Bulletin N° 367



10 September 2008
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
We would like to invite you to the Monday evening conference sponsored by the Amis du Monde diplomatique association in Grenoble, who has invited Chicago historian, Jennifer Pitts, to discuss her newly translated book, Naissance de la bonne conscience coloniale (A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France).

Lundi 29 Septembre 2008 à 20h30
au Tonneau de Diogène, 6 place Notre Dame,  38000 Grenoble ; tel : 0476 42 38 40

Naissance de la bonne conscience coloniale,

Les libéraux britanniques et français face à la question impériale (1770-1870) 

Original title:

A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France

(Princeton University Press, 2005)

Par Jennifer Pitts, soirée animée par Francis FEELEY (Université Stendhal-Grenoble)


Quels arguments ont pu justifier la domination coloniale des nations européennes sur le monde ? Par quel processus les idéaux des Lumières prônant l’égalité fondamentale de tous les êtres humains ont-ils été retournés pour cautionner l’asservissement de peuples entiers au XIXe siècle ? Comment certains penseurs libéraux, si virulents à l’égard du despotisme en Europe, ont-ils pu prôner, sans l’ombre d’un remords, la conquête des Amériques, de l’Inde, de la Chine puis de l’Afrique par les nations occidentales ? Dans un essai rigoureux, Jennifer Pitts expose d’abord les critiques acerbes que des penseurs britanniques tels Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham et Edmund Burke formulent à l’égard de la domination impériale de l’Inde par la Grande-Bretagne à la fin du XVIIIe siècle. Puis elle analyse le glissement progressif de la pensée libérale qui, sous l’influence de philosophes comme John Stuart Mill, réduit les autres civilisations du monde au rang de peuples « arriérés » et « barbares ». Bientôt c’est Tocqueville, penseur de la démocratie, qui se fait le promoteur de la colonisation de l’Algérie par la France.

La régression est si manifeste qu’au milieu du XIXe siècle, des deux côtés de la Manche, pratiquement plus aucun intellectuel n’est prêt à élever la voix contre un système qui spolie et massacre les peuples indigènes aux Indes, aux Amériques, en Algérie… En remontant aux sources intellectuelles de la bonne conscience coloniale, Jennifer Pitts apporte une contribution essentielle à la compréhension de la première mondialisation si brillamment analysée par C. A. Bayly dans La naissance du monde moderne (Le Monde Diplomatique/Éditions de l’Atelier, 2006). 384 p. - 24,90 € - ISBN : 978-2-7082-3982-1 Code Sofedis/Sodis : S387764

Jennifer Pitts est professeure d’histoire à l’université de Chicago aux États-Unis. Elle a également traduit et publié en anglais une sélection d’écrits de Tocqueville sur l’empire et l’esclavage. Michel Cordillot, traducteur de cet ouvrage, est professeur de civilisation américaine à l’université Paris VIII. Il a notamment publié La Sociale en Amérique, Dictionnaire biographique du mouvement ouvrier francophone aux États-Unis (1848-1922) (Les Éditions de l’Atelier, 2002).

At CEIMSA our on-going historical investigation into of the roles played by science/technology and ethics in class society has brought us to some observations made by Albert Speer, the Third Reich's resourceful Minister of Industry and Armaments, and intimate colleague of Adolph Hitler. About his boss, in this hierarchy, Speer wrote:

There was actually something insubstantial about him. But this was perhaps a permanent quality he had. In retrospect I sometimes ask myself whether this intangibility, this insubstantiality, had not characterized him from early youth up to the moment of his suicide. It sometimes seems to me that his seizures of violence could come upon him all the more strongly because there were no human emotions in him to oppose them. He simply could not let anyone approach his inner being because that core was lifeless, empty.(Speer, Inside the Third Reich, 1970, p.558-559)

At Nürnberg, Speer testified before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who served as chief U.S prosecutor at the international tribunal, about his own participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity. In his final speech, Speer issued this warning to future industrial societies where real democracy will be at risk :

Hitler's dictatorship was the first dictatorship of an industrial state in
this age of modern technology, a dictatorship which employed to perfection
the instruments of technology to dominate its own people. . . . By means
of such instruments of technology as the radio and public-address systems,
eighty million persons could be made subject to the will of one individual.
Telephone, teletype, and radio made it possible to transmit commands of
the highest levels directly to the lowest organs where because of their high
authority they were executed uncritically. Thus many offices and squads
received their evil commands in this direct manner. The instruments of
technology made it possible to maintain a close watch over all citizens
and to keep criminal operations shrouded in a high degree of secrecy. To
the outsider this state apparatus may look like the seemingly wild tangle
of cables in a telephone exchange; but like such an exchange it could be
directed by a single will. Dictatorships of the past needed assistants of

high quality in the lower ranks of the leadership also --men who could think
and act independently. The authoritarian system in the age of technology can do without such men. The means of communication alone enable it to mechanize the work of the lower leadership. Thus the type of uncritical receiver of orders
is created.(pp.614-615)

Given these insights, contemporary educators would be well advised to take notice of the contraints produced by the changing political economy in which they work to prepare the future generations.

The 8 items below speak to the organizing efforts now going on in the United States to introduce economic democracy and protect freedom of speech in American institutions. The November elections are but one element in this long-term campaign for economic equality and democratic control over US government policy making. The political tactics of affecting morale is, of course, an important part of this campaign, but equally important are the logistics and strategic objectives of diverse movements as they come together to form enduring alliances. The tried and proven tactics of "divide-and-rule" is constantly employed against social reform movements that seek to reverse illegitimate dependent power hierarchies and give birth to a cultural revolution, which is prerequisite for any real economic reforms that would profoundly change social relationships within the body politic and bring greater attention to such issues as political justice.

