Progressive Calendar 03.06.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 11:09:37 -0800 (PST)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.06.12*

1. Money                   3.06/3.07  7pm
2. UHCAM                 3.06 7pm
3, KFAI programming  3.06 7pm

4. Peace bridge         3.07 4:30pm
5. Oversee cops/CRA 3.07 5:30pm

6. Common Dreams - Obama moves G-8 summit from Chicago to secluded Camp
7. Chris Hedges       - AIPAC works for the 1 percent
8. ed                       - Bootstrap world  (poem men-de)

--------1 of 8--------

From: Richard Kotlarz richkotlarz [at]
Money  3.06/3.07  7pm

Week #7 Sessions:
Tues, 3/6/12, Open Workshop - Money, Society and the Spirit
   Suggested theme: Open â Bring your questions and topics of concern
Wed, 3/7/12, Course Offering - Deconstructing & Renewing the Economic Order
   This weekâs subject(s) â Continue picturing the process by which a
âDollarâ is born, and its ramifications for our economic practice, language
and culture.
Location: Macalester College (Old Main, Rm 009), 1600 Grand Avenue, St
Paul, MNTime: 7 to 9 pm

Richard Kotlarz:  richkotlarz [at], 218-828-1366
Richard is a seeker after the truth about money and the economic life, who
has engaged in literally thousands of discussions on money-related topics
with people from all walks of life, across the U.S., and in Canada and
Steven Gorg:  steve [at], 651-334-7624
Steven is a professional environmental engineer who has come to see that
becoming truly conscious about Money is the portal through which a
meaningful and effective ecological and social transformation can be

The purpose of this discussion is to open a positive dialogue amongst the
good people of all segments of society, from the grassroots to the
corporate board room, and including bankers and economists.  There are
stories to be told and realities to be considered from every perspective.
 All are warmly invited to join the conversation.

Offered under auspices of Experimental Community Education of the Twin
Cities (EXCOTC)
Quote of the Week:
âWhen a bank makes a loan, it simply adds to the borrowerâs deposit account
in the bank by the amount of the loan. The money is not taken from anyone
elseâs deposit; it was not previously paid in to the bank by anyone. Itâs
new money, created by the bank for the use of the borrower.â
Robert B. Anderson, Treasury Secretary under Eisenhower, in an interview
reported in the August 31, 1959 issue of U.S. News and World Report

General Information

â What is the real story behind all the bad economic news?
â Why are we not richer by our burgeoning tangible wealth, instead of
poorer by a snowballing financial âdebtâ?
â How could it be that an innocent child born in the U.S. today is already,
according to the âexperts,â a quarter-million dollars in âdebtâ? When did
newborn babies borrow this money? How are they supposed to ârepayâ it? Is
their future mortgaged before it starts? Has âoriginal debtâ replaced
âoriginal sinâ?
â If every dollar in circulation is âborrowedâ into existence through
âloansâ from private banks, where does the money to pay the âinterestâ come
â After a century of explosive growth in real economic activity, why have
we not grown out of our âdebtâ? Is there a perverse logic built into the
system that is causing us to grow into it our âdebtâ?
â Why in the last century have family farmers been forced off the land by
financial foreclosure, or threat of foreclosure, until now those living on
the farm comprise less that two-percent of the population?
â What is this âdebtâ burden doing in real terms to our civilization, our
earth, ourselves? What is âdebtâ anyway? What is its effect on the psyche
of generations growing up in saturation of its financial demands,
ecological devastation and social disintegration?
â If I am well-educated, working hard and âplaying by the rulesâ in the
ârichest country on earth,â why can I not pay my bills and/or why am I
perpetually in debt?
â Has fear of financial destitution replaced fear of dying as the most
dreaded eventuality in peopleâs lives?
â Is there hope?

These and many other monetary riddles haunt our post-modern world. Indeed,
they are increasingly experienced as threatening the viability of our
personal lives, the existence of civilization, and even the continuation of
life on earth itself. Can we get a perspective on this? Can we turn a
corner? Is there a vision on the other side?

