Wednesday, May 31, 2006
This is on the Bring Them Home Now blog under the topic heading "Sound Off--scroll down."
Here is what the Mom said to introduce her son's blog entry:
I've been a conservative Republican as long as I can remember and initially supported this war, standing alongside my fellow Republicans thinking I was morally superior for fighting for "freedom."
How wrong I was! I can only say: Forgive me. I need my son's forgiveness first and foremost as he is stationed in Afghanistan, serving a country that doesn't care about freedom....only dominance and oppression. If everyone in our country could see this war through the eyes of our soldiers, they would change their minds too. Here is the blog from my son that CHANGED MY MIND!
"So here is my message to you. You will do what you have to do to survive, however you define survival, while we do what we have to do to stop this thing. But don't surrender your humanity. Not to fit in. Not to prove yourself. Not for an adrenaline rush. Not to lash out when you are angry and frustrated. Not for some ticket-punching fucking military careerist to make his bones on. Especially not for the Bush-Cheney Gas & Oil Consortium."
"The big bosses are trying to gain control of the world's energy supplies to twist the arms of future economic competitors. That's what's going on, and you need to understand it, then do what you need to do to hold on to your humanity. The system does that; tells you you are some kind of hero action figures, but uses you as gunmen. They chump you."
"They're thinking of everything they can to stop this war, and it still continues, even through our downtown," he said.
From The Olympian Newspaper
"Pumped-up by Bush’s false claims linking Iraq to 9/11 and his later warnings about al-Qaeda's scheme for a global terrorist empire, U.S. soldiers have charged into Iraqi towns and cities with revenge on their minds.Bush thus put both American soldiers and the Iraqi people in harm’s way. In the three-plus years of war, nearly 2,500 U.S. soldiers have died along with tens of thousands of Iraqis. Thousands more have been grievously maimed. As the laws of war require the punishment of any individual soldier who murders civilians, international principles also call for holding accountable their superiors – both military and political – who contribute to the crime."
"In that sense, the atrocity at Haditha – and the tens of thousands of other unnecessary deaths in Iraq – can be laid at the door of official Washington, where some Democrats and nearly all Republicans voted to authorize the invasion and where leading news organizations uncritically transmitted administration propaganda to the American people."
"But the principal blame must rest at the feet of George W. Bush, the self-proclaimed “war president” who considers himself beyond the bounds of any law. In that larger sense, Haditha and all the other carnage in Iraq can be viewed as Bush’s My Lai."
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
"-- More than a half-century after hostilities ended in Korea, a document from the war's chaotic early days has come to light _ a letter from the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, informing the State Department that American soldiers would shoot refugees approaching their lines."
From the Washington Post via Antiwar.com
John Winthrop's Poem: "For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. "
Very interesting analysis of the DLC's marriage to pro-Zionist policies. FROM COUNTERPUNCH.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Found on Cursor.org
This statement takes some damn gall:
Navy Cmdr. Robert Durand said the ballooning number of hunger strikers was an "attention-getting" move that may be related to a May 18 clash between 10 detainees and 10 U.S. military guards in which six detainees were injured. The same day, two detainees also overdosed on anti-depressant drugs they had been hoarding. They have since regained consciousness.
What’s almost as repulsive, though in this case only ink is being spilled, not blood, is the way the subsequent reporting about the massacre is being laid out. The New York Times the morning of May 26, with its usual, but in this case nauseating, restraint in balance’s name, pulls a classic example of mitigating atrocity with qualifiers. The lead paragraph refers to a small number of marines carrying out “extensive, unprovoked killings of civilians,” establishing right away the rogue-soldier theory that was attempted in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib. The downplaying of U.S. torture as an institutional rather than an exceptional strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan was successful, at least in the public’s mind. The evidence suggests otherwise. It does so as well when it comes to wanton killings, whether it’s the trigger-happy soldiering at Iraqi checkpoints or the killing of civilians in allegedly collateral circumstances. Yet you can see the Haditha massacre’s dowplaying game already in full swing. The Times has the story over two columns above the fold, but to the left of a four-column spread about the Enron verdict. Enron is news. It isn’t bigger news than the massacre of twenty-four Iraqis at the hands of U.S. marines. Not by any stretch of journalistic calibration. But such are the tastes for news in the United States that business porn will always outplay patriotism’s barbarity. Americans don’t want to know what their soldiers are doing in their name in Iraq. The cost to Iraqis is immense. It’s more devastating, especially in human terms, than anything Enron ever did. But it’s safer to focus on old-fashioned homegrown corruption and malfeasance. In that sense Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling are doing the American public a favor, in distractions and entertainment, and the public is grateful. They may be bad guys, but they’re our bad guys, and they’re providing cover for what our supposedly good guys, our supposedly heroic soldiers, under the leadership and don’t-mess-with-Texas-encouragement of their apologist-in-chief, are doing in Iraq."
Stan Goff at Feral Scholar also indicts "bad apple" defense of atrocities.
