Burma’s Junta Protested in DC at Embassy Row Rally (video)

Dandelion Salad


On Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, a protest … On Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, a protest action, rally and march directed at the Junta now terrorizing the country of Burma, a/k/a Myanmar, was held on Embassy Row, in Washington, D.C. There is abundant evidence on the public record that the brutal military regime in that beleaguered country is arresting, killing and torturing, on a wholesale basis, scores of human rights activists, while viciously suppressing any public dissent to their criminal policies. At noon, the demonstration began in front of the Embassy of Burma. Then, the protesters proceeded to march to the Embassies of China and India. Today is “International Free Burma Day.” Speaking at the rally in front of the Burma Embassy was Mr. Bo Hla-Tint. He is associated with the “National Coalition of the Union of Burma,” a government-in-exile. When the protesters got to Embassy of China, they chanted: “Boycott the Olympics!” The 2008 Olympics are planned for China. It was accused today, by some of the speakers, of collaborating with the Junta now running Burma. One of the themes for the rally was: “Support the Monks!”
For background information, please see: http://www.uscampaignforburma.org/ and
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacif… and

Continue reading

So Who’s Afraid of the Israel Lobby? By Ray McGovern

Dandelion Salad

By Ray McGovern
10/06/07 ICH

Virtually everyone: Republican, Democrat—Conservative, Liberal. The fear factor is non-partisan, you might say, and palpable. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) brags that it is the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, and has demonstrated that time and again—and not only on Capitol Hill.

Seldom has the Lobby’s power been as clearly demonstrated as in its ability to suppress the awful truth that on June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War: Continue reading

Attack on Iran: Morality Lost in the Garden of Deceits By Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar

Dandelion Salad

By Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar
10/06/07 “

Cry “Havoc,” and let slip the dogs of war (Julius Caesar Act III, Scene I). The call for war against Iran was issued by no other than Mr. Bernard Kouchner the foreign minister of France, a country with the motto of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. France the home of Voltaire and Rousseau is now calling for war against a country that has never threatened France or its neighbours. France a nuclear power with illustrious colonial past is urging others to be aware of the dangers that nuclear weapons pose.

From the other side of the Atlantic we hear the same cries for more war, death and destruction. As though the death of 650,000 Iraqis was not enough, we are urged to prepare ourselves for another war. We are told that by killing more civilians, creating more refugees, destroying more bridges, power plants, schools, hospitals and factories we are going to be safer and live better lives.

Recently Mr. Greenspan told us what we already knew: namely that Iraq was invaded because of its oil. This of course was not the first time that we heard this and it certainly will not be the last either. But who cares? Here we see President Bush and his allies illegally attacking and destroying a country, making millions homeless and starting a civil war without a slightest sign of remorse. They went to steal the natural resources of Iraq and they did it and are doing it. And now they want more. Yesterday it was Iraq; tomorrow it will be Iran and the day after it will be Venezuela. When the president of the world’s only superpower acts like a thief, what protection is there for the rest of the world? The very same people that brought us the Iraq tragedy are using the same excuses to repeat their misdeeds again.

In late August, “Iran and the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency released a plan laying out a step-by-step timetable of cooperation with the goal of resolving by December issues that have been under investigation for four years. Agency officials have praised the timetable as a breakthrough and Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Tuesday said the investigation into his country’s nuclear activities was now closed.”

This agreement was hailed as a success by the IAEA and UN. The problem with this agreement is that it takes away the excuse needed by Bush and Co to implement their strategy of strangling Iran and get their hands on Iran’s oil and gas. Naturally, just like the case in Iraq, they have dismissed the agreement saying that it was not enough. Then the talk of war intensified, with US, Israel and then France talking loudly about an eventual attack on Iran. The main aim of these shrill voices is to take the people’s attention away from the IAEA-Iran agreement and back to some illogical talk of Iran’s threat to the world.

It is said that if you tell a lie big enough and often enough, people will eventually come to believe you. Having used this tactics in Iraq with some success, they believe they can do it again. They believe that people will eventually come to believe that Iran is a serious threat to the world and grudgingly accept another war. And the good thing about this is, so they believe, that this time they don’t even have to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by Iran. They just have to say that they have prevented Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons in the “future”. Very logical, isn’t it?

