Mosaic Intelligence Report: Armageddon (video)

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For more visit
Mosaic Intelligence Report – October 18, 2007

President Bush says Iran ‘s nuclear program could lead to “World War III” if it is allowed to continue. Russian President Vladimir Putin asserts that he had seen no evidence that Teheran was constructing a nuclear bomb. Has the Cold War returned? And are we on the brinks of a third World War?

Answers to these questions and more on Link TV ‘s Mosaic Intelligence Report.


Bush’s World War Three by Michel Chossudovsky

Bush Press Conference (video)Russian Press Blasts Anglo-Saxon Terrorist Controllers by Webster Griffin Tarpley

Al Jazeera: Inside Story: Putin’s Iran visit (videos)

Olbermann: Immunity for Telecoms + SCHIP + Maddow + Worst Person + Pete Stark Blasts GOP on SCHIP, Iraq (videos)

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Bush Demands Immunity Now For Telecom Companies

Rep. Pete Stark Sounds Like An Olbermann Special Comment

Olbermann “S-Chip Of Fools”


And the winner is….Sean Hannity. Runners up Mike Mukasey and Rep. Steve King

Pete Stark Blasts GOP on SCHIP, Iraq



10.17.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

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This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Oct. 17, 2007


“Hezbollah & Israel Plan Prisoner Swap,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Interview With Father of Captured Soldier,” IBA TV, Israel
“Israeli Law to Ban Sale of Lands to Israeli Arabs,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Interview With Abbas,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“Assad Visits Turkey,” Syria TV, Syria
“Where is Imam Musa Sadr?” NBN TV, Lebanon
“Bhutto Heading to Pakistan,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Extraordinary Rendition: Maher Arar on US Detention, Torture + Hearing (videos)

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October 18th, 2007: At a joint house hearing on extraordinary rendition, Maher Arar testifies on his experience of being sent from New York to Syria for a year of torture and illegal detainment.

October 18th, 2007: Highlights from a joint House hearing on extraordinary rendition, at which Canadian citizen Maher Arar testified on his experience of being sent from New York to Syria for a year of torture and illegal detainment.

October 18, 2007: Rep Bill Delahunt’s opening statements at the joint house hearing on extraordinary renditions.

Risky Jokes about Burma’s Dictators By Don North

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By Don North
Consortium News
October 19, 2007

Editor’s Note: In August, veteran war correspondent Don North was in Burma looking into growing signs of political unrest against the longtime military dictatorship in the country also known as Myanmar. One night, he attended an anti-government comedy routine by three comics known as the Moustache Brothers.

In the weeks that followed, as opposition to the military dictatorship spread, the comedians became targets of the government crackdown. Sources in Mandalay told North this week that one of the comics, Par Par Lay, was arrested Sept. 25 and family members still have no word of his fate.

The following story was written after North’s August trip to Mandalay:

On a makeshift stage in a slum dwelling on 39th Street in Mandalay, it is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at 8 p.m. The Moustache Brothers, actually two brothers and a cousin, are checking the mikes and plugging in the electric generator.

In this neighborhood of jerry-built houses and open sewers, the electricity is out most of the time. Tonight, as they would do seven nights a week, the three comedians were preparing to regale the audience of a dozen foreign tourists with their “politically incorrect” humor.

“If the secret police come in the front, we will escape out the back,” joked Lu Maw, startling a German tourist in the front row. They hold aloft a sign in English proclaiming, “Moustache Brothers are under Surveillance.”

In Burma, the government may be a joke, but to laugh is to risk prison.


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.

Mukasey Attorney General Senate Confirmation Hearing, Day 2 (videos; links)

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Mike Mukasey Attorney General Senate Confirmation Hearing, Day 2. October 18, 2007

Mukasey: No Inherent Pres Authority to Torture

Mukasey: President Can Disobey *Some* Laws

Mukasey on the Death Penalty

Schumer Asks Mukasey about Political Prosecutions

Mukasey: Waterboarding is Torture if It’s Torture


Mukasey Defends Bush Admin on Post-9/11 Measures, But Vows Independence (link)

Mike Mukasey Attorney General Senate Confirmation Hearing (videos; links)

Mukasey Defends Bush Admin on Post-9/11 Measures, But Vows Independence (link)

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Thursday, October 18th, 2007
Democracy Now!

