Tuesday, April 22, 2008

'A Paris museum acknowledged Friday that its own star exhibit crystal skull was not what it was cracked up to be'

From: Skullduggery, Indiana Jones? Museum says crystal skull not Aztec

One of only a dozen such skulls known to exist worldwide, the Quai Branly museum's piece was acquired in 1878 from an Indiana Jones-type explorer, Alphonse Pinart, as an Aztec masterpiece believed to be hundreds of years old, the remnant of an ancient and mysterious civilisation.
But in a statement Friday the museum admitted the skull, rather than dating from the Aztec period, was probably made in the 19th century.
From May 20 the Paris skull goes on view to coincide with the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" -- the fourth installment in Harrison Ford's archaeologist's adventures since the 1981 blockbuster "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
While the plot of the latest archeological epic by Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas remains a tightly-guarded secret, bets are the Indiana Jones movie will mirror Aztec beliefs surrounding the skulls.
Legend has it that the Paris skull represents the Aztecs' Mictlantecuhtli, who reigned over the land of the deceased, Mictlan. Reuniting all 12 existing skulls plus a supposed-to-exist 13th could prevent the earth from tipping over, according to fable.
 

Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime (review)

The Hindu custom of dowry has long been blamed for the murder of wives and female infants in India. In this highly provocative book, Veena Oldenburg argues that these killings are neither about dowry nor reflective of an Indian culture or caste system that encourages violence against women. Rather, such killings can be traced directly to the influences of the British colonial era. In the precolonial period, dowry was an institution managed by women, for women, to enable them toestablish their status and have recourse in an emergency. As a consequence of the massive economic and social upheaval brought on by British rule, women's entitlements to the precious resources obtained from land were erased and their control of the system diminished, ultimately resulting in adevaluing of their very lives. Taking us on a journey into the colonial Punjab, Veena Oldenburg skillfully follows the paper trail left by British bureaucrats to indict them for interpreting these crimes against women as the inherent defects of Hindu caste culture. The British, Oldenburg claims, publicized their "civilizing mission" and blamed the caste system in order to cover up the devastation their own agrarian policies had wrought on the Indian countryside. A forceful demystification ofcontemporary bride burning concludes this remarkably original book. Deploying her own experiences and memories and her research at a women's shelter with "dowry cases" for almost a year in the mid-eighties, the author looks at the contemporary violence against wives and daughters-in-law in modernIndia. Oldenburg seamlessly weaves the contemporary with the historical, the personal with the political, and strips the layers of exoticism off an ancient practice to show how an invaluable safety net was twisted into a deadly noose. She brings us startlingly close to the worsening treatment of modern Indian women as she challenges us to rethink basic assumptions about women's human and economic rights. Combining rigorous research with impassioned analysis and a nuanced treatment of a complex,deeply controversial subject, this book critiques colonialism while holding a mirror to gender discrimination in modern India.
 
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Revolutionary War Historian Joseph Ellis Says U.S. Imperialism Violates “Historic Identity”

America's military presence in Iraq represents "a basic violation" of its "historic identity," that of a nation founded in opposition to imperialism, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph Ellis said.

Americans have neglected an important lesson from their own past, Ellis, an authority on the Revolutionary War period, said. "We have become the imperial power. We have become Great Britain and have succeeded Great Britain as the hegemonic power of the world. I would think we would wish to avoid making some of the mistakes she made." He challenged the idea that the U.S. needs a military presence in South Korea and Western Europe as well as Iraq.

"The notion that (our problems) are going to be solved in a military fashion is fundamentally misguided and it's going to send us right down the path that Britain went and into oblivion," Ellis warned in a recent talk at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

[ ... ]

Prior to assuming command in Iraq, General (David) Petraeus wrote studies saying it would take almost a million U.S. troops to put down an Iraqi insurgency and, Ellis noted, "we aren't going to get a million troops." The result in Iraq has put the insurgency in a position where, even if they can't win, they will succeed if they just don't lose, but that the U.S. has to "win."

The Revolutionary War was a battle "for the hearts and minds of the American people, and Washington realizes that," Ellis continued. "The only major battle he fought was at Monmouth Court House (June 28, 1778) until the end of the war and that was by accident. He comes to an understanding that an occupying army has massive problems not just in defeating but in suppressing and controlling an insurgency. Eventually, the British won't lose, they will simply give up because the ordinary people back in London don't want it."

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Saudi Arabia’s Terror Finance Problem

There is little willingness to tackle the Saudis anymore on the issue of cracking down on terror finance. Intelligence services here and in Europe know most of the money for the mujahadeed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere still come from wealthy donors in the Kingdom.

Only a handful of officials, however, dare to say so publicly anymore for fear of ruffling the feathers of those who keep our gas prices above $3 a gallon and will not allow a Bible, Torah or any other non-Muslim book into their country.

The exception has been Stuart Levey, the Treasury undersecretary for terror finance issues, who recently and publicly took on the Saudis in little-noted Congressional testimony. Fortunately, the LA Times did notice.

"Saudi Arabia today remains the location where more money is going to terrorism, to Sunni terror groups and to the Taliban than any other place in the world," Levey said under questioning.

U.S. officials have previously identified Saudi Arabia as a major source of funding for extremism. But Levey's comments were notable because, although reluctant to directly criticize a close U.S. ally, he acknowledged frustration with administration efforts to persuade the Saudis and others to act.
 
 

Former war crimes prosecutor alleges Kosovan army harvested organs from Serb prisoners

Carla Del Ponte, the ex-chief prosecutor for war crimes in former Yugoslavia, has unleashed a storm of recrimination with allegations of a trade in human body parts in Kosovo and Albania after Nato bombed Serbia in 1999.

Del Ponte claims, based on what she describes as credible reports and witnesses, that Kosovan Albanian guerrillas transported hundreds of Serbian prisoners into northern Albania where they were killed, and their organs "harvested" and trafficked out of Tirana airport.

The Kosovan government, now headed by the former guerrilla leader Hashim Thaci, dismisses the claims as untrue, while Serbia and Russia are demanding a war crimes investigation into the allegations. Del Ponte, now a Swiss ambassador, has been ordered to keep silent by the Swiss government.

The allegations are aired in Del Ponte's just published memoirs of her eight years as chief prosecutor for the international war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia, based in The Hague.

The Hunt: Me and War Criminals, which is published in Italian and was launched last week, has triggered controversy and added to the tensions between Kosovo and Serbia two months after the Albanian-majority province declared independence from Serbia.

In the book, Del Ponte writes that her investigators visited a house in the remote mountainous region outside Burrel, Albania, which was allegedly being used as an impromptu clinic for the butchering of 300 young Serbs captured by the Kosovo Liberation Army and transported in lorries across the border from Kosovo to Albania.

According to witnesses - including one who said he had driven some of the organs to Tirana airport, and a team of unnamed journalists who investigated the allegations - the victims had their kidneys removed before being killed later and having other organs taken.

"Prisoners were aware of the fate that awaited them, and according to the source pleaded, terrified, to be killed immediately," Del Ponte writes.

The "house-clinic" was visited by UN officials from Kosovo and tribunal investigators. "The team was shocked by what they saw," said Chuck Sudetic, a former tribunal official who is joint author of the book. "They found gauze and vials of medicines, including a muscle relaxer used during surgery."

