Subject : ON GLOBAL WARNINGS AND OTHER DEBACLES.
6 February 2007
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
"Mediation is not symmetrical," wrote communications Professor Anthony Wilden in his book, Man and Woman, War and Peace (1987). "Competition constrained and mediated by co-operation is essential for individual creativity and the well-being of society. In this context, competition develops, extends, and sustains individual and social skills, personal and political wisdom, imagination and invention, and laughter, play, and self-esteem. But under both state and private capitalism goal-seeking systems joined in co-operative projects exist within an environment mediated by competition, and we find ourselves pressed into a pattern of behavior which is governed by the still-dominant ideology of the 'survival of the fittest'."(91)
One version of the illegitimate (but real) power hierarchy, in modern society, according to Wilden, looks something like this:
(SMALL BUSINESS------------------------co-operative associations)
CHILD--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------school activities & clubs
At different levels, individuals are organized into cooperative associations, but the over-riding purpose within this structure is more efficient competition because this is the ultimate value mediating all relationships under state and private capitalism.
According to Wilden, we communicate always within a larger context and that wider environment mediates the meaning of our messages. "Legitimate mediation," the author insists, "is a necessary, universal, and creative constraint on relationships. The perception of the past mediates between the present and the future, memory mediates between action and desire, values mediate between ideas and action, work mediates between love and play, morale and humor mediates between simply getting by and maintaining that touch of style and grace that makes uniqueness a welcome disruption of the usual pattern of events." (p.87)
Contradictory relationships in a real power hierarchy cannot be collapsed legitimately to a single level of imaginary oppositions, such as children against adults, women against men, workers against capitalists, etc., etc.... In capitalist society, the most common results of mediation are expressions of mental alienation, when the surface-structure (at the level of messages sent and received) is constrained by a deep-structure (at the level of code and rules) that is governed by exchange values operating in the context of competition, rather than a deep-structure that mediates use value in the context of interpersonal co-operation. "In societies such as ours, where co-operation is constrained by rules of competition --where we co-operate to avoid competition at one level, only to face it again at another level-- most mediation is a source of alienation, manipulation, violence, and indignity." (p.87)
The Brazilian educator and author of The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire, warned in 1968: "Beware of the words of the oppressor in the mouth of the oppressed." The strategy of divide-and-rule is as effective an instrument as ever it was in capitalist society today. It permits the short-term interests of a few to dominate the interests of the vast majority though the mediation of competition. Writing on the classic strategy of political domination, Freire observed :
As the oppressor minority subordinates and dominates the majority, it must divide and keep it divided, in order to remain in power. The minority cannot permit itself the luxury of tolerating the unification of the people. . . . Accordingly, the oppressors halt by any method (including violence) any action which . . . could awaken the oppressed to the need for unity . . . . It is in the interest of the oppressor to weaken the oppressed still further, to isolate them, to create and deepen rifts among them. This is done by varied means, from the repressive methods of the government bureaucracy to the forms of cultural action with which they manipulate the people by giving them the impression that they are being helped.(p.137)
Meanwhile, the fundamental contradiction of modern capitalism is, of course, its need for unconstrained, quantitative, limitless growth, on the one hand, and its equally essential need to maintain some environmental stability, on the other. As Anthony Wilden reminds us repeatedly: the system that destroys its environment ends by destroying itself . . . .
Below, we have gathered 8 recently received items of discussion which speak to the reality of alienation in an environment of state and private capitalism --where all labor is a commodity, where exchange value constrains the production of use value, and where the long-range survival of the environment is in doubt. These reports are necessarily dealing as much with hierarchical contradictions as they are with linear oppositions, as defined by Professor Wilden.
In Item A., George Kenney interviews British environmentalist Jonathan Porritt on the ultimate context, the physical state of the planet.
Item B. is a take on Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" and on the threat of global warming from the conservative magazine National Geographic.
Item C. is an article by Paul Craig Roberts on what can only be described as cognitive disjunction, now endemic in the circles of the political U.S. elite.
