Friday, November 30, 2012

Stirrings of Secession

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another ..."

So begins the Declaration of Independence of the 13 colonies from the king and country to which they had given allegiance since the settlers first came to Jamestown and Plymouth Rock.

The declaration was signed by 56 angry old white guys who had had enough of what the Cousins were doing to them. In seceding from the mother country, these patriots put their lives, fortunes and honor on the line.

Four score and five years later, 11 states invoked the same right "to dissolve the political bands" of the Union and form a new nation. After 620,000 had perished, the issue of a state's right to secede was settled at Appomattox. If that right had existed, it no longer did.

What are we to make, then, of petitions from 25,000 citizens of each of seven Southern states—116,000 from Texas alone—to secede?

While no one takes this movement as seriously as men took secession in 1861, the sentiments behind it ought not to be minimized. For they bespeak a bristling hostility to the federal government and a dislike bordering on detestation of some Americans for other Americans, as deep as it was on the day Beauregard's guns fired on Fort Sumter.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Palestinians’ Only Option

In the final countdown to the UN General Assembly vote on recognition of Palestine as a non-member state, the PLO has indicated that it’s expecting “a pleasant surprise”, it being the number of European countries which will not do Zionism’s bidding on this occasion and will vote for the resolution. Victory for the Palestinians in this forum can be taken for granted, and it will help to further isolate the Israel of Netanyahu as a pariah state, but… It won’t be, can’t be, a substitute for a viable strategy to secure justice for the Palestinians.

In my analysis the Palestinians now have only one option.

For starters it requires the PLO to recognize and declare that the two-state solution is dead (not least because no Israeli prime minister is going to trigger a Jewish civil war in order to end the occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem).

Then what?

The next step should be winding up the Palestine Authority and handing total responsibility for the occupation back to Israel.

That would open the door to what I believe to be the only viable strategy for the Palestinians if they are ever to obtain justice.

With the two-state solution not only dead but formally buried, they could then campaign, with growing global support, for equal rights and security for all in one state (all of pre-1967 Israel plus all of the West Bank plus the Gaza Strip).

In one or two decades at the most, because the Palestinians would outnumber the Jews, one state would mean the end of Zionism, but it would also open the door to real security for the one state’s Jews.

Monday, November 26, 2012

When Propaganda Masquarades as News

he week-long Israeli onslaught against largely defenseless Palestinians in Gaza that began on November 14 provides a basis for assessing how Western corporate media whitewash the war crimes of America’s foremost ally in the Middle East. There are three often intertwined techniques consciously applied to such news coverage—historical context, sourcing, and objectification of the enemy to be targeted. Such practices can readily transform journalism into propaganda that acts to abet such crimes while at the same time allowing journalistic institutions to still claim the mantle of “objectivity.”

Such methods are on full display in the reportage of Israel’s most recent operation in Gaza. The use of such propaganda fits within a broader campaign of media disinformation that subdues potential outrage—particularly in the US—over Israel’s overwhelming use of force against an oppressed and vulnerable people, most of whom are civilians.

Meaningful historical context for understanding Israel’s aggression is almost entirely absent from most Western news coverage of the event. If present, such context would illuminate Israeli government officials’ true motivations for a military venture that involved 750 airstrikes in four days alone. “’Operation Pillar of Defense,’” Nile Bowie observes,
launched just months away from Israel’s elections, is a calculated component of the Netanyahu government’s strategy to topple Hamas and continue absorbing Palestinian territory. Decades of occupation and apartheid have shaped the current scenario; Israel has dehumanized an entire people by seizing their land and forcing them into prison-like ghettoes. Adherents to political Zionism have shown contempt for a genuine political solution to the Palestinian conflict, and the Netanyahu administration is poised to crush all opposition to the Jewish state.[1]
Major Western media focused instead on the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) November 14 assassination of Hamas leader and Palestinian hero Ahmed al-Jabari, while blatantly omitting the fact that he was also a major figure in negotiations for a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel freshly brokered by Egypt. Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated,” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported the day following the assassination, “he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the cease-fire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip.”[2]

Read the entire article

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Puppet State America ~ Paul Craig Roberts

The United States government and its subject peoples think of the US as “the world’s only superpower.” But how is a country a superpower when its entire government and a majority of the subjects, especially those members of evangelical churches, grovel at the feet of the Israeli Prime Minister? How is a country a superpower when it lacks the power to determine its own foreign policy in the Middle East? Such a country is not a superpower. It is a puppet state.

In the past few days we have witnessed, yet again, the “American superpower” groveling at Netanyahu’s feet. When Netanyahu decided to again murder the Palestinian women and children of Gaza, to further destroy what remains of the social infrastructure of the Gaza Ghetto, and to declare Israeli war crimes and Israeli crimes against humanity to be merely the exercise of “self-defense,” the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the White House, and the US media all promptly declared their support for Netanyahu’s crimes.

On November 16 the Congress of the “superpower,” both House and Senate, passed overwhelmingly the resolutions written for them by AIPAC, the Israel Lobby known as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the only foreign agent that is not required to register as a foreign agent. The Global News Service of the Jewish People reported their power over Washington with pride.

( Both Democrats and Republicans shared the dishonor of serving Israel and evil instead of America and justice for the Palestinians.

The White House quickly obeyed the summons from the Israel Lobby. President Obama announced that he is “fully supportive” of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, told the media on November 17 that the White House “wants the same thing as the Israelis want.” This is an overstatement as many Israelis oppose the crimes of the Israeli government, which is not the government of Israel but the government of the “settlers,” that is, the crazed land-hungry immigrants who are illegally, with Netanyahu’s support, stealing the lands of the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s Israel is the equivalent of the Lincoln Republicans 150 years ago. Then there was no international law to protect Southern states, who left the voluntary union, a right under the Constitution, in order to avoid being exploited by Northern business interests. Subsequently, the Union army, after devastating the South, turned on the American Indians, and there was no international law to protect American Indians from being murdered and dispossessed by Washington’s armies.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Why Gaza?

The Israeli assault on Gaza was triggered Nov. 8 when the IDF crossed the border and murdered Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa, a 13-year-old boy playing football in his front yard: the official explanation for this action was an alleged weapons cache, supposedly stored nearby, but no credible evidence supporting this contention has come to light. In retaliation, Hamas launched a — generally ineffective — counterattack, and the conflict escalated.

However, there had been rumblings for months of the oncoming Israeli assault, and this incident was merely a pretext: the real reason is that the Israelis were deathly afraid, not of Hamas’s pathetic attempts to make a dent in “Iron Dome,” but of the prospects for a general ceasefire, albeit not a settlement of the outstanding issues, which was in the works well before Netanyahu unleashed the latest blitzkrieg.

According to Gershon Baskin, initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Shalit, Ahmed al-Jabari, leader of the military wing of Hamas, was ready for a peace deal — which was in the works in the days before Jabari was assassinated in a targeted Israeli strike:

“My indirect dealings with Mr. Jabari were handled through my Hamas counterpart, Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, who had received Mr. Jabari’s authorization to deal directly with me….

“Passing messages between the two sides, I was able to learn firsthand that Mr. Jabari wasn’t just interested in a long-term cease-fire; he was also the person responsible for enforcing previous cease-fire understandings brokered by the Egyptian intelligence agency. Mr. Jabari enforced those cease-fires only after confirming that Israel was prepared to stop its attacks on Gaza. On the morning that he was killed, Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.”

Read the entire article

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hu hands China's military baton to Xi

The Chinese Communist Party, undergoing a once-in-a-decade change of its top leadership, confirmed on Thursday that Xi Jinping will take over the top party role as general secretary but surprised by announcing that Xi will take over from President Hu Jintao as head of the Central Military Commission (CMC). The appointment of Wang Qishan as top anti-graft official also indicates the new government's sense of priorities.

Xi was officially elected along with other appointments to the core Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, whose own new membership was selected yesterday by the party's 18th National Congress. The PSC was reduced in membership to seven from nine.
Xi, 59, will take over the state presidency from Hu at the National People's Congress (NPC) next March, when he will formally become the country's supreme leader. The other new leaders will also take up their government posts at that time.

The appointment of Xi as head of the CMC means outgoing President Hu has agreed to go into full retirement rather than follow the path of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, who stayed on as CMC chairman for couple of years after giving up his party and state posts. After Hu passes his state presidency to Xi at the NPC in March, he will hold no official position.

