Tuesday, December 02, 2008



The government landed in the shit again last week as revelations of wasteful spending by officials at the state training agency Foras Áiseanna Saothair (FÁS) published by theSunday Independent” rapidly escalated into a scandale celebre resulting in the sudden resignation of the Agency’s Director General, Mr Rody Molloy, and the suspension of another senior official, Mr Greg Craig, prompting an investigation by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee of Dáil Éireann.

Embarrassing details of lavish dining and hotel expenses on several trips to Florida by Ministers and FÁS officials became easy fodder for newspaper headlines. Mr Molloy, in an impromtu interview on RTÉ radio last Monday was perceived by listeners as arrogant and self-satisfied that these “perks” were “entitlements" in his view. The public were aghast to hear of the extravagance of the travel and entertainment allowances amounting to €640,000 and a €76,000 credit limit on Mr Craig’s credit card on one trip alone. The charge of $410 for a hair-do for Minister Harney in Orlando on one of the visits, to the NASA Space Centre as part of a promotion by FÁS involving Irish students in space science projects, immediately became iconic of the whole fiasco and was fair game for the tabloids and an embarrassing scourge for the Government. Having put up a stout defence of Mr Molloy in the Dáil on Monday, Taoiseach Brian, “Biffo”, Cowen was further embarrassed by the peremptory resignation of Mr Molloy within 24 hours ahead of his scheduled appearance before the Oireachtas(Legislature) Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday.

Coming at this time, when the Government is arguing for savage cuts in public spending and following the Budget attempt to withdraw free medical services from over 70’s pensioners, which was defeated by open revolt of the Pensioners last month, these revelations show a Government totally out of touch with reality and the electorate and floundering in a morass of indecision at the highest level and outrageous public scandals concerning the behaviour of Ministers and their top officials over a number of years. The credibility of this Taoiseach and his Government is in shreds. The likelihood of a General Election early next year even before the European and Local Elections is looming ever higher on the political scene. Their hold on power now relies totally on wobbly coalition partners the Green Party, itself in turmoil over its support for the Scrooge Budget and split down the middle over the damnable Lisbon Treaty.

With many more issues of the Scrooge Budget yet unresolved and Farmers and Teachers continuing to demonstrate in towns all over the country, on top of the worst financial crisis since the 1930’s, the Government’s dramatic slide in the opinion polls can give no comfort to the Taoiseach and his Cabinet as they contemplate their fate at the hands of an extremely angry public waiting for their chance at vengeance.

. FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 02 December/Nollaig 2008.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Biffo blusters, Lenihan lingers, and the economy grinds to a halt waiting on some kind of leadership from this increasingly shambolic government. Unless circulation of money and normal credit availability is re-established soon the job losses will be devastating to communities all over the country as soon as the mini-shopping boom for Christmas is over. As predator capital from outside, mostly the USA is hovering over the weakened Irish banking sector, the Government must act to defend the public interest and prevent the dissolution of viable Irish enterprises that are literally being starved of credit facilities by the same people who brought about this crisis in the first place.

Now is the time to nationalise the Irish Banks in total rather than just guarantee their deposits. The taxpayer might as well get the future benefits of economic recovery rather than the CEOs and senior managers who have done extremely well out of the boom times. This move would give the Government the power to release the credit now required by businesses all over the country and keep people in their jobs. There is no justification for the banks hoarding cash especially having been given the government guarantee, so let’s dispense with the foreplay and take control of the means to get the economy moving again. There need be no disturbance for bank customers as the Government can use a state-owned holding company to exercise its control and the existing banks can continue to operate as separate commercial entities until such time as the economy recovers and the future of the banks decided as the public interest requires at that time.

The Central Bank should be re-constituted as a National Reserve Bank of Ireland which will hold all Government revenues and taxes and state pension funds. The NRB should also be the holding bank for the Post Office Bank and, by agreement the Irish League of Credit Unions. As an immediate measure the Post Office and Credit Unions, could be given a long-term loan of €1Bn each, or more if considered necessary, to provide for capital investment for new start-up businesses and credit for existing small enterprises. The nationalised banks can introduce a moratorium on house re-possessions and institute moderated repayments terms for cash-strapped mortgage holders which would help to stabilise the housing market and restore confidence in that market which, in large part, would contribute to overall confidence and reduce the level of panic attacks occurring in recent weeks.

Preservation of useful and necessary employment is essential for a civilised response to the horrors of the artificially induced credit famine which has struck the world. We can’t allow firms to go under and massive underemployment of the labour force to occur merely to satisfy the diktats of fraudulent market fetishism. Positive action is required to achieve this, both on the release of credit facilities and the maintenance of buying power of the majority of the population. Therefore, talk of wage cuts and job cuts must be resisted tooth and nail. The strident propaganda in newspapers and on television against public sector employment numbers and conditions is an example of the attempts being made by the power elites to shift the burden of recession onto the working class.

