Montana Introduces Comprehensive Nullification Bill 3

It’s the first state to do so.

This is how I envision the revolution actually happening.

If I’m correct that the liberal-Left is going to dominate U.S. national politics for the next few decades, then more and more “red states” will likely adopt such actions, and hopefully “blue zones” in red states will follow with secessionist threats of their own like Pima County in Arizona is doing. And then black, white, yellow, brown, pink, green, and purple zones starts will start seceding from each other until the state is virtually destroyed by many different communities going off and doing their own thing.

Bradley Manning Could Face Death: For What? Reply

Glenn Greenwald on the state’s efforts to kill the solider who exposed U.S. war crimes.

The U.S. Army yesterday announced that it has filed 22 additional charges against Bradley Manning, the Private accused of being the source for hundreds of thousands of documents (as well as this still-striking video) published over the last year by WikiLeaks. Most of the charges add little to the ones already filed, but the most serious new charge is for “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Although military prosecutors stated that they intend to seek life imprisonment rather than the death penalty for this alleged crime, the military tribunal is still empowered to sentence Manning to death if convicted.

Do the Rich Really Pay Most of the Taxes? Reply

Not exactly. Kevin Carson explains why.

Although (by strong implication, anyway) Paul & Co. frame the issue as the shiftless majority voting themselves loot at the expense of the hardworking rich, what’s really happening is that the rich who control the state are smart enough to understand what the system — not the free market, but the corporate economy as currently structured — needs for its survival.  The rich simply have more investment funds sitting around than there are productive outlets for, while productive capacity sits idle for want of demand.  If the government didn’t bolster aggregate demand by taxing it and then spending it into circulation, we’d be in a permanent big-D Depression.

The Free Market's Regulatory Model Reply

David D’Amato on why the regulatory state serves the alliance of state and capital.

Big Business, we are frequently advised, is the enemy of our natural biosphere, forever seeking new ways to sidestep its responsibilities to the environment and to dirty it at will. This assumption is, in the main, difficult to contest, its evidentiary support inescapably confronting anyone paying even the least attention. This popularly-understood fact, however, is attended by another assumption regarding the relationship between power and the natural world, that the state is the great taming influence on the evil corporation.

As historian Gabriel Kolko demonstrated in his groundbreaking account of the Progressive Era, absolutely nothing in political life could be further from the truth. “[T]he federal government,” reveals Kolko’s The Triumph of Conservatism, “rather than being a source of negative opposition, always represented a source of economic gain” for Big Business. The state, in conflict with the widely-accepted story we get from “respected” outlets, allowed corporate powerhouses to “solve their economic problems by centralization.”

It doctored the economic system, introducing cartelizing regulations, to displace any trace of free market forces that — if genuinely left to themselves — would tend to shake the giant companies at their substrata. In her study of the French free market radicals, Joanna Kitchin similarly identified their view of the free market as a system that “prevents excessive enrichment due to monopolies” and “diffuses very widely the profits of industry.”

Noam Chomsky: Stability, A Cold Code Word With U.S. Reply

A new interview with Professor Noam.

Chomsky: I think that more can be done, what is happening is already pretty awful and that could lead to a really major bloodbath. Information is pretty sparse but at least the eastern province appears to be substantially under control by the popular uprising. Tripoli looks very dangerous. I think efforts could be made to provide assistance and protection to the parts of the population that have succeeded in liberating parts of Libya. However, nobody wants a western intervention. That would probably be not only wrong but also disastrous. But actions could be taken through the UN presumably.

The Sunic Journal: Richard Spencer and Alex Kurtagic Reply

Listen to the interview.

Tom’s guests are Alex Kurtagic, founder of publisher Wermod and Wermod, a novelist, and author of the dystopian novel Mister and Richard Spencer, the executive editor and founder of website magazine Alternative Right, also author of numerous literary essays.

The main focus of their discussion is culture, as the vehicle of political struggle, and how can cultural battle shape up political activism.

