DaniMartExtras, Too

ALTERNATIVE NEWS NETWORK

REAL NEWS Dec. 03

Posted by Xaniel777 on December 3, 2011

TODAY IS : December 03, 2011

” Alternative News Stories gathered from all over the world and placed here for your awareness ! “

If you have the  extra time,  then check out Xaniel’s Blog at  Danimart.com

“ AND ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU ARE THE RESISTANCE !“

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TODAY’S NEWS : 

Obama Regime Warns All Americans: “IF YOU FIGHT US YOU WILL DIE!”

From What Does It Mean.com

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

In one of the most stunning reversals of human rights in modern history the Federal Security Service (FSB) is reporting today that the Obama regime has issued a blunt warning to all American citizens that, in essence, states that any one of these once free people who dare to oppose their government they will be immediately killed and offered no chance to defend themselves before a Court and/or jury of their peers.

According to this report, this unprecedented attack was begun yesterday when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) General Counsel Stephen Preston in responding to a question at an American Bar Association national security conference bluntly stated that“American citizens are not immune from being treated like an enemy if they take up arms against the United States.”

Obama regime lawyers further stated that only the Executive Branch, not the Courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy thus equating all American citizens as being potential “enemies of the state” thus effectively destroying the Constitution all of these government officials had sworn to defend.

As we had stated in our previous report about the destruction of the freedoms and liberties once enjoyed by the American people, the US Senate, likewise, voted this past week to expand the power of the Obama regime to target its own citizens by the passing of new law debated in secret allowing for the total military takeover of this once free country.

So frightening is this new law it caused the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to issue an unprecedented warning that stated “The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.”

This FSB report notes that the actions now being undertaken by the Obama regime show its “outright contempt” for the democratic process and the US Constitution in that for the first time in American history military power is being put above that of civil authorities; a move many Russian intelligence analysts say can only be compared to the ending of freedoms in Russia under the Communists and Germany under the National Socialists (Nazis) preceding both World Wars of last century.

Even more astounding in the US Senates action, which according to noted American anti-war activist Justin Raimondo has created a “Presidential Dictatorship,” was Obama’s threat to veto this new law wasn’t because it went too far, but rather because it didn’t go far enough in allowing him to crack down on his own people.

To the reason behind the Obama regimes wanting to target its own citizens with state-sponsored murder and military rule, this FSB reports warns, is its Great Game” strategy to overturn the entire Middle East and Central Asia in order to gain control over the majority of our planets last few remaining fossil fuel energy resources and whose next targets are Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

Virtually unknown to the vast majority of the American people is that “The Plan” to conquer the Middle East and Central Asia was revealed by General Wesley Clark (Ret.) who on 2 March 2007 [watch video HERE] stated that 10 days after 9/11 while walking through the Pentagon he was approached by another General who told him that the Bush regime was making preparations to invade Iran and at least 7 other Middle Eastern and Central Asian nations over the next 5 years.

Unfortunately for the American war hawks, however, was the Bush regime wasn’t able to complete their goal in the time they allotted themselves because they underestimated the fierce resistance they were met with, but since Obama took office has been able to gain speed.

Now, most ominously, with the US Senate passing by a unanimous vote to place sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank this FSB report warns that conflict is “all but assured” as Iran had previously stated that such an actions would be considered by them as an “act of war.”

The FSB further notes in their report that the American peoples ability to counteract the measures being put into place against them by the Obama regime appear to be “all but nonexistent” due to the “gulag mentality” instilled in these once free people through their educations system said to be virtually indistinguishable from their prisons [see video HERE] which hold more prisoners than all of the other worlds jails combined.

Current news stories coming out of the United States more than back up this FSB assessment of the way American children are being treated like criminals and include: 1.) A 4-year-old girl arrested for shoplifting at a Safeway store and made to sign a statement banning her from this store for life. 2.) A 13-year-old boy arrested, handcuffed and jailed for burping in class. 3.) A 6-year-old child charged with “sexual assault” when found “playing doctor” with another student. 4.) Two 12-year-old students investigated for“sex crimes” after they kissed in school.

And if the treatment of America’s children isn’t bad enough, new reports emerging from the United States by Obama regime supporters are now warning that Christians are a “national security threat” because they place their belief in God above that of their government.

To the future these Americans will awaken into should they fail to heed the many warnings being shouted out to them was described best by George Orwell in his seminal work 1984 wherein he warned…. “People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”

In order to avoid this future, however, these Americans would be well advised to listen to the advice given to them by their Founding Father Thomas Jefferson who warned… “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

So today, as millions of American children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered, one does indeed wonder when these once free people will awaken from their long slumber before all is lost.