"'This sort of thing isn't unusual,'" he said, blaming general insecurity on the occupation. "'Look at my neighbourhood. Sunnis kill Shi'ites every day -- it's all because of the Americans.'"
Reuters via Cursor.org
"Afghans often complain about what they call the aggressive driving tactics of the U.S. military. Convoys often pass through crowded areas at high speed and sometimes disregard road rules. The U.S. military says such tactics are necessary to protect the troops from attack."
"'Today's demonstration is because Americans killed innocent people. We will not stop until foreigners leave the city. We are looking for foreigners to kill,'" one protester in his late 20s, Gulam Ghaus, said near where rioters burned a police post.
communities collective NO to the military not considered an act of
bravery and resistance by much of the Left? Part of the problem is that
the white Left wants Blacks to act on its terms, in forms it deems
appropriate or recognizes as resistance. Why cant Blacks determine for
themselves what their resistance will look like?"
Found on Seattle Indymedia.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
"One witness, Aws Fahmi, heard his neighbour, Yunis Salim Khafif, plead for his life in English, shouting: “'I am a friend, I am good.'”
“'But they killed him, his wife and daughters,'” Fahmi said."From the London Times via Antiwar.com
From another story about Haditha in the San Francisco Chronicle
Reporters who embedded in Haditha several months before the alleged massacre said Marines considered the town as enemy territory, with frequent roadside bombings. During patrols inside the city, Marines treated inhabitants like terrorists, raiding their homes.
An Associated Press journalist who traveled in Haditha last June with a Marine unit not involved in the November killings saw a Marine urinate on the kitchen floor of a home and on another occasion saw insults chalked in English on the gate of an Arab home. The reporter asked a Marine commander about the incident and was told it would be investigated.
Last August, the British newspaper The Guardian reported that Haditha was under the control of religious extremists who enforced their own strict interpretation of Islamic law — including decapitations of people suspected of collaborating with the Americans."'This is a war in which the distinction between killing the enemy and massacring civilians is not always completely obvious,'" said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org. "'Counterinsurgency operations are particularly prone to the killing of people who, in retrospect, are judged to have been innocent civilians, but who in the heat of battle seemed to be the enemy.'"
“'He’s a hero for standing up for what he believes in. It takes a lot more courage than doing what you’re told,” Genia said. “People should be free to dissent and not get put in prison.'”
There are links on the righthand side to some more pics with great captions that explain a lot of the action.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
| Please spend some time this Memorial Day Weekend watching|
a documentary that shows what real combat in Iraq is like--and
what it does to the soldiers and their families.
See A&E Channel's description below. It's on several times
during the weekend.
In my opinion, every American needs to see this documentary
to know what the people we sent over to Iraq in an invasion
and occupation based on lies are doing to both the people
of Iraq and to themselves and their families in the process.
“Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company ”
Rated: TVPG L
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen video, we tell the story
Friday, May 26, 2006
Help hold a banner, sign or distribute fliers. Park just north and west of the overpass in the gravel parking lot. For more information: _Call_ Doug or Linda @ 206.524.2207 Or _email_ firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com "Day of" Cell Phone Number: 206.850.1283 Report on our last, April 22, outing:
For the first time last month we experienced being outnumbered by the pro-War group. It resulted in us only being able to pass out only 50 fliers rather than the normal 100 or more. They outnumbered us by more than two to one and so were able to get in our way when we tried to talk to people.If you haven't come out yet, we could really use your help at this next bannering.
The banner for the May 27th will say,"FREE KEVIN BENDERMAN Conscientious Objector FROM FT. LEWIS STOCKADE"Bannering Endorsed by Olympia Amnesty International Sponsored by Stand Up! Seattle WHY KEVIN BENDERMAN IS IN THE STOCKADE: "For making a public application of Conscientious Objection, Sgt. Kevin Benderman was charged with Desertion and Missing Movement. His first court martial was thrown out when the judge ruled that an investigating officer had shown biased in stating her belief of Kevin's guilt before she had even conducted an investigation. A new hearing was ordered, the Army piled it on, and added trumped up Grand Larceny charges to the new orders, and dared Kevin to continue with his actions. Kevin did. His beliefs are firmly held. The Army manipulated evidence, lost witnesses, and gave false and contradictory testimony. In the end, the military judge ruled that Kevin was guilty of Missing Movement, basically that he did not get on a plane, and sentenced him to 15 months confinement, loss of pay and dishonorable discharge. All of this because the US Military was threatened by the public expression of free thought and humanity displayed by one Army Sergeant." from www.bendermantimeline.com
Please visit www.BendermanDefense.org and www.BendermanTimeline.com to learn more aboutKevin Benderman's case. Contribute to the BENDERMAN DEFENSE TRUST here: http://bendermandefensetrust.blog.com/
"Do you see the problem? Major Democratic party leaders cast their votes today for Hayden in the face of all we know about his willingness to engage in illegal activity.
But yesterday I got an email from the DNC to sign a petition against the guy. I would have thought the petition was aimed at Republican leaders..."
