Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Repentant Republican Posts Blog From Son in Afghanistan

"When president Bush was asked about the terror that America brings to other countries, he told the addressing reporter "dont worry about that.". He should have said "Dont worry about PVT H., He's doing just fine.". Because after all, I am now part of the terror that America has brought to Afghanistan. Thats me, sitting behind the machine gun with the muzzle that passes by the faces of so many innocent people. Thats me smashing the windshields of "incompliant" jingle truck drivers who's only trespass is not understanding the cursing I use to direct them off the road. Thats me, with my sling shot, shooting little kids who throw rocks even though I would only do the same thing in their position. Thats me, terror. What America claims to fight, is what I do."

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!

Stan Goff to the Troops In Iraq

Hold On To Your Humanity--(written in November 2003, but reprised now for obvious reasons on Stan's blog "Feral Scholar")

"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."

Olympia Councilman: They're Doing Everything They Can to Stop This War

Councilman TJ Johnson about the protestors:

"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

Haditha: It Starts at the Top

Robert Parry, in a very clear exposition of war crimes, implicates most politicians, but mostly Commander in Thief, in the massacre:

"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

Was U.S. Ever "The City on the Hill?"

Guess we know what that hill is made of...

"-- 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. "

Democratic Leadership Council: To the Right of the Repugs on Iraq

"The timing of this proposal for extending the US occupation of Iraq could not be worse. Last week, Tony Blair went to Baghdad where he informed the Iraqis that he and George Bush will commence the withdrawal of 35,000 troops from Iraq by the end of this year. If the policy outlined in With All Our Might were adopted, Democrats would be far to the right of the Republicans. That is correct. Mr. From and his staff are actually advocating that the Democrats move to a more hawkish, more right-wing, more neoconservative position on Iraq than that occupied by George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice. Is that any way to run a political opposition? Is that anyway to win an election in 2006?"

Very interesting analysis of the DLC's marriage to pro-Zionist policies. FROM COUNTERPUNCH.

About Chavez: Believe the MSM or Her Lying Eyes

"'All I had heard about Chavez was that he was a dictator,'" Santiago, 38, said after returning to Philadelphia. "'The man is far from that. He's a really warm person. I wanted to bring him home and stick him in the White House.'"

Via Cursor.org.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Memorial Day Elegy to Those Who Ducked

"But in my opinion, what makes this latest craven breed of prestige parasites particularly loathsome is that once off stage and out of frame, they will insidiously cut VA benefits in favor of corporate welfare and tax cuts for billionaires. The case for contempt rests on the undeniable fact that they spooked us into war against the wrong country. In plush ideological laboratories, senior slime artists will sink their fangs into the broken bodies of war dead, drain the unwitting corpses of the last drops of dignity, and then parade around glowing with the stolen glory. The final exhibit in this disgusting series is that with distended yellow-bellies now camouflaged red, white, and blue by that theft, they will commence to discredit and destroy any veteran, living or dead, who won't expedite the revolting neocon-authored actions hurting the very soldiers the Chicken-hawks honor in pretense. It's enough to make one vomit."

Found on Cursor.org

Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Now Number 75

"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The number of Guantanamo Bay detainees staging a hunger strike has grown from three to 75, the U.S. military said Monday, reflecting increasing defiance among men who have been held for up to 4 1/2 years, most without charges and with little contact with the outside world."

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.

MSM Promotes "Rogue-Soldier" Defense of Haditha Massacre

From Pierre Tristam at Candide's Notebooks:

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.

Haditha Massacre: Iraqis Have Seen It All Before

"In the restive Sunni city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, lawyer Abd Mohammed Falah, 45, said: "'The U.S. forces have committed more crimes against the Iraqi people than appears in the media. The U.S. defense secretary and his generals should be sent to court instead of two or three soldiers who will be scapegoats.'"

****

"'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 Show Anger at U.S. Occupation

"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.

Why Isn't Black Resistance to the War Acknowledged by the Antiwar Movement?

"In the face of poverty, prison, and unemployment, why is Black
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.

