Russia’s Reaction on Missile Plan Leaves Iran Issue Hanging

Russia’s Reaction on Missile Plan Leaves Iran Issue Hanging

MOSCOW — President Obama’s decision to cancel an antimissile defense system in Eastern Europe earned a strong welcome from Russian leaders on Friday. Now, the question is whether Russia will do more to help prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who had repeatedly assailed the antimissile system as a grave danger to Russia’s security, called Mr. Obama’s decision “correct and brave.” President Dmitri A. Medvedev hinted that Russia would respond favorably to the decision to replace former President George W. Bush’s plan with a missile shield seen as less threatening to Moscow.

Still, neither leader offered any immediate indication that Russia would make specific concessions, especially on Iran, which has become a major stumbling block in relations between the countries. If Russia does not toughen its opposition to Iran’s nuclear program, analysts say, Mr. Obama may be vulnerable to criticism that he yielded to Russian complaints on the antimissile plan but received little in return.

“I hope our administration really thought this through and this was not about appeasing Russia, because I don’t think that justifies the decision,” said Riki Ellison, chairman of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a nonpartisan group that receives financing from defense contractors as well as private individuals who support missile defense.

The White House described the missile defense announcement as a response to changing Iranian capabilities, not as giving in to Russia, and said there was no quid pro quo. But the Obama administration needs support from Russia, which has veto power in the United Nations Security Council, in order to increase sanctions on Iran. American and European officials argue that Iran has carried out significant advances in recent months in developing a nuclear weapon.

Russia and China so far have resisted taking strong diplomatic steps or imposing tougher sanctions against Iran. Mr. Obama’s decision to remove one of the main irritants in relations between Washington and Moscow seems intended, in part, to alter that diplomatic equation and help increase the chances of addressing the impasse over Iran without resorting to military force.

But Mr. Obama was already facing a backlash on Friday from Congressional Republicans and politicians in Poland and the Czech Republic, nations that have looked to the United States for protection against what they perceive as Russian aggression.

Mr. Obama’s decision on Thursday cancels an antimissile plan proposed by the Bush administration. Mr. Obama replaced the Bush system, which would have been based in Poland and the Czech Republic, with a reconfigured system designed to knock down short- and medium-range missiles instead of intercontinental ones.

The Bush administration had said the system was intended to deter countries like Iran, but the Kremlin had long insisted that it was in fact aimed at Russia.

Mr. Medvedev on Friday maintained that Russia did not feel obligated to respond to the United States as part of some deal. But he added: “There always is a score in politics. And if our partners hear some of our concerns, we will, of course, be more attentive to theirs.”

Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Obama are to meet at the United Nations in New York next week.

Russian officials did indicate that they would withdraw a proposal to base short-range missiles on Russia’s western border, in Kaliningrad, though American officials had not seemed very worried about that Russian plan.

What else Russia might do to respond was a topic of speculation in both Washington and Moscow on Friday. One issue was whether the Kremlin, after more closely examining the new Obama antimissile plan, would voice new protests about it.

Mr. Obama ordered the development of a system that would deploy smaller SM-3 missile interceptors in 2011, at first on ships, later on land in Europe. They are aimed mostly at short- and medium-range Iranian missiles. At least as currently designed, they are not capable of destroying Russia’s intercontinental missiles, though they are expected to be eventually upgraded, Obama administration officials said.

The Obama plan calls for dozens and eventually possibly even hundreds of the smaller interceptors, not just the 10 larger ones included in Mr. Bush’s plan.

Pavel Y. Felgenhauer, a military analyst who writes a column for Novaya Gazeta, an opposition newspaper in Moscow, said he doubted that the Kremlin would be able to complain about the new plan. Mr. Felgenhauer emphasized that the Kremlin had opposed the Bush system because it believed, on the advice of the Russian military, that the system was intended not to bring down Iranian missiles, but to give the United States the potential to make a crippling first strike against Russia.

