Progressive Calendar 07.14.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 10:28:23 -0700 (PDT)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   07.14.12*

1. Northtown vigil  7.14 2pm
2. TED/Diamond   7.14 3pm
3. OWS               7.14 3pm
4. CUAPB award  7.14 3:30pm
5. Legal solidarity 7.14 4:30pm

6. Gabriel Rossman - From Honduras to Paraguay - return of the coups
7. James Petras      - The Great Transformation: from the Welfare State to
the Imperial Police State

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From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 7.14 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm

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>From AWE
TED/Diamond 7.14 3pm

TED Talks: Jared Diamond on Why Societies Collapse
Saturday, July 14, 2012 3:00 PM
Sumner Library
611 Van White Memorial Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN

Come to one of our TED Talk events, and enjoy a thought-provoking
presentation followed by lively discussion with fellow Humanists.Like a
book club, except you don't need to prepare beforehand, this event is
intended to appeal to the curious world citizen.
This month's topic: Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of
Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared
Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how -- if we see
it in time -- we can prevent it.

Jared Diamond is an award-winning scholar of ecology, biology and history,
and best-selling author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse: How
Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.
3:30...Presentation followed by discussion
5:30...Event formally ends
6:00...Library closes
Sign up for future Talks:

Helpful info:
There is a parking lot and on-street parking, both free. The library is
within a 1/2 mile of hwy 55 and 94, on the west side of downtown Mpls.

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From: WAMM
OWS 7.14 3pm

Less Wall, More Street: From Mass Arrests of OWS to Mass Incarceration
Saturday, July 14 @ 3pm, 4200 Cedar Ave S, Mpls

A discussion of the historic and present day state repression of political
activists, and the ongoing targeting of communities of color as means of
social control. Presentation and discussion with two OWS activists from NYC
traveling around the country to build awareness and solidarity around these
issues. Sponsored by: Occupy Minneapolis Events Committee and MN Committee
to Stop FBI Repression. On Facebook at: (More info: <>)

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CUAPB award 7.14 3:30pm

Saturday, July 14 (TODAY!)
3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Capri Theater
2027 West Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis
We are extremely pleased to be receiving an award at the Northside
Resident's Redevelopment Council's first Community Awards Ceremony.
 Recognition of our work always feels great but it is especially sweet
while we are working so hard to rebuild even as we continue to serve and
empower the community.  Please join us.  A buffet will be served and this
event is free and open to the public.

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From: WAMM
Legal solidarity 7.14 4:30pm

Mutant Legal Solidarity Training for Activists
Saturday, July 14 @ 4:30-6:30pm, 4200 Cedar Ave S, Mpls

Come expand your knowledge of court support, court solidarity, jail
solidarity, plus Know Your Rights at the protest, when interacting with law
enforcement, when arrested, in custody, and at arraignment. We'll talk
about mitigating our vulnerability to state repression through building a
culture of solidarity, anti-oppression, and security. A culture of care is
culture of resistance! Sponsored by: Occupy Minneapolis Events Committee
and MN Committee to Stop FBI Repression. On Facebook at: (More info: <>)

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>From Honduras to Paraguay
Return of the Coups

On June 22, the Paraguayan Congress impeached President Fernando Lugo, a
progressive who assumed office in 2008. Although technically legal, Lugo’s
removal threatens the very integrity of democracy in Paraguay. It is the
latest in a disconcerting series of attacks against progressive governments
in South America that highlights the vulnerability of its nascent
democratic institutions and calls into question the trend of
democratization in the region.

