. Now more than ever before, Zionist lobbying became a formidable force. The Zionists lobbied Britain, Germany, and the US for their support of Zionist goals. They made sure that their lobbying of one power was known to others: thus forcing them to compete for the support which the Zionists promised them in their war effort. The Zionists promised to bring the US more fully into the war, to keep Russia in the war, and to mobilize the resources of world Jewry on the side of the power that would support their cause. It did not matter if the Zionists could deliver these promises: the European leaders were convinced they could. At this point, all the pro-Zionist forces converged - anti-Semitism, Christian Zionism, Crusader zeal, racism, national interests, and, above all, Zionist lobbying - to place the power of the British empire behind the Zionists. By late October 1917, after many months of maneuvers, the Zionists and the British finally agreed upon a statement that would signal British commitment to Zionism. On November 2 1917, this statement was delivered by Lord Balfour - British foreign secretary - in a letter to Lord Rothschild, a distinguished leader of Britain's Jewish community. This was the Balfour Declaration: this was the document that would formalize a new - and for the most part, irreversible - partnership between Western Jews and the West, joined, pitted, in expanding wars against the Islamic world. During the nineteenth century, when Britain and France competed to control the land bridge of the Levant, each sought to lure the Jews into their scheme to create a Jewish protectorate in Palestine. The Jews then quietly rejected these overtures: they could sense that a Jewish state in Palestine would be a trap. Starting in 1897, when the European powers had lost interest in this colonial scheme, it was the Zionists who revived it. Their hubris was so great, they were willing to ignore the hazards of their plan. No doubt, the Zionists did overcome these hazards: and their successes have been stunning. But Zionist successes have not helped to establish a political equilibrium in the Middle East. On the contrary, they have been deeply destabilizing. Zionist victories over existing foes produce new ones, harder to defeat than those they replace. Despite its military superiority, Israel feels paranoid. It seeks its security in the total obliteration of its foes. It works round-the-clock to strangulate the Palestinians, it has repeatedly unleashed destruction against the Lebanese, it was the leading advocate of the war against Iraq. And now it threatens to unleash a nuclear holocaust against Iran. Most Zionists now believe that Israel is just another war away from forging an absolute, irreversible "right to exist" - a code for the right to exercise perpetual hegemony over the Middle East. Will the world grant Israel this "right" if this last war turns Iran into a nuclear wasteland? Will history forget or forgive this crime? M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Challenging the New Orientalism (2007). Send comments to alqalam02760 [at] yahoo.com. Visit his website at: http://aslama.org. M. Shahid Alam. Footnotes:  David Hirst, The gun and the olive branch: The roots of violence in the Middle East (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003): 286. --------18 of 19-------- The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Instant Genocide By DAVID MODEL CounterPunch August 8, 2008 As we commemorate the deaths of those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, feelings will cover the gamut of emotions from remorse to anger. I am horrified by the events of August 6, 1945 and August 9, 1945 for several reasons. All the people who died were innocent civilians who were not involved in the war. As well, Japan was already defeated and was desperately trying to surrender on any terms. Then there is the evil in humankind that can murder so many people just to demonstrate to your post-war enemy, as a form of blackmail, that you have a powerful new weapon. In addition, careful study of the facts reveals that the U.S. leadership was guilty of genocide for bombing these two cities. It is important to realize that Japan was completely defeated by the time the decision was made to drop the nuclear weapons. As the allies marched relentlessly toward mainland Japan, they crippled the Japanese war machine. In the battle of the Philippine Sea and Marianas, the Japanese decided to throw everything they had at the American fleet in one final desperate attempt to destroy the American Pacific Fleet. Both the air and naval battles were decisive as Japan lost 476 planes and two carriers. Japan would never recover from the crippling blow to its air power. As early as 1943, the U.S. was destroying unprotected merchant vessels with attacks by submarines. By the end of 1944, the U.S. had sunk half of Japan's merchant fleet. The loss of its merchant vessels had severely diminished Japan's supply of natural resources, food, and oil, and by the summer of 1945, American submarines had a choke hold on the traffic of merchant vessels serving Japan. The lack of incoming supplies was causing starvation among the Japanese people. To execute the coup de grace, the U.S. airforce fire-bombed Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Yokohama, and Kawasaki gutting over 40 percent of these urban areas. At this point in the war, Japan's cities had been severely damaged, the industrial base virtually destroyed, the navy and airforce rendered useless, and the people suffering from starvation. One of the major issues to be considered was whether an invasion of Japan would cost substantially less lives than dropping the bomb. This is one of the mythical justifications to support the use of nuclear