The fact that these same countries posses lots of nuclear weapons is irrelevant, so we are told. We are to believe that Israel, Pakistan, India, US, UK, France, China and Russia are all exception to the rules. Other countries that enrich Uranium are also exceptions. It is only Iran with its vast natural resources that is a danger to the world peace and prosperity.

Israel has over 200 nuclear weapons and last year was involved in one of the most savage attacks on Lebanon. She also recently bombed Syria. Yet we hear no protest from the so called “civilized world”. Pakistan, a dictatorship, with its tremendous security problems (Taliban, Al Qaeda, etc) has nuclear weapons and is awarded F16s. India tested nuclear weapons and was awarded trade and nuclear technology transfer agreements.

What is the moral lesson from all this? There is none; the law of the jungle rules. Those who can steal will steal. Those who can rape will do so with impunity. There is no punishment for the strong; it is the weak that has to pay. Meanwhile we pretend to believe all their lies and keep hoping for cheaper oil and higher share prices; otherwise we have to face our own complicity in their crimes. After all who elected them and who re-elected them? Our very silence makes us an accomplice.

As you read this you should think about all those Iraqis that have been killed, the 2.5 million Iraqis that had to flee the carnage in their country and a similar number of internal Iraqi refugees. You should think about all the lies that you have been told and ask yourself these questions: do I want another incident like Iraq? Can I stay silent and accept more killings and destruction? Is it OK for the powerful to commit armed robbery?

If one finds it difficult to answer these questions, then perhaps one should follow what Bertrand Russell said: “We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach”.

Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway. He is a management consultant and a contributing writer for many online journals. He can be contacted by e-mail at:Bakhtiarspace-articles@yahoo.no

Copyright Abbas Bakhtiar, all rights reserved.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Christian conservative Ron Paul on C-SPAN (Aug 11 ’07) (video)

Dandelion Salad


Christian conservative Ronald Paul co… Christian conservative Ronald Paul comes out swinging on C-SPAN, stating how Human Life begins at Conception, so it is only a matter of time now before we can start putting Planned Parenthood baby-killing employees on death row state by state, and start by putting Howard Dean’s wife on death row and get rid of that trash, and then grant a Presidential pardon to Eric Rudolph and let that American patriot rejoin society.


h/t: Andrew

Stranger Than Fiction – Your Government In Action by Malcolm


Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Malcolm’s Blog
Oct. 6, 2007

Congressional Compendium

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is going to be changed, and then referred to the Judiciary Committee, according to Rep Silvestre Reyes, D-TX, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The revision, he said, would not shield telecom companies for warrantless spying on US citizens from liability. Bush & Co. aren’t happy, but the White House has refused to hand over documents requested by the House regarding domestic surveillance. Therefore, said Reyes, exemption from lawsuits will not be part of this bill.

While some (lobbies?) in Congress are still fighting for liability protection, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has already proceeded with a class-action suit against AT&T, stipulating that AT&T wiretapped and conducted data-mining of US citizens for the National Security Agency. The White House has never admitted to this practice, but in a newspaper interview, the Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell slipped when he said “the carriers…that assisted us in the past”, inadvertently intimating the practice of domestic surveillance.[i]

So that’s why the documents have not been released. Torts anyone?

And then there’s $ecretary of $tate Condo Rice…remember how she didn’t want to testify in front of congress regarding the 9/11 investigation? She then refused to discuss pre-Iraq war intelligence, and again refused to testify about the CIA operative Valerie Plame outing. Apparently, she still thinks this is a not a government of checks and balances and refuses to testify about 1) corruption in the Iraq war effort and 2) the disappearance of unaccounted US fund$.

Are there any rules governing our government?

There is the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Henry Waxman, D-CA, and he is getting a little annoyed by this and said “Secretary Rice is going to have a confrontation with this committee.”[ii] I would pay to see that, but I’m not holding my breath. Instead what Waxman got was Larry Butler, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs. Larry refused to answer questions about Iraqi attempts to fight corruption except in closed session. To this Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-MA noted the irony of the Office on Accountability and Transparency withholding information.