Lugo’s victorious election campaign was historic. It ended more than 60
years of dominance by the Colorado Party. This right-wing coalition of
landed and military elites used violence and coercion to dominate Paraguay
through the extensive state bureaucracy created by dictator Alfredo
Strossner, a Colorado strongman who ruled from 1954 to 1989. The Party’s
legitimacy gradually eroded through its land-grabs and corruption scandals
involving high-level officials. It was also implicated in political
assassinations, most notably that of Vice President Luis Maria Argana in
1999, after which President Raul Cubas was forced to resign and flee the

Lugo, a progressive who proposed numerous social reforms, was widely known
in Paraguay as the “bishop of the poor.” Pledging to fight corruption,
reduce poverty, and enact agrarian reform in a country where 38 percent of
people live in poverty and 2 percent of the population controls 75 percent
of fertile land, Lugo won 41 percent of the popular vote in 2008, beating
out the Colorado candidate by 10 percentage points. Despite this electoral
success, the conservative legislature and the tenuous coalition of
center-right parties that helped bring him to power systematically
frustrated Lugo’s progressive efforts at reform.

The Impeachment

Lugo was impeached on grounds of “malfeasance” after 17 people were killed
in a clash between police and landless squatters protesting land
inequality. This legal formality, however, obscures the fact that Lugo’s
ouster, long-desired by those who opposed his democratic reforms, was
politically motivated.

A leaked 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable claimed that the “shared goal” of
General Lino Oviedo and ex-President Nicanor Frutos, both Colorado party
members, was “to change the current political equation, break the political
deadlock in Congress, impeach Lugo and regain their own political
relevance.” The cable, which was classified as “secret,” includes this
prophetic sentence: “Oviedo’s dream scenario involves legally impeaching
Lugo, even if on spurious grounds.”

South American governments from all across the political spectrum
immediately condemned Lugo’s abrupt removal (he was given less than 24
hours notice and just two hours to defend himself). Mercosur suspended
Paraguay and refused to recognize the new government. Venezuela
unilaterally halted all fuel shipments to Asuncion. Brazil and Mexico
withdrew their ambassadors, as did Colombia, whose president, Juan Manuel
Santos, is a staunch conservative. Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez
Kirchner publicly called Lugo’s impeachment a “coup d’état.”

Regional Trend?

The removal of Lugo is particularly disturbing because it is the latest in
a series of actions against progressive populist governments in Latin
America. In a 2009 coup, democratically elected Honduran President Manuel
Zelaya, who had raised the national minimum wage despite strong opposition
from the business elite, was removed at gunpoint. In 2010, Ecuadorean
President Rafael Correa was tear-gassed, assaulted, and held captive by
insurgent police officers in an attempted coup that ended in a shootout.

An international fact-finding team arrived in Asuncion on Monday to collect
information on the events leading up to the impeachment, Lugo’s satellite
government, and the major players in the recent events. The U.S. State
Department said it was “quite concerned” about the rapidity of Lugo’s
impeachment. The United States is unlikely to take a more definitive stance
until the OAS team submits its report in the coming days.

One thing is certain: few people want a repeat of what happened in
Honduras. Since the 2009 coup, political dissidents have been assassinated,
minorities have been targeted, and violence and disorder have ensued.
Honduras now has the world’s highest homicide rate.

The fact-finding mission’s report should elucidate the details of a
political upheaval that remains opaque. So far, there is no indication that
any outside powers played a role in the coup.

The impeachment’s rapidity and the vote’s unprecedented margin (in the
House of Representatives, the vote was 73 in favor and 1 against
impeachment) suggest that Lugo’s impeachment was not a response to his
“malfeasance” surrounding the killings by the police. It was coordinated
and politically motivated, likely by domestic landowning and business
elites, with powerful allies in Congress, who opposed Lugo’s progressive
agenda and preferred a return to the right-wing Colorado party.

Ironically, the state that has benefitted the most from Lugo’s ouster may
be Venezuela. Venezuela was selected to replace Paraguay in Mercosur after
Paraguay’s membership was suspended.

Gabriel Rossman is an intern with Foreign Policy in Focus, where this essay
originally appeared.

[I have little doubt that the US and Obama are massively involved in
destroying democracy in Latin America, making it safe for
the strutting peacocks and sociopathic jackels of the .0001 percent both
here and there. -ed]

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The Great Transformation: from the Welfare State to the Imperial Police
James Petras
/ July 14th, 2012

The United States has experienced the biggest political upheaval in its
recent history: the transformation of a burgeoning welfare state into a
rapidly expanding, highly intrusive and deeply entrenched police state,
linked to the most developed technological innovations.