Item A. is an article by Tom Hayden on the affiliation of former Democratic presidential hopeful, John Kerry, and the almost elected Republican President, George W. Bush, to Yale University's notorious "Skull and Bones" fraternity, where tomorrow's ruling class get down and have fun together and bond for a lifetime of foul play.

Item B. is sent to us by Historians Against War activist, Jim O'Brien, giving us information on the anti-war movement inside American academic circles.

Item C. is an article by University of Massachusetts economist, Richard Wolff, on the "curse" of Consumerism and its causes.

Item D. is a report by Bruce Nestor, President of the Minnesota Chapter of National Lawyers Guild on the human rights fiasco during the Republican National Convention at St. Paul, Minnesota.

Item E. is a critique of the up-coming trial of former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic at The Hague Tribunal, sent to us by author Diana Johnstone.
Item F., also from Diana Johnstone, is a defense of the Serbs nation against what she sees as prejudices based on pervasive ignorance in the United States.

Item G. is a review of University of Tel Aviv Professor Shlomo Sand's study of Jewish nationalism and the origins of "the Jewish historical narrative," by Gilad Atzmon.

Item H., is a message from Illinois Institute of Technology Professor Margaret M. Power

And finally, we share with CEIMSA readers the latest copy of the Anti-Empire Report, by the inimitable William Blum:


along with the latest edition of the irrepressible Onion News Service out of New York City.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

fromTom Hayden :
Date: 22 May 2004
Subject: An Inside Job.
Tom Hayden's ZSpace Page

When Bonesmen Fight
by Tom Hayden

I hope some journalist has the guts to ask John Kerry (Skull and Bones, 1965) and George Bush (Skull and Bones, 1967) whether they have any qualms about belonging to a secret, oath-bound network since their college days. Did they discuss Skull and Bones in code when President Bush called Senator Kerry to congratulate him on his primary victories? Will they agree not to leave the room if the reporter blurts out "322", coded references to Demosthene's birthday and Skull and Bones' founding.

Am I scratching the blackboard yet, dear reader? Or are you smugly dismissing these questions as paranoid and unsophisticated?

I don't consider myself a conspiracy nut, but is it really all right that four decades after the egalitarian Sixties, and some 225 years since the Declaration of Independence, the American voters' choices in 2004 are two Bonesmen?

The lesson is that aristocracy still survives democracy.

I was a member of a secret society during the same era as Bush and Kerry, at the University of Michigan, and can testify that these are profoundly lasting experiences. As a junior, I was tapped for the Druids, which involved a two-day ritual that included being stripped to my underpants, pelted with eggs, smeared with red dye and tied to a campus tree. These humiliations signified my rebirth from lowly student journalist to Big Man on Campus.

Soon, however, I became alienated. None of the bonding could make me feel I actually belonged. Perhaps I was an outsider by nature, an Irish Catholic descendant of immigrants, first in my family to attend university.

The clubbiness had one purpose, as a source told Alexandra Robbins for her book on Skull and Bones. It was "to make the other people who didn't get in feel bad." But even as an insider, I felt bad, undeserving, resentful.

When I was tapped in my senior year for the most prestigious secret society, Michigauma, I decided instead to hide out in a girlfriend's apartment, becoming the first refusenik in Michigauma history. But I still felt like something was wrong with me, that I didn't have the right stuff, that I was blowing my future.
In summer 1960, I experienced the same self-doubt at the national convention of the U.S. National Student Association, which then was controlled by an older clique of student leaders who seemed, as they say, to the manor born. On the one hand, ambition inclined me to challenge the clique by running for national affairs vice president, a path I would eventually follow twenty years later. On the other hand, the radical civil rights and student movements, like the fledgling Students for a Democratic Society, were pulling at my heart. Should I work within the establishment or create something new and risky?

One night I came across a yellow pad left on a desk by the NSA leadership. At the top of a chart was written "Control Group". On the left was my name and that of Alan Haber, a founder of SDS. On the right was a box marked "YAF" - Young Americans for Freedom, the conservative group founded at Yale by William F. Buckley (Bones 1950).

Seven years later, it was revealed that the CIA secretly controlled and funded NSA, and that former editors of the Michigan Daily were among the spooks they recruited. I went south as a Freedom Rider and drafted the SDS Port Huron Statement.

In those years, George Bush was a Yale cheerleader and devoted Deke. John Kerry became a Navy lieutenant shooting up the Mekong Delta. Bush never seemed to question authority, while Kerry's loyalties were shaken by war. But they both belonged to the vast, safe, surreptitious Affirmative Action Program for old boys.
It seems like a lifetime since those days, but we still suffer from many gaps based on privilege. The political system is a moneyed oligarchy underneath its democratic trappings. The vast majority of voters are like fans in the bleachers: We participate from the cheap seats, supposed to enjoy our place, and vote for whichever Bonesman we prefer. Our taxes even subsidize their corporate box seats.

Sometimes Bonesman fight over status. For instance, about 75 years ago, Dwight Davis, U.S. secretary of war, created the Davis Cup, and George H. Walker, grandfather of George W., volleyed back by establishing the Walker Cup. The differences today between Bush and Kerry are about as serious as they get, short of a duel. Karl Marx (London School of Economics) would describe the split a contradiction in the ruling class. Bush is the unilateral builder of empire, while Kerry stands for the multilateral alliances long preferred by most Bonesmen. Though both the Cowboy and the Brahmin may be quarreling members of the same old club, their differences are existential for the rest of us.

Ralph Nader doesn't see this. Instead, he argues that the two parties are a duopoly within the same plutocracy. Maybe Nader is nursing resentment over not being tapped himself, but his is a dangerous blindness.