Further, it was not until the House committee requested information from the State Dept. that the dept. classified the information that had been requested.

And then there’s a little thing about a company called Blackwater and Heir Heiness’ Condo has refused to turn-over documents requested by the committee.

What rules? No, Hu rules.

Too heavy? There’s hope: Al Franken is running for a Senate seat from Wisconsin. His fund drive has been doing well, which led the incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman to say “It’s difficult to compete with the checkbooks of the Hollywood elite.”

As Franken used to say on Air America, “I make the punch lines here!”

Just in case you think the government really doesn’t care about the average citizen, the House passed a bill 386-27 to help people that might lose their home to foreclosure. According to Congress Daily “debt that is forgiven after a mortgage foreclosure … is considered income for tax purposes.” That is: if you are forgiven $100,000 on a house you bought but cannot make the payments, then $100K would be considered income on which you would have to pay taxes. Under the new bill, that would be eliminated. ‘Arbusto’ Bush is against the bill, which only highlights his consistent regard for the less fortunate.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

At last, the last: the Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit the import and use of asbestos. Remarkable, considering how long asbestos has been known to be injurious to living organisms. Is exporting OK?

To the House it goes, and they deserve it….

[i] By Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times “Spy chief’s disclosures stun Congress”, August 24, 2007 http://www.latimes.com/

[ii] This and much of the information included here is culled from, (but should not be held responsible for) the National Journal/Congress Daily. http://nationaljournal.com/pubs/congressdaily/

Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad during the Surge by Glitzqueen (aka The Other Katherine Harris)


Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Glitzqueen’s blog
Oct. 6, 2007

Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad during the Surge

Review of Pepe Escobar’s Latest Book

Pepe Escobar’s new book on Baghdad Besurged is full of surprises, the first being that it opens in a Rio de Janeiro nightclub.

The immediate relevance of the locale is conveyed by the presence of American troops and mercs from Iraq and other outposts of Empire, booked to celebrate Carnival through a Miami travel outfit called Tours Gone Wild. This prologue also establishes the author’s chops as a citoyen du monde. Brazilian by birth, working now for “Asia Times” and traveling with a French TV editor, Escobar credibly observes that the planet is being Brazilianized, not Americanized, by which he means subjected to “a civil war with no front, no army, no rules and no honor” — a state in which his native land has been inured for decades.

The next surprise strikes quickly: Escobar, for all his worldly wisdom, proves no less vulnerable to assault than those lacking long careers on the global news beat. Despite niggling thoughts of peril, he leaves the “Green Zone” safety of an upscale district to mingle with lesser revelers — and gets mugged within 100 meters! This made him one of 128 victims recorded by the city’s police on a typical day, but he was lucky not to suffer worse than a faceful of spray foam and emptied pockets. The number of fatal shootings is just as high (running at about 150 on a daily basis, nationwide, with most presumably in Rio).

“The underprivileged masses of the global South are desperate,” he mused after the experience, “and ready to do anything … Undocumented, un-credit carded and flat broke, I felt just like one of them.”

Escobar’s admirable empathy gets its next workouts across the Atlantic, but still not in Baghdad or even Iraq. His first two chapters are set in Syria, where Damascus is home to around 200,000 of at least a million displaced Iraqis (a crew growing by some 40,000 monthly). These are the fortunate, although prices are vastly inflated and quarters are cramped. Unlike their counterparts in Jordan, for instance, they’re allowed to work, open businesses, receive 50 percent-subsidized healthcare and send their children to school. Even so, many can’t get by and, when their money is gone, they’re forced back to Iraq unless successful in obtaining scarce visas for entry elsewhere — usually Australia or Canada, perhaps Europe for those with family ties.

