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Posted: January 16 and 17, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Schwarzenegger to back term-limit change

upi, 1-14-08

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to endorse a February ballot measure that would change the state's term-limit laws, a report says.

If approved by voters, Proposition 93 would allow many sitting lawmakers to run for office again this year rather than be forced to leave the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger's expected backing of Proposition 93 could be a boon for the campaign as well as for State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, who will be forced out of his seat after this year unless the state's term-limits law is changed, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Proposition 93 would reduce the total number of years a legislator can serve from 14 to 12, but would allow lawmakers to serve all of their time in either the Assembly or the state Senate.

Current law limits them to six years in the lower house and eight in the upper house.

In addition to extending Nunez' time in office, the measure could lengthen the terms of Senate President Don Perata, D-Oakland, and more than a dozen other sitting state lawmakers.

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1b) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.

Schwarzenegger to endorse term-limit changes

Governor's support of Proposition 93 is an about-face from his earlier statements on the issue.

By Jordan Rau, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

lat, January 15, 2008,1,2440943.story?coll=la-headlines-california

SACRAMENTO -- Softening his past opposition to changes to California's term-limits law, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is endorsing a Feb. 5 ballot measure that would allow many sitting lawmakers to run for office again this year rather than be forced to leave the Legislature.

Schwarzenegger, who as a candidate in 2003 supported California's existing term-limits law as a shield against "special interests" obtaining too much power, reversed himself in an essay released Monday that said the original law "went too far."

Schwarzenegger's backing is a boost for the Proposition 93 campaign and its chief proponent, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles), who will be forced out of his seat after this year unless the term-limits law is changed.

Nuñez endeared himself to Schwarzenegger by pushing a healthcare overhaul that the two leaders negotiated through the Assembly last month.

Schwarzenegger denied last month that the two had cooked up "an exchange" of support for their pet measures.

...opponents...escribe the initiative as a thinly veiled effort by incumbents to maintain their power.

Tony Quinn, a retired Republican consultant, called the governor's support for the proposition "a sign of weakness," because Democratic leaders did not meet his demand to place a redistricting measure on the ballot.

"If this is a quid pro quo for healthcare, which every single Republican in the Legislature opposed, this is going to only make them more alienated and make it more difficult to get a long-term budget solution," Quinn said, alluding to Republicans' ability to block a state budget deal. "For him to further appear to be so willing to pander to the Sacramento establishment, it certainly undercuts the image he ran on five years ago."

Schwarzenegger was elected in 2003 on a campaign platform that included unqualified support for the state's 1990 term-limits law. A month before the October 2003 recall election, Schwarzenegger issued a statement describing himself as "such a strong believer in term limits" and declaring that "a change in the current term-limits law would further entrench the special interests."

"As we are now seeing with the state's budget crisis and anti-business policies, it is too easy for the politicians to become disconnected from the people they are supposed to represent," Schwarzenegger said in that statement.

Kevin Spillane, a strategist for the No on 93 campaign, said the governor's endorsement "is about a deal on healthcare" that "has nothing to do with term limits or redistricting."

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What's Really Going on Here??

NUNEZ-PERATA gather big bribes to gun up efforts to exten their monopoly over California legislatue

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., jan 16, 2008

We passed term limits to end the reign of Willie Brown, and prevent any such dynasty from every being established in the heart of our democracy again. And along came Nunez.

The situation is clear: a legislator elected once in california get a lifetime tenure. The corruption of electoral districts assures not just complete party control of the district, but also assures that the only way we can get one of these corrupted party hacks out of office is if they die or are busted for taking bribes.

The recent ads supporting this fake term limit "reform" take the position that we need to extend term limits so that the politicians can get experience. This is a lie on its face.

If that was true, why do we even have elections every two years for the assembly? If the proponents of longer terms are correct, then our democratic system of frequent elections is not good for the people.

Our system of frequent elections threatened the parties' ironclad monopoly over office in california, and they are killed the intent of frequent elections by dividing our state's electoral districts among themselves.

Our system of frequent elections was damaged, if not destroyed, by party control of districts and elections. So term limits were instituted to give the people a better political option than lifetime tenure in office. Now the parties are counterattacking, and are presenting their attack on term limits as a reform.

As it is now, our elections are virtually worthless. Party monopoly backed by big special interest bribes assures that once elected, almost all politicians stay in office until they hit the term limit.

I have no love of term limits. I would end term limits the second we had real democratic elections. If the people wanted to maintain the same representaive for life, so be it. But as long as the parties maintian their corrupt monopoly of electoral districts, and as long as our party representatives are no more than bribed tools of the various corporations and special interests, severe term limits are merely bandaids on the amputated stump of our democracy.

When the politicians are dependent on the people, rather than corrupted districts and special interest bribes, these jerks must be as severely regulated as possible.

Now the Dem leadership, Nunez, is trying to recreate the Wille era by foisting this misnamed "term limit" ballot measure onto the ballot.

You are being decieved by Nunez, Arnie, and the Democrats. This is not term limits, but rather, this is a power grab by the Dem leadership, funded by the some of the biggest special interests in the state (who also own Arnie) to reimpose dynasty politics in the heart of our legislature.

This is yet another attempt to undermine our democracy by the leaders of the democratic party. They should rename themselves the Undemocratic party.

Nunez and Perata will do anything to serve their personal ambitions.

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Also See:

Nunez's Term Limits Fraud

Poizner pledges $1.5 million to defeat Nunez "Term Limits" FRAUD, LAT, Nov 7, 2007

Arnie rejects Nunez's Fake Term Limit measure, Bee, September 17, 2007

Term Limit measure is a FAKE, another Deception by the Democrats to damage our democracy, Bee, September 12, 2007

Good analysis of Term Limit/Redistricting proposals, Bee, September 12, 2007

Term limit petitions ready: Defeat Corporate Politician's Grasping for Monopoly of Power, Sac Bee, July 24, 2007

CA Dems Term-limit FRAUD, Bee, July, 20, 2007

Term limit measure lures health care donors: Nunez and Perata Collecting Bribes to maintain Monopoly of Corporate Corruption in Sacramento, Bee, July 16, 2007

Redistrict proposals all flawed, BEE, 6-5-07

Nunez, Donations can't fail to catch Nuñez's eye: Nunez and Corporate Bribers, Special Interests Craft Pact of Greed on Term Limit Attack, NY Times, 6-4-07

Leaders split over plans to redistrict: Nunez Using Fraudulent Reform to Protect Party and his Political Ambitions, BEE, 5-17-07


Term limits change has initial support: Party Leaders Agree: Term Limits Bad, BEE, 4-6-07

Comments: Nunez' fraudulent term-limits initiative

The background:

Ca districts drawn by corruption, not democracy, bee, 12-3-06

Arnie is a Corporate Bitch

Corruption Updates 6, 4th article on page, “Arnie's Turn to Bleed Special Interests: Assembly done selling itself, Now it's Arnie's Turn.

