Mike Gravel: Young Men and Women (video)

Dandelion Salad

gravel2008

Advertisements

Even I question the ‘truth’ about 9/11 by Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

by Robert Fisk
The Independent
Published: 25 August 2007

Each time I lecture abroad on the Middle East, there is always someone in the audience – just one – whom I call the “raver”. Apologies here to all the men and women who come to my talks with bright and pertinent questions – often quite humbling ones for me as a journalist – and which show that they understand the Middle East tragedy a lot better than the journalists who report it. But the “raver” is real. He has turned up in corporeal form in Stockholm and in Oxford, in Sao Paulo and in Yerevan, in Cairo, in Los Angeles and, in female form, in Barcelona. No matter the country, there will always be a “raver”.

His – or her – question goes like this. Why, if you believe you’re a free journalist, don’t you report what you really know about 9/11? Why don’t you tell the truth – that the Bush administration (or the CIA or Mossad, you name it) blew up the twin towers? Why don’t you reveal the secrets behind 9/11? The assumption in each case is that Fisk knows – that Fisk has an absolute concrete, copper-bottomed fact-filled desk containing final proof of what “all the world knows” (that usually is the phrase) – who destroyed the twin towers. Sometimes the “raver” is clearly distressed. One man in Cork screamed his question at me, and then – the moment I suggested that his version of the plot was a bit odd – left the hall, shouting abuse and kicking over chairs.

Usually, I have tried to tell the “truth”; that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan. My final argument – a clincher, in my view – is that the Bush administration has screwed up everything – militarily, politically diplomatically – it has tried to do in the Middle East; so how on earth could it successfully bring off the international crimes against humanity in the United States on 11 September 2001?

Well, I still hold to that view. Any military which can claim – as the Americans did two days ago – that al-Qa’ida is on the run is not capable of carrying out anything on the scale of 9/11. “We disrupted al-Qa’ida, causing them to run,” Colonel David Sutherland said of the preposterously code-named “Operation Lightning Hammer” in Iraq’s Diyala province. “Their fear of facing our forces proves the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them.” And more of the same, all of it untrue.

Within hours, al-Qa’ida attacked Baquba in battalion strength and slaughtered all the local sheikhs who had thrown in their hand with the Americans. It reminds me of Vietnam, the war which George Bush watched from the skies over Texas – which may account for why he this week mixed up the end of the Vietnam war with the genocide in a different country called Cambodia, whose population was eventually rescued by the same Vietnamese whom Mr Bush’s more courageous colleagues had been fighting all along.

But – here we go. I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It’s not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93’s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? Again, I’m not talking about the crazed “research” of David Icke’s Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster – which should send any sane man back to reading the telephone directory.

I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Two prominent American professors of mechanical engineering – very definitely not in the “raver” bracket – are now legally challenging the terms of reference of this final report on the grounds that it could be “fraudulent or deceptive”.

Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard “explosions” in the towers – which could well have been the beams cracking – are easy to dismiss. Less so the report that the body of a female air crew member was found in a Manhattan street with her hands bound. OK, so let’s claim that was just hearsay reporting at the time, just as the CIA’s list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East, was an initial intelligence error.

But what about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, the Egyptian hijacker-murderer with the spooky face, whose “Islamic” advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Atta mentioned his family – which no Muslim, however ill-taught, would be likely to include in such a prayer. He reminds his comrades-in-murder to say the first Muslim prayer of the day and then goes on to quote from it. But no Muslim would need such a reminder – let alone expect the text of the “Fajr” prayer to be included in Atta’s letter.

Let me repeat. I am not a conspiracy theorist. Spare me the ravers. Spare me the plots. But like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious “war on terror” which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush’s happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that “we’re an empire now – we create our own reality”. True? At least tell us. It would stop people kicking over chairs.


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.

see:
Celebrities For 9/11 TRUTH (music video; Starstika)

9/11 Blame Game: CIA Falls on Its Sword Again by Kurt Nimmo

9-11 (older posts)

9/11 (newer posts)

Bill Moyers: Low-Power Radio (video link)

Dandelion Salad

by Bill Moyers
August 24, 2007

LPFM activist Hannah Sassaman and media journalist Rick Karr discuss the current battle to protect and bolster low-power FM radio. Plus, a look back at how low-power radio helped to save lives after Hurricane Katrina.


LINK


In 2000, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) created Low Powered FM Radio Service (LPFM) in response to the growth of media consolidation spurred on by rule changes in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

LPFM provides local, non-commercial and educational radio service, with transmissions extending for about 3 miles (100 watts or less), depending on terrain and geographical interference.

Today, hundreds of LPFM stations are on the air, mostly in rural areas due to strict distance requirements imposed by the FCC, after certain factions within the broadcast industry voiced concerns about interference.

