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Democratization, U.S. Foreign Policy, and The Middle East

In his conversation with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, journalist Craig Unger said:

“It does seem at times we don’t seem aware of the consequences of our actions. We go around talking about democracy, but the Saudis, of course, are a brutal theocracy. There’s not much in the way of human rights there. The whole vision of democratizing the Middle East, I think, really, in practical terms, has fallen by the wayside. And America’s objectives really, when it comes down to it, seem to be Israel’s security and oil... The whole vision is in tatters right now. And it’s very unclear what options the United States has... Our policies are so full of contradictions. And I think if you go back to the roots of it, it was built on so many misconceptions that a lot of this is coming home to roost.”

What do you think?

  • Is Unger correct that Israel’s security and oil are the foundations of America’s policies in the Middle East?

  • Does U.S. involvement with and support of non-Democratic regimes undermine the goal of “democratizing the Middle East?” Is that an appropriate objective of American foreign policy?

  • How would you reformulate American foreign policy to fit the world of 2008?

    (Photo by Robin Holland)


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    Comments

    - In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli.

    Howard Zinn: (1922 - 2010)

    The Iraq war has no honorable solutions. This fraudulent exercise has cost the Iraqi people millions of lost lives and has cost us at least a trillion dollars and approximately 40,000 American lives. To even begin to think that our intrusion into this country will result in some sort of an American victory is hypocritical at the very least.

    What has occurred is that with the removal of Soddam Hussein’s control a number of contenders have been jockeying for power, in many cases being liberally provided for by the US. with little or no oversight as to how these funds are being used.

    The one area that the US has failed to grasp is Iraqi history; powerful men have ruled Iraq for thousands of years, some benign while others have been autocratic.

    The prime reason for our incursion into Iraq is still present; the control of the oil resources there. We have acted the role of a piratical imperialistic thief and now must try to make amends the best way we can—this is not a war that has any honorable solutions.

    The Iraq war has no honorable solutions. This fraudulent exercise has cost the Iraqi people millions of lost lives and has cost us at least a trillion dollars and approximately 40,000 American lives. To even begin to think that our intrusion into this country will result in some sort of an American victory is hypocritical at the very least.

    What has occurred is that with the removal of Soddam Hussein’s control a number of contenders have been jockeying for power, in many cases being liberally provided for by the US. with little or no oversight as to how these funds are being used.

    The one area that the US has failed to grasp is Iraqi history; powerful men have ruled Iraq for thousands of years, some benign while others have been autocratic.

    The prime reason for our incursion into Iraq is still present; the control of the oil resources there. We have acted the role of a piratical imperialistic thief and now must try to make amends the best way we can—this is not a war that has any honorable solutions.

    The Iraq war has no honorable solutions. This fraudulent exercise has cost the Iraqi people millions of lost lives and has cost us at least a trillion dollars and approximately 40,000 American lives. To even begin to think that our intrusion into this country will result in some sort of an American victory is hypocritical at the very least.

    What has occurred is that with the removal of Soddam Hussein’s control a number of contenders have been jockeying for power, in many cases being liberally provided for by the US. with little or no oversight as to how these funds are being used.

    The one area that the US has failed to grasp is Iraqi history; powerful men have ruled Iraq for thousands of years, some benign while others have been autocratic.

    The prime reason for our incursion into Iraq is still present; the control of the oil resources there. We have acted the role of a piratical imperialistic thief and now must try to make amends the best way we can—this is not a war that has any honorable solutions.

    I have a question that has bothered me for the past 12 years I have lived in the U.S.
    Do the top politicians, political pundits and diplomats of U.S. actually know why "terrorists" don't like America and want to attack U.S. interests? Or they choose not to talk about the reasons, only how to 'protect' America from these "terrorists"?

    I have heard jeans, coke and "American Way Of Life" thrown around as the reason "terrorists" hate us. I am sure that there are some people out there intelligent enough to know that nobody puts their life on the line only becuase they don't like clothes, food or freedom of another nation!

    Why have I NEVER heard a real discussion on the subject "WHY DOES MIDDLEAST HATE AMERICA?". I have intentionally not used the word "terrorist" because if we predefine our subject it is impossible to discuss it objectively.

    I, for one, do believe that Israel has a right to exist. I also believe that there should be negotiated peace between Israel and Palestine. But there are Tibetans, Kashmiris, African tribes in similar situation. Why does America put its national security on the line for Isreal? What is in it for AMERICA?

    We give aid to Israel (sure they don't use our aid to oppress Palestinians, but our aid makes it possible for them to have money left over to do just that!). We VETO every UN resolution that asks Israel and Palestinians to settle the peace negotiation. We go to war with Iraq and possibly Iran for Israel. We get attacked on U.S soil and U.S properties abroad alike all for siding with Israel. I agree that Israel is a valid cause to back but is it worth putting our safety our world-image and our ECONOMY on the line? There are many other valid causes in the world that we don't champion the way we do Israel...WHY?
    Can someone explain...WHAT IS IN IT FOR AMERICA??

    The U.S. is occupying Iraq and killing its people for the same reason that Britain did in the 1920's : oil! It's fleet had just converted from burning coal to oil. When the Iraqis revolted against their occupiers, the British air force bombed them and killed over 20 thousand people. That's is one of many reasons Iraqis were not enthralled by the US/UK invasion of their country in 2003 while at the same time, all too many Americans were totally ignorant of that history.

    I hope the next president has already read "In Our Own Best Interest" by Dr. William F. Schulz. Dr. Schulz makes a very compelling case for a foreign policy rooted in human rights.
    Another great book is "Native Wisdom" by Ed McGaa. This book has the potential of changing the world.

    Alas! John Edwards Dropped Out Because Heartless America is Near-Sighted; Veto Power for Iran!; and American Elections
    Are we condemned to have another 4-year disastrous Republican Presidency?
    By: Dr. Murray M. Morgan

    An Open Letter to Senators Obama, Clinton and My Fellow Americans

    Dear Senator Obama,

    I do NOT want to see Presidency remains in the vicious/racist/cruel Republicans turf/hand for another four years. I wonder if those [who really are in charge, the corporative-military Industrial machinery, are the ones who, through our sold/bought-press/media , prevented Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards from being heard and become as known as you and Hillary; the eventuality of which would be another disastrous 4-yr Republican Presidency.

    Please, believe and accept it from me that it is my dream to see you as the President of the United States. Because, the only event that might make people of other country to, once again, look at America with envy and admiration is that American people elect a "Black" as their President.

    You can NOT imagine the teardrop that slid down my cheek when I heard about the uplifting news of your first win. Because of the WRONGS and trauma that is continuously/still being inflicted on African Americans, election of you as the President of the United States would not only has soothing/healing effect on African Americans, but also, it would bring back the LOST good reputation that our country, undeservedly, used to enjoy in the past; that was lost/vanished because of the BLATATANT/NAKED atrocities that, during King George's reign, people of Iraq, Iran [the most civilized nation on the face of earth -- read a little bit more about Iran to know why] and other countries of Middle East have endured and suffered from.

    Such event makes people of other countries to believe that America is, really, sorry for her vicious acts in the past; the attack on Iraq [with 1000000 casualty, ... ], the fabrication of American-Embassy-Hostages-taking-in Tehran [by Kissinger, Rockefeller, Ashraf Pahlavi, and one other person -- who thought of it to happen by "radical-students" as a "revolutionary"-like-act so that America uses the excuse to by freezing Iran's assets, imposing sanctions, and having Saddam to attack Iran cause PROBLEM for the revolution fail/not-become-successful in establishing Mardom-Saalari/Democracy in Iran AND that other countries in the region think twice to emulate it.

