Is Planning Our Next War?
has been rightfully warning of the neocons' plan for war on Iran at least since
April 28, 2006. ("It is time for Congress to tell President Bush directly
that he has no authority to go to war on Iran and to launch such a war would
be an impeachable offense.")
In this article
he proposes a resolution stating, "In the absence of a direct Iranian attack
on U.S. forces or personnel, or an imminent threat of such an attack, President
Bush has no authority to launch a preemptive strike or a preventive war on Iran."
raises a red flag: "a direct Iranian attack on U.S. forces or personnel"
can be provoked – maybe by the two U.S. strike groups now at the Iran coast?
It can also be fabricated – the same way Lyndon Johnson fabricated a North
Vietnamese "attack" on a U.S. warship in their waters in 1964.
"... Or an
imminent threat of such an attack." Didn't George W. Bush claim an imminent
threat from Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction"? The same lie is
being recycled for Iran.
Even if those
situations were true, one man still does not have the authority under the Constitution
to plunge the country into a foreign war. The power still lies exclusively with
Congress, as writings of the founding fathers unanimously attest.
Let's amend that
proposed resolution: "In accord with the Constitution, the president has
no authority to launch a war or any attack of any kind against Iran or any other
country without a prior declaration of war by Congress. Any violation shall
be construed as a high crime and misdemeanor."
But even if Congress
would follow the constitutional route, it does not mean that it could justify
an aggressive war without violating international law. Treaties of the U.S.,
including the United Nations Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact – under
which Nazis were hanged – still forbid aggression.
Bush has just
committed his third aggressive attack – this time on Somalia and wholly
unauthorized by Congress.
He can't claim
he is covered by the resolution of 9/14/01 – which has been used for five years
to excuse the killing of Afghans. At most, it applies only to 9/11 terrorists
or their harborers.
can wield the weapon of impeachment, what has our warlord-in-chief to fear?
Be aware that
there is a group, based in San Francisco, devoted to ending executive war-making.
Since 1998, the War and Law League has opposed all presidential wars and interventions
(including the eight committed by Bill Clinton in his eight years in the White
~ Paul W. Lovinger,
Jeannette Hassberg, War and Law League (WALL),
problem, as I see it, is summed up in a single word: Washington... the seat
of the Empire."
problem is that the American people, including most of the "left"
and much of the antiwar movement, suffers under the illusion that DC is the
seat of imperial power and hence wastes much time, money, effort (and global
warming emissions) on traveling there to stage their ineffectual protests.
The seat of imperial
power in the U.S. is not Washington DC, but Wall Street. The politicians in
Congress and the White House are but handmaidens to the much greater power of
the global corporate capitalists and financiers who pay their bills and pull
their strings. It is America's "nonnegotiable" way of life, a level
of consumption and comfort that few of us are willing to relinquish, which drives
the engines of imperialism. For that, each of us is responsible, and precious
few of us are willing to look in that mirror.
its very nature, is a creature of gigantism. No small, decentralist democracy
becomes imperialist; and no large-scale, centralized society can be democratic.
Where I agree
with Raimondo is in this honest assessment: "It's time for the antiwar
movement to reevaluate its tactics in light of our abysmal failure."
There is one way
only that we Americans can reverse the trend, some 200 years in the making,
of centralization and corporatization of power and its inherent and necessary
imperial expansion. That is to devolve back to the Jeffersonian (and Athenian)
vision of small-scale and decentralized democratic republics. And the only way
that is possible is through peaceful secession from the American empire –
one state or bioregion at a time.
Among the two
dozen active secession movements currently in the U.S., Vermont is one of the
most active. Check out our prize-winning newspaper, the Vermont
Commons, and the Second Vermont
Republic (we were an independent republic from 1777 to 1791).
And join us in
the understanding that peace can come only be removing our pillars of support
for the empire – both political and economic – and allowing it to
crumble under its own weight.
~ Robert Riversong,
Raimondo hits the nail square on the head, as usual!
His call for a
massive movement against the halls of empire is the only way for the USA to
survive its impending doom.
the empire here in Puerto Rico, over the issue of the U.S. Navy's abuses in
our municipality of Vieques. Our massive, popular movement, the huge marches,
the relentless civil disobedience into the firing ranges, all served to embarrass
the Navy to the point that it had no option but to leave.
However, a spark
is needed. In Vieques, it took the accidental bombing death of a single Puerto
Rican security guard at the range (ironically, he came from one of the most
pro-Navy families in Vieques). Then a single young man, "Tito Kayak," sneaked
into the range ALONE and chained himself to an abandoned tank to stop the target
practices. It was his lead that got the mass of people going, and the politicos
running behind us all, not be be left out of the movement.
