Please visit our sponsor!

Bookmark and Share
In This Edition

Cynthia McKinney orates, "From The United Arab Emirates."

Uri Avnery asks, "A Villa In The Jungle?"

Greg Palast returns with, "Reagan: Killer, Coward, Con-man."

Randall Amster wonders if they're really, "To Protect And Serve?"

Jim Hightower exposes American fascism in, "Pulling The Curtain On The Koch Brothers."

Helen Thomas reports, "Wind Of Change Sweeps Through Egypt."

James Donahue eats a little Indian "candy" and describes, "The Mysterious Mesas Of Arizona."

Frances Fox Piven joins us with, "The Real Threat Of Glenn Beck's Fantasies."

Chris Floyd takes us, "Back To The Future."

Matthew Rothschild concludes, "Obama And Clinton Shelve Ideals On Egypt."

Paul Krugman considers, "Droughts, Floods And Food."

Chris Hedges is, "Recognizing The Language Of Tyranny."

David Michael Green says to, "Walk Like An Egyptian."

Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue wins the coveted "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Glenn Greenwald examines, "Obama's Man In Cairo."

J. Alva Scruggs studies, "America 2011."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Landover Baptiat Church exclaims, "Crazy Egytians Jump Start Armageddon!" but first Uncle Ernie sez, "I'm A Terrorist, You're A Terrorist, America"

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Clay Jones, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from Derf City, Eric Allie, Cameron Cardow, Gary Varvel, RS Janes LT Saloon.Org, Lalo Alcaraz, The Simpsons, You Tube.Com and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments...

The Quotable Quote...
The Dead Letter Office...
The Cartoon Corner...
To End On A Happy Note...
Have You Seen This...
Parting Shots...

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

I'm A Terrorist, You're A Terrorist, America!
By Ernest Stewart

"Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria." ~~~ Howard Zinn

He's a drug store truck drivin' man
He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan
When summer comes rollin' around
We'll be lucky to get out of town
Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man ~~~ Joan Baez

Go on, take the money and run!
Take The Money And Run ~~~ Steve Miller Band

"The pen is the tongue of the mind." ~~~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

There's a lot of hell being raised lately because the FBI is going after peacers, with search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, harassment and intimidation. This of course is nothing new; those "Fumbling, Bumbling Idiots" have been doing this since their inception. If you're part of a progressive/left-wing cause, I'd check my closet, wood pile and membership and you'll no doubt find a G-man trying to throw a monkey wrench into your peaceful, legal activities! If they can't find anything wrong, they'll send in a goon squad to cause mayhem and murder and blame it on you! From the strikers in the 20s and 30s, to being a communist in the 30s and 40s, to being for civil rights and antiwar in the 50s, 60s and 70s, to this very day, if you're for a just cause, you better watch out! From John Kennedy to John Lennon, to yours truly, there were thick files on everything we've done, but if you want to see a staggeringly huge file, check out the one that J. Edgar Hoover had on Martin Luther King! However, if you're a terrorist or capitalist, (yes I know that's redundent) you have nothing to fear because the FBI couldn't catch a cold. Don't believe it--then consider Ted Kaczynski and the folks in Washington who planned and allowed 9/11 to happen!

Now-a-daze since Smirky the Wonder chimp and Obamahood took over, those guaranteed rights "of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances," are being called terrorist activities.

Protest our many illegal, immoral wars, you're a terrorist.

Protest our torture of people worldwide, you're a terrorist.

Protest our concentration camps in Gitmo and other black op sites, you're a terrorist.

Protest Israel's murder of the Palestinians and theft of Palestine, you're a terrorist.

Protest our involvement in Columbia, you're a terrorist.

Protest out involvement in the Honduran coup d'etat you're a terrorist.

Just be a Muslim, you're a terrorist!

In fact, disagree with foggy bottom in any way, you're a terrorist and are subject to terrorist penalties.

In fact, you don't have to be guilty of any crime to be arrested, disappeared, tortured and held for years without trial or even charges. In fact, Barry or the next president will have the right to murder you on a whim without any judicial oversight what-so-ever, for any reason!

However, if you're guilty of ripping off millions of regular folks for trillions of dollars, you have nothing to worry about; in fact, we'll give you trillions more but you won't be charged with terrorism.

If you're guilty of starting wars to enhance the bottom line of the corpo-rats and murder millions of innocents, you'll be reelected and not charged with terrorism.

If you know about and allow an attack on the WTC, Pentagoon and even go so far as to stand down the Air Force, again, nothing will be done and those who reaped billion dollar profits will never, ever spend even a day in jail nor will any of your Junta be charged with terrorism.

If you head a panel to investigate these acts of terrorism and cover it up, you'll be called a hero and never charged with terrorism. Funny how this works, huh?

In Other News

I see where "Mommie" has crawled out from under her rock to remind us that old Dementia head would be celebrating his 100th birthday if Satan hadn't called him home. Ray-guns, the poster boy for Alzheimer's Disease and one of the worst presidents that America has ever had, is to be celebrated and made much of in the coming daze!

If not for Ronnie's "revolution" we wouldn't be in nearly as bad a shape as we are today, even with the three following presidents and our West Texas prairie monkey Resident (You have to be elected to be called President)! All the things that the Crime Family Bush, Slick Willie and Obamahood used to destroy the Constitution began under Ronnie.

Perhaps the one act of treason that made all the others possible was getting rid of TV/Radio "Fairness Doctrine." You may recall that the Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: it required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: it could be done through news segments, public affairs shows or editorials. Ray-guns' FCC threw it out in 1987, resulting in the likes of Fox Spews and rest of TV's corpo-rat controlled, rat-wing, fascist media. Nary a word of political truth was ever heard again on TV.

But Ronnie did more that that; he openly supported apartheid in South Africa; he postponed the release of American hostages for political gain; he threw our mentally ill into the street; he totally ignored AIDS, causing tens of thousands of Americans to die. He crushed workers' rights and broke unions. He looked the other way when our Salvadorian allies raped American nuns. He often confused foreign policy with old movies; imagine that! He tripled the national debt! He was a major backer of Saddam. He backed various death squads in Central and South America. In fact, he traded arms for hostages, and then diverted money to drug-running death squads for their support, and then allowed them to sell, via the CIA, crack cocaine in the ghettos. He wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on "Star Wars!" He raised taxes eleven times! Oh, and did I mention he's a rapist?

No doubt you won't be hearing any of this from the talking heads of MSM, and the reason for that is because the "Gipper" made it that way. As for me, I'll remember the toilet seat that Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden brought us in Malibu.* The red, white and blue toilet seat that said "Make political contributions inside" and when you opened it up, on the back of the seat was Ray-guns picture. That's the way I'll always remember Ronnie! Trouble was, that everybody peed on it, even the ladies!

* See "Uncle Ernie's Hollywood Daze," chapter 2, page 18, "Hollywood!"

And Finally

My old friend sold out her soul for 30 pieces of silver the other day. Issues & Alibis columnist Arianna Huffington sold the Huffington Post to the corpo-rat goons over at AOL, so much for journalist integrity, huh, Arianna?

Arianna Huffington nee Arianna Stassinopoulos became the mistress of the famous English fascist "journalist" and broadcaster Bernard Levin. When he wouldn't marry her, she moved on to fascist millionaire Michael Huffington, who was a close family friend of the "Crime Family Bush." Mike ran for Con-gress and won a seat, but lost when he ran for the Senate, after which he came out of the closet much to the embarrassment of Arianna who promptly divorced him and became a Rethuglican broadcaster. Then a few years later, she transformed herself into a liberal and joined Issues & Alibis as a columnist.

I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and supported her run for governor of California against the Groppenfuhrer. She then started the Huffington Post in 2005 which began as a liberal news source but gradually drifted off to the right with as many fascist viewpoints as liberal ones so it came as no surprise to me when she sold out for a 1/3 of a billion dollars to AOL. I wrote her a short note...


I see you've joined the dark side again, seems a pity, as I once held high hopes for you. I'd trust AOL to do the right thing about as far as I could comfortably spit out a very large sewer rat. I have no doubt that the rat would taste better than AOL. You can kiss your creds goodbye! I won't be back but thanks for helping me write part of this week's editorial. Still, I must admit I like your new Jack Boots and that AOL armband is to die for, literally! Just what we need: another rat-wing news source! NOT! This is the point at which time Arianna you'd fall on your sword, if you had any honor, but we both know that's not going to happen, huh?

Your wicked old Uncle Ernie

As always if I get a reply I'll share it with you!

Keepin' On

One of the problems of being a soothsayer is that telling the sooth or telling the truth has a tendency to really piss people off whether they be on the right or the left. Nobody wants holes poked in their own vision of how things are and how things will be. Being a visionary certainly has its drawbacks!

One of those comes when trying to raise funds to keep going. While I was saying the sooth about brother George W., the folks on the left gave me many back pats and enough money to keep going. However, when brother Obama showed up and I went after him with the same zeal that I went after Dubya, and even though nothing really had changed, the readership dropped by half and so did the donations. For those of you who thought the Sheeple were made up exclusively from those of the right, guess what, you were wrong!

The left is equally liable to be brain washed as the right! Yep, telling the truth is a bitch! You might also believe that once they saw the light about Barry they would come back, but to do so they would have to admit that they were wrong, and since we're Americans who are never wrong, even when we are, there is little chance of that happening. And you thought the Japanese were the only ones concerned about loss of face, huh? C'est la guerre!

Like Don Quixote, I'll keep tilting at windmills for as long as I can, and with your help, that will be a long time to come! Come along, Sancho!


05-23-1944 ~ 02-4-2011
Thanks for being curious!

04-04-1952 ~ 02-6-2011
Thanks for the blues!


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can...?


So how do you like Bush Lite so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2011 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for the last 10 years managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Face Book. Follow me on Twitter.

From The United Arab Emirates
By Cynthia McKinney

Hello, I know it's been way too long since I've sent a message to you. I promise to do better and communicate on a more regular basis from now on! I've been involved in some exciting things and, of course, this is a wonderful time to witness and participate in people all over the world acting on their desire to be free.

I accepted a blind date in the United Arab Emirates and I want to report on it to you. No, unfortunately, it's not what you're thinking! Maybe that will come next time!

But, as for this time, I was invited to participate in the launch of a carbon neutral publication by Global Village Partnerships, CLEAN UAE, and the people behind this publication are absolutely fantastic! It was wonderful to experience such harmony in this part of the world with the values that I know we all on this list share. This confirms for me, again, that there are more of "us" than there are of "them." So, when will we start acting like the powerful majority that we are? Following are my words as prepared for delivery last night while the political ground underneath our feet trembles, giving us an opportunity to rearrange things, fueled by people power. I hope we seize this moment everywhere there is oppression of people and insult to our planet: Beware the false prophets of which there are many! Power to the People!


Dubai, United Arab Emirates

3 February 2011

I would like to thank Global Village Partnerships, Ltd. for inviting me to be a part of the launch of their inaugural, sustainable, carbon neutral book for the region, CLEAN UAE.

I want to thank CLEAN UAE for including me, but also for selecting the Gulf Region and the United Arab Emirates in particular for its inaugural launch. I had an opportunity today to gain a keener understanding of the roots of Emirati people, thanks to Emirates NBD for allowing me to view the Pearl Museum donated to the people of this country by Sultan Al Owais. There, I saw how 80% of the Emirati people participated in an economy driven by the hard work of artisans, shopkeepers, technicians, workers, and divers who risked their lives in search of natural pearls. A culture of hard work was born.

Thanks to the President and staff of Emirates NBD who patiently answered all of my questions, I gained a keener understanding of the roots of the Emirati people. From this singular visit, I now understand that beyond the Dubai skyline, Emiratis know full well the importance of maintaining harmony with Mother Earth. Their culture rests on their relationship with this planet—first her seas and now her land. They know, even more than many, especially from the United States, just how precious our Earth really is.

I want to thank Emirates NBD for helping me to understand who Emiratis really are and I want to thank all of you for supporting GVP Media and their CLEAN UAE publication.

Tonight, I would like to focus first on the very real possibilities for deep and transformational change that exist within all of us. Individuals in North Africa, Europe, and West Asia are rewriting the history of their countries as “people power” takes center stage in resetting today’s course for human organization. And whether this is planned, orchestrated, or spontaneous, the power in “people power” is undeniable.

This “people power” has always existed within us; history is written by those who recognize the power of the human dream of freedom and who set about making that dream a reality, against all odds.Individuals who even tacitly accepted the status quo for decades are now recognizing their own heroism and are acting accordingly.

This awakening has the potential to define the 21st Century for us just when some of us were about to give up all hope for change.

