Archive | June 27th, 2011

Jewish Voice for Peace? Really??

NOVANEWS

By Nahida the Exiled Palestinian

It appears that, yet again, Anti-zionist Jewish organizations are trying to silence Palestine’s supporters, to frame the debate, to secure the future of their brethren in occupied Palestine and to steer the course of Liberation of our Homeland

I would invite people to hear a Palestinian voice, here:

A strategy of liberation requires emancipation

* No decent human-being would demand to live on STOLEN land and still claims to have a fiber of morality.

* No decent human-being could claim that the perpetrator should have the same rights as the victim while claiming to be a humanist.

* Palestinians are under no obligation to hold back their march for freedom, to curtail their aims or to smother their rights for the sake of accommodating and not offending their Jewish supporters.

* Palestinians are always grateful and appreciative of the hard work and dedication of all their supporters whomever they are, however, Palestinians have NO obligation to adopt the aims and objectives of the anti-zionist Jewish supporters instead of their own.

* Dismissing the Palestinian voice as radical, reactionary, intolerant, or unreasonable, and requiring instead the Jewish-anti-zionist stamp of approval to have legitimacy to speak for Palestine, is preposterous and contradicts basic concepts of human rights and does not do justice to Palestinians.

* Palestinians have the ultimate right to choose their vision for their future, of a FREE and sovereign Palestine including the type of government, the writing of constitution, the construction and implementation of their legal and juristic system, which stems from and corresponds to their ethics and reflects and protects their culture.

* Palestinians have the ultimate right to make the final decision on who is allowed to stay in liberated Palestine and who is not, using the legal procedure of their own choice.

* The future of the Palestinian struggle and the aim of liberation of Palestine should not be designed to shield the occupier from paying the full price of his crimes; including the punishment of all those who participated in transgression, and the deportation of the illegitimate Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants who colonized Palestine forcefully and were engaged in acts of aggression against Palestinians including serving in the IOF.

* All refugee and their descendents have the unconditional right to come back home, they as the rightful indigenous owners are also entitled to the reinstatement of ALL confiscated (stolen) land and property, compensation for all their losses over the many years of exile and they are also entitled to Palestinian citizenship wherever they are.

* The aims and aspirations of most Palestinians are not confined to the change of zionist regime or the vacuous declaration of abandonment of zionism by the Jewish-zionist occupiers, but rather to the FULL Liberation of Palestine and the restoration of all their rights.

* It is the privilege of Palestinians to decide who should stay in their homeland and who not.

* After a century of terror, theft and crimes; had the Zionist shown any signs of remorse, respect or willingness to be decent guests, had they embraced with open arms the hospitable people of Palestine rather than destroying them with fire-arms; they might have had a chance to be accepted and forgiven. Not any more, as far as I am concerned. They have lost that opportunity.

As a Palestinian, I see the role of any “Jewish voice for peace” who sincerely desire to contribute to the Liberation of Palestine and justice for Palestinians, and who desire to be identified through their contributions “as Jews”, then their role ought to be focused on cleaning their own house before sorting other people’s houses; i.e. that is to exclude any major role in influencing, leading or directing the Solidarity and/or Liberation Movement of Palestine.

Through taking a leading role in campaigning to blacklist organizations and publicationslabel intellectuals and limit the spectrum of debate by censoring topics which they deem “controversial”; by framing the debate they act against intellectual integrity, box Palestinians and their supporters mentally and knowingly or not act as gatekeepers. They force people to self-censorship to avoid been accused of antisemitism; hence preventing them from acquiring, sharing or discussing information freely that would allow them to make their own informed decisions.

Palestinians’ grievances against the zionist theft of their land do by no means justify antisemitism accusations, Palestinians and their supporters are no lesser human beings, they are well capable to sieve through information and make their own evaluation, henceforth it is completely unacceptable that some of our anti-zionist Jewish supporters try to dictate to Palestinians:

who they should accept as a supporter and who should they boycott;

what speaker to invite and whose lecture to avoid;

who they should consider progressive and who can be labeled reactionary;

what religion and religious group are above all criticism and what faith is deemed to be “backward looking and inherently unable to deliver progress”;

what books should be read, and which articles should be thrown away;

what narrative of events should be adopted as “reasonable” and which should be considered a “conspiracy theory”;

what chapter of history should be seen as a “dogmatic unquestionable religion”; and which one should be seen as “hoax” or as a “useless hateful rumors”;

what course of action should be taken and which one should be dismissed a “distraction”;

Furthermore, when censorship is practiced, when some books become forbidden and certain speakers are silenced, it appears to any self-respecting free-thinker that their brain, their ability to analyze and evaluate are being demeaned and patronized.

Rather than wasting their energy campaigning to ostracize or silence some of the most outspoken allies and honest supporters of Palestine, they should rather direct their efforts towards their OWN communities where the rot is anchored and festering: wheresupremacist ideologies reign supreme, chauvinistic anti-humanist beliefs flourish, delusional concepts entrenched and fostered, and criminal Mossadic activities thrive, and where mossers are ostracized and sayanim are promoted.
This ought to be our Jewish allies’ battlefield.

It is only in this specifically Jewish frame of activity, that separate organizations identified as exclusively Jewish can affect significant change and eventually their claim to speak in the name of their Jewishness be vindicated.

On the contrary, when specifically Jewish organizations or activists ubiquitously claim to be the true representative of Jewish people, or the voice of Judaism, whereas they are but a tiny, minute, insignificant and ineffective minority, and what is more an ostracized and despised minority amidst their larger Jewish communities, then these Jewish organizations by making their false claim of representing Jews or Judaism as they bravely expose Israeli crimes, are projecting nothing less than a smoke screen deflecting from the sinister racist ideology which has produced Zionism in the first place.

Is this the Jewish community? or is it this?

Since it is quite obvious that the Jewish members of organizations who claim to be Anti-Zionist, rarely are -if ever, active members of their local Jewish communities and when they try to reach out, they are generally rejected;

since they pretend that exposing the ideologies and activities of their community is a “distraction”;

since they accuse of being “anti-semite” whomever questions the thriving racism and the powerful lobby within the Jewish communities and

since they fail to infiltrate the nefarious Judeo-Zionist network in order to affect real change from within:

therefore the claim that they speak for the Jewish people or Judaism is invalid, and the only reasonable consequence is to dissolve their separate “Jewish only” Anti-Zionist or Pro-Palestinian organizations, in order to become an integral part of the Solidarity Movement.

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Anthony Lawson : The Death of American Democracy

NOVANEWS

 

Israels’ prime minister Benjamin Netanyahus’ ‘standing ovations speech’

before joint meeting of United States congress– May-24-2011

It was the final nail in a coffin, the construction of which began long ago

By Anthony Lawson

The collapses of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, on September 11, 2001, were the most frightening images that I have ever seen, up until May 24th, 2011, when Binyamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of the United States Congress and received 29 standing ovations, along with many other outbursts of sycophantic applause.

It was the final nail in a coffin, the construction of which began long ago, and in it all remaining vestiges of democracy were joyfully laid to rest—by those sworn to protect it—as it became clear that the United States was now controlled by Enemies Inside its Gates.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK7SRYp4sBc
Vimeo link

The Death of American Democracy
http://vimeo.com/25588822

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Palestinians to Seek UN Recognition in September

NOVANEWS
antiwar.com

 

Israeli diplomats are once again pushing vigorously today following the news that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), frustrated by the lack of peace talks, will go to the United Nations in September seeking recognition as a member state.

Israeli officials have been railing against the notion of statehood for years, insisting it poses a grave threat to Israel and that the Palestinians are “not ready” to be independent of the military occupation. In recent months they have insisted Palestinian statehood would end all peace talks.

Which is an increasingly meaningless threat, given the peace talks have been stalled for nearly a year and Israeli officials have repeatedly ruled out returning to talks over various other perceived slights in the meantime. Palestinian officials, rather, say they believe statehood would make talks easier, as the two sides would go into the matter on a more equal footing.

This assumes, of course, that statehood is even possible. Israel is pushing for opposition to the statehood, and while they don’t seem to be making much progress it seems a good bet that the Obama Administration will veto it. Whether it is even theoretically possible to override that veto remains a subject of serious debate.

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Netanyahu: “Piddling” on Congress

NOVANEWS

 

Can You Blame Him?  We All Want to Do It But We’d Be Arrested

(See the new Anthony Lawson video)

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau, a former furniture salesman, addressed congress recently.  He received 29 standing ovations.  His speech?  Speech?