Burn That Yellow Ribbon

"Worst of all, there are the orders to torture and to murder. Whether it's Abu Ghraib or the emerging horror of Haditha, the chains of culpability lead up to the top. I've written before on the psychic scarring that a young person endures when they're instructed to commit torture. Without minimizing the agony of the victim, which is our primary moral responsibility, let's use this Memorial Day to remember how our young soldiers are being harmed for life when these orders are given."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Something Else All Americans Must Witness--Haditha

"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

[text omitted]

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.'"

Benderman Bannering on Memorial Day Weekend Covered by Olympian

"Erin Genia of Olympia said their vigil is to show Benderman support and to let others know his story and to let other conscioustious objectors know they are not alone."

“'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

Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company

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
Genre: Movies
Closed Captions: Yes

Upcoming Airings:
Sunday, May 28 @ 12am/11C
Sunday, May 28 @ 1pm/12C
Monday, May 29 @ 8am/7C
Monday, May 29 @ 2pm/1C
Saturday, June 03 @ 11am/10C

Search for other upcoming episodes

Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen video, we tell the story
of the hardest hit combat unit of the Iraq war. Lima Company, 3rd Battalion,
25th Marines, a reserve unit out of Columbus, Ohio was deployed to Iraq
from February 28-September 30, 2005. This two-hour documentary
captures significant moments from their tour of duty, including
dramatic combat missions. COMBAT DIARY: THE MARINES
OF LIMA COMPANY provides an unprecedented and harrowing
window into the harsh reality of war.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Support Your Local Conscientious Objector on Memorial Day Weekend

Freeway Banner at Fort Lewis on May 27th from 12pm to 2pm at the Dupont-Steilacoom Rd overpass on Interstate 5 at Exit #119 --and subsequent 4th Saturday's of each month until Kevin is released. This web page will have up to date info. about Benderman bannering: www.standupseattle.orgRemaining banner dates:Mar. 25, April 22, May 27, June 24, July 22 and August 26th unless Kevin is released sooner.

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_ ljansen12@yahoo.com or dking179@yahoo.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/

Washington ... A Club in Which Leaders of Both Parties Are [in a] Club with the MSM

A comment from a Democrat on the Hayden vote from Democrats.org:

"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

Kenny Boy Headed Up the River for A Long Long Time

"Lake set sentencing for Sept. 11. Lay's charges carry a maximum penalty in prison of 45 years for the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal banking trial. Skilling's charges carry a maximum penalty of 185 years in prison."

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

The Stranger Takes On Cantwell's War Cant

The Stranger (unlike it's kiss-up competitor) continues to dog Cantwell.

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?"

A.W.O.L: The Democratic Opposition

Lawyer Glenn Greenwald on the DemoPubs (found on cursor.org):

"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."

his conclusion:

"...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."

Dave Lindorff Corners Dems: You Must Impeach!

"But what I want to know is this: Let's just suppose that somehow the Democrats manage to win the 15 additional seats that they need in order to take over the House in November. Let's say they do even better than expected, and pick up a health majority of 25-30 seats. Now, supposedly, they would be able to pursue that liberal (are we allowed to say that?) agenda. So they would pass bills maybe banning oil exploration on the Alaskan north slope, make Medicare drugs cheaper, legalize stem cell research and maybe slap mileage mandates on cars."

"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."

From Counterpunch.org

7 Arrested in Olympia Trying to Stop Iraq Convoys

"OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Seven people have been arrested in protests against convoys of Iraq-bound Army Strykers and other military vehicles to be loaded onto a ship at the Port of Olympia, police said."

Kevin and Monica Benderman on Conscientious Objection

"This Conscientious Objection goes beyond religious teaching. It is not dramatic. There is no epiphany. There is reality. Death is final, whether it is your own, or you cause the death of another. No amount of field training can make up for the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a real battlefield, and no amount of threats, intimidation and abuse from a command can change a soldier's mind when the cold hard truth of an immoral, unethical justification for war is coupled with real life sensations."

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

Stocks Plunge--CEO Salaries Soar

"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.