With too much of the human family mired in poverty, hunger, physical and mental abuse, deception, hatred, lies, war, death, and planetary destruction, it is clear that each one of us must muster everything inside of us and make the ultimate personal commitment to change.

If we are to realize the change of our dreams, it is clear that we must become the change we want to see.

The world around us as we know it is collapsing: from economic structures to political edifices to scientific understandings. If the people hold tight to what is, we will miss a wonderful opportunity to define what is to be.

Therefore, I consider it an honor and a privilege to be here with the visionaries of GVP media and all of you who are ready to put your brains and your brawn into the work before us of crafting a world that values human dignity and that recognizes that without a healthy planet, mankind, itself, stands at the brink.

I have prepared a brief video to share with you now. It shows both the challenges and the successes upon which we can build our solid foundation for change.


Well, there it is. James Brown is right: “We’ve got to take it higher” and Gil Scott-Heron is right, “This ain’t life, this ain’t nothing but a movie.”

Who in this room is willing to step outside of their comfort zone in order to secure a better world for all of God’s creatures, including this planet?

Have you as of yet made your contribution to human dignity? Ecological wisdom? If not, why not. And if not, when will you take your turn?

Probably too many of us bought into a different paradigm. A paradigm that threw consumerism and the opportunity to have “mountains of things” at us. The lure was shown to us on television, in radio ads, the markers of “success” lay in consumption of things we didn’t even want or need! And in the final analysis, that “mountain of things” doesn’t even make us happy.

And in the final insult to the Earth, Nature became something to overcome, to dominate; something from which to make money.

And this was the gospel that was spread by colonialism, neo-colonialism, and now, by globalization.

Perhaps it is that the more we leave our origins, those traditional or old-fashioned values that were at once derided, and become modern chic, the more distanced from nature we have become, too.

And it is far easier to get swept along with the current than to swim against the tide.

I believe I am with you today, however, only because I’ve chosen to swim against the tide.

But, sadly, there are too few of us. Seems, it is far easier to forget about the human debris, the collateral damage of our delirious feeding frenzy and the toll it takes on the earth, itself.

Something, eventually, had to give. And now the Laws of Nature come back to us in full force.

And here’s the lesson we must learn: Mother Nature always win. It’s not guaranteed that we will.

Therefore, I want to showcase the communities that have organized themselves on the state level to win: the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America, the ALBA countries of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda—as well as Kenya.

These countries have recognized that Nature’s rights are human rights, too. Or, as Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano recently wrote, “Human rights and the rights of Nature are two names of the same dignity.”

Unfortunately, the scenes of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, witnessed by the world, demonstrated what some of us had been saying for decades, and that was that economic and democratic collapse were already a reality for some communities inside the world’s sole superpower. And that, therefore, a serious redefinition had to take place of the values upon which human organization was to be based.

In January 2010, the Republic of Haiti, founded by enslaved Africans who militarily defeated Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, experienced a crippling earthquake, only the fifth recorded in that country’s history since 1751.

In April 2010, workers and residents in the Gulf of Mexico began to bear the brunt of the world’s largest accidental marine oil disaster in the history of the petroleum industry. The scope of this disaster and its impact on the food chain are only just now coming to light.

Then, in July 2010, Pakistan began to experience flooding, described by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the worst disaster he had ever seen. Fully, 20% of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater.

As millions in the United States, Haiti, Pakistan, and elsewhere attempt to mend their lives back together, others contemplate how to satisfy mankind’s need for energy while staring depletion in the face. Nuclear energy is promoted by some until the issues of uranium supply, accidental leaks or spills, waste storage, and water scarcity are mentioned.

Newer technologies heralded as “the answer” for harder-to-reach traditional energy sources such as “fracking” which has already contaminated drinking water in areas where it is utilized are putting either mankind or the earth or both at risk. This includes biofuels where arable land that used to be used for food production has now become more profitable in energy production. Or worse, tropical rainforests that regulate the earth’s atmosphere are now being obliterated for energy production.

Incredibly, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and other sources, approximately 50% of total energy generated is wasted and a recent Cambridge University study estimates that current technology could reduce global energy demand by up to 85%.

Who will pull that technology off the shelf and actually use it?

And although Passivhaus technology, which can reduce heating energy costs by as much as 90%, has been around for decades, there are only about a dozen buildings in the U.S. that meet that standard.

Given today’s collapsing economic environment, a green economy is a jobs economy.

Unfortunately, what often makes sense from an economic point of view, fails on the political front, especially in distorted democracies like the United States where entrenched special interests retard progress and override the will of the people.

Meanwhile, Earth changes such as the rapidly shifting magnetic pole, and interstellar discoveries, like recent sightings of new planets, demonstrate that we must pay more attention to the Universe, the Earth, and our place or role in both. Recent fish and bird kills of unknown origin; more extreme, less predictable weather; and implications of climate change push the frontiers of our relationship with the planet in stark relief. A North Atlantic current that flows into the Arctic Ocean is warmer than it has been in the past 2,000 years, according to a group of German scientists. And yet another report informs us that “unprecedented climate change has Earth hurtling down a path of catastrophic proportions.” (Maude Barlow)

How many reports do we need in order change ourselves and to demand change from our governments?

Unfortunately, in the midst of all of this, the world’s sole superpower spends more than 50% of its discretionary national receipts on weapons of mass destruction and war, and cajoles other rich governments to spend inordinate amounts of their national treasure on weapons of war, death, and destruction and less on diplomacy and human and Earth dignity.

And that is where our individual activism and the power of the people can redirect attention and focus to the things that are truly important today.

And just as in the Civil Rights Movement of the United States, there is a role for everyone to play.

Why is it that nearly 70% of the people in the U.S. are against President Obama’s wars, and yet the people seem powerless to stop them?

My response is that the American people have not yet come to understand the power that they truly possess.

Thus, the actions of the ALBA countries and Kenya become extraordinarily important in demonstrating that there is another way to organize human activity: a way such that human life and the life of and on this planet are not jeopardized.

And the events of North Africa, East Europe, and West Asia show us that every one of us is capable of doing extraordinary things when we muster our individual will power and proceed.

Two years ago, I found myself in the middle of a political firestorm when, at the start of Operation Cast Lead, I decided to accompany a group of human rights activists and deliver medical supplies to the people of Gaza. The Free Gaza Movement boat I was in, the Dignity, was rammed by the Israeli military and disabled. One of the doctors onboard yelled to us all that we must prepare ourselves mentally to die. And I commenced to do just that.

I wondered how the world would view me, a divorced mother of one, who had left her son who was about to enter law school, to go off and try to save the lives of children I did not even know. And when the Israelis rammed us, it dawned on me that I didn’t even know how to swim. All of a sudden, I became so scared—I had even put my life jacket on upside down, inside out—I don’t know what I had done. The English doctor noticed and in the midst of our panic, time came to a crashing halt as he untied my life jacket, took it off me, turned it correctly, put it back on to me, retied it, and said “There now.”

I was afraid of falling into the sea. I was afraid of being crushed between our boat and the huge Israeli warship that had menaced us all night and then had finally crashed into us. I was afraid of what it would feel like to drown. And the embarrassment of being afraid of what others would say of me as a mother after I was dead.

But, somehow, in the midst of all of that, I remembered my ancestors. My ancestors who braved the slave rebellions and the Civil Rights Movement and who made the United States a better place—not a perfect place by any stretch of the imagination—but a better place for Africa’s stolen children. They, who had nothing but their unity, used that as a hammer to club the United States out of its slavery first and then out of its apartheid.

I remembered what it must have been like for my own great-grandmother who could have passed for white, but instead chose to live in the segregated South and suffer the daily indignities of what it meant to be Black in the United States during her day.

I remembered my father, who picketed his place of employment by himself because the other Blacks were too afraid to stand up for their own dignity;

I remembered Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who knew that their own government wanted them dead, but they never stopped and they never gave in.

I remembered the women from the enslaved Sojourner Truth who plaintively asked “Ain’t I a Woman” at a Woman’s Convention where the issue was women’s right to vote. And I remembered Fannie Lou Hamer, who stood up to the President of the United States of America when the Mississippi Democratic Party refused to seat Black delegates to the Democratic Party’s national convention, when she said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

And with ancestry like that, having struggled like that, there was no way I could give in to my fears.

And then, all of a sudden, I was no longer afraid. I no longer feared the water and the thought of drowning; I no longer feared the idea of being crushed into the warship; I no longer feared what others would say about me; and most importantly, I no longer feared dying. Because it was at that moment that I understood the real meaning of life.

And, that was my point of personal transformation.

So, when I returned home, I immediately began to apply my newfound lessons to other aspects of my life.

I tried to go back to Gaza again, and was held in an Israeli prison for seven days.

I joined a group of bicyclists and rode (or in my case, attempted to ride) across the United States from Oakland, California to the White House to protest war.

I had already made the change from the Democratic Party to the Green Party because I am impatient for justice; I am impatient for peace; I want change and I want it now.

So, what we are seeing now on the streets of Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Albania, and Yemen is what the people of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Haiti, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Paraguay have all done before them, where the people demanded their freedom and their right of self-determination. In the ALBA countries, it came finally with as simple a tool as a free and fair vote.

On an individual level, I wanted to ride my bicycle from Abu Dhabi here to Dubai. But when I floated the idea, I was told just how dangerous that could be because, legal issues aside, United Arab Emirates has the third highest automobile crash rate in the world. Not a very safe place at all for bicycle riding!

Yet, in Bhutan, two kings, one a former King and the other the current King, have taken to bicycle riding in order to do something and not just talk about the need for changing the culture away from driving and personal cars.

The international economic architecture is in distress; the ecology of the planet is in distress and food and water and other resources that fuel human life as well as our economic activity are clearly at risk due to choices mankind has made; as the economic stresses dig deeper into the social fabric, we will find even more unrest that all the military intelligence will be powerless to solve. Therefore, we have no choice but to change direction on a massive scale now.

Mother Nature won't wait. Either we step up to the plate and do what is necessary or mankind loses. Earth will survive with or without us.

Global Village Publications brought us together in United Arab Emirates, but the U.A.E. will not be our last stop.

We have seen what the U.A.E. is prepared to do: from hosting Conferences to building solar desalination plants; from praying for rain to making rain; from innovating agriculture that maximizes water use to diversifying its economy and increasing non-oil trade; from eliminating the use of plastic bags to building Masdar City: the U.A.E. is moving in the right direction; imagine the entire country built on the foundation of Masdar, clean and green!

You have chosen to participate in this event because your companies want to do more and as individuals you are here because you want to do more.

I am happy to join with you as we embark upon a new destination: Destination Dignity.

Thank you so much for your attention tonight.


Silence is the deadliest weapon of mass destruction.
(c) 2011 Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman, Green Party presidential candidate, and an outspoken advocate for human rights and social justice. The first African-American woman to represent the state of Georgia, McKinney served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1993-2003, and from 2005-2007.

A Villa In The Jungle?
By Uri Avnery

WE ARE in the middle of a geological event. An earthquake of epoch-making dimensions is changing the landscape of our region. Mountains turn into valleys, islands emerge from the sea, volcanoes cover the land with lava.

People are afraid of change. When it happens, they tend to deny, ignore, pretend that nothing really important is happening.

Israelis are no exception. While in neighboring Egypt earth-shattering events were taking place, Israel was absorbed with a scandal in the army high command. The Minister of Defense abhors the incumbent Chief of Staff and makes no secret of it. The presumptive new chief was exposed as a liar and his appointment canceled. These were the headlines.

But what is happening now in Egypt will change our lives.

AS USUAL, nobody foresaw it. The much-feted Mossad was taken by surprise, as was the CIA and all the other celebrated services of this kind.

Yet there should have been no surprise at all - except about the incredible force of the eruption. In the last few years, we have mentioned many times in this column that all over the Arab world, multitudes of young people are growing up with a profound contempt for their leaders, and that sooner or later this will lead to an uprising. These were not prophesies, but rather a sober analysis of probabilities.

The turmoil in Egypt was caused by economic factors: the rising cost of living, the poverty, the unemployment, the hopelessness of the educated young. But let there be no mistake: the underlying causes are far more profound. They can be summed up in one word: Palestine.

In Arab culture, nothing is more important than honor. People can suffer deprivation, but they will not stand humiliation.

Yet what every young Arab from Morocco to Oman saw daily was his leaders humiliating themselves, forsaking their Palestinian brothers in order to gain favor and money from America, collaborating with the Israeli occupation, cringing before the new colonizers. This was deeply humiliating for young people brought up on the achievements of Arab culture in times gone by and the glories of the early Caliphs.

