Bulletin #713




Subject: Conspiracies & “CONSPIRACY THEORIES.”



Grenoble, France


Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

Today is the 15th anniversary of  9/11, and there is a wide-spread call for an investigation into the suppressed evidence around this event.  Against the head winds of neo-liberalism’s anti-rationalist, post-scientific dogma that governs the cultural hegemony of corporate capitalism today, a movement is growing, demanding “transparency” which is of course a declaration of class warfare against corporate capitalist hegemony. No corporate interest is going to concede voluntarily to the demand that all “business” be conducted in public view, with full accountability.

Marx once warned that there is “no royal road to knowledge,” which is to say that scientific understanding requires struggle. Almost a century later, the French philosopher of science, Gaston Bachelard, developed this idea in one of his classic works, La formation de l’esprit scientifique (1938), in which he observed: “S’il n’y a pas eu de question, il ne peut y avoir connaissance scientifique. Rien ne va de soi. Rien n’est donné. Tout est construit. » Bachelard goes on to introduce his epistemological study by explaining the obstacles which clutter the path to scientific knowledge and which have to be overcome if one is to arrive at a scientific understanding of a subject.

Rendre géométrique la représentation, c’est-à-dire dessiner les phénomènes et ordonner en série les évènements décisifs d’une expérience, voilà la tâche première où s’affirme l’esprit scientifique. C’est en effet de cette manière qu’on arrive à la quantité figurée, à mi-chemin entre le concret et l’abstrait, dans une zone intermédiaire où l’esprit prétend concilier les mathématiques et l’expérience, les lois et les fait. Cette tâche de géométrisation qui sembla souvent réalisée –soit après le succès du cartésianisme, soit après le succès de la mécanique newtonienne, soit encore avec l’optique de Fresnel— en vient toujours à révéler une insuffisance. Tôt ou tard, dans la plupart des domaines, on est forcé de constater que cette première représentation géométrique, fondée sur un réalisme naïf des propriétés spatiales, implique des convenances plus cachées, des lois topologiques moins nettement solidaires des relations métriques immédiatement apparentes, bref des liens essentiels plus profonds que les liens de la représentation géométrique familière. On sent peu à peu le besoin de travailler pour ainsi dire sous l’espace, au niveau des relations essentielles qui soutiennent et l’espace et les phénomènes. La pensée scientifique est alors entraînée vers des « constructions » plus métaphoriques que réelles, vers des « espaces de configuration » dont l’espace sensible n’est, après tout, qu’un pauvre exemple. Le rôle des mathématiques dans la Physique contemporaine dépasse donc singulièrement la simple description géométrique. Le mathématique est non plus descriptif mais formateur. La science de la réalité ne se contente plus du comment phénoménologique ; elle cherche le pourquoi mathématique.(pp.7-8)


Another challenge to “business as usual” is found in Murray Rothbard’s introductory essay to Etienne de La Boétie’s (1530-1563) Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, in which he draws comparisons of this early modern French philosopher/poet with La Boétie’s Florentine predecessor, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) and with the British philosopher, David Hume (1711-1776) ; then proceeds to explain the global influence of La Boétie’s writing through his influence on LeoTolstoy.

Rothbard cites the French historian Pierre Mesnard, who observed that for La Boétie as for Machiavelli, authority can only be grounded on acceptance by the subjects: “except that the one teaches the prince how to compel their acquiescence, while the other reveals to the people the power that would lie in their refusal”.(p.31) As for David Hume, who wrote his famous essay, Of the First Principles of Government, some two hundred years later, Rothbard writes that the British philosopher independently discovered the same principle that La Boétie had discovered, but showed a greater allegiance to the power of established authority :

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few, and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find , that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.(cited by Rothbard, fnt. 9, p.14)


In contrast to Hume, according to Rothbard, La Boétie argues that the more one yields to tyrants, the stronger they become, and if tyrants “are simply not obeyed,” they become “undone and as nothing.” Furthermore, Rothbard argues that,

La Boétie … exhorts the “poor, wretched, and stupid peoples” to cast off their chains by refusing to supply the tyrant any further with the instruments of their own oppression. The tyrant, indeed, has nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had not cooperation from you?