Also on Friday, in another sign of a warming in relations, NATO called for new cooperation with Moscow, including possibly on antimissile systems.

In his first major foreign policy speech, which was coordinated with the White House, NATO’s new secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, proposed a “genuine new beginning of our relationship with Russia” and said the West and Russia had a shared interest in opposing proliferation of missile technology.

Some Obama supporters in Washington said the remarks by Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev did not necessarily help Mr. Obama.

“Critics will inevitably make hay of the positive comments,” said Mark Medish, a former Russia expert in the Clinton White House and now a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Much as in the Soviet days, Moscow’s praise can be seen as a political kiss of death for Western counterparts. But the criticism misses the point that Mr. Obama has made a hardheaded calculation based on U.S. national security interests and strategic priorities.”

The Obama administration continued to use Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a Republican first appointed by Mr. Bush, to explain the new plan and deflect criticism. Mr. Gates met with the Czech defense minister, Martin Bartak, in Washington on Friday and offered more reassurances that the United States was not abandoning Eastern Europe.

Even so, some analysts in Washington contended that Mr. Obama had sacrificed the Bush system in order to reach a broader arrangement with Russia that was by no means assured.

Mr. Ellison, the missile defense advocate, said that if the mobile SM-3 interceptors that the Obama administration planned to deploy instead of the Bush system were genuinely effective, “the Russians should be much more concerned about having hundreds of interceptors in this system that could potentially shoot down missiles in and around Europe.”

The fact that Russia is not, he said, “validates to me that the SM-3 system won’t be at that level for long-range ballistic missiles.”

Clifford J. Levy reported from Moscow, and Peter Baker from Washington. Stephen Castle contributed reporting from Brussels.

Evil Speaks – Are We Listening?

Evil Speaks – Are We Listening?

By Justin Raimondo – AntiWar.com

The latest message from Osama bin Laden – an audio recording posted on jihadist Websites – is truly scary. Not because he threatens us with death and destruction,though he does. Not because he vows that the 9/11 attacks were just the beginning, though this is strongly implied. And not because he’s the kind  of guy who gives evil a bad name. Although few would dispute his unique malevolence, the really frightening aspect of his latest message is its clear-headed insight into the way American foreign policy is made – and by whom.

The sinister atmospherics start out right from the beginning, as bin Laden
greets his audience:

“Praise be to God, Who created people to worship Him, ordered them
to be just, and permitted the wronged to mete out fair punishment to the wrongdoer.”

You can almost hear an organ groaning in the background and smell a whiff
of sulfur. Halloween comes early this year. His Satanic Majesty continues:

“American people: This address to you is a reminder of the causes of 11[September] and the wars and consequences that followed and the way to settleit once and for all. I mention in particular the families of those who werehurt in these events and who have recently called for opening an investigationto know its causes. This is a first and important step in the right directionamong many other steps that have deliberately gone in the wrong direction over eight barren years that you have experienced.”

I have to give bin Laden points for chutzpah: here, after all, is the perpetrator of the 9/11 terrorist attacks calling for an investigation into the “cause”of the nefarious deed committed by none other than his nefarious self!

“The entire American people should follow suit,” the Evil One continues, as the delay in knowing those reasons has cost you a lot without anynoteworthy benefit.” Okay, let’s start translating, because interpretation is necessary at this point.

To begin with, the “cause” of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was andis none other than al-Qaeda, which conceived,planned,
and carriedthem out. If we translate “reasons” to mean al-Qaeda talkingpoints, however, bin Laden starts to make sense. Indeed, he makes so much sense that one despairs we will ever be rid of his perfidiousspawn.