The Great Transformation occurred exclusively from above, organized by the
upper echelons of the civil and military bureaucracy under the direction of
the Executive and his National Security Council. The Great Transformation
was not a single event but a process of the accumulation of powers, via
executive fiats, supported and approved by compliant Congressional leaders.
At no time in the recent and distant past has this nation witnessed the
growth of such repressive powers and the proliferation of so many policing
agencies engaged in so many areas of life over such a prolonged period of
time (a time of virtually no internal mass dissent). Never has the
executive branch of government secured so many powers to detain,
interrogate, kidnap and assassinate its own citizens without judicial

Police state dominance is evident in the enormous growth of the domestic
security and military budget, the vast recruitment of security and military
personnel, the accumulation of authoritarian powers curtailing individual
and collective freedoms and the permeation of national cultural and civic
life with the almost religious glorification of the agents and agencies of
militarism and the police state as evidenced at mass sporting and
entertainment events.

The drying up of resources for public welfare and services is a direct
result of the dynamic growth of the police state apparatus and military
empire. This could only take place through a sustained direct attack
against the welfare state – in particular against public funding for
programs and agencies promoting the health, education, pensions, income and
housing for the middle and working class.

The Ascendancy of the Police State

Central to the rise of the police state and the consequent decline of the
welfare state have been the series of imperial wars, especially in the
Middle East, launched by every President from Bush (father), Clinton, Bush
(son), and Obama. These wars, aimed exclusively against Muslim countries,
were accompanied by a wave of repressive ‘anti-terrorist’ laws and
implemented through the rapid build-up of the massive police state
apparatus, known as ‘Homeland Security.’

The leading advocates and propagandists of overseas militarism against
countries with large Muslim populations and the imposition of a domestic
police-state have been dedicated Zionists promoting wars designed to
enhance Israel’s overwhelming power in the Middle East. These American
Zionists (including dual US-Israeli citizens) secured strategic positions
within the US police state apparatus in order to terrify and repress
activists, especially American Muslims and immigrants critical of the state
of Israel.

The events of 9/11//01 served as the detonator for the biggest global
military launch since WWII, and the most pervasive expansion of police
state powers in the history of the United States. The bloody terror of
9/11/2001 was manipulated to institute a pre-planned agenda – transforming
the US into a police state while launching a decade- long series of wars in
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and, now, Syria as well
as covert proxy wars against Iran and Lebanon. The military budget exploded
and government deficits ballooned while social programs and welfare were
denigrated and dismantled as the Global War on Terror swung into full gear.
Programs, designed to maintain or raise living standards for millions and
increase access to services for the poor and working class, fell victim to

As the wars in the Middle East took center-stage, the US economy tanked. On
the domestic front vital public investment in education, infrastructure,
industry and civilian innovations were slashed. Hundreds of billions of tax
payer dollars flowed into the war zones, paying mercenaries (private
contractors), buying off corrupt puppet regimes and providing a golden
opportunity for military procurement officers and their private
contractor-cronies to run up (and pocket) huge billion dollar cost overruns.

As a result, US military policy vis a vis the Middle East, military policy,
which at one time had been designed to promote American imperial economic
interests, now took on a life of its own: wars and sanctions against Iraq,
Iran, Syria and Libya had undermined profitable oil contracts negotiated by
US multi-nationals while enhancing militarism. Indeed, the Zionist-Israeli
power configuration in the United States has become far more influential in
directing US Middle East military policy than any combination of Big Oil –
and all to the benefit of Israeli regional power.

