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Commentaries ---  
updated every Wednesday
January 2010 - January 2011

ARTICLES

State Lawlessness on the Rampage by Paul Craig Roberts  FULL ARTICLE

In Money-Changers We Trust by Robert Scheer  FULL ARTICLE

The Darkness to Expel by Uri Avnery  FULL ARTICLE

WikiLeaks and Journalists By Robert Fisk  FULL ARTICLE

Mr. Putin Makes an Audacious Offer - By Immanuel Wallerstein  FULL ARTICLE

WikiLeaks: The Emperor Wears No Clothes By John Pilger FULL ARTICLE

Ship of Fools 2 By Uri Avnery  FULL ARTICLE

The Mystery of Missile Defense By  by Chris Arsenault  FULL ARTICLE

Domesticated Deities by Lewis Lapham  FULL ARTICLE

WikiLeaks and the public interest? by Andrew Kennis FULL ARTICLE

Everything Is Negotiable, Except with Nature by Bill McKibben FULL ARTICLE

Rabbis say 'no housing for Arabs' by Mya Guarnieri  FULL ARTICLE

Why the U.S. is Hated -- A Flood of Drone Strikes By Fatima Bhutto  FULL ARTICLE

The Future of Kashmir by Conn Hallinan  FULL ARTICLE

Liar, Liar by Philip Giraldi  FULL ARTICLE


COMMENTARY

  • WIKILEAKS AND CONGRESS: A COMPARISON
  • DOES LIU XIABO REALLY DESERVE THE PEACE PRIZE?
  • ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT -- CHERRY PICKING WIKILEAKS
  • HILLARY'S BLAME GAME
  • SUICIDE BOMBERS AND WHAT MAKES THEM TICK
  • ADAM'S NAVEL AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
  • 4 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT THE WAR ON TERRORISM
  • THE BETRAYAL OF GAZA
  • OBAMA AND A FUTURE FOR INDIA AND PAKISTAN...
  • WHY THE DEMOCRATS LOST
  • THE ZERO AND US
  • THE REAL REASON OBAMA HAS LET US ALL DOWN
  • THE BEST WAY TO LOOT A COUNTRY IS TO RUN IT
  • BAMIYAN DIARIES DAY 3 "YOU'RE NOT ALONE"
  • MAINSTREAMING WITH EXTREME RIGHTWING
  • SEEKING FAIR CONTRACTS
  • THE MEDIA'S CONSTRUCTION OF THE 'GROUND ZERO MOSQUE'
  • INDIA AND PAKISTAN: 63 YEARS LATER
  • THE COLLAPSE OF WESTERN MORALITY
  • TELL LARRY SUMMERS, DON'T DELAY!
  • SATAN OF THE DETAILS
  • DEMOCRACY OR "LOBBYOCRACY"
  • GET READY FOR AFGHAN RESTAURANTS!
  • WHAT IS A FLOOD THEN...
  • THE OIL SPILL MIRACLE?
  • THE GUNS OF AUGUST
  • OLMERT AND THE JACKALS
  • DETRITUS -- THE CRUMBLING TV NEWS
  • THE GULF OIL SPILL: AN AUTOPSY
  • A PARLIAMENTARY MOB
  • NOAM CHOMSKY'S HOPES AND PROSPECTS
  • IDEAS AND CONSEQUENCES: AN ECONOMY GONE WRONG
  • THE CHARGE OF THE MEDIA BRIGADE       



December 22, 2010

WIKILEAKS AND CONGRESS - A COMPARISON  

by Christopher Brauchli

Source:  The Human Race and other Sports

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native
American criminal class except Congress.
— Mark Twain, Following the Equator

The question that has come to mind watching members of Congress during the
past few weeks is “What are the similarities and differences between the United
States Congress and Wikileaks?” The similarities are that both create chaos. The
differences are that creating chaos by illuminating some of what goes on behind
the scenes is the purpose of Wikileaks whereas creating chaos is not the task
the founders of the country thought they had assigned to members of Congress.
It just happened that way over time. Another difference, of course, is that
Wikileaks is very good at what it does and the United States Congress is abysmal
at doing what it does.

