Murder of Iraqi Journalists by Dirk Adriaensens

Dandelion Salad

by Dirk Adriaensens
Global Research, September 29, 2007
BRussells Tribunal

The betrayal of Iraq ’s media professionals

A new landmark in the Iraq catastrophe, and a new landmark in history altogether: at least 300 media professionals have died in Iraq.

Suhad Al-Khalidi, reporter for Iraqi Media Network, was killed by US troops on 4 February 2007 when their patrol passed by her car in Hilla. Three guards working for the government funded al-Iraqiya TV were killed by fire of foreign security guards in central Baghdad on 7 February 2007. Foreign security guards accompanying a delegation shot and killed the three guards. Rasoul Abdul Hussein, a reporter, was killed together with his wife in Diwaniya on 21 February 2007. Hamid Mohammed Salih, a program director for the Dijlah radio station, was assassinated in the Jami’a district 0n 19 March 2007. Mohammed Jassim Yousif, a reporter for the Iraqi Media Network, was assassinated west of Baghdad on 31 March. An unknown correspondent for the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram was killed in a car bomb explosion targeting the Shi’ite Khillani mosque in a crowded area of central Baghdad on 19 June 2007. Abdul Khaliq al-Habir al-Anbaki, a caricaturist in al-Mutamar newspaper, was killed along with his 11-member-family in the car bombing attack that took place on 27 July 2007 in Karrada, central Baghdad.

The two things these murders have in common is that these persons were Iraqi media professionals and that their assassination, which occurred in 2007, went unreported by CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists), and RSF (Reporters Without Borders). These casualties are listed on the BRussells Tribunal website ( and their cases were taken from different press reports.

What’s happening with the Western journalist ethics? What’s happening with the solidarity between Western media professionals and their Iraqi colleagues? The above mentioned killings, did they not take place? Were they not mentioned in one or another press report? Why are they not listed then?

Different journalists organisations defend the interests of their colleagues and/or compile lists of killed media professionals in occupied Iraq: CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists), RSF (Reporters Without Borders), INSI (International News Safety Institute) – closely linked with the IFJ (International Federation of Journalists), ICasualties (Iraq Coalition Casualty Count), (IFEX) International Freedom of Expression Exchange – who collect most of their data from RSF-, and others, like UNESCO.

CPJ considers a journalist to be killed on duty if the person died as a result of a hostile action—such as reprisal for his or her work, or crossfire while carrying out a dangerous assignment. CPJ does not include journalists killed in accidents, such as car or plane crashes, unless the crash was caused by aggressive human action (for example, if a plane were shot down or a car crashed trying to avoid gunfire). Nor does CPJ include journalists who died of health ailments. They list only 26 Media professionals killed in 2007, of which 5 in a list of pending investigations into suspicious deaths, called Killed: Motive Unconfirmed.

The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial (Newseum) staffers claim to compile their list from information circulated by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Press Institute, the International Freedom of Expression Clearing House, Reporters Sans Frontières, the International Federation of Journalists, the Inter American Press Association, news stories and other sources. A whole lot of sources, it seems. They list only 28 journalists killed in Iraq in 2007.

Reporters without Borders lists only 50 killed media professionals in 2007. INSI lists 57 casualties in 2007.

The BRussells Tribunal lists 300 deceased media professionals since the illegal invasion until now, of which 271 are Iraqi Nationals. 6 died of “non-violent” causes. All the others are violent deaths. The number for 2007 stands at 72 killed media professionals, of which 71 are Iraqis. The latest casualty being an Iraqi newspaper correspondent, Abdul-Khaliq Nasser, who was fatally wounded in a rocket attack in Mosul on 28th September 2007.

All the mainstream media worldwide take over the ridiculous figures of CPJ and RSF. Here’s what one usually reads in an article about yet another killing of a media professional:

According to Reporters Without Borders at least X journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003; two are missing and 13 are currently being held hostage. Their number may be higher than the CPJ figure quoted above because it includes media assistants as well as journalists.”

“The CPJ count is the most widely cited number in reporting on journalist deaths in Iraq . But the CPJ tally of 61 is misunderstood and incomplete because it excludes dozens of journalists and news organization employees killed or who otherwise died on assignment in Iraq.”, Eason Jordan writes in the IHT on 08 February 2006.

