Thursday, November 30, 2006

Black Commentator: Demand Single-Payer Healthcare NOW!

"After the election, November 2006

"The voters have spoken. They want healthcare now. They expect Congress to move quickly to fix the healthcare system in the United States. And they want something like a single-payer system, a plan where everybody gets the healthcare they need and where all of us pay into it on a sliding scale based on our income. Single payer is the way to pay for healthcare without providing insurance companies with hundreds of billions of our money providing them with hundreds of billions of dollars in profits. We just need healthcare. We don’t need health insurance companies. Health insurance companies don’t provide any healthcare.

"In addition to profiting shamelessly from our illnesses, the health insurance industry is an irresponsible corporate citizen in other respects. A substantial part of their portfolio is invested in the tobacco industry and much of their original wealth was generated on writing health insurance policies on African people who were enslaved in the United States. In response, a national boycott of Aetna has been called because of its acknowledged role in chattel slavery. For more information on this national boycott, google the Restitution Study Group. Healthcare-Now is exposing the myths regarding the actual role of the health insurance industry presently and historically within the United States. We are simply revealing the facts and telling the truth.

"Accordingly, during the coming two years, Healthcare-NOW will help to organize 1,000 TRUTH HEARINGS in Congressional Districts nationwide to give the voters a chance to tell their stories and to give Congress an opportunity to hear their constituents and respond to their desperation for healthcare. This will give everybody an opportunity to see whether our votes really count -- before the 2008 elections.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baker Report: "Those Who Favor Immediate Withdrawal Won't Like It"--NY Times

"Although the diplomatic strategy takes up the majority of the report, it was the military recommendations that prompted the most debate, people familiar with the deliberations said. They said a draft report put together under the direction of Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton had collided with another, circulated by other Democrats on the commission, that included an explicit timeline calling for withdrawal of the combat brigades to be completed by the end of next year. In the end, the two proposals were blended.

"If Mr. Bush adopts the recommendations, far more American training teams will be embedded with Iraqi forces, a last-ditch effort to make the Iraqi Army more capable of fighting alone. That is a step already embraced in a memorandum that Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, wrote to the president this month.

“I think everyone felt good about where we ended up,” one person involved in the commission’s debates said after the group ended its meeting. “It is neither ‘cut and run’ nor ‘stay the course.’ ”

“Those who favor immediate withdrawal will not like it,” he said, but it also “deviates significantly from the president’s strategy.”

"The report also would offer military commanders — and therefore the president — great flexibility to determine the timing and phasing of the pullback of the combat brigades.

"Throughout the debates, Mr. Baker, who served as secretary of state under Mr. Bush’s father and was the central figure in developing the strategy to win the 2000 Florida recount for Mr. Bush, was highly reluctant to allow a timetable for withdrawal to be included in the report, participants said.

"Mr. Baker cited what Mr. Bush had also called a danger: that any firm deadline would be an invitation to insurgents and sectarian groups to bide their time until the last American troops were withdrawn, then seek to overthrow the government. But Democrats on the commission also suspected that Mr. Baker was reluctant to embarrass the president by embracing a strategy Mr. Bush had repeatedly rejected.

"Committee members struggled with ways, short of a deadline, to signal to the Iraqis that Washington would not prop up the government with military forces endlessly, and that if sectarian warfare continued the pressure to withdraw American forces would become overwhelming. What they ended up with appears to be a classic Washington compromise: a report that sets no explicit timetable but, between the lines, appears to have one built in.

"As one senior American military officer involved in Iraq strategy said, “The question is whether it doesn’t look like a timeline to Bush, and does to Maliki.”

Iranian President Ahmadinejad's Letter to the American People

A portion of the letter--click on linked sentence to read it all:

Governments are there to serve their own people. No people wants to side with or support any oppressors. But regrettably, the US administration disregards even its own public opinion and remains in the forefront of supporting the trampling of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Let's take a look at Iraq. Since the commencement of the US military presence in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced. Terrorism in Iraq has grown exponentially. With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty. The US Government used the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but later it became clear that that was just a lie and a deception.

Although Saddam was overthrown and people are happy about his departure, the pain and suffering of the Iraqi people has persisted and has even been aggravated.

In Iraq, about one hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers, separated from their families and loved ones, are operating under the command of the current US administration. A substantial number of them have been killed or wounded and their presence in Iraq has tarnished the image of the American people and government.

Their mothers and relatives have, on numerous occasions, displayed their discontent with the presence of their sons and daughters in a land thousands of miles away from US shores. American soldiers often wonder why they have been sent to Iraq.

I consider it extremely unlikely that you, the American people, consent to the billions of dollars of annual expenditure from your treasury for this military misadventure.

Found on Information Clearinghouse

[Iraqi] Business Becomes a Big Casualty--Dahr Jamail

"Juhasz said the new laws, which were a part of the 100 'Bremer Orders'
instituted by former U.S. administrator Paul Bremer when he headed the
Coalition Provisional Authority during the first year of the occupation,
provided a flood of benefits for U.S. companies.

"These included "100 percent repatriation of profits earned in Iraq by
foreign companies; 100 percent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses,
including banks; privatisation of Iraq's state owned enterprises; 100
percent immunity for U.S. contractors and soldiers from Iraq's laws; and
'national treatment' which allowed for Iraqis to be all but excluded
from the reconstruction for years while the U.S. government paid 50
billion dollars to some 150 U.S. corporations for work in Iraq."

The article ends this way:

"The picture of Japan after World War II dominated the minds of
businessmen in Iraq after occupation," he said. "Most of us thought the
American invasion of Iraq was bad for many things, but it must be good
for business in general and industry in particular. We were terribly
wrong. The Iraqi economy was meant to be destroyed for political reasons."

European Probe Yields Details of Secret CIA Flights

4 from Afghanistan

Also Tuesday, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported that international flight logs showed that a single Gulfstream jet used by the CIA landed six times in Warsaw, the capital, and once at Szymany between February and July 2003. Four of the flights originated in Afghanistan, the paper reported.

In November 2005, The Washington Post first reported the presence of clandestine CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. The Post withheld exact locations at the request of the White House, which argued that divulging such details could jeopardize active counterterrorism operations and subject host countries to retaliation from al-Qaida.

In September, President Bush acknowledged the existence of the CIA's overseas prison network for the first time. He said 14 inmates had been transferred to the U.S. Navy prison at Guant√°namo Bay and that the "black sites" had been emptied. He did not rule out using them again.

Worth A Thousand Words (lifted in toto from Stop Me Before I Vote Again)

From Stop Me Before I Vote Again:

New cartoon by Mike Flugennock. Sample (much reduced in scale).

Mike writes:

Once again the Democratic Party has pandered crassly to "progressive" voters and once again the "Pwogwessives" have fallen for the scam. Like Charlie Brown attempting to kick Lucy's daintily-held football, Amerika's Pwogwessive voters came charging up, expecting to slam it clear into next week, but instead found themselves kicking air and landing on their asses. On "Meet The Press" one Sunday last May, Congressional Stepford Wife Nancy Pelosi declared that there'd be a "New Day" when the Democrats take control of Congress. Let's see what wonderful surprises they have in store for us on five important issues...
Available at http://www.sinkers.org/posters/newday

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Don't Hold Your Breath for Iraq Study Group to End Iraq Occupation

"Headed by former Iran-Contra officials

"The Iraq Study Group is charged with bringing "fresh eyes" to the Middle East conflict. However, one glance at the directors of the ISG should remove any illusions. The ISG’s leaders are world-renowned American elites and Cold Warriors, each of whom played major roles in the crimes of the Reagan-Bush and Clinton administrations.

"These are very old eyes, on very blood-soaked globalists who seek to fine-tune, perfect, and expand the war, not end it:

"Its co-chairs are James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton. The chairmanship by this tag-team of war criminals itself promises more of the same.

