Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Iranian Threat?

By Noam Chomsky

June 29 "2010" -- "
ZNet" -- The dire threat of Iran is widely recognized to be the most serious foreign policy crisis facing the Obama administration. Congress has just strengthened the sanctions against Iran, with even more severe penalties against foreign companies. The Obama administration has been rapidly expanding its offensive capacity in the African island of Diego Garcia, claimed by Britain, which had expelled the population so that the US could build the massive base it uses for attacking the Middle East and Central Asia. The Navy reports sending a submarine tender to the island to service nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines with Tomahawk missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads. Each submarine is reported to have the striking power of a typical carrier battle group. According to a US Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 “bunker busters” used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these “massive ordnance penetrators,” the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans, and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran. 

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” according to Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London. “US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he said. “The firepower of US forces has quadrupled since 2003,” accelerating under Obama.

The Arab press reports that an American fleet (with an Israeli vessel) passed through the Suez Canal on the way to the Persian Gulf, where its task is “to implement the sanctions against Iran and supervise the ships going to and from Iran.” British and Israeli media report that Saudi Arabia is providing a corridor for Israeli bombing of Iran (denied by Saudi Arabia). On his return from Afghanistan to reassure NATO allies that the US will stay the course after the replacement of General McChrystal by his superior, General Petraeus, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen visited Israel to meet Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and senior Israeli military staff along with intelligence and planning units, continuing the annual strategic dialogue between Israel and the U.S. in Tel Aviv. The meeting focused “on the preparation by both Israel and the U.S. for the possibility of a nuclear capable Iran,” according to Haaretz, which reports further that Mullen emphasized that “I always try to see challenges from Israeli perspective.” Mullen and Ashkenazi are in regular contact on a secure line.

The increasing threats of military action against Iran are of course in violation of the UN Charter, and in specific violation of Security Council resolution 1887 of September 2009 which reaffirmed the call to all states to resolve disputes related to nuclear issues peacefully, in accordance with the Charter, which bans the use or threat of force.

Some respected analysts describe the Iranian threat in apocalyptic terms. Amitai Etzioni warns that “The U.S. will have to confront Iran or give up the Middle East,” no less. If Iran’s nuclear program proceeds, he asserts, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other states will “move toward” the new Iranian “superpower”; in less fevered rhetoric, a regional alliance might take shape independent of the US. In the US army journal Military Review, Etzioni urges a US attack that targets not only Iran’s nuclear facilities but also its non-nuclear military assets, including infrastructure – meaning, the civilian society. "This kind of military action is akin to sanctions - causing 'pain' in order to change behaviour, albeit by much more powerful means."

Such harrowing pronouncements aside, what exactly is the Iranian threat? An authoritative answer is provided in the April 2010 study of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Military Balance 2010. The brutal clerical regime is doubtless a threat to its own people, though it does not rank particularly high in that respect in comparison to US allies in the region. But that is not what concerns the Institute. Rather, it is concerned with the threat Iran poses to the region and the world.

The study makes it clear that the Iranian threat is not military. Iran’s military spending is “relatively low compared to the rest of the region,” and less than 2% that of the US. Iranian military doctrine is strictly “defensive,… designed to slow an invasion and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities.” Iran has only “a limited capability to project force beyond its borders.” With regard to the nuclear option, “Iran’s nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy.”

Though the Iranian threat is not military, that does not mean that it might be tolerable to Washington. Iranian deterrent capacity is an illegitimate exercise of sovereignty that interferes with US global designs. Specifically, it threatens US control of Middle East energy resources, a high priority of planners since World War II, which yields “substantial control of the world,” one influential figure advised (A. A. Berle).

But Iran’s threat goes beyond deterrence. It is also seeking to expand its influence. As the Institute study formulates the threat, Iran is “destabilizing” the region. US invasion and military occupation of Iran’s neighbors is “stabilization.” Iran’s efforts to extend its influence in neighboring countries is “destabilization,” hence plainly illegitimate. It should be noted that such revealing usage is routine. Thus the prominent foreign policy analyst James Chace, former editor the main establishment journal Foreign Affairs, was properly using the term “stability” in its technical sense when he explained that in order to achieve “stability” in Chile it was necessary to “destabilize” the country (by overthrowing the elected Allende government and installing the Pinochet dictatorship).

