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Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,324
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U.S. exports to Korea have been flat since the deal.
By Leo Gerard / AlterNet May 10, 2016
On the fourth anniversary of the Korean trade deal, its lofty promises have been revealed as putrid pie in the sky: More jobs lost. No exports gained.
Just like NAFTA, just like China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), free traders swore that the Korean deal would shower jobs and economic prosperity down on America.
It didn’t happen. Actually, the exact opposite did. In all three cases, the schemes enticed corporations to close American factories and offshore work. That enriched CEOs and shareholders. But it impoverished millions of American workers and bankrupted communities.
The deal with Korea is the most recent example of just how badly free traders hurt American workers and communities. The promise from free trade promoters was that the Korean deal would expand U.S. business opportunities and “support” 70,000 American jobs. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimated exports to Korea would rise by at least $10 billion.
None of that happened. U.S. exports to Korea have been flat for the entire four years. Meanwhile, imports from Korea rose 26.8 percent. As a result, the U.S. trade deficit with Korea more than doubled in just four years.
That means American workers lost jobs. Instead of Americans manufacturing commodities, Koreans did. Then the goods were shipped to the United States duty free under the deal that was supposed to be so great for American workers.
Robert E. Scott, senior economist and director of trade and manufacturing policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, calculated that in just four years, that trade deficit with Korea cost 95,000 Americans their jobs, mostly in manufacturing.
Free traders bragged at the time the Korean deal was signed that it would finally give American car and parts manufacturers access to the Korean market. And if an increase of less than $1 billion worth of vehicle and parts exports to Korea over four years is access, then it’s a success. By contrast, imports of Korean cars and parts to the United States increased by $10.6 billion over the same period. Frankly, that’s ten times more successful. For Korea.
That’s not the kind of news that devastated former car and car part manufacturing towns like Flint and Ypsilanti, Mich., want to hear after that 70,000-job promise made by those Korean free trade deal pushers. It’s certainly not good news either to devastated steel towns like Duquesne and Monessen, Pa., where the metal for cars and car parts was once forged.
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/labor/want-know-if-tpp-will-be-disaster-just-look-korean-trade-deal?akid=14248.44541.WLqwsA&rd=1&src=newsletter1056345&t=22
Posted by polly7 | Thu May 12, 2016, 10:40 AM (11 replies)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016 04:59 PM CCST
President Obama will finally visit Hiroshima. Moral leadership suggests both sides apologize for unspeakable acts
A huge expanse of ruins left by the explosion of the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945 in Hiroshima.(Credit: AP)
When President Obama visits Hiroshima later this month, he might do well to reflect on the views of another President who was also the five-star general who oversaw America’s military victory in World War II. In a 1963 interview on the use of the atomic bomb against Hiroshima, President Dwight D. Eisenhower bluntly declared that “…it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”
Eisenhower was even more specific in his memoirs, writing that when he was informed by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson the bomb was about to be used against Japan “…I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives…”
Eisenhower was not alone. Many of the top military leaders, mostly conservatives, went public after World War II with similar judgments. The President’s chief of staff, William D. Leahy–the five-star admiral who presided over meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff–noted in his diary seven weeks before the bombing of Hiroshima: “It is my opinion that at the present time a surrender of Japan can be arranged with terms that can be accepted by Japan and that will make fully satisfactory provision for America’s defense against future trans-Pacific aggression.”
After the war Leahy declared in his 1950 memoir: “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender….My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children…”
Full article: http://www.salon.com/2016/05/11/we_didnt_need_to_drop_the_bomb_and_even_our_ww_ii_military_icons_knew_it/
Posted by polly7 | Thu May 12, 2016, 10:32 AM (98 replies)
This question becomes even more valid in light of what the mainstream media, in the wake of the former South African president’s death, have been anxiously hiding from the public: the actual close and crucial alliance between Mandela and Gaddafi. Back in the 70s and 80s, when the West refused to allow sanctions against Apartheid in South Africa and used to call Mandela a terrorist, it was none other than Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi who kept supporting him. Gaddafi funded Mandela’s fight against Apartheid by training ANC fighters and by paying for their education abroad, and their bond only became stronger after Mandela’s release from prison on February 11, 1990.
When Mandela was taken to the ruins of Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, which was bombed by the Reagan administration in 1986 in an attempt to murder the entire Gaddafi family, he said:
“No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do. Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi. They are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past.”
In response, Gaddafi thanked Mandela for his friendship, saying: “Who would ever have said that one day the opportunity for us to meet would become reality. We would like you to know that we are constantly celebrating your fight and that of the South African people, and that we salute your courage during all of those long years you spent in detention in the prison of Apartheid. Not a single day has passed without us having thought of you and your sufferings.”