Imperial Wars and the Demise of the Welfare State

>From the end of World War II to the end of the 1970’s, the US managed to
successfully combine overseas imperial wars with an expanding welfare state
at home. In fact, the last major pieces of welfare legislation took place
during the bloody, costly US-Indo-Chinese war, under Presidents Lyndon
Johnson and Richard Nixon. The economic basis of welfare-militarism was the
powerful industrial-technological foundations of the US war-machine and its
dominance over world markets. Subsequently, the declining competitive
position of the US in the world-economy and the massive relocation of
US-MNC (and their jobs) overseas strained the ‘marriage’ of domestic
welfare and militarism to the breaking point. Fiscal and trade deficits
loomed even as the demands for welfare and unemployment payments grew in
part because of the shift from stable well-paid manufacturing jobs to low
paid-service work. While the global US economic position declined, its
global military expansion accelerated as a result of the demise of the
Communist regimes in the USSR and Eastern Europe and the incorporation of
the new regimes of the former Eastern bloc into the US-dominated NATO
military alliance.

The demise of the Communist states led to the end of competing global
welfare systems and allowed capitalists and the imperial state to slash
welfare to fund their massive global military expansion. There was
virtually no opposition from labor; the gradual conversion of Western trade
unions into highly authoritarian organizations run by self-perpetuating
millionaire ‘leaders’ and the reduction of trade union membership from 30%
of the work force in 1950 to less than 11% by 2012 (with over 91% of
private sector workers without any representation) meant that American
workers have been powerless to organize strikes to protect their jobs, let
alone apply political pressure in defense of public programs and welfare.

Militarism was on the ascendency when President Jimmy Carter launched his
multi-billion dollar ‘secret war’ against the pro-Soviet regime in
Afghanistan and President Ronald Reagan initiated a series of ‘proxy wars’
throughout Central America and Southern Africa and sent the US Marines into
the tiny island of Grenada. Reagan oversaw the escalation of military
spending boasting that he would ‘bankrupt’ the Soviet Union with a new
‘arms race’. President George Bush, Sr. invaded Panama and then Iraq, the
first of many US invasions in the Middle East. President Bill Clinton
accelerated the military thrust, along the way slashing public welfare in
favor of ‘private workfare’, bombing and destroying Yugoslavia, bombing and
starving Iraq while establishing colonial enclaves in Northern Iraq and
expanding the US military presence in Somalia and the Persian Gulf.

The constraints on US militarism imposed by the massive popular
anti-Vietnam War movement and the US military defeat by the Vietnamese
Communists, were gradually eroded, as successful short term wars (like
Grenada and Panama) undermined the Vietnam Syndrome–public opposition to
militarism. This prepared the American public for incremental militarism
while chipping away at the welfare system.

If Reagan and Bush built the foundation for the new militarism, Bill
Clinton provided three decisive elements: together with Vice-President Al
Gore, Clinton legitimized the war on welfarism, stigmatizing public
assistance, and mobilized support from religious and political leaders in
the black community and the AFL-CIO. Secondly, Clinton was key to the
‘financialization’ of the US economy, by de-regulating the financial system
(repealing the Glass-Steagal Act of 1933) and appointing Wall Street
financiers at the helm of national economic policy. Thirdly, Clinton
appointed leading Zionists to the key foreign policy positions related to
the Middle East, allowing them to insert Israel’s military view of reality
into strategic decision-making in Washington. Clinton put in place the
first series of repressive police state ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation and
expanded the national prison system. In sum, Bill Clinton’s Middle East war
policies, his ‘financialization’ of the US economy, his ‘war on terror’,
his Zionist orientation towards the Arab world and, above all, his own
ideological anti-welfarism led directly to Bush Junior’s full scale
conversion of the welfare state into the police state .

Exploiting the trauma of 9/11, the Bush and later the Obama regimes nearly
tripled the military budget and launched serial wars against Arab states.
The military budget rose from $359 billion in 2000, to $544 billion in 2004
and escalated to $903 billion in 2012. Military expenditures financed major
foreign military occupations and colonial administrations in Iraq and
Afghanistan, border wars in Pakistan and US Special Forces covert
operations (including kidnappings and assassinations) in Yemen, Somalia,
Iran and seventy-five other countries world-wide.