weapons because the President did not have any serious discussions with the military about the potential loss of lives and in addition, most military leaders rejected the use of the bombs. For example, Fleet Admiral William D. Leay, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that, "The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan". Japan had been sending out peace feelers to a number of embassies including the ones in the Soviet Union, Portugal, and Germany. The German Ambassador to Tokyo sent a cable reporting that the Japanese would surrender even if the terms were hard. When the Potsdam Papers were published four years after the war, it became very clear that Truman was well aware of these peace feelers through intercepts of Japanese communications. Before assessing whether dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were genocide, it is important to determine when a legitimate military action crosses over the line into war crimes. Given that the Japanese military machine had been crushed, defense industries had been destroyed, major cities had been fire-bombed, and the embargo was depriving the Japanese of vital supplies in conjunction with the fact that the two bombed cities were not in any sense military targets, it is safe to conclude that using the bombs was not a legitimate action. In Article ii of the Genocide Convention, it states that "Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group such as: 1. Killing members of the group". The group in this case is a part of a national group, namely the Japanese people. There are many precedents to show that the "in part" in this case meets the criteria of the Convention. For example, the International Criminal for the former Yugoslavia concluded that "The killing of members of part of a group as such located in this small geographical area". To prove intent, it is only necessary to show that Truman knew that Japan was defeated and was desperately seeking to surrender and at the same time, he did not consult his military commanders. He also postponed the Potsdam meeting, much to Churchill's chagrin, until after the bomb was successfully tested. The bombing of these two Japanese cities meets the criteria of the Genocide Convention and therefore constitutes genocide. It was a horrific, unconscionable act that stands as the first use of a weapon capable of destroying life on this planet and as an example of the depths of evil to which we can sink. David Model is a Professor of Political Science at Seneca College. He is the author of States of Darkness: US Complicity in Genocides Since 1945. He can be reached at: david.model [at] senecac.on.ca --------19 of 19-------- The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0 by Naomi Klein Published on Thursday, August 7, 2008 by The Huffington Post Common Dreams So far, the Olympics have been an open invitation to China-bash, a bottomless excuse for Western journalists to go after the Commies on everything from internet censorship to Darfur. Through all the nasty news stories, however, the Chinese government has seemed amazingly unperturbed. That.s because it is betting on this: when the opening ceremonies begin friday, you will instantly forget all that unpleasantness as your brain is zapped by the cultural/athletic/political extravaganza that is the Beijing Olympics. Like it or not, you are about to be awed by China.s sheer awesomeness. The games have been billed as China's "coming out party" to the world. They are far more significant than that. These Olympics are the coming out party for a disturbingly efficient way of organizing society, one that China has perfected over the past three decades, and is finally ready to show off. It is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarianism communism - central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance - harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism. Some call it "authoritarian capitalism," others "market Stalinism," personally I prefer "McCommunism". The Beijing Olympics are themselves the perfect expression of this hybrid system. Through extraordinary feats of authoritarian governing, the Chinese state has built stunning new stadiums, highways and railways - all in record time. It has razed whole neighborhoods, lined the streets with trees and flowers and, thanks to an "anti-spitting" campaign, cleaned the sidewalks of saliva. The Communist Party of China even tried to turn the muddy skies blue by ordering heavy industry to cease production for a month - a sort of government-mandated general strike. As for those Chinese citizens who might go off-message during the games - Tibetan activists, human right campaigners, malcontent bloggers - hundreds have been thrown in jail in recent months. Anyone still harboring protest plans will no doubt be caught on one of Beijing's 300,000 surveillance cameras and promptly nabbed by a security officer; there are reportedly 100,000 of them on Olympics duty. The goal of all this central planning and spying is not to celebrate the glories of Communism, regardless of what China's governing party calls itself. It is to create the ultimate consumer cocoon for Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cell phones, McDonald's happy meals, Tsingtao beer, and UPS delivery - to name just a few of the official Olympic sponsors. But the hottest new market of all is the surveillance itself. Unlike the police states of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, China has built a Police State 2.0, an entirely for-profit affair that is the latest frontier for the global Disaster Capitalism Complex. Chinese corporations financed by U.S. hedge funds, as well as some of American's most powerful corporations - Cisco, General Electric, Honeywell, Google - have been working hand in glove with the Chinese government to make this moment possible: networking the closed circuit cameras that peer from every other lamp pole, building the "Great Firewall" that allows for remote internet monitoring, and designing those self-censoring search engines. By next year, the Chinese internal security market is set to be worth $33-billion. Several of the larger Chinese players in the field have recently taken their stocks public on U.S. exchanges, hoping to cash in the fact that, in volatile times, security and defense stocks are seen as the safe bets. China Information Security Technology, for instance, is now listed on the NASDAQ and China Security and Surveillance is on the NYSE. A small clique of U.S. hedge funds has been floating these ventures, investing more than $150-million in the past two years. The returns have been striking. Between October 2006 and October 2007, China Security and Surveillance's stock went up 306 percent. Much of the Chinese government's lavish spending on cameras and other surveillance gear has taken place under the banner of "Olympic Security". But how much is really needed to secure a sporting event? The price tag has been put at a staggering $12-billion - to put that in perspective, Salt Lake City, which hosted the Winter Olympics just five months after September 11, spent $315 million to secure the games. Athens spent around $1.5-billion in 2004. Many human rights groups have pointed out that China's security upgrade is reaching far beyond Beijing: there are now 660 designated "safe cities" across the country, municipalities that have been singled out to receive new surveillance cameras and other spy gear. And of course all the equipment purchased in the name of Olympics safety - iris scanners, "anti-riot robots" and facial recognition software - will stay in China after the games are long gone, free to be directed at striking workers and rural protestors. What the Olympics have provided for Western firms is a palatable cover story for this chilling venture. Ever since the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, U.S. companies have been barred from selling police equipment and technology to China, since lawmakers feared it would be directed, once again, at peaceful demonstrators. That law has been completely disregarded in the lead up to the Olympics, when, in the name of safety for athletes and VIPs (including George W. Bush), no new toy has been denied the Chinese state. There is a bitter irony here. When Beijing was awarded the games seven years ago, the theory was that international scrutiny would force China's government to grant more rights and freedom to its people. Instead, the Olympics have opened up a backdoor for the regime to massively upgrade its systems of population control and repression. And remember when Western companies used to claim that by doing business in China, they were actually spreading freedom and democracy? We are now seeing the reverse: investment in surveillance and censorship gear is helping Beijing to actively repress a new generation of activists before it has the chance to network into a mass movement. The numbers on this trend are frightening. In April 2007, officials from 13 provinces held a meeting to report back on how their new security measures were performing. In the province of Jiangsu, which, according to the South China Morning Post, was using "artificial intelligence to extend and improve the existing monitoring system" the number of protests and riots "dropped by 44 per cent last year". In the province of Zhejiang, where new electronic surveillance systems had been installed, they were down 30 per cent. In Shaanxi, "mass incidents" - code for protests - were down by 27 per cent in a year. Dong Lei, the province's deputy party chief, gave part of the credit to a huge investment in security cameras across the province. "We aim to achieve all day and all-weather monitoring capability," he told the gathering. Activists in China now find themselves under intense pressure, unable to function even at the limited levels they were able to a year ago. Internet cafes are filled with surveillance cameras, and surfing is carefully watched. At the offices of a labor rights group in Hong Kong, I met the well-known Chinese dissident Jun Tao. He had just fled the mainland in the face of persistent police harassment. After decades of fighting for democracy and human rights, he said the new surveillance technologies had made it "impossible to continue to function in China". It's easy to see the dangers of a high tech surveillance state in far off China, since the consequences for people like Jun are so severe. It's harder to see the dangers when these same technologies creep into every day life closer to home-networked cameras on U.S. city streets, "fast lane" biometric cards at airports, dragnet surveillance of email and phone calls. But for the global homeland security sector, China is more than a market; it is also a showroom. In Beijing, where state power is absolute and civil liberties non-existent, American-made surveillance technologies can be taken to absolute limits. The first test begins today: Can China, despite the enormous unrest boiling under the surface, put on a "harmonious" Olympics? If the answer is yes, like so much else that is made in China, Police State 2.0 will be ready for export. Read my full report on how U.S. corporations are helping to build China's high tech Police State in Rolling Stone. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is now out in paperback. You can find extensive resources related to the book at www.shockdoctrine.org. Copyright 2008 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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