Time to end the WTO

Source: viacampesina.org

Via Campesina to the ministerial meeting: “It is time to end the WTO”!

The WTO ministerial meeting on December 15-17, 2011- is taking place at a critical time of crisis of neoliberal regime worldwide. The multi-crisis started in 2007 with the food crisis and is still not resolved. Meanwhile, millions of peoples live in worse conditions than 16 years ago, when the WTO was created. At that time, Europe and the US were in the forefront of the creation of this trade organization.

Opening the market by cutting tariffs, and cutting subsidies in favor of the people was the bottom line of the neoliberal policies pushed by the WTO under the belief that all would benefit and the environment would be protected, as mentioned in the WTO’s mission statement. But reality showed us that it did not work that way.

Since the beginning of the Doha Round negotiation in 2003 (also called the “Development Round”), la Via Campesina suspected that it would fail. There is no development for the people under neoliberal policies.

Now people are marching and protesting in Spain, Italy and many others, including the US with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. The 2008 Wall Street financial meltdown, caused by years of deregulation and lack of government oversight, cost Americans $14 trillion in lost wealth and eight million lost jobs. Today some 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed. Neoliberal policies were borne in Europe and the US, but they are now back- lashing on their own people, creating a historical social and economical crisis.

Farmers need access to credit, a fair mortgage on their land, fair prices for the food they produce, and seeds that are not patented by Monsanto or other big corporations. Consumers need to be able to purchase healthy and local food, and to earn a living wage, as Jim Goodman wrote in his article on “Occupy the Food System”. He is a dairy farmer from Wisconsin and a member of Family Farm Defenders and the National Family Farm Coalition, member of Via Campesina in the US.

“The WTO is one of the neoliberal policies pillars – along with the World Bank and the IMF. The truth is that the neoliberal regime only benefits big transnational companies. Neoliberalism is nothing more than a corporate driven agenda” said Henry Saragih from Indonesia – general coordinator of Via Campesina.

In the WTO ministerial summit in Seattle in 1999, La Via Campesina already stated that the neo-liberal agricultural policies were leading to the destruction of our family farm economies and to a profound crisis in our societies, and that they were threatening the very coherence of our societies. The current global situation shows that this analysis was right.

“WTO Kills Farmers” said Lee Kyung Hae, a farmer from South Korea during the fifth WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun in 2003, before stabbing himself to death during the protest. His sacrifice will never be forgotten. In 2005, thousands of peasants and small farmers were arrested in Hong Kong during the 6th WTO ministerial meeting in their struggle against the WTO.

“Food sovereignty is our answer to our common challenges. Too many people are suffering as a result of the WTO’s policies.

WTO out of agriculture and food has became a strong demand of Via Campesina from Seattle untill now. The current global food crisis is due to the very fact that food trade is in hands of a few TNCs” said Yudvhir Singh, a Via Campesina leader from India.

During the climate talks in Durban last week, some efforts were made to include the WTO principles in order to solve the climate crisis. This move went clearly in the free market logic of considering climate as a commodity. Trade will no solve the climate crisis. Free trade regime has led to the accumulation of capital (and power) in the hands of a few and has allowed the destruction of climate for profit’s sake.

We saw at the last G-20 Summit in Cannes, France that the prevailing economic model was no longer sustainable. An economic model that is primarily designed to increase industrial and economic growth is no solution to the looming multiple crises. There is a need for a profound change in the modes of production and consumption.

La Via Campesina, representing 200 million farmers around the world repeats that it is time to end WTO. It is time to end “One Size Fit For All” policies.

We call all governments, local authorities, national and international institutions to implement the concept of Food Sovereignty. Food sovereignty is based on the people rights to feed themselves and to chose their own food policies. The implementation of those rights will allow peasants and small farmers to feed the world.

Government shows it’s true colours

Source: Russiatoday.com

Indefinite detention bill passes in Senate

Exactly 220 years to the date after the Bill of Rights was ratified, the US Senate today voted 86 to 13 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, allowing the indefinite detention and torture of Americans.

After a back-and-forth in recent days between both the Senate and House yielded intense criticism from Americans attempting to hold onto their Constitutional rights, NDAA FY2012 is now on its way to the White House, where yesterday the Obama administration revealed that the president would not veto the legislation, cancelling out a warning he offered less than a month earlier.

Obama has finally brought about change to America, but it’s nothing to be hopeful about.

Speaking before the Senate this afternoon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Rep-SC) told his colleagues, “I hope you believe America is part of the battlefield.” The United States is at war, he insisted, and anyone alleged to be in opposition to the US government’s game will now be subjected to military-style detention indefinitely.