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UK lawyers support Pak lawyers’ movement

A group of lawyers from the United Kingdom on Sunday said they could move the British court against the MQM chief Altaf Hussain if concrete evidence was available against his involvement in the April 9 burning of lawyers in Karachi.

The group of lawyers led by Barrister Sibghatullah Kadri, chairman UK Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and Justice in Pakistan, addressed a press conference at the Islamabad Press Club.

The lawyers said that the British courts worked on solid evidence and required witnesses. They said that the news of burning alive of lawyers had shocked the whole world. It was horrific to note that chemicals were used against the lawyers. ìIt is the worst terrorism. It is unimaginable that such gory incidents can take place in a civilised and democratic country,î said Barrister Kadri.

The group is on a visit to Pakistan to show solidarity with the legal fraternity in Pakistan and especially to condole the killing of lawyers on April 9 in Karachi. During their stay, they met deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Sindh chief minister and representatives of different bars and discussed issues of judges' reinstatement, lawyers' protection and supremacy of the Constitution.
 
 

Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger

That anger is palpable across the globe. The food crisis is not only being felt among the poor but is also eroding the gains of the working and middle classes, sowing volatile levels of discontent and putting new pressures on fragile governments.

In Cairo, the military is being put to work baking bread as rising food prices threaten to become the spark that ignites wider anger at a repressive government. In Burkina Faso and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, food riots are breaking out as never before. In reasonably prosperous Malaysia, the ruling coalition was nearly ousted by voters who cited food and fuel price increases as their main concerns.

"It's the worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years," said Jeffrey D. Sachs, the economist and special adviser to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. "It's a big deal and it's obviously threatening a lot of governments. There are a number of governments on the ropes, and I think there's more political fallout to come."

Indeed, as it roils developing nations, the spike in commodity prices - the biggest since the Nixon administration - has pitted the globe's poorer south against the relatively wealthy north, adding to demands for reform of rich nations' farm and environmental policies. But experts say there are few quick fixes to a crisis tied to so many factors, from strong demand for food from emerging economies like China's to rising oil prices to the diversion of food resources to make biofuels.

There are no scripts on how to handle the crisis, either. In Asia, governments are putting in place measures to limit hoarding of rice after some shoppers panicked at price increases and bought up everything they could.

Even in Thailand, which produces 10 million more tons of rice than it consumes and is the world's largest rice exporter, supermarkets have placed signs limiting the amount of rice shoppers are allowed to purchase.

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The Global Marshall Plan: The Network of Spiritual Progressives' Version Q & A

1. What is the NSP Version of the Global Marshall Plan?

The NSP is seeking to have the advanced industrial countries of the world use their resources to eliminate once and for all global poverty, homelessness, and hunger; provide quality education and health care for all; and repair the global environment. As an initial commitment, we want the U.S. to donate at least 1-2% of its Gross Domestic Product each year for the next twenty (though the amount may be less if other countries join in the effort, more if they do not).

Here are the indispensable parts of the NSP version of the Plan:

A. The Global Marshall Plan will not be one more aid plan that uses the concept of "generosity" as a savvy cover for the pursuit of self- and national interest. All elements of the Global Marshall Plan will be administered in ways that not only are consistent with love, kindness, generosity, compassion, ecological sensitivity, and nonviolence, but actually foster in all involved parties the ability to act on those values. The Global Marshall Plan must embody generosity in such a way that it inspires open-heartedness and love, as well as ethical aliveness and deep ecological sensitivity.

B. The monies will be given to an international agency set up for this purpose and governed by an international board composed of cultural, religious, spiritual, social justice and environmental activist leaders who have a proven history of commitment to peace, social justice and the elimination of poverty. This agency will then hire economists, sociologists, environmentalists, lawyers, public health care activists, educational reform activists, and other professional experts who share a strong commitment to empowerment of local people, social justice, peace, and respect for local cultural and religious traditions. This team will develop plans to be presented to the international board.

C. The international board will work with national boards similarly composed of cultural, religious, spiritual, NGO and local social justice and environmental activist leaders who can develop national plans that would be submitted to the international board for approval and funding.

D. All previously negotiated international trade agreements shaped by the advanced industrial societies will be re-conceptualized and amended in ways to ensure that they work in the best interests of underdeveloped countries and not primarily to serve the multinational corporations or the interests of the developed world. For example, new trade agreements will seek to promote local farmers throughout the world rather than providing special benefits for the farmers of the European Union and the United States, and rather than assisting the corporate farming model that has emerged in the West at the expense of small family farms. Similarly, such agreements will favor the needs of the global environment and workers' rights to organize and secure a living wage in the industries both of the developed and the emerging societies.

E. All plans approved by the board must be rigorously screened to ensure that they meet the following criteria: they are environmentally sound and enhance sustainability; they value "growth" only insofar as the growth is consistent with environmental needs of the planet and of the local area and consistent with love, generosity, kindness, compassion, and nonviolence; they enhance the ability of people to value each other and to recognize and support diversity, generosity, and cooperation.

F. All parts of this plan must be delivered in a spirit of generosity, but also in a spirit of humility and repentance: humility, because the NSP version of the GMP recognizes that the West's superior economic status does not imply a higher level of consciousness or moral worth, and repentance because we deeply regret the destruction and impoverishment caused by advanced industrial societies in countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and much of Africa and Central and South America. The values of materialism and selfishness that have often predominated in Western countries in the past thousand years has led to huge destruction of human life through wars and colonial and imperial economic and political arrangements. Having more material goods has had a very good side, in reducing some of the suffering and discomfort in daily life, and science has opened up huge amounts of knowledge that has the potential of being used for the wellbeing of everyone on the planet and of the planet itself. Yet we also recognize that the actual use of science and technology has often served to make mass murder more frequent and more effective, to produce in ways that have been destructive to the environmental survival of the planet, and to enrich some while impoverishing many others. So the NSP version of the GMP insists on humility. Moreover, that humility recognizes that many countries that are economically impoverished (in part by policies imposed by advanced industrial countries and their trade agreements) are nevertheless homes to flourishing spiritual and ethical wisdom that needs to be learned by people in the advanced industrial societies. At the same time, we resist the tendency to exoticize "oppressed" peoples as necessarily wiser or more virtuous than others-a mistake that has led to many failures on the part of social change movements of the past.

G. An International Generosity Corps will be recruited from all around the world to dedicate two years of their lives to providing help and assistance in the implementation of the Global Marshall Plan. To ensure that we attract people at a variety of levels of expertise and experience, we would seek to provide funding for such volunteers in accord with the average level of pay in their home country received by people at their level of competence and experience, but not more than three times the average income of all people in their home country. Only volunteers who can demonstrate a high level of humility, commitment to social justice, non-violence, peace and the philosophy of generosity would be admitted to the training program for the Generosity Corps.

2. Why do you call this a "Marshall Plan?"

George Marshall was Secretary of State when he convinced the U.S. to launch a plan to rebuild Europe after the Second World War, a plan that is widely credited with having stimulated European economies so that they became successful and could eventually stand on their own without direct aid from the U.S. The Marshall Plan thus stands as a reminder that government financed plans can, if run with smarts and sensitivity, be successful in alleviating suffering and stimulating economic well-being.