Corruption Updates 12, 4th article on page, “How to Corrupt Democracy: The Insurance Industry and the Governor

Corruption Updates 12, 5th article on page “INSURANCE INDUSTRY BATTLE PLAN: COMBINED BUSINESS ASSUALT ON DEMOCRACY” LATimes. Plot to corrupt democratic process and institutions successful. Plot uncovered, and yet it goes on. 9-24-06

Corruption Updates 13, 6th article on page, “Governor, PGE, Set Up Political Slush Fund


Corruption Updates 24, 2nd article on page, “Arnie has Huge Special Interest Slush Fund” ("officeholder" account: Southern California Edison, PG&E, Chevron and AT&T)

Corruption Updates 40, 2nd article on page, "ARNIE SELLS INFLUENCE: 250,000 BUYS GOV'S EAR"

Corruption Updates 42, 1st article on page, "ARNIE cause gets $500,000 after he signed law: Arnie Using Office to Collect Bribes"

Corruption Updates 44, 6th article on page, "Arnie: Agency execs get pay hikes:Staff Steals Like Corporate America"

Corruption Updates 47, 4th article on page, "LA TIMES Kicks RepubliCrats Junketeering in Ass"

Corruption Updates 49, 7th article on page, "Arnie Buddy: Board member still claims Ph.D:Arnie's Doctors Quack like Ducks"

Corruption Updates 56, 3rd article on page, "State Farm donates to governor's fund"

Corruption Updates 88, 4th article on page, Arnie's Air Board War: Arnie's corrupt history speaks for itself

Corruption Updates 89, 5th article on page, Nonprofit subsidizes Schwarzenegger travel frills

Corruption Updates 112, 6th article on page, Regugs Struggle with identity Crisis: Bitches or Pigs?

Analysis of incompentence, cupidity, and the Whorishness of Our Bribed Legislature-Governor: Legislative health care plans that only serve corporate profits, American Nurses Association, Oct 12, 2007

Arnie is the Gold Standard for Living Large on Bribes, LAT, July 5, 2007

Arnie rejects Nunez's Fake Term Limit measure, Bee, September 17, 2007

Arnie's Plans to steal N. Cal water to continue irresponsible growth in LA, Bee, September 19, 2007

Arnie plan to give state assets to his bribers, LAT, Nov 28, 2007

Essay: Arnie provides the final piece of the corporate fascist state


all arnie links

budget crisis links


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Term limits

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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Minister Sees Need for U.S. Help in Iraq Until 2018


nyt, January 15, 2008


FORT MONROE, Va. — The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.

Those comments from the minister, Abdul Qadir, were among the most specific public projections of a timeline for the American commitment in Iraq by officials in either Washington or Baghdad. And they suggested a longer commitment than either government had previously indicated.

Pentagon officials expressed no surprise at Mr. Qadir’s projections, which were even less optimistic than those he made last year.

“According to our calculations and our timelines, we think that from the first quarter of 2009 until 2012 we will be able to take full control of the internal affairs of the country,” Mr. Qadir said in an interview on Monday, conducted in Arabic through an interpreter.

“In regard to the borders, regarding protection from any external threats, our calculation appears that we are not going to be able to answer to any external threats until 2018 to 2020,” he added.

Mr. Qadir was in the United States to discuss the two nations’ long-term military relationship, starting with how to build the new Iraqi armed forces from the ground up over the next decade and beyond, with American assistance.

The United States and Iraq announced in November that they would negotiate formal agreements on that relationship, including the legal status of American military forces remaining in Iraq and an array of measures for cooperation in the diplomatic and economic arenas.

Negotiations have yet to begin in earnest, but both countries have begun sketching their goals, and Mr. Qadir’s visit certainly is part of measures by the Iraqi government to lay the foundation for those talks, which are to be completed by July.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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Also See:

U.S. Arms Plan for Mideast Aims to Counter Iranian Power: Bush fuels middle east arms race, nyt, 7-31-07

Lieberman: U.S. Should Weigh Iran Attack, ap, June 10, 2007

War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse,' bbc, 5-17-07

Clouds of War Gathering over Greater Middle-East, 10-13-07

fraud in iraq, links

iraq links

articles about iran


Search the Corruption Database under


iraq war

middle east

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Gulf arms: Complex motives

International Relations and Security Network, Zurich


By Dominic Moran in Tel Aviv for ISN Security Watch (14/12/07)

A Pentagon announcement of over US$10 billion in potential Gulf arms sales has again highlighted the tensions and international power plays driving the regional arms race.

The US is pushing ahead with plans for a major boost in arms sales to Gulf states as it seeks to draw them into an alliance against Iran while protecting its regional strategic predominance against competing powers.

The Pentagon notified Congress on 5 December of the potential sale of up to US$10.4 billion in arms and military systems to the UAE and Kuwait. President George W Bush's administration pledged up to US$20 billion in military aid to its Gulf allies in July.

Arab Gulf militaries have been progressively expanding and improving their armaments since the first Gulf War, but this process appears to have picked up pace with Iranian nuclear and missile developments and the descent of Iraq into civil war.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates pushed for a joint regional missile shield and air umbrella, and integrated maritime surveillance and early warning systems in a speech to Gulf delegates at a security meeting last week in the Bahraini capital, Manama.

Gulf states are wary of being drawn into an official regional defense partnership with the US, which could be seen as a provocation by Tehran, but have increased the frequency of their joint military parlays.

Asked by ISN Security Watch if Gulf states are resisting incorporation in a regional defense pact, Chatham House's Dr Gareth Stansfield replied: "I would say that there has been some opposition to that. I think that one thing that has happened with this recent standoff with Iran is that the Arab Gulf states have become much more aware of their own regional interactions and relations."

However a major White House-Congress battle on the issue is unlikely given the greater political salience of Iraq funding and the fact Israel has already been placated through a related 25 percent boost in US military funding.

Director of the Middle East Military Balance Project at Tel Aviv's Institute for National Security Studies Yiftah Shapir explained to ISN Security Watch that the US is seeking to promote a possible future coalition against Iran while "promoting arms sales, since US industry is in fierce competition with the European defense industry and Russian defense industry."

"I think we have to view US weapons sales to the Gulf states as a strategic arrangement within a wider geopolitical context," Stansfield argued.

Gulf states' military procurements appear designed to offset Iran's missile development programs which have produced a growing array of both short and intermediate range missiles.

The Iranian missile arsenal "is very sophisticated" Shapir explained. "They have large varieties of rockets and missiles and they are constantly engaged in developing new and longer range missiles, probably with an eye to the possibility of one day having their own satellite launch capability."

The Pentagon notification relates that the UAE is considering buying 288 Patriot Advanced Capability PAC-3 missile systems, in a massive deal worth up to US$9 billion if all options are exercised.

Kuwait is contemplating the purchase of 80 PAC-3s, upgrades to their current Pac-2 systems and Patriot ground support in a deal estimated to be worth up to US$1.36 billion.

The proposed deals are the first time the PAC-3, the most advanced version of the anti-aircraft system, has been offered to Gulf states.

Gulf states breathed a collective sigh of relief earlier this month with the release of a US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that found Iran had halted work on its nuclear weapons program in 2003. This effectively stymied any chance of a short-term US or Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, which the states strongly oppose.

"I don't think [the NIE] will have any impact on [Gulf] arms procurements, these countries have their own estimates and I don't think they are really as concerned as the Israelis are by Iranian nuclear weapons," Shapir said.

"They are concerned to the extent that they know that the possession of nuclear weapons would give Iran a special status in the region but they certainly do not really consider as feasible that a nuclear bomb would ever be dropped on Abu Dhabi or Dubai."

Gulf states remain rhetorically committed to the formation of a joint nuclear energy program, culminating in a offer from the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) forIran to have a role in a joint uranium consortium.

While Saudis-Iranian tensions are playing out in both the Palestinian territories and Lebanon, the main theater of potential confrontation remains Iraq and the waters of the Gulf itself.

"There is a war by proxy going on in Iraq between Saudi-backed groups and Iranian-backed groups. That obviously colors the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran," Stansfield said.