Nowhere was this loss of honor more obvious than in Egypt, which openly collaborated with the Israeli leadership in imposing the shameful blockade on the Gaza Strip, condemning 1.5 million Arabs to malnutrition and worse. It was never just an Israeli blockade, but an Israeli-Egyptian one, lubricated by 1.5 billion US dollars every year.

I have reflected many times – out loud – how I would feel if I were a 15 year-old boy in Alexandria, Amman or Aleppo, seeing my leaders behave like abject slaves of the Americans and the Israelis, while oppressing and despoiling their own subjects. At that age, I myself joined a terrorist organization. Why would an Arab boy be different?

A dictator may be tolerated when he reflects national dignity. But a dictator who expresses national shame is a tree without roots – any strong wind can blow him over.

For me, the only question was where in the Arab world it would start. Egypt – like Tunisia – was low on my list. Yet here it is – the great Arab revolution taking place in Egypt.

THIS IS a wonder in itself. If Tunisia was a small wonder, this is a huge one.

I love the Egyptian people. True, one cannot really like 88 million individuals, but one can certainly like one people more than another. In this respect, one is allowed generalize.

The Egyptians you meet in the streets, in the homes of the intellectual elite and in the alleys of the poorest of the poor, are an incredibly patient lot. They are endowed with an irrepressible sense of humor. They are also immensely proud of the country and its 8000 years of history.

For an Israeli, used to his aggressive compatriots, the almost complete lack of aggressiveness of the Egyptians is astonishing. I vividly remember one particular scene: I was in a taxi in Cairo when it collided with another. Both drivers leapt out and started to curse each other in blood-curling terms. And then quite suddenly, both of them stopped shouting and burst into laughter.

A Westerner coming to Egypt either loves it or hates it. The moment you set your foot on Egyptian soil, time loses its tyranny. Everything becomes less urgent, everything is muddled, yet in a miraculous way things sort themselves out. Patience seems boundless. This may mislead a dictator. Because patience can end suddenly.

It’s like a faulty dam on a river. The water rises behind the dam, imperceptibly slowly and silently – but if it reaches a critical level, the dam will burst, sweeping everything before it.

MY OWN first meeting with Egypt was intoxicating. After Anwar Sadat’s unprecedented visit to Jerusalem, I rushed to Cairo. I had no visa. I shall never forget the moment I presented my Israeli passport to the stout official at the airport. He leafed through it, becoming more and more bewildered – and then he raised his head with a wide smile and said “marhaba”, welcome. At the time we were the only three Israelis in the huge city, and we were feted like kings, almost expecting at any moment to be lifted onto people’s shoulders. Peace was in the air, and the masses of Egypt loved it.

It took no more than a few months for this to change profoundly. Sadat hoped – sincerely, I believe – that he was also bringing deliverance to the Palestinians. Under intense pressure from Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter, he agreed to a vague wording. Soon enough he learned that Begin did not dream of fulfilling this obligation. For Begin, the peace agreement with Egypt was a separate peace to enable him to intensify the war against the Palestinians.

The Egyptians – starting with the cultural elite and filtering down to the masses – never forgave this. They felt deceived. There may not be much love for the Palestinians – but betraying a poor relative is shameful in Arab tradition. Seeing Hosni Mubarak collaborating with this betrayal led many Egyptians to despise him. This contempt lies beneath everything that happened this week. Consciously or unconsciously, the millions who are shouting “Mubarak Go Away” echo this contempt.

IN EVERY revolution there is the “Yeltsin Moment”. The columns of tanks are sent into the capital to reinstate the dictatorship. At the critical moment, the masses confront the soldiers. If the soldiers refuse to shoot, the game is over. Yeltsin climbed on the tank, ElBaradei addressed the masses in al Tahrir Square. That is the moment a prudent dictator flees abroad, as did the Shah and now the Tunisian boss.

Then there is the “Berlin Moment”, when a regime crumbles and nobody in power knows what to do, and only the anonymous masses seem to know exactly what they want: they wanted the Wall to fall.

And there is the “Ceausescu moment”. The dictator stands on the balcony addressing the crowd, when suddenly from below a chorus of “Down With The Tyrant!” swells up. For a moment, the dictator is speechless, moving his lips noiselessly, then he disappears. This, in a way, happened to Mubarak, making a ridiculous speech and trying in vain to stem the tide.

IF MUBARAK is cut off from reality, Binyamin Netanyahu is no less. He and his colleagues seem unable to grasp the fateful meaning of these events for Israel.

When Egypt moves, the Arab world follows. Whatever transpires in the immediate future in Egypt – democracy or an army dictatorship - It is only a matter of (a short) time before the dictators fall all over the Arab world, and the masses will shape a new reality, without the generals.

Everything the Israeli leadership has done in the last 44 years of occupation or 63 years of its existence is becoming obsolete. We are facing a new reality. We can ignore it – insisting that we are “a villa in the jungle”, as Ehud Barak famously put it – or find our proper place in the new reality.

Peace with the Palestinians is no longer a luxury. It is an absolute necessity. Peace now, peace quickly. Peace with the Palestinians, and then peace with the democratic masses all over the Arab world, peace with the reasonable Islamic forces (like Hamas and the Muslim Brothers, who are quite different from al Qaeda), peace with the leaders who are about to emerge in Egypt and everywhere.
(c) 2011 Uri Avnery ~~~ Gush Shalom

Reagan: Killer, Coward, Con-man
by Greg Palast

You're not going to like this. You shouldn't speak ill of the dead. But in this case, someone's got to.

On the 100th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, as we suffer a week of Reagan-kitcheria and pukey peons, let us remember:

Reagan was a con-man. Reagan was a coward. Reagan was a killer.

In 1987, I found myself stuck in a crappy little town in Nicaragua named Chaguitillo. The people were kind enough, though hungry, except for one surly young man. His wife had just died of tuberculosis.

People don't die of TB if they get some antibiotics. But Ronald Reagan, big-hearted guy that he was, had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua because he didn't like the government that the people there had elected.

Ronnie grinned and cracked jokes while the young woman's lungs filled up and she stopped breathing. Reagan flashed that B-movie grin while they buried the mother of three.

And when Hezbollah terrorists struck and murdered hundreds of American marines in their sleep in Lebanon, the TV warrior ran away like a whipped dog — then turned around and invaded Grenada. That little Club Med war was a murderous PR stunt so Ronnie could hold parades for gunning down Cubans building an airport.

I remember Nancy, a skull and crossbones prancing around in designer dresses, some of the "gifts" that flowed to the Reagans — from hats to million-dollar homes — from cronies well compensated with government loot. It used to be called bribery.

And all the while, Grandpa grinned, the grandfather who bleated on about "family values" but didn't bother to see his own grandchildren.

The New York Times, in its canned obit, wrote that Reagan projected, "faith in small town America" and "old-time values."

"Values" my ass. It was union-busting and a declaration of war on the poor and anyone who couldn't buy designer dresses. It was the New Meanness, bringing starvation back to America so that every millionaire could get another million.

"Small town" values? From the movie star of the Pacific Palisades, the Malibu mogul? I want to throw up.

And all the while, in the White House basement, as his brain boiled away, Reagan's last conscious act was to condone a coup d'état against our elected Congress. Reagan's Defense Secretary Casper the Ghost Weinberger with the crazed Colonel, Ollie North, plotted to give guns to the Monster of the Mideast, Ayatolla Khomeini.

Reagan's boys called Jimmy Carter a weanie and a wuss although Carter wouldn't give an inch to the Ayatollah. Reagan, with that film-fantasy tough-guy con in front of cameras, went begging like a coward cockroach to Khomeini, pleading on bended knee for the release of our hostages.

Ollie North flew into Iran with a birthday cake for the maniac mullah — no kidding — in the shape of a key. The key to Ronnie's heart.

Then the Reagan roaches mixed their cowardice with crime: taking cash from the hostage-takers to buy guns for the "contras" — the drug-runners of Nicaragua posing as freedom fighters.

I remember as a student in Berkeley the words screeching out of the bullhorn, "The Governor of the State of California, Ronald Reagan, hereby orders this demonstration to disperse" — and then came the teargas and the truncheons. And all the while, that fang-hiding grin from the Gipper.

In Chaguitillo, all night long, the farmers stayed awake to guard their kids from attack from Reagan's Contra terrorists. The farmers weren't even Sandinistas, those 'Commies' that our cracked-brained President told us were 'only a 48-hour drive from Texas.' What the hell would they want with Texas, anyway?

Nevertheless, the farmers, and their families, were Ronnie's targets.

In the deserted darkness of Chaguitillo, a TV blared. Weirdly, it was that third-rate gangster movie, "Brother Rat." Starring Ronald Reagan.

Well, mis amigos, your kids can sleep easy tonight. The Rat is dead.

All week you're going to hear about how Reagan restored America's sense of patriotism - as if heartless slaughter, Club Med wars and making racism respectable are patriotic . (When they said "small town values" you know the color of the town, don't you?).

I wonder if the Reaganauts can recognize any of the weapons they sold the mullahs when they see students gunned down in Teheran.

I do plan a memorial, for the victims, not the victimizer.

Please join me in commemorating the ill star that brought us a celluloid cowboy on his movie-set horsey by lighting a candle for a mom from Chaguitillo.
(c) 2011 Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." His investigations for BBC TV and Democracy Now! can be seen by subscribing to Palast's reports at.

To Protect And Serve?
Peace Activists Warned by the FBI – About Their Own Meeting
By Randall Amster

On January 25, 2011, people gathered in cities across America to demonstrate against the ongoing harassment of peace organizations and individual activists by law enforcement agencies. In particular, these “solidarity actions” were focused on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had served subpoenas and raided the homes of people involved in anti-war and international solidarity work in Minneapolis and Chicago in late September 2010. From Boston to Los Angeles, activists rallied at federal buildings, collected petition signatures, distributed pamphlets, and peacefully demonstrated on street corners as part of the “National Day of Action to Stop FBI Repression and Grand Jury Witch Hunts.”

In Chicago, over 350 people assembled in front of the Dirksen Federal Building to protest U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s decision to subpoena 23 antiwar activists and order them to appear in front of a grand jury. In Minneapolis, more than 100 people swarmed the sidewalk at the downtown Federal Building, waving signs that read "Opposing war is not a crime" and "Hands off free speech," denouncing the infiltration of their groups with undercover agents, and stating that they will not cooperate with the grand juries even if it means going to jail. Actions large and small were held in over 50 cities across the nation in a show of solidarity for peace activism and against official harassment.

Perhaps the most curious – and potentially revealing – episode among these many actions played out in Memphis, Tennessee. In a bizarre twist, the small group that had assembled there on January 25th was visited by the FBI and local law enforcement, ostensibly to warn them about their own event and stating that they were there for the activists’ own safety. A local media outlet reported on the episode:

“When a police SWAT team and an FBI anti-terrorism squad showed up Tuesday at a Memphis church where peace activists were staging an event, a scene reminiscent of the turbulent 1960s ensued. The activists, members of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center who oppose the war in Afghanistan, characterized the encounter as police intimidation and a case of illegal surveillance. FBI and Memphis Police Department representatives countered it was all a misunderstanding. They said they were there to protect the activists from potential harm by extremists who might oppose their views.”

Interestingly, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center (MSPJC) had planned no public demonstration as part of its activities that day, but were merely holding a small meeting of about a dozen people to fill out forms under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to investigate the extent to which activists in their community may have been under surveillance, infiltration, or other forms of potential intimidation. The media release sent out by the MSPJC stated that the event was being held to “demand an end to FBI harassment of peace, anti-war and solidarity activists.” In response, according to the MSPJC’s Director, it appears that the agents and officers were in fact sent to the event to monitor and intimidate the group. As reported by local television station WREG:

“Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin says officers routinely patrol demonstrations. He says this time officers stayed, even though they weren't supposed to sit on the scene. Godwin blames the confusion on miscommunication, and he stresses the MPD is in no way monitoring the activities of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. Jacob Flowers has his doubts about the intentions of both the FBI and the MPD. He says he's been the director of the center for six years, has held several protests and marches, but has never seen the type of law enforcement presence he saw Tuesday. ‘We have never had the MPD TACT squad follow us along, so we find it to be a coincidence that on the night people were here filling out forms to ask for their files to be released by the MPD and the FBI, they choose to send an entire tactical squad to sit on us.’”