Liberal Arizona County Threatens Secession, Says State is too Conservative 5

Awesome! We need much more of this. If liberal counties would start seceding from red states, and conservative counties would start seceding from blue states, we’d be well on our way to anarcho-pluralism. Read the article.

Who Else Should Secede?

Since we’re on the subject of secession based on conservatives-gone-wild, what other states or cities might think of seceding?  This is a thought experiment of sorts—one that every socialism-hating patriot should consider since the liberal coastal state taxes fund their pork barrel projects.  And if pork barrel politics isn’t socialism, then what else qualifies?

1. California

True.  California is in a bit of a budget crisis, but as the seat of the entertainment and agricultural industries, Silicon Valley, pornography, not to mention the world class cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco (hell, San Diego might even qualify), California is not in want of anything, aside from energy (more on that later).

California boasts approximately $1.8 billion in gross state product, the highest of any state in the union.  The tax revenues from California have been redistributed all over the country, even down into those socialism-hating states to the southeast.  And given that California food feeds most of the nation, they’re certainly entitled to federal government bailout (what with all the taxes paid over the years).

Let the conservative states with significant fundamentalist Christian populations pay tariffs on all the food they purchase from liberal California.  California has great potential for alternative forms of energy, like solar, wind and ocean power.  And what is more, they are not in want of the intelligence to accomplish it.

2. New York City

Another case of a region’s wealth being redistributed to the pork-barrel states, New York City could sever itself from the rest of its State, but a secession from the Union would be far more problematic.  Too much of the U.S. economic interest is tied to the city.

In 1969, Norman Mailor and Jimmy Breslin ran on a ticket for the NYC mayoralty and city council presidency.  They suggested New York City secede from New York State, and the rest of the state call itself “Buffalo.”  Times have changed and Buffalo is no longer the manufacturing base it once was, but that probably wouldn’t bother upstate New York residents, who are regularly at odds with the state power wielded by New York City.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has even raised the possibility when he publicly noted that the city pays out $11 billion in taxes and gets virtually nothing back in return from the rest of the state.  The same could be said of all the red states who enjoy the federal benefits of New York City’s economic dominance.

3. Alaska

Alaska is a rogue state anyway and a chief beneficiary of pork-barrel projects financed by more economically robust state economies, so let’s just let this place go, and then Sarah Palin will finally get her wish of becoming president of a country.

Another possible scenario?  The Russians, drunk on high-octane beer, invade and occupy.  The rest of the U.S. is happy either way.

4. Utah

Enough said.

5. Texas

Texans like to talk a big game about how they were once upon a time their very own Republic, so why not let the red state secede as planned?  They clearly dislike being told what to do, especially by President Obama (not unlike Georgia Rep. Paul Broun), and they have an economy that could support their population with very cosmopolitan cities like Austin, Houston and Dallas.  There really is no reason for Texas to exist as part of the Union.

They have plenty of land, steers, BBQ recipes and cowboys to make this all happen: what are they waiting for?  Get on it boys!  Woooooeeee!  ”The stars at night are big and bright… (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas.”

Anarchic Urbanism Reply

From The Old Urbanist.

When valuable city land is left open and vacant by an absentee owner, enterprising individuals may enter and create functional living spaces, start-up businesses and entire self-governing communities on their own initiative.  This process of emergent organization, derided as anarchic by detractors (see video), in fact is anything but.

In Caracas, an unfinished 45-story tower, planned for office use but now under nominal state ownership, has been occupied by squatters.  Undeterred by the initial lack of plumbing and electric, not to mention lack of elevators, they have settled the building up to the 28th floor (apparently refuting the theory that people will refuse to walk up more than four to six storeys to an apartment), and, in the absence of zoning constraints and building codes, have added infrastructure and developed a mix of uses within the building:

“[S]quatters … have created a semblance of order within the skyscraper they now call their own. Sentries with walkie-talkies guard entrances. Each inhabited floor has electricity, jury-rigged to the grid, and water is transported up from the ground floor. … A beauty salon operates on one floor.  On another, an unlicensed dentist applies the brightly colored braces that are the rage in Caracas street fashion. Almost every floor has a small bodega.”

Although the Times article chalks up the situation in part to the economic mismanagement of the Chavez government, such  squatter communities are not unknown in the West.  In the news recently was the Copenhagen neighborhood of Christiania, a former army barracks which was settled by various counterculture elements in the early 1970s following its abandonment by the military.

In the absence of any intervention by the municipal government, and ungoverned by city codes, the settlers created not anarchy but (surely unintentionally) what has become the second most popular tourist attraction in Copenhagen.  While this is often attributed to the drug vending in the neighborhood, the remarkable architecture and emergent urbanism of the area are clearly major draws as well.

And although it’s not recent news, no mention of anarchic urbanism would be complete without a reference to the now-vanished Walled City of Kowloon, another extraordinary emergent transformation of a former military barracks.

Eric Margolis on the Middle Eastern Revolution Reply

Hear his interview with Scott Horton.

Eric Margolis, foreign correspondent and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses his interview with the “eccentric” Col. Gaddafi during the Reagan administration; the Western media’s exaggeration of Libyan violence, which provides a pretext for US military intervention; how the neocons got their Middle East democratic revolution, but not in the countries they intended; the colonial history of Morocco and Algeria, and their current repressive police states; how Arab revolutions are propelled by large youth populations and bleak economic prospects; and why the Saudi monarchy will more likely be felled by internal strife than popular revolt.

MP3 here. (29:45)

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow. A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.

Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet and American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.

Religion and Politics Reply

Why the Gods Are Not Winning

This article gives the raw data indicating the degree to which religious belief has declined worldwide over the past century. The authors also explain why religious conservatism is losing ground even in the most religious of industrialized nations, the United States.

These two articles explain how authoritarian leftism has escalated its statist attacks on religion as the state has grown while religion has declined.

Atheist Jihad by Dr. Robert M. Price (btw, Bob is a really interesting fellow: a former Christian fundamentalist turned liberal theologian turned Nietzschean philosopher)

How long before Christians Are Actively Persecuted in England? by Dr. Sean Gabb. Says Sean:

We are moving towards a persecution of Christianity because Christians believe in a source of authority separate from and higher than the State. Until recently, it was the custom of absolute states to make an accommodation with whatever church was largest. In return for being established, the priests would then preach obedience as a religious duty. Modern absolute states, though, are secular. Such were the Jacobin and the Bolshevik tyrannies. Such is our own, as yet, mild tyranny. In all three cases, religion was or is a problem. Though a Catholic, Aquinas speaks for most Christians when he explains the limits of obedience:

“Laws are often unjust…. They may be contrary to the good of mankind… either with regard to their end – as when a ruler imposes laws which are burdensome and are not designed for the common good, but proceed from his own rapacity or vanity; or with regard to their maker – if, for example, a ruler should go beyond his proper powers; or with regard to their form – if, though intended for the common good, their burdens should be inequitably distributed. Such laws come closer to violence than to true law…. They do not, therefore, oblige in conscience, except perhaps for the avoidance of scandal or disorder.” (Summa Theologiae, I-II, 96, 4, my translation)

Iran's Bizarro "Green Movement" Reply

Jack Ross on the Iranian opposition.

During the recent upheavals across the Greater Middle East, the various iterations of the neoconservative line—the optimistic pro-democracy, the paranoid Islamophobic, or the brazen combination of both—have all tended to share a single major fallacy: that the opposition movement in Iran, the so-called Green movement, is a movement that seeks the same goals as neoconservatives and their allies. This central premise presumes a number of unsupportable notions, including that the Green movement seeks to abolish the Islamic Republic, opposes the Iranian nuclear program, and wants to overhaul Iranian foreign policy.

Libertarian Mixed Feelings on Wisconsin Reply

Kevin Carson offers his perspective, and makes more or less the same arguments that I do.