"This should have been a slam dunk vote against Hayden and what he advocates.
Until this problem is corrected, especially on such a fundamental issue, the Democratic party is doomed for rejection. The fear campaign this administration has used to move this country toward tyranny has cowered too many in the Democratic party. Levin and Feinstein have safe seats do they believe we need to engage in illegal spying on Americans? Do they believe the never-ending "war on terrror" places unfounded power in the President to ignore the law? Senator Feinstein has lost my vote."
"The atmosphere in Washington has the feel of a club in which leaders of both parties are members along with the MSM. We hear ridiculous comments like what a nice guy Hayden is and how everyone likes him. Please read Feingold's comment on his vote.
I am disgusted with getting a petition against Hayden from the DNC one day and then seeing four key Democrats vote for Hayden the next."
Thursday, May 25, 2006
but at what cost:
"Enron's collapse alone took with it more than $60 billion in market value, almost $2.1 billion in pension plans and 5,600 jobs."
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
FIRST, HERE IS ELI SANDERS:
"This phenomenon was highlighted last weekend at a strange Cantwell event held in North Seattle. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold showed up to hype Cantwell's reelection bid, and Cantwell's usual antiwar hecklers [BY THIS HE MEANS US] also showed up outside the venue. But Cantwell herself didn't show, perhaps to avoid another confrontation with angry activists [BY THIS HE ALSO MEANS US]. Burner, however, was there. She drew loud cheers by giving the crowd the Iraq war criticism it was looking for—and made a subtle play for volunteers."
THEN HERE IS JOSH FEIT, WHO INTERVIEWED US, BUT DECIDED RUSS FEINGOLD'S ANTIWAR AVOIDANCE SPEECH WAS MORE NOTEWORTHY:
"More to the point, it appeared that Team Cantwell successfully muzzled Feingold. Feingold's speech made no mention of the war. The Senate's leading war critic talked about campaign finance, the budget deficit, the environment, and energy independence. Feingold—who, unlike Cantwell, voted against the war in 2002—was the first U.S. Senator to call for troop withdrawal last year, and he introduced an amendment to the appropriations bill last month that would have required U.S. forces to quit Iraq by December 31, 2006."
"But Feingold's atypical reticence that Saturday merely called attention to Cantwell's war dilemma. Why was Feingold, an obvious hero to the 200 or so antiwar Democratic activists in the room, sidestepping his stump issue—"The immoral war," as the afternoon's emcee, local Democrat activist Peter House, said by way of introducing Feingold to a standing ovation?"
"For all the talk of the weakened and impotent presidency and the split among Republicans, it is still virtually always the case that the President gets what he wants, and does so without much difficulty. The few times he fails to -- Harriet Miers, the Dubai Port deal, anti-torture legislation -- is because Republicans, not Democrats, take a stand against the White House."
"But by and large, what happened yesterday with Gen. Hayden's nomination is exactly what would have happened in 2002 and 2003. Democrats are afraid to challenge the President due to their fear -- always due to their fear -- that they will be depicted as mean, obstructionist and weak on national security. And so, even with an unbelievable weakened President, and even with regard to the most consequential issues -- and can one doubt that installing Gen. Hayden as CIA Director is consequential? -- Democrats back away from fights, take no clear position, divide against each other, and stand up for exactly nothing."
and there's more:
"Yet again, Senate Democrats show that they have no more concern for the rule of law and for the excesses of this administration than Senate Republicans do. Due to their really pitiful passivity, they are every bit as much to blame for the excesses and abuses of the administration as the compliant Republicans are."
"...If meaningful change is going to occur -- and I believe it will -- it will be because Americans find ways collectively to exert sufficient pressure to demand that they change -- not because our current broken institutions, including the Democratic Party, are suddenly going to be cleansed and transformed on their own."
"And the president would issue signing orders setting those acts aside or gutting their main provisions, as he has done with torture bans, the establishment of an independent inspector to examine corruption, and numerous other congressionally passed measures."
Monica was speaking in Washington, D.C. at a conference on conscientious objection and counterrecrruitment. She continued:
"The right to choose life over the taking of life is every man's right. Regardless if that man has volunteered to defend his country in time of war, he did not volunteer to participate in wanton, irreverent killing at the whim of a government whose leadership is quick to "pull the trigger" without giving thought to the authority of the sanctity of life.
A true American leader will stand up to laws and orders given that violate the sanctity of life and call the principles of our Constitution into question. A true American leader will let his conscience be his guide when asked to participate in actions that violate his own high standards of morality. When this leader is a soldier who has made a choice to stand against the inhumanity he has seen firsthand in a combat zone, it is up to those in Congress to see that laws are in place which give his right to conscience the respect it deserves."
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
"All told, Mr. Rohde, 57, received more than $45 million during his eight years at the helm, and was given an estimated $20 million retirement package as he walked out the door."
This will the stock price was falling 28%. And here's the other guy in the story:
"IN 1977, James P. Smith, a shaggy-haired 21-year-old known as Skinny, took a job as a meat grinder at what is now a ConAgra Foods pepperoni plant. At $6.40 an hour, it was among the best-paying jobs in town for a high school graduate.
Nearly three decades later, Mr. Smith still arrives at the same factory, shortly before his 3:30 a.m. shift. His hair has thinned; he has put on weight. Today, his union job pays him $13.25 an hour to operate the giant blenders that crush 3,600-pound blocks of pork and beef."No wonder THEY like capitalism so much!
from a NYTimes special report. wonder how much their boss gets paid.
UPDATE ON VIDEO FROM DAHR JAMAIL AND IVAW:
"I recently sent out an announcement which brought attention to a filmedinterview with Jesse MacBeth. Upon further investigation, I found morequestions than answers about the personal history of Mr. MacBeth. I therefore removed this posting from my website."
"Iraq Veterans Againstthe War, with whom Macbeth was purportedlyassociated, have recently released this statement:"
"IVAW Statement on MacBeth Video*Iraq Veterans Against the War recently learned of a video interview withJesse MacBeth that directs viewers to IVAW’s website and phone number.IVAW was not made aware of the creation of this video program and ourinput on it was never sought by its producers. Jesse MacBeth is not aspokesperson for IVAW and any claims made by MacBeth about his servicehave not been verified. We are currently investigating these claims andwill have a full statement pending its resolution."
The small-diameter bombs weigh 250 pounds and can be used by all Air Force bombers, according to Boeing. By using the smaller bombs, planes can carry about four times as many bombs and fire them from farther away. A B-2 Stealth bomber can carry as many as 80 of the small-diameter bombs."
Thanks to fbihopopeds blog via cursor.org.
I didn't realize Paul Simon and Pearl Jam had antiwar songs. Have to look them up:
"On Amazon.com, preorders recently placed "Taking the Long Way" at No. 5 in a Top 10 that also includes albums with antiwar songs by Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Paul Simon and Pearl Jam."
Monday, May 22, 2006
"How come, with elections every two years, Congress can apparently ignore the interests of the majority? After all, the rich have been getting richer, while the remainder of Americans have seen their incomes typically stand still in real terms for five years. Government also boosts the prosperous in other ways."
Christian Science Monitor via Angry Arab Newservice
A 3-year old has been paralyzed from the neck down and her family is dead.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Adel, the Sunni commander above, also has this to say:
"Our only hope is if the Americans hit the Iranians, and by God's will this day will come very soon, then the Americans will give a medal to anyone who kills a Shia militiaman. When we feel that an American attack on Iran is imminent, I myself will shoot anyone who attacks the Americans and all the mujahideen will join the US army against the Iranians."
From the Independent newspaper on Angry Arab.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
ON WHY VOTING WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEMS
"The "compromise" already accepted by the Democrats includes mass deportations of up to several million people, the indefinite detention of migrants without due process, the treatment of minor offenses as "aggravated felonies" which would trigger harsh mandatory detention and deportation, and of course, unleashing the police as migrant hunters in a program of daily terror against our communities."
ABOUT FLYING THE US FLAG AT DEMOS:
"Flying the US flag means we don't understand the ruthless nature of our enemies; it means a basic and unconscious allegiance to the idea of getting ahead and doing so on the backs of others, an unconscious allegiance to and imitation of the very foundations of the oppressor's outlook and his control of us, and an implicit acceptance of his colonial rule over stolen land and subjugated peoples."
"Our enemies want to split our allegiances, they want us to grasp at individual chances for "acceptance" and "freedom," and to ignore the well being of our people as a whole. That, after all, is the real "American Dream" private wealth and well being on the backs of other, subjugated peoples."
"First of all, we are putting forward an international policy of respect for the sovereignty of states, of the people, and also opening channels to establish a new mechanism for integration, based on solidarity, above all solidarity; based on true cooperation, on economic complementation, with respect for institutions, for international law, which is what is not recognized in Washington: how they violate international law, how they dominate, how they commit aggression against the world from Washington! That is were the real empire is, and now they want to accuse Venezuelans as imperialists or of launching strategies of domination, or monopolies. Monopoly us? We are fighting against monopolies, we are fighting against imperialism."
Left I on the news found this on Cursor.org, which found it on Counterpunch.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
"No problem, said senior CIA officials. We'll just lie to the committee leaders about the torture; they will wink and be grateful we did. The lying came during discussion of draft legislation aimed at preventing torture. As deputy inspector general, McCarthy became aware that CIA officials had misled the chairmen and ranking members of the congressional “oversight” committees on multiple occasions. Neither of the committees seemed interested in taking a serious look at the torture issue."
From Information Clearinghouse
"Nearly one in three veterans have been hospitalized at the VA, or visited a VA outpatient clinic, due to an initial diagnosis of a mental-health disorder, according to the VA itself. These numbers are consistent with a recent Army study on soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Such a rate might add up over time (depending on how long these occupations last) to what could be over half a million veterans who need treatment."