"Former secretary of state Baker’s deep and extensive political and business connections to the Bush family, and high-level role in the Bush and Reagan-Bush administrations is well known. It was Baker who personally intervened to install George W. Bush as president in 2000. It was Baker, member of the Carlyle Group, who laid the groundwork behind 9/11 and the "war on terrorism". It is James A. Baker Institute for Institute for Public Policy pushing many aspects of on oil and petrodollar conquest. Now it is Baker coming to George W. Bush’s aid again, with "better ideas", by way of George H.W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft and Henry Kissinger.

"Hamilton is co-chair of the infamous 9/11 Commission, a blatant cover-up. Hamilton’s role with the ISG marks his third chairmanship of official cover-ups: Iran-Contra, 9/11, and now Iraq.

"Edwin Meese is the former Reagan administration attorney general. In addition to facilitating many aspects of the Iran-Contra/CIA drug trafficking operations of the 1980s and early 1990s, Meese is implicated in the crimes related to PROMIS software, including the Inslaw scandal, and the murder of Danny Casolaro.

"Lawrence Eagleburger is a former Reagan-Bush secretary of state, and another Iran-Contra insider. In line with the ideas of Baker, Scowcroft, Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Eagleburger has been a blunt and outspoken critic of the "bungled" Bush-Cheney occupation. Note: Eagleburger replaced former CIA Director Robert Gates, who has been nominated to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

"William Perry, Clinton administration secretary of defense, is a legendary proponent of all-out military force, and even nuclear confrontation.

"Vernon Jordan is the legendary Jimmy Carter-Clinton family confidant, advisor and Washington insider and damage control specialist, now a senior managing director of the investment firm Lazard Freres & Company.

"Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court justice, was a driving force behind the stolen election of 2000 that installed George W. Bush. (Recall that when informed of Al Gore’s potential victory, O’Connor gasped "oh, that’s terrible", and promptly headed to the Supreme Court chambers to illegally stop it.) Given her lack of expertise on foreign policy and military-intelligence matters, there is no explanation for O’Connor’s role on the ISG---except as the legal advisor who will facilitate law-bending and the destruction of more Constitutional and international laws.

"Other directors include former US senator, Republican Alan Simpson (classic obstructionist who provided political cover for a host of Reagan-Bush era scandals, and a spearhead for many Reagan-Bush judicial and cabinet appointments), the scandalized former Virginia senator, Chuck Robb, and the ubiquitous Democratic Party insider and former White House chief of staff, Leon Panetta.

Found on Uruknet.info

Slaughter in Iraq Soon Seems to be Part of Normal Life--Patrick Cockburn

"Of course Messrs Bush and Blair argue there is no occupation. In June 2004, sovereignty was supposedly handed back to Iraq. "Let Freedom Reign," wrote Mr Bush. But the reality of power remained firmly with the US and Britain. The Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki said this month that he could not move a company of soldiers without seeking permission of the Coalition (the US and Britain). Officials in Mosul confirmed to me that they could not carry out a military operation without the agreement of US forces. There is a hidden history to the occupation of Iraq which helps explain why has proved such a disaster. In 1991, after the previous Gulf War, a crucial reason why President George HW Bush did not push on to Baghdad was that he feared the overthrow of Saddam Hussein would be followed by elections that would be won by Shia parties sympathetic to Iran. No worse outcome of the war could be imagined in Washington. After the capture of Baghdad in 2003, the US faced the same dilemma. Many of the contortions of US policy in Iraq since then have been a covert attempt to avoid or dilute the domination of Iraq's Shia majority.

"For more than a year, the astute US envoy in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, tried to conciliate the Sunni. He failed. Attacks on US forces are on the increase. Dead and wounded US soldiers now total almost 1,000 a month..

"An Iraqi government will only have real legitimacy and freedom to operate when US and British troops have withdrawn. Washington and London have to accept that if Iraq is to survive at all it will be as a loose federation run by a Shia-Kurdish alliance because together they are 80 per cent of the population. But, thanks to the miscalculations of Mr Bush and Mr Blair, the future of Iraq will be settled not by negotiations but on the battlefield.

The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq by Patrick Cockburn is published by Verso.

From the Independent Newspaper found on Cursor.org

Cindy Sheehan: Siege and Seizure in Korea

"Traveling around the world these past months has given me an education about American history that majoring in the subject at UCLA never did. I have witnessed first hand what US imperialism and militarism can do to countries and societies. I sat with indigenous Hawaiian tribal leaders who shared their tragic stories of how US colonialism and militarism ruined their fishing waters and turned their lands into super-fund sites. I stood in solidarity with Irish peace activists who want the US military off their soil and want US transport and rendition planes to stop using Shannon Airport to land for refueling. These are just a few stories. Everywhere I go, the local populations have stories of greed, crime, corruption, pollution, etc., that all go hand in glove wherever the US military is present. Not to mention the "hot" war zones, where hundreds of civilians are murdered, maimed or displaced on a daily basis.

"This rampant, arrogant, and care-less US militarism has nowhere been more evident than here in South Korea, especially in the village of Daechuri, near Pyong-taek City. The loathing for George Bush, America, Americans, irresponsible capitalism, corporatism, imperialism and militarism is a planetary phenomenon, but apart from what the US is doing to the wretched countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, I have never been more ashamed of the US government than when I visited the village of Daechuri with 17 other American peace and social-justice activists and a campesino from Colombia.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mark of the Beast

"Mark of the beast

"A droll friend of mine has given me a delightful gift -- a souvenir T-shirt from the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston (you remember, the barbed wire, the guard dogs, the "free speech zone"?).

"On the front, roughly near where the human heart normally lies, there's the usual tiresome red-white-and-blue flaggoid logo, and the legend

Boston 2004
Nothing conventional about it.

"On the back:

BIO
Biotechnology Industry Organization

Gold Sponsors

Roche
Bristol-Myers-Squibb
Gilead
Genentech
AstraZeneca

Silver Sponsors

Invitrogen
Atlas Venture

Bronze Sponsors

Genzyme
Millennium
Baxter

"My friend, the donor of this prized artifact, assures me that she received it from a chap who works in a Senator's office, and he -- the Senatorial staffer -- seemed quite sure that my friend would value it very highly. She didn't, obviously, but I do.

From Stop Me Before I Vote Again
Scroll down.

Holiday Sale: Science Teachers

"It appears as though the National Science Teachers Association has abandoned its search for truth and is now looking for a good sugar daddy.

"Laurie David, one of the producers of An Inconvenient Truth, wrote a piece for today's Washington Post describing her efforts to make 50,000 DVD copies of that movie available to America's science teachers through NSTA.

"They said no. And, more weirdly, they explained why. First, they said, they were afraid that if they started taking information from "special interests" like David, they'd have to take them from other groups, too. As though a private organization is obligated to accept and distribute any fool thing the Flat Earth Society may send them? As though they're not scientists, capable of sussing out the factual truth and relative educational value of any given piece of would-be curriculum? As though (as David points out) An Inconvenient Truth isn't already part of the required science curriculum in other countries, including Sweden and Norway?

From Orcinus

"That was bizarre enough, but then they got to their second reason: It might jeopardize their capital campaign. It turns out that NSTA gets millions each year from groups like Exxon-Mobil and the American Petroleum Institute -- who, in turn, are given access to American science classrooms to promote anti-global-warming propaganda with titles like "You Can't Be Cool Without Fuel." If they started telling kids the truth about global warming, they whined, that money might go away. And then how would that fine organization continue to support America's science teachers in their quest to instill their students with a passion for empirical truth, and teach the rigors of the scientific method to the country's next generation of technology leaders?

"Memo to the Christian Coalition: The NSTA is for sale. For a mere million bucks a year, I'll bet you could get them on board with Intelligent Design, too.

"Memo to parents: It might be time to find out if your kids' science teachers are members of this group, and have a word with them about it. If you -- or the teachers -- want to complain directly to the NSTA, the complaint form is here. They need to hear from everyone who still thinks that scientific truth shouldn't be auctioned off to the highest donor.