December 2, 2011 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faalstrongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth.  Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their ‘agents’ against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report “Who Is Sorcha Faal?”.]

END

U.S. Says Americans Are MILITARY Targets in the War on Terror

… And Says that Only the White House – and Not the Courts – Gets to Decide Who Is a Legitimate Target

From BlackListedNews.com

Source: Washington’s Blog

As everyone realizes by now, Congress’ push for indefinite detention includes American citizens on American soil. As Huffington post notes:

The debate also has left many Americans scratching their heads as to whether Congress is actually attempting to authorize the indefinite detention of Americans by the military without charges. But proponents — led by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee — say that is exactly what the war on terror requires. They argued that the bill simply codifies precedents set by the Supreme Court and removes uncertainty, which they said would better protect the country.

Here is John McCain justifying sending Americans to Guantanamo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aUHh1iqe43w#t=41s

And see this.

(As Emptywheel and Glenn Greenwald note, the White House has believed for many years that it possessed the power to indefinitely detain Americans. See thisthisthis, and this.)

But that’s not all.

The government can also kill American citizens. For more than a year and a half, the Obama administration has said it could target American citizens for assassination without any trial or due process.

But now, as shown by the debates surrounding indefinite detention, the government is saying that America itself is a battlefield.

AP notes today:

U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida, top national security lawyers in the Obama administration said Thursday.

***

The government lawyers, CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson … said U.S. citizens do not have immunity when they are at war with the United States.

Johnson said only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.

The courts in habeas cases, such as those involving whether a detainee should be released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, make the determination of who can be considered an enemy combatant.

You might assume – in a vacuum – that this might be okay (even though it trashes the Constitution, the separation of military and police actions, and the division between internal and external affairs).

But it is dangerous in a climate where you can be labeled as or suspected of being a terrorist simply for questioning war, protesting anything, asking questions about pollution or about Wall Street shenanigans, supporting Ron Paul, being a libertarian, holding gold, or stocking up on more than 7 days of food. And see this.

And it is problematic in a period in which FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials “were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power”, and even former Secretary of Homeland Security – Tom Ridge – admitst  that he was pressured to raise terror alerts to help Bush win reelection.

And it is counter-productive in an age when the government – instead of doing the things which could actually make us safer – are doing things which increase the risk of terrorism.

And it is insane in a time of perpetual war. See thisthisthis and this.

And when the “War on Terror” in the Middle East and North Africa which is being used to justify the attack on Americans was planned long before 9/11.

And when Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser told the Senate in 2007 that the war on terror is “a mythical historical narrative”. And 9/11 was entirely foreseeable, but wasn’t stopped.   Indeed, no one in Washington even wants to hear how 9/11 happened, even though that is necessary to stop future terrorist attacks.  And the military has bombed a bunch of oil-rich countries when it could have instead taken out Bin Laden years ago.

As I noted in March:

The government’s indefinite detention policy – stripped of it’s spin – is literally insane, and based on circular reasoning. Stripped of p.r., this is the actual policy:

  • If you are an enemy combatant or a threat to national security, we will detain you indefinitely until the war is over

  • But trust us, we know you are an enemy combatant and a threat to national security

See how that works?

And – given that U.S. soldiers admit that if they accidentally kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants – it is unlikely that the government would ever admit that an American citizen it assassinated was an innocent civilian who has nothing at all to do with terrorism.

END

The Senate Committing Treason Against the People is the Beginning of The Big Public Back Lash or Is Push back Coming?

 Posted by realman2020 at Lone Star Watchdog

   I have a feeling the day of reckoning is coming for the career politicians. People like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham think they are royalty. They are nothing more than career politicians seeing the status quo in peril. Their gravy train is coming to an end. They forgot what they are there for. They no long represent the people or the states that sent them.  They are there for the mega multinational corporations and major bankers. These two men thumbed their noses at the American people in 2006 when they pushed an amnesty bill that the American people said ” NO ” very clearly to!

              It would not surprise me if there is a major earthquake nationwide measuring 17.76 on the ricter scale because every veteran who died in battle or seen people close to them fall in the line of duty for the last 234 years are rolling over in their graves. John McCain is no war hero. He is the only POW I know and read about who gained weight in captivity because he betrayed his fellow prisoners at the Hanoi Hilton. This man committed treason and so did all the Senators who voted yes on S1867. They all need to be driven from office. Meaning do not wait for the election year to come around. Between now and then what other damage will they do to betray our Bill of Rights.  We know we cannot risk them staying in office one more day. They pose a threat to our security and safety as a free people.