Nir Rosen--Journalist Back from Iraq--"It's Too Late to Save It"

"And when Prime Minister Maliki talks about using maximum force against the terrorists and the killers, to Sunnis this means he's going to use maximum force against Sunnis. And to Shia militias, this means that they're going to use maximum force against Sunnis."

From Cursor.org

Stunning Video of Iraq Vet Recounting Atrocities

You might think this explosive video of an Iraq vet describing his first hand participation in slaughtering defenseless civilians might at least be worth a mention in the mainstream news. You would be wrong. Someone might barf up their happy meal.

-Doug


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."

It's A Bloody Day in the Neighborhood

"ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Boeing Co. on Monday unveiled a line of small, lightweight bombs that the U.S. Air Force will use in urban combat situations like the war in Iraq.

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."


John McCain and his War Criminal Sponsor "Get Out and Hear More Opposing Views"

"At the New School commencement at Madison Square Garden's theater yesterday afternoon, dozens of the red-and-black-gowned graduates and some faculty were heckling, cackling, hissing, booing, jeering, whooping, bolting, turning their backs and holding up orange signs that read, "Our commencement is not your platform." As for John McCain, he spoke about how the "passion for self-expression sometimes overwhelms our civility."

Thanks to fbihopopeds blog via cursor.org.

The Dixie Chicks Refuse to Back Down from Anti-war Stance

"THE DIXIE CHICKS call it "the Incident": the anti-Bush remark that Natalie Maines, their lead singer, made onstage in London in 2003. "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas," said Ms. Maines, a Texan herself."

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

The Rich Get Rich & The Poor Get Poorer: It's Not Just A Song

"Most voters in the United States are middle class or poor. Yet Congress has given a small minority of citizens, the near-rich or rich, the bulk of the benefits from several years of tax cuts, thereby further aggravating income inequity in this nation."

"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

3-year Old Girl Paralyzed by Israeli Bomb Attack

Please go here (Left I on the News) so that you know and can witness the ongoing tragedy of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Scroll down to Israeli "justice".

A 3-year old has been paralyzed from the neck down and her family is dead.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ft. Lewis Soldier Murders Wife: Iraq War Kills at Home Too

"The machine gunner with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division was wounded in a March 24, 2005, grenade attack in Mosul. He was soon sent home to recover from internal ear injuries and later was enrolled in an intensive psychiatric group therapy program to cope with stress and his anger over his troubled marriage, witnesses said."

Blackwater Globalizes Plunder

"Tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims remain without homes. The environment is devastated. People are disenfranchised. Financial resources, desperate residents are told, are scarce. But at least New Orleans has a Wal-Mart parking lot serving as a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center with perhaps the tightest security of any parking lot in the world. That's thanks to the more than $30 million Washington has shelled out to the Blackwater USA security firm since its men deployed after Katrina hit. Under contract with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Protective Service, Blackwater's men are ostensibly protecting federal reconstruction projects for FEMA. Documents show that the government paid Blackwater $950 a day for each of its guards in the area. Interviewed by The Nation last September, several of the company's guards stationed in New Orleans said they were being paid $350 a day. That would have left Blackwater with $600 per man, per day to cover lodging, ammo, other overhead--and profits."

More on the Hell in Iraq--The U.S. Has to Get Out of There

"Adel says 10 Sunnis have been killed in his neighbourhood in the past month. In retaliation 20 Shia were kidnapped and killed by Sunni insurgents. During one week the Guardian spent in Yarmouk in May, a grocer, his two brothers and a cousin, a school guard, a generator operator, and four ministry of education employees, all Shia, were killed. Two Sunnis were killed in the same week."

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.

Patrick Cockburn: Iraq Is Disintegrating

"Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale."

Haditha Massacre Worse Than Previously Reported: 24 Civilians Killed

"WASHINGTON — Forthcoming military investigations into alleged war crimes in Iraq will show that a squad of U.S. Marines killed about 24 Iraqi civilians, including women and children, while on a patrol in Haditha in November — a higher number than first believed — and gave inaccurate reports to their commanders, a congressional Republican said Friday."