These questions and more will be explored in two separate series of
two-hour evening sessions that will meet every week on Tuesday and
Wednesday, respectively.

Tuesday Open Workshop:  Money, Society and the Spirit
This is conceived of as a discussion that will introduce the attendee to
the way money originates and how, generally, the financial order, political
life and civilized culture arises from that process.  From there we will
explore money and economy along whatever avenues of inquiry are of interest
to those attending.  All are welcome, whether having attended a previous
session or not.

The tenor of Tuesdayâs conversation session will be informal.  It will
start at 7 pm (promptness is helpful), and end at 9 pm, or however long
people want to stay and talk.

Wednesday Course Offering:  Deconstructing & Renewing the Economic Order
For those interested in a more structured, rigorous and substantive
learning experience, each Wednesday evening there will be a class that will
offer specific content much in the manner of a college course, but without
right answers, grades or accreditation.  Nevertheless, there will be an
emphasis on intellectual rigor and conversational discipline.  In
particular each attendee will be asked to set aside his or her previously
acquired âfinancial sophistication,â and be ready to approach the subject
with a clean slate.  Holding forth on oneâs opinions, ideologies or
expertise about the financial order and will be strongly discouraged.  This
will be a serious exploration of âMoney,â a topic that has so far bedeviled
human experience, along new paths of inquiry.  The first hour will be
devoted to a lecture-presentation, and the second opened up to discussion
based on what had been presented.  Each class will have an announced topic
or theme, and, as required, hand out material.

The tenor of the Wednesdayâs class session will more formal, and the
importance of starting promptly (7 pm), and ending on time (9 pm), is
emphasized.  Regular attendance is strongly recommended, and any content
missed can be covered in one-on-one or small-group discussions with the
facilitators outside the class session.  Those who wish to join in after
the class sessions have started are welcome, but are encouraged to meet
with a facilitator outside of class in preparation.   We will be embarked
upon a serious course of study, analysis and exploration, and it is crucial
that a rigor of thought and discipline of discourse be observed.  The
rewards, we believe will be great.

The Tuesday and Wednesday sessions are separate offerings, and it is not
necessary to attend both, but they are designed to compliments each other,
and attending both could create a more comprehensive experience.  The
facilitators are available outside of scheduled sessions for special

Both classes are free, but there are costs, so donations will be gratefully
accepted. We ask that those who attend and find the benefits of the
sessions to be real seriously consider the gesture of making an offering at
whatever level seems good.  At the root of our work is a pay-it-forward
spirit, and the ideal that we all benefit if we look to the needs of
others, as we would appreciate others considering ours.  Economically
speaking, that is how we become visible to each other in an actual way that
reaches beyond the merely theoretical or rhetorical.  Monies or other
resources received will be used with an eye toward ensuring that the
unfolding public conversation and consciousness about âmoneyâ will

Experience suggests that we will have a wonderfully fruitful time.

Dates & Times (Sessions held every Tuesday/Wednesday, from January 24/25
through May 22/23, 2012):
All sessions will convene from 7 to 9 pm:

--------2 of 8--------

From:Joel Albers
UHCAM 3.06 7pm

Next UHCAN-MN mtg, Tues March 6, 7:00pm, Walker Church, Mpls, 55406
(3104 16th ave S,1 block from Lake Str. and Bloomington Ave, basement


1. Update on Co-op Care: A Prairie Health Companion.We are in the exciting
process of creating Co-op Care (member-owned, operated, democratically
controlled, single-payer principles). This will be a way for people to
divest from major insurance companies by building on the base of co-ops,
non-profits and the arts that MN leads the nation in. If you are interested
in helping or supporting this effort, pls attend.Open to the public.

We seeking more qualified people to be on our Board of directors, esp if
you are a physician, have a particular skill to contribute, and if you
think you may actually become a member of Co-op Care. B of D job
description and responsibilities is listed below.

