Sunday, April 30, 2006

An Interview with Camilo Meija--War and Immigrants Rights: "It's the Same System Behind Both Injustices"

These movements aren't separate from another, and that's very important.

Former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter said that the antiwar movement needs to be laser-focused on being antiwar, and not talking about other issues. I think that's a mistake, and that's one of the things that we have to appreciate about both the antiwar and immigrant rights movements.

Another great article from Information Clearinghouse.


Turkey Refuses U.S. Request To Allow Attack On Iran From Turkish Base

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Sunday that his country refused a request from the United States to attack Iran from its Air Force base in Incirlik, despite the U.S. offer of a nuclear reactor, according to a report in Al Biyan.

Now that's what I call irony.

Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Plant Seeds of Hope in Secret Garden

With their bare hands and the most basic of tools, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have fashioned a secret garden where they have grown plants from seeds recovered from their meals. For some of the detainees - held without charge for more than four years and who the US say are now cleared for release - the garden apparently offers a diversion from the monotony and injustice of their imprisonment.

From the Independent, via Angry Arab Newservice.

Israel's Nukes: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

It is especially striking to compare the Nixon administration's stance toward Israel in 1969 with the way that Washington is trying to accommodate India in 2006. As problematic as the proposed nuclear deal with New Delhi is, it at least represents an effort to deal openly with the issue, rather than sweeping it under the rug. Without open acknowledgment of Israel's nuclear status, by Israel itself and by the rest of the world, such ideas as a nuclear-free Middle East, or even the inclusion of Israel in an updated NPT regime, cannot even be discussed properly. [40]

It is time for a new deal to replace the old Nixon-Meir understandings of 1969, with Israel telling the truth and in so doing finally normalizing its nuclear affairs.

Found on Angry Arab Newservice.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Camejo on Stump For CA Gov: We Need A Third Party

Camejo described Democrats and Republicans as two faces of the same coin. "The worst is the Democrats," he said. "The Republicans are just wrong. They say what they believe. The Democrats -- their job is to get you to accept the Republican platform."

"That's why we need a third party," he said. Most registered Democrats hold the values of the Green Party, and they aren't represented by the Democratic leadership, he added.

Found on Marxmail.org



IAEA Finds No Proof of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program

Despite not being fully in compliance with these demands, Iran maintains that it is in fact fulfilling its obligations under the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

The IAEA found no smoking gun.


Per Juan Cole on Information Clearinghouse.

Interesting Take on Tomorrow's Save Darfur Rally in DC

It's embarrassing that America -- and the world -- will be witnessing a PRO-WAR rally in Washington, D.C. on April 30 (a project of SaveDarfur.org) that is far more highly publicized than an anti-war one (that appears to be poorly organized) in New York City on April 29, even while Washington is still soldiering on in Afghanistan and Iraq and gunning for sanctions or war on Iran.

Really, the LAST THING we need in America is ONE MORE WAR to get involved in -- the least of all in an oil state like Sudan (amidst loud complaints of higher gas prices, no less).

From Yoshie Furuhashie in Monthly Review zine.


Extemely Interesting Historical Lists of US Global Interventions

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/usinterventionism.html

Read it if you dare!

Found on Marxmail.org

Thousands March in NY to Demand Immediate Withdrawal & No War on Iran


NEW YORK -- A day after the military announced that April was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Iraq this year, thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched Saturday through lower Manhattan to demand an immediate withdrawal of troops

Picture is from different article on Reuters. Much the same content. Picture found on What Really Happened.com

Iran Gives Ground As Sanctions Loom


FACING the growing likelihood of United Nations sanctions, Iran said yesterday it was willing to resume allowing snap atomic inspections but would not yield to demands that it abandon uranium enrichment.

Speaking after the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency released its finding that Iran had breached its international obligations, Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said his country would allow inspections if its case were dropped by the UN Security Council and passed back to the agency.

From an article in The Age. Not sure whether President Ahmadinejad is signaling "peace" or "victory" here.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Kerry Sponsors Collective Punishment of Palestinians on Behalf of Israel

"As a former state prosecutor and lieutenant governor whose father was a Foreign Service officer, the former Presidential candidate Senator John Forbes Kerry should know a violation of international law when he sees one. Perhaps he could blame intimidation by the American Israeli PAC organization or a need to pander to his Jewish benefactors as he makes another run for the Presidency, but Kerry’s recent co-sponsorship of the Palestinian Compliance Act of 2006 is a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that forbids collective punishment and states "that a person shall not be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. This article explicitly relates to administrative punishment imposed on persons or groups because of acts that they did not personally commit. Article 50 of the Hague Regulations states a comparable prohibition."

Only 21 Reps Vote Against Iran Sanctions--US/Israel Attack Looms

FROM ANTIWAR.COM

"Let no one say they were against this war with Iran, when it comes, if they didn't vote with the heroic 21 naysayers. These sanctions against Iran are but a prelude to war, just as sanctions were the first step in the long run-up to the invasion of Iraq. However, we may not enjoy such a lengthy interval between cause and effect this time around. Events are proceeding at an ever accelerating pace, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice now saying the time for talking is over and the time for action has begun – not military action (at least not yet), but action by the Security Council of the United Nations, whose "credibility is at stake." I wonder if that same standard applies to the many UN resolutions that Israel continues to defy. Hasn't the UN already lost all credibility when such brazen defiance has gone unnoticed by the Security Council?"

"Let no one say they weren't warned. Using Iraq as a "model" for the methodology of the War Party, we can see, when it comes to Iran, that all the elements are falling neatly into place. Once again, we have the specter of WMD and their possible existence or nonexistence: a mirage projected by the credulous Western "mainstream" media, one that is sure to dissipate only after we're waist-deep in an Iranian quagmire. Another familiar phenomenon: dubious exile groups, along the lines of the infamous Iraqi National Congress, only this time even wackier, wilder, and woolier."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Your 2005 Ten Worst Corporations of the Year!

The corporations will never give up power, unless forced to do so by the people.
Where to start?
No better place than the 10 worst corporations of 2005, presented herewith in alphabetical order:

For example, here's some info on BP Oil Company:

"In March, 15 workers were incinerated, and more than 170 injured, following an explosion at BP’s sprawling refinery in Texas City, Texas.

It was the third fatal accident at the Texas City BP facility in the last four years.

In September 2004, two workers were burned to death and another was seriously injured.

In 2001, a maintenance worker at the facility died after falling into a tank that had been shut down. Nationwide, BP’s facilities have had more than 3,565 accidents since 1990, ranking first in the nation, according to a 2004 report by the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG).

BP has admitted it was at fault in the Texas City explosion. “We regret that our mistakes have caused so much suffering,” said Ross Pillari, president of BP Products North America, after the company had completed an interim investigation in May."

Of course, there will be no criminal investigation. These were all just "accidents."

Found on Common Dreams.org

Transforming the World into a War-Zone--Rumsfeld's Army

"Like everything else, Rumsfeld’s promise to “transform” the military has been a lie. The Defense Secretary never had any intention of converting the military into “smaller, more agile units”. From the very onset his goal has been to create a global strike-force that operates as the enforcement-arm of the multinational corporations."

******

"Even Rumsfeld apologists are probably shocked at the breadth and arrogance of this sinister plan. The military is being hijacked in full view of the American people and turned into the world’s most-lethal security apparatus. Under Rumsfeld’s direction, special units operating clandestinely around the globe will perform criminal renditions, assassinations, sabotage, and acts of piracy all in the name of corporate profiteering."


MIKE WHITNEY IN AL JAZEERA VIA CURSOR.ORG

Democrats Speak with Forked Tongues

"Before and after the invasion of 2003, anti-war Democrats have argued with me about the merits of the Democratic Party. I have heard, and continue to hear, every lame excuse in the book about the party acquiescing to the warmongers from "They had bad information" to "That’s not their real position." Facts are facts. The Democrats allowed George Bush to invade Iraq for one reason: they were afraid that if the U.S. attacked Iraq and that the soldiers were welcomed with flowers and candy, they would have been on the wrong side of the issue and would have been considered anti-American. No matter how they talk today, Madeleine Albright, John Kerry, and many other Democrats allowed the invasion to occur. Integrity, research and truth went out the window.

Despite all their current anti-war talk, there is one aspect missing from the hollow mouths of the Democrats: not one has mentioned the plight of the Iraqi people and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths and the destruction of the country that came about because of their silence."

Having just watched the snake Kerry give the speech referred to above, the utter cynicism is mindblowing. He talks about Iraqis resisting our invasion as being participants in the global war on terror, which he wants to continue fighting--although he would of course do it better than Bush.

If the antiwar movement latches on to Kerry again as their representative--I was going to say they would be in for a rude awakening--but I don't think they've awakened from their last dream yet. So odds are here we go again. Kerry for President--The Guy Who Can Do Bush's War Better.

FROM URUKNET.INFO

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hillary's Competition Positions Himself on Iraq (Again)

"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Kerry said in 1971, a line that helped propel the decorated Navy combat veteran and Yale graduate onto the national stage.

The same question applies today as Americans wrestle with the mounting death toll in Iraq, Kerry said, speaking before about 500 supporters who punctuated his speech at least 20 times with ovations.

"Lives have been lost to bad decisions," Kerry said. "Not decisions that could have gone either way, but decisions that constitute basic negligence and incompetence. And lives continue to be lost because of stubbornness and pride."

