Friday, May 29, 2009

One War we are FOR

The War on Poverty;

NYC to Charge Homeless for Shelter Stays

Geezum. Why dont they just re-establish debtors prison so they can throw all (of us) poor folk in there and not have to worry about our housing, food, or clothing? Once we are tossed into these prisons, we will probably be forced to under-go mental health evaluation, be diagnosed as "social-defectives," and be forced to take mental health meds. We will most definatley lose our right to vote and/or bear arms as well, as they are working on that already. How long before debtors prison or work-houses for the poor are a reality in the USA again? Seems like that is where we are heading. None of the Powers-That-Be seem to give a dam about the poor anymore. Nevermind the war on "terror," lets get back to the war on poverty! Note to the PTB: Fix America First, and Move forward, not back.

Charging Homeless Families Rent is Wrong Take Action!

Write a Letter NOW to Lawmakers

On May 1, New York City started charging families living in homeless shelters for their stay in shelter. Children living in shelter have gone through the traumatic experience of losing their home and their families struggle every day. Now these families must struggle against another wave of misguided policies.

Under rules proposed by the City of New York, many homeless children and adults will be ejected from shelter to the streets for failing to pay shelter "rent," or if a homeless family's welfare case is suspended or closed, which happens routinely due to bureaucratic error.

CHF believes this policy is WRONG. We need your support to tell state lawmakers to pass legislation barring this practice. Please write a letter now. Click on title above to go to the Childrens Health Fund Action Center;

Exploding debt threatens America

John Taylor

Published: May 26 2009 20:48 | Last updated: May 26 2009 20:48

Standard and Poor’s decision to downgrade its outlook for British sovereign debt from “stable” to “negative” should be a wake-up call for the US Congress and administration. Let us hope they wake up.

Under President Barack Obama’s budget plan, the federal debt is exploding. To be precise, it is rising – and will continue to rise – much faster than gross domestic product, a measure of America’s ability to service it. The federal debt was equivalent to 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008; the Congressional Budget Office projects it will increase to 82 per cent of GDP in 10 years. With no change in policy, it could hit 100 per cent of GDP in just another five years.

“A government debt burden of that [100 per cent] level, if sustained, would in Standard & Poor’s view be incompatible with a triple A rating,” as the risk rating agency stated last week.
I believe the risk posed by this debt is systemic and could do more damage to the economy than the recent financial crisis. To understand the size of the risk, take a look at the numbers that Standard and Poor’s considers. The deficit in 2019 is expected by the CBO to be $1,200bn (€859bn, £754bn). Income tax revenues are expected to be about $2,000bn that year, so a permanent 60 per cent across-the-board tax increase would be required to balance the budget. Clearly this will not and should not happen. So how else can debt service payments be brought down as a share of GDP?

Inflation will do it. But how much? To bring the debt-to-GDP ratio down to the same level as at the end of 2008 would take a doubling of prices. That 100 per cent increase would make nominal GDP twice as high and thus cut the debt-to-GDP ratio in half, back to 41 from 82 per cent. A 100 per cent increase in the price level means about 10 per cent inflation for 10 years. But it would not be that smooth – probably more like the great inflation of the late 1960s and 1970s with boom followed by bust and recession every three or four years, and a successively higher inflation rate after each recession.

The fact that the Federal Reserve is now buying longer-term Treasuries in an effort to keep Treasury yields low adds credibility to this scary story, because it suggests that the debt will be monetised. That the Fed may have a difficult task reducing its own ballooning balance sheet to prevent inflation increases the risks considerably. And 100 per cent inflation would, of course, mean a 100 per cent depreciation of the dollar. Americans would have to pay $2.80 for a euro; the Japanese could buy a dollar for Y50; and gold would be $2,000 per ounce. This is not a forecast, because policy can change; rather it is an indication of how much systemic risk the government is now creating.

Why might Washington sleep through this wake-up call? You can already hear the excuses.

“We have an unprecedented financial crisis and we must run unprecedented deficits.” While there is debate about whether a large deficit today provides economic stimulus, there is no economic theory or evidence that shows that deficits in five or 10 years will help to get us out of this recession. Such thinking is irresponsible. If you believe deficits are good in bad times, then the responsible policy is to try to balance the budget in good times. The CBO projects that the economy will be back to delivering on its potential growth by 2014. A responsible budget would lay out proposals for balancing the budget by then rather than aim for trillion-dollar deficits.

