Pentagon/Bush Propaganda: No. Korean Missile Details
Why Are Americans So Angry?

Lie to US once shame on you. Lie to US twice shame on US

Cheryl Seal

MORE Pentagon/Bush Propaganda: No. Korean Missile Details
Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:17

 

Propaganda in Action!!
State Dept, Defense Dept, et al. Alter Info on No. Korean Missile Range
for clickable links go to http://needtoknownews.cherylsealreports.com

What a hoot! On June 19 and June 20, I and, I must assume, many other bloggers had pointed out that the range of the North Korean TD-2 missile was, at 6,000 kilometers – as in 3,750 miles – did not have a range sufficient to hit the mainland US (except perhaps Alaska) as claimed by the White House and media. I even linked to a Defense Dept. site and Global Security.org which had the mileage figures. Well, wouldn’t ya know, now history is being hastily rewritten to up the mileage to figures to match the bogus reports! Global Security updated its TD-2 missile info page on June 17, and also updated another page on June 20, which adds a paragraph at the end claiming the missile can go 12,000 km. But in their haste, the info doesn’t match. While the June 20 update says 12,000 km, the June 17 update has an inserted clause that ups the distance to 15,000 km, and also ups the range of the weight carrying capability:
“ It was initially estimated to have a range of 4,000 km, but is currently estimated to have a range of up to 15,000 km. The throw weight is variously estimated as between a few hundred kilograms to 1,000 kg, depending on the range.” So ya see, if Bush needs it to go 15,000 km and carry a thousand kilograms, then by Gosh, the folks at the Defense Dept. and Global Security will make sure it reads that way!! So the original maximum distance figure for the TD-2 (at least up until a week or so ago!) was 4,000 km. This was scaled up earilier in June to 6,000 km (the idea being no doubt that the public wouldn’t convert kilometers to miles and thus think it was sufficient to hit the US contiguous states mainland, which is just over 5,000 km from Seoul). Now they claim it’s actually 12,000 km – or 15,000, depending on who hastily wrote the update – which converts to over 6,000 miles and thus nicely covers Bush claims of “imminent peril to the US!!!!” Compare the June 20 update (altered figure of 12,000 is in last paragraph), to the June 17 update that claims 15,000 km (first paragraph). Also here’s the updated Defense Dept. page: A line has been inserted since yesterday morning (although I could find no update note on the page – guess it was screened) a little more than halfway down the page that reads: “North Korea is believed to be developing the missile for a range of up to 10,000 kilometers, which would put the continental United States within striking distance.” You will notice that this sentence doesn’t even make sense when you read the previous sentence: “The communist regime, which is boycotting nuclear disarmament talks, could be preparing to fire a 35-meter (116-foot) Taepodong-2 in the range of 3,500 to 6,000 kilometers (2,200 to 3,750 miles), Japanese officials said.”
Read ‘em fast – They may change again by tomorrow!!
This is the same stuff they did with the WMD claims and supporting “documents,” which contained facts and figures that also tended to “mysteriously morph” overnight !

Ah, so here's the plan...
Bush's Seeks to Reclaim Sagging Approval by Appearing to Shoot Down Missile that "Threatens" US

Yeah, this could work for ya, Dubya. All you have to do is convince the public that 1. No. Korea is planning to aim a missile at us (Easy! Just call up the guys at NBC, FOX, et al and tell them they are). 2. That the missile, which has a range of about 3,750 miles max actually has a range of over 6,000 miles (Just change all the info in the Defense and State Dept. documents) 3. That the US actually has anti-missile capabilities that COULD shoot down said No. Korean missile (pretend and hope no one asks too many questions), and 4. That our anti-ballistic missiles actually achieved the goal (just call up the guys at NBC, FOX, et al and tell em you succeeded, whether you came with 100 miles or not! Of course, you just have to hope that those 10,000 amateur astronomers who track events like this don’t blow the whistle on you!). MORE Caught red-handed!!! READ the story at today’s Need to Know News!!

Propaganda Overdrive!

White House, Pentagon, and Media Descend into Pure Fantasy


Cheryl Seal

Man, oh man! This week I could fill my entire “Need to Know News” page just with debunking mainstream news propaganda! It’s getting just that bad! Here are two of the most outrageous examples from just the past 48 hours!!

North Korean Missile Story a Complete Fabrication

The headlines on Friday screamed "North Korea to Test Long Range Missile Capable of Hitting Mainland US!!" This newsbyte, of course, was designed to create a wave of fear across the land - visions of the crazed Kim Dae Jung lobbing a nuke at Los Angeles or even Washington, DC. Save us, Dubya!!!!


But the facts of the story are soooooooooo far from the headline as to make the headlines bald-faced lies. The entire story is based on very little, if any, hard evidence. DefenseNews.com reports: "An unidentified military intelligence official was quoted as saying in a news report June 16 that a long trailer, usually used to carry missiles, was spotted in the area but that there were “no signs of trucks carrying fuel.” Satellite pictures showed North Korea had set up part of a launch pad at Musudanri, the Kyonghyang daily newspaper said. " So we have pictures of a truck and a part of a launch pad upon which to base a headline. But, even if there were a missile read to fire, it is unlikely that even a test would be conducted, according to Baek Seung-Joo from the government-backed Korean Institute for Defense Analyses: ”It is one thing for the North to prepare for firing a missile and it is another thing for it to actually do it as the costs for firing the missile will be simply too great for the North to bear."