So while I object to government employment in principle, I’m uneasy about the standard libertarian framing of the issue with rank-and-file government workers as the villains and Walker as the good guy.  If it’s a mistake to defend government workers as such,  the people who rally behind Wisconsin state employees at least do so on sound instincts.

They perceive, rightly, that Walker wants to break public sector unions not out of any principled attachment to free markets, but because they’re unions.  Unions, such as they are, one of the few remaining vestiges of a middle class way of life, in an age of stagnant real wages and skyrocketing CEO wages and corporate profits.  Walker, like other establishment Republicans, serves the interests of an unholy alliance between big government and big business.  If you want to know which master’s voice he obeys, just pay attention to who he takes calls from.

Our goal is to replace the present system with a different way of doing things — not to vilify those caught up in it.

Young Israeli Anarchists Defend Palestinians Reply

This is good stuff. Thanks to NATA-NY for digging this article up.

Established in 2003, the anarchists are young Israelis, mostly in their 20s, who work closely with the Palestinian popular village committees to resist Israel’s occupation. They have no official leaders, no office and no paid staff, and yet they have managed to accomplish more than many well-oiled non-governmental organizations and social movements. They are perhaps best known for their efforts in the small village of Bil’in, where for more than two years weekly demonstrations have been staged against the wall that Israel is building on Palestinian land.

The Real U.S. "National Security" Budget Reply

by Chris Hellman

http://www.amconmag.com/blog/the-real-u-s-national-security-budget/

What if you went to a restaurant and found it rather pricey? Still, you ordered your meal and, when done, picked up the check only to discover that it was almost twice the menu price.

Welcome to the world of the real U.S. national security budget. Normally, in media accounts, you hear about the Pentagon budget and the war-fighting supplementary funds passed by Congress for our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. That already gets you into a startling price range—close to $700 billion for 2012—but that’s barely more than half of it. If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.

Take that in for a moment. It’s true; you won’t find that figure in your daily newspaper or on your nightly newscast, but it’s no misprint. It may even be an underestimate.  In any case, it’s the real thing when it comes to your tax dollars. The simplest way to grasp just how Americans could pay such a staggering amount annually for “security” is to go through what we know about the U.S. national security budget, step by step, and add it all up.

So, here we go. Buckle your seat belt: it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Fortunately for us, on February 14th the Obama administration officially released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget request. Of course, it hasn’t been passed by Congress—even the 2011 budget hasn’t made it through that august body yet—but at least we have the most recent figures available for our calculations.

For 2012, the White House has requested $558 billion for the Pentagon’s annual “base” budget, plus an additional $118 billion to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  At $676 billion, that’s already nothing to sneeze at, but it’s just the barest of beginnings when it comes to what American taxpayers will actually spend on national security.  Think of it as the gigantic tip of a humongous iceberg.

To get closer to a real figure, it’s necessary to start peeking at other parts of the federal budget where so many other pots of security spending are squirreled away.

Missing from the Pentagon’s budget request, for example, is an additional $19.3 billion for nuclear-weapons-related activities like making sure our current stockpile of warheads will work as expected and cleaning up the waste created by seven decades of developing and producing them. That money, however, officially falls in the province of the Department of Energy.  And then, don’t forget an additional $7.8 billion that the Pentagon lumps into a “miscellaneous” category—a kind of department of chump change—that is included in neither its base budget nor those war-fighting funds.

So, even though we’re barely started, we’ve already hit a total official FY 2012 Pentagon budget request of:

$703.1 billion dollars.

Not usually included in national security spending are hundreds of billions of dollars that American taxpayers are asked to spend to pay for past wars, and to support our current and future national security strategy.

For starters, that $117.8 billion war-funding request for the Department of Defense doesn’t include certain actual “war-related fighting” costs. Take, for instance, the counterterrorism activities of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. For the first time, just as with the Pentagon budget, the FY 2012 request divides what’s called “International Affairs” in two: that is, into an annual “base” budget as well as funding for “Overseas Contingency Operations” related to Iraq and Afghanistan. (In the Bush years, these used to be called the Global War on Terror.) The State Department’s contribution? $8.7 billion. That brings the grand but very partial total so far to:

$711.8 billion.