The differences between Bush and Kerry over Supreme Court appointments, religious fundamentalism, civil rights, the environment, John Ashcroft and the future of Iraq are fundamental, dividing the two parties at the constituency level. Bush genuflects to the Christian Right while Kerry sings Kumbaya. The Bush people are scary and destabilizing, which is why the CIA types seem to prefer Kerry (covertly, of course). For the record, this November I am voting with the CIA. They represent the lesser evil in the choices before us.

But like Ralph Nader, I want democracy to mean more than a choice between two candidates chosen by dueling Bonesmen and their major donors.
I still stand for participatory democracy, the original 1962 vision of the SDS, which grew from our generation's experience in organizing among the excluded, from the Deep South to the Peace Corps. Students in those days were drafted for war, but considered too immature to vote. Southern blacks and Mexican immigrants could be sharecroppers in the fields, but not equal citizens in the ballot box. For us, democracy meant who had the most votes, not who controlled the most money. It meant the free flow of information, not suffocation under corporate advertising and media.

We have always wanted more than the right to choose between two candidates already vetted by the establishment. We wanted a more direct voice in the decisions that affected our lives. We wanted a democracy of participation, not a democracy regulated by secret societies. We wanted all the closets emptied.
We are a more open and democratic country as a result of the Sixties and earlier generations of radicals. We owe the Abolitionists, not merely Abraham Lincoln, for the end of slavery, the suffragettes for the right to vote, the populists for regulation of Wall Street, the industrial strikers for collective bargaining, the environmentalists for cleaner air and water. In this election, the anti-war and global justice movements have helped shape the agenda over Iraq and trade. And the gay-lesbian community is turning marriage into civil disobedience.

Yet, it remains the peculiar character of America's elite to absorb reform from below while remaining atop the pyramids of power. When a majority of Americans still feel inferior to Ivy League candidates, or identify vicariously with their dramas, we do not live in a democracy psychologically. That must eventually change. Closeted dynasties should have no moral legitimacy in a democracy - which is why they have become increasingly secret.

Two years ago, students at the University of Michigan broke into, occupied and exposed the secret space of Michigauma, finding stolen Indian artifacts among the items hidden there. Michigauma moved off campus. When I heard the news, I wished I'd done that long ago instead of making such a private and ambiguous protest. It took a new generation to smash the old idols. Maybe Leonard Cohen is right, democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

[Tom Hayden was a leader of the student, civil rights, peace and environmental movements of the 1960s. He served 18 years in the California legislature, where he chaired labor, higher education and natural resources committees. He is the author of ten books, including "Street Wars" (New Press, 2004). He is a professor at Occidental College, Los Angeles, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics last fall.]

from Jim O'Brien :
Date: 3 September 2008
Subject: Million Doors for Peace on 20 September.

University of California, Berkeley
MCC-Heller Lounge- MLK Student Union (Lower Sproul Plaza, Bancroft and Telegraph)

Organized by:
Historians against the War War
  Critical Response and Intervention for a Sustainable Ethnic Studies (CRISES), UC Berkeley
  Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISSC), UC Berkeley
  Cross-Cultural Student Development, UCB
  Other UCB organizations tba.
  Part of the "1968: The Great Rehearsal" Series of Events www.greatrehearsal.org


  9:00 AM:  Welcome and Introductions by sponsors
  9:30 10:  Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers: Secrets and Lies in the Vietnam War and the Iraq War
  10 11 AM: Panel on Torture, Aggressive War & Presidential Power: The Constitutional Crisis
  Anne Weills, lawyer
  Dennis Cunningham, lawyer
  Tom Reifer, University of San Diego
  Moderator: Daphne Taylor-Garc a, Ethnic Studies, UCB; UCSB
  11AM noon:  U.S. interventionism
  Sami Kitmitto, Arab Resource and Organizing Center
  Paco Ignacio Taibo III, activist, writer:  Mexico 1968 and After
  Andrej Grubacic, Global Commons: "Humanitarian Intervention" in the Balkans
  Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Historians against the War
  Moderator and Commentator: Ramon Grosfoguel, Professor, Ethnic Studies, UCB
  Noon 1:30 PM: Brown Bag session:  Film clips and discussion with Paul Cronin, whose work-in-progress "A Time to Stir" documents the Columbia student revolts of '68.
  Moderator: UCB tba
  1:30 2:00 PM:  Tom Hayden, Port Huron statement, SDS, anti-Vietnam War.
  2:00 3:00 PM:  Panel on Vietnam War to Iraq War
  Tom Hayden
  Carlos Mu oz, Vietnam era veteran, Veterans for Peace, Professor of Ethnic Studies, UCB
  Antonia Juhasz, author:  The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time and The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry, and What We Must Do To Stop It
Iraq Vet: tba
  Brian Willson, Vietnam vet, Veterans for Peace
  Moderator: Roberto Hern ndez, Ethnic Studies, UCB
  3:00 4:30PM:  Panel on stopping US wars of aggression
  INCITE speaker/Andrea Smith (invited)
  Roberto Hernandez, UCB Student Activist:
  Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
  Immanuel Wallerstein
  Moderator:  Carole Travis
  4:30 5PM:  Questions, discussions
  Moderator:  UCB tba
  5 6:30 PM: Film clips and discussion with Sam Green, whose film "The Weather Underground" was nominated for an academy award in 2004, and Paul Cronin.
  Moderator: UCB tba
7PM:  a joint event sponsored by the teach-in and the Townsend Center anchored by Dalida Maria Benfield, Ethnic Studies, UCB
  Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Historians against the War, rdunbaro@pacbell.net
Max Elbaum, WarTimes, maxie@igc.org
Roberto Hern ndez, Ethnic Studies, UCB, tochtli@berkeley.edu
Daphne Taylor-Garc a, Ethnic Studies, UCB; UCSB, dtgarcia@berkeley.edu
Dalida Mar a Benfield, Ethnic Studies, UCB, dalidamariabenfield@berkeley.edu
Tom Reifer, University of San Diego Associate Fellow of the Transnational Institute, Consolecb@aol.com
Carole Travis, community organizer, travisce@aol.com
Steve Tappis, Sixties activist in Chicago, tappis@yahoo.com
  Rick Ayers, educator, UCB graduate student, rick-ayers@earthlink.net

  Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Historians against the  War, rdunbaro@pacbell.net
  Roberto Hern ndez, Ethnic Studies, UCB, tochtli@berkeley.edu
  Max Elbaum, War Times, maxie@igc.org

The Steering Committee of Historians Against the War has endorsed the "Million Doors for Peace" campaign of United for Peace and Justice, the national antiwar coalition to which HAW belongs.  Information is below.  The Steering Committee suggests that HAW members who take part in the campaign consider raising the issue of the Afghanistan war along with the Iraq war in their canvassing.
Jim O'Brien for the HAW Steering Committee

September 20, 2008 - National Day of Action: Be part of one of the most ambitious and innovative anti-war activities to date!

On Saturday, September 20, thousands of volunteers across the U.S. will knock on a Million Doors for Peace.

United for Peace and Justice is partnering with US Action/True Majority, Win Without War, and other organizations to make this day the biggest peace action of 2008.

Volunteer doorknockers will ask people to sign an antiwar petition directed to Congress. Our message: End this immoral war, bring our troops home, and invest in America's future. In addition, we will encourage people to join local anti-war groups, engage in voter education work, and become a part of the organized antiwar movement in their area.

In order to reach a million people in a single day, we must organize at least 25,000 volunteers in all 50 states. Peace groups have never implemented such an elaborate communication and organizing plan before now, but with new and traditional communications tools available, we anticipate success with this groundbreaking, grassroots project. This project will not end on September 20, but it will be a new beginning of a more organized grassroots movement for peace and justice.

Training materials, petitions, local groups to canvass with in your area, and handouts will be provided.

Click here to join Million Doors for Peace.

haw-info mailing list

from Richard Wolff :
Date: 15 June 2008
Subject:The political economy of consumerism.

Consumerism: Curse and Causes
by Rick Wolff

US consumerism -- citizens driven excessively to buy goods and services and accumulate consumable wealth -- is cursed almost everywhere.  Many environmentalists blame it for global warming.  Critics of the current economic disasters often point to home-buying gluttony as the cause.  Many see consumerism behind the borrowing that makes the US the world's greatest debtor nation today.  Moralists of otherwise diverse motivations agree on attacking consumerist materialism as against spiritual values.  Educators blame it for distracting young people's interest from learning.  Psychologists attribute mass loneliness and depression to unrealizable expectations of what commodities can deliver to consumers.  Physicians decry the diseases, stress, and exhaustion linked to excessive work driven by desire for excessive consumption.  Yet, for a long time, exhortations by all such folks have mostly failed to slow, let alone reverse, US consumerism.

The question is why?  The answer is not advertising, since that begs the question of why that industry should have been so successful in the US and grown to such influence.  Nor is it plausible to attribute some national personality flaw to our citizens.

A big part of the answer lies in the unique history of US capitalism. From 1820 to 1970, over every decade, average real wages rose enabling a rising standard of consumption.  These 150 years rooted workers' beliefs that the USA was a "chosen" place where every generation would live better than its parents.  This was "the good news" of US capitalism for the workers.  The "bad news" was that the average worker's productivity -- the amount of output each worker produced for his/her employer to sell -- rose even faster.  This was because workers were relentlessly driven by employers to work harder, faster, and with ever more (and more complicated) machinery.  Thus, alongside rising workers' wages, faster rising productivity brought even bigger gains for employers.
An unspoken, historic deal defined US capitalism for those150 years.  Capitalists paid rising wages to enable rising working class consumption; the workers had to provide rising work effort, rising profitability, and thus the even faster rise of profits.  Because the rise in workers consumption was slower than the rise of their productivity -- the output that they delivered to employers -- the gap between workers and employers widened across US history. A fundamentally unequal society emerged, one that forever mocked, challenged, and undermined the ideological claims of the US to be the land of equality and opportunity.  The working class labored ever harder, consumed more, and yet fell ever further behind the minority who lived off the growing difference between what workers produced and their wages.

This deal might have collapsed at any time if US workers rebelled against the organization of production in the US.  This could have occurred if rising wages did not suffice to make them ignore the growing inequality of US life, or if they rejected subordination to ever more automated, exhausting work disciplines, or if they refused to deliver ever more wealth to ever fewer corporate boards of directors of immense corporations ever further removed from them in power, wealth, and access to culture.  For that deal to survive -- for US capitalism to have been "successful" for so long -- something had to emerge in US society that prevented any of these deal-breakers from happening.  Enter consumerism!

The idea settled into US culture that consumption was the proper goal of work and the measure of personal worth, of one's "success" in life.  Business boosters and ideologues pushed that idea, but they were hardly alone.  Advertisers made it their constant message.  Trade unions focused also on raising wages and consumption -- just what US capitalism could and did deliver -- rather than challenging the organization of production.  So too did most left movements.  Economists did their part by building modern economics on the unquestioned axiom that labor was a burden for which consumption enabled by wages was the compensation.  This definition of economics required banishing the alternative of Marxian economics from schools.  The mass media proceeded as if it were likewise obvious common sense that all any employee really cared about was the size of his/her wage/salary.  Of course, some dissident voices -- especially on the left -- rejected these ideas and this capital/labor deal, but consumerism usually all but drowned them out.

Consumerism's deep roots in the psyche of US workers explains their reactions when real wages stopped rising in the 1970s and since.  They simply kept on buying more commodities.  To pay for them, workers took on more hours of labor and borrowed vast sums.  Worker exhaustion rose accordingly, likewise the number of family members sent out to work (straining "family values" to the breaking point).  Anxiety intensified over frightening family debt levels. In this situation, the current scandal of sub-prime mortgages was a predictable disaster waiting to happen.