The US Administration, the Brookings Institution, you name it, they all use CPJ, RSF and ICasualties figures of killed media professionals. One would expect that lists of murdered colleagues are compiled with the greatest care, given the importance official bodies attach to these figures. That is not the case. The negligence with which the lists are compiled is revolting. It is another sign of either self-censorship or deliberate downplaying of casualties, something we’re seeing happening with the surveys of civilian casualties in Iraq . The media don’t use the scientific studies of the Lancet or the credible polls of ORB, the media use the ridiculous figure of Iraq Bodycount, an organisation that lists only what the Western media reports. A clear case of inbreeding. A clear case of imitating “His Master’s Voice”.

Please have a look at some figures. These include Journalists, Media workers and unconfirmed cases.


Al-Iraqiya director general Habib al-Sadr told AFP last month that at least 75 members of his staff have been killed since he took over the channel in 2005 and another 68 wounded. The BRussells Tribunal list of killed media professionals has less than 1/3rd of this number in its database. So by extrapolation we could conclude that we have listed only about 1/3rd of the real casualties of media professionals in the Iraq war. Why is this claim not being further investigated? Habib al-Sadr’s words are meant for sceptic people who think that the BRussells Tribunal figures have been artificially inflated.

Do I sound too harsh for the Western media organisations? I don’t think so. I’ve written to CPJ and received a meaningless answer. I wrote to RSF and received no answer. I’ve written to many media outlets and received no reaction. I’ve also sent them a previous article: “At least 78 media professionals killed in Iraq in 2006.”, dated 21 February 2007. No reactions, no comment.

By the way: after further research, I discovered that at least 90 media professionals have been killed in 2006, not 78. Here is the number of killed media professionals by year, according to different press accounts.


Of which 6 have died of “non-violent” causes.

Let’s have a closer look at the figures for 2007. Let’s have a look – as an example – at the media professionals that CPJ doesn’t include in its list. Conclude for yourself if these deaths would have to be included or not. And think about why they have not been included. There is a link to the media that have reported these killings.


These 45 Iraqi media professionals deserve to be remembered, especially by organisations that claim to defend their interests. Looking at these figures is a good reason for journalists not to use CPJ’s tallies anymore in an article about the killing of a journalist. It’s not a decent thing to list only 36 % of the reported casualties and leave out 64%. There can be no valid reason to underreport so grossly.

But there’s more. The most striking absent journalist in CPJ’s database is Yasser Salihee (or Yassir Al-Salihi). Knight-Ridder reporter, Yasser Salihee, 30, was killed on June 24, 2005 while driving his car. He came into a Baghdad road intersection where every exit had been blocked by U.S. Humvees. He died of a single shot to the head. A report by, which interviews the supposed sniper –but does not identify him– paints the incident as an unpremiditated, accidental killing. But details of the scene and the events revealed later have the hallmarks of a staged assassination. At the time Salihee entered the intersection, all other exits were blocked. And as he approached, another car already in place began ‘turning’ in front of Salihee to bring him to a halt in the killing zone and ensure a perfect shot. The windshield of his car appears to be pierced by only one bullet -the fatal one. Four fingers of his right hand were missing -possibly in vain self-defense. At the time he was killed, he was investigating the activities of the death squads in Iraq . There are reasonable doubt about this incident being a murder or an accident. Yet CPJ doesn’t even list Yasser Salihee in their special unconfirmed cases for 2005. He just disappeared from CPJ’s database. That is very remarkable and very suspicious. And certainly not impartial.

I would like to plead for a serious count of killed media professionals who died in this bloody war. Or is the life of an Iraqi media worker less worth than that of his colleagues in the West, where killed journalist are meticulously counted?

I would also like to plead for the creation of an independent journalists organisation that can really defend the interests of journalists in Iraq, and is not linked in one way or another to the mainstream media that are owned by the very same people who have advocated for this war to take place, who keep on defending the occupation and remain silent about the catastrophic situation that is being rightfully defined by ever more people as a genocide.