MSPJC’s Organizing Coordinator Brad Watkins told the local ABC News affiliate that “it’s a clear intimidation tactic. If they want to protect us and there was a threat against us, then wouldn’t a smart thing [to] do [be] to let us know from whom or if there was a threat against us? We had no communication from MPD, they just showed up and surrounded the church.” Watkins added that the scene (which was captured in a short online video) involved “a total ridiculous amount of law enforcement presence claiming that they are here for our protection -- but to protect us from who?” A subsequent blog entry noted that Watkins had posted in real-time on Facebook: “Just had a visit from the FBI … they claimed that they wanted to alert me that some Anti-war activists were planning something around my building.... I paused and tried not to laugh. When I said, ‘Uh, yes sir, these are the offices of the Mid-South PEACE and Justice Center’ … they promptly left.”

While all of this was unfolding, it was later learned that sheriffs had entered at least two homes of “progressive Memphis area activists” earlier that day, “citing (but not showing) warrants for individuals” and going “room to room with guns drawn for a ‘failure to appear’ charge in traffic court.” On his blog, Watkins observed that calls came into the center about police activities of “checking warrants at the DeCleyre Co-op near the University of Memphis … and local socialist, social justice and anarchist orgs have reported harassment and warrant checks all going down today. Yet MPD claims these events are all unrelated.” While local media have generally reported the day’s events as merely a “misunderstanding,” Watkins remains adamant that “this is about intimidation and abuse of law enforcement powers.”

I recently spoke with MSPJC Director Jacob Flowers about this episode and its aftermath. He said that the FOIA meeting on January 25th was intended as part of the national day of solidarity and to explore potential spying on local peace groups, including the MSPJC, the Progressive Student Alliance, and the Socialist Party. Flowers noted that the MSJPC had been “watched before,” primarily in the 1980s during antinuclear actions and as part of crackdowns on the Sanctuary movement. Despite this history, he said, the MSPJC actually enjoys “good relations” with local authorities, and has cultivated a reputation as a diligent and peaceful organization. “I’ve been here at Mid-South for six years, during which we’ve held street corner protests, marches with hundreds of people, and more,” said Flowers, “and we’ve never had the SWAT team show up before.”

The event that day was small, he noted, with only about a dozen people sitting in a room in a church, filling out forms, and talking about the correlation between nonviolent activism and official harassment. When the FBI showed up at the MSPJC offices with badges displayed, “they told us that they were there to inform us about an antiwar protest that was to be held near our facilities,” Flowers said. Upon being told that this actually was the headquarters of the antiwar organization, one of the FBI agents stated, “I guess this is a waste of our time, then.” Prior to this visit, there had been no notification to the MSPJC of any potential security concerns surrounding their meeting. “They said they were there to protect us, and for our own safety,” said Flowers, “but there was no one there but our group of peace activists.”

The implications are not lost on seasoned activists and organizers like those at the MSPJC. “If they do this to us – people who know how to ‘raise hell’ and get a message out – what are they doing to other, more vulnerable groups and individuals to violate people’s civil rights?” Flowers asked rhetorically. The MSPJC is still awaiting a cogent response, he said, but in the meantime they are taking affirmative steps to prevent similar intrusions in the future. In addition to consulting with local civil liberties organizations, they also went ahead and filed their FOIA forms the day after the FBI “visit” to their headquarters, and have contacted the offices of the Mayor and their congressional representative in an attempt to find answers. More broadly, Flowers sees this troubling event as an opportunity “to make a wider push for community-based policing” and other alternatives to potentially repressive forms of law enforcement.

As a member of the MSPJC posted after the episode, “the progressive community in Memphis is taking this as … a challenge to unite in earnest with struggles in our city against widespread police brutality and daily police oppression. We are determined not to be intimidated.” This echoes the ational call to resist harassment of peace groups and nonviolent activists, with regional organizing conferences recently announced for February 12th in Chicago and Oakland, and on February 19th in New York and Chapel Hill. Rather than capitulating to intimidation, it seems that activists are taking this as a call to peacefully confront the attempts to break their movements. And perhaps in that, justice will be served after all.
(c) 2011 Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., teaches peace studies at Prescott College and serves as the executive director of the Peace & Justice Studies Association. His most recent book is the co-edited volume "Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action" (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).

Pulling The Curtain On The Koch Brothers

Until now, Charles and David Koch have kept their extensive political operation a secret from the media and us hoi polloi. Over the years, they have quietly funneled tens of millions of dollars from their industrial fortune into hundreds of right-wing front groups set up to advance their goal of establishing a corporate plutocracy in America. From behind their plush curtain, they've operated as the right-wing's Wizard of Oz – only Ozzier.

But now, the curtain is being pulled back, and there they are – buck naked and butt ugly – for all to see.

What an unpleasant surprise it must have been for the billionaire brothers to find the hoi polloi peering at them on January 30. They were sequestered behind the gated walls of a Southern California resort with about 200 other wealthy elites. All had come to this lair of luxury for a closed-door four-day political retreat that Charles periodically organizes to plot strategy with his peers and get money commitments for the next national election.

These clandestine pow-wows allow the Kochs and their corporate cohorts to huddle privately with top GOP congress critters, Supreme Court justices, political operatives, and such right-wing celebrities as Glenn Beck.

This year, however, the confidential letter of invitation from Koch Industries was leaked to researcher Lee Fang at the Center for American Progress and widely distributed. In it, Charles bragged that "we will assemble an exceptional group of leaders" at Rancho Las Palmas resort. And he did – but not the kind of leaders he intended to bring together. Instead, some 1,500 grassroots Americans gathered at the resort to greet the elites! They were not pleased to see us – but, hey, we're not pleased to see them undermining our people's democracy.

These uninvited guests, accompanied by national media, succeeded in uncloaking the Kochs – and now their name is a four-letter word – as in "to Koch" democracy.
(c) 2011 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates," is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition.

Wind Of Change Sweeps Through Egypt
By Helen Thomas

Never underestimate the power of people: A fresh revolutionary wind, maybe a Tsunami, is seeking to sweep out the despots in North Africa and the Middle East. Where it will end, no one knows. But the fervor and frustration fermenting the uprising in Egypt will surely bring about a brave new world for those regimes fed up with longtime autocratic rule. The young people especially have taken power. We are learning old soldiers never die, they only fade away.

The U.S. was caught flatfooted, and it was still lacking in its high-toned preachments about freedom and democracy when it realized it was far behind the curve. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then called on Egypt to begin "an orderly transition" and President Barack Obama went further, telling Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak not to run again. Egypt, under Mubarak, was close to the U.S. - and vice versa. Each depended on the other.

The revolt of the masses - from Tunisia to Egypt - cannot be stopped. First to go was Tunisia with a quick departure of the autocratic President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who quickly fled the country under widespread protests. The Arab world is hitting the streets, spreading to Yemen. Other big changes are transpiring in Lebanon with the new dominance with the Hezbollah.

Many countries in the Middle East are being branded because of defiance to the U.S. and its allies.

The dramatic events have unveiled an unimagined unity of purpose, with the police and the army along with the Muslim Brotherhood joining the cause to end Mubarak's 30 year rule. Mubarak has hung on despite at least a million Egyptians demonstrating in the streets.

The uprisings are real and cannot be quelled. The battle cry has been "Mubarak must go!" The social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, have proved to be powerful instigators of the Egyptian Revolution. The Internet was shut down by the government, but the word of the defiant people was raucously heard. Those systems of communications are changing the world.

Yemen could fall under popular siege next. Morocco seems quiet and stable as a result of a friendly kingdom - so far. Algeria also could topple its strong-arm rule. But the old order clearly is changing with a new face in the Middle East.

The Obama administration is obviously worried over the fate of the other friendly nations in the area, and Jordan in particular, which is heavily dependent on the U.S. for aid and arms. Both Egypt and Jordan have made peace with Israel, but that doesn't mean that Israel is not worried about the transforming political developments in the Middle East.

"The U.S. wants an orderly transition," said Clinton. "The U.S. wants democracy to flourish in Egypt and credible elections to follow."

All of the oligarchs in the region are quaking in their boots.

The U.S. says it wanted the consent of the Egyptian people in what follows the revolt. Clinton suggested Mubarak should start a dialogue with the dissidents. That was interpreted as different from asking the Egyptian leader to step down. But later it was clear the U.S. had joined the populous chant that Mubarak must go.

In the past coup d'état by military strongmen were marked by the immediate shut down of the national radio stations, especially in the banana republics. The new technology is more difficult to overcome and almost impossible - Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

The U.S. can toss the words around, "freedom" and "democracy," but they will resonate only when people are ready to take action and pay the price. Otherwise those great words are meaningless. Nevertheless, the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt are markedly not anti-American, and the U.S. seems to be thriving in the changeovers.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been strangely quiet. They renounced violence decades ago - and have had a low profile in all the turmoil. The protests are reminiscent of Tiannamen Square - and to a lesser extent, the anti-Vietnam War protests. Those protests were marked by women marching with their young children in front of the White House daily. Women and children also have joined in the overwhelming protests in Cairo and Alexandria.

Mubarak has promised not to run again, but that might not be enough. Anyway, there goes his hopes for a dynasty and raises new hope for the people in the Arab world.
(c) 2011 Helen Thomas is a columnist for the Falls Church News-Press. Among other books she is the author of Front Row at The White House: My Life and Times.

The Mysterious Mesas Of Arizona
By James Donahue

The strange mesa formations that dot the Navajo landscape in northeastern Arizona are no mystery to the natives who live among them. They tell stories about how the rocks rose from the earth, driven by some mighty force under their feet. They say it was the Mother Earth herself who spawned them.

That explanation is as good as anything geologists have come up with. Stories about volcanic action or wind and water erosion don't seem to fit. Close examination of the mesas show them to all be at similar height, a section of earth thrust hundreds of feet high, with flat tops evenly covered with about the same kind of soil as the surrounding desert lands below.

They all have rugged rock sides that make them look as if they, indeed, were pushed upward like daggers from out of the dirt. Large concentrations of earth are piled along the sides of the mesas, as if pushed aside by a sudden upheaval when the rock was driven upward from ground level.

Among the latest formations said to have appeared is the well-known "Monkey Head" located along Reservation Route 6, leading north between Holbrook and Keams Canyon. Anyone who has driven this road is struck by the similarity this formation has to the head and face of the Hollywood creation King Kong. The great ape face has an evil grin as it looks off to the west. This formation can be seen from miles away. The road curves right under the face so drivers also get a close-up view. From up close, however, the animal features are lost and the mesa begins to look much like any of the others.

The Navajo use "winter stories" to tell how the mesas were formed. Back in the days before they had television and radio, and before the Europeans came, the people entertained themselves during the long winter months by telling stories. The fables were not only a form of passing time, but they were a way of teaching the tribal beliefs and culture to the children.

While the stories strongly resemble the fairy tales read to me by my mother when I was a child, I suspect they may also contain a small element of truth. If nothing more, they were an intelligent way for the people to explain a mystery that continues to baffle anyone who visits the reservation.

The Navajo say the Monkey Face mesa appeared unexpectedly about 300 years ago, trapping a Catholic missionary and a handful of native followers while they were enjoying a picnic on what turned out to be the top of the head. The way they tell this yarn, it is evident that they really believe it happened this way.

As the story goes, the place was but a small hill when the unnamed missionary and his tribal believers trekked to the top for their picnic. Prior to that it was considered a sacred place to the natives and the church group was warned about going there.

The priest laughed at native superstitions and encouraged his group of about a dozen believers to show the natives that there was nothing to fear. They defied the warnings, climbed the hill, and began the picnic. While there, however, a great earthquake occurred. When the rumbling and shaking stopped, the priest and his followers found themselves sitting atop the great monkey face. It was as if the earth made a joke out of their disregard for sacred things.

It seemed at first that the group would perish because they had no way of climbing safely down. Finally a pathway was found and everyone escaped. The Navajos say the way to the top still exists, is well hidden but the way is still known to them. They keep it a secret. They don't want anybody else challenging the power of the sacred Mother.

Among the myths involving another rock formation located a few miles to the west is that of a young man who was invited home by a beautiful woman. She took the man to her bed that night. In the morning he awoke to see that instead of a beautiful woman, he had slept with an ugly old hag. Her Hogan, which appeared to him to be a lovely place the night before, was now filled with cobwebs and filth. He realized he had been enticed by a witch. When the man attempted to flee, he found himself trapped on top of a fortification known today as Standing Rock, located near the reservation community of Dalkon.

As the story is told, the man hid from the witch for several days. He became extremely hungry and thirsty. He knew he had to do something or perish. Two pigeons appeared and they took pity on him. They brought him corn mush and wild berries to eat and water to drink. Then the birds summoned the help of a dragon to help get the man down from his prison atop the rock.

The pigeons, who could talk, told the man that he must sleep that night to become rested because the dragon would come at dawn. When it arrived, the dragon would put his head against the east side of the rock. The man was not to fear, but step boldly out on the dragon's head.