The 150 year deal has been broken.  The business side no longer needs it; it hasn't since the 1970s.  That is why real wages stopped rising.  Most workers just postponed facing that reality and its implications: by having more family members do more work and by heavy borrowing.  Meanwhile, able and willing laborers abroad who accept wages far lower than in the US beckons.  US corporations are moving to produce there.  They will ship "home" the goods and services they produce abroad so long as US citizens can afford them.  When that no longer pays, they will redirect shipments to the rest of the world market.
Consumerism was a necessary component of US capitalism from the 1820s to the 1970s.  As an ideology uniquely suited to that capitalism, it was articulated, cultivated, and supported by different social groups.  Whatever fun comedians and critics poke at consumerism, it was not some lovable human foible, nor some quirk of our culture.  It was the glue holding US capitalism together for a long time.  Even more important, business dissolved that glue in the 1970s, and now US workers have exhausted ways to postpone the results of that dissolution.  Storms are rising.

Rick Wolff is Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the author of many books and articles, including (with Stephen Resnick) Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the U.S.S.R. (Routledge, 2002) and (with Stephen Resnick) New Departures in Marxian Theory (Routledge, 2006).

from Bruce Nestor <nestor@denestlaw.com> :
Date: 3 September 2008
Subject: Ramsey County Charges RNC 8 Under State Patriot Act, Alleges Acts of Terrorism.

Human rights in Minnesota (the most liberal state in the USA)

In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.
     Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these
allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence.
     "These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the Defendants on trial," said Bruce Nestor, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. "The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience, he said."
     The criminal complaints filed by the Ramsey County Attorney do not allege that any of the defendants personally have engaged in any act of violence or damage to property. The complaints list all of alleged violations of law during the last few days of the RNC - other than violations of human rights carried out by law enforcement - and seeks to hold the 8 defendants responsible for acts committed by other individuals. None of the defendants have any prior criminal history involving acts of violence. Searches conducted in connection with the raids failed to turn up any physical evidence to support the allegations of organized attacks on law enforcement. Although claiming probable cause to believe that gunpowder, acids, and assembled incendiary devices would be found, no such items were seized by police. As a result, police sought to claim that the seizure of common household items such as glass bottles, charcoal lighter, nails, a rusty machete, and two hatchets, supported the allegations of the confidential informants. "Police found what they claim was a single plastic shield, a rusty machete, and two hatchets used in Minnesota to split wood. This doesn't amount to evidence of an organized insurrection, particularly when over 3,500 police are present in the Twin Cities, armed with assault rifles, concussion grenades, chemical weapons and full riot gear," said Nestor. In addition, the National Lawyers Guild has previously pointed out how law enforcement has fabricated evidence such as the claims that urine was seized which demonstrators intended to throw at police.
     The last time such charges were brought under Minnesota law was in 1918, when Matt Moilen and others organizing labor unions for the International Workers of the World on the Iron Range were charged with "criminal syndicalism." The convictions, based on allegations that workers had advocated or taught acts of violence, including acts only damaging to property, were upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court. In the light of history, these convictions are widely seen as unjust and a product of political trials. The National Lawyers Guild condemns the charges filed in this case against the above 8 defendants and urges the Ramsey County Attorney to drop all charges of conspiracy in this matter.

Bruce Nestor, President
Minnesota Chapter of National Lawyers Guild
3547 Cedar Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-659-9019 - Phone
612-436-3664 - Fax
612-991-9488- Cell

from Diana Johnstone :
Date: 3 September 2008
Subject: Conviction on basis of other trials.

This is worth studying to see how justice can be totally corrupted.

by Andy Wilcoxson

It has been thirteen years since the end of the Bosnian war and prosecutors at The Hague Tribunal still haven't decided what the indictment against former Bosnian-Serb president Radovan Karadzic will look like. However, remarks made by the Prosecution' s senior trial attorney, Alan Tieger, at a pre-trial hearing last Friday cast serious doubt on the fairness of the upcoming trial.
  Mr. Tieger explained that the Prosecution was going to amend the eight-year-old indictment against Karad¾iæ "in light of both the evolving jurisprudence, evolving procedures, and the adjudicated facts". He said that an amended indictment would likely be submitted to the Tribunal by the end of September.
  It follows from Mr. Tieger's remarks that the Prosecution intends to rely on facts adjudicated in other trials as a means to convict Karad¾iæ. The significance of this strategy was not lost on the Accused, Karad¾iæ told the pre-trial judge "I won't agree to adjudicated facts if they have not been proved in these proceedings. "
  If this Trial Chamber accepts facts adjudicated in other trials as facts, then Karad¾iæ has been convicted before his trial has even begun.
  The Tribunal's judgment against former Bosnian-Serb parliament speaker Momèilo Kraji¹nik says, "The Chamber finds that the Joint Criminal Enterprise of which the Accused was a member consisted of persons ... including, but not limited to, the Accused [and] Radovan Karad¾iæ ... the common objective of the enterprise [was] the permanent removal, by force or other means, of Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Croat or other non-Serb inhabitants from large areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina through the commission of crimes ... The Chamber finds that the above allegations have been proven ... The Bosnian-Serb leadership wanted to ethnically recompose the territories under its control by expelling and thereby drastically reducing the proportion of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats living there."
  As far as the Tribunal is concerned, the findings made in the Kraji¹nik judgment are adjudicated facts. If they are accepted as such in the Karad¾iæ trial, then a guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion. There can't be any talk of a fair trial if findings from the Kraji¹nik trial and other trials are accepted as facts by the Karad¾iæ trial chamber. Those findings were made in the context of trial proceedings where Karad¾iæ had no opportunity to present evidence in his defense.
  The Tribunal's previous verdicts will place the Trial Chamber under immense pressure to convict Karad¾iæ. The Tribunal has already handed down judgments against several persons, besides Kraji¹nik, where Karad¾iæ is identified as the ringleader of a Joint Criminal Enterprise to commit genocide and ethnically cleanse Bosnian-Serb territory of Croats and Muslims. A not guilty verdict for Karad¾iæ would undermine convictions handed down in several previous trials at the Tribunal.
  The judges appointed to try Karad¾iæ may have an interest in seeing him convicted to protect their findings from earlier trials. Alfons Orie, the first pre-trial Judge in these Karad¾iæ proceedings, was the Presiding Judge in the Kraji¹nik trial. How anxious would someone in his position be to acquit Karad¾iæ after the things he wrote about him in the Kraji¹nik judgment?
  Even though the Prosecution hasn't decided on the final indictment, Karad¾iæ was expected to go through the pageantry and plead to the old indictment, which the Prosecutor has no intention of using anyway.
  Karadzic refused to participate in the farce and said, "I will not plead in line with my standpoint as regards this court." When the pre-trial judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf he retorted, "I would rather hear you say that at the end of the trial than at the beginning."
  The next hearing will be a status conference scheduled for the 17th of September at 2:15 in the afternoon, a discussion of Karadzic's claim that his life in jeopardy because of an agreement that he made with Richard Holbrooke in 1996 is expected.