U.S. Plane Downed After Soldiers Kill 11 Civilians

"The F-16CG jet was supporting coalition ground forces when it went down today afternoon in Anbar province, about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said in a brief statement. The statement had no information about the suspected cause of the crash or the fate of the pilot.

"Mohammed Al-Obeidi, who lives in the nearby town of Karmah, said by telephone that he saw the jet flying up and down erratically before it nose-dived and exploded in a field. He said other U.S. warplanes rushed to area and circled above the wreckage were circling around the wreckage.

"Separately, police and witnesses said U.S. soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and wounded five on Sunday night in the Baghdad suburb of Husseiniya. The U.S. military said it had no record of any American military operation in the area.

"We were sitting inside our house when the Americans showed up and started firing at homes. They killed many people and burned some houses," said one of the witnesses, a man with bandages on his head who was being treated at Imam Ali Hospital in the Shiite slum of Sadr City. The police and witnesses spoke with Associated Press Television News on condition of anonymity to protect their own security.

"Today, about 250 attended a memorial service outside the hospital's morgue for the 11 victims, saying it was being conducted in the slum because the dead had been followers of the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The cleric and his Madhi Army militia are both based in Sadr City.

U.S. Attack Plane Downed in Anbar Province

"The F-16CG jet was supporting coalition ground forces when it went down today afternoon in Anbar province, about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said in a brief statement. The statement had no information about the suspected cause of the crash or the fate of the pilot.

"Mohammed Al-Obeidi, who lives in the nearby town of Karmah, said by telephone that he saw the jet flying up and down erratically before it nose-dived and exploded in a field. He said other U.S. warplanes rushed to area and circled above the wreckage were circling around the wreckage.

"Separately, police and witnesses said U.S. soldiers shot and killed 11 civilians and wounded five on Sunday night in the Baghdad suburb of Husseiniya. The U.S. military said it had no record of any American military operation in the area.

"We were sitting inside our house when the Americans showed up and started firing at homes. They killed many people and burned some houses," said one of the witnesses, a man with bandages on his head who was being treated at Imam Ali Hospital in the Shiite slum of Sadr City. The police and witnesses spoke with Associated Press Television News on condition of anonymity to protect their own security.

"Today, about 250 attended a memorial service outside the hospital's morgue for the 11 victims, saying it was being conducted in the slum because the dead had been followers of the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The cleric and his Madhi Army militia are both based in Sadr City.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bush & Blair Will Blame Anyone But Themselves for the Consequences of Their Disastrous War - Even Its Victims

Gary Younge
Monday November 27, 2006
The Guardian

"So the crucial issue is no longer whether the troops leave in defeat and leave the country in disarray - they will - but the timing of their departure and the political rationale that underpins it.

For those who lied their way into this war are now trying to lie their way out of it. Franco-German diplomatic obstruction, Arab indifference, media bias, UN weakness, Syrian and Iranian meddling, women in niqabs and old men with placards - all have been or surely will be blamed for the coalition's defeat.

So, just as Britain allegedly invaded for the good of the Iraqis, the timing of their departure will be conducted with them in mind. The fact that - according to the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett - it will coincide with Blair leaving office in spring is entirely fortuitous.

More insidious is the manner in which the Democrats, who are about to take over the US Congress, have framed their arguments for withdrawal. Last Saturday the newly elected House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, suggested that the Americans would pull out because the Iraqis were too disorganised and self-obsessed. "In the days ahead, the Iraqis must make the tough decisions and accept responsibility for their future," he said. "And the Iraqis must know: our commitment, while great, is not unending."

It is absurd to suggest that the Iraqis - who have been invaded, whose country is currently occupied, who have had their police and army disbanded and their entire civil service fired - could possibly be in a position to take responsibility for their future and are simply not doing so."

Found on Palestinian Pundit

Calls for Calm as Crowd Stones Iraqi PM

"BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Angry fellow Shi'ites stoned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's motorcade in a Shi'ite stronghold of Baghdad on Sunday in a display of fury over a devastating car bomb that tore through their area.

"Maliki was visiting the Sadr City slum to pay respects to some of the 202 victims of last week's devastating bombing.

"It's all your fault!" one man shouted as, in unprecedented scenes, a hostile crowd began to surge around the premier and then jeered as his armored convoy edged through the throng away from a mourning ceremony.

Found on Palestinian Pundit

Students Weigh in on the Draft

"Overwhelmingly, students expressed firm opposition to reinstatement of a military draft. Young people on all sides of the war question stressed the importance of individual freedom of choice. "Someone shouldn't be forced to die or kill for something they don't think is right or something they don't believe in," was a response that echoed the common sentiment. Wrote another, "Why reinstate the draft? Because young adults are beginning to realize that they're not willing to fight for our country anymore. We are sick of hopeless, doomed crusades into all corners of the world." One student drew a logical conclusion shared by others. "If you must force thousands of people to leave their families and kill for a reason they do not agree with or even understand, that is wrong and a war obviously not worth fighting."

"Whether most high school students know that there are soldiers who likewise are resisting a war they do not agree with or understand, they tend to understand that there are different ways to be drafted. Many students realize that recruiters are targeting them, or they mention a brother, a cousin or an uncle who was recruited. "A poor school is always an opportunity for the military," wrote one student. Stated another, "I think it's unfair that they 'prey' on minority students like myself because they know we don't have the money to pay for college."

"Students also notice contradictions in allowing the military onto school campuses. "People complain about violence in school and they let people come in and encourage it. I just don't get it," wrote one. Another student added, "I think it's wrong to try and impress kids with BIG GUNS and SHINY BADGES. Why would anyone want to get respect for murder?"

"If most young people are adamantly opposed to universal military conscription, and if some understand the unfairness of the de facto draft we have now, what is the solution?

"Students suggest that answers may be found in what schools have taught all along: "I think we should handle things in a nonviolent grown-up way." "We should be big enough to reach an agreement with our enemies and settle it like civilized human beings." "I think that people who think war is the best option are completely lazy; there are so many more options!" One student concluded simply, "I believe that the best way to make peace is with peace."

"We older adults could match our fierce devotion to our young with an equally fierce commitment to resolving conflict without using young lives. Creating peace with peace does not include training any young adults to kill. Instead, effective and respectful methods of communication remain key to peacemaking. Students are taught to "use words, not weapons," and they do so with straightforward eloquence. It wouldn't be difficult for grown-ups in government to learn to do the same.

Found on Common Dreams.org

Anti-War Democrat Has Ties to U.S. Pre-War Iraq Claims

"WASHINGTON — Of all the Democrats who rode a wave of public anger about Iraq to election victories this month, Chris Carney had the most unlikely credentials as a war critic.

"Before winning the race for Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District, Carney was part of an intelligence unit at the Pentagon that was responsible for some of the most alarming — and, it turned out, unfounded — prewar claims about Iraq.

"Assigned to search for links between Iraq and al-Qaida, the unit reached a series of conclusions, including that a Sept. 11 hijacker had met with an Iraqi agent in Prague, that since have been widely discredited. The Pentagon unit was created and run by one of the Iraq war's principal architects, then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith.

"Carney took part in briefings at the White House and the Pentagon that disparaged the CIA for underestimating the relationship between Baghdad and the terrorist network. Vice President Dick Cheney and other administration officials frequently touted the findings to bolster the case for war.

"Despite his background, Carney campaigned as an anti-war Democrat and said he got a "very warm reception" when he arrived at Capitol Hill this week to take part in orientation activities for incoming members. Carney is a lifelong Democrat, according to his press secretary.

"They are intrigued," Carney said of his fellow freshmen. "But I'm not sure all of them know about this."