We are aware that a subtext of the older Marshall Plan was to advance American economic domination and to overcome the potential socialist leanings of many in post WWII Europe. We do not share those goals, so we are not using the term for that reason, and would gladly endorse another name for it that actually conveyed as much of the substance and hooked in to the positive feelings generated by Global Marshall Plan, but we do not know of such a name.

3. Haven't plans to aid the poor failed in the past-what makes this any different?

There has never been a serious attempt to eliminate poverty either in the US or around the world. Rather, poverty programs from the New Deal to the One Campaign have sought to reduce the level of poverty and to free people from some of the worst impacts of the "free market" by providing social supports or by reducing or forgiving some elements of debt.

While some of the worst aspects of material suffering have been reduced by these programs, they have never been funded at a level that could even possibly create an economic infrastructure sufficient to provide for lifting the majority of the world's poor to economic well-being.

Because these plans didn't succeed in doing what they actually never set out to do, people paying taxes to these programs have seen their taxes rise year after year, without a corresponding end to poverty. This has generated a great deal of frustration as people feel that their tax monies are being sunk into a bottomless pit. And they are not wrong, because the programs they fund have never actually sought to eliminate the poverty but mostly only to buffer its worst impacts.

Moreover all these programs have been delivered in the form of "objective caring" (namely, money) but not subjective caring. In other words, the benefits have been delivered without any serious attempt to give a priority to affirming caring bonds between human beings or affirming the value of generosity and caring for others as a central value that motivates the program and motivates the people who are delivering it. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of these programs can report on the humanly insensitive and sometimes even outrageously boorish ways that domestic welfare or foreign aid has been delivered. In the absence of any real caring, some recipients have exploited the system, further aggravating the frustrations of tax payers.

To remedy this problem, one of the central charges to the governing bodies of this program is to develop within the process of delivering aid a New Bottom Line consciousness in which the fostering of an ethos of solidarity is central in the kinds of programs that it will fund, the way the programs will be administered, and the hiring, retention and promotion of people who will work for this program.

4. Past programs have often ended up providing money for the infrastructure needed for big capital and the global multinationals, but this rarely helps the poor, although it does facilitate the development of a small but growing middle class that then too often identifies with the rich and their interests and ignores the needs of the poor. What makes this different?

Our program will explicitly seek to avoid this dynamic by funding infrastructure (including schools, hospitals, energy sources, and homes) for the poor and the homeless and for rural farmers and rural business.

One major difference between the NSP version of the Global Marshall Plan and other versions is that we insist that the funding decisions be made not by governmental authorities nor by corporate interests or the "free marketplace," but rather by a board for each country composed of cultural and religious/spiritual figures, social change activists, environmentalists, NGOs, and grass roots activists, who will have as an explicit mandate to focus on ways to ensure that the help really is directed to the well-being of the poor and the transformation of their condition. The plan rejects the theory that the best way to serve the poor is to serve the interests of the powerful or the corporations which in turn will allow some of their profits to trickle down to the rest of the society.

5. Many countries in the world are governed by elites that are dictatorial or do not really care about the well being of their poorest citizens. They would not be willing to have agencies like the GMP work independently of the government, and would seek through the government to siphon off the funds to their allies, and would use language like "democratic control by our own society" to justify the undemocratic outcome of how the funds are being used. If there were an independent local board of spiritual leaders, cultural leaders, and democratic local leaders, it would be subverted or replaced by the local government. How can you get around the reality that many states will not cooperate in your well-intentioned GMP except to overtly or covertly subvert it?

We do not envision a need to start by funding projects in every country in the world. This is not a program that has to spend all its money right away or be perceived as having "failed." So, we will start with those countries where the government really is well-intentioned and not corrupt, and make the success of those programs an incentive for other countries to join in our plan in a full-hearted way. If we in fact live up to our mission to act out of a spirit of generosity, and caring for others, we will play a major role in breaking through the culture of me-firstism that dominates the world.

Today, people think in terms of getting as much for themselves as possible, because they believe that that is what everyone else is doing. The collective impact of that way of behaving is a world being quickly destroyed by selfishness and materialism.

But most human beings wish to live in a very different kind of world in which generosity, mutual recognition between human beings, real love and caring, gratitude, mutual forgiveness and open-heartedness, awe and wonder, and social responsibility predominate-but they don't believe it's possible. And their cynical pessimism about what is possible leads them to then believe that the only "rational" way to be is to follow the logic of the capitalist marketplace and its not-so-hidden message that people should get as much for themselves as they possibly can as quickly as they can. Governments that are corrupt are often led by people who have been infused with this kind of reasoning. They don't see themselves as "stealing" so much as being "rational"-which is to help one's friends and those who will eventually help you, and to ignore the interests of others since they won't care about you so much either.

The strategy of generosity behind the Global Marshall Plan has the capacity to challenge this way of thinking and being in the world. So as the GMP starts to be perceived as a genuine act of generosity, it will have major ripple effects which will make it easier to challenge the selfishness in government and make it easier to get into power people who are honest enough to make the GMP a plausible partner for them in developing their own country. Until that happens, we will not work with those governments, but instead work through NGOs that can directly connect with the people in need of the aid. And what happens if even those NGOs get corrupted by this same dynamic? Well, we don't have to work with any country's NGOs or others represented in our local governing board until we are assured that both the aid and the message of generosity and caring will truly reach the poor and empower them. Unil then, the GMP programs will function only in countries where there is a reasonable chance of its doing the task it set out to do.

6. How can you eliminate poverty without creating jobs or some form of employment-and isn't that the task of the private sector?

We will work with micro-financing projects that economically empower people to start very small entrepreneurial enterprises, as well as small and medium size businesses that can demonstrate how the funds they receive will translate into ongoing employment for poor people. We will also fund new forms of work, including those that involve collective living, collective sharing of finances, community control of energy and utilities and larger economic ventures like the production of steel, and mass transportation.

The goal of this program is to put in place housing, food supplies, ecological understanding, skills training, infrastructure, and the requisites of an economy such that after the twenty-year period is finished there will be local people with enough expertise that they can continue to fund and implement the IGC.

We may also need to fund the creation of socially responsible corporations that are formed around the concept of the New Bottom Line and provide employment for people in a given society or trans-nationally. These corporations would have to produce products that are actually needed and operate according to ecologically sustainable policies that foster caring and generosity among employees and community members. Such corporations would be set up with boards of directors that represent both the investors and also representatives elected yearly by the workers of that corporation and representatives of the communities in which the corporation functions (in the broadest sense, the "stakeholders").

We recognize that in a global capitalist system any corporation trying to function under the requisites of "the New Bottom Line" will be at a disadvantage, because they will be unable to use the ruthless techniques of global capital (e.g. threatening to move or close the plant if workers strike for reasonable wages, producing goods that are profitable even though environmentally destructive, inattention to the needs of the communities in which they operate, etc.). And while part of this plan then requires that the GMP continue to support these GMP-sponsored corporations, we know that this disadvantage will continue after the GMP no longer functions. For that reason, the NSP version of the GMP will simultaneously fund and support the creation of movements seeking constitutional changes in all the countries of the planet (whether or not they are part of the GMP) that would establish the Social Responsibility clause for all large corporations: that they must prove to a jury of ordinary citizens a satisfactory level of social responsibility (including fostering the values of the New Bottom Line)in order to maintain their charters.