The Fine Gael Party has become almost hysterical in pursuing this line in Dáil Éireann and in the media. Party finance spokesperson, Richard Bruton, makes increasingly rancid statements on a daily basis now excoriating the public sector but, offering no concrete proposals except scrapping existing agreements on wages and conditions. Fine Gael hitched its wagon to the de-regulation, privatisation mode of economy before the last election and has continued to attach there as if nothing has happened in the meantime and this mode of economic structure is not thoroughly discredited. It is now flogging that dead horse in expectation of being the alternative government because of a rise in its poll ratings. These poll ratings are mainly based on hostile reaction to the mistakes of the Fianna Fáil/Green Party coalition and Fine Gael being perceived as “NOT” Fianna Fáil rather than any public confidence that there is any competent alternative government on the Fine Gael front bench.

LABOUR is holding a conference this weekend in Kilkenny where, hopefully some realistic proposals will emerge to present to the people that will engage their understanding and support for a new type of economy and society. It won't be good enough just to have an election manifesto type document; the people need to be engaged in the working out of proposals that will bring fundamental change to the way the economy and society is structured in the future.

(As this post was being written it was announced on radio that the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has also called for nationalisation of the banks. This is a welcome development if it means that ICTU is prepared to fight for workers interests in a determined and progressive manner after years of compromise with a failed economic system).


FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 27 Samhain/November 2008.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


With this week’s announcements of his proposed Treasury Team, US President-Elect, Barack Obama, has dismayed many of his supporters and left them wondering whether the much trumpeted “Change we can believe in” which Mr Obama used to spearhead his campaign is ever going to happen in reality.

Just one look at the proposed list shows the direction the Obama Presidency will take:

LARRY SUMMERS: proposed Director of National Economic Council.

Summers, a Harvard Professor of Economics, was Chief Economist at the World Bank 1991-93. During his tenure, the WB was active in imposing so-called “structural adjustment programmes” in collusion with the IMF, to enforce neo-liberal economics with compulsory “privatisation” of public assets and concomitant massive debt on impoverished Third World countries. At the same time, following the collapse of the USSR, similar “economic medicine” was imposed on Russia and Eastern Europe resulting in the robbery of pension funds, state assets and widespread destruction of production assets in those countries during the 1990’s.

Summers joined the US Treasury Department in 1993 as Undersecretary and later became Deputy Secretary where, in 1997, he was principally involved with the IMF/WB scourging of the South Korean, Thailand and Indonesian economies as part of the bailout of these countries when financial crisis, similar to what is happening now, but on a lesser scale, hit them. The main result of these operations being fat profits for their cronies in “re-financing” and asset stripping with large numbers of people forced into unemployment and poverty. In 1999, Clinton promoted Summers to Treasury Secretary. He immediately set about lobbying the Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, the mainstay of F.D.Roosevelt’s economic reforms to bring the USA out of the infamous 1929 Wall St. Crash, which outlawed “insider trading” and the type of trading in debt which has led to the present financial crisis of World Capitalism.

Desperate to get their hands on “quick-buck” financial returns from the use of virtual money, unrelated to any productive enterprise, and in which all profits returned only to them and their cronies, the Wall St./Treasury Clique persuaded Congress to repeal the long-standing US controls on bank credit with the “Financial Services Modernisation Act” which was signed into law by Clinton on 12.11.1999. Summers co-ordinated this with Senator Phil Gramm (Texas, and an associate of rogue petroleum company Enron) and thus the legislation was titled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley FSMA. Under its rules, commercial banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds, institutional investors, pension funds and insurance companies could freely invest in each others businesses as well as fully integrate their financial operations. This was the foundation landscape for the growth of the fraudulent financial scams, massive ill-gotten profits, astronomical bonuses for Chief Executives and property market “bubble” which has collapsed into chaos ten years later and brought the world to economic disaster.

In December 2000, just before Clinton left office, Gramm introduced another piece of legislation, the so-called Gramm-Lugar Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which paved the way for the speculative onslaught in primary commodities including oil and food staples.

"The act”, Gramm declared, “will ensure” that neither the Secretary (of the Treasury) nor the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)” got into the business of “regulating newfangled financial products called swaps” and would thus "protect financial institutions from overregulation" and "position our financial services industries to be world leaders into the new century”. Summers moved on from the Treasury to become President of Harvard University in 2001-2006. In 2008, Gramm was McCain’s choice for Secretary of the Treasury if elected President.

TIMOTHY GEITHNER: proposed Treasury Secretary:

Timothy Geithner is CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is the most powerful private financial institution in America. He was also a former Clinton administration Treasury official. He has worked for Kissinger Associates and has also held a senior position at the IMF. The FRBNY plays a behind the scenes role in shaping financial policy. Geithner acts on behalf of powerful financiers, who are behind the FRBNY. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a political/financial elitist think tank in with offices in New York and Washington.

Geithner, a protégé of Summers, joined the Treasury Department in 1988 and was undersecretary for international affairs in 1998-2001 when Summers was promoted to Deputy Secretary and then Secretary. Geithner then went to IMF before being appointed President of the FRBNY in 2003. Geithner was directly involved with FRB Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson in the deal which allowed JP Morgan Chase to take over Bear-Stearns in March this year and later the failed deal to prop up Lehman Bros. which finally broke the back of the massive credit fraud in the USA and exposed the rotten heart of the present crisis to public view.