Found on Antiwar.com


Democrats Blame Iraqis for U.S. Induced Misery

Link to whole article: http://www.uruknet.com/?p=m28537&hd=&size=1&l=e

"More likely, the U.S. military will meander toward an embassy rooftop sort of withdrawal, à la Saigon. But not before it sows more chaos, murder, and heart ache in Iraq and, as the neocons plan, in Iran, Syria, and the rest of the neighborhood.

"Johnson, McNamara, Nixon, General Westmoreland, the criminals behind "Operation Menu" (the illegal invasion of Cambodia, resulting in the ascendancy of Pol Pot and the murder of 1.2 million Cambodians), Operation Linebacker II (also known as the "Christmas bombings," the indiscriminate bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong), and hundreds of others, no shortage of them Democrats (in fact, it can be claimed Vietnam was indeed a Democrat war), should have faced a tribunal for war crimes.

"Instead, most of them were allowed to write their memoirs.

"It will likely be the same with the current crop of war criminals and appeasers.

"Steny Hoyer talks tough with the Iraqi government, installed by the neocons, and the Democrats, under the guidance of Nancy Pelosi, are allowed to do their thing and not reach a consensus on withdrawing for Iraq.

"In the months ahead, the Pentagon will "Go Big," with a nod and wink from Democrats, who will declare they are still working on a withdrawal plan, honest, and John McCain’s plan to send more troops, most recently spelled out an op-ed piece published in the Manchester Union Leader, will be adopted "to protect Americans from the threat posed by violent Islamic extremists," even those created by the CIA.

F"inally, as McCain admits, the "voters might not always agree with us, but when they see us act on principle, see us tackle the hardest problems and risk our personal ambitions, they will draw the right conclusion: that we are acting on their behalf, not just our own," never mind at the end of this road is not only a rendezvous with madness, but bullet-stopper conscription, as a continuation of the "war" in Iraq will embolden the neocons to carry out their plan to shock and awe Iran, a demented plan likely to result in a wider conflagration, flaming oil tankers, oil prices at $200 or more per barrel, a precipitated fall of the dollar against other currencies, a crushing and unsustainable deficit, and a hollowing depression, naturally blamed on them damn Arabs, the root of all evil in the world.

Found on Uruknet.info via Whatreallyhappened.com

NY Cops Kill Another Unarmed Black Man, Injure Two Others

"New York police shot up some people leaving a bachelor party at a strip club, killing the groom. They say they were acting to “prevent an incident.” I don’t know, shooting 54 bullets at a car full of people seems to me rather like an “incident.” As always with one of these incidents, nearly as horrifying as the number of rounds let off is the number which missed. It sounds like the cops hit the target – a car which was no longer moving – only 21 times, while hitting a lot of other cars and an apartment window."

Whole entry lifted from Whatever It Is, I'm Against It.

Ferocity of Iraq Attacks Leaves US Troops Helpless

"MORE than 3½ years after President George W Bush launched an invasion of Iraq, which his supporters proclaimed as a “cakewalk”, American troops were yesterday engulfed in a wave of sectarian bloodletting that threatens to destroy the Iraqi government and may jeopardise a crisis summit this week with Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister.

"US forces were reduced to near-impotent bystanders as the violence ignited by Thursday’s car bomb attacks on Shi’ite targets in Baghdad spawned a spiral of revenge.

"After a series of attacks on Sunni mosques on Friday, insurgents in Diyala province were reported yesterday to have stormed two Shi’ite houses and murdered 21 men in front of their relatives. A suicide car bomber yesterday attacked a joint US-Iraqi checkpoint near Fallujah, killing three civilians and one American soldier.

"US and Iraqi troops also killed 22 insurgents and an Iraqi civilian, and destroyed a factory being used to make roadside bombs, during raids north of Baghdad yesterday.

"The violence closed Baghdad airport and forced the cancellation of a planned trip to Iran by Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, who was hoping to enlist the help of the Shi’ite regime in Tehran in quelling the sectarian strife.

Found on Angry Arab Newservice

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Gates Urged Airstrikes in '84 Against Nicaragua

"WASHINGTON -- In 1984, Robert Gates, then the No. 2 CIA official, advocated U.S. airstrikes against Nicaragua's pro-Cuban government to reverse what he described as an ineffective U.S. strategy to deal with communist advances in Central America, previously classified documents say.

"Gates, President Bush's nominee to be defense secretary, said the U.S. could no longer justify what he described as "halfhearted" attempts to contain Nicaragua's Sandinista government, according to documents released Friday by the National Security Archive, a private research group.

"In a memo to CIA Director William Casey dated Dec. 14, 1984, Gates said his proposed airstrikes would be designed "to destroy a considerable portion of Nicaragua's military buildup" and be focused on tanks and helicopters.

"He also recommended that the U.S. prevent delivery to the Sandinistas of such weapons in the future. The administration, he said, should make clear that a U.S. invasion of the country was not contemplated.

"The target of Gates' anxieties was Nicaragua's leftist president, Daniel Ortega.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Teens Frustrate Military Recruiter's ASVAB Scam

"With MySpace.com bulletins and a handful of homemade flyers, two teens have struck a blow against the American Warfare State, Lindale, Georgia Division.

"On a Friday afternoon the 17th of November, 17-year-old high school seniors Robert Day and Samuel Parker decided to act after Day overheard some teachers at Pepperell High School saying that first thing Monday morning the school's juniors would be made to take the ASVAB military aptitude test.

"Often administered under the guise of a career aptitude test, the ASVAB's purpose is to better equip the State to prey on young people tricked or pressured into taking the test. According to Debbie Hopper of Mothers Against the Draft, it is often given under the pretext of being a "career placement" test. (In some cases it has in fact been used that way, no doubt in an attempt to legitimize what many Americans regard as not legitimate: the use of government schools as military recruiting grounds.)

"The school board answered a concerned email from Parker's mother with a suggestion that the test is not mandatory but "customary." Sane Americans might ask, "Where, in Prussia?"

"As a senior, he would not be made to take the test, but Day confronted the high school principal, Phil Ray, in defense of students younger than himself, and was told that the test was mandated by federal law. Day says he already believed that to be false, since he remembered the test being given only to the kids actually trying to join the military the year before. Regardless, the principal dismissed his objections. The juniors who were to be tested for their military "aptitude" were not to be told before the weekend.

From Antiwar.com via WhatReallyHappened.com

Iraq Logs 400 Casualties; Marines Enjoy Turkey

This is a real headline from a TV news channel. Unbelievable!

Found on Whatever It Is, I'm Against It.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Palestinian Solidarity in a Time of Massacres--Gilad Atzmon on Counterpunch

A portion of an article about a very difficult problem:


"However, there is a way around that complexity. Rather than surrendering to the Zionist practice which splits the Palestinian solidarity discourse, we can simply redefine the core of the Palestinian tragedy, which is now turning into a global crisis.

"Once we manage to internalise that the discourse of solidarity with Palestinians is dominated by the malicious and brutal Israeli practices, we are more or less ready to admit: it is the Jewish State: a racist nationalist ideology that we must oppose primarily. It is Jewish State and its supporters around the world that we must tackle. It is Zionism and global Zionism that we must confront immediately.

"Yet, this is exactly where the solidarity campaigner loses his grip. To identify the Palestinian disaster with the concept of 'Jews Only State' is a leap not many activists are capable to do for the time being. To admit that the Jewish State is the core of the problem implies that there may be something slightly more fundamental in the conflict than merely colonial interests or an ethnic dispute over land. To identify the 'Jews Only State' as the core of the problem is to admit that peace is not necessarily an option. The reason is rather simple: the 'Jews Only State' follows an expansionist and racially orientated philosophy. It leaves no room for other people as a matter of fact and principle.

"Yet, once we come to grips with this very understanding, once we are enlightened and realise that something here is slightly more fundamental than merely a battle between an invader facing some indigenous counter freedom fighting. We are probably more or less ready to engage in a critical enquiry into the notion of Zionism. We are more or less ready to grasp the notion of the emerging secular emancipated Jewish collective identity. We are ready to confront the modern notion of Jewishness (rather than Judaism).

"Once we are brave enough to admit that Zionism is a continuation of Jewishness (rather than Judaism), once we admit that Israel draws its force from a racist ideology, harboured in national chauvinism and blatant expansionism, once we admit that Zionism, which was once a marginal Jewish ideology, has become the voice of world Jewry, once we accept it all, we may be ready to defeat the Zionist disease. We do it for the sake of the Palestinians but as well for the sake of world peace.

The article continues....

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. His recent CD, Exile, was named the year's best jazz CD by the BBC. He now lives in London and can be reached at: atz@onetel.net.uk

2 U.S. Men Charged with Broadcasting Hezbollah TV

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities brought terrorism charges against two men for providing satellite broadcasts of Hezbollah television channel al-Manar to U.S. customers, according to an indictment unsealed on Monday.

"Saleh Elahwal, 53, and Javed Iqbal, 42, were charged with providing material support to al-Manar -- branded by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization in March -- the indictment said. Each faces a maximum of 110 years in prison if convicted of all 11 counts.

"Both men pleaded not guilty during a hearing in Manhattan federal court. Elahwal was released on $400,000 bail, while Iqbal was released on $250,000 bail.

Found on What Really Happened; as was the article below about impeachment with the "Get Out of Iraq" video.

GET OUT OF IRAQ!

The only way to bring the troops home: Impeach

"Our soldiers are sitting ducks in a shooting gallery.
If we really cared about them, we would bring them home."


— Dennis Kucinich

Is anyone really going to disagree with that? I think it rings true, if we really cared about our young men and women, then we would bring them home.

Bring the Troops Home: Impeach

_____________________
The reason I put this on is that this article has a great video with a song by Simple Fear called "Get Out of Iraq." Personally I think forcing them to cut funding might get us out sooner, but either way "GET OUT OF IRAQ."


Survey: Israel Worst Brand Name in the World

"As if Israel’s position in the world in not bad enough, a new survey published in the US Wednesday says that Israel is suffering from the worst public image among all countries of the world.

"The study, called the National Brands Index, conducted by government advisor Simon Anholt and powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), shows that Israel is at the bottom of the list by a considerable margin in the public’s perception of its image.

"The Index surveyed 25,903 online consumers across 35 countries about their perceptions of those countries across six areas of national competence: Investment and Immigration, Exports, Culture and Heritage, People, Governance and Tourism. The NBI is the first analytical ranking of the world's nation brands.

"Israel's brand is by a considerable margin the most negative we have ever measured in the NBI, and comes at the bottom of the ranking on almost every question," states report author Simon Anholt.

Found on Angry Arab Newservice

U.S. Soldiers Taunting Thirsty Iraqi Children

You Want Water? Keep Running.
From the London Metro:

"A video showing US soldiers in Iraq taunting thirsty children with a bottle of water has caused outrage. The footage shows a group of children desperately chasing a truck so they can get a drink.

"Today the US Department of Defense confirmed the video showed US soldiers and said the images were 'unfortunate'. The faces of the two men in the vehicle are not revealed but they can be heard saying in American sounding accents: 'You want some water? Keep running.

The video is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPzkLk6sYJg

Found on Lenin's Tomb

The Cumulative Effect of Lesser Evils

"Corrupt self-serving government is the result of over two hundred years of choice between lesser evils: the effect of which is cumulative and permanent. Year after year, election after election, the American voter adds to these strata of evil, like the making of a reef that lays fathoms deep on the ocean’s floor. We are making things progressively worse while deluding ourselves into thinking they are getting better.

"The problem is really quite simple: It is us against the Plutocracy; us against the most dangerous crime syndicate the world has ever known—the Plutocratic New World Order, the Illuminati. It is the same old class fight it has always been. Freedom, if it is to be won, will not issue from the vote. It will come in the streets, through resistance to evil, and through the willingness of enough people to struggle and sacrifice for the common good and for justice. That is how freedoms are always won; and their continuation will require constant vigilance, and direct citizen participation.

"Until enough good people are willing to struggle, to fight, nothing will change. It behooves us to cease looking for easy answers and quick fixes to complex problems that were centuries in the making. None are forthcoming. There are no political solutions to social problems. We do not need saviors or leaders to take us to the Promised Land; there is only we the people, organized and mobile. That is our power and our salvation. We have only to exercise it. Revolution could give meaning to the vote.

Information Clearinghouse via Stop Me Before I Vote Again

Gaza Is A Darfur America Could Stop--Alexander Cockburn

"The only time reality enters into Obama's and Democrats' foreign policy advisories is when the subject of Israel comes up. Then there's no lofty talk about "No more coddling", but the utterly predictable green light for Israel to do exactly what it wants--which is at present to reduce Gaza to sub-Chechnyian levels and murder families in Beit Hanoun: this is a Darfur America really could stop but instead is sponsoring and cheering on, to its eternal shame.

"The Palestinians are effectively defenseless, even as the US Congress cheers Israel on. What political Washington cannot yet quite comprehend is that Iraq is not Palestine; cannot be lectured and given schedules. America is not controlling events in Iraq. If the Shia choose to cut supply lines from Kuwait up to the northern part of the country, the US forces would be in deep, deep trouble. When the Democrats take over Congress in January, they should vote to end funding for anything in Iraq except withdrawing US forces immediately. If they don't, there's nothing but downsides, including without doubt a Third Party peace candidacy that could well cost them the White House in 2008, or--who knows--the return of Al Gore as the peace candidate, now that Russ Feingold has quit the field. Perhaps that's what Obama was trying to head off.

Counterpunch.org

Turkeys Get Out of Dodge

RAMSEY, N.J. -- Some wild turkeys, it appears, were trying to get out of New Jersey before Thanksgiving Day.

A spokesman for the NJ Transit said train officials reported a dozen or so wild turkeys waiting on a station platform in Ramsey, about 20 miles northwest of New York City, on Wednesday afternoon. The line travels to Suffern, N.Y.

"For a moment, it looked like the turkeys were waiting for the next outbound train," said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for NJ Transit. "Clearly, they're trying to catch a train and escape their fate."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Locals Accuse U.S. of Massacre in Ramadi--Dahr Jamail in IPS News

"RAMADI, Nov 17 (IPS) - U.S. military tank fire killed scores of civilians in Ramadi, capital of Al-Anbar province, late Monday night, according to witnesses and doctors. Anger and frustration were evident at the hospitals and during the funerals in the following days.

"Iraqi doctors and witnesses at the scene of the attack said U.S. tanks killed 35 civilians when they shelled several homes in the Al-Dhubat area of the city.

"Ramadi, located 110 km west of Baghdad, has been beset with sporadic but intense violence between occupation forces and insurgents for several months.

"On Tuesday, hundreds of people carried the 35 coffins of the dead to a graveyard in a funeral procession which closely resembled an angry demonstration.

"We heard the bombing and we thought it was the usual fighting between resistance fighters and the Americans, but we soon realised it was bombing by large cannons," 60-year-old Haji Jassim explained to IPS at the burial. "We weren't allowed by the Americans to reach the destroyed houses to try to rescue those who were buried, so certainly many of them bled to death."

"Jassim claimed that everyone killed was innocent, that they were not fighters. He said that when he and others attempted to reach the rubble of the destroyed homes, located near mosques whose minaret's loudspeakers had broadcast pleas for help, "There was a big American force that stopped us and told us the usual ugly phrases we hear from them every day."

"Jassim, speaking with IPS while several other witnesses listened while nodding their heads, said that ambulances did not appear on the scene for hours because "we realised that the Americans did not allow them to move," and that as a result, "there were people buried under the rubble who were bleeding to death while there was still a chance to rescue them."

"Jassim then burst into tears and walked away saying prayers to Allah to bless the souls of the dead.

Thanksgiving: The National Day of Mourning

Text of 1970 speech by Wampsutta
An Aquinnah Wampanoag Elder

When Frank James (1923 - February 20, 2001), known to the Wampanoag people as Wampsutta, was invited to speak by the Commonwealth of Massachusettsat the 1970 annual Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth. When the text of Mr. James’ speech, a powerful statement of anger at the history of oppression of the Native people of America, became known before the event, the Commonwealth "disinvited" him. Wampsutta was not prepared to have his speech revised by the Pilgrims. He left the dinner and the ceremonies and went to the hill near the statue of the Massasoit, who as the leader of the Wampanoags when the Pilgrims landed in their territory. There overlooking Plymouth Harbor, he looked at the replica of the Mayflower. It was there that he gave his speech that was to be given to the Pilgrims and their guests. There eight or ten Indians and their supporters listened in indignation as Frank talked of the takeover of the Wampanoag tradition, culture, religion, and land.

That silencing of a strong and honest Native voice led to the convening of the National Day of Mourning. The following is the text of 1970 speech by Wampsutta, an Aquinnah Wampanoag elder and Native American activist.

Last few paragraphs of speech:

"Our spirit refuses to die. Yesterday we walked the woodland paths and sandy trails. Today we must walk the macadam highways and roads. We are uniting We're standing not in our wigwams but in your concrete tent. We stand tall and proud, and before too many moons pass we'll right the wrongs we have allowed to happen to us.

"We forfeited our country. Our lands have fallen into the hands of the aggressor. We have allowed the white man to keep us on our knees. What has happened cannot be changed, but today we must work towards a more humane America, a more Indian America, where men and nature once again are important; where the Indian values of honor, truth, and brotherhood prevail.

"You the white man are celebrating an anniversary. We the Wampanoags will help you celebrate in the concept of a beginning. It was the beginning of a new life for the Pilgrims. Now, 350 years later it is a beginning of a new determination for the original American: the American Indian.

"There are some factors concerning the Wampanoags and other Indians across this vast nation. We now have 350 years of experience living amongst the white man. We can now speak his language. We can now think as a white man thinks. We can now compete with him for the top jobs. We're being heard; we are now being listened to. The important point is that along with these necessities of everyday living, we still have the spirit, we still have the unique culture, we still have the will and, most important of all, the determination to remain as Indians. We are determined, and our presence here this evening is living testimony that this is only the beginning of the American Indian, particularly the Wampanoag, to regain the position in this country that is rightfully ours.

Olmert and the Baker Boys--Kurt Nimmo (Another Day in the Empire)

Link to whole article:

http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=665

In part:

"As we know, this “status quo” in regard to the Palestinians translates into more suffering. Earlier this week, the “Palestinian Ministry of Health issued a report … stating that the number of Gaza Strip residents killed by the Israeli army’s continuous attacks since the beginning of November 2006 stands at 101 residents,” reports the International Middle East Media Center. “Out of the 101 killed, 26… are children and 15… are women.”

"In addition, the “status quo” translates into a free hand to steal Palestinian land, a process quite advanced, even mundane. “An Israeli peace group said Tuesday that it obtained government data showing that nearly 40 percent of land covered by Jewish settlements in the West Bank is privately owned by Palestinians, including big portions of blocs that Israel intends to keep under any future peace agreement,” explains the Chicago Tribune. “Activists from Peace Now said digital mapping data the organization obtained indirectly from a government source showed a wide-scale land theft by Israel, which has long asserted that it respects private land ownership in the West Bank.”

"On the subject of Greater Israel, a topic near and dear to the Israeli government and their neocon helpers, Baker induces dread. As the Jerusalem Post notes, back in 1989, Baker told AIPAC that “now is the time to lay aside once and for all the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel. Israeli interests in the West Bank and Gaza, security and otherwise, can be accommodated in a settlement based on [UN Security Council] Resolution 242. Forswear annexation; stop settlement activity; allow schools to reopen; reach out to the Palestinian as neighbors who deserve political rights.”

No doubt AIPAC members were sent reeling.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Extremely Sad Video of Gaza Life

Gaza's Reality

Would you be able to live like this?

"We live in constant fear"

Click on link above to see 5 minutes of unbelievable "living" conditions in Gaza.

Found on Information Clearinghouse


World Needs to Wake from Nightmare of Religious Belief

Every religion is making claims about the way the world is,” he said. “These are claims about the divine origin of certain books, about the virgin birth of certain people, about the survival of the human personality after death. These claims purport to be about reality.”

"By shying away from questioning people’s deeply felt beliefs, even the skeptics, Mr. Harris said, are providing safe harbor for ideas that are at best mistaken and at worst dangerous. “I don’t know how many more engineers and architects need to fly planes into our buildings before we realize that this is not merely a matter of lack of education or economic despair,” he said.

"Dr. Weinberg, who famously wrote toward the end of his 1977 book on cosmology, “The First Three Minutes,” that “the more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless,” went a step further: “Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization.”

"With a rough consensus that the grand stories of evolution by natural selection and the blossoming of the universe from the Big Bang are losing out in the intellectual marketplace, most of the discussion came down to strategy. How can science fight back without appearing to be just one more ideology?

Housing Bubble Smack-Down--Mike Whitney

"Did they [the Federal Reserve] realize that the money was going directly into the real estate market where it was creating an "unsustainable" equity bubble that would eventually crash and destroy the lives' of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose greatest asset is their home?

"Of course, because it's the Federal Reserve which produces all the relevant facts and figures, charts and graphs, about increases (and trends) in the housing market. How could they NOT know?!?

"In other words, they doubled the money supply and then sat back and watched while $4.5 trillion went directly into the real estate market via mortgage loans to people who were "under-qualified".(knowing that these same people would eventually fail to meet their payments and adversely effect the entire market)

"The Federal Reserve knew all of this. In fact, they knew where every dime was going, but decided to persist in their swindle to the bitter end.

From Counterpunch.org


In UN Vote, U.S. Snubbed for Defending Israeli Aggression

This must be why Kofi Annan is going around saying the UN needs to get off the subject of Israel/Palestine. His masters lost a vote there. --linda

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 17 (IPS) - The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Friday deploring Israeli military aggression against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.


Fully endorsed by the 118-member Non-Aligned Movement, the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), the European Union and many African and Latin American nations, the resolution calls for an immediate halt to Israel's ongoing military campaign in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.

It also demands that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the Nov. 8 Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun that killed as many as 19 people, including five women and seven children.

The resolution, adopted by 156 votes in favour, seven against and six abstentions, comes a week after the United States vetoed a Security Council draft resolution that would have strongly condemned Israel for the Nov. 8 military action in Beit Hanoun, a town in Gaza.

Israel said the incident was unintentional and that it was a mistake, a clarification that many refused to accept, including a number of international aid organisations that operate in the Middle East region.

Before and after the vote, speaker after speaker denounced the U.S. decision last week to veto the draft resolution as "biased" and "unjustified", while describing Israeli military incursions into Palestinian towns and cities as "state-terrorism" and "blatant disregard for innocent human lives" that they said was "unacceptable," "immoral," and "unlawful."

George McGovern: A Way Out of Iraq

Former Senator and U.S. presidential candidate George McGovern came to Capitol Hill to advocate for a responsible exit from Iraq. He spoke at an event organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus of staffers and advocates on November 16, 2006 in the Congress. He was joined by his colleague and co-author, Professor William Polk, who has broad foreign policy experience, particular understanding of insurgencies to occupation as well as expertise on Iraq, a country he first visited in 1946.

McGovern said they wrote their book, "Out of Iraq," in order to "try and bring American policy closer to reality." Both had been on the lecture circuit and saw that Americans recognized that "Iraq was a disastrous blunder." Further, a "substantial percentage of the U.S. military know this as well." But, at the same time people feel trapped concluding "now that we're there we can't just leave." Many people feel that if we leave things will get worse. So, they realized that what was needed was a systematic withdrawal plan that would increase the likelihood of a positive outcome and decrease the risk of increased violence.