Thousands of refugee families face imminent repatriation, according to a former math teacher, who now earns just $100 each month selling bus tickets and has to tap his dwindling savings for three times that sum. Nobody wants to go, as is perfectly natural. The surprise here is that the largely separate Sunni and Shiite communities which sprang up in Damascus were unprecedented for residents of pre-invasion Baghdad. Said retired government official Azia Abu Ammar, a Shiite long wed to a Sunni, “In Baghdad most marriages are mixed.” The retired government trade official emphasized, “There is no Sunni against Shiite. The Americans provoked it. Since the beginning they started talking about separate areas.”

How’s that for a kick in the head?

Ammar and others insist the crisis in their homeland can resolve only when when foreign troops withdraw, thereby removing the provocation that attracts foreign insurgents. They see al-Qaeda as “an American creation” — yep, another shocker. So let’s pause and let these facts sink in. Shiites and Sunnis in Baghdad got along well, even cozily in most households, before Shrub intruded. And al-Qaeda is the spawn of American meddling.

As Escobar moves on to examine present conditions in Iraq’s capital, he tells us five “overlapping wars” have developed in the wake of American intervention. Two target Americans in general — waged separately by Sunni guerillas (mainly foreigners) and Shiite Sadrists. Two more target the American-backed “Green Zone” government — waged separately by the same Sunni guerillas and the shadowy Wahhabist group calling itself both al-Qaeda in Iraq and The Islamic State of Iraq. Additionally, Sunni guerillas are fighting against assorted Shiite death squads and militias such as the Sadr Army and The Islamic State of Iraq, which operates by sparking chaos, bombing Sunnis in hope they’ll attack Shiites.

Obviously this is far from the picture of sectarian civil strife that we’re getting in the US. If he’s right, we could stop four of these conflicts instantly, merely by leaving and ceasing to prop Maliki up. Thus the Iraqis could get on with forming a central government that suits them and expelling foreign Arab troublemakers. Then would come amity — not overnight but pretty soon – and the return of their exiled middle class: the folks with the skills to make a country work, who had a little cash set aside but not enough to build a bunker around themselves and wait out the fracas.

Seconding Escobar’s notion that a united Iraq is not only possible but desired by most citizens is news that broke while I was reading his book. As reported by After Downing Street, a semi-secret peace conference held in Finland during late August was attended by a bevy of unnamed Iraqis and facilitated by leaders from Northern Ireland and South Africa, who famously resolved their own differences a few years back. Among the principles and objectives agreed by Iraqi signatories, who pledged to meet again with the aim of evolving a peace process, was: “a common vision … on the importance of termination of the presence of foreign troops in Iraq through … completion of national sovereignty and rebuilding a national army and security apparatus according to a national vision within a realistic timetable.”

“A common vision…a national vision” – hmmm. So why did our Senators just vote support for a federalist vision? Are they as confused as most of us about what’s really happening in Iraq? No doubt that’s true of many, who believe we’re currently stuck there, trying to referee a civil war. Seemingly the most honest of our media are saying so now. Still, might some Senators favor regional administration as a way to legitimize oil deals signed in Kurdistan without approval in Baghdad?

As recently reported by many, including Rigzone, there’s uproar in the capital over an exploration pact the Kurds concluded with one of Shrub’s Texas cronies, Ray Hunt — head of Hunt Oil and a member of the administration’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Responding to this, Janet Ritz blogged on Sept. 16 for the Huffington Post, “If the surge’s purported effort is to buy time for Baghdad to come to a political reconciliation, why has one of Bush’s closest allies … gone north to Kurdistan instead of waiting for Baghdad to finalize their own oil revenue sharing law (one of those unmet benchmarks)?”

The Kurds, let’s recall, feature nowhere in Escobar’s “five wars” analysis, except obliquely through endorsement of the targeted government and American interventionists. With the big ol’ USA in their corner, they’re doing fine, thanks, and even willing to risk a jab at Baghdad. Granted, lack of loyalty to Greater Iraq is understandable from a minority group who suffered so greatly under Saddam Hussein. Granted, too, a smaller piece of something beats a bigger piece of nothing — but Big Oil might reasonably reach the same conclusion, if compelled. So what’s the hurry? It’s impossible not to smell Shrub and His Thugs behind this Kurdish rush to shoot themselves in the foot and invite further enmity from their countrymen –- not only those opposing the present government, but that government, itself.

