Weekend Update #24: Witness

August 3, 2009 by admin1  
Filed under Commentaries, Featured

Russell Means discusses how the lens through which America views its Indigenous people, shows how America views the world. From English-only laws and Christian righteousness to the perpetual state of war since its creation, the United States citizens continue to show a lack of respect for their relatives visions. Russell Means offers advice to the people of America in this edition of Weekend Update.

Weekend Update #24: Witness from Russell Means on Vimeo.

China, Russia, India meet to dump the Dollar.

June 25, 2009 by admin1  
Filed under Featured, News

dollar-yuan-copy

Chris Hedges speaks of a meeting between the largest and most populous countries on the planet, as they seek to organize and consolidate interests by dumping the U.S. Dollar and collecting on the U.S. Debt. The fact that the United States was not invited to the meeting, despite their expressed interest in attending, shows just how late in the game things have progressed.

The following first appeared on Truthdig.org:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090614_the_american_empire_is_bankrupt/

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

By Chris Hedges

This week marks the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. It marks the start of a terrible period of economic and political decline in the United States. And it signals the last gasp of the American imperium. That’s over. It is not coming back. And what is to come will be very, very painful.

Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us, but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion, which fund America’s imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.

There are meetings being held Monday and Tuesday in Yekaterinburg, Russia, (formerly Sverdlovsk) among Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The United States, which asked to attend, was denied admittance. Watch what happens there carefully. The gathering is, in the words of economist Michael Hudson, “the most important meeting of the 21st century so far.”

It is the first formal step by our major trading partners to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. If they succeed, the dollar will dramatically plummet in value, the cost of imports, including oil, will skyrocket, interest rates will climb and jobs will hemorrhage at a rate that will make the last few months look like boom times. State and federal services will be reduced or shut down for lack of funds. The United States will begin to resemble the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe. Obama, endowed by many with the qualities of a savior, will suddenly look pitiful, inept and weak. And the rage that has kindled a handful of shootings and hate crimes in the past few weeks will engulf vast segments of a disenfranchised and bewildered working and middle class. The people of this class will demand vengeance, radical change, order and moral renewal, which an array of proto-fascists, from the Christian right to the goons who disseminate hate talk on Fox News, will assure the country they will impose.

I called Hudson, who has an article in Monday’s Financial Times called “The Yekaterinburg Turning Point: De-Dollarization and the Ending of America’s Financial-Military Hegemony.” “Yekaterinburg,” Hudson writes, “may become known not only as the death place of the czars but of the American empire as well.” His article is worth reading, along with John Lanchester’s disturbing exposé of the world’s banking system, titled “It’s Finished,” which appeared in the May 28 issue of the London Review of Books.

“This means the end of the dollar,” Hudson told me. “It means China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran are forming an official financial and military area to get America out of Eurasia. The balance-of-payments deficit is mainly military in nature. Half of America’s discretionary spending is military. The deficit ends up in the hands of foreign banks, central banks. They don’t have any choice but to recycle the money to buy U.S. government debt. The Asian countries have been financing their own military encirclement. They have been forced to accept dollars that have no chance of being repaid. They are paying for America’s military aggression against them. They want to get rid of this.”

China, as Hudson points out, has already struck bilateral trade deals with Brazil and Malaysia to denominate their trade in China’s yuan rather than the dollar, pound or euro. Russia promises to begin trading in the ruble and local currencies. The governor of China’s central bank has openly called for the abandonment of the dollar as reserve currency, suggesting in its place the use of the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights. What the new system will be remains unclear, but the flight from the dollar has clearly begun. The goal, in the words of the Russian president, is to build a “multipolar world order” which will break the economic and, by extension, military domination by the United States. China is frantically spending its dollar reserves to buy factories and property around the globe so it can unload its U.S. currency. This is why Aluminum Corp. of China made so many major concessions in the failed attempt to salvage its $19.5 billion alliance with the Rio Tinto mining concern in Australia. It desperately needs to shed its dollars.

“China is trying to get rid of all the dollars they can in a trash-for-resource deal,” Hudson said. “They will give the dollars to countries willing to sell off their resources since America refuses to sell any of its high-tech industries, even Unocal, to the yellow peril. It realizes these dollars are going to be worthless pretty quickly.”