    We, hypocritically, state/shout/pretend that we want to export/establish Democracy to the region yet we cause/make so many problems to prevent its establishment in Iran that its people[, with inspiration of independence and aim of removal of resources-plundering-tentacles/suckers/hooks from their land], had dared to revolt and topple the brutal government that we had helped to be established in there by our CIA-guided Cout d'Etats of 1953 against Dr. Mohammad Mossaddegh; the DEMOCRATICALLY-elected Prime Minister of our puppet in there; naming "Shah" ["Shahanshah"-e-Iran/"the King of the Kings" Mohammadreza Pahlavi].

    In that event (joyous Obama as President), one thing that I want you to promise me is that you would be treating Iran and other countries as equals and that you would treat them with respect without attitudes and condescending-treatment. If you do that, then people of Iran themselves[assured of absence of any kind of outside danger/pressure] without asking for outside-help, would rise against their oppressive/tyrannical government and, peacefully, convince/persuade the tyrants-in-charge to step down and return the power back to the people and to their real representatives; without having to, any longer, tolerate the insult of somebody at the top of power-pyramid whose title, "GUARDIANship of Faghih/Savant" over people/the-whole-nation" [an ultimate insult to people of Iran], means the "Faghih"/"leader" represents, as [the "Faghih/Savant" or "leader" Khomeini and other self-declared savants without any shame dared to utter it] to be the Guardian of all the members of society -- except for few self-declared-savants-- that is, every member of the people of Iran are minor/stupid/retards who need to have a Guardian to decide for them. When outside pressure/danger threatens the country, to diffuse it, people of Iran tend to gather, around whatever government they have in their country; even if it is a brutal/tyrannical/oppressive government such as the one that is ruling in Iran right now. You should NOT listen to what those blue-blooded Pro-Shah individuals who, no longer, are in charge -- not able to suck life out of people -- who live abroad [in LA, Van Couver, London, Paris, ...]. You, having have had several-century-long history of suffrage of brutal tic/oppressive exploitation, [I am sure that] understand the resentment that is ensued as the result of 110-years long resources-plunder and humiliating treatments (by West of Iran).

    Does it make sense to go to a shop and, instead of saying "HIGH"/asking "HOW ARE YOU", BULLYINGLY with a blue-blooded condescending attitude humiliate, threaten and demand the shop-keeper that has something that we need so badly to give it to us? I am sure that if we treat people of Iran with respect and equals, they would be more than happy to be friends and trade with us. Let us "not do what we would not appreciate others do to us".

    You should bow to the will of people of Iran regarding their decision to have [or not to have] full nuclear fuel cycle capability and NOT wanting to be dependant on the outsiders that, for several time, have amassed their money but broke their contract with Iran without compensation [like France, Germany, USA]. People of Iran have the same right as we, for several times, have stated to have; the right of not reliance on others to give us our nuclear fuel.

    Please, let [together with your Secretary of State] us ask for and pray for forgiveness of God and people of Iran for our tresspassings that have inflicted harm and WRONGS on them. Promise me that you will put an end to our political abuses of the United Nations and its security arm, namely, the United Nations Security Council AND by removal of the illegally obtained sanctions-imposing resolutions and release of Iran's assets together with compensating Iran for our TRESSPASSes/Wrongs ask them to, once again, become our friend

    What I am seeing [because of what I have seen of the racist people of our country] is that Republicans love to have you or Hillary as the NOMINEE of the Democratic Party because they believe that they can beat you both easily because of the color of skin and gender prejudice/discrimination. I believe that Republicans are very happy; now that John Edwards pulled out of the race.

    Although I crave for seeing your popularity to be genuine and true, because of the ignorance and embedded racism in our country, I am a kind of worried that it is the racist tactic of Republican party that might have instructed their members to vote for you so that they make you the nominee of the Democratic Party for to, then [during the face-to-face competition], by turning on their vicious attack machine and having their members [amongst which the most racist ones who normally do not vote] to cast their votes for Republican nominee; and once again very easily [for another four years] steal the Presidency from the people.

    I hope I am wrong. Call me skeptic, ... but I think it is a very wishful thinking [of Caroline and Senator Kennedy] to think that racist Republicans, as well as Asians/Hispanics -- who seem not to like "Blacks -- and prejudiced White Democrats, would vote for an African American even at this day and age [in 21st century].

    Also, though, it sounds idealistic, let us remove the Veto right that, unfairly, we have given ourselves OR let us make Iran a member of UN Security Council with VETO power to bring balance in the decisions of UNSC because, as a kind/fair nation (that in its past history has given shelter to oppressed people an example of which is her current stance viz à vie Israel/Palestinian issue; the same stance that, 2500 years ago, Cyrus The Great of Iran, in upholding justice/fairness, took/had and gave shelter to the oppressed Jews that were fleeing/escaping the brutal Ferro of Egypt. It is ironic that, nowadays, in their name (in the name of Jewish people) Israel has engaged in brutal racist apartheid oppression on Palestinians AND the same Iran, since 1979, for the sake of upholding JUSTICE/FAIRNESS, is rejecting brutal treatment of Palestinians by Israel.

    This way, people of the world would see our sincere regret that would, gradually, make them to, once again, look up upon us with admiration, respect and envy.

    Yours,
    Murray

    Bill Moyers has become a rare survivor of the endangered specie of journalists. And they wonder why their news papers and TV stations are losing readers/viwers. With the neocons frequenting on other PBS "news" programs, one wonders how long before PBS gets dumped like their commercial peers. We have joined the Soviet Union as one of the most brain-washed countries. The only difference is that the former soviets did not get fooled by their "news" as many of us do.

    So I am going to vote Obama on Feb. 5, not because he is my first choice but because Clinton is endorsed by NYT and the "mainstream media". My kind of candidates, Ron Paul/Kucinich/Nader, have no chance in this country.

    I'm sorry, but here is the truth. I've been reading the boards. Some said that this is what it takes low blows to win elections, that people want the Clintons back in office because deep down people like this stuff, that the doodee (not the cream) floats to the top of the political toilet, that the Democrats and the Republican politicians are part and parcel floating next to each other, and that the Clintons will do and say anything, absolutely anything, to float their way back into the top of the White Bowl.

    Obama is running on platform to change American politics, to try to take it out of a back alley street fight and add some rules against biting, groin shots, head butts and the like. The Clintons are doing everything they can to drag Obama back into that alley. This latest Clinton move today is really low. Hillary says Bill says he's sorry that "maybe" he went overboard in beating on Obama. It's professional alright. Professional wrestling. After all the Clinton distortions of Obama's statement about Reagan and falsely accusing Obama of making up fairytales about his superior record on the Iraq war, now Bill says he's sorry. Only he doesn't say it. His wife does. Tag team!

    What makes me really sick is that the Clintons are race baiting to try to divide the electorate in South Carolina to scaremonger the white vote away from their opponent. The Clintons would love for this election to be about race and gender, old identity politics, vote for your own and screw the rest who aren't like you, because there are more women likely to vote for the Clintons than blacks likely to vote for Obama. The white women versus the blacks. Great. This sounds like race baiting in the old segregated South that the Clintons so rail against. Now that's selflessness for you! And to those who say they are no better than the Republicans, I agree that the Clintons give Karl Rove a run for his money.

    You know how we know for sure the Clintons are the wrong choice? Because the New York Times endorses them. In a totally vapid and insipid piece, the NYT said they endorse the Clintons because, among other things, Hillary got it wrong on the war but somehow she is more right on the consequences of withdrawal. What the heck are they talking about?

    Here is the plain truth the NYT acts like doesn't exist. Hillary Clinton totally screwed up the most important vote of her career in an admitted gigantic error in judgment. She was a sheep. The self-proclaimed "workhorse" didn't even read the National Intelligence Estimate at the time, not even after the most senior Democratic Senator in military affairs personally asked her to. Unbelievably, Hillary Clinton still can't admit she made an error, much more a gigantic one.

