Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Today’s News Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Center for Public Integrity today released a report, and a publicly accessible database of 935 false statements issued by eight senior officials of the Bush administration in the lead up to the Iraq war. The study claims that this was “part of an orchestrated campaign” on the part of the Bush administration.

The White House claims in its defense that their position on Iraq, WMD’s and Al Quaida, were based on the consensus of intelligence agencies all over the world. But at the time, George Bush repeatedly cited British sources for his wild and extravagant claims, and yet there was so much controversy in British Intelligence that two ministers (Claire Short and Robin Cook) resigned and one intelligence analyst (Dr. David Kelly) was executed, with the government and virtually all news sources claiming an improbable suicide.

In Australia, a senior intelligence analyst resigned and spoke out frequently about the distortions that were been imposed on the public mind through an orchestrated government and media campaign in support of a war that could not be justified.

And yet the war happened, and all of these lies and distortions go virtually unmentioned in the current election campaign. Hundreds of billions of dollars in profitable war related contracts continue to provide a feast for cronies of Bush and Cheney. And thousands of people in Iraq live in mortal jeopardy.

Also today, thousands of hungry people escaped from the Israeli prison camp most of us know as the Gaza strip. The people blew a hole in the wall (built by Israel) and poured across the border into Egypt. These people have been subjected to a vicious campaign of oppression and deprivation in retaliation for them having elected a government which does not meet with the approval of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Also today Vice President Dick Cheney made a presentation to the Heritage Foundation on the subject of FISA legislation. He based the rationale for this legislation on an entirely fabricated reality in which Al Queda terrorists, (who had attacked America on September 11, 2001), were plotting equally dastardly acts with equal likelihood of success, were it not for the fearless work of dedicated American patriots torturing suspects and monitoring all communications in the United States with the active participation of telephone and communications companies. There was no Q & A broadcast on Cspan – just the raw propaganda. Most sinister and duplicitous President of Vice ever.

Meanwhile back in the Congress the Democrats are promoting Schip as a stimulus measure. It would inject resources into the hands of poor people, allowing them to free –up funds currently dedicated to health care, but the Republicans are resisting because they want whatever changes they make to be temporary (and they want the goodies for their rich friends, as usual).

The impending recession continues to expose structural defects in the global economy.

The fundamental problem is that far too many people are simply left out. In order to include them, global rates of consumption must be in balance with the productivity of the biosphere. We cannot provide a reasonable standard of living for nine or ten billion people (which is the likely peak in world population if present trends continue) if that standard of living requires rates of consumption similar to those imposed by the structures of our civilization. In other words we have to change the way we live, to create a viable example that the rest of the world can emulate.

We have, in the past, regarded ourselves as the “Shining City on the Hill” that all the peoples of the world aspire to re-create for themselves. Had we been successful in having the rest of the world copy the way we behave, then our high consuming lifestyle would have almost destroyed the ability of this planet to support life.

Even with the minimal participation in economic activity now enjoyed by one fifth of the world’s population, habitat destruction and pollution result in two hundred species becoming extinct every single day.

The world cannot remain the way it is.

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