Saturday, October 28, 2006

it was fun, while it lasted . . .

But, WE MOVED to our own url!

(This blog will not be updated.)

I've been putting it off for some time now, because the other site isn't quite as I would like it. But, eblogger has been so problematic lately that I could wait no longer.

So, au revoir, Google!

It was fun while it lasted - all 1500+ posts - over almost one full year of daily blogging!

Of course, everything that's at this site will remain as is, unless or until we figure out a way to transfer it and all 1700+ external links to it!

So, please, google - have a heart and don't delete it!

In the meantime, to everyone who visits regularly, please keep coming, but from here on, to the new site!

It's not totally finished yet, but it's far more advanced than blogger and allows all registered users to blog! Yipee! I hope you all take the opportunity to express yourselves and to share both your news and your views.

To all those who had added wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot to their blogroll, Thanks! And please, add our new url too.

Sionara, Google! The best is yet to come . . .

Friend or Foe? Ortega, for Nicaragua

Daniel Ortega, former head of Nicaragua's Sandinistas, is leading the polls in the election for President in Nicaragua. And while John Negroponte is currently unavailable to do the US administration's dirty work in Central America, Oliver North was recently despatched to Nicaragua to warn its citizens against voting for Ortega.

Plenty of questions surround Ortega's third try to regain the presidency. His running mate is a former spokesman for the US-backed Contra rebels, many Sandinista luminaries have since left the party, and he has reportedly made a deal with the Roman Catholic Cardinal who was once his harshest critic.
"He changed. He wants to be the jefe, the only one in the party, because of his ambition for power,” Señor (Ernesto) Cardenal said. “The party has been corrupted. I left the party. All the good people left the party.”
Nicaragua has changed, too.
Managua, devastated by an earthquake in 1972, has sprouted luxury shopping entres since the Sandinista years and its once-deserted streets are busy with cars from the Far East. But the drivers are besieged by urchins. The nation of five million is the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere, after Haiti.
In response, Ortega is "trying to turn the election into a referendum on the fracaso, or fiasco, of Nicaragua's "savage capitalism."
"Those in government have already had 16 years to deliver what they promised,” he tells the crowd. “They promised work. They promised health. They promised education. They promised culture. They promised sport. They promised finance. They promised there would be no hunger in Nicaragua. And they did not deliver."
Ortega's leading conservative opponent, Eduardo Montealegre, is a Harvard-educated banker. And Ortega, although he no longer voices socialist revolutionary ideals, has the support of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

I think you can see the pattern here. Nicaragua's former dictator, Somoza, has been replaced by the faceless dictatorship of neo-liberal economic policy, opening Nicaragua to the pitiless exploitation of western capital. Ortega is fighting back, as a populist and nationalist, arguing for economic justice for his people.

And, once again, no matter how small or economically insignificant the country, the U.S. brooks no opposition to its hegemony and never forgets a former foe. Look for dirty tricks before the coming elections.

out of order

this blog appears to be out of order.

please, visit the new url, which is not quite done - but, you'll forgive me, won't you?

thanks.

  Friday, October 27, 2006

she died defending our freedoms

Did she die in Iraq?

No.

Did she die in Afghanistan?

No.

Did she carry a gun?

Again, no.

Armed only with her convictions and the courage to defend them, she walked quietly with her child down a street in California.

As a pious Muslim woman, she never left home without her hijab, the traditional head scarf worn by Muslim women. She was proud of her hijab.

In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, some of her friends and relatives, afraid of reprisal attacks, took off their hijabs. Alia encouraged them not to compromise their religion, especially when they had nothing to do with those crimes.

As for herself, she told them that she would never take off her hijab, even if someone put a gun to her head demanding that she do so. Alia said that her hijab was her flag.

She could not have known as she began the fateful walk to her children’s school last Thursday that her path would cross that of a lone gunman who in a single act of mindless violence would bring a close to a life of dedication and service.

She could not have known that her grandfather’s words were so close to fulfillment. She could not have known that she would soon die defending her flag.
The author wrote a moving piece in her memory. But, what Alia Ansari died defending was - not her flag - but our freedom.

In defending her freedom to practice her religion, Alia Ansari died defending what America is all about.

Bush drones on forever about sending our troops abroad to 'protect our freedoms' but he's nothing but a miserable snake and a LIAR - people don't 'defend' freedom by conducting pre-emptive wars - people 'defend' freedom by exercising it.

By not giving in to fear and intimidation and doing what it is their right to do.

By calling a spade a spade when they see it, and calling a murderer a murderer - though he might threaten to exact revenge.

William Wallace defended freedom when he refused to pledge allegience to a man who called himself 'king'.

Rosa Parks defended freedom when she sat in the front of the bus.

Martin Luther King defended freedom from his jail cell in Birmingham.

History's list of freedom fighters is long, each one inspiring another to defend the flame that burns inside us all.
Among the believers are those who have been true to their covenant to God. Among them are those who have given their lives, others patiently wait their turn, having never weakened in their resolve. (33:23)
Alia Ansari is now among them.

4 firefighters killed in CA arson blaze

Engine Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, 44, of Idyllwild; engine operator Jess McLean, 27, of Beaumont; assistant engine operator Jason McKay, 27, of Phelan; and firefighter Daniel Hoover-Najera, 20, of San Jacinto died when a wall of flames -- pushed by hot, dry winds -- swept over the engine they were in and the home they were trying to protect near Palm Springs.

A fifth crew member, identified as Pablo Cerda, 23, of Fountain Valley, was injured in the incident.

* * *

Authorities are blaming arson for the Southern California fire, which began in a remote mountainous region around 1:15 a.m. Thursday. It has burned more than 24,000 acres and is 5 percent contained, according to the CDF.

An estimated 1,750 firefighters are battling the blaze with 207 engines, 15 air tankers and eight helicopters.

Officials say the winds, combined with the rural area in which the fire was set, are the reason it has spread so quickly.

Ten homes have been destroyed in the blaze.
At this stage, we can only guess why the son of a bitch who started this fire did it.

But, I am guessing that it has something to do with insurance and the real estate market.

I hope they catch the bastard with his pants on fire.

Too bad he can only get the death penalty once.

Perhaps more tragic than anything else, aside from dying because some greedy bastard set a fire, these young men sacrificed their lives to protect someone's PROPERTY - how f*cked up is that?

Standard Operating Procedure for firefighters should be - if it doesn't breathe, it's not worth risking your life to save.

neocons peddle 'Shock & Awe' - the sequel, on campus

Nothing less than full spectrum dominance will do for these madmen.
On Oct. 16, 2006, with the mid-term election less than three weeks away, and time slipping away for a Bush-Cheney Administration "October Surprise" military strike against Iran, a speaker told students at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) that a genocidal attack against Muslims was required to generate "a resurgence in the pride for Western civilization."

[T]he speaker, Dr. Yaron Brook, the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), warned that "Islamic totalitarian states pose a severe threat to the security of the United States," adding that a way to defeat these regimes "is to kill up to hundreds of thousands of their supporters." This, he said, would "shrink popular support for extremist ideas to a small minority of the population," instead of the 40% which he claims supports such regimes now.

While some might wish to dismiss this as the demented rant of a lone madman who was, perhaps, off his meds, the reality is clear to anyone who has read the LaRouche PAC's latest pamphlet, "Is Joseph Goebbels on Your Campus?" Dr. Brook and his ARI are an integral part of the "war party" run by the Vice President's wife, Lynne Cheney, and are deploying to America's campuses to whip up support for new imperial wars, while intimidating their opponents with tactics which would make Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels green with envy.