The architects of this new global exchange realize that if they break the dollar they also break America’s military domination. Our military spending cannot be sustained without this cycle of heavy borrowing. The official U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2008 is $623 billion, before we add on things like nuclear research. The next closest national military budget is China’s, at $65 billion, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

There are three categories of the balance-of-payment deficits. America imports more than it exports. This is trade. Wall Street and American corporations buy up foreign companies. This is capital movement. The third and most important balance-of-payment deficit for the past 50 years has been Pentagon spending abroad. It is primarily military spending that has been responsible for the balance-of-payments deficit for the last five decades. Look at table five in the Balance of Payments Report, published in the Survey of Current Business quarterly, and check under military spending. There you can see the deficit.

To fund our permanent war economy, we have been flooding the world with dollars. The foreign recipients turn the dollars over to their central banks for local currency. The central banks then have a problem. If a central bank does not spend the money in the United States then the exchange rate against the dollar will go up. This will penalize exporters. This has allowed America to print money without restraint to buy imports and foreign companies, fund our military expansion and ensure that foreign nations like China continue to buy our treasury bonds. This cycle appears now to be over. Once the dollar cannot flood central banks and no one buys our treasury bonds, our empire collapses. The profligate spending on the military, some $1 trillion when everything is counted, will be unsustainable.

“We will have to finance our own military spending,” Hudson warned, “and the only way to do this will be to sharply cut back wage rates. The class war is back in business. Wall Street understands that. This is why it had Bush and Obama give it $10 trillion in a huge rip-off so it can have enough money to survive.”

The desperate effort to borrow our way out of financial collapse has promoted a level of state intervention unseen since World War II. It has also led us into uncharted territory.

“We have in effect had to declare war to get us out of the hole created by our economic system,” Lanchester wrote in the London Review of Books. “There is no model or precedent for this, and no way to argue that it’s all right really, because under such-and-such a model of capitalism … there is no such model. It isn’t supposed to work like this, and there is no road-map for what’s happened.”

The cost of daily living, from buying food to getting medical care, will become difficult for all but a few as the dollar plunges. States and cities will see their pension funds drained and finally shut down. The government will be forced to sell off infrastructure, including roads and transport, to private corporations. We will be increasingly charged by privatized utilities—think Enron—for what was once regulated and subsidized. Commercial and private real estate will be worth less than half its current value. The negative equity that already plagues 25 percent of American homes will expand to include nearly all property owners. It will be difficult to borrow and impossible to sell real estate unless we accept massive losses. There will be block after block of empty stores and boarded-up houses. Foreclosures will be epidemic. There will be long lines at soup kitchens and many, many homeless. Our corporate-controlled media, already banal and trivial, will work overtime to anesthetize us with useless gossip, spectacles, sex, gratuitous violence, fear and tawdry junk politics. America will be composed of a large dispossessed underclass and a tiny empowered oligarchy that will run a ruthless and brutal system of neo-feudalism from secure compounds. Those who resist will be silenced, many by force. We will pay a terrible price, and we will pay this price soon, for the gross malfeasance of our power elite.

The Truth about Palestine and Israel

January 4, 2009 by Russell Means Freedom  
Filed under Media

Thousands of Israeli troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, have entered the Gaza Strip as Israel escalated its offensive into the territory on the eighth day of operations.

Tanks entered the besieged territory through several points mainly in northern Gaza, crossing shortly after nightfall on Saturday, officials said, while the Israeli cabinet said it had also called up about 9,000 reservists.

U.S. Backed Weapons vs. Homemade Rockets VIDEO

The Lies:

Lie #1

Israel is only targeting legitimate military sites and is seeking to protect innocent lives. Israel never targets civilians.

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated pieces of property in the world. The presence of militants within a civilian population does not, under international law, deprive that population of their protected status, and hence any assault upon that population under the guise of targeting militants is, in fact, a war crime.

Moreover, the people Israel claims are legitimate targets are members of Hamas, which Israel says is a terrorist organization. Hamas has been responsible for firing rockets into Israel. These rockets are extremely inaccurate and thus, even if Hamas intended to hit military targets within Israel, are indiscriminate by nature. When rockets from Gaza kill Israeli civilians, it is a war crime.

Hamas has a military wing. However, it is not entirely a military organization, but a political one. Members of Hamas are the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people. Dozens of these elected leaders have been kidnapped and held in Israeli prisons without charge. Others have been targeted for assassination, such as Nizar Rayan, a top Hamas official. To kill Rayan, Israel targeted a residential apartment building. The strike not only killed Rayan but two of his wives and four of his children, along with six others. There is no justification for such an attack under international law. This was a war crime.

Other of Israel’s bombardment with protected status under international law have included a mosque, a prison, police stations, and a university, in addition to residential buildings.

