June 13, 2005

LNS All Along The Watchtower, Emergency Broadcast, No. 1, Part II

Bush Abomination’s #1 Failure: National Security

Center for American Progress, Integrated Power: A National Security Strategy for the 21st Century, Executive Summary, 6/7/05: The United States can best protect the American people and advance its interests by adopting a new national security strategy based on an integrated approach to using American power. The Center for American Progress in its new national security strategy, Integrated Power, argues that America's interests are best achieved through a multidimensional approach that spurns the false dichotomy between the concepts of "hard" and "soft" power and views them instead as two strands of the same cord. By merging the many and varied powers of the United States - military, economic, political, cultural, and diplomatic, among others - the country will be in the strongest position to address threats, prevent conflicts, and recapture its moral leadership.
Integrated Power fills a void. The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 obligates the president to present to the Congress and the American people a national security strategy every year. The Bush administration last released a national security strategy in 2002 - when it offered the now discredited doctrine of preventive war in an attempt to justify the diversion from finishing the job in Afghanistan to pursue the war against Iraq.
Three years later, the effects of the Bush administration's strategy are clear. Our military is weaker, many of our historic alliances are frayed, our Treasury is depleted, Osama bin Laden remains at large, and our tarnished reputation abroad has diminished our capacity to exercise moral leadership. Confronted with a foreign policy in shambles, the administration discovered the word democracy. But their new "strategy" of democracy amounts to little more than rhetoric. Sound-bite foreign policy will not get the United States through the tough times ahead. The United States needs a strategy to protect our national security that is based on the way the world actually is, not on how some ideologues wish it to be.
Integrated Power identifies three forces of fragmentation, or threats, that our country faces: global terrorist networks, extreme regimes, and weak and failing states. The current approach has not only been ineffective at confronting these threats, but it has eroded America's global leadership position and exposed us to new dangers.
At the same time, the United States is - or can be - poised to benefit from four forces of integration: globalization, democratization, the emergence of new powers, and advances in technology. Using the concept of integrated power as the foundation of a new approach, the strategy presented articulates three primary principles to guide our policies: first, protect the American people; second, prevent conflict - primarily through engagement; and third, lead vital alliances and modernized international institutions.
Integrated Power argues that the United States must build alliances with nations and lead the effort to modernize international institutions because they increase our power, influence, and credibility. Integrated Power argues for wholesale changes in the way the United States engages with the developing world. It points to opportunities presented by rising new powers such as China and India.
To integrate all the instruments of our power the United States must tear down the false bureaucratic barriers that separate national security and foreign policy from homeland security and energy policies. Integrated Power calls for the creation of a unified national security budget to replace the outdated, Cold War structure of divided accounts.
After presenting the case for a new approach, we apply this strategy in six areas in which a series of concrete policy recommendations are made. Here, our recommendations diverge significantly from the Bush administration's approach. In particular, Integrated Power recommends:
Attack Global Terrorist Networks
• Enlarge the active duty Army by 86,000 troops.
• Reengage in the Middle East peace process.
• Create a credible exit strategy from Iraq; clearly state our intention not to maintain any permanent military bases in Iraq or Afghanistan.
• Enhance intelligence and law enforcement capabilities and punish terrorist financers.
• Engage in a broad public diplomacy campaign designed to counter distorted perceptions of U.S. policies and values.
Counter the Nuclear Threat
• Engage in both multilateral and bilateral discussions with Iran and North Korea.
• Condition fulfillment of $3 billion of foreign aid to Pakistan on full access to A.Q. Khan
• Double funding to secure nuclear weapons and materials.
• Stop developing new nuclear bunker buster weapons.
• Develop a new nuclear posture for deployment and disarmament of our nuclear force.
Protect the Homeland
• Improve intelligence sharing within the federal government and establish Homeland Security Operations Centers in critical locations to improve the flow of threat information between federal and state and local authorities.
• Implement action plans to protect critical infrastructure such as ports, nuclear power plants, and chemical plants.
• Reexamine visa policies that have significantly slowed the flow of scholars, scientists, and students coming to the United States.
Prevent Conflict, Promote Prosperity
• Support the "responsibility to protect" doctrine and exert leadership to stop genocide in Darfur.
• Establish a new Department of International Development to oversee foreign assistance and conflict-prevention programs.
• Meet Millennium Development goals by increasing foreign assistance five-fold to 0.7 percent of GNP by 2015.
• Lead an aggressive effort to achieve final agreement in the Doha Development Round of international trade negotiations.
Advance Democracy
• Go beyond rhetoric and provide enduring support for democratic institutions and the rule of law.
• Monitor and press for human rights no matter the country.
• Work with democratic allies to support opposition movements in countries oppressed by tyranny.
Pursue Energy independence
• Recognize that energy policy is integral to our national security policy and work to achieve energy independence.
• Increase energy efficiency in transportation, new buildings, and household appliances.
• Deploy renewable energy sources by requiring that 25 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources, investing in biofuels, and investing in the development of future fuels.
• Modernize America's energy infrastructure.

At Manchester Democratic fundraiser Clark says Bush ruining military, Associated Press, 6/13/05: Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Sunday that the Bush administration's foreign policy is undermining the nation's support for its military.
Clark, who was a candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, said the president's use of the armed forces has hurt recruitment efforts and eroded public support for the military.
"We have to make our legislators and president understand we believe in a volunteer force, and we expect him to have the leadership to guide our country in the right way in foreign affairs without wrecking the military institutions that keep us safe," Clark said while attending a fundraiser for Manchester Democrats.
He also accused the administration of committing soldiers in Iraq without proper planning and support.
"(Bush) used fear, the fear of the American people to take us into a war that was purely elective," Clark said.
Clark also voiced strong support for Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean, who has been criticized for comments attacking Republicans.
"We've got to protect our freedom and our liberty," Clark said. "I'm proud of Howard Dean. I'm proud of the Democratic party. And we're going to stand together as a party."
Clark has not said whether he will make another run for the White House in 2008, but he has said he has not ruled it out.

Bush Abomination’s #2 Failure: Economic Security

Greg Palast, FRENCH FRIED FRIEDMAN, The Nouvelle Globalizer, www.gregpalast.com: Vicente Fox got a well-deserved boot in the derrière for saying Mexicans come to America for taking jobs "not even Blacks want to do."
But Thomas Friedman earns plaudits and Pulitzers for his column which today announces that East Indians are taking jobs the French are too lazy to do. [See, "A Race to the Top," New York Times.] Friedman's fit of racial profiling was motivated by his pique over France's rejection of the globalizers' charter for corporate dominance known as the European Constitution.
It's not the implicit racism of Friedman's statement which is most irksome, it's his ghastly glee that, "a world of benefits they [Western Europeans] have known for 50 years is coming apart," because the French and other Europeans "are trying to preserve a 35 hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day."
He forgot to add, "and where Indian families are ready to sell their children into sexual slavery to survive." Now, THERE'S a standard to reach for…
Friedman praises the New India, freed of the shackles of Old India's socialist welfare state. I've seen the New India: half a billion people in dirt huts supporting a tiny minority's right to shop in air-conditioned malls. It is a Fritz Lang film in Hindi.
There is, of course, a hopeful, growing India where the much-heralded cyber work is based. But, Mr. Friedman, please note these brains for hire are found in Karnataka and Kerala, states whose cussed adherence to social welfare makes them more French than France and nothing like Thatcherized dog-eat-dog Britain nor Reaganized America.
The computer wizards of Bangalore (in Karnataka state) and Kerala are the products of fully funded state education systems where, unlike the USA, no child is left behind. A huge apparatus of state-owned or state-controlled industries, redistributionist tax systems, subsidies of necessities from electricity to food, tight government regulation and affirmative action programs for the lower castes are what has created these comfortable refuges for Oracle and Microsoft.
And the successful Indian states, unlike the dreadful free-market Uttar Pradesh, have labor unions so tough they make the French CGT look like a luncheon club of baguette biters…
When I asked the fishermen on their way to programming lessons what the West could do to encourage their efforts, they did not suggest privatizing Kerala's social security system. Rather -- and this was before the Seattle demonstrations of 1999 brought the World Trade Organization to the West's attention -- they called for the abolition of the WTO and greater protection for their wooden fishing fleet against the foreign factory boats marauding in their waters. With protective trade barriers, they could do as the US did for a hundred years: build up local resources and industry to create the infrastructure of growth.
And the programmers themselves do not dream, Mr. Friedman, of stealing work from indolent Frenchmen or slothful Seattle geeks. Indians are not in love with the new method of brain-drain by satellite. They're frustrated dream is to write code in their own languages for their own industries…
Friedman ends with the typical globalizer's warning that, "it's a bad time for France and friends to lose their appetite for hard work" or, he growls, they will lose their jobs to Indians and Chinese willing to work for noodles. What Friedman means is that the French should give up their taste for old age pensions, universal health care, top-quality public education, time off for holidays with the kids, protection of their skies and waters and all those things we used to call advances but now, according to the Friedman world order, stand in the way of progress.
It is too bad that the Times' opinion columns have not been outsourced to India. Were it so, a Keralite might explain to Friedman that human advances are measured not by our wil
lingness to crawl lower and lower to buy ourselves a job from Bill Gates, or by counting the number of Gap outlets in Delhi, but by our success in protecting and nurturing liberté, égalité and fraternité among all humanity…http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=434&row=0