The White House has also requested $71.6 billion for a post-2001 category called “homeland security”—of which $18.1 billion is funded through the Department of Defense. The remaining $53.5 billion goes through various other federal accounts, including the Department of Homeland Security ($37 billion), the Department of Health and Human Services ($4.6 billion), and the Department of Justice ($4.6 billion). All of it is, however, national security funding which brings our total to:

$765.3 billion.

The U.S. intelligence budget was technically classified prior to 2007, although at roughly $40 billion annually, it was considered one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington. Since then, as a result of recommendations by the 9/11 Commission, Congress has required that the government reveal the total amount spent on intelligence work related to the National Intelligence Program (NIP).

This work done by federal agencies like the CIA and the National Security Agency consists of keeping an eye on and trying to understand what other nations are doing and thinking, as well as a broad range of “covert operations” such as those being conducted in Pakistan. In this area, we won’t have figures until FY 2012 ends. The latest NIP funding figure we do have is $53.1 billion for FY 2010. There’s little question that the FY 2012 figure will be higher, but let’s be safe and stick with what we know.  (Keep in mind that the government spends plenty more on “intelligence.” Additional funds for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP), however, are already included in the Pentagon’s 2012 base budget and war-fighting supplemental, though we don’t know what they are. The FY 2010 funding for MIP, again the latest figure available, was $27 billion.)  In any case, add that $53.1 billion and we’re at:

$818.4 billion.

Veterans programs are an important part of the national security budget with the projected funding figure for 2012 being $129.3 billion. Of this, $59 billion is for veterans’ hospital and medical care, $70.3 billion for disability pensions and education programs. This category of national security funding has been growing rapidly in recent years because of the soaring medical-care needs of veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars. According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, by 2020 total funding for health-care services for veterans will have risen another 45%-75%.  In the meantime, for 2012 we’ve reached:

$947.7 billion.

If you include the part of the foreign affairs budget not directly related to U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other counterterrorism operations, you have an additional $18 billion in direct security spending.  Of this, $6.6 billion is for military aid to foreign countries, while almost $2 billion goes for “international peacekeeping” operations. A further $709 million has been designated for countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combating terrorism, and clearing landmines planted in regional conflicts around the globe.  This leaves us at:

$965.7 billion.

As with all federal retirees, U.S. military retirees and former civilian Department of Defense employees receive pension benefits from the government. The 2012 figure is $48.5 billion for military personnel, $20 billion for those civilian employees, which means we’ve now hit:

$1,034.2 billion. (Yes, that’s $1.03 trillion!)

When the federal government lacks sufficient funds to pay all of its obligations, it borrows. Each year, it must pay the interest on this debt which, for FY 2012, is projected at $474.1 billion.  The National Priorities Project calculates that 39% of that, or $185 billion, comes from borrowing related to past Pentagon spending.

Add it all together and the grand total for the known national security budget of the United States is:

$1,219.2 billion. (That’s more than $1.2 trillion.)

A country with a gross domestic product of $1.2 trillion would have the 15th largest economy in the world, ranking between Canada and Indonesia, and ahead of Australia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia.  Still, don’t for a second think that $1.2 trillion is the actual grand total for what the U.S. government spends on national security. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once famously spoke of the world’s “known unknowns.”  Explaining the phrase this way: “That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know.” It’s a concept that couldn’t apply better to the budget he once oversaw.  When it comes to U.S. national security spending, there are some relevant numbers we know are out there, even if we simply can’t calculate them.

To take one example, how much of NASA’s proposed $18.7 billion budget falls under national security spending? We know that the agency works closely with the Pentagon. NASA satellite launches often occur from the Air Force’s facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Air Force has its own satellite launch capability, but how much of that comes as a result of NASA technology and support?  In dollars terms, we just don’t know.