Iran appears increasingly concerned at the progressive Gulf military build-up. Ahmadinejad offered an economic and security alliance with the states at Doha – an offer welcomed by Qatari officials, though the Saudis made no official response.

Nevertheless, Stansfield believes "A very real security liaison is going on regarding the wider security of the Gulf region and, not necessarily a relationship, but more a balance of power is emerging between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and recognition of each other's interests."

In a sign of warming ties, Saudi King Abdullah invited Ahmadinejad to perform the Hajj earlier this week after the Iranian president indicated that he would be willing to accept such an offer. Their personal relationship likely remains tense after the Iranian leader openly criticized Saudi participation in the Annapolis meeting in a pre-summit telephone conversation with the king.

Middle East Online reports that Iranian officials have also reportedly been pressing their Saudi counterparts to crack down on anti-Shia propaganda and sermons ahead of the Hajj.

"This is where the current US actions come in: the fact that the US obviously has a key interest in maintaining itself at the pinnacle of the Gulf security network as the supplier and manager of it; as the hegemon of it. So there are going to be some interesting tensions playing out in the next decade or so."

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What's Really Going on Here??

The bubbling regional war to pick up speed?

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 14, 2008

There has been an underground regional conflict percolating through the middle-east since before the end of the cold war. Our other imperial bookend in the middle-east, the soviets, melted away. This released the middle-east from the jaws of the soviet-western vice in which they were held.

Although we seemed, and still seem oblivious to the change, a new paradigm replaced the contest between soviet-backed states and western backed states for domination of the middle-east. Not only were regional nations released from this vice, so were the aspirations of their people.

We have not failed to disappoint those who aspired for democracy, if not freedom.

After the fall of the soviets, american foreign policy abuses were no longer judged as part of the contest against the soviets, but we were now to be judged on our own merits, by our own proclaimed standards: democracy and freedom.

Before and after the fall of the soviets, american policy in the middle-east has been dedicated to repressing democracy and freedom across the middle east by maintaining authoritarian regimes capable and willing to impose american political and economic policies on their people.

All arabs, from bedouins to post-colonial urban elites, would have responded favorably to any real american support for democracy, let alone freedom. They have been bitterly disappointed, leading all classes of muslims to find legitimacy in islam, rather than secular democracy.

We have lost the battle for legitimacy across the middle east.

As bush tours nations ruled by kings, emirs, and religious democracies who all hold power under the shadow of the american sword, it is clear that american power and influence in the middle-east has not brought a golden age of democracy.

On the contrary, our support for dictatorships and authoritarian governments, be they be disguised as dictators, kings, emirs, or exclusive democracies, has dramatically increased since the fall of the soviets. As the middle east sought its own identity, we reciprocially increased our support for dictators and tyrants.

Bush's middle-eastern crime spree in iraq, Afghanistan, and pakistan has now blown up in his face, and he has traveled to the middle-east to arm and rally his authoritarian allies for the impending contest to re-re impose western authority on Iran, and pakistan, in addition to rescuing his miserable failures in iraq and Afghanistan.

The bubbling underground regional conflict is about to burst forth as a regional war.

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Also See:

U.S. Arms Plan for Mideast Aims to Counter Iranian Power: Bush fuels middle east arms race, nyt, 7-31-07

Lieberman: U.S. Should Weigh Iran Attack, ap, June 10, 2007

War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse,' bbc, 5-17-07

Clouds of War Gathering over Greater Middle-East, 10-13-07


articles about iran


Search the Corruption Database under


iraq war

middle east

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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Election power of the Israel lobby

By Rob Winder


18:10 MECCA TIME, 15:10 GMT

As US presidential candidates battle it out to become the leader of the world's only superpower there is one subject on which they all, in public at least, agree - the US relationship with Israel.

To leading politicians on both sides of the partisan divide the special relationship is sacrosanct, largely due, critics say, to the power of pro-Israel lobby groups.

Those critics also say that pro-Israeli groups are set to play a major role in the forthcoming election battle, both in terms of funding candidates and by publicly criticising any candidate critical of Israel or the US's relationship with it.

John Mearsheimer, who alongside Stephen Walt is the author of a controversial series of articles and a recent book on the Israel lobby, told Al Jazeera: "Almost all of the major candidates are falling over themselves to demonstrate how deeply committed they are to America's special relationship with Israel.

"Hardly a word of criticism is directed at anything Israel does and that is due to the activities of the lobby."

What is the pro-Israel lobby?

US aid to Israel

- Military aid: 2.25bn

- Economic aid: 237m

- Immigration aid: 40m

- Other: 0.5m

Source: CRS report for US congress, 2006 figures

The lobby is made up of dozens of pro-Israel political action committees that draw a large part of their support from the US Jewish community and provide funding to presidential candidates.

But Christian Zionists, who are among the most vociferous supporters of Israel in the US, also play a major role.

They believe that by strengthening and supporting the state of Israel, they are more likely to bring about the "second coming" of Jesus as prophesied in the Bible.

At the lobby's vanguard is the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), which works mainly in US congress.

It boasts its recent "victories" include the US decision to brand Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, securing US aid to Israel and freezing US aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority in 2006.

The Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP), which monitors the role of money in US politics, says pro-Israeli groups and individuals have already donated more than $845,000 to presidential candidates in the 2008 campaign -  70 per cent of it to Democrats.

In the entire 2004 presidential campaign pro-Israel interests contributed at least $6.1 million to federal candidates and parties.

"Money translates into influence in Washington, so generally the interests that spend the most money are going to get the best access and results," says Massie Ritch, communications director at the CRP.

And it is outside of the presidential race and in congress, which holds the purse strings on the key area of aid to Israel, that the lobby makes its financial mark.

Aipac and other groups spent more than $1.5 million on federal lobbying in 2006 and more than $1.25 million in the first half of 2007, meaning that this year could be a record one for the lobby.

The pro-Israel lobby accounts for about one-quarter of all foreign policy lobbying on Capitol Hill, the CRP says.

Arab efforts to put their case across are, in contrast, minimal.

The National Association of Arab-Americans and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee reported spending just $80,000 on federal lobbying in 2006 and $40,000 in the first six months of 2007.

The financial power of the Israel lobby also allows it to provide one-sided information to US politicians not always familiar with the complexities of conflict in the Middle East.

Aipac provides educational trips to congressman and their staff - more trips than any other sponsor, according to the CRP.

"Members of congress and their staffs have been to Tel Aviv more often in recent years than they've been to Chicago," says Ritch.

Anti-Semitism charges

Aipac's defenders say that this is where the organisation plays an important role, as an information source for politicians - including US presidential candidates.

But critics say that pro-Israel lobby groups go much further - as John Mearsheimer says: "The lobby monitors what the candidates say very closely."

In March, Democratic candidate Barack Obama gave a speech in the key primary state of Iowa where he said: "Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people."

A local Aipac member immediately contacted the media to denounce the comment, describing it as "deeply troubling".

In July Jim Moran, a Democratic congressman who has criticised Aipac in the past, accused the organisation of pushing for war on Iraq.

Seventeen members of congress immediately wrote a letter to Moran condemning him and saying that his remarks "unfortunately fit the anti-Semitic stereotypes some have used historically used against Jews".

Eric Cantor, the house of representatives Republican deputy chief whip, reportedly went further and was quoted as as saying: "Unfortunately, Jim Moran has made it a habit now to lash out to the American-Jewish community.