La Boétie concludes his exhortation by assuring the masses that to overthrow the tyrant they need not act, not shed their blood. They can do so by “merely willing to be free.” In short:

“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed.”(p.17)



La Boétie calls for mass civil disobedience, not insurrection that would replace one tyranny for another. This early view of democracy, Rothbard points out, is based on the idea of natural law taking precedence over custom and so-called divine law. Thus “the consent of the governed” is not confused with “tradition” or “the Will of God.”

La Boétie’s celebrated and creatively original call for civil disobedience, for mass non-violent resistance as a method of the overthrow of tyranny, stems directly from two premises: the fact that all rule rests on the consent of the subject masses, and the great value of natural liberty. For if tyranny really rests on mass consent, then the obvious means for its overthrow is simply by mass withdrawal of that consent. . . . . The Tory David Hume did not, unsurprisingly, draw similar conclusions from his theory of mass consent as the basis of all governmental rule.(p.16-17)



La Boétie’s insurrectionary philosophy influenced Leo Tolstoy, who cited a long passage from Voluntary Servitude in his book, The Law of Love and the Law of Violence(1908), after which he concludes:


It would seem that the workers, not gaining any advantage from the restraints that is exercised on them, should at least realize the lie in which they are living and free themselves in the simplest and easiest way: by abstaining from taking part in the violence that is only possible with their co-operation. (Tolstoy, cited by Rothbard, fnt. 19, on p.19)


Furthermore, Tolstoy’s Letter to a Hindu (1908), which played a central role shaping Ghandi’s tactics of mass non-violent action, was largely indebted to the political philosophy of La Boétie.


Power is secured, according to La Boétie, by “specious ideology, mystery, circuses, [and] in addition to these purely propagandistic devices . . . the purchase by material benefits….” La Boétie writes :


Roman tyrants … provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble . . . . Tyrants would distribute largesse, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterces : and then everybody would shamelessly cry, “Long live the King! The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them. A man might one day be presented with a sesterces and gorge himself at the public feast, lauding Tiberius and Nero for handsome liberality, who  on the morrow, would be forced to abandon his property to their avarice, his children to their lust, his very blood to the cruelty of these magnificent emperors, without offering any more resistance  than a stone or a tree stump. The mob has always behaved in this way –eagerly open to bribes.(p.27)


La Boétie adds still another technique to his list of methods used by a minority to secure political power over a majority of followers. The purchase of consent is further elaborated, according to La Boétie, by what he describes as a “continuing and permanent purchase,” namely the formation of  a hierarchy of subordinate allies, a loyal band of retainers, praetorians and bureaucrats” which in the original words of  La Boétie constitutes “the mainspring and the secret of domination, the support and foundation of tyranny.”(pp.27-28) This is a large sector of society, in La Boétie’s view, which is not merely duped with occasional and negligible handouts from the State, but instead exist as beneficiaries living from the proceeds of despotism. Their support of tyranny is not based on illusion or habit or mystery; theirs is the hierarchy of patronage, permanently maintained by the fruits of plunder.


He gives the following illustration: five or six advisors are the chief beneficiaries of the king; these half dozen men in a similar manner maintain six hundred, who profit under them; the six hundred maintain six thousand by the same means, and so on… “in order that they may serve as instruments of avarice and cruelty, executing orders at the proper time and working such havoc all around that they could not last except under the shadow of the six hundred….” In this way, the “fatal pyramid” trickles down through the ranks of society, until “a hundred thousand and even a million, cling to the tyrant by this cord to which they are tied.”(p.28)


Nevertheless, Rothbard concludes his introduction to La Boétie’s Discourse of Voluntary Servitude on an optimistic note :


La Boétie provides us with a hopeful note on the future of a free society. He points out that once the public experiences tyranny for a long time, it becomes inured and heedless of the possibility of an alternative society. But this means that should State despotism ever be removed, it would be extremely difficult to reimpose statism. The bulwark of habit would be gone, and statism would be seen by all for the tyranny that it is. If a free society were ever to be established, then, the chances for its maintaining itself would be excellent.(p.38)



Today the question of tyranny has been raised once more : Are criminal activities by private corporate interests being concealed by the rhetoric of  “Conspiracy Theory”? And if this is true, what public action can be organized to address this criminal behavior which we have been asked to simply accept as acts of realism ?


