Nadir to Summit: What Came Out of London Economic Confab?

AFTER THE SUMMIT: What Was Accomplished & For How Long?
by Danny Schechter (Author of PLUNDER)
The eyes of the world have been on the Economic Summit in London but the ideas of the world were mostly conspicuous by their absence. Here we have a global crisis. The house is on fire. Unemployment is climbing. The real estate contagion is now claiming condos and even shopping malls. It’s bad and by most accounts, getting worse. And, all the “leaders” of the world can do is devote ONE DAY to a forum that must have cost millions to stage.

Our media and politicians love spectacles and political celebrities. The spin was on what Michelle was wearing, not on what Barack was thinking when he was so unwilling to agree to an international regime of regulation which is so clearly needed in a globalized world economy.

The New York Times was properly critical of the Summit for falling “short,” mostly focusing on the failure to commit to a larger stimulus package—what the US wanted but didn’t get.  They went lightly on their criticisms on the regulatory issue. The group also agreed to crack down on tax havens and, on a country-by-country basis, impose stricter financial regulations on hedge funds and rating agencies — necessary though insufficient steps to avoid a repeat of the current disaster.”
They never asked nor did they fully report on why Obama is “fiercely resistant to the idea of a global regulator.” (Bob Jackson of Arizona offered one plausible explanation: “‘The one smart thing the President did in London was to establish that the U.S. would not be regulated by global politicians. Our own politicians are corrupt and incompetent enough, without overt collusion of the politicians from the rest of the world.”)
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Iraq's Awakening Storm

The Growing Storm
by Dahr Jamail - T r u t h o u t
Last weekend, the Iraqi government arrested an Awakening Group leader of a Baghdad neighborhood, then moved into the area. With the help of US occupation forces, they disarmed the militiamen under his control, but only after fighting broke out between US-backed Iraqi government security forces and the US-formed Sunni Awakening Group militia.
This disturbing event is the realization of what most Iraqis have long feared - that the relative calm in Iraq today would eventually be broken when fighting erupts between these two entities.

The US policy that has led to this recent violence has been long in the making, as it has only been a matter of time before the tenuous truce between the groups came unglued. For it has been a truce built on a deeply corrupt US policy of backing the predominantly Shia Iraqi government forces while paying the Sunni resistance not to fight both government and occupation forces.
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The Theft of Jerusalem: Crime Scene

Israel's Illegal Annexation of East Jerusalem
by Stephen Lendman
So says a confidential EU report revealed on March 7 by The London Guardian's Rory McCarthy.
'The idea is to toughen policies against East Jerusalem Palestinians'
It accuses Israel "of using settlement expansion, house demolitions, discriminatory housing policies and the West Bank (Separation) barrier as a way of 'actively pursuing the illegal annexation' of East Jerusalem." More still, including restrictive permits, "closure of Palestinian institutions," and various other ways to "increase Jewish presence in" the city, "impede Palestinian urban development, and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank" incrementally to annex it.

It says plans are now accelerated and have undermined the Palestinian Authority's (PA) credibility as well as weakened support for peace. It calls "Israel's actions in and around of the most acute challenges to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making (yet) have limited security justifications." In addition, they're illegal.

Israel dismissed the criticisms as "a disinformation campaign" and claimed that "mayor Nir Barkat continues to promote investments in infrastructure, construction and education in East Jerusalem, while at the same time upholding the law throughout West and East Jerusalem equally without bias." Those comments, of course, have no basis in fact nor do any from Israeli officials with regard to Palestinians.
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Ecuador Rising: Indigenous Suits Knock Mining Law

More Lawsuits Against Mining Law
by Accion Ecologica
On Tuesday March 31st, representatives of the Community Water Systems of the rural parishes of Tarqui and Victoria del Portete together with several other communities from the province of Azuay, presented a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court seeking to have the mining law passed in January declared unconstitutional.
This becomes the second legal action of this sort since the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) presented a similar lawsuit on March 17th.
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The Big Three: Economy, Global Climate Change, War on Terror

State of the Nations – The Economy
by Jim MilesCanada
There are several large problems that afflict the globe in a major way today, with the economy being the prime time concern receiving the vast majority of the governmental/corporate/media attention. Global climate change seems to have dropped off the mainstream media’s agenda.
Similarly, the global war on terror is much less in the spotlight, although here in Canada with four recent deaths from IEDs a quick flurry of ‘support the troops sympathy’ and ‘good news from Afghanistan ’ flashed on the screens.
These are the big three: the economy, global climate change, and the war on terror.
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Faith and Epic Crimes

Fake Faith and Epic Crimes
by John Pilger
These are extraordinary times. With the United States and Britain on the verge of bankruptcy and committing to an endless colonial war, pressure is building for their crimes to be prosecuted at a tribunal similar to that which tried the Nazis at Nuremberg. This defined rapacious invasion as "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
International law would be mere farce, said the chief US chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson, "if, in future, we do not apply its principles to ourselves."   

That is now happening. Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and Britain have long had "universal jurisdiction" statutes, which allow their national courts to pursue and prosecute prima facie war criminals. What has changed is an unspoken rule never to use international law against "ourselves," or "our" allies or clients.
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Off the Hook: Justice and Stevens

Justice on Stevens
by Scott Horton
Attorney General Eric Holder has decided that the Justice Department should abandon the corruption conviction secured against former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. The bombshell decision has nothing to do with the merits of the case against Stevens–it stems from a recognition that the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section behaved unethically in the conduct of the case—withholding vital evidence from the defense, among other things. Holder is himself a former Public Integrity prosecutor.
He made the right call in the Stevens case.

In “Public Indecency,” my column in the American Lawyer out today, I survey the growing list of misconduct allegations against the Public Integrity Section. The Stevens prosecution is only one of roughly two dozen cases in which similar charges have been made on a credible level–collectively they make plain that an ethically-challenged “victory at all costs” mentality is now well entrenched there.
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Betrayal of Justice: The Outrageous Case of Sami Al-Arian

Obstruction of Justice
by Chris Hedges
U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema is scheduled to issue a ruling in the Eastern District of Virginia at the end of April in a case that will send a signal to the Muslim world and beyond whether the American judicial system has regained its independence after eight years of flagrant manipulation and intimidation by the Bush administration. Brinkema will decide whether the Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Amin Al-Arian, held for over six years in prison and under house arrest in Virginia since Sept 2, is guilty or innocent of two counts of criminal contempt.

Brinkema’s ruling will have ramifications that will extend far beyond Virginia and the United States. The trial of Al-Arian is a cause célèbre in the Muslim world. A documentary film was made about the case in Europe. He has become the poster child for judicial abuse and persecution of Muslims in the United States by the Bush administration.
The facts surrounding the trial and imprisonment of the former university professor have severely tarnished the integrity of the American judicial system and made the government’s vaunted campaign against terrorism look capricious, inept and overtly racist.
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OBOMB DEM: Bigger and bolder is his mantra
by MNN
The US bailout package just signed by President Barack Obama affects us Indigenous people in a very serious way.  Our water and uranium is vital to develop the nuclear reactors they want so badly.  Shouldn't they be going into alternative energy, less consumption and saving Mother Earth from the masterminds of destruction?  We have the largest supplies of freshwater and uranium in the world on our territories.  And they want this!  

The Nuclear Information and Resource Service stated on January 27th that, "The U.S. Senate snuck in a provision to President Obama's economic stimulus package to give $50 billion for loan guarantees for construction of new nuclear reactors.  This would be on top of the $18.5 billion taxpayer dollars already authorized by Congress during the Bush administration."

Canada and the U.S. are "Dancing with the Stars" on this.  In addition to the $300 million budget already going to the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited AECL, that develops and tests nuclear reactors, the Canadian government has given them an additional $380 million from the recent Canadian bail out.    
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Reviewing Israel's Occupation

Review: Israel’s Occupation: A must read
by Jim Miles
There are many sources of information from websites through newspapers to books that carry significant referenced information about the history and context of the Israel/Palestine problem that, with the support of the U.S. government and the ambitions of the Israelis, has become a global problem.  There is much material that accounts for the misery and suffering and imposition of a military regime on an occupied territory, and it all supports the general idea of an occupied people suffering under the power of an invading military.

Now added to this relatively strong list of materials is Israel’s Occupation, a book that is so well written and presented that it provides a captivating and amazingly powerful read.  It is one that I would describe as a ‘must read’ for anyone – from those already knowledgeable about the situation, to those who are relative newcomers.  Neve Gordon’s description, analysis, and examples are clear, concise, and authoritative (most from Israeli sources).  His arguments and perspectives are fully supported and well sequenced.  While I hesitate to describe any purely academic work as captivating, this work fits.
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The Green Chain: Nothing is Ever Clear Cut!

Nothing is Ever Clear Cut!
by MLY
The battle between loggers and environmentalists is defining, dividing and destroying communities in Canada and around the world. The Green Chain is a powerful, funny and thought-provoking film about the conflicts between people on both sides of the battle who love trees -- and are willing to risk anything to protect their personal visions of the forest.
The Green Chain examines a community and a way of life through a series of riveting inter-linking monologues inspired by the true tales and personalities that define today’s forest.
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Why the Pentagon Can't Put America Back to Work

Is the Next Defense Budget a Stimulus Package? Why the Pentagon Can't Put America Back to Work
by Frida Berrigan
"Shovel-ready." It's the magic incantation to fix our economic woes. Many states and federal agencies have already gone from scouring their budgets for things to cut to green-lighting construction projects. The Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package is sure to muster many shovels in an effort to rouse a despondent economy and put Americans back to work.
Here's the strange thing though: That package was headline news for weeks, bitterly argued over, hailed and derided in equal measure. And yet road construction, housing projects, and green retrofits aren't the only major projects getting the shovel-ready treatment via massive infusions of cash.
At the end of February, another huge "stimulus" package was announced but generated almost no comment, controversy, or argument. The defense industry received its own special stimulus package -- news of the dollars available for the Pentagon budget in 2010; and at nearly $700 billion (when all the bits and pieces are added in), it's almost as big as the Obama economic package and sure to be a lot less effective.
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