Brook's presentation was sponsored by LOGIC (Liberty, Objectivity, GREED, Individualism, Capitalism), an ARI-linked organization at UCLA, which also has ties to the right-wing "Collegiate Network" of "conservative" campus throwaway newspapers. The UCLA affiliate is the Bruin Standard, whose editor is LaRouche-slanderer Garin Hovannisian, a protege of David Horowitz, who is one of the coordinators of Lynne Cheney's campus Gestapo. (See EIR, Oct. 20, 2006.)

It is this network of money-grubbing, self-promoting liars which is recruiting the shock troops for the Cheney-John Train imperial war party . . .
If you think the worst is over, think again.

If things feel calm, it's only because something is brewing on the horizon.

America - seduced into war based on LIES



This two part presentation combines provocative vintage posters of seductive women with investigative reporting and photos of hundreds of US soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to demonstrate how Bush and his money grubbing, oil sucking cabal SEDUCED this nation and its people into WAR based on LIES.

Before this video, I hadn't even heard of Dresser Industries. I wonder why.

My apologies to anyone who finds the provocative images of women obscene.

Now, how OBSCENE do you find the LIES that led US into war and the PROFITS reaped by Bush et al as a REWARD for spilling the blood of these soldiers and of hundreds of thousands of civilians?

And they're still at it . . .

Iran, North Korea, and tens of thousands of Americans are NEXT.



It's time to get angry, America - VERY angry.

Bush and every man and woman in our government who supported and continue to support these OBSCENITIES must PAY.

Let it roll, baby, roll - come what may.


______________________
Thanks, ProfiteerInChief

  Thursday, October 26, 2006

israel - deny first, explain later

Standard Operating Procedure.
Israel said Thursday that no aggression against German forces was intended during a confrontation between Israeli aircraft and a German naval vessel patrolling off Lebanon.
This, of course, was after they initially denied it.
The Israeli embassy in Berlin released a statement from the defense ministry in Tel Aviv, saying the defense ministers of the two countries had discussed Tuesday's incident.

The episode occurred when Israeli jets scrambled after a helicopter took off from a German frigate serving with a United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) task force. German Defense Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe said six Israeli F-16s had flown very low over the German vessel and one of them fired two shots near the ship.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the helicopter did not coordinate his plan with Israel before taking off. As a result, Israel sent fighter jets into the air, forcing the helicopter to return to the German vessel and land.

The Israeli military, however, denied having fired any shots in the incident, which happened near the border with Lebanon close to the border town of Rosh Ha'Nikra.
israeli denials will persist, of course, unless or until incontrovertible evidence emerges that they DID.
Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz telephoned his German counterpart Franz-Josef Jung Wednesday night to explain the incident, officials from both sides said, stressing a desire to maintain good cooperation.

Jung is due to pay a visit to Israel next week, but Tuesday's incident is not expected to cast a cloud over the talks, diplomats said.
I'm sure the German pilot forced to land, under fire by SIX!!! israeli F-16s, begs to differ!

___________
UPDATE: Do you see any "heli-pad" [on this ship]?

And the plot thickens . . . nuclear war around the corner? just maybe.

UPDATE 2:
"There have been two incidents, one involving a helicopter and another the Alster" a German electronic surveillance and reconnaissance ship.

Raabe said six Israeli F-16 fighter planes had fired shots into the air over the Alster on Tuesday while the ship was in international waters some 50 nautical miles off the Israeli coast.
That explains that.

Now, what explains why israeli warships would fire at an intelligence ship?

Shhh! don't mention WAR - israel seeks 'makeover'

israel has announced that it wants a 'new look' for its belligerent, illegitimate existence.

What israel fails to see, however, is that a thousand marketing executives can't improve its image as long as it continues its brutal military occupation over a people and their land.
After decades of battling to win foreign support for its two-fisted policies against Arab foes, Israel is trying a new approach with a campaign aimed at creating a less warlike and more welcoming national image.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who has argued that the protracted conflict with the Palestinians is sapping Israel's international legitimacy, this week convened diplomats and PR executives to come up with ways of "rebranding" the country.
Unbelievable. They honestly think that they can 'market' their way into our hearts and minds with cheap, half-assed gimmicks and teasers, while they torture and kill innocent people on the ground.
"When the word 'Israel' is said outside its borders, we want it to invoke not fighting or soldiers, but a place that is desirable to visit and invest in, a place that preserves democratic ideals while struggling to exist," Livni said.

The campaign is a departure from the government's long-held practice of "hasbara," or "explaining" itself to Western audiences that may have little sympathy for crackdowns on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Now Israel wants to create an alternative image abroad, focused exclusively on assets like tourist attractions and business innovations. In the words of one campaigner and ad executive, the aim would be to create "a narrative of normalcy."
The most abnormal 'state' on earth wants to appear 'normal' - I'd like to see that!
"Israelis feel the need to explain themselves, to prove that they are in the right, but this doesn't always create empathy," said Guy Toledano, who represents British PR firm Saatchi & Saatchi and is helping the Foreign Ministry free of charge. [I wonder why?]

The brain-storming team has been asked to come up with four proposed strategies, one of which will be launched in January.

Palestinians, who have found it harder to push their own message abroad since the election of a Hamas Islamist government that has come under a Western aid embargo for its refusal to recognize the Jewish state, accused Israel of a white-wash.

"Nothing Israel can do in its campaigns or media influence cancels the fact that they are an occupying power," said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, a moderate.
Now, that should be a no-brainer! But, clearly, even those with no-brains can't figure it out.
David Hartwell, Middle East editor for Jane's Country Risk, said news coverage of military clashes was key to shaping world opinion about Israel and would be hard to counter, despite what he saw as ebbing media interest given greater carnage in Iraq. [always gaining from others' misery]

"There is tremendous [well-deserved] cynicism,"Hartwell said.

Toledano agreed that foreign attitudes toward Israel are well-entrenched. He cited a recent poll in which Americans and Europeans were asked which animal they would most associate with Israelis. The top choices were tigers or foxes.
I see that they did not include SNAKE.
"The process of getting a new image to be internalized is a world unto itself. I can't say right now that we know exactly how we are going to do it," Toledano said.
Now, that's an understatement!

Potential tactics include having Israeli embassies step up advertising efforts in their host countries.

There is also a domestic drive planned, whereby the famously brasher facets of Israeli society would be softened -- at least among Israelis who are regularly in contact with foreigners.

"It could be a matter of simply posting Foreign Ministry greeters at the airport, or passing out advisories to those involved in the tourist trade," Toledano said.

For all the concerns being voiced, Israel's economy has boomed recently despite the conflict. Foreign tourism is rising again after a collapse at the start of a Palestinian revolt in 2000. Markets recovered quickly from war in Lebanon this summer.

Amir Gissin, public relations director at the Foreign Ministry, said that the image makeover was also about keeping Israel on the right side of the U.S.-led "war on terror."

Many pro-Palestinian groups argue that Israel's policies inflame the anti-Western violence of Islamist militant groups.

"In the wake of 9/11, the objective now is to place Israel among the coalition of the moderates, facing off against Islamic radicalism," Gissin said.
Too bad, it's A LIE.