Angry Arab Apologizes to His Readers

"I apologize to my readers. I really try to keep you informed of the regular arrests of "senior Zarqawi aides." The arrests, however, have been occurring at a rate that I have not been able to keep up with. So the other day, the US captured yet another "senior Zarqawi aide." That leaves a mere 580900000 senior Zaqawi aides at large."

UK Could Send Iraq Refusers to Prison for Life

"Soldiers who refuse to serve in Iraq could face life imprisonment under controversial plans to reform the existing system of courts martial."

Found in Angry Arab Newservice comment.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More Demos in Palestine

"This Friday, the Palestinian villages of Bil’in and Shofat refugee camp, near Jerusalem, will all hold non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli occupation. Beit Omar will hold their demonstration on Saturday, not Friday as stated in a previous release. In Bil’in the demonstration is against the apartheid barrier, in Beit Omar against an Israelis only-road, and in Shofat camp against restrictions on freedom of religious worship."

Missouri Town Evicting Unmarried Families with Children

"Mayor Norman McCourt said starting Wednesday the city will begin trying to evict groups who do not fit into Black Jack’s definition of family, reports CBS affiliate KMOV-TV in St. Louis."

Brilliant Article on the Immigrant Struggle

THIS ARTICLE IS LENGTHY BUT WELL WORTH THE READ. (What it says to me is that all of us may be called upon to help immigrant workers defend themselves and we should start thinking it now.) This article is by writer Juan Santos and can be found at Counterpunch.org.

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."

Amazing Chavez Press Conference in London--Recommended by Left I

Since reading this interview I have decided to go the Solidarity Rally for Cuba and Venezuela at Victor Steinbrueck Park from 1-3 on Saturday. Left I is right that Chavez answers the press in a principled way here.


"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

Bowing to the Police State--Ray McGovern

"Is Congress aiding and abetting the creation of a police state? Recently, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., helped to give the CIA and NSA unprecedented police powers. By inserting a provision in the FY07 Intelligence Authorization Act, Hoekstra has undermined the existing statutory limits on involvement in domestic law enforcement. This comes after revelations in January of direct NSA involvement with the Baltimore police in order to "protect" the NSA Headquarters from Quaker protesters."
--------------
"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

Support Our Troops, Anybody? (asks Dahr Jamail)

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who has spent a lot of time in Iraq during the occupation.

"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

Where Is the Global Outcry at This Continuing Cruelty?

"Growing up in Britain, I got no sympathy but rather kept being told about the need to give Jews a state they could feel safe in. But at whose expense was this generosity? We Palestinians had no hand in the Holocaust, nor in persecuting Jews. But we were transformed from a peaceable agrarian people into a nation of beggars under occupation, refugees, exiles and second-class citizens of Israel. Worse still, we are now labelled terrorists, suicide bombers or Islamic extremists. Our crime? We were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And for that we have been repeatedly punished, most recently for electing the "wrong" government, headed by a party the west, not Palestinians, labels as terrorist. "

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

US Held 759 at Guantanmo: Charged Just 10

The U.S. military says 759 detainees have been held at Guantanamo Bay since the detention center began taking prisoners in the U.S. war on terrorism in January 2002. About 275 have been released or transferred.

The United States has filed charges against 10 detainees.

Game Theory: Hamas Is Winning

"It is necessary to go back to the two eternal verities: First of all, the Palestinian people elected Hamas in democratic elections, which were held at the initiative of the United States and with Israel's agreement; secondly, the state of Israel bears the responsibility for the fate of the population in the occupied territories. You wanted elections? Hamas was elected. You wanted to topple the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization? Here are the results. You want occupation? You have to pay the price. There is no way of escaping this."

This article by Gideon Levy of Ha'aretz was found on Counterpunch.org, like the one below on Hitler.

Yikes! Hitler Was A Christian, Too

Before he became the Chancellor of Germany Hitler said, "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter ", and as he launched WW II that devastated Europe Hitler said "I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany." In 1940, Adolf Hitler said, "But there is something else I believe, and that is that there is a God. . . . And this God again has blessed our efforts.."

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

Fanning the Flames of Dissent--Charles Sullivan

"Capital knows neither loyalty nor nationality. Its sole motivation is to maximize profits while minimizing costs by any means necessary. Thus capital seeks the cheapest labor with the least restrictions anywhere in the world. Capital has no qualms about outsourcing jobs and leaving economically devastated communities in its wake. It pits worker against worker to increase production while simultaneously driving down wages worldwide. Although it was not widely reported in the American press, during World War Two General Motors and the Ford Motor Company simultaneously built armored vehicles for both the U.S. and the Nazis. Alcoa supplied aluminum to both sides, with plants operating in both countries."

[text omitted]

"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."

[text omitted]

"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

Catching the Conscience: Lessons Drawn from My Name is Rachel Corrie

So why are people afraid of Rachel’s words? Because she urges independent critical thinking and she urges people to act – to leave their comfortable lives and bear witness to what is happening in the world and to do something about it. In an email to her mother, Rachel wrote, “I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. …I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it. It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be. I felt after talking to you that maybe you didn’t completely believe me. I think it’s actually good if you don’t, because I do believe pretty much above all else in the importance of independent critical thinking. And I also realize that with you I’m much less careful than usual about trying to source every assertion that I make. A lot of the reason for that is I know that you actually do go and do your own research. But it makes me worry about the job I’m doing.” She goes on to say, “This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore.” People who see this play will be faced with a choice — now that I’ve seen this, what do I do?

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.

11 Palestinians Killed by IDF During Non-Violent Wall Demos

"Eleven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers during non-violent demonstrations against the apartheid wall."

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.

What Some NGOs Are Up To: Subverting Resistance to Capitalism

FROM AN ARTICLE ON COUNTERPUNCH CALLED "WHY THEY HATE OUR KIND HEARTS, TOO"

"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."

This Site Will Remain Dangerous for 24,000 Years

"A third plaque was pried off, perhaps as a souvenir. According to earlier visitors, it read, in plain English, "This site will remain dangerous for 24,000 years."

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."

Who You Going to Believe? Your Lying Eyes or the PI?

"The P-I is not in a position to monitor the janitors' care benefits, "but we have been told they have benefits," Oglesby said. "If the protesters are saying otherwise, they appear to be mistaken."

Link to story about janitors who clean the PI's building not having healthcare benefits.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/270075_janitors13.html


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Protesting? Smile Pretty for the Geospatial Intelligence Camera!

"On Clapper's watch of the last five years, his agency has found ways to expand its mission to help prepare security at Super Bowls and political conventions or deal with natural disasters, such as hurricanes and forest fires."

FOUND ON ANGRY ARAB NEWSERVICE

Friday, May 12, 2006

American Debt Due to High Cost of Basics--Not Shopping for Luxuries

"Why are Americans so deeply in debt? It's not because they are using credit cards to buy plasma TVs and premium coffee drinks at Starbucks. The real culprits, according to a new analysis, are the rising costs of housing, health care and education."

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.

US Secretly Supplying AK47s from Bosnia to [?] in Iraq

From the Guardian Unlimited online:

"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

Fear Mongering: It Works!

"The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it."

Tom Tomorrow!


This is from Tom Tomorrow the GREAT cartoonist. He has a new book out called "Hell in a Handbasket."

He has a fun blog at This Modern World.

New Candidate for Orwell Awards

I REMEMBER SEEING THIS IN THE GOOD OL' NEW YORK TIMES. NO IRONY FROM THEM AT ALL!

"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

Nepal & Bolivia: The Empire Is Losing Control

FROM RAHUL MAHAJAN AT EMPIRE NOTES:

"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."

Rachel Corrie's Legacy: From Seattle Weekly

"Caterpillar is a symbol of the occupation," says Cindy. She recalls trips to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank during which she and her husband have seen the destruction that the IDF has caused using Caterpillar bulldozers: piles of rubble where entire neighborhoods and markets once stood. The Corries believe that Caterpillar cannot separate itself from this devastation, and by suing the company they are joining a growing effort to hold corporations liable for international human-rights abuses carried out with their products or in the course of commerce. "If Caterpillar can figure out whether the habitat of a crane is being destroyed," Craig says, noting the company's stated commitment to environmental protection, "then it can figure out whether the habitat of a child is being destroyed."

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]

Big Brother Has Been Here Since the 1950s

From Another Day in the Empire, via Cursor.org:

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

So How is Bill Clinton's "Nation-Building" in the Balkans Going?

"Behind their façade of optimism, Western leaders negotiating Kosovo's future status are panicking. Realizing that Albanians will violently contest any continued affiliation with Serbia, they believe independence alone can ensure peace. Yet Kosovo is a classic quagmire, one with ominous repercussions for peace."

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.

Bill Clinton's Folly: His Failure to Tell Truth Gave Us GW

"If the full story of George H.W. Bush’s role in secret deals with Iraq and Iran had ever been made public, the Bush Family’s reputation would have been damaged to such a degree that George W. Bush’s candidacy would not have been conceivable."

"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.

Meet the Shock Troops of the Christian Youth

"If you've been waiting until the Christian fascist movement started filling stadiums with young people and hyping them up to do battle in "God's army" to get alarmed, wait no longer. "

"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.

Cindy: It IS An Oxymoron

"Currently, Sheehan's political activities include working with John Kerry's office to support his resolution to start bringing the troops home on May 22, and all of them home by the end of the year. She's been working with Rep. Jim McGovern and has been asking all the elected officiels she meets to stop voting for war funding. She's on the national board of Progressive Democrats, working to get not only Democrats elected but as the group's name would indicate, progressive Democrats. She said that "should be an oxymoron, they should all be progressive."

"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

Try to Put Yourself In Their Place -- Dahr Jamail

"Dear Mr. Dahr, I am wondering why? Americans and coalition forces were supported by pro-Iranian Militias, like the Badr Organization! The support and help of Iraqi Shiites at first helped to somewhat stabilize and maintain the occupation. Death squads trained by the coalition forces are working day and night under cover of the Ministry of Interior, attacking innocent people: both Sunnis and Shiites!!!! In spite of knowing very well who is doing what, we still see no improvement in the security situation. On the contrary, the situation is getting worse. I have many colleagues, doctors and other professionals, who are now begging for help to get out of Iraq for their lives and for their families' lives! The only losers are the Iraqis. The only Iraqis who are benefiting from this war are those who spend all their life outside Iraq and are now living in their big castle, the green zone!!!!! Everyone now knows that the invasion of Iraq was carried out upon falsified testimonies and lies!!!! What is going on on the ground differs a lot from what the media tells!!!!! I mean that."

*******

"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

Left I on the Letter from Iran's President to Bush

For a great discussion of the letter sent by President Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad to our erstwhile President, go to Left I on the News. It also has a link to a translation of the letter. Scroll down to "Quotes of the Day"

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?"

Helping Israel Kill Palestinians

"Suppose I were to leave my office here in Chicago and walk
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

Cindy to Dems: Stop Acting Like Republicans!

"We all want Democrats to take the House back in November, but I'm just thinking I don't know how much difference that will make. If it looks like a Republican, smells like a Republican, votes like a Republican, call yourself a Republican for God's sake," Sheehan said.

"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

Salaried in the Millions, Raytheon CEO Plagiarizes Ethics Rules

"American CEOs continue to impress the world. Take William H. Swanson, chairman and CEO of Raytheon, the giant defense contractor. It was recently revealed that he plagiarized major portions of his book, Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management, from a 1944 work by W.J. King, an engineering professor at the University of California Los Angeles, The Unwritten Laws of Engineering."

******

"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

Was McDermott Lying--Or Was He Misled???

Earlier this year, I was at a so-called "townhall" (no questions were allowed from the audience--weird "townhall" huh?) with Jim McDermott. Instead of talking about what the Dems were going to do about the devastating issues before the country (like the occupation of Iraq), Mr. McDermott kept repeating that the only thing we as constituents should be doing is working on the campaigns of Democrats, sending money to the Democrats, etc. because when we elect enough Democrats to Congress, THEN WE CAN IMPEACH BUSH!!!!!

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.

The MSM Negated Their Reason for Being In Run Up to War

"Battered by accusations of a liberal bias and determined to prove their conservative critics wrong, the press during the run-up to the war -- timid, deferential, unsure, cautious, and often intentionally unthinking -- came as close as possible to abdicating its reason for existing in the first place, which is to accurately inform citizens, particularly during times of great national interest. Indeed, the MSM's failings were all the more important because of the unusually influential role they played in advance of the war-of-choice with Iraq. "When America has been attacked -- at Pearl Harbor, or as on September 11 -- the government needed merely to tell the people that it was our duty to respond, and the people rightly conferred their authority," noted Harold Meyerson in the American Prospect magazine. "But a war of choice is a different matter entirely. In that circumstance, the people will ask why. The people will need to be convinced that their sons and daughters and husbands and wives should go halfway around the world to fight a nemesis that they didn't really know was a nemesis."

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.

Matthews: Because?

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

Marching to Oblivion: We Need to Up the Ante

"We are law abiding citizens in an outlaw nation. For three years now we have taken to the streets to protest the war and the occupation. Yet our protests have become steadily smaller, less focused, more anemic and ineffectual. Hence, one could not be faulted for wondering whether they are organized by the Bush administration to allow us to blow off steam."

******

"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?

'Member Those Good Old Days When Dems Were Real Dems? (NOT!)

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

South Koreans Fighting U.S. Base--Be Nice If We Could Give Them Some Help From Here!

"PYONGTAEK, South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean protesters clashed with police for the second day on Friday at a planned site for a new U.S. military base, leaving scores of people wounded, some seriously, officials and witnesses said."

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!

Soda Deal with Clinton Foundation Latest PR Stunt

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

Stop Me Before I Vote Again (About Deconstruction of Democratic Party)

Link to an interesting Website (see title page below):
http://www.smithbowen.net/linfame/

Cantwell to Iranians: We Kill Because We Value Freedom

And so this morning, when I saw that Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) was one of the cosponsors of this crapulous pile of hypocritical legislative ooze pathetically wrapped in a nice, chocolate-covered title, let me just say that I saw red. Red like the blood of men, women and children spilled in Iraq. Red like the fresh wounds of soldiers rushed to Walter Reed. Red like the eyes of family members who will ask themselves every day between this breath and their last why they outlived people they loved as much as their own lives.

From a website called Pacific Views.org--found on a comment at the Northwest Progressive Institute website.

UPDATE:
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

More On Darfur Peace Agreement

Why were they reluctant to agree? One reason - rarely reported in the media rush to paint the rebels as heroes - is that they are seriously divided. Splits along ethnic lines have recently widened, even leading to armed clashes. There are reports that the rebels themselves have been using janjaweed-style violence, storming each other's villages on camels. The rebels are also guilty of blocking aid to the displaced. Jan Pronk, the UN special representative, this week charged them with jeopardising aid to 450,000 vulnerable people through attacks on UN agency vehicles and non-governmental relief agencies.

The comments on the article in Angry Arab Newservice are pretty interesting.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ray McGovern Speaks Truth to Power

"Why did you lie to get us into a war that caused these kind of casualties and was not necessary?" asked Ray McGovern, the former analyst, during a question-and-answer session."

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.

And Here Is Why Red Staters (Repubs) Like Maria

"Cantwell voted to authorize military action in Iraq in 2002. Of the three Democrats in the Washington congressional delegation to vote that way, Cantwell stands alone today as having expressed no regrets. Congressmen Norm Dicks of Bremerton and Adam Smith of Tacoma both have said their votes were a mistake.

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?

Red Stater Identifies with Cantwell's Campaign

"If you're like me [A RED STATER], you may think that at a time when immigration and gas prices are at the top of the newscast--it's more than a little peculiar for Cantwell to be cranking out pro-Bush support. But when you look closer, at both the two weekly articles above, and at Cantwell's op-ed, you really see that she's been operating on the "wait and see approach" as explained by John Bunzel in an op-ed to the San Francisco Chronicle last Sunday. (h/t Matt Rosenberg) If that's true then the title of Sander's article in The Stranger may have significance for where Cantwell's heading: "DEMOCRATIC QUAGMIRE". "

Thursday, May 04, 2006

National Sovereignty and Military Occupation Not Compatible

But the BBC and its analysts have been more considerate if compared to their US media counterparts. CNN behaves as if the virtual political deadlock in Iraq and the brewing civil war — or at least the growing prospects for one — are entirely the making of the Iraqis. US military is merely an honest observer, who has pushed incessantly so that Iraqis 'get their act together’ and rise above sectarian quarrels.

By Ramzy Baroud on Uruknet

The Salvador Option in Iraq

Another article referencing the Phoenix Program that killed many civilians in Vietnam, this one by John Pilger on Uruk.net.

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?

Our Descent Into Hell Has Begun

The narrowness of his vision is exactly how even the best and most humane soldier unwillingly becomes a monster, and the people who create war know this. Out of grief and rage, with the stench of his buddy's shredded flesh in his nostrils, the soldier stops asking questions and then begins making up his own rules with a rifle. He has touched the heart of darkness and there's no going back ever. Embracing the whore called war destroys morality, and doing all this in a dishonorable cause compounds the damage.

Harrowing story from a very worried Vietnam vet on Counterpunch.org

US Airstrike Kills 13 Civilians in Ramadi, Iraq

AT least 13 people were killed in an air assault by US forces on a house in Iraq's restive city of Ramadi today, medics said.

"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.

Using Action Toys to Lure Kids Into Fighting the "War on Terror"

At about the same time [Cindy] Sheehan was taking to the Canadian stage with her anti-war message, soldiers were traveling to Los Angeles where their bodies were to be scanned by sculptors creating a rough mold for the "America’s Army: Real Heroes" program. The program, launched in 2002 is adding more characters to the game and aims to honor soldiers who have shown heroism in the war on terror.

Story found here: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/cover050406.htm

What Is Killing the People of the World?--LEFT I ON THE NEWS

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 Rise of the Migrant Workers' Movement--James Petras

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.

From Counterpunch.org

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Just Saying No to Imperial Intervention in Sudan

Throughout the country, the pious-sounding campaign on behalf of Darfur simultaneously prettifies U.S. imperialism---if only by asserting the latter can despite itself do some good in this world. The honest campaigners are like Boromir, in the Lord of the Rings, asking, "What if we were to use the Ringfor good?" But you can't use it for good! You can't go "Out of Iraq, Into Darfur" without bringing the principles governing the former illegal intervention into the latter intrusion you're so naively recommending. Imperialism's not a friendly tool kit that can be used to fix the problems its own lackeys jot down on the collegiate "peace and justice" to-do list. It's the problem itself.

We Live on Slum Planet--Mike Davis

But if ecological reality prevails, it won't stop there. Today's megaslums are unprecedented incubators of new and re-emergent diseases that can travel across the world at the speed of a passenger jet. And, as the imminent peril of avian influenza indicates, economic globalization without concomitant investment in a global public-health infrastructure is a formula for catastrophe. It takes only a little imagination—the thought of a series of ill-fated airplane trips—to remind us that we're all living on the same planet of slums, under the same economic regime. The conditions creating the slums—greed, inequity, poor planning, and disrespect for human rights—are human forces, but they tend to intensify the Earth's natural forces. Those forces, ecological and biological, don't always behave as predictably as we would like, or stay within their bounds.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Evo Celebrates May Day By Nationalizing Bovlia's Natural Gas

Monday's announcement coincided with May Day workers' celebrations throughout the country. Morales had been under political pressure to announce the plan, which his backers consider a key to the success of his administration. He has said he plans to use increased state revenue from the takeover to fund social programs in South America's poorest country.

Found in Antiwar.com.

American Security Contractors Shot Dead an Iraqi Ambulance Crewman Today

"Asked about the incident, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said: "The Americans killed the ambulance driver. They just killed him and left. They did not stop to check."

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.

Stand Up Seattle at the Immigrants' Rights March

Here we are. We got a great reception as the masses and masses of people marched along 4th Avenue on their way to the Federal Building.

There are more pictures at:
http://seattle.indymedia.org/en/2006/05/252940.shtml