Taunted and jeered, Bolton boltedby Michael Carmichael
June 13, 2006
|.../... Turning to his case for corruption, Bolton launched into a literal diatribe about the Oil for Food programme that he described as a substantial scandal. The background to this is important: led by Bolton, neoconservative critics of the UN attempted unsuccessfully to make a criminal case against Kofi Annan and members of his family through the Oil for Food investigation, but their efforts largely were wasted. The investigation did discover some relatively minor official corruption involving a paltry $150,000 paid to one individual. The largest amount of corruption appears to have come in the form of kickbacks and bribes to the government of Iraq by oil companies seeking cheap oil. Of the kickbacks paid to the government of Iraq, 52% came from the US in the form of bribes for cheap oil, a figure that is more than the rest of the planet of 190 nations combined. While a partisan Republican Senator, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, made allegations against one high profile figure, George Galloway a British MP, they have been refuted. The investigation is ongoing, but of 54 internal audits only one has been made public. Bolton did not mention any of these details, nor did he provide any substantive evidence for his charge of serious levels of official corruption at the UN. |
Neither did Bolton call attention to the fact that the Oil for Food case pales into insignificance when compared to the massive scandals engulfing American operations in Iraq involving tens and possibly hundreds of billions of dollars or the Abramoff millions and the Enron scandal soaring into billions of dollars. Weak, prejudiced and hostile in its intent, Bolton’s case against the UN failed to impress his keen academic audience of law students. Bolton failed to get an indictment from this grand jury.
.../... The hypocrisy at the heart of his own case - since he represents a hegemonic power with more than one hundred and thirty thousand uninvited troops on the ground in Iraq, thousands more uninvited troops in Afghanistan and which now threatens to launch a new war against Iran - was lost on Bolton. But, Bolton’s hypocrisy was not lost on his perceptive audience who now zeroed in on him with a barrage of pointed questions.
The next question to Bolton was why should the UN be based on dues paid and the wealth and power of its members i.e one nation, one vote -- instead of population, which would mean -- one man, one vote. Detecting another foreign accent, Bolton asked, “Where are you from?” The student was from India. Bolton said that any alteration in the current articles of the UN charter to reform on a demographic basis would change the nature of the institution, and he indicated that principle, i.e. democracy and one man, one vote – ramained totally unacceptable to the United States as a basis for the United Nations. Quite. .../...
|John Bolton has a fascinating back-story. A Lutheran from Baltimore, Bolton studied law at Yale. The extreme right-wing presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater politicized him, and in the late 1970s, he emerged as a top legal advisor to the extreme racist Republican, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. A description of Bolton’s political extremism records, “A veteran of Southern electoral campaigns, Bolton has long appealed to racist voters.” (John Bolton, Right Web) During the 2000 Florida vote fiasco, Bolton played a high profile partisan role. Working under Jim Baker, Bolton led the so-called “white collar riot” [the HOAXED "Brooks Brothers" riot] that brought a halt to the counting of ballots in Florida. |
Throughout the 1980s, Bolton was a leader of Republican Party efforts to undermine voting rights for minorities. Forming an alliance with James Baker, Bolton served in both the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. During the Clinton years, Bolton served as an assistant to Baker when he worked as Kofi Annan’s envoy in the Western Sahara. It is somewhat ironic that Bolton is now the principal critic of Annan. Additionally, Bolton spent time at the usual right-wing and neoconservative institutions including: the American Enterprise Institute; Project for the New American Century; Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf. Before his appointment as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton served as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control.