Could it be that Nuri al-Maliki is on his way out, with Washington’s blessing? Escobar thought so, as early as last spring. Besides being associated with deteriorating security in the minds of ordinary people, he is opposed by “all strands” of insurgents who, as Escobar noted, “will never allow the Bush administration — or Anglo-American Big Oil — to control Iraq’s oil wealth.” That Maliki’s cheerleading for the oil giveaway was getting nowhere made Washington go off him, in addition to which he’d begun cozying up with Iran.

Also within the early 2007 timeframe of Red Zone Blues, Escobar speculated that Allawi, the former interim PM, may be on his way back in. Conversations throughout Baghdad told him “Iraqis terrified by the current carnage are more and more inclined to turn to Iyad Allawi as the only possible solution.” He added ruefully, “The true measure of the overwhelming Iraqi tragedy is that people in Baghdad are now yearning for an ersatz Saddam.” In a recent interview, the author told Paul Jay (senior editor of “US Labor against the War”) that strongman tactics on the part of Allawi might well restore civil order and even gain passage of the oil law.

While no fan of the “ex-Ba’athist, embezzler-in-Yemen and former CIA and MI5 asset” who ordered assaults on Fallujah and Najaf in 2004, Escobar seems to find the idea of partition less savory than Allawi. Red Zone Blues was written long before a federalist solution gleamed in many eyes besides Joe Biden’s, but one of his most recent “Asia Times” columns addresses this notion with the utmost hostility. I won’t veer off into that territory here, since I want to talk about the book, but the article deserves your attention. It fully sets us straight on why partition is no answer at all and, outside the US, is being regarded as far from a well-meaning thought.

In his ramblings around Baghdad, which he describes as a gulag, Escobar’s “roving eye” — the title of his “Asia Times” column — fixes frequently on economic issues. His prior volume, which I look forward to reading, was Globalistan: How the Civilized World is Dissolving into Liquid War, and he cites it in connection with the city’s transformation into “a Pentagon-enforced Condofornia imposed over an Arab Slumistan.” Condofornias and Slumistans have been created worldwide, since Reagan’s reign unleashed savage capitalism and the ultra-rich began taking all the winnings. The walls dividing them normally keep Sluminstanis out, but there’s a dark reverse of that in Baghdad: The Great Wall of Adhamiyah, which ghettoizes a Slumistan. Within is what’s become a Sunni hotbed of resistance to the Maliki government and the corporatist diktats of former proconsul Paul Bremer, especially as they relate to the oil snatch. Outside the wall, more than three miles long and about 12 feet high, Adhamiyah is all but encircled by US forces, with some roads into the area ablocked and all controlled by checkpoints. There are also checkpoints inside, manned by police from Shiite cleric Maqtada ad-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, who regularly create commotion in order to snag cell phones for resale — as befell one of Escobar’s traveling companions.

Following the more usual Condo/Slumi pattern is the ultimate “Green Zone”: the heavily guarded enclave encompassing the US Embassy, Iraqi Parliament and homes of the most privileged. Heavy security also exists around all military encampments and official buildings, as well as in certain smaller parts of the city, where residents can afford to hire private bullies, watchmen and sharpshooters.

Most of the capital remains a “Red Zone” — hence, the terror felt by refugees facing return, as by those unable to immigrate or take refuge in Sadr City, viewed by its denizens as the safest place in the country. That’s why about three million of the five million unfortunates still in Baghdad have squeezed into its ramshackle buildings, on average 11 people to a house. You probably figure it’s all-Shiite and protected by Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army but — surprise, surprise — there are Sunnis in the mix and tribal guards police the 24-square km district. Want another eye-opener? The flags lining main streets there are Iraqi, not partisan. Muqtada is a hard-core nationalist, not a bit interested in Iraqi’s being dominated by Iran.