The dragon came just as the birds said he would. The man stepped out on its head and the beast then lowered him safely to the ground.

Like the Monkey Head, Standing Rock was said to have risen out of the earth in an unexpected eruption of energy from somewhere below. If there is any truth to the Navajo stories, what was the strange force that made the rock formations thrust their way up out of the ground?

Nearby mountains, all ancient volcanoes, may offer clues. Geologists say the forces that made the mountains probably played some part in creating these odd mesas.

Another interesting feature of the area is the sprawling remains of an ancient forest. Pieces of trees, long ago turned to stone, lie in crumbling ruin almost everywhere you look in the Holbrook area. Chunks of petrified wood can be bought in curio shops throughout the area. A portion of this strange place has been set aside by the U. S. Government for preservation and is known as the Petrified Forest National Park. The existence of these stone trees adds to the mystery. It is obvious that dynamic climate and weather changes have been going on in this area for thousands, if not millions of years.

The area where a great forest once stood now is a barren desert.
(c) 2011 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles. He currently produces daily articles for this web site.

The Real Threat Of Glenn Beck's Fantasies
It's harm not to myself, but to American democracy that I fear from the Fox News host's paranoid theories of social collapse
By Frances Fox Piven

About two years ago, Glenn Beck, the Fox News personality, began a series of tirades against what he called the Cloward-Piven plan for orchestrated crisis to collapse the system. The plan, he explained to his audience, had been laid out in an article written by Richard Cloward and me, and published in the Nation magazine in May 1966. In the article, we proposed a mobilisation of poor people and their advocates to claim the welfare benefits to which poor families were legally entitled, but that they often did not receive. We thought that the ensuing problems of rising rolls and costs would create pressures for federal reform of the archaic welfare system.

Whatever you think of that article, and I still like it, it was written some 45 years ago in a magazine with a rather small readership. But, astonishingly, in Glenn Beck's world, it had led to most of America's ensuing troubles, including the rise of SDS, Acorn, George Soros and the Open Society Institute, the election of Barack Obama and the financial crisis. Beck depicts this on his chalkboard as the "tree of revolution", and he continued to feature this theory of American history on some 50 subsequent shows, as well as on the Blaze, his blog.

Other rightwing blogs were quick to pick up the orchestrated crisis theory. Together with the Blaze, the news stories elicited many hundreds, if not thousands of rude and insulting postings directed at me, and many lurid death threats, as well. (My husband Richard Cloward, who would have enjoyed this more than I, has been dead for a decade.)

In January of 2010, I wrote another article in the Nation, about the difficulties that had to be overcome if the rising numbers of unemployed were to be organised to have voice and influence in American politics. In response, the outrage of Beck and his fellow rightwing bloggers escalated, as did the insults, the curses and, especially, the death threats. I am not writing now to complain about the personal threats and what appears to be the aim of extorting silence from the speakers on the left. Rather, I want to offer an explanation of why this sort of rabid and crazy talk is gaining traction in our country.

When I first became aware of my location at the base of the trunk of Beck's tree of revolution, I thought it was funny, just because it was so fantastical. It is funny, I suppose, but it is also a reflection of a deep problem. I have come to think that paranoid theories are flourishing because of serious troubles in our democracy. After all, electoral-representative democracy is a set of arrangements that enable ordinary citizens to have influence on government. But for these arrangements to work, citizens have to be able to understand what government does.

The common people who participated in the American revolution were gripped by the democratic hope that once the shackles of British rule were broken, the people would have decisive influence over their government because they would be able to watch what their legislators did, and refuse to re-elect them if they did not abide by the people's will.

This elemental democratic idea assumes that people can assess the bearing of government action on their own circumstances and the larger society, and vote for or against a candidate or party in reflection of that assessment. But when people protest against a healthcare proposal because they don't want government to get its hands on their Medicare, this elemental assumption is put in grave doubt.

Partly, the problem is that our social and economic institutions are dense and complicated, and intricately entwined with other institutions with a global reach. In reflection, contemporary government policy is also extraordinarily complicated and difficult to decipher. Healthcare legislative proposals run to many hundreds of pages, and the texts of the regulations to implement them are even longer. And none of this can be understood without a great deal of information about existing healthcare arrangements

Add to this the fact that legislation and regulation is often deliberately obscure to shield politicians and bureaucrats from their publics. Even without deliberate concealment, complex and difficult to decipher policies may well be inevitable in a large, technologically advanced and complicated society.

When the process of governing is incomprehensible, manipulation and propaganda thrives. The strange stories that Glenn Beck creates with his chalkboard gain traction with Americans, who are made anxious by the large changes that have overtaken the United States, including the election of a black president and the increasing racial diversity of the population, deindustrialisation and the decline of American power abroad, as well as cultural changes in sexual and family norms.

By telling simple fairy tales that trace these big and complex changes to the machinations of particular people, Beck makes the changes comprehensible in a way, and also makes the people who are presumably responsible the targets of his listeners' frustration and outrage. Partly because it is utterly irrational, and partly because it is an effort to bully and intimidate his political opponents, this is dangerous for democratic politics.
© 2011 Frances Fox Piven is professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, where she has taught since 1982. She is the author and co-author of numerous books, including The War at Home: The Domestic Costs of Bush's Militarism (2004) and Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America (2006), and has received career and lifetime achievement awards fromt he American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association.

Chun Doo Hwan gives the corpo-rat salute.

Back To The Future
Progressives, Repression, and the Echoes of History
By Chris Floyd

Hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens rise up in protest against a long-entrenched dictatorship backed by the United States. The dictatorial regime warns of chaos and instability if the uprising is not suppressed; otherwise, they say, the country will fall into the hands of America's chief global enemy, the representatives of an extremist ideology that "hates us for our freedoms."

In the White House, the progressive Democratic president gathers with his foreign policy advisers to consider the American reaction. In the end, they opt -- of course -- for "stability." They back the installation of the client nation's intelligence chief -- one of the key perpetrators of the regime's repression -- as the new leader.

The main thing, say the progressive Democratic president's advisers, is to restore order in the short term while pressing the regime to institute some "political reforms" to ease public anger in the long term. This is considered an enlightened, "moderate" course of action.

The result, of course, is the crushing of the popular movement for democracy, and several more years of harsh repression by the regime -- again, with the full backing, economically and militarily, of the bipartisan political establishment in Washington.

Are we speaking of Egypt and Barack Obama in 2011? No; it is the story of Korea and Jimmy Carter, back in 1980. As'ad AbuKhalil points us to remarkable historical account written in May 2010 by Tim Shorrock. One almost wants to say that the parallels between the two situations are uncanny; then one remembers the numbing sameness of the American power structure's reaction to any situation that might potentially threaten its golden applecart: secure "stability" for the client regime; make scary noises about the Great Enemy (Commies, Islamists, whatever) seizing control; keep grinding on with business as usual for as long as you can. The parallels only seem uncanny because the American elite always, without fail, act in the same dull-witted, brutal way, regardless of which imperial faction happens to be in the managerial slot at any given moment. And so we are bound to see historical correspondences again and again down through the years.

But Shorrock's story is an excellent example of how our good progressives -- even gentle little sunbeams of Jesus like Jimmy Carter -- eagerly carry out the empire's enduring agenda of violent domination once they have climbed to the top of that blood-greased pole. The whole story is worth reading, but below are some key excerpts:

[The late Richard Holbrooke -- a top adviser in the Obama Administration -- played a key role in the Korean crisis. Shorrock's story was written before Holbrooke's death, so I've amended the wording to reflect this.] From Tim Shorrock:

One of the most important documents I obtained in my 15-year quest to unearth the US role in South Korea in 1979 and 1980 were the minutes to a White House meeting that took place on May 22, 1980. At this meeting, the Carter administration made its critical decision to support the South Korean military as it moved to crush the Kwangju Uprising, the largest citizens’ rebellion in the south since the Korean War ended in 1953.

The document, which I first obtained in 1996, is significant for historical reasons. But it’s also important because two of the key players at that meeting were Richard Holbrooke and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Holbrooke, [who was] a perennial favorite in Democratic circles for the coveted job of secretary of state, [was] a high-ranking official in Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Brzezinski, who was Carter’s national security adviser, has won a certain claim to fame in fashionable Washington think-tanks (such as the New America Foundation) for his opposition to the war in Iraq and his biting critique of the Bush/neoconservative school of foreign policy.

In South Korea, however, both men showed an appalling disregard for democracy and human rights. Their actions should not be forgotten – particularly by progressives who like to champion Holbrooke and Brzezinski as men of honor who exemplify the conduct of US foreign policy.

On May 22, 1980, President Jimmy Carter’s national security team gathered at the White House for a high-level meeting on an unprecedented political crisis in South Korea.

The situation was dire. Twelve hours earlier in the city of Kwangju, hundreds of thousands of armed students, industrial workers, taxi drivers, students and citizens had gathered in a downtown plaza to celebrate the liberation of their city from two divisions of Army Special Forces troops who had been sent to quell anti-military protests throughout the country five days earlier.

The demonstrations had been called to denounce military intervention in Korean politics and the May 17 declaration of martial law by a Korean General and intelligence chief, Chun Doo Hwan, who later took power as president and ruled the country for eight years. ... In Kwangju ... students continued to defy the martial law edicts.

On May 18, apparently warned by their commanders that a communist revolution was unfolding in Kwangju that could infect the whole country and inspire North Korea to invade, Chun’s troops began a two-day rampage through the city. In broad daylight, they began beating, bayonetting and shooting anyone who dared to stand up to martial law. Bystanders too were attacked – some of them chased into their homes and killed. Horrified and angered by the actions of the storm troopers, the people of Kwangju – most of them skilled in firearms because of males’ mandatory stints in the army – formed a citizens’ militia and started shooting back. After two days of combat and hand-to-hand fighting in which dozens of people were killed and wounded, Chun’s Special Forces turned tail and pulled out of the city. It was the first armed insurrection in modern South Korean history.

Back in Washington, the events in Kwangju were viewed with fear and loathing. The United States had nearly 40,000 combat troops in South Korea, and these forward-based, nuclear-armed troops were key to the US Cold War strategy of encircling the Soviet Union and China with military bases. Indeed, just months before, Carter had agreed to reverse his 1976 campaign promise to withdraw US troops from Korea after enormous pressure from conservative lawmakers and the Pentagon concerned about upsetting the US military posture towards North Korea and East Asia. Moreover, South Korea was a symbol to US policy makers of an ideal ally that supported the US in unpopular wars like Vietnam; unlike in many countries, anti-Americanism was virtually unknown. In this context, the armed uprising by ordinary citizens with an unknown agenda was a frightening prospect.

..As Holbrooke and the rest of Carter’s national security team gathered at the White House that day, they knew much of the details of what had happened in Kwangju. The few foreign media in the city had managed to transmit stories of the savage brutality inflicted by the Special Forces on the city’s population, especially its youth. Secret cables from the US Embassy in Seoul to the State Department that I later obtained under the Freedom of Information Act confirmed that massacres had indeed taken place and were the primary cause of the uprising. The Defense Intelligence Agency, in other documents I obtained, warned that the Special Forces were fully capable of vicious cruelty and that Chun was secretly planning to seize power.

But none of that seemed to matter: what was important to Carter’s White House was the preservation of US national security interests – not the democratic impulses of a Korean population sick from 18 years of dictatorship. As the citizens of Kwangju waited for a sign of hope, Carter’s team made a fateful decision: to support Chun’s plan to put down the rebellion by force.

The participants in the May 22 meeting, according to the declassified minutes I later obtained from the National Security Council, included the Deputy Secretary of State, Warren Christopher; Holbrooke, assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific; Brzezinski, Carter’s National Security Adviser; CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner; Donald Gregg, the NSC’s top intelligence official for Asia and a former CIA Station Chief in Seoul; and U.S. Defense Secretary Harold Brown.

This crack foreign policy team quickly came to a consensus. “The first priority is the restoration of order in Kwangju by the Korean authorities with the minimum use of force necessary without laying the seeds for wide disorders later,” the minutes stated. “Once order is restored, it was agreed we must press the Korean government, and the military in particular, to allow a greater degree of political freedom to evolve.” ... As for the situation in Kwangju, the group decided that “we have counseled moderation, but have not ruled out the use of force, should the Koreans need to employ it to restore order.” If there was “little loss of life” in the recapture of the city, “we can move quietly to apply pressure for more political evolution,” the officials decided. Once the situation was cleared up, the war cabinet agreed, normal economic ties could move forward – including an important $600 million Export-Import Bank loan to South Korea to buy American nuclear power equipment and engineering services.