from Diana Johnstone :
Date: 1 September 2008
Subject: Obama and McCain : two wrongs don't make it right (or who is Joe Biden)


From Obama to McCain: no change in US belligerent policy against Serbs
by Boba Borojevic


"When Serbian thugs were committing genocide in the Balkans, Dad didn't hesitate to call Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal to his face, and to convince Congress and our allies to act," Beau Biden said at the DNC.

Why should this surprise anyone?

Serbs are Designated Usual Suspects and Mr. Milosevic can't be avoided either by the American politicians ready to do and say anything to get to power.

"Americans pretend not to know any better and wallow in turpitude of those who (would) lead them. The Serbs who know the truth vote for those who willingly submit themselves to the likes of Joe Biden," says one blogger on Pravda.ru.

If anything like a "thug" was said of a Jewish, Black, Arab, or just about any other person or nation we would hear no end of it. But with the Serbs the rule does not apply. It's been an open season on the Serbs, ever since!

In his remarks delivered to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, son of the US senator from Delaware and the Vice President hopeful,  stressed  that one of qualities of his father was  his ability to speak "with a clear and strong voice". Biden's greatest achievement as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it seems, was to convince Congress and American allies to bomb Serbia .

"When Serbian thugs were committing genocide in the Balkans, Dad didn't hesitate to call Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal to his face, and to convince Congress and our allies to act," Beau Biden said at the DNC.

This was the only foreign policy "achievement" by Joe Biden worth mentioning at the Convention. What an immoral assertion by Beau Biden. As immoral as the whole American led NATO policy against the Serbs and Serbia .

It remains to be seen if the official diplomatic representative of the Republic of Serbia in the US and Serbian authorities in Belgrade will submit an official letter of protest to the DNC and the US Embassy in Belgrade . It is had to predict if American Serbs will and in what way react to these hateful remarks by Beau Biden and the jubilation that remarks were greeted by the rest of Democratic audience at the Convention.

Before the Convention Beau Biden said that his father would: "bring the same passion to the fight for change at this critical time in our history." Judging by the remarks "the same passion to the fight" will remain, but no change in American belligerent foreign policy is anywhere in sight.


August 27, 2008

Senator Joseph Biden

Joe Biden Caught Virulent Serbophobia from the Ustasha Clergy Back in the Early 1980s


When Obama's running mate Joe Biden stated that "all Serbs should be placed in Nazi-style concentration camps" during Senatorial deliberations in 1999 over NATO aggression on Serbia, most of the world was unaware of the source of such virulent Serb-hatred one would generally be ashamed of harboring, let alone advertising. But issuing a statement that amounts to approval of the genocide Serbian nation had already been subjected to during the WWII, by the Croat fascists -- Ustashe -- and that it should, indeed, have been entirely exterminated in the death camps of which Ustasha-run Jasenovac was the most macabre chain of slaughterhouses in Europe, could have been inspired only by the pathological Croat Ustasha ideology fueled and grown on pure, undiluted hatred of everything Serbian.

Indeed, as Croatia's Jutarnji List reports, it was the Croat Franciscan clergyman who planted the poisonous anti-Serb virus in Joseph Biden's heart and instilled unvarnished, thunderous Serbophobia in him, exemplified by Biden filing Senate resolutions, motions, holding speeches and giving interviews that are so blatantly hateful, biased and fanatically anti-Serb, one would have a hard time to match that level of vitriol against a nation in the statements of any and all the other American politicians.

As a good Roman Catholic, Senator Biden apparently chose to filter out some of the less popular bits about the shameful role Vatican has played during the Second World War and the Holocaust. He also seems to be blissfully unaware of the fact that Croat Franciscans were among the most rabid butchers who simply adored their ally -- Third Reich, both the German and Croat fuhrers (Ante Pavelic was a Croat fuhrer -- "poglavnik" -- during the WWII) and have actively helped Hitler-adoring satellite, Independent Republic of Croatia (NDH, spanning both present-day Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) to commit one of the most horrific genocides in the European history, tearing -- eye-by-eye and limb-by-limb -- 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 30,000 Gypsies in the Jasenovac concentration camp-complex alone.

So, when a Croat Franciscan clergyman Ilija Zivkovic spoke to Biden against the Serbs, Senator Biden listened and, as evident in the past two decades of his career, took all the pathological hatred for a factual source of information against the Serbian nation. What his Croat ultra-nationalist, Ustasha descendant advisers taught him about the Serbian nation was most evident on CNN's Larry King Live where Senator Biden, stricken by one of those Hitler seizures, proclaimed that "Serbs are illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers and rapists".