2. Scrutiny of HMOs who administer and profiteer from public programs like
Medical Assistance,MNCare is back on the hot seat. Another demo at the HMO
lobbying association might help put on added pressure as we did last May
and got major media coverage.

Other agenda items ?
Hot coffee, tea, and snacks provided. Hope to see you there. This meeting
is definately for current Co-op Care Board members too.

--------3 of 8--------

lydiahowell [at]
KFAI programming 3.06 7pm

Programming Committee meeting (first Tuesday of every month). For those of
you who have said "Take away THE TAKEAWAY!" or "Why can't we have more
progressive public affairs programs?" or "We want a real call-in show!"
Come to this meeting (info below)
Another chance to be heard: KFAI Spring Pledge Drive: Sat.Mar,.24-Fri.April
6. Come answer pledge phones for a couple of hours, eat great food & engage
with KFI staff & programmers.
Call Pam Hill-Kroyer: (612)341-3144 x 22 to sign up for a shift.

>From KFAI Radio Executive Director "Janis Lane-Ewart"
janislaneewart [at]

The monthly meeting of the KFAI Program Committee is taking place next
Tuesday, March 6th, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in Studio 5 at KFAI Radio, 1808
Riverside Ave.S. (street-level MAPPS COFFEE & TEA), 3rd floor, West Bank,
Minneapolis.Parking: paid in lot behind KFAI or in U of M ramp nest
door;parking meters.

The proposed agenda is listed below. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Call To Order
                  5 minutes
Approve Agenda
                5 minutes
Review of Feb. 7, 2012 committee minutes
    5 minutes
KFAI Programmer Handbook Revision
 30 minutes
Monitoring of Programmerâs Playlists
        15 minutes
Update on Eritrean Community Radio
      10 minutes
Update on Program Opening â The Session
  5 minutes
Update on BHM & IWD programming
10 minutes
Update on Program Director Hiring Process
   5 minutes

--------4 of 8--------

From: Meredith Aby
Peace bridge 3.07 4:30pm

Special Focus - Through March 2012: Wednesday Peace Vigils to Say NO to War
on Iran
March 7, 14, 21 & 28  from 4:30 to 5:30 pm on the  Lake Street/Marshall
Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis & St. Paul.

Organizers of the Wednesday Weekly Peace Vigil will dedicate the vigils
from the end of February through March to speaking out against the threat
of a U.S. war on Iran. Join any of the Wednesday vigils to SAY NO! to a new
U.S. war. Join the Wednesday Peace Vigil:Feb. 29, March 7, 14, 21 & 28
 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm on the  Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge over the
Mississippi River between Minneapolis & St. Paul. Be part of a visible
anti-war presence! The weekly vigil is sponsored by Twin Cities Peace
Campaign and Women Against Military Madness. The call for a special focus
against a war on Iran at the Wednesday vigils is also endorsed by Anti-War
Committee, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and Veterans for Peace. For
more info: 612-522-1861 or 612-827-5364

If you canât come to the Wednesday events, organize friends and neighbors
to hold an anti-war vigil in March in your neighborhood. For support or
information on organizing your neighborhood event in March, call the WAMM
office at 612-827-5364.

--------5 of 8--------

Oversee cops/CRA 3.07 5:30pm

Communities United Against Police Brutality

Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m.
Minneapolis City Hall, Room 241
350 S. 5th Street, Minneapolis

In their latest move to destroy independent oversight of police by the
community, the city has been holding secret meetings between CRA and
internal affairs staff.  The outcome of these meetings?  An outrageous
proposal to merge the CRA into the Internal Affairs department, gutting the
ability for the community to report police misconduct to an agency outside
of the police department.