    Hillary is still spinning her reasons for voting for the resolution by saying she didn't vote for war - she says she just voted to authorize Bush to use force. She is in denial about the fact she didn't vote for another resolution that said exactly that. As for her plans to disengage in Iraq, they are no better or more clear than Obama's. And unlike Hillary who has burned every bridge with the Republicans (the latest NBC/WSJ poll today shows Obama beats McCain and Hillary does not - I wonder why), Obama could reach across the aisle and grab someone like a Colin Powell to be Secretary of State. After all, Powell said "you break it, you own it." Another run at Secretary of State could be Powell's chance to "fix it", at least a little.

    So, back to the truth about the NYT with a little rant thrown in. Hey NYT, not only do you not walk on water. You often act like morons. Absolute morons. Don't believe me? Well, here's the proof. You were stupid enough to buy into the Administration's phony made up stories about WMD in Iraq. And don't tell me everybody was fooled. They weren't. McClatchy's wasn't fooled. The UN Weapons Inspector wasn't fooled. The vast majority of other nations in the world which would not go along with us into Iraq like they did in the early 1990s weren't fooled.

    And worse of all NYT, you didn't even give it a college try to find the truth - your reporter Judith Miller was doinking one of the Administration's biggest felon lying lips Libby as she published whatever he and the Administration told her. Get real NYT. Wake up. It's obvious, NYT, why you forgive Hillary Clinton for making a gigantic mistake about the war and can't give Obama credit for having the foresight to be against the war from the start. You, NYT, can't come to terms with your own gigantic failure in blindly reporting lies about the war. That and the fact that you are scared of change. Those are the reasons, you self-absorbed, conceited institution.

    There is definitely an element of truth to the comments of many posters in this thread. In some ways, the NYT is one of the biggest pieces of doodee that rises to the top of the Democratic Party. (Caveat: while the NYT is a big stupid, conceited piece of turd, Fox News is an even more arrogant, evil turd that intentionally distorts the news to benefit rich people, crazy neocons and their billionaire owner directly at America's expense).

    Sorry to get so scatalogical, but you can't describe poo otherwise. Obama is essentially asking the Democratic Party, CAN WE FLUSH ALREADY? All of the posters on this thread are ready to push the knob on the toilet. If the Democrats don't, the Clintons are going to be floating around us for quite a while.

    I like to simplify things. The main problem with the Arabic world is that they do not police themselves. Mainly this is because of their religious worldview that glorifies using voilance to further their religious zeal. Who wants a God like that?

    They must be delt with like they have always been delt with by kings and powers of centuries past, push them back into a corner of the world. A lot of Arabic people have wised up but they usually have to move out of their culture in order to live their new-found wisdom.

    I think Ron Davison is "onto something." The "Ugly American" is uglier than ever.

    "Democratization" in order to understand the action one must know the player: "Demopithicus" at http://adgitadiaries.blog-city.com

    Chalmers Johnson had a great piece the other day at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19144.htm
    The article was called Going Bankrupt - Why the Debt Crisis Is Now the Greatest Threat to the American Republic. This article shed light for me on how pulling out of Iraq can have serious economic consequence (not oil related) for the US given the other current influences (e.g. sub-prime mortgages, low dollar and shifting world currency to the Euro).

    When I listen to this week's trashing of the Clintons by the MSM and the Obama bow to the Reagan insult to all decency, I turn to hope that more voters will thoughtfully consider what is said by Bill Moyers' Journal guests.

    If we do not start looking out for our (the middle class) interests, this Cheney-Bush rape of country will continue into the next administration, and it will become even truer than it is today that AMERICA DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE!

    We can forget about foreign policy with Hillary, the one who voted for the Iraq war and the Bush bill to declare Iran's military to be terrorist.

    Worst of all, Bill has just gotten finished cashing out his Presidency, again . . . while he and Hillary try to move back into the White House. How can we have an objective foreign policy with this kind of greed by our leaders?

    This is getting disgusting. Okay we know that the Clintons say Bill is just like any old spouse campaigning for their mate. And they are right of course, except that he was the President of the United States!

    Now we learn that Clinton is raking in another $20 mil from a multi-billionaire friend for admittedly throwing around his Commander-in-Chief influence to benefit some investment fund. Of course Bill won't disclose the details of his investment, just like he and Hillary won't disclose the details of their $500 million dollar "charity" which employed some of their key campaign staffers and to which their campaign contributors have donated tens of millions of dollars. Just like Hillary won't disclose the official records of her experience as First Lady which she says makes her more qualified than the other candidates. How can they stand for transparency when they obfuscate to mask their greed??

    I am sick of this. It's disgusting. The Clintons have cashed out the Presidency to the tune of Dick Cheney money. When is America going to call them on this?? This is not leadership. It's greed. Pure and simple. And it's part of a pattern of smarmy questionable gains - see them in Hillary's bio on Wikipedia, including the amazing $100,000 she made in 10 months on a $1,000 investment, the $1 million blind trust when Bill took office in 1993 that the Clintons rapidly turned into a whopping $23 million.

    If they were simply investors, I would have no problem with these gains. It's capitalism baby. But that's not what they ran on. That's not what they told us. Surprise - another lie! Their platform was not to lead our Nation to get the big bucks. They did not run to not lead our Democratic Party - where have you been Bill for anyone but yourself over the past 7 years?? It's to the point where even the Democratic Party elders have gone public to tell Bill to grow up.

    It's time to end this. It's time to end the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton cycle. I am a Democrat. A staunch Democrat. But I am for them because I think they are more moral and have better values. If it's Hillary versus McCain I just don't know. I was having doubts before Bill did the pile on Obama and cashed out his Presidency for this additional $20 mil, and now I really don't know . . . This is the kind of stuff that turns my stomach.

    Obama is worth just over a million. This Rezko stuff is a tiny droplet in the ocean compared to the massive Clinton greed and scandals. Obama has run a clean campaign. He's been far ahead on POLICY - he was against the Iraq war from the start and he didn't fall for the patently idiotic Bush bill to declare Iran's military to be "terrorists" (Clinton lost my respect when she voted for that one, unbelievably, just last Fall). Clinton is playing catchup to Obama on policy, whether it's her bailout plan or saying we should be more aggressive in going after bin Ladin. Clinton is a bonfire wherever she goes. She will never unify America - she can't even unify her party. She will burn us up. And without unity there can be no real change, only another leg in the Bush-Clinton saga.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120097424021905843.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/MutualFunds/HillaryClintonMidasTouchAtWork.aspx?page=1

    Christian Miller (Jan.21@ 7;21am): I can see you are an idealogue who likes his beans in a can. If you like the Frankenfood from Hoover and Rand Insts. you'll hog down the swill from Mises. Corporatism is the problem we share with Iraq (are imposing by force on Iraq). What you are really saying is that if the same western financiers who just poked the U.S. economic bubble can't cut and eat most of the pie that they'll throw it in the dumpster. More would be accomplished if we'd just got our asses out of Iraq and begin to solve our energy problems at home. Oil has peaked, the Depression has hit, deregulation and elite management have been discredited, free trade is bull hockey, and the days of the U.S. as superpower are over. In case you haven't balanced your portfolio lately, your brand of rhetoric means nothing. If you want to help out why not paddle over there to the Iraq you care so much about and do your bit.
    Ron Davison (Jan.18@4:59pm)
    Stages of development is a concept from the 1920s. At the end of history Karl Rove promised to take us back to the 1950s, and economically, we seem headed there. I'll have you know that the average Middle Easterner (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Greater Arabia) are about as well educated and more informed on world events than the average American. Their children were born into a media saturated world market and are as aware and capable in general as our children. The problem comes with uncertainty, deprivation, military violence that turns civilized people against one another and back to ethnic and religious forms of organization. It happened in Yugoslavia when western financiers used lending institutions to take things apart, and it may happen here in the U. S. if we do not organize according to our real interests,and so let this Plunge become desperate enough. "Fear is not the only thing we have to fear.
    The other thing we have to fear is wealth itself."

