Thursday, December 20, 2007


Editorial by Dr. J. P. Hubert

If the United States continues to lose the ever more diminutive manufacturing base it still has, where will the next generation of American’s go? Only a small percentage will be able to work as so-called “professionals”, attain fame, celebrity or become professional sports figures—the vast majority will be consigned to working in service industries at minimum wage. Virtually every great industry the US once possessed has been lost except for high tech munitions (being given to Israel and sold to our “enemies”) and civilian aviation (about to be challenged by China).

As our country becomes more “third world” signified by the complete loss of a middle class, it is more not less likely that minimum wage jobs will be lost, in favor of those which can charitably be termed slave labor. Moreover, without a drastic change in US trade policy including the erection of significant protective tariffs and control of at least the southern border, this reality will no doubt be upon us sooner rather than later.

The international corporatists who presently control US trade policy are wedded to an economic theory (free trade ala Milton Friedman) which however well intended is intellectually bankrupt [it could only function equitably if all trading partners were equally developed]. The present situation (unfair trade in which American workers must compete against sweat shop laborers abroad) has made the once great American manufacturing sector (presently on life-support) nearly moribund. It could not be resurrected now without exposing the populace to widespread suffering and distress particularly for those of lesser means.

Given that as a nation we can no longer produce the goods upon which we all depend for daily living, we are literally at the mercy of the nations (see this) , who currently supply them including China, Japan, and Korea among a few others. Unfortunately, China and Japan are also two of our most important bankers. We owe them at least 2 trillion dollars of borrowed money much of which is financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). At present we pay only interest. It is doubtful that we could repay the principle all at once (if it suddenly became necessary to do so—were either to call in their US Treasury Notes).

Many school-age children will no doubt need to seek employment opportunities abroad lest they be consigned to a life of economic depravation in the US. Barring a complete paradigm shift in US trade policy, border control, and a Manhattan Project-like dedication to rebuilding the manufacturing/production base of the nation, out-migration of many of our youngest American’s is inevitable with clearly negative implications for unfunded liabilities such as entitlements. Clearly, those with the most talent, intellect and initiative will be tempted to seek a better life elsewhere. The question is—where?

Monday, December 17, 2007

US Must Reevaluate Its Relationship With Israel

by Scott Ritter, Dec. 17, 2007
see original HERE

...As a firsthand witness to the remarkable vigor of the Israeli state and its people, and as someone who considers himself to be their friend, it saddens me to see just how poorly the current Israeli government returns this friendship, not to me personally, but to my country, the United States of America. The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has embarked on policies that are questionable at best when one examines them from a purely Israeli standpoint; they are nothing less than a betrayal of the United States when examined from a broader perspective.

The insidious manner in which the current Israeli government has manipulated the domestic political machinery of the United States to produce support for its policies constitutes nothing less than direct interference in the governance of a sovereign state. The degree to which the current Israeli government has succeeded in this regard can be tracked not only by the words and actions of the administration of President George W. Bush and the American Congress, but also by the extent to which a pro-Israel lexicon has taken hold within the mainstream media of the United States. Witness the pro-Israel bias displayed when discussing the situation in southern Lebanon, the air strike in Syria, or the Iranian situation, and the retarding of any effort toward a responsible discussion of anything dealing with Israel becomes apparent.

One would expect such efforts to shape the domestic public opinion of a state deemed hostile, but when the target of these Israeli actions is its ostensible best friend, one must begin to question whether or not the friendship is a one-way street. And if this is indeed the case, then perhaps it is time for the United States to reconsider its decades-old policy of strategic partnership with Israel.

It must be understood that the government of Ehud Olmert is acting in a post-9/11 environment, with considerable facilitators in the administration of President Bush, including the vice president. These two factors combine to create a cycle of enablement that allows a purely Israeli point of view to dominate American policy. If the Israeli point of view were built on logic, compassion, and the rule of law, then this tilt would not constitute a problem. But the Israeli point of view is increasingly constructed on a foundation of intolerance and irresponsible unilateralism that divorces the country from global norms. In this day and age of nuclear nonproliferation, the undeclared nuclear arsenal of Israel stands as perhaps the most egregious example of how an Israel-only standard destabilizes the Middle East. It is the Israeli nuclear weapons program, including its strategic delivery systems, that is the core of instability for this very volatile region (emphasis mine).

The statements by Israeli officials concerning the recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran and its nuclear program are perhaps the best manifestation of this reality. Avi Dichter, Israel's public security minister, has condemned the NIE as a flawed document, and in terms that link the American analysis to a cause-and-effect cycle that could lead the Middle East down the path of regional war. Like many Israelis, including the prime minister, Dichter disagrees with the American NIE on Iran, in particular the finding that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The Israelis hold that this program is still active, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reached a conclusion similar to the NIE's based upon its own exhaustive inspection activities inside Iran over the past five years.

In threatening the world with war because America opted for once to embrace fact instead of fiction, Israel, sadly, has become like a cornered beast, lashing out at any and all it perceives to threaten its security interests. The current Israeli definition of what constitutes its security interests is so broad as to preclude any difference of opinion. Israel's shameless invocations of the Holocaust to defend its actions not only shames the memory of those murdered over 60 years ago, but ironically dilutes the impact of that memory by linking it with current policies that are cruel and intolerant. The message of Holocaust remembrance should be "never again," not just in terms of the persecution of Jews, but in terms of man's inhumanity to man. The birth of the Israeli state, as imperfect and controversial as it was,* served as a foundation for the pursuit of tolerance. However, Israel's current policies, rooted in ethnic and religious hatred, are the antithesis of tolerance.