Federal judge hits and kills officer, no charges

A popular city police officer died Saturday, four days after being struck by a sport utility vehicle driven by a federal judge who is a cousin of former President Bush, New Haven's mayor said.

Officer Dan Picagli, a 17-year veteran of the force, was hit while working an extra-duty job directing traffic in the rain Tuesday night in a dimly lit section of Chapel Street.

"Officer Picagli was more than a cop," New Haven Mayor John DeStefano said in a written statement Saturday. "He was someone who brought people together, who created a sense of community. He was a life enhancer to all with whom he came in contact. More than any memorial, his basic decency will keep his memory vibrant in our city."

Picagli was wearing a black rain coat and a reflective vest [!!!] when he was struck.

The driver of the SUV that hit Picagli is John M. Walker Jr., a senior judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, who lives in Connecticut and maintains court chambers in New Haven. He was leaving work when the accident happened, police said.

Walker, a 1962 Yale graduate, [skull and bones???] was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1985. He was appointed to the 2nd Circuit in 1989 by his cousin, former President George H.W. Bush. [I had no idea!]

No charges have been filed.

New Haven police chief Francisco Ortiz said a long investigation will be required to determine what happened, but police did not feel it was necessary to test Walker for drugs or alcohol. [??! - sound familiar?] Walker stopped his vehicle immediately after the accident, Ortiz said.

Walker, 65, voluntarily stepped down as chief judge Oct. 1 and took the status of senior judge, said spokeswoman Karen Milton, circuit executive for the appeals court.

He must have done something wrong, if he voluntarily stepped down.

I don't like the smell of this.

I don't care who he is - he should have been tested like anyone else would have been.



___________________
Thanks, The Resistance

why democracies don't work



This political ad against Republican congressman Gil Gutknecht is a potent reminder that democracies that are based on different interest groups vying for power invariably short-change those interests least able to fight for themselves.

THAT is why this country was NOT founded as a Democracy, but instead as a Republic - based on Constitutional principles and a Bill of Rights for its people - NOT its corporations.

The cold hard TRUTH is that Democracies only 'work' for those with power.

VIDEO the VOTE - because the MSM won't

In 2000 and 2004, problems plagued the polls in different parts of the country: long lines, eligible voters turned away, voter intimidation, misallocation and malfunctioning of voting equipment. They were underreported on Election Day.

Days and weeks later, a more complete picture of voter disenfranchisement emerged—but it was too late. The elections were over and the media had moved on.

Starting this election, citizen journalists—people like you and I—will document problems as they occur. We'll play them online, spread word through blogs and partner websites, doing our part to make sure the full story of our elections is told.
As the saying goes - if you really want it done, DO IT YOURSELF!


____________________
Thanks, Brasscheck

  Wednesday, October 25, 2006

israeli F-16s fire over German ships

Two Israeli warplanes have fired over a German naval vessel patrolling off the Lebanese coast, the defence ministry in Berlin says.

Two Israeli F-16 fighters flew low over the ship, firing twice, Der Tagesspiegel newspaper quoted a German junior defence minister as telling a parliamentary committee.

The jets also activated infrared countermeasures to ward off any rocket attack, the paper said, in an advance release ahead of Thursday's edition.

The minister did not say when the incident happened or what had caused it.

"I can confirm that there was an incident," a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday. He declined to give further details as an investigation was under way.

An Israeli military spokeswoman denied that the incident had taken place.
Surprise, surprise.
Germany assumed command of a United Nations naval force off Lebanon 10 days ago, and has sent eight ships and 1,000 service personnel to join the international peace operation in the region.

The naval force is charged with preventing weapons-smuggling and helping maintain a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.

The Israeli air force has come under heavy criticism for continuing flights over southern Lebanon since a 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah ended on August 14 with a UN-sponsored truce and the expansion of the United Nations peacekeeping force.

Amir Peretz, Israel's defence minister, said at the weekend that the flights would continue because of alleged arms smuggling to Hezbollah.

The Lebanese government and the UN say the overflights, which Israel had conducted since ending its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon in 2000, violate both the latest truce and the terms of Israel's earlier pullout.

Anyone who thinks israel is finished with Lebanon can wakeup now.

The battle has just begun.

How the 'rich' get 'richer'

Do you really want to know how the 'rich' get 'richer'?

Well, you can plow through this long list of reasons published at Mother Jones, or if you prefer, I'll tell you - in one word - how the so-called rich get richer ...



DECEPTION


All they had to do was trick us into adopting their money system and their copyright and patent system - believing that it is FAIR, when it is NOT.

Then, one decade after another, they consolidated the nation's resources - tangible (real property, commodities) and intangible (knowledge, technology, industry) - and now NOTHING remains for anyone else.

It's that simple - and it's all 'legal.'

There isn't a 'progressive' tax system in the world that can 'fix' an economy as fundamentally flawed as ours is.

But, Americans don't see it.

We're deceived. We're our own worst enemies.
"The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves."
--Dresden James
What the FILTHY rich (most of whom believe they are BORN better than the poor) have so cleverly learned is that while it may be fun to look down on others, it's far more effective to TRICK them out of everything they're entitled to then sit back and let them hate themselves.

WAKEUP, AMERICA! You're being HAD!

israelis, NOT WANTED

The unfortunate(?), but natural, consequence of running a ruthless occupation for almost 60 years - NOBODY wants you to visit.
Venezuela, which recently has forged closer ties with Iran, has announced it no longer will issue visas to Israeli tourists. A Venezuelan official insisted the cessation of allowing visits was a technical problem and that they would be resumed after a top diplomat returns to Israel. He has been absent for more than two months and there is no indication if and when he will return.
Oh well. You think israelis will get the hint? I doubt it.

They'll simply interpret it as one more reason to maintain their abominable little 'state.'

ToR-tuRe — all in favor, say ‘Aye’

Last week, the use of torture became a permanent fixture in America's legal landscape - a necessary evil in a world forever changed by terrorism - or so our government and some mainstream media pimps would have US believe.

But, HOW MANY people in the world agree that torturing suspected terrorists (really just glorified criminal defendants) is NECESSARY to protect against terrorism? WHO are these people? And WHY do they favor it?
[In a BBC poll released Thursday October 19th,] nearly a third of respondents (some 27,000 people were questioned in 25 countries) consider the use of torture acceptable under certain circumstances.
* * *
Although a clear majority, worldwide, OPPOSES even the occasional use of torture, there are significant groups willing to say they favour it.
WHO are these significant groups???


Not surprisingly, israelis top the list of groups that support torturing others to protect themselves.

But, WHY?

The Economist would have us believe that israeli support for torture is primarily a byproduct of their allegedly justified fear of terrorist acts.

Those with an especial fear of terrorism seem most inclined to support its use. Thus 53% of [i]sraeli Jews, according to the BBC poll, would allow terrorist suspects to be tortured for the sake of trying to get information that could save innocent lives.

But, the poll's findings belie the assertion that fear drives their support of torture.

First, only 16% of Muslim israelis (who presumably also fear attacks since they live in the line of fire) agree with using torture. But also, far fewer Europeans support using torture against suspected 'terrorists', even though many Europeans suffer as much as, if not more than, israelis do from terrorist attacks.

But, there's another salient 'fact', unique to israel, that is missing in the Economist's analysis.

Each country surveyed is either comprised of citizens of different racial and religious backgrounds or is comprised of one significant racial group with varying religious sects.

Not one nation - other than israel - has a national policy of forcibly expelling groups of people from their land with the express goal of maintaining a national Jewish majority - the raison d'etre of Zionism.

You might argue that this is why israeli Muslims are reluctant to support torture - because they know that, most likely, it will be used against fellow Muslims. However, that does not necessarily mean that israeli Muslims support using torture against non-Muslims or Jews.

On the other hand, the same assumption necessarily means that Zionists [or israeli Jews] are more eager than anyone else in the world to torture groups of people other than their own.

But, why?

Perhaps, it's the same reason they were the first to use banned depleted uranium on Egyptians in 1973 . . .

Or, the same reason they used white phosphorous and cluster bombs on Lebanese civilians two months ago . . .

Or, perhaps, because they don't value the lives of those tortured or killed as much as they value their own lives . . .

Or, because they don't even consider those tortured to be human . . .

Of course, all these reasons demonstrate an underlying RACISM that is both impossible to ignore and impossible to accept - even if the whole world said 'Aye'.

No matter how you spin it, the Zionist dream is - undeniably and unequivocally - a racist one.

And thanks to AIPAC and everyone in Congress who supports israel - do or die - israeli values have now become American values.

israeli interests have now become American interests.

israel's enemies have now become America's enemies.

And, unfortunately, under the Military Commisions Act - the American people are now included among them.

In addition, as a consequence of adopting israeli 'values' wholesale, whatever blowback awaits israel for its blatant disregard for human rights, no doubt awaits US too.

So, next time you find yourself contemplating America's track record on torture or the senators and representatives who said 'Aye' in its favor, remember that you have israel to thank.

Hopefully, it won't be while sitting in a room with no view at Guantanomo, enduring the treatment bought and paid for with your tax dollars.


___________
Thanks, bobw

  Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The next war will be in Washington

The idea that we're on an irreversible course to attack Iran and launch WW IV seems more and more unreal to me. This report from Wayne Madsen says that the next battle is going to be an internecine one, between the neocons and the Bush family, over who takes the blame for the mess of Iraq.
October 24, 2006 -- There is something afoot, in a very Shakespearean way, in the White House.

Preparing for a post-election massacre of the GOP and the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary, two factions are emerging within the White House.

One is the neo-con faction surrounding potential scapegoat Vice President Dick Cheney. This faction includes Cheney's own staffers and his and Rumsfeld's sympathizers in the Pentagon, National Security Council, State Department, and media and think tanks.

The other is the faction coalescing around the other potential scapegoat -- George W. Bush. This is the most interesting faction as it consists of George H. W. Bush and his closest friends -- James Baker III, Lee Hamilton, former CIA Director Robert Gates, Alan Simpson, Sandra Day O'Connor, and other past luminaries of the George H. W. Bush administration.

George W. Bush has had to admit that his presidency has been a failure and now must have his father and his father's friends bail him out. The Iraq Study Group of Baker and Hamilton, which is negotiating with the Iraqi Resistance, Iran, and Syria against the wishes of Cheney's faction, was a step in the direction of bailing out Junior.

This editor was recently approached by someone close to George W. Bush and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow who made it clear that George W. Bush was fighting elements "further to his right." Flabbergasted, I responded that I didn't think many people were further to the right than Bush. But that was before the impending scapegoating issue became clear. "Further to the right" means Cheney, some members of the Christian fundamentalist Right, and their followers.
Politics and power-alliances are never as simple as they seem. Bush Jr. took office as a political naif. The neocons used the occasion of 9-11 to bring him to their side.

Bush Sr. is an old-line WASP establishment type, no special friend of Jews. GWOT has made lots of money for the Carlyle Group, but now that it's likely to become a permanent blot on the Bush family name, the marriage of convenience between the old line establishment and the neocons is breaking up - so is their plan of buying a summer palace in Iran.

And where do 'we the people' stand in this new war?

Right where we've always stood, along with the rest of the world - directly in the line of fire.

Why freedom isn't ‘free’

Everybody, especially our [s]elected officials, talk about how freedom isn't free.

The desired implication, of course, is that 'we the [working] people' must sacrifice our lives to maintain it. But, did you ever ask yourself why?

If people are 'born free', then why must we fight to remain free? More importantly, exactly WHO or WHAT are we supposed to be fighting?

Or better yet, why (if Americans are so free) do we work all our lives to attain 'financial freedom'?

Is this the same freedom that we fight for with guns and F16s? What's the deal?

I smell a rat.

In this excerpt, an anonymous author demonstrates how the banking system and its bastard child INTEREST, which is nothing but a nice word for legalized, government facilitated, extortion, has managed to enslave almost every American, leaving US with only the illusion of freedom.

Many people today do not understand the true nature of interest. They have no idea that there are other possibilities besides slaving one's life away for the moneylenders. . . .

All the ads that surround us are not going to help us to control our desires. On the contrary, their aim is to make us want many things that we cannot afford. If we do not make a conscious decision to control our spending, human nature will coax us along with the herd into spending more than we earn—which can only result in debt. This destroys our happiness and spending power, because we not only pay for it later, we pay for it with interest. Debt would not be so bad if you only had to pay back $10 for every $10 borrowed. But unless you borrow from generous family members, you will pay back $15, $20, or even $30 for every $10 borrowed.

Lastly, the plague of Debt Slavery can be blamed on the "system"—the credit card companies and the economy itself. The credit card companies are guilty because they send out 6 BILLION credit card offers a year to families nationwide (that is the actual number, not an exaggeration!). And when they get you to carry a balance, they only ask for a small monthly payment—which barely covers the interest on the loan, keeping their victims in debt for many years.

The economy is also to blame because there is not enough money in circulation to go around [I disagree - there is, but a few people hoard it and bid up asset prices with it]. But the credit card companies are not all-powerful—they are easily resisted. So the victims of their schemes must bear at least part of the blame. After all, I receive dozens of such offers every month, and I know what todo with them. I cast them with disgust into the trash where they belong. I react as if someone tried to chain me up and cart me off to prison (because that is what they DID try to do!)

To illustrate the evil of Debt Slavery, take a family that has a $9,000 balance (the current national average) on a credit card that has an 18 percent interest rate. Since they read How to avoid Debt Slavery, they decide to cut up the card and never use it again. Even if they pay the minimum payment of 2 percent of the balance each month, plus interest, it will take them 47 years (and close to $33,000) to pay off that $9,000 debt!

So every $3 gallon of milk cost them $12, every $50 pair of shoes cost them $190, etc. If I had to pay that much for goods and services, I'd be pretty low on cash!

Now imagine how much money they'd be giving away to the bankers if they owed $18,000, or even $25,000! They'd never be free, unless they started paying big chunks off the principal (by sending in extra payments). Now we will define Debt Slavery by what it is NOT—namely, freedom.

* * *

Americans pride themselves on being free, but how free is a man who:
  • Does not own his house

  • Does not own his car

  • Owes thousands of dollars to various banks

  • Has to send his wife to work out of necessity, because his expenses are so high

  • Sends his children to public school, because he cannot afford private school

  • Restricts the number of children he has, because he feels he cannot afford more

  • Pays a huge portion of his earnings every month to his "masters", the bankers
Those traits describe someone living in serfdom or slavery, not freedom. It describes someone living under a tyrant—who takes most of the peasant's income, and just keeps them alive enough to keep working for him. The tyrant tells them how many children they can have, and forces even women and older children into public service projects. The land, the house they sleep in, and the animals they work the fields with do not belong to the peasants, but to the tyrant.

The tyrant today is not the government (although Income Tax is something surprisingly new in our nation's history). The tyrant is the network of banks, which conspire to suck people dry at every turn, which causes such a drain that both parents have to work. This alone causes countless problems in the world today, because children were meant to be raised by their parents. They were not meant to be wards of the state.

On a side note, I am not a "good little consumer". I contribute almost nothing to the banking system—neither paying interest, nor giving them money to lend out at exorbitant rates to other people. If I kept $5,000 in the bank, they could lend out $50,000 at 6 or 7% interest, while only paying me 3% interest on that $5,000. Talk about massive profits! Banks can lend out 10X their cash reserves, due to the structure of the Fractional Reserve banking system. Now you see why the banks want your business! Whether you're a saver or a spender, they can make big money off of you.

I stick to reality—if something does not make sense (like every man, woman and child making 8% each year, every year, on the stock market) then I do not participate. Sure, money can be made on the stock market, but once in a while the whole thing crashes because it was puffed up like a marshmallow in the microwave—just begging to pop. The same with real estate. When money can be made without any effort on my part, I become VERY suspicious. How possible—or moral—can that possibly be? Who am I exploiting to make that money? I know for a fact that money cannot produce more money by just sitting there.
Damned straight it can't. Money can't walk, talk, or work, let alone 'make money.'

Our fractional reserve monetary system is a fraud compounded by interest which is nothing but legalized extortion.

Wakeup, America! International bankers and their usurious money system have done a massive bait and switch on the American people - taking away our real freedom and sending us to kill and die not to protect 'our freedoms' but to enslave others.

So, next time someone tells you freedom isn't free, tell them it would be if it weren't paid for in phoney dollars - AT INTEREST.

this Eid, israel 'feasts' on Palestinian flesh

Seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in a raid on the Gaza Strip on Monday during festivities marking the end of Ramadan, in an operation president Mahmud Abbas slammed as a "massacre."

The seven, including a local militant leader, were killed during an Israeli incursion in the north of the territory as Palestinians celebrated the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Another 25 people were wounded, three of them seriously, as a result of tank fire in Beit Lahiya, Palestinian security and medical officials said.

Witnesses said Israeli forces opened fire and killed Atta al-Shimbari, a local chief of the Popular Resistance Committees, a militant group that claimed joint responsibility for a cross-border raid on June 25 in which two Israeli soldiers were killed and one seized.

The Israelis opened fire as Shimbari was at his family's house for Eid. Two of his brothers, a cousin, a nephew and a neighbour were also killed.

Five paragraphs - it takes them - to mention who else they massacred besides the so-called 'terrorist' target. And when they do - no names, no ages, no mention of who their victims left behind to mourn them - just vague descriptions of a few more Palestinians slaughtered during the usual course of business.

And then they wonder why people all around the world pray for israel to disappear from where it came.

Happy Eid!


A little late for many Muslims, I know. But, don't get me started -

All over the world, Muslims manage to agree with the rest of the world on the US dollar as a standard currency, but cannot agree among themsleves on a single day to celebrate Eid.

What a travesty.

Anyway, this Eid, let's pray for a peaceful tomorrow and remind one another that peace never comes to those who cling too tightly to the gifts and pleasures of this earth.
In Surah At- Takathur [people are] taken to task for the materialistic mentality because of which they [remain] occupied in seeking increase in worldly benefits, pleasures, comforts and position, and in vying with one another for abundance of everything until death over[takes] them.
Remember, when you die you take NOTHING with you but your soul.


* * *


To Muslims and non-Muslims alike -

Whew! Ramadan came and went without a false flag. Let's hope the remainder of October in America remains as uneventful and that others around the world enjoy peace soon too.

  Monday, October 23, 2006

While Baghdad Burns, Bush Buys

Wayne Madsen doesn't name his sources (because they're secret!), but his information usually sounds credible. This report certainly does:
WMR's Paraguayan sources have confirmed that George W. Bush recently bought 42,000 hectares (over 100,000 acres) of land in Paraguay's northern "Chaco" region. The land sits atop huge natural gas reserves, according to sources in Asuncion. Moreover, the land deal was consummated in a dinner meeting between Bush's daughter Jenna and Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte.

Although Jenna, who was in Paraguay under the cover of a 10-day UNICEF trip to visit child welfare projects, put the Bush family seal of approval on the land deal, the actual legal papers were worked out by Bush family lawyers and business representatives. Jenna Bush is supposedly working for UNICEF in Panama City.

The Bush land is close to a new U.S. military installation, the Mariscal Estigarribia Air Base. It is also nearby a huge tract of land purchased by Sun Myung Moon that sits astride Latin America's largest water aquifer, the Guarani aquifer
Isn't that cute! Little Jenna gets to represent the President of the United States in a private land purchase from a foreign country that will net him hundreds of millions on his retirement.

According to earlier Madsen reports, Bush and the Carlyle Group are also the owners of major tracts of land along the proposed US super-highway linking Mexico and Canada, land that will be worth hundreds of millions more when the highway is completed.

Comparisons to Nero fiddling while Rome burned dont even begin to convey the greed and cynicism of this 21st century American emperor!

What Is Justice?

Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron, will be sentenced today.
Mr. Skilling, 52, a former Enron chief executive, will stand in federal court here on Monday and receive a sentence that many expect will keep him in prison for the rest of his life. Most legal experts are betting that United States District Judge Simeon T. Lake III will give Mr. Skilling a sentence of at least 25 years for his role in heading a conspiracy to defraud Enron investors
I have to admit, I blanched at this statement. "For the rest of his life"? . . . that's a long time!

But remember the facts of the case. Not only Wall Street, but Enron's own employees were the victims of this fraud -- most of whom saw their entire retirement plans wiped out. Skillings' profits came straight out of his employees pockets, and that's robbery!

White collar crime hasn't been punished this severely in the past. Life sentences are reserved for the drug dealers, purse snatchers, and repeat-offender petty criminals. Of course our punishment system is racist, and it's good to see the tables turned for once.

Still, something bothers me, here. While Skilling takes the heat, Ken Lay got off scot-free, by dying and having his case dismissed. Andrew Fastow, who ratted on the rest, plea-bargained for six years in prison. The NY Times article itself, by giving a lot of space to Skilling's personal life over the last six months, seems to be subtly suggesting the old approach of mercy in the case of white collar crime.

And outrageous as the Enron case really is, how does it compare to the crime of lying the nation into war? If 25 years is suitable punishment for defrauding investors of half a billion dollars, what is the punishment for defrauding a nation of half a trillion? What is the punishment for murder?

It's the Chinese Economy, Stupid!

While the United States is pouring its lives and riches into the sands of Iraq, combatting a make-believe "global network of terror", the real threat to America's way of life comes from another quarter -- the galloping Chinese economy.
China's annual growth slowed a little in the third quarter to 10.4 percent, but the world's fourth-largest economy is still firmly on course to log a fourth consecutive year of double-digit expansion

The slowdown, from 11.3 percent in the second quarter, followed a concerted campaign by Beijing to prevent a credit-fuelled investment boom from turning into a bust that could saddle the nation's banks with fresh bad loans.
Of course China is starting from a much lower base than the US economy, but double digit growth compounded over five or six years will make up a lot of ground very quickly. And the US economy is basically standing still, with three or four per cent growth once every fifteen or sixteen quarters considered a major achievement.