You need something
to inspire your masses. How about harping on the fact that the Bush twins are
nowhere to be seen in this last ditch, "do or die" surge to save the empire
and its war? Make them up in effigy, dressed in USMC uniforms, and "station"
them at Lafayette Park to see what happens.
Just an idea.
Keep up your great work!
~ Roberto Bouret
Purging of Palestinian Christians
article but completely biased. Another explanation, which I believe, is true
1. The majority
of suicide bombing murderers have come from or passed through Bethlehem. The
Palestinian authority in charge of the area obviously has not prevented them.
Thus Israel has a right to protect its citizens as best as it can even though
it does cause inconvenience.
2. The number
of Christians living in the Islamic Middle East has fallen whereas their number
in Israel (pre-1967) has increased.
3. The persecution
of Christians living in Islamic Middle East is increasing. This is why they
are leaving areas controlled by Palestinian Authority or Hamas. Loss of their
land caused by Palestinian Arabs, not Israel, forced marriages of Christian
women to Muslim men and the firebombing of churches in Nablus, Tubas and Gaza
after the Pope's controversial remarks are examples.
4. Instead of
putting the blame on Israel, the onus should be laid on the PA and Hamas. Israel
has laws to protect minorities and allow freedom of worship, which are enforced.
They have a duty to do the same. There are many Israeli Arab doctors, for example,
working in Israel. Even representatives in the Knesset. Israeli hospitals such
as Shere Hazedek in Jerusalem look after ALL people, including Palestinians.
~ Jonathan Vallance
rather gives the game away, and his motives for writing, in his second sentence.
He can "believe" what he likes, but no one is going to take him seriously
unless he can support his argument with facts.
1. Where is his
evidence that the majority of suicide bombers have "passed through"
Bethlehem? Israel's domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, and its Military
Intelligence have gained a reputation for distorting the evidence to suit their
case, but I have never heard either make such a claim.
2. This argument
is pure sophistry. In 1948 there were 43,000 Christians inside Israel living
as citizens after 80 per cent of the indigenous Palestinians, including Christians,
were forced out by Jewish forces during the war that established Israel. Today,
nearly six decades later, there are a little over 100,000 Christians living
in Israel – or a doubling in the numbers. To put those figures in perspective,
consider that in the same period there was an eight-fold increase in the overall
Palestinian population inside Israel (from 160,000 to 1.2 million). In other
words, the Christian population decreased relative to the Muslim population
by 400 per cent. That is not the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority;
it happened inside Israel, under Israeli rule. The reasons it happened were
set out in my article: lower births rates and Israel's oppressive policy against
all Palestinians, including Christians, that has encouraged them to leave.
3. No doubt tensions
between some Christians and Muslim populations are increasing in the Middle
East, just as they are between Shi'ite Muslims and Sunni Muslims. We in the
West can hardly withdraw from responsibility for these developments. We are
the ones promoting the ideology of a clash of civilizations; we are also meddling
in the Middle East (as we always have) through a policy of divide and rule,
based on sectarian lines, of the local population.
Most of Jonathan's
claims about Muslim treatment of Christians are again based not in fact but
rumor encouraged by Israel's foot soldiers of hasbara (propaganda). The
attacks on churches by extremists in the occupied territories should be condemned
but, equally, they have been mirrored by attacks on the main church in Nazareth
by Jewish extremists. Why is Jonathan so quiet about that? He also, again, fails
to account for the trend of Christians leaving Israel, as well as the Palestinian
Authority. How is the PA responsible for the fall in numbers of Christians who
are citizens of Israel? In truth, the dramatic Christian exodus can be easily
explained in both Israel and the occupied territories by Israel's continuing
policies of Judaizing Palestinian land and ghettoizing Palestinians.
4. This is pure
hasbara. Israel's main laws are designed to protect and promote the Jewishness
of the state. True, Israel has given control of personal status issues (births,
deaths and marriages, etc.) to each religious community, but this is hardly
a sign of the state's progressiveness. Instead it has made civil marriages impossible
and diminished the role of secular values. Other fringe benefits include the
fact that non-Jews cannot easily convert to Judaism or marry Jews, and that
only Jewish holy sites and cemeteries are state-funded. And that is what is
happening inside Israel. The situation in the West Bank and Gaza, both under
Israeli occupation, is a hundred times worse. Try telling Palestinians from
Ramallah that they have freedom of worship when they and millions of other Palestinians
have been banned from praying at one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Haram
al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), in the old city of Jerusalem, for the past six
years. That is the Noble Sanctuary in East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory
illegally occupied by Israel in 1967, where Jews daily visit the Western Wall.