Ron Paul (R-Texas) has come to the defense of Wikileaks and in so doing has set
himself apart from members of his own party who consider him something of a
heretic. They are probably the same people who disagreed with him in 2002
when he was one of the voices in defense of the constitutional prerogatives of
Congress with respect to declarations of war.

In 2002, Mr. Paul was a member of the minority in both Houses of Congress that
opposed the 2002 Congressional resolution authorizing George Bush to invade
Iraq. Mr. Paul said, at that time, that the resolution was not a declaration of war.
Instead, he said, the “resolution transfers the Constitutionally-mandated
Congressional authority to declare wars to the executive branch. This resolution
tells the president that he alone has the authority to determine when, where,
what, and how war will be declared. It merely asks the president to pay us a
courtesy call a couple of days after the bombing starts to let us know what is
going on.” (In taking a stand against the resolution, Mr. Paul was following in the
footsteps of Senators Wayne Morse (OR) and Earnest Gruening (AK) who were
the only members of Congress to oppose the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
When the resolution was debated in the Senate Senator Morse said: “[H]istory is
going to record that Senator Gruening and I voted in the interests of the
American people this morning when we voted against this resolution. And I’d
have the American people remember what this resolution really is. It’s a
resolution that seeks to give the president of the United States the power to
make war, without a declaration of war.”)

In a speech in the House of Representatives discussing the leaks of the cables
to assorted media by Wikileaks, Mr. Paul said: “The hysterical reaction makes
one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news.
Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though
classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty
of embarrassment to our government.” He went on to say that the American
people deserve to know the truth about the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
and Yemen. (Among other things some of the cables disclose that unbeknownst
to American citizens, bombings in Yemen for which the Yemeni government
claimed to be responsible were in fact undertaken by the United States, and the
Yemeni government took responsibility so the United States could continue to
surreptitiously bomb members of al Qaeda in that country. After an attack on
December 24, 2009, Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, told General David
Petraeus, then the head of the US central command: “We’ll continue saying the
bombs are ours, not yours.”)

Mr. Paul asks whether Wikileaks disclosures, “lying us into war” [read Iraq and
Vietnam] or the release of the Pentagon Papers was responsible for the greater
loss of American lives. He asks why people are upset with Wikileaks for
disclosing that the government is unable to protect classified information and
whether the upset over Wikileaks is more about maintaining “a seriously flawed
foreign policy of empire than it is about national security.” He questions whether
we’re getting our money’s worth for the $80 billion a year spent on intelligence
gathering. Perhaps most importantly, he asks what the implications are for the
first amendment if Julian Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing
information he did not steal. And finally he observes it was once considered an
act of patriotism to stand up to the government when it was wrong.

Those in Congress who call for Julian Assange’s execution or imprisonment
make no attempt to conceal the chaos they are creating. Unemployment is close
to 10% and millions of people face the prospect of their unemployment benefits
disappearing just as Santa Claus makes his appearance. For the last two months
Congress has tied providing additional unemployment benefits to providing tax
cuts for the very wealthy, both dead and alive. Mitch McConnell has said that
governing the country is not important-all that matters for the next two years is
making sure that Barack Obama is not reelected. All the foregoing and countless
other congressional antics suggest is that Congress is no better than Wikileaks-
just different.

Christopher Brauchli can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. For
political commentary see his web page at http://humanraceandothersports.com



Dec 13, 2010

DOES LIU XIABO REALLY DESERVE THE PEACE PRIZE?  

By Tariq Ali

Last year's recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize escalated the war in Afghanistan a
few weeks after receiving the prize. The award surprised even Obama. This year
the Chinese government were foolish to make a martyr of the president of
Chinese PEN and neo-con Liu Xiaobo. He should never have been arrested, but
the Norwegian politicians who comprise the committee, led by Thorbjørn
Jagland, a former Labour prime minister, wanted to teach China a lesson. And so
they ignored their hero's views.

Or perhaps they didn't, given that their own views are not dissimilar. The