Croat ultra-nationalist Franciscan clergyman Ilija Zivkovic claims it was his hatred of the Serbs that had a decisive influence on U.S. Senator Biden's two-decade long rabid anti-Serb crusade.

"I Explained Why Belgrade Bridges Must be Bombed" (Way Back in 1993)

"He knew about Croatia and the Croat problems already at the time of Yugoslavia, when he was in contact with the president of the Croat Brotherhood Community Bernard Luketic and with the president of the Croat National Council Mate Mestrovic. But I think what influenced him most was the speech I held in Little Rock before just-elected president Bill Clinton, who invited the American minorities for conversation," Fr Ilija Zivkovic boasted to Croat Jutarnji List. Regarding the Croat ultra-nationalist organizations he's mentioning as Biden's decades-old ties and "friendly" sources of information, see this valuable study of the evolution of the Pavelic's notorious Ustasha "brotherhood".

"[At that gathering organized by Clinton] We agreed that Luketic speaks about the situation in Croatia, and since I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina, I spoke about the situation in Bosnia. In 45 minutes I explained why the bridges in Belgrade, Serbia, must be bombarded, how to stop Serb forces in BiH... I think that made a strong impression upon Biden", Zivkovic said, proudly adding he met a number of congressmen and senators during his work in United States.

"It was all clear to them, because we have engaged one former congressman back in 1987 to lobby for Croatia [for Croatia's independence, that is, long before Milosevic showed up anywhere, long before the wars that were used to rip Jugoslavia apart in the 1990s]", Zivkovic said.

According to the Croat daily, this Franciscan worked at Voice of America in U.S. -- a major propaganda tool, but he claims there were disagreements between Croats and Serbs already in 1985, because "the Serbian editors would cut out everything that was Croatian". Imagine that! Could that be because in 1985 there was only one state to be loyal to, called Yugoslavia -- there was no Croat state (after the defeat of the fascists and dismantlement of the monstrous Ustasha-run NDH), and the tender Ustasha nostalgia and Croat fanatical nationalism was not tolerated by any nations Yugoslavia was comprised of?

But Ustashe always felt their right to hatred and fascism tramples all the laws and everyone else's rights to peace and freedom from the terror of their psychopathology.

"We had no one to complain to, so I turned to the Foreign Policy Board of the Senate. Yes, I complained directly to Biden", Zivkovic said, adding that "Biden trusted him because he was also a Roman Catholic". And so too was Father Satan.

"We have been meeting many times since and he often asked for my opinion. We simply became close", Zivkovic said.

Biden & McCain are Exactly the Same, Two Warmongers Who Never Found a War They Didn't Like

Another Croat ultra nationalist, Ivo Banac, saluted Obama's appointment of no other than the Serbophobic Biden as his running mate, stressing that Biden held "strong anti-Milosevic views which tie him to the Republican presidential candidate John McCain".

"In May 1999, Biden and McCain submitted a resolution [to the Senate], proposing the use of ground forces against Milosevic", Banac said.

This joint resolution proposal submitted by Biden and McCain not in May, but in April of that year, was blank authorization to the Clinton administration to use all the force at America's disposal to crush tiny Serbia. With regret, Croat Banac noted this fascist resolution was not adopted. Banac also confirms Biden is heavily biased against the Serbs and militantly pro-Croat, claiming he was "against Milosevic from the very start" (i.e. during Yugoslavia, before any of the separatist wars).

Banac also claims Biden is equally anti-Russian:

"He is against Russia returning to the positions contrary to the Western ones. In regards to Georgia, he realized this was not a marginal issue, but an attempt of testing the resolve of the Western policy", Banac eulogized. It didn't seem to occur to him to question Biden's hypocrisy and duplicity: the same man who was among the most aggressive advocates of dismembering Serbia, who actively promoted and demanded the imposed severing of its southern Kosovo-Metohija province and gifting it to illegal Albanian immigrants and terrorists, is now very concerned over Georgia's "territorial integrity".

Banac explained the excessive praise and courtesy exchanged between the apparent opponents, Mad McCain and Biden: simply put, they are exactly the same Serbophobic warmongers. Not only are they both among the most prominent, most fanatical Serb-haters in Washington, with strong ties to both the Croat and Albanian ultra-nationalist lobbies, not only are they both unscrupulous, belligerent interventionists who behave as if bullying is the most sophisticated expression of political wisdom, but neither of them has ever found a war they didn't like. As one political analyst said in Aaron Russo's exceptional documentary America, From Freedom to Fascism, the easiest way to understand the entire Democrats-versus-Republicans fake drama is to realize "they are one and the same mafia, the only difference is that the Democrats are the Gambino family and the Republicans are the Genoveses".

Take your pick.
Serbian nationalists bash Joe Biden
17:45 Fri 29 Aug 2008 - Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's candidate for US president, indulged in a campaign swing through Europe. His vice-presidential running partner, Joe Biden, if tempted to do the same, may as well avoid Belgrade.

Memories run deep in the Balkans, but among Serbian nationalists, uppermost on their minds is that long-term senator and foreign policy committee figure Biden was strongly in favour of the 1990s bombing of Belgrade.

Popular Serbian newspaper Blic reminded its readers on August 28 that Biden was one of those who proposed resolution on bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

"He also believes that all changes in Serbia are the result of pressure from Washington."

The newspaper quoted Obrad Kesic, an analyst in the US of Serbian origin, as saying the choice of Biden was especially bad for Serbia.

"I am expecting Biden to be even more engaged in lobbying over Kosovo," Kesic is quoted as saying. Biden was a "severe opponent" of Russia, which could affect Serbia indirectly in view of its traditionally close relations with Russia.