"I think his remarks are reprehensible, I think his remarks are anachronistic, and hearken back to the day of Adolf Hitler."

In such a political climate it is easy to see why those seeking a job in the Oval Office are wary of speaking out for any change in the US relationship with Israel or against Aipac.

The charge of anti-Semitism is regularly used by the Israel and lobby and was one of the charges faced by John Mearsheimer.

"We are not anti-Semites and the book is not anti-Semitic," he says.

"Calling critics of Israeli policy or the US-Israel relationship is standard operating procedure for the lobby. It's the standard strategy they use to stifle criticism of Israel and to marginalise those critics."

Military action

Beyond the politics of elections, the lobby's critics say that pro-Israeli groups, after pushing for war on Iraq, are now advocating military action against Iran.

"If you look at who is pushing the US to use military force against Iran, the two driving forces are Israel and the Israel lobby," says Mearsheimer.

Jim Moran, in an interview with the Tikkun, a Jewish peace magazine, said US action against Iran is proposed only because it is a threat to Israel.

"No one's suggested that Iran is a potential threat to the United States," he told the magazine, "any more than Iraq could ever have been a threat to the United States."

"In effect, all the same groups and individuals who were pushing for war against Iraq are pushing for war against Iran."

Real friendship

Mearsheimer argues that the US needs to normalise its relationship with Israel, treating it more like the UK, Germany or India.

He and other critics, from both inside and outside the Jewish community in the US, argue that Israel also suffers from its privileged position in terms of US aid.

They believe that the Israel lobby's support in the US encourages Israel to act without fear of international sanction.

This has emboldened Israeli leaders to sanction the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the building of settlements and for the Israeli military to carry out numerous human rights abuses.

"If these presidential candidates were real friends of Israel as they claim to be, they would not only be criticising Israel for its policies in the occupied territories ... they would be arguing that the US put significant pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement on a two-state solution," Mearsheimer told Al Jazeera.

"That's what a real friend would do."

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What's Really Going on Here??

"Israel" Thievery of Arab Lands continues from 1948 to Present

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., July 20, 2007


Top of Page

Also See:

Mearsheimer and Walt, March 2006, THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY.

Book Review by Kim Petersen: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, by Ilan Pappe.

Corruption Updates 42, 4th article on the page, "Bolton Admits US ALLOWED ISRAEL TO DESTROY LEBANON"

Israel, $30 Billion in Military Aid From U.S. essay: Bush Wars Push SaudiArabia..., nyt, 8-15-07

Al-Ahram, Egypt, 30 August - 5 September, 2007; 'No elections if Hamas will win'

Agence France-Presse, October 28, 2007: ElBaradei: No Evidence Iran is Making Nukes

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Bush says Egypt on path to 'political openness'

Khaled El Fiq / EPA

President Bush with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a press conference in Sharm El Sheikh resort, Egypt.

At his final stop on his Mideast tour, the president avoids mention of the government's crackdowns on dissent.

By James Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

lat, January 17, 2008,0,5937628.story?coll=la-home-world

SHARM EL SHEIK, EGYPT -- President Bush, wrapping up a series of visits with Arab leaders who are working to expand their economies but wary of relaxing their grip on power, on Wednesday praised Egypt as making progress toward "greater political openness."

He made no mention of the Egyptian government's continued crackdowns on dissent and the jailing of an opposition presidential candidate.

But, in a diplomatic nudge, he said: "My hope is that the Egyptian government will build on these important steps and give the people of this proud nation a greater voice in [Egypt's] future. I think it will lead to peace, and I think it will lead to justice."

Bush made no reference to the jailing of Ayman Nour after the dissident challenged Mubarak in the most recent presidential election, held in 2005. Mubarak has ruled Egypt since 1981.

Nor did Bush refer to any of the issues raised in the State Department's annual report last March on human rights, which said of Egypt: "The government's respect for human rights remained poor, and serious abuses continued in many areas."

The report cited abuses including a state of emergency in effect almost continuously since 1967, torture of prisoners, arbitrary arrest, limits imposed by the executive branch on the judiciary, and restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, religion and full access to the Internet.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Democracy of Fools: The Bush Vision for the Middle-East

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., August 19, 2007

We have watched the lie of American democracy stripped naked before the Arab people in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and now in Palestine.

The only democracy acceptable to America in the Middle-East is one that bends its will to our command. Any other outcome is unacceptable, and will be crushed by American political, economic, or if need be, military power.

We arm and fund Middle-Eastern dictatorships that pay off our support by acknowledging the "validity" of Israel, and serving us up the regions energy resources. The Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordanians do this by suppressing the political will and freedom of their own peoples with police state powers backed and equipped with US know how and technology.

In short, the political relationship of the US and the Middle-East is not, nor has ever been, based on spreading democracy. Our relationship with the Middle-East is based on suppressing the will and rights of local citizens, imposing dictators, and extracting hydrocarbons. Arabs have no power to select or influence their American Backed dictators outside of violent revolution..

Our government was a democracy until our parties, elections, candidates and political office was hijacked by a political parasite. Our corporate aristocracy has seized control of our government, swept aside our Constitution, and has attacked all freedom-loving peoples of the world.

The United States is spreading the very real doctrine of global wealth and power extracted through violence, while hiding behind the pretence of our broken democracy..

Our sole purpose in the Middle-East is to maintain unfettered direct control their oil, and therefore control global energy markets. We are not there to spread democracy.

Egyptian Dictator Condemns Democratically elected Hamas

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., June 24, 2007, originally written for Corruption Updates 83 #10

Irony of Ironies: The freely elected Hamas government has been condemned by the American Backed Dictator, Mubarak, of Egypt.

Fatah refused to recognize Hamas' victory, and was encouraged, armed, and supported by Israel and the US to defy Hamas' victory. Fatah kept what amounted to an illegal militia in opposition to the elected government. Just like the militias of Hizbolla, Islamic Jihad, and the Madi army that we have designated as "terrorist" groups. This was only one of many of our acts of bad faith.

The real loss we sustained by charting a course that subverted the democratically elected government of Palestine, besides assuring that Fatah would self-destruct, is the loss of a golden opportunity to have a real negotiation with a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Arafat was neither. Arafat believed in independence when he faced his people, and he believed in dependence when he faced the west. This suited neither side, and deteriorated into a regime of unmitigated corruption.

Abbas, on the other hand, is a Western Bitch, and is an unbalanced remnant of Arafat's Western face. But unlike Arafat, Abbas is incapable of changing faces when he turns to his own people. Abbas completely sold out when he assisted and served Israel and America's quest to crush Hamas. Abbas has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of Palestine.

Abbas was, and will be, easily defeated by Hamas in any fair election.

I laughed when The Jews danced in the streets at Arafat's demise, knowing he was the best friend they had with the Palestinians. If Arafat lived forever, he would have continued to balance his two faces, one against the other.

Abbas can suck western cock, but he cannot satisfy his own people. This lack of duplicity, his inability to balance the contradictory realities as Arafat did, has doomed Abbas, and made Hamas a shining example of a successful Islamic Independence movement across the whole Middle-East. The dancing Jews are wishing they had Arafat back.

The Jews, with our help, and fully backed by our stable of middle eastern dictators, were able to bulldoze Abbas, and the post-Arafat Fatah, into subservience to their claims of Israeli legitimacy. This means nothing. Israel can only be legitimized through negotiations with Hamas. Israel, despite 50 years of efforts, cannot buy legitimacy.