[James Baker is a longtime protector of the alliance between the Bush and Bin Laden families, and by extension a guardian of the international terrorism network created in 1979 by top US, UK, Israeli, and French intelligence leaders, led by George Bush Sr and neoconservatives under the wing of Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, et al). This alliance spawned the CIA/State Department-backed creation of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, a relationship still active today specifically to legitimize Western imperial projections by force, thus facilitating the acquisition of global resources and offsetting (they believe) the rise of China as a global power. Read Nafeez Ahmed's "The War on Truth." --BB/IntelligentFuture]
In the mid-1990s, Bolton was involved in a political money-laundering scandal that opened a channel for funds from Taiwan to Republican candidates. (ibid.) Prior to his appointment as UN Ambassador, Bolton was deeply involved in the Bush administration’s overt campaign to undermine international law. Bolton masterminded the systematic abrogation of several key international treaties including: the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty; the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. During his work for the Reagan administration, Bolton supported the Nicaraguan contras and sought to deny federal investigators access to key evidence in the Iran Contra scandal. (John Bolton, Officialssay)
Personal scandals have also tarnished John Bolton. A woman accused him of hostile intimidation that led to a case of sexual discrimination. Larry Flynt published evidence that Bolton’s first marriage had collapsed after he forced his wife to have group sex at Plato’s Retreat during the Reagan administration. (Rawstory)
When Bush nominated him for the UN Ambassadorship, Bolton suffered intense scrutiny. He failed to get the endorsement of the Foreign Relations committee, and a ranking Republican, George Voinovich of Ohio, openly opposed him. When the nomination came to the floor of the Senate, the Democrats launched a filibuster. When a small group of Republicans attempted to invoke cloture to stop the debate, the motion failed for lack of support. During a congressional recess, Bush was forced to appoint Bolton in what is called a “recess appointment.” This weakens Bolton’s stature, and the law demands that his appointment must be renewed early next year by the Senate in spite of how embarrassing it will be for him.
An embarrassing incident occurred last month that confirms the suspicions of Bolton’s polite Syrian questioner at Oxford. In remarks to B’nei Brith International, the Israeli ambassador to the UN identified Bolton as “a secret member of Israel's own team at the United Nations,” underlining his confidence in Bolton by stating, “Today the secret is out. We really are not just five diplomats. We are at least six including John Bolton." (Haaretz)
During his Oxford harangue, Bolton said that America is a democracy where people vote for change and the policies they admire. His own role in the racist politics of the South, the cessation of vote counting in 2000 and the obstruction of the Iran Contra investigation transforms every word he ever says claiming America as a model of democracy into the ne plus ultra of political hypocrisy. George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Condoleezza Rice and John Bolton are a comfortable clutch of hypocritical politicians, and their approval ratings now demonstrate that they are not the agents of democracy. Quite the opposite, the democratic disconnection – the increasing disparity between popular opinion and government policy - in Bush and Bolton’s America is a scandal of global proportions that could well be driving the United States over the precipice and into the abyss of failed and failing states.
|Michael Carmichael became a professional public affairs consultant, author and broadcaster in 1968. www.planetarymovement.org |
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|The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media by Lila Rajiva|
|By James Ryan http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/ryan150606.html |
“Whoever battles monsters should take care not to become a monster too, for if you stare long enough into the Abyss, the Abyss stares also into you.”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
“Today the eyes of all people are truly upon us – and our governments, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill – constructed and inhabited by men aware of their great trust and their great responsibilities.”
John F. Kennedy
January 9, 1961
Hunger strikes, restraint chairs, forced feedings, beatings, sexual humiliation, sensory bombardment and deprivation, and three Guantánamo detainees commit suicide. And the United States accuses them of not playing fair. A PR stunt, snapped one official. Another called it “an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” A ruse, headlined the ever-compliant, never-embarrassed New York Times. The men had hung themselves with their own bed linens, giving immediate and horrific resonance to the term “winding sheets,” not that anyone noticed. The general in charge, a Rumsfeldian poodle named Bantz Craddock, focused on perhaps having provided the three unfortunates too many “comfort items.” He noted the importance of “striking a balance between the comfort items that we would like to provide…and the comfort items…that could contribute to taking their lives.” He made no mention of such “comfort items” now so faintly redolent of a civilized society as legal representation, due process, humane treatment of human beings, or protection under the Geneva Convention.
There yawns the gap between what was (or should have been) taught to military commanders and their fighting forces regarding the rules of war, and what has been relentlessly impressed upon them by the Bush administration. The Pentagon, to wit, Rumsfeld, has even removed language banning “humiliating and degrading treatment” of prisoners from the Army Field Manual. The while, the vice president of the United States continues to champion the importance of not specifying the limits of interrogation techniques since it would give an advantage to the enemy. One wonders the degree to which Cheney would toughen the already macabre behavior and language of the American military presence in Iraq. All this adds yet another nail into the quaint coffin of the Geneva Convention, therein residing the decaying honor of the United States of America. For the curious, our website (http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/) details the various laws, conventions, protocols, resolutions, charters, and principles violated by order of the Bush administration, a grotesque laundry list indeed. We have invaded countries and killed their citizenry for far lesser offenses.
