5 thoughts on “Stephen Zunes ; making sense again

  • I’m sorry man…I don’t when that will happen. It’s an evil conspiracy to hide the truth.

    Dude…I’ve never even heard of the guy till now. Have you referred to him before and it was studiously ignored?

  • Yep, I believe our actions do not fully reflect what we are preaching. For example, we give money to warring countries (factions today, since many conflicts are not fought between states). I say, if we have an issue with one or both of them, cut them off completely. All we are doing is adding to the fire.

    I remember remarks about Palestinians, saying that they don’t get their “fair share” of (monetary) support (in relation to the Isrealis). I say pick a side, go with it and cut the other one off. If you disagree with both, cut them both off. Forget the namsy pansy stuff!

    As far as the opinion that all Bush wants is killing Iraqis. Take your blinders off…there are much more effective ways of doing that than what we are currently doing. Rubbish. Unless your military expertise leads you to believe that the best way to kill someone is sending your ground military (I thought Isreal proved that it could kill more Lebanese with an air raid).

  • I gotta tell you how much I love sarcasm in the place of an actual argument ….

    As far as Emily’s comments, the US taxpayers, whether they desire to or not, gives an annual allotment of $5,000,000,000 to Israel, $3,000,000,000 of which is free money (at our expense) and $2,000,000,000 is in loan guarantees. Before the US congress decided to freeze Palestinian aid (a move which was criticized by Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel by the way) because the Palestinians decided to vote the wrong way in a free election, was receiving $50,000,000 in US aid per year. Do you want me to give you a simple percentage of these figures? It’s 1%, and if you somehow argue that the aid situation is equitable, then you are goofy.

    And the US aid to Israel ( which constitutes 40% of all foreign aid ) , a country with 5.5 million people which must, by law, convert their US aid to military hardware, has made the Middle East an un-safe place, has given Israel a carte blanche to do what it wants to the lands it ILLEGALLY occupies , like the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Sheba Farms, and the Gaza, which I mention because even though Israel offically “disengaged” from the Gaza, Israel still commits war crimes on a daily basis there.

    In the past 39 years , Israel has defied more UN security council resolutions and more UN General Assembly resolutions than Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Libya combined ….

    What say you to that?

    The awful double-standard of UN resolutions, the awful double-standard to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the awful double-standard on “terrorism” has given the US-Israel duo a smeared image in the whole world, and rightfully so.

    And yet, through it all, it is easy to find Americans who cling to their pitiful illusions, believing sadly the propagandistic rhetoric that the US is free, and democratic, and noble.

    The historical record says something quite different, and until all Americans decide to take back the country that our revolutionary forefathers fought a war for, and until all Americans decide to hold this special-interest-dominated system of political representation accountable o the standards set forth in the US Constitution, the USA is dead, and will remain so until Americans wake the hell up.

  • Scotty, sorry for not being a bit more clear and thereby allowing you miss my point. I knew that you would be able to recite the US “aid” to Country “X”. Thank you. My point is that we give aid to too many people. The inequity is stupid. Giving two warring countries (or entities) each $500 is as equitable as giving them each $0. I’m leaning more on the side of isolationists here. I think it’s chicken @#%! to gripe about who’s getting more money than another country…cut them both off.

    Personally, I’d like more of a say as to where my tax monies go to “aid” one country or another. Just as I wish I had more say about which “programs” my tax dollars help fund. I cringe when I get reminded that “US taxpayers, whether they desire to or not, gives an annual allotment” to any country. Tax reform…guess it’s just easier to say that the tax system needs to be reformed than to actually do it.

    But then again, it’s also easier to gripe about one country getting more allotments than another country than to offer up a suggestion. Why do you think Israel pays Palestine a stipend of $40-50 million per month ($480-600M per year)? Compare the Isreali money comes from a population of 5.5M people and the EU population of 450M offers just 15% more in aid to the Palestinians. As far as amount of aid per person, Israel comes out shining. Also, just read on Aljazeera.net that US this year plans on giving $230M this year to Palestinians, not $50M.

    “In the past 39 years , Israel has defied more UN security council resolutions and more UN General Assembly resolutions than Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Libya combined ….” So does that make then worse? If you’re using this stat to make the case that they are worse than the other guys, that’s pretty weak. If you’re making the point that the UN is ineffective, I agree with you.