Dirk Adriaensens is member BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee

Dirk Adriaensens is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Dirk Adriaensens


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So What About Iran? By Uri Avnery

Dandelion Salad

By Uri Avnery
09/29/07 “

A RESPECTED American paper posted a scoop this week: Vice-President Dick Cheney, the King of Hawks, has thought up a Machiavellian scheme for an attack on Iran. Its main point: Israel will start by bombing an Iranian nuclear installation, Iran will respond by launching missiles at Israel, and this will serve as a pretext for an American attack on Iran.

Far-fetched? Not really. It is rather like what happened in 1956. Then France, Israel and Britain secretly planned to attack Egypt in order to topple Gamal Abd-al-Nasser (`regime change` in today`s lingo.) It was agreed that Israeli paratroops would be dropped near the Suez Canal, and that the resulting conflict would serve as a pretext for the French and British to occupy the canal area in order to `secure` the waterway. This plan was implemented (and failed miserably).

What would happen to us if we agreed to Cheney`s plan? Our pilots would risk their lives to bomb the heavily defended Iranian installations. Then, Iranian missiles would rain down on our cities. Hundreds, perhaps thousands would be killed. All this in order to supply the Americans with a pretext to go to war.

Would the pretext have stood up? In other words, is the US obliged to enter a war on our side, even when that war is caused by us? In theory, the answer is yes. The current agreements between the US and Israel say that America has to come to Israel`s aid in any war – whoever started it.

Is there any substance to this leak? Hard to know. But it strengthens the suspicion that an attack on Iran is more imminent than people imagine.

DO BUSH, Cheney & Co. indeed intend to attack Iran?

I don`t know, but my suspicion that they might is getting stronger.

Why? Because George Bush is nearing the end of his term of office. If it ends the way things look now, he will be remembered as a very bad – if not the worst – president in the annals of the republic. His term started with the Twin Towers catastrophe, which reflected no great credit on the intelligence agencies, and would come to a close with the grievous Iraq fiasco.

There is only one year left to do something impressive and save his name in the history books. In such situations, leaders tend to look for military adventures. Taking into account the man`s demonstrated character traits, the war option suddenly seems quite frightening.

True, the American army is pinned down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even people like Bush and Cheney could not dream, at this time, of invading a country four times larger than Iraq, with three times the population.

But, quite possibly the war-mongers are whispering in Bush`s ear: What are you worrying about? No need for an invasion. Enough to bomb Iran, as we bombed Serbia and Afghanistan. We shall use the smartest bombs and the most sophisticated missiles against the two thousand or so targets, in order to destroy not only the Iranian nuclear sites but also their military installations and government offices. `We shall bomb them back into the stone age,` as an American general once said about Vietnam, or `turn their clock back 20 years,` as the Israeli Air Force general Dan Halutz said about Lebanon.

That`s a tempting idea. The US will only use its mighty Air Force, missiles of all kinds and the powerful aircraft-carriers, which are already deployed in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. All these can be sent into action at any time on short notice. For a failed president approaching the end of his term, the idea of an easy, short war must have an immense attraction. And this president has already shown how hard it is for him to resist temptations of this kind.

WOULD THIS indeed be such an easy operation, a `piece of cake` in American parlance?

I doubt it.

Even `smart` bombs kill people. The Iranians are a proud, resolute and highly motivated people. They point out that for two thousand years they have never attacked another country, but during the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war they have amply proved their determination to defend their own when attacked.

Their first reaction to an American attack would be to close the Straits of Hormuz, the entrance to the Gulf. That would choke off a large part of the world`s oil supply and cause an unprecedented world-wide economic crisis. To open the straits (if this is at all possible), the US army would have to capture and hold large areas of Iranian territory.

The short and easy war would turn into a long and hard war. What does that mean for us in Israel?

There can be little doubt that if attacked, Iran will respond as it has promised: by bombarding us with the rockets it is preparing for this precise purpose. That will not endanger Israel`s existence, but it will not be pleasant either.

If the American attack turns into a long war of attrition, and if the American public comes to see it as a disaster (as is happening right now with the Iraqi adventure), some will surely put the blame on Israel. It is no secret that the Pro-Israel lobby and its allies – the (mostly Jewish) neo-cons and the Christian Zionists – are pushing America into this war, just as they pushed it into Iraq. For Israeli policy, the hoped-for gains of this war may turn into giant losses – not only for Israel, but also for the American Jewish community.