Attorney General Nominee Michael Mukasey Defends Bush Admin on Post-9/11 Measures, But Vows Independence

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The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee appears set to back Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, following his first day of confirmation hearings. On Wednesday, Mukasey defended many of President Bush’s most controversial post-9/11 policies, including holding prisoners without charge and denying them habeus corpus. We get reaction from Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]

Confirmation hearings began on Wednesday for Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey. And after a day of questioning, the Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee appears set to support his confirmation. President Bush nominated Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales after Gonzales quit in August amidst a series of scandals involving the firing of U.S. attorneys and for approving a secret warrantless domestic surveillance program. Mukasey is a retired federal judge who handled several high-profile cases, including the 1995 trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh,” and the initial detention of Jose Padilla. On Wednesday, Mukasey defended many of President Bush’s most controversial post-9/11 policies. He said the President has the right to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge. He refused to recommend the closing of the military prison at Guantanamo. And Mukasey said he does not believe prisoners at Guantanamo should be allowed the right of habeas corpus.Meanwhile, Mukasey was harshly critical of a 2002 Justice Department memo on torture, which he described as “worse than a sin.” Mukasey promised to maintain independence from President Bush’s White House. He told Senator Arlen Specter that he would resign if he couldn”t dissuade the president from taking action that he determined to be illegal. In a moment we will be joined by Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. But first we turn to Wednesday’s hearings.

  • Excerpts of Michael Mukasey’s confirmation hearings.

To talk more about the Mukasey nomination, Attorney Michael Ratner joins us here at the firehouse. He is president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

  • Michael Ratner. President of the Center for Constitutional Rights.



Mike Mukasey Attorney General Senate Confirmation Hearing (videos; links)

Mukasey Attorney General Senate Confirmation Hearing, Day 2 (videos; links)

Priests Protesting Torture Jailed By Bill Quigley

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By Bill Quigley
10/18/07 “

Louis Vitale, 75, a Franciscan priest, and Steve Kelly, 58, a Jesuit priest, were each sentenced to five months in federal prison for attempting to deliver a letter opposing the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Both priests were taken directly into jail from the courtroom after sentencing.

Fort Huachuca is the headquarters of military intelligence in the U.S. and the place where military and civilian interrogators are taught how to extract information from prisoners. The priests attempted to deliver their letter to Major General Barbara Fast, commander of Fort Huachuca. Fast was previously the head of all military intelligence in Iraq during the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.

The priests were arrested while kneeling in prayer halfway up the driveway to Fort Huachuca in November 2006. Both priests were charged with trespass on a military base and resisting orders of an officer to stop.

In a pre-trial heating, the priests attempted to introduce evidence of torture, murder, and gross violations of human rights in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and at Guantanamo. The priests offered investigative reports from the FBI, the US Army, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Physicians for Social Responsibility documenting hundreds of incidents of human rights violations. Despite increasing evidence of the use of torture by U.S. forces sanctioned by President Bush and others, the federal court in Tucson refused to allow any evidence of torture, the legality of the invasion of Iraq, or international law to be a part of the trial.

Outside the courthouse, before the judge ordered them to prison, the priests explained their actions: “The real crime here has always been the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca and the practice of torture around the world. We tried to deliver a letter asking that the teaching of torture be stopped and were arrested. We tried to put the evidence of torture on full and honest display in the courthouse and were denied. We were prepared to put on evidence about the widespread use of torture and human rights abuses committed during interrogations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo in Iraq and Afhganistan. This evidence was gathered by the military itself and by governmental and human rights investigations.”

Fr. Vitale, a longtime justice and peace activist in San Francisco and Nevada, said: “Because the court will not allow the truth of torture to be a part of our trial, we plead no contest. We are uninterested in a court hearing limited to who was walking where and how many steps it was to the gate. History will judge whether silencing the facts of torture is just or not. Far too many people have died because of our national silence about torture. Far too many of our young people in the military have been permanently damaged after following orders to torture and violate the human rights of other humans.”

Fr. Kelly, who walked to the gates of Guantanamo with the Catholic Worker group in December of 2005, concluded: “We will keep trying to stop the teaching and practice of torture whether we are sent to jail or out. We have done our part for now. Now it is up to every woman and man of conscience to do their part to stop the injustice of torture.”

The priests were prompted to protest by continuing revelations about the practice of torture by U.S. military and intelligence officers. The priests were also deeply concerned after learning of the suicide in Iraq of a young, devout female military interrogator in Iraq, Alyssa Peterson of Arizona, shortly after arriving in Iraq. Peterson was reported to be horrified by the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

Investigation also revealed that Fort Huachuca was the source of infamous “torture manuals” distributed to hundreds of Latin American graduates of the U.S. Army School of Americas at Fort Benning, GA. Demonstrations against the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca have been occurring for the past several years each November and are scheduled again for November 16 and 17 this year.

Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill can be reached at .

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

Why They’re Afraid Of Michael Moore By John Pilger

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By John Pilger
10/18/07 “ICH

In Sicko, Michael Moore’s new film, a young Ronald Reagan is shown appealing to working-class Americans to reject “socialised medicine” as commie subversion. In the 1940s and 1950s, Reagan was employed by the American Medical Association and big business as the amiable mouthpiece of a neo-fascism bent on persuading ordinary Americans that their true interests, such as universal health care, were “anti-American”.

Watching this, I found myself recalling the effusive farewells to Reagan when he died three years ago. “Many people believe,” said Gavin Esler on the BBC’s Newsnight, “that he restored faith in American military action [and] was loved even by his political opponents.” In the Daily Mail, Esler wrote that Reagan “embodied the best of the American spirit – the optimistic belief that problems can be solved, that tomorrow will be better than today, and that our children will be wealthier and happier than we are”.

Such drivel about a man who, as president, was responsible for the 1980s bloodbath in central America, and the rise of the very terrorism that produced al-Qaeda, became the received spin. Reagan’s walk-on part in Sicko is a rare glimpse of the truth of his betrayal of the blue-collar nation he claimed to represent. The treacheries of another president, Richard Nixon, and a would-be president, Hillary Clinton, are similarly exposed by Moore.

Just when there seemed little else to say about the great Watergate crook, Moore extracts from the 1971 White House tapes a conversation between Nixon and John Erlichman, his aide who ended up in prison. A wealthy Republican Party backer, Edgar Kaiser, head of one of America’s biggest health insurance companies, is at the White House with a plan for “a national health-care industry”. Erlichman pitches it to Nixon, who is bored until the word “profit” is mentioned.

“All the incentives,” says Erlichman, “run the right way: the less [medical] care they give them, the more money they make.” To which Nixon replies without hesitation: “Fine!” The next cut shows the president announcing to the nation a task force that will deliver a system of “the finest health care”. In truth, it is one of the worst and most corrupt in the world, as Sicko shows, denying common humanity to some 50 million Americans and, for many of them, the right to life.

The most haunting sequence is captured by a security camera in a Los Angeles street. A woman, still in her hospital gown, staggers through the traffic, where she has been dumped by the company (the one founded by Nixon’s backer) that runs the hospital to which she was admitted. She is ill and terrified and has no health insurance. She still wears her admission bracelet, though the name of the hospital has been thoughtfully erased.

Later on, we meet that glamorous liberal couple, Bill and Hillary Clinton. It is 1993 and the new president is announcing the appointment of the first lady as the one who will fulfil his promise to give America a universal health-care. And here is “charming and witty” Hillary herself, as a senator calls her, pitching her “vision” to Congress. Moore’s portrayal of the loquacious, flirting, sinister Hillary is reminiscent of Tim Robbins’s superb political satire Bob Roberts. You know her cynicism is already in her throat. “Hillary,” says Moore in voice-over, “was rewarded for her silence [in 2007] as the second-largest recipient in the Senate of health-care industry contributions”.

Moore has said that Harvey Weinstein, whose company produced Sicko and who is a friend of the Clintons, wanted this cut, but he refused. The assault on the Democratic Party candidate likely to be the next president is a departure for Moore, who, in his personal campaign against George Bush in 2004, endorsed General Wesley Clark, the bomber of Serbia, for president and defended Bill Clinton himself, claiming that “no one ever died from a blow job”. (Maybe not, but half a million Iraqi infants died from Clinton’s medieval siege of their country, along with thousands of Haitians, Serbians, Sudanese and other victims of his unsung invasions.)

With this new independence apparent, Moore’s deftness and dark humour in Sicko, which is a brilliant work of journalism and satire and film-making, explains – perhaps even better than the films that made his name, Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 – his popularity and influence and enemies. Sicko is so good that you forgive its flaws, notably Moore’s romanticising of Britain’s National Health Service, ignoring a two-tier system that neglects the elderly and the mentally ill.

The film opens with a wry carpenter describing how he had to make a choice after two fingers were shorn off by an electric saw. The choice was $60,000 to restore a forefinger or $12,000 to restore a middle finger. He could not afford both, and had no insurance. “Being a hopeless romantic,” says Moore, “he chose the ring finger” on which he wore his wedding ring. Moore’s wit leads us to scenes that are searing, yet unsentimental, such as the eloquent anger of a woman whose small daughter was denied hospital care and died of a seizure. Within days of Sicko opening in the United States, more than 25,000 people overwhelmed Moore’s website with similar stories.

The California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organising Committee despatched volunteers to go on the road with the film. “From my sense,” says Jan Rodolfo, an oncology nurse, “it demonstrates the potential for a true national movement because it’s obviously inspiring so many people in so many places.”

Moore’s “threat” is his unerring view from the ground. He abrogates the contempt in which elite America and the media hold ordinary people. This is a taboo subject among many journalists, especially those claiming to have risen to the nirvana of “impartiality” and others who profess to teach journalism. If Moore simply presented victims in the time-honoured, ambulance-chasing way, leaving the audience tearful but paralysed, he would have few enemies. He would not be looked down upon as a polemicist and self-promoter and all the other pejorative tags that await those who step beyond the invisible boundaries in societies where wealth is said to equal freedom. The few who dig deep into the nature of a liberal ideology that regards itself as superior, yet is responsible for crimes epic in proportion and generally unrecognised, risk being eased out of the “mainstream”, especially if they are young – a process that a former editor once described to me as “a sort of gentle defenestration”.

None has broken through like Moore, and his detractors are perverse to say he is not a “professional journalist” when the role of the professional journalist is so often that of zealously, if surreptitiously, serving the status quo. Without the loyalty of these professionals on the New York Times and other august (mostly liberal) media institutions “of record”, the criminal invasion of Iraq might not have happened and a million people would be alive today. Deployed in Hollywood’s sanctum – the cinema – Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 shone a light in their eyes, reached into the memory hole, and told the truth. That is why audiences all over the world stood and cheered.

What struck me when I first saw Roger and Me, Moore’s first major film, was that you were invited to like ordinary Americans for their struggle and resilience and politics that reached beyond the din and fakery of the American democracy industry. Moreover, it is clear they “get it” about him: that despite being rich and famous he is, at heart, one of them. A foreigner doing something similar risks being attacked as “anti-American”, a term Moore often uses as irony in order to demonstrate its dishonesty. At a stroke, he sees off the kind of guff exemplified by a recent BBC Radio 4 series that presented humanity as pro- or anti-American while the reporter oozed about America, “the city on the hill”.

Just as tendentious is a documentary called Manufacturing Dissent, which appears to have been timed to discredit, if not Sicko, then Moore himself. Made by the Canadians Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine, it says more about liberals who love to face both ways and the whiny jealousies aroused by tall poppies. Melnyk tells us ad nauseam how much she admires Moore’s films and politics and is inspired by him, then proceeds to attempt character assassination with a blunderbuss of assertions and hearsay about his “methods”, along with personal abuse, such as that of the critic who objected to Moore’s “waddle” and someone else who said he reckoned Moore actually hated America – was anti-American, no less!

Melnyk pursues Moore to ask him why, in his own pursuit of an interview with Roger Smith of General Motors, he failed to mention that he had already spoken to him. Moore has said he interviewed Smith long before he began filming. When she twice intercepts Moore on tour, she is rightly embarrassed by his gracious response. If there is a renaissance of documentaries, it is not served by films such as this.

This is not to suggest Moore should not be pursued and challenged about whether or not he “cuts corners”, just as the work of the revered father of British documentary, John Grierson, has been re-examined and questioned. But feckless parody is not the way. Turning the camera around, as Moore has done, and revealing great power’s “invisible government” of manipulation and often subtle propaganda is certainly one way. In doing so, the documentary-maker breaches a silence and complicity described by Günter Grass in his confessional autobiography, Peeling the Onion, as maintained by those “feigning their own ignorance and vouching for another’s… divert[ing] attention from something intended to be forgotten, something that nevertheless refuses to go away”.

For me, an earlier Michael Moore was that other great “anti-American” whistleblower, Tom Paine, who incurred the wrath of corrupt power when he warned that if the majority of the people were being denied “the ideas of truth”, it was time to storm what he called the “Bastille of words” and we call “the media”. That time is overdue.

John Pilger’s new cinema documentary, The War on Democracy, is released in the UK and other countries.

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.


Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize by Jennifer

Jennifer ..

by Jennifer
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Justice and Peace

Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Nobel Peace Prize, as determined by Nobel’s own words, should be granted, “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Al Gore hardly fits this requirement; however, this argument will not analyze or critique his behavior for the jets he fuels on his journeys throughout the world, nor the distribution of a film that discussed his life more than the issue it purports to tackle (Global Warming), it will examine some of the events that unfolded during his Vice-Presidency under Bill Clinton. In fact, according to Edward S. Herman the office of Bill Clinton was responsible for some of the most horrific war crimes and abuses of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions and The Hague in the history of the United States. The Bush Administration has simply furthered the abuses of power that Clinton et al reigned down upon poor nations. The list of abuses includes the carrying out of wars of aggression, the use of poison gases and other inhumane weapons, deliberately killing and starving civilian populations, and the use of force beyond military necessity. None of which Al Gore ever used his power to deter or extinguish. As stated by the International Criminal Court, any crime against peace is namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the forgoing…War Crimes and Crimes against humanity. Considering the long list of civilians enslaved, oppressed, starved, and violently murdered during the Clinton Administration, Mr. Gore surly should stand trial as an accomplice along side Clinton.

The list of crimes against humanity committed by the US under Clinton and Gore is gruesome indeed. Included are the genocide in East Timor, the illegal and unwarranted bombings of Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, coupled with aid to Turkey and Columbia, where the civilian casualties from counterinsurgency warfare and death squad operations…exceeded the pre-NATO bombing deaths in Kosovo by a large factor. None of this, of course, includes the brutal sanctions imposed on Iraq, which, had it not been for the power the US wields on the UN Security Council, would have been prosecuted as war crimes under international law.

According to UNICEF, in 1999, years into the Clinton/Gore administration, sanctions in Iraq were killing close to 5,000 children under the age of 5 monthly far beyond normal death rates. Several reports from the United States Defense Agency show that contrary to the Geneva Convention, the US government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the countries water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway. (Jeff Lindemyer, November 2001). Other DIA documents (dated January, 1991, February, 1991, and March 1991) showed that not only was the Clinton/Gore Administration knowledgeable about how the sanctions would impact civilians, they monitored the situation closely. A charismatic statesman, Clinton repeatedly cited abuses of the “Oil for Food Program” by Iraqi leaders as the cause of civilian casualties and suffering, of course avoiding the fact that the devastation of sanctions was being felt by Iraqi’s as early as 1991 and the “Oil for Food Program” did not start until December of 1996. As the “Oil for Food Program” got underway, the US continued charges levied at the Saddam regime, with no basis in fact. According to the US State Department, Holds on inappropriate contracts help prevent the diversion of oil-for food goods to further Saddam’s personal interests. However, Jeff Lindemyer shows that requests for urgent assistance were repeatedly delayed to the point that Secretary-General Kofi-Annan along with Benon Sevon wrote numerous letters decrying the excessive holds placed on items ordered under the program, not by the Saddam regime, but by the UN Security Council.

Remarkable to the Clinton/Gore Administration was its ongoing relationship with President Suharto, the person responsible for genocide in Indonesia, East Timor, and West Papua. Clinton brokered weapons deals and trade agreements, which enslaved an entire people for companies such as Reebok and Nike, while US bought weapons were used to exterminate any people who resisted. Against the will of the Administration and the corporate controlled media, it was the actions of a few brave journalists who brought this tragedy to light. American journalist Amy Goodman was severely beaten by US supplied weapons when she captured the murder of innocent civilians in East Timor. Upon her return to the United States, she worked tirelessly to bring attention to the matter through US media outlets who finally after intense international coverage could no longer ignore the story, however, the coverage the genocide did receive was minimal and no mention was made of US involvement.

Some other notable war crimes and immoralities committed by the Clinton/Gore Administration include the use of DynaCorp, a private “security firm” that at the time Clinton and Gore were lobbying Congress heavily for their use in South America was in the midst of an investigation for participation in a child sex-slave ring. Regardless of this knowledge Clinton/Gore continued to offer DynaCorp military contracts and relied on the firm heavily to carry out illegal military operations. The people of the Delta Niger suffered and continue to suffer horrific environmental degradation, mass murder, and torture at the hands of the US backed government, which Clinton/Gore did not hesitate weaponizing and training at the time of these known abuses.

Clearly, Mr. Gore, if he had any redeeming qualities at all, would apologize for his active role and participation in these war crimes and crimes against humanity, and return the Nobel in order to be awarded to someone more deserving.

Nobel Hypocrisy – Peace Prize Awards to War Criminals by Stephen Lendman

Please comment on Jennifer’s blog: Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize

Leave it to Dennis by 35 Percenters (video; Kucinich)

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Donate to Kucinich. You’ll feel better.

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Nobel Hypocrisy – Peace Prize Awards to War Criminals by Stephen Lendman

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by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, October 18, 2007

Alfred Nobel was a wealthy nineteenth century Swedish-born chemist, engineer, inventor of dynamite, armaments manufacturer and war profiteer who remade his image late in life by establishing the awarding of prizes in his name that includes the one for peace. This most noted award was inspired by his one-time secretary and peace activist, Bertha von Suttner, who was nominated four times and became the first of only 12 women to be honored.

Since it was established in 1901, the Peace Prize was awarded to 95 individuals and 20 organizations. Some recipients were worthy like Martin Luther King, Jane Addams and Albert Schweitzer but too many were not including this year’s honoree. Al Gore joins a long list of past “ignoble” recipients like warrior presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and supporter of rogue regimes Jimmy Carter. He’s also among the likes of genocidists Henry Kissinger and three former Israeli prime ministers – Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin – along with former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who never met a US-led war he didn’t love and support. So much for promoting peace and what this award is supposed to signify. More on this below.

Almost anyone can be nominated for the prize and look who were but didn’t get it – Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin and more recently George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Rush Limbaugh laughably. In contrast, one of the most notable symbols of non-violence in the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi, was nominated four times but never won. More recently, anti-war activist Kathy Kelly, co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, now known as Voices for Creative Nonviolence, got three nominations but was passed over each time for less deserving candidates. Her “reward” instead was to be sentenced in 2004 to three months in federal prison for crossing the line into Fort Benning, Georgia in protest against the School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation that’s commonly called “the school of assassins.”

Peace Prize Awards to War Criminals

Henry Kissinger was likely the most noted war criminal ever to win the Nobel Prize (in 1973 with Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho who declined his award saying there was no peace in his country). The sheer scope of his crimes is breathtaking:

— three to four million Southeast Asian deaths in the Vietnam war,

— the bloody overthrow of a democratic government in Chile and support for Latin American dictators,

— backed Surharto’s takeover of West Papua and his invasion of East Timor killing hundreds of thousands,

— supported the Khmer Rouge early on and its reign of terror rise to power,

— backed Pakistan’s “delicacy and tact” in overthrowing Bangladesh’s democratically elected government causing a half million deaths, and much more around the world as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the world body he represented won their award in 2001 “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.” It wasn’t for what Annan did in his various UN roles. Early on, he had a position in the Secretariat’s services department in New York. He then got subordinate responsibility for the Middle East and Africa in the “special political affairs” department. There his support for Washington’s call for troops to be sent to Somalia in the early 1990s helped put him in charge of all peacekeeping operations in February, 1993. In that role, he prevented measures from being taken to stop the impending Rwanda slaughter he was warned about in advance that caused around 800,000 deaths on his watch. He also kept the Security Council uninformed of what was coming.

At the behest of then UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright and without consulting Secretary-General Boutras-Boutras-Ghali, Annan sided with the Clinton administration’s authorization of NATO to illegally bomb Serb positions in Bosnia in 1995. It got him the Secretary-General’s job in January, 1997 in which one observer noted he “courted the wrath of the developing world by rejecting anticolonialism in favor of moral principles cherished in the West.”

Kofi Annan’s Nobel award is a testimony to hypocrisy for a man whose ten years as Secretary-General failed to fulfill the mandate he was sworn to uphold: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war; to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights; to establish conditions (promoting) justice….equal rights of men and women (in all nations and respect for) international law (and) social progress….to ensure….armed force shall not be used.”

During his ten year tenure in the top UN job, Annan:

— supported Iraqi economic sanctions that caused around 1.5 million deaths including over one million children under age five;

— backed the Bush administration’s illegal 2003 Iraq invasion and occupation that’s now taken an additional 1.2 million or more lives;

— supported the illegal Afghanistan war and occupation;

— remained mute on the possibility of a wider war with Iran even if it includes first strike nuclear weapons;

— made no efforts to work for peace in the Middle East including in Occupied Palestine nor did he denounce Israel’s 2006 war of aggression against Lebanon;

— remained loyal to the West and ignored the plight of his own people throughout the African continent including the immiseration of South African blacks post-apartheid;

— allowed thuggish paramilitary Blue Helmets to occupy Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sudan. More on UN peacekeeping below.

Kofi Annan’s sole achievement was his uncompromising complicity with the Clinton and Bush administrations’ worst crimes of war and against humanity. His loyalty earned him the Nobel award that signified nothing to do with peace he disdained.

UN Peacekeeping Forces got the Nobel award in 1988 for missions the UN defines as “a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace.” Blue Helmets supposedly are sent to conflict and post-conflict areas to perform multiple services that include as top priority restoring order, maintaining peace and security and providing for the needs of people during transitional periods until local governments can take over on their own.

Most often, Blue Helmets end up creating more conflict than resolution and function mainly as unwanted paramilitary enforcers or occupiers. At other times, they become counterproductive or ineffective and end up doing more harm than good. Since 1948, over five dozen peacekeeping operations have been undertaken. Most were dismal failures including the first ever UNTSO mission during Israel’s so-called “War of Independence.” The operation is still ongoing after nearly 50 years, peace was never achieved, Blue Helmets are there but play no active role, and the world community is silent in the face of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity.

The same condition is true in Haiti where for the first time in UN history MINUSTAH peacekeepers were deployed to enforce a coup d’etat against a democratically-elected president. They disdain peace and stability and function instead as paramilitary occupiers indiscriminately terrorizing and killing unarmed civilians in service to Western capital.

Three former Israeli prime ministers also got Nobel Peace Prizes – Menachem Begin in 1978 and Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in 1994. All three men committed crimes of war and against humanity as did all other Israeli prime ministers since David Ben-Gurion took office May 14, 1948 after the new State of Israel declared it independence as an exclusive Jewish state. Nonetheless, the Nobel Committee awarded them its highest honor for furthering the cause of peace they disdained by using their position to inflict on the Palestinian people what Edward Said once called Israel’s “refined viciousness.” Menachem Begin was a particularly virulent racist and Arab hater calling Palestinians “two-legged beasts” and saying Jews were the “Master Race” and “divine gods on this planet.”

Then there’s the current Nobel Peace Prize honoree, Al Gore. CounterPunchers Alex Cockburn and Jeff St. Clair wrote the book on him in 2000 titled “Al Gore: A User’s Manual.” It’s a critical account of a “man whom his parents raised from birth to be president of the United States” and who always put politics over principle. He built his credentials for the high office around pro-business, pro-war, anti-union and phony environmental advocacy as no friend of the earth then so who can believe he’s one now.

His 1992 book “Earth in the Balance” was more theater than advocacy. In it, he assessed the forces of planetary destruction that included air and water pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, overpopulation, ozone depletion and global warming. He highlighted the impact of auto emissions and need to phase out the internal combustion engine but made no effort in office to do it.

Then as vice-president he used his “green credentials” to sell the pro-business, anti-worker, anti-environmental NAFTA to the environmental movement. He also supported clear-cutting logging practices including in old-growth areas. He ignored an assessment that this practice risked the extinction of hundreds of species. He backed a 1995 spending bill “salvage logging rider” that opened millions of National Forest lands to logging and exempted sales of the harvest from environmental laws and judicial review for two years. He and Clinton further allowed South Florida’s sugar barons to devastate thousands of Everglades acres and gave away consumer Delaney Clause protection that kept carcinogens out of our food supply.

Throughout his political life, Gore supported Big Oil and was tied to Occidental Petroleum Company and its “ruthless tycoon” chief, Armand Hammer. In return for supporting company interests, he got political favors and patronage from Hammer and his successor, Ray Irani who was a major DNC contributor and got to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom as a bonus reward. He’s also been a shill for the nuclear industry that won’t solve or even alleviate global warming and the threat it poses according to nuclear expert Helen Caldicott. Commercial reactors discharge huge amounts of greenhouse gases along with hundreds of thousands of curies of deadly radioactive gases and other radioactive elements besides being sitting ducks for retaliatory terror attacks experts believe will eventually happen.

Earlier in the House (1977 – 1985) and Senate (1985 – 1993) and as vice-president Gore also shilled for the Pentagon and defense contractors. He “played midwife to the MX missile,” opposed efforts to cut defense spending, and backed the Reagan administration’s Grenada invasion and Central American wars. He partnered with Clinton’s Balkan wars in the 1990s that destroyed Yugoslavia so NATO could expand into Central and Eastern Europe for its markets, resources and cheap, exploitable labor. In Kosovo, he collaborated with Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) paramilitary thugs against Serbia and ignored their connection to organized crime. He earlier traded his vote for the Gulf war for prime time coverage of his speech.

He then backed ousting Saddam by coup or any other means and supported the most comprehensive genocidal sanctions ever imposed on a country that killed a likely 1.5 million or more Iraqis including over one million children under age five.

Cockburn and St. Clair fill in more blanks about a political opportunist who supported Big Tobacco, “exploited his sister’s death and son’s (near-fatal) accident for….political advantage; became a soul brother of Newt Gingrich; race-baited Jesse Jackson; pushed Clinton into destroying the New Deal; plotted to stop Democrats from recapturing Congress in 1996” so “his rival Dick Gephard” wouldn’t become Speaker; “leached campaign cash from nearly every corporate lobbyist” in town, and, as already covered, lied about being a friend of the earth by disdaining environmentalism through his actions.

Does this man deserve a Nobel Peace Prize (let alone to be president) along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” The Nobel Committee ignored Gore’s environmental record and went on to say “for a long time (he’s) been one of the world’s leading environmental politicians (through) his strong commitment, reflected in political activity, (that) strengthened the struggle against climate change.” Contrary to his easily accessed public record, not his posturing, The Nobel Committee blindly added “He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”

In point of fact, throughout his political life, Gore’s actions betrayed the public’s trust and still do. He and his wife live in two large energy-consuming homes: a 10,000 square foot, eight bedroom one in Nashville and a 4000 square foot one in Arlington, VA. The Gores also own a third home in Carthage, TN. In both Washington and Nashville, utility companies offer a wind energy green alternative to customers for a small per kilowatt hour premium. Gore can easily afford it, but public records show no evidence he’s does it in either residence. Alex Cockburn gets the last word on a man who shills for privilege, has plenty for himself, and like George Bush disdains the public interest: “Al Gore distills in his single person the disrepair of liberalism in America today, and almost every unalluring feature of the Democratic Party” that’s mostly indistinguishable from the other side of the aisle in a city where the criminal class is bipartisan.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on Mondays at noon US central time.

Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Stephen Lendman 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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Stagflation: The Two-Headed Monster by Josh Sidman


by Josh Sidman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Josh’s Blog Post

Oct. 18, 2007

Stagflation: The Two-Headed Monster

In previous articles (“Big Ben & The Shit-Cloud” and “The Perfect Storm”), I discussed the possibility that the American economy may be headed for a rare and highly problematic situation in which we experience economic stagnation and erosion of the currency at the same time. In ordinary times, economic crises usually take one of two forms – i.e. either recession or inflation. Since these two phenomena normally spring from opposite causes, they rarely occur concurrently. However, if an extended period of bad economic decision-making is combined with unfavorable world conditions, it is possible to have both at the same time. This extremely destructive phenomenon is called stagflation. The unique challenge posed by this economic two-headed-monster is due to the fact that the cure for either of the two problems is likely to exacerbate the other, and vice versa.

Recent headlines seem to indicate that stagflation is increasingly likely. A Reuters news story today entitled “Housing Starts Skid, Inflation Flares” highlights the developing conundrum facing the financial authorities. Housing starts last month fell 10.2% to an annualized rate of 1.191 million. (A level of 1 million is consistent with past recessions.) Meanwhile, spiking prices in commodities and an accelerating increase in the Consumer Price Index indicate that inflation is a growing concern. The threat of inflation couldn’t come at a worse time from the point of view of the Fed, since just when it would like to have a free hand to cut interest rates further in order to bail out the real estate market, rising prices and the eroding dollar may severely limit the extent to which monetary policy can be used to address the threat of recession.