Within hours of the meeting, the US commander in Korea gave formal approval to the Korean military to remove a division of Korean troops under the US-Korean Joint Command and deploy them to Kwangju. The city and its surrounding towns had already been cut off from all communications by a tight military cordon. Military helicopters began flying over the city urging the Kwangju urban army – which had taken up positions in the provincial capital building in the middle of the city – to surrender. At one point, a Kwangju citizens’ council asked the US ambassador, William Gleysteen, to intervene seek a negotiated truce; but the request was coldly rejected.

In the early morning of May 27, the Korean troops from the Joint Command shot their way into the provincial capital and quickly put an end to the resistance. The Kwangju Commune was shut down, and hundreds of people who had participated were rounded up and imprisoned. In early June, Carter’s team approved the Eximbank loan, and South Korea went ahead with its plan to buy US nuclear technology – a deal that went right into the pockets of Westinghouse and Bechtel corporations. By September 1980, Chun was president, and in January 1981 he was chosen by incoming President Reagan as the first foreign head of state to visit the White House. US-Korean ties were restored, and a crisis averted. But not for the people of South Korea. Partly because of the decisions made at that White House meeting, they endured eight more years of authoritarian rule.

...I asked Holbrooke once about his role in US diplomacy at the time, particularly the decision to allow the Korean military to use force to end the Kwangju Uprising. In a story that appeared in The Nation, he said this: “Kwangju was an explosively dangerous situation, the outcome was tragic, but the long-term results for Korea are democracy and economic stability". He added: “The idea that we would actively conspire with the Korean generals in a massacre of students is, frankly, bizarre; it’s obscene and counter to every political value we articulated.” When the Carter Administration heard Chun was sending Special Forces to Kwangju, “we made every effort to stop what was happening,” Holbrooke said.

That was a flat-out lie, as my documents attest. In fact, as I wrote in The Nation and the Journal of Commerce, Holbrooke took it upon himself to prevent the democratic Korean opposition from speaking out against military intervention, and then kept his mouth firmly shut when the Kwangju disaster struck. Later, after leaving the Clinton administration, Holbrooke went on to make a small fortune advising large corporations – including South Korea’s Hyundai Group.

Same as it ever was, as the saying goes. With hand on heart, the American elite profess their undying dedication to democracy and self-determination for all peoples; with the other hand, buried deep in their pockets, they jingle the blood-soaked coins they receive for serving the agenda of domination.

UPDATE: Speaking of the American elite's enduring agenda of war profiteering with repressive regimes, Pratap Chatterjee gives us a telling report on the highly profitable alliance between the American and Egyptian military-industrial complexes.
(c) 2011 Chris Floyd

Obama And Clinton Shelve Ideals On Egypt
By Matthew Rothschild

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are again showing that they’re more concerned with maintaining an ally in Egypt, no matter how repressive, than honoring the wishes of the Egyptian people for democracy and self-determination.

In this, they’re reverting to form.

At the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, Obama and Clinton were careful not to endorse the calls for Mubarak to step down. Then they raised their rhetoric.

It was just a week that Obama said “an orderly transition must be meaningful, must be peaceful and it must begin now.” And his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, followed that up the next day by saying, “When we said ‘now,’ we meant ‘yesterday.’”

Well, today “now” means seven months from now.

And “transition” means to another government equally as pliant as Mubarak was, and perhaps equally as bloody.

The favorite appears to be Mubarak’s new vice president, Omar Suleiman, who was head of Egypt’s spy agency.

According to Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, Suleiman served as Washington’s “point man in Egypt for rendition.”

And he’s also a favorite of the Israelis, who were in daily contact with him when he was leading Egypt’s notoriously brutal intelligence agency.

If Obama and Clinton succeed in installing Suleiman at the top, they will be negating the wishes and desecrating the courage of the Egyptian people.

It’s looking more and more like standard operating procedure.
(c)2011 Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine.

Droughts, Floods And Food
By Paul Krugman

We’re in the midst of a global food crisis — the second in three years. World food prices hit a record in January, driven by huge increases in the prices of wheat, corn, sugar and oils. These soaring prices have had only a modest effect on U.S. inflation, which is still low by historical standards, but they’re having a brutal impact on the world’s poor, who spend much if not most of their income on basic foodstuffs.

The consequences of this food crisis go far beyond economics. After all, the big question about uprisings against corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Middle East isn’t so much why they’re happening as why they’re happening now. And there’s little question that sky-high food prices have been an important trigger for popular rage.

So what’s behind the price spike? American right-wingers (and the Chinese) blame easy-money policies at the Federal Reserve, with at least one commentator declaring that there is “blood on Bernanke’s hands.” Meanwhile, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France blames speculators, accusing them of “extortion and pillaging.”

But the evidence tells a different, much more ominous story. While several factors have contributed to soaring food prices, what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate — which means that the current food price surge may be just the beginning.

Now, to some extent soaring food prices are part of a general commodity boom: the prices of many raw materials, running the gamut from aluminum to zinc, have been rising rapidly since early 2009, mainly thanks to rapid industrial growth in emerging markets.

But the link between industrial growth and demand is a lot clearer for, say, copper than it is for food. Except in very poor countries, rising incomes don’t have much effect on how much people eat.

It’s true that growth in emerging nations like China leads to rising meat consumption, and hence rising demand for animal feed. It’s also true that agricultural raw materials, especially cotton, compete for land and other resources with food crops — as does the subsidized production of ethanol, which consumes a lot of corn. So both economic growth and bad energy policy have played some role in the food price surge.

Still, food prices lagged behind the prices of other commodities until last summer. Then the weather struck.

Consider the case of wheat, whose price has almost doubled since the summer. The immediate cause of the wheat price spike is obvious: world production is down sharply. The bulk of that production decline, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, reflects a sharp plunge in the former Soviet Union. And we know what that’s about: a record heat wave and drought, which pushed Moscow temperatures above 100 degrees for the first time ever.

The Russian heat wave was only one of many recent extreme weather events, from dry weather in Brazil to biblical-proportion flooding in Australia, that have damaged world food production.

The question then becomes, what’s behind all this extreme weather?

To some extent we’re seeing the results of a natural phenomenon, La Niña — a periodic event in which water in the equatorial Pacific becomes cooler than normal. And La Niña events have historically been associated with global food crises, including the crisis of 2007-8.

But that’s not the whole story. Don’t let the snow fool you: globally, 2010 was tied with 2005 for warmest year on record, even though we were at a solar minimum and La Niña was a cooling factor in the second half of the year. Temperature records were set not just in Russia but in no fewer than 19 countries, covering a fifth of the world’s land area. And both droughts and floods are natural consequences of a warming world: droughts because it’s hotter, floods because warm oceans release more water vapor.

As always, you can’t attribute any one weather event to greenhouse gases. But the pattern we’re seeing, with extreme highs and extreme weather in general becoming much more common, is just what you’d expect from climate change.

The usual suspects will, of course, go wild over suggestions that global warming has something to do with the food crisis; those who insist that Ben Bernanke has blood on his hands tend to be more or less the same people who insist that the scientific consensus on climate reflects a vast leftist conspiracy.

But the evidence does, in fact, suggest that what we’re getting now is a first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we’ll face in a warming world. And given our failure to act on greenhouse gases, there will be much more, and much worse, to come.
(c) 2011 Paul Krugman --- The New York Times

The Quotable Quote...