Yet this is the “place that Pentagon generals dream of smashing.” Escobar tells us more: “The radio station of choice is Peace 106 FM. Kids in Argentine soccer jerseys play in the streets … (T)here are 100 schools … (and) plans to build a local university. The municipality has the land, 300 hectares; they also want to build a medical center and a park. But they need help. And no help is coming from the Maliki government …The key problem is Shiite/Shiite violence. The Badr Brigades… trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards … (clash) with the Mahdi Army… This boiled down in essence to a rivalry between eminent families … the al-Sadr and the al-Hakim … a good old class struggle – between the bourgeois, al-Hakim-conrolled SCII and the Sadrist popular masses. Muqtada was winning for obvious reasons: the bourgeoisie — collaborating with the occupation ––was absolutely inept at government and Iraq was plunging into even more misery than sub-Saharan Africa …”

Yep, it’s that bad. Yearly per capita income may be less than US$400 now, with unemployment at 60 percent (probably 70 percent in Sadr City). In 1980, per capita income was $3,600. That fell to $860 in 2001, after 10 years of sanctions, and was published as $530 in 2003.

Let’s pause again and let things sink in: Baghdad is awash in money — so many billions that dozens of them simply disappear — but most Iraqis are living on virtually nothing and can’t get work. And we’re allowing our government’s overpaid contractors to import the cheapest possible labor, instead of hiring them! How the hell could they not hate us?

The impact of the sanctions was another major shock, at least to me. That point was best made when Escobar talked with members of the so-called Sanctions Generation. Most children of that era are young adults now, some already college graduates. Growing up in the hungry 1990s is a memory they’ll never shake, but those actually born after 1991 and thus undernourished from infancy are also afflicted with weak and undersized skeletal structures. Only Saddam and his set, whom the US and UN meant to punish, lived comfortably, while the rest suffered. Many suffer still, and not only from health problems. Lots of loveless marriages were contracted, for instance, and financial desperation led others into vice.

The sanctions did nobody’s ethics any good and continued deprivation is doing the same thing today. As Escobar reports, students frantic to finish their degrees and get out of the country threaten professors with “bullet” messages and cheat openly — and these are the good kids, compared to the ones setting bombs. Young people with well-founded hopes for the future aren’t impelled toward destructive behavior. Had our tax dollars been spent with this in mind, there could have been a genuine reconstruction of Iraqi society.

As for why they weren’t, the only answer is greed: the same greed that’s turning every country where corporate interests reign supreme into zones of green and red, Condofornias and Slumistans. Our own college students, recent studies informed us, are also scared enough about economic survival that they routinely cheat and threaten their professors, too (with lawuits, instead of ammunition). That’s exactly how the rulers of the universe want them to enter the workplace: scared beyond all thought of principle. Or of complaint.

Near his conclusion, Escobar strikes a similar note — after supplying a lot more informative and often surprising material that I’ll leave to your discovery — saying, “There’s no ‘democracy’ to speak of anywhere. This is a plutocratic world … Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek evaluates how hard it is today to think of a credible alternative to the current system: ‘…(It) is easier today to imagine a total catastrophe destroying all life on Earth than a radical change in social life … (A)n asteroid touches the Earth, but capitalism survives.’ ”

Transparently, putting some reins on unbridled corporatism is something we all need to get cracking on in our respective portions of the globe, and working Americans are beginning to wake up to the extent of injustice inflicted upon us over the past 30 years. We in America should also get cracking on a nationwide Vietnam-scale stop-the-war movement, Escobar says as practically his parting shot. “The whole world,” he writes, “is baffled at how more than 60 percent — and counting — of US public opinion is against the Iraq war while at the same time there’s no rage exploding in the American street.” I’d like to see more public fury, too; we’re burning with it. However, as he pointed out himself, real democracy has been crushed here, too. Besides working three times harder to survive now, people are very much aware of themselves as targets, not masters or even beneficiaries, of government — and, as for raging in the streets, we know Shrub and His Thugs have all those empty concentration camps just waiting for us.

Red Zone Blues is published by Nimble Books.