In contrast to media in Kosovo, where in Pristina daily newspaper Koha Ditore said "a great friend of Kosovo will enter the White House along with Obama if he wins", website Serbianna.com carried a report alleging that former US ambassador to Romania Jim Rosapepe had said that he witnessed Biden shout at Romanian officials from whom he was trying to get information on Serbia and its politics so that Biden could "inflict political and diplomatic damage".

Rosapepe says that the most extraordinary meeting Biden and him had was with the president of the Romanian senate, Petre Roman, whom Biden met before but this time "Biden grilled him on Serbian politics" and Roman "helped defeat Milosevic in the 2000 elections".

However, when Biden asked the Romanian delegation why Romania was seeking Nato membership, Biden was offended at the answer.

According to Serbianna.com, the Romanian said: "If we are in Nato, we won't have to worry about Nato attacking Romania over our relations with our Hungarian minority the way you attacked Yugoslavia. Since Turkey has been in Nato for decades, you let them do what they want with the Kurdish minority".

The website said that "Biden got visibly angry that former communist Romania had an existential reason for joining Nato, so Biden 'rose from his chair, leaned across the table and said: "If that's why you want to get into Nato, I'll make sure you never do!'".

The Serbianna.com item alleged: "Biden has long been on the payroll of Kosovo Albanian extremists so that he can lend support for their desire to annex Serbian province".

Another Serbianna.com item quoted Croatian priest Iliya Zivkovic as telling Croatian daily Jutarnji List that he was a friend of Biden and that he was a key figure that shaped Biden's view that Serbs were exclusively to blame for events in former Yugoslavia.

"He [Biden] knew about Croatia... But I think that the most influential was my speech that I gave in Little Rock in front of the just elected Bill Clinton who called American minorities for a conversation," Zivkovic was quoted as saying.

"In 45 minutes I explained why bridges must be bombed in Serbia, Belgrade... I believe that that it was very effective on Biden," Zivkovic said.

As Democrats in the US observed the Republican attack machine spewing out against its candidates Obama and Biden, Serbianna had a hat-trick with an item online on August 29 – in thee process managing to hit out at both Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

"Whether Obama wins or McCain, Serbs should expect that US will seek to destroy them, culturally, ethnically, physically, politically and diplomatically, tells us an analyst who fears to disclose his name because he will be witch hunted."

The article continues by quoting its source as saying that for the past eight years, "Serbs in Kosovo have been killed like deer in season and US has approved every one of those murders because they've recognised such a state".

"More Serbs are to die and the US will delight in the death of Serbs no matter who wins the presidency," Serbianna quotes the source, which it describes as "close to government" as saying.

"No matter if it's Obama or McCain, many more Serbs in Kosovo will die and all churches in Kosovo will be leveled but any of the two will say that Serbs are genociders," the website said.

from Information Clearing House :
Date: 2 September 2008
Subject: Jewish Nationalism.

"When And How the Jewish People Was Invented" is a very serious study written by Professor Shlomo Sand, an Israeli historian. It is the most serious study of Jewish nationalism and by far, the most courageous elaboration on the Jewish historical narrative.

"The Wandering Who?"
by Gilad Atzmon


from Margaret M. Power <power@iit.edu>, Historians Against War :
Date: 5 September 2008
Subject: Fall Educational Suggestions.

September 5, 2008
Fellow historians:
Welcome to a new school year. The Historians against the War Steering Committee believes
the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections are of vital importance to the future
of our country. Apart from the Presidential contest, there are critical races in the House and
Senate, which could dramatically influence the direction of U.S. policy.  As one example, this
summer 155 members of the House and 26 Senators voted against “blank check” funding for
the war. Unfortunately, the numbers were too small to defeat the legislation. Fortunately
many pro-war members of Congress are facing electoral challenges from peace candidates
this year.
While our organization does not endorse particular candidates, we see this moment as a rare
opportunity for educating and mobilizing students, faculty and members of the larger
community around the issues of war and peace, civil liberties and constitutional governance. 
We would like to encourage all of you to organize any of the following HAW activities that you
feel are appropriate for your campuses.      

1. Plan a simple Fall Forum or a more elaborate Teach-In on the peace and civil liberties
issues at stake in the 2008 elections. From past experience, colleagues from other
disciplines are often eager to help, which has made events more vibrant and well attended.
For ideas about how to organize such a forum, see our website at
http://www.historiansagainstwar.org/. We are presently in the process of updating and
expanding our Speakers Bureau. That new list will include distinguished guest lecturers ­
academics and activists-who have agreed to give talks at HAW-sponsored events in return
for travel reimbursements. That list will be available on September 8. 
On the web-site you will also find lists of suggested films and publications, as well as
descriptions of successful Teach-Ins, staged across the country in 2006. If you have
additional suggestions about resources, please share them with Margaret Power at
power@iit.edu. Please keep Margaret informed about events that you are setting up so that
we can issue a calendar.
2.  Make available to members of your community information about the voting records of
incumbents and the positions of candidates on the key issues. We particularly encourage
HAW members to highlight the continuing importance of Congress for any future efforts to
curb the US policy of permanent war and repression. Useful summaries of Congressional
votes can be found at the United for Peace and Justice website:

3. Write historically minded articles/letters to the editor for local papers on war issues and
their relevance to various political races.

4. Participate in already planned community political events, but bring HAW resources and
perspectives to this work. 
5. Make sure that there is a strong, visible Voter Registration effort on your campus. One
model for doing this is provided by friends at Franklin and Marshall college, (See attached.)
Please let us know of your ideas and accomplishments, as we strive to end the multiple
tragedies of the present. Good luck
Rusti Eisenberg
Beth McKillen
Margaret Power

On behalf of the HAW Steering Committee

Margaret Power