As Goes Ford: Sunset of the American Empire

Touring Empire's Ruins From Detroit to the Amazon
by Greg Grandin
The empire ends with a pull out. Not, as many supposed a few years ago, from Iraq. There, as well as in Afghanistan, we are mulishly staying the course, come what may, trapped in the biggest of all the "too-big-to-fail" boondoggles. But from Detroit.

Of course, the real evacuation of the Motor City began decades ago, when Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler started to move more and more of their operations out of the downtown area to harder to unionize rural areas and suburbs, and, finally, overseas.
Even as the economy boomed in the 1950s and 1960s, 50 Detroit residents were already packing up and leaving their city every day. By the time the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Detroit could count tens of thousands of empty lots and over 15,000 abandoned homes.
Stunning Beaux Arts and modernist buildings were left deserted to return to nature, their floors and roofs covered by switchgrass. They now serve as little more than ornate bird houses.

In mythological terms, however, Detroit remains the ancestral birthplace of storied American capitalism. And looking back in the years to come, the sudden disintegration of the Big Three this year will surely be seen as a blow to American power comparable to the end of the Raj, Britain's loss of India, that jewel in the imperial crown, in 1948.
Forget the possession of a colony or the bomb, in the second half of the twentieth century, the real marker of a world power was the ability to make a precision V-8.
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Iran: Revolution for Twits

Iran not a Twitter Revolution
Just days after his return from post-election Iran, we spoke with journalist and author Reece Erlich. Erlich explains that the importance placed on internet social networking like Twitter by the Western media is a function of how they have been learning about the events, not a reflection on the movement as a whole. "The movement is a lot broader than the relatively well-to-do people who can afford to send Twitter or invest in computer equipment," says Erlich. Erlich published a book in 2007 exposing US attempts to destabilize Iran, such as the funding of domestic terrorist groups. But he adds that while the CIA and others may be active in the country, they are not responsible for the uprising.
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Militia Movement Comes to Akwesasne

by MNN
The neo-nazi Caledonia Militia was formed in Cayuga Ontario on June 23rd  with insignias on their uniforms such as Northern Alliance and Rahowa [Racial Holy War].  Another was formed in Picton. Civilians carrying out military actions against a designated race is a criminal offense.  
Settler militia founders Kinrade and Fleming say, "Enough is enough!"

Akwesasne has been isolated since June 1, 2009.  The US and Canada have blocked both bridges to Kawenoke, Cornwall Island.  We demanded no guns in our community.  This took the steam out of the fake propaganda designating us as militants to justify armed aggression against us.
To take away our civil rights, Canada's Department of National Defense manual designated us as insurgents.  International Global Risk lists us as terrorists, along with Al Qaida, Tamil Tigers and the Taliban.  These are unfounded slurs against our valiant people.   During WW II we declared war against the Nazis on the steps of the Capitol.  Many of our men died defending democracy and Great Turtle Island. 

Predator drones that prey on and attack enemy combatants are flying over us and our neighbors.  They are being launched from the Fort Drum US military base.  They fly three miles up under the civilian US Customs and Border Protection Agency.  These civilian and military agencies are under one command.  

A major political agenda is being advanced, taking over northern Great Turtle Island to set up a dictatorship.         
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Obama Administration Tries to Kill 9/11 Saudi Suit

Obama administration seeks to quash suit by 9/11 families
by Barry Grey - World Socialist Web Site
The Obama administration has intervened to quash a civil suit filed against Saudi Arabia by survivors and family members of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The suit seeks to hold the Saudi royal family liable, charging that it provided financial and other support to Al Qaeda and was thereby complicit in the hijack bombings that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington DC.

According to an article by Eric Lichtblau in the June 24 New York Times, documents assembled by lawyers for the 9/11 families “provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family.” However, the article states, the documents may never find their way into court because of legal challenges by Saudi Arabia, which are being supported by the US Justice Department.

The administration is taking extraordinary measures to kill the suit and suppress the evidence of Saudi support for Al Qaeda and complicity in the 9/11 attacks. Last month, the Justice Department sided in court with the Saudi monarchy in seeking to halt further legal action. Moreover, it had copies of American intelligence documents on Saudi finances that had been leaked to lawyers for the families destroyed, and is now seeking to prevent a judge from even looking at the material.
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A Journalist's Tale - One Year After

A Journalist Beaten — One Year Later
by Mohammed Omer | Agence Global
June 26, 2008 is a day I will never forget. For the events of that day irrevocably changed my life. That day I was detained, interrogated, strip searched, and tortured while attempting to return home from a European speaking tour, which culminated in independent American journalist Dahr Jamail and I sharing the Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize in London — an award given to journalists who expose propaganda which often masks egregious human rights abuses.

I want to address the denials from Israel and the inaccurate reporting by a few journalists in addition to requesting state of Israel to acknowledge what it did to me, prosecute the members of the Shin Bet responsible for it and put in place procedures that protect other journalists from such treatment.

Since 2003, I’ve been the voice to the voiceless in the besieged Gaza Strip for a number of publications and news programs ranging from The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs to the BBC and, Morgenbladet in Norway as well as Democracy Now! These stories exposed a carefully-crafted fiction continuing control and exploitation of five-million people. Their impact, coupled with the reporting of others served to change public opinion in the United States and Europe concerning the dynamics of Israel and its occupation of Palestine .

After receiving the Martha Gellhorn prize I returned home through the Allenby Bridge Crossing in the Occupied West Bank between Jordan and Israel. It was here I was detained, interrogated, and tortured for several hours by Shin Bet and border officers. When it appeared I may be close to death an ambulance was called to transport me to a hospital. From that day my life has been a year of continued medical treatments, pain — and a search for justice.
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Hunger: Israel's Human Trafficking Rings

Beyond Politics: People for Sale in Hungry World
by Ramzy Baroud
One might be tempted to dismiss the recent findings of the US State Department on human trafficking as largely political. But do not be too hasty.
Criticism of the State Department's report on trafficked persons, issued on 16 June, should be rife. The language describing US allies' efforts to combat the problem seems undeserved, especially when one examines the nearly 320- page report and observes the minuscule efforts of these governments. Also, it was hardly surprising to find that Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria -- Washington's foremost foes -- languish in the report's Tier 3 category, i.e. countries where the problem is most grave and least combated. Offenders in Tier 3 are subject to US sanctions, while governments of countries in Tier 1 are perceived as vigilant in fighting human trafficking.
One could also question the US government's own moral legitimacy; classifying the world into watch lists, congratulating some and reprimanding and sanctioning others, while the US itself has thus far (and for nine consecutive reports starting 2000) been immune to self-criticism.
Undoubtedly, the political hubris and self- righteous underpinnings of the report are disturbing, but that hardly represents an end to the argument. The fact remains that the report's rating of over 170 countries is thorough and largely consistent with facts as observed, reported by the media and examined in other comprehensive reports on the same issue. Indeed, the UN's own Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in February 2009, affirms much of the State Departments' findings regarding patterns of abuse reported around the world, most notably in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
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Dead Black Men that Don't Count

Dead Black Men that Don't Count
by C. L. Cook
As thousands gather in Los Angeles to mourn together the passing of an American music icon, television news stations are running extended coverage of the death of Michael Jackson, bumping scheduled stories.
One of those stories obscured by the untimely eclipse of the singular superstar is a matter of life and death too, but for many times more than one black man.

The Washington Post reports, a shipment of American weapons and ammunition arrived sometime this month in Mogadishu. The unspecified amount and nature of the materiel accompanies ten million dollars an anonymous Obama administration spokesperson says is meant to revive the Somali army and police force.

"A decision was made at the highest level to ensure the government does not fall and that everything is done to strengthen government security forces to counter the rebels."
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Toronto Pride Committee Refuses Ban Against Queers Against Israeli Apartheid

Seriously Free Speech Committee Supports Pride Toronto Parade Committee
As many of you know, various Zionist organizations including B'nai Brith have tried to force the Toronto Pride Committee to ban the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid contingent from this year's parade. The Seriously Free Speech Committee sent the following letter of support:

To members of the Pride Toronto Parade Committee

I am writing on behalf of the Seriously Free Speech Committee (SFSC) to congratulate you on your steadfast response to attacks from a range of media and pro-Zionist organizations. Attempts to ban the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) contingent from this year's parade and singling out for attack as a gay Muslim the democratically elected Parade Grand Marshal, El-Farouk Khaki, for speaking at a recent public event organized by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, were appropriately rejected.
Your statement that Pride Toronto “has no intention of banning any participants from the Dyke March and the Parade because of their political agenda” is a courageous response to B'nai Brith and other organizations that seek to silence criticism of Israel for its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.
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CIA's Panetta: Renditions to Continue, Torturers "Just following orders"

CIA’S Panetta Won't Penalize Torturers, Okays Renditions
by Sherwood Ross
CIA Director Leon Panetta says he is not going to penalize agents who tortured prisoners if they “were doing their duty,” explaining, “If you have a President who exercises bad judgment, the C.I.A. pays the price.” 

In an interview published in the June 22nd issue of The New Yorker magazine, Panetta acknowledged to reporter Jane Mayer the CIA may still employ some people tainted by the torture program. Nevertheless, Panetta said, “I really respect the people who say we shouldn’t have gotten involved in the interrogation business but we had to do our jobs.” 

This defense, of course, recalls the one used by Nazi Adolf Eichmann, the Holocaust architect responsible for sending countless European Jews to extermination camps. Eichmann said he was just following orders and Panetta implies CIA agents that tortured were just following orders from the Bush White House. Eichmann was found hiding in Argentina and taken to Israel, where he was tried, convicted, and hanged in 1962.

Not only is Panetta excusing CIA criminals but Mayer writes;
“Panetta, for his part, has been persuaded that renditions are a tool worth keeping…Panetta told me, ‘The worst part of rendition was rendition to a black site. That will not be the case anymore. If we render someone, it will be to a country with jurisdiction over that individual.’” “The Obama Administration,” Panetta says, will take precautions to insure that rendered suspects are treated humanely, as the law requires,” Mayer writes. She quotes Panetta as saying, “I’ve talked to the State Department, and our people have to make very sure that people won’t be mistreated. Some places, obviously, it’s more difficult to do. But we’re going to have to press to make sure it doesn’t happen, because it would fly in the face of everything the President has said we stand for.” 

To which Mayer adds, “The Bush Administration professed to be taking similar precautions.” Mayer notes during the Bush years, “some of the most horrific allegations of abuse were made by detainees rendered not to black sites but to Egypt, Syria, and Morocco.”
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Passing: Michael Jackson Dies in Los Angeles

Passing: Michael Jackson
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Palestine/Israel: Changing the Narrative

Palestinian Violence Overstated, Jewish Violence Understated:
Time to Change the Story
by Ira Chernus
The Israel Project hired pollster Stanley Greenberg to test American opinion on the Middle East conflict -- and got a big surprise. In September 2008, 69% of Americans called themselves pro-Israel. Now, it's only 49%. In September, the same 69% wanted the U.S. to side with Israel; now, only 44%.

How to explain this dramatic shift? Greenberg himself suggested the answer years ago when he pointed out that, in politics, "a narrative is the key to everything." Last year the old narrative about the Middle East conflict was still dominant: Israel is an innocent victim, doing only what it must do to defend itself against the Palestinians. Today, that narrative is beginning to lose its grip on Americans.

Well, to be more precise, the first part of the old narrative is eroding. Nearly half the American public seems unsure that Israel is still the good guy in the Middle East showdown. But the popular image of the Palestinians as the violent bad guy is apparently as potent as ever. The number of Americans who say they support Palestine remains unchanged from last September, a mere 7%. And only 5% want the U.S. government to take such a position.

Those numbers reflect the narrative that President Obama recited in Cairo on June 4th. He chided the Israelis for a few things they are doing wrong -- like expanding settlements and blockading Gaza. To the other side, though, his message was far blunter: "Palestinians must abandon violence."
Of Israeli violence he said not a word.
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David Suzuki and the Green Police

Home Invasion David Suzuki Style
by Tom Adams
The bill to create the Ontario Green Energy Act, when first introduced, would have empowered government agents to enter private homes to investigate energy and water usage. Many prominent environmental organizations endorsed the Act while it included raid provisions.

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