"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There Is A Point In Time When Bush And Cheney Must Be Held Accountable For Their Perversion Of Democracy And Crimes Against Humanity, A Point In Time When Members Of Congress Must Be Held Accountable For Their Actions, Not Only At The Polls But In Civil Actions Initiated By The Citizens Of This Nation Wherein They Are Arrested, Tried, Convicted And Imprisoned.

The Message That: “ No Man Stands Above The Law” Must Be Delivered Anew And Justice Must Be Done For Sake Of All Our Futures!

No member of congress, or any branch of government for that matter, is immune from criminal prosecution while in office”.

Regardless of Your Faith or Lack Thereof I encourage To open This Link And Send This Message. (http://act.truemajorityaction.org/p/7002/notorture?petition_KEY=68)

Ed. On Torture

Youth activists are gathering in Berkeley to organize students to resist the military recruiters and bring together a movement to politically isolate US "torture memo" professor John Yoo.

"We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do. Thus we call on all people living in the United States to RESIST the trajectory of wars and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration and a complicit Congress. We choose to make common cause with the people of the world by extending a hand to those suffering from these policies and by showing our solidarity in word and deed."

From statement: "A Country at Peace with Being at War is a Country of 'Good Germans'"

World Can't Wait, July 2008

I include the musical video below as a reminder of, and a tribute to, the many in our nation’s history who have placed: right above evil, dreams before comfort, hope before surrender, and their lives on the gallows of forfeiture for what this nation was supposed to be and to become.

He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. –Thomas Paine-

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine-

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -Thomas Jefferson-

An American Requiem (Music by Carter Burwell)

The Democrats Are The Real Problem | By Mike Whitney

The Problem Of Patriotism | By James Rothenberg

20/07/08 "
ICH" -- - Puzzled we would be if a child’s first words were: “I’m proud to be white!” Even if the child waited long enough to learn a thing or two about life there is still something unsettling in this utterance. Should there be any particular honor in being a member of this group (there isn’t), what did one do to deserve it? It’s rather like being honored as the millionth person across a bridge.

The United States has never been blind to color, even if Lady Justice supposedly cannot see out. Albert Einstein called racism our national disease. He was gifted at recognizing things but this was a simple matter to see. The only way you can miss it is to be in some degree a racist yourself. And it is a matter of degree. One hundred racists will not be racist in the same way.

Overall though, if not quite uniformly, we do recognize the basic unfairness of discriminating by skin color and the folly of being unduly obsessed with one’s own, even if our institutions are not apace.

Then there is the meaningless birth accident of sex. “I’m proud to be male!” Wonderful. Congratulations! One can enjoy being a man or a woman but even that seems to mean no more than enjoying what you are doing.

As with skin color, we do recognize, if not quite uniformly, the basic unfairness of discriminating by sex and the folly of being unduly obsessed with one’s own, even if our institutions are not apace.

Religion is a great separator of people. It is largely accidental and sometimes chosen. Many tens of millions of people have been killed for it. Tens of millions of proud people killed by other proud people. The philosopher Dagobert Runes said no god is worth killing for. The United States was founded on religious freedom, but some today claim it is a Christian nation. I have an indirect proof that this is not so; It has never been official state policy to persecute Jews.

Still, we do recognize, if not quite uniformly, the basic unfairness of discriminating by religion and the folly of being unduly obsessed with one’s own, even if our institutions (particularly State and Justice in regard to Muslims) are not apace.

Now we have nationalism and patriotism, virtually inseparable in our country today, so let’s just refer to it as patriotism (because it mounts a better defense in the public mind). Our nationality is largely accidental, sometimes chosen. George Bernard Shaw had this elegant observation on the subject. “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it."

Yet, unlike racism and sexism and religionism, in the case of patriotism we do not recognize, if not quite uniformly, the basic unfairness of discriminating by country and the folly of being unduly obsessed with one’s own, especially because our institutions are apace.

Race, sex, and religion do not demand your loyalty but your country does. Your village or town doesn’t. Your city doesn’t. The state you live in doesn’t. New York and California don’t care if you are loyal to them. What’s the difference? Armed force. Uncle Sam needs you. To fight.

One could argue that we are all Americans and what is so bad about this, fighting for our country? Two things. Americans do not decide when to fight and Americans do not fight for the country. The political leadership decides when to fight and Americans fight for the political leadership.

It must be added that we are not the only nation with a military and patriotic citizens. We are, though, the reigning superpower with a bad history of state violence, for those interested in the record. Due to the preeminence of our military power the decent moral position would be for us to be the last to use it. Unfortunately, we are consumed with its display and demonstration.

All that it takes to prepare the country for war is to sound the alarm that they’re coming to get us and raising the claim of self-defense. It’s known as propaganda, a pejorative term since the Soviet Union and Germany started using it but neutral when the United States formed the Committee on Public Information (World War 1) and the Office of War Information (World War 2).

Even when there is plentiful evidence to the contrary, a massive government propaganda effort in the claim of self-defense can bring the country into submission. What makes this possible is an abundance of obedient, loyal, patriotic citizens who look the other way. Obedient and loyal the way a police dog is obedient and loyal. Without question.

There is an abstraction known as the United States of America. It is not the language, the culture, the artifacts, the customs, and it is certainly not the people who individually house the most exquisite tool for determining right from wrong, their individual consciences. The abstraction is what we swear to, what has recently caused millions of lost and wrecked lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, need we add torture holes like Bagram, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo.

Yet when the abstraction America acts, Americans are involved. This is no price for patriotic Americans who surrender their consciences and salute. But the result is we are a nation of criminals, criminals against peace, bedrock of international law under the Nuremberg Principles.

There is a way to synopsize the problem of patriotism in question and answer form. Why aren’t U.S. crimes regarded as crimes? Because it’s unpatriotic.

At election and re-election time (Our multi-term system insures a permanent political class.) politicians play a game with the people called ‘I love America more than you could possibly love it!’ A flag lapel pin is to a politician as a giant red nose is to a clown except the clown is trying to be silly. They are show-probed by a largely subservient media to determine the depth of their patriotism.

Tell people that you are an internationalist, a citizen of the world, and you will be regarded with suspicion. That is assuming you are even taken seriously. Strange is the situation whereby we intuitively see our ideals as universal but fail to free ourselves of the bonds of national prejudice.

James Rothenberg - jrothenberg@taconic.net

Benny Morris Justifies Israel's Coming Attack on Iran | By David Bromwich

20/07/08 "
Huffington Post" -- -- On Friday July 18 the New York Times published an op-ed by the Israeli historian Benny Morris. It is entitled "Using Bombs to Stave Off War." Morris chose this American venue to announce that Israel would "almost surely" attack Iran some time in the next few months. And he indicated that America would be well advised to support the attack.

The reputation of Benny Morris is founded on unquestioned scholarly achievement and a far more dubious political stance. As one of Israel's "new historians," he recovered the record of harassment, murder, and expulsion of the Palestinians in the war of independence -- a finding that largely discredits the Israeli myth that the inhabitants fled from their own timidity, or because they were told to flee by Arab governments.

But speaking as an Israeli citizen, more recently, Morris has declared his view that the mistake of Ben-Gurion and the leadership of 1948 was that they did not carry the expulsion of the Palestinians all the way. Morris sees Israel in 2008 as a state under perpetual siege and the focus of a clash of civilizations; he sees Palestinians -- and to a degree, all Arabs; and Iranians, too -- as a species of animals not yet inducted into full humanity. Thus in a well-known interview with Ari Shavit, published in Haaretz on January 5, 2004, Morris described the Israeli problem with the Palestinians:

"Something like a cage has to be built for them. I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or another."

In the years since Benny Morris spoke those words, the construction of the Israeli wall in the West Bank, and the blockade of Gaza by land, sea, and air have created the cage he believed was necessary.

Now, writing from Israel for the American newspaper of record, Morris offers his advice concerning the proper treatment of Iran and Iranians. Since Iran is five years from being able to make a nuclear bomb (Morris says one-to-four years), Israel is compelled to bomb Iran "in the next four to seven months."

One may notice that the Israeli attack goes on a much faster schedule than the Iranian pace of research and discovery. Why the haste for destruction? Could it have something to do with the American presidential election of 2008 (which comes at Morris's four-month lower limit), or something to do with the inauguration of a new president in 2009 (thirty days before his upper limit of seven months)? Morris does not say.

He writes, he says, because people need to realize that the success of Israel's coming "conventional assault" on Iran will be good for Israel, for the United States, and even for Iran. If, on the other hand, this conventional assault fails, Israel will some day launch a nuclear attack; and that will be less good.

The choice, Morris concludes, lies with the rest of the world, and especially with the United States. If Iran does not submit rapidly to the next round of international pressure, the world had better support Israel and hope for the success of its first aerial assault against Iran.

Morris confesses, or implies, one reservation. It would better if the United States could launch the attack. But, being realistic, he remarks the lack of enthusiasm among Americans "for wars in the Islamic lands."

"Which leaves," says Morris, "only Israel."