“In the top 50 radio markets, urban spaces where small stations can reach many people, LPFM is completely unavailable,” reports the Media Access Project, a non-profit Public Interest Telecommunications Law Firm.

continued…


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.

Aaron Russo Has Died Aug. 24th 2007 + Mad As Hell + America: Freedom to Fascism – Director’s Authorized Version (videos)

Dandelion Salad

From: Tommytime8

Aaron Russo (February 14, 1943 — August 24, 2007) was an entertainment businessman, film maker, and libertarian political activist.

Russo became involved in politics in the early 1990s when he produced and starred in a video entitled Mad As Hell in which he criticized NAFTA, The War on Drugs, the concept of a National Identity Card, and government regulation of alternative medicine.

His latest film is America: Freedom to Fascism, a documentary critical of The Federal Reserve System and the Internal Revenue Service.

Aaron lost his long battle with cancer
R.I.P.
we love you Aaron

***

Patriot Hero Aaron Russo Passes Away

Prison Planet
August 24, 2007

We were saddened to hear of the passing of activist, film maker, freedom fighter and all round maverick Aaron Russo today, who died today after a long battle with cancer at the age of 64.

Aaron will be remembered fondly for all his achievements, not least of which the excellent America: From Freedom to Fascism, his final movie which exposed the fraudulent basis of the IRS and the Federal Reserve.

Aaron was a real patriot who loved his country and risked his whole career to stand for the truth. He was an example to us all.

Aaron Russo was the Samuel Adams of our day, a stalwart defender of liberty, his passing is greatly mourned but his fiery spirit lives on in all of his great work and in his wife, his children and his film America From Freedom to Fascism.

Our deep condolences go out to Aaron’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Historic Interview with Aaron Russo, Fighting Cancer and the New World Order

Note: replaced video June 12, 2012

on Jun 1, 2009

In an historic final interview, filmmaker and music promoter Aaron Russo goes in depth on the insider-knowledge given to him by a member of the Rockefeller family. Russo was told– prior to 9/11– of plans to stage terror attacks, invade foreign nations, and kickstart a high-tech police state control grid that would track the populations’ every move with implantable RFID microchips.
This information-packed presentation is filled with never-before seen footage. Throughout the film, Alex Jones breaks down the latest activities of the New World Order and how it ties into what Russo predicted.

Aaron explains how the elite created the women’s liberation movement to break up the family and tax working women. Russo breaks down the deception of democracy– which is nothing more than mob rule guaranteed to produce tyranny.

Russo also exposes the IRS & Federal Reserve. He blasts the unconstitutional and predatory institutions that have crippled the American Republic and crushed the people with bogus taxes, inflation and loss of privacy. Russo explains that he himself was persecuted in the late 80s by a criminal ‘retroactive’ tax scheme that attempted to levy new taxes on years already passed.

As night falls on the Republic, Aaron Russo delivers a powerful call for the forces of liberty to rise and crush tyranny. Only then can the Republic be restored.

Reflections And Warnings – An Interview With Aaron Russo {Full Film}

***

Aaron Russo, 1943-2007

By Michael Hampton
Posted: August 25, 2007 2:29 am

Award-winning filmmaker and libertarian political activist Aaron Russo succumbed to cancer Friday at age 64.

Russo was best known for his films, most famous among them Trading Places and The Rose, which won three Golden Globe awards in 1980.

What’s less well known is that he was also instrumental in bringing musical acts to the United States in the 1970s, including one of my all-time favorites, Led Zeppelin.

In his later years, though, Russo turned to politics. In 1996 he produced and starred in a film, Mad as Hell, where he criticized many government policies such as the national ID card, the war on drugs, and government regulation of alternative medicine. In 1998 he ran in the Republican primary for governor of Nevada but was defeated. In 2002, before he could decide whether to run again, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

In 2004 he ran for President under the Libertarian Party banner, but failed to get the nomination.

Most recently he produced a documentary film, America: Freedom to Fascism, showing a quest to discover which law requires Americans to pay federal income taxes and finding something quite different.

And in 2007 he was one of the first to endorse Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) for President, doing so even before Paul announced his candidacy. Just before he died he spoke to long time friend and libertarian activist Stephen Gordon about Ron Paul:

In our last telephone conversation, Aaron told me he’d kick my butt if I didn’t do what I could to ensure Ron Paul is the next president of the United States. This was his style. While some have viewed his rough-appearing exterior in a negative manner, those of us who knew him realized what a Teddy Bear he truly was. For those who aren’t aware, Aaron has a long history with Congressman Paul. — Gordon Unleashed

Gordon also says: “If I had to guess the epitaph Aaron would prefer, it would be this: All your freedoms, all the time!” We can honor the legacy of Aaron Russo by rededicating ourselves to the fight to reclaim our lost liberties.