As RT reported earlier, one provision in NDAA FY2012 will allow for the reinstatement of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” essentially making waterboarding and forms of psychological torture a very possible reality for anyone America deems to be a threat, including its own citizens who, prior to the ruling, had the US Constitution on their side.

Among the corporations which have lobbied in support of NDAA FY2012 are several military contractors, including Honeywell and Bluewater Defense, who together have received millions of dollars in Pentagon guarantees this year alone.

In his remarks Thursday afternoon, Senator Graham attacked America’s current legal system, critiquing it for allowing suspected terrorists to be treated as “common criminals.”

“We think al-Qaeda operatives, citizens or not, are not common criminals. We think they are crazy people,” he said.

“If you’re an American citizen and you want to help…destroy your own country, here is what’s coming your way,” cautioned the senator. The threat he went on to impose involved indefinite military detention for everyone.

“What this legislation does,” lectured Levin, “says from the Congress’ point-of-view, that we expressly authorize the indefinite detention” of someone deemed a threat. “We recognize the authority of this president and every other president to hold an enemy combatant indefinitely, whether they are captured home or abroad, because that only makes sense.”

Under the Act, those suspected of “belligerent” crimes can be subjected to the treatment. Graham tried to calm fears by insisting that suspected criminals will all be allowed a day in federal court, but made it clear that as long as a judge deems someone a suspect in a crime, that indefinite detention can begin without the help of any legal counsel for the defense.

“How long can you hold them? As long as it takes to make us safe,” said Graham.

The senator added that, “when you join the enemy…we aren’t worried about how we’re going to prosecute you right away.” Because of this, Miranda Rights should not be read to suspected criminals and additionally the right to an attorney is also suspended under the act.

In his closing marks, Graham ironically recited that in respect to “civil liberties and the American way of life,” US citizens must fight. “If we don’t fight for it, we’re going to lose it.”

Before the Senate came to their final vote today, Sen. Levin asked that a remark from the White House yesterday insisting that the president’s aides will no longer recommend a veto be added to the record.

Opposition in the Senate was thin but existent today. Senator Mark Udall (Dem-CO) cautioned lawmakers that these provisions will “deny American citizens their due process rights,” and thus not only “make us less safe, but would serve as an unprecedented threat to our constitutional liberties.”

“If we start labeling our citizens as enemies of the United States without any due process, I think we will have done serious damage” to the Constitution, he added, before also calling the legislation politically expedient.

Despite his reservations, Senator Udall reluctantly stated that he was voting in favor, noting that America’s military depends on a quick passing of the act. Still, he said of the dangerous provisions to the act that will allow for the indefinite detention, “I remain unconvinced of their benefit.”

“Now we may be jeopardizing entire cases by adding new layers of bureaucracy and questionable legal processes,” added Udall. He said the legislation will present “numerous constitutional questions” and will go against a counterterrorism community he described as “already nimble.”

“For those of you who join me in voicing opposition to the detention provisions, I want to thank you,” said Udall.

“Though I intend to vote for the final passing of the bill…I want to make clear that I do not fully support this bill. I sincerely believe that this debate is not over and there is much work to do.”

Udall waved a copy of the US Constitution from the Senate floor before his colleagues as he made his closing remarks, reminding them that they all took an oath to uphold it. In the first ten amendments, collectively called the Bill of Rights, the Constitution grants Americans freedoms against searches, arrests and seizure without a probable cause. That legislation would have turned 220 years old today, had Congress not crushed it on the Senate floor.

Indefinite detention a reality in US

source: Nader.org

Congressional tyranny, White House surrender by Ralph Nader

Paraphrasing Shakespeare, something is rotten in the state of Capitol Hill. A majority of Congress is just about to put the finishing touches on an amendment to the military budget authorization legislation that will finish off some critical American rights under our Constitution.

Here is how two retired 4 star marine generals, Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar, described in the New York Times the stripmining of your freedom to resist tyranny in urging a veto by President Obama:

“One provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge people suspected of involvement with terrorism, including United States citizens apprehended on American soil. Due process would be a thing of the past….

“A second provision would mandate military custody for most terrorism suspects. It would force on the military responsibilities it hasn’t sought”…. “for domestic law enforcement….”

“A third provision would further extend a ban on transfers from Guantanamo, ensuring that this morally and financially expensive symbol of detainee abuse will remain open well into the future.”

All of Obama’s leading military and security officials oppose this codification of the ultimate Big Brother power. Imagine allowing the government to deny people accused of involvement with terrorism (undefined), including U.S. citizens arrested within the United States, the right to a trial by jury. Imagine allowing indefinite imprisonment for those accused without even proffering charges against them. Goodbye 5th and 6th Amendments.