“But we will cut the deficit in half.” CBO analysts project that the deficit will be the same in 2019 as the administration estimates for 2010, a zero per cent cut.

“We inherited this mess.” The debt was 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 1988, President Ronald Reagan’s last year in office, the same as at the end of 2008, President George W. Bush’s last year in office. If one thinks policies from Reagan to Bush were mistakes does it make any sense to double down on those mistakes, as with the 80 per cent debt-to-GDP level projected when Mr Obama leaves office?

The time for such excuses is over. They paint a picture of a government that is not working, one that creates risks rather than reduces them. Good government should be a nonpartisan issue. I have written that government actions and interventions in the past several years caused, prolonged and worsened the financial crisis. The problem is that policy is getting worse not better. Top government officials, including the heads of the US Treasury, the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are calling for the creation of a powerful systemic risk regulator to reign in systemic risk in the private sector. But their government is now the most serious source of systemic risk.

The good news is that it is not too late. There is time to wake up, to make a mid-course correction, to get back on track. Many blame the rating agencies for not telling us about systemic risks in the private sector that lead to this crisis. Let us not ignore them when they try to tell us about the risks in the government sector that will lead to the next one.

The writer, a professor of economics at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of ‘Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis’

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Hearing

May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009 (Congressional Documents and Publications/ContentWorks via COMTEX) --

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for having me here today to discuss the fiscal year (FY) 2010 Army Science and Technology (S&T) Program and the significant role we play in supporting the Warfighter today, while developing the technologies that drive the Army's transformation. We appreciate the members of this Committee for your sustained support of our Soldiers currently at war, and for funding the investments that will provide our future Soldiers with the equipment and capabilities to defend America's interests and those of our allies around the world.

The Army's S&T investment strategy is shaped to foster innovation and accelerate/mature technology to enable Future Force capabilities while exploiting opportunities to rapidly transition technology to the Current Force. The S&T program retains flexibility to be responsive to unforeseen needs identified through current operations. We have rapidly responded to a broad range of these needs. Our Fiscal 2010 budget priorities are in line with Secretary Gates' recently announced objective to "reshape the priorities of America's defense establishment." I would like to take the opportunity today to focus on some important areas of investment for our program: Force Protection, Lightening the Soldier's Load, Force Health Protection, Power and Energy, Battle Command and Basic Research.

Force Protection

Army S&T transitions to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have significantly reduced Soldier and vehicle weight burdens while increasing protective capability. Vehicle armor upgrades for advanced IED defeat, fuel tank hardening, and crew protective opaque and transparent armors have all stemmed from Army S&T investments that have been accelerated and deployed on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicle. In FY08, for example, Army S&T responded an OSD/DDR&E request to develop near-term options for armor enhancements at reduced weight for MRAP vehicles. A number of solutions were quickly developed that increased protection against the largest threat and reduced package weight by one-third. This effort resulted in over 50% (8000) of MRAP vehicles outfitted with enhanced, reduced weight armor by December 2008, using Army S&T designs and engineering.

Additional vehicle transition successes in reactive armors, ceramic armors, and transparent armors (both in materials and manufacturing efficiencies) have been notable and have transitioned to several military-use vehicle prime contractors.

To further individual soldier protection systems, Army S&T is pursuing improvements in body armor component fabrics and materials through two technical design paths. The first path will provide increased levels of protection at equal weight and/or in better, flexible configurations. The second path will provide the same level of protection at significantly reduced weights. For both designs, performance enhancements will be achieved through advances in high performance ballistic fiber and textile technologies, transparent polymers, composites, and materials systems integration. For example, Army S&T efforts are currently focused on improving the high performance ballistic fiber technology needed to obtain a 50% increase in textile material strength to reduce soft body armor weight by 40-50%. In addition, new ceramics technology and manufacturing techniques are being investigated, to include silicon carbide materials and the ability to form ceramic materials into complex shapes.

Lightening the Soldier's Load

Army S&T is seeking to optimize our future investments to mature both vehicle and soldier protection and efficiently reduce weight burdens as collective systems. In the area of enhanced soldier protection and lighter-weight loads, we are continuing efforts to lighten soldier helmets and body armor through manufacturing technology and advanced material solutions. We are developing new protection enhancements and weight reduction for body armor applications with efforts to address protection for the head, face, torso and extremities, focusing on fragmentation protection, protection from small arms threats, and blast protection for the thorax area of the body. For example, improved transparent armor materials that provide enhanced fragmentation protection have been demonstrated with a weight savings of 20%.