Eight years later, when then U.S. president Bill Clinton visited Mandela in March 1998, Clinton criticized the South African president’s meeting with Muammar Gaddafi. In reaction to that criticism, Mandela straightforwardly replied:
“I have also invited Brother Leader Gaddafi to this country. And I do that because our moral authority dictates that we should not abandon those who helped us in the darkest hour in the history of this country. Not only did the Libyans support us in return, they gave us the resources for us to conduct our struggle, and to win. And those South Africans who have berated me for being loyal to our friends, can literally go and jump into a pool.”
On the eve of the NATO-led war against Libya, Gaddafi’s booming country largely co-funded three projects that would rid Africa from its financial dependence on the West once and for all: the African Investment Bank in the Libyan city of Sirte, the African Monetary Fund (AFM), to be based in the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, in 2011, and the African Central Bank to be based in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja. Especially the latter angered France – not coincidentally also the main orchestrator of the war on Libya – because it would mean the end of the West African CFA franc and the Central African CFA franc, through which France kept a hold on as much as thirteen African countries. Only two months after Africa said no to Western attempts to join the AFM, Western organized “protests” against the AFM’s benefactor, Muammar Gaddafi, started to erupt in Libya… ultimately resulting in the freezing of $30 billion by the West, which money mostly was intended for the above mentioned financial projects.
But Gaddafi helped the African continent in more than just material ways. More than any other African leader, he supported Mandela’s ANC’s struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. Above that, many Black Africans, especially sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees, found a new home in Gaddafi’s prosperous Libya.
Posted by polly7 | Thu May 12, 2016, 10:10 AM (0 replies)
“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger or CODEPINK: Who’s the "Low Life Scum"?
Friday, January 30, 2015
by Common Dreams
Alli McCracken, a peace activist with CODEPINK, shows former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger a pair of handcuffs during a protest at a Senate hearing on Thursday. If there was justice in this world, argue human rights activist, Kissinger would be in prison for his role in perpetrating war crimes as opposed to sitting before the Senate Armed Services Committee to offer his assessment of world affairs. (Photo: Courtesy of CODEPINK)
A very angry Senator John McCain denounced CODEPINK activists as “low-life scum” for holding up signs reading “Arrest Kissinger for War Crimes” and dangling handcuffs next to Henry Kissinger’s head during a Senate hearing on January 29. McCain called the demonstration “disgraceful, outrageous and despicable,” accused the protesters of “physically intimidating” Kissinger and apologized profusely to his friend for this “deeply troubling incident.”
But if Senator McCain was really concerned about physical intimidation, perhaps he should have conjured up the memory of the gentle Chilean singer/songwriter Victor Jara. After Kissinger facilitated the September 11, 1973 coup against Salvador Allende that brought the ruthless Augusto Pinochet to power, Victor Jara and 5,000 others were rounded up in Chile’s National Stadium. Jara’s hands were smashed and his nails torn off; the sadistic guards then ordered him to play his guitar. Jara was later found dumped on the street, his dead body riddled with gunshot wounds and signs of torture.
Despite warnings by senior US officials that thousands of Chileans were being tortured and slaughtered, then Secretary of State Kissinger told Pinochet, "You did a great service to the West in overthrowing Allende."
Rather than calling peaceful protesters “despicable”, perhaps Senator McCain should have used that term to describe Kissinger’s role in the brutal 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which took place just hours after Kissinger and President Ford visited Indonesia. They had given the Indonesian strongman the US green light—and the weapons—for an invasion that led to a 25-year occupation in which over 100,000 soldiers and civilians were killed or starved to death. The UN's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR) stated that U.S. "political and military support were fundamental to the Indonesian invasion and occupation" of East Timor.
If McCain could stomach it, he could have read the report by the UN Commission on Human Rights describing the horrific consequences of that invasion. It includes gang rape of female detainees following periods of prolonged sexual torture; placing women in tanks of water for prolonged periods, including submerging their heads, before being raped; the use of snakes to instill terror during sexual torture; and the mutilation of women’s sexual organs, including insertion of batteries into vaginas and burning nipples and genitals with cigarettes. Talk about physical intimidation, Senator McCain!
Octafish (54,331 posts)
8. ''The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.''
"The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves... l don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people."
-- Henry Kissinger on the US-backed coup d'etat in Chile.
The life and death of Victor Jara – a classic feature from the vaults
The Chilean singer Victor Jara was murdered in the country's military coup 40 years ago this week. This classic NME piece from 1975 – taken from Rock's Backpages – tells the tale of his death, and how the coup came to pass
"We entered through a side door. Outside there were crowds of people waiting. They had lists on the door that said Body X, Mass Killing, with a number – this long list and occasionally a name. Then we entered an enormous room in the morgue which, I suppose, was a sort of hall, not the place where bodies are normally kept. And it was absolutely full of hundreds of bodies of people who had died violently. People of all ages. Mostly working people. Some very young. Some with their arms tied behind their backs still. And with terrible wounds.