Paul Krugman, Losing Our Country, New York Times, 6/10/05: Working families have seen little if any progress over the past 30 years. Adjusted for inflation, the income of the median family doubled between 1947 and 1973. But it rose only 22 percent from 1973 to 2003, and much of that gain was the result of wives' entering the paid labor force or working longer hours, not rising wages.
Meanwhile, economic security is a thing of the past: year-to-year fluctuations in the incomes of working families are far larger than they were a generation ago. All it takes is a bit of bad luck in employment or health to plunge a family that seems solidly middle-class into poverty.
But the wealthy have done very well indeed. Since 1973 the average income of the top 1 percent of Americans has doubled, and the income of the top 0.1 percent has tripled.
Why is this happening? I'll have more to say on that another day, but for now let me just point out that middle-class America didn't emerge by accident. It was created by what has been called the Great Compression of incomes that took place during World War II, and sustained for a generation by social norms that favored equality, strong labor unions and progressive taxation. Since the 1970's, all of those sustaining forces have lost their power.
Since 1980 in particular, US government policies have consistently favored the wealthy at the expense of working families - and under the current administration, that favoritism has become extreme and relentless. From tax cuts that favor the rich to bankruptcy "reform" that punishes the unlucky, almost every domestic policy seems intended to accelerate our march back to the robber baron era.
It's not a pretty picture - which is why right-wing partisans try so hard to discredit anyone who tries to explain to the public what's going on…
The fact is that working families aren't sharing in the economy's growth, and face growing economic insecurity. And there's good reason to believe that a society in which most people can reasonably be considered middle class is a better society - and more likely to be a functioning democracy - than one in which there are great extremes of wealth and poverty.
Reversing the rise in inequality and economic insecurity won't be easy: the middle-class society we have lost emerged only after the country was shaken by depression and war. But we can make a start by calling attention to the politicians who systematically make things worse in catering to their contributors. Never mind that straw man, the politics of envy. Let's try to do something about the politics of greed.

Bush Abomination’s #3 Failure: Environmental Security

John Vidal, Revealed: How Oil Giant Influenced Bush, Guardian, 6/8/05: President's George Bush's decision not to sign the United States up to the Kyoto global warming treaty was partly a result of pressure from ExxonMobil, the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries, according to US State Department papers seen by the Guardian…
In briefing papers given before meetings to the US under-secretary of state, Paula Dobriansky, between 2001 and 2004, the administration is found thanking Exxon executives for the company's "active involvement" in helping to determine climate change policy, and also seeking its advice on what climate change policies the company might find acceptable…
Until now Exxon has publicly maintained that it had no involvement in the US government's rejection of Kyoto. But the documents, obtained by Greenpeace under US freedom of information legislation, suggest this is not the case.
"Potus [president of the United States] rejected Kyoto in part based on input from you [the Global Climate Coalition]," says one briefing note before Ms Dobriansky's meeting with the GCC, the main anti-Kyoto US industry group, which was dominated by Exxon…

Steve Connor, G8 scientists tell Bush: Act now - or else, An unprecedented warning as global warming worsens, Independent/UK, 6/8/05: An unprecedented joint statement issued by the leading scientific academies of the world has called on the G8 governments to take urgent action to avert a global catastrophe caused by climate change.
The national academies of science for all the G8 countries, along with those of Brazil, India and China, have warned that governments must no longer procrastinate on what is widely seen as the greatest danger facing humanity. The statement, which has taken months to finalise, is all the more important as it is signed by Bruce Alberts, president of the US National Academy of Sciences, which has warned George Bush about the dangers of ignoring the threat posed by global warming…
Lord May of Oxford, the president of the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of sciences, lambasted President Bush yesterday for ignoring his own scientists by withdrawing from the Kyoto treaty. "The current US policy on climate change is misguided. The Bush administration has consistently refused to accept advice of the US National Academy of Sciences ... Getting the US on board is critical because of the sheer amount of greenhouse gas emissions they are responsible for," Lord May said…
1958: A US scientist, Charles Keeling, begins measuring the atmospheri

Posted by richard at June 13, 2005 07:36 PM