On some government agency’s unbridled order: just pick them up, arrest them without charges and throw them into the military brig indefinitely. This atrocity deserves to be repeatedly condemned loudly throughout the land by Americans who believe in the rights of due process, habeas corpus, right to confront your accusers, right to a jury trial—in short, liberty and the just rule of law.

Some stalwart lawyers are speaking out soundly: They include Georgetown Law Professor, David Cole, George Washington University Law Professor, Jonathan Turley, Republican lawyer, Bruce Fein, former American Bar Association (2005-2006) president, Michael Greco, and the always alert lawyers at the civil liberties groups. Their well-grounded outcries are not awakening the citizenry.

Where are the one million lawyers? Where are the thousands of law professors? Where are the scores of law school deans? Are they not supposed to be our first constitutional responders?

Where is the Tea Party and its haughty rhetoric about the sanctity of constitutional liberty? Most of the Tea caucus voted for tyranny. Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul has been an outspoken critic of this attack on our civil liberties.

The majority also voted to ratify a dictatorial procedure in the Congress, as well. This indefinite, arbitrary, open-ended dictatorial White House mandate was never subjected to even a House or Senate Committee hearing, and was not explained with any rationale known as legislative “findings.” It was rammed through by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees without the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees invoking their concurrent jurisdiction for public hearings.

So extreme are these majority Congressional extremists, composed of both Republicans and renegade Democrats, the latter led by Senator Carl Levin, that the Obama Administration has to lecture them about the fundamental American principle that “our military does not patrol our streets.”

It is not as if the imperial presidencies of Bush and Obama need any more encouragement and legitimization to continue on their lawless paths to criminal wars of aggression, unlawful surveillance, arbitrary slayings of innocents, wrongful imprisonments, and unauthorized spending. Instead of Congress using its constitutional authority regarding the war, appropriations and investigative powers, it formalizes its impotence by handing the “go for it” power to the Executive branch with the vaguest of language boundaries.

Usually there are a few Senators whose upfront defense of our Constitution would lead them to stand tall against the “Senate Club” and put a “hold” on this pernicious amendment. Civil libertarians hope that, before the final Senate vote in the rush to get home for the Holidays, Senators Rand Paul, Tom Harkin, Al Franken, Richard Blumenthal, Ron Wyden, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Tom Coburn or Mike Lee would step forth.

A “hold” could spark the demand for public hearings and floor debate to give the American people the time and information to react and ask themselves “how dare Congress take away our most fundamental rights?”

President Obama initially threatened to veto the entire bill and make Congress drop these pernicious dictates that so insult the memory and vision of our founding fathers. He is already signaling that he doesn’t have the backbone to reject the false choice “between our safety and our ideals,” that he asserted in his Inaugural Address.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His most recent book – and first novel – is, Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us. His most recent work of non-fiction is The Seventeen Traditions.

Investigative journalism: a greater threat to the establishment than terrorism

Source: Johnpilger.com

Once again, war is prime time and journalism’s role is taboo

by Investigative journalist John Pilger

On 22 May 2007, the Guardian’s front page announced: “Iran’s secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq.” The writer, Simon Tisdall, claimed that Iran had secret plans to defeat American troops in Iraq, which included “forging ties with al-Qaida elements”. The coming “showdown” was an Iranian plot to influence a vote in the US Congress. Based entirely on briefings by anonymous US officials, Tisdall’s “exclusive” rippled with lurid tales of Iran’s “murder cells” and “daily acts of war against US and British forces”. His 1,200 words included just 20 for Iran’s flat denial.

It was a load of rubbish: in effect a Pentagon press release presented as journalism and reminiscent of the notorious fiction that justified the bloody invasion of Iraq in 2003. Among Tisdall’s sources were “senior advisers” to General David Petraeus, the US military commander who in 2006 described his strategy of waging a “war of perceptions… conducted continuously through the news media”.

The media war against Iran began in 1979 when the west’s placeman Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a tyrant, was overthrown in a popular Islamic revolution. The “loss” of Iran, which under the shah was regarded as the “fourth pillar” of western control of the Middle East, has never been forgiven in Washington and London.

Last month, the Guardian’s front page carried another “exclusive”: “MoD prepares to take part in US strikes against Iran”. Again, anonymous officials were quoted. This time the theme was the “threat” posed by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon. The latest “evidence” was warmed-over documents obtained from a laptop in 2004 by US intelligence and passed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Numerous authorities have cast doubt on these suspected forgeries, including a former IAEA chief weapons inspector. A US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks describes the new head of the IAEA, Yukiuya Amano, as “solidly in the US court” and “ready for prime time”.

The Guardian’s 3 November “exclusive” and the speed with which its propaganda spread across the media were also prime time. This is known as “information dominance” by the media trainers at the Ministry of Defence’s psyops (psychological warfare) establishment at Chicksands, Bedforshire, who share premises with the instructors of the interrogation methods that have led to a public enquiry into British military torture in Iraq. Disinformation and the barbarity of colonial warfare have historically had much in common.