IF PRESIDENT Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not exist, the Israeli government would have had to invent him.

He has got almost everything one could wish for in an enemy. He has a big mouth. He is a braggart. He enjoys causing scandals. He is a Holocaust denier. He prophesies that Israel will `vanish from the map` (though he did not say, as falsely reported, the he would wipe Israel off the map.)

This week, the pro-Israel lobby organized big demonstrations against his visit to New York. They were a huge success – for Ahmadinejad. He has realized his dream of becoming the center of world attention. He has been given the opportunity to voice his arguments against Israel — some outrageous, some valid – before a world-wide audience.

But Ahmadinejad is not Iran. True, he has won popular elections, but Iran is like the orthodox parties in Israel: it is not their politicians who count, but their rabbis. The Shiite religious leadership makes the decisions and commands the armed forces, and this body is neither boastful nor vociferous not scandal-mongering. It exercises a lot of caution.

If Iran was really so eager to obtain a nuclear bomb, it would have acted in utmost silence and kept as low a profile as possible (as Israel did). The swaggering of Ahmadinejad would hurt this effort more than any enemy of Iran could.

It is highly unpleasant to think about a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands (and, indeed, in any hands.) I hope it can be avoided by offering inducements and/or imposing sanctions. But even if this does not succeed, it would not be the end of the world, nor the end of Israel. In this area, more than in any other, Israel`s deterrent power is immense. Even Ahmadinejad will not risk an exchange of queens – the destruction of Iran for the destruction of Israel.

NAPOLEON SAID that to understand a country`s policy, one has only to look at the map.

If we do this, we shall see that there is no objective reason for war between Israel and Iran. On the contrary, for a long time it was believed in Jerusalem that the two countries were natural allies.

David Ben-Gurion advocated an `alliance of the periphery`. He was convinced that the entire Arab world is the natural enemy of Israel, and that, therefore, allies should be sought on the fringes of the Arab world – Turkey, Iran, Ethiopia, Chad etc. (He also looked for allies inside the Arab world – communities that are not Sunni-Arab, such as the Maronites, the Copts, the Kurds, the Shiites and others.)

At the time of the Shah, very close connections existed between Iran and Israel, some positive, some negative, some outright sinister. The Shah helped to build a pipeline from Eilat to Askelon, in order to transport Iranian oil to the Mediterranean, bypassing the Suez Canal. The Israel internal secret service (Shabak) trained its notorious Iranian counterpart (Savak). Israelis and Iranians acted together in Iraqi Kurdistan, helping the Kurds against their Sunni-Arab oppressors.

The Khomeini revolution did not, in the beginning, put an end to this alliance, it only drove it underground. During the Iran-Iraq war, Israel supplied Iran with arms, on the assumption that anyone fighting Arabs is our friend. At the same time, the Americans supplied arms to Saddam Hussein – one of the rare instances of a clear divergence between Washington and Jerusalem. This was bridged in the Iran-Contra Affair, when the Americans helped Israel to sell arms to the Ayatollahs.

Today, an ideological struggle is raging between the two countries, but it is mainly fought out on the rhetorical and demagogical level. I dare to say that Ahmadinejad doesn`t give a fig for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he only uses it to make friends in the Arab world. If I were a Palestinian, I would not rely on it. Sooner or later, geography will tell and Israeli-Iranian relations will return to what they were – hopefully on a far more positive basis.

ONE THING I am ready to predict with confidence: whoever pushes for war against Iran will come to regret it.

Some adventures are easy to get into but hard to get out of.

The last one to find this out was Saddam Hussein. He thought that it would be a cakewalk – after all, Khomeini had killed off most of the officers, and especially the pilots, of the Shah`s military. He believed that one quick Iraqi blow would be enough to bring about the collapse of Iran. He had eight long years of war to regret it.

Both the Americans and we may soon be feeling that the Iraqi mud is like whipped cream compared to the Iranian quagmire.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli author and activist. He is the head of the Israeli peace movement, “Gush Shalom”.

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Notes on the News-Making Naomis by Glitzqueen (aka The Other Katherine Harris) (fascism)


Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Glitzqueen’s blog post
Sept. 29, 2007

Two Naomis, Klein and Wolf, are lately notable for their release of new books: Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. So far I’ve seen only reviews and interviews, both volumes being so hot off their respective presses, but they’ve separately commanded so much attention over the past week that it’s possible to conclude they’d be better read and considered together.

The topic in each case is the rise or reassertion of dictatorships around the world, although considerably different lenses are applied.

Wolf escorts her readers from 1920s Italy to 1930s Germany to Soviet-dominated East Germany in the 1950s and Czechoslovakia in 1968 and then beyond Europe to Chile during the Pinochet years that began in 1973 and China of the late 1980s/early 1990s. In a Buzzflash interview published September 25, the author stated, “(T)he practice of crushing an open society was essentially invented by Mussolini. It was … developed and elaborated on by the other great tyrants of the 20th century and then they studied each other. Hitler studied Stalin. Both … studied Mussolini.” What she often calls a “blueprint” involving 10 key steps now comes into play whenever tyrants wish to crush a democracy. As she told Mark Karlin, “I start the book saying in Thailand this coup took a week. This is what they did — boom, boom, boom. It’s like they had a shopping list and really they did.”

The 10 steps Wolf identified are these:

Invoke a Terrifying Internal and External Enemy
Create a Gulag
Develop a Thug Caste
Set up an Internal Surveillance System
Harass Citizens’ Groups
Engage in Arbitrary Detention and Release
Target Key Individuals
Control the Press
Dissent Equals Treason
Suspend the Rule of Law

Not yet having read her book or seen anything relevant to the question, I can’t say how Wolf addresses distinctions between dictatorships of the right and of the left, or if it’s on grounds of these that she omits economic issues from her master-list. The lack of them does leave quite a hole.

Klein, by contrast, makes economic issues her focus, seeing them as the root of repressive actions taken in spots subject to corporate dominance and what she calls “the dictatorship of debt” (sadly including everything Wolf named and more).

As a bridge between these authors, I find Dr. Lawrence Britt’s analysis of the 14 defining points of fascism useful. These have been making the rounds in cyberspace for several years, so I’ll touch on them only briefly. Most of his points are equally applicable to both political extremes. Like Wolf, he emphasizes scapegoating an enemy; obsessing with national security, crime and punishment to the detriment of human rights (which parallels Wolf’s next six steps); controlling mass media; suppressing dissent as unpatriotic; and militarism.

Britt construes exaltation of the military more broadly in economic terms than Wolf’s final step, imposition of martial law, and he also introduces some attributes notably absent on the left — religious zealotry, sexism and corporate protection at the expense of labor — plus two that merit spots on Wolf’s all-purpose list: fraudulent elections and the financial machinations of corrupt cronyism. Even in the supposedly classless Soviet Union, an economic elite set policy and profited from it.

Wolf’s work may fall short in failing to emphasize who benefits. Perhaps this struck her as obvious and extraneous to the step-by-step action plan she wants us all to recognize. Even so, in a book meant as a clear and comprehensive alert to the uninformed, it’s hard to understand why there wouldn’t be a fervent “follow the money” admonition. She believes an urgent state of crisis exists in this country and vehemently calls for a public outcry against perversions of our Constitution, yet The End of America seemingly doesn’t name the real culprits — who were exactly the same sorts backing Mussolini and Hitler.

By all accounts, The Shock Doctrine suffers no such lack of clarity. Klein goes straight for the throats of the Milton Friedman gang, who with the “full force of the US military machine … serving their corporate agenda” have created “an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and disposable poor” just about everywhere. Through the past 35 years, they’ve availed themselves of each national crisis to impose the further shocks of privatization policies that quickly proved counterproductive for all but a few, but were maintained through repression and deception of the citizenry.

It’s no accident that South Americans are the first people waking up from this collective trance; after all, they were the first to get clobbered. Pinochet’s Chile was the Friedman system’s prototype, followed by many neighboring countries in desperate need of development aid, then Thatcher’s England (where the Brits got duped into a mass sell-off of public assets in the aftermath of their silly Falklands skirmish), Eastern Europe as it emerged from the Iron Curtain, South Africa, Russia, the Asian Tigers, Israel, occupied Iraq, tsunami-struck Sri Lanka (now a beachfront developer’s delight), the countless areas succumbing to the biofuels boondoggle and, alongside all of these, ourselves. New Orleans is only the starkest example of our fall from democracy into the global “epidemic of inquality” engineered by corporatist dominion.

