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09.18 'Terrifying' New Climate Models Warn of 6-7°C of Warming by 2100 If Emissions Not Slashed

09.17 New Report Details 10 'Critical Transitions' to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Feed the World

09.16 Common pesticide makes migrating birds anorexic [Neonicotinoids, again...]

09.16 ACT plans far-reaching electrification of vehicles and homes in drive to reduce emissions

09.16 'Like a sunburn on your lungs': how does the climate crisis impact health? [Important]

09.16 $1m a minute: the farming subsidies destroying the world [Important]

09.15 German Study: Alarming Levels of Dangerous Plastics in Children's Bodies

09.15 Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland ice melt

09.15 The world has a third pole – and it's melting quickly

09.14 Not Just the Bees, First-of-Its-Kind Study Shows Neonics May Be Killing Birds Too [A GESTALT: Like happened at Boeing, deregulation has displaced scientific and engineering professionalism in many companies and governments to focus on profits/economics almost exclusively. But after similar failure of scientific rigor, die-off reports of bees, worms and sea-life, generally, there must be a moritorium on production, sale and use of all potentially dangerous chemicals!]

09.13 Trump Rollback of Key EPA Water Protection Rule Denounced as 'Callous' and 'Immoral' Giveaway to Big Polluters

09.13 Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

09.13 Dolphins in Channel carry 'toxic cocktail' of chemicals [What is safe to eat?]

09.11 How Can We Address Climate Change Through Agriculture? [3:43 video]

09.11 New solar tech could revolutionise electricity production

09.11 'It can kill you in seconds': the deadly algae on Brittany's beaches

09.10 How to look after your mental health

09.10 Who’s Ready for the Electric Moped Moment? [Uses car lanes instead of sidewalks!]

09.09 The Climate Investment That Promises 400 Percent Returns

09.09 Suicide rates are rising across the US, especially in rural areas

09.08 Blend solar panels with agriculture, new study recommends

09.08 Before Hurricane Dorian, Charleston Already Had a Flooding Crisis

News Media Matters

09.16 From Voice of America to NPR: New CEO Lansing's Glass House

09.15 'No Policy, No Facts, Just Displays of Violence': Ocasio-Cortez Says Hysterical Ad Proves GOP Has No Response to Progressive Vision [0:30 video]

09.14 Sanders Campaign Hits Back Against 'Dishonest' Biden Attack on Medicare for All [The facts don't lie, but America's media totally does lie when paid by advertisers to distort single-payer as more expensive: 1:35 video]

09.12 Media bias is OK – if it's honest [‘It should be obvious that there can’t be such a thing as a neutral journalist.’]

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.18 Why Trump Can’t Learn: An Educated Guess by a Veteran Teacher [Might dyslexia explain the Republican party, generally?]

09.18 'Heartless and Unconscionable': Outrage as General Motors Cuts Off Healthcare for 50,000 Striking Workers [Hideous corporate behavior putting 50,000 families at greater health and bankruptcy risk.]

09.18 Whole Foods Will Cut Health-Care Benefits for Nearly 2,000 Employees [Hideous corporate behavior putting 2,000 families at greater health and bankruptcy risk.]

09.18 US healthcare is booming. So why do one in five workers live in poverty?

09.18 Greta Thunberg to Congress: ‘You’re not trying hard enough. Sorry’

09.17 'The silenced': meet the climate whistleblowers muzzled by Trump

09.17 Democrats have long blamed 'culture' for black poverty. Joe Biden is no exception

09.17 The Guardian view on the future of work: share out the benefits

09.16 America is stuck with Brett Kavanaugh

09.16 Sanders Responds to Biden's Praise for Pharma Companies: 'Their Behavior Is Literally Killing People Every Day'

09.15 'Americans are waking up': two thirds say climate crisis must be addressed

09.15 The Plutocratic War on People: Centrists and Conservatives are Ignoring the Giant Elephant in Our National Living Room

09.14 The U.S. Health-Care System Found a Way to Make Peanuts Cost $4,200

09.14 California church leaders 'used homeless as forced labour' [A coarsening of public behavior...]

09.14 Taco Bell customer who was treating homeless group to meals says she was kicked out of restaurant [A coarsening of public behavior...]