Moreover, Israel has long held Gaza under siege, allowing only the most minimal amounts of humanitarian supplies to enter. Israel is bombing and killing Palestinian civilians. Countless more have been wounded, and cannot receive medical attention. Hospitals running on generators have little or no fuel. Doctors have no proper equipment or medical supplies to treat the injured. These people, too, are the victims of Israeli policies targeted not at Hamas or legitimate military targets, but directly designed to punish the civilian population.

Lie #2

Hamas violated the cease-fire. The Israeli bombardment is a response to Palestinian rocket fire and is designed to end such rocket attacks.

Israel never observed the cease-fire to begin with. From the beginning, it announced a “special security zone” within the Gaza Strip and announced that Palestinians who enter this zone will be fired upon. In other words, Israel announced its intention that Israeli soldiers would shoot at farmers and other individuals attempting to reach their own land in direct violation of not only the cease-fire but international law.

Despite shooting incidents, including ones resulting in Palestinians getting injured, Hamas still held to the cease-fire from the time it went into effect on June 19 until Israel effectively ended the truce on November 4 by launching an airstrike into Gaza that killed five and injured several others.

Israel’s violation of the cease-fire predictably resulted in retaliation from militants in Gaza who fired rockets into Israel in response. The increased barrage of rocket fire at the end of December is being used as justification for the continued Israeli bombardment, but is a direct response by militants to the Israeli attacks.

Israel’s actions, including its violation of the cease-fire, predictably resulted in an escalation of rocket attacks against its own population.

Lie #3

Hamas is using human shields, a war crime.

There has been no evidence that Hamas has used human shields. The fact is, as previously noted, Gaza is a small piece of property that is densely populated. Israel engages in indiscriminate warfare such as the assassination of Nizar Rayan, in which members of his family were also murdered. It is victims like his dead children that Israel defines as “human shields” in its propaganda. There is no legitimacy for this interpretation under international law. In circumstances such as these, Hamas is not using human shields, Israel is committing war crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions and other applicable international law.

Lie #4

Arab nations have not condemned Israel’s actions because they understand Israel’s justification for its assault.

The populations of those Arab countries are outraged at Israel’s actions and at their own governments for not condemning Israel’s assault and acting to end the violence. Simply stated, the Arab governments do not represent their respective Arab populations. The populations of the Arab nations have staged mass protests in opposition to not only Israel’s actions but also the inaction of their own governments and what they view as either complacency or complicity in Israel’s crimes.

Moreover, the refusal of Arab nations to take action to come to the aid of the Palestinians is not because they agree with Israel’s actions, but because they are submissive to the will of the US, which fully supports Israel. Egypt, for instance, which refused to open the border to allow Palestinians wounded in the attacks to get medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals, is heavily dependent upon US aid, and is being widely criticized within the population of the Arab countries for what is viewed as an absolute betrayal of the Gaza Palestinians.

Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been regarded as a traitor to his own people for blaming Hamas for the suffering of the people of Gaza. Palestinians are also well aware of Abbas’ past perceived betrayals in conniving with Israel and the US to sideline the democratically elected Hamas government, culminating in a counter-coup by Hamas in which it expelled Fatah (the military wing of Abbas’ Palestine Authority) from the Gaza Strip. While his apparent goal was to weaken Hamas and strengthen his own position, the Palestinians and other Arabs in the Middle East are so outraged at Abbas that it is unlikely he will be able to govern effectively.

Lie #5

Israel is not responsible for civilian deaths because it warned the Palestinians of Gaza to flee areas that might be targeted.

Israel claims it sent radio and telephone text messages to residents of Gaza warning them to flee from the coming bombardment. But the people of Gaza have nowhere to flee to. They are trapped within the Gaza Strip. It is by Israeli design that they cannot escape across the border. It is by Israeli design that they have no food, water, or fuel by which to survive. It is by Israeli design that hospitals in Gaza have no electricity and few medical supplies with which to treat the injured and save lives. And Israel has bombed vast areas of Gaza, targeting civilian infrastructure and other sites with protected status under international law. No place is safe within the Gaza Strip.