Will anyone ask him to explain how and when he came to this conclusion? How many people have died needlessly because he voted for the Iraq war resolution and then ran for president on a platform of sending MORE troops to Iraq.

When he is elected and brings the troops back from Iraq, will he be sending them to Iran, as he hinted in a statement he made a couple of weeks ago?

Nightmare Scenario: Hillary Bombs Iran

When she [Hillary] came into office, she was already
committed to preventing Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon,
by military means if necessary. Meanwhile,the Iranian
regime had abandoned all restraint in its pursuit of that
objective, calculating that its own best chances of survival
lay in the swiftest possible acquisition of a nuclear
deterrent. In February 2009,an alarming intelligence report
reached Washington, suggesting that Tehran -- using a secret
cascade of its version of the P-2 centrifuge --
was much closer to obtaining a bomb than had been thought.
In a series of crisis meetings, President Clinton, her new
secretary of state, Richard Holbrooke, and her new
secretary of defense, Joe Biden, decided that they could
afford to wait no longer. Operation Gulf Peace, for
which the Pentagon had long made detailed contingency plans,
started on March 6, 2009.


This came from a Marxmail post by Fred Feldman. The author of the article
is pretty Islamophobic, but paints a scary picture of what may be coming.

Lack of Response in US to Israeli Lobby Paper Regrettable

From Tony Judt in NYTimes:

"The damage that is done by America's fear of anti-Semitism when discussing Israel is threefold. It is bad for Jews: anti-Semitism is real enough (I know something about it, growing up Jewish in 1950's Britain), but for just that reason it should not be confused with political criticisms of Israel or its American supporters. It is bad for Israel: by guaranteeing it unconditional support, Americans encourage Israel to act heedless of consequences. The Israeli journalist Tom Segev described the Mearsheimer-Walt essay as "arrogant" but also acknowledged ruefully: "They are right. Had the United States saved Israel from itself, life today would be better ...the Israel Lobby in the United States harms Israel's true interests."

BUT above all, self-censorship is bad for the United States itself. Americans are denying themselves participation in a fast-moving international conversation. Daniel Levy (a former Israeli peace negotiator) wrote in Haaretz that the Mearsheimer-Walt essay should be a wake-up call, a reminder of the damage the Israel lobby is doing to both nations. But I would go further. I think this essay, by two "realist" political scientists with no interest whatsoever in the Palestinians, is a straw in the wind."

Once again, thanks to Angry Arab.

Pot Calling the Kettle Black, I'd Say

Human rights, China analysts point out, play no role in Beijing's investments. Michael Green, who handled Asian affairs on Mr Bush's National Security Council until December, recalled a discussion with a Chinese official on doing business in Sudan.

"He said, 'Look, we don't care about internal issues like genocide, we only care about the oil because we need the resources'."

Mr Green said: "The Chinese are embracing regimes that are pretty unsavoury to much of the rest of the world. They are enabling these countries to continue their bad behaviour and that undercuts our ability to persuade them to behave better."

Found article on Angry Arab Newservice, unfailingly good source for news.

Friday, April 21, 2006

From Jesus General: The Picture Says It All

New Gasoline Study Shows Profits, Not Crude Oil Prices Or Ethanol, Are Driving Pump Price Spike

Santa Monica, CA -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights released a new study today of rising gasoline prices in California that found corporate markups and profiteering are responsible for spring price spikes, not rising crude costs or the national switchover to higher-cost ethanol, as the oil industry claims.

FROM ANGRY ARAB NEWSERVICE

Trying to Wake Up the Antiwar Movement (Again)

Second, let us all realize that the immigrants' rights movement has been as large, as politically conscious, as effective as it has been precisely because the Democratic Party never saw it coming. The compromises, half-measures and empty rhetoric of the Democrats and their liberal allies have thus far fallen on deaf ears, and it is the refusal of those in the streets to be co-opted and forced into the narrow confines of electoralism that is transforming the debate around immigration

"UFPJ's recent endorsement of Rep. John Murtha's "antiwar" resolution--which is more accurately a shuffling of U.S. troops around the Middle East rather than actually bringing them home, and is meant to bolster U.S. aims in the Middle East, not to curtail them--is equally unfortunate. Murtha, long known as a staunch hawk, is hardly the person to be carrying the banner of the antiwar movement."

I didn't know UFPJ had endorsed Murtha's plan. Maybe so they could make a seamless transition to Kerry (whose plan sounds amazing like Murtha's) when he starts his new presidential bid up again.

Nepal King Says Handing Power to the People ("Overthrow" in Reverse?)

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's King Gyanendra, facing sweeping anti-monarchy protests, said on Friday he was handing over political power to the people and asked a seven-party alliance to choose a new prime minister.