S&T investments contributing to soldier weight reduction above and beyond helmet and body armor are approached in a holistic method to address personnel load issues. Exploitation of advanced materials and manufacturing processes allow for 10-20% weight reduction of individual components with an overall weight savings estimated at 20 lbs, while increasing the capability in the areas of advanced fibers for carrying equipment (rucksack and utility systems), powered equipment and battery weight reduction (efficient batteries, night vision, communications and sight augmentation systems), combat ration packaging efficiency, and weapon/ammunition modernization. As the emphasis on deployed forces is placed more on light infantry type operations, continued investment and maturation of materials and processes to lighten the load on individual Soldiers is paramount to a target goal of achieving true fighting load weights for all Soldiers regardless of specialized weapons or communications.

Force Health Protection

Our investment in medical S&T provides the basis for maintaining the physical and mental health of Soldiers as well as enhancing their performance. We are currently researching novel methods for screening and treating for Traumatic Brain Injury, by identifying physical and functional changes in the injured brain, and countering the post-injury inflammation. Battlemind, the U.S. Army's psychological resiliency building program, prepares Soldiers for the psychological rigors faced during deployment and improves the Service Members' ability to transition home. The Army is currently developing and validating advanced group-level Battlemind Training to further reduce deployment-related psychological problems, including symptoms from combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For Battlefield Trauma Management, a primary focus is to address the single greatest potentially preventable cause of combat - internal hemorrhage. This requires an integrated approach which includes controlling bleeding, replacement of lost fluid volume, cells, and clotting capability, and providing fluids and adjuncts to maintain adequate delivery of oxygen to critical tissues.

Army S&T is also a core partner in the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat (JTAPIC ) program, a component of the DoD Blast Injury Research Program Coordinating Office. JTAPIC links the DoD medical, intelligence, operational, and materiel communities to facilitate the collection and integration of data and information to improve our understanding of vulnerabilities to threats. This enables the development of improved Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs), requirements and materiel solutions to prevent/mitigate combat injuries. The JTAPIC program routinely integrates data from combat incidents and analyzes this data in to actionable information.

Finally, in FY09 the Army initiated a research program on suicide, working with the National Institute of Mental Health. The Army suicide prevention efforts are focused on prevention, early intervention, screening, treatment, and quality of life for all Service Members and their Families. This important work will continue in FY10.

Power and Energy

The Army continues to focus on developing and demonstrating technologies to reduce power consumption and increase energy efficiency. The Army Science and Technology power and energy strategic goals are to reduce platform energy consumption, develop more efficient power sources, enable smart energy management, develop proactive thermal management, and develop and evaluate alternative fuels.

The Army was a significant contributor in manpower and knowhow to the operation and success of the recently completed DoD Wearable Power Competition (WPC). The WPC's two primary goals were to bring in non-traditional DoD performers with their innovative power source ideas, and the successful completion of a 96 hour test of a wearable power source weighing less than 8.8 pounds. To the Army's credit, the three winning Wearable Power entrants have had previous Army S&T investment.

The Army is executing $75 million in research, development, test, and evaluation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for near term energy efficient technologies. Power generation efforts include research in portable and flexible solar arrays for Soldier and tent powering applications and research in generating power from the waste heat of generators. Efforts to reduce energy consumption include research and demonstration of advanced silicon carbide components that require less cooling to operate and research in an intelligent power distribution system that is reasonable to tactical applications.

Battle Command

Army S&T is working on advancements in information transport and on enabling improved collaboration for the Warfighter. For information transport at the tactical level, Army S&T is investing in lower cost, more capable satellite communications antennas for current and planned satellite constellations. Additionally, S&T is developing the software application for existing radios to better utilize the limited RF spectrum in military operations. Research and development is underway to more seamlessly share information across functional domains. This will allow more timely interaction and sharing of information across intelligence, planning and battle operations.

Basic Research

Fundamental to realizing superior land warfighting capabilities is the discovery of new fundamental knowledge through high-risk/high-payoff basic research in areas highly relevant to the Army mission. To accomplish these goals we have increased our focus on seven areas that are likely to yield extraordinary capabilities for our Soldiers - autonomous systems, network science, immersive environments, neuroscience, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and quantum information science.

In fiscal year 2009, Secretary Gates set the vision for the Minerva Research Initiative (MRI), a new university-based social science research program for all the services. MRI focuses on areas in the social sciences of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy which have not received substantial Department investment in the past. MRI research will pursue understanding of the internal military-political dynamics of repressive regimes, the vulnerabilities of regimes and institutions to various kinds of influence and instability, the nature of crowd dynamics, the potential to influence public opinions and attitudes in diverse cultures, cultural effects on network security and military operations, the influence of technology on military capabilities of potential adversaries and allies, and other intersections of social-cultural issues with military activities. The Army science and technology community is fully supportive of the MRI objectives and is actively soliciting proposals focused on social science and cultural issues affecting US military warfighting capabilities and we are increasing our investment in this area.

Within basic research, we are making major progress in many areas. One particular example is power and energy-related science with the ability to "grow" batteries through genetically engineered organisms. Dr. Angela Belcher at MIT, whose work is supported by the Army and through the Army-sponsored Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is at the forefront of research enabling biologically inspired, virus-based assembly of battery components. For the first time, MIT researchers led by Dr. Belcher have shown they can genetically engineer viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged electrodes of a lithium-ion battery. This technology will lead to future batteries that are far more compact and powerful than anything available today and at much lower cost. This is one of many exciting new discoveries that will reap major benefits for our Soldiers well into this century.

Science and Engineering Workforce

To maintain technological superiority now and in the future, the Army needs to hire top quality scientists and engineers into the Army Laboratories and Research, Development, and Engineering Centers. This is especially daunting given that the Army must compete with the other Services as well as the private sector to obtain its future workforce. We have taken important steps to attract and retain the best science and engineering talent. Our laboratory personnel demonstrations have instituted initiatives, such as pay banding to enhance recruiting and reshaping of the workforce. These initiatives are unique to each laboratory allowing the maximum management flexibility for the laboratory directors as well as allowing them to be competitive with the private sector. The Army is also instituting direct hire authority at our labs, and we would like to thank the Committee for their strong support on this issue. Finally, we have long recognized that a scientifically and technologically literate citizenry is our nation`s best hope for a diverse, talented, and productive workforce. To pursue this goal, we leverage the numerous resources across our programs and the Department of Defense (DoD) to engage America`s youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Defense Acquisition Reform

Army Science and Technology supports current efforts in Congress and within the Department to reform the acquisition system. Because of our position so early in the material development process, the Army S&T program is well positioned to leverage our flexibility in support of any major weapons system acquisition reforms undertaken through consultation between Department of Defense senior leadership and our Congressional stakeholders.


The S&T portfolio contributes to addressing the Army's critical challenges and restoring balance in our forces through the four imperatives: Transform, Sustain, Prepare, and Reset. It has and will continue to enable the success of our force modernization efforts and to exploit technology opportunities through spin outs (Transform). Emerging medical technologies enable improved care for our wounded Soldiers and will enhance their future quality of life (Sustain). Advanced training technologies will accelerate the preparation of our Soldiers and leaders to operate in complex 21st century security environments (Prepare). Technology insertion opportunities and advanced training can contribute to resetting the force to prepare for future deployments and other contingencies (Reset).

With the continued support of Congress, the Army will be able to maintain funding for a diverse S&T portfolio that is adaptive and responsive to unanticipated needs of the current fight while still achieving the desired capabilities for the Future Force.

The Army's scientists and engineers are expanding the limits of our understanding to provide our Soldiers, as well as our Joint and coalition partners, with technologies that enable transformational capabilities in the ongoing Overseas Contigency Operations to ensure that the Army remains a relevant, ready and victorious land component of the Joint Force. The Army S&T community is the "engine" of change for the Army's transformation.