Having beckoned a criminal assault on Iran, the Guardian opined that this “would of course be madness”. Similar arse-covering was deployed when Tony Blair, once a “mystical” hero in polite liberal circles, plotted with George W. Bush and caused a bloodbath in Iraq. With Libya recently dealt with (“It worked,” said the Guardian), Iran is next, it seems.

The role of respectable journalism in western state crimes — from Iraq to Iran, Afghanistan to Libya – remains taboo. It is currently deflected by the media theatre of the Leveson enquiry into phone hacking, which Daily Telegraph’s Benedict Brogan describes as “a useful stress test”. Blame Rupert Murdoch and the tabloids for everything and business can continue as usual. As disturbing as the stories are from Lord Leveson’s witness stand, they do not compare with the suffering of the countless victims of journalism’s warmongering.

The lawyer Phil Shiner, who has forced a public inquiry into British military’s criminal behaviour in Iraq, says that embedded journalism provides the cover for the killing of “the hundreds of civilians killed by British forces when they had custody of them, [often subjecting them] to the most extraordinary, brutal things, involving sexual acts… embedded journalism is never ever going to get close to hearing their story”. It is hardly surprising that the Ministry of Defence, in a 2000-page document leaked to WikiLeaks, describes investigative journalists -journalists who do their job – as a “threat” greater than terrorism.

In the week the Guardian published its “exclusive” about  Ministry of Defence planning for an attack on Iran, General Sir David Richards, Britain’s military chief, went on a secret visit to Israel, which is a genuine nuclear weapons outlaw and exempt from media opprobrium. Richards is a highly political general who, like Petraeus, has worked the media to considerable advantage. No journalist in Britain revealed that he went to Israel to discuss an attack on Iran.

Honourable exceptions aside – such as the tenacious work of the Guardian’s Ian Cobain and Richard Norton-Taylor – our increasingly militarised society is reflected in much of our media culture. Two of Blair’s most important functionaries in his mendacious, blood-drenched adventure in Iraq, Alistair Campbell and Jonathan Powell, enjoy a cosy relationship with the liberal media, their opinions sought on worthy subjects while the blood in Iraq never dries. For their vicarious admirers, as Harold Pinter put it, the appalling consequences of their actions “never happened”.

On 24 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the feminist scholars Cynthia Cockburn and Ann Oakley, attacked  what they called “certain widespread masculine traits and behaviours”. They demanded that the “culture of masculinity should be addressed as a policy issue”. Testosterone was the problem. They made no mention of a system of rampant state violence that has rehabilitated empire, creating 740,000 widows in Iraq and threatening whole societies, from Iran to China. Is this not a “culture”, too?  Their limited though not untypical indignation says much about how media-friendly identity and issues politics distract from the systemic exploitation and war that remain the primary source of violence against both women and men.

 

Obama’s war on the environment

Source: Stopwar.org

Not content with waging seven military wars Obama declares war on the environment

Barack Obama is current waging war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Uganda, added to which is the just “ended” attack on Libya. But it’s not just the hope his election raised that the war addicted years of the Bush presidency would be drawn to end that has been dashed; his failure to address seriously the issue of climate change has also proved to be yet another broken promise, as Suzanne Goldenberg’s article shows.

Barack Obama has been just as zealous as George Bush in stripping away environmental, health and safety protection at the behest of industry, it turns out.

Some environmental organisations were beginning to suspect this, after Obama over-ruled his scientific advisors and blocked stronger ozone standards. Now, a new report [pdf] from the Centre for Progressive Reform has dug up some key data revealing that the White House in the age of Obama has been just as receptive to the pleadings of industry lobbyists as it was in the Bush era. And it goes far beyond ozone.

Under Obama, a little known corner of the White House – known as the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or Oira – has changed more than 80% of the rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

None of these were changes for the good, the report says.

“Every single study of its performance, including this one, shows that Oira serves as a one-way ratchet, eroding the protections that agency specialists have decided are necessary under detailed statutory mandates, following years — even decades — of work.”

Oira was set up by Congress with the purpose of performing a last review of government regulations to see how they would work once they were put into effect. Its current chief is Cass Sunstein, a friend of Obama from his days teaching at Harvard Law School.

In practice, critics say the office operates as a one-stop wrecking machine undoing environmental, health, and worker safety protections that could cause political problems for the White House.

When lobbying Congress and the president fails to delay or weaken a regulation, industry has learned over the years that Oira can be their last best resort, the report says.

“A steady stream of industry lobbyists — appearing some 3,760 times over the ten-year period we studied — uses OIRA as a court of last resort when they fail to convince experts at agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to weaken pending regulations.”