Pepe Escobar: Can the White House intimidate Iran? + U.S. and Iran: Negotiations or war? (videos)

From Al Qaeda to Al Quds: America prepares for War on Iran by Pepe Escobar

The State Dept.’s Murderous Guardians By Robert Scheer

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Scheer
Oct. 6, 2007

How did it come to be that the ostensibly best-educated and most refined representatives of the United States in Iraq are guarded by gun-toting mercenaries who kill innocent civilians? More urgently, why did State Department employees and their bosses in Washington tolerate—and pay to conceal—the wanton murder conducted on their watch?

Continue reading

Gitmo: America’s black hole By Clive Stafford Smith

Dandelion Salad

By Clive Stafford Smith
Los Angeles Times
October 5, 2007

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — I am writing from the Combined Bachelors’ Quarters on the leeward side of Guantanamo Bay. Particularly in the age of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it is a strange name for a military barracks. Yet the irony of this place runs deep, as does the tragedy. The base motto is “Honor Bound to Defend Freedom,” even though my clients, who are prisoners in the detention center, have none.

I’ve been here meeting with them this week, but I can’t tell you what anyone has told me, as it must all go through the censors. It does not matter that the topic may be as innocuous as Speedo swimwear, for each word is considered a potential threat to national security. (Why would a lawyer talk about Speedos? Because, a few weeks ago, a commander alleged that I smuggled in Speedos and Under Armour underwear to one client, apparently so he could paddle around in the only pool available to him, his privy.)

Most of the secrecy in Guantanamo involves suppressing bad news about the base rather than anything that should really be classified. But I obey the rules or I go to jail, so until I get permission, I can only write about what I see, not what is said.


h/t: ICH

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.

Piercing the Veil of Terrorism: Unmasking AIPAC by William A. Cook

Dandelion Salad

by William A. Cook
Atlantic Free Press
Saturday, 06 October 2007

Ray Suarez (PBS News Hour Reporter, October 2, 2007):

“You’re saying that the national legislature of this country, rather than doing the will of the citizens of the United States, passed that Iran resolution, sanctioning the Republican Guard, because of the American-Israeli Political Action Committee?”

Mike Gravel (Democratic Presidential Candidate):

“Wait a second. They’ll (sic) be some information coming out about how this thing was drafted. So the answer is yes, the short answer. … This is what’s at stake with this resolution. And it’s the height of immorality, irresponsibility, and the United States Senate, with the Democrats in charge, voted for the passage of this resolution. It doesn’t get any worse than that, Ray.”

(As reported at philipweiss.org).

In asking his question, Ray Suarez implies that our Senators capitulated to the desires of AIPAC, knowing their vote negated the expressed will of the American people. Gravel, once a Senator from Alaska during the Vietnam War period, answers unhesitatingly, “yes,” the short answer is yes. The obvious follow-up question would appear to be:

“Why do you think that our Senators would vote against the expressed wishes of their constituents in favor of a special interest lobby?”

It was never asked. Fortunately, Sy Hersh, in an interview with Amy Goodman that same day, responded to a question posed by Goodman, a question drawn from a Gravel criticism of Hillary Clinton for having voted for this resolution.

Goodman pointed to the 76 votes in favor, both Republican and Democrat, asking Hersh to respond to Gravel’s critique:

“This is fantasy land… we’re talking about ending the war. My god, we’re just starting a war right today. There was a vote in the Senate today. Joe Lieberman, who authored the Iraq resolution, has authored another resolution, and it is essentially a fig leaf to let George Bush go to war with Iran.

And I want to congratulate Biden for voting against it, Dodd for voting against it, and I’m ashamed of you, Hillary, for voting for it. You’re not going to get another shot at this, because what’s happened, if this war ensues, we invade, and they’re looking for an excuse to do it.”

Goodman’s question is simple enough, why would 76 senators vote for such a resolution.

Hersh’s response:

“Money. A lot of the Jewish money from New York. Come on, let’s not kid about it. A significant percentage of Jewish money, and many leading American Jews support the Israeli position that Iran is an existential threat. And I think it is as simple as that. … That’s American politics circa 2007.”