But this is not intending to be a first aid for capitalism, either. We will work with a variety of different economic systems and seek to foster public sector economic growth, economic programs that are rooted in or supervised by the public sector, and mixed public-private cooperation. The NSP version of the GMP is neutral about whether to describe what we want as "capitalist, " socialist" or any other name, but we are not neutral about the kind of decision making we seek to foster, viz. one that gives priority of place to attempts to replace an ethos of selfishness and materialism with an ethos of generosity and caring for others.

7. How can you claim that further "development" of any sort is good for the planet, when development has caused many of the environmental hazards the planet faces today?

We believe that a certain level of economic development is necessary in order to provide environmental justice which is the prerequisite for environmental sanity. As long as we live in a world in which millions of people die each year of malnutrition or diseases that could have been cured by fairer distribution of the world's health resources, it is unrealistic to believe that people in the underdeveloped world will preserve the world's resources and environment rather than use them in accord with their immediate needs (like cutting down the Amazon forests so that they can plant grass to sustain cattle that will be bought by middle class city dwellers at prices that will make it possible for the poor to buy enough food to not starve to death) unless the rest of us find them other ways to provide enough food and sustenance for their families. So a fairer distribution of the world's resources and material well being is necessary in order to begin to involve everyone in the highest priority of the 21st century: saving the planet from environmental destruction.

We do not accept the notion that "first we raise the standard of living of the world: then we worry about the environment." There is no "later"-saving the environment is an immediate and global necessity and the GMP must work in tandem with that priority and believes that its plan will actually make it easier to achieve the global support necessary to do that.

8. How is the NSP-version of the GMP related to more immediate problems facing the U.S. like illegal immigration and domestic poverty?

These are all the same problem.

Illegal immigration would be dramatically reduced if the millions of people seeking work in the U.S. were able to find comparable employment in their home countries. If people can have a reasonable standard of living in their home countries, they will not risk death or imprisonment in some other country.

As to domestic poverty-the NSP-version of the GMP provides that part of its focus must be to wipe out domestic poverty as well as international poverty.

9. What is an International Generosity Corps (IGC)?

This will function as the Global Marshall Plan's hands-on division for volunteers to dedicate a part of their lives to helping in repairing the damage done to the world by the various episodes of Western colonialism and imperialism. Although the International Generosity Corps (IGC) will be empowered to work out private arrangements to encourage needed personnel for short-term stints in the underdeveloped world, or short-term education trips to share specific skills, the normal commitment would be for a two year period in which each volunteer will learn the language and culture and then spend time teaching his/her skills to some relevant constituency in poor communities around the world, or simply working on a project that had been funded by the Global Marshall Plan.

IGC members will have their food and lodging and necessary equipment paid for by the Global Marshall Plan. They will also receive partial salary based on their income lost by volunteering in this program, which will be paid to their families or to a fund which they would have access to AFTER the completion of the terms of their service.

IGC members will also participate in a global communication project in which they report on what they are actually doing "on the ground" in the recipient countries. The goal of this part of the NSP version of the Global Marshall Plan aims to provide reassurance to people who are funding the GMP that they really know what is being done with their monies, as well as to foster more generosity as people recognize its effects.

Because IGC members will be perceived as representatives of the international good will being extended to those in need around the world, volunteers will be carefully screened to ensure that we are not only getting the most technically efficient, but also those who are genuinely caring, loving, generous, and gentle people whose very being can convey the notion that the peoples of the world care about each other and want to take care of each other. They will be provided supervision by local and international spiritual/religious leaders, psychotherapists, and teachers, as well as by experts in the fields in which the volunteer is offering services. The experience of being in the International Generosity Corps will provide opportunities weekly to meet with other volunteers and receive teaching and training in an on-going manner, as well as emotional and spiritual supervision and support, along with opportunities to make new friendships and relationships with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.

IGC salaries and support will be paid by the Global Marshall Plan.

The last three months of service in the IGC will be dedicated to sharing with fellow citizens in their country of origin what the IGC member has learned and what changes that might suggest for life in the home country of origin.

10. How much will all this cost and who will pay for it?

Before the twenty years of full-scale funding there will be a 5 year start up period in which detailed plans will be developed in each participating country (both donors and recipients) and submitted to the international board. In this period the phase-in plans will be fully worked out. We will start with countries that are most open to this kind of generosity. The cost in this initial period will be considerably less than once the program gets fully off the ground with countries in need, some of whom will by this point have less resistance because they understand that the donor countries are giving support not out of a desire to exercise control or domination, but out of genuine generosity.

In its fullest and most-likely-to-succeed version, this program will cost two trillion dollars a year, once all the G8 countries are involved in financially supporting it. It is estimated that the world will save more than that amount from decreases in military spending

We propose that the cost be paid by a Generosity Tax that is progressive (that is, it takes a higher percentage of income from rich people than from poor people) and by a tax on international financial transactions. Some economists estimate that a 1% tax on international financial transactions would yield enough monies to fund this project for its first ten years.

11. What is the relationship of the NSP-version of the GMP to other versions, such as those coming out of Europe?

We seek to work collaboratively with every organization or group that wishes to move toward a global marshall plan, even when we have significant differences with other groups, as long as they don't fall into obvious political traps in terms of extremist rhetoric or anti-American or extreme Leftist rhetoric. We will join coalitions and work to make them successful. At the same time, we will keep the autonomy of the NSP intact, and will continue to promote the NSP version, and will do our best when working in coalition with others to advance the specificity of the NSP version to the extent that we believe that our formulations will be helpful in developing greater support for the GMP idea.

So we will have a two track approach: 1. supporting and working with larger coalitions promoting and 2. supporting our own activities and vision, educating people to it, and building campaigns around it that we think may at specific historical moments be the most effective way to build support for The New Bottom Line and the strategy of generosity.

Some spiritual progressives in Europe have told us that the GMP discourse there is so completely identified with social democratic reformist language and the political style of the economistic social democratic forms of the past century as to render them useless if one hopes to build mass support. We still intend to use the GMP language, but to infuse it with a deep spiritual vision, one that emphasizes the human need to be needed, the centrality of developing a sense of awe, wonder and radical amazement at the incredible grandeur and mystery of the universe, the need for transcendent meaning and purpose to life, the need for love and human connection that cannot be fulfilled by buying yet more things. Because fostering love, generosity, caring for others, ecological sensitivity, and ethical aliveness, are equally part of our goals, we will not abandon our NSP version of the GMP and will modify it only in ways that make it clearer, more workable, and more in accord with our fundamental goals of building a global campaign for the New Bottom Line.

12. Aren't there areas of this plan that need to be more worked out before you put this into the political arena?

No. The plan has enough details for people to decide how they relate to it. It will need far more details once there is a majority support for the NSP version of the GMP. But for the moment, we have enough of a conception to start building public support.

However, that doesn't mean that we don't need advice, carefully worked on elaborations, models, financing proposals, and refinements, as well as initial ideas about who should be on the international governing body (yes, we know that it should include the Dalai Lama and former President Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela, but we also need less famous people who nevertheless meet our criteria-who are they, why do you think they should be on the board, who are you, and how do we get in touch with them to start talking about the idea!).

