Global issues May 2010 World


Greece is the first train on the EU railway to have derailed. The EU has frantically assembled a hasty 700 Billion Euro rescue package for the country partly underwritten by the IMF. The problem is that before the Greek wreckage can be cleared and sorted out, a number of trains are rambling along those same rickety rails without breaks. The Iberian Local carrying the dual carriages of Spain and Portugal is speeding along on the same rail line of the Greek wreck. Spain and Portugal have had their bond ratings reduced to Junk status by Moody’s as well as Standard and Poor’s.


But it gets worst. The EU is like the Lexington Avenue subway line  in New York  during rush hour. Trains run on the same track with high frequency. When the Iberian local slams into the derailed Greek train, the Roman Express is due right behind  it. The Italian train should not be in operation in the first place. Unlike the Iberians whose brakes have failed, the Italians have removed them completely. According to the rail schedule, the London Special with it’s 125 MPH locomotive follows the Roman Express. The EU is about to have the largest rail pile up disaster in history.

Meanwhile, due to do a management quarrel over how to deal with the Greek derailment, the EU’s high speed flagship train which connects Champs D’Elysses  via Brussels  to Unter den Linden  has decoupled. This has led to a head on collision between the German ICE  and French TGV . The EU is having train wrecks galore.

The damage from the Greek derailment and the German-French head on collision cannot be estimated or assessed because of the simultaneous nature of events. Financial speculators on Wall Street are following through with their pledge to crash the Euro currency by the end of the year. The European Central Bank is helpless. The Maastricht  and Lisbon  treaties aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. Unlike the rapid fall of the Twin Towers  in New York, the crash of the EU is occurring in slow motion. Each individual crash erupts in a quick bang but the overall destruction of the EU occurs piecemeal.

The passengers on those trains are fit to be tied. The survivors are banged up quite severely yet no help or rescue is forthcoming. The emergency units are coming to the scenes not to check on the health of the passengers but rather to see if they can repair the destroyed rolling stock of the trains and attempt to straighten out the rails . Wounded passengers are told that they should be happy that they’re still alive as well as being informed that lost limbs and open untreated wounds will just have to do. Moreover, those who have uninjured limbs are told by medical teams that they must have all their limbs amputated in order to keep the EU railway working . The results have been insurrections in Greece  and increasingly violent protests in Ireland .

The most significant mash up remains the French-German rupture. For more than 50 years, the Franco-German axis was the linchpin of Western European peace and economic prosperity. After 3 bloody wars within a span of 70 years (Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the two world wars) the key to enduring peace on the continent was the economic integration of France and Germany following the Second World War. French President Sarkozy’s outburst against German Chancellor Merkel marks the most ominous sign that European peace has started moving down the rails of history. In an interview  with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, European Central Bank President, Jean-Claude Trichet was unusually candid in his remarks. He stated that Europe was in its worst crisis since the start of the  Second World War . Trichet was unable to make up his mind whether Europe was re-living 1939 or 1914, the year in which the First World War  erupted. In March,Germany threatened to pull out of the EU . Last week, France threatened to dump the Euro. The threats and counter-threats between France and Germany are the opening bars of the beating of the war drums. Rumours abound about Merkel’s decision for the German Central Bank to start re-printing Deutschmarks.

The European Union and the Euro currency are mortally wounded. They aren’t dead quite yet. The EU lies in an Intensive Care Unit hospital bed. The Euro is on an operating table in the Emergency Room as doctors send charge after charge of electric shocks using a defibrillator. However, once the pile up on the rails mount and those surviving passengers begin to attack the “rescue” teams, the EU project will be pronounced dead.

Global issues January 2011 News Non-Violence USA


“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. April 4th 1967

Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam-A Time To Break Silence is as applicable today, if not more so, as it was nearly 45 years ago when he gave it at Riverside Church in New York. Presently, the United States has been at war longer than at any other time throughout its history. The Afghan war has been waged for a decade without an end in sight. NATO has pushed back its deadline for withdrawal year after year with the never ending caveat “if ground conditions permit”.  More than 50,000 soldiers continue to occupy Iraq. More than 150,000 soldiers from more than 50 countries around the world fight a dirty colonial war in Afghanistan. While it’s true that these current wars started under George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress, it has been continued and expanded under the Democrats. The majority of Americans suffer from war fatigue. Twice within the past four years, the electorate voted to stop the wars but alas, the wars continue. President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have recently passed the largest military budget since the Second World War. As the United States commits unspeakable violence overseas, horrible violence plagues the country at home.


Where Are The Heroes?

Historically, the differences between American liberals and conservatives was more than differences in politics and policies. The most important differences lay within values. Liberals believed in social justice and true equality. Conservatives believed in hard justice and inequality. Liberals believed that all human beings deserve equal chances to prosper and lead lives of quality as conservatives believed that inequality was an inherent “human nature” and that attempts to reduce inequality was an undue burden on society. Liberals recognised socio-economic inequality while conservatives believed so such thing existed in the United States. Liberals through the Democratic Party believed that if the government lifted society from the bottom, the living standard would rise for everyone. Conservatives through the Republican Party believed that if government lifted society from the top, the living standard would rise for all.

The most striking display within the differences of values between liberals and conservatives were those they identified as heroes. For the liberal grand and great-grand parents of today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was their primary hero. Roosevelt is their hero because he attempted the ameriloate the negative impacts of the Great Depression through massive public work projects, employment and by introducing the welfare state through measures such as Social Security. For the conservative grand and great-grandparents of today, their hero is Dwight D. Eisenhower, the military general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during the Second World War. Though he warned of the “military industrial complex” at the end of his term, it was under his presidency that the US became increasingly militarized. Under his presidency, the CIA began its activities of overthrowing soverign democratic governments around the world and replacing them with brutal dictators. Eisenhower was the first US President to visit Fascist Spain and recognized General Franco.