Beyond these crimes, Iran is also supporting terrorism, the study continues: by backing Hezbollah and Hamas, the major political forces in Lebanon and in Palestine – if elections matter. The Hezbollah-based coalition handily won the popular vote in Lebanon’s latest (2009) election. Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian election, compelling the US and Israel to institute the harsh and brutal siege of Gaza to punish the miscreants for voting the wrong way in a free election. These have been the only relatively free elections in the Arab world. It is normal for elite opinion to fear the threat of democracy and to act to deter it, but this is a rather striking case, particularly alongside of strong US support for the regional dictatorships, particularly striking with Obama’s strong praise for the brutal Egyptian dictator Mubarak on the way to his famous address to the Muslim world in Cairo.

The terrorist acts attributed to Hamas and Hezbollah pale in comparison to US-Israeli terrorism in the same region, but they are worth a look nevertheless.

On May 25 Lebanon celebrated its national holiday, Liberation Day, commemorating Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon after 22 years, as a result of Hezbollah resistance – described by Israeli authorities as “Iranian aggression” against Israel in Israeli-occupied Lebanon (Ephraim Sneh). That too is normal imperial usage. Thus President John F. Kennedy condemned the “the assault from the inside, and which is manipulated from the North.” The assault by the South Vietnamese resistance against Kennedy’s bombers, chemical warfare, driving peasants to virtual concentration camps, and other such benign measures was denounced as “internal aggression” by Kennedy’s UN Ambassador, liberal hero Adlai Stevenson. North Vietnamese support for their countrymen in the US-occupied South is aggression, intolerable interference with Washington’s righteous mission. Kennedy advisors Arthur Schlesinger and Theodore Sorenson, considered doves, also praised Washington’s intervention to reverse “aggression” in South Vietnam – by the indigenous resistance, as they knew, at least if they read US intelligence reports. In 1955 the US Joint Chiefs of Staff defined several types of “aggression,” including “Aggression other than armed, i.e., political warfare, or subversion.” For example, an internal uprising against a US-imposed police state, or elections that come out the wrong way. The usage is also common in scholarship and political commentary, and makes sense on the prevailing assumption that We Own the World.

Hamas resists Israel’s military occupation and its illegal and violent actions in the occupied territories. It is accused of refusing to recognize Israel (political parties do not recognize states). In contrast, the US and Israel not only do not recognize Palestine, but have been acting for decades to ensure that it can never come into existence in any meaningful form; the governing party in Israel, in its 1999 campaign platform, bars the existence of any Palestinian state.

Hamas is charged with rocketing Israeli settlements on the border, criminal acts no doubt, though a fraction of Israel’s violence in Gaza, let alone elsewhere. It is important to bear in mind, in this connection, that the US and Israel know exactly how to terminate the terror that they deplore with such passion. Israel officially concedes that there were no Hamas rockets as long as Israel partially observed a truce with Hamas in 2008. Israel rejected Hamas’s offer to renew the truce, preferring to launch the murderous and destructive Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in December 2008, with full US backing, an exploit of murderous aggression without the slightest credible pretext on either legal or moral grounds.

The model for democracy in the Muslim world, despite serious flaws, is Turkey, which has relatively free elections, and has also been subject to harsh criticism in the US. The most extreme case was when the government followed the position of 95% of the population and refused to join in the invasion of Iraq, eliciting harsh condemnation from Washington for its failure to comprehend how a democratic government should behave: under our concept of democracy, the voice of the Master determines policy, not the near-unanimous voice of the population.

The Obama administration was once again incensed when Turkey joined with Brazil in arranging a deal with Iran to restrict its enrichment of uranium. Obama had praised the initiative in a letter to Brazil’s president Lula da Silva, apparently on the assumption that it would fail and provide a propaganda weapon against Iran. When it succeeded, the US was furious, and quickly undermined it by ramming through a Security Council resolution with new sanctions against Iran that were so meaningless that China cheerfully joined at once – recognizing that at most the sanctions would impede Western interests in competing with China for Iran’s resources. Once again, Washington acted forthrightly to ensure that others would not interfere with US control of the region.