The source of failure in Palestine, and the rest of the world, is our failure to realize, either ethically or pragmatically, that legitimacy cannot be bought with bribes, nor violence.

Accepting Israeli claims to legitimacy without settling every major Palestinian claim and grievance was political suicide for Fatah, and increased domestic pressure on every American backed dictator in the middle east.

Prior to sponsoring Fatah's uprising against Hamas, we had the singular opportunity to open negotiations with the first legitimate, non-corrupted representative of the Palestinians, Hamas, for the first time in decades, and we blew it.

Blowing this opportunity to open real negotiations with the Palestinians will cost us dearly in the long run. In the short term, our attack on Hamas will fuel increased domestic resistance to our Saudi, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships.

This will force our dictatorships to either turn against us to maintain their positions in the face of mounting domestic discontent, or declare war on their own people, and impose the will of the West through yet more violence.

Musharraf has reached this point in Pakistan. Egypt is not far behind.

Our response to Hama's victory was to undermine their democratic legitimacy by funding and arming attacks against them. Today, the troika of Israel, the US, and Fatah are trying to bludgeon and starve Hamas into submission. This will fail. The only legitimacy being undermined is our own, and that of our allies across the middle east.

Now we are faced with the ironic spectacle and hypocrisy of our Egyptian dictator Mubarak criticizing Hamas' legitimacy.

The situation is more desperate than we know, when Mubarak is forced to use the word "legitimacy" to criticize Hamas. How dare he use that word in any context other than a bad joke.

Mubarak speaks wisely and well against an elected government seizing legitimacy in Palestine, for he is an un elected tyrant, and represents American Power in the middle east.

If there was a real election in Egypt tomorrow, Mubarak would be hanging from a lamp post the next day, or living in a penthouse in Manhattan.


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Also See:

Corruption Updates 18, 7th article on page, FOR MODERATE DEMOCRACY: EGYPTIANS BELIEVE DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT IS NOT A REAL CONCERN (of the United States)

Corruption Update 21, 3rd article on he page, Egypt Sends Sadat's Nephew to Prison for Defaming Military page, states that:

The United States had at one time talked about Egypt as leading the way toward democratic reform in the Middle East. But with the chaos in the region, and the political uncertainty in Egypt, officials in Egypt said the United States has dropped all pressure to make democratic reforms.” Now compare that with our latest rational for the Iraq war: “We Will Spread Democracy across the Middle East.”

Corruption Update 27, 5th article down, Egypt Cracks Down on Brotherhood

Corruption Update 27, 5th article down, Egypt adopts Bush style arrests based on no more than the will of the President

Corruption Update 27, 6th article on page,2007, Redrawing the Map,” This article describes Mubarak's suppression of democracy through arbitrary Constitutional amendments.

Corruption Update 30, 7th article on page, Egypt detains Brotherhood backers

Corruption Updates 32, 1st article on page,RICE THANKS EGYPTIAN DICTATOR FOR REGIONAL SUPPORT

Corruption Update 40, 6th article on page, "Before the vote" (MUBARAK ABOUT TO IMPOSE BUSH RULES ON EGYPT The Constitutional changes Mubarak is about to impose on Egypt are the same powers Bush has claimed here

)Corruption Updates 52, 5th article on page, Muslim Brothers in military trial

Corruption Updates 124, 10th article on the page, Egypt: Dictator Brutally Suppresses Dissent-Press

Mubarak ready to pass Dictatorship to son, AP, Nov 7, 2007

Egypt links

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6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

No alliance with Pervez Musharraf’

Daily times, -17-08


WASHINGTON: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari indirectly ruled out an alliance with President Pervez Musharraf when he told Washington Times in an interview published on Wednesday that he was willing to explore all possibilities for the return of democracy to Pakistan, but none that would extend Musharraf’s ‘dictatorship’.

According to the report filed from Pakistan, Zardari said, “Coalitions and power-sharing are concepts under normal politics and constitutional rule . . .” He said the PPP was “not looking for crumbs of power from a dictator’s table. We will take our rightful share in power under the constitution after a free and fair election”. Asked about sharing power with the president after elections, he replied, “This question is hypothetical. For now, we are focused on the elections,” he said.

He said continued US support for Musharraf could undermine democracy in Pakistan. He was afraid that “in the current state, the elections cannot be free and fair”.

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6b) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Nawaz calls for national govt, new EC

By Amjad Mahmood

Dawn, 1-17-08

LAHORE, Jan 16: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has demanded formation of a government of national consensus without President Pervez Musharraf and reconstitution of the Election Commission with Justice Rana Bhagwandas as its chief, to give credence to the electoral process.

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader alleged at a press conference here on Wednesday that the caretaker government was an extension of the PML-Q. He said free and fair polls were not possible under the current chief election commissioner.

He said he would not object to a postponement of polls for a couple of weeks if his demands were met.

“Musharraf must resign and the Senate chairman should form a consensus government after consulting all the political parties. The new set-up should reconstitute the Election Commission to be headed by Justice Rana Bhagwandas. This is the solution to 95 per cent of the ailments the country is suffering from,” he said.

Mr Sharif warned that if his demands were not met the election would lead the country to more chaos.

He, however, made it clear that the PML-N would contest the election.

In reply to a question, he said he had been talking of a national government even when he was in London. He said he wanted the armed forces to limit themselves to the role envisaged in the Constitution.

Blaming President Musharraf for all the problems, from the deteriorating law and order situation to price-hike and loadshedding, he said the ouster of the former army chief would create conditions for fair and free election and end bomb explosions.

Accusing the PML-Q of working on a plan for ‘massive’ poll rigging with the help of government officials, he cautioned that their activities were being monitored in every constituency. He urged the officials to perform their duties honestly, meeting all constitutional and legal requirements.

The PML-N leader said the first point in his party’s manifesto was restoring the judiciary as it was on Nov 2, 2007. He said he would soon administer oath to all PML-N candidates to work for the cause in parliament. The future of the country depended on restoration of the deposed judges, he said.

Commenting on a statement by President Musharraf that the next government would continue his policies, Mr Sharif said the former army chief had not achieved anything worthwhile during his eight-year rule.

“Is he referring to his policies of abrogating the Constitution, ousting an elected government, handcuffing the prime minister and exiling him, giving the Steel Mills to cronies at a throwaway price, bombing our masses and kidnapping people from their homes, giving the gifts of price-hike and loadshedding to the nation, killing persons like Benazir Bhutto and Akbar Bugti and incarcerating judges and lawyers?”

Answering a question, he said the situation of uncertainty created by the Musharraf had provided an opportunity to foreign powers to raise concerns about the nuclear assets of the country. “Had our house been in order no one would have dared to talk about our nuclear assets.”

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6c) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

US urged to ensure fair polls in Pakistan

Special Correspondent

the nation, 1-18-08

WASHINGTON: - Amid calls for a shift in US policy towards Pakistan, U.S. experts urged policymakes to keep pressure on President Pervez Musharraf to hold fair elections in Pakistan next month or risk deeper chaos in the country, considered an important ally in Washington's war on terror.

Testifying before a House of Representatives panel, leading South Asia experts said that prospects for free and fair elections in Pakistan on February 18 were doubtful under restrictions imposed late last year by Musharraf.

The United States should avoid abrupt moves such as abandoning Musharraf, or cutting off aid to military. But it must not allow him to engineer a fraudulent poll that would anger many Pakistanis, the experts said.

"Maximally free and fair elections are required for near-term stability," RAND Corporation analyst Christine Fair told the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, which is headed by Congressman Gary Ackerman.

"In the short term, the United States should work toward a democratic transition in Pakistan, not merely a democratic patina for President and General Musharraf," she said.

The United States should avoid abrupt moves such as abandoning Musharraf, or cutting off aid to military. But it must not allow him to engineer a fraudulent poll that would anger many Pakistanis, the experts said.


The United States should use pressure and incentives to prod Musharraf to reinstate the top judges he removed, create an election commission, modernizer voter lists and lift restrictions on political parties and the media, Fair said.

"Musharraf is very unlikely to take these steps, especially without a clarion statement, in public and in private, from the administration and from Congress that such measures are expected," she said.

Musharraf needs an election outcome that would prevent legal or political challenges to his staying in office as president, Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told the panel.

The Pakistani president is expected to try before the election to ensure a victory for his allies in the Muslim League-Q party or to engineer a favorable outcome after the votes are tallied, he said.

A free and fair election that meets international standards was unlikely. But to avoid more unrest, the goal should be a vote that is "acceptable in terms of process and outcome to the Pakistani people."

To achieve this, the United states and others should "work with Musharraf and prevent the fixing of the election in an egregious way," said Tellis.

Lisa Curtis, a former CIA analyst and ex-senior State Department advisor on South Asia, warned that US-Pakistan relations were "crossing troubled waters," and "anti-Americanism is reaching the boiling point."

She said a strong US public stance supporting the process of democracy without focusing on any one particular leader or party would help calm the situation.

"Washington should increasingly view Musharraf as a transitional figure whose influence is likely to decline in the months ahead," she said.

Earlier, the US Congress passed its first 2008 legislation by condemning the murder of Pakistan's ex-premier Benazir Bhutto.

"What is clear is that before Pakistan devolves any further in chaos and violence, US policy has to change," Ackerman said.

Ackerman said that the reliance by President George W. Bush's administration on "war on terror" ally Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to restore democracy while fighting against extremism had not worked.

"There has been neither success against terrorism nor a return to democracy," he said, as he chaired a separate House hearing on US-Pakistan relations.

The United States, he said, needs a new approach to Pakistan that puts as much emphasis on building stable, free and moderate institutions as it has on fighting terrorists.

Ackerman, a senior member of the influential House committee on foreign affairs, cited a recent survey by the United States Institute for Peace and World Public Opinion which showed that Pakistanis overwhelmingly view having elected leadership as important.

"The Bush Administration needs to build on the Pakistani view of the importance of democracy and needs to start by insisting that the elections on February 18 are free and fair," Ackerman said.

He also called for "a fundamental reappraisal" of US assistance to Pakistan, saying Washington has for too long provided the country's military with the bulk of its aid and "neglected" those aimed at building and strengthening democratic institutions.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Musharraf Fears his own people more than US or Taliban

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 12, 2008

When musharraf was more secure with the army, isi, and his grip on civil society was firm, musharraf was our boy in pakistan, "fighting terror."

Or was he? Are we now finally seeing he real musharraf, the musharraf that supported the taliban, the musharraf who maintained peace with the mountain folk, the musharraf who gained power by crushing civil democracy in lowland pakistan?

The simple answer is yes. Bush's desire to project power blinded him to the realities in pakistan, Afghanistan, and iraq. Bush's knowingly embraced musharraf exactly because musharraf is a dictator, and bush expected his purchase of the dictator would assure compliance with american directives.

Unfortunately for bush's plans, he failed to realize that that the army and isi had long ago made deals with the taliban and mountain folk: they are partners. That's why musharraf is unwilling as well as unable to do our bidding in the mountains. That's why musharraf is finally revealing his hand, and calling for talks with his allies, the people who still run Afghanistan: the taliban.

In the meantime musharraf has seized complete power in the lowland cities where the adherents of western democracy live. The real threat to musharraf is secular civil society, and musharraf has dealt with them by clubbing and shooting them in the streets, closing the supreme court and re-opening it with his tools on the bench, and closing the free press.

Oh, and killing benizar bhutto, who was our hand-picked representative of secular corruption and american influence. Bhutto did not represent democracy by any stretch of imagination. No great loss there.

Beneath all of this is the hidden fact that we have already lost the war in Afghanistan. No great loss there, as our vision for Afghanistan could never be made to fit the "facts on the ground," as bush likes to say.

A new balance of power is rising in the middle-east and south asia, and it does not place american interests at its center. Bush has accelerated this inevitable process by discrediting our nation, which has not just discredited our regional allies, but has made enemies of average muslims across the middle-east.

The american strategic situation in the middle-east and pakistan is melting down in the streets, in the capitals, and in the hearts and minds of muslims around the region and the world.

Iran has predominate influence in Baghdad, south, and west iraq. That's the only reason we are staying in iraq. When we leave iraq, a Shiite government will quickly emerge who's #1 ally is Iran.

Afghanistan is lost. The taliban controls every area where we do not have military supremacy. Where we have no guns, we have no authority.

Pakistan does not have a stable basis of leadership, either in the "democracy" movement, nor the military. Pakistan is heading to a showdown between musharraf, the people, the mountain people, and the army. It is unlikely that the side that wins will be able or willing to remain our bitch.

Saudi arabia has a bubbling domestic revolution on its hands, who's aim is to remove the heads of leaders who serve the west.

Mubarak will die as dictator of egypt, and when he does the next regime will withdraw from their american alliance, repeal their recognition of israel, and accelerate the rise of an independent middle-east.

The new, independent middle-east is going to be very hostile to american interests. The new middle-east is going to consider american intervention in their affairs as an act of war. The new middle-east is going to use their oil as a global check to american influence.

Expect russia, china, and india to be very helpful and supportative of the new regimes that rise from the ashes of our "globalization" empire.

In short, we are observing the chaotic bloody birth of a brand-new post-colonial (post globalized also works) middle-east that is going to take its rightful place in their region and the world.

We have fought this for decades with invasions, assassinations, and dictators, but now the whole region has reached the breaking point, and the era of western control of the middle-east is over, except for another couple of bloody wars, and maybe a revolution, possibly a civil war or two.

Expect the saudis to move the crown to an independent, anti-american prince when the king dies, or face even more serious threats from their "subjects." Expect egypt to form an islamic democracy after they reject mubarak's son, gamial.

Bush knows now that his vain attempt to reassert american dominance over middle-eastern oil, and the nations that sit on top of the oil, has failed. The failure of bush's iraqi and afghani adventures has destabilized all of our regional allies, while enhancing the influence and power of Iran.

I still put the chances at 30% that bush will provoke a war with iran. If this occurs, I put the chances at 50-50 that bush will attempt to "postponed" the '08 election.

Besides inflaming the middle-east, american foreign policy has destabilized the global balance of power.

A new era of a global contest for empire is emerging out of the failed lies of our "globalization" fraud.

Apparently americans will not recognize that what we call "globalization" is no more than the economic terms of victory dictated by our imperial corporate state on weaker states.

We will maintain that lie, and our imperial power of "globalism," until we lose control of our empire, and another nation, maybe china or russia, seizes the dominant position and employs the term "globalism" to hide the reality of their thieving empire.

So don't act surprised when the world does the same thing to us that we have done to them for the last 50 years: steal our resources, our labor, our rights, and our right to form our own government, and calls it "globalism."

To do this they will have to engage and defeat the corporations who are currently stealing the resources, labor, rights, money and authority of our people, our government, and our world.

Should be a great fight, if you like fights.

If you don't like fights, you failed a long time ago.

