Friday, February 18, 2005

Who is the world’s worst dictator? Do you even have to ask? 

Last weekend's Sunday supplement, Parade, featured David Wallechinsky's "World's 10 Worst Dictators".

Let us first be clear where Wallechinsky stands. In response to 9/11, he wrote, "Why Do They Hate Us". In this war-enabling piece, which is fraught with classically breathless “terrorism” and 9/11 falsehoods, Wallechinksy wrote:

“Excuse me for being blunt, but every US president has to kill some foreigners in order for the American public to take him seriously. In the current situation, these killings seem even more necessary than usual because more than 5,500 innocent Americans have just been murdered.”

It is not surprising, then, that Wallechinsky’s new list does not include George W. Bush. Bush and his oligarchy have murdered tens of thousands of foreigners (enough for Wallechinsky to “take him seriously”), and is continuing apace to (literally) destroy the world—more than earning the title of leading dictator in modern history. The Third Reich was quaint by comparison.

The second, and even more blatantly criminal, George W. Bush administration may win him the all-time title.

Consider the administration lineup. Cheney. Rumsfeld. Karl Rove, promoted. Condi Rice, promoted. Alberto Gonzales, torture king and George W. Bush fixer, the leading “law enforcement officer” of the land. Iran-Contra gangsters, promoted: Elliott Abrams. John Negroponte, of the Honduran death squads and recent Iraq massacres. Porter Goss. Even the Bush gang’s "nicer" positions are manned by those with blood on their hands. For example, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez is a fervent anti-Castro Cuban, who has supported the US-Cuba Political Action Committee, and hard-line Florida-based (Bush family-backed) Cuban "action" groups. Surgeon General Richard Carmona is a former Green Beret and cop, with a "cowboy" reputation, who is keenly interested in "anti-terrorism" and biowarfare.

Indeed, Bush has never made Wallechinsky’s list (which he, unfortunately for truth, issues on an annual basis), nor have his malignant brothers, Ariel Sharon and Tony Blair.

It should be noted that Wallechinsky prepared his list "after consultation with Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and Amnesty International"—every group connected directly to elite-funded NGOs and foundations.

Freedom House is led by none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Mellon Scaife, James Woolsey, Dan Quayle, Tony Lake and Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are fronts for George Soros. The so-called Human Rights Watch is a pro-intervention group stocked with members of the Council on Foreign Relations and other elites.

Here is Wallechinsky's list in order of "worst-ness". (And what the list doesn't address.)

1. Omar al-Bashir, Sudan. (The US has been itching for an intervention in Sudan, based on Darfur pretext. This will help the Bush administration justify it.)

2. Kim Jong-Il, N. Korea. (No comment needed.)

3. Than Shwe, Burma. (Mentions Unocal settlement over torture-for-pipeline, but does not address high-level Americans involved, and Golden Triangle narcotics—an ongoing US imperative.)

4. Hu Jintao, China. (No mention of historical US manipulations of, and in, China, the longtime tacit US support of Chinese police state activities and “human rights violations,” the globalization that the US feeds upon, etc.)

5. Crown Prince Abdullah, Saudi Arabia. (No mention of deep US-Saudi ties, and personal ties to Bush family.)

6. Muammar Qaddafi, Libya. (Poor analysis of Qaddafi's emerging alliance with the West, and distancing from Middle Eastern neighbors.)

7. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan. (No mention that Pakistan is a US proxy.)

8. Saparat Niyazov, Turkmenistan. (No mention that Turkmenistan is deeply connected to the US, and critical to oil interests.)

9. Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe. (No mention of CIA and Western interests in the region.)

10. Teodoro O. Nguema, Equatorial Guinea. (No mention of CIA and Western interests in the region.)

The good news is, there are quite a few who don’t buy Wallechinsky’s non-list. "A Response to Propaganda in Sunday Parade Magazine" is one example.

Wallechinsky's upcoming book "Tyranny: World's 20 Worst Dictators" will undoubtedly continue spinning the same distortions, and leaving the worst dictator—“the” dictator—off the list.

Indeed, the man who said, “f this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator," may be offended that he missed Wallechinsky’s cut.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bush’s ‘bait & switch’ SS privatization scam 

All that talk about workers investing up to $1,000 of their Social Security money in that big casino called Wall Street, as part of the “ownership society” that George W. Bush bleated about Wednesday night, in his State of the Union address, is a worse con than the lies he told about why the US had to engage in an illegal preemptive war on Iraq.

That $99,800 in today’s dollars that would accrue from the $1,000 a worker puts into the scam for 40 years—assuming a dubious 4 percent rate of return—which Bush said he could use for his retirement or pass on to his heirs is another one of George W.’s whoppers. The truth is, according to a corrected article in the Washington Post, 3 percent or $78,700 of that money would go to the government—the amount the worker would have contributed to Social Security, plus 3 percent interest above inflation to cover what the fund would have realized from investing in government bonds. That leaves the retiree with $21,100 and a reduced Social Security monthly benefit check, assuming the rate of return was 4 percent on his yearly private account.

If the rate of return on the private account falls to 3.3 percent, which is in line with the assumption of the Congressional Budget Office, the worker’s gain is a wash.

And even if the retired worker could keep the whole enchilada of $99,800, what would that do for him 40 years down the road? Assuming he is still alive 10 years after retirement, that breaks down to $9,980 a year, plus the reduced amount he receives from Social Security. In this era of slave wages, vanishing pensions and 401(k)s that go poof overnight when an Enron collapses, do you think he can live on that or will he have to beg a job at Wal-Mart or commit suicide to spare his children from supporting him?
If the 20- to 54-year old crowd thinks this a good deal, they better think again, because when the 54-year old working stiffs retire, their children are going to have to help support them or send them packing to the streets, and each successive wave of retiring wage slaves also will need their children’s financial support.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Iraqi election is a lie 

US media have been an orgy of flatulent Bush administration triumphalism and lying, as they go on and on about "remarkable turnout," "defying the resistance." etc. We expected Anglo-American forces to have planned this charade months in advance (just as the previous sham elections in the US, Ukraine and Afghanistan were created). We expected the manipulation. We expected this near-total media denial of actual conditions on the ground in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Dahr Jamail continues to expose what a sham the "election" has been. Iraqis were forced to turn out to inflate the numbers. Many voted for food. Dahr Jamail has more than earned a Pulitzer for being one of the (if not the) only independent reporters in Iraq.
As for the resistance to the occupation (a popular and widespread resistance), it continues to solidify with time and increases in force, even as Bush-controlled US media must always portray the resistance as evil movie villains. The US has lost. All Bush is doing now is covering up this fact. Again, Dahr Jamail's reports confirm all of this.

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