For liberal baby boomers, they had plenty of heroes as they grew up. They had John F. and his brother Robert Kennedy, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Their conservative contemporaries had Barry GoldwaterRichard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The liberal heroes spoke of peace, an end to war and for social justice in equality. The conservative heroes spoke of war, law and order and moral values even though their actions and deeds were immoral.

However, for both the boomers and Generation X, they had one more hero than the liberals. They had Ronald Reagan. Reagan sought to undermine and roll back the gains of workers and minorities in the country. Reagan began the process of destroying all the programs and policies established to bring about social justice and equality in the country. Reagan held minorities and the poor with contempt. He demonized poor mothers on welfare as undeserving and lazy parasites. Reagan sent the military to overthrow the democratically elected government of Grenada. He sent war planes to assassinate Libyan leader Gaddafi killing his one year old child in the process.

The point is that American liberals proposed peace, justice and equality as American conservatives promoted war, militarism, injustice and inequality. After the assasination of Dr. King in 1968, American liberals seemed to run out of heroes. The last liberal hero, Jesse Jackson was co-opted and marginialised in 1988. Bill Clinton was never a liberal. Liberals tolerated Clinton simply because they had been demoralized after 12 years of Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In 2004, a new liberal hero appeared to emerge in the person of Barack Obama. In 2008, he was elected to the presidency. Liberals had never been so excited and happy since the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960. Perhaps after 40 years of conservative and centre-right politics, liberalism had returned? Instead, liberals find themselves disappointed with Obama. Obama, Joe Biden and others at the White House have expressed nothing but contempt for liberal values. Once  again liberals find themselves isolated and cannot see anyone on the horizon to restore their hope and confidence.

The conservatives have found new heroes and a new heroine. Unlike liberals they not only have heroes and heroines in politics but also in the media. Today, the Tea Party is the political home of today’s conservative heroes and they have plenty more on Fox News and talk radio. Liberals have become ashamed of and embarrassed by Obama. Their only heroes are now late night comic actors on Comedy Central. Those liberals with time on their hands to read call Noam Chomsky their hero. Liberals and progressives find themselves in an intellectual and moral morass.

Liberalism and War

The Democrats are often considered the party of peace and the Republicans the party of war. The historical record states otherwise. The United States entered both World Wars under liberal Democrat presidents. Woodrow Wilson promised peace and to stay out of the First World War when he ran for re-election in 1916 only to take the country to war one year later. Franklin Roosevelt ran a pacifist campaign in 1940, even while he was angling behind the years to get involved. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the convenient excuse FDR needed to enter the war.

Initially, John F. Kennedy was a war hawk. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Kennedy was quite keen to start nuclear war with Cuba and the USSR. Kennedy had an itchy finger over the red button. The crisis was averted and the world saved from the brink of destruction due to the intervention of the Canadian government. Kennedy was irate over Canada’s intervention and Kennedy made it clear during a State visit to Ottawa where he cursed out the entire cabinet of the government of Prime Minister Diefenbaker. On the other hand, Kennedy seemed to undergo a political transformation and clashed with the military brass and the CIA. Though not officially recognized, there’s been enough research, including the death bed confession of one his assassins, to indicate that Kennedy was killed by elements of the military industrial complex.

His successor Lyndon Baines Johnson is mostly remembered for his esclation of the Vietnam War. Declassified documents have revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a hoax in order to justify a complete military intervention of the war. Among liberal and progressive anti-war activists the initials of the president became synonymous with war and murder. Though it was under Eisenhower that the US first became involved militarily in the Vietnam conflict and Kennedy had sent more military “assistance” to South Vietnam, it was Johnson who became most identified with the war. By 1967, Johnson had become hated amongst anti-war and civil rights activists.

It’s important to note that though FDR and LBJ led through countries into brutal warfare, they both introduced government programs to relieve poverty. Johnson launched the “War on Poverty“. As part of this “Great Society” program Medicare, the health insurance scheme for elderly retirees was introduced. It was under Johnson that both the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were drafted and signed into law. This was always the fatal contradiction of American liberalism. One on hand, liberal Democrats advanced democracy, social justice and equality domestically while they went on imperliast military adventures abroad. Under Johnson, the CIA continued to overthrow democratic soverign governments from Brazil to Indonesia. The CIA even tried to overthrow the Canadian government of Lester Pearson for his efforts to reduce Cold War tensions. This is the fatal flaw and contradiction of American liberalism. One cannot advance social justice and equality at home while pursuing tyranny and inequality abroad. This is the cause of America’s moral, political and economic predicament today.

Clinton, Obama and The New Democrats

“Conservatives believe. Liberals lie.” The trends forecaster Gerald Celente made the preceding statement  a couple of weeks ago. Celente calls himself a political atheist which places him in an objective position to give political analysis. “Conservatives believe” in the lies spoon fed to them by Republican politicians and the talking heads on Fox. Conservatives really believe that Muslim terrorists “hate our freedoms”. They really believe that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction.” Conservatives believe that the “War on Terror” is to really “bring democracy to the Middle East and Afghanistan.” Conservatives really believe that God is “punishing America for its immorality” of killing millions of unborn fetuses. The more fantastic, the more absurd and more preposterous the propaganda, conservatives will fall for it hook line and sinker.

Liberals on the other hand lie. During a Gary Null radio interview Celente elaborate: “They will never admit that they have been conned by the conman in chief, head of the presidential reality show. Liberals are intellectual enough to know they have been conned but don’t have the moral or spiritual strength to admit so.”