And yet we had a headlining story in the US just in time to divert attention from Baghdad, where outbreaks of violence Friday and Saturday were among the worst since 2003.

Oh, and by the way - even the claim that No. Korea already does have a long-range Taepodong-2 missile with a range of 3,500 to 6,000 kilometers (or 2,200 to 3,750 miles), this does not translate into "capable of hitting the mainland US" - unless of course you stretch that a bit and mean Alaska. Seattle, the closest major city in the contiguous US is 8,336 kilometers (5,179 miles) from Seoul.

In short, this story's only excuse for being is as Bush propaganda (as in keep the fear whipped up) and as a news diversion (don't think about Iraq for a day or two!). MORE

The Amazing, Shifting Shoebomber Tale

OK, the first version of this story was hard enough to believe: a terrorist with explosives strapped to his sandals (a nifty trick in itself, considering the nature of sandals) entered a mosque and blew himself up, leveling a large area and killing 11 people. Then a couple of good points were raised: A. How does someone carry that much explosives on their sandals? and B. How the hell would you know WHERE a bomber had carried explosives after the explosives blew his sandals, feet and probably the rest of him to smithereens?

So we got version two: Well,uh, he was actually maybe CARRYING his sandals, like in a bag or something. But then the question was raised “Why have explosives strapped to your sandals if you aren’t planning to wear them? Why not just put the explosives in the bag?”

So now we have version three, which is the most fantastical of all: There were TWO sets of sandals, ya see. That’s how they knew it was sandals, ‘cause one pair “didn’t detonate.” And well, actually it was a guy with a suicide BELT who actually blew himself up. And ya see, he went into the bathroom and shifted his bomb from his shoes to his belt, then went back out and sat down…..Read this account from CNN and you’ll see just what I mean: “Maj. Gen. Mahdi al-Gharrawi of the Interior Ministry told CNN the bomber went into a bathroom either carrying or wearing his shoes, removed the explosives, placed them in a suicide belt, and then sat among prayer-goers with the belt strapped on. Around that time, guards in the mosque discovered shoes set aside with explosives in them and began searching the mosque for the owner of the shoes. When the searching was conducted, the bomber detonated himself.The shoes the authorities found didn't detonate, and the owner of those shoes is thought to have fled the scene, police believe.”

Of course, there are so many problems with this version that it hardly bears mentioning….like how anyone knew all these details – the guy going into the bathroom and suiting up with a belt… Why, if the guards found sandals with explosives did wander around looking for the owner of the sandals instead of immediately clearing the mosque…etc, etc.

So what was the point of all this? Easy. The Pentagon is conducting a major campaign to convince Americans that the war in Iraq is protecting them from terrorism in the US and thus need to support the war effort. So what better way (at least to the “brain trust” now running PSYOPS) than to invoke the “spectre” of murderous shoe bombers running rampant – JUST LIKE that shoe bomber (Richard Reid) who ALMOST blew up a plane headed to Miami from Paris. The same guy the prosecution in the Moussaoui case tried to convince the jury was somehow involved in 9/11.

In short, expect to see/hear more tales like this in the future as the Bushistas desperately try to create a connection between 9/11 and Iraq in the minds of the public. For CNN’s version of the wacked out shoe bomber story and the latest violence in Iraq, see THIS

All Content provided by Cheryl Seal http://cherylsealreports.com/propagandaoverdrive.html


By Congressman Ron Paul
Why Are Americans So Angry?
Fri Jun 30, 2006 21:46


Why Are Americans So Angry?
By Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas, 6/30/2006 10:31:31 AM

I have been involved in politics for over 30 years and have never seen the American people so angry. It’s not unusual to sense a modest amount of outrage, but it seems the anger today is unusually intense and quite possibly worse than ever. It’s not easily explained, but I have some thoughts on this matter.

Generally, anger and frustration among people are related to economic conditions; bread and butter issues. Yet today, according to government statistics, things are going well. We have low unemployment, low inflation, more homeowners than ever before, and abundant leisure with abundant luxuries. Even the poor have cell phones, televisions, and computers.

Public school is free, and anyone can get free medical care at any emergency room in the country. Almost all taxes are paid by the top 50% of income earners. The lower 50% pay essentially no income taxes, yet general dissatisfaction and anger are commonplace. The old slogan “It’s the economy, stupid,” just doesn’t seem to explain things.

Some say it’s the war, yet we’ve lived with war throughout the 20th century. The bigger they were the more we pulled together. And the current war, by comparison, has fewer American casualties than the rest. So it can’t just be the war itself.

People complain about corruption, but what’s new about government corruption? In the 19th century we had railroad scandals; in the 20th century we endured the Teapot Dome scandal, Watergate, Koreagate, and many others without too much anger and resentment. Yet today it seems anger is pervasive and worse than we’ve experienced in the past.

Could it be that war, vague yet persistent economic uncertainty, corruption, and the immigration problem all contribute to the anger we feel in America? Perhaps, but it’s almost as though people aren’t exactly sure why they are so uneasy. They only know that they’ve had it and aren’t going to put up with it anymore.

High gasoline prices make a lot of people angry, though there is little understanding of how deficits, inflation, and war in the Middle East all contribute to these higher prices.

Generally speaking, there are two controlling forces that determine the nature of government: the people’s concern for their economic self interests; and the philosophy of those who hold positions of power and influence in any particular government. Under Soviet Communism the workers believed their economic best interests were being served, while a few dedicated theoreticians placed themselves in positions of power. Likewise, the intellectual leaders of the American Revolution were few, but rallied the colonists to risk all to overthrow a tyrannical king.

Since there’s never a perfect understanding between these two forces, the people and the philosophical leaders, and because the motivations of the intellectual leaders vary greatly, any transition from one system of government to another is unpredictable. The communist takeover by Lenin was violent and costly; the demise of communism and the acceptance of a relatively open system in the former Soviet Union occurred in a miraculous manner. Both systems had intellectual underpinnings.

In the United States over the last century we have witnessed the coming and going of various intellectual influences by proponents of the free market, Keynesian welfarism, varieties of socialism, and supply-side economics. In foreign policy we’ve seen a transition from the founder’s vision of non-intervention in the affairs of others to internationalism, unilateral nation building, and policing the world. We now have in place a policy, driven by determined neo-conservatives, to promote American “goodness” and democracy throughout the world by military force-- with particular emphasis on remaking the Middle East.

We all know that ideas do have consequences. Bad ideas, even when supported naively by the people, will have bad results. Could it be the people sense, in a profound way, that the policies of recent decades are unworkable-- and thus they have instinctively lost confidence in their government leaders? This certainly happened in the final years of the Soviet system. Though not fully understood, this sense of frustration may well be the source of anger we hear expressed on a daily basis by so many.

No matter how noble the motivations of political leaders are, when they achieve positions of power the power itself inevitably becomes their driving force. Government officials too often yield to the temptations and corrupting influences of power.

But there are many others who are not bashful about using government power to do “good.” They truly believe they can make the economy fair through a redistributive tax and spending system; make the people moral by regulating personal behavior and choices; and remake the world in our image using armies. They argue that the use of force to achieve good is legitimate and proper for government-- always speaking of the noble goals while ignoring the inevitable failures and evils caused by coercion.

Not only do they justify government force, they believe they have a moral obligation to do so.

Once we concede government has this “legitimate” function and can be manipulated by a majority vote, the various special interests move in quickly. They gain control to direct government largesse for their own benefit. Too often it is corporate interests who learn how to manipulate every contract, regulation and tax policy. Likewise, promoters of the “progressive” agenda, always hostile to property rights, compete for government power through safety, health, and environmental initiatives. Both groups resort to using government power-- and abuse this power-- in an effort to serve their narrow interests. In the meantime, constitutional limits on power and its mandate to protect liberty are totally forgotten.

Since the use of power to achieve political ends is accepted, pervasive, and ever expanding, popular support for various programs is achieved by creating fear. Sometimes the fear is concocted out of thin air, but usually it’s created by wildly exaggerating a problem or incident that does not warrant the proposed government “solution.” Often government caused the problem in the first place. The irony, of course, is that government action rarely solves any problem, but rather worsens existing problems or creates altogether new ones.

Fear is generated to garner popular support for the proposed government action, even when some liberty has to be sacrificed. This leads to a society that is systemically driven toward fear-- fear that gives the monstrous government more and more authority and control over our lives and property.

Fear is constantly generated by politicians to rally the support of the people.

Environmentalists go back and forth, from warning about a coming ice age to arguing the grave dangers of global warming.

It is said that without an economic safety net-- for everyone, from cradle to grave-- people would starve and many would become homeless.

It is said that without government health care, the poor would not receive treatment. Medical care would be available only to the rich.

Without government insuring pensions, all private pensions would be threatened.

Without federal assistance, there would be no funds for public education, and the quality of our public schools would diminish-- ignoring recent history to the contrary.

It is argued that without government surveillance of every American, even without search warrants, security cannot be achieved. The sacrifice of some liberty is required for security of our citizens, they claim.

We are constantly told that the next terrorist attack could come at any moment. Rather than questioning why we might be attacked, this atmosphere of fear instead prompts giving up liberty and privacy. 9/11 has been conveniently used to generate the fear necessary to expand both our foreign intervention and domestic surveillance.

Fear of nuclear power is used to assure shortages and highly expensive energy.

In all instances where fear is generated and used to expand government control, it’s safe to say the problems behind the fears were not caused by the free market economy, or too much privacy, or excessive liberty.

It’s easy to generate fear, fear that too often becomes excessive, unrealistic, and difficult to curb. This is important: It leads to even more demands for government action than the perpetrators of the fear actually anticipated.

Once people look to government to alleviate their fears and make them safe, expectations exceed reality. FEMA originally had a small role, but its current mission is to centrally manage every natural disaster that befalls us. This mission was exposed as a fraud during last year’s hurricanes; incompetence and corruption are now FEMA’s legacy. This generates anger among those who have to pay the bills, and among those who didn’t receive the handouts promised to them quickly enough.

Generating exaggerated fear to justify and promote attacks on private property is commonplace. It serves to inflame resentment between the producers in society and the so-called victims, whose demands grow exponentially.

