As if you need more
"They made a wasteland and called it peace,"
Tacitus famously said. It was left to the United States,
champion of freedom, to update the formula: They made a
wasteland and called it democracy. (Jonathan Schell)
OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESS ON VETERANS DAY
2010 (From: United for Peace and Justice Afghanistan)
We write to you on Veterans Day 2010, and just weeks
before the expected appearance of a report from the
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,
to urge you to consider a change of course from the
skyrocketing military spending that is driving our
federal budget and our economy into the ground, while
producing ever more veterans from America's wars who
need postwar care.
- Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah 'Worse
Than Hiroshima' by Patrick Cockburn, Published on
Saturday, July 24, 2010 by The Independent/UK.
Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and
leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was
bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by
survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.
Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear
and dioxin contamination, study finds (Martin Chulov,
Areas in and near Iraq's largest towns and cities,
including Najaf, Basra and ÂFalluja, account
for around 25% of the contaminated sites, which appear to
coincide with communities that have seen increased rates
of cancer and birth defects over the past five years. The
joint study by the environment, health and science
ministries found that scrap metal yards in and around
Baghdad and Basra contain high levels of ionising
radiation, which is thought to be a legacy of depleted
uranium used in munitions during the first Gulf war and
since the 2003 invasion.
- Vanity of Vanities: The Iraq War Seven Years
Later by truthout, Staff Editorial.
Surely, the Iraq war's only obvious
"successes" - the enrichment of the military
industrial complex at the expense of ordinary citizens,
the implementation of an ever more pervasive and
intrusive "security" regime at home and the
insurance of a second Bush term - could have been
achieved without dragging the long-suffering people of
Iraq into it. People - it may still need to be pointed
out - who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 and
harbored no weapons of mass destruction.
- The United States Needs a Broad-Based
Anti-War Movement by Kevin Zeese.
There has to be a better way to stop wars and reduce
military spending. Polls show U.S. voters at worst
divided on current wars and more often show majority
opposition to them. Yet, when Congress
the widespread view of Americans is muffled, not usually
The Lobbying-Media Complex by Sebastian
Jones (The Nation) who describes the
Failed Fourth Estate.
President Obama spent most of December 4 touring
Allentown, Pennsylvania, meeting with local workers and
discussing the economic crisis. A few hours later, the
state's former governor, Tom Ridge, was on
MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews, offering up his
own recovery plan. There were "modest things"
the White House might try, like cutting taxes or opening
up credit for small businesses, but the real answer was
for the president to "take his green agenda and blow
it out of the box." The first step, Ridge explained,
was to "create nuclear power plants." Combined
with some waste coal and natural gas extraction, you
would have an "innovation setter" that would
"create jobs, create exports."
As Ridge counseled the administration to "put
that package together," he sure seemed like an
objective commentator. But what viewers weren't told
was that since 2005, Ridge has pocketed $530,659 in
executive compensation for serving on the board of
Exelon, the nation's largest nuclear power company.
As of March 2009, he also held an estimated $248,299 in
Exelon stock, according to SEC filings. Moments earlier,
retired general and "NBC Military Analyst"
Barry McCaffrey told viewers that the war in Afghanistan
would require an additional "three- to ten-year
effort" and "a lot of money." Unmentioned
was the fact that DynCorp paid McCaffrey $182,309 in 2009
alone. The government had just granted DynCorp a
five-year deal worth an estimated $5.9 billion to aid
American forces in Afghanistan. The first year is locked
in at $644 million, but the additional four options are
subject to renewal, contingent on military needs and
In a single hour, two men with blatant, undisclosed
conflicts of interest had appeared on MSNBC. The question
is, was this an isolated oversight or business as usual?
… more …
Sustainable Energy -- without the hot air by
At last a book that comprehensively reveals the true
facts about sustainable energy in a form that is both
highly readable and entertaining.
Hold Onto Your Underwear This Is Not a
National Emergency by Tom Engelhardt
In 2008, 14,180 Americans were murdered, according to the
FBI. In that year, there were 34,017 fatal vehicle
crashes in the U.S. and, so the U.S. Fire Administration
tells us, 3,320 deaths by fire. More than 11,000
Americans died of the swine flu between April and
mid-December 2009, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention; on average, a staggering 443,600
Americans die yearly of illnesses related to tobacco use,
reports the American Cancer Society; 5,000 Americans die
annually from food-borne diseases; an estimated 1,760
children died from abuse or neglect in 2007; and the next
year, 560 Americans died of weather-related conditions,
according to the National Weather Service, including 126
from tornadoes, 67 from rip tides, 58 from flash floods,
27 from lightning, 27 from avalanches, and 1 from a dust
devil. … more …
And we are supposed to agonize about