    Have you had enough of petitions, rallies, and protests that have not worked? The Republican party and their conservative members appears insulated from the public and unresponsive to the public. However their contributors do not appear insulated from the public and can collapse under pressure to a withering telephone campaign threatening mass boycotts of their products until they get their friends at the GOP to do what we want.

    Would you and your organization consider joining these telephone campaigns and spreading the word to your membership, and fellow progressive groups in your newsletter? I have created these campaigns to peacefully take back America. After you have made these phone calls please send me email to info@democratz.org with the subject CALLED.

    I plan to bring this message to as many Democratic Clubs around the United States of America as I can.

    Thank you.

    http://www.democratz.org


    Get as many people to make these 3 phone calls.

    Call GOP contributor and war contractor General Electric Corporation at 800 386 1215 or 203 373 2211 and tell the person who answers, that you want the GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to get Bush to end the war in Iraq and then Bush resign with Cheney and until that happens you will not buy any GE products and that you will tell your friends about this.

    Call GOP contributor Rite Aid Corporation at 1-800-325-3737 and tell the person to get the CEO to get the congress to enact HR 676 Single payer universal health care and repeal Medicare Part D and place the drug benefit in Medicare Part B covering 80% of drugs with no extra premiums, no extra deductibles, no means tests, no coverage gaps, and remove the means test for Medicare Part B and until that happens, you won't buy ANYTHING from Rite Aid Pharmacies and that you will tell your friends about this.

    Call GOP contributor Wendy's restaurants at 614 764-3553 and Tell the person in public relations that you want their CEO to get the congress to help enact a $10/HR MIN. WAGE into law and until this happens you will not go to a Wendy's Restaurant and that you will tell your friends about this.


    I set up a progressives forum for progressives and liberals only. Get as many progressives and liberals to join as you can.

    http://progressives.aceboard.com

    I do not seek donations. You can use the board for free.

    IRAQ OIL REVENUE DIRECTLY TO IRAQI CITIZENS
    BYPASS GOVERNMENT

    The Iraqi people can create Iraq, Inc. and convey to it, ownership of all Iraq’s petroleum resources. Each citizen would own one non-transferable share of common stock in Iraq, Inc. The shareholders would elect a board of directors who would manage the company. The company would pay quarterly dividends directly to shareholders. Shareholders would pay taxes.

    A dynamic would change. The flow of money would reverse. Money would flow from the people to the government rather than flowing from the government to the people.

    The immediate advantages would be manifold:

    1. End the political impasse about how to divide oil revenue among Iraq’s competing groups.

    2. Give Iraqi citizens a vested interest in stopping the sabotage of pipelines.

    3. Give Iraqi citizens more power over how their government spends money.

    4. Provide some financial security for Iraqi citizens.

    5. Empower Iraqi women.

    6. End suspicion that the United States is attempting to exploit Iraqi oil.

    Long term, it would help protect Iraq from falling into a trap of other resource rich countries such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Libya and the Gulf States where the government owns the revenue producing assets of the country. Leaders of these countries have power because revenue comes first to the government and can be spent without having to ask citizens to pay taxes. Leaders can easily dispense money to perpetuate the leader’s power. The citizens become beholden to the government rather than the government being beholden to its citizens.

    Section 1314 of the FY2007 Supplemental Appropriations Act mandated that any Iraq oil revenue sharing program ensure the equitable “distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without
    regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients”. It can be argued, however, that the Iraqi government, left to its own devices, will never implement such a law. The leaders of the various groups all want more than their fair share. The Shiite leaders have little incentive to support meaningful revenue sharing. They can wait for
    the US to further enhance their power, wait for the US to leave, then take control of all the oil revenue.
    I believe Dr. Charles Wolf’s (RAND Corporation and Hoover institute) oil revenue privatization concept presented in the November 23, 2005 Wall Street Journal “Shareholders Don’t Shoot Each Other” (enclosed) is about the only hope of peacefully resolving the current impasse over oil revenue distribution.

    Dr. Wolf’s commentary was favorably received, but the general response was that the Iraq Government would not initiate it. The prospect of a California style national referendum on the issue and serious pressure from the United States may be enough move those Iraq Government leaders who would lose significant power as a result of an Iraq, Incorporated. I recognize that it is a bold move, but it may be the only way to resolve the current impasse of oil revenue distribution.

    The Iraq Study Group considered the Alaska model for distributing oil revenue in their final report (pages 22-23 enclosed), but rejected the concept for the reasons given in Lee Hamilton’s letter (enclosed). However, what we are trying to get the Iraq Government to do now seems much more difficult. It should be noted that the Iraq Incorporated concept is significantly different from Alaska plan. Iraq Incorporated is outside the government and does not require the establishment of a competent bureaucracy. Iraq could/should have been set up before the government was formed. Issuing of shares, voting for directors and distributing dividend checks could be accomplished in a similar fashion to the current Iraq voter registration and voting. The government can collect corporation taxes and withhold person income tax from the dividend checks.

    As Dr. Wolf points out, “the incorporation and privatization of Iraqi oil would lodge the corporations' accountability in their shareholders, i.e. Iraq's citizens. Corporate management would be thereby induced to be more efficient and expeditious in boosting production, maintenance, and investment in Iraq's huge pool of proven reserves.” He considers that the establishing of an Iraqi company or companies is practical and could be accomplished in short order, “For a relatively small---say, $20-30 million contract---a consortium of Goldman, Nomura, and UBS---could set up in collaboration with Iraqi oil and finance ministries in 7-8 months an equity market for shares of 1-2 Iraqi oil companies.”

    This could be an excellent of a way to bridge political divides. It is a powerful agent of change that has potential appeal to a wide spectrum of political thought: Women’s Rights; Free Marketers; Libertarians; Parents of Soldiers; Conservatives; Liberals; Those fighting terrorists; Anti-War Activists; Isolationists; and most of all: the Iraqi people.

    Poor Walter (Jan. 20, 2008 11:22am), taken in by a helicopter hopping blonde, Martha Radditz. I LOL and ROF (rolled on the floor). Only Pentagon Martha has outdone Katie Couric in mindless patriotism. How emBedded can you get! Those helpless girls just find Uniforms erotic. "I'm dropping my empty lunchboxes in the water now! Soon you American Satans will explode!" Some patsies will believe anything!

    Mr. Moyers,

    This fall I took a creative writing course on poetry and much of it was based on your videos speaking with poets. Thank you very much!

    What I would like to see presented to the American People is not in any book, that I know of, but the federal government, knowing it cannot meet its promises to the boomers, is purposely devaluing the dollars they receive.

    For 2008, social security cost of living increase (meant to hedge against inflation) was 2.3%. Gasoline up 30%, milk up 29%, heating costs up similarly and every item of food grown using tractors or commodity trucked into your stores has gone up and the fed gives 2.3% when even a conservative estimate is 6%. What does this mean?
    It means friends like my neigbor who retired at 62 when she seriously broke her leg and had trouble standing in her old job, is losing buying power. Although it looks like she gets more money from Social Security and her indexed retirement funds, the buying power is dropping. So at age 70 and in frail health she has taken a job at a pre-school part time to make ends meet.
    This stealth operation is not mentioned by any of the candidates running for office (with the possible exception of Ron Paul). The fed has known for a long time promised benefits were unsustainable for the boomers but starving those now dependent seems very cruel and almost inhuman to me.
    Sadly, those on disability, some who are not mentally able to understand are faced with the same loss of spending power. What happens to them?
    At the same time, more and more dollars are being printed to lower the value of the dollars so goods can be competitive overseas. The combination of more dollars, fractional CPI increases,is causing much pain. Shouldn't this be discussed openly in the public forum?


    "The Arab world, by the Arab peace initiative, has crossed the Rubicon from hostility towards Israel to peace with Israel and has extended the hand of peace to Israel, and we await the Israelis picking up our hand and joining us in what inevitably will be beneficial for Israel and for the Arab world."