What Netanyahu actually did was drag it out of his pants and hose them down.  Why did he do it?  The answer is simple, because he could!  Was it wrong?  Caligula put his horse in the Roman senate.  American’s never get the whole horse, just the horse’s ass.

Can we blame Netanyahu for noticing?

Watch this excellent video by Anthony Lawson:


YouTube – Veterans Today –

One of my good friends was Netanyahu’s neighbor for years.  He said Netanyahu was a funny guy, “ha ha funny,” not that other kind.  I believe him, especially after seeing this video.

Maybe Netanyahu doesn’t hate America as much as some think.  With new proof about 9/11 running from Israeli foreknowledge to full complicity, one can only guess Netanyahu’s role in the 3000 American deaths and the two subsequent wars.

I can’t hate the guy, not like Bush and Cheney.  He seems to care about his own people, the Jewish ones at least, or at least some of the Jewish ones whereas Bush and Cheney obviously despise all humanity, particularly Americans.

Netanyahu and Hitler are much the same in this way.  Hitler loved Germans like Nethanhu loves Jews.  Without unfair comparisons which, according to revisionist historians, might be unfavorable to either, we can clearly say that both leaders are responsible for their nation’s great strides while portions of their population suffered castigation and internment based on racial or religious theories.

These guys aren’t alone, this goes on everywhere, always has.

This year the American congress dragged itself to its feet 29 times to cheer a leader who orders killings based on race and religion and may have been fully complicit in the murder of thousands of Americans.

Does that surprise anyone?

In 1940, Adolf Hitler, not only could have kept congress on their feet in continual cheering, he could easily have been elected president of the United States.  He only needed the right birth certificate and a few English lessons, not too many.

There are parakeets that speak better English than former President George “W” Bush.

We will be avoiding another unfair comparison here.  Hitler was a war hero, wounded in action, who loved the “German” people.

Comparisons are funny things.  With our history largely fabricated, our news totally falsified and even President Obama, the “reasonable man” having said so many totally ignorant and duplicitous things during his short tenure in office, there can be no certainty.

Netanyahu, a genuinely clever guy, goes before congress, blithers like a trained ape for a few minutes, giggling under his breath.  I would have given anything for an open mike when he was done;

“I almost feel sorry for Americans, what a pack of turds.  This was too easy.”

Without the occasional polemic by Ron Paul, where he dances around “third rail” issues like Israel or 9/11, almost everything said in Congress is as stupid as Netanyahu’s speech.

I give the guy credit.  He has managed to get congress to legalize Israeli spying, legalize bribery then outmaneuvered every other special interest so that congress works for and answers to him only.  He even rents  congress out.  He has a couple of dozen members working for his buddy Gaddafi.  Note Gaddafi’s silence on Israel lately?  Last year, Gaddafi’s son paid for an aid ship to Gaza.

Israel phoned up dad and the mission was called off.

The best part, he used American foreign aid to finance the whole thing.

Congress now has this down pat.  The more given to Israel, not just cash but bloated defense contracts, $10 billion at a time, the more money they get back.  Give Netanyahu a billion and he gets one of his friends to hire your wife for $150,000 a year to lick envelopes (among other things).

Israel didn’t invent this game.  Do some research.  When former president “W” Bush went broke at his only attempt at holding a job, bin Laden paid his bills and kept him out of bankruptcy.  Why do you think the huge bin Laden family was flown out of the country on 9/12/2001?

It was all Bush could do, having scapegoated them.

When Netanyahu arrived in America, he came to a country where the top celebrities were Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann.  He knows a freak show when he sees one.

Who could blame him for taking part.

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McKinney, Farrakhan Said to be on Gaddafi’s “Pad”

NOVANEWS

“Dissidents” on the Take

Open Letter to Gaddafi Supporter Cynthia McKinney from Disappointed Palestinians

Dearest Cynthia McKinney,

Two years ago, you spoke out against Israel’s human rights abuses in Palestine. You were even put in an Israeli prison after your attempts to help deliver medical supplies and humanitarian aid on a ship to Gaza in 2009. For your sacrifices, you gained respect from many Palestinians all over the world.

However, we can’t help but be irked by your recent stance on Libya. It’s fine to be against NATO intervention in Libya. You’re entitled to your own opinion. But to praise Libyan dictator Muammer Gaddafi is completely unacceptable. Anti-intervention shouldn’t equate to whitewashing Gaddafi’s crimes.

Last month, you appeared on Libya State TV, a propaganda organ of the Gaddafi regime. In an interview, you said that the “last thing we need to do is spend money on death, destruction and war… I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war…are not what the people of the United States stand for and it’s not what African-Americans stand for.”

Maybe you could have garnered some legitimacy with that statement if you weren’t speaking on a station run by Gaddafi. Or even better, if you at least offered some recognition that Gaddafi is guilty of perpetrating “death, destruction and war” on his own people.

In the interview, you also claimed you were in Libya on a “fact-finding mission” to “understand the truth.” But Ms. McKinney, you were only in Tripoli, a city under Gaddafi’s control. If you were really on a trip to Libya to see the truth for yourself, why didn’t you go to Benghazi and speak to the opposition movement as well?

Not only that, you praise Gaddafi in the interview, asserting that his Green Book advocates “direct democracy.” You also declare on your Facebook page that Gaddafi was “democratically elected.” Umm, you obviously haven’t met any Libyans before your trip to Tripoli. If you did, you’d know how the majority of Libyans feel about him. And if anything, someone ruling over a country for 42 years should be a hint that they aren’t democratically elected.

Claiming that Libyans wanted Gaddafi as a leader is like saying Palestinians asked for Israel to occupy them. It just doesn’t make sense.

Now, you’re on a nationwide speaking tour, Eyewitness Libya: Cynthia McKinney reports back on the Massive Bombing of Tripoli. Also speaking on the tour will be Akbar Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

First of all, why aren’t there any Libyans speaking on this tour? Secondly, Nation of Islam? Really? The Nation of Islam has defended Gaddafi since the beginning of the Libyan pro-democracy protests in February. Of course, this is probably because the Libyan government has given the Nation millions of dollars over the years.

Not only are Libyans not invited to speak on your tour about Libya, but in Los Angeles, Libyans have been denied entry into the event itself.

Ms. McKinney, this is truly a disappointment. You support the Palestinians, but you are not supporting the Libyan people in their fight for freedom and dignity. What exactly is your motive? A charitable explanation is that you are just completely naïve to Gaddafi’s atrocities. Another reason is that you might support Gaddafi for ideological reasons, like Chavez or Castro. Or, worst case scenario, you could just be another tool on Gaddafi’s payroll. Whatever the case may be, we are extremely disheartened.

The Palestinian and Libyan peoples are connected, both struggling against state-sponsored brutality and political repression. Palestinians stand in solidarity with our Libyan brothers and sisters in their revolution against Gaddafi, as well as others rising up against oppressive dictatorships in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. The Palestinian movement for human rights, civil rights and equality has been invigorated and inspired by these pro-democratic movements.

Ms. McKinney, your pro-Gaddafi stance is completely hypocritical and contradictory to your support for the Palestinians. Unless you retract your statements supporting Gaddafi, we don’t think you have any business sailing to Gaza again. We refuse to accept opportunistic support from people who advocate for murderers.

Sincerely,

A Group of (Severely) Disappointed Palestinians from Gaza, West Bank, and the US

 

please Disappointed Palestinians watch this:


Graphic Video of Libyan Rebel Beheading Gadhaffi Soldier

WARNING! Disturbing Graphic Video. Do NOT watch if you are offended by graphic real violence.

View More Disturbing Videos from Libya >>>

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America is The Biggest Terrorist State of The World

NOVANEWS
by Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

America’s past and present testifies the fact that there is no country in the world matching its destructive oriented policies. The US is the sole country which annihilated millions of inhabitants of Nagasaki and Hiroshima by using hydrogen bombs. Even today no living being in the two affected cities are safe from the thermonuclear aftereffects. Large number of countries had to go through rigors of civil war on account of US intrigues. In its bid to bring down populist elected governments of targeted countries, CIA and FBI secretly provided arms and funds to rebel groups and converted democracy into dictatorship.

After making full use of the selected dictator, when he outlived his utility and became a liability, he was branded a traitor and popular movement organized against him. After creating political and economic instability, spreading lawlessness and inducing a civil war like situation, the US forces were pushed in under the pretext of saving the people from the cruel clutches of dictator. Tunes of freedom and democracy were played up full blast. Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya are cases in point where the people have been deprived of peace and independence.