Gravel understands the consequences of giving Cheney and Bush the freedom to attack Iran’s Republican Guard as a terrorist organization rather than as the legally constituted military of the state existing to protect the citizens of that state. They need no act of Congress to attack a terrorist organization and, citing the Encarta encyclopedia description of terrorism, “These violent acts are committed by non-governmental groups or individuals – that is by those who are neither part of or officially serving in the military forces – …,” they have defanged the definition of terrorism as it cannot be applied to a nation state.

Cheney and Bush are now free to invade Iran to wipe out the terrorist organization harbored by that country. Why pretend that an established arm of the government of Iran is a terrorist organization when the opposite is so evident? Because Cheney and Bush and their Neo-con/AIPAC alliance have not been able to convince the American people of the threat to the US should Iran eventually acquire nuclear capability. The Kyl-Lieberman resolution gives this administration license to attack Iran using the original resolution passed by the Congress for the invasion of Afghanistan since Iran now harbors terrorists that threaten America.


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.


Inside Iraq: Threat of war in Iran (videos)

Mike Gravel: I’m ashamed of this (video)

Olbermann: Secret Memo + Torture + Repubs 08 + Rush (video)

Dandelion Salad

clyde1952 We know that torture is not a part of…

We know that torture is not a part of the Bushco agenda. How do we know this? Because they tell us so, and they wouldn’t lie to the American People would they? Of course not, because Presidents never lie.

And of course, there are a lot of secret papers we can’t see pertaining to this because it is important that just about everything in our government remain secret. I mean, isn’t ignorance suppose to be bliss? Ask any Republican, they’ll tell you. Being kept in the dark, letting Bushco destroy the constitution and our Bill of Rights has been good for them so shouldn’t it be good for everybody.

Keith Olbermann explores more about the secret torture of the United States Government. Although you must be careful, because even asking questions about those secrets, means you are a terrorist.

I know we all want to believe that just like Jack Bauer has shown, if you want to get information out of a prisoner, you simply inflict as much pain on them as possible. Unfortunately in the reality world in which the sane people of America live in, we know that what really happens is that a person being tortured will tell you anything and everything and everything you want to hear. The problem is that the “anything and everything” isn’t worth a damn. Sorry Jack Bauer, but that’s the way it works. Former CIA Case Officer Robert Baer stops by to discuss this with Keith.

You’ve heard it in the MSM. You’ve heard it from the pundits and as always the pundits get it right so you know it must be true. Hilary Clinton is a polarizing figure in politics. Uh…wait a minute. You say there’s a new poll asking actual real life voters what they think? You say it shows something altogether different? Shhhh….some wayward TV pundit might hear you.

First up we have Oddball with Rubik’s Cube Mania, the car of the future and making it’s third appearance is another story about the leg found in the grill. Oh joy.

Then we have Best Persons. Tonight’s lineup include: Lynn K. Dailey, who was arrested for stealing a donut by sticking it in her back pocket. Clive Halford who stole a truck to steal Copper and Nickel. It didn’t quite work out, and an International Conference of utmost importance in South Korea. It has something to do with condoms.

On a darker note, more on Rush Limbaugh and how because of him and others like him, the Republican Party has lost any smidgen of decency it may have had if it ever had any at all. When Republican Congressman use Fatboy’s smear of the troops to garner political donations, I’m thinking we may as well regress two hundred years and start all over again. They somehow continue to fine new ways to sink into the deepest depths of a dark abyss of moral indecency.

NOTE: There is a slight jump between Oddball and Best Person. This was due to a few seconds I had to edit out because of a technical problem. My apologies.

Gold Medalist Marion Jones pleads guilty to lying under oath about steroid use. On the courthouse steps, she offered her public apology. I guess this means she won’t be getting anymore endorsement offers. As for me, I only watch sports with a passing interest these days. Too much drugs, too much money, too much arrogance, too many criminals.

Glenn Beck rounds out worst person in the world tonight.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the first Friday of the month, the time that we all wait for with eager anticipation. It’s exciting, it’s great, it’s wonderful! It’s the ODDBALL PLAYS OF THE MONTH!