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Found on Angry Arab Newservice. By Dr Ghada Karmi, a research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Exeter University, and a former consultant to the Palestinian Authority
Monday, May 15, 2006
The United States has filed charges against 10 detainees.
This article by Gideon Levy of Ha'aretz was found on Counterpunch.org, like the one below on Hitler.
In another speech to the German people Hitler said , " The mercy of the Lord slowly returns to us again. And in this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God that he may bless us, that He may give us the strength to carry on the struggle for the freedom, the future, the honor, and the peace of our people. So help us God."
Sunday, May 14, 2006
"Thus it should come as no surprise to anyone that a hundred and fifty U.S. based corporations are reaping obscene profits on the plunder and destruction of Iraq. The U.S. military is the iron fist of capitalism that oppresses workers at home, and kills millions of innocent people in other parts of the world. We have troops in 135 of the world’s 192 recognized nations. And we are not sowing democracy. We leave devastated landscapes, misery, and abject poverty in our wake. We set up puppet regimes willing to sell out their own people in exchange for making the world safe for corporate plunder; and we call it democracy."
"America will never fulfill its promise to the world until the issue of class inequity is finally resolved. It will go on festering beneath the exterior, an angry infection that will again boil to the surface as an open sore with every injustice. Revolution is the only medicine that can cleanse the wound and bring about healing. Revolution does not occur at the ballot box; it happens in the streets. What form the coming revolution will take is anyone’s guess. But it will come as long as there is injustice and inequality. The recent May Day strikes were a sign of hope, a harbinger of things to come. Let us build upon that foundation. The strike is our greatest weapon. Let us use it to greater effect."
FOUND ON INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE
AN EXCELLENT ESSAY BY RACHEL'S WORDS. THEY PUT TOGETHER A READING OF RACHEL'S STUFF AFTER THE PLAY WAS CANCELLED IN NY.
FOUND IN A COMMENT ON ANGRY ARAB NEWSERVICE. THERE'S PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS A TON OF GOOD INFO ON ANGRY ARAB. PLEASE READ IT AND I WON'T HAVE TO POST SO MANY ARTICLES HERE. :) LEFT I ON THE NEWS, TOO.
The story linked above: International Solidarity Movement documents this and also the fact that two internationals were shot by the IDF at a non-violent demonstration in Bil'in.
Found this on a VERY informative comment section on Angry Arab Newservice.
"In the first place, these public-private philanthropies have worked together to fund and direct overthrow movements. We had a "Subversive Activities Control Board" here, but export was encouraged. The grantees' activities included destabilization, the creation of mobs preventing elected governments from ruling, chaos, and violence. Among those funded were the Civic Forum in Czechoslovakia, Solidarity in Poland, Union of Democratic Forces in Bulgaria, Otpor in Serbia, and, more recently, similar groups in the succession states of the USSR. Sometimes mobs (especially of young people) have been moved around from one country to another to give the impression of vast popular opposition. The NED, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, and the Soros philanthropies have been particularly active in these operations. Human Rights Watch (formerly Helsinki Watch) has nurtured opposition groups. Reformers seeking social democracy or democratic socialism were excluded; such systems might oppress the "vulture capitalists."
For those touting nuclear energy as a solution to our problems, please read the story linked above.
"I have to assume that the divine creator is going to take care of most of this stuff," said Steve Casey, the WIPP engineer charged with overseeing construction of the warning system. "No matter what confounded thing we come up with, all it takes is one catastrophic event and it's gone."
Link to story about janitors who clean the PI's building not having healthcare benefits.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
FOUND ON ANGRY ARAB NEWSERVICE
Friday, May 12, 2006
Further along in this Washington Post article (Link here: http://tinyurl.com/fk52g), this appears:
"Real wages, after adjusting for inflation, have been flat since 2001, according to the study, while the cost of big-ticket items for which families pay the most rose."
And at the end of the article:
"At their news conference, Weller and Warren urged Washington policymakers to consider the implications of consumer debt before families are crushed by rising costs and damaged credit. They predicted that otherwise, many families will lose their homes through foreclosure when bankruptcy law changes make it more difficult for households to escape debts."
So anyway, the prolonging of Bush's tax cut for the wealthy is doubly galling after seeing the above.
"The Pentagon has secretly shipped tens of thousands of small arms from Bosnia to Iraq in the past two years, using a web of private companies, at least one of which is a noted arms smuggler blacklisted by Washington and the UN."
Further along in the article, this appears:
"Some of the firms used in the Pentagon sponsored deals were also engaged in illegal arms shipments from Serbia and Bosnia to Liberia and to Saddam Hussein four years ago."
Spotted this on Anti-war.com
"April 30, 2006
Oh, That's a Good One
Given this, I think I should reconsider the Orwell Awards.