"And I had to go through all these bodies trying to find Victor's body. And it wasn't there. Then I had to go up afterwards to the second floor of the morgue – which was the offices, the administration. And here also in a long passage there were lines of bodies. And one of these … I found Victor's body.
"I can tell you the state of Victor's body because he'd obviously been tortured. I mean his body was full of bullet wounds and he had a sort of tremendous hole in his right hip.
"His body was distorted and his hands were hanging from his wrists and I have this vision of Victor's hands that somehow they didn't belong to his body.
"At the same time he'd been beaten over the head and his head was all bloodied and full of bruises. But I don't know if it's any value to say that among all the bodies that I saw, all of whom had died violent deaths, Victor's had, even in death, an expression of rage, of defiance.
AMY GOODMAN: Today we look at another September 11th. It was 40 years ago this week, September 11, 1973, that General Augusto Pinochet ousted Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, in a U.S.-backed military coup. The coup began a 17-year repressive dictatorship during which more than 3,000 Chileans were killed. Pinochet’s rise to power was backed by then-President Richard Nixon and his secretary of state and national security adviser, Henry Kissinger.
In 1970, the CIA’s deputy director of plans wrote in a secret memo, quote, "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. ... It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden," unquote. That same year, President Nixon ordered the CIA to, quote, "make the economy scream" in Chile to, quote, "prevent Allende from coming to power or unseat him."
After the 1973 coup, General Pinochet remained a close U.S. ally. He was defeated in 1988 referendum and left office in 1990. In 1998, Pinochet was arrested in London on torture and genocide charges on a warrant issued by a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón. British authorities later released Pinochet after doctors ruled him physically and mentally unfit to stand trial.
AMY GOODMAN: Just last week, the wife and two daughters of the legendary Chilean folk singer Víctor Jara filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. court against the former military officer they say killed Jara almost exactly 40 years ago. Víctor Jara was shot to death in the midst of the 1973 U.S.-backed coup. First his hands were smashed so he could no longer play the guitar, it is believed. Jara’s accused killer, Pedro Barrientos, has lived in the United States for roughly two decades and is now a U.S. citizen. Jara’s family is suing him under federal laws that allow U.S. courts to hear about human rights abuses committed abroad. Last year, Chilean prosecutors charged Barrientos and another officer with Jara’s murder, naming six others as accomplices.
nationalize the fed (1,910 posts)
24. Which one would Hillary choose?
Hillary Clinton reviews Henry Kissinger’s ‘World Order’
By Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington Post.com September 4, 2014
When Americans look around the world today, we see one crisis after another. Russian aggression in Ukraine, extremism and chaos in Iraq and Syria, a deadly epidemic in West Africa, escalating territorial tensions in the East and South China seas, a global economy that still isn’t producing enough growth or shared prosperity — the liberal international order that the United States has worked for generations to build and defend seems to be under pressure from every quarter. It’s no wonder so many Americans express uncertainty and even fear about our role and our future in the world.
In his new book, “World Order,” Henry Kissinger explains the historic scope of this challenge. His analysis, despite some differences over specific policies, largely fits with the broad strategy behind the Obama administration’s effort over the past six years to build a global architecture of security and cooperation for the 21st century.
During the Cold War, America’s bipartisan commitment to protecting and expanding a community of nations devoted to freedom, market economies and cooperation eventually proved successful for us and the world. Kissinger’s summary of that vision sounds pertinent today: “an inexorably expanding cooperative order of states observing common rules and norms, embracing liberal economic systems, forswearing territorial conquest, respecting national sovereignty, and adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance.”
This system, advanced by U.S. military and diplomatic power and our alliances with like-minded nations, helped us defeat fascism and communism and brought enormous benefits to Americans and billions of others. Nonetheless, many people around the world today — especially millions of young people — don’t know these success stories, so it becomes our responsibility to show as well as tell what American leadership looks like.
...Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels. Though we have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past, what comes through clearly in this new book is a conviction that we, and President Obama, share: a belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order...
Should Henry Kissinger Mentor a Presidential Candidate?
Friday, February 12, 2016
by Common Dreams
At the February 11 Democratic Debate, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had a spirited exchange about an unlikely topic: the 92-year old former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Sanders berated Clinton for saying that she appreciated the foreign policy mentoring she got from Henry Kissinger. “I happen to believe,” said Sanders, “that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country.”
In one of Sanders’ rare outbursts of enmity, he added, “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger. And in fact, Kissinger's actions in Cambodia, when the United States bombed that country, overthrew Prince Sihanouk, created the instability for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to come in, who then butchered some three million innocent people, was one of the worst genocides in the history of the world. So count me in as somebody who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger.”