The Federal Reserve Bank, despite its title, is not a government entity put a private corporation owned by the biggest banks and other wealthy shareholders such as;
Rothschild: London and Berlin; Lazard Bros: Paris; Israel Seiff: Italy; Kuhn- Loeb Company: Germany; Warburg: Hamburg and Amsterdam; Lehman Bros: New York; Goldman and Sachs: New York; Rockefeller: New York. The Federal Reserve orders the printing of US dollars and pays the Bureau of Engraving & Printing approximately $23 for each 1,000 notes printed. 10,000 $100 notes (one million dollars) would thus cost the Federal Reserve $230. Then they secure a pledge of collateral equal to the face value of these dollars from the US government. The collateral is US Government owned land (50% of the land west of the Mississippi is owned by the Government), labour output, and taxes collected by their agents, the Internal Revenue Service. By authorising the Federal Reserve Bank to regulate and create money (and thus inflation), Congress gave private banks power to create profits at will. Note the names here, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Lehman Bros; the same names that appear at the crime scene of the infamous 1929 Wall St. Crash, out of which they all emerged as billionaires while millions of US workers and their families suffered unemployment and starvation.

It is interesting that Mr Obama’s third announced appointment, Professor Christina Rohmer of Berkeley University, California, is a specialist in the study of recessions. Summers and Geithner are cunning and pragmatic individuals. No doubt they will come up with a heavily spun and plausible seeming “plan” for economic “reform” one that makes them look like the Lone Ranger and Tonto riding to the rescue rather than the Pirates of the Caribbean and obscures their part in creating the current crisis. It is also interesting that, despite well-flagged public pleading, no bail-out has been forthcoming for the US automobile industry. What will happen here is a scourging “downsizing” gutting of the existing companies which will deliberately wipe out conditions and employment standards gained by the Trade Unions, undermining Union power and forcing in low wages and no standards for the future. Thus the auto workers and others to follow will be made pay for the recession just like 1929.

Mr Obama was short on the detail of his financial policies but, it must cause intense worry to many of supporters to see the President-elect flanked by two of the main supervisors of the delinquency of Wall Street which has devastated its own financial system and threatened world financial stability as well. Do leopards ever change their spots?

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 26 Samhain/November 2008.


Capitalism has arrived at a situation in this new century where it seems to have no simple means of getting out of its dilemmas. Problems cannot be solved by parroting the speeches about continuous economic growth of the promoters of monopoly capitalism which Cowen, Harney and Lenihan have been going on with until just a month ago. The fluctuations of the capitalist economy have booms, but they are followed by increasingly deeper depressions. The attainable limits of the possible real growth have already been reached. Nature cannot sustain even the present volumes of production and consumption, to say nothing of their increase.

Global Monopoly Capitalism, as an ideology, today, is based on a destructive utopia of continuous economic growth. But, in reality, the growth of production stops and slows down. This is what happens, also, to profits. New, extended markets cannot not be created, because the decreasing profits of large corporations in a period of economic decline will lead to forced reductions in production costs, especially by way of cheap labour and wage reductions. The average national income may rise at regional levels, but, owing to the growing income disparities, the real purchasing power will weaken in the industrialised countries of the capitalist heartlands and will not generally grow sufficiently in developing countries to give more than a small relative improvement in their economic situation. Raw materials, too, are, obviously, a limited quantity and will be subject to increasingly vicious Trade Wars and aggressive military interventions such as we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.

Privatisation and competitive bidding of the public sector services will not, in fact, lead to free competition, but, to its opposite; capitalist monopoly economy. Particularly in the circumstances of the European Union with its concentrated ownership, where labour costs are pushed down in the name of supranational stabilisation. And once again, the purchasing power of wage earners weakens while unearned incomes of stock options and bank credit manipulations increase exponentially. Financiers, by means of stock-market coups and “ corporate raiding ” allocate themselves massive profits and huge personal increases in wealth without producing anything. They then proclaim themselves Kings of the market without any authority whatsoever. The question must be asked – what gives these financial sharks the right to make inordinate profits on the backs of ordinary workers and the impoverished populations of the so-called Third World? What gives them the right to control the world’s credit and money circulation? What has happened to democracy and the public interest during this process? Are these financiers the New Gods on Mt Olympus with Divine rights? We thought that “Divine Rights” had been abolished by the French Revolution of the 18th Century!

Turning society into private business units means, among other things, that in its production activities such a society needs mainly younger and highly educated people. For the rest of the population there hardly is any use. On the other hand, children, sick and old people don’t make good consumers, and so, once again, capitalism leads to destructive, anti-people policies and increasing social tensions. We are warned of “pension time-bombs” and “unaffordable” public services. Such a system, inevitably, produces an increasingly anti-human society. The EU integration process, including the present Lisbon Treaty proposals, means more active endeavours in just such a direction. Neo-liberal, free-market fetishism is proclaimed as the basic mode of production of the entire European Union. More privatisation, in Health, Education and social provision, domestic water charges, asset stripping of public utilites and land-grabs for private use to be given free rein. Dogmatic social atomisation the preferred agenda. Real economy, however, is based on work, raw materials and saving, not on speculative money and wastefulness. Essentially, production for actual needs, not goods for sale and profit. Recent experiences in eastern Europe and in the so-called Third World show that capitalist financing actually causes even more misery. Economy and money are two different things. Capitalism sees only money. Economy must serve human needs first; money must be seen as the worthless paper it is, in fact, and its domination of human affairs must be ended to make way for a truly civilized and democratically ruled society. That’s what Socialism means.

