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John Nichols For Kucinich 2008 Part 2 (video)

Dandelion Salad

msnoodlebrain

John Nichols in San Francisco for Kucinich Part 2.

Added: December 31, 2007

see
John Nichols For Kucinich 2008 (video)

John Nichols: Wexler’s profile rises with impeachment talk

Marjorie Cohn speaking on laws Bush has broken & Impeachment (video; Oct 07)

All I Want For New Years Is My Rights Back By Ward Reilly

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Kucinich-Dennis

Impeach

US mayors’ report: Hunger & Homelessness Intensify in US Cities By Debra Watson

Dandelion Salad

By Debra Watson
ICH
12/31/07 “WSW

The number of people hungry and homeless in US cities rose dramatically again in 2007, according to the annual report on hunger and homelessness from the US Conference of Mayors. The 23-city Hunger and Homelessness Survey was released in late December.

Requests for emergency food increased in four of every five cities. Among 15 cities with quantifying data, the median increase in requests for food was 10 percent and in some cities it was much higher. Detroit and some other cities reported seeing more working poor among those seeking food.

In Detroit, emergency food requests shot up 35 percent over the 12-month period ending in October. Officials there noted that “due to a lack of resources, emergency food assistance facilities have had to reduce the number of days and/or hours of operation.”

Thirteen of 19 survey cities reported they could not meet the demand for emergency food. Los Angeles was one of the major cities reporting difficulties in serving the growing need.

An official in LA said: “Emergency food assistance facilities have to turn away people. According to the LA Regional Foodbank, over 30 percent of their food pantries have had to turn clients away and pantries that don’t turn clients away are providing less food.

“In 2002, a food pantry would provide an average of eight to ten different USDA commodities per distribution. This holiday season, food pantries are providing three USDA commodities. Food pantries are tasked to serve more clients with the same amount of resources they had six years ago. Twenty-one percent of overall demand for emergency food assistance goes unmet.”

Across all cities, an average of 15 percent of families with children looking for emergency food must be turned away. Nine in 10 of the cities sampled for details on the urban hunger crisis say they expect increases in food requests next year.

City officials said specific factors exacerbating hunger over the past year were the foreclosure crisis, the high prices of food and gasoline, and the lack of affordable housing. Decreased social benefits such as public assistance and the eroding value of food stamps were also listed as particularly acute problems. Lack of donated food and commodities and insufficient funding were listed as the most important reason for turning away the hungry.

Economic issues such as unemployment and poverty along with high housing and medical costs were most cited by responding cities as the major causes of chronic hunger. Substance abuse and mental illness were the least cited.

Homelessness

In 20 of the cities included in the survey, 193,183 people had stays in emergency shelters and/or transitional housing in the past year. The average duration was six months for families and five months for individuals, down from eight months last year.The mayors’ survey statistics capture unduplicated stays in city temporary housing facilities, meaning if shelter was provided, a stay lasting weeks or months would be counted as just one unduplicated stay.

The survey found that nearly one in four unduplicated shelter stays were by members of family groups. The ratio of family members to singles was found to be roughly equal in homeless counts compiled elsewhere that document sheltered homeless on any given individual night.

In general, cities reported actual increases in households with children in their transitional or emergency housing over the past year. Nine in 10 cities said that more permanent housing was needed to mediate the problem of homelessness.

Thousands of beds to house the homeless were added in the surveyed cities, yet half the cities reported they turn people away some or all of the time. In Phoenix, 7,000 to 10,000 are homeless on any given night and 3,000 cannot be sheltered due to lack of beds.

Individual city profiles come from the broad range of US cities that participate in the report. They have widely different average per capita incomes and are located in various parts of the country. For example, Santa Monica, California, a city of 83,000 with a per capita income of $58,000, reports 728 singles and 142 households with children were sheltered homeless in 2007. In contrast, Philadelphia, with a population of 1.4 million and a poverty rate of 23 percent, reports 8,103 individuals and 5,300 households with children in this category.

These profiles show only those individuals that find shelter. Miami, a city of 360,000, reported only 735 families and 365 individuals were in sheltered housing for some duration during the past year. Des Moines, a city half the size of Miami but in a much colder climate, reported 3,632 families and 2,436 individuals were sheltered homeless in 2007.

Limitations in reportingTwenty-three cities whose mayors are members of the US Conference of Mayors Task force on Hunger and Homelessness contributed in some form to the report for the year ending October 30.The City Profiles section of the survey includes various reports of band-aid programs undertaken by city administrations that admittedly fall far short of need. More importantly, taken together, these local reports detailing city-by-city conditions are more valuable in providing some insight into the problems of hunger and homelessness that is largely absent from political discourse in the US. The statistics on hunger and homelessness are far more current when compared to official government reports that rely on much older data.

A section in the report entitled “Limitations of this Study” points to efforts under way this year or planned for the future to gather more precise data. This is apparently in response to right-wing critics who have impugned the value of the report in previous years, claiming it was not a representative sample and overstated the extent of poverty. This response by the study’s authors ignores the real reason for these critics’ discomfort—the desire to limit any light being shed on the twin scourges of hunger and homelessness characteristic of the social landscape of US cities.

The study was first conceived by Democratic mayors as urban populations were hit by federal budget cuts under the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s. The year-to-year comparison chart at the end of the report has been a veritable misery index, right through the Clinton and the Bush years, showing double-digit increases almost every year in requests for emergency food and shelter. Yet for reasons not stated, the appendix with the 16-year historical chart comparing year-to-year survey results is omitted this year.

Another glaring omission shows one way the report underestimates the seriousness of the social crisis in America. New Orleans is not included in the survey, and data from that city has been left out of the report since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Copyright 1998-2007 – World Socialist Web Site – All rights reserved


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Girlfriends, can we talk? by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Dec. 31, 2007

Sure, it’s good to see a woman taken seriously as a presidential candidate and the situation is long overdue, compared to more than a few other countries. As a woman, I’d love to see someone of my gender leading the nation, but she should be the right person, at the right time, don’t you think? I believe we’re off on both counts.

Let’s first consider the timing.

Most likely we can agree, based on personal experience, that a female boss isn’t necessarily an unalloyed blessing — especially in troubled circumstances that seldom bring out the best in anyone who has to redefine a role of authority.