The economic impossibility of this system guarantees that the harder government tries to satisfy the unlimited demands, the worse the problems become. We won’t be able to pay the bills forever, and eventually our ability to borrow and print new money must end. This dependency on government will guarantee anger when the money runs out. Today we’re still able to borrow and inflate, but budgets are getting tighter and people sense serious problems lurking in the future. This fear is legitimate. No easy solution to our fiscal problems is readily apparent, and this ignites anger and apprehension.

Disenchantment is directed at the politicians and their false promises, made in order to secure reelection and exert power that so many of them enjoy.

It is, however, in foreign affairs that governments have most abused fear to generate support for an agenda that under normal circumstances would have been rejected. For decades our administrations have targeted one supposed “Hitler” after another to gain support for military action against a particular country. Today we have three choices termed the axis of evil: Iran, Iraq or North Korea.

We recently witnessed how unfounded fear was generated concerning Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction to justify our first ever pre-emptive war. It is now universally known the fear was based on falsehoods. And yet the war goes on; the death and destruction continue.

This is not a new phenomenon. General Douglas MacArthur understood the political use of fear when he made this famous statement:

“Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.”

We should be ever vigilant when we hear the fear mongers preparing us for the next military conflict our young men and women will be expected to fight. We’re being told of the great danger posed by Almadinejad in Iran and Kim Jung Il in North Korea. Even Russia and China bashing is in vogue again. And we’re still not able to trade with or travel to Cuba. A constant enemy is required to expand the state. More and more news stories blame Iran for the bad results in Iraq. Does this mean Iran is next on the hit list?

The world is much too dangerous, we’re told, and therefore we must be prepared to fight at a moment’s notice, regardless of the cost. If the public could not be manipulated by politicians’ efforts to instill needless fear, fewer wars would be fought and far fewer lives would be lost.

Fear and Anger over Iraq

Though the American people are fed up for a lot of legitimate reasons, almost all polls show the mess in Iraq leads the list of why the anger is so intense.

Short wars, with well-defined victories, are tolerated by the American people even when they are misled as to the reasons for the war. Wars entered into without a proper declaration tend to be politically motivated and not for national security reasons. These wars, by their very nature, are prolonged, costly, and usually require a new administration to finally end them. This certainly was true with the Korean and Vietnam wars. The lack of a quick military success, the loss of life and limb, and the huge economic costs of lengthy wars precipitate anger. This is overwhelmingly true when the war propaganda that stirred up illegitimate fears is exposed as a fraud. Most soon come to realize the promise of guns and butter is an illusion. They come to understand that inflation, a weak economy, and a prolonged war without real success are the reality.

The anger over the Iraq war is multifaceted. Some are angry believing they were lied to in order to gain their support at the beginning. Others are angry that the forty billion dollars we spend every year on intelligence gathering failed to provide good information. Proponents of the war too often are unable to admit the truth. They become frustrated with the progress of the war and then turn on those wanting to change course, angrily denouncing them as unpatriotic and un-American.

Those accused are quick to respond to the insulting charges made by those who want to fight on forever without regard to casualties. Proponents of the war do not hesitate to challenge the manhood of war critics, accusing them of wanting to cut and run. Some war supporters ducked military service themselves while others fought and died, only adding to the anger of those who have seen battle up close and now question our campaign in Iraq.

When people see a $600 million embassy being built in Baghdad, while funding for services here in the United States is hard to obtain, they become angry. They can’t understand why the money is being spent, especially when they are told by our government that we have no intention of remaining permanently in Iraq.

The bickering and anger will not subside soon, since victory in Iraq is not on the horizon and a change in policy is not likely either.

The neoconservative instigators of the war are angry at everyone: at the people who want to get out of Iraq; and especially at those prosecuting the war for not bombing more aggressively, sending in more troops, and expanding the war into Iran.

As our country becomes poorer due to the cost of the war, anger surely will escalate. Much of it will be justified.

It seems bizarre that it’s so unthinkable to change course if the current policy is failing. Our leaders are like a physician who makes a wrong diagnosis and prescribes the wrong medicine, but because of his ego can’t tell the patient he made a mistake. Instead he hopes the patient will get better on his own. But instead of improving, the patient gets worse from the medication wrongly prescribed. This would be abhorrent behavior in medicine, but tragically it is commonplace in politics.

If the truth is admitted, it would appear that the lives lost and the money spent have been in vain. Instead, more casualties must be sustained to prove a false premise. What a tragedy! If the truth is admitted, imagine the anger of all the families that already have suffered such a burden. That burden is softened when the families and the wounded are told their great sacrifice was worthy, and required to preserve our freedoms and our Constitution.

But no one is allowed to ask the obvious. How have the 2,500 plus deaths, and the 18,500 wounded, made us more free? What in the world does Iraq have to do with protecting our civil liberties here at home? What national security threat prompted America’s first pre-emptive war? How does our unilateral enforcement of UN resolutions enhance our freedoms?

These questions aren’t permitted. They are not politically correct. I agree that the truth hurts, and these questions are terribly hurtful to the families that have suffered so much. What a horrible thought it would be to find out the cause for which we fight is not quite so noble.

I don’t believe those who hide from the truth and refuse to face the reality of the war do so deliberately. The pain is too great. Deep down, psychologically, many are incapable of admitting such a costly and emotionally damaging error. They instead become even greater and more determined supporters of the failed policy.

I would concede that there are some-- especially the die-hard neoconservatives, who believe it is our moral duty to spread American goodness through force and remake the Middle East-- who neither suffer regrets nor are bothered by the casualties. They continue to argue for more war without remorse, as long as they themselves do not have to fight. Criticism is reserved for the wimps who want to “cut and run.”

Due to the psychological need to persist with the failed policy, the war proponents must remain in denial of many facts staring them in the face.

They refuse to accept that the real reason for our invasion and occupation of Iraq was not related to terrorism.

They deny that our military is weaker as a consequence of this war.

They won’t admit that our invasion has served the interests of Osama Bin Laden. They continue to blame our image problems around the world on a few bad apples.

They won’t admit that our invasion has served the interests of Iran’s radical regime.

The cost in lives lost and dollars spent is glossed over, and the deficit spirals up without concern.

They ridicule those who point out that our relationships with our allies have been significantly damaged.

We have provided a tremendous incentive for Russia and China, and others like Iran, to organize through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. They entertain future challenges to our plans to dominate South East Asia, the Middle East, and all its oil.

Radicalizing the Middle East will in the long term jeopardize Israel’s security, and increase the odds of this war spreading.

War supporters cannot see that for every Iraqi killed, another family turns on us-- regardless of who did the killing. We are and will continue to be blamed for every wrong done in Iraq: all deaths, illness, water problems, food shortages, and electricity outages.

As long as our political leaders persist in these denials, the war won’t end. The problem is that this is the source of the anger, because the American people are not in denial and want a change in policy.

Policy changes in wartime are difficult, for it is almost impossible for the administration to change course since so much emotional energy has been invested in the effort. That’s why Eisenhower ended the Korean War, and not Truman. That’s why Nixon ended the Vietnam War, and not LBJ. Even in the case of Vietnam the end was too slow and costly, as more then 30,000 military deaths came after Nixon’s election in 1968. It makes a lot more sense to avoid unnecessary wars than to overcome the politics involved in stopping them once started. I personally am convinced that many of our wars could be prevented by paying stricter attention to the method whereby our troops are committed to battle. I also am convinced that when Congress does not declare war, victory is unlikely.

The most important thing Congress can do to prevent needless and foolish wars is for every member to take seriously his or her oath to obey the Constitution. Wars should be entered into only after great deliberation and caution. Wars that are declared by Congress should reflect the support of the people, and the goal should be a quick and successful resolution.

Our undeclared wars over the past 65 years have dragged on without precise victories. We fight to spread American values, to enforce UN resolutions, and to slay supposed Hitlers. We forget that we once spread American values by persuasion and setting an example-- not by bombs and preemptive invasions. Nowhere in the Constitution are we permitted to go to war on behalf of the United Nations at the sacrifice of our national sovereignty. We repeatedly use military force against former allies, thugs we helped empower—like Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden—even when they pose no danger to us.

The 2002 resolution allowing the president to decide when and if to invade Iraq is an embarrassment. The Constitution authorizes only Congress to declare war. Our refusal to declare war transferred power to the president illegally, without a constitutional amendment. Congress did this with a simple resolution, passed by majority vote. This means Congress reneged on its responsibility as a separate branch of government, and should be held accountable for the bad policy in Iraq that the majority of Americans are now upset about. Congress is every bit as much at fault as the president.

Constitutional questions aside, the American people should have demanded more answers from their government before they supported the invasion and occupation of a foreign country.

Some of the strongest supporters of the war declare that we are a Christian nation, yet use their religious beliefs to justify the war. They claim it is our Christian duty to remake the Middle East and attack the Muslim infidels. Evidently I have been reading from a different Bible. I remember something about “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

My beliefs aside, Christian teaching of nearly a thousand years reinforces the concept of “The Just War Theory.” This Christian theory emphasizes six criteria needed to justify Christian participation in war. Briefly the six points are as follows:

* 1. War should be fought only in self defense;

* 2. War should be undertaken only as a last resort;

* 3. A decision to enter war should be made only by a legitimate authority;

* 4. All military responses must be proportional to the threat;

* 5. There must be a reasonable chance of success; and

* 6. A public declaration notifying all parties concerned is required.

The war in Iraq fails to meet almost all of these requirements. This discrepancy has generated anger and division within the Christian community.

Some are angry because the war is being fought out of Christian duty, yet does not have uniform support from all Christians. Others are angry because they see Christianity as a religion as peace and forgiveness, not war and annihilation of enemies.

Constitutional and moral restraints on war should be strictly followed. It is understandable when kings, dictators, and tyrants take their people into war, since it serves their selfish interests-- and those sent to fight have no say in the matter. It is more difficult to understand why democracies and democratic legislative bodies, which have a say over the issue of war, so readily submit to the executive branch of government. The determined effort of the authors of our Constitution to firmly place the power to declare war in the legislative branch has been ignored in the decades following WWII.

Many members have confided in me that they are quite comfortable with this arrangement. They flatly do not expect, in this modern age, to formally declare war ever again. Yet no one predicts there will be fewer wars fought. It is instead assumed they will be ordered by the executive branch or the United Nations-- a rather sad commentary.

What about the practical arguments against war, since no one seems interested in exerting constitutional or moral restraints? Why do we continue to fight prolonged, political wars when the practical results are so bad? Our undeclared wars since 1945 have been very costly, to put it mildly. We have suffered over one hundred thousand military deaths, and even more serious casualties. Tens of thousands have suffered from serious war-related illnesses. Sadly, we as a nation express essentially no concern for the millions of civilian casualties in the countries where we fought.

The cost of war since 1945, and our military presence in over 100 countries, exceeds two trillion dollars in today’s dollars. The cost in higher taxes, debt, and persistent inflation is immeasurable. Likewise, the economic opportunities lost by diverting trillions of dollars into war is impossible to measure, but it is huge. Yet our presidents persist in picking fights with countries that pose no threat to us, refusing to participate in true diplomacy to resolve differences. Congress over the decades has never resisted the political pressures to send our troops abroad on missions that defy imagination.

When the people object to a new adventure, the propaganda machine goes into action to make sure critics are seen as unpatriotic Americans or even traitors.

The military-industrial complex we were warned about has been transformed into a military-media-industrial-government complex that is capable of silencing the dissenters and cheerleading for war. It’s only after years of failure that people are able to overcome the propaganda for war and pressure their representatives in Congress to stop the needless killing. Many times the economic costs of war stir people to demand an end. This time around the war might be brought to a halt by our actual inability to pay the bills due to a dollar crisis. A dollar crisis will make borrowing 2.5 billion dollars per day from foreign powers like China and Japan virtually impossible, at least at affordable interest rates.

That’s when we will be forced to reassess the spending spree, both at home and abroad.

The solution to this mess is not complicated; but the changes needed are nearly impossible for political reasons. Sound free market economics, sound money, and a sensible foreign policy would all result from strict adherence to the Constitution. If the people desired it, and Congress was filled with responsible members, a smooth although challenging transition could be achieved. Since this is unlikely, we can only hope that the rule of law and the goal of liberty can be reestablished without chaos.

We must move quickly toward a more traditional American foreign policy of peace, friendship, and trade with all nations; entangling alliances with none. We must reject the notion that we can or should make the world safe for democracy. We must forget about being the world’s policeman. We should disengage from the unworkable and unforgiving task of nation building. We must reject the notion that our military should be used to protect natural resources, private investments, or serve the interest of any foreign government or the United Nations. Our military should be designed for one purpose: defending our national security. It’s time to come home now, before financial conditions or military weakness dictates it.

The major obstacle to a sensible foreign policy is the fiction about what patriotism means. Today patriotism has come to mean blind support for the government and its policies. In earlier times patriotism meant having the willingness and courage to challenge government policies regardless of popular perceptions.

Today we constantly hear innuendos and direct insults aimed at those who dare to challenge current foreign policy, no matter how flawed that policy may be. I would suggest it takes more courage to admit the truth, to admit mistakes, than to attack others as unpatriotic for disagreeing with the war in Iraq.

Remember, the original American patriots challenged the abuses of King George, and wrote and carried out the Declaration of Independence.

Yes, there is a lot of anger in this country. Much of it is justified; some of it is totally unnecessary and misdirected. The only thing that can lessen this anger is an informed public, a better understanding of economic principles, a rejection of foreign intervention, and a strict adherence to the constitutional rule of law. This will be difficult to achieve, but it’s not impossible and well worth the effort.

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CONTACT SENATORS HERE
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Congressman Ron Paul
Official web site for libertarian congressman Ron Paul (R - TX).
http://www.house.gov/paul/

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by Susan Fassanella
I Am Angry
Thu Jul 6, 2006 02:39

I Am Angry

by Susan Fassanella

Dear Lew, the Honorable Ron Paul’s piece on why Americans are angry really stirred me to respond. Mr. Paul’s piece speaks about many issues facing Americans today.

I am a 51-year-old woman. I have been married to the same man since 1976. I am the secretary/office manager for a small legal firm in the D.C. suburbs. My husband manages a wine and spirits store. I have two sons, aged 26 and 22. After realizing it wasn’t possible to support themselves and the government at the same time, both returned to the nuclear nest. Along with most people in my economic situation, I believe I am living what is supposed to be the American dream. I know why I am an angry American. I am frightened because America isn’t the same country it was when I was my children’s age. Allow me to share with you some of the reasons why I am an angry American.

I am angry because my government has been taken over by liars, thieves, thugs, deviants, and micromanagers. The propaganda it produces rivals that of the most fascist dictatorship.

I am angry that my government perceives my intelligence to be that of a jar of pickles incapable of making the smallest decision.

I am angry that my government takes it upon itself to shove its clucking nose into my pantry, medicine chest, bedroom, family room, doctor’s office, workplace, and everywhere else it thinks I need guidance to keep me safe from myself.

I am angry that the will of the American people is ignored on every issue imaginable. If voting really mattered, it would have been outlawed long ago.

I am angry that I am called a conspiracy theorist because I dare to think on my own and question authority and its lies.

I am angry that the more I read about 9-11 the more it looks like an inside job that was allowed to happen, enabling the Patriot Act to be conveniently enacted into law with the ensuing "war on terrah" following closely on its heels.

I am angry that the evil puppets in power think laws are created for the peon masses and it is their right to ignore the ones that get in the way of their agenda.

I am angry that the media has sold its soul to the evil forces running the world.

I am angry that my "leaders" have taken to calling my country the "homeland." It reeks of socialism.

I am angry that my government has invaded yet another sovereign nation and caused untold death and destruction based on a flimsy lie. I am expected to believe that weapons of mass destruction threatened my freedom and then I am told several years and billions of squandered dollars later that a massive intelligence network got the wrong information. A select group of businesses profit enormously from war. When Bush announced his intention to save Iraq from itself and that its oil would pay for the overthrow of Hussein, I laughed so hard I nearly choked. I remember the instability in the Middle East during the 1970s and the gas "shortages" that followed. I knew which direction gas prices would go. How stupid does Mr. Bush and his cronies think I am?

I am angry that the world stands silently by while my government bombs foreign lands with weapons containing depleted uranium and the news magazines wonder on their front covers why lung cancer has increased six-fold in the last year.

I am angry that Americans accept as gospel the propaganda that is routinely cranked out of the Washington lie machine. The lies become more transparent and brazen with each passing year, yet the only thing that seems to matter in living rooms across America is who will be the next American Idol.

I am angry that I am punished with high energy and gas prices and the resulting inflation because tree-hugging terrorists masquerading as environmentalists have handcuffed my country’s ability to produce its own energy. It would be easy to tell the Middle East what to do with their oil if restrictions on exploration and production were lifted in our own backyard.

I am angry that I am constantly admonished by minimalists for being a greedy consumer because I live where I choose, drive the vehicle of my choice, eat meat, and use tin foil to cover my leftovers.

I am angry that my life doesn’t belong to me anymore.

I am angry that I am required to obtain permission, fill out mandated paperwork in quadruplicate, and obtain the correct license or permit for just about everything imaginable. The tentacles of government are strangling my freedom, choice, and privacy at an alarming rate. The wrath of the machine is a constant threat should I dare do anything without leaving a neon paper trail and of course ignorance of the law is never an excuse.

I am angry that property rights are a thing of the past thanks to court-approved eminent domain theft.

I am angry that the Constitution is routinely declared irrelevant making it easier for a fascist police state and new world order to take over.

I am angry that legislation is in the works that will require me to carry "papers" to "prove" who I am. Another coming law I will ignore.

I am angry that my right to own and carry a firearm is drastically regulated and restricted.

I am angry every time I see a young person detained on the side of the road while cops paw through their possessions looking for anything that could enable them to be arrested and dragged through the criminal justice system. This has become so commonplace it is now the accepted norm.

I am angry that roadblocks are set up under the guise of keeping roads free of drunk drivers. What has happened to my right to travel freely? Why am I presumed guilty without probable cause? I am afraid to have a few drinks when I go out to dinner for fear I will be pulled over and end up in court-ordered drug rehabilitation.

I am angry when I read stories of Americans terrorized in airports and treated like common criminals by government minions after they have paid for the right to travel within a private system, yet pilots are blocked from carrying firearms.

I am angry that America has become a nation of busybodies. We are constantly bombarded with messages to be on the lookout for terrorists around every corner, report "suspicious activity," and rat on our neighbor whenever the opportunity presents itself. Is this not how the Nazis gained control of Germany and then most of Europe?

I am angry that the government requires me to sign a form every time I purchase a prescription. Whose business is it that I choose to take a thyroid medication, an antibiotic, a painkiller, an appetite suppressant, or any other substance? Am I dying of cancer? Am I facing debilitating chronic pain? Do I simply want to get HIGH? Heaven forbid someone out there might get their hands on something that might make them FEEL GOOD! No substance should be illegal or unobtainable. If a person wishes to self-medicate, that is their right. The government should not be in the business of criminalizing personal choices of any kind as long as those choices don’t infringe on another’s rights.

I am angry that my government meddles in the lives of people all over the world but looks the other way on the catastrophic issue of what to do about the millions of illegals who have crashed the gates of this nation. My country’s laws are ignored and mocked, yet I am told I must accept with open arms those who are here illegally. My taxes are used to educate their children in their native language. Hospitals are overrun with indigent people seeking medical care. Untaxed dollars earned in the underground economy are sent to the family back home while social services here are stretched to the limit. I read job want ads stating if you aren’t bilingual don’t bother to apply. What would happen to me if I placed an ad that said don’t bother to apply if your English isn’t understandable? Marches are conducted in my cities’ streets waving their countries’ flags as they shamelessly demand their "rights." I am told they deserve the same opportunities that brought my forefathers here. I am scolded that it is un-American to ask why they are not sent home. I am told that the term "illegal alien" offends them and that they prefer to be called "undocumented workers" and that my economy would die without them. I will happily pay more for fruits and vegetables if it means enforcing sensible immigration laws. But immigration isn’t about the cost of lettuce. It is another facet of an agenda that is bent on changing the face of America. When America is no longer a wealthy country of white European descent, it will be a place worse than anything Orwell could have imagined.

I am angry that my country is the only nation on earth who declares that a baby born on its soil is automatically an American citizen.

I am angry that the thugs that run my country don’t have the guts to declare English my nation’s official language.

I am angry that I have to search a package for English and push a button on every telephone system and ATM machine to continue in English.

I am angry that Washington, D.C.’s Metro is now being pressured to replace every station sign with bilingual verbiage to the tune of millions of dollars. Are bilingual road signs going to be the next mandated law of the land? I am currently forced to pay for voting ballots printed in 15 different languages and my tax dollars pay for interpreter services for people who are summoned to court for breaking laws. If English is the international language of the world, why isn’t it good enough to be the official language of the United States?