Both Wolf and Klein end on notes of hope. Wolf’s hinges on mobilizing millions to “drive Congress” through the American Freedom Campaign and and its Republican counterpart, the American Freedom Agenda. “We’ve got a 10-point legislative agenda,” she stated in the Buzzflash interview, explaining that this “includes restoring habeas corpus and protecting journalists from prosecution. That would do a lot to give us some time. If we don’t restore these laws we have almost no time, according to the blueprint.”

Not one of the 10 points on the AFC site, as important as they are, even hints at the underlying problem of our Congress’ being bought-and-paid-for.

Among the hopeful signs Klein sees are growing refusal of IMF and World Bank “assistance” and “free trade” agreements that cede further advantage to transnational corporations; voter rejections of a European Constitution; exposure and prosecution of some leading tyrants and tycoons; protests by Chinese workers and peasants; grassroots activism through groups like Brazil’s Landless People’s Movement; and “land re-invasions” by Thai villagers who rebuilt tsunami-ravaged communities in defiance of the government and with no outside aid.

By combining both of those approaches, we could really see a new day. My suggestion is that we “drive Congress” to get corporate money out of politics and back into the tax revenue pool at a just level; to abolish the obscenity of corporate personhood; and to make companies cease robbing us through endless subsidies, unfair laws and wars we overwhelmingly oppose.


When America Went Fascist By Chris Rowthorn

Reviewing Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” by Stephen Lendman

The Police State Is Right Here, Right Now By Carolyn Baker

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps by Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf: I had a vision of Jesus (my personal testimony, too)

The Colbert Report: 10 Easy Steps to Fascism By Manila Ryce (video link)

Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism By Dr. Lawrence Britt

The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism (video link)


Congress Quietly Approves Billions More for Iraq War by John Nichols

Dandelion Salad

by John Nichols
The Nation
Posted 09/28/2007 @ 11:48am

The Senate agreed on Thursday to increase the federal debt limit by $850 billion — from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion — and then proceeded to approve a stop-gap spending bill that gives the Bush White House at least $9 billion in new funding for its war in Iraq.

Additionally, the administration has been given emergency authority to tap further into a $70 billion “bridge fund” to provide new infusions of money for the occupation while the Congress works on appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

Translation: Under the guise of a stop-gap spending bill that is simply supposed to keep the government running until a long-delayed appropriations process is completed — probably in November — the Congress has just approved a massive increase in war funding.

The move was backed by every senator who cast a vote, save one.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the maverick Democrat who has led the fight to end the war and bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, was on the losing end of the 94-1 vote. (The five senators who did not vote, all presidential candidates who are more involved in campaigning than governing, were Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Republicans John McCain and Sam Brownback.)

Said Feingold, “I am disappointed that we are about to begin the 2008 fiscal year without having enacted any of the appropriations bills for that year. I am even more disappointed that we voted on a continuing resolution that provides tens of billions of dollars to continue the misguided war in Iraq but does not include any language to bring that war to a close. We need to keep the federal government operating and make sure our brave troops get all the equipment and supplies they need, but we should not be giving the President a blank check to continue a war that is hurting our national security.”

In the House, the continuing resolution passed by a vote of 404 to 14, with 14 other members not voting.

The “no” votes in the House, all cast by anti-war members, came from one Republican, Ron Paul of Texas, and 13 Democrats: Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, Missouri’s William Clay, Minnesota’s Keith Ellison, California’s Bob Filner, Massachusetts’ Barney Frank, New York’s Maurice Hinchey, Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich, Washington’s Jim McDermott, New Jersey’s Donald Payne, California’s Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson and Lynn Woolsey.

That means that, of the 2008 presidential candidates, only Republican Paul and Democrat Kucinich voted against giving the Bush administration a dramatic — if not particularly well publicized — infusion of new money for the war.