Aaron Russo – Mad As Hell

ozlo
1 hr 30 min 6 sec – Mar 21, 2007
on Jan 31, 2011

Aaron Russo MAD AS HELL

America: Freedom to Fascism – Director’s Authorized Version

1 hr 51 min 16 sec – May 5, 2007
www.freedomtofascism.com

on Dec 28, 2010

America Freedom to Fascism Director’s Authorized Version

Bill Moyers: State of Media Consolidation and Net Neutrality (video link; must-see)

Dandelion Salad
by Bill Moyers
PBS

August 24, 2007

Bill Moyers talks with FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps about the state of media consolidation and net neutrality.

LINK

Media consolidation isn’t widely covered by the mainstream press, but potential changes being considered to the rules governing the nation’s big media companies could have far reaching effects on democracy. In 1984 the number of companies owning controlling interest in America’s media was 50 — today that number is six. The Federal Communications Commission is once again considering whether to revise media ownership rules and let these media conglomerates get even bigger. This week Bill Moyers talks with FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps about media ownership rules, the debate over net neutrality. Want more information on media issues, net neutrality and related legislation? Continue reading

Following Churchill’s Folly In Iraq By Don Chapman

Dandelion Salad

By Don Chapman
ICH
08/24/07 “
Midweek

“When Iraq becomes strong enough in our opinion to stand alone, we shall be in a position to state that our task has been fulfilled, and that Iraq is an independent sovereign state. But this cannot be said while we are forced year after year to spend very large sums of money on helping the Iraqi government to defend itself and maintain order.”

Sound familiar? Perhaps like something you’ve heard from a stay-the-course advocate, circa 2004-7? Nope, it’s Winston Churchill, writing in 1922 as head of Britain’s Colonial Office. At the time, Prince Feisal – whom Churchill had appointed king of the nascent nation of Iraq, whose borders Churchill had drawn up the previous year – was balking at the protectorate agreement the British wanted. To rule a land and people with whom he was largely unfamiliar, Feisal, a native of the Arabian Peninsula and not the land between the Tigris and Euphrates, and who had spent much of his life in Turkish Constantinople, needed legitimacy – and as much independence from the British as he could get.

Which is much the same problem that the American-supported government and army of Iraq are having today.

That, and the above quote, are just two among endless parallels between the British experience in Iraq and the American experience 80-plus years later – as reported in Churchill’s Folly, by historian Christopher Catherwood (2004, Carroll & Graf). It wasn’t written yet when the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003, but the information was there for the learning if anyone in the White House had cared to pursue it. E-mail subject: Things To Avoid in Iraq! For this book, Catherwood relies heavily on the archived letters and memos written by the remarkably prolific Churchill.

Abrief bit of background that is necessary to understand the current situation: The Ottoman Empire based in modern-day Turkey ruled from 1299 until 1920, at its peak controlling three continents. Already with their empire in decline, the Ottomans sided with Germany in World War I, and in its defeated aftermath saw remnants of the empire subdivided, with Western nations given “mandates” by the League of Nations to govern various areas. The United States was given present-day Armenia, but the isolationist administration of President Woodrow Wilson – the U.S. was not even a member of the League of Nations – chose not to get involved. The French got what today is Syria and Lebanon, and the Brits got what is now Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, among other real estate. A map of the region before Churchill convened what he called his “40 Thieves” in Cairo in April 1921 to draw up new national boundaries shows not countries, but tribal areas – the Ibn Saud clan ruling the Nejd on the Arabian Peninsula and the rival Hussein clan ruling the neighboring Hejaz along the Red Sea, to name the largest two. They often skirmished, and the Sauds also had their eyes on what would become Kuwait.

Note: The Husseins, also known as Hashemites and unrelated to Saddam, are descended from the prophet Mohammed and held the position of Sharif of Mecca. They are key characters in the film Lawrence of Arabia and the book about the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans on which it is based, Seven Pillars of Wisdom – although Catherwood says the historical details of both are quite wrong and based largely on the fantasies of T.E. Lawrence. Nevertheless, Churchill dragged the old desert soldier out of retirement, and Lawrence became one of those “40 Thieves,” and much responsible for Churchill agreeing to put Hussein’s son Feisal on the new Iraqi throne (after he tried usurping the new throne in Syria until the French kicked him out). Feisal’s brother Abdullah would become king of the new country of Jordan.

Call it arrogance, perhaps: Churchill had never actually visited what was then called Mesopotamia when he arbitrarily drew up the borders for a new land called Iraq, doing so in Egypt, although he did visit Jerusalem.

And while Catherwood writes that Churchill was well aware of Sunni-Shia differences in the region, he ignored them as well as tribal boundaries. Thus Churchill, the classic colonialist, brought a Sunni from outside Iraq to rule a country that was two-thirds Shia.