They describe a six month plan for responsibly getting out of Iraq and providing the resources to reduce the violence after the U.S. leaves. McGovern describes it as a "down to earth disengagement plan to reduce the turbulence and reduce the hatred of the United States." He concludes that the American occupation is the cause of much of the trouble and the violence will reduce shortly after the U.S. leaves. At the same time he notes, "we are realists and it will not solve all the problems."

By Kevin Zeese on Counterpunch.org
as was the Joe Mowbrey one below about the Progressive Nightmare.

America's Progressive Nightmare

"Meanwhile, back at the progressive-pundit ranch, even outspoken critics of the neoconservative status quo refuse to acknowledge the most pressing foreign policy issue of our time-Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank. Al Franken and the rest of the voices on Air America were outraged when Bush and company suspended habeas corpus through the Military Commissions Act. None of them seem to have noticed Israel's long-time policy of detaining Palestinians without trial or charge under its cleverly titled program of "Administrative Detention." They decry George Bush's policy of preemptive war while in the same breath parroting the Israel lobby's talking points about Israel's right to defend itself against those who would dare to resist the brutal invasions and occupations that are part and parcel of the Zionist tragedy unfolding for the last sixty years in "The Promised Land."

"The idea of a Christian state is out of the question. An Islamic state-what, have you lost your mind? But progressives believe a Jewish state is to be promoted and defended at all costs. Apartheid was morally unacceptable in South Africa. But Israel's Apartheid Wall which imprisons Palestinians in bantustans throughout the West Bank is considered absolutely essential in order to provide 'security' for Israel's colonization of Palestine. The cluster bombs Israel dropped on civilian neighborhoods in the last days of their recent barbaric destruction of the civilian infrastructure of Lebanon aren't a topic of conversation on Air America Radio. Neither is the collective punishment and systematic starvation of one and half million civilians in the Gaza Strip. But what the heck, Al Franken is planning to run for the Senate in '08, and we're looking to put a Democrat in the White House next time around. Those AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) lobbyists and their deep pockets are going to be indispensable.

"It's time to snap out of our collective state of "liberal" denial and take to the streets, loudly and insistently, in numbers too large to be shot, arrested or ignored. No more platitudes about peace. No more lesser of two evils. No more staking out the middle ground. No more handshakes with war criminals. No more walls or weapons or wars of imperialist aggression. We need to declare our independence from the stultification of corporate hegemony. Though our forebears may not have been the most egalitarian crowd they at least had the courage and tenacity to take a stand against colonial tyranny and exploitation by the British East India Company. There's that familiar corporate element again. Funny how history repeats itself.

Israel's Cyber "Megaphone" Spreading Disinformation

"For some of Israel's supporters, a primary aim of their war on the web is an attempt to discredit what they see as hostile foreign media reports, especially those containing iconic visual images.

"One particular target has been the respected French TV correspondent, Charles Enderlin, whose Palestinian cameraman filmed 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura being shot and killed, as his father tried to shield him at the start of the second intifada. Enderlin accused Israeli troops of shooting and killing the boy. French supporters of Israel went online to claim the report was a distortion based on faked footage. His network, France 2, responded with legal action and, last month, in the first of four individual cases, a French court found the organiser of a self-styled media watchdog website guilty of libel.

"Another online target has been the TV footage of bloodshed on a Gaza beach earlier this year. A Palestinian girl was seen screaming as she saw the bodies of dead family members killed by what Palestinians allege was Israeli shellfire. When I mentioned the impact of these pictures at last week's conference, members of the audience shouted "staged".

"One person came up to me afterwards to suggest that the family had somehow died somewhere else and that their bodies had been moved to the beach to be filmed. Where, for instance, was all the blood? I pointed out that I had seen everything that the cameraman had shot and that some pictures were too gruesome to be shown.

Not sure where I snagged this Guardian article.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

United States Rides Weapons Bonanza Wave

1/18/06 "fpif" -- -- War, instability, and high oil prices have created a perfect storm of profit for the world's weapons manufacturers. This year, military analysts predict the biggest arms bonanza since 1993 … which is saying something because in the aftermath of the first Gulf War the global industry reaped the benefits of a $42 billion arms race.

As the world's largest producer and exporter, the United States is riding the wave. For fiscal year 2006, which ended on September 31, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency churned out notices for $21 billion in arms sales offers . In most cases, that agency is required to notify Congress of all potential major arms deals worth more than $14 million. In one typical day—September 28—the DSCA issued notification on $5.5 billion in agreements. South Korea would get $1.5 billion in Patriot missile equipment and other hardware, Turkey was offered a $2.9 billion package including 30 F-16 fighter planes, while Jordan and Chile were also offered weapons packages.

While not all deals are finalized with arms deliveries, these notifications are a way of taking the pulse of the weapons market … and it is racing. U.S. a rms sales offers for 2006 appear to be roughly twice the levels of any other year during the Bush administration. Noteworthy among these are the $5 billion deal for F-16s to Pakistan and a $5.8 billion agreement to completely re-equip Saudi Arabia's internal security force.

Information Clearinghouse

CIA: No Nuke Development in Iran

Washington - A classifed draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said.

Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.

A month before the November 7 legislative elections, Hersh wrote, Vice President Dick Cheney attended a national-security discussion that touched on the impact of Democratic victory in both chambers on Iran policy.

"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran," Hersh wrote, citing a source familiar with the discussion.

Cheney said the White House would circumvent any legislative restrictions "and thus stop Congress from getting in its way," he said.

The Democratic victory unleashed a surge of calls for the Bush administration to begin direct talks with Iran.

But the administration's planning of a military option was made "far more complicated" in recent months by a highly classified draft assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency "challenging the White House's assumptions about how close Iran might be to building a nuclear bomb," he wrote.

"The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running paallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency," Hersh wrote, adding the CIA had declined to comment on that story.

-- Seymour Hersh Truthout via Antiwar.com

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pelosi Drops the Ball - AIPAC Takes All--Article Stolen from "The Truth Will Set You Free" Site

"Pelosi may not have gotten everything she wanted this midterm election - but AIPAC sure as hell did.

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of her own personal victory yesterday, losing the battle to name Rep. Jack Murtha as her own second-in-command.

House Democrats instead voted by a resounding 149-86 for Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer as their new majority leader - a solid rebuke to Pelosi’s ham-handed attempt to install the ethically dubious Murtha.

Pelosi apparently saw no irony at all in vowing, “We will not be dazzled by money and special interests,” and then immediately nominating Murtha, who has spent a lifetime in Congress being coddled by the defense industry and taking good care of its practitioners in return.

And who coddles Hoyer?

Why AIPAC, of course - that's in addition to the Defense industry.

Industries funding Travel for Office of Steny Hoyer

And, he's not the only staunch Zionist heading the Democratic House - Rahm Emmanuel takes fourth place, to head the Democratic caucus.

What a line up - AIPAC couldn't ask for anything more.

Meanwhile, Americans voted themselves out of one Zionist House and into another.

How many times must congressmen (and women) be stacked in AIPAC's favor for Americans to realize that the game is rigged?

US Labor Party Statement on Midterm Elections

"The More Things Change

"The labor movement played a crucial role in this upset.
As always, they provided the ground troops, and untold
tens of millions of dollars, that made the victories
possible. More importantly, the passion and
commitment of the activists who worked on the campaigns
gave substance and credibility to a Democratic Party that
had long ago run out of any real ideas. But one doesn't
need a crystal ball to predict that nearly all of the hopes
and dreams of the activists who made this incredible election
victory possible will be betrayed before the next round of
cherry blossoms bloom on the National Mall. Past experience
should tell us that the new Congress will do nothing to
confront the impact of the growing concentration of
corporate power on the lives and aspirations of
working people. Refreshing as the election results may
seem, working people will soon be reminded that the
Democratic Party, as well as the Republican, remains
dominated by corporate interests.