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Also See:

U.S.: Pakistan Will Fight Militants: American Dictator to Save Pakistan from itself, ap, July 17, 2007

New Violence at Reopened Pakistan Mosque: American Dictator Provokes Widespread Violence, ap, July 27, 2007

Will US broker a Musharraf-Bhutto alignment between Army and Secular Corruption?

Musharraf strikes deal with Bhutto: Bhutto sells out to American Dictatorship, Financial Times, August 29, 2007

Our Paki Dictator Releases Militants, Arrests Democratic Opposition to fight "Terror," Dawn, Pakistan, 11-5-07

US continues to back Paki dictator after arrest of supreme court, closing media, and arresting moderate opponents, Christian Science Monitor, Nov 6, 2007

Musharraf imprisoned supreme court, killed media, and arrested opponents with Bush Approval, Dawn, 11-3-07


paki links


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7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

When freedom stumbles

Jan 17th 2008
From The Economist print edition


Civil and democratic rights are in retreat, says an organisation with strong, though not uncontested, views on the matter

OVER the past half century, it often seemed that the advance of democracy and basic freedoms—the right to speak and write without fear of persecution, to demand political change, and so on—was ineluctable. First the Europeans let their colonies go. Then the Soviet empire fell, and with it the communist monopoly on power in eastern Europe. And apartheid ended in South Africa.

Recently, though, freedom's progress may have come to a halt, or even gone into reverse. That, at least, is the conclusion of Freedom House, an august American lobby group whose observations on the state of liberty are a keenly watched indicator. Its report for 2007 speaks of a “profoundly disturbing deterioration” in the global picture, with reversals seen in 38 countries—nearly four times as many as are showing any sign of improvement.

An especially disturbing sign, says the organisation, is the number of countries in all regions of the world where a previously hopeful trend has gone into reverse. They include Bangladesh (where the armed forces took over last year), Sri Lanka (whose civil war flared up) and the Philippines. Other backsliders included Nigeria and Kenya, accounting for more than one sub-Saharan African in four between them, plus the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. In both Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, former Soviet republics whose “colour revolutions” were warmly encouraged by Freedom House, there was regression. Only two countries, Thailand and Togo, made a clear leap forward last year, going from “not free” to “partly free”.

No country joined the top “free” group, and a total of 43 countries, representing 36% of the world's population, now languish in the “not free” group. None of the eight “worst of the worst”—Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—was credited with any sign of improvement.

Of course, not all the targets of Freedom House's ire will feel embarrassed by their low scores. For example, Cuba's envoys to the United Nations have angrily denounced the organisation as a blatant instrument of “interventionist activities” by dark forces in Washington. And in slightly more respectable quarters (on America's academic left, for example) the analysts at Freedom House have been criticised for hewing too close to their home country's foreign policy.

So where exactly does Freedom House come from? It was founded in 1941 by Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt, as a counter to Nazism. During the cold war it “fought the good fight” against Soviet-backed tyrannies but also had harsh words for dictators on America's side of the stand-off. At least in American terms, its bosses and trustees have covered a broadish range of Republicans and Democrats. James Woolsey, a former CIA director, once served as its chairman. Past trustees have included Donald Rumsfeld, an ex-defence secretary, and Paul Wolfowitz, another Republican luminary who held high office at the Pentagon. But board members have also included Lane Kirkland, a Democrat who led America's labour movement for 16 years.

Nor does the organisation conceal its financial ties to the American government, which supplies about 80% of its income. But it strongly denies that it acts as an arm of the government, or that it holds back from criticising America and its friends when that is warranted. And it would be hard to argue that diplomatic friendship with the United States has ever guaranteed a country a free pass from the think-tank. Israel, a close American friend, used to get relatively poor grades—a 2 for political rights and a 3 for civil liberties on a descending scale of 1 to 7. In recent years, Israel has improved its scores, but only in 2005 did its civil-liberty rating rise to 2.

Japan, another American ally, has also struggled to keep up its grades at Freedom House. Having started with a 2 for political rights and a 1 for civil liberties, it got top marks throughout the 1980s, only to slip back to a grade 2 in both categories in the early 1990s. Since 1995, it has been getting a grade 1 for political rights, but still only a 2 for civil liberties. Meanwhile some of America's strategic allies, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt, have seen virtually no rise in their ratings since the September 2001 terrorist attacks despite their role as partners in the “war on terror”. All have continued to languish at or near the bottom of the pile.

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What's Really Going on Here??

A mirror for "freedom house"

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 17, 2008

Even the corporate fascist freedom house is beginning to gage the massive damage to freedom and democracy around the world that the breakdown of american adherence to rule of law, let alone our own constitutional principals, has fostered around the world.

The one hundred year american program to impose and maintain a global ring of dictators over the world's key resources is breaking down. It is ironic that the system that has brought so much profit and power to the us is now becoming the greatest threat to the profits and power of the us.

And as we fight to maintain our empire, our crimes continue to grow in number and seriousness.

Unfortunatly for the people of the world, and truth, freedom house has failed to link the decline in freedom with the us policies that support any government, democracy, dictator, or king who will assure that american corporations get direct access to their resources.

In the face of rising popular resistance, from every quarter of our global empire, the us has launched a counterattack, declaring a formless, borderless, lawless war on "terror," giving licence to every american aligned government in the world to trample on the rights of its citizens. And if the present government in any nation will not play ball, we will work to replace it with one that will.

This is nothing new. People around the world have rejected american supported dictators, kings, and corporate democracies for over a century, and our government has assisted our dictators in hunting, torturing, and killing these people.

What is new is that our government has stepped out of the shadows, and has set the latest standards for international behavior by abandoning the geneva conventions, neutralizing habius corpus, adopting kidnapping and dissappearences, establishing secret prisons where conditions are torturous as well as employing torture, and instituting drumhead military tribunals where convictions is assured.

The rest of the world merely follows our lead.

And who is subject to this treatment? It's hard to tell, as the government is covering its crimes with the blanket of "national security," but it is apparent that the us feels free to kidnap, detain, torture, and railroad anyone it suspects of being a threat to our power.

An astute analysis of the global status of freedom would find that the key to freedom and national independence around the world is firmly centered in the United States, and rather than advancing freedom and democracy, we are the world's greatest enemy to human rights and freedom.

If freedom house was a bit more objective they would have identified the link between the corporate capture of our democracy here in the us, and the global outbreak of tyranny, terror, and even more tyranny.

Until we can look in the mirror, and identify ourselves as the main source of tyranny, violence, and resistance in the world, the situation is going to continue to decline into further instability, violence, and a series of imperial wars.

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8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Land-transfer issue on ballot


Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, January 17, 2008


An initiative that would prohibit governments from using eminent domain to transfer property to private developers qualified for the June ballot Wednesday.


The measure would still allow state and local governments to condemn land for traditional public uses, such as roads and parks, though the owner must receive "just compensation."


In 2006, another initiative, Proposition 90, fell short with 48 percent of the vote. It would have barred governments from using eminent domain to take property for use by a private developer.


But it also contained a more controversial provision requiring governments to compensate property owners when regulations and laws resulted in "substantial" economic losses.


Signatures are still being verified for a competing initiative sponsored by local governments. It would prohibit taking an "owner-occupied residence" for private purposes.


– John Hill, Bee Capitol Bureau



Two amendments expected on ballot
By Michael Gardner

January 17, 2008

The newly qualified measure would bar government from seizing property of unwilling sellers just to turn it over to another commercial enterprise. But, it does allow local agencies to take land for some public purposes, such as roads and schools.

Madaffer claims the measure would weaken rent-control ordinances and make it easier to evict tenants, including those on fixed incomes and the elderly, because it includes language that strengthens the rights of property owners.


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8b) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

The California Homeowners Protection Act: Real California Eminent Domain Reform Without Hidden Agendas

A Million Signatures to be Turned in Next Week

By Nan Brasmer
California Alliance for Retired Americans

November 23, 2007

Rent control provides stability and peace of mind that retired seniors and individuals on fixed incomes will not be forced out of their home due to skyrocketing rents. That’s why CARA is outraged that recently a landlord-backed coalition announced they have submitted more than 1 million signatures to county elections offices to qualify their deceptive anti-senior measure for the June 2008 ballot. The landlords want voters to believe their measure is about eminent domain, but their true goal is to roll back rent control and other important renter protection laws that protect seniors.

These landlords are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters and have already spent close to $2 million to qualify this classic bait and switch measure. But they won’t be successful. The California Alliance for Retired Americans will be one of many senior and tenants groups who will wage an aggressive campaign to tell voters what this measure really is: a greedy scheme by landlords to eliminate rent control so they can make millions of dollars off the backs of seniors, veterans, working moms and other Californians.

While our organizations will be beating the drum of rent control, there is more to hate about this scheme. Environmentalists are concerned the scheme could erode environmental protections. Business and Ag groups are concerned that it will prevent needed water supply projects. Public safety groups are concerned that it will prevent important community protections.

CARA is a member of Eminent Domain Reform Now, a coalition of seniors, tenants’ rights advocates, renters, environmental groups, business groups and others who support real eminent domain reform without a hidden agenda. Next week, our coalition will submit more than a million signatures to qualify the Homeowners Protection Act for the June ballot. The Homeowners Protection Act will prohibit government agencies from taking homes through eminent domain to transfer to a private party. It is a straightforward response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. New London and does not attempt to surreptitiously loop in unrelated provisions or issues.

Real eminent domain reform. No Hidden Agendas, no adverse consequences.

We know that voters support real reform and dislike hidden agendas. And they particularly dislike the notion of abolishing rent control. A measure during the 90’s which would have abolished rent control went down in flames. And private polling shows that voters remain opposed to eliminating rent control. When given the choice, we are confident that voters will support straightforward protections for homeowners without all the adverse consequences of the Hidden Agendas’ Scheme.

CARA wants to keep California livable for our seniors, and working families. We at CARA, in conjunction with the Eminent Domain Reform Now coalition, will be working overtime until election day to alert the voters of the dangerous consequences of passing the landlords’ Hidden Agendas Scheme.

For more info visit and
Posted on November 23, 2007


What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January, 2008

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9) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Levee report shocks city

Feds plan tough restrictions that could halt building in Natomas and require flood insurance.

By Mary Lynne Vellinga And Matt Weiser -

Published 12:18 am PST Wednesday, January 16, 2008


After years of post-Hurricane Katrina pressure to improve the nation's defenses against catastrophic flooding, the federal government took a drastic step Tuesday.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would place Sacramento's fast-growing Natomas in a flood hazard zone, essentially halting construction of homes, offices and stores until the levees are improved.


The FEMA announcement sets a long-awaited deadline for homeowners to buy flood insurance before rates rise.


The designation was greeted with anger and shock by Sacramento city officials who have supported bold levee repair plans but oppose restrictions on building.


City leaders questioned the evaluation conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They said they would seek "an act of Congress" to stop the federal action. And they said the new rules could cripple Sacramento's economy.


"I am very frustrated and very angry with the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA because Sacramento has really become the poster child of what to do right in flood protection," Mayor Heather Fargo said at a hastily called news conference.

Fargo said she wasn't sure the city would appeal, but it would seek help from U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui. "The one solution left that I'm aware of is an act of Congress," she said.


Unlike her late husband, however, it doesn't look as if Matsui will lead a charge to make FEMA back off. In the 1980s, U.S. Reps. Robert Matsui and Vic Fazio pushed through legislation that prevented FEMA from slapping building restrictions on much of Sacramento. But that was before Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans.


"Public safety is No. 1," Matsui spokeswoman Lauren Smith said Tuesday. She said the congresswoman was "exploring avenues" that would allow critical projects, such as a planned North Natomas fire station, to proceed.


Sacramento is considered the urban area most vulnerable to catastrophic flooding in the nation.


In 1998, after an eight-year building moratorium, the corps said the Natomas levees met its minimal 1-in-100 flood protection standard, or the ability to withstand a flood with a 1 percent chance of striking in any given year.


Then, in July 2006, the corps said the levees didn't meet that standard after all, despite the $57 million in upgrades during the 1990s.


On Tuesday, the corps said Natomas levees aren't strong enough to withstand even a 30-year storm, the type of event that has a 3 percent chance of happening any given year.


Due to the limited time available for this study, the corps closely examined only two Sacramento River levee sections.


The corps found seepage and unstable slopes in both.


"That's enough information right there for us to not certify the levees," said Roger Henderson, assistant geotechnical branch chief for the corps.


In one stretch, three sites were up to 4 inches too short to hold back a 30-year flood.


FEMA proposes remapping the basin as an "AE Zone." That means all new construction or substantial remodeling must be elevated above higher flood levels now thought possible. In Natomas, that could mean buildings must be raised 20 feet – a prohibitively expensive requirement that would create a de facto building moratorium. The decision is likely to become final in December.


City and county officials cannot appeal the AE zone, but they can appeal the elevation, said FEMA spokesman Frank Mansell.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., January 17, 2008
How this can be shocking is beyond belief. As the links below point out, the problems with the levies were well known on dec 2, 2006, and well before that date.

But the city and state officials pushed forward with blindness and bribes to keep building going in what they knew was a dangerous flood plain.

What is shocking is that these bribed hacks can still keep office. But as long as the developers are able to give people like perata a half-million at a shot, we can expect the legislature will allow them to build wherever the hell they want.

The links below give the outlines of the story: Bribe the politicans and they will allow you to build without responsibility for safety, water, energy, infrastructure, schools, or overcrowding.

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Also See:

Levees trigger growth warning, bee, December 2, 2006


Corruption Updates 2, 2nd Article, “Perata Takes a HALF-Mil to Sell Out:..half-mil to flood kill bills

Corruption Updates 4, 5th Article, “Perata Pretends to Revive Honor, Flood Bills

Corruption Updates 5, 5th Article, “Greed Defeats Responsibility: Flood Bills Die

Natomas land deal raises new questions, bee, 5-19-07

Perata: Living Large, East Bay Express, 5-23-07

Sprawl clashes with warming in California, sf chron, 5-27-07


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Today's Headlines

"Term Limit" Fraud

1] Arnie betrays democracy again: serves dems who are serving big money

1b] Arnie sells out to corporate-dem monopoly of politics in ca by weakening term limits

bush wars and other Crimes

2] Govt plans to stay in iraq permently

3] Bush guns up the whole middle east

4] Foreign manipulation, bribery conditions american presidential election

5] Bush visits dictator mubarak, makes a mockery of american version of "democracy"


6] Zardari rejects musharraf deal

6b] Sharif rejects musharraf

6c] Rand reports to congress on american crimes in pakistan

7] A mirror for "freedom house"

California Quagmire

8] Eminent domain initiative qualifies

8b] Eminent domain initiative has a hidden agenda

9] Bad levies limit growth around sacramento: Finally.