07.30.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

 Dandelion Salad


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

July 30, 2007

“Stranded Palestinians Allowed into Gaza,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Fateh Parliamentarian Attacked in Gaza,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“Russia Must Sever Ties with Hamas,” IBA TV, Israel
“Taliban Executes Korean Hostage,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Iraq Wins Asia Soccer Cup,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq Worsens,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Ex- President Gemayel Returns to the Political arena,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Lebanese Politicians Exchange Accusations,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“IAEA Inspectors visit Arak Nuclear Facilities in Iran,” IRIB2 TV, Iran

Continue reading

“Brought to You by Boeing” By Cindy Sheehan + Sunday in the Park with Cindy Sheehan (video)

By Cindy Sheehan
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Journey for Humanity and Accountability
Final Day of Tour
Monday 30 July 2007

Before I headed to our “Gather-In of Hearts” in Central Park this afternoon, I was watching NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Except for a brief excerpt about the Alberto Gonzales hearing this week, the entire show was about Obama vs. Hillary. Should Obama hit harder? Should Hillary ignore him since she’s the frontrunner? How will this affect the primaries? Will it affect the primaries? Fox and CNN are trying to distract us from real news that affects us all by round-the-clock reporting on Lindsay Lohan; and NBC uses the shiny keys of Obama and Clinton, two people whose campaigns together have each raised enough money to pay for about five hours of the illegal and insane occupation of Iraq.

I was wondering when Tim Russert would get around to talking about the refugee crisis BushCo and Congress Inc. have created in the Middle East that is rapidly destabilizing the entire region, not just Iraq. Or, how about we talk about the impending invasion of Iran that Dick Nuke’em the VP of War is jonesing for? And wouldn’t it be nice if we heard some cons for an invasion of Iran instead of the neocon pro-war-all-the-time crap? There is so much heartache and violence in the world. There are too many of our brothers and sisters going without the bare necessities; and NBC wants us to care about two people who are co-opted into the power elite and are feuding over foreign policy, when they are both Senators who have power right now, and could affect the process positively if they weren’t busy campaigning for elections that are months away.

I was wondering when the real discussion was going to occur until I saw those five words: “Brought to you by Boeing:” the number one aerospace/defense contractor in the world, according to the Fortune 500. The next show after “Meet the Press” is “The McLaughlin Group”, that is brought to a gullible American viewership by The Oil and Natural Gas Council.

I was at a Rage Against the Machine concert last night, watching the thousands of young people in the audience from stage right. The crowd was as filled with life as the band, and I was amazed at all the energy. I wondered if the crowd knew how socially and politically radical the words are to Rage’s music, and were not just as mesmerized by the pounding music and Tom Morello’s amazing guitar playing as I was. I was wondering how the peace and justice movement could harness that energy in a positive direction to really shutting down the machine that is brought to us by Boeing and The Oil and Natural Gas Council, among thousands of other companies that profit off of war, and our politicians who let the machine tell them how to govern to keep that same machine well oiled, while stealing financial and human resources right out from under the noses of families and communities.

Before Casey was killed, I did not rage against the machine that has been grinding up our soldiers and murderously oppressing other populations for generations. As a matter of fact, I practically threw my own son under the wheels of the machine. Despite my vague misgivings about the machine and my desperate worry about Casey going to Iraq, I watched him leave through tear-soaked eyes and a worry-laden heart.

Rage, rage, rage against that machine! Don’t let it eat up you or your children because it uses our flesh and blood to engender enormous profits; and while sending our children off to war to use up their airplanes, bombs, guns, bullets, uniforms, helmets and boots, the machine is sending its children off to expensive private schools to raise more machine heads.

It is impossible to bring back the lives that have been stolen by the machine, but it is never too late to save the future. I am hoping my candidacy against Nancy Pelosi in California’s 8th will be able to put a little sugar in the tank of the machine.

The machine is powerful and heartless, but if we all stand up to it, we can finally dismantle it this time.

Thanks for your overwhelming support of our Journey for Humanity and Accountability! We have been welcomed everywhere and feel the energy for impeachment building, and the energy for a people’s campaign for humanity and accountability growing.

The next stops for our group will be Jordan and Syria to visit Iraqi refugee camps and to take money and supplies to the refugees. To help, go to www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org to donate; and please put “For Iraqi Refugees” in the subject line.