It is speculated in Beijing that Hu has become tired by the intervention in party and state affairs of retired party elders and wants to use his own full retirement to put an end to such practices in China's political life. Accordingly, approving his request for full retirement, the party has also made a resolution to ban retired leaders from meddling in party and state affairs. If this is the case, then it is truly a mark of progress in Chinese politics.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall of the House of Petraeus?

It was in the middle of a breaking news story and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell sounded like she was going to cry. It had to do with CIA Director David Petraeus. She was ticking off his accomplishments one by one, the words “personal tragedy” ringing forebodingly like church bells over the satellite radio airwaves.

For the love of Mike, was he in a coma? Dead? I needed to know. Something bad had certainly happened to David Petraeus, but it took a few more painful moments of this boilerplate obituary and Mitchell’s palpable grief to figure it out: the once “King David” had done something bad — an extra-marital affair! — for which he apparently took responsibility, and immediately resigned his post.

First thought: Oh, snap! The Teflon general/CIA director gets out of another assignment just when it looks like thescheisse is about to hit the fan.

Second thought: The scheisse has already hit —splattering across the folds of the fine green drapery from which a small figure sheepishly emerges. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” someone cries. But for the first time in America’s love affair with Petraeus, that might be asking too much. However prudish it might sound, it’s going to be very difficult for many Americans to reconcile our battle-weary soldiers and failed war with the unwanted visage of Petraeus in his tighty whities, leaping into bed with his biographer in some love nest carved out of the ISAF headquarters in Kabul (okay, so the papers say the affair with Paula Broadwell started aftershe spent a year following him around like Cameron Crowe and Led Zeppelin, but you get the picture).

Like it or not, we are the land of the crooked moral compass: oversee the torture of innocent men, encourage sectarian cleansing and raze villages to get at a few militants — all good. Find out the Howdy Doody general is really a lyin’, cheatin’louse of a husband, well, just stop the presses, let’s give this thing a closer look. That’s not to say Petraeus is finished — not yet — but there’s a lot of confusion where there is normally clarity, at least where his legendary perfection is concerned.

Read the entire article

Friday, November 9, 2012

Is the GOP Headed for the Boneyard?

After its second defeat at the hands of Barack Obama, under whom unemployment has never been lower than the day George W. Bush left office, the Republican Party has at last awakened to its existential crisis.

Eighteen states have voted Democratic in six straight elections. Among the six are four of our most populous: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California. And Obama has now won two of the three remaining mega-states, Ohio and Florida, twice.

Only Texas remains secure—for now.

At the presidential level, the Republican Party is at death's door.

Yet one already sees the same physicians writing prescriptions for the same drugs that have been killing the GOP since W's dad got the smallest share of the vote by a Republican candidate since William Howard Taft in 1912.

In ascertaining the cause of the GOP's critical condition, let us use Occam's razor—the principle that the simplest explanation is often the right one.

Would the GOP wipeout in those heavily Catholic, ethnic, socially conservative, blue-collar bastions of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, which Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan swept, have anything to do with the fact that the United States since 2000 has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs and 55,000 factories?

Read the entire article

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Johnson, Stein Warn of Growing Police State

Presidential candidates Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party agreed during Monday night's alternative candidates debate that liberty in America is endangered by a growing police state. They were united in their opposition to the Patriot Act and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. They agreed that military interventions have resulted in more, rather than fewer, enemies of the United States in the Middle East. They agreed that the federal war on drugs has been a disaster and that marijuana should be legalized. They even agreed on mandated labeling of genetically modified foods. But they differed sharply on enough issues to prevent an excess of harmony from ruining a good debate.

"I just think that's absolute baloney," Johnson said after Stein reiterated a list of things she believes government should be doing in a 'Green New Deal" to "jump start the green economy." They include employing millions of people in weatherization and conservation programs, providing subsidies for green startup companies, providing universal health care through "Medicare for all," improving public transportation, forgiveness of student loans and free higher education for everyone.

"Between a healthy transportation system and a healthy food system and pollution prevention, we can create the jobs we need, we can put a halt to climate change, and we don't need to go down that desperation road of austerity," Stein said.

"In our own lives, we can't spend more money that we take in," Johnson protested. The former Republican governor warned repeatedly that the continued borrowing of 43 cents out of every dollar the government spends will lead to a monetary collapse.He proposes to balance the budget in one year, cutting federal spending by a whopping $1.4 trillion.