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
~~~ Thomas Paine ~~~

Recognizing The Language Of Tyranny
By Chris Hedges

Empires communicate in two languages. One language is expressed in imperatives. It is the language of command and force. This militarized language disdains human life and celebrates hypermasculinity. It demands. It makes no attempt to justify the flagrant theft of natural resources and wealth or the use of indiscriminate violence. When families are gunned down at a checkpoint in Iraq they are referred to as having been “lit up.” So it goes. The other language of empire is softer. It employs the vocabulary of ideals and lofty goals and insists that the power of empire is noble and benevolent. The language of beneficence is used to speak to those outside the centers of death and pillage, those who have not yet been totally broken, those who still must be seduced to hand over power to predators. The road traveled to total disempowerment, however, ends at the same place. It is the language used to get there that is different.

This language of blind obedience and retribution is used by authority in our inner cities, from Detroit to Oakland, as well as our prison systems. It is a language Iraqis and Afghans know intimately. But to the members of our dwindling middle class—as well as those in the working class who have yet to confront our new political and economic configuration—the powerful use phrases like the consent of the governed and democracy that help lull us into complacency. The longer we believe in the fiction that we are included in the corporate power structure, the more easily corporations pillage the country without the threat of rebellion. Those who know the truth are crushed. Those who do not are lied to. Those who consume and perpetuate the lies—including the liberal institutions of the press, the church, education, culture, labor and the Democratic Party—abet our disempowerment. No system of total control, including corporate control, exhibits its extreme forms at the beginning. These forms expand as they fail to encounter resistance.

The tactic of speaking in two languages is as old as empire itself. The ancient Greeks and the Romans did it. So did the Spanish conquistadors, the Ottomans, the French and later the British. Those who inhabit exploited zones on the peripheries of empire see and hear the truth. But the cries of those who are exploited are ignored or demonized. The rage they express does not resonate with those trapped in self-delusion, those who continue to trust in the ultimate goodness of empire. This is the truth articulated in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India.” These writers understood that empire is about violence and theft. And the longer the theft continues, the more brutal empire becomes. The tyranny empire imposes on others it finally imposes on itself. The predatory forces unleashed by empire consume the host. Look around you.

The narratives we hear are those fabricated for us by the state, Hollywood and the press. These narratives are taught in our schools, preached in our pulpits and celebrated in war documentaries such as “Restrepo.” These narratives humanize and ennoble the enforcers of empire. The government, the military, the police and our intelligence agents are lionized. These control groups, we are assured, are the guardians of our virtues and our protectors. They produce our heroes. And those who challenge this narrative—who denounce the lies—become the enemy.

Those who administer empire—elected officials, corporate managers, generals and the celebrity courtiers who disseminate the propaganda—become very wealthy. They make immense fortunes whether they deliver the nightly news, sit on the boards of corporations, or rise, lavished with corporate endorsements, within the vast industry of spectacle and entertainment. They all pay homage, even in moments defined as criticism, to the essential goodness of corporate power. They shut out all real debate. They ignore flagrant injustices and abuse. They peddle the illusions that keep us passive and amused. But as our society is reconfigured into an oligarchic system, with a permanent and vast underclass, along with a shrinking and unstable middle class, these illusions lose their power. The language of pleasant deception must be replaced with the overt language of force. It is hard to continue to live in a state of self-delusion once unemployment benefits run out, once the only job available comes without benefits or a living wage, once the future no longer conforms to the happy talk that saturates our airwaves. At this point rage becomes the engine of response, and whoever can channel that rage inherits power. The manipulation of that rage has become the newest task of the corporate propagandists, and the failure of the liberal class to defend core liberal values has left its members with nothing to contribute to the debate.

The Belgian King Leopold, promising to abolish slavery and usher the Congolese into the “modern” era, was permitted by his European allies to form the Congo Free State in 1885. It was touted as a humanitarian gesture, as was the Spanish conquest of the Americas, as was our own occupation of Iraq. Leopold organized a ruthless force of native and foreign overseers—not unlike our own mercenary armies—to loot the Congo of ivory and rubber. By the time the Belgian monarch was done, some 5 million to 8 million Congolese had been slaughtered. It was the largest act of genocide in the modern era until the Nazi Holocaust. Leopold, even in the midst of his rampage, was lionized in Europe for his virtue. He was loathed in the periphery—as we are in Iraq and Afghanistan—where the Congolese and others understood what he was about. But these voices, like the voices of those we oppress, were almost never heard.

The Nazis, for whom the Holocaust was as much a campaign of plunder as it was a campaign to rid Europe of Jews, had two methods for greeting arrivals at their four extermination camps. If the transports came from Western Europe, the savage Ukrainian and Lithuanian guards, with their whips, dogs and clubs, were kept out of sight. The wealthier European Jews were politely ushered into an elaborate ruse, including fake railway stations complete with flower beds, until once stripped naked they became incapable of resistance and could be herded in rows of five under whips into the gas chambers. The Nazis knew that those who had not been broken, those who possessed a belief in their own personal empowerment, would fight back. When the transports came from the east, where Jews had long lived in fear, tremendous poverty and terror, there was no need for such theatrics. Mothers, fathers, the elderly and children, accustomed to overt repression and the language of command and retribution, were brutally driven from the transports by sadistic guards. The object was to create mass hysteria. The fate of the two groups was the same. It was the tactic that differed.

All centralized power, once restraints and regulations are abolished, once it is no longer accountable to citizens, knows no limit to internal and external plunder. The corporate state, which has emasculated our government, is creating a new form of feudalism, a world of masters and serfs. It speaks to those who remain in a state of self-delusion in the comforting and familiar language of liberty, freedom, prosperity and electoral democracy. It speaks to the poor and the oppressed in the language of naked coercion. But, here too, all will end up in the same place.

Those trapped in the blighted inner cities that are our internal colonies or brutalized in our prison system, especially African-Americans, see what awaits us all. So do the inhabitants in southern West Virginia, where coal companies have turned hundreds of thousands of acres into uninhabitable and poisoned wastelands. Poverty, repression and despair in these peripheral parts of empire are as common as drug addiction and cancer. Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Palestinians can also tell us who we are. They know that once self-delusion no longer works it is the iron fist that speaks. The solitary and courageous voices that rise up from these internal and external colonies of devastation are silenced or discredited by the courtiers who serve corporate power. And even those who do hear these voices of dissent often cannot handle the truth. They prefer the Potemkin facade. They recoil at the “negativity.” Reality, especially when you grasp what corporations are doing in the name of profit to the planet’s ecosystem, is terrifying.

All tyrannies come endowed with their own peculiarities. This makes it hard to say one form of totalitarianism is like another. There are always enough differences to make us unsure that history is repeating itself. The corporate state does not have a Politburo. It does not dress its Homeland Security agents in jackboots. There is no raving dictator. American democracy—like the garishly painted train station at the Nazi extermination camp Treblinka—looks real even as the levers of power are in the hands of corporations. But there is one aspect the corporate state shares with despotic regimes and the collapsed empires that have plagued human history. It too communicates in two distinct languages, that is until it does not have to, at which point it will be too late.
(c) 2011 Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, spent seven years in the Middle East. He was part of the paper's team of reporters who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of global terrorism. He is the author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His latest book is, "“Death Of The Liberal Class.”

Walk Like An Egyptian
By David Michael Green

Courage is standing in the streets demanding the end of a thirty year despotic dictatorship, in a country with no tradition of democracy or the protection of human rights.

Cowardice is talking about how other people should have human rights delivered to them by foreign militaries.

Courage is risking your life to bring democracy to your country.

Cowardice is talking about democracy for others while actually undermining it when you don’t like the results.

Courage is walking like an Egyptian.

Cowardice is talking like a neocon.

It’s impossible not to admire the courage of the Egyptian people, walking daily into the maws of a repressive regime and its violent goon squads, willing to sacrifice everything in order to end decades of American-backed autocracy in their country.

And it’s impossible not to be embarrassed by the silence of the American right, who bloviate endlessly about bringing democracy to the Middle East, but have gone somehow all quiet lately. These folks couldn’t have been more excited two years ago when the Iranian public was doing exactly what the Egyptians are doing now, but for some reason they aren’t out there cheering this time. Hmm. I wonder, what could be the difference?

Actually, it’s just most of them that are silent. We should be so lucky where the others are concerned. Glenn Beck is completely out of his tree, although that’s about as surprising as stink on a turd, and about as pleasant. He has decided that the democracy movement in Egypt is the beginning of the much-predicted and much-feared rise of the Muslim caliphate. Um, even though it is being led by young people with a secular agenda, and the Muslim Brotherhood has been on the sidelines. He has declared that this is part of some great big ol’ conspiracy that involves jihadists and socialists and lesbians and Barack Obama. Um, even though, those aren’t crowds who normally have lots to do with one another. Oh well, if his (thankfully diminishing, not to mention diminished) audience can buy the fantasy that the secularist Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and thus belly up for a ten-year war on that basis, why not see Obamacare-death-panel-commie-pinko-fag conspiracies on the streets of Cairo as well? It makes about as much sense. It’s about as contradictory as Jesus supporting capitalism, a notion which any good regressive will be happy to argue today. Logic never before stopped that locomotive from going off the rails at a hundred miles per hour, and it isn’t now. Okay, well, Beck is sorta sui generis (or so it’s a bit comforting to think). What’s happening on the ‘sane’ right, where politics is only sometimes based on wild conspiracy theories? The answer that they don’t know what the hell to do with themselves. Egypt has exposed them as liars, hypocrites and autocrats, and it ain’t exactly a comfortable place to be in.

Take the exquisitely appropriately named Charles Krauthammer (please) as an example. You won’t need to devote a whole lot of processing cycles from the CPU between your ears to figure out what he’s up to once you see the title of his latest piece: “Egypt's Dangerous Road Ahead: The Muslim Brotherhood's A Force, ElBaradei's A Useful Idiot.” Just the same, he starts off the piece by asking “Who doesn't love a democratic revolution? Who is not moved by the renunciation of fear and the reclamation of dignity in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria?”

Great question, but guess who, after all, it turns out doesn’t seem to love a democratic revolution so very much?!?! Instead of waxing joyous about the redemptive delivery of democracy to the Middle East – you know, like he did when Iran’s public was rising up, or like when he was justifying the Iraq invasion – Herr Blitzkrieg is instead all full of warnings, danger signs and bogeymen. ‘Cause, you know, we all remember how the French Revolution went awry: “The romance could be forgiven if this were Paris 1789. But it is not. In the intervening 222 years, we have learned how these things can end.”

Wait, didn’t the Americans once have a revolution too? Would Krauthammer have warned against that one? You bet. As a matter of fact, just about the only thing that allows regressives to continue to exist at all is the severe historical amnesia of the American public. The plain truth is that the right opposes every progressive movement in its time – just as they oppose gay rights today, and women’s rights yesterday, and racial civil rights just before that – and then pretends to celebrate it a generation or two later. Of course they would have opposed the American Revolution. We know that because: They did! They were called tories, and they in fact sided with the monarchical, repressive Brits. No doubt Hamiltonians would have been seen as the surreptitious Muslim Brotherhood equivalents of the time, threatening the freedom that monarchy provides, with George Washington playing the role of their useful idiot. He’d be even more ‘idiotic’ if, like ElBaradei, he also happened as head of the IAEA to have committed the cardinal sin of making the WMD-chanting neocon lunatics who demanded the Iraq adventure look like, well, idiots.

The right gives themselves away when they are confronted with the possible outcome they claim to desire in the public interest, but which turns out to be nothing more than marketing blabber. Why, for example, do their tax cuts for the wealthy always seem to be paramount, even when they result in a massive increase to the national debt that regressives are so fond of ranting against? Why must Cuba be strangled, but China traded with? And why does Krauthammer write, concerning Egypt, that “We are told by sage Western analysts not to worry about the Brotherhood because it probably commands only about 30% of the vote. This is reassurance? In a country where the secular democratic opposition is weak and fractured after decades of persecution, any Islamist party commanding a third of the vote rules the country.”

The bloody truth is that these regresso-monsters couldn’t possibly care less about democracy, except to be sure to block it wherever it interferes with their real agenda. In the case of Egypt, the exposure of their hypocrisy could not be more complete if we had video from a neocon nude beach party. Wait, never mind. Dick Cheney and Peggy Noonan in the buff? Euw. Some metaphors are too horrible to contemplate, despite their illuminating power.

On and on went the likes of Wolfowitz and Rice and Krauthammer about the need to bring democracy to the Middle East, even if that meant launching a war in Iraq which was disastrous in every way imaginable. But, of course, democracy was neither the goal nor outcome in that country, which today has three far more likely scenarios in front of it: either a reversion to Saddam-like dictatorship, civil war, and/or centrifugal explosion into at least three countries instead of one.

Similarly, the Bush administration went on and on about the need for the Palestinians to embrace democracy, until they actually did it. Lo and behold, when elections were held and Hamas won a crushing defeat, the US immediately began undermining the new government’s legitimacy. But that’s hardly news. American efforts to undermine democracy in the Middle East date back to at least 1953, with the toppling of the democratically elected Iranian government, whose great crime was to piss-off British Petroleum by asserting the ludicrous notion that Iranian oil should belong to Iranians. What cheeky little brown bastards, eh?!

But killing Iraqis to set them free was always logically absurd, anyhow, for anyone who doesn’t take their politics as a religion (literally and figuratively), and is willing to examine with even the slightest scintilla of scrutiny the right’s daily dose of dogma for dummies. Iraq was supposed to be a model in the region, which other states would then follow. But that concept was always idiotic from the get-go because the model was already there – indeed, had been there, more or less, for a century – right next door. Turkey was and is a majority Islamic state that is nevertheless pretty solidly democratic and mostly secular, often quite adamantly so. Why did perhaps a million people have to die in order to have a democratic model in the Middle East when there already was one, right there?

Even more ludicrous was the continuing close relationship between the United States – especially Republicans, and especially especially the House of Bush – with the autocracies of the Middle East we’re supposedly meant to be democratizing. I mean, really, if the US government wanted to democratize the Middle East, why not just pull a Saudi prince or two aside for a chat at the next family barbeque? Why not pick up the phone, call Mubarak and tell him to quit screwin’ around with his whole secret police thing? And, if he didn’t get the message, why not just stop sending him gobs of money? Or stop training those very secret police? You know, why not apply a little of that much-vaunted conservative tough love?

The reason is the same explanation for why no one on the right is embracing real democracy as it is occurring right before our eyes in Egypt, right now. It isn’t democracy that is desired by these chickenhawk cowards, who all seemed to have been quite preoccupied with studying Machiavelli or business administration when the US was ‘bringing democracy’ to Vietnam during their era, and thus, goshdarnit, unfortunately had to miss the war. Despite the breathtaking bravery of the Egyptian public seeking to overthrow their American stooge-tyrant and his violent squads of mercenary goons, regressives don’t seem quite moved, other than to cynicism. And as for Nobel Peace Prize winners who are out on the streets risking life and limb, and who might be the perfect match for the moment, they are “useful idiots”. Instead, says Krauthammer, let’s have a military dictatorship to replace the political one, and give us what we really want: “The overriding objective is a period of stability during which secularists and other democratic elements of civil society can organize themselves for the coming elections and prevail. ElBaradei is a menace. Mubarak will be gone one way or the other. The key is the military. The U.S. should say very little in public and do everything behind the scenes to help the military midwife – and then guarantee – what is still something of a long shot: Egyptian democracy.”