Not surprisingly, Turkey (along with Brazil) voted against the US sanctions motion in the Security Council. The other regional member, Lebanon, abstained. These actions aroused further consternation in Washington. Philip Gordon, the Obama administration's top diplomat on European affairs, warned Turkey that its actions are not understood in the US and that it must “demonstrate its commitment to partnership with the West,” AP reported, “a rare admonishment of a crucial NATO ally.”

The political class understands as well. Steven A. Cook, a scholar with the Council on Foreign Relations, observed that the critical question now is "How do we keep the Turks in their lane?" – following orders like good democrats. A New York Times headline captured the general mood: “Iran Deal Seen as Spot on Brazilian Leader’s Legacy.” In brief, do what we say, or else.

There is no indication that other countries in the region favor US sanctions any more than Turkey does. On Iran’s opposite border, for example, Pakistan and Iran, meeting in Turkey, recently signed an agreement for a new pipeline. Even more worrisome for the US is that the pipeline might extend to India. The 2008 US treaty with India supporting its nuclear programs – and indirectly its nuclear weapons programs -- was intended to stop India from joining the pipeline, according to Moeed Yusuf, a South Asia adviser to the United States Institute of Peace, expressing a common interpretation. India and Pakistan are two of the three nuclear powers that have refused to sign the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), the third being Israel. All have developed nuclear weapons with US support, and still do.

No sane person wants Iran to develop nuclear weapons; or anyone. One obvious way to mitigate or eliminate this threat is to establish a NFWZ in the Middle East. The issue arose (again) at the NPT conference at United Nations headquarters in early May 2010. Egypt, as chair of the 118 nations of the Non-Aligned Movement, proposed that the conference back a plan calling for the start of negotiations in 2011 on a Middle East NWFZ, as had been agreed by the West, including the US, at the 1995 review conference on the NPT.

Washington still formally agrees, but insists that Israel be exempted – and has given no hint of allowing such provisions to apply to itself. The time is not yet ripe for creating the zone, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated at the NPT conference, while Washington insisted that no proposal can be accepted that calls for Israel's nuclear program to be placed under the auspices of the IAEA or that calls on signers of the NPT, specifically Washington, to release information about “Israeli nuclear facilities and activities, including information pertaining to previous nuclear transfers to Israel.” Obama’s technique of evasion is to adopt Israel’s position that any such proposal must be conditional on a comprehensive peace settlement, which the US can delay indefinitely, as it has been doing for 35 years, with rare and temporary exceptions.

At the same time, Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, asked foreign ministers of its 151 member states to share views on how to implement a resolution demanding that Israel "accede to” the NPT and throw its nuclear facilities open to IAEA oversight, AP reported.

It is rarely noted that the US and UK have a special responsibility to work to establish a Middle East NWFZ. In attempting to provide a thin legal cover for their invasion of the Iraq in 2003, they appealed to Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), which called on Iraq to terminate its development of weapons of mass destruction. The US and UK claimed that they had not done so. We need not tarry on the excuse, but that Resolution commits its signers to move to establish a NWFZ in the Middle East.

Parenthetically, we may add that US insistence on maintaining nuclear facilities in Diego Garcia undermines the nuclear-free weapons zone (NFWZ) established by the African Union, just as Washington continues to block a Pacific NFWZ by excluding its Pacific dependencies.

Obama’s rhetorical commitment to non-proliferation has received much praise, even a Nobel peace prize. One practical step in this direction is establishment of NFWZs. Another is withdrawing support for the nuclear programs of the three non-signers of the NPT. As often, rhetoric and actions are hardly aligned, in fact are in direct contradiction in this case, facts that pass with little attention.

Instead of taking practical steps towards reducing the truly dire threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, the US must take major steps towards reinforcing US control of the vital Middle East oil-producing regions, by violence if other means do not succeed. That is understandable and even reasonable, under prevailing imperial doctrine.

There is nothing civil about civil wars!

