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Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel

PressTVGlobalNews | February 12, 2013

Press TV’s documentary program “Tanzania’s shift toward Israel” Looks at how Nyerere’s policies of supporting the oppressed and the Palestinian cause have been abandoned in Tanzania in favor of economic diplomacy advocated by the West.

Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel (I)

Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel (II)

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February 14, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , | Comments Off on Tanzania’s Shift towards Israel

Obama’s State of the Corporate Union

By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report | February 13, 2013

It was an impassioned performance by a cynical politician who offers little but corporate tax incentives and continued austerity. Barack Obama peppered his State of the Union address with up-tempo buzzwords about illusory “progress,” but the president’s substantive message was that he is determined to complete the austerity bargain he struck with the Republicans in 2011. Thus, it is a sign of “progress” that “we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances” – meaning, he will collaborate with the GOP in cutting almost $2 trillion more.

The big cuts will come from those programs that enjoy overwhelming support among Americans. He claims to be with them in spirit while opposing them in practice. “Those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.” His reasoning is identical to the Republicans, who say these programs must be bled, or die.

Obama created the model to gut entitlements through his Simpson/Bowles Deficit Reduction Commission, appointed well before the GOP took control of the House. Now he pretends that the cuts have been forced upon him, but that he will acquiesce in the spirit of compromise. “On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.”

He constructs a phony trade-off for children, the poor and the elderly. “Why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair?” he asks, rhetorically. The cuts must come, but in return Obama will revise the tax code “that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America.”

This is the double-whammy. Austerity in people’s programs is traded for tax breaks for corporations that will, in totally discredited theory, bring back the jobs they had outsourced overseas.But don’t complain, says Obama. “None of us will get 100 percent of what we want.” And most of us will get the shaft.

Obama’s jobs program is almost entirely a corporate tax incentive scheme, to bribe corporations to send home the jobs they sent offshore, where they have also hidden tens of trillions from taxation – a subject not deemed worthy of mention in a national discussion of shared sacrifice and patriotic obligations.

The military-industrial complex will make “America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing,”says the president. Fifteen manufacturing “hubs” will be built around businesses that “partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.” You can bet there are huge corporate subsidies involved, through negative taxation.

Obama will repair America’s infrastructure through a “Fix-It-First” program that nobody has ever heard of before, and has no price tag – which means it doesn’t exist in anything more than rhetorical form. And his “Partnership to Rebuild America” proposal to upgrade private infrastructure – oil and gas pipelines, ports and the power grid – almost certainly involves corporate subsidies, or else why wouldn’t the private sector be repairing its own properties, already?

Those business incentives just keep on coming. All one need to qualify is say the word “jobs” – but don’t you dare say “public works.” The Corporate-Subsidizer-In-Chief says: “Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods.” Obama says he will “partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet.” How will that get done? By offering “new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest.” Obama can do a passable Al Green, but when it comes to public policy in 2013, he sings only one song: tax schemes for business.And he stole that tune from the GOP.

Obama’s Black boosters will no doubt point to the president’s concern for the “hardest hit” to conclude that he is now open to targeted aid to the those communities that have been most devastated. Not so. He is simply open to aiding corporations under any and all circumstances. His administration failed to spend almost all of $7.6 billion set aside by Congress for a Hardest Hit Fund, to aid communities hurt worst by the housing collapse. Hard-hit people don’t get special attention from this administration; well-off corporations do.

During his 2008 campaign, Obama vowed to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011. He must have thought no one was listening, because he didn’t mention the subject for the next four years. Now, in 2013, he promises to fight for a $9.00 minimum – 50 cents an hour less. And he didn’t even apologize to the nation, Tuesday night, for reneging during his first term.

“Race to the Top,” Obama’s signature program to privatize education through withholding of funds to states that fail to establish an alternative charter system and transform teachers into temporary workers, is set for a great corporate leap forward. States that craft their curriculum to suit corporate priorities will get additional funding; those that do not, will be punished. “We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.” Obama is an education gangster, hired muscle for the corporate class.

It is fitting that Obama, who has made it possible for all of us to experience the First Black U.S. Presidency, will enhance the experience of choosing between corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans: “I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And I’m asking two long-time experts in the field, who’ve recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to lead it.”

We discovered during the presidential debates that there was very little that separated the two contenders. The Republican and Democratic experts should have no problem finding a mutual electoral comfort zone.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 2 Comments

Revolving Door at SEC is in a Whirl as Hundreds Hired by Industry they Regulated

By Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman | AllGov | February 13, 2013

Charged with regulating Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become a launching pad for former agency employees—by the hundreds—to become part of the industry they once oversaw.

A new report from the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight (POGO) says that more than 400 ex-SEC staffers were working for the industry between 2001-2010.