It may be true, as George W. Bush and his supporters claimed,that bin Laden and his cohorts hate us “for our freedom,” that is,they hate America per se. That, however, is totally irrelevant as faras their operational strategy and tactics, including their propaganda, are concerned:they must come up with concreteaccusations, rather than abstract denunciations based on pure theology,in order to recruit, mobilize, and spur their followers to action. They must,in short, point to the recordof the United States government in its relations with the Muslim world, andthere is noshortage of grievances to be found in this regard. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda feed on these grievances like vultures on carrion, and in order for his movement to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the Muslim masses these complaints must have
some basis in fact – otherwise bin Laden would be just another crank livingon the margins, with few followers and no influence. As it is, he presents an analysis that must seem incisive not only in the Muslim world, but to any thinking Westerner:

“At the beginning, I say that we have made it clear and stated so manytimes for over two decades that the cause of the quarrel with you is your support for your Israeli allies, who have occupied our land, Palestine. This position of yours, along with some other grievances, is what prompted us to carry outthe 11 September events. Had you known the magnitude of our suffering as aresult of the injustice of the Jews against us, with the support of your administrationsfor them, you would have known that both our nations are victims of the policiesof the White House, which is in fact a hostage in the hands of pressure groups,especially major corporations and the Israeli lobby.”

A government held hostage by pressure groups: whocan argue with that? The corporate powers-that-be have long considered the U.S. military their private police force and have acted accordingly, using it to secure their profit margins ever since America’sdebut on the world stage as a full-fledged imperial power. As for the decisive influence of the Israel lobby, it is indisputable. After all, what other nation on earth could get away with placing an entire people in subjection, creating a system of legal apartheid ,and relentlessly expanding its territory by means of conquest – and still remain the number-one recipient of U.S. foreign aid?

Bin Laden goes on to cite a book by someone who sounds very much like the author of Confessions  of an Economic Hit Man, getting the title wrong, as well as Jimmy  Carter’s book , remarking on the former president’s latest trip to the Middle East, where he denounced the treatment of Gazans. Bin Laden also cites Obama’s  Cairo speech as acknowledging the suffering of the Palestinian people. The plight of the Palestinians, he avers, is “tragic beyond limits,” and this tragedy is made possible due to “the influence of the Israeli lobby in America,” the details of which “are explained by two of your fellow citizens. They are John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their book The Israel  Lobby in the United States.”

The hate-Mearsheimer/Walt brigade – such as Bibi Netanyahu’s American PR director, Jeffrey Goldberg over at The Atlantic, and neocon Peter Wehner at National Review – are over the moon on account of this “endorsement.” To the guilt-by-association school of book reviewing, the contents of a book – or an argument – matter little, but as the redoubtable John Derbyshire points out to Wehner:

“The Walt/Mearsheimer book seems, from a reading around it, to argue  that lobbies on behalf of Israel are more powerful in Washington than lobbies  for a foreign country ought to be, and have an undesirable influence on U.S. foreign policy. Those assertions are either true, or else they’re not. People with an interest in the matter should peruse Walt & Mearsheimer’s arguments, compare them with counter-arguments (which I can’t imagine are hard to find), and tell us their conclusions.

“Osama bin Laden thinks Jews are evil, so it is not very surprising that the thesis of the Walt/Mearsheimer book appeals to him. What I resist is Peter’s implication that his endorsement tells us anything about the quality of the book’s arguments. It doesn’t…. Arguments have to be studied, weighed, and compared with the facts of the world, not laughed out of court because some nutcase has endorsed them.”

That this needs to be said at all speaks volumes about the sad state of our public discourse, yet I would take Derbyshire’s point and raise him one: the same objectivity ought to illuminate our view of bin Laden’s arguments. He may be a nutcase, and a murderous one to boot, and yet he is a very smart (and dangerous) nutcase, one whose analysis we would do well to take seriously – or ignore at our peril.

“After reading the suggested books, you will know the truth and you will be severely shocked at the magnitude of deception that has been practiced against you. You will also know that those who make statements from inside the White House today and claim that your wars against us are necessary for your security are in fact working along the same line of Cheney and Bush, and propagating the former policies of intimidation to market the interests of the relevant major corporations, at the expense of your blood and economy. Those in fact are the ones who are imposing wars on you, not the mujahedin. We are just defending our right to liberate our land.”

This is what bin Laden has maintained all along: that he is fighting a defensive war, not a war of aggression, and there is merit in his argument – as anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Western meddling in the Middle East can readily tell you. This nonsense about al-Qaeda establishing a “worldwide Islamic caliphate” is a rather fanciful invention, created by “clash of civilization” types who need to rationalize their view of Islam as being somehow intrinsically aggressive. If bin Laden actually tried to recruit jihadists to the cause of somehow conquering the West, including the U.S., and subjecting it to sharia law, he would have far fewer recruits. No, he must present his jihad as a desperate battle against foreign invaders and occupiers – a role that we have done much to legitimate in Iraq, Afghanistan,Pakistan, and throughout the world.

“If you thoroughly consider your situation, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups. You should have made efforts to liberate it rather than fight to liberate Iraq, as Bush claimed. The White House leader, under such circumstances, and regardless of who he is, is like a train driver who cannot but travel on the railways designed by these pressure groups. Otherwise, his way would be blocked and he would fear that his destiny would be like that of former president Kennedy and his brother.”

Who writes Osama’s material? I suspect it’s thisguy. In any case, the author of the following words surely has an unusual grasp on the essentials of our present foreign policy conundrum:

“In a nutshell, it is time to free yourselves from fear and intellectual terrorism being practiced against you by the neoconservatives and the Israeli lobby. You should put the file of your alliance with the Israelis on the table of discussion. You should ask yourselves the following question so that you can determine your position: Do you like the Israelis’ security, sons, and economy more than your security, blood, sons, money, jobs, houses, economy, and reputation? If you choose your security and stopping the wars – and this has been shown by opinion polls – then this requires that you act to stop those who are tampering with our security on your end. We are prepared to respond to this option on sound and fair foundations that have been mentioned before.”

If any phrase sums up the strategy and tactics of the neocons during the past eight years or so, then surely “intellectual terrorism” is it. This juxtaposition of Israeli and American interests as increasingly antithetical, with the former being pursued at the expense of the latter, is similarly powerful. What’s interesting here, however, in light of recent reports that al-Qaeda is faltering,both organizationally and ideologically, is this apparent offer of a truce, or even an end to the hostilities. He’s done it before, in previousmessages, but this pointed polemic has about it the air of someone who is desperate to get his message across: many of his previous pronouncements have been framed in terms of a message to the American people, yet his real intended audience seemed always to be the Arab/Muslim world. In this missive, however, with its references to American authors and political figures, one has to wonder whom he thinks he’s persuading: the offer of a cease-fire, or even a peaceful resolution of the conflict, displays an odd naiveté.

Obama, he argues, is a prisoner of his own office, who would surely suffer the same fate as John F. Kennedy if he ever tried to break the pattern of U.S. interventionism worldwide. While that, perhaps, is a bit melodramatic, it speaks to a basic truth: the American elites and the policymaking process they direct is biased in favor of interventionism, as the history of the last 60 or so years makes all too clear. Like many of Obama’s disappointed iberal supporters, bin Laden is asking: Where’s the “change”? With President Obama in office, we have neoconservatism without neoconservatives, or, as bin Laden puts it, “The days will show you that you have changed only faces in the White House. The bitter truth is that the neoconservatives are still a heavy burden on you.”

He’s right about that. It’s almost like having Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz in charge, for all the difference it makes in terms of the conduct of American foreign policy. Again and again bin Laden displays his acute political sense, as well as his cruelty:

“This is a losing war, God willing, as it is funded by money that is borrowed based on exorbitant usury and is fought by soldiers whose morale is down and who commit suicide on a daily basis to escape from this war.”

It was bin Laden, you’ll recall, who predicted the impending bankruptcy of the U.S. as a result of its endless wars, and this fillip stings all the more since it is uttered post-crash, as the U.S. economy continues its downward slide into what seems like a bottomless abyss.