Intrepid activist Chuck Turchick learned about the secret meetings by
accident and shared the news with CRA board members, who had never been
told about the scheme to destroy the CRA.  As a result, Civil Rights
Director Velma Korbel, Police Chief Tim Dolan, and City Attorney Susan
Segal are forced to finally share the scheme with the CRA board at their
meeting on Wednesday.  A copy of this rotten plan is attached and below is
an article by the Randy Furst with the Strib, which has been doing a good
job of covering the issue.  Can you imagine a situation in which the agency
overseeing the cops is controlled by the very cops they are supposed to
oversee?  Talk about a formula for failure.

We're planning to be at Wednesday's meeting to voice the concerns of the

In the meantime, the police federation is working behind the scenes on
another way to gut community oversight of police.  They have put forward a
bill in the legislature that would prohibit all CRAs in the state from
issuing findings of fact in complaints and, instead, they could just issue
an opinion on whether or not the case had merit.  The Strib's article on a
this legislation sums up the
legislation very well.  Tony Cornish, chief sponsor of the house bill and a
former police chief told the Strib, "Basically civilian review boards very
rarely know anything about police tactics or use of force" implying that
the community is just too stupid to judge the cops.  The fallacy of this
argument is that CRA board members get use of force training from the cops
themselves.  Further, is this guy saying that juries are not fit to judge
the actions of cops in police misconduct cases?

That might be one of the main motivators behind this legislation, as
revealed by Minneapolis Police Federation head John Delmonico, who told the
Strib that even if the chief does not impose discipline, the finding of
fact remains on an officers' record. The findings, if not sustained by the
chief, are not public, but they get disclosed in court cases anyway.  What
they are really worried about, then, is that civil rights attorneys will
find out about all the complaints against cops that are never disciplined
and will be able to show a pattern of failure of the city to address the
issues and reign in the cops.

The actual legislation, from the state website:
 This legislation wouldn't just affect the Minneapolis CRA but would
destroy the ability of other communities to develop oversight models with
any real teeth.

The house bill, HF2409, passed out of the republican-dominated Public
Safety and Crime Prevention committee easily, despite public opposition.
 It is on its way to the house floor.  There is now a Senate version of the
bill, SF1981, which has been referred to the Judiciary and Public Safety
committee.  PLEASE, PLEASE take a few minutes to contact members of that
committee.  The list of members and their contact information is at
 Let them know why it's vital to a democracy for the community to have
real oversight of police.

To follow these or any other bills in the Minnesota legislature, go to and set up a MyBills

--------6 of 8--------

[Wouldn't want those "citizens" (yuk barf ptui) showing up...]

Obama Moves G-8 Summit from Chicago to Secluded Camp David
- Common Dreams staff
Published on Monday, March 5, 2012 by Common Dreams

The Obama White House announced Monday evening that it was moving the May
annual summit meeting of the Group of 8 (G-8) industrialized nations from
Chicago to the secluded Presidential compound at Camp David, Maryland.

Chicago The gathering of NATO allies and the International Security
Assistance Force will go on in Chicago as planned in mid-May. The two
summits had been scheduled for Chicago during the same weekend, May 18-21.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel had personally lobbied Obama, his old boss, to host both
summits. It would have been the first time since 1977 in London that the
two organizations held meetings in the same city at the same time.

Protest organizers say that if the move was intended to slow them down,
that wouldn't happen. âThe main thing is, the protests will go forward,â
said anti-war protest leader Andy Thayer. âWe believe that NATO is,
frankly, the de facto military arm of G-8 and anybody whoâs upset with G-8
should be upset with NATO.â

* * *
The Chicago Tribune reports:

After the initial surprise over word from the White House today that the
May G-8 summit has been moved to Camp David, Chicago officials and protest
organizers quickly turned to speculation of how that would affect the NATO
meeting that is still planned for that weekend in the city.

World leaders are still expected for the May 20-21 NATO gathering,
including most of the Group of Eight leaders who will meet in Camp David
earlier that weekend, officials said. The head of Chicago's host committee
for the summits sought to focus on that in comments today.

âIâm sure it was a decision that was not made lightly,â said Lori Healey,
executive director of the Chicago G-8/NATO host committee. When asked if
she had knowledge of the cancellation prior to Monday, she said she did not.

âObviously, the White House doesnât consult with the host committee,â she
said. âI understand the reasons. There are critical issues that the White
House wants to discuss in a more intimate setting. Thatâs the situation.â

âThey moved them to avoid us. The G-8 leaders were going to be the targets
of the largest protest in the United States against their agenda. They
decided, letâs move them someplace where it will be much harder for crowds
to assemble."
-Joe Iosbaker, Chicago G-8 protest organizerEarly word from protest
organizers was that if the move was intended to slow them down, that
wouldn't happen.

âThe main thing is, the protests will go forward,â said anti-war protest
leader Andy Thayer. âWe believe that NATO is, frankly, the de facto
military arm of G-8 and anybody whoâs upset with G-8 should be upset with

Because G-8 is being moved to a remote, highly secure location, Thayer said
Chicago will still be a magnet for large demonstrations.

âI believe that people will very much focus on Chicago. So much
organization has already gone into this,â he said, adding that groups will
tinker with their demonstration plans rather than abandon them. âWeâre
going to have a quick consultation to see whether we need to move our
demonstration from the 19th to the 20th.â

Harvey Grossman, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of
Illinois, said he imagines there will less protest interest now that G-8
has been removed from the weekend of summits.

âSome of the primary concerns people have have been taken off the plate,â
Grossman said. âPeople wanted to reach out to that audience. They wanted to
show their level of dissent to the economic policies. Itâs a disappointment
in terms of the ability to engage.â [...]

Protesters sought to claim a share of credit for the move.

âThey moved them to avoid us,â said Joe Iosbaker, a protest organizer. âThe
G-8 leaders were going to be the targets of the largest protest in the
United States against their agenda. They decided, letâs move them someplace
where it will be much harder for crowds to assemble.â

Iosbaker called the move a victory for protesters.

âWeâre still marching, whether we move the day to be there during the
actual (NATO) summit,â Iosbaker said.

* * *
The New York Times reports:

President Obama has boasted for months about hosting the annual summit of
the Group of 8 industrialized nations this May in his hometown of Chicago,
but on Monday, the White House without explanation announced a shift to the
secluded setting of the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.

Administration officials and associates, speaking only on the condition of
anonymity, said the president in recent weeks began discussing the idea of
a more intimate setting for the world leaders â both to ease their
communications and to cut down on the security concerns and traffic tie-ups
of a big-city summit. Also, several noted, Vladimir V. Putin, a harsh
critic of the United States who returns to the presidency of Russia after
his election on Sunday, will be among the attendees. [...]

Still, the change of location was unusual given the months-long lead time
that such events require for preparation.

Administration officials and others denied that the prospect of the
anti-globalization protests common to such gatherings was a factor in the
decision to change locations. After the Group of 8 summit, the separate
summit of 28 NATO countries and Russia will go on as planned in Chicago,
where leaders will discuss the future of the Atlantic alliance and
specifically the coalitionâs exit from Afghanistan by 2014 and the size and
makeup of any residual force there.

--------7 of 8--------

AIPAC Works for the 1 Percent by Chris Hedges
Published on Monday, March 5, 2012 by

Chris Hedges gave this talk Saturday night in Washington, D.C., at the
Occupy AIPAC protest, organized by CODEPINK Women for Peace and other
peace, faith and solidarity groups.

The battle for justice in the Middle East is our battle. It is part of the
vast, global battle against the 1 percent. It is about living rather than
dying. It is about communicating rather than killing. It is about love
rather than hate. It is part of the great battle against the corporate
forces of death that reign over usâthe fossil fuel industry, the weapons
manufacturers, the security and surveillance state, the speculators on Wall
Street, the oligarchic elites who assault our poor, our working men and
women, our children, one in four of whom depend on food stamps to eat, the
elites who are destroying our ecosystem with its trees, its air and its
water and throwing into doubt our survival as a species.