In item D., Professor Edward Herman analyses the U.S. options in Iraq, options which have historically included genocide.
Item E. is an essay by Chalmers Johnson which gives a realistic assessment of the limits of U.S. militarism in the coming years.
Item F., is an assessment of the necessary logistics provided by Israel in U.S. strategy to destabilize and conquer Iran.
Item G. is an interview with George Galloway, the British MP who has become a voice of the people in both England and the United States of America.
And finally, item H., sent to us by pacifist artist Joanna Learner, is information about the grassroots Petition Drive to Impeach President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, who now head the illegitimate power hierarchy responsible for war crimes and ecocide.
And we share with our readers the audio broadcast with former U.S. weapons inspector Scott Ritter discussing "the edge of the abyss", in which he describes the U.S. Grand Strategy in the Middle East : to dictate the growth of China and India.
For information on the strategy, tactics and logistics of U.S. defense forces throughout the world, see the very informative Center for Defense Information web site at :
from Information Clearing House :
Date: 28 January 2006
Subject: Bush Is About To Attack Iran
Within weeks from now, we will see the informational warfare machine start working. The public opinion is already under pressure. There will be a growing anti-Iranian militaristic hysteria, new information leaks, disinformation, etc. . . . The probability of a US aggression against Iran is extremely high.
Why Cant Americans See it?
by Paul Craig Roberts
From Ed Herman :
Subject: FW: Herman / Iraq: The Genocide Option / Jan 24
Date: 24 Januiary 2007
Iraq: The Genocide Option January 24, 2007
by Edward Herman
It was claimed early in 2005 that the United States was considering resort to what has been called the "Salvadoran Option" in Iraq, in which, as had been done in El Salvador in the 1980s, U.S. Special Forces would train paramilitary squads to hunt down and assassinate rebel leaders and their supporters.  A year earlier, it was reported that a sizable fund had been appropriated for the creation of an exile-based paramilitary unit for Iraq, and that the money would more broadly "support U.S. efforts to create a lethal, and revengeful Iraqi security force." It was expected that this would lead to "a wave of extrajudicial killings" of armed rebels, but also of "nationalists, other opponents of the U.S. occupation and thousands of civilian Baathists." 
The rise of the death rate in Iraq, and the evidence of large-scale assassinations and slaughters frequently carried out by uniformed men, suggests that the Salvadoran option was put in place and that it has done its work well even if failing to bring victory to the Shiite leaders and militias and their sponsors.
However, along with the Salvadoran option the U.S. military had also stepped up its own activities in one of a series of "surges," among them the assault on Fallujah in November 2004, and using the Fallujah model, with the application of massive firepower in Sunni-dominated areas, much of it from the air, moving from town to town, in an effort to kill Sunni resistance fighters and render their home bases unusable. Because of the lavish use of firepower and limited concern with Iraqi civilian casualties,
this process is very costly to civilians in the area of attack. Civilians also suffer from the fact that the invading troops not only don't speak their language, but become extra hostile as they suffer casualties from a resistance that lives among the local population. This results in greater ruthlessness and increasing numbers of cases of literal direct mass murder as in Haditha. 
This is reminiscent of U.S. policy during the Vietnam war, where torture and multiple Haditha-type massacres, enormous firepower, napalm, B-52 bombing raids, and chemical warfare applied to jungles and peasant farms, ravaged the country, leaving much of it a wasteland, killing several million civilians, and leaving a heritage of traumatized, injured and chemically damaged people as well.
It is important to understand that the most violent warfare, including My Lai and its many many look-alikes, as well as the use of napalm and dioxin-based herbicides, was applied in the southern part of the country, which the United States was allegedly "protecting" from an invasion from the north. The methods of warfare themselves demonstrated that the alleged protection and "saving" was a lie, but it should be recognized that the reason these horrors could be applied more lavishly in the south rather than the north is that the south was controlled by the U.S. occupation and its puppet government, so that, unlike North Vietnam, the terrible violence wrought against the southern peasantry could be relatively hidden and kept from public and international scrutiny.