The lobbyists were particularly obsessed with trying to undo environmental protections. Corporate executives and indusry lobbyists turned up at the White House about once a week over the last decade to try to delay or weaken EPA regulations, or more than 440 meetings.

The steady stream of oil and coal industry lobbyists to Oira did not end when Bush left office – arguably it turned into a flood. Environmental regulations made up only 10% of Oira business in Bush’s time, but 36% of the office’s business was meeting with outside lobbyists.

Under Obama, Oira has dedicated more than half of its meetings, 51%, to discussing pending environmental regulations with industry lobbyists, the report says.

And for industry the meetings paid off – about as much under Obama as under Bush. Following those meetings with outsiders, Oira changed 84% of EPA rules during the Bush era. Depending on how you calculate it, the change rate was even higher under Obama. Oira changed 81% of environmental rules after meetings with lobbyists. But the change rate rises to 85% once all Oira decisions on environmental regulations are factored in.

Oira does not make public records of those meetings.

Is there any chance that Obama is unaware of what Oira is up to? Rena Steinzor, the law professor at the University of Maryland who wrote the report, doesn’t think so. She notes that Sunstein is a longtime friend of Obama, who has for years advocated against government regulations.

Obama will have to own those decisions – and the failure to live up to his election promises of 2008 to run a government that made decisions based on science and expertise, not political calculus.

“To us this is a sharp departure from what we were promised when this president was elected,” Steinzor said. “From sound practice what we really want is for the experts to be making decisions at government agencies – the toxicologists, the pediatricians, the geologists. That’s what modern government is supposed to be about, not having the decisions made by an office that is not accountable for what it does.”

She went on: “What Obama meant to us, what a transformative presidency meant was that the lobbyists wouldn’t control government any more. We would be transparent to a fault. We would run a transparency presidency and we would have very protective rules. We have arguably in this specific case not gotten any of this and it is disappointing.”

Latest law leaves our freedoms hanging by a thread

Senate approves indefinite detention and torture of Americans

The terrifying legislation that allows for Americans to be arrested, detained indefinitely, tortured and interrogated — without charge or trial — passed through the Senate on Thursday with an overwhelming support from 93 percent of lawmakers.

Only seven members of the US Senate voted against the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, despite urging from the ACLU and concerned citizens across the country that the affects of the legislation would be detrimental to the civil rights and liberties of everyone in America. Under the bill, Americans can be held by the US military for terrorism-related charges and detained without trial indefinitely.

Additionally, another amendment within the text of the legislation reapproved waterboarding and other “advanced interrogation techniques” that are currently outlawed.

“The bill is an historic threat to American citizens,” Christopher Anders of the ACLU tells the Associated Press.

For the biggest supporters of the bill, however, history necessitates that Americans must sacrifice their security for freedom.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a backer of the legislation, says current laws protecting Americans are too lax. Rather, says the senator, anyone suspected of terrorism “should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer.”

Graham adds that suspected terrorists, “should be held humanely in military custody and interrogated about why they joined al-Qaeda and what they were going to do to all of us,” although other legislation in the bill isn’t exactly humane. Waterboarding, sleep-deprivation and other methods outlawed in the 2005 Anti-Torture Act will be added to a top-secret list of approved interrogation techniques that could be used on suspects, American or other.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte said last week that “terrorists shouldn’t be able to view all of our interrogation practices online,” and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) added during debate this week, “When a member of Al Qaeda or a similar associated terrorist group, I want . . . them to be terrified about what’s going to happen to them in American custody.”

“I want them not to know what’s going to happen,” added the senator and former presidential candidate.

Not only won’t they know their gruesome future, but they wouldn’t know their own rights — that’s because they won’t have any.

“We need the authority to hold those individuals in military custody so we aren’t reading them Miranda rights,” adds Kelly.

While lawmakers rallied with overwhelming support to approve the legislation against terrorists, it can also be applied to anyone, including American citizens, who are even suspected of terrorist-ties.

President Barack Obama has pledged in the past that he would veto the legislation if it made through Congress, and a White House official told the AP on Thursday that that threat still stands. As Obama is faced with a country on the brink of economic collapse so close to Election Day, however, a change of heart couldn’t be out of the question — the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 comes at a price-tag of nearly $30 billion below what Obama had asked for.

Opinion control by mainstream media

Source: Russiatoday.com

George Orwell’s guide to the news by Adrian Salbuchi

The Western mainstream media falsifies the news resorting to euphemisms, half-truths and lies in the best (worst) style of George Orwell’s novel 1984. We all live in the unreal world of “Newspeak” used by the Global Power Elite to control our minds.