The "concerted campaign" mentioned above is an interest rate squeeze designed to slow down "fixed asset investment", which has been "the main engine of China's growth." the U.S. hasn't had that problem in a long time, as its economy is now largely consumption-led, not producer led.

Here are some numbers that make the issue plain as day:
Other data showed investment in the first nine months of 2006 in urban areas in flats, factories and other fixed assets expanded 28.2 percent from a year earlier, slowing from growth of 29.1 percent in the January-August period.

Industrial output growth in the year to September rebounded to 16.1 percent after a surprisingly steep drop to a 15.7 percent rate in August. Retail sales in September grew 13.9 percent from a year earlier, up from 13.8 percent in August.
"Fixed assets" means, among other things, new factory openings, which grew at a rate of 28% in China last year. US factories may have closed at that rate last year!

Of course the Bush administration is aware of all this. They are trying to head off the Chinese challenge by cornering the global supply of oil. Now that that foolish attempt has failed, wouldn't it have been better to put some of the trillion dollars we'll spend on the war into an effort to make our own economy sound?

After all, we live on bread, not bombs.

  Sunday, October 22, 2006

No Peace Without Justice

Remember the riots in France a year ago? They've been continuing daily, on a smaller scale, ever since.
The figures are stark. An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France so far this year and there have been 15 attacks a day on police and emergency services. Nearly 3,000 police officers have been injured in clashes this year. Officers have been badly injured in four ambushes in the Paris outskirts since September. Some police talk of open war with youths who are bent on more than vandalism
"The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us,” said Bruno Beschizza, the leader of Synergie, a union to which 40 per cent of officers belong. Action Police, a hardline union, said: “We are in a civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists."
These incidents are occurring in the immigrant suburbs/ghettoes of Paris and other large cities, where unemployment is in the 60% range - much like occupied Palestine!

The politics are predictably complex. Right-wingers want to act tough; socialists and liberals look for positive solutions.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the Interior Minister who hopes to win the presidency next May, has once again taken the offensive, staging raids on the no-go areas and promising no mercy for the thugs who reign there.

M Sarkozy’s muscular approach is being challenged not just by Socialist opponents. President Chirac and Dominique de Villepin, his Prime Minister, are waging their own, softer, campaign to undermine the colleague whom they do not want to be president. M de Villepin called in community leaders this week and promised to accelerate hundreds of millions of pounds of measures that were promised last autumn to relieve the plight of the immigrant-dominated suburbs.
Many points can be made by a comparison of French politics with American, but here are two main ones:
  • The French and Europeans generally are realistic about life. They've had and survived many right-wing Presidencies and catastrophic wars. They don't expect utopia and they enjoy politics, because that's where the battles are fought.

  • Second, the French don't project their problems onto other people. Bush does. But so do Americans generally, including many in the left blogosphere.
America has seeds of the same violence the French are experiencing, but for some reason it isnt happening yet. Political activists should be working to make sure it doesn't in the future. As M Benna, a street cleaner, observed on the situation in France:
The young were born here and they are French. But they have nothing. The real problem is work. If they had any, these riots would not have happened.
Again, this underscores the principle for which Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, among many others, were assassinated (or crucified) for trying to reveal:
Without social and economic justice, you can NEVER have peace.

Hall of Mirrors

Like Orson Welles in "The Lady from Shanghai" trying to find the real killer among the dozens of images in the hall of mirrors, Americans and Iraqis are having a hard time figuring out what the US administration's real policy on Iraq is.

Consider the following observations from Sunday's NY Times in the context of recent threats by administration officials that PM Maliki has two more months to show some progress, and widely leaked reports that one of the options being considered by the bipartisan Baker commission is the installation of a military government under a Saddam-like strongman.


The Bush administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to address sectarian divisions and assume a larger role in securing the country, senior American officials said. Details of the blueprint, which is to be presented to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki before the end of the year and would be carried out over the next year and beyond, are still being devised


"Carried out over the next year" doesn't quite jibe with the demand to produce results in the next two months, does it! What is this statement above, just smoke?


Although the plan would not threaten Mr. Maliki with a withdrawal of American troops, several officials said the Bush administration would consider changes in military strategy and other penalties if Iraq balked at adopting it or failed to meet critical benchmarks within it


What could be meant by "changes in military strategy" other than withdrawal? We've tried everything else already. And what other "penalties" might we have in mind? Forcing Maliki to live outside the Green Zone?

Further, are these remarks actually addressed to Maliki at all?


The idea of devising specific steps that Mr. Maliki would have to take was described by senior officials who support the plan but would speak only on condition of anonymity. Their willingness to discuss a plan that has not been fully drafted appeared intended at least in part to signal renewed flexibility on the part of the administration, and perhaps also to pre-empt the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, a commission led by James A. Baker III and charged with formulating a new strategy in Iraq


"Flexibility" is an image the administration desperately needs to project to the American people, who are tired of the President's stubborn "stay the course". At the same time, the President can't allow a perception that the Baker commission is now calling the shots, though he also needs their bi-partisan cover for the reversal of policy which is certainly coming.

Managing perceptions while solving an intractable real-world situation are purposes that are inevitably going to clash. That's when you bring in the master-obfuscator


But Mr. Rumsfeld was quick to play down expectations: “There’s no doubt in my
mind but that some of those projections we won’t make; it will be later, or even earlier in some instances. And in some cases, once we meet the projection, we may have to go back and do it again

Who can blame PM Maliki for calling the President last week and saying "what are you talking about, over there?"

Finally, all the verbiage may boil down to putting the blame for our mistakes on the Iraqi government


Officials are also considering a timetable for the Iraqi Defense Ministry to have in place systems for paying, feeding and equipping its units, jobs that are still overseen to a large degree by American advisers and by contractors, some of whom have not performed well, officials said

How ignoble, when a bully ends up blaming his victims!

How to ‘make’ news - spin, spin, and more spin



By showing raw uncut footage of REAL news before and after its spun, these excerpts from the movie SPIN, by Brian Springer, present the most concise and damning indictment of the mainstream media's 'news-making process' that I've ever seen.
[Y]ou'll never look at TV reporting the same again.

* * *

[Not surprisingly,] this extraordinary film released in the early 1990s is almost completely unknown.

Hopefully, the Internet will change that.
If we do our job, it will.

Pass it on!




_____________________
Thanks, Brasscheck

beware of those who speak with forked tongues

They neither mean what they say nor say what they mean.
Israel has no aggressive intentions toward Iran, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said on Saturday, after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cautioned Tehran it would pay a price for pursuing its nuclear ambitions.

"We must never consider such a thing," Peres told Channel Two television when asked if he would support an independent Israeli military strike against Iran if other nations failed to curb its uranium enrichment program.

"Israel has never shown aggressive intentions (toward Iran) -- it has none. I don't think we have to, or can, deal with this issue," he said, cautioning that Israel could face international isolation if it attacked Iran.

Israel has said repeatedly it wants the United States and other countries to take the lead in dealing with Iran . . .
We have yet to find out what exactly that means. But, almost certainly, we will.
"The Iranians should be afraid -- they must understand if they object to every compromise there will be a price to pay," Olmert, who has said a nuclear Iran would pose a threat to Israel's existence, told reporters on Thursday.