The U.S. attack on Vietnam may be termed the "Genocide Option," as the killing and destruction went far beyond anything that took place in El Salvador, and threatened the survival of the southern population. Southern Vietnam had its U.S.-organized death squads, with Operation Phoenix famously accounting for possibly 40,000 assassinations of NLF cadres and unknown other victims of this murder program.
El Salvador also had impressive death squads, but couldn't match the scope and intensity of the violence wrought by the United States on the distant peasant society, which brought into play all weapons in the U.S. high-tech arsenal short of the nuclear--many being tested against live experimental victims--used in enormous volume, without moral restraint (and with minimal protest from the "international community").
By 1967 the level of violence had reached a point where Vietnam scholar Bernard Fall warned that "Vietnam as a cultural and historic entity?is threatened with extinction..[as]?the countryside literally dies under the blows of the largest military machine ever unleashed on an area of this size."  In the south, 9,000 out of 15,000 hamlets were damaged or destroyed, along with some 25 million acres of farmland and 12 million acres of forests. One and a half million cattle were killed, and the war left a million widows and 800,000 orphans. The chemical defoliation operations were vast and their effects could take many generations to reverse, and they resulted in a further generation of malformed children (500,000 in one 1997 estimate). 
This was a truly genocidal attack, both in volume and threat to viability and with its demand that the resistance surrender as the condition for termination of the assault. (In a marvel of transference, the oft-expressed U.S. position was that the refusal to surrender demonstrated a low Vietnamese valuation of Vietnamese life! In a further marvel of Western impudence, the Krstic decision by the NATO-organized Yugoslavia tribunal found that "genocide" had been committed by a NATO target group [Bosnian
Serbs] because killings--which explicitly spared women and children--might have ended the viability of a single small town in Bosnia.)
Another feature of the Vietnam War of relevance today is that all through its murderous course it was argued in the United States that it must go on in order to avoid a post-occupation "bloodbath"! The huge ongoing and genocidal bloodbath was needed to prevent a hypothetical one that never did materialize. 
The genocide option threatens Iraq, where the United States is engaged in direct military action against another virtually defenceless population-in contrast with El Salvador where proxies did the dirty work. Military technology has advanced further, and the complete amorality of the Deciders and their willingness to kill without limit to achieve their goals or save face is clear. It is important for the Deciders that not too many U.S. service personnel be killed, as this has a definite negative effect on the
national willingness to move forward to "victory" (or at least temporarily fending off acknowledging defeat). If U.S. casualties can be reduced by more intensive firepower, at the expense of greater Iraqi civilian casualties, that has been and will continue to be the route taken. Furthermore, U.S. pacification violence applied to Sunni-dominated towns is implemented out of sight of the mainstream media (although not completely hidden given the bravery of some non-imbedded Western journalists and Al
The Bush "surge" is a desperation maneuver, and in a context of ever-stronger political objections to more U.S. personnel in Iraq and sensitivity to U.S. casualties, there is good reason to believe that the Bush answer will be even more intensive firepower in Baghdad and other cities and villages in which the insurgents mingle easily with the civilian population. Bush even warns U.S. citizens of more blood and gore "even if our new strategy works exactly as planned." Furthermore, partly via the use of the Salvadoran Option and partly by U.S. manipulation of sectarian conflict,  the invasion-occupation has produced a deadly civil war in which the Sunnis and Shiites engage in large-scale communal ethnic cleansing and killing, adding to the toll.
There can be little doubt that the rate of civilian killing in Iraq is about to rise from something like the recent Lancet estimate of 655,000 to a larger figure. If "genocide" was committed in Bosnia, where recent establishment analysts concluded--embarrassingly, given the earlier institutionalized total of 250,000-- that approximately 100,000 people died on all sides, including military personnel,  surely we have a case of genocide in Iraq just during the period 2003-2006. And Bush is about to give us more, with the Democrats and UN looking on but doing nothing to restrain the killing machine.