Man gets confused when things that happen around him and to him, or which are done in his name, cannot be properly grasped, understood or made sense of. Normally, such confusion leads to inaction. If you’re lost at night in the middle of a forest but you can still see the stars, then a bit of astronomical knowledge will at least quickly tell you which way is north. But if it’s cloudy or you’re ignorant of the constellations in starry heaven, then you might as well light up a fire and do nothing until dawn…. You’re Lost!

Today, mainstream media coverage uses programmed distortion, confusion, even outright lying when its Money Power masters order it to support the “official story” on any major political, economic or financial process. When looked at closely, however, the “official story” of things can be seen to be inaccurate, misleading, often hardly believable if not downright stupid.

Examples of this: Iraq’s inexistent WMD’s leading to the invasion and destruction of that country; global mega-banker bail-outs with taxpayer money; irrational US diplomatic, military, financial and ideological alignment to Israeli objectives; “we-killed-Osama-Bin-Laden-and-dumped-his-body-into-the-sea”; and the wide array of “whodunits” surrounding 9/11 in New York and Washington, 7/7 in London, the AMIA/Israeli Embassy attacks in Buenos Aires in 1992/1994, and – of course – that all time favorite: who shot JFK…?

These are but a few of the paradigmatic cases that have at least served to trigger millions of people to wake up and think with their own minds instead of the mainstream media’s! But unfortunately the vast majority of such cases are not so clear-cut. The vast majority of Newspeak lies are like knots, difficult to untie as they carry built-in complexity resembling Gordian Knots. And, as with all Gordian Knots, you need to cut right through them, and this requires swift and precise action plus a good measure of intellectual courage.

To give an example of what we say, let’s take a quick look at how a “Newspeak” operation works. It requires sequential planning, it requires time, it requires proper logistics, it requires “credible” spokespeople in public and private sectors, it requires choosing the right words and images at the right time and in the right circumstances.

So, let’s say the Global Power Elite – working through the governments of the US, UK, EU into which they are deeply embedded, and joint-venturing with a wide array of media outlets, defense companies, oil companies, security and construction companies, and powerful lobbies – decide that they wish to overrun and destroy a specific country… Libya, for example…

How do they ensure that “the international community” will just quietly look on (except for the still relatively small minority of voices that are increasingly raising hell against them)?

The Seven Step Mainstream Media Country Destruction Guide

1. First, they start by targeting a country ripe for “Regime Change”, and brand it a “rogue state”; then…

2. They arm, train, finance local terrorist groups through CIA, MI6, Mossad, Al-Qaeda (a CIA operation), drug cartels (often CIA operations) and call them “freedom fighters”; then…

3. As mock UN Security Council Resolutions are staged that rain death and destruction upon millions of civilians, they call it “UN sanctions to protect civilians”; then…

4. They spread flagrant lies through their “newsrooms” and paid journalists, and call it “the international community’s concerns expressed by prestigious spokespeople and analysts…” then…

5. They bomb, invade and begin to control the target country and call it “liberation”; then…

6. As the target country falls fully under their control, they impose “the kind of democracy that we want to see” (as Hillary Clinton before visiting Egypt and Tunisia on March 10, 2011), until finally…

7. They steal appetizing oil, mineral and agricultural reserves handing them over to Global Power Elite corporations, and impose unnecessary private banking debt and call it “foreign investment and reconstruction.”

Their keynotes are: Force and Hypocrisy, which they have used time and again to destroy entire countries, always in the name of “freedom”, “democracy”, “peace” and “human rights”. Utmost force and violence is used to achieve their ends and goals.

Their Elders recommended this many decades ago in a blueprint for World Domination written on a hoary manuscript of old…

“What did you say…? That you don’t want to be ‘liberated’ and ‘democratized’?!?”

“Then, take this Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hanoi, Berlin, Dresden, Baghdad, and Basra!! Take that Tokyo, Gaza, Lebanon, Kabul, Pakistan, Tripoli, Belgrade, Egypt, El Salvador and Grenada!! And take that, Panama, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Somalia, Africa!!”

Always bombing people to smithereens… Always, of course, in the name of “freedom”, “democracy”, “peace” and “human rights”

 

Bush and Blair guilty of crimes against humanity

Symbolic Trial Finds Bush, Blair Guilty Of War Crimes

Press TV

A symbolic trial conducted by a Malaysian tribunal has found former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Iraq war, Press TV reported.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found the former heads of state guilty after a four-day hearing. A seven-member panel chaired by former Malaysian Federal Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman presided over the trial.

The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that the former US and British leaders had committed crimes against peace and humanity, and also violated international law when they ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The prosecutors at the hearing ruled that the invasion of Iraq was a flagrant abuse of law, and act of aggression which amounted to a mass murder of the Iraqi people.