It’s sad to agree with Celente’s comment. Since taking office, President Obama’s foreign and war policy had matched and even exceeded that of George W. Bush. While Bush was in office, liberals protested and complained. However, when Obama has done the same or worse, there is a deafening silence from liberals. Obama’s award for the Nobel Peace Prize is a choice example. Obama received the prize less than a year of taking office and absent of any significant history of bringing peace to the world. When Bush was nominated for the peace prize was there consternation and explosive indignation that a war criminal could even be considered for the prize and rightfully he didn’t win it. Obama’s acceptance speech was his most vulgar public display to date. Obama stated that there would always be war and to think otherwise and to even stop war is to live in fantasy land. Obama stated that he was Commander-In-Chief of a nation at war. The rest of the address was bellicose in extreme. “We must begin by acknowledging a hard truth. We will not eradicate violent conflicts in our lifetimes.  There will be times when nations, acting individually or in concert, will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.” In the next breath Obama desecrated the legacies of King and Gandhi by stating that as the President of the United States, he could not act according to their ideals. Had Bush made the same speech, liberals would have stormed the White House and lynched him from a tree across the street in Lafayette Square. However, since it was Obama there wasn’t even a murmur of disapproval by liberals.

American liberals abhor capital punishment. Yet every Democrat presidential candidate since 1992 has supported it. During his tenure as governor of Texas, Bush executed more people than any other politician in American history. Texas competed with Iran and China for the top spot of state executions. Per capita, Bush executed more prisoners than any other chief executive in the world during his terms as governor. Liberals abhorred Bush during the 2000 election for that very reason.

But where was the same moral outrage when Bill Clinton, after the 1992 New Hampshire Primary, flew back to Arkansas to personally oversee the execution of a mentally retarded Black man? Liberals made all sorts of excuses for Clinton. He had to show he was “tough on crime” under George H.W. Bush pulled another Willie Horton as he did against Michael Dukakis in 1988.

How many times will liberals let the Democrats betray them before they do anything about it? Liberals believed that if they swept Republicans out of office during the 2006 Mid Term elections, they could achieve two purposes: Stop the wars and impeach Bush. The Democrats swept the Republicans out. Less than a week after the elections, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ruled out impeachment proceedings against Bush. Liberals believed that if they couldn’t impeach Bush, Democrats would have the power to investigate Cheney, Rumsfeld and other officials in the Bush administration. The Democrats didn’t open a single probe. The wars could have ended in 2007 simply by cutting off the funding. The Democrats refused out of fear of being viewed as unpatriotic. They justified the continued funding of the wars claiming they were opposed the war but “supporting our troops.”

Not sensing reality, liberals placed all their efforts to electing Obama with his empty slogan of “change and hope you can believe in.” Many gays and lesbians voted for Obama as they were tired of the homophobic demagogy from the Christian far right. Obama, not wasting time to spit on his core base, assigned a right wing homophobic Christian fundamentalist pastor to give the inaugural invocation. Before Obama was sworn in, he assembled the most right wing, reactionary and Zionist members of the Democratic party to fill his cabinet.

Obama signed two executive orders on his first day to close Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to ban the practice of torture. Two years later Gitmo remains open. Torture is still practiced by the US military and intelligence agencies. Obama increased more troops to Afghanistan and expanded the war into PakistanPredator drone attacks have increased and killed more civilians than anytime under Bush. Why are the liberals silent? In 2010, Obama signs an executive order given him the exclusive right to assassinate American citizens who he, and only he determines to be a threat to “national security”. Imagine if Bush had signed the same executive order. Most recently, Obama is moving to have preventive and indefinite detention without trial. Habeas Corpus has been executed without a whimper from liberals.  800 years of Anglo-Saxon Common Law tossed in the rubbish sign with nothing more than a yawn from liberals.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the media, the Republican surge in 2010 wasn’t the results of a massive shift to the far right nor was it because Americans believed that the Democrats had governed too far to the left. The tens of millions of people who had voted from Obama in 2008 sat the election out as they no longer believed that the Democrats were any different from the Republicans.

“The Liberal Media”

As Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann explained thoroughly in “Manufacturing Consent”, the myth of “The Liberal Media” was a concoction of conservative ideologues in the 1980s in order to intimidate and force the mainstream media to give more attention and focus to right wing ideas. It’s true that the mainstream media up until the 1990s was less commercial than today. It’s also correct that the media used to do a bit more investigative reporting and report on issues of vital importance. It’s beyond the scope of this essay to give a full examination.

As presented in the second part of this series, the media landscape changed during the mid 1980s. As social inequality widened and the top earners got richer and corporations faced less regulation, the news media shifted with the country. What made the media “liberal” was the new technology of television during the 1950s and 60s. There was far less censorship than today. What made the Civil Rights Movement so effective was the images of peaceful Black protestors being brutalised by police dogs and fire hoses. The anti-war movement became powerful because people all over the world saw the horrors of Vietnam in their living room during dinner time. The TV cameras were present on the streets of Chicago as the police cracked open the skulls of unarmed peace activists during the Democratic National Convention of 1968. The cameras were live as they filmed Mayor Daley shouting “fuckers!” at anti-war protestors on the floor of the convention. Dan Rather was attacked by delegates on the convention floor and got into a scuffle live on TV.

Today if Martin Luther King had organised marches in Birmingham, none of the TV networks would have aired it. The local TV station would have used creative editing. The story would have been told by Bull Connor and the reporters would have repeated what he said and implied that the unarmed and peaceful protestors had “provoked” the police. Over the past decade there has been police brutality against peaceful protestors outside political conventions and international summits. These have all been ignored by the media or the official police version of events is presented. On February 15, 2003, hundreds of millions of people participated in the largest globally planned protest movement in human history. CNN didn’t mention it.