HISTORY

Prior to the British signing the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which called for a Jewish state, Palestinians made up over 90% of the population of Palestine. In fact, in 1914, Jews only made up 7.5% of the population. After the signing of the Balfour Declaration, Jews began migrating in mass numbers from surrounding areas into Palestine. This migration was haulted for three years from 1936-1939, but then resumed in even greater numbers until 1948, when Israel claimed itself a sovereign state and thus sparking an even larger mass migration of Jews into Palestine. By 1950, only 30 years after the signing of the Balfour Declaration, Jews made up the majority of the population. Basically, if you were to ask all but about 5% of the original Jewish inhabitants where they originated from, they would answer with a country other than Palestine, most likely a country from Eastern Europe and some from neighboring Arab countries. Jews are still migrating into Palestine today in mass numbers and settling in Palestinian territory. Much of these migrating Jews understand the Palestinian situation, but many times choose to ignore it due to overwhelming benefits.

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CONFLICT

In 1947, the United Nations agrees to split Palestine into two states, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as an international city. One issue bothered the Palestinians…the agreement included a Jewish state that made up 54% of the land and 46% to the Palestinians, even though prior to that point the Jews owned only 6% of the land. Then there is the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians out of their rightfully owned lands by Israeli militias, which sparked the bloodshed still seen today. One such horrific act was witnessed in April of 1948, when Zionist militia went into the town of Deir Yassin and murdered 254 innocent civilians, mostly elders, women, children. Many of these incidents along with the inexcusable demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes in the years to come instilled fear into the minds of many Palestinians, forcing them to flee to neighboring countries, most likely Jordan. Those who remained in Palestine to defend their land and refused to submit to the will of Israel were in for a great struggle. Till this day, this struggle includes many war crimes committed by Israel not only in Palestine, but in Lebanon as well, which include: ethnic cleansing, genocide, illegal imprisonment, and illegal occupation. Some of these war crimes were executed by former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, who was not tried for any of his war crimes. Tyrants similar to Sharon include Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein. Milosevic went onto trial for his crimes and was sentenced to prison, dying 5 years later in his prison cell. Saddam Hussein also went on trial for his tyrannical crimes and was hung to death. The world demands justice, not only from Sharon (who suffered a stroke late 2005 and is currently in a coma), but for any injustices. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.”

What you don’t know is that the United States has been aiding Israel every year since 1945 with hundreds of millions of dollars. This money comes out of your pockets as tax payers. The U.S. also provides Israel with Caterpillar bulldozers, which are used to demolish homes and Palestinian infrastructure. As a democratic nation, we proudly say that we are combating terrorism, yet we turn the other cheek and fuel a war machine like Israel, but of course…they’re not terrorists. Palestinians have to endure such inhumane actions everyday. Hundreds of thousands have lost their homes, tens of thousands have lost their lives, and all have been deprived of their integrity and hope for freedom.

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THE SUICIDE BOMBER

Much of the news coverage you hear especially in America is biased news about the terrorist actions of suicide bombers in Palestine. What they don’t mention is what equates to such actions. Israel has gone as far as to literally torture Palestinians by poisoning their water, poisoning livestock, destroying electrical power plants, and destroying roads. People cannot go to prayer, let alone work, to provide their families with an income that can keep them alive. Many in Gaza, one of the most densely populated regions in the world, are living in total darkness due to the recent destruction of their only electrical power plant. In essence, Israel gives birth to these Suicide Bombers. No civilian deserves to die, whether Israeli or Palestinian. There is no legitimate excuse for the execution of innocent lives. Both sides though, have extremists trying to support their cause. Suicide bombers never existed before the Zionist regime took over in Israel, but that still doesn’t justify the loss of civilian life.

Since Palestinian suicide bombers are terrorists; what word would you use to describe Israeli actions?

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PERSONAL STATEMENT

I urge you to maintain open mindedness and not believe all that you may hear in the news. I also urge you to do your own research and not take my word for it either. You will be surprised at what you find. I have not even hit the surface when it comes to facts, so dig further. I have witnessed many of these injustices with my own eyes, so its time for you to open yours.

*Please remember, there are plenty of Jews, even Rabbi’s, that are entirely against the Zionist movement. Also, do not confuse a person who practices Judaism with a Zionist. Zionists are not all necessarily Jews, and not all Jews are necessarily Zionists*

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Some information that may interest you:

WEBSITES

http://www.btselem.org/English/

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/

http://www.nkusa.org/

VIDEOS

The Gaza Strip
http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=5496003310174683890&q=gaza+strip

George Galloway on Sky News
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9071731896689197790&pr=goog-sl

“Palestine is still the issue”
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=746557429802139093&q=palestine&hl=en

“Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land”
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=peace+propaganda&hl=en

“Scott Ritter on CSPAN”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O125hGt9qt4

“Occupation 101″
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM_o_lsmrPM

BOOKS

“Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” by Jimmy Carter