What is being done in Gaza, the worldâs largest open-air prison, is a pale
reflection of what is slowly happening to the rest of us. It is a window
into the rise of the global security state, our new governing system that
the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls âinverted totalitarianism.â
It is a reflection of a world where the powerful are not bound by law,
either on Wall Street or in the shattered remains of the countries we
invade and occupy, including Iraq with its hundreds of thousands of dead.
And one of the greatest purveyors of this demented ideology of violence for
the sake of violence, this flagrant disregard for the rule of domestic and
international law, is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or

I spent seven years in the Middle East. I was the Middle East bureau chief
for The New York Times. I lived for two of those seven years in Jerusalem.
AIPAC does not speak for Jews or for Israel. It is a mouthpiece for
right-wing ideologues, some of whom hold power in Israel and some of whom
hold power in Washington, who believe that because they have the capacity
to war wage they have a right to wage war, whose loyalty, in the end, is
not to the citizens of Israel or Palestine or the United States but the
corporate elites, the defense contractors, those who make war a business,
those who have turned ordinary Palestinians, Israelis and Americans, along
with hundreds of millions of the worldâs poor, into commodities to exploit,
repress and control.

We have not brought freedom, democracy and the virtues of Western
civilization to the Muslim world. We have brought state terrorism, massive
destruction, war and death. There is no moral distinction between a drone
strike and the explosion of the improvised explosive device, between a
suicide bombing and a targeted assassination. We have used the iron fist of
the American military to implant our oil companies in Iraq, occupy
Afghanistan and ensure that the Muslim world remains submissive and
compliant. We have supported a government in Israel that has carried out
egregious war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza and is daily stealing larger and
larger portions of Palestinian land. We have established a network of
military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi
Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and we have secured basing rights in the Gulf
states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We have
expanded our military operations to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And no one believes, except perhaps
us, that we have any intention of leaving.

And let us not forget that deep inside our secret world of offshore penal
colonies, black sites, and torture and interrogation centers, we practice
the cruelty and barbarity that always accompanies unchecked imperial power.
There were scores of graphic pictures and videos from the prison in Abu
Ghraib that were swiftly classified and hidden from public view. And in
these videos, as Seymour Hersh reported, mothers who were arrested with
their young sons, often children, watched in horror as their boys were
repeatedly sodomized. This was filmed. And on the soundtrack you hear the
boys shrieking. And the mothers were smuggling notes out to their families
saying, âCome and kill us because of what is happening.â

We are the biggest problem in the Middle East. It is we who legitimize the
Mahmoud Ahmadinejads, suicide bombers and radical jihadists. The longer we
drop iron fragmentation bombs and seize Muslim land, the longer we kill
with impunity, the more these monsters, reflections of our own distorted
image, will proliferate.

âIf you gaze into the abyss,â Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, âthe abyss gazes
into you.â

I am no friend of the Iranian regime, which helped create and arm
Hezbollah, is certainly meddling in Iraq, has persecuted human rights
activists, gays, women and religious and ethnic minorities, embraces racism
and intolerance, and uses its power to deny popular will. And yes, it is a
regime that appears determined to build a nuclear weapon, although I would
stress that no one has offered any proof this is occurring. I have spent
time in Iranian jails. I was once deported from Tehran in handcuffs. But I
do not remember Iran orchestrating a coup in the United States to replace
an elected government with a brutal dictator who for decades persecuted,
assassinated and imprisoned democracy activists. I do not remember Iran
arming and funding a neighboring state to wage war against our country.
Iran never shot down one of our passenger jets, as did the USS
Vincennesânicknamed Robocruiser by the crews of other American vesselsâwhen
in June 1988 it fired missiles at an Airbus filled with Iranian civilians,
killing everyone on board. Iran is not sponsoring terrorist strikes within
the United States, as our intelligence services and the Israeli
intelligence services currently do in Iran. We have not seen five of our
top nuclear scientists since 2007 murdered on American soil. The attacks in
Iran include suicide bombings, kidnappings, beheadings, sabotage and
âtargeted assassinationsâ of government officials and other Iranian
leaders. What would we do if the situation were reversed? How would we
react if Iran carried out similar acts of terrorism against us?