Israel at present can have no friends, because Israel does not know how to be a friend. Driven by xenophobic paranoia and historical grievances, Israel is embarked on a path that can only lead to death and destruction. This is a path the United States should not tread. I have always taken the position that Israel is a friend of the United States, and that friends should always stand up for one another, even in difficult times. I have also noted that, to quote a phrase well known in America, friends don't let friends drive drunk, and that for some time now Israel has been drunk on arrogance and power. As a friend, I have believed the best course of action for the United States to take would be that which helped remove the keys from the ignition of the policy vehicle Israel is steering toward the edge of the abyss. Now it seems our old friend is holding a pistol to our head, demanding that we stop interfering with the vehicle's operation and preventing us from getting out of the car. This is not the action of a friend, and it can no longer be tolerated.

It is time for what those who are familiar with dependency issues would term an intervention. Like a child too long spoiled by an inattentive parent, Israel has grown accustomed to American largess, to the point that it is addicted to an American aid package that is largely responsible for keeping the Israeli economy afloat. This aid must be reconsidered in its entirety. The day of the free ride must come to an end. The United States must redefine its national security priorities in the Middle East and position Israel accordingly. At the very least, American aid must be linked to Israeli behavior modification. The standards America applies to other nations around the world when it comes to receiving aid must likewise apply to Israel.

Let there be no doubt: Israel and its considerable lobby of supporters here in America will scream bloody murder if their aid is trimmed in any fashion. But in the greater interest of what will best benefit the security interests of the United States, and indeed the Middle East and the entire world, the grip Israel has on American policymaking must come to an end. It is up to the American people to make this change, first and foremost by recognizing that a real problem exists in American-Israeli relations, then by electing officials to Congress who will deal responsibly with these problems based not on the behind-the-scenes lobbying of Israel and its proxies, but rather the legitimate interests of the United States.

If Israel decides it wants to be our friend, then it will change its behavior accordingly. Absent this, America has no choice but to declare its independence from a relationship that has destroyed our credibility around the world and drags us dangerously down the path toward another irresponsible military misadventure in the Middle East. If, in the future, Israel desires to reestablish a relationship with the United States built upon the principles of mutual trust and benefit, then so be it. Such a relationship is something I could embrace without hesitation. But one thing is certain: no such friendship can truly exist under the conditions and terms that are in place today, and for that reason the entirety of the American-Israeli relationship must be reexamined.

*Editor's NOTE:

I have written elsewhere that the way in which the state of Israel was formed was immoral as it expropriated land from Arab Palestinian inhabitants without their consent and without making proper remuneration. In addition the NAKBA (deportation and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians including genocide) carried out by the Haganah (pre-Israeli Defense Force) was a crime against humanity. These crimes are no justification for the killing of innocent Israeli's in retaliation which has transpired since however. No intentional killing of the innocent can ever be morally justified.

More Things Change, More they Stay the Same

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

In the fall of 2006 much was made of the Democratic takeover of Congress. Pundits touted the purported mandate sent by voters to "end the war in Iraq." Despite a great deal of verbiage, the war continues; there being more US forces in Iraq today than were present when the Democrats resumed control of the US House and Senate over one year ago. The standard explanation offered by the leadership is that Democrats lack sufficient votes in the Senate to pass meaningful legislation.

As I have written on several past occassions, senate Democrats could easily stop all Iraq war funding by simply engaging in a filibuster--no further monies would be appropriated--the war would end. Democrats have made it clear that they are unwilling to employ this technique even as a last resort. Apparently, their desire to win the Presidency in 2008 is so strong that they will refuse to act despite the fact that clear majorities of American's want an end to the Iraq war. So much for moral principle, election promises and the all-important oversight function of Congress.

The pursuit of unbridled power has become the ultimate goal for Democrats, not doing the "will of the people" or even adhering to the common morality or common good. Copious data prove that the American presence in Iraq is destabilizing. Moreover the war is illegal and immoral by all applicable international and US legal standards and by a consideration of the standard Judeo-Christian Ethic [common morality which, for 200+ years was controlling in America].

Tragically it has become apparent that neither political party is willing to do what is morally and increasingly fiscally required--end the war in Iraq now. The British (who after years of attempting to preserve an empire finally recognized that they could either save the nation or keep the empire), wisely chose to save their country and divested themselves of empire. In a similar vein, they have now formally turned Basra over to the Iraqi's, ending their occupation of southern Iraq. If only the United States would do the same.

We face a critical choice as a nation, either end our empire now and possibly save our nation, or have it implode as we continue the futile attempt to maintain global hegemony. America can not do both. The United States no longer has the means (manufacturing base, intellectual capital, moral fiber etc.) to function as a global superpower. By virtually every conceivably relevant criterion, our country is in decline.

The recent sale of certain US interstate highways alone should establish that our economic situation is dire. (When a nation has lost its production capacity, it must sell off assets in order to remain liquid). The sale of US assets to foreign entities is beginning to look like a "fire-sale." Smart money is beginning to position itself for relocation off-shore. The elite finanacial class can afford to live anywhere now that they have utilized an immoral "free-trade" policy to enrich themselves on the backs of third-world slave laborers and unemployed Americans.

If the question of ending the American Empire is not addressed [to date, only Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel have discussed it--and the elite media has effectively dissed them] in the campaign of 2008, look for the status quo (continued American Hegemony) to continue irrespective of who wins the Presidency. If that transpires, regular Americans are in for some very tough times ahead.