NEWS: Scott Ritter says US attack on Iran planned for June
Written by Mark Jensen
Saturday, 19 February 2005
On Friday evening in Olympia, former UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter appeared with journalist Dahr Jamail. -- Ritter made two shocking claims: George W. Bush has "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and the U.S. manipulated the results of the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq....
I am probably older than you suspect most people writing into these boards are.
These young people do not realize that they have been propagandized into believing that things are as they are because they must be so. But in fact they have been propagandized into believing lies and do not know or act on their best self interest becasue they are ignorant, propagandized and just do not know any better.
I too remember a different US, socially and economically, and aside from the (then) worse racial discrimination situation, we are much worse off from the standpoint (as you indicated) when it comes to a balanced policial discussion and real - influential discussions of views in the US.
We are in this situation becasue the political right in the US not only captured the GOP, but they also bought the DEMOCRAT party as well.
What does it tell you when the Democrats have voted on average 85% to support the radical Bush agenda and nominees? Even when their constituencies litteraly begs them not to support these policies, the democrats do so anyway. And with impunity, because so many are too ignorant to know that they have the right to assert themselves politically and to abandon the political parties which have turned their backs on them.
Democrats do not honestly represent the interests of the average working class or middle class citizen.
And don't wait for the US corporate media to start being genuinely fair and blanced, they see their interests as identical to the major corporations who want a larger base percentage of impoverished workers who are more pliable and will and can do nothing about the erosion of workplace rights, health care, cost of the social safety net, cost of health care, standard of living of the average worker measured in every way.
We do have two "republican" parties and no one representing the interests of the average working and middle class person.
Because of the media situation you discussed, we have the majority of people brainwashed into thinking the most important issue in their lives is "homosexual marriage" or some other cultural hot button distraction total horse shit issue.
While in fact, the top level of US income earners have never been so favored by laws and their income levels, never so high comparitively since the days of Hoover and Harding.
"globalization, - can't do nothing about it"
In fact a lot can be done about it.
Globalization does not have to proceed in a way that brings us all to third world living and working conditions.
That bit of propaganda is what the corporations have drummed into a gulible public. Don't fall for it.
None of the costs that business have externalized with these trade laws goes away when the corporation gets what it wants.
There is no free lunch in economics, but the coroporations think they have invented the equivalent of a perpetual motion machine for the wealthy classes. That machine is about to break down permanently.
For example, corporations like WalMart put BILLIONs of dollars of business and operating costs on the backs of tax payers in their communities across the US by not paying a living wage, forcing people onto welfare, displacing factories and employment in the US.
No business has a god given inalenable right to sell into the US market or right to use the US infrastructure and not help to pay for it, but that is just what the R and D party has let them do.
The US trade deficit is UNSUSTAINABLE.
The US budget deficit is skyrocketing.
Bush's agenda is unsustainable economically and politically. He wants four more wars but the costs and manpower will not be coming his way. He thinks he can get the money by killing all social welfare programs, but theat is not politically sustainable.
Meanwhile, both the R and D party never talk about the FACTs, that buankruptcy and forclosures in the Us have hit decades high rates, that poverty in the US has grown steadily for the past four years, that most homeless people have jobs, just ones that do not pay a living wage.
The GOP brags about creating 100k jobs a month when it takes job creation abot 150k a month just to keep up with the growth of the eligable workforce. Millions of people have been unemployed for years at a time and are no longer counted because the systems declares them "discouraged."
Real unemployment in many communities across the US is at 9 - 10%.
The twin deficit problem is bringing the US dollar to its knees and Greenspan's plan to raise interest rates in order to continues to finance these deficits will bring a weak US economy to a standstill. There is no evidence that rising US interest rates have stemmed the decline in investment into the US given the rise of the Euro and the economic boom in India and China, that is were world capital inflows are focussed.
We are on an unsustainable path in the US and if the D party continues to support this path, it is doomed. There is no need for two republican parties in the US.
This paradign of an economic model is on its death bed even if the average US citizen does not realize it yet, and even if (as you demonstrate) people have bought into the corporate porpaganda, "globalization - nothing you can do about it."
If unions are weak its becuase when the GOP assulted them (Reagan era) the Democrats did nothing to help.
This is why union households do not identify with the D party.
Also agreeing with policies that outsource millions of jobs will not win you a labor constituency.
In fact you are wrong, middle class Americans do not agree that outsourcing is a good idea. What is happening is that the corporate media has played the issue in favor of that view for more than a decade and people have been heavily propagandized to the point where they have given up hope that the issue can be turned around.
In fact it can and it must be changed, otherwise the US is headed toward true thrid world living and working conditions.
It requires rebuilding the constituencies who once identified and supported the Democratic Party, having them once again define themselves around the issues that the Democratic Partry targets rather than identifying themselves with the GOP noise machine issues, which they have now increasingly drifter over to.
The most crucial of these issues are those of economic health and security.
You can not say in one breath that you are going to foster unions and attract union memberships around the issues of jobs and worker's rights to attract them to the democratic party and then as a partry support so called "free trade" policies which send jobs overseas by the millions and which in turn weaken union labor in negotiations to the point where workers rights continue to erode.
The fact the upwards of 40 million people in the US have lost their health care is proof of the decline of the influence labor and worker rights issues on the congress, the senate, and on the federal executive branch, while big corporations have seen their influence and agendas supported by both Republicans and by so called Democrats.
This is not an exercise in theory.
If democrats want to rebuild the party they will have to change their stance on so called "free trade". They will have to admit they were wrong in supporting the agreements they have supported, otherwise they will not be trusted by people who organize around worker rights and labor issues in the future.
You might think that the Democratic party, given its history of supporting labor and unions and all of its past work on workplace issues, you might think that by in large people believe Democrats are more concerned about preserving their jobs and income.
You might think that but you would be wrong.
See the Red State Road Trip by Chris Hume, Truthout to see what the average person who votes for Bush in America's non-coastal states believes about which party is more concerned about their job and economic security.
Your spouting well disproven right wing theories about how economies work and you grossly lack information and an open mind as well.
You seem to be unaware of the FACT that millions of unemployed people in the US with great educations and decades of excellent work experience remain unemployed, and are no longer counted in government statistics.
These people remain unemployed becuase their "safe high tech" engineering jobs have been exported to low wage nations were those people who now have those jobs are not better educated, they just live in a society where wages are lower because unlike our society where the several hundred years of infrastrusture costs (post industrial society) are not embedded into the basic wage rates and cost of living as they are in the US.
Competition is not the be-all end-all and only value in any economy. Its one of several social - economic goals every society must balance to remain healthy.
Your view would lead to the constantly degenerating situation we have now, a constant spiral down towards a universally lower standard of living in all nations and society stratified to greater extremes than we can even imagine, not a good thing.
China and India could absorb every exportable US and European job and still have tens of surplus millions unemployed, without moving their own societies anywhere but marginally toward properity. That is where this bogus concept of "free trade" is leading us.
Based on your study of how the votes from each grouping (D/R/I) moved or did not move in the final days of the 2004 presidential contest, what are your conclusions about how this was covered in the media?
My recollection was that post the GOP convention the media played it as if with the hugely successful hate fest that was the GOP convention Bush started his inevitable and widely popular march towards electoral victory. Just as in 2000 the media played Bush as the inevitable victor over Gore on no credible polling data proving that presumption.
The 2004 daily polls as I remembered them fluctuated within 5 points of a victory for either side, until the very last few days when the polls shifted steadily a few points towards Bush.
Does your current study indicate that these fulctuating poll results were just noise?
My question is about the media - how they framed the final days of the contest. Did they accurately reflect the net sentiment of the electroate or did they attempt to push the contest toward their (corporate favored) candidate?
>> And does your statistical study of a vanishing middle correspond with how the campaign played out at the end by the media?
I think we will disagree about this. I do not believe the final vote tallies and I believe I will be proven right in the long run when the results can be studied and audited by organizations like BlackBoxVoting, and others who I believe will be able to prove vote tampering and vote suppression was significant enough to have affected the outcome.
Again, I believe generally the studies presented previously that a person's formal political affiliation is about a 90% predictor of how they will vote in the current race when they do vote.
And I believe we did get a sufficient turnout on our side to win, its just that the oppositions suppression and vote tampering plans worked, and of course (in my view) the corporate media suppressed the truth about the magnitude of vote suppression and vote tampering by the GOP.
I agree with you about the lack of movement from one side to the other and therefore your conclusion that we lose by not focusing on our constituency and our issues, and we lose when we try to make our message one size fits all (we end up standing for nothing and end up earning universal contempt and lose anyway).
The marriage of corporatism and big government is fascism and that is where the US today is firmly planted.
Decades ago, when the extant rules for our society were put into temporary balance by TR and FDR, big corporations and government control of society via its control over corporations, personal liberty and the egalitarian economy had a chance to flourish.
But today, big corporations and the top corporate class are firmly in control of both government and of the media.
Fascism reigns and personal liberty is definitely on the wane.
Nations like Argentina (for one) prove that the world's ruling economic class can live happily in a society were widespread poverty stands side by side with extreme wealth.
I need to say why this policy stance (nothing can be done about "free trade") dooms the Democratic Party.
Its simply that the nation only needs one Republican Party and we already have one. Republican are well situated historically to represent the interest of big business at the expense of the working and middle class. When the Democrats try to duplicate this role of its policital and structural opponent, it is superflous.
As Dean says; "In a choice between GOP-lie and real GOP, the GOP wins every time."
I have written mant times about this topic, and the negative effects not only on people as individuals and families, but also (deleterious effects upon) the Democratic Party - alienating one of its most important set of constituencies, and harming the country, causing both the trade and budget deficits to mushroom.
For my efforts, I have mostly received a lot of scorn and criticism from people who seem to be personally comfortable in their own economic situation at the moment, people who buy into the theory about free trade that has been provided for them from both sides of the political aisle, and from mainstream academia, and people who in my view ARE BLIND to the real effects so called "free trade" has actually had upon people and the nation.
"Free trade" is a misnomer, likely a deliberate and calculated one like Bush's "Clear Skies" environmental program. It does the opposite in practical effect of what the name would indicate.
Specifically, there are tremendous costs to what passes for "free trade" in practice. Those costs are "externalized" from the companies who benefit; but those costs do not disappear, no free lunch for society as a whole or the economy as a two sided balanced equation. Those costs have to be accounted for and the companies who benefit from "free trade" do not pay them, we as a society do pay them, in our personal lives and as tax paying citizens.
And the devastation has been horrific. Again, I repeat myself but take a look at Chris Hume's Red State Road Trip;
And note that the people in this exploration do not know what has hit them, the devastation has been like a force of nature and they have no means to cope.
These people do not think the policy is bad preceisely becasue both democrats and republicans in the main support the policy, and discussions in the corporate media always seem to result in support for so called "free trade" as well. I know that these policies can be changed and the effects can be reversed, but for example what did Kerry say in the last election about them?
Kerry on "free trade": I am not going to pander to you, there is not much we can do about this."
[My response to Kerry; your entirely wrong about that.]
Democrats specifically as a party have been very big losers on this policy. The temporary prosperity of the Clinton years masked the true effect (internet bubble hid the true condition of ballooning defecits) and with Bush's policies, as we all know the deficits large as they are now will just explode again, after Bush's tenure.
These policies are unsustainable for the national economy, and I believe that support for these policies within the Democratic Party will in fact doom the democratic party to its ultimate and complete demise. I am an certain there is no exageration in this claim.
My comment is about your statement re: Arnold's popularity, not about the recurring budget woes, which I think will continue to be problematic for him, and likely increasingly so as you state. Its is just not clear to me that they will really threaten his (re) election.