    The 22-nation Arab League revived at a Riyadh summit last year a Saudi peace plan first adopted in 2002 offering Israel full normalization of relations in return for full withdrawal from occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese land.

    Israel shunned the offer then, at the height of a violent Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    But it has expressed more interest since the United States launched a new drive for Israeli-Palestinian peace at Annapolis, Maryland, last November, aiming for an agreement this year.

    Last update - 18:03 20/01/2008
    Saudi prince: If Israel quits Arab land, it could join Arab world
    By Reuters
    Tags: Arab world

    A senior Saudi royal has offered Israel a vision of broad cooperation with the Arab world and people-to-people contacts if it signs a peace treaty and withdraws from all occupied Arab territories.

    In an interview with Reuters, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to the United States and Britain and adviser to King Abdullah, said Israel and the Arabs could cooperate in many areas including water, agriculture, science and education.

    Asked what message he wanted to send to the Israeli public, he said: "The Arab world, by the Arab peace initiative, has crossed the Rubicon from hostility towards Israel to peace with Israel and has extended the hand of peace to Israel, and we await the Israelis picking up our hand and joining us in what inevitably will be beneficial for Israel and for the Arab world."

    The 22-nation Arab League revived at a Riyadh summit last year a Saudi peace plan first adopted in 2002 offering Israel full normalization of relations in return for full withdrawal from occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese land.

    Israel shunned the offer then, at the height of a violent Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    But it has expressed more interest since the United States launched a new drive for Israeli-Palestinian peace at Annapolis, Maryland, last November, aiming for an agreement this year.

    Are voters who are "off the net" (unlike you) informed? They seem to be the ones supporting Hillary Clinton. Place your vote and see some commentary for whatever it's worth:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/1/21/05324/1674/39/440324

    Bill Moyers,
    I congratulate you on an excellent Friday night program.
    Personally, my opinion is that the United States of America is the Jewish Promised Land. We should give Texas to the Jews and move the Israelis to Texas. We should make Texas the capital of the USA and turn this country into a Theocracy rather than an Oligarchy. Then we should use our capped oil resources long enough to develop other sources of energy. The price of barrels of oil would drop back to pre-war and we could put contols on the price of gasoline to maintain an equitable and fair price for gasoline. We can let the Arabs solve their own problems and save a lot of their lives and the lives of our brave soldiers.
    Dave

    The campaign trail at this point in time is a mountain of rhetoric: religious, racial, and a glazing over of serious issues surrounding the dismantling of the Middle East. For me, it will remain to be seen which candidate finally acknowledges the seriousness of our invasion of Iraq for oil, not the professed threat of terrorism; now known as a fabricated lie from President Bush on down the chain of command - Congress and Senate included. I am worried about the "sheep" mentality of our elected officials, some of whom are running for the highest office. If I, as a student in 2003, knew from one college level class that the chances of Iraq having few, if any weapons of mass destruction were feeble at best, why then couldn't most of Congress and Senate find this out (critical thinking)? My best educated guess: silence bought in dollars.

    I continue to watch your show: "Bill Moyer's Journal", for honest, and insightful coverage of our national and international relationships, which are tenuous at best. I am relieved that Craig Unger is on the face of this planet exposing the real issues, and finally calling Bush what he really is: an "oil addict".

    I have friends in counseling who say that the first step to healing is admitting to the problem: our appetite for oil. Now, we need to find a candidate that acknowledges this as well, and is willing to make a fundamental change. This may hinder our relationship with the Middle East, but hasn't Bush done a fine job of that already?

    I tuned out of the Unger interview after Moyers said Saudi was not lifting a finger against terrorism.
    Cliches, slogans. "Israel is our great ally."
    The comments already posted here could be summarized as a call for virtue.
    It is a powerful word.
    What is the virtue of the US relationship with Israel? It is to tie us to our racist past, ironically or not on the holiday for ML King, Jr.
    How is "the Jewish state" not a racist one?
    Creighton Abrams liked to say, according to biographer Lewis Sorley, "I've heard of being mostly honest, but never that it's been a permanent condition."

    The Diplomacy of Deception or Self-deceptive Diplomacy?

    Ahmad Ebrahimi

    The period of neither war nor negotiations, between US and Iran, came to a close after the “surge” in Iraq last summer. While bombing" Iran to rescue an unenviable record is still on the agenda for the Bush administration, the fact that US Navy fleet entering the Strait of Hormuz was harassed by 5 boats under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the threshold of President Bush visit to Kuwait and Bahrain is a near miss of full-blown military confrontation between the two countries.

    Fortunately such provocations are not anticipated as part of the contingency attack scenario on Iran. Such contingency plans, probably fall short of assessing the soaring price of oil on global economy or predicting the full range of terrorist reprisals. Otherwise surgical attack on Iran is viewed as an effective way of stopping nuclear proliferation and accommodating Israel worries.

    For the remaining year that the current administration is in power, given no progress by the Iraqi government towards forging a political solution despite success of surge in military terms, attacking Iran may be still a card that has to be played for insuring continuing budgetary allocation of continuing military expenditure in Iraq. Otherwise it is a safe assumption that the legacy is shifted to the next administration without further ado.

    The current turmoil and uncertainty in post-Bhutto Pakistan, makes a destabilized, democracy denied, nuclear armed Pakistan, rather than Iran, the country that can pose a real threat. What Colin Powell has suggested recently (a more strict monitoring of Iran’s enrichment program in addition to International Atomic Energy Agency prerogatives) is certainly constructive, could save both Iran and US a public climb down, and break the ice of bilateral negotiations to start in earnest.

    The fact that currently, as in the past, when one party is keen on negotiations, the other party is aloof to that prospect signify that absence of diplomatic relations, is preferable for both governments. The Iranian regime has declared categorically that it is ready to negotiate with US provided there are no pre-conditions. The Americans still demand as a pre-condition (for bilateral negotiations to start) that the Iranians stop enrichment of uranium although this is done under international agreement and IAEA verification. If the US government announces tomorrow that they are ready for negotiations without prior conditions, then it would be the Iranian regime’s turn to come out with an excuse. Ayatollah Khamenie has already said that while he does not rule out restoration of diplomatic relations with US at some stage in future, in the foreseeable future it would not be in Iran’s interest.

    The US administration tried to spin in an opposite direction, the intelligence report on Iran (acknowledging that 3 years ago Iranians have abandoned plans to make a nuclear bomb and even Russian first delivery of uranium fuel for Bushehr (still under construction) power plant. Tactless provocations by President Ahmadinejad, that looked more like self-imposed diplomatic injuries, ruled out international sympathy for Iran all through 2007. But as the year came to an end, it seemed that President Bush had handed back to Ahmadinejad, the ‘diplomatic’ victory.

    While US continue to isolate Iran and, in particular, the latter remains uninvited to Annapolis Israel-Palestinian peace conference, Iran would continue to sabotage a two-state solution road map for peace in the Middle East.

    In 2008, it will continue to be the case that, ,Israel would not stand for a nuclear armed Iran and Arab states would not tolerate dominance of Persian Shi’ism in the Islamic world. On the other hand, the Islamic Republic would face great difficulties in the region vis-à-vis Israel and all Arab countries, paradoxically if US forces leave Iraq in bulk, as British forces have already done so in the South (Basra).

    Ironic as it is, the fortunes of these two enemies (US and Iran) has been tied together since before the advent of Iranian Revolution in 1979. Nothing more than US occupation of Iraq, has helped the Iranian regime to emerge as a dominant regional power that needs to be reckoned with. Prior to that, the support of the Islamic Republic for Hamas in Palestine and Hezbolah in Lebanon brought Likud to power in Israel and as a result the ME peace process came to a halt. Nothing more that normalization of diplomatic and commercial relations with the US, would deprive the Iranian regime of the ‘legitimacy’ it bestows upon itself at the domestic and international level.