Clinton went on to defend Kissinger, using the example of China. “His opening up China and his ongoing relationships with the leaders of China is an incredibly useful relationship for the United States of America,” she insisted.
Sanders responded that Kissinger scared Americans about communist China, then opened up trade so U.S. corporations could dump American workers and hire exploited, repressed Chinese.
Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/12/should-henry-kissinger-mentor-presidential-candidate
Emails expose close ties between Hillary Clinton and accused war criminal Henry Kissinger
“I greatly admire the skill and aplomb with which you conduct our foreign policy,” wrote Henry Kissinger in a 2012 letter to “the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton.” The compliment was included as a handwritten postscript added to the printed letter.
Kissinger met regularly with Secretary Clinton, and applauded her hawkish foreign policy in a handwritten message
BEN NORTON AND JARED FLANERY
“Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state,” Clinton revealed in the review. “He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels.”
Greece, Cyprus, Sanders and Dignity
By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
Source: Defend Democracy Press
April 16, 2016
Bernie Sanders represents a great hope for Greece and for the whole world. We do not know if he can win against Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. What’s more, we don’t know if he could ever be elected US president or what he would do if he is ever elected. Sanders, unlike our own Greek politicians – those unbelievable hijackers of the values Left has proclaimed and of the heritage of heroic struggles its partisans have given – has repeatedly said that he will not be able to do anything unless the people help him to do it. In fact, only the people can do something, with his help!
But, in any case, the emergence, for the first time in many decades, in the United States, of a strong public opinion current, opposing the omnipotence of the financial capital and the neoliberal economic model, a model already evolving into a kind of “destructive capitalism”, is something that should attract the attention of any thinking person on the planet. This is even truer for Greeks in Greece, in Cyprus and throughout the world, given that we are at the forefront of the attack launched by the forces of the Finance and that our nation’s very existence and dignity are threatened by them. I wonder what we are waiting for, like the Rayahs of our history, before we finally decide to react. Are we going to wait until we become another Syria (in our case, by the use of economic and political methods) or until Greece is totally “squashed” and Cyprus is fully taken apart through a new Annan plan (as they already plan to do right after the Cypriot parliamentary elections)? It will be very late by then.
And yet, here we have, in the most powerful country in the world, a politician who, repeatedly and of his own accord, guided only by his political ideas and beliefs, has defended Greece in a way that no Greek politician has ever done, without expecting anything in return. By exposing the international financial system and the dreadful attack it unleashed against Greece, first directly and then by manipulating, in partnership with the German government, the rest of Europe to follow suit (1). But we, on our part, we remain simply indifferent to what is happening in the States with Sanders. Is there any chance that we will manage to save ourselves in this way? Absolutely no chance!
Henry Kissinger – the “killer” of Cyprus
A particularly ironic and tragic aspect of the story is that Sanders strongly criticised Hillary Clinton for her statement characterising Henry Kissinger as her mentor. Kissinger is one of “the most destructive figures in American history” said Sanders (5).
Kissinger is not just any random person in the history of Cyprus. He is in fact the perpetrator of the crimes committed against Cyprus, the organiser of the coup there in 1974, of the attempted murder of Archbishop Makarios and of the ensuing Turkish invasion which ensued. (4) How could it ever be possible that Greeks would support the self-proclaimed student of Kissinger against the one who criticises him? We are lost for words..
Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/greece-cyprus-sanders-and-dignity/
Pilger - From Pol Pot to ISIS: The blood never dried
16 November 2015
Following the ISIS outrages in Beirut and Paris, John Pilger updates this prescient essay on the root causes of terrorism and what we can do about it.
As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery - including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields - I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today's Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.
According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of "fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders". Once Nixon's and Kissinger's B-52 bombers had gone to work as part of "Operation Menu", the west's ultimate demon could not believe his luck. The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They leveled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left giant necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors "froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told... That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over." A Finnish Government Commission of Inquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the "first stage in a decade of genocide". What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.
ISIS has a similar past and present. By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair's invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of at least 700,000 people - in a country that had no history of jihadism. The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common. Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.
Bush and Blair blew all this to bits. Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda - like Pol Pot's "jihadists" - seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of 'Shock and Awe' and the civil war that followed. "Rebel" Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable. A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote, "The government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy - and in particular our Middle East
The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west - Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and now Russia. The obstacle is Turkey, an "ally" and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian "rebels", including those now calling themselves ISIS. Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.
More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq, and the Nato and "coalition" crimes in Libya and Syria. With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger's latest self-serving tome has been released with its satirical title, "World Order". In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a "key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century". Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his "statecraft". Only when "we" recognise the war criminals in our midst and stop denying ourselves the truth will the blood begin to dry.
Full article: http://johnpilger.com/articles/from-pol-pot-to-isis-the-blood-never-dried
Ken Burch (41,182 posts)
This final message, from one of those affected by Henry Kissinger's "liberal" worldview:
(These are the last words Victor ever wrote, after being arrested for singing truth by the Kissinger imposed military junta that replaced the democratic socialist government led by Salvador Allende in September of 1973-Chile's 9/11.....the poem ends abruptly, as the soldiers take Victor away to beat and torture him to death-a task they spent two days completing. he was also making a tune for the song at the moment the guards lead him off).
(on edit: The words are being read on the recording by Adrian Mitchell, who would later be the Poet Laureate of Britain).
Ichingcarpenter (36,626 posts)
5. Kissinger, Apartheid, Cuba and Steven Biko
Don't forget Kissinger REVERSED JFK's policies and for that matter LBJ's anti apartheid policies under Nixon
This one is documented too....... talk about a racist asshole.
Kissinger's 'Tar Baby' memo: http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=1215
He also wanted to bomb Cuba for their support in Angola.
BBC : Henry Kissinger 'considered Cuba air strikes' in 1976
America Keeps Honoring One of Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry Kissinger
Including ten quotes that illustrate his megalomania and indifference to the deaths of untold numbers of civilians.
By Fred Branfman / AlterNet April 16, 2013
Henry Kissinger's quote recently released by Wikileaks,"the illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer", likely brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Oh that Henry! That rapier wit! That trademark insouciance! That naughtiness! It is unlikely, however, that the descendants of his more than 6 million victims in Indochina, and Americans of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. For his illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated, amoral U.S. Executive warfare which haunts the world until today.
And his conduct raises even more fundamental questions: to what extent can leaders who act secretly ,illegally and unconstitutionally, lying to their citizenry and legislature as a matter of course, legitimately claim to represent their people? How much allegiance do citizens owe such leaders? And what does it say about America’s elites that they have honored a man with so much innocent blood on his hands for the past 40 years?
Mr. Kissinger's most significant historical act was executing Richard Nixon's orders to conduct the most massive bombing campaign, largely of civilian targets, in world history. He dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs** between January 1969 and January 1973 - nearly twice the two million dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He secretly and illegally devastated villages throughout areas of Cambodia inhabited by a U.S. Embassy-estimated two million people; quadrupled the bombing of Laos and laid waste to the 700-year old civilization on the Plain of Jars; and struck civilian targets throughout North Vietnam - Haiphong harbor, dikes, cities, Bach Mai Hospital - which even Lyndon Johnson had avoided. His aerial slaughter helped kill, wound or make homeless an officially-estimated six million human beings**, mostly civilians who posed no threat whatsoever to U.S. national security and had committed no offense against it.
There is a word for the aerial mass murder that Henry Kissinger committed in Indochina, and that word is “evil”. The figure most identified with this word today is Adolph Hitler, and his evil was so unspeakable that the term is by now identified with him. But that is precisely why it is important to understand the new face of evil and moral depravity that Henry Kissinger represents. For evil not only comes in the form of madmen dreaming of 1000 year Reichs. In fact, in our day, it is more likely to be committed by sane, genial and ordinary careerists waging invisible automated war in far-off lands against people whose screams we never hear, whose faces we never see, and whose deaths go unrecorded and unnoticed. It is critical to understand this new face of evil, for it threatens not only countless foreigners but Americans in coming years. And no one has embodied it more than Henry Kissinger.
The planes he dispatched came by day. They came by night. Remorseless. Pitiless. Relentless. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Most of the people below had no idea where the bombers came from, why their lives had been turned into a living hell. The movie "War of the Worlds", in which Americans are incomprehensibly slaughtered by machines is the closest depiction of what the innocent rice-farmers of Indochina experienced.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were forced to live in holes and caves, like animals. Many tens of thousands were burned alive by the bombs, slowly dying in agony. Others were buried alive, as they gradually suffocated to death when a 500 pound bomb exploded nearby. Most were victims of antipersonnel bombs designed primarily to maim not kill, many of the survivors carrying the metal, jagged or plastic pellets in their bodies for the rest of their lives.
Fathers like 38-year old Thao Vong were suddenly blinded or crippled for life as they lost an arm or leg, made helpless, unable to support their families, becoming dependent on others just to stay alive. Children were struck, lying out in the open, screaming, villagers unable to come to their aid for fear of being killed themselves. No one was spared - neither sweet, loving grandmothers nor lovely young women, neither laughing, innocent children nor nursing or pregnant mothers, not water buffalo needed to farm not the shrines where people had for centuries honored their ancestors and hoped one day to be honored themselves.
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/america-keeps-honoring-one-its-worst-mass-murderers-henry-kissinger
The Trials of Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger's Legacy of War Crimes Exposed
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 03:19 PM (1 replies)
by Andre Vltchek / May 9th, 2016
I am not sure who has invented those rumors that Cuba is now facing a mortal danger, that it has lost its bearings, and that it could collapse at any moment, after just one lethal visit by US President Barack Obama. The rumors and speculations are snowballing, and in some circles of the North American and European Left, they are already being confused with reality.
I know, admire and love Cuba. It is an exceptionally strong, determined and resilient nation. Reading all the alarming reports, I decided to return and to speak to the Cuban people directly.
I visited Cuba again. This time in between my work in war-torn Middle East and South America, a continent suffering vicious assaults by toxic counter-revolutionary cliques loyal to Washington and Europe.
Andre Vltchek and his 1952 horse
My conclusion is clear and decisive: “No! Cuba is not falling. Cuban people know; they are well aware of what is most likely behind the sweet talk of the US President. They will not yield, and they will not betray the Revolution.”
The danger from the West is real; it is there. It is always there, as it is real. Coercions, tricks, Machiavellian politics – all will be used in attempt to derail, even to destroy the Cuban Revolution. But do not think for one second that the Cuban people don’t see what the Empire is trying to achieve.
Cuba is standing, where it has been for decades. It is doing better than before. It is also stronger than ever. I’m convinced that it is going to prevail.
Before I continue, I have one suggestion to make to those who are thinking otherwise and who are genuinely worried: go to Cuba and help if you think that the country is now facing unprecedented danger. Travel there, talk to people, work, write, film, photograph. Support Cuba abroad. Buy its products, listen to its music, watch films, read books. Spend money there, instead of in Thailand, the Virgin Islands or Egypt, if you need some sun. Do something real, something concrete.
Cuba is the most internationalist country on Earth. It has been showing solidarity with dozens of oppressed and needy countries. It has already done so much for the others – the rest of the world. Now do something for Cuba, instead of prophesying its collapse! Do it if you worry about its future, and do it even if you don’t.
Ignacio Guerra Batancour, a mathematician from Santiago de Cuba is a determined supporter of the Revolution and the Cuban Communist system:
Of course people are afraid of Obama and his motives for recently visiting Cuba. Did he come just in order to normalize relations between our two countries? I doubt it! But fortunately, Cuban people have plenty of revolutionary blood left circulating in their veins. And they are smart! Most of them don’t want to become a colony again, and they don’t want capitalism. Here we just want to improve our economic situation a little bit, but otherwise the great majority of people are happy with what they have. I am 64 years old…
He looks at most 50…
I remember how things used to be before the Revolution. It was tough, humiliating… We had to live with malnutrition, ignorance, and exploitation… Things totally changed when Communism arrived. Now I’m not rich either. Not at all! My wife and I have worked hard throughout our entire lives. She used to be a member of the international medical brigade. And all our family members got very good education. My wife is a doctor; our son is a neurosurgeon. We don’t have much but we have enough; we have what we really need. And all of us are living meaningful lives.
“But now the United States will definitely try to destabilize Cuba…”
Of course! We all know it. Those who say that they don’t know are actually part of the plot against Communist Cuba. We see what the West is doing all over the world. But Cuba will not be allowed to fall. North Americans will try all sorts of tricks, but they’d never dare to invade. Because they still remember the Bay of Pigs and Playa Giron. This nation has great heart but it can also be tough. It has guts. It would not allow this system to disappear.
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/cuba-strong-resilient-determined/
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 01:53 PM (1 replies)
Noam Chomsky on the true costs of the War on Terror.
By Noam Chomsky / Tom Dispatch May 10, 2016
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch. The second of two parts, it is excerpted from Noam Chomsky’s new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books). Part 1 can be found by clicking here.
In brief, the Global War on Terror sledgehammer strategy has spread jihadi terror from a tiny corner of Afghanistan to much of the world, from Africa through the Levant and South Asia to Southeast Asia. It has also incited attacks in Europe and the United States. The invasion of Iraq made a substantial contribution to this process, much as intelligence agencies had predicted. Terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank estimate that the Iraq War “generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third.” Other exercises have been similarly productive.
A group of major human rights organizations—Physicians for Social Responsibility (U.S.), Physicians for Global Survival (Canada), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Germany)—conducted a study that sought "to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones during 12 years of ‘war on terrorism,'" including an extensive review “of the major studies and data published on the numbers of victims in these countries,” along with additional information on military actions. Their "conservative estimate" is that these wars killed about 1.3 million people, a toll that "could also be in excess of 2 million." A database search by independent researcher David Peterson in the days following the publication of the report found virtually no mention of it. Who cares?
More generally, studies carried out by the Oslo Peace Research Institute show that two-thirds of the region’s conflict fatalities were produced in originally internal disputes where outsiders imposed their solutions. In such conflicts, 98 percent of fatalities were produced only after outsiders had entered the domestic dispute with their military might. In Syria, the number of direct conflict fatalities more than tripled after the West initiated air strikes against the self-declared Islamic State and the CIA started its indirect military interference in the war—interference which appears to have drawn the Russians in as advanced US antitank missiles were decimating the forces of their ally Bashar al-Assad. Early indications are that Russian bombing is having the usual consequences.
The evidence reviewed by political scientist Timo Kivimäki indicates that the “protection wars have become the main source of violence in the world, occasionally contributing over 50 percent of total conflict fatalities.” Furthermore, in many of these cases, including Syria, as he reviews, there were opportunities for diplomatic settlement that were ignored. That has also been true in other horrific situations, including the Balkans in the early 1990s, the first Gulf War, and of course the Indochina wars, the worst crime since World War II. In the case of Iraq the question does not even arise. There surely are some lessons here
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/books/chomsky-humanity-has-paid-bloody-price-americas-mania-control-world
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 01:01 PM (2 replies)
Published Monday, May 9, 2016 1:29PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 9, 2016 3:08PM EDT
The Canadian Red Cross says it has so far received $54 million in donations for Fort McMurray wildfire relief efforts.
The latest total does not include matching funds promised by the provincial and federal governments. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that Ottawa will match individual donations to the Red Cross up to May 31, without a cap.
"I want to thank Canadians for their extraordinary generosity in supporting the people of Fort McMurray," Trudeau tweeted Monday. "This is our country at its best."
During question period in the House of Commons on Monday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale commended the Red Cross for its “magnificent job” in responding to the crisis.
“The Red Cross has proven to be an enormous and valuable partner in dealing with the immediate crisis of this situation,” he said. “They have extraordinary depth and reach and capacity to provide the kind of immediate emergency assistance that was required in the very short term in dealing with those circumstances.”
Moving forward, Goodale said the government will “examine all possibilities” for how it can help Fort McMurray recover.
Full story: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/fort-mcmurray-relief-donations-hit-54m-red-cross-1.2894442
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 12:40 PM (1 replies)
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, May 9, 2016 5:14AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 9, 2016 10:38PM EDT
After touring Fort McMurray on Monday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says that about 90 per cent of the city remains intact, including the hospital and all schools.
“I’m told we lost about 2,400 structures,” she said. “We’ve saved over 25,000.”
Although there are many “heartbreaking images,” Notley said the community “has the capacity for people to return to it, to be a home, for people to rebuild their lives.”
Notley said she expects to be able to “provide a schedule for return within two weeks.”
Notley emphasized that there are still “smouldering hotspots,” downed power lines and a lack of services like electricity and water, so the city is not safe for residents. Anyone who tries to drive there will be turned back by police.
Fire still growing
Chad Morrison, a provincial wildfire officer, said Monday evening that the fire that started just over a week ago has now grown to 200,000 hectares (2,000 square kilometres) and continues to burn about 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border.
However, Morrison said that firefighters “continue to hold the line,” protecting all populated areas, including Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation, Anzac and the city.
He also said cooler temperatures expected on Tuesday and Wednesday should help. “We expect good firefighting days ahead,” he said.
Earlier in the day, information officer Matthew Anderson told CTV’s Canada AM that the fire could take months to fully extinguish.
Anderson later told CTV News Channel that the fire is still listed as “out of control” and is expected to keep growing.
“However, the rate of growth is greatly reduced based on this downturn in the weather we’re having,” he said.
So far, two deaths have been linked to the fire. Emily Ryan, 15, and her stepmother's nephew, Aaron Hodgson, died last Wednesday in a vehicle crash while fleeing.
Full story: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/fort-mcmurray-fire-2-400-buildings-lost-25-000-saved-1.2893797
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 12:28 PM (5 replies)
Monday, May 09, 2016
'Every day they destroy our country a little more,' says protester in Athens
byDeirdre Fulton, staff writer
Amid protests and strikes, Greek lawmakers passed a crushing new austerity package early on Monday.
The reform package, which passed by a razor-thin margin, was described as "the toughest...the thrice bailed-out nation has been forced to enact since its debt crisis began," according to the Guardian.
The austerity measures represent €5.4 billion ($6.2 billion) in savings and would reduce Greece's pension payouts while raising taxes. The so-called "Troika" of international creditors—the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank—are demanding such painful reforms in return for an €86 billion bailout agreed to last July in a bid to pull Greece out of its debt crisis.
During the debate, opposition parties argued pension cuts and tax hikes would prove recessionary, dealing another blow to a population fatigued by years of austerity.
In fact, wrote Guardian economics editor Larry Elliot on Sunday: "Greece is being set budgetary targets that the IMF knows are unrealistic and is being set up to fail. It will then be punished further for being unable to do what was impossible in the first place."
As outside entities hold Greece's fate in their hands, Varoufakis argued, "he result is a Europe more deeply immersed in disrepute and a Greek people watching from the sidelines an ugly brawl darkening their already bleak future."
A study released last week offered confirmation that the Troika's "bailout" packages delivered to Greece primarily served European banks rather than the Greek people.
Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/09/trapped-vicious-circle-greece-passes-crushing-new-austerity-package
Massive IMF Bailouts are “Ponzi Austerity” Scheme
By Yanis Varoufakis and Amy Goodman
Source: Democracy Now
Published on Apr 28, 2016
http://democracynow.org - As the White House is backing calls for Greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures, we spend the hour with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Earlier this week, negotiations between Greece and international creditors hit an impasse over the bankers’ demands for extra austerity measures. The International Monetary Fund is demanding cutting Greek pensions and eliminating income-tax exemptions if Greece does not hit its budget targets. "Cutting down pension is not reform. It’s like confusing butchery for surgery," says Varoufakis. He served as the Syriza party’s first finance minister after the left-wing party took power in 2015, after promoting an anti-austerity platform. He is in the United States promoting his new book, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future." Earlier this year, he launched a new pan-European umbrella organization called Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM25.
Published on Apr 28, 2016
http://democracynow.org - We continue our conversation with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis as the White House is backing calls for Greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures, following President Obama’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week. Greece and its international creditors are once again negotiating the terms of the bailout and the extent of the austerity measures creditors can impose. Varoufakis responds to the German government’s claim that the majority of Germans oppose giving more money to Greece, and addresses the previous bailouts. "What happened to that money? It wasn’t money for Greece. It was money for the banks," Varoufakis says. "The Greek people took on the largest loan in human history on behalf of German and French bankers." He notes the conditions of the loan "guaranteed our national income would shrink by one-third. So it was impossible to repay that money." He says he opposes taking additional funds until the country’s economy is more stable.
Published on Apr 28, 2016
http://democracynow.org - The International Monetary Fund is demanding additional austerity measures from Greece if it does not hit its budget targets. It’s the latest impasse in years of fierce political clashes between Greece and international creditors. We are joined by a man who had a front-row seat to these battles: the former Greek finance minister for the anti-austerity Syriza party, Yanis Varoufakis. In his new book, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future," he describes how he helped lead Greece’s battle against European Central bankers and a historic referendum in which Greeks resoundingly voted down austerity. But only days after the "no" vote, he resigned. Varoufakis elaborates on the resignation statement he issued last July, when he wrote, "Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted 'partners', for my … 'absence' from its meetings; an idea that the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the ministry of finance today." He famously said at the time, "I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."
(bbm) What interest does the White House have in this?? These people are suffering so much already. Suicides spiked a few years ago, people are hungry and many have lost homes and employment, health coverage, etc. Why on earth push for further austerity?
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 12:23 PM (0 replies)
Monday, May 09, 2016
by YES! Magazine
“How do we grow the economy?” is an obsolete question. Local initiatives across the world are looking for maturity instead as they rebuild caring, place-based communities and economies.
Listen to the political candidates as they put forward their economic solutions. You will hear a well-established and rarely challenged narrative. “We must grow the economy to produce jobs so people will have the money to grow their consumption, which will grow more jobs…” Grow. Grow. Grow.
But children and adolescents grow. Adults mature. It is time to reframe the debate to recognize that we have pushed growth in material consumption beyond Earth’s environmental limits. We must now shift our economic priority from growth to maturity—meeting the needs of all within the limits of what Earth can provide.
Global GDP is currently growing 3 to 4 percent annually. Contrary to the promises of politicians and economists, this growth is not eliminating poverty and creating a better life for all. It is instead creating increasingly grotesque and unsustainable imbalances in our relationship to Earth and to each other.
The assets of the world’s 62 richest individuals equal those of the poorest half of humanity—3.6 billion people. In the United States, the 2015 bonus pool for 172,400 Wall Street employees was $25 billion—just short of the $28 billion required to give 4.2 million minimum wage restaurant and health care workers a raise to $15 an hour.
Humans now consume at a rate 1.6 times what Earth can provide. Weather becomes more severe and erratic, and critical environmental systems are in decline.
These distortions are a predictable consequence of an economic system designed to extract Earth’s natural wealth for the purpose of maximizing financial returns to those who already have more than they need.
Restoring balance is necessarily the work of living communities, of people who care about one another, the health of their environment, and the future of their children.
Posted by polly7 | Tue May 10, 2016, 12:16 PM (1 replies)