We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle
East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well
as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the states that dot North Africa, is
to withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and
the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy,
respect and mutual interests. The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of
permanent war the more we give credibility to the extremists who need,
indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in the same crude slogans of
nationalist cant and violence that they do. The louder the Israelis and
their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its
nuclear ambitions, the happier are the morally bankrupt clerics who are
ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators. We may laugh when crowds
supporting [President] Ahmadinejad call us âthe Great Satan,â but there is
a very palpable reality that informs the terrible algebra of their hatred.
And since even the most optimistic scenarios say that any strike on Iranian
nuclear installations will at best set back Iranâs alleged weapons program
by [only] three or four years, we can be sure that violence will beget
violence, just as fanaticism begets fanaticism.

The hypocrisy of this vaunted moral crusade is not lost on those in the
Middle East. Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan,
India and Israel did not and developed nuclear weapons programs in secret.
Israel now has an estimated 400 to 600 nuclear weapons. The word âDimona,â
the name of the city where the nuclear facilities are located in Israel, is
shorthand in the Muslim world for the deadly Israeli threat to Muslimsâ

What lessons did the Iranians learn from our Israeli, Pakistani and Indian

Given that we are actively engaged in an effort to destabilize the Iranian
regime, given that we use apocalyptic rhetoric to describe what must be
done to the Iranian regime, and given that Israel could obliterate Iran
many times over, what do we expect from the Iranians? On top of this, the
Iranian regime grasps that the doctrine of permanent war entails making
âpre-emptiveâ and unprovoked strikes. And they know that if Iraq, like
North Korea, had had a bomb they would have never suffered American
invasion and occupation.

Those in Washington who advocate attacking Iran, knowing as little about
the limitations and chaos of war as they do about the Middle East, believe
they can cripple nuclear production and neutralize the 850,000-man Iranian
army. They should look closely at the 2006 Israeli air campaign in southern
Lebanon, which saw Hezbollah victorious and united most Lebanese behind the
militant Islamic group. If the massive Israeli bombing of Lebanon failed to
pacify 4 million Lebanese, how can we expect to pacify a country of 70
million people? But reality never seems to impinge on the neoconservative
universe or the efficacy of its doctrine of permanent war.

I have watched over the years as these neoconservatives have meddled
disastrously in the Middle East. The support by neoconservatives of the
Israeli right wingâand I covered Yitzhak Rabinâs 1992 campaign for prime
minister when prominent AIPAC donors poured money and resources into Likud
to defeat Rabinâis not about Israel. It is about advancing this perverted
ideology. Rabin detested these neoconservatives. When he made his first
visit to Washington after being elected prime minister he dismissed
requests from the lobby for a meeting by telling aides: âI donât speak to

These neoconservatives, who like our own neoconservatives hide behind the
rhetoric of patriotism, national security and religious piety, are not
wedded to any discernable doctrine other than force. They, like all rabid
nationalists, are stunted and deformed individuals, only able to
communicate in the language of self-exaltation and violence.

âThe nationalist is by definition an ignoramus,â the Yugoslav writer Danilo
KiÅ wrote. âNationalism is the line of least resistance, the easy way. The
nationalist is untroubled, he knows or thinks he knows what his values are,
his, thatâs to say national, thatâs to say the values of the nation he
belongs to, ethical and political; he is not interested in others, they are
no concern of his, hellâitâs other people (other nations, another tribe).
They donât even need investigating. The nationalist sees other people in
his own imagesâas nationalists.â