“This war was prescribed to you by two doctors, Cheney and Bush, as a cure for the 11 September events. However, the bitterness and losses caused by this war are worse than the bitterness of the events themselves. The accumulated debts incurred as a result of this war have almost done away with the U.S. economy as a whole. It has been said that disease could be less evil than some
medicines.”

He ends with poetry:

“Endless war will not tire me

For I am now fully grown and strong,

For this, my mother begot me,

Peace be upon those who follow guidance.”

Endless war will eventually destroy us, not due to bin Laden’s efforts, but on account of our own. This is what they call “blowback,” in CIA parlance: the consequences, however unintended, of U.S. actions abroad. The boomerang effect is already taking a heavy toll, and it will get heavier still – which is what bin Laden is counting on.

Given the direction our leaders are taking us – more wars, and bigger ones,
in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Somalia – bin Laden is not wrong to count on our exhaustion and coming defeat. He simply has to wait us out – and time is on his side.

We have, it seems to me, never taken bin Laden and al-Qaeda all that seriously, and that, ultimately, will be our undoing. In him we face an unrelenting and devilishly intelligent enemy, one who knows our weaknesses and leverages them to his advantage.

The only way to defeat bin Laden is to change our foreign policy – not by putting lipstick on a pig and murmuring sweet nothings in the ear of the Muslim world, as Obama did in Cairo, but by doing a complete about-face and abandoning our dreams of empire. Short of that, bin Laden’s satanic self-confidence, I’m
sad to say, is fully justified.

SOURCE: AntiWar.com

Race and Stupidity

Race and Stupidity

by Patrick J. Buchanan

God save me from my friends — I can take care of my enemies.

So President Obama must be muttering today.

Ten days ago, the president played his ace of trumps.

He went before a joint session of Congress to lay out his health care plans, confront the “demagoguery” of critics who had resorted to “distortion,” “misinformation” and “tall tales,” and rally progressives and Blue Dogs to reunite and drive on to victory.

Obama’s speech was savagely partisan, but an undeniable success.

After an awful August of town-hall beatings, he was back on offense. As his congressional troops cheered him on, Republicans sat sullen and glum.

Not only did Obama win the night, his victory was capped by a gauche outburst of “You lie!” from South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson, which stunned a national TV audience and embarrassed his party.

Wilson’s wife, Roxanne, asked him after he left the chamber, “Who’s the nut that hollered out, ‘You lie!’”

Berated by his leadership, Wilson apologized and called Obama.

Rahm Emanuel took the call. The president graciously sent back word: Joe Wilson’s apology is accepted.

Obama was ready to move on, as was Nancy Pelosi. But not a seething Black Caucus. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who represents the district next to Wilson’s, demanded that Joe be made to apologize on the floor or be formally rebuked by the House.

When Pelosi and Steny Hoyer buckled to the Black Caucus demand, they, in effect, shifted the argument from, “Did Joe behave badly?” to, “Should Joe have his nose rubbed in it?”

Wilson got up on his hind legs: no more apologies. The town hall-Tea Party irregulars cheered Joe’s defiance and sent checks. His Republican colleagues, saying enough is enough, rose to Wilson’s defense.

But the Black Caucus pushed on.

Hank Johnson of Georgia said Wilson had “instigated” racism and must be rebuked. Or else we will “have folks putting on white hoods and white robes again, riding through the countryside intimidating people. That’s the logical conclusion if this kind of conduct is not rebuked.”

Came then Jimmy Carter to remind us why he sustained the worst beating of any incumbent president in a two-way race in U.S. history.

Wilson’s outburst, said the Great Healer, was an act “based on racism. … There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”

The next day, Carter, having reaped reams of publicity, was back at it.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American,” Carter told NBC.

“I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shares the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.”

Carter’s contribution to the national debate represents a truly rare blend of malevolence, ignorance and moral arrogance.

How does he know what was in Joe Wilson’s heart when he blurted his insult? How does Carter know Wilson was racially motivated?

How does Carter know that an “overwhelming portion” of scores of thousands of agitated Americans who turned out for all those town-hall meetings were motivated by racism, “the fact that (Obama) is a black man, that he’s African-American”?