"Although minimum wage and anti-war ballot measures passed
in numerous states, more fundamental challenges to
corporate power such as California's Clean Money and Fair
Elections Act (Proposition 89) did not prevail. "Across
the board, the biggest winner on Tuesday in California
was big money," said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director
of the California Nurses Association, which sponsored
Proposition 89. This bi-partisan commitment will
continue to bring accelerated globalization,
outsourcing and plant closures, declining real incomes
and no end in sight to a failing health care system. Working
people will remain stuck in the political wilderness
with no one to speak for our needs and aspirations. And
we will remain in that wilderness until we find a way
to build a party of our own to confront the corporate power
that continues to control the political agenda of both parties.

Found on Marxmail.org list

Sibel Edmonds Exposes the Real 911 Conspiracy

"Why in the world would the United States government go so far to protect Saudi Arabia in the face of what itself declares to be the biggest security threat facing our nation and the world today?

"Why is the United States willing to set aside its own security and interests in order to advance the interests of another state?

"How can a government that's been intent upon using the terrorist attacks to carry out many unjustifiable atrocities, prevent bringing to justice those who've been established as being directly responsible for it?

Later in the article, Edmonds begins answering these questions:

"According to the report published by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Saudi Arabia is America's top customer. Since 1990 the U.S. government, through the Pentagon's arms export program, has arranged for the delivery of more than $39.6 billion in foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, and an additional $394 million worth of arms were delivered to the Saudi regime through the State Department's direct commercial sales program. Oil rich Saudi Arabia is a cash-paying customer; a compulsive buyer of our weaponry. The list of U.S. sellers includes almost all the major players such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.

and:

"The Military Industrial Complex certainly seems to be a winner in having the congressional report pertaining to the Saudi government's role in supporting the 9/11 terrorist activities being classified. The exposure would have meant grounds for U.S. sanctions and retributions; it would have risked the loss of billions of dollars in revenue from its 'top customer.' These companies don't even have to officially register as foreign agents; after all, their strong loyalty and unbreakable bond with foreign elements exists by default; it is called mutual benefit. They are 'Foreign Agents by Default.'

"This holds true for other parties and players involved within the MIC network; the contractors and the investors. Let's look at one of these famous and influential players; another foreign agent even if only by default; a man who defended the Saudis against a lawsuit brought by the 9/11 victims' family members; a man who happens to be the senior counsel for the Carlyle Group, which invests heavily in defense companies and is the nation's 10th largest defense contractor with ties to the Saudi Royal Family, Enron, Global Crossing, among others; James Baker; Papa Bush's Secretary of State. On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Baker was reportedly at a Carlyle investor conference with members of the Bin Laden family in the Ritz Carlton in Washington DC, while Bush Sr. was on the payroll of the Carlyle group.

From Counterpunch.org

And here is a Progressive article on arms manufacturers' profits:

http://progressive.org/node/4206/print


Thursday, November 16, 2006

We Do Not Want Democrats; We Just Hate the Republicans

We do not want Democrats, we just hate the Republicans

by The Alchemist, Unknown News
Nov. 10, 2006

An open letter to the Democrats in Congress:

Congratulations. Now pay attention. Do not make the mistake of thinking the American people have chosen you to lead us. It's just that we are so fed
up with the Republicans screwing this country within an inch of its life that we are willing to try anything, including getting off our fat asses and going to the polls in enough numbers to defeat the Diebold scheming Repugs.

Repeat. We do not want you, we just hate the Repugs.

Now, if you are smart, you will stay on the horse what won you the election, namely beating the Repugs like a cheap Chinese gong. Make no mistake, the majority of Americans have spoken loud and clear, and we do not like those Jesus-debased, child molesting, torture approving, influence purchasing, environment destroying, lying, scheming, insular, billionaire bastards one bit.

Remember how the Repugs wasted time and money ad nauseum discussing Clinton's penis? Well, you need to keep the cameras focused on the obscenity that is Iraq. Get some wounded constituents to tell their stories. Show the bloody flags. Demand profit reports from Halliburton. I mean it -- if you start to cooperate with those fucking Republican thugs, we will vote your asses out too.

There's more if you click the link at the beginning. :)

Horrifying Video of Student Tasered in LA Library

"Comment: This is like something out of a horror movie, you can hear the guy screaming and begging not to be tortured as they repeatedly hit him with the Taser shot. Tortured for not showing ID in America, this is what "serve and protect" has come to mean.

"LOS ANGELES -- A cell phone captured video of a 23-year-old student being administered multiple Taser shocks by UCLA police on Tuesday.

"The UCLA student was hit with the Taser shocks multiple times while he was in the Powell Library Computer Lab.

"Another student recorded the incident on a camera phone. On the video, Mostafa Tabatabainejad can be heard screaming during the incident, which took place at about 11:30 p.m., the Daily Bruin reported.

Cindy Sheehan: The U.S. Needs Impeachment of Bush

"First of all, many people believe that impeachment proceedings will be seen as "political" revenge for what the Republicans have done to the Democrats for the last 12 years or revenge for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Impeachment is not a political tool as used by the Republican Congress, but it is a Constitutional remedy for elected or appointed officials who are abusing their powers. If George has not abused his powers as president and commander in chief, then no president in history has. I will not detail his high crimes and misdemeanor and crimes against peace and humanity, because all of his illicit activities have already been well documented. Justice should not be a partisan issue and if Congress took their oath to the Constitution as seriously as they take their allegiance to the special interests and to partisan politicking, George would have already been impeached.

"Secondly, many people are fearful that impeachment proceedings will bog down Congress. Elizabeth Holtzman who was a Representative from New York and sat on the investigative committee that recommended impeachment articles be charged against Richard Nixon said, last weekend at our impeachment forum in Philadelphia's Constitutional Hall, that this kind of reasoning doesn't give Congress enough credit. Ms. Holtzman said that Congress is able to "walk and chew gum" at the same time. I will have to take her word for it, since she is the reasoned voice of experience.

"Lastly, people are concerned that holding George accountable will further divide a country already damaged and split by the "Uniter." This is a legitimate concern, but our country healed completely after the Nixon debacle, and we will heal again. I would like to also give us Americans the credit that we deserve. We have proven over and over again that we are very resilient and strong enough to withstand a quest for accountability.

Greens to Democrats: Honor Antiwar Votes, Get U.S. Out of Iraq Now

Found on Marxmail.org

U.S. Airstrike Kills 30 in Ramadi--Troops Prevent Evacuation of Wounded

"BAGHDAD. A U.S. airstrike in the restive town of Ramadi killed at least 30 people, including women and children, witnesses said Tuesday.

"The aerial attack, which took place late Monday, brought the number of violent deaths reported in Iraq on Tuesday to at least 91, according to military sources and witnesses.

"Dr. Barakt Mansi, a Ramadi physician, said many of the bodies arriving at the city's morgue Monday night and Tuesday morning were shattered and charred. Another physician, who identified himself only as Dr. Kamal, said some died because of delays created by American roadblocks and heavy fighting.

"It was difficult for us to reach the location because the Americans cordoned off the area," he said. "This increased the number of the dead — some of the injured could have been evacuated and kept alive."

"U.S. military officials had no immediate comment on an airstrike in Ramadi. The military released a statement announcing that American troops in Ramadi killed 11 alleged insurgents in a series of attacks that appeared to be unrelated to an airstrike.

"A Times correspondent in Ramadi said at least 15 homes were pulverized by aerial bombardment and families could be seen digging through the ruins with shovels and bare hands. Other families attempted to leave Ramadi on foot or gathered at the city hospital, where a passionate crowd called out "Allahu akbar!" or God is great, in unison.

"National reconciliation is a fiasco!" cried one bereaved relative.

From LA Times via Angry Arab Newservice