The military? Does Krauthammer mean the same military that has been propping up the Mubarak regime for thirty years? The one with deep ties to the US and even Israel? The one that seems to be doing little of use during the current crisis? Gosh, I’m confused. Maybe he’s thinking of a different Egyptian army.

Did I mention Israel? That is, of course, one of the main – if not the top – reason that neocons hate the idea of democracy in region, and undermine it everywhere they can, except in places like Iran. What is happening in Egypt is brilliant and inspirational for any number of reasons, but one of them is that it will effectively knock the stool out from underneath the arrogant, repressive and petulant foreign policy of the Israelis. Their ongoing unwillingness to forsake a transparent colonialism project in exchange for peace in the region will now likely be far less sustainable. As long as Israel no longer had to worry about neighbors like Egypt and Jordan reacting to their land-grabs and wholesale human rights violations, they could act with impunity. For years, everyone has been waiting for an American government to clip Israel’s wings, as seemingly the only solution to the protracted crisis, but it never happened. No one ever thought about the other fundamental assumptions on which Israeli policy is predicated. Now they are.

Which is, also, no doubt why Barack Obama is once again playing the role of historical bystander he seems to find so comforting. Mr. Incremental. Mr. Behind-The-Scenes. Mr. Change-You-Believe-In-As-Long-As-You-Do-It-For-Yourself. It’s disgusting. Look, you’re either the bat or you’re the ball, and Obama’s got plenty of stitches to show emphatically which side of the equation he’s on, despite the awesome powers of the American presidency that he possesses, something none of the rest of us have at our disposal. Including every one of those kids on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez getting their heads cracked open. They know a thing or two about the effect of baseball bats. And they know which side America has always been on, and which side it is on now. Is this supposed to be prudent, realist, foreign policy? Just exactly how do they think a new regime is going to treat America after decades of US sponsored repression and then hostility to a liberating revolutionary movement at the moment when crunch time hits? Gee, I dunno. Can you say ‘Iran’? Why does ‘Mubarak’ all of a sudden improbably rhyme so well with ‘Pahlavi’?

The train of liberation has left the station, and may traverse across much of the Middle East before all is said and done. The question is not whether the train will roll, but only whether each of us will be on board, on the platform, or digging up the rails.

Bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, these are our moral choices:

Walk like an Egyptian.

Talk like a Neocon.

Gawk like an Obama.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m with the kids on the streets of Cairo.

As for the United States and its leadership of old men dressed in young people’s clothing, the world is passing us by.

It should. We’re dinosaurs.

On a good day.
(c) 2011 David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be found at his website,

The Dead Letter Office...

Tom gives the corpo-rat salute

Heil Obama,

Dear Präsident Donohue,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, Ralph Nader, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Vidkun Quisling and last year's winner Volksjudge Elena (Butch) Kagan.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and your funneling trillions in foreign cash to Rethuglican candidates and helping send millions of American jobs over seas, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Rethuglican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Obama at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 04-01-2011. We salute you Herr Donohue, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Biden

Heil Obama

Omar gives the corporate salute!

Obama's Man In Cairo
By Glenn Greenwald

The New York Times, today:

Vice President Omar Suleiman of Egypt says he does not think it is time to lift the 30-year-old emergency law that has been used to suppress and imprison opposition leaders. He does not think President Hosni Mubarak needs to resign before his term ends in September. And he does not think his country is yet ready for democracy.

But, lacking better options, the United States is encouraging him in negotiations in a still uncertain transition process in Egypt. . . . The result has been to feed a perception, on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere, that the United States, for now at least, is putting stability ahead of democratic ideals, and leaving hopes of nurturing peaceful, gradual change in large part in the hands of Egyptian officials -- starting with Mr. Suleiman -- who have every reason to slow the process.

Lisa Hajjar, Al Jazeera English, today:

Suleiman has long been favoured by the US government for his ardent anti-Islamism, his willingness to talk and act tough on Iran -- and he has long been the CIA's main man in Cairo. . . . In the mid-1990s, Suleiman worked closely with the Clinton administration in devising and implementing its rendition program; back then, rendition involved kidnapping suspected terrorists and transferring them to a third country for trial. . . .

Under the Bush administration, in the context of "the global war on terror", US renditions became "extraordinary", meaning the objective of kidnapping and extra-legal transfer was no longer to bring a suspect to trial -- but rather for interrogation to seek actionable intelligence. The extraordinary rendition program landed some people in CIA black sites -- and others were turned over for torture -by-proxy to other regimes. Egypt figured large as a torture destination of choice, as did Suleiman as Egypt's torturer-in-chief. At least one person extraordinarily rendered by the CIA to Egypt -- Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib -- was reportedly tortured by Suleiman himself.

WikiLeaks cable, posted from U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, August 29, 2008:

[Israeli defense official David] Hacham said the Israeli delegation was "shocked" by Mubarak's aged appearance and slurred speech. Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a "hot line" set up between the [Israeli Ministry of Defense] and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use. Hacham said he sometimes speaks to Soliman's deputy Mohammed Ibrahim several times a day. Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated. (Note: We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.)

Given the long-obvious fact that the Obama administration has been working to install Suleiman as interim leader as a (dubious) means of placating citizen anger, the above-referenced NYT article today offers a long and detailed profile of the new Egyptian "Vice President." Unfortunately, the paper of record wasn't able to find the space to inform its readers about Suleiman's decades-long history as America's personal abducter, detainer and torturer of the Egyptian people, nor his status as Israel's most favored heir to the Mubarak tyranny (though the article did vaguely and euphemistically acknowledge that "the United States has certainly had long ties with Mr. Suleiman" and that "for years he has been an important contact for the Central Intelligence Agency").

Suleiman's repression and brutality -- on behalf of both the U.S. and Mubarak -- has been well-documented elsewhere (The New Yorker's Jane Mayer was the first to flag it after the Egyptian uprising, while ABC News recounted how he once offered to chop off the arm of a Terrorist suspect to please the CIA; see also the above-linked Al Jazeera Op-Ed, which provides additional details of Suleiman's personal taste for overseeing torture). As I noted yesterday, there's a case to be made for the Obama administration's support of Suleiman; it's the same case used to justify our 30-year active propping up of Mubarak, along with the dictators of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, and so many other places (and "torture-by-proxy" seems still to be an important part of U.S. policy in the region). But whatever one's views are on that conduct, no discussion of the U.S.'s current pro-Suleiman policy -- and certainly no purported media profile of Suleiman -- is complete without at least some mention of his status as Mubarak's torturer-in-chief and domestic oppressor, and of the Israelis' deep desire to see him rule Egypt. Does anyone dispute the central relevance of those facts?

Today's Times article does a decent job of conveying how unwilling Suleiman is to bring about anything resembling a real transition to democracy, how indifferent (if not supportive) the Obama administration seems to be about that unwillingness, and how dangerously that conduct is fueling anti-American sentiment among the protesters. But the fact that American policy has "changed" from imposing Mubarak on that country to imposing someone with Suleiman's vile history and character belongs at the forefront of every discussion, especially ones purporting to examine who he is. Praising Suleiman for his "valued analysis" and commitment to fighting The Terrorists while neglecting to mention these other critical facts -- as today's NYT article does -- is misleading on multiple levels.
(c) 2011 Glenn Greenwald. was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy," examines the Bush legacy.

America 2011
Obama's cleanup task of making good foreign policy out of bad ones
By J. Alva Scruggs

Egypt's citizens riot against the evils of it’s Dictator, Hosni Mubarak! This is another sad mark in the 20 year history of an American policy that has gone bad... Finally!

The present of the strong role that America's corporations have on making “Foreign Policy,” placed Egypt's dictator in power many years ago. This was strictly a business decision to keep and strengthen a foothold in the oil rich area of the Arab nations. America, in coordination with Israel, gave Israel a solid position in this area at the continuing investment of billions of dollars in Israel and a war against Egypt.

The Egyptians people had been forced to accept a dictator parading under the banner of being elected president/dictator. Joe Biden says Egypt's Mubarak no dictator, he shouldn't step down and wonders what the Egyptian protesters want?

The elections were set and conducted under the influence of America! America had bought and paid for two peculiar allies and made a new nation in the mean time. Someone must tell the truth here because only the truth can set America free.

Now that the chickens have come home to roast, this charade has been exposed as another disaster for a nation and its people. America now has the difficult task of deciding whom to support and to admit that this is a dictatorship and that they are responsible for this policy.

America must support the citizens that are calling for a true democracy and again show its common two-faced world attitude! But Obama has a more comprehensive and pervasive problem in foreign policy agreements. There are so many foreign policies that exist that were made by private industry strictly for profit reasons. How does Obama clean up the problem these agreements will soon bring? The Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Vietnam, Nigeria, Cuba, Somalia, China, any place where there is an oil possibility, etc., situations are all made on the inherently bad policies of cooperate influences. The magnitude of these problems comes with a multitude of vested interest and ready-made powerful enemies!

This is the task that no mortal man/person can solve right readily! Even the Rothschild cartels/financial octopus will not sit still for Obama’s interference in these matters! Obama has about 484 treaties. It Ain't Just Mubarak -- 7 of the Worst Dictators the U.S. Is Backing to the hilt From Saudi Arabia to Uzbekistan to Chad, the U.S. keeps some very bad autocrats in power, on the books/enforce with the influence of corporate America tagging along.

Despite what Obama says, America’s policies do not support democracy for all people.
© 2011 Dr. J. Alva Scruggs, BS, MS, MA, EdD is an author, journalist and columnist. He looks forward to your comments.

The Cartoon Corner...

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Clay Jones ~~~

To End On A Happy Note...

Whiskey In The Jar
By Thin Lizzy

As I was going' over the Cork and Kerry mountains
I saw Captain Farrell and his money he was counting
I first produced my pistol and then produced my rapier
I said stand or deliver or the devil he may take ya

Musha ring dum a do dum a da.
Wack for my daddy-o,
Wack for my daddy-o
There's whiskey in the jar-o

I took all of his money and it was a pretty penny.
I took all of his money and I brought it home to Molly
She swore that she loved me, never would she leave me
But the devil take that woman, for you know she tricked me easy

Musha ring dum a do dum a da.
Wack for my daddy-o,
Wack for my daddy-o
There's whiskey in the jar-o

Being drunk and weary, I went to Molly’s chamber
Takin’ my money with me but I never knew the danger
For about six or maybe seven, in walked Captain Farrell.
I jumped up, fired my pistols and I shot him with both barrels.

Musha ring dum a do dum a da.
Wack for my daddy-o,
Wack for my daddy-o
There's whiskey in the jar-o

Now some men like the fishin’ and some men like the fowlin',
Some men like ta hear, to hear, the cannon ball a roarin'.
Me? I like sleepin', especially in my Molly's chamber.
But here I am in prison, here I am with ball and chain, yeah.

Musha ring dum a do dum a da.
Wack for my daddy-o,
Wack for my daddy-o
There's whiskey in the jar-o
© 1973/2011 Thin Lizzy/Traditional

Have You Seen This...

Parting Shots...

Crazy Egytians Jump Start Armageddon!
Call the Caterers and Cross Your Fingers!

Ignorant Unsaved Muslim Egyptians have no idea that the Lord is using them to kick off His End Times Killing Spree!Freehold, Iowa - These are glorious times, indeed! Turmoil in the Middle East is reaching wonderful, epidemic proportions. The towel-heads are killing each other – instead of us. The pretend governments of dune dwelling dictators are toppling. Instability is increasing. It's only a matter of time before the gefilte fish-eating Christ-killers, who panic if someone drops a nickel down the drain, get involved in the act and start one of their indiscriminate bombing runs. The whole place will soon go up in smoke! God willing!

The Landover Baptist Church Ladies Club has already called two reputable caterers, "because we should be celebrating 24/7!" exclaims Sister Macel Smith.

"We can't understand why the media is lamenting these fabulous events in the Middle East," says Brother Harry Hardwick. "Our government acts as though there is some kind of unwanted crisis going on. Most Americans have said they're concerned, whatever that means."

"I thought this country is Christian!" Brother Hardwick's wife, Heather told a reporter from The Daily who interviewed her over the phone yesterday. "Don't people understand that this is beginning of the End Times? The Rapture won't occur until the happy, longed-for time when Israel is finally facing a war that will finally wipe that smug look off of those hook-nosed faces! Read your Bible! The Middle East will soon have a new tourist attraction: A valley filled with the warm, sparkling blood of the unsaved! And I can’t wait to call Delta Air Lines!"

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:20-24).

"Haven't you ever wondered why evangelical Christian leaders support the hebes over the camel jockeys,?" continued Mrs. Hardwick. "Haven't you wondered why the GOP (God's Own Party) supports aid to Israel, when Jews vote overwhelmingly Democrat - or as we Christians call it, Demoncrap? Haven't you thought about why we support those who murdered the Lord and continue to reject Him to this day? (Yes, if the so-called “Holocaust” actually happened, it sounds dreadful, but nothing that may or may not have happened in Germany could ever justify spending American dollars on anything other than the American military.) As True Christians, we believe that everyone who refuses to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior is going to be flayed like a hog on a spit in hell for eternity, meaning all the dreidel-spinning penny-pinchers (who don't convert and really mean it) will be with the real King of the Jews, Satan, forever. So, why do we support these unattractive, pushy people?"

Brother Harry Hardwick explains:

"Granted, part of the reason is that Jews control the money and animated feature films in this country and the last thing any politician needs is AIPAC on his back. But the main reason Christian leaders support Israel is that we need that despicable nation to remain in existence just long enough to be destroyed in a prophesied bloody war. Only then will Jesus return, rapture Christians to heaven, then slaughter both the bagel and curry eaters simultaneously, while we watch the glorious carnage from our luxury clouds in heaven. (And the wonderful thing about Heaven is that you can finally add that butter-like oil to your popcorn without gaining any weight!)"

Landover Baptist Church members agree, the End Times have finally started. Chaos has begun in the Middle East. Things are going to get so crazy in Israel, it will make Charlie Sheen’s place look like a rest home. "Celebrate it. Revel in it," says Pastor Deacon Fred, "The Middle East is about to break out into huge warfare that will take countless lives. Then, Jesus will return and kill the remaining inhabitants, after whisking the world's born-again, full immersion-baptized Christians to heaven. Glory!"
© 2011 The Landover Baptist Church

The Gross National Debt

Iraq Deaths Estimator

The Animal Rescue Site

View my page on

Issues & Alibis Vol 11 # 06 (c) 02/11/2011

Issues & Alibis is published in America every Friday. We are not affiliated with, nor do we accept funds from any political party. We are a non-profit group that is dedicated to the restoration of the American Republic. All views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of Issues & Alibis.Org.

In regards to copying anything from this site remember that everything here is copyrighted. Issues & Alibis has been given permission to publish everything on this site. When this isn't possible we rely on the "Fair Use" copyright law provisions. If you copy anything from this site to reprint make sure that you do too. We ask that you get our permission to reprint anything from this site and that you provide a link back to us. Here is the "Fair Use" provision.

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors."