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Manning’s Dad: Seeming Stoicism, Denial and, Tragically, Lotsa Conditional Love

Manning’s father appeared briefly on Frontline clips on the NewsHour tonight. My heart went out to him, but even more to Manning after only a few minutes of taking in “Daddy.”

How sad that Bradley’s daddy can’t see and celebrate the heroic champion his son actually and, okay, allegedly is. I am sure there is some degree of awe within his father over the great lengths Bradley has gone and is still willing to go to stand up to a ferociously toxic and violent patriarchal authority -- the entire evil military industrial security complex.

Dad assuredly gave Manning a lot of experience and practice in fighting blind and formidable authority I’d venture. Funny, how psychologically wounded children sometimes end up having the greatest courage and spirit as adults, as well as honor. Maybe, too, that fateful and sustained experience with a parent such as the one I seemed to be witnessing tonight gives them the hunger or will to try, though there is a horror in the futility, to work out such a primal relationship of crazymaking and identity-sabotaging “conditional” as opposed to “unconditional” love with other authorities later in life.

The Faux-Humanitarian, Oil Slick, Garden Path to Another War

End of the American Dream reports that a Rasmussen poll found that 67% of Americans do not want war with Libya. 17% of them do.

HAH! As if that matters to anyone in power.

Yeah, I know Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Barack Obama keep protesting they really don't want to go to war with Libya. Can’t you hear the reluctance in their voices these days? Look at their grave faces advising restraint! Especially Robert Gates'.

That is rich. Not since Tom Sawyer feigned so much pleasure in whitewashing the fence has such a perfect con been executed. Oh, wait. There were Gates’ assurances on the NewsHour that the military budget had been seriously slashed. Oh, all right. Then there was anything Obama promised pre-election. Anyway ...

Now NY Guv Cuomo Declares War on Brain-Damaged Babies (I kid you not!)

Some politicians kiss babies to posture their likability and trustworthiness.

Green Party Hawkins: NY Guv Cuomo's Jaw-Dropping War on Poor, Working & Middle Class Families vs. Green New Deal

[email from office of Howie Hawkins, NY Green Party]

Green Party Calls for State Lawmakers to Reject Cuomo's Austerity Budget -- A Green New Deal would invest in jobs, education, fair taxes

Green Party of NY State leaders today called Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget an attack on working and middle class New Yorkers that should be rejected by state lawmakers.

The Sustained Crucifixion of Bradley Manning

The placement of human beings in solitary confinement is not a measure of their depravity. It is a measure of our own. Lynn Parramore

Bradley Manning is being tortured for our sins.

For the sins of us American citizens, many of us of limited courage, conscience and/or consciousness.

He is also being tortured -- the torturous “killing of the messenger” -- for the appalling and vast sins of the amoral rulers of this country, who are responsible for gratuitous (although they don’t consider them gratuitous if there are corporate profits involved) massive deaths and massive suffering of human beings around the globe.

War/Control-Addicted-Hypocritical US Leans On Saudi Arabia to Engage In Libya For It

Robert Fisk today:

Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.

Fisk reminds us it was the Saudis who supported the American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1980 and thereafter. The Saudis, Fisk asserts, also armed and funded the Taliban.

American Realpolitik: “US Interests” Do Not Include Human Welfare

Listening to Morally Myopic Obama tonight on the NewsHour giving the old "razzle dazzle," now talking about wanting to send a CLEAR message about the violence and potential further violence in Libya, I felt nauseous. Clear message? Maybe pseudo-clear message to America’s ostrich citizenry. Certainly not to the Arab world that has seen the craven and massive violence that US, Israel, and western power interference entails and has entailed. The cost of millions in death, maiming and/or displacement. Obama's concern about a “bloody” situation? Drone-happy Obama is concerned about blood being shed? Okay. Maybe he does care about the sight of blood, and that is why he prefers horrifying weapons of instant incineration? That is my bitter take.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, can not honor the needs and will of the citizenry of its own country. Why on earth would it heed the welfare of the courageous and endangered peoples in other countries? HYPOCRISY on steroids.

Why, destabilization, according to Rahm’s theory if you remember, is one further OPPORTUNITY for plunder. I think of Westmoreland’s justification in Viet Nam, “We had to bomb the village in order to save it.” Yeah, that is rich. “Collateral damage” to the amoral gamesmen and gameswomen lost to the war addiction and the greed addiction is a small price to pay for their imperialist agenda.

So re the Arab world, we -- the US and its friendly, fellow imperialist bullies -- had to and have to destroy massive numbers of a country’s citizenry and its country’s infrastructure in order to rape that country’s natural resources, especially oil, for the oligarchy, the same way the American political elite has raped its own middle, working and non-working class citizenry of their rights to health care, employment, security, etc., with more massive destruction to come. We are becoming fast one of the third world countries paralleling the countries the US has profoundly damaged through the decades. The gated community opportunism of the super rich uber alles.

Ray McGovern Calls Out Robert Gates as a "Consummate [Political] Windsock"

Retired CIA analyst and peace activist Ray McGovern in a recent article entitled “How to Read Gates’s Shift on the Wars” explains his strong and angry reaction to a statement made by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a West Point address last Friday. Gates:

“But in my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”


... those of us who have known Gates for many years, including some of us old colleagues from his CIA days, couldn’t help but wonder what he was up to, what was the ulterior motive behind his decision to put distance between himself and these two misbegotten wars.

The Bob Gates we knew was a bright and brightly ambitious careerist whose greatest skill might have been to sense quickly where the prevailing winds of power were blowing and position himself accordingly. He was the consummate windsock.

So, having overseen the two wars for more than four years now, was Gates signaling that he knew the conflicts would come to no good end and thus was he creating a public record for himself as something of a war skeptic

McGovern does acknowledge a possibility, a miniscule one, that Gates may have become a wiser but sadder military leader, having humanely considered the lives lost in both wars. But McGovern finds it far more likely Gates is responding to the unpopularity of the wars, heeding the polls which, according to McGovern, reveal 86% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans want a speedier U.S. pullout from Afghanistan.

Freeze & Starve, Citizens! Monster $719 Billion Military Budget from Political Soft on Terror Paranoia & Violent Imperialism

Sherwood Ross in an article entitled “US Endless-War Budget Rolls On” cites the Chalmers Johnson observation that the Pentagon is “close to being beyond civilian control.” I think it is time to remove the word “close” from that chilling conclusion. Ross certainly makes the case, as he parallels the insanely burgeoning and politically uncontested military budget to the horrifying economic quicksand into which the majority of citizens are sinking:

While the number of Americans suffering in poverty increased to 36 million – and as more families lose their homes and lines lengthen at soup kitchens – President Obama has dollars galore to build 67 new warships at a cost of nearly $25 billion, according to a new analysis of his budget by the National Priorities Project of Northampton, Massachusetts.

Yet, according to Wikipedia, “The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined” and it operates 11 super carriers as part of a 286-active ship fleet with 3,700 aircraft able to radiate power on all continents. This is but one example from the Pentagon's Department of Wretched Excess.


So, in fiscal year 2012, which begins next Oct. 1, the Pentagon will just have to struggle along with $719 billion while the president calls for a five-year freeze on “non-security” discretionary spending such as, in the words of former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, “programs the poor and working class depend on – assistance with home heating, community services, college loans, and the like.”

Green's Hawkins: NY Gov. Cuomo Solves $9 Billion Deficit: 1) Slash Jobs, 2) Starve Children, 3) $5 Billion Tax Breaks for Rich

Hunger Action Alert - Save the Welfare Grant, Stop Full Family Sanctions

Gov. Cuomo's proposed state budget cuts funding for a variety of anti-poverty and human service programs to help solve the state's $9 billion deficit, while proposing to spend $5 billion annually to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthiest New Yorkers. Lawmakers are telling us that they haven't heard much protest about the cuts to human services.

We need the Assembly to say no to these cuts. We want to target Assembly member Michele Titus (518-455-5668), the new chair of the Assembly Social Services Committee, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (518 455-3791) We also want to contact Sen. Dean Skelos, the Senate Majority leader. (518) 455-3171


Please help low-income New Yorkers. Say no to any delay in the welfare grant hike and to full family sanctions. Don't give a huge tax cut to the rich by ending the personal income tax surcharge. We want money for jobs for low-income New Yorkers.

You could also add a message re funding for emergency food. The Governor proposed keeping HPNAP at $29.7 million. Advocates are seeking $33.6 million. Service levels as the state food pantries and soup kitchens have increased 60% in the last three years.

We are also asking for $100 million for jobs for welfare participants. 2 years ago we got $70 million. This year the Governor is proposing zero funding.

Shameless Obama Savages Poor & Working Classes With A Reagan Budget -- More Nightmarish Consistency c/o Inside Man for Oligarchs

I want to share the optimism lifting so many for the Egyptians and of the Egyptians, but I keep picturing the euphoria of millions of Americans after the Obama election and I want to warn the Egyptians to stay vigilant and wary of charismatic, say-anything inside men for the oligarchs. Can the Egyptians possibly begin to institute the kind of democracy we Americans seem to have lost?

Obama has hit a new low with the present budget. I keep thinking I am beyond astonishment at him, but alas, he keeps on delivering the hits, farther and farther below the belt.

Glen Ford, who, incidentally, coined the "inside man for oligarchs" reference to Obama, reminds us of the time when Obama stunned so many of us progressives by heralding Reagan as a great president. That was surely a big tip off that he was not what he was being packaged as by the political progressives, but not really progressives, more accurately, soul-less, pragmatic gamesmen and gameswomen enthralled to their shadow corporate overlords hawking him to win an election. I don’t know if I am getting more traditionally religious or not. I find myself praying there is a ferocious hell for all those who played and benefited from the biggest con perpetrated on a citizenry, the faux-answer to the Bush Insanity, Barack Obama. After the trauma of Bush, we deserved a break, not a Trojan Horse shamelessly ready to continue and worsen human suffering both home and abroad.

Ford writes of the new budget:

The First Black President just gave birth to an unmistakably Republican budget – and everybody knows who that ugly baby’s daddy is. For the past two years, Barack Obama has been making out quite publicly with George Bush’s corporate friends. But that shouldn’t be a scandal; after all, Obama has always told everyone in range of his voice that his main goal in life is to forge a grand consensus with the GOP, a bipartisan understanding between the Right and the Center Right.

Don’t Turn Your Back on Hillary Clinton or How Ray McGovern Evoked Hypocrisy in Real Time

71-year old peace advocate Ray McGovern, wearing a Veterans for Peace T-shirt, stood in the audience with his back toward Hillary Clinton as she gave a speech at Washington University on February 15th. McGovern’s stance, what he calls “silent witness”, was a protest of Mrs. Clinton’s support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was not long before McGovern was assaulted and dragged out of the audience by two security men. “So this is America!” McGovern declared. “This is America!”

Mrs. Clinton may not have missed a beat in her speech but apparently missed the enormous irony of the moment. She was speaking in praise of the nobility and effectiveness of peaceful protest and the wrongness of aggressive governmental repression in the Middle East, all while Mr. McGovern was being roughed up before her and the audience’s eyes.

Mr. McGovern as quoted by Rob Kall:

"When Clinton started talking about how people beat up and arrested people in Iran, it gave some poetic justice, a great irony, to my standing there and what happened to me then, when she's talking about what happened in other countries and there I am being handled in a vicious way...God knows what would happen next. ..."


"They grabbed me and the shock wore off. There was a real struggle. I shouted, 'This is America.' Then I said, 'Who are you?' This is a mystery to me. Who were they? The guy in the suit was the one who did the damage. He was brutal."