The trend of the capitalist world economy is permanently downhill, towards instability and dissolution. The USA is currently the center of such instability with its artificially induced credit crisis. Experimentation by Russia with capitalism has come to a miserable end in spite of the billions of dollars allocated there. It might now be a question of a turning point in the world history. Temporary rises in world capitalism might occur, but the basic direction is downwards. Anyway it is quite evident that the last, almost two decades, after the collapsing of the East European socialist economies, has been worse for humanity than the Cold War era. The arrogant and arbitrary foreign politics of one superpower does not give people anything but still more serious problems.

The reasons for the worst social problems, especially in the third world are not due to the growth of population or to lack of basic resources. Rational intellectual and honest criteria will show that the reason is the undemocratic rule of global monopoly capitalism. The world’s most important and often disastrous decisions are made by the capitalist monopoly headquarters. The democratic representation systems no longer have real political power. Especially in America, the leading monopoly economy, Big-Business and the Government are, for the most part, one and the same. The US Government is organised primarily to support and back the industrialists and the bankers, while the majority of citizens unknowingly support the system themselves by indulging in the widespread consumerism without thought of the future. Centralising worldwide capitalism, e.g. globalisation, creates neither richness nor welfare. The rich become even richer, but wealth differences grow both regionally and between social classes. The result is social disorder and rising tension domestically and internationally. Economic growth based on capitalist exploitation spoils earth, water and air, yet the highest percentage of this growth is concentrated in the hands of only a few people. The Earth doesn't recover so easily. Species necessary for life on Earth are being destroyed with accelerating speed.

Life-style and entertainment-oriented people, the whole spectrum of wasteful capitalist “showbiz”, especially in the developed industrialised countries, combine to close peoples' eyes and distract them. They fail to see or deliberately ignore the consequences of monopoly capitalist rule and financial control of the world economy, the harsh contradictions and worsening economic and political circumstances for the world of this “woeful system” as Pope Paul VI described it, years ago, in a speech to the UN General Assembly.


There are, however, real alternatives. Establishing a functional region-based democracy is nothing but a logical application and, as such, fully possible. In this system, the upper level of representation has to be accountable for its doings to the lower level of representation. A real democracy can be realised only by giving priority to the power of the grass roots, community oriented representation. At present, for instance, in most European “democracies”, the situation is exactly the opposite. The power triangle is there standing on its apex. The proposed Lisbon Treaty is a blatant attempt to consolidate unelected, bureaucratic power in the European Union accompanied by increasing militarisation of the Union, restrictions on civil liberties under the false-flag “war against terrorism”, deification of the so-called “free market” and unbridled power for the asset-stripping, Corporate marauders of the “free movement of capital”.

Efforts continue to be made to change the European Union into a centrally planned federal state. It is, and will be a totalitarian state, nothing less than the 4th Reich, in fact. The Lisbon Treaty amendments will disestablish the previous basis of the Union and install the same legal regime as was proposed in the rejected “Constitution”. We already have heard of proposals for restricting the freedom of speech and the right to strike, extended detention without trial for so-called “terrorist” offences, such offences not being defined by any legal code but, by mere police “suspicion”. Invasions of privacy in monitoring phone calls and e-mails, CCTV surveillance in all the main city and town centres and in public and commercial buildings. Demands are being made by Solana for complete personal details of everyone travelling between EU states and entry and exit at EU borders; who you are, where you are going, why are you going there, whom you are visiting. This shows that the intentions of the bureaucracy are profoundly undemocratic and basically fascist in content. Europe and the whole world is sliding into a new fascist-capitalist dictatorship. The fact that in some parts of the world shop shelves are groaning with goods and entertainment offerings galore, does not change anything. Bread and circuses of routine banality. On the other hand, millions of people in the world are lacking even basic essentials such as food, water and shelter.

The alternative is socialist democracy in which democracy is realised at a higher level. The classicists of socialism forecast that the first endeavour at socialism would, most likely, founder. It is a question of such fundamental change both in social structures and in the minds of individual people that setbacks are quite natural. And correspondingly, bourgeois democracy suffered several defeats before the eventual definitive victory over the feudal system.

Socialism, the Left forces generally and virtually politics as a whole, including the related theory formation, suffered a serious setback along with the political defeats in the 1980’s and the resurgence of bullying, socially regressive capitalism of the Reagan/Thatcher variety. Weak, demoralised leadership in Social Democracy cowered before the ranting Social-Darwinism of Thatcher and her ilk.