             I think this will be the beginning of the end of these tyrants in Washington. This brazen arrogance in the US Senate, this utter contempt they have for the American people and the US Constitution says exactly why they have a 9 percent approval rating. These are the same Senators who burned the veterans. John McCain betrayed the POW/MIA families by covering up the facts of those military personal still not accounted for in Vietnam. The have stabbed in the back,  the veterans in this war on terror,  by not giving them the care they needed and now they are considered potential terrorist according to Homeland Security. They do not care for these men and women in uniform and even less when they come home after losing limbs for Israel. They could care less about our soldiers. They considered them military dogs to do their dirty work, nothing more. An Illegal alien can get medical care before a wounded veteran does. That is how much they really care about the troops. I hope our soldiers will think twice before they follow the illegal and immoral orders of who the real enemy is. It is not ‘ We The People ‘, it is our so-called leaders that are giving the orders who are the real threat.

              I believe this will result in a confrontation. I believe they will use the troops who are gang-bangers or foreigners who were promised citizenship if they served a tour of duty to carry out these orders. The average soldier knows if he arrests  and/or kills his own countrymen, he or she, can never return home with honor. I believe there will be confrontations within the military structure and on the very streets of America. I believe if a war is going to start inside the US. it will not be on the ground of the government’s choosing. I believe the people were/are pushed too far. I believe the southern and the western states will put up a stiff resistance. The northeast and some states in the Midwest will be under the thumb of the military. I believe the push back is now starting. It is hard to say were it is going to go. When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, that’s when they will fear nothing. I believe the US goverment bit off more than they can chew. They ignored history, because history teaches us that an armed society can never be conquered.

END

Obama cover-up? Court records of border patrol agent murder sealed

From Examiner.com

Jim Kouri's photo

, Law Enforcement Examiner

Border Patrol officials and government watchdogs believe there is a huge cover-up in the Obama Administration regarding the murder of Border agent Brian Terry.

Border Patrol officials and government watchdogs believe there is a huge cover-up in the Obama Administration regarding the murder of Border agent Brian Terry.

Credits: ENDDHS/CBP

The Obama Administration has suddenly and without warning sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a  federal government snafu that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico, according to a top non-partisan organization that investigates government corruption and fraud.

This important information will now be kept from the public as well as the media by politicians who used a law enforcement agency for their political agenda, according to the blogger for Judicial Watch.

“Border Patrol agents are routinely fired for any sort of lie or failure to disclose everything they know under oath. Apparently, the same rules do not apply to the “top cop” in the country. Any agent would be fired for what [Eric] Holder did. Why is it that rank-and-file agents are held to such high standards while those in charge are held to such low standards? Shouldn’t those in charge be setting the example?” -National Border Patrol Council 

“Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels,” the Judicial Watch blog stated.

Border Patrol agents are fired for “Lack of Candor” during any type of investigation. The agency has used this charge over and over again when they believe the agent knew something that they didn’t divulge during questioning (as opposed to lying about it).

“Apparently these rules don’t apply to Eric Holder, the supposed “top cop” who can say whatever he wants during sworn testimony. Any clear-minded individual who thinks that Eric Holder didn’t know about an international gun-running operation that involved hundreds or thousands of weapons and agents of the United States needs to get a grip on reality,” stated officials with the National Border Patrol Council.

It is simply absurd to think that this was just another investigation that Holder might vaguely remember coming across his desk. It involved too many heated international issues, and if Holder wasn’t aware of every detail, as he claims, he should be fired for incompetence,” said the border security professionals.

They also stated that Holder’s testimony before Congress is disgusting on many levels. And now, the Justice Department has conveniently succeeded in sealing the court records of this case, which is despicable and un-American. We don’t operate under some veil of secrecy in this country.

“Places like Iran and Russia do that. Shame on Eric Holder. The American people should not stand for this. The life of Brian Terry should stand for something,” the NBPC officials stated.

SNAFU LEADS TO DEATH

Instead of tracing the gun the federal law enforcement officers — from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) — lost track of more than 1,000 guns which allegedly were used in numerous crimes. In Agent Terry’s case, five illegal immigrants armed with at least two semi-automatic assault rifles were hunting for U.S. Border Patrol agents near a desert watering hole just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted and Terry shot and killed.

“We know this only because Washington D.C.’s conservative newspaper [Washington Times] obtained the court documents before the government suddenly made them off limits. The now-sealed federal grand jury indictment tells the frightening story of how Terry was gunned down by Mexican drug smugglers patrolling the rugged desert with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” Border Patrol agents,” wrote the Judicial Watch blogger.  

“You can see why the administration wants to keep this information from the public and the media, considering the smugglers were essentially armed by the U.S. government. Truth is, no one will know the reason for the confiscation of public court records in this case because the judge’s decision to seal it was also sealed, according to the news story. That means the public or media won’t have access to any new or old evidence, filings, rulings or arguments,” the JW blogger explained.

A number of high-ranking Border Patrol officials are questioning how the case is being handled. For instance, they wonder why the suspected killer Manuel Osorio-Arellanes hasn’t been tried even though it’s been almost a year since Terry’s murder.

Border Patrol officials also have concerns about the lack of transparency in the investigation, not to mention the recent sealing of the court case.

Osorio-Arellanes is charged with second-degree murder. The four other drug smugglers fled the scene and their names were blacked out in the indictment. In 2006 Osorio-Arellanes had been convicted in Phoenix of felony aggravated assault and in 2010 he was twice detained for being in the U.S. illegally.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this month to address the flawed gun-tracking program, Attorney General Eric Holder said it’s not fair to assume that mistakes in Operation Fast and Furious led to Terry’s death. Holder also expressed regret to the federal agent’s family, saying that he can only imagine their pain, but stopped short of apologizing for the Fast and Furious fiasco or for its connection to the killing of a brave law enforcement officer.

HERE’S SOMETHING EXTRA FROM AP :

Justice Dept. details how it got statements wrong


PETE YOST

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Justice Department on Friday provided Congress with documents detailing how department officials gave inaccurate information to a U.S. senator in the controversy surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed law enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling major arms trafficking networks on the Southwest border.

In a letter last February to Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had not sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser and that the agency makes every effort to intercept weapons that have been purchased illegally. In Operation Fast and Furious, both statements turned out to be incorrect.

The Justice Department letter was responding to Grassley’s statements that the Senate Judiciary Committee had received allegations the ATF had sanctioned the sale of hundreds of assault weapons to suspected straw purchasers. Grassley also said there were allegations that two of the assault weapons had been used in a shootout that killed customs agent Brian Terry.

In an email four days later to Justice Department colleagues, then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix said that “Grassley’s assertions regarding the Arizona investigation and the weapons recovered” at the “murder scene are based on categorical falsehoods. I worry that ATF will take 8 months to answer this when they should be refuting its underlying accusations right now.” That email marked the start of an internal debate in the Justice Department over what and how much to say in response to Grassley’s allegations. The fact that there was an ongoing criminal investigation into Terry’s murder prompted some at the Justice Department to argue for less disclosure.

Some of what turned out to be incorrect information was emailed to Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. Breuer sent an email saying “let’s help as much as we can” in responding to Grassley.

The emails sent to Capitol Hill on Friday showed that Burke supplied additional incorrect information to the Justice Department’s criminal division that ended up being forwarded to Breuer. For example, Burke said that the guns found at the Terry murder scene were purchased at a Phoenix gun shop before Operation Fast and Furious began. In fact, the operation was under way at the time and the guns found at the Terry murder scene were part of the probe. Breuer was one of the recipients of that information. In written comments this week to Grassley, Breuer said that he was on a three-day official trip to Mexico at the time of the Justice Department response and that he was aware of, but not involved in, drafting the Justice Department statements to Grassley. Breuer says he cannot say for sure whether he saw a draft of the letter before it was sent to Grassley.

Where Burke got the inaccurate information is now part of an inquiry conducted by the inspector general’s office at the Justice Department.

Burke’s information was followed by a three-day struggle in which officials in the office of the deputy attorney general, the criminal division and the ATF came up with what turned out to be an inaccurate response to Grassley’s assertions.

The process became so intensive that Breuer aide Jason Weinstein emailed his boss, “The Magna Carta was easier to get done than this was.” A copy of the latest draft was attached to the emails.

Initial drafts of the letter reflected the hard tone of Burke’s unequivocal assertions that the allegations Grassley was hearing from ATF agents were wrong. Later drafts were more measured, prompting Burke to complain in one email: “Every version gets weaker. We will be apologizing” to Grassley “by tomorrow afternoon.” Regarding the allegation that ATF sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser, the Justice Department denial was scaled back slightly from “categorically false” to “false.” ”Why poke the tiger,” Lisa Monaco, the top aide to the deputy attorney general, explained in an email to Ron Weich, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs whose signature was on the letter.

In another email, Burke wrote, “By the way, what is so offensive about this whole project” of response “is that Grassley’s staff, acting as willing stooges for the Gun Lobby, have attempted to distract from the incredible success in dismantling” Southwest Border “gun trafficking operations” and “not uttering one word of rightful praise and thanks to ATF – but, instead, lobbing this reckless despicable accusation that ATF is complicit in the murder of a fellow federal law enforcement officer.”

On Friday night, Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine said that “Burke personally apologized to Sen. Grassley’s staff for the tone and the content of the emails” after learning from the Justice Department that the emails would be released.

It is unusual for the Justice Department to provide such detail of its internal deliberations as it did on Friday with Congress.

The department turned over 1,364 pages of material after concluding “that we will make a rare exception to the department’s recognized protocols and provide you with information related to how the inaccurate information came to be included in the letter,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is looking into the Obama administration’s handling of Operation Fast and Furious.

Operation Fast and Furious involved more than 2,000 weapons that were purchased by straw buyers at Phoenix-area gun stores. Nearly 700 of the Fast and Furious guns have been recovered – 276 in Mexico and 389 in the United States, according to ATF data as of Oct. 20.

Amid probes by Republicans in Congress and the IG, the Justice Department in August replaced Burke, acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson and the lead prosecutor in Operation Fast and Furious.

END

US unsure if Israel will warn of Attack on Iran

 alternative world news

From  Trusted World News

It has been acknowledged by top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey that the United States and Israel have differences in perspective about how Iran should be handled in regards to its nuclear program. 

Furthermore it was acknowledged that the United States was unsure if they would be alerted ahead of time if Israel decided to take a military action against Iran.

The United States believes the best way forward is through sanctions and diplomatic pressure but this also included the stated intent of not taking any options off the table, meaning future military strikes could be a possibility.

Given the fact that Israel is a direct predicament with Iran, they do not necessarily share the same assessment as to what United States believe is the correct path for dealing with Iran – Dempsy further stated “it’s fair to say that our expectations are different right now,”
When questioned if he was talking about differences in expectations over the sanctions or differences about viewing the future course of events from both the USA and Israel perspective, Dempsey categorically stated “all of the above” and did not further elaborate.

Since the international atomic energy agency gave a report early November that Iran appears to be working on designing a bomb and is still believed to be conducting secret research in aid of it, Iran has been faced with new sanctions.

Iran has repetitively stated that the only purpose of its nuclear program is for peaceful means.

Given the fact that Iran views its nuclear development program as an abundant source of prestige and power, It has become unclear whether any sanctions put in place will alter anything in Iran’s eyes.

What is a worrying to the world powers is the fact that Iran has not come to the negotiation table over its nuclear development in Israel who feels highly threatened by Iran’s nuclear aspirations and may be left with no choice but to attack.

It is feared that any attack on Iran could negatively affect the world economy and would only delay not halt the nation’s nuclear program. Furthermore Iran is not expected to take any attacks lightly and has warned that they would respond to any attacks by striking back at US and Israel interests in the Gulf region. In fact it is believed Iran could retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz which it is the waterway with 40% of or traded oil passes through.

END

Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

From Sacsis.org

The South African Civil Society Information Service

A nonprofit news agency promoting social justice. 

By Deena Stryker

An Italian radio program’s story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt.  The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here’s why:

Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country’s banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors.  But as investments grew, so did the banks’ foreign debt.  In 2003 Iceland’s debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent.  The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro.  At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution.  But only after much pain.

Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures.  The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros.  This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeer’s back.

What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.

Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country.  As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF.  The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: “We were told that if we refused the international community’s conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North.  But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.” (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)

In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt.  The IMF immediately froze its loan.  But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis.  Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

But Icelanders didn’t stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money.  (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word ‘president’ replaced the word ‘king’.)

To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.

Some readers will remember that Iceland’s ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond’s book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution.  And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.

They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.     

That’s why it is not in the news anymore.

Stryker is an American writer that has lived in six different countries, is fluent in four languages and a published writer in three. She looks at the big picture from a systems and spiritual point of view.

This article was originally published by the Daily Kos. SACSIS cannot authorise its republication.

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