Six months ago, Obama’s approval rating was 70 percent.

Does Carter think that number has sunk to 50 percent because tens of millions of Americans suddenly discovered Obama was black?

Does it not seem more reasonable to conclude the number cratered because millions who wished Obama well on Jan. 20 have come to conclude this crowd is no more competent than the last one, that Obamacare, up close, seems even worse than the present system?

The stupidity of Carter and the Black Caucus fairly astounds.

As Dana Milbank of The Washington Post writes, “In bringing a House resolution to punish Wilson, Democrats wound up making him a hero and turning the matter into a party-line brawl.” As Obamacare sits in intensive care on Capitol Hill, what is the benefit of having had his team spend 10 days fighting and losing Joe Wilson’s War?

The destructiveness of what Carter has done is hard to exaggerate.

Barack won the African-American vote 24 to 1. But he did better among whites than Al Gore, a Southerner, or John Kerry. One reason, according to pollsters, is that many white folks thought a black president would finally get us out of the cul de sac of race politics. Barack Obama would be a “post-racial president.”

Now, because some folks, in hard economic times, have turned angrily against Obama and health care, Carter calls them a bunch of racists who can’t stand the fact they have a black president.

Well, if we don’t have a black president after 2012, much credit should go to the mean little peanut farmer from Plains.

Push For Globalism Continues

Push For Globalism Continues

By Chuck Baldwin

When George W. Bush was President, he greatly advanced the prospect of integrating the United States with a North American Union (NAU). With no thanks to most Christian conservatives or the mainstream news media, hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans rallied against this proposal and—at least temporarily—seriously stymied Bush’s draconian dream. But if you thought President Barack Obama would be content to let the NAU die a natural death, think again.

Reporting for World Net Daily, author/researcher Jerome Corsi recently reported, “President Obama is continuing President George W. Bush’s effort to advance North American integration with a public-relations makeover calculated to place the program under the radar of public opinion and to deflect concerns about border security and national sovereignty.

“The Obama administration has ‘rebranded’ and ‘refocused’ the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, to advance the Bush administration’s agenda of North American integration under the rubric of the “North American Leaders Summit,’ a less controversial banner, according to confidential sources in the U.S. Department of Commerce and State Department who agreed to speak with WND only if their comments were kept off the record.”

As further evidence of President Obama’s determination to continue the Bush policy of a commercial union between countries (or “League of Democracies” as John McCain called it), Corsi also reported, “President Obama has actively backtracked on his campaign promises to renegotiate NAFTA to get provisions more favorable to American workers.”

Corsi also wrote, “In the Ohio and Pennsylvania Democratic Party primaries, candidate Obama had pledged to renegotiate NAFTA as part of his appeal to workers in the states that have lost manufacturing jobs under the free trade agreements negotiated by Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.”

However, Obama is now viewed as reneging on that campaign promise by appointing University of Chicago economics professor, Austan Goolsbee, as chief economist and staff director of the newly created Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which is chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Obama also appointed Goolsbee to the Council of Economic Advisors, or CEA, which is charged with assisting in the development of White House economic policy, according to Corsi.

Readers should know that Goolsbee is a fellow traveler of Robert Pastor, longtime professor at American University. And readers should well remember that Pastor is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and one of the chief promoters and architects of the NAU. Of course, Volcker is also a member of the CFR. In fact, at last count, President Obama has appointed at least 20 members of the CFR to key positions within his cabinet and administration.

Back in June of 2006, I interviewed Dr. Corsi regarding Bush’s attempts to merge America into a North American Union. To listen to that interview, go here.

Ever since the administrations of George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, one fact remains constant: regardless of petty partisan differences, the push for globalism continues. Both Bush administrations (Republican) and the Clinton and Obama administrations (Democrat) enthusiastically have embraced and endorsed the doctrines and principles of global unification. That equates to more than two decades of determined effort by both Republican and Democratic Presidential administrations to compromise U.S. sovereignty and independence. It also helps explain why neither recent Republican nor Democratic Presidential administrations have had any intention of securing our borders and putting a stop to illegal immigration—and why they all promoted the creation of the NAFTA superhighway.

And just as George W. Bush was willing to betray conservatives and Christians in order to achieve global unification, so, too, Barack Obama is willing to betray union workers and America’s tradesmen in order to accomplish the same agenda.

When will the American people wake up and realize that for the last twenty years, both major political parties (at the national level) have been co-opted by globalists and internationalists who have no respect or appreciation for U.S. sovereignty, and who desire to create world government? When will they look past party labels and start seeing these globalists for what they really are: traitors to the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and upon which America was established?

I urge readers to watch very carefully—and prepare to vigorously resist—as Obama attempts to finalize what his predecessors started: the complete implementation of a North American Union and related globalization. You won’t find this information in the mainstream news media, of course. It will take independent writers and reporters to keep us abreast of these developments, and this we fully and faithfully intend to do.

In the meantime, know that those of us who believe in an independent and sovereign United States of America still do not have a friend in the White House—political party label notwithstanding.

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.

Blacks in Mexico: A Forgotten Minority

Blacks in Mexico: A Forgotten Minority

More news stories on Mexico and Latin America

Alexis Okeowo, Time, Sept. 15, 2009

The first town of freed African slaves in the Americas is not exactly where you would expect to find it—and it isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find either. First, it’s not in the United States. Yanga, on Mexico’s Gulf Coast, is a sleepy pueblito founded by its namesake, Gaspar Yanga, an African slave who led a rebellion against his Spanish colonial masters in the late 16th century and fought off attempts to retake the settlement. The second thing that is immediately evident to visitors who reach the town’s rustic central plaza: there are virtually no blacks among the few hundred residents milling around the center of town.

Mirroring Mexico’s history itself, most of Yanga’s Afro-Mexican population has been pushed to neighboring rural villages that are notable primarily for their deep poverty and the strikingly dark skin of their inhabitants. Mexico’s independence from Spain and new focus on building a national identity on the idea of mestizaje, or mixed race, drove African Mexicans into invisibility as leaders chose not to count them or assess their needs. Now many blacks want to fight back by improving the shoddy education and social services available to them and are petitioning for the constitution to recognize Afro-Mexicans as a separate ethnic group worthy of special consideration.

{snip}

Many of the country’s mexicanos negros (black Mexicans), as they are called, know that their ancestors arrived in chains on boats that docked at ports in the sultry, steamy state of Veracruz. But they don’t know much else. Indeed, Afro-Mexicans say that much of the history of los mexicanos negros is untaught or ignored by the rest of the country. Apart from Yanga, Afro-Mexicans claim Vicente Guerrero, who served briefly as President in the early 19th century and gave his name to the state of Guerrero, as one of their own, as well as revolutionary José María Morelos, who was executed by the Spaniards in 1815.

Black Mexican activists estimate the population of Afro-Mexicans at about 1 million, but there are no official figures. Earlier this year, they petitioned the National Institute of Statistics and Geography to include the Afro-Mexican population as a separate category in the next census, in 2010. Official statistics do not recognize blacks as a separate ethnic group (56 indigenous groups are officially accredited, the largest ones being the Nahuatl and the Maya, numbering more than 2 million each). As a result, Afro-Mexicans say they have been left out of institutional programs and are without a cultural identity.

{snip}

Afro-Mexican culture expert Luz Maria Montiel acknowledges that blacks are particularly marginalized and excluded, to the point that it is impossible to find any mention of them in official records. Yet she argues that it is impractical for blacks to seek constitutional recognition. “It would be impossible to make a law for each of the populations that make up our multicultural nation,” she says. Dominguez disagrees: “We are a totally different cultural group from indigenous groups and mestizos of our country, with a particular lifestyle and characteristics that do not respond to public policies that are designed for indigenous groups.”

Original article

(Posted on September 17, 2009)