NYT Slams Oliver Stone's South of the Border


Look out: the gloves are off and as usual the New York Times is determined to destroy Hollywood filmmaker Oliver Stone.  On Friday, the paper published not one but two critical articles about the director’s latest documentary, South of the Border, about the tectonic political changes occurring in South America.  Stone, who is known for such popular hits as Wall Street and Platoon, made his film based on interviews with such leaders as Raul Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.  In his movie, Stone takes the New York Times and the mainstream media to task for their shoddy coverage of Latin America and demonization of Hugo Chávez, someone who Stone openly sympathizes with.
Going for a knockout, the Times hit Stone with a one-two punch.  First up was film critic Steven Holden, who in a rather sarcastic review called South of the Border “shallow” and “naïvely idealistic.”  Unusually, the Times then continued its hatchet job on Stone by publishing another lengthy article in its movie section, this time penned by veteran Latin America correspondent Larry Rohter.  In his piece, Rohter accuses Stone of numerous mistakes, misstatements and missing details.  I don’t think the points which Rohter raises are terribly earth-shattering, though I imagine script writers Tariq Ali and Marc Weisbrot will respond in short order.
For me, the wider point here has to do with political agendas.  At one point, Rohter takes Stone to task for not disclosing the various biases of his sources.  In his film, Stone relies on commentary from leftist observers of Venezuela, including Greg Wilpert, a longtime editor of, a web site providing sympathetic coverage of the Chávez government.  The site was set up with donations from the Venezuelan government and Wilpert’s wife is Chávez’s consul-general in New York [as long as we are talking disclosure: before it became, in my view, too identified with the Chávez government I personally wrote many articles for the site].
Rohter Does Venezuela
Rohter’s point is fair enough, but he is hypocritical for not disclosing his own particular bias.  Far from a removed film critic, Rohter is an establishment reporter with a political axe to grind against the South American left.  In 1998, when Chávez was first elected, the journalist described the political shakeup thusly: “All across Latin America, presidents and party leaders are looking over their shoulders. With his landslide victory in Venezuela’s presidential election on December 6, Hugo Chávez has revived an all-too-familiar specter that the region’s ruling elite thought they had safely interred: that of the populist demagogue, the authoritarian man on horseback known as the caudillo.”
Four years later in April, 2002 Santiago-based Rohter expressed satisfaction over Chávez’s forcible removal by the Venezuelan opposition.  “Chávez was a left-wing populist doomed by habitual recklessness,” Rohter wrote, adding that the Venezuelan leader’s fall could not “be classified as a conventional Latin American military coup.”

Later, when Chávez was returned to power and the short-lived coup government discredited, Rohter reversed himself and actually used the word “coup” in a story about recent political developments in Venezuela.  If his readers had any doubts about the true intentions of the Bush administration, Rohter assured them that “there were no obvious American fingerprints on the plot that unseated Mr. Chávez.”
Three years later, Rohter was at it again, this time writing that Chávez was “stridently anti-American.”  Chávez on the other hand said it wasn’t true, arguing that reporters were confusing his distaste for the Bush administration with anti-Americanism.  In its magazine Extra!, media watchdog group FAIR shrewdly wrote “If dislike for the current administration is anti-American, doesn’t that make tens of millions of Americans ‘anti-American’?  Moreover, by the media logic that calls Chávez ‘anti-American,’ shouldn’t the Bush administration, whose distaste for Chávez moved it to support his ouster by an anti-democratic coup, be called ‘anti-Venezuelan?’”

New York Times Correspondent: From Colombia to Brazil
In his film, Stone points out that the mainstream media has, more often than not, demonized Chávez while giving a pass to horrible human rights violations committed in neighboring Colombia, a key U.S. ally in the region.  In his attack on South of the Border, Rohter doesn’t address that allegation squarely, but continues to hark on human rights violations in Venezuela.  What Rohter fails to disclose however is that he has provided sympathetic coverage to right wing paramilitaries in Colombia.
Indeed, as FAIR’s Extra! noted in its May/June 2000 edition, “when Carlos Castaño, leader of the Colombian United Self-Defense, the most notorious paramilitary group in Colombia, appeared on Colombian television and revealed the extent to which his own group was involved in the drug business, it hardly merited a passing word in the U.S. media. The New York Times’ Larry Rohter wrote a story about Castaño’s “grilling” on Colombian TV (3/12/00) that skirted the drug issue altogether.”
FAIR goes on to note, “Rohter’s report stands in stark contrast to a Reuters story about the same appearance (3/2/00), which lead with the admission: ‘The leader of Colombia's right-wing paramilitary death squads has publicly admitted the drug trade finances most of the bloodletting committed by his ruthless militia force.’ Castaño also explained that ‘drug trafficking and drug traffickers probably finance 70 percent’ of his total operations, another fact that the New York Times apparently found less important than the opinions of a waitress and a local magazine columnist, who felt that Castaño had undergone a ‘surprising metamorphosis.’ If Castaño’s intent was to present a ‘human’ face to the world, the New York Times at least seemed happy to help.”
Perhaps, Rohter was also irked by Stone’s sympathetic portrait of Brazilian leader and Chávez ally Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.  In an explosive 2004 article, Rohter suggested that Lula had a drinking problem, and that the issue had become a “national concern” in Brazil.  In a furor, the authorities suspended Rohter’s visa.  When Rohter’s lawyers wrote a letter asserting that the reporter meant no offense, the Brazilian authorities restored the visa.
Brazilian media stood up for Rohter’s right to write, but was uniformly critical of the Times’ article.  Speaking with NPR’s Bob Garfield, Brazilian journalist Antonio Brasil remarked “One thing is to say anything about a president…and his possible drinking habits. It's another thing when he says that the Brazilians were concerned... Most people say that was not…true. His sources and evaluation in terms of putting together the story would represent…sloppy journalism.”
Brasil added, “You cannot forget that this is a completely new government. In Brazil this is a Socialist…government for the very first time. Lula is from the Worker's Party, and they are very sensitive of any comment, especially coming from America.”  In response, Garfield asked Brasil how local journalists could conflate the interests of the U.S. government with the New York Times.  “You have to think [about] the whole situation of embedded journalists,” Brasil said.  The journalist added that he was concerned about the Jayson Blair scandal at the Times, remarking that “maybe the standards are not…high.”
Perhaps, the Times is simply hitting back at Stone in a tit-for-tat.  In South of the Border, the Hollywood director interviews a Times editor who admits to the paper’s lackluster coverage of Venezuela.  I wondered how Stone got the Times man to talk on camera, and whether there was ever an official or explicit line about how to cover the Chávez story.  Whatever the case, the paper’s old Latin American hand Rohter certainly got the word: then as now.
Nikolas Kozloff is the author of No Rain in the Amazon: How South America’s Climate Change Affects the Entire Planet (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010) and Revolution!: South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008).

There is nothing civil about civil wars!

Spill Not B.P.s fault; It's God's Punishment, Again.


The oil spill is ‘partly the result of greed, debauchery on the beaches, poor environmental stewardship and a lack of U.S. support for Israel,’ says traveling "prophet" Cindy Jones.    

People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch recently pointed out that amongst some conservative evangelical Christians the notion that “the BP oil spill is God's punishment for our failure to properly support Israel is becoming an increasingly accepted explanation.”* Others claim that “debauchery on the beaches,” is one possible cause of the oil spill. And many think of it as a warning from on high. As unhinged as any of this might sound – especially the logical extension that God is working his grace through the boardroom at BP – in these times it is not an uncommon religious thread. After all, we are not that far removed from the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s post-911 diatribe blaming all things liberal for the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and Pastor John Hagee’s claim that Hurricane Katrina was God’s retribution for the Big Easy’s easiness.

For some, the only way out of this mess and the only thing that will stop BP’s oil from continuing to gush into the Gulf of Mexico is prayer. That’s why on Sunday, June 27, people in the Gulf States came together for “a day of prayer for the regions affected by the oil spill that has sent millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico,” reported during the run-up to Sunday’s events.

Last week, the governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and the Lt. Governor of Florida “Issued proclamations … calling their citizens to pray for a solution that stops the leak and for the recovery of the coastline and the fish and wildlife industries devastated by the April 20 BP oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers.”

"Throughout our history, Alabamians have humbly turned to God to ask for His blessings and to hold us steady during times of struggle," Alabama Gov. Bob Riley stated in a proclamation issued Wednesday. "This is certainly one of those times."

While Sunday’s day of prayer was not a full-blown national effort, the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), and the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council urged their supporters to participate.

FFPC’s president John Stemberger said that he wanted to “encourage the church to not knee-jerk and think about this as some kind of environmental issue that they should not have any interest in." He then maintained that the oil spill, the most massive in American history, “is clearly a stewardship issue. All Christians need to be concerned about this. We need to be praying for the families of the men who were killed in the explosion, be praying for the government and the private sector initiatives trying to stop this [leak]."

Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of the U.S. Reformation Prayer Network, told that her network has been praying since the spill occurred in April: "Our prayer network all along the Gulf is fervently praying.”

In an earlier online message Jacobs wrote that she believed only God could stop the leak. "There is no help for this nation apart from God," Jones wrote on June 3. "We must cry out for God to plug the oil well in the Gulf for He's the only one that can do it! And He'll only do it when the church cries out."

According to Jacobs’ Generals International (originally founded as Generals of Intercession) website – “Achieving Social Transformation Through Intercession and the Prophetic” – she “is a respected prophet who travels the world ministering not only to crowds of people, but to heads of nations.” Jacobs is the author of a number of books including Deliver Us From Evil, her 2001 book that “explores how Occult influences march freely across the American landscape today. From Pokemon cards and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Marilyn Manson and psychic hotlines, this nation is under siege.”

Right Wing Watch recently pointed out that Jacobs’ group, Generals International, “is not some fringe group, but is actually a member of the Freedom Federation, the right-wing super-coalition that includes the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Liberty Counsel, Traditional Values Coalition, Wallbuilders and dozens of others.”

In the money graph of’s piece -- quite reminiscent of Jerry Falwell’s blaming the gays, the pro-choice community, ACLU and a host of other liberal entities for the 911 attack – the evangelical magazine reported that “Jacobs believes the oil spill is more than a natural disaster [my italics] but partly the result of greed, debauchery on the beaches, poor environmental stewardship and a lack of U.S. support for Israel [my italics] — all issues her network has been repenting of since the leak began.”

"Whenever there's violent weather or some things like this, you have to ask if it's just a natural disaster or if you're reaping something that's been sown," she said. "We feel this is a cumulative thing."

As many Jacobs watchers have pointed out, she is no stranger to both conservative political stands – she opposes the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court – and personal wackiness.  According to the Herescope blog, “On June 16, 2010 Cindy Jacobs … issued a political statement, an ‘Urgent Call to Prayer Concerning California's Proposition 8 and Defense Of Marriage Act.’ Written on the letterhead of her ‘United States Reformation Prayer Network’ it has all of the hallmarks of a political action alert. This is a major first for the woman who has been associated with all sorts of strange doctrines and wacky practices. By taking a political position on these high-profile issues Jacobs is obviously attempting to enter the Christian Right mainstream as an ally.” also reported that in a recent conference call, prophetic minister Chuck Pierce of Glory of Zion Ministries agreed with Jacobs’ assessment. "I really cannot see how we're going to move in and contain what's happening right now. Something's got to come deeper and stir the waters to cleanse the waters," he continued. "And I think God is saying that same word to us: You're going to have to have a deeper move in you as My people to cleanse in places that you have allowed an unclean spirit to come in and overtake you."

According to, “Jacobs points particularly to President Obama's treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited the White House in March. Netanyahu reportedly was scolded for proceeding with plans to build in disputed areas of east Jerusalem and denied a photo op, press conference and other trappings of visits from heads of state.”

"We can't say that's all the reason why, but certainly I believe we need to come into some repentance," she said. Jacobs notes that the last point of Second Chronicles 7:14 is that if God's people pray, He will heal the land. "This is the same God that caused all the plagues of Egypt to go in a night," Jacobs said. "He's no different today. He can do what we cannot do in miraculous ways."

When did the BP oil catastrophe – a monumental oil spill that apparently came about because BP, and by extension federal regulatory agencies, did not pay enough attention to putting thorough safety procedures in place before they started deep-water drilling – go from a man-made disaster to a natural disaster? When did the horrifically short-sighted decision-making by BP executives – mostly very wealthy men concerned about the “small people” – became as natural a disaster as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes? And when did President Obama go from someone, who, while perhaps not taking the correct trajectory to dealing with this crisis, to someone who caused the crisis by supposedly chillying the relationship with Netanyahu and Israel?

What do conservative evangelical Christians mean by stewardship over the earth? And why do they oh so often side with big corporations over the “small people?”

And what, in heaven’s name does Cindy Jacobs mean by “debauchery on the beaches?” Thanks to BP there will be a lot less “debauchery on the beaches” – not to mention kids playing and folks just plain hanging out – on Gulf beaches for quite some time to come.

Evidently, according to, it was WallBuilders’ founder David Barton “who drafted the prayer day proclamations for the governors to adapt,” reported.

* For more on this, see “Is oil catastrophe fulfillment of Genesis prophecy?: Video suggests biblical tie with U.S. treatment of Israel, rig explosion at WorldNetDaily.”

There is nothing civil about civil wars!

Is There anyone who does not already know this?

You Are Being Tracked

Cell phones are synonymous with life in the 21st Century. They do everything — display maps, send email, play games and music. They also do one other thing — track you.

Every seven seconds, your cell phone automatically scans for the nearest cell tower which can pinpoint your location as accurately as within 50 meters. A GPS chip in your phone can reveal your location within a few yards. In just one year, Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with the specific whereabouts of an unknown number of customers more than 8 million times. They required law enforcement to provide neither a warrant nor probable cause to access this information. Sprint even set up a website for law enforcement agents so they could access these records from the comfort of their desks. "The tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement," said Sprint’s “manager of electronic surveillance.” I bet it has.

Law enforcement agents have been using location information to surveil Americans since the 1990’s, but we still have no consistent legal standard for when they can gain access to this information. The government has sought access to records through sealed (secret) court proceedings, and chooses not to appeal decisions that might give higher courts an opportunity to establish a warrant standard for accessing location records.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing to discuss an update to the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA), the law that is meant to maintain American’s privacy online. Most Members in attendance agreed that advances in technology demand an update to ECPA. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) acknowledged that ECPA was passed when the only options for location information were road atlases and gas stations. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the committee, explained that the courts are in “disarray and understandably so” due to the lack of clarity in the current law.

Almost every American carries a cell phone, yet few think about the information these devices are collecting and storing. Whether you are visiting a therapist or liquor store, a church or a gun range, your location is available either in real time or months later. The ACLU is asking Congress to require government officials to obtain a warrant before access is granted to any of those electronic records, just as they have always had to do for similarly sensitive personal information. For Americans to maintain the robust privacy protections they expect offline, Congress must act to update ECPA.

Take action to upgrade your rights on line here.

The statement the ACLU submitted to the hearing can be found here.

There is nothing civil about civil wars!

A Good Letter to the DNC


A Letter To The White House:   C'mon White House...and Democrats--Get With It Already!
Just new...Republicans Block Homeless Vets Assistance!  What??? 
Add that to the other recent heart-warming Republican stories (i.e. Republicans Block

Unemployment Benefits, Republicans Want to Raise Retirement Age to 70, etc.) and you've got a blockbuster 2011 (and possibly 2012) platform.

I don't understand why the White House and Democratic leadership seem so impotent on getting the message out about what the Republicans are doing. 

Republicans are going merrily along with their agenda making ill-informed Americans think that they are out there fighting against the "establishment" for them while Democrats are getting hammered in the polls because the message is NOT getting out that the Republicans are systematically sabotaging our nation's economic recovery in order to sink the Democrats and the White House. Pretty much every vote that's taken in Congress proves it...period!

They don't think you have the guts to say it out loud and you should prove them wrong!
People are blaming Democrats and the President for all their woes not understanding that Republicans are mostly helping to facilitate alot of those woes.

If Democrats were doing this with a Republican President, Republicans would be on every news channel and writing op-eds in every major newspaper and blog about it. George Bush would have had a press conference about it and Newt Gingrich would have cancelled every holiday vacation in Congress over it.

Remember that phrase, "Good Guys Finish Last"?...well, that's you in 2010 and possibly 2012 if you don't get off your duffs and put together an 'effective' message machine to get this information out to the American!

We're counting on you! Please take off the gloves and fight for us like you said you would...or at least take off the blinders!

Respectfully-   Dee Evans

There is nothing civil about civil wars!