    As far as Sheba Farms is concerned, Israel left the region in 2000. What is interesting is that in the same year, Hesbolah said that they would fight Israel, because they were in the Sheba Farms area, which they claimed is a Lebanese territory. This is the first time that Lebanese claimed the territory, even though since the early 1900’s the Lebanese and Syrians (through joint committee) agreed that the area was Syrian (loosely agree, because neither party officially determined mutual borders). Funny that it was originally deemed to be Syrian by the French and English, not by the Syrians at all. Even up until 2000, Lebanon and Syria never truly determined and marked their border. Even though Syria controlled the land, the landowners considered themselves to be Lebanese. Hezbollah is claiming this now to serve their anti-Israeli goals. Resolution 242 was the first resolution to tell the Israelis to get out, which they finally did. It also directed Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Israel to recognize each other, which to this day has not happened. The Sheba Farms fiasco was/is pretty messed up. Sorry, I haven’t done my research on the other cited “illegal” occupations.

    As far as non-proliferation goes, I suggest the book, “The War Business” by George Thayer, 1969.

    “And yet, through it all, it is easy to find Americans who cling to their pitiful illusions, believing sadly the propagandistic rhetoric that the US is free, and democratic, and noble.” I do believe that the ideals that this country was founded on are noble and I cherish my democracy. I wouldn’t consider the people who run the govt to be noble. It’s the people who make it imperfect; that’s consistent everywhere. However, the goal to “form a more perfect union” is a noble one, the concept of making oneself or his/her endeavors better.

    To your last paragraph, I say AMEN.

  • hey emily

    glad to see an actual argument being made.

    in the early 1900’s the US was basically isolationist. in the year 2006, it is hard to be completely isolationist. but i think that the role of us aid needs to be re-thought.

    you made some good comments in regards to that.

    you did have several inaccuracies in your last response though :

    the congress suspended ALL aid to the palestinians in the spring, a move which promoted criticism from even ehud olmert, the israeli prime minister. i watched the vote count on cspan, and it was quite lopsided.

    the move was done by congress to punish the palsetinians for voting hamas into power. so right now, the palestinians are getting nothing from the US, and that partially explains the humanitarian disaster in the gaza. also, the monthly payments by israel to the palestinian authority have been withheld as well, due to the election of hamas, and thousands of palestinians, police officers, hospital workers etc have not had any form of income for some time now.

    if you want the sources for this info just let me know and i will email you or post them on the blogsite.

    next, sheba farms were NOT abandoned when israel left lebanon in 2000. that is false. the continued occupation of sheba farms has been one of the biggest sources of friction between israel and lebanon or israel and hezbollah since the 2000 exit by the IDF.

    now your comments on tax reform are right on point with me. i think americans should firmly understand how their hard-earned dollars are being used. officially, 8% of personal income taxes are paying interest on the debt. some researchers have, through their own findings, have estimated that 40% of personal income tax accounts for the interest on the debt.

    we recently passed 8.5 trillion in debt, and in 2005, the US paid 387 billion in interest on the debt, and it is estimated to go over 500 billion this year, and will never get paid due to the exponential nature of its increase.

    in 1930, corporations accounted for 30% of federal income with their paid taxes. in 1999, even though the number of corporations and their profit margins have exploded since 1930, corporations accounted for 9% of federal income, while joe q public’s tax burden has increased dramatically.

    in 2006, that number has shrunk to 7% for corporations and personal income taxes by everyday americans has swollen to 43%. that data is current.

    that is inherently unjust.

    the big picture is that income tax legislation and the federal reserve act were passed in the same year, 1913. after passing the federal reserve act, wilson admitted later that he had “unwittingly ruined my country”

    the federal reserve system is a group of international banks, and is about as “federal” as federal express. without having an personal income tax to pay the interest, which goes to this group of international banks, there could be no such system.

    the Constitution says clearly Congress is the only institution granted the power to print currency and regulate its value , and since 1913, that power has belonged to wealhy international european banks.
    if you want the list of the original members, i will be glad to supply them, or you can just google them.

    the flip side is that without this greedy parasitic institution, there would be no need for personal income taxes …

    anyway, ive rambled a bit

    your reply had some decent arguments in it. if i could only get you and other bloggers to follow up on some of this other info, i think your eyes become opened even wider.

    cheers

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