“Each year this war is getting more and more costly — both in the amount of money spent and in the number of lives lost. Now this Congress is providing more funds so the administration can continue down a path of destruction and chaos,” said Kucinich, who noted the essential role of House and Senate Democratic leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in passing the continuing resolution. “The Democratic leadership in Congress needs to take a stand against this President and say they will not give him any more money. That is the only way to end this war and bring our troops home.”

h/t: Malcolm

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The Empire Is Over By Charley Reese

Dandelion Salad

By Charley Reese
09/29/07 “Lew Rockwell

The American government has come to resemble the characters in The Wizard of Oz. We have the Cowardly Congress, a president without a brain, and a foreign-policy establishment without a heart.

Our politicians are still trying to play the empire game long after the age of empires has ended. Blinded by arrogance, they cannot see that with every passing day, the world needs us less and less and hates us more and more. We are passing through that phase when the grandeur of the empire exists only in the minds of politicians who have insulated themselves from reality.

A friend of mine, a classical scholar, sometimes tells his students, “No one woke up one morning in 476 A.D. and said, ‘Gee, I’m in the Dark Ages.'” The transition from the heyday of Roman power to a stage of barbarism was a gradual process. We are in a process of change. No one is going to announce on TV that the U.S. is no longer a superpower.

Nevertheless, the signs are there if you look for them. A nation that was able to help crush the Axis powers in three and a half years hasn’t won a war since then. We have had four years of struggling with an insurgency in a small, poor and broken country. Our economy is shaky under mountains of debt. Half of our people make less than 42,000 inflated dollars a year.

Where we were once the arsenal of democracy, today there is hardly a major weapons system that doesn’t rely on imports of one kind or another. Much of the industry that is left is foreign-owned. Japan, which once lay prostrate, dominates the American car market. It is extremely difficult to find anything today that is not made in China or some other cheap-labor country.

In the meantime, the cowardly Congress doesn’t have the guts to tackle any of the major problems confronting the American people. Our president continues to embarrass us practically every time he opens his mouth in public. The foreign-policy establishment is riddled with aging draft dodgers agitating for more wars – against small countries, of course.

True, we still have lots of nuclear weapons, but do you think any American president would want to get into a nuclear shooting match with China or Russia? Look at how we reacted to two airplanes crashing into two office buildings. What do you think we would do if San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco became radioactive ruins with millions of casualties? We are not prepared mentally, spiritually or materially to deal with a nuclear war.

We are like all empires in their final stages. We have grown soft. We like our comforts. We don’t wish to be inconvenienced. We like poor Mexicans to do our stoop work and poor Americans to do our fighting, provided they do it far away so we won’t be disturbed by explosions and screams. We enjoy our decadence, and there are always people in the media who can rationalize anything, no matter how sick and revolting it is.

As for trying to understand the world, we are just too busy being amused and following the adventures of Britney Spears and other celebrities. We like to let the TV and the politicians do our thinking for us. It saves energy. They tell us whom to hate.

The only way to avoid a bad end is to find some realists and put them in public office. We need a brave Congress, not a pack of cowards. We desperately need a president with a brain. We need to retire the warmongers in the foreign-policy establishment. Otherwise, we will join the other third-rate countries, once empires, on history’s discard pile.

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

© 2007 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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Olbermann: Pres Bill Clinton part 2 + Worst Person + O’Reilly’s Color Bind + Elizabeth Edwards (videos)

Dandelion Salad



Olbermann: Pres Bill Clinton + Sen Jim Webb + O’Reilly Mentally Ill? (videos)

UN Envoy Heads to Burma + Brief History + David Frost (videos)

Dandelion Salad




Frost over the World – Myanmar


Sir David Frost talks to Zoya Phan, an exile from Mynamar, formerly knowns as Burma, and Razali Ismael, former UN envoy to the country, about the c…

Sir David Frost talks to Zoya Phan, an exile from Mynamar, formerly knowns as Burma, and Razali Ismael, former UN envoy to the country, about the current violence and why the people are agitating for change.

Deserters leave Myanmar army


One of the many concerns with the violence in Myanmar is a potential flood of refugees into neighbouring Thailand, one of the main access points be…

One of the many concerns with the violence in Myanmar is a potential flood of refugees into neighbouring Thailand, one of the main access points being Mae Sot. In fact there are many people from Myanmar already living here. David Hawkins spoke to two former soldiers who recently deserted from the Myanmar army.


Time for change in Burma – Journalist Murder + Killing caught on video (videos; over 18 only)