The mere neo-liberalist right-wing politics, even as a concept, on its own is an impossibility. Loudly proclaiming the non-existence of “society” yet having no status except as a socio-political force attempting to dominate the same society, this anti-people, modern manifestation of fascism succeeded in seducing a minority of people into believing its lies and acting accordingly and intimidating the majority by sustained attacks on the defenders of working people at ground level, the Trade Unions. Despite 11 years now of Blair/Brown “Labour” Government in neighboring Britain, Thatcher’s vicious anti-trade union legislation of 1982 has not been repealed. So much for “representing” the people. We now can see clearly where this anti-people philosophy has ended up; in disgrace and widespread financial fraud leading to the collapse of the entire system of lies and deception. A fake economy for a bunch of fakers. Yet, while we, the victims, suffer the consequences these reprobates try desperately to cling on to their power bases in the financial sphere, helped by the same unscrupulous politicians who were their cheerleaders in the greatest fraud against the people in history. The Somali Pirates have stolen an oil tanker. The Free Market Pirates have stolen a whole world.


It is no wonder that sales of the works of Karl Marx, the founder of scientific socialism, the true analysis of monopoly capitalism and its inevitable fate, are exceeding all expectations of the publishers in Germany, the country of his birth and where Social Democracy was founded. 1,500 people from all strands of the Left turned up earlier this month for a weekend conference on Marxism in the centre of Dublin. A new Left Party (Die Linke) emerged in Germany last year. A new Socialist Party was founded in the United States this month.

Sooner or later, the era of capitalism will be over. What will follow depends on ourselves. If we do nothing, the consequences will certainly be disastrous. On the other hand, solutions can be found to everything if we work together on a collective, rather than individual basis. In the history of philosophy of science, the Socialist theory of society and political economy, still represents the culmination of development of the philosophy of science in Europe and the world. A human being cannot exist without society. On the other hand, a society cannot exist without individuals. This is one form of simple and practical understanding of the real world. Socialism recognises that a human being has both individual and social responsibility. Other scientific traditions are built either upon religion-oriented idealism or spiritless mechanical materialism. They remove responsibility from the individual and place it in some unreal world of invisible phantoms. The positivist science of today does not see even the most apparent things. Life is not formed only on the basis of narrow-minded simplistic laws of reason and consequence.

The anti-capitalism struggle must continue. This struggle is a necessity for humanity and nature at a critical juncture in our relationship with the Planet which is our only home. Working for a better world is meaningful in spite of the, up till recently, apparent supremacy of the capitalist ideology of market fetishism. This ideology has now run its course and is publicly discredited. Real grounds for socialist vision and optimism do exist, being based on the actual needs of the human race in its entirety, not the false ones promoted by the rampant consumerism of the market, as more people are having their eyes opened daily and the system thrashes out its massive contradictions in vulgar public scenes of moral degeneration and naked malfeasance. We have not yet arrived at a truly revolutionary situation but, if Social Democracy does not take the lead in this struggle it will be by-passed by other forces. Chasing after a meaningless “centrism” and ignoring the social base from which Labour and European Social Democracy arose has proved disastrous not only in the past but, now, in the present, which has allowed right-wing governments to re-establish in France, Germany and Italy, for example, and Fianna Fáil to rule the roost here in Ireland for far too long.

The basis of the traditional West European welfare states has been the strong Labour movement, in which various Left forces had a role. At those times parliaments, too, worked. Results were achieved through organized political actions of the people themselves. The same means are available also today. It is only a question of getting them started on a new, purposeful, realistic road to a future of genuine equality of opportunity, fair sharing of the world’s wealth, ever expanding democracy and a sustained, efficient and guaranteed level of Public Service and Public Enterprise.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 26 Samhain/November 2008.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Trinity College Philosphical Society
brought shame to Dublin this week by bestowing honorary membership on John Dimitri Negroponte, appointed Deputy Secretary of State by Buckfush last February in one of his out-the-door appointments as his term in the White House ends this year. Negroponte was in Dublin, Monday 17.11.08, prior to visiting Belfast.

Negroponte, born in London, 1939, son of a Greek-American shipowner, graduated from Yale University and has been a career diplomat since the 1960’s in several countries on behalf of the US State Department and also received several home appointments from the White House. Negroponte was active from !971-73 as an officer-in-charge for Viet Nam in the National Security Council. While in Viet Nam he associated with Richard Holbrooke who was later on Clinton’s fixer in Yugoslavia during the 1990’s brutal civil war there.

Negroponte’s more public appointments since were Ambassador to Honduras, 1981-85, Assistant Secretary of State (Environment) 1985-87, Deputy Presidential Assistant, National Security Affairs,1987-89, Ambassador to Mexico, 1989-93, Ambassador to Phillipines, 1993-96, US representative at the UN from September 2001, and in April 2004, Ambassador to Iraq after the illegal US and British invasion; but his term as Ambassador in Honduras has attracted the most controversy and condemnation by human rights groups world-wide.

In 1981, when Ronald Reagan became US President, Negroponte was appointed Ambassador to Honduras replacing Carter appointee, Jack Binns. Binns had been sending regular reports to Washington with serious complaints of human rights abuses by the Honduran Military which was led by Dictator, General Gustavo Alvarez Martanez. In public statements to newspapers at a later date, Binns declared that he had fully briefed Negroponte on these reports as he was leaving the US Embassy. Negroponte has claimed that he had no knowledge of these reports. A blatant lie, as he was a senior official in the State Department and the National Security Council since Viet Nam and would have been fully briefed in Washington before taking up his assignment in Honduras.

Binns also reported that Alvarez was receiving military assistance and training from the Argentinian military dictatorship which was in power in Buenos Aires at this time. The US was also involved in setting up the covert "Contra" terrorist militia which was used to attack neighbouring Nicaragua from Honduras at the behest of the CIA and the Reagan regime and as was revealed later was being financed by the illegal arms trade with Iran which became known as the "Iran-Contra Scandal".

Negroponte supervised the entire programme of planned subversion against Nicaragua and US military aid to the Honduran dictatorship which instituted its own ‘Death Squads’ in the form of “Battallion 3-16” and this outfit became equally as notorious as the Contras for brutality and mass murder. Negroponte organised the establishment of the US ‘El Aguacate’ air base in 1984 where the Contra gangs were trained for their murder missions and the base was also used as a detention and torture centre by the CIA and Honduran Dictatorship during the 1980’s. A Honduran Human Rights Commission, in 1994, documenting the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political opponents in the previous decade, specifically accused Negroponte of complicity in a number of human rights violations. In 2001, excavations at the base discovered 185 corpses including two thought to be the remains of American missionaries who were opposing Washington’s policy at the time.

Battallion ‘3-16’ used shock and suffocation devices in interrogations, kept prisoners naked--and, when no longer useful, killed them brutally, and buried them in unmarked clandestine graves. Women were raped, often in front of their families. Other prisoners were thrown alive from helicopters, a brutally inhumane tactic used by the Chilean and Argentinian military dictatorships from the 1970’s by officers and units trained at the notorious “School of the Americas at the CIA’s headquarters in North Carolina.

Sister Laetitia Bordes, an American nun working in neighbouring El Salvador, went to Honduras in 1982 with a delegation to query the whereabouts of thirty Salvadoran nuns and women supporters who fled to Honduras in 1981 after the death-squad assassination of El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero the previous year. Sister Laetitia met with Negroponte at the US Embassy but reported that he claimed he knew nothing and advised them to meet with Honduran officials. The Hondurans referred them back to Negroponte.

The Baltimore Sun, in 1995, published an extensive investigation of US activities in Honduras Speaking of Negroponte and other senior US officials, an ex-Honduran congressman, Efrain Diaz, told the paper "Their attitude was one of tolerance and silence. They needed Honduras to loan its territory more than they were concerned about innocent people being killed." In a 1996 interview with the same paper, the former US Ambassador in Honduras referred to earlier, Jack Binns, said that a group of Salvadorans--including the women Sister Laetitia Bordes had been looking for--were abducted on April 22, 1981, and savagely tortured by the DNI, the Honduran secret police. They were later thrown out of helicopters while still alive. The Sun's investigation found that the CIA and US embassy knew of these crimes, but continued to support Battalion 3-16 and ensure that the Embassy's annual human rights report did not contain the full story According to a 1996 BBC report, Negroponte "knew about the CIA-trained Honduran army unit that tortured and killed alleged subversives." According to the Baltimore Sun report, Negroponte "was ambassador when the worst of the abuses were taking place. He knew everything that was going on."

The Baltimore Sun reporters found that in 1982 alone, during Negroponte's first full year as ambassador, the Honduran press carried at least 318 stories of extra-judicial attacks by the military. The US Embassy, however, continued to certify the country's record on human rights in such glowing terms that aides to Negroponte joked that they were writing about Norway, not Honduras. Rick Chidester, a former aide to Negroponte, told the Sun that his supervisors had ordered him to remove allegations of torture and executions from his draft of the 1982 human rights report.


Negroponte was appointed as US Representative to the United Nations in September 2001 only days after the New York September 11 events. His tenure there consisted mainly of conditioning opinion to already hatched US plans for invading Iraq and seizing its oil resources under a puppet regime controlled by the US. Using a combination of bullying, intimidation, threats and alternatively, million dollar bribes of US aid, Negroponte tried to soften up likely opponents of the secret plans to invade Iraq. In November 2002, Negroponte was pushing the Security Council to impose sanctions on Iraq and declared. "As we have said on numerous occasions to Council members, this Resolution contains no 'hidden triggers' and no 'automaticity' with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA, or a member state, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12. The Resolution makes clear that any Iraqi failure to comply is unacceptable and that Iraq must be disarmed. And one way or another, Mr. President, Iraq will be disarmed," he told the Council.

This was a clear deception as the US had no intention of waiting for Security Council approval for military action against Iraq and Buckfush and Blairschmuck had already agreed between them to mount the invasion once the fake “intelligence” on “Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction” had been concocted for public consumption. TheNew York Times” later reported (March 29, 2005) that "Mr. Negroponte pressed on foreign colleagues American intelligence on Iraqi weapons that turned out to be profoundly flawed. If he was miffed, Mr. Negroponte never spoke out." Negroponte showed only contempt for the UN and its procedures while he was there and made no positive proposals on any of the problems which came before the world body. When challenged by any criticism his only tactics were stonewall denials and failure to acknowledge any facts which were presented contradicting his cover-ups and moral relativism justifying US criminal acts on every continent.


Having accomplished his task at the UN, Negroponte was appointed as Ambassador to Iraq in April 2004, just a year after the brutal invasion which was to destroy the country’s infrastructure and result in the slaughter of more than a million of its citizens. It was business as usual in the Baghdad Embassy; intimidation, bribery, death squads and all the same abuses of human rights which have followed Negroponte throughout his career. Shortly after taking up the position, the Sydney Morning Herald” reported that two eyewitnesses had stated that in late June, 2004 Iraq's interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi had personally executed up to six suspected 'insurgents' in front of four of his U.S. military bodyguards. Allawi's office denied the witness accounts stating that Allawi had never visited the centre and he did not carry a gun.

In an e-mail to the Sydney Morning Herald, Negroponte did not attempt to deny the story. "If we attempted to refute each rumour, we would have no time for other business. As far as this embassy's press office is concerned, this case is closed," he wrote. Sydney Morning Herald columnist, Alan Ramsey, replied to Negroponte's evasions "Of course. one only has to consider Negroponte's record as US ambassador in Honduras to know he is a loyal servant of Republican Washington who sees and knows nothing ... This same man, with an embassy regime of more than 1000 American 'foreign service officers', plus American advisers 'salted throughout Iraqi ministries' as well as 140,000 US military personnel, now has absolute covert power in Iraq. Of course 'the case is closed', he wrote.

The disgrace and insult to the Irish people, who came out in massive protest against the US/Brit invasion of Iraq and its bloody consequences in March, 2003, is that this reprobate has been welcomed and received honours in one of our great centres of learning and promotion of the humanities, University of Dublin, Trinity College. Shame on the College Authorities for allowing this desecration of Dublin and our country’s long traditions of support for democratic government and peaceful relations between nations under the rule of law and the UN Charter.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 19 Samhain/November 2008.

Thursday, November 13, 2008



The results of the latest opinion poll published in to-morrow’s (Friday) Irish Times show a disastrous slump in support for Fianna Fáil as a party and unprecedented dissatisfaction with the Government.

Fianna Fáil has sunk to 27% support, the lowest ever rating for the party since regular polling began about thirty years ago. After less than a year in office, Taoiseach, Brian ‘Biffo’ Cowen has a personal rating of only 26% the worst ever showing of a Fianna Fáil leader in office. Satisfaction with his Government is also at a new low of 18%, worse even than the despicable Buckfush regime in the USA. 76% of the people polled expressed dissatisfaction with the Government with another 6% undecided.

Fine Gael has gained the most in this poll with 34%, giving them 7points lead over FF, Labour has 14%, losing 1, but , Labour leader, Eamonn Gilmore has the highest leader rating at 38%. The Greens have slumped to 4%

Only weeks after huge protest demonstrations in Dublin shook the government to its roots, the public mood has not mollified, but hardened, as the financial crisis begins to bite and government delinquency of recent years is revealed. Beset by defections and crumbling of his coalition partners, The Greens, Cowen has shown little leadership but a front of petulant bad humour like a spoiled brat whose lollipop has been taken away. Instead of producing some clear plan for restoring the crashed economy Cowen and his ministers have continued to waste time and effort in futile conspiracies to undermine the people’s democratic rejection of the despised Lisbon Treaty in last June’s referendum. Like the Neo-Cons in Washington this Government is bankrupt of ideas and incapable of carrying out its responsibilities to the nation.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 13 Samhain/November 2008.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DUBLIN: puts Govt. noses
out of joint!

The visit of Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, to Dublin this week has caused acute discomfort to the Irish government, as President Klaus has taken the opportunity to repeat on Irish soil his well-known Euro-scepticism and disapproval of the despised Lisbon Treaty. The last thing the Government wants is any senior statesperson form anywhere in Europe agreeing with the emphatic NO vote by the Irish people last June, as they and their media parrots have been trying to convince people here that we are “isolated” and cut-off from “mainstream” Europe in our democratic decision to throw out the bureaucratic power-grab of the Lisbon Treaty in our referendum vote.

This lying propaganda stance has tried to conceal the fact that there has been continuous opposition by thousands of people in cities all over Europe to the Lisbon Treaty which, in its previous publication as the so-called “EU Constitution” was voted down in referenda in France and the Netherlands. The campaigns in other EU countries are continuing but are studiously ignored by the Irish media, especially Radio Telefís Éireann. The open bias by RTÉ during the Referendum campaign here was an absolute disgrace. On radio news on the day of the count, senior reporter Sean Whelan was apoplectic with rage as the NO votes started tumbling out of the ballot boxes and it became clear that the electorate had whacked the political elite with their biggest defeat ever in an EU referendum. In the “Irish Times”, political correspondent Stephen Collins reprimanded the electorate for their contrariness in not going along with what their betters in the political elite had told them to do and for making life that much more uncomfortable for the EU bureaucrats who had tied their careers to the ratification of the undemocratic and dishonest Lisbon Treaty.