What better time to address these questions than on the anniversary of 9/11 . . . ?






Senator Bob Graham says President Bush Directed American Intelligence Agencies Not To Pursue Saudi Government Role in 9/11 Attack

Senator Bob Graham, former co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee tells Paul Jay that Bush and Cheney created a culture of "not wanting to know" among American intelligence agencies about potential terrorist attacks pre-9/11 and "aggressive deception" in rewriting history since the attacks took place




The Tide is Turning: The Official Story Is Now The Conspiracy Theory


by Paul Craig Roberts




Looking at 9/11 in the Context of the Wall Street Bailout of 2008


by Pam Martens: September 8, 2016



Plus 12 more items below which bring into focus contemporary class struggles, at every level of our existence.




Francis Feeley

Professor of American Studies

University of Grenoble-3

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego





Most People Today Want to be Propagandized


by Daniel Lattier





From: mkroopkin
Sent: Friday, 9 September, 2016
Subject: Sept 9 national prison strike updates.



(IWW IWOC Organizers updated strike info and support requests)

https://iwoc.noblogs.org/post/2016/09/08/spreading-the-strike-solidarity-actions-across-no rth-america-for-september-9th/


Break the corporate news media blackout!

Spread it on social media, blogs and email!






Thousands of Prisoners Strike Against Forced Labor

On the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, Prison Radio's Noelle Hanrahan explains how and why prisoners organized what may be the largest prison strike in US history.





From protesters to “protectors” : The American Indian Movement at Standing Rock

Canine Expert Decries "Egregious" & "Horrific" Dog Attacks on Native Americans Defending Burial Site






You have petition updates to read! Here are the latest developments on the petitions you have signed onThePetitionSite.com. Updates are sent from each petition’s author.


Stand With Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: End Construction of Dakota Access Pipeline

update: Sep 09, 2016

author: Kailey L


The Department of Justice has just stepped in and sided with the Standing Sioux Tribe to halt construction! But...view full update

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The Trumpillary War Machine Is Bad News


by David Swanson





From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Wednesday, 7 September, 2016
Subject: [MCM] What's scarier? That Hillary may have Parkinson's, or that we're not allowed to ask? (3)



Does Hillary have Parkinson's? Watch this (quick, before it disappears):




While making clear that he has not examined her himself, and that he has no use

for her "politically or morally," Dr. Ted Noel presents a troublingly persuasive case 

that Clinton does have Parkinson's Disease—a possibility that should be openly and

thoroughly discussed, considering what's at stake.


But such discussion is verboten—as some citizens have lately learned the hard

way. Eight days after Dr. Drew Pinsky told his radio audience that he was "gravely 

concerned, not just about [Hillary's] health, but about her healthcare," his show

was abruptly canceled (by HLN, CNN's sister network): 



Likewise, HuffPost contributor David Seaman claims to have been "terminated"

by the outlet after reporting on the furor over Hillary's health—his publishing 

access revoked, and his two pieces on the subject "pulled without notice of any

kind, completely deleted from the Internet":




This blackout makes several things unfortunately clear:


1) that Hillary Clinton very likely does have Parkinson's, if not some other 

incapacitating illness—or all that speculation would be duly answered, not 

suppressed and ridiculed;


2) that freedom of the press in the United States today is unavailable to anyone

who strays from the Official Line (and not just on this story)—which really means

that freedom of the press in the United States today is more a swell idea than a 

reality; and


3) that freedom of the press in the United States today is threatened less by the

theatrically abusive Donald Trump, and the explosive goons who swarm his 

rallies, than by the corporate personnel and "liberal" hacks who maintain the

Establishment consensus.


Now, there are those Democrats who will, inevitably, see this piece on Hillary's

apparent illness as a tacit "vote" for Trump—as if the fact that he is (also)

obviously sick means somehow that she's well enough to serve as president.