I am angry when I am told I am a bigot when I thumb my nose at political correctness.

I am angry when I wonder whether an expressed belief or opinion could land me in litigation if someone doesn’t like what I said and wants to silence my voice.

I am angry that diversity and sensitivity training is being forced on people whose only crime is to dare to speak freely.

I am angry that the symbols, customs, and roots of my Judeo-Christian country are being systematically outlawed because my culture offends newcomers. When we freely choose to go somewhere, are we not accepting the customs and cultures of that place? I am weary of being made to feel guilty for being an American.

And finally, I am angry that after working my entire adult life, I don’t see retirement in my life’s picture. My husband and I earn over a hundred thousand dollars a year, but by the time we pay federal taxes, state taxes, social security taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, energy taxes, telecommunication taxes, savings taxes, fees, permits, etc., there isn’t much left. But please don’t think that I mind supporting every deadbeat and down-and-outer with his hand out for a piece of my pie that I worked so hard for. I love supporting the world. After all, it’s the American way, isn’t it?

July 5, 2006

Susan Fassanella [sfassanella@adelphia.net] was born in Washington, D.C. and resides in Frederick County, Maryland with her husband and two sons.

Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/fassanella1.html


Paul Craig Roberts
The World is Uniting Against the Bush Imperium
Tue Apr 25, 2006 22:10

Wars, Debt and Outsourcing

The World is Uniting Against the Bush Imperium

By Paul Craig Roberts


04/25/06 -- -- Is the United States a superpower? I think not. Consider these facts:

The financial position of the US has declined dramatically. The US is heavily indebted, both government and consumers. The US trade deficit both in absolute size and as a percentage of GDP is unprecedented, reaching more than $800 billion in 2005 and accumulating to $4.5 trillion since 1990. With US job growth falling behind population growth and with no growth in consumer real incomes, the US economy is driven by expanding consumer debt. Saving rates are low or negative.

The federal budget is deep in the red, adding to America's dependency on debt. The US cannot even go to war unless foreigners are willing to finance it.

Our biggest bankers are China and Japan, both of whom could cause the US serious financial problems if they wished. A country whose financial affairs are in the hands of foreigners is not a superpower.

The US is heavily dependent on imports for manufactured goods, including advanced technology products. In 2005 US dependency (in dollar amounts) on imported manufactured goods was twice as large as US dependency on imported oil. In the 21st century the US has experienced a rapid increase in dependency on imports of advanced technology products. A country dependent on foreigners for manufactures and advanced technology products is not a superpower.

Because of jobs offshoring and illegal immigration, US consumers create jobs for foreigners, not for Americans. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs reports document the loss of manufacturing jobs and the inability of the US economy to create jobs in categories other than domestic "hands on" services. According to a March 2006 report from the Center for Immigration Studies, most of these jobs are going to immigrants: "Between March 2000 and March 2005 only 9 percent of the net increase in jobs for adults (18 to 64) went to natives. This is striking because natives accounted for 61 percent of the net increase in the overall size of the 18 to 64 year old population."

A country that cannot create jobs for its native born population is not a superpower.

In an interview in the April 17 Manufacturing & Technology News, former TCI and Global Crossing CEO Leo Hindery said that the incentives of globalization have disconnected US corporations from US interests. "No economy," Hindery said, "can survive the offshoring of both manufacturing and services concurrently. In fact, no society can even take excessive offshoring of manufacturing alone." According to Hindery, offshoring serves the short-term interests of shareholders and executive pay at the long-term expense of US economic strength.

Hindery notes that in 1981 the Business Roundtable defined its constituency as employees, shareholders, community, customers, and the nation." Today the constituency is quarterly earnings. A country whose business class has no sense of the nation is not a superpower.

By launching a war of aggression on the basis of lies and fabricated "intelligence," the Bush regime violated the Nuremberg standard established by the US and international law. Extensive civilian casualties and infrastructure destruction in Iraq, along with the torture of detainees in concentration camps and an ever-changing excuse for the war have destroyed the soft power and moral leadership that provided the diplomatic foundation for America's superpower status. A country that is no longer respected or trusted and which promises yet more war isolates itself from cooperation from the rest of the world. An isolated country is not a superpower.

A country that fears small, distant countries to such an extent that it utilizes military in place of diplomatic means is not a superpower. The entire world knows that the US is not a superpower when its entire available military force is tied down by a small lightly armed insurgency drawn from a Sunni population of a mere 5 million people.

Neoconservatives think the US is a superpower because of its military weapons and nuclear missiles. However, as the Iraqi resistance has demonstrated, America's superior military firepower is not enough to prevail in fourth generation warfare. The Bush regime has reached this conclusion itself, which is why it increasing speaks of attacking Iran with nuclear weapons.

The US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons against an opponent. If six decades after nuking Japan the US again resorts to the use of nuclear weapons, it will establish itself as a pariah, war criminal state under the control of insane people. Any sympathy that might still exist for the US would immediately disappear, and the world would unite against America.

A country against which the world is united is not a superpower.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12843.htm

=====================
ICH INDEX:
Cost of America's War in Iraq

$275,905,133,201
To see more details, click here.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/index.html
 

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