AIPAC does not drive Middle Eastern policy in the United States. I am
afraid it is worse than that. AIPAC is one of an array of powerful and
well-funded neoconservative institutions that worship force and drive our
relations with the rest of the world. These neoconservatives choose an
enemy and then our compliant class of journalists, specialists, military
analysts, columnists and television commentators line up to serve as giddy
cheerleaders for war. Moments like these always make me embarrassed to be a
reporter. Our political elite, Republican and Democrat, finds in this
ideology a simple, childish allure. This ideology does not require
cultural, historical or linguistic literacy. It reduces the world to black
and white, good and evil. The drumbeat for war with Iran sounded by AIPAC
is part of this broad, sick, binary vision of a world that can be
subjugated by force, a world where all will be made to kneel before these
corporate and neoconservative elites, where none, including finally us,
will be permitted to whisper dissent.

Pre-emptive war, under post-Nuremberg law, is defined as a criminal act of
aggression. George W. Bush, whose disregard for the rule of law was legend,
went to the U.N. for a resolution to attack Iraq, although his
interpretation of the U.N. resolution as justifying the invasion of Iraq
had dubious legal merit. But in this current debate over war with Iran,
that pretense of legality is ignored. Where is Israelâs U.N. resolution
authorizing it to strike Iran? Why isnât anyone demanding that Israel seek
one? Why does the only discussion in the media and among political elites
center around the questions of âWill Israel attack Iran?â âCan it
successfully carry out an attack?â âWhat will happen if there is an
attack?â The essential question is left unasked. Does Israel have the right
to attack Iran? And here the answer is very, very clear. It does not.

These neoconservatives were too blind and too enamored of their own power
to see what invading Afghanistan and Iraq would trigger; so too are they
unable to comprehend the regional conflagration that would be unleashed by
attacking Iran, what it would mean for us, for Israel, for our allies and
for tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of innocents.

âWhere there is no vision, the people perish,â the Bible warns.

And since our elites have no vision it is up to us. The uprisings from
Tunisia to Egypt to Greece to Occupy Wall Street to our gathering outside
AIPACâs doors in Washington are the same primal struggle for sanity, peace
and justice, for a world wrenched free from the grip of those who would
destroy it. And the abject fawning of our political elite, including Barack
Obama, before AIPAC and its bank account is yet another window into the
moral bankruptcy of our political class, another sign that the formal
mechanisms of power are useless and broken. Civil disobedience is all we
have left. It is our patriotic duty. We are called to make the cries of
mothers, fathers and children in the squalid refugee camps in Gaza, in the
suburbs of Tehran and in the bleak industrial wastelands in Ohio heard. We
are called to stand up before these forces of death, the purveyors of
violence, those whose hearts have grown cold with hatred. We are called to
embrace and defend life with intensity and passion if we are to survive as
a species, if we are to save our planet from the ravages of corporate greed
and the specter of endless and futile war.

The Israeli poet Aharon Shabtai, in his poem âRypin,â translated by Peter
Cole, examined what power, force and self-worship do to compassion, justice
and human decency. Rypin was the Polish town his father escaped from during
the pogroms.

These creatures in helmets and khakis,
I say to myself, arenât Jews,
In the truest sense of the word. A Jew
Doesnât dress himself up with weapons like jewelry,
Doesnât believe in the barrel of a gun aimed at a target,
But in the thumb of the child who was shot atâ
In the house through which he comes and goes,
Not in the charge that blows it apart.
The coarse soul and iron first
He scorns by nature.
He lifts his eyes not to the officer, or the soldier
With his finger on the triggerâbut to justice,
And he cries out for compassion.
Therefore, he wonât steal land from its people
And will not starve them in camps.
The voice calling for expulsion
Is heard from the hoarse throat of the oppressorâ
A sure sign that the Jew has entered a foreign country
And, like Umberto Saba, gone into hiding within his own city.
Because of voices like these, father
At age sixteen, with your family, you fled Rypin;
Now here Rypin is your son.

 2012 TruthDig
Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.

--------8 of 8--------


Can bootstraps raise themselves? Yes,
if they have bootstraps
of their own.
If not. the whole chain
is fallen and can't get up.


  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.