Critical Arab-US Moment Betrayed: Obama & Cong. Won’t Do Right Thing Re Jewish Settlements; Fear 2012 AIPAC Election Punishment

So, let’s get this straight. The United States officially -- at least rhetorically -- disapproves of illegal Jewish settlement expansion. Yet to do ANYTHING to support this position would mean substantial political blowback from AIPAC.

We all know to what degree the President and Congress will sell out the welfare of human beings, its own citizens, and, hell, the rest of the world’s, to protect their own jobs and power no matter what the depth of the sell out.

Even with the incredible wave of Arab individualism flooding forth now you would think the American President and Congress would be astute and responsible enough to give a reach out. I mean Cash for Clunkers and a hypocritical Cairo speech were Obama’s golden moments. That speech, in spite of its hypocrisy, probably planted some seeds of empowering hope and may even be in part responsible for the profound Arab movement right now.

WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY for the United States to endorse the spirit of democracy, even though democracy has left the building in terms of the United States, now run by a plutocracy, but still, the Arab world is fighting for the real deal democracy it assumes America still has.

What a shame that according to MJ Rosenberg the US intends to veto Thursday, today, a United Nations Security Council resolution, sponsored by 122 nations, condemning Israeli settlement expansion.

Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee: "We have made very clear that we do not think the Security Council is the right place to engage on these issues."

The UN Security Council is not the right place? What bullshit.

National Green Party: Congrats to Egypt and What About Mubarak’s US $70 Billion Stash? (C’mon, Asset-Freezing Time!)

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party of the United States congratulated the Egyptian people and called President Hosni Mubarak's resignation a huge step towards democracy, human rights, and stability for their country.

"The Egyptian revolution is a victory for the people of Egypt, and also the victory for an idea -- the idea that violent regimes can be overthrown through nonviolent means," said Romi Elnagar, member of the Green Party of Louisiana and wife and mother of Egyptian-Americans. "While police and rampaging pro-Mubarak thugs killed 350 and injured thousands more, the protesters themselves remained overwhelmingly peaceful."

US Greens hoped for an end to the 30-year-old 'emergency decree' and for a broad-based transitional government that embraced opposition parties, to begin the work of dismantling the brutally oppressive Mubarak regime. The next step will take place when the military relinquishes power and Egyptians establish a civil government with a constitution, free and fair elections, democratic institutions, and the means to solve problems like unemployment and poverty.

Greens also urged the Obama Administration to cooperate in an investigation of the alleged $70 billion that Mr. Mubarak's accumulated during his corrupt regime and to freeze any of his assets that are held in the US.

"We call on the US government to avoid meddling and respect the right of Egyptians to rule themselves. Aid for Egypt must be for humanitarian purposes, not military, and without strings attached. If the Obama Administration tries to press the new Egypt into subordination, to satisfy the US's strategic military and economic interests in the region, we will betray the Egyptian people and their right to democratic sovereignty," said Laura Wells, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of California.

“I Wonder What the Emotionally Arrested Rich Are Doing Tonight?” (Thomas Frank’s Take)

Thomas Frank has an article in the February issue of Harper’s entitled "Servile Disobedience" well worth a read. I am sure Frank is not the only member of the non-elite class in America who at some point wistfully has envisioned the members of the privileged class breaking down and actually exhibiting empathy for us poor slobs struggling in the merciless economic quicksand they created for us. There is the rub.

Frank doesn’t mince words:

“The rich are different from you and me. They are ruder and less generous. They don’t get what others are thinking and apparently they don’t really care.

... People don’t craft poisonous collateralized debt obligations by calling on what they learned in Sunday school.”


“We let them build a system of bonuses and executive compensation on the theory that it would be good for everyone if the people on top got to take home much, much more. And when it turned out that the theory was wrong -- that in the most famous cases the rich chased bonuses not in the shareholders’ benefit but at their expense, why, we promptly bailed them out. We allowed them to step up to the Fed’s discount window and fill their pockets. We generously transferred their dumb investments to our balance sheet and we sent them off with little more than a request that they please do not do it again.”