So your suggestions, carefully thought out, are very welcome. If you'd like to be part of the NSP activist GMP conference call, send us your email: to Nichola@tikkun.org.

This is for people who are willing to give time to writing letters to media and policy people and Congressional people, who are willing to leaflet or demonstrate on behalf of the NSP's version of the GMP, and who have no reluctance about insisting that this is a spiritual program whose center is the Strategy of Generosity. So before you email us, please read all the relevant materials at www.spiritualprogressives.org.

Most immediately we need funds to start the project, to hire organizers, to print materials, and to develop longer and more detailed brochures. So, if you have financial contacts, help us. If you have the skill of writing a grant proposal, identify the places you'd think to approach (particularly foundations and corporate giving sources). If you can write the grant proposal, please do so, but don't submit it before clearing it with us. If you have a contact on the board of a foundation or corporation, approach them with these ideas, and if they are interested, let us know the next steps. Or if you'd like to run a local fund-raising event for the GMP, please do so and send the tax-deductible contributions to us at the NSP so we can use it to help hire organizers.

If you have other relevant skills (e.g. you can organize a large event in your area to promote the GMP but need one of us to come there and be the speaker, let us know; if you can film a weekly YouTube appearance for RabbiLerner or Nichola Torbett, let us know; if you can get us invited to a large conference where we'd have plenty of time to present these ideas, let us know; if you'd like to come to volunteer time at our Berkeley California office, or if you would like to make outreach calls or do data entry from your home, we could surely use your assistance). If you have other ideas about how you could help us, please let us know.

13. How do you envision the NSP version of the Global Marshall Plan getting adopted in the Western world and in the U.S. in particular which has such a strongly organized opposition to any such plans and opposition to the use of the government to help promote large-scale programs of social engineering?

Opposition to large scale government programs is often rational. Many of those programs have been implemented more from the standpoint of advancing the interests of ruling elites than from the standpoint of exercising genuine generosity toward others. If that were the way our program eventually came into prominence, we'd oppose it too!

We envision a mass movement building around the Network of Spiritual Progressives which endorses the New Bottom Line and its commitment to love and kindness, generosity and caring, and supports the Spiritual Covenant with America. The Global Marshall Plan is part of plank no. 7 of the Spiritual Covenant-the plank on generosity as the best path toward homeland security, as well as the best foreign policy commensurate with our growing recognition that our well-being depends on the well-being of everyone alive on the planet as well as on the well being of the planet itself.

Our strategy is to build popular support for the idea of generosity as an alternative to militarist or even economic/diplomatic domination of the countries of the world. Here are some of the steps:

Local NSP activists seek endorsement and involvement of clergy and their congregations, union leaders, political party activists and candidates, elected officials, media columnists and reporters, NGOs and their activists, and civic groups like the Rotary Clubs, etc. Individuals should also be encouraged to sign the endorsement of the NSP version of the GMP on our website www.spiritualprogressives.org

Local NSP activists lead a campaign to get endorsement of the GMP by local city councils, state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress, or to put the GMP endorsement on local or state ballots.

GMP enthusiasts start to run for office on the platform of the Spiritual Covenant with special emphasis on the GMP, and many get elected even though they have very little money backing them. Others run as delegates to the state and national conventions of their political parties, and both in running and in being at those conventions, they use every possible opportunity to spread our GMP brochures and to talk about the substance of the ideas.

We seek to create a spiritual progressive network in every political party, so that we can advance the ideas of a Global Marshall Plan and the rest of the Spiritual Covenant with America. To do this, you can join the political party that most appeals to you. Start going to meetings and talking about the New Bottom Line and the Spiritual Covenant, emphasizing the need for a spiritual progressive perspective and for the Strategy of Generosity and the Global Marshall Plan.

Build relationships with those who seem interested in these ideas. These are people who likely share some of our spiritual progressive ideals, even if they are nervous about expressing them publicly (or even shy to acknowledge to themselves and their closest friends that they really have a strong idealistic, spiritual and ethical consciousness that underlies their thinking). Invite them to NSP events, including those on the Generosity Strategy to end the war in Iraq and build a different kind of world. Then, the next time you wish to bring up the topic of endorsing the GMP in the party, ask for their support.

Eventually, political parties endorse the idea and presidential candidates compete as to who is most truly dedicated to generosity. Then, one of them wins election, and uses her or his mandate to mobilize national support to push the GMP through the Congress. In the meanwhile, Congress has already created committees to explore the version of the GMP they would endorse, and they've already made contact with similar campaigns in other advanced industrial societies to further the thinking and planning and the forms of legislation that will be needed to make the plans more detailed.

14. So apart from the tasks described above, are there any other things ordinary citizens can do while waiting for this political strategy to work?

YES. EMBODY GENEROSITY AND TALK ABOUT IT.

Here are a few ideas; send us yours!

At your local NSP meeting, show that there is no shortage of love, caring, kindness and generosity toward others. Try the following:

Make it a practice to start every meeting with everyone giving a hug to everyone else who is receptive and does not feel invaded by that practice. Also, line everyone up in a circle, have them face each other's backs, and each person take 5 minutes to give the other a massage of their neck and back (except for people who are unwilling to do this). Then, go around and have every person "check in" with a one minute report on where they are in their lives this week, what challenges they have faced, and particularly to share an experience in which they acted generously, or in which they could have but didn't but now wish they had.

At the end of each meeting, have each person put forward a request for prayer or support from the others in the group for some positive outcome in their lives,

Actively collect lists of needs that each person has, and list of skills or time that they would be willing to offer to other members of the chapter (including those who signed up originally but are no longer coming).

Simultaneously, ask each person to volunteer to offer others in the group some time to a. teach a skill b. offer a service ("I can fix your toilet or help you shovel your snow or paint your house or provide childcare for four hours so that you can go out to a movie or dinner or party or teach your child some skill like a sport or a musical instrument or computer skills or creative writing or art or sewing or cooking or exercise or ...whatever").

Whatever part of this you adopt, terrific. Many blessings for all that you can and will do to promote the Generosity approach!

--Written by Rabbi Michael Lerner

'Mrs. Vlachos says the coup d’etat of April 21, 1967 was "born of the Pentagon by the CIA, reared by NATO, and surrounded by doting businessmen" '

From: Helen Vlachos Doesn't Love You Anymore: Conversations With A Greek In Exile

...On a table in the living room is a short-wave receiver tuned to the Voice of America. "I always listen to their news broadcasts," Mrs. Vlachos explains. "When the Voice of America refers to 'the Greek junta' instead of to 'the government of Greece,' I'll know that American policy has changed, that I will soon be able to return home."

Post-Scarcity Totalitarianism

The image of contemporary Greece that Mrs. Vlachos conveys is a powerful and tragic one. It is a country, she says, whose democratic institutions are stifled by a brutal elite of cynical opportunists. The list of their abuses is long. The power of the colonels, she asserts, is upheld by secret police, political arrests, widespread surveillance, torture, censorship, rigged trials, martial law, blacklists, academic and clerical purges, faked reports, NATO, the CIA, and the fixers.

Her charges are sweeping and well-documented. She offers the investigative reports of impartial European commissions, and the signed statements of prominent Greeks describing their arrest, barbaric imprisonment, savage interrogations, and so on. Names, addresses, and dates are meticulously supplied, and the incidents themselves are reported with a disconcerting matter-of-factness.