Other “known unknowns” would include portions of the State Department budget. One assumes that at least some of its diplomatic initiatives promote our security interests. Similarly, we have no figure for the pensions of non-Pentagon federal retirees who worked on security issues for the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, or the Departments of Justice and Treasury. Nor do we have figures for the interest on moneys borrowed to fund veterans’ benefits, among other national security-related matters. The bill for such known unknowns could easily run into the tens of billions of dollars annually, putting the full national security budget over the $1.3 trillion mark or even higher.

There’s a simple principle here.  American taxpayers should know just what they are paying for.  In a restaurant, a customer would be outraged to receive a check almost twice as high as the menu promised.  We have no idea whether the same would be true in the world of national security spending, because Americans are never told what national security actually means at the cash register.

Christopher Hellman is communications liaison at the National Priorities Project in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was previously a military policy analyst for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Defense Information, and spent 10 years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer working on national security and foreign policy issues. He is a TomDispatch regular and a frequent media commentator on military planning, policy, and budgetary issues. To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which Hellman explains how he arrived at his staggering numbers, click here, or download it to your iPod here.

[Note on Sources: The press release from the Office of The Director of National Intelligence disclosing the Fiscal Year 2010 $53 billion intelligence budget consists of 138 words and no details, other than that the office will disclose no details. It can be found by clicking here (.pdf file).  An October 2010 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office entitled “Potential Costs of Veterans’ Health Care” projects rapid cost growth for Veterans Administration services over the next decade as a result of spiraling health care costs. To read the full report, click here (.pdf file).  To see all the federal agencies that contribute to homeland security funding, click here (.pdf file)]

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of OPEC Reply

Justin Raimondo takes down the latest neoconservative lunacy.

H. L. Mencken had it right when he wrote:

“It is hard for the plain people to think about a thing, but easy for them to feel. Error, to hold their attention, must be visualized as a villain, and the villain must proceed swiftly to his inevitable retribution. They can understand that process; it is simple, usual, satisfying; it squares with their primitive conception of justice as a form of revenge…. [The average reader] is not at all responsive to purely intellectual argument, even when its theme is his own ultimate benefit…. But he is very responsive to emotional suggestion, particularly when it is crudely and violently made, and it is to this weakness that the newspapers must ever address their endeavors. In brief, they must try to arouse his horror, or indignation, or pity, or simply his lust for slaughter. Once they have done that, they have him safely by the nose. He will follow blindly until his emotion wears out. He will be ready to believe anything, however absurd, so long as he is in his state of psychic tumescence.”

The war propagandists know this, and act accordingly. They know how to manipulate emotions: it’s their job. Our job here at Antiwar.com is to provide an antidote to the hate, the ignorance, and the lies of the War Party. Of course, we can’t do it alone: but we’re doing our part. And, as you no doubt realize, our job is never done. However, with reason as our sword, and truth as our shield, we shall prevail.

Whatever third-rate propagandist thought up this wacked-out “theory,” which is the post-9/11 version of the Protocols, he seriously misjudged the American people. Although I admire Mencken, I don’t believe his cynicism reflects reality: this blame-the-Arabs narrative is going nowhere, fast. For someone to suggest that a population living on $2 a day, on average, is somehow engaging in “economic warfare” against the US, and taking us down, is just bonkers: we are waging economic warfare against ourselves, and have been for quite some time. Our politicians have been waging that war, using the US Treasury as their arsenal – and everybody knows it.

Will the U.S. Stifle the Revolution in the Middle East? Reply

Lew Rockwell interviews Eric Margolis.

No candidate opposed to the US occupation is permitted to run in Iraqi or Afghan elections. It will be the same in Egypt and Libya if the US gets its way. Soviet-style rigged elections make a mockery of the occupied peoples’ desire for self-determination, for honest courts, for social mobility, and for an end to the wealth-stealing dictators and monarchs who have forced servitude on the Arab world, thanks to the US empire.