"There was no immediate reaction from the parties which have spearheaded more than two weeks of violent protests to force the restoration of democracy."

It wasn't the demonstrators who made these demonstrations violent--it was the security police.

No front-page coverage of this historic democratic overthrow in our local papers--Have to wonder why. Guess they don't want us to thinking about people power.

NYTimes Book Review of "Overthrow" by Stephen Kinzer

I must confess that I put down this fine book with a feeling of deep disheartenment. For what, after all, is the point of such meticulously reported studies if the American public is repeatedly going to wipe such episodes from its collective consciousness, and the American establishment is going to make similar mistakes over and over again, first in the cold war and now in the "war on terror" — each time covering its actions with the same rhetoric of spreading "freedom" and combating "evil"?

The book documents "forcible regime changes by the United States and its local allies over the past 110 years, starting with the undermining of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, passing through Cuba (1898), the Philippines (1898), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954) and elsewhere, and ending with present-day Iraq."

Amy Goodman interviewed the author this a.m. and will continue the interview on Monday on Democracy Now!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Media Bias On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Tel Aviv bombing on Monday received intensive,
extensive, and poignant BBC coverage, including
pictures of pieces of human flesh shredded by
the force of the explosion. Below is a partial
list from occupied Palestne of shellings,killings,
robberies, savage beatings,attacks on schools
and infrastructure,home demolitions,kidnappings,
the use of sewage as a weapon, and more.
Virtually all of these Israeli government, military and settler crimes
went unreported. BBC viewers were told that Israel would 'retaliate' for
the Tel Aviv bombing: we are seeing more of the collective reprisals,
themselves war crimes, that Palestinians are used to. The Islamic
Jihad bomber was not shown as 'retaliating' for any of the thousands of
shells Israel has fired into Gaza in recent days; killing children.
Viewers are left with the impression of a motiveless, irrational
violence, probably caused by hatred of Jews.

Is killing people with high explosives a crime only when the perpetrator
doesn't survive? If they go home for a cup of tea afterward and watch TV
with their own children, does that make child-murder any less of a crime?
Tony Blair and the BBC certainly think so.

The list that is linked to above is amazing in the absolute horror it evokes.
Think about living with this kind of mayhem, day in, day out.

From a post on Marxmail.org

The Corporate Connection to Peace & Democracy

It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary if we want to do more than postpone the next war or end the suffering of the current war a few weeks sooner; if we want to actually build peace. We need the discipline to understand that reacting against injustice is fighting fires; that fire prevention requires relearning our histories to find out how and where power is vested; how peoples’ movements dealt with these same problems generations ago; why we have to strip corporations of rights they’ve usurped so we can exercise democracy’s power to make fundamental change; how to change our organizing to focus on fundamental goals.

From Talking About Iraq: USA Not Listening

Instead of listening to the Iraqi people, what did America do?

They brought in a bunch of thugs like Allawi (who was at one time a Ba’athist associate of Saddam) and crooks like Chalabi who stole millions of dollars from the Jordanian people. Then, when it became clear that Iraqis would not listen to these CIA-paid stooges, the US tried to create a system of “caucuses” where it could hand – pick the ‘right’ Iraqis it wanted in order to run Iraq from afar.

*****

They have just one solution to the problems of Iraq, and that is to kill more Iraqis. Any Iraqi that they think is a ‘thug’ or ‘bad guy’ is a candidate for being killed. Anybody who is against America is a ‘bad guy’.

Stop the Racist War on Drugs

While drug use rates are similar between blacks and whites, approximately 92 per cent of the people in prison on drug charges in New York are black and Latino. O’Donoghue’s 23-year-old son, who is black, sold cocaine to two white students, who in turn sought to resell the drugs on their Hamilton College campus.

The students were caught and received probation. Ashley O’Donoghue was left to rot in prison, another casualty of the draconian Rockefeller drug laws. He is one of more than 4,000 people sitting in New York state prisons convicted of B-level Rockefeller drug law felonies.

STOP THE "WAR ON DRUGS" (ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE SO BLATANTLY UNJUST ABOUT IT!)

Out of Nowhere--Well, Actually--Alaska: An Antiwar Presidential Bid

"I believe America is doing harm every day our troops remain in Iraq — harm to ourselves and to the prospects for peace in the world," Gravel said. "I would remove our troops expeditiously, without contingency. President Bush's mistake is not worth the life or maiming of more American soldiers."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Making sense of the Latin@ uprising

Suggestions to the broader left from Joaquin Bustelo, a participant/organizer in the Immigration marches.

Four points can serve as an initial platform or program for this [the Latino] left wing.

A) Legalization for all; a “road to citizenship” on the same
conditions as all other immigrants.