'A long-running effort by the Bush administration to send home many of the terror suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has been stymied in part because of concern among United States officials that the prisoners may not be treated humanely by their own governments, officials said. '
Posted by zeynep at 11:38 AM Comments (1) "
From Under the Same Sun
"Earlier, growing street protests in Katmandu played a major role in forcing the king to capitulate and allow the restoration of some kind of democracy; this week, the Parliament has agreed to the Maoists’ demand to convene a constituent assembly that will rewrite the constitution, and could conceivably eliminate the monarchy. This ought to be as inspiring as anything that happened in 1776 or 1789, but somehow the Bush administration has been lax in congratulating the Maoists on their great victory for democracy – or in repudiating their giving of aid to Gyanendra to suppress his opponents."
"Although foreign companies are mostly talking about suspending investment (at least one company, Shell, still wants to engage), if that capital strike begins to pinch, there is always the prospect of Venezuela coming to Bolivia’s rescue."
I wasn't totally pleased with Shapiro's reluctance to see Rachel Corrie's mission the way I do, as the heroic intervention of an American teenager. But I do like the fact that Shapiro finishes the article talking this way about the tragedy of the Palestinian people, something I think Rachel Corrie would have appreciated.
"The legal papers make for sobering, eye-opening reading. The cases besides Rachel's, as described, are even more compelling. One concerns a demolition that killed a family, including a pregnant woman and children ages 4, 7, and 9. Another demolition trapped and killed a paralyzed man, despite his family's warnings to the IDF that the man was in the house. Warnings by family members during another demolition also failed to save a man in his 70s who was so sick that he could not walk or hear."
"Of course, these descriptions come from one side. Evidence has to be presented to back them up, and that has to be weighed against evidence from the IDF. It's questionable whether such scrutiny should happen in the context of a suit against Caterpillar, but that it should happen is beyond doubt." [Emphasis in original]
It [gov't domestic spying] doesn’t stop, Mr. Leahy. In fact, it has gone on for more than fifty years, unopposed and unchecked. As Christopher Pyle revealed in January 1970, the U.S. Army has long spied on the American public. Pyle’s revelations resulted in the empanelling of the Church Committee (the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church) in 1975. Church summarized that government snooping and subversion, most notoriously COINTELPRO, “exceeded the restraints on the exercise of governmental power which are imposed by our country’s Constitution, laws, and traditions…. The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them” (see the Church Committee’s Final Report, Book II).
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Found on Antiwar.com
P.S.: of course, Clinton's nation-building is the same as Bush's. They kill the place to save it.
"Not only did Clinton inadvertently clear the way for the Bush restoration, but the Right’s political ascendancy wiped away much of the Clinton legacy, including a balanced federal budget and progress on income inequality. A poorly informed American public also was easily misled on what to do about U.S. relations with Iraq and Iran."
"Clinton’s approach also reflected a lack of appreciation for the importance of truth in a democratic Republic. If the American people are expected to do their part in making sure democracy works, they need to be given at least a chance of being an informed electorate."
"Yet, Clinton – and now some pro-Iraq War Democrats – view truth as an expendable trade-off when measured against political tactics or government policies. In reality, accurate information about important events is the lifeblood of democracy." [Emphasis added]
Makes me want to read Robert Parry's book, Secrecy and Privilege.
"In recent weeks, Battle Cry, a Christian fundamentalist youth movement, has attracted more than 25,000 to mega-rally rock concerts in San Francisco and Detroit and this weekend they plan to fill Wachovia Stadium in Philadelphia."
"They claim their religion and values are under attack but, amidst spectacular lightshows, hummers, Navy Seals, and military imagery on stage, it is Battle Cry that has declared war on everyone else! Their leader, Ron Luce, insists: "This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action, telling us that the violent--the 'forceful' ones--will lay hold of the kingdom."
THIS IS PRETTY FRIGHTENING. Battle Cry, their group, is supposed to be having a rally at city halls, but no one here in Seattle has volunteered to do it yet. Thank the evolutionary spirits for that!
From the great Counterpunch.org.
"I think we need to pull our military presence out of there, they never needed our military presence there. And like I said in the talk, to say that to be able to rebuild their country they need a U.S. military presence there is arrogant and racist. We need to withdraw all our troops, close the permanent bases. We need to bring the general contractors out of there, give Iraqi people back their jobs and let them rebuild their country because it's their country. It's not the 51st state of America. And right now, what's happening is our presence there is degenerating, the country is degenerating into civil war, chaos and confusion, and it's because of the occupation. Occupations, ... the goal is to create chaos and confusion in a country so they can't resist the occupiers."
Even though her analysis (see above) is right on, Cindy has made her role as an antiwar activist more difficult by joining the Dem political network. Maybe she wasn't paying attention at the last Democratic convention. Kucinich, someone I'm betting she would have supported, totally caved when his party called. Linda
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
"At one point during that presentation in Austin, I attempted in vain to describe to the audience what life in Baghdad is like. It was in vain, because how can anyone in the United States begin to imagine what it is like to be invaded, to have our infrastructure shattered, to have occupying soldiers photographing detained Americans in forced humiliating sexual acts and then to have these displayed on television, to have our churches raided and worshippers therein shot and killed by occupation troops?"