He did not elaborate. But his comments were described in the Israeli media as the strongest warning yet by an Israeli leader to Iran that Israel might consider a pre-emptive strike to try to ensure Tehran cannot build an atomic bomb.
So, which is it? Will they strike, as Olmert warned - or, as Peres insists, let the US and allies strike for them?
Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, an attack that Peres, then leader of the opposition Labour Party, opposed as diplomatically damaging to the Jewish state.
That ought to answer your question. But again, with israel, you can never be sure.

Kim Jong-il - ‘Looky what I have . . . ’


If it was up to me, I would lose the last frame, since Clinton was just as much of a liar and a thief as Bush, only he was neither stupid nor insane.

Otherwise, the first three frames of this strip are hysterical - except for the fact that, sadly, it's true - Bush has nothing but his swagger to back up his threats against North Korea.


___________
Thanks, jimb

israel - the deeper you dig, the more skeletons you find

This is the most damning and explosive evidence against israel I've read yet - and I've read and seen a lot of damning things.

This could potentially undermine israel's existence in one fell swoop, as its implications regarding Zionist involvement with Nazi Germany, and its secret war against Britian and its allies, is staggering.

To put it mildly, this changes everything.
MORE than £130m worth of British banknotes forged by the Nazis was used by the Jewish underground to help establish the State of Israel.

Wads of notes, which the Germans had forged by concentration camp inmates, ended up being used after the Second World War to pay for the transport of Jews to then British-occupied Palestine, and to buy weapons for the embryonic Israeli armed forces.

The revelations are contained in a new book which has been published in the USA and Germany, written by a former Time magazine journalist, and which details how the Nazis sought to undermine the British economy and what became of the cash they produced.

The Germans produced £132m of forged Bank of England notes during the Second World War as part of an audacious plan to undermine and destroy the British economy. The sum was worth about £3bn in today's money. While the plan ultimately failed to deal the UK a fatal blow, it nevertheless frightened the Bank of England into withdrawing all notes worth more than £5 from circulation until the 1960s.

The notes were produced by team of forgers and printing experts gathered from among Jewish concentration camp inmates. In the book, Krueger's Men, Lawrence Malkin reveals how some of the cash ended up in the hands of the Jewish underground at the end of the Second World War.

The Nazis laundered millions of pounds through a series of schemes including using business figures in occupied Europe who had concealed their Jewish origins. [says who?] One of these businessman was Yaakov Levy, a successful jeweller and art expert in pre-war Germany.
You tell me - how does a man named 'Yaakov Levy' hide his Jewish origins?

More likely, he did not - which means he didn't have to, which in turn means a whole lot more than Malkin dares to admit.
In the weeks following the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, Levy got supplies to Jewish refugees in Northern Italy who were fleeing south in hope of travelling to Israel. He also handed out large wads each containing about £50,000 of fake cash to organisers looking to help Jewish Holocaust survivors get from Europe to Israel.

In his book, which draws on new information from UK, US, German and Israeli archives, Malkin wrote: "The Jewish underground wanted van Harten's [Levy's] money and DID NOT CARE whether it was counterfeit or real. They passed the bogus pounds to supply Holocaust survivors and help the Brichah [Jewish escape organisation] smuggle more refugees to Palestine. On the international arms market, they used the money to buy weapons for Jews arming themselves against the British and then the Arabs."
If this is true, which I suspect it is, then when Ahmedinejad first called israel a 'fake regime,' it was TRUER than anyone ever imagined.

what they say and what they mean

John Chuckman at "Scoop" Independent News does an excellent job of demonstrating how Zionists and their right(and left)-wing supporters say and mean two totally different things when they speak of 'democracy' and 'peace' in Israel and Palestine.

This piece is a MUST read for its lucid analysis of how symbolic words are cleverly [ab]used to garner broad political support for what are otherwise utterly indefensible racist ideologies.

[As a postscript - this weekend is Eid, so I will not post much - though, so much is going on. Yesterday was a wash - eblogger was down most of the day. I'll post when I can - qrs]
Canada's Thirty-Percent Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, just made a speech at a B'nai Brith banquet. Normally, there would be nothing notable in this, but his words this time reinforced controversial statements he made while Israel savagely bombed Lebanon. He also continued driving an ugly new Republican-style wedge into Canada's national politics after calling Liberal leadership candidates "anti-Israel."

Harper said that his government supports a two-state solution in the Middle East. That is the policy of most Western governments, and there was nothing original in Harper's way of stating it. It was the kind of vague, tepid stuff we might hear from Olmert himself.

"Our government believes in a two-state solution -- in a secure democratic and prosperous Israel living beside a viable democratic and peaceful Palestinian state."

It is interesting to note the lack of symmetry in Harper's "secure democratic and prosperous Israel" versus "a viable democratic and peaceful" Palestine. I don't know why prosperity does not count for Palestinians, but as anyone who understands developmental economics knows, prosperity is key to developing modern, democratic institutions. You only get the broad middle-class which makes democracy possible out of healthy growth.

I suspect Harper was signaling, while calling for peace with two states, hardly a stirring theme for a B'nai Brith audience, that he saw no equivalency to the two sides. If not, perhaps he will explain another time what he did mean.

Harper did not define what he means by viable. Palestine, as anyone familiar with the situation knows, cannot be viable as a walled-off set of postage-stamp Bantustans, the only concept of a Palestinian state Israel has ever considered.

The key element in Harper's statement is what he means by democratic and peaceful. Those words are not so self-explanatory as they may first appear. Both these adjectives are regularly twisted in meaning, particularly by the United States.

Hamas won an honest and open election in Palestine, internationally scrutinized, but the result of that election was rejected by Harper and others, inducing chaos into Palestinian affairs, the very thing Israel's secret services likely intended when they secretly subsidized Hamas years ago to oppose Fatah. Hamas has not learned the required mantra about recognizing Israel, yet Hamas is no threat to Israel, or plainly Israel's secret services would never have assisted it in the first place.

Hamas is not well-armed, nor is it, surrounded and penetrated by Israel, in a position to become so. Israel speaks as though not recognizing Israel is an unforgivable defect, but governments often fail to recognize other governments. The United States has a long list of governments it has not recognized in the past and ones it does not recognize now. This is not always a smart thing to do, but it is not a crime, it is not even a faux pas, and it may just be a negotiating point.

Hamas has not invaded Israel, nor has it conducted a campaign of assassinating Israeli leaders - both actions Israel has repeated against Palestinians countless times. Every time some disgruntled individual in Gaza launches a home-made, ineffectual rocket, Israel assassinates members of Hamas or sends its tanks into Gaza, killing civilians. Presumably, a peaceful Palestine would be one either where there were no disgruntled people or where an efficient police-state stopped them all.

This is a preposterous expectation. It simply can never be. With all of Israel's violent occupations and reprisals, it has never been able to impose absolute peace, not even on its own territory. There have been scores of instances of renegade Israeli settlers shooting innocent Palestinians picking olives or tending sheep, and there have been mass murders of Palestinians a number of times, as at the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount. How much less able is any Palestinian authority to enforce absolute peace when Israel allows it pitifully limited resources and freedom of movement?

Realistically, the expectation for absolute peace should be interpreted as a deliberate barrier to a genuine peace settlement. Why would Israel use a barrier to peace when its official statements never fail to mention peace?

Because most leaders of Israel, probably all of them, have never given up the frenzied dream of achieving Greater Israel, a concept which allows for no West Bank and no Palestinians. Not every leader has spoken in public on this subject, but a number have. Other prominent figures in Israel from time to time also have spoken in favor of this destructive goal.

There seems no rational explanation, other than wide support of this goal, for Israel's persistent refusal to comply with agreements which could have produced peace, the Oslo Accords perhaps being the greatest example. Israel worked overtime to destroy the Oslo Accords, always attributing their failure in public to the very Palestinians who had worked hard to see the Accords born. More extreme Israeli politicians openly rejected the Accords from the start.

The crescendo statement in Harper's speech, his voice rising in force and his audience literally rising to its feet, was, "The state of Israel, a democratic nation, was attacked by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization -- in fact a terrorist organization listed illegal in this country," and "When it comes to dealing with a war between Israel and a terrorist organization, this country and this government cannot and will never be neutral."

Harper's definition of democracy appears to be the American one: those governments are democratic who agree with American policy. We know America has overthrown many democratic governments in the postwar world, including those in Haiti, Chile, Iran, and Guatemala. Today it threatens a cleanly-elected government in Venezuela and utterly ignores a cleanly-elected government in Palestine.

America shows itself always ready to work with anti-human rights blackguards when it feels important interests are at stake, General Musharraf of Pakistan and some of the dreadful Northern Alliance warlords in Afghanistan being current examples. There were dozens more during the Cold War, including the Romanian Dracula Ceaucescu and the Shah of Iran, put into power by a coup that toppled a democratic government. The American definition of democracy is highly selective at best.

Israel has demonstrated a similar understanding of democracy from the beginning. Israel was ready to help France and Britain invade Suez in the 1950s, an action which represented a last ugly gasp of 19th century colonialism. Israel worked closely for years with apartheid South Africa, even secretly assisting it in developing and testing a nuclear weapon (weapons and facilities were removed by the United States when the ANC took power). Savak, the Shah's secret police, whose specialty was pulling out people's finger nails, was trained by American and Israeli agents.

Harper's statement of total support for Israel in Lebanon is not in keeping with traditional Canadian views and policies. Canadians want balance and fairness. Unqualified support for Israel is tantamount to giving it a free pass to repeat the many savage things it has done, things most Canadians do not support.

Israel has proven, over and over again, it needs the restraining influence of others. Criticizing Israel does not make anyone anti-Israeli. Israel, sadly, has done many shameful things that demand criticism from those who love freedom and human rights, starting with its keeping a giant open-air prison going for forty years.

Harper should know that when Israeli leaders such as Olmert or Sharon speak of two states, they do not mean the same thing that reasonable observers might expect.

They mean a powerless, walled-in rump state in which elections must consistently support Israel's view of just about everything, a state whose access to the world is effectively controlled by Israel, and a state whose citizens have no claims whatsoever for homes, farms, and other property seized by Israel. The hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank, living on property taken bit by bit since the Six Day War are there to stay. Palestinians' property rights to homes and institutions in Jerusalem, from which they are being gradually pushed, are being voided.

Israel has invaded Lebanon twice with no legitimate justification. It killed many thousands the first time and about 1,600 the last time. It flattened the beautiful city of Beirut the first time and a fair portion of the re-built city last time. It dropped thousands of cluster bombs, the most vicious weapon in the American arsenal, onto civilian areas. In effect, this action created a giant minefield, an illegal act under international treaty, with mines which explode with flesh-mangling bits of razor wire.

The Hezbollah that was Israel's excuse for invading Lebanon last time never invaded Israel. They launch their relatively ineffective Katysha rockets only when Israeli forces violate the border, which they do with some regularity in secret. Hezbollah's main function, despite all the rhetoric about terrorists, has been as a guerilla force opposed to Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Israel has long desired to expand its borders into that region, and there are statements on record to that effect, another aspect of Greater Israel. Israel occupied southern Lebanon for many years after its first invasion, and still held on to an enclave after its withdrawal.

Democratic values are not just about holding elections now and then. Otherwise, apartheid South Africa would have deserved our support. So would Northern Ireland when it repressed Catholics for decades. So, in fact, would the former American Confederacy. These states all had elections but only some people could vote, and other people were treated horribly.

Democratic values must reflect respect for human rights, which apply to ALL, something about which Israel has been particularly blind. There are no rights for Palestinians. Indeed, Israel has no Bill or Charter of Rights even for its own citizens because of the near impossibility of defining rights in a state characterized by so many restrictions and theocratic principles.

The relatively small number of Arabic people given Israeli citizenship, roughly 19% of the population, descended from 150,000 who remained in Israel after 1948, mainly those who were not intimidated by early Israeli terror groups like Irgun and the Stern Gang into running away or who simply could not escape. Despite subsidized immigration to Israel, accounting for the bulk of Jewish population growth, Israeli Arabs have managed roughly to keep their fraction of the population through high birth rates. They are, however, under constant pressure, often being treated as less than equal citizens. On many occasions, prominent Israelis have called for their removal.

According to a recent study of Jewish Israeli attitudes, 41 percent think Arab citizens should be encouraged by the government to leave Israel, and 40 percent want segregated public facilities for Arabs. The survey also found 68 percent of Israeli Jews would not live in an apartment building with Arabs, and 46 percent would not let Arabs visit their homes.

Harper's dichotomy between democracy and terror, the crescendo subject of his speech, is simply nonsense. It mimics Bush's garbled words about terrorists versus American freedoms or everyone's being with us or against us. Israel is not so admirable a democracy nor is Hezbollah so terrible a group as he would have us believe.
And THAT is a colossal understatement.

  Saturday, October 21, 2006

the dirtiest bomb on earth



Always warning that other nations might use dirty bombs against US, our government has been using the dirtiest bomb on earth since the first Gulf war.

And which country set the precedent?

Israel - as far back as 1973 - against Egypt.
"In 1995, the director of AEPI told assistant secretary of the army, 'we can't reduce the toxicity [of DU munitions] - it's not possible.'

The United States Army [common task training?] states very specifically- 'uranium contamination will make food and water unusable' and yet we use it in combat all over the place.

That's why the United Nations Subcommission on Human Rights had ruled that uranium munitions were an illegal weapon - cause they're indiscriminate.

They can't be cleaned up and they last for eternity."

--Dr. Doug Rokke, US Army Health Physicist, Nuclear Medicine Sciences Officer

* * *

"Depleted uranium has a half life of four and a half billion years. If we had a pound of depleted uranium now, in four and a half billion years there would only be half a pound left.

This means that the Middle East, Central Asia, and Yugoslavia are contaminated - forever."

--Leuren Moret, Geological Scientist, International Radiation Expert
Still wonder why they call US the great satan?


_________________
Thanks, Brasscheck

Three cheers for Israel!


Not content with brutally murdering innocent civilians during their daily incursions, israelis make sure to leave nothing but barren wasteland in their wake.
Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations warned Friday against Israel's devastation of natural resources in the Palestinian Occupied Territory.

Addressing the Second Committee at the UN General Assembly, The First Secretary of the Mission Ammar Hijazi said the extent of devastation that Israel's 39 years of occupation on the natural resources in the Palestinian Occupied Territory, including Jerusalem is almost unthinkable.

"The cumulative effect and consequences of this devastation will have on future generations as well. For adding to humiliation and oppression of living under a ruthless military occupation, Palestinians watch helplessly as their land, water and other natural resources are robbed before their eyes while they are left with nothing but God's blue sky above and a shrinking space of land on which to live and thrive."
But, who's complaining?




Hip, hip - hooray!



Hip, hip - hooray!



Hip, hip, hooray!




________________
Thanks, israel