The potential for over-reaction is plain. Say cutbacks are in order; who’s apt to slash more ruthlessly, a good old boy secure in his job for years or the new gal out to prove herself? Say a rival is becoming a greater threat; who’ll tend to keep this in perspective, instead of being tempted or goaded into trying something extreme that could bite back?

Being extra-tough, I read yesterday, was named as her greatest regret by the late Benazir Bhutto, when reflecting on her years as PM in Pakistan. Assuming Maggie Thatcher capable of sincere self-examination and regret (quite a stretch), we’d expect her to confess the same, wouldn’t we?

Beyond that, there’s also clear potential for ducking responsibility and for sucking-up. Say current numbers look bad; who’ll probably try harder to fudge this and that? Say a grave mistake was made; who’s more likely to insist on being right, instead of admitting the error quickly, without embellishment, and going another way? Or say lots of big changes are vital; who’s more likely to placate the most powerful opponents, rather than press for the whole package?

Of course these concerns would apply equally to a man who, for whatever reasons, felt insecure at his helm. But ANY woman in a position never before held by a woman — particularly in rough times like these — is bound to trim her sails to suit the wind, to keep from seeming weak and in hope of dodging other criticisms.

Now let’s consider the person aspiring to greater power than a woman has held since Elizabeth Tudor controlled most of the known world. Liz I actually made a good job of it. She had two exceptional things going for her, though. One, the Brits knew they were stuck with her for life and got with the program. Two, she never married, which detached her from the factional favorites game (not to mention any debate about who had the final word).

It’s hardly worth repeating that the faction Hillary Clinton represents is the DLC wing of the party. So did her husband, who happily gave us NAFTA, GATT, PNTR for China, welfare “reform” and even media conglomeration. If you’re thinking of supporting her (or Obama, the other Dem reaping vast corporate largesse), you must think that’s okay. Perhaps you share their expressed hope that, this time around, the lions of commerce and reactionary politics will decide to stop eating us lambs and play nicely.

The lions are going to have to cede some ground, because they’ve robbed the rest of us far too outrageously for too long. Moreover, the present healthcare setup is harming business and they need to get employers out of the loop. So we can expect a few crumbs to be thrown, in any event, but imagine the concessions they’ll self-righteously demand in exchange for their slightest semblance of cooperation (even if the result behooves them)!

Somehow I can’t picture Hillary saying, “Universal healthcare is simple justice that should have been done long ago. You’ve been getting away with murder. So now let’s talk about putting corporate taxation back where it belongs. And bringing back American jobs. And about those silly oil subsidies. And about this insane overspending on defense.”

Not going to happen. Despite corporatists’ having had their way on everything for 30 years.

Even placing her in that scenario calls for leap-frogging the election season, during which she (or any Democratic nominee) will be mauled. She claims she can weather that assault better than anybody else and win. Do you think so? Really?

I don’t doubt that she has sufficient ambition to suffer slings and arrows (or that Obama does, and together they’re sure to be the DLC-preferred ticket) but, when the greater mission is so thin to begin with — “geez, we only want to sit down with you guys and work out something we can all live with” — what passion will be stirred on the left or among worried Independents looking for meaningful change?

Can you get revved about wanting things to be just a little better, when they’re this bloody bad? I’m afraid the zeal would rise only on the far-right, among confirmed Hillary-haters and those who simply wouldn’t vote for a woman and/or a black man.

The very existence of Bill throws another spanner into the works. For everyone who loves him, someone else loathes him — and again, like it or not, we get into murky “twofer” territory. Precisely this set people hating Hillary, to begin with! First Ladies are normally respected, regardless of their spouses’ politics and poll numbers, but it doesn’t work that way when one strides into the arena, unelected but grabbing power with both fists.

To my mind, our first female president — whatever her views and policies — should be a person who gained prominence on her own. Otherwise, what does it honestly say about what women in this country can do?

Kucinich Weekly Update 12.31.07 (video)

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

Anne Marie Howard presents the latest update on the exciting activities of the Dennis Kucinich for President campaign. Join her, along with comedian Rick Overton, video blogger Davis Fleetwood, Esai Morales, Bree Walker, Frances Fisher and singer Michael Franti, of Spearhead, as we ring in the new year in New Hampshire, headed for the primaries!

Added: December 31, 2007

see

Kucinich Campaign Action Alert: Vote! Myspace Poll! Jan 1-2

Kucinich Wins Virginia Democratic Party Poll By David Swanson

Kucinich-Dennis

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

Kucinich Campaign Action Alert: Vote! Myspace Poll! Jan 1-2

Note: I just voted and had to use IE instead of Firefox.  ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

Dennis Kucinich for President (Official)

Kucinich Campaign Action Alert–Vote! Myspace Poll!

MySpace will be holding an ONLINE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY this Tuesday and Wednesday, January 1st and 2nd, 2008.

This Virtual Primary will take the Political Pulse of America’s Largest Online Community. We need Dennis to win this Primary! We’ve done it in the past with the PDA and DFA polls and the Independent Primary. We can do it again if we all work together!

Beginning on Tuesday, January 1 at 3:01 AM EST, MySpace will invite it’s community to participate in the first MySpace Presidential Primary at: http://impact.myspace.com. Taking place just prior to the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primaries, the largest online community will be the first to choose their candidate for the nation’s highest office. Polls will close Wednesday, January 2 at 11:59 PM EST. The MySpace community will make their voices heard by choosing their preferred candidate for President. Let’s make that candidate Dennis Kucinich! Show your support for Dennis Kucinich and help us spread this poll to as many Kucinich Supporters as possible.

WHEN
Polls open at 3:01am EST, Tuesday, January 1
Polls close at 11:59 pm EST, Wednesday, January 2
WHERE
Vote online on the MySpace Impact Channel at:
Copy and paste this:
http://impact.myspace.com
OR
CLICK HERE!

Please vote for Dennis Kucinich and tell everyone you know to do the same. Thank you.

The Results of the MySpace Presidential Primary will be available on Thursday, January 3 on the MySpace Impact Channel.

( http://impact.myspace.com).

Sincerely,

Robert Ruszkowski
National Director of Virtual Outreach
Kucinich for President 2008, Inc.
http://www.Dennis4President.com


see

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

Kucinich-Dennis

Hospital lawyer: Pakistani police stopped doctors from conducting Bhutto autopsy + Video: ‘The most conclusive evidence’ Bhutto was shot

Dandelion Salad

by John Byrne
Raw Story
Monday December 31, 2007

The police chief of the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi prevented doctors from performing an autopsy on the corpse of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, according to a lawyer on the hospital’s board.

The dramatic new revelation emerged as new videotape showed a gunman in close proximity to Bhutto in the moments before her assassination, and a surgeon said he’d felt pressure to conform to the government’s official story on Bhutto’s killing.

Pakistan’s interior minister had previously said that Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, had requested the autopsy not be performed.

“Even if the family of a murder victim refuses to allow the autopsy, no investigation can be completed if doctors do not perform the autopsy and conclusively find the cause of death,” Athar Minallah, a top lawyer and a member of Rawalpindi General Hospital where Bhutto was taken after the attack said in an article by Times of India. “The doctors were worried that their initial report, which did not determine the definite cause of death, is being politically twisted.”

The decision was taken despite the fact a post-mortem examination is required under Pakistani law in the cases of murder.

Doctors performed an “external” post mortem and distributed cropped images of Bhutto’s skull to reporters. Under the official story, Bhutto was killed by the sunroof of her armored LandCruiser after a bomb went off when she was standing up to wave to a crowd.

In an open letter Monday, Minallah released the doctors’ notes.

“In the letter,” according to CNN, “Minallah said the doctors ‘suggested to the officials to perform an autopsy,’ but that Rawalpindi police chief Aziz Saud “did not agree.” He noted that under the law, police investigators have ‘exclusive responsibility’ in deciding to have an autopsy.”

Minallah told CNN he was voicing his concerns because doctors didn’t feel they could speak out, saying they were “threatened.”

“They are government servants who cannot speak — I am not,” he told the network, saying the failure to perform an autopsy has fueled “a perception that there is some kind of cover-up, though I might not believe in that theory.”

The medical report of Bhutto’s death identified a wound of several centimeters above her left ear, with no foreign body felt. Pakistan’s interior ministry says they are open to exhuming the body; Bhutto’s husband opposes the move, saying he doesn’t trust the government.

The police meddling at the hospital would not mark the first time officers’ actions have come into question regarding Bhutto’s assassination. At the rally where she was killed Thursday, police abandoned their posts before the attack by a gunman and suicide bomber. The scene of the attack was also hosed down within an hour, destroying untold amounts of potential evidence.

DEVELOPING….

***

Video: ‘The most conclusive evidence’ Bhutto was shot

David Edwards and Katie Baker
Raw Story
Sunday December 30, 2007

On Sunday, UK’s Channel 4 news broadcasted a new video of the Bhutto assassination which they say “provides the most conclusive evidence yet that Benazir Bhutto was shot.”

Although the Pakistani government officially claims that Bhutto died from hitting her head on the sunroof as she ducked into her car, evidence in the video drastically contradicts that account.

The video shows a large crowd swarming around Bhutto’s car. A clean-shaven man in sunglasses is visibly watching, concealing a gun; behind him stands the suspected suicide bomber dressed in white. As the video rolls, the man in sunglasses moves closer to Bhutto’s car and fires three shots. Directly after, the suicide bomber detonates his device and chaos ensues.

continued… plus video

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

The Destabilization of Pakistan by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

BBC Censors Benazir Bhutto in Frost Interview (video)

Benazir Bhutto named her assassins almost two months ago by Rev. Richard Skaff

They Don’t Blame al-Qa’ida. They Blame Musharraf By Robert Fisk

Bhutto Aide: The coverup begins + PROOF there was a shooter (videos)

Ron Paul in 2008? Just Say No to Dr. No By Jason Miller

Dandelion Salad

reagan and ron paul

Ron and Ron: Two of capitalism’s finest

By Jason Miller
Thomas Paine’s Corner

12/30/07

“Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.”

—Al Capone

It has taken Nuremberg-class war crimes, craven ineptitude by Congressional Democrats, foreclosures on every other home in the neighborhood, and a metaphorical gun to our heads when we fill our gas tanks, but growing numbers of us US Americans are shedding our smug insularity.

“Ron Paul in 2008” has become the mantra for untold millions who are realizing that the establishment in the United States is an abomination that needs to be torn down and replaced. Ostensibly, Dr. Paul is the populist maverick we need to shake up the system and set our nation on a path to sanity and viability. His political coffers are overflowing with cash, almost none of which came from corporate or “special” interests. He is principled and consistent. And his position on a number of important issues aligns with the interests of the masses.

When he appeared on Meet the Press on December 23rd, even Tim Russert, one of the system’s most prominent cheerleading whores, couldn’t rattle him. It would certainly have been difficult not to admire Paul’s frontal assault on a number of the “sacred cows” that Russert and his ilk in the mainstream media work so hard to defend.

Consider several of the broad-sides Paul leveled against our malignant status quo:

[MR. RUSSERT: Would you cut off all foreign aid to Israel?

REP. PAUL: Absolutely.

REP. PAUL: They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they, and they attack us because we’re over there.

MR. RUSSERT: “Because we’re over there.” And then you added this on Tuesday: “But” al-qaeda has “determination. The determination comes from being provoked.”
How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?

REP. PAUL: Well, read what the lead–the ringleader says. Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had, we had a base, you know, in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years, we were–we’ve interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA’s been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We’re bought right now in the process of overthrowing that nation. We side more with Israel and Pakistan, and, and they get annoyed with this. How would we react if we were on their land–if they were on our land? We would be very annoyed, and we’d be fighting mad.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you think there’s an ideological struggle that Islamic fascists want to take over the world?

REP. PAUL: Oh, I think some, just like the West is wanting to do that all the time. Look at the way they look at us. I mean, we’re in a, we’re in a 130 countries. We have 700 bases. How do you think they proposed that to their people, saying “What does America want to do? Are they over here to be nice to us and teach us how to be good Democrats?”

REP PAUL: ….But the point is I’m not against the FBI investigation in doing a proper role, but I’m against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King. I’m against the CIA fighting secret wars and overthrowing government and interfering…]

Amen to ending over a hundred years of imperialistic foreign policy, breaking up the military industrial complex, cutting off our financial and military support of the genocidal squatters in Palestine, and reining in the torturers and assassins in our “intelligence” community. His pursuit of these goals is certainly an objectively sound reason to support Ron Paul.

Yet despite these highly laudable positions, Paul is potentially as treacherous as the creatures of the system most of us have come to loathe. Compared to opportunistic moneyed elites like Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton, Paul is indeed an alluring candidate.

However, he has at least one very deep flaw which would almost certainly make his presidency an unmitigated disaster for the poor and the working class the world over:

Ron Paul ardently supports the libertarian notions of laissez faire, free markets, deregulation, and privatization. In an ironic and almost comical twist, the imperialism, corporatism, and prefigurements of fascism he has so accurately identified (and vowed to eradicate) are symptoms of monopoly capitalism, a mature form of the system that his libertarian principles would serve to buttress and amplify.

In “The Shock Doctrine” Naomi Klein amply documents the widespread murder, mayhem, and misery caused by implementing a libertarian economic doctrine (as the United States facilitated under the tutelage of Milton Friedman and his acolytes) throughout South America, Southeast Asia, Russia, and China. Savage capitalism at its finest. And for evidence that it CAN happen here (in our “enlightened” Western culture), one need only look back to the Gilded Age and Dickensonian England.

Regardless of how malformed it was due to the relentless pressure applied by the United States via the nuclear arms race we initiated to break it and our HUGE economic advantages, the Soviet Union represented a powerful counter-balance to the forces of unrestrained capitalism. Upon its collapse, the capitalists of the world united and set out to eliminate the hard fought gains the working class had made throughout the Twentieth Century. And Dr. Paul wants to hand those cynical bastards the keys to the kingdom by dismantling what is left of government restraints on the bourgeoisie.

Contrary to the agenda advanced by Ron Paul, “all government” is not inherently evil. It is true that the federal government we have now is an enemy to the masses in many respects. But Uncle Sam is not our foe because he “over-regulates” the parasitic capitalists who are raping the planet, “steals” our money through taxation, or acts as a “nanny state” by providing what has become a nominal safety net for the poor and elderly, as Paul suggests. He is our adversary because he is looking out for the wealthy elite and views people like you and me as disposable. In contrast to Lincoln’s vision—“of the people, by the people and for the people,” we have a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

While Ron Paul MIGHT be able to slay the dragons of the military industrial complex and undue Zionist influence, his adherence to a “prehistoric” form of capitalism has the potential to essentially eliminate what is left of the rapidly eroding gains the working class and poor have made over the last century.

Despite his apparent opposition to the powers that be, a vote for Ron Paul is still a vote for our continued enslavement by a system predicated on greed, selfishness, and the prosperity of the few at the expense of the many. In fact, unless by some miracle a viable candidate who opposes capitalism actually emerges, the act of voting in our bourgeois democracy is little more than a validation of our servitude.

So don’t participate. Our ruling elite can’t mouth hollow platitudes about democracy if they don’t have voters.

Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com

h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Ron Paul on Meet The Press 12-23-07 (videos)

Interview with Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine (video)

Ron Paul ??? excluded from Fox debate by William Westmiller (updated)

Paul-Ron

Why won’t Ron Paul cosponsor impeachment? + Carol For Congress! (video)

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Dandelion Salad

by Carol Wolman
December 30, 2007 at 12:50:18
http://www.opednews.com

Ron Paul claims to be a defender of the US Constitution. Like all other members of Congress, he has sworn to uphold and defend it against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC.

Why has he not signed on to the various bills for impeachment that have come before the House since 2004? If he is so concerned about the Constitution, why is he not following its mandate to impeach members of the Executive Branch who override the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers? Why will he not vote to impeach those who lie to Congress, issue signing statements that override laws passed by Congress, refuse to allow Congressional oversight, etc?

Ron Paul is capitalizing on the disaffection of Republicans for Bush and Cheney, who are leaders elected by GOP voters to hold the highest offices in the land. Yet Paul remains a loyal Republican, in the sense that he will not join the call to impeach Bush and Cheney for their obvious high crimes and misdemeanors.

Without impeachment, these criminals will go unpunished. Without impeachment, the precedents set by Bush and Cheney, that a “unitary executive” can override the Constitution, will stand, and will be used by future presidents to impose their will on the country.

Until Ron Paul cosponsors H. Res. 799, the call to impeach Cheney for lying us into Iraq and trying to repeat the maneuver with Iran, I’ll consider him a hypocrite. He’s so proud of his independent voting record, but on the issue of impeachment, the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING THIS NATION, Ron Paul is silent.

HYPOCRITE!

Paracove

Democrats and Republicans in congress are doing nothing to stop the criminal Bush administration. Dr. Carol Wolman is running against representative Mike Thompson in California as a member of the Long House Coalition- an association of candidates across party lines who are dedicated to taking back congress for the people in November. In this video Dr. Wolman discusses key issues against the backdrop of the lively July 4th parade in Mendocino, California.

Donations to Carol’s campaign can be sent to:
Carol Wolman for Congress P.O. Box 1328 Mendocino, CA 95460

For more information about the Longhouse Coalition visit
http://www.longhousecoalition.org

This video was made by Paradise Cove Productions
http://www.paracove.com (less)
Added: October 18, 2006

Carol S. Wolman, MD is a psychiatrist in Northern California. A lifelong peace activist, she has written extensively on the psychology of our times. She is a cochair of Bay Area Impeach Bush-Cheney. You can join or form a local group at http://impeachbush.meetup.com/ She ran for Congress in ’06, and is now a Gteen candidate for Congress in CA district 1. She is a coordinator of The New Broom Coalition, for a clean sweep of Congress.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see
Ron Paul on Impeachment of Cheney, Bush, Clinton (+ video)

Why Did Ron Paul Vote Against Impeachment? By Manila Ryce

John Nichols For Kucinich 2008 (video)
Marjorie Cohn speaking on laws Bush has broken & Impeachment (video; Oct 07)

All I Want For New Years Is My Rights Back By Ward ReillyImpeach

Impeachment: A Message to Iowa Democrats (video; Kucinich)

Kucinich: I have 3-inch binder documenting Cheney’s crimes By David Edwards & Jason Rhyne (link)

If Americans Knew Investigations (videos; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Warning
.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

AlternateFocus

Alternate Focus presents a video from the organization “If Americans Knew”.
http://www.ifamericansknew.org
Part 1 features four segments. In “The Easiest Targets” five women — Palestinian, American, Muslim, Christian and Jewish — tell stories of humiliation and harassment by Israeli border guards and airport security officials. The next segment examines how the Associated Press allegedly erased footage of an Israeli soldier shooting a Palestinian boy. Third, “Jeffrey Goldberg: Pundit for Israel” shines light on the writer and TV commentator’s past as a guard at Israel’s notorious Ketziot prison. The last segment features a 3 minute version of the Alternate Focus program “Off the Charts: Media Analysis of the Israel-Palestine Conflict”.

Alternate Focus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational media group promoting an alternative view of Middle East issues. We use the web, cable and satellite television, and DVDs to showcase media not usually seen by American audiences.

Alternate Focus is available on the Dish Network, Free Speech TV, Channel 9415, Saturdays at 8:00pm EST and on cable stations near you. Check http://www.alternatefocus.org for details.

Added: December 31, 2007

Part 2 contains an additional four segments. The 15 minute video “Captured Prisoners” features testimony from former inmates and outside observers about Palestinian’s minimal legal rights and the brutal conditions inside Israeli prisons. The next segment explores “Gaza After Disengagement”. The third segment offers interviews with American politicians, diplomats, and journalists about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The program concludes with a three minute version of the Alternate Focus show “Divesting From Violence: Presbyterian Policy in the Middle East”.

see

Alison Weir: Israeli vs Palestinian Deaths Reported (video; 2006)

If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing! Video was Censored! (video)

John Nichols For Kucinich 2008 (video)

Dandelion Salad

msnoodlebrain

John Nichol, Author of The Genius of Impeachment speaks in San Francisco for Dennis Kucinich event on December 21, 2007.

Added: December 30, 2007

see

John Nichols: Wexler’s profile rises with impeachment talk

Marjorie Cohn speaking on laws Bush has broken & Impeachment (video; Oct 07)

All I Want For New Years Is My Rights Back By Ward Reilly

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Kucinich-Dennis

Impeach

“Take-over-the-World Plan.”: Key Pentagon strategist plots global war on terror by Ann Scott Tyson

Dandelion Salad

by Ann Scott Tyson
Global Research, December 30, 2007
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — In the Pentagon’s newly expanded Special Operations office, Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Vickers is working to implement the U.S. military’s highest-priority plan: a global campaign against terrorism that reaches far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

The plan details the targeting of al-Qaida-affiliated networks around the world and explores how the United States should retaliate in case of another major terrorist attack. The most critical aspect of the plan, Vickers said in a recent interview, involves U.S. Special Operations forces working through foreign partners to uproot and fight terrorist groups.

Expansive plan

Vickers’ job also spans the modernization of nuclear forces for deterrence and retaliation, and the retooling of conventional forces to combat terrorism, a portfolio so expansive that he and some Pentagon officials once jokingly referred to his efforts as the “take-over-the-world plan.”

Vickers, a former Green Beret and CIA operative, was the principal strategist for the biggest covert program in CIA history: the paramilitary operation that drove the Soviet army out of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” released last weekend, portrays Vickers in that role, in which he directed an insurgent force of 150,000 Afghan fighters and controlled an annual budget of more than $2 billion in current dollars.

Today, as the top Pentagon adviser on counterterrorism strategy, Vickers exudes the same assurance about defeating terrorist groups as he did as a 31-year-old CIA paramilitary officer assigned to Afghanistan, where he convinced superiors that, with the right strategy and weapons, the ragtag Afghan insurgents could win.

“I am just as confident or more confident we can prevail in the war on terror,” said Vickers, 54.

Vickers joined the Pentagon in July to oversee the 54,000-strong Special Operations Command (Socom), based in Tampa, Fla., which is growing faster than any other part of the U.S. military. Socom’s budget has doubled in recent years, to $6 billion for 2008, and the command is to add 13,000 troops to its ranks by 2011.

Senior Pentagon and military officials regard Vickers as a rarity: a skilled strategist who is creative and pragmatic. “He tends to think like a gangster,” said Jim Thomas, a former senior defense planner who worked with Vickers.

Vickers’ outlook was shaped in the CIA and Special Forces, which he joined in 1973. In the 10th Special Forces Group, he trained year-round for a guerrilla war against the Soviet Union. One scenario he prepared for: to parachute into enemy territory with a small nuclear weapon strapped to his leg and position it to halt the Red Army.

Vickers recalled that the nuclear devices did not seem that small, “particularly when you are in an aircraft with one of them or it is attached to your body.” Was it a suicide mission? “I certainly hoped not,” Vickers said.

An expert in martial arts, parachuting and weapons, and second in his class at Officer Candidate School, Vickers joined the CIA’s paramilitary unit in 1983. Soon after, he received a citation for combat in Grenada.

His greatest influence was in the precise way he reassessed the potential of Afghan guerrilla forces and prescribed the right mix of weaponry to attack Soviet weaknesses.

Today Vickers’ plan to build a global counterterrorist network is no less ambitious. The plan is focused on a list of 20 “high-priority” countries, with Pakistan posing a central preoccupation for Vickers, who said al-Qaida sanctuaries in the country’s western tribal areas are a serious threat to the United States.

Building network

The list also includes Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Yemen, Somalia and Iran, and Vickers hinted that some European countries could be on it. Beyond that, the plan covers 29 additional “priority” countries, and “other countries” he did not name.

“It’s not just the Middle East. It’s not just the developing world. It’s not just nondemocratic countries; it’s a global problem,” he said. “Threats can emanate from Denmark, the United Kingdom, you name it.”

Vickers, who has advised President Bush on Iraq strategy, is convinced that more U.S. troops are not enough to solve the conflict in Iraq and that working with local forces is the best long-term strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Working with proxy forces also will enable the United States to extend and sustain its influence, something it failed to do in Afghanistan, he said. “After this great victory and after a million Afghans died, we basically exited that region and Afghanistan just spun into chaos,” he said.

“It’s imperative that we not do that again,” he said.


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For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Ann Scott Tyson, The Washington Post, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7707

Marjorie Cohn speaking on laws Bush has broken & Impeachment (video; Oct 07)

Dandelion Salad

by Maverick Media
43 min 45 sec – Nov 28, 2007

Marjorie Cohn, president of National Lawyers Guild, author of “Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang has Defied the Law”, speaking at Ventura College, Ventura, CA on Oct. 5, 2007. Also discusses need for impeachment.

shakinghands

All I Want For New Years Is My Rights Back By Ward Reilly

Dandelion Salad

By Ward Reilly
After Downing Street
Mon, 2007-12-31 00:42

All I want for New Years 2008 is the Bill Of Rights. Okay, okay…the actual Constitution document sits safely in a vault somewhere in Washington D.C. (not being used). So let me change my wish.

All I want for New Years is to have my Rights back. Constitutionally speaking.

I know that’s a LOT to hope and dream for. You’re probably thinking, “GET REAL, Ward”. I understand.

Considering that they have been gone for so long, and that they are now scattered and hidden in some dark basement under the White House, how can I seriously hope to get them back?

We’ll get to that in just a moment.

You see, the Right I actually decided to go searching for on this particular day at the (very) White House, was my Right to perform a “citizens arrest”, because I knew of several Constitutional crimes being committed at that particular location. So a citizens arrest seemed like the “right” thing to do, to help me along the road to finding the rest of my Rights.

So, on November on 7th, 2006 (election day), myself, and a few friends,(mom-Cindy, x-Cia-Ray, x-Col-Ann, x-Grunt Bp, DU-Dennis, vets Mike & Bruce, and a few others) met at the Capitol to hang around, to sit-in for two days, raise some hell, and to search for my Rights.

On the 8th, right after we all heard that Rumsfeld resigned, I knocked on the gate in front of George’s White House, to get the attention of the agent there, and the Secret Service man asked me “what I wanted?” I told the agent; “I want to make a ‘citizens arrest’ of President George Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney”.

I was serious. Seriously. He looked at me like I am crazy, which I probably am.

The story doesn’t end there, of course.

So anyway… the Secret Service guy actually goes and gets his supervisor. And Mr. Superior Secret Service man comes back with the first agent, and asks me the same question, plus he asks me “who I am”. So I told him. This time both of them went to the little booth and huddled for a few minutes…and then they came back and told me this; “Mr. Reilly, the reason they call it a ‘citizens arrest’ is that you have to do it by yourself, without the help of “authorities”.

Hmmm…I already knew that. So I told them both that “I already knew that, but that I needed them to open the gate, so that I could come in and do it, because otherwise I would have to jump over the fence”(which would be a felony-crime, in itself). Plus I’m kind-of old to be jumping over 6-foot fences unless I really have to. So I repeated to them for the third time that I needed them to open the gate.

They said “No, Mr Reilly, we aren’t going to open the gate”. I told them that I didn’t think that they would, and I told them that they were stopping me from exercising my Rights, which made them complicit in the crimes being committed inside the White House. I also told one of them that he worked for me. And he said that he didn’t…I disagreed strongly with that, in that his paycheck comes from tax dollars, but that was a different matter. I wanted to arrest Bush and Cheney.

THAT Is the end of the story, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about somebody in Congress making a “citizens arrest” of Bush and Cheney, since the Secret Service won’t let me do it.

In April, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced an 11-page resolution to impeach Mr. Cheney. Essentially telling our nation that he KNOWS that Cheney has broken the law. Then he went on “The Colbert Report” to laugh it up. HaHa.

Mike Capuano (D-Mass) directly acknowledged the administration’s “continual disregard for the rule of law, separation of powers, and binding nature of laws and treaties of the United States”, but he still refuses support for impeachment. Then Capuano actually said “we should not deny the President the rights that I believe his administration has denied to others.” Then he went fishing or something like that, knowing that the White House was denying our Rights to us all. Ho Hum.

Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, described Mr. Bush’s action in commuting the sentence of Lewis Libby as “disgraceful”. Then he went home for supper. What’s a little “disgrace” amongst politicians, anyway?

Charles Schumer, a Democratic senator, said of the Libby crimes; “As independence day nears, we’re reminded that one of the principles our forefathers fought for was equal justice under the law. This commutation completely tramples on that principle”. Then he went shopping at the mall. After all, it’s just common citizens being “trampled”.

So Reid, Kucinich and Schumer(and many other congresspeople) tell us that Bush and Cheney trample the Constitution. Yet they do nothing, in real terms, to stop them.

So my question to ANY and EVERY member of Congress is this; Why don’t some of you get together one day, and MARCH YOUR ASSES over to the White House and perform a citizens arrest? What are you waiting for? “We The People” are being trampled and betrayed out here….and much, much worse things are happening in our names.

How many people have to be killed, tortured, raped, kidnapped, spied upon, and violated, before ANY of you politicians gather up the courage to go and ARREST those two criminals? How can you go home each night, KNOWING that you can stop them today, using YOUR Bill of Rights to do it, by arresting them?

Happy New Year, you say?

None of you would have to jump the fence at the White House, like I would have to, to get to them inside. Each and every one of you has a free pass to Bush and Cheney’s offices, unlike me, or my veteran buddies.

continued…

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Kucinich-Dennis

Impeach

The Destabilization of Pakistan by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, December 30, 2007

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has created conditions which contribute to the ongoing destabilization and fragmentation of Pakistan as a Nation.

The process of US sponsored “regime change”, which normally consists in the re-formation of a fresh proxy government under new leaders has been broken. Discredited in the eyes of Pakistani public opinion, General Pervez Musharaf cannot remain in the seat of political power. But at the same time, the fake elections supported by the “international community” scheduled for January 2008, even if they were to be carried out, would not be accepted as legitimate, thereby creating a political impasse.

There are indications that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was anticipated by US officials:

“It has been known for months that the Bush-Cheney administration and its allies have been maneuvering to strengthen their political control of Pakistan, paving the way for the expansion and deepening of the “war on terrorism” across the region.

Various American destabilization plans, known for months by officials and analysts, proposed the toppling of Pakistan’s military…

The assassination of Bhutto appears to have been anticipated. There were even reports of “chatter” among US officials about the possible assassinations of either Pervez Musharraf or Benazir Bhutto, well before the actual attempts took place. (Anglo-American Ambitions behind the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the Destabilization of Pakistan by Larry Chin)

Political Impasse

“Regime change” with a view to ensuring continuity under military rule is no longer the main thrust of US foreign policy. The regime of Pervez Musharraf cannot prevail. Washington’s foreign policy course is to actively promote the political fragmentation and balkanization of Pakistan as a nation.

A new political leadership is anticipated but in all likelihood it will take on a very different shape, in relation to previous US sponsored regimes. One can expect that Washington will push for a compliant political leadership, unoncewrned with the National Interests,, which will serve its interests, while concurrently contributing under the disguise of “decentralization” to the weakening of the central government and the fracture of Pakistan’s fragile federal structure.

The political impasse is deliberate. It is part of an evolving US foreign policy agenda, which favors disruption and disarray in the structures of the Pakistani State. Indirect rule by the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus is to be replaced by more direct forms of US interference, including an expanded US military presence inside Pakistan.

This expanded military presence is also dictated by the Middle East-Central Asia geopolitical situation and Washington’s ongoing plans to extend the Middle East war to a much broader area.

The US has several military bases in Pakistan. It controls the country’s air space. According to a recent report: “U.S. Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their presence in Pakistan, as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counterterrorism units” (William Arkin, Washington Post, December 2007).

The official justification and pretext for an increased military presence in Pakistan is to extend the “war on terrorism”. Concurrently, to justify its counterrorism program, Washington is also beefing up its covert support to the “terrorists.”

The Balkanization of Pakistan

Already in 2005, a report by the US National Intelligence Council and the CIA forecast a “Yugoslav-like fate” for Pakistan “in a decade with the country riven by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries, as seen recently in Balochistan.” (Energy Compass, 2 March 2005). According to the NIC-CIA, Pakistan is slated to become a “failed state” by 2015, “as it would be affected by civil war, complete Talibanisation and struggle for control of its nuclear weapons”. (Quoted by former Pakistan High Commissioner to UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Times of India, 13 February 2005):

“Nascent democratic reforms will produce little change in the face of opposition from an entrenched political elite and radical Islamic parties. In a climate of continuing domestic turmoil, the Central government’s control probably will be reduced to the Punjabi heartland and the economic hub of Karachi,” the former diplomat quoted the NIC-CIA report as saying.

Expressing apprehension, Hasan asked, “are our military rulers working on a similar agenda or something that has been laid out for them in the various assessment reports over the years by the National Intelligence Council in joint collaboration with CIA?” Ibid)

Continuity, characterized by the dominant role of the Pakistani military and intelligence has been scrapped in favor of political breakup and balkanization. According to the NIC-CIA scenario, which Washington intends to carry out: “Pakistan will not recover easily from decades of political and economic mismanagement, divisive policies, lawlessness, corruption and ethnic friction,” (Ibid) .

The US course consists in fomenting social, ethnic and factional divisions and political fragmentation, including the territorial breakup of Pakistan. This course of action is also dictated by US war plans in relation to both Afghanistan and Iran.

This US agenda for Pakistan is similar to that applied throughout the broader Middle East Central Asian region. US strategy, supported by covert intelligence operations, consists in triggering ethnic and religious strife, abetting and financing secessionist movements while also weakening the institutions of the central government.

The broader objective is to fracture the Nation State and redraw the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Covert Support to Balochistan Separatists

Pakistan’s extensive oil and gas reserves, largely located in Balochistan province, as well as its pipeline corridors are considered strategic by the Anglo-American alliance, requiring the concurrent militarization of Pakistani territory.

Balochistan comprises more than 40 percent of Pakistan’s land mass, possesses important reserves of oil and natural gas as well as extensive mineral resources.

The Iran-India pipeline corridor is slated to transit through Balochistan. Balochistan also possesses a deap sea port largely financed by China located at Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea, not far from the Strait of Hormuz where 30 % of the world’s daily oil supply moves by ship or pipeline. (Asia News.it, 29 December 2007)

Pakistan has an estimated 25.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves of which 19 trillion are located in Balochistan. Among foreign oil and gas contractors in Balochistan are BP, Italy’s ENI, Austria’s OMV, and Australia’s BHP. It is worth noting that Pakistan’s State oil and gas companies, including PPL which has the largest stake in the Sui oil fields of Balochistan are up for privatization under IMF-World Bank supervision.

According to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Pakistan had proven oil reserves of 300 million barrels, most of which are located in Balochistan. Other estimates place Balochistan oil reserves at an estimated six trillion barrels of oil reserves both on-shore and off-shore (Environment News Service, 27 October 2006) .

The Balochi resistance movement dates back to the late 1940s, when Balochistan was invaded by Pakistan. In the current geopolitical context, the separatist movement is in the process of being hijacked by foreign powers.

Balochistan’s strategic energy reserves have a bearing on the separatist agenda. Following a familiar pattern, there are indications that the Baloch insurgency is being supported and abetted by Britain and the US.

British intelligence is allegedly providing covert support to Balochistan separatists (which from the outset have been repressed by Pakistan’s military). In June 2006, Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Defence accused British intelligence of “abetting the insurgency in the province bordering Iran” [Balochistan]..(Press Trust of India, 9 August 2006). Ten British MPs were involved in a closed door session of the Senate Committe on Defence. (Ibid).

It would appear that Britain and the US are supporting both sides. The US is providing American F-16 jets to Pakistan, which are being used to bomb Baloch villages in Balochistan. Meanwhile, British covert support referred to by Senate Committee essentially serves to weaken the central government.

The stated purpose of US counter-terrorism is to provide covert support as well as as training to “Liberation Armies” ultimately with a view to destabilizing sovereign governments. In Kosovo, the training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was in fact entrusted to a private mercenary company, Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI), on contract to the Pentagon.

The BLA bears a canny resemblance to Kosovo’s KLA, which was financed by the drug trade and supported by the CIA and Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND).

The BLA emerged shortly after the 1999 military coup. It has no tangible links to the Baloch resistance movement, which developed since the late 1940s. An aura of mystery surrounds the leadership of the BLA.

Washington favors the creation of a “Greater Balochistan” which would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran and possibly the Southern tip of Afghanistan (See Map above), thereby leading to a process of political fracturing in both Iran and Pakistan.

“The US is using Balochi nationalism for staging an insurgency inside Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan province. The ‘war on terror’ in Afghanistan gives a useful political backdrop for the ascendancy of Balochi militancy” (See Global Research, 6 March 2007).

Military scholar Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters writing in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces Journal, suggests, in no uncertain terms that Pakistan should be broken up, leading to the formation of a separate country: “Greater Balochistan” or “Free Balochistan” (see Map below). The latter would incorporate the Pakistani and Iranian Balochi provinces into a single political entity.

In turn, according to Peters, Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) should be incorporated into Afghanistan “because of its linguistic and ethnic affinity”.

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles. (See Mahdi D. Nazemroaya, Global Research, 18 November 2006)

“Lieutenant-Colonel Peters was last posted, before he retired to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, within the U.S. Defence Department, and has been one of the Pentagon’s foremost authors with numerous essays on strategy for military journals and U.S. foreign policy.” (Ibid)

mapmiddleeast3Map: click to enlarge

It is worth noting that secessionist tendencies are not limited to Balochistan. There are separatist groups in Sindh province, which are largely based on opposition to the Punjabi-dominated military regime of General Pervez Musharraf (For Further details see Selig Harrisson, Le Monde diplomatique, October 2006)

“Strong Economic Medicine”: Weakening Pakistan’s Central Government

Pakistan has federal structure based on federal provincial transfers. Under a fderal structure, the central government transfers financial resources to the provinces, with a view to supporting provincial based programs. When these transfers are frozen as occurred in Yugoslavia in January 1990, on orders of the IMF, the federal fiscal structure collapses:

“State revenues that should have gone as transfer payments to the republics [of the Yugoslav federation] went instead to service Belgrade’s debt … . The republics were largely left to their own devices. … The budget cuts requiring the redirection of federal revenues towards debt servicing, were conducive to the suspension of transfer payments by Belgrade to the governments of the Republics and Autonomous Provinces.

In one fell swoop, the reformers had engineered the final collapse of Yugoslavia’s federal fiscal structure and mortally wounded its federal political institutions. By cutting the financial arteries between Belgrade and the republics, the reforms fueled secessionist tendencies that fed on economic factors as well as ethnic divisions, virtually ensuring the de facto secession of the republics. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, Global Research, Montreal, 2003, Chapter 17.)

It is by no means accidental that the 2005 National Intelligence Council- CIA report had predicted a “Yugoslav-like fate” for Pakistan pointing to the impacts of “economic mismanagement” as one of the causes of political break-up and balkanization. “Economic mismanagement” is a term used by the Washington based international financial institutions to describe the chaos which results from not fully abiding by the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program. In actual fact, the “economic mismanagement” and chaos is the outcome of IMF-World Bank prescriptions, which precipitate indebted countries into extreme poverty.

Pakistan was subjected to the same deadly IMF “economic medicine” as Yugoslavia: In 1999, in the immediate wake of the coup d’Etat which brought General Pervez Musharaf to the helm of the military government, an IMF economic package, which included currency devaluation and drastic austerity measures, was imposed on Pakistan. Pakistan’s external debt is of the order of US$40 billion. The IMF’s “debt reduction” under the package was conditional upon the sell-off to foreign capital of the most profitable State owned enterprises at rockbottom prices .

Musharaf’s Finance Minister was chosen by Wall Street, which is not an unusual practice. The military rulers appointed at Wall Street’s behest, a vice-president of Citigroup, Shaukat Aziz, who at the time was head of CitiGroup’s Global Private Banking. (See WSWS.org, 30 October 1999). CitiGroup is among the largest commercial foreign banking institutions in Pakistan.

There are obvious similarities in the nature of US covert intelligence operations. The latter are often synchronized with the IMF-World Bank macro-economic reforms. In this regard, Yugoslavia’s federal fiscal structure collapsed in 1990 leading to mass poverty and heightened ethnic and social divisions. The US and NATO sponsored “civil war” launched in mid-1991 consisted in coveting Islamic groups as well as channeling covert support to separatist paramilitary armies in Bosnia and Kosovo.

A similar “civil war” scenario has been envisaged for Pakistan by the National Intelligence Council and the CIA: From the point of view of US intelligence, which has a longstanding experience in abetting separatist “liberation armies”, “Greater Albania” is to Kosovo what “Greater Balochistan” is to Pakistan’s Southeastern Balochistan province. Similarly, the KLA is Washington chosen model, to be replicated in regards to the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Rawalpindi, no ordinary city. Rawalpindi is a military city host to the headquarters of the Pakistani Armed Forces and Military Intelligence (ISI). Ironically Bhutto was assassinated in an urban area tightly controlled and guarded by the military police and the country’s elite forces. Rawalpindi is swarming with ISI intelligence officials, which invariably infiltrate political rallies. Her assassination was not a haphazard event.

Without evidence, quoting Pakistan government sources, the Western media in chorus has highlighted the role of Al-Qaeda, while also focusing on the the possible involvement of the ISI.

What these interpretations do not mention is that the ISI continues to play a key role in overseeing Al Qaeda on behalf of US intelligence. The press reports fail to mention two important and well documented facts:

1) the ISI maintains close ties to the CIA. The ISI is virtually an appendage of the CIA.

2) Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA. The ISI provides covert support to Al Qaeda, acting on behalf of US intelligence.

The involvement of either Al Qaeda and/or the ISI would suggest that US intelligence was cognizant and/or implicated in the assassination plot.

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7705

see

The Benazir Bhutto assassination by Trevor Murphy

The plan to topple Pakistan’s military? by Ahmed Quraishi

ISI’s Desperate Bid To Save Musharraf By Abid Ullah Jan (+ vids)Pakistan: Violent state repression of protests over Bhutto assassination by Keith Jones

BBC Censors Benazir Bhutto in Frost Interview (video)

Bhutto’s son and husband to lead party By Jo Johnson

Benazir Bhutto named her assassins almost two months ago by Rev. Richard Skaff

They Don’t Blame al-Qa’ida. They Blame Musharraf By Robert Fisk

Message of the Day: Reflection

Dandelion Salad

From http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dailyseed/messages


MESSAGE OF THE DAY

For the Word is visible to the heart alone, while flesh is visible
to bodily eyes as well.  We already possessed the means to see the
flesh, but we had no means to see the word.  The Word was made
flesh so that we could see it, to heal the part of us by which we
could see the Word.
- Augustine, “Tractates on 1 John”

(What does it mean to you to “see the Word?”)

Reflection:

(used with permission from http://www.scripture.net)

Jesus promised his disciples that “no one will take your joy from
you” (John 16:22). The Lord gives us a supernatural joy which
enables us to bear any sorrow or pain and which neither life nor
death can take way. Do you know the joy of a life fully surrendered
to God with faith and trust?

“Lord, you gave your life for my sake, to redeem me from slavery to
sin and death.  Help me to carry my cross with joy that I may
willingly do your will and not shrink back out of fear or cowardice
when trouble besets me.”

SCRIPTURE READINGS
http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/

1 Jn 1:5–2:2;   Ps 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8;   Mt 2:13-18

R.    (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s
snare.
Had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.