The study also found numerous other concerns with the “revolving door” between the SEC and financial firms. These included agency workers trying to help corporations influence agency regulations, defending companies suspected of breaking the law, and helping them avoid tougher enforcement actions.

Perhaps the most high-profile concern in this arena is President Obama’s nomination of Mary Jo White to become the new SEC chief. During her most recent job at the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, White’s clients included JPMorgan Chase, General Electric, Verizon Communications, former Bank of America chief executive Kenneth Lewis, and Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs board member convicted of insider trading.

“The revolving door is moving faster than ever,” Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said after reading POGO’s findings. “The SEC has to fix this problem once and for all. That involves more disclosure, more meaningful restrictions, and top-to-bottom application of the rules without waivers that make any restrictions meaningless.”

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dresden bombing, Britain’s forgotten war crime of WWII

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Press TV – February 14, 2013

While Britain claims to be an advocate of human rights in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and many other countries around the world, British history itself is corroborating evidence that Britain, the greatest human rights preacher has also been the most flagrant human rights offender.

More than 500,000 German civilians and refugees, mostly women and children, were slaughtered by Britain’s saturation bombing in 1945, one of the worst massacres of all time.

Over 700,000 phosphorus bombs were dropped on 1.2 million defenseless inhabitants of German city Dresden under Britain’s then Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s order, which not only reduced one of the greatest centers of northern Europe to flaming ruins, but also led to one of the worst war crimes of the Second World War.

Dresden’s bombing on February 13, 1945 was so relentless that some historians believe it was the height of Winston Churchill’s madness.

“I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau,” Churchill said once.

Toward the end of the war, Churchill’s desired firestorm was finally created. More than 260,000 bodies and residues of bodies were counted after British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) assaulted Dresden. However, those who perished in the centre of the city could not be traced, as the temperature in the area reached 1,600 degrees Centigrade.

Dresden’s citizens barely had time to reach their shelters and those who seek refuge underground often suffocated as oxygen was pulled from the air to feed the flames. Others perished in a blast of white heat, heat strong enough to melt human flesh.

When the bombing started, no one could imagine that in less than 24 hours all those innocent people could die screaming in Churchill’s firestorms.

If there was ever a war crime, certainly the Dresden bombing would rank as one of the most sinister of all time. Sadly, however, Churchill, who ordered the slaughter of up to a half million innocent people in this horrifying tragedy, was knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

The British queen made Churchill a knight of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest order of knighthood.

February 14, 2013 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Argentina FM to Israel: we won’t kidnap or bomb Iran suspects

Al-Akhbar | February 14, 2013

Argentina’s top diplomat slammed Israel Wednesday for interfering in its judicial process over the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish charities building in Buenos Aires.

Last month, Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner announced an agreement with Iran to create an independent “truth commission” to investigate the bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA), and said it would clear the way for Iranian suspects to be questioned by an Argentine judge.

The move was blasted by Israel and members of Argentina’s 300,000-strong Jewish community, the largest in Latin America.

“Israel has no right to ask for explanations. We are a sovereign state,” Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said on the first day of testimony about the “truth commission” to his country’s Congress.

He added that cooperation with Iran would “bring them closer to the truth”, and in an apparent snide at Israel’s dubious history said that Argentina was not in the habit of carrying out extrajudicial punishment.

“Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told me that we cannot sign an agreement with Iran. So maybe he wants us to kidnap the suspects or put a bomb below the car of one of them.”

Timerman announced that suspects flagged by INTERPOL would be interrogated by Argentine judges, and under Argentine law.

There are five Iranians wanted by the international police group over the Argentina bombing, including current Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

Iran has offered mixed responses to the revelation that top officials might be questioned, denying a report about it that had surfaced earlier this week.

However, on Wednesday, Timmerman told the Senate committee that “the Iranian foreign minister said he is going to implement all the points that were agreed on in our memorandum of understanding, and that the accused will be questioned.”

Argentine Jude Rodolfo Canicoba Corral and prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the lead investigator, would go to Tehran to take the Iranians’ testimony.

Washington has cast doubt that any solution will emerge from the deal.

Israel has repeatedly accused Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the 1994 bombing, which killed 85 people and wounded 30, and another attack on the Israeli embassy in Beunos Aires two years before.

Hezbollah and Iran have repeatedly denied involvement in both.

On the 11th anniversary of the embassy bombing, Israel’s foreign ministry released a statement saying: “The mystery has been resolved, and it is now clear to Israel that Hezbollah, through its overseas agents under the command of Imad Moghniyeh, was the organization responsible for the deadly attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires,”

“Moreover, Israel has also been told recently that Hezbollah and Iran were involved in the July 1994 attack on the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA).”

A recently declassified communique from the US embassy in Beirut two months after the Buenos Aires reiterates the US’s intention to discredit Hezbollah.

February 14, 2013 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment