Civil disobedience for universal healthcare (video)

Dandelion Salad


June 2007

UAW Region 9A organized a rally and civil action with many other unions and community groups which took place while the legislature was in session to send them a little message.

h/t: Health Care For All – NOW – TAKE ACTION


What Is Single-Payer National Health Insurance? + California OneCare (video)

What Is Single-Payer National Health Insurance? + California OneCare (video)

Dandelion Salad

Health Care For All – NOW – TAKE ACTION
Oct 12, 2007

Sign to Petition Congress to pass Single-Payer HR 676 – National Health Insurance

More ways to Take Action HERE.

See bottom of post to also view very important video produced by OneCareNow to educate people in California about SB 840 – CA Single Payer bill. It goes into detail about how Single Payer works in general starting 4 minutes into the video. This is a MUST SEE FOR EVERYONE because the principles discussed also apply to HR 676 – the national Single Payer bill.

Single-Payer National Health Insurance

by Physicians for a National Health Program

Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.

Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 46 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.

The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $350 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.

Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, long-term care, mental health, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care.

Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.


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


The Healthcare Solution: California OneCare (R1)


The solution to the healthcare crisis in California is Senate Bill 840 (Kuehl) which would provide comprehensive healthcare coverage for all for life for less. This film explains how it works.


Why Kucinich Is The Best Candidate (video; health care)

Clinton, Obama, Edwards on ‘the same page’ on health care reform, ‘the wrong page,’ says Kucinich

Dennis Kucinich discusses his universal healthcare plan (video link)

The Mother of all Pretexts By Uri Avnery

Dandelion Salad

By Uri Avnery
10/13/07 “ICH

WHEN I hear mention of the “Clash of Civilizations” I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

To laugh, because it is such a silly notion.

To cry, because it is liable to cause untold disasters.

To cry even more, because our leaders are exploiting this slogan as a pretext for sabotaging any possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation. It is just one more in a long line of pretexts.

WHY WAS the Zionist movement in need of excuses to justify the way it treated the Palestinian people?

At its birth, it was an idealistic movement. It laid great weight on its moral basis. Not just in order to convince the world, but above all in order to set its own conscience at rest.

From early childhood we learned about the pioneers, many of them sons and daughters of well-to-do and well-educated families, who left behind a comfortable life in Europe in order to start a new life in a far-away and – by the standards of the time – primitive country. Here, in a savage climate they were not used to, often hungry and sick, they performed bone-breaking physical labor under a brutal sun.

For that, they needed an absolute belief in the rightness of their cause. Not only did they believe in the need to save the Jews of Europe from persecution and pogroms, but also in the creation of a society so just as never seen before, an egalitarian society that would be a model for the entire world. Leo Tolstoy was no less important for them than Theodor Herzl. The kibbutz and the moshav were symbols of the whole enterprise.

But this idealistic movement aimed at settling in a country inhabited by another people. How to bridge this contradiction between its sublime ideals and the fact that their realization necessitated the expulsion of the people of the land?

The easiest way was to repress the problem altogether, ignoring its very existence: the land, we told ourselves, was empty, there was no people living here at all. That was the justification that served as a bridge over the moral abyss.

Only one of the Founding Fathers of the Zionist movement was courageous enough to call a spade a spade. Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote as early as 80 years ago that it was impossible to deceive the Palestinian people (whose existence he recognized) and to buy their consent to the Zionist aspirations. We are white settlers colonizing the land of the native people, he said, and there is no chance whatsoever that the natives will resign themselves to this voluntarily. They will resist violently, like all the native peoples in the European colonies. Therefore we need an “Iron Wall” to protect the Zionist enterprise.

When Jabotinsky was told that his approach was immoral, he replied that the Jews were trying to save themselves from the disaster threatening them in Europe, and, therefore, their morality trumped the morality of the Arabs in Palestine.

Most Zionists were not prepared to accept this force-oriented approach. They searched fervently for a moral justification they could live with.

Thus started the long quest for justifications – with each pretext supplanting the previous one, according to the changing spiritual fashions in the world.

THE FIRST justification was precisely the one mocked by Jabotinsky: we were actually coming to benefit the Arabs. We shall redeem them from their primitive living conditions, from ignorance and disease. We shall teach them modern methods of agriculture and bring them advanced medicine. Everything – except employment, because we needed every job for the Jews we were bringing here, which we were transforming from ghetto-Jews into a people of workers and tillers of the soil.

When the ungrateful Arabs went on to resist our grand project, in spite of all the benefits we were supposedly bringing them, we found a Marxist justification: It’s not the Arabs who oppose us, but only the “effendis”. The rich Arabs, the great landowners, are afraid that the glowing example of the egalitarian Hebrew community would attract the exploited Arab proletariat and cause them to rise against their oppressors.

That, too, did not work for long, perhaps because the Arabs saw how the Zionists bought the land from those very same “effendis” and drove out the tenants who had been cultivating it for generations.

The rise of the Nazis in Europe brought masses of Jews to the country. The Arab public saw how the land was being withdrawn from under their feet, and started a rebellion against the British and the Jews in 1936. Why, the Arabs asked, should they pay for the persecution of the Jews by the Europeans? But the Arab Revolt gave us a new justification: the Arabs support the Nazis. And indeed, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was photographed sitting next to Hitler. Some people “discovered” that the Mufti was the real instigator of the Holocaust. (Years later it was revealed that Hitler had detested the Mufti, who had no influence whatsoever over the Nazis.)

World War II came to an end, to be followed by the 1948 war. Half of the vanquished Palestinian people became refugees. That did not trouble the Zionist conscience, because everybody knew: They ran away of their own free will. Their leaders had called upon them to leave their homes, to return later with the victorious Arab armies. True, no evidence was ever found to support this absurd claim, but it has sufficed to soothe our conscience to this day.

It may be asked: why were the refugees not allowed to come back to their homes once the war was over? Well, it was they who in 1947 rejected the UN partition plan and started the war. If because of this they lost 78% of their country, they have only themselves to blame.

Then came the Cold War. We were, of course, on the side of the “Free World”, while the great Arab leader, Gamal Abd-al-Nasser, got his weapons from the Soviet bloc. (True, in the 1948 war the Soviet arms flowed to us, but that’s not important.) It was quite clear: No use talking with the Arabs, because they support Communist tyranny.

But the Soviet bloc collapsed. “The terrorist organization called PLO“, as Menachem Begin used to call it, recognized Israel and signed the Oslo agreement. A new justification had to be found for our unwillingness to give back the occupied territories to the Palestinian people.

The salvation came from America: a professor named Samuel Huntington wrote a book about the “Clash of Civilizations”. And so we found the mother of all pretexts.

THE ARCH-ENEMY, according to this theory, is Islam. Western Civilization, Judeo-Christian, liberal, democratic, tolerant, is under attacked from the Islamic monster, fanatical, terrorist, murderous.

Islam is murderous by nature. Actually, “Muslim” and “terrorist” are synonymous. Every Muslim is a terrorist, every terrorist a Muslim.

A sceptic might ask: How did it happen that the wonderful Western culture gave birth to the Inquisition, the pogroms, the burning of witches, the annihilation of the Native Americans, the Holocaust, the ethnic cleansings and other atrocities without number – but that was in the past. Now Western culture is the embodiment of freedom and progress.

Professor Huntington was not thinking about us in particular. His task was to satisfy a peculiar American craving: the American empire always needs a virtual, world-embracing enemy, a single enemy which includes all the opponents of the United States around the world. The Communists delivered the goods – the whole world was divided between Good Guys (the Americans and their supporters) and Bad Guys (the Commies). Everybody who opposed American interests was automatically a Communist – Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Salvador Allende in Chile, Fidel Castro in Cuba, while the masters of Apartheid, the death squads of Augusto Pinochet and the secret police of the Shah of Iran belonged, like us, to the Free World.

When the Communist empire collapsed, America was suddenly left without a world-wide enemy. This vacuum has now been filled by the Muslims-Terrorists. Not only Osama bin Laden, but also the Chechnyan freedom fighters, the angry North-African youth of the Paris banlieus, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the insurgents in the Philippines.

Thus the American world view rearranged itself: a good world (Western Civilization) and a bad world (Islamic civilization). Diplomats still take care to make a distinction between “radical Islamists” and “moderate Muslims”, but that is only for appearances’ sake. Between ourselves, we know of course that they are all Osama bin Ladens. They are all the same.

This way, a huge part of the world, composed of manifold and very different countries, and a great religion, with many different and even opposing tendencies (like Christianity, like Judaism), which has given the world unmatched scientific and cultural treasures, is thrown into one and the same pot.

THIS WORLD VIEW is tailored for us. Indeed, the world of the clashing civilizations is, for us, the best of all possible worlds.

The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is no longer a conflict between the Zionist movement, which came to settle in this country, and the Palestinian people, which inhabited it. No, it has been from the very beginning a part of a world-wide struggle which does not stem from our aspirations and actions. The assault of terrorist Islam on the Western world did not start because of us. Our conscience can be entirely clean – we are among the good guys of this world.

This is now the line of argument of official Israel: the Palestinians elected Hamas, a murderous Islamic movement. (If it didn’t exist, it would have to be invented – and indeed, some people assert it was created from the start by our secret service.) Hamas is terroristic, and so is Hizbullah. Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas is not a terrorist himself, but he is weak and Hamas is about to take sole control over all Palestinian territories. So we cannot talk with them. We have no partner. Actually, we cannot possibly have a partner, because we belong to Western Civilization, which Islam wants to eradicate.

IN HIS book “Der Judenstaat”, Theodor Herzl, the official Israeli “Prophet of the State”, prophesied this development, too.

This is what he wrote in 1896: “For Europe we shall constitute (in Palestine) a part of the wall against Asia, we shall serve as a vanguard of culture against barbarism.”

Herzl was thinking of a metaphoric wall, but in the meantime we have put up a very real one. For many, this is not just a Separation Wall between Israel and Palestine. It is a part of the world-wide wall between the West and Islam, the front-line of the Clash of Civilizations. Beyond the wall there are not men, women and children, not a conquered and oppressed Palestinian population, not choked towns and villages like Abu-Dis, a-Ram, Bil’in and Qalqilia. No, beyond the wall there are a billion terrorists, multitudes of blood-thirsty Muslims, who have only one desire in life: to throw us into the sea, simply because we are Jews, part of Judeo-Christian Civilization.

With an official position like that – who is there to talk to? What is there to talk about? What is the point of meeting in Annapolis or anywhere else?

And what is left to us to do – to cry or to laugh?

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

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


The Iron Wall

Real Time: Naomi Klein Interview (video)

Dandelion Salad


On Real Time last night, Bill Maher had author Naomi Klein on to talk about her new book “Shock Doctrine,” which is about the evils of corporations, privativzation, and the free-market economy. She naturally has to bring in Blackwater as an evil of privatization. I’ll have another video piece later on Blackwater, but this piece with Naomi is too rich to miss. Crony capitalism, free-market ideology, corporatism, etc. Yes, all evil entities. And let’s not forget about the importance of “shared responsibility.” For those of you educated in government schools, that’s “income redistribution.”


The Shock Doctrine: Q&A From the Seattle Talk (video)

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

American Lockdown: Law Enforcement Out Of Control And Beyond The Pale By Carolyn Baker

Do you know the truth about Lockerbie? By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
10/13/07 “The Independent

I urge anyone who is aware of government lies over Flight 103 to come forward

After writing about the “ravers” who regularly turn up at lectures to claim that President Bush/the CIA/the Pentagon/Mossad etc perpetrated the crimes against humanity of 11 September, I received a letter this week from Marion Irvine, who feared that members of her family run the risk of being just such “ravers” and “voices heard in the wilderness”. Far from it.

Continue reading

“Seven countries in five years” By Joe Conason (Wesley Clark)

Dandelion Salad

By Joe Conason

Wesley Clark’s new memoir casts more light on the Bush administration’s secret strategies for regime change in Iran and elsewhere.

While the Bush White House promotes the possibility of armed conflict with Iran, a tantalizing passage in Wesley Clark’s new memoir suggests that another war is part of a long-planned Department of Defense strategy that anticipated “regime change” by force in no fewer than seven Mideast states. Critics of the war have often voiced suspicions of such imperial schemes, but this is the first time that a high-ranking former military officer has claimed to know that such plans existed.

Continue reading

US demands air passengers ask its permission to fly By Wendy M. Grossman

Dandelion Salad

If you’re not on the list, you’re not getting on

By Wendy M. Grossman
10/13/07 “The Register

Under new rules proposed by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) (pdf), all airline passengers would need advance permission before flying into, through, or over the United States regardless of citizenship or the airline’s national origin.

Currently, the Advanced Passenger Information System, operated by the Customs and Border Patrol, requires airlines to forward a list of passenger information no later than 15 minutes before flights from the US take off (international flights bound for the US have until 15 minutes after take-off). Planes are diverted if a passenger on board is on the no-fly list.

The new rules mean this information must be submitted 72 hours before departure. Only those given clearance will get a boarding pass. The TSA estimates that 90 to 93 per cent of all travel reservations are final by then.

The proposed rules require the following information for each passenger: full name, sex, date of birth, and redress number (assigned to passengers who use the Travel Redress Inquiry Program because they have been mistakenly placed on the no-fly list), and known traveller number (once there is a programme in place for registering known travellers whose backgrounds have been checked). Non-travellers entering secure areas, such as parents escorting children, will also need clearance.

The TSA held a public hearing in Washington DC on 20 September, which heard comments from both privacy advocates and airline industry representatives from Qantas, the Regional Airline Association, IATA, and the American Society of Travel Agents. The privacy advocates came from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Identity Project. All were negative.

The proposals should be withdrawn entirely, argued Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad and the leading expert on travel data privacy. “Obscured by the euphemistic language of ‘screening’ is the fact that travellers would be required to get permission before they can travel.”

Hasbrouck submitted that requiring clearance in order to travel violates the US First Amendment right of assembly, the central claim in John Gilmore’s case against the US government over the requirement to show photo ID for domestic travel.

In addition, the TSA is required to study the impact of the proposals on small economic entities (such as sole traders). Finally, the TSA provides no way for individuals to tell whether their government-issued ID is actually required by law, opening the way for rampant identity theft.

ACLU’s Barry Steinhardt quoted press reports of 500,000 to 750,000 people on the watch list (of which the no-fly list is a subset). “If there are that many terrorists in the US, we’d all be dead.”

TSA representative Kip Hawley noted that the list has been carefully investigated and halved over the last year. “Half of grossly bloated is still bloated,” Steinhardt replied.

The airline industry representatives’ objections were largely logistical. They argued that the 60-day timeframe the TSA proposes to allow for implementation from the publication date of the final rules is much too short. They want a year to revamp many IT systems, especially, as the Qantas representative said, as no one will start until they’re sure there will be no further changes.

In addition, many were concerned about the impact on new, convenient and cash-saving technologies, such as checking in at home, or storing a boarding pass in a PDA.

One additional point, also raised by Hasbrouck: the data the TSA requires will be collected by the airlines who presumably will keep it for their own purposes – a “government-coerced informational windfall”, he called it.

The third parties who actually do much of the airline industry’s data processing, the Global Distribution Systems and Computer Reservations Systems, were missing from the hearing. ®

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.

Kucinich Will Introduce Legislation To Ban U.S. Oil Companies From Iraq

Dandelion Salad

Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2007-10-12
After Downing Street

Kucinich: New Revelations on Hunt Oil Deal Raise More Questions
Will Introduce Legislation To Ban U.S. Oil Companies From Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 12, 2007) — Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said today’s United Press International (UPI) report on Hunt Oil raises more questions worthy of Congressional investigations and that he will introduce legislation to ban U.S. oil companies from operating in Iraq.

“The Bush Administration has been pressing for the privatization of Iraq’s oil. This move by Hunt Oil, with its numerous connections to the President, would seem to advance that goal. The deal would seem to pressure the central Iraq government to capitulate, since the Hunt Oil deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government would be a precedent that the Iraq government could hardly ignore.

“I’m concerned that if we don’t reverse the “war for oil” policy, many negative consequences for the United States could follow. I think it would prevent any hope of an emerging peace process in the Middle East,” Kucinich said.

Earlier this year Congress passed and the President signed the supplemental Iraq funding bill that included a limitation on the U.S. government controlling Iraqi oil, which leaves private control of Iraq’s oil resources by U.S. oil companies on the table. Sec. 3301 states no funds can be expended by the United States Government “To exercise United States control over any oil resource of Iraq.” There is no similar prohibition on oil companies.

“This Congress failed to prohibit oil companies from taking advantage of the U.S. invasion. I intend to close this major loophole by introducing legislation to prohibit U.S oil companies from gaining financial interests or financial control of Iraq’s oil resources,” Kucinich said.

On September 18, 2007, Kucinich sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging an immediate investigation into Hunt Oil Company’s recent production sharing agreement for petroleum exploration with Kurdistan.

“The war in Iraq is a stain on American history. Let us not further besmirch our nation by participating in an outrageous exploitation of a nation, which is in shambles due to the U.S. intervention,” Kucinich said in an hour-long speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 23, 2007.

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

Oil Laws: Colonizing Iraq’s Economic Prize

Al Jazeera: Listening Post: Blackwater (videos)

Dandelion Salad


At least 38 Iraqis have been killed by Blackwater personnel since 2003. We ask what took the media so long to get involved.


Blackwater Faces War Crimes Inquiry After Killings in Iraq

Anna Politkovskaya/journalist

Iraq: Tharthar Lake, Another U.S. Massacre of Innocents by Felicity Arbuthnot

Dandelion Salad

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, October 12, 2007

The region of Tharthar Lake, between Salah Ad Din and Ramadi Provinces – where three women, nine children and nineteen ‘Al Qaeda suspects’, were mown down from the air, in another act of homicide and exceptional cowardice – is sited in the center of one the the U.S Army‘s favoured culling fields, Samarra being nearby a little to the north east and Falluja roughly equi-distant, to the south west.

Saddam Hussein, who built a palace and resort on the lake, with guest homes and facilities for visiting dignitaries and those of his circle, is believed to have had a special place in his heart for the beauty and tranquility of the lake, which the complex overlooked. Fishing on the lake was reported to be a pastime and relaxation he loved.

In common with all Iraq’s great buildings of State, they were quickly squatted by the invaders from the land of trailor parks, as ever in breach of international laws obligating an occupying force, albeit an illegal one. The tranquil complex had been sullied before by American intruders. The weapons inspectors (UNSCOM) demanded to go there, when playing their ridiculous game of accusing the Iraqi government of secreting weapons of mass destruction in the great palaces. Since all Iraq’s armaments were sold by all Member countries of the UN Security Council and Germany (here we go again) this was no more than an attempt at humiliation and war mongering. They had the receipts, knew the ‘shelf life’ – and the pitiful destruction of just about all that remained after the eight year Iran-Iraq war, and 1991’s forty two day carpet bombing.

It did not take long for the Tharthar ‘ insurgents R U.S.’ to start killing there. Just a few examples:

” On 12 September 2003 U.S. soldiers mistakenly killed at least eight Iraqi police officers who were chasing a car full of armed men through a checkpoint near Fallujah. According to witnesses, the shooting took place as Falluja police and security guards pursued a white BMW used by suspected highway robbers … The Iraqi officers chasing the four men in the BMW were driving pickup trucks. The security guards along with Iraqi policemen chased the attackers in an attempt to capture them. At this point US forces arrived on the scene and opened fire …. Eight guards were killed and … others injured.”(1)

On 24th March 2004 John R. MacArthur read the front-page headline in the New York Times: ‘ “Backed by U.S., Iraqis Raid Camp and Report Killing 80 Insurgents.” The accompanying “news” story — which depicted a “fierce battle” on the shores of Lake Tharthar — was based entirely on uncorroborated statements by Iraqi and American spokesmen that suggested two highly improbable developments: first, that the so-called Iraqi army had suddenly gotten its act together and was taking the initiative without U.S. prompting; and second, that the Iraqi rebels had just as suddenly abandoned their very successful hit-and-run tactics and started camping in big bunches out in the open, where anyone could see them.’ It finally turned out that, they were killed by US helicopter gun ships.'(2)

Prior to that, of course, the Tharthar usurpers had joined with colleagues, honing their mighty massacre skills in Falluja in early and late 2004. An indiscriminate carnage of such magnitude that football pitches became buriel grounds, dogs ate bodies in streets and traumatised families even buried their beloved lost in their gardens and yards, unable to escape liberation’s blood sodden siege.

On 18th May 2006 a Multi National Force Iraq Press Release read:

“Tikrit, Iraq: Iraqi army and U.S. Soldiers raided a suspected insurgent training camp during Operation Iron Triangle near Lake Thar Thar’ (pity about the wordage) ‘southwest of Tikrit May 9. 2006. Nearly 200 Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, and about 230 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team assaulted the complex from CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters into the suspected camp after intelligence sources identified the location as the Muthana Chemical Complex”

In a familiar story, three hand-cuffed, unarmed men, uncharged, untried, were shot dead by brave lads of the U.S. military. A colleague said he had not intervened for fear of being seen as a coward. In a rare sighting of United States justice, soldiers Raymond Girourard, William Hunsaker and Corey Clagett were sentenced, in March 2007, to forty six years between them for pre-meditated murder and conspiracy. (3)

Now, on October 10th., the day that a funeral was held at the Virgin Mary Church in Baghdad, for Marou Awanis and Geneva Jalal, killed by Unity Recources Group, a mercenary company who protect a USAID contractor – many legal opinions are that mercenaries are accountable to and under the auspices of the U.S., Army – the U.S. Army itself was on another bloodfest. (Blackwater, another bunch of murderous mercenary thugs, of course, killed seventeen innocent civilians on September 16th., also reportedly protecting USAID contractors – some ‘AID’.) Extra-judicial killings are very democratic, Christian, Muslim and all denominations, nationalities, are equal targets in America’s killing fields, deserts, cities, towns, villages, schools, hospitals, streets and family homes.

As A.P.reported:

“U.S., troops backed by attack aircraft killed nineteen suspected insurgents and fifteen civilians, including nine children (whilst) ‘targetting Al Qaeda in Iraq leaders…”

Again, say that ‘Al Qaeda’ is targetted and those in U.S. uniform, can literally get away with murder. U.S. ground forces ‘faced small arms fire’, writes A.P., presumably from those trying to protect themselves from hyped up goons dressed like something from another planet. So the ‘bravest of the brave’, bravely brought in helicopter gun ships, which, presumably, could see the ‘I am Al Queda’ luminous stickers, on the heads of the terrified mothers, children and others. Another day, another massacre.

Now, reports the Chicago Tribune (4) the U.S. Army is to lower its recruiting standards, with more recruits having ‘criminal records’ and ‘ no high school diploma’. Those with felony arrests, have over tripled since 2003, so now they can felon with impunity. No wonder the countless allegations of cash, jewellery and valuables stolen from Iraqi homes, at checkpoints and in random searches.

Major General Thomas Bostick is sanguine. Most of those recruited committed ‘misdemeanors’, for such offences as ‘joyriding’ or violating a curfew. Give them an armoured vehicle or a tank in Iraq and Afghanistan and they can joy ride till their hearts’ content, riding over kids, cars, with impunity, shooting up families at random. And criminals who have been handed a curfew order will be free to impose a curfew at gunpoint on innocent Iraqis, doing nothing more than being Iraqis in their own illegally occupied country.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Congressional Resolution, has rightly urged that the 1915 slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey by the Ottomans to be recorded as a genocide.

How long before the probable one and a half million Iraqis, geographically next door, who died silently of U.S. driven ’embargo related causes’ over thirteen years (1990-2003) and the subsequent near one and a quarter million excess deaths at the hands of the invasion, will be equally recorded, as another genocide by a country which was founded on the genocide of America’s indigenous population, which continued across the world in the same mode and now, in just seventeen years, with the U,K., has the blood of approaching three million on U.S, Administration and Congressional hands. And it is worse, please see the meticulous research by Dr Gideon Polya, author of a just published, academic tome, on ‘democratic’ genocide: ‘Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950.

(G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007, (for details see:
and ).

Quis custodiat ipsos custodes?



2. John R. MacArthur, Providence Journal, 5th April 2005.

3. For minute detail of yet another shameful event:


Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Why Burma is Not Iraq by Ramzy Baroud

Dandelion Salad

by Ramzy Baroud
Global Research, October 12, 2007

The 2003 invasion of Iraq has enabled two important realisations. First, that imperial powers act only to preserve their interests, and second, that humanitarian intervention — i.e. humanitarian imperialism — is touted and encouraged by the media and official circles mostly to circumvent the true self-serving intents of aggression. Granted, many Americans are still under the impression that Iraq harboured Al-Qaeda, developed weapons of mass destruction and threatened America’s security. But who can blame them? Compare the relentless campaign of fabrication and half-truths prior to the invasion — courtesy of the Bush administration and its willing allies in the media — to the dismal follow-ups on whether such military adventurism actually achieved any of its declared objectives.

Every facet in America’s propaganda machine was in ceaseless motion to make a case for war; aside from the obvious pretext, Iraq’s horrors under Saddam were repeatedly emphasised. Also showcased were Iraq’s exiled elites who “proved” that the US war was in tune with the desperate pleas of the Iraqi “masses”. Forget the actual masses thereafter butchered with impunity. Compare again the attention given to Saddam’s victims to the subsequent attention given to victims of the US war (estimated to number more than one million), who were not even validated as victims but instead presented as grateful beneficiaries. A few months into the invasion, a leading US neo- conservative claimed to me in an interview that the Iraq democracy experiment was so successful that “Iranians are calling me at my office angrily saying, ‘How come you liberated the Iraqis and are yet to liberate us?'”

So why aren’t the US and Britain responding to the situation in Burma with the same determination that they exhibited for Iraq, and now Iran? Why haven’t media pundits rushed in to make a case for war against the brutal regime of General Than Shwe who has denied his people not only political freedom but also the basic requisites of a dignified life? To maintain their extravagant lifestyles in the midst of crushing poverty, junta generals jacked up fuel prices by 500 per cent in August. This even provoked Burmese monks — legendary symbols of peace and endurance — to demonstrate en masse, demanding greater compassion for the poor. The protests, starting in a rural town 19 August, culminated in massive rallies of hundreds of thousands and lasted for weeks.

The media correctly drew parallels between the most recent Safrron Revolution and the 1988 uprising, when students in Rangoon triggered nationwide demonstrations that were suppressed brutally by the army, claiming 3,000 lives. General Than Shwe became the head of the junta in 1992 and continued to rule with an iron fist. However, his subversion of democracy was not a strong enough reason to prevent large multinationals from seeking lucrative contracts in the gas-rich country. He accumulated wealth and his officials continued to roam the globe with few hindrances, while the Burmese people continued to suffer. This eventually led to the most recent revolt, which was once again crushed without remorse. The number of dead this time remains unknown; estimates range between 200 and 2,000. Thousands have also been arrested and many monks have reportedly been tortured, their monasteries ransacked. From a media angle, no revolution could be as sentimental or appealing. But, of course, it takes more than tens of thousands of monks leading hundreds of thousands of the country’s poor in mass rallies to make Burma relevant for long.

Western leaders, aware of the criticism that awaits them, have paid the necessary lip service, but little else. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown decried the use of violence against protesters and demanded European sanctions. President Bush declared that Americans “stand in solidarity with these brave individuals”. Israel, on the other hand, denied its military links to the junta, despite much contradictory evidence. It justified its unwillingness to influence the situation on the grounds of nostalgia — Burma was the first South Asian country to recognise Israel. The UN sent its envoy to Burma to meet General Than Shwe and Ibrahim Gambari was left waiting for days before he was allowed to express the concerns of the international community. And that’s that.

Burma is as important to China as the Middle East is to the US. China cares more about the political stability of its neighbours than human rights and democracy; the US cares about such a nuisance insofar as its ability to serve its own militaristic and economic interests is affected. China is the world’s fourth largest economy, and will soon be the third; its holds $1.4 trillion in reserve, mostly in US treasury bonds. Its sway over the global financial system is undeniable, and under no circumstance will it allow America a significant role in a country that shares with it a 2,000-kilometre border. The US, on the other hand, pays lip service to democracy in Burma, and its continued “support” of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy is aimed at maintaining a foothold in Burma for a future role, should the relationship between the West and China turn sour.

Humanitarian imperialism has proved more destructive than the injustices it supposedly eradicates. But expect none of that in the case of Burma, because intervention does not serve the interests of the influential parties — not the West’s, or China’s, or Russia’s. We may see a few sentimental meetings between Aung San Suu Kyi and representatives of the generals, and perhaps a few gestures of goodwill by the latter, at the behest of China and the West. But they will bring no sweeping reforms, nor meaningful democracy or human rights. These can only be achieved by the people of Burma, their monks, civil society activists, and by ordinary people.

If Iraq has been a lesson of any worth it is that the Burmese are much better off without American bombing raids or British napalm in the name of intervention. True reforms and democracy can only come from within, from the closed fists of the determined dispossessed. Indeed, Burma is not Iraq, and Thank God for that.

Ramzy Baroud ( is an author and editor of His work has been published in many newspapers and journals worldwide. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London).

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