    The 2006 war in Lebanon demonstrated, for the first time, that Israel is not invincible. The two-state solution is recognized by almost everybody (except some evangelists in US) as being the only way forward to secure security and even continued existence of Israel, (never mind the Palestinians). Unfortunately for the US, the State of Israel, is a domestic rather than foreign policy issue and that is a greater obstacle to peace than the practical difficulties related to removal of settlements in the occupied territories or even division of Jerusalem. In general, however, Americans, now, more than any other time, have come to know that America can no longer decide about the World unilaterally and have to seek cooperation among allies and negotiate with foes. The Iranian people need to exercise their democratic rights denied to them under the Islamic Republic rather than become patriotic because United States is going to attack their country “to prevent WW3”.

    After almost 30 years, the world is tired of a diplomacy of deception, where both the US administrations and the Islamic Regime (without being co-conspirators or being friends in secret) portray the other side as enemy, to obtain domestic support and international/regional hegemony, and in order to achieve goals that may yet bring another war by default.

    ...so why are we in Iraq?

    =
    MJA

    Why did President Bush, a Texas oil man go to Saudi Arabia, Hmmm?

    Let me guess, to build sand castles with his friends!

    =
    MJA

    Unger is correct but his focus is limited, and his media friendly journalism is only scratching the surface. For instance, Moyeristas, google the name Sibel Edmonds to see how Bush neocons and other scumbags committed nuclear treason for profit. Edmonds was a translator at the FBI who leaked investigations that had been quashed under the state secrets act. Unprosecuted criminals are being protected by the justice department after using Turkey and Israel as conduits to reap big treason bucks. This leads me and my folkschool colleagues to expect the worst when it comes to 9/11, free and fair elections, and the prospect of further false flag domestic terrorism to negate our rights. Grady says he will not be surprised if Bushites detonate a suitcase nuke in a 2nd tier U.S. metropolis if elections and or investigations are not going their way this year (2008). beretco.op@gmail.com

    Watching your interview with Craig Unger I was scratching my head. Just one hour earlier I heard Martha Radditz, on Washington Week, talk about her trip to the Middle East with President Bush. She reported that those he met with don't see Bush as a lame duck, and that Tony Blair said Bush just might get something done in the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

    A rather rosy synopsis of Bush's trip by a well respected mainstream news reporter WHO WAS THERE. What should I think?

    But then Mr. Unger told a very different version of events in your interview. Almost the direct opposite of Ms Radditz.

    Now today in the NYT, Maureen Dowd says "... the president got back Thursday night from a trip that made it clear he has no clout overseas..."

    I have always thought pretty highly of Radditz but I had a gut feeling that she was way off on this. Mr Unger, and now Maureen Dowd, seem to confirm that feeling. IS Radditz wrong? And if she is, how did she come to the conclusions that made her say such optimistic things about Bush's trip?

    My heart wants to believe Radditz but my head says WAKE UP!


    Thank you Unger for saying the obvious. It seems the press and the elected officials think common Americans are really quit stupid. They are both complicit in creating this government of greed. This administration does not support Democracy. It supports dictators,backs torture and creates revolt all over the world and at home to gain money and control. It is an insult to our intelligence and our constitution that this Administration is not under arrest. Living in Europe I see the world news not the barbie doll news of america ....excluding PBS...and experience the problem of refugees leaving Africa and the Middle East. They should not be forced to immigrate, this is not their home but should have their country left to them to control the resources. Thank you PBS for broadcasting on line and especially Bill for showing us there is intelligent press out there.

    first id like to thank you for coming back to the airwaves bill ive missed you your an american on the level with paine and jefferson ect.ect. what i dont understand is on this war against terrorism is there is a blueprint to stop it in the 30s the jews started an insurgancy against colonial england when england controled palestine it nearly bankrupted england until they turned the land over to the jews then in the 50s when colonial france occupied algeria they sent in 400,000 troops and the insugances won there also and were doing the same thing today in iraq and it blows me away that we havent learned anything from the past terorism will never be won with a military action because the military action itself is what is fueling terorism

    Mr. Moyers:

    Thank you for your Sunshine Policy each Friday evening - you are the catharsis to mass media drivel (with the exception of Keith Olberman).

    All three of your guests (1/18/08)were concise and informative; each a pleasure to learn from and watch. You are brilliant at covering a vast expanse of issues using your mental scapel to extract the essence of each issue quickly, leaving your audience thirsty for more of each issue. Your guest's books become excellent sources for deeper examination of issues. Mr. Unger and Mr.Kaye's books moved to the top of "my next book purchases" list. Bush deserves ONE credit: He's singlehandedly amped up the book publishing/purchasing industry in the last 7 years!!!!

    Kaye's & Unger's interviews were particularly interesting! Thank you!

    Bring John Edwards to your table with Dennis Kucinich to discuss how they intend to reform the loan sharking by the banking cabal devistating the middle class. Bank deregulating exacerbated during the last 7 years though it began in Regan's term. It's poetic justice the Morgan, Citibank et al have garroted themselves with the noose they created for the middle class! With joyful relish I listen to their stocks plunge beside Countrywide.

    The banking cabal brought us the 1929 disaster and they fabricated this world wide economic mess, while their ceo's jump ship with millions to cushion their golden years....where's the justice? Enron employees were unjustly condemed to poverty after a lifetime of work for that heinous industry and their unethical practices! Ethics are to corral the masses into submission while the masters of industry destroy any an all who touch them, while the majority of the media covers up their unlawful behaviors...when do we reach a critical mass till we tilt back to an even keel?

    The economy is tanking resulant of recent bank practices uleashed in the last 6 years. Please, bring more economic experts (like Paul Kruigman) to your table to discuss what we can do to combat these pariah. THIS IS THE ISSUE THAT MUST BE BROUGHT TO THE MAINSTREAM CONVERSATION with the candidates!

    The mainstream media are attempting to corral us into their reality (not ours) that it's a two person Democratic race (Hillary/Obama), yet allow the Republician fools to dance unfettered giving each extremely UNSUITABLE CANDIDATE equal time---WHY? Last week Matthews was beaten down for his apparent hatred against Hillary during the NH contest and made a complete fool of himself! This week he appears more contrite and polite (for a while). The media is attempting to DICTATE this election and voters are refusing to be led by the ring through the nose while proving the pundits WRONG!

    What MSNBC did to Dennis Kucinich is unethical and reprehensible! On the subject of Mr. Kucinich I feel you treated him differently than you did Ron Paul...I sensed you were more antagonistic and aggressive toward Kucinich than to Paul - something I had never observed from you before, no matter how often you play 'devil's advocate.' Kucinich & Edwards win more strawpolls and on line polls than any other candidates! As Edwards points out: "..less than 1% of the people have voted so far.." A point well made.

    Kucinich & Edwards make it CLEAR they intend to go after the culprits: this administration & the fascistic corporations which is very threatening to the powers that be...so they SHUT THEM OUT OF THE PUBLIC'S EYE/EARSHOT. How very revealing!

    In spite of media megaphones, the overwhelming MAJORITY of
    Americans are dead set against this administration and all their failed policies. People have personally been bitten by the poisons lavished upon us (ills/deaths from Pharma products, CORPORATE WELFARE, Medicare Part D, the wars, Veteran's care disgraces, the 50+ administration disgraces AND scandles, the 9 judges, loss of civil rights, torture issues, media cover-ups, DOJ filled with Liberty U grads, evicerating of all departments of our governments, the failures of intelligence, Black water in NOLA & Katrina (still festering), etc, etc, etc). Americans are awake and aware of ALL THESE and more, and are really peturbed by lack of Congressional oversight. Your Backbone Campaign is timely! Thanks for that, too, Bill!

    Concerned,
    RDL in NY

    Thanks Bill Moyers for the work that you do, shining a light in some of the dark corners. The show on the 18th was great as usual. I listened to all three guests and try to catch the show every Friday.
    The question,
    " How would you reformulate American foreign policy to fit the world of 2008?". The answer was provided by all three guests, each in their own way. My answer, HONESTY. The American people
    have some of the best minds in the world, however, no one can make an intelligent decision about anything without honest facts. Open government up to the people. If the government is honest with its people they will find their
    foreign policy will improve as a consequence. With honesty comes integrity and trust.
    Foreign policy has been a matter of control for the Americans, if they can USE or manipulate a government or foreign body, they will. And dictators have been easier to manage than democratic governments. The Americans
    initiated the League of Nations and the United Nations as quasi-independent bodies but only support them as it suits them.
    The world is a different place now. As a Canadian I understand having a small voice in N. America. The U.S. will now have to come to grips with their similarly small voice in a world approaching 7 billion. Dishonesty against the odds of China, India, Russia, Europe and S. America is poor foreign policy.
    Thanks Bill,
    Berne Mills
    Red Deer AB Canada

    Thanks Bill Moyers for the work that you do, shining a light in some of the dark corners. The show on the 18th was great as usual. I listened to all three guests and try to catch the show every Friday.
    The question,
    " How would you reformulate American foreign policy to fit the world of 2008?". The answer was provided by all three guests, each in their own way. My answer, HONESTY. The American people
    have some of the best minds in the world, however, no one can make an intelligent decision about anything without honest facts. Open government up to the people. If the government is honest with its people they will find their
    foreign policy will improve as a consequence. With honesty comes integrity and trust.
    Foreign policy has been a matter of control for the Americans, if they can USE or manipulate a government or foreign body, they will. And dictators have been easier to manage than democratic governments. The Americans
    initiated the League of Nations and the United Nations as quasi-independent bodies but only support them as it suits them.
    The world is a different place now. As a Canadian I understand having a small voice in N. America. The U.S. will now have to come to grips with their similarly small voice in a world approaching 7 billion. Dishonesty against the odds of China, India, Russia, Europe and S. America is poor foreign policy.
    Thanks Bill,
    Berne Mills
    Red Deer AB Canada

    Ever more the drums of fear are being pounded amid growing mass ignorance, and, I believe, are only successful because of our general ignorance. We tune in because most of us trust what we hear on the news and no longer care to search for information any other way. Our reliance on TV and the media has strategically reduced us to to blubbering lunacy and cognitive dissonance--thinking in short, fearful sound bytes. We believe what we hear, and hear what we want to believe. And as the prophet Isaiah once penned, "(the Truth) had no form or beauty that we should desire (it)." Key word, desire. We prefer to be entertained, not enlightened. The truth just isn't sexy enough for us. So when we suffer the consequences of our choice, we are surprised. And we believe the voices who pummel our ears with "Americans are addicted to foreign oil," as we stand poised at the gas pumps, filled with dread that we are ultimately trapped by (1) a rapidly diminishing supply, and (2) the lack of viable petroleum alternatives to fathom how to survive without it. So, we blame OPEC, the Saudis, the Middle East, and Bush, when in reality our own country has been inexplicably sitting atop the world's largest oil fields with the wellheads capped for thirty years. For what? We no longer feel the need to peer beyond the curtain of propaganda to ask who benefits from telling us that our petroleum supplies are exhausting, finite? Who profits from rising oil costs? Who is harmed? Whose pockets ARE running on empty? Why are we constantly hearing the drums of fear? Why is the media always broadcasting that the sky is falling? Orange alert! Terrorist threats imminent! Global warming!

    I remember reading and now have copies of a feature article from an April 1975 issue of Newsweek Magazine which posited the next Ice Age to be imminent. Imminent! The article was entitled, "Our COOLING World." [my emphasis] 1975. I ask which hypothesis then is correct? Warming or Cooling? Has the earth now reversed its course? How long constitutes a cycle? A trend? Is science only guessing, or is it too being paid to proffer THEORY as Truth in order to sell advertising/public support? Who benefits from such fear mongering? Doesn't every green living plant on earth still need CO2 in order to begin photosynthesis, or was that simply a fairy tale I learned in Science Class in the 70's? Wasn't it only recently that our rain forests were diminishing from pollution? And suddenly science is now positing that the very process by which every green thing on earth is ultimately sustained, is the process NOW causing Global Warming? Am I the only one who sees a contradiction here? Add to our fear the guilt that is begin fomented against humans for our having exuding excess CO2--a natural byproduct of, say, BREATHING...and, hello...next we will be told to stop breathing so as to preserver the biosphere? OK, maybe accept a high tax on human emissions....

    As far as the aforementioned issue regarding America's not questioning the disturbingly chummy relationship between the Saudis and the Bush family, this is just another blatant example of how dumbed down we have allowed ourselves to become. Scores of books and news articles disclosing various aspects of this odious liaison have been penned over the past decade, and yet the sum total of their effect appears to be that TRUTH ("...had no form or beauty that we should desire [it]..."), that is, the documented data contained within such exposes not appear to be "sexy" enough for our appetites; I repeat, the truth is not sexy. TRUTH doesn't sell advertising $$$$. Truth doesn't increase viewer ratings. Most of today's peppy anchorpersons are actors, first; not journalists. They are READERS of scripts. Remember the Writers' Strike? (You are the exception, Bill Moyers.) We sheep would rather lose ourselves in Britney Spears' latest antics, Hillary Clinton's latest tears, or the most recent installment of the Desperate Housewives. And, notably, the damning information disclosed in most House of Bush exposés, to date, has neither caused so much as a wrinkle upon the brow of mass media, nor scratched the surface of the collective public mind, if there even is such a thing.

    Again, I ask--who is served? Who benefits from keeping us so entertained that we no longer desire the facts? And why is it that we humans can no longer discern the extreme extent to which we are begin force-fed unmitigated propaganda? Who ultimately stands to benefit from our collective and ongoing state of ignorance/indifference/fear? And where are the Howard Beales of this generation? Where are the true shepherds?

    Baaa-a-a-aa...

    Welcome back to PBS, Bill. Great show. Great guests.

    Which explains why the war on Iraq, and Washington's current hostility toward Iran are all about having the upper hand against competing economic powers that also have high strategic energy interests in the Mid East region.

    Any development at the United Nations Security Council will illustrate that reality.

    Oil is the most strategic weapon in any country's arsenal. Without it you can't move your tactical weapons or support your front lines or fly in smart bombs. Without fuel an army can't move.

    It is virtually inconceivable that any literate thinker would believe that American interests in the Middle East is about democracy.
    http://adgitadiaries.blog-city.com

    From 1980 to 2005, total economic Output,in terms of chained dollars, has increased by 75%, not over 100%. Average annual growth since 1980 has been only 3% year, not the 4% a year required to double the economy in 25 years. The historical average is actually 3.5%

    Bill,
    Thank you again for an outstanding program.
    It seems to me after listening to the discussions regarding foreign policy, democracy and corporate power that we need to have some new defenitions and language for our system of government. We call it a "democracy" but it drifts farther from that all the time. In reality of course it is a "Corporate Oligarchy." the control is nearly complete. The control of the for profit media, paid for by big money, has created a "Capitolist's 1984." We are in a spiral toward, as a previouse guest said, "soft fascism."
    Please bring John Edwards to your table as soon as possible. He is a voice in the darkness.
    Your program continues to shed light. Thank you!

    IT SO GOOD TO HEAR WHAT HAS BEEN SUSPECT TO ME FOR MANY YEARS--I LOVE YOUR SHOW--KEEP IT UP---I KNEW GEORGE BUSH DIDNT HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO MAKE MONEY ON HIS OWN WITHOUT THE LOOP HOLES.AND TO HEAR HOW CLINTON FOLLOWED THRU AND GOT NAFFDA IN --MAKES ONE HAVE AN ILL FEELING ABOUT THEM ALL--ZANE

    It was so exhilarating to finally heard some speak of the Bush family's relationship to the arab countries; in particular Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

    The American media has let the people down by failing to report how the Bush family has financially benefited from their relationships with SA and Kuwait.

    No investigations into the 15-19 Saudi 9/11 highjackers; the removal of 28 pages in the 9/11 report by President Bush relating to the Saudis; The first plane to leave the US on 9/13 was filled with Saudis and members of thew Bin Laden family; Preseint Bush's business relationship with Salim Bin Laden and Arbusto Oil; it seems President Bush has taken an extra effort to protect the Saudi Royal Family. Botton line it is all about money.

    I have only one question to ask. "How much money has the entire Bush family (Neil, Marvin, George HW, Jeb and George W) made from the arab countries, in particular Saudi Arabia and Kuwait since the First Gulf War?"

    I would wager today the the combined worth of the entire Bush family approaches the billion dollar area. Amazing for a family who was worth less than 10 million prior to 1988.

    This country spent over 4 years and 70 million dollars investigating Whitewater (a small land deal), Travelgate, Vince Foster and, of course, Monica against Bill Clinton. Special investigators, special prosecutors, Senate and House Committee investigations abounded, and yet today not one look into the Bush family and their relationship with the arabs; not one investigation into the 15 Saudi 9/11 highjackers. Is this right? Is something wrong here? I think so.

    Remember, it is all about oil. Just like the Iraq War=oil and revenge..period. I hope the American people finally wake up.

    Bill Moyers' comparison of Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., though eloquent, failed just as did Senator Clinton's. There have been 43 Presidents of the United States and their achievements are continually compared and contrasted. Any comparison between King and Johnson fails because Dr. King is incomparable. Though Bill Moyers aired Senator Clinton's complete remarks on the subject, those remarks were made only after she first drew comparison between herself and Senator Obama via an analogy to Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., with herself as the modern day Johnson, expertly bringing to fruition the dreams and eloquent rhetoric of Dr. King as contrasted to Senator Obama's inspired rhetoric. This comparison is flawed on every level. First, it equates Senator Clinton to, in Bill Moyer's words, "The Master of the Senate", Lyndon Baines Johnson and second, it implies that civil rights legislation was ultimately the achievement of President Johnson, not Dr. King, despite all latter disclaimers from the candidate to the contrary. What I derived from Bill Moyers' essay on Johnson and King was that civil rights legislation would not have been possible but for King speaking truth to power and persuading Johnson that confrontation, not political persuasion and compromise, was the correct path to success. I am old enough to remember those days and Jim Crow and how passionate people were on both sides, but after viewing Bill Moyers' essay, I am less persuaded that Johnson's actions were courageous than a political imperative given the crisis that Dr. King generated. Indeed, it was Bill Moyers' contention that only King's insistence to 'keep the heat on' through continued protest and civil disobedience assured the legislation's passage. The tone of the essay almost said, 'I knew Lyndon Baines Johnson, Lyndon Baines Johnson was a friend of mine and Martin Luther King, Jr. was no Lyndon Baines Johnson.' The essay seemed to me an apology both for Bill Moyers' late boss and mentor and for Senator Clinton's ill considered remarks. In any event, Senator Clinton's self comparison to Lyndon Johnson, no matter how veiled, is the height of hubris. As for the comparison of President Johnson to Dr. King in the matter of bringing civil rights to this country, I can only say I do not know LBJ's birthday, but the entire nation celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday on January 21. LBJ was a flawed President; Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man for the ages. By the way, I am a white male, raised in St. Louis in the 50's and 60's and a political independent who greatly admires Bill Moyers' intellectual keenness.

    Another great program!

    The fall of Bush ... and the fall of Saudi Oil Production. The good news is no one is in control of oil production. The bad news is no one is in control of swing upside production... We are flat out and liquid production of oil is heading down.

    Yes, Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, belongs to the Dawa Party which is has ties to Iran but al-Maliki spent his exile in Syria not Iran. So why should he necessarily be painted with that brush?

    I was very interested in your interview with Craig Unger. However, I doubt that Saudi Arabia can increase their oil production. I would suggest you interview Matt Simmons of "Twilight in the Desert" about the state of the oil industry in Saudi Arabia.

    I have studied and reserched Human Behavior and Social Psychology for more than 20 years. My concentration was on the use of propaganda techniques to mold the behavior of governed people. The truth remains that with the main stream media having fifty years to mold the evolving "opinions" of the general public, like in Rome, Athens, Cairo, Berlin, Bejing and Washington, the media junkies of this country have evolved to the point of holding only the opinions and thought capacity that has been spoon fed to them. My family has donated to PBS for years and I am saddened to see and hear the opinions and limited fairness of the Mainstream has leaked into the public owned arena. As far as your discussion topics, The fact remains that the issues are not whether the US should Support Isreal or Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or South Korea... We should not be supporting any other country. The US needs to tell their mooching playmates that it's time to grow up and take care of yourself. The US needs to change it's Foreign Policy completely and stick to open free trade with all countries, NO More FAVORITISM, and stop nation building. Does the CONSTITUTION mean anything to the media and their political puppets? The only entities that benefit from our national debt are the banks and the corporations who sell bombs and rebuild ruins. Americans are wise to this and that is why Ron Paul supporters grow exponentially monthly. The whole concept that politicians can lie about lieing while they claim to care about the American PEOPLE; that central banks can blame inflation, recession and depression on business cycles; or that the media is fair unbiased and report the truth are all myths and far from reality. The foreign policy of the US is NOT in the best interest of AMERICAN people. Therefore the topic up for discussion is mute and proves that even those at PBS have succomb to the pressure of the propagandists. Ron Paul is a viable candidate yet the media, and now PBS, won't mention him in any of the Washington Updates or Jim Leher discussions. Bill Moyers is the only FAIR personality PBS has. What should America do regarding foreign policy???
    Look to Ron Paul for the answers. He cares about the PEOPLE of America and that is why the propaganda machine ignores him right out despite his growing numbers of national supporters. Even if he does not win, the American People have awaken and change will come in the Senate and the House. Then let's talk foriegn policy.

    Cordially

    J Morgan

    I would wean the country off goods from the nondemocratic regimes and quietly emphasize respect for freedom. You can't export democracy from the barrel of a gun, but you can get information into the hands of people living in nondemocratic regimes (these days, an Internet connection and a cheap laptop would be better than Voice of America radio) and catalyze their own desire for change.

    I've been puzzling about how to counter the extraordinary influence of corporate interests on the editorial decisions in our major media for many years.

    One sure way to measure this control is to contrast and compare with independent sources of information... to follow the money.

    This week I've been reading everything I can find online regarding our policies in the Middle East, and their relationship to the influence of AIPAC.

    Mr. Unger's assertions are scarcely refutable, and in fact, do not go far enough. Public ignorance of Israel's behavior in the "Occupied Territories," and our blind support of that behavior are evidence enough. The confluence of that support with journalism in our commercial media, that perfectly parrots AIPAC's "talking points," assures public support for a foreign policy that is anathema, to every principle of democratic governance and human rights.

    "Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . . ." Thomas Jefferson

    The mistake is in thinking that there is a single source of Middle East Policy from the U.S. Government and that once policy is staed, it happens. Nominal Policy is one thing, implementation is another.

    The reality also is the US policy is for-hire, to the highest bidders. The Israel Lobby in the U.S. can get 73 Senators to favor any policy Israel proposes. The Saudis hired the Bush Family as their agents. Maybe the Clintons are next.

    Remember, It's about U.S.Dollars, not about U.S. National Interests.

    (Remember when the Japanese gave Reagan $2 Million after he left office as a Thank You "Note" ?)

    Is it so awful to admit that different communities are at different stages of development and, therefore, have different needs? You can't build a democracy on the back of a theocracy - even in the West we had monarchies between our medieval church and democratic governments.
    We need a policy based on developmental stages, not desired end states.

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