In order to break-up USSR, CIA first fomented protests against Moscow in Eastern Europe in 1970s by overplaying prosperity and openness of Western Europe and then turned Afghanistan into a battleground. Osama bin Laden (OBL) and thousands of Muslim Jihadis were enticed from all over the Muslim world to promote culture of Jihad against godless communist super power. After accomplishing its objectives, the US abandoned the region in haste and got involved in renovation of Eastern Europe and expanding NATO towards the east. Afghan Mujahideen who had paid the heaviest price in pushing out Soviet troops and Pakistan that had led the proxy war had to go through a long period of trial and tribulation. Left at their own, both Afghanistan and Pakistan were unable to repair the badly bruised socio-economic fabric.

After 9/11, the blue-eyed boy OBL and his holy warriors who were profusely acclaimed by USA and entire western world were declared as most dangerous terrorists. After declaring OBL responsible for attacks on WTC in New York without furnishing any proof, the US destroyed Afghanistan in October-November 2001. Ever since, Afghanistan remains an occupied country and trigger-happy occupation forces have killed tens of thousands of Afghans. Vices that had been purged from the society by the Taliban during their 5-year rule (1996-2001) have resurfaced in a big way.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein was supplied with dangerous chemical weapons by USA for use against Iran in Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians perished in the war which ended without any side emerging as a victor. Later on, Saddam who was given full support for a decade was labeled as a ruthless dictator and falsely charged with storing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and having links with al-Qaeda. Under the pretext of locating WMDs, every nook and corner of Iraq was combed by UN inspectors for well over two years. Even though the inspectors gave clear report, Iraq was invaded and destroyed without obtaining UN approval and disregarding world protests.

A massive hunt was launched to locate fugitives Saddam and his sons. His two sons were brutally murdered and their photos splashed on internet. Saddam was eventually traced and after interrogating him and carrying out DNA, denture and medical tests to confirm he was the right person, he was put on trial in a kangaroo court and hanged to death on charges of using excessive force against the Kurds and Shias. Movie of his hanging was also shown on u-tube. 1.6 million Iraqis have died since March 2003 and bloodletting is still continuing.

After 9/11, Pakistan was coerced to become a coalition partner and to combat global terrorism. Pak Army was made to fight own tribesmen in FATA supposedly sheltering al-Qaeda operatives. The flames of war lit in Afghanistan were diverted towards Pakistan. USA pampered and encouraged India to indulge in covert war to destabilize Pakistan which on papers was US close ally and a frontline state. Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan was CIA’s creation which is funded, equipped and guided by several foreign agencies.

Likewise, Baloch separatists are also supported by the same gang. Over 30000 Pakistani civilians and 5000 security personnel have died as a result of foreign sponsored terrorism. Pakistan has suffered an economic loss of $68 billion and its industrial and agriculture sectors and stock exchange have suffered grievously, while foreign investments have ceased. All this has resulted in high inflation, price spiral, and electricity, gas and food items shortages. Barbarity of America didn’t end here. Unending spate of drone strikes in tribal areas has added to the woes of Pakistanis.

CIA as a master planner and coordinator has been supervising the gory game from Kabul in concert with RAW, Mossad, MI-6 and RAAM and making Pakistan blood soaked. Bloody game has kept CIA’s drug business and defence industry of US war merchants running. India is now indulging in water terrorism to dry up Pakistan but US media and officials are mum over this flagrant violation of 1961 Indus Basin Treaty since it is part of the game to make Pakistan helpless. India mobilized its forces against Pakistan in 2002 and in 2009 with tacit blessing of USA.

The US has kept silent over unspeakable atrocities against hapless Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir since end 1988 killing over 100,000 in fake encounters, extra judicial killings, raids and indiscriminate firings on peaceful demonstrators. Gang rapes and molestation of women at the hands of security forces who have been give license to kill under draconian laws are routine. Ironically, the freedom fighters seeking a plebiscite as envisaged in UN resolutions have been branded as terrorists by USA at the behest of India. India has never been questioned over its defiance of UN resolutions.

The US which promptly labels Muslims as terrorists simply because they are anti-US, has for several decades been keeping its ears and eyes shut and lips sealed over barbarism of Israelis against Palestinians. Israel had attacked Lebanon in 2006 after getting a nod from Washington. It didn’t object to inhuman economic blockade of Gaza by Israel and didn’t condemn brutal invasion of Gaza in December 2008. Likewise, when the US remained tight lipped over cowardly attack of Israeli forces on Peace Flotilla carrying relief goods for stranded Gazans, it proved beyond doubt that Israel had full backing of USA.

Thousands of Iraqis, Afghans and al-Qaeda detainees were put in horrific Gitmo, Abu Gharib, Baghram jails as suspects involved in terrorism where they were subjected to most gruesome torture for years without trials and without anyone hearing their cries. Among several torture techniques, water boarding is the most dreadful. After years of detention and torture most were found innocent and released but they got mentally incapacitated for life.

The US desires security for Israel in Middle East and for India in South Asia. The US has succeeded in making Israel the unchallenged power in Middle East where all Muslim states are ruled by pro-American puppet-like regimes. Militarily strong Egypt is still tied to peace treaty with Israel, while defiant Iraq has been tamed. Libya is under attack to get rid of rebellious Qaddafi.

Soon, another regime change will take place in Syria and possibly in Iran. It will then become easier to deal with Hamas and Hizbollah to remove all security fears of Israel. The US has yet to accomplish its mission in South Asia since it has been unable to extract nuclear teeth of Pakistan and reduce its warrior spirit. Concerted efforts are underway to steal or destroy nukes and delivery means which are under tight control of Strategic Force.

Going through the track record and conduct of USA, there is no doubt left in anyone’s mind that American foreign policy revolves around intrigues, lies, deceit, conspiracies, terrorism, false flag operations and use of force. Americans consider them to be most open minded and liberal in the world. The reality is quite opposite to their self-claimed belief. Blacks and whites communal riots are a routine affair in USA as in the case of Hindu-Muslim riots in India. There is no dearth of extremist Americans who remain on lookout how to injure the religious beliefs of others particularly Muslims, exactly the same way as in India.

We do not have to dig too deep in the past. The US court sentenced Dr Afia Siddiqui to 86 years jail term on account of uncommitted offences merely because of deep seated prejudice against Muslims. The extremist mindset of the US Pastor Terry Jones is also a glaring example of religious intolerance and bigotry prevalent in USA. He first announced his intentions to burn Holy Quran and then declared his intention to file a petition in court against use of Quran in USA. Later on he fulfilled his satanic plan by burning copies of Quran and got away with it.

Prejudice, fanaticism, extremism, intolerance and cruelty are some of the characteristics deeply ingrained into the minds of US officials and elites. With such hideous traits and black track record, on what basis the US is voicing its concerns about terrorism when it is the biggest terrorist state of the world? The huge network of CIA operatives secretly deployed in Pakistan is stoking flames of terrorism to create anarchic conditions. Pakistan has no moral justification to become an ally of biggest terrorist state and fight its war when it has been confirmed that it is fuelling rather than curbing terrorism to harm Pakistan.

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Japan in WWII: A Casualty of Usury?

NOVANEWS

Was WWII Fought to make the World Safe for the Bankers?

by  Dr. Ingrid Rimland Zundel

Thanks to best-selling author, David Irving, the establishment view that the United States of America became embroiled in World War II as a result of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 is no longer accepted by major historians. The origins of this conflict, says South African politician and noted banker, Stephen Goodson, have far deeper roots.

Goodson explains the background as follows:

During the 1930s Japan rapidly expanded her industrial production, while the rest of the world, with the exception of National Socialist Germany, stagnated. By 1941 Japan had become the leading economic power in East Asia. Her exports were steadily replacing those of America and England.

Writes Goodson:

  • Japan has very few natural resources, so what was the secret of her success? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to return to the year 1929, when one of the twentieth century’s foremost monetary reformers, Major Clifford Hugh Douglas, went on a lecture tour of Japan.

Douglas’s economic theory advocated the transfer of the money creation process from private banks, which create money out of nothing as an interest-bearing debt, to the state. This government created money he termed social credit. He also favored the payment of a basic income or national dividend to each citizen. This dividend would provide consumers with the additional buying power necessary to absorb all the current production of goods in a non-inflationary manner2.