B) Yes to massively expanded normal immigration from Latin America on
the same conditions as all other immigrants; no to a new Bracero program;

C) The Latino community and especially the immigrants must own and run
this movement; YES to support from Black and white and non-profit and
trade union and political party (even Republican) allies, NO to
non-Latino control over our destiny and our movement.

D) For continuing with the campaign of massive public protests.

FOUND ON FERAL SCHOLAR--Stan Goff's blog

Israel Starving Gaza--With Help from the UN (& US & Europe)

For those families who do not have a wage to rely on, the UN relief agency is their life support system. The agency, which was set up in 1948 to cater for the needs of Palestinian refugees, is responsible for 962,000 registered refugees in Gaza and 735,000 of them receive food aid. 'We are living with the consequences of an unprecedented period of closure. We have contingency plans for this event but they have been exhausted,' he said.

With help from the UN: see this link also
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=32902

SORRY--SHOULD HAVE JUST SAID TO GO READ ANGRY ARAB NEWSERVICE--IT'S VERY GOOD TODAY.

The Davosification of Puerto Allegre

In the liberal communist ethics, the ruthless pursuit of profit is counteracted by charity: Charity today is the humanitarian mask that hides the underlying economic exploitation. In a blackmail of gigantic proportions, the developed countries are constantly “helping” the undeveloped (with aid, credits, etc.), thereby avoiding the key issue, namely, their complicity in and co-responsibility for the miserable situation of the undeveloped.

Thanks to Angry Arab for pointing out this great article about the "feel good" humanitarianism that contributes to rather than helps the problem of capitalist exploitation.

Hey, Women! Don't forget to "put on your face"!

Dissenting Judge Harry Pregerson countered that the makeup requirement was based on "a cultural assumption -- and gender-based stereotype -- that women's faces are incomplete, unattractive, or unprofessional without full makeup."

The above story is about a female casino worker who was fired because she refused to wear face make-up to work. I just watched the movie "North Country." It's about the first women who worked in the Minnesota mines and the sexual harassment they fought against (and won a victory over). It so sad to see those gains being given away like this. See the movie if you get a chance. We all need to think about how we can fight back against gender inequality like that represented in the above case.

Thanks to Angry Arab Newservice.

Memory Sticks Bought in Afghan Markets Expose More Torture

Among the photos of Americans are pictures of individuals who appear to have been tortured and killed, most too graphic to show. NBC News does not know who caused their injuries. The Pentagon would not comment on the photos.

Found this story on Cursor.org too. If you follow the links in the story, many of the articles do not mention the above information about new torture pictures. They mainly concentrate on the security risks of data getting away from the US military and into open Afghan markets.

US Encouragement of Iraq Militias Sets Up Ethnic Cleansing

Just as generals do, diplomats and journalists tend to refight the last war. Schooled in Bosnia and Kosovo, Washington's officials came to Iraq with the notion that because some Iraqis were Shia and others Sunni, these identities were bound to clash. This simplification was accepted by much of the media, influenced by their own Balkan experiences. It gathered weight when people watched the sectarian behaviour of Iraq's religious leaders, particularly among the Shia. They had led the resistance to Saddam and saw no reason to retreat from politics once he was gone.

In fact Iraq has no history of Balkan-style pogroms where neighbour turns against neighbour, burning homes and shops. But it could develop now. The rampaging by Shia militias and the rise of defensive Sunni vigilantes have launched a low-intensity ethnic cleansing. Up to 30,000 people have left their homes in the last few weeks.

SPOTTED ON CURSOR.ORG

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunnyside Highschool Kids Give Senator Primer on Dissent

A call from a U.S. senator's office wasn't enough to keep about 80 students from walking out of classes this morning in protest of proposed federal legislation that would tighten immigration.

Employers Fire Hundreds of Latino Immigrant Marchers

Below is a comment from Fred Feldman on the Marxmail list about why the firings happened.
The linked article also includes the original article about the firings. Linda

The more undocumented immigrants, other immigrants, and supporters are
able to be bold and assertive, and insistent on their rights, the worse
it is for their employers. While these employers have sound material
reasons to oppose expelling the undocumented en masse, they prefer to
hire them as humble pariahs. How can they impose minimum -- or even
lower than minimum -- wages, sexual and other harassment, unsafe working
conditions on people who are emerging as powerful and united fighters?
So these firings are about a lot more than missing a day of work, which
immigrant workers, like others, do from time to time. This is an
attempt to crack down on a movement that threatens to shake up the
social relations the employers represent and need.


For instance, what becomes of THEIR power to use the INS against restive
workers if deportation becomes more difficult because of mass
struggles. These nationalist, Latino pride, working class protests are
part of the working-class struggle against the conditions these workers
face here as well as for their right to be here.
Fred Feldman

Disillusioned Local Pro-Warrior Wanted Kerry Solution to Iraq Apparently

I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability. It planned a war based on false intelligence and unrealistic assumptions. It has strategically surrendered the condition of victory in Iraq to people who do not share our vision, values or interests. The Bush administration has proven successful at only one thing in Iraq — painting us into a corner with no feasible exit.