And don’t forget the Uniform Code of Military Justice for this deals with the obligation of military personnel to follow “lawful” orders. Therein, Sections 891.ART.91 (2) and 892.ART.92 (1) and (2) are (or should be) of particular concern for our military, since it presumes a similar obligation to NOT follow “unlawful” orders. For information on unlawful orders (and it is copious), Army Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, is chillingly relevant (http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~nstanton/FM27-10.htm. See sections dealing with the bombardment of a civilian population, and “grave breaches” that include willful killing, torture, and inhuman treatment.
Similarly passé must be the Articles of the Code of Conduct, the behavioral guidelines of the American fighting forces (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Code_of_Conduct). Article III is of particular interest, both immediate and ironic, for it warns of the ruthless enemies of the United States who have “regarded the POW compound as an extension of the battlefield” and that “in the past, enemies of the United States have used physical and mental harassment, general mistreatment, torture, medical neglect, and political indoctrination against POWs.”
“We have met the enemy and he is us,” once opined Pogo, the philosopher-possum of long past cartoon fame.
Today, the abyss stares into us.
James C. Ryan is a co-founder of West Point Graduates Against The War. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, class of 1962. Ryan spent five years in the army artillery with assignments in the United States and Europe. Thereafter a businessman, he subsequently became a writer. He divides his time between Istanbul, Turkey where he lives, and New York City where he teaches in the summer at Columbia University. Father of four, Jim has eight grandchildren
Fair Use // Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 this attributed work//
1 Minute Video Stephen Colbert Exposes The Hypocrisy Of 10 Commandment Bill Sponsor
Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA)
Colbert Interview Shows Ten Commandments Bill Sponsor Can Only Name Three..
Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?
Westmoreland: You mean all of them?--Um... Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't steal
The Colbert Report - June 14, 2006
Custodians of chaos
In this extract from his forthcoming memoirs, Kurt Vonnegut is horrified by the hypocrisy in contemporary US politics
By Kurt Vonnegut http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13659.htm
-- -- "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." A lot of people think Jesus said that, because it is so much the sort of thing Jesus liked to say. But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, five hundred years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ.
The Chinese also gave us, via Marco Polo, pasta and the formula for gunpowder. The Chinese were so dumb they only used gunpowder for fireworks. And everybody was so dumb back then that nobody in either hemisphere even knew that there was another one.
We've sure come a long way since then. Sometimes I wish we hadn't. I hate H-bombs and the Jerry Springer Show
But back to people like Confucius and Jesus and my son the doctor, Mark, each of whom have said in their own way how we could behave more humanely and maybe make the world a less painful place. One of my favourite humans is Eugene Debs, from Terre Haute in my native state of Indiana.
Get a load of this. Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:
"As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
"As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it.
"As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?
When you get out of bed each morning, with the roosters crowing, wouldn't you like to say. "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
How about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
And so on.
Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly George W Bush, Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld stuff.
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!
It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the US Constitution.
But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'état imaginable.
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale".
George W Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences.
To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr Hervey Cleckley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia, published in 1941. Read it!
Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything.
PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!
And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? And they are waging a war that is making billionaires out of millionaires, and trillionaires out of billionaires, and they own television, and they bankroll George Bush, and not because he's against gay marriage.
So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation.
They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilise the reserves! Privatise the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!
There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: only nut cases want to be president. This was true even in high school. Only clearly disturbed people ran for class president.
The title of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is a parody of the title of Ray Bradbury's great science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451. Four hundred and fifty-one degrees Fahrenheit is the combustion point, incidentally, of paper, of which books are composed. The hero of Bradbury's novel is a municipal worker whose job is burning books.
While on the subject of burning books, I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.
So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.
And still on the subject of books: our daily news sources, newspapers and TV, are now so craven, so unvigilant on behalf of the American people, so uninformative, that only in books do we learn what's really going on.
I will cite an example: House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, published in early 2004, that humiliating, shameful, blood-soaked year.
In case you haven't noticed, as the result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African-Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war-lovers with appallingly powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed.
In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as Nazis once were.
And with good reason.
In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanised millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want.
Piece of cake.
In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanised our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class.
Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything.
Piece of cake.
The O'Reilly Factor.
So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called In These Times.
Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic New York Times guaranteed there were weapons of mass destruction there.
Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the first world war. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the first world war so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun.
Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you?
Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people, too. I am a veteran of the second world war and I have to say this is not the first time I have surrendered to a pitiless war machine.
My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse."
Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas
Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?
© 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country: : A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America.
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