Mrs. Vlachos says the coup d'etat of April 21, 1967 was "born of the Pentagon by the CIA, reared by NATO, and surrounded by doting businessmen." It is a neat way of summing up what many Europeans believe is America's substantial role in establishing the first European dictatorship to be born after World War II.

According to Mrs. Vlachos and other exiles, the Junta's coup was motivated and controlled by the CIA. The coup utilized a nucleus of ambitious Greek army officers, NATO tanks, and a NATO contingency plan code-named "Prometheus." On the night of the coup more than 6,000 persons, ranging in status from laborer to Prime Minister, were arrested, martial law declared, and the King informed of the fait accompli. The alleged motivation of the CIA was to prevent the election of the independently-minded Center Union Party, and to establish an easily-controlled marionette government whose commitment to NATO could not be reversed by troublesome free elections. Moreover, she argues, the American Sixth Fleet, expelled from Libya, supposedly needed a recreative base from which to check Russia's growing Mediterranean presence. (As a footnote, it is perhaps noteworthy that the present Premier of Greece, George Papadopoulos, one of the leaders of the 1967 coup, was formerly the liason officer between the CIA and its U.S.-funded counterpart, the Greek KYP. In this regard, exiled Greek economist George Yannopoulos has referred to Papadopoulos as "the first CIA agent who has managed to become Prime Minister.")

"What America is doing," Mrs. Vlachos says, "is creating a Las Vegas for the Sixth Fleet. The need for such a base is not strategic, but, at best, touristic."

Devaluation

Since the night of the coup, Mrs. Vlachos claims, Greece has gone downhill. A sort of moral and intellectual devaluation has occurred in which the cream of the professions have been purged, blacklisted, exiled, or forced to leave the country.

"There is a lot of shame in Greece today," Mrs. Vlachos says. "The people haven't any guns, and they know they can't fight the Soviets, America, the CIA, and NATO all at once — and so they are ashamed. Because they are losing a tradition of bravery and courage, of being fighters. Well, they haven't much choice. All they can do is carry on, but in doing that they support this band of ridiculous and malicious gangsters; the junta. It is bad for their soul. There is a falling off in values throughout Greece. The young, so many people of value, are leaving or have already left. Greece gets impoverished of anything that has any value, and what does it gain in return? Drunken American sailors."

"Of course," she adds, "the junta placed a great emphasis on moral issues when it seized power. But all that went in the first week after the coup. It was discarded when they realized they needed tourism. In fact, there have been gambling dens, casinos, only twice in the history of Athens: once during the Nazi occupation, and now again."

The people who have left Greece are many and diverse. Among them are communists, conservatives, socialists, monarchists, anarchists, and liberals. Their ranks include distinguished composers, poets, lawyers, generals, jurists, professors, architects, and actors, as well as unknown engineers, house-painters, printers, and country people. As a comminity, they lack the political and class uniformity usually found among refugees from the same country.

"The explanation," Vlachos says, "is that the junta itself has no politics. The coup was a hijacking, a power-grab by ambitious minor officers using the pretext of an 'imminent communist threat.' There was no such threat. If there was, why didn't they inform their superiors? Why didn't they alert the government or King Constantine?"

While the lives of Greek exiles outside their homeland are not ideally happy, at least their living conditions are not to blame. Because the junta has effectively sought to decapitate the opposition, the exiles tend to be among Greece's most talented and well-educated citizens: their services have been welcomed at newspapers, universities, and hospitals around the world.

Those Greeks exiled to rural areas within Greece itself are not so fortunate. Isolated from their work and friends, forbidden to receive visits from persons outside their immediate family, they are allotted 65¢ per day as a living allowance. Because the towns-people are warned by police not to converse with the exiles, the latter are cast in the role of village pariahs.

Among these internal exiles are such notables as John Pesmazoglou, former deputy governor of the Bank of Greece, and Anastasios Peponis, former director-general of the National Broadcasting Institute. Both are exiled to Thermon in western Greece. As Niall MacDermot, secretary-general of the International Commission of Jurists, recently described their situation: "None of the exiles have been given any reason for their deportation, other than the general allegation that they are a danger to security. This harsh form of punishment is based on unknown actions alleged in unknown statements made by unknown persons — a completely Kafka-like situation."

Resistance

One of the questions which invariably arises about Greece is the reason for the limp resistance offered to the colonels over the past five years. True, many Greeks have been jailed for anti-junta activities, but there has so far not been the concerted assault on the regime that many expected. Part of the reason may lie in the fact that the Greek government has always been a relatively remote entity for many Greeks. Further, functional illiteracy is not uncommon in the rural areas, making it even harder for the average Greek to become involved in the political decisions which ultimately affect him. Helen Vlachos offers yet another reason for the seeming passivity.

"Over the past two generations, Greeks have had enough of violence. They've fought bloody wars against fascism and communism both. They're sick of it. But also, the people are not armed. On the night of the coup, for instance, when the secret police arrested thousands — not one gun was found. Not one!"

"And, of course," she continues, "the junta is very well armed. The other reason for the character of the resistance is that Greece never expected that this political hijacking would be accepted by the allies and by the NATO countries. It seemed not possible. No one thought the junta would be recognized."

"You know," she says, "before this happened there had never been a single anti-American protest in Greece — neither from the Right nor from the Left. Now, 90 percent of the bombings (well, really, they are firecrackers) and care that are burned, are anti-American. Twice now, Truman's statue has been destroyed. Before there was no anti-American feeling. Now there is a disgust directed against the American government."

"People come to me and say: 'You are a conservative, Helen, you are on the Right, you cannot say that the Americans are worse than the Russians — would you like communism better?' But that's not the question! The fact is that the Americans were our friends, the Russians were not. We were allies. We fought together. So, the fact that our friends are behaving in such an absolutely disgusting and stupid way — well, it's when your friend betrays you that you feel it more."...

Rupert Murdoch Firm Goes on Trial for Alleged Tech Sabotage

Did a Rupert Murdoch company go too far and hire hackers to sabotage rivals and gain the top spot in the global pay-TV war?

This is the question a jury will be facing in a spectacular five-year-old civil lawsuit that is finally being tried this month in California but which has, oddly, received little notice from U.S. media.

The case involves a colorful cast of characters that includes former intelligence agents, Canadian TV pirates, Bulgarian and German hackers, stolen e-mails and the mysterious suicide of a Berlin hacker who had been courted by the Murdoch company not long before his death.

On the hot spot is NDS Group, a UK-Israeli firm that makes smartcards for pay-TV systems like DirecTV. The company is a majority-owned subsidiary of Murdoch's News Corporation. The charges stem from 1997 when NDS is accused of cracking the encryption of rival NagraStar, which makes access cards and systems for EchoStar's Dish Network and other pay-TV services. Further, it's alleged NDS then hired hackers to manufacture and distribute counterfeit NagraStar cards to pirates to steal Dish Network's programming for free.

NagraStar and one of its parent companies, EchoStar, are seeking about $101 million for damages for piracy, copyright infringement, misconduct and unfair competition. The list of witnesses in the case includes EchoStar's founder and CEO Charlie Ergen; several hackers and pirates; and Reuven Hazak, an Israeli who heads security for NDS and is a former deputy head of Shabak, or Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency (the equivalent of Britain's MI5).