As Bush and Obama have gutted the constitution and committed crime, there wasn’t a single editorial or protest by the New York Times or the Washington Post. The newspapers and television networks consulted with the White House to edit the stories to present. Each new outrage produced silence, tepid criticism or even worse, support from the media. This has led to the rise of alternative and independent media. The growth of online news has increased by remains a drop in the ocean compared to the established newspapers.

Solutions for Progressives

It’s obvious that most liberals no longer care about issues of social justice. Liberalism is dead. Progressives need to organise and start anew. A new third party must be formed. This is evident yet somehow liberals are unable to break out of the straightjackets of masochism. “We can’t vote for a third party candidate because they can’t win.” Yes they can’t win when everyone says the same thing. Just imagine what would happen if everyone that made that statement actually voted for a third party candidate? What are the solutions?

I will cite one solution offered from Ralph Nader.  In a recent interview with Chris Hedges, Nader dared to say what no liberal has the courage nor nerve to state. Nader didn’t mince his words and they are notworthy:

“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes…The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.

“The left has nowhere to go. Obama knows it. The corporate Democrats know it. There will be criticism by the left of Obama this year and then next year they will all close ranks and say ‘Do you want Mitt Romney? Do you want Sarah Palin? Do you want Newt Gingrich?’ It’s very predictable. There will be a year of criticism and then it will all be muted. They don’t understand that even if they do not have any place to go, they ought to fake it. They should fake going somewhere else or staying home to increase the receptivity to their demands. But because they do not make any demands, they are complicit with corporate power. “Corporate power makes demands all the time…It pulls on the Democrats and the Republicans in one direction. By having this nowhere-to-go mentality and without insisting on demands as the price of your vote, or energy to get out the vote, they have reduced themselves to a cipher. They vote. The vote totals up. But it means nothing.

“Obama has the formula now,” Nader said. “You give the Republicans a lot of what they want. Many of them vote for you. You get your Democrat percentage. You weave a hybrid victory. That is what he learned in the lame-duck session. He gets praised as being a statesman and a leader and getting things done. Think of all the rewards he can contemplate while he is in Hawaii compared to what they were saying about him on Nov. 5. All the columnists and pundits say that now he can work with John Boehner. But once you take a broader view, it is the difference in the mph of corporatism. McCain is 50 miles per hour and Obama is 40 miles per hour. The left has disemboweled itself…It doesn’t even have a strategy every four years like a good poker player.”

On the topic of the right wing hegemony of the media, Nader had this to say:

“The so-called liberal media, along with Fox, is touting the tea party and publicizing Palin,” Nader said. “There was an editorial on Dec. 27 in The New York Times on the Repeal Amendment, the right-wing constitutional amendment to allow states to overturn federal law. The editorial writer at the end had the nerve to say there is no progressive champion. The editorial said that the liberals and progressives have faded out to let the tea party make history. And yet, for months, all The New York Times has done is promote Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. They promote Newt Gingrich and the neocons on the Op-Ed pages. The book pages of the newspaper ignore progressive authors and pump all the right-wing authors.

“If we don’t raise hell, we won’t get any media. If we don’t get any media, the perception will be that the tea party is the big deal.

“On one notorious Sunday, Oct. 10, two of The New York Times’ segments led with a big story about Ann Coulter and how she will change her strategy because she is being outflanked by others,” Nader said. “There was also a huge article on this anti-Semite against Arabs, this Islamaphobe, Pam Geller. Do you know how many pictures they had of Geller? Twenty on this front-page segment. The number of anti-war Op-Eds in The Washington Post over nine months in 2009 was 6-to-1 pro-war. We don’t raise hell. We don’t say Terry Gross is a censor. We don’t say that Charlie Rose is a censor. We have got to blast publicly. We have got to hammer them, because they are the tribune of right-wing fascist forces.

“Three thousand people rallied to protest the invasion and massacre in Gaza two years ago,” Nader said. “It was held four blocks from The Washington Post. It did not get a single paragraph. People should march over to the Post and say ‘Fuck you! What are you doing here? You cover every little blip by the right-wing and you don’t cover us?’

“They are afraid of the right-wing because the right-wing bellows, and they have become right-wing,” Nader said of the commercial press. “They have become fascinated by the bias of Fox. And they publicize what Fox is biased on. The coverage of O’Reilly and Beck and their fights is insane. In the heyday of coverage in the 1960s of what we were doing, it was always less than it should have been, but now it is almost zero. Why do we take this? Why do we accept this? Why isn’t Chris Hedges three times a year in the Op-Ed? Why is it always Paul Wolfowitz and Elliott Abrams and all these homicidal maniacs? Why are they there? Why is John Bolton constantly published in The Washington Post and The New York Times? Where is Andrew Bacevich? Bacevich told me he has had five straight Op-Eds rejected by the Post and the Times in the last two years. And he said he is not inclined to send anymore. How many times do you hear Hoover Institution? American Enterprise Institute? Manhattan Institute. These goddamned newspapers should be picketed.”

“How much more can the oppressed take before they revolt? And can they revolt without organizers? These are the two important questions. You have got to have organizers, and as of now we don’t.”


When will liberals stop being afraid to speak out against police brutality? How come the liberals in San Francisco are silent when Oscar Grant is executed in front of hundreds of witnesses on a subway platform and his killer is acquitted on murder charges? How long will it take for liberals to take a real stand against capital punishment? How is it possible that more people know of the case of Mumia Abul Jamal in London, Paris and Berlin than those in New York, Boston and San Francisco? When will liberals stop being afraid accused of “being soft on crime” or go out of their way to say that they always “support the police”? When will liberals stop being so blatantly selective about the issues they get vocal about? Liberals will march and protest about stolen elections in Iran and the lack of human rights in Tibet while being silent about stolen elections and human rights abuses at home. Have liberals become cowards? Have liberals perverted Dr. King’s policy of non-violence to the extreme that they don’t even bother showing up to protests for fear of being beaten and arrested for their convictions? Do liberals believe non-violence means the absence of fights and struggles?  Have liberals confused humility for meekness? Do liberals believe that they can try to talk rationally and intellectually with opponents who want to hurt them? Dr. King was a warrior. He didn’t beg nor plea with power for them to be nice. Dr. King was non-violent yet assertive. Dr. King was peaceful yet forceful. Most importantly, Dr King took responsibility for his inaction for speaking out against war earlier.

The only way to stop war is to acknowledge that one is in a war. Peace is the goal. But being anti-war doesn’t connote denying the reality of a war. The United States is at war at home and abroad. In order to stop the war abroad we must stop the war at home. We must stop the political war we are engaged in. We must stop the civil war that’s happening in every inner city district of the country. Regardless of whether certain liberals want to confront this reality or not, there is a war in the poorer darker pockets of American cities between the residents and the police. It’s a one sided war as the former are vastly out-gunned by the latter. We must stop the “War on Drugs.” The United States is the world’s largest prison with the vast majority of those incarcerated for low level non-violent drug offensives. Middle Class liberals must understand that being caught with a joint by the police is different than being a person caught with the same joint in Harlem or Hunters Point. There is an information war. Liberals must wake up and confront the reality of daily systematic violence afflicting large segments of the population. War is on television. War is in the schools of the nation. War is on the streets of the nation. There’s a global economic war. There is economic warfare in the country.

Liberals have been complicit in the current state of affairs. George W. Bush has published and book and has appeared on national TV admitting that he engaged in torture and would do it again. The Bush regime know that after 2 years of Democratic rule without criminal investigations opened or charges pressed, they are confident that they can do it again. Obama is breaking both US and International law by refusing to bring the Bush regime to justice. “Looking forward and not looking back” is nothing less than averting one’s eyes. Over the past 25 years, liberals have averted their eyes to injustice or have pretended not to notice. Worse, many liberals simply don’t care. Out of sight, out of mind appears to be the predominate trend for American liberals be it to injustice at home and abroad. From this arise the following questions which American liberals and progressives must answer.

Are we going to give up and hand over all the economic, social and political rights we gained over centuries of struggle? Remember the millions before us that died so that we can live in peace and prosperity. Are you going to give up more than 200 years of Enlightenment with all the advances in philosophy, politics and science to a well-funded and organised band of ignoramuses that want to take us back to feudalism? If you answer no to any of these questions, then you have no other choice but to rise, stand up and fight. If we don’t fight now we will lose our liberal freedoms and social justice for decades if not centuries to come. We have a choice. Time is running out.

Global issues March 2011 USA


Arizona is an unique state with distinct politics. It is a far right wing state that makes the Deep South look liberal by comparison. It seems unlikely that the politics will change anytime soon. The residents are conservative. The Republican Party of Arizona is not only one of the most far right in the country but enjoys practically a one party dictatorship over state politics. Baring an influx of progressive voters moving into the state it appears that only outside pressure will force the needed political changes to bring Arizona at least to the 1970s rather than the 1870s.

To facilitate political change will require a two prong strategy. The first strategy is to mobilise mass protests and marches defending the political and legal rights of immigrants as well as the civil rights of Hispanic American citizens. The second strategy entails organising an economic boycott of the state. These pressure tactics are the only way to to facilitate needed political and social change to the State of Arizona.

Just as many Northerners organised Freedom Rides to desegregate interstate bus travel and joined on the Freedom marches in Alabama and Mississippi during the 1960s, Americans from all over the nation must organise a mass protest rally and march in the state of Arizona. In addition, Americans from other states must confront the various vigilantes that claim to “patrol” the border along with Mexico. Americans must have a “vigilante watch” to ensure that there isn’t any violence committed against Hispanics near the border. In other words, the vigilantes who are nothing less than latter day Ku Klux Klaners must be confronted and stopped much along the vein of activists that defend clinics providing abortion and the women seeking treatment at them.

The focal point of the mass rally and protest should be the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department facility as well as the Maripoa County jail where many suspected “illegal” immigrants are detained. Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International must demand to inspect these facilities and interview prisoners held there in order to document any human and civil rights abuses. Just as protesters are currently occupying the Wisconsin State House, protesters should occupy the Mariposa County Sheriff’s office to demand the resignation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and to demand an end to the practice of racial profiling of Hispanics and to end the arbitrary and illegal jailing of Latin American foreigners in the county.

There must also be a political march across the state from Phoenix to Tuscon much like Dr. Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. One theme of the march should be against right wing political extremism as manifested by the assassination attempt of Congresswoman Giffords. Another theme of the march should be the demand that the state of Arizona not only obey US civil rights legislation but also adhere to International law and treaties covering human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. A march on this scale should include not only Hispanics of the state but also American Indians as well to highlight their plight of official racism on both the federal and state level. A one week march from Phoenix to Tuscon would last about five to seven days. In addition to rallies and marches held in Arizona, there should be solidarity rallies and marches not only other US states but internationally as well. The best would be to organise mirror rallies and marches in Mexico as well. There must also be political pressure exerted against the federal government. The Justice Department must be pushed with demands that it enforces the civil rights laws of the country in Arizona.

An economic boycott would complement direct political action. Arizona does have a significant tourism industry. The Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most famous national and international tourist destination. The city of Sedona is also a magnet for many hippies and those into New Age religion. Organising a boycott by not visiting Arizona will make a significant impact on the state economically. If enough people stop traveling to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona, the state politicians will be compelled to act soon enough.

A consumer boycott of corporations based in Arizona would be another effective and easier way to effect political change in Arizona. The airline US Airways has its corporate headquarters in Phoenix. Organising a boycott of US Airways would take a huge bite out of Arizona’s economy. As most flights that use Sky Harbor airport are by US Airways, it would also be a hit against Mariposa County. If empty planes are flying in and out of Sky Harbor, the airline would use its resources to lobby for political change in the state. Moreover, US Airways has many other competitors in the national airline market. By boycotting US Airways, the people of the country will send a powerful political message to the state of Arizona.

The Dial Corporation which makes Dial Soap, Coast as well as deodorants such as Right Guard is based in Scottsdale. The Dial Corporation makes many other household cleaning products. Consumers in other states should be the subjects of an information campaign about the politics of Arizona and how their money supports repression when they purchase household and personal care products from Dial.

The political and social climate in Arizona is intolerable as we enter the second decade of the 21st century. The ideas presented above are just some practical solutions which ordinary people can participate. As Dr. Martin Luther King said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”It is up to the citizens of the rest of the country to stand up for justice and to end human rights abuses in Arizona.

Global issues June 2009 Serbia USA Video


Let’s be clear that I am not educated as well on this topic as I should be. As many Serbs state that the KLA was the response to the brutal force of the Serb regime that marginalized ethnic Kosovo from 1991 to the time of the bombings. I have Serb friends that disagree or agree with this view point. I simply do not know if Chomsky is correct on this. What I do know is that the west did nothing when an illegitimate government took office in Yugoslavia. The reason I put this example up is because I am asking for a course of no action in Iran from the west today.  This is indirect contrast to what many Iranians want. I believe that by taking examples and studying our shared past and humanity we can all be mindful of the course of action a governments and politicians take. I know that I disagree with Chomsky in regards to the war crimes that Milosevic committed.  Not only I would not want to have dinner with him but he did deserve the world court and it was a shame that he killed himself before being convicted of the atrocities in Bosnia and elsewhere in the region.

Global issues News October 2010 Serbia


This past weekend, Belgrade was the scene of protests and violence as Serbia held its first ever Gay Parade. On Saturday October 9th, up to 20,000 people held an anti-Gay protest demonstration. The protest while boisterous and rowdy was calm in comparison to what had occured the following day. On Sunday October 10th, the Gay Parade was took place with lots of violence. On that day, Belgrade resembled a war zone.


A wide swath of central Belgrade from Knez Mihajlova in downtown to Kalenic Market at the edge of the city centre was ruined. Shop windows were broken and goods from boutiques were looted. Half of the ruling Democratic Party Headquarters on Krunska street was burnt to the ground. Hooligans inflicted more than one million Euros in property damage.  Property damage was the least of the trouble. According to local media reports more than 140 persons were injured including up to 80 police officers. Police made more than 250 arrests with another 300 persons wanted.
Unlike 2009, when the government was forced to cancel the parade with the reason that it could not gurantee the safety of parade participants and the general public as well, this year was a vast improvement as the police were performed their job properly fully protected the gay parade members. As Belgrade was invaded mostly by anti-gay rioters who swarmed into the city from remote villages and towns in Serbia spreading  fear, hatred as they launched Molotov cocktails, the supporters of the gay parade had their party inside the confines of Belgrade’s Student Culture Centre. The party was scheduled to end at 3pm but ended 90 minutes earlier as thousands of violent homophobes waited for the party to end in order to kill. At the conclusion of  the party police took the supporters by police vans and drove them safely out of harms way. The most remarkable thing on a day of remarkable events was that not one Gay participant nor their allies were injured.
However, one must draw the correct conclusions about what occured over the weekend in Belgrade. There are many questions regrading the government’s decision to allow the parade as well as questions as to who was actually behind the organisation of the Gay Parade in the first place. Why had the government reacted like this? After all, it had only a year ago they cancelled the parade yet this year they acted like someone who does care about gay rights. In all honesty, the government doesn’t give a damn about gays and lesbian opression but being under the pressure of the West and EU it was forced to act. Homophobia is very deep and if the government really cared about their rights they would make it happen in some other way. Serbia isn’t ready for this. Having a Gay Parade endangers the public. It is dangerous for racial minorities to go outside during the parade as the hooligans use the Gay parade as a pretext to attack and kill Gypsies and foreigners. Last year four foreigners were attacked on the streets of Belgrade in the week leading up to the parade date, including a French citizen who was killed. Moreover, it is dangerous for the general public to go out at all during the parade. For example 3 public buses were hijacked by the anti-gay protesters. This caused fear, anxiety and disruption to passengers and bus drivers alike.

Then there is the very troubling  fact of the matter is that less than 1% of all gays and lesbians in this city and country actually participated or organised the parade. When speaking with gays and lesbians, not one of them knew who were the organisers of the parade. Given the fact that Belgrade’s gay and lesbian community is quite small, it’s revealing that none of them participated in the organisation or marched in the parade itself. Indeed, most of the gays and lesbians questioned were  suspicious   about the intent and all of them refused to attend. During the weekend most gays and lesbians didn’t venture outside as they feared for their safety. The result was that the Gay Parade actually increased repression against them rather than liberating them This parade was organised by Western NGOs and by foreign governments. For example, the Norwegian embassy was one the biggest financial contributors of the Gay Parade. This parade changed nothing for the day to day reality of gays and lesbians in this country. They continue to be persecuted. They remain forced in the closet. They will continue to suffer ostracisation from society and family. This had more to do with Geo-politics than with fundamental human rights. It is not far fetched to believe this was stage managed to further undermine Serbia’s image abroad. Serbia is tainted as a homophobic country when in reality Serbia isn’t any more or less homophobic than any other Eastern European country. Poland , Bosnia and Russia have the same levels of violence and discrimination against gays and lesbians as Serbia. That is not to mention the deep strains of homophobia which is found in the CaribbeanLatin AmericaAfrica, the Middle East not to mention in many parts of the United States.
With that said, homophobia is a problem in Serbia. (No less than 90% of the reporters’ friends and associates are homophobic which trully reveals the depth of anti-homosexual sentiment in this country.) One  protester was asked about his attitude and his personal issue with gays and lesbians answered: “They endanger the public morals.”
Serbia held it’s first Gay Parade but at a terrible cost. Gays and lesbians of this country must take their rights into their own hands. They need to organise without the help of foreign governments and NGOs. Gays, Lesbians and their allies from other countries must give their solidarity and help to organise Gay and Lesbian resistance. Having a parade is not going to enhance their human and political rights. New York’s Gay Pride was the result of resistance to police repression. Gays and Lesbians fought for the right to have Gay Pride after militant direct action. Militant struggle comes before parades of Pride. Nonetheless, the rights of gays and lesbians has a long way to go before they are accorded the minimum amount of toleration in Serbia.

Global issues Israel January 2011 Palestine


This book documents Israel’s war crimes in Gaza, and explains how Gazans withstood siege and war and refused to give up the right to determine their own lives. Gaza’s courage inspired a worldwide solidarity movement determined to break the blockade and deliver aid. This book exposes the role of the major powers, especially the U.S., to support the Israeli blockade. It is the most comprehensive book out in English providing a full and lively narrative of recent events in Gaza, with excerpts from the UN’s Goldstone Report and eyewitness testimony from participants in three Viva Palestina convoys, which broke the blockade and delivered aid to Gaza. It gives voice to Palestinian forces, including Hamas, and includes statements from Jewish people opposing the torture of Gaza.
Gaza: Symbol of Resistance is all ready to go to press, But it can only be published with your help.


Ramsey Clark leads Solidarity delegation in Gaza visit two years after Israeli assault

International human rights activist Ramsey Clark led a delegation that, after a day-long struggle for admission, crossed into Gaza on Jan. 4 to show solidarity with the blockaded population of the strip. Two years ago the Israeli military invaded and bombed Gaza two years ago, killing 1,450 Palestinians, almost all civilians, including many children. Among those with Clark is Co-director of the International Action Center Sara Flounders. Both are veteran solidarity activists with the struggle of Palestinians for self-determination and the right to live in peace and freedom in every part of Palestine..

The solidarity trip’s importance is underlined by the Israeli military’s threats to launch a new invasion. Israeli planes have aggressively attacked inside Gaza on Dec. 18, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. The courage the Palestinians of Gaza showed confronting that assault has made Gaza a symbol of the determination of all Palestinians, whether in Gaza, the West Bank or in the Diaspora, to free their country.

The movement of solidarity with the people of Gaza has grown rapidly since the Dec. 27, 2008, bombing and invasion of Gaza. The ongoing Israeli blockade of the 1.5 million people living in the small territory and the continued Israeli threats have accelerated this movement’s growth. Behind this development is not only the exposure of the crimes of the Israeli occupation regime, but also the courage of Palestinians both in Gaza and the West Bank who keep on struggling against all odds.

Many young people and also older activists have organized aid delegations by land caravans and sea flotillas that bring material assistance to Gaza. Currently the Asian aid ship Salam, which started in India, is making its way toward Gaza, tracked by two Israeli warships. The caravan called Asia 1 entered Gaza yesterday. The new understanding of the oppressive character of the Israeli state has also given rise to the struggle for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” against the regime there and in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

“All these actions are part of a global movement,” said Flounders, but “even more must be done. It is especially urgent at this time to speak out, write, demonstrate and take all kinds of actions in every possible way in defense of the still blockaded territory of Gaza. That Israel outrageously continues to bomb and Israeli officials talk openly of a new offensive call for a determined response.”

Flounders also called attention to the solidarity activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and other Midwestern cities who the FBI has targeted, subpoenaing them to appear before a Chicago grand jury: “The efforts by the U.S. government and its repressive forces to shut down solidarity with the heroic Palestinian struggle must be met by ever stronger solidarity actions.”

The delegation will be visiting with representatives of the Palestinian people in Gaza and to see the situation on the ground there. They plan to speak at public meetings when they return to the United States — which should be the second week of January — and to help bring the truth about Gaza to the people of the United States.

Clark was the U.S. attorney general during the Lyndon Johnson administration in 1967-68. He will take part in the first such meeting, scheduled for Jan. 12 at 55 W. 17th Street at 7 p.m. in New York, which will coincide with a release of the new book.

Global issues Haiti January 2010


Suspicious and vulture business in Haiti is on the rise after the earthquake last week. For the people of this country it is very hard to get food and water, but there are people using that opportunity to their advantage and are earning money through scamming and ridiculously high prices.

Bed in a regular hotel costs $200 (before the earthquake it was $70), and you can get a breakfast consisting of 2 scrambled eggs for $13. Fraudsters are selling a bottle of water at double the regular price, gasoline is also 2 times more expensive than before the disaster.

Looted goods from destroyed supermarkets are being sold on the streets of Port-au-Prince. More than 90 percent of restaurants and shops in the city are razed to the ground. According to journalists who arrived from all over the world, its very hard to get a descent meal.

– The meal is luxury – they said.

Unfortunately, the earthquake in Haiti is also used as a bait for potential Internet frauds. A Danish company that deals with Internet security, revealed more than 250 sites that are falsely representing as charity organizations and are collecting money to help the population of Haiti. But in fact, they are stealing the money of donors.

The most common form of fraud is sending the spam emails with an invitation to make a donation.