As for the Kurds in the north, they were Sunni but not Arabic. The “40 Thieves” discussed creating a separate Kurdish nation, but failed to do so – Kurdish homelands were split between Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria – to the continuing detriment of the Kurdish people.

In short: Three nations – for Shia, Sunni and Kurds – could have been created at a time when Arab nationalism was rising, and such an idea might have been popular. Or the Brits could have simply let those tribal lands revert to their traditional ways. But that is not the way of empires, and today the Iraqis – and Americans – are paying for it.

Oil was not yet an issue for the Brits – Iraqi oil was still just speculation in 1922 – but they had their own economic self-interest here. As Colonial secretary, Churchill was interested in Iraq because it would save several days in the time it took to send troops and goods from England to India, then the UK’s prize colony. And Churchill, Catherwood shows again and again, was chiefly interested in saving the British Empire money – call it empire on the cheap.

Thus it was that troop levels were always an issue, with British generals saying that far more troops were necessary to stabilize Iraq than Churchill and politicians in London wanted to hear. Ask retired Gen. Eric Shinseki if that sounds familiar.

Feisal would turn out to be a terrible choice for reasons greater than his religion. He was simply not a good ruler, his administration disorganized at best. That said, as Catherwood points out, the British presence that lasted until 1932 never allowed Feisal any true legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people. Who’s in charge here? He died in 1933, succeeded by the young playboy King Ghazi.

Churchill’s formula created inherent instability in Iraq – in the nation’s first 37 years, there were 58 different governments! The bloody Baathist overthrow of 1958 ended the Hashemite monarchy, and especially after Saddam Hussein seized power in 1979 would show that only an iron-fisted dictator could hold a country of such disparate parts together.

So what might this history mean for America and Iraq?

The greatest problem, it seems to me, is that Iraq was never a nation of ideals, or dreams, or unified core beliefs or ethnicity. Today, Catherwood points out, the people of Iraq still identify themselves more by tribal and religious affiliation than as patriotic Iraqis. They may cheer the Iraqi soccer team, because they love soccer and it’s the only team they have, but they don’t get all chickenskin when they hear their national anthem.

And the concept of democracy does not resonate; they are content with a system that offers security, and a religion that provides answers for life’s vagaries.

It seems unlikely to the point of impossibility that the Shia majority, dominated by a Sunni minority going back to the Ottomans and then by a Western-appointed monarchy followed by a military dictatorship, will ever give up the dominance they now and newly enjoy. Share power? Ha!

It seems equally unlikely that the long-dominant Sunnis would allow themselves to become a persecuted minority, or that the Kurds of Iraq, with a strong regional government now in place and lots of oil underfoot, would be willing to be dominated by Arabs of either Muslim stripe. And why share?

And it seems there is no essential reason for these very different people to find a unifying cause other than oil profits. But that would involve sharing, and that’s a problem.

Whether it was the British in 1921 or Americans today, Western powers have dictated what Iraq is and what Iraqi policy should be. The stated Bush agenda to establish democracy in Iraq is a lovely idea, but so is money growing on trees. For Iraqis, democracy is not a golden ideal, but just another Western concept being forced upon them by violent means.

Even if some kind of democracy prevails in Iraq, says Catherwood, expect it to act rather as Feisal did with the Brits who put him in power: ungrateful. There was never a pro-British government under the Hashemite monarchy, and there is not likely to be a pro-American government that follows our exit.

Whether U.S. troops leave Iraq tomorrow or next year or even beyond that, it’s highly unlikely that ancient tribal and religious identities will be superseded by national pride.

As Catherwood points out, whether it was artificially configured Yugoslavia or the French creation of Lebanon, nations drawn up by outside forces are never successful for very long. The U.S. invasion of Iraq and the bloody chaos it set loose seems to bear out that historical verity.

Yes, Iraqi oil is our economic self-interest, and a very serious one, but this should give Americans even more reason to find other ways to power our cars, homes and businesses, and our nation.

Bottom line: I can’t see any way that America can get out of Iraq without the serious involvement and cooperation of the Arabic Sunni Saudis, the Persian Shia Iranians and the Sunni Turks – a treaty between those traditional regional rivals allowing Sunni, Shia and Kurdish home-lands in the former Iraq would be a good start, and would provide a sort of buffer among those powers.

And I can’t see a way out of Iraq without finally letting the people of the region redraw their own borders. They’ve been subject to outside dominance since 1299 – a mere 708 years. They could hardly do any worse than Western meddlers have done.

Will there be bloodshed as they sort it out? To answer with a double question: Is there unconscionable bloodshed happening in Iraq now? And how else do you propose to stop it?
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.