Reichstag II

Liberals, Bush Unite in Ethnic Cleansing of Iraq

By Chris FloydThe number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves…The effect of this vast migration is to drain religiously mixed areas in the center of Iraq, sending Shiite refugees toward the overwhelmingly Shiite areas to the south and Sunnis toward majority Sunni regions to the west and north.

It is now obvious that one impetus behind the “surge” was to accelerate the “ethnic cleansing” of Iraq. Given the manifest failure to establish a strong central government to serve as a client state, the conquerors now find it easier to deal with separate ethnic enclaves, which can police themselves, shake out their own internal conflicts (however bloodily) and thus establish some kind of solid leadership that can cut deals and guarantee investments. Most of the measures taken during the “surge” seem aimed precisely at ethnic cleansing: the increased support of the Iraqi government security forces — which are largely Shiite militias — has been matched with what some see as the lunatic policy of arming Sunni militias.

The latter is indeed a lunatic policy — if your aim is to establish security and political rapprochement in Iraq. And although the leaders of the United States are indeed a gang of depraved moral idiots, they are not lunatics. Even they could see the folly of such a course — again, if the aim was actually security and political cohesion. Thus one can only conclude that this is not their aim, that their aim is indeed to exacerbate ethnic conflict, to foment more violence, in what amounts to a stealth operation of ethnic cleansing.

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Iraq privatizes

Iraq seeks joint ventures

By Steve Negus, Iraq Correspondent
Published: August 29 2007 22:39 | Last updated: August 29 2007 22:39

Iraq’s ministry of industry and minerals would open up all 65 of its state-owned enterprises to joint ventures with international investors by the end of the year, the minister said on Wednesday.

“We have 65 facilities under our banner and all of them will be made available for joint ventures,” Fawzi Hariri told the Financial Times on Wednesday. He was speaking at a conference in Dubai on investment opportunities in Iraq.

Attracting foreign investment is seen as vital to the reconstruction of the economy, to creating employment and, the government hopes, to reducing sectarian violence.

Mr Hariri said that the ministry was already involved in discussions on investing in cement companies in the southern provinces of Karbala and Muthanna, in the northern governorate of Kirkuk and in the far-western district of al-Qaem on the Syrian border.

It has spoken to the French-owned Lafarge group and Egypt’s Orascom. Mr Hariri said on Wednesday that he also hoped to attract Mitsubishi from Japan, Dow Chemicals from the US and other companies to the ministry’s portfolio of petrochemical and heavy industry interests.

Bush Puts Iran in Crosshairs

By Ray McGovern
Not another warning about war with Iran! Well, suck it up. President George W. Bush’s speech Tuesday makes clear his plan to attack Iran, and how the intelligence, as was the case before the attack on Iraq, is being “fixed around the policy.

It’s not about putative Iranian “weapons of mass destruction” – not even ostensibly. It is about the requirement for a scapegoat for U.S. reverses in Iraq, and the felt need to create a casus belli by provoking Iran in such a way as to “justify” armed retaliation – perhaps extending to an attempt to destroy its nuclear-related facilities.

Bush’s Aug. 28 speech to the American Legion came five years after a very similar presentation by Vice President Dick Cheney. Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 26, 2002, Cheney set the meretricious terms of reference for war on Iraq.

Sitting on the same stage that evening was former CENTCOM commander Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, who was being honored at the VFW convention. Zinni later said he was shocked to hear a depiction of intelligence (Iraq has WMD and is amassing them to use against us) that did not square with what he knew. Although Zinni had retired two years before, his role as consultant had enabled him to stay up to date on key intelligence findings.

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The Frightening Future in the Market Meltdown

by Robert Freeman

For the better part of a year every senior government official involved with the economy, from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to Treasure Secretary Henry Paulson, has said that the bursting housing bubble and the sub-prime mortgage meltdown were “contained.” This, we now know, was the financial equivalent of “Mission Accomplished.” If only reality could be managed forever with sound bites.

The question now is not whether the problem is contained but how damaging will be the fallout. Not whether the contagion will infect other sectors of the economy, but how badly. Not whether other economies will be dragged into the maelstrom, but how many and how deeply. And the most important question, where’s the bottom?

The easy truth is that nobody knows the precise answer to these questions. The harder truth is that things will get a lot worse before they get better and that the bottom will be much lower than official posturing now dares reveal.

The problem with the market today has two roots. The first one is intrinsic to the market itself. The second is part of the larger economic context in which the market operates.

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NAFTA: The Silent Corporate Takeover of U.S. and Neighbors

Laura Carlsen | May 23, 2007

The North American Free Trade Agreement is the world’s most advanced example of the U.S.-led free trade model. It’s not just about economics any more. The expansion of NAFTA into the Security and Prosperity Partnership reveals the road ahead for other nations entering into free trade agreements. It is not a road most nations — or the U.S. public — would take if they knew where it led. The first problem is that very few people know about this next step of “deep integration.” In March 2005, Presidents George Bush, Vicente Fox and Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Texas launched the Security and Prosperity Partnership with a splash. Although it had few visible results, the Waco meeting of the “Three Amigos” set into motion an underground process that spawned its own working groups, rules, recommendations, and agreements — all below the radar of the legislatures and the public in the three nations. These rules and trinational programs have profound effect on the environment, the daily lives of citizens, and the future of all three countries.The SPP not only further greases the wheels of corporate cooperation and potentially increases U.S. access to Mexican oil. Its security component represents a new and ominous form of integration, all in the name of counter-terrorism.

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Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade

Every year, the major business magazines put out their annual surveys of big business in America.

You have the Fortune 500, the Forbes 400, the Forbes Platinum 100, the International 800 — among others.

These lists rank big corporations by sales, assets, profits and market share. The point of these surveys is simple — to identify and glorify the biggest and most profitable corporations.

The point of the list contained in this report, The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade — is to focus public attention on a wave of corporate criminality that has swamped prosecutors offices around the country.

This is the dark underside of the marketplace that is given little sustained attention and analysis by politicians and news outlets.

To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s, we used the most narrow and conservative of definitions — corporations that have pled guilty or no contest to crimes and have been criminally fined.

The 100 corporate criminals fell into 14 categories of crime: Environmental (38), antitrust (20), fraud (13), campaign finance (7), food and drug (6), financial crimes (4), false statements (3), illegal exports (3), illegal boycott (1), worker death (1), bribery (1), obstruction of justice (1) public corruption (1), and tax evasion (1).

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