Major Clifford Hugh Douglas

  • Douglas’s financial proposals for an honest money system, based on government creating the nation’s money and credit on an interest-free basis, were enthusiastically received by Japanese industry and government.3

All Douglas’s books and pamphlets were translated into Japanese, and more copies were sold in that country than in all the rest of the world put together.4

Since its inception in 1882 the largest shareholder of the Bank of Japan (Nippon Ginko) had been the Japanese Imperial Household. Its reorganization into a state bank, which was administered exclusively for the accomplishment of national interests, was implemented in 1932.

The reform of the central bank was completed in February 1942 when the Bank of Japan Law was remodelled on the Reichsbank Act of Germany of 1939.

Goodson continues:

“The Bank of Japan Law declared that the bank was a special corporation of a strongly national nature. The Bank was ‘to assume the task of controlling currency and finance and supporting and promoting the credit system in conformity with policies of the state to ensure the full use of the nation’s potential’. Further, it was ‘to be managed with the accomplishment of national aims as its sole guiding principle’ (Article 2).

As for the functions of the Bank, the law abolished the old principle of priority for commercial finance, empowering it to supervise facilities for industrial finance. The law also authorized the Bank to make unlimited advances to the government without security, and to subscribe for and to absorb government bonds.

WW2 Historian, David Irving

In respect of note-issues the law made permanent the system of the maximum issues limit; thus, the Bank could make unlimited issues to meet the requirements of munitions industries and of the government.

On the other hand, government supervision of the Bank was markedly strengthened. The government could nominate, superintend and give orders to the president and the directors; there was also a clause giving the government more comprehensive powers to give so-called ‘functional orders’ to the Bank, to direct it to perform any function it deemed necessary for the attainment of the Bank’s purpose.

Moreover, the law made a wide range of the Bank’s business subject to governmental approval, including such matters as the alteration of Bank rate, note-issues and accounts”.5

The results of these reforms can be seen in the sustained improvement which took place in the Japanese economy, once the shackles of usury had been removed. During the 1931-41 period, manufacturing output and industrial production increased by 140% and 136% respectively, while national income and Gross National Product (GNP) were up by 241% and 259% respectively.  These remarkable increases exceeded by a wide margin the economic growth of the rest of the industrialized world.

In the labour market unemployment declined from 5.3% in 1930 to 3.0% in 1938. Industrial disputes decreased with the number of stoppages down from 998 in 1931 to 159 in 1941.

In contrast to Japan, America had a private, mostly foreign owned central bank, the United States Federal Reserve Bank. Since its establishment on December 23, 1913 under highly suspicious circumstances, this bank had been undermining the US Constitution and destroying the freedom and prosperity of the American people.

A contemporary indictment of the US Federal Reserve may be found in a quotation from the opening paragraphs of a speech given by the Honorable Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency (1920-31). It was delivered to Congress on June 10, 1932 to the general acclaim of the members present.

“Mr. McFadden. Mr Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever know. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt.

The depredations and the iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks acting together have cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over.

This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States; has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.

Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.”

Mr. McFadden then went on to expose how the Federal Reserve Bank buys votes in the States in order to control the state legislatures; and how they use their vast financial resources in maintaining “an international propaganda” for covering up their previous misdeeds and setting in motion new opportunities for their “gigantic train of crime”.

According to McFadden, these 12 private credit monopolies were “deceitfully and disloyally” foisted on an unsuspecting public by foreign bankers, who in 1904 bankrolled Japan in her war with Russia. In 1917 they financed Trotsky’s political programme in America and paid for his passage to Russia. With the assistance of their branch banks in Sweden, these international bankers “fomented and instigated the Russian Revolution”, which resulted in the “destruction of the Russian Empire”.

Goodson points out something astounding to many of the uninitiated:

It can thus be seen that the US Federal Reserve Bank was intimately involved in plotting and financing the overthrow of the Russian Empire7. With its stranglehold on the media and its placemen occupying most of the key positions in government in 1941, the Bank was in a favourable position from which to manipulate and provoke war with Japan.

Both the Bank of Japan and the German Reichsbank8 with their systems of state creation of the money supply at zero interest – and the inevitability that those systems of finance would be replicated by other countries, in particular those of the proposed Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere – posed such a serious threat to the private investors of the US Federal Reserve Bank, that a world war was deemed to be the only means of countering it.

In July 1939 the United States unilaterally abrogated the Treaty of Commerce of 1911, thereby restricting Japan’s ability to import essential raw materials. These measures were imposed avowedly because of the war in China and were followed in June 1940 by an aviation fuel embargo and a ban on the export of iron and steel in November 19409.

General Hideki Tojo

In July 1941 all Japanese assets in England, Holland and America were frozen after Japan had peacefully occupied Indochina, with the permission of Vichy France, in order to block off China’s southern supply routes. At the same time an oil embargo was enforced. Without oil Japan could not survive.

General Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister (October 1941 – July 1944) explains in his diary how the United States continually thwarted Japanese efforts at maintaining the peace. Japan’s peaceful commercial relations were being persistently undermined by the USA and posed a grave threat to her future existence. By means of the economic blockade a noose was being placed around Japan’s neck.

Not only were the United States, England, China and Holland encircling Japan through economic pressures, but naval forces throughout the region in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaya were being redeployed and strengthened.

An American admiral claimed that the Japanese fleet could be sunk in a couple of weeks, while Prime Minister Churchill declared that England would join America’s side within 24 hours.

“Japan attempted to circumvent these dangerous circumstances by diplomatic negotiation, and though Japan heaped concession upon concession, in the hope of finding a solution through mutual compromise, there was no progress because the United States would not retreat from its original position.

In the end, the United States repeated demands that, under the circumstances, Japan could not accept : complete withdrawal of troops from China, repudiation of the Nanking government, withdrawal from the Tripartite Pact.

At this point, Japan lost all hope of reaching a resolution through diplomatic negotiation. Since events had progressed as they had, it became clear to continue in this manner was to lead the nation to disaster. With options thus foreclosed, in order to protect and defend the nation and clear the obstacles that stood in its path, a decisive appeal to arms was made.

War was decided upon at the Imperial Conference on December 1, 1941, and the shift to real operations was made at this point. However, even during the preparations for action, plans were laid in such a manner that should there be progress through diplomatic negotiation, we would be well prepared to cancel operations at the latest moment that communication technology would have permitted.” 10

A further incentive for the unprincipled leaders of the US government to instigate a war with Japan was the Tripartite Pact of September 21, 1940. This was a defensive military alliance under the terms of which, if one of the Axis powers was attacked, the others would come to its defence. By these means Germany was induced to declare war on the USA.11

After numerous diplomatic initiatives including the offer of a summit on August 8, 1941 had failed, Japan was forced into attacking America in order to maintain her prosperity and secure her existence as a sovereign state.

In the ensuing slaughter 2.3 million Americans and Japanese lost their lives. Tens of thousands of allied soldier were subjected to the indignities and sufferings of prisoner of war camp life12.

In a consummate act of hypocrisy the Japanese High Command was placed on trial for “war crimes”. These tribunals were based on ex post facto laws, which resulted in the subversion of 2500 years of Western jurisprudence. The rule of tu quoque (thou also) was cynically ignored, notwithstanding the brutal nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where an estimated 239 000 died.13

One of the first acts of the United States occupation forces in Japan in September 1945 was to restructure the Japanese banking system, so as to make it compliant with the norms of the international bankers i.e. usury. The unrestricted financing of the state by the Bank of Japan was abolished and the large industrial combines, the Zaibatsu, were dismantled. This policy was carried out by Joseph Dodge, a Detroit banker, who was financial adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur.

On both the 50th and 60th anniversaries commemorating the end of World War II, Japanese officials, including Japan’s prime minister Junichiro Koizumi14 on the latter occasion, have apologized. Clearly such apologies are misplaced and it is perhaps America who should be apologizing to the Japanese for having provoked them into a senseless and useless war, which according to Allied propaganda was fought to make the world safe for democracy.

The reality is that World War II was fought to make the world safe for usury – to ensure the permanent enslavement of mankind through debt and interest.

Notes

1 Thomas Kimmel (grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel), ’12 New Pearl Harbor Facts’, The Barnes Review, November/December 2004, pp. 37-41. Critical intelligence was withheld from the local commanders to ensure that the “surprise” attack was as spectacular as possible. See also Roger A Stolley, ‘Pearl Harbor Attack No Surprise’, The Journal for Historical Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 1992, pp. 119-21 who quotes LTC Clifford M. Andrew, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, who temporarily was assistant chief of staff, military intelligence, general staff, United States Army as follows:

‘Five men were directly responsible for what happened at Pearl Harbor. I am one of those five men ….. We knew well in advance that the Japanese were going to attack. At least nine months before the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor, I was assigned to prepare for it.
I was operating under the direct orders of the President of the United States and was ordered not to give vital intelligence information relating to the whereabouts of the Japanese fleet to our commanders in the field.

We had broken the Japanese code … We’d been monitoring all their communications for months prior to the attack …. It was a lie that we didn’t have direct communication with Washington, D.C.’

Stolley concludes by saying the “For the people of the United States both then and now I feel sorrow, for a people to have been so misled, to have been lied to so much and to have so thoroughly believed the lie given to them.’

2.. This forms part of Douglas’s A + B theorem, viz that prices are always being generated at a faster rate than incomes are produced, so that the total prices of all goods in the economy at any particular stage exceed the total buying power of consumers. The national dividend was intended to make up for this deficit of purchasing power, and as a consequence would assist in abolishing the business cycle and the syndrome of poverty amidst plenty.

3. This enthusiasm may be contrasted with the alarm with which Douglas’s ideas were received by the City of London or Square Mile (677 acres). During the 1930s £5 million (a prodigious sum in to-day’s values) was raised by the international bankers in order to neutralize Douglas’s proposals.

4. ‘New Economics’, January 19,1934, p. 8 as quoted in D J Amos, ‘The Story of the Commonwealth Bank’, Veritas Publishing Company, Bullsbrook, Western Australia, 1986, p. 44.

5. Money and Banking in Japan, The Bank of Japan Economic Research Department, translated by S Nishimura, edited by L S Pressnell, Macmillan, London, 1973, p.38.

6. “Collective Speeches of Congressman Louis T. McFadden’ Omni Publications, Hawthorne, California, 1970, Chap XVI, The Treacherous and Disloyal Conduct of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, pp.298-9.

7. In 1914 Russia was the most prosperous nation in the world. She had a small and declining foreign debt and no central bank. See George Knupffer, “The Struggle for World Power”, London, 1971, Chap. 15, Some Details about Russia, pp. 138-46.

8. Stephen M. Goodson, “Bonaparte & Hitler Versus the International Bankers’, The Barnes Review, November / December 2004, pp. 23 -9.

9. Alleged human rights violations were the outward motivation for the imposition of sanctions. However , this may also have been a manoeuvre to protect US oil investments in China.

10. The Journal for Historical Review, Vol. 12, No.1, Spring 1992, Hideki Tojo’s Prison Diary , pp. 41-2.

11. Besides the obligations of the alliance, other factors which influenced the German declaration of war were the persistent provocations of the US Navy in the north Atlantic, and the anticipation that the Japanese would open up a Russian front in the Far East and provide relief for the beleaguered German forces outside Moscow.

12. In view of Japan’s non-ratification of the Geneva Convention in 1929, the Allied Chiefs of Staff have to bear some of the responsibility for the hardship, which they knew their soldiers would have to endure if captured. A recent study by Professor Richard Aldrich of Nottingham University, England ‘The Faraway War, Personal Diaries of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific’, 2005, Doubleday has revealed that the stereotyping of the Japanese as being cruel and robotic is inaccurate, and that most of them were tough and fair in their treatment of enemy prisoners. In contrast American and Australia soldiers frequently did not take prisoners, but massacred them as “machine-gun practice”. (1943 diary of Eddie Stanton, Australian posted to Goodenough Island off Papua New Guinea). According to a spokesman of the Imperial War Museum, London in a programme broadcast on British Sky television on August 15, 2005, Japanese treatment of Russian prisoners of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) and German prisoners of World War I (1914-18) was exemplary.

13. The justification for these bombings was that the conquest of the Japanese mainland would have cost an estimated 500 000 allied lives. Yet these disasters could have been avoided if Japanese peace overtures for a conditional surrender had been accepted in January 1945.

14. According to the September 2005 issue of the monthly journal Right Now, 78 Marylebone High Street, London WIU 5AP on p. 15, ‘Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is attacked time and again for continuing to visit a Tokyo shrine (the Yasukini) where Japan’s war dead are deified. The International Herald Tribune and the New York Times refer to these Japanese dead as ‘war criminals.’

Stephen Goodson is the director of a central bank in South Africa. (With credits to Mr. Goodson for his meticulous research.)

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Banker Occupation of Greece

NOVANEWS

by Stephen Lendman

Economist Michael Hudson calls it “Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy” in a June 5 article by that title, saying:

After being debt entrapped, or perhaps acquiescing to entrapment, the Papandreou government needs bailout help to pay bankers that entrapped them. Doing so, however, requires “initiat(ing) a class war by raising its taxes (harming working households most), lowering its standard of living – and even private-sector pensions – and sell off public land, tourist sites, islands, ports, water and sewer facilities” – in fact, all the country’s crown jewels, lock, stock and barrel, strip-mining it of everything of worth at fire sale prices.

Why? Because the US-dominated IMF, EU and European Central Bank (ECB), the so-called “Troika,” demand it as the price for bailout help that wouldn’t be needed if Greece wasn’t trapped in the euro straightjacket. Membership means foregoing the right to devalue its currency to make exports more competitive, maintain sovereignty over its money to monetize its debt freely, and be able to legislate fiscal policies to stimulate growth.

Instead they’re entrapped by foreign banker diktats demanding tribute. They call it a “rescue.” In May 2010, the Papandreou government agreed to earlier austerity in return for loans. Now they’re at it again, demanding more or they’ll collapse the entire economy, or so they say. And the same scheme is replicated in Ireland and Portugal. Moreover, it’s heading for Spain, and potentially most of Europe and America as representative governments head closer to “financial oligarchy.”

In other words, it amounts to financial coup d’etat authority over sovereign governments unless popular anger prevents it, involving more than street protests or short-term strikes accomplishing nothing.

Former Wall Street broker, financial analyst, radio/TV host, and consummate critic Max Keiser calls it “banker occupation” for good reason. They:

  • – make the rules;

  • – set the terms;

  • – issue diktats;

  • – pressure, bribe or otherwise cajole or force governments to acquiesce; and

  • – burden working households with higher unemployment, wage and benefit cuts, higher taxes, and other austerity measures to assure financial predators profit – always at their expense, forcing once prosperous nations to surrender sovereignty to financial oligarchs, ruling world economies like fiefdoms.

Hudson said European central planning concentrated financial power in “non-democratic hands” from inception under European Central Bank (ECB) dominance. Operating like a financial czar over its 17 Eurozone members, it:

  • – “has no elected government (to) levy taxes;

  • – (t)he EU constitution prevents (it) from bailing out governments,” unlike the Fed able to monetize US debt in limitless amounts; and

  • – “the IMF Articles of Agreement also block it from giving domestic fiscal support for budget deficits,” saying:

“A member state may obtain IMF credits only on the condition that it has ‘a need to make the purchase because of its balance of payments or its reserve position or developments in its reserves.’ ”

However, despite ample foreign exchange reserves, IMF loans are offered “because of budgetary problems,” precisely what it’s not allowed to do. As a result, “when it comes to bailing out bankers,” said Hudson, “rules are ignored” to save them and their counterparties from incurring losses. And it works the same way in America under the Fed, dispensing open-checkbook amounts to Wall Street on demand.

No wonder Hudson calls finance “a form of warfare,” operating like pillaging armies, taking over land, infrastructure, other tangible assets, and all material wealth, devastating nations in the process, causing unemployment, poverty, neoserfdom, “demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight.”

Greece’s business-friendly fiscal legacy, in fact, caused today’s crisis, squeezing public spending in favor of the rich the rich, especially with sweetheart tax policies letting much of their income go undeclared.

Financial deception followed. On February 8, 2010, Der Spiegel writer Beat Balzli headlined, “How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt,” saying:

In 2002, Goldman helped them borrow billions by circumventing Eurozone rules in return for mortgaging assets. Using creative accounting, debt was then hidden through off-balance sheet shenanigans, employing derivatives called “cross-currency swaps in which government debt issued in dollars and yen was swapped for euro debt for a certain period – to be exchanged back into the original currencies at a later date.”

Debt entrapment followed, nations like Greece held hostage to repay it, the usual price being structural adjustment harshness, making a bad situation worse. In 2010, in return for a $150 billion loan, Papandreou imposed:

  • – large public worker layoffs (around 10% overall);

  • – public sector 10% wage cuts, including a 30% reduction in salary entitlements;

  • – cutting civil service bonuses 20%;

  • – freezing pensions;

  • – raising the average retirement age two years; and

  • – higher fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and luxury goods taxes, knowing much more lay ahead given Greece’s worsening debt problem.

More bailout help is now needed in return for greater austerity, as well as selling off Greece’s crown jewels as explained above. On June 24, New York Times writer Stephen Castle headlined, “Europeans Agree to a New Bailout for Greece with Conditions,” saying:

The deal “came a day after Greece agreed with international creditors to more austerity measures (requiring parliamentary approval) as part of revised plans for 2011-15 aimed at” assuring bankers are first in line to get paid, popular and national interests be damned.

An agreement in principle expects half the funds offered to come from new loans, a fourth from state asset sales, and the remainder from private sector contributions.

An unspecified larger amount (of around 110 billion euros in total) will follow an initial 12 billion euro emergency loan with strings. They include:

  • – laying off another 20% of public workers;

  • – privatizing public enterprises and assets on the cheap;

  • – a one-time personal income levy from 1 – 5%, depending on income;

  • – lowering the tax-free income threshold to 8,000 euros annually from 12,000;

  • – setting the lowest tax rate at 10%, with exemptions for people up to age 30, over-65 pensioners, and disabled people; and

  • – annually taxing the self-employed an additional 300 euros.

Up to $120 billion in cuts are expected though final figures haven’t been announced, depending on amounts raised from asset sales and private contributions.

In response, public anger is visceral through daily protests. The ruling PASOK party’s approval rating is 27%. Over 90% of the public are dissatisfied with Greece’s governance. Another 90% say the country is “on the wrong path.” About 80% are unhappy with their lives, and 70% are concerned that conditions will keep deteriorating.

Nonetheless, on June 22, Papandreou won a parliamentary vote of confidence ahead of two more steps the IMF and Eurozone leaders require before releasing more funds – agreeing on their demanded austerity plan and enacting measures to implement it.

In fact, acting IMF managing director John Lipsky (a former JP Morgan Investment Bank vice chairman) said no opposition will be tolerated. In other words, Eurozone nations have no option but to obey IMF diktats, Lipsky acting more like a commissar than banker.

At the same time, austerity, privatizations, and greater debt amounts are self-defeating. Workers, of course, are hardest hit unless mobilized mass action stops it. Ideally they can do it by general strike, shutting down the country, setting non-negotiable demands, staying out until predatory banker diktats are rejected, and prevailing by letting nations regain their sovereignty and people their rights.

That’s how labor battles are won. It works the same everywhere when rank and file determination stays the course to victory.

 

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IsraHell’s Dirty Tricks Against Campus Palestine Activists

NOVANEWS

The David Project’s dirty tricks

by Ali Abunimah

While name-and-shame tactics can be put to positive effect, they can also easily backfire and do more harm than good. We need to learn the art of being disagreeable in the most agreeable possible fashion.

Lobby Watch


Israel Campus Beat

What is the best way to smear Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists and get away with it?

That is the question David Bernstein, Executive Director of the pro-Israel propaganda group, The David Project, asks in a surprisingly frank article titled “How to ‘Name-And-Shame’ Without Looking Like a Jerk” posted on Israel Campus Beat, a website sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Bernstein writes:

One of the more controversial tactics in a growing effort to counter thedelegitimization of Israel is to “name-and-shame” – to go after those who actively delegitimize Israel and seek to delegitimize them.

There are even those, such as British journalist Melanie Phillips, who argue that our entire strategy should be to relentlessly attack the other side and to cease “defending” Israel.

While name-and-shame tactics can be put to positive effect, they can also easily backfire and do more harm than good. We need to learn the art of being disagreeable in the most agreeable possible fashion.

Hiding vilification behind a veneer of “civility”


Bernstein offers advice on how to be as insincere as possible in order to undermine Palestine solidarity work, especially on college campuses:

  • Start every critique with supportive words for peace or free discourse or both.

  • Don’t accuse anti-Israel forces of anti-Semitism unless they openly vilify Jews; accuse them of being anti-peace for opposing Israel’s right to exist.

  • On campuses and other places where anti-Israel groups act in a disruptive manner, write and promulgate civility petitions calling on all parties to engage in a respectful discussion. If the anti-Israel groups sign it, then they constrain their future actions; if they don’t, they can be accused of being uncivil.

  • In taking on an anti-Israel professor on campus, don’t focus on the substantive arguments they make. That will make you look like you’re trying to stifle discourse. Instead, accuse them, in the words of Professor Gil Troy, of “academic malpractice” for propagandizing the classroom.

  • When someone on campus justifies Hamas or Hezbollah, call them out by asking a question: Do you really support the Hamas charter’s call for killing Jews? Can that ever be justified?

  • Avoid indictments against all Muslims or Islam; preface any criticism of a Muslim radical group with an acknowledgement of peaceful Muslims.

No one should be fooled by the mask of civility – Bernstein makes clear that the goal is to “delegitimize” and marginalize, not to actually engage in “civil” debate.

The David Project’s dirty tricks


The David Project has a long history of dirty tricks. Indeed, the group was a key actor in the slander and fabrication campaign against Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad, part of the unsuccessful effort to deny him tenure (Massad explains the background in a statement on his website after his list of publications).

More broadly, the effort to “name and shame” Palestine solidarity activists is part of the broad “anti-delegitimization” efforts underway by American Zionist organizations at the suggestion of The Reut Institute, an Israeli think-tank which in 2010 called for a campaign of “sabotage and attack” on activists and organizations.

In October 2010, the Jewish Federations of North America – an umbrella for 157 major pro-Israel organisations – and the Jewish Council on Public Affairs launched a $6 million initiative called the “Israel Action Network” to fight “delegitimization” – a strategy that will undoubtedly include “name and shame.”

As I wrote for Aljazeera.net last December in “Defending Palestinian solidarity”:

I got a foretaste of what the Israel Action Network’s tactics will likely be when Sam Sokolove, the head of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico, launched a failed effort to get academic departments at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to withdraw their support for a lecture I gave in November. Sokolove’s campaign involved publicly vilifying me in the media, likening me to a member of the Ku Klux Klan. It is probably because of the publicity the Jewish Federation gave me that hundreds of people attended my talk.

We can thank Bernstein for his honesty in explaining to us what Israel lobby tactics amount to: personal vilification hiding behind a thin veneer of calls for “civility.” It’s a further sign of the bankruptcy of so much “pro-Israel activism.” It is not so much “pro-Israel” as anti-Palestinian. It has no positive message to offer whatsoever, certainly not one of peace.

Melanie Phillips named and shamed

One final note of irony. In his piece, Bernstein cites Melanie Phillips, a very prominent pro-Israel advocate in the UK who has routinely attacked and vilified many people who have spoken up for Palestinian rights.

Last week, Phillips left her position at The Spectator under a cloud: the publication was forced to make several high profile apologies for Phillips’ totally false attacks against several people and organizations for alleged anti-Semitism or criticism of Israel. Phillips has been particularly virulent in her Islamophobic attacks on British Muslims, as Mehdi Hasan of The New Statesman reports.

See the original article at:  Electronic Intifada

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The “Solidarity Crisis” in America

NOVANEWS

US Working and Middle Class:  Solidarity or Competition in the Face of Crisis?

I don’t think you realize how hard it is for the oppressed to become united.  Their misery unites them (…) But otherwise their misery is liable to cut them off from one another, for they are forced to snatch the wretched crumbs from each other’s mouth”.

Bertolt Brecht Collected Plays Vol. 9

(Pantheon Books New York 1972) p. 379

by James Petras

Introduction

There are two uncontestable facts about the United States:  the economy and the working class are experiencing a prolonged economic crisis which has lasted over three years and shows no signs of ending; there has been no major revolt, mass national resistance or even large scale protests of any consequence.  Few writers have attempted to address this seeming paradox and those who do, have provided partial answers which in fact raise more questions than they answer.

Lines of Inquiry

Essentially most writers emphasize one of the two sides of the “paradox”.  The ‘crises’ analysts focus on the extent, duration and enduring nature of the economic breakdown, outlining its harsh impact on the working and middle class in terms of losses of employment, benefits, wages, mortgages etc.  Others, mostly left progressive, emphasize the local protests, critical responses registered in opinion polls, occasional complaints of trade union bureaucrats and the hopes and intimations of academics and pundits that a ‘revolt’ is on its way some time in the near future.

Among the minority of less sanguine critical analysts, there is despair, or at least a more pessimist view of the ‘paradox’.  They point to several deep-seated psychological, organizational and political obstacles which prevent any revolt or mass unrest from taking hold among the United States’ public.

On the whole these critics see the working and middle class as ‘victims’ of the system, acted upon by false leaders, media manipulation, corporate capitalism and the two party system which prevent them from pursuing their class interests.

In this essay, I will pursue an alternative line of analysis which will argue that the “external enemies” blocking working and middle class resistance are aided and abetted by the behavior and perceived interest within the classes.  In pursuit of this line of inquiry, I will argue that both the nature and scope of ‘the crises’ has been misunderstood in its impact on the working and middle class and as a consequence the degree of internal contradictions within those classes has not been adequately understood.

Key Concepts:  Clarifying ‘Crises’ and its Impact

Economic crises, even severe, prolonged ones, such as is affecting the US today, do not have a uniform impact on all sectors of the working and middle class.  The uneven impact has segmented the working and middle class, between those who are adversely affected and those not, or who in certain circumstances have benefited.  This segmentation is one key factor accounting for the lack of class solidarity and has resulted in ‘contradictions’ within and between the working and middle class.

Secondly the uneven development of social organization – especially trade unionization – between public and private sector workers, has led to the former securing and retaining greater social benefits and increases and wages, while the former has lost ground.  The public sector workers draw on public financing to fund their ‘corporate interests’ while private sector workers are forced to pay increased taxes, because of regressive fiscal legislation.  The result is an apparent or real conflict of interest between well-organized public workers organized around a narrow set of (self) interests and the mass of unorganized private sector workers who, unable to increase their wages via class struggle, side with “fiscal conservatives” (funded by big business) to demand cutbacks from public sector workers.

Political partisanship, especially among middle and working class Democrats, undercuts class solidarity and weakens unified social resistance. This is evident in relation to issues of war and peace, the economic crises and cutbacks in social programs.  When the Democrats hold office, as they do today ad the wars and war spending multiply, the bulk of the peace movement has disappeared, labor protests against budget cutbacks focus on Republican governors, not Democrats, even as the working and middle class (including public sector employees) are adversely affected.

The millionaire top trade union officials (average annual salary over $300,000 plus perks) further the division by prioritizing the security of their position via million dollar contributions to the Democrats, thus buying insurance on income flows from dues payments.  Security of officialdom via alignment with Party legislators and governors, mayors and executive leaders contributes to a further division within the working class between ‘secure functionaries’ and their followers on the one hand, and the rest of the middle and working class.

Operating with these key concepts we will now turn to describing the ‘objective conditions of crises’, a critical survey of some explanations for the ‘paradox’, and  follow with a detailed examination of the ‘internal contradictions’ and conclude by outlining some points of departure for resolving the paradox.

Economic Crisis is Real, Deep and Sustained

The symptoms and structures of a deep economic crisis are readily visible to any but the most obtuse government apologist or prestigious economist: un- and under-employment has reached between 18 to 20 percent.  One out of three US families are directly affected by loss of employment.  One out of ten American family homeowners are either behind in the mortgage payments or face foreclosure.  Over half of the current unemployed (9.1 percent) have been out of work at least six months.  Massive cutbacks in public expenditures and investments have led to the end of health, educational and welfare programs for tens of millions of low income families, children, the disabled, the elderly pensioners.

Private firms have eliminated or reduced payments for health insurance, leaving over 50 million working Americans without health insurance and another 30 million with inadequate medical coverage. Tax exemptions, reduced and regressive taxation have increased tax payments by wage and salaried workers, reducing their net income.  Increases in pension and health payments forced on middle and working class employees have further reduced net income.  Increased spending for at least four wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya) preparation for a fifth (Iran) and support for the world’s most militarist state (Israel) and a greatly expanded and costly domestic police state apparatus (Homeland Security alone costs $180 billion) has greatly deteriorated environmental, workplace and leisure space living standards.

Corporate political power and absolute tyrannical control over the workplace has increased fear, insecurity and virtual terror among employees facing increased speed-ups and arbitrary elimination of any say in health and workplace safety, work schedules, over and under time workloads.  Low pay service jobs proliferate, high pay jobs are outsourced out of the country; manufacturing plants are relocated abroad; lower paid immigrant professionals and laborers are imported increasing pressure on US workers to compete for lower pay and lesser benefits.  The ‘economic crises’ is embedded in the deep structure of US capitalism and is not a ‘cyclical phenomenon’ subject to a dynamic recovery, restoring lost jobs, homes, living standards and working conditions.

Middle and Working Class Responses to the Economic Crises

The profound, deep seated and pervasive economic crises has not elicited any commensurate revolts, rebellion or even sustained national protest movement.  At best local protests by specific segments of the working and middle class have sought to defend narrow organizational and economic interests.  The public employees in Wisconsin’s protest movement were as exceptional in its militancy as it was isolated and limited in its overall national impact.

As California Republican and New York Democratic governors eliminate tens of billions of dollars in wages, pension and health benefits for hundreds of thousands of unionized public employees, union officials squawk impotently on the sidelines, incapable of mounting any serious protests let alone popular movements. Though  public opinion polls register high levels of individual concern about the economic crises and dissatisfaction with both political parties the response to the crises has not led to practical activity, nor has any mass ‘movement’’ emerged – it remains private inconsequential discontent.

As much as millions of middle and working classes are deeply preoccupied with the ongoing economic crises there are no significant social or political repercussions past, present or in the foreseeable future.

All the inflated hopes and ‘ominous prognostications’ by liberals and leftists, socialists and progressives, who wrote and predicted a coming ‘revolt of the masses’ have been flat wrong.  The crisis continues and the highly dissatisfied middle and working class remain privately suffering, muttering their grievances in isolation, unwilling to engage in any mass collective action.

Even as the mass media, even as the internet, Facebook and Tweeter, present millions demonstrating and striking and even toppling oppressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa; even as news reports filter out of repeated general strikes and mass occupations of public plazas by employees and workers and unemployed in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France, the United States workers  stand numb, indifferent and impotent to ‘learn the lessons’ and ‘take collective action’ even where the issues of employment and cutbacks are similar.

Explanations for Social Immobility in the Face of the Economic Crises

There is no lack of ‘recognition’ that ‘something is wrong’ in these United States.  There is no lack of pundits attempting to grapple with the paradox of economic crises and social immobility.

Several explanatory forays are floating through the media and the internet.  Some writers resort to psychological explanations of social passivity pointing to widespread ‘fear’ of employer retaliation, state repression, or a sense of ‘futility’ in the face of political party indifference and hostility.  The psychological arguments have some merit as they point to some of the immediate causes of non-involvement but fail to explain what causes ‘fear’ and futility.

In response many critical progressive cite the absence or weakness of social organizations in particular they point to the decline of trade union organizations, leaving 93 percent of the private sector unorganized and the state sector unionized workers with limited bargaining powers. While these critics are right to emphasize the unwillingness of millionaire trade union officials to break new political ground and initiate new organizing efforts, one needs to explain why the unorganized middle and working class have not themselves launched any new initiatives?  Union officials have a long history of “give backs” going back at least two decades and yet those who are directly adversely affected and those who have lost their jobs have not organized an alternative network of solidarity.

Political analysts emphasize the oligarchic and restrictive nature of the electoral system as pre-empting the emergence of new political initiatives.  The multi-million dollar cost of running for office, the near monopoly dominance of the mass media by the corporate two-party elite and the legal obstacle to securing a place on the ballot, discourage disenchanted voters from supporting new political party initiatives.  But the deeper question is why mass movements, outside of the party-electoral framework, have not emerged that might eventually challenge the political oligarchy, the corporate monopoly of media and change the legal constraints on effective entry into the electoral arena.  Why do mass movements emerge in other even more repressive countries, facing similar constraints on legal access and confronted by entrenched oligarchies?

If similar ‘external constraints’ as those found in the US led to divergent behavioral responses, it raises the question of whether the differences within the middle and working class can be the source of passivity and immobility?

A few writers, principally on the Left, cite the divorce or distance between intellectuals/academics and the downwardly mobile middle and working class.  In the United States there are few intellectuals – politically engaged writers and political lecturers.

What passes for the educated classes, are full-time professional academics who differ little in their social and everyday life, regardless of their stated ideological philosophies.  The vast majority of leftist academics conceive of their ‘activism’ as reading papers to each other at ‘left’ or ‘social forums’, which differ little in format and consequences from mainstream professional meetings.

Even those left academics who take a political role, it is mostly in relation with the multi-millionaire senior trade union officials and their loyalist apparatus.  As a result the progressive academics have ended up with little entrée into the vast majority of workers who are outside of the trade unions and those dissident union factions challenging the trade union – Democratic Party – corporate nexus.

An Alternate Explanation for the ‘Paradox’

One of the key problems inhibiting an understanding of the paradox is the treatment of the key concept – “crises”.  Many writers conceive of the ‘crises’ in a ‘holistic’ way, presuming what is ‘general’ or ‘systemic’ has  a homogenous effect on the middle and working class.  In fact the vast majority, say three-quarters have not been seriously impacted by the “crises”.  Assuming that the unemployed and under-employed comprise about twenty percent and adding those who have suffered serious downward mobility, we still have at least 70 percent whose main preoccupation is to retain their ‘privileged’ position and to disengage from those who have fallen out of their class-social orbit.

In the US, more than any other country, the sharp internal differences, between employed and un-underemployed, has led to ‘competition’ not solidarity.  In most countries of the world ‘unemployed’ and underemployed workers can expect backing, active support from unionized workers; in the US once middle class employees and workers lose their job and cannot pay dues they are dropped.  Even in terms of social, family and neighborhood life, they are seen as a ‘cost’, a potential drain on the resources of those who are employed. The employed see the unemployed and poorly paid as a welfare cost , hence an added tax burden instead of as an ally in a struggle to make the corporate elite pay higher taxes and reduce war spending.  Among employed workers higher taxes, means capital flight; lesser military expenditures mean few war industry jobs.

Segmentation within the middle and working class operates at many levels. The most striking is between the pay scale of top union officials which runs over $300,000 plus perks and the unemployed/underemployed living on less than $30,000.  These economic differences are played out politically and socially.  The trade union apparatus buys ‘job security’ by contributing tens of millions to mostly Democrats, to ensure that unions retain their formal legality and collective bargaining rights.  In other words the ‘organized’ unions, all of 12% of the labor force, is a ‘captive force’ of the ‘crises ridden’ state, which excludes any new socio-political initiatives which would reflect the demands and interest of the under-unemployed and low paid non-unionized workers.

Middle and working class are differentially, impacted by the crises:  those with jobs and ties to the Democratic Party place their partisan loyalties above any notion of class solidarity.  Job holders don’t support the jobless – they see them as competitors over a shrinking income pie.

If we examine these two groups in detail we find that the poorly paid and un and underemployed tend to be young people under 30 years, blacks, Hispanics and single parents; the better paid employed middle and working class tend to be older, white educated and of Anglo-Jewish background.  The generational, racial, ethnic divisions play a far bigger role in the US than anywhere else, because of the obliteration of class identity and outlooks, which has diluted any notion of class solidarity.

The segmentation of the middle and working class is deepened in the US because those with stable employment in many cases benefit from the adverse consequences affecting downwardly mobile (unemployed) employees and workers.

Mortgage foreclosures affect over 10 million American families unable to meet their payments.  Banks eager to recover some part of their loan, offer to sell houses at sharply reduced prices.  Employed middle and working class home buyers are elated to purchase homes, even as their class members are evicted to the street or trailer camp.  There is no movement to block or protest evictions from neighbors, workmates and/or relatives; instead discreet inquiries are made about the auction date.

Better paid workers look to secure cheaper consumer goods in super-stores that employ minimum wage workers.  The ‘interests’ of workers are defined by immediate individual-consumer interests not in terms of the improvement of strategic interests resulting from the potential social and political power of an organized class.

Employed middle and working class homeowners see themselves as ‘tax payers’ allied with corporate and real estate moguls fighting to lower taxes by cutting welfare and social services for the low paid working class and unemployed.  The growth of upper and middle/working class tax revolts against the welfare state is in effect a war of one segment of the class against another.  Clearly one segment fights to grab the crumbs from the mouth of another segment.

Even among the organized working class, there is segmentation.  Pockets of better paid unionized public sector workers secured pay raises and pension and health plans via collective struggle, ignoring the interests, demands and needs of the sea of non-unionized workers, who were in the process of downward mobility while paying higher taxes.  Hence their socio-economic differences were politicized and exploited by the Right – and the public-private sectors of the middle and working class competed over the crumbs of a shrinking budget.

As public facilities for health and education declined, the middle and working class divided between those who turned to private clinics and schools and those who remained dependent on public facilities, based on state expenditures.  Those segments tied to the ‘private’ rejected taxes to fund the ‘public’; undercutting any class solidarity to improve the financing and quality of public health and education.

Conclusion

It is clear that the crisis of capitalism has evoked contradictory responses among different segments of the middle and working class based on its differential impact. Pre-existing non-class identities, internal economic division between leaders and followers and generational divisions and party partisan loyalties have undermined class solidarity and led to inconsequential complaints and diffuse hostility.

Competition- not solidarity- within and among the middle and working class  is the reason for the profound immobility of  Americans in the face of a prolonged and deepening economic crises.

That is now and in the past.  Are there any prospects for a different future? Is there any possibility for uniting middle and working class segments in any sustained struggle?  Are there alternative roads to class solidarity and popular mobilizations?

The most promising direction is to start at the local and regional level and involve local community organizations and dissident rank and file trade unions and progressive professionals (lawyer, doctors, etc.) in struggles, which resonate with the most adversely affected groups facing unemployment, foreclosures, no health plans, etc.  All polls show a deep divergence between the vast majority of Americans and the political elite of both parties on issues of bank bailouts, tax exemptions for the rich, “reforms” (privatizations and cut backs), Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Divergences exist over the loss of life and expenditures in America’s multiple and longest wars (Afghanistan).  Referendums proposing (1) to end the cap on social security taxes for the rich would end the so-called “social security crises”. (2) A sales tax on financial transactions would fund the Medicare deficit. Public investments in our deteriorating infrastructure based on the transfer of war funds ($790 billion) would create jobs, increase demand in the domestic economy and augment the productivity and competitiveness of the US economy.  Support for public health is an issue that unites most segments of the middle and working class, unionized health workers and community organizations in a potential confrontation with Big Pharma and the private corporate health industries.

A higher minimum wage – starting at $12 an hour – could mobilize most middle and working class segments, and initiatives at the local level could bring in the immigrant and domestic low paid workers.

The interview data demonstrate that most Americans have apparently ‘contradictory’ attitudes: supporting progressive and regressive policies. For example many support Medicare and ‘small government’; federal job creation and deficit reduction; import tariffs and cheap consumer imports. An comprehensive activist political educational program, that demonstrates that progressive social reforms are feasible and fundable, based on a sustained fiscal struggle against corporate and financial capital, can be converted into organization and direct action.  We start with an objective reality, demonstrating that the sustained crisis of capitalism does not and cannot deliver the most elementary demands:  jobs, housing, security, peace and growth.  That is a big advantage over the advocates of the system who argue for prolonged and deeper regressive measures for the foreseeable future.

Secondly, we start with the advantage of knowing that the country has the potential wealth, skills and resources to overcome the crises.  Thirdly,  we can argue from relatively successful popular programs which have vast support – social security, Medicare, Medicaid – as ‘examples’ to extend and deepen social coverage.

For most Americans, the fight today, to the extent that it exists is defensive – efforts to preserve the last vestiges of independent organization, to defend social security, health programs, affordable public education, pensions. The corporate offensive is increasingly ‘homogenizing’ the organized middle and working class with the lowest paid unorganized segments. There are fewer ‘privileged workers’ even as they are still in self-denial.

The near extinction of private sector unionism and the moribund millionaire leadership provides an opportunity to start anew with a horizontal leadership, accountable to the membership and integrated with community based co-op, ecologist, immigrant, consumer based organizations.  What is absolutely clear is that ‘crises’ alone will not result in any mass upheaval; nor do ‘enlightened’ progressive academics holed up in their micro-world offer any leadership.

The road forward starts with local leaders emerging from local coalitions, building organizations on the bases of independent political and social initiatives which resonate with their neighbors, fellow workers and the organized and unorganized downwardly mobile Americans.  I see no easy or quick solutions to the ‘paradox’ but I do see the objective conditions, for building a movement. I hear a multitude of angry and discordant voices.  Above all, I hope the oppressed will stop “snatching the crumbs from each other”.

Posted in USAComments Off on The “Solidarity Crisis” in America

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