I will be formally announcing my Independent candidacy for Congress in San Francisco on August 6th, which, besides being the day the machine dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, is the two year anniversary of the day we went to Crawford, Texas and established Camp Casey.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is the author of Peace Mom: One Mom’s Journey through Heartache to Activism.

h/t: Brad4Kucinich


Global Pulse – A World of Refugees (video; over 18 only)

Iraq: One in seven joins human tide spilling into neighbouring countries By Patrick Cockburn


Thanks to Eileen for the link to this video.

AtlasShrugs: Sunday in the Park with Cindy Sheehan (video)

European Hypocrisy – A Palestinian View By Saifedean Ammous

Dandelion Salad

By Saifedean Ammous
07/31/07 “Rootless Cosmopolitan

While in Paris a few weeks ago, whenever I would discuss Middle East politics with anyone, I would be overwhelmed with the traditional refrains of classical anti-Americanism: “they have no culture and deal with the world as if it had no culture”, “they have no morality in their foreign policy”, “they go to war for oil and money” and so on with inane over-simplified stereotypes. Soon after would come the cackle of self-righteous pride: “we Europeans are different”, “we want our foreign policy based on a concept of morality”, “we attempt to promote justice in the world and fix up the mess left behind by the Americans”. I would then usually be told something about all the aid that Europeans give to Palestinians as proof of the decency of Europeans as opposed to the rabidly Zionist Americans who give billions to fund Israel’s murderous army.

Would that this were true.

Europe’s policy with regard to Palestine/Israel is so racist, short-sighted, counter-productive and hypocritical that it could almost pass for American policy.

When looking at the current situation in Palestine, an observer will find an illegal Israeli occupation that has been festering for 40 years, combined with illegal ethnically-exclusive colonies built on stolen Palestinian land, and the world’s only ethnically-segregated road network, where many routes can only be accessed by Jews. An internationally-illegal apartheid barrier surrounds Palestinian towns and villages, not only cutting them off from one another, but also cutting off farmers from their lands, children from their schools, patients from their hospitals and workers from their jobs. Israel controls all of the Palestinians’ openings to the outside world, stifling not only Palestinians’ freedom of movement, but also their economy and trade. One of the world’s strongest armies, the IDF, is regularly unleashed on civilian populations in Palestine, murdering thousands and killing innocent children with complete impunity. The Israeli government has as its Deputy Prime Minister an unabashed Fascist who openly and regularly calls for ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Arabs as a solution to the conflict. Israel continues to deny millions of Palestinians their legal right to return to their own homes from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948, restricts land-ownership to Jews only, and has discriminatory racist laws in countless areas from marriage to immigration.

In the face of this travesty of justice, what is the only thing that the Europeans do? Demand that the oppressed, the Palestinians, only elect political parties that “recognize Israel’s right to exist” as a precondition for sitting on one table and discussing what to do about all these travesties.

Let us first bear in mind that the idea of Hamas—or any Palestinian political party for that matter—recognizing Israel’s “right to exist” is a patently meaningless idea that makes as much sense as Manchester United Football Club recognizing Tanzania’s “right to exist”. Nowhere is it written that nation states have a “right to exist” themselves. What is meant by “recognition” in an international setting is what happens when countries exchange embassies and establish diplomatic relations. Nowhere but in Palestine has the idea of a non-state entity recognizing a state ever been seriously discussed. Further, the imbeciles who repeat this canard conveniently ignore that Israel is not merely “not recognizing Palestine’s right to exist”, but actively, deliberately and comprehensively destroying any chance of a Palestinian state ever existing. But, for the morally-superior Europeans, Hamas’ “recognition” of Israel is the thing that bothers them the most about Palestine/Israel today, and not all of the crimes listed above. The kicker, of course, is not just that this is a morally and logically absurd position, but that Israel’s actions are the root of the conflict, and not whether Hamas recognizes Israel. This recognition won’t change anything on the ground and won’t affect the lives of anyone in any way, but the walls, settlements, killings, checkpoints and Israel’s racist policies will. Only when these are ended can there be peace, regardless of what Hamas “recognizes” or declines to “recognize.”

All of the aforementioned crimes by Israel constitute clear violations of the EU Neighborhood Policy terms under which EU neighbors get preferential access to EU markets and a slew of other benefits and perks. The EU regularly uses its economic and diplomatic influence to try and get countries to desist from carrying out racist policies: it makes trade deals dependent on improvements in human, labor and minority rights; it has made Turkey’s accession to the EU dependent on Turkey’s human rights record, and has stopped Austria from bringing Jorg Haider into the government. Far from taking any action to try to pressure Israel to stop some of its crimes in Palestine, the EU has cowardly chosen a policy of rewarding their transgressions with more carrots, and Israel continues to enjoy extremely generous benefits from its relationship with European countries, even being sold arms by many of them.

The tragic aspect of Europe’s policy with regard to Palestine today is not just that is practically indistinguishable from the policy of the US, but that it comes bundled with great self-righteousness and an unshakable belief that it is not only the correct policy, but is also vastly morally superior to anything anyone else is doing. The financial aid provided by Europe is the major rationale supporting this smugness.

As the Europeans continue to do nothing to stop Israel from destroying the livelihood of the Palestinian people, they take out their checkbooks and assuage their conscience by providing money to the Palestinians. Before the election of Hamas, this money went to prop-up the increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority in order to guarantee its survival and a continuation of the painful status quo. After Hamas’s election, they tried to surpass the PA by sending money through increasingly complex, inefficient, and often counter-productive mechanisms.

Here is a small microcosm of how this madness works: A Palestinian town has a wall built surrounding it from all sides, making it impossible for previously prosperous farmers to access their land, patients to reach their doctors and children to reach their schools. Naturally, the town is devastated. That’s when Europeans send in their conscience-assuaging, smugness-propping aid “experts” to “save” the town, in the process relieving Israel from having to deal with the consequences of its crimes. They provide the farmers with food instead of the food they could have produced themselves, and proceed with projects to teach Palestinians “alternative industries”, “new business models”, “good local governance”, “participatory development”, “creative educational techniques” and countless other meaningless prattle that the Palestinians would gladly give up for having the wall removed, an independent state and some sense of normalcy bestowed on their lives. Naturally, these projects have a short shelf-life; the funding soon dries up, the “experts” leave, but the apartheid wall remains, the livelihood of a whole town is devastated, and the mirage of Palestinian independence is even more distant. And worst of all: the next time an unfortunate Palestinian like myself visits Paris, they will be bombarded with self-righteous recitation of countless such micro projects, and expected to bow in deference of the mighty superiority of European morality.

This combination of criminal politics combined with generous futile charity is what Ann Le More brilliantly dissected in her appropriately entitled paper: Killing with Kindness: Funding the Demise of a Palestinian State.

High percentages of European citizens have a good understanding of the conflict and would like to see a better policy and a just solution. Countless Europeans spend a lot of time and money in helping Palestinians, many volunteering to travel there to protect Palestinians and protest and document the occupation. These brave souls are some of my personal heroes. There are many sincere and honest European politicians who have opposed these policies. I do not doubt the sincerity of many of those who genuinely want to improve the lives of Palestinians, and am personally very grateful to them. But a combination of indifference on the part of many and malice on the part of the leaders kow-towing to the US produces this criminal policy, and donates a lot of aid to try to appease those who care. Europeans have to recognize that the only way things will improve is not through charity, but proper, principled and sustained political action.

True, Europe has shown some principled and humanist action in their foreign policy in many countries. They may give more aid, send more peacekeepers and broker more peace deals than the Americans, and they have certainly improved a lot in the way they deal with the world over the last few decades. But whatever Europe does, its complicity in the abhorrent oppression of Palestinians will remain to blight any claims it has to moral authority. After all, you are only as moral as your least moral action.

Saifedean, currently completing a Ph. D. at Columbia, hails from Palestine and is a passionate and eloquent advocate of its national cause, known for skewering the logic of its foes. Read more of his work at his own site, The Saif House.

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. This material is distributed without profit.

The Liberator By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Dandelion Salad

By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
July 31, 2007

“He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an interest in the preservation of the enemy’s life.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Holding a joint press conference with the new British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, George W. Bush called Iraq a ‘new democracy’; The gift of democracy from the Bush White House. It would seem appropriate that a statue of George W. Bush be erected where Saddam’s statue once stood – after all, he is the liberator. The momentous unveiling ought to be accompanied by the wailing of mothers rocking back and forth as they beat their chests holding corpses and shrieking in anguish. The ‘new democracy’ should have its orphaned children present, delivering their gratitude with growling stomachs and tears that are all they have to relieve their parched throats. The liberator’s statue would be adorned not with the promised flowers, but with stains left behind by the blood of the innocent buried in mass graves – the shame of women raped. Indeed, they were liberated from their dreams, their tomorrows, from their hopes. Continue reading

Impeachment as Political Solution to Iraq War By James Rothenberg

Dandelion Salad

By James Rothenberg
07/31/07 “ICH

It has become cliché to say that this Iraq war cannot be won militarily. Equally comfortable with this admission are hawks who would turn on a dime if they thought the insurgency was capable of collapsing, and doves whose primary objection to the war is its “mismanagement”.

Trouble is it never really was a war because there was no opposing side. What was there was known to be easy picking – minimally armed and quickly demoralized. Mischaracterizing it as a war appears to give credibility to certain concepts such as self-defense (none was needed), appears to justify curtailment of civil liberties (what are they worth if they can be taken away anyhow?), and appears to give meaning to concepts such as winning and losing (you don’t win something you couldn’t lose).

Extending the train of thought from the mentioned cliché, that the war cannot be won militarily, the war is now said to require a “political solution”. Improperly framing Iraq as a war benefits those responsible for it and obscures the clearest path to a saner future. If instead Iraq was framed as the armed assault that it was (billed as “Shock and Awe”), there is a logical, expedient political solution at our disposal – impeachment.

A political solution will have to envelope a perspective greater than that bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Americans may not be fully convinced of the illegality and immorality of our invasion but the rest of the world, especially the affected, is overwhelmingly so. It is unrealistic to think that the very government that displays such unbridled hostility to Iraq, Iran, and Syria can somehow be accepted as a legitimate interlocutor. In foreign eyes, we cannot be trusted to come up with any solution that will ameliorate the deep-seated animosity toward us that was generated by our use of force, and our continuing menace of more force.

A just solution won’t come without a cleansing and we are fortunate to have one handy. Impeachment will tell a story about how and why we started an aggression. It will contain sub-plots about indefinite detention and torture and the means of repression here at home, including the suppression of dissent.

This story will make us better off for the telling. It is the surest way to win the “hearts and minds” of those our present government treats as if they had no hearts and minds at all. If we are willing to impeach our president and vice president, we are willing to admit that our country has done wrong. Admit this and forget the rest.

James Rothenberg – jrothenberg@taconic.net

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. This material is distributed without profit.

The Rewards of Rape: Rich Bounty for a Bush Partner in Torture by Chris Floyd (over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad

Written by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Our text for today is from the Guardian: Freed doctor describes torture ordeal inside Libyan jail.

The Palestinian doctor who was held in Libyan custody along with five Bulgarian nurses on charges they infected hundreds of children with HIV, has described in detail how they were tortured during their eight-year ordeal. Ashraf Alhajouj, 38, said he was beaten, held in cages with police dogs and given electric shocks, including to his private parts. He said that he and the nurses were sometimes put together naked in the same room and tortured.

All the world knows that one of the great fruits of the Bush Administration’s compassionate intervention in Iraq has been the return of long-outcast Libya to the community of nations. As we have been told by our Wise Molders of conventional wisdom, Libyan leader Muammar Gadafy was so shocked and awed by the righteous might of the Anglo-American mission of mercy in Iraq that he shed salt tears of repentance for his past waywardness and vowed to sin no more. He gave up his “arsenal of weapons of mass destruction,” as the Molders put it, and has thrown open his doors to the compassionate intervention of Western business interests, particularly the benevolent lords of the oil companies, now returning to the sumptuous fields from which younger and more foolish Gadafy expelled them decades ago. In recognition of his new, more mature stance, Gadafy has been showered with accolades by Western leaders, particularly Tony Blair, who used some of his last precious days in power to visit his “trusted friend” Muammar and, just by the way, seal a $900 million oil deal for BP.


Money Been On Me Blues: Once More With the Hat by Chris Floyd

Please consider donating to one of my favorite journalists.  Chris Floyd tells it like it is.  We need to appreciate the work he is doing.  Thanks, Lo

Dandelion Salad

Written by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Money been on me all my life
Left my children hungry, withered my wife
Kept me strapped to a grindin stone
Money oh money won’t leave me alone

Sorry to be so crass, but due to the completely inexplicable fact that no well-heeled news outfit has picked up the prose stylings of your correspondent following not one but two ash-cannings in the last 12 months, we are still being forced to pass the hat on behalf of our busking here at Empire Burlesque. I very much dislike doing this kind of thing, but for the time being it is necessary for the site to generate at least some measure of income in order to support the journalism that we do here.

I went down to see the preacher man
Said he could put salvation in my hand
But before he would seal my happy fate
He said you best drop a coin down in this plate

We’re not mounting one of those big-bucks fund drives that you see on other sites (although big bucks are certainly welcome, if you’ve got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket), but if you feel the site is worth keeping afloat, and you have some spare change, any and all contributions would be most heartily appreciated. To donate, just go to the top right corner of the page, where you will find the exhortation to “take up alms against the empire!”

Outside of town they pitched a great big tent
They said come and meet the president
I told him my trouble, he said there’s nothin he could do
He said I come here, son, to beg some money from you

In any case, as I’ve said before, we’ll keep going here until the lights go out, and will keep looking for ways to give you your groatsworth — such as the fantastic projects of our webmaster, Rich Kastelein, which are featured on the left hand side of the site. His “War Gallery” alone is vital resource for anyone interested in seeing the reality of war crime in Iraq — and is far and away the most viewed segment on the blog. You might also check out the book (which could be having a sequel soon) and, if you want to make an old man happy, the album, Wheel of Heaven.

Again, apologies for this commercial interruption. We now return you to your regular programming.

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. This material is distributed without profit.

George Orwell – The Real Room 101

Dandelion Salad

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 — 21 January 1950), better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. Noted as a novelist, critic, political and cultural commentator, Orwell is among the most widely admired English-language essayists of the 20th century. He is best known for two novels critical of totalitarianism in general, and Stalinism in particular: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Both were written and published towards the end of his life.

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The Daily Show – Rove Subpoenaed + The Daily Show – Achieving Our Goooal By Manila Ryce (video links)

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
Published Tuesday, July 31st, 2007, 8:07 am

They’ve been absent for about 7 years, but the Democrats’ testicles are finally starting to drop. Senator Patrick Leahy is the big baller of this nutty bunch. Let’s hope they continue to grow to maturity. Will we see a battle of cross swords if Rove simply ignores the subpoena like Bolton and Miers, who are now being cited with contempt of Congress?

Aasif Mandvi explains that the contempt going around is at an all time high, and why we need to conserve this finite resource for future generations.

The Daily Show – Achieving Our Goooal

By Manila Ryce
Published Tuesday, July 31st, 2007, 7:38 am

John Oliver reports on the disappointing Saudi goalkeeping which resulted in Iraq’s soccer team capturing the Asian Cup. In his opinion, the only redeemable aspect seems to be that so few people were killed during the celebration. However, not even that ray of sunshine could break through the gloomy cloud over Iraq for too long.

Olbermann: Without Gonzales There’d Be No Bush Presidency (video)

Dandelion Salad

July 30, 2007 Countdown


Olbermann: The Fix is in on Fox News + Worst Person in the World: War we might win author (videos)

Power to the People – Send a message to slimebag crony soon-to-be-former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales by Brigida + SNL Really with Seth & Amy (video link) + Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It (video cartoon)

White House says spying broader than known: report

Power to the People – Send a message to slimebag crony soon-to-be-former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales by Brigida + Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It (video cartoon)

Brigida (D-NY)

featured writer
Dandelion Salad

How would you like to send a message to slimebag crony soon-to-be-former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales?

My good friends at
www.johnedwards.com have hatched a little scheme to tell this flagrant perjurer exactly what we fed-up Americans think of him.

For every signature collected, a copy of the US Constitution WILL BE MAILED DIRECTLY TO THE OFFICE of this blood sucking, yellow bellied vermin.

Once 25,000 names are collected, a GIANT-SIZED copy of the Constitution with ALL of our names will also be sent to his office, courtesy of our friend, John Edwards.

You can sign the petition. There’s even a little spot where you can send the scumbag a message and tell him what a piece of trash he is.

Remember, you DO NOT have to be a supporter of Senator Edwards to sign this petition.

I think we ALL can agree that it is time for this disgrace to American politics to GO HOME AND FACE DISBARMENT PROCEEDINGS.

Forgot about that, didn’t you? Yup, Bushie may be able to pardon the bastard, but he CANNOT protect him from the American Bar Association. Once he is found guilty of perjury, the ABA will most DEFINITELY make sure he never practices law again in our blessed country.

Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It

(Ed’s note: Brigida chose this perfect song to go along with this but I can’t put it here, so here’s a video cartoon version.)