Similar scams have occurred after the tsunami in 2004 and after Katrina hurricane in New Orleans in 2005.
Theses websites serve only one purpose. When you scroll the text in an attempt to read how to make a donation, you can notice that the rest of the site is dysfunctional.

According to the latest data, the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th. killed at least 75.000 people, 250.000 were injured and around 1 million people are homeless.Haitian civil protection is estimated that the earthquake destroyed half the buildings in the capital of the country – one of the poorest in both American continents

Global issues Haiti January 2010 News


Non-governmental organizations have opposed the adoption of children from Haiti, the mania that caught the world. More British NGO’s said that adopting Haitian children, that left without parents, immediately need to be suspended.
Organizations like Save the Children, and Red Cross have sought an urgent moratorium on new procedures for children adoption. The main reason for this is in belief that some parents are still alive under rubbles of Port-au-Prince. A few days ago the rescuers pulled out several people from the ruins. Because of that, if approved procedures are not suspended, some families might be broken forever.

According to some estimates the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th, probably killed between 100.000 and 200.000 people.

– Adopting children outside Haiti would mean a permanent separation of thousands children from their families – said Jasmine Whitbread, director of Save the Children.
She and her colleagues believe that “children at this time should not leave Haiti, unless they go with members of their families or if the initiated procedures previously collected all the necessary documents”.

According to estimates by international humanitarian organizations, tens of thousands of children were left orphans after the devastating earthquake. It is assumed that many children are left alone among the destroyed buildings and the streets of Port-au Prince. Nevertheless, more countries announced that they will accelerate the adoption Haitian children.
Before the earthquake in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, was 380.000 orphanages or fosters.
But the European Commission called EU countries to be cautious during adoption procedures.

– Some EU countries, including Italy and Netherlands, have already announced that they will speed up the procedure for the arrival of children and their adopting – said a press spokesman of the European Commission.

He added that the countries face a very difficult situation, but caution is needed in terms of accelerating the adoption procedures.
– It is very difficult to understand when it is indeed to adopt children, even those who have lost their parents. Maybe adopting is not very best idea – added the spokesman.

February 2010 Global issues Haiti


Although aid still arrives in Haiti, the money starts to influence the pace of rescue of the people under the rubbles.
In addition to this claim goes that the United States has suspended its medical evacuations of critically injured Haitian earthquake victims until a dispute over who will pay for their care is settled, military officials said.
-The military flights, usually C-130s, carrying Haitians with spinal cord injuries, burns and other serious wounds, ended after Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida formally asked the federal government to shoulder some of the costs of the care. Other states have taken patients, too, and those flights have been suspended as well – the officials said.

But dispute over who will pay, and suspension, could be catastrophic for the patients.
– People are dying in Haiti because they cant get out – said Dr Barth A. Green, the co-founder of Project Medishare for Haiti.

As people are dying, officials argue who is to blame for the flights suspension.
Governor’s spokesman Sterling Ivey said that Florida stands ready to assist Haitians.

– But we need a plan of action for the care we are providing – said Ivey.
The Department of Health and human Services accused military for suspending flights.
A spokeswoman for the Department said the decision to suspend flights was made by the military, not the federal health department. But military spokesman said that the military had ended the flights because hospitals were becoming unwilling to take patients.

– The places they were being taken, without being specific, were not willing to continue to receive those patients without a different arrangement being worked out by the government to pay for the care – said Maj. James Lowe, the deputy chief of public affairs for the United States Transportation Command.

Meanwhile, Florida officials said the state hospitals had not refused to take more patients. Jeanne Eckes-Roper, the health and medical chairwoman of the domestic security task force for the South Florida region, said she had requested only that new patients be taken to other areas of the state, like Tampa.

Anyways, people are dying under the rubbles while officials blame each other for suspending flights that can save somebody’s life.

February 2010 Global issues Haiti


It happened, and the worst doubts have come to pass. The smugglers take the opportunity to earn money by smuggling children from Haiti.

On January 27th we posted the article entitled “Adopting Haitian children – does it help?”, explaining why the adoption of orphans may not be such a good idea.

The failed attempt by the New Life Children Refuge to take 33 Haitian children into the Dominican Republic has shed the light on the activities of groups that disregard the rules of international adoption. Haitian authorities are justifiably feared that chaos emerged due to the devastating earthquake on January 12th, which killed about 200.000 people, could provide an opportunity for traffickers to reach children.

The authorities in Haiti have investigated 10 American missionaries accused of illegally trying to bring children from the Caribbean country.
– We have information that some people are trying to steal children – said Minister of Communications, Marie-Laurence Laseg.
But baptist missionaries deny these accusations and claim that they have tried to help orphans and transfer them to an orphanage which was founded in the Dominican Republic. Even before the earthquake, Haiti was known as a nation of orphans, and now there are countless more children without parents.

In the past few weeks, children welfare organizations have been flooded with offers from families in the US and elsewhere willing to adopt children. Richard Danziger, head of counter trafficking at the International Office of Migration, says that in Haiti rules “cowboy adoption”.

– In these kinds of situations, there are all types of charities and church groups with, to be fair, good intentions. But that’s not the way to go about it – it doesn’t help an already messy situation. Children with no documentation get whisked away, and their families don’t know what has happened to them -said Mr. Danziger.
He added that this is not only against the law, but also taking advantage of people in a lousy situation.
Haitian Social Affairs Minister said: “This is abduction, not adoption.”
Roshan Khadivi from Unicef said that ” before the earthquake, the Haitian government estimated that is about 2.000 children a year were being trafficked out of Haiti”.

– These children generally find themselves in situations of domestic labour, sexual abuse or illegal adoption – said she.
In some cases, parents believe they are sending their children to legitimate orphanages, though the reality is that they are often put to work, living as slaves. Occasionally children are sold for money.

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