So, what does all of this mean for the average Joe? How should one manage personal finances in such a tricky environment? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, since in a period of stagflation virtually every form of wealth is vulnerable. Investing in the stock market (which is still near record-high levels) while the economy may be on the brink of recession is obviously not a good idea. On the other hand, conservative investments like bonds and other fixed-income instruments are problematic due to the falling value of the currency.

While I do not profess to be an expert on the subject of investing, I would like to offer three investment ideas that I think will outperform if stagflation becomes a reality. The first is one that I have discussed before – i.e. gold. Gold has historically been considered one of the safest stores of economic value. The one drawback of gold is that it doesn’t yield any return (like a bond or dividend paying stock). However, at a time when bond yields are low and stocks look vulnerable, this aspect of gold is less problematic. Gold has increased dramatically over the past couple years, and while I am usually wary of investing in anything that has already gone up a lot, in this case I think gold has a lot further to go. Since the Fed seems to be taking the “easy” approach to our current difficulties (i.e. loosening monetary policy), the recent trend of weakness in the dollar is likely to continue. Since for most of the last century, people all over the world have used the dollar as the primary store of value, once people start questioning the wisdom of continuing to do so (a trend that is already underway), an enormous amount of wealth will start to exit the dollar and look for alternative stores of value.

Given that other countries are likely to follow the Fed’s lead in terms of monetary policy (since allowing their currencies to appreciate excessively versus the dollar hurts their abilities to export their products to the US), there is no guarantee that simply switching out of dollars into other world currencies will be a successful strategy for preserving wealth. If there is a “race to the bottom” in terms of central bank policies, currencies could lose value across the board. It is for this reason that I believe gold still represents a huge opportunity. The amount of gold that exists in the entire world is tiny in comparison to the amount of wealth that could soon be looking for a safe haven, so I think it is not unlikely that the price of gold could double or triple from its already high levels.

Another investing strategy that is based on similar reasoning would be to invest in the Japanese yen. The dollar has already slid significantly against many world currencies (most notably the Euro and the Canadian Dollar), but it has so far held its value against the yen. One factor that I believe is likely to lead to a significant depreciation of the dollar versus the yen is what is called the “carry trade”. In response to Japan’s decade-long recession during the 90s, the Japanese central bank cut short-term interest rates to near-zero. This created a hugely profitable opportunity for investors to borrow yen and convert them into dollars, where they could then invest the money at a higher rate of interest. The enormous amount of money that was put into the carry trade represents a tide that at some point is likely to start flowing in the opposite direction. Once interest rates in Japan are no longer low relative to rates in the US, and once the value of the dollar starts to erode vis-à-vis the yen, all of the money that was put into the carry trade over the years is likely to be unwound.

When I was employed as a derivatives trader in Tokyo in the mid-90s, I used to exchange my yen-denominated salary for dollars at rates as low as 80 yen per dollar. I see no reason why we might not see the yen trading at 100 to the dollar in the medium-term. I also see little reason to fear that the dollar might appreciate significantly vis-à-vis the yen. I therefore believe that buying yen represents a very good risk vs. reward scenario at this point.

Lastly, for those who want to get a bit more aggressive in their investing, I would suggest selling US bank stocks short. The recent troubles in the sub-prime mortgage market highlighted the extent to which US banks are vulnerable to declines in real estate values. Yet, to date, bank stocks by and large haven’t fallen very much. It is my opinion that the bear market in real estate is just beginning and that property values have a lot further to fall (an opinion that is increasingly echoed even by the “official authorities”, who are occupationally obligated to be unrealistically optimistic). When this happens, I think the extent of bad-debt exposure of the large banks is likely to prove to be very large. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a large bank or two go bankrupt or be forced into merger or restructuring.

The problem with any prospective short-sale is that timing is everything. You can be exactly right in your analysis but just be too early and end up getting wiped out before the stock falls. For example, if the Fed moves to aggressively cut rates again, the stock market in general, and financial stocks in particular, would likely rally, and a short-seller would lose money. That being said, I don’t think there is a large amount of risk on the upside in these stocks, so if this trade is implemented in such a way that it represents a small percentage of one’s overall portfolio, I think it will prove to be a good countermeasure if the dreaded stagflation rears its ugly heads.

Big Ben & The Shit-Cloud by Josh

American Economy: The Perfect Storm by Josh Sidman

The Daily Show & Colbert Report: Colbert/Colbert ’08? (link)

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
Published Wednesday, October 17th, 2007, 2:47 pm

There was a momentous moment of momentousness last night as Stephen Colbert came on The Daily Show to officially announce that he would officially consider whether or not to announce that he would run for president of the United States (in South Carolina). He later made an announcement of that decision on his own show. Enjoy.

The Daily Show: Colbert’s Big Announcement The Colbert Report: Colbert 08’

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