“Bush and Blair are found guilty under the same law that applied to the Nazis after the end of the World War II. So, they are international (war) criminals guilty of Nuremberg crimes against peace; and they should be prosecuted by any state in the world that gets a hold of them. We will continue our efforts to bring Bush and Blair to justice and put them in jail,” Francis Boyle, an international law expert and prosecutor, told Press TV.

The judges in the verdict said that that the United States, under the leadership of Bush, forged documents to claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Bush and Blair were tried in absentia by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal at the end of the hearing. The participants also demanded that the findings of the tribunal be made available to members of the Rome Statute and that the names of the two former officials be entered in the register of war criminals.

“There is also a recommendation that this (the findings) be circulated to the states because all states have universal jurisdiction. Therefore, whenever Bush or Blair appear within their shores there is an obligation on the international law to commit these international war criminals through the justice system,” Gurdial Singh Nijar, a prosecutor, told Press TV.

Lawyers and human rights activists in Malaysia have described the verdict issued by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal against Bush and Blair as “a landmark decision.”

They say that they would lobby the International Criminal Court to charge the pair for war crimes.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is scheduled to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against former US officials including ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Localisation, not globalisation

Source: Yes! Magazine

Localization Is The Economics Of Happiness by Brooke Jarvis

“The number of Americans who say, ‘Yes, I’m very happy with my life’ peaks in 1956 and goes slowly but steadily downhill ever since.”

That’s environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, speaking in the new documentary The Economics of Happiness. While our Gross Domestic Product has increased quite a bit since the ’50s, our happiness hasn’t (though we have seen hefty increases in the size of our landfills, waistlines, and credit card debt).

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Our global economy is effective at many things—moving huge quantities of goods across great distances, for example, or turning mortgages into profits. What it’s not so good at is determining whether these activities are worthwhile when it comes to improving the lives of the people who live and work within the economy (not to mention preserving the natural systems on which the whole shebang depends). In many cases, economic policies that increase trade or production actually decrease well-being for millions, even billions, of people.

That’s the reality that’s leading more people (and, increasingly, governments, from Bhutan and Bolivia to Britain and France) to ask a very simple question: What’s the economy for, anyway? Do the rules and policies we create to govern the flow of money and goods exist to create ever more money and goods, or to improve our lives? And if we decide we’d like to prioritize the latter, how do we rewrite the rules to do that?

The Economics of Happiness tackles these questions on six continents, examining ways our economic decisions promote, and diminish, human happiness. I spoke with Helena Norberg-Hodge, the film’s director and the founder of the International Society for Ecology and Culture, about what her research tells us about the relationship between economics and happiness.

 

Brooke Jarvis: When did you start thinking about the connection between economics and happiness?

Helena Norberg-Hodge: Thirty-five years ago, I had the great privilege of living and working in Ladakh, or Little Tibet. People there seemed happier than any people I had ever met. To me, this seemed to come from a self-esteem so high that it was almost as though the self wasn’t an issue. Even among young people, there wasn’t a need to show off, to act “cool.” I remember being impressed that a thirteen-year-old boy wouldn’t feel embarrassed to coo over a little baby or to hold hands with his grandmother.

But as Western-style development came to Ladakh, so did the message that the people there were primitive and backward. They were suddenly comparing themselves to romanticized, glamorized role models in the media—images of perfection and wealth that no one can compete with. You began to see young people using dangerous chemicals to lighten their skin. In Ladakh, there is now a suicide a month, mainly among young people. Not that long ago, suicide was basically unknown—there would have been one in a lifetime. That’s a really, really clear indicator that something is really wrong—and the dominant economic model is what had changed.

In countries around the world, in fact, there is an epidemic of depression and suicides and eating disorders. With this film, we’re trying to show that, when you look at the big picture, these social issues—as well as our environmental problems—are linked to an economic system that promotes endless consumerism. Fundamental to that system are trade policies that promote the expansion of giant multinational corporations.

Norberg-Hodge: Among other things, it’s important for us to understand that growth—what we currently measure and promote—is destroying rural livelihoods and rural communities. You can see the end result in industrialized countries, where only something like 2 percent of the population is left on the land. This has meant the death and destruction of hundreds of thousands, millions probably, of smaller towns and villages.

We need a balance between urban and rural—we need diversity, the ability for people to choose. It’s difficult now, thanks to what our economic policies promote, for small farmers to earn respect or a decent livelihood. Many migrate to cities because they have little choice, not because it’s a superior life. At the moment, the global economy is set on this track of mass urbanization. Something like 60 million people live in Beijing, if you count the satellite towns. It’s an absolute disaster—socially as well as environmentally.

And all the time, more people are being pulled into big cities. People are made to feel that life as a farmer and life on the land is inferior, primitive, backward, anachronistic. The future is urban; their children must find a job in the city.

Looking at this trend from a global point of view, it’s clear we need to urgently do what we can to support rural livelihoods and the survival of healthy farming. Localization is the way to do that.

In some places, this movement is already starting to happen. There is a new young farmers’ movement that’s very inspirational. In the local food economies growing around places like Seattle and San Francisco, farmers are making enough money, they’re getting enough respect. Their work is small-scale, diversified, enjoyable—they’re not part of a machine or a monoculture.

There is a structural link between localized economies and diversification on the land. And this in turn means higher productivity—smaller farms with higher levels of biodiversity actually produce more food per acre of land. They also provide more jobs instead of relying on large machines and lots of fossil fuels.

Rural livelihoods can be enjoyable and highly respected. This fact—that there are two very different possible forms of food production—urgently needs to be communicated, especially in the less industrialized nations.

Jarvis: Much of the conversation around economics and happiness, including around the various new initiatives to track happiness as an economic indicator, has focused on tracking material well-being—for example, the distribution of income, or access to health care. Your focus seems to be more on the impact of economics on things like self-worth and interpersonal connections.

Norberg-Hodge: Right now happiness is very high on the agenda. I think it’s because the unhappiness is becoming so evident.

I’ve spoken with some journalists who ask, “Well, how do we know what happiness is? Who are you to say what it is that constitutes happiness?” It’s true that there are many definitions, but I’m most interested in the abundant research that says that people all around the world, more than anything, need to feel loved, appreciated, seen, and heard—especially as children growing up. They need to be nurtured in order to become nurturing, loving and happy people. That is what localization is all about. That’s why localization is the economics of happiness—because it’s about restoring that human connection and care. In addition to research, consider our spiritual traditions. Virtually all of them have a clear message that love is the path to peace and to happiness.

The “global to local” way of thinking about economics brings together the profoundly practical, in terms of our livelihoods and ecosystems, with our spiritual and psychological needs. All of these dimensions are pointing in the same direction, towards localizing as the economics of happiness.

Jarvis: What is your opinion of the recent interest in alternative economic indicators—governments that are using well-being rather than economic growth to gauge the success of their policies?

Norberg-Hodge: That’s an important trend. We need to recognize that the current indicators are absolutely crazy, that they’re contributing to this blind race in the wrong direction.

There’s plenty of evidence that we’re prioritizing pure economic growth at the expense of common sense. One of the scenes in the documentary shows how apples are flown from England to South Africa to be washed and waxed and put in plastic bags—and then flown back. In Mongolia I have been served water that had been bottled by Coca Cola in Hong Kong. In Nairobi, I found that butter from Holland cost half as much as Kenyan butter. In Devon, UK, New Zealand butter cost a third of the price of butter from the farm down the road. I started an informal study of butter prices as I traveled around the world, and found that literally everywhere I went, butter from many thousands of miles away cost less than butter from a few miles away.

Almost everywhere, too, I found a misconception that this was happening because producers on the other side of the world were more efficient. But when you see it from a global point of view, the picture looks very different. Since this is happening worldwide it’s not actually to do with efficiency; it’s to do with global monopolies and trade policy.

We need to think much more carefully about what an economy is for and how we can tell when it’s functioning well. New economic indicators are important, but they have to be part of a commitment to a broader shift in economic policy—a shift in what we regulate at the local as well as the international level, as well as in what we tax and what we subsidize.

Jarvis: What will that shift look like?

Norberg-Hodge: It can’t happen if we continue to maintain a scale of economic activity where neither the producer nor the consumer nor the CEO nor the investor can actually see what’s going on—in other words, if we continue to operate in such a vast global arena, it’s virtually impossible to see the consequences of our actions and impossible to measure them in any sort of meaningful way.

We need to be shortening distances and creating more accountable and visible arenas, basically decentralizing and localizing our economies. But because of deregulation of both trade and finance at the global level, businesses are being pressured to grow faster and faster, to become more global, to increase in scale at any cost. The idea is either you go big and global or you die. But for our real needs, relatively small businesses closer to home can actually provide for our needs more efficiently and sustainably.

Jarvis: And by “what we need,” of course, you’re referring to more than material needs.

Norberg-Hodge: Yes. Because people so need to be seen and heard, respected and cared for by one another, rebuilding community at the local level can dramatically restore human well-being.

When people reach out to each other to start rebuilding the local economy—for example through the local food movement or local business alliances—we see a reduction in polarization, across political divides as well as across ethnic ones. At the same time, localization helps people reconnect to the natural world around them, something which fulfills another deep human need.

These are the things that really restore human happiness, and they come through localization.

Brooke Jarvis interviewed Helena Norberg-Hodge for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Brooke is YES! Magazine’s web editor.