The case, which began April 9 in the U.S. District Court's Central Division in Santa Ana, California, could conceivably result in an award of hundreds of millions of dollars, although neither side is expected to emerge unscathed from testimony that threatens to expose the messy underbelly of the high-stakes pay-TV industry.

~ read on... ~

 

Interesting comments by the Former Australian Crime Intelligence Commander concerning Croatian fascists

"I am not denying the threat posed by Muslim fundamentalists; however, it is incumbent on governments not to lose track of the ideologies that caused the Holocaust and which still persist amongst groups within the extreme Right."
 
 
From The Emperor's Clothes Newsletter, 21 April 2008 :
 
 
Croatian Ustaše (clerical-fascists) in Australia?

Former Australian Crime Intelligence Commander Responds to TENC

I. Comment by Samantha Criscione and Jared Israel

II. Letter from Kerry L. Milte, former Commander of the Central Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth, now Australian, Federal Police

[Apr. 21, 2008]

=============================================

I. Comment by Emperor's Clothes

A while ago we published the main part of a brief we had sent Australian Minister of Immigration Chris Evans, arguing that he should expel Croatian rock star Marko Perkovic 'Thompson,' then on a singing tour for clerical-fascism in Australia. [1]

Unfortunately, Evans chose not to expel Thompson. Indeed, he did not reply. However, when we sent the brief to the TENC Newsletter list, someone else did reply. That someone is Kerry L. Milte, former chief of crime intelligence of the Commonwealth Police and the security advisor to Australian Attorney General Lionel Murphy, accompanying him on his famous 1973 so-called 'raid' of the Australian secret service over the issue of Croatian fascist terror. [2]

Kerry Milte's letter is of great interest, as testimony about the history of fighting Croatian fascism by a crime intelligence expert who helped make that history; as a knowledgeable defense of Australian Attorney General Murphy, which we think Murphy deserves; and as an example to people in government of what it looks like to act in a principled fashion. Senator Evans, take note.

Kerry Milte's letter is reprinted below. He has also kindly provided the transcripts of Attorney General Murphy's March 15 and 16, 1973 meetings with officials of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) – the so-called 'raid' – which we have posted at http:/tenc.net/docs73.htm

As Mr. Milte writes below, the notes on the two meetings "were read by me into the transcript of the 1973 Senate Inquiry [into Milte's role in the meetings or, as the media put it, the 'raid'] against the protestations of the Liberals."

Footnotes and words in brackets have been added by Emperor's Clothes.

– Samantha Criscione and Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

=============================================

II. Letter from Kerry L. Milte, former Commander of the Central Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth, now Australian, Federal Police

To Emperor's Clothes
,

I find your Newsletter very interesting, accurate and informative.

From 1967 to 1970 I was Commander of the Central Crime Intelligence Bureau of the Commonwealth, now Australian, Federal Police. In 1973 I was security adviser to Senator Lionel Murphy, Attorney-General under the newly elected ALP (Australian Labor party) government.

It is true that until 1972 the Croatian extremist groups received a significant measure of protection from Liberal Party governments. I believe that this was primarily due to the government's need for support from an extreme right wing Catholic party – the so-called Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The Liberals and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) had the misguided belief that the Croats could help in the identification of communists in Australia, who in the 1960s were factionalized, ineffective and posed no threat to national security. (Australian communists are now anachronistic.)

The Croats could muster sufficient votes to help secure a few key Senate seats for the DLP upon whose numbers and preferences the Liberals depended for a majority.

As you note in your Newsletter, bombings were a regular occurrence, and appropriate counter-measures were not permitted. [3]

For example, I was personally responsible for the security of Yugoslav Assistant Secretary for Foreign Affairs Rolovic during his 1970 visit to Australia, so I can testify firsthand that the police received inadequate support to protect him and various Yugoslav diplomatic and trade premises.

Another example: Sergeant E.H. George arrested and interviewed Ustasha terrorist Josip Senic in 1965 and was forced to release him despite Senic admitting involvement in terrorist activity. I also interviewed Senic in Canberra, before he finally fled Australia. Despite his admissions, it was not possible to get approval for federal prosecutions of Senic or others until the ALP [Australian Labor Party] gained power.

On 15 and 16 March 1973 I accompanied Attorney General Murphy and the Commonwealth Police on Murphy's visits to ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, in Canberra and in Melbourne.

The visits (not the 'raid,' as the New York Times article that you posted called it [4]) were precipitated by the upcoming 20 March arrival of Yugoslav Prime Minister Djemal Bijedic in Australia. Attorney General Murphy had intelligence information relating to a planned attempt on Bijedic's life. That this intelligence was impeccable was demonstrated by the fact that police did seize explosives on Prime Minister Bijedic's planned route to Canberra. It was a desperate time, and Murphy had the courage to take an extreme but necessary step.

It must be pointed out that the situation was the subject of thorough discussions with police command and an intense analysis of files held by the police and the Attorney-General's Department. Police Commissioner Jack M. Davis personally directed police to enter the ASIO building in Melbourne following consultation with Murphy.

Prior to visiting Melbourne, Murphy went to the ASIO's Canberra Regional Office, where he asked for a particular file on Croatian activities and was misled by ASIO officers who told him it was in Melbourne. Contrary to later attacks on Murphy, in Melbourne he did not rummage through files himself. He asked for the file on the Croats, and he questioned ASIO officials about what they had done to protect Bijedic. It turned out that they had not even vetted the chefs and waiters at Parliament House, and this less than a week before the planned State Dinner for Bijedic.

All this was recorded. Later, I would face a Senate Inquiry – Liberal dominated – into the 'raid', but it fell apart when it was found that Murphy had caused full transcripts of all that occurred to be recorded at the time. These transcripts were read by me into the transcript of the 1973 Senate Inquiry against the protestations of the Liberals. [5]

Another salient point is that, just prior to Yugoslav Prime Minister Bijedic's arrival in Australia, Murphy was informed of a secret memo, wherein a key Inter-Departmental Committee of public servants (including ASIO) resolved that the ALP government was to be fed only information that would force it to follow the policies of the previous Liberal government in relation to the Croatians.

The existence of that minute was recorded by the Deputy Commissioner of the Commonwealth Police and the Assistant Regional Director of ASIO.

Senator Murphy's office was also receiving information from two ASIO officers, one of whom said he was appalled by these "treacherous" happenings. One of the officers had to be seconded [i.e., transferred] to Murphy's office for what he said was "my (his) own protection."

An ASIO officer subsequently told me that ASIO had scant knowledge of the Croatian groups but plenty on the ragtag communists, on homosexuals in the public service, and on suspected Eastern Bloc spies thought to be in Australia.

In 1954, they had actually managed to catch one spy – Colonel Vladimir Petrov. (He was said to be a psychological mess.) This became a cause célèbre, and the political fallout ensured the reelection of the Liberals for almost two decades.

Following the Murphy visit, ASIO was decimated by resignations and under Murphy was gradually rebuilt by Acting Director General Frank Mahony, and subsequently by Sir Edward Woodward (a federal judge) as Director General. Both were of impeccable repute.

