how about american structural adjustment?

well, obama has made it clear that no matter what happens with the u.s. economy, he will increase aid to the zionist state. while obama may not wake up any time soon to stand on the side of morality and justice, what is good is that it seems american jews are hurting enough that their donations to their zionist organizations of choice may already be feeling the squeeze. apparently, rabbis are scrambling to find ways of scaring american jews into sending money to feed supposedly starving israelis. meanwhile, as is par for the course in palestine, israelis are making sure that palestinians will starve by cutting down olive trees:

Palestinian farmers from the West Bank village of Gith claimed on Monday that Jews from the settlement of Havat Gilad had cut down at least 20 of their olive trees.

there was a hopeful headline today that contained a story that was a bit dated, “israel may have become a liability for the u.s.” but it contains some contextual matter worth remembering:

The Washington Post once estimated that Democratic presidential candidates “depend on Jewish supporters to supply as much as 60 percent of the money.” And because Jewish voters have high turnout rates and are concentrated in key states like California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania, presidential candidates go to great lengths not to antagonise them.

Israel is also by far the biggest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, receiving 3 billion dollars annually from the foreign budget. This excludes loan agreements and other military packages from different budgets which come to another few billion dollars annually.

And while other recipients of U.S. foreign aid have to account for how the money is spent, Israel does not. Some of the money goes into settlement building in the West Bank, even if this is against U.S. policy.

unfortunately, it would seem that the pro-israel obama and mccain candidates are far from a place where they would halt aid to the zionist state or even limit it. it would be nice if the recent conflict in akka could serve as a reminder to obama about what jim crow looks like. it would be nice if it could be an occasion for him to look into the history of akka’s ethnic cleansing. to see those who survived living in palestinian refugee camps in lebanon. or just look at those palestinians forced from their homes yet again:

“Since the riots broke out we’ve been moving from house to house, but how much longer can these families accommodate us?,” said La’a Ramal, whose home was damaged during the riots.

Ramal told Ynet that her house had been torched three times in recent years, adding that some of her Arab neighbors decided to leave the neighborhood in light of the ongoing harassment at the hands of the Jewish residents.

yet again palestinians are forced to flee. yet again the world ignores this. yet again jews continue to scream “never again.” but of course this only means jewish victims. sometimes it means african victims–if they have an easy way of blaming arabs and muslims for the problem (i.e., save darfur). but fighting islamophobia does not seem to be a priority for the world, especially for americans. though one new website featured on angry arab’s website yesterday called “smearcasters” charts those most racist islamophobic media figures. and yet islamophobia and arabphobia seems to be fueling the mccain campaign. it’s unbelievable to watch some of these clips on the news. particularly offensive was a scene from the campaign trail when some stupid american white woman said that she doesn’t trust obama, “he’s not… he’s not… he’s an arab.” mccain took the microphone from her and simply responded, “no ma’am he’s not.” and herein lines the problem that reveals mccain’s racism as well as his fan’s: had he said: “no ma’am, he’s not, but even if he were there would be no reason to fear him, there would be nothing wrong with that.” something! anything! you know, it sounds remarkably like when obama tries to negate rumors about whether or not he’s muslim. rather than saying, “no i’m not, but there is nothing wrong with being muslim” or something to that effect, he flat out denies it. both of these candidates in their responses then further the islamophobia and arabphobia by distancing themselves from arabs and muslims and participating in the demonization of them. how would people respond if they thought some candidate was jewish, but wasn’t sure? can you imagine candidates responding in the same way? they’d have the zion-nazis all over them in a flash!

i’m thinking america needs a structural adjustment. first, they need a structural adjustment to slap them out of this racist stupor that leads stupid white people to be allowed to have thoughts as in this clip from al jazeera today:

next they need a structural adjustment the likes of which the global south has endured under the u.s. malicious, watchful eye. reading through articles and watching the news about the international monetary fund’s plan yesterday to rescue the wealthiest countries (how’s that for irony?) i couldn’t help but wonder how the u.s. would do under such circumstances. what i’m wondering is this: when the imf usually “rescues” countries they force them into a system of structural adjustment. so why not put the g-7 countries on a similar plan? for decades the u.s. and other g-7 countries have been forcing structural adjustment programs on the global south with devastating consequences:

SAPs [structural adjustment programs] often succeed in achieving specific objectives such as privatizing state enterprises, reducing inflation, and decreasing budget deficits. However, the GDP growth of countries undergoing structural adjustment is routinely limited to a few sectors, most typically raw materials extraction or goods produced with cheap labor. Thus, even when a SAP-driven economy grows, such growth is generally environmentally unsustainable and fails to generate significant employment or increase incomes, particularly at a rate sufficient to keep up with population growth and compensate for SAP-induced layoffs.

Reforms aimed at opening countries to foreign trade and investment may result in increased exports and greater access to capital, but they also flood countries with imported luxury goods and undermine local industry, both of which serve to constrict local buying power. SAPs benefit a narrow stratum of the private sector—mostly those involved in export production and trade brokering. Those involved in these growth sectors are usually well-connected elites and transnational corporations.

Layoffs of government workers, wage constraints, higher interest rates, reduced government spending, and the shutdown of domestic industries all contribute to the shrinking of the domestic market. The weak state of the domestic market exacerbates deteriorating socioeconomic conditions. Although there may be a new dynamism in certain sectors, social and economic insecurity deepens for most people in countries subjected to SAPs. The result can be increasing political instability, including anti-government protests and riots over price increases.

why does such a prospect give me hope? the prospect of anti-government protests and riots that might change the entire system and actually put someone who’s about social change (hint: cynthia mckinney and rosa clemente).


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