09.14 We Asked Prosecutors if Health Insurance Companies Care About Fraud. They Laughed at Us.

09.14 Elizabeth Warren’s Health Care Plan Still Leaves a Lot of Unanswered Questions

09.14 Medicare for All Would Cut Poverty by Over 20 Percent

Justice Matters

09.14 NY AG uncovers $1 billion in Sackler family wire transfers amid opioid probe: report

09.12 'Decades of Progress Are at Stake' as Trump Reaches 150 Lifetime Judicial Appointments and Right-Wing Court Takeover Accelerates

09.12 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR ISSUES SCATHING DISSENT TO SUPREME COURT'S ASYLUM RULE DECISION: THE STAKES 'COULD NOT BE HIGHER'

09.11 Former top FEMA officials arrested on fraud charges in Puerto Rico

09.09 The great break-up of Big Tech is finally beginning [Facebook and Google effectuate the evil of data analytics]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

09.12 The insidious ideology pushing us towards a Brexit cliff-edge

09.12 Boeing's travails show what's wrong with modern capitalism

International & Futurism

09.18 If the world ran on sun, it wouldn’t fight over oil [1:45 video]

09.17 ONLY A GREEN NEW DEAL CAN DOUSE THE FIRES OF ECO-FASCISM

09.17 The Guardian view on Modi’s 100 days: trashing lives and the constitution

09.17 The Observer view on the threat posed to Israel by another Benjamin Netanyahu victory

09.17 For Palestinians, Israel’s elections promise nothing but defeat

09.17 I now look back on my 20 years of climate activism as a colossal failure

09.17 The world ignored the warning signs – and now the Middle East is on the brink

09.16 EXCLUSIVE: Iranian drones launched from Iraq carried out attacks on Saudi oil plants

09.16 'We walk with our heads high': the women who care for country by fighting fire with fire

09.16 Inheritance tax would be scrapped by the Brexit party – good news for the very rich

09.16 Tunisian exit polls suggest shock victory for political outsiders

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  War? What War?
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EDITORIAL:

War? What War?

Welcome to the One-Party Police State

by DAVE LINDORFF
Bush's phony "War on Terror" is not a war, but an excuse for a police state.
As co-author of The Case for Impeachment, the most common question I get besides "Why hasn't Bush been impeached yet?" comes from right-wing critics, who ask some variant (usually laced with profanities) of: "How can you criticize the president when the country's at war?"

It's understandable that people might ask such a thing, given that we have some 140,000 American troops fighting in Iraq, and another 10,000 or so in Afghanistan, but the truth is that these conflicts aren't what people have in mind (most people don't even think about those wars). They're talking about the so-called "War on Terror."

Let's first dispense with the Iraq "war" and the Afghanistan "war." Neither of these is really a war. The first ended when Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled, in April of 2003--back when Bush told us "major combat" had ended. Today, Iraq has an elected government, they tell us, and the U.S. is there at that government's request, to help police the place. Sure, some Americans are continuing to die, but you can't call it a war, or even an occupation. Not when you've been invited there by the local government.

The same is true of Afghanistan, where the Taliban were defeated way back in 2002. Again there is now an elected government there, and NATO forces, not US forces, at the invitation of that government, are conducting operations against the overthrown government of the Taliban. No way you can call that a war either, any more than the U.S. efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo were a war.

As for the "War" on Terror, the confusion seems to date back to the 1960s, when Lyndon Johnson, deeply involved in a genuine war in Indochina, decided to divert public attention with a second "war"--this one on poverty.

That "war" wasn't much more successful than the Indochina War. The Vietnamese won their war in 1975, and poverty won its "war" almost without firing a shot. The main legacy of Johnson's "war" on poverty, really, was not on poverty, but on political language. It led directly to the subsequent Nixon/Carter/Reagan/Clinton "war" on drugs.

That deceptively titled policy initiative had nothing to do with a war, but everything to do with expanding police power and police tactics within the U.S., and with filling prisons with people who didn't belong there.

In that regard, the "war" on drugs was a model for Bush's subsequent "war" on terror. Claiming that hordes of dark-skinned "Islamofascist" terrorists are out to destroy America, Bush and his cronies, following the 9-11 attacks, declared "war" on the terrorists.

But a strange "war" this has been. First they attacked Afghanistan, reportedly to go after the alleged author of those attacks, Osama Bin Ladin and his Al Qaeda hordes. But then, with Osama reportedly surrounded, Bush pulled his troops out and attacked Iraq, a bankrupt third-world state which had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks and which posed no threat to the U.S. Several hundred thousand US troops, and a handful of troops from a "coalition" of the "willing" were dispatched to Iraq where they have remained (well okay, the "willing allies" have mostly slipped away) since, while the pursuit of Bin Ladin has languished and, by some accounts, been called off altogether.

But as for the "war" on terror? It's going strong, but all along it's been all about not military, but police activity. In Europe, alleged terror cells have been efficiently infiltrated and busted. In Britain, there was the bust of a cell which succeeded in blowing up some buses and subway cars and another bust of an alleged plot to blow up multiple airliners. In the U.S., there have been...well, not much in the way of productive busts of terror actions, but certainly a lot of police activity.

Thousands of people of Islamic faith, or of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin, including American citizens, have been rounded up on the flimsiest of excuses, and jailed without charge, often to later be deported--sometimes to the very countries they were given asylum from earlier. An unknown number have been secretly kidnapped and "renditioned" to third nations to be tortured in secret gulags, before being warehoused indefinitely at Guantanamo's detention and torture center. Massive spying by the high-tech National Security Agency on hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Americans, all without benefit of a court order, has been ordered by the president, in violation of law and Constitution.

A so-called "USA PATRIOT" Act was pushed through Congress undermining the Bill of Rights, due process and the right to privacy.

The CIA and Defense Department Intelligence Agency, and other secret police organizations have been unleashed against the public, and dossiers are piling up on thousands of law-abiding citizens.

Critics of all these police-state tactics are publicly denounced and threatened by government officials and political leaders, including the president, as being "traitors" and "abettors of the terrorists."

This is what Bush's phony "War on Terror" is about in reality: not a war, but an excuse for a police state. He has even claimed that this fake "war" makes him "commander in chief" and since this faux war is global, taking place everywhere including within the U.S., he claims that gives him the power of a generalissimo both internationally and here at home--the power to declare anyone he wants, including you and me, an "enemy combatant" without rights of any kind, the power to ignore the courts, the power to ignore laws passed by Congress, and even the power to ignore the Constitution itself.

It's important to understand what is being done in the name of "war". Those who somehow believe that America's survival as a nation is really threatened by terrorists, and that thus the president needs absolute power, need to ask themselves: How many terrorists do there have to be out there trying to harm America or American interests to justify calling this a "war" and tossing out the Constitution? Is 10,000 a good number? 1000? 100? 10?

Are 10 terrorists enough of a threat that we should suspend the Constitution and let the president be a dictator, or should we hold out for 1000? And should we count in that number "terrorists" like the bozos who were arrested in Miami, who were supposedly planning to take down the Sears Tower in Chicago but didn't even know where it was or how to spell TNT? Or the seven and eight-year olds who were captured in Afghanistan and shipped off to Camp Iguana in Guantanamo? Because let's face it: With America not only the most powerful military power on earth (our military budget exceeds that of all other nations combined), there will always be some people out there who feel aggrieved enough or angry enough at something to want to take violent action.

So do these hyperventilating critics really want a permanent state of war because some terrorists want to hijack a plane, bomb a building, or try to bomb some city? Mt. Rainier near Seattle/Takoma, or the volcanic caldera in Yellowstone Valley could do much more damage than any terrorist bomb if either one blew, and nobody thinks America would be finished if either of those catastrophes struck. Besides, President Bush destroyed a city all by himself a year ago, and the country's still here.

Let's get real: There is no "war" on terror, just a war on the American people and on our Constitution.
Let's get real: There is no "war" on terror, just a war on the American people and on our Constitution.

And we know who the enemies of America are: Not some bunch of loony fanatics in turbans, but rather people in hand-tailored $6,000 suits in Washington, eager to turn a two-centuries-old experiment in democracy into a one-party police state.
Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's new book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com. This story is published in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on August 29, 2006.
 

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