In any case, we would not now be faced with this horrific "choice" if Hillary 

had not been forced on us by her party, and the media (and the hackers who

"elected" her in primaries from coast to coast, despite the will of those



So what the Democratic Party should do now—and would, if it were actually

a democratic party—is dump their ailing candidate ASAP, and quickly pass 

the torch to Bernie Sanders, who's well enough, and clean enough, and 

offering a vision popular enough, to wipe the floor with Donald Trump, 

beating him by an unprecedented landslide.    





From: Herman, Edward S.
Sent: Tuesday, 6 September, 2016
Subject: U.S Elections: Exercise in Mendacity + Clinton/Obama, Yale Law advisor, Killer Koh + Moral Movement for Justice + Trump & Drones.



A great article on the mendacious election.

ed herman

From Counterpunch, SEPTEMBER 6, 2016 :  http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/06/the-us-election-an-exercise-in-mendacity/

The US Election: an Exercise in Mendacity

by GARY LEUPP (Professor of History at Tufts University, and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion)


What’s that smell in this room? Didn’t you notice it, Brick? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?… There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity… You can smell it. It smells like death.

— Big Daddy to son Brick in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Big Daddy might have been talking about the current U.S. presidential election, which currently wraps the nation in a putrid bubble that can be smelled around the planet. To call it a democratic process would surely be mendacious.

Leave aside the fact that bourgeois elections are generally structured in such a way as to screw over the 99%. Polls during the primaries consistently indicated that Bernie Sanders led either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in voter support. But devious rules and manipulations, and the now-revealed skewing of the primary process by the DNC, and the solid backing of the news networks deliberately downplaying Clinton’s negatives while belittling Sanders, delivered the convention vote to the former secretary of state.

Meanwhile Trump became Republican nominee because the mainstream media for months followed a strategy of simultaneously treating his candidacy as a joke but then cutting to coverage of his every utterance (as “breaking news”) even though he just repeated his same old tired, vapid, solipsistic rant that was anything but news. At the same time, they ignored Sanders’ speeches, or at least failed to convey their content, as reporters merely covered Sanders events as curious gatherings of enthusiastic youth. In that way Trump was able to reach his base; pick off, one by one, his GOP rivals; and gradually win polite treatment as a respectable candidate.

This was not a case of Wall Street pouring money into the candidate’s coffers thus determining the outcome. (Look how little good Jeb Bush’s war chest did him!) It was a case of the bourgeois media determining that the broadcast of Trump’s flow-of-conscious narcissistic diatribes drew in viewers and of course sold the products advertised one out of every four minutes you watch TV. (Ultimately in this system the advertisers decide what constitutes “truth” on TV.)

We know that Hillary Clinton lied. She obviously did when she told Congress she had never forwarded emails marked classified from her personal email through her personal, unauthorized server. The FBI has made this very clear. While this particular sin is not a concern for me (I am perfectly happy when officials of mendacious governments reveal their dishonesty through lack of caution) it’s a clear that the candidate is (as her rival charges) “crooked.” And she didn’t, as she told Congress, just have one cell phone; she had 13 while secretary of state and had her minions smash at least two with hammers for some reason. And she did email her daughter Chelsea the very day of the Benghazi attack in 2012 that the attackers were “an Al Queda-like group” (notice the misspelling) while the State Department was instructed to blame the attack on a mob enraged over a dumb Islamophobic Youtube video.

Trump on the other hand lies so continuously and naturally, making stuff up as he goes along, that his mendacity is truly unmeasurable. He has never recanted his claims that Obama was born in Kenya and did poorly at Harvard. (He now just tells CNN, “I’m not talking about that anymore.” The lie served its purpose in bringing Trump into Republican politics, helping to rally the racist base that propelled him to the party’s nomination. So the purpose of the lie has been served. What talk about it anymore?) He tells us thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered the fall of the World Trade Center; that he knows Vladimir Putin “very well” and that the Russian leader has called him a “genius;” that he opposed the war on Iraq in 2003. Made-up statistics so roll from his tongue that fact-checkers weary of their refutation. Everybody knows he doesn’t care about facts. That is, for many of his fans, who like Karl Rove disdain the “reality-based community,” part of his outsider appeal.