There is an irritant driving this article, a motive more deeply lodged than Morris is willing to avow. For he suspects Israel alone cannot do the job well enough. So having first dismissed the U.S. and the American public as faint-hearted and unequipped for "wars in Islamic lands," and having then come half way to ask again, Morris at last accuses the United States. If we do not soon intervene, and attack Iran as he counsels, the result will be further nuclear progress by Iran. This will be terminated eventually with a nuclear attack by Israel against Iran.

A nuclear attack on a nation of seventy million people (a great many of them innocent of the desire to wipe Israel off the map) is morally indefensible. How can Morris defend it? He can because he knows -- not believes but metaphysically knows -- that the moment that Iran comes into possession of its first weapon, the leaders of Iran will commit national suicide in order to obtain the pleasure of destroying Israel.

Morris alludes to his ulterior knowledge in two sentences so full of blandness, abstract jargon, and bureaucratic euphemism that their meaning is not initially clear; but if one reads with care, one sees that the message is never in doubt:

"Given the fundamentalist, self-sacrificing mindset of the mullahs who run Iran, Israel knows that deterrence may not work as well as it did with the comparatively rational men who ran the Kremlin and the White House during the cold war. They are likely to use any bomb they build."

Iran will use a nuclear bomb, Morris is sure, as soon as it has one, even knowing that to do so means the destruction of Iran. The Mullahs will do it because that is the kind of people they are.

Here then is the way around the charge that Israel, in attacking Iran some time before March 2009, will be committing a crime. By Morris's logic the attack by Israel will be an act of self-defense. Indeed, it will be preemptive -- hardly more than common sense -- given the knowledge that Benny Morris possesses of the "fundamentalist, self-sacrificing" nature of the leaders of Iran. No evidence for his intuition is ever offered -- evidence from (say) the history of Iranian foreign policy over the past fifty years, or 200; evidence founded on actions rather than words.

What if Iran's words since 1979 have been wilder than its deeds? What if Israel's actions since 2002 have been wilder than its words (wilder, even, than Benny Morris's words of 2004)? These findings could not possibly touch the argument. Morris writes as a man in possession of a racial and religious knowledge that is superior to evidence.

Of course, he hopes that Israel will not be forced to go all the way (though he has deplored Ben-Gurion's failure to go all the way with expulsion of the Palestinians). He imagines most Iranians would prefer not to see "Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland." Morris has thus given the readers of the New York Times a vision of a hellish future, but then atoned for the extravagance by suggesting that, if things fall out so, it will be the fault of Iran and the United States. Israel will have done the best it could with a monstrous and implacable enemy and a reluctant ally.

All circumstances taken together, this New York Times op-ed by Benny Morris is at once the most overt and the most peculiar intervention we Americans have witnessed thus far, by an Israeli attempting to influence U.S. policy in the Middle East. The article is weakly founded on partial facts and conjectural truths. It passes without transition from mock-prudential calculations to a tyrannical threat to destroy a civilization for the good of the world. Yet, though unpersuasive, it acquires significance when published between a recent visit to the U.S. by the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and the current visit by the defense minister Ehud Barak.

Morris's article is meant to be read in the context of such recent assurances as Olmert's, for example, that President Bush "understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House."

But let us return for a last look at Benny Morris.

No person into whose mind had entered the idea that an Iranian may be a human being--and that there are millions of innocent Iranians -- could have generated with such casual facility the image of Iran as a "nuclear wasteland." Yet this was the image of Iran that the Israeli Benny Morris decided to conjure up for American readers in the New York Times.

In the Haaretz interview of January 5, 2004, the following exchange occurred between the interviewer Ari Shavit and Benny Morris:

"Would you describe yourself as an apocalyptic person?"

"The whole Zionist project is apocalyptic. It exists within hostile surroundings and in a certain sense its existence is unreasonable. It wasn't reasonable for it to succeed in 1881 and it wasn't reasonable for it to succeed in 1948 and it's not reasonable that it will succeed now. Nevertheless, it has come this far. In a certain way it is miraculous. I live the events of 1948, and 1948 projects itself on what could happen here. Yes, I think of Armageddon. It's possible. Within the next 20 years there could be an atomic war here."

This apocalyptic danger Morris may conceive himself to have put off a few more years by writing an editorial on behalf of Israel's coming attack.

But whether the attack on Iran comes sooner or later, whether it is executed by Israel or the U.S. or both, and whether carried out with conventional or nuclear weapons, Morris has no doubt of one thing. It will have served the "apocalyptic" vision of the "whole Zionist project," and it will coincide with the highest values of humanity properly defined.

The Congress Of The United States Is Sworn, Duty Bound To Uphold The Constitution Of The United States, Not Ignore It Or Circumvent It When It Suits Their Personal Desires.