"Nothing is free," Johnson said. "There isn't free health care, there isn't free education, it comes at a cost. That cost is here and now and I think Americans recognize that we can't bury our heads in the sand, that there needs to be mutual sacrifice on the part of all of us or we're going to find ourselves with a collapsed government."

Read the entire article

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Symposium on the Paleo Vote

We at Conservative Heritage Times have been inspired by the TAC symposium to do one of our own, although one with more of a paleo edge. I’m actually not sure symposium is the best characterization of this. It is a virtual symposium I suppose. But I’m going with it because we are blatantly riffing (not ripping ) off TAC’s effort.

Not all the people here would be best described as paleoconservatives, and some would not claim that label, but the attempt was to try to get people who might be considered part of the paleo/traditionalist sphere. I asked CHT’s own contributors, plus people I know (both actually and virtually) whom I thought would represent a broad cross section of the paleo/traditionalist sphere, plus some of our regular commenters. Other of our regular commenters volunteered their services.

In order to avoid the appearance of favoritism, I have arranged the contributions in alphabetical order by first name. I am still expecting some more to roll in. They will be added in their appropriate alphabetical order as they do. Please check back frequently and please promote this on Facebook, Twitter, with you email contacts, etc. Thanks, enjoy and discuss. The endorsements commence below the fold.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Bombs-Away Election

Many Americans are rightly disgusted by the non-choice they are offered in the presidential race every four years. This year is no different despite the serious problems that the United States faces at home and abroad. Mitt Romney has no actual plan to fix the economy, and the record of President Barack Obama over the past four years speaks for itself. Romney is a big-government Republican, while Obama is an even-bigger-government Democrat. Either will increase the deficit to the bankruptcy point; Romney through more spending on arms, soldiers, and wars, Obama with a sorely needed health-care program that will break the bank because it was created in collusion with the health-care and insurance industries and makes no effort to limit costs.

Most other differences are cosmetic, since the Democrats and Republicans in reality represent two nearly identical faces of the Washington policy elite, an elite that inevitably circles the wagons and protects its own first, last, and always. There is, however, one area in which American voters can actually register a preference, and that is foreign policy. The presidential foreign policy debate on Oct. 22 appeared to be a consensus product, with challenger Mitt Romney agreeing to most policies supported by incumbent Barack Obama. As expected, Israel was repeatedly exalted as the most valued U.S. ally, even though it is a strategic liability. Iran was mentioned no less than 47 times, repeatedly described as the greatest international threat to the United States even though it has never actually threatened to harm the American people and has no capability to do so. Obama shifted position somewhat on supporting an Israeli military operation against Iran by indicating that he would do so with U.S. military resources, a position that has been part of Romney’s playbook ever since he began his run. The only real difference between Romney and Obama consisted of Romney’s assertion that Iran should be denied the “capability” to create a nuclear weapon. “Capability” presumably means the ability to enrich uranium and engineer a bomb, which Iran already can do, meaning that Romney for all intents and purposes believes that he already has a casus belli to go to war against the mullahs.

The record of President Barack Obama is, to put it mildly, despicable. The public has learned recently how he has sought to make war a permanent feature of the U.S. landscape while allowing Iraq and Afghanistan to wind down to diminish any popular concern over what is happening in the name of “security.” So there will be fewer boots on the ground while the government moves full-speed ahead on creating an infrastructure in which kill lists will be managed by the White House through the National Counterterrorism Center. The lists will be expanded and will include detailed information on when and how the target might best be identified and killed. Information will be obtained through a massive data-mining operation that will quite plausibly intrude on the privacy of billions of people all around the world, including nearly everyone inside the United States itself.

The White House reportedly sees a continuing decade long struggle against militancy that will require an increasing number of drone strikes and special-operations assassinations in a number of countries with which the United States is not officially at war. A major part of the plan to take out the alleged terrorists identified in the government’s “disposition matrix” will involve killing suspects in areas where drones either cannot or do not operate, which means that teams of Delta and SEAL commandos will do the dirty work. That is what President Obama, who portrayed himself somewhat disingenuously as a peace candidate to win in 2008, has turned into: another all-American monster and war criminal.

Read the entire article