Meanwhile financial speculation ran rampant, budget deficits ballooned,
living standards plunged, international trade deficits reached record
levels and public debt doubled in fewer than eight years. Multiple imperial
wars dragged on without end; the costs of these wars multiplied while the
financial bubble burst. The contradiction between domestic welfare and
militarism exploded. Finally, the massive roll back of basic social
programs for all American topped the Presidential and legislative agenda.

Previous ‘untouchable programs’ like Social Security, Medicare, the US Post
Office, public sector employment, services to the poor, elderly and
handicapped and food stamps were all put on the butcher’s block. At the
same time the federal government increased its funding of private military
and police contractors (mercenaries) overseas and extended the scope and
depth of US Special Forces clandestine operations. Bush-Obama vastly
increased spending for the military and espionage agents in support of
wildly unpopular, brutal collaborator regimes in Pakistan and Yemen. They
funded and armed foreign mercenaries in Libya, Syria, Iran, and Somalia. By
the first decade of the new century it had become clear that imperial
militarism and domestic welfarism were in a zero sum game: as imperial wars
multiplied, domestic programs were slashed.

The severity and depth of the cuts to popular domestic welfare programs
were only in part the result of imperial wars; equally important was the
huge increase in the funding for personnel and surveillance technology for
the burgeoning police state at home.

The Origins of the Conversion of the Welfare State to the Police State

The precipitous decline of the welfare state and the dismantling of social
services, public education and access to affordable health care for the
working and middle classes cannot be explained by the demise of organized
labor, nor is it due to the ‘right-turn’ of the Democratic Party. Two other
deep structural changes loom large as fundamental to the proces: the
transformation of the US economy from a competitive manufacturing economy
into a ‘FIRE’ (finance, insurance and real estate) economy; and secondly,
the rise of a vast police legal-political-administrative state apparatus
engaged in permanent ‘internal warfare’ at home, designed to sustain and
complement permanent imperial warfare abroad.

Agencies and personnel of the police state expanded dramatically during the
first decade of the new century. The police state penetrated
telecommunications systems, patrolled and controlled transport outlets;
dominated judicial procedures and oversaw the major ‘news outlets’,
academic and professional associations. The expanded police state covertly
and overtly entered the private lives of tens of millions of Americans.

The loss to taxpayers in terms of citizen rights and the welfare state has
been staggering.

As the biggest and most intrusive component of the police state apparatus,
christened ‘Homeland Security,’ grew exponentially, the budget and agencies
providing welfare and public services, health, education and unemployment
shrank. Tens of thousands of domestic spies have been hired and costly
intrusive spyware has been purchased with tax-payer money, while hundreds
of thousands of teachers and public health and social welfare professionals
have lost their jobs.

The Department of Homeland Security (as of the end of 2011) is composed of
approximately 388,000 employees, including both federal and contracted
agents. Between 2011-2013 the DHS budget of $173 billion has faced no
serious cuts. Homeland Security’s rapid expansion occurred at the expense
of Health and Human Services, education and the Social Security
Administration, which currently face large scale ‘retrenchment’.

Among the top officials, appointed by the Bush, Jr. Administration to key
positions in the police state apparatus, there are two who have been the
most influential in setting policy: Michael Chertoff and Michael Mukasey.

Michael Chertoff headed the Criminal Division of the Justice Department
(from 2001-2003). During that time he was responsible for the arbitrary
arrest of thousands of US citizens and immigrants of Muslim and South Asian
heritage, who were held incommunicado without charge and subject to
physical and psychological abuse – without a single resident alien or
Muslim US citizen linked to 9/11. In contrast, Chertoff quickly intervened
to free scores of Israeli spy suspects and 5 Israeli Mossad agents who had
been witnessed filming and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade
Center and were under active investigation by the FBI. More than any other
official, Michael Chertoff has been the chief architect of the ‘Global War
on Terror’ – co-author of the notorious ‘Patriot Act’ which trashed habeas
corpus and other essential components of the US Constitution and Bill of
Rights. As Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005-2009, Chertoff promoted
‘military tribunals’ and organized the vast internal spy network, which now
preys on private US citizens.