Copyright (C) 2009 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

USA: Land of the Weak and the Wussy

_Human Rights_ (
by _Dave Lindorff_ ( | May
26, 2009 - 10:49am

There may have perhaps have been a time when America was a land of at least
some brave people. although arguably a nation that celebrates as heroic a
history that features lots of people with modern guns and cannons
conquering and destroying another people who were living in the stone age and
fighting back with bows and arrows, and that built its economy on the backs of
men and women held in chains certainly has a tough case to make. What is
clear though is that there is nothing brave about modern-day America.
Whatever we were, we have degenerated into a nation that finds glory in
deploying the most advanced high-tech, high-explosive weaponry against some of
the world's poorest people, that justifies killing women and children,
even by the dozens, even if by doing so it manages to kill one alleged "enemy"
fighter. A nation that exalts remote-controlled robot drone aircraft that
can attack targets in order to avoid risking soldiers' lives, even though
by doing so, it is predictable that many, many innocent people will be
killed. A nation that is proud to have developed weapons of mass slaughter, from
shells laden with phosphorus that burns to death, indiscriminately, those
who are contacted by the splattered chemical to elaborately baroque
anti-personnel fragmentation bombs that spread cute little colored objects
designed to look like everything from toys to food packages, but which upon
contact explode, releasing whirling metal or plastic fleschettes which shred
human flesh on contact.
The Marines who battled their way up the hillsides of Iwo Jima, or the
soldiers who struggled ashore under withering fire on the beaches of Normandy
would be appalled at what passes for heroic behavior in today's American
military. But that's not the worst of it.
The worst of it is back home in the USA, where millions of citizens who
bitch about their taxes and who pay as little attention as possible to the
fact that their nation is deeply mired in two wars, routinely refer to those
who do their fighting for them as heroes, but then want nothing to do with
the consequences of those wars (or for that matter the people who actually
fight them).
One particularly telling consequence of those wars is that the US now has
several hundred prisoners, mostly at the prison camp on the US Naval Base at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whom the American people don't want to have moved to
their shores. And why won't we Americans accept the responsibility for
incarcerating and trying these captives? Because we are so afraid that their
comrades will strike back at us with acts of terrorism if we bring them
First of all, a moment of rational thought, please. Does anyone seriously
think that the radical Islamic groups and independence fighters who are
battling American forces in places like Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan are so
symbolically obsessed that they would only attack places in America where
their fellows are actually being held? Do people actually think that such
people would not attack some place in the continental US right now if they
could, in retaliation for people being held at the inaccessible base in
Please. Let's get real.
Moving captives from Guantanamo to prisons in the US, pending trial, would
merely make the job of agencies like the FBI easier by narrowing the list
of likely terrorist targets in the US from thousands to dozens. But even
then, is there any reason to think that a prospective terrorist group would be
more likely to bomb Leavenworth Prison or the town of Leavenworth than the
White House or the Pentagon to protest the holding of people at
Leavenworth? Of course not.
The goal of a terrorist action is to cause as much fear and disruption as
possible, and bombing some remote commuity where a federal prison is located
isn't going to do that. You want to bomb a transportation or
communications hub, or a major population center. So bringing prisoners to the US from
Guantanamo doesn't really do anything to raise the risk for anybody.
But we Americans are irrational, panicky cowards. We worry that the
terrorists will come and get us.
My guess is that a lot of this is mass guilt. Whether people admit it or
not, I suspect most people know on some subconscious level that we Americans
have been living off the rest of the world's misery. We know we're stealing
oil from the people of nations like Iraq and Nigeria. We know that our
toys, our electronics devices and our fancy name-brand running shoes are being
made by people who cannot afford to buy them themselves. We know that for
decades we have been overthrowing elected governments and propping up
fascist dictatorships to keep the exploitation going so that we can buy cheap
goods and extract cheap resources (As Marine Medal of Honor hero Smedley
Butler long ago admitted, that's what our "heroes" in uniform are generally
doing overseas).
The whole thing is sickening--a kind of nausea-inducing feeling that comes
on me whenever I hear the last screeched line of the "Star-Spangled
Banner"--but there is something particularly pathetic about this latest bout of
collective wussiness on the part of the American people.
I mean, even if you bought all the tripe about our soldiers having to kill
and occasionally die in Iraq and Afghanistan so we can "fight the
terrorists there instead of here," even the charlatans in the White House and the
Pentagon are claiming that keeping captives in Guantanamo is generating
hatred abroad and putting US troops at greater risk, so you'd think it would be
the least that this "home of the brave" could do to close that base and
accept some of the added risk--if there even were any--of bringing those
prisoners here.

If we can't even handle that, we're simply going to have to write a new
ending for the national anthem:
"...Oh say may that Star-Spangled Banner yet flap
O'er the land of the weak, and the home of the sap."

New Song a Big Hit; "The Happy U.S. Torturer"

Click on title above to see vid and hear song;

Judge warns Obomba, "Turn over secret documents or else!"

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker of San Francisco warned the Obama administration on Friday of severe sanctions if it does not comply with the court’s order to turn over a secret document an Islamic group says proves they were illegally spied upon.
The case, Al-Haramain v. Obama (see also: Al-Haramain V. Bush), springs out of a government mistake in which a secret document detailing the wiretapping of calls between attorneys and Saudi charity Al-Haramain was turned over to the charity’s counsel.

The document was taken back by the government, and the Department of Justice has since maintained that the attorneys who read it should not be allowed to use their memories to pursue litigation over the illegal spying.

“It could be a scene from Kafka or Brazil ,” noted Wired when the story first broke in March 2007. “Imagine a government agency, in a bureaucratic foul-up, accidentally gives you a copy of a document marked ‘top secret.’ And it contains a log of some of your private phone calls.”

“Walker, bringing to a head months of volleying between the government, the plaintiffs and himself, ordered Justice Department lawyers to explain why he should not essentially enter a default judgment against the government for violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by spying on the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation,” reported

“The government has refused to obey court orders by repeatedly stonewalling Walker’s attempt to move the case forward, Walker wrote.”

“The Court noted the government was ‘continuing to assert legal positions already specifically rejected by the court in previous orders’ and ‘government officials in one or more defendant agencies, including the NSA Director … are refusing to cooperate with the court’s orders,’” noted the Electronic Frontiers Foundation. “Judge Walker ordered the government to show cause as to ‘why, as a sanction for failing to obey the court’s orders’ the government ’should not be prohibited … from opposing the liability’ for spying without warrants and that the ‘court should not deem liability … established and proceed to determine the amount of damages to be awarded to plaintiffs.’ A hearing is set for June 3, 2009 in the San Francisco federal court.”

Should Walker rule in favor of Al-Haramain, it would not fully satisfy the group’s legal aims, but “it would be a stiff rebuke to an administration that has pledged to reconsider Bush’s broad claims of secrecy in all cases touching on national security,” noted Bob Egelko at The San Francisco Chronicle.

He continued: “The department, under both Bush and Obama, has argued that courts have no power to decide the legality of the surveillance program unless the government acknowledges that it monitored a particular person or group. It has not done so in Al-Haramain’s case.”

“The case is one of more than three dozen domestic surveillance lawsuits pending before Walker,” reported CBS5 in San Francisco.

“Congress granted immunity to the telecommunication companies last year, essentially killing their eavesdropping lawsuits and leaving before Walker the Al-Haramain case as the only surviving legal challenge to the government’s eavesdropping program,” reported the Associated Press.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Joint International Anti-War Statement:To the Working People of the World

2009 Joint International Anti-War Statement

To the Working People of the World

Worldwide big economic crisis has begun, and capitalism is on the verge of catastrophe. Protectionism is gaining power rapidly, and the US and Japanese governments are setting the stage for an escalation of war and privatization and also for increasing union busting and repression against the working class. The Korean Government is intensifying suppression and destroying unity of KCTU, the forefront fighters of working class.

In Japan, the government has disregarded Constitution Article 9 and sent military forces to Somalia and is also making major military escalation against North Korea. The Japanese military budget is being expanded at the same time that major cuts are being made in healthcare and pension benefits for tens of millions of workers and retired workers. The militaristic threats and chauvinism against the people of North Korea and the hysteria created by the Japanese media and government officials is directly aimed not only against the North Korean people but the people in Japan who oppose war.

This rise of militarism is also directly related to the need to attack through privatization of millions of jobs. The nationalist Aso Cabinet plans to introduce the Wider Area Local State System (doshu-sei). The immediate aim of this union busting plans once to fire 3.6 million public workers by their termination and then re-employment of 2.6 million of them as contracted out private employees in education, non-clerical jobs and temporary part time jobs. Another 1 million will be subjected to selective hiring under militarist conditions and total obedience to the state.

The effort to fire teachers opposed to militarization of the schools also continues obstinately, coercing the worship of national flag and anthem, Hinomaru and Kimigayo, which have been the symbols of Japanese imperialism. And the government is expanding the Narita airport as a military base against the interests of the workers and people of Japan, and pushing ahead in the destruction of farmland and communities of the Sanrizuka-Shibayama United Opposition League against the Airport Construction, a fort of anti-war and anti-state power struggle. Furthermore, WTO and FTA, imperialist instruments of economic invasion and domination, have been ruining agriculture deadly.

In Korea, the Lee Myung-bak administration was terribly shaken by the candlelight demonstration of a million working people last June against the import of US beef. Perceiving this as a serious threat to the ruling class, it has turned to an all-out retaliation against the central forces that organized the demonstration. Repression is raging upon the broadcasting stations that mentioned the danger of BSE beef and supported the protest actions of people. The management of the broadcasting stations is facing administrative intervention and labor unions are under attack. A nationwide academic ability test was utilized to bring division among student leaders and teachers who opposed to this were met with disciplinary measures, or discharged. The labor union of truck drivers and construction machine workers is under the threat of disbanding for its powerful strike that stopped transportation during the candle demonstration. Lee Myung-bak, ex-chairman of Hyundai Construction, is violently pushing ahead with a large-scale redeveloping plan to confront a great economic crisis and dared to kill 5 of the inhabitants who fiercely refused to leave their land for planned gentrification.

The Lee Myung-bak administration, on the other hand, is strengthening its hard-line stance against North Korea. US-South Korean joint military operation was carried out from March 9 to 20 to prepare for a preemptive strike on North Korea. It is a part of the OPLAN 5027 that aims at Korean reunification by the armed forces through destroying the North Korean military and overthrowing the North Korean regime. KCTU and peace-movements organized protest demonstration against it with a demand, “Stop US-South Korean joint military operation to invite war”, fighting back the repression of the US forces staying in Korea.

To address these developments, a general strike and an all-out rising-up of people for June are going to be organized by KCTU.

In the US the government continues to implement an anti-labor transportation workers identification card TWIC. The military have allowed the employers to pick and choose who will be brought into the marine terminals if they do not have the TWIC card. Hundreds of longshore workers have been prevented from working and the power of the union hiring hall established by a general strike in 1934 has now been weakened since workers who have industry identification cards are not being allowed on the docks unless they have a TWIC card. This card allows for an intrusive spying and tracking of longshore and other transportation workers.
At the same time the government is expanding the war in Afghanistan with 20,000 more troops. The government has also requested another $85 billion for war spending. This expansion of the war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq, the robot war with drone planes that drop bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan from thousands of feet above the ground are further war crimes against the people of the middle east.

The Obama administration’s so called “nuclear arms reduction” speech has the aim of “maintaining a secure and effective (nuclear) arsenal”. It is, in its essence, a nuclear war strategy, updating the nuclear arsenal and strengthening the nuclear monopoly. This policy of Obama administration is worked out against the background of launching nuclear power plants construction.

The maintenance of the US empire is not only a threat for the people of the world but a threat against the working people in the US where millions have lost their jobs, homes and healthcare.

We stand together internationally, overcome a divide and rule policy by the issue of nuke and call for united solidarity and action against these capitalist attacks on the workers and farmers in each of our respective countries, to stop aggressive wars and their expansion and for defense of working people around the world.

Only united world wide action against war, privatization and union busting by the global working class has the power to stop this militarization and growing attacks on the working class.

June, 2009

Sanrizuka-Shibayama United Opposition League against the Airport Construction

National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba

Korean Confederation of Trade Union Seoul Regional Council

International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 34

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Terrorist Training Camps in the U.S.?

NY Daily News;

Oussama Kassir convicted of trying to start terror camp; 5 convicted in Miami for Sears Tower plot

Tuesday, May 12th 2009, 5:13 PM

Shirley and Andrea Shepard/AP
Sketch of Oussama Kassir in a New York City courtroom in 2007

A jury convicted a Lebanese-born Swede on Tuesday of plotting to help al-Qaida recruit by trying to set up a weapons-training post in Oregon and distributing terrorist training manuals over the Internet.

The verdict against Oussama Kassir capped a three-week trial that featured the testimony of a U.S.-born Muslim convert who said he tried to create the training camp in Bly, Ore., in 1999.

It was one of two victories Tuesday for U.S. terrorism prosecutors. A federal jury in Miami convicted five men of plotting to join forces with al-Qaida to topple Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices. A sixth man was acquitted in the case's third trial.

Prosecutors in the Kassir case portrayed him as a follower of militant clerics who wanted to take advantage of more relaxed gun laws to arrange training in the United States for European recruits to Islamic militancy. The government said Kassir wanted to teach others how to make bombs, poison people and slit throats.