Wouldn't it be nice if democracy worked and a popular antiwar vote had some effect? And if the global double standard now in force was not so gross and the perpetrators responsible for this genocidal outburst could be brought before a real tribunal in the interest of real global justice before their next surge?
1. Michael Hirsh and John Barry, "'The Salvadoran Option'," Newsweek, January 14, 2005.
2. Quoted in Craig Murrary, "Civil War in Iraq: The Salvadoran Option and US/UK Policy," http://www.uruknet.org.uk/?s1=1&p=27587&s2=20.
3. Tom Engelhardt, "Collateral Damage: the 'Incident' at Haditha" http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/printer_060806O.shtml; Chris Floyd, "Lesson Plan" http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2006/06/02/120.html; Linda Heard, "Media and Tal Afar": http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/63044; Ghalil Hassan, "Iraq: A Criminal Process," Global Research, Nov. 27, 2005.
4. Bernard Fall, Last Reflections on a War (New York: Doubleday, 1967).
5. Peter Waldman, "Body Counts: In Vietnam, the Agony of Birth Defects Calls an Old War to Mind," Wall Street Journal, Dec. 12, 1970.
6. Gareth Porter, "The Bloodbath We Created," http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1214-32.htm
8. See Ewa Tabeau and Jakub Bijak, "War-related Deaths in the 1992-1995 Armed Conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Critique of Previous Estimates and Recent Results," European Journal of Population, Vol. 21, No. 2-3, June, 2005, pp. 187-215, www.yugofile.co.uk/onlynow/EJP_all.zip . Also see the ongoing work of Mirsad Tokaca et al. at the Sarajevo-based Research and Documentation Center, which produces month-by-month updates of the latest estimates for deaths attributable to the war on the webpage "The Status of Database by the Centers," http://www.idc.org.ba/aboutus/Overview_of_jobs_according_to_%20centers.htm . Fear of Shia death squads, perhaps secretly controlled by the Badr Brigade, the leading Shia militia, frightens the Sunni. The patience of the Shia is wearing very thin. But their leaders want them to consolidate their strength within the government after their election victory in January.
from Information Clearing House :
Date: 28 January 2007
Subject: A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States
The imperial project is expensive. The flow of the nations wealth from taxpayers and (increasingly) foreign lenders through the government to military contractors and (decreasingly) back to the taxpayers has created a form of military Keynesianism, in which the domestic economy requires sustained military ambition in order to avoid recession or collapse.
from Informatioin Clearing House :
Date: 28 January 2007
Subject: Interview With George Galloway MP
Both of Britain's main political parties supported the war in Iraq; neither advocates an immediate withdrawal of coalition forces. As a result much of the anger generated by the war has been harnessed by George Galloway.
from Joanna Learner :
6 February 2007
Subject: Activists Sit-in to End the War, States Race to Impeach
I hope that this finds you and your family well. It is below zero here and schools are closed because of dangerous wind chills, etc. I thought you would be interested in this material - several of your friends are recorded here expressing their desire, which is mine too, to impeach Bush and Cheney . Congress is still timid and bound to Bush in spite of the overwhelming desire by over 70% of Americans to get out of Iraq. We are involved in a crime against humanity and Bush and his gang are paying for it with our tax dollars. I hope something breaks soon and we start to climb out of this dark and dreadful hole.
Take care, Joanna
Occupy Congressional Offices to End the War in Iraq
Ten anti-war activists led by Father Jerry Zawada were arrested today on orders from Senator John McCain's office after members of the peace groups CODEPINK, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Veterans for Peace tried to meet with the Senator's legislative aide to discuss defunding the war. Activists sang the names of the 75 US servicemen and women from Arizona who have been killed in the war in Iraq, interspersed with the names of Iraqi civilians killed, and collectively chanted "We remember you," after each name and dropped a flower petal on the ground. They delivered framed photos of Iraqi civilians and US soldiers from Arizona who have been killed in Iraq and carried banners reading "Stop Funding War!" and "Americans Want a Prez for Peace".
This is just the start of a national campaign of nonviolent occupations of the offices of Congress Members who support the war and the war-president. Let them have a tiny sense of what Iraqis are experiencing - let them feel a tiny sliver of the inconvenience of an occupation. Let's get them to behave like we have a democracy!
In Fairbanks, Alaska, actions are underway at the offices of Senators Murkowski and Stevens and Representative Young. In Northern Alabama, join a sit-in inside or a demonstration outside the office of Representative Bud Cramer. In Arizona, creative demonstrations are being organized against Senator John McCain. Activists in Los Angeles have planned protests at various offices. In the South Bay, sit-ins are underway in the offices of Representatives Honda, Lofgren, and Eshoo. In Des Moines you can sit-in at the offices of Senator Grassley and Rep. Boswell. In Illinois, the focus is on Representatives Jesse Jackson, Ray La Hood, and Mark Kirk, and Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama. All over Minnesota, every Tuesday, constituents will enter the offices of their Congresspersons and Senators at 9:00 am and begin a vigil until 5:00 pm or whenever the offices close. Actions are underway in Portland OR, St. Louis and Seattle as well.
Join these actions - or organize your own!
Join the Impeachment Race in State Legislatures
New Mexico and Vermont are in a race to be the first state to send impeachment resolutions of Bush and Cheney to Congress (see details below). Several other states are also in the race, including Maine (http://www.maineimpeach.org) and New Jersey (http://www.impeachthem.com). A state legislature, without a governor, can petition the House to begin impeachment, and a single Congress Member can force an impeachment debate by accepting the state resolution.
You can sign up to get involved and stay informed in your state by signing this petition (you can also print it out and collect signatures):
Vermont: Impeachment Mountains
Vermont is passing impeachment resolutions in town meetings, and is now working on the state legislature as well. Representative Daryl Pillsbury (I. Brattleboro) plans to introduce a resolution on Friday, Feb. 9, 2007, and to hold a press conference the following Tuesday at the statehouse. The Vermont Guardian reported on January 31, 2007, that 13 representatives were supporting the bill. Local organizer Dan DeWalt says it is up to 18.
If you live anywhere else, please forward this to everyone you know in Vermont and ask them to send it to all of their local friends:
New Mexico: Land of Impeachment
Senate Joint Resolution 5 was introduced on Jan. 23, 2007, by eight Senators. There is a Rules Committee hearing this Friday, and four of the five Democratic Senators on the Rules Committee have already signed the bill: Chairwoman Linda Lopez, Vice-Chair John Grubesic, Cisco McSorley, and Dede Feldman. Ben Altamirano, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, is sending positive signals - anyone who knows him personally should encourage him to be present and vote Yes on February 9.
New Mexico activists can do two urgent things:
1. Come to the Rules Committee hearing this Friday, February 9th, at 9 a.m. in Room 321 of the State Capitol Building. We need a big turnout to let the Senate know we want action!
2. Call local talk shows to discuss the urgent need for New Mexico's legislature to start the impeachment process by passing Senate Joint Resolution 5.
The key point to stress is this is not a matter of a state stepping inappropriately into a federal issue. This is a state following a procedure that is laid out in the Jefferson Manual of rules for the U.S. Congress, a procedure that has been used successfully in the past to remove judges and other officials from office. And impeachment is the official position of the New Mexico Democratic Party.
If you live anywhere else, please forward this to everyone you know in New Mexico and ask them to send it to all of their local friends:
If You Want to End the War, Investigate It
The investigation season is off to a slow start. In "Beyond Oral Sex: The Bush Investigations" , David Swanson and Jonathan Schwarz lay out what's needed. Very little has been begun. Chairman John Conyers has held hearings on signing statements . Chairman Waxman is holding hearings this week on corruption . To lobby for the right investigations done the right way, go to:
Stopping the Next War
Impeachment and investigations are key to preventing future wars. So is directly lobbying against each illegal war as the fraudulent case for it is being made. Over 97,000 people have signed the petition against attacking Iran. Add your name here:
Our voices are being heard. Bills have been introduced in Congress to block an attack on Iran. Read about them at