Michael Mukasey, the Bush-appointed US Attorney General, was an
enthusiastic defender of the Patriot Act, supporting military tribunals,
torture and overseas assassinations of individual suspected of what he
called ‘Islamic terrorism’ without trial.

Both Chertoff and Mukasey are zealous Zionists with longstanding ties to
Israel. Michael Chertoff was believed to hold dual US-Israeli citizenship
as he launched the Administration domestic war on US citizens.

A cursory review of the origins and direction of the police-state apparatus
and the top echelons of the global war on ‘Islamic terrorism’ – code
languages for military imperialism – reveals a disproportionate number of
Israel-Firsters, who placed greater importance on persecuting potential US
critics of the Middle East wars for Israel than in upholding Constitutional
guarantees and the Bill of Rights.

Back in ‘civilian’ life, Michael Chertoff profited greatly from the bogus
‘War on Terror’ promoting radioactive and degrading body scanning
technology in airports throughout the US and Europe.He established his own
security consulting firm Chertoff Groups (2009) to represent the
manufacturers of surveillance body scanners. Americans can thank Michael
Chertoff every time they pass through the humiliation of an airport body

The fusion of the police state apparatus with the industrial-security
complex and its prominent overseas links with its corporate security
counterparts in the state of Israel, underscores the imperial state’s ties
to the Israeli military establishment.

As the police state has grown it has created a powerful lobby of high tech
surveillance industry backers and beneficiaries who push federal and state
‘security’ spending at the expense welfare programs.

The police state’s squeeze on social programs, education and welfare has a
powerful ally on Wall Street, which emerged as the dominant sector of US
capital in terms of access to and influence over US Treasury and its
budgetary allocations.

Unlike the manufacturing sector, financial capital does not need a
population of educated, healthy and productive workers. Its own ‘labor
force’ is composed of a small educated elite of speculators, analysts,
traders and brokers at the top and middle levels and a small army of
‘contract’ office sweepers, secretaries and menial workers at the bottom.
They have their own ‘invisible’ army of domestic servants, cooks, caterers,
gardeners, and nannies devoid of any ‘Social Security,’ health coverage,
and pension plans. And the financial sector has its own private networks of
doctors and clinics, schools, communications systems and messengers,
estates and clubs, and security agencies and body guards; it needs not an
educated, skilled public sector; and it certainly does not want national
wealth to support high quality public health and educational systems. It
has no interest in supporting this mass of public institutions which it
views as an obstacle to ‘freeing up’ vast amounts of public wealth for
speculation. In other words, the dominant sector of capital has no
objection to ‘Homeland Security’; indeed it shares many sentiments with the
proponents of the police state and supports the shrinking the welfare
state. It is concerned about lowering taxes on finance capital and
increasing Federal bail-out funds for Wall Street while controlling the
impoverished citizenry.


The conversion of a welfare state to a police state is the result of
militarized imperialism abroad and the ascendancy of finance capital at
home, as well as the proliferation of security state agencies and related
private industries and the strategic role of rightwing Zionists in top
positions of the police state apparatus.

This convergence of international and domestic structural changes took hold
during the 1980’s and 1990’s and then accelerated during the first decade
of the 21st century. The downgrading of the vast public services of the
welfare state was covered up by a massive government propaganda campaign to
promote the ‘global war on terror’ together with a fabricated widespread
domestic ‘terrorist threat’ involving the most hapless of suspects
(including oddball Haitian millenarianists entrapped by FBI agents). The
supporters and beneficiaries of the welfare state found themselves on the
margins of any national debate. The mass media/regime propaganda campaign
demanded and successfully secured massive increases in centralized powers
of domestic policing, surveillance, provocations, disappearances and
arrests. Throughout the past decade what the welfare state lost in support
and funding, the police state gained. The rise of financial capital and the
deregulation of the financial system crowded out any public subsidies to
promote and sustain the competitiveness of the US manufacturing sector.
This has led to a major break in the links between industry, labor and the
welfare state. Huge tax write-offs to big business, combined with the
growth in expenditures for a non-productive police state bureaucracy and
the series of costly overseas wars, has caused unsustainable budget and
trade deficits, which then became the pretext to further savage the welfare

Significant political, cultural and ideological shifts have aided the rise
of the police state over the public welfare state. The success of prominent
American Zionists in securing power within key media propaganda mills and
obtaining appointments to critical position in the top echelons of the
police state apparatus, judiciary and in the imperial state bureaucracy
(Treasury and State Department) has put Israel’s colonial interests and its
own police-state apparatus at the center of US politics. The US police
state has adopted Israeli-styled repression targeting US citizens and

US society is now split into two sectors: the ‘winners’ linked to the
expanding and lucrative financial – security complex embedded in the police
state while the ‘losers,’ tied to the manufacturing – welfare sector, are
relegated to an increasingly marginalized ‘civil society.’ The police state
purges dissidents who question the ‘Israel-First doctrine’ of the US
security-military apparatus. The financial sector, embedded in its own
luxurious ‘cocoon’ of private services, demands the total gutting of public
services directed toward the poor, working and middle classes. The public
treasury has been taken over in order to finance bank bailouts, imperial
wars and police state agencies while paying the bondholders of US debt.

Social Security is on target to be privatized. Pensions are to be reduced,
delayed and self-financed. Food stamps, access to affordable health care
and unemployment support will be slashed. The police state cannot pay for
glitzy new repressive technologies, greater policing, more intrusive
surveillance, arrests and prisons while financing the existing welfare
state with its vast educational, health and human services and pension

In sum, there is no future for social welfare in the United States within
its powerful financial-imperial-police state system. Both major political
parties nurture this system, support serial wars, appeal to the financial
elites and debate over the size, scope and timing for further cuts in
social welfare.

The American social welfare system was a product of an earlier phase of US
capitalism where US global industrial supremacy allowed for both military
spending and welfare support and where US military spending was constrained
by the demands of the domestic socio-economic sectors of manufacturing
capital and ‘labor’. In an earlier phase Zionist influence was based on
wealthy individuals and their congressional ‘lobby’ — they did not occupy
key Federal policymaking positions setting the agendas for war in the
Middle East and domestic police state.

Times have changed for the worse: a police state, linked to militarism and
perpetual imperial wars in the Middle East has gained ascendancy and now
impacts our everyday life. Underlying both the growth of the police state
and the erosion of the welfare state is the rise of an inter-locking
‘financial-security power elite,’ held together by a common ideology,
unprecedented private wealth and the relentless drive to monopolize the
public treasury to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans. A
confrontation and full exposure of all the self-serving propaganda, which
undergirds the power elite is an essential first step. The enormous budgets
for imperial wars are the greatest threat to US welfare. The police state
erodes real public services and undermines social movements. Finance
capital pillages the public treasury demanding bailouts and subsidies for
the banks. Israeli Firsters, in key decision-making positions, serve the
interests of a foreign police state against the interests of the American
people. The state of Israel is the mirror opposite of what we Americans
want for ourselves and our children: a free and independent secular
republic without colonial settlements, clerical racism, and destructive
self-serving militarism.

Today the fight to restore the advances in citizens’ welfare established
through public programs of the recent past requires that we transform an
entire structure of power: true welfare reform requires a revolutionary
strategy and, above all, a grass-roots mass movement breaking with the
entrenched ‘two party’ regime tied to the financial-imperial-internal
security system.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New
York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the
landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of
Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ most recent book is The Arab
Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack. He can be reached at:
jpetras [at] .

[This after 30 years of lesser-evil liberalism, which It has earned for
itself and its jabbing-finger adherents a prime place in hell. -ed]


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