The Trump supporter thinks, what difference does it make if he makes up stories about Muslims? The Clinton supporter asks (with increasing indignation towards the questioner), what difference does it make if she lied about her emails, and about Benghazi, and got her party’s nomination through the machinations of mendacious people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

Both say, look, we have a two-party system. You have to choose one.

In other words, so what that the whole system is soaked in shit? It’s the best system in the world, damn it, so just wade through it and enjoy the stench for the duration.

The whole presidential race is a farce, but perhaps the most mendacious part of it is the alleged role of Russia in the process. Major newspapers run editorials blithely asserting with zero evidence that Trump is an “agent” (if maybe an unwitting one) of Putin. Clinton’s key foreign policy speech the other day targeted Putin as the “godfather” of Europe’s right-wing anti-migrant parties, a truly ridiculous proposition. The DNC, having been exposed by the leaked emails as an undemocratic operation from start to finish, has avoided discussion of the obvious corruption and—with astonishing success—gotten the entire mainstream media to blame Russia for the leak and to claim that Russia is trying to influence the U.S. elections.

Meanwhile the press daily, successfully, promotes the lie that Russia is threatening its neighbors, and invading Ukraine, while in fact the record of U.S. expansion and aggression since the end of the Cold War—Gulf War, 1991; strikes on Iraq, 1991-2003; NATO bombing of Bosnia,  1993-95; NATO bombing of Serbia, 1999; invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, 2001-present; invasion and occupation of Iraq, 2003-present; NATO destruction of Libya, 2011; intervention in Syria, 2011-present—so far exceeds the paltry Russian record of significant military actions since 1991 (the 6-day war with neighboring Georgia after the Georgian attack on South Ossetia, 2008 and the peaceful re-annexation of Crimea in 2014 after the U.S.-funded coup in Kiev) that any comparison is ludicrous. Yet everyday, by news directors’ policy, the pot calls the kettle black.

Lies (in which Clinton was deeply complicit) led to the U.S.-led destruction of Iraq and Libya. Lies underlie U.S. policy on Syria. Some of the biggest liars in past efforts to hoodwink the people into supporting more war (Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz) are backing Hillary, whose Washington Post Pinocchio count is “sky-high,” for president.

In Tennessee Williams’ play Big Daddy tells his son Brick, “I’ve lived with mendacity. Why can’t you live with it? You’ve got to live with it. There’s nothing to live with but mendacity.”

We’ve got to live with the mendacity for awhile. But the silver lining of this mendacious election is that come November the U.S. will have its least popular, most discredited president ever. He or she will face mass, visceral opposition from day one. Youth who have organized around the Bernie banner against Wall Street will join with the Black Lives Matter movement and rally against Hillary as she prepares for another Libya-type regime change war, or against Trump as he tries to implement his racist proposals.

The worst thing a system based on lies should have as its window-dressing a leader with mass support. We will not, thankfully, have one in the near future. Rather than a rigged election, we need real regime change.


From: Prof. Francis Boyle, Univ. of Illinois, Champaign, Law School


Harold Hongju Koh, Hillary Clinton’s former legal advisor at the State Department  has been invited as an ‘endowed speaker’ at the U.I. College of Law, twelve days prior to the November election. Koh, currently a Yale Law School professor and former Dean, is a close friend of Yale Law School graduates Bill and Hillary Clinton. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; and by President Obama, as senior legal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: he provided legal advice to her during the 2009 coup in Honduras, the 2011 US/NATO attack on Libya, and Obama’s ongoing drone assassinations – as well as damage-control in her email controversy. He won’t say what that advice was, claiming “attorney-client privilege” – despite the Supreme Court ruling against attorney-client confidences between government lawyers and government officials.

An avid advocate of the targeted killing program, “Killer Koh” supports the legality of what he terms “extrajudicial killing” in Pakistan, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries in the US “war on terror,” saying it complies “with all applicable law, including the laws of war,” and citing the ‘principle of proportionality’ in “taking great care in planning and execution to ensure that only ‘legitimate’ objectives are targeted and that collateral damage is kept to a minimum.” In a feeble attempt at transparency, the Obama administration recently released a modest admission that some “116 civilians” may have been victims of U. S. drone attacks – a figure that is not reconcilable with the accounts of eyewitnesses, journalists and human rights researchers, who have documented many thousands of casualties. President Obama said – in a revealing moment of self-reflection – “Turns out I’m really good at killing people … Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine” (from Mark Halperin & John Heilemann, “Double Down: Game Change 2012”).