Needless to say Murphy and I created powerful enemies amongst those who chose not to accept the truth. The 'old' ASIO professed to believe that Murphy was a Soviet spy, and that fallacy has endured in some quarters until this very day. Murphy was worn down and died in 1986.

The 1973 visits to ASIO might be regarded as extreme, but the consequences of Bijedic and perhaps even Prime Minister Whitlam being assassinated would have been worse than a few bruised egos in ASIO.

The last thing Murphy said to me before he died was: "History will ultimately judge the 'raid' as good." I feel the same, notwithstanding the subsequent vilification of those involved. It was part of a serious effort to prevent a catastrophe, not a publicity gesture. Indeed, it was an ASIO officer leaking details of Murphy's impending visit to a reporter at the Canberra Times on the morning of 16 March that caused what was meant to be a secret operation to enter the public arena.

Following the upheaval, and significantly greater police and ASIO attention, the Croatian extremists were literally flabbergasted. The flow of information from sources increased and more effective international co-operation followed.

The Croats then changed tack and targeted the ALP [Australian Labor Party] as their primary support base. An article in the December 1972 issue of Nova Hrvatska [New Croatia, a Ustasha publication] on the Australian situation, recommended the taking of a new approach, suggesting the idea of a Croatian radio station and the standing of Croats for elections.

They 'stacked' key ALP branches with Croats and donated money to the ALP. Gradually over the years they became a powerful lobby group and now even have members and sympathizers in parliaments (state and federal).

Hence, Immigration Minister Chris Evans' reluctance to do anything about Marko Perkovic's band "Thompson" or the Croatian fascists generally in Australia – they are now 'off the radar'.

At the moment Australia is engaged in the 'war on terror' – sic! Whilst so heavily occupied with investigating Muslims, the Ustasha expatriates remain active, assisting the corrupt Croatian government and aiding the spread of fascism. In this regard, it is interesting to note where the Albanian celebration for Kosovo's so called 'independence' was held – in Melbourne's Croatian Centre. [6]

I am not denying the threat posed by Muslim fundamentalists; however, it is incumbent on governments not to lose track of the ideologies that caused the Holocaust and which still persist amongst groups within the extreme Right.

The Croatian extremists still run church schools in Australia teaching hatred of the Serbs and the virtues of [Croatian Ustasha fuehrer] Pavelic and the Ustashe. The Australian Croatian Community Online presently describes the situation in Croatia (1941-1945) as follows:
"1941- The Croats liaise with the axis forces which occupied Yugoslavia as a means to independence. Under the direct leadership of Dr. Ante Pavelic (as well as that of Adolf Hitler), the first modern Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945) is proclaimed including the then province of Bosnia & Herzegovina. However, certain parts of the land become occupied by Italian fascist forces which in turn encourages many Croats to join the anti-fascist Yugoslav partisan militia led by Croat, Josip Broz (Tito)."

http://www.cronet.com.au/history.html
[Archived at http://tenc.net/a/cronet.htm ]
A parting thought: whereas the CIA's late Director of Counter Terrorism James Jesus Angleton was livid over the ASIO visits and the reversal in policy regarding Croatian terror, curiously, Murphy got strong support from MI5 [the UK security intelligence agency], whose Australian liaison officer described the expatriate Croatian Ustasha 'revolutionaries' (HRB, UHNj, HOP etc.) [7] as "thugs and murderers".

– Kerry L. Milte

=============================================

Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] See "Rescind Marko Perkovic Thompson's Visa, Senator Evans!" by Jared Israel, The Emperor's New Clothes, Jan. 1, 2008, at http://tenc.net/sen.htm

Concerning the Ustaša (clerical-fascist) Croatian rock star Marko Perkovic 'Thompson' Emperor's Clothes has published the following articles:

* "Lyrics of two songs cited in the appeal to Sen. Evans," Jan.1, 2008
http://tenc.net/sen.htm

* "Debate on Croatian Fascist Rock Star's Upcoming Australia Tour," Dec. 21, 2007
http://tenc.net/ajn.htm

* "Lyrics of 'E moj narode' – 'The Protocols of Zion' set to music – Translated into English," with comments by Jared Israel, posted Nov. 16, 2007, revised Dec.15, 2007
http://tenc.net/moj.htm

* "Bizarre Antisemitism from the Croatian Clerical-Fascist Lobby. A debate," Nov. 16, 2007
http://tenc.net/biz.htm

* "How the New York Times Doctored its Count of Croatia's W.W.II Victims," Part 2 of "Oppose Fascist Rock Star's US Tour with the Truth," by Jared Israel, Nov. 6, 2007
http://tenc.net/tour2.htm

* "Oppose Fascist Rock Star's US Tour with the Truth," Part 1, by Jared Israel, Nov. 3, 2007
http://tenc.net/tour.htm

* "'Slightly Fascist'? The New York Times Prods Croatia. Gently." by Jared Israel, Aug. 1, 2007
http://tenc.net/croatia/times1.htm

[2] See "Croatian Ustaše (clerical-fascists) in Australia? So what else is new?" by Jared Israel, The Emperor's New Clothes, Jan. 1, 2008, at http://tenc.net/sonew.htm

In addition to Jared Israel's remarks, this article contains an Associated Press dispatch on the 1973 'raid,' which the New York Times published on March 17, 1973, with the headline "Australian Police Raid Offices of the Nation's Secret Service," and excerpts from Richard West's book, Tito and the rise and fall of Yugoslavia, New York, 1995.

[3] See Richard West, Tito and the rise and fall of Yugoslavia, New York, Carroll & Graf, 1995 (Originally published: London, Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994), pp. 301-303, in "Croatian Ustaše (clerical-fascists) in Australia? So what else is new?" The Emperor's New Clothes, Jan. 1, 2008, at http://tenc.net/sonew.htm#b

[4] See "Australian Police Raid Offices of the Nation's Secret Service," by the Associated Press, published by The New York Times, March 17, 1973, p. 11, in "Croatian Ustaše (clerical-fascists) in Australia? So what else is new?" The Emperor's New Clothes, Jan. 1, 2008, at http://tenc.net/sonew.htm#scan

The transcribed text of the New York Times article can be read at http://tenc.net/raid.htm

[5] See "Notes of Meeting at A.S.I.O. Regional Directorate, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory," Thursday 15 March 1973, and "Notes of Meeting at A.S.I.O. Headquarters, Melbourne," Friday 16 March 1973, at http:/tenc.net/croatia/docs73.htm

[6] See "Melbourne greets Kosovo independence with protests, celebrations," ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), Feb. 18, 2008, posted at http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/18/2166058.htm
Archived at http://www.tenc.net/a/celebrate.htm

[7] HRB – Hrvatsko Revolucionarno Bratstvo (Croatian Revolutionary Brotherhood)
UHNj – Ujedinjeni Hrvati Njemačke (United Croats of [West] Germany)
HOP – Hrvatski Oslobodilački Pokret (Croatian Liberation Movement).

After the end of WWII clerical-fascist fuehrer Ante Pavelić changed the name of the Ustaša terrorist organization to HOP.

On the Ustaše, see the articles "Croatia" and "Jasenovac" from the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, 1990, in "The suppressed history of the Holocaust in Croatia," The Emperor's New Clothes, Jan. 1, 2007, at
http://emperors-clothes.com/croatia/encr.htm

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