Defense lawyers countered that Kassir never conspired with anyone to train recruits and did not provide anything on Web sites that was not available on many other sites or at the local library.

The jury deliberated less than a day before returning a guilty verdict on all 12 charges.

As the verdict was read, the bearded Kassir sighed and at one point lowered his head in one hand before he was led away by U.S. marshals.

U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan set sentencing for Sept. 2.

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U.S. Foreign Policy Ignites Domestic Terrorism / NY

FBI arrest four in alleged plot to bomb Bronx synagogues, shoot down plane

BY Michael Daly, Alison Gendar and Helen Kennedy

Updated Thursday, May 21st 2009, 8:09 AM

James Cromitie is the alleged leader of the plot, the criminal complaint states.

David Williams was one of three others busted with Cromitie.

The FBI and NYPD busted a four-man homegrown terror cell Wednesday night that was plotting to blow up two Bronx synagogues while simultaneously shooting a plane out of the sky, sources told the Daily News.
The idea was to create a "fireball that would make the country gasp," one law enforcement said.

Little did they know the plastic explosives packed into their car bombs and the plane-downing Stinger missile in their backseat were all phony - supplied by undercover agents posing as Pakistani militants linked to Al Qaeda.

"If there can be any good news from this terror scare it's that this group was relatively unsophisticated, penetrated early, and not connected to another terrorist group," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "This incident shows that we must always be vigilant against terrorism, foreign or domestic."

The suspects - three U.S.-born citizens and one Haitian immigrant - at least three of whom were said to be jailhouse converts to Islam, were angry about the deaths of Muslims in Afghanistan, sources told The News.

"They wanted to make a statement," a law enforcement source said. "They were filled with rage and wanted to take it out on what they considered the source of all problems in America - the Jews."

The group's alleged ringleader, James Cromitie, according to the complaint, discussed targets with an undercover agent. "The best target [the World Trade Center] was hit already," he allegedly told the agent. Later, he rejoiced in a terrorist attack on a synagogue.

"I hate those motherf-----s, those f---ing Jewish bastards. . . . I would like to get [destroy] a synagogue."

The men allegedly parked car bombs wired to cell phones outside the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center. They were also heading to Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, Orange County, when the law swooped in on them.

Sources said their plan was to shoot down a cargo plane headed to Iraq or Afghanistan with a surface-to-air guided missile while simultaneously calling the cell phones and blowing up the Riverdale synagogues.

Sources said the four men were arrested after a year-long investigation that began when an informant connected to a mosque in Newburgh said he knew men who wanted to buy explosives.

FBI agents supplied them with what they billed as C-4 plastic explosives and a Stinger missile.

The weaponry was all phony.

"The bombs had been made by FBI technicians," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. "They were totally inert."

Witnesses said an NYPD 18-wheeler blocked a black SUV on Independence Ave. in Riverdale and then officers broke in the darkened windows and yanked out the four men from inside the car.

Among those arrested was Cromitie, of Newburgh, who is the son of an Afghan immigrant and his African-American wife.

Cromitie, who also called himself Abdul Rahman, has served a long stretch in prison.

David Williams, Onta Williams and Leguerre Payen - his alleged henchmen - were busted with him. Cromitie allegedly recruited them at the Newburgh mosque.

The undercover informant who promised to arm them posed as a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed, an anti-India Pakistani group with connections to Al Qaeda, said Joseph Demarest, assistant director of the New York FBI field office.

"This shows the real risks we face from homegrown terror and jailhouse converts, and the need for constant vigilance," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.).

The four alleged terrorists are expected to be arraigned Thursday in White Plains Federal Court.

"These guys were angry, they had intent and they were searching for capacity," a senior federal law enforcement official told The News. But, the official added, "It's not exactly Al Qaeda."

Richard Williams, who identified himself as Onta Williams' uncle, said he doesn't believe his nephew would be involved in the plot.

"I spoke to him last week, he gave no indication that anything was wrong," Williams told The News Wednesday night outside his Newburgh home.

Mayor Bloomberg hailed the joint investigation that took down the wanna-be mass murderers.

"While the bombs these terrorists attempted to plant tonight were - unbeknownst to them - fake, this latest attempt to attack our freedoms shows that the homeland security threats against New York City are sadly all too real and underscores why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent terrorism," Bloomberg said.

With Joe Kemp in Newburgh, N.Y., Kerry Burke in New York and James Gordon Meek in Washington

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