Friday, April 14, 2006

More On the Failure of Dems to Support Cynthia McKinney

The moral and political collapse of the Congressional Black Caucus could not come at a worse time – but it has occurred. Corroded by corporate money, dependent on corporate media – with the near-extinction of independent Black media – adrift in the gulf between the needs of the Black masses and the narrow aspirations of the miniscule hyper-mobile Black classes, and still steeped in rank male chauvinism, much of Black “leadership” cannot abide a genuinely progressive, charismatic female in their midst. Many also look on in sulking jealousy at the burgeoning unity and militancy of Latinos, whose grassroots are on the move, and whose media support their cause.

You can pretty much always count on Black Commentator to put the issues in both class and race perspective in this country. The magazine has an appeal for support going on and as is mentioned in the above article, there is already a lack of independent Black press--so if you have any extra $$ send it their way. This is ane excellent source, especially about what goes on in Congress.

Iraq is not in civil war; Iraq is under occupation

I read this awhile ago (end of March) but didn't have time to blog it then. It is definitely worth reading.

Iraq is not in civil war; Iraq is under occupation. Some parties have acquiesced in American dominance and cooperated with the American authorities in an effort to gain power, others have not and have violently opposed Iraqis who have. What there is in Iraq is a political spectrum where at one hand there are those adamantly opposed to the occupation and at the other those who support it, a tension that becomes more entrenched the longer troops remain. With the increased emphasis on a "civil war" in Iraq the narrative is taking a momentous turn and casting a shadow on the continued presence of hundreds of thousands of occupying troops; meanwhile casting greater light on the supposed tensions within Iraqi society. Equally shaded by the new narrative of civil war are the ideologues and politicians, lifted to power by the US, who have been imposing a sectarian framework on the country from above since the beginning. The dichotomy between continued occupation and civil war leaves the anti-war movement speechless as neither alternative is desirable. It must be remembered, however, that this dichotomy is as much a fiction as the many others that have sought to justify the American occupation. It must be remembered that the root of current developments in Iraq is the illegal invasion and occupation of the country; the occupation must be eradicated if one sincerely hopes to keep the peace in Iraq.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Corporations Running Foreign Policy

Oil companies, the big defense contractors--they’ve always been directing foreign policy. But now I think what you’ve got is a situation where the boundaries between the corporate world and the political world and the military have dissolved.

Found this St. Clair interview on Cursor.org (originally it's from Socialist Worker).

I've been reading Robert Fisk's book, THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILIZATION. The chapter where he details the callousness of the arms manufacturers alluded to above will make your blood boil. He specifically talks about bring a shard of a missile that the Israelis fired at a Lebanese ambulance killing a whole family and injury many others to Boeing and asking them if they knew their missiles were being used against civilians. They didn't WANT to know and didn't want to talk about it. This book is MUST READ to know what is/has been going on in the Middle East. Billions are spent on unnecessary arms by all the parties involved. That is why the US doesn't care about Osama. Taking him out would not sell any arms for them. They need to scare us with Al Qaeda, etc. I could go on and on, but if you get a chance read Fisk's book. It is dynamite.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Israel Shelling the People of Palestine Unmercifully


Hadil Ghaban, 8, was killed by Israeli bomb. Members of her family (shown above) were injured. This is Zionism.

There are more sad pictures at Angry Arab Newservice. Originally found this on LEFT I ON THE NEWS.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Iris Dement Says It All In "Wasteland of the Free"

We got preachers dealin' in politics and diamond mines
And their speech is growing increasingly unkind
They say they are Christ's disciples
But they don't look like Jesus to me
And it feels like I'm livin' in the wasteland of the free

We got politicians runnin' races on corporate cash
Now don't tell me they don't turn around and kiss them people's ass
Now you may call me old-fashioned
But that don't fit my picture of a true democracy
And it feels like I'm livin' in the wasteland of the free

We got CEO's makin' 200 times the worker's pay
But they'll fight like hell against raisin' the minimum wage
And if you don't like it Mister
They'll ship your job to some third world country 'cross the sea
And it feels like I'm livin' in the wasteland of the free

Chorus: Living in the wasteland of the free
Where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

Monday, April 10, 2006

Admiring the View Can Kill You in Baghdad

I put my self back in the car and drove back home while I was asking my self why I did some thing like this, it is not the country that any one can do the things they like to do, what if I was killed tonight, who will take care of my family and where they will go, they do not have any one in this life but me…

From the Iraqi blog I Was There.

Can the Dems Stand Up for Anyone or Anything???

The media has also made much about other Blacks and women in Congress not rushing to her aid. Of course these would be the same folks who didn't question Bush's claims of WMD's, wouldn't filibuster Alito (even though his nomination posed a grave risk to women's rights), wouldn't stand with Russ Feingold in his Censure of President Bush, etc. Spinal strength has never been a strong point among elected officials and in an election year, they tend to take on the persona of jellyfish.

FROM COUNTERPUNCH.ORG

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Goff: Exit is a Command (Not a Strategy)

SOME REMARKS FROM A DEBATE STAN GOFF HAD AT SUNY (STONYBROOK):

The daily character of this occupation is not benevolent, but malevolent. Its purpose is not liberation but control over the population. That attempt to control is not winning hearts and minds, but worsening the conditions of the vast majority of Iraqis, not only with the steady degradation of an already shattered infrastructure and the provocation of civil war, but with random sweeps, house raids predicated on rumors promoted by local collaborators with hidden agendas, mass detentions without due process, humiliation, random killing, and torture. These are not the characterizations of the occupation I have merely read in reports, but those I have heard first hand from dozens of the very soldiers who were deployed to Iraq. Some may be in this room right now.

Osama-Chaser Scheuer Cite's Israel's Covert Actions in US

The second part of any nation's covert political action plan is to be ready to exploit or redress unexpected developments within the target society. Last month, Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt provided such an environment when they published a lengthy study showing the strong influence the Israeli lobby has on the crafting and application of U.S. foreign policy toward the Islamic world. If American society had its head screwed on right, the collective response of the citizenry would have been, "DUH!" – signifying that the near-determinative nature of Israeli influence is so clear that no academic analysis of that fact is necessary.

ON ANTIWAR.COM

Patrick Cockburn: Iraq Has Never Been so Grim

Fleeing one danger in Baghdad it is easy to become victim of another. The same friend had taken his mother and two sisters to the passport office in central Baghdad so they could leave the country. While they were there a large bomb went off killing 25 policemen outside and breaking his sister's leg. Now the family cannot leave the country because his sister is in hospital and his mother is too frightened to return to the passport office to get a new passport.

"Three years ago, when the statue of Saddam Hussein was famously toppled in central Baghdad were promised that their lives would get better. Instead Iraq has become the most dangerous place in the world."

FROM COUNTERPUNCH.ORG

Washington Post Justifies Israeli Killing of Palestinians

ISREAL STEPS UP MILITARY ACTION IN GAZA STRIP

JERUSALEM, April 8 -- Two Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday killed at least eight Palestinian gunmen, part of an intensifying military campaign designed to stop rocket fire into southern Israel.

The first strike came just after noon in northern Gaza, the most common launch site for the homemade rockets that have been landing in southern Israel on a near-daily basis for weeks. Witnesses said two members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of the Fatah movement, were killed.

Angry Arab Newservice points out that the headline makes this sound like Israel is in combat with the Palestinians, when actually Israel is bombing them from the air. The first para says 8 GUNMEN are killed. The second said TWO MEMBERS of Al-Aqsa brigade were killed. Did Washington Post go see whether the other six Palestinians who died were carrying "guns."

And what about the five-year old boy who was among several Palestinians killed in a bombing raid the night before. Was he carrying a squirt gun?



Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Result of Bush's Obscene Tax Cuts (Enabled by Dems)

Among taxpayers with incomes greater than $10 million, the amount by which their investment tax bill was reduced averaged about $500,000 in 2003, and total tax savings, which included the two Bush tax cuts on compensation, nearly doubled to slightly more than $1 million.

John Kerry's Latest Effort to Position Himself on Iraq

Left I on the News explains John Kerry's latest pronouncements on the war. This is the last paragraph of Eli's analysis--linked to Left I (it's under the headline "Kerry's Learning Disability"). The comments are worth reading also:

First of all, there is no "Iranian nuclear threat." And "strengthening our hand in dealing with it" by freeing up troops means one thing and one thing only -- make sure there are troops available for an invasion and occupation of Iran, or at least to credibly threaten such an invasion and occupation. Which I guess means that it means a second thing -- that John Kerry hasn't learned any lessons, either from Vietnam or Iraq, because he's ready to repeat the experiences (and spend the "human treasure") once again in Iran.
Pathetic.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Myth of America's Good Intentions

William Blum on Counterpunch talks about what motivates American foreign policy, among other things:

It's about corporations. The corporation is the leading unit of these institutions. Ralph Nader has it right. Ralph Nader's whole campaign, his whole thrust, his writing is based on pointing out how the corporation infects and poisons every aspect of American life-domestic and foreign. It's the corporation which is the chief devil in this whole scenario.

Sad But Truthful Video Sent by Friend with Husband in Iraq

http://peacetakescourage.cf.huffingtonpost.com/animations/3years.html

Her message:

if you haven't done something to stop the war today, watch this and then get out and do something.

Pundits Begin to Catch Up with Public in US & Britain

The US public holds a strikingly clear view of what Washington's foreign policy priorities should be. The goals the public highlights range widely. Those that receive the most public support are helping other nations when they are struck by natural disasters (71 percent), cooperating with other countries on problems such as the environment and disease control (70 percent), and supporting UN peacekeeping (69 percent). A surprisingly high level of support shows up for goals that represent the United States' humanitarian (as distinct from its political) ideals, such as improving the treatment of women in other countries (57 percent), helping people in poor countries get an education (51 percent), and helping countries move out of poverty (40 percent). Receiving less support are goals such as encouraging US businesses to invest in poor countries (22 percent). And receiving the least support is "actively creating democracies in other countries" (20 percent).

The article only mentions US antiwar opinion in a statement that 30 Wisconsin communities will vote Thursday on nonbinding "out now" resolution. But it does say: "And 55 percent of Britons now believe that their troops should be withdrawn from Iraq either immediately, or within the next 12 months."

FROM CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR TODAY

Monday, April 03, 2006

Blast from the Past: The Skull & Bones Twins






http://www.metaphoria.us/Kerry_Bush_viagrated.html

The pictures at this link are fun (see above), but it is the similarity of the Bush/Kerry positions on the issues check-off that really bring back the memories.

Shamelessly stolen from the website of Jozef Hand-Boniakowski.

And here is the article on Uruknet I got it from (it's about the delusions of liberal/progressive/Dems) blaming 3rd parties for their own problems.

http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22206&s2=03

New Orleans or Fresno--No Change for Poor Post-Katrina

Jones-DeWeever says Americans were too preoccupied with the war and the budget deficit to be outraged when storm evacuees were kicked out of subsidized hotel rooms. Not only do Americans have short memories and attention spans, she says, but many believe that most poor people must have something wrong with them.

"This is a huge, cataclysmic event, and it's sad to say that even that is something that hasn't maintained a push or momentum to address poverty in America," she says. "I'm not sure what it would take."

****

"Disabled in a work-related accident 20 years ago, the 56-year-old preacher turned his attention to social issues in New Orleans. He says the despair in parts of his city was just as deep during the two terms of Democrat Bill Clinton, and that elected officials in New Orleans have to accept some of the blame for money wasted and opportunities squandered.

FOUND ON CURSOR.ORG

Wisdom of the Dalai Lama

"This new terrorism has been brewing for many years. Much of it is caused by jealousy and frustration at the West because it looks so highly developed and successful on television. Leaders in the East use religion to counter that, to bind these countries together."

DALAI LAMA ON GW:
Although he appeared not to approve of the war in Iraq, he was admiring of Mr Bush.
"He is very straightforward," said the monk.

"On our first visit, I was faced with a large plate of biscuits. President Bush immediately offered me his favourites, and after that, we got on fine. On my next visit, he didn't mind when I was blunt about the war.

"By my third visit, I was ushering him into the Oval Office. I was astonished by his grasp of Buddhism."

FOUND THIS ON THE ANGRY ARAB NEWSERVICE--can't live without the guy (Angry Arab--not the dalai lama)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Anti Mini-men Rally

The anti-immigrant Minute-men had trouble living up to their name yesterday. After announcing in the press earlier in the week that they were planning a rally to oppose day-laborers at local Home Depots, the only people who showed up were the over 200 immigrant-friendly counter-protesters.

The picture on the left shows the front edge of the crowd that was hastily assembled at Casa Latina after news broke that the "we-forgot-to-set-our-alarm-clocks" men were coming.
After a few hours of rallying and training, starting at 7am, we spread out to 5 local Home Depot and Lowe's Hardware stores. The event was extremely well organized, including a tactical shift or two as it became increasingly evident that the manana-men had taken a sick day.

Another rally is being planned for April 10th at Monday, April 10 at St. Mary's Church
611 20th Ave S. at 3:30 pm to protest the anti-immigrant legegislation workng it's way through congress. Looks like the birth of a new movement!

Majority of Americans Want Immigrants to Stay

"Overall, 56 percent of Americans favor offering illegal immigrants a shot at some kind of legal status; roughly two-thirds of those ages 18-34 like the idea and an equal share of those with a college education agree, the AP-Ipsos survey found."

Congress has it all wrong pretty much. This Associated Press poll (from Yahoo news) also found: "Americans were skeptical that erecting a fence along the border with Mexico would reduce the number of illegal immigrants — two-thirds doubted it would work" and "[w]hile Democrats were more likely to support temporary worker status, with 62 percent favoring the idea, even among Republicans there was majority support, by a narrower 52 percent..."