The Czech President further dismayed his hosts by arranging a private meeting with Declan Ganley, leader of the “Libertas” right-wing lobby group which campaigned for a NO vote in the referendum here. Ganley has now registered “Libertas” as a European political party and will have candidates in several countries in the Euro-parliament elections in 2009 with the support of French MEPs in the MPLF. President Klaus announced this meeting in advance of his visit to Dublin and is no surprise as he is a right-wing politician like Ganley, with similar political views. Once again, the Irish media did a disservice to the people last June by elevating Ganley to a position of leader of the NO campaign, which he was not, and failing to report the fact that he had been a large donor to Fianna Fáil funds in the past. The result of the referendum clearly shows that the biggest NO vote was in working class areas of Dublin and other cities and towns and by women who were opposed to the continuing militarisation of the EU. The biggest yes vote was in middle and upper class areas of the wealthier suburbs where Ganley might be presumed to have more influence among the business and professional types. The Irish media have yet to explain this contradiction in their distorted reporting of these events. Likewise the defeat of the previous “EU Constitution” in the French and Dutch referenda was achieved with massive support from the socialist voters of those countries despite being told to vote yes by the Socialist Party leaderships. Further, there has not been a single question addressed to President Klaus about the Czech Republic’s decision to go along with the despicable Buckfush regime in Washington in locating missile sites in Poland with supporting radar in the Czech Republic, despite massive public opposition in both countries(more detailed article on this to follow).

With the Czech Republic assuming the Presidency of the EU on 01.01.09, with a confirmed Euro-sceptic in charge, it will be a lot more difficult for the Irish government to maintain its falsehoods about Ireland being “isolated” in the EU and with a mounting campaign of opposition among the general public within the EU against the Lisbon political fraudsters, their miserable efforts to undermine the people’s democratic decision here are doomed to failure along with any schemes to have a second referendum. The Lisbon Treaty is a dead duck, the Irish people having put a stake through its heart.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 12 Samhain/November 2008.

PDs demise joins
funeral of Neo-Con
sham economics:

The demise of the so-called “Progressive Democrats”, the party founded 23 years ago by Fianna Fáil right- wingers Harney and Desmond O’Malley was a fitting accompaniment to the shambolic collapse of their borrowed American Neo-Con philosophy world-wide at the same time. Burying two dogs in the same hole is a good way to save energy. The final wind-up of the Nasty Party was effected at a meeting in a Mullingar hotel last weekend where Harney herself proposed the motion of dissolution to the rag-tag remnant of her disgraced bunch of would-be mould breakers.

Having only a brief burst of support in one election while promising to “break the mould” of Irish politics their only achievement was to become the Nasty Party instead; hectoring, moralising cant their stock in trade, repeating parrot-like every shibboleth that dripped from the poison pens of the American Neo-Cons. In a ludicrous, whinging editorial in the “Irish Times” this week, Editor Madam Kennedy, herself a former PD deputy in Dáil Éireann, provided much mirth for the nation praising the “intellectual rigour” of the PD Party. About as much “intellectual rigour” as a flea’s arse there, now exposed for all to see in the ignominious collapse of the false and fraudulent Neo-Con “economics” with its “asset-backed securities” accompanied by cynical contempt for working people who produce the entirety of real values in the world’s economy.

Harney, the Marie Antoinette of Irish politics, in her ministerial positions, first in the Department of “Enterprise” then, latterly, in the Department of Health, pursued policies adopted wholesale from the Reagan-Thatcher programmes of privatisation and asset-stripping of public utilities which have ultimately destroyed the real economy, while shunting entire areas of manufacturing and the services economy into bankruptcy. Her latest scam, the proposal to give state land to privateer, profit-driven, medical service providers to “co-locate” on the grounds of public hospitals has, thankfully, been bankrupted by her own failed economic insanity. A suitable accompaniment to her own political swan-song as she has declared she won’t be contesting the next election. No loss.

Nevertheless, she should not get off scot-free for the damage she has caused to this country’s economic viability and the hardship imposed on people who depend on the ramshackle public health service she leaves behind. Labour should propose a motion in Dáil Éireann to reduce her pension to the same level as the state contributory pension she expects everyone else to live on.

LATEST: As this post was published a vote was taken in Dáil Éireann on an Opposition motion condemning Harney’s decision to postpone a Health Service programme for a new vaccine against cervical cancer to be given to 12 year old girls throughout the country. Dr James McDaid, Fianna Fáil TD from Donegal, announced he would not support the Government on the motion but would abstain. Although the Government still had a majority in the voting, the Greens having trooped in like the sheep they are, this further defection from the Government ranks severely undermines Taoiseach, Brian Cowen’s, authority in a public way following last months defection by Wicklow TD, Joe Behan, and the political disaster of the “emergency” Scrooge budget.

Harney’s decision, which will risk the lives of young girls is all the more scandalous given the Government’s €400BN guarantee of Bank Deposits and the fact that the Government collected a cool €4BN last week in a new bond issue. Yet, she can’t provide €500,000 for the health of schoolgirls? Shame heaped on shame by this disastrous Government.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/DUBLIN, 12 Samhain/November 2008.