August 22nd, 2006

Chris Keeley

Scandalous Guantanamo--article in WashPost 8/21/06

Scandalous Guantanamo--article in WashPost 8/21/06

Subject:        Scandalous Guantanamo--article in WashPost 8/21/06
Date:   Mon, 21 Aug 2006 17:01:35 -0400
From:   Robert Keeley

  This fairly long article in today's Post is well worth reading, as
it appears to be well researched, and it is really upsetting. If the
behavior of our government in this case is illustrative of how a
democracy works, then it's no wonder that many foreigners lack
enthusiasm for our project of injecting democracy into their neighborhoods.

At Guantanamo, Caught in a Legal Trap

By Craig Whitlock

SARAJEVO, Bosnia -- On Jan. 18, 2002, six men suspected of plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy were seized here by U.S. troops and flown to Cuba, where they became some of the first arrivals at the Pentagon's new prison at Guantanamo Bay. In early October 2001, the United States was still... At......

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Chris Keeley

FSO(R) John Brady Kiesling's "Diplomacy Lessons" launches with

FSO(R) John Brady Kiesling's "Diplomacy Lessons" launches with
mega events

An insightful and stimulating read for we, Foreign Service Veterans...
cheers  TEX

   *POTOMAC BOOKS, INC.*

   Is Pleased to Announce the Release of

   */ /*

   */Diplomacy Lessons: /*/Realism for an Unloved Superpower/
   By John Brady Kiesling

   *_Please join us for the following events in Washington, DC_*

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Chris Keeley

MOVING AWAY FROM GOVT PROFESSIONALIZATION... by Krugman

 *Tax Farmers, Mercenaries and Viceroys*
   By PAUL KRUGMAN

   21 August 2006
   The New York Times

   The New York Times Company

   Yesterday The New York Times reported that the Internal Revenue
   Service would
   outsource collection of unpaid back taxes to private debt
   collectors, who would
   receive a share of the proceeds.

   It's an awful idea. Privatizing tax collection will cost far more
   than hiring
   additional I.R.S. agents, raise less revenue and pose obvious risks
   of abuse.
   But what's really amazing is the extent to which this plan is a
   retreat from
   modern principles of government. I used to say that conservatives
   want to take
   us back to the 1920's, but the Bush administration seemingly wants
   to go back
   to the 16th century.
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Chris Keeley

In Ireland during the sixties, when contraception was illegal, there were ten people who were too ol

In Ireland during the sixties, when contraception was illegal, there were ten people who were too old or too young to work for every fourteen people in a position to earn a paycheck. That meant that the country was spending a large percentage of its resources on caring for the young and the old. Last year, Ireland’s dependency ratio hit an all-time low: for every ten dependents, it had twenty-two people of working age. That change coincides precisely with the country’s extraordinary economic surge.

THE RISK POOL
by MALCOLM GLADWELL
What’s behind Ireland’s economic miracle—and G.M.’s financial crisis?
Issue of 2006-08-28
Posted 2006-08-21

The years just after the Second World War were a time of great industrial upheaval in the United States. Strikes were commonplace. Workers moved from one company to another. Runaway inflation was eroding the value of wages. In the uncertain nineteen-forties, in the wake of the Depression and the war, workers wanted security, and in 1949 the head of the Toledo, Ohio, local of the United Auto Workers, Richard Gosser, came up with a proposal. The workers of Toledo needed pensions. But, he said, the pension plan should be regional, spread across the many small auto-parts makers, electrical-appliance manufacturers, and plastics shops in the Toledo area. That way, if workers switched jobs they could take their pension credits with them, and if a company went bankrupt its workers’ retirement would be safe. Every company in the area, Gosser proposed, should pay ten cents an hour, per worker, into a centralized fund.

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Chris Keeley

On the Kidnapping of the Palestinian Government

Subject:        On the Kidnapping of the Palestinian Government
Date:   Tue, 22 Aug 2006 22:50:49 +0300

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Meanwhile, Israel's kidnapping of the members of the democratically
elected Palestinian cabinet and legislature -- dozens of them, mostly
from their homes during the night -- goes on. The Western media, to the
extent that it even deems such behavior (inconceivable in any other
international context) newsworthy, tends to describe such
midnight snatches by a foreign country's military forces as "arrests".
No one suggests that such kidnappings might be acts of war justifying
the retaliatory slaughter of over a thousand Israeli civilians and the
infliction of billions of dollars of damage on the Israeli
infrastructure and economy ... as when Israeli soldiers are "kidnapped"
in military actions. No one suggests that Palestinians might, if they
could, be justified in fighting back -- or even defending themselves --
in any manner. No one suggests that such outrages make a mockery of the
West's professed attachment to "democracy" and "human rights".

Words fail me. Phrases like "rabid racism" and "moral bankruptcy" are
inadequate in the face of such outrages -- and silence.

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Chris Keeley

FSO(R) Terry Arnold on "The Dangers Of Terrorism Monomania"

*The Dangers Of
Terrorism Monomania
*By Terrell E. Arnold
8-18-6

   On August 10, British police announced that they had arrested 21
   people said to be involved in a terrorism plot.  The scheme, police
   spokesmen revealed, was to take component chemicals on board
   transatlantic flights, create binary explosives on board, detonate
   and destroy the aircraft. More slowly, it was also revealed that the
   21, alleged "home-grown" plotters, were all from Britain's large
   Muslim communities.
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Chris Keeley

Labels such as "Islamo fascism" and a narrow focus on so-called

Labels such as "Islamo fascism" and a narrow focus on so-called
   Islamic extremists represent a gross American misreading of what is
   happening in the Muslim world.  The use of the word, "Islamic", is
   now classed by many Muslims with the epithet, "nigger", in American
   history. By using such terms, the President of the United States
   simply talks down to all peoples of the Muslim world.


   The virtual total failure of the War on Terrorism comes down to two
   vital weaknesses.  One is that the very structure of the campaign as
   a "War" simply by-passes any focus on the real causes of and
   solutions to terrorism and insurgency. The notion that all
   disagreements with others can be resolved by force--the central
   model of Israeli policy now borrowed by the US--simply ignores the
   core realities of the human condition. Poverty, hunger, social and
   political exclusion of many groups, actual repression and denial of
   political participation will not go away because you kill some of
   the people who complain or fight back.  Resistance simply will grow.


   The second and likely most costly weakness of the War on Terrorism
   is the US focus, as exemplified by Presidential speeches, on
   so-called Islamic radicalism or the cant phrase "Islamo fascism."
   The wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan are--along with US-facilitated
   and supported Israeli destruction of Lebanon and Palestine--driving
   the people of the Muslim world progressively away from the United
   States.