If Hillary Clinton is elected president, with the advice of Tim Kaine and Killer Koh, she may be even more eager to mass-murder than her predecessor: the number of casualties would likely exceed that of Obama’s kill list, just as his toll today greatly outnumbers G. W. Bush’s.

Late on Friday 5 August, the White House grudgingly complied with an Federal Court order (from an ACLU suit) and released a redacted “President’s Policy Guidance” (PPG) on Obama’s program of targeted killings. The PPG stipulates that “nothing in this PPG shall be construed to prevent the President from exercising his Constitutional authority … to authorize lethal force against an individual who poses a continuing, imminent threat to another country’s persons.” (Killing US citizens requires specific approval by the President). Death lists are drawn up weekly by the ‘nominating committee’ and are reviewed by lawyers of the nominating agencies (CIA, Pentagon, NSC, officials of the State Department and “deputies and principals of the nominating committee”).

Of the seven Middle Eastern countries where drone assassinations take place, “active war zones” – Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan (it’s not clear if Libya is included) – do not require prior approval. With this protocol in place, the White House and the National Security Council are insulated from outside scrutiny, even by Congress. It assumes that the Commander in Chief can do anything s/he wants; it would provide a President Clinton #2, with the approval of hawks Tim Kaine and Harold Koh, immense power and license to kill.

Koh as the (former) State Department lawyer has publicly defended extrajudicial killing as “due process under the Constitution in the age of moral and political degeneration.” In a speech at the Oxford Political Union in 2013 he said, “This Administration has not done enough to be transparent about the legal standards and decision making process … fostering a growing perception that the program [extrajudicial killing] is not lawful and necessary…,” adding that this lack of transparency is counterproductive and has led to the “negative public image” of targeted killing. Does Prof. Koh think the recent exposure of the (heavily redacted) PPG ordered by the Court provides the “transparency” to satisfy critics of the legality of targeted killing?

Although Koh has been described as a prominent advocate of human and civil rights (apparently exclusively of US citizens), he has been an “equal opportunist” as a legal advisor to Reagan, Clinton and Obama administrations – all of whom have violated the human rights of foreign nationals. He hardly represented human and civil rights as a member of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to the President in the Reagan administration, when that office justified violations of international law, the Charter of United Nations and the US Constitution, in grievous violation of human rights and attempts to destabilize the countries of Grenada, El Salvador, Nicaragua (attempting to withdraw from the International Court of Justice, which denounced the US for bombing Nicaraguan harbors), Guatemala, Libya, Angola and elsewhere in southern Africa; and when it supported the South African apartheid government against its black population, supported Israel’s invasion and massacres of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and supported illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories – for which the US exercised its veto in the U.N. Security Council, in opposition to sanctions against US. In addition, the Reagan administration and its legal advisors refused to support nuclear test ban treaties, instead proliferating first-strike nuclear weapons, SDI (“star wars”) and MX missiles. Not a record to be proud of for someone serving as legal counsel to the president.

The opportunity extended Harold Koh to lecture potential scholars of political and international law poses the question, Is the University of Illinois College of Law – with its record of sanctions – qualified to educate future lawyers, when it sponsors a person of Harold H. Koh’s character in these politically charged times?

The Nuremberg Military Tribunal in 1947 stated unequivocally that the crimes of the ten civilian Nazi defendants who were convicted of murder and other atrocities, conspiracy to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity of civilians and nationals of occupied territories, were liable to severe penalty whether or not they had engaged in military action. The Nuremberg judgment still stands in  international law.

A reception to protest Professor Koh’s appearance is planned at the north courtyard of the College of Law before the lecture on the afternoon of October 28.

(Midge O’Brien was an academic professional in U. of I. life science laborotories over twenty years and secretary in the Union of Professional Employees; was an election judge twelve years;  a member of Nuclear Freeze, and Prairie Alliance against nuclear power; and an anti-war activist since 1965.  She is a member of the Green Party.)


Where: Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain

When: Thursday, September 8, 6:30 p.m.

What: Please join the D.U.E. Justice Coalition in welcoming the Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Moral Mondays movement, to Connecticut and listen to his message about achieving social and economic justice. Rev. Dr. Barber will speak to the urgency of creating a movement for advancing five key issues for our state: good jobs and fair wages, universal access to quality public education, a vibrant and fairly funded public sector, racial justice, and democracy in our state and in our work places. This event is sponsored by the D.U.E. Justice Coalition, a statewide coalition of 40 faith, civil rights, labor, advocacy, and public policy organizations, including the Greater Hartford NAACP; Connecticut AFL-CIO; Council on American-Islamic Relations; Connecticut Conference, United Church of Christ; Connecticut chapter, Working Families Organization; Sierra Club; and MoveOn.org leaders of Connecticut.


At least President Trump would ground the drones


Simon Jenkins

After the ham-fisted military antics of the Obama years, the rest of the world could do with a jolt of good old-fashioned Republican isolationism

Friday 22 July 2016 , The Guardian


Britons are never happier than when ridiculing the vulgarity of American politics. Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention in Cleveland last night was therefore a gift. It was as vacuous a catalogue of cliches as Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” speeches in 2008.


This is colouring-book oratory, and intended as such. A more serious question is, what would a Trump presidency be like for the outside world?


Trump’s foreign policy line has been clearer than his domestic one: it is a revival of Republican isolationism. He attacks Hillary Clinton for bringing “death, destruction and weakness” to the Middle East, citing the interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria.


He refrained from mentioning the role of his Republican forebear George W Bush. But he has indicated a clear rejection of world free trade, immigration, and any notion of American sanctuary. Trump’s hostility to Mexican migrants and incoming Muslims has been only mildly diluted.


On collective security, he has attacked “our allies riding on our back”, in a stark invitation to Europe to start thinking afresh about its defence priorities.


Trump is right to point out that Obama’s global antics have been ham-fisted. The continuing continuing chaos in the Middle East may be an easy target, but he has persistently opposed these interventions. Obama’s fascination with the drone as a weapon of aggression, his failed “reset” with Russia, the decline in relations with China, and the clumsy remarks about Brexit all illustrated an ineptitude as self-appointed global policeman.


Last week American jets massacred 73 civilians, including 50 women and children, in the Syrian village of Manbij. Imagine if Isis had done this. Obama’s wars remain unresolved and immoral.


A jolt of realpolitik from an isolationist Republican would be no bad thing. Of course, Bush too was vigorously isolationist in his pre-9/11 mode in 2000, but the days when the world’s collective security hung on a Washington heartbeat are over. Behind the bombast, a period of transatlantic withdrawal and reflection is in order.


As far as Britain is concerned, Trump welcomed Brexit, albeit as a token of his own popular defiance against a ruling class. He would presumably honour this by reversing Obama’s end-of-the-queue attitude to a trade deal with Britain. Either way, the tectonic plates are shifting. A Trump presidency would, like Brexit, be a leap into the unknown. But even the darkest clouds can have silver linings.





From: Jim Cohen
Sent: Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Subject: article on US elections (en français)




Here’s an article I have just “committed” in French on the U.S. left in the 2016 elections. Hope you enjoy it and that it doesn’t enrage you or anyone in your immediate circle.

Trump contre Clinton, mais encore ? Pourquoi et comment je voterai à gauche dans la présidentielle étatsunienne



Minor detail, regarding the photo below the article: the editor’s caption is slightly off the mark and will soon be corrected. Ex-State Sen. Nina Turner (D-Ohio) is seen speaking not at a Sanders gathering but at a more ecumenical gathering in which people planning to continue with Sanders and people thinking of voting Green were mixing together and having dialogue. I happened to attend that gathering, known as the People’s Convention (July 26th) because there was room for me there, whereas at the official Democratic Party Convention, there was absolutely no room; even many approved aides to delegates (especially Sanders delegates) were unable to get inside…


Bonne lecture, your feedback would be most appreciated.


warm regards / amicalement,







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