"It is only when more people in the US begin to fathom the totality of the destruction in Iraq that one may expect to hear the public outcry and uprising necessary to end the occupation and bring to justice the war criminals responsible for these conditions. Until that happens, make no mistake: all of us participate in a new Iraq, our hands dyed in the blood of innocents."
Dahr Jamail via Information Clearinghouse
In part, Left I says this:
"And then this, in which he channels Left I on the News (and many others):
"If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts were would the world be today? Would not your government, and people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?"
the short distance to the kidney dialysis unit down the
road and pull out the tubes to which four elderly patients
were attached, making them seriously ill or killing them.
Suppose I said I did this because I disagreed with the
Bush Administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq, its
use of torture, and its countless other profoundly
undemocractic and illegal policies. What would that make
me? A murderer for sure, a monster and a new vicious kind
of terrorist. Such an action would be unconscionable in
any moral system."
From Ali Abunimah at Electronic Intifada
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
"Her position on Iraq is unequivocal: The U.S. should withdraw troops immediately, close all bases in Iraq and turn peacekeeping over to an unarmed Arab force. "We are the problem. When we leave, problem solved," she said."
YEA, CINDY!!! She also said: "The people in Iraq have a right to resist an occupation," she said to applause. "I wish they didn't, otherwise my son wouldn't be dead."
I was outside the hall with some of the Stand Up Seattle folks holding up our "Free Kevin Benderman from Ft. Lewis Brig," banner but I'm glad to hear the folks inside got the straight scoop from Cindy. The clutch of pro-warriors seemed to be getting all the television attention outside.
Of course, Cindy could have just said that both parties were acting natural: like corporate parties should.
P.S. Thought I saw this on Left I on the News, but maybe I just found it in the Seattle Times myself!
Monday, May 08, 2006
"In response to the revelations of Swanson’s plagiarism, Raytheon’s board of directors announced that it was punishing him by freezing his salary at its 2005 level ($1.12 million) and cutting his restricted stock award by 20 percent (his restricted stock award in 2005 was $2.96 million). The reductions apparently amount to about $1 million in lost compensation. The company has stopped circulating the book of ‘unwritten rules.’"
FROM WORLD SOCIALIST WEBSITE via CURSOR.ORG
Mr. McDermott better check with DC--the Democrats National Chair Howard Dean was on This Week with George Stephanopoulis and here's what he had to say:
"In an exclusive Sunday interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Dean dismissed the idea that Democrats would seek to impeach President Bush if they won back control of Congress — a possibility floated by Republicans looking to galvanize their base. "
Thanks to Cursor.org for the tip-off.
AND LOOK AT THIS LAUGHABLE EXCHANGE BETWEEN JIM LEHRER (PBS NEWSHOUR) AND HARDBALL'S CHRIS MATTHEWS:
"Matthews asked Lehrer if he thought the press had failed to provide "critical analysis" in the months before the war.
Lehrer: I do. The word "occupation," keep in mind, Chris, was never mentioned in the run-up to the war. It was "liberation." So as a consequence, those of us in journalism never even looked at the issue of occupation.
Lehrer: Because it just didn't occur to us. We weren't smart enough to do it. I agree. I think it was a dereliction of our -- in retrospective.
It never occurred to journalists that the United States might have to effectively occupy Iraq in the wake of the invasion? That's just not believable. It's far more likely journalists were too anxious to express their doubts during the drum-beating of early 2003. "
Saturday, May 06, 2006
"We had done nothing to prevent business as usual. We hadn't blocked traffic, or taken over universities, or prevented army recruiters from visiting high schools. Our march, therefore, was a parody of a protest."
Does anyone join Paul Cantor and me in these feelings?
The extent of the populism and independence of Senators Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern is questionable. They were mavericks to a degree throughout their careers, but they were also, for the most part, in the mainstream FDR tradition. McCarthy was a longtime ally of Hubert Humphrey and a friend and supporter of Lyndon Johnson for most of the '60s. He opposed the Vietnam War relatively late. McGovern was a Kennedy Democrat, not an agrarian populist or left-wing radical. In some ways, their 1968 and 1972 campaigns represented co-optation of the Jeffersonian-oriented New Left and Counterculture movements. Advocates of black power, women's liberation, and peace were channeled into electoral politics and made use of by professional politicians. The early support of McGovern '72 by such stalwarts of the Vital Center as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and John Kenneth Galbraith suggest that the campaign was not as radical as it appeared from a distance. Jesse Jackson's 1984 and 1988 campaigns followed this same pattern. Still, the themes expressed by these efforts were enough to draw disfavor from the powers-that-be. Party leaders crushed the populist-sounding insurrections and formed the Coalition for a Democratic Majority and the Democratic Leadership Council to keep the McCarthy-McGovern-Jackson wing of the party in its placeone of virtual powerlessness.
Interesting that this guy has not given up on the party, even having written a book critiquing its problems, including the above. The whole article leads to the conclusion that we need an alternative but he just can't quite go there himself. L
ELDERLY FARMERS ARE FIGHTING THE EMPIRE!
"Last ditch talks between the government and residents aimed at a compromise broke down on Monday. Local residents who remained, mostly elderly farmers, and protesters have said no amount of compensation would justify the move."
"Do not insult the residents who are fighting here," said Kim Ji-tae, who leads the farmers remaining and protesters in the area, in an open letter to President Roh Moo-hyun on Friday."KOREANS HAVE A PROUD HISTORY OF RESISTANCE TO THEIR U.S. PUPPET GOV'TS!
Most disturbingly, this announcement could potentially undermine ongoing grassroots efforts, state legislation, and other enforceable policies. For example, in Massachusetts where a stronger bill is pending, a local advocate is worried about the adverse impact, since legislators could easily think that Clinton has taken care of the problem and ignore the bill. What was already an uphill battle—getting schools and legislatures to take this problem seriously—was just made worse, not better, by this bogus agreement.Found on Common Dreams website
Dedicated to the deconstruction of the Democratic Party.
The American Left may not be much, but it won't be anything at all until it ditches the Democrats.
From a website called Pacific Views.org--found on a comment at the Northwest Progressive Institute website.
here's a link to The Daily Kos that explains more about how many Dems are co-sponsoring this "stepping stone to war" (borrowing Kucinich's characterization of the House version). http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/5/3/83734/61208
The comments on the article in Angry Arab Newservice are pretty interesting.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Ray McGovern being "rude" to Rumsfeld. (Well, that's what people said Stand Up Seattle was being when we interrupted Cantwell at Garfield.)
Thanks to Left I on the News for reminding me of this story from yesterday.
Cantwell also has not joined other former war supporters such as Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who last month said the U.S. troops should leave Iraq this year."
SO CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY THE DEMS IN THE ARTICLE ARE VOTING FOR MARIA?
WHAT DOES BEING A DEMOCRACT MEAN IF YOU CONTINUE TO VOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO VOTE TO KILL INNOCENT CIVILIANS AND AMERICAN SOLDIERS FOR A LIE?
Thursday, May 04, 2006
By Ramzy Baroud on Uruknet
As I say, all this has been tried before - just as the preparation of the American public for an atrocious attack on Iran is similar to the WMD fabrications in Iraq. If that attack comes, there will be no warning, no declaration of war, no truth. Imprisoned in the Hilton lift, staring at CNN, my fellow passengers could be excused for not making sense of the Middle East, or Latin America, or anywhere. They are isolated. Nothing is explained. Congress is silent. The Democrats are moribund. And the freest media on earth insult the public every day. As Voltaire put it: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
This article makes me feel helpless, but are we really helpless?
Harrowing story from a very worried Vietnam vet on Counterpunch.org
"US planes bombed a house in Aziziyah area of Ramadi city centre, killing 13 civilians," Ali al-Obeidi, a medic at the Ramadi hospital sais, adding that four people were wounded.
Story found here: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/cover050406.htm
Total amount spent so far on the so-called "war on terror"? More than $300 billion. Depending on what you include, over $400 billion already. And including the money that will need to be spent in the future, even if the war stops today, closer to $1 trillion. Even the lowest of all those figures could have provided $53,500 to purchase food for each of those children who died last year. Given the cost of living in most of the countries involved, that $53,500 could have bought food for a lifetime for each of them. Instead, they're dead. And so are more than 100,000 Iraqis, Afghans, Americans, and others because of what that money was spent on.As I post this, Amy Goodman has Sarah Thompson's song on "Is It For Freedom? (Prove to Me That You Care)."
The migrant worker's movement is engaged in an independent political struggle, directed against local, state and particularly the national government. The movement's immediate objective is to defeat congressional legislation designed to criminalize employed migrant workers and a "compromise" designed to divide recently arrived workers from older workers. The key demand of the migrant workers is the legalization of all workers, new and old. The choice of direct action methods is a response to the ineffectiveness of the legalistic and lobbying activities of established middle-class controlled Latino organizations and the near-total failure of the labor confederation and its affiliates to organize migrant workers in trade unions or even build solidarity organizations.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Found in Antiwar.com.
Found this item on Today in Iraq, a very good source for what is really happening in Iraq.
But catch the inconsistencies in what the US has to say about an event and what the Iraqi Defense Ministry has to say about the same event.
U.S. and Iraqi forces killed more than 100 insurgents last week in the town of Ramadi in the rebel heartland of Anbar province, the U.S. military said on Tuesday. Two Iraqi soldiers died in the fighting and no Americans were killed, the military said in a written response, confirming a media report. It did not provide more details.Reuters witnesses in Ramadi, 110 km (68 miles) west of Baghdad, said there were heavy clashes last week between U.S. forces and insurgents inside Ramadi but could not independently confirm such a high number of insurgents killed.Major General Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, a spokesman for the Iraqi Defence Ministry, said he was unaware of any major battles in Ramadi recently: "This is the first I have heard of heavy clashes. The security situation in Ramadi has been good," he told a news conference.
There are more pictures at: