The Daily Show – England’s FEMA to the Rescue By Manila Ryce (video link)

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
Published Friday, July 27th, 2007, 7:06 am

John Oliver uses the recent London flooding to illustrate what any “self-respecting western democracy” is suppose to do during a major catastrophe. Security, water, and shelter are top priorities. Thanks to England’s version of FEMA, even the darkies aren’t left to drown.

Still, with all the criticism of Bush for failing to act on Katrina, no one ever mentions that the evangelicals in his administration are looking towards preventative measures for the next big disaster. In fact, one of their allies across the pond has shared information that the recent floods in England are actually God’s punishment for allowing gays to have rights. The Bush administration’s denial of constitutional rights over here may eventually be what saves us from a flood of biblical proportions.

I personally think we can go a step further to turn this curse into a blessing. If gays are natural rainmakers, then we can put together an emergency task force of the biggest, most flaming homos to parachute into areas of the world suffering from drought. I say deploy “Operation: It’s Raining Men” and we might finally be greeted as sexual liberators.



Noam Chomsky – Rebel Without A Pause (2003)

Dandelion Salad

Note: replaced video May 10, 2012

on Mar 28, 2011

The work of Noam Chomsky has provoked debate, deep thought, and in-depth analysis by his many followers across the globe. REBEL WITHOUT A PAUSE offers some key speeches from Chomsky, most of which revolve around the themes of the post-9/11 world we live in, as well as some fascinating appraisals of his character from friends, colleagues, and fans. Chomsky’s wife, Carol, is interviewed extensively, offering some interesting information about her husband’s life as an intellectual, but it is the shots of Chomsky in action that are the main draw here. A captivating orator full of brilliant ideas, this release proves him to be one of the foremost counterculture icons of the early 21st century.

Continue reading

Mosaic Intelligence Report: Oil Talks (video)

Dandelion Salad

For more programs:

THIS EPISODE: Mosaic Intelligence Report – July 27, 2007: In a bizarre ending to a long-running saga, the five Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor jailed in Libya since 1999 for allegedly deliberately infecting some 400 Libyan children with the HIV virus, were suddenly freed this week and flown to Bulgaria on board a French presidential jet.

Since the Libyan government still insists that the nurses are guilty why did they really let them go? What happened to the final payment of compensations for the victims of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie , Scotland , in 1988? How did Libya get off the hook for the 1986 attack on a disco in West Berlin that was used by U.S. servicemen? Were these forgotten in a bigger deal cut for oil?

From inside Iraq – Baghdad By Layla Anwar

Dandelion Salad

By Layla Anwar

07/27/07 “ICH

I am not sure if you heard that on your news wherever you are, but 13 American soldiers met their fate yesterday in Adhamiya alone.

You know Adhamiya don’t you? The Ghetto of the 21st century. You know, come on now…The Aushwitz wall of Adhamiya.
And (and this is important info) contrary to “popular” belief, according to what I heard, the explosives used were NOT made in Iran.

Petraeus and the Farsee Mullahs have had you dancing on one leg and jingling the war alerts bells with another…Now you grow up and listen to real politics on the ground – hot from the Iraqi oven.

This little bit of info was expanded upon when two seemingly non related incidents took place. And you know as well as I do that the devil hides in the detail.

In a previous post I mentioned two relatives who have been detained and imprisoned by the American occupier.

The first one, Omar was transferred from an American run prison to a prison in Southern Iraq run by the Mahdi Militias.
Seems that they are more proficient at extracting information than the yankees. Mind you, you did not fare too badly yourselves.

To cut a long story short, the prison was bombed and we still don’t know exactly by whom and Omar is very probably dead.

This is one instance of a real solid cooperation on security matters between the Americans and the militias run by Iran. Not bad huh ?

Now the second one is Kamel. Finally we have news of Kamel.
Kamel 60’s – as you may recall – was arrested by the Americans and the alleged charges are “insurgency”.
I mean, Kamel cannot even lift a hammer let alone carry weapons. But that is not the crux of the matter.

What I learned today is that Kamel will be released on condition that a sum of 2 million Iraqi dinars is paid up front to the prison. The sum is in the process of being gathered…But again that is not the main point am driving at.

Now this prison is supposedly run by Americans. And Kamel is allegedly an “insurgent”. How come this “release” sum?

Everything became clearer when I learned that even though this is an “American” prison, it is in fact run by – guess who? Of course the Iranian militias of which Muqtada Al Sadr is king.
So to cut a long torturous story short, a sum of 2 million dinars will be paid to the militias and only then will they sign a paper stating that Kamel is NOT an “insurgent.”

What do you make out of all of this? It is as clear as daylight.
The Americans and the Militias of Iran are cooperating on “important security issues.”
And whom do these security issues involve? Any sunni perceived as anti-occupation and anyone perceived as a potential Resistance sympathizer or maybe a real member of the Resistance.

Conclusion – The Americans and the Iran run militias are targeting the Resistance. And the Resistance has been deliberately lumped with al Qaeda. All Resistance fighthers are considered al Qaeda by the Americans. And Bingo!

Moreover, as if the Americans do not wish to dirty their hands even further, they relegate the real heavy work (of torture) to the militias.
Just a question of PR after the scandalous episodes in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Falluja, Abeer, etc…

So do remember these two little incidents next time you get on your bandwagon…

The following bits of info will complete the picture further. And do not come and complain that you have not been told.

Seems there is contest going on between Adhamiya and Ameriya as to whose wall is tallest.
Latest news from Ameriya (a sooneee stronghold) confirm that the Ameriya wall is nearly complete and is higher than the Adhamiya wall.

Nadia wanted to return to her district, Ameriya. She had to take two cabs to get to Ameriya “gates”. Then from Ameriya “gates” after security clearance, she had to take another 3 cabs to get home. At each check point within the Ameriya district, they forced her to change cabs. Needless to tell you that Nadia spends over half of her salary on cabs and she is left with 20 dollars to feed her kids.

In Adhamiya, American tanks are stationed on every single street corner.
They (the yankees) have gone as mad as rabid dogs since yesterday…so I was told.
Inhabitants of Adhamiya are literally buried at home, soaking in sweat, no water, no possibility to go and buy food and no electricity with an average temperature reaching 53C.
I pray that Radhee survives it this time around.

In the Karrada district two days ago, 25 Iraqis were killed by a mysterious explosion.
Today the same happened with a roughly similar number of dead and around 8 injured. According to reliable sources, no one really knows who is behind these explosions. And again contrary to common belief, it is no longer car bombs but explosive devices placed in Buildings.

A similar kind of explosion took place in al-Mansur today.

This new tactic has one clear purpose, in my opinion: “Bring the whole thing down”. If you see what I mean.

These are little puzzles, pieces that form what “American Academia” of Political Science refer to as ” creative chaos ” and some prefer to call it “creative destruction”.

Needless to add that Iran is doing her wonderful share in the “creative” american “surge”. It has become self-evident by now.

From Outside of Iraq – Syria & Jordan.

The Iraqi refugeee crisis is deepening to the point of another “creative chaos” and to a point of “no return”. Mark my words.

All of the refugees interviewed whether in Syria or in Jordan unequivocally state the same things:

– the Iraqi government is doing absolutely nothing to alleviate their ever deteriorating conditions. No funds are available, no money transfers, pensioners are forced to return to Baghdad to receive their meager paychecks. Many of them do not make it back to the host country. They are killed by bandits or by the militias.
Suhair’s husband is a “living” example. He went back to get his paycheck and was shot in the head by the Mahdi boys right in front of his doorstep, leaving Suhair a widow at the age of 33 with three kids to feed.

All the refugees interviewed shout out the same cry of despair:

“The queues at the Iraqi embassy are so long. We start queuing at the crack of dawn, for help, for a passport, for assistance, for information… When we are finally received if they ever accept to receive us, they treat us like STRANGERS, as if they are not from us and we are not from them.”

Do remember that all of the Iraqi embassies worldwide are now run by Kurds and of course sectarians with loyalties to who else? but Iran. Ask any refugee and s/he will concur to that.

And they add: “They think because we left the country, we are their enemies. But we were forced to leave from the violence. So now they force us to go back so we get killed.”

They also state that: “The U.N has done absolutely nothing for us. Apart from giving us application forms to fill and that was that.”

Iraqi refugees are now considered to be a heavy burden by both the host countries and by the Iraqi government.

Their number outside of Iraq is 2.2 million and they are mainly concentrated in Syria and Jordan. Most of them have NO access to schooling, decent housing, basic necessities, food, health care and jobs. They are not allowed to work. Period.

The remaining 2.2 are displaced within Iraqi borders and live in tents or in someone else’s home. They too have NO access to anything.

These Iraqi refugees are the Mosaic of Iraq. They are sunnis, shias, yezidis, christians – assyrians, chaldeans, telkef – kurds, sabaeans, armenians…

The Mosaic is now in exile. You can do something to save it. You failed the first time around, do something now, at least for them. Them on the outside. They are reachable. They are in a different kind of oven but still reachable. You owe it to them. You owe it to yourselves.

One another note, 2000 Iraqis were finally granted entry to the U.S – Michigan to be more precise. They do facilitate entries for christian Iraqis.
But the locals have already started complaining. The Iraqis are placing an undue burden on the Michigan economy. (here for full story).
Already? They have not even landed yet.

Tell you what – ask your President and his gangsters to pay for them and maintain them and they ought to live like royalty in friggin Michigan.
After all, you still have not given me an answer as to what happened to the 20 Billion Dollars from the Iraqi treasury – i.e Iraqi money that your Bremer stole.

Now you pay, bunch of bastards. You pay for this hellish oven of your creation.

Layla Anwar, Who am I? The eternal Question. Have not figured it out fully yet. All you need to know about me is that I am a Middle Easterner, an Arab Woman – into my 40’s and old enough to know better. I have no homeland per se. I live in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Egypt simultaneously …. All the rest is icing on the cake. Visit her blog

Layla Anwar / Copyrights reserved, 2006-2007

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 Threat Of Martial Law Is Real By Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
07/27/07 “

The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim-improperly, but so what? -that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called “War” on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, “since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he’d need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S.”

The 2001 AUMF was followed by the PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights. Around the same time, the president began a campaign of massive spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, conducted without any warrants or other judicial review. It was and remains a program that is clearly aimed at American dissidents and at the administration’s political opponents, since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would never have raised no objections to spying on potential terrorists. (And it, and other government spying programs, have resulted in the government’s having a list now of some 325,000 “suspected terrorists”!)

The other thing we saw early on was the establishment of an underground government-within-a-government, though the activation, following 9-11, of the so-called “Continuity of Government” protocol, which saw heads of federal agencies moved secretly to an underground bunker where, working under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, the “government” functioned out of sight of Congress and the public for critical months.

It was also during the first year following 9-11 that the Bush/Cheney regime began its programs of arrest and detention without charge-mostly of resident aliens, but also of American citizens-and of kidnapping and torture in a chain of gulag prisons overseas and at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.

The following year, Attorney General John Ashcroft began his program to develop a mass network of tens of millions of citizen spies-Operation TIPS. That program, which had considerable support from key Democrats (notably Sen. Joe Lieberman), was curtailed by Congress when key conservatives got wind of the scale of the thing, but the concept survives without a name, and is reportedly being expanded today.

Meanwhile, last October Bush and Cheney, with the help of a compliant Congress, put in place some key elements needed for a military putsch. There was the overturning of the venerable Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which barred the use of active duty military inside the United States for police-type functions, and the revision of the Insurrection Act, so as to empower the president to take control of National Guard units in the 50 states even over the objections of the governors of those states.

Put this together with the wholly secret construction now under way–courtesy of a $385-million grant by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc–of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people, and a recent report that the Pentagon has a document, dated June 1, 2007, classified Top Secret, which declares there to be a developing “insurgency” within the U.S, and which lays out a whole martial law counterinsurgency campaign against legal dissent, and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States.

As we go about our daily lives–our shopping, our escapist movie watching, and even our protesting and political organizing-we need to be aware that there is a real risk that it could all blow up, and that we could find ourselves facing armed, uniformed troops at our doors.

Bruce Fein isn’t an alarmist. He says he doesn’t see martial law coming tomorrow. But he is also realistic. “Really, by declaring the US to be a battlefield, Bush already made it possible for himself to declare martial law, because you can always declare martial law on a battlefield,” he says. “All he would need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack on the U.S.”

Indeed, the revised Insurrection Act (10. USC 331-335) approved by Congress and signed into law by Bush last October, specifically says that the president can federalize the National Guard to “suppress public disorder” in the event of “national disorder, epidemic, other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident.” That determination, the act states, is solely the president’s to make. Congress is not involved.

Fein says, “This is all sitting around like a loaded gun waiting to go off. I think the risk of martial law is trivial right now, but the minute there is a terrorist attack, then it is real. And it stays with us after Bush and Cheney are gone, because terrorism stays with us forever.” (It may be significant that Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, has called for the revocation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, but not of the earlier 2001 AUMF which Bush claims makes him commander in chief of a borderless, endless war on terror.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has added an amendment to the upcoming Defense bill, restoring the Insurrection Act to its former version-a move that has the endorsement of all 50 governors–but Fein argues that would not solve the problem, since Bush still claims that the U.S. is a battlefield. Besides, a Leahy aide concedes that Bush could sign the next Defense Appropriations bill and then use a signing statement to invalidate the Insurrection Act rider.

Fein argues that the only real defense against the looming disaster of a martial law declaration would be for Congress to vote for a resolution determining that there is no “War” on terror. “But they are such cowards they will never do that,” he says.

That leaves us with the military.

If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our “heroes” in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to “uphold and defend” the Constitution of the United States? Or would they follow the orders of their Commander in Chief?

It has to be a plus that National Guard and Reserve units are on their third and sometimes fourth deployments to Iraq, and are fuming at the abuse. It has to be a plus that active duty troops are refusing to re-enlist in droves-especially mid-level officers.

If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military. Maybe if it’s broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment”, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at:

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.

Cheney Determined To Strike In US With WMD This Summer: Only Impeachment, Removal or General Strike Can Stop Him By Webster G. Tarpley

Detention Centers/Concentration Camps in the US

Palast: ‘No Pleasure for Rove’ (audio; Randi Rhodes)

Dandelion Salad

Palast- ‘No Pleasure for Rove’

<!– by Greg Palast –>by Greg Palast
July 24th, 2007

Greg Palast and Randi Rhodes discuss Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ testimony in today’s Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings.
Topics include former prosecutor and boy scout Iglesias, why Karl Rove gets no love and obstructions in Bush’s White House.

Click here to listen (now updated for Greg’s Full Segment)

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.

Palast on the Slippery Backroom Deals of the Iraqi Oil Law by Greg Palast (audio)

Dandelion Salad

by Greg Palast
July 26th, 2007

Palast explains the oil game in Iraq, the deal behind the U.S. attorney scandal, Hillary Clinton’s shameful corruption and her husband’s pardon of arch-criminal Mark Rich, and the deal struck by Republicans to impeach Bill only for the silly sex scandal instead of his felonious relationship with the Indonesian Riady family billionaires as long as the Democrats promised not to expose the Republican’s felonious connections to the American Koch family billionaires.

Click here to listen to the interview.

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.

Bush’s Missile Defense vs. My Erector Set by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler
Posted 27 July 2007

Judging by how the overwhelming majority of Americans simply dismiss President Bush whenever he seizes the podium to spout more nonsense and lies about his illegal, immoral invasion and incompetent occupation of Iraq – arguably the worst foreign policy crime and blunder in U. S. history – virtually every image of our swaggering punk president must now be entering American brains accompanied by the caption: “Warning: This pigheaded, lying screw up doesn’t have a clue!”

Knowing that he now comes adorned with that indelible modern-day scarlet letter, Bush has attempted to obscure it by cloaking it with the credibility of others. First, it was Colin Powell. Today it’s General Petraeus. When Petraeus no longer suits his needs, Bush will jettison him in order to latch upon another earnest dupe. To date, Bush’s serial successes in cloaking and jettisoning appear to defy the common sense wisdom uttered by Aretha Franklin in 1967: “You’re running out of fools and I ain’t lying.”

Consider the case of Lt. Gen. Trey Obering, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Gen. Obering has just published a scattershot and grossly misleading article in Defense News sporting the title, “Missile Defense Hits Mark.”

Having read and written about missile defense (see and, my immediate response was to ask, “What mark?” After all, as the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) concluded just three months ago: “Because MDA has not formally entered the Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition cycle, it is not yet required to apply certain laws intended to hold major defenses acquisition programs accountable for their planned outcomes and cost, give decision makers a means to conduct oversight, and ensure some level of independent program review.” [GAO-07-799T, April 30, 2007]

Consequently, Gen. Obering could not have been talking about hitting the oversight “marks” normally required of other weapons programs. They’ve been put off. Thus, missile defense has not been held to the rigorous standards routinely applied to other weapons programs, notwithstanding the fact that “the U.S. has been trying to develop a reliable missile defense system for over 45 years.” [Philip E. Coyle, “U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe: The Putin Alternative,” The Defense Monitor July/August 2007]

Instead, when Gen. Obering writes about “hitting the mark,” he’s actually talking about deploying elements of the U.S. “Ground-based Midcourse Defense” (GMD) system “just in time” to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that might be launched by North Korea. Thus, his assertion: “When North Korea launched short- and long-range missiles last summer, we had, for the first time, the means to defend all 50 states against a possible attack.”

But there’s just one slight problem with his assertion. It’s blatantly false!

Consider the recent comments by Philip E. Coyle, the Pentagon’s chief weapons evaluator during the Clinton administration. Speaking about the foolishness of the proposed missile defense system for Eastern Europe, Coyle observed: “[T]he United States is deploying missile defense hardware in Alaska and California, and is proposing the same for Eastern Europe, that has not demonstrated the capability to defend Europe, let alone the United States, from an attack by Iran (or North Korea for that matter) under realistic operational conditions. For this reason, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has ‘dumbed down’ the supposed threat from Iran (and North Korea) to just one or two missiles with no decoys or countermeasures. And yet still the MDA has not been able to demonstrate the effective capability to stop even that idealized threat under realistic operational conditions.” [Philip E. Coyle, “U.S. Missile Defenses in Europe: The Putin Alternative,” The Defense Monitor July/August 2007]

Simply put, notwithstanding the roughly $50 billion already lining the pockets of defense contractors during the Bush years and the $49 billion that MDA expects to spend over the next five years, the United States still possesses no demonstrated capability to intercept even one ICBM launched from North Korea or anywhere else.

Thus, rather than “Missile Defense Hits Mark,” a more appropriate title might have been, “The American Taxpayer: An Easy Mark for Missile Defense.”

That new title got me to thinking: Perhaps I could locate the “Erector Set” I played with as a kid. You know, the small metal beams full of holes, capable of being fastened into various shapes by screws, nuts and bolts and put into motion by pulleys, motors and gears. Perhaps, I could craft a Ground-based Midcourse Defense system from that Erector Set, link its projectile-firing pulleys, motors and gears to my computer and a GPS system – and sell it to the Pentagon for a mere $5 billion (to cover material, labor and engineering costs).

Granted, I haven’t fully worked out all the conceptual problems associated with my envisioned GMD interceptor (projectile), but, as the above-mentioned GAO report notes about my competitors: “The reliability of some GMD interceptors remains uncertain…because inadequate mission assurance/quality control procedures may have allowed less reliable or inappropriate parts to be incorporated in the manufacturing process.”

Moreover, I’m quite willing to concede to the Pentagon that my GMD system would be slightly less effective than the system it currently deploys. But unlike its unworkable GMD system, my unworkable Erector Set GMD system can be had for pennies on the dollar! (If I charged less than $5 billion, the Pentagon wouldn’t take me seriously.)

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

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.

Dangers of a Cornered George Bush By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank

Dandelion Salad

By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity & Dr. Justin Frank
July 27, 2007

Editor’s Note: As the nation and the world face 18 more months of George W. Bush’s presidency, a chilling prospect is that Bush – confronted with more defeats and reversals – might just “lose it” and undertake even more reckless military adventures.

In this special memorandum, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) collaborated with psychiatrist Justin Frank, author of Bush on the Couch, to assess the potential dangers and possible countermeasures available to constrain Bush:

Recent events have put a great deal more pressure on President George W. Bush, who has shown little regard for the constitutional system bequeathed to us by the Founders. Having bragged about being commander in chief of the “first war of the 21st century,” one he began under false pretenses, success in Iraq is now a pipedream.

The “new” strategy of surging troops in Baghdad has simply wasted more lives and bought some time for the president. His strategy boils down to keeping as many of our soldiers engaged as possible, in order to stave off definitive defeat in Iraq before January 2009.

Bush is commander in chief, but Congress must approve funding for the war, and its patience is running out. The war – and the polls – are going so badly that it is no longer a sure thing that the administration will be able to fund continuance of the war.

There is an outside chance Congress will succeed in forcing a pullout starting in the next several months. What would the president likely do in reaction to that slap in the face?

What would he do if the Resistance succeeded in mounting a large attack on U.S. facilities in the Green Zone or elsewhere in Iraq? How would he react if Israel mounted a preemptive attack on the nuclear-related facilities in Iran and wider war ensued?

Applied Psychoanalysis

The answers to such questions depend on a host of factors for which intelligence analysts use a variety of tools. One such tool involves applying the principles of psychoanalysis to acquire insights into the minds of key leaders, with an eye to facilitating predictions as to how they might react in certain circumstances.

For U.S. intelligence, this common-law marriage of psychoanalysis and intelligence work dates back to the early 1940s, when CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services commissioned two studies of Adolf Hitler.

We call such assessments “at-a-distance leader personality assessments.”  Many were quite useful. VIPS found the 2004 book Bush on the Couch, by Washington psychiatrist Justin Frank, MD, a very helpful assessment in this genre. We now have two more years of experience of observing Bush closely.

As we watched the pressure build on President Bush, looked toward the additional challenges we expect him to face over the next 18 months, and pondered his tendency to disregard the law and the Constitution, we felt very much in need of professional help in trying to estimate what kinds of decisions he is likely to make.

Dr. Frank, it turned out, had been thinking along the same lines, when we asked to meet with him just three weeks ago. What follows is a collaborative Frank-VIPS effort, with the psychological insights volunteered by Dr. Frank, who shares the imperative we feel to draw on all disciplines to assess what courses of action President George W. Bush is likely to decide upon in reacting to reverse after reverse in the coming months.

Parental discretion advised. The outlook is not only somber but potentially violent—and includes all manner of threats born of George W. Bush’s mental state (as well as the unusual relationship he has with his vice president).

Things are going to hell in a hand basket for this administration, and Bush/Cheney have shown a willingness to act in extra-Constitutional ways, as they see fit.

While Bush and his advisers make a fetish of it, he is nonetheless commander in chief of the armed forces and the question becomes how he might feel justified in using them and is there still any restraining force—any checks on the increasing power of the executive in our three-branch government.

We have a president whose psychological makeup inclines him to do as he pleases. Because Congress has been cowed, and the judiciary stacked with loyalists, he has gotten away with it—so far.

But the polls show growing discontent among the people, especially over the war in Iraq.  Congress, too, is starting to challenge the executive, as it should—but slowly, slower than it should. The way things are moving, there is infinite opportunity to diddle and dodge—in effect conducting business pretty much as usual over the next 18 months.

Could Start Another War…

Meanwhile, the president may well feel free to start another war, with little reference to the Congress or the UN, against Iran.

The commander of CENTO forces, Admiral William Fallon is quoted as having said we “will not go to war with Iran on my watch.” Tough words; but should the president order an attack on Iran, chances are Fallon and others will do what they are accustomed to doing, salute smartly and carry out orders, UNLESS they show more regard for the U.S. Constitution than the president does.

There is an orderly remedy written into the Constitution aimed at preventing a president from usurping the power of the people and acting like a king; the process, of course, is impeachment.

The usual focus on impeachment is on abuses of the past, and a compelling case can surely be made. We believe an equally compelling incentive can be seen in looking toward the next 18 months.

In this paper, we are primarily concerned about what future misadventures are likely if this administration is not somehow held to account; that is, if Bush and Cheney are not removed from office.


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.

Iraq & the Non-Withdrawal Withdrawal By Norman Solomon

Dandelion Salad

By Norman Solomon
July 27, 2007

Editor’s Note: Despite growing public calls for a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, the insider community of Washington is contemplating a long-term occupation, possibly by curtailing ground combat missions to minimize American casualties.

The thinking is that many Americans will accept an imperial U.S. role in the Middle East as long as the costs in U.S. dollars and U.S. dead are reduced. In this guest essay, media analyst Norman Solomon examines the subtle promotion of this goal by the American press:

Last week, a media advisory from “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” announced a new series of interviews on the PBS show that will address “what Iraq might look like when the U.S. military leaves.”

A few days later, Time magazine published a cover story titled “Iraq: What will happen when we leave.”

But it turns out, what will happen when we leave is that we won’t leave.

Urging a course of action that’s now supported by “the best strategic minds in both parties,” the Time story calls for “an orderly withdrawal of about half the 160,000 troops currently in Iraq by the middle of 2008.” And: “A force of 50,000 to 100,000 troops would dig in for a longer stay to protect America’s most vital interests…”

On Iraq policy, in Washington, the differences between Republicans and Democrats — and between the media’s war boosters and opponents — are often significant. Yet they’re apt to mask the emergence of a general formula that could gain wide support from the political and media establishment.

The formula’s details and timelines are up for grabs. But there’s not a single “major” candidate for president willing to call for withdrawal of all U.S. forces — not just “combat” troops — from Iraq, or willing to call for a complete halt to U.S. bombing of that country.

Those candidates know that powerful elites in this country just don’t want to give up the leverage of an ongoing U.S. military presence in Iraq, with its enormous reserves of oil and geopolitical value. It’s a good bet that American media and political powerhouses would fix the wagon of any presidential campaign that truly advocated an end to the U.S. war in — and on — Iraq.

The disconnect between public opinion and elite opinion has led to reverse perceptions of a crisis of democracy. As war continues, some are appalled at the absence of democracy while others are frightened by the potential of it. From the grassroots, the scarcity of democracy is transparent and outrageous. For elites, unleashed democracy could jeopardize the priorities of the military-industrial-media complex.

Converging powerful forces in Washington — eager to at least superficially bridge the gap between grassroots and elite priorities — are likely to come up with a game plan for withdrawing from Iraq without withdrawing from Iraq.

Scratch the surface of current media scenarios for a U.S. pullout from Iraq, and you’re left with little more than speculation — fueled by giant dollops of political manipulation. In fact, strategic leaks and un-attributed claims about U.S. plans for withdrawal have emerged periodically to release some steam from domestic antiwar pressures.

Nearly three years ago — with discontent over the war threatening to undermine President Bush’s prospects for a second term — the White House ally Robert Novak floated a rosy scenario in his nationally syndicated column that appeared on Sept. 20, 2004.

“Inside the Bush administration policy-making apparatus, there is strong feeling that U.S. troops must leave Iraq next year,” he wrote. “This determination is not predicated on success in implanting Iraqi democracy and internal stability. Rather, the officials are saying: Ready or not, here we go.”

Novak’s column went on to tell readers: “Well-placed sources in the administration are confident Bush’s decision will be to get out.”

Those well-placed sources were, of course, unnamed. And for good measure, Novak followed up a month before the November 2004 election with a piece
that recycled the gist of his Sept. 20 column and chortled: “Nobody from the administration has officially rejected my column.”

This is all relevant history today as news media are spinning out umpteen scenarios for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The game involves dangling illusionary references to “withdrawal” in front of the public.

But realities on the ground — and in the air — are quite different. A recent news dispatch from an air base in Iraq, by Charles J. Hanley of the Associated Press, provided a rare look at the high-tech escalation underway.


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.

America’s Tomorrow by Manuel Valenzuela

Dandelion Salad

by Manuel Valenzuela

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Burden on Those Yet to Come

Throughout human history certain patterns continue repeating themselves over and over again, becoming, if careful attention is paid to study them, a direct harbinger to what tomorrow’s cultures and societies will be like. The inevitability of what a future generation’s destiny will become is oftentimes discernable from the accumulated sins of the fathers that came before as well as those of the grandfathers that no longer exist, over years accruing and building upon each other until the future becomes the unstoppable rollercoaster birthed from the damage that was done in the past.

Tomorrow’s fate follows the path of the slow to evolve human condition and of our raw animalistic emotions and psychologies that have for millennia remained unchanged, following the same direction and trends, the same inability to change, though multiplied by advanced technologies, societal complexity, environmental stresses and increases in populations. It can be read buried inside the forgotten writings of historians and in the investigations of anthropologists, for the patterns endemic to our existence are bountiful, traversing oceans and continents, sparing no corner of human habitation, prevalent to all peoples and all times.

What we will become can be analyzed by studying the research of evolutionary psychologists and that of modern day zoologists. The patterns of our descendants can be deciphered examining the perpetual hierarchy of castes and the habitual social engineering of entire groups demonizing humankind for tens of thousands of years. It can be foretold by the never ending rule of peasants by the Establishment, the exploitation of the masses by the elite and by the willing, seemingly masochistic subservience of the many to the will of the few, as if authoritarian systems of governance are inbred into the human condition, making us mammals thriving on the suffering and heartache ingrained with being governed by tyrants and despots.

Human history, both biological and of civilization, – with its massive amounts of evidence left behind, accumulated and now known – does not lie, telling us the human condition has been a constant throughout time, following the psychologies, behaviors, emotions, culture, needs, wants and instincts that have walked with us since the genesis of humankind. Through the study of the past and of ourselves, therefore, our future can be deciphered and better understood. For what is the future but days yet to come built atop the accumulated ruins of the past, its lessons and errors and triumphs forgotten? What is the future but the heavy burden left behind by past generations whose complicity or failure to act passes on to those young or not yet born? What is the future but the accumulated knowledge of past civilizations imprisoned and silenced by our inability to know who and what we truly are, our denial and ego becoming the demons condemning us to perpetual years of unnecessary turmoil?

The future has yet to arrive, of course, its destiny having not yet been sealed in stone, but what is certain is that there exists a perpetual belief among humankind, in this modern age of greed, selfishness and comfort, that the problems or errors or sins of the present can be ignored and inherited to those yet to take the reigns of society. Every generation, it seems, places upon the next the heavy weight of a society’s ills, those hidden secrets we all know about but would rather not confront, in the misplaced assumption that the future will invariably be better equipped to confront the maladies of the past visiting the innocence of the future.


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.


Manuel Valenzuela

Poor and Uneducated, Like We Thought – Debunking the Military Debunkers by Ted Rall

Dandelion Salad

by Ted Rall

SAN DIEGO–“The typical recruit in the all-volunteer force is wealthier, more educated and more rural than the average 18- to 24-year-old citizen is,” claimed the authors of an oft-cited 2005 “comprehensive study” of the U.S. military commissioned by the Heritage Foundation.

“A pillar of conventional wisdom about the U.S. military is that the quality of volunteers has been degraded after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq,” said the conservative think tank. “Some insist that minorities and the underprivileged are over-represented in the military. Others accuse the U.S. Army of accepting unqualified enlistees in a futile attempt to meet its recruiting goals in the midst of an unpopular war.” These myths, insisted Heritage and its media allies, were propagated by antiwar liberals out to demoralize the country by attacking its troops.

Two years later, right-wingers trot out the Heritage troop survey as evidence that America is sending its best and brightest, rather than its down and out, to win Afghan and Iraqi hearts and minds. The GOP blog Newsbusters used it to rebut Rosie O’Donnell’s statement that most recruits enlist in the army to get an education: “Of course, facts don’t matter to Rosie O’Donnell.” But are these “facts” true?

The claim that U.S. combat troops come from richer families and enjoy higher levels of educational attainment than the average American defies both conventional wisdom and everyday observation. Active-duty soldiers earn less than their civilian counterparts. In a capitalist society low-paying jobs seldom attract people with higher educational credentials. A disproportionate share of blogs by soldiers serving on the frontlines are poorly written. High-ranking officers, even generals, come off as hick bureaucrats on television. Many troops believe they’re in Iraq to fight those responsible for 9/11 or to prevent them from invading the U.S. And a majority of soldiers are conservative Republicans, voting for Bush over Kerry by a 4-to-1 margin in 2004. (The most educated group of voters are liberal Democrats, 50 percent of whom have bachelor’s degrees or higher. Republicans tend to be less educated.)


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.

Dustbin America (video; music by Skinny Puppy)

Dandelion Salad

It doesn’t matter if global warming is man made or not. We still have to breath clean air, eat clean food, and drink clean water.
When Bush lies, our planet dies!

music by Skinny Puppy – ‘smothered hope’


The Fox is Wrong: Global Warming (video)

The Fox is Wrong: Global Warming (video)

Dandelion Salad


Be the first to play the exciting new gameshow sensation that’s sweeping the nation — THE FOX IS WRONG: GLOBAL WARMING!

That’s right, now you can play along at home against those wacky (and whacked out!) Faux News hosts, guests and “experts” as they do their best to convince you that global warming is a hoax and humans have nothing to do with it. You’ll never guess what outrageous lies and misinformation they’ll say next!

When you’re done playing, come visit our sponsors at to learn how you can play against companies who advertise on Faux News!


Fox Attacks Bloggers (video)