The Bill of Rights Defense Committee is hosting an upcoming town hall forum, hosted by Operation Defuse, to discuss issues regarding government spying via Fusion Centers:
Maryland Fusion Center Town Hall Forum
Thursday, March 11, 6 to 8 p.m.
Fusion centers were established by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice, shortly after the release of the 9/11 Report, as a way to enhance the sharing of information about suspected terrorists among law enforcement agencies. These centers often include information from non law-enforcement sources, such as universities, social services and credit reporting agencies, and the military, in addition to information from the FBI and DHS. Fusion centers make it easy for law enforcement to invade the privacy of innocent citizens. In 2005, the Maryland State Police infiltrated anti-death penalty and peace groups. Over fifty activists were listed as terrorists in a fusion center database.
Catherine Bleish - executive director, Liberty Restoration Project and Operation Defuse.
John Bush - executive director, Texans for Accountable Government and Operation Defuse.
Max Obuszewski -
Harvey Eisenberg - assistant U.S. Attorney and coordinator of the MD Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council. He will be speaking on behalf of the Maryland Coordination and
The Decline of the American Empire Remains a Movie for the CIA (Part 2)
Thursday 18 February 2010
For economist Samir Amin, the decline of the American empire is a reality to which various responses are possible. (Art: "The Decline of the American Empire," by Deidre deFranceaux; Photo: Obbino / Flickr)
Economist Samir Amin deciphers the latest CIA report on the state of the world. He shows that intelligence agency experts still see a single view only: the American model's dominance. In the first part of two, Samir Amin described the experts' capitalist blindness.
Europe, does not, in their opinion, exist (and they are certainly correct on that score), and because of that, will inevitably, necessarily, stay aligned with
Nonetheless, I had written an amusing critique of
A dash of racism certainly persists in the judgments these experts make about the future of Africa and
But the possibility of a South/South relationship associating "emerging countries" (China, India, and Brazil) with Africa in a somewhat different way than the relationship of classic imperialist looting and the possibility that such a relationship could contribute to bringing Africa out of its situation as a "marginal" ("programmatically excluded") region to finally enter the era of industrialization does not seem worthy of consideration to them.
For its part, Latin America still does not concern
Revolutionary "advances" (
The Specter of the "Yellow Peril"
The first of these scenarios is devoted to a striking victory by China, imposing itself as the new "hegemonic power," pulling along in its wake a renewed Russia (that is, one that has succeeded in diversifying and modernizing its industry and, specifically, its leading edge industries based on a competitive education system and has consequently emerged from a situation in which it was solely an oil and gas exporter), an autonomous but resigned India, and an Iran ("Islamist" or not ) that has become the dominant Middle East actor.
The victorious "
This - outrageously overdone - image fulfills an obvious ideological function. It's all about waving the specter of the "Yellow Peril" to mobilize Europeans, even Arabs (especially in the Gulf) behind
On the other hand, and precisely because China knows the means it may deploy to impose respect for its rights (among which, access to oil) on the United States, Europe and Japan are limited, Beijing could imagine that its power to do so would be strengthened should China succeed in pulling the whole of the South along with (and not behind) it.
The second "scenario" is devoted, on the other hand, to the resounding failure of the "
Another Social Perspective
The analysis I propose - in counterpoint to Washington's flights of fancy (and many others inspired by the same patterns of thought) - is based on other principles of reflection, openly associating those to goals for the "transformation" of the world (that is, of the social order within the countries involved and, simultaneously, of the international balance of power between them) one hopes to promote. The method demands that one make way for "another social perspective," one that responds to working classes' and countries' interests.
A "better world" involves both social equilibria more favorable to the working classes within each nation in the system and a negotiated international order more favorable to the "emerging" and "marginal" countries of the South. The sole question to ask, therefore, is: what are the possible agents that may act in this direction and what strategies are they capable of deploying to that effect?
In this spirit, the "North/South conflict" and the struggle for the socialist overtaking of capitalism are inseparable from the peoples' perspective, even though they are "dissociated" de facto in the strategies deployed by the ruling classes of the South currently in command posts.
Every "advance," however modest, though partial and fragmented, that goes in the direction of our hopes and desires must be sustained. For example, a reorientation of development giving more space to internal markets and less decisive importance to exports. For example, a strengthening of South/South cooperative relationships.
But it remains necessary to go well beyond what we see begun here and there in response to the crisis, especially in so far as the new South/South cooperation is concerned. That will have no meaning unless it allows those countries still "excluded" (in
Associating the strengthening of social progress within nations to progress in the autonomy of international relations necessarily involves democratic progress.
But in this case, democratization passes through class struggle, the only means by which the working classes are able to impose their own greater participation in real decision-making powers, and not through strengthening of the power of the "middle class," obtained through "western-style" representative democracy, the only kind, obviously, United States' establishment experts know.
Samir Amin is a Franco-Egyptian economist born